A resource for historians and journalists, since 2004
Web www.maravot.com

Maravot News of the World
10:23 AM – San Francisco
Fri, Jan 12, 2007
(last post)

Contact us Privacy Policy
About Maravot News & Links

Search Engines

Ask.com Google.com
Mama.com Accoona
AOL Netfind Lycos
Webcrawler Yahoo 
technorati (searches blogs)
Archive: Way Back Machine

E-tracking Terrorists

Most Wanted Terrorists
Rewards for Justice.net
Terrorism Knowledge Base
Tracking Terrorism.com
lauramansfield.com –daily translations of Arabic blogs
unitedstatesaction.com – links to US emergency preparedness & terrorist watch organizations

Faces of the Fallen – Iraq

US & Coalition
Casualties, War in Iraq

Trends, Iraq Casualties

US Fatalities City Map
Coalition Fatalities by location across time.

Metric Conversion

kilometer: 0.6214 mile
meter: 39.37 inches
centimetre: 0.3937 inch
millimetre: 0.03937 inch
foot: 30.48 cm
Br. stone: 14 pounds
kilogram: 2.2046 pounds
litre: 1.0567 US quarts
hectare: 2.471 acres
– 1 djerib (Turkey)
– 1 jerib (Iran)
– 1 gong qing (China)
0° Celcius: = 32° F

Chart showing National Debt & Annual Deficits with Presidents. Democrat administrations are blue, Republican in Red. Green reflects projected Bush debt. Click chart for larger image.

2006 update (2.25.06)

The Chart Showing the National Debt above is still valid: "The debt to the penny," publicdebt.treas.gov.
The debt projection for 2009 is now $10.3 Trillion. Deficit for 2006 is $435 Billion.
OMB Budget FY2007
Interest on Debt 2006
Federal Debt 2006
Fed. Budget Summary 2006

Western News
Worth frequent visits

Village Voice
Time Magazine
The New Yorker magazine
Vanity Fair
Arch. & Prehistory news
New Scientist

Aral Sea Disaster
Media Matters
information please
DOD News
liberation.fr (en français)
lefigaro.fr (en français)
Spiegel Online

La Repubblica.It
expatica.com (Spain)
standartnews.com (Bulgaria)
NIS News (Holland)
BBC News
Sky News (London)

The Independent
Belfast Telegraph
cnews.canoe.ca (Canada)
National Public Radio
New York Times.com
Washington Post Washington Times
ABC News

Fox News


CBS News
WWLTV – New Orleans
Detroit Free Press (Freep)
LA Times
San Francisco Chronicle
Financial Times
Radio Free Europe
Radio News America
Democracy Now, radio & TV
The Guardian, Nigeria
Business Day (S. Africa)


International Agencies – News

IRIN News, Africa & Asia
Power & Interest News Report
sandesh.org : network to improve women's rights in Islam

Osama bin Laden fatwas.
This monster's own words will
lead to his destruction
Definition of fatwa (fatwah)
Maravot News Comment




August 1996

Maps of interest
Click on maps for larger image
Russia, Belarus & neighbors
Israel-Iraq & neighbors
Iran-Afghanistan-Pak.-India; Gulf of Hormuz oil lane Iran threatens to block
Kazakhstan & neighbors

Historical map of Israel. Figure 2 shows the area allocated to
Israel by the UN in 1948. Compare to Israel' s map below of its security wall.

Israel's Security Fence. Click on image for larger view or here for interactive link.

Middle East Watch

Middle East Times

bakutoday.net, Azerbaijan

Azzaman.com (Iraq)
Iran Focus

Iran Daily


mehrnews.ir (Iran)
Middle East Newsline
Jerusalem Post


Palestine Chronicle
naharnet.com (Lebanon)
Daily Star (Lebanon)

topix.net (Qatar)
Saudi Post
Yemen Daily
Arab News
Dar Al Hayat
Khaleej Times,Yemen



Russia & Ukraine Watch

kyivpost.com (Ukraine)

East Asia Watch


Daily Times,com. pk
South Asia Tribune
India Express

Indo-Asian News Service

New Kerala (India)

Hindustan Times

xinhuanet (Chinaview.cn)

Asia Times (Hong Kong)
China Daily

Shenzhen Daily
CRI online (China)
Big News Network
Korea Herald

Kyodo News

Japan Times

Japan Today (Crisscross.com)

Daily Yomiuri (Japan)

The Star (Malaysia

The Jakarta Post

Bangkok Post

The Nation (Bangkok)
Kashmir Times
Press Trust of India

Daily News (Sri Lanka)

LankaPage (Sri Lanka)
inq7.net (Phillipines)


More newspapers

Click on image for org. to impeach Bush & Cheney.

Halliburton watch.org

Relevant Works by Mel

The Romance of Anais, an Arthurian-style tale written 1996 describing how Bush got us in the mess in Iraq with a short commentary on the
Chang-an cheat
Tapestry of One – on the creed of Buddha,
Duty & Profit, Nov. 1994
Against Leviathan, Jan. 1993
Immoral Coercion, Dec. 1994
Philistia Triumph thou
because of me
, Dec. 1993
Quest for Human Dignity, July 1994
What Price Justice? Sept. 1992

Maravot News is not responsible for the content of any links
from this site.

News Headlines & Trends

01.11.07 Democrats plan to fight expansion of troops

WASHINGTON, January 11 – The new Democratic leaders of Congress on Wednesday accused President Bush of ignoring strong American sentiment against the war in Iraq and said they would build a bipartisan campaign against his proposed military expansion. Democrats continued to debate how assertively to confront Mr. Bush over his plan. House Democrats said that they would seek to attach conditions to the spending request Mr. Bush will send to Congress soon and that those conditions, if not met, could lead Congress to limit or halt money for wider military operations.

"We are going to fund the troops that are there," said Brendan Daly, an aide to Representative Nancy Pelosi of California, the House speaker. "Any escalation of troops we will subject to scrutiny. We will have hearings, and we will set benchmarks that the president must meet to obtain this money."

Any challenge to Mr. Bush over paying for the additional troops is probably months away. House Democrats said their first step would be to vote on a nonbinding resolution opposing Mr. Bushıs plan. The Senate is planning to vote on a similar resolution as soon as next week. "The presidentıs response to the challenge of Iraq is to send more American soldiers into the crossfire of a civil war," said Senator Richard J. Durbin of Illinois, the No. 2 Democrat in the Senate, responding for his party immediately after Mr. Bush spoke. "The escalation of this war is not the change the American people called for in the last election."
[More>>nytimes.com ; See related stories:

khaleejtimes.com (Reuters) January 11, "Arabs see little hope for Bush's Iraq plan" : CAIRO – US President George W. Bushıs plan to send 21,500 more troops will fail to bring peace to Iraq and could aggravate a conflict in which tens of thousands of people have already died, Arab analysts said on Thursday. Bush, taking advice mainly from a small group of ideologues, has misunderstood the nature of the conflict and is wrong to think that a military solution is possible, they added.

