Bush gives no hint of new direction for war in Iraq

President Bush, facing intense pressure to craft a new blueprint for the Iraq war, said yesterday the U.S. is holding fast to its objectives and commitment. The White House said he knows the general direction he wants to move U.S. policy but won’t announce it until next month.

White House press secretary Tony Snow said the president had expected to make a speech before Christmas to announce his new strategy for Iraq but still had questions and was not yet ready to make all the decisions he needed to make.

“The president generally knows what direction he wants to move in, but there are very practical things that need to be dealt with,” Snow said. “This is not a sign of trouble. This is a sign of determination on the part of the president.”

Ipswitch, England
Bodies of two prostitutes found

The search for a serial killer who preys on prostitutes in eastern England intensified yesterday with the discovery of two more bodies, and detectives warned sex workers “to get off the streets as soon as possible.”

The two bodies found yesterday have not been identified, but the detective leading the investigation said it was likely they were those of Annette Nicholls and Paula Clennell, two prostitutes who had been missing for days.

Detectives were already investigating the deaths of three women, whose naked bodies were found a few miles apart. One body was found in a stream, another in a pond and a third in the woods, about 30 yards from a road.

Military meets recruiting goals

Although Americans are increasingly pessimistic about the war in Iraq, the Pentagon said yesterday it is having success enlisting new troops. The Navy and Air Force met their recruiting goals last month while the Army and Marine Corps exceeded theirs, the Defense Department announced.

The Army, which is bearing the brunt of the work in Iraq, did the best. It signed up 6,485 new recruits in November compared with its target of 6,150 – meaning 105 percent of its goal.

Government appeals mandate to redesign currency

The Bush administration yesterday asked an appeals court to overturn a ruling that could require a redesign of the nation’s currency to help the blind.

Justice Department lawyers filed the appeal with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on behalf of Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson.

The appeal seeks to overturn a ruling last month by U.S. District Judge James Robertson, who ordered Treasury to come up with ways for the blind to recognize the different denominations of paper currency.

Robertson had ruled in a lawsuit brought by the American Council of the Blind. The council proposed several options for changes, including printing different size bills or changing the texture by adding embossed dots or foil.

– Compiled from Daily wire reports

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