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Friday, October 01, 2004

China Daily > Powell: US opposes Taiwan independence moves

Updated: 2004-10-01 14:23
US Secretary of State Colin Powell said on Thursday that the United States does not support a movement toward independence on the part of Taiwan and the ultimate settlement of Taiwan issue has to be acceptable to both sides of the Taiwan Straits.
Addressing a joint press conference with his Chinese counterpart Li Zhaoxing after their working lunch in Washington, Powell said that he reaffirmed the US one-China policy to the Chinese foreign minister during their talks.
"I once again reaffirmed our one-China policy and the strength of the three communiques and also noted our obligations under the Taiwan Relations Act and reaffirmed what President Bush has said a number of times, that we do not support a movement toward independence on the part of Taiwan," the US official said.
However, Li indicated that the Taiwan Relations Act, which violates the Sino-US communique on establishment of full diplomatic relations, should not go above the US international commitments.
"The Chinese government and the people attach great importance to the reaffirmations made by the US president, the secretary, and US government on many occasions of the US continued adherence to the one-China policy, the observance of the three Sino-US joint communiques, and the opposition to Taiwan independence," the Chinese foreign minister said.
"At the same time, I wish to point out that in any country its domestic law should not go above its international commitments," Li affirmed. The Taiwan Relations Act were approved by the US Congress in 1979, weeks after Washington established diplomatic relations with Beijing.
Powell stressed that "there is no support in the United States for an independence movement in Taiwan, because that would be inconsistent with our obligations and our commitment to our one- China policy."
Asked whether the United States is going to ignore the voice and desire of a billion-plus people in the Chinese mainland as US officials often stated that the ultimate settlement of Taiwan issue has to be acceptable to the people in Taiwan, Powell responded with "of course not."
"It has to be acceptable to both sides (of the Taiwan Straits). That's what reconciliation is all about," Powell said, adding that "we strongly support our one-China policy, which has stood the test of time; it has benefited people in Taiwan, benefited people in the mainland, and it's benefited the international community and certainly benefited the United States."

From: http://www2.chinadaily.com.cn/english/doc/2004-10/01/content_379383.htm


CNN > Bush, Kerry: Nukes most serious threat First debate covers Iraq, homeland security Thursday, September 30, 2004 Posted: 11:58 PM EDT (0358 GMT)

CORAL GABLES, Florida (CNN) -- In the first presidential debate of the 2004 campaign, President Bush and Sen. John Kerry agreed Thursday that nuclear proliferation is the single most serious threat facing the United States.
But they disagreed on how the United States should negotiate with North Korea, which is believed to possess several nuclear weapons.
Bush supporter and 2000 GOP presidential hopeful Sen. John McCain said he thought it was a good debate.
"I thought that John Kerry did a good job style-wise. I think that the president was very convincing in his conviction that what he has done is right, what he will do is correct," McCain said on "Larry King Live."
Former Democratic Texas Gov. Ann Richards said Kerry appeared to be someone ready to assume the mantle of commander-in-chief.
"I was really pleased ... we were all really nervous going into this debate and I thought that John Kerry knocked it out of the ballpark," Richards said.
Kerry said the U.S. should open bilateral talks with North Korea in addition to talks with the current coalition of nations -- the U.S. and five of North Korea's neighbors.
Bush thinks that's a bad idea.
"It's not going to work if we open up a dialogue with Kim Jong Il," Bush said. "He wants to unravel the six- party talks, or the five-nation coalition that's sending him a clear message."
A presidential hopeful in 2000, McCain said he thought that no U.S. president has ever proposed bilateral talks with North Korea on nuclear weapons.
North Korea has refused international demands that it dismantle its nuclear weapons program after agreeing during the Clinton administration to do so.
Kerry used the issue to question Bush's trustworthiness.
"Just because the president says it can't be done, that you'd lose China, doesn't mean it can't be done," Kerry said. "I mean, this is the president who said 'There were weapons of mass destruction,' said 'Mission accomplished,' said we could fight the war on the cheap -- none of which were true."
Bush also broached Iran, which is suspected of nuclear weapons aspiration. "On Iran, I hope we can do the same thing, continue to work with the world to convince the Iranian mullahs to abandon their nuclear ambitions," Bush said.
'Zingers and gotchas'
Both candidates took the stage smiling and shook hands -- the only opportunity they are allowed to approach each other, according to the rules of the debate.
"I thought there was a lack of zingers or gotchas that sometimes characterize these debates," McCain said on "Larry King Live."
Indeed, the night took on a serious tone with the first question from moderator Jim Lehrer of PBS's "NewsHour."
Lehrer asked Kerry why he would do a better job of preventing a 9/11 type of attack.
"I believe I can make America safer than President Bush has made us," Kerry answered. "I believe America is safest and strongest when we are leading the world and when we are leading strong alliances."
Bush said that since 9/11 "our nation has been on a multi-pronged strategy to keep our country safer."
Bush said he meets often with world leaders. "They're not going to follow somebody who says 'this is the wrong war in the wrong place at the wrong time.' "
Iraq took much of the allotted 90 minutes of the debate, with Bush defending his decision to order U.S. troops into Iraq, and Kerry accusing Bush of acting rashly without doing enough to gain support from the international community.
"This president has made, I regret to say, a colossal error of judgment," Kerry said.
Citing the fugitive terrorist leader behind the September 11 attacks, al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, Kerry said, "Unfortunately he escaped in the mountains of Tora Bora. We had him surrounded. But we didn't use American forces -- the best trained in the world -- to go kill him. The president relied on Afghan warlords -- and he out-sourced that job too. That's wrong."
Bush countered, "We pursue al Qaeda wherever al Qaeda tries to hide. Seventy-five percent of known al Qaeda leaders have been brought to justice. The rest of them know we're after them."
The questioning turned to homeland security. Bush said his administration has overseen significant changes within the FBI.
"We've ... changed the culture of the FBI to have counterterrorism as its number one priority," Bush said. "We're communicating better. We're going to reform our intelligence services to make sure that we get the best intelligence possible."
Kerry seized on recent news to answer that claim. "We just read on the front pages of America's papers that there are over 100,000 hours of tapes, unlistened to. On one of those tapes may be [the terrorists]."
Many American voters told pollsters that what they hear during the presidential debates will affect their presidential choice.
In a CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll released Monday, 18 percent of registered voters said the debates would make a difference. (How to read poll results)
And an Annenberg Election Survey released Tuesday found that only about half of those asked could correctly match the candidate with his position on several policy issues. (Special Report: America Votes 2004, the debates)
A second debate is set for October 8 at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, in front of a group of undecided voters. A third debate is scheduled for October 13 at Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona, is expected to focus on economic and domestic policy.
A vice-presidential debate is set for October 5 at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio.
From:http://www.cnn.com/2004/ALLPOLITICS/09/30/debate.main/index.html


Thursday, September 30, 2004

japantoday > asia U.S. to deploy 3rd nuclear-powered sub to  Guam

Thursday, September 30, 2004 at 05:33 JST
WASHINGTON — The United States plans to deploy a third nuclear-powered attack submarine to Guam by the end of this year, a U.S. military official said Wednesday.
The move is seen as a step to turn the area into a new strategic base for the U.S. military in the Asia-Pacific region with the fortification of both naval and air capabilities. (Kyodo News)

From:http://www.japantoday.com/e/?content=news&cat=7&id=313783



japantoday > asia Brunei sultan amends  constitution

Thursday, September 30, 2004 at 00:09 JST
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN — Brunei's Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah on Wednesday signed an amendment to the country's 1959 constitution that observers say effectively paves the way for eventual election of the country's newly restored Legislative Council.
The amendment, which reaffirms the absolute monarchy system and broadens and clarifies the scope of the sultan's powers, follows the reconvening Saturday of the Legislative Council, which had been dissolved by the sultan in 1984 when the country, a British protectorate from 1888, became fully independent. (Kyodo News)
From: http://www.japantoday.com/e/?content=news&cat=7&id=313821




japantoday > national Board urges principals to make students sing national  anthem



Thursday, September 30, 2004 at 05:37 JST
TOKYO — The Tokyo metropolitan board of education has asked principals of metropolitan government-run schools to instruct teachers to make students stand and sing the Kimigayo anthem at school ceremonies, informed sources said Wednesday.
The request has stirred strong criticism, with a high school teachers' union in Tokyo saying it will violate students' freedom of thought and conscience. Responding to the request, principals at two high schools run by the Tokyo metropolitan government have issued an order to their teachers to follow it on the anniversary of their establishment on Oct 2. The teachers may be reprimanded if they refuse to obey. (Kyodo News)




BBC > Russia backs Kyoto climate treaty

The Russian government has approved the Kyoto Protocol on climate change and sent it to parliament for ratification.
Until now, Moscow has wavered over the treaty, which can only come into force with Russian ratification.
The Kyoto Protocol sets targets for greenhouse gas emissions, which many scientists believe cause global warming and climate change.
Moscow's decision was greeted with delight by the European Union and environmental campaigners.
The necessary law on ratification is set to pass through the Russian parliament unhindered and, in theory, the treaty could come into force within three months.
The lower house, the State Duma, is dominated by the pro-Putin United Russia party.
International support
European Commission spokesman Reijo Kemppinen said in remarks quoted by AFP news agency that he was confident the treaty would come into force "against many suspicions and some might say odds".
We are very pleased, this is a hugely significant development politically
Bryony Worthington
Friends of the Earth
And UK Environment Secretary Margaret Beckett praised the Russian move as "a vital step forwards for global efforts to tackle climate change".
"It is the right thing for Russia, for Europe and for the global community."
Bryony Worthington of environmental campaign group Friends of the Earth expressed delight at the Russian decision.
"This is a hugely significant development politically and it will increase pressure on countries like the US and Australia, who have so far remained outside the only international agreement to curb greenhouse gas emissions," she told the BBC.
"It has to be recognised that Kyoto is only the first step and discussions must begin immediately on what happens after Kyoto," she added.
Interfax news agency said that, according to the government decision, ministries linked to the environment had been given three months to work out a series of practical measures arising from Russia's obligations.
Change of heart
Since the US, the world's biggest producer of greenhouse gases, pulled out three years ago, the treaty has been dependent on Russian ratification. Russia accounts for 17% of world emissions.
President Putin ended the confusion over Russia's stance in May, when he spoke of his desire to see the treaty ratified.
But divisions remained among his aides.
His chief economic adviser, Andrei Illarionov, said the treaty would stifle economic growth.
Kremlin economists have questioned how Russia could reduce greenhouse gas emissions when it is enjoying an industrial revival and has set itself the target of doubling GDP within a decade.
This week top Russian scientists advised against ratification, claiming there was no evidence linking greenhouse gas emissions to climate change.
But the deciding factor appears to be not the economic cost, but the political benefits for Russia, correspondents say.
In particular, there has been talk of stronger European Union support for Russia's bid to join the World Trade Organization, in response to its ratification of the treaty.
Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go /pr/fr/-/2/hi/europe /3702640.stm




Wednesday, September 29, 2004

CNN.com - Networks balk at Bush-Kerry debate agreement - Sep 29, 2004

CNN.com - Networks balk at Bush-Kerry debate agreement - Sep 29, 2004

Networks balk at Bush-Kerry debate agreement
Several indicate they will not be bound by limits on cameras
(CNN) -- Although the Bush and Kerry camps have meticulously crafted an agreement on the rules for this year's presidential debates, the television networks broadcasting them refuse to go along with the plans.

