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Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Cruising By
U.S. Soldiers provide security at a produce market while a donkey cart passes during a combined patrol in the Shula district of Baghdad, July 20, 2008. The Soldiers are from 2nd Platoon, Bravo Troop, 1st Squadron, 75th Cavalry, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division. Photo by Spc. Charles Gill, Joint Combat Camera Center - Iraq.

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General Details Security Improvements in Iraq’s Northern Provinces

From Multi-National Force - Iraq:

An Iraqi Soldier flashes the peace sign as he passes the Ballad Ruze city hall in Diyala, Iraq.
Photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Paul Seeber.

Monday, 28 July 2008
By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

BAGHDAD — The security situation in Iraq’s northern provinces has improved, but Iraqi and coalition troops will continue to pursue al-Qaida in Iraq and other criminal groups, the U.S. commander in the region said during a briefing July 27.

Army Maj. Gen. Mark P. Hertling, the commander of Multinational Division – North, told reporters that the number of security incidents in his area of operations has dropped from more than 2,600 in June 2007 to 650 in June 2008. The numbers for July 2008 continue to show a reduction.

Hertling said Iraqi commanders will launch a major offensive against al-Qaida and criminal gangs in Diyala province next month. U.S. forces will launch a concurrent offensive – Operation Iron Pursuit – against al-Qaida in Iraq terrorists who are seeking sanctuary in the desert.

The success of the surge in Baghdad forced al-Qaida in Iraq to move out of the city mostly to the northern provinces of Diyala, Ninewah and Salah ad Din. These areas became the main battlefield as Coalition, and increasingly, Iraqi forces hunted down the terrorists and killed or captured them. The cities are now “reasonably secure,” Hertling said, and the Iraqi and Coalition forces can shift focus to hunting down al-Qaida and its allies outside the cities.

Other indicators also point to progress, Hertling said. The number of roadside bombs declined by 50 percent since February 2008 from 950 to 430.

“That’s not to say we still don’t have threats,” the general said. Suicide vest attacks and car bombs remain a problem in Diyala and the city of Mosul. On July 24, a woman wearing a suicide vest killed eight Iraqis and wounded 30 others in Baquba. Last month another suicide bomber killed Iraqi police and recruits in the city.

The number of Iraqis killed by terrorists wearing suicide vests has been about 250. Car bombs killed a further 1,500.

“These are random, violent acts conducted by these violent terrorists and that’s why we are not only continuing to go after those who do these things, but the networks that support them,” he said.

Hertling said much remains to be done in the region. “There will be continued operations as long as the Iraqi people are threatened,” he said.

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BALAD BLAZE - U.S. Air Force firefighters battle to control a blaze that destroyed six metal-framed buildings used as workspace, storage and living quarters at Joint Base Balad, Iraq, July 22, 2008. No injuries were reported from the fire, but a high temperature of 117 degrees forced three firemen to be treated at the Air Force Theater Hospital for heat -related injuries. U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Gary Hawkins

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In Today's News - Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Quote of the Day
"A doubtful friend is worse
than a certain enemy.
Let a man be one thing or the other,
and we then know how to meet him."


News of Note
Operation Iraqi Freedom
U.S., Iraq Launch Offensive In Al Qaeda Stronghold
Tight security in Baghdad for Shi'ite pilgrimage - Video
Petraeus-Crocker partnership in Iraq breaking up

Operation Enduring Freedom
Canada to investigate deaths of two Afghan children

Homeland Security / War on Terror / Hamas-Hezbollah Happenings
Study: U.S. Can Defeat Al Qaeda With Strategy Change
Turning 100, FBI Trains Newest Agents to Target Terror - PHOTOS
Report: Al Qaeda Operative Killed During Missile Strike in Pakistan
U.S. Headed for 'Heightened Alert' Stage
Guantanamo trial views graphic 9/11 video
Study proposes revamping US security system
Beijing cites numerous Olympic threats

Troops on Trial
Bush OKs Soldier Death Sentence

Fallen Heroes
First Joint Chiefs Vice Chairman Dies

Other Military News
Incredible Fish Armor Could Suit Soldiers
Arkansas GI Returns to Destroyed Home After Lightning Strike

