Mexico’s Electoral Court Declares Calderon To Be President-Elect

Mexico’s top electoral court has declared conservative candidate Felipe Calderon the winner of the country’s disputed presidential election over Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador. The head of the electoral tribunal, Lionel Castillo Gonzales, made the announcement.

  • Lionel Castillo Gonzales: "First, according to the final computation of the election, the candidate that obtained the most votes in the election of the President of the United States of Mexico was the citizen Felipe de Jesus Calderon Hinojosa. Second, the Presidential elections of the United States of Mexico are valid."

The tribunal acknowledged there were election irregularities and errors but the court ruled that Calderon’s victory stands. Lopez Obrador has said he will never recognize Calderon’s presidency and has vowed to form a parallel government. He is planning to hold a massive rally in Mexico City on September 16, Mexico’s independence day, to set up his shadow government.

President Bush Likens Bin Laden to Hitler

President Bush warned Tuesday that pulling troops out of Iraq would help Osama Bin Laden establish a totalitarian Islamic empire stretching from Europe to North Africa, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia. In the speech Bush repeatedly quoted Bin Laden’s own words and compared him to Adolph Hitler.

  • President Bush: "Bin Laden and his terrorists allies have made their intentions as clear as Lenin and Hitler before him. The question is will we listen? Will we pay attention to what these evil men say? America and our coalition partners have made our choice. We are taking the words of the enemy seriously. We are on the offensive we will not rest, we will not retreat and we will not withdrawal from the fight until this threat to civilization has been removed."

President Bush also vowed to stay the course in Iraq.

  • President Bush: "These evil men know that a fundamental threat to their aspirations is a democratic Iraq that can govern itself, sustain itself and defend itself. The know that given a choice, the Iraqi people will never choose to live in the totalitarian state the extremists hope to establish. And that is why we must not, and we will not, give the enemy victory in Iraq by deserting the Iraqi people."

On Tuesday the White House released an updated version of its "National Strategy for Combating Terrorism." Despite President Bush’s claim that Iraq is the central front on the war on terrorism, Iraq is only mentioned nine times in the 29-page document.

Pakistan Reaches Peace Deal With Pro-Taliban Fighters

Hours after President Bush’s speech, ABC News revealed that Pakistan has reached a peace agreement with pro-Taliban fighters on the Afghan border. As part of the deal, Pakistan agreed to pull out troops from the Taliban-stronghold of North Waziristan. In addition, the Pakistani army plans to return captured Taliban weapons and prisoners. One Pakistani official told ABC that the army would not capture Osama Bin Laden if he agreed to lead a peaceful life. Former White House terrorism czar Richard Clarke said the deal indicates that the Taliban and al Qaeda leadership have effectively carved out a sanctuary inside Pakistan. Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf is meeting today with Afghan President Hamid Karzai in Kabul.

Book: Valerie Plame Worked on CIA’s Covert Iraq WMD Program

A new book has revealed that former undercover CIA agent Valerie Plame was the chief of operations on the CIA’s Joint Task Force on Iraq at the time of her outing three years ago. According to journalists David Corn and Michael Isikoff, Plame was part of a secret CIA team that was mounting espionage operations to gather information on Iraq’s alleged weapons of mass destructions. The Joint Task Force on Iraq was trying to find evidence that would back up the White House’s assertion that Iraq was a WMD danger. Plame was forced to leave her position after her identity was leaked.

Study: 70 Percent of 9/11 Responders Suffer Lung Ailments

In New York, a major new health study has found that nearly 70 percent of first responders at Ground Zero suffer from chronic lung ailments. The report by Mount Sinai is the largest ever done on 9/11 health effects. For the past five years city, state and federal officials have downplayed the health dangers of the toxic dust that was released when the World Trade Center collapsed. Last week the city issued guidelines for doctors on how to spot and treat illnesses related to Ground Zero. The city was widely criticized for taking nearly five years to release the guidelines. On Tuesday, Mayor Mike Bloomberg announced the city will begin providing health treatment to anyone sickened by Ground Zero contaminants.

Israeli PM Olmert Faces War Crimes Suit in Spain

Spanish National radio is reporting that a lawsuit is being filed today in Spain’s high court against Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. He is being accused of committing crimes against humanity for ordering military attacks on civilians in Lebanon and Gaza. In recent days, Israel’s Foreign Ministry has expressed concern that senior Israeli military and governmental officials could be prosecuted overseas for committing war crimes in Lebanon. Israeli legal experts say some officers or government officials who traveled to Europe stood the risk of being arrested.

