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kilometer: 0.6214 mile
meter: 39.37 inches
centimetre: 0.3937 inch
millimetre: 0.03937 inch
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Federal Debt vs GDP– Click image for larger view. (OMB)

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.

Interest exceeds Group A outlays. Click chart for larger image.

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Osama bin Laden fatwas.
This monster's own words will
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Definition of fatwa (fatwah)
Maravot News Comment


August 1996

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

Israel's Security Fence. Click on image for larger view.

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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

Duty & Profit, Nov. 1994
Against Leviathan, Jan. 1993
Immoral Coercion, Dec. 1994
Philistia Triumph thou
because of me
, Dec. 1993

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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>>]

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>>]

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.

Today we are told, "Ukraine's former interior minister was found dead of an apparent suicide hours before he was due to be questioned over a murder of an opposition reporter, as the investigation of the gruesome killing lapped at other senior members of the former regime. Yury Kravchenko was found dead early Friday at his home in the elite village of Konche Zaspa outside Kiev, apparently from a gunshot wound, hours before he was due to appear at the prosecutor's office over the 2000 murder of Georgy Gongadze...Gongadze, who had been frequently critical of former president Leonid Kuchma in articles in his Internet newspaper, Ukrainska Pravda, disappeared in September 2000 and his headless body was found in woods outside Kiev two months later. Gongadze's killing triggered widespread opposition to the government that culminated with last year's "orange revolution" protests that brought Yushchenko – a Kuchma opponent who nearly died from poisoning during the election campaign -- to power. His murder became a symbol of corruption in the ousted regime of Kuchma after several top officials, including the president himself, were implicated in the slaying in tapes smuggled out of the country by Kuchma's former bodyguard.

On Friday Communist lawmaker Igor Alekseyev told parliament that his party was calling for Kuchma's arrest as "the main figure of the criminal policies of the past decade."

..."The former regime protected the assassins," Yushchenko said.

Kuchma was accused of involvement in the notorious murder after his former bodyguard, Mykola Melnichenko, released tapes that seemed to implicate the former president..."

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.

³China pursues the objective of a nuclear-weapons-free, peaceful and stable Korean peninsula. At the same time we also believe the legitimate concerns of the DPRK (North Korea) should be addressed,² Li told a press conference on the sidelines of the ongoing National People¹s Congress.

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.

Speaking to the Syrian parliament in Damascus, a defiant Assad seemed determined to display Syrian imperviousness to foreign pressure, refusing to say how soon the soldiers would pull out. The troops first would move to the Bekaa Valley, a strip of villages and farmlands near the Syrian border, the president said. Then the Syrians and Lebanese would negotiate a move to the frontier between the two countries, but Assad didn't say which side of the border they would occupy.

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.

Tribal sources said the two persons, including a local woman, were injured when the troops stormed the house used as hideout in the Dewgar Saidgai village near Pakistan¹s border with Afghanistan. The woman belonged to the family of one Ghazal, a Pakistani tribesman who owned the house and was captured along with the other suspects.

There was sketchy information about the identity of those killed and captured in the military operation that involved Pakistan Army and paramilitary Frontier Corps troops. Some reports suggested the two men who were killed in action were foreigners, apparently belonging to an African Arab country such as the Sudan.

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>>; 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>>]

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>>; See 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>>] 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.

Zarqawi's name is a convenient tag for ousted President Saddam Hussein's Baath party and security-service veterans who want to disguise their involvement and gain popular support for their violence, the officials said...A sound criterion to determine the actual involvement of foreign fighters is suicide attacks. "The majority of suicide bombers are (non-Iraqi) Arabs," concurred General Kamal, citing specifically Saudis and Yemenis. "I don't have an exact number of how many of Zarqawi affiliates there are (in Iraq) but I would say those who have entered the country illegally are in the hundreds. That is according to information given by Arab terrorists detained in Iraq," he 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:

