Intrnational Agencies News
Maps of interest
East Asia Watch
News Headlines & Trends
03.05.05 US attack against Italians in Baghdad was deliberate: companion
ROME, March 5 The companion of freed Italian journalist Giuliana Sgrena on Saturday leveled serious accusations at US troops who fired at her convoy as it was nearing Baghdad airport, saying the shooting had been deliberate. "The Americans and Italians knew about (her) car coming," Pier Scolari said on leaving Rome's Celio military hospital where Sgrena is to undergo surgery following her return home. "They were 700 meters (yards) from the airport, which means that they had passed all checkpoints." The shooting late Friday was witnessed by Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's office which was on the phone with one of the secret service agents, said Scolari. "Then the US military silenced the cellphones," he charged. [More>>turkishpress.com]
03.05.05 Angry Iraqis denounce insurgent attacks
March 5 As more people lose loved ones to relentless violence, Iraqis have become increasingly vocal in their criticism of the insurgency, even staging a rare public demonstration condemning militants as terrorists after a deadly car bombing. While it may be too early to say public opinion has shifted, one thing is clear: Many Iraqis have grown tired of two years of constant insecurity, and some are directing their anger at insurgents for the first time. [More>>dailystar.com.lb]
03.05.05 Murder in the Ukraine now the ex-minister is suspect
March 5 We followed the transfer of power in the Ukraine, witnessing the poisoning of candidate and later President Viktor Yushchenko. This is more complicated than Agatha Christi's "Murder on the Orient Express," or the Bush administration attack on Iraq.
03.05.05 China stands up for North Korean concerns in nuclear talks
BEIJING, March 5 Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing said on Sunday the six party talks on North Korea¹s nuclear ambitions were the only realistic way to resolve the ³complex² issue and urged all parties to consider Pyongyang¹s concerns.
03.05.05 China stands up for North Korean concerns in nuclear talks
BEIRUT, Lebanon, March 5 Syrian President Bashar Assad on Saturday announced a phased withdrawal of Syrian forces from Lebanon, drawing the immediate ire of U.S. officials, who had called for a complete and immediate evacuation of Syrian soldiers and agents from the country they have come to dominate.
03.05.05 Pakistan army kills foreigners in Waziristan
MIRALI, Pakistan, March 5 Two foreign militants were killed and 11 men, including two to four foreigners, were captured in a raid on a hideout in a border village in North Waziristan in early hours on Saturday. A Pakistan Army soldier sustained injuries in the operation.
03.04.05 Syria to pull out: Minister
BEIRUT, March 5 Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is due to announce tomorrow a partial pullback of troops into the eastern Lebanese Bekaa valley in less than three weeks, a minister in the outgoing Lebanese government said. But the minister said Syria was seeking "guarantees" before announcing a complete withdrawal of troops stationed in Lebanon as demanded by the international community. "We expect an announcement for a pullback into the Bekaa before the Arab summit" due to take place on March 23 in Algeria, the minister, who declined to be named, told AFP. [More>>theaustralian.news.com; in a separate story posted by Reuters March 4 11:33am, President Bush on Friday demanded Syria's complete withdrawal from Lebanon. "When we say withdraw we mean complete withdrawal -- no half-hearted measures," Bush said at an event in New Jersey promoting his Social Security plan. His comments followed reports that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was expected to announce on Saturday a partial pullout of troops from Lebanon, with some leaving completely and the rest redeploying close to the border. [More>>reuters.com]
03.04.05 Syria to soon unveil its plan for Lebanon troop pullout
MOSCOW, March 4 (AFP) A top Syrian official on a visit to Russia said that Damascus would soon unveil a plan for withdrawing its troops from Lebanon, and indicated that the scheme had met with approval from Beirut. "I brought with me a certain Syrian plan," Deputy Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallim said Friday after talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. "I think that you will soon hear about this plan, about an agreement between Syria and Lebanon." [More>>turkishpress.com; See latimes.com earlier report, "Saudis join growing call for Syria to pull out of Lebanon."
03.04.05 China warns Taiwan, eyes defense budget hike on eve of meeting
March 5 China said Friday it will not tolerate Taiwan independence but will do its best to seek a peaceful reunification with the self-ruled island, and announced a 12.6 percent defense budget hike for 2005 on the eve of the country's annual legislative session Former President Jiang Zemin, meanwhile, requested his resignation from his last remaining government post, chairmanship of the state Central Military Commission, a move that will complete the transition of power to President Hu Jintao. The Taiwan issue, defense spending and the emergence of Hu as China's paramount leader are expected to figure high on the agenda of the annual session of the National People's Congress, which opens Saturday and will run through March 14. [More>>kyodo.co.jp] see also CRI online]
03.04.05 Zarqawi rallies Iraqi rebels thanks to Al-Qaeda and the US
BAGHDAD, March 4 Jordanian Islamist Abu Musab Zarqawi has rallied the insurgency in Iraq thanks to his endorsement by Al-Qaeda and demonization by the U.S. For several months, most claims of attacks carried out by the insurgency, dominated by supporters of the former Baathist regime, have been issued by groups purportedly linked to Zarqawi's network, formerly known as Tawhid wal Jihad (Unity and Holy War), Iraqi and U.S. officials said.