Religion of Peace??
Pakistani militants take hostage 30 police, troops

Worldwide Wackos
Iran tells developing states to fight world-power bias

Politics / Government
McCain: Obama Is 'Dr. No' of Energy
McCain Steps Back From 'No New Tax' Pledge
Obama, McCain Spar Over Cures for Economic Ills
Guard Confirms Late-Night Hotel Encounter Between Ex-Sen. John Edwards, Tabloid Reporters White House Predicts Record $482B Deficit in 2009
Obama and McCain turn focus back to economy - Video
Obama win not to supplant civil rights campaign
McCain has spot removed from his face for biopsy - Video
McCain promotes drilling for oil off US coast
Senate Republicans say yes to "Dr. No"
Video: Obama defends world tour
WTO talks brought back from brink, still at risk
Obama seeks to overcome doubts among women
Obama says bad decisions caused US economic woes
Bush hails Pakistan as strong ally
Obama's tough test at home
Blog: Going to the conventions?
Interview: Obama speaks on Iran
France's first lady compares self to Jackie Kennedy

Illegal Immigration / Border Control
Appeals Court Upholds Border Agents' Lengthy Jail Sentences (Unbelievable)

In the Courts / Crime and Punishment / Law and Order
Prison Break: 'Design Flaw' Leads to Inmates' Escape
Police Catch Crook Hiding in Garbage-Filled Trash Can
Louisiana Grand Jury to Probe 50,000-Volt Taser Death
Convicted Child Killer to Represent Himself in Death Hearing
Man Arrested After Standoff With Police at Wis. City Hall
Woman Found Dead After Being Hit by Two Trains
British Newlywed Murdered While on Honeymoon in Antigua
Missing Tot's Mom: 'The Media Misconstrued Everything I Said'
Video May Be Released of Missing Florida Girl's Grandmother Jailhouse Meeting With Daughter
Video Clues in Missing Tot Case - VIDEO - PHOTOS
TRANSCRIPT: Jailhouse Call by Caylee Anthony's Mom
Son Charged With Murder After Parents Found in Cesspool
Cops Say Church Shooting Suspect 'Hated' Gays, Liberals
La. Grand Jury to Probe 50,000-Volt Taser Death
Ex-Oprah school matron pleads not guilty in South Africa
AP IMPACT: Buried loot a mystery for authorities

Adventures in Political Correctness
Los Angeles wants to take bite out of fast food

Media in the Media / Bloggers in the News / Watching the Web
GAS TRACKERS: Sites Help Find Best Prices
Ex-Google Engineers Debut Rival Search Engine
Miley Cyrus Sorry for Mocking Selena Gomez in YouTube Video
Robert Novak Hospitalized With Brain Tumor
Video: The rapid rise of online video
IOC to probe Internet censorship

Science / Medicine and Health / Technology
Enthusiasts to See Remote Solar Eclipse on Internet
Space Tourism 'Mothership' Unveiled - PHOTOS
Georgia's lab apes languish in post-Soviet limbo
Russians dive to bottom of world's deepest lake
Columbus debunker sets sights on Leonardo da Vinci
Verizon profit rises, but wireline disappoints
"Sunday Night Football" to be streamed on Web
Nintendo sues 5 Japan firms over game equipment
Apple CEO Jobs' life not in danger: report
Secondhand smoke raises spouse's stroke risk: study
Study: 'Pre-dementia' is rising, especially in men
Woman, 44, gives birth to her 18th child in Canada
Sweet fruit drinks: A path to diabetes?
Do low-fat diets curb diabetes risk?
Exercise a boon for obesity, diabetes
China seeks to avoid drugs scandals

Mother Nature
Growing Blaze Destroys 25 Homes Near Yosemite National Park - PHOTOS - VIDEO
1 Dead, Hundreds Stranded After Flooding Hits New Mexico
Rare new Tanzania monkey "at risk of extinction"
Beijing says "sauna" haze will not last over Games - Video
Truckers sue LA ports over anti-pollution program
U.S. should find way to price carbon emissions, say execs
Australian carbon costs to hurt food exports: farmers
Japan says to start trial carbon trading in October
Video: Beijing smog watch

Florida Woman Attacked by Fox, Then Shot By Husband
Cops: Man Drove Away With Wife on Car Roof
Motorcyclist Killed in Crash With Runaway Amish Buggy
French Couple Arrested for Allegedly Shooting Pornographic Film at Canadian War Memorial
Unwitting gardener man tends marijuana plants
Boy breaks canine tooth biting vicious dog - Video
Mick Jagger defies years as he hits pension age
Three children jailed for armed holdup
Mafia godfather's daughter ties knot in Corleone
Video: Japan's belly button festival

