Morning Links: U.S. Combat Mission Ends in Iraq; Well in the Gulf to Be Killed, Finally; Bodegas Are Ripping You Off

• The 4th Stryker Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, left Iraq this week, upholding the Obama administration's promise to end the U.S. combat mission by the end of August. About 50,000 U.S. troops will stay in Iraq, mainly as a training force. [WP]

• BP will "finally kill" the well in the Gulf the week of September 6, said Retired Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen. This will be through the "bottom kill" -- i.e., shooting mud and cement into the bottom via a relief well. [Reuters]

• The Asian Development Bank expects to offer Pakistan a $2 billion emergency loan, but aid still lags to the country overall. Currently, six million people are in need of emergency assistance, and the U.N. estimates that figure could rise to eight million. [NYT]

• U.S. jobless claims rose unexpectedly last week to the highest level since November, which means companies are firing more as the economy slows. [Bloomberg]

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• Giuliani called the proposed mosque at Ground Zero "divisive" on the Today show this morning. "This project is creating tremendous pain for people who've already made the ultimate sacrifice. All you're doing is creating more division, more anger, more hatred." He also acknowledged that the developers have a right to build the mosque, but questioned whether they should do it. [NBC NY]

• The site of the proposed mosque is already a hot tourist spot, apparently, and the incensed, the agnostic, and the curious are all flocking there. Also, the former Burlington Coat Factory building is a great backdrop for photos. [NYP]

• 52 percent of bodegas and grocery stores are ripping you off. Of course, you probably already know that if you pay $10 for cereal just so you don't have to leave your own block. [amNY]


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