The best of the native bred three-year-old fillies will hold centre stage at Caymanas Park today in the 77th running of the Caribbean Choice Jamaica Oaks over 2000 metres and given the presence of a top heavy favourite in NUCLEAR AFFAIR, victory for her should be a mere formality.Offering a total purse of $3 million, this the season’s third classic has attracted 10 starters, including the first eight past the post in the April 9 Post to Post 1000 Guineas, which saw the howling favourite, NUCLEAR AFFAIR, powering home by 9 1/4 lengths from A THOUSAND STARS and SORRENTINO’S STAR in a fast 1:39.2 for a mile.NUCLEAR AFFAIR was then ridden by three-time champion, Dane Nelson, who left the island last week for another riding stint in Canada. Her connections have called up big-race jockey Shane Ellis, the reigning champion, to replace Nelson, who will be back to ride her in the derby.Unbeaten in three starts this season, NUCLEAR AFFAIR has already stamped herself as an exceptional three-year-old filly and Subratie is looking beyond the Oaks to the June 25 derby where she will come face to face with the colts.GLORIOUS UNCERTAINTY”She has everything in her favour today, having beaten seven of her opponents in the Guineas. But she still has to go out there and execute for racing is a sport of glorious uncertainty,” said Subratie, who is seeking his first Oaks win, having finished second with the 99-1 outsider ZACAPA some years ago.”She has done everything asked of her this season and I was particularly pleased with how she carried herself at exercise last Sunday morning in a six-furlong gallop, looking pretty easy in 1:14.4.”Nuclear Affair can do anything … she can run with the pace or come from behind if the situation demands and I am confident she will deliver for her deserving owner Michros,” he added.”It is only left to be seen whether my other runner, Golden Glory, can complete the exacta after finishing fifth in the Guineas. She did not have much luck in running, however, and my hope is that she can beat the runner-up, A Thousand Stars, and the third horse, Sorrentino’s Star, for second, with Ameth Robles who rode Zacapa taking the ride,” said the second generation trainer.For me, NUCLEAR AFFAIR, a chestnut filly by Nuclear Wayne out of Commandra Affair, bred by her owner, is so much better than her opponents that it will take an act of God to deny her today.The Wayne DaCosta-trained A THOUSAND STARS, a fast improving sort, should follow her home, again.Other firm fancies on the 12-race programme are CAMPESINO to repeat in the third race for open allowance horses; last year’s Oaks winner, MOM’S STUDENT, in the fourth; SOUND OF MIRACLE in the fifth; RUNAWAY GAL in the sixth for the Ricochet Cup; PROLIFIC PRINCESS in the seventh; and LORD EQUUS in the ninth.
GOALS GALORE Kingston College goalkeeper Jahvanni Grant came up trumps with three saves as the North Street-based school came from behind in a penalty shoot-out to stun defending champion Wolmer’s 4-3 after the teams battled to a pulsating 2-2 draw in an ISSA-FLOW Walker Cup quarter-final at the Constant Spring field yesterday. Alphonso Gooden fired Wolmer’s in front against the runner-of-play in the 16th minute, but the North Street school equalised through Rashawn Mackison five minutes later and then went in front after 60 minutes courtesy of Omar Thompson’s deflected strike. But Rivaldo English sent the game into extra time when he capitalised on an error from Grant to put the ball into an empty net. In the shootout, KC missed their first two kicks, while Wolmer’s netted theirs. But after KC scored their next two, Grant stopped two straight kicks and then in sudden death, he saved a penalty from opposing goalkeeper, Jemison, to clinch the win. Both coaches believed Grant made the difference. “I know Jahvanni (Grant) from previous school (Wolmer’s), I know he is a good shot-stopper when it comes to penalties. I needed the first save from him and that would have boosted his confidence. When I saw Jemison step up, I said: Why is Jemison taking a penalty when Jahvanni knows everything about him as both were once together at Wolmer’s? Right there, I knew he would have stopped it,” Ludlow Bernard the KC coach said. Wolmer’s coach, Vassell Reynolds, also thought Grant’s knowledge of his former teammates played a big role in the shoot-out. “The KC ‘keeper’ knew my players, and I think that ended up making a big difference,” he said.
