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    World News
5/12/03 - 5/18/03

Sunday  5/18/03

Campus police assaults Africana Studies professor at U Mass Boston over military recruitment, professor being charged  5/18/03 AfroCubaWeb: "Professor Van der Meer of UMass Boston's Africana Studies Department was viciously assaulted on 4/3/03 by campus police after intervening when a Massachusetts National Guard recruiter was shouting death threats to his students: "I hope you get shot in the head like Martin Luther King! I hope you all get shot in the head!" The UMass President, William M. Bulger, and Chancellor, Jo Ann M. Gora, have so far declined to try and get the charges dropped. Professor Van der Meer is scheduled to be arraigned at 8:30 AM in Dorchester District Court on 5/28/03."

France, U.S. Attempt to Mend Fences  5/18/03 AP 

Cause of Makkah Hotel Fire Under Investigation  5/18/03 Arab News: "Brig. Ahmad ibn Saad Al-Thubaity, director-general of Civil Defense in the Makkah region, told Al-Watan newspaper that an investigation is still under way into the cause of Thursday’s hotel fire which killed 14 people, including eight expatriate workers."

Corporate Warriors: The Rise and Ramifications of the Privatized Military Industry  5/18/03 Brookings Institution: originally published in 2002

Troops 'vandalise' ancient city of Ur  5/18/03 Guardian, UK: "One of the greatest wonders of civilisation, and probably the world's most ancient structure - the Sumerian city of Ur in southern Iraq - has been vandalised by American soldiers and airmen, according to aid workers in the area. They claim that US forces have spray-painted the remains with graffiti and stolen kiln-baked bricks made millennia ago. As a result, the US military has put the archaeological treasure, which dates back 6,000 years, off-limits to its own troops. Any violations will be punishable in military courts… The Pentagon has elected to build its massive and potentially permanent base right alongside the site, so that the view from the peak of the ziggurat - more or less unchanged for 6,000 years - will be radically altered. Each hour, long convoys of trucks heave gravel and building materials through checkpoints and the barbed wire perimeter extends daily. There are reports that walls have been damaged by spray-painted graffiti, mostly patriotic or other slogans, and regimental mottos. One graffiti reads: 'SEMPER FE' - Always Faithful - the motto of the Marines, who stormed through this region on their way to Baghdad, and form a contingent at the base."

Bin Laden triggered bombings in tape  5/18/03 Halifax Herald: "As the death toll in Friday's Casablanca suicide attacks rose to 41, it emerged that Morocco was one of six countries identified by bin Laden as "ready for liberation" in a section of the tape calling for "martyrdom operations" by Islamic extremists. "True Muslims should act, incite and mobilize the nation in such great events . . . in order to break free from the slavery of these tyrannic and apostate regimes enslaved by America," he said. "Among regions ready for liberation are Jordan, Morocco, Nigeria, the country of the two shrines (Saudi Arabia), Yemen and Pakistan." "

Kurds go it alone with international oil deals  5/18/03 Independent, UK 

His Face Still Gives Fits as Saddam Dinar Soars  5/18/03 NYT: "A potentially bigger problem is that the dinar's surge and the dollar's plunge have wiped out a big part of the purchasing power of the $20 emergency payments American administrators have been handing out to workers in lieu of their unpaid monthly salaries."

Saturday  5/17/03

topVinnell and the House of Saud  5/17/03 Asia Times: Vinnell founded in the move from cable cars to highways orchestrated by Big Auto and Big Oil - "Founded in 1931, the Vinnell corporation was as a small contracting firm with one of its first projects being on the Los Angeles city highway system… Others wonder about Vinnell's own training capabilities. It was the very forces that Vinnell was in the process of training which were in charge of security on the compound. If this event was any indication of Vinnell's quality control, then the House of Saud may want to begin looking elsewhere for security assistance."

