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Faces of the Fallen Iraq
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Question: Has Bush caused the US to be outflanked?
The main Trend we have seen at Maravot News is that Bush's hostile policies worldwide have created new alliances among the EU, China, India, Russia and the Middle East. Also, the Monroe Doctrine is being challenged in South America.
News Headlines & Trends
02.20.06 US envoy assails Iran's role in Iraq
BAGHDAD, February 20 Iran is playing "a negative role" in Iraq by providing weapons, training and other support to militias and insurgent groups that interfere in Iraqi politics, the U.S. ambassador to Iraq said at a news conference on Monday. "I have said to Iraqis that we do not seek to impose our differences with Iran on them," Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad said. "But we do not want Iranian interference in Iraq." [More>>washingtonpost.com]
02.20.06 Deadly blasts rock Baghdad, Mosul
February 20 A bomber strapped with explosives has blown himself up on a bus in central Baghdad killing at least 12 people, while explosions elsewhere in Iraq have killed at least another eight people. The attack on the bus in the mostly Shia Muslim al-Kadhimiya district on Monday wounded at least nine people, sources added. Earlier during the day, an explosion occurred shortly before 8am near Liberation Square in al-Bab al-Sharqi area in Baghdad where a group of men were waiting near stands serving tea and sandwiches. Lieutenant Ali Mutib said the blast killed at least four workers and wounded 14 other people, including one policeman. [More>>aljazeera.net]
02.20.06 US seeks Georgian help for Iran strike
February 20, 17:25 American officials have been quietly probing whether Georgia, situated just northwest of Iran, will be willing to allow Washington to use its military bases and airfields in the event of a military conflict with Teheran, The Jerusalem Post has been told. The Americans have been putting out feelers, a high-ranking Georgian government foreign affairs official told the Post, in advance of a possible military strike to prevent Iran from achieving nuclear weapons capability. [More>>Jerusalem Post ; See rian.ru story, "Georgia denies bases option for US operation against Iran" : TBILISI (RIA Novosti) February 20, 18:50 Georgia's top military officer denied a media report Monday that the United States was considering using military bases in Georgia for a possible attack on Iran. "This is utterly absurd," said Levan Nikoleishvili, the chief of the General Staff. The report appeared Monday in Israel's Jerusalem Post newspaper, which cited an anonymous source in the Georgian government as saying that Georgia, to the northwest of Iran, could give the U.S. access to its airbases and other facilities if it decided to press ahead with action...]
02.20.06 Update, 02.19.06 Iran recruits suicide bombers to fight "Global Blasphemy"
TEHRAN, Iran, February 19 A group affiliated to Iranıs Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps launched a new recruitment drive for suicide bombers in Tehran to fight against "Global Blasphemy," state-run news agencies reported. The Mehr news agency carried a report on Saturday saying that an event entitled "Analysis of ways to act against the offensive of Global Blasphemy² was held in Tehran to mark the anniversary of the fatwa, or religious edict, by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini for the murder of the Indian-born British author Salman Rushdie. The conference agenda was dominated by the row over the publication of cartoons of Islamıs Prophet Muhammad.
02.19.06 Rallies banned in Islamabad
ISLAMABAD, February 19 The government on Saturday announced a complete ban on organizing "rallies and demonstrations" in Islamabad with the opposition parties in continued protest against blasphemous cartoons are all set to defy the restriction here today (Sunday) despite arrests of activists. "The MMA has been informed about the governmentıs decision in security point of view," Information Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed told a news conference here after Interior Ministry formally conveyed the decision to Majlis leadership. On the contrary, the MMA, backed by ARD parties, gave a strong statement to stage the rally in Islamabad at all cost and the government will be responsible for any untoward incident if the activists are stopped.
