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Echo Chamber: News You Could Have Read Anywhere

Filed under: News

Missile Defence

  • The Sabres’ playoff hopes remain alive as Boston and Philadelphia each lost last night.
  • Seneca Indians rallied yesterday in Niagara Square to reaffirm their longstanding position on collecting cigarette taxes in the face of a state planned $1.25 per-pack “sin” tax increase. The Seneca Nation has long refused to collect taxes on cigarettes and gas on their reservations, in accordance with centuries-old treaties (Canandaigua and Buffalo Creek). Though New York State court decisions in the 1990s determined that the tax exemptions included in those treaties only applied to property taxes, the Seneca Nation has thwarted any attempts by the state to collect such taxes (under both Pataki and Spitzer). With the new cigarette tax increase, New York has not yet revealed whether or not it plans to collect taxes on Indian reservations. With yesterday’s rally, the Seneca Nation seemed to say “fat chance.”
  • NATO denies membership to Ukraine and Georgia, offers it to Croatia and Albania and postpones a decision on Macedonia. The military alliance did anger Russia, however, when it endorsed an American missile shield for Europe, part of which would be built in the Czech Republic.
  • Residents of the Mediterranean island of Cyprus tore down the barriers that have separated the Greek and Turkish populations there for the past 50 years. The move is a tentative step towards the island’s reunification, as Cyprus President Demetris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat plan to enter full-fledged negotiations this summer. The island has been divided since 1974, when the Turkish army invaded the north side of the island, wresting control of that half from Greece.
  • Ecuador’s new constitution would ban an American military base in that country that’s important to the War on Drugs. The U.S. lease on the port of Manta, due to expire next year, will not be renewed said President Rafael Correa. Ecuador’s stance no doubt has something to do with the worsening relations between Ecuador and the American-supported Colombian government over the drug war.
  • A new study shows that octopuses are not bashful creatures, but sex fiends.