A resource for historians and journalists, since 2004

Maravot News of the World
03:06 PM
- San Francisco
Thursday, November 26, 2009
(last post

Search Engines & Filters

Trends, Iraq Casualties

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. Click chart for larger image. and discussion. For old Maravot chart click here, News Trends.html.

2009 update (3.05.09)

Western News
Worth frequent visits
Best nose for news

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

Aral Sea Disaster
information please
DOD News
Le Monde.fr (
in French)
liberation.fr (
in French)
lefigaro.fr (
in French)
Spiegel Online
La Repubblica.It
PeaceReporter.net (Italy)
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
El Paso Times (Texas-Mexico)
Banderas News (Mexico)

Financial Times
ino.com (World Indices)
Radio Free Europe
Radio News America
Democracy Now, radio & TV
The Guardian, Nigeria
Business Day (S. Africa)



International Agencies – News

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; Strait 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.

Middle East Watch

Russia & Ukraine Watch

East Asia Watch

Relevant Works by Mel

News Headlines & Trends

11.25.09 Iraq invasion discussed in 2001 - but was dismissed as illegal

November 25 - Long-awaited inquiry into toppling of Saddam begins with first witnesses recalling 'drum beat' of war even before 9/11 attacks. Toppling Saddam Hussein from power was being discussed by British and US officials two years before the invasion of Iraq, senior Whitehall figures admitted yesterday. Foreign Office mandarins even drew up a secret document discussing the idea of removing the dictator as attempts to restrain him with sanctions began to fail. But any suggestions of supporting "regime change" were dismissed repeatedly as having no legal backing. On its opening day of public hearings, Sir John Chilcot's inquiry into the Iraq war heard that elements of President Bush's administration, which came to power at the start of 2001, were already making noises in support of regime change in Iraq even before the 9/11 terror attacks in the US...Sir Peter Ricketts, who was chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC), said that in those early days, it was Britain and the US which were most worried about the threat posed by Saddam. "I think the sense of the threat was probably sharpest in London and Washington," he said. But he made clear that in 2001, regime change "was something that we thought there could be no legal basis for."

...According to Sir Simon Webb, then a policy director at the Ministry of Defence, the shift in emphasis led to military action in Iraq being pushed up the agenda. "The shift in thinking was to say that we cannot afford to wait for these threats to materialise. We must be ready to engage potential threats wherever they emerge," he said. "The focus didn't shift to regime change. It shifted to the weapons of mass destruction problem. In the case of Iraq, in order to deal with [this] problem, you would probably end up having to push Saddam Hussein out of power." However, Sir Peter insisted that, while 9/11 had increased fears of weapons of mass destruction falling into the wrong hands, it had not yet shifted British policy to one of support for ousting Saddam Hussein. "We still had our focus on the weapons inspector route and the sanctions-type route," he said. "We had heard these noises about regime change. They weren't really impinging on the Whitehall policy debate at that point."
[Full story>>independent.co.uk]

11.25.09 Iran arrests seven alleged Jundallah members

TEHRAN /LONDON, November 25 - Rights group says Tehran detains scores of students. Iranian authorities arrested seven alleged members of the Sunni militant group Jundallah and will put them on trial, a judiciary official said on Wednesday, as a human rights group said that scores of Iranian students have been detained to avoid new protests during the annual Student Day. "The charges against these seven people are that they are mohareb (fighters against God) and belong to the terrorist group of Abdulmalek Rigi," Ibrahim Hamidi, head of the Sistan-Baluchestan province judiciary, told Fars news agency. Rigi heads the Jundallah (Soldiers of God) group which is engaged in an insurgency against Tehran's Shiite rule in southeastern Sistan-Baluchestan province bordering Pakistan and Afghanistan.

...Iran has regularly accused Jundallah of launching attacks in Sistan-Baluchestan province. It also accuses the intelligence services of Pakistan, the United States and Britain of providing aid to the group so it can launch attacks inside Iran. Jundallah claimed an Oct. 18 suicide bombing in the province which killed more than 40 people, including 15 members of Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards. Iran said those responsible for the bombing were based in Pakistan and also demanded that Islamabad hand Rigi over. A Western-based human rights group meanwhile said that Iran has detained scores of students in an apparent bid to prevent new opposition protests during annual Student Day events scheduled next month.
[Full story>>alarabiya.net; See related story,

alarabiya.net, November 25, "US conference calls for independent Baluchistan" (w/ blog): DUBAI - Baluch meet accuses Pakistan & Iran of genocide. As the Pakistani government hastily presented a Baluchistan package in parliament in its last ditch effort to appease the estranged people of the insurgency-hit province, a group of Baluchi officials held a conference in Washington, where they demanded an end to occupation by Pakistan and Iran. The conference, organized by the American Friends of Baluchistan, who called for the establishment of an independent Baluchistan state protected by the United Nations for an interim period, was attended by several prominent Baluch leaders from Pakistan and Iran as well as activists for the cause of Kashmiris and Sindhis.

A resolution adopted by the conference charged that both Pakistan and Iran were committing systematic genocide of Baluch people and appealed to the world community to force Pakistan and Iran to announce a timetable for withdrawing their. The resolution claimed that thousands of Baluchi men, women and children had been murdered, while thousands of others were abducted and put in jails, where they disappeared without a trace. The group demanded those responsible to be tried at the International Criminal Court (ICC)..

11.25.09 Bombings in Iraq leave at least 10 dead

BAGHDAD, November 25 - At least 10 people were reported killed Wednesday in Iraq, including four who perished in twin bombings near a revered Shiite shrine in Karbala. The other six were members of a family whose home north of Baghdad was raided overnight by suspected insurgents, according to Iraqi authorities. The attacks unfolded amid growing political uncertainty over the fate of an election law that parliament approved earlier this week over strong objections from some Sunnis.

The first blast in Karbala, a predominantly Shiite city about 60 miles southwest of Baghdad, happened at approximately 10:30am. A bomb exploded outside the Abu Noor restaurant, located a few yards away from the main shrine in the city. As emergency personnel rushed to the scene, a second bomb detonated, said Maj. Alaa al-Ghanimy, a spokesman for the army command in Karbala. The blasts left at least 24 people wounded, officials said. The bombing marked the second recent attack near the shrine, the city's economic nucleus and a magnet for southern Iraq's burgeoning tourism industry.

11.25.09 Netanyahu declares 10-month settlement freeze 'to restrart peace talks'

November 25 - Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced on Wednesday evening that Israel would impose a 10-month freeze on construction in West Bank settlements, saying the move was a bid to restart stalled peace talks with the Palestinians. "I hope that this decision will help launch meaningful negotiations to reach a historic peace agreement that would finally end the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians," Netanyahu said at a special press conference he held shortly after the security cabinet approved the moratorium. He added: "We have been told by many of our friends that once Israel takes the first meaningful steps toward peace, the Palestinians and Arab states would respond." [More>>haaretz.com]

11.25.09 UN report: Congo rebel network spans 25 countries

CONAKRY, Guinea (AP) November 25 - One of Africa's most brutal rebel movements relies on a vast, international network of supporters in at least 25 countries including in the United States and Europe, a United Nations report said. The UN findings will be discussed by the Security Council Wednesday. They are a scathing indictment of how little has been done by the international community to cut off logistical support to the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda, known by its French acronym FDLR, an ethnic Hutu militia which has wreaked havoc in Congo. The report, which has not been made public but was made available to The Associated Press, reveals that the overseas supporters in North America, Europe and Africa have become the backbone of the group's day-to-day operation, including in formulating its military strategy. The Congolese army has also been funneling weapons and ammunition to the rebel militia in violation of UN sanctions, and its own interests of eradicating the group, according to the report. [More>>thejakartapost.com]

11.25.09 Pakistan indicts Mumbai suspects

November 25 - A Pakistani anti-terrorism court has indicted seven suspects over last year's attacks in Mumbai, India, which killed 166 people. The accused pleaded not guilty to the charges on Wednesday, a defence lawyer said, on the eve of the anniversary of the attacks. Malik Rab Nawaz, a prosecutor in the case, said the men are accused of helping to plan and execute the Mumbai attacks. The detained include Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, the alleged mastermind of the November 26 - 29 siege in India's financial capital, and Zarar Shah, an alleged key Lashkar-e-Taiba operative. Lashkar-e-Taiba is an armed group based in Pakistan, founded to confront India over the disputed territory of Kashmir. It has also been accused of carrying out a spate of deadly attacks on Indian soil over the past decade. [More>>aljazeera.net; See other details, indianexpress.com; related story:

japantoday.com, November 25, "US offers $5 mil reward for 'Boomb Man" terror suspect" :
NEW YORK - The US State Department announced Tuesday that it is now offering a reward of up to $5 million for a Palestinian bomb-maker suspected of once targeting commercial airliners and of aiding the Iraq insurgency. Abu Ibrahim, whose real name is Husayn Muhammed al-Umari, stands accused of a spate of bombings in the 1980s. He was indicted in the 1982 bombing of Pan Am Flight 830 that killed a 16-year-old boy and wounded more than a dozen passengers as the plane headed to Honolulu from Tokyo. The FBI has been trying to catch Ibrahim for decades. It has upped its efforts recently, releasing an age-enhanced sketch of him earlier this year and working to dramatically increase the potential reward for information leading to his capture. He is about 73 years old... 