02.19.06 Iran cracks down on Sufis: hundreds remain jailed
TEHRAN, Iran, February 19 Iran Focus has obtained a partial list of names of Islamic mystics arrested during a protest in the holy city of Qom, south of Tehran, earlier this week. Islamic mystics, or Sufis, focus on the direct perception of Truth or God through mystic practices based on divine love. Sufism, common to both Sunni and Shiite sects of Islam, has its roots in Iran. Its followers oppose Iranıs ruling theocracy on spiritual grounds. Police arrested some one thousand Sufis as clashes broke out after the place of worship used by the mystics was demolished Tuesday on government orders. Hundreds were injured during the clashes after police fired teargas and used truncheons to attack the demonstrating Sufis. The partial list of those arrested was provided to Iran Focus from a reliable source in Qom. The following individuals are believed to be arrested for taking part in the demonstrations: [More>>iranfocus.com ; See earlier story:
02.19.06 Drivers killed in Iraqi ambush; more violence continues
February 19 Armed men have ambushed a convoy of trucks carrying construction material to a US military north of Baghdad, killing four Iraqi drivers. As violence continued on Sunday, a day after 20 people, including a US soldier, were killed in a spate of bombings and shootings, the Iraqi drivers were not the only victims of violence. In a roadside bombing in northern Iraq, a police general was killed, said police Lieutenant Khalid al-Obaidi, adding that the ambush occurred near Nibaie, about 55km north of the capital. The area has been the scene of several ambushes and roadside bombings in the past few days. Also in Baghdad, a car bomb exploded late on Sunday afternoon near a Shia political office in the Jadiriyah district, killing two people, including one police officer, and wounding five, three of them police, officials said. Minutes later, a bomber detonated explosives strapped to his body at an Iraqi army checkpoint protecting the Defence Ministry in central Baghdad. Three civilians were wounded, police said. [More>>aljazeera.net]
02.19.06 Why I published those cartoons
February 19 Flemming Rose, the culture editor of the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten, filed this story in the washingtonpost.com: Childish. Irresponsible. Hate speech. A provocation just for the sake of provocation. A PR stunt. Critics of 12 cartoons of the prophet Muhammad I decided to publish in the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten have not minced their words. They say that freedom of expression does not imply an endorsement of insulting people's religious feelings, and besides, they add, the media censor themselves every day. So, please do not teach us a lesson about limitless freedom of speech.
02.19.06 Protestors throw rocks, burn flag at US Embassy
JAKARTA, February 20 Hundreds of Muslim protesters brandishing sticks and hurling stones attacked the US Embassy in Indonesia on Sunday, claiming the United States was on a mission to destroy Islam. No one was injured in the melee. The protesters were angry at the publication of Prophet Muhammad cartoons in mostly European newspapers, and the rowdy scene showed how America is often blamed for many of the perceived injustices felt in the Islamic world.
02.19.06 China inks oil contract with Equatorial Guinea
(AFP / Xinhua) February 19 A subsidiary of leading Chinese oil and gas producer China National Offshore Oil Company Ltd. (CNOOC) has signed a production-sharing contract for an offshore block in Equatorial Guinea. The five-year contract was signed on Friday by Equatorial Guinea's mines ministry, national oil firm GEPetrol and CNOOC Africa Ltd., Xinhua news agency said Saturday, citing CNOOC sources. It covers a block of about 2,287 square kilometres (915 square miles) off the south coast of Equatorial Guinea with the waters ranging from 30 to 1,500 metres (99 to 4,950 feet) in depth.
02.19.05 Update, 02.18.06 Rescuers search for landslide survivors
(AP) February 18, 10:59 EST, GUINSAUGON, Philippines Rescue workers searched a sea of mud in vain Saturday for survivors of a landslide that killed up to 1,800 people. People fled nearby villages, heeding warnings that the disaster threatened to repeat itself. Two U.S. warships and 1,000 Marines steamed toward the disaster scene on Leyte island in the eastern Philippines. They were expected to arrive early Sunday.