Specifically, the networks object to provisions in the agreement that place limits on their cameras, including prohibitions on shots of one candidate while the other is answering questions. (Special Report: America Votes 2004, the Debates)

"Because of journalistic standards, we're not going to follow outside restrictions," said Paul Schur, a spokesman for Fox News, which will operate the pool camera for the first debate Thursday in Miami, Florida.

"This is a news pool, and we are not subject to agreements between candidates," NBC News spokeswoman Barbara Levin said. "We will use pictures as we see fit."

CNN spokesman Matthew Furman said the network "reserves the right to make our own decisions about coverage during the debate, just as we always have."

ABC News and CBS News are also objecting to the limits, with a CBS spokeswoman insisting that "we will utilize any shots the pool makes available."

Also, at least two of the television journalists chosen to moderate the debates -- ABC's Charles Gibson and CBS's Bob Schieffer -- have not signed the agreement on ground rules hammered out between the two campaigns, according to their networks.

The other two moderators are Gwen Ifill and Jim Lehrer, both of PBS, which has not yet commented.

Under terms of the agreement reached last week between the Bush and Kerry campaigns after lengthy negotiations, moderators who refuse to sign the document can be replaced.

The 32-page agreement sets out the rules for the debates with great specificity, down to details such as the temperature of the hall, what kind of paper can be used to take notes and who can stand in the wings. (Stakes high heading into debates)

Monday, the Commission on Presidential Debates, the independent group that plays host to the debates, said it would agree to enforce the rules reached in the agreement between the Bush and Kerry campaigns and that there "will be no departure from the terms" unless there is "prior consultation with, and approval by, the appropriate campaign representatives."

However, the commission did not formally sign the agreement, and its co-chairman, Frank Fahrenkopf, told The New York Times that the restrictions on what the networks can show are unenforceable.

"We don't control the feed, so we don't know what the networks are going to show," said Fahrenkopf, a former chairman of the Republican National Committee. "That's not within our purview."

The New York Times also reported that the commission may balk at a provision in the agreement setting out the make-up of the audience for the town hall debate between Bush and Kerry on October 8 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Campaigns agree to 3 presidential debates)

The campaigns agreed that the audience would be divided between people leaning toward Bush and those leaning toward Kerry. The debate commission wants the hall full of undecided voters in neither camp.

Under terms of their agreement, either the Bush or Kerry campaigns could opt out of the debates, or seek another sponsor, if the commission does not sign on to their terms. There is no indication either camp is contemplating such a move.

The document does not address what might happen if the television networks refuse to abide by the rules.

Responding to the media's recalcitrance, Kerry campaign spokeswoman Christine Anderson said "every time you have something like this, there are going to be small details to be worked out. They are being worked out."

The Bush campaign declined to comment directly on the networks' objections. However, spokesman Scott Stanzel described the president's camp as "looking forward to all of the debates."

"We are pleased the commission said they would follow the terms of the agreement of the campaigns," he said.

The debate commission has not commented on the media's objections to the rules.


CNN.com - Networks balk at Bush-Kerry debate agreement - Sep 29, 2004

CNN.com - Networks balk at Bush-Kerry debate agreement - Sep 29, 2004

Networks balk at Bush-Kerry debate agreement
Several indicate they will not be bound by limits on cameras
(CNN) -- Although the Bush and Kerry camps have meticulously crafted an agreement on the rules for this year's presidential debates, the television networks broadcasting them refuse to go along with the plans.

Specifically, the networks object to provisions in the agreement that place limits on their cameras, including prohibitions on shots of one candidate while the other is answering questions. (Special Report: America Votes 2004, the Debates)

"Because of journalistic standards, we're not going to follow outside restrictions," said Paul Schur, a spokesman for Fox News, which will operate the pool camera for the first debate Thursday in Miami, Florida.

"This is a news pool, and we are not subject to agreements between candidates," NBC News spokeswoman Barbara Levin said. "We will use pictures as we see fit."

CNN spokesman Matthew Furman said the network "reserves the right to make our own decisions about coverage during the debate, just as we always have."

ABC News and CBS News are also objecting to the limits, with a CBS spokeswoman insisting that "we will utilize any shots the pool makes available."

Also, at least two of the television journalists chosen to moderate the debates -- ABC's Charles Gibson and CBS's Bob Schieffer -- have not signed the agreement on ground rules hammered out between the two campaigns, according to their networks.

The other two moderators are Gwen Ifill and Jim Lehrer, both of PBS, which has not yet commented.

Under terms of the agreement reached last week between the Bush and Kerry campaigns after lengthy negotiations, moderators who refuse to sign the document can be replaced.

The 32-page agreement sets out the rules for the debates with great specificity, down to details such as the temperature of the hall, what kind of paper can be used to take notes and who can stand in the wings. (Stakes high heading into debates)

Monday, the Commission on Presidential Debates, the independent group that plays host to the debates, said it would agree to enforce the rules reached in the agreement between the Bush and Kerry campaigns and that there "will be no departure from the terms" unless there is "prior consultation with, and approval by, the appropriate campaign representatives."

However, the commission did not formally sign the agreement, and its co-chairman, Frank Fahrenkopf, told The New York Times that the restrictions on what the networks can show are unenforceable.

"We don't control the feed, so we don't know what the networks are going to show," said Fahrenkopf, a former chairman of the Republican National Committee. "That's not within our purview."

The New York Times also reported that the commission may balk at a provision in the agreement setting out the make-up of the audience for the town hall debate between Bush and Kerry on October 8 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Campaigns agree to 3 presidential debates)

The campaigns agreed that the audience would be divided between people leaning toward Bush and those leaning toward Kerry. The debate commission wants the hall full of undecided voters in neither camp.

Under terms of their agreement, either the Bush or Kerry campaigns could opt out of the debates, or seek another sponsor, if the commission does not sign on to their terms. There is no indication either camp is contemplating such a move.

The document does not address what might happen if the television networks refuse to abide by the rules.

Responding to the media's recalcitrance, Kerry campaign spokeswoman Christine Anderson said "every time you have something like this, there are going to be small details to be worked out. They are being worked out."

The Bush campaign declined to comment directly on the networks' objections. However, spokesman Scott Stanzel described the president's camp as "looking forward to all of the debates."

"We are pleased the commission said they would follow the terms of the agreement of the campaigns," he said.

The debate commission has not commented on the media's objections to the rules.


CNN.com - SpaceShipOne lands after heart-stopping ride - Sep 29, 2004

CNN.com - SpaceShipOne lands after heart-stopping ride - Sep 29, 2004

Private manned spacecraft returns from wild ride
One down for SpaceShipOne to win $10 million X Prize
By Michael Coren
MOJAVE DESERT, California (CNN) -- SpaceShipOne successfully blasted into space at about Mach 3, or three times the speed of sound, above the California desert on Wednesday in its quest to win the Ansari X Prize.

It touched down in a smooth landing about 11:35 a.m. ET, completing a successful flight despite nail-biting moments.

The spacecraft encountered problems shortly after the rocket ignited during its vertical ascent. It unexpectedly began a series of more than 20 barrel rolls.

It was not clear why the craft lost manuvering control. As SpaceShipOne turned groundward, however, pilot Mike Melvill regained control and steadied the craft.

"The trajectory was good, the roll was off," said Dick Rutan, a test pilot and brother of Burt Rutan, the SpaceShipOne designer. "I was worried. That wasn't the way it was supposed to be."

An official altitude for SpaceShipOne of 358,000 feet -- well in excess of 62.9 miles (100 km) -- was recorded by radar at the site.

This marks the first of two successful flights the team needs to win the $10 million Ansari X Prize.

SpaceShipOne lifted off from a runway in the Mojave Desert in California, at 10:12 a.m. ET Wednesday.

The revolutionary spacecraft, the first privately financed vehicle to send humans into space, made its first of two qualifying flights in order to claim the prize.

The plane White Knight carried SpaceShipOne, attached beneath it, to about 50,000 feet where the spacecraft detached and rocketed into space.

To win the contest, privately financed spacecraft must launch three people, or their weight equivalent, to space twice within two weeks.

SpaceShipOne carried only the pilot, Melvill, on Wednesday's flight.

The second flight, which must reach an altitude of 100 kilometers, is scheduled for October 4.

Burt Rutan of Scaled Composites designed and tested the rocket during a June 21 suborbital flight.

Despite control system malfunctions, the flight was a success and made Melvill, 63, the first person to earn his astronaut wings aboard a private spacecraft.

Melvill told reporters he had "a hell of a view from 62 miles."

"The colors were pretty staggering from up there," he said. "It's an awesome thing to see. You can see the curvature of the Earth."

