Article - The Blair Belief Project
Strike Flash Presentation by a QFS member
of the Day
Mers de la Tranquillité et du Nectar
|TABA, Egypt -- An Israeli
defense official and terrorism analysts said Friday that the
three blasts at Egyptian vacation spots frequented by Israelis bear
al Qaeda hallmarks.
Israel's Deputy Defense Minister Zeev Boim made his comments the
day after the bombings killed at least 29 people and wounded dozens
more in Taba.
Egyptian and Israeli officials have been combing
through wreckage at the Hilton Hotel searching for victims of the
At least 30 people are missing and officials fear the death toll
Only 10 bodies had been identified -- six Egyptians, four Israelis.
Egyptian officials said authorities were still
working to determine the exact source of the explosions, although
they are calling it an attack on the hotel.
Boim said the attacks are similar to those of Osama
bin Laden's al Qaeda terrorist network, although he said he's not
ruling out the possibility that a Palestinian militant group could
Two terrorism analysts told CNN they suspect Egyptian
Jihad, a group that merged with al Qaeda in the late 1990s.
But Israeli officials said it is not yet clear
who's responsible, and U.S. officials warned against jumping to
Three different, little-known or previously unknown
groups have claimed responsibility for the bombings.
All three claims appeared on Islamist Web sites. The third came
from a group that said it is associated with al Qaeda.
CNN cannot authenticate any of the claims.
Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon met with his Cabinet in emergency
session and spoke with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to coordinate
efforts. The two men agreed to concentrate efforts and forces in
the war on terrorism, a statement from Sharon's office said.
The two nations' foreign ministers have been in direct contact
Gillerman said Israel does not suspect the involvement of Egyptians.
"Egypt is a victim of this attack and we have great sympathy,"
he said. "Egypt is just another moderate Arab government just
like Morocco, just like Tunisia, who is suffering because of its
moderation at the hands of these extremists and fundamentalists
who must be eradicated."
TABA, Egypt - Israeli
officials said Friday they believe al-Qaida was probably behind
three suicide car bomb attacks targeting Red Sea resorts filled
with Israeli tourists, as investigators searched for evidence
and rescuers pulled bodies from the twisted wreckage of a five-star
hotel and casino.
Thursday night's bombings in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula killed 29
people, according to Israeli authorities, who were leading the rescue
Egyptian officials could confirm only 24 dead. More than 100 people
were injured, with reports as high as 160. [...]
Participants in an emergency meeting of the Israeli Cabinet said
the military intelligence chief told them al-Qaida was probably
behind the attacks. Deputy Defense Minister Zeev Boim called Osama
bin Laden's terrorist network the most likely suspect.
Egyptian authorities were more cautious. "We have to wait
until the investigation is over to make sure if the attack was related
to al-Qaida, or any other organization, or not," said Maged
Abdel Fattah, spokesman for Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.
In Washington, a U.S. counterterrorism official, discussing intelligence
on the condition of anonymity, said American officials suspect —
but aren't certain — that al-Qaida had a role in the bombings.
There were several claims of responsibility —
including one from an al-Qaida-linked group — but none appeared
"This is a terrorist attack, but who
did it?" asked Egypt's foreign minister, Ahmed Aboul
Gheit. "We can't tell, as the investigation has just begun."
Israeli security sources said all three bombs were suicide attacks.
Officials initially reported at least 30 dead, but scaled back.
The Israeli army said Friday night that 29 people were confirmed
dead. Egypt's interior minister reported 24.
An official at Taba hospital, speaking on
condition of anonymity, told The Associated Press that 24 people
were killed, including five Israelis, seven Egyptians and the rest
foreigners whose nationalities were not immediately determined.
The Israeli fire chief said a female tourist from Russia was among
those killed. [...]
Egypt's tourism minister, Ahmed El Maghraby, indicated
the attacks were political: "Look at the timing. Look at the
choice of place."
