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Fri, Jun 17, 2005
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Faces of the Fallen – Iraq
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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.

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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

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Russia, Belarus and neighbors
Iraq and neighbors
Afghanistan & 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.

(AP photo) Click photo for story

Middle East Watch

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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

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Question: Has Bush caused the US to be outflanked?

The main Trend we have seen at Maravot News is that Bush's hostile policies worldwide have created new alliances among the EU, China, India, Russia and the Middle East. Also, the Monroe Doctrine is being challenged in South America.

News Headlines & Trends

6.16.05 Al-Qaeda extends prisoner deadline

June 16 – Al-Qaeda's wing in Iraq has given the US-backed government another 72 hours to free women prisoners, threatening to kill 36 Iraqi soldiers it holds hostage if it does not comply, according to an internet statement.

"We, the al Qaeda Organisation in Iraq, announce extending the deadline to kill the 36 soldiers from the infidel guards to the next 72 hours," the group led by Jordanian Abu Musab al-Zarqawi said in a statement posted on an Islamist Web site today. "Release the helpless Muslim women from the Interior Ministry prisons and other jails," it added...The Sunni Muslim group, which has often abducted and killed officials and soldiers, said a high-ranking officer was among the 36 troops it was holding.

6.16.05 Senior Zarqawi aide nabbed in Mosul

BAGHDAD (Fox News) June 16 – US forces captured a man known as Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi's "most trusted operations agent in all of Iraq," a US general in Iraq said Thursday. Air Force Brig. Gen. Donald Alston told reporters Thursday that Mohammed Khalif Shaiker, also known as Abu Talha or the emir of Mosul, was nabbed on Tuesday. The arrest was a major blow to the insurgency in the northern city of Mosul, Alston said. "This is a major defeat for the Al Qaeda organization in Iraq," he said, referring to the group led by Zarqawi and allied to Usama bin Laden's Al Qaeda network. "Numerous reports indicated he wore a suicide vest 24 hours a day and stated that he would never surrender. Instead, Talha gave up without a fight." [More>>]

6.16.05 Suffolk tombs hold key to US founding father

June 16 – John Elliott reports: Researchers will take DNA samples from bodies in two 17th-century tombs in Britain tomorrow in an attempt to establish whether a skeleton found in America is that of one of the countryıs first English settlers. The exhumations, to be conducted at two Suffolk churches, are believed to be the first in which the Church of England has allowed archeologists to take DNA samples from graves. The two people whose bones are to be sampled are relatives of Captain Bartholomew Gosnold, an adventurer from Suffolk, whose remains researchers in Virginia believe they have discovered at the site of Jamestown. The settlement, established some 400 years ago, was the first permanent English presence in North America. Gosnold, a one-time privateer, is credited with naming Marthaıs Vineyard in Massachusetts after his daughter and naming Cape Cod. [More>>]

6.16.05 The Downing Street memo: the smoking gun to impeach President Bush

June 16 – Congressional Hearings on the Downing Street memo are being held in Washington today. Michael Smith, reporter, Sunday Times of London, broke the story May 1, 2005: A SECRET document from the heart of government reveals today that Tony Blair privately committed Britain to war with Iraq and then set out to lure Saddam Hussein into providing the legal justification.

The Downing Street minutes, headed ³Secret and strictly personal — UK eyes only," detail one of the most important meetings ahead of the invasion.

It was chaired by the prime minister and attended by his inner circle. The document reveals Blair backed ³regime change² by force from the outset, despite warnings from Lord Goldsmith, the attorney-general, that such action could be illegal.

The minutes, published by The Sunday Times today, begins with the warning: ³This record is extremely sensitive. No further copies should be made. The paper should be shown only to those with a genuine need to know.² It records a meeting in July 2002, attended by military and intelligence chiefs, at which Blair discussed military options having already committed himself to supporting President George Bushıs plans for ousting Saddam.
[More>>; link and more on the memo from;a copy of the memo posted on; a pdf copy of Congressional letter inquiry May 5, 2005 to President Bush, Bush Secret Memo letter.pdf: "We write because of troubling revelations in the Sunday London Times apparently confirming that the United States and Great Britain had secretly agreed to attack Iraq in the summer of 2002, well before the invasion and before you even sought Congressional authority to engage in military action." The Bonifaz memo to Senator Conyers "Bush has committed an impeachable offense." The actual memo published in May 1, 2005. See also Downing Street Memo Index of links by]

