"Israeli Blocks Airplanes From Photographing Oil Spill* amy:
Clean-up crews are continuing to help contain the massive oil spill off the coast of Lebanon. The spill has now polluted about 124 miles of the Lebanese and Syrian coastlines. The spill began when Israel bombed a fuel tank on the Lebanese coast. Over the weekend, the Israeli government rejected a request from the French government to allow an expert in cleaning oil spills to be allowed to fly over the contaminated areas. The expert, Rick Steiner, criticized Israel’s decision."
U.S. Names CIA Official to Head Venezuelan & Cuban Spy Ops* amy:
The Bush administration has named a longtime CIA official to oversee spy operations on Venezuela and Cuba. The official, Patrick Maher, was appointed last week. Up until now, a comparable post had only existed for Iran and North Korea. Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez decried the decision and nicknamed Maher “Jack the Ripper.”Hugo Chavez: On one hand, this honours us, that they put us with revolutionary Cuba; it honours us that they catalogue us with rebel, heroic and revolutionary Cuba and together with comrade Fidel Castro and the Cuban people, with comrade Raul Castro and all the Cuban political and military officials. It says here: 'the director of intelligence for Cuba and Venezuela co-ordinates the efforts of the U.S. spy community to obtain and analyse intelligence information in both nations.'"
"Lebanon Considers War Crimes Charges Against Israel
Lebanese officials have begun studying possible ways to sue Israel and its political and military leaders for war crimes. On Monday Lebanon’s Justice Minister held a meeting with top Lebanese magistrates and legal experts. "
"Lebanese Scientist: Israeli Bomb Contained Radioactive Materials* amy:
The Daily Star of Beirut is reporting a leading Lebanese scientist has discovered a crater caused by an Israeli bomb that contains a high degree of unidentified radioactive materials. The bomb landed in the Lebanese town of Khiam. It caused a crater 10 feet deep and 30 feet wide. The National Council for Scientific Research is planning to test samples from the site."
Judge Drops Charge Against Jose Padilla* amy:
In Florida, a U.S. federal judge has dismissed one of the main changes against Jose Padilla, the man once accused of plotting to set off a dirty bomb. US District Judge Marcia Cooke dismissed count one of the indictment: conspiracy to murder, kidnap and maim persons in a foreign country. She said the allegations in that count were already covered in the indictment. Earlier this month Judge Cooke ordered prosecutors to provide more details to make their case against Padilla and two co-defendants. She said the case against Padilla appears “very light on facts.”
War Resister Lt. Watada Charged With Three Offenses
In an update in a story we’ve been following: First Lt. Ehren Watada has been charged with three offenses for refusing to fight in Iraq. In June he became the first US military officer to openly oppose the war in Iraq. He was charged with Conduct Unbecoming an Officer, Missing Movement, and Contempt toward Officials.