Steam emission over Taal’s main crater ‘steady’ for past 24 hours Kiss-and-tell matinee idol’s conquests: True stories or tall tales? Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Margot Robbie talks about filming ‘Bombshell’s’ disturbing sexual harassment scene OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ‘a duplicitous move’ – Lacson Jake says relationship with Shaina ‘goes beyond physical attraction’ READ: Narvasa remains defiant: I’m fighting for principleNational team head coach Chot Reyes can heave a sigh of relief as he begins the Smart Gilas Pilipinas’ preparations on Friday evening.Players like June Mar Fajardo, Christian Standhardinger, and Von Pessumal of San Miguel, Japeth Aguilar and Kevin Ferrer of Ginebra, Paul Lee and Jio Jalalon of Star, Terrence Romeo of GlobalPort, and LA Revilla and Russel Escoto of Kia have the greenlight to join the national team’s preparations for the Asian qualifiers.The Philippines is set to open its first round assignment against Japan in Tokyo on November 24, before playing Chinese Taipei at Smart Araneta Coliseum on November 27.ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Coco’s house rules on ‘Probinsyano’ set Stephen Curry puzzled over mention in GOP tax proposal Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. It’s too early to present Duterte’s ‘legacy’ – Lacson MOST READ Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netThe PBA governors may be at an impasse when it comes to the matters about the Commissioner’s office, but the teams remain united when it comes to the national team.The five teams supporting the extension of PBA commissioner Chito Narvasa said that they won’t allow the controversy to affect the league’s commitment to Smart Gilas Pilipinas.ADVERTISEMENT View comments Jake says relationship with Shaina ‘goes beyond physical attraction’ Jo Koy: My brain always wants to think funny In a joint statement released on Friday, San Miguel, Ginebra, Star, GlobalPort, and Kia said they are still allowing their players to suit for national team duties for the 2017 Fiba World Cup qualifiers as part of the PBA’s agreement with Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP).READ: Seven PBA governors stand firm, urge Narvasa to resign FEATURED STORIESSPORTSRedemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie ThompsonSPORTSMayweather beats Pacquiao, Canelo for ‘Fighter of the Decade’SPORTSFederer blasts lack of communication on Australian Open smog“All five teams composed of San Miguel Beer, Barangay Ginebra, Star Hotshots, GlobalPort and Kia Picanto will continue to make available its players to the Philippine team that is preparing for the Fiba Asia World Cup qualifier and other league functions. We believe this should not be adversely affected by the board members’ differences in opinion,” the statement read.“We reiterate that we are doing this to protect the league we all love, the game of basketball and the millions of fans who continue to support us.”
