An aid and quick archive to help you track the news as it impacts your life;
a tool for historians & reporters

A History Network

Maravot News of the World
11:25 AM – San Francisco
Fri, Mar 18, 2005
(last post)

About Maravot News

Page best viewed in

Netscape 7.xx

Contact us

Trends: news to
keep your eyes on
Special concerns

Faces of the Fallen – Iraq
(photos and names of the fallen)

Metric Conversion

kilometer: 0.6214 mile
meter: 39.37 inches
centimetre: 0.3937 inch
millimetre: 0.03937 inch
foot: 30.48 cm
Br. stone: 14 pounds
kilogram: 2.2046 pounds
litre: 1.0567 US quarts
hectare: 2.471 acres
– 1 djerib (Turkey)
– 1 jerib (Iran)
– 1 gong qing (China)
0° Celcius: = 32° F

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.

Gross Domestic Products. Click chart for larger image.

Blogs, news & stuff
Worth frequent visits

Intrnational Agencies – News

IRIN News, Africa & Asia
Power & Interest News Report

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


August 1996

Maps of interest

Click on maps for larger image
Iraq and neighbors
Afghanistan & neighbors
Kazakhstan & neighbors

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.

(AP photo) Click photo for story

Middle East Watch

Middle East Times


Kurdo's World (Blog)
Iraq the Model (Blog) (Iraq)
Iran Focus (Iran)
Middle East Newsline
Jerusalem Post

Haaretz Daily
Palestine Chronicle
Daily Star (Lebanon) (Qatar)
Yemen Daily
Khaleej Times (Yemen)

Russia Watch


East Asia Watch
Daily Times,com. pk
South Asia Tribune
India Express

Indo-Asian News Service

New Kerala (India)

Hindustan Times

xinhuanet (China)

Asia Times (Hong Kong)
China Daily

Shenzhen Daily
CRI online (China)
Big News Network
Korea Herald

Kyodo News

Japan Times
Japan Today

Daily Yomiuri (Japan)

The Star (Malaysia

The Jakarta Post

Bangkok Post

The Nation (Bangkok)
Kashmir Times
Press Trust of India

Daily News (Sri Lanka)

LankaPage (Sri Lanka) (Phillipines)


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

I am not responsible for the
content of any links
from this site.

News Headlines & Trends

03.17.05 Japan and South Korea at odds over Dokdo islets and Japanese glorification of 1910 invasion

March 17 – After the conclusion of WWII, in 1945 the rocky Dokdo islets in the East Sea, off Korea, were returned to Korea. The islands are known in Japan as the Takeshima islands. Recently Japan has claimed sovereignty over the islands – even declaring a "Takeshima Day" to mark its 1905 claim to the islets – and flown, according to reports, military aircraft near the islands. Associated with this dispute is a new Japanese history textbook, in review, that is claimed to glorify Japan's invasion of Korea. Japan colonized Korea from1910 through 1945. [Full story>>]

03.17.05 'Indian Ocean could see another tsunami'

SYDNEY, March 17 – The massive earthquake, which caused the tsunami in South and Southeast Asia in December last year, might cause yet another such catastrophic disaster, scientists have said. A build-up of stress in Sumatra's seismic faults caused by the December 26 seaquake is likely to trigger another large tremor - and potentially another tsunami - in the Indian Ocean, seismologists warned.

Researchers at the University of Ulster-Coleraine in Northern Ireland said stress was now building not only in the Sumatra fault but in the adjacent fault zone known as the Sunda Trench, located under the sea west of Sumatra, Australia-based Special Broadcasting Service website reported. According to John McCloskey, a seismologist at the university, there is a well-established link between stress and ensuing earthquakes. Another rupture could trigger a quake of magnitude 7-7.5 on the Richter scale in either fault.

03.17.05 Seventeen buried in landslide in Turkey

ANKARA, March 17 – Seventeen people were buried and seven others were injured Thursday when a landslide swept through a small village in Sivas province in northeastern Turkey, officials said. "Twenty-four houses and 17 people were buried in the landslide," Sivas Governor Hasan Canpolat told the Anatolia news agency. "We are facing a great disaster," he said. "Rescue efforts are being carried out in difficult conditions."