Other News of Note
Report: 1 in 4 U.S. Bridges Need Major Repairs
Motorists Escape Partial Bridge Collapse in Minn.
FOXBusiness: Gas Dives Below $4, May Go Lower

Fox News
Qantas Cockpit Flight Recording Lost in Mid-Air Crisis
Wind, Rain Clear Olympic Air in Beijing, Officials Hopeful
Starbucks Closing Two-Thirds of Stores Down Under
Ryan Seacrest: 'I Was Bit by a Shark'
Qantas Jet Forced to Make Emergency Landing After Door Opens Mid-Flight
Pop Tarts: 'Mummy' Actress Maria Bello Calms Woman During Midair Schizophrenic Attack
U. of Florida Named Nation's No. 1 Party School
Groups Hold Prayer Vigils for Lower Gas Prices
Injured Gymnast Paul Hamm Not Competing in Beijing Olympics
FAA: Three Dead in Washington Plane Crash
Art of the Striptease May Be Just Indecency in Iowa

All eyes on Beijing
Keirin officials deny bribery report
Alcatel-Lucent dumps CEO and chairman
Analysts' View: Could boost stock
Timeline: Moves since merger
Clouds follow Merrill
Merrill sets $5.7 billion write-down
Merrill to bail out bond insurer
What strategists have to say
Merrill shares plummet
Loss-making Alcatel-Lucent dumps CEO and chairman
Iran tells developing states to fight world-power bias
Sophisticated attacks catch Indian agencies napping
Cash-short Palestinian PM seeks World Bank lifeline
There's life in space, says someone who's been there
"Dark Knight" director surprised at film success
Merrill writedown hits world stocks - Video
China's power crisis
Small Business:Driving the goods to market
Recession fears
Personal Finance:Self-help guide for consumers
FDIC: Your deposit insurance rights
Global Finance:Waiting for the bottom
Merrill to sell $8.5 bln stock after big write-down - Video
Treasury and banks kick-start home financing tool - Video
KKR says market slump good time for going public
Only 13 percent of banks on watch list fail: FDIC's Bair
Eclipse Aviation's CEO to step down: report
Mervyn's may file for bankruptcy protection: report
KKR says market slump good time for going public
Merrill, XL to bail out struggling bond insurer
Vodacom empowerment deal to have near $1bln impact
"Dark Knight" director surprised at film success
Amy Winehouse hospitalized - Video
Heist and prison movies make a comeback
Kelsey Grammer to remain in hospital overnight
Video: Talk of the Town: Amy in hospital
U.S. tops Australia as most likely destination: survey
North Korea's Olympic outfitter hopes for publicity gold
How to win contracts and influence people in India
U.S. food portions: Monuments of decadence?
Cubs rally in ninth for key win over Brewers
Harrington eyes another big win at Firestone
U.S. men's basketball expect hard battle for gold, says coach
Ginepri aims to add to Federer's troubles

Associated Press
Amy Winehouse released from London hospital
FTC: Kids target of $1.6 billion in food ads
Favre a no-show as Rodgers takes over for Packers
Posada to have season-ending shoulder surgery

News Blaze
Top Force NCO visits northern Baghdad Soldiers
VIDEO-Engineers lead reconstruction efforts at JSS Ur
Soldiers' Angels and Patriot Guard
Operations in Iraq
FOB Warhorse Memorial Photos

Konar bridge unites divided districts
Pentagon: Surge a success by any measure
Government, security improvements lead to drop in violence
Airport provides travel, economic boost to Najaf
Iraqis gain responsibility for security in Qadasiyah

Noble Resolve 08's information sharing integrating event commences next week - More about Noble Resolve
Task force opening the judicial lines of communication in Ramadi
Conference to foster medical advancements in Anbar province
Business grows in Ramadi with USJFCOM-provided task force assistance
Task Force Ramadi helping to restore water in the desert
Coalition exercise examines improving combat identification
USJFCOM demonstration aims to enhance combat identification amongst coalition forces
USJFCOM hosts Keystone course for command senior enlisted leaders - podcast
New USJFCOM-funded close air support capability takes off at China Lake - podcast

