Muntadar al-Zaidi, the Iraqi television journalist who hurled his shoes at then-President George W. Bush, was released Tuesday after nine months in prison, and claims Iraqi authorities tortured him.
Zaidi, 30, said that his life was in danger in Iraq and his family said that he would flee the country. Zaidi, who was greeted outside jail by several lawmakers who supported his case, had been convicted of insulting a head of state. He received a three-year sentence in March that was later reduced to one. He was then released early.
"Here I am free while my country is still in captivity," Zaidi said. He looked in good physical condition, though he was missing a front tooth.
Zaidi was unrepentant, saying he remained angry over the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003.
"The invasion divided brothers and neighbors and turned our houses into places for endless mourning and our streets and parks into cemeteries," he said. "Shame was chasing me, like an ugly name, for my helplessness."
He said Iraqi guards beat him with iron cables and shocked him with electricity while in prison. He promised to reveal the names of those who were involved in torturing him, including senior officials in the government and the army.
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Biden in Iraq during mortar attack
Insurgents fired four mortar shells at Baghdad's heavily fortified Green Zone Tuesday, killing two civilians, on the same day Vice President Joe Biden arrived in the Iraqi capital on an unannounced visit to help resolve political differences among Iraqis.
The shells were fired after Biden arrived in Iraq on his third trip to the country this year. It was not clear where he was at the time.
The three-day trip gives Biden a chance to meet with the full range of Iraqi leaders, in Baghdad and in the self-governing Kurdish region.
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Forest service apologizes
The U.S. Forest Service has apologized for suggesting that campers who eat tortillas, drink Tecate beer and play Spanish music may be armed marijuana growers, calling it "regrettable" and "insensitive." The Forest Service issued a warning about armed drug growers last month amid an investigation into how much marijuana is being cultivated in national forests in Colorado. Officials retracted it two days later amid heavy criticism. The warnings were issued following the recent discovery of more than 14,000 plants in Pike National Forest in Colorado.
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What is Denmark selling?
Denmark's tourism agency has removed an advertisement from YouTube after complaints that it promoted promiscuity in the liberal Scandinavian country. The video clip shows a young, blond woman cradling a dark-skinned infant and saying he is the result of a brief fling with a foreign tourist. Since being posted Thursday by VisitDenmark, the ad received more than 800,000 hits on YouTube. VisitDenmark removed the clip Monday, but it can be still viewed elsewhere. Sociologist Karen Sjoerup said the ad suggested "you can lure fast, blonde Danish women home without a condom."
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Group suspends collector
Senior military analyst Marc Garlasco was suspended by Human Rights Watch after a pro-Israel blog reported that he collects Nazi memorabilia. Garlasco's collection was revealed last week on Mere Rhetoric, a pro-Israel blog. A blog posting said his hobby reflected an anti-Israel bias and showed he was "obsessed with the color and pageantry of Nazism." Human Rights Watch has no evidence that Garlasco's hobby affected his analysis, and he "has never expressed any anti-Semitic or neo-Nazi statements," associate director Carroll Bogert said. The group suspended Garlasco pending an investigation.