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Atlantis returns

EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. - Atlantis and its seven astronauts returned to Earth safely Friday, ending a two-week mission to deliver an addition to the international space station and bring a crew member home from the outpost.

The International Space Station is seen from the US space shuttle Atlantis
19 June 2007 as the shuttle leaves the station.

Operation Arrowhead Ripper

U.S. and Iraq forces kill 90 al Qaeda in offensive
BAQUBA, Iraq (Reuters) - U.S. and Iraqi forces say they have killed 90 al Qaeda fighters around Baghdad during one of the biggest combined offensives against the Sunni Islamist group since the invasion of Iraq in 2003.

2 al-Qaida leaders captured in Iraq
BAQOUBA, Iraq - U.S. and Iraqi troops captured two senior al-Qaida militants and seven other operatives Saturday in Diyala province, an Iraqi commander said, as an offensive to clear the volatile area of insurgents entered its fifth day.

The U.S. military also cracked down elsewhere in Iraq, saying in a statement that seven other al-Qaida fighters were killed and 10 suspects detained in raids in Tikrit, east of Fallujah, south of Baghdad and in Mosul.

Three other militants suspected of having ties to Iran were detained in a predawn operation by U.S. forces working with Iraqi informants in Baghdad's main Shiite district of Sadr City, the military said separately.

U.S. forces tighten grip on Iraq city
"We are enveloping the enemy into a kill sack," said Command Sergeant Major Jeff Huggins from the 5th Battalion, 20th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Stryker Brigade.

'Al-Qaeda gunmen' killed in Iraq
US helicopters have killed 17 gunmen with suspected al-Qaeda links in Iraq's Diyala province north of Baghdad, the US military says.
The attack took place on Friday morning outside the town of Khalis.

U.S. says 30 militants killed in big Iraq offensive
BAGHDAD (Reuters) - U.S. and Iraqi forces killed at least 30 al Qaeda militants and found numerous weapons during the first full day of a big offensive against the Sunni Islamist group north of Baghdad, the U.S. military said on Wednesday.

Al-Qaida's End?
Arrowhead Ripper isn't an athlete, a TV star or a person famous for being famous. It's the code name for a massive U.S.-led assault under way in Iraq's Diyala province -- an undertaking that has garnered token media coverage since it began Tuesday.


Dhiren Barot

UK al-Qaeda cell members jailed
Seven men have been jailed for up to 26 years over an al-Qaeda-linked plot to kill thousands in the UK and US.

Dirty bomb plotters caged
SEVEN members of a terror cell run by al-Qaeda "general" Dhiren Barot were jailed for a total of 136 years today.

Britons jailed over al Qaeda plot to bomb NYSE
LONDON (Reuters) - Seven Britons linked to a plot to blow up U.S. financial institutions, including the New York Stock Exchange, and stage a series of attacks in Britain were jailed for a total of 136 years by a London court on Friday.

Seven accomplices of dirty bomb plotter jailed for 136 years
LONDON (AFP) - Seven members of a terrorist cell led by convicted Al-Qaeda "dirty" bomb plotter Dhiren Barot were jailed for a total of 136 years on Friday.

Other foiled attacks


63rd anniversary of D-Day

United States: 29,000 dead, 106,000 wounded and missing;
United Kingdom: 11,000 dead, 54,000 wounded and missing;
Canada: 5,000 dead; 13,000 wounded and missing;
France: 12,200 civilian dead and missing 23,019 KIA ,67,060 wounded,198,616 missing & captured

Pentagon chief honors D-Day troops
COLLEVILLE-SUR-MER, France - Above a cliff of silent reminders, Defense Secretary Robert Gates on Wednesday evoked the image of fallen warriors to mark the 63rd anniversary of the Normandy D-Day landings that turned the tide of World War II.

He tied the memory of Normandy to the challenge of today's war on terrorism.

"We once again face enemies seeking to destroy our way of life, and we are once again engaged in an ideological struggle that may not find resolution for many years or even decades," he said.


40 years since 1967 Arab-Israeli war

Mid-East marks start of 1967 War
Israeli and Palestinian peace activists have been holding protests to mark 40 years since the 1967 Arab-Israeli war.

In the Shadow of the Six-Day War
His life, with hopes raised and dashed, consumed with bloody and often pointless struggle, parallels the Palestinian experience and explains what lies at the heart of the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians. And it reveals why, 40 years on, the Six-Day War continues to shape the Middle East.

Frequently Asked Questions about the 1967 War

Why did Israel attack USS Liberty?



Poll: Opinions go against immigration measure
WASHINGTON — As the Senate prepares to vote on a landmark immigration bill, a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll finds that Americans who have an opinion about it are overwhelmingly opposed to the deal.

