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Wednesday, Jul 30th

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Russia’s stance on the Syrian crisis: On the Right Side of History

Sergey LavrovWestern propaganda continues to distort Russia’s position in respect of the Syrian crisis. It accuses Moscow of supporting Damascus for profit motives, or even criminal solidarity. In this piece, Sergey Lavrov does not expound on his country’s strategic choices, but rather on the principles that underpin his diplomacy. He responds imperturbably to the inanities spouted by Western media, underscoring Moscow’s commitment to international law and its pledge to support people. Lavrov counterpoints the massive popular support enjoyed by President al-Assad and the illegitimacy of the sectarian armed opposition, sponsored from abroad.

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Drones, computers new weapons of U.S. shadow wars

dronesAfter a decade of costly conflict in Iraq and Afghanistan, the American way of war is evolving toward less brawn, more guile.

Drone aircraft spy on and attack terrorists with no pilot in harm's way. Small teams of special operations troops quietly train and advise foreign forces. Viruses sent from computers to foreign networks strike silently, with no American fingerprint. It's war in the shadows, with the U.S. public largely in the dark.

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NATO apologizes for deaths in Afghan airstrike

NATO apologizes for deaths in Afghan airstrikeThe commander of US and NATO troops in Afghanistan apologized Friday for civilian deaths in a coalition airstrike earlier this week - the first confirmation by NATO forces that civilians were killed in the operation.

Marine Gen. John Allen flew to Logar province to personally deliver his regrets to villagers and provincial officials for the deaths of women, children and village elders in Wednesday's pre-dawn raid to capture a Taliban operative.

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Nato air strike 'kills Afghan family'

A Nato air strike has killed eight members of a family in the eastern Afghan province of Paktia, local officials say.

A provincial spokesman said a couple and their six children died in an air strike on Saturday in the village of Suri Khail, Gurda Saria district.

"This man [the father] had no connection to the Taliban or any other terrorist group."

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For Afghans next to U.S. firing range, unexploded ammunition poses peril

Afghan victims of US firing rangeThe American grenade that nearly killed 10-year-old Shah Mohammed landed on an unmarked firing range in a scrubby desert, in the shadow of the largest U.S. military base in the country.

Like hundreds of other U.S. explosives fired here, it was supposed to detonate on impact. Like hundreds of others, it didn’t. t remained unexploded until Mohammed stumbled upon the ordnance while looking for scrap metal this month. He had nearly gathered enough shrapnel and bullet shells to trade for an ice cream cone. Then the 40mm grenade tore through the boy’s 87-pound body, breaking through bone and tendon and nerve.

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U.N. nuclear chief says Iran agrees to probe of suspected weapons work

The chief of the U.N. nuclear agency said Tuesday that he has reached a deal with Iran on probing its suspected work on nuclear weapons and that the agreement will "be signed quite soon."

Nuclear inspectors have been trying to gain wider access to Iranian atomic facilities. It's the first time since 2007 that Iran, which says its nuclear work is for exclusively peaceful purposes, has accepted wider inspections.

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Colin Powell's New Book: War With Iraq Never Debated

In his new book, former Secretary of State Colin Powell provides what may be the most authoritative confirmation yet that there was never a considered debate in the George W. Bush White House about whether going to war in Iraq was really a good idea.

“By then, the President did not think war could be avoided,” Powell writes. “He had crossed the line in his own mind, even though the NSC [National Security Council] had never met -- and never would meet -- to discuss the decision.”

 

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