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UN concerned over treatment of Iraqi detainees

The United Nations expressed concern Tuesday about overcrowding and "grave human rights violations" of detainees in Iraqi custody - in one case, 123 men crammed into a single cell.

The warning comes as the U.S. prepares to turn over control to the Iraqis of thousands of security detainees in its custody under a new security pact that would end the U.S. mission here by 2012.

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TVNL Comment: Heckuva job, UN. Where've you been for the last six and a half years?   

Dozens hurt as Hebron settlers, Palestinians clash

The clash was the worst outbreak of violence in the dispute over ownership of a four-story building where settlers have defied an Israeli Supreme Court order to vacate. On Monday, hundreds of right-wing Israelis rushed to the house following rumors that eviction was imminent.

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Guantanamo 'a stain on US military'

The tribunals used for putting suspects on trial at Guantanamo Bay are a "stain on America's military", a former military prosecutor has told the BBC in his first interview since resigning.

For Lt Col Darrel Vandeveld, a devout Catholic, the twin responsibilities of religious faith and military duty led to a profound moral crisis. His resignation has led to charges against six inmates being dropped, at least for now, and called into question the possibility of a fair legal process at Guantanamo.

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I'm Still Tortured by What I Saw in Iraq

I'm not some ivory-tower type; I served for 14 years in the U.S. Air Force, began my career as a Special Operations pilot flying helicopters, saw combat in Bosnia and Kosovo, became an Air Force counterintelligence agent, then volunteered to go to Iraq to work as a senior interrogator. What I saw in Iraq still rattles me -- both because it betrays our traditions and because it just doesn't work.

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Spanish government to probe Guantanamo flights

Spain will investigate whether a previous government allowed Spanish territory to be used to transport captured terrorism suspects to Guantanamo Bay, the Foreign Ministry said Sunday. The ministry said in a statement it had not been informed whether the government of Jose Maria Aznar, in power from 1996 to 2004, allowed CIA flights carrying captured foreigners to use Spanish air space or runways.

The newspaper El Pais said in a report Sunday that it had obtained a government document showing that a U.S. official asked the Foreign Ministry for such access in January 2002. El Pais published the document — labeled MUY SECRETO, or top secret — in its paper and Web site editions.

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The slow death of Gaza

It has been two weeks since Israel imposed a complete closure of Gaza, after months when its crossings have been open only for the most minimal of humanitarian supplies. Now it is even worse: two weeks without United Nations food trucks for the 80% of the population entirely dependent on food aid, and no medical supplies or drugs for Gaza's ailing hospitals. No fuel (paid for by the EU) for Gaza's electricity plant, and no fuel for the generators during the long blackouts.

There can be no dispute that measures of collective punishment against the civilian population of Gaza are illegal under international humanitarian law. Fuel and food cannot be withheld or wielded as reward or punishment. But international law was tossed aside long ago. 

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Prisoners have no right to hot meals, appeal court says

Observing that prisoners have no right to be served food at "the most aesthetically pleasing temperature," the First District Court of Appeal in San Francisco overturned a judge's ruling that would have required Pelican Bay State Prison in Del Norte County to turn up the heat on meals to inmates in the security housing unit.

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