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Saturday, September 04, 2004

The New York Times > International > Europe > The President: Putin Says Russia Faces Full 'War' to Divide Nation

The New York Times > International > Europe > The President: Putin Says Russia Faces Full 'War' to Divide Nation: "September 5, 2004
Putin Says Russia Faces Full 'War' to Divide Nation

MOSCOW, Sept. 4 - In a rare address to his nation, coming at a time of grave crisis, President Vladimir V. Putin said Saturday that the school siege in the southern city of Beslan was an attack on all of Russia and called for the mobilization of society to resist what he called 'a total and full-scale war' to splinter the country.
Mr. Putin spoke as the death toll from the violent end of the hostage crisis at Middle School No. 1 in Beslan rose to 330; half of the dead were children. Officials warned that the number of dead would rise further in the city, not far from Chechnya, as workers searched the school's charred wreckage and as more victims succumbed to their wounds in hospitals.
'This is challenge to all of Russia, to all our people,' Mr. Putin said. 'This is an attack against all of us.' [Text, Page 12.]
Mr. Putin sought to answer the seething anger that many here have expressed after a series of terrorist acts that in 10 wrenching days have killed more than 500 people. The worst was in Beslan, where heavily armed insurgents, some wearing explosives, seized the school on Wednesday, corralled 1,200 schoolchildren, parents and teachers into its gymnasium and threatened to kill them. On Friday, large explosions caused a panic and Russian troops charged the building as children began to escape, but hundreds died in the melee.
Authorities said they believed that the terrorists were Islamic militants, mostly Chechens.
Mr. Putin called t"

The New York Times > National > The Overview: Slow but Fierce, Vast Hurricane Batters Florida

The New York Times > National > The Overview: Slow but Fierce, Vast Hurricane Batters Florida: "September 5, 2004
Slow but Fierce, Vast Hurricane Batters Florida

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla., Sept. 4 - Shrieking winds and angry sheets of rain thrashed Florida's coastline on Saturday as residents hunkered down in crowded shelters or in their own barricaded homes to ride out the plodding, sprawling Hurricane Frances. The storm appeared to be strengthening as it hulked toward the warm waters off the seaboard, increasing the threat of serious flooding and wind damage.
Hurricane-force winds were reported by midday Saturday. Forecasters were predicting that the eye of the storm would pass over Stuart, 40 miles north of Palm Beach, Sunday after midnight, later than expected because the hurricane stalled over the Bahamas for more than 24 hours and was moving at only 6 miles per hour.
The timing was ominous, forecasters said, because the peak of the storm would coincide with high tide, making storm surges of up to 10 feet and severe flooding likely at and north of landfall.
Though a ridge of high pressure had weakened Hurricane Frances into a Category 2 storm, with sustained winds of 105 m.p.h., it remained huge - twice the size of Hurricane Andrew, which devastated the Homestead area, about 30 miles south of Miami, in 1992 - and extremely dangerous, officials said.
Winds could increase to at least 110 m.p.h. as the storm moves closer to the coastline and onto land, they added.
'People need to be very cautious and very patient,' Gov. Jeb Bush said in a morning news briefing in Tallahassee. 'We know that this storm, in spite of fact that it has weakened in terms "

The New York Times > Washington > Campaign 2004 > Democratic Strategies: Worried Democrats Urge Kerry to Start Revving Up Campaign

The New York Times > Washington > Campaign 2004 > Democratic Strategies: Worried Democrats Urge Kerry to Start Revving Up Campaign: "DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIES
Worried Democrats Urge Kerry to Start Revving Up Campaign

President Bush roared out of his New York convention last week, leaving many Democrats nervous about the state of the presidential race and pressing Senator John Kerry to torque up what they described as a wandering and low-energy campaign.
In interviews, leading Democrats - governors, senators, fund-raisers and veteran strategists - said they had urged Mr. Kerry's campaign aides to concentrate almost exclusively on challenging President Bush on domestic issues from here on out, saying he had spent too much of the summer on national security, Mr. Bush's strongest turf.
As the Labor Day weekend began, Mr. Kerry appeared to be heeding the advice with an aggressive attack on Mr. Bush's economic leadership. But many supporters also said they wanted to see Mr. Kerry respond more forcefully to the sort of attacks they said had undercut his standing and to offer a broad and convincing case for his candidacy.
'He's got to become more engaged,'' said Harold Ickes, a former political lieutenant to President Bill Clinton who is now running an independent Democratic organization that has spent millions of dollars on advertisements attacking President Bush. 'Kerry is by nature a cautious politician, but he's got to throw caution to the wind.'
Senator Bob Graham of Florida, a former rival of Mr. Kerry for the Democratic nomination, said Mr. Kerry still had not settled on a defining theme to counter what Democrats called the compelling theme of security" - Death toll in Russia school siege tops 350 - Sep 4, 2004 - Death toll in Russia school siege tops 350 - Sep 4, 2004

Death toll in Russia school siege tops 350
Putin denounces 'attack on our country'

BESLAN, Russia (CNN) -- The death toll in the Russian hostage crisis has climbed beyond 350 as President Vladimir Putin denounced the massacre as "an attack on our country."

In a nationally televised speech Saturday, Putin said the fall of the Soviet Union had left the country unable to react to attacks, and he urged Russians to join together.

"We must create a much more effective system of security," he said. "We couldn't adequately react. ... We showed weakness, and weak people are beaten." (Full story).

North Ossetia government spokesman Lev Dzugayev told CNN that 323 hostages, including 156 children, died in the siege in the southern town.

In addition, 26 hostage-takers -- including 10 people from Arab countries -- and at least 10 Russian Special Forces troops died.

Chechens have been affiliated with the al Qaeda terror network, and an Arab connection suggests a further link between the Chechen rebel movement and international terrorism. Chechen rebels have been fighting Russian troops for a decade, seeking independence.

More than 700 people were wounded, officials said.

Dzugayev said Saturday evening that 448 people were still in hospitals in the region, including 248 children. Among the total hospitalized, 69 were in serious condition.

Most of the dead were killed when a bomb exploded in the gymnasium, Dzugayev said.

Of those who died from gunshot wounds, most were shot in the back as they fled the gymnasium, he said.

Security forces are still combing the region for hostage-takers who escaped.

Putin traveled to the traumatized region near Chechnya early Saturday, visiting hospitals and meeting local officials.

"Russia is grieving with the people of North Ossetia," he said in Beslan. "Nobody wanted to use force."

"One of the tasks pursued by the terrorists was to stoke ethnic hatred, to blow up the whole of our North Caucasus."

At least 79 bodies have been identified, the Emergency Situations Ministry said. Many bodies were burned beyond recognition and will require DNA testing for identification.

The Interfax news agency quoted a defense official as saying that "the terrorists planted a lot of mines and booby-traps filled with metal bolts in the gym."

Investigators are looking at the possibility that the hostage-takers may have brought their weapons and explosives into the school well before the siege.

Interfax quoted an unnamed regional security officer as saying the weapons had been hidden under the floor during summer construction work.

An escaped hostage said she recognized some of the terrorists as having done the construction work, Echo Moscow Radio reported.

The images of the aftermath, broadcast on television and posted on the Internet, horrified people around the world and brought ringing outcries by international leaders. (Full story)

CNN > Kerry says Bush 'unfit to lead this nation' Slams Cheney for avoiding Vietnam service Friday, September 3, 2004 Posted: 3:19 AM EDT (0719 GMT)

SPRINGFIELD, Ohio (CNN) -- Striking back less than an hour after the completion of the Republican National Convention, where he was the subject of countless GOP barbs, Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry re-entered the fray, calling President Bush "unfit to lead this nation."
"I have five words for America: This is your wake-up call," the Massachusetts senator told a cheering crowd at a midnight rally in Springfield, Ohio.
"We all saw the anger and distortion of the Republican convention," Kerry said. "For the past week, they attacked my patriotism and my fitness to serve as commander-in-chief.
"Well, here's my answer: I'm not going to have my commitment to defend this country questioned by those who refused to serve when they could have and by those who have misled the nation into Iraq."
Kerry was a decorated Navy officer in Vietnam who became a prominent antiwar activist upon returning home, and that history has played a major role in his presidential campaign.
The speech followed Wednesday night's attacks on Kerry by Vice President Dick Cheney and by renegade Democratic Sen. Zell Miller, who savaged Kerry as unfit to serve as commander-in-chief.
The Georgia senator blasted the party he still nominally belongs to as one "motivated more by partisan politics than by national security," while Cheney said Kerry "does not seem to understand the first obligation of a commander in chief, and that is to support American troops in combat."
Kerry counterpunched in his Ohio speech by saying, "Misleading our nation into war in Iraq makes you unfit to lead this nation.
"Doing nothing while this nation loses millions of jobs makes you unfit to lead this nation. Letting 45 million Americans go without health care makes you unfit to lead this nation. Letting the Saudi royal family control our energy costs makes you unfit to lead this nation. Handing out billions of government contracts to Halliburton while you're still on their payroll makes you unfit. That's the record of George Bush and Dick Cheney, and it's not going to change."
"The vice president even called me unfit for office last night," Kerry said. "I guess I'll leave it up to the voters whether five deferments makes someone more qualified to defend this nation than two tours of duty."
Cheney was the recipient of the Vietnam-era draft deferments.
Kerry said the next 60 days leading up to the November 2 election are key and give Americans a simple choice -- "If you believe this country is heading in the right direction, you should support George Bush, but if you believe America needs to move in a new direction, join with us."
"For four days in New York ... we heard almost nothing but anger and insults from the Republicans, and I'll tell you why," he said. "It's because they can't talk about the real issues facing Americans. They can't talk about their record because it's a record of failure."
In the president's acceptance speech, he focused on his leadership following the Sept. 11, 2001, al Qaeda attacks on the United States, but also outlined about 15 domestic initiatives on education, health care, jobs and taxes, including proposing economic "opportunity zones" for poorer areas that would offer tax relief to lure new businesses.
Kerry's response: "All hat, no cattle" -- an expression common in Texas used to refer to phony cowboys who dress and talk the part but are pretending to be what they aren't.
From CNN