A few analysts in the Gulf, where the US invasion of Iraq in 2003 was less unpopular than in the rest of the Arab world, said more troops might help, but it could also be too late. Bushıs plan, announced early on Thursday in the Middle East, overlooks or rejects policy options which the analysts said were essential – dialogue with Iran and Syria, and a determined US effort to tackle the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. "America is no longer in the driving seat. It has lost Iraq and adding a few thousands troops is not going to help because the situation is beyond fixing," said Abdel-Khaleq Abdullah, a political scientist in the United Arab Emirates...

telegraph.co.uk, January 11, "US tactic exposes growing rift with Britain" : President George W. Bush's decision to dispatch another 21,500 soldiers to Iraq exposes a widening rift between British and American military strategy. The deployment will bring the total number of US military personnel in Iraq to 154,000. But as Mr. Bush's forces are "surging in," Britain's are trickling out.

Britain has barely 7,200 troops in Iraq — already a reduction of 1,500 from the force level of 18 months ago. Britain's latest plans provide for the departure of more troops, with the total contingent probably being reduced to only 4,500 by the end of May. If Iraq has been an Anglo-American project since the invasion of March 2003, Mr. Bush's latest announcement marks the onset of a critical divergence between the two partners, and such rewriting of American strategy appears to have been concluded without any high-level consultation with the British.

The change did not arise from a summit between Mr. Bush and Tony Blair. Instead, the president's key decisions to send more troops and reject the central recommendations of the Iraq Study Group, whose report was issued last month, were taken in the White House while the Prime Minister was on holiday in Miami...

msnbc.msn.com, January 11, "Pentagon wants 92,000 more troops – Conflict in Iraq" : WASHINGTON – At a briefing to add details about President Bush's new Iraq strategy, Defense Secretary Robert Gates on Thursday said he would recommend increasing the Army and Marine Corps by 92,000 troops over the next five years. The cost of the troop increase would be enormous. The Army estimates that each additional 10,000 soldiers costs it about $1.2 billion a year. That does not include the cost of equipment needed for the additional soldiers...

sky.com, January 11, "Iraq Plan "worst blunder since Vietnam" : A senior member of President Bush's own party has described the decision to send more troops to Iraq as "the most dangerous foreign policy blunder since Vietnam. The comments from Senator Chuck Nagel, a potential Republican Presidential candidate in 2008 came during a debate on President Bush's plans to send an extra 21,500 US troops to Iraq. But he did receive backing from other Republicans who indicated they would try to delay any attempt by Democrats to block the plan...

01.11.07 US raid on Iranian consulate angers Kurds

BAGHDAD, January 11 – The US military operation Thursday in the northern Iraqi city of Irbil that resulted in the arrests of six Iranians has drawn a sharp denunciation from Iraq's Kurdish regional government. A spokesman for the autonomous regional government and its presidency expressed their "alarm" and condemned the Thursday morning operation. They characterized it as a raid on the Iranian consulate in Irbil, "which opened in the provincial capital in an agreement between the Iraqi government and the Iranian government."

The Kurdish regional government is based in Irbil. The Kurdish statement, which includes a call for the immediate release of the detainees, says the consulate is entitled to immunity in accordance with the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations of 1963. The statement also says the Kurdish government, which covers the provinces of Irbil, Sulaimaniya and Duhuk, needs to be informed when such actions are taken. In Washington, a US official confirmed that six Iranian officials were detained for questioning. But he disputed accounts that troops broke open a consulate gate and conducted a raid.

01.11.07 Feds: Hezbollah growing threat to US

WASHINGTON (AP) January 11 – Al Qaeda still poses the gravest terrorism threat to the United States, and an emboldened Hezbollah is a growing danger, the US intelligence chief said Thursday. In his annual review of global threats, National Intelligence Director John Negroponte highlighted an increasingly worrisome posture of Hezbollah — backed by Iran and Syria — since its 34-day war with Israel in July and August. "As a result of last summer's hostilities, Hezbollah's self-confidence and hostility toward the US as a supporter of Israel could cause the group to increase its contingency planning against US interests," Negroponte told the Senate Intelligence Committee in written testimony. [More>>cbsnews.com]

01.11.07 Afghan, NATO forces kill up to 150 militants

KABUL (AFP) January 11 – NATO-led and Afghan forces have unleashed air and ground strikes on a group of insurgents spotted infiltrating into Afghanistan from Pakistan, killing up to 150 of them, officials said. The men were seen gathering on the Pakistan side of the border and crossing into the eastern province of Paktika in two large groups, NATO's International Security Assistance Force said Thursday. They were "monitored, tracked and subsequently engaged in Afghanistan, through the coordinated use of both air and ground fire in a series of engagements," it said in a statement. Afghan defence ministry spokesman Mohammad Zahir Azimi told AFP that NATO bombed the insurgents just two kilometres (1.2 miles) from the Pakistan border in Barmal district. Afghan ground forces also attacked, he said. [More>>turkishpress.com]

01.11.07 Six Iraqis killed in Baghdad attacks

BAGHDAD, January 11 – Six Iraqis were shot dead, including five police officers, in Baghdad attacks on Thursday just hours after US President George W. Bush declared he would send more than 20,000 new troops to Iraq. [More>>thenews.com.pk]

01.11.07 Suspected bird flu kills Japan chickens

TOKYO, January 12 – An outbreak of suspected bird flu killed about 750 chickens on a farm on south Japan's Kyushu island, a farm ministry official in Tokyo said. The farm, which has over 12,000 birds, is located in the small town of Kiyotake in Miyazaki Prefecture, an area devoted mainly to forestry and farming. If bird flu is confirmed, all the chickens on the farm will be destroyed, he said. It was not known if any humans were infected. The farm will be placed in quarantine and local authorities are urging people to stay away from the area. [>news.com.au]

01.10.07 Bush orders US troop buildup in Iraq

WASHINGTON (CBS/AP) January 10 – President Bush on Wednesday acknowledged for the first time he erred by failing to order a military buildup in Iraq last year and said he was increasing U.S. troops by 21,500 to quell the country's near-anarchy. "Where mistakes have been made, the responsibility rests with me," Bush said. The military increase puts Bush on a collision course with the new Democratic Congress and pushes the American presence in Iraq toward its highest level. It also runs counter to widespread anti-war passions among Americans and the advice of some top generals. in a prime-time address to the nation, Bush pushed back against the Democrats' calls to end the unpopular war. He said that "to step back now would force a collapse of the Iraqi government, tear that country apart and result in mass killings on an unimaginable scale." [More>>cbsnews.com]

01.10.07 Part of missing Indonesian plane, body found in sea

MAKASSAR, Indonesia (Reuters) January 11 – Part of the tail of an Indonesian plane which disappeared with 102 people on board 10 days ago has been found in the sea off Sulawesi island, an air base commander said on Thursday. Police later said a body was found floating in the same general area where the piece was located. The ill-fated Adam Air Boeing 737-400 was heading from Java to Manado in the northern part of Sulawesi when it vanished in bad weather on Jan. 1. "This morning I announced that there has been a finding of a part of Adam Air. What was found was the right tail's stabilizer number 65C25746-76. This thing was found by a fisherman in Pare Pare," Eddy Suyanto, the air base commander in Makassar, told reporters. "This object has the same number as the Boeing catalogue," he said, as he showed the white and slightly scratched stabilizer that was found on Wednesday to reporters. Pare Pare is a seaside town about 100 km (60 miles) north of Makassar, capital of South Sulawesi province, from where the search operations are being coordinated. [More>>thestar.com.my]

01.10.07 Blasts rock southern Philippines on eve of Asian summits

MANILA, January 11 (2nd Update) – At least seven people were killed while 29 others were wounded after bomb blasts rocked three cities on the southern Philippine island of Mindanao Wednesday night, eve of the Asian summits in Cebu province, officials said. At 6:10 p.m., an improvised bomb went off in front of a busy lottery ticket store in General Santos City, which has been menaced by Islamist extremists in the past, killing at least six people and injuring 20 others.

Less than three hours later at 8:45 p.m., another improvised bomb ripped through a police outpost in Kidapawan City, leaving two passers-by injured. At 10:22 p.m., a third explosion killed a garbage collector and wounded five others after a bomb rocked downtown Cotabato City, about 170 kilometers (106 miles) northwest of General Santos. The blasts came as leaders from 16 countries were preparing for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and East Asian summits in the central Philippine province of Cebu.

01.10.07 2006 was warmest on record for US

WASHINGTON (AP) January 10 – Last year was the warmest on record for the United States, with temperature readings pushing higher than normal during the last half of December. Preliminary data from the National Climatic Data Center listed the average temperature for the 48 contiguous states last year as 55 degrees Fahrenheit. That's 2.2 degrees warmer than average and 0.07 degree warmer than 1998, the previous warmest year on record. Worldwide, the agency said, it was the sixth warmest year on record.

In December the Center had predicted that 2006 would be the United States' third warmest year, but unusual readings later that month pushed the year into first place. The Center said it is not clear how much of the warming is a result of greenhouse-gas induced climate change and how much resulted from the current El Nino warming of the tropical Pacific Ocean.

01.10.07 Iran conservatives scold fiery Ahmadinejad

TEHRAN (AFP) January 10 – Just weeks after scoring success in elections, moderate conservatives have joined reformers in publicly criticizing President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's confrontational handling of the standoff over Iran's nuclear program. While all Iranian political forces remain committed to the nuclear program as a national right, voices of discomfort have become louder, particularly over the president's angry tirades against Western countries in his public speeches.

With Iran now under its first UN Security Council sanctions for defying the West, two prominent conservative newspapers Tuesday printed editorials unusually critical of the president's style in handling the issue. "One day you announce that we are installing 3,000 centrifuges, the next day you say 60,000. This gives the impression that what you say has not been well thought out," said the daily Jomhuri Eslami. "At the very moment that the nuclear issue was about to move away from the UN Security Council, the fiery speeches of the president have resulted in the adoption of two resolutions [against Iran]," said Hamshahri. [

01.10.07 Bird flu flares anew in Asia, Indonesian boy dies

BEIJING (Reuters) January 10 – Bird flu has infected a farmer in China's first human case in months, killed an Indonesian teenager and spread deeper in Vietnam in a flare-up of infections mirroring past winters. A second Indonesian bird flu victim, a 37-year-old woman from Banten Province on Java island, was in hospital on Wednesday, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said. Most human victims of bird flu have contracted the virus from infected birds, usually chickens, ducks or geese and there is usually a surge in cases during cooler months when the virus seems to thrive. The 37-year-old Chinese man from the eastern province of Anhui kept backyard birds, but as in other human bird flu cases in China there was no reported poultry outbreak in the area, raising questions as to how he contracted the virus. [More>>thestar.com.my]

01.09.07 Thosuands of birds fall from sky

ESPERANCE, Australia, January 10 – Thousands of birds have fallen from the skies over Esperance and no one knows why. Is it an illness, toxins or a natural phenomenon? A string of autopsies in Perth have shed no light on the mystery. All the residents of flood-devastated Esperance know is that their "dawn chorus" of singing birds is missing. The main casualties are wattle birds, yellow-throated miners, new holland honeyeaters and singing honeyeaters, although some dead crows, hawks and pigeons have also been found.

Wildlife officers are baffled by the "catastrophic" event, which the Department of Environment and Conservation said began well before last week's freak storm. On Monday, Esperance, 725km southeast of Perth, was declared a natural disaster zone. District nature conservation coordinator Mike Fitzgerald said the first reports of birds dropping dead in people's yards came in three weeks ago. More than 500 deaths had since been notified. But the calls stopped suddenly last week, reportedly because no birds were left.
[More>>news.com.au See a similar story, January 8,
Downtown Austin shut down after bird deaths."]

01.09.07 Fifty killed in Baghdad raids

January 9 – US and Iraqi forces have killed 50 people in raids in central Baghdad. The raids on Tuesday came as a new video of Saddam Hussein, taken shortly after his hanging, appeared on the internet. Mortar and machine-gun fire were heard across central Baghdad as security forces launched a crackdown on armed groups in the notorious Haifa Street. Major-General Ibrahim Shakir, the Iraqi defence ministry spokesman, said 50 people had been killed and 21 others arrested in the operation. US and Iraqi forces clashed with gunmen, saying they came under fire from mortars and rocket-propelled grenades. [More>>aljazeera.net ; See related story, independent.co.uk, January 9, "Iraq admits 23,000 civilians died in 2006."]

01.09.07 Gunships attack suspected al-Qaeda fighters in Somalia

MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) January 9 – Helicopter gunships attacked suspected al-Qaeda fighters in the south Tuesday after U.S. forces staged airstrikes in the first offensive in the African country since 18 American soldiers were killed there in 1993, witnesses said. Witnesses said 31 civilians, including two newlyweds, died in the assault by two helicopters near Afmadow, a town in an area of forested hills close to the Kenyan border 220 miles southwest of Somalia's capital, Mogadishu. The report could not be independently verified. A Somali Defense Ministry official described the helicopters as American, but the local witnesses told The Associated Press they could not make out identification markings on the craft. Washington officials had no comment.

On Monday, at least one U.S. AC-130 gunship attacked Islamic extremists in Hayi, 30 miles from Afmadow, and on a remote island 155 miles away believed to be an al-Qaeda training camp at the southern tip of Somalia next to Kenya. Somali officials said they had reports of many deaths. A US intelligence official said the U.S. killed five to 10 individuals in this week's attack in southern Somalia. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the operation's sensitivity, said a small number of others present, perhaps four or five, at the targeted area were also wounded. The US was still trying to figure out who they were – a process that may require a mix of intelligence and getting personnel to the scene.

01.09.07 Kennedy calls Iraq Bush's 'Vietnam'

January 9 – US Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., laid down the gauntlet today, making the first formal effort to block President Bush's expected plan for a surge of American troops in Iraq with a bill that would block funding for the additional soldiers and offering clear comparisons to Vietnam. Speaking a day before President Bush is expected to unveil a new strategy for Iraq, Kennedy, a senior member of the US Senate Armed Services Committee, said he would offer a new bill that would bar additional troops and additional money for new operations in Iraq without congressional approval.

The bill targets a key portion of the president's plan, which is expected to include some 20,000 new troops to quell violence in the capital of Baghdad for an indefinite period, despite polls that show that a clear majority of Americans are opposed to a new commitment of American troops. Even if Democrats can muster enough votes to pass Kennedy's legislation, it is unlikely they would be able to override a veto by President Bush.

01.09.07 US expected to slap sanction on Iranian bank

WASHINGTON (Reuters) January 9 – The United States is expected to announce sanctions against Bank Sepah, a major Iranian commercial bank, under a presidential order aimed at freezing the assets of proliferators of weapons of mass destruction and their supporters, several US officials and diplomats said on Monday. The action is expected to be announced soon, the officials told Reuters, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Undersecretary of Treasury Stuart Levey, who leads US efforts to combat terrorist financing and money laundering, has called a news conference for Tuesday to make an announcement on Iran but his office declined to disclose details. The new sanctions – under an executive order President George W. Bush signed in June 2005 – reflects the administrationıs determination to use US legal authority to pressure Iran to abandon its nuclear program, something Tehran has repeatedly insisted it will not do.

01.09.07 Apple unveils new mobile phone

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) January 9 – Apple Computer (NASDAQ:AAPL) CEO Steve Jobs confirmed months of speculation Tuesday by unveiling a new mobile phone that plays and downloads music and a set-top box that allows people to stream video from their computers to their televisions. Jobs said Apple's iPhone would "reinvent" the telecommunications sector and "leapfrog" past the current generation of hard-to-use smart phones.

"Every once in a while a revolutionary product comes along that changes everything," he said during his keynote address at the annual Macworld Conference and Expo. "It's very fortunate if you can work on just one of these in your career. ... Apple's been very fortunate in that it's introduced a few of these." Jobs demonstrated the phone's music capabilities by playing "Lovely Rita, Meter Maid," from the Beatles' Sergeant Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band. Phone uses a patented technology Apple is calling "multi-touch," and is essentially a computer with a blank screen that users configure with easy-to-use software so they can touch the monitor with their fingers.

...Apple will begin taking order Tuesday for $299 video box, called Apple TV, and the devices will be available in February. The gadget is designed to bridge computers and television sets so users can more easily watch their downloaded movies on a big screen. A prototype of the gadget was introduced by Jobs in September when Apple announced it would sell TV shows and movies through its iTunes online store. The product could be as revolutionary to digital movies as Apple's iPod music player was to digital music. Both devices liberate media from the computer, allowing people to enjoy digital files without being chained to a desktop or laptop.
[Full story>>nytimes.com ; See also sfgate.com (San Francisco Chronicle), January 9, "Steve Jobs: Live blogging from the macworld floor."]

01.09.07 NASA Mars team teaches old Rovers new tricks to kick off year four

December 28, 2006 – NASA's twin Mars rovers, nearing the third anniversary of their landings, are getting smarter as they get older. The unexpected longevity of Spirit and Opportunity is giving the space agency a chance to field-test on Mars some new capabilities useful both to these missions and future rovers. Spirit will begin its fourth year on Mars on Jan. 3 (PST); Opportunity on Jan. 24. In addition to their continuing scientific observations, they are now testing four new skills included in revised flight software uploaded to their onboard computers.

One of the new capabilities enables spacecraft to examine images and recognize certain types of features. It is based on software developed for NASA's Space Technology 6 "thinking spacecraft." Spirit has photographed dozens of dusty whirlwinds in action, and both rovers have photographed clouds. Until now, however, scientists on Earth have had to sift through many transmitted images from Mars to find those few. With the new intelligence boost, the rovers can recognize dust devils or clouds and select only the relevant parts of those images to send back to Earth. This increased efficiency will free up more communication time for additional scientific investigations...With this new capability, the rover will be smarter about navigating in complex terrain, thinking several steps ahead. It could back out of a dead-end cul-de-sac. It could even find its way through a maze..
.[Full story>>marsrovers.jpl.nasa.gov]

01.09.07 Tehran pollution kills 3,600 in a month

TEHRAN (AFP) January 9 – Air pollution has killed 3,600 people in just a month in the Iranian capital Tehran, an official said Tuesday, describing the city's environmental situation as a "collective suicide. Pollution has directly or indirectly caused the deaths of 3,600 people in the month of Aban [October 23 to November 23]," said Mohammad Hadi Heydarzadeh, director of Tehran's clean air committee, quoted by Kargozaran newspaper.

He said that the deaths were caused by heart attacks brought on by the air pollution and that the smog was responsible for 80 percent of the fatal heart problems that month in Tehran, one of the world's most polluted cities. "It is a very serious and lethal crisis, a collective suicide," he warned. "A real revolution is needed to resolve this problem." The new figures showed a sharp rise in pollution-related deaths in Iran, where 9,900 people died of pollution in the previous Iranian year (March 2005 to March 2006).

01.08.07 New video of Saddam's corpse released

BAGHDAD, January 8 – A new video of Saddam Hussein's corpse, with a gaping neck wound, was posted on the Internet early Tuesday, the second leaked release of clandestine pictures from the former leader's hanging. The video appeared to have been taken with a camera phone, like the graphic video of the hanging which showed guards taunting Saddam in the final moments of his life.

The footage pans up the shrouded body of the former leader from the feet. It apparently was taken shortly after Saddam was executed and placed on a gurney. He was hanged shortly before dawn on Dec. 30. As the panning shot reaches the head region, the white shroud is pulled back and reveals Saddam's head and neck. His head is unnaturally twisted at a 90-degree angle to his right. It shows a gaping bloody wound, circular in shape, about an inch below his jaw line on the left side of his neck. His left cheek is marked with red blotches, and there is blood on the shroud where it covered his head.

01.08.07 Seventeen killed in Iraq attacks

BAGHDAD, September 8 – At least 17 people were killed in attacks across Iraq Monday in Baghdad where a revised security plan is being put in place to restore stability, security officials said. For its part the defence ministry said that a total of 26 militants were killed in Iraq since Sunday, including 23 in Baghdad. Gunmen ambushed a bus carrying workers to Baghdad international airport and sprayed passengers with bullets, killing four and wounding nine, security official and a medic said. The bus was ambushed in west Baghdad, near the airport. A medic at Baghdad's Yarmuk hospital said he had received the bodies of four victims. "They all were shot dead," he said. Three Iraqis were killed in a bomb attack in a market at Zafaraniyah in south Baghdad, a security official said. The bomb was placed under a parked car in the market, he added.

Five members of one family were also brutally shot dead in the notorious Dora district of Baghdad, he said, while a policeman was killed by gunmen in a separate attack in the capital. In the flashpoint city of Baquba, northeast of Baghdad, four people were killed in different attacks, police said. Separately, three devotees returning from the annual hajj Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca were wounded outside the capital when their bus struck a roadside bomb.
[More>>thenews.com.pk ; See related story, washingtonpost.com, January 8, "War's toll on Iraqis put at 22,950 in '06."]

01.08.07 Kurd trial hears 'Saddam' approving gas attacks

BAGHDAD (AFP) January 8 – Saddam Hussein okayed the use of chemical weapons on crowds of Kurds in the 1980s, prosecutors claimed Monday, producing an audiotape purportedly containing the voice of the executed dictator. "I will take responsibility for using the chemical weapons. No one can direct the strike without my approval," the voice claimed by trial prosecutor Munqith Al Faroon to be that of Saddam is heard saying on the tape. "It is better to use this weapon in crowded places to be effective on as many people as possible," the voice is heard saying. Faroon produced the dramatic tape soon after the resumption of the genocide trial of six former Iraqi regime officials accused of slaughtering 182,000 Kurdish villagers in the 1980s. [More>>metimes.com]

01.08.07 Somali forces capture jungle base

January 8 – Government and Ethiopian forces have captured what they say was a jungle base used by Islamic courts fighters in southern Somalia. A government military commander said on Monday that Ras Kamboni was taken after a two-day campaign using ground forces and air support. Mohammed Adow, Al Jazeera's correspondent in Somalia, said: "Taking over Ras Kamboni denies Islamist fighters a base from which to launch their guerrilla attacks. It leaves them sandwiched between the US forces patrolling the coast and Kenyan forces stationed at the border." Abdirashid Hidig, an official with the Somali government, said that troops had "captured Ras Kambon."

Earlier on Monday, Abdullahi Yusuf, the Somali president, travelled to Mogadishu, the capital, for the first time since taking office in 2004. But four people were killed in Mogadishu over the weekend as violence continued in protests over government plans to disarm the population by force and against the presence of Ethiopian troops on Somali soil. Adow said: "There are many government soldiers on the streets [of Mogadishu], but underneath it looks as though no one is in charge."

01.08.07 Israel developing world's largest drone

JERUSALEM (AFP) January 8 – Israel is developing the worldıs largest unmanned aircraft which will be used for long-range operations and destroying ballistic missiles as they are being launched, a security official said Monday. The Eitan has been developed by the Israel Aircraft Industries and has a wing span of 35 metres (110 feet) – similar to that of a Boeing 737 passenger plane – the official told AFP.

According to the Yediot Aharonot daily, the drone was designed for long endurance and high altitude flights and is equipped with an array of advanced cameras and missiles which allow it to identify and intercept long-range missiles as they are being fired on the ground. It will make its maiden flight in the coming days, the paper said.

01.08.07 Fears of European price rise as Russian oil flows cut

January 8 – Fears are growing that a new energy dispute could drive up oil prices after an ex-Soviet state closed its pipeline, hitting Russian supplies to both Germany and Poland. Belarus has closed its pipeline because of a growing dispute with Russia, which is making it pay higher energy prices. The 2,500-mile-long pipeline serves Germany and Poland, and has the capacity to ship more than 1.2 million barrels a day to central and eastern Europe.

Transneft, the Russian state pipeline operator, says the closure of the Belarusian section has so far blocked 79,000 tones of Russian oil from reaching its destination, which recipients Poland and Germany have confirmed. The impact of a short-term stoppage in Poland and Germany is likely to be minimal as refineries maintain strategic oil stocks, and the European Union's energy commissioner has said it poses "no immediate risk" to energy supplies in the bloc. But the disruption to Russian oil supplies to Europe once again highlights concerns about Russia's reliability as an energy supplier a year after its pricing dispute with Ukraine briefly affected EU imports of Russian natural gas.
[More>>timesonline.co.uk ; See also rian.ru, January 8, "Russia may seek international support over Belarus oil tapping."]

01.08.07 Downtown Austin shut down after bird deaths

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) January 8 – Police shut down 10 blocks of businesses in the heart of downtown Austin early Monday after dozens of birds were found dead. Emergency workers donned yellow hazardous-material suits, and dozens of fire trucks and ambulances were parked nearby, as they began testing for any sort of environmental contaminant or gas or chlorine leaks that might have cause the bird deaths. There were no reports of any humans harmed, but a 10-block stretch of the main north-south route through downtown, several side streets and all buildings in the area were blocked off and expected to remain off-limits until about noon, said police spokeswoman Toni Chovanetz. [More>>msnbc.msn.com]

01.08.07 Indonesian woman with bird flu in critical condition

JAKARTA (AP) January 9 – An Indonesian woman was in critical condition Monday after being hospitalized with bird flu, a health official said. It was unclear how she contracted the virus.The 37-year-old is the second person to be sickened by the disease in less than a week, said I Nyoman Kandun, the Ministry of Health's director general of communicable disease control. The other was a 14-year-old boy, Kandun said, adding that both are from the industrial city of Tangerang on the western outskirts of the capital, Jakarta, and are being treated at the Persahabatan hospital.

The woman, identified only as Ria, "is now in critical condition," said Kandun. "We are still trying to track down the source of infection," he said. Indonesia has reported 76 people infected with the deadly H5N1 bird flu strain, and 57 of them have died – more than a third of the world's total – since the disease began ravaging Asian poultry stocks in 2003.

Editorial note: The strain of bird flu called "Spanish Flu" from WWI killed about 10 percent of those infected. The H5N1 bird flu strain has killed about 50 percent of those infected, according to some sources, but in Indonesia, according to these statistics, 75 percent of those infected died.

01.07.07 Britons to be scanned for FBI database

January 7 – Millions of Britons who visit the United States are to have their fingerprints stored on the FBI database alongside those of criminals, in a move that has outraged civil rights groups. The Observer has established that under new plans to combat terrorism, the US government will demand that visitors have all 10 fingers scanned when they enter the country. The information will be shared with intelligence agencies, including the FBI, with no restrictions on their international use. US airport scanners now take only two fingerprints from travellers. The move to 10 allows the information to be compatible with the FBI database.

