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Saturday, August 07, 2004

The New York Times > Washington > Campaign 2004 > News Analysis: The Campaign: Low Numbers, New Problem

The New York Times > Washington > Campaign 2004 > News Analysis: The Campaign: Low Numbers, New Problem: "August 7, 2004
NEWS ANALYSIS: THE CAMPAIGN
Low Numbers, New Problem
By KATHARINE Q. SEELYE

WASHINGTON, Aug. 6 - All week long, President Bush traveled the country, cheerfully telling audiences that ''we've turned the corner'' on the economy. But on Friday, in the face of the government's paltry new numbers on job growth, the president's new slogan suddenly sounded premature at best.
Republicans had hoped the early indications this year that the economy was turning the corner would have allowed them to neutralize, or even turn to their advantage, the issue that John Kerry had once considered central to his White House bid. Instead, the new numbers, coming just three weeks before the G.O.P. convention, leave little doubt that the economy could still be a potent issue for the Democrats."

The New York Times > International > Middle East > Marines Pushing Deeper Into City Held by Shiites

The New York Times > International > Middle East > Marines Pushing Deeper Into City Held by Shiites: "August 8, 2004
Marines Pushing Deeper Into City Held by Shiites
By JOHN F. BURNS

BAGHDAD, Iraq, Aug. 7 - American marines drove deeper into the heart of the Shiite holy city of Najaf on Saturday as they fought Moktada al-Sadr's rebel militiamen, and there was little sign that American commanders, who said they were taking orders from the new Iraqi government, intended to heed appeals for a cease-fire from clerics and others claiming to represent Mr. Sadr.
In three days of fighting, including mostly sporadic battles on Saturday, the marines and supporting units from the new American-trained Iraqi security forces have pushed well into the old city, an area the Americans had avoided in their months of on-and-off fighting with the Mahdi Army, Mr. Sadr's black-uniformed militia. The main battleground has been an ancient cemetery alongside the Imam Ali mosque, a golden-domed shrine that is one of the holiest places for the world's Shiite Muslims."

The New York Times > Washington > Diplomacy Fails to Slow Advance of Nuclear Arms

The New York Times > Washington > Diplomacy Fails to Slow Advance of Nuclear Arms: "August 8, 2004
Diplomacy Fails to Slow Advance of Nuclear Arms
By DAVID E. SANGER

KENNEBUNKPORT, Me., Aug. 7 - American intelligence officials and outside nuclear experts have concluded that the Bush administration's diplomatic efforts with European and Asian allies have barely slowed the nuclear weapons programs in Iran and North Korea over the past year, and that both have made significant progress.
In a tacit acknowledgement that the diplomatic initiatives with European and Asian allies have failed to slow the programs, several senior administration and intelligence officials say they are seeking ways to step up unspecified covert actions intended, in the words of one official, 'to disrupt or delay as long as we can' Iran's efforts to develop a nuclear weapon.
But other experts, including former Clinton administration officials, caution that while covert efforts have been tried in the past, both the Iranian and North Korean programs are increasingly self-sufficient, largely thanks to the aid they received from the network built by Abdul Qadeer Khan, the former leader of the Pakistani bomb program. 'It's a much harder thing to accomplish today,' said one senior American intelligence official, 'than it would have been in the 90's.'
Mr. Khan has also worked against the Bush administration in North Korea. A new assessment of North Korea has come in one of three classified reports commissioned by the Bush administration earlier this year from the American intelligence community. Circulated last month, the report concluded that nearly 20 months of toughened sanctions, including terminating a major energy program, and several rounds of negotiations involving four of North Korea's most"

CNN.com - Iraq shuts Al-Jazeera's Baghdad office - Aug 7, 2004

CNN.com - Iraq shuts Al-Jazeera's Baghdad office - Aug 7, 2004: "Iraq shuts Al-Jazeera's Baghdad office
Qatar-based TV network to close in capital for one month
Saturday, August 7, 2004 Posted: 12:40 PM EDT (1640 GMT)

Al-Jazeera has been criticzed for airing videos of Iraq hostages.

BAGHDAD, Iraq -- Iraq's interim government has closed the Baghdad office of the Qatar-based Al-Jazeera television network for one month, citing national security concerns.
'This decision was taken to protect the people of Iraq and the interests of Iraq,' Interim Prime Minister Ayad Allawi's told a news conference Saturday.
Allawi said the order to close Al-Jazeera, which was to take effect immediately, came after an independent commission monitored the network's reports.
The findings of the commission were 'compelling,'"

CNN Slowdown in 'chatter' worries officials Drop in intercepted communication also noticed before 9/11

(CNN) -- A drop in so-called "chatter" among suspected terrorists is troubling some counterterrorism officials, who noticed a reduction in intercepted communications before the terror attacks of September 11, 2001, government sources said.
Diminished communication prompted the concern because the counterterror experts don't know why suspected terrorists would be talking less. But they noted that similar reductions have happened several other times during the past few years.
Pakistan authorities arrested a key al Qaeda suspect, Muhammed Naeem Noor Khan, in mid-July. Officials said chatter continued after that arrest, but has fallen off in recent days.
Khan's arrest was announced this week.
Within the past few days a series of arrests in Britain and Pakistan produced thousands of leads, particularly intelligence related to two men allegedly involved in helping al Qaeda operatives communicate with each other: Khan and Esa al-Hindi.
Sources said some of the intelligence information being pursued includes phone numbers and e-mail addresses that the FBI and other agencies are trying to track down to locate any al Qaeda operatives in the United States.
U.S. government officials describe al-Hindi as a "major player who moved operational information between key components of al Qaeda" in Britain, the United States and Pakistan.
Born of Indian parents, al-Hindi converted to Islam at 20 and fought in Kashmir, a disputed border region between India and Pakistan.
Now in his mid-30s, al-Hindi wrote a book called "The Army of Medina and Kashmir," in which he advocated attacking the economies of Western powers as the best way to get them to disengage from the Muslim world.
One source told CNN that law enforcement authorities have placed al-Hindi in three of the financial buildings that were cased: the New York Stock Exchange and the Citigroup building in New York City, and the Prudential Financial building in Newark, New Jersey.
Earlier this week, U.S. officials said images found on Khan's computer contained details about buildings in New York, New Jersey and Washington, D.C. (Full story)
After meeting with the FBI to review photographs contained in the surveillance reports, Prudential officials believe none of the photos of its headquarters in Newark were taken after 2001, spokesman Bob DeFillippo said Friday.
Company executives were able to verify that the photos weren't taken within the past three years because they did not contain surveillance cameras installed on the building's exterior after September 11, 2001, he said.
DeFillippo also said most of the photos appeared to have been taken from a book on the company's history that was published in 2001.
Al-Hindi was one of a dozen suspects arrested Tuesday in Britain whom authorities have accused of being part of a terror cell. The British authorities also said the United States has been particularly interested in al-Hindi for some time. (Full story)
Government sources told CNN that surveillance reports found recently in Pakistan contain details about the U.S. facilities written in perfect English. U.S. authorities said al-Hindi is known to speak perfect English.
Senior Pakistani intelligence officials said Khan spoke of a terror network in Britain and said he frequently relayed messages from Pakistan to an important al Qaeda operative.
British authorities said Heathrow Airport was one of several places in London that were uncovered by the Pakistani investigation, which turned up photos of potential targets.


