June 1-15


Russian Firms’ Iraq Interests
ST. PETERSBURG, June 1. /RIA Novosti/. The United States is not trