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Maravot News of the World
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Saturday, June 09, 2007
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Faces of the Fallen – Iraq

US & Coalition
Casualties, War in Iraq

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. Green reflects projected Bush debt. Click chart for larger image.

2006 update (2.25.06)

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

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information please
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in French)
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in French)
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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; Gulf of Hormuz oil lane Iran threatens to block
Kazakhstan & neighbors

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

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

Middle East Watch

Russia & Ukraine Watch

East Asia Watch

More newspapers

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

Halliburton watch.org

Relevant Works by Mel

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

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

News Headlines & Trends

06.06.07 Turkey launches large-scale attack on Kurdish militants - media

ANKARA (RIA Novosti) June 6 - The Turkish army is conducting the largest military operation against Kurdish separatists in the south-east of the country in the past few years, local media reported Wednesday. According to the Turkish Cihan news agency, the operation, involving about 50,000 troops, armored vehicles and combat aircraft, is targeting Kurdish militants in 11 provinces in southeastern Turkey and northern Iraq.

"Three F-16 Falcon fighter-bombers...have carried out bombing raids on militant positions of terrorist group the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) in northern Iraq," the agency said. "Artillery deployed at the border [with northern Iraq] has delivered 'pinpointed' strikes at designated targets."

Observers are not ruling out the possibility that the current operation will precede a full-scale invasion into northern Iraq, where up to 3,500 PKK separatists, poised to commit terrorist attacks in Turkey, are reportedly based. Turkish foreign minister Monday defended his country's right to move into neighboring Iraq to destroy separatist bases after a suicide attack, which occurred at a Turkish checkpoint on June 4, killed at least eight soldiers and left six wounded in the latest in a series of terrorist attacks allegedly carried out by Kurdish militants. [More>>rian.ru]

06.06.07 Iraqi parliament votes on US troops

June 6 - Iraqi politicians have passed a resolution requiring the government to seek parliamentary permission before asking the UN to extend the mandate for US-led forces in Iraq. The measure was approved on Tuesday and reflects a growing disenchantment with the US-backed government. [More>>aljazeera.net]

06.06.07 US-Russia tensions and climate accord failure cloud G8 summit

HEILIGENDAMM, Germany (AFP) June 6 - Tensions between the United States and Russia and the failure to reach accord on how to counter global warming overshadowed the start of the Group of Eight summit Wednesday. A massive security operation swung into action, with 16,000 police deployed to guard leaders of the world's most industrialized nations as they arrived in the Baltic resort of Heiligendamm. A 12-kilometre-long (seven-mile) barbed wire fence separated protesters from the leaders of Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia and the United States gathering in a luxury seafront hotel.

But the German hosts could not prevent disputes between Russia and the United States over a missile defence shield and US objections to setting long-term targets for cutting emissions that cause global warming from spilling over into the summit. [More>>turkishpress.com]

06.06.07 Two NATO soldiers killed in Afghanistan

KABUL, June 6 - Two NATO soldiers were killed in new clashes in southern Afghanistan Wednesday, the alliance's force said, as a district police chief was killed while a Taliban bomb was being defused.. NATO's International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) did not give details of its latest fatalities, which follow another in the eastern province of Kunar Tuesday. "Two ISAF soldiers were killed in separate engagements with enemy fighters today [Wednesday] in southern Afghanistan," it said in a statement.

The nationalities of the soldiers would be announced by their home countries, the 37-nation force said. The US-led coalition said separately that at least one of the deaths was in Helmand province, where most of Britain's deployment of 5,200 soldiers is based. The new deaths take to 79 the number of foreign soldiers killed in Afghanistan this year, most of them in hostile action and about half of them US nationals. [More>>metimes.com]

06.06.07 Two car bomb blasts hit Baghdad

BAGHDAD (AFP) June 6 - Two car bombs detonated at road intersections in a busy Shia neighbourhood of Baghdad on Wednesday, Iraqi and US defence officials said. Iraqi medics told AFP that seven civilians were killed in the explosions, but US military spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Scott Bleichwehl denied this, saying the attacks wounded four bystanders. The twin blasts hit traffic in the Kadhimiyah district of north Baghdad, a Shia enclave in a mixed Sunni-Shia area huddled around a holy shrine and protected by a combination of Iraqi security forces and local militia. A US unit arrived at the scene shortly after the bombs went off. The unit reported four Iraqi civilians were wounded from one of the explosions. No Iraqi civilians were killed in either blast,’  Bleichwehl said. [More>>khaleejtimes.com]