Dozens of rescuers and earth-moving machines were dispatched to the stricken area about 400 kilometres (250 miles) northeast of Ankara, but small landslides continued, preventing the use of the machines, Canpolat said...The province`s deputy governor Ali Manti told AFP that the landslide was caused by heavy rains unsettling the mushy ground typical of the region. The site was previously declared risky for settlement by local civil construction authorities, but residents refused to evacuate their homes perched on a slope, Canpolat said.

03.17.05 Russia reformer Chubais survives assassination bid

MOSCOW (Reuters) March 17 – Anatoly Chubais, head of Russia's state power monopoly, survived an assassination attempt on Thursday by assailants who detonated a roadside bomb and sprayed his convoy with automatic gunfire. The 49-year-old Chubais, one of Russia's best-known figures, came to prominence as the architect of post-Soviet economic reforms under which two dozen "oligarchs" acquired vast wealth while ordinary people suffered a huge slump in living standards.

Chubais is now chief executive of Unified Energy System, and the prime mover behind reforms to introduce competition to the power sector of the world's largest country.

He told a press briefing he had been aware of a plan to kill him, but refused to say who he thought was behind the attack.."We had reason to believe something like this might happen." Chubais was on his way to work from his country home when a roadside bomb rocked his two-car cortege and gunmen opened fire with automatic weapons. His armored BMW fled the scene despite being hit in the windshield, hood and front tire.

Security guards traveling in a separate car returned fire at two hitmen, who escaped into the surrounding woods. Police said they had found a green Saab they believe was used as a getaway car by the assailants.

03.17.05 Fingerprint checkout at supermarket

March 15 – Placing one's fingers on a scanner will soon be enough to pay for purchases at a German supermarket chain. An Edeka store in the southwest German town of Ruelzheim has piloted the technology since November, cutting out on time otherwise wasted scrabbling for coins or cards. The company plans to equip its stores across the region with the ground-breaking technology. "All customers need do is register once with their identity card and bank details, then they can shop straight away," said store manager Roland Fitterer.

The scanner compares the shopper's fingerprint with those stored in its database along with account details. Edeka bosses said they were confident the system could not be abused. The chance of two people having the same fingerprint is about one in 220 million.

03.17.05 Abu Sayyaf guerrillas training for sea-born terror attacks

MANILA, Philippines, March 17 – The militant group Abu Sayyaf has trained in scuba diving to prepare for possible sea-borne terror attacks outside the country, the Philippine military said on Thursday, citing the interrogation of a captured guerrilla. The Al Qaeda-linked militants also received at least US$18,500 over the past year from suspected members of the regional terror group Jemaah Islamiyah for explosives training, according to a report on the interrogation of Gamal Baharan obtained by The Associated Press. Baharan, 35, also said that an Abu Sayyaf leader still at large, Khadaffi Janjalani, claimed to speak directly with Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden via satellite phone. It was unclear whether that was a boast by Janjalani to impress his men. [More>>]

03.17.05 One killed, 20 trapped in China coal mine explosion

BEIJING, March 17 – One miner was killed and at least 20 others have been trapped by a coal mine explosion in South West China. The blast occurred at the Shulongsi mine in Fengjie county of Chongqing municipality. An investigation into the cause of the accident, the latest in a long series in China's deadly coal mines, is under way, said sources Thursday. [; See story on another coal mine explosion posted March 15, 2005.

03.17.05 India may defy Bush to buy Iranian gas

March 17 – Andy Mukherjee writes: The Bush administration is facing a diplomatic dilemma. An enthusiastic endorsement of a proposed 1,700-mile gas pipeline from Iran to India via Pakistan may hurt its Middle East strategy by helping Iran garner political support to continue its nuclear program. And an outright condemnation of the $4 billion project may thwart prospects of greater political stability in South Asia by killing the ``pipeline of peace,'' as the plan is being referred to by arch enemies India and Pakistan. {More>>; See separate story, "Gas pipelines from Iran, Turkmenistan and Myanmar: India won't bear higher prices." India has concerns over the proposed pipelines: "...India is concerned about gas prices because power and fertilizer firms, which consume 80 percent of the natural gas sold in the country, are unable to pay the market price and wield considerable political clout. Aiyar said security considerations were also important in building gas pipelines. Analysts, political leaders and security agencies have expressed apprehensions about the safety of a pipeline through rival Pakistan, with which India has fought three wars. ³I don't think the path is going to be smooth..."]