BBC > Sudan rejects Darfur peace force

Sudan will not accept a peacekeeping force in the troubled Darfur region but may agree to extra monitors being deployed, its foreign minister says.
Mustafa Osman Ismail was reacting to a suggestion from a UN envoy that several thousand military observers were urgently needed to improve security.
Jan Pronk did not specify, but said the 3,000 troops which the African Union (AU) is considering were "not enough."
On Thursday, the UN Security Council discussed Darfur. No action was agreed.
The BBC's Ishbel Matheson in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum, says the government will be relieved to have seen off the immediate threat of international sanctions.
But the United States is pressing for sanctions against Khartoum, insisting that it is still backing Arab militias.
More than 1m displaced
Up to 50,000 killed
More at risk from disease and starvation
Arab militias accused of ethnic cleansing
Sudan blames rebels for starting conflict
Up to 50,000 people have been killed in the 18-month conflict and more than a million have fled their homes.
Some 300 AU troops are in Darfur to monitor a shaky ceasefire and Nigeria is planning to send another 1,500.
Many non-Arab refugees say their villages were attacked by Janjaweed militias, working with government security forces.
Such joint attacks have continued in the past week, said US ambassador to the UN John Danforth, citing a report from AU military observers.
"If the job of providing security is provided exclusively by people who have been dropping bombs on the people of Darfur, the people of Darfur are going to say: 'What kind of protection is this?'" he said.
Presenting a UN report on Darfur to the Security Council, Mr Pronk also urged Sudan to accept extra monitors.
Sudan insists that the extra police officers it has sent to Darfur will protect civilians.
It denies arming the Janjaweed and blames the violence on two Darfur rebel groups which took up arms last year.
Peace talks between the rebels and the government in Nigeria are deadlocked over disarmament and other security issues, the rebels say.
At the end of July, the UN called on Sudan to rein in the Janjaweed or face unspecified measures.
Amid argument among member states over whether Khartoum should face sanctions, the organisation gave itself 30 days to report on the situation.
No concrete steps have been taken to bring to justice or even identify any of the militia leaders
UN report Most computers will open PDF documents automatically, but you may need to download Adobe Acrobat Reader.
Mr Pronk told the council the authorities had fulfilled a commitment to deploy extra police and improve security in some areas, but had not met its commitments in two respects:
"First, it has not been able to stop attacks by militias, nor to disarm these militias.
"Second, no concrete steps have been taken to bring to justice or even to identify any of the militia's leaders or the perpetrators of these attacks."
The report, prepared by Mr Pronk on behalf of UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, does not mention sanctions but Mr Danforth said they remain "on the table".
Story from BBC NEWS: /pr/fr/-/2/hi/africa /3623894.stm

BBC > Clinton awaiting heart operation

Former US President Bill Clinton is to have a heart bypass operation early next week, his wife Senator Hillary Clinton has told reporters.
Mr Clinton was admitted to hospital on Friday a day after complaining of chest pains and shortness of breath.
Mr Clinton, 58, served two terms as president, during which he became known for his love of fast food and jogging.
He may now have to scale down his role in the Democrat campaign for November's elections, say correspondents.
During his own presidency, Mr Clinton showed no signs of heart problems during rigorous health examinations that were made public.
In recent months, Mr Clinton has appeared trim and well - which he attributed to following the "South Beach Diet" of lean meat and unprocessed food.
'In great humour'
A smiling and apparently relaxed Mrs Clinton appeared on Friday evening outside the top New York Presbyterian Hospital (also known as the Columbia Presbyterian).
Mrs Clinton and the couple's daughter, Chelsea, are at Mr Clinton's bedside.
"My husband is doing very well," she said.
"He is in great humour. He's beating all of us at cards and the rest of the games we're playing.
"He will having surgery early in the week. There will no be further information between now and then."
She said Mr Clinton was "extremely grateful for the outpouring of concern. I'm just pleased he's in such good spirits. He's going to be fine. He's going to be back in fighting form before very long."
Some reports have suggested the former president may need a quadruple bypass, but this has not been confirmed.
Bypass operations, in which sections of the patient's own blood vessels are grafted to bridge over blockages in the heart's arteries, have become a common and usually successful procedure in recent years.
Mrs Clinton said she was grateful she and her husband had good health insurance.
"I hope some day everybody will be able to say the same thing."
President George W Bush and Democratic presidential contender John Kerry, both busy on the campaign trail ahead of November's elections, sent messages of condolence.
I want you all to let a cheer out and clap that he [Mr Clinton] can hear all the way to New York
John Kerry
Democrat presidential candidate
"He's going to be fine," Mr Kerry told cheering supporters in Newark, Ohio.
"But every single one of us wants to extend to him our best wishes, our prayers and our thoughts, and I want you all to let a cheer out and clap that he can hear all the way to New York," he said.
In Wisconsin, President Bush sent Mr Clinton "best wishes for a swift and speedy recovery".
"He is in our thoughts and our prayers," he said.
Kerry effect
Correspondents say Mr Clinton's health problems may have an effect on the ongoing presidential campaign.
The BBC's Jeremy Cooke in New York says the former president had promised to be a loyal "foot soldier" in Mr Kerry's drive to win the White House, but his involvement may now be limited.
Mr Clinton has already cancelled a two-day campaign trip across New York State.
Known as a formidable campaigner, Mr Clinton's speech to the Democratic Party convention in Boston in July was seen as one of the highlights.
Observers say his natural flair among crowds could have been used to boost the campaign of Mr Kerry, who is regarded as somewhat aloof.
Story from BBC NEWS: /pr/fr/-/2/hi/americas /3625994.stm

Strait Times > Chen wants name change - from 'ROC' to 'Taiwan'

TAIPEI (Taiwan) - Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian said on Friday that this island's official name, Republic of China, or the ROC, is confusing and that he just wants to call it Taiwan during trips abroad - a remark that Beijing might interpret as a new step towards formal independence.
'When we just say 'Taiwan,' everyone understands where we are,' Mr Chen told reporters while visiting Belize.
The island's name is a constant subject of emotional debate and controversy. The Republic of China was the national title mainland China used when it was ruled by the Nationalist Party.
But when the Communists took control of the mainland in 1949 and forced the Nationalists to retreat to Taiwan, the new Chinese government changed China's name to the People's Republic of China. However, Taiwan has kept alive the ROC title.
Some believe Taiwan should scrap the title because it causes confusion abroad, arguing that foreigners frequently mistake the Republic of China for the communist mainland. They also say that after five decades of separation from China, Taiwan has evolved into a new country that deserves a new name.
Mr Chen said that several other countries, such as Chile, also use the abbreviation ROC and it's confusing to foreigners. He also noted that Taiwan uses the title 'Chinese Taipei' when participating in the Olympics and other global events. But he said this name also had problems.
Mr Chen emphasised that he wasn't scuttling the ROC title. 'Taiwan simply stands for the Republic of China,' he said.
Beijing has warned that changing the island's name might be interpreted as a big step towards a permanent split - a move they have said could spark a war. -- AP
From the Strai Times:,4390,270725,00.html?

Friday, September 03, 2004

japantoday > asia Mahathir still believes Anwar is  guilty

Friday, September 3, 2004 at 07:24 JST
KUALA LUMPUR — Commenting on the decision of Malaysia's highest court Thursday to quash the conviction of former Deputy Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim for sodomy, former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad insisted he was right in sacking his former deputy for "misbehaving."
"I still maintain that I made the right decision when I decided to remove him from his post as the deputy prime minister," Mahathir told reporters just hours after the Federal Court allowed Anwar's appeal against his sodomy conviction and nine-year jail sentence. (Kyodo News) Reprinted from JapanToday

Washington Post > Kerry Sharpens Contrast With Bush Campaign Takes the Offensive as GOP Attacks Senator's Record