06.06.07 Libby given 30 months for lying in C.I.A. Leak case

WASHINGTON, June 6 - I. Lewis Libby Jr., the former chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney and one of the principal architects of President Bush’s foreign policy, was sentenced Tuesday to 30 months in prison for lying during a C.I.A. leak investigation that became part of a fierce debate over the war in Iraq. [More>>nytimes.com]

06.04.07 France, Spain condemn Ahmadinejad remarks on Israel's destruction

June 4 - France and Spain on Monday issued condemnations of the Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's latest verbal attack on Israel, in which he said that the world would soon witness the destruction of Israel. Speaking at a ceremony Sunday to mark the 18th anniversary of the death of the founder of the Islamic Republic, Ahmadinejad said that saying a "countdown" has begun that will end with Lebanese and Palestinian militants destroying Israel. Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos called Ahmadinejad's comments unacceptable. Spain last week hosted talks between Iran and the European Union over Tehran's nuclear program. [>haaretz.com]

06.04.07 Britain calls for 'constructive dialogue' after Putin outburst

June 4 - Downing Street reacted coolly today to a warning from President Putin that Russia might target Europe with its nuclear weapons if the United States deploys a new anti-missile network across Eastern Europe. Mr. Putin made the threat in an interview with The Times ahead of this week's G8 summit in Germany, warning the US that it was in danger of sparking a new global arms race.

But Tony Blair's official spokesman said today that there were concerns across the continent at the increasingly hardline stance taken by the Russian leader. He also insisted that the American system was not aimed at Russia, but was intended to safeguard against the threat of a “rogue state” which managed to acquire a nuclear weapon. [More>>timesonline.co.uk ; See related story, expressindia.com, June 4, " 'I'm the world's only true democrat,' says Putin."]

06.04.07 Nine rebels, soldier killed in Afghanistan

PAKTIA, Afghanistan, June 4 - An Afghan soldier and nine militants were killed and 11 people, including nine foreign troops, wounded in fresh violence across Afghanistan, officials said Monday. Six Taliban rebels were killed in a gunfight with Afghan and NATO-led troops in the eastern province of Paktia Monday, provincial police chief Abdul Rahman Sarjang said. Eighteen more were detained over suspected links to the Taliban following the incident, Sarjang said. [More>>thenews.com.pk]

06.04.07 Eight Turkish soldiers killed in PKK attack

ANKARA, June 4 - Eight Turkish soldiers were killed and six wounded Monday in an attack by Kurdish Workers’ Party (PKK) militants on a military post in the eastern Turkish province of Tunceli, the Dogan news agency reported. Dogan reported that the two PKK militants had gained entrance to the Kocatepe village military post when guards recognized the jeep they were travelling in. The jeep was later found to have been stolen. One of the militants threw hand grenades once inside the compound's garden while the other fired on troops with an automatic weapon.

Dogan also reported that shots were fired at the compound by an unknown number of other PKK rebels hiding behind rocks nearby. Three soldiers were pronounced dead at the scene of the attack. Five others died later in hospital. Gendarmes, military police responsible for security in rural areas, killed one of the attackers. The other was believed to have been wounded but managed to escape. The incident on Monday is the latest in a series of attacks by PKK guerrillas in east and south-east Turkey and comes as the country warned that it has the right to launch a cross-border operation into northern Iraq to destroy PKK camps. [More>>khaleejtimes.com ]

06.04.07 Coma victim wakes up to post-Communist world

June 4 - A Polish railway worker has woken after 19 years of a coma to discover that his world has changed beyond all recognition. "When I went into a coma, there was only tea and vinegar in the shops," Jan Grzebski, now 65, told a Polish news channel. "Meat was rationed and there were huge petrol queues everywhere."