03.17.05 Help us to resolve Kashmir: Musharraf to Condoleezza Rice

ISLAMABAD, March 17 – Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf has urged the US to support efforts aimed at resolving the Jammu and Kashmir issue, saying normalization in the region would not be possible without its settlement. During a meeting with the visiting US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, he said, "normalization in the region would not be possible without a settlement of the core dispute." The Confidence-Building Measures should be matched by tangible progress in the dialogue process, Musharraf told Rice on Wednesday.

The US Secretary of State lauded Musharraf's vision for south Asia and initiatives to promote peace and stability in the region and briefed him about her discussions with the Indian leadership. Musharraf and Rice expressed satisfaction at the cooperation between the two countries in wide-ranging fields and reviewed bilateral relations, exchanged views on regional and international issues of mutual interest. They expressed pleasure at "the excellent cooperation between Islamabad and Washington with the latter reaffirming Washington's commitment to have a broad-based and sustainable partnership with Pakistan," an official statement said. Rice appreciated the Œimportant role¹ being played by Pakistan in promoting peace and stability in the region and praised Musharraf for his ³bold vision for South Asia and initiatives to promote peace and stability in the region."

03.17.05 Powerful blast kills at least 29 in Jiangxi, China

March 17 – At least 29 people were killed when a double-decker bus collided with a truck loaded with firecrackers and explosives and exploded in eastern China's Jiangxi Province early Thurday morning. The blasts were so powerful that they could be heard some two kilometers away, Xinhua and local media reported.

According to a report by photo base, affiliated to the east China bureau of People's Daily, police have found 29 bodies at the explosion site, and no one in the bus and truck survived the explosions. Five villagers and two drivers near the site were injured and are treated in a local hospital, and about 60 houses nearby were also damaged...The windows and doors of houses about one kilometer away were shattered in the explosions.

An earlier Xinhua report said the exact number of death toll is hard to tell now, as victims were exploded into pieces, adding that the toll was estimated on the bus' 30-person seating capacity.
[More>>; see also]

03.17.05 Five dead, 31 injured in southern Afghan bomb blasts

(AFP) March 17 – Two bomb blasts ripped through the southern Afghan city of Kandahar killing five people and injuring 31 hours after US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice arrived in the country, officials said. A United Nations security source speaking on condition of anonymity said two explosive devices were set off by remote control. City police chief Khan Mohammed blamed the violence on militants from the ousted Taliban regime. He was only able to confirm one blast. "Of course it is Taliban, who else can it be?" he told AFP. [More>>]

03.17.05 India shifted towards Indonesia after Dec. 26 quake

NEW DELHI (DPA) March 17 – India has moved closer to Indonesia by 12 centimeters after the giant earthquake on Dec. 26, scientists at the National Geophysical Research Institute (NGRI), based in the southern city of Hyderabad, said on Thursday. Scientists at the NGRI came to the conclusion that the distance between the southern Indian city of Bangalore and Medan on the Indonesian island of Sumatra had shrunk by 12 centimeters after a geodetic study. The study analyzed data received from global positioning satellite (GPS) receivers stationed on islands between the two cities...some islands of India's Andaman and Nicobar archipelago had shifted southwest by a few metres immediately after the quake. The CESS survey also indicated parts of some islands had subsided while others were raised. [More>>]

03.17.05 Judge sentences Scott Peterson to death

March 17– (Update) March,16, 9:57am – As expected, the judge in the Scott Peterson case upheld the Jury recommendation of death, as reported by Fox News T.V. About 4:00am March 17, 2005 Peterson checked into San Quentin Prison.

03.16.05 North Korea: No talks without 'tyranny' retraction

March 16 – North Korea has ruled out a return to the stalled six-party talks on the Korean Peninsula's nuclear issue unless the United States retracts its description of Pyongyang as an "outpost of tyranny."