President’s address to ParliamentDespite being in office for almost a year and a half, presenting two national budgets and another due for December 2016, President David Granger on Thursday used an address to the National Assembly to complain about the state of the country’s economy back in May 2015 when his A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) coalition took office, describing it as a depressing financial landscape.Addressing the National Assembly in the absence of the Opposition People’s Progressive Party/Civic which boycotted the President’s address to the 65-member legislature, Granger said the economic legacy that his Government inherited was characterised by a lack of strategic planning and whimsical decision-making.“Your Government entered a depressing financial landscape in May 2015… Economic mismanagement was accompanied by huge debts for unpaid international obligations and court judgements,” Granger said, adding that the absence of a policy to provide employment opportunities for youth and to reduce extreme poverty and the failure to energise the manufacturing sector helped to weaken the economy.GuySuCoThe Guyanese Head of State singled out the financial troubles faced by the cash-strapped Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo), which he said owed $89 billion in debts, forcing the Government to divert money from economic and social programmes to rescue the ailing Corporation with an immediate injection of $12 billion and an additional $11 billion in 2016, making it a $23 billion bailout in 18 months.“These transfers exclude the servicing of GuySuCo’s debts in respect of the Skeldon Estate Modernisation Project – a monstrous and monumental US$200 million mistake and, probably Guyana’s single most costly industrial catastrophe of all time,” he stated.RiceHe said that rice farmers “were not spared the previous Administration’s reckless mismanagement.”“The PetroCaribe Fund – used to meet payments to farmers for rice and paddy shipped to Venezuela – contained less than US$1 million in May 2015. Your Government was forced to make available nearly $4 billion immediately so that poor paddy farmers could be paid,” the President claimed.JudgementsHe also spoke of a number of liabilities which he said his Administration inherited including a $7 billion in favour of NH Elias for the East Bank Demerara Road, the $1.3 billion in favour of Rudisa Beverages, judgement in favour of Trinidad Cement Limited, settlement for $1.4 billion with B K Tiwari on Haags Bosch Project and several other judgements that will cost the State over $1 billion.“Your Government, also, was obliged to provide another $5.4 billion bailout the National Insurance Scheme as a consequence of the previous Administration’s irresponsible CLICO investment,” he stated.Granger however noted that despite these challenges, his Government managed to give public servants pay increases, raise the income tax threshold from $600,000 to $660,000, increase the minimum wage from $39,520 in May 2015, to $55,000 in January 2016 while Old Age Pension and public assistance were also increased.“These benefits, taken together, augmented workers disposable income significantly,” he stated.The President also spoke of his Government’s intentions to improve the quality of life for Guyanese, including greater access to public service, declaring that citizens should not have to leave their respective regions to access public service.According to the Head of State, his Government’s overarching objective is to ensure a ‘good life’ for all of citizens and has chosen a ‘green’ pathway to achieve a higher quality of life. He went on to outline his ‘green agenda” which encompasses a comprehensive, multisectorial development programme.Public securityThe President also outlined his Government’s plans for the security sector which includes the establishment of several anti-crime agencies to uproot the causes of crime and its links with transnational crime.“We established a National Security Committee. We are in the process of establishing a new National Anti-Narcotics Agency (NANA) to address the mother of all crimes – the trafficking in narcotics. We will establish a new National Intelligence and Security Agency (NISA) to ensure better surveillance of our borders and coasts,” Granger stated.He added that a decision was also taken to re-engage the United Kingdom with a view to restoring the aborted Security Sector Reform Action Plan (SSRAP).“The Plan will commence soon with the arrival of experts from the United Kingdom to advise us on crafting a national security response to domestic and transnational crime – including narcotics-trafficking and gun-running,” the President explained.He said too that increased aerial surveillance over the maritime zone over the past year led to a reduction in the incidence of piracy as he pledged to expand the Guyana Police Force’s Marine wing.Among the other areas the President examined are his Government’s legislative agenda, public trust and its aim to fulfil its campaign promise of a good life.“We aim at the development of a cohesive society in which confrontation is replaced by cooperation. The removal of inequalities based on geography and ethnicity will lay the foundation for a better ‘quality of life’ for everyone. We will work to reduce prejudice and violence. We will fashion a multicultural society characterised by tolerance and mutual respect,” President Granger declared.
