Name of the web site
- ~Alarmed by slipping
support for free trade even among Republicans, President Bush is
arguing that protectionism will cut Americans out of chances for
more - and better - jobs.
Bush has launched a blitz on
behalf of pending free trade pacts with four nations. He continued
the push Saturday in his weekly radio address.
"More exports support
better and higher-paying jobs," the president said. "And
to keep our economy expanding, we need to keep expanding trade."~
~Since Democrats took control
of Congress in January, it has not approved any free trade
agreements that the administration has negotiated, and it has
allowed Bush's authority to negotiate future deals under expedited
procedures to expire.~
~The administration already
has reached agreement with Democrats to include tougher language on
protecting worker rights and the environment. But critics say five
consecutive years of record U.S. trade deficits have played a major
role in the loss of more than 3 million manufacturing jobs since
Bush took office in 2001.
"I know many Americans
feel uneasy about new competition and worry that trade will cost
jobs," Bush said. "So the federal government is providing
substantial funding for trade adjustment assistance that helps
Americans make the transition from one job to the next. We are
working to improve federal job-training programs. And we are
providing strong support for America's community colleges, where
people of any age can go to learn new skills for a better,
He said the deals would level
the playing field for American businesses and farmers, many of which
now face high tariffs on exported products while other countries
enjoy relatively open access to U.S. markets. And he argued that
freer trade with allies serves "America's security and moral
interests" around the globe.
"Expanding trade will
help our economy grow," Bush said. "So I call on Congress
to act quickly and get these agreements to my desk."~
- re:wto (& wwp?)says US
must NOT help American farmers instead of forign nations cotton
growers compete in world market
- ~"The panel found
that the changes made by the United States were insufficient to
bring the challenged measures - certain support payments under the
2002 Farm Bill and export credit guarantees - into conformity with
U.S. WTO obligations," it said in an e-mailed statement Monday.
"We are very disappointed with these results."
The United States has argued
that it sufficiently overhauled its cotton program when it scrapped
two export credit guarantee programs and last year repealed the
so-called Step-2 cotton-marketing program that made payments to
exporters and domestic mill users as compensation for buying
higher-priced American cotton.
But Brazil said Washington's
continued support for American cotton producers ensured artificially
high production and export levels, hurting Brazilian and African
The Brazilian government
claims the U.S. retained its place as the world's second-largest
cotton grower by paying out $12.5 billion in government subsidies to
American farmers between August 1999 and July 2003. China is the
largest exporter of cotton, while Brazil is fifth.
The South American country has
reserved the right to impose annual sanctions of up to $4 billion on
the United States, but would probably seek less in retaliatory
measures because the U.S. has removed some of the offending
If a likely appeal also goes
against U.S. cotton programs, Washington can challenge the level of
retaliation the WTO authorizes.
Brazil has said it would
target U.S. goods, as well as trademarks, patents and commercial
services, under provisions in the global commerce body's
intellectual property and services agreements.
The announcement that Brazil
was bringing the case back before WTO arbitrators was made shortly
after the July 2006 collapse of global trade talks, which aim to add
billions of dollars to the world economy and help poorer countries
develop their economies through new trade flows.
Brazil was one of several
countries that blamed the United States for the impasse as
differences over barriers to farm trade and manufacturing proved
unbridgeable. The two countries have repeatedly clashed since as the
talks have failed to make progress.
Critics of the subsidies say
they drive down prices, making it impossible for small farms to
compete in international markets, and more difficult for poorer
countries to develop their economies by selling their agricultural
(yet China artificially keeps
their yen price down)
- re:health plan fight
- ~The program provides
health insurance to children in families with incomes too great for
Medicaid eligibility but not enough to afford private insurance.
Bush has said the bill is too costly. The president now says he
might be willing to provide more than $5 billion originally offered
but that the current proposal shifts too much insurance burden onto
the government rather than private providers.~
~"We will have the votes
to sustain the president's veto," Boehner said. "And I
think the differences are resolvable, but we're standing on our
principle that poor kids ought to come first."
