News Headlines & Trends
08.18.05 New virus may be infecting cell phones
August 18 According to a message sent to me from India, there is a virus identified as (XALAN) infecting Motorola and Nokia cell phones. Motorola Customer Support could not confirm the existence of the virus to Maravot News. However, the context of the message is as follows:
All mobile users pay attention if you receive a phone call and your mobile phone displays (XALAN) on the screen don't answer the call, END THE CALL IMMEDIATELY, if you answer the call, your phone will be infected by a virus. This virus will erase all IMEI and IMSI information from both your phone and your SIM card, which will make your phone unable to connect with the telephone network. You will have to buy a new phone. This information has been confirmed by both Motorola and Nokia. There are over 3 Million mobile phones being infected by this virus in all around the world now. You can also check this news in the CNN web site.
Again, I have not been able to obtain a confirmation on this alert, but will update this when I hear back from Motorola.
08.18.05 Troops forcibly evacuate Kfar Darom synagogue
August 18 Israeli security forces, some equipped with riot shields, entered the synagogue in the hardline settlement of Kfar Darom early Thursday evening, in a bid to remove protesters holed up inside and on the roof. The troops turned their attention to the synagogue shortly after completing the evacuation of homes in the settlement. Soldiers fired at rooftop protesters with a water cannon, after they were pelted from above with milk, eggs, paint and even watermelons. Troops prepared to remove the protesters from the barbed wire adorned roof using special cages. Television images showed forces carrying out protesters from the synagogue, where illegal infiltrators have been barricaded since the early morning.
Police and Israel Defense Forces succeeded Thursday afternoon in seizing control of the settlement's secretariat, where pullout opponents holed up and tossed paint at soldiers. Earlier, 100 illegal infiltrators were removed from a Torah study hall and 72 were evacuated from a factory in the settlement. They were taken away from Kfar Darom on buses. [More>>haaretz.com; See also Jerusalem Post, "Neveh Dekalim: Clashes erupt at central synagogue."; See Maravot News article, "Handwringing Israelis..." and Police gird for riots as scores arrive for Western Wall prayers at the Temple Mount on August 14 (the holy day of Tisha B'Av) below. The holy day is the day when the first and second temples of Jerusalem were destroyed, according to tradition.]
Editorial note: A professor of Judaism at UCSF Berkeley pointed out that the disengagement was intentionally planned to begin the day after the holy day. But it seems to this writer that such planning is like Titus (70 A.D.) delaying the destruction of the second Temple just one day, so those being dissembled could finish their prayers. The actual destruction of Jerusalem and the second Temple began, according to Josephus, during the Jewish Passover. During the siege the city was occupied by thousands of worshippers who had come to celebrate the Passover festivities, which accounted for hundreds of thousands starving to death, being thrown over the city walls (the Jews couldn't bury the dead within the city's walls). Josephus records that factions broke out within the city and they fought one another for supplies and food. It is believed that the faction that controlled the Temple Mount set fire to the Temple, though it could have been a fire set by the Roman besiegers. The decision to remove the Jewish settlements from Gaza Sharon accepts as being the one to blame. Jewish settlers have referred to the action in any event in the context as Titus' siege on Jerusalem.
08.18.05 Saudi forces kill al-Qaeda chief
August 18 Saudi security forces in the holy city of Medina have shot dead the suspected chief of al-Qaeda in the kingdom. Saleh Mohammed al-Aoofi was among six al-Qaeda-linked militants killed in police raids on numerous locations in the holy city and in the capital, Riyadh, an Interior Ministry spokesman told the Associated Press.
Earlier this month, Washington closed its diplomatic missions in Saudi Arabia for two days due to an imminent threat against US government buildings in the kingdom. Britain also warned that militants were in the final stages of planning attacks in the kingdom, and Australia said it had received "credible reports" Islamic extremists were planning strikes in the near future. But Saudi Arabia said it had no solid information about any such attacks. [More>>theaustralian.news.com; See more details, khaleejtimes.com, "Saudi confirms suspected Al Qaeda leader killed."]
08.18.05 Rabbi says Gaza evacuation will lead to escalation of terrorism
MOSCOW (RIA Novosti political commentator Marianna Belenkaya) August 18 The planned evacuation of Jewish settlements from the West Bank contradicts Israel's security interests and may ensue in a new wave of terrorism across the globe, Chief Rabbi of Russia Berl Lazar said. "The so-called unilateral disengagement proves that political goals can be achieved by means of terror and violence," he said. "Today no one doubts that demands to deport Jews from the West Bank and cede Jerusalem and the rest to Arabs will follow [the] Gaza [evacuation]."
The outburst of terrorism would occur in Israel and other countries to which "the international alliance of terrorists has territorial and political claims," including Russia, he said. As a member of the Middle East Quartet, Russia is interested in resolving the conflict in the region, Berl Lazar said. However, "nobody in Russia wants the Gaza Strip to become a stronghold of HAMAS and Islamic Jihad," he said.