'We are going to start testing at several airports,' a Department of Homeland Security spokeswoman confirmed. "It will begin some time this summer." Sources said 10 airports would initially be involved. The scheme will cover most of the major airports frequently used by British travellers, including New York, Washington and Miami. Countries subject to the new scheme include Britain, other European Union nations, Japan, Australia and New Zealand.

Last night the British civil rights group Liberty expressed astonishment at the plan, which will affect four million British travellers to the US. "This must be the Keystone Cops school of border control," said Shami Chakrabarti, director of Liberty. "Accumulating the fingerprints of millions of innocent passengers will not deter would-be suicide bombers."

...In a speech at a technology conference Michael Chertoff, the Secretary of Homeland Security, said the main aim was to deter "the unknown terrorist." It could pick up on fingerprints left at terrorist sites around the world. "A fingerprint that is left... in the training camp or in the safe house is, in fact, a powerful tool." He added that he hoped the system would deter any terrorists from ever trying to enter the US. "We will have a world in which any terrorist who has ever been in a safe house or has ever been in a training camp is going to ask himself or herself this question: have I ever left a fingerprint anywhere?" Chertoff said.
[Full story>>observer.guardian.co.uk]

01.07.07 Car bomb kills 3 US airmen in Baghdad

BAGHDAD, January 7 – As Iraqi troops continued a new effort to control violence in Baghdad Sunday, three US airmen were killed by a car bomb, and at least nine Iraqis were killed by bombs, mortars, and bullets in the Iraqi capital. The US deaths happened while members of the 447th Expeditionary Civil Engineer Squadron's Explosive Ordnance Division were "performing duties" in Baghdad, a US military statement said. Another airman was wounded in the blast, the statement said.

Earlier in the day, the US military announced two US soldiers were killed in separate attacks in Iraq on Friday and Saturday. The deaths raised to 3,004 the number of US troops to die in the war. Seven American civilian contractors of the military also have died. A British soldier died Sunday morning in a traffic accident in southern Iraq, according to the British Ministry of Defense.
[More>>cnn.com ; See related story, sky.com, January 7, "Dozens of Taliban insurgents dead."]

01.07.07 YouTube broadcast : John Nichols, On the need for impeachment

John Nichols, a highly respected pundit for the Nation and a popular author, was one of the featured speakers at the "Voices for Impeachment" forum, held at the National Press Club January 6. The program was sponsored by Worldcantwait.org. Nichols begins his speech referring to a new postal law that allows the government to open mail without a warrant, despite criticism that the crime-fighting tactic might lead to privacy.

At issue among those clamoring for impeachment of Bush and Cheney are not only the Iraq War but also the extra powers Bush has claimed for himself by using "signing statements" interpreting the application of a law. The power to listen to conversations without a warrant and now that of opening and reading your mail infringe upon Constitutional guarantees and Nichols compares them to the powers of monarchs which the founders of this nation specifically forbade. He concludes his speech on historical advocacies on applying Article II, Section 4 of the Constitution, on impeachment. He lists Abraham Lincoln's advocacy to impeach President Polk over the invasion of Mexio as an example when impeachment should be considered. [
See background on the mail access law: freep.com, January 5, "Bush defends mail access law" ; Maravot News editorial, January 2, "Keeping Article II, Section 4 in historical context" ; the link to the YouTube broadcast and others of the forum are at afterdowninstreet.org]

01.07.07 Revealed: Israel plans nuclear strike on Iran

January 7 – Israel has drawn up secret plans to destroy Iranıs uranium enrichment facilities with tactical nuclear weapons. Two Israeli air force squadrons are training to blow up an Iranian facility using low-yield nuclear "bunker-busters," according to several Israeli military sources. The attack would be the first with nuclear weapons since 1945, when the United States dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The Israeli weapons would each have a force equivalent to one-fifteenth of the Hiroshima bomb. Under the plans, conventional laser-guided bombs would open "tunnels" into the targets. "Mini-nukes" would then immediately be fired into a plant at Natanz, exploding deep underground to reduce the risk of radioactive fallout. [More>>timesonline.co.uk ; See also haaretz.com, January 7, "Israel denies plan to hit Iran enrichment plant with tactical nukes."]

01.06.07 US Army urges dead to re-enlist

January 6 – The US Army is to apologise to the families of officers killed or wounded in action who were sent letters urging them to return to active duty. The letters were sent to more than 5,100 Army officers listed as recently having left the military. But this figure included about 75 officers killed in action and about 200 wounded in action... "Army personnel officials are contacting those officers' families now to personally apologise for erroneously sending the letters," the army said in a statement. [Full story>>bbc.co.uk]

01.06.07 Attack of the zombie computers is a growing threat, experts say

January 6 – In their persistent quest to breach the Internetıs defenses, the bad guys are honing their weapons and increasing their firepower. With growing sophistication, they are taking advantage of programs that secretly install themselves on thousands or even millions of personal computers, band these computers together into an unwitting army of zombies, and use the collective power of the dragooned network to commit Internet crimes.

These systems, called botnets, are being blamed for the huge spike in spam that bedeviled the Internet in recent months, as well as fraud and data theft. Security researchers have been concerned about botnets for some time because they automate and amplify the effects of viruses and other malicious programs. What is new is the vastly escalating scale of the problem — and the precision with which some of the programs can scan computers for specific information, like corporate and personal data, to drain money from online bank accounts and stock brokerages.

...The financial danger can be seen in a technical report presented last summer by a security researcher who analyzed the information contained in a 200-megabyte file that he had intercepted. The file had been generated by a botnet that was systematically harvesting stolen information and then hiding it in a secret location where the data could be retrieved by the botnet master.

The data in the file had been collected during a 30-day period, according to Rick Wesson, chief executive of Support Intelligence, a San Francisco-based company that sells information on computer security threats to corporations and federal agencies. The data came from 793 infected computers and it generated 54,926 log-in credentials and 281 credit-card numbers. The stolen information affected 1,239 companies, he said, including 35 stock brokerages, 86 bank accounts, 174 e-commerce accounts and 245 e-mail accounts. Sensor information collected by his company is now able to identify more than 250,000 new botnet infections daily, Mr. Wesson said.
[Full story>>nytimes.com]

01.06.07 Iraq PM declares revised security plan for Baghdad

BAGHDAD (AFP) January 6 – Prime Minister Nuri Al Maliki Saturday declared a revised security plan for Baghdad aimed at curbing the raging insurgent and sectarian violence in the Iraqi capital. Maliki said the plan will offer more muscle to Iraqi forces who will be backed by US troops, but offered few details. "The security plan will not protect any outlaws regardless of their sectarian or political affiliations," the prime minister said in a speech marking the 86th anniversary of Iraqi army. "We will hold accountable all those who neglect orders or work on a political and sectarian basis." The new plan will rely on Iraqi "armed forces to forcefully implement the plan and the coalition forces will support our forces," Maliki said. [More>>metimes.com]

01.06.07 Abbas declares Hamas's 'Executive Force' illegal

January 6 – The power struggle between Fatah and Hamas escalated Saturday following Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas's decision to outlaw Hamas's 'Executive Force" in the Gaza Strip. Defiant Hamas spokesmen responded by announcing that the force's members would be doubled – from 6,000 to 12,000. Hamas also accused Abbas and his Fatah party of waging a massive operation designed to bring down the Hamas-led government.