02.18.06 Nigeria cartoon protests kill 16
February 16 At least 16 people have been killed in northern Nigeria during protests by Muslims over the cartoons satirizing the Prophet Muhammad. Most of the deaths occurred in rioting in Maiduguri, capital of north-eastern Borno state. One person died in similar riots in north-central Katsina state. Witnesses said most of the dead were from Maiduguri's minority Christians. Eleven churches were also torched. These are the first violent protests over the cartoons in Nigeria. The country is nearly equally split between Muslims in the north and Christians. [More>>bbc.co.uk]
02.18.06 'The Americans are breaking international law' Archbishop Sentamu on Guantanamo
February 18 The Archbishop of York, Dr. John Sentamu, has launched a passionate attack on President George Bush, saying his administration's refusal to close the notorious Guantanamo Bay camp reflected "a society that is heading towards George Orwell's Animal Farm." Dr. Sentamu, the Church of England's second in command, urged the UN Human Rights Commission (UNHRC) to take legal action against the US through the US courts or the International Court of Justice at The Hague should it fail to respond to a report, by five UN inspectors, advising that Camp Delta at Guantanamo Bay should be shut immediately because prisoners there are being tortured.
02.18.06 PA speaker: Hamas will fulfil its 'rightful' duty to resist
February 18 "From now on, we will define the Palestinian Authority as an enemy," Army Radio quoted a senior Israeli spokesman as saying Saturday, following the swearing-in of Hamas to the Palestinian Legislative Council. During the ceremony, newly elected Palestinian Authority parliament speaker Abdel Aziz Duaik, a geography professor from the West Bank, said Saturday that Hamas would fulfil its "rightful duty to resist occupation." Duaik was handed the gavel by outgoing speaker Rauhi Fattouh, to cheers and applause from Hamas lawmakers.
02.18.06 Germans allegedly helping Iran on nukes
BERLIN (AP) February 18 Several German companies are under investigation for alleged involvement in Iran's disputed nuclear program, a German magazine reported Saturday. Police searched the premises of eight firms as well as private homes on February 8 as part of the investigation, the Spiegel weekly said in an article released before its publication Monday. Horst Salzmann, a spokesman for federal prosecutors, declined to comment on the report. According to Spiegel, one firm from Cologne was involved in a planned delivery to Iran of equipment to detect radiation contamination on clothes and human skin. [More>>Jerusalem Post]
02.18.06 India's first case of bird flu reported
BOMBAY, India (AP) February 18 India's first case of bird flu has been reported in a western Indian town where thousands of birds have died, a government official said Saturday. It was not immediately clear if it was the deadly H5N1 strain of the disease. "We will start culling the birds from today,'' said Uttam Khobragade, a top livestock official in Maharashtra state, who said 30,000 birds had died in the town Navapur in the poultry-farming district of Nandurbar over the past two weeks. [More>>thestar.com.my ; See related story, thejakartapost.com, "Indonesia's 19th bird flu fatality confirmed." ; See also expressindia.com (Reuters).
02.17.06 NSA Intelligence Committee Member Senator Feinstein : 'I was not told...'
(Maravot News) February 17 In a letter received Friday from Senator Feinstein the senator disputes Bush administration claims of complaince with NSA. See also related story, nytimes.com, "Accord in House to hold inquiry on surveillance."
02.17.06 Bounty offered on cartoonists as protestors rage
ISLAMABAD (Reuters) February 17 A Pakistani Muslim cleric and his followers offered rewards amounting to over $1 million for anyone who killed Danish cartoonists who drew caricatures of the Prophet Mohammad that have enraged Muslims worldwide. The cleric offered the bounty during Friday prayers as Muslim anger against the cartoons flared anew in parts of Asia. Weeks of global protests over the cartoons have triggered fears of a clash of civilizations between the West and Islam, and have led to calls on all sides for calm.
