In Iraq–another two dozen people died on Monday–as the Iraqi resistance launched another wave of attacks. Since Friday more than 140 Iraqis have been killed.
Meanwhile the U.S. is searching for the remains of two Navy F-18 pilots. It appears a pair of U.S. planes collided over southern Iraq on Monday.
In Washington the military’s highest ranking officer is warning that the ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan is limiting the Pentagon’s ability to deal with other armed conflicts. Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman General Richard Myers told Congress in a classified report that should the U.S. stage any other attacks, the operations would end up being more protracted and produce higher U.S. casualties because of the commitment of Pentagon sources in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The Army also announced Monday that it had fallen short of its recruiting goals for the third month in a row. The Army is on pace to fall 15 percent short of its annual recruiting target.
Meanwhile in Colorado, military recruiters are coming under criticism after a high school student exposed that recruiters were urging students to lie about their past in order to qualify for the military. The student journalist posed as a high school drop-out with a drug problem who wanted to enlist. The recruiters essentially said no problem and went on to tell him how to create a fabricated high school diploma and how to cheat on his drug test. The student recorded the interactions and part of the video aired Monday on CBS News. The Army has suspended the two recruiters involved.
On Monday the Supreme Court announced it would take up the issue of military recruiting on college campuses. The court will hear arguments in the fall on whether Congress can withhold federal money from universities that bar recruiters. Many schools have tried to bar recruiters to protest the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy.
At the United Nations, Secretary General Kofi Annan urged the United States and Russia to reduce their nuclear arsenals. Annan’s call came during the opening day of a month-long review of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. Annan said “Ultimately, the only way to guarantee that they will never be used is for our world to be free of such weapons.” Under the 35-year-old treaty the world’s non-nuclear countries have pledged not to pursue nuclear arms, in exchange for a commitment from the U.S. Russia, Britain, France and China–to move toward nuclear disarmament. Three other nuclear states–Israel, India and Pakistan–remain outside the treaty. On Monday the nuclear countries were criticized for not moving fast enough toward disarmament. Meanwhile the U.S. and other nations called on Iran and North Korea to give up and dismantle their nuclear programs.
On Capitol Hill, Congressional negotiators agreed Monday to measures that would discourage states from issuing driver’s licenses to undocumented workers and make it harder for asylum seekers to gain entry into the country. According to the Los Angeles Times, the driver’s license provision would, for the first time, set national standards for the state-issued documents. The key standard would require every applicant for a driver’s license to prove legal residency in the United States. If a state opted not to comply, its driver’s licenses, even those issued to citizens and legal residents, would not be recognized as valid for federal identification purposes–such as boarding an airplane or opening a bank account.
In Italy, investigators have published a report on the shooting of a secret agent In Iraq by US troops that conflicts with the Pentagon’s version of events. The Italian report blames the troops’ stress and inexperience. It also charges that US authorities should have signaled that there was a checkpoint on the road. Intelligence officer Nicola Calipari died in the March 4 shooting and journalist Giuliana Sgrena was injured.
Officials in New Jersey have posted a million dollar reward for the capture of former Black Panther Assata Shakur. In 1977, Shakur was convicted in the killing of a New Jersey police officer during a shoot-out that left one of her fellow activists dead. She was shot twice by police during the incident. In 1979 she managed to escape from jail. She fled to Cuba where she received political asylum. She once wrote, “I am a 20th century escaped slave. Because of government persecution, I was left with no other choice than to flee from the political repression, racism and violence that dominate the US government’s policy towards people of color.” On Monday–the 32nd anniversary of the shooting — New Jersey officials announced the million dollar bounty–it is the largest reward ever placed on an individual in the state. In addition the FBI placed her name on a watch list of domestic terrorists. In recent years numerous hip hop stars, including Public Enemy and Common, have publicly supported Shakur. Her godson was the late Tupac Shakur.
In Haiti, the country’s former prime minister Yvon Neptune has refused to leave the country to go into exile in the Dominican Republic. Neptune said he will not leave unless he is given unconditional release from house arrest. Neptune served as prime minister under the ousted President Jean Bertrand Aristide. He has been in jail for the past 10 months.
Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan joined with Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton Monday to announce a major rally in Washington to mark the 10th anniversary of the Million Man March. They are calling it the Millions More Movement. Farakhan said, “Millions More means we’re reaching for the millions who carry the rich on their backs.” Organizers are promoting a Day of Absence from work and school on Friday, Oct. 14, followed by a march in Washington on the 15th, and religious services the next day.
The family of an award-winning British filmmaker who was shot dead by the Israeli army announced Monday it is suing the Israeli government. Israeli soldiers shot and killed James Miller on May 2, 2003. He was 34 years old.
The city of Boston has agreed to pay out over five million dollars to the family of a college student who died after police shot her with a pepper-spray pellet. The incident occurred as police were trying to control a crowd of celebrating baseball fans last October. Victoria Snelgrove was a 21-year-old student at Emerson College.
Bob Hunter–one of the founders of Greenpeace–has died at the age of 62. The Guardian of London described Hunter as the most influential of the group’s early leaders. In 1969 he first made headlines when he sailed to the Aleutian Islands off Alaska to try to stop the US testing of a nuclear bomb. He was the first president of Greenpeace, came up with the name Rainbow Warrior for the group’s flagship, and, in 1979, he officially founded Greenpeace International.
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