"Most people don't want
government-run health insurance," he added. "Republicans
are working on a plan that will provide access to all Americans to
high-quality health insurance, make sure that we increase the
quality of health insurance that we have in America."
Last week, Pelosi said
Democrats were making some progress and hoped to "peel off
about 14 votes" to override the veto. Republicans such as Sen.
Charles Grassley of Iowa and Orrin Hatch of Utah, who sided with
Democrats on the vetoed bill, also were working to sway wavering
House GOP lawmakers.~
- re:medicare vs medicaid
- KEVIN FREKING
WASHINGTON (AP) - Seniors and
other taxpayers could have saved nearly $15 billion this year if the
government slashed administrative costs in the Medicare drug program
and negotiated the same kind of discounts it does for poor people
under Medicaid, Democratic lawmakers said Monday.
Currently, private insurance
companies get a federal subsidy to administer a prescription drug
plan, but their overhead costs are much greater than in traditional
Medicare, the lawmakers said in a report issued Monday.
The lawmakers obtained
proprietary data that's unavailable to the public for the 12 leading
insurers offering Medicare drug coverage. Those plans cover more
than 18 million elderly and disabled enrollees. The lawmakers said
the plans' administrative expenses, including profits, were about
six times higher than what's incurred through traditional Medicare.
Eliminating that difference
would save taxpayers and beneficiaries nearly $3.9 billion this
year, the lawmakers said in a report released by the House Committee
on Oversight and Government Reform.
The report also said taxpayers
and beneficiaries would save billions more - about $10.7 billion in
2007 alone - if the private plans obtained discounts as large as
those received in Medicaid.
On average, private insurers
offering prescription drug coverage negotiated discounts of about
8.1 percent compared to what consumers would spend if they paid for
the drug out of pocket, the report said. In contrast, the Medicaid
program, which covers the poor, gets discounts of 26 percent.
Many Democratic lawmakers have
long contended that the federal government would save money if it
cut out the middle man. Instead of relying on private companies, the
lawmakers prefer that the government administer the program and
negotiate the price of medicine taken by beneficiaries. The report
may bolster their efforts to make changes to the program.
Overall, the federal
government and beneficiaries through their monthly premiums will
spend about $47 billion on the Medicare drug benefit this year.
According to the Democratic
report, about a tenth of that amount will pay for administrative
costs, including the plans' profits.
In response, the Bush
administration said it would carefully analyze the report. But it
noted that about 90 percent of participants in public opinion
surveys say they are satisfied with their drug coverage.
"On every level, the
Medicare prescription drug program has exceeded expectations,"
said Kimberly Kleine, spokeswoman for the Centers for Medicare and
Medicaid Services. "It has high satisfaction rates and is
saving seniors and taxpayers significantly more than was ever
Karen Ignagni, president and
CEO of America's Health Insurance Plans, said no government program
has the drug benefit's track record of coming in so far under
budget. Monthly premiums are 40 percent lower than originally
projected, she said.
One of the reasons the program
has cost less than anticipated is that drug plans help manage a
patient's care to ensure they take the most appropriate medicines
for their condition, which saves taxpayers money in a way that the
report doesn't take into account.
On the Net:
Committee on Oversight and
re:dems inference that south
requires immunizations like a forign country
- ~In an e-mail, a staffer
who works for committee chairman Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss.,
noted an "unusual need for whomever attending to be vaccinated
against hepatitis A and B," as well as "the more normal
things - tetanus, diphtheria, and of course, seasonal influenza."
The note didn't explain why
the committee saw such concern. It didn't mention NASCAR or the
races at the tracks at all. But the implication was enough to draw a
snarky complaint from Republican Rep. Robin Hayes, whose district
includes Lowe's Motor Speedway.
"I have never heard of
immunizations for domestic travel, and ... I feel compelled to ask
why the heck the committee feels that immunizations are needed to
travel to my hometown," wrote Hayes.
Thompson responded to Hayes
that such immunizations are "are recommended for public safety
professionals working in areas such as hospitals, holding areas and
similar locations." But the staffers were only scheduled to
visit a few health care facilities - not work at them.