Lebanon Files Complaint With UN Over Israeli Blockade

Meanwhile The Lebanese government has filed an official complaint with the UN Security Council to protest Israel’s continued air and sea blockade of the country. UN Secretary General Kofi Annan said he hopes Israel will soon lift the blockade.

  • Kofi Annan: "We are working on that problem very hard, it’s one of the issues on my agenda right from the beginning and I know it’s extremely important for the Lebanese government and for the people of the region. I don’t want to raise any false hopes, but I hope that within the next 48 hours we will have some news on that."

Bomb Blast Injures Senior Lebanese Intelligence Officer

Meanwhile a pair of roadside bombs exploded Tuesday outside the Lebanese city of Sidon. Four people died in the blast. Injured in the attack was a senior Lebanese intelligence officer named Samir Shehade. He has played a leading role in Lebanon’s investigation into last year’s killing of former Prime Minister Rafik al-Hariri.

Turkey Pledges to Send Troops to Lebanon

In other news from Lebanon, Turkey has pledged to contribute troops to the international peacekeeping force. In Ankara , over 10,000 Turkish protesters gathered to condemn the move. Protesters carried banners that read: "We won’t be the soldiers of the United States and Israel" Turkey’s announcement has also been criticized by members of the Lebanese-Armenian community.

  • Khajak Tarpinian: "I am against for Turkish army to come here. Of course the Armenian people, they have very big problems. They (Turks) killed many Armenians, not only Armenians but in Lebanon also. Before they did many massacres, not only for the Armenians but for Lebanese people also. I think that there will be very bad things when Turkish army come here."

Iraq Extends State of Emergency

The Iraqi National Assembly has voted to extend the country’s state of emergency by another month. Iraq has been under a state of emergency since November 2004. The U.S. military announced the deaths of three more U.S. soldiers. Eight American and two British troops have died over the past three days.

Condoleezza Rice Compares Iraq War to Civil War

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is drawing a parallel between the Iraq war and the U.S. Civil War. In an interview with Essence Magazine, Rice said quote "I’m sure that there were people who said, "Why don’t we get out of this now, take a peace with the South, but leave the South with slaves?"

Israel to Build 700 New Settlement Homes in West Bank

Israel’s Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has authorized the construction of nearly 700 new homes in settlements in the Occupied West Bank. It marks Israel’s largest settlement construction project since Olmert took office in May.

Prosecutors Seek 30-Year Jail Sentence For Lynne Stewart

Here in this country, federal prosecutors have asked a New York judge to sentence attorney Lynne Stewart to 30 years in prison. Stewart was convicted 18 months ago of providing material support to terrorists by releasing a statement by her client, Sheik Ahmed Abdel-Rahman. She is scheduled to be sentenced next month. Her lawyers have argued that Stewart should receive no prison time, arguing that a harsh sentence would frighten other lawyers from representing notorious clients.

Detroit Teacher Strike Enters Ninth Day

In Detroit Michigan, a city-wide teacher strike has entered its ninth day. Tuesday was supposed to be the first day of classes but the school system was forced to cancel them. Last month the teacher’s union rejected a two-year contract proposal that sought 5.5-percent wage reductions and co-pays for health care benefits of up to 20 percent.

Intel to Slash 10,000 Jobs

In other labor news, the computer giant Intel has announced plans to slash over 10,000 jobs or about 10 percent of its work force.

Study: Rapid Rise of Greenhouse Gases Unprecedented in Last 800,000 Years

In environmental news, a new study has found that the rapid rise in greenhouse gases over the past century is unprecedented in at least 800,000 years. Scientists said air bubbles trapped in ice for hundreds of thousands of years have revealed that humans are changing the composition of the atmosphere in a manner that has no known natural parallel.

Justice Department Investigates Tom Delay’s Wife

And in news from Washington, the Justice Department has launched an investigation into whether former House Majority Leader Tom Delay’s wife illegally received money from a lobbying firm. Christine Delay was on the payroll of the Alexander Strategy Group but it is unclear if she actually did any work there. She earned $115,000 over a three-year period.


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