Friday, March 25, 2005

NEWS.com.au | Corby begs judges for freedom (25-03-2005)

NEWS.com.au | Corby begs judges for freedom (25-03-2005)

Baghdad Soccer Team arrives in Sydney


Football
From Baghdad to Sydney
By JOHN TAYLOR Soccer Writer
March 25, 2005
Daily Telegraph

THEY may not be the world's best footballers but they are certainly full of courage.

They are members of the Iraqi national team, who are in Sydney to play a one-off game against the Socceroos at Telstra Stadium tomorrow. Life hasn't been easy for these home-grown heroes who have been dodging bullets and living on a knife edge in war-torn Iraq.
Goalkeeper Wisam Gased has lost younger brother Hamid, who was shot two months ago. Wisam says he is still trying to come to terms with the loss.
But he said he can't thank Australia enough for allowing Iraq to play here. "Australia is like a second country to us," he said at a reception at NSW Government House yesterday.
Socceroo captain Craig Moore said: "We need to perform well against Iraq."
Full report in today's Daily Telegraph.




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Corby takes stand, count down to Death Sentence?


Corby on stand, states innocence
By Marian Carroll in Denpasar
March 24, 2005
From: AAP
News.com.au

A TEARFUL Schapelle Corby took the stand at her drug smuggling trial in Bali today, saying she had no idea how a stash of marijuana got into her luggage.
The panel of three Indonesian judges hearing the case meanwhile gave the defence until April 7 to produce a key witness who is now in a Victorian jail.
Ms Corby, 27, is facing a possible death sentence over accusations she tried to smuggle 4.1kg of cannabis into Bali's Denpasar airport in her boogieboard bag last October.
"I don't like drugs," she said, pleading with judges to make the "right decision" and let her go home to Australia
"It's not my drugs. I wouldn't even know where to get the drugs from."
Ms Corby's fate may now hinge on the testimony of a Victorian prisoner - named in court today as John Ford.
The judges gave three possible dates for Ford to testify about an alleged Australia-based drug ring: next Tuesday, March 29; Thursday, March 31; or April 7.
Ms Corby hopes his evidence will clear her name.
Earlier, she told Denpasar District Court that she had never been involved with illegal drugs.
Asked to examine the pillowcase-sized sized stash on the witness stand, Ms Corby refused even to touch the bag, saying: "This is destroying my life."
Ms Corby said she had surrendered her luggage and placed her faith in airport security when she checked in at Brisbane Airport for a Bali holiday with family and friends last year.
"I surrendered it at the airport," she said of her luggage.
"I have nothing to do with it after it leaves my hands."
Challenged by judges to explain where the stash could have come from, she said: "That's what we're here to find out."
"I have many theories in my head. It's been six months. I'm still here."
Offered a last chance to defend herself, Ms Corby said she could add nothing more to prove her innocence.
"I didn't do it," she said. "I would not jeopardise my life like this."
The court had earlier burst into applause after an Australian criminologist said he had no doubt Ms Corby was an unwitting drug mule who had been used by a criminal gang.
Bond University professor and criminologist Paul Wilson - who has studied similar cases in Thailand - said Ms Corby did not fit the profile of a typical drug trafficker.
"Is this the face of a drug criminal?" the judge asked Professor Wilson, instructing Ms Corby to stand up.
Professor Wilson responded: "Your honour, I can not look at her face alone".
"I can listen to her talk to my questions, which I have done. I can look at her face and I can speak to people who know her well," he said.
"Using all of that information, I can honestly say that she did not know there were drugs in her bag."
A senior Qantas baggage handler from Brisbane airport, Scott Stephens, meanwhile testified it was highly possible that anyone from engineers to catering staff could have gained access to Ms Corby's luggage as it waited to be loaded onto the plane.
Australia's consul in Bali Brent Hall said he had written to Indonesian authorities in support of Ms Corby's bid for an adjournment to allow Ford to be flown to the holiday island to testify.
If the Melbourne prisoner was unable to attend in person, authorities could consider arranging a videoconference to allow him to testify, Mr Hall said.
Prime Minister John Howard also took a personal interest in her case, saying the Government was doing everything it could to help Ms Corby.
"We will do everything that we are properly and reasonably asked to do (by Ms Corby's lawyers) to see that any relevant evidence is presented," he said.

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NEWS.com.au | Protesters storm seat of power (25-03-2005)

NEWS.com.au | Protesters storm seat of power (25-03-2005): "Protesters storm seat of power
By Nick Coleman in Bishkek
March 25, 2005
From: Agence France-Presse

Opposition supporters attack presidential supporters /
AFP THOUSANDS of protesters have seized the seat of government in Bishkek, the capital of Kyrgyzstan, overwhelming security forces in a dramatic escalation of the political upheaval sweeping the country.
Hundreds of riot police abandoned their guard posts around the government compound in the city centre after being pelted by some of a swelling crowd of at least 5000 protesters.
Dozens of mounted police charged the demonstrators at one point, but they were unable to prevent the protesters from running inside the tall wrought-iron railings surrounding the 'White House', as the seat of government and presidency is known.
The protesters, many waving wooden clubs, then entered the compound, throwing portraits of President Askar Akayev out of the windows and waving the national flag of Kyrgyzstan.
Imprisoned Kyrgyz opposition leader Felix Kulov was freed as protesters took control of key government facilities, the Interfax news agency cited opposition sources as saying.
Mr Kulov, once a vice president under embattled President Askar Akayev, was imprisoned in 2000 under embezzlement charges that supporters said were politically motivated.
His release could be a key element in unifying the Kyrgyz opposition, which until now has lacked a single clear leader.
Kyrgyz opposition supporters also today took over the state television building in Bishkek, Interfax reported.
Advertisement:
The protesters entered the building after storming the main seat of government in the Central Asian nation, chasing away hundreds of riot police.
State television has not reported today's prote"

Thursday, March 24, 2005

The New York Times > International > Middle East > U.S.-Backed Iraqis Raid Camp and Report Killing 80 Insurgents

The New York Times > International > Middle East > U.S.-Backed Iraqis Raid Camp and Report Killing 80 Insurgents: "

US Backed Iraqis Kill 80 of Michael Moores Minute Men
March 24, 2005
U.S.-Backed Iraqis Raid Camp and Report Killing 80 Insurgents
By EDWARD WONG

AGHDAD, Iraq, March 23 - Iraqi and American forces killed at least 80 insurgents on Tuesday in a fierce battle during a morning raid on what appeared to be the largest guerrilla training camp to be discovered in the war, Iraqi officials said Wednesday. Seven Iraqi policemen were killed and six wounded.
Scores of guerrillas were reported to be living in tents and makeshift buildings at the marshy lakeside encampment, northwest of Baghdad.
The size and location of the camp suggested a shift in strategy by insurgents, American military officials said: It was first time the military had come across insurgents organized in such numbers in a remote rural location, an arrangement similar to Al Qaeda training camps in the arid mountains of Afghanistan.
'A year ago, they preferred to organize in small cells in urban areas,' said Maj. Richard Goldenberg, a spokesman for the 42nd Infantry Division, which sent soldiers and attack helicopters to aid the hundreds of Iraqi commandos who raided the camp. 'Here, they organized into a large group in a remote site, perhaps under the impression that coalition forces wouldn't look for them there.'
The Iraqi and American forces, who were responding to a tip from villagers nearby, discovered munitions, training manuals, car bombs, suicide-bomber vests and computers, along with identification papers that indicated that some of the fighters had come from outside Iraq, Major Goldenberg said.
He declined to specify the nationalities of the foreign insurgents; Iraqi officials said most came "

Legend "insurgent" = Minute men as described by Michael Moore and his Democrat / Socialist / Communist Comrades.

Aust troops head home from Aceh

Aust troops head home from Aceh: "http://au.news.yahoo.com//050323/21/tndv.html
Thursday March 24, 10:54 AM
Aust troops head home from Aceh
The last Australian military personnel in the Indonesian province of Aceh will head home today, three months after a devastating tsunami hit the region.
Australian troops have spent the past three months clearing mud and rubble, transporting emergency supplies, repairing water systems and operating a field hospital for the injured.
Before the tsunami hit the province, it had been officially off limits to foreigners, with the Indonesian military engaged in a long-running conflict with Acehnese separatists.
Now with the emergency phase of the relief operation declared over, Indonesia wants all foreign military forces out of the province by the end of the week.
At the peak of the aid effort, Australia had 1,000 troops on the ground in Aceh.
Back-breaking
The work for Australian troops has often been dirty and back-breaking.
The military's trucks and earth-movers have frequently had to contend with impassable mud and debris.
And then there has been the death, the injuries and the anguish of survivors.
Despite those obstacles the Australian military has completed its emergency mission within the three-month timeframe set by the Indonesian Government.
Today, the final remnants of the Australian contingent will board the amphibious assault ship HMAS Kanimbla for the journey home.
Thus, the Australian force will have officially vacated the province ahead of Indonesia's Saturday deadline.
Aid workers
Initially, Indonesia required aid workers to leave by the same day. But it lifted that edict as the magnitude of the problem sank in.
Instead, the Government is asking the more than 160 foreign aid agencies in Aceh to formally register so it can assess h"

Positions Vacant : Spy's, apply to Shin Bet.