02.17.06 Volgograd journalists resist closing paper after cartoon scandal
VOLGOGRAD (RIA Novosti, Irina Ilyicheva) February 17 Journalists in Volgograd, a major city in southern Russia, protested Friday against closing a local newspaper embroiled in a controversy over the publication of a religious cartoon. "The decision of the Volgograd administration to close down the Gorodskiye Vesti newspaper for publishing a religious illustration casts doubts on the main principle of a democratic state freedom of speech," journalists said in an open letter.
02.17.06 Egypt reports first bird flu cases; central France & German island infected
CAIRO (AFP) February 17 The first cases of bird flu have been detected in a number of regions in Egypt, state television reported on Friday, without saying if the cases involved the highly pathogenic form of the H5N1 virus. The announcement came as the government held a crisis meeting to discuss the development. Earlier, officials said they had collected samples from chickens found dead on three poultry farms in Manbal village in Minya, some 250 kilometres (155 miles) south of Cairo. [More>>khaleejtimes.com ; See related stories, timesonline.co.uk, "France confirms first case of bird flu" : Bird flu moved a step closer to Britain tonight after it emerged that a wild duck found dead in central France was infected by bird flu thought to be of the lethal H5N1 strain... and independent.co.uk, Dead swans litter German island as bird flu spreads."]
02.17.06 China seeks to finalize energy contracts with Iran
(AFP) February 17 China will soon send its top economic planner to Iran in hopes of finalizing energy contracts worth more than 100 billion dollars. National Developmental Reform Commission chief Ma Kai will lead a delegation to Tehran as early as March to sign agreements for massive exports from the Yadavaran oil fields, finance magazine Caijing said on its website. His trip will be a follow-up to a memorandum of understanding signed in October 2004 between Iran and Sinopec, China's largest refiner, to buy 250 million tons of liquefied national gas (LNG) over 25 years. That arrangement could be worth more than 100 billion dollars.
02.17.06 China cyberspace regulator meets the press
February 17 Liu Zhengrong, deputy director general of Internet Affairs Bureau under the State Council Information Office, met with the press on February 14 to discuss the development and management of the Internet in China. The following is the full coverage of meeting:
02.17.06 Saudi couple in Colorado plead not guilty to charges of enslaving Indonesian woman
CENTENNIAL, Colorado (AP) February 17 A Saudi couple pleaded not guilty on Thursday to charges including kidnapping and sexual assault stemming from claims that they held as a virtual slave an Indonesian woman who worked for them. Arapahoe County District Judge Marilyn Antrim scheduled a June 13 trial for the couple after denying a defense motion seeking separate trials. Homaidan Al-Turki, 37, and his wife, Sarah Khonaizan, face up to life in prison if convicted on the state charges.
02.17.06 Thirteen wounded in bomb attack
February 17 AT least 13 people were wounded in Thailand's troubled south today when a bomb set by suspected Islamic militants exploded while police were investigating a shooting, security officials said. A civilian couple and 11 police officers were among those injured in the explosion in Narathiwat province which detonated while officers were investigating the shooting of a Buddhist villager. "We suspect Islamic militants detonated the bomb at the crime scene as police officers were checking details and collecting evidence of the shooting," Captain Sornpetch Tanamornchaikul said. "After the injured victim was sent to a hospital, they triggered the bomb," he said, adding that he thought a mobile phone had been used to detonate the explosion. The police all suffered minor injuries, he said. [More>>theaustralian.news.com.au]
02.16.06 Lebanese prime minister condemns flow of arms from Syria
(Reuters) February 16 Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora said on Thursday that arms had been shipped into his country from Syria, and denounced the traffic as "unacceptable." The United Nations on Tuesday asked Lebanon to explain reports that truckloads of arms and missiles, destined for the Lebanese guerrilla group Hizbollah, had been brought over the Syrian border. The Lebanese army had denied the reports, but Siniora said some arms had indeed been carried illegally into his country. "Yes, there has been some infiltration of arms and personnel into Lebanon. This is something that is unacceptable," Siniora told reporters during an official visit to Italy. [More>>haaretzdaily]
02.16.06 China urges diplomacy on Iran issue
(Reuters) February 16 China urged countries to keep seeking a diplomatic solution to the Iran nuclear standoff on Thursday, even as the international confrontation over Iran's nuclear enrichment escalated. "We're extremely concerned about the status of the Iranian nuclear issue," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang told a regular news briefing. "It's extremely important for the international community to uphold the consensus on resolving the Iran nuclear issue through diplomatic means and call on the related parties to maintain calm, restraint and patience." China repeated its general call for negotiations while the gulf between Tehran and its Western critics deepened on Thursday.
