Nation Digest: House repudiates U.N. report on Gaza war

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


House repudiates report on Gaza war

The House on Tuesday condemned a U.N. report that accuses Israeli forces and Palestinian militants of war crimes in the Gaza Strip last winter as "irredeemably biased and unworthy of further consideration or legitimacy."

On a vote of 344 to 36, the House passed a nonbinding resolution that urges President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton "to oppose unequivocally any endorsement" of the report. House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.) said the report is "unfair, unbalanced and inaccurate" in its portrayal of Israel's response to attacks from Hamas, the Islamist group that rules Gaza.

The U.N. General Assembly planned to take up the report's findings on Wednesday.

Thirteen Israelis and more than 1,000 Palestinians were killed during the Dec. 27-Jan. 18 conflict.

The 575-page U.N. report accuses Israel of applying disproportionate force, targeting civilians, destroying civilian infrastructure and using human shields in its offensive to stop militant rocket fire. It also criticizes rocket squads affiliated with Hamas and other Palestinian armed groups for attacking Israeli civilians.

-- Associated Press

No H1N1 shots for detainees after all: The White House said Tuesday that detainees at Guantanamo Bay will not be vaccinated against the swine flu, despite an earlier statement by a military spokesmen that they would. Critics had objected to the idea of vaccinating detainees, saying many U.S. civilians are waiting for the vaccine. White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said no vaccine is at the naval base in Cuba and none is on the way.

La. justice of peace who refused wedding resigns: A Louisiana justice of the peace who refused to marry a couple because the bride was white and the groom was black resigned Tuesday. Keith Bardwell quit with a one-sentence statement to Louisiana Secretary of State Jay Dardenne and no explanation of his decision. Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) called the resignation "long overdue." Bardwell, who is white, acknowledged that he avoids marrying interracial couples because he believes children born to them end up suffering. He said he refers the couples to other justices of the peace, who then perform the ceremony.

More bodies reportedly found at Ohio rapist's home: Authorities said more remains have been discovered at the Cleveland home of a convicted rapist, raising to at least 10 the number of bodies that have been found there. Police said four more bodies and a skull were found Tuesday at the home, where the remains of six women were removed last week.

Five detained after Sept. 11 reach settlement: Five immigrant men who were detained in roundups and deported following the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks have reached a $1.26 million settlement with the U.S. government. Rachel Meeropol of the Center for Constitutional Rights, which represents the detainees, said the men were treated as terrorists simply because they are Arab and Muslim. The Justice Department had no immediate comment.

-- From news reports

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