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Archive for December 15th, 2008


Judy Garland-Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas

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Iraqi group files 200 lawsuits against Rumsfeld, US security firms for torture

Via Raw Story/Agence France-Presse
Published: Monday December 15, 2008

AMMAN, Dec 15, 2008 (AFP) – A Jordan-based Iraqi rights group said on Monday it has filed 200 lawsuits against US former defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld and American security firms for their alleged role in torturing Iraqis.

Ali Qeisi, head of the group the “Society of Victims of the US Occupation in Iraq,” said the cases, relating to torture and abuse of Iraqi prisoners, have been recently filed in federal courts in Virginia, Michigan and Maryland.

“Around 30 lawsuits have been accepted so far,” Qeisi told AFP. The others are still under consideration.

“The torture was systemic, and those responsible for it should be punished and the victims should be compensated,” he said.

Qeisi said he himself was tortured by US troops in Iraq during a six-month detention, though he refused to elaborate.

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Calling Foreign Debt ‘Immoral,’ Leader Allows Ecuador to Default

By Anthony Faiola – WAPO

Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa said yesterday that his nation is defaulting on its foreign debt, fulfilling his longtime populist pledge to leave international creditors in the lurch.

The default, Ecuador’s second in 10 years, could rattle already jittery investors who have pulled billions of dollars out of emerging markets in recent months as the global financial crisis has spread. It could also set back U.S. interests in Latin America, as Correa now seeks to deepen financial ties with allies like Iran, which this week granted the South American nation a new $40 million credit line.

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Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich waves as he leaves a downtown office building Sunday, Dec. 14, 2008, in Chicago. Blagojevich was arrested this week on federal charges that he tried to sell President-elect Barack Obamas vacant Senate seat. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich waves as he leaves a downtown office building Sunday, Dec. 14, 2008, in Chicago. Blagojevich was arrested this week on federal charges that he tried to sell President-elect Barack Obama's vacant Senate seat. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

Illinois Lawmakers Meet To Consider Impeaching Blagojevich

CHRISTOPHER WILLS | December 15, 2008 12:33 PM EST | AP

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Gov. Rod Blagojevich hasn’t ruled out signing a bill creating a special election to fill President-elect Barack Obama’s Senate seat, his spokesman said Monday, the first hint the embattled governor may loosen his grip on the seat.

Blagojevich was arrested last week on charges he tried to profit from his power to choose Obama’s replacement and shook down businesses seeking state deals.

While Blagojevich hasn’t seen a proposed special election bill he hasn’t ruled out the possibility of signing such a bill, spokesman Lucio Guerrero said early Monday without elaborating.

The governor, meanwhile, remained defiant and returned to work Monday to sign a tax credit bill after earlier seeing off his wife, Patti, and the couple’s two daughters.

The Legislature was to meet Monday afternoon to consider special election legislation, but lawmakers also were likely to discuss impeaching Blagojevich.

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