AP/Worldwide

The State Dept. says repairs at the new U.S. Embassy compound in Baghdad, the world's largest such complex, should be finished by Aug. 1. After the Washington Post reported July 5 that there had been "a cascade of building and safety blunders" at a facility for security guards at the compound, State Dept. spokesman Sean McCormack acknowledged that "there were problems, there were issues" at the project. But he says they are being fixed and that he is not aware of any delays in the expected September opening. McCormack says the State Dept. office that oversees embassy construction gave its contractor a compilation of punch-list items to be done and said the contractor was fixing them. The major contractor is First Kuwait Trading & Contracting Co., which in 2005 won a $463.8-million contract for the compound's unclassified portion. The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee has scheduled a July 26 hearing on the project.