Tuesday, November 30, 2004


BBC NEWS | South Asia | Bangladesh stops women swimmers

BBC NEWS | South Asia | Bangladesh stops women swimmers


The long-distance swimming competition had been due to take place in a river in Chandpur, south of the capital.

Male swimmers set off as planned, but the women's event was cancelled.

Four female swimmers had been expected to take part.

The decision was made by Bangladesh's Sports Minister, Fazlur Rahman.

He said he had no choice after a radical Islamic group threatened to bring the entire district around Chandpur to a halt with protests.

The Committee for Resistance to Un-Islamic Activities said women taking part in the sport would offend Bangladesh's more than 100 million Muslims. "

Friday, November 26, 2004


قنصل الولايات المتّحدة بمصر: الفيزا في ١٦ يوم؟

من جريدة الأهرام عدد ٢٥ نوفمبر

كتبت ـ سالي وفائي
أكد بيتر كستنر القنصل العام بسفارة الولايات المتحدة الأمريكية أن حكومة بلاده تقوم بالعمل علي تقديم تسهيلات جديدة للراغبين في الحصول علي تأشيرة دخول الولايات المتحدة خاصة الطلبة‏.‏ وقال في اجتماعه أمس مع مجموعة من الصحفيين ان هذه التسهيلات تتضمن اختصار مدة استخراج التأشيرة الي‏16‏ يوما بدلا من‏35‏ يوما‏,‏ كما يمكن الحصول عليها عن طريق البريد الالكتروني‏

وذلك بأسرع وقت ممكن بالاضافة الي تقديم مزيد من التسهيلات الي أهالي الطلبة الراغبين في قضاء العطلات مع أبنائهم في الولايات المتحدة‏.‏ وأضاف بيتركستنر أن حكومة الولايات المتحدة تعطي اهتماما كبيرا للتعليم الذي يتميز بكونه علي أعلي مستوي من الجودة‏,‏ وتعطي اهتماما خاصا للطلبة المصريين حتي يستطيعوا افادة بلادهم عند العودة‏.‏

ومن ناحية أخري أكد القنصل الأمريكي أن تكلفة استخراج التأشيرة مائة دولار وهي ليس مقابل الحصول عليها ولكن تكاليف الاجراءات التي ستتخذ لاستخراجها وهو نفس السعر الذي يدفعه أي مواطن في جميع دول العالم وليس في مصرفقط‏,‏ وأن كل دولة لها كامل الحرية في تحديد قيمة المبلغ المطلوب مقابل الدخول اليها‏.‏

وقال إن طول الوقت الذي تتخذه اجراءات الاستخراج يرجع الي الاجراءات الأمنية حيث يتم ارسال بيانات الشخص الي الولايات المتحدة للتأكد منها بالمرور علي العديد من الوكالات والوزارات قبل اعادتها الي القاهرة‏,‏ وأن حالات رفض اعطاء التأشيرة بسبب عدم استيفاء البيانات نادرة وغالبا يكون السبب هو تشابه بعض الأسماء‏

Saturday, November 20, 2004


US Churches Take Stand Against Israeli Occupation

US Churches Take Stand Against Israeli Occupation

From Staten Island Advance: Presbyterians outline criteria for divestment from Israel

FINANCE: Church to Cut Dollars to Firms Aiding Israeli Occupation

Pax Christi Supports Divestment from Israel/ Thursday, 28 October 2004, 8:43 am / Press Release: Pax Christi


Humanity vs. George Bush et al? The age of petitions!!

These days, it seems that everybody writes petitions! I wonder whether any of these really works.
The latest two very contradictory petitions I have noticed:
Humanity vs. George Bush et al, War Criminals Petition*

2) Petition to support the U.S. Marine who killed a wounded insurgent

* This petition has been created by World Homeless Union

News MCQ...
What do you think? Which one would you sign?
a) Petition #1
b) Petition #2
c) Both (HOW?)
d) None
e) I don't care

Thursday, November 18, 2004


One Year Ago: 4,000 U.S. non-combat evacuations in Iraq

4,000 U.S. non-combat evacuations in Iraq:

"Published 10/3/2003: WASHINGTON, Oct. 3 (UPI) -- Nearly 4,000 U.S. troops have been medically evacuated from Operation Iraqi Freedom for non-combat reasons -- with more than one in five of those for psychiatric or neurological problems, according to Pentagon data.