Mr. Grzebski lost consciousness in 1988, after he was hit by a train. Doctors gave him only two or three years to live. But because of the tireless care of his wife Gertruda, who moved him every hour to prevent bedsores, he remained in good health. He was, however, completely removed from the dramatic changes across the world. After regaining consciousness, he told his family that he had vague memories of family gatherings and of his relatives talking to him, trying to provoke a response. There was plenty for them to tell him about, if they had wished to startle him with amazing news. [More>>independent.co.uk]

06.04.07 Commanders say Push in Baghdad is short of goal

BAGHDAD, June 4 - Three months after the start of the Baghdad security plan that has added thousands of American and Iraqi troops to the capital, they control fewer than one-third of the city's neighborhoods, far short of the initial goal for the operation, according to some commanders and an internal military assessment.

The American assessment, completed in late May, found that American and Iraqi forces were able to “protect the population” and “maintain physical influence over” only 146 of the 457 Baghdad neighborhoods. In the remaining 311 neighborhoods, troops have either not begun operations aimed at rooting out insurgents or still face “resistance,” according to the one-page assessment, which was provided to The New York Times and summarized reports from brigade and battalion commanders in Baghdad. [More>>nytimes.com]

06.03.07 Informant plays key role in JFK plot

NEW YORK (AP) June 3 - A convicted drug dealer who agreed to pose as a wannabe terrorist among a shadowy group now accused of plotting to blow up John F. Kennedy International Airport secretly fed information to federal investigators in exchange for a lighter sentence. His surveillance trips to the airport with the suspects, travels abroad to meet with supporters and assurances he wanted to die as a martyr in an attack on an underground jet fuel pipeline gave counterterrorism agents insight and evidence that experts say was otherwise unattainable. [More>>abcnews.go.com]

06.03.07 Global warming or not, ocean is rising over Pacific islands

MAJURO, Marshall Islands (AP) June 4 - The people of the Central Pacific do not need science to understand one possible effect of global warming. These Micronesians, whose islands spread from near the Philippines on the west to five hours from Hawaii on the east, require no charts or graphs to know that rising ocean water is a critical and constant presence in their lives. When the moon is full, the ocean waves at high tide are several feet higher than ever in the past, according to longtime island residents. 

The powder sand beach of Laura village at the tip of Majuro Atoll, Marshall Islands, is famous throughout the Marshalls for its beauty and tranquility. But today, the beach is noticeably narrower. Some of its giant trees lie half in the ocean, half on the sand, their gnarled roots reaching up like the desperate fingers of the dying...In Chuuk's flat outer Western Islands, the ocean has washed over Pulap Atoll. Marine Resources Director Romio Oseina and former Chuuk State House Floor Leader Ruphin Mickey say salt water has killed the taro plants...Kiribati, formerly the Gilbert Islands, has lost two small islands to the ocean and is facing the possibility that their 100,000 people, too, will have to find another homeland. [Full story>>thestar.com.my]

06.03.07 US military: 14 US soldiers killed over weekned

BAGHDAD, June 3 - Fourteen US soldiers were killed by bombs and small-arms fire in Iraq over the weekend, the US military said Sunday, as factional violence continued to ravage soldiers and civilians alike. A car bomb killed 10 people and wounded 27 at an outdoor market in Balad Ruz Sunday, according to a Diyala province security official. The explosion came shortly after noon (4 a.m. ET) as the market, just east of Baquba, was packed with shoppers, police told The Associated Press.

In another market attack in Baquba, gunmen fatally shot two civilians, the Diyala official told CNN. Also near Baquba, gunmen set up a fake police checkpoint just west of the city Saturday evening and killed three Iraqi civilians and wounded five others, the official said. The attacks came amid a weekend of violent clashes between coalition forces and insurgents in Diwaniya, Falluja and eastern Baghdad's Sadr City neighborhood. At least 20 people were wounded Sunday in Diwaniya when fighting broke out between Iraqi security forces and members of the Mehdi Army, a Shiite militia loyal to radical cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, an Interior Ministry official said. [More>>cnn.com]

06.02.07 Gaza extremist group threatens to behead female broadcasters

June 2 - A Muslim extremist group on Friday threatened to behead female TV broadcasters if they don't don strict Islamic dress, leaving the women terrified and marking a further downward spiral in Gaza's anarchy. The threat to cut throats from vein to vein was delivered by the Swords of Truth, a fanatical group that has previously claimed responsibility for bombing Internet cafes and music shops. The new threat was the first time the organization targeted a specific group of people, and adds to a growing climate of extremism, fear and suspicion in Gaza.