The rabbi called a split of the Jewish nation another tragic result of the Gaza pullout. "Many Israelis have lost faith in democracy as the prime minister failed to comply with his pre-election promises and politicians are ready to betray basic values for the sake of transitory group interests." [More>>rian.ru]
08.18.05 Russia and the Middle East settlement
August 18 Ria Novosti published two articles of interest with regard to Russia's developing role in the Middle East. Russia is already invested in developing Iran's nuclear power plant, she depends also on cooperation with Iran and other nations in the region of the Caspian Sea on development of oil and gast resources resources which also are of keen interest to the EU. Stabilization of the Middle East would therefore be high on the agenda of the Kremlin. The first article, "Putin, Abbas discuss Middle East settlement" : Russian President Vladimir Putin and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas have discussed by telephone Thursday the Middle Eastern peace settlement and Russia's aid to Palestine, the Kremlin press service said. "The Palestinian leader informed the Russian president on the developments in the Middle East following an important event, the withdrawal of Jewish settlements from the Gaza Strip...The sides discussed practical aspects of foreign aid to Palestine, including Russia's plans in this sphere."
The second article of interest, "King of Jordan arrives in Sochi" : King Abdullah II of Jordan has arrived in Sochi, a Russian resort on the Black Sea. The king is set to hold talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin in his residence Bocharov Ruchei. "The two leaders will discuss the fight against international terrorism and religious extremism," as well as developments in the Middle East and bilateral trade and economic cooperation, a Kremlin source said.The king arrived in Russia on a four-day routine visit August 16. This is his seventh trip to this country in the past four years.
Editorial note: Russia is interested in supplying an oil line through Syria. Jordan will benefit from the pipeline. Apart from the economic interests, Jordan has a Palestinian refugee problem. See Maravot News8.16.05, "Jordan's king vows to reject settling more Palestinians."
08.18.05 Pope faces condom protest on visit to Germany
August 18 Ruth Gledhill for the Times Online reports: The new Pope embarked on the toughest test of his papacy to date when he arrived in his native German this morning to greet a crowd of more than 400,000 young Catholics gathered to celebrate World Youth Day. The event, which became one of the biggest showcases of his charismatic predecessor's reign, has already been the focus of lobbying by the some of the Church's most committed youth on issues such as the Vatican's opposition to condom use to prevent the spread of Aids.
Pro-condom posters have been plastered throughout Cologne's public transport system as part of the Condoms4Life during the week-long event.
Unfazed by the temporary loss of his skullcap which blew off as he alighted in blustery weather from his Alitalia Jetliner at Cologne-Bonn airport, Pope Benedict XVI did not continue Pope John Paul II's tradition of kissing the ground. In keeping with his more subdued style of leadership, just a few hundred admirers were brought to the airport to greet him for his first visit to Germany since his election as Pope in April. [More>>timesonline.co.uk]; See also dw-world.de, "Boisterous welcome for Pope in Cologne" : They speak the same language: Benedict XVI and president Köhler. The first German pope in 500 years received a colorful welcome in Cologne today at the beginning of his attendance of the World Youth Day. Pope Benedict XVI arrived at a blustery Cologne-Bonn airport in his native Germany Thursday, sparking a rapturous ovation from a welcoming party of young pilgrims at the start of the first foreign visit of his pontificate. The 78-year-old pontiff suffered a brief mishap when his skullcap was blown off by a gust of wind as he stepped from the Alitalia plane. Smiling, he waved to the cheering crowd after being greeted by German President Horst Köhler and German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder and their wives, and Cologne Archbishop Cardinal Joachim Meisner. A windy homecoming for pope Benedict XVI, he chose not to kiss the airport tarmac, the gesture which became the hallmark of his charismatic predecessor John Paul II on his 104 foreign visits...]
08.18.05 Four US soldiers killed after Iraq's 'sectarian' bombings
BAGHDAD (AFP) August 18 Four US soldiers were killed in Iraq on Thursday, a day after 43 people died in rush-hour Baghdad bombings which the government said sought to create a sectarian crisis in the war-torn country. The soldiers were killed by a roadside bomb in the northern town of Samarra, the US military said, taking to around 50 the US military deaths across Iraq in August, according to an AFP tally based on Pentagon figures. Another US military convoy was hit by a roadside bomb in Baghdad early Thursday with Iraqi officials reporting some American casualties in the blast although the US military had no immediate comment. [More>>khaleejtimes.com]
08.18.05 US backs Korean peace treaty: Hill
August 18 The United States is willing to address a long-time North Korean demand for a peace treaty to replace the armistice as a way of providing a security guarantee for the communist regime and ultimately as a security structure for Northeast Asia as a whole, Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill said.
South and North Korea, divided since 1945, remain technically at war since the 1950-53 Korean War ended with the armistice, not a peace treaty. North Korea has long sought a peace treaty with the United States, claiming that lack of one is proof of U.S. hostility toward its regime. ¯What we signaled to the DPRK is our interest in pursuing it, if they wish to pursue it," Hill said when the subject of a peace treaty came up at a forum discussion on Wednesday. DPRK, or Democratic People's Republic of Korea, is North Korea's official name. [More>>koreaherald.co.kr; See related story, koreaherald.co.kr, "Roh backs North Korea's peacefuol use of nuclear energy."]
08.18.05 Help us in war against terror: US to India
KOLKATA, India (PTI) August 18 Concerned at recurring terror strikes in different countries, including the serial blasts in Bangladesh on Wednesday, the United States on Thursday sought assistance from India and other countries in its global fight against the scourge. "The USA has gone on a global war against terrorism. We spend lot of time and money on this. We hope to receive assistance from other countries, including India," US Ambassador to India David C. Mulford said.
Mulford, who called on Chief Minister Buddhadev Bhattacharjee at the Writers Building during the day, condemned the serial blasts in Bangladesh saying "these types of activities are regrettable, unacceptable, irrespective of whether it takes place in New York city or Bangladesh." Fighting terrorism, he said, is a ‘high priority initiative" of the US government. However, he did not discuss Bangladesh blasts or al-Qaeda's alleged activities in Kolkata, during his hour-long meeting with Bhattacharjee. [More>>expressindia.com; See related story, expressindia.com, "Two nabbed for raising money for Quaeda in India" : Kolkata, August 18: Police in Kolkata said on Thursday they were questioning two men arrested in connection with distributing leaflets and raising money for an organisation which had al-Qaeda as part of its name. The flyers explained in Urdu that the money would be used by 'mujahideen' (holy warriors) fighting in support of Muslims around the world. The coupons were sold under the name of 'Mujahideen al Qaeda Pacific International'. They were being distributed in some Muslim-dominated neighbourhoods in Kolkata and the men were arrested earlier this week, a senior police officer told Reuters.]
08.18.05 Five Taliban killed in raids
Qalat, August 18 Afghan and US forces backed by American warplanes raided a Taliban stronghold in southern Afghanistan, killing five members of the ousted militia, a military official said on Thursday. The operation began on Tuesday in the Khakriz district of Kandahar province, the militants were killed on Wednesday, said the Afghan general who led the troops. "During this operation we killed five Taliban," he said. "The rest of the Taliban fled the area which was their biggest gathering site in Kandahar." [jang.com.pk]
08.18.05 Singapore: China-India ties to anchor new Asia century
(AFP) August 18 Good relations between China and India will form the foundation of a "new architecture of cooperation" bringing together East, Southeast and South Asia, Singapore Foreign Minister George Yeo said, AFP reported. Yeo said an inaugural East Asia Summit in Kuala Lumpur in December that will gather the leaders of 16 countries, including China and India, is important to the emergence of this new regional landscape. Asia faces three main challenges that could shape the region's future, one of them "the construction of a new architecture of cooperation in Asia itself, bringing together East, Southeast and South Asia," he said.
"This process, which will take many years, is already underway. If we succeed, the centre of the world economy will move to Asia in this century and a new East-West trade dwarfing anything which had been seen previously will come to be..." [More>>chinadaily.com.cn; See related story, hindustantimes.com, "India, China least friendly."]
08.18.05 Japan finds new bird flu case on farm near Tokyo
TOKYO (Reuters) August 18 Japan has found a new case of bird flu in a region neighboring Tokyo, but the strain is unlikely to be the virulent type that has been blamed for dozens of deaths in Asia, a local government official said on Thursday. Several chickens on a farm in Saitama prefecture, west of the capital, tested positive for the H5 type of bird flu, but studies are still being made to determine the subtype.
"We will have to wait for the final results to be certain, but it is unlikely to be the virulent strain of bird flu," an official with the Saitama prefectural government said. He said the strain was likely to be the same as that reported earlier this year, which was the weak H5N2 strain. Early last year, Japan reported its first outbreak of avian flu in 79 years when it discovered chickens infected with the virulent H5N1 strain. That strain first surfaced in poultry in Hong Kong and China eight years ago and is known to have killed more than 50 people in countries such as Vietnam, Thailand and Cambodia.
In late June, Japan reported a case of the H5N2 strain of bird flu in Ibaraki prefecture, northeast of Tokyo.
