Wednesday, February 21, 2007

National and International News-Wed. Feb. 21st

BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) - Despite beefed up security by Iraqi police and Shiite militiamen, a suicide car bomber struck today in the Shiite holy city of Najaf. At least eleven people were killed. Najaf is a major destination for Shiite pilgrims, as well as the headquarters of the country's Shiite spiritual leader.

LONDON (AP) - Britain is expected to announce today that it will withdraw close to half its troops from Iraq by the end of the year. The decision is being welcomed in Washington. A spokesman for the National Security Council says it's "a sign of success" that Iraqis are able to take more control of their security.

NEW YORK (AP) - "We are sorry and embarrassed," reads the full-page ad that JetBlue Airways took out today in several East Coast newspapers. The airline says it's "deeply sorry" for stranding customers during the Valentine's Day ice storm. Between today and tomorrow, the ad will run in 20 newspapers in 15 cities.

WASHINGTON (AP) - A decade from now, one out of every five dollars spent in the United States will go toward health care. Economists at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid say the cost of health insurance is expected to rise nearly six-and-a-half percent annually, with out-of-pocket expenses such as co-pays rising more than five percent a year.

SALEM, Ore. (AP) - After yet another rescue operation on Mount Hood, debate is under way in the Oregon Legislature on a bill that would require some climbers to carry electronic locator units. The three climbers rescued this week were carrying such a device. Veteran mountaineers say people would gain a false sense of
security or not do enough to rescue themselves.


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