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Question on liberation & democracy
US liberated Kuwait may illustrate Bush democratic values: March 20 Kuwait tried a man for criticizing the Koran. Free speech is a substantial part of a Democracy. Can free speech occur in liberated Iraq?
News Headlines & Trends
VATICAN CITY, April 8 Applause rang out from a huge crowd this morning at the end of the funeral of John Paul II, the little-known Polish cardinal chosen as pope in 1978.
04.08.05 France urged to skip official papal honors
PARIS, April 7 France may be a predominantly Roman Catholic country, but it is also officially secular, with separation of church and state one of its most sacred tenets. So while the death of Pope John Paul II has brought widespread mourning, there has also been pressure on the French Republic not to honor him officially.
04.08.05 US, China agree to regular talks
April 8 Glenn Kessler, Washingtop Post Staff Writer reports: President Bush has decided the United States and China should begin holding regular senior-level talks on a range of political, security and possibly economic issues, signifying both China's interest in the prestige of such sessions and the administration's efforts to come to grips with China's rising influence in Asia, senior administration officials said.
04.08.05 FM rebuts US threat of economic sanctions
April 8 Qin Jize and Zhang Dingmin, China Daily, report: China delivered a sharp rebuke yesterday to the US Senate's threat to impose economic sanctions if Beijing fails to change its current currency policy. Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said in Beijing the latest analysis by the International Monetary Fund showed that China's currency does not appear undervalued. "When determining whether the currency is or is not undervalued you do not only take into consideration bilateral trade but multilateral trade as well," Qin told the regular briefing.
04.08.05 Sony patent takes first step towards real-life Matrix
April 7 Jenny Hogan and Barry Fox report: Imagine movies and computer games in which you get to smell, taste and perhaps even feel things. That's the tantalizing prospect raised by a patent on a device for transmitting sensory data directly into the human brain - granted to none other than the entertainment giant Sony. The technique suggested in the patent is entirely noninvasive. It describes a device that fires pulses of ultrasound at the head to modify firing patterns in targeted parts of the brain, creating "sensory experiences" ranging from moving images to tastes and sounds. This could give blind or deaf people the chance to see or hear, the patent claims.
04.07.05 Shia Islamist Ibrahim Al Jaafari named as Iraq's new PM
BAGHDAD (AP) April 7 Iraq¹s presidential council was sworn in on Thursday and named Shia Arab Ibrahim Al-Jaafari to the country¹s most powerful position interim prime minister, giving Iraq its first freely elected government in 50 years, and its third set of interim leaders since the US-led invasion.
04.07.05 Rome rabbi one of 2 living people mentioned in pope's will
VATICAN CITY, April 7 Rome's former chief rabbi is one of only two living people mentioned in Pope John Paul II's will. The document mentions "the rabbi of Rome" - a reference to the former Emeritus Chief Rabbi of Rome, Elio Toaff, who hosted John Paul during the pontiff's historic visit to Rome's central synagogue in 1986. It was the first time a pope had ever visited a synagogue. Toaff paid his respects at John Paul's body on Monday, raising his arm in a gesture of tribute.
04.07.05 Cairo explosion in tourist center kills one, wounds five
CAIRO (AP) April 7 An explosion went off at a bazaar popular with tourists near Cairo's al-Azhar mosque Thursday, killing one person and wounding five others, police said. It appeared that at least some tourists were among the wounded, police officials said. Their nationalities were not yet known.
04.07.05 update, 04.06.05 'Al Qaeda chief in Saudi Arabia killed in clashes'
DUBAI (AFP) April 6 The suspected chief of the Al Qaeda cell in Saudi Arabia was among 14 wanted militants killed in three days of fierce clashes in the kingdom, the exiled Islamic opposition said on Wednesday. Saleh al-Oufi, a former police officer who was number four on Riyadh¹s most-wanted list, took over as Al Qaeda commander in Saudi Arabia in June last year. ³One of the dead, who had an amputated leg, was found in a wheelchair,² the Movement for Islamic Reform in Arabia said in an Internet statement. ³According to information available to the security services, it is Saleh al-Oufi. But the body was burnt and it is not possible to be certain of his identity before a DNA analysis.² [More>>khaleejtimes.com; See also dailystar.com.lb, April 7 story, "Death toll rises in Saudi Al-Qaeda crackdown," and aljazeera.net story April 7, " Saudis: top al-Qaida operatives dead."
