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Archive for December 4th, 2011

From Democracynow.org

The Senate is set to vote this week on a Pentagon spending bill that could usher in a radical expansion of indefinite detention under the U.S. government. A provision in the National Defense Authorization Act would authorize the military to jail anyone it considers a terrorism suspect — anywhere in the world — without charge or trial. The measure would effectively extend the definition of what is considered the military’s “battlefield” to anywhere in the world, even within the United States. Its authors, Democratic Sen. Carl Levin of Michigan and Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona, have been campaigning for its passage in a bipartisan effort. But the White House has issued a veto threat, with backing from top officials including Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, and FBI Director Robert Mueller. “This would be the first time since the McCarthy era that the United States Congress has tried to do this,” says our guest, Daphne Eviatar of Human Rights First, which has gathered signatures from 26 retired military leaders urging the Senate to vote against the measure, as well as against a separate provision that would repeal the executive order banning torture. “In this case, we’ve seen the administration very eagerly hold people without trial for 10-plus years in military detention, so there’s no reason to believe they would not continue to do that here. So we’re talking about indefinite military detention of U.S. citizens, of lawful U.S. residents, as well as of people abroad.”

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In Britain, up to two million workers marched in the streets this week during the largest mass protest in generations. Teachers, hospital staff, garbage collectors, firefighters and border guards are participating in a 24-hour strike organized by a coalition of 30 trade unions. About a thousand demonstrations and rallies were held across the country.

Public sector workers say proposed pension “reforms” will force them to pay more and work for longer before they can retire.

click here for the full story of over two million public workers go on strike in the UK

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Obama: US has created jobs in private sector 21 months running – video

US president Barack Obama says his most pressing priority is to get the US economy growing faster, after the US Department of Labor announced unemployment in America had fallen to 8.6% in November, its lowest level since March 2009. He also urged Congress to extend its payroll tax cut past the 31 December deadline

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Occupy DC in standoff with police after erecting wooden structure

As many as twenty arrests were made at the Occupy DC protest in Washington on Sunday after occupiers assembled a two-story wooden structure from sections that had been constructed off-site and refused police orders to remove it.

Protesters told reporters that the building was needed to provide shelter as winter weather sets in. “It is a symbol saying we can rebuild the country together,” one added. “As Americans together we can rebuild the country, we don’t really need the government for that.”

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Is China heading for recession?

China’s move this week to keep its economy afloat isn’t generating the big headlines that Europe’s actions got, but is no less important in keeping the world’s economic engine churning.

While coordinated action by the world’s other central banks to enhance liquidity for Europe’s banks stole the focus Wednesday, China’s decision to cut reserve requirements for banks was even more important, some believe.

That’s because the developed world has come to depend on China for a variety of reasons – from buying up American debt to providing loans to growing businesses to keeping its mighty manufacturing base growing.

Easing the amount of money banks have to keep on hand, as the People’s Bank of China did with a lowering of the rate by half a percentage point, helps accomplish those goals by keeping the lending spigots flowing.

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