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5 Killed in US Strike in Pakistan

Five people have been killed in another unilateral US attack in Pakistan. The deaths came just hours after the US pledged to respect Pakistan’s sovereignty in future strikes. Admiral Michael Mullen, the chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, visited Pakistan to vow consultations before launching attacks. Controversy has erupted after it was revealed last week the Bush administration has explicitly approved US ground attacks in Pakistan without the Pakistani government’s prior approval.

Gates Apologizes for Afghan Deaths

Mullen’s attempt to neutralize Pakistani opposition came as Defense Secretary Robert Gates made a similar visit to Afghanistan. Speaking in Kabul, Gates apologized for last month’s massive US air strike that killed an estimated ninety Afghan civilians, including some sixty children.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates: “I think the key for us is, on those rare occasions when we do make a mistake, when there is an error, is to apologize quickly, to compensate the victims quickly and then carry out the investigation. And I think that that’s the approach that we’ve had in Iraq, and I think we need to move to that here.”

Gates’ apology marked a stark reversal from the initial US reaction. For weeks, the US has denied a massive civilian death toll, insisting only five civilians were killed. Gates spoke hours after four members of the US-led occupation force were killed in a roadside bombing.

US Pushing for Tighter Rein Over Afghan Occupation

Meanwhile, the Bush administration is reportedly seeking to exert complete control over the NATO occupation of Afghanistan. According to the Independent of London, the US is pushing for changes that would have the head of the multinational force report directly to US Central Command instead of NATO. The US proposal is likely to attract controversy in other coalition countries including Britain, Italy, Germany and Canada.

7 US Troops Killed in Iraq Crash

In Iraq, seven US troops have died in a helicopter crash near the southern city of Basra. Pentagon officials are blaming a mechanical failure.

US Soldiers Charged in Killing of Iraqi Prisoners

In other Iraq news, three US troops have been charged in the killing of four Iraqi prisoners. Two of the soldiers have reportedly admitted to shooting the handcuffed and blindfolded prisoners and moving their bodies into a Baghdad canal. Another four soldiers face charges for conspiracy to commit premeditated murder. The shootings took place around April of last year.

Senate OKs War Funding Bill

Meanwhile, on Capitol Hill, the Senate has passed another massive war spending bill. The measure would allocate $70 billion to the occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan. The vote was 88-to-8.

Israeli FM Wins Leadership Vote

In Israel, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni is claiming victory in the contest to replace Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert as head of the Kadima party. Olmert is stepping down to face multiple corruption charges. Livni beat out her closest rival, Israeli Transportation Minister Shaul Mofaz, by just hundreds of votes. Livni has been deeply involved in peace talks with the Palestinian Authority but has backed the Israeli government’s ongoing expansion of settlements in the occupied West Bank.

Rising Food Costs Drive Increase in Global Hunger

New figures show hunger is on the rise worldwide. The United Nations says the number of people afflicted by acute hunger rose to 925 million last year—an increase of 75 million. The total is expected to top one billion by the end of this year amidst the ongoing hike in food prices. Food costs rose 12 percent in 2006, doubled to 24 percent in 2007, and doubled again to 50 percent in the first eight months of this year.

Dems Back Offshore Drilling

Back in the United States, environmental groups are voicing a mixed reaction to a Democratic-led resolution approving offshore oil drilling. On Tuesday, the House passed a measure that would allow drilling up to 100 miles off the US coastline. The resolution would overturn a federal moratorium in place since 1981. Organizations including the Center for American Progress and the Sierra Club are backing the Democratic measure, in part because it also calls for major initiatives on renewable energy. But groups including Environment America and the National Wildlife Federation say Democrats are endangering US coastal areas by allowing the drilling.

Leahy Doubts Lone Suspect in Anthrax Mailings

In other news from Washington, Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Patrick Leahy has broken a long silence on the anthrax mailing case. Leahy was one of two congressional recipients of the anthrax-laced letters shortly after the 9/11 attacks. On Wednesday, Leahy said he doesn’t believe the FBI’s contention former government scientist Bruce Ivins acted alone. Ivins committed suicide in July shortly before he was to be charged in the case.

APA Members Approve Interrogation Ban

And members of the American Psychological Association have approved a landmark vote banning participation in what many call government-sanctioned torture. In the largest turnout for an APA vote to date, nearly 60 percent of APA members backed a referendum banning participation in interrogations of prisoners held in Guantanamo Bay, Iraq, Afghanistan and the secret CIA black sites. The referendum was spawned by a dissident APA group called the Coalition for an Ethical Psychology. Dan Aalbers, a co-founder of the group who helped draft the referendum, said, “This new policy will ensure that psychologists work for the abused and not the abusers at places like Guantanamo Bay and the CIA black sites.” The vote follows a lengthy struggle by the dissident members against the APA’s leadership. APA officials are already vowing to delay implementation of the referendum vote by up to a year.