Several other farms in the neighborhood later also reported cases of the same strain. Following guidelines, all 98,300 chickens on the farm in Saitama will be slaughtered, and restrictions will be placed on the movement of eggs and chickens in a 5-kilometre radius around the farm to prevent the virus from spreading. [thestar.com.my]
08.18.05 (Update) Anti-Iraq war protest at Bush ranch in Texas moving on ~1,800 vigils across the US
CRAWFORD, Texas, August 17 Since August 6 anti-war activists, led by Cindy Sheehan, of Gold Star Families for Peace, have been chanting "Bush, liar" and "How do you ask a soldier to be the last person to die for a lie?" outside the gates of the sprawling Prairie Chapel ranch near Crawford where the president is spending a month's vacation. The highly restricted space the group occupies is called Camp Casey. In answer to Bush's violent, ongoing occupation of Iraq Sheehan is claiming "the peaceful occupation of Crawford."
Sheehan statement, afterdowningstreet.org. :
August 15, "Hope The peaceful occupation of Crawford": The ninth day ended in the most awesome way. We were out at Camp Casey and it was sprinkling a little bit and it really looked like the rain was going to start pouring down anytime. We looked over into the next cow pasture and there was a full rainbow. If that wasn't a sign from the universe then I don't know what is.
I was being interviewed by Alex Jones and he asked me what I thought the rainbow signified. I told Alex that I was positive that it means we are going to be victorious. Rainbows are supposedley God's sign of hope. When Casey was killed on 04/04/04, I thought that all of my hope was killed, too. Being involved in the peaceful occupation of Crawford and meeting hundreds of people from all over the world who are willing to put their money where their mouths are has given me so much hope for the future. We won't let George Bush and his evil neocon cabal ruin our world anymore. John Lennon sang: "Power to the people." We are the people and we have the power.
Camp Casey is moving closer to Bush's Texas ranch. A neighboring rancher, Fred Mattlage, an Army veteran, offered the protesters use of his corner 1-acre lot, following threats from the city of Crawford that parking meters would be placed along the road, restricting the protesters' ability to assemble, and vandalism of the crosses raised to the US soldiers who have died in Iraq.
The protest is growing across the US. Moveon.org organized candlelight vigils the evening of August 17, 2005 across the United States in support of Sheehan's cause. About 1,800 vigils were held. A few photos from afterdowningstreet.org describe what their protest is about:
The image of Bush and Cheney behind bars carries from the argument that involves an inquiry whether President George W. Bush lied with respect to the invasion of Iraq. A Congressional inquiry is being sought to determine whether the President committed an impeachable offence, an offence even that could lead to his incarceration. See Maravot News8.04.05, "Forty representatives blitz House for hearings: Whether US President misled nation to war." A similar complaint has been initiated in Britain against Blair.
AfterDowningStreet.org contains links to ongoing reports and photos from Camp Casey.
Sheehan is waiting for Bush to explain "the noble cause" that led to the invasion of Iraq, in light of Bush's original claim of invasion to rid Iraq of "weapons of mass destruction."
Associated with the "weapons of mass destruction" was the finding that Saddam Hussein was not attempting to buy material from Africa for manufacture of nuclear bombs. This finding by former Ambassador Joseph Wilson led to an alleged release of Classified information, connected to the president's office via White House Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove.
The issue opined via several media and cnn.com 7.12.05, article, "White House clams up on CIA leak" : " .... Newsweek reported this week that a July 2003 e-mail from Time magazine reporter Matthew Cooper states Rove told him about an agent who was the wife of former Ambassador Joseph Wilson, who had just leveled accusations that the Bush administration had overstated a key piece of intelligence in its arguments for war with Iraq.
Cooper's e-mail does not say that Rove explicitly named Plame. But it states that Rove told him Wilson was not authorized by the CIA to investigate whether Iraq had sought uranium from the African country of Niger, as Wilson had stated in a July 2003 piece in The New York Times. The CIA "leak" is under continuing investigation."
There have been many comments in the news media since the invasion of Iraq that Americans don't really feel the affects of the invasion and occupation of Iraq. Flag-draped coffins returning from Iraq have been hidden by the Bush administration, we occasionally hear the grief of towns that lose a high proportion of their sons. There is no draft, however, to assure a more democratic recruitment of American soldiers, and there is the continuing story of the soldier sent back to Iraq because of low military recruitments, and the cost of the war is funded through the sales of US government bonds (a hidden tax, adding to the public debt). But we are reminded of the war in Iraq a little bit more when the people who lost their loved one(s) speak out. The peaceful occupation of Crawford, Texas is a new twist from a mother speaking out against the loss of her son "due to a lie." It may give the people of Crawford, at least, some idea of what it is like to be (peacefully) "occupied."
08.17.05 A lesson not yet learned in Pakistan
LAHORE, Pakistan, August 17 Paul Watson, LATimes Staff Writer, provides a report on Pakistani textbooks, how they continue to teach jihad : Each year, thousands of Pakistani children learn from history books that Jews are tightfisted moneylenders and Christians vengeful conquerors. One textbook tells kids they should be willing to die as martyrs for Islam. They aren't being indoctrinated by extremist mullahs in madrasas, the private Islamic seminaries often blamed for stoking militancy in Pakistan. They are pupils in public schools learning from textbooks approved by the administration of President Pervez Musharraf. Since joining the US as an ally in its "war on terror" four years ago, Musharraf has urged Pakistanis to shun radical Islam and pursue "enlightened moderation."