"What do they know about
NASCAR that we don't?" said Dr. David Weber, a professor of
medicine and public health at the University of North Carolina at
Weber said everyone should be
up to date on standard vaccinations, he but saw no need for special
vaccinations to visit a health care facility or a NASCAR event.
Debbie Crane, a spokeswoman for the North Carolina Department of
Health and Human Services, said such shots are recommended for
"general health" for all adults - but not for any specific
re:aim leader dies of
- ~After Wounded Knee,
Vernon Bellecourt became a leader of AIM's work abroad, meeting with
presidents such as Daniel Ortega of Nicaragua, Palestinian leader
Yasser Arafat and Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, his brother said.
He said they plan to list them as honorary pallbearers.
Clyde Bellecourt said his
brother had been in Venezuela about four weeks ago to meet with
President Hugo Chavez to discuss Chavez' program for providing
heating assistance to American Indian tribes. He fell ill around the
time of his return, Clyde Bellecourt said.~
(this makes my american native
re:sudan drops from gov
- ~The Sudan People's
Liberation Movement complained that Khartoum was holding up
implementation of the 2005 peace agreement, particularly provisions
defining the border between north and south - a sensitive issue
because the border runs through some of the country's best
~The U.N. and U.S.-brokered
Comprehensive Peace Agreement ended two decades of civil war between
the Arab and Muslim-dominated north and the mainly Christian and
animist south, a conflict in which some 2 million people died in
fighting or related disease or famine.~
re:muslim brotherhood makes
nicey nice in Jakarta
anti-terrorism chief was relaxed as he mingled with the guests on
his lawn. Muslim hard-liners swapped tales of al-Qaida training
camps in Afghanistan and the Philippines. Convicted Bali nightclub
bombers feasted on kebabs.~
~We approach the terrorists
with a pure heart," Brig. Gen. Surya Dharma, the head of
Indonesia's anti-terror unit and host of the party, said in a rare
interview with The Associated Press. "We are all Muslims. We
make them our brothers, not our enemy~
~On Oct. 12, 2002, two bombs
ripped through Bali nightclubs, killing 202 people. Most of the
victims were foreign tourists. ~
~Still, Asian security
officials note they are up against an extremist ideology with deep
roots in the region, especially in Indonesia where an Islamic
rebellion first broke out 70 years ago.
"Even with their last
ounce of energy and last dollar of funds, they will do something to
prove they're not completely gone," said Philippine anti-terror
official Ric Blancaflor.
The Philippines is battling
the Abu Sayyaf militant group, which has been blamed for deadly
bombings, high-profile ransom kidnappings and beheadings. At least
two top Indonesian terrorists are also believed to be on the run in
~We were made into a
demolition crew," said Mubarok, a guest at the party who is
serving a life sentence for planning and carrying out the Bali
bombings. "We did not stop to think, what if one of our family
was caught up in the blasts? Now we are aware what we did was
wrong," said Mubarok, who goes by a single name.~
~He and several other guests
had been temporarily released from prison to attend the party, and
the Indonesians were apparently so confident of their approach that
no armed guards were seen at the house.~
~Those cooperating with
authorities can expect shorter sentences, cash payments and medical
care for themselves or relatives.~
re:obama touts his religion
some more whie delivering party plans then tips hat to WWP members
pointing out how we owe them money
- ~Last week, Obama released
a plan to combat global warming that calls for an 80 percent
reduction in U.S. carbon emissions by 2050.
Obama said he would force
industries and power companies to clean up their operations. He
would institute a "cap and trade" approach that would
require polluters to buy allowances, essentially putting a price on
pollution and creating an incentive to cut emissions.
He said $150 billion from the
sale of allowances could help drive the development of
environmentally friendly technologies, including the next generation
of biofuels, expansion of a delivery infrastructure and
~Meeting the threat of global
climate change will take hard work and faith, Obama said.