11.24.09 1 in 4 mortgage borrowers is under water

November 24 - Nearly a quarter of U.S. mortgage holders owe more on their loans than their houses are worth, according to a report today in the Wall Street Journal. Data from First American CoreLogic, a Santa Ana, Calif.-based real-estate information company, shows that in the third quarter of 2009 almost 10.7 million households had negative equity in their homes. Despite good news on the house resales front — it was reported Monday that home sales surged for the second month in a row in October, climbing to the highest level in 2½ years, due in part to a first-time buyers' tax credit — the Journal's Ruth Simon and James R. Hagerty write that this swelling of "underwater mortgages" threatens the prospects of a sustained housing recovery. These properties are more likely to fall into foreclosure, ultimately being dumped by banks and mortgage holders onto an already-saturated market, depressing falling house prices even further. [More>>cbsnews.com]

11.24.09 Two executed in China over tainted milk scandal

SHIJIAZHUANG, China (Xinhua), November 24 - Two people were executed in China Tuesday for their involvement in the country's contaminated milk scandal, during which at least six infants died and more than 300,000 became ill. Zhang Yujun was executed for the crime of endangering public safety by dangerous means, and Geng Jinping was put to death after being convicted of producing and selling toxic food, the Shijiazhuang Municipal Intermediate People's Court said in a statement. Zhang was found guilty of producing more than 770 tones and selling more than 600 tones of melamine-laced protein powder from July 2007 to August 2008.

Geng was convicted of selling more than 900 tones of milk tainted with 434 kg of protein powder to the now-defunct Sanlu Group, which was at the heart of the scandal, from October 2007 to August 2008. The two lodged appeals after the Shijiazhuang Municipal Intermediate People's Court sentenced them to death on January 21, and the Hebei Provincial Higher People's Court upheld the convictions on March 26. The death sentences and the executions were approved by the Supreme People's Court, the Shijiazhuang court statement said. Sanlu Group, which was based in Shijiazhuang, capital of China's northern Hebei province, had been the nation's leading seller of milk powder for 15 years until the melamine scandal broke out in September last year.

11.24.09 Pakistan launches Khyber offensive

November 24 - Pakistan's military has launched a major offensive in the northwest Khyber agency, imposing a 24-hour curfew and a shoot-to-kill policy. The operation, called "You will like us," is taking place in the Barra Area, where security forces say 18 Taliban fighters have been killed in fighting so far. Kamal Hyder, Al Jazeera's correspondent in the Pakistani capital, Islamabad, said security officials had arrested six people and at least two hideouts and three Taliban strongholds had been destroyed in the operation. Authorities have claimed that Taliban fighters who escaped from an army operation in South Waziristan may have sought sanctuary in Barra. Pakistani officials say the spate of recent bloody attacks in Peshawar and surrounding areas, which have killed more than 150 people, were likely to have been coordinated from Barra. [More>>aljazeera.net; See related story,

thenews.com.pk, November 24, "23 extremists die in recent military offensive" :
PESHAWAR - The fresh military offensive killed 23 extremists and at least 39 injured militants have been arrested, Geo News reports Tuesday. The security forces have taken control over Gargari. According to FC media cell operation, "Khoukh ba de shum Operation" is underway in Bara; also, the armed forces entered terrorists' strongholds of Gargari and Mamarri. Army cleared Gargari area and took control of important peaks. [The] Recent operation ruined 3 terrorist dens, 2 ammunition depots and 22 vehicles. Media cell reported that the forces retrieved during the operation torture equipments terrorists used to employ for torturing people. Gargari has been used as a training spot for preparing suicide bombers and explosive-filled vehicles. Two landmines installed by the extremists have been found out in Lundikuley. Also, the insurgents have suffered heavy losses during [the] operation launched by security forces, FC Media said. [end]

11.24.09 Iran shuts paper over Bahai picture

TEHRAN, November 24 - A popular conservative newspaper critical of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has been closed down for carrying a photograph of a temple of the banned Bahai faith, media reported on Tuesday. At the same time, the publishers of another daily, Khabar, linked to a conservative rival of Ahmadinejad, have decided to stop publication due to unspecified pressure, the Etemad newspaper said. Etemad quoted deputy culture minister Mohammad Ali Ramin as saying both newspapers had violated media laws and had received warnings from the Islamic Republic’s press supervisory board...Iran’s Shia Muslim religious establishment considers Bahai an heretical offshoot of Islam. [Full story>>timesofindia.indiatimes.com; For more information on the Bahai faith see bahai.org]

Editorial note: "How Iran's persecutions relate to its Constitution." One of the problems with Iran's constitution is that it vests all power in the Supreme Leader who in effect speaks and decides for God and the nation on all issues. This is what Article 2 (Foundational Princples) says (our bold text, except headings):

The Islamic Republic is a system based on belief in:
1) the One God (as stated in the phrase "There is no god except Allah"), His exclusive sovereignty and right to legislate, and the necessity of submission to His commands;
2) Divine revelation and its fundamental role in setting forth the laws;
3) the return to God in the Hereafter, and the constructive role of this belief in the course of man's ascent towards God;
4) the justice of God in creation and legislation;
5) continuous leadership and perpetual guidance, and its fundamental role in ensuring the uninterrupted process of the revolution of Islam;
6) the exalted dignity and value of man, and his freedom coupled with responsibility before God; in which equity, justice, political, economic, social, and cultural independence, and national solidarity are secured by recourse to:
a) continuous leadership of the holy persons, possessing necessary qualifications, exercised on the basis of the Koran and the Sunnah, upon all of whom be peace;
b) sciences and arts and the most advanced results of human experience, together with the effort to advance them further;
c) negation of all forms of oppression, both the infliction of and the submission to it, and of dominance, both its imposition and its acceptance.

Here is what Iran's Constitution says about the official religion and others:

Article 12  [Official Religion]
The official religion of Iran is Islam and the Twelver Ja'fari school, and this principle will remain eternally immutable.  Other Islamic schools are to be accorded full respect, and their followers are free to act in accordance with their own jurisprudence in performing their religious rites.  These schools enjoy official status in matters pertaining to religious education, affairs of personal status (marriage, divorce, inheritance, and wills) and related litigation in courts of law.  In regions of the country where Muslims following any one of these schools constitute the majority, local regulations, within the bounds of the jurisdiction of local councils, are to be in accordance with the respective school, without infringing upon the rights of the followers of other schools.
Article 13  [Recognized Religious Minorities]
Zoroastrian, Jewish, and Christian Iranians are the only recognized religious minorities, who, within the limits of the law, are free to perform their religious rites and ceremonies, and to act according to their own canon in matters of personal affairs and religious education.
Article 14  [Non-Muslims' Rights]
In accordance with the sacred verse "God does not forbid you to deal kindly and justly with those who have not fought against you because of your religion and who have not expelled you from your homes" [60:8], the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran and all Muslims are duty-bound to treat non-Muslims in conformity with ethical norms and the principles of Islamic justice and equity, and to respect their human rights.  This principle applies to all who refrain from engaging in conspiracy or activity against Islam and the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Here is what Iran's Constitution says about its Islamic mission (From the Preamble):

The Form of Government in Islam
In the view of Islam, government does not derive from the interests of a class, nor does it serve the domination of an individual or a group.  Rather, it represents the fulfillment of the political ideal of a people who bear a common faith and common outlook, taking an organized form in order to initiate the process of intellectual and ideological evolution towards the final goal, i.e., movement towards Allah.  Our nation, in the course of its revolutionary developments, has cleansed itself of the dust and impurities that accumulated during the past and purged itself of foreign ideological influences, returning to authentic intellectual standpoints and world-view of Islam.  It now intends to establish an ideal and model society on the basis of Islamic norms.  The mission of the Constitution is to realize the ideological objectives of the movement and to create conditions conducive to the development of man in accordance with the noble and universal values of Islam.

With due attention to the Islamic content of the Iranian Revolution, the Constitution provides the necessary basis for ensuring the continuation of the Revolution at home and abroad.  In particular, in the development of international relations, the Constitution will strive with other Islamic and popular movements to prepare the way for the formation of a single world community (in accordance with the Koranic verse "This your community is a single community, and I am your Lord, so worship Me" [21:92]), and to assure the continuation of the struggle for the liberation of all deprived and oppressed peoples in the world.

With due attention to the essential character of this great movement, the Constitution guarantees the rejection of all forms of intellectual and social tyranny and economic monopoly, and aims at entrusting the destinies of the people to the people themselves in order to break completely with the system of oppression. (This is in accordance with the Koranic verse "He removes from them their burdens an  the fetters that were upon them" [7:157]).

In creating, on the basis of ideological outlook, the political infrastructures and institutions that are the foundation of society, the righteous will assume the responsibility of governing and administering the country (in accordance with the Koranic verse "Verily My righteous servants shall inherit the earth" [21:105]). 

Government by the righteous is ultimately vested in the Supreme Leader:

Article 5  [Office of Religious Leader]
During the occultation of the Wali al-'Asr **(may God hasten his reappearance), the leadership of the Ummah devolve upon the just and pious person, who is fully aware of the circumstances of his age, courageous, resourceful, and possessed of administrative ability, will assume the responsibilities of this office in accordance with Article 107.