A total of 3,915 evacuations from the region have been for non-combat medical problems. A combination of what the Pentagon is calling evacuations for 'psychiatric' and 'neurological' problems make up 22 percent of the total, with 478 and 387 evacuations, respectively.

Another 544 evacuations have been for 'general surgery,' 290 for gynecological reasons and 118 for orthopedic problems.

Army Surgeon General spokeswoman Virginia Stephanakis, who supplied the data, said on Friday that she had few details, but that the Pentagon had not detected any 'red flags' indicating troubling or unexpected health patterns."


Rare Blood Infection Surfaces in Injured U.S. Soldiers !

Read the stories below and answer...
This 'rare disease' and posting it these days means:

a) Finally, weapons of mass destruction are found. They are bio-weapons used by 'insurgents' against US troops only.
b) Oh no! These are bioweapons that were released by mistake from the military labs.
c) Maybe thousands of Iraqis wounded have had the same 'rare' infection, but since nobody takes samples from them, it was only found in wounded soldiers?
d) This is another side effect of the use of depleted Uranium in weapons.
e) This is just a non-significant infection.
f) The release of the news at this time is to distract the public from high injury rates in Fallujah.

g) a and c
h) b, c,, and f
i) b and f
j) e and f
k) None of the above. (Suggest an answer then)

The story from Reuters, by Paul Simao
Wired News: Rare Blood Infection Surfaces in Injured U.S. Soldiers
Same story from www.stuff.co.nz

"A total of 102 soldiers were found to be infected with the bacteria Acinetobacter baumannii. The infections occurred among soldiers at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany and three other sites between Jan. 1, 2002, and Aug. 31, 2004.

Although it was not known where the soldiers contracted the infections, the Army said the recent surge highlighted a need to improve infection control in military hospitals.

Eighty-five of the bloodstream infections occurred among soldiers serving in Iraq, the area around Kuwait and Afghanistan, the U.S. Army said in a report published on Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Military hospitals typically see about one case per year.

Army investigators said they did not know whether the soldiers contracted the infections on the battlefield, during medical treatment on the front line or following evacuation to Walter Reed, Landstuhl and other military medical locations.
The infection was also found in soldiers with traumatic injuries to their arms, legs and extremities during the Vietnam War. "

Read more stories about 'rare infections' used by the same author, Paul Simao (to get familiar with his writing style)

Wednesday, November 17, 2004


Israeli tank kills Egyptian soldiers

From Aljazeera.net: Israeli tank kills Egyptian soldiers (opens in a new window)
Half an hour Later... from BBC: Israeli forces kill Egypt troops (new window)
In Arabic مقتل ثلاثة جنود مصريين بنيران إسرائيلية جنوب غزة (new window)

Read the following quoted post and answer the question (In the comments section).
Was this...
a) A mistake
b) A provocative act
c) A challenging act with no expected retaliatory response
d) A "punishment" for the Sinai bombing
e) b and c
f) b and d
e) All the above

f) None of the above

From Aljazeera.net:

"Thursday 18 November 2004, 10:09 Makka Time, 7:09 GMT

Three Egyptian soldiers have been killed by an Israeli tank crew on the
border between occupied Gaza and Egypt.
Aljazeera's correspondent in Ram
Allah reported on Thursday that all three soldiers had been on their side of the
border near the Rafah border crossing.
Walid al-Umari also
reported that Tel Aviv had accepted the possibility that an Israeli
occupation force tank mistakenly fired a shell into Egypt, but was as yet
unwilling to make a statement before an investigation.
However, Israeli
Deputy Defence Minister Zeev Boim called it a "regretful incident with terrible
results" on Israel Radio but qualified his remarks later in the
interview. "

قتل ثلاثة جنود مصريين جراء إطلاق دبابة إسرائيلية النار على مجموعة منهم كانوا يتمركزون على الجانب المصري من الحدود في رفح.

وقالت الإذاعة العسكرية الإسرائيلية إن الجنود الثلاثة قتلوا بطريق الخطأ أمس عندما أطلقت دبابة إسرائيلية نيران مدفعها على الحدود المصرية جنوب قطاع غزة.

