Category Archives: USA

NUMBER OF HOMELESS FAMILIES CLIMBING DUE TO RECESSION:

Recovery Package Should Include New Housing Vouchers and Other Measures to Prevent Homelessness
Center on Budget and Policy Priorities – Sent by Sr. Linda Bessom, SND
by Barbara Sard
Executive Summary
New data indicate that the number of homeless families with children has climbed in recent months and continues to mount.  Although the recovery package that Congress will consider in coming weeks is expected to include measures to restore several million jobs, an unusually large number of people are still likely to fall into severe poverty and to be at risk of homelessness, due to the depth of the recession.  As a result, it is important that the package include funding for effective homelessness prevention strategies.  Such measures could be included for a cost equal to just one-half of one percent of the cost of the overall package. Continue reading NUMBER OF HOMELESS FAMILIES CLIMBING DUE TO RECESSION:

U.S. Branch of Amnesty Calls on Rice to Drop “Lopsided” Stance

By Jim Lobe

People demonstrate against Israeli air strikes on Gaza strip during a protest in Prague. US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Friday she has no plans to visit the Middle East, as protests stepped up in major capitals and artists urged Barack Obama to speak out against Israel. (AFP/Milan Jaros)
People demonstrate against Israeli air strikes on Gaza strip during a protest in Prague. US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Friday she has no plans to visit the Middle East, as protests stepped up in major capitals and artists urged Barack Obama to speak out against Israel. (AFP/Milan Jaros)

WASHINGTON, Jan 2 (IPS) – The U.S. section of Amnesty International sent an “urgent” letter Friday to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, calling on her to end what it called Washington’s “lopsided response” to the ongoing Israeli air strikes on Gaza that have reportedly killed more than 400 Palestinians, including scores of unarmed civilians.

While the letter also expressed concern about the rocket fire by Palestinian groups that has taken four Israeli lives in urban areas more than 30 kilometres from Gaza during the past week, it called Israel’s campaign air campaign “disproportionate” and accused the Jewish state of violating international law.

“Without diminishing the responsibility of Hamas and other Palestinian armed groups for indiscriminate and deliberate attacks on Israeli civilians, the U.S. government must not ignore Israel’s disproportionate response and the longstanding policies which have brought the Gaza Strip to the brink of humanitarian disaster,” the letter declared. Continue reading U.S. Branch of Amnesty Calls on Rice to Drop “Lopsided” Stance

Cheney Was Key in Clearing CIA Interrogation Tactics

The vice president says that the use of waterboarding was appropriate and that the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, should stay open until ‘the end of the war on terror.’
Los Angeles Times
by Greg Miller

The Guantanamo 'war on terror' detention center should remain open indefinitely, Vice President Richard Cheney, seen here in october 2008 in Washington, DC, told ABC News in an interview Monday, while also defending the harsh interrogation method known as waterboarding. (AFP/Getty Images/File/Mark Wilson)

WASHINGTON – Vice President Dick Cheney said Monday that he was directly involved in approving severe interrogation methods used by the CIA, and that the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, should remain open indefinitely. Continue reading Cheney Was Key in Clearing CIA Interrogation Tactics

One thriving sector: The business of war

Boston Globe
Pentagon’s contractors are looking for help
By Robert Weisman
Globe Staff / December 6, 2008

Candidates spoke to hiring personnel (at tables) about 200 job openings during a job fair Tuesday at BAE Systems in Nashua. (David Kamerman/Globe Staff)
Candidates spoke to hiring personnel (at tables) about 200 job openings during a job fair Tuesday at BAE Systems in Nashua. (David Kamerman/Globe Staff)

SOUTH NASHUA, N.H. – Across the nation, companies are lopping off hundreds of thousands of jobs, retailers are shuttering stores, and automakers are tottering on the edge of bankruptcy.

But here in the Merrimack River Valley, and over the state line at several industrial sites around Massachusetts, defense contractor BAE Systems is hoisting “Help Wanted” signs.

BAE develops technology in fields like electronic warfare and cybersecurity, sophisticated systems that are key to combating a new wave of threats around the globe. At a time when 1.7 million jobs have been lost in the United States this year, the company is hiring 200 engineers and manufacturing workers in Nashua, Hudson, and Merrimack, N.H., and Burlington, Lexington, and Marlborough, Mass. Continue reading One thriving sector: The business of war

EPA To Gut Mountaintop Mining Rule That Protects Streams

Common Dreams
by Renee Schoof and Bill Estep

Mountaintop coal mines, such as this one near Mud River, W.Va., generate large amounts of waste. "With less than two months left in power, the Bush administration is determined to cement its legacy as having the worst environmental record in history," Earthjustice said in a statement. "This is a sad day for all people who are thankful for the clear mountain streams and stately summits of the Appalachians."(By Michael Williamson -- Post)
Mountaintop coal mines, such as this one near Mud River, W.Va., generate large amounts of waste. "With less than two months left in power, the Bush administration is determined to cement its legacy as having the worst environmental record in history," Earthjustice said in a statement. "This is a sad day for all people who are thankful for the clear mountain streams and stately summits of the Appalachians."(By Michael Williamson -- Post)

WASHINGTON – The Environmental Protection Agency on Tuesday approved a last-minute rule change by the Bush administration that will allow coal companies to bury streams under the rocks leftover from mining.

The 1983 rule prohibited dumping the fill from mountaintop removal mining within 100 feet of streams. In practice, the government hadn’t been enforcing the rule. Government figures show that 535 miles of streams were buried or diverted from 2001 to 2005, more than half of them in the mountains of Appalachia. Along with the loss of the streams has been an increase of erosion and flooding.

The 11th hour change before President George W. Bush leaves office would eliminate a tool that citizens groups have used in lawsuits to keep mining waste out of streams. Mining companies had been pushing for the change for years. Continue reading EPA To Gut Mountaintop Mining Rule That Protects Streams