By Jim VandeHeiWashington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, September 2, 2004; Page A01
NASHVILLE, Sept. 1 -- John F. Kerry went before an audience of thousands of veterans to accuse President Bush of creating a more dangerous world by mishandling virtually every major strategic decision he has made before and after the military invasion of Iraq.
"Terrorists have secured havens in Iraq that were not there before," the Massachusetts senator said. ". . . Violence has spread in Iraq, Iran has expanded its influence, and extremism has gained momentum."
Under fire from some in his own party for failing to draw crisp and clear differences with Bush over the war in Iraq, military service and terrorism, the Democratic nominee offered one of his sharpest and most detailed explanations of how he would have handled the conflict and its aftermath differently. "When it comes to Iraq, it's not that I would have done one thing differently, I would have done almost everything differently," Kerry told the national convention of the American Legion here.
Coming off what even his aides acknowledge has been a bad month for the candidate, Kerry is scrambling to regain momentum -- sharpening his critique of Bush's policies and shaking up his communications team to be more responsive to attacks on the Democrat and his running mate, Sen. John Edwards (N.C.).
After huddling with top staff in recent days in Nantucket, Kerry plans a more aggressive campaign style in the final two months -- starting with Wednesday's speech, aides said.
Joe Lockhart, the Clinton White House spokesman who was hired to sharpen and simplify Kerry's message, is taking a prominent, some say the preeminent, leadership role in a department largely bereft of advisers with considerable presidential-level experience. In an interview Wednesday, he promised that no attack would go unanswered.
Despite losing ground in polls, Kerry believes he has cleared the national security hurdle with most voters and plans to focus mostly on health care and the economy leading up to Nov. 2, Lockhart said. This sets the stage for the two presidential campaigns to compete on vastly different battlegrounds: Bush, staking his reelection on his ability to lead the war on terrorism; Kerry, promising more available health care and better education in exchange for higher taxes on the rich.
Kerry broke from the recent tradition of staying off the campaign trail during an opponent's political convention to speak Wednesday to the American Legion, the nation's largest veterans organization, one day after Bush addressed the same group. The president had louder and more sustained applause, but Kerry was treated politely if not enthusiastically on some points.
Beyond military service, Kerry's most aggressive case for the veterans vote centered on money. On Tuesday, the American Legion issued a statement saying Bush's proposed budget for 2004-05 falls $2.5 billion short of what the group estimates is needed to cover health programs for those who served. The Democratic nominee promised to meet, if not exceed, the American Legion's request.
Kerry said that the only aspect of the invasion on which he agreed with Bush was how swiftly and decisively the United States would win the initial war with Iraq. After that, Kerry said, Bush failed the "most solemn obligation" as commander in chief: "to make certain we had a plan to win the peace." He faulted Bush for stubbornly ignoring the advice of military commanders on the ground and politicians back home, dismissing the State Department's concerns about a postwar Iraq, and failing to secure Iraq's borders and draw in allies to relieve the burden on U.S. troops. Once inside Iraq, he said, the president botched opportunities to share responsibility with NATO or the United Nations, train indigenous Iraqi forces, safely secure prisoners of war and adequately guard nuclear waste and ammunition storage sites. Kerry said he would have not made those mistakes -- which Republicans counter is easy to say in hindsight.
The Democratic National Committee released a new ad Wednesday making a similar charge, signaling a broader effort to repair damage to Kerry's standing on national security matters.
Kerry said here that Bush now admits "he miscalculated in Iraq. In truth, his miscalculation was ignoring the advice that was given to him."
Republicans -- and some Democrats -- say Kerry has been boxed in by seemingly contradictory comments about his position on Iraq. This list includes voting to authorize the war, then criticizing it and then saying he would vote for it again; voting against spending $87 billion on the troops and reconstruction in Iraq and Afghanistan while criticizing Bush for shortchanging service members and suggesting he might have gone to war in Iraq if he had been president during the past four years.
Kerry's criticism extended to Afghanistan and the broader war on terrorism. He lambasted Bush for saying over the weekend that the war on terrorism is unwinnable -- a statement Bush quickly reversed. "In the end, the terrorists will lose, and we will win," Kerry said. "Because the future does not belong to fear -- it belongs to freedom."
One Kerry friend, who demanded anonymity to speak candidly, said Kerry created his own problem by making his military service the centerpiece of the Democratic National Convention in July, and then failing to defend his service when it was attacked by Swift Boat Veterans for Truth. Some aides advised Kerry to address concerns about his military service and his war protests during Wednesday's speech, but instead, he touted the work he has done behalf of veterans.
Members of the Swift boat veterans group are shadowing Kerry across the country and showing no signs of relenting. The group, which says it has raised nearly $3 million for anti-Kerry ads, promised to hound the candidate until he apologizes for actions during and after the Vietnam War. The group greeted Kerry with another television ad condemning his antiwar testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in 1971.
A different group, Vietnam Veterans for Truth, grabbed attention with a full-page ad in Tuesday's Tennessean faulting Kerry's actions during and the after Vietnam War. It also rented a large ballroom at the site of the convention here to distribute -- and sell -- anti-Kerry literature, books and videos. "Ain't Fonda Kerry," read one of the bumper stickers. "Kerry Lied and Good Men died," proclaimed another. Tony Snesko, one of the organizers, said more than 1,000 legionnaires have stopped by the display over the past two days. Snesko said he would close shop if Kerry "stopped the lies and apologized."
Of more concern to the Kerry campaign, first lady Laura Bush and former president George H.W. Bush said this week that the attacks on Kerry seemed like fair game. Lockhart said Kerry may respond to these charges himself in the days ahead.
While reports of a broader staff shakeup are overblown, there are many Democrats who told Kerry to elevate the role of Lockhart and Joel Johnson, another veteran of the Clinton White House who just joined the team. Kerry was also advised to reconfigure the department responsible for managing the message, arguably the most important job in politics -- dominated by round-the-clock media coverage. One Democrat said James Carville, Clinton's top strategist, is urging the campaign to bring on Paul Begala, who worked with Carville, in a senior position to help with message and strategy. Begala is a Kerry friend who already informally advises the campaign.
Several Kerry friends privately told the candidate to quit micromanaging smaller details, such as speeches, which he spends a lot of time writing and refining on the road. The Kerry campaign is getting tagged with a criticism that haunted Al Gore in 2000: It spends too much time reacting to polls and focus groups. The target of some of that criticism is Bob Shrum, who was a senior strategist for Gore.
There is disagreement inside the campaign over who is to blame for the belated response to the attacks on the Kerry's war service. Kerry has told some Democratic friends he wanted to strike back hard weeks ago, but several advisers talked him out of it because polls and focus groups showed a negative response could backfire. Yet one aide said Kerry privately conceded that he, like most of his top staff, miscalculated the impact of the attacks by Swift Boat Veterans for Truth and the influence of 24-hour cable news in shaping public opinion, and thought the controversy would blow over. One Kerry friend said the candidate focuses on more traditional news outlets and lacks a sophisticated understanding of modern media. "You would think he would have recognized this five years ago," the friend said. Reprinted from:

Thursday, September 02, 2004

BBC > Bush sets out re-election vision

US President George W Bush has been giving one of the biggest speeches of his re-election campaign, at the end of the Republican Party convention.
He accepted the party's nomination to run in November's poll, before setting out his vision for the next four years.
While his campaign has focused heavily on security, Mr Bush is also highlighting domestic policy proposals.
Opinion polls suggest Democratic candidate John Kerry and Mr Bush are running virtually neck-and-neck.
The president is using his speech, broadcast on prime-time television, to defend his record over the last four years - particularly his decision to go to war against Iraq.
We have led, many have joined, and America and the world are safer
George W Bush
"I am running for President with a clear and positive plan to build a safer world, and a more hopeful America," he told delegates at the convention in New York.
In an echo of his main campaign theme in the 2000 election, Mr Bush said he would run "with a compassionate conservative philosophy", saying government should "help people improve their lives, not try to run their lives".
Reform pledges
The president first highlighted his economic agenda, vowing to "expand trade and level the playing field to sell American goods and services across the globe".
He also promised legal reforms to protect businesses from "frivolous lawsuits that threaten jobs" and to simplify the tax code.
Mr Bush promised to make the 10-year tax cut package enacted in 2001 permanent.
Other proposals on the domestic front include tax relief for businesses in deprived areas, as well as initiatives to help people buy homes, start businesses, hone job skills and set up tax-free retirement and health care accounts.
Mr Bush contrasted his policies with those of Democratic candidate John Kerry, which he said would result in higher taxes.
The incumbent then turned to security issues saying that after 11 September 2001 the administration "fought the terrorists across the earth".
He said funding for homeland security had been tripled, the military transformed and intelligence services strengthened.
"We are staying on the offensive, striking terrorists abroad, so we do not have to face them here at home," Mr Bush told delegates.
He said the strategy was succeeding, with al-Qaeda chased from Afghanistan, and hunted in Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.
"Libya is dismantling its weapons programmes, the army of a free Iraq is fighting for freedom, and more than three-quarters of al-Qaeda's key members and associates have been detained or killed," he said.
"We have led, many have joined, and America and the world are safer."
Mr Bush again mounted a vigorous defence of the war in Iraq, saying he "acted to defend our country".
Inside Madison Square Garden conference hall the speech received rapturous applause. But outside, thousands of demonstrators gathered to express their opposition to the president's policies.
The convention has been marked by street protests and many arrests.
On Wednesday, Vice-President Dick Cheney lashed out at Mr Kerry in his speech during his convention speech.
He accused Mr Kerry of being indecisive, contrasting him with Mr Bush who has made "some of the hardest decisions" a president can face.
Democrats denounced the attacks, calling it "a night of angry old men".
Story from BBC NEWS: /pr/fr/-/2/hi/americas /3621288.stm

Las Vegas SUN: Watchdog Probes S. Korean Nuke Experiment

Las Vegas SUN: Watchdog Probes S. Korean Nuke Experiment: "Watchdog Probes S. Korean Nuke Experiment

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) - South Korea's science agency said Thursday the United Nations nuclear watchdog is investigating a secret nuclear fuel experiment by South Korean scientists.
The one-time experiment that took place in early 2000 was revealed in a new report to the International Atomic Energy Agency that South Korea completed last month, South Korea's Science and Technology Ministry said.
The ministry said an IAEA investigating team arrived in the country on Sunday to conduct a weeklong probe into the program.
The experiment to separate a small amount - just 0.01 ounces - of uranium was terminated and the facilities were scrapped, the ministry said. "

The New York Times > International > Africa > In Western Sudan, Fear Is the Ever-Growing Enemy

The New York Times > International > Africa > In Western Sudan, Fear Is the Ever-Growing Enemy: "September 2, 2004
In Western Sudan, Fear Is the Ever-Growing Enemy

SHIGEKARO, Sudan - The United Nations has issued the Arab-led government of Sudan a stark ultimatum: show evidence of improved security for the black African tribes of the vast western region called Darfur, or face the consequences - among them, possibly economic sanctions.
Yet that warning, issued July 30, has provided scant comfort to those who still live in this unforgiving landscape of endless yellow sand cut by jagged stone hills. The desert is littered with camel corpses and the skulls of dead donkeys. Here and there lie singed villages, or deep craters left by bombs. The people, if one can find them, continue to tell harrowing tales of government planes swooping overhead before the rampage of the pro-government Arab militias, the Janjaweed.
Sudan's government has been reluctant to permit free access to journalists, and so it is impossible to assess the scope of the attacks or the exact extent of the government's involvement. As the Security Council prepared to take up the matter on Sept. 2, it was also not clear from local accounts whether the latest violence occurred in the month it gave Sudan to comply.
What is certain is that the threat of violence remains so intense, and the government's promises to secure the region so mistrusted, that no one here feels safe enough to return home. Darfurians are still on the run.
So terrified do they remain that some are hiding in caves, or pitching tents of twig and cloth under the thickets that sprout from the sand. They subsist on what little the desert yie"

