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HeadlinesAugust 22, 2006

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Bush: Iraq War is “Straining The Psyche of Our Country”

Aug 22, 2006

President Bush admitted on Monday the Iraq war is “straining the psyche of our country.” But he vowed to stay the course.

  • President Bush: Leaving before the job would be done would send a message that America really is no longer engaged, nor cares about the form of governments in the Middle East. Leaving before the job was done would send a signal to our troops that the sacrifices they made were not worth it. Leaving before the job is done would be a disaster, and that’s what we’re saying.

Monday’s press conference was President Bush’s first since it was revealed that a record 3,500 people had died in Iraq last month.

Italy Will Lead Force in Lebanon Only If Israel Stops Fighting

Aug 22, 2006

The Lebanese government is accusing Israel of repeatedly violating the nine-day-old ceasefire. On Monday night, Israeli troops in South Lebanon shot and killed three Hezbollah fighters. Italy has agreed to send 3,000 troops to South Lebanon and lead the international force to police the region. But Italy’s Foreign Minister said Italy would only do so if Israel stopped fighting.

Bush Pledges $230 Million In Aid to Lebanon

Aug 22, 2006

In Washington, President Bush pledged to give Lebanon $230 million in humanitarian aid. The total aid package is a fraction of what the United States sends annually to Israel.

Lebanon Calls For Israel to End Blockade

Aug 22, 2006

Meanwhile the head of Lebanon’s Central Bank, Riad Salame, criticized Israel for continuing its naval and air blockade.

  • Riad Salame: “Although there is a cessation of hostilities, the economy is still regressing because of the blockade that has been put on Lebanon. As long as the airport and the port are not active in a free way the we do not foresee a resumption of growth in the Lebanese economy.”

Lebanon’s Economy Minister Sami Haddad said it would be impossible to build a stable democracy if Israel continues to invade Lebanon.

  • Sami Haddad: You cannot build a stable democracy and a prosperous economy if you are subjected every three or four years to a massive and destructive Israeli invasion that will destroy the economy.”

Lebanon Considers War Crimes Charges Against Israel

Aug 22, 2006

Lebanese officials have begun studying possible ways to sue Israel and its political and military leaders for war crimes. On Monday Lebanon’s Justice Minister held a meeting with top Lebanese magistrates and legal experts.

Lebanese Scientist: Israeli Bomb Contained Radioactive Materials

Aug 22, 2006

The Daily Star of Beirut is reporting a leading Lebanese scientist has discovered a crater caused by an Israeli bomb that contains a high degree of unidentified radioactive materials. The bomb landed in the Lebanese town of Khiam. It caused a crater 10 feet deep and 30 feet wide. The National Council for Scientific Research is planning to test samples from the site.

Israeli Reservists Call For Olmert To Resign

Aug 22, 2006

In Israel, calls are increasing for Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to resign over his handling of the war in Lebanon. On Monday, a group of reservist soldiers protested in Jerusalem. Israeli Reservist Sonny Katz: “The prime minister the minister of defence and the chief of staff of the military should resign because at the end of the day soldier went to fight and they did not have proper equipment and nobody knew what was the bottom line mission that these guys should I achieve and that was politics, so we blame that on the government and the leaders of the Army.”

Israeli Raid Kills Three Palestinians In Gaza

Aug 22, 2006

Three Palestinians have died in Gaza after Israeli tanks raided the region early this morning. Israel said the dead were all militants.

UK Police Arrest 11 In Bomb Plot

Aug 22, 2006

In Britain eleven people have been charged in connection with an alleged terror plot to blow up transatlantic airliners.

  • British police official Peter Clarke: “There is evidence from surveillance carried out before the 10th of August. This includes important indeed highly significant video and audio recording. I can also tell you that since the 10th of August we have found bomb making material. There are chemicals including hydrogen peroxide, electrical components, documents and other items. We have also found a number of video recordings.”

British police are holding eleven other people without charge.

Lebanese Student Accused of Planting Bombs in Germany

Aug 22, 2006

Police in Germany have arrested a 21-year-old Lebanese student on charges that he plotted to plant bombs on two German trains. The student, Youssef Mohammad, is reported to have lost a brother in an Israeli air strike last month in Lebanon.