BBC > Funk star Rick James found dead

US funk music artist Rick James has been found dead aged 56, according to police in Los Angeles.
James was best known for his 1981 hit Super Freak, which was sampled by MC Hammer on 1990 song U Can't Touch This.
He was seen as a pioneer who rescued the Motown record company in the late 1970s, but was also plagued by drug and legal problems.
"This morning Hollywood officers responded to a radio call of a natural death," a police spokeswoman said.
James died at 0945 local time (1645 GMT) on Friday at a residence near Universal City, police said.
Born in Buffalo, New York, he first enjoyed success in 1978 with the songs You and I and Mary Jane.
He went on to record funk favourites Give It To Me Baby, Cold Blooded and Can't Stop, which featured in the film Beverly Hills Cop.
The Temptations and Teena Marie were among the artists who used his producing skills.
But his career faded as hip-hop took over in the second half on the 1980s. In 1991, he burned a young woman with a hot pipe during a cocaine binge.
The following year, he assaulted a woman in a hotel room, and was sentenced to two years in jail for the two assaults.
He released a comeback album in 1997 but suffered health problems the following year.
His website said he performed at last month's Black Entertainment Television Awards and had just finished a new album.



Thursday, August 05, 2004

BBC News > Experts warn of wider vCJD threat

Many more people could become infected with Variant CJD than previously thought, experts have warned.
It follows analysis of a probable transmission of the human form of mad cow disease via a blood transfusion.
CJD Surveillance Unit scientists found the patient's genetic make-up differed from that of any other person so far diagnosed with the disease.
This suggests that wider groups of people could be at risk than was thought, they write in t


The New York Times > AP > International > British Police Arrest Man Wanted in U.S. for Terror Financing

The New York Times > AP > International > British Police Arrest Man Wanted in U.S. for Terror Financing: "

August 5, 2004
British Police Arrest Man Wanted in U.S. for Terror Financing
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Filed at 7:27 p.m. ET
LONDON (AP) -- One of the terror suspects arrested in Britain is an alleged key al-Qaida operative suspected of authoring the surveillance documents that sparked terror alerts in the United States, an official said Thursday, as Pakistan passed on new intelligence suggesting al-Qaida also plotted to attack London's Heathrow airport.
Intelligence officials in Pakistan told The Associated Press they found images of Heathrow and other sites on the computers of two fugitives from Osama bin Laden's terror network arrested in the country last month, and that this information was passed to British officials."

IHT: U.S. doesn't fear North Korean missile

IHT: U.S. doesn't fear North Korean missile: "U.S. doesn't fear North Korean missile
Thom Shanker NYT
Thursday, August 5, 2004

WASHINGTON North Korea's reported readiness to deploy a new mobile ballistic missile represents a worrisome increase in that nation's military capacity, according to U.S. officials, but they say the weapon could not reach the continental United States.

The missile could be hidden inside freighters to be sailed closer to U.S. shores for launching, but officials expressed doubts that the missile was developed for that purpose. North Korea does not have a submarine capable of carrying the missile to within striking range of the continental United States.

'There is no way this can hit the mainland,' a U.S. official said in an interview, speaking on condition of anonymity."

IHT: Japan releasing aid for North Korea

IHT: Japan releasing aid for North Korea: "Japan releasing aid for North Korea
Reuters
Thursday, August 5, 2004

TOKYO Japan will provide North Korea with food aid and about $7 million worth of medical supplies, officials said on Thursday, as the two countries prepared to hold talks soon on the fate of Japanese abducted by Pyongyang decades ago.

The 125,000 tons of food and medical supplies are part of aid promised by Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi when he met with the North Korean leader, Kim Jong Il, in Pyongyang in May."

IHT: Danger for Philippine journalists

IHT: Danger for Philippine journalists: "Danger for Philippine journalists
Carlos H. Conde IHT
Thursday, August 5, 2004

MANILA Two journalists have been killed in the Philippines in less than a week, raising concerns from media groups about the deteriorating press-freedom situation in a country they already have termed the most dangerous for journalists in Asia.

Unidentified gunmen killed a Filipino broadcaster on Thursday, the police said. The broadcaster, Arnel Manalo, a correspondent of a Manila tabloid and a radio station, had just dropped off his children at school in Bauan, a town 88 kilometers, or 55 miles, south of Manila, when the assailants shot him.

Manalo was the fourth Filipino journalist killed this year and the 54th journalist murdered since the country's return to democracy in 1986.

On Saturday, gunmen killed a radio broadcaster, Rogelio Mariano of Ilocos Province. Colleagues said he had been exposing corruption and incompetence in government as well as illegal gambling.

Members of the Senate asked it to investigate the series of murders.

Media groups urged the administration of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to act as well.

'Philippine authorities must act to end a culture of impunity that has made it unsafe for journalists to work,' said Ann Cooper, executive director of the Committee to Protect Journalists.

Last year, Arroyo offered an $18,000 reward for the capture of killers of journalists. No one has been convicted for any of the 54 murders since 1986."

CNN.com - Anti-Kerry veterans group releases critical ad - Aug 5, 2004

CNN.com - Anti-Kerry veterans group releases critical ad - Aug 5, 2004: "Anti-Kerry veterans group releases critical ad
Bush campaign distances itself from commercial
Thursday, August 5, 2004 Posted: 7:29 PM EDT (2329 GMT)

Sen. John Kerry has made his Navy service in Vietnam a central theme of his presidential campaign.

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- A veterans group that has been sharply critical of Sen. John Kerry launched an ad Thursday that accuses the Democratic presidential nominee of lying about his Vietnam war record.

"John Kerry betrayed the men and women he served with in Vietnam," former Lt. Shelton White, one of the veterans, says in the ad.

Kerry's campaign quickly pointed out that not one of the men featured in the commercial served in the two patrol boats Kerry commanded in Vietnam and that some of them had previously been quoted as praising Kerry.

Kerry's campaign also released material noting that the group has gotten some financial backing from Bob Perry, a homebuilder in Houston, Texas, who is a contributor to the Republican Party. (GOP donor)

President Bush's re-election campaign distanced itself the ad. Campaign spokesman Steve Schmidt said the president's re-election effort "has never and will never question John Kerry's service in Vietnam. The election will be about the future."

And, in an interview with The Associated Press, Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona -- a former prisoner of war in Vietnam -- denounced the ad as "dishonest and dishonorable."(Full story)

McCain told the AP the ad was "the same kind of deal they pulled on me" during his 2000 presidential race, when the Arizona lawmaker ran against Bush in the Republican presidential primaries.

At the time, McCain's backers accused Bush allies of using telephone surveys to spread rumors about McCain. The Bush campaign said it knew nothing about the tactics and couldn't do anything about them.

In response to McCain's criticism, the veterans group released a statement saying it had "the right to be heard" and asserting the veterans knew Kerry better than McCain.

BW Online | August 9, 2004 | Taiwan: Uncle Sam Wants You To Buy Arms

BW Online | August 9, 2004 | Taiwan: Uncle Sam Wants You To Buy Arms: "Taiwan: Uncle Sam Wants You To Buy Arms

It used to be an annual ritual: Taiwan's military attach�s trekked to Washington each spring with a huge weapons wish list. Beijing, which considers Taiwan part of China, predictably erupted in fury. The Pentagon would then scale back the size of the arms deal. But times have changed. Today, U.S. military officials regularly fly to Taipei to hawk sophisticated weapons -- as much as Taiwan can buy. 'At this point there are no real restrictions on what Taiwan can and cannot have,' says John J. Tkacik Jr., a China expert at the Heritage Foundation. "

Malaysia considers peacekeepers for Iraq : HindustanTimes.com

Malaysia considers peacekeepers for Iraq : HindustanTimes.com: "Malaysia considers sending peacekeepers to Iraq
Indo-Asian News Service
Kuala Lumpur, August 4

Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said his country was considering sending peacekeeping troops to Iraq under a Saudi Arabian proposal for a force from Muslim nations, reports Xinhua.