Spy agency runs recruiting drive
From correspondents in Jerusalem
March 23, 2005
From: Agence France-Presse
News.com.au
ISRAEL'S domestic spy agency Shin Bet - a driving force in the fight against militant activity in the Palestinian territories - went online today with a website to lure new recruits.
The Hebrew-language site, www.shabak.gov.il, offers employment in everything from intelligence to security to logistics, with special openings for students to work part-time on two-year contracts for at least 100 hours a month.
Israel's overseas intelligence service Mossad, considered one of the highest calibre spy agencies in the world, launched a similar online recruitment drive last year.

Gaddafi: Prince of "Loon"


Family Gaddafi

Gaddafi won't free HIV nurses
By Paul De Bendern in Algiers
March 24, 2005
From: Reuters
News.com.au

LIBYAN leader Muammar Gaddafi today rejected calls from the West for the release of Bulgarian nurses sentenced to death for injecting children with the HIV virus.
"Everyone from the West comes to Libya, and says to me release the Bulgarian nurses. This means that our children died and this was not considered as important," Col. Gaddafi said.
"I swear to God I will not release them," he told an Arab League summit in Algiers, attended by United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan.
Five Bulgarian nurses and a Palestinian doctor were sentenced to death last year after being found guilty of deliberately infecting hundreds of Libyan children with the deadly HIV virus that causes AIDS.
The verdicts were based on confessions the nurses - who remain jailed - say were extracted under torture.
They prompted strong protests from the US and the European Union and have hampered Libya's efforts to renew normal ties with the West after decades of diplomatic isolation.
"When the court sentenced the Bulgarians to death by hanging there were demonstrations (in Benghazi) supporting this sentence," Col. Gaddafi said. "They (the West) consider our people cheap."
"The 47 children are dead and the others are still on the death bed," Col. Gaddafi said. "The Bulgarian nurses and a physician said to be Palestinian injected... children in the children's hospital in Benghazi with the AIDS virus."
The nurses, who have been imprisoned since 1999, say they are being used as scapegoats to prevent a backlash against medical authorities at the Benghazi hospital where they worked.
Late last year Tripoli suggested it would release the nurses in exchange for financial compensation. Bulgaria has refused, saying any payout would be an admission of guilt.
The AIDS epidemic killed at least 40 of the 426 infected children and caused outrage in Libya.
AIDS experts have testified the epidemic began before the medics arrived at the hospital, possibly due to the unhygienic handling of needles and blood products.
In January nine Libyan police officers and a physician appeared in a Tripoli court on charges of torturing the five Bulgarian nurses to confess they infected the children.
Libyan lawyers and diplomats see the public trial of police officers as a move intended to counter foreign criticism of the Tripoli authorities.
- Additional reporting by Mohamed Abdellah

See Libyan Freak show
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Michael Moores "Minutemen", How proud the "Peace Movement" must be must be of their Comrades

30 held over rapes, 40 murders
From correspondents in Baghdad
March 23, 2005
From: Agence France-Presse
News.com.au

IRAQI police have seized 30 men linked to terror groups and involved in three beheadings, the rape and murder of three women, and the separate murders of 40 other people, General Adel Molan said today.
Some of the men belonged to al-Qaeda and some to its sister group Ansar al-Islam and were caught in Baladruz, 60km north-east of Baghdad, the general said.
He said police had divided the detainees into three groups: the first was wanted for beheading three people; and the second for the separate murders of 40 people, including some Diyala provincial council members and Iraqi security forces.
The third group raped and then murdered three women, Gen Molan said.
On the other side of the Iraqi divide, army General Mohsen Hazaa Bayram al-Bayati, a Turkman who was seriously wounded on Sunday in the northern city of Kirkuk, died of his wounds today, medical sources said.
"He died of his wounds around 11am (7pm AEDT). They had cut out his kidney and he suffered complications in his digestive tract," said Khaled Abdel Wahad, a doctor at Kirkuk general hospital.
The general was shot as he entered his home in the second such attack in less than a week. A Christian general working at the interior ministry was shot dead on March 16 in Kirkuk.
In more violence, an Iraqi truck driver died in a bomb blast near the town of Shurgat in Saddam Hussein's home province of Salahaddin, said police Lieutenant Colonel Fares Mehdi.
The driver, Mohamed Sadun Zaidun, was in a convoy guarded by US and Iraqi forces, Lt Col Mehdi added.
The corpses of five Iraqi soldiers were found in Kut, south-east of Baghdad, a defence ministry source said.
In another attack today, Husam Hussein, the driver of an interior ministry official, was gunned down in the southern district of Doura as he went to work, security sources said.

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Lebanon towards abyss ?

Blast edges Lebanon towards abyss
By Nicolas Rothwell
March 24, 2005
From:
News.com.au

THE shadows over Lebanon deepened yesterday, and the country's much-feared return to factional violence seemed to be accelerating, as the second bomb in four days exploded in a Christian quarter of north Beirut, killing three people and wounding eight.
The blast, which came even as tensions over Syria's political place inside Lebanon mounted, suggests forces opposed to the country's fledgling democracy movement might be prepared to engage in a systematic campaign of violence.
First reports suggest the dead in yesterday's bombing were foreign cleaners, working in a shopping centre at the heart of the upscale Jounieh district.
The shock wave from the blast left the windows and fronts of plush shops and nightclubs - symbols of Beirut's role as an Arab pleasure capital - shattered and torn.
The device which caused it was reportedly placed in one of the shopping centre's stairwells.
In the previous incident, a car bomb exploded in a Christian suburb of Beirut early on Saturday, wounding 11 people.
Lebanon has been in a state of suspended crisis and hope ever since the massive explosion in central Beirut on February 14 that killed former prime minister Rafik Hariri and unleashed a wave of anti-Syrian protests.
The UN report into that attack is due to be released today in New York and a leading newspaper controlled by Hariri's business empire is already reporting the document will accuse the Lebanese Government of negligence and evidence-tampering.
Although a prolonged campaign of demonstrations and counter-actions, coupled with intense international pressure, has transformed the map of Lebanon in recent weeks, the situation in Beirut is still delicately poised.
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who is at the Arab League summit in Algiers, confirmed to UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan last night that his forces would complete a full two-stage withdrawal from Lebanon, where parliamentary elections are due next month.
But opposition leaders claim that a campaign of intimidation by Syrian intelligence has begun, and there are now deep fears among the activists of the "cedar revolution" that Damascus will sow discord in order to retain its overarching security role inside the country.
At the scene of last night's blast, opposition parliamentarian Faris Bouez was unambiguous: "It is a political message to the independence uprising."
The broader landscape of contending forces is still unclear.
Negotiations to form a caretaker government in Beirut are continuing, with the opposition demanding half the seats in any new cabinet.
Opposition leaders, gathered around Druze politician Walid Jumblatt, have also been pressing for the immediate resignation of Lebanon's six top security chiefs - and some even want the pro-Syrian President Emile Lahoud to step down.
But these demands appear to have been relaxed in the latest behind-the-scenes negotiations.
With fresh protests scheduled in the days ahead, the mood is ever more tense in the Lebanese capital and apprehensions about a possible bombing campaign have already caused many Christians to move out of the city.
Many Lebanese opposition figures are now attempting to craft a fresh political compact.
Talks are to be held soon between the head of the Shia Hezbollah militia, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, and Maronite patriarch Nasrallah Butros Sfeir about the possible place of the Hezbollah movement in Lebanon's future.
Hezbollah, which is armed and pro-Syrian, has staged vast rallies challenging the authority of the opposition in recent weeks, and appears to positioning itself to play a part in Lebanon's politics after the formal Syrian departure.
But many observers mindful of the ruinous civil war that destroyed the country between 1975 and 1990 fear that the rivalries between the different communities of Lebanon are now primed to spill over, and that the potential exists once more for a more extensive form of conflict.

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Sharks Rampage through Australian waters,Shark bites HORSE!!!!