04.07.05 'Now is time to rejoice,' militants fail to stop Kashmir's 'caravan of peace'
SRINAGAR / Muzaffarabad (Reuters) April 7 To the sound of cheers and rolling thunder, garlanded buses set off to take passengers across Kashmir's cease fire line on Thursday in a emotive but risky boost for South Asian peace. "The caravan of peace has started," Prime Minister Manmohan Singh told thousands of Kashmiris who braving freezing drizzle at the heavily guarded Lion of Kashmir stadium in Srinagar. "Nothing can stop it."
04.07.05 March against terror scheduled in Washington D.C.
April 7 Free Muslims Against Terrorism announced that on May 14th 2005, several groups made up of Arab, Iranians, Kurds, Assyrians, Lebanese, Palestinians, Syrians, Sudanese, Muslims, Christians and Jews will converge on Washington DC for a rally against terrorism and to support freedom and democracy in the Middle East and the Muslim world. This will be the first rally of its kind in Washington DC that is led by Muslims and Middle Easterners.
They want to send a message of hope to the people of the Muslim world and the Middle East who seek freedom, democracy and who reject radical Islam that 'we are with them and that we will do all we can to support them.'
04.07.05 US university enrolment 'in decline'
April 7 Donald MacLeod reports: Participation in higher education has stagnated and even gone into decline for the first time in the US, a conference in Oxford heard yesterday. The unexpected development in the country that invented mass higher education, but is now seeing its lead whittled away by European countries, including the UK, has prompted soul searching among American public universities and state authorities.
04.07.05 Skull suggests compassionate early humans
April 8 John Noble Wilford, New York Times writes: The toothless skull of an early human ancestor discovered in the Caucasus region may attest to evolution's oldest known example of compassion for the elderly and handicapped, scientists reported Thursday.
04.07.05 Smoking can shorten women's fertile life
April 7 Smoking has a devastating impact on a woman's chances of conceiving with fertility treatment, research has found. Women in their 20s and 30s who have problems getting pregnant are adding 10 years to their reproductive age if they smoke. Even if they do conceive, women who use tobacco are more likely to suffer a miscarriage, according to the study in Human Reproduction.
04.07.05 Japanese, Monaco women have longest life span at 85 years
TOKYO, April 7 Japanese women have the longest life expectancy in the world with an average of 85 years, tying with women in Monaco, according to a report by the World Health Organization released Thursday. The average life span of a Japanese person in 2003 was 82, also the world's longest, with Japanese men reaching 78 years, tying with their counterparts in Switzerland and Sweden, the report shows. (Kyodo News) [japantoday.com]
04.07.05 US remains number one source of spam, says Sophos
April 7 Thirty-five percent of the unsolicited e-mail detected during the first three months of 2005 came from North America, according to a report from the anti-virus firm Sophos. In its latest "Dirty Dozen" list of spam-producing countries, the
04.06.05 Prince of glamour Rainier dies
MONACO, April 7 MONACO: Prince Rainier III, Europe's longest-reigning monarch, whose marriage to American actress Grace Kelly brought elegance and glamour to Monaco, has died. The prince, who was 81, died yesterday almost a month after he was first admitted with a lung infection to a heart and chest clinic in his Mediterranean principality.
04.06.05 UK National Party leaders arrested for making racist comments
April 6 The leader and founding chairman of the far right British National Party (BNP) have both been charged with making racist comments during a secretly filmed television documentary. Police arrested BNP leader Nick Griffin, 45, and John Tyndall, 70, in December following the BBC broadcast The Secret Agent, a documentary which filmed BNP members giving speeches across Britain attacking Islam.
04.06.05 Three intelligence agents and soldier's body recovered 4 years after abduction
COLUMBIO, Philippines (AFP) April 6 The bodies of a soldier and three intelligence agents were exhumed near this southern Philippine town on Wednesday, four years after they were abducted by communist guerrillas.
04.06.05 Trawlers nationwide in Thailand blockade bays in protest
April 6 Trawler operators yesterday staged nationwide protests against the soaring price of diesel by blocking bays in their provinces with thousands of fishing vessels. Protesting fishing operators moored their trawlers at piers in Prachuab Khiri Khan, Chumphon, Songkhla, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Ranong, Trat and Rayong coastal provinces.
04.06.05 Thailand on 'red alert'
April 6 [Thailand] Security forces have gone to the highest state of alert after Sunday's multiple bombings in Songkhla took the nation from a state of regional unrest in the deep South to a real threat of terrorist action against general civilian targets.