Article 107  [Religious Leader]
(1) After the demise of Imam Khumayni, the task of appointing the Leader51 shall be vested with the experts elected by the people.  The experts will review and consult among themselves concerning all the religious men possessing the qualifications specified in Articles 5 and 109.  In the event they find one of them better versed in Islamic regulations or in political and social issues, or possessing general popularity or special prominence for any of the qualifications mentioned in Article 109, they shall elect him as the Leader.  Otherwise, in the absence of such a superiority, they shall elect and declare one of them as the Leader.  The Leader thus elected by the Assembly of Experts shall assume all the powers of the religious leader and all the responsibilities arising therefrom.
(2) The Leader is equal with the rest of the people of the country in the eyes of law.

The Supreme Leader's duties and powers — which amount to a full dictatorship — are listed in Article 110, (See Maravot News Editorial note "Article 110," to article 11.21.09 Cleric wields religion to challenge Iran's theocracy.

**The Guardian, known also as the Mahdi, the ultimate savior of mankind, who is believed to have appeared in 869. Iranians believe he will emerge with Jesus' Second Coming and together they will save the world. The Supreme Leader rules in the Mahdi's stead.

Mel Copeland

11.23.09 Mom: Son conscious during 23-year coma

(AP) November 23 - Belgian man in 1983 car crash was fully alert, but doctors thought he was in vegetative state. A man who emerged from what doctors thought was a vegetative state says he was fully conscious for 23 years but could not respond because he was paralyzed, his mother said Monday. Rom Houben, 46, had a car crash in 1983 and doctors thought he had sunk into a coma. His family continued to believe their son was conscious and sought further medical advice. Professor Steven Laureys of Belgium's Coma Science Group realized that the diagnosis was wrong and taught Houben how to communicate through a special keyboard, said Dr. Audrey Vanhaudenhuyse, who is on Laureys' team.

Rom used the device to tell a reporter for the German magazine Der Spiegel that: "I screamed but there was nothing to hear." Belgian doctors who treated him early on said that Rom had gone from a coma into a vegetative condition. Coma is a state of unconsciousness in which the eyes are closed and the patient can't be roused, as if simply asleep. A vegetative state is a condition in which the eyes are open and can move, and the patient has periods of sleep and periods of wakefulness, but remains unconscious and unaware of him or herself or others. The patient can't think, reason, respond, do anything on purpose, chew or swallow...More searching finally got her in touch with Laureys, who put Houben through a PET scan that indicated he was conscious. The family and doctors then began trying to establish communication.
[Full story>>cbsnews.com]

11.23.09 Iran's leader wants debate on 'global justice' with Obama

November 23 -Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has proposed launching a debate with U.S. leader Barack Obama on global issues, but does not seek direct negotiations with Washington, an Iranian official said on Monday. "Iran's president wants to open a debate with Obama not on insignificant issues but on justice of the world and public diplomacy," Iranian Foreign Minister's advisor Manouchehr Mohammadi was quoted by the Fars news agency as saying. However, Mohammadi said direct negotiations between the countries, which have not had diplomatic relations since 1980, would be impossible without the approval of the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. [More>>en.rian.ru]

Editorial note: "Iran's denial of human rights." Perhaps the most controversial issue on the world stage besides Iran's intentions to develop nuclear weapons is the issue of the lack of human rights in Iran. After protests against Ahmadinejad's election, scores of street demonstrators have been arrested, imprisoned and put to death, a Kurd being the most recent killing. The other part of this issue involves the fact that the Islamic Republic of Iran is not democratic, having through its Constitution vested all religious and political power in the Supreme Leader, Khamenei. Like Hitler who oppressed millions through his murderous rampage, Khamenei is caught in the foil of murder to maintain his authority. Recent Twitter postings from Iran, as well as the CBS 60 Minutes interview of Canadian journalist Mazier Bahari, suggest that Iran's Revolutionary Guard is the real power in the government. The ultimate power is vested in Khamenei, however, as can be seen in Maravot News Editorial note and link to Iran's Constitution under story 11.21.09 Cleric wields religion to challenge Iran's theocracy.

An historic parallel to this dictatorship can be found in Hitler's subversion of the Weimar Constitution (See wikipedia.org):
Less than a month after Adolf Hitler’s appointment as chancellor in 1933, the Reichstag Fire Decree invoked Article 48 of the Weimar Constitution, suspending several constitutional protections on civil rights. The articles affected were 114 (habeas corpus), 115 (inviolability of residence), 117 (correspondence privacy), 118 (freedom of expression /censorship), 123 (assembly), 124 (associations), and 153 (expropriation).

The following are current (11.23.09)Tweets that deal with the denial of civil rights and murder by the government of Iran (sources held in confidence):


2 moderate newspapers (Hamshahri & Khabar) shut down by..gov http://bit.ly/6L6jzh #IranElection
Situation of journalists deteriorating in #Iran - Zamaneh http://tinyurl.com/y9fvdnw
Over 400 students protested at Tehran Univ EC today chanting “Riyasate Daneshga Danshjoha to Nafrosh” #IranElection
Tehran Nov 22, Khajenasir uni student protests http://bit.ly/7OxX5k #Iran #IranElection
♦ ...http://www.persia.org/ where faces of killed and arrested are
The Reason #Iran Can't Be Trusted http://bit.ly/4y3niL The Shiite doctrine of deceit called 'taqiyya'
#Iranelection _A Nation of No Laws_ http://bit.ly/7tkATW : "...It seems like the only laws that are enforced in Iran are political and religious laws.  God forbid if a few strands of a woman's hair are showing.  God forbid you protest about your vote.  God forbid if you write something remotely critical of the government.  In those instances, watch out.  They will drag you out of whatever cave you’re hiding in and will beat you, jail you and even shoot you on the streets.  For everything else, the prevailing law in Iran is the law of the jungle.  You can do whatever you want with whomever you want.  And if it happens by some miracle that you are caught, you just bribe someone and get out of whatever mess you have made for others…and that's why Iran is a nation of no laws…"
Names of our Heros who Lost their lives for a Free IRAN. [YouTube] http://tinyurl.com/y87wdq5 #Iran #IranElection

Mel Copeland

11.23.09 US and Afghan soldiers killed in Afghanistan

November 23 - Seven soldiers have been killed in Afghanistan in the past 24 hours - four of them American and three Afghan. NATO said three of the US soldiers died in southern Afghanistan on Sunday and the other in a bomb explosion on Monday in the east of the country. This has been the deadliest year for foreign troops since the 2001 invasion. President Barack Obama is set to hold his ninth and "possibly" final meeting with his war advisers later on Monday as he decides on US troop levels. [More>>bbc.co.uk]

11.23.09 9 terrorists killed, 3 soldiers martyred in SWA: ISPR report

RAWALPINDI, Pakistan, November 23 - Nine terrorists have been killed while 3 soldiers were injured during operation Rah-e-Nijat in [the] last 24 hours. According to ISPR, on Jandola - Sararogha Axis security forces secured Zinda Narai 1 Km west of Janata and also cleared Borora Narai near Janata; during [the] encounter 1 soldier was injured and huge cache of arms and ammunition recovered from Janata...On Razmak- Makeen Axis, Security forces cleared Golden Top west of Pash Ziarat, Tabai Sar and consolidated their positions around Lakhi Ghund and Bunker ridge. During encounter 8 terrorists have been killed...[Full story>>thenews.com.pk; See related stories,

thenews.com.pk, "10 militants killed, key commander held in Orakzai" :
PESHAWAR - Ten militants have been killed during clashes with the security forces in Orakzai Agency while a key commander of the militants Abdul Wali Arab Khan Afghani has also been apprehended. Security forces during clashes with the militants killed 10 terrorists and destroyed 7 of their hideouts in Shahu Khel area near Orakzai Agency. The security forces have also apprehended militants’ commander Abdul Wali Arab Khan Afghani during a search operation in Tehsil Lukro of Orakzai Agency. [end]

thenews.com.pk, November 23, "Huge quantity of explosives recovered in NWFP in 10 months" : PESHAWAR - NWFP police has recovered 17 suicide jackets and thousands of kilograms of explosives in various actions during the last ten and a half months. Police sources said that police in 103 separate actions recovered boxes of explosives weighing over 2,500 kilograms; 17 suicide jackets, 2,391 hand grenades; anti tank mines and detonators; 10,450 explosive wires; 628 rocket launchers; missiles; mortar shells; rockets and; safety fuses. [end]

11.23.09 45 bodies of hostages killed by gunmen in s. Philippines recovered

COTABATO, Philippines, November 23 - Philippine security forces have recovered 45 bodies of people that include politicians and journalists abducted Monday in a pre-election related incidence in restive southern Philippine province of Maguindanao, a local official said. Ibrahim Mangudadatu, mayor of Buluan Township in Maguindanao whose love[d] ones were among the fatalities, told reporters after he personally went to the site along with police and military that there were no survivors in the stunning pre-election-violence in the south. He said there he did not see any of the victims beheaded by their captors. Earlier, reports said Jenalyn, the wife of Buluan town vice mayor Esmail Mangudadatu; Esmail's sisters Eden, Rowena and Farida; his lawyers Cynthia Oquendo and Connie Brizuela; and Mr. Oquendo, the father of Cynthia, were among those who were abducted and killed. [More>>xinhuanet.com]

11.23.09 Saudis pound Yemen rebels; arrest scores

RIYAD / SANAA (Reuters) November 23 - Saudi air force and artillery pounded Yemeni rebel hideouts to push the rebels away from its southwestern border and stop the war spilling into its territory. The source said Saudi forces also detained scores of rebels during the military operation in the strategic Jabal Dukhan border area on Sunday. The rebels said on their website on Monday that the Saudi military had widened the scope of its air offensive, carrying out repeated air strikes as well as artillery attacks on the outskirts of Saada city, the capital of their mountainous stronghold Saada province. [More>>khaleejtimes.com; See also

alarabiya.net, November 23, "Yemen's Houthis slammed for using child soldiers" : DUBAI -
Humanitarian agencies working in Yemen slammed the Houthi rebel group for using children in the armed conflict in the Saada province as Saudi Arabia's air force continued to bomb several rebel hideouts on its border with Yemen, press reports said on Monday. Representatives of the UNICEF and Islamic Relief Worldwide held a press conference in which children from Saada testified to the daily horrors they face, including being forced to take part in the conflict. Nassim al-Rahman, UNICEF representative in Yemen, expressed his indignation at the violation of children's rights in Saada while the Shawthab Foundation for Children and Development, a Sanaa-based NGO, stated its absolute rejection of the recruitment of children under 18 in any armed conflict, whether to fight for the rebels or the Yemeni army...