School's out ... dozens of ------- Bull Shark attacks Horse
whaler sharks swim through
the bait fish off
South Stradbroke Island.
Picture: Sarah Marshall

Sharks gorge on pre-Easter feast
By Phil Bartsch
March 24, 2005
News.com.au

A BANQUET of bait fish has lured dozens of sharks - some measuring 3m and more - to the waters off the Gold Coast.
Packs of the hungry predators put on a fearsome spectacle close to shore yesterday as they gorged themselves on large schools of pilchards off South Stradbroke Island.
Tourists watched from a safe distance on the beach as the sharks - with jaws wide open - darted in and out of the seafood smorgasbord not far from the water's edge.
"One just came right up, just pushed himself straight up on to the beach just chasing them in and waited for the next wave and got himself out," said one onlooker.
The pilchards, appearing as oil-slick-like dark patches in the ocean by bunching together tightly, were easy pickings for the sharks.
Large schools of bait fish are commonly sighted off the coast during the warmer months, usually keeping close to shore.
But the sharks are never too far away. Convoys of whaler, tiger and hammerhead sharks are often seen stalking the bait fish.
The menacing display comes as many beachgoers look forward to one last dip over the Easter break before winter starts to bite and water temperatures drop.
Gold Coast chief lifeguard Warren Young said the whereabouts of the sharks would be monitored from the air.
"If they stay out to sea they're not a problem. If they come in close to bathing areas then we take action," he said.
In previous years, lifeguards and lifesavers have had to call swimmers from the water as they used jetskis, jetboats and rubber duckies to herd the predators away from patrolled areas.
Three years ago, competition at the surf lifesaving national titles was put on hold as sharks feasted on the massive schools of fish just off Kurrawa beach.
Meanwhile, a horse trainer yesterday told how a 500kg race horse was dragged underwater by a bull shark while it was swimming in the Brisbane River.
Alan Treadwell said six-year-old gelding Glen-burns Arm was in the river, near Kholo, west of Brisbane earlier this month when the horse "went over backwards and twisted and then all of a sudden he went berserk".
Mr Treadwell, who is based in Grandchester, said he was exercising his star charge on a lead when a shark up to 2m long bit the pacer on the rump.
"I saw this white thing come out of the water when he went over backwards," Mr Treadwell said yesterday.
Mr Treadwell said the attack left a "jaw mark", puncture wounds and bruising around the horse's leg.

Shark bites horse !!!!
By Roberta Mancuso
March 23, 2005
From: AAP
News.com.au
A 500kg racing horse was dragged underwater by a bull shark while it was swimming in the Brisbane River, its trainer said today.
Alan Treadwell said six-year-old gelding Glen-burns Arm was in the river, near Kholo , west of Brisbane when the horse "went over backwards and twisted and then all of a sudden he went berserk".
Mr Treadwell, who is based in Grandchester, said he was exercising his star charge on a lead when a shark up to 2m long bit the pacer on the rump.
"I saw this white thing come out of the water when he went over backwards," Mr Treadwell said today.
"I kept pulling and every time he surfaced I kept dragging him in. I was getting him in slowly and when he could stand he was just trembling and carrying on - he had a white tail when he come out of the water."
The attack came less than a month after a bull shark bit 18-year-old Nathan Shaxson on the finger and the head near a boat ramp at Karalee - 15km downstream from the Kholo river site.
Although bull sharks are relatively small - most are between just 1.5 and 2.5 metres - they can cause death by loss of blood from bites or shock.
They are found in most Australian water systems, including Sydney Harbour, the Brisbane River, the Swan River in Perth, Lake Macquarie near Newcastle and the Herbert River in North Queensland.
Mr Treadwell said the attack lasted about 30 seconds, leaving a "jaw mark", puncture wounds and bruising around the horse's leg.
"I never thought it'd happen," he said.
"I know there's little sharks there they say, but I thought how big a shark could pull a horse down? He's 500 kilos."
Shark expert Craig Franklin said sharks in the Brisbane River could reach as long as 3.5m.
He said it was unusual for a bull shark to take on such a large "food item".
"It was probably a mistake," the University of Queensland professor said.
"They're opportunistic feeders, they tend to be quite aggressive sharks and it probably got a bit of a surprise to find it was quite a large food item."
Mr Treadwell said his horses would now be trained in a nearby dam.
"It's a lot safer," he said.
Despite the close scrape, Glen-burns Arm will race at the Gold Coast trots tomorrow afternoon - in the Have A Safe Easter Pace. Bull Shark Facts and info

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Illegal Immigrant: "Get me outa here"


Mr Qasim ... will do whatever it takes to leave Australia.
I'm a Kashmiri, get me out of here
By Elizabeth Colman and Tom Richardson
March 24, 2005
From:
News.com.au

Mr Qasim ... will do whatever it takes to leave Australia.
LONG-SERVING detainee Peter Qasim has begged to be deported from Australia, saying he will go wherever immigration authorities can find that will accept him and he will go immediately.
As such, he appears to be a prime candidate for the Government's new "removal pending visa", which allows those who have given up their fight to stay in Australia to live freely in the community until they can be deported.
But Mr Qasim faces a substantial hurdle because the Immigration Department insists he has been "unco-operative".
If he can convince immigration authorities - and, in turn, minister Amanda Vanstone - that he is, as he claims, a Kashmiri unable to secure travel papers, he will be released on the removal pending visa unveiled by Senator Vanstone yesterday.
Mr Qasim, who is in South Australia's Baxter detention centre, said yesterday he had repeatedly asserted that "if India is willing to give me travel documents, then I will go home".
"It's no problem for me if they send me to India - I just want to be out of here," he said.
Until her announcement yesterday, Senator Vanstone had refused to consider Mr Qasim's release from detention after six years behind razor wire, on the basis that he had changed the story he initially gave to officials.
She said new information had been provided by Dick Smith -- a self-described "friend of the Prime Minister" -- that she had passed on to the department.
"I've been asked by Dick Smith to look at some material that he's put forward to me in relation to Mr Qasim," Senator Vanstone said.
"There are two aspects there. One is separate information that the department is considering at this point and the second is his co-operation levels."
The new material, obtained by The Australian, alleges the department "mishandled and misrepresented" the Qasim case. A document, prepared by an advocate for Mr Qasim, Greg Egan, states, among a list of concerns, that the department did not use a translator in its initial interviews with Mr Qasim.

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Bush agenda: The message will be no different from Bush I.



GREG SHERIDAN
The Australian
Agenda driven by leading hawks
March 24, 2005

THE pattern of senior appointments in Washington offers a fascinating insight into where the second Bush administration is heading. If you're a Bush critic, the good news is that George W. Bush is going to take the multilateral system and international issues hugely seriously. The bad news is just the same.

Bush is going to engage all the issues his critics claim he neglected in his first term - Third World development, the image of the US throughout the world, reform and reinvigoration of the UN. But he will do so in a way that is consistent with his political values.

Three appointments make this clear - Paul Wolfowitz to move from Deputy Secretary of Defence to president of the World Bank, John Bolton to move from under-secretary of state to US ambassador to the UN, and Karen Hughes, the President's former communications director, to become under-secretary of state for public diplomacy.

This is clearly earnest intent. They are all Bush insiders and genuine heavy hitters. Each will be criticised but each offers Bush the chance to make a real difference.

Wolfowitz was the intellectual behind the invasion of Iraq and must shoulder some blame for the many foul-ups. But he is much more than that. In the 1980s he was a popular and effective ambassador to Indonesia and a champion of serious US dialogue with the Muslim world.

The most interesting aspect of Wolfowitz's background, in terms of the World Bank appointment, is that he is a true neo-conservative. Neo-con is such a misused term, especially in Australia, as to have become almost meaningless. But it originally referred to Democrats, liberal on domestic issues and liberal internationalists, who were also anti-communist but became sickened by the anti-Americanism of the Left and thus defected to the Right, becoming Republicans.

Wolfowitz, who served in the Carter administration, fits this description perfectly. He believes in democracy and development. James Wolfensohn was a mixed grill as World Bank president. His message became woolly and confused by the NGO rhetoric he picked up in his attempts to make the World Bank more palatable to its critics. Wolfowitz will be more intellectually robust. He has a chance to move development issues, including aid, to the centre of US concerns.

Bolton is a bold appointment as UN ambassador. He is regarded as the hardest of hardliners and has made many speeches critical of the UN. But the UN desperately needs reform and appointing Bolton shows that Bush is taking the UNseriously.

Moreover, Bolton has already done the UN the greatest good turn of anyone in its history. In 1975 the UN General Assembly passed a foul and disgraceful resolution equating Zionism with racism. The magnificent Daniel Patrick Moynihan, a Democrat, then the US ambassador to the UN, famously pronounced: "The US rises to declare before the General Assembly of the UN, and before the world, that it does not acknowledge, it will not abide by, it will never acquiesce in this infamous act."

Enter Bolton. In 1991, in the administration of George H.W. Bush, Bolton was the critical actor in getting the resolution overturned. This was a prerequisite in rehabilitating the UN in US opinion. It was a classic example of tough love. Bolton is being compared to Moynihan and another US ambassador to the UN, Jeanne Kirkpatrick. But Bolton, though more conservative than either of those two, has a much more substantial record for getting things done.

