Wednesday, November 30, 2005
A top Iranian official renewed Tehran's claim that it has a right to enrich uranium as part of its nuclear energy program, saying "no force" can stop it from doing so.
Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki"The enrichment of uranium is Iran's internal affair," Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said at a press conference during a visit to Azerbaijan. "It is the right of any state and no force can prevent the state from exercising this right," he added. His comments came a day after the European Union made an offer of new direct talks on the disputed nuclear programme which Washington believes Iran is using as a cover for nuclear weapons development. Tehran has denied that and Mottaki reiterated Tehran's assertion that its nuclear program was solely to produce energy, not arms. "We are against producing and storing nuclear weapons. Atomic weapons in the whole world should be destroyed," Mottaki said. Mattaki offered no comment on the EU proposal or a Russian initiative announced last week under which Moscow would conduct uranium enrichment -- a process which can make both nuclear fuel and the explosive core of a weapon -- on Iran's behalf. Iran broke an agreement signed a year ago to suspend uranium enrichment-related work by resuming conversion -- a precursor to ultra-sensitive enrichment work. But the International Atomic Energy Agency put off taking Iran to the Security Council over its nuclear ambitions to give it time to mull the Russian plan.
Tuesday, November 29, 2005
Peace Activists Kidnapped In Iraq
Al-Jazeera broadcast an insurgent video Tuesday showing four peace activists taken hostage in Iraq, with a previously unknown group claiming responsibility for the kidnappings.
The Swords of Righteousness Brigade said the four were spies working undercover as Christian peace activists, Al-Jazeera said. The station said it could not verify any of the information on the tape. The aid group Christian Peacemaker Teams has confirmed that four of its members were taken hostage Saturday. German TV broadcast photos Tuesday showing a blindfolded German woman being led away by armed captors in Iraq. Six Iranian pilgrims, meanwhile, were abducted by gunmen north of Baghdad. The pictures of Susanne Osthoff were taken from a video in which her captors demanded that Germany stop any dealings with Iraq's government, according to Germany's ARD television. Germany has ruled out sending troops to Iraq and opposed the U.S.-led war. Two U.S. soldiers assigned to Task Force Baghdad were killed when their patrol was hit by a roadside bomb north of the capital, the U.S. command said. At least 2,109 members of the U.S. military have died since the war began in March 2003, according to an Associated Press count. A suicide car bomber killed eight Iraqi soldiers and wounded five more when he drove into an army patrol Tuesday in Tarmiyah, 30 miles north of Baghdad, police Lt. Ali Hussein said. A U.S. Army medical helicopter helped evacuate the wounded, he added. President Bush told reporters in El Paso, Texas, he would make decisions about U.S. troop levels in Iraq based on the advice of his military commanders. "If they tell me the Iraqis are ready to take more and more responsibility and that we'll be able to bring some Americans home, I will do that," the president said. "It's their recommendation." Lt. Gen. Martin Dempsey, who manages the training of Iraqi security forces, told National Public Radio on Tuesday that 212,000 people in the police and army are trained and equipped, although he suggested that more needed to be done.
Friday, November 25, 2005
North Korea Getting More Dependent On China
North Korea is becoming increasingly dependent on China in a development that could weaken inter-Korean cooperation, the National Intelligence Service told lawmakers Thursday. The NIS said Beijing is prodding Pyongyang to open its economy, saying it can offer more support when that happens. It said North Korean and Chinese officials frequently inspect each other’s military and economic facilities.
The NIS said North Korean leader Kim Jong-il appeared unusually often in public this year, especially at economic and military functions. An NIS official said Kim replaced older aides with a new generation to consolidate his regime. NIS data show that China’s investment in North Korea increased from US$50 million last year to $88 million this year, mainly in the mining, fisheries and construction materials industries so it can easily recoup its investment. The North’s economic dependence on the world’s most populous country deepened as a result. Trade volume between the two countries was $1.18 billion in the first nine months this year, up 32.9 percent from $895 million in the same period last year. The North’s trade with China accounted for 48 percent of its entire trade volume. But Pyongyang’s import of food from China dropped from 61 percent in 1994 to 22 percent last year, thanks to aid from South Korea and the international community.
Monday, November 21, 2005
Due to computer & internet problems my blogs will TEMPORARY be out of commission. I hope to have all the bugs worked out early this week
Wednesday, November 16, 2005
Influential Filipino Muslim Killed In Ambush
Unidentified gunmen yesterday killed an influential Muslim politician and four of his bodyguards in an ambush in the southern Philippine city of Pagadian.