Musharraf and US officials say education reforms are crucial to defeating extremism in Pakistan, the only Islamic nation armed with nuclear weapons. Yet reformers who study the country's education system say public school lessons still promote hatred against non-Muslims and urge jihad, or holy war.
"I have been arguing for the longest time that, in fact, our state system is the biggest madrasa," said Rubina Saigol, a US-trained expert on education. "We keep blaming madrasas for everything and, of course, they are doing a lot of things I would disagree with. But the state ideologies of hate and a violent, negative nationalism are getting out there where madrasas cannot hope to reach." The current social studies curriculum guidelines for grades 6 and 7 instruct textbook writers and teachers to "develop aspiration for jihad" and "develop a sense of respect for the struggle of [the] Muslim population for achieving independence."
In North-West Frontier Province, which is governed by supporters of the ousted Taliban regime in neighboring Afghanistan, the federally approved Islamic studies textbook for eighth grade teaches students they must be prepared "to sacrifice every precious thing, including life, for jihad."
"At present, jihad is continuing in different parts of the world," the chapter continues. "Numerous mujahedin [holy warriors] of Islam are involved in defending their religion, and independence, and to help their oppressed brothers across the world." [More>>latimes.com]
08.17.05 State Department says it warned about bin Laden in 1996
WASHINGTON, August 17 State Department analysts warned the Clinton administration in July 1996 that Osama bin Laden's move to Afghanistan would give him an even more dangerous haven as he sought to expand radical Islam "well beyond the Middle East," but the government chose not to deter the move, newly declassified documents show. In what would prove a prescient warning, the State Department intelligence analysts said in a top-secret assessment on Mr. bin Laden that summer that "his prolonged stay in Afghanistan - where hundreds of 'Arab mujahedeen' receive terrorist training and key extremist leaders often congregate - could prove more dangerous to U.S. interests in the long run than his three-year liaison with Khartoum," in Sudan.
The declassified documents, obtained by the conservative legal advocacy group Judicial Watch as part of a Freedom of Information Act request and provided to The New York Times, shed light on a murky and controversial chapter in Mr. bin Laden's history: his relocation from Sudan to Afghanistan as the Clinton administration was striving to understand the threat he posed and explore ways of confronting him. [More>>nytimes.com via dailystar.com.lb; See 9/11 report from wanttoknow.info, "(Dec. 21, 1998) Inside the hunt for Osama: The Feds have tailed the Saudi and his secret network for years..." Another article in the nationalreview.com, September 11, 2003, "Clinton's loss?" recounts what the Clinton Administration knew about Osama bin Laden with Richard Miniter saying, "....Lopez: Bill Clinton was actually offered bin Laden? Could you set the scene a little and clue us in on why, for heavens sakes, he would not take advantage of such opportunities?
Miniter: On March 3, 1996, U.S. ambassador to Sudan, Tim Carney, Director of East African Affairs at the State Department, David Shinn, and a member of the CIA's directorate of operations' Africa division met with Sudan's then-Minister of State for Defense Elfatih Erwa in a Rosslyn, Virginia hotel room. Item number two on the CIA's list of demands was to provide information about Osama bin Laden. Five days later, Erwa met with the CIA officer and offered more than information. He offered to arrest and turn over bin Laden himself. Two years earlier, the Sudan had turned over the infamous terrorist, Carlos the Jackal to the French. He now sits in a French prison. Sudan wanted to repeat that scenario with bin Laden in the starring role.
Clinton administration officials have offered various explanations for not taking the Sudanese offer. One argument is that an offer was never made. But the same officials are on the record as saying the offer was "not serious." Even a supposedly non-serious offer is an offer. Another argument is that the Sudanese had not come through on a prior request so this offer could not be trusted. But, as Ambassador Tim Carney had argued at the time, even if you believe that, why not call their bluff and ask for bin Laden?
cbsnews.com interview of Bill Clinton June 21, 2004 Clinton says he was obsessed with getting bin Laden, but he rebutted the claim that the Sudan had offered to turn over bin Laden to the US government: "To the best of my knowledge it is not true that we were ever offered [bin Laden] by the Sudanese even though they later claimed it. I think it's total bull."
See also the telegraph.co.uk article 21 August 1998, "Clinton strikes terrorist bases."]
