European Union countries remain undecided on whether they will support the Palestinians’ push for statehood at the United Nations. Earlier this week, Israel’s envoy to the U.N. privately admitted in leaked documents that he expects almost all nations to support the Palestinian bid, but that he still expects the United States to veto statehood in the Security Council.
New Wikileaks revelations suggest that U.S. forces executed a number of women and children in Tikrit, Iraq in 2006 and then used an airstrike to cover up the evidence of the killings. Phillip Alston, U.N.’s special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, apparently had tried to probe the killings but got no response from the United States, which “was the case with most of the letters to the U.S. in the 2006-2007 period.”
August was the first month that no Americans have died in Iraq since the U.S. invaded it in 2003, a remarkable turnaround after 14 troops died there in July, making it the deadliest month in more than three years. American military officials credited the drop in part to the Iraqi government’s willingness to finally fight back against insurgent militias, with one commander saying, “It shows how far the Iraqi security forces have come.”
The United States will uphold signed agreements between it and foreign governments promising to uphold U.S. workplace laws for foreign workers, even if those workers are illegal, Labor Secretary Hilda Solis said. Solis: “No matter how you got here or how long you plan to stay, you have certain rights.”
Though stating they consulted with House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) about the original date, President Obama agreed to move his jobs speech before a joint session of Congress to Thursday instead of Wednesday, underscoring “the partisan bickering that has beset Washington.” “The President is focused on the urgent need to create jobs,” said the White House, “so he welcomes the opportunity” to speak on Thursday.
Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said yesterday that the U.S. should cut off aid to the Libyan rebel government if it refuses to extradite the convicted Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset al-Megrahi. “If the new Libyan government continue to shield this convicted terrorist from justice, then they should not get one more cent of support from the United States,” he told NBC.
Solyndra, a solar energy company that received $527 million in government loans, has declared bankruptcy. The firm cited difficult global business conditions and stiff competition as factors for its bankruptcy, as had two other solar energy companies that filed for bankruptcy in August. Energy Department officials said China’s deep subsidies to solar energy threatened the ability of American firms to compete.
The California legislature is set to pass the California Dream Act, which would allow illegal immigrants to receive state-financed aid for college. The bill would not create a path to citizenship, but would provide more education benefits for illegal immigrants than any other state. Gov. Jerry Brown (D) said during his campaign last fall that he would sign the bill if it passed.
And finally: And unemployed man in northern Illinois caught a lucky break earlier this week when he found $150,000 in his backyard. The man, Wayne Sabaj, decided to be a good samaritan and bring the money to his local police. “I haven’t worked in two years. Yeah, I was like, I could really use this money,” Sabaj told a local news station. “With my luck, it would be bank robbery and I’d get caught and say I’d robbed a bank.”