11.23.09 Gaza rocket hits Israel, despite Hamas declaration

November 23 - Militants in the Gaza Strip fired a Qassam rocket into southern Israel on Monday, despite a recent declaration by Hamas that militant groups in the coastal territory had reached an agreement to halt cross-border rocket fire. The rocket exploded close to a community in the Sha'ar Hanegev region, causing neither causalities nor property damage. On Saturday evening, Hamas' interior minister said the militant groups in Gaza had agreed to cease firing rockets into Israel so as to prevent retaliatory attacks. [More>>haaretz.com]

11.23.09 Asylum seekers riot in Australia

November 23 - Sri Lankan and Afghan asylum seekers at an Australian detention centre on Christmas Island have been separated after riots broke out over the weekend. The clashes come amid a surge in the number of asylum seekers attempting to reach Australia. Al Jazeera's Step Vaessen, who gained rare access to a network of smugglers taking asylum seekers from Indonesia to Australia, says the people smuggling trade is flourishing, despite Jakarta's pledges to combat the trade. Revealing some of their closely-guarded methods, the smugglers said they used secret compartments such as ice boxes to take asylum seekers to Australian waters and then issue distress calls in the hope that rescue boats pick them up and take them to Australian detention centers. [More>>aljazeera.net]

11.23.09 Rebels kill 5 soldiers in northeast India

GAUHATI, India (AP) November 23 - Separatist rebels ambushed a paramilitary vehicle Monday killing five soldiers in India's insurgency-wracked northeastern state of Manipur, an army official said. The soldiers were on a routine patrol of the densely forested Samtol area near the Indian border with Myanmar when the rebels opened fire on the vehicle, Col. R. Kalia said. [More>>thejakartapost.com]

11.22.09 Gaza armed groups agree to halt rockets: Hamas

GAZA CITY, November 22 - Seven Palestinians injured as Israeli warplanes bomb strip. Hamas's armed wing on Sunday announced that armed groups in its Gaza Strip stronghold had finalized a deal to stop firing rockets into Israel, but said they would respond to Israeli raids, one of which coincidentally happened also on Sunday, injuring seven Palestinians. "The agreement between (Ezzedine) Al-Qassam (Brigades) and other factions to stop rocket (fire) is not a sign of weakness," the group said in a statement. The agreement is "aimed at keeping together the internal front and the supreme national interest of the Palestinian people."...The statement was released a day after a rocket was fired into Israel from Gaza, landing without causing injuries or damage, and hours after the army responded with three air raids that wounded eight Palestinians. [Full story>>alarabiya.net; See also,

nytimes.com (AP) November 22, "Israeli aircraft strike Gaza targets"
: JERUSALEM - Israeli aircraft attacked two suspected weapons-making factories and a smuggling tunnel in the Gaza Strip early Sunday in what the military said was retaliation for Palestinian rocket fire into southern Israel. The airstrikes, which wounded at least seven people — including one seriously — came despite an announcement by Gaza's Hamas rulers that the territory's military factions had all agreed to stop firing rockets. The Hamas announcement came late Saturday, after the rocket attack. Hamas' interior minister, Fathi Hamad, said the proclaimed halt in rocket fire was designed to prevent Israeli retaliation and provide stability for Gaza, which continues to suffer from the aftermath of a massive Israeli military offensive in December and January...

11.22.09 Egypt's president warns Israel over Jerusalem

(AP) November 22 - Israel will anger all Muslims if it does not resolve Jerusalem's disputed status, Egypt's president warned his Israeli counterpart on Sunday. Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak emphasized to Israeli President Shimon Peres that the future of Jerusalem, which both Israelis and Palestinians claim as their capital, is an issue for the entire Islamic world. Mubarak also said that the time had passed for talk on temporary solutions and borders — which had been floated as a step to solving the crisis — and instead a final solution should be concluded swiftly. "I expressed my concern to President Peres that peace talks have not progressed since our last meeting in July and that Egypt is looking forward to an Israeli response, such as halting the building of settlements in east Jerusalem," he said. The Palestinians have refused to restart peace talks if there isn't a total halt in Israeli settlement building, something the Israel has not agreed to. [More>>khaleejtimes.com]

11.22.09 Top Iran reformer sentenced to 6 years in jail

TEHRAN (AP) November 22 - A top reformer has been sentenced to six years in jail after he stood trial on charges of fomenting unrest to topple the Iranian regime, his lawyer said Sunday. Saleh Nikbakht said he planned to appeal the verdict against former vice president Mohammad Ali Abtahi. He has 20 days to submit his appeal. Abtahi made televised confessions after his arrest in which he admitted provoking people to riot. His family and fellow reformers said the confessions were obtained under duress. Abtahi is one of more than 100 leading moderates detained after Iran's disputed June 12 presidential election. He was accused of fomenting street protests aimed at overthrowing Iran's clergy-led regime. Abtahi served as vice president under reformist president Mohammad Khatami. [More>>thejakartapost.com]

11.22.09 Deadly blasts hit India's northeast

November 22 - Two bombs have exploded in India's northeastern Assam state, killing six people and wounding dozens more, police say. Six people died after two blasts went off within minutes of each other on Sunday outside a police station in Nalbari, a town near the state capital, Gauhati, a local police official said. Up to 25 people have been wounded in the blasts. Bhaskar Mahanta, Assam's police chief, said authorities suspect the separatist group United Liberation Front of Asom, or Ulfa, is behind the blasts. No group has claimed responsibility. A senior Ulfa leader, however, telephoned local newspaper offices and television stations to deny its involvement.

Mahanta said the bombers had parked two bicycles fitted with carriers packed with explosives outside the Nalbari police station, which is located in a congested part of the town. These went off, killing passers-by and wounding the others. Mahanta said police had received intelligence reports suggesting that the Ulfa was planning to avenge last week's arrest of two of the group's leaders.

11.22.09 19 extremeists dead in Orakzai, Bajaur agencies

PESHAWAR, Pakistan, November 22 - At least 19 extremists were killed and 14 others arrested in a security forces crackdown in Orakzai and Bajaur agencies, Geo News reported Sunday. According to sources, the security forces continued the search operation against extremists in Orakzai Agency's adjoining area of Shahukhel. At least 12 extremists were killed in clashes with the security personnel in the area. Later on in the same incident, 14 extremists were arrested. The jet aircraft of the security forces pounded the suspected hideouts of the extremists in Bajaur Agency's tehsil Mamond, killing four extremists and injuring five others. Also, five extremists’ dens were destroyed. Also, the security forces shelled the house of a significant extremist commander Hajran. Meanwhile, at least three extremists were killed in a clash with the security forces in tehsil Khar area of Rashakai. [>thenews.com.pk]

11.22.09 Car bomb left outside Belfast police HQ

November 22 - A car bomb has been left outside the Policing Board headquarters in Belfast, though it has done no serious damage. The 400lb car bomb partially exploded and the back of the vehicle caught fire, with two men seen escaping. Chief Constable Matt Baggott said: "It does appear to be a device that has partially exploded, around 400lb. "It is a reckless act not just in doing damage but also the potential loss of life." A car was found burned out nearby in the staunchly Republican New Lodge area of the city and police are investigating whether there was any link... Meanwhile, four people have been arrested after police exchanged gunfire with suspected dissident Republicans in County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland. The incident took place close to the border with the Irish Republic in Garrison. It is understood that the incident was an attempt to kill a police officer who lives in the village. [Full story>>news.sky.com; See more details,

bbc.co.uk, November 22, "500lb bomb left at policing board."
: ...In the period covered by the report, 1 March until 31 August, there have been 11 attempts to kill other PSNI officers in Northern Ireland.

11.22.09 More than 30 top militants killed, detained, NATO force says

KABUL, Afghanistan, November 21 - Security forces in Afghanistan have killed or captured more than 30 high-level militants, including many accused of participating in roadside bomb attacks, military officials said. Twenty-six militants have been captured, and eight have been killed, with most of them senior leaders in the Taliban and the Haqqani network, according to a news release issued by NATO's International Security Assistance Force. The militants — "known for leading the planning and undertaking of deadly attacks" against civilians, government officials and soldiers — were captured or killed between August 20 and October 17, the force reported.