Victims of a Republican Plot - The Dixie Chicks Cross the Road  5/17/03 Counterpunch: "According to a story from sent to RRC by former Reprise president Howie Klein, "Phone calls originating from Republican Party headquarters in Washington went out to country stations, urging them to remove the Chicks from their playlists.The 'alternative concert' [to the Dixie Chicks' tour opener] is actually the work of the South Carolina Republican Party and party officials are helping promote the concert.We received a call from 'Gallagher's Army,' urging us to support the alternative concert. Caller ID backtraced the call to South Carolina GOP headquarters." "

Kenya terrorism alert extended to six countries  5/17/03 Financial Times 

Calif. Town Rebels Against Patriot Act  5/17/03 Guardian, UK: "More than 100 cities and one state have passed resolutions condemning the USA Patriot Act, saying it gives the federal government too much snooping power. But in this liberal fold of Northern California's Redwood Curtain, a simple denouncement just doesn't go far enough. To cooperate with the act, the City Council says, is criminal. Starting this month, a new city ordinance would impose a fine of $57 on any city department head who voluntarily complies with investigations or arrests under the aegis of the Patriot Act, the anti-terrorism bill passed after Sept. 11."

Bombs kill at least 40 in Casablanca  5/17/03 MSNBC: "A series of suicide bombings rocked the Moroccan city of Casablanca Friday night, U.S. and Moroccan officials said. At least 40 people were killed and 100 others injured in the attacks, which bore many of the hallmarks of an al-Qaida operation… In February, bin Laden released a new audiotape in which he called for the “liberation” of six countries. The two nations attacked this week, Saudi Arabia and Morocco, were on that list. The four others were Pakistan, Yemen, Nigeria and Jordan."

Top al-Qaida Harbored in Iran - Source: New attacks ordered from there  5/17/03 Newsday: "The United States has developed intelligence indicating that top al-Qaida leaders operating inside Iran directed Monday's bombing attacks in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and have ordered a terrorist strike in East Africa, according to counterterrorism sources. Intelligence officials say that top operational leader Saif al-Adil, who has been Osama bin Laden's security chief and is hiding in Iran, is apparently under the protection of the country's Revolutionary Guards."

As U.S. Begins to Investigate Riyadh Attacks, Saudis Limit Their Role  5/17/03 NYT: "A team of 60 American investigators today scoured three charred blast sites here where terrorists detonated car bombs on Monday night.The hunt for forensic evidence by the American team at the three Western housing compounds was noteworthy because the Saudi authorities have in the past severely restricted American access to and involvement in the kingdom's terrorism investigations. But in a sign that the Saudis may be displeased with the presence of the large American contingent, composed mainly of F.B.I. agents, the Saudi interior minister has declared that the investigators will be limited to observer roles in the kingdom's terrorism inquiry. "They are not investigators," Prince Nayef bin Abdul Aziz said in an interview published today by the daily paper Al Riyadh. "They will not probe anything. These officials came to inspect the incidents only." ...But two senior American government officials said today that the prince's comments were directed at the Saudi people, who might be distrustful of having a large American law enforcement presence in the kingdom for an extended period of time. "I think the prince is playing to a very conservative domestic audience," one senior official said. "He's trying to get out a message that is not necessarily consistent with what the facts are." "

No Light In The Afghan Tunnel  5/17/03 Soldiers For The Truth: by "Col. David H. Hackworth, author of his new best-selling "Steel My Soldiers' Hearts," "Price of Honor" and "About Face," has seen duty or reported as a sailor, soldier and military correspondent in nearly a dozen wars and conflicts – from the end of World War II to the recent fights against international terrorism."

Iraqi Women Out of the Picture - Prominence in Public Life Disappears in Postwar Fear  5/17/03 Washington Post: "Kilidar was a privileged citizen under the former government, although she said she joined the Baath Party only three years ago. But while she enjoyed more advantages than most, the collapse of her career, her self-imposed confinement and the fog over her future mirror the uneasy situations facing many Iraqi women. A chaotic city filled with soldiers, thieves and carjackers, Baghdad often appears to be inhabited only by men. Alarmed by the lawlessness and now without jobs, most Iraqi women refuse to step outside their homes."

U.S. probes passports as France protests 'lies'  5/17/03 Washington Times: " The Department of Homeland Security is investigating whether the French government provided passports to members of Saddam Hussein's regime fleeing Iraq as French Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin demanded yesterday that "lies" published in the U.S. and British press stop." - Homeland Security is now setting foreign policy?

