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Tuesday, Jun 30th

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American, Italian hostages killed in US drone strike

ObamaAn American and an Italian held hostage by al-Qaida, as well as two Americans working with the terror group, were inadvertently killed by U.S. drone strikes earlier this year, the government revealed Thursday.

President Barack Obama said he took "full responsibility" for the counterterror missions and offered his "grief and condolences" to the families of the hostages.

Obama defended the legality of the January drone strike that killed the hostages and said there had been no evidence that the two men were present at what the U.S. had determined was an al-Qaida compound.

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The Terrible Legacy of Agent Orange

agent orangeI wanted to put it all in the context of today’s Vietnam, forty years on. To see victims of the second and third generations, where and how they live. To learn why children and grandchildren of people affected are still being born with disabilities, to find out if people know about the dangers, and if so when did they found out.

And to take pictures of all that.

As we got closer to the former front lines travelling from the north, the number of cases increased. We kept in touch with VAVA, the main association helping victims, and they gave us much needed information, including the number of victims and where they live.

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Report Shows US Invasion, Occupation of Iraq Left 1 Million Dead

Iraq war deathsA recently published report has revealed that the US invasion and occupation of Iraq was responsible for the deaths of approximately 1 million Iraqis, which is 5 percent of the total population of the country. The report also tallies hundreds of thousands of casualties in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Authors of the report, titled "Body Count: Casualty Figures After 10 Years of the 'War on Terror,'" have told Truthout that other casualty reports, like the often-quoted Iraq Body Count (IBC), which has a high-end estimate at the time of this writing of 154,563, are far too low in their estimates, and that the real numbers reach "genocidal dimensions."

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Americans have yet to grasp the horrific magnitude of the ‘war on terror’

Warr on terrorEven as the U.S. expands its military involvement in the Middle East and delays the troop drawdown from Afghanistan, the staggering human toll of the U.S. “war on terrorism” remains poorly understood.

A new report (PDF), whose release last month coincided with the 12th anniversary of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, attempts to draw attention to civilian and combatant casualties in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Yet the study, authored by the Nobel Peace Prize laureate International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War and other humanitarian groups, barely elicited a whisper in the media. Washington’s preoccupation with the rise of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and other regional conflicts has largely obscured the humanitarian, economic and political toll of its “war on terrorism.”

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Afghan soldier kills 1 American soldier, wounds 2 US troops

afghan soldiers shhot US troopsAn Afghan soldier opened fire at a group of U.S. troops in the city of Jalalabad in eastern Afghanistan on Wednesday, killing an American soldier and wounding at least two others before he was shot dead, a U.S. official said.

The incident happened after a meeting between Afghan provincial leaders and a U.S. Embassy official in the compound of the provincial governor in Jalalabad. All U.S. Embassy staff were accounted for and returned safely to their mission headquarters, the embassy said.

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Body Count Report Reveals At Least 1.3 Million Lives Lost to US-Led War on Terror

body count: war on terrorHow do you calculate the human costs of the U.S.-led War on Terror?

On the 12th anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, groups of physicians attempted to arrive at a partial answer to this question by counting the dead.

In their joint report— Body Count: Casualty Figures after 10 Years of the 'War on Terror—Physicians for Social Responsibility, Physicians for Global Survival, and the Nobel Prize-winning International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War concluded that this number is staggering, with at least 1.3 million lives lost in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan alone since the onset of the war following September 11, 2001.

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Afghanistan gave CIA money to al Qaeda for diplomat's ransom

CIA gave million to Bin ladenAbout $1 million provided by the CIA to a secret Afghan government fund ended up in the hands of al Qaeda in 2010 when it was used to pay a ransom for an Afghan diplomat, the New York Times reported on Saturday.

Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden had at first been concerned about the payment, fearing the CIA knew about the money and had tainted it with poison, radiation or a tracking device, the Times said, and suggested it be converted to another currency.

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