Malaysia is considering very deeply the proposal put forward by the Saudi government (that peacekeeping troops from Muslim nations be deployed in Iraq). Malaysia is considering deploying (troops) with conditions,' Abdullah told reporters here."

My Way News Republican Sen. John McCain, a former prisoner of war in Vietnam, called an ad criticizing John Kerry's military service 'dishonest

My Way News: "WASHINGTON (AP) - Republican Sen. John McCain, a former prisoner of war in Vietnam, called an ad criticizing John Kerry's military service 'dishonest and dishonorable' and urged the White House on Thursday to condemn it as well.
The White House declined.
'It was the same kind of deal that was pulled on me,' McCain said in an interview with The Associated Press, comparing the anti-Kerry ad to tactics in his bitter Republican primary fight with President Bush.
The 60-second ad features Vietnam veterans who accuse the Democratic presidential nominee of lying about his decorated Vietnam War record and betraying his fellow veterans by later opposing the conflict.
'When the chips were down, you could not count on John Kerry,' one of the veterans, Larry Thurlow, says in the ad. Thurlow didn't serve on Kerry's swiftboat, but says he witnessed the events that led to Kerry winning a Bronze Star and the last of his three Purple Hearts. Kerry's crewmates support the candidate and call him a hero."

The New York Times > International > Middle East > U.S. Forces Clash With Rebel Cleric's Militia in Najaf

The New York Times > International > Middle East > U.S. Forces Clash With Rebel Cleric's Militia in Najaf: "August 5, 2004
U.S. Forces Clash With Rebel Cleric's Militia in Najaf
By ALEX BERENSON

BAGHDAD, Iraq, Aug. 5 � The radical Shiite cleric Moktada al-Sadr called for a national uprising against American and coalition forces today as a two-month truce between Mr. Sadr and the United States military appeared to collapse.
As night fell, heavy fighting appeared to be confined mainly around Najaf, a Shiite holy city and Sadr stronghold 100 miles south of Baghdad. In Baghdad and Basra, the largest city in southern Iraq, insurgents loyal to Mr. Sadr prepared for clashes with American and British troops. But fighting was sporadic and Baghdad was mostly quiet until 11:15 p.m., when three large explosions, probably from mortars, rocked the city's center."

The New York Times > Washington > An American Debate: How Severe the Threat?

The New York Times > Washington > An American Debate: How Severe the Threat?: "August 5, 2004
An American Debate: How Severe the Threat?
By STEPHEN KINZER
and TODD S. PURDUM

KENOSHA, Wis., Aug. 4 - If the United States was in danger of a terrorist attack and faraway financial institutions were supposed to be on high alert, there was no evidence of it at Franks Diner, a 78-year-old Kenosha institution where senators mix with regular folk and the prospect of another attack seemed just part of the background noise of daily life.
'I don't know who on earth to believe anymore,' said Michael Schumacher, a 54-year-old writer who was eating a bratwurst for breakfast. 'You feel you're being manipulated all the time.'
Some version of that view was echoed at almost every table here as many patrons questioned whether the Bush administration was trying to manipulate the terrorist threat for political advantage.
Some, like John Gilmore, who owned Franks until a few years ago and still comes back to eat, said they had lost faith in the administration after American troops failed to find unconventional weapons in Iraq.
'They messed that thing up so badly that at this point, I don't believe anything they tell us,' Mr. Gilmore said. 'There's always an ulterior motive somewhere.' "

The New York Times > Reuters > Washington > Bush Tries to Reassure Jittery Ohio Voters on Jobs

The New York Times > Reuters > Washington > Bush Tries to Reassure Jittery Ohio Voters on Jobs: "Bush Tries to Reassure Jittery Ohio Voters on Jobs
By REUTERS

Filed at 3:25 p.m. ET
COLUMBUS, Ohio (Reuters) - President Bush on Thursday tried to reassure jittery Ohio voters that his prescriptions for the lackluster U.S. economy are paying off in a state that could be key to his re-election in November.
No Republican has ever won the White House without taking Ohio, and Bush and Democrat John Kerry are locked in a neck-and-neck race that could turn on economic issues."

BBC NEWS | Middle East | Palestinian police allowed guns

BBBC NEWS | Middle East | Palestinian police allowed guns: "Palestinian police allowed guns
The Israeli defence minister has agreed in principle to lift a ban on Palestinian police officers carrying weapons in the Occupied territories.
Shaul Mofaz decided to ease the ban - imposed after the uprising which began in 2000 - during talks with Israeli army and security chiefs.
Palestinian officials were waiting for official confirmation of the move.
Gaza policemen have largely ignored the ban but its lifting will have an impact on officers patrolling the West Bank. "

BBC NEWS | Africa | UN says Sudan agrees Darfur steps

BBBC NEWS | Africa | UN says Sudan agrees Darfur steps: "UN says Sudan agrees Darfur steps
The United Nations says Sudan has agreed to a plan to tackle the crisis in Darfur, where thousands have been killed by pro-government militias.
The measures include steps to disarm the militias and improve security.
UN special envoy Jan Pronk said if the proposals were implemented, he was hopeful Sudan could avoid UN sanctions.
The African Union says it hopes to send its first peacekeeping troops next week to Darfur, where more than one million people have fled their homes. "

BBC NEWS | Americas | Franks predicts long haul in Iraq

BBBC NEWS | Americas | Franks predicts long haul in Iraq: "Franks predicts long haul in Iraq
The US general who led the invasion of Iraq says he believes foreign troops may have to remain in the country for a further three to five years.
Retired General Tommy Franks told BBC's Newsnight programme he believed that would be the time it took for Iraqis to take full control of their country.
He said US-led troops would have to stay in Afghanistan for a similar amount of time.
But he said that did not mean troop levels would have to remain as high.
'I think in Iraq the total process, until Iraqis are as firmly and fully in charge of their country as they would want to be, is three to five years,' he told Newsnight. "

BBC NEWS | Middle East | Saudi forces arrest top militant

BBC NEWS | Middle East | Saudi forces arrest top militant: "Saudi forces arrest top militant
One of Saudi Arabia's most wanted militants has been captured by security forces, officials say.
They said Faris al-Zahrani put up no resistance when he was detained in the southern Abha province, about 800 km (500 miles) from the capital, Riyadh.
He is on a Saudi government list of 26 most wanted militants - all allegedly linked to al-Qaeda terror network, 12 of whom are still at large. "

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Illinois Leader It's Keyes!


Wednesday, August 04, 2004
Alan Keyes is the Senate Nominee for the Illinois GOP. More details to come...




IHT: Thai panel criticizes rights abuse

IHT: Thai panel criticizes rights abuse: "Thai panel criticizes rights abuse
Reuters
Wednesday, August 4, 2004

BANGKOK Human-rights abuses have worsened in Thailand over the past three years in an increasing culture of authoritarian leadership under Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, a state panel said in a stinging report on Wednesday.

But political analysts said the panel's criticisms were unlikely to affect Thaksin's popularity."

Scripps Howard News Service > Some Vietnam vets come out against Kerry

By LANCE GAY

04-AUG-04
WASHINGTON -- Some of John Kerry's Vietnam War compatriots are questioning the circumstances of how Kerry was awarded one of the three Purple Hearts he received in 1968.
The Kerry campaign responded it has been 35 years since the medals were awarded and no one raised the issue before Kerry got involved in the race for the White House.
Grant Hibbard, a U.S. Navy lieutenant commander and Kerry's direct supervisor for three months in 1968 and 1969 when Kerry commanded a five-man, 50-foot swift boat, said he never approved of the Purple Heart award for the wound Kerry received Dec. 6, 1968.
'He informed me of a wound,' Hibbard said. But Hibbard said the wound he saw on Kerry's arm was so minor, 'I basically said forget it, or words like that.'
Hibbard said that although as Kerry's superior he was the person who would initiate such an award, he only learned Kerry received the award sometime after he left Vietnam. The award for the December action was stamped approved Feb. 28, 1969, under the signature of Donald Still, chief staff officer for the U.S. Naval Support Systems in Saigon, who has since died."

Yahoo! News - Homemade Bomb Explodes Outside Athens

Yahoo! News - Homemade Bomb Explodes Outside Athens: "Homemade Bomb Explodes Outside Athens

Wed Aug 4,10:58 AM ET

ATHENS, Greece - A homemade bomb exploded Wednesday near an electrical substation outside the Greek capital, causing damage but no injuries, officials said.

Authorities said it was not immediately clear if there was a link between the blast and the Olympics, which open here next week amid unprecedented security. "

www.smh.com.au - Stressed soldiers to be treated with cannabis

www.smh.com.au - Stressed soldiers to be treated with cannabis: "Stressed soldiers to be treated with cannabis
Date: August 5 2004
Israeli soldiers suffering from combat stress after tours of duty in the Palestinian territories could soon be treated with cannabis to relieve their symptoms, the Ma'ariv daily reported.
The mental health department of the Medical Corps is set to to begin tests in the next few days on volunteers suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder after reserve duty, the paper said. "

CNN.com - Sources: Al Qaeda may have made contact in?.S. recently - Aug 4, 2004

CNN.com - Sources: Al Qaeda may have made contact in?.S. recently - Aug 4, 2004: "Sources: Al Qaeda may have made contact in U.S. recently
Wednesday, August 4, 2004 Posted: 3:49 PM EDT (1949 GMT)
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Intelligence found in Pakistan suggests that suspected al Qaeda operative in that country contacted an individual or individuals in the United States in the past few months, according to two senior U.S. government sources.

These officials would not characterize that communication.

But the sources also said there is other information from Pakistan that has led to investigations in the United States to uncover whether there are any individuals or terrorist cells plotting an attack on U.S. soil.

China may delay FTA talks with S'pore over Taiwan visit : HindustanTimes.com

China may delay FTA talks with S'pore over Taiwan visit : HindustanTimes.com: "China may delay FTA talks with Singapore over Taiwan visit
Press Trust of India
Beijing, August 3

Talks on a free-trade area between China and Singapore could suffer 'setbacks' because Beijing is angry over the visit by Singapore's Prime Minister-in-waiting Lee Hsien Loong to Taiwan, media reports said on Tuesday. "

Zawya.com | arab business and finance

Zawya.com | arab business and finance: "Malaysia considers sending peacekeepers to Iraq: PM
KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 4, 2004 (Xinhua via COMTEX) -- Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said Wednesday that Malaysia was considering sending peacekeeping troops to Iraq under a Saudi Arabian proposal for such a force from Muslim nations.
'(Malaysia is) considering very deeply the proposal put forward by the Saudi government (that peacekeeping troops from Muslim nations be deployed in Iraq). Malaysia is considering deploying ( troops) with conditions,' Abdullah told reporters here.
'We are considering many factors...not one or two factors, so that is why it is better for us to wait for a while to see how the situation is. At the moment, we are not sending (troops) but we are watching and considering the proposal put forward by the Saudi government,' he said. "

The New York Times > Washington > Campaign 2004 > News Analysis: War and Peace, and Politics

The New York Times > Washington > Campaign 2004 > News Analysis: War and Peace, and Politics: "August 4, 2004
NEWS ANALYSIS
War and Peace, and Politics
By TODD S. PURDUM
WASHINGTON, Aug. 3 - In an election that could well turn on questions of war and peace, danger and safety, all politics sometimes seem to be security these days. And all security has an unmistakable overtone of politics, whatever the reality or immediacy of any announced threat.
'We don't do politics in the Department of Homeland Security,' Secretary Tom Ridge said on Tuesday in dismissing any suggestion that his latest threat warning had a political motive. But on Sunday, Mr. Ridge, a former Republican congressman and governor of Pennsylvania, did do some politics all the same, when he declared that the intelligence behind his alert was 'the result of the president's leadership in the war against terror.'
John Kerry may not share that view, of course, but it is hard for him to say so, and the biggest thing the Democrats may have to fear in this campaign is the power of fear itself.
Polls show that Mr. Bush's handling of terrorism remains his only clear advantage over Mr. Kerry in a razor-close race, and the president would not be either human or the canny politician he has proved himself to be in the past if he did not do all he could to remind the public of that strong suit - and to reinforce it.
That is why Mr. Bush chose to hold the Republican National Convention this month in Madison Square Garden, a short subway ride from ground zero, and why he released a new campaign advertisement on Tuesday with images of the firefighters and the flag, proclaiming, 'The last few years have tested America in "

The New York Times > New York Region > Ferry Pilot Pleads Guilty to Manslaughter in S.I. Crash

The New York Times > New York Region > Ferry Pilot Pleads Guilty to Manslaughter in S.I. Crash: "August 4, 2004
Ferry Pilot Pleads Guilty to Manslaughter in S.I. Crash
By MICHAEL LUO

The pilot of the Staten Island ferry that plowed into a maintenance pier last October pleaded guilty today to charges related to his role in the crash in which 11 people were killed, and to making false statements about his medical condition when he renewed his pilot's license.
The United States attorney for the Eastern District of New York, Roslynn R. Mauskopf, unsealed other indictments today related to the crash, one of the worst mass transit disasters in the city's history.
Today, the pilot of the ferry, Richard J. Smith, 55, appeared before Judge Edward R. Korman in federal court in Brooklyn and entered his plea of guilty to 11 counts of 'seaman's manslaughter.'"

The New York Times > AP > National > Bush and Kerry Campaign in Same Iowa City at Same Time

The New York Times > AP > National > Bush and Kerry Campaign in Same Iowa City at Same Time: "Bush and Kerry Campaign in Same Iowa City at Same Time
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Published: August 4, 2004

Filed at 2:50 p.m. ET
DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) -- President Bush and rival John Kerry campaigned Wednesday in the same crucially important Iowa town, with the president predicting he will win in November because his administration has improved the economy and bolstered national security.
Bush and Kerry are in a tight race in Iowa and both candidates are going after voters in Davenport, an area that some political experts say provided Democrat Al Gore the votes he needed to defeat Bush in the state in 2000"

BBC NEWS | Europe | Russia warns Georgia after threat

BBC NEWS | Europe | Russia warns Georgia after threat: "Russia warns Georgia after threat
Moscow has reacted angrily to a Georgian threat to open fire on ships which 'illegally' enter the waters of its breakaway province of Abkhazia.
Russia, which has close ties to the Black Sea province, said it would respond to any attack on its citizens with 'the necessary rebuff'.
The waters have been out of Georgian control for more than a decade.
Russians MPs visiting another breakaway province - South Ossetia - have accused Georgian forces of starting a gunfight.
Moscow's relations with Georgia have cooled since the election of Mikhail Saakashvili as president in January.
The new leader has called for the tiny Caucasian republic's rebel provinces to return to the fold and scored a major success in May when he bloodlessly restored control over another region, Ajaria. "

BBC NEWS | Africa | Sudan masses defiant over Darfur

BBC NEWS | Africa | Sudan masses defiant over Darfur: "Sudan masses defiant over Darfur
Tens of thousands of people have marched through the Sudanese capital Khartoum to protest against any Western intervention in war-ravaged Darfur.
The government-backed protesters said they were ready to die in a jihad if any Western troops entered the country.
'Darfur will be a foreign graveyard,' said one placard spotted by BBC correspondent Paul Wood at the protest.
The African Union says it has boosted the armed force it plans to send to Darfur from 300 to 2,000 troops. "

BBC NEWS | Middle East | Iraq force 'will not yield' over hostages

BBC NEWS | Middle East | Iraq force 'will not yield' over hostages: "Iraq force 'will not yield' over hostages
The US says all 32 countries in the multinational force in Iraq have agreed not to give in to the demands of hostage-takers.
'We are united in our resolve to make no concessions to terrorists,' the state department announced.
This is a clear message to militants that seizing foreigners to put pressure on governments to withdraw their troops will not work, correspondents say.
Six Jordanian and Turkish hostages were released earlier on Wednesday. "

The New York Times > International > Asia Pacific > Pakistan Allows Taliban to Train, a Detained Fighter Says

The New York Times > International > Asia Pacific > Pakistan Allows Taliban to Train, a Detained Fighter Says: "August 4, 2004
Pakistan Allows Taliban to Train, a Detained Fighter Says
By CARLOTTA GALL
KABUL, Afghanistan, Aug. 3 - For months Afghan and American officials have complained that even while Pakistan cooperates in the fight against Al Qaeda, militant Islamic groups there are training fighters and sending them into Afghanistan to attack American and Afghan forces.
Pakistani officials have rejected the allegations, saying they are unaware of any such training camps. Now the Afghan government has produced a young Pakistani, captured fighting with the Taliban in southern Afghanistan three months ago, whose story would seem to back its complaints about Pakistan.
The prisoner, who gave his name as Muhammad Sohail, is a 17-year-old from the Pakistani port city of Karachi, held by the Afghan authorities in Kabul. In an interview in late July, in front of several prison guards, he said Pakistan was allowing militant groups to train and organize insurgents to fight in Afghanistan. Mr. Sohail said he hoped that granting the interview would increase his chances of being freed. Mr. Sohail described his recruitment through his local mosque by a group listed by the United States as having terrorist links, his military training in a camp not far from the capital, Islamabad, and his dispatch with several other Pakistanis to Afghanistan. "

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

New York Times > New Qaeda Activity Is Said to Be Major Factor in Alert

August 4, 2004
By DOUGLAS JEHL and RICHARD W. STEVENSON
WASHINGTON, Aug. 3 - Senior government officials said Tuesday that new intelligence pointing to a current threat of a terrorist attack on financial targets in New York and possibly in Washington - not just information about surveillance of specific buildings over the years - was a major factor in the decision over the weekend to raise the terrorism alert level.

The officials said the separate stream of intelligence, which they had not previously disclosed, reached the White House only late last week and was part of a flow that the officials said had prompted them to act urgently in the last few days.

The officials disclosed the information a day after the Bush administration acknowledged for the first time that much of the surveillance activity cited this weekend by Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge to justify the latest, specific warnings had been at least three years old. At the same time, the White House offered a vigorous defense of its decision to heighten the alert in Manhattan, Newark and Washington, with officials saying there was still good reason for alarm.

"I think it's wrong and plain irresponsible to suggest that it was based on old information,'' Scott McClellan, the White House spokesman, said of the heightened warning as President Bush traveled to Dallas on a campaign swing.

My Way News

My Way News: "Terror Alert 'Essential,' Ridge Asserts

Aug 3, 1:38 PM (ET)

By KATHERINE PFLEGER SHRADER
WASHINGTON (AP) - Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge said Tuesday the government concluded 'it was essential' to publicize detailed surveillance documents and raise the terror alert, even though the intelligence information dated from as far back as 2000 and 2001.
Speaking at a news conference in New York, Ridge said that because of the heightened security steps, 'We have made it much more difficult for the terrorists to achieve their broad objectives.'
Yet investigators said they are still trying to determine whether the individuals who amassed the information, principally on financial institutions in New York, Newark and Washington, are still in the country or plotting, or whether the plot was old."

BBC NEWS | Americas | Iraq abuse photos 'taken for fun'

BBC NEWS | Americas | Iraq abuse photos 'taken for fun': "Iraq abuse photos 'taken for fun'
A female US soldier told army investigators that photos of prisoners being abused in Iraq were taken 'for fun', a US military court has heard.
Private Lynndie England faces a number of charges, ranging from abusing prisoners at Abu Ghraib jail, to having photos of them in humiliating poses.
The tribunal is to determine whether she should be court-martialled.
She could face up to 38 years in prison if convicted. Her lawyers say she was acting under orders from superiors.
The US officer in charge of the Abu Ghraib prison at the time of the abuse, Brig Gen Janis Karpinski, supported the allegation.
Pte England's face became familiar after she appeared in photographs pointing at prisoners' genitals and holding a naked Iraqi detainee on a leash.

BBC NEWS | Asia-Pacific | N Korea missiles 'could reach US'

BBC NEWS | Asia-Pacific | N Korea missiles 'could reach US': "N Korea missiles 'could reach US'
North Korea is in the process of developing a new missile system for ships or submarines, according to a report in Jane's Defence Weekly.
Such a system could 'fundamentally alter the missile threat' posed by Pyongyang, as it would then be able to target the entire US, the report says.
A companion land-based missile is thought to have been developed already.
The systems are based on the now decommissioned Soviet R-27 submarine-launched ballistic missile. "

BBC NEWS | Africa | Darfur abuses continue, UN says

BBC NEWS | Africa | Darfur abuses continue, UN says: "Darfur abuses continue, UN says

Darfur has been described as the world's worst humanitarian crisis
Sudanese government officials are still seeking to force displaced villagers in the Darfur region to return to their homes, United Nations aid workers say.
More than a million people have fled their homes in war-torn Darfur amid violence by pro-government Arab militia against black African villagers.
Sudan has promised to double its security forces in Darfur to as an outside peacekeeping force takes shape.
The UN Security Council has asked for real progress by the end of the month.
Failing truce
UN aid workers said on Tuesday that government officials were continuing to intimidate displaced people to try to force them to return to their villages from camps within Darfur:"

The spacecraft, seen here awaiting launch, should reach Mercury in 2011.

CNN.com - NASA launches satellite toward Mercury - Aug 3, 2004

CNN.com - NASA launches satellite toward Mercury - Aug 3, 2004: "NASA launches satellite toward Mercury
Tuesday, August 3, 2004 Posted: 2:23 AM EDT (0623 GMT)
CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida (AP) -- NASA launched a messenger to Mercury on Tuesday, the first spacecraft in 30 years to head to the sun's closest planet.
The probe, named Messenger, rocketed away in the in the pre-dawn moonlight on what will be a 5 billion-mile, 61/2-year journey to Mercury. The trip should have started a day earlier, but clouds from Tropical Storm Alex postponed liftoff.
Scientists have been yearning to study Mercury up-close ever since Mariner 10 zoomed by three times in the mid-1970s.
If all goes well, come 2011, Messenger will be the first spacecraft to orbit Mercury."