6.16.05 Roadside bomb kills marines in Iraq

June 16 – Five US marines have been killed near Ramadi when their vehicle struck a bomb, and in another attack, five Iraqi soldiers have been wounded by a car bomb in Baghdad. "The five [Iraqi] soldiers have been taken to a Baghdad hospital," an Iraqi Interior Ministry source said, adding that the attack happened at around 8.30am (0430 GMT) on Thursday behind a police station in the northern Sulaikh district. [More>>; See also]

6.16.05 US and terrorists form unholy alliance against Iran

TEHRAN (MNA) June 15 – Over the past few days, terrorist operations in Iran have claimed the lives of ten innocent civilians and injured many more. The terrorist acts, coming after a decade of peace in the Islamic Republic, have captured the attention of foreign political analysts. Although the bombings in Ahvaz, Tehran, Karaj, and Zahedan were totally different as far as the methods used to create the explosives, they all occurred at a very important and sensitive time.

The terrorist acts came as Iranians were enthusiastically following the election campaigns of presidential candidates. This year, candidates have created a pleasant atmosphere of real democracy in the country through their campaigns, fostering enthusiasm among the people. This completely democratic atmosphere is unrivaled in the region and most of the Third World. The presence of eight candidates, each with different ideas and representing different groups in society, is a promising sign that the freest election yet will be held in Iran.

Naturally, this is not very pleasant for some regional countries and the United States, and has prompted efforts to reduce public participation in the poll. A low turnout would put into question the legitimacy of the Islamic system and sully Iranıs reputation in the international arena, which is exactly what the U.S. and some regional states want, since they fear Iranıs religious democracy.

6.16.05 Iraqi judge, former Baathist gunned down as 13 wounded in car bombs

BAGHDAD (AFP) June 16 – An Iraqi judge and a former regime member were assassinated on Thursday, as 13 people were wounded in car bombs in the oil city of Kirkuk and in Baghdad, security sources said. Judge Salem Mahmud Haj Ali was gunned down in Iraqıs third largest city Mosul along with his driver, said police and hospital sources in the restive mainly Sunni Arab city north of the capital. He was at least the second judge killed in Mosul since last year.

South of Baghdad, two gunmen dressed as policemen killed Karim Kazimi, a former senior member of Saddam Husseinıs Baath party, in Hindiyah near the Shiite shrine city of Karbala, said a spokesman for the local provincial authority. ³He had gone to a neighboring country after the fall and had just returned,² said Ghalib al-Daami.

³He is accused of helping identify those who took part in the uprising,² he said, referring to the Shiite revolt which erupted in the wake of Iraqıs defeat in the 1991 Gulf War over Kuwait. ³He was probably killed by members of the families of victims who have grown tired of waiting for the trial of former regime elements.²

...In other violence Thursday, eight Iraqis, including four soldiers, were wounded when a suicide car bomber blew himself up in the path of an army convoy near the entrance of the Northern Oil Company in Kirkuk, said Major General Shirku Chaker, the provincial police chief. The city with its explosive mix of Sunni Arabs, Kurds and Turkmen has seen stepped up violence since Tuesday when a suicide bomber blew himself up near civil servants lining up to cash their pay cheques outside a bank, killing at least 20 people. In Baghdad, five Iraqi soldiers were wounded in a car bomb attack against their convoy, an interior ministry source said.
[Full story>>]

6.16.05 Canadian child killed in Cambodia hostage-taking

PHNOM PENH, June 16 – A three-year-old Canadian boy was killed Thursday when four masked gunmen seized dozens of children at an international school in Cambodia. The Canadian child was killed during the standoff before police raided the building and freed the remaining hostages, the government and police said. The attackers were arrested...The men stormed Siem Reap International School earlier Thursday, seizing dozens of young children from several countries — including Australia, Japan and Italy — and demanding money, weapons and a vehicle before police ended the standoff, with witnesses reporting several shots fired.

The gunmen killed the child when authorities declined to meet all of their demands, and police then raided the building, Cambodian Information Minister Khieu Kanharith said, quoting the deputy national police chief, Neth Savoeun...The crisis unfolded at Cambodia's tourism hub of Siem Reap, near its famed Angkor temples and home to many expatriates..
[Full story>> via; according to one of the four hostage-takers was shot dead.]

