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Kevin Tillman and Jessica Lynch arrive to testify on Capitol Hill

The world in headlines

Compiled by MARK MAATHUIS

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

Operation Secure Baghdad: Work in Progress

While there is a heated discussion about whether or not to raise “security barriers” to separate Sunnis and Shiites in Baghdad to curb the violence, the U.N. has criticized Iraq’s human rights record in the past two months. In its report covering the first three months of 2007, the U.N. said it had tried to get new civilian casualty figures “but had been rebuffed by the Iraqi government.”

Former Russian President Boris Yeltsin buried in Moscow

Boris Yeltsin, the first democratically elected Russian president, died of heart failure on Monday. He was 76. He was buried at Moscow’s Novodevichy Cemetery in a state funeral at the Novodevichy Cemetery. President Clinton, who made a historic television appearance with Yeltsin, and former British Prime Minister John Major, attended the funeral in Moscow. The Russian media have taken Yeltsin’s death as a moment to reflect on his efforts to transform the former Soviet Union into a capitalist state.

NATIONAL NEWS

Setting the record straight

Pfc. Jessica Lynch told the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform yesterday what happened when she was rescued from an Iraqi hospital in 2003. The hearing was part of an investigation into misleading information from the U.S. military.

The brother of Pat Tillman, the NFL player-turned soldier who was killed in Afghanistan, broke his three-year silence, claiming that the Army’s recounting of Tillman’s death was “pure fiction.” Pat Tillman died in a friendly-fire incident in April 2004, but his family was not told what really happened until later. In the meantime, the military continued to say Tillman died under enemy fire and awarded him a Silver Star.

The Vice President speaks

Vice President Dick Cheney, not known for his media appearances, gave a speech yesterday about the war in Iraq. He accused Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of pursuing a defeatist strategy in Iraq to win votes in the next election. Reid said he did not want “to get into a name-calling match with somebody who has a nine percent approval rating.”

ALSO IN THE NEWS

Go (coco)nuts

The world’s largest coconut orchestra, led by two Monty Python stars, has made it into the Guinness Book of World Records. A total of 5,567 people converged on London’s Trafalgar Square to break the previous record of 1,789 people gathered in one location playing coconuts. The coconut players were conducted by actors Terry Jones and Terry Gilliam and the cast of the Monty Python musical Spamalot.

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