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French Jail Awaits Noriega?

Once he’s released in September from a Miami prison, where he’s been serving time for the last 15 years, former Panamanian ruler Manuel Noriega faces yet another jail term, either in his homeland or, more likely, in France.  On Friday, a U.S. federal judge refused to block Noriega’s extradition to France, where he may endure yet another stint in a foreign prison.

Posted on Aug 24, 2007 READ MORE


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Castro
Associated Press / Jose Goitia

Cuban Official Denies Castro Rumors

Though he’s been laying low for the last year after undergoing intestinal surgery,  Cuban leader Fidel Castro (pictured) is still well enough to remain in charge of his country, according to Cuban Foreign Minister Felipe Perez Roque, despite rumors that his health is rapidly deteriorating.

Posted on Aug 24, 2007 READ MORE


Peter Pace
latimes.com

Joint Chiefs Chairman Likely to Back Big Cut in Troops

It looks as though Gen. Peter Pace, whose term as Joint Chiefs chairman and the president’s top military adviser is about to expire, may go out with a bang. While Gen. David Petraeus is expected to back the White House’s push for an extended surge, Gen. Pace is likely to call for a major reduction—by almost half—of U.S. forces in Iraq in order to address the long-term needs of an overextended military.

Posted on Aug 24, 2007 READ MORE


Iraqi family
nytimes.comiraq

Iraqis Flee Despite Surge

According to two humanitarian organizations, Iraqis are fleeing their homes in record numbers, despite the much touted (if difficult to demonstrate) accomplishments of the “surge.” Iraqis are increasingly separating themselves into sectarian groups, according to the data.

Posted on Aug 24, 2007 READ MORE


Big Brother Update With National Intel Director

J. Michael McConnell, the director of national intelligence, has in part explained Congress’ hurry to revise domestic surveillance law. It seems that the FISA court, established three decades ago to keep the government from abusively spying on American citizens, decided that the administration’s warrantless wiretapping program was illegal—and that just wouldn’t do.

Posted on Aug 23, 2007 READ MORE


Those Sexy Seniors

A study published in The New England Journal of Medicine this week reports that American men and women are enjoying active sex lives well into their autumn years.  If the article is indeed an accurate indication, well over half of the country’s seniors (at least up to age 85, given the study’s parameters) are doing their job to challenge some stereotypical views of sex at an advanced age.

Posted on Aug 23, 2007 READ MORE


Nawaz Sharif
AP Photo / Lefteris Pitarakis

The Return of Nawaz Sharif

Here’s a bit of news that Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf no doubt finds unwelcome:  Former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif (pictured), whom Musharraf overthrew in a 1999 coup, is coming out of exile and plans to return to Pakistan to challenge Musharraf’s position.                                                                             

Posted on Aug 23, 2007 READ MORE


Malaysian Groups Rankled by Jesus Cartoon

The Malaysian newspaper Makkal Osai is apologizing for running a cartoon image of Jesus Christ enjoying a beer and a cigarette on its front page, claiming it was a mistake made by an editor who had downloaded the image from the Web.  However, Makkal Osai’s efforts to quell the controversy may not be sufficient for some religious groups, judging by last year’s flap over the infamous Muhammad cartoons.

Posted on Aug 23, 2007 READ MORE


Troops Still Waiting for Armored Vehicles

Throughout the war, getting the troops the equipment they need to stay alive has been more of a goal than a reality. The latest example is the expected delivery shortfall of MRAPs—the specially designed armored vehicles that have proved particularly resistant to roadside bombs. The Pentagon had hoped to deliver 3,500 of the vehicles to Iraq, but it looks as if only 1,500 or so will make it there by year’s end.

Posted on Aug 22, 2007 READ MORE


Clinton and Maliki
clinton.senate.gov

Clinton Wants Iraqi PM Canned

Hillary Clinton has added her voice to a growing chorus blaming the lack of progress in Iraq on Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. Uninspired by President Bush’s expression of renewed confidence in the embattled PM, Clinton said she hopes the Iraqi parliament will oust Maliki when it returns from its vacation.

Posted on Aug 22, 2007 READ MORE


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