State Department officials granted immunity to the Blackwater USA guards involved in the September 16 incident in which 17 Iraqi civilians were killed during an embassy convoy shooting, according to the Associated Press. This move could undermine any efforts to prosecute those involved in an incident that strained already tense relations between the United States and the Iraqi government. State Department officials will not confirm or deny that immunity was granted.
Democrats in Congress are divided over further funding of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. They are debating whether to approve $50 billion to $70 billion for Iraq, which is far less than the $196 billion that President Bush requested. This move upsets some Democrats because they don't want to suffocate the Pentagon and want to show support for the troops and maddens others who believe funding should be doled out only to bring the troops home.
A study came out yesterday that suggests AIDS invaded the United States when a Haitian immigrant originally from Africa entered the population around 1969. Researchers believe a single person arrived in a large city like Miami or New York and the virus spread for years before it was first recognized as a disease in 1981. Studies suggest the virus transferred to the human population around 1930 in central Africa, most likely when people slaughtered infected chimpanzees for meat.