AThe New York Times > Washington > Campaign 2004 > Tactics by Police Mute the Protesters, and Their Messages

The New York Times > Washington > Campaign 2004 > Tactics by Police Mute the Protesters, and Their Messages: "September 2, 2004
Tactics by Police Mute the Protesters, and Their Messages

As the Republican National Convention approached its final evening tonight, nearly 1,800 protesters had been arrested on the streets, two-thirds of them on Tuesday night alone. But for all the anger of the demonstrations, they have barely interrupted the convention narrative, and have drawn relatively little national news coverage.
Using large orange nets to divide and conquer, and a near-zero tolerance policy for activities that even suggest the prospect of disorder, the New York Police Department has developed what amounts to a pre-emptive strike policy, cutting off demonstrations before they grow large enough, loud enough, or unruly enough to affect the convention.
The demonstrations, too, have thus far been more restrained than many recent protests elsewhere; five years ago in Seattle, for example, there was widespread arson and window-smashing, none of which has occurred here. Lacking bloody scenes of billy-club-wielding police or billowing clouds of tear gas, the cameras - and the public's attention - have focused elsewhere.
'It is almost easier to explain what you are not getting here,' said Ted Koppel, anchor and managing editor of ABC's 'Nightline,' when he was asked why news organizations have given little time to the protests. 'What you are not getting here is a replay of 1968 in Chicago.'"

BBC NEWS | Americas | Kobe Bryant rape case collapses

BBC NEWS | Americas | Kobe Bryant rape case collapses: "Kobe Bryant rape case collapses
A US judge has dismissed the case against basketball star Kobe Bryant, after prosecutors dropped sexual assault charges against him.
The surprise move comes less than a week after the start of jury selection in Mr Bryant's trial in Colorado.
Prosecutors said they could not proceed because the alleged victim refused to testify in court. Mr Bryant still faces a civil lawsuit filed by his accuser.
The 26-year-old star denies assault, saying the sex was consensual.
Mr Bryant, who plays for the Los Angeles Lakers, is one of the highest-paid sportsmen in the United States.
'This motion is to dismiss based on the sole fact that the victim is unable to continue,' prosecutor Mark Hurlbert told the judge at the start of a hearing on Wednesday.
The US TV network ABC said the prosecution 'could not have proceeded without the alleged victim in this case'. "

BBC NEWS | Asia-Pacific | Malaysia's Anwar Ibrahim set free

BBC NEWS | Asia-Pacific | Malaysia's Anwar Ibrahim set free: "Malaysia's Anwar Ibrahim set free
Malaysian former Deputy Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim has been set free from jail after the country's highest court overturned his sodomy conviction.
The decision came six years to the day after his mentor-turned-rival, former leader Mahathir Mohammed, sacked him following a row over the economy.
Mr Anwar has always argued that charges against him were politically motivated.
He told the BBC he would now travel to Germany for treatment for back problems he says resulted from a police beating.
As news of his release filtered out of the court, a roar went up from supporters outside. "

BBC NEWS | Asia-Pacific | S Korea in 'rogue' nuclear trials

BBC NEWS | Asia-Pacific | S Korea in 'rogue' nuclear trials: "S Korea in 'rogue' nuclear trials
By Charles Scanlon
BBC correspondent in Seoul

The South Korean Government has admitted its scientists experimented secretly with nuclear fuel enrichment.
Experts say the technique used could have military implications, but a government official denied any intention to build a weapons programme.
A European based diplomat said the work was a violation of South Korea's international nuclear commitments.
The discovery could lead to calls for South Korea to be referred to the UN Security Council, like North Korea.
It is also likely to cause severe embarrassment to Seoul, and its key ally the US.
A team from the IAEA secretly rushed to South Korea last week, after the government revealed that the country had broken its commitments on nuclear proliferation.
Seoul made the admission under the terms of a tougher inspection regime that is just coming into effect.
A South Korean government official told the BBC that the research, which involved the use of lasers to enrich nuclear fuel, was not authorised by the government.
The official said it was a 'rogue' operation which ended four years ago, and concerned the production of highly enriched uranium, which could be used for an atomic bomb. "

BBC NEWS | Europe | Force ruled out in Russian siege

BBC NEWS | Europe | Force ruled out in Russian siege: "Force ruled out in Russian siege
The Russian authorities have ruled out using force to end the siege at a school in North Ossetia.
More than 350 pupils and adults are now said to be held hostage - though relatives say the school in Beslan had about 1,000 pupils in total.
Hundreds of parents spent an agonising night outside the school, and correspondents say they are getting increasingly angry at the lack of news.
President Putin said the safety of the hostages was paramount.
'Our main task is to save the life and health of those who have ended up as hostages,' he said, having cancelled a trip to Turkey to deal with the crisis.
Some of the hostages have reportedly been able to phone home, describing conditions in the school as tolerable. "

No malice toward Mahathir: Anwar

No malice toward Mahathir: Anwar: "No malice toward Mahathir: Anwar
Putrajya: Freed by a court after six years in prison, Malaysia's former deputy leader Anwar Ibrahim said on Thursday that he bears no ill will to the man he has blamed for putting him behind bars, retired prime minister Mahathir Mohamad.

'I bear no malice against him. Let him retire,' Anwar told reporters in his first remarks after a panel of Malaysia's highest court announced a 2-1 verdict overturning his conviction for sodomy. But, six years to the day that Mahathir fired him as his heir-apparent, Anwar maintained that the convictions of sodomy and corruption leveled against him after he led massive anti-Mahathir demonstrations in 1998 had been 'highly politically motivated.'

'I feel vindicated,' Anwar said.

'This is all about justice. I bear malice against no one.' Anwar said he planned to travel to Germany as soon as he can obtain a passport for surgery for a back injury blamed partly on a beating suffered at the hands of Malaysia's then-police chief six years ago. Mahathir fired Anwar on Sept. 2, 1998, amid a power struggle linked to policy differences over the Asian economic crisis. "

japantoday > world Iran ready to resume uranium enrichment: IAEA  report

Thursday, September 2, 2004 at 03:27 JST
VIENNA — Iran is planning to resume uranium enrichment, a confidential report ahead of the Sept 13 Board of Governors meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency said Wednesday.
Iran is preparing to process 37 tons of "yellowcake" uranium into uranium hexafluoride, which could then be used for further enrichment to obtain weapons-grade uranium, the report said. (Kyodo News)
From JapanToday

AP News > Cheney Unleashes Stinging Attack on Kerry

NEW YORK (AP) - Vice President Dick Cheney unleashed a stinging attack on Sen. John Kerry Wednesday night, ridiculing him as a politician who has made a career out of changing his mind. "More wrong, more weak and more wobbly than any other national figure," agreed Sen. Zell Miller, a Democratic keynoter at the Republican National Convention.
"As a war protester, Kerry blamed our military," said the Georgia senator in a fiery speech that drew repeated ovations from the GOP delegates in the hall. "As a senator, he voted to weaken our military."
The vice president hailed President Bush as a "superb commander in chief" who has helped restore the economy and will lead the nation to victory in the war on terror. Bush "does not deal in empty threats and half measures," Cheney said in a prime-time speech at the convention podium delivered to a nationwide television audience.
Republicans launched their double-barreled attack on Bush's Democratic opponent as the president campaigned his way into the convention city, collecting the endorsement of the union representing New York's 8,600 firefighters, some of whom risked their lives on Sept. 11, 2001. His eyes misted as he stood among them and held a black fire helmet labeled "Commander in Chief."

(AP) Elsa Auth of Old Tappan, N.J., uses her American flag to try to shade herself on a hot humid day as...
Full Image"Four more years," they shouted - echoing the chants that floated up from the convention floor at Madison Square Garden as delegates acclaimed the Bush-Cheney ticket for another term.
The speeches by Cheney and Miller were the main events of the evening, but the convention seemed to move 20 years back in time as delegates took in a tribute to Ronald Reagan, who died earlier this year. They cheered at video clips of the late president at his most forceful, then again when they saw former President George H.W. Bush eulogizing him in June. The convention floor bloomed with thousands of blue placards that read "Win One for The Gipper."
Cheney performed the traditional vice president's role in his turn at the podium, praising the man at the top of the ticket while denigrating the leader of the political opposition. "Time and again he has made the wrong call on national security," the vice president said of Kerry.
"On Iraq, Sen. Kerry has disagreed with many of his fellow Democrats," Cheney said. "But Sen. Kerry's liveliest disagreement is with himself. His back and forth reflects a habit of indecision, and sends a message of confusion."
With two months remaining in a close election, and the pool of undecided voters a small one, Republicans relished the opportunity to place a Democrat out front at their convention. They had their man in Miller, a conservative ex-Marine who minces no words and delivered a keynote address a dozen years ago in the same hall in service of Democrat Bill Clinton.