03.04.05 Senator Dianne Feinstein, "Reconstruction in Iraq"
San Francisco, March 4 Senator Feinstein's response to Maravot News inquiry on reconstruction issues in Iraq, with regard to possible congressional conflicts of interest and profiteering:
03.04.05 China accuses US of human rights violations, tells Washington to clean up its own act
March 3 China accused the United States of serious human rights violations and told Washington to clean up its own act before "wantonly trampling on the sovereignty of other countries." In its annual Human Rights Record of the United States, China hit out at the "atrocity" of US troops in Iraq and criticised the Bush administration for failing to deal with poverty, racial discrimination and crime at home. It was published just days after the US released its own annual human rights report, which accused China of muting dissent, suppressing religious rights and restricting freedom of speech. [More>>chinadaily.com.cn]
03.04.05 Philippine Military seeks sanctions on media interviewing terrorists
March 4 The [Philippine] military is proposing sanctions for media entities or personalities that will interview known terrorists or terrorist groups, Armed Forces Deputy Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Edilberto Adan said Friday.
03.04.05 Disease running rampant in Indonesian camps
March 4 More than 7500 Indonesians who fled Malaysia before a government crackdown on illegal workers are living in squatter camps on a border island where respiratory diseases and malaria are rife, officials say. Most were waiting on Indonesia's Nunaken island, which is just south of Malaysia's Sabah state, for permission to return to Malaysia to work legally. In 2002, the last time Malaysia launched a crackdown on illegal workers, about 25,000 Indonesians crowded on to the island.
03.04.05 Tsunami exposes Somalia toxic waste
March 4 Toxic waste washed on to Somali's coastline by December's tsunami has spawned diseases bearing symptoms of radioactive exposure in villagers along the shore, the UNEP has said. Citing initial reports, the UN Environment Programme spokesman Nick Nuttall on Friday that "there are indications that hazardous waste, radioactive waste, chemical waste and other substances [in containers] which have been dumped on the Somali coastline, were damaged by the tsunami." United Nations officials said the deadly tidal waves, which originated off Indonesia on 26 December, possibly damaged the containers in northern Somalia and spilled the waste, causing it to spread, leading to diseases. [More>>Al-Jezeera]
03.04.05 EU's continuous complaining increasing Iranians distrust
TEHRAN, Mar. 4 (MNA) An Iranian nuclear official said on Friday that the recent report of Pierre Goldschmidt, the deputy director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and head of the Department of Safeguards in the United Nations, is unfair, unreal, and a mixture of true and false information, adding that the publication of the report would be an explicit violation of IAEA regulations. Speaking on condition of anonymity, he told the Mehr News Agency that all this complaining will certainly increase Iranians¹ distrust of the Europeans and the IAEA, and added that if the criticism continues, the negotiations will reach a dead end. [More>>mehrnews.ir]
03.04.05 Abbas seeks Egypt's help to press Israel into honoring commitments
March 4 Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas asked Egypt on Thursday to press Israel to carry out the commitments it made at a peace summit last month, the Egyptian presidential spokesman said. Abbas also said he expects the Palestinian groups Islamic Jihad and Hamas to take part in a meeting of Palestinian factions planned for mid-March in Cairo. [More>>dailystar.com.lb]
03.04.05 Al-Qaeda launches Net magazine for jihad
BAGHDAD, March 4 A new online magazine purportedly posted by al-Qaeda's affiliate in Iraq has launched an effort to recruit Muslims to rid Iraq of Americans and their Iraqi partners. The colourful, well-designed magazine is named Zurwatal-Sanam, Arabic for "the tip of the camel's hump" a reference among Islamic militants to "the epitome of belief and virtuous activity."
03.04.05 Egypt to sell shares in state oil firms
CAIRO, March 3 Egypt said Wednesday it plans to sell off shares in state oil firms as part of its privatization program and efforts to attract foreign investment and enhance performance. The process will begin by selling stakes in the Alexandria Mineral Oils Co. (AMOC) and the Sidi Krir Company for Petrochemicals, Investment Minister Mahmoud Mohieddin was quoted by the official MENA news agency as saying.