6.16.05 Qabalan insists Islam rejects terrorism and violence

BEIRUT, June 16 – Islam rejects terror, Higher Shiite Council Vice-President Sheikh Abdel-Amir Qabalan told a delegation from the Middle East Council of Churches on Wednesday. He also urged both Christians and Muslims to abandon sectarianism. Qabalan said: "Islam rejects terrorism and violence and is against the racism incarnated by the state of Israel." The delegation included the secretary general of the Middle East Council of Churches, Gerges Ibrahim, and several members of German Evangelical churches. Qabalan praised "the way Germany deals with Arab and Islamic communities."

The delegation also met with Grand Mufti Sheikh Mohammad Rashid Qabbani. After the meeting, Saleh said the visitors now better understood how Christians and Muslim live together in Lebanon, and how Lebanon is an example of coexistence that Germany could learn from.

Separately, senior Shiite cleric Sayyed Mohammad Hussein Fadlallah denounced the misuse of Islamic slogans in election campaigns, saying it would lead to the devaluing of Islamic concepts over time. He condemned politicians who call for reform, yet end up being just as corrupt as those they criticize.

6.16.05 Send God a letter but don't forget the stamp

JERUSALEM, June 16 – Jonathan Lis reports changes in the delivery of letters sent to God: An urban legend has been circulating in the Postal Authority for years about a letter to God that landed in the dead letter department. The postal employees decided to open it and found that a poor man had sent an emotional appeal to God to send him NIS 5,000 so he could celebrate an upcoming holiday properly. Touched, the postal workers decided to take up a collection for the man. They raised NIS 4,300 and sent it to the return address on the envelope. Two weeks later, another letter to God came from the man. This time when they opened it, they found a thank-you note. "I am so grateful that you answered my prayer," the man had written. "But next time, don't send the money through the mail - those postal workers stole NIS 700."

Three years ago, the Postal Authority decided not to open such letters nor to return them to their senders. Instead, the hundreds of letters addressed to "God, the Western Wall, Jerusalem," are brought to their destination and placed between the ancient stones.

Yesterday, Postal Authority director general Yossi Sheli and the Western Wall Rabbi Shmuel Rabinovich placed more than 1,000 missives to the Almighty in the Western Wall. "Letters to God come in from all over the world," the Postal Authority spokesman, Itzhak Rav Yihiya, said. "Schoolchildren as well as adults actually put letters in envelopes, buy stamps and send them, hoping they will reach their destination. We see it as our mission to transfer these letters to the Western Wall."

Writing to perceived higher powers seems to be a worldwide phenomenon. Among popular addresses are also Jesus and Santa Claus...Postal Authority sources say their only worry now is how they will process a letter to God that comes by registered mail.
[Full story>>]

6.16.05 Jewish graves vandalized in London

LONDON (AP) June 16 – A day after it was revealed that a Jewish cemetery in Budapest was severely damaged, vandals desecrated 86 gravestones in a Jewish cemetery in London and sprayed some of them with Nazi swastikas, police said Thursday. The doors to a mausoleum building in east London's West Ham Jewish Cemetery were also forced open and the structure was sprayed with swastikas, London police said. "This was a despicable racist attack," said Steve Lane, a police detective.

Two of the damaged graves belonged to children aged 13 and 4 and had stood undisturbed since the 1870s, said Melvyn Hartog, head of burials for the United Synagogue, which maintains the cemetery and 10 others in the London area.

6.16.05 Russian expert forecasts political crisis in Ukraine

MOSCOW (RIA Novosti) June 16 – This fall a political crisis may hit Ukraine, President of the Effective Policy Fund Gleb Pavlovsky said on Thursday. "A crisis should be expected no later than this fall," he said. According to him, "new reckless economic policy of the Ukrainian government" will lead to a crisis. Speaking about the political struggle in Ukraine prior to the parliamentary elections due in March 2006, Pavlovsky said: "If the party of the southeast fights against the parties of west and center in the elections, it will mean Ukraine's political collapse." [More>>]

6.16.05 Indonesia finds first human case of bird flu

JAKARTA (Reuters) June 16 – The first human case of bird flu was identified in Indonesia after a poultry worker tested positive this month, a World Health Organisation (WHO) official said on Thursday. But the poultry worker shows no symptoms of the disease, and due the low concentration of antibodies he no longer carries the virus, the Jakarta-based official said. The poultry worker was first tested in March after an outbreak hit South Sulawesi province killing around 25,000 fowl. Out of the 81 people tested, his test at a Hong Kong laboratory showed a positive result, prompting another examination. [More>>]