In the first term of this presidency, for example, Bolton alone constructed the Proliferation Security Initiative, designed to prevent North Korea proliferating weapons technology as well as illegal drugs and other contraband. It was the most effective act of counter-proliferation in many a long year. It was also effective multilateralism, it just didn't involve the UN.

And finally there is Hughes. No adviser, not even Karl Rove on the domestic

side at the White House, or Condoleezza Rice when she was national security adviser, was closer to Bush personally than Hughes.

Although Hughes has no background in the Arab or Muslim worlds, where much of the work is to be done, she is enormously smart, is used to succeeding and has the full confidence of the President. Her appointment shows that Bush takes seriously the need to get America's message out and into play.

The war on terror is in many ways similar to the Cold War, but the US has not put in place anything like the vast information effort it ran in the Cold War. This is in part because the State Department, which would run such an effort, is seen by many in the Bush team as institutionally hostile to core elements of the Bush policy. No one has been keen to dole out money to State, much less for something mushy like public diplomacy.

But this State Department, under Rice, is going to be central to the second Bush administration. Bob Zoellick, the former US trade representative and now Rice's deputy, is an unusually senior person for the No.2 slot at State. It is almost unheard of to go down from being a cabinet member to being a sub-cabinet officer. But with Rice, Zoellick and Hughes at State and Bolton as UN ambassador, the State Department is now set up to be the key institution for Bush mark II.

None of this guarantees success for Bush's foreign policy, but it does indicate that he knows what his priorities are and has deployed his best people to address them. It does suggest that although BushII may speak to the world in a more gentle way, the message will be no different from Bush I.

Bush saw the way presidential power ebbed from his father in his last days in office. He is determined to use his time in office. He has tackled such big issues, he will be seen as either a very good or a very bad president, depending on how they work out. He is a profoundly interesting and complex politician. His mark on history, these appointments suggest, will be substantial.





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Pommie Paedophile faces new allegations


Serial rapist faces new claim
March 24, 2005
News.com.au

FRESH rape allegations against serial pedophile Robert Ernest Excell have sparked moves by a Perth lawyer to halt his planned release from prison and deportation to the United Kingdom.
Lawyer John Hammond today said a former prisoner came to him yesterday alleging he was raped by Excell in 1992 and again in 1998 when they were both inmates of Perth's Casuarina prison.
Excell, 66, has spent 37 of the last 39 years in West Australia's prison system for convictions dating back to 1965, when he sodomised a seven-year-old boy.
Since then he has been paroled three times and re-offended on all three occasions.
He had been expected to be released from jail and deported to the US yesterday but has remained in Perth's Acacia prison due to delays within the immigration department.
Attorney General Jim McGinty later clarified that Excell would be deported from Australia within days.
However, Mr Hammond wrote to Mr McGinty late yesterday and asked that the process be deferred until the new allegations were examined.
Police Commissioner Karl O'Callaghan had also been notified of the former inmate's complaint, Mr Hammond said.
"He (the former inmate) claims that whilst he was an inmate at Casuarina in '92 and '98 - he was serving separate terms of imprisonment - he was raped by Robert Excell," Mr Hammond said today.
"He claims that in '92 he complained about the sexual assault and he was told to keep it quiet by the authorities.
"He says in '98 he did nothing because he had no faith that any investigation would be undertaken and any charges laid."
The former inmate - who had been serving time for fraud and robbery offences - came forward after learning through the media that Excell was to be freed.
"He became very agitated and sick at the thought of Excell being released and he decided to come forward," Mr Hammond said, adding that he went to Rockingham police, who advised him to contact a lawyer.
Mr Hammond said his client, now a free man, wanted sexual assault charges laid against Excell and hoped he would remain in prison and not be deported.
No response had been yet been received from Mr McGinty's office, Mr Hammond said.
WA Police today confirmed the allegations were under investigation.
Comment was being sought from Mr McGinty.

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Womens "Open" surf boat final at Kurrawa Beach, Gold Coast Queensland Australia. Picture Simon Dean.
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So you thought it said Coca Cola ? get outa here you stupid infidel


The latest in Islamic "barking DOG mad" "truth"
http://www.geocities.com/rabbtaala/boycott_coca.gif

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Corby set back


'I didn't plant dope on Corby'
By Matt Cunningham and Mark Buttler
March 24, 2005
News.com.au

A MELBOURNE man has denied he planted marijuana in a surfboard bag that landed Schapelle Corby in a Bali jail fighting for her life.
The man, who wanted to be known only as John, was interviewed by Australian Federal Police agents this week after they received information from Ms Corby's lawyers.
John claimed AFP officers told him: "Without your help she's gone."
They are believed to have been acting on an affadavit supplied by a Victorian prisoner who has contacted Ms Corby's legal team purporting to have information that could save her.
But John, a former prisoner, told police he was not involved. "I told the AFP I had nothing to do with the drugs that the girl in Bali was arrested with," he said.
"I would love to be in a position to be able to get the girl in Bali out of prison."
The Howard Government last night said it would help clear the way for John to be flown to Bali to give evidence at the trial today. But it could act only on request from the Indonesian Government.
Gold Coast businessman Ron Bakir said time was running out for the Gold Coast beauty therapy student.
"We need the prisoner here tomorrow," he said.
In Canberra, a spokesman for the Department of Foreign Affairs said the Government was doing everything it could to help Ms Corby. "Because the witness is a prisoner in Victoria this requires a request by Indonesia to Australia under a bilateral agreement on mutual assistance in criminal matters," he said.
"The government stands ready to agree to a request and we are doing all we can to work with the Indonesian Government to facilitate this."
A spokeswoman for Attorney-General Philip Ruddock said no request had been received from Indonesia.
"If a request was received . . . the Attorney-General has indicated that we would work expeditiously to act upon it," she said.
Earlier, John told the Herald Sun that AFP agents believed he financed a smuggling operation between Brisbane and Sydney airports or had handled the drugs at some point. "They said information had been received that I was the man," he said.
"They said it came from three different sources. They were telling me that her life was in my hands. I'm supposed to be the financier.
"I didn't even have the money to take the bus home after they interviewed me. I had to borrow it."
John, a convicted burglar, said he had never been involved in drug trafficking, no had he ever met Ms Corby.
"The sad part is you see on the news she's all happy that this information has come out but there's nothing there," he said. "For them to come to me with all these allegations, there's obviously nothing there."
John, 38, said he was at a friend's house in Reservoir on Tuesday when they noticed they were being watched.
He had received a phone call from an agent requesting an interview and later spent four hours at AFP headquarters in the city.
John, who has spent eight years in Queensland and Victorian jails, believes the prisoner might be spreading the rumour in return for special treatment on the inside. "Criminals will give information for anything to get themselves out of trouble," he said.

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Daniel flies blind into Tony's turmoil

Daniel flies blind into Tony's turmoil
By LUKE McILVEEN in Canberra
March 24, 2005
Daily Telegraph

DANIEL O'Connor flew halfway around the world to spend Easter with his new family, but was forced to change his plans after discovering Tony Abbott was not his father.
The Daily Telegraph has learned Mr O'Connor accepted an invitation to spend Easter at the Abbotts' home at Forestville, in Sydney's north, and returned from London especially for the long weekend.
He had planned to fly to Port Hedland next week to spend time with his mother, Kathy Donnelly, and her husband and five children.
The devoutly religious Mr Abbott invited Mr O'Connor to spend a relaxing Easter weekend with his wife and three children, believing the attention that followed their dramatic reunion last month would have faded.
But the extraordinary news this week that the pair were not related forced Mr O'Connor to change his plans and he is now likely to spend Easter in Canberra with his adoptive parents.
Mr O'Connor is based in London but was raised in Canberra and worked as an ABC sound technician in the Federal Parliamentary press gallery.
Ms Donnelly this week revealed that soon after the reunion was made public she received a call from "Bill", a man she had slept with once, who suggested Mr O'Connor might be his.
Ms Donnelly has already told her story to the Nine Network, but it's understood she has also been approached by the ABC's Australian Story and several women's magazines.
"Daniel was really looking forward to spending some time with the Abbotts away from all the glare of the past month and getting to know his new siblings," a source close to Mr Abbott said yesterday.
"That's not happening now. Daniel thought it would be better to spend the holiday with his adoptive family in Canberra."
Mr Abbott tried to concentrate on his job as Health Minister yesterday, visiting a private psychiatric hospital in Melbourne.
"A lot has been said, a fair bit probably had to be said, but I don't know that there is anything more anyone can say and I think it's time to allow everyone involved – particularly Kathy and Daniel – to reclaim their own lives," Mr Abbott said.
"There is no longer any Abbott connection, so Daniel and Kathy, Daniel's parents, Daniel's natural father – all of them – should be allowed to live their lives without the media games that inevitably follow around someone who is a minister in the Government."
One of Mr Abbott's closest political mates, Treasurer Peter Costello, yesterday pledged his support.
"I feel for him very deeply and I told him this," Mr Costello said.
"To have thought you found a child and then to find out that you never had the child must have been one of the most rollercoaster rides that you can imagine and he has handled it with great dignity," he said.
Another colleague described Mr Abbott as "absolutely distraught" behind the scenes.
Concerned Cabinet colleagues have told the Health Minister to take all the time he needs to recover from the mix-up, which saw him wrongly convinced he had an illegitimate son for 27 years.