(AP) Delia Faustino of Jersey City, N.J., uses two American flags to try to shade herself on a hot humid...
Full Image"In this hour of danger our president has had the courage to stand up. And this Democrat is proud to stand up with him," the Georgia lawmaker said.
Outside the heavily defended hall, police watched warily as demonstrators waving pink slips formed a line three miles long in Manhattan to protest the Bush administration's economic policies. Fewer than a dozen arrests were reported, one day after police took into custody more than 1,000 demonstrators who had threatened to march on the convention hall.
A small group of AIDS activists managed to penetrate the Garden itself during the morning, before the convention session had begun for the day. They blew whistles and chanted, "Bush kills," at a morning session of GOP youth before being hustled from the floor.
Kerry ended a brief stint on the campaign sidelines, defying tradition by making an appearance while his rival's national convention was in progress.
"Extremism has gained momentum" as a result of administration missteps in Iraq, the Democratic nominee told a national convention of the American Legion, before adding that the war on terror is a winnable one with the right policies in place.

(AP) Heavily armed U.S. Coast Guard members patrol the Hudson River behind a band at a rally at Ellis...
Full Image"When it comes to Iraq, it's not that I would have done one thing differently, I would have done almost everything differently" than the president, Kerry said.
Republicans took care to stipulate they weren't questioning the patriotism of Bush's rival, who won five military medals in the Vietnam War.
But their attack was unsparing as they dissected his record on war and taxes over a 35-year career in politics, from lieutenant governor in Massachusetts to four terms in the Senate.
"During his 20 years in Washington, John Kerry never met a tax increase he didn't like," said Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin "... This is one place where John Kerry never flip-flops."
"I'm proud to be from Massachusetts, where John Kerry will be the junior senator until 2008," taunted Gov. Mitt Romney.
Cheney and Miller did the heavy lifting, though, on the third night of a convention carefully scripted to spit-polish Bush's image as a commander in chief worthy of four more years while wounding his Democratic challenger.
"In all that we do, we will never lose sight of the greatest challenge of our time: Preserving the freedom and security of this nation against determined enemies," the vice president said.
By contrast, Cheney said Kerry has been a model of indecision.
"And it is all part of a pattern," the vice president added. "He has, in the last several years, been for the No Child Left Behind Act - and against it. He has spoken in favor of the North American Free Trade Agreement - and against it. He is for the Patriot Act - and against it. Sen. Kerry says he sees two Americans. It makes the whole thing mutual - America sees two John Kerrys."
A dozen years ago, Miller stood before a national convention in the Garden and said, "I am a Democrat because we are the party of hope."
That was then.
This is now: "Time after time in our history, in the face of great danger, Democrats and Republicans worked together to ensure that freedom would not falter," Miller said in speech for GOP loyalists. "But not today. Motivated more by partisan politics than by national security, today's Democratic leaders see America as an occupier, not a liberator."
"Twenty years of votes can tell you much more about a man than twenty weeks of campaign rhetoric. Campaign talk tells people who you want them to think you are," he said. "How you vote tells people who you really are deep inside." From

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

BBC > Malaysia's Anwar Ibrahim set free

The jailed former Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia, Anwar Ibrahim, will be set free, after the country's highest court overturned his sodomy conviction.
The decision came six years to the day after his dramatic sacking by Malaysia's then Prime Minister, Dr Mahathir Mohammed.
He was imprisoned in 1999 and had lost earlier appeal against his conviction.
He is now expected to travel to Germany to receive treatment for a back injury he says he suffered when arrested.
The country's former police chief was responsible for a beating he received when first arrested in September 1998, Anwar says.
"He is free to go, there is no doubt it," said his lawyer Pawancheek Marican when the verdict was announced.
He is expected to leave custody later on Thursday.

Anwar was jailed in 1999 for corruption after a trial widely seen as politically motivated. It followed his disagreement with Mahathir Mohammad over how to run the country's economy.
In 2000, he received a further nine years for sodomy.
Anwar had already failed to reverse the first of those convictions.
Thursday's appeal to Malaysia's Federal Court - the country's highest - was the last legal opening for the former minister.
The court was reviewing an earlier rejection of Anwar's appeal - but decided to quash the original conviction by a vote of 2-1.
"We allow the sentence and conviction to be set aside. We find the High Court misdirected itself. He should have been acquitted," said Judge Abdul Hamid Mohamad, head of a three-judge panel.
The BBC's Jonathan Kent in Kuala Lumpur says Anwar's continued imprisonment had posed problems for the government of current Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi.
Although his star has waned since the days when thousands marched in protest at his treatment, many in Malaysia and abroad still regarded him as a political prisoner.
Story from BBC NEWS: /pr/fr/-/2/hi/asia -pacific/3619790.stm

BBC NEWS | In Depth | Armed men storm Russian school

BBC NEWS | In Depth | Armed men storm Russian school: "Armed men storm Russian school
Gunmen have seized a secondary school in southern Russia, with reports saying 200 pupils are being held hostage
Russia's security service, FSB, confirmed the men stormed the school in the city of Beslan in North Ossetia, close to the border with Chechnya.
At least 200 pupils and possibly some parents are believed to have been in the school at the time, as it is the first day back after the holidays.
An envoy in the region said a gun fight had broken out with police in the area.
The seizure comes amid heightened security following a suspected suicide bomb attack in Moscow on Tuesday night, and the bombing of two passenger planes last week.
Security officials are at the scene in Beslan trying to negotiate with hostage-takers.
Interfax news agency said at least "

The New York Times > Washington > Campaign 2004 > Upbeat Republicans Revive Bush Theme of Compassion

The New York Times > Washington > Campaign 2004 > Upbeat Republicans Revive Bush Theme of Compassion: "September 1, 2004
Upbeat Republicans Revive Bush Theme of Compassion

Facing perhaps three times the television audience that saw its sharp-edged speakers on Monday, the Republican National Convention circled back last night to President Bush's winning 2000 campaign theme of 'compassionate conservatism,' portraying him as not only hardheaded but also bighearted enough to lead 'the most historic struggle my generation has ever known,' as his wife, Laura, put it in a prime-time speech.
On the first night the major broadcast networks carried live coverage of the proceedings, the party offered up glowing testimonials from Arnold Schwarzenegger, the Terminator turned popular Republican governor of California; prominent black Republicans like Education Secretary Rod Paige and Lt. Gov. Michael S. Steele of Maryland; the president's telegenic nephew George P. Bush, who is Hispanic; and a variety of Republican women, chief among them Mrs. Bush herself.
'No American president ever wants to go to war,' said Mrs. Bush, who was presented to the delegates via satellite by her husband from the campaign trail in Pennsylvania, after their twin 22-year-old daughters introduced him to the hall in a goofily affectionate tribute that amounted to their national political debut.
'Abraham Lincoln didn't want to go to war,'' Mrs. Bush said, 'but he knew that saving the union required it. Franklin Roosevelt didn't want to go to war, but he knew that defeating tyranny demanded it. And my husband didn't want to go to war, but he knew the safety and security of America and th"

BThe New York Times > International > Middle East > Insurgents: Talks to Disarm Shiites Collapse

The New York Times > International > Middle East > Insurgents: Talks to Disarm Shiites Collapse: "INSURGENTS
Talks to Disarm Shiites Collapse

BAGHDAD, Iraq, Aug. 31 - Talks to disarm hundreds of insurgents in the roiling Sadr City ghetto in Baghdad collapsed Tuesday, after a tentative peace pact was abruptly canceled by Prime Minister Ayad Allawi.
Leaders of the Mahdi Army, the rebel force led by the Shiite cleric Moktada al-Sadr, and two well-placed Iraqi sources said an agreement had been reached late Monday that called for the disarming of the rebel force and a halt in American military operations in Sadr City.
Mahdi Army commanders and other Iraqi sources said Tuesday that Dr. Allawi backed out of the agreement on Tuesday morning.
The failure of negotiations raised the prospect of more violence from Mr. Sadr's Shiite insurgency, meaning the Iraqi government may not be able to direct its full political and military resources to quelling the continuing Sunni insurgency in other parts of the country.
Also on Tuesday, a militant Islamic group announced a mass killing in Iraq, showing pictures of 12 dead Nepalese laborers for a Jordanian company. [Page A9.]
The agreement on Monday on Sadr City, reached after several days of negotiations, had come on the heels of the withdrawal of Mr. Sadr's forces from Najaf last week after the intervention of Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, the country's most powerful religious leader.
'Last night there was a deal,' said Yusef al-Nasiri, the leader of the Mahdi Army in Sadr City. 'This morning there was supposed to be a press conference. But then Allawi surprised us, and he has taken us back to zero" - Sources: Democratic leaders urge Kerry campaign changes - Aug 31, 2004 - Sources: Democratic leaders urge Kerry campaign changes - Aug 31, 2004: "Sources: Democratic leaders urge Kerry campaign changes
Campaign refutes reports of shake-up
Tuesday, August 31, 2004 Posted: 6:19 PM EDT (2219 GMT)
NEW YORK (CNN) -- Democratic leaders, increasingly concerned that John Kerry's presidential campaign is adrift, are urging the presidential nominee to make changes in his staff before Labor Day, according to some party sources.
If not, said one party strategist, 'it could be too late.' Sources say major changes could come at the campaign's highest level.
The concern, according to these sources, is that Kerry has failed to effectively respond to attacks from Republicans and criticism of his military service in Vietnam, particular ads from a group calling itself Swift Boat Veterans for Truth.

Several campaign sources dismissed talk of a "major" shake-up. But these sources acknowledge there will be some changes in the coming days and some "evolving roles" at the campaign's senior level.

"We don't have a Carville or a Begala," said a senior Kerry official, referring to Democratic strategists James Carville and Paul Begala, who masterminded Bill Clinton's successful 1992 campaign. "We can't mimic what happened in 1992."

The worry voiced by some Democrats comes as Republicans meet in New York for their nominating convention.

Much of the Democrats' criticism -- which is coming from donors, top strategists and elected officials -- was directed at Mary Beth Cahill, who was hired to run Kerry's campaign after the senator fired campaign manager Jim Jordan in late 2003. Democrats are also urging the candidate to overhaul his media strategy, led by communications director Stephanie Cutter.

