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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

  • Phyllis Bennis on Ending the US War in Afghanistan

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    In Afghanistan, the number of civilian casualties continues to rise. On Tuesday, at least eight people died after a bomb exploded in the southern provincial capital of Lashkar Gah amid a major US-led offensive in the area. Local authorities said all those killed in the attack were civilians. Meanwhile, Afghanistan’s government has condemned a NATO air strike on a convoy on Sunday that killed twenty-seven civilians, including four women and a child. NATO commander General Stanley McChrystal went on Afghan television to apologize for the attack. Last year was the deadliest of the war for civilians and foreign troops. And while there is no reliable count of the number of Afghans killed, the number of US soldiers killed in the war has reached 1,000. [includes rush transcript]

  • Congress to Investigate Safety of Natural Gas Drilling Practice Known as Hydraulic Fracturing

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    The top Democrats on the House Committee on Energy and Commerce have asked eight oil-field companies to disclose the chemicals they’ve used and the wells they’ve drilled in over the past four years. Last week, Waxman also revealed two of the largest gas drilling companies have pumped hundreds of thousands of gallons of diesel-based fluids into the ground in violation of a voluntary agreement with the Environmental Protection Agency. [includes rush transcript]

  • Robert Manning: "Credit Card Nation: The Consequences of America’s Addiction to Credit"

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    New federal credit card rules that took effect Monday promise to outlaw the most egregious practices of the credit card industry that have plunged customers into insurmountable debt. The Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure, or CARD, Act includes new protections for customers under twenty-one and makes it illegal for credit card companies to retroactively increase rates and charge certain types of misleading fees. But many credit card companies have already been trying to find ways to bypass these new rules by reinstating annual fees, cutting credit limits and hiking interest rates. Credit card issuers established or expanded the use of at least eight hidden charges to circumvent the rules, according to a report from the Center for Responsible Lending. [includes rush transcript]