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Nation Digest

Monday, July 20, 2009

AFGHAN WAR

Military Denounces Video of Soldier

The U.S. military denounced the release of a video showing a soldier captured in Afghanistan, describing the images as Taliban propaganda that violated international law.

The video shows Pvt. Bowe Bergdahl in Afghan dress, being prompted in English by his captors to call for U.S. forces to be withdrawn from Afghanistan.

The military confirmed the identity of the native of Ketchum, Idaho, saying he served with the 1st Battalion of the 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment.

"We condemn the use of this video and the public humiliation of prisoners. It is against international law," said Col. Greg Julian, a military spokesman. "We are doing everything we can to return this soldier to safety."

The military has been distributing leaflets seeking the release of Bergdahl, missing since June.

In the video, Bergdahl says: "I am scared. I'm scared I won't be able to go home. It is very unnerving to be a prisoner. I have my girlfriend who is hoping to marry. I have my grandma and grandpas. I have a very, very good family that I love back home in America."

A voice off camera prompts: "Miss them."

The soldier continues: "And I miss them every day that I'm gone. I miss them and I'm afraid that I might never see them again and that I'll never be able to tell them that I love them again."

-- Reuters

CIT GROUP

Bankruptcy Filing Not on Board Agenda

Commercial lender CIT Group's board was due to meet Sunday night to discuss options that would allow the company to avoid bankruptcy, according to a person briefed on the talks.

The Wall Street Journal and Reuters reported that the company had reached a deal with bondholders for $3 billion in emergency funding.

New York-based CIT Group has been negotiating with key bondholders -- including bond manager Pimco -- in an attempt to avoid a bankruptcy filing. It needed to find financing after the government refused to bail out the company, one of the nation's largest lenders to small and mid-size businesses.

-- Associated Press

Ex-Official Sues Over Firing: Gerald Walpin, the former inspector general for the Corporation for National and Community Service whom President Obama fired last month, filed a lawsuit against the organization on Friday that seeks to have him reinstated. White House deputy press secretary Josh Earnest said, "We strongly believe these claims are without merit and will be rejected by the courts." Walpin is expected to issue an official statement about the lawsuit on Monday.

-- ABC News

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