Israel admits phosphorous bombing

Cabinet minister Jacob Edery confirmed the bombs were dropped "against military targets in open ground".

Israel had previously said the weapons were used only to mark targets.

Phosphorus weapons cause chemical burns and the Red Cross and human rights groups say they should be treated as chemical weapons.

The Geneva Conventions ban the use of white phosphorous as an incendiary weapon against civilian populations and in air attacks against military forces in civilian areas.

Read more: Israel admits phosphorous bombing

The British officer said: 'We are now just another tribe'

"We are in a tribal society in Basra and we [the British army] are in effect one of these tribes," said Lt Col Simon Brown, commander of the 2nd Battalion. "As long as we are here the others will attack us because we are the most influential tribe. We cramp their style."

He can see the general's point. "There is so much poverty and frustration in the streets of Basra, as long as you are in the street, someone will shoot at you. We complicate the situation. We give the disaffected and frustrated a chance to empty their frustrations by shooting at us."

Read more: The British officer said: 'We are now just another tribe'

Gaza fishermen risk Israeli fire

Every night off Gaza beach you can see the lights of fishing boats rising and falling in the swell.

But they are defying an Israeli ban on all Palestinian fishing, and Rami al-Habeel knows how dangerous that can be.

Last week, he saw his friend, Hani al-Najaar, shot dead on the deck of their trawler.

For more than three months the Israelis have ordered all fishing craft to stay in port.

They say this is to prevent militants who have captured an Israeli soldier in Gaza, smuggling him out by sea.

Read more: Gaza fishermen risk Israeli fire

U.N. refugee agency: Exodus in Iraq forces priority shift

Up to 1.6 million Iraqis have left their homes for other countries in "a steady, silent exodus" as a result of the war and sectarian violence, forcing the U.N. refugee agency to announce a shift in priorities.

The U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees said it plans to focus on the deteriorating humanitarian situation facing people who are fleeing, as opposed to those returning home.

"The enormous scale of the needs, the ongoing violence and the difficulties in reaching the displaced make it a problem that is practically beyond the capacity of humanitarian agencies, including UNHCR," it said.

Read more: U.N. refugee agency: Exodus in Iraq forces priority shift

This terrible misadventure has killed one in 40 Iraqis

The government will do all it can to discredit the latest estimate of civilian casualties since the invasion: 650,000

And finally, we can truthfully say that our foreign policy - based as it is on 19th-century notions of the nation-state - is long past its sell-by date. We need a new set of principles to govern our diplomacy and military strategy - principles that are based on the idea of human security and not national security, health and wellbeing and not economic self-interest and territorial ambition.

The best hope we can have from our terrible misadventure in Iraq is that a new political and social movement will grow to overturn this politics of humiliation. We are one human family. Let's act like it.

Read more: This terrible misadventure has killed one in 40 Iraqis

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