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Thousands of US troops to oversee Iraqi police
The decision was made following a series of scandals involving Iraqi interior ministry forces including the discovery, last month, of dozens of emaciated and tortured inmates during a raid on a secret prison with almost 170 prisoners. American officials, who fear the influence of militias in the police force, have since found evidence of maltreatment in two other Baghdad prisons and another in Tal Afar in northwestern Iraq.
Justice department to investigate tapping leak
Officials told Associated Press that the inquiry would concentrate on disclosures to the New York Times about the surveillance of US citizens without warrants conducted by the National Security Agency since the September 11 attacks.
'Bad taste' film proves to be a surprise hit
But while some have complained about its lack of taste, The Ringer has earned rave reviews from disabilities groups and been hailed as a "historical" breakthrough by the Special Olympics Committee. It made $8.4m (£4.8m) in its first week.
Family's dismay after Alistair Cooke's bones stolen by New York gang
The bones of the late broadcaster Alistair Cooke, whose legendary Letter from America became one of the BBC's most treasured dispatches, were stolen shortly before his cremation, it was alleged yesterday.
Strip tease
There are two things people really want to know about the cartoonist Aaron McGruder. The first is precisely what he said to Condoleezza Rice, the US Secretary of State, at an awards ceremony three years ago. Rice and McGruder, 32, were both being given an award by the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People, the oldest civil rights organisation in the country. Beforehand, McGruder had told anyone who would listen that Rice was a mass murderer (it was not long after the invasion of Afghanistan) and that he would have no qualms about telling her so to her face. With McGruder's help, rumours about their subsequent exchange became legend. "I was never as cavalier with her as I sounded," he says now. "I had a brief encounter with her and I knew I had to say something. I said something like: 'I don't want you guys to kill me so I'm just going to mind my own business.' I was eminently aware when I met Condi that she could make my whole family disappear. I have never been fearless. I've always had a healthy fear of this government."
Mafia 'Oddfather' dies after faking madness
Gigante, the head of the Genovese mob family, used to wander around Greenwich Village in his pyjamas, bathrobe and slippers talking to himself to convince prosecutors that he was not mentally competent to stand trial.
Transport strike forces New Yorkers to walk to work
By sunset a judge had fined the transport union $1m (£570,000) a day for each day the action continued, and New York's mayor, Michael Bloomberg, had branded it "thuggish", "selfish" and "shameful". The union was in contempt of the Taylor Law, which bans strikes by public employees and carries penalties of two days' pay for each day.
We will pay for cheap bananas with prisons, fear and fragmentation
As hurricanes barrelled through the alphabet this year, pounding Anthony Barnett's two acres of banana fields in St Thomas, Jamaica, his healthy respect for the forces of nature endured. But as the World Trade Organisation meets in Hong Kong this week, it is the deliberate demolition wrought by humankind he fears most.
Israeli consul attacks Spielberg's Munich as 'problematic'
Speaking to Israeli radio, Ehud Danoch, said: "As a Hollywood movie, I assume that it will be defined as a well-made film, but from the standpoint of the messages it sends, the messages are problematic."
Jamaican gay activist shot dead after being abducted
"It seems as though his homosexuality might have been a factor in the murder," said one friend. "I can't say for sure it was the reason he was targeted. But the other two didn't defend their identity. Steve did and he was killed."
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