Thursday, January 26, 2006

In The News - Jan. 26

Iraq releases 400 detainees - 26 Jan 2006 at 8:33am - BAGHDAD (AFP) - Iraq has released more than 400 detainees being held in Iraqi and US-run prisons, including five women, in a move which could help abducted US reported Jill Carroll.

Britain announces 3,300 new troops for Afghanistan - 26 Jan 2006 at 7:43am - "We aim for these deployments to be fully operational by July this year," Secretary of Defense John Reid told parliament.

Bush to shun Hamas until it changes Israel stance - 25 Jan 2006 22:46:44 GMT - WASHINGTON, Jan 25 (Reuters) - President George W. Bush on Wednesday said he would not deal with Hamas unless the militant group which made a strong showing in the Palestinian election renounced its stance on Israel, The Wall Street Journal reported.

CBO projects $337 billion deficit in 2006 - 26 Jan 2006 at 9:57am - WASHINGTON -- The federal budget deficit will reach at least $337 billion for the current year, the Congressional Budget Office estimates, and the deficit is likely to go higher because of tax cuts and new additional spending for hurricane relief and the war in Iraq.

Top U.S. General Says Army 'Stretched' - 26 Jan 2006 at 9:20am - The top U.S. general in Iraq acknowledged Thursday that American forces in this country are "stretched," but he said he will only recommend withdrawals based on operational needs.

Bush: Elections a 'wake-up call' for Palestinian leaders - 26 Jan 2006 at 10:38am - President Bush called the results of Palestinian parliamentary elections a wake-up call for the Palestinian leadership. "Obviously, people were not happy with the status quo," Bush said. The militant group Hamas claims it defeated Fatah, the party that has had authority in Palestine for years. President Bush said Hamas cannot be a partner for Middle East peacemaking without renouncing violence. "I don't see how you can be a partner in peace if you advocate the destruction of a country," Bush said.

According to wikipedia, the stated goal of Hamas (or HAMAS) is "to establish an Islamic theocracy in the area that is currently Israel, the West Bank and the Gaza strip", which I guess must be nothing like Bush's stated goal of establishing a western-style democracy in Iraq via violent regime-change, since Bush considers himself a "partner in peace", and Hamas, not so.

Bush vouches for legality of wiretaps - 26 Jan 2006 at 10:55am - The president defended warrantless surveillance, saying "there's no doubt in my mind it is legal."

Which assessment I think ought to carry about as much weight as Dick Cheney's proclamation on 2002-Aug-26 that "Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction."

Bush says ready to use veto if Congress overspends - 26 Jan 2006 at 10:54am - "I'm fully prepared to use the veto if they overspend," he told a news conference.

Evidently forgetting, momentarily, about the projected US$2 trillion price tag of his lil democracy-promotion program in Iraq.

Korea orders Agent Orange payments - 26 Jan 2006 at 11:58am - A South Korean court ordered two U.S. manufacturers of the Agent Orange to pay $62 million in compensation to local veterans and their families.

Sens. want independent corruption probe - 26 Jan 2006 at 11:46am - WASHINGTON -- Two Senate Democrats called Thursday for the appointment of a special counsel to take over the investigation of the corruption scandal spawned by lobbyist Jack Abramoff.


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