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Friday, Aug 22nd

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Plan for hunting terrorists signals U.S. intends to keep adding names to kill lists

DroneThis project, based on interviews with dozens of current and former national security officials, intelligence analysts and others, examines evolving U.S. counterterrorism policies and the practice of targeted killing. This is the first of three stories.

Over the past two years, the Obama administration has been secretly developing a new blueprint for pursuing terrorists, a next-generation targeting list called the “disposition matrix.”

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As War Nears An End, Our Afghan Translators Are Being Left Behind

Afhanistan warYewazi, an Afghan national, began working as an interpreter with the U.S. military in 2006, when he was 20 years old, accompanying units on patrol in the Nuristan and Kunar provinces, among the most dangerous in the country.

In May 2009, during a mission to repair a collapsed bridge in a remote northeastern valley, the soldiers he was with were ambushed; shrapnel from a rocket-propelled grenade peppered the right side of his body, maiming him so badly that doctors initially told him he’d lose his right hand. As he recovered at Bagram Air Base, his unit returned to the States.

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WikiLeaks: Iraqi children in U.S. raid shot in head, U.N. says

Iraqi children shot in US raidA U.S. diplomatic cable made public by WikiLeaks provides evidence that U.S. troops executed at least 10 Iraqi civilians, including a woman in her 70s and a 5-month-old infant, then called in an airstrike to destroy the evidence, during a controversial 2006 incident in the central Iraqi town of Ishaqi.

The unclassified cable, which was posted on WikiLeaks' website last week, contained questions from a United Nations investigator about the incident, which had angered local Iraqi officials, who demanded some kind of action from their government. U.S. officials denied at the time that anything inappropriate had occurred.

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Iraq records huge rise in birth defects linked to US invasion

Iraq birth defectsA new study reports a "staggering rise" in birth defects among Iraqi children conceived in the aftermath of the war.

High rates of miscarriage, toxic levels of lead and mercury contamination and spiralling numbers of birth defects ranging from congenital heart defects to brain dysfunctions and malformed limbs have been recorded. Even more disturbingly, they appear to be occurring at an increasing rate in children born in Fallujah, about 40 miles west of Baghdad.

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Report says U.S., Israel plan Iran strike

US and Israel plan Iran strikeThe United States and Israel are considering a surgical strike on Iran's nuclear enrichment facilities, Foreign Policy magazine says.

Based on a source reported to be close to discussions between the sides, the report published Monday maintains the strike may only take "a couple of hours" involving a "day or two," and would be conducted using "primarily bombers and drone support."

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Afghan war enters 12th year

Afghan WarNobody wants a repeat of the bloody ethnic fighting that followed the Soviet exit from Afghanistan in the 1990s - least of all 32-year-old Wahidullah who was crippled by a bullet that pierced his spine during the civil war.

Yet as the Afghan war began its 12th year on Sunday, fears loom that the country will again fracture along ethnic lines once international combat forces leave by the end of 2014.

"It was a very bad situation," said Wahidullah, who was a teenager when he was wounded in the 1992-1996 civil war. "All these streets around here were full of bullet shells, burned tanks and vehicles," he added, squinting into a setting sun that cast a golden glow on the bombed-out Darulaman Palace still standing in west Kabul not far from where he was wounded.

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US military deaths in Afghanistan hit 2,000 after 11 years of war

US war deadU.S. military deaths in the Afghan war have reached 2,000, a cold reminder of the human cost of an 11-year-old conflict that garners little public interest at home as the United States prepares to withdraw most of its combat forces by the end of 2014.

The toll has climbed steadily in recent months with a spate of attacks by Afghan army and police against American and NATO troops, and questions about whether allied countries will achieve their aim of helping the Afghan government and its forces stand on their own after most foreign troops depart in little more than two years.

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