On Capitol Hill, a group of 26 members of Congress introduced a resolution Monday urging President Bush to fire Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. One of the bill sponsors, Congressman Charles Rangel of New York said “the first step to bringing our troops home is to send Donald Rumsfeld home.”
In addition to Rangel the sponsors are: Jan Schakowsky (IL), Barbara Lee (CA), Lynn Woolsey (CA), Major Owens (NY), Julia Carson (IN), William Clay (MO), Raul Grijalva (AZ), Fortney Pete Stark (CA), Frank Pallone (NJ), Eddie Bernice Johnson (TX), Bennie Thompson (MS), George Miller (CA), Danny Davis (IL), Hilda Solis (CA), Lloyd Doggett (TX), Sherrod Brown (OH), Jerrold Nadler (NY), Maxine Waters (CA), Gregory Meeks (NY), Jim McDermott (WA), Diane Watson (CA), Barney Frank (MA), Dennis Kucinich (OH), Marcy Kaptur (OH), Luis Gutierrez (IL).
In Baghdad, U.S. soldiers have shot dead a member of the U.S.-appointed local Iraqi council in Sadr City. The council leader, Muhammed Kaabi, was killed while he was approaching the council offices Sunday. The U.S. claims he attempted to take a weapon from a soldier when the troops stopped him and asked to search his car. Local residents said he never attempted to grab a weapon. One city hall employee said, “It was killing for the sake of killing. It was not self-defense.” Also in Iraq, U.S. forces have detained 20 men who are being questioned about possible ties to Al Qaeda.
A new report by the medical charity Medact estimates between 22,000 and 55,000 Iraqis died as a direct result of the U.S. invasion. The study examined the health and environmental costs of the war. The author of the report told the BBC “There has been a reported increase in maternal mortality rates, acute malnutrition has almost doubled in the last year and there is an increase in water-borne diseases and vaccine-preventable diseases.”
A new poll has found that 49 percent of Americans now believe the invasion of Iraq was not worth it. About 48 percent of the population said it was… according to a new poll conducted by the Annenberg Public Policy Center. This marks the first time this poll found more Americans were opposed to the invasion.
In Afghanistan, at least one person has been injured after a car bomb exploded outside the United Nations offices in Kandahar.
Police in Miami announced yesterday plans to embed reporters in police squads during the upcoming protests against the Free Trade Area of the Americas. Police Chief John Timoney said he wants to bring journalists to the front lines of the protest. The journalists will be required to have a riot helmet and gas mask. Timoney gained national attention in 2000 when he served as police chief in Philadelphia during the Republican National Convention.
UN: Iran Had Secret Nuclear Program
A confidential report by the International Atomic Energy Agency has found that over the past 18 years Iran has secretly manufactured small amounts of enriched uranium and plutonium. This according to the Washington Post, which obtained a copy of the report. The Agency also said it had found no evidence that Iran had sought to build a nuclear bomb. But the Agency concluded “it will take some time before the agency is able to conclude that Iran’s nuclear program is exclusively for peaceful purposes.”
The World Trade Organization ruled yesterday that President Bush had broken international law by imposing tariffs on imported steel. If Bush does not eliminate the tariffs, other nations could impose a total of $2.2 billion in punitive duties on some U.S. exports. $2.2 billion dollars is the largest sanctions ever handed down by the WTO.
In Guatemala, voters have rejected an attempt by former military dictator Rios Montt to become president. In the first round of voting, Montt received less than 20 percent of the vote. A run-off will now be held on Dec. 28 between the top two vote-getters, businessman Oscar Berger and the industrial engineer Alvara Colom.