Judge Drops Charge Against Jose Padilla

Aug 22, 2006

In Florida, a U.S. federal judge has dismissed one of the main changes against Jose Padilla, the man once accused of plotting to set off a dirty bomb. US District Judge Marcia Cooke dismissed count one of the indictment: conspiracy to murder, kidnap and maim persons in a foreign country. She said the allegations in that count were already covered in the indictment. Earlier this month Judge Cooke ordered prosecutors to provide more details to make their case against Padilla and two co-defendants. She said the case against Padilla appears “very light on facts.”

Protesters Seize 12 Radio Stations In Oaxaca, Mexico

Aug 22, 2006

In Mexico a group of striking teachers have seized control of 12 commercial radio stations in the state of Oaxaca. Since June, tens of thousands of teachers have been on strike. They have demanded higher wages and the resignation of the governor of Oaxaca. The stations were seized after gunmen attacked another radio and TV station that has been occupied by the demonstrators for weeks.

  • Sergio Beltran of Radio Planton in Oaxaca: “It actually was an almost instantaneous reaction from the people. In the beginning it was a station, the biggest one in the city that was taken and because the owners of the stations turned down the transmitter people began to move to other stations until at about 6:30 in the morning today all the stations were taken by the people. The most important tool that this movement has had in their hands is the radio and TV channels so it was a reaction to keep the people informed of what is happening minute by minute in the whole state but especially in the city of Oaxaca

Iran Denies UN Nuke Inspectors Access to Site

Aug 22, 2006

UN nuclear inspectors said Monday that Iran has denied them access to an underground nuclear site. The UN officials said that this may be a violation of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Humanitarian Aid Needed for 500,000 in Sri Lanka

Aug 22, 2006

In Sri Lanka, Human Rights Watch is calling on both the government and the Tamil Tigers to allow humanitarian aid to reach thousands of civilians trapped by fighting. In north Sri Lanka about 500,000 residents have been left with dwindling supplies of food and water and no ability to go to safe areas. About 40,000 people are believed to have fled their homes. Meanwhile, here in the United States, police have arrested 13 people on suspicion of conspiring to buy arms for the Tamil Tigers.

Sen. Barack Obama Goes to Kenya

Aug 22, 2006

In news from Africa, Barack Obama is preparing to visit Kenya for the first time since he became a Senator. Obama’s father was born in Kenya. On Monday Obama visited South Africa and criticized how the government there is handling the AIDS epidemic. He said he planned to speak about AIDS in Kenya as well.

  • Sen. Barack Obama: “One of the things, when I go to Kenya, that I’ll be doing is probably getting an Aids test myself; in front of the cameras just to encourage, so that people can see you know there’s nothing stigmatizing about getting an Aids test. So you know a lot of times I think leading by example can be very helpful and that’s something I’d like to do.

400 EU Troops Head to Congo As Fighting Continues

Aug 22, 2006

Meanwhile, 400 extra European Union troops are being flown into the Democratic Republic of Congo. The capital of Kenshasa has seen three days of clashes between forces loyal to the two men who are facing each other in a presidential runoff in October. Supporters of Jean-Pierre Bemba have accused President Joseph Kabila’s guards of attacking Bemba’s house.

War Resister Lt. Watada Charged With Three Offenses

Aug 22, 2006

In an update in a story we’ve been following: First Lt. Ehren Watada has been charged with three offenses for refusing to fight in Iraq. In June he became the first US military officer to openly oppose the war in Iraq. He was charged with Conduct Unbecoming an Officer, Missing Movement, and Contempt toward Officials.

California Minimum Wage to Increase to $8/Hour

Aug 22, 2006

And in California, legislators have agreed to raise the state minimum wage to eight dollars an hour by January 2008. Workers will get a 75-cent increase Jan. 1 and an additional 50 cents on Jan. 1, 2008. The pay hike will affect more than one million Californians who earn the current minimum wage, six dollars and seventy five cents an hour.

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