03.04.05 Venezuela looks at partnering India oil sector
NEW DELHI, March 4 (IANS) Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez Frias Friday expressed keenness to firm up long-term oil supply contracts with India, while supporting two-way flow of investment in exploration and refining. Day long deliberations between the two sides at various levels saw firm moves for cooperation that would see India getting a stake in a Venezuelan discovered oil field, while the Venezuelan national oil company is expected to take an equity stake in state-owned Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd. (MRPL).
03.04.05 France to hold referendum on UN Constitution May 29
March 4 (Media reports) France is to hold its referendum whether to adopt the European Union constitution on May 29, officials from President Jacques Chirac's office said in a statement Friday. All 25 countries of the EU must approve the constitution before it goes into effect, and France's acceptance is critical.
03.04.05 Venezuela President in India, threatens US
NEW DELHI, March 4 Venezuela, the world's fifth largest oil exporter, on Friday threatened to stop supplies to the United States of America if it "hurts" the Latin American countries. "If there is any aggression, there will be no oil," Venezuela President Hugo Chavez told reporters here. Venezuela supplies more than half of its exports to the US. "We want to supply oil to the US. We are not going to avoid this supply of oil unless [the] US government gets a little bit crazy and tries to hurt us," he said [More>>expressindia.com; see also Al-Jezeera]
03.04.05 Indian team to study oil prospects in Africa
NEW DELHI, March 4 (IANS) India has agreed to "rush" a team to some of the African countries in the next couple of weeks to study prospects for exploration and production as also the upgrading of refineries there. "We have agreed to rush a composite team to Chad and then to Niger in the next couple of weeks to lay the groundwork for a possible inter-governmental agreement," Petroleum Minister Mani Shankar Aiyar said here Friday. The team would later go to Congo to study both the exploration and production potential as also the possibility of refurbishing their refinery on the lines of the project being undertaken by India in Sudan. In the case of Ghana, where no oil has been found as yet, India would offer its expertise to carry out seismic surveys for hydrocarbon reserves, the minister said. [More>>eians.com]
03.04.05 New Zealand joins others in criticizing Bali bombing sentence
WELLINGTON (DPA) March 4 New Zealand Foreign Affairs Minister Phil Goff has followed the United States and Australia in criticizing the light sentence given to an Indonesian cleric for conspiring with the Bali bombers in 2002, news reports said on Friday. Goff said the two-and-a-half-year sentence handed down to Abu Bakar Ba'asyir was "unfortunate" and would leave many people dissatisfied, Radio New Zealand reported. Ba'asyir will likely be out of prison before the end of next year. [More>>thejakartapost.com]
03.04.05 Microsoft overcharges in Korea
March 4 Microsoft Corp. is overcharging Korean customers for its software, a government survey showed yesterday. The US-based software giant sells its Windows XP Pro software for $400.58 to Korean customers, 43 percent more than customers in the United States pay, said the Program Deliberation and Mediation Committee (PDMC), affiliated with the Ministry of Information and Communication. The panel found that 18 software programs, including those from Microsoft, sell in Korea at up to three times higher prices in the United States. As for its Office software, which includes word processing (Word) and spreadsheet (Excel) software, Microsoft charges Korean customers $557.33, compared with a retail price of $499 in the US. [More>>koreaherald.co.kr]
03.04.05 Ukraine's former Interior Minister found dead
KIEV, March 4 Ukraine¹s former Interior Minister Yuriy Kravchenko was found dead on Friday in an apparent suicide only hours before prosecutors were expected to grill him about the 2000 slaying of a journalist, dealing a significant blow to an investigation that could implicate former President Leonid Kuchma. Ukraine¹s President Viktor Yushchenko said Kravchenko¹s death could be linked to the investigation into the killing of Heorhiy Gongadze, an Internet journalist who wrote about top-level corruption under Kuchma. Interior Ministry spokeswoman Inna Kisel said Kravchenko¹s death ³appears to be a suicide.² Ukraine¹s TV5 reported that the 53-year-old former police official shot himself at his country residence in an exclusive neighborhood outside Kiev. [More>>khaleejtimes.com; See RIA Novosti..."He could not have committed suicide, says parliamentarian Taras Chornovil, as reported by the Novosti / Ukraine news agency. 'I knew Kravchenko a bit. He was not the man to take his own life-he had enough ways to quit, for instance, by leaving this country. Gongadze murder witnesses were in fatal danger. I suspected it even yesterday,' he reasons..." [More>>rian.ru]
03.04.05 Afghan government talking with Taliban
March 4 The Afghan government is reportedly talking to moderate Taliban supporters to bring them back into the mainstream of Afghan society. Afghan Counsel General Abdul Moqtadar Ferozenafar told a Wednesday briefing in Karachi there were people who supported the Taliban because they were the government, and not because they agreed with Taliban ideology. "We will welcome such people back into the mainstream and we are talking to them," he said.