Friday  5/16/03

topEx-presidents speak out in favor of prisoner swap  5/16/03 ANNCOL: "The real reason why Colombian president Uribe ordered the hazardous rescue attempt that caused the death of ten captives held by FARC guerrillas: Four Colombian ex-presidents had met at hotel Don Carlton, in the north of Bogota, on Monday the 28th of April, to consider the subject of a humanitarian agreement between the Colombian government and FARC on the exchange of prisoners."

French Official Wants 'Lies' to Stop  5/16/03 AP 

Afrobrazilianists: Such Arrogance!  5/16/03 Brazzil 

Do you want to know who the Americans running Iraq really are?  5/16/03 Centre for Research on Globalisation, Montreal: lots of informative links on this rogue's gallery.

Briefing from the Team Investigating Antiquity Loss in Iraq  5/16/03 Defense Link, DOD: details on the looting of Baghdad Museum.

France ties with U.S. still tense  5/16/03 Final Call 

New Front Sets Sights On Toppling Iran Regime  5/16/03 Forward: "For now, President Bush's official stance is to encourage the Iranian people to push the mullah regime aside themselves, but observers believe that the policy is not yet firm, and that has created an opportunity for activists. Neoconservatives advocating regime change in Tehran through diplomatic pressure — and even covert action — appear to be winning the debate within the administration, several knowledgeable observers said. "There is a pact emerging between hawks in the administration, Jewish groups and Iranian supporters of Reza Pahlavi [the exiled son of the former shah of Iran] to push for regime change," said Pooya Dayanim, president of the Iranian-Jewish Public Affairs Committee in Los Angeles and a hawk on Iran."

Survey: Israel yet to grasp concept of democracy  5/16/03 Haaretz, Israel: "More than half the Jewish population of Israel - 53 percent - is opposed to full equal rights for Israeli Arabs, according to a survey conducted last month by the Israel Democracy Institute. The general conclusion of the survey, which is dubbed the "Israeli Democracy Survey" and will be conducted every year, is that Israel is basically a democracy in form more than in substance, and that it has yet to internalize fully the concept of democracy."

France protests 'plot' by U.S.  5/16/03 IHT: France responds to being treated like a Third World US colony - "In addition to sending the letter in Washington, the Foreign Ministry in Paris took an unusual step of its own, instructing French diplomats to monitor the U.S. news media for signs of orchestrated anti-French disinformation."

Mujahideen Attack American Installations in Afghanistan Leaving 12 Dead  5/16/03 Jihad Unspun 

Tuning Out Racist Shock Jocks - Racism as humor on the radio.  5/16/03 Race Relations 

Patriot Raid  5/16/03 Truth Out: the goon squad at work - ""Did you not hear me, go to the back and sit down," they demanded. I complied and looked around at the other patrons. There were eight men including the waiter, all of South Asian descent and ranging in age from late-teens to senior citizen. One of the policemen pointed his gun point-blank in the face of the waiter and shouted: "Is there anyone else in the restaurant?" The waiter, terrified, gestured to the kitchen. The police placed their fingers on the triggers of their guns and kicked open the kitchen doors. Shouts emanated from the kitchen and a few seconds later five Hispanic men were made to crawl out on their hands and knees, guns pointed at them. After patting us all down, the five officers seated us at two tables. As they continued to kick open doors to closets and bathrooms with their fingers glued to their triggers, no less than ten officers in suits emerged from the stairwell. Most of them sat in the back of the restaurant typing on their laptop computers. Two of them walked over to our table and identified themselves as officers of the INS and Homeland Security Department… When I asked to speak to a lawyer, the INS official informed me that I do have the right to a lawyer but I would have to be brought down to the station and await security clearance before being granted one. When I asked how long that would take, he replied with a coy smile: "Maybe a day, maybe a week, maybe a month." We insisted that we had every right to leave and were going to do so. One of the policemen walked over with his hand on his gun and taunted: "Go ahead and leave, just go ahead." "

UPI restructures, lays off 16  5/16/03 UPI: "The company, founded in 1907, lost money steadily for years as a general news service under five previous owners before the company was purchased in 2000 by News World Communications Inc., founded by the Rev. Sun Myung Moon. UPI officials said the layoffs and restructuring to focus on core strengths were necessary to establish the 96-year-old news agency in new markets."