A spokesman for the North Korean Foreign Ministry also said recent comments by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in interviews with Reuters and the Washington Times, in which she refused to apologize for giving North Korea the tyranny tag, indicated the United States did not want to hold talks. The spokesman described Rice as reckless, "bereft of any political logic" and someone Pyongyang could not deal with.
[More>>CRI online]

03.16.05 Hezbollah cautiously welcomes Bush's call to join mainstream

BEIRUT, March 16 – Hezbollah cautiously welcomed U.S. President George W. Bush's suggestion that it move into the political mainstream, with an executive of the militant group saying Wednesday his reaction was positive. Speaking to Al-Arabiya satellite television, a member of Hezbollah's political bureau, Nawaf Moussawi, said that in line with a European change toward his organization, Bush was "trying to propose an approach different from the traditional American approach toward Hezbollah."

The United States has long condemned Hezbollah, but on Tuesday, Bush told reporters that the Iranian-backed militant group could shed its terrorist label and win U.S. recognition if it disarms and stays out of the Israeli-Palestinian dispute.

03.16.05 Bush wants Wolfowitz for World Bank

WASHINGTON, March 16 – President Bush today tapped Defense Deputy Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, who has been a lightning rod for criticism of the US invasion of Iraq and other defense policies, to take over as head of the World Bank. Bush told a news conference that Wolfowitz, now Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's top deputy, was "a compassionate, decent man who will do a fine job at the World Bank. That's why I put him up." [More>>]

03.16.05 Russian plane with 50 people on board crashes

MOSCOW (Xinhuanet) March 16 – A Russian airliner carrying 51 people crashed in a region in Russia's far north on Wednesday, killing all 28 people on board, Russian news agencies reported. The An-24 plane, which was reportedly carrying oil industry workers, crashed early afternoon near the town of Barandei in the Nenets autonomous region while trying to make an emergency landingand caught fire. []; See RIA Novosti update, "One more survivor of AN-24 crash found." The number of probable victims of the An-26 aircraft crash in the Nenets autonomous area has reduced to 28 people. A survivor was found at the site of the accident, the press service of the Russian Emergencies Ministry told RIA Novosti. Formerly, it was reported about 29 victims and 23 survivors. "A passenger of the An-24, Naryanmarneftegaz worker was found under the debris of the plane," the press service reported. [More>>]

03.16.05 Iraq's first session of parliament puts democracy in action

BAGHDAD (AFP) March 16 – Iraq¹s nascent democracy took a giant step forward on Wednesday with the opening of its new 275-member national assembly, although its politicians failed to form a unity government ahead of the historic session. In a jolt for the United States, stalwart ally Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi announced plans to start withdrawing troops from Iraq in September, while an Iraqi general was reported shot dead by US troops at a checkpoint.

Iraq¹s security forces were on high alert in Baghdad, patrolling the streets and shutting down at least five bridges on the Tigris river that divides the capital, in a bid to stave off rebel attacks for the historic parliament session.

03.16.05 India, US to expand defense ties

March 16 – India and the United States have agreed to enhance defense cooperation and initiate a broad dialogue on energy to meet the burgeoning needs of their economies. This cooperation was announced by visiting US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Indian External Affairs Minister Natwar Singh at a joint press conference in New Delhi on Wednesday.

Rice said the US-India military-to-military contacts are growing, and the US looks forward to enhancing defense cooperation and she discussed with the Indian minister the sale of F-16 fighter jets to India. The two sides also wanted to expand dialogue on energy and explore new technologies to meet their energy needs. Rice expressed the United States' concern about the proposed India-Iran-Pakistan pipeline. After India, the US Secretary of State will visit Pakistan, Afghanistan, Japan, South Korea and China.
[CRI online;

See also
"US wants India to scrap pipeline deal," ISLAMABAD (AP) March 16 – The United States and India papered over differences on US arms sales to Pakistan and an Indian oil pipeline deal with Iran on Wednesday, ahead of a possible visit to India by President George W Bush later this year. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice discussed future sales of sophisticated F-16 fighter planes to both India and rival Pakistan with her Indian counterpart before flying to Islamabad, but said no announcement is imminent;

A further article,
"India, US hit snags over Iran, Pakistan," NEW DELHI, March 16 – US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's visit to India as part of a shift towards closer ties hit potentially serious snags on Wednesday over a pipeline from Iran and the possible sale of F-16s to Pakistan.