"Not a blind faith, not a
faith of mere words, not a faith that ignores science, but an active
searching faith," said Obama, a member of the United Church of
"It's a faith that does
not look at the hardship and pain and suffering in the world and use
it all as an excuse for inaction or cynicism, but one that accepts
the fact that although we are not going to solve every problem here
on earth, we can make a difference."~
~Despite the event's
environmental focus, Obama also addressed the Iraq War and a House
proposal for a tax to cover war spending. He said he agrees there's
no such thing as a free lunch and that tax cuts and war spending
can't coexist for ever.
"The only reason we
haven't been feeling the pinch is because China and South Korea and
Mexico have lent us money," Obama said. "I believe in the
basic principle that you pay for what you've initiated. I would say
that the idea of a war tax is probably a little late. I would have
liked to have seen that suggestion before we spent $600 billion."~
- re:obama shows willingness
to support terrorists in order to gain edge over hillary
- ~Sen. Barack Obama on
Thursday criticized a recent vote by Democratic presidential rival
Sen. Hillary Clinton as helping to give President Bush a "blank
check" to take military action against Iran.
- "We know in the past
that the president has used some of the flimsiest excuses to try to
move his agenda regardless of what Congress says," Obama said
in an interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer.
- Last month, Clinton voted
to support a resolution declaring Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard
Corps, an elite part of the Iranian military, a foreign terrorist
group. (The nonbinding amendment to the Defense Authorization Act
passed by a 76-22 vote.)
- Obama said he would have
voted against the measure but he didn't because he was campaigning
in New Hampshire at the time. He said it was impossible to know when
votes will be scheduled in the Senate. "This is a problem"
related to running for president, he said. ~
~Obama said Clinton also had
shown "flawed" judgment during the vote to authorize the
Iraq war five years ago. ~
~"I don't think it
disqualified her, but I think it speaks to her judgment and it
speaks to my judgment," Obama said. "It speaks to how we
will make decisions going forward. ~
(so true,so true,,watch him)
re:officer accused of having
aided enemy on trial
- ~Army Lt. Col. William H.
Steele, a reservist from Prince George, Va., pleaded guilty on Oct.
7 to three of seven charges, which carry a maximum sentence of six
years in prison, forfeiture of pay and dismissal from the Army,
according to the military.~
~The military said Steele
could face life in prison if convicted. Steele initially faced a
possible death sentence, but the former acting commander general of
U.S. forces in Iraq opted to make it a non-capital case, said
military spokesman Lt. Col. Rudolph Burwell.~
~During pretrial testimony in
June, witnesses said Steele approved buying Cuban cigars for ousted
leader Saddam Hussein, fraternized with a detainee's daughter and
used his service pistol to intimidate tower guards. He has been
behind bars in Kuwait since March.
Saddam was held at Camp
Cropper until he was hanged by Iraqi authorities last December.
Steele originally faced nine
charges, but prosecutors dismissed allegations connected to an
inappropriate relationship with the daughter of a detainee and the
improper spending of government money by buying comfort items,
including cigars, for prisoners, Burwell said.
The only other U.S. officer
known to have been accused of collaborating with the enemy since the
start of the Iraq war was Capt. James J. Yee, a Muslim chaplain who
was linked to a possible espionage ring at the Guantanamo Bay, Cuba,
He was eventually cleared and
given an honorable discharge~
misleading,,Gates Credits Russian Military Ideas since article has
so much more
- ~In a rare appearance for
a Pentagon leader at the Military Academy of the General Staff,
Gates outlined the history and implications of U.S. military
transformation, saying they are relevant to Russia as it seeks to
professionalize its army in an era where the dominant security
threat is Islamic extremism.~
~The Pentagon chief told
reporters on his plane trip back to Washington on Saturday that he
questioned whether Russia was sincerely interested in cooperating on
a system focused on Iran.
