News Desk

June 2007

Giuliani: Late Again, But With an Excuse

When Rudy Giuliani was 50 minutes late for a speech last Wednesday in Des Moines , he was chewed out on the blog of Des Moines Register columnist David Yepsen.

“Giuliani and his campaign need to learn some things about campaigning in Iowa ,” Yepsen wrote. “Like not being ...

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Congress Subpoenas Wiretap Documents

Congress ratcheted up its fight with the Bush administration today, subpoenaing documents about the warrantless wiretapping program.

The subpoenas, issued by the Senate Judiciary Committee, seek information relating to the legal justification and authorization for the program from the Justice ...

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U.S. Gets Low Global Grades

The message behind the thousands of numbers released this afternoon in the Pew Global Attitudes survey isn’t very difficult to divine: In the past five years, the view of the United States has become increasingly less favorable throughout most parts of the world.

Of the 33 nations ...

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CIA Airs Its Dirty Laundry

After fighting its release for more than a decade, the Central Intelligence Agency has published one of the most embarrassing accounts of its historical misdeeds on its website.

Much of the dirty laundry, which dates back to the 1960s and 1970s, has already been reported. But the 700-page ...

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Online Music Goes Silent to Weigh In

In terms of throwing one’s weight around in the court of public opinion, it doesn’t get any better than this: Internet radio, it appears, is as big as Oprah.

Today is what the online music broadcasters have dubbed the “Day of Silence,” in which they have shut down their services to protest a ...

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Court Lifts Campaign Ad Prohibition

Free speech trumped the need to regulate television advertising from corporate and union sponsors before an election the Supreme Court decided Monday. In a 5-4 decision led by the Bush-appointed conservative justices, the court ruled that a provision of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of ...

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Losing the Drug War in Afghanistan

U.S.-allied forces may be pushing back against a resurgence by the Taliban in Afghanistan , but the drug war there is losing ground. A new United Nations drug report  says that Afghanistan ’s production of opium--the raw material for heroin--increased nearly 50 percent to ...

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A GOP Challenge to Bush's Iraq Policy

One of the most respected GOP voices on foreign policy, Sen. Richard Lugar, broke with the White House in a dramatic Senate speech   Monday evening in which he said President Bush’s so-called Iraq surge strategy is not working.

In my judgment, the costs and risks of continuing down the current ...

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CIA Secrets on the Web

«»The Central Intelligence Agency is posting its formerly supersecret “family jewels” documents on the Web in a very public airing of old misdeeds. “Much of it has been in the press before, and most of it is unflattering, but it is CIA’s history,” the agency’s director, Gen.

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Morning Buzz: June 26, 2007

Representatives of four major players in the Mideast peace talks--the United States , European Union, United Nations, and Russia --met in Jerusalem today to address the recent takeover of the Gaza Strip by Hamas.  

In conjunction with the 60-year ...

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Court Backs Faith-Based Initiative

In 5-to-4 votes, the Supreme Court today backed the president’s faith-based initiative and ruled in favor of the suspension of a student for displaying a controversial banner at a rally.

In one, a group called the Freedom From Religion Foundation Inc. sued eight Bush administration officials for ...

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College Students Don't Seek Mental Counsel

The mental health of college students is getting a lot of scrutiny these days in the wake of revelations that the Virginia Tech student who gunned down 32 of his classmates in April had exhibited signs of instability.

But while Seung Hui Cho belongs to a class of his own, a new study out of the ...

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Morning Buzz: June 25, 2007

Five suicide bombings in Iraq this morning have killed at least 29 people, including nine in a busy Baghdad hotel where the bomber penetrated several layers of security.

New studies on North Carolina beaches estimate that rising sea levels could ...

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The White House Game Planning for Immigration Reform

President George W. Bush has long wanted immigration reform legislation to be a key part of his presidential legacy, and officials within his administration have been scrambling this week to try to keep alive the "grand bargain" immigration reform legislation that failed to pass in the Senate three ...

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Supreme Court Deals Libby a Blow

Senior Editor Liz Halloran notes that yesterday's Supreme Court decision that the 33-month sentence for a man convicted of lying to a grand jury was reasonable may make it tougher for former vice presidential

aide Lewis "Scooter" Libby to get out of his 30-month sentence. The Los Angeles Times ...