The insurgents also facilitated the "trafficking of fighters, weapons, explosives and money to support their terrorist activities," the force said. The force did not explain under what circumstances the militants were killed or detained. Among the dead are Mullah Farid Fazil Lang, who is accused of planning and participating in attacks against Afghan and ISAF soldiers, the force said. Lang, who commanded a cell in charge of preparing roadside bombs, was involved in the kidnapping of New York Times reporter David Rohde in November 2008, the force said.

11.21.09 Cleric wields religion to challenge Iran's theocracy

CAIRO, November 21 - For years, Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri criticized Iran's supreme leader and argued that the country was not the Islamic democracy it claimed to be, but his words seemed to fall on deaf ears. Now many Iranians, including some former government leaders, are listening. Ayatollah Montazeri has emerged as the spiritual leader of the opposition, an adversary the state has been unable to silence or jail because of his religious credentials and seminal role in the founding of the republic. He is widely regarded as the most knowledgeable religious scholar in Iran and once expected to become the country's supreme leader until a falling-out with Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the leader of the 1979 revolution and Iran's supreme leader until his death in 1989. Now, as the Iranian government has cracked down to suppress the protests that erupted after the presidential election in June and devastated the reform movement, Ayatollah Montazeri uses religion to attack the government's legitimacy.

..."A political system based on force, oppression, changing people's votes, killing, closure, arresting and using Stalinist and medieval torture, creating repression, censorship of newspapers, interruption of the means of mass communications, jailing the enlightened and the elite of society for false reasons, and forcing them to make false confessions in jail, is condemned and illegitimate," he said in one of a flurry of written comments posted on Web sites since the election. Iran's current supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has limited religious credentials. But Ayatollah Montazeri, a marja or source of emulation, has achieved the highest standing a cleric can hold in Shiite Islam. He is also the architect of Velayat-e Faqih, or guardianship of the jurist, the foundation of Iran's theocracy and the source of the supreme leader's legitimacy. Indeed, when Ayatollah Khamenei was a student, Ayatollah Montazeri was one of his teachers. "He is able to delegitimize Khamenei more than anybody else on the Earth," Mr. Khaliji said.

...He was embraced by Ayatollah Khomeini because he promoted the concept of Velayat-e Faqih, which called for a religious leader to reign supreme over the government. The concept was ultimately embedded in the bedrock of the Islamic Republic. But Ayatollah Montazeri has also repeatedly said that he meant the faqih, or leader, should serve as an adviser, not as the final arbiter of all matters of state and religion. [More>>nytimes.com]

Editorial note: The Velayat-e-Faqih is reflected in Iran's Constitution, "Principle 110." This principle essentially gives Khamenei the office of dictator:

Article 110  [Leadership Duties and Powers]
(1) Following are the duties and powers of the Leadership:
1. Delineation of the general policies of the Islamic Republic of Iran after consultation with the Nation's Exigency Council.
2. Supervision over the proper execution of the general policies of the system.
3. Issuing decrees for national referenda.
4. Assuming supreme command of the Armed Forces.
5. Declaration of war and peace and the mobilization of the Armed Forces.
6. Appointment, dismissal, and resignation of:
a. the religious men on the Guardian Council,
b. the supreme judicial authority of the country,
c. the head of the radio and television network of the Islamic Republic of Iran,
d. the chief of the joint staff,
e. the chief commander of the Isalmic Revolution Guards Corps, and
f. the supreme commanders of the Armed Forces.
7. Resolving differences between the three wings of the Armed Forces and regulation of their relations.
8. Resolving the problems which cannot be solved by conventional methods, through the Nation's Exigency Council.
9. Signing the decree formalizing the election of the President of the Republic by the people.  The suitability of candidates for the Presidency of the Republic, with respect to the qualifications specified in the Constitution, must be confirmed before elections take place by the Guardian Council, and, in the case of the first term of a President, by the Leadership.
10. Dismissal of the President of the Republic, with due regard for the interests of the country, after the Supreme Court holds him guilty of the violation of his constitutional duties, or after a vote of the Islamic Consultative Assembly testifying to his incompetence on the basis of Article 89.
11. Pardoning or reducing the sentences of convicts, within the framework of Islamic criteria, on a recommendation from the Head of judicial power.
(2) The Leader may delegate part of his duties and powers to another person.

Mel Copeland.  

11.21.09 David Headley: quiet American with alleged links to Mumbai massacre

November 21 - In almost every way, David Headley was the perfect neighbor. When the 49-year-old American citizen began renting an apartment in Mumbai last year he charmed his landlord, treated his laundry boy with respect, and befriended Bollywood figures at a local gym. He told them that he was Jewish, and running an immigration agency from a respectable part of town. "Sweet and charming," said his landlady. "Down to earth," said his personal trainer. Not until the past few days did they learn of his alleged other identity — and of quite how close security figures claim India may have come to a repeat of the militant attacks on Mumbai a year ago next week. Apparently, Mr. Headley's original name was Daood Gilani. He was born in Pakistan, and is suspected of helping the terrorists who carried out last year's Mumbai attack, and of planning another atrocity this year.

The details emerged when the FBI arrested Mr. Headley in his home city of Chicago on October 3, and filed an affidavit in a US court, which has since been made public. It alleges that he worked with Harkat ul-Jihad al-Islami (Huji), a Pakistan militant group, and Lashkar e-Taiba (LeT), the Pakistan group blamed for last year's Mumbai attacks. The document also outlines claims that he was involved in the “Mickey Mouse Project” — a plan to attack Jyllands-Posten, the Danish newspaper whose cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad in 2005 infuriated Muslims across the world. It also allegedly shows that he and an apparent accomplice visited India several times between 2006 and 2009, and appear to have discussed attacking Indian targets as recently as September this year.

Indian investigators are now examining whether Mr. Headley may be the “missing link” in the Mumbai attacks, which killed more than 170 people between November 26 and 29 last year. They are also investigating claims that he may have planned attacks this year on targets including the National Defence College in Delhi, the private Doon School in Dehradun, northern India, or even a nuclear facility. In the process, they are shedding light on the evolving threat from LeT and its allies, and on India's haphazard — but so far successful — efforts to respond. "This is yet another wake-up call for India," said B. Raman, a former counter-terrorism chief in the Indian external intelligence service, the Research and Analysis Wing. "This shows LeT is as determined as ever to attack India, and they are now using Western territory and foreign Muslims to do it."

The FBI says that in the alleged activities he was helped by Tahawwur Hussain Rana, a Canadian citizen of Pakistani origin who studied at the same cadet college, and was also arrested in the US last month. Mr. Rana's immigration agency, which has offices in Chicago, helped to arrange Mr. Headley's trips and provided his cover story, according to the FBI...Mr. Headley and Mr. Rana have yet to respond to the affidavit. But Indian and Western officials and analysts agree that the evidence presented so far appears to underline the global reach and ambitions of Huji and LeT. It also confirms India's long-held fears that such groups might use foreigners of Pakistani or Indian origin, forcing it to tighten visa procedures. Western governments had already adapted to that threat, but are worried that Mr. Headley and Mr. Rana may have used their immigration agency to move militants around the globe. [Full story>>timesonline.co.uk]

11.21.09 Taliban blow up school in Pakistan: officials

PESHAWAR (AFP) November 21 - Taliban militants blew up an empty school in a tribal town in northwest Pakistan on Saturday, severely damaging the building, officials say...Taliban militants blew up a government-run girls' school in the same area on Monday night. That school was also badly damaged. [Full story>>timesofindia.indiatimes.com; See related stories,

thenews.com.pk, November 21, "Three extremists blow them[selves] up in Muzaffarabad"
: MUZAFFARABAD - At least three alleged extremists who fled after dumping weapons near Assembly Hostel in Muzaffarabad, blew them up in a detached area near Sarar on Saturday...The local people intercepted them at Sarar area and before long two teams headed by DSP Yasin Baig and SHO Raja Faisal arrived there. On being surrounded, the extremists blew them[selves] up in the open field to evade being arrested...

thenews.com.pk, November 21, "14 terrorists killed, 6 soldiers martyred in SWA - ISPR report"
: RAWALPINDI: Fourteen terrorists have been killed while 6 soldiers including an officer embraced shahadat and 4 were injured in the ongoing operation Rah-e-Nijat in South Waziristan during the last 24 hours. According to ISPR, on Jandola - Sararogha Axis, security forces cleared Gandil Wala near Jandola and carried out search operation at Sarwekai. On Shakai - Kaniguram Axis, security forces conducted search operation at Paya near Tiarza and sanitization at Yargha Khel near Kaniguram. A 70 feet long tunnel was found and destroyed near Kaniguram. On Razmak- Makeen Axis, security forces secured Lakki Ghundi (3 kilometers west of Pash Ziarat) after an intense battle. During the operation 14 terrorists were killed while 6 soldiers including an officer embraced shahadat and 4 were injured.