6.16.05 Bomb-laden jet crashes in backyard

PHOENIX (AP) June 16 – A US Marine Corps jet carrying four 500-pound bombs crashed into the backyard of a home during a training exercise, but the pilot ejected safely and only one person on the ground was slightly injured, authorities said. Nearly 1,300 homes were evacuated Wednesday while a military explosives team dismantled the bombs at the crash site in Yuma, about 300 kilometres southwest of Phoenix. Most people were allowed to return home by late evening. The Harrier jet was coming in for a landing at Marine Corps Air Station-Yuma when it crashed and burst into flames about a mile from the base, Marine Corporal Michael Nease said. [More>>]

6.15.05 Senator Feinstein against US becoming a 'unilateralist power'

SAN FRANCISCO, June 15 – Dianne Feinstein sent the following in response to my letter / concern that "Bush is a mythmaker...The good news is that there are those of us who know history and record it...Would you have any comment on any hope we may share that there will be some review of the Bush propaganda, hopefully before we enter, led by the world's new Kaiser, WWIII? You know, of course, all things today are about oil."
Mel Copeland

Dear Mr. Copeland:

Thank you for writing to me about U.S. Foreign Policy. I
appreciate your letter and wish to share my own thoughts with you.

I understand your serious concerns regarding U.S. foreign
policy and the Bush Administration's doctrine of preemption. The
Administration's approach in the run up to the conflict in Iraq cost
the United States much of the goodwill shown to us after the
September 11 attacks. We must be on our guard that the U.S. not
be seen as developing into a unilateralist power, undertaking a
series of anticipatory wars. Over the long haul, when facing
challenges like the Middle East, the War on Terror and North
Korea, we cannot go it alone and hope to succeed.

Please know that I value your perspective. The views of
my constituents are important to me and I will keep your letter in
mind when the Senate debates foreign policy over the coming

Sincerely yours,

Dianne Feinstein
United States Senator

6.15.05 Seventeen killed in Iraqi army canteen attack

BAQUBA, Iraq (AFP) June 15 – At least 17 soldiers were killed on Wednesday when a man dressed in Iraqi army uniform blew himself up at a canteen on a military base northeast of Baghdad, security and hospital sources said. ³A massive explosion took place at about 1:00 PM (0900 GMT) inside a base in Khales and there are several dead and wounded,² said Colonel Abdullah al-Shammari, an army spokesman. An official at the Iraqi defense ministry confirmed the lunchtime attack and said all 17 dead were soldiers. Most of the casualties were rushed to hospitals in Baquba, the provincial capital southeast of Khales. An Iraqi soldier helping transport the casualties to Baquba said the attack was carried out by a man dressed as an Iraqi soldier. The hospital said it only received 12 wounded so far. [More>>]

6.15.05 Australian hostage rescued in Iraq

June 15 – Hostage Douglas Wood has been rescued from his captors after being held for six weeks in Iraq, Australian PM John Howard has said. "I am delighted to inform the house the Australian hostage in Iraq, Mr Douglas Wood, is safe from his captors," he told the Australian parliament. He said the engineer, 63, seized in late April, had been rescued in a military operation. His release came as a suicide bomber killed at least 23 Iraqi soldiers.

Dozens were also injured in the town of Khalis, 60km (40 miles) north of Baghdad, when a bomber dressed as an Iraqi soldier blew himself up at an army canteen. At least 900 people have died in attacks since Iraq's new government was formed six weeks ago.

6.15.05 Seven Afghan medics gunned down in suspected Taleban attack

KABUL (AFP) June 15 – Suspected Taleban militants killed a doctor and six medical attendants during a spate of violent incidents in southern Afghanistan that left a total of 17 people dead, officials said on Wednesday. The seven medics were shot dead in Moghgay Tana, close to the Pakistani border in Khost province, late on Tuesday, police told AFP. ³Doctor Abdul Hanan and his six colleagues were killed by armed men in Moghulgay clinic,² said General Almat Gull Mangal, commander of Khost border forces. ³It is the work of Taleban and Al Qaeda to kill doctors,² he added.