Poppy Strikes Gold by Greg Palast  5/16/03 Utne: "In this excerpt from the recently-released U.S. edition of his book The Best Democracy Money Can Buy, renowned investigative reporter Greg Palast details the shady—and extremely lucrative—connections between former president George H. W. (“Poppy”) Bush, a little-known Canadian gold mining company, and the political fortunes of Poppy’s son Dubya. This damning story, and a second one we’ll run next week, were deleted from the British edition of Palast’s book for fear they would run afoul of that country’s draconian libel law—which makes it a crime even to print a true story if the facts could harm the reputation of a person or company."

Thursday  5/15/03

topDanny Glover targeted  5/15/03 Black Commentator: "TransAfrica provided the following MCI contact information: Anyone can call the PR office to comment: 800/644-NEWS or 202/736-6700 MCI Customers can call Customer Service at 800/444-3333 Email can be done through the website - there is an electronic submission form:"

A CIA Officer's Calamitous Choices  5/15/03 Consortium News: "Secret documents declassified by the Clinton administration show that the CIA's collaboration with the ex-Nazis was not merely a marriage of convenience. It was more like a deal with the devil. The documents reveal that Gehlen had hired and protected hundreds of Nazi war criminals. The more notorious of these Hitler henchmen included Alois Brunner, Adolf Eichmann's right-hand man in orchestrating the Final Solution, and Emil Augsburg, who directed the Wansee Institute where the Final Solution was formulated and who served in a unit that specialized in the extermination of Jews. Another was the former Gestapo chief Heinrich Muller, Adolf Eichmann's immediate superior whose signature appears on orders written in 1943 for the deportation of 45,000 Jews to Auschwitz for killing. Furthermore, the Gehlen Org was so thoroughly penetrated by Soviet spies that CIA operations in Eastern Europe often ended in the murder of its agents. To top it off, the Org fed the CIA a steady diet of misinformation that fanned the flames of East-West hostility – and thus assured the Org the continued patronage of Washington."

French let fly at US hawks over smears  5/15/03 Financial Times: "France's complaint is about stories which have been damaging and then, often half-heartedly, denied. Earlier this month, the Washington Times, a conservative newspaper, reported that France had provided Iraqi leaders with French passports to assist their escape. US administration officials were said to be angered, but when the White House and State Department were asked if the story was true, they said no. Another Washington Times story earlier this year alleging the transfer by French companies of spare parts for aircraft was also denied."

Bush feels the heat after Riyadh bombings  5/15/03 Guardian: "Mr Fleischer was responding to a coruscating attack from Senator Bob Graham, who had argued earlier that the Saudi bombings "could have been avoided if you had actually crushed the basic infrastructure of al-Qaida". " I think from the beginning of the war in Afghanistan, which was in early October of 2001, until about February or March 2002, we were making good progress in dismantling the basic structure of al-Qaida," Mr Graham said. "Then we started to redirect our attention to Iraq, and al-Qaida has regenerated." ...The hot-tempered debate is closely interwoven with the run-up to the 2004 presidential election: Mr Graham, an outside candidate for the Democratic nomination, is running almost exclusively on his conviction that the administration has been dangerously distracted from the real fight against terrorism."

U.S. Officials Ground an Entrepreneur in Iraq  5/15/03 NYT: US brings freedom to Iraq.

Al-Qaeda hated corporation  5/15/03 The Age, Australia: "The bloody attacks in Riyadh are telling because of their targets, in particular the Vinnell Corporation. The residential compound and the offices used by Vinnell were hit, killing nine of the company's employees and injuring several others, two critically. Al-Qaeda has a particular hatred for the US Vinnell Corporation because it trains the Saudi Arabian National Guard, the country's internal security force and an integral part of the Saudi military forces… In 1975 the Pentagon hired Vinnell on a $US77 million ($A118.8 million) contract to train Saudi troops to protect the country's oilfields. About 1000 US Special Forces were recruited, says Dan Briody, author of a new book on the Carlyle group… Vinnell had trained the Saudi National Guard, and had worked alongside them during the first Gulf War launched while Mr Bush snr and Mr Baker were in office. Indeed Vinnell, says Briody, "paved the way for co-operation between the United States and Saudi Arabia during the (first) Gulf War". It was this co-operation that infuriated Osama bin Laden."