Rice said Washington – seeking to apply international pressure over what it says is a secret Iranian programme to develop nuclear weapons – was concerned over plans for a $4 billion gas pipeline through Pakistan to energy-hungry India. "We have communicated to the Indian government our concerns about the gas pipeline cooperation between Iran and India," she told reporters after meeting External Affairs Minister Natwar Singh on the opening leg of her first trip to Asia as secretary of state. Before starting her tour, Rice said ties between the United States and India, former Cold War foes, had never been better. [More>>]

03.16.05 Russian oligarchs want immortality

MOSCOW (RIA Novosti commentator Vladimir Simonov), March 16 – When life is good, it is especially bitter to admit that it will end some day. And this simple truth encourages nouveaux riches Russians, called oligarchs here, to spend through the nose on all kinds of rejuvenation procedures and on scientific research to create the "elixir of youth." The people who have everything you can dream about, from castles in Scotland to garages with a dozen Ferraris, want absolute, 100% joie de vivre in their own immortality.

One of these people is Vladimir Bryntsalov, the pharmaceutical king of Russia who plans to spend $2 million on setting up a personal rejuvenation laboratory. He has had a course of stem cell injections and feels no older than 20, though his biological age is about 60. "My cheeks were deeply lined – now they are smooth as baby's," said Bryntsalov stroking his cheeks. "There were terrible scars on my body since childhood – they have smoothed over, vanished."

Stem cells are taken from the patient's fat layers under local anesthesia (autogenous transplant) or from aborted or miscarried human fetuses. In both cases, the substance is blended and put into an incubator, where the cells grow rapidly for several weeks, after which the precious substance is injected into the patient's vein. Or you can have facial injections, which are said to have a miraculous effect.

This expensive treatment will cost you $10,000-20,000 in Moscow, depending on the length of the course. But members of the financial elite and ranking state officials are lining up at medical centers. In many Western countries, such clinics would not even get the opportunity to open their doors. During a recent speech, President Bush denounced stem cell therapy as "godless."

03.16.05 North Korea to close UN aid office despite food shortage

GENEVA, March 16 – North Korea wants to close its UN aid office despite a major shortage of food and medicines in the impoverished Stalinist country, the UN office for the coordination of humanitarian affairs (OCHA) said Wednesday. []

03.15.05 Church rails against Da Vinci Code

March 16 – The Catholic Church has come out swinging against The Da Vinci Code, dismissing US author Dan Brown's worldwide best seller about the Vatican suppressing the 'truth' that Jesus had a child, as a collection of "shameful and unfounded lies". "Don't read it, and above all, don't even buy the Da Vinci Code," Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, deputy head of the Vatican's Pontifical Council for the Doctrine of the Faith, told Vatican radio.

Cardinal Bertone, who is archbishop of Genoa and seen as a possible successor to Pope John Paul II, is leading the Vatican's assault on the book, which has become a publishing sensation since it was released in 2003. Cardinal Bertone admitted in an interview with Italian newspaper Il Giornale, that the Catholic Church was worried because "the book is everywhere. There is a very real risk that many people who read it will believe that the fables it contains are true".

The main theme of the book, which has been in the Italian best-seller lists for more than a year, is that the Church has long suppressed the "fact" that Jesus had a child with Mary Magdalene.
[More>>; see also]

Editorial note: The book is a work of fiction and should be regarded in that context. There are early church documents and early histories, that refer to the role of Mary Magdalene beyond that listed in the four gospels. In the Gospel of James, a pseudepigraphical work, the disciples complain that Jesus loves her more than he loves them; in other works she is shown accompanying Joseph of Arimathaea (the rich man in whose tomb Jesus was buried) to southern France and later Glastonbury, England, where they founded a church. Legends abound in France and England, including the Romance Saang Grail, Le Mort d'Arthur, etc. that claim many of the characters of King Arthur's round table were cousins and descendents of Joseph of Arimathaea. Sir Lancelot and King Arthur, for instance, were of that clan and thus Jews by heritage. Mary Magdalene is never described, however, in the context of having a husband or a child. The Jewish Law (Book of Moses) condemns birth out of wedlock, and a girl gotten pregnant out of wedlock would be subject to stoning (the same penalty she faced when Jesus saved her from being stoned).

