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ThinkFast: February 1, 2008

By ThinkProgress on February 1, 2008 at 9:00 am

"ThinkFast: February 1, 2008"

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A federal grand jury subpoenaed New York Times reporter James Risen this week, seeking “to force him to reveal his confidential sources for a 2006 book on the Central Intelligence Agency.” The subpoena “sought the source of information” for a chapter on CIA efforts to infiltrate Iran’s nuclear program.

President Bush’s 2009 budget “will total more than $3 trillion, the first time that barrier has been broken.” “The budget plan projects big increases in federal budget deficits, to about $400 billion for both fiscal 2008 and fiscal 2009.” Bush’s “trail of deficits and debt” will “sharply constrain his successor.”

Two female suicide bombers struck separate pet markets in central Baghdad on Friday, killing at least 64 people and wounding dozens. The attacks were the deadliest in the Iraqi capital since the U.S. troop surge last spring.

A U.S. missile strike in Pakistan’s northwestern tribal areas killed Abu Laith al-Libi, a top commander of al Qaeda who had been involved in planning attacks on U.S. and NATO troops in Afghanistan.

“Long lines, a shortage of poll workers and unprecedented numbers of mail-in ballots could delay vote counts in the biggest-ever Super Tuesday in American politics,” a day on which voters in 24 states will cast ballots.

President Bush signed a 15-day extension for a temporary surveillance law. The delay marked a partial concession to Senate Democrats who wanted to continue deliberations over whether to immunize telephone companies from lawsuits for helping the government conduct warrantless wiretaps.

Germany has rejected Defense Secretary Robert Gates’s “urgent” request to send more troops to Afghanistan. Germany’s response was in reply to an “unusually stern” letter from Gates last month, demanding combat troops, helicopters and paratroopers.

And finally: Rambo is banned in Burma. Reuters reports, “Police in Myanmar have given DVD hawkers strict orders not to stock the new Rambo movie, which features the Vietnam War veteran taking on the former Burma’s ruling military junta.” Nevertheless, pirated copies are widely available and people are reportedly “going crazy” for the movie’s tagline, “Live for nothing, die for something.”

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