D N A

ANDREW BOLT

Devil in the DNA Andrew Bolt
23mar05

HOW strange that Parliament's most famous Catholic, Tony Abbott, is now a symbol of the once-forgotten dangers of sin.I feel for the poor bloke, because the humiliating news that he isn't, after all, the father of the boy he gave away 27 years ago doesn't make life easier for him.
Indeed, it makes it worse -- and not just for Abbott, but for his ``son'' and his former girlfriend, Kath Donnelly, too.
What only weeks ago was being sold -- not least by Abbott -- as their happily-ever-after story has instantly become a biblical morality play instead. Abbott has already had to live for years with an uneasy conscience over the decision he made with Donnelly -- when both were teenagers -- to adopt out what he thought was their baby.
That decision stays made, whoever the baby's father is, and is fixed in Abbott's knowledge of himself. He walked from his duty to look after the son he was sure he'd sired, leaving him to the mercy of strangers.
Maybe this is why Abbott is a strong Catholic. Like all wise moralists, he knows how easy it is to sin, and how much we all need help.
When the boy he'd given up was revealed to be Daniel O'Connor, an ABC sound recordist who'd often stuck his mike in the Health Minister's face, Abbott had to face his failure again -- and did it publicly, which wasn't sensitive or smart.
It must have hurt to front up to the ABC's 7.30 Report, knowing that among the viewers were many thousands who loathed him, and to confess: ``I was a pretty callow kid, and I wasn't ready for responsibility, and I regret that I wasn't more ready for responsibility.''
A note to the jeerers, by the way: would you have given up your child -- or, worse, killed it in the womb -- had you faced what Abbott and Donnelly faced as mere 19-year-olds? Answer fairly, or drop those stones.
I guess a lot of people did make just that calculation, and it was remarkable how many journalists reported the reunion of Abbott with his son as a feel-good story in which no one had been hurt and everyone ended up very happy. Cue in swelling orchestra and sunset glow.
No one I know actually asked O'Connor whether he'd felt hurt to know he'd been put up for adoption. Nor, to my knowledge, was his adoptive dad, a gardener, asked if he was scared his son would now think less of him, knowing his ``real'' dad was a powerful politician.
Still, what's one more happy-tales deceit in an age when so many insist divorce doesn't hurt children, and one parent at home is just as good as two -- or better? That's how we've progressed over the past 30 years -- from Erica Jong writing of the ``zipless f..k'' to papers now spinning the myth of the ``zipless divorce''. Not to mention the ``zipless abortion'' -- and this ``zipless adoption'', too.
YET now this happy reunion story has collapsed -- destroyed by the grunt-sweaty reality of a DNA test which confirms that while Donnelly is O'Connor's mum, Abbott sure isn't his dad.
So now Abbott isn't just a man who'd given up his baby, but a cuckold, too. Worse, O'Connor -- whose search for his real parents started this melodrama of revelations -- may well feel more betrayed than ever, and perhaps most of all by his natural mother.
And Donnelly may seem to some a woman who, as a teenager, was not just careless with her birth control, but too careless with sex and its consequences.
``I don't know that I am a free-thinking, bare-footed hippie,'' she recently said, ``but I am an artist and I perhaps do think a little outside the square.'' Has there actually been much thinking in all this, inside or outside the square?
There will be gimlet-eyed progressives who will blame all this on the DNA test that blabbed what didn't need blabbing, causing far more misery than good.
How many other lives have been destroyed by the tattle of the DNA tale? We know some 5000 paternity tests are done in Australia each year, and up to a third find that daddy isn't the daddy, after all. I know of a couple of such cases, involving monstrous hurt -- with these foul tests poisoning the years of love and loyalty between a father and the children he spent years in raising. Agonising stuff.
Think, for instance, of Liam Magill, who lost a recent court case for damages from his estranged wife, having learned that two of their three children weren't his after all.
Maybe fond belief is better than knowledge when it comes to paternity -- particularly when the Australian Medical Association thinks some 200,000 families may include a dad who actually isn't, more fool him.
But let's not shoot the DNA test which tells us we've lost the thread. If these tests threaten so many families, it's because never have so many families had such reason to be suspicious of who's fathered who in their domestic zoo.
If DNA tests had to be invented, then this was just the time to invent them, since we're freer than ever to do what we think best -- freer to sleep around, freer to abort, freer to dump, freer to move on. Bye-bye, kids!
Freedom like this has sure been fun for the strong, I admit. It's also rescued people from life-squishing marriages and given many a second crack at happiness.
But there was a reason why many religions and many cultures made pre-marital sex taboo, and treated marriage as a sacred bond. As the DNA tests in part reveal, there's no telling what wild misery we can create, particularly for children, when we feel free to make up our moral rules.
Look at the Tony Abbott and Kath Donnelly of today, and at the son Donnelly gave away, and we can see the pain of our foolishness can emerge even decades later, and in ways we in our passion never imagined.
I know, the old moral codes weren't painless either. But there's one thing to say about a grim sermon on saving sex for marriage -- it's sure cheaper than any paternity test, and a lot less shaming, besides.
bolta@heraldsun.com.au see also Kath could it be mine?

Mothers Horror walk in storm with Baby

'I was crying but she was laughing'
By JUSTIN VALLEJO and MATT SUN
March 24, 2005
Daily Telegraph see pictures here
A RELIEVED mother yesterday told of her panic as she tried to hang on to her baby's pram as 102km/h winds tried to tear it from her grasp.

Louize O'Keefe's nine-month-old daughter was in the pram as the wind lifted it from the pavement and sent it tumbling down the Newcastle street – and all the mother could do was try and hold on.
While little Bradey-Ann lay smiling and laughing in her overturned pram, two firefighters came to her aid.
"The wind came straight up under the pram and just lifted it. It flipped about four or five times, then the pram hit the ground and so did I," Louize, from Gosford, said yesterday.
"I was freaking out and crying but she was OK. She was smiling and laughing and clapping. She then waved to everyone."
Louize and Bradey-Ann were walking along Newcastle's King St at about 10.30am when the gale-force gust struck.
Emergency services were in the street attending to other wind damage when Bradey-Ann's pram was blown away.
"I thought I would have to take her to hospital but she is completely fine, she didn't even shed a tear," Louize said.
"We were just lucky she was strapped in and the emergency people were nearby.
"I don't know who they were or where they came from but I am just so grateful they were there because she is my first daughter and I love her so much."
The heroes of the moment were Newcastle firefighters Dean Ball and Steve Cox.
Mr Ball said the wind in the street became so bad they had to close it off to pedestrians, because the buildings had created a wind tunnel.
"The wind took her and the pram and blew them both over on the road," he said.
"The bub was still in the pram but they are okay and that is the main thing.
"We just happened to be there and whatever needs to be done that's what we do and we are trained for. So we were happy to help out."
The winds also caused 20,000 homes in Sydney and on the Central Coast to lose power at various times from Monday night to yesterday morning.
The State Emergency Service said areas east of the Pacific Highway in Sydney, Gosford and the lower Hunter were the hardest hit areas.
More than 280 SES volunteers were attending to 924 requests for assistance last night.
Rain continued to bucket down across Sydney and Newcastle yesterday, with Chatswood receiving 85 mm and Turramurra 82 mm in the 24 hours leading to 9am yesterday.
But the downpours were not enough to top up dam levels.
Yesterday's rain was only enough to delay Sydney's dams reaching their lowest levels.
A spokesman for Environment Minister Bob Debus said water capacity is sitting at 42.2 per cent – just 0.3 per cent above the historic 41.9 per cent low set in the early 1980's.
"The rain is welcome but we need seven days of heavy rain with 40mm a day for us to get back up to acceptable dam levels," the spokesman said.
Meanwhile, Sydney was littered, literally, with evidence of the wet and wild weather.
While wind speeds did not reach extreme levels during yesterday's daylight hours, they were still strong enough to destroy hundreds of umbrellas across the city.
Last night Sydney was littered with broken umbrellas, dumped in bins after they were torn to shreds by the gusts.
The big wet caused havoc on the roads. Problems began early with traffic lights blacking out at a number of busy intersections throughout the day.
Westbound lanes of traffic on New Canterbury Rd were blocked when a tree fell across the road at the intersection of Toothill St in Lewisham.
Heavy traffic flows in the M5 East tunnel were exacerbated when a car break down closed on lane about 2.15pm.

