July 13, 2005

News for July 13, 2005

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Russian WMDs hidden in U.S.? New evidence suggests al-Qaida after them (July 13, 2005) - It was little more than a rumor during the darkest days of the Cold War. Did agents of the Soviet Union conceal nuclear and biological weapons of mass destruction inside the U.S. and other western cities? New evidence suggests they did – and that Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaida terrorists network is determined to find them and use them with the help of bribed Russian spies or special forces soldiers who have maintained their secret locations for all these years. more... 


Russia to increase cooperation with Venezuela (July 12, 2005) - A senior Russian parliamentarian told a Venezuelan supreme court judge Tuesday that Russia wanted to increase bilateral cooperation with Venezuela. Deputy Speaker of the State Duma, Vladimir Pekhtin, told Omar Alfredo that political contacts between Russia and Venezuela had been developing rapidly and cooperation between the legislatures of the two countries should be promoted. He said that the exchange of opinions between the legislatures was important to bilateral relations and could contribute to cooperation in different sectors. “The groundwork for developing Russian-Venezuelan relations was laid during the meetings of the heads of state in Moscow in 2001 and 2004,” the vice speaker said. The political dialogue was positive, he noted. more...

Russia seems to be making all kinds of friendly gestures to countries all over the globe. Hmm...

5.7-magnitude earthquake strikes off Indonesian coast (July 13, 2005) - A 5.7-magnitude earthquake has struck in waters west of the coast of Indonesia's Sumatra island, Hong Kong seismologists said. The tremor was centered about 180 kilometers (110 miles) southwest of Medan and was recorded in Hong Kong 10:41 p.m. Monday (1441 GMT Monday), the Hong Kong Observatory said in a statement late Monday. 


Protesters mobilize as Israel closes Gaza (July 13, 2005) - In what is being widely viewed as the official start to his evacuation plan, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon this morning ordered the Gaza Strip and towns in the northern West Bank completely closed, declaring the areas military zones in an effort to thwart plans by protesters to flock here. Meanwhile, anti-withdrawal activists declared today “zero hour” and pledged mayhem throughout the country. The Gaza closure order, agreed to at a meeting last night of Israel’s top military brass, permanently bans all non-residents from entering the Jewish communities slated for evacuation Aug. 17. An IDF spokeswoman said commanders at Gaza checkpoints would have the authority to issue temporary entry to select individuals, such as resident family members, credentialed journalists, businesses providing services to the area, and humanitarian workers. In response to the closure, anti-withdrawal groups have called for a massive road-blocking campaign throughout the country, beginning 5 p.m. local time, and warned they might initiate protests at Gaza checkpoints. more... 


EU offers to serve as Gaza 3rd party (July 13, 2005) - The European Union is willing to serve as a third-party presence at the Rafah crossing after Israel leaves the Gaza Strip, EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana told The Jerusalem Post Tuesday. more... 


Bill Clinton, World Savior? (July 13, 2005) - Former President Bill Clinton is gearing up to host a private summit in New York aimed at solving what he believes are the top challenges in the world. The Clinton Global Initiative slated for Sept. 15-17 is attracting some of the biggest names in politics and the private sector, including News Corporation CEO Rupert Murdoch, Time Warner chairman Richard Parsons, U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan, Israeli Vice Premier Shimon Peres, British Prime Minister Tony Blair, French President Jacques Chirac, and California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. more... 


Israel to pass U.S. as biggest Jewish community (July 12, 2005) - Israel will by next year become home to the largest Jewish community in the world for the first time, surpassing the Jewish population in the United States, a think tank said on Tuesday. Not for nearly 2,000 years has the Holy Land been home to the globe’s biggest Jewish community. The report from the Jewish People Policy Planning Institute said the Jewish population of Israel was about 5.24 million and of the United States some 5.28 million, but the balance was shifting quickly. “The Jewish community in Israel is the most vibrant in the world,” said Avinoam Bar-Yosef, director general of the Jerusalem-based JPPPI. “In the U.S., the community has been stagnant by numbers for many years,” he told Reuters. more... 


Muslim scholar: Killing civilians OK (July 12, 2005) - Responding to questions about the terrorist attack on London, a Muslim scholar in the British capital asserted Islam makes no distinction between civilians and military targets. “The term ‘civilians’ does not exist in Islamic religious law,” said Hani Al-Siba’i, head of the Al-Maqreze Centre for Historical Studies in London. Al-Siba’i, in an interview with the Arab news channel al-Jazeera, elaborated, “There is no such term as ‘civilians’ in the modern Western sense. People are either of Dar Al-Harb or not.” Dar Al-Harb refers to the Muslim concept of the world being divided into two “houses,” the House of Islam and the remaining territories, the House of War, or Dar Al-Harb. Al-Siba’i speculated that a Western nation could have been responsible for the attack, but he acknowledged it could have been carried out by Osama bin Laden’s terrorist organization, according to a transcript provided by the Middle East Media Research Institute, or MEMRI. more... 


Israel to hand over Bethlehem this week (July 12, 2005) - The Israel Defense Forces is expected to hand over control of Bethlehem to the Palestinian Authority this week, and military sources said yesterday that control may be transferred as early as tomorrow. more... 


Forecast in Israel: Raining Rockets (July 12, 2005) - Hamas will begin the next phase of its war to destroy the Jewish state by launching Qassam rockets at Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and West Bank communities instead of focusing on suicide bombings, the terror group explained on its website. Hamas and Islamic Jihad have been launching an average of three rockets or mortars per day at Gush Katif, the largest area of Jewish communities in Gaza scheduled for evacuation Aug. 15. The Israeli army has done little to stop the rocket attacks. Now Hamas has published an article on its website stating it will extend its Qassam manufacturing and firing capabilities to the West Bank. It warned it will launch a rocket onslaught against Israeli cities, including Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, until the Jewish state is destroyed. “Should the Zionist army partially withdraw from the cities of the West Bank ... Afula, Hadera, Beit She’an, Netanya, Tel-Aviv, Jerusalem and other cities will all fall within the range of the Qassam rocket. ... The implication is that this rocket, which was previously looked upon with disdain by many, will serve as the weapon of choice in the coming period of time, as the acts of suicide martyrdom served as the weapon of choice during all the previous years,” stated the Hamas article, translated by the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center at the Center for Special Studies in Israel. more...

It’s nice to see that terrorists can change... Oh wait, same hate, different technique.