04.06.05 US military helicopter crashes in Afghanistan
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) April 6 A US military helicopter crashed in bad weather in southeast Afghanistan Wednesday, killing nine people, including four American crew members, the military said. An Afghan police official said the death toll could be higher, and that all aboard appeared to be American, but the U.S. military would not confirm that or give the nationalities of the passengers. Bad weather appeared to have caused the crash of the Chinook helicopter near Ghazni city, 125 kilometers (80 miles) southwest of the capital, Kabul, military spokeswoman Lt. Cindy Moore told The Associated Press. [More>>thestar.com.my]
04.06.05 Young dominate anti-Japan rally
April 6 An anti-Japan demonstration on Sunday in Shengzhen, Guangdong Province, China, was initiated mainly by private groups of patriotic young people who publicized the rally via the Internet. The rally was testimony to impact of the Chinese government's intensely patriotic education system that has imbued the public with anti-Japan sentiment.
04.06.05 Cardinals set April 18 date for conclave
VATICAN CITY, April 6 The College of Cardinals today set April 18 to begin the process to select a successor to Pope John Paul II, as a seemingly endless line of mourners wound through the ancient cobbled streets surrounding St. Peter's Square.
04.06.05 Japan to launch manned expedition to the moon
TOKYO, April 6 The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency has compiled a long-term space exploration program, which calls for launching a domestically designed manned spacecraft to the moon by 2025, JAXA officials said Wednesday.
04.06.05 China and Colombia agree to expand cooperation
April 6 Chinese and Colombian leaders have agreed to expand their cooperation in various fields and push bilateral ties to a new level. Chinese President Hu Jintao met with visiting Colombian President Alvaro Uribe Velez Wednesday in Beijing.
04.06.05 China not a threat to other countries; Wen Jiabao
ISLAMABAD, April 6 Premier Wen Jiabao Wednesday ruled out that developed China could be a threat to other countries and assured his country would always be a trustworthy and a reliable partner of its Asian counterparts.m It is with sincerity and firmness that China adheres to the path of peaceful development. No matter how international climate might change, the Chinese people will always be a trustworthy and reliable partner for the Asian peoples."
04.06.05 Russia has world's best means to clean oil spills at sea: Russian Transport Minister
April 6 MOSCOW, April 6 (RIA Novosti) - Russia has the world's best technologies to cope with sea petroleum pollution, said Igor Levitin, federal Transport Minister. He was addressing the media to sum up a Naval Board session after it analyzed Sea and Air Rescue Service performance. "We discussed petroleum spilling. Russia has every opportunity now to announce to all other countries its perfect technologies to combat pollution. Each our seaport has special vessels for the purpose." [More>>rian.ru]
04.06.05 Temple Mount closed to visitors Sunday
JERUSALEM, April 6 Bracing for possible violence, Jerusalem police announced Wednesday that the Temple Mount will be completely closed off to non-Muslim visitors on Sunday, the day of a major ultra-nationalist rally to the site.
04.06.05 Iraq assembly elects Kurdish president
April 6 The Iraqi parliament has chosen Kurdish leader Jalal Talabani as the country's new interim president, reaching out to the nation's Kurdish minority and bringing the country closer to its first democratically elected government in 50 years.
04.06.05 Car bombings continue in Iraq
April 5 Two car bombs targeting US and Iraqi security forces have exploded in different parts of Baghdad, killing three people, police say. The shock wave from the first blast near the international airport on Tuesday shook nearby buildings and was heard across the southwestern part of the capital. Police said two civilians were killed in the blast.
03.23.05 EU to permit bigger budget deficits
March 22 European Union leaders have approved a watered-down version of the euro's fiscal rule book in order to allow bigger budget deficits. The deal on the revamped euro stability pact comes in response to pressure from Germany and France, both of which have overshot the present national deficit limit of 3% of gross domestic product (GDP) every year since 2002. Berlin and Paris will now be able to spend more public funds in a bid to stimulate their flagging economies. While making no formal change to the 3% of GDP budget deficit limit, the new and more lenient euro pact will allow countries to run up more debt by creating loopholes. [More>>aljazeera.net]
03.23.05 Federal Reserve raised new worries about inflation
WASHINGTON, March 22 The Federal Reserve raised new worries about inflation on Tuesday, setting off alarms in the stock and bond markets that the central bank might drive up interest rates faster than investors had been expecting. The Fed nudged up short-term interest rates for the seventh time in the last year, raising the federal funds rate on overnight loans between banks to 2.75 percent from 2.5 percent. It restated its intention to keep raising them at a "measured" pace in the months ahead.
03.24.05 Temple Mount controversy
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