There's no indication that Kerry will fire Cahill or Cutter, or change their titles. Cahill has spent the past several days with Kerry at his home in Nantucket, and she also met with the candidate at a private home Monday for 90 minutes. Kerry met with her again, along with his finance chairman, Louis Susman, on Tuesday morning. - First lady: Bush shows 'strength and conviction' - Sep 1, 2004 - First lady: Bush shows 'strength and conviction' - Sep 1, 2004: "First lady: Bush shows 'strength and conviction'
Schwarzenegger says GOP is party to protect diversity, families
NEW YORK (CNN) -- First lady Laura Bush and Austrian-immigrant-cum-American-politician Arnold Schwarzenegger ended the second night of the Republican convention Tuesday with a litany of anecdotes designed to highlight family issues and portray the party as a "people of compassion."

"Everything I have -- my career, my success, my family -- I owe to America," said Schwarzenegger, who was elected California governor this year. "America gave me opportunities, and my immigrant dreams came true."

Sharing tales of meeting injured soldiers and eager schoolchildren, the two most-anticipated speakers of the night addressed issues they described as critical on the home front.

Manoroma Online > Group claims Moscow blast, vows more attacks

Group claims Moscow blast, vows more attacks: "Group claims Moscow blast, vows more attacks
- -
Dubai: An Islamist group claimed responsibility for a deadly bombing in Moscow vowed more attacks in ''infidel'' Russia, according to a statement published on a Web site.

''We in the Islambouli Brigades announce our responsibility for this operation... which comes in support of Muslims of Chechnya,'' said the statement signed by the group, which had also claimed responsibility for last week's plane crashes in Russia.

The authenticity of the Arabic-language statement could not be verified. Russian officials said at least 10 people were killed and 51 injured by a female suicide bomber in busy central Moscow in the evening blast.

''There will be, God willing, more waves until we humiliate the infidel state called Russia,'' the statement said."

China Daily > Taiwan 'most important' to US relations

Taiwan 'most important' to US relations: "Taiwan 'most important' to US relations
By Hu Xiao (China Daily)
Updated: 2004-09-01 00:00
China and the United States share important common interests in opposing Taiwan independence and safeguarding peace in the Taiwan Straits, said Chinese Vice-Foreign Minister Zhou Wenzhong.
'Currently, what is most important for the United States is to translate into reality its commitment to the one-China policy and opposition to Taiwan independence, in particular to stop upgrading relations with Taiwan and selling it advanced weapons,' Zhou said Tuesday in a luncheon speech at a seminar held by the China Reform Forum, a think-tank of China's Central Party School and the US Rand Corporation, a non-profit research organization.
Speaking to 70-plus experts and scholars from China and the United States, Zhou said Sino-US ties have consistently developed positive momentum although the US presidential election and the Taiwan island election this year have complicated Sino-US relations.
'The two countries have continued to make progress in exchanges and co-operation in economics, trade, anti-terrorism, law-enforcement, non-proliferation and other fields,' Zhou said, noting that the two sides have continued to engage in close consultations and co-ordination in promoting the reconstruction of Iraq and the six-party talks on the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula. "

Tuesday, August 31, 2004

The New York Times > Washington > Campaign 2004 > The Platform: Social Conservatives Wield Influence on Platform

The New York Times > Washington > Campaign 2004 > The Platform: Social Conservatives Wield Influence on Platform: "THE PLATFORM
Social Conservatives Wield Influence on Platform

Republicans approved a platform yesterday that puts the party firmly on the record against legalized abortion, gay marriage and other forms of legal recognition for same-sex couples, reflecting the political clout of social conservatives and setting up a stark contrast with the Democrats for the fall campaign.
The platform also hails President Bush's fight against terrorism, advocates making his tax cuts permanent and calls for the creation of personal investment accounts in Social Security as part of a new 'ownership society'' that Republicans assert will give Americans more responsibility and control over their financial lives.
The 93-page document, produced under the tight control of the Bush forces, tries to accomplish several political tasks: promoting and defending Mr. Bush's record, particularly on national security; sketching a domestic vision for a second term; and energizing the party's conservative base.
Democrats and their allies immediately denounced the platform as extremist and at odds with the moderate image the party is trying to project this week.
'It's the truth behind the facade of their convention,'' said Stephanie Cutter, spokeswoman for Senator John Kerry, the Democratic nominee. 'It reflects the divisiveness and extreme policies of the last four years, while the public speakers paint a very different picture.''
Gay rights and abortion rights groups restated their dismay. Cheryl Jacques, president of the Human Rights Campaign, a g"

Japan Today - News - U.S. criticizes Chechen election - Japan's Leading International News Network

Japan Today - News - U.S. criticizes Chechen election - Japan's Leading International News Network: "japantoday > world
U.S. criticizes Chechen election

Tuesday, August 31, 2004 at 07:21 JST
WASHINGTON - The U.S. State Department said Monday that Sunday's presidential election in Chechnya were not up to international standards.
'We know that there were serious flaws in the electoral process there, especially the earlier disqualifications of a leading candidate on a mere technicality,' State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said. Alu Alkhanov, the newly elected incoming Chechen president, had the backing of Russian President Vladimir Putin in the election to replace assassinated pro-Moscow President Akhmad Kadyrov. (Kyodo News)"

Japan Today - News - African mediators press Sudan and rebel groups on Darfur - Japan's Leading International News Network

Japan Today - News - African mediators press Sudan and rebel groups on Darfur - Japan's Leading International News Network: " japantoday > world
African mediators press Sudan and rebel groups on Darfur

Tuesday, August 31, 2004 at 07:37 JST
ABUJA - Sudan's government and its rebel foes broke off from African Union-brokered peace talks in order to study a draft agreement to end the suffering of Darfur's beleaguered civilians, delegates said Monday.
The agreement is seen by African mediators as a first step on the road to a permanent peace settlement and they hope if it is signed it will convince the international community that the Abuja talks are a serious peacemaking effort"

The New York Times > Washington > Campaign 2004 > After Citing Doubt, Bush Declares 'We Will Win' Terror War

The New York Times > Washington > Campaign 2004 > After Citing Doubt, Bush Declares 'We Will Win' Terror War: "August 31, 2004
After Citing Doubt, Bush Declares 'We Will Win' Terror War

President Bush tried today to stop the political fallout over his comments last weekend that the war on terror might not be winnable. Indeed, we will win that war, Mr. Bush told the national convention of the American Legion in Nashville.
We meet today in a time of war for our country, a war we did not start yet one that we will win,� Mr. Bush said. He spoke on the second day of the Republican National Convention in New York City, where Mr. Bush will deliver his nomination-acceptance speech on Thursday.
The president and his campaign aides have tried to polish Mr. Bush's credentials as commander in chief, and portray him as a resolute leader who can protect the country in dangerous times. That theme will surely be prominent in his acceptance speech on Thursday night, as it was today before the American Legion.
In this different kind of war, we may never sit down at a peace table, Mr. Bush told the American Legion delegates. But make no mistake about it, we are winning and we will win.
The president's unambiguous remarks today differed from those in an interview with Matt Lauer of the NBC News program Today. When Mr. Lauer asked him about the war on terrorism, Mr. Bush replied, I don't think you can win it. The president went on to say, I think you can create conditions so that those who use terror as a tool are less acceptable in parts of the world.
White House officials immediately sought to clarify what Mr. Bush told Mr. Lauer over the"

The New York Times > International > Middle East > Twin Bus Bombings in Israel Kill at Least 15 and Wound Dozens

The New York Times > International > Middle East > Twin Bus Bombings in Israel Kill at Least 15 and Wound Dozens: "Twin Bus Bombings in Israel Kill at Least 15 and Wound Dozens

Published: August 31, 2004
Suicide bombers set off explosions aboard two buses in the center of the southern Israeli city of Beersheba today, killing at least 15 people and wounding dozens, the Israeli police said.
Earlier, Israeli news reports and Magen David Adom, an Israeli rescue service, put the toll at 12 people dead and 44 people wounded, 20 of them seriously. It was not clear whether the death toll included the bombers.
The Palestinian militant group Hamas took responsibility for the near-simultaneous blasts, Israeli television said, quoting a Hamas leaflet distributed in the West Bank.
Suicide bombers last struck in Israel on March 14, killing 10 people at the southern port of Ashdod after hiding in a container exported from the Gaza Strip.
The chief Palestinian spokesman, Saeb Erekat, said 'the Palestinian Authority condemns any attacks that target civilians, whether Israelis or Palestinian.'
'We have to fight this terror,' Prime Minister Ariel Sharon told reporters at the Parliament in Jerusalem. 'This is the policy of the government and this is my policy. The fight against terror will continue with full strength.'"

Japan Today - News - U.S. to deploy 15 Aegis destroyers to Japan vicinity by 2006 - Japan's Leading International News Network

Japan Today - News - U.S. to deploy 15 Aegis destroyers to Japan vicinity by 2006 - Japan's Leading International News Network: "japantoday > national
U.S. to deploy 15 Aegis destroyers to Japan vicinity by 2006

Wednesday, September 1, 2004 at 03:39 JST
WASHINGTON - The Defense Department plans to deploy 15 Aegis destroyers to Japan's vicinity in the Sea of Japan and the Pacific Ocean by 2006 as part of defense against North Korean missiles, according to department sources.
The Aegis vessels will be equipped with advanced systems capable of intercepting and tracking ballistic missiles, such as North Korea's Rodong and Taepodong missiles, the sources said. (Kyodo News)"

Japan Today - News - Taiwan's Chen leaves for Latin America with stopover in U.S. - Japan's Leading International News Network

Japan Today - News - Taiwan's Chen leaves for Latin America with stopover in U.S. - Japan's Leading International News Network: "japantoday > asia
Taiwan's Chen leaves for Latin America with stopover in U.S.

