IS fighters recovered grenades, grenade launchers, and more, but the lost weapons drop was more an embarrassment than a great strategic loss. IS militants already possess millions of dollars-worth of US weaponry captured from fleeing Iraqi soldiers in June.
The US government has been blocking the release of US military torture photos from Iraq and Afghanistan out of concern they could endanger US troops. Now, a federal judge is giving the government until December to justify its actions.
In addition to the disturbing Abu Ghraib photos released in 2004, an estimated 2,100 images of US military personnel torturing and degrading detainees – possibly even more disturbing – may soon be released into the public realm.
Federal Judge Alvin Hellerstein has given the US Justice Department until December 12 to defend its rationale for withholding each photograph on an individual basis. Hellerstein will then deliver his ruling on the future fate of the photographs after he conducts a review of the government’s case.
In 2009, President Obama denied release of the photographs on the grounds they would “further inflame anti-American opinion and … put our troops in greater danger.” The move by the president was supported by passage of the Protected National Security Documents Act, which gives the Secretary of Defense the power to keep any photographic images classified if it is believed their release would endanger Americans.
Marcellene Hearn, an attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), said the release of the photographs would shed some light on US military facilities abroad.
“It’s disappointing that the government continues to fight to keep these photographs from the public,” Hearn said after the hearing, as quoted by the Guardian. “The American people deserve to know the truth about what happened in our detention centers abroad. Yet the government is suppressing as many as 2,100 photographs of detainee abuse in Iraq and elsewhere.”
Meanwhile, in a separate case, a Federal District Court earlier this month ordered the release of 28 videotapes reportedly showing the force-feeding of a hunger-striking detainee at Guantánamo Bay detention center, rejecting the government’s assertion that releasing the tapes would risk the lives of troops.
With the United States military conducting air missions in Iraq and Syria, this time to fight against militants of the Islamic State, there will be much greater incentive to keep the disturbing images classified so as not to inflame anti-American passions even more.
The Bank of England to publish the minutes of its monthly rate-setting committee at 9.30.
Home Retail Group to close 25% of Homebase stores
Euan Sutherland to lead SuperGroup
Shares in Home Retail Group have fallen by more than 5%, after the company said it was closing almost a quarter of its Homebase stores.
Big news in the UK retail world this morning. Home Retail Group has announced it will close around a quarter of Homebase DIY stores over the next three years. Like other big retail outfits, the group has too many big out-of-town stores that arent making enough money as consumers buy more over the internet.
More to follow....
Home Retail Group to shut a quarter of Homebase stores (about 80) over 3 years. I'll be tweeting from company's call with reporters at 8am.
Last month we found out that two members of the Banks monetary policy committee voted to raise rates. Martin Weale and Ian McCafferty, both external members of the committee, called for rates to rise to 0.75% in response to lower unemployment and a tightening labour market, but were outvoted by the seven other members of the committee.
The rapid easing of present and pipeline price pressures will surely have convinced the seven members of the MPC who voted to keep rates on hold last month to maintain their votes.
While the figures were released after its meeting, the MPC would have known that CPI inflation fell to just 1.2% in September well below its 1.7% forecast in Augusts Inflation Report. And the sharp fall in oil prices, from £100pb at Septembers meeting to just $88pb at Octobers, has left CPI inflation on track to dip below 1% later this year a rate that would force Mr. Carney to reach for his letter-writing pen.
Good morning, and welcome to our rolling coverage of the world economy, the financial markets, the eurozone and the business world.
Asian shares have risen after healthy gains on US markets and positive Japanese trade data. Tokyos benchmark Nikkei index closed up 2.64%.
While ECB officials have denied that any move is imminent the nature of the speculation is so ECB, using unnamed sources to plant an idea in the markets consciousness and then let it germinate on fertile ground so that investors can grasp at straws and help push asset prices higher.