Sultan Abdul MarcabanPolice said Councilor Sultan Abdul Marcaban and four soldiers were killed in the attack near the village of Tiguma. Marcaban was on a private vehicle when gunmen, who were on a van, opened fire with automatic weapons, a police report said. Pagadian City Mayor Samuel Co said investigators were still looking into a possible motive of the killing. Marcaban, a philanthropist, was a former president of Federation of Barangay Seaweeds Planters’ Association and headed the Association of Barangay Chairmen in Pagadian City at the time of his death. Marcaban belonged to one of the most influential and respected clans in the southern Philippines and a government supporter. In December, unidentified gunmen also ambushed and wounded Marcaban and his two bodyguards in the village of Tawagan Sur.
Tuesday, November 15, 2005
Jordan To Fast-Track New Anti-Terror Law
Jordan is to fast track tough new security measures in the wake of last week's suicide attacks against three Amman hotels that cost the lives of 58 people, Interior Minister Awni Yervas. The new anti-terror law "will be based on the British law and some laws from Arab countries," Yervas told journalists, without elaborating, adding that a committee has been convened to draw it up. "A new law was already being worked on after the Aqaba attack in August, but the government has (now) decided to give it an urgent priority," he said.
Monday, November 14, 2005
A World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc., wrestler was found dead in his hotel room in Minneapolis on Sunday morning.
Al-Qaeda Calls Queen Elizabeth An ‘Enemy Of Islam’
Al-Qaeda has threatened the Queen by naming her as “one of the severest enemies of Islam” in a video message to justify the July bombings in London. The warning has been passed by MI5 to the Queen’s protection team after it obtained the unexpurgated version of a video issued by Al-Qaeda after the 7/7 attacks. Parts of it were broadcast on Al-Jazeera, the Arabic satellite channel.
Queen Elizabeth IIIn the video, Ayman al- Zawahiri, second-in-command to Osama Bin Laden, targets the Queen as ultimately responsible for Britain’s “crusader laws” and denounces her as an enemy of Muslims. A senior Whitehall official said: “MI5 is aware that there are some pieces of that video that have not been aired. They are aware of the bit of al- Zawahiri talking about the Queen and they have notified the relevant authorities.” Reporters have obtained the full 27-minute video, which is circulating on secure jihadist websites in the Middle East used to recruit and inflame prospective terrorists. In Britain it has been posted by Muhammad al-Massari, the London-based Saudi extremist, on his website Tajdeed. It also contains inflammatory material from Mohammad Sidique Khan, ringleader of the London bombings which killed 52 commuters. He is urging Muslims to take part in jihad and seek martyrdom. Khan, 30, incites British Muslims to ignore the moderate Islamic leaders who want integration with British society. “Our so-called scholars of today,” he said, “are content with their Toyotas and semi- detached houses” in their desire for integration. The message is believed to be the first of its kind in which a British suicide bomber calls on fellow UK Muslims to follow his example. The attack by al-Zawahiri prompted intelligence officers to alert Buckingham Palace that the Queen had become a specific target of Al-Qaeda. Her security had already been upgraded after September 11, 2001. In the video al-Zawahiri not only labels the Queen as one of Islam’s “severest enemies” but also sends a warning shot to British Islamic leaders who “work for the pleasure of Elizabeth, the head of the Church of England”. He said those who followed her were saying: “We are British citizens, subject to Britain’s crusader laws, and we are proud of our submission . . . to Elizabeth, head of the Church of England.” In a possible reference to the role of the Muslim Council of Britain, which had issued instructions to mosques to inform on potential terrorists, he criticised “those who issue fatwas, according to the school of thought of the head of the Church of England”. In the previously unseen footage, Khan, from Dewsbury in West Yorkshire, said: “It is very clear, brothers and sisters, that the path of jihad and the desire for martyrdom is embedded in the holy prophet and his beloved companions. “By preparing ourselves for this kind of work, we are guaranteeing ourselves for paradise and gaining the pleasure of Allah. “And by turning our back on this work, we are guaranteeing ourselves humiliation and the anger of Allah. Jihad is an obligation on every single one of us, men and women.” Khan’s message was condemned by Sir Iqbal Sacranie, the Muslim Council’s secretary-general, as a “perverse interpretation of Islam”. “The victims of Sidique Khan were innocent people . . . It’s clearly inciteful. It’s trying to incite people to commit murder,” he said.
Friday, November 11, 2005
Japan Leans Toward Pulling All Troops From Iraq By September
Japan's exit policy in Samawah is pointing toward a complete troop withdrawal by September, when Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi is scheduled to step down as the nation's leader, sources said Friday.