BBC NEWS | Asia-Pacific | Refugee row sinks Korea talks

BBC NEWS | Asia-Pacific | Refugee row sinks Korea talks: "Refugee row sinks Korea talks
North Korea has failed to attend high-level talks with South Korea, a week after the South welcomed hundreds of refugees from the North.
South Korea said it was 'regrettable' the ministerial-level talks had not taken place.
The North is still angry with the South for granting sanctuary to 450 refugees who had escaped via China and Vietnam.
It is unclear whether the row will affect ongoing, six-nation talks about North Korea's nuclear ambitions. "

Monday, August 02, 2004

Scotsman.com > British targets in al-Qaeda bombing plot

British targets in al-Qaeda bombing plot: "British targets in al-Qaeda bombing plot
JAMES KIRKUP POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT

Key points
� British security forces on alert for al-Qaeda attacks
� Alarm comes after terror group member is interrogated
� US also increases vigilance

Key quote
This is not the usual chatter. This is multiple sources that involve extraordinary detail. Everyone that has reviewed the sources has concluded this was as reliable a group of sources as we have ever seen before.' - Tom Ridge, US homeland security secretary

Story in full BRITAIN'S security forces were yesterday put on 'heightened readiness' for a potential terrorist attack, after detailed al-Qaeda plans to attack UK targets were uncovered.

The plans, discovered by Pakistani and CIA intelligence officers interrogating an al-Qaeda member in Pakistan, were considered credible enough for the US authorities to step up their threat warnings and reinforce security around banks and financial institutions in New York and Washington. "

The New York Times > Washington > The Overview: Reports That Led to Terror Alert Were Years Old, Officials Say

The New York Times > Washington > The Overview: Reports That Led to Terror Alert Were Years Old, Officials Say: "Reports That Led to Terror Alert Were Years Old, Officials Say
By DOUGLAS JEHL and DAVID JOHNSTON
Published: August 3, 2004

WASHINGTON, Aug. 2 -Much of the information that led the authorities to raise the terror alert at several large financial institutions in the New York City and Washington areas was three or four years old, intelligence and law enforcement officials said on Monday. They reported that they had not yet found concrete evidence that a terror plot or preparatory surveillance operations were still under way.

But the officials continued to regard the information as significant and troubling because the reconnaissance already conducted has provided Al Qaeda with the knowledge necessary to carry out attacks against the sites in Manhattan, Washington and Newark. They said Al Qaeda had often struck years after its operatives began surveillance of an intended target."

The New York Times > Washington > Justices Agree to Consider Sentencing

The New York Times > Washington > Justices Agree to Consider Sentencing: "August 3, 2004
Justices Agree to Consider Sentencing
By LYLE DENNISTON

WASHINGTON, Aug. 2 - The Supreme Court on Monday agreed to rule on the constitutionality of the guidelines for federal criminal sentences. By acting in its summer recess, the court signaled a sense of urgency about resolving some of the turmoil in the lower courts stirred up by a decision from the Supreme Court itself.
The court set a hearing for the afternoon of opening day of the justices' new term, Oct. 4, to review two appeals by the Justice Department. "

CNN.com - Kerry:�Bush policies�fuel terrorist recruitment - Aug 2, 2004

CNN.com - Kerry:Bush policies fuel terrorist recruitment - Aug 2, 2004: "Kerry: Bush policies fuel terrorist recruitment
President says Democrat has 'misunderstanding' of war on terror
Monday, August 2, 2004 Posted: 2:33 PM EDT (1833 GMT)

Sen. John Kerry says the Bush administration hasn't moved rapidly enough on the 9/11 panel's recommendations.

GRAND RAPIDS, Michigan (CNN) -- Democratic presidential nominee Sen. John Kerry on Monday accused the Bush administration of doing too little in the fight against terrorism and of instituting policies that encourage 'the recruitment of terrorists.'"

BBC NEWS | Business | Call to raise US debt threshold

BBC NEWS | Business | Call to raise US debt threshold: "Call to raise US debt threshold
US Treasury Secretary John Snow has urged Congress to raise the government's debt ceiling, or face a cash crunch in the autumn.
He warned that Washington was on track to breach the current limit of $7.4 trillion in late September.
If the ceiling is not raised, 'we can finance government operations no longer than mid-to-late November,' he said.
The move is likely to reignite controversy over the US's spiralling budget deficit.
US government expenditure, swollen by the war in Iraq, exceeded revenues by a record $375bn in 2003, and the gap is forecast to rise again to $445bn this year. "

BBC NEWS | Middle East | US raps Israel over settler plan

BBC NEWS | Middle East | US raps Israel over settler plan: "US raps Israel over settler plan
The US has urged Israel to honour its commitment to end West Bank settlement activities, after Israel approved plans for the construction of 600 new homes.
The plans mark the expansion of what is already the largest Jewish settlement in the Palestinian territories.
A State Department spokeswoman said Israel was aware of the US view, and the two sides would discuss the issue. "

ABCNEWS.com : Poll: Tepid Bounce for Kerry

ABCNEWS.com : Poll: Tepid Bounce for Kerry: "Slight Bounce
Poll Shows Kerry Gained Limited Support After DNC
Analysis
By Gary Langer

Aug 2, 2004 John Kerry took a tepid bump in support out of his nominating convention, gaining an advantage over President Bush among registered voters but not so among those most likely to vote.

A new ABC News/Washington Post poll shows Kerry's gain is smaller than usual for a convention bounce, testament to the unusually polarized race, with many voters committing early to each candidate. Still, it comes at a crucial time for the Democratic candidate, countering a loss of momentum leading up to his convention.
The Massachusetts senator gained five to eight points among registered voters on issues and attributes alike, while Bush lost about as many. And after a convention that focused heavily on his military experience in Vietnam, Kerry leads Bush as 'better qualified to be commander-in-chief,' by 52 percent to 44 percent. "

CNN.com - Officials: Arrest in Pakistan led to orange alert - Aug 2, 2004

CNN.com - Officials: Arrest in Pakistan led to orange alert - Aug 2, 2004: "Officials: Arrest in Pakistan led to orange alert
Terrorists want to 'undermine economy' of U.S., Ridge says
Monday, August 2, 2004 Posted: 5:07 PM EDT (2107 GMT)

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Information seized from a suspected al Qaeda computer expert was largely responsible for the increased threat level for three East Coast financial districts, U.S. and Pakistani officials said Monday.

A U.S. intelligence official said the previously unannounced arrest of a 25-year-old computer expert July 13 in Pakistan yielded a "treasure trove" of evidence that detailed potential attacks against financial targets in New York; Newark, New Jersey; and Washington.

