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1:25 PM ET, July 27, 2006


 Top Items: 
Sydney Morning Herald:
Israel using chemical weapons: doctors  —  Lebanon is investigating reports from doctors that Israel has used weapons in its 15-day-old bombardment of southern Lebanon that have caused wounds they have never seen before.  —  "We are sending off samples tomorrow, but we have no confirmation yet …
Amos Harel / Haaretz:
IDF: Nasrallah talk less bellicose  —  An Israel Defense Forces analysis of the messages transmitted by Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah to his men during the fighting in Lebanon reveals a slightly different tone from the one he took in three public television interviews …
Alan Peters / Anti-Mullah:
Discussion: Kesher Talk, CNN and neo-neocon
Washington Post:
Deadliest Day for Israel in Lebanon
Willa Thayer / Associated Press:
Al-Qaida calls for holy war against Israel  —  CAIRO, Egypt - Al-Qaida's No. 2 leader issued a worldwide call Thursday for Muslims to rise up in a holy war against Israel and join the fighting in Lebanon and Gaza until Islam reigns from "Spain to Iraq."  —  In the message broadcast …
Eric Lichtblau / New York Times:
Administration and Critics, in Senate Testimony, Clash Over Eavesdropping Compromise  —  WASHINGTON, July 26 — Senior Bush administration officials said Wednesday that it would be impractical for them to obtain individual warrants every time they needed to eavesdrop on a conversation suspected of involving Al Qaeda.
David Morgan / Reuters:
Intelligence chiefs urge easing of spy rules
Discussion: Hit and Run and Power Line
Joshua Partlow / Washington Post:
'Waiting to Get Blown Up'  —  Some Troops in Baghdad Express Frustration With the War and Their Mission  —  BAGHDAD, July 26 Army Staff Sgt. Jose Sixtos considered the simple question about morale for more than an hour.  But not until his convoy of armored Humvees had finally rumbled …
Associated Press:
Tour de France winner failed drug test in race  —  Team to dismiss Landis if excessive level of testosterone confirmed  —  Tour de France champion Floyd Landis tested positive for high levels of testosterone during the race, his Phonak team said Thursday on its Web site.
Brian Skoloff / Associated Press:
Howard Dean Calls for End to Divisiveness  —  WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Down with divisiveness was the message Wednesday delivered by Democratic Party Chairman Howard Dean as he told a group of Florida business leaders that Republican policies of deceit and finger-pointing are tearing American apart.
Amy Sowder / PNJ - Local News:
Harris stays in  —  Katherine Harris won't quit, while fellow …
Discussion: TPMmuckraker, PoliBlog and Wonkette
Colum Lynch / Washington Post:
The Bolton Nomination, Act II  —  Bush Presses Anew for Confirmation of Controversial Envoy  —  UNITED NATIONS, July 26 — U.N. Ambassador John R. Bolton's blunt diplomatic style has made him a political rock star among conservative Republicans who relish his routine exposure of U.N. foibles and criticism of its bureaucrats.
Media Matters for America:
CNN or CBN?  Phillips asks apocalypse authors: "[A]re we living in the last days?" … For the second time in three days, CNN featured a segment on the potential coming of the Apocalypse, as indicated by current conflicts in the Middle East.  The July 26 edition of CNN's Live From …
Tim Starks /
House Panel Faults Pace of U.S. Intelligence Overhaul  —  A House subcommittee has concluded that the Bush administration has been slow to implement major changes in information sharing and other key provisions of the 2004 law that overhauled the U.S. intelligence community.
Security cabinet decides against expanding Lebanon operation  —  The security cabinet, headed by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, decided Thursday morning against expanding the Israel Defense Forces operation in southern Lebanon, Israel Radio reported.  —  The discussion came a day after nine IDF troops …
Discussion: The Right Angle
Jacob Sullum / Reason:
Bet On Handcuffs  —  Although they supposedly speak English in England, they have different names for certain things.  When they say "lift," they mean "elevator."  "Lorry" is their word for "truck."  And someone they call a "businessman" is what we call a "racketeer."
Derrick Z. Jackson / Boston Globe:
A message for Democrats  —  WASHINGTONNANCY PELOSI bared fangs to show that the Democratic Party no longer has toothless gums.  On national security, she said, ``When you think of women and defense and security, think of a lioness.  You come anywhere near our cubs, you're dead.
James Taranto / Opinion Journal:
Best of the Web  —  War on Words  —  Iraq's Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki spoke this morning to a joint meeting of Congress, and some Democrats seized an opportunity to burnish their credentials as supporters of Israel, CNN reports: … Well, what exactly did al-Maliki say?  Here are some quotes:
New York Post:
BACK TO BAGHDAD  —  THE NEW STRUGGLE IN IRAQ  —  July 27, 2006 — WHEN I visited Baghdad in March, there was no civil war.  There is no civil war in Iraq today.  But it's beginning to look as if there might be one tomorrow.  —  Something vital has changed.  In Baghdad.
Discussion: american footprints and QandO
Washington Post:
Homeland Security Contracts Abused  —  The multibillion-dollar surge in federal contracting to bolster the nation's domestic defenses in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks has been marred by extensive waste and misspent funds, according to a new bipartisan congressional report.
Erik Eckholm / New York Times:
Chicago Orders 'Big Box' Stores to Raise Wage  —  After months of fevered lobbying and bitter debate, the Chicago City Council passed a groundbreaking ordinance yesterday requiring "big box" stores, like Wal-Mart and Home Depot, to pay a minimum wage of $10 an hour by 2010, along with at least $3 an hour worth of benefits.
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 More Items: 
Uri Dan / New York Post:
Discussion: Daily Pundit
Blaine Harden / Washington Post:
Washington State Upholds Ban on Same-Sex Marriage
Rolling Stone:
Iran: The Next War
Charles Murray / Opinion Journal:
Acid Tests  —  No Child Left Behind is beyond uninformative.
Joseph Goldstein / New York Sun:
U.N. Employee Is Charged With Drug Smuggling
Discussion: Captain's Quarters
Condoleezza Rice to play piano at Asian gala
 Earlier Items: 
Justin Huggler / Independent:
India could make 50 warheads under nuclear deal with Bush
Discussion: AMERICAblog
Donald Macintyre / Independent:
UN told Israel 10 times that artillery attacks were near its observers
Michael J. Totten:
Lebanon's Premature Liberalism
Alexander Bolton / The Hill:
To raise profile, Murtha will stump for 41 Dems
Peter Baker / Washington Post:
Overseas Tensions Force Bush to Change Direction