At least two people have died after a car bomb exploded near the United Nations headquarters in Baghdad. Killed in the attack were the suicide bomber and an Iraqi police officer. 12 more people were injured. This comes a month after 20 died at the UN complex in another bomb attack.
On Saturday, Iraqi gunmen attempted to assassinate one of the three women on Iraqi’s Governing Council. The woman, Akila al-Hashemi was shot in the abdomen. The New York Times reports she was unconscious when taken to the hospital and she may be airlifted to a U.S. hospital in Germany.
The assassination attempt comes a month after hooded gunmen issued a videotape decrying members of the council as spies and traitors. One of the men said “We will kill them before we kill the Americans.”
Nearly 4,000 workers at Yale University have ended a 22-day-old strike after the school awarded the two main union’s large wage and pension increases. Labor groups hailed the strike as a major victory for the national labor movement.
The larger of the two unions will receive pay increases of nearly 45 percent over the length of the new eight year contract.
The U.S. military has arrested and detained the Muslim chaplain who counsels detainees at Guantanamo Bay. The Guardian of London reports Army Capt. Yousef Yee is being held on suspicion of espionage and providing “improper assistance” to inmates there. Yee is the first known U.S. soldier to be detained in the so-called war on terror. Charges have not been filed against the New Jersey born Yee who was detained nearly two weeks ago. He is being held at a military brig in Charleston, S.C. where the U.S. has been holding Yaser Esam Hamdi and Jose Padilla both of whom have been charged as enemy combatants.
The United Nations voted 133 to 4 Friday to condemn Israel’s decision to remove Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat. The only countries voting against the measure were the United States, Israel, the Marshall Islands and Micronesia.
In other Iraq news, President Bush is scheduled to address the United Nations Tuesday on Iraq and defend his decision to invade Iraq without UN backing.
Bush told Fox News yesterday, “I will make it clear that I made the right decision and that the others that joined us made the right decision.” Bush is also expected to announce his support for UN involvement in the writing of an Iraqi constitution and the oversight of elections.
Bush heads to the UN at a time when a new poll by Newsweek found that only 46 percent of the country back his Iraq policies.
Meanwhile in an interview with The New York Times, President Jacque Chirac called for a two-stage plan for Iraqi self rule to be carried out over the next six to nine months.
Plans were announced this weekend for the privatization of all Iraqi industries except for oil. This will allow foreign investors to take over businesses and industries that were once state-controlled.
The Associated Press is reporting that the alleged 9/11 mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed told U.S. officials that Al Qaida originally planned to hijack 10 planes on Sept. 11 but scaled the operation down at the request of Osama bin Laden.
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