Leader took orders from bin Laden  5/15/03 Times, UK: "SECURITY chiefs in Saudi Arabia claimed yesterday that the 29-year-old mastermind of the suicide attacks on three Riyadh residential compounds took his orders directly from Osama bin Laden. Officials named Mohammed al-Juhani as the leader of the al-Qaeda cell, who slipped into the kingdom two months ago using fake documents with orders to target Westerners living in the kingdom… Questions are also being asked in Washington as to whether the CIA and others were given sufficent information by Riyadh about the al-Qaeda threat. Last night the United States delivered a sharp warning to Saudi Arabia, urging it to crack down more vigorously on al-Qaeda cells. “The Saudi Arabians have to deal with the fact that there’s terror inside their country,” Ari Fleischer, the White House spokesman, said."

U-S military tells Iraqis to turn in all guns or face arrest  5/15/03 WMTW: there goes the 2nd amendment!

Wednesday  5/14/03

topPresident blamed for the killing of 10 prisoners  5/14/03 ANNCOL: "Colombian President Uribe stands more isolated than ever after ordering a hazardous rescue attempt that ended in tragedy. Two top politicians and eight military officers held captive by FARC guerrillas were killed during the rescue attempt."

Bin Laden may have directed attack  5/14/03 Financial Times, UK: "There is credible discussion in jihadi circles that this is the beginning of a new campaign, and that Osama bin Laden has given the go-ahead for a campaign in Saudi Arabia," said Saad al-Fagui, a UK-based critic of the Saudi government who is also critical of al-Qaeda though has contacts with it."

US Vows To Crush Authors of Saudi Attacks  5/14/03 Jiahd Unspun 

Vinnell Corp., Targeted in Riyadh Before, Loses 9 More Workers  5/14/03 LA Times: "For both the U.S. and Saudi Arabia, the connection between Vinnell and the National Guard goes beyond military training, said David Isenberg, a senior analyst with the British American Security Information Council, an advocacy group studying defense and security issues. "It provides political connections on both sides," offering an unofficial and discreet conduit between decision-makers in both countries, Isenberg said. "In the pantheon of companies" linking the United States and Saudi Arabia, he said, "Vinnell would be among the top 10, and among the largest in political influence." "

MILITARY MIGHT - The man behind 'total war' in the Mideast  5/14/03 SF Chronicle: A fellow at the conservative American Enterprise Institute, Ledeen is a former employee of the Pentagon, the State Department and the National Security Council. As a consultant working with NSC head Robert McFarlane, he was involved in the transfer of arms to Iran during the Iran-Contra affair … Now Ledeen is calling for regime change beyond Iraq. In an address entitled "Time to Focus on Iran -- The Mother of Modern Terrorism," for the policy forum of the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs on April 30, he declared, "The time for diplomacy is at an end; it is time for a free Iran, free Syria and free Lebanon." With a group of other conservatives, Ledeen recently set up the Center for Democracy in Iran, an action group focusing on producing regime change in Iran."

Blasts 'commando operations'  5/14/03 The News, Australia: "In one of the attacks, suicide bombers took "thirty seconds to a minute" to knock out the security post at the compound housing the US-based Vinnell Corporation's employees, the official accompanying Powell said… According to a senior US military officer at the site, the three attacks occurred at practically the same time and followed the same scenario, with one vehicle attacking the guard post at the compound's entrance to allow the second vehicle access. "It was very well executed and it shows the nature of the enemy we are working against," said Powell, who toured the site… Vinnell, under contract to the US Army to provide training services to the Saudi Arabian National Guard, employs about 800 people in Riyadh." According to the London Times, a Murdoch paper, Vinnell is a CIA company.

Firm was 'cover for CIA'  5/14/03 Times, UK: "AS BEFITS a company that has been accused of being a CIA front, of recruiting “executive mercenaries” and attempting to overthrow the Prime Minister of a Commonwealth state, the Vinnell Corporation kept a low profile in Riyadh. Its discreet security fooled nobody, however: the bomb attack was the second it has suffered in eight years. In 1995 seven people were killed. This shadowy corporation is said to have been founded during the Depression. Dan Briody, author of The Iron Triangle, a study of Vinnell’s one-time owners, the Carlyle Group, serialised last week in The Times, says that there is “no publicity, no press releases, no news clippings”. He adds: “No one knows who the original owners were.” Vinnell’s work in Saudi Arabia dates back almost 30 years, when it won a contract to train Saudi troops to guard oilfields. A congressional inquiry found that it had agreed a “no Jews” clause. In the 1991 Gulf War Vinnell employees were seen fighting alongside Saudi troops. The company has helped the Saudis build their National Guard from 26,000 troops to around 70,000. In the early Eighties Time magazine reported that two employees were embroiled in a failed attempt to overthrow Maurice Bishop, the left-wing Prime Minister of Grenada, and soon after that a former employee was implicated in the Iran-Contra scandal."

El Pueblo Unido  5/14/03 Village Voice: "The idea of a Latino or Hispanic race is almost a necessary fiction in black-versus-white America, where influence hinges on identity. Under the label of Hispanic, first used by the U.S. government in 1973, Dominicans become the same as Argentines and Nicaraguans. In reality, those groups have little to do with one another. When Afro-Latinos mark off "Black, African Am., or Negro" along with Hispanic, the government shoves them into one compartment, essentially telling them they don't exist. In the narrow view of the United States, they're Latino, regardless of how they're perceived when they walk down the street."

Tuesday  5/13/03

topIranian leader angry at US talks  5/13/03 BBC 

Bin Laden Strikes again - in Riyadh  5/13/03 Debka, Israel: "The latest outrages tie in closely with the shootout between Saudi security and a large group of terrorists that took place in the Saudi capital less than a week ago on May 7… Subsequent leaks from Saudi sources showed the incident to have been more dangerous and audacious than first reported: an attempt by Al Qaeda to assassinate the pro-American Saudi defense minister Prince Sultan, third in the line of succession to the throne, and his brother, Interior Minister Prince Naif, who is also in command of internal security in the kingdom. DEBKAfile has not confirmed this account, but has discovered that the large-scale battle in Riyadh on May 7 was not the start of the episode but its outcome. The assailants did indeed mount an assassination attempt against “a leading Saudi figure” the day before on May 6. The battle developed after the plot was aborted and the assassins were in flight from pursuit." Note also home page assertion: "Saudi reluctance to admit high death toll creates discrepancy between Saudi and American figures in al Qaeda’s triple suicide attacks on Western housing estates in Riyadh Monday. The Saudis insist on 29 killed while the American figure is 91, including 10 Americans and many other foreigners. Many victims were still unaccounted for Wednesday. Up to 200 were injured."

The war that Bin Laden is winning - The US withdrawal from Saudi Arabia will not save the regime  5/13/03 Guardian, UK: " Islamic teaching is unequivocal on this issue: non-Muslim troops are forbidden to settle in Arabia. Helping non-Muslims to attack Muslims also makes whoever does so a non-Muslim or "infidel" themselves. The Wahhabi school of Islam, dominant in Saudi Arabia, is particularly unyielding about these two points. So, given the fact that US forces have been in the country for over 12 years, their departure is not real and that Saudi bases have been used to attack Afghanistan and Iraq, it is now impossible for the regime to recover legitimacy. Prince Sultan, the Saudi defence minister, stupidly destroyed any slim chance of benefit from the US withdrawal by attributing the decision to the US itself."

After controversial election battles, AIPAC reaches out to black caucus  5/13/03 JTA: "As it gears up for a struggle over the “road map” toward Israeli-Palestinian peace, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee is making special overtures toward the Congressional Black Caucus, a group with which it has had rough relations in the recent past. As part of its annual Washington convention, the pro-Israel lobby honored the caucus chair, Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), and the rest of the caucus at a special dinner March 30, attended by roughly 1,000 AIPAC donors from around the country."

Twenty killed in Saudi bombings, 9 Indians injured  5/13/03 Manorama Online: "In unprecedented terror strikes in Saudi Arabia by suspected al-Qaeda suicide bombers, at least 20 people, half of them Americans, were killed and scores, including nine Indians, injured io Riyadh, hours before the arrival of US Secretary of State Colin Powell on Tuesday. Diplomatic sources in Riyadh said that the overall casualties due to the attacks on three residential compounds housing foreign workers and a Saudi-US commercial establishment late on Monday last night could be about 100. "Right now it seems as if we have lost 10 Americans and many other lives were lost from many other nationalities," Powell said on his arrival in Riyadh on a scheduled visit from Jordan. Reports reaching here said among the dead were a 39-year-old Australian, three Saudis, including son of Riyadh's Deputy Governor Abdullah al-Balaihed, a Palestiniao-born Labenese man, a Palestinian-American…"

Monday  5/12/03

topVenezuela aprueba inversión millonaria  5/12/03 BBC Mundo: "El gobierno de Venezuela firmó un contrato por 160 millones de dólares con el consorcio francés Alstom Power, para la construcción de una nueva central hidroeléctrica al suroeste del país."

Al-Qaida: The Americans Are Acting As We Planned  5/12/03 Jihad Unspun: "Ben Qaiss added that al-Qaida does not care about such news about the Americans discovering new plans for Al-Qaida or arresting leaders of Al-Qaida, simply because "the Americans are proceeding in the direction that we drew for them even before the 11th of September." "

Taliban Operations Rage On With A Venegence  5/12/03 Jihad Unspun: "In another event, Taliban Mujahideen assassinated a close friend of Hamid Karzai in the province of Rozgan. The deceased was identified as Molvi Abdullah, who was the local imam for the mosque. In yet another incident of the resurgence of the guerilla jihad promised by Taliban, unknown assailants stopped 3 vehicles belonging to the Afghan government and killed 3 of the Afghans who were working with the Americans."

Graham Alleges a 9/11 'Coverup'  5/12/03 LA Times: "Sen. Bob Graham on Sunday accused the Bush administration of engaging in a "coverup" of intelligence failures before and after the Sept. 11 attacks to shield it from embarrassment, and said the war with Iraq has allowed Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups to become a greater threat to Americans than ever before. Graham, a presidential candidate and former chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, also accused the administration of jeopardizing the safety of Americans by blocking the release of a landmark congressional report on the government failures that preceded the attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon. The Florida Democrat said the White House has withheld from the public important information about the continued existence of terrorist cells in the United States — including some with ties to foreign governments that the U.S. has been afraid to go after."

Jayson Blair Cracked the Code - The Young Plagiarizer Beat the New York Times at its Own Game  5/12/03 NarcoNews 

U.S. Overhauls Administration to Govern Iraq  5/12/03 NYT: "Officials said the impetus for the overhaul stems in part from urgent warnings that the escalating violence and a breakdown of civil order are already paralyzing the effort to rebuild Iraq. "Unless we do something in the near future, it is likely to blow up in our face," one official said." - it will blow up anyway, bub.

"There is one safeguard known generally to the wise, which is an advantage and security to all, but especially to Democracies as against despots: suspicion." -- Demosthenes

Maps & Weather

A number of maps here

Estimates of the total number of Muslims range from 0.7 to 1.2 billion worldwide and 3 to 6 million in the U.S. About 20% of all people on earth follow Islam. The religion is in a period of rapid growth.

Christianity is currently the largest religion in the world. It is followed by about 33% of all people -- a percentage that has remaind stable for decades. It is expected that, if current trends continue, Islam will become the most popular religion sometime in the mid-21st century.


Death from Americatop

Iraq news: Soaring death rates among Iraqi children, 1999 BBC, UNICEF 500,000 child deaths

Ramsey Clark: Report to UN Security Council re: Iraq, 1/26/2000
1.5 million deaths

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