In a separate incident in the Sabari district of Khost Tuesday, a civilian station wagon hit a newly planted land mine, killing two people. ³A vehicle ran over a land mine and two passengers were killed as a result,² said Mangal. The same day in neighboring Paktia province, a police chief was attacked and his bodyguard killed by a bomb. ³The Jani Khalil district police chief was wounded with his driver and a bodyguard. His second bodyguard died when a roadside bomb hit his vehicle,² Mangal said. [

6.14.05 Buddhist man found beheaded in south Thailand

BANGKOK, Thailand (AP) June 15 – Suspected Islamic militants have beheaded a Buddhist man in Thailand's tumultuous Muslim-dominated south, police said Wednesday, the fifth such killing since the area erupted in sectarian violence early last year. The head of Kamol Chuneth, a 65-year-old retired Buddhist school teacher, was found on a roadside in Pattani province while his body was found in a hut at a rice field about 5 kilometers (3 miles) away, said police Maj. Gen. Uthai Chaimala. A note found with the head said: "You arrested an innocent man. I will get two lives in return.'' The note apparently referred to the arrest last week of a Muslim student leader, Mahazee Boonthon.

The 28-year-old student at Pattani's Prince of Songkhla University was arrested last Friday on charges of murdering a provincial judge and involvement in continuing attacks in the southernmost provinces, which have claimed more than 860 lives since January 2004. Mahazee has been detained in the Thai capital, Bangkok, pending formal trial, police said. The beheading was thought to have been the fifth such incident since the spate of attacks began in the southern provinces
. [More>>]

6.14.05 Big quake off California coast

WASHINGTON, June 15 – A strong earthquake of 7.0 magnitude had occurred off the coast of northern California, the US Geological Survey (USGS) said today. The earthquake, which the USGS defines as "major" at that magnitude, occurred at 7.50pm on the West coast (1250 AEST today) about 10km deep in the Pacific Ocean. A tsunami warning has been issued for coastal areas from the California-Mexico border to the northern tip of Vancouver in Canada, USGS said. [The tsunami warning was cancelled at 9:29pm San Francisco time; this reporter is in the Bay area and has seen no sign of the tsunami; initial report from]

6.14.05 Afghan capital on verge of cholera epedemic

KABUL, June 14 – More than 2,000 suspected cases of cholera have been detected in the Afghan capital in recent weeks, and at least eight people have died, a health expert said Tuesday, warning that the city is on the verge of an epidemic.

The government disputed the numbers and said it had the situation under control.

"An epidemic is about to break out here. Over 2,000 cases have been reported so far that would meet the case definition of cholera,'' said Fred Hartman, an epidemiologist and technical director for a U.S. Agency for International Development-backed program, the Rural Expansion of Afghanistan's Community-based Health Care.

Hartman, who has combatted cholera outbreaks around the world for 30 years and has been directly involved with efforts to contain the disease here, told The Associated Press that 8-9 people had died in the past two weeks, and warned the disease could spread quickly throughout the city's 4 million population. "There are always deaths with cholera,'' he said.

Abdullah Fahim, an adviser to the health minister, said some 2,400 people have been diagnosed with acute diarrhea, but that only 30 had been confirmed to have cholera. He initially said nobody had died, but later said that two children and an adult who died with acute diarrhea were suspected of having cholera. "We have had 30 cases confirmed. There is no need to declare that there is an epidemic. It would just create panic and we don't want to scare people,'' Fahim said.

6.14.05 At least 29 dead, 60 wounded in Iraqi attacks

BAGHDAD (AFP) June 14 – At least 29 people were killed and 60 wounded on Tuesday in bombing attacks in northern Iraq, as the autonomous Kurdish region was set to install its first president. A blast ripped through waiting civil servants outside a bank in the northern Iraqi oil hub of Kirkuk, killing at least 19 people and wounding 53 others, police said. A suicide bomber blew himself up amidst public workers standing outside the Al-Rafidain bank in the city centre, Kirkuk police chief Major General Turhan Yusif said. According to Colonel Shirzad Abdullah, chief of the Rahimao police station: ³Most of the casualties were civil servants lining up outside the bank to receive their monthly pay.² The blast came shortly before Kurdish leader Massoud Barzani was to be sworn in as president of three provinces in northern Iraq, an event that seals their long fought-for autonomy but does not resolve the disputed status of Kirkuk.