100 km/hr appx 60 mph.

Hate filled Rantings of a Donkey

Below correspondence sent by anon. Bogs.

"Has anyone here seen a more comprehensive litany of islamic stupidity than the following? I have seen muslims say everything below, but never in one continuous stream of idiocy. "---
----------------------------------------------------------

In truthOfIslam@yahoogroups.com, Shaikh Hyder wrote:

The facts are:Ibrahim, Moses, Mary and Jesus (PBUT) were all MuslimsThe word Jew was not there at the time of Moses (PBUH). The wordwas derived from Judea tribe which defeated all other tribes afterlong in fighting The word Christianity was not there at the time of Mary andJesus (PBUT). The word was invented in a sarcastic tone by the enemies of Jesus (PBUH). However latter followers of Jesus adoptedsaying that it was a good word. However this was a part of a campaignby Paul (A truly rabid rabbi) who invented Jesus worship in order to kill the true message of Jesus (PBUH). Muslims do not hate any country or people of a country.

They want to save entire world form hell of this world and that worldMuslims of course hate Bush, Sharon and other terrorists whokilled thousands of innocent people. Sharon killed 3000 un-armedPalestinian women on 16th September 1982 in Shatilla and Sabiracamps. This was his one night feast of human blood and flash. Hitler’s mother was probably Jewish and several of his ministerswere also Jewish. As a matter of fact there was close cooperationbetween Zionists and Nazis. It was Zionists who wanted to push Jewsto leave European countries and to go nowhere but Palestine. It wasZionists organization who prepared the lists of those Jews who they thought were useless for future Israel and gave to Hitler to put themin gas chambers. All attempts to rescue Jews were foiled by the Zionists themselves.
They all foiled all attempts to settle migratingJews to any place other than Palestine. (Ref: Pharis Galib: TheZionists Nazi Relations; containing all only Jews references printedin Cedar Rapids, Iowa, USA)Allah Ta’lah has promised to bad Jews that He will keep imposingpeople upon them who will inflict painful punishment on them... (Ref.Surah Araf, Aya 167, Al-Quran). All honest Jews will admit that theirleaders had been giving them sever pains and punishments. Several good Jews have accepted Islam. This includes the Chiefof Jews in Madina at the time of the Prophet Muhammad. He was thebest and most learned among Jews. In the current times Dr. Assad andMaryam Jamila are among the prominent Jews who accepted Islam.
They have written excellent books and they were/are truly noble scholars. Only stupid people will believe in WMDs and 9/11 being attackedby Muslims. And only mentally retarded will believe that Anthrax bugscan come from Torah Borah mountains to Washington DC and onlyextremely good and nerd will buy that video tapes travel from TorahBoar to Kabul to Islamabad to Qatar to Al-Jazirah TV and no one wascaught. And this kept happening every other week.
These tapes are cooked in the back yard of White House which in reality is house of white lies. Islam is a way of life which is most natural, most healthy andmost progressive. Muslims founded all modern sciences. When therewere e100 good hospitals in one Muslims city Qurtabah (Cordoba) therewere none in entire Europe. Non Muslim Europe took 300 years to makefirst hospital in Paris. All so called laws described by Newton weredescribed by Ibn-e-Haitham several centuries ago.
The entire” New World Order” is to stop common Americans andEuropeans to accept Islam as Islam and only Islam has the power toheal the decaying Western Society. Islam will unite the families andwill eliminate AIDS and other mental and psychological disorders. Itis Islam alone which can eradicate IMF and World Bank which areresponsible for all poverty in the West and East. Yesterday it was Jesus (PBUH) who was spreading the light ofIslam which Zionists forefathers could not tolerate as Islam wouldhave eradicated their exploitation of the poor and the week.
Today again the war is between Islam and thugs and terrorists. We mustunderstand that all terrorism in the world is being carried out bythe enemies of Islam and they attribute this terrorism to Islam thustrying to kill two birds by one stone (Destruction and keeping peopleaway from Islam which could stop this game of destruction.My request to all of you is to study Quran, learn its languageand teach to others. If we all did this, world will be entirelydifferent world tomorrow, a peaceful and truly humane world.

Your brother in Islam; Anwar Ul Haque

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Arutz Sheva - Israel National News

Arutz Sheva - Israel National News

The True Freedom Fighters
by Nonie Darwish
March 23, 2005

As an Arab myself, I am extremely inspired by what is happening in the Middle East ever since the Iraqi elections. The will of the Iraqi people to stand up for freedom and democracy has inspired the rest of the Middle East. This was the first time I have heard a collective, strong voice among Muslims and Arabs saying to the world loud and clear: "We want to join the civilized world in democracy and freedom, and we are committed to stand against the terrorists among us." The courage of the Iraqis has inspired Lebanon and Egypt, and the rest is yet to come. There is a new era in Arab political life in the making.

I could not help but compare that honorable stand of the Iraqi people to the often neglected and rarely mentioned heroic stand of the Israeli people against terrorism for so many generations. Despite constant terrorism, they managed to grow, excel, maintain a democracy, continue the business of living, riding buses, voting and maintaining their moral standards. Despite many losses in Israeli lives and the constant threat of terror from all their neighbors, most of the Israelis share a deep feeling of wanting to live in peace with the Palestinians.

Their courage and struggle to survive and thrive in a sea of hostility, boycott and terror went unnoticed by the world. It is time for the world to say enough is enough to the terrorism against Israel. Israel is part of the inspiration to the new Middle East yearning for peace and democracy, and the world needs to give the Israelis credit for that. It is also time for the United Nations to end its unremitting attacks against Israel.

Israel is like the Iraqi voters, like the Arabs yearning for peace and democracy in the area. It is trying to survive in an area of the world that has no respect to individual rights and freedoms; an area of the world with extreme elements that would rather kill its own citizens than see them free to choose. Israel was the first country to set that example, half-a-century ago.

Unfortunately, there are still many in the West who think of themselves as "progressive", "liberal" or "humanitarian" who shamelessly call terrorists "freedom fighters". Such people gratify themselves by believing they are championing the underdog when they excuse terrorism and refuse to call it by its real name. Having accepted the arguments of the terrorists themselves, they have lost the ability to recognize and celebrate true freedom fighting when it shows up, as it did in Iraq. Instead, they make excuses for terrorists, who are, in fact, the hidden hands of Arab dictators and religious leaders who use the terrorists to obtain compliance, obedience and to maintain power.

Terrorists want to preserve the status quo in the Middle East. They want to maintain the oppressive tyrannical regimes, such as the Taliban and the mullahs of Iran; they want to keep Arab women in bondage and are fighting democracy by any means. They often work in harmony with tyrannical rulers, who use terrorism as a tool to blackmail the West and Israel for more concessions and financial aid.

We Arab-Americans who want to promote freedom and democracy in our culture of origin are extremely discouraged by terror apologists, who claim that terrorists have a good cause. To them, I say, "No!" We are the freedom fighters; they are evil terrorists.

Terrorists do not have an honorable cause, but are pursuing the causes of old, tired despots and tyrants of the Middle East, those who suppress freedom at any cost. You have no idea how oppressive it is to live in the Middle East. Terrorists deliberately target and kill children, women, civilian men and leaders who sign peace treaties, such as President Anwar Sadat of Egypt. Terrorists shamelessly hold the Koran and recite verses while beheading the innocent without mercy. Terrorists do not care if their actions hurt the reputation of Islam, a religion they claim to love. Terrorists have no intention ever to make peace with Israel, or to accord respect or equality to Christians, Kurds, Jews or other minorities in the Middle East. To them, peace negotiations are just a game to confuse the West and misrepresent their true intentions. When will all the Western powers realize this and understand this game?

The goal of Osama Bin-Laden is to subdue the entire world, especially America, under Islam. Terrorists follow that one goal blindly and will not allow anything to stand in the way, not even the safety and security of their own children. Like the Communists before them, terrorists believe that their ideal state has not yet been accomplished, and no Muslim country or constitution is pure enough to satisfy them. Even the Saudi regime, which follows Sharia, Islamic law, is not Muslim enough for them.

The years of indoctrination by mullahs and dictators have turned many Arab people into robots for terror, following a mirage of ideals and beliefs in the perfect Islamic state. To them, the mere existence of the non-Muslim world stands in the way of accomplishing this perfect Utopia. When the terrorists speak to Western media, they give themselves the right to lie and blame the West for all their problems. Western journalists also frequently fall into the trap of being the enablers of these 'freedom fighters'.

"Progressives"' in the West must start seeing the budding aspirations of the true freedom fighters in the Middle East. The true freedom fighters are those who are standing for democracy and freedom, respect for minorities, peace with Israel and joining the civilized world in a relationship based on mutual respect. They are the Arabs and Muslims who are speaking for peace, many of whom are jailed in places like Syria, Iran and Bangladesh for this "crime".