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Survey: Infertile Couples Would Choose Research

A national survey indicates that a majority of people undergoing infertility treatment would prefer to donate unused embryos for stem cell research, according to an article published online in Science yesterday.

The authors of the study polled 2,210 infertility patients across the country, asking ...

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Morning Buzz: June 21, 2007

Democrats in both chambers of Congress are promising to continue pushing for legislation that would free more federal money for stem cell research, perhaps using the appropriations process, after President Bush vetoed a similar measure yesterday. It was only the third veto of his term and the ...

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Was It a Missile Strike That Hit a Terrorist Compound?

The explosions that destroyed a religious school compound near the Afghanistan border on Tuesday reportedly killed a number of al Qaeda followers from Uzbekistan.

There were conflicting accounts of whether the explosions, which reportedly killed more than 20 people, were the result of an accident ...

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John Edwards Is the Prize

Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards announced a new "Demand and Be Heard" competition hoping to bring more of his supporters to the website

As the News Desk reported last month, allows users to request performers and politicians to appear in their hometowns.

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Morning Buzz: June 20, 2007

By |

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced on Tuesday that he is leaving the Republican Party, moving a step closer to what many have speculated as an intended third-party bid for the White House.

U.S. military forces continue their offensive against Sunni insurgents on the outskirts of ...

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Sorry Bubba, It's Celine

By |

Her husband was betting on Smashmouth's I'm a Believer, but the Hillary Clinton for President Campaign has chosen Celine Dion's You and I as it's campaign theme song.

You know the one:

High above the mountains, far across the sea
I can hear your voice calling out to me
Brighter than the sun and ...

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Abu Ghraib Back in the Blogosphere

By |

The specter of the Abu Ghraib prison is back in the spotlight this week as bloggers salivate over a new article by the New Yorker’s Seymour Hersh, posted on the magazine’s website last weekend.

The article details the investigation into the scandal by Army Major Gen. Antonio M. Taguba. According to ...

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Progressives Think Bloomberg Might Be Spoiler

By |

The villain of the 2000 presidential election, Ralph Nader, was greeted by boos and hisses this morning by Progressives at their annual conference in Washington D.C., as he introduced Democratic presidential candidate Mike Gravel.

The group still despises the man whose politics they may share but ...

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Fatah & Hamas: an Explainer

What is Fatah?

Fatah (Arabic for “conquest” or “opening”) is a Palestinian nationalist organization that was founded in the late 1950s with the goal of destroying Israel and creating a Palestinian state from the Mediterranean Sea to the Jordan River . The late Yasser Arafat was one ...

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Report From Kabul on Bombing

U.S. News Senior Editor Anna Mulrine reports from Kabul that Gen. Dan McNeill, the American commander of the International Security Assistance Force, says he sees no evidence of "militarily significant" involvement by Iran in Afghanistan.

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Democrats To Face GOP Charges Of Pork Spending And Taxes

By |

House and Senate Republicans this week are planning to attack Democratic leaders for pushing pork spending projects and higher taxes.

The effort kicks off today in the Senate where Republican Conference Chairman Sen. Jon Kyl plans to blast a tax provision in the energy bill that would target Big ...

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Duke Prosecutor to Quit

Mike Nifong, the embattled prosecutor in the discredited rape case involving the Duke University lacrosse team, has announced his intention to resign. He made the surprise announcement during a state hearing about his legal ethics in Raleigh, N.C.

U.S. News

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Stem Cells: Cures vs. Dreams

In response to an article in this week’s issue of U.S. News on a possible new direction for stem cell research that used skin cells from mice instead of embryos as a source, Richard Underwood of Illinois asks, “What, if any, scientific or medical breakthroughs have actually come about through the ...

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Update on Immigration

While Congress and the president try to come to terms on an immigration overhaul bill, the focus is on the frontier.

Gordon Witkin, U.S. News assistant managing editor for politics, will discuss our comprehensive upcoming magazine story in an appearance today at 3:35 p.m. ET on MSNBC. Online early ...

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Would-Be Wyoming Senators Make Bids

The applications are in and now the Wyoming Republican Party must narrow down the choices for the next senator from the Cowboy State to replace Sen. Craig Thomas, who died earlier this month.