He didn't say what he was referring to, but other officials drew
links to the Israeli military operation against the Palestinians
in the neighboring Gaza Strip, where more than 80 Palestinians have
been killed in an Israeli offensive that began Sept. 29. [...]
unknown group says attack is in revenge for Israel's assassination
of Sheikh Ahmed Yassin.
The previously unknown group said the attack,
which killed at least 19 people and left another 38 missing, was
in revenge for Israel's assassination last March of Sheikh Ahmed
Yassin, founder of the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas, and
was "the first direct shot in the face
"The Israeli government, under the leadership of Prime Minister
Ariel Sharon, intends to withdraw Israeli settlers and troops
from Gaza. But deadly rocket fire from Gaza into Israel caused
the redeployment of Israeli troops into Gaza. Wouldn't all Palestinians,
even the most militant, be better off without Israeli forces in
their midst and without retaliatory attacks by Israeli aircraft?
Who benefits from the fighting?"
CAIRO, October 8 –
A cohort of Egyptian security, political
and diplomatic experts have concluded that Israel is the only party
to benefit from the blasts that rocked tourist resorts in the Egyptian
Sinai peninsula on Thursday, October7 , ruling out any possible
Former Egyptian Assistant Interior Minister Mohammad
Omar Abdel-Fattah said that while analyzing any such operation security
experts should always seek an answer to the basic question of who
stands to benefit.
"Israel is the only party to gain from this
operation," the international security expert told IslamOnline.net.
He pointed out that the Israelis and their agents
are the only people who have free access to the targeted area.
Abdel-Fattah said the booby-trapped vehicles used
in the bombings do not carry the trademark of terrorist groups who
usually resort to suicide bombers instead.
He stressed that the Israeli right has been cornered due to mounting
pressures from the US on Israeli Premier Ariel Sharon after Washington
had to wield its veto power to kill a resolution condemning Israel
for the onslaught on the Gaza Strip.
Israel needed something to dodge such American
pressures and throw the ball at the American court till the end
of the elections, said the expert.
Former Egyptian Assistant Foreign Minister Abdullah
Al-Ashaal also agreed that several indications suggest an Israeli
"Israel’s ultimate goal to undermine Egypt’s regional
role and force it on its knees," he told IOL.
"All indicators suggest an Israeli involvement,
especially that the area is very close to the Israeli borders."
He also recalled the recent Israeli travel warning against visiting
the Sinai peninsula.
Al-Ashaal said that by jumbling to heap the blame on Al-Qeada,
Israel wanted to embroil Egypt in Washington’s so-called war
The Egyptian tourism sector, a main foreign currency earner, would
bear the brunt of the bombings, he added.
Diaa Rashwan, an expect in the Islamic movements affairs in Al-Ahram
Center for Strategic Studies, an Egyptian think-tank, also agreed
that Al-Qaeda was not a likely culprit.
According to American intelligence 70 percent of Al-Qeada leaders
have been either killed or kidnapped while the rest are taking shelter
on Afghanistan’s borders with Pakistan, he said.
"Sinai bombings carry the trademark of careful
planning which means those involved had a hand-on experience on
the area, which is already under tight security."
The expert suggested that "foreign intelligence"
are directly or indirectly involved in such "dirty attacks."
Rashwan agreed with the other experts that Israel would be the
only part to make gains from the attacks, especially that Israel
would exploit them to associate itself with Washington in its so-called
war on terror.
He also expected the Sharon’s Likud party to use the blasts
to undermine the Egyptian role in the Palestinian cause.
Another group of expects did not rule out a possible involvement
by Palestinian factions in the bombings and that they refrained
from claiming responsibility to avoid a face-off with Egypt.
Political analyst Al-Sayed Yassin said the operation came in retaliation
for the unparalleled state terrorism practiced by Israel against
unarmed citizens in Gaza Strip.
He ruled out the involvement of Al-Qaeda in such
bombings, as the network has no experience in working in the region.
The expert also undermined suggestions that the
operation would be exploited to attack Egypt over security lapses.
"Egypt can not be accused of security lapses
because those groups penetrate Israeli security on daily basis through
operations committed not far from Sharon's residence," he said.
He also recalled that similar attacks have been
mounted against targets inside New York and Washington.
An Ill Wind and the House
There's an ill wind
stirring in Washington D.C. and it came from the sweeping out of
George Tenet, a whisper in the ear of a conservative news columnist
and the recent leak of a probe into the Larry Franklin/AIPAC/Israeli
Curiously, President Bush and Dick Cheney both contacted criminal
defense lawyers before their testimony pertaining to the inquiry
in the outing of CIA operative Valerie Plame, the wife of former
Ambassador Joseph Wilson. Robert Novak, the conservative columnist
who received that leak from an unnamed source in the present Bush
administration, wrote the article that named Plame as a CIA operative.
The outing of Plame, the ousting of Tenet and/or the pressure on
Franklin may be the initial breeze that turns into an ill wind for
Bush and his neo-conmen.
In regard to the Plame affair, prior to the Iraq War, in February
of 2002, Plame's husband Joseph Wilson was sent to Niger by Dick
Cheney to verify information the Bush administration could use as
justification for the invasion of Iraq. That information claimed
Saddam Hussein had attempted to purchase yellow cake uranium for
use in his alleged nuclear weapons program from Niger. Wilson found
the allegation baseless and urged the Bush administration not to
use this information because it appeared to be fraudulent. Tenet
also found the same Nigerian information to be bogus and he advised
the Bush administration not to use it as if it were fact. The Bush
neo-conmen however, pushed forward with their smoke and mirrors
game plan by using the nefarious Nigerian documentation which, in
part, led to the invasion of Iraq.
Tenet has since been fired, or in the convoluted doublespeak of
Bushtalk, he has resigned. And it appears that someone in the White
House was looking for retribution against Wilson for his disobedience.
The leak outing Plame as a CIA operative has also quite likely jeopardized
and exposed an ongoing CIA operation, which quite probably does
not sit well with some at the CIA.
The Franklin/AIPAC investigation may have even deeper ramifications
leading to a more expansive probe of the neo-con cabal of Perle,
Wolfowitz, Zackheim and others inside the Bush administration who
have had, over several decades, close political, familial and financial
ties to the state of Israel. This probe may very well be a 'pre-emptive
strike', directed towards a Bush/Neo-con/Israeli attempt to push
for a widening of the Iraqi fiasco into Iran or Syria, by deeply
concerned members of various branches of the U.S. government that
view the Bush/Neo-con/Israeli troika as out of control.
If any of these investigative scenarios are pursued earnestly by
elements of the U.S. Justice Department, the Bush/Neo-con house
of cards could come tumbling down, if not before the election, hopefully
soon thereafter. The possibilities that these investigations present,
could have serious legal consequences for the Bush administration
and those involved, even if Bush is not re-elected to office. Not
to mention the betrayal that would be felt by this nation's citizens,
especially those who've lost loved ones as a result of the Bush/Neo-con
From a historical point of view, the Watergate scandal started
with small seeds of information gained by putting pressure on guilty
subordinates of the Nixon administration, that grew, leading to
Nixon's eventual downfall.
The information gleaned from these current inquiries appears to
have the same potential, if, they are allowed to proceed impartially.
If, or when, more heat is put upon certain subordinates of the Bush
administration by way of possible charges of perjury and other potential
penalties as these inquiries wear on, the deceptive machinations
of this administration, from even before 9/11, might finally be
If this should come about, those who have made the effort to gather
the facts in order to become informed about all the spurious events
that have occurred during the Bush/Neo-con watch will finally be
vindicated. No one desires to see our government disgraced in front
of the world, but hasn't this group done so already?