The aerodynamics of SpaceShipOne were slightly modified and the power of its engine was increased for this flight.

Rutan said the first spaceflight had brought the world closer to realizing his long-held dream of easy access to space.

"Our hope is that this will be a benchmark ... for a lot more people to not only have fun but to reap the benefits that we believe might be there," said Rutan.

SpaceShipOne is competing with more than two dozen other teams for the X Prize. The only one to challenge SpaceShipOne to the finish line, the da Vinci project of Canada, recently canceled its October 2 flight for a lack of crucial components. The team said its balloon-launched spacecraft would still make an attempt.

The Ansari X Prize -- modeled on aviation awards at the beginning of the 20th century -- is designed to spur the private sector into building a space tourism industry.

Market studies suggest there may be a multibillion demand for such flights to the edge of space and, eventually, into orbit around the Earth. At least one entrepreneur is plunging headfirst into the businesses.

Virgin Atlantic Airways founder Richard Branson announced on Monday that he would invest $25 million in a new space venture, to be called Virgin Galactic. The project will license Scaled Composite's SpaceShipOne technology for commercial suborbital flights starting at about $200,000. He expects it could fly 3,000 people within five years.

"The development will also allow every country in the world to have their own astronauts rather than the privileged few," he said.

Today's flight will take off from a remote airstrip in the Mojave Desert. It is the only civilian test flight center and just one of a handful of spaceports.





BBC NEWS | Middle East | USS Cole bombers sentenced to death

BBC NEWS | Middle East | USS Cole bombers sentenced to death: "USS Cole bombers sentenced to death
A Yemeni court has sentenced two men to death over the bomb attack on the USS Cole, which killed 17 people in 2000.
Suspected ringleader Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, who is currently in US custody, and Jamal Mohammed al-Badawi, were both given the death penalty.
Four others were given between five and 10 years in jail for the attack, blamed on Osama Bin Laden's al-Qaeda network.
In October 2000, two attackers rammed the destroyer with a small boat laden with explosives in the port of Aden.
Appeal
The defendants cried out 'Allahu Akbar' [God is great] when the sentence was delivered.
'This is an unjust verdict, this is an American verdict,' yelled Badawi, a Yemeni in his 30s.
His brother told the Associated Press news agency that all the men were likely to appeal against their sentences.
Saudi-born Nashiri was the only defendant not in court in the Yemeni capital Sanaa.
He is being held in an undisclosed location by the US, after he was arrested in the United Arab Emirates in October 2002 and handed over to Washington.
He has been described as al-Qaeda's chief of naval operations at the time and its operations chief in the Gulf.
US officials say he is a close to bin Laden, and suspect him of involvement in the 1998 bombings of US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.
Suicide bombers
Fahd al-Qusaa, who the court heard filmed the USS Cole attack, was given 10 years in jail.
Maamoun Msouh was given eight years for helping fund the attack and assisting Badawi.
Ali Mohamed Saleh and Murad al-Sirouri were both sentenced to five years in prison for forging identification documents for one of the suicide bombers.
Some of the suspect"

BBC NEWS | Asia-Pacific | China says Taiwan war-mongering

BBC NEWS | Asia-Pacific | China says Taiwan war-mongering: "China says Taiwan war-mongering
China has stepped up its war of words with Taiwan, accusing the island's premier of 'clamouring for war'.
A senior Chinese official said recent comments about missiles by Premier Yu Shyi-kun were 'a serious provocation'.
Mr Yu said last week the island needed to complete a big US arms purchase, and also suggested it should have offensive missiles to deter Chinese attack.
The Chinese official said the comments proved Taiwan's government wanted independence.
China views Taiwan as part of its territory, and has threatened to invade if the island ever declared independence.
'Any person, any force using whatever methods to attempt to seek Taiwan independence and make enemies with 1.3bn Chinese people is doomed to failure,' said Li Weiyi, spokesman for China's Taiwan Affairs Office.
Arms race
The latest row was prompted by a speech Mr Yu made last week, in which he appeared to argue that Taiwan should be allowed to acquire offensive weapons.
He said Taiwan could deter Chinese attack if the two sides were locked in a 'balance of terror', similar to that which existed between the US and former USSR.
'If you fire 100 missiles at me, I should also be able to fire 100 missiles at you, or at least 50. If you attack Taipei and Kaohsiung, I should at least be able to strike Shanghai,' Mr Yu told supporters.
Taiwan's military capability is at present almost entirely defensive.
But the island's leaders are increasingly worried by China's positioning of several hundred missiles across the Taiwan Strait. A recent Pentagon report said some of Taiwan's political and military leaders had suggested acquiring weapons capable of striking against China as a c"

BBC NEWS | Middle East | Palestinians reflect on intifada

BBC NEWS | Middle East | Palestinians reflect on intifada: "Palestinians reflect on intifada
Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qurei has urged his people to reflect on their successes and failures during the four years of the second intifada.
Mr Qurei also urged Israel to examine its own behaviour, saying the use of force was not the answer to problems.
Tuesday was the fourth anniversary of a visit by Ariel Sharon, then leader of the Israeli opposition, to a holy site that helped to spark the uprising.
Another Palestinian official launched a scathing attack on Israel at the UN.
Farouk Kaddoumi, political chief of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO), urged the UN to take action against the Jewish state for ignoring a World Court decision declaring its West Bank barrier illegal. Israel says the barrier is needed to keep out suicide bombers.
He also described Israel as a 'rogue state' and denied it was exercising its right to self-defence.
'It is the Palestinians under occupation, with their meagre means of combat, [who] are the party exercising the right to self-defence,' he told the UN General Assembly.
'The Israeli government can do anything it wants, acting like a high-tech military-expert rogue state, which has become useful for the United States, since it has located itself strategically in the centre of the global arms industry.'
'Painful reality'
Mr Qurei told Palestinians they would have to assess past actions in order to face the future with greater understanding.
This continuing criminal activity, the killings, the infiltration, will only lead to more bloodshed
Ahmed Qurei

'This is an anniversary that calls on all of us... to re-evaluate our successes and failures in these four years so that we face the"

BBC NEWS | Africa | Talks to end Nigeria oil crisis

BBC NEWS | Africa | Talks to end Nigeria oil crisis: "Talks to end Nigeria oil crisis
Senior officials have held a meeting with the leader of a militia based in Nigeria's main oil region following his threat to attack foreign oil workers.
Dokubo Asari had said he had gone to the capital, Abuja, to meet the president but this was denied.
His threat was one reason why world oil prices reached a record high of $50 a barrel this week.
He says he is fighting for the rights of the Ijaw people but the authorities have dismissed him as an oil thief.
Mr Asari says he flew to Abuja with five colleagues on a presidential jet and that the meeting was at the request of a presidential envoy who travelled to the creeks in the Niger Delta to see him.
But this was strongly denied.
'There is no such appointment with the president,' said Mr Obasanjo's spokeswoman Remi Oyo.
There is no word of what came out of the talks.
Production hit
On Tuesday, Nigeria's military warned Mr Asari's Niger Delta People's Volunteer Force that it would take off the 'kid gloves' unless the militia stops threatening oil workers.
The militia said foreign oil companies must cease production or face 'all-out war' in the Niger Delta from 1 October.

Anglo-Dutch oil company, Shell, the biggest oil company in Nigeria, has boosted security following the threats.
Nigeria is the world's seventh largest exporter of oil, but 70% of the population live in poverty.
A statement from Shell described the region as still tense and said that the movement of employees and supplies had been curtailed.
Oil production has also been affected.
The Santa Barbara flow station, which produces 28,000 barrels per day, has been shut down because the company cannot rea"

BBC NEWS | Europe | Joint letter attacks Putin reform

BBC NEWS | Europe | Joint letter attacks Putin reform: "Joint letter attacks Putin reform
Former Czech President Vaclav Havel and 100 international figures have signed a letter criticising reforms proposed by Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Mr Havel's aides say the signatories include former Swedish Prime Minister Carl Bildt, US Senator John McCain and philosopher Francis Fukuyama.
The letter has been sent to the heads of all European Union and Nato states.
It raises concerns that the Beslan school tragedy is being used to further undermine democracy in Russia.
The letter expresses solidarity with Russia in the fight against terror and condemns the seizure of the school in southern Russia earlier this month which left more than 330 people dead.
The leaders of the West must recognise that our current strategy towards Russia is failing
Letter

But it says the signatories are concerned by Mr Putin's proposed reforms and call for a change of stance towards Moscow by the West.
Mr Putin announced a sweeping overhaul of the way Russia is run, in the wake of the Beslan siege, the bombing of two passenger planes and other recent attacks on civilians.
He said strengthening central government control was a necessary part of the fight against terrorism.
'Threatening'
The signatories to the letter say Russian foreign policy under Mr Putin has been marked by a 'threatening attitude' to neighbouring countries and 'the return of the rhetoric of militarism and empire'.
'All too often in the past, the West has remained silent and restrained its criticism in the belief that President Putin's steps in the wrong direction were temporary and the hope that Russia soon would return to a democratic pro-Western path,' they say in the letter.
'The leaders of the"

BBC NEWS | Europe | Italy 'paid $1m to free hostages'

BBC NEWS | Europe | Italy 'paid $1m to free hostages': "Italy 'paid $1m to free hostages'
A senior Italian politician says he believes a ransom of $1m or more was paid for the release of two female Italian aid workers kidnapped in Iraq.
Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini has said no money was paid.
But Gustavo Selva, head of the Italian parliament's foreign affairs committee, said the denial was purely 'official'.
Meanwhile, British hostage Ken Bigley has appeared in a new video aired by Arabic TV channel Al-Jazeera, accusing Tony Blair of ignoring his plight.
Squatting down in a cage and dressed in an orange jumpsuit, Mr Bigley said his captors did not want to kill him, and he accused the UK prime minister of 'lying'.
The hardline group which seized Mr Bigley nearly two weeks ago, the Tawhid and Jihad group, beheaded two Americans kidnapped with him.
Italian controversy
Allegations of an Italian ransom, first made in a Kuwaiti newspaper, have been widely reported in Italy.
The government has denied this but, I dare to say, this is an official denial which is part of a government's obligations so as not to give the impression that it has given in to blackmail
Gustavo Selva
Italian politician