In many parts of the Muslim world, religious conservative policies keep women out of TV anchoring positions or only let them take the jobs if they wear head scarves. But in some countries scarves are uncommon, like Lebanon and Jordan, and Egypt even keeps newscasters who wear them off its TV stations. Most of the 15 women broadcasters on government-run Palestine TV wear head scarves. But they also wear makeup and Western clothing, which is not considered strictly observant by the extremists. [More>>haaretz.com ; See related story, independent.co.uk, June 2, "Nobel winners decry lack of women's rights in Middle East."]

06.02.07 Four charged in plot to bomb Kennedy Airport

June 2 - Federal agents and New York City police said today that four people have been charged with conspiring to bomb Kennedy International Airport. The plot involved a former airport worker in his 60s, who is a United States citizen of Guyanese descent and lives in New York, and a former member of the Guyanese parliament, who is also an imam. Both men, along with one other, are in custody, law enforcement officials said today. Authorities are seeking the fourth man.

If convicted, the men could face a maximum sentence of life in prison. Two senior law enforcement officials said that there was no imminent threat to the airport and that the men had yet to obtain any explosives. They had conducted surveillance and the former airport worker had made several trips to Guyana and one trip to Trinidad and Tobago to try to get support for the plot. [More>>nytimes.com]

06.02.07 Intense battle rages around Lebanon seige camp

NAHR AL-BARED, Lebanon , June 2 - Intense exchanges raged between Lebanese troops and Islamists holed up in a northern refugee camp on Saturday, as the army confirmed it had lost six soldiers in 36 hours of fierce fighting. Troops were heavily pounding the Nahr al-Bared Palestinian refugee camp, where the army has been besieging fringe militant group Fatah al-Islam for a fortnight, an AFP correspondent said. But a spokesman for the militants vowed they would fight to the death.

Machine-gun fire was heard from inside the camp, while an army gunship hovered overhead as smoke billowed into the sky. The army said it had lost three soldiers in intense exchanges on Friday, two more overnight, and another in clashes on Saturday. [More>>turkishpress.com]

06.02.07 Blast damages vital Iraq bridge

June 2 - A bridge on the main road between Baghdad and the northern city of Kirkuk has been badly damaged in a bomb attack, amid an Iraqi official announcement that nearly 2,000 civilians died during May. Police believe the bridge was targeted on Saturday to hinder operations against al-Qaeda fighters who are reportedly based in nearby hills. "Gunmen bombed this strategic and important bridge and caused a great deal of damage, cutting the road between Kirkuk and Baghdad," Colonel Abbas Mohammed Amin, police chief in Tuz Khurmatu, said. "After receiving the news, Iraqi police, army and US forces arrived and defused several unexploded bombs on the bridge." [More>>aljazeera.net]

06.02.07 US warship shells Quaeda targets in Somalia

MOGADISHU (AFP) June 2 - A US warship shelled suspected Al Qaeda targets in northeastern Somalia after Islamist fighters clashed with troops from the country’s semi-autonomous region of Puntland, witnesses and officials said Saturday. They said a US Navy destroyer fired on several targets overnight where Islamist militants are believed to have bases in mountainous and remote areas outside the coastal town of Bargal.

‘The US military was targeting the Al Qaeda hideout. This was aimed at flushing out all the terrorists,’ said Mussa Jelle Yusuf, the governor for Barri region. "Puntland troops are surrounding the Bargal hills and hunting for those Al Qaeda elements. They ... will be captured or killed,"  he added...Among the so-called ‘high value’ Al Qaeda militants believed to be in Somalia are Fazul Abdullah Mohammed from the Comoros, Kenyan Saleh Ali Saleh Nabhan and Sudanese national Abu Taha Al Sudani. Others are Shaikh Dahir Aweys, the hardline cleric heading Somalia’s Islamic Courts Union and Adan Hashi Ayro, the commander of the Islamists’ militia wing, the Shabaab. [Full story>>khaleejtimes.com]

06.02.07 Egypt arrests 52 Muslim Brotherhood members

CAIRO (AFP) June 2 - Egyptian authorities have detained 52 members of the opposition Muslim Brotherhood, a security source said Saturday, ahead of elections for parliament's upper house in which the Islamist group is fielding candidates. "Fifty-two supporters of Muslim Brotherhood candidates in the elections have been arrested between Friday and Saturday in five provinces," the source said. "They were caught hanging up posters with Islamic messages, which is unconstitutional."