Legends involving Charlesmagne suggest that he was born of the holy seed of David through Mary Magdalene. With regard to the Holy Grail (also referred to as a "holy blood line" in addition to a charger) the Arthurian romances describe the bloodline of Sir Galahad (son of Lancelot) as the noblest bloodline known to man, meaning, that of King David. There is plenty of circumstantial evidence to support the thesis that Joseph of Arimathaea was the oldest heir of King David. The church historian, Eusebius, notes that there were grandsons of Jude who were the only surviving sons of David duriing the second persecution of the church by Rome, under Domitian, (History of the Church, Book III.20). They were poor laborers and after being examined by Domitian he let them go, and even suspended further persecution of the church. A more detailed survey on the relatives of Jesus is at The Family of Jesus.html.

Mel Copeland

03.15.05 Heilongjiang coal mine explosion kills 17

March 16 – Seventeen miners were confirmed dead by local media yesterday in Qitaihe, Heilongjiang Province, following an explosion at a coal mine. Exhausted rescuers looking for a missing miner emerge from a tunnel at Xinfu Coal Mine, where an explosion killed 17 miners on Monday in Qitaihe, Heilongjiang Province. One miner was rescued while a fellow worker remained missing.

The blast happened at around 11 am on Monday at the Xinfu Coal Mine owned by the Heilongjiang Qitaihe Coal Industry Clean Coal Group. The Heilongjiang Provincial Administration of Coal Mine Safety said 19 miners were working at the time. A team of more than 240 rescuers was immediately dispatched to the site, with more on standby. Sixteen dead bodies and the injured miner were quickly recovered from the working tunnel. Another body was found in a separate collapsed section of the tunnel.

03.15.05 Initial Pentagon test is positive for Anthrax

March 15 – Samples taken at a Pentagon mail facility were positive for anthrax in preliminary overnight tests, a spokesman for the Department of Health and Human Services reported today. But officials do not yet know definitively if anthrax bacteria are present or, if they are, whether they could have transmitted disease.

The spokesman, Bill Hall, said that further tests are being conducted at Fort Detrick to determine if the anthrax was present, if it was live, or if the test just picked up a component of anthrax. Such testing normally takes 24 to 48 hours, but initial results may be available by this afternoon.

03.15.05 UN inquiry into Hariri's killing will reveal cover up by Syrian and Lebanese authorities

BEIRUT, March 15 – Ramsay Short reports: The United Nations inquiry into the death of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri will reveal evidence of a cover up by Syrian and Lebanese authorities, according to a report published in London's The Independent newspaper. The paper's respected Middle East correspondent Robert Fisk reported that President George W. Bush "is expected to announce on Wednesday that Syrian - and perhaps Lebanese - military intelligence officers were involved" in the killing.

In his article, Fisk said the report of the United Nations inquiry team "will be so devastating that it will force a full international investigation of the murder of 'Mr. Lebanon' and his entourage, perhaps reaching to the higher echelons of the Syrian and Lebanese governments."

Speaking from New York, a UN spokesperson told The Daily Star that whatever President Bush would announce would not be based on the UN team's findings as the investigation is still ongoing. He said: "We can neither confirm or deny anything until the team returns to New York and presents its findings to the secretary general."

According to The Independent, The UN team, made up of Irish, Egyptian and Moroccan investigators and recently joined by Swiss bomb experts, has discovered that many of the vehicles from Hariri's convoy "were moved from the scene of the massacre only hours afterward - and before there was time for an independent investigation."

