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ECM WORLD WATCH: GLOBAL AND NATIONAL NEWS




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February 9, 2012 --  (San Diego’s East County) – ECM World Watch helps you be an informed citizen about important issues globally and nationally. As part of our commitment to reflecting all voices and views, we include links to a wide variety of news sources representing a broad spectrum of political, religious, and social views. Top world and U.S. headlines include:  

 

 

 
U.S.

General news  

  • Group urges FTC action on Google privacy (USA Today)
  • Dems fight back against GOP in contraception battle (CBS)
  • Forgetting a key lesson of Watergate? (CNN)
  • Child labor for Victoria’s Secret cotton examined by U.S. (Bloomberg Business)
  • U.S. Brigadier General dies in Afghanistan (CNN) 
Presidential election  
  • Santorum sweeps Minnesota, Missouri, Colorado (CNN)
  • Mitt Romney wins overwhelming victory in Nevada caucuses (Washington Post) 
 WORLD  
  • NATO vs. Syria (American Conservative)
  • Syrians storm embassies after uprising's worst violence (Reuters)
  • Activists: Syrian assault leaves 250 dead (NPR)
  • U.N. vote on Syria fails (NPR)
  •  ‘Hezbollah will hit Israel if Syria attacked’ (Jerusaleum Post)
  • Iran vows to hit any country that stages attack (San Diego UT)
  • Thousands stranded by rising floodwaters in Australia (CNN) 
Health  
  • Blind doctor can see again (Jerusalem Post)
 
Scroll down for excerpts and links to full stories. 

U.S. 

General news
 
Group urges FTC action on Google privacy (USA Today)
 
February 8, 2012 -- An advocacy group went to court on Wednesday to block Google from making a policy change that could lead to the search giant assembling richer behavior profiles of people who use more than one of its popular online services.
The Electronic Privacy Information Center filed a complaint asking a Washington, D.C., district court judge to restrain Google from making the policy change on March 1. EPIC also asked the judge to order the Federal Trade Commission to enforce a standing court order that prohibits Google from misrepresenting its privacy policies.
http://www.usatoday.com/tech/news/story/2012-02-08/google-privacy-ftc/53014496/1
 
Dems fight back against GOP in contraception battle (CBS)
 
February 8, 2012 -- Amid a growing Republican outcry over the White House's recent decision requiring employers at religious institutions to provide health care for contraceptives, Senate Democrats on Wednesday defended the rule, blasting Republicans for making it an ideological battle and pledging to "use every legislative tool at our disposal to protect the women of America."
The Senate Democrats joined a number of liberals and women's health advocates in standing behind what is quickly becoming a hot-button issue for the White House and Republican presidential contenders alike.
http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-57373645-503544/dems-fight-back-against-gop-in-contraceptive-battle/?tag=stack
Forgetting a key lesson of Watergate? (CNN)
 
February 4, 2012 -- A bungled break-in, Deep Throat, a defiant President Richard Nixon declaring, "I am not a crook."
These are what often come to mind when people hear the word Watergate. But another legacy of the infamous scandal has re-emerged in this year's presidential race.
 
Many Americans may not remember, but public outrage over Watergate led to the enactment of a series of campaign finance reforms designed to restore the country's faith in government.
While the nation marks the 40th anniversary of the Watergate break-in later this year, some observers say our political leaders have already forgotten a key lesson of Watergate: that anonymous money corrupts political campaigns.
http://www.cnn.com/2012/02/04/politics/watergate-reform/index.html?hpt=hp_c2
 
Child labor for Victoria’s Secret cotton examined by U.S. (Bloomberg Business)
 
January 13, 2012 -- -- U.S. investigators are conducting a preliminary inquiry into forced child labor used in an organic and fair-trade cotton program that supplies the American lingerie retailer Victoria’s Secret, a federal law enforcement official confirmed this week.
 
Victoria’s Secret’s parent company, Limited Brands Inc., said in an e-mailed statement yesterday that it continues “to take this matter very seriously as we do not tolerate child labor.” Those practices were disclosed in a Dec. 15 Bloomberg News report about the program the company buys from in Burkina Faso. Fairtrade International, the Bonn-based organization that certified the cotton, said in a statement last week that it has “prioritised further training on child labour and child protection for its members” beginning in early 2012.
http://mobile.businessweek.com/news/2012-01-15/child-labor-for-fair-trade-cotton-probed-by-u-s-investigators.html
 
U.S. Brigadier General dies in Afghanistan (CNN)
 
February 6, 2012 -- U.S. Brig. Gen. Terence Hildner died in Kabul of apparent natural causes, officials said, making him the highest ranking officer to die in Afghanistan. He was 49.
 
Hildner, who was commander of the 13th Expeditionary Sustainment Command, Fort Hood, Texas, was in Afghanistan to support the NATO training mission.
http://www.cnn.com/2012/02/05/world/asia/afghanistan-us-death/index.html?hpt=wo_c2
 
Presidential election
 
Santorum sweeps Minnesota, Missouri, Colorado (CNN)
 
February 8, 2012 -- Rick Santorum awoke to a new reality Wednesday after sweeping all three Republican presidential contests a day earlier, reshaping the contest that will decide who runs against President Barack Obama in November.
 
Santorum won caucuses in Minnesota and Colorado, as well as a nonbinding primary in Missouri to energize his campaign and raise questions about front-runner Mitt Romney's ability to attract broad conservative support.
 