Watch this video

Al-Qaeda leader killed by Iraqi army

Iraqi army kills Al-Qaeda leader in Baghdad
Iraqi soldiers have killed a senior Al-Qaeda leader in a clash inside one of Baghdad's historic Sunni quarters, military spokesman Brigadier General Qassim Atta said Monday.

"He was from Al-Qaeda, they called him the 'Governor of Adhamiyah'," Atta told AFP. "He was killed during clashes with the 11th Division's first brigade this morning, and 11 of his aides were arrested."

Iraqi army kills Al-Qaeda leader in Baghdad


New protections proposed for bald eagles

New protections proposed for bald eagles
WASHINGTON - The Fish and Wildlife Service wants to replace four decades of federal protections for the American bald eagle with new rules against disturbing it.

In a push to remove the nation's symbol from the endangered species list, the wildlife agency is writing new regulations under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act to protect the birds and their nesting, breeding and feeding areas from anything likely to cause them harm.

Foiled terror attack on Kennedy Airport

Alleged Terror Plot Foiled at JFK Airport
NEW YORK — Three people were arrested and one was being sought in connection to a plan to set off explosives in a fuel line that feeds John F. Kennedy International Airport and runs through residential neighborhoods, officials close to the investigation said.

4 Charged In Plot To Blow Up Jet Fuel At JFK
Sources said the plot involved a plan to blow up a jet-fuel pipeline at JFK setting off a potential massive explosion.

Arrests in NY airport 'bomb plot'
Three people have been arrested in connection with an alleged plan to bomb John F Kennedy airport in New York, reports from the United States say.

Authorities charge 4 in NYC terror plot
NEW YORK - Three people were arrested and one other was being sought Saturday in connection to a plan to set off explosives in a fuel line that feeds John F. Kennedy International Airport and runs through residential neighborhoods, officials close to the investigation said.

JFK Terror Plot: Alleged Mastermind On Video
Surveillance Tape Captures Defreitas With FBI Informant

JFK terror plotter directed cohorts to use satellite mapping service
Google as terror tool?

Official says JFK terror probe widening
NEW YORK - The investigation into the thwarted plot to bomb John F. Kennedy International Airport is widening beyond the four men in custody, with more suspects sought outside the U.S. for their suspected roles, a law enforcement official said Friday.

U.S. attacks militants in Somalia

Full Coverage: Somalia

Country profile: Somalia

Somalia in crisis

US attacks Somali 'militant base'
A US Navy warship has carried out a missile attack on a Somali village where Islamist militants are reported to have set up a base.

Report: U.S. hits militants' Somali base
MOGADISHU, Somalia - At least one U.S. warship bombarded a remote, mountainous village in Somalia where Islamic militants had set up a base, officials in the northern region of Puntland said Saturday.

Sources: U.S. fires at al Qaeda target in Somalia
(CNN) -- A U.S. Navy destroyer off the coast of northern Somalia Friday fired on a suspected al Qaeda operative believed to have been involved in the 1998 attacks on U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, sources confirmed to CNN.

U.S. Navy attacks al Qaeda suspect in Somalia: CNN
BOSSASSO, Somalia (Reuters) - A U.S. Navy warship attacked a suspected al Qaeda target in northern Somalia, CNN reported, and residents said on Saturday missiles had pounded hills where foreign jihadists fled after clashing with locals.

Bomb attack on Somali PM's house
A suicide bomber has used a vehicle packed with explosives to attack the Somali interim prime minister's residence in the capital, Mogadishu.

1967 War

Molly has copied onto her blog an account of the 1967 War in the form of "frequently asked questions". Historical events can be represented with the exclusion or misrepresentation of facts to present the event in a way more favorable to a particular cause. So in the interest of accuracy:
Frequently Asked Questions about the 1967 War

1. How did the 1967 war begin?

The Six-Day War began after a series of complex and disputed events between Israel and its Arab neighbors. Israel had been at war previously with Egypt, Syria, Transjordan (later Jordan), Lebanon, and Iraq in 1948-9, and in 1956 Israel went to war with Egypt in the Sinai.

Border incidents:
Attacks from Palestinian guerrilla groups (fedayeen) supported by Syria, Egypt, and Jordan increased during the early 1960s.

Israel retaliated against attacks by going into Arab territory. One such reprisal was the incident at Samu on November 13, 1966.

Syria regularly shelled Israeli farms from its Golan Heights region. Israel aerially attacked Syrian emplacements on the Golan Heights. In April 1967 Israel shot down six of Syria’s MiG fighter planes.