One Response

  1. I’m voting Democrat because I like the government making all of my decisions for me. I’m not smart enough to make them myself.

    I’m voting Democrat because I want the same people who spend $900 on a hammer involved in my medical decisions.

    I’m voting Democrat because supporting a work-capable person on welfare for over 50 years is so noble. Anyone who doesn’t take pity on these poor souls don’t have a heart.

    I’m voting Democrat because I believe that the best strategy in war is defeat. It broadens the mind to learn Japanese, German and Arabic. Talk about multiculturalism!

    I’m voting Democrat because I like the ideas they have over in France, but I don’t feel like moving there. I’ll threaten to move, but I really won’t. After all, I have a good job, healthcare, lower taxes, free speech and a social framework that promotes family structure. And all of it is defended by the most effective fighting force on the planet.

    I’m voting Democrat because I don’t hate myself enough for being white, male, educated, straight or middle class.

    I’m voting Democrat because I’ve been whining like a ritalin-marinated toddler on a temper tantrum about my candidate not having won a Presidential election for the last eight years, and I want to be right for once.

    I’m voting Democrat because I believe that if I don’t have enough money, the solution is for the government to take more of my money. Who needs money when gas is $5 per gallon?

    I’m voting Democrat because I believe that the ideal family is two homosexual bonobos, a goat and a parrot raising a human baby. Love and compassion is all it takes to make a successful family!

    I’m voting Democrat because I’m not an individual. I’m a race, a gender, a religion (or lack thereof), and a sexual orientation.

    I’m voting Democrat because I’d rather have gas prices be easily influenced by world markets rather than drill in the Anwar preserve set aside for the purpose of drilling. I think terrorists know how to use our money best.

    I’m voting Democrat because it’s my body, and if I want to kill my baby, I’ll do it, even if its head is in the birth canal. If I want to cut out my intestines and feed them to the crocodiles, I’ll do that too. That’s the freedom our forefathers enshrined in the Constitution.

    I’m voting Democrat because our enemies on the battlefield deserve comfy hotel rooms, Pay-Per-View, prostitutes and all the benefits of American citizenship.

    I’m voting Democrat because we need to make the illegal immigrants feel more at home by learning to speak Spanish. I think we should hand them welcome brochures that detail where to get government services and free Ipods at the border too.

    I’m voting Democrat because having a picture of Jesus within 100 miles of me is offensive. Colored lights are offensive. Christmas trees are offensive. Hell, let’s just ban the whole holiday! Let’s put up lots of Ramadan decorations, more footbaths, more mosques and more Islam recruiting posters in our subways instead. Diversity is our strength.

    I’m voting Democrat because I care about the real victims of crime — criminals.

    I’m voting Democrat because I believe we need other countries’ permission for me to turn down my thermostat.

    I’m voting Democrat because I like the words “hope” and “change.” Also “kazoo.” That’s a funny word.

    I’m voting Democrat because disagreeing with a black man is racism.

    I’m voting Democrat because I believe that America’s founders were rich, white, greedy xenophobes, and that America’s founding principles are hogwash requiring periodic editing from an unelected group of liberal judges.

    I’m voting Democrat because I hate Bush. He caused 9-11, Katrina, and the nail I broke this morning.

    I’m voting Democrat because successful entrepreneurs either oppressed a minority or were lucky, and don’t deserve their financial success.

    I’m voting Democrat because I can’t get the new Iphone 3G yet, my new Hummer needs new tires already, and McDonald’s screwed up my lunch order. The economy is making life in the US a 3rd world country!

    I’m voting Democrat because I believe in minority rights (except in Muslim countries), free speech (with regard to pornography but not conservative talk radio), environmentalism (unless we’re talking about Al Gore’s house) and diplomacy (but never backed by the threat of military force).

    I’m voting Democrat because I want the world to know that I want a weak America just like Europe does.

    I’m voting Democrat because everyone deserves crappy healthcare. Sure, you’ll have to wait years for that life-saving cancer surgery. But it’s first come, first served at the cemetery!

    I’m voting democrat so I can roll over and die the next time some emo ass-clown with more prescription drugs than teeth in his body shoots up a public place. Because I can’t be trusted to personally own or carry a firearm. And I’m too unsafe to dare shooting back.

    I’m voting Democrat because the real cure for racism includes preferential policies based on race — particularly in presidential voting. If you believe that a black candidate ought to be qualified, as well as black, you’re worse than Bull Conner.

    If only the institution of far-left values resulted in a great country. Oh, well. That won’t stop me from voting Democrat, though. After all, I’m voting Democrat because thought isn’t one of my strong suits.

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