She added the bill residents pay bi-monthly is not just for water infrastructure, but for sewer and municipal garbage pickup.Mayor Mike Bernier agreed, adding the change was made on the best advice of engineers and consultants who were engaged to look at the fairness and sustainability of the former rate structure.Shuman said Ragan should speak to the owner of the trailer park about realizing some of the cost savings from the elimination of the frontage tax on the property, but Ragan said the onus is on city council to solve the problem.”The landowner didn’t make this problem, you people did, and it’s up to you to fix it.”Advertisement This morning, council heard from Doug Ragan, resident at lot 19 at Mile 0 RV Park, who was speaking on behalf of himself and a couple of his neighbours who were also in attendance. Ragan said as a tenant of the trailer park, he has seen his water bill nearly double this year – after council implemented a new user-pay utility cost system – but does not reap any of the benefit from the frontage tax being eliminated on the property as he is not the property owner.”I don’t have a frontage tax, I just pay twice as much per year for my water, and who gets the credit for that?” he said. “The end user has been paying all the time. He (the landowner) raised our rates – my water bill is up another $100 a year, so you’re getting me here and you’re getting me there, and everybody else is getting a credit but I’m not.”He said residents of the trailer park were already paying a high rental cost, partly to cover the cost of infrastructure, adding another increase here of five per cent went into effect just last week.- Advertisement -“Raise his taxes, let him (the landowner) pay,” he said. “If you’re not getting enough tax from him, charge him more.”Councillor Cheryl Shuman said one of the reasons for the change in the rate structure was specifically to capture multi-dwelling properties like apartments and trailer parks, because the frontage tax being charged on those properties previously in no way covered the entire cost of infrastructure to service a mobile home park with nearly 100 units in it, for example.”It was putting our utility at risk because we were not actually collecting enough money from the residents to keep up with the infrastructure and maintain it into the future,” she said. “We were not collecting from everybody who was putting pressure on our utility.”Advertisement Ragan said he plans to be at every city council meeting until the upcoming civic election to continue to press the issue.Council has already heard earlier this year concerns from apartment building owners and representatives from the business community about the utility rate structure.
All the proceeds are going towards the BCSPCA. Blacksmith Yoga Community is hosting a ‘Caturday’ yoga lesson next weekend, and it’s exactly what it sounds like: Yoga plus cats.As a fundraiser with the North Peace branch of the BCSPCA, Blacksmith will be hosting this event next Saturday, December 12th from 7 PM until 8 PM.You only need to bring your yoga mat and yoga pants — the cats are provided by the North Peace BCSPCA.- Advertisement -All the spaces, which go at $40 a pop, are currently booked, but Blacksmith Manager/Teacher Candace Soderberg said there is a wait list if spots open up.Yoga with cats is certainly not a new thing, but in Fort St. John, it’s a first. And judging from the amount of tickets already sold, Caturday might become a regular thing.“I can see possibly maybe once every two months, if it’s something that is really, really popular — because there is quite a bit of organization that goes into it,” said Soderberg. She said it could even become a monthly o-purr-ence if it’s popular enough.Advertisement
20 20 20. West Bromwich Albion – 326 disciplinary points (Played 40 – 3 reds, 73 yellows) – Click the right arrow above to find out the fairest Premier League team… 20 20 20 13. Crystal Palace – 278 disciplinary points (Played 41 – 2 reds, 66 yellows) 7. Manchester United – 258 disciplinary points (Played 40 – 1 reds, 62 yellows) 20 14. West Ham – 282 disciplinary points (Played 40 – 6 reds, 62 yellows) 5. Everton – 244 disciplinary points (Played 43 – 5 reds, 48 yellows) 11. Stoke City – 268 disciplinary points (Played 42 – 5 reds, 56 yellows) 20 20 20 20 8. Tottenham – 260 disciplinary points (Played 39 – 0 reds, 65 yellows) Sunday’s Premier League clash between Leicester City and West Ham United