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Monday, Dec 22nd

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Barak seeks OK to hit residential areas

Defense Minister Ehud Barak called on the government on Sunday to examine ways of approving IDF action against residential areas in Gaza from which rockets are fired at Israel.

Speaking during the weekly cabinet meeting, Barak said many rockets were fired from the vicinity of residential homes and schools, precluding an Israeli response due to fear of harming civilians. 

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Bush Could be Executed For War Crimes

Members of the Bush administration and George W. Bush personally conspired to violate the Geneva Convention, US obligations to it as well as US criminal codes! When it became apparent to Bush that he and high ranking members of his administration were culpable and could be put to death upon conviction, Bush tried to make his crimes legal --but only after he had committed them.

Clearly --the Bush administration itself is aware that it is in deep, deep trouble.

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UN alleges war crimes in DR Congo

The rebel forces of Gen Laurent Nkunda and pro-government militias in the Democratic Republic of Congo have been accused of war crimes by the UN.

The alleged crimes took place in the eastern town of Kiwanja this week when it was captured by Gen Nkunda's forces. Several civilians were reported killed. 

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A Brooklyn College Grad Experiences the Constitution in a Cage

For the past year, a 28-year-old Muslim American student, Sayed Fahad Hashmi—the first person extradited to the United States from Britain to face charges of terrorism—has been held at the Manhattan Correctional Center under conditions of confinement that are the very definition of the Eighth Amendment's prohibition of "cruel and unusual punishment."

He has not been charged with being a member of Al Qaeda or for providing any money or resources to any terrorist. He is here—for a trial months away in 2009—for letting a former acquaintance, Junaid Babar, stay for a couple of weeks in his London apartment, where Babar stored several ponchos, raincoats, and waterproof socks in a suitcase. (Hashmi was still in London after receiving a master's degree from London Metropolitan University.)

Babar—not Hashmi—gave these socks and ponchos, it is alleged, to a high-ranking member of Al Qaeda.

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U.S. government opposes release of prisoner abuse photos

In September, a three-judge panel of the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ordered the United States to give the pictures to the American Civil Liberties Union. Now the government has asked all 12 judges on the court to hear its case.

In the court papers, the government said release of the pictures would pose a grave risk of inciting violence and riots against American troops and coalition forces.

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Israel army studies 'abuse video'

The Israeli military is investigating a video in which a Palestinian detainee appears to be humiliated by a group of Israeli soldiers.

The BBC's Tim Franks in Jerusalem says we have no clue as to when or where this video was shot and it is impossible to know just how frequently such incidents occur.

But a leading Israeli human rights group says "many instances of abuse are not exposed because they have become the norm". 

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US govt presses NY appeal on detainee photos

The U.S. government has asked an appellate court to reconsider its decision ordering the release of 21 pictures of detainees in Iraq and Afghanistan. In court papers made public Friday, the government says the photos must be withheld to protect American troops.

In September, a three-judge panel of the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ordered the U.S. to give the pictures to the American Civil Liberties Union. Now the government is asking the full appeals court to hear the case.

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