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September 17th, 2009
World Links: Deadly Blast in Heart of Kabul, U.S. Scraps European Missile Defense Plan

The U.S. government announces plans to scrap a Europe-based long-range missile defense system in favor of a flexible, ship-based regional shield targeting medium to short-range rockets. Conservatives in the U.S. criticize the move as a capitulation to Russia and an abandonment of Poland and the Czech Republic where the system was to be based, while Russia’s ambassador to NATO hails the move, saying “It’s like having a decomposing corpse in your flat – and then the mortician comes and takes it away.”

Six Italian soldiers are killed and three wounded in a vehicle-borne suicide attack in the Afghan capital of Kabul, one of the single deadliest incidents against the 100,000 NATO and U.S. troops in Afghanistan.

The administration of Colombian President Alvaro Uribe is accused of a massive and multiyear effort to spy on political opponents, the media, human rights organizations and members of the Supreme Court.

The deputy commander of African Union peacekeeping forces in Somalia and 10 others are killed in a double-suicide attack against an A.U. base in Somalia’s capital of Mogadishu. The extremist group al-Shabab claimed responsibility for the attack, saying it is revenge for the U.S. operation that killed al-Qaeda suspect Saleh Ali Saleh Nabhan on Monday.

Richard Goldstein, head of the U.N. commission investigating Israel’s offensive last year into the Gaza Strip, says Israeli commanders and soldiers should be held accountable for war crimes committed during the operation.  The administration of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is calling the commission’s report biased and asked senior members of the Obama administration to help limit international fallout from the report’s findings.

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