Gates said he and Rice told
Russian officials they saw little logic in Moscow's efforts to stop
the U.S. from placing parts of the system in Poland and the Czech
~He acknowledged a difference
in view between Washington and Moscow on the immediacy of a missile
threat from Iran. The Russians say it may be 15 years or 20 years
before the Iranians acquire missile with sufficient range to
threaten Europe, Gates said, while the Americans see it coming
~Before he turned to the most
serious sections of his speech, Gates offered some lighthearted
recollections of his experiences during the Cold War as a CIA
analyst and later as chief of the spy agency in 1992.
He recalled a May 1989 visit
to Moscow when he was told that while staying overnight at the U.S.
ambassador's residence he should expect his room to be bugged by the
"As I prepared for bed I
said aloud, for the benefit of whoever might be listening, that I
would be going right to sleep - immediately; I had no companionship
planned for the evening; and that whoever was listening could take
the rest of the night off."
"I thought I heard a
chuckle but it undoubtedly was only in my imagination," he
re:general sanchez who retired
in 03 says it's all bush admins fault but we must 'stay the course'
so to speak
- ~Sanchez went on to offer
a pessimistic view on the current U.S. strategy against extremists
will make lasting gains, but said a full-scale withdrawal also was
not an option.
"The American military
finds itself in an intractable situation ... America has no choice
but to continue our efforts in Iraq," said Sanchez, who works
as a consultant training U.S. generals.~
re:truth of israeli strike in
- ~The official story that
the target comprised weapons destined for Hezbollah, the
Iranian-backed Lebanese Shi’ite group, appeared to be
crumbling in the face of widespread scepticism.~
~Only three Israeli cabinet
ministers are said to have been in the know ? Olmert, Barak and
Tzipi Livni, the foreign minister. America was also consulted.
According to Israeli sources, American air force codes were given to
the Israeli air force attaché in Washington to ensure
Israel’s F15Is would not mistakenly attack their US
Once the mission was under
way, Israel imposed draconian military censorship and no news of the
operation emerged until Syria complained that Israeli aircraft had
violated its airspace. Syria claimed its air defences had engaged
the planes, forcing them to drop fuel tanks to lighten their loads
as they fled.
But intelligence sources
suggested it was a highly successful Israeli raid on nuclear
material supplied by North Korea.~
~But why would nuclear
material be in Syria? Known to have chemical weapons, was it seeking
to bolster its arsenal with something even more deadly?
Alternatively, could it be
hiding equipment for North Korea, enabling Kim Jong-il to pretend to
be giving up his nuclear programme in exchange for economic aid? Or
was the material bound for Iran, as some authorities in America
According to Israeli sources,
preparations for the attack had been going on since late spring,
when Meir Dagan, the head of Mossad, presented Olmert with evidence
that Syria was seeking to buy a nuclear device from North Korea.
The Israeli spy chief
apparently feared such a device could eventually be installed on
North-Korean-made Scud-C missiles.~
~The triangular relationship
between North Korea, Syria and Iran continues to perplex
intelligence analysts. Syria served as a conduit for the transport
to Iran of an estimated £50m of missile components and
technology sent by sea from North Korea. The same route may be in
use for nuclear equipment.~
~By its actions, Israel showed
it is not interested in waiting for diplomacy to work where nuclear
weapons are at stake.
As a bonus, the Israelis
proved they could penetrate the Syrian air defence system, which is
stronger than the one protecting Iranian nuclear sites.
This weekend President Mahmoud
Ahmadinejad of Iran sent Ali Akbar Mehrabian, his nephew, to Syria
to assess the damage. The new “axis of evil” may have
lost one of its spokes.~
- re:israeli gaza push
- ~Since Israel withdrew
from the Gaza Strip two years ago, the rocket fire has persisted,
despite frequent Israeli airstrikes and incursions targeting rocket
squads. Thousands of the crude rockets have landed in southern
Israel, killing 12 people over the past seven years and disrupting
daily life for thousands of residents.
Israel has been reluctant to
send troops into Gaza, fearing it will result in heavy casualties on
both sides. But Israel has grown increasingly concerned that a
diplomatic solution is not possible following Hamas' violent
takeover of Gaza in June.
