ThinkFast: June 12, 2007


“When the FBI asked Congress this spring to provide $3.6 million in the war spending bill for its Gulfstream V jet, it said the money was needed to ensure that the aircraft, packed with state-of-the-art security and communications gear, could continue to fly counterterrorism agents on ‘crucial missions’ into Iraq.” Instead, it is “now routinely used to ferry FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III to speeches, public appearances and field office visits.”

Male U.S. veterans are twice as likely to die by suicide than people with no military service, and are more likely to kill themselves with a gun than others who commit suicide, researchers said on Monday.”

“For the first time in five years, President Bush will attend the Senate Republicans’ weekly policy lunch today as he pushes to revive his moribund overhaul of the nation’s immigration laws.” But several Republican senators “issued a terse warning yesterday: Don’t expect much.”

“The nation’s growing cadre of home healthcare workers are not entitled to minimum wages or overtime pay under federal law, even if they work for private employers, the Supreme Court ruled today.”

“The first priority for the next president of the World Bank is to smooth ruffled feathers among the staff after the turbulent exit of Paul Wolfowitz, according to the leading contender to replace him.” Robert Zoellick acknowledged the staff has been “bruised and somewhat frustrated and there will be a need to calm the waters.”

A new U.N. report concludes that “civilian casualties continue to mount” in Iraq, despite the Bush administration’s escalation. Violence has now spread beyond Baghdad, “to other parts of the country,” and the Baghdad morgue is overflowing with corpses.

CentCom commander Gen. William Fallon, the top American military official for the Middle East, “has warned Iraq’s prime minister in a closed-door conversation that the Iraqi government needs to make tangible political progress by next month to counter the growing tide of opposition to the war in Congress.”

“The humanitarian situation in Afghanistan has worsened in the last year and civilians are bearing the brunt of suicide attacks and aerial bombing raids, the International Committee of the Red Cross said on Tuesday.”

280: Number of colleges and universities that “have agreed to raise awareness about global warming and limit their institutions’ emissions in moving toward ‘climate neutrality.'”

And finally: Frustrated that he “risked being late for a TV interview on Saturday” because streets around the Italian Senate were blocked for President Bush’s visit, Italian Sen. Gustavo Selva called an ambulance to rush him to the studio. As he later boasted on television, Selva “dialed 118 for an ambulance asking to be rushed to his heart specialist — giving the TV studio’s address.” Selva may now face criminal charges for his stunt.

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