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Rand Paul backtracks on Clinton criticism: Iraq war actually worst tragedy since 9/11

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) toned down his criticism of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Wednesday afternoon, admitting on CNN that the Iraq war was a greater tragedy than the attack on a U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya. At a hearing on the attack in Benghazi earlier that day, Paul…

Blasts temporarily shut down Iraq-Turkey pipeline

Overnight blasts in southeastern Turkey on Thursday temporarily shut down a pipeline pumping oil from Iraq, with Kurdish rebels suspected to be behind the explosions, authorities said. Three blasts hit the section of the pipeline running near the border city of Idil in the Sirnak province, sparking a fire, said a statement by the Sirnak regional…

Iraq VP demands probe into bodyguard’s ‘torture’

BAGHDAD — Iraq’s fugitive vice president on Sunday called for an urgent neutral inquiry into the death of his bodyguard, who was allegedly tortured while in custody. Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi, a Sunni the authorities have accused of running death squads, said his lawyers had been restricted access to the…

30 dead as Iraq rocked by wave of violence on anniversary of U.S.-led invasion

Near-simultaneous attacks in several Iraqi cities killed at least 30 people on Tuesday on the anniversary of the US-led invasion of the country, just days before Baghdad hosts a landmark Arab summit. The violence, which left 160 people wounded, was the deadliest to strike Iraq in nearly a month and…

Afghan shooting latest scandal for troubled U.S. base

SEATTLE, Washington — The US soldier held for shooting dead 16 Afghan villagers at the weekend was stationed at a military base south of Seattle which has been plagued by scandal and tragedy. Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM), which could in theory host a court martial for the unidentified serviceman, has…

Iraqi ‘emos’ victims of brutal killings

BAGHDAD — Iraqi teenagers widely perceived to be gay are being brutally killed in Baghdad with Shiite militias distributing lists of targets warning of further assaults, officials and human rights groups say. At least 15 teenagers, described as “emos” for their tight-fitting black clothes and alternative hairstyles, have been stoned,…

Army suicides rose 80% after start of Iraq War: study

The number of suicides in the US Army rose by 80 percent after the United States launched the war on Iraq, American military doctors reported on Thursday. From 1977 to 2003, the tally of army suicides had trended slightly downwards, and was far below civilian rates. But it started to…

In labored clarification, Fox contributor castigates military’s ‘fake heroism’

Appearing on the Fox News show America’s News HQ, contributor Liz Trotta attempted to clarify remarks she made earlier this month that became fodder for The Daily Show, during which host Jon Stewart summarized that she did not want the military helping women who’ve been “raped too much.” Unfortunately for the…

U.S. plays down cuts to diplomatic mission in Iraq

WASHINGTON — The United States played down Wednesday plans to reduce its diplomatic footprint in Iraq, saying it would keep most programs open and denying a report that it would cut staff by 50 percent. The New York Times, quoting unnamed officials, said the United States, in the wake of…

Iraq wants to limit private security contractors

Iraq deeply mistrusts private security companies and wants to limit their operations here, officials say, while the contractors themselves have faced bureaucratic delays and detentions. This mistrust stems from perceived arrogant behaviour by employees of these firms in the past and various incidents of violence involving them. The most infamous incident was…

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