03.04.05 Conjoined twins fight for life in Shanghai
SHANGHAI, March 4 This is the tragic tale of conjoined twins who share a heart. And the heroic efforts of doctors at a city hospital to separate them. The boys, Lu Dongfei and Lu Dongxiang, were abandoned in December several days after their birth in Hefei, capital of East China's Anhui Province, because of this rural family's financial difficulties. Their mother, 22-year-old Huang Baojing, who was severely ill after giving birth, did not know about them until February 28, according to reports. The conjoined twins were accepted by Hefei Welfare Institute and doctors in Anhui Provincial Children's Hospital diagnosed the life-threatening malformation in their shared heart...doctors said twins sharing a heart is much more rare; and could perhaps be the first reported case in the world.
03.04.05 US asks Thailand to hold trials on world's first avian flu vaccine
March 4 The United States has asked Thailand to hold trials of the world's first human vaccine against avian flu, the director-general of the Medical Sciences Department, Paijit Warachit, said yesterday. The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention in Washington had developed the vaccine against the H5N1 strain of bird flu which has killed scores of people across Asia.
03.04.05 Rains, snowfall kill 500 in Pakistan's North West Frontier Province
ISLAMABAD, March 4 (PTI) At least 500 people were killed and 10,000 houses damaged in Pakistan's North West Frontier Province (NWFP) during recent rains and heavy snowfall. This was stated by the medical officer of the World Health Organisation today... Saeed did not give any casualty figure in southwestern Balochistan province where reports said that in the last four days at least 20 people have killed and more than 25,000 displaced as torrential rains hit the province... Reports from Balochistan suggest that more than 25,000 people had to flee their homes in coastal towns. [More>>Press Trust of India]
03.03.05 Sun sets on Christo and Jeanne-Claude Gates
NEW YORK, March 2 Maravot News staff photographer and Jocelyne Anouilh took these photos of Christo's and Jeanne-Claude's Saffron Gates in New York, as the sun was setting on the last day of the two-week exhibit. This exhibit in New York's Central Park is unusual with regard to Christo's style. This appears to be the first of like compositions that includes people in the field of view. In the unusual view Central Park reverted to autumnal colors to match the saffron fabric of the gates. As the sun set the gates turned a reddish color and then disappeared into the darkened forest.
Mel Copeland[Press release from Christo]
The 5 inch (12,7 cm) square vertical and horizontal poles have been extruded in 60 miles (96,5 km.) of saffron colored vinyl. The vertical poles are secured by 15,000 narrow steel base footings, 613-837 pounds (278-380 kilograms) each, positioned on the paved surfaces. No holes were made in the ground.
One hundred fifty-one years ago the City of New York purchased a large piece of land and asked the two landscape architects, Mr. C. Vaux and Mr. F. Olmstead to design a public park.
The park is entirely man-made, all the trees had to be planted, soil was brought, there was only swamps and the rocks which had been pushed in by glaciers billions of years ago.
Mr. Vaux and Mr. Olmstead surrounded the park with a stone wall, leaving entrances to the park at each interruption in the wall, where a walkway starts, those entrances are called Gates.
Today, there are no gates at those entrances but Mr. Vaux and Mr.Olmstead had planned to install steel gates to lock the park at night.
The city hired a designer for those gates, but Mr. Olmstead disliked the complicated design and decided that there would be no closable gates, however the name gates remained. Many of those gates have names: Mariners Gate; Boys and Girls Gate; Artists Gate; Emigrants Gate; Explorers Gate; Inventors Gate...
The geometric grid pattern of the hundreds city blocks surrounding Central Park is reflected in the rectangular structure of the commanding and sculptural saffron colored vinyl poles, while the serpentine design of the walkways and the organic shape of the bare branches of the trees is mirrored in the continuously changing rounded and sensual movements of the free flowing fabric panels moving in the wind. [More>>christojeanneclaude.net]
02.17.05 China sees CIA warning 'on China's military efforts'
Feb. 17 The director of the US Central Intelligence Agency changed the tone of his predecessors in the annual assessment about China on Wednesday, warning China's military modernisation is tilting the balance of power in the Taiwan Strait and increasing the threat to US forces in the region.
02.16.05 Syria and Iran to form "common front"
02.19.05 'Dog-Deer' clan seen as common Chinese ancestor relates to European Paleolithic Lion-Deer
Launched: 10.25.04 / 11.02.04
Visitors since 10.25.04
Copyright © 1981-2005 Maravot. All rights reserved