was quite a fiery affair.Even disregarding Jamie Vardy’s controversial sending off and finger-jabbing reaction, the match reached an early boiling point and continued to bubble until final time was called by referee Jon Moss.Thibaut Courtois also saw red at the weekend as Chelsea lost 3-0 to Manchester City in a game that also had five yellow cards.But which teams in the English top-flight have been the dirtiest and which have been the cleanest?Click the right arrow above to find out which Premier League team tops the Fair Play League across all first-team competitions…– A yellow card = four points– Denial of a goal scoring opportunity or dismissal for 2 cautions = ten points– Violent conduct, serious foul play, spitting or offensive and abusive language = 12 pointsStatistics correct up to and including fixtures on 18 April 2016 20 20 18. Watford – 316 disciplinary points (Played 38 – 3 reds, 70 yellows) 20 10. Southampton – 264 disciplinary points (Played 38 – 6 reds, 53 yellows) 20 9. Manchester City – 264 disciplinary points (Played 42 – 0 reds, 66 yellows) 6. Sunderland – 248 disciplinary points (Played 36 – 2 reds, 57 yellows) 15. Liverpool – 284 disciplinary points (Played 42 – 2 reds, 66 yellows) 20 12. Newcastle United – 270 disciplinary points (Played 36 – 4 reds, 57 yellows) 4. Leicester City – 244 disciplinary points (Played 39 – 2 reds, 56 yellows) 20 16. Chelsea – 286 disciplinary points (Played 39 – 5 reds, 59 yellows) 20 17. Norwich City – 292 disciplinary points (Played 38 – 3 reds, 65 yellows) 2. Bournemouth – 238 disciplinary points (Played 40 – 1 reds, 57 yellows) 20 3. Swansea City – 240 disciplinary points (Played 37 – 1 reds, 60 yellows) 19. Aston Villa – 326 disciplinary points (Played 40 – 2 reds, 76 yellows) 20 20 1. Arsenal – 210 disciplinary points (Played 40 – 4 reds, 45 yellows)
Jimmy Duffy’s Annagry Community NotesBOOK LAUNCHA new book written by David A. Dunlop was launched recently at a function in Leos Tavern Meenaleck. The novel called Olieán na Márbh (The Island of the Dead) is set in the Lower Rosses in 1897 was launched by Domhnall Mac Ruairí and Mary McCaul. It’s a story of landscape and history, of love and loss, of change and challenge to cultural norms, of clergy and community, of misunderstanding and rumour, of responsibility and redemption. The book is available in two formats, in paperback and ebook from www.amazon.com or from the author himself. The ebook version has background music depicting the music of one of its characters. David can be contacted at email@example.com. Music at the launch night was provided by Clann Mhic Ruairí, Brí, Tara Haughey, Martin Crossan and harpist Lucy Caird. David a native of North Co. Antrim has been visiting the area for more than thirty years and is now residing in Mullaghduff. Listen to David as he talks about his book to Jimmy Duffy on The Memory Lane programme live on www.rossesradio.com on Saturday September 13th at 3.30pm. TIDY TOWN SUCCESSFollowing the their success in the 2014 Tidy Towns competition this week, the PRO of Annagry Tidy Towns committee Seamus Rodgers congratulated Community workers, Tús Scheme workers, CE Scheme workers, Business people in the village, local householders, Donegal County Council and last but certainly not least Eddie Duffy with his Bikes in Bloom. Annagry’s gain of seven points on last year’s total show that the graph is going in the right direction. He also congratulated neighbouring areas participating in this year’s competition.CLASSES AND ACTIVITIESCoiste Forbartha Anagaire will facilitate a number of classes and activities this autumn. We hope to provide many other activities, events and dances in the Hall over the season. These and other happenings in the area will be published in our community notes, facebook, website www.annagrycommunity.com and our newsletter which will be available in local outlets in the coming weeks. If you feel that there is something else that could be happening in the hall or the community, please let us know. For further contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or by mobile 087 1935066. PILATESPilates classes start on Monday morning September 29th between 10.30am and 11.30am in Annagry Community Hall. The total fee for this six week long course is €60. If the cost is paid in full on day one, the overall cost will be reduced. To enrol, contact 0871483548.CROCHETCrochet classes will begin on Wednesday evening September 24th at 7 pm