Thirty-one contenders threw in their hats, including a surgeon, minister, rancher,

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Fred Thompson Goes Multimedia

Even while former senator and Law & Order actor Fred Thompson hasn’t officially started his bid for the White House, his online presence would make you think that there isn’t even a question.

Thompson’s website  is multifaceted, enabling users, for example, to find their local media to contact ...

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Rescue for the Endangered Kilogram

For a fundamental yardstick of science, the kilogram--a measurement of mass--is oddly endangered. As it stands, the internationally agreed-upon standard is defined by a bar of platinum and iridium that has been sitting in a vault in France for almost 120 years.

This system has a lot ...

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Army Lags in Mental Health Treatment

As a just released federal task force study  indicates the need for beefing up the U.S. military's mental health system, the Army has announced that it will hire at least 25 percent more psychiatrists, psychologists, and social workers.

  The study found that long deployments in

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Morning Buzz: June 15, 2007

Hamas forces in Palestine have seized control of the Gaza Strip after five days of fighting, arresting 10 senior Fatah leaders.

Meanwhile, five U.S. soldiers were killed in Iraq, the U.S. military announced this morning, and a Sunni shrine near Basra was reported to have been destroyed.

And Reuters ...

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Judge: No Jail Delay for Libby

Lewis “Scooter” Libby may be behind bars sooner rather than later. U.S. District Judge Reggie B. Walton ruled that the request by the former chief of staff to Vice President Cheney for a delay in his 21/2-year sentence was unwarranted.

Libby was sentenced June 5, receiving the ...

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New Bush Counselor Likely to Set Agenda

Longtime allies of incoming White House counselor Ed Gillespie today said they expect he will arrive with a trademark strategic road map to help the president push his agenda forward and eventually depart Washington with a positive legacy.

“Ed is the master at strategic documents,” said one ally,

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Will North Korea End Its Nuke Program?

Some $20 million in suspect North Korean funds frozen in a Macao bank have been transferred today, according to a Macao official. The move appears to set the stage for a resumption of nuclear disarmament steps that North Korea is supposed to take in agreement with five ...

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Hamas Takeover: Trouble for Many

JERUSALEM —The war on terrorism suffered a major defeat with Hamas’s bloody takeover of the Gaza Strip.

“This is the first military coup in the Arab world in 30 years, and Islamic forces did it,” says Israeli TV commentator Ehud Ya’ari. It is bleak news for the Bush administration,

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Americans Still Love Their Cars

America ’s long love affair with the car may be a strained relationship, but there’s no breakup on the horizon.

That’s the word from the Census Bureau, which released a new analysis of the way the country gets to work. Despite the ever growing traffic snarls explored in a May cover ...

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A New Blog on Faith

U.S. News Senior Writer Jay Tolson’s new blog, Faith Matters, debuted this week with a Q&A with Deepak Chopra, the physician/spiritualist who has combined eastern and western methods to create a one-man industry promoting health and healing. They discuss Chopra’s newest book,

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Weight War Lumbers On

Would you shed pounds at the cost of oily discharge and flatulence?    

Alli, the new over-the-counter diet pill that hits pharmacy shelves Friday, offers a new hope for people struggling to lose weight. But be warned: The pills bring some rather unpleasant side effects. 


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Morning Buzz: June 14, 2007

Several Sunni mosques were attacked in Iraq today, in apparent retaliation for attacks Wednesday at a holy Shiite shrine in Samarra. But curfews kept the general violence to a minimum, the Associated Press reports.

Meanwhile, violence in the Gaza strip continued, with Hamas fighters overrunning a ...

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Progressives Claim Electoral Advantage

According to a new report from the progressive groups Campaign for America's Future and Media Matters for America, Americans are more progressive at heart than they are conservative.

The report comes just a few days before the CAF's annual "Take Back America" conference, which this year will include ...

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Gun Control Bill Moves Forward

Since the Virginia Tech shootings in April, gun control has gone from being a dirty word on Capitol Hill (and an election loser for Democrats) to a term that may again be worthy of attention.

The House today passed what could be the first gun control law to go on the books since 1994. The bill ...

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Hilton Follies Spike Celebrity Sites

The editors of, a popular celebrity gossip website, should be thanking their lucky stars for the day Paris Hilton was born.

Since the celebutante’s obsessively chronicled stint in prison for drunk driving, traffic at the site, along with several other celebrity gossip sites, has gone ...

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