Three Palestinians were killed in armed clashes between the two parties in different parts of Gaza City Saturday evening, local journalists said. One of the victims was identified as Abu Raed al-Diri, 50, the mukhtar [headman] of a large clan.

• US to give $86 million to Abbas's forces

Six Hamas members were kidnapped by Fatah gunmen – two in the West Bank and four in the Gaza Strip. The house of a Hamas legislator in the Gaza Strip was set on fire and several Hamas-run institutions were ransacked over the weekend. The latest flare-up comes despite an agreement reached early Friday between Abbas and Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas to end the fighting and withdraw all militiamen from the streets of the Gaza Strip. The agreement followed three days of armed clashes between Fatah and Hamas supporters in which at least 20 people were killed and dozens injured
. [More>>Jerusalem Post]

01.06.07 Iran reformists slam government's nuclear policy

TEHRAN (Reuters) January 6 – Iranian reformist parliamentarians on Saturday blamed President Mahmoud Ahmadinejadıs government for failing to prevent United Nations sanctions. The UN Security Council voted unanimously on Dec. 23 to impose sanctions on Iranıs trade in sensitive nuclear materials and technology in an attempt to stop uranium enrichment work that could produce material that could be used in bombs. Iran says it wants nuclear power to generate electricity.

Reformist former President Mohammad Khatami suspended Iranıs nuclear work for more than two years in an effort to build confidence and avoid confrontation with the West, but resumed uranium enrichment in February last year. "The only way to pass the crisis is to build confidence ... but holding Holocaust conference and financing the Hamas government creates mistrust and tension," Noureddin Pirmoazzen, the spokesman of parliamentıs reformist faction, told Reuters.

01.06.07 Russian companies broke no international norms – defense minister

MOSCOW (RIA Novosti) January 6 – The three Russian companies the U.S. imposed sanctions on did not violate international norms, Russia's defense minister said Saturday. "As I head the export control commission, I state with all responsibility that all the three Russian companies did not break any international norms, rules and obligations undertaken by the Russian Federation on nonproliferation of weapons of mass destruction and missile technology," Sergei Ivanov, who is also a deputy prime minister, said during a visit to a Strategic Missile Forces garrison in Vlasikha.

The Bush administration imposed new sanctions on three Russian companies and organizations – arms exporter Rosoboronexport, the Tula Instrument-Making Design Bureau, and the Kolomna Machine-Building Design Bureau – for allegedly selling missiles and weapons goods to Iran and Syria, according to The Washington Times. Ivanov said the US government must be discontent with the fact that the volumes of Russian armaments and military equipment sales are growing. "But applying their own legislation to the norms of international law is absolutely unpromising," he said.

01.06.07 Search for ferry's passengers moves to waters off Bali

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AAFP) January 6 – Searches for missing passengers on the Senopati Nusantara ferry that sank with more than 600 people on board were expanded to waters off Bali on Friday as more survivors were picked up from the sea a week after the disaster. "At this moment the search and rescue efforts have expanded to East Java, including the straits of Bali," Central Java provincial rescue coordinator Eko Prayitno told AFP. "This is because of the currents, which are moving with a speed of two-point-five to three miles per hour. Those afloat would have also moved further east, so our search has expanded to Bali today (Friday)."

... The ill-fated Senopati Nusantara sank last Friday along with 628 people on board on its way to Semarang, Central Java, from Kumai in Central Kalimantan. Around 228 survivors have been picked up from the rough seas. On Friday, two new groups of survivors – 15 from Senopati and 14 from another ship that sank, the KM Karlina Indah – arrived in Surabaya.
[Full story>>thejakartapost.com]

01.06.07 Climate change brings butterfly invasion

January 6 – The number of butterfly and moth species migrating to Britain for the summer has increased fourfold in the past 25 years, researchers have found. With each degree of temperature rise resulting from global warming, 14 extra species can be expected to cross the English Channel in search of new breeding territory. Many will end up staying permanently — as 89 species of moth have already done over the past century — rather than migrate annually. But while some visitors may be a delight to the eye, there are fears that they could drive out native species and bring disease with them.

Butterflies and moths represent only a small proportion of the insect immigrants, said Tim Sparks, of the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology in Monks Wood, Cambridgeshire, who led the study. Others that could arrive here include malaria- carrying mosquitoes..."We have plenty of evidence for changing migration patterns in birds, and now, for the first time, we have confirmed similar patterns for this important group of insects. The possible consequences . . . require immediate attention."
[Full story>>timesonline.co.uk ; See related story, independent.co.uk, January 6, "'Irreversible' global warming claims its first victims of the New Year" : A birdseed factory in Shropshire, a holy lake in China, Baltic Sea fish and new-born hedgehogs have emerged as the first tangible victims of climate change in the year which forecasters predicted this week would be the warmest on record.

The CJ Wild Bird Foods company near Shrewsbury has announced that the demand for its products has all but disappeared, because the mild winter had maintained an alternative supply of berries for finches, tits and other species. Some species, such as the dunlin and purple sandpiper, are disappearing from Britain as they can find enough warmth in Scandinavia. The company, which said fears of bird flu has also discouraged the public from setting up bird feeders, has laid off 22 workers...

01.05.07 Democrats take control on hill

January 5 – Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) was elected America's first female speaker of the House yesterday in a raucous, bipartisan celebration of a historic breakthrough, and hours later she presided over passage of the broadest ethics and lobbying revision since the Watergate era. Democrats took control of the House and Senate after 12 years of nearly unbroken Republican rule, with resolute calls for bipartisan comity and a pledge to move quickly on an agenda of health-care, homeland security, education and energy proposals. Sen. Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.), the soft-spoken son of a hard-rock miner, took the helm of the Senate, after a closed-door session in the Capitol's stately Old Senate Chamber. But with the eyes of history riveted on her, it was Pelosi's day.

"This is an historic moment, for Congress, and for the women of this country. It is a moment for which we have waited more than 200 years," Pelosi proclaimed, to a roaring ovation in the packed House chamber. "For our daughters and granddaughters, today we have broken the marble ceiling. To our daughters and our granddaughters, the sky is the limit."

