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Robert Gates
wcsh6.com

Gates Says U.S. Isn’t Winning War

When asked during his confirmation hearing today whether the United States was winning the war in Iraq, Robert Gates said simply, “No, sir.”  The nominee for defense secretary, who later went on to soften his position, is expected to receive a speedy confirmation.
Update: The Senate Armed Services Committee has voted unanimously to recommend approval of Gates’ confirmation.

Posted on Dec 5, 2006 READ MORE


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cupcake
sciencenews.org

New York City Bans Trans Fats

New York City’s Board of Health has backed Mayor Bloomberg’s campaign to eliminate artificial trans fats from eateries, setting an initial deadline of July 1, 2007.  Artificial trans fats are thought by health professionals to be a leading cause of heart disease.

Posted on Dec 5, 2006 READ MORE


levee
newyorktimes.com

More Problems With New Orleans Levee Work

In what officials are calling a “strategic pause,” work on New Orleans’ levees is at a standstill.  The Army Corps of Engineers says it has been delayed by engineering, budget and local-government hurdles, but critics—including some inside the corps—say the agency is simply dragging its feet. (h/t: Crooks and Liars)

Posted on Dec 5, 2006 READ MORE


tank yard
washingtonpost.com

The Cost of War Mounts

The Army says military equipment is breaking down faster than it can be repaired, and has asked for more money.  The estimated cost for repairs is $17 billion to $19 billion annually, and Congress has already approved an extra $23.8 billion for emergency maintenance in 2007.

Posted on Dec 5, 2006 READ MORE


Tony Blair
politics.co.uk

Blair Moves to Update Nukes

Tony Blair intends to modernize Britain’s nuclear arsenal, including the U.S.-made missiles and nuclear-powered submarines that deliver them.  But the prime minister will have to survive the misgivings of his own party, with critics questioning the utility of nuclear weapons against suicide bombers.

Posted on Dec 5, 2006 READ MORE


South African Wedding
AP Photo / Ambrose Peters, Sunday Times

First Gay Marriage in Africa

Two game rangers in South Africa have become the continent’s first legally married same-sex couple.  South Africa’s constitution was the first in the world to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation.

Posted on Dec 4, 2006 READ MORE


Bush and Hakim
newsweek.com

Bush Winks at Iran

With Moqtada al-Sadr walking out of Nouri al-Maliki’s government, the Iraqi prime minister is desperate for the support of prominent Shiite Abdul Aziz al-Hakim and his 30 parliamentarians, which may explain President Bush’s meeting with the politician earlier Monday.  However, Hakim has strong ties to Iran, which is widely assumed to equip and fund his militia, placing Bush in yet another awkward tap dance between stability in Iraq and hostility toward Iran.

Posted on Dec 4, 2006 READ MORE


ENTER_ALT_TEXT
Paul Szep

U.N. Envoys Sound Off on Bolton’s Departure

John Bolton, having announced his retirement as U.N. ambassador, didn’t get much love Monday, particularly from his colleagues at the United Nations.  One Security Council member, speaking anonymously, had this to say about the notoriously cranky diplomat: “People here are not against the United States, but I think the United States lost a lot of things because of Bolton’s tactics.”

Posted on Dec 4, 2006 READ MORE


Padilla
nytimes.com

Padilla Video Exposes Detainment Practices

Recently released video footage of Jose Padilla for the first time reveals life as an “enemy combatant” in U.S. custody.  The footage shows Padilla, manacled and deprived of vision and hearing, en route to a dental appointment.  Padilla was denied access to a lawyer for 21 months, testing the extent of the Bush administration’s executive power.

Posted on Dec 4, 2006 READ MORE


Hugo Chavez
alternet.org

Chavez Wins Third Term

Hugo Chavez has successfully defended his post and secured another six-year term as Venezuela’s president following an election held on Sunday.  During his acceptance speech, Chavez reprised his pet name for President Bush, saying his victory was “another defeat for the devil.”

Posted on Dec 4, 2006 READ MORE


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