Two Astonishing Stories

1!: Nelson Mandela just taken off the US list of terrorists. The United States Senate is in the process of passing a bill that would remove the Africa National Congress party off the terrorist list. This is the party of Nelson Mandela and the South African political party that overthrew Apartheid. John Kerry states:

The idea that Mandela would “be on our government’s terror watch list is deplorable,” said Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass. “No bureaucratic snafu can excuse this international embarrassment, and we need to fix this policy now.”

Chicago Tribune has more.

2!: The suicide rate among veterans and especially Iraq veterans is way above the national average. I heard on the radio that of the service men stationed in Iraq more have taken their own lives than died in battle. I have not been able to confirm this story, but I have found some interesting stats that show a very high rate of suicide among war veterans. There was a recent scandal in which the VA director of mental health sent an e-mail trying to cover up the high rate of attempted suicides. Here is the story. I also found a CBS News investigation done back in Nov. 2007 that exposes the high rates.

The chairman of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, Sen. Daniel Akaka, D-Hawaii, responded to the story Tuesday.

“The report that the rate of suicide among veterans is double that of the general population is deeply troubling and simply unacceptable. I am especially concerned that so many young veterans appear to be taking their own lives. For too many veterans, returning home from battle does not bring an end to conflict. There is no question that action is needed.”

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