5:43pm

Mon December 20, 2010
Around the Nation

Is Eco-Conscious Fur An Oxymoron?

When you were trying to figure out what to buy for the environmentalist on your holiday list, fur probably didn't cross your mind. But some ecologists and fashion enthusiasts are trying to rekindle a market for fur made from nutria -- rodents that are destroying Louisiana's wetlands.

Unusual fashion shows in New Orleans and Brooklyn have showcased nutria fur made into everything from g-strings to full-length coats. Even the cello player at a recent show in Brooklyn, who accompanies the models as they strut down the runway, wears a nutria bikini.

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5:39pm

Mon December 20, 2010
Politics

Soldiers Mixed On 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' Repeal

As President Obama prepares to sign into law a repeal of the Pentagon's "don't ask, don't tell" policy, soldiers at military bases around the country are expressing both nonchalance and worry that serving with openly gay troops will be a distraction.

The Senate approved a measure to end the 17-year-old ban on gays in the military on Saturday, and Obama could sign it into law as early as Wednesday. The repeal won't take effect immediately, but the policy could be over in a matter of weeks.

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5:26pm

Mon December 20, 2010
Shots - Health News Blog

Researchers Cast Doubt On Virus As Culprit In Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

A bunch of very technical work just out in the journal Retrovirology suggests that previous tests pointing to a virus called XMRV as a possible cause of chronic fatigue syndrome may have been flawed.

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4:03pm

Mon December 20, 2010
Afghanistan

Taliban's Cash Flow Grows From Heroin Trade, Crime

The latest review of the U.S. strategy in Afghanistan notes that coalition troops are making gains against the Taliban on the battlefield. But that hasn't stemmed the flow of money into Taliban coffers.

U.S. diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks reveal growing U.S. frustration with Arab allies and their failure to deal with charities and private donors who send money to the Taliban and other extremist groups.

But analysts and officials say that donations to the Taliban could become a moot point given the group's growing ability to generate cash on its own.

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4:02pm

Mon December 20, 2010
The Record

Vote On Network Neutrality May Alter The Way We Listen Online

On Tuesday, the Federal Communications Commission is scheduled to vote on rules with a name that might make eyes glaze over: network neutrality. But the notion that the Internet should be open to all legal applications equally also has a lot of eyes bulging with anger and passion. Both sides in this contentious debate say that the future of an open and free Internet is at stake.

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