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Tuesday, Jul 29th

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US soldier pleads guilty to murder in Iraq

guilty plea in Iraq killingsA U.S. soldier on Monday pleaded guilty to murder for shooting dead five fellow servicemen at a military counseling center in Iraq in a plea deal with military prosecutors to avoid the death penalty.

U.S. Army Sergeant John Russell was accused of killing two medical staff officers and three soldiers at Camp Liberty, adjacent to the Baghdad airport, in a 2009 shooting that the military said at the time could have been triggered by combat stress.

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Court rejects plea for access to Bradley Manning trial records

Bradley ManningPublic and press access to the military justice system suffered a serious blow Wednesday, as the military's highest appeals court narrowly ruled that it has no power to consider media challenges to military judges' rulings on access to courts martial.

The decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces came on a bid by journalists to gain access to legal filings and court orders in the court martial of Army Pfc. Bradley Manning, who's accused of leaking hundreds of thousands of military reports and diplomatic cables to WikiLeaks.

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DOD Inspector General finds $900 million stockpile of Stryker parts

StrykerThe Army program charged with keeping thousands of eight-wheeled Strykers running over the past decade had its eye so much on wars in Iraq and Afghanistan that it neglected to keep its books.

It accumulated nearly $900 million worth of Stryker replacement parts - most of them in an Auburn warehouse - with much of the gear becoming outdated even as the military continued to order more equipment, according to a Defense Department Inspector General report released late last year.

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Chris Hedges: The Day That TV News Died

Phil DonahueI am not sure exactly when the death of television news took place. The descent was gradual—a slide into the tawdry, the trivial and the inane, into the charade on cable news channels such as Fox and MSNBC in which hosts hold up corporate political puppets to laud or ridicule, and treat celebrity foibles as legitimate news.

But if I had to pick a date when commercial television decided amassing corporate money and providing entertainment were its central mission, when it consciously chose to become a carnival act, it would probably be Feb. 25, 2003, when MSNBC took Phil Donahue off the air because of his opposition to the calls for war in Iraq.

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Marine who helped stage toppling of Saddam Hussein has doubts a decade later

Staged toppling of Saddam's statueThere was no doubt in the young Marine’s mind when he clambered to the top of the enormous statue of Saddam Hussein, tied a noose around its neck — and tore down the graven image.

Brooklyn-born Edward Chin continued to believe in the mission, even as the U.S. death toll mounted in Iraq, even as Saddam’s weapons of mass destruction turned out to be a mirage. Now, 10 years after Chin signaled to the world that Baghdad had fallen, he is not so certain.

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UK's BAE Systems wins $780m US military contract

BAE SystemsBAE Systems has been awarded a new contract from the US military worth up to $780m (£512m), in a rare spending boost from its largest single customer.

The US is BAE's biggest market but the defence contractor has warned it faced weak demand from across the Atlantic due to the scaling back of operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as public spending cuts.

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Ex-Florida Marine fights cancer, government

Tom GervasiEx-Marine Tom Gervasi has spent the last 10 years fighting cancer and the U.S. government.

The 76-year-old Sarasota man has a rare form of breast cancer that he believes is due to contaminated drinking water at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina, where he trained in the mid-1950s.

On Friday, Gervasi went into the hospital so doctors could snake a camera into his lungs to check for cancerous lesions. He's been coughing and short of breath in recent months, and can barely shuffle from his living room to his screened-in porch without leaning on his cane and stopping to catch his breath.

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