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August 24, 2009
Posted: 1756 GMT

fire

It's a busy Monday at the International Desk: we'll kick things off with wildfires in Greece. We have crews near Athens covering the devastation and we hope to connect with witnesses on the ground.

We will then go to London where there continues to be fall-out from the decision to release convicted Lockerbie bomber Abdel Baset Al Megrahi. In an emergency session of the Scottish Parliament, the Scottish Justice minister Ken MacAskill defended his decision to release the Libyan national back to his homeland.

Interestingly, MacAskill said that Libyan officials has assured him Megrahi would receive a "low-key" welcome. Instead, he was greeted by cheering crowds, flower petals and the son of the Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi.

Also in the show, yet another bombing in Iraq. This one again targetted Shiites in a town South of Baghdad. All this violence is testing the limits to which Iraq's sects can go without succumbing to the temptation of revenge attacks. So far, Shiites have shown considerable restraint, but will there be a Samarra-style breaking point that will reignite sectarian warfare?

Sepaking of the Shias, there is a new political alliance of Shias parties sans the party of current Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki. We'll go live to Baghdad for more on what this all means.

Probably the most interesting story today: the formation of a new terrorism suspect interrogation unit overseen by the White House. This means the methods and standards for interrogating suspects will be centralized and under the direct line of control of the White House. This announcement came on the same day details from Bush-era CIA interrogations were made public, including instances when detainees were waterboarded and threatened with guns and electric drills.

Is this the end of the CIA's involvement in terrorism interrogations? Not quite. We'll go to Dan Lothian, who will be live from the Obama family's vacation spot in Martha's Vineyard in Massachussetts.

PLus, as always, the latest world, sports and weather news.

It's off to work on teh rest of the show for me.

See you on TV!

Hala

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Filed under: Today At The I-Desk


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Biruzz   August 25th, 2009 3:38 am ET

If indeed he is the Lockerbie bomber then its a shame if the let him go under any circumstances. It took a lot of guts and strong convictions for the minister MacAskill to release the individual on humanitarian grounds.

A lot of people in the US & UK are unhappy that he is being released as the release is linked to future business deals for british companies in Libya.

How different was this action compared to why Iraq was invaded? Wasn't it for oil? If you honestly believe that Bush, Cheney, Rice, Rumsfield as well as Powell were trying to create a democracy in Iraq then you will also believe that his holiness the Dalai Lama is Osama Bin Ladens second in command. One libyan bomber (maybe) got released because of money and thats a good deal. The american solution would be to spend about 500 billion dollars, anger the world with thier brutal actions, steal the iraqi oil, make some people in the defense industry very rich in the US as well let thousands of iraqis and american die in the process.

At least the scottish minister had the (kehones) to be upfront and partially honest.

Sayan Majumdar   August 25th, 2009 12:52 pm ET

In context to forest fires it may be prudent for the affected nations to maintain an appropriate force of amphibian aircrafts (for example Beriev Be-200; once witnessed its flying display) to be optimally used as a “water & foam bomber” over the most thermally challenging portions of forests.

Sayan.

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