The victories by Santorum bolstered his contention that he is the strongest conservative challenger to the more moderate Romney for the GOP nomination, and the most formidable conservative candidate to take on Obama.
http://www.cnn.com/2012/02/07/politics/gop-tuesday-contests/index.html?hpt=hp_t1
 
Mitt Romney wins overwhelming victory in Nevada caucuses (Washington Post)
 
 February 4, 2012 -- Mitt Romney secured an overwhelming victory in Saturday’s Nevada caucuses, giving the former Massachusetts governor his second consecutive win of the year as he tightened his claim to dominant front-runner status in what had been a turbulent Republican presidential race.
After his easy victory in Florida on Tuesday, Romney’s win in Nevada, where he also emerged on top four years ago, will provide additional momentum heading to Tuesday’s caucuses in Colorado and Minnesota and set him up for more significant primaries in Michigan and Arizona at the end of the month. The outcome will increase pressure on his rivals to demonstrate how and where they plan to stop him, if they can.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/mitt-romney-poised-for-victory-in-nevada-caucuses/2012/02/04/gIQAyghKqQ_story.html?tid=pm_pop
WORLD
 
NATO vs. Syria (American Conservative)
 
December 19, 2011 -- Americans should be concerned about what is happening in Syria, if only because it threatens to become another undeclared war like Libya but much, much worse. Calls for regime change have come from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who several weeks ago predicted a civil war. That is indeed likely if the largely secular and nationalist regime of Bashar al-Assad falls, pitting Sunni against Shia against Alawite. Indigenous Christians will be caught in the meat grinder. Ironically, many of the Christians in Damascus are Iraqis who experienced the last round of liberation in their own country and had to flee for their lives.
http://www.theamericanconservative.com/blog/nato-vs-syria/
Syrians storm embassies after uprising's worst violence (Reuters)
 
February 4, 2012 -- Syrian demonstrators ransacked their country's embassy in Cairo and broke into the missions in London and Kuwait on Saturday, among protests around the world against the worst bloodshed in a revolt against President Bashar al-Assad.

The Cairo crowd smashed furniture and equipment and set fire to parts of the embassy building overnight.
http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/02/04/us-syria-embassies-idUSTRE8130K920120204
Activists: Syrian assault leaves 250 dead (NPR)
 
February 4, 2012 -- In Syria, the death toll is rising after what activists and opposition leaders are calling a massive offensive by pro-government troops in the city of Homs. Activists say at least 250 have been killed in what may be the single most violent day since Syria's anti-government uprising began in March.
Activists say the government troops shelled residential areas, reducing scores of houses to rubble, They say the situation on the ground is critical, with hundreds of wounded being treated in makeshift field hospitals and mosques. Many are missing limbs and are in dire need of blood and shelter.
http://www.npr.org/2012/02/04/146392176/activists-syrian-assault-leaves-more-than-250-dead?ft=1&f=7
U.N. vote on Syria fails (NPR)
 
February 4, 2012 -- The UN Security Council failed to pass a draft resolution aimed at pressuring Syria's government to stop its violent crackdown on dissidents on Saturday morning. NPR's Michele Keleman and Kelly McEvers join guest host David Greene to update the vote and the fresh breakout of violence Saturday morning.
http://www.npr.org/2012/02/04/146398005/un-vote-on-syria-fails?ft=1&f=7
 
‘Hezbollah will hit Israel if Syria attacked’ (Jerusaleum Post)
 
February 5, 2012 -- Hezbollah is prepared to attack Israel if Western powers interfere in Syria against the regime in Damascus, a Lebanese Hezbollah official said Sunday according to the Palestinian News Network.
The unnamed official said Hezbollah was prepared if Western powers intervened in Syria in order to stop Syrian President Bashar Assad's crackdown on anti-government protesters, even if the "price for it" is to engage the IDF in battle in order to divert attention away from the Syrian arena. http://www.jpost.com/MiddleEast/Article.aspx?id=256584&R=R3
Iran vows to hit any country that stages attack (San Diego UT)
 
February 5, 2012 --  Iran will target any country where an attack against it is staged, a senior Guard commander warned Sunday, the latest Iranian threat tied to growing tensions over its nuclear program and Western sanctions.
Gen. Hossein Salami, deputy commander of the elite Revolutionary Guard, Iran's most powerful military force, did not elaborate. His comments appeared to be a warning to Iran's neighbors not to let their territory or airspace be used as a base for an attack.
http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2012/feb/05/iran-vows-to-hit-any-country-that-stages-attack/ 
Thousands stranded by rising floodwaters in Australia (CNN)
 
February 5, 2012 -- Authorities were using military helicopters and a C-130 cargo plane Sunday to evacuate thousands of residents stranded by rising floodwaters in the eastern Australian state of Queensland, the government said.
 
Heavy rains in recent weeks have swollen rivers beyond their banks, threatening a number of communities in Queensland and New South Wales.
http://www.cnn.com/2012/02/05/world/asia/australia-floods/index.html?hpt=wo_c2
 
Health
 
February 5, 2012 -- Blind doctor can see again (Jerusalem Post)
 
A retired Kaplan Medical Center pediatrician who became blind last year can see again thanks to a donated cornea transplanted into his right eye by his colleagues in the Rehovot hospital.
Dr. Vladimir Promovich, who made aliya from Ukraine in 1998, said that in gratitude for his restored eyesight, he will volunteer at Kaplan and examine patients.
http://www.jpost.com/Health/Article.aspx?id=256635&R=R77