Tuesday, August 31, 2004 at 02:21 JST
TAIPEI - Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian embarked late Monday on a whirlwind seven-day trip to Latin America via the United States in a fresh bid to boost the island's international profile.
Chen was scheduled to leave Sunday but decided to cut his trip short due to Typhoon Aere, which pounded northern Taiwan last week, leaving 13 people dead, 17 missing and more than 300 injured. (Kyodo News)"

BBC NEWS | Asia-Pacific | Taiwan cancels military exercise

BBC NEWS | Asia-Pacific | Taiwan cancels military exercise: "Taiwan cancels military exercise
Taiwan says it is cancelling a military exercise due to take place next month after China apparently abandoned similar manoeuvres.
Taiwanese President Chen Shui-bian said that Taipei must show goodwill, whether or not this was the motivation of the Chinese cancellation.
On Monday, Taiwanese military officials said hundreds of Chinese troops had left the nearby island of Dongshan.
China claims sovereignty over Taiwan and relations are always tense.
'China has cancelled the military drills on Dongshan island, so we have decided that we will cancel the 9 September Han Kuang exercises,' Mr Chen told reporters onboard an aircraft taking him on an official visit to Panama. "

BBC NEWS | Americas | Heavyweights back 'unflinching' Bush

BBC NEWS | Americas | Heavyweights back 'unflinching' Bush: "Heavyweights back 'unflinching' Bush
Two of America's most respected politicians have backed President Bush's campaign for re-election.
Senator John McCain and the former Mayor of New York, Rudolph Giuliani, praised Mr Bush's leadership, at the Republican Party's New York convention.
Senator McCain - a former rival to Mr Bush - said Mr Bush had 'not flinched from the hard choices' facing America.
The party wants to win over undecided voters before November's election, with polls suggesting the race is close.
Mr McCain is seen as an independent thinker who is not afraid to diverge from the party line, say commentators.
The outspoken senator warned Americans Mr Bush's war on terror was inevitable and must be seen through to the end. "

BBC NEWS | Europe | 'Suicide blast' hits Moscow station

BBC NEWS | Europe | 'Suicide blast' hits Moscow station: "'Suicide blast' hits Moscow station
At least eight people have been killed in an explosion in a car outside an underground railway station in Moscow.
At least 10 others were hurt in what may have been two blasts outside the Rizhskaya station in the north of the city, reports say.
Russian security officials are blaming the attack on a female suicide bomber.
Television pictures from the scene show a car on fire and wounded people on the ground as ambulances and rescue services rush to the scene.
More than a dozen bodies could be seen scattered on the pavement and grass surrounded by pools of blood.
'There are children among the wounded,' a police source was quoted as saying. "

BBC NEWS | South Asia | Nepalese hostages killed in Iraq

BBC NEWS | South Asia | Nepalese hostages killed in Iraq: "Nepalese hostages killed in Iraq
Twelve Nepalese hostages have been killed by their captors in Iraq.
A Nepalese diplomat confirmed the deaths hours after images were put on a website, apparently showing one man being beheaded and 11 being shot dead.
Nepal's ambassador to Qatar said it was one of the 'worst days' in his country's history.
The militants said the 12 Nepalis had been executed because they 'came from their country to fight the Muslims and to serve the Jews and the Christians'.
The group, Army of Ansar al-Sunna, said the men were being punished for helping the US, and it had 'carried out the sentence of God' against them.
Many foreigners have been captured in Iraq and some have been killed, but this is by far the largest killing of hostages.
Among at least 20 people still being held by militants are two French journalists whose captors have given France until Tuesday evening to revoke a ban on Islamic headscarves in state schools. "

China war games may be off, says Taiwan military :

China war games may be off, says Taiwan military : "

China war games may be off, says Taiwan military
Taipei, August 30

China has withdrawn about 3,000 soldiers from a military exercise on an island facing Taiwan, said the Taiwan defence ministry on Monday, prompting speculation that Beijing may have cancelled plans for further war games.
The southeastern Chinese island of Dongshan was the scene of a major military drill in May, when 18,000 troops from the Chinese People's Liberation Army simulated an invasion of Taiwan, over which Beijing claims sovereignty.
Defence ministry spokesman Huang Shuey-Sheng said more than 3,000 ground troops moved to Dongshan in mid-August had since been gradually pulled out.
'We will continue to monitor to see whether they plan to cancel the Dongshan drill,' he said. 'The likelihood (of a drill) is quite low but we will continue to watch the situation.'
China has repeatedly threatened to attack Taiwan if the self-governing island declares formal independence. Tension has been running high since independence-leaning Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian won a second four-year term in March.

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Monday, August 30, 2004 - Police: Drunken man drives home with decapitated?riend - Aug 30, 2004 - Police: Drunken man drives home with decapitated?riend - Aug 30, 2004: "Police: Drunken man drives home with decapitated friend
Monday, August 30, 2004 Posted: 11:33 AM EDT (1533 GMT)
MARIETTA, Georgia (AP) -- A drunken driver hit a telephone pole support wire that decapitated his passenger, police said.
He then drove 12 miles home and slept in his bloody clothes, police said, leaving the headless body in his truck.
A neighbor walking with his young daughter Sunday morning discovered Daniel Brohm's headless corpse in the truck in John Kemper Hutcherson's driveway and called authorities, said Cpl. Dana Pierce, county police spokesman."

Central Asia set to back Japan in UN. 30/08/2004. ABC News Online

Central Asia set to back Japan in UN. 30/08/2004. ABC News Online: "Last Update: Monday, August 30, 2004. 3:11pm (AEST)
Central Asia set to back Japan in UN
Japan is counting on the support of four Central Asian nations in its bid for a permanent seat on the United Nations (UN) Security Council.
Japanese Foreign Minister Yoriko Kawaguchi is visiting Tajikistan and his department says the country has offered support to Japan to obtain a permanent seat at the Security Council.
Three other countries in the region - Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan - will also support Japan.
Mr Kawaguchi is on the first visit by a Japanese foreign minister to Tajikistan since the two countries established diplomatic relations 12 years ago.
Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi says he will press Japan's case for a permanent UN Security Council seat when he addresses the world body's General Assembly next month.

Japan Today Japan News - Japan's Leading International News Network

Japan Today Japan News - Japan's Leading International News Network: "Typhoon Chaba hits Kyushu, leaving 5 dead, 4 missing, 54 hurt
Monday, August 30, 2004 at 19:53 JST
TOKYO - Powerful Typhoon Chaba hit southwestern Japan on Monday, leaving five people dead, 54 injured, and four freighter crew members missing since Sunday, and paralyzing transportation systems in the region.
The season's 16th typhoon passed through the Kyushu region and hit the Chugoku region in the evening as it gradually picked up speed, the Japan Meteorological Agency said, warning of strong winds, heavy rain, high waves and landslides.
More than 30,000 residents have been evacuated to designated shelters in the Kyushu, Chugoku, Shikoku and other affected regions."

BBC NEWS | South Asia | Karzai 'disturbed' at Kabul bomb

BBC NEWS | South Asia | Karzai 'disturbed' at Kabul bomb: "Karzai 'disturbed' at Kabul bomb
Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai says he is deeply disturbed by a bomb attack in the capital Kabul in which at least seven people died.
Three Americans and three Nepalis are reported to be among those killed.
The US embassy and other international organisations in Kabul have told staff to avoid all but essential movement in the city following the blast.
A group saying it represented Taleban hardliners said one of its fighters had detonated the remote-controlled bomb.
The explosion took place outside the offices of an American security firm which provides Mr Karzai's bodyguards and trains the new Afghan police force. "

BBC NEWS | Africa | UN deadline on Darfur approaches

BBC NEWS | Africa | UN deadline on Darfur approaches: "UN deadline on Darfur approaches
A United Nations deadline is set to expire on Monday for the Sudanese authorities to improve security in the troubled Darfur region.
The UN is threatening action if Sudan fails to disarm pro-government militias blamed for killing thousands of civilians and forcing many to flee.
But a UN report highlights continuing insecurity and clashes across Darfur.
Nigeria has sent a contingent of troops to Darfur to guard ceasefire monitors, as peace talks continue in Abuja.
The UN humanitarian co-ordinator said government troops and SLA rebels clashed in North Darfur as recently as last Thursday threatening 3,000 displaced people. "

BBC NEWS | Europe | France firm over headscarf ban

BBC NEWS | Europe | France firm over headscarf ban: "France firm over headscarf ban
France has said it will not drop a law banning Muslim headscarves in state schools, despite demands by militants holding two French journalists in Iraq.
'The law will be applied,' a government spokesman said.
France's foreign minister appealed for the two men to be freed as he started urgent talks in the Middle East.
Film of the two men was broadcast on Saturday by Arabic TV al-Jazeera. It said the kidnappers wanted France to reverse the ban within 48 hours. "

New York Times > The G.O.P. Arrives, Putting Sept. 11 Into AugustBy ADAM NAGOURNEY and ROBIN TONER
August 30, 2004
Republican leaders said yesterday that they would repeatedly remind the nation of the Sept. 11 attacks as their convention opens in New York City today, beginning a week in which the party seeks to pivot to the center and seize on street demonstrations to portray Democrats as extremist.
Party aides said the convention would begin with an elaborate tribute to Sept. 11 victims, with speeches by Senator John McCain and former Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, reminding voters of Mr. Bush's role in leading the nation after the attacks, which took place a couple of miles from Madison Square Garden, home of the convention.
"Winston Churchill saw the dangers of Hitler when his opponents and much of the press characterized him as a warmongering gadfly," Mr. Giuliani plans to say, according to excerpts from his speech released last night. "George W. Bush sees world terrorism for the evil that it is, and he will remain consistent to the purpose of defeating it while working to make us ever safer at home."
Indeed, the Sept. 11 invocations began even before the convention opened, leaving little doubt of the prominent role the attack on New York will play at the first Republican convention ever held in this city. At a rally yesterday afternoon on Ellis Island, Vice President Dick Cheney recalled the president's visit to ground zero three days after the attack.
"They saw a man calm in crisis, comfortable with responsibility and determined to do everything to protect our people," he said.
At the same time, responding to the sight of New York streets packed with protesters yesterday, Republican officials sought to connect the demonstrations to Democrats as part of a broader effort to paint Senator John Kerry as out of the mainstream. The Republican Party chairman, Ed Gillespie, noted to reporters that the legion of protesters included Peggy Kerry, Mr. Kerry's sister, who lives in New York and attended an abortion rights rally.
And Mr. Bush's campaign communications director, Nicolle Devenish, said in an interview: "Those who support the president are inside the Garden. Those who are opposed to the president's policies are protesting outside the Garden."
The developments came on the eve of what party officials saw as a potentially tumultuous and politically complicated week. Mr. Bush seeks to accomplish a critical political goal - broadening his appeal to the center - against the backdrop of the biggest demonstrations in New York in 22 years and charges by some Democrats that he is trying to turn the tragedy of Sept. 11 to his political advantage.
After months of cultivating his conservative base by pressing positions like his support for a constitutional amendment prohibiting gay marriage, Mr. Bush, his aides said, will use his speech accepting the Republican nomination on Thursday to present what they described as a second-term agenda focused on health care, retirement, education and economic security.
Advisers said Mr. Bush would return to a theme of an "ownership society" that encourages Americans to take more responsibility for their retirement and health care needs, including the creation of private accounts in Social Security. Other Republicans said Mr. Bush was likely to offer some sort of tax simplification plan.
In a development reminiscent of the way Democrats managed to paper over differences on the Iraq war, there was some evidence here that tensions between moderates and conservatives over issues like gay marriage and abortion were easing because of the desire of both wings to ensure Mr. Bush's re-election.
"There are people who have some difficulties with Bush about the war, but they're not expressing them," said Phyllis Schlafly, a longtime conservative activist. "You have some old-time Goldwater fiscal conservatives not happy with big spending, and you have a lot of people not happy with the immigration issue. But overriding all of that, the choice is Bush v. Kerry, and they want Bush."
Delegates arrived in New York on a hot and humid August day, expressing confidence in Mr. Bush's success and applauding him for using the stage of the city - the site of the worst terrorist attack in the nation's history - for a convention.
"We absolutely need to invoke Sept. 11 in the convention," said Richard Aguilar, a delegate from Minnesota. "This election will determine how we fight a war on terror that began right here in this city."
That sentiment was echoed by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, who denied the suggestion by Democrats that the president was trying to exploit the tragedy for political gain.
"I don't know anybody that's trying to exploit 9/11," Mr. Bloomberg said. "Quite the contrary. Nine-eleven is one of the defining moments of our lives."
And Republicans dismissed any suggestion that they were out of line in making the attacks a central part of the campaign. Mr. Gillespie noted that the Democrats had held their own tribute to Sept. 11 victims at their convention in Boston last month; Republican officials counted 100 separate instances of the attacks' being raised at the Boston convention.
"It was right for the Democrats to talk about it there," Mr. Gillespie said. "We will talk about it here; we will do with an understanding that it was an event that had an impact on all of us."
Polls show that perhaps Mr. Bush's greatest strength over Mr. Kerry is the perception that he is protecting the nation from terrorist attacks, a perception that was clearly shared by Republicans as they contemplated the race ahead.
Faith Mercke, a delegate from Louisville, Ky., said: "I think it needs to be emphasized in that there is still a real threat to this country and the rest of the world. It is an advantage because of their strong leadership during the crisis."
Mr. Bush is not planning to visit the World Trade Center site on this trip, aides said. But they said Laura Bush would talk about her husband's actions after Sept. 11 when she speaks in prime time on Tuesday.
And Mr. McCain will talk about the attacks in his speech today, according to excerpts from his planned remarks, released last night by the Republican Party.
"No American alive today will ever forget what happened on the morning of Sept. 11th," Mr. McCain said. "That day was the moment when the hinge of history swung toward a new era."
Mr. McCain and Mr. Giuliani were chosen to speak in prime time as part of an orchestrated effort by the party to present its most moderate leaders to the widest possible audience.
Democrats scoffed at that effort as a cosmetic makeover.
"The other party is about to convene here, putting its once-every-four-years compassionate face on,'' former President Bill Clinton said in a morning speech at Riverside Church, one of the city's more liberal congregations. "When they go back to Washington, it's a different deal, run by right-wing Southerners in the House and the Senate and lobbying groups and their allies in the White House."
And Mr. Bush is certainly not neglecting his party's conservative base. The platform that will be presented to delegates for approval today gives social conservatives most of their top agenda items, including an abortion plank that calls for a total ban, the appointment of judges who oppose abortion, and strong language against gay marriage.
Some Republican moderates said the Bush forces were far too consumed with the right.
"They're so frightened that evangelicals will stay home, when they ought to be frightened that ours will," said Ann Stone, chairwoman of Republicans for Choice.
But Charles Black, a veteran Republican strategist and an informal adviser to the Bush campaign, said, "I can't think of anyplace where he's taken himself out of the mainstream."
There were signs that the White House was not entirely successful in ending tensions between different wings of the party. A group of former Republican governors, senators and other public officials placed a full-page advertisement in today's issue of The New York Times urging the party to move to "more mainstream" positions on the environment, the deficit, embryonic stem cell research and cooperation with international allies.
"Come back to the mainstream," the ad declares.
At the same time, the liberal anti-Bush group plans to begin a $3 million advertising campaign in swing states featuring Republicans who say they will vote for Mr. Kerry.
Some delegates said they were pleased that Mr. Bush was moving to a broader agenda this week, though others said they were glad that Mr. Bush, if changing his emphasis a bit, was not abandoning his commitment to conservative issues.
"The president certainly has been preaching to the choir," said Brad Freeman, a delegate from Brentwood, Calif. "People trust the candidate who goes for what he thinks is right, not the candidate who goes for what he thinks is right politically."
Barbara Alby, who is from Folsom, Calif., said: "I don't think you will hear a lot about abortion or gay marriage in the next few days. Right now people care about security, Iraq and the economy."
Reporting for this article was contributed by Katherine Q. Seelye, Thomas Crampton, Winnie Hu, John Holl and Jess Wisloski.

Sun Aug 29 2004 16:45:59 ET

The Justice Department is demanding records on a liberal Internet site that lists delegates to the Republican National Convention and urges protesters to give them an unwelcome reception, the NY TIMES is planning to splash on Monday, newsroom sources tell DRUDGE.

Federal prosecutors said in a subpoena that the information was needed as part of a criminal investigation into possible voter intimidation.

But civil rights advocates argue that the Internet postings amount to political dissent, not threats or intimidation.

NYT repporter Eric Lichtblau set to detail how: "The grand jury investigation comes at a time when federal officials have mounted an aggressive effort to identify what they say could be violence by political demonstrators in New York and at other major political events."


CNN > GOP convention protest covers miles of New York Police arrest 200; Bloomberg: Marchers 'behaved responsibly

Find this article at: /ALLPOLITICS/08/29/gop .main/i
NEW YORK (CNN) -- Tens of thousands of demonstrators carrying signs and chanting "No More Bush" marched Sunday past Madison Square Garden, the site of the Republican National Convention, which opens Monday.
The march was sponsored by United for Peace and Justice, a group opposed to the U.S.-led war in Iraq. Organizers had predicted as many as 250,000 demonstrators would take part. (Gallery: Scenes from the day)
Many participants said they hoped a large crowd at the protest would send a message to the rest of the country. (Special report: America Votes 2004, the Republican convention)
In some areas, protesters stood shoulder to shoulder. They stretched from 34th Street and Seventh Avenue down to Canal Street.
One marcher said it took more than two hours to walk the route, more than two miles.
March organizers said they estimated the crowd size at more than 400,000. Police did not give a crowd estimate.
"We want to take charge and reach the right people and influence them to go on and spread the message that this is a corrupt government," said Rich Cahill, a protester from New Jersey. (Full story)
New York police said they've arrested 200 people. One person was arrested after a paper dragon was set afire on Seventh Avenue.
There were no reports of violence, and more than 100 people were taken to a police holding pen on 57th Street.
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the march was peaceful.
"United for Peace and Justice have behaved responsibly, as have most of the marchers," Bloomberg said.
Actress Rosario Dawson was one of those arrested, according to a production company shooting a movie in the midst of the march.
A New York Police Department spokesperson said there was no information about Dawson being arrested.
Some of the marchers were met by a small number of counterdemonstrators who chanted "Four More Years" in support of the Bush administration.
Before the march, many gathered for a rally in Manhattan's Chelsea neighborhood, south of the convention site.
"We are the majority," filmmaker Michael Moore told the crowd.
"A majority of this country opposes this war ... a majority of this country never voted for this administration."
Leslie Cagan, national coordinator for United for Peace and Justice, said the message revolves around the word "no."
"We are saying 'no' to the Bush agenda, 'no' to the war in Iraq, 'no' to the regime change by our government, 'no' to pre-emptive war, 'no' to the economic policies," Cagan said.
Civil rights leader Jesse Jackson and Moore led the protest march as it began on Seventh Avenue.
"We have an obligation to speak out until we can raise our heads above the sands of Iraq and Afghanistan," Jackson said.
"No weapons of mass destruction, we seek to rationalize the war. We challenge Mr. Bush to choose another course."
The wide avenue was a sea of protesters, with signs and banners from 23rd Street to 34th Street and across to Fifth Avenue.
Police set up barricades on either side of the marchers' route, which ended in Union Square Park.
Many demonstrators were expected to gather later in Central Park.