Supporters for candidates running in the June 11 elections for the Shura Council were detained when hanging up posters and handing out leaflets which read "Islam is the solution," the Brotherhood's slogan, the source said. But constitutional amendments approved in March have banned any political activity based on religion. According to a report by Human Rights Watch citing lawyers for the Brotherhood, 87 members were arrested between May 12 and May 19. Sixty-four came from districts where the group is fielding candidates.

06.02.07 Five killed in Bajore Bomb blast

BAJORE, Pakistan, June 2 - A roadside bomb killed five people including a government official on Saturday in Bajore Agency near the Afghan border. A journalist and a policeman were also among the five killed in the explosion, which ripped through a vehicle in the Bajaur tribal district, local official Mahmoor Khan said. "It was a remote-controlled device which killed five people," he said.

The victims were returning after attending a tribal council meeting in Salarzai neighbourhood when their vehicle was hit. Khan said the motive of the attack was not clear. The council's meeting was held to resolve a February attack on a government polio vaccination team in the same region, which killed a senior health ministry official.

06.02.07 Warning over fake high street medicines

June 2 - Thousands of patients taking a life-saving cancer medicine have been warned that counterfeits have entered the supply chain. Drug regulators issued the alert yesterday after the discovery of fake batches of Casodex, a prostate cancer drug, after an alarming surge in counterfeit medications for critical conditions. The alert is the third in a week involving blockbuster drugs, which have also included a schizophrenia drug and a blood-thinning agent.

Police have launched a big investigation after the discoveries, which have all been traced to the same UK-based wholesaler. They are thought likely to have originated from an international criminal syndicate - possibly based in China, Pakistan or India - taking advantage of the huge profits to be made from fake drugs. The wholesaler linked to the counterfeit batch, 65520, of Casodex, a hormone treatment for men with advanced prostate cancer, has had his licence removed.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), confirmed that a man had been arrested and released on bail last week after previous drug recalls of counterfeit Zyprexa, a schizophrenia drug, and Plavix, a blood thinner and the world's second-biggest-selling drug. Investigators believe that the dealer, who has not been charged, may have been working with other wholesalers to import the fakes from Asia via other European countries.

06.01.07 Indonesian man dies from bird flu, bringing country's toll to 78

JAKARTA (AP) June 1 - An Indonesian man died of bird flu after slaughtering then eating an infected chicken, bringing the death toll in the country hardest hit by the virus to 78, a health ministry official said Thursday. Meanwhile, Indonesian Health Minister Siti Fadilah Supari repeated her earlier statement that drug manufacturer Baxter Healthcare Corp. planned to start clinical trials of a bird flu vaccine in the country in July. A spokesman for Baxter previously denied the company had announced such a plan, and refused to comment further. The company has previously announced clinical trials of vaccines in Europe. [More>>thejakartapost.com]

06.01.07 NATO soldier among 30 killed in Afghanistan

ASADABAD, June 1 -A NATO soldier was killed in a bomb blast in Afghanistan Friday while two Afghan women and a policeman died in attacks elsewhere linked to a deepening Taliban insurgency, officials said. Afghan officials also announced that around 26 rebel fighters were killed, six of them when they tried to abduct a policeman or one of his relatives from his home late Thursday. [More>>thenews.com.pk]

06.01.07 Russia points to links between Nalchik gunmen and Western spies-1

NALCHIK (RIA Novosti) June 1 - A senior Russian official said there is evidence that militants who attacked the capital of a North Caucasus republic in 2005 were linked to Western secret services. "We have information suggesting that those who attempted an armed revolt in Nalchik in 2005... colluded with Western secret services, with the aim of destabilizing the republic [of Kabardino-Balkaria]," Deputy Interior Minister Arkady Yedelyov said.