Today's true freedom fighters are the voters of Iraq. It is the few of us speaking against the stoning of Muslim women, the lashing and torture of men, and the cruel and unusual punishments still going on in Muslim countries. We are fighting the extreme poverty in the Arab oil-rich region that is plagued with corruption. We are struggling against the indoctrination of Arab children, who learn the 'values' of hate, terror and vengeance.

We hear about the horror of how a whole Coptic Christian Egyptian family was slaughtered by terrorists in New Jersey, but we are not dissuaded and continue to speak out for peace and freedom. We are the freedom fighters.

At a rally against terrorism in Berkeley, California, some Arabs were trying to disrupt the event by chanting, "Two, four, six, eight, we are martyrs, we can't wait!" They were foolishly supported by some Americans. I want to tell the "progressive" Left in America that they are supporting the wrong side; they are not supporting the oppressed underdog, they are supporting the oppressors and the terrorist system that promotes their hate and brings it to America.

I wish the Left would see the new reality in the Middle East. Please move beyond the sixties. The old causes they are supporting are the very ones standing in the way of progress. They have now become part of the problem and not part of the solution. They are no longer progressive, but are buried in old and tired arguments of days gone by. Progressives of America: you need a revival.

Let the world step back and see who the true freedom fighters are, and who are the real terrorists, and never confuse the two.

Mall bunnies hunt for neutral names

Mall bunnies hunt for neutral names

Thanks to Warner for this Politically Correct RUBBISH
IT'S THE freaking EASTER BUNNY !!!!!!!!!!!
Get it through your thick skulls .

And Now for the SPRING Bunny:

Death at 'immoral' picnic in the park - World - Times Online

Death at 'immoral' picnic in the park - World - Times Online

Times on line

March 23, 2005

Death at 'immoral' picnic in the parkBy Catherine Philp
Students are beaten to death for playing music as Shia militiamen run amok
THE students had begun to lay out their picnic in the spring sunshine when the men attacked.


“There were dozens of them, armed with guns, and they poured into the park,” Ali al-Azawi, 21, the engineering student who had organised the gathering in Basra, said.

“They started shouting at us that we were immoral, that we were meeting boys and girls together and playing music and that this was against Islam.

“They began shooting in the air and people screamed. Then, with one order, they began beating us with their sticks and rifle butts.” Two students were said to have been killed.

Standing over them as the blows rained down was the man who gave the order, dressed in dark clerical garb and wearing a black turban. Ali recognised him immediately as a follower of Hojatoleslam Moqtada al-Sadr, the radical Shia cleric. Ali realised then that the armed men were members of Hojatoleslam al-Sadr’s Mehdi Army, a private militia that fought American forces last year and is now enforcing its own firebrand version of Islam.

The picnic had run foul of the Islamist powers that increasingly hold sway in the fly-blown southern city, where religious militias rule the streets, forcing women to don the veil and closing down shops that sell alcohol or music.

In the election in January, the battle between secular and religious forces in Basra came down to the ballot box. The main Shia alliance triumphed with 70 per cent of the province’s vote, most of the rest going to a secular rival.

That victory has brought to a head the issue of whether Iraq’s new constitution will adopt Islamic law — or Sharia — as most religious Shia leaders desire.

In Basra, however, Islamic militias already are beginning to apply their own version of that law, without authority from above or any challenge from the police.

Students say that there was nothing spontaneous about the attack. Police were guarding the picnic in the park, as is customary at any large public gathering, but allowed the armed men in without any resistance.

One brought a video camera to record the sinful spectacle of the picnic, footage of which was later released to the public as a warning to others.

It showed images of one girl struggling as a gunman ripped her blouse off, leaving her half-naked. “We will send these pictures to your parents so they can see how you were dancing naked with men,” a gunman told her. Two students who went to her aid were shot — one in the leg, the other twice in the stomach. The latter was said to have died of his injuries. Fellow students say that the girl later committed suicide. Another girl who was severely beaten around the head lost her sight.

Far from disavowing the attack, senior al-Sadr loyalists said that they had a duty to stop the students’ “dancing, sexy dress and corruption”.

“We beat them because we are authorised by Allah to do so and that is our duty,” Sheik Ahmed al-Basri said after the attack. “It is we who should deal with such disobedience and not the police.”

After escaping with two students, Ali reached a police station and asked for help. “What do you expect me to do about it?” a uniformed officer asked.

Ali went to the British military base at al-Maakal and pleaded with the duty officer at the gate. “You’re a sovereign country now. We can’t help. You have to go to the Iraqi authorities,” the soldier replied.

When the students tried to organise demonstrations, they were broken up by the Mehdi Army. Later the university was surrounded by militiamen, who distributed leaflets threatening to mortar the campus if they did not call off the protests.

When the militia began to set up checkpoints and arrest students, Ali fled to Baghdad.

A British spokesman said that troops were unable to intervene unless asked to by the Iraqi authorities.

Colonel Kareem al-Zeidy, Basra’s police chief, pleaded helplessness. “What can I do? There is no government, no one to give us authority,” he said. “The political parties are the most powerful force in Basra right now.”

The students have begun an indefinite strike, but fear that there is little that they can do to stop the march of violent fundamentalism. Saleh, 21, another engineering student, said: “If this is how they deal with the most educated in Basra, how would they deal with ordinary people? The soul of our city is at stake.”

Terror Warning for Philippines

Manila
Britain warns of fresh terror attacks
From correspondents in Manila
March 23, 2005
Daily Telegraph

TERRORISTS are in the final stages of planning an attack in the Philippines, the British embassy has warned in an updated travel advisory.

"We believe that terrorists are in the final stages of planning an attack," the bulletin issued ahead of Easter weekend said.
"However, attacks could occur at any time, anywhere in the Philippines."
The US has also updated its advisory, saying reprisals by the Abu Sayyaf Muslim militant group were possible.
British citizens are being discouraged from travelling to central, southern and western Mindanao, and the Sulu archipelago where military operations against Muslim groups continue.

The advisory noted that "extremist groups" including Abu Sayyaf and the Moro Islamic Liberation front (MILF) operated in the Philippines, and communist insurgents remained active.
"There is a high threat from terrorism throughout the Philippines," the bulletin said.
"There continues to be threats against Western interests and there is a danger of collateral damage from terrorist attacks targeted at others.
"Terrorists and criminal elements are continuing with plans to kidnap Filipinos and Westerners.
"Westerners have been targeted before, particularly in the southern Philippines and coastal resorts, and may still be considered an attractive tareget."
AFP

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Some detainees to be released


Some detainees to be released
By Elizabeth Colman, Steve Lewis and wires
March 23, 2005
From:
News.com.au