03.15.05 Five killed in three Baghdad car bombs day before Iraqi parliament is to convene

BAGHDAD (AP) March 15 – Kurdish and Shiite leaders agreed to convene Iraq¹s new parliament on Wednesday even if they fail to iron out some wrinkles in their deal to form a coalition government. Three car bombs exploded in Baghdad, killing at least five people, police said.

Shiite officials said on Monday that they also agreed to reach out to the country¹s Sunni Arab community to name the parliament speaker for the 275-member National Assembly that is to convene for the first time since Jan. 30 elections.

On Tuesday, a car bomb targeting a US military convoy exploded on a road about 500 meters (yards) from the main avenue leading to Baghdad¹s international airport, police Capt. Thamir Talib said. Four civilians were killed and seven were wounded, including two police officers, he said. The explosion took place in the Amel neighborhood about nine kilometers (six miles) from the airport. In a report unconfirmed by US officials, witnesses said some US troops were also wounded. When US forces arrived on the scene to evacuate them, another car bomb exploded, wounding more troops. One Humvee was destroyed and two civilian cars were in flames, witnesses said.

03.15.05 Kosovo president's convoy attacked by huge blast

BELGRADE (Xinhuanet) March 15 – A huge blast hit Kosovo President Ibrahim Rugova's motorcade on Tuesday morning when it passed through the provincial capital Pristina, reports reaching here said. The explosion at about 8:20 a.m. local time (0720 GMT) damaged the car carrying Rugova, but he appeared to be unharmed. A police spokeswoman said the president had been safely transferred to another vehicle and then left the scene. The windows of nearby buildings were shattered and police had blocked the area, witnesses said. It was not immediately clear if there were other injuries. []

03.15.05 Bush calls on Hezbollah to lay down arms

March 15 – US President George W. Bush called on the Lebanon-based group Hezbollah on Tuesday to prove it is not a terrorist organization by laying down its arms. "We view Hezbollah as a terrorist organization and I would hope that Hezbollah would prove that they're not by laying down arms and not threatening peace," Bush told reporters with Jordan's King Abdullah at his side.

Also Tuesday, Syria began withdrawing its intelligence personnel from Beirut, partially meeting a key U.S. and Lebanese opposition demand for an end to three decades of Syria's tutelage over its neighbor.

Agents at Syria's intelligence headquarters in the Ramlet el-Baida quarter of the city loaded equipment onto a van, and removed photos of Syrian President Bashar Assad and his father, Hafez Assad, from the building.

03.15.05 Iran urges change in US policy

March 15 – Iran has said the United States must change its policies and recognise Iran as a regional power if bilateral relations are to improve. Tehran cannot exchange its nuclear right for any economic incentives, Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi said on Tuesday. "The key for this problem is in American hands. If America wants, it can improve Iran-US ties by changing its policies vis-a-vis the Islamic Republic and recognising the Islamic Republic as an effective regional power. Otherwise, no
solution can be offered from our side," he said.

"Our [nuclear] rights cannot be exchanged for any economic incentives. Removing the embargoes or similar incentives cannot remove our rights, but can be effective in improving ties and solving the problems between Iran and the United States in a comprehensive way."

Kharazi was referring to Washington's recent offer of economic incentives to try to persuade Iran to scrap its nuclear work.
[Moe>>; see also "US seeks to paint illegitimate image of Iran's nuclear program: Rowhani,"]

03.15.05 Turkish parliament passes controversial headscarf amnesty

ANKARA, March 15 – The Turkish parliament Tuesday passed for a second time a controversial law pardoning tens of thousands of women who were expelled from universities for reasons including the wearing of the Islamic head scarf, banned under Turkey's secular education system. The law, which amnesties students expelled since 2000, was already vetoed once by Turkish President Ahmet Necdet Sezer in late February. Sezer indicated that any such amnesty would have to have the support of a three-fifths majority in parliament, a result achieved Tuesday with 349 in favor out of 550 votes. [More>>]

03.15.05 23 dead as Philippine forces storm prison to end Islamic militant revolt

MANILA (AFP) March 15 – Twenty-three people including three top leaders of an Al-Qaeda-linked Islamic group have been killed when Philippine police stormed a maximum security prison to end a day-old revolt. Around 300 heavily armed special forces police firing tear gas and automatic rifles took part in the operation at Camp Bagong Diwa prison in southeastern Manila, where three prison guards and two inmates were killed in a jailbreak attempt Monday.