Hopefully, there are enough of those in the CIA, the FBI, the U.S.
military and other branches of our government who have also had
enough of the deceptive misuse of power these power hungry conmen
have usurped during their tenure, and follow the facts that will
allow an ill wind that's deserved to blow their falsely built house
of cards down. At least we can hope there are those, who've taken
an oath of allegiance, that still believe in 'freedom and justice
PARIS - Interference by the Pentagon delivered
a massive blow to efforts to provide humanitarian relief for Iraq
after last year's war, according to two US aid experts who struggled
with the conflict's chaotic aftermath.
In trenchant criticism, the pair say the Department of Defense
alienated aid workers, misjudged the scale of looting that wrecked
Iraq's health service and sent out bureaucrats who only served to
The traditional American response to humanitarian emergencies and
natural disasters abroad is carried out by the State Department's
US Agency for International Development (USAID) and Office of Foreign
Disaster Assistance (OFDA).
In the months leading up to the war, these agencies
trained up an 80-person team specially for Iraq, many of them with
long expertise in emergencies, says the commentary, published by
Frederick Burkle and Eric Noji in Saturday's Lancet.
But that initiative was hamstrung by the Pentagon
which, breaking with tradition, decided to set up its own humanitarian
planning team, say the authors.
That move sowed doubt and suspicion among non-governmental organisations
(NGOs) in relief work, they allege.
Many of these agencies distanced themselves, fearful that their
reputation for neutrality would be compromised on the ground if
they had to work with occupying troops, say Burkle and Noji.
"The situation was further complicated by
the fact that the (Pentagon) humanitarian planning team, citing
secrecy, refused to disclose crucial information needed for planning
not only to international relief organisations but also to other
US military, government and civilian agencies working on humanitarian
relief," they add.
As confusion mounted between the rival State Department and Pentagon
relief initiatives, the US government decided
to give overall administrative control to the Department of Defense's
team -- by now named the Office of Reconstruction and Humanitarian
The big problem, though, was that Pentagon planners had not taken
into account the risk of looting after the fall of Saddam Hussein.
The pillaging wrecked clinics, hospitals, emptied pharmaceutical
stores and destroyed laboratories, "causing the collapse of
the already tottering health system," the commentary says.
That crisis was worsened by chronic insecurity, hours-long power
cuts and lack of sanitation.
Meanwhile, the ORHA team that was rushed to Baghdad was mainly
staffed by policy wonks, it says.
They had little field experience in relief operations, many were
ignorant of functions, charter and capabilities of UN agencies,
Red Cross organisations or NGOs, and they simply created another
unnecessary level of bureaucracy.
These staff, "comfortable with a top-down military-style command
structure," grappled to cope with the flexible, lateral approach
needed to tackle parallel problems such as providing water, sanitation,
food, fuel and medicine.
"Judging from the experience in Iraq, the armed forces should
be prevented form dominating humanitarian assistance as much as
possible, and should leave this task to agencies that have traditionally
handled humanitarian crises," the commentary adds.
Burkle and Noji work at the Center for International Emergency,
Disaster and Refugee Studies at Johns Hopkins University Medical
Institutions in Baltimore.
Burkle, a doctor by training, was the major health
planner at USAID for Iraq and served as senior medical officer for
the OFDA's disaster assistance response team.
He was the first senior health diplomat to enter Baghdad and southern
Iraq after the collapse of the health system.
Noji was Burkle's deputy on the OFDA team, being
deployed in Iraq from March to May 2003, during the immediate relief
It has taken a shameful three years for
the legal charade of Guantanamo Bay to be exposed.
At first, all the detainees held by the US military at Guantanamo
Bay were "the worst of the worst", US Defence Secretary
Donald Rumsfeld said, who deserved to be "dealt with as people
who have engaged in mass murder". Since January 2002, most
have been detained without charge, beyond reach of any law or lawyer
and denied even the protections of the Geneva Convention, based
solely on the word of US authorities that the detainees were enemy
combatants who posed a continuing terrorist threat.