Multi-National Force - Iraq
Iraqi Government Conducts National Literacy Program
Coalition Forces Detain 30 Suspected AQI Terrorists, Remove AQI Hideout
USACE Personnel Distribute Items to Needy Iraqis, Donations Being Accepted
Al-Qaeda support structure dwindling (Baghdad)
Top medical officer in Iraq receives first star
Coalition forces detain 30 suspected AQI terrorists, remove AQI hideout (Baghdad)
ISF, MND-B Soldiers seize multiple caches in Baghdad
More than 50 suspected AQI detained, 4 AQI killed during search operation in Ninewah
MND-B Soldiers detain known criminal, find weapons cache (Baghdad)

Cartwright Dedicates Korean Memorial
Officials Work to Reduce MRAP Accidents

Former Chairman Discusses 1948 Order
Options Continue for Minority Soldiers

New GI Bill Doubles Value of Benefits
Louisiana Guard Fights Yosemite Fire
Guard Helps Texans Recover from Dolly


Iraqis Expand Counterterrorism Capabilities
Iraqi Government Conducts Literacy Program
Coalition Captures 30 Suspected Terrorists


Team to Join Five Divided Districts With Bridges


Sergeant Inspires Troops


Freedom Walk Plans Underway Worldwide

Bost/Laskar Ghurian Herat Kabul Qandahar

Ansbach Aschaffenburg Berlin Berlin-Tempelhof Berlin/Schonefeld Bremerhaven
Darmstadt Frankfurt Frankfurt/Main Freiburg/Breisgau Garmisch
Garmisch-Partenkirchen Geilenkirchen Gelnhausen Giessen Kitzingen
Hanau Am Main Heidelberg Mainz Mannheim Nurnberg Stuttgart Trier
Wiesbaden Wurzburg


Agana Agana Heights Agat Andersen AFB Asan Barrigada

Al Azamiyah Al Basrah Al Hillah Al Karkh Al Kazimiyah Al Kut
An Nasiriyah Baghdad Baqubah Mosul Najaf Nineveh Tall Kayf

Kadena Air Base Okinawa Tokyo Yokohama

Today in History
1586 - Sir Thomas Harriot introduces potatoes to Europe.
1588 - The Spanish Armada sails to overthrow England's Queen Elizabeth I.
1821 - Peru declares independence from Spain (National Day).
1830 - In France, a revolution Charles X with Louis Philippe.
1862 - Confederate forces are defeated at More's Hill, MO.
1868 - The 14th Amendment is ratified, granting citizenship to ex-slaves.
1900 - In Connecticut, Louis Lassing creates the Hamburger.
1914 - Austria-Hungary attacks Serbia, officially beginning WW I.
1931 - Congress makes "The Star-Spangled Banner" the U.S. National Anthem.
1942 - Nazis murder 10,000 Jews in Minsk, Russia.
1943 - Italian Facist dictator Benito Mussolini resigns; FDR announces the end of U.S. coffee rationing.
1945 - A U.S. Army bomber crashes into the 79th floor of the Empire State Building, 14 die; the U.S. Senate ratifies the UN charter 89-2
1962 - Mariner I is launched for Mars; it plummets into the Atlantic Ocean.
1964 - Ranger 7 is launched toward the Moon; it sends back 4308 TV pictures.
1977 - Oil first flows through the Alaska pipeline.
1986 - NASA releases the transcript from the doomed Challenger Space Shuttle.
1988 - Israeli diplomats arrive in Moscow for the first Israeli visit in 21 years.
1990 - A blackout hits Chicago.

- Ibn al-'Arabi, Muslim mystic/philosopher
1746 - Thomas Heyward, soldier, signed Declaration of Independence
1859 - Balington Booth, founded Volunteers of America
1907 - Earl S. Tupper inventor of Tupperware
1929 - Jacqueline Lee Bouvier Kennedy Onassis, First Lady
1961 - Scott E. Parazynski, MD/astronaut

1540 - Thomas Cromwell, King Henry VIII's chief minister, executed
1655 - Cyrano de Bergerac, French dramatist/novelist
1746 - John Peter Zenger, journalist, involved in 1st Amendment fight
1750 - Johann Sebastian Bach, German composer (Art of the Fugue)
1794 - Maximilien Robespierre, French revolutionary/avocat, guillotined

Reported Missing in Action
McSwain, George P., USN (CA); A4E shot down, released by DRV March, 1973 - alive in 1998

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