March 1

Thank you for writing to me about reconstruction in Iraq. I appreciate your letter and welcome the opportunity to respond. As Iraqis continue to recover from almost twenty-five years under the reign of Saddam Hussein, there are many factors that will affect their ability to build a viable market economy and new governing structure. The recent elections in Iraq are a step in the right direction and I am hopeful that all Iraqis, of every ethnic group and faith, will be able to participate in the political process of establishing a free and democratic Iraq. I firmly believe that the U.S. must work closely with the United Nations and our allies in the reconstruction of Iraq. On a larger basis, please know that I will continue to carefully monitor events in the Middle East and will do my best to ensure that U.S. policy is developed in the most fair and judicious manner. I appreciate knowing your views and will be sure to keep them in mind as the United States Senate considers our role in this important period for the Iraqi people.

Again, thank you for writing. I hope you will continue to keep me informed of your views and concerns...

Sincerely yours,

Dianne Feinstein
United States Senator

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>>]

Editorial note:
The Human Rights Record of the United States includes, "American society is characterized with rampant violent crimes, severe infringement of people's rights by law enforcement departments and lack of guarantee for people's rights to life, liberty and security of person.

Violent crimes pose a serious threat to people's lives. According to a report released by the Department of Justice of the United States on Nov. 29, 2004, in 2003 residents aged 12 and above in the United States experienced about 24 million victimizations, and there occurred 1,381,259 murders, robberies and other violent crimes, averaging 475 cases per 100,000 people. Among them there were 16,503 homicides, up 1.7 percent over 2002, or nearly six cases in every 100,000 residents, and one of every 44 Americans aged above 12 was victimized..."

China has a point in its argument. The United States is an extremely violent society. Recent violence in the San Francisco Bay included the murder of a 17-year-old boy on his way home. He was on his bicycle and shot in the back by kids driving by in a car. There was no reason for the killing. This and other recent events that are not gang related killings are taking American violence beyond the pale. That American violence is translated into military actions against other countries without UN approval is something to be addressed. In being admitted to the UN, members agree to not take independent military action intervening in the internal affairs of other nations. The Bush administration has held that convention in contempt and unfortunately the American people have chosen to be like their leader. As Cicero and Hobbes said, " A people tend to resemble their leaders."
Mel Copeland

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.

"Media stations who tolerate or allow known terrorists or terrorist organizations to use their facilities to air anti-people, anti-State sentiments and incite the people to rebel against the governmentŠwe are recommending stiffer penalties," Adan told reporters in Camp Aguinaldo...Adan was quick to clarify that the proposal was not meant to stifle press freedom.

"Let's distinguish legitimate grievances against governmentŠagainst certain personalities. Legitimate (grievances) should be allowed (and) that's part of press freedom but if the one speaking is already an identified terrorist group, identified with violence, murderersŠwhy will you allow them to speak," Adan said. [

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.

At least 30 died from diseases in the cramped and unsanitary conditions.

Local Indonesian Red Cross chief Mesdiono on Friday said about 7650 workers were living in 32 camps on the island. "We have treated around 4000 workers suffering from diseases ranging from diarrhoea, skin problems and respiratory illness to malaria," said Mesdiono.

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>>]

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>>]

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."

The inaugural 43-page issue was posted two days after al-Qaeda in Iraq, the group led by Jordanian terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, claimed responsibility for an attack on Monday against police and Army recruits that killed 125 people in Hillah, just south of Baghdad. The group has also said it was behind car bombings and attacks that killed 14 police officers on Wednesday.

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.

The state will offer 20 percent of its shares in Sidi Krir and 25 percent in AMOC through CitiBank and the National Bank of Egypt. "The coming period will witness notable activity in the privatization program," said Mohieddin, adding that this would include selling stakes in banks partly owned by the state.

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).

"We know that India needs oil for its future development. Tomorrow, we will sign an agreement on oil supply," the Venezuelan president said during a lecture at the Jawaharlal Nehru University.