The BBC's Guto Harri in Rome says Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has fuelled the rumours by talking of 'a difficult choice which had to be made'.
Mr Selva, a member of the Northern League, one of the parties in Italy's governing coalition, told French radio: 'The young women's life was the most important thing.
'In principle, one should not give in to blackmail, but this time I think we had to give in - even though this opens a dangerous path because it is obvious that both for political or cri"

People's Daily Online -- Threat to hit Shanghai bares Taiwan's splittist motive

People's Daily Online -- Threat to hit Shanghai bares Taiwan's splittist motive: "Threat to hit Shanghai bares Taiwan's splittist motive

Beijing on Wednesday accused Taiwan 'Premier' Yu Shyi-kun of clamoring for war with threats to fire missiles at Shanghai if the People's Liberation Army (PLA) attacks the island.
Yu last week defended plans to buy T$610.8 billion (US$18.2 billion) worth of weapons from the United States, saying Taiwan needed a counter-strike capability to hit China's financial center of Shanghai with missiles if the PLA attacked Taipei, and the southern city of Kaohsiung.
'Yu Shyi-kun's remarks are a serious provocation and clamoring for war,' Li Weiyi, spokesman for the policymaking Taiwan Affairs Office, told a news conference in Beijing on Wednesday.
'For the Chinese people, there is nothing more important, more sacred than safeguarding national sovereignty and territorial integrity,' Li said.
'Any person, any force using whatever methods to attempt to seek Taiwan independence and make enemies with 1.3 billion Chinese people is doomed to failure,' he said.
By arming itself, the island was seeking nationhood, he said.
Taiwan's weapons package is made up of $4.3 billion for Patriot Advanced-Capability 3 missile defenses, $12.3 billion for eight diesel-electric submarines and $1.6 billion for 12 P-3C Orion submarine-hunting aircraft.
Thousands of protesters marched through Taipei on Saturday, urging their government to scrap the weapons package they said would trigger an arms race and squeeze social welfare.
In a speech before the protest, Yu said: 'If you attack me with 100 missiles, I will at least attack you with 50. If you attack Taipei and Kaohsiung, I will attack Shanghai.
'If we have such counter"

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

BBC NEWS | Middle East | Jordan king doubts Iraq elections

BBC NEWS | Middle East | Jordan king doubts Iraq elections: "Jordan king doubts Iraq elections
Jordan's King Abdullah has said it will be impossible to hold fair elections in Iraq in the current state of chaos.
He told the French newspaper Le Figaro that only extremists would gain if the elections went ahead in January without the security situation improving.
Correspondents say these were remarkably frank comments from a man Washington regards as one of its key allies in the Middle East.
US and interim Iraqi leaders both insist that elections will go ahead.
However, last week US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld told senators it might not be possible to conduct voting in some places targeted by militants.
HAVE YOUR SAY
Postponing elections would only guarantee continuing violence
Francisca, Lisbon, Portugal


King Abdullah was in Paris on Tuesday where he spent an hour with President Jacques Chirac discussing a US proposal for an international conference on Iraq, as well as the planned elections.
France has said a conference could be 'useful', but only if the issue of a US troop withdrawal was on the agenda and if representatives of the armed opposition were allowed to take part.
King Abdullah has said he is in favour of a conference, for which Amman has been mentioned as a possible site. The king headed to Rome following the Paris meeting, without talking to journalists.
'Reconstitute army'
In the newspaper interview King Abdullah said he was worried that partial elections in Iraq, excluding troubled areas such as Falluja, could isolate Sunni Arab Iraqis and create deeper divisions within the country.
'It seems impossible to me to organise indisputable elections in the chaos we see today,' the king said.
'Only if the "

BBC NEWS | Africa | Lubbers set for new Darfur talks

BBC NEWS | Africa | Lubbers set for new Darfur talks: "Lubbers set for new Darfur talks
By Mark Doyle
BBC world affairs correspondent in Chad and Sudan


UN refugee commissioner Ruud Lubbers is due to meet top Sudanese officials on Tuesday to discuss what the UN calls the world's worst humanitarian crisis.
After a rebellion in Darfur region, pro-government Arab militias conducted a scorched-earth policy forcing over a million people to flee their homes.
Mr Lubbers' meetings with Sudanese government officials could be stormy.
He began his trip to central Africa with a controversial suggestion for a solution in a BBC interview.
He said one answer to the refugee crisis might be limited autonomy for the Darfur region within a unitary Sudanese state.
Cautious welcome
The logic of the suggestion seemed to be that this might accommodate some of the rebels complaints about marginalisation from power - the reason, they say they started the war.
In public, some Sudanese officials cautiously welcomed this idea.
But it is understood that in private some others were extremely irritated and questioned what right the refugee boss had to make clearly political suggestions about power-sharing in Sudan.
The Sudanese government says the refugee crisis in Darfur was caused by the original rebellion by ethnic African rebels which had to be dealt with.
But the United Nations and the United States have condemned the scorched earth tactics adopted by the authorities in Khartoum. "

BBC NEWS | Asia-Pacific | Fears mount over Asian bird flu

BBC NEWS | Asia-Pacific | Fears mount over Asian bird flu: "Fears mount over Asian bird flu
A Thai woman who recently died of bird flu probably caught the disease from her daughter, the government has said.
If true, she would be the first person in the latest outbreak to get bird flu from another human rather than birds.
A case of human-to-human infection would renew fears that bird flu may one day combine with human flu to create a more deadly version of the disease.
But officials said this was likely to be an isolated case, and the WHO said it posed no 'significant' public risk.
Klaus Stohr, head of the WHO's global influenza programme, said the latest case was possibly another example of a 'non-sustained, inefficient, dead-end-street, human-to-human transmission'.
But he said the WHO was still concerned in case the case was the beginning of a more widespread transmission.
Family struck
Pranee Thongchan, aged 26, died of the H5N1 bird flu virus on 20 September, shortly after her daughter is believed to have died of the same illness, Thailand's Ministry of Public Health said.
H5N1 BIRD FLU VIRUS
Principally an avian disease, first seen in humans in Hong Kong, 1997
Almost all human cases thought to be contracted from birds
Isolated cases of human-to-human transmission in Hong Kong and Vietnam, but none confirmed


The daughter, Sakuntala, was cremated before tests were conducted, so it will never be known for certain that she had the virus.
A statement from the Public Health Ministry said Pranee Thongchan: 'either contracted the virus from the environment in the village where the chickens died, or from the sick daughter who she was taking care of very closely at the hospital for a long period of time'. "

BBC NEWS | Africa | Oil workers threatened in Nigeria

BBC NEWS | Africa | Oil workers threatened in Nigeria: "Oil workers threatened in Nigeria
Foreign workers in Nigeria's oil-rich Niger Delta have been warned to leave the region by a local militia.
The group said foreign oil companies must cease production or face 'all-out war' from 1 October.
The militia says it is fighting for the liberation of the Ijaw people. Local authorities say they merely oil thieves and dismiss their threat.
Nigeria is the world's seventh largest exporter of oil, but 70% of the population live in poverty.
Fears of the Nigeria unrest spreading were one reason why oil prices have reached a record high of more than $50 a barrel, traders say.
But a spokesman for Shell, the biggest oil company in Nigeria, said the firm was undeterred by the threat.
'We are not in any way moved by the threat. We believe the Nigerian security forces are equal to the task of safeguarding oil installations and protecting workers,' said Don Boham.
Anyone who assists the Nigerian state to make money in Ijawland will be... targeted
Militia leader Dokubo Asari


Dokubo Asari, the leader of the Niger Delta People's Volunteer Force, told the BBC that all foreign nationals should withdraw from the region with immediate effect.
He said his group would not take responsibility for any harm that befalls a foreigner after his release of a communique threatening to escalate violence.
He added that expatriates - who in this region are predominantly oil workers - could only return when fundamental issues of resource control and self-determination had been resolved.
Fighting intensified
Dokubo Asari took to the creeks of River State earlier this year, and hundreds of people have died in the subsequent clashes with the police, navy and rival gangs."

BBC NEWS | Middle East | Fresh raids target Iraqi rebels

BBC NEWS | Middle East | Fresh raids target Iraqi rebels: "Fresh raids target Iraqi rebels
The US has struck at the rebel-held city of Falluja overnight, bombing what it called a 'terrorist site' linked to militant leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.
He is blamed for a string of kidnappings and suicide bombings.
Local doctors said at least two people were killed in the raid, but the US said 'only Zarqawi operatives', not civilians, were at the site.
Baghdad's Sadr City suburb was also hit overnight, and residents said dozens of tanks roamed the streets on Tuesday.
In other developments:
Two British soldiers are killed when their convoy is ambushed in Basra, the British army says.
US forces in Kirkuk say they have detained Hussein Salman Mohammed al-Juburi, the alleged leader of the local cell of Ansar al-Sunna, a group blamed for killing 12 Nepalese hostages last month.
Jordan's King Abdullah says in an interview with French newspaper Le Figaro that holding elections whose outcome would not be disputed is 'impossible' in the current climate of chaos in Iraq.
An Egyptian official confirms the release of one of two Egyptian hostages taken last week - their company says both have been freed, says AFP agency.
'Credible intelligence'
In Falluja, which for several months has been a stronghold of militants fighting US and Iraqi forces, the American military said it had 'conducted a precision strike' targeting rising members of Zarqawi's organisation.
'Several credible intelligence sources confirmed that members of the terrorist group were operating at the site at the time of the strike,' it said in a statement.
The strike 'accurately targeted this terrorist location while protecting the surrounding homes,' the statement said.
"