08.17.05 Use of force to resolve Iran nuclear row 'dangerous': Russia
MOSCOW, August 17 Russia said Wednesday that any use of force against Iran over its decision to resume nuclear fuel production would be "dangerous" and would have "serious consequences." [jang.com.pk See more details>>dailystar.com.lb : ...statement clearly aimed at US President George W. Bush's recent assertion that force is an option. The statement urged that the crisis over Iran's insistence on producing its own nuclear fuel be resolved "exclusively through expert consultations and diplomatic negotiations." The Russian position echoes a call by German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder over the weekend for military force to be ruled out as an option in Iran, saying it was "extremely dangerous."]
08.17.05 Shot Brazilian's lawyers demand inquiry over police 'lies'
August 17 Lawyers acting for the family of the innocent Brazilian shot dead by police hunting the July 21 bombers have called for a full public inquiry into the killing after reading leaked witness statements about his final moments.
Gareth Peirce and Harriet Wistrich, the lawyers representing the family of Jean Charles de Menezes, say that documents leaked from the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) investigation into the shooting show that "virtually the entire body of information" released by the police has, until now, been false...Extracts of the IPCC inquiry into the shooting of de Menezes, an electrician, were leaked to ITV News last night.
Photographs and witness statements imply that, in contrast with police briefings given soon after the shooting, de Menezes, 27, did nothing to suggest that he might be a suicide bomber before he was seized by police officers and shot eight times on a Tube train the morning after the failed attacks of July 21.
The documents also suggest that the surveillance team watching the building from which de Menezes emerged on the morning of July 22 failed to clearly identify him as one of the suspected bombers before he was trailed by firearms officers and the order was given to shoot.
In a further contradiction to initial police reports, witnesses said that de Menezes was wearing a lightweight jacket and behaving normally in Stockwell Tube station, South London, picking up a free newspaper and swiping his season ticket at the barriers, only breaking into a run when his train pulled into the station. Early police reports had said he had been wearing a bulky coat which could have hidden an explosives belt, and "behaving erratically" when he vaulted the ticket barriers at Stockwell station and ran onto a crowded train. [Full story>>timesonline.co.uk]
08.17.05 Handwringing Israelis: Article by Bambi Sheleg says "We made a mistake"
August 17 As the pullout of Jews from Gaza proceeds midst many arrests of those who had made Gaza their home at the invitation of the Israeli government secular and nonsecular Jews in Israel and around the world comment about the mess they are in. It is a mess to some, a travesty of justice to displaced settlers, and justified to others. Bambi's article, with bloggers' comments, may be read in the Jerusalem Post August 17 issue, "Dear friends: We made a mistake." Bambi' broaches the issue that Zionism (the promise and philosophy justifying a Jewish state occupying the Biblical land of Israel) may not have led the land in the right direction. Many Jewish settlers on the West Bank and in Gaza were encouraged to settle there, fulfilling the Biblical Promise on the redemption of the diaspora (scattered Jews around the earth) to the Holy Land. This promise has been read by Islamic regimes as a threat to their security, and in the first Iraq War led by George H. W. Bush Saddam Hussein complained that the Jews were out to occupy all of the land from the "River of Egypt" to the Euphrates. The actual "River of Egypt" mentioned by the Bible, according to Jewish scholars, is a wadi, which demarcates the present southern boundary of Israel, not the Nile River. But the promise made to Abraham did involve lands as far as he could see, to the Euphrates River. This promise involves land occupied by Syria, Jordan and Iraq and approximates the kingdom of David circa. 1,000 B.C. (See Historical map of Israel in sidebar).
Bambi reviews the fact that Israel is ruled by two estates: the secular government, whose laws are of man, and the nonsecular religious (Orthodox) orders whose law is the Torah (Old Testament Note that Israel's basic law of the land is its "Declaration of Independence" and the Torah. A Constitution, as that of the US, was not adopted because of the strong belief among the nonsecular estate that the Torah was the only law of the land needed. Moslems use the same argument with regard to their Shariah, using the Koran as the law of the land. The Koran, for whatever it is worth, claims in many verses that it was written to confirm that the Jewish Scriptures (Bible) are true.)
