Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Slammed with bombings at least 14 dead, at least 76 injured

Today bombs slam Baghdad. Alsumaria TV quotes an unidentified police source stating of the aftermath of a Sadr City car bombing, "Ambulance cars rushed to the incident site and transported wounded to a nearby hospital for treatment and the corpse to the department of forensic medicine." Peter Cave (Australia's ABC News) notes that in addition to the bombing in the Sadr City section of Baghdad, the capital saw three other bombings and quotes Ahmed Ali on the Sadr City bombing, "We were all standing waiting to earn our living and all of a sudden it was like a black storm and I felt myself thrown on the ground. I fainted for a while then I woke up and hurried to one of the cars to take me to the hospital." Press TV notes two Sadr City bombings, the first targeting workers, like Ahmed Ali, the second "outside a bakery half an hour later." Of the other two bombings in Baghdad, Al Manar explains that a Shula car bombing claimed 2 lives and left sixteen people dead and a Al-Hurriya bombing claimed 1 life and left thirteen people injured. BBC News adds, "Officials said a roadside bomb also exploded on the Muthanna airport road in central Baghdad, wounding at least six people."

In all of the Baghdad bombings, the Telegraph of London counts 14 dead. AP counts 11 dead in Sadr City. Sadr City is a Shi'ite neighborhood of Baghdad, often referred to by the press as "a slum," inhabited by followers of Moqtada al-Sadr. Reportedly approximately one million people live in Sadr City (Iraq has not had a census in decades).

Dan Morse and Aziz Alwan (Washington Post) note at least seventy-six people were injured in the Baghdad bombings and that there was also a home invasion in the Abu Ghraib section of Baghdad, police Captain Hassan Abdulla al-Timinimi was killed and so was "his family." Yasir Ghazi and Duraid Adnan (New York Times) quote bombing victim Emad Jasim asking, "Where are my legs? Tell me where my legs are. Why are they not there?"

The following community sites -- plus Adam Kokesh, The New Statesman and Antiwar.com -- updated last night and this morning:

Turning to the US, Senator Patty Murray is the Chair of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee. Her office notes:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Murray Press Office
January 23, 2012 (202) 224-2834

GAO Report Shows VA's Shortcomings in Dealing with the Rising Number of Homeless Women Veterans

In new report requested by Senator Murray, data shows that the number of homeless women veterans MORE THAN DOUBLED from 1,380 in 2006 to 3,328 in 2010 but that more data is needed


(Washington, D.C.) – A Government Accountability Office (GAO) report released today showed that the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has had difficulty in planning for and meeting the unique needs of a growing number of homeless women veterans. The study, which was requested by U.S. Senator Patty Murray, Chairman of the Senate Veterans Affairs' Committee, is one of the first of its kind to examine the troubling rise in homelessness among women who have served.

Among the key findings in the report the GAO found that:

· VA has limited data on the number and needs of homeless women veterans, and therefore has difficulty planning to meet their unique needs;

· Homeless women veterans are not always aware of the services available to them;

· VA is unevenly implementing its process to refer homeless veterans to emergency shelter until they
are admitted into transitional or permanent housing programs;

· Facilities have difficulty providing for the children of homeless veterans, and

· VA lacks minimum standards for the privacy, safety, and security of women veterans in mixed-gender housing facilities.

"While we have seen a decrease in the overall number of homeless veterans, the number and needs of homeless women veterans across the country are growing and the VA is struggling to keep up," said Chairman Murray. "I've been sounding the alarm that these veterans, many of whom are also struggling to provide for their children, are going to need unique attention from the VA. But as this report shows, the VA has not properly planned for or met the unique needs of these veterans. I'm going to be working to ensure that the recommendations in this report, including increased collaboration between VA and HUD, are followed. I'll also be working to make sure that as more women return from Iraq and Afghanistan, the VA is keeping pace with the need to track and provide the services that they need."

Senator Murray has been a leader in calling for increased services for women veterans, including those who have become homeless. Last Congress, she enacted legislation to create an employment program for
homeless women veterans, including those with children. This year, she passed legislation, which extends VA's transitional housing programs for special populations, including women with children. She is also continuing to advocate for a legislative provision, included in S. 914, that authorizes VA to pay for the children of homeless veterans in the Grant and Per Diem program. Senator Murry intends to explore this issue, and others at a hearing on veteran homelessness shortly.


Meghan Roh

Deputy Press Secretary

Office of U.S. Senator Patty Murray



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