Private contractors working for Blackwater are back on the streets of Baghdad – one week after the Iraqi government threatened to expel the company for killing at least 11 Iraqis. On Sunday Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki said Blackwater's killing of Iraqi civilians challenge the nation's sovereignty. But due to security concerns, Iraqi officials have allowed Blackwater to resume working in Iraq. Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice said the government will review the use of private security contractors, like Blackwater, in Iraq.
- Condoleeza Rice: "We will review with--, expeditiously, the procedures. We will review how we carry out our security. And we will have in this joint commission with the Iraqis, I think, an open and transparent view of what is going on. But it is extremely important to recognize that we're doing important work there. We need protection for our diplomats. And I'm quite certain that with good will we can resolve this."
Bush Skips UN Climate Change Talks
Leaders from 80 nations are expected to take part in a special United Nations meeting today in New York to jump start talks on how to deal with climate change and how to replace the Kyoto treaty. President Bush has decided to skip the meeting but he will attend a close-door dinner tonight. Later this week President Bush plans to host his own meeting on global warming. He has invited 15 countries that are major emitters of greenhouse gases to meet in Washington for two days. Bush hopes to persuade these countries to come to a consensus that would allow each nation to set its own policies rather than having limits imposed by a binding international treaty.
U.S. Government Collects Detailed Records on U.S. Travellers
The Washington Post is reporting the Department of Homeland Security is collecting detailed electronic records on the travel habits of millions of Americans who fly, drive or take cruises abroad. The government is retaining data on the persons with whom they travel or plan to stay, the personal items they carry during their journeys, and even the books that travelers have carried. In an effort to assess the security threat posed by all travelers entering the country, the Department of Homeland Security's keeps these records for 15 years in the department's Automated Targeting System.