THE Federal Government's refugee policy was unravelling because it played politics with the problem, Opposition Leader Kim Beazley said today.
His comment followed Canberra's announcement it would release detainees who had been refused refugee status but who could not return to their home countries, until the situation that kept them in Australia was resolved.
"If the Government was systematic instead of political, they would have solved this problem a long time ago," Mr Beazley said in Melbourne.
Holders of the Removal Pending Bridging Visa would have to agree to return to their home countries as soon as the Federal Government considers it possible for them to do so.
They would also be required to report regularly to the Department of Immigration, but would have access to some benefits, including Medicare and short-term income support.
The visas would apply only in a small number of cases to detainees already imprisoned for a long time, Immigration Minister Amanda Vanstone said.
"The new bridging visa will not be available to detainees with current visa applications, or who are challenging decisions, either through review or courts," Senator Vanstone said.
Mr Beazley said that under a Labor government asylum seekers would be properly tested on security grounds but the processing would be done quickly "so we don't have people effectively locked away for very long periods of time".
"We need to keep that deterrent element there, that mandatory detention element there, but we also need to do it with humanity and expedition," he said.
"This Government mucks around with it, always looking for a political opportunity, and now their chickens have come home to roost."
Under Labor, asylum seekers would be processed within 90 days and then released, unless there were security or health reasons to keep them in detention.
For detainees, there would be a monthly review with the onus on the immigration department to justify why they should remain in custody.
The visa would also provide access to trauma and torture counselling, schooling for children, and child care tax benefits - the same as those provided to people living in Australia on Temporary Protection Visas (TPVs).
Today's announcement represents the government's first - if small - departure from its hardline stance on immigration detention.
But Prime Minister John Howard stressed it did not foreshadow a change of policy.
"We have no intention of altering the policy ... of mandatory detention. That policy has worked extremely well," he told reporters in Canberra after a cabinet meeting yesterday.
The decision to release a small number of detainees followed two days of intense speculation that the government was reconsidering the cases of Christian convert asylum seekers.
The move outraged Muslims, Labor and Family First who feared a string of copycat conversions.
But today's decision is unlikely to please refugee advocates, who argue the government's entire policy of mandatory detention is unlawful and cruel.
Amnesty International today warned against a "quick fix" approach to the problems and said there should be a presumption against detention for all asylum seekers entering Australia.
The Government's latest shift on refugee policy has come after a group of prominent Liberal backbenchers raised concerns about conditions in detention centres, with cabinet agreeing to relax strict controls on who can be released into the community. Announcing the shift, the Prime Minister insisted the Government's hardline policy on border protection and commitment to offshore processing had not been compromised.
"What we have been looking at is a situation where a person has been judged not to be a refugee. In other words, all of the avenues of examination and adjudication have been exhausted, yet for practical purposes that person can't be sent back to the country from whence he came," he said.
"While that situation continues, it's not reasonable that he or she continues to be in detention and the desire is that that person be let out into the community on the understanding that when the impracticability about the person's return has been removed, then that person will be returned to the country from whence he came. Of course, at no stage has it been judged that that person is a refugee."
Senator Vanstone will have the discretion to determine when to send stateless visa holders back to their country of origin. The new visa category will incorporate those who have exhausted their legal claims against the commonwealth.
The case of long-term stateless detainee Peter Qasim, who is in his seventh year in immigration detention, has been the focus of intense lobbying by Coalition backbenchers and advocates.
Mr Qasim, who claims to be from Kashmir, has dropped all appeals for protection and asked to be deported from Australia, but no country will accept his bid for residency.
The Howard Government had until yesterday taken a draconian approach to migration law, fighting hundreds of court battles to cement its right to detain a person living in Australia without a visa, following the arrival of the Tampa boatload of Afghan refugees in August 2001.
Mr Howard exploited community angst over refugees at the so-called Tampa election of 2001 by campaigning on the memorable slogan: "We will decide who comes to this country, and the circumstances in which they come".
Government MPs, including NSW's Bruce Baird and senator Marise Payne, Victorian MPs Petro Georgiou and Phil Barresi and West Australian member Judi Moylan, have raised the issue of children in detention and stateless detainees in the partyroom and privately with the Immigration Minister.
And Nationals Kay Hull and John Forrest have been instrumental in changing policy on asylum-seeker issues such as temporary protection visas and regional workers.
Mr Barresi told The Australian last night that he had spoken to Senator Vanstone and Mr Howard of his concerns about the "mental decay" of indefinite detainees.
"Full marks to the Prime Minister and Senator Vanstone," Mr Barresi said. "(The decision) doesn't undermine the border protection policy the Government has, but it does demonstrate a great deal of compassion."
Mr Barresi praised fellow Coalition MPs who had lobbied "discreetly" and outside of the election context and "within the system".
"Bruce Baird, Judi Moylan, John Forrest, Petro (Georgiou), these people have stood up and spoken and I'm pleased that it took that visit to Baxter to speed the process on it," he said. "Petro got the ball rolling."
The breakthrough comes as activists from the NSW Refugee Action Coalition plan to rally in the hundreds outside Senator Vanstone's house in Adelaide and then move to Baxter on Good Friday.
Including copy from The Australian
Labor 4 Refugees

The Labor Party is the Party that wants OPEN BORDERS and NO detention of anybody who arrives from any where so long as they say they are not a
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Terrorist at Large in Australia laws too inadequate to prosecute


Terrorists 'at large in Australia'
March 23, 2005
From: AAP
News.com.au

AUSTRALIA'S top spy has told an international law conference that suspected terrorists are moving freely around Australia because security authorities don't have enough powers.
Legal loopholes had enabled many suspected terrorists to escape prosecution, ASIO Director-General Dennis Richardson said.
Mr Richardson said fewer than one in 10 people known to be involved with terrorist groups in Australia were ever likely to face court.
"The great majority of people in Australia, who are assessed to have trained with al-Qaeda and associated groups, remain free in the community because, amongst other reasons, the relevant laws did not come into force until July, 2002," he told the LAWAsia conference on the Gold Coast.
Mr Richardson said Australia was not alone in this regard.
"In many cases, the capacity to obtain evidence sufficient to meet proper legal standards is beyond reach," he said, adding that Australia had not been slow to respond to terrorism.
But he said Australians had an understandable expectation that the government would lawfully protect them from the potential threat posed by those involved with terrorist groups.
Australians could have confidence that its legal system had worked well so far and had the capacity to adjust to future challenges.

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Travoltas' Mile High Club


Travolta a high miler
By Natacha Butler
March 23, 2005

News.com.au

HOLLYWOOD heartthrob John Travolta has revealed he likes to get saucy once the fasten seatbelt lights go off at 34,000 feet.
The cheeky flying fanatic, who pilots his own plane, says he and his gorgeous wife once created their own turbulence in the skies.
" In my Lear jet days, we joined the club. I shut off the cockpit, let someone else fly, and we had our day," 51-year-old Travolta told men's bible FHM.
"No more details necessary."
Despite their saucy mile-high antics the Be Cool star says his marriage to Kelly Preston may not have survived were it not for counselling.
The A-list couple, who married in 1991 and have two children, visited a counsellor every six months for 12 years.
"Relationships grow and change. If you don't update your relationship, you grow apart. We got to know each other over the years," he told Britain's Night And Day magazine.
"But sure, I could have seen us separating without counselling."
Kelly, an actress in her own right, must certainly tire of the female attention her blue-eyed husband garners.
Travolta, though, seems to take all the adulation in his stride, even confessing he is flattered by the attention of fresh-faced beauties like his Love Song For Bobby Long co-stars 21-year-old Scarlett Johansson and former chart-topper Christina Milian.
"Between Scarlett and Christina I'm in a good place. I love it, but I think what they're responding to is their memory of me in Grease.
"I'm flattered that they get excited over me. Whatever it is that they like, I'm all for it. Young, gorgeous girls like these two are so much fun to be around because they're light hearted, very healthy and uncomplicated, meaning they don't have a lot of baggage, so there's a purity to them."

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UN Oil Scam continues


Oil money pledged to official
By Marc Carnegie at the UN
March 23, 2005
From: AAP
News.com.au

THE UN is facing new questions about the Iraqi oil-for-food program after admitting it agreed to use Iraqi money to pay the legal fees of a UN official under investigation.
Benon Sevan, who ran the scandal-tainted program, has already been accused of serious violations of UN conduct after an enquiry found he got oil allocations from the Iraqi regime of Saddam Hussein for an acquaintance.
The UN said overnight that it had pledged to reimburse Mr Sevan for "reasonable" legal fees while he was under investigation by the enquiry headed by former US Federal Reserve banking chief Paul Volcker.
The money was to come from an escrow account containing 2.2 per cent of Iraqi oil revenues used to run the defunct $US64 billion ($82bn) oil-for-food program, the largest aid scheme in UN history.
Fred Eckhard, the spokesman for UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, said the arrangement was halted last month when an initial report from Mr Volcker's commission, known as the IIC, charged
No money had been paid and the UN was questioning the legal bills Mr Sevan had presented for payment, Mr Eckhard said.
"Although Mr Sevan has subsequently submitted legal fees, the amount he is seeking is currently being questioned by the UN on the grounds that not all costs releate to his co-operation with the IIC," he said.
Since Saddam was ousted by US forces two years ago, Iraq has repeatedly said the UN should turn over the remaining money in the so-called 2.2 account.
Instead, part of it has been used to pay the costs of the Volcker investigation, estimated to be $US30m.
Mr Annan appointed Mr Volcker to head the probe in a bid to head off charges of fraud and corruption in the oil-for-food program, which he said had cast a shadow over the UN.
Mr Volcker's next interim report, due to be released next week, is expected to focus on questions about Mr Annan and his son Kojo, who worked for a company that had contracts under the oil-for-food program.
The Oil-for-food program, which ran from December 1996 to November 2003, was intended to ease the effects of international sanctions on Iraqis, allowing Iraq to sell oil and use the revenue to buy humanitarian supplies.
An Iraqi newspaper last year published a list of individuals it said had received allocations of oil from Saddam's regime.
Last month, the Volcker panel said Mr Sevan had steered oil allocations to a firm linked to a relative of Mr Annan's predecessor as secretary-general, Boutros Boutros-Ghali, and that the regime was trying to buy influence through Mr Sevan.
The panel stopped short of saying Mr Sevan had taken bribes or committed a crime, but it raised questions about cash payments he claimed had come from a relative - and said the investigation into his affairs would continue.
Mr Sevan's behaviour "created a grave and continuing conflict of interest", the panel said.
"His conduct was ethically improper and seriously undermined (UN) integrity."
Mr Eckhard, who said Mr Annan personally decided to authorise paying for Mr Sevan's legal fees, said the UN reserved the right to get any money back from the accused if the charges against him were upheld.
The oil-for-food debacle has embarrassed the UN and the latest revelations, first reported in the New York Sun, came just one day after Mr Annan pledged UN reforms to improve accountability and transparency

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