BBC NEWS | Asia-Pacific | N Korea warns on nuclear rods

BBC NEWS | Asia-Pacific | N Korea warns on nuclear rods: "N Korea warns on nuclear rods
North Korea has said it has turned plutonium from 8,000 spent fuel rods into nuclear weapons.
Speaking at the UN General Assembly, Vice Foreign Minister Choe Su-hon said the weapons were needed for 'self-defence' against 'US nuclear threat'.
Pyongyang has said before that it had reprocessed the rods, but has not been specific about how the material was subsequently used.
Seoul has estimated that 8,000 rods is enough for up to eight weapons.
In his speech to the General Assembly, Mr Choe again blamed the US' 'hostile policy' for the nuclear stand-off.
He was then asked in a news conference afterwards what the North Korean nuclear deterrent entailed.
'We have already made clear that we have already reprocessed 8,000 wasted fuel rods and transformed them into arms,' he said.
Asked if the fuel had been turned into actual weapons, he replied 'We declared that we weaponised this.'
Missile test
Pyongyang is also known to have missiles, and in recent days US and South Korean intelligence has picked up signs a missile test may be planned.
But Mr Choe, in an interview with Chinese state news agency Xinhua, denied this as 'nothing but rumours'.
Six-nation talks on the nuclear issue, which were due to have resumed before the end of September, have been put on hold since Pyongyang made clear its dissatisfaction with Washington's stance.
Analysts believe North Korea has ruled out further progress until after the US presidential election in November.
The North did, however, take part in talks with Japan over the weekend which focused on missing Japanese which North Korea is believed to have kidnapped, but Japanese officials said they were "

BBC NEWS | South Asia | Indian author Mulk Raj Anand dies

BBC NEWS | South Asia | Indian author Mulk Raj Anand dies: "Indian author Mulk Raj Anand dies
One of India's best known novelists and short-story writers, Mulk Raj Anand, has died at the age of 99.
Anand died of pneumonia in the city of Pune, the Press Trust of India reports.
He was educated at Cambridge and London universities in the 1920s, receiving his PhD in 1929, and lived in Britain for many years.
Most of his writing has been used to describe the trauma suffered by those at the bottom rung of India's complex social hierarchy.
Anand gained wide acclaim for his Untouchable (1935) on the story of a 15-year-old child labourer who dies of tuberculosis - a novel seen as a powerful critique of India's caste system and the British colonisation of India.
It was written in reaction to a personal tragedy - his aunt had just committed suicide after being ostracised from her Hindu community after dining with a Muslim.
The forward to the book was written by EM Forster, whom he considered a good friend.
The writer Martin Seymour-Smith has described it as 'one of the most eloquent and imaginative works to deal with this difficult and emotive subject'.
Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh called Anand's family in Pune to offer his condolences.
Literary giant
Mulk Raj Anand was born in 1905 in Peshawar in what is now Pakistan.
Anand's works
Untouchable (1935)
Coolie (1936)
Two Leaves and a Bud (1937)
The Village (1939)
Across the Black Waters (1940)

After his initial studies in Amritsar, he moved to England where he spent much of his time in the next three decades.
During World War II he worked as a freelance broadcaster with the BBC in London.
From 1948 to 1966 Anand taught at several Indi"

CBS 2 - New York News: World Wire

CBS 2 - New York News: World Wire: "China warns it won't tolerate interference in Taiwan
Monday September 27, 2004
By KIM GAMEL
Associated Press Writer
UNITED NATIONS (AP) China on Monday warned that it won't tolerate international interference in Taiwan and said the territory's ``separatist activities'' posed a serious threat to the region.
Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing addressed the U.N. General Assembly's ministerial meeting two days after Taiwan's No. 3 leader said a Taipei government plan to spend billions of dollars on U.S. weapons would help the island defend itself if rival China attacked.
Li promised to work toward ``peaceful reunification'' of China and Taiwan ``one country with two systems'' and called on the international community to continue supporting its efforts.
``China will unswervingly safeguard its sovereignty and territorial integrity, brook no interference in its internal affairs by foreign forces and at the same time respect other countries' sovereignty and territorial integrity,'' Li said Monday.
A civil war split the two sides in 1949. China has threatened to take the island by force should it move toward permanent independence or postpone unification too long. Beijing opposes the sale of arms to Taiwan and has asked the United States to drop the deal.
``We more than anyone else want to see a peaceful settlement of the Taiwan question, but we will never tolerate Taiwan independence nor will we allow anyone to separate Taiwan from the rest of China in whatever way,'' Li said.
He also called on the international community to recognize ``the serious threat posed by the separatist activities of Taiwanese authorities to the stability of the Taiwan strait and the peace of the Asia/Pacific region.''
In Washington, the State Department"

Monday, September 27, 2004

Taipei Times - archives > No easy fix for thorny cross-strait situation

Taipei Times - archives: "No easy fix for thorny cross-strait situation
By Dennis Hickey

Monday, Sep 27, 2004,Page 8
Advertising Although over half a century has passed since a new government was established in China, Washington is still trying to sort out its relationship with Beijing. Both academics and government officials quarrel over the implications of a rising China.
Is China a revisionist power that seeks to undermine or debilitate the prevailing norms of the international community? Or is it a responsible country that might best be described as a status quo power? A brief review of China's ties with several of its most important neighbors may help to answer these questions.
China enjoys a robust economic relationship with Japan. Japanese exports to China are setting records and are largely responsible for that nation's economic recovery. And Chinese exports to Japan have exploded and now surpass US exports to Japan. With respect to international politics, both of these Asian giants agree on numerous issues -- including the need for a non-nuclear Korean peninsula and a peaceful resolution to the North Korean nuclear crisis.
China and South Korea were once bitter enemies. But China is now South Korea's largest trading partner and the top investment destination for South Korean corporations. Like Japan, South Korea's economic recovery may be attributed largely to its growing commercial ties with China. This strengthened economic relationship has helped foster cultural ties. But far more significant political bonds between the two governments have grown much closer as a result of China's constructive efforts to defuse the North Korean nuclear crisis.
China has replaced the US as Taiwan's largest export market and Taiwanese firms have invested over US$100 billion in China. Also, several hundred tho"

European and Pacific Stars & Stripes > Troop reduction talks end without decision

European and Pacific Stars & Stripes: "Troop reduction talks end without decision

By Joseph Giordono, Stars and Stripes
Pacific edition, Sunday, September 26, 2004

YONGSAN GARRISON, South Korea - American and South Korean officials ended the latest round of troop reduction talks this week without agreement on a U.S. proposal to remove 12,500 troops from the peninsula by the end of next year.
Before the 12th round of Future of the Alliance talks, held over two days this week in Washington, officials from both sides were hopeful that significant progress could be made on the issue. Some had predicted a framework agreement would be reached in time for the mid-October meeting between the two nations defense chiefs.
There was no concrete agreement reached, said Brig. Gen. Nam Dae-yoon, Ministry of National Defense spokesman.
A Pentagon news release issued early Friday confirmed the talks ended without a major announcement to be made.
The two sides discussed ways to further strengthen the ROK-US Alliance and its combined defense capabilities, provide a stable long-term stationing environment for United States Forces Korea, and ensure a robust alliance for the future, the release read.
The net result of these talks will result in an increase in our collective deterrent capability on the peninsula and the region, and reinforce an already strong alliance.
Officials from both sides remained hopeful a final agreement can be reached before the Security Consultative Meetings next month between U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and South Korean defense minister Yoon Kwang-ung.
In addition to reducing its troop numbers on the peninsula, the Pentagon is undertaking a plan to consolidate and relocate U.S. military installations. Within the next five years, U.S. officials "

IHT > Politicus: Kerry-friendly Europe still has its own ideas: printer friendly version

Politicus: Kerry-friendly Europe still has its own ideas: printer friendly version: "Politicus: Kerry-friendly Europe still has its own ideas
John Vinocur IHT
Monday, September 27, 2004

PARIS A participant on the sidelines of talks in Berlin between Chancellor Gerhard Schroder and Richard Holbrooke, a would-be secretary of state in a John Kerry presidency, told a story about the meeting and the theme of how a Kerry-friendly Europe would leap to America's aid in bringing stability to Iraq. (Or maybe hide under the bed.)

'Schroder,' the American said, 'asked Holbrooke what would Kerry do if he were elected. Holbrooke replied one of the first things would be to get on the phone and invite him and President Jacques Chirac to the White House. The chancellor laughed out loud. Then he said, 'That's what I was afraid of.''

The particpant recalled the moment as very jolly. Everybody in the chancellor's office, including Holbrooke, a former ambassador to Germany, joined in the chuckles.

That was in June, when the subject was still handled elliptically. Early in September, a German official, asked privately by a visitor if Kerry's claim of good relations with Europe could get him a German military presence in Iraq, stifled a guffaw; an explicit response, but wordless, and difficult to transcribe.

But last week, just after Kerry's major speech on the war last week in which he insisted that the United States 'must make Iraq the world's responsibility' and that others 'should share the burden,' Schroder's sense of courtesy collided with reality and he drove a spike into the notion. He told reporters, 'We won't send any German soldiers to Iraq, and that's where it's going to remain.'

Clear? A faint irony slips in at this point. For many E"

IHT > Workers die in collapse at airport

: "Workers die in collapse at airport
AP ~~article_owner~~
Monday, September 27, 2004

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates A collapse at a construction site at the Dubai airport on Monday killed five people and injured a dozen, the Department of Civil Aviation said.

The department said that a section of a reinforcement cage used in constructing a wall at a new terminal fell, trapping workers.

'Twelve workers were rescued and sent to Rashid and Baraha hospitals with injuries while five succumbed in the incident,' it added, without giving the nationalities of the casualties, believed to be expatriate Asian laborers.

Workers at the site said earlier that they saw as many as 40 victims being taken away.

An official of Al-Naboodah Contracting, the main contractor at the site, said that about 150 workers were on the site when the partition fell. A worker, Daljinder Singh, said: 'The wall fell down, and we all ran to help, but there wasn't anything we could do. Rescue teams were very late in coming. It took them maybe one hour to arrive.' Another worker said, 'I saw many, many of my colleagues being taken away.'

Other workers estimated the number of victims at about 40, saying most were injured.

An airport spokeswoman, Lavina Dixit Chatterjee, said there had been 'an incident at the construction site of Terminal 3,' but did not give details.

The airport is being upgraded and expanded in a $4.1 billion program.

