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Tuesday, Oct 21st

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Blair-Bush Iraq war transcript may be suppressed

Bush-Blair transcripts An explosive transcript of one of Tony Blair's final conversations with George Bush before the invasion of Iraq may be suppressed by the coalition government, Whitehall sources have confirmed.

Dominic Grieve, the attorney general, believes there is "a case to answer" in favour of blocking an information tribunal ruling that ordered the former leaders' telephone exchange to be released in the public interest.

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Auditors say billions likely wasted in Iraq work

Iraq war wasted billionsAfter years of following the paper trail of $51 billion in U.S. taxpayer dollars provided to rebuild a broken Iraq, the U.S. government can say with certainty that too much was wasted. But it can't say how much.

In what it called its final audit report, the Office of the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction Funds on Friday spelled out a range of accounting weaknesses that put "billions of American taxpayer dollars at risk of waste and misappropriation" in the largest reconstruction project of its kind in U.S. history.

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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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