02.16.06 Slovenia confirms its first case of H5N1 bird flu
LJUBLJANA, Slovenia (AP) February 16 Slovenia's government said Thursday that Italian lab tests confirmed a swan found dead last week in northern Slovenia carried the deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu the country's first case. The tests carried out by a laboratory in Padova, Italy, indicated the swan was infected with the H5N1 strain, Cabinet spokesman Gregor Krajc said. Slovenia announced on Sunday that a swan found dead last week was infected with the H5 bird flu virus and the authorities sent its samples to the European Union's lab in England, but also to Padova, to determine whether it carried the deadly H5N1 strain. The swan was found near the city of Maribor in northern Slovenia just 15 kilometers (9 miles) from the border with Austria. [More>>thestar.com.my] ; See related stories, thejakartapost.com, "Two Indonesians suspected of bird flu infection die: official." ; and timesonline.co.uk, "Virus alert as swans flee the cold." : A sudden cold snap on the Continent this week will raise the risk of the lethal avian flu strain arriving in Britain. Veterinary and wildlife experts are convinced that the mute swans that have been found with H5N1 in Europe have been forced out of the Caspian and Black Sea areas, where the virus is rife, and have flown south and west in search of warmth and food. It is estimated that some 15,000 are now scattered throughout Europe...]
02.16.06 UN panel: US should shut Guantanamo
GENEVA, February 16 The United States should shut down the prison for terror suspects at Guantanamo Bay and either release all detainees being held there or bring them to trial, the United Nations said in a report released Thursday. The report, summarizing an investigation by five UN experts, called on the US government "to close down the Guantanamo Bay detention center and to refrain from any practice amounting to torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment." The reportıs findings were based on interviews with former detainees, public documents, media reports, lawyers and a questionnaire filled out by the US government. [More>>msnbc.msn.com ; See related story, turkishpress.com (AFP) "New Abu Ghraib images disgust Iraq."]
02.15.06 'Death squad' kills outspoken critic of Kazakh government
MOSCOW, February 15 The government of oil-rich Kazakhstan has been accused of operating death squads after a prominent opposition politician was found murdered with his driver and bodyguard. Altynbek Sarsenbaiuly, 43, was the second opposition leader to be found dead in suspicious circumstances in three months. He had made himself unpopular with the government of President Nursultan Nazarbayev by criticising his daughter and heir apparent, Dariga, for her grip on the country's media.
02.15.06 School children blown up in Baghdad blast
BAGHDAD (AFP) February 15 Three Iraqi children were killed by a roadside bomb near their school in a wave of explosive violence in Baghdad that claimed a total of 11 lives, police said. The children were on their way to school Wednesday when they stopped to examine a bag in the central Baghdad neighborhood of Al-Fadel, a lower-income predominantly Sunni area, witnesses said. "I saw the children playing with a bag lying in front of a photography store and suddenly it exploded," said Ali Mahmud, 35, who was driving by in his minibus...The children were believed to be aged about 11.
02.15.06 Terrorism list contains 325,000 names
WASHINGTON, February 15 The National Counterterrorism Center maintains a central repository of 325,000 names of international terrorism suspects or people who allegedly aid them, a number that has more than quadrupled since the fall of 2003, according to counterterrorism officials.