in Annagry Community Hall. The cost of this 6 week long course is €45 payable on night one. Contact 0871935066 or email@example.com to enrol.FLY TYING Tution in the craft of Fly Tying will begin on Tuesday evening October 14th in Annagry Community Hall. This is an 8 week long course and is suitable for all age groups. The cost is €60 or €40 for under 18s. For further information contact Contact 0871935066 or firstname.lastname@example.orgSOCIAL MEDIASocial media classes will be held on Wednesday afternoons starting October 22nd in Annagry Community Hall. This class will all aspects of Social Media such as email, search engines, online searching, booking and buying, twitter, facebook, scype etc.YOGA Yoga classes will start on Thursday 25th September in Annagry Community Hall from 7pm – 8.30pm. The fee for this eight week long course is €60 payable at the beginning of class one. Booking is essential. Contact 0871935066 or email@example.com to enrol.LOCAL HISTORY AND HERITAGEA Local History and Heritage course will begin on Tuesday October 15th in Annagry Community Hall. This night class will be held over the course of eight weeks. It will cover subjects such as family history, place names, historic events and locations, folklore, folklife etc. For further information contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or by mobile 087 1935066.ART CLASSBeginners Art Classes will be held on Saturday afternoons between 12pm and 2pm in Annagry Community Hall. Although this class will be taught through the medium of oils, others mediums will be accommodated. For further information contact us at email@example.com or by mobile 087 1935066.TABLE QUIZA Table Quiz in aid of Donegal Irish Kidney Association Branch will be held in Caisleain Óir Annagry on Wednesday September 17th at 10pm. Teams of four €20 per table. Thank you for your continued support.WAR COMMEMORATIONThe involvement of the Lower Rosses, Crolly and the Hills area one hundred years ago was commemorated over a weeklong event held in Annagry Hall and Kincasslagh Church and Cemetery. The event started on Monday September 25th with an ecumenical service of remembrance in the Community Hall Annagry at which Fr. Pat Ward P.P and Margaret Boyd Church of Ireland presided. The readers at the service were Jim Boyd Carnboy and Hannah Gallagher Mullaghduff. After the service an exhibition opened, chronicling the lives of 160 local people caught up in the upheaval of war, in which at least 65 from this area paid the ultimate price. In addition to the local display, Donegal County Museum Letterkenny kindly displayed their travelling World War One exhibition. On Wednesday September 27th a Memorial Mass was held in Kincasslagh Church. In his apt and thought provoking sermon Fr. Pat Ward asked for the forgiveness of the Catholic Church’s role in World War One enlistments. He prayed for the people of the area caught up in all wars and the victims of the Ballymanus Mine Disaster. After the Mass, Fr. Ward unveiled and blessed a memorial stone that reads “Dedicated to the memory of Lower Rosses who have died as a result of war”. This memorial is situated in the south eastern side of Kincasslagh Old Graveyard. The highlight of the exhibition came on Saturday September 30th when many local people put on display for the first time personal artefacts relating to their relatives who took part in war. This display will form part of a County wide exhibition opening in the County Museum Letterkenny on Wednesday September 25th at 7.30pm. All is welcome to attend but RSVP required to 074 9124613 or to firstname.lastname@example.orgSYMPATHYSympathy of the community is extended to the relatives and friends of the late Michael Rodgers Braade, Gracie Duffy Belcruit Mountain and Calendar Scotland and Patrick Doogan Gortnasade who have recently passed to their eternal reward. May they rest in peace.LOTTOThere was no winner of the €1880 jackpot in the Naomh Muire Club Lotto for September 3rd. The numbers drawn were 3-16-17-18. Alec McDyer Kerrytown, Odhran Duffy Carrickfin, Bridget Marry Rannyhual, Shannon Sharkey Annagry and Sally Rodgers Ailt an Éin Loughanure matched 3 numbers. The jackpot on September 10th is €1940. If you’re not in, you can’t win! The next 100+Draw is on the 25th of Sept. Sellers are asked to please get your subs in on time to the co-ordinator.DD LOCAL: ANNAGRY TIDY TOWNS COMMITTEE TOAST SUCCESS was last modified: September 11th, 2014 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:Annagry newsJimmy Duffy
