Camp Bucca, Iraq – The U.S. military on Wednesday closed Camp Bucca, an isolated desert prison that was once its largest lockup in Iraq, as it moves to release thousands of detainees or transfer them to Iraqi custody before the end of the year.
The sprawling facility just north of the Kuwaiti border has held thousands of men over the years, including the most dangerous in U.S. custody – Sunni insurgents, Shiite extremists and al-Qaida in Iraq suspects swept up from battlefields over six years of war.
By midnight, all were to be transferred to either Camp Taji or Camp Cropper just outside Baghdad, the U.S. military’s two remaining detention facilities, while cases are prepared to try to bring them to trial in Iraqi courts.
Karzai ahead with 54.6 percent
Kabul – Afghan officials issued full preliminary results Wednesday showing President Hamid Karzai got 54.6 percent of the vote in last month’s election, a result that could be annulled by mounting fraud allegations.
European Union election monitors say fraud is indicated in more than a quarter of the 5.6 million votes counted.
If enough votes are thrown out for Karzai to drop below 50 percent, it will force him into a two-man runoff with top challenger Abdullah Abdullah, a former foreign minister who has 27.7 percent of the vote.
Parties won’t join anti-Harper effort
Toronto – A fall election in Canada grew increasingly unlikely Wednesday after the opposition New Democratic party said it would prop up Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s minority government long enough to pass legislation to help the unemployed.
The decision comes one day after the Bloc Quebecois party also said it would support Harper, and all but rules out an election this fall.
The main opposition Liberals have vowed to try to topple Harper’s minority government in a no confidence vote and planned to introduce a no confidence vote in late September or early October. However, they need the support of one of the other opposition parties to topple the government, and that now seems unlikely.
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