وأوضحت الإذاعة أن الجيش أطلق نيران أسلحته على ما سمتها "ظلالا مشبوهة" لثلاثة أشخاص على الحدود في موقع ادعت أنه يستخدمه الفلسطينيون لتهريب الأسلحة من مصر.

وأشارت الإذاعة إلى أنه تم فتح تحقيق لمعرفة ملابسات حادث إطلاق النار من قبل القادة العسكريين الإسرائيليين.
ولم يصدر رد فعل عن الجانب المصري إزاء الحادث.

Friday, November 12, 2004


Search engines- which is the best?

BBC NEWS | UK | Magazine | Search wars - which is the best?

Wednesday, November 10, 2004


WHOM TO BELIEVE? 'Three quarters' of Falluja taken: but by whom?

BBC NEWS | Middle East |US keeps heat on Falluja rebels:
"US and Iraqi military commanders say coalition forces have moved into three-quarters of the city after a 48-hour operation to oust insurgents.

Gen John Sattler admitted they did not yet have full control of the area, but Iraqi troops were sweeping up as they moved from building to building.

Insurgents are reportedly now squeezed into a small strip along the highway."

Jihad Unspun (?): Mujahideen Control Majority Of Fallujah; Americans Expelled From Three Districts
"In news just in, the tactical decision taken by the Mujahideen to open up two roads leading to the city centre has turned out to be very effective.

According to sources close to the Mujahideen, as a result of heavy shelling on civilian neighborhoods all around the perimeters of the city, a decision was made to move the battle into the center of town by opening two main roads that lead into Fallujah central.

The first road opened was “Nisan 7", which is 17 -20 meters wide and stretches from the rail network north of Fallujah, passes by the Al-Mualimeen zone, on to Nisan 7 to Al-Forqan Mosque and ends in the Al-Shuhada neighborhood. The second road opened was “Tharthar Street”, which is 15 -18 meters wide extends from railway station, from where the Americans are handling forward control, passes through the Al-Ghuaifi neighborhood and ends at Officers neighborhood. After opening the two roads, Mujahideen made a tactical withdrawal from the city’s perimeters to permit the Americans to enter the two roads. The plan was successful; the Americans are now on the two roads just where the Mujahideen wanted them to be.

The Mujahideen are currently controlling 70% of the city, not the Americans, as mainstream news is reporting. "

Are we back to Al-Sahhaf's days? But Who's playing "Al-Sahhaf" this time?

ألا يذكّرنا هذا بأيّام الصحّاف؟ ولكن من الذي يلعب دور الصحّاف هذه المرّة؟

Nov 11, 2004: Update from BBC:
BBC NEWS | Middle East | Falluja troops under heavy fire:
"US marines in Falluja have come under sustained attack from several different directions in the headquarters they have set up in the Iraqi city."
BBC NEWS | Middle East | Eyewitness: Defiance amid carnage:
"Wherever I went, I found broken buildings and bodies - local people and fighters killed on the streets."
"Some of the dead are beginning to rot in the streets.

But the living do not exactly smell great either - I have not had a bath for a week. Nor have I shaved.

There is no real rest here, day or night."
"I think it is misleading to say the US controls 70% of the city because the fighters are constantly on the move."
In Arabic:
يوميّات صحفي بالفلّوجة

p.s. As the news keep being updated, the links may expire. If links expire, go to:
BBC News homepage
Jihad Unspun (I have no info about the reliability of this site).

Sunday, November 07, 2004


Jerusalem Post: Aide alleges Israel poisoned Arafat

Open in a new window:Jerusalem Post | Breaking News from Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World:
"The option is being seriously considered by the PA, which has sent blood samples to the US and Germany to confirm or rule out the option, he said.

Arafat suffers symptoms similar to those of former PFLP military leader Wadi'a Hadad, he said"

Just after the American Elections?


Protester dies under train carrying nuclear waste in France

BBC NEWS | Europe | Protester dies under atomic train:
"A anti-nuclear protester has died after his leg was severed by a train carrying atomic waste from France to Germany.

The 23-year-old lay down on the track as the train passed near the town of Avricourt, eastern France.