Although Hamas is not usually
involved in the rocket attacks, the group has not shown any
willingness to rein in the rocket launchers, and Israel says it
holds Hamas responsible.~
- re:islamic jihadist
speaks,says,,No peace for Israelis.Rocket attacks planned from
behind idyllic family scene.
- ~The militant known as Abu
Hamza is constantly on the run from Israel, and his hideout today is
a dank room at the back of a nondescript house filled with adults
and frolicking children.~
~Resistance must continue
until we uproot the occupation from all the land of Palestine ...
from the sea to the river," he said, outlining Islamic Jihad's
position that a future Palestinian state must replace Israel, not
live alongside it.~
~At one point, Abu Hamza said
his group would consider a temporary halt to rocket fire if Israel
stopped pursuing militants and opened Gaza's borders. But that
statement was rendered meaningless by his subsequent assertion that
other forms of "resistance" - such as suicide attacks and
roadside bombs - would continue during any rocket truce.~
~But Mkhaimar Abusada, a
political scientist at Gaza's Al Azhar University, said there is no
doubt Syria and Iran are involved.
"There are outsiders
giving orders from outside the Gaza Strip, whether from Damascus or
Tehran, for their own reasons," Abusada said. "They (Gaza
militants) are doing this because they're getting paid for it."~
- re:67 war continues
- ~Israel has been
tightening its hold on parts of the West Bank for years, with
mushrooming settlements and more recently, a separation barrier. The
barrier would eventually slice off 8.6 percent of the territory and,
according to U.N. data, incorporate 380,000 of 450,000 Israelis
living on war-won land the Palestinians demand for their
~And if Israel goes ahead with
a plan to drive its separation barrier from Jerusalem far into the
West Bank, "there will be no peace, absolutely not," the
lead Palestinian negotiator, Ahmed Qureia, told The Associated
(I wonder if any other nation
in the world would be this patient with an invasive force?For
instance,,should we give Texas back to Mexico?)
- re:upcoming talks
- ~But the challenges are
enormous, topped as ever by the same two issues: violence and
Israel is unlikely to
undertake the gargantuan task of uprooting tens of thousands of
settlers from the West Bank unless Palestinian leaders guarantee the
vacated territory won't become a launching ground for attacks - as
happened after Israel withdrew from Gaza in 2005.
Palestinians say Israel is
jeopardizing the chances by expanding West Bank settlements, seizing
more land for a West Bank road project and building a massive
separation barrier that juts into territory Palestinians want for a
Rice didn't mention those
moves specifically during a news conference Monday, but clearly this
is what she was talking about when she called on the parties to
"avoid any steps that would undermine confidence."
In some of her most forceful
comments to date, Rice said "it's time for the creation of a
Palestinian state," and that the U.S. sees this "as
essential for the future, not just of Palestinians and Israelis but
also for the Middle East and indeed to American interests."
Rice is attempting to bridge
wide divisions that have emerged over drafting a joint declaration
ahead of November's conference in Annapolis, Md. The Palestinians
want a fairly specific framework agreement addressing the so-called
"core" issues of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: the
borders of a future Palestinian state, the status of Jerusalem and
the fate of Palestinian refugees. Palestinian leaders fear that a
lack of substance will be exploited by the Hamas militants who
seized violent control of the Gaza Strip four months ago and refuse
to recognize Israel's right to exist.
Olmert, on the other hand, is
pushing for a vague statement that will leave the big questions
open. Aides say he has no interest in having Abbas go home
empty-handed, but at the same time fears conceding too much too soon
could drown the whole process in domestic opposition.
Olmert's problems are worsened
by multiple investigations of alleged corruption - the latest
announced on Sunday to probe allegations he did political favors for
friends while serving as trade minister.
The Palestinians want the
joint declaration to set a timetable for creating a Palestinian
state. The Israelis want no deadline - a position supported by the
It's far from clear whether a
peace deal could be forged with Hamas ruling Gaza and Abbas' forces
in control of only the West Bank. But moderates on both sides have
been through enough negotiations to know what a peace deal would
look like, including land swaps and a delicate power-sharing
arrangement for Jerusalem.
