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Headlines for May 21, 2007

Headlines for May 21, 2007

Monday, May 21st, 2007

http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=07/05/21/1416217

- Israel Bombs Home of Hamas Lawmaker; 8 Killed
- 40 Die in Lebanon In Heaviest Internal Fighting Since Civil War
- Number of Private Contractors Killed in Iraq Soars
- Iraq's VP Al-Hashemi Criticizes Proposed Iraqi Oil Law
- Jimmy Carter: Bush's Foreign Policy "Worst in History"
- Red Cross: U.S. Bombing Leaves 2,000 Homeless in Afghanistan
- U.S. Commander Jailed for Leaking Names of Gitmo Detainees
- Costa Rica Stops Sending Officers to U.S. Military School
- Anti-War Activists Shut Down Part of Port of Oakland


 

Israel Bombs Home of Hamas Lawmaker; 8 Killed
Eight Palestinians have died

after the Israeli Air Force bombed the home of a leading Palestinian lawmaker on Sunday. It was the deadliest strike since Israel began bombing Gaza last week. The home belonged to Khalil al-Haya – a Hamas representative in the Palestinian parliament. Seven of his relatives died including three of his brothers. According to the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, the bombing marked the first time in two years that an Israeli air strike targeted a member of Hamas' political wing. Israel has killed at least 40 Palestinians in Gaza since last week. Earlier today Israel bombed the Jebaliya refugee camp killing four members of Islamic Jihad. Palestinian Information Minister Mustafa Barghouti condemned Israel's actions.
  • Mustafa Barghouti: "This Israeli government has no shame. What they are doing in Gaza is killing people by airplanes, by F-16 jet fighters, and what they do here is also killing people by destroying their economy."
Meanwhile Hamas is continuing to fire crude rockets into southern Israel. Four rockets were reportedly launched on Monday morning. Israel's Welfare Minister Isaac Herzog defended Israel's escalating use of violence.
  • Isaac Herzog: "We cannot accept the fact that women, children, and Israeli citizens are attacked by terrorists, day-in, day-out by missiles from Gaza, and the world is expecting us not to do anything. It is impossible, and we will defend our citizens forcefully."
The Times of London reports Israel might be preparing another ground invasion of Gaza. Three Israeli divisions comprising 20,000 troops are on standby near the Gaza border ready for a full-scale invasion.

40 Die in Lebanon In Heaviest Internal Fighting Since Civil War
In Lebanon, at least 40 people have died in some of the country's heaviest internal fighting since the end of Lebanon's civil war. Lebanese troops have clashed with Palestinian militants tied to the group Fatah al-Islam. The Lebanese government claims the group has ties to Al-Qaeda and Syria. Most of the fighting has been in Tripoli and in a nearby Palestinian refugee camp. Earlier this morning Lebanese forces sealed off entrances to the camp and then shelled the camp which is home to 40,000 refugees. Fatah al-Islam has denied links to Al-Qaeda and claimed the Lebanese government was trying to make it a scapegoat.

15 U.S. Troops Killed in Iraq
In Iraq, at least 15 U.S. troops have died since Friday. The deadliest incident occurred in western Baghdad on Saturday when a roadside bomb killed six U.S. soldiers and an interpreter.

Number of Private Contractors Killed in Iraq Soars
The New York Times reports the number of private contractors killed in Iraq is soaring. At least 146 contractors and mercenaries were killed in the first three months of the year. Another 3,400 filed claims for injuries suffered in Iraq. At least 917 contractors working for the U.S. government have now died in the war.

Iraq's VP Al-Hashemi Criticizes Proposed Iraqi Oil Law
Iraq's Vice President Tariq Al-Hashemi is publicly criticizing a proposed Iraqi oil law because it is too favorable to foreign oil companies. The Bush administration and Congressional Democrats are pushing the Iraqi parliament to pass the oil law which would open up Iraq's oil reserves to foreign companies. Al-Hashemi said Iraq wants foreign oil companies to invest in Iraq but he said the current bill gives the companies too many privileges.