He said that the ringleaders, whose last names are known to be Astemirov and Mukozhev, had until recently been reported to be living somewhere in Kabardino-Balkaria. "As long they are at large and fighting, we will not rest," Yedelyov said. A large group of separatist gunmen attacked Nalchik October 13, 2005, killing 35 policemen and 12 civilians and wounding over 100 people. The police struck back on the following day, killing 92 gunmen and dispersing others. [>rian.ru]

06.01.07 Sunni fighters take on Qaeda in Baghdad

BAGHDAD (AFP) June 1 - Sunni tribal fighters have joined nationalist insurgents battling Al Qaeda in vicious Baghdad street battles, their commander told AFP on Friday, as residents reported two days of intense clashes. For the past two days, Sunni fighters, who would once have sympathized with Al Qaeda's war against American and Iraqi government troops, have instead been locked in battle against them in the lawless Amiriyah neighbourhood.

"We dispatched around 50 of our secret police from Anbar to Amiriyah, and started to hit Al Qaeda there. We killed a lot of them," Shaikh Hamid Al Hais, the head of the Anbar Salvation Council, said in a telephone interview. "A similar operation will be launched in Al Ghazaliyah against Al Qaeda today. We have sufficient information on places they are in, and we will punish them," he said, adding that his tribal forces were fighting in plain clothes. The Salvation Council is the armed wing of an alliance of Sunni shaikhs from the western province of Anbar, where they have funneled tribal gunmen into the Iraqi police in order to fight Al Qaeda. [More>>khaleejtimes.com]

06.01.07 14 people, including 2 soldiers, killed in north Lebanon clashes

(AP) June 1 - At least two Lebanese soldiers and another 12 people were killed in fierce fighting between Lebanese troops and Islamic militants at a Palestinian refugee camp in north Lebanon on Friday, security sources said. The sources said 18 other soldiers were wounded and could not say whether the 12 who died inside Nahr al-Bared camp were Fatah al-Islam militants or civilians. Meanwhile, under the cover of artillery barrages, dozens of Lebanese army tanks and armored carriers moved toward the refugee camp Friday in pursuit of the militants holed up inside. [More>>haaretz.com]

06.01.07 Personal data found hidden in iTunes tracks

June 1 - Names, e-mails and other sensitive information embedded in files. Fresh privacy fears have been sparked after it emerged that Apple has embedded personal information into music files bought from its iTunes online music store. Technology websites examining iTunes products discovered that personal data, such as the name and e-mail addresses of purchasers, are embedded into the AAC files that Apple uses to distribute music tracks.

The information is also included in tracks sold under Apple's iTunes Plus system, launched this week, where users pay a premium for music that is free from the controversial digital rights (DRM), designed to safeguard against piracy. The Electronic Freedom Foundation, the online consumer rights group, added that it had identified a large amount of additional unaccounted-for information in iTunes files. It said it was possible that the data could be used to "watermark" tracks so that the original purchaser could be tracked down were a track to appear on a file-sharing network.

Ars Technica, among the first websites to unveil the hidden information, said: "Everyone should be aware that while DRM-free files may lift a lot of restrictions on our personal usage habits, it doesn't mean that we can just start sharing the love, so to speak. Sharer beware." An Apple spokeswoman was unable to comment when contacted by Times Online.

06.01.07 Administration rebukes Putin on his policies

WASHINGTON, June 1 - A top Russia expert at the State Department issued an unusually sharp public criticism on Thursday of Moscow's behavior under President Vladimir V. Putin, describing the Kremlin as bullying its neighbors while silencing political opponents and suppressing individual rights at home.

The comments, approved by the White House, are the latest volley of criticism between Washington and Moscow in recent days. Although the White House said this week that President Bush would play host to Mr. Putin on July 1 at the Bush family compound in Maine, the speech is likely to add tension at a time when the broader dialogue between Washington and Moscow is already taking the most caustic tones since the collapse of communism. [More>>nytimes.com]

06.01.07 Bush proposes talks on warming

May 31 - President Bush sought yesterday to take the initiative on global warming talks in which the administration had previously been a reluctant participant, offering to launch negotiations aimed at having the world's most prolific polluters agree on long-term goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

The proposal, which Bush unveiled in a speech outlining his priorities for the Group of Eight summit in Germany next week, signaled a shift in the administration's often-criticized approach to combating global warming while offering what the president called a "new framework" for addressing the issue. Though the president is still not backing a mandatory cap on carbon dioxide emissions, he made it clear that he would like the United States to play a major role in shaping global environmental policy after the Kyoto Protocol expires in 2012. [More>>washingtonpost.com]


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?


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