Chavez, who is on a four-day visit to India, is seeking new markets to reduce Venezuela's dependence on the sale of oil to the US. "We want your oil corporation (ONGC Videsh Ltd.) to come to Venezuela to explore and exploit oil," he said, mooting the idea of a grand alliance with India and other countries that were less dependent on the US. ONGC Videsh Ltd. (OVL) is expected to take a 49 percent stake in an onshore block San Critobal, which is currently producing 100,000 barrels per day..

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>>; 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>>]

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>>]

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>>]

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>>; 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>>]

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.

The Afghan diplomat also said al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden and Taliban chief Mullah Omar were no longer in Afghanistan, but he said he did not know where they were.

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.

In addition, their livers and intestines are connected and their bodies are connected for 15 centimeters from chest to navel...Should the risky surgery be successful, it would the ground breaking - and the first case in which an artificial heart is implanted in someone so young.

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.

The US administration had asked the Public Health Department to test it and a government decision was likely today. Dr. Paijit said his department had talked to Washington about the safety of the vaccine and its clinical effectiveness. Details of the proposed experiment have not been disclosed.

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]
Click on photo for larger image. Copyright © 2005 Jocelyne Anouilh & Maravot. All rights reserved.
The 7,500 gates, 16 feet (4,87 meters) tall varying in width from 5 feet 6 inches to 18 feet (1,68 to 5,48 meters) according to the 25 different widths of walkways, on 23 miles (37 kilometers) of walkways in Central Park. Free hanging saffron colored fabric panels, suspended from the horizontal top part of the gates, come down to approximately 7 feet (2,13 meters) above the ground. The gates are spaced at 12 foot (3,65 meter) intervals, except where low branches extend above the walkways. The gates and the fabric panels can be seen from far away through the leafless branches of the trees. The work of art will remain for 16 days, then the gates will be removed and the materials will be recycled.

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.


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.

CIA Director Porter Goss, left, with FBI Director Robert Mueller testifies before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, during a hearing to examine the global threats against the United States on the Capitol Hill, Wednesday, Feb. 16, 2005 in Washington. [AP] CIA Director Porter Goss, left, with FBI Director Robert Mueller testifies before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, during a hearing to examine the global threats against the United States on the Capitol Hill, Wednesday, Feb. 16, 2005 in Washington. [AP] Delivering the agency's annual assessment of worldwide threats on Wednesday, Porter Goss, a former Republican congressman who was named in September to head the CIA, dropped any mention of the co-operative elements of the US-China relationship that characterised recent CIA statements. Instead, he said China was making determined military and diplomatic efforts to ³counter what it sees as US efforts to contain or encircle China².

"China is increasingly confident and active on the international stage," said Goss, "trying to ensure that it has a voice on international issues and secure access to natural resources and to counter what it sees as United States' efforts to contain or encircle it."

Goss said: "If Beijing decides that Taiwan is taking steps toward permanent separation, we assess China is prepared to respond with varying levels of force." Nevertheless, Washington has remained the leading arms supplier to Taiwan despite switching diplomatic recognition to Beijing 25 years ago.

02.16.05 Syria and Iran to form "common front"

TEHRAN. Feb. 16 – Iran and Syria, both locked in rows with the United States, said on Wednesday they would form a common front to face challenges and threats. ³We are ready to help Syria on all grounds to confront threats,² Iranian Vice-President Mohammad Reza Aref said in Tehran after meeting Syrian Prime Minister Naji Al-Otari. Otari told reporters: ³This meeting, which takes place at this sensitive time, is important, especially because Syria and Iran face several challenges and it is necessary to build a common front." [More>>; see also and]


02.19.05 'Dog-Deer' clan seen as common Chinese ancestor – relates to European Paleolithic Lion-Deer
02.15.05 Bush & Rice affects upon Iran's liaisons: it's all about oil and gas
12.23.04 US is losing war of ideas
12.21.04 United States attacking itself from behind


(2) The name, Allah, in Arabic is an expression of surprise. It is not unusual for the God of the Bible to be known by many names . Jewish Midrash quotes passages in the Old Testament (Torah) that cite as many as seventy names of God (and more). But they can all be reduced down to one name.

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