The conflict between the two comes down to who should possess the land and the extent of the land promised. The conflict between the two estates is odd, since many settlers who occupied lands now being evacuated don't believe in God. But they justify the occupation of the land of Israel through the promise made to Abraham, passing to the son of the inheritance, Israel (originally named Jacob). Israel is the name given to Jacob, meaning 'who prevails with God' after Jacob wrestled with God (Gen. 32.28). Thus, anyone carrying the name of Israel would expect the promise given to Israel, through his father Abraham, to be fulfilled. The Promise carried both "good" and "evil" pronouncements carried through the prophets, the most notable of which were the blessings and curses made by Moses atop Mount Gerizim as the Children of Israel passed from their diaspora in Egypt into the Promised Land (Deut.11.29; 27.12-26; 28). The curse involved the scattering of Israel to all the nations, as expounded through many Old Testament prophets, and the fear would be such that they would flee from one land to another, even with no one chasing them. Then they would be redeemed from all of the nations whence they had been scattered, to the Holy Land, as they had been before redeemed by the hand of Moses. Jewish scholars of the diaspora even before and after restoration to the Holy Land in May 1948 always believed that the redemption of the Jews to the Holy Land also meant the redemption of mankind. The idea relates to an expression by Solovyov (Talmud. Ruskaya Mysl, 1886): "The Jewish national idea was not narrow, but embodied a universalistic charge, 'in thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed'" (Gen. 12.3); and regarding being once moved to the land, Israel, "A man or woman may compel the members of his or her family to move to Israel, but none may be compelled to leave it" (Miswna: Ketubot.13.11; this follows Amos 9.15: "I will plant them upon their land, and they shall no more be plucked up."); linking to this is the precept, "Palestine is the center of the world, Jerusalem the center of Palestine, and the Temple the center of Jerusalem" (Tanhuma, Kedoshim, 10, ed. Buber p. 78). Finally we can chew on this: "The Holy One will turn the Ninth of Ab into Joy...and will Himself build Jerusalem and gather therein the exiles of Israel" (Midrash Zuta, Eka, # 28, ed. Buber, 1894, p. 74; See Pslam 147.2, Yalkut, Eka, nos. 7, 104; Abin. Pesikta Kahana, ch. 13, ed. Buber, 104a).
The Ninth of Ab is the Jewish Calendar date when the first Temple was destroyed, when the second Temple was destroyed, when the last fortress, Betar, of the Bar Kochba revolt fell. The Temple area was plowed one year later. The Ninth of Av, 1492, was set by King Ferdinand of Spain expelling the Jews from Spain as the last day a Jew would walk on Spanish soil. World War I began on the Ninth of Av [More on the Ninth of Av>>ou.org.]
The month of Av (Ab) is the fifth month of the Jewish Calendar, counting from the first month, Nissan. The holiday, Tisha B'Av, the Ninth of Av, was August 14, 2005 [ou.org.]
It is believed by scholars that the world will not see peace until Jerusalem is at peace. Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem (Psalm 122.6)
08.17.05 Islamic fatwa: Darul Uloom says only veiled women can contest elections
MUZAFFARNAGAR, India (PTI) August 17 In yet another controversial fatwa, Islamic seminary Darul Uloom has ruled that Muslim women should not contest elections and if they have to do they must do it under veil, evoking sharp reactions from political parties. "Muslim women are not allowed to appear before men without a veil and under The islamic law 'pardanashin' women are only allowed to contest elections," the Darool Uloom of Deoband said in the edict issued on Tuesday. It said those who are contesting panchayat elections must cover their faces.
Various political parties have reacted sharply to the edict with Congress leader and Law Minister H.R. Bharadwaj saying edicts coming from the religious groups have no significance under the Constitution and it is upto the people whether they want to abide by them or not. [More>>expressindia.com; See related story, expressindia.com, "Only one judiciary, Constitution does not recognize Islamic courts: Government." ; Maravot News8.08.05 recorded a similar controversy on the application of the Koran, "Islamic leaders in the south of Thailand ask for Shariah court." Southern Thailand is another place that has been plagued by Islamic bombers. The demand for Shariah courts appears to be consistent with fundamentalist trends in Islam to create regimes ruled by Islamic Law.
08.17.05 Series of bomb blasts rock Bangladesh
DHAKA (Reuters) August 17 A series of bombs exploded almost simultaneously in the Bangladesh capital Dhaka, the main port city Chittagong and other towns on Wednesday, injuring at least 20 people and triggering widespread panic. "We have reports of blasts from different areas and security forces have rushed to the spots. What caused the explosions are yet to be ascertained," a police officer of the Dhaka Metropolitan Police said. A police officer in Chittagong said they believed the bombs were locally made and remotely controlled. He gave no details. Authorities said they had immediately tightened security around the country and ordered a crackdown on possible suspects. [More>>expressindia.com]
08.17.05 Secrets of the morgue: Baghdad's body count
August 17 Robert Fisk reports: Bodies of 1,100 civilians brought to mortuary in July. Pre-invasion, July figure was typically less than 200. Last Sunday alone, the mortuary received 36 bodies. Up to 20 per cent of the bodies are never identified. Many of the dead have been tortured or disfigured. The Baghdad morgue is a fearful place of heat and stench and mourning, the cries of relatives echoing down the narrow, foetid laneway behind the pale-yellow brick medical centre where the authorities keep their computerized records. So many corpses are being brought to the mortuary that human remains are stacked on top of each other. Unidentified bodies must be buried within days for lack of space - but the municipality is so overwhelmed by the number of killings that it can no longer provide the vehicles and personnel to take the remains to cemeteries.