The design consultant for the Terminal 3 construction is A�roports de Paris International, according to the airport's official Web site.

The French firm also operates Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris, where part of a terminal collapsed in May, killing four people.

An A�roports de Paris official"

BBC NEWS | Business | World oil prices hit new highs

BBC NEWS | Business | World oil prices hit new highs: "World oil prices hit new highs
World oil prices broke fresh records on Monday, with US light crude closing in on the $50 a barrel mark, and Brent crude topping $46 in London.
November Brent crude was up 92 cents at $46.25 by 1415 GMT, while US light crude rose to a record high of $49.74.
The president of Opec said earlier that supply was adequate, and that the oil producers' cartel would not review output quotas before December.
The latest highs are due to hurricanes off the US, the Opec president said.
Analysts said they expected US prices to breach the $50 mark for the first time. "

BBC NEWS | Americas | Carter fears Florida vote trouble

BBC NEWS | Americas | Carter fears Florida vote trouble: "Carter fears Florida vote trouble
Voting arrangements in Florida do not meet 'basic international requirements' and could undermine the US election, former US President Jimmy Carter says.
He said a repeat of the irregularities of the much-disputed 2000 election - which gave President George W Bush the narrowest of wins - 'seems likely'.
Mr Carter, a veteran observer of polls worldwide, also accused Florida's top election official of 'bias'.
His remarks come ahead of the first TV debate between Mr Bush and John Kerry.
They are expected to discuss the war on Iraq and homeland security during the programme on Thursday. "

BBC NEWS | Americas | Carter fears Florida vote trouble

BBC NEWS | Americas | Carter fears Florida vote trouble: "Carter fears Florida vote trouble
Voting arrangements in Florida do not meet 'basic international requirements' and could undermine the US election, former US President Jimmy Carter says.
He said a repeat of the irregularities of the much-disputed 2000 election - which gave President George W Bush the narrowest of wins - 'seems likely'.
Mr Carter, a veteran observer of polls worldwide, also accused Florida's top election official of 'bias'.
His remarks come ahead of the first TV debate between Mr Bush and John Kerry.
They are expected to discuss the war on Iraq and homeland security during the programme on Thursday. "

CNN.com - Bin Laden 'alive and in Pakistan' - Sep 27, 2004

CNN.com - Bin Laden 'alive and in Pakistan' - Sep 27, 2004

(CNN) -- Intelligence indicates Osama bin Laden is alive, Pakistan's president says, and the top U.S. military official in Afghanistan believes the al Qaeda leader is likely in Pakistan.

On a visit to The Hague in the Netherlands Monday, Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf told reporters interrogations of captured al Qaeda operatives and technological evidence indicate bin Laden is alive.

Lt. Gen. David Barno, commander of coalition forces in Afghanistan, told the Reuters news agency that top al Qaeda leaders, including bin Laden and his deputy Ayman al-Zawahiri, are more likely to be in Pakistan than Afghanistan.

"We see relatively little evidence of senior al Qaeda personality figures being here (in Afghanistan) because they can feel more protected by their foreign fighters in remote areas inside Pakistan," he said.

Barno also said no major al Qaeda figures had been caught or killed in Afghanistan since 2002, but Pakistan has arrested or killed dozens linked to the network since March.

Lt. Col. Pam Keaton, a spokeswoman for the U.S. military in Afghanistan, confirmed to CNN that Barno's comments were accurately reported by Reuters.

Pakistan is leading its own operations to track down al Qaeda members in Afghanistan, particularly in tribal regions near the border with Afghanistan.

The United States has no official involvement in those military efforts but has offered support.



BBC NEWS | South Asia | Taj Mahal birthday party begins

BBC NEWS | South Asia | Taj Mahal birthday party begins: "Taj Mahal birthday party begins
Celebrations to mark the 350th anniversary of India's most famous monument, the Taj Mahal, have begun in the northern city of Agra.
Festivites kicked off with the release of pigeons and balloons by the Yamuna river near the marble mausoleum.
Officials plan a series of anniversary events over the next six months.
The Taj Mahal, revered as a symbol of love, was built by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan as a tomb for his favourite wife, Mumtaz Mahal, who died in childbirth. "

Boston.com > Kennedy says Bush makes U.S. more vulnerable to nuclear attack

By Lolita C. Baldor, Associated Press, 9/26/2004 22:46
WASHINGTON (AP) The Bush administration's failure to shut down al-Qaida and rebuild Iraq have fueled the insurgency and made the United States more vulnerable to a nuclear attack by terrorists, Sen. Edward M. Kennedy said Sunday.
In a speech prepared for delivery at George Washington University on Monday, Kennedy said that by shifting attention from Osama bin Laden to Iraq, Bush has increased the danger of a ''nuclear 9/11.''
''The war in Iraq has made the mushroom cloud more likely, not less likely,'' he said in the remarks released late Sunday.
Expanding on earlier suggestions that Iraq is Bush's Vietnam, Kennedy said U.S. soldiers are bogged down in a quagmire with no end in sight.
He said it was a good thing Bush was not in charge during the Cuban missile crisis, one of the darker periods of his late brother's John Kennedy's time as president.
On the economic front, he said the administration's failures to distribute billions of dollars in reconstruction funds and create enough local Iraqi jobs may have been the biggest factors leading to the rise of the insurgency there.
Kennedy has been pummeling the Bush administration in daily speeches in the Senate, serving as one of the most aggressive flame-throwers for Democrat John Kerry's presidential campaign. Bush, meanwhile, has charged Kerry with flip-flopping on Iraq.
In defense of Bush's policies, Sen. Lindsay Graham, R-S.C., appearing Sunday on CBS' ''Face the Nation'' along with Kennedy, said the United States must stay the course in Iraq until the fight is done, and that criticism of the war like that coming from Kennedy will hurt the cause in the Middle East.
Kennedy's Monday speech details 13 reasons why Bush's policies have not made the United States safer from terrorism. Among other things, he said the war in Iraq created a new breeding ground for terrorists, distracted from efforts to eliminate al-Qaida, alienated America's allies and allowed North Korea and Iran to pursue nuclear weapons.
From:http://www.boston.com/dailynews/270/region/Kennedy_says_Bush_makes_U_S_moP.shtml


Sunday, September 26, 2004

New York Times > Another Hurricane Roars Across Mid-Florida

September 27, 2004
By ABBY GOODNOUGH
AREFOOT BAY, Fla., Sept. 26 - Hurricane Jeanne delivered walls of stinging rain and winds of up to 120 miles an hour as it spun across Florida on Sunday, making landfall almost exactly where Hurricane Frances did over Labor Day weekend and waging the third assault in six weeks on the state's sodden midsection.
The storm caused at least five deaths, including a man who was electrocuted touching a downed power line in Miami. A man and woman died, officials said, when their sport utility vehicle plunged into a canal beside the Sawgrass Expressway, near Deerfield Beach.
A man drowned in Palm Bay when his pickup truck was submerged and a boy, 15, died after he was pinned by a falling tree in Clay County, southwest of Jacksonville, The Associated Press said.
The storm was also responsible for more than 1,500 deaths in Haiti, where it caused grievous flooding before moving over the Bahamas and into Florida.
While widespread, the storm's damage in Florida did not appear as catastrophic as that after Hurricane Charley, which devastated parts of southwest and central Florida on Aug. 13, and Hurricane Ivan, which brutalized the Pensacola region on Sept. 17.
Flooding was perhaps the biggest problem, after hours of heavy rainfall in areas already saturated by past storms. Roofs and siding, possibly weakened by the last hurricane, flew off or sprang leaks, and piles of old storm debris went flying.
The storm, then classified as a Category 3 hurricane, made landfall on Hutchinson Island, just south of Fort Pierce, shortly before midnight, when the sky had an eerie blue cast caused by transformer explosions. It moved northwesterly across the state, lashing inland agricultural regions that had already suffered mightily and weakening to a tropical storm as it turned north toward Georgia. By Sunday evening, its maximum sustained winds had dropped to 55 m.p.h.
With its arrival, Florida became the first state to experience four hurricanes in a season since Texas in 1886, according to the National Hurricane Center.
Eqecat, a California company specializing in risk evaluation, estimated the damage to insured property was $6 billion to $14 billion. The previous three storms, which were blamed for at least 70 deaths, caused tens of billions more dollars in damage.
"This is unprecedented, there's been nothing like it," Gov. Jeb Bush said as he visited the emergency operations center in St. Lucie County, adding that the relief effort for the combined storms was the largest in the Federal Emergency Management Agency's history. "Certainly it's the largest series of natural disasters we've faced."
More than 1.5 million customers in 38 counties lacked electricity after Hurricane Jeanne came through, state officials said, though some power failures were from earlier storms. Shelters were housing about 61,000 residents, only a fraction of the two million who were urged to evacuate coastal areas.
Many said that after relocating weeks earlier, they could not bear the stress of moving again to a shelter or hotel and leaving their property and pets unattended.
Julie Monti, 86, said she stayed at home in Micco, about 30 miles north of Fort Pierce, because a shelter would not have welcomed her sickly dog. While she huddled in a closet overnight, the hurricane peeled the roof and walls off the second floor of her house, leaving a soaked tangle of furniture and a lonely looking fireplace.
"I tried to get a state trooper on the highway to help today," she said. "He told me, 'Lady, you're lucky you're alive, there's people trapped in houses.' "
Mrs. Monti said she had owned the house for years but had just moved full time in July, after selling her other home, in Stanhope, N.J. She does not have insurance, she said. She was trying to cover blown-out windows with tarp, unsteady on a slippery foot stool as the rain began to fall again. Her yard was a sea of broken lawn statues: gnomes, flamingos, dolphins, goddesses.
She said she had tried to call F.E.M.A. four times after Hurricane Frances, which damaged a building in back of her house, but could not get through.
"Look at my furniture up there," she said, her voice quavering as she surveyed the wreckage with brimming eyes. "I want to go back to Jersey."
Just up Route 1 in Barefoot Bay, a community of 5,000 manufactured homes that Hurricane Jeanne hit especially hard, Charles Sweeney, 71, was trying to determine which damage was new and which was old.
"Half of this was Frances," he said, pointing to a roofless, screenless porch, "and the rest, all the way through the back, was Jeanne."
In the Tampa Bay area, which had not anticipated being in the storm's path (until late Saturday, most forecasts had predicted it would move straight up the state's east coast or track only slightly to the west), many residents were unprepared as the wind arrived on Sunday afternoon.
"We don't even have groceries this time," said Laura Keane of St. Petersburg. "We did so much the other two or three times. This time we didn't do anything. It was like, huh, oh well."
In Polk County, where the storm's eye passed over the most populous areas, Cindy Rodriguez, a spokeswoman for the county emergency management office, said several trailer parks were in terrible shape.
"It looks like tarp city out there," Ms. Rodriguez said. "All these tarps that were on the roofs damaged by Charley are now floating down the streets."
The small town of Mulberry lost use of its wastewater treatment plant during the storm, she said, which caused sewage to pour onto streets. She said that before Hurricane Jeanne arrived, there had been a good deal of denial in Polk County, which she said was the only county in the direct path of three hurricanes.
"We think, 'It can't possibly hit here again,' '' Ms. Rodriguez said.
While almost every business in Central Florida was closed Sunday, a few defiantly reopened.
Beverly Robinson, who owns Beverly's Ranch House in Cocoa, opened early Sunday using two generators to power three freezers, a grill, lights and an ice machine. "I couldn't afford to be closed," she said. "I'm going broke. I lost $6,000 when I was closed for a week because of the last hurricane."
Tom Himes of Merritt Island, who works for a window and door contractor, said financial hardship forced him to risk his life and stay put during the storm. "We couldn't afford to leave town,'' he said. "My wife and I lost too much time off work during the last hurricane."
As the storm churned north, many people admitted to feeling numb in its wake, and the wake of three others..
"Every single weekend I think, 'Oh my God, I've got to sit through another one of these,' '' said Eden Healt, 33, of Tampa. "You get mentally tired and emotionally and physically, just tired."
Reporting for this article was contributed byTerry Aguayo from Miami, Dennis Blank from Cocoa, Sara Kennedy from Tampa and Lynn Waddell from St. Petersburg.
From: http://www.nytimes.com/2004/09/27/national/27storm.html?ei=5090&en=497bfa42e8af4674&ex=1253937600&adxnnl=1&partner=rssuserland&adxnnlx=1096254177-Cyzy5fhfN3DvO3b6fgKLSw&pagewanted=print&position=


