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US disputes Iraq numbers showing massive spike in violence

BAGHDAD — The US military on Sunday took the unusual step of refuting Iraqi figures released a day earlier which showed July was the single deadliest month in the war-torn country since May 2008. The American decision to release their own toll came after the Iraqi figures showed a sharp…

Report: Sources claim Gates backed keeping McChrystal

The divide between the Pentagon and the White House on Afghanistan might not have been bridged even after the president booted a “runaway general.” The latest from CNN: “Defense Secretary Robert Gates backed keeping Gen. Stanley McChrystal on the job because he was vital to the war effort in Afghanistan,…

Medical marijuana poses problems for parents in custody disputes

Nicholas Pouch runs an organic farm and a glassblowing studio on a 20-acre spread in southwest Washington’s timber country. Spicy mustard greens, tomatoes and corn sprout in humid greenhouses as chickens and sheep roam nearby. It would be an ideal place for children to romp, Pouch thinks. But his children…

Soldiers thrashed comrade for reporting drug abuse, civilian deaths

A US soldier who blew the whistle on his comrades over possible drug use and the deaths of three civilians in southern Afghanistan suffered a severe beating in retaliation, officials said Tuesday. The soldier was beaten after telling authorities about illicit drugs and then, while recovering in hospital, recounted his…

AP: Feds severely neglected inspections of offshore drilling rigs

Government agency gave safety award to Deepwater Horizon rig in 2009 The federal agency responsible for ensuring that the Deepwater Horizon was operating safely before it exploded last month fell well short of its own policy that the rig be inspected at least once per month, an Associated Press investigation…

RNC blew $340,000 on posh three-day Hawaii bash — $56,000 a day

The Republican National Committee spent more than $340,000 at a lavish party meeting in Hawaii, according to recently filed campaign finance reports. The news comes on the heels of a report last month which revealed that the Party had reimbursed a staffer $2,000 for an event at a risque bondage-themed…

Colbert brings comedy act to Vancouver Olympics

Stephen Colbert, the comedy show host who rescued US Speedskating from a sponsor bankruptcy and ripped Canadians as “syrup-suckers”, is bringing his act to the Vancouver Winter Olympics. Colbert will broadcast his Comedy Central television show, an over-the-top parody of a conservative talk show called “The Colbert Report”, from Vancouver…

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