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Abbas Threatens to Resign as Palestinian PM

The Los Angeles Times is reporting that Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas threatened to resign yesterday as he came under increasing criticism by some within Yasser Arafat’s Fatah faction over the direction of the peace negotiations.

This comes as the Palestinian group Islamic Jihad said rogue elements of its group were responsible for Monday’s bombing in Israel that killed a woman in her home. Meanwhile AFP is reporting that Israeli troops shot dead a Palestinian man in the West Bank this morning.

In Washington, Bush administration officials said the White House would soon announce the giving of $20 million in new aid to the Palestinians. The Palestinians currently receive about $100 million from Washington annually; Israel receives 30 times that amount or $3 billion.

Pentagon & Justice Department Blamed For Slowing 9/11 Investigation

Members of the independent commission investigating the Sept. 11 attacks yesterday publicly criticized the Pentagon and Justice Department for failing to actively help the investigation.

The commission said the Bush Administration is requiring a governmental minder to be presented at most interviews with officials over the investigation.

The commission’s leaders — chairman, Thomas Kean, the former Republican governor of New Jersey, and Lee Hamilton, the former Democratic member of the House from Indiana — issued a joint statement aimed at raising public pressure on the White House.

The Pentagon, they noted, has ignored requests for evidence from the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the North American Aerospace Defense Command, which is responsible for guarding American airspace from terrorist attack.

BBC: CIA Told White House in 2002 No Iraq-Niger Nuclear Link Existed

The BBC is reporting that the CIA warned the White House that there was no evidence that Iraq attempted to buy uranium from Niger 10 months before President Bush cited the link in his State of the Union address. The CIA official said the White House was directly told that the intelligence was based on forged documents.

Bush continues to refuse to admit that he was wrong when he cited "evidence" that Niger had sold uranium to Iraq. At a press conference this morning, reporters asked Bush about the fraudulent document. Two nights ago the White House issued a statement that said Bush was wrong to cite the documents in his State of the Union address. But today when asked about the documents, Bush ignored the question saying the U.S. was right to invade Iraq.

Congressional Dems Call For Investigation Over Iraq Intelligence

Last night, Congressional Democrats called for an investigation on the White House’s misuse of intelligence.

Senate Minority Leader Thomas A. Daschle said "This ought to be reviewed very carefully. It ought to be the subject of careful scrutiny as well as some hearings."

The senior Democrat on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Sen. John D. Rockefeller IV added, "The whole world knew it was a fraud. Who decided this was something they could work with?"

Pentagon Accused of Under-reporting Number of Attacks on U.S. troops in Iraq

The Washington Post is reporting that military officials are now acknowledging that the Pentagon’s daily casualty figures in Iraq do not include attacks that result in death or serious injury of U.S. troops.

Officials estimate there are on average a dozen non-fatal attacks on U.S. troops every day in Baghdad alone that go largely unreported.

Man Kills 5 Co-workers, Including 4 African-Americans, in Racially-Motivated Attack at Lockheed Martin plant

An Assembly-line worker at a Lockheed Martin plant in Mississippi shot dead five of his co-workers and then himself yesterday. Four of those killed were African-American.

The husband of one of the deceased recalled that the killer Doug Williams had threatened to carry out such a shooting. Bobby McCall said, "He said he was going to come in one day and kill up a bunch of niggers and then he was going to turn the gun on himself."

The shooting came shortly after he left an ethics and sensitivity training session at the factory.

The Lockheed Martin factory he worked in built parts for the C-130J Hercules and F-22 Raptor jets.

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