Security forces have also secured Manna, Tut Kasko Khula 4 kilometers west of Pash Narai and Kandao Sar 5 kilometers west of Razmak. Security forces secured Laghar Narai recently. The road Laghar Narai to Nawazkot was cleared yesterday, during road clearance, 8 IEDs were neutralized and huge cache of arms and ammunition were recovered. Besides a comprehensive system of trenches has also been found and destroyed. (The footage of road clearance and securing of Laghar Narai is attached.) Security forces conducted search operation at Muhallah Ghazi Baba and apprehended 1 suspect during operation Rah-e-Ras in Swat - Malakand. One suspect apprehended by security forces at Guratai. In all 13,735 Cash Cards have been issued to displaced families of Waziristan. [end]

alarabiya.net, November 21, "Four injured in rocket attack in Afghan capital"
: KABUL - A rocket attack near the luxury Serena Hotel in Kabul has injured four people, including two members of the Afghan security forces, a spokesman for Afghanistan's health ministry said Saturday. One rocket hit the wall of the five-star hotel in downtown Kabul at 6.15 p.m. (1345 GMT), Ahmad Farid Raaid, health ministry spokesman, told AFP. Zamarai Bashary, spokesman for the interior ministry, said: "It was a rocket that hit in front of the Rabia Balkhi hospital. We have four wounded, three are civilians and one is a police officer." Two of the injured civilians were women, he said.

The Serena Hotel, owned by the Aga Khan, was attacked in January 2008 by a commander of the Taliban, with the deaths of eight people. It is Kabul's only five-star hotel and has been heavily-fortified since the 2008 attack. It is the hotel of choice for visiting VIPs. It is occasionally shelled, most recently on Oct. 28, the same day that a U.N. guesthouse came under Taliban attack with the deaths of up to five UN staff and two Afghans. That attack led the UN to withdraw hundreds of international employees, leaving a skeleton staff at its enormous compound in central Kabul...

11.21.09 Pakistan father-son duo held in Italy over Mumbai attacks

LONDON, November 21 - Tracing new links to the Mumbai carnage, a Pakistani father-son duo were arrested on Saturday from Italy for allegedly managing money transfer to finance phone communications of the attackers following leads from Indian and US investigators. The two men, who ran a money transfer agency, were arrested in an early morning raid from the northern Italian city of Brescia, police said. The duo have been identified by the police as Mohammad Yaqub Janjua, 60, and Aamer Yaqub Janjua, 31. They have been accused of aiding and abetting international terrorism as well as illegal financial activity.

On November 25, 2008, a day before the attacks, they transferred USD 229 to activate an internet phone account that was used by the attackers and their accomplices, said Stefano Fonzi, the head of anti-terror police in Brescia. The funds that enabled the terrorists to be in touch with their handlers in Pakistan were transferred under the identity of another Pakistani man who had never been to Italy and was not involved in the attacks, reports from Italy said. The two managed a money transfer agency where it is reported to be a common practice to transfer funds using false identities. The Italian police arrested the two men in an early morning raid in Brescia, the police said in a statement. Italian police started their investigation the following month after being alerted by Indian authorities and the FBI that funds had been transferred from Italy, Fonzi said.
[More>>indianexpress.com w/blog comments ; See other details,

nytimes.com, November 21, "Italy arrests 2 over attacks in Mumbai"
: ...alleging that the men sent money to set up Internet-based phone lines used by people in contact with the Mumbai attackers, said Stefano Fonsi, the director of the Brescia police’s counterterrorism unit...On Saturday, the police arrested the father, Muhammad Yaqub Janjua, 60, and his son, Aamer Yaqub Janjua, 31, in Brescia, and charged them with aiding and abetting terror financing and improper financial activity. They also confiscated their Madina Trading money-transfer agency, which used the Western Union service...

11.21.09 Hasan had intensified contact with cleric

November 21 - Fort Hood suspect raised prospect of financial transfers. In the months before the deadly shootings at Fort Hood, Army Maj. Nidal M. Hasan intensified his communications with a radical Yemeni American cleric and began to discuss surreptitious financial transfers and other steps that could translate his thoughts into action, according to two sources briefed on a collection of secret e-mails between the two. The e-mails were obtained by an FBI-led task force in San Diego between late last year and June but were not forwarded to the military, according to government and congressional sources. Some were sent to the FBI's Washington field office, triggering an assessment into whether they raised national security concerns, but those intercepted later were not, the sources said.

Hasan's contacts with extremist imam Anwar al-Aulaqi began as religious queries but took on a more specific and concrete tone before he moved to Texas, where he allegedly unleashed the Nov. 5 attack that killed 13 people and wounded nearly three dozen, said the sources who were briefed on the e-mails, speaking on the condition of anonymity because the case is sensitive and unfolding. One of those sources said the two discussed in "cryptic and coded exchanges" the transfer of money overseas in ways that would not attract law enforcement attention. "He [Hasan] clearly became more radicalized toward the end, and was having discussions related to the transfer of money and finances . . .," said the source, who spoke at length in part because he was concerned the public accounting of the events has been incomplete. "It became very clear toward the end of those e-mails he was interested in taking action."

11.21.09 Japan hostage in Yemen seized by al-Qaeda

SANAA, Yemen, November 21 - Engineer had been kidnapped by Yemeni tribesmen. A Japanese engineer kidnapped by Yemeni tribesmen has been seized by al-Qaeda gunmen, a tribal source who has been seeking to negotiate his release said on Saturday. "The hostage was seized by elements of al-Qaeda, who took him to an unknown destination in the Maarib region," east of the capital, Sanaa, one of two tribal mediators told AFP on condition of anonymity. The man, identified by Japanese media as 63-year-old Takeo Mashimo, was kidnapped on Sunday in Arhab, northeast of Sanaa, by tribesmen seeking to exchange him for one of their relatives being held by police.

He was seized by al-Qaeda overnight, with a second mediator saying the group became involved after being approached by someone close to the detained tribesman who was opposed to the Japanese hostage's release. The 22-year-old man whose release was being sought by the tribesmen was imprisoned by US forces for a year in Iraq, a source in Yemen has said. He was later arrested in Syria before being held in Sanaa, where he was sentenced to two years in prison without charges, the same source said. Meanwhile, authorities were rounding up members of the al-Hanaq and al-Gub tribes responsible for the initial kidnapping, the first source said. The last news on the hostage came midweek.

11.20.09 Ohio sues credit rating agencies

(Reuters) November 20 - Ohio’s attorney general sued Standard & Poor’s, Moody’s and Fitch Ratings on Friday, asserting that they provided misleading credit ratings that led to hundreds of millions of losses for state funds. The official, Richard Cordray, filed the lawsuit in United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio on behalf of five Ohio funds that assert they lost more than $457 million because of "false and misleading ratings" of mortgage-backed securities by the ratings agencies. Officials at Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s, which is owned by McGraw-Hill, could not be immediately reached for comment. A spokesman for Fitch Ratings, which is owned by Fimalac S.A., had no immediate comment. Ohio’s lawsuit is the latest in a string of actions against the ratings agencies, which have been criticized for feeding the housing slump and credit market turmoil by assigning high ratings to risky securities that later tumbled in value. [More>>nytimes.com]

11.20.09 Unemployment rates rise in 29 states

NEW YORK, November 20 - More states report rising unemployment rates, though fewer report joblessness above the national average in October. A growing number of states reported rising jobless rates in October, and thirteen states reported unemployment rates above the national average of 10.2%, according to a government report released on Friday. Overall, jobless rates increased in 29 states and the District of Columbia last month, while they fell in 13 states, according to a monthly Labor Department survey on state unemployment. In September, 23 states and Washington D.C. reported that their unemployment rates increased, and 14 states had jobless rates above the national average. [More>>cnn.com]

11.20.09 Tamiflu-resistant swine flu spreads 'between patients'

November 20 - Health officials say a Tamiflu-resistant strain of swine flu has spread between hospital patients. Five patients on a unit treating people with severe underlying health conditions at the University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff were infected. Three appear to have acquired the infection in hospital. They are thought to be the first confirmed cases of person-to-person transmission of a Tamiflu-resistant strain in the world. There have been several dozen reports around the world of people developing resistance to Tamiflu while taking the drug — but they have not passed on the strain to others. Just one possible case of person-to-person transmission of a resistant strain has been recorded — between two people at a US summer camp — and this has never been confirmed. [More>>bbc.co.uk]

11.20.09 PC killed as record-breaking deluge wrecks bridge

November 20 - The heaviest rainfall Britain has ever seen killed a police officer today as it unleashed a torrential deluge, caused rivers to burst their banks, left towns underwater and washed away bridges. The extreme downpour, which swamped Cumbria with devastating floods, was the heaviest ever recorded in Britain in a 24-hour period, the Environment Agency said. More than a foot of rain — 12.3 inches — poured on to the Lake District fells between the early hours of Thursday and the early hours of yesterday.

It was the the equivalent of nearly two months’ rain in one day and was the wettest day ever recorded in the UK since records began in 1914, breaking the previous 24-hour record set in a summer thunderstorm in July 1955, when 11 inches were recorded in Martinstown, Dorset. The downpour was caused by a weather front involving warm air coming up from the topics, which sat over Cumbria for a full day. Although its extraordinary intensity cannot on its own be ascribed to climate change, it is consistent with predictions of what a warmer world will mean for Britain — with heavier winter rainfall near the top of the list.

11.20.09 200 web sites spread al-Qaeda's message in English

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia, November 20 - Increasing numbers of English-language web sites are spreading al-Qaeda's message to Muslims in the West. They translate writings and sermons once largely out of reach of English readers and often feature charismatic clerics like Anwar al-Awlaki, who exchanged dozens of e-mails with the Army psychiatrist accused of the Fort Hood shootings. The US-born al-Awlaki has been an inspiration to several militants arrested in the United States and Canada in recent years, with his web-based sermons often turning up on their computers. "The point is you don't have to be an official part of al-Qaeda to spread hatred and sectarian views," said Evan Kohlmann, a senior investigator for the New York-based NEFA Foundation, which researches Islamic militants.