July was the bloodiest month in Baghdad's modern history - in all, 1,100 bodies were brought to the city's mortuary; executed for the most part, eviscerated, stabbed, bludgeoned, tortured to death. The figure is secret. [Complete article available only to subscribers: independent.co.uk]
08.17.05 Baghdad rush-hour bombings kill at least 43
BAGHDAD (AFP) August 17 At least 43 people were killed in Baghdad's morning rush hour when three car bombs exploded in quick succession at a busy bus station and a nearby hospital, the deadliest strikes in the Iraqi capital this year. The bombings, which broke a brief lull in major insurgent violence, came two days after politicians failed to draft a new constitution due to sharp differences on key issues, raising concerns of fresh political turmoil.
Two car bombs exploded 10 minutes apart at the bus station in the central district of Al-Nahda, leaving behind a sea of broken bodies, and a third blew up near Al-Kindi hospital in the same neighborhood. At least 43 people were killed and another 76 wounded in the blasts, an interior ministry official and medics said. Interior Minister Bayan Baker Solagh said on state-owned Iraqia television that four men suspected of carrying out the bombings were arrested, but had no remote control detonators as earlier reported by the network. [More>>turkishpress.com; See also aljazeera.net]
08.17.05 Suspected uranium smugglers arrested in Turkey
ISTANBUL, August 17 Turkish police detained two people suspected of smuggling radioactive materials and seized 173 grammes (about 6.1 ounces) of moderately enriched uranium in an operation last week in Istanbul, the police said Wednesday. Officials said the seized uranium was not pure enough to be used in either weapon-making or energy production. "Two suspects were arrested on August 11 in possession of 173 grammes of uranium in a joint operation by the police and the secret service," said a police source who requested anonymity. He did not specify the names or nationalities of the suspects, who are in prison custody.
According to the Aksam newspaper, the suspects were caught as they were trying to sell the uranium, which was believed to have come from Russia, to undercover police for seven million dollars (about 5.7 million euros). An analysis of the seized uranium showed that it was "moderately enriched," with 17 percent uranium-235 and the rest uranium-238 with impurities, according to the police statement. [More>>turkishpress.com]
05.21.05 British lawmaker: Iraq war was for oil
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.
Speaking on Friday on the sidelines of the fourth International Workshop on Oil and Gas Depletion in Lisbon, Portugal, Meacher, a member of the British parliament, said: "The reason they attacked Iraq is nothing to do with weapons of mass destruction, it was nothing to do with democracy in Iraq, it was nothing to do with the human rights abuses of Saddam Hussein."
..."It was principally, totally and comprehensively to do with oil," Meacher continued. "This was about assuming control over the Middle East and over Iraq, the second largest producer and also over Saudi Arabia next door.
"It was about securing as much as possible of the remaining supplies of oil and also over the Caspian basin, which of course is Afghanistan." [More>>aljazeera.net; See also gregpalast.com, article March 17, 2005, "Secret US plans for Iraq's oil."
Editorial note: For articles relating to Bush's lying to Congress and the American people with regard to his war on Iraq and other complaints that relate to his abuse of power see:
08.09.05 Understanding terrorists' use of the Koran what constitutes extremist activity
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:
08.07.05 Inside the sect that loves terror with Editorial note: An interesting site by an Islamic scholar defines what "kuffar" (disbelievers) means. His site, renaissance.com.pk Arguments and Rational details the Koran's verses and traditional and modern applications of the verses dealing with disbelievers: identifying them, punishing them, preaching to them and "'displaced directives." His argument refers heavily to Old Testament verses that set the foundation for verses of the Koran involving the punishment of disbelievers...
08.07.05 UK to deport 500 Muslim extremists and article, "Diary of British jihadi unearthed in Pakistan," ...the diary wonders how Muslims can live in London, the "vital organ of the minions of the devil," now that the "kufr," or unbelievers, have transformed the world into "a battlefield for the Muslims."
6.17-05 Federal Debt not a concern of the press
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.
Postscript: If the EU adopts the practice of allowing large budget deficits, the consequence places a strain on the world bond market, since that market is already flooded with US bonds to the tune of some $9 trillion. Those who are allowing budget deficits also own some of the US debt. It's not a good situation, heralding a world economic collapse. That Greenspan has not reigned in the Bush administration on the US debt is a travesty.
Rising interest rates began with a Federal Reserve declaration of the "fear of 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.
But in a departure from previous declarations, the central bank said there were rising inflationary pressures beyond those tied directly to the recent jumps in oil prices. [More>>nytimes.com]
(2) The name, Allah, in Arabic is an expression of surprise. It is not unusual for the God of the Bible to be known by many names. Jewish Midrash quotes passages in the Old Testament (Torah) that cite as many as seventy names of God (and more). But they can all be reduced down to one name.
(5) The Law of the Locrians: "In the legislation of the Locrians, the proposer of a new law, with a halter round his neck, to be instantly tightened if the public assembly did not, on hearing his reasons, then and there adopt his proposition." [Mill, On Liberty, 2.475].
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