CNN > Four dead as Jeanne moves through Florida Almost 2 million customers without electricity in state


MELBOURNE, Florida (CNN) -- Hurricane Jeanne, downgraded Sunday to a tropical storm, is responsible for the deaths of at least four people in Florida, officials said.
A man and woman drowned in an SUV that left the road Saturday night, but officials could not recover the bodies until Sunday morning because of storm conditions, a spokesman for the Florida Highway Patrol said.
A 15-year-old boy was killed by a falling tree along the St. Johns River on Sunday afternoon, a spokeswoman for the Clay County Sheriff's Department said. She said a friend of the boy was hurt but that the injuries aren't life-threatening.
Also Sunday, a couple discovered a pickup in a deep drainage ditch in Palm Bay, south of Melbourne. The occupant had drowned, police spokesman Barney Weiss said.
Weiss said the man apparently drove into the flooded ditch by mistake.
The deaths were the first in the United States reported as a result of Jeanne, which made landfall with 120 mph winds just before midnight Saturday near the southern end of Hutchinson Island, five miles southeast of Stuart.
In that hard-hit town, Florida Gov. Jeb Bush told residents Sunday that support would be there for them.
"This time our state will not only survive, it will rebound," he said. "We will be stronger and better because of what we've gone through."
The governor said the heaviest damage was to the Treasure Coast counties of Martin, St. Lucie and Indian River. He said he has asked the federal government for aid.
President Bush declared the state a major disaster area, making way for additional funds to supplement its recovery efforts.
Risk Management Solutions, a catastrophe-modeling firm that works for the insurance industry, estimated Sunday that Jeanne could cause between $4 billion and $8 billion in insured losses in the United States. (Full story)
Dave Bruns, a spokesman for the state Division of Emergency Management in Tallahassee, said emergency officials were ready to move in with supplies as soon as conditions allow.
At 8 p.m., Jeanne was 30 miles southwest of Gainesville, Florida, according to the National Hurricane Center in Miami. Maximum sustained winds were near 55 mph, and the storm was moving northwest near 13 mph.
The center said the storm is expected to turn to the north, then the northeast as it makes its way around a high-pressure system in the Southeast. The three-day forecast track issued by the center predicted Jeanne will weaken as it moves through central Georgia and the Carolinas before heading out into the Atlantic Ocean on Tuesday night or Wednesday morning.
Jeanne was the first major hurricane to make landfall north of West Palm Beach and south of the Savannah River for as long as records have been kept.
Joe Baird, emergency management director for Indian River County, said 100 mph gusts slammed Vero Beach well after the storm passed.
"We think we have severe damage like we've never had before," he said. "We have not been able to respond to calls due to high winds. With all the water we've had, we assume we're going to have severe flooding."
Power outages
Florida Power and Light, the state's largest power utility, said about 1.1 million of its customers were without power as of 5 p.m. Sunday. The company said it had already restored electricity to nearly 470,000 homes.
Progress Energy Florida, which serves central and northwest Florida, reported 595,000 customers without power at 3 p.m.
Tampa Electric reported 274,000 customers without power as of 4 p.m., according to the company's Web site.
Power officials urged residents to stay indoors and away from downed power lines until crews can get to the affected areas.
'It just doesn't stop'
Stuart Mayor Jeff Krauskopf, hunkered down in his home, ventured out with other city workers during the two hours of calm as the eye passed directly over his town.
Krauskopf said Stuart is suffering from hurricane fatigue.
"It just doesn't stop," he said. "It's like that song, Frances to the left of me, Ivan to the right, and Jeanne, I'm stuck in the middle with you.
"The howling is hellish," he added.
Stuart's Martin Memorial Hospital North lost half its roof, but the 50 patients inside were taken to a safe area and were not hurt, Krauskopf said. The hospital also was damaged from Hurricane Frances, and had completed interim repairs.
The two bridges to Hutchinson Island, the location of Jeanne's initial landfall, are impassable, making it impossible to know how the estimated 200 residents who refused to evacuate fared in the storm, he said.
National Guard aircraft have been requested for an aerial assessment of the island, Martin County spokesman Jeff Alter said.
Jeanne's worst damage was inflicted in Haiti, where more than 1,300 people are dead and a large number are still missing. (Full story)
CNN's Susan Candiotti, Anderson Cooper, Rob Marciano, Chad Myers, Gary Tuchman and John Zarrella contributed to this report.
Find this article at:
http://www.cnn.com/2004 /WEATHER/09/26/hurricane .jeanne/index.html



New York Times > An Un-American Way to Campaign


September 25, 2004
President Bush and his surrogates are taking their re-election campaign into dangerous territory. Mr. Bush is running as the man best equipped to keep America safe from terrorists - that was to be expected. We did not, however, anticipate that those on the Bush team would dare to argue that a vote for John Kerry would be a vote for Al Qaeda. Yet that is the message they are delivering - with a repetition that makes it clear this is an organized effort to paint the Democratic candidate as a friend to terrorists.
When Vice President Dick Cheney declared that electing Mr. Kerry would create a danger "that we'll get hit again," his supporters attributed that appalling language to a rhetorical slip. But Mr. Cheney is still delivering that message. Meanwhile, as Dana Milbank detailed so chillingly in The Washington Post yesterday, the House speaker, Dennis Hastert, said recently on television that Al Qaeda would do better under a Kerry presidency, and Senator Orrin Hatch, the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, has announced that the terrorists are going to do everything they can between now and November "to try and elect Kerry."
This is despicable politics. It's not just polarizing - it also undermines the efforts of the Justice Department and the Central Intelligence Agency to combat terrorists in America. Every time a member of the Bush administration suggests that Islamic extremists want to stage an attack before the election to sway the results in November, it causes patriotic Americans who do not intend to vote for the president to wonder whether the entire antiterrorism effort has been kidnapped and turned into part of the Bush re-election campaign. The people running the government clearly regard keeping Mr. Bush in office as more important than maintaining a united front on the most important threat to the nation.
Mr. Bush has not disassociated himself from any of this, and in his own campaign speeches he makes an argument that is equally divisive and undemocratic. The president has claimed, over and over, that criticism of the way his administration has conducted the war in Iraq and news stories that suggest the war is not going well endanger American troops and give aid and comfort to the enemy. This week, in his Rose Garden press conference with the interim Prime Minister Ayad Allawi, Mr. Bush was asked about Mr. Kerry's increasingly pointed remarks on Iraq. "You can embolden an enemy by sending mixed messages," he said, going on to suggest that Mr. Kerry's criticisms dispirit the Iraqi people and American soldiers.
It is fair game for the president to claim that toppling Saddam Hussein was a blow to terrorism, to accuse Mr. Kerry of flip-flopping and to repeat continually that the war in Iraq is going very well, despite all evidence to the contrary. It is absolutely not all right for anyone on his team to suggest that Mr. Kerry is the favored candidate of the terrorists. And at a time when the United States is supposed to be preparing the Iraqi people for a democratic election, it's appalling to hear the chief executive say that loyal opposition gives aid and comfort to the enemy abroad.
The general instinct of Americans is to play fair. That is why, even though terrorists struck the United States during President Bush's watch, the Democrats have not run a campaign that blames him for allowing the World Trade Center and the Pentagon to be attacked. And while the war in Iraq has opened up large swaths of the country to terrorist groups for the first time, any effort by Mr. Kerry to describe the president as the man whom Osama bin Laden wants to keep in power would be instantly denounced by the Republicans as unpatriotic.
We think that anyone who attempts to portray sincere critics as dangerous to the safety of the nation is wrong. It reflects badly on the president's character that in this instance, he's putting his own ambition ahead of the national good.
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My Way News > AP > Iran Says It Has Tested Strategic Missile