"If you look at the most influential documents in terms of homegrown terrorism cases, it's not training manuals on building bombs," Kohlmann said. “The most influential documents are the ones that are written by theological advisers, some of whom are not even official al-Qaeda members.” Most of the radical Islamic sites are not run or directed by al-Qaeda, but they provide a powerful tool for recruiting sympathizers to its cause of jihad, or holy war, against the United States, experts who track the activity said. The number of English-language sites sympathetic to al-Qaeda has risen from about 30 seven years ago to more than 200 recently, said Abdulmanam Almushawah, head of a Saudi government program called Assakeena, which works to combat militant Islamic web sites. In contrast, Arabic-language radical sites have dropped to around 50, down from 1,000 seven years ago, because of efforts by governments around the world to shut them down, he said. [More>>japantoday.com; See related story,

cbsnews.com, November 20, "Hasan wrote of joining imam in 'afterlife' " : Reports surface of contents of e-mails between alleged Fort Hood shooter and radical imam. Maj. Nadil Malik Hasan reportedly told a radical Imam suspected of ties to al-Qaeda, "I can't wait to join you" in the afterlife in a series of e-mail messages over the last year. An American official with access to the top secret e-mails told ABC News that Hasan also asked Anwar al-Awlaki, an American-born cleric who has encouraged violence against US soldiers through his Web site, when it's appropriate to conduct jihad and whether killing innocent people was permissible...

11.20.09 'US drone' targets Pakistan hideout

November 20 - At least eight people have been killed in a suspected US missile attack targeting al-Qaeda-linked fighters in Pakistan's mountains on the Afghan border. The strike on Friday came as Leon Panetta, the director of the CIA, held talks with officials in the Pakistani capital, Islamabad. The attack was the second in two days in North Waziristan, considered by US officials to be the most dangerous place in the world where al-Qaeda fighters are plotting attacks on the West. The missile slammed into a compound used by anti-government fighters in Palooseen, a village located in the district of Mir Ali, Pakistani officials said.

Also on Friday, at least three police officers were killed after a roadside bomb hit their convoy in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar, police said. Officials said about six people were also wounded when their vehicle drove over a bomb buried beneath a road. The attack, shortly after midnight, came hours after a suicide bomber blew himself up outside a court building in the city, killing at least 19 people. "It was a remote-controlled bomb. Two policemen died on the spot, while a third has succumbed to his injuries a short while ago," Mohammad Haroon, a police official, told the Reuters news agency.
[More>>aljazeera.net; See related stories,

thenews.com.pk, November 20, "150 Afghani imams among thousands held in Mardan" : MARDAN - Police has apprehended more than 4,000 illegal Afghan migrants and 150 Afghani imams during a search operation. "Apprehended Afghanis including imams have been sent to jail for cases lodged against them under Foreign Act section 14," Deputy inspector general Mardan Police, Syed Akhtar Ali Shah told the media in a briefing held here at central Police office on Friday. He said that high scale search operations are underway in Mardan and Swabi. Fifteen special squads of police commanders have been formed, whereas a grand operation has been launched against proclaimed wanted criminals, during which 150 wanted criminals have been arrested. [end]

thenews.com.pk, November 20, "Five more terrorists killed in SWA - ISPR report" : ISLAMABAD - Five more terrorists were killed while one soldier was injured during the last 24 hours in the on-going operation Rah-e-Nijat in South Waziristan. According to ISPR, on [the] Jandola - Sararogha Axis, security forces carried out area domination and consolidation of their positions at Janata and recovered [a] huge cache of arms and ammunition. Security forces also cleared [a] built up area around Spinkai and road Spinkai Mandana. On [the] Shakai - Kaniguram Axis, security forces carried out [a] search operation in Faqirano area near Torwam. Terrorists fired with small arms and rockets at Asman Manza and Ladha where during [the] encounter 5 terrorists [were] killed while one soldier got injured. Security forces conducted [a] clearance operation at Yarga Khel near Gani Khel and Lalejai near Tarkano Narai and 3 terrorists’ compounds were destroyed...

11.20.09 More than 20 killed in separate Afghan blasts

HERAT, Afghanistan (Reuters) November 20 - A suicide bomber in southwestern Afghanistan killed 17 people on Friday, and an Afghan lawmaker escaped a separate blast on the outskirts of Kabul but five of his bodyguards were killed, officials said. The provincial governor of southwestern Farah province, Rohul Amin, said a suicide bomber on a motorcycle detonated his explosives in a crowded area of Farah City, killing 17 people and wounding 29. Farah Province Police Chief Faqir Mohammad Askar said the target of the attack was a senior police official, who was killed along with two of his bodyguards. Taliban spokesman Qari Yousuf telephoned Reuters from an undisclosed location and denied his group had carried out the Farah raid. "Whenever there are civilian casualties, the Taliban deny responsibility," said Amin. “This attack was definitely carried out by the Taliban.”

In a separate incident, an Afghan parliamentarian and former mujahideen commander escaped a roadside bomb blast unhurt on the outskirts of Kabul on Friday, but five of his bodyguards were killed, said a police official who declined to be named. Abdul Rasul Sayyaf, who heads an Islamic political party and was a prominent anti-Soviet fighter during the Soviet occupation, was driving in a convoy in Paghman just outside Kabul when the convoy was hit by a bomb placed under a bridge. Violence in Afghanistan has reached its highest levels since the US-led invasion in late 2001. While Taliban militants normally target foreign and Afghan security forces in their attempt to overthrow the government and drive international troops out of the country, most of the casualties are civilians.

Some 1,500 civilians were killed between January and August this year, according to the United Nations. The latest attacks come a day after President Hamid Karzai was sworn in for his second five-year term. In his inaugural speech, Karzai said he wanted Afghan forces to take the lead from international military forces in securing the whole country in five years. There are some 110,000 foreign troops, including 68,000 US soldiers, in Afghanistan. US President Barack Obama is due to give a decision in the next few weeks on whether to send up to 40,000 more troops that his top commander in Afghanistan, Army General Stanley McChrystal, says he needs to quell the strengthening insurgency.
[>khaleejtimes.com; See also,

news.com.au, November 20, "Five killed in attack on former warlord" : A controversial former Afghan warlord who is now a lawmaker in parliament has escaped unhurt after a roadside bomb ripped through his convoy, killing five of his bodyguards. It was not clear who was behind the attack on Abdul Rab Rasoul Sayaf, a controversial warlord during Afghanistan's civil war in the 1990s...

11.20.09 Lashkar-e-Taiba threat revived after Chicago arrest

LONDON (Reuters) November 20 - The arrest of two men in Chicago on terrorism charges linked to Lashkar-e-Taiba has revived fears about the Pakistani militant group's global reach and its ability to plot attacks in India and around the world. A major attack in India — still angry over an assault on Mumbai one year ago — could trigger Indian retaliation in Pakistan and draw the nuclear-armed neighbors into a conflict that would also torpedo US hopes of stabilizing Afghanistan. David Headley and Tahawwur Hussain Rana were arrested last month and accused of plotting an attack on Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten, which ran cartoons of the prophet Mohammad in 2005, US authorities said in court documents. According to the court documents, they discussed their plans with members of Lashkar-e-Taiba and al-Qaeda linked Pakistan-based militant Ilyas Kashmiri. Lashkar also talked to them about possible attacks in India and suggested these should be given priority over the alleged plot in Denmark. [More>>indianexpress.com]

11.19.09 14 percent of US homeowners in peril

November 19 - Record-High Number Behind on Mortgage Payments or Facing Foreclosure, September Figures Show. More than 14 percent of American homeowners with a mortgage were either behind on their payments or in foreclosure at the end of September, a record-high for the ninth straight quarter and a problem that could threaten the economic recovery. The Mortgage Bankers Association's report Thursday adds to fears that the housing market and broader recovery could be thwarted by the continuing surge in home loan defaults, especially as the unemployment rate keeps rising. Lost jobs, rather than the shady loans made during the housing boom, are now the main reason homeowners fall behind on their mortgages. After three years of plunging prices, the housing market started to rebound this summer. While optimists hope the worst is over, pessimists say there are simply too many foreclosed properties that have yet to be dumped on the market and expect further price declines. [More>>cbsnew.com]

11.19.09 Echoing Democrat's comments, two Republicans call for Geithner to go

November 19 - Geithner Pushes Back, Blames Bush Administration for Problems. Echoing comments made by a Democratic lawmaker Wednesday night, two Republican members of the Joint Economic Committee today called for Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner to resign. "It's been a year since the president was elected," the panel's ranking Republican, Rep. Kevin Brady of Texas, said at a hearing this morning featuring Geithner. "It's appropriate for the American people to assess how well the administration's economic policies are working. They are not. They have failed."