For Pelosi, yesterday's election was not only the culmination of a long climb by women through the ranks of Congress but also the personal triumph of a hard-nosed partisan, a grandmother of six who methodically plotted the Democrats' return to power after more than a decade in the minority. A House floor where Democrats had been marginalized to the point of irrelevance in recent years was alive with handshakes, smiles, hugs and boisterous children on the Democratic side of the aisle.

01.05.07 Eight killed in Iraq attacks

BAGHDAD, January 5 – At least eight people were killed in insurgent and sectarian attacks in Iraq on Friday, including five when a series of mortars slammed into a Baghdad neighborhood, a security official said. Five people were killed and 15 wounded when four mortars fell into Zafaraniyah, a mixed Shiite and Sunni neighborhood in southern Baghdad, he said. [More>>thenews.com.pk]

01.05.07 US seeks asset freeze on Syrian entities linked to WMD development

January 5 – Stepping up pressure on Damascus, the United States administration on Thursday moved to freeze the U.S. assets of three Syrian government entities that it accuses of helping to proliferate weapons of mass destruction. The US Treasury Department said it designated the Syrian Higher Institute of Applied Science and Technology, the Electronics Institute and the National Standards and Calibration Laboratory as proliferators under an executive order aimed at combating the spread of weapons of mass destruction proliferation. The designation freezes any US assets the entities may have and prohibits Americans from any financial transactions with them. A Treasury Department spokeswoman also said the Treasury expected the action to prompt most foreign financial institutions to voluntarily cut ties to the three Syrian entities. [More>>haaretz.com]

01.04.07 Saddam: From monster to martyr?

January 4 – It takes real genius to create a martyr out of Saddam Hussein. Here is a man dyed deep with the blood of his own people who refused to fight for him during the United States-led invasion three-and-a-half years ago. His tomb in his home village of Awja is already becoming a place of pilgrimage for the five million Sunni Arabs of Iraq who are at the core of the uprising.

During his trial, Saddam himself was clearly trying to position himself to be a martyr in the cause of Iraqi independence and unity and Arab nationalism. His manifest failure to do anything effective for these causes during the quarter of a century he misruled Iraq should have made his task difficult. But an execution which vied in barbarity with a sectarian lynching in the back streets of Belfast 30 years ago is elevating him to heroic status in the eyes of the Sunn – the community to which most Arabs belong – across the Middle East.

...Saddam should not have been a hard act to follow. It was not inevitable that the country should revert to Hobbesian anarchy. At first the US and Britain did not care what Iraqis thought. Their victory over the Iraqi army - and earlier over the Taliban in Afghanistan - had been too easy. They installed a semi-colonial regime. By the time they realized that the guerrilla war was serious it was too late.

It could get worse yet. The so-called "surge" in US troop levels by 20,000 to 30,000 men on top of the 145,000 soldiers already in the country is unlikely to produce many dividends. It seems primarily designed so that President George Bush does not have to admit defeat or take hard choices about talking to Iran and Syria. But these reinforcements might tempt the US to assault the Mehdi Army.
[Full story>>independent.co.uk]

01.04.07 Morocco arrests 62 'terrorists'

January 4 – Moroccan security forces have dismantled a radical Islamist cell, specialized in recruiting volunteers to fight in Iraq, and arrested 62 people, the government says. "The security services dismantled a terrorist structure specialized in the recruitment for Iraq and operating in certain Moroccan towns," a government statement said on Thursday. It said the group had "ideological and financial links" with al-Qaeda and other international terrorist groups. Moroccan security officials say police have broken up more than 50 Islamist cells, and arrested more than 3,000 people since suicide bombings in Casablanca in 2003. [More>>aljazeera.net]

01.04.07 Official: Iran amassing raw material for uranium enrichment

(Reuters) January 4 – Iran's top nuclear official said on Thursday that United Nations sanctions would not restrict its atomic program, and that it was continuing to amass the raw material for uranium enrichment. The UN Security Council voted unanimously on December 23 to impose sanctions on Iran's trade in sensitive nuclear materials and technology in an attempt to stop enrichment work that could produce the material for nuclear explosives. "They [the West] should accept that this [nuclear work] is our national right and is irreversible," Gholamreza Aghazadeh, the head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization, was quoted as saying by the student news agency ISNA.

...Analysts say that to achieve its goal of "industrial-scale" enrichment with 54,000 centrifuge enrichment machines – only around 350 are known to be operating experimentally so far – Iran may still need to acquire equipment abroad. Aghazadeh said Iran had now stockpiled 250 tonnes of uranium hexafluoride gas (UF6), the feedstock that is injected into centrifuges for enrichment into fuel...Mark Fitzpatrick, nuclear non-proliferation analyst at London's International Institute for Strategic Studies, said 250 tons of UF6, if enriched to 90 percent or higher, would yield enough fuel for up to 50 nuclear warheads.
[Full story>>haaretz.com]

01.04.07 Russia increases gas exports to Turkey after Iran cuts supplies

ANKARA, January 4 (RIA Novosti) – Russia's energy giant Gazprom has increased its daily natural gas exports to Turkey by 14 million cubic meters to 84 million cubic meters following a cutoff in supplies from Iran, Turkish state-run pipeline company Botas said Thursday. Iran announced Wednesday it suspended gas supplies to Turkey to meet its own domestic demand, which dramatically increased due to unusually cold weather, but promised to resume them in 10 days. Under a contract, signed in 1996, Iran supplies Turkey with 27 million-28 million cubic meters of gas per day via a 2,500-km gas pipeline. But in late December gas supplies via the pipeline were reduced 10-fold to about 2.5 million cubic meters before being stopped completely. [>rian.ru]


09.11.05 When a nation lacks a competent leader it invites disaster – the legacy of Bush
08.13.05 "Using force the George W. Bush way – Bush's crusade"
11.25.04 Why the Crusade & Jihad?


*Visitor statistics on maravot.com from 1&1.com. 39,176 page views in October.

Privacy Policy: We do not store any personal data from you. We have no way of knowing any vital information about you – not even your name. Third-party distribution: We do not distribute information about your site usage to any third party. We are not responsible for the content of links from our site. Usage data: supplied by our Web Hosting service, 1and1.com, which consists of usage reports, such as page views / impressions and web pages visited, visitors' servers and geographical data (ISP's and country of origin).

Maravot's Homepage

Launched: 10.25.04 / 11.02.04
Updated: 01.05.07; 1.06.07; 1.07.07; 1.08.07; 1.09.07; 1.10.07; 1.11.07

Copyright © 1981-2007 Maravot. All rights reserved
Copyright © 1981-2007 Mel Copeland. All rights reserved
Background: tile from Cicero's villa (Marcus Tullius Cicero 106 B.C. - 43 B.C.)