Monday, November 20, 2006

Morning News Roundup (20 November)

It's Thanksgiving week, so just a warning that things will be a little slow.

BushCo's Wars
  • At least 111 people were killed or found dead Sunday, the Associated Press reported. Fifty-six bodies, many of them showing signs of torture, were dumped in three cities.

    In the southern Baghdad neighborhood of Dora, unknown gunmen shot and killed three members of a family. A roadside bomb and two car bombs exploded one after the other near a bus station in Mashtal, a mostly Shiite area of southeastern Baghdad, killing 11.

    Gunmen kidnapped one of Iraq's deputy health ministers, Ammar al-Saffar, a Shiite, from his home in northern Baghdad, just a day after a prominent Shiite politician was gunned down. Iraqi army and police said the gunmen wore police uniforms. [WaPo]

  • Iraqis 'don't have a future' if they give in to the sectarian tensions that are tearing apart their society, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said during a visit to Vietnam yesterday in one of the starkest warnings on the present violent trajectory of the country. [The Guardian]

  • The Army is rewriting a key field manual, the authoritative guidebook on how to conduct ground operations, “in a way that rejects the Rumsfeld doctrine [emphasizing speed over massive troop numbers] and counsels against using it again.” [ThinkProgress' ThinkFast]

Iran, Maybe Not So Far Away
  • The United States lacks sufficient intelligence on Iran's nuclear facilities at this time, which prevents it from initiating a military strike against them, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has told European politicians and diplomats with whom she has recently met.
    U.S. President George W. Bush and President Jacques Chirac of France met several weeks ago. Bush told his French counterpart that the possibility that Israel would carry out a strike against Iran's nuclear installations should not be ruled out.

    Bush also said that if such an attack were to take place, he would understand it. According to European diplomats who later met with Rice, the secretary of state did not express the same willingness to show understanding for a possible Israeli strike against Iran. [Haaretz ]

  • A classified CIA report has found no firm evidence of a secret drive by Iran to develop nuclear weapons, despite White House allegations that such a plan might exist, a top US investigative reporter has said. Seymour Hersh's report, to be published in the November 27 issue of The New Yorker magazine, drew a denial on Sunday from the White House, which called the report "riddled with inaccuracies."

    Hersh also reported on whether the Republican administration of President George W. Bush was more or less inclined to attack Iran after Democrats won control of Congress last week. Hersh cited a source close to Vice President Dick Cheney for the story.

    "If the Democrats won on November 7th, the vice president said, that victory would not stop the administration from pursuing a military option with Iran," Hersh wrote.

    Cheney said the White House would circumvent any restrictions imposed by a Democratic legislature "and thus stop Congress from getting in its way" on Iran. [Agence France Presse via Beirut's The Daily Star; I'll have more excerpts from Hersh's New Yorker story later]

Climate Crisis
  • International talks on climate change held at a conference in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, ended Friday without having established a solid timetable for cuts in greenhouse gas emissions after the Kyoto Protocol expires. [...] The meeting did resolve to start discussions for reviewing the protocol in 2008, but also fell short of agreeing to a timeframe for conclusion of these discussions. This has come under fire from environmental activists.

    "We need things to be laid down clearly. The world is not taking this matter with urgency, and negotiations on this matter have been skewed," Grace Akumu, executive director of Climate Network Africa, a regional non-governmental organisation (NGO), told journalists. [IPS]

  • A new global agreement to tackle climate change may be scuppered by cumbersome international bodies and a lack of political will, David Miliband, the British Environment Secretary, fears.

    He warned that politics was now lagging dangerously behind the science on global warming and feared that negotiations on a new deal might drag on so long that there would be a "gap" in 2012 when the Kyoto protocol's first stage runs out. [The Independent]

  • After Minnesota State Senator Satveer Chaudhary defeated challenger Rae Hart Anderson, he received a rather unexpected congratulatory email, RAW STORY has learned.

    Anderson, an apparently devout Christian, spent most of the concession urging Chaudhary, a practicing Hindu, to convert to Christianity. [Raw Story] [ed. note: I went to St. Olaf with Satveer, and we always knew he was destined for progressive politics. Although, from the pic below, it looks like politics makes you dress funny. Well, he was signing a "shooting ranges" bill...]

    Senator Chaudhary's "Shooting Ranges" bill signed into law.

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At 7:55 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Read about how W spent his time while visiting Vietnam...

At 9:29 AM, Blogger kat said...

I hope Donald Rumsfeld spends some good quality retirement time watching and re-watching Errol Morris's The Fog of War.


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