By THOMAS HARGROVE
Scripps Howard News Service
April 01, 2007
More than 180 Iraqi civilians were killed or found dead in and around Baghdad Thursday in one of the bloodiest days of the U.S. occupation. Worst hit was the Shiite neighborhood of Shaab, where two suicide bombers attacked a public market, killing at least 80 and wounding more than 100 others. On Friday, radical cleric Muqtada al-Sadr issued a statement: "I renew my call for the occupier (the United States) to leave our land. The departure of the occupier will mean stability for Iraq, victory for Islam and peace and defeat for terrorism and the infidels."
Senate approves Iraq withdrawal timetable
Ignoring President Bush's promises of a veto, the Senate Thursday approved a $123 billion spending bill that orders U.S. troops to begin withdrawing from Iraq within 120 days. The 51-47 vote, mostly along party lines, was the Senate's strongest statement yet against Bush's military policies. The president held a rally with House Republicans at the White House shortly after the Senate vote. "I'll veto a bill that restricts our commanders on the ground in Iraq, a bill that doesn't fund our troops, a bill that's got too much spending on it," Bush said.
Captured British sailors apologize for trespassing
Two of the 15 British sailors and marines captured by Iranian forces last week have apologized for straying into Iran's territorial waters. "We trespassed without permission," Royal Marine rifleman Nathan Thomas Summers said on state-run television Friday. "Obviously we trespassed into their waters," said sailor Faye Turney in a broadcast Wednesday. Britain vigorously denies this. "All it does is enhance people's sense of disgust. Captured personnel being paraded and manipulated in this way doesn't fool anyone," said Prime Minister Tony Blair.
Pentagon admits mistakes in reporting Tillman's death
The Pentagon said Monday that mistakes were made by nine high-ranking Army officers in how the death of former NFL player Pat Tillman was reported to his family. No criminal acts were committed, officials said. Tillman quit football to become an Army Ranger after 9/11. He was killed by U.S. forces in Afghanistan in 2004. Tillman's family first was told that he died from enemy fire, and didn't learn the truth for five weeks. "We as an Army failed in our duty to the Tillman family, the duty we owe to all the families of our fallen soldiers: Give them the truth, the best we know it, as fast as we can," said Acting Army Secretary Peter Geren. Family members want Congress to investigate.
Gonzales was involved in firings, former aide says
Attorney General Alberto Gonzales' former chief of staff told the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday that Gonzales was wrong to deny involvement in the dismissals of eight U.S. attorneys last year. "I remember discussing with him this process of asking certain U.S. attorneys to resign," said Kyle Sampson. He said the eight were fired because they were not "loyal Bushies." Gonzales said Friday he doesn't "recall being involved in deliberations." President Bush still supports his longtime Texas friend. "The president believes the attorney general can overcome the challenges that are before him," said White House Deputy Press Secretary Dana Perino.
White House spokesman Tony Snow has liver cancer
White House press secretary Tony Snow's cancer has returned and spread to his liver, a tearful colleague announced Tuesday. "He told me that he beat this thing before and he intends to beat it again," said shaken deputy press secretary Dana Perino. Doctors operated on Snow Monday to remove a cancerous growth in his abdomen, only to discover the disease had spread to his liver and elsewhere. "My message to Tony is, 'Stay strong; a lot of people love you and care for you and will pray for you,' " President Bush said.
Ambassador nominee sunk by swift-boat donation
President Bush withdrew his nomination of businessman Sam Fox to be U.S. ambassador to Belgium on Wednesday following a wave of angry criticism by Democrats over Fox's $50,000 contribution to the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth group that undermined Sen. John Kerry's 2004 presidential bid. The group ran TV spots accusing the lawmaker of lying about his Vietnam War record. "The White House made the right decision to withdraw the nomination. I hope this signals a new day in political discourse," Kerry said.
ITT fined $100 million for giving secrets to China
ITT Corp agreed to pay a $100 million penalty for illegally giving classified military night-vision technology to China and other nations, federal authorities announced Tuesday. The New York-based company sold technical data to China, Singapore and the United Kingdom to cut development costs, prosecutors said. "Placing profits ahead of the security of our nation is simply not acceptable for any corporation," Homeland Security Assistant Secretary Julie Myers said. A company spokesman apologized and said ITT did not sell the system's most sensitive data.
Anna Nicole Smith's death ruled accidental overdose
A Florida medical examiner concluded Monday that former Playboy Playmate Anna Nicole Smith "accidentally" overdosed on at least nine prescription drugs while she suffered painful stomach flu. "Miss Smith has a long history of prescription-drug abuse," said Broward County Medical Examiner Joshua Perper. Among the drugs Smith, 39, was abusing was the powerful and slightly addictive sleep syrup chloral hydrate, which she sometimes slurped straight from the bottle. Neither foul play nor suicide was suspected.
Former top Reagan aide charged with fraud
Former White House budget director
David Stockman, who helped craft economic policy in the Reagan
administration, was charged with fraud in federal court Monday
over his dealings with the financially troubled Collins &
Aikman Corp. auto-parts supplier. New York U.S. Attorney Michael
Garcia said Stockman and three others "resorted to lies,
tricks and fraud" to hide the company's financial stresses
from investors and creditors. "I have done absolutely nothing
wrong," Stockman said after posting a $1 million bail. "All
of my actions were motivated by an effort to save the company."
Scripps Howard News Service, http://www.scrippsnews.com
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