Twin hot spots near boiling point

Twin hot spots near boiling point

By Syed Saleem Shahzad

KARACHI – The Pakistan federal government’s economic sanctions imposed on the tribal area of South Waziristan are biting, with thousands of shops shut down in the main town of Wana and armed police patrolling deserted bazaars. The move comes after failed efforts to persuade tribesmen to hand over or register hundreds of foreign militants suspected of taking refuge in the region.

Hundreds of kilometers away in the southern port city of Karachi, economic activity in the commercial capital was also at a standstill on Friday, with most residents obeying calls for strikes that are expected to last several days.

On Thursday, the ruling Pakistani Muslim League made an unprecedented offer to the opposition Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) to join in a “consensus” government in Sindh province after a series of attacks in Karachi that claimed scores of lives. But a spokesman for the PPP said its leader Benazir Bhutto – who lives in exile – had rejected it.

@Asia Times

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Korea Pays The World Back

Korea Pays The World Back

Seoul – Maher Othman         2004/05/17

South Korean officials are eager to assert their visitors that the mission of the forces they will send to Iraq will be at first to provide medical and engineering services in order to contribute to the country’s reconstruction in addition to helping in “stabilizing the situation and supporting the cooperation and friendship between Korea and Iraq,” according to a defense official’s statement to Al-Hayat.

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Pope lectures Bush on America's duties

Pope lectures Bush on America’s duties

By Peter Popham in Rome

Pope John Paul II read President George Bush a stiff public lecture on America’s duties in the world during an audience at the Vatican yesterday. The American President was in Rome to mark the 60th anniversary of the liberation of the city by the Allies.

On the streets, up to 200,000 people streamed through the middle of the city and riot police with shields and batons clashed with small groups of masked protesters, some of whom threw bottles and flares.

@UK Independent

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One George down, one to go.

One George down, one to go
George Tenet was a hapless bumbler who deserved his fate. But as long as the high-ranking Bush cronies who are really responsible for the Iraq nightmare sit safely inside the Pentagon, Americans will not be satisfied.

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By Martin Sieff

June 5, 2004  |   The resignation of George Tenet, President Bush’s loyal, stolid and invariably hapless CIA chief, will not be enough to appease the angry furies screeching at the Bush administration. As is typical for this administration, the abrupt departure of Tenet had nothing to do with justice and everything to do with expediency.
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Welcome to America.

Welcome to America

 When writer Elena Lappin flew to LA, she dreamed of a sunkissed, laid-back city. But that was before airport officials decided to detain her as a threat to security …

  Saturday June 5, 2004
The Guardian

  Somewhere in central Los Angeles, about 20 miles from LAX airport, there is a nondescript building housing a detention facility for foreigners who have violated US immigration and customs laws. I was driven there around 11pm on May 3, my hands painfully handcuffed behind my back as I sat crammed in one of several small, locked cages inside a security van. I saw glimpses of night-time urban LA through the metal bars as we drove, and shadowy figures of armed security officers when we arrived, two of whom took me inside. The handcuffs came off just before I was locked in a cell behind a thick glass wall and a heavy door. No bed, no chair, only two steel benches about a foot wide. There was a toilet in full view of anyone passing by, and of the video camera watching my every move. No pillow or blanket. A permanent fluorescent light and a television in one corner of the ceiling. It stayed on all night, tuned into a shopping channel.,12271,1231089,00.html
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Diebold blocks executives' political donations

By Carolyn Pritchard
Last Updated: 6/4/2004 7:56:00 PM

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS.MW) — Diebold has barred top executives from making political contributions or participating in any political activities other than voting, according to a filing Friday with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The maker of electronic voting systems specifically singled out its CEO, CFO and president, as well as executives responsible for the oversight of its election systems companies and their employees.

The North Canton, Ohio-based company’s move prohibits contributions to any political candidate, party, election issue or cause, either directly or indirectly, and participation in any political activities.

Diebold’s board adopted the amendment to the company business ethics policy on Wednesday, according to the filing.

Shares of Diebold (DBD)ended Friday’s session up 1.8 percent at $50.14.
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Blast rips through oil depot in southern Russia; no casualties

Blast rips through oil depot in southern Russia; no casualties

Time is GMT + 8 hours
05 June 2004 1112 hrs

MOSCOW: A bomb blast ripped through an oil storage depot in the town of Neftekumsk in Russia’s Stavropol region early Saturday, but no one was injured, news agencies reported.

The blast, which according to preliminary information was due to an explosive device planted underneath a 5,000-tonne oil cistern, occurred at 03:00 Moscow time (2300 GMT Friday), emergency officials said as quoted by the ITAR-TASS news agency.

Another explosive device was reportedly found under another cistern, and the police were trying to disarm it, sources quoted by RIA-Novosti said.

There were no casualties, officials said.

Stavropol region borders the volatile Caucasus, including the war-torn republic of Chechnya.

@AFP via Channel News Asia

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Records paint dark portrait of guard

Records paint dark portrait of guard

By David Finkel and Christian Davenport

Before Abu Ghraib, Graner left trail of alleged violence

n perhaps the most famous of the photographs, he is the one standing behind the now-iconic pyramid of prisoners, all of them naked and hooded as he looks into the camera and smiles.

In other photos, he is the one aiming his fist at a prisoner he has collared around the neck, kneeling on prisoners whose hands are tied behind their backs, and raising his left index finger in a “No. 1” sign as he squats next to a prisoner who is bruised, bandaged and dead.

@Washington Post / REUTERS via MSNBC

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