Jimmy Carter: Bush's Foreign Policy "Worst in History"
Former President Jimmy Carter has criticized outgoing British Prime Minister Tony Blair for being subservient to President Bush. Carter made the comment in an interview with the BBC.

    BBC Reporter: How do you judge these days Mr. Blair's support for Mr. Bush?
    President Carter: Abominable. Loyal, blind, apparently subservient. I think that the almost undeviating support by Great Britain for the ill-advised policies of President Bush in Iraq have been a major tragedy for the world."
In a separate interview this weekend Carter described the Bush administration's foreign relations as "the worst in history." The White House responded by describing Carter's comments as "sad" and said the statements prove that the former president is becoming "increasingly irrelevant."

Red Cross: U.S. Bombing Leaves 2,000 Homeless in Afghanistan
In Afghanistan, the International Committee of the Red Cross is estimating 2,000 people were left homeless last month after U.S. bombings in western Afghanistan. The Red Cross said the bombing raids destroyed 173 houses and killed at least 50 civilians.

Suicide Bombing Kills 14 In Afghanistan
Meanwhile, a suicide bomber killed 14 people in southeastern Afghanistan on Sunday. The bombing was meant to target a U.S. convoy but it killed only local residents. The Taliban claimed responsibility.

David Hicks Released From Guantanamo
An Australian man has returned to his home country after being held by the U.S. at Guantanamo Bay for over five years. David Hicks was the first prisoner at Guantanamo to be tried by a U.S. military tribunal. He pleaded guilty to giving "material support" to al-Qa'ida. He is scheduled to spend the next seven months in an Australian prison and then be freed.

  • Terry Hicks, his father: "Good, he is feeling better than I am, I hope he is, it is a bad time, five and a half years, it has taken a while, I think we are going to another phase, we going to speak with David if he wants to any sort of appeal because he hasn't faced a proper court and yet he is still in jail."

U.S. Commander Sentenced for Leaking Names of Gitmo Detainees
A U.S. Lieutenant Commander at Guantanamo has been sentenced to six months in a military prison because he disclosed the names of the prisoners at the base. Lieutenant Commander Matthew Diaz sent the names of the detainees to Barbara Olshansky, an attorney with the Center for Constitutional Rights. At the time the Bush administration was trying to keep secret who was being held at Guantanamo. Diaz defended his actions. He told the Dallas Morning News: “I felt it was the right decision, the moral decision, the decision that was required by international law." Diaz went on to say: “No matter how the conflict was identified, we were to treat them in accordance with Geneva, and it just wasn't being done.”

Scientists: Last Month Was Third Warmest April Ever
The National Climatic Data Center says last month was the globe's third warmest April on record and the warmest April ever over land. The temperature in Siberia was nine degrees above average.

Costa Rica Stops Sending Officers to U.S. Military School
Costa Rica has announced it will stop sending police officers to train at the U.S. military institution formerly known as the School of the Americas. Over the past three years, Venezuela, Argentina and Uruguay have also ended training at the school which is now called the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation. Costa Rican President Oscar Arias said he made the decision after meeting with activists from the group School of the Americas Watch.

Anti-War Activists Shut Down Part of Port of Oakland
In California, anti-war activists shut down part of the Port of Oakland on Saturday in a protest against war profiteering and war shipments. Scores of protesters gathered with picket signs outside the terminal of Stevedoring Services of America. The terminal had to be shut down when union dockworkers refused to cross the picket lines.

Michael Moore Debuts Sicko At Cannes
And filmmaker Michael Moore's new documentary Sicko has debuted at the Cannes Film Festival. The film critiques the U.S health care system and insurance industry. The Treasury Department is investigating Moore for possibly breaking the U.S. embargo on Cuba after he took ailing ground zero workers to the island for medical treatment. Moore discussed the investigation on Sunday.

  • Michael Moore: "I've been put on notice by the federal government, by the Bush administration that they are investigating me for possible violations of the law. Simply because I took a group of 9/11 rescue workers not to Cuba, but to the American naval base, in Cuba, in the island of Cuba and then when we couldn't get help there, I figured we are in Cuba, you know, we might as well see what the Cubans can do for these people."
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