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Monday, Jun 18th

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Yoo: Bush okayed torture to outwit defense lawyers

But now, in a Thursday editorial published by the Wall Street Journal, John Yoo, the former Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Counsel, explained that the Bush administration's torture programs, for which he co-authored the legal justifications, were initially designed to outwit crafty defense attorneys.

"The first thing any lawyer will do is tell his clients to shut up," writes Yoo. "The [Khalid Sheikh Mohammeds] or Abu Zubaydahs of the future will respond to no verbal questioning or trickery -- which is precisely why the Bush administration felt compelled to use more coercive measures in the first place."

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Judge to hear arguments in Padilla detention case

Federal officials are asking a judge to dismiss a lawsuit brought by a convicted terrorism conspirator who says he was abused while being held in a South Carolina military prison. Attorneys for the Justice Department will ask a federal judge in Charleston Thursday to dismiss the claim by Jose Padilla, who was convicted in 2007 of three terrorism-related charges in Miami federal court.

In 2007, Padilla and his mother filed a civil lawsuit accusing the federal government of mistreating and illegally detaining Padilla while he was being held at a U.S. Naval brig near Charleston.

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Israeli army used flechettes against Gaza civilians

Apart from white phosphorus, the Israeli army used a variety of other weapons in densely populated civilian areas of Gaza in the three-week conflict that began on 27 December.

Flechettes are 4cm long metal darts that are sharply pointed at the front, with four fins at the rear. Between 5,000 and 8,000 are packed into 120mm shells which are generally fired from tanks. The shells explode in the air and scatter the flechettes in a conical pattern over an area about 300m wide and 100m long.

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Army rabbi 'gave out hate leaflet to troops'

The Israeli army's chief rabbinate gave soldiers preparing to enter the Gaza Strip a booklet implying that all Palestinians are their mortal enemies and advising them that cruelty is sometimes a "good attribute".

In another, the army rabbinate appears to be encouraging soldiers to disregard the international laws of war aimed at protecting civilians, according to Breaking the Silence, the group of Israeli ex-soldiers who disclosed its existence. The booklet cites the renowned medieval Jewish sage Maimonides as saying that "one must not be enticed by the folly of the Gentiles who have mercy for the cruel".

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UN official: Enough evidence to prosecute Rumsfeld for war crimes

Monday, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture Manfred Nowak told CNN's Rick Sanchez that the US has an "obligation" to investigate whether Bush administration officials ordered torture, adding that he believes that there is already enough evidence to prosecute former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.

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For Children of Gaza, Scars to Last a Lifetime

In Gaza, where half the population is under the age of 16, the young bear some of the war's deepest scars. At least 280 children were killed, nearly as many as the number who died in Gaza during the entire second intifada, or uprising, according to the Gaza-based Palestinian Center for Human Rights. More than 1,000 others were wounded.

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Doctors: Many Palestinians in Gaza hospitals in danger of dying from their wounds

A large number of Palestinians listed in serious condition in Gaza hospitals are in danger of dying from their wounds, a group of 12 Arab-Israeli doctors said Friday.

The doctors were sent by the organization "Doctors for Human Rights", and are to return to Israel on Sunday.

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