Jason Leopold reports that deployed Army Specialist Jeremy Hall, 22, is receiving threats from other US soldiers after filing a lawsuit against the Army for violating his right to freedom of religion; private contractors in Iraq outnumber US troops; Kuwaiti company building the US embassy in Baghdad under investigation for contract fraud; record ice melt this summer sees increase of one million square miles; powerful Michigan Renewable Energy Sources Act submitted this week; Pew Center hopeful on progress of climate change action in Congress; Costa Ricans outraged over dirty political tactics intended to push passage of Free Trade Agreement; environmental organizations petition US government to crack down on air fresheners; judge blocks Planned Parenthood opening in Illinois; and more … Browse the continually updating front page at http://www.truthout.org
t r u t h o u t | 09.21
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Jason Leopold | Soldier Who Sued Army Facing Threats
Truthout’s Jason Leopold reports that Army Specialist Jeremy Hall, 22, who is currently deployed in Iraq, is being repeatedly threatened by other US soldiers because of his lawsuit against the secretary of defense and an Army major this week. The lawsuit alleges that Hall’s First Amendment rights were violated beginning last Thanksgiving when he declined to participate in a Christian prayer ceremony commemorating the holiday.
In Iraq, Private Contractors Outnumber US Troops
Richard Lardner for The Associated Press reports that private contractors outnumber US troops and that the situation in Iraq raises questions on whether US troops have become too dependent on contract help.
Embassy Builder Linked to Kickbacks
Pete Yost for The Associated Press reports that “the Kuwaiti company building the US embassy in Baghdad has been accused of agreeing to pay $200,000 in kickbacks in return for two unrelated Army contracts in Iraq.”
Summer Sea Ice Melt Larger Than Texas and Alaska
Jane Kay for the San Francisco Chronicle reports that previous records have been shattered as sea ice in the Arctic shrank one million square miles more this summer than the average melt over 25 years, according to NASA satellite data released Thursday.
Michigan Leads With Powerful Renewable Energy Incentives
Paul Gipe, RenewableEnergyAccess.com: “Patterned after Germany’s highly successful Renewable Energy Sources Act, veteran Michigan Assemblywoman Kathleen Law submitted a bill to the Michigan House of Representatives earlier this week that creates the first comprehensive renewable energy feed-in tariff (FIT) introduced into any US legislature.”
Congressional Action on Climate Change
Tim Bentley for the Daily Report covers the explosion of activity on energy and climate change in the current Congress.
Costa Rica Dealt Wild Card in Trade Pact Rift
Marla Dickerson for The Los Angeles Times reports that with just over two weeks to go before Costa Ricans head to the polls to vote on a free-trade agreement with the US and six other countries, a memo written by CAFTA advocates was leaked to the public, fueling outrage.
Judge: Aurora Planned Parenthood Clinic Can Wait
James Kimberly for The Chicago Tribune reports that “a federal judge Thursday turned down Planned Parenthood’s request for an emergency court order that would allow it to open a new health clinic in Aurora that would provide abortions among other health-care services for women.”
Women Demand Voice in Climate Debate
Haider Rizvi for Inter Press Service reports that “calls for increased participation of women in policy-making decisions are on the rise as world leaders prepare to attend an international meeting on climate change to be held at UN headquarters next week.”
Environmental Groups Petition US to Regulate Air Fresheners
Jane Kay for the San Francisco Chronicle reports: “a group of heavyweight environmental organizations is asking the federal government to crack down on air fresheners, products that scientific studies show can aggravate asthma and pose other health risks.”
VIDEO: Olbermann to Bush: “Your Hypocrisy Is So Vast”
Keith Olbermann says on “MSNBC Countdown”: “in pimping General David Petraeus and in the violation of everything this country has been assiduously and vigilantly against for 220 years, you have tried to blur the gleaming radioactive demarcation between the military and the political, and to portray your party as the one associated with the military, and your opponents as the ones somehow antithetical to it. You did it again today and you need to know how history will judge the line you just crossed. It is a line thankfully only the first of a series that makes the military political, and the political, military. It is a line which history shows is always the first one crossed when a democratic government in some other country has started down the long, slippery, suicidal slope towards a Military Junta.”
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