Manila police chief Avelino Razon said three leaders of the Abu Sayyaf kidnap group – Galib Andang, alias Commander Robot; Alhamser Limbong, alias Commander Kosovo; and Nadjmi Sabdulla, alias Commander Global – were among 22 slain prisoners. One policeman who was part of the initial assault was found dead later.

03.15.05 Pakistan says forces nearly hunted down Osama

LONDON (PTI) March 15 – Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf said on Tuesday his forces believed they had nearly hunted down Osama bin Laden about 10 months ago but the trail had since gone cold. "Through interrogation of those who have been captured, the al-Qaeda members who were apprehended here, and through technical means there was a time when the dragnet had closed," Musharraf said. "We thought we knew roughly the area where he possibly could be. That was I think ... not very long (ago), maybe about 10 months back," said Musharraf, a close ally in US President George W. Bush's declared war on terrorism. The BBC quoted Musharraf as saying his forces had since lost track of Osama's possible whereabouts. [More>>]

03.15.05 Six Islamic militants convicted in Paris bomb plot

PARIS, March 15 – A French court convicted six Islamic militants today of conspiring to bomb the U.S. Embassy in Paris, culminating the lengthy, labyrinthine case of a European terror network connected to key Al Qaeda leaders and attacks.

The three-judge panel sentenced the ringleader of the Paris-based cell, a 39-year-old French Algerian named Djamel Beghal, to the maximum penalty of 10 years in prison for conspiracy to commit terrorism. His convicted lieutenant, 30-year-old computer expert Kamel Daoudi, received a nine-year sentence; two other suspects were sentenced to six-year terms and others got three- and one-year terms.
[More>>; see more details (In French)]

03.15.05 Pakistan agrees with other nations: Taiwan part of China

ISLAMABAD, March 15 – Pakistan reiterated on Monday that it regarded Taiwan as part of China and hoped it would return to the motherland soon. ³Pakistan adheres to the One China policy,² said a Foreign Office spokesperson in response to Anti-Secession Law passed by The National People¹s Congress of China. In a press statement, the spokesperson said that Pakistan had shared the international concern over reports of a referendum being organized by the Taiwanese authorities. [Daily]

03.15.05 US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice arrives in India

NEW DELHI, March 15 – Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice arrived in the Indian capital Tuesday on the opening stop of a six-nation tour of Asia, her first of the continent since becoming Secretary of State in January. Rice, who landed in New Delhi will have a full working day in the Indian capital on Wednesday when she meets Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Foreign Minister Natwar Singh before flying off to Islamabad in the evening. From Pakistan, Rice will go on to Afghanistan, Japan, South Korea and China during the week-long tour, said sources Tuesday. [; March 15 CRI online noted that the premier of North Korea will be visiting China March 22-27]

03.15.05 WorldCom's Ebbers is guilty of all charges in fraud trial

NEW YORK, March 15 – Former WorldCom chief Bernard J. Ebbers, who portrayed himself as ignorant of the illegal accounting practices that pushed his massive telecom company into bankruptcy, was found guilty today on all fraud charges. The conviction was among the biggest victories for prosecutors in a string of high-profile cases against Wall Street and corporate executives ranging from Martha Stewart to Silicon Valley investment banker Frank Quattrone.

Ebbers, who faces a maximum of 85 years in prison, was found guilty of securities fraud and other charges stemming from the telecommunications company's $104-billion bankruptcy in 2002, the biggest in U.S. history.
[More>>; see also]



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.

Maravot's Homepage

Launched: 10.25.04 / 11.02.04
Updated: 3.15.05; 3.16.05; 3.17.05

Visitors since 10.25.04

Copyright © 1981-2005 Maravot. All rights reserved
Copyright © 1981-2005 Mel Copeland. All rights reserved
Painting of Apple by Mel Copeland, early 70's
Background: tile from Cicero's villa (Marcus Tullius Cicero 106 B.C. - 43 B.C.)