What they don't know is how
the rest of the Arab world will react - particularly Saudi Arabia,
whose wealth and political clout could do much to buttress a peace
deal, especially if it chooses to attend the Annapolis summit.~
- re:upcoming pal census
- ~The first Palestinian
census, conducted in 1997, counted 2.89 million Palestinians in the
West Bank, Gaza and east Jerusalem, the territories Israel captured
in the 1967 Mideast War. According to estimates by the Palestinian
Central Bureau of Statistics, the figure now stands at 3.9 million.
Some Israeli critics have
dismissed the 1997 figures and the current projections as inflated,
a charge denied by Palestinian census officials, who say the counts
are being conducted under international scrutiny.
Palestinians have one of the
highest birth rates in the world, forcing Israel to consider the
possibility that Jews, despite ongoing Jewish immigration, will one
day be a minority in historic Palestine, the area between the Jordan
River and the Mediterranean.
In December 2006, Israel's
population included 5.4 million Jews, 1.4 million Arabs and 310,000
others, according to Israeli government figures.
Demographic concerns are often
cited by those in Israel who want to withdraw from some of the lands
Israel occupied in the 1967 Mideast War. It also was a key factor in
former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's decision to withdraw from Gaza
The census will cost $8.6
million, with the Palestinian Authority paying 20 percent. The rest
comes from a U.N. agency, Saudi Arabia, the Swiss Agency for
Development and Cooperation, the Netherlands and the Organization of
Petroleum Exporting Countries, census officials said.
Hafedh Chkeir, an official
with the U.N. Population Fund, said his agency trusts the work of
the Palestinian census agency. He also said the U.N. is trying to
bring in some Arab experts based in Jordan, but they have not yet
received visas from Israel.
On Saturday, census-takers
will start affixing numbers to homes, business and other buildings.
In radio and TV ads, Palestinians are being urged to cooperate and
not to remove the numbers.
talks have been frozen since a failed summit in 2000, but new
momentum has been building. Negotiating teams from both sides are
trying to draft a joint statement of principles that is to be
presented to a U.S.-hosted peace conference later this fall,
possibly the launching pad for new talks.
The first census was conducted
at a relatively quiet time, with hopes still running high that the
two sides were on their way to a final peace deal. However, since
then, years of bloody fighting have reshaped the area.
The Palestinians now have two
rival governments, one run by Hamas in Gaza and the other by
Western-backed moderates in the West Bank.
During the last census, Israel
did not permit a head count in the Arab neighborhoods of east
Jerusalem, claimed by the Palestinians as a future capital,
prompting census-takers to draw estimates for that area using 1995
Israeli figures. Israel said at the time that a Palestinian census
there was a challenge to its sovereignty in the city.
It was not clear whether
Israel would permit a census in east Jerusalem this year. Israeli
officials did not return repeated messages seeking comment on the
- re:lebanon shows islamists
will attack UN forces just like they do US forces
re:russias putin loads glove
for later maneuvers
- ~The legal status of the
Caspian - believed to contain the world's third-largest energy
reserves - has been in limbo since the 1991 Soviet collapse, leading
to tension and conflicting claims to seabed oil deposits.
Iran, which shared the
Caspian's resources equally with the Soviet Union, insists that each
coastal nation receive an equal portion of the seabed. Russia,
Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan want the division based on the length of
each nation's shoreline, which would give Iran a smaller share.
Putin's visit took place
despite warnings of a possible assassination plot and amid hopes
that personal diplomacy could help offer a solution to an
international standoff on Iran's nuclear program.
Putin has warned the U.S. and
other nations against trying to coerce Iran into reining in its
nuclear program and insists peaceful dialogue is the only way to
deal with Tehran's defiance of a U.N. Security Council demand that
it suspend uranium enrichment.~
~Threatening someone, in this
case the Iranian leadership and Iranian people, will lead nowhere,"
Putin said Monday during his trip to Germany. "They are not
afraid, believe me."
