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Mining for minerals fuels Congo conflict

LONDON (AP) – The Democratic Republic of Congo has been in a ceaseless war for some 10 years with a mind-numbing toll: 5.5 million dead and 300,000 women raped.

Calif. the poster child for states economic woes

As the nation’s economic crisis deepens, more states are struggling with huge and escalating budget gaps. Unless they receive substantial help soon from the federal government, many will be forced to make further cuts in health and human services programs just when these are needed more than ever by growing numbers of laid-off workers and their families.

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Violet Russell, 92, lifelong activist

“Strength, grace, courage.” That is how Violet Russell and 12 other women are described in a 2008 calendar honoring “Rosie the Riveter,” women who worked in armaments production in Washington State during World War II.

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Thumbs up, thumbs down

In late September, North Texas union activists started receiving pleas to help get “Battle in Seattle” into more movie theaters. At that time, it was scheduled to open on only 11 screens nationwide. AFL-CIO, Change to Win, the Teamsters and Steelworkers asked activists to demand that the movie be shown in their cities. The promotional web site is www.battleinseattlemovie.com/labor. This is a “grassroots-powered” movie.

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Keep an eye on Maher

If lightning doesn’t strike comedian Bill Maher in the next few days, you might want to buy a ticket for his new movie, “Religulous.” It rhymes with “ridiculous.” In it, Maher takes a lighthearted but very honest look at religious fundamentalism at home and around the world. Interviewing two Muslims in a gay bar, he displays his well-known brand of chutzpah.

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Celebrating Latino Heritage Month

A Dominican woman wears a costume and mask representing the mischievous “Diablos Cojuelos” (Lame Demons)

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Progressive cinema goes to Chicago

The 44th Annual Chicago International Film Festival has released its list of more than 175 titles from over 45 countries. North America’s oldest competitive international film festival runs for two weeks from Oct 16-29 and features many films that should be of interest to progressive viewers. Here are a few that caught my eye.

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Students aim to vote for change

DETROIT, Mich. — People here say the struggling U.S. economy including rising unemployment has hit this city the hardest and as Nov. 4 approaches, first-time voters are gearing up for the most important presidential election of their lifetime.

New Haven upholds its stand for immigrant rights

New Haven, Conn., has been picketed, sued and targeted with massive hate mail by national anti-immigrant organizations since last year when the Elm City Resident Card was launched. Available to any resident regardless of immigration status, the photo ID includes access to city parks, libraries and other programs.

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