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) - Iran added a "strategic missile" to its military arsenal after a successful test, and the defense minister said Saturday his country was ready to confront any external threat.
The report by state-run radio did not say whether the test involved the previously announced new version of the Shahab-3 rocket, capable of reaching Israel and U.S. forces stationed in the Middle East, or a different missile.
"This strategic missile was successfully test-fired during military exercises by the Revolutionary Guards and delivered to the armed forces," Defense Minister Ali Shamkhani was quoted as saying.
The exercises were held Sept. 12-18.
Shamkhani refused to give details about the missile for "security reasons," but he said Iran was "ready to confront all regional and extra-regional threats," according to the radio.
Defense Ministry officials could not be reached for comment.
The announcement in Tehran came amid a war of words between Iran and Israel this week as Iran faces increasing international pressure over its nuclear energy program.
The United States - which once labeled Iran part of an "axis of evil" with North Korea and prewar Iraq - and other nations suspect Iran is developing atomic weapons.
The United Nations' atomic watchdog agency, the International Atomic Energy Agency, has demanded that Iran freeze its uranium enrichment program - a demand that Iran has termed "illegal" but has not rejected outright.
Iranian officials have repeatedly said the country's nuclear program is a peaceful one.
Israeli Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom said Iran was a worldwide threat whose missiles can reach London, Paris and southern Russia.
In 1981, Israel bombed Iraq's nuclear reactor before the reactor could begin operating and the smart bombs are believed to be capable of destroying Iranian nuclear facilities.
Earlier this month, Israel said it was buying from the United States about 5,000 smart bombs, including 500 1-ton bunker-busters that can destroy 6-foot-thick concrete walls.
Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi has warned that Tehran would react "most severely" to any Israeli strike against its nuclear facilities.
Israel is the only nation in the Middle East that possesses nuclear weapons, although Israeli officials have refused to confirm this.
Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards staged military maneuvers earlier this month near the Iraqi border, with top military officials saying the exercise was designed to reinforce Iran's resolve to defend itself against "big powers."
During the maneuvers, a "long-range missile" would be test fired, state-run radio said. There was no official confirmation of the test.
In August, Iran said it test fired a new version of its Shahab-3 ballistic missile. Iran's Defense Ministry did not give its range, but Israeli sources in Jerusalem later said it could reach targets more than 1,200 miles away, or 400 miles farther than its previous range.
The development of the Shahab, whose name means "shooting star" in Persian, has raised fears in Israel about possible attack by the Iranian government, which strongly opposes the Jewish state's existence.
Earlier this month, Israel launched a spy satellite meant to monitor Iran but the Ofek-6 plunged into the Mediterranean Sea shortly after launch.




CNN > MIAMI, Florida (CNN) -- Hurricane Jeanne, a dangerous Category 3 storm, has roared ashore just east of Stuart on Florida's east coast

MIAMI, Florida (CNN) -- Hurricane Jeanne, a dangerous Category 3 storm, has roared ashore just east of Stuart on Florida's east coast.
The fourth hurricane to hit Florida in six weeks, the center of Jeanne made landfall near the southern end of Hutchinson Island, according to the National Hurricane Center in its advisory around midnight.
The area is close to where hurricane Frances came ashore on September 5.
Jeanne, with sustained winds of 115 mph (185 kph), was expected to move across northern Florida on Sunday.
The storm was moving north of west with winds near 13 mph, and a gradual turn toward the northwest was expected in the next 24 hours.
A hurricane warning has been issued for most of the state's eastern coast, from Florida City north to St. Augustine. A hurricane watch extends north from St. Augustine to Altamaha Sound, Georgia in what is now becoming a familiar drill for Floridians.
Millions of Floridians evacuated their homes, but many residents chose to stay put. There were 4,000 people in shelters in Brevard County, less than the number present for Hurricane Frances, a spokesman for the emergency operations center said.
In the West Palm Beach area, there were shelter spots for 27,000 people, but only 11,000 had evacuated by mid-afternoon.
Several million residents in parts of nine counties are under mandatory evacuation orders, Gov. Jeb Bush said Saturday, and those who lived in other affected counties were urged, but not ordered, to leave. (Web sites offer safety, evacuation tips)
"The folks that are living on the coastal areas of our state," Bush said. "I hope that they don't think that whatever they went through and survived, that the next storm will be just like it and therefore they can ride this one out."
Melbourne Mayor John Buckley said electricity was out in parts of the city.
A Florida Coastal Monitoring Program tower measured one gust of wind in Vero Beach of 68 mph (109 kph).
Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 70 miles (110 kilometers) from the center; winds of tropical storm force, up to 205 miles (335 kilometers).
Bush declared a state of emergency Friday for counties along the state's eastern coast that could be hit by the hurricane, as well as counties where evacuating residents are likely to take refuge.
The National Hurricane Center in Miami warned of 5 to 10 inches of rain, huge waves and a storm surge 4 to 8 feet above normal tide on the north side of Grand Bahama Island. (Jeanne lashes Bahamas)
The center said Settlement Point on the western end of Grand Bahama reported a wind gust of 112 mph (180 kph).
Curious, deadly path
Jeanne has taken a curious and sometimes devastating path since developing in the Caribbean east of Puerto Rico on September 13.
After striking Puerto Rico as a tropical storm, Jeanne became a hurricane for the first time September 16, as it approached the Dominican Republic.
As it moved over the island of Hispaniola, which contains the Dominican Republic and Haiti, the storm weakened to a tropical depression. Then it stalled and strengthened between Haiti and the Bahamas, triggering flooding in Haiti that killed more than 1,500 people. (Full story)
Jeanne started moving again, crossing the southeastern Bahamas and heading north into the Atlantic, and the storm looked like it would fade away. But it made an unexpected clockwise loop, became a hurricane again Monday and began a slow march west toward Florida.
Unwelcome history
Since hurricane information has been recorded, Florida has never been hit by four hurricanes in the same year, according to Max Mayfield, director of the National Hurricane Center. Four hurricanes hit Texas in 1886, he said.
Jeanne follows hurricanes Charley and Frances, which battered the Florida Peninsula, and Ivan, which pounded the Florida Panhandle, though its eye made landfall on the Alabama coast.
Those earlier storms have compounded the possible problems from Jeanne because the ground is already saturated and many structures have been weakened by wind, rain and storm surge, said Ben Nelson, a state meteorologist.
The string of hurricanes has pummeled Florida's tourism industry, with many oceanfront resorts damaged and some highways washed out. (Full story)
CNN's Anderson Cooper, Gary Tuchman and John Zarrella contributed to this report.



channelnewsasia.com /stories/eastasia/view /108468/1/.html

TAIPEI : Thousands of protestors on Saturday rallied against Taiwan government plans for an US$18 billion arms deal they say will lead to an arms race with rival China.

"Refuse raising debts to purchase weaponry," the protestors chanted as they prepared to march towards Taipei's Presidential Office.

A "love and peace" concert is scheduled to take place outside the Presidential Office in the evening with a turnout of 4,000 to 10,000 expected, an organizer said.

Taiwan's cabinet on June 2 approved the special budget of 610.8 billion Taiwan dollars (US$18.2 billion) to purchase weaponry from the United States.

It is pending final approval by parliament.

It has stirred up heated debate on the island with critics, including about 170 retired generals, warning the hefty military spending would further provoke China and heighten cross-Strait tensions.

Others worry the government would be forced to raise debts or cut social welfare and education budgets for the arms deal.

Taiwan's opposition leader Lien Chan also voiced his disapproval of the special defense budget during a party gathering on Saturday.

"Such a hefty arms procurement should not be handled recklessly and we think it's time to slash military spending and put more money into public welfare," he said.

The arms package includes eight diesel-powered submarines, a modified version of the Patriot anti-missile system and a fleet of anti-submarine aircraft over a 15-year period beginning in 2005.

The government has defended the arms deal by stressing the growing military threats from China.

China regards Taiwan as a part of its territory awaiting to be reunified despite their split in 1949 after a civil war. - AFP



BBC > Kerry and Bush in new Iraq clash

US Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry has accused President George W Bush of neglecting the war against terror by invading Iraq.
Mr Kerry said the invasion was "a profound diversion from the battle against our greatest enemy, al-Qaeda".
For his part, Mr Bush accused Mr Kerry of undermining Iraqi interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi's upbeat stance.
"You can't lead this country if your ally in Iraq feels like you question his credibility," Mr Bush said.
With just under 40 days until the presidential poll, Mr Kerry has stepped up his attacks on Mr Bush over Iraq.
The two candidates are due to meet in the first presidential debate on Thursday, which will focus on foreign policy and homeland security.
'President's misjudgement'
In a speech in Philadelphia, Mr Kerry said President Bush's Iraq invasion had made defeating terrorism more difficult.
The Massachusetts senator said if he was elected president he would "fight a tougher, smarter, more effective war on terror".
"My priority will be to find and capture or kill the terrorists before they get us," he said.
"George Bush made Saddam Hussein the priority. I would have made Osama Bin Laden the priority. I will finish the job in Iraq and I will refocus our energies on the real war on terror.
"There's just no question about it. The president's misjudgement, miscalculation and mismanagement of the war in Iraq all make the war on terror harder to win."
Earlier this week, he pledged to get more help in Iraq from other countries, to take the burden off US forces.
Bush's response
Speaking at a campaign stop in Wisconsin, President Bush accused Mr Kerry of wrongly questioning the credibility of Mr Allawi's optimistic assessment of Iraq's future.
"My opponent chose to criticise the prime minister of Iraq," Mr Bush said.
"This brave man [Allawi] came to our country to talk about how he's risking his life for a free Iraq, which helps America, and Senator Kerry held a press conference and questioned Prime Minister Allawi's credibility," Mr Bush said.
Mr Bush was speaking a day after welcoming Mr Allawi to Washington to help spread his message on the future of the conflict-torn country.
Mr Kerry earlier described Mr Allawi's visit as a public relations attempt aimed at putting the "best face" on President Bush's Iraq policies.
Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go /pr/fr/-/2/hi/americas /3687992.stm