Meanwhile, 10 Iraqis, including two children, were killed and seven wounded by a car bomb north of Baghdad, according to security and hospital sources. ³Ten people were killed in all and seven wounded,² an Iraqi army officer said, adding four deaths among his own soldiers to an earlier report of six dead and four wounded.
[More>>; See also]

6.14.05 Powell: China is not a military threat to the US

June 14 – Former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell said in Bangkok on Monday, June 13 that China is not a military threat to the United States. He also urged Beijing to do a better job explaining the benefits of cheap Chinese imports to American consumers. Speaking to delegates at a business conference in Bangkok, Powell said China's increasing spending on its military does not make it a threat to the United States. "The threat comes from the capability to execute these plans and the intention to do so," he said. "My analysis in the last four years is that China has no such intention. China wishes to live in peace with its neighbors and the U.S."

Tension between China and the U.S. has escalated in recent days over a trade dispute on Chinese textile imports. On Monday, Chinese Vice Premier Wu Yi criticized America's recent decision to impose a 7.5 percent cap on the increase in Chinese textiles this year before talks could resolve the disagreement. Powell said China "needs to make its case."

"China needs to do a better job to explain to the U.S. public how U.S. consumers will benefit from quality goods coming in at low costs," he said.

6.14.05 Icy atmosphere for Chirac-Blair showdown on EU budget

PARIS (AFP) June 14 – An icy diplomatic chill set the tone for talks between French President Jacques Chirac and British Prime Minister Tony Blair, with arguments over budgets masking a deeper battle for long term influence inside the European Union.

Blair arrived in Paris at the end of a whistle-stop four-nation tour meant to focus on issues such as global warming and African debt relief which will be on the agenda of the Group of Eight summit in Scotland next month. However the French leg was set to be dominated by a bitter row over budget contributions to the 25-member EU, with Blair strenuously resisting Chirac's demand that Britain's five billion euro (six billion dollar) annual rebate be submitted for renegotiation.

The issue looks likely to dominate a EU summit later this week in Brussels, eclipsing the political fall-out of the recent French and Dutch rejections of the European constitution.

6.14.05 Shun China, sell to India: US

Le Bourget, France (Reuters) June 14 – The US government's chief arms salesman on Monday warned against sharing arms technology with China, but welcomed the prospect of US companies supplying jet fighters to India. The comments, by Lt. Gen. Jeffrey Kohler, the US Director of Defence Security Cooperation, come as China looks to build up its military strength in the face of a 16-year arms embargo, while India and Pakistan modernize their ageing air forces.

"There's a list of things we strongly feel should not be traded with China," said Kohler in an interview at the Paris Air Show. "Mostly on the higher end technology, giving them (China) the ability to integrate a lot of the weapon systems they have been buying over the last few years."

6.14.05 Iran arrests suspects in deadly blasts

AHVAZ, Iran (AFP) June 14 – Iran has made its first arrests over a string of deadly pre-election bombings blamed on Iraq-based extremists, vowing that the presidential poll would go ahead without disruption. Up to 10 people were killed in separate attacks in the Arab-dominated city of Ahvaz and the capital Tehran on Sunday, rattling the country in the midst of a fractious and sometimes bruising election campaign.

"Some of the perpetrators of the acts have been arrested, others are on the verge of being caught," Information Minister Ali Yusseini told reporters. "They have foreign links," he added, without giving further details. Ahvaz Governor Mohammad Jafar-Sarrahmi pointed the finger at the Iraq-based People's Mujahideen, which is Iran's main armed opposition group, and Baathist supporters of deposed Iraqi president Saddam Hussein.

"They want a low turnout [in the election] to show people were not present. They tried satellite television and leaflets, but this did not work. They want to create fear," he said.

"The elections will go ahead, with total security and confidence," he said.

Eight people were killed and 75 others wounded in a series of four blasts outside public buildings in Ahvaz, which lies close to the Iraqi border, according to official sources. Hours later, another blast hit a busy square in Tehran, killing two people and seriously wounding at least two others, official media said. Two smaller homemade bombs were reported to have exploded in other parts of the capital.

6.14.05 US troops, interpreter, hurt in fresh Afghan violence

KABUL (Reuters) June 14 – Four US troops and an Afghan interpreter were wounded on Tuesday when an explosive device detonated near their vehicle in southeastern Afghanistan, a day after a suicide bomber rammed a car into a US military convoy. Tuesdayıs attack near the town of Ghazni was the latest in a surge in militant violence in the run-up to parliamentary elections due to be held in September. A US military statement said a suspected improvised explosive device detonated while the soldiers and the interpreter were on a routine patrol in an armored Humvee vehicle. [More>>; See also, "Taliban attack wounds four US soldiers."