02.15.06 NATO allies cut military since 9/11
WASHINGTON, February 15 America's major NATO allies have cut military manpower and defense funds as a share of their economies since the September 11 attacks, in sharp contrast with the United States, which embarked on deficit spending to boost arms outlays to fight global terrorists. The downward trend is raising alarms inside the Pentagon, which needs the allies' help to battle al Qaeda and other militants in Afghanistan, Iraq and other trouble spots.
02.15.06 Quick rise for purveyors of propaganda in Iraq
WASHINGTON, February 15 Two years ago, Christian Bailey and Paige Craig were living in a half-renovated Washington group house, with a string of failed startup companies behind them. Mr. Bailey, a boyish-looking Briton, and Mr. Craig, a chain-smoking former Marine sergeant, then began winning multimillion-dollar contracts with the United States military to produce propaganda in Iraq.
02.14.06 Bird flu spreading across Europe
February 14 Two swans found dead in northern Germany have the virulent H5N1 bird flu virus, officials say, marking the first such cases in the country. The birds were found on the island of Ruegen in the Baltic Sea, off Germany. Hours earlier, Austrian officials confirmed their first cases of bird flu, also in a pair of dead swans. The H5N1 strain of the virus, which can kill humans through contact with infected animals, has been found in Italy, Greece and Bulgaria recently. Infected swans have also been found in southern Italy. [More>>bbc.co.uk]
02.14.06 Barroso defends Denmark's stand
February 14 The European Commission president has expressed support for Denmark in the dispute over the Prophet Muhammad cartoons, saying that freedom of speech cannot be compromised. In an interview with Jyllands-Posten, the Danish paper that first published the drawings, Jose Manuel Barroso has said that freedom of speech is a fundamental value in Europe. "It's better to publish too much than not to have freedom," he said in comments published on Tuesday.
02.14.06 Islamophobia: a second Holocaust in the making
February 14 Dr. Bouthaina Shaaban, Syrian Expatriates Minister, expressed the following opinion in the dailystar.com.lb : For the definition of "Holocaust" see "Holocaust" means "whole burnt offering".
02.14.06, 2.13.06 (more stories)
LISBON, May 21 Adam Porter reports: Labour politician and former UK environment minister Michael Meacher has slammed Prime Minister Tony Blair and US President George Bush for starting a war, he says, to secure oil interests.
August 9 (Maravot News, Mel Copeland) A trend in combatting terrorism has to do with what constitute's extremist activity, including teachings by immams, publication of books and retail book stores, etc. Statements like (8.09.05) Bakri Mohammed's, "...it would be 'against Islam' for him to inform the police of any terrorist attacks that he knew were being planned in Britain..." are better understood through an examination of modern scholastic trends in reinterpreting the Koran. See:
SAN FRANCISCO, June 17 Update. While the Federal Reserve continues to increase interest rates, the Exponentially rising Federal Debt is not being reported. What is not being reported is the fact that interest rates are tied to the US National Debt. This year the deficit is expected to exceed $420 billion, and interest on the debt which exceeds $8.2 trillion, is about $1 billion per day. Because the annual deficits are financed via the bond market, and because the amount of the bonds being sold exceeds demand, it is necessary to raise interest rates to attract investors in the US bonds financing the US debt. This routine of increasing debt on an exponential scale was experienced under the administration of George H. W. Bush. I predicted increasing interest rates "to sell bonds" in my conversation with Wm. F. Buckley Jr. at that time, in 1993, and I have repeated the prediction with regard to the current Bush administration's excesses and need to sell more bonds to finance the extraordinary deficits. The rate increases will continue in order to sell the overabundant US bonds. In a few words, George Bush's debt is causing your mortgage rates to increase, and they will continue to increase until the US assumes fiscal responsibility. Click here for details on this trend.
02.08.06 Iran misunderstanding "Holocaust" means "whole burnt offering"
Launched: 10.25.04 / 11.02.04
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