Israel's National Water Carrier:
The Arabs started work on the Headwater Diversion project in 1965. Israel declared that it would regard such diversion as an infringement of its sovereign rights. According to estimates, completion of the project would have deprived Israel of 35% of its contemplated withdrawal from the upper Jordan, constituting one-ninth of Israel's annual water budget.
In a series of military strikes, Israel hit the diversion works. The attacks culminated in April 1967 in air strikes deep inside Syria. The increase in water-related Arab-Israeli hostility was a major factor leading to the June 1967 war.
more here

May 17 - President Nasser asks the UN to remove the UNEF from the Egyptian-Israeli frontier in Sinai.

May 18 - UN withdraws peace forces from Sinai, at President Nasser's request.

May 22 - President Nasser closes the Straits of Tiran to Israeli shipping.

May 29 - President Nasser declares "Our basic objective will be the destruction of Israel. The Arab people want to fight."

May 30 - Egypt and Jordan unite against Israel.

May 31 - Jordan moves tanks towards Israel.

June 5 - Israel launches attack on Egypt, destroying nearly 400 Egypt-based military aircraft. Israeli planes attack airfields in Jordan, Egypt and Syria, nearly destroying the Arab air forces.

2. Which countries were involved in the fighting?

Egypt, Syria, and Jordan. They were aided by Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Sudan and Algeria.

3. What was the outcome?

Israel captured the Sinai peninsula from Egypt, the Golan Heights from Syria and the West Bank and East Jerusalem from Jordan.

Israel defeated the Arab states.

4. How did Israel justify its attack?

The post on Molly's blog states that "Israeli UN envoy Abba Eban initially claimed to the United Nations Security Council that Egyptian troops had attacked first and that Israel's air strikes were retaliatory." This does not appear to be true:

Statement by Foreign Minister Eban to the Security Council on the Six Day War, 6 June 1967

5. Is Israel's version of the facts universally accepted?

Israel's version of facts is not universally accepted, especially in the Arab world where propaganda and falsehoods are common.

On the day of the war, false information from Egypt denied Egyptian losses and claimed a massive and successful Egyptian attack against Israel - an illusion the Egyptian public believed for several days.

6. If Israel's claimed reasons for the attack were false, what were its true objectives?

This questions opens up conjecture into all kinds of conspiracy.

Israel entered the West Bank when Jordan, on the first day of Israel’s war with Egypt, began intensive bombardment of Israeli civilian locations.

7. What was the chain of events leading up to the war?

See question #1.

The post on Molly's blog suggests that the cause of the war was the Samu Incident.

TIME magazine Friday, Nov. 25, 1966
Incident at Samu

From BBC: The path for war was cleared on 16 May when President Nasser ordered the withdrawal of the United Nations Emergency Forces from the Egyptian-Israeli border.

8. Why was the UN Emergency Force (UNEF) only on the Egyptian side of the border and not on the Israeli side as well?

UNEF I (November 1956 - June 1967)

First the Suez Canal sector and the Sinai peninsula. Later along the Armistice Demarcation Line in the Gaza area and the international frontier in the Sinai peninsula (on the Egyptian side)

Its main functions were to supervise the withdrawal of the three occupying forces and, after the withdrawal was completed, to act as a buffer between the Egyptian and Israeli forces and to provide impartial supervision of the ceasefire. In the event, UNEF, stationed entirely on Egyptian territory with the consent of the Government, patrolled the Egypt-Israel armistice demarcation line and the international frontier to the south of the Gaza Strip and brought relative quiet to a long-troubled area. The Canal, blocked as a result of the conflict, was cleared by the United Nations. UNEF I was withdrawn in May-June 1967 at the request of the Egyptian Government, which informed the Secretary-General that it would no longer consent to the stationing of the Force on Egyptian territory and in Gaza.

The UNEF mission was to enter Egyptian territory with the consent of the Egyptian Government, in order to help maintain quiet during and after the withdrawal of non-Egyptian forces and to secure compliance with the other terms established in the resolution ... to cover an area extending roughly from the Suez Canal to the Armistice Demarcation Lines established in the Armistice Agreement between Egypt and Israel.

The deployment of a military force had to be approved by Egypt. The UN secretary general sought to station UNEF forces on the Israeli side of the 1949 armistice lines, but this was rejected by Israel.

9. Where were Egypt's troops on the day preceding the war?

In the Sinai and along the Suez Canal. The post on Molly's blog claims that these were in "defensive posture." But the fact is that Arab troops had massed on Israel's borders.

Historical review of the political riparian issues in the development of the Jordan River and basin management

MSN Encarta: Six-Day War

1967 Middle East War

The Columbia Encyclopedia: Arab-Israeli Wars

BBC: On This Day, June 5 1967


Wikipedia: Six-Day War

United Nations: The Question of Palestine

United Nations: Palestinian Rights

UN Resolution 242



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