6.14.05 18 rebel commanders surrender to Afghan government

BAGHDAD, June 14 – Eighteen Afghan commanders linked to most wanted warlord Gulbuddin Hekmatyar have surrendered as part of a reconciliation drive aimed at former militants, police said today. The key figures from Hekmatyar's Hezb-e-Islami group, which is thought to be behind a string of attacks on US and Afghan government targets, surrendered in southeastern Paktia province on Sunday, police said.

"Eighteen commanders of Hezb-e-Islami led by Hekmatyar gave themselves up on Sunday to the Afghan government in Gardez," said Ghulam Nabi Salim, Gardez police director. The government says dozens of former Taliban and others have surrendered under its amnesty scheme since it was offered by President Hamid Karzai in November. The Taliban were ousted in late 2001.

Hekmatyar himself, a former Afghan prime minister who is wanted by the United States for alleged human rights violations, has reportedly rejected the offer.

One of the more senior commanders to surrender on Sunday, Mehmod Khan, told media that after the fall of the Taliban in late 2001 he wanted to surrender but he was not sure of his fate so he chose to flee to Pakistan and live there. Officials are trumpeting the amnesty program's successes amid a renewed, post-winter Taliban campaign of violence against US and Afghan targets. Four US soldiers were wounded by a suspected Taliban suicide bomber yesterday.

6.14.05 Wife sues Saudi King for divorce

LONDON, (PTI) June 14 – A British-based wife of Saudi Arabia's king Fahd is suing the ailing monarch for a slice of his vast wealth in a divorce settlement, a report said today. Janan Harb, 57, is suing the 82-year-old king for a share of his estimated 32-billion-pound fortune, London's Evening Standard newspaper said, printing her picture after her lawyers overturned an appeal court ruling keeping the case secret. Harb, one of king Fahd's three wives, first filed a case against the Saudi sovereign in January 2004 under Britain's matrimonial causes act, claiming he had "failed to provide reasonable maintenance for her". Since then, the monarch's lawyers have attempted to keep proceedings secret and claim sovereign immunity. [More>>]

6.14.05 Xinjiang plans to be China's top oil producer

URUMQI, China, June 14 – Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region plans to overtake Northeast China's Daqing to become the country's largest oil production area in the next few years, said a top local government official yesterday. The region, currently China's third largest oil producing area, plans to more than double its oil production to 50 million tons in the near future from 22 million tons last year, according to Ismail Tiliwaldi, chairman of the region.

In the long run, the region is expected to be pumping 100 million tons of crude oil a year, or nearly 60 per cent of China's total last year, he said in an interview with Beijing-based media, including China Daily. The targets, if realized, will help China greatly offset the slowing production of its senior oilfields in eastern areas.

As oilfields such as Daqing which accounts for one third of China's oil production become depleted, the central government is pinning its oil hopes on vast virgin fields in Xinjiang to boost production. Xinjiang sits on 30 per cent of the nation's total oil reserves and 34 per cent of its natural gas resources, said the chairman. He vowed to further expedite oil exploration in potential areas, including Karamay, Turpan Basin and Tarim Basin.

6.14.05 Iraq to triple oil output

KUALA LUMPUR, June 14 – Iraq has announced an ambitious 10-year plan to triple oil production to 6.0 million barrels per day by 2015, saying it will need some 20 billion dollars in foreign investments to boost output. "We have a 10-year broad plan. Our expansion philosophy is to try to replace depleted production volume and add to our national reserves," NK Al-Bayati, Director-General of Iraq's Oil Ministry, told the Asia oil and gas conference here.

Al-Bayati said the increase in output from the current level of 1.8 million barrels per day (BPD) would be done in two phases. Under the first phase, oil production would increase to 3.5-4.0 million bpd in 2010, and 5.5-6.0 million bpd by 2015, he said.

Al-Bayati said Iraq was optimistic it would be able to achieve the target despite the ongoing violence and terror threats which have seen oil pipelines frequently blown up.


6.03.05 Rally staged against Israeli barrier

June 3 – Residents of a Palestinian village have staged a protest against the separation barrier being built by Israel in the West Bank. Israeli occupation troops confronted the protesters on Friday. The two sides clashed when the demonstrators tried to advance towards the territories being razed in preparation for extending the barrier wall.

Some demonstrators were injured while others were arrested by Israeli troops. The demonstration coincided with the 38th anniversary of the Israeli occupation of West Bank and Gaza, and also marked the 100th day of the beginning of popular resistance in the village against the occupation. Many Palestinians describe the structure as an "apartheid wall" while Israel calls it a security barrier.

Editorial note: A view of the wall is at the link.A map and another photo are in our sidebar.

05.21.05 British lawmaker: Iraq war was for oil

LISBON, May 21 – Adam Porter reports: Labour politician and former UK environment minister Michael Meacher has slammed Prime Minister Tony Blair and US President George Bush for starting a war, he says, to secure oil interests.

Speaking on Friday on the sidelines of the fourth International Workshop on Oil and Gas Depletion in Lisbon, Portugal, Meacher, a member of the British parliament, said: "The reason they attacked Iraq is nothing to do with weapons of mass destruction, it was nothing to do with democracy in Iraq, it was nothing to do with the human rights abuses of Saddam Hussein."
..."It was principally, totally and comprehensively to do with oil," Meacher continued. "This was about assuming control over the Middle East and over Iraq, the second largest producer and also over Saudi Arabia next door.

"It was about securing as much as possible of the remaining supplies of oil and also over the Caspian basin, which of course is Afghanistan."

03.23.05 Federal Reserve raised new worries about inflation

WASHINGTON, March 22 – The Federal Reserve raised new worries about inflation on Tuesday, setting off alarms in the stock and bond markets that the central bank might drive up interest rates faster than investors had been expecting. The Fed nudged up short-term interest rates for the seventh time in the last year, raising the federal funds rate on overnight loans between banks to 2.75 percent from 2.5 percent. It restated its intention to keep raising them at a "measured" pace in the months ahead.

But in a departure from previous declarations, the central bank said there were rising inflationary pressures beyond those tied directly to the recent jumps in oil prices.

Editorial note: What is not being reported is the fact that interest rates are tied to the US National Debt. As the debt increases (this year the deficit is expected to exceed $420 billion, and interest on the debt which exceeds $8.2 trillion, is about $1 billion per day. Because the annual deficits are financed via the bond market, and because the amount of the bonds being sold exceeds demand, it is necessary to raise interest rates to attract investors in the US bonds financing the US debt. This routine of increasing debt on an exponential scale was experienced under the administration of George H. W. Bush. I predicted increasing interest rates "to sell bonds" in my conversation with Wm. F. Buckley Jr. at that time, in 1993, and I have repeated the prediction with regard to the current Bush administration's excesses and need to sell more bonds to finance the extraordinary deficits. The rate increases will continue in order to sell the overabundant US bonds. In a few words, George Bush's debt is causing your mortgage rates to increase, and they will continue to increase until the US assumes fiscal responsibility. Click here for details on this trend.

Postscript: If the EU adopts the practice of allowing large budget deficits, the consequence places a strain on the world bond market, since that market is already flooded with US bonds to the tune of some $9 trillion. Those who are allowing budget deficits also own some of the US debt. It's not a good situation, heralding a world economic collapse. That Greenspan has not reigned in the Bush administration on the US debt is a travesty.

Mel Copeland


03.24.05 Temple Mount controversy
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.
(3) Ronald L. Conte Jr., has an interesting analyses of comets and eclipses as they relate to Roman times and Biblical Chronology. His estimate of 54 A.D. for the destruction of Jerusalem by Titus, rather than 70 A.D., is controversial, to say the least.
(4) In comparing the Hogenberg, Adrichem and Josephus maps, it appears that the structure noted as "Solomon's Temple" is, in fact, Pilate's palace, and the Antonia fortress and Strotion Tower. This leaves the adjacent "squared complex" in all three maps as the Temple of Herod. This leaves to be explained the mountain peak underneath the Dome of the Rock, whether the height of the Temple Mount was above that point, since no mountain peak is indicated in the area of the "squared complex." King Solomon's palace and stables were adjacent to the Temple Mount, and there may be confusion here with the "squared complex" on the maps. The image of "Solomon's Temple" on the Josephus map does match the description of the actual temple. The thesis that the Temple did not sit atop the peak underneath the Dome of the Rock still must be answered, since both those who advocate restoration of the Temple and those who resist it (Palestinians, who oversee the Temple Mount) have presumed that in order to restore the Temple the Dome of the Rock would have to be torn down.

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