Sunday, July 30, 2006

LEBANON: An environmental disaster looms
29 Jul 2006 16:00:08 GMT

BEIRUT, 29 July (IRIN) - Lebanon is facing an environmental crisis after an Israeli air strike on the Jiyeh power station, about 20km south of Beirut caused 10,000 tonnes of oil to spill into the Mediterranean sea.
The air strikes on 13 and 15 July hit the power station's fuel tanks and the leaking oil was pushed north by winds, and a thick sludge now coats much of the Lebanese coastline. At least 80km of the 200km coastline is affected.
Officials at Lebanon's environment ministry say that the clean-up operation will take at least a year to complete and at an estimated cost of more than US $ 130 million.
"It is about 10,000 tonnes of oil, but because of the security situation we cannot go into the sea to see what the real situation is," said a spokeswoman at the ministry, who requested anonymity.
There are fears that more oil could spill into the sea due to a fire at the facility that began on Thursday and now threatens a undamaged tank that contains 15,000 tonnes of oil. Read Full Story

Do you believe President Bush's actions justify impeachment?
Last time I checked in these were the results...
[click image to enlarge]

Over a quarter million participants
87%, an OVERWHELMING majority believe Bush should be on trial, facing criminal charges.
And these wouldn't be panty waste Nixon charges, we're talking hardcore acts of treason, punishable by certain death.

US in quiet U-turn on Iraq troop numbers
[via FT.COM]
By Edward Luce and Caroline Daniel in Washington

The US administration has quietly reversed its goal from whittling down troop numbers in Iraq before the mid-term congressional elections in November.

A Pentagon spokesman on Friday confirmed that US troop levels in Iraq rose to 132,000 during the past week – the highest since late May – from 127,000 at the start of the week. The spokesman said troop numbers often fluctuated and "there might be temporary spikes during periods of troop rotation".

However, analysts said an increase in troop numbers was more likely than a reduction because the number of sectarian killings in Iraq had almost doubled since the start of the year. The rise will prompt fears that the US is becoming increasingly bogged down in an unwinnable conflict.

On Thursday, the Pentagon said it would extend for up to 120 days the 3,700-strong deployment of the 172nd Stryker brigade in Iraq, among other rotations. There were 3,169 Iraqis killed in June, compared with 1,778 in January. Read Full Story



BAGHDAD, Iraq, July 29 — The State Department agency in charge of $1.4 billion in reconstruction money in Iraq used an accounting shell game to hide ballooning cost overruns on its projects there and knowingly withheld information on schedule delays from Congress, a federal audit released late Friday has found.

The agency hid construction overruns by listing them as overhead or administrative costs, according to the audit, written by the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction, an independent office that reports to Congress, the Pentagon and the State Department.
Called the United States Agency for International Development, or A.I.D., the agency administers foreign aid projects around the world. It has been working in Iraq on reconstruction since shortly after the 2003 invasion.

The report by the inspector general’s office does not give a full accounting of all projects financed by the agency’s $1.4 billion budget, but cites several examples. Read Full Story

US took 'secret decision' on Indian firms: Post
[via & Washington Post]

Washington - The US administration took a 'secret decision' to impose sanctions on two Indian firms for selling missile parts to Iran without informing the US Congress or New Delhi, according to the Washington Post.

As the issue is highly sensitive for negotiators still working on the India nuclear deal, the government had not yet told officials in New Delhi of the decision, the daily reported Saturday citing unnamed officials. They declined to identify the two Indian companies, but said both worked with missile-related technologies. Read Full Story


North Korean Missile Broke up Soon After Launch

TOKYO (Reuters) - The Taepodong-2 long-range missile test-fired by North Korea on July 5 broke up and fell back to earth just after its launch, making its flight much shorter than previously believed, media reports said on Sunday.

The Japanese government had previously said the Taepodong-2 fell into the Sea of Japan about 640 km (400 miles) from the launch site.

Sources quoted by Kyodo news agency said the missile exploded in mid-air within 1.5 km of the launch site, either in a northeastern region of North Korea or in its territorial waters on the edge of the Sea of Japan.

Experts have said the missile is potentially capable of hitting parts of U.S. territory.
The problem was most likely due to difficulties with the missile's boosters, sources quoted by the Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper said.

A Japanese government official quoted by the Yomiuri said the new analysis, which will be included in a report to be issued by the government early next month, indicated that North Korea's missile technology was still immature.

"It will likely take a long time for North Korea to launch a Taepodong-2 again," he added.


Blogger GEEZERPOWER said...

Dubya allready knew that he would be a war president in 1999. He was blathering statements about being "commander in chief" then, and is still echoing the same crap.
Commander in chief

9:42 PM  
Blogger Team Cloak & Swagger said...

Well, I'm fairly certain that Bush doesn't develop too many original ideas of his own, and even though it isn't a difficult task for anyone to mentally revert back to a killer instinct and claim they're a warrior of some sort, I think the idea of being war time president was put into his head by somebody else.
Naturally, it didn’t take long for it to cure and harden as he met with continued resistance from all over the world, because he is inherently stubborn, that is a definitive character trait that most certainly belongs to him.

4:24 AM  

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