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Front Page: Australia Leaves Iraq, GM to Close Plants, South Dakota and Montana Primaries

  • Australia Leaves Iraq: Australia has ended its combat operations in Iraq. One of the first countries to commit troops to the war in Iraq five years ago, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd made a campaign promise to bring the troops home — and they're set to return in a couple of days. Pegging his decision on the actions of the previous government, Rudd said, "of most concern to this government was the manner in which the decision to go to war was made: the abuse of intelligence information, a failure to disclose to the Australian people the qualified nature of that intelligence." Australia's 500 troops have helped to train 33,000 Iraqi soldiers. No Australian soldiers were killed in Iraq.
  • GM to Close Plants: Car maker GM, in response to a growing shift to smaller vehicles with better gas mileage, said yesterday that it would end production at four factories in the United States, Canada, and Mexico that produce trucks and sport utility vehicles. In perhaps the biggest news of all — the Hummer brand might be discontinued. The CEO says the market shift to smaller vehicles is permanent, "we at GM don’t think this is a spike or a temporary shift.". The company plans to build a new small car in Ohio in 2010. The cuts will affect about 2,500 workers at each of the four plants.
  • South Dakota and Montana Primaries: Voters head to the polls today in the last two primaries of the six month season. Obama will hold a rally tonight in St. Paul, MN — the site of the Republican National Convention — and Clinton plans what's being called by some, a "farewell speech" in New York. Obama is floating the idea of a “unity meeting” with Clinton to come together and regroup after the long and brutal primary battle with his rival. Check back tonight to see the results (and any major announcements) as they break.
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stephley stephley 8 years
"Of most concern to this government was the manner in which the decision to go to war was made: the ABUSE of intelligence information, a FAILURE TO DISCLOSE to the Australian people the QUALIFIED NATURE of that intelligence," Maybe they feel if the intelligence isn't trustworthy, it isn't reasonable to risk the lives of their soldiers.
Jillness Jillness 8 years
I have to admit I am a little surprised GM didn't see this coming. Little cars are doing so much better now and have been for the past few years. I think that we have seen the rise in gas prices for quite some time now. Strategically, I don't know why they held onto the Hummer for so long. It is sad that improper planning will affect so many hardworking people. I heard that it is possible that some workers will be transfered to plants where they are making more fuel efficient cars. Hopefully not everyone will lose their job.
UnDave35 UnDave35 8 years
I find it interesting that Australia is bickering about the intelligence, and yet they didn't lose a single soldier. Did those soldiers ever see combat? Did they ever do any of the heavy lifting? Have a safe trip home. Come back when you're ready to go to work.
sexylibrarian sexylibrarian 8 years
Lilk I totally agree the corporations don't do anything in this country that isn't profit motivated. But a girl can dream can't she?
stephley stephley 8 years
Yea Australia! And isn't it funny that for all the jockeying for position with primary dates, South Dakota and Montana end up being important states.
lilkimbo lilkimbo 8 years
I think GM is covering up the fact that they have to close these plants due to lack of profit. They are stopping making these vehicles in large numbers because they are no longer profitable. I highly doubt this has much to do with them actually wanting to be environmentally friendly. If that's what this was truly about, they would already have plans in place to start producing these new vehicles at existing plants. Then 2,500 people wouldn't have to be out of work!
sexylibrarian sexylibrarian 8 years
Good for GM. Everyone needs to be more environmentally responsible. I am sorry for the job losses. They can create more jobs buy opening plants that produce smaller more environmentally friendly vehicles. I would love to see the day when Hummer is discontinued.
cine_lover cine_lover 8 years
So sad that more jobs are being lost.
raciccarone raciccarone 8 years
"of most concern to this (Australian) government was the manner in which the decision to go to war was made: the abuse of intelligence information, a failure to disclose to the Australian people the qualified nature of that intelligence." In America, we don't concern ourselves with such trivialities. Go Bush!
lilkimbo lilkimbo 8 years
I feel like it definitely could, Kim. Cleveland, at least. I mean, in some ways I feel like there is still progress being made in Ohio, new construction, etc. But then I look at all of the people I know who live in the Cleveland area and a lot of them make significantly less doing the same jobs they did in the past. (Meaning the people who work on commission; car salesmen, insurance salesmen, etc.) The economy there just seems even worse than in the rest of the country.
popgoestheworld popgoestheworld 8 years
Cleveland is already like Detroit in many ways. I can't wait for these primaries to be over! I think this week will be an exciting one politically!
Kimpossible Kimpossible 8 years
Could Ohio be the next Michigan (with the way Detroit used to be)? It is sad lilkimbo. I am also wondering how Australia's actions will affect American voters, or if it will?
lilkimbo lilkimbo 8 years
Being originally from Ohio, it is horrible to hear that yet another plant there is closing down. Production has been cut at the Ford plant; LTV Steel declared bankruptcy years ago. I feel like Ohio has been on a downward economic spiral for a longer time than the rest of the country. It's sad to see an economy that has always been so dependent on blue collar workers all but shutting down.
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