That word has been accepted almost unquestioningly by the Australian
Government, which failed to protest at the denial of the most basic
legal rights to two of its citizens, David Hicks and Mamdouh Habib.
They were detained in late 2001, in similar circumstances and about
the same time as US citizen John Walker Lindh. The difference was
that he was accorded due process, appeared in a US court last July
and is in a US jail after agreeing to a plea bargain on crimes under
US law based on his association with the Taliban. Most of the foreign
detainees remained in legal limbo, with fewer legal protections
than even people such as Saddam Hussein.
At last, though, even the US military appears ready to accept the
formerly inviolable principle that a democratic state that cannot
sustain charges against individuals must release them. The
deputy commander at Guantanamo Bay has said most of the remaining
550 detainees (more than 150 have been freed) will be released or
transferred to their own countries because "most of these guys
weren't fighting" and "we don't have a level of evidence
to feel that we can be confident to prosecute them". They are
now said to be "of low intelligence value and low threat status".
Many Australians, as well as The Age, argued from the outset that
even terrorists should be charged and tried in a properly constituted
court. Most nations whose citizens were held at Guantanamo Bay put
the same view, with some urgency, to the Bush Administration. More
than two years passed, however, before the US Supreme Court ruled
that the detentions could be challenged in US courts. The Bush Administration
is still proceeding with a military commission, which exposed itself
as a judicial travesty at the first hearings in August. Australia
is the only Western nation that endorsed the process. The charges
against Hicks, based on association with the Taliban, were surprisingly
weak - there was no charge that he killed or directly harmed anyone.
Habib has still not been charged or had access to his own lawyer,
but a US court has ordered that the grounds for his detention be
provided by October 18.
The essential reason for the long delay
in bringing the detainees to justice, indeed for trying to put them
beyond the law, is clear: there was
insufficient evidence to back the claims made by the US Government,
and dutifully accepted by the Australian Government, for the past
three years. Their failure to uphold the rule of law in that time
will stand as a black mark in the history of both nations.
Copyright © 2004. The Age Company Ltd.
John Howard has won a fourth term as Prime
Minister and he will return to government with
an increased majority in the Parliament.
The Coalition's primary vote is up to nearly 47 per cent, which
is nine points ahead of the ALP.
The Liberals have benefited from the collapse of One Nation, while
Labor has attracted the same support it did in the last election.
The Greens are polling more than 7 per cent, giving them close
to the one million votes they predicted they would receive.
After preferences, the Coalition is ahead by 5 per cent.
The ABC computer is predicting the Coalition will
get 52.5 per cent of the vote and a 20 seat majority.
That would give the Liberals 73 seats and the Nationals 12, Labor
would hold 62 seats, with three going to other candidates.
With 70 per cent of the vote counted, Labor appears to have lost
five seats - Bass and Braddon in Tasmania, the Sydney seat of Greenway,
the new Queensland seat of Bonner and the South Australian seat
Labor is ahead in Adelaide and Cunningham in New South Wales and
looks like picking up the Sydney-seat of Parramatta.
A string of seats also remain in doubt.
In South Australia, that includes the Labor electorate of Kingston
and the Liberal seats of Adelaide and Hindmarsh.
The Victorian seat of Holt and the National Party seat of Richmond
in northern new South Wales also remain close.
In Queensland, there has been a swing to the Coalition of 3.6 per
cent, but it appears Labor will hold all of its seats there.
In the Senate, the Liberals appear to have won an extra seat in
Tasmania, with the Greens also picking up another seat there.
KABUL - Afghanistan's election authority said
on Saturday the election process would continue in the country's
historic presidential election despite a decision by most of the
candidates to boycott the poll over irregularities.
