Front Page: Australia Leaves Iraq, GM to Close Plants, South Dakota and Montana Primaries

  • Australia Leaves Iraq: Australia has ended its combat operations in Iraq. One of the first countries to commit troops to the war in Iraq five years ago, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd made a campaign promise to bring the troops home — and they're set to return in a couple of days. Pegging his decision on the actions of the previous government, Rudd said, "of most concern to this government was the manner in which the decision to go to war was made: the abuse of intelligence information, a failure to disclose to the Australian people the qualified nature of that intelligence." Australia's 500 troops have helped to train 33,000 Iraqi soldiers. No Australian soldiers were killed in Iraq.

  • GM to Close Plants: Car maker GM, in response to a growing shift to smaller vehicles with better gas mileage, said yesterday that it would end production at four factories in the United States, Canada, and Mexico that produce trucks and sport utility vehicles. In perhaps the biggest news of all — the Hummer brand might be discontinued. The CEO says the market shift to smaller vehicles is permanent, "we at GM don’t think this is a spike or a temporary shift.". The company plans to build a new small car in Ohio in 2010. The cuts will affect about 2,500 workers at each of the four plants.
  • South Dakota and Montana Primaries: Voters head to the polls today in the last two primaries of the six month season. Obama will hold a rally tonight in St. Paul, MN — the site of the Republican National Convention — and Clinton plans what's being called by some, a "farewell speech" in New York. Obama is floating the idea of a “unity meeting” with Clinton to come together and regroup after the long and brutal primary battle with his rival. Check back tonight to see the results (and any major announcements) as they break.
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