The private military contractor Blackwater Worldwide has been hit with a new lawsuit over the September killings of seventeen Iraqis in Baghdad. Filed this week in U.S. District Court, the suit accuses Blackwater guards of ignoring orders and company officials of failing to administer drug tests. According to the Center for Constitutional Rights, new evidence shows Blackwater guards had already dropped off the U.S. official they were guarding when they opened fire. The suit says the guards defied orders to remain with the official and instead headed to Nisoor square where the shooting later took place. The plaintiffs also accuses Blackwater of routinely sending guards on missions despite knowing at least one-quarter have used steroids or other “judgment-altering substances.”
Hamas Leads Rally Against Annapolis Meeting
The ousted Hamas-led government has been excluded from the meetings. As the talks began, more than one-hundred thousand people rallied in Gaza in a show of opposition. In a televised speech, dismissed Palestinian Prime Minister Ismael Haniyeh said Hamas would not accept a deal abandoning Palestinian rights.
- Ismael Haniyeh: "Any concessions to be made by the Palestinian negotiating team that harms the constant rights of our people will not be binding to our people and the coming generations will bear no responsibility or obligation towards these concessions that will cut out way to national freedom.”