IHT: In China, an air hub to rival Hong Kong's

IHT: In China, an air hub to rival Hong Kong�s: "In China, an air hub to rival Hong Kong�s
Reuters Monday, August 2, 2004
GUANGZHOU, China Posing a potent threat to nearby Hong Kong�s position as Asia�s second-biggest air hub, a $2.4 billion, state-of-the-art airport will open here Thursday.
.
Workers made final checks of machinery at the cargo terminal and farmers in straw hats peered through fencing Monday as a China Southern Airlines plane made a ceremonial landing at what will be its new hub at Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport.
.
Once the second phase is done, as it is expected to be around 2010, the airport will be able to handle 80 million passengers a year.
.
Baiyun Airport will attempt to become the air transport hub for the Pearl River Delta, southern China, and connect with Southeast Asia, Huang Hua Hua, the governor of Guangdong Province, told officials gathered under a baking sun on the airport's freshly laid tarmac on Monday.
.
The airport is a two-hour drive from Hong Kong, in the heart of the industrial Pearl River Delta, which produces more than one-third of China's exports. The airport is expected to snare a significant slice of China's booming cargo market. The package-delivery company FedEx is considering moving its Asia hub to Guangzhou.
.
What you're going to see is the pie getting larger and larger, said David Cunningham, FedEx's Asia Pacific pres ident. But, yes, a smaller percentage of goods will come out of Hong Kong.
.
Hong Kong's airport is the largest handler of international cargo, but 70 to 80 percent of that freight, including electronics and components, comes from the Pearl River Delta. Air France, Lufthansa and Thai Airways International are among about a dozen international passenger carriers that "

BBC NEWS | Africa | Mass graves found in Ivory Coast

BBC NEWS | Africa | Mass graves found in Ivory Coast: "Mass graves found in Ivory Coast
The UN's Ivory Coast mission says three mass graves containing at least 99 bodies have been found near the northern rebel-held town of Korhogo.
The town was the scene of fighting between rival factions in June.
A UN statement said some of the dead had been shot, but it quoted witnesses as saying others had been suffocated.
The discovery came two days after rebels who seized control of the north of the country in 2002 signed a deal to rejoin the government. "

REUTERS - U.S. Blue Chips Up as Attack Fears Ease

Mon Aug 2, 2004 03:22 PM ET

By Rachel Cohen
NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. blue chips advanced slightly on Monday as fears about possible attacks on U.S. financial institutions receded and consumer products maker Procter & Gamble Co. (PG.N: Quote, Profile, Research) posted strong quarterly earnings.

The warnings about the possible attacks depressed stocks earlier in the session but as the day progressed, investors shrugged off some of their fears.

"It opened lower because some people took to heart what was said," said Stanley Nabi, vice chairman at Silvercrest Asset Management Group. "Then once the moderate selling as a result of this kind of psychological turning point was over, the market started gathering a little bit of momentum."

Citigroup Inc. (C.N: Quote, Profile, Research) , Prudential Financial Inc. (PRU.N: Quote, Profile, Research) , the International Monetary Fund, the New York Stock Exchange and the World Bank were included in a "high" level threat alert by the Department of Homeland Security, which said the attacks on these landmark financial buildings in New York City, Newark, New Jersey, and Washington, D.C., could come from al Qaeda.

The warnings drove U.S. crude oil prices to a record high of $43.94 a barrel earlier in the day before prices eased a bit to settle Monday at $43.82, up 2 cents. Higher oil prices typically cut into corporate profits, as crude is a vital component of transport and manufacturing.

CNN.com - Bush wants national intelligence director - Aug 2, 2004

CNN.com - Bush wants national intelligence director - Aug 2, 2004: "Bush wants national intelligence director
Plans for counterterrorism center also outlined
Monday, August 2, 2004 Posted: 3:16 PM EDT (1916 GMT)
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- President Bush said Monday that he is asking Congress to create the position of a national intelligence director to serve as his principal intelligence adviser."

BBC NEWS | Business | Attacks warning pushes oil higher

BBC NEWS | Business | Attacks warning pushes oil higher: "Attacks warning pushes oil higher
Crude oil prices pushed upward to yet another record on Monday after a weekend warning of possible al-Qaeda attacks on global financial bodies.
The US government ratcheted up alert levels on Sunday, saying it knew of threats to the IMF, World Bank and New York stock exchange.
The price of US light, sweet crude hit $43.92 (�24.09) a barrel in Asian trade on Monday, breaching Friday's record.
Jitters also hit stocks on Monday, with most Asian major markets lower. "

CNN.com - Poll: No 'bounce' for Kerry so far - Aug 1, 2004

CNN.com - Poll: No 'bounce' for Kerry so far - Aug 1, 2004: "Poll: No 'bounce' for Kerry so far
Bush and Democratic nominee still running neck and neck
Sunday, August 1, 2004 Posted: 8:04 PM EDT (0004 GMT)
(CNN) -- The race between President Bush and Sen. John Kerry is as close as it has ever been, even after the Democratic National Convention last week, according to a CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll released Sunday.
The poll -- conducted Friday and Saturday, after Kerry's acceptance of the Democratic nomination Thursday night -- found the senator from Massachusetts running slightly ahead of Bush among registered voters but slightly behind among likely vo"

CNN.com - Escaped tiger causes pileup in New York City - Jul 31, 2004

CNN.com - Escaped tiger causes pileup in?ew York City - Jul 31, 2004: "Escaped tiger causes pileup in New York City
Saturday, July 31, 2004 Posted: 9:57 PM EDT (0157 GMT)

NEW YORK (AP) -- After escaping from the circus, a white tiger alarmed picnickers and motorists Saturday on what for him apparently was a calm, half-mile stroll through an unfamiliar urban jungle.
The animal, named Apollo, was safely recaptured in the Queens section of the city -- but not before the sight of him on the Jackie Robinson Parkway caused a multi-car accident. Four adults and one child suffered minor injuries"

WNBC New York > Holland Tunnel Closing To Inbound Truck TrafficCommercial Vehicles Should Use Lincoln Tunnel, George Washington Bridge

POSTED: 10:30 pm EDT August 1, 2004
UPDATED: 11:45 pm EDT August 1, 2004
JERSEY CITY, N.J. -- The Holland Tunnel is expected to close to commercial traffic heading to New York at 12:01 a.m. Monday, officials said Sunday evening.
The ban was "correlated to the warning about the downtown financial districts," said Tony Ciavolella, a spokesman for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.
He said commercial vehicles should use the Lincoln Tunnel and George Washington Bridge as alternative routes.
The ban would definitely affect trucks, said Ciavolella, but it was not immediately clear whether commercial vans would be prohibited.
The ban was not slated to affect vehicles leaving New York City.
No ending date for the ban was set.
"This plan is part of the Port Authority's continuing cooperation with federal, state and local agencies," Ciavolella said.
The Holland Tunnel runs from Jersey City, N.J., to lower Manhattan, near where many financial institutions are based.



Sunday, August 01, 2004

BBC > Many dead in Paraguay shop fire

At least 256 people have died in a fire at a shopping centre in Paraguay's capital, Asuncion, officials say.
Hundreds more are injured and the death toll is set to rise as firefighters bring charred bodies out of the debris.
The blaze started at midday on Sunday when the Ycua Bolanos centre was packed with weekend shoppers.
It is thought the fire was caused by a gas explosion. The disaster has overwhelmed the emergency services of one of South America's poorest nations.



MSNBC - Wall St Week Ahead-Data may spell relief, threats loom

Wall St Week Ahead-Data may spell relief, threats loom: "Wall St Week Ahead-Data may spell relief, threats loom

By Elizabeth Lazarowitz

NEW YORK, Aug. 1 Wall Street may react nervously this week to government warnings that al Qaeda is targeting the New York Stock Exchange and other financial institutions for attack, possibly overshadowing key jobs data. "

The Australian: China's defence minister warns Taiwan [ 02aug04 ]

The Australian: China's defence minister warns Taiwan [ 02aug04 ]: "China's defence minister warns Taiwan
From AP
02aug04

BEIJING: China's defence minister has issued a stern warning to Taiwan, saying the mainland's military has the strength and determination to 'smash' any moves toward independence by the self-ruled island, state media reported Sunday.

