At the Republican National Convention last night Democratic Senator Zell Miller and Vice President Dick Cheney lashed out at John Kerry and accused him of being unfit to be president. Cheney said that for 20 years Kerry has repeatedly made the “wrong call” on major national security issues. Miller attacked not just Kerry but his own Democratic party. He said the party’s manic obsession with bringing down Bush was tearing apart the country and making it weaker.
In news from the streets of New York, police are now saying that they arrested around 1,100 people on Tuesday during mass direct action protests. This brings the total arrested to over 1800 over the past week. By comparison, about 600 people were arrested during the historic 1968 Democratic convention in Chicago. The National Lawyers Guild estimates 900 people remain in jail. Yesterday a dozen members of ACT-UP New York were arrested inside Madison Square Garden after they disrupted a presentation by White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card. Two members of Code Pink were later arrested during Vice President Dick Cheney’s speech. The day began when thousands of demonstrators formed a three-mile long symbolic unemployment line that stretched from Wall Street to Madison Square Garden.
More protests have been called for today to coincide with President Bush’s acceptance of the party’s nomination. United for Peace and Justice has called for an 8 p.m. demonstration in Union Square.
Meanwhile, President Bush arrived in New York last night and watched the convention with firefighters in an Italian American community center in Queens. He also accepted the endorsement of the Uniformed Firefighters Association of Greater New York. The nation’s largest firefighter union, the International Association of Fire Fighters, has already endorsed Kerry.
In Iraq, U.S. forces killed up to 20 Iraqis in a bombing raid in a residential area of Fallujah. At least three children were killed in the attack. The Pentagon claimed the strike targeted two safe houses of wanted members of the Iraqi resistance.
Israel Deputy Defense Minister warned today that Israel should consider attacking targets in Syria in response to a suicide bus bombing that killed 16 . This according to a report in Haaretz. The Israeli government has attempted to link Tuesday’s bombing to Hamas leaders living in Syria.
Meanwhile at the United Nations, the U.S. and France put forward a Security Council resolution yesterday demanding 20,000 Syrian troops immediately withdraw from Lebanon and for Syria not to meddle in upcoming elections in Lebanon. The resolution threatens unspecified “additional measures” against Syria if it does not comply.
The Washington Post is reporting that the FBI has been investigating whether AIPAC, the American Israel Political Action Committee, helped to illegally pass on highly classified intelligence from the National Security Agency to the Israeli government. According to the Post, the FBI has been investigating AIPAC for two years and that the probe extends well beyond the role of Pentagon analyst Larry Franklin. Franklin is the Pentagon’s top Iran analyst and is suspected of spying for Israel.
In Colorado, a judge has dismissed a rape charge against basketball star Kobe Bryant after prosecutors said the woman who alleged she had been assaulted would not testify against the basketball star.
In Florida, nearly 500,00 people have been ordered to evacuate their homes ahead of Hurricane Frances. This comes just weeks after the devastating Hurricane Charley.
In campaign news, President Bush’s campaign filed a lawsuit yesterday to force five liberal organizations to stop running tv commercials. The Bush camp claims the so-called 527 groups are illegally coordinating their efforts with Kerry’s campaign. The groups include MoveOn.org, Media Fund and America Coming Together.
The New York Times is reporting that Warner Brothers has decided not to distribute director David O. Russell’s new antiwar documentary when it re-releases his 1999 Gulf War movie, “Three Kings,” this fall. The studio said the anti-war documentary was “totally inappropriate” for a political season. It features interviews with Iraqi refugees and veterans of the current war in Iraq.
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