For More Info AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORERose Parade grand marshal Rita Moreno talks New Year’s Day outfit and ‘West Side Story’ remake160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! “It is true that much of the intelligence turned out to be wrong,” Bush said. As president, Bush said he was “responsible for the decision to go into Iraq” and “responsible for fixing” the intelligence apparatus. “We (removed) Saddam Hussein from power because he was a threat to our security,” Bush told an invited audience of administration officials, scholars and supporters at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. “Given Saddam’s history and the lessons of September the 11th, my decision to remove Saddam Hussein was the right decision.” Bush devoted an address on the eve of Iraq’s parliamentary elections to defending the U.S.-led invasion, cautioning Americans that “days of uncertainty” lie ahead in Baghdad and contending that democracy there will protect Americans from attack at home. The 31-minute address was the president’s latest effort to regain public support for the invasion and 33-month occupation of Iraq that has claimed the lives of at least 2,151 U.S. soldiers. The latest Gallup Poll showed Bush making progress. The percentage of Gallup respondents who deemed the Iraq invasion “a mistake” has slipped from 54 percent in mid-November to 48 percent in mid-December. Bush delivered the first of his four speeches touting his strategy for victory in Iraq on Nov. 30. Bush urged “patience” by Americans in the weeks ahead as Iraqi authorities determine winners from the 7,600 candidates for the 275 seats in parliament. Once seated in parliament, new lawmakers will have 15 days to select a three-member presidential council that in turn appoints a new prime minister, who in turn has 30 days to name a Cabinet. “It’s going to take a while” and require “continued sacrifice” by the 160,000 U.S. soldiers in Iraq, Bush said. Bush scoffed at some Democrats’ calls for a timetable for U.S. withdrawals or milestones for progress, portraying those proposals as “calling for a rapid and complete withdrawal” based on “an artificial deadline.” He complained about “irresponsible charges” by unnamed critics who he alleged had accused him of ordering the invasion of Iraq to gain access to Iraqi oil or protect Israel as well as “manipulating intelligence” to gain support for war. Democratic critics, led by Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa., a retired Marine Corps colonel, challenged Bush’s latest address on Iraq and his rationale for going to war when Iraq did not harbor terrorist camps or weapons of mass destruction. “We go to war because of our national security interests – we don’t go to war to start democracy in another country,” said Murtha, who predicted that the cumulative Iraq war spending may top $425 billion early next year. Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., the Senate Democratic leader, told the Bush administration in a letter signed by 40 Senate Democrats and independent Sen. James Jeffords of Vermont that today’s parliamentary elections must serve as “a turning point” in the relationship between America and Iraq. The White House should demand that Iraqi religious and ethnic factions “make the compromises necessary” to forge a national government that can defeat the insurgency and free American GIs to withdraw from Iraq. Bush vigorously defended his decision to invade Iraq in March 2003 based on suspicions that Saddam possessed weapons of mass destruction. None of the suspected weapons or weapons programs was ever found. Bush has previously acknowledged the failures of U.S. intelligence agencies to accurately gauge Iraqi weapons programs before the invasion. Bush added Wednesday that Saddam “could have avoided war” at any time by complying with U.N. Security Council demands for unfettered weapons inspections. “The United States did not choose war; the choice was Saddam Hussein’s,” Bush said. • AP Video: Bush admits responsibility for going to war on faulty intelligence. • Interactive: Ethics of Bush administration questioned. WASHINGTON – President Bush said Wednesday he accepts responsibility for launching the invasion of Iraq based on faulty intelligence, but insisted that his decision was justified because Saddam Hussein wanted to restart his weapons programs.