"Unemployment has skyrocketed far past the White House's projections and promises. America continues to shed jobs: More than 2.8 million since the stimulus was enacted," Brady said. "We've had a series of embarrassing investigations about all the wild stimulus claims, the latest fake jobs from fake congressional districts. …"

"You are the point man on the economy," Brady said to Geithner. "The buck, in effect, stops with you." Brady cited comments made Wednesday night by a Democratic lawmaker, Rep. Peter DeFazio of Oregon, to MSNBC's Ed Schultz that Geithner and National Economic Council director Larry Summers should resign. DeFazio told Schultz that President Obama is "being failed by his economic team. We may have to sacrifice just two more jobs to get millions back for Americans." [More>>abcnews.go.com]

11.19.09 $4.8 trillion - Interest on US debt

NEW YORK, November 19 - Here's a new way to think about the US government's epic borrowing: More than half of the $9 trillion in debt that Uncle Sam is expected to build up over the next decade will be interest. More than half. In fact, $4.8 trillion. If that's hard to grasp, here's another way to look at why that's a problem. In 2015 alone, the estimated interest due — $533 billion — is equal to a third of the federal income taxes expected to be paid that year, said Charles Konigsberg, chief budget counsel of the Concord Coalition, a deficit watchdog group. On the bright side — such as it is — the record levels of debt issued lately have paid for stimulus and other rescue programs that prevented the economy from falling off a cliff. And the money was borrowed at very low rates. But accumulating any more interest on what the United States owes at this point is like extreme sport: dangerous. [More>>cnn.com]

Editorial note: Interest on the Public Debt has been a concern of Maravot News. President Reagan initiated the problem by doubling the Public Debt, Bush I and Bush II continued the practice of borrowing to pay for their tax breaks to the rich and huge bureaucracies. It is surprising that since Reagan's time the popular media have not noticed the immediate affects of the Public Debt, such as driving up interest rates and being the cause of cutting programs to offset the burden of interest on the debt. During the Bush I and II years interest on the Public Debt began to be the dominant outlay in the US budget, exceeding Defense. See Maravot News/National-Debt.html for history on the debt and interest outlays versus deficits. Interest paid out on the ~$12 trillion Public Debt for 2009 was $383.36 billion. When interest rates return to 5% as historically experienced on the Public Debt interest outlays will double the 2009 amount. If the Public Debt for 2010 is $14 trillion, as projected, and if interest rates were to increase to 5%, interest outlays will be $700 billion for that year.

Mel Copeland

11.19.09 Belgian PM named as EU president

November 19 - EU leaders have chosen the Belgian Prime Minister, Herman van Rompuy, to be the first permanent European Council President. The other top job created by the Lisbon Treaty — foreign affairs supremo — has gone to the EU Trade Commissioner, Baroness Catherine Ashton from the UK. Both are seen as consensual politicians with little foreign policy experience. Both had unanimous backing from the 27 EU leaders at the summit in Brussels, UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown said. [More>>bbc.co.uk]

11.19.09 Group bids to return to Joseph's Tomb

JERUSALEM, November 19 - Nine years after the IDF withdrew from Nablus, a new group was launched on Thursday morning which aims to restore Jewish presence to the Joseph's Tomb compound, in the heart of the West Bank city. The initiative follows improved security which has led to the army's removal of roadblocks at the entrance to several Palestinian towns, including the Hawara checkpoint at the southern entrance to Nablus. The group, named Gar'in Shchem, is made up of Judea and Samaria residents, including rabbis and veteran settler leaders.

In October 2000, Israel withdrew from the tomb after a fierce gun battle in which six Palestinians and Border Police Cpl. Madhat Yusef were killed. Within a week, a Palestinian mob ransacked and burned the buildings in the compound, and Eilon Moreh resident Hillel Lieberman, who also held US citizenship, was killed en route to the tomb. The father of seven was one of the founders and administrators of the Od Yosef Chai Yeshiva at Joseph's Tomb, and had wanted to pray there. Until recently, visits to the tomb were made clandestinely by Breslav Hassidim, against IDF orders. Now, the Yitzhar-based organization Shechem Ehad (shoulder to shoulder) organizes monthly visits to the tomb.

11.19.09 19 dead in blast outside Pakistan court

PESHAWAR, Pakistan (AFP) November 19 - A suicide bomber struck a court in Peshawar on Thursday killing 19 people, the sixth attack on the northwestern city in 11 days as Pakistan presses a major offensive against the Taliban. ( Watch Video ) The bomber hit at the main gate of the building, near the five-star Pearl Continental Hotel, where at least nine people were killed when attackers shot their way through a security checkpost and blew up a truck bomb in June...Thursday's attack showed the militants' ability to strike in the city of 2.5 million people, which lies on the edge of Pakistan's lawless tribal belt, where US officials say al-Qaeda militants are plotting attacks on the West.

..."It was a suicide blast. The attacker was on foot and was trying to enter the judicial complex. When the security personnel stopped him, he blew himself up," Sahib Zada Anis, head of the city's administration, told reporters...The attack came just three days after a suicide bomber blew up a car packed with explosives, killing four people in a suburb as children were going to school, devastating a mosque, damaging a college and police station.
[Full story>>timesofindia.indiatimes.com; See related story,

thenews.com.pk, November 19, "Eight killed in Bajaur Agency shelling" :
PESHAWAR - At least 8 extremists including two foreigners were killed in Bajaur Agency; while, four security personnel were martyred in the clash on Thursday. According to sources, the security forces’ jets pounded the hideouts of extremists in tehsil Mamond, killing 8 extremists including two foreigner militants. Also, four security personnel and three extremists lost their lives in the clashes in tehsil Nawagai. The security forces destroyed at least six hideouts in shelling from gunships in the areas of Chaharmang and Salarzai. At least seven other extremists were arrested in action in Khar and Mamond and a vehicle was smashed. [end]

11.19.09 Suicide attack kills 10

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan (AFP) November 19 - A suicide bomber killed 10 civilians in southern Afghanistan overnight, the second attack on the same day that President Hamid Karzai was sworn into office, police said. The bombing in Oruzgan province followed an apparent suicide attack in the neighboring province of Zabul which killed two US soldiers and took place about the same time Mr. Karzai was being inaugurated. "Ten civilians were killed and 13 others were injured," Oruzgan deputy police chief Mohammad Gulab Wardak said. The bomber was wearing an explosive-packed vest which he detonated near a convoy of Afghan security forces, he said. [>news.com.au]

11.19.09 Yemen aborts Houthi attack on Saada palace

SANAA, November 19 - The Yemeni army succeeded in aborting an attack on the northern governorate of Saada, killing and injuring dozens of insurgents, according to media reports Thursday. As the conflict escalated between Houthi rebels on one hand and the Saudi and Yemeni armies on the other, the insurgent group launched a massive attack on the northern and southern suburbs of the city of Saada, the capital of the northern governorate that bears the same name, in an attempt to seize the presidential palace, an Al Arabiya correspondent in Sanaa reported.

According to eyewitnesses, a fierce battle raged as the Yemeni army, stationed all over the Saada suburbs and inside the presidential palace, fought the rebels who were apparently desperate to score a victory that would earn them good propaganda after the recent losses they sustained. Meanwhile, the Yemeni army continued its attacks on Houthi strongholds in Harf Sufian in the Amran province, south of Saada as well as in their hiding places along the Malaheez road, west of Saada.

11.19.09 Prehistoric masterpieces: The Swimmers and the Beast

November 19 - The inhospitable plateau of Gilf Kebir in the far south-west Egyptian desert was once home to an early Egyptian civilization, who left behind spectacular cave art. It is hard to imagine that anyone could have once lived on the Gilf Kebir, an arid, remote, desolate sandstone plateau the size of Switzerland, located in the far southwest of Egypt. Yet, as we discover in this video report by Nico Piazza, around 10,000 years ago water, and with it vegetation and animal and human life, once ran through the barren land Egyptians today call "the Great Barrier." This long-forgotten prehistoric civilization that once called Gilf Kebir home left their mark in the form of cave paintings and other forms of rock art, in locations such as the spectacular Cave of Swimmers. Located in the 1930s by Hungarian Count and explorer László Almásy (who was later fictionalized as the core character in Michael Ondaatje's book The English Patient, which was adapted into a multi-Academy Award-winning film) it features images of scores of tiny people swimming elegantly across the walls.

Even they pale in comparison to the scenes depicted in the Foggini-Mestekawi Cave, however, discovered much more recently — in 2003 — by members of a party led by desert tours company Zarzora Expeditions. It bears silhouettes of dozens of hands (not dissimilar to Cueva de la Manos in Argentina) as well as representations of hunting, fishing, games, parents holding their children's hands — even, in some cases, what looks a bit like people taking dancing lessons. Animals feature heavily too — gazelles, giraffes, dogs and lions. Most strange and fascinating of all is “the beast” — a weird, headless creature, with a body like a bull or elephant and the legs of a man. It features frequently, and often appears to be feasting on humans. “The big question everyone's asking,” ponders tour guide Mahmoud Nour El Din in the video, “is: what the heck are these animals?”
[More w/video>>independent.co.uk]


    09.11.05 When a nation lacks a competent leader it invites disaster – the legacy of Bush
    "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. 46,153 page views in May 2007; monthly visitors in 2008 range between 40,000-45,0000; in 2009 35,000-45,000.

    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: 11.19.09; 11.20.09; 11.21.09; 11.22.09; 11.23.09; 11.24.09; 11.25.09

    Copyright © 1981-2009 Maravot. All rights reserved
    Copyright© 1981-2009 Mel Copeland. All rights reserved
    Background: tile from Cicero's villa (Marcus Tullius Cicero 106 B.C. - 43 B.C.)