Speaking at a reception marking the 77th anniversary of the founding of the People's Liberation Army, Defense Minister Cao Gangchuan stressed that China's 'territorial sovereignty and integrity is supreme,' the official Xinhua News Agency said.
'The PLA has the determination and ability to smash any attempt at Taiwan independence,' Cao said Saturday at the Great Hall of the People, the seat of the country's legislature.
'We will never allow anybody to separate Taiwan from China in any form,' he added. 'The will of 1.3 billion Chinese people cannot be infringed upon.' "

Zawya.com | arab business and finance

Zawya.com | arab business and finance: "Malaysia considers proposed OIC peace-keeping force for Iraq: PM

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 1, 2004 (Xinhua via COMTEX) -- Malaysia would decide on the proposal to set up the OIC (Organization of Islamic Conference) peace-keeping force for Iraq, Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said on Sunday.
Foreign Minister Syed Hamid Albar would bring up the matter again to the cabinet for final decision, Abdullah told reporters in Kepala Batas, north Malaysia.
Abdullah was asked to comment on Syed Hamid's statement that the proposal to set up an OIC force was being considered by Malaysia.
Malaysia currently chairs OIC after its 10th Summit was held here last October. The summit rejected unilateralism and resorting of military force in international relations, While reaffirming the commitment of OIC members to combat terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. "

Tough Chinese policy fuels NKorean refugees' flight to SE Asia

Tough Chinese policy fuels NKorean refugees' flight to SE Asia: "Tough Chinese policy fuels NKorean refugees' flight to SE Asia
Beijing's refusal to help the increasing number of North Koreans who flee their politically repressive and famine-hit country is fueling perilous escapes across China to Southeast Asia, activists said.
The arrival of 450 refugees in South Korea via Vietnam last week highlighted the growing need for North Koreans to take great risks to sneak out of China after escaping their own country, overseas aid groups said."

Japan Today - News - Kerry's lead over Bush widens to 7 points: Newsweek - Japan's Leading International News Network

Japan Today - News - Kerry's lead over Bush widens to 7 points: Newsweek - Japan's Leading International News Network

Kerry's lead over Bush widens to 7 points: Newsweek
Sunday, August 1, 2004 at 16:05 JST
WASHINGTON — U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Sen John Kerry holds a 7-point lead over President George W Bush with support rating at 49% versus 42%, according to the latest Newsweek poll released Saturday.

Kerry's lead widened by 4 percentage points from 3 points in a poll three weeks earlier. His speeches at the Democratic National Convention had a significant impact, Newsweek said. (Kyodo News)

MSNBC - CIA Leak Probe: Powell's Grand-Jury Appearance

MSNBC - CIA Leak Probe: Powell's Grand-Jury Appearance: "Aug. 9 issue - Secretary of State Colin Powell recently testified before a federal grand jury investigating the leak of the identity of CIA covert officer Valerie Plame, NEWSWEEK has learned. Powell's appearance on July 16 is the latest sign the probe being conducted by prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald is highly active and broader than has been publicly known. Sources close to the case say prosecutors were interested in discussions Powell had while with President George W. Bush on a trip to Africa in July 2003, just before Plame's identity was leaked to columnist Robert Novak. A senior State Department official confirmed that, while on the trip, Powell had a department intelligence report on whether Iraq had sought uranium from Niger�a claim Plame's husband, Joseph Wilson, discounted after a trip to Niger on behalf of the CIA. The report stated that Wilson's wife had attended a meeting at the CIA where the decision was made to send Wilson to Niger, but it did not mention her last name or undercover status. At the time, White House officials were seeking to discredit Wilson, who had become a public critic of the Bush administration. There's no indication Powell is a subject of the probe; the department official said the secretary never talked to Novak about the Plame matter. Still, sources say the decision to question Powell shows the thoroughness with which Fitzgerald is conducting the probe�and that knowledge about Plame was circulated at the highest levels of the administration. Though most lawyers thought the investigation was nearly complete, sources say Fitzgerald has recently recalled witnesses before the grand jury�apparently to ask about issues raised by a new Senate intelligence committee report that seemed to contradict some of Wilson's public statements about Plame's role in his trip to Niger.
"

The New York Times > Washington > Campaign 2004 > Newly-Minted Candidates Defend Agenda on Sunday Talk Shows

The New York Times > Washington > Campaign 2004 > Newly-Minted Candidates Defend Agenda on Sunday Talk Shows: "Newly-Minted Candidates Defend Agenda on Sunday Talk Shows
By CHRISTINE HAUSER

Senator John Kerry and Senator John Edwards, newly minted candidates for the Democratic ticket in the presidential elections, defended their agenda on national security today as they continued their campaign on a two-week cross-country bus tour.
National security and the war on terror were a theme of Mr. Kerry's speech and of others during last week's Democratic National Convention, and today he reiterated his approach to military deployments and the need for the United States to build alliances.
The convention was held in the wake of last month's release of the 9/11 commission report, which highlighted steps that need to be taken to close gaps in domestic security. Mr. Kerry has vowed to immediately implement the recommendations and in appearances with Mr. Edwards on the morning television talk shows, he said that he saw the need to put an intelligence chief in the White House."

CNN.com - U.S.Raises threat level at key financial sites - Aug 1, 2004

CNN.com - U.S. Raises threat level at key financial sites - Aug 1, 2004: "U.S. raises threat level at key financial sites
New York City, Washington and northern New Jersey affected
Sunday, August 1, 2004 Posted: 2:33 PM EDT (1833 GMT)

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The United States on Sunday raised the terrorism threat level to code orange (high) for the financial services sector of New York City, northern New Jersey and Washington, "

BBC NEWS | Asia-Pacific | China troops parade in Hong Kong

BBC NEWS | Asia-Pacific | China troops parade in Hong Kong: "China troops parade in Hong Kong
More than 3,000 Chinese troops have for the first time staged an Army Day parade in Hong Kong.
Some 15,000 people bought tickets to watch a display of military hardware and precision marching by the People's Liberation Army.
The troops marched at their barracks in sweltering heat, clapped by the crowds.
The parade was designed to boost patriotic sentiment ahead of elections in September, says the BBC's correspondent in Beijing, Louisa Lim.
Pro-democracy legislators were invited to the parade as a goodwill gesture but some refused to attend, seeing the march as a political stunt. "

BBC NEWS | Americas | NY given al-Qaeda attack warning

BBBC NEWS | Americas | NY given al-Qaeda attack warning: "NY given al-Qaeda attack warning
The authorities in New York are warning residents and businesses that al-Qaeda may be planning a fresh suicide attack in the city.
Officials say they have received intelligence that is 'credible', although not specific.
Police urged companies to be vigilant - warning against possible car bombs and chemical agents in ventilation systems.
New York was the US city that suffered most casualties on 11 September 2001, with almost 2,800 people killed.
The new threat was first reported by the TV network ABC. "

BBC NEWS | Europe | Blast hits Prague shopping area

BBC NEWS | Europe | Blast hits Prague shopping area: "Blast hits Prague shopping area
Eighteen people have been injured in an explosion on one of the busiest streets in the Czech capital Prague.
Witnesses say a hand grenade was thrown outside a casino near Wenceslas Square at about 12.30 local time (1130GMT) on Sunday.
Most of those injured are not thought to be seriously hurt. Five were Britons and others were reported to be from the US, Ireland, Germany and Slovakia. "

BBC NEWS | Middle East | Bomb blasts rock Iraqi churches

BBC NEWS | Middle East | Bomb blasts rock Iraqi churches: "Bomb blasts rock Iraqi churches
Bombs have gone off near four churches in the Iraqi capital and one in the northern city of Mosul, police say.
At least 10 people are reported killed and dozens of others injured in what seems to be a new tactic by insurgents. "