Iran's rejection of the
council's demand and its previous clandestine atomic work has fed
suspicions in the U.S. and other countries that Tehran is working to
enrich uranium to a purity usable in nuclear weapons. Iran insists
it is only wants lesser-enriched uranium to fuel nuclear reactors
that would generate electricity.
Putin's visit to Tehran is
being closely watched for any possible shifts in Russia's carefully
hedged stance in the nuclear standoff.
The Russian president
underlined his disagreements with Washington last week, saying he
saw no "objective data" to prove Western claims that Iran
is trying to construct nuclear weapons.~
re:muslim shrine of Khwaja
Moinuddin Chishti bombed
- ~The blasts immediately
drew comparisons to the bombing in May of a mosque in the southern
city of Hyderabad that killed 11. Officials said that attack, along
with a handful of others that have killed more than 300 people in
India in the past two years, was the work of Islamic extremists
seeking to undermine relations between Hindu and Muslim
re:us house passes genocide
- ~In a recent letter,
Turkish President Abdullah Gul warned there would be "serious
troubles" if Congress adopted the measure. He reacted quickly
Wednesday, saying "some politicians in the United States have
once again sacrificed important matters to petty domestic politics
despite all calls to common sense."
Turkish newspapers denounced
the decision. "27 foolish Americans," the daily Vatan said
on its front-page headline, in reference to legislators who voted
for the bill.
Hurriyet called the
resolution: "Bill of hatred."~
~The U.S. Embassy urged
Americans in Turkey to be alert for violent repercussions. U.S.
Ambassador Ross Wilson said he regretted the committee's decision
and said he hoped it would not be passed by the House.~
- re:pelosi pushes genocide
measure despite loss of relations with turkey
- ~But White House Spokesman
Tony Fratto said bringing the resolution to a vote "may do
grave harm to U.S.-Turkish relations and to U.S. interests in Europe
and the Middle East."
- Turkey's top general
warned Sunday that ties with the United States will be irreversibly
damaged if Congress passes the resolution, The Associated Press
- Turkey has recalled its
ambassador from Washington for consultations and warned of cuts in
logistical support to the United States over the issue. The recall
is only for a limited period of time, said a U.S. State Department
official who talked to the ambassador.
- "If this resolution
[that] passed in the committee passes the House as well, our
military ties with the U.S. will never be the same again," Gen.
Yasar Buyukanit told the daily Milliyet newspaper, according to AP
- The House Foreign Affairs
Committee voted 27-21 Wednesday to approve the nonbinding measure,
which declares the deportation of nearly 2 million Armenians from
the Ottoman Empire between 1915 and 1923 was "systematic"
and "deliberate," amounting to "genocide." The
deportations led to the deaths of an estimated 1.5 million people. ~
- re:murdered journalists
son arrested for republishing fathers words
- ~The massacre of Armenians
is one of the darkest periods in Turkish history. Armenians say up
to 1.5 million people were killed in 1915-17 during the Ottoman
Empire, before the birth of modern Turkey.
Turkey rejects the label
"genocide," maintaining that the death toll is inflated
and insisting the killings occurred at a time of civil unrest.~
- re:armenians happy
- ~Historians estimate up to
1.5 million Armenians were killed by Ottoman Turks around the time
of World War I. Scholars view it as the first genocide of the 20th
century, but Turkey says the toll has been inflated and that those
killed were victims of civil war and unrest.~
(if that's so,,and it's
genocide,,what's going on in darfur and other islamic related civil
~"All of our foreign
contacts around the world demonstrate that there is no disagreement
or that there is no doubt anywhere in the world about the events
that took place in Turkey in 1915," Kocharian said Thursday
during a trip to Belgium. "The fact that Turkey has adopted a
position of denial of the genocide doesn't mean it can bind other
states to deny historic truths as well."
Turkish Prime Minister Recep
Tayyip Erdogan warned the resolution would hamper efforts to improve
ties between Turkey and Armenia, which have no diplomatic relations.
"Are relations between
Turkey and Armenia possible? The way things are going, no!"