Tens of thousands of Palestinians have been left destitute by Israel's three-week offensive against Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip, the UN estimates.
The United Nations says that some 50,800 people are now homeless and 400,000 are without running water.
Correspondents in Gaza City say entire neighbourhoods have been flattened and bodies are still being recovered.
Palestinian medical sources say at least 1,300 Palestinians have been killed and 5,500 injured during the conflict. Thirteen Israelis have been killed since the offensive began on 27 December.
Over the weekend, the Bush administration flew him home after a military panel concluded that he “should no longer be deemed an enemy combatant.”
The decision was part of a pattern that has emerged in the closing chapter of the administration. In the last three months, at least 24 detainees have been declared improperly held by courts or a tribunal — or nearly 10 percent of the population at the detention camp in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, where about 245 men remain.
TVNL Comment: Innocent men were imprisoned without charges for years, and the criminals who imprisoned them will remain unpunished. Is this American justice? Just asking....
The new Attorney General just said that Bush officials authorized torture. A treaty signed in 1988 by Ronald Reagan compels the U.S. to prosecute those who authorize torture. What's the way out of that?
It seems fairly easy -- even for those overtly hostile to the basic rules of logic and law -- to see what conclusions are compelled by these clear premises:
Associated Press, April 11, 2008:
Bush administration officials from Vice President Dick Cheney on down signed off on using harsh interrogation techniques against suspected terrorists after asking the Justice Department to endorse their legality, The Associated Press has learned.
I have heard it for the entirety of my 61 years of life–Israel’s ‘Right To Exist’. In fact, in recent memory I have heard this phrase more than I’ve heard ‘Happy Thanksgiving’ or ‘Merry Christmas’ or even ‘Have a Good 4th of July’.
Israel’s ‘Right To Exist’ has virtually bankrupted the United States, and all of it off the backs of hard-working Americans for the last sixty years. We’ve given Israel untold billions of dollars NEVER TO BE REPAID, to say nothing of the military hardware in the billions we (I should say the United States) just flat-out gives them, including free training for their fighter pilots.
It’s time we cut this step child Israel lose and let her make it on their own. No more wars for Israel. No more money, no more nothing. If Israel wants money let her people earn it. If they want a war LET THEM FIGHT IT ON THEIR OWN. NO MORE AMERICAN BLOOD OR TREASURE SPENT ON ISRAEL’S ‘RIGHT TO EXIST’.
"The South African government has expressed its view that Israeli airstrikes are a violation of international humanitarian law and human rights law," he said. "The South African government has called on the Israeli government to stop military onslaught in Gaza and to immediately and unconditionally withdraw its forces."
"These Israeli airstrikes also represent an excessive and disproportionate use of force by Israel," he said. "In excess of 1,000 deaths, including approximately 350 children, and thousands more injured are unjustifiable."
"We join the (UN) secretary-general in reiterating Israel's obligation to uphold international humanitarian and human rights law and condemn its excessive use of force leading to the killing and injuring of civilians," he said.
Desperate patients tried to flee a hospital in Gaza City this morning as it became engulfed in flames after being earlier set on fire by an Israeli tank shell, medics and witnesses said.
In scenes of utter panic, patients who had been wounded in the ongoing war in the territory could be seen trying to struggle from their beds, an AFP photographer at the scene said.
At least three prematurely-born babies were being wheeled out of the hospital in their incubators along with three patients who had been on life-support machines.
The sound of Israeli gunfire could also be heard in the neighbourhood where Al-Quds hospital is situated.
Bank regulators closed two small banks on Friday, the first U.S. banks to fail this year but the latest in an upsurge that began last year as the struggling economy and falling home prices took their toll on financial institutions.
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp said National Bank of Commerce of Berkeley, Illinois and Bank of Clark County of Vancouver, Washington were closing with other banks taking over their insured deposits.
In 2008, 25 banks were seized by officials, up from just 3 in 2007.
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