"Halting the vote at this time is unjustified," Ray Kennedy,
a member of the Joint Election Management Body, told reporters.
"Afghans have turned out in large numbers (to vote) and the
process has been safe and orderly."
Kennedy was speaking just minutes before polling stations officially
closed at the appointed time of 4 p.m. and hours after all the
candidates arrayed against President Hamid Karzai said they were
boycotting the election because of problems with systems put in
place to prevent illegal multiple polling.
The move by 15 of the 18 candidates in the fray effectively leaves
Karzai as the only one standing -- two others withdrew in his favor
earlier this week.
"Today's election is not a legitimate election.
We are not a part of today's election," contender Abdul Satar
Serat said after a meeting of most of the 15 candidates and representatives
of the others.
Serat, flanked by all those who attended the meeting, accused election
authorities of favoring the U.S.-backed Karzai.
There had earlier been widespread complaints that
the wrong pens were being used to mark voters' fingers to show they
had cast their ballot, and what should have been indelible ink could
be quickly wiped off.
Officials said the complaints were the result of a minor misunderstanding
-- the pens used to mark ballot papers had been mistaken for those
used to mark voters.
MANAMA (AFP) - The United States may send
more troops to Iraq to protect elections in January against insurgent
violence if US commanders decide they are needed, US Defense Secretary
Donald Rumsfeld said.
Rumsfeld flew here for an unannounced meeting aboard a US aircraft
carrier in the Gulf to review the situation in Iraq with defense
ministers from 18 countries, most of them with troops in Iraq or
On the flight from Washington on Saturday, Rumsfeld
said the United States was trying to find countries to provide troops
to protect the UN mission that is supposed to organize the elections
Whether the United States sends more troops to Iraq, as it has
for elections in Afghanistan, "is up to General (John) Abizaid
and General (George) Casey," Rumsfeld said, referring to the
top US commanders in charge of Iraq.
"To the extent that's appropriate and needed, obviously that
makes sense," he said. "To the extent other countries
come in and take some of that responsibility, then that might not
Rumsfeld added that about 140,000 Iraqi security forces should
be trained and equipped by the elections.
"The Iraqi security forces are growing at a good clip and
by the time we get to the elections we may have another plus or
minus 40,000 Iraqi trained and equipped security forces. That's
a good thing. There will be more forces," he said.
He would not say whether he planned to make a pitch for more troops
to the defense ministers during a day-long meeting aboard the USS
John F. Kennedy.
French police were investigating a possible
terrorist connection after 10 people were slightly injured in a
pre-dawn bomb blast outside the Indonesian embassy in Paris.
The anti-terrorist section of the Paris prosecutor's office took
charge of the judicial enquiry, amid suspicions it could have been
carried out by Islamic extremists. No claims
of responsibility had been received by the end of the day.
After a meeting of intelligence chiefs chaired by Interior Minister
Dominique de Villepin, the ministry announced that security is to
be stepped up at diplomatic missions, while Foreign Minister Michel
Barnier said the attack "reinforces our determination ... to
continue our fight against terrorism."
However for want of firm evidence the authorities continued to
class the attack as "criminal" rather than "terrorist,"
and officials said other theories including a settling of accounts
inside the embassy were also being looked into.
Radio Monte Carlo unnamed investigators as saying that this was
the favoured theory.
Several hours after the blast in an upscale district in the west
of the capital, forensic experts were combing through debris and
broken glass in search of clues for the type of explosive used,
while investigators interviewed embassy staff.
Nine of the injured -- who included four embassy staff members
-- were treated for cuts in local hospitals and the tenth was attended
to at the scene.
The explosive device was left on the pavement beneath the Indonesian
flag flying from the embassy building on a narrow street corner
and went off shortly after 5:00 am (0300 GMT), leaving a small crater
some 50 centimetres (20 inches) wide by 20 centimetres deep.