The train had already been delayed for two hours while police cut free two other protesters who had chained themselves to a section of track."

Was it really worth it?

Thursday, November 04, 2004


Religion and 'moral issues' most important in the US 2004 elections

BBC NEWS | Americas | Election reveals divided nation:
"Religion - rather than class, ethnic origin or education - has become the key determinant of voting in the 2004 presidential race, according to an exit poll conducted by the Associated Press news agency.

And moral issues were more important for voters than Iraq, the war on terrorism, or the economy."

Monday, November 01, 2004


Osama’s nose: Bin Bush or Bin Kerry?

Arabic 'full'(?) transcript of the tape attributed to Bin Laden
Experts: Bin Laden Courting Young Arabs
Refer to: Ossama Bin Moore

The media masters haven’t still reached the verdict: was Osama’s last tape bin Bush or bin Kerry? The word 'bin' in Arabic means ‘son’. So Osama bin Laden= Osama ‘son of’ Laden. But sonship is not always a physical relation; so, in Arabic, you can call somebody ‘son of a dog’ which is an insult, ‘son of a joke’ which means funny, or son of Bush –for example— to mean a Bush supporter and close ally.

After this short linguistic 101 intro, the question is again: who benefits from the latest tape that Aljazeera has broadcast and has kept updating?

Simple-minded, directly thinking people think that the Osama (or his look-alike) in this tape was definitely pro-Kerry, or rather pro-Moore or pro-anti-war activists.
More complex-minded people and/or conspiracy theorists think that if the “bad guy” is attacking Bush, then he must entice the “good people” to think that “only bad guys hate Bush”, and the net outcome is: the tape is pro-Bush by making the bad guy adopt the anti-Bush rhetoric.

What do I think? How can I have an opinion if I don’t have enough information, and if I don’t trust the information?
Whether the tape is authentic has not been confirmed. And while “What Really Happened” suggests it is fake because of Osama’s nose, other web forums have examined Osama’s nose in different versions and are accusing WRH of having stretched the image. I think WRH didn’t stretch the nose, but the images in Aljazeera are not consistent: some of them have Bin Laden with a wide nose, a medium nose, and CNN has his nose pretty tiny. This will definitely be the second most famous nose in history after Cleopatra’s

From the full transcript of the tape (linked above), that I have found through Mohammed’s excellent Egyptian blog, it seems that Bin Laden is really following the news and the political web sites, and he’s quoting these sources much more than quoting Qur’an or Hadith in previous speeches. The speaker in the tape sounds exhausted, tired (maybe sick?), but determined and the whole thing seems to have been taped in a studio because there is no background noise due to outdoor taping or unprofessional recording in a room.

I was specially surprised at the concluding statement, in which the speaker addresses the ‘American people’ saying: “To conclude, I tell you the truth: your security is not in the hands of Kerry, Bush or Al-qaeda. Your security is in YOUR hands, and every (US) state that doesn’t mess with our security has spontaneously (or automatically) guaranteed its security. God (Allah) is our guardian while you have no guardian.”*

Many surprising things here:
- The speaker doesn’t use Bin Ladin’s usual religious rhetoric; he probably thinks that it doesn’t sell!! He actually says a strange fact: Your security is in your hands, while a good believer (of any theist religion) would say: your security is in God’s (or Allah’s or YHWH’s, etc…) hands.
- He also makes this deal: that states have the choice to guarantee their security? How would he know which state made the right choice? Is the tape’s director saying again that: Vote against Bush and guarantee your security? Or does he work with Third Party candidates?

The full transcript by Aljazeera also includes additional references to interviews with press figures, including Robert Fisk. The speaker actually asks the American People to listen to Robert Fisk's testimony, considering Fisk as a member of ‘the American people's religion!’ Thus, once again, the speaker refers and appeals to the antiwar movement's literature and its key figures.

*Al Jazeera translates this paragrpah a bit differently -but accurately- as: “In conclusion, I tell you in truth, that your security is not in the hands of Kerry, nor Bush, nor al-Qaida.
No. Your security is in your own hands. And every state that doesn't play with our security has automatically guaranteed its own security. And Allah is our Guardian and Helper, while you have no Guardian or Helper.”

- Osama's first nose problem

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?