The U.S.-led multinational force in Iraq has been asked to remain in the country for a limited period of about three months after the new Iraqi administration kicks off, likely at the end of this year. Tokyo concluded that pulling the Ground Self-Defense Force out of Iraq after the three-month period would be possible, the sources said. If the withdrawal plan is given the official green light, the GSDF troops could start returning home in the first half of next year. Koizumi "intends to seek closure while he is still in office because he is the one who decided to dispatch the SDF troops," a government official said. Japan has stationed ground troops in Samawah, southern Iraq, since early 2004. Their humanitarian mission is scheduled to end on Dec. 14, but Koizumi is expected to extend it by six months to a year. Currently, about 500 troops are in the city. The government also intends to continue and even expand the Air SDF's transportation support duties after the withdrawal of the ground forces from the war-torn country, the sources said. The ASDF currently transports humanitarian goods and U.S. military supplies between Kuwait and southern Iraq. "The transportation needs of materials related to U.S. troops still remain high," a senior Defense Agency official said. The ASDF might later increase its transport routes to cover other points in Iraq. The ASDF may also start flying between Kuwait and Qatar, where the U.S. central command is located, the sources said. The GSDF's support activities in Samawah include restoring public facilities such as schools and supplying water for residents. The government believes the GSDF has performed its role in supporting Iraq, the sources said. For example, water purifiers were installed in February this year using Japan's official development assistance. A senior Defense Agency official said, "Since the GSDF's activities are not directly linked with security duties, other countries' operations won't be influenced even if the troops are pulled out." Some government officials speculate that Britain and Australia, whose militaries are in charge of security in southern Iraq, are considering withdrawing their troops. For that reason, Japan will decide the timing of its own withdrawal through discussions with the United States, Britain, and Australia, the sources said. "When the new Iraqi administration is stabilized, even the U.S. would accept the withdrawal of the GSDF," a government official said. Iraq approved its new Constitution in October and is expected to hold a general election on Dec. 15, enabling the country to launch the new official administration later that month. The provisional Iraqi government said two to three months would be needed to see if public safety can be secured after the new government takes shape, a Japanese government official said. Tokyo speculates the GSDF withdrawal would take about three months to complete. "We could take about three months to pull out starting from June," a former foreign minister said. The basic plan that regulates the contents of SDF activities based on Law Concerning the Special Measures on Humanitarian and Reconstruction Assistance in Iraq will expire on Dec. 14. The government is set to extend the basic plan, but Koizumi's announcement of the decision will likely be delayed until December. Some officials have suggested an extension of one year in light of a decision by the United Nations Security Council allowing the multinational force to remain in Iraq until the end of 2006. If the six-month extension is decided, it would be legally acceptable for some GSDF troops to stay in Iraq until September, as long as they start pulling out within the half-year period.
Wednesday, November 09, 2005
Rep. Duncan Hunter's Bill Proposes 2,000 Mile Fence
U.S. Rep. Duncan Hunter, who chairs the Armed Services Committee in the House of Representatives, hopes to win enough support to pass a bill in Congress.
U.S. Rep. Duncan HunterThe U.S. Republican is pushing for the construction of a 2,000-mile fence along the entire length of the U.S.-Mexico border. More than one million Mexicans are stopped from entering the U.S. each year to seek work. The fence would be surrounded by a new border buffer zone to the north and would be studded with 25 new official points of entry along its route. "Illegal aliens continue to funnel directly into many of our local communities and adversely impact our way of life," said Mr Hunter, a California congressman.
Chai Vang Gets Life, No Possiblity Of Parole
A Hmong immigrant convicted of murdering six deer hunters and attempting to kill two others after a dispute over trespassing in northwestern Wisconsin was sentenced to life in prison Tuesday with no chance for parole.
Chai VangJudge Norman Yackel ordered Chai Soua Vang, 37, to serve six life prison terms, one after the other, guaranteeing he would never be freed from prison. Wisconsin does not have a death penalty. Yackel described Vang as a "time bomb ready to go off" at the slightest provocation. "These crimes are not isolated acts, but a pattern of anti-social conduct," the judge said. Vang, a truck driver from St. Paul, Minn., was convicted of six counts of first-degree intentional homicide and three counts of attempted homicide in the Nov. 21 slayings on private hunting land south of Hayward. The homicide charges carry a mandatory sentence of life in prison, but Yackel could have set a parole eligibility date for Vang. The judge also sentenced Vang to three concurrent terms of 40 years in prison on the attempted homicide charges. A jury deliberated 3½ hours Sept. 16 before finding Vang guilty following a six-day trial, agreeing with prosecutors that Vang gunned down the hunters in a rampage. Vang testified he shot in self-defense after one hunter angrily shouted profanities at him and used racial slurs before another fired at him. The murders, on the second day of the gun deer season, rocked the northwoods - four of the victims were shot in the back, two as they tried to run away and two as they rode out an all-terrain vehicle to help. All but one were unarmed. The slayings also exposed racial tension between the predominantly white northwoods and Hmong people who have immigrated to the Midwest. Attorney General Peg Lautenschlager sought the maximum sentence for Vang, a father of seven children. She argued Vang would kill again unless he was locked up for the rest of his life, given his "explosive temperament" and lack of true remorse or regret. According to trial testimony, Vang said he got lost, went into a tree stand on the private land and was asked by another hunter, Terry Willers, to leave. Vang said he apologized and started walking away. Other companions of Willers arrived, and there was an angry verbal confrontation and threats to report Vang to game wardens for trespassing. Vang testified the white hunters used racial slurs and profanity before Willers fired the first shot as Vang walked away. Willers and the other wounded hunter, Lauren Hesebeck, said no one in their group pointed a gun at Vang before he opened fire. Willers and Hesebeck indicated only one shot was fired at Vang - by Hesebeck, who was already wounded and some of his friends lay mortally wounded on the ground. Vang was convicted of killing Robert Crotteau, his son Joey Crotteau, Denny Drew, Allan Laski, Jessica Willers and Mark Roidt, all from the Rice Lake area. All were relatives and friends who gathered to hunt from the Crotteaus' cabin near Exeland. Yackel also sentenced Vang to 40 years in prison for the attempted homicide charges.
Monday, November 07, 2005
Escapee Charles Victor Thompson Captured In Shreveport, La.
A death row inmate who slipped out of a Texas jail wearing street clothes was captured tonight in Shreveport, La., the U.S. Marshals Service said.
Charles Victor ThompsonMarianne Matus, a Marshals spokeswoman in Houston, confirmed tonight that convicted killer Charles Victor Thompson was in custody. No details about how authorities found him were immediately released, but Matus had said earlier in the day that they had received valuable tips about his possible whereabouts. A $10,000 reward had been offered for information leading to his capture. Thompson, 35, had been convicted in 1999 for the shooting deaths a year earlier of his ex-girlfriend, Dennise Hayslip and her new boyfriend, Darren Keith Cain. An appeals court threw out his sentence, but on Oct. 28, another jury sentenced him to death. On Thursday, he was in the Harris County Jail awaiting transfer to a state prison when he was taken to a room for a meeting with an attorney, though not his attorney of record, authorities said. After the attorney left, Thompson was alone. Somehow, he removed his handcuffs, changed out of his bright orange prison jumpsuit into the clothes he wore during his sentencing, and got out of the prisoner's booth in the visiting room, authorities said. Using a falsified ID badge, he got past at least four jail employees and walked out of the building. Sheriff's spokesman Lt. John Martin said Friday that Thompson's escape resulted from ``multiple errors'' by jail personnel. The escape frightened his victim's relatives, who were notified by authorities and given police protection. Prosecutors had earlier accused Thompson of trying to hire hit men to kill witnesses against him, as well as members of Hayslip's family.
Obviously Uneducated Filipino Activists Want U.S. Military Out
Foolish activists called Friday for the scrapping of an agreement allowing joint exercises between Philippine and U.S. troops after a Filipino woman CLAIMED she was raped by six Marines.
A ignorant protester raises a clenched fist in anger over the treatment of a Filipino woman who "CLAIMS" she was raped by six U.S. Marines.Five of the six accused — part of a contingent that took part in recent joint counterterrorism exercises — have been barred from leaving the country. Authorities have been unable to identify the sixth suspect. The alleged attack occurred Tuesday at the former Subic U.S Navy base near Manila. On Friday, about 30 activists from the League of Filipino Students and women's rights group Gabriela marched through Manila with placards reading "U.S troops out now!" Police stopped them before they reached the U.S. Embassy. President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo has instructed officials "to ensure that justice is done and that the proper procedure and provisions (of the accord) are properly followed and observed," Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita said. Philippine Foreign Secretary Alberto Romulo described the alleged gang rape as a "heinous crime" and said the U.S. Embassy has pledged to cooperate in the investigation. Rep. Satur Ocampo of the left-wing Bayan Muna party said in a statement that more such abuses would occur if the U.S. military remains in the Philippines. He called for the Visiting Forces Agreement to be abolished. The accord spells out the privileges and obligations of American troops in the Philippines. Under the agreement, judicial proceedings must be completed within a year. After that, the U.S. government, which maintains custody of the Marines, would not be obligated to turn them over for proceedings. Foreign Undersecretary Zosimo Paredes said the proceedings would "be expedited so that we will not go beyond the one-year period." "There will be no whitewash," he added. A complaint of rape has been filed against the five Marines in Olongapo city, near Subic and located 50 miles west of Manila. They have yet to be charged in a court. The state prosecutor will determine if there is sufficient evidence for any of them to be indicted, said Raymond Viray, an assistant prosecutor. U.S. Embassy spokesman Matthew Lussenhop said U.S. authorities are involved in the investigation, but refused to identify the five Marines or their unit. Rep. Ruffy Biazon said the allegations against the Marines "will be a test of U.S. sincerity and respect for Philippine law," but added that the incident should not hinder joint counterterrorism efforts. Gang rape is punishable by life imprisonment or death. Washington and Manila negotiated the Visiting Forces Agreement following the 1992 closure of all permanent U.S. military bases, which are banned under the Philippine Constitution.
Saturday, November 05, 2005
Trash Linked To Vikings Sex Boat Party
Friday, November 04, 2005
United States Understands Israeli Action
The United States declined to criticize Israeli raids on Palestinian territories and called on the Palestinian leadership to take action against militants.
Sean McCormack, National Security Council SpokesmanState Department spokesman Sean McCormack said: “We urge the Palestinian Authority to take action.” Mr McCormack said the United States wants the Palestinian leadership ‘to take actions, to stop terror and to dismantle those terrorist networks’. He added: “We certainly understand Israel’s right and need to defend itself. We understand that, in any democratic society, that people look to their government to protect them. “What we do in our public statements as well as our private diplomatic communications is we urge Israel, in taking steps to defend themselves, to consider the consequences of their actions on the overall goal that all share. “And that is moving toward two states living side by side in peace and security — re-energizing the roadmap” to Middle East peace. The spokesman said the United States and others had tried to help the Palestinian Authority ‘to build up their security force capabilities, and they have made great progress. So we encourage them to live up to their obligations’.
Thursday, November 03, 2005
Philippines On Alert For Terrorist Retaliatory Attacks
The Philippine National Police on Thursday placed its antiterrorism operatives on heightened alert following a report that the jihadist Rajah Solaiman Movement would launch attacks in Metro Manila in reprisal for the arrest of RSM founder Hilarion del Rosario, alias Ahmad Santos.
Filipino soldiers escort Hilarion Del Rosario Santos, center, leader of the jihadist Rajah Solaiman MovementDirector Vidal Querol, Metro Manila police chief, said he has ordered the antiterror task force, led by Senior Supt. Federico Laciste, to remain vigilant against possible terrorist attacks. “That's why every now and then I ask for community involvement. We have to develop the national culture of vigilance,” Querol told DZMM. Military intelligence officials earlier revealed that they had lost track of suspected Islamic extremist Tyrone Dawud Santos who was released on bail last April. Santos, brother of RSM founder Ahmad Santos, was arrested in Cubao, Quezon City, in March on a charge of gun possession and was implicated in a plot to bomb a club in Malate, Manila, during Holy Week. He was freed on bail a month later. Rear Adm. Tirso Danga, Armed Forces deputy chief of staff for Intelligence (J-2), said the AFP had been keeping Santos under constant surveillance since his release but “that he dropped from the screen” sometime last week. His “disappearance” coincided with the arrest of Ahmad Santos in Zamboanga City. Danga warned that he had received information that Dawud Santos was contacting suspected bombers in Metro Manila. "Based on our report, (Dawud) has been talking to some bombers in Metro Manila...Because we caught their leader and several followers, it will be the people who will get hurt if they decided to retaliate," he said. He added that Indonesian fugitives wanted for the deadly 2002 Bali bombings also financed the plot to bomb a Malate nightclub. A military intelligence operative who asked not to be named said the pair, Dulmatin and Omar Patek, gave the Santos group P250,000 (about $4,562) to bomb a Malate nightclub in March. "It was used for the purchase of the chemicals to be used," said the official. He said Hilarion del Rosario revealed the Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) link under military questioning after his arrest last month. Military intelligence officials earlier said the two JI agents may have been sheltered by Filipino Islamic militant allies in Mindanao. The United States has offered an 11-million-dollar reward for information leading to their capture. Dulmatin and Patek are also being sought by Indonesia for the October 2002 bombings in the tourist resort of Bali that claimed 202 lives.