"It was an explosive device placed in front of the embassy
-- probably a bomb of medium size which shattered windows up to
30 metres away and damaged several vehicles parked around it,"
Interior Minister Dominique de Villepin told reporters at the scene.
"To our knowledge there has been no specific threat (against
Indonesian interests) but the enquiry will establish that fully,"
he said. [...]
Indonesia, which has the largest population
of Muslims in the world, has been the target of several extremist
attacks. In August 2003 a suicide
bomber killed 12 people in an attack on the US-franchized J.W. Marriott
hotel in Jakarta. The attack was blamed on the Al-Qaeda-linked Jemaah
The group was also believed to have been behind the truck bombing
outside the Australian embassy in Jakarta last month which killed
nine people, and is suspected of involvement in the 2002 Bali bombings
which killed 202.
"The foreign ministry has called on all Indonesian embassies
around the world to be on alert and vigilant," foreign ministry
spokesman Yuri Thamrin said in Jakarta.
Indonesian police have named two Malaysians, Azahari Husin and
Noordin Muhammad Top, as prime suspects in the attack on the Australian
embassy and warned they could be planning further strikes. The two
men remain on the run.
UNITED NATIONS (AFP) - The UN Security Council
unanimously adopted a resolution introduced by Russia to bolster
international measures against terrorism.
Resolution 1556 "calls upon states to cooperate fully in the
fight against terrorism, especially with those states where -- or
against whose citizens -- terrorist acts are committed."
It said the aim was to "find, deny safe haven and bring to
justice" any "person who supports, facilitates, participates
or attempts to participate in the
financing, planning, preparation or commission of terrorist acts
or provides safe havens."
Russia submitted the draft shortly after the attack on Beslan,
where at least 344 persons, 172 of them children, died in the world's
deadliest hostage-taking. It was co-sponsored by China, France,
Germany, Romania and the United States.
The most serious debate took place over paragraph three, which
was amended twice. The text called terrorism "criminal acts,
including against civilians, committed with the intent to cause
death or serious bodily injury, or taking of hostages, with the
purpose to provoke a state of terror in the general public or in
a group of persons or particular persons, intimidate a population
or compel a government or an international organization to do or
to abstain from doing any act, which constitute offenses within
the scope of and as defined in the international conventions and
protocols relating to terrorism, are under no circumstances justifiable
by considerations of a political, philosophical, ideological, racial,
ethnic, religious or other similar nature and calls upon all states
to prevent such acts and, if not prevented, to ensure that such
acts are punished by penalties consistent with their grave nature."
According to UN diplomats, the two Muslim countries
represented on the council, Algeria and Pakistan, had difficulty
accepting the text, saying that "including against civilians"
could be construed to include attacks on military targets, running
the risk of classifying even national liberation movements as terrorist
They finally came to back the text with the assurance
of other diplomats that as far as the resolution is concerned, it
would essentially apply to acts against civilians.
"The key is paragraph three, which states quite clearly that
intentional attacks on civilians should be punished," said
the US ambassador to the United Nations, John Danforth.
The resolution also establishes a work group made up of members
of the council, which will propose practical measures to take against
persons associated with terrorist activities, other than those already
defined by a committee on sanctions against Al-Qaeda and the Taliban
put in place by the United Nations after the September 11, 2001
The resolution also proposes the establishment of "an international
fund to compensate victims of terrorist acts and their families
... which could consist, in part, of assets seized from terrorist
TOKYO (Reuters) - Two people were missing
as powerful typhoon Ma-on made landfall on Japan on Saturday, lashing
the nation with heavy rains and high winds, snarling transport and
prompting thousands to evacuate.
The storm, which threatens to strike Tokyo, is the record ninth
typhoon to hit Japan this year and comes just a week after another
deadly storm, Meari, killed 27.
"The storm is definitely going to come very close to Tokyo,
and may directly hit it," a Meteorological Agency official
Heavy rain was lashing Tokyo as evening approached, and floodgates
throughout the city had been closed. A highway over the landmark
Rainbow Bridge in central Tokyo was also closed as the storm bore
The storm forced the cancellation of some 184 domestic flights
and 44 international flights, Kyodo news agency said. NHK national
television said virtually all flights from Tokyo's Haneda airport,
which mainly serves domestic destinations, were canceled as Ma-on
neared the capital.
The storm made landfall in Shizuoka, 150 km (93 miles) west of
Tokyo. Record strong gusts of 243 km (151 miles) an hour were recorded
in one Shizuoka town.
Two people were missing, including a 74-year-old newspaper delivery
man on his rounds in Chiba who was believed to have been swept into
a river. The other was a man in his 60s carried away by rising floodwaters.
Around 2,400 people throughout Japan were evacuated from their
homes, seeking refuge in schools and public halls, Kyodo news agency
MOUNT ST. HELENS, Wash. -- Scientists
said the earthquakes and explosions at Mount St. Helens could lead
to an eruption as powerful as the one
in 1980, KIRO 7 Eyewitness News reported.
The volcano reportedly spewed more steam overnight, but earthquakes
continued to be fairly light, striking about once a minute and registering
about magnitude one.
Meanwhile, the speculation continued about what exactly is happening
underneath the mountain. [...]
BURLINGTON, Iowa -- A
psychiatrist who police say smeared excrement on dollar bills
used to pay a parking ticket has been charged with harassment of
a public official.
Ronald Preston McPike, 52, was arrested Sept. 30 at his office
He pleaded not guilty to the charge, a misdemeanor, and was released
on $125 bond pending a Dec. 8 court appearance.
Officers received an envelope in July labeled "Foreign brown
substance on bills." The envelope contained several dollar
bills and a parking ticket made out to a vehicle registered to McPike,
Tests indicated the brown substance was fecal
matter and indicated that the stain patterns resulted from the matter
being smeared on the bills.
"All personnel that dealt with the bills were offended by
what the defendant did," an affidavit said.
McPike told police the money fell into a toilet
and was retrieved to pay the parking ticket, police said.
If convicted, McPike could face up to 30 days in jail and a fine
of up to $500.
Firefighters find burned couch, blistered
walls and neighbors who didn't notice.
An apartment fire that burned a couch, blistered walls and likely
killed an 86-year-old Jacksonville woman while remaining unnoticed
by neighbors has baffled firefighters who sifted through the scene
"I've never heard anything like it," said Jacksonville
Fire and Rescue Department spokesman Tom Francis. "There's
no smoke. There's no smoldering embers. There's nothing."
While fire investigators had not found what caused the fire, they
had also not determined what put it out, Francis said.
Francis said the woman who lived in The Gardens at Lakewood apartments
off University Boulevard West was found dead near her front door
of her second floor apartment about 3 p.m. Thursday. Maintenance
workers at a vacant apartment next door became suspicious when they
saw soot stains surrounding the apartment door.
"When they opened the door, they immediately noticed there
was some fire damage," Francis said. Otherwise, the scene was
cold. The fire had somehow been snuffed out as if it lost fuel or
oxygen, he said.
"Other than that, it beats the heck out of us," he said.
An unidentified flying object (UFO) or a divine
sign were just two of the explanations residents of South Trinidad
were last night speculating on after a mysterious red beam of light
appeared in the sky.
The vertical red line, according to some eye-witnesses, was noticed
shortly after nightfall. Residents in Barrackpore and Penal reported
the sighting to the Express newsroom. One caller from Scotts Road,
Penal, was concerned that "something red was falling from the
Other reports suggested that the "light" appeared to
be suspended and remained at a particular point, although it seemed
to be wavering in intensity at times.
As word of the "light" spread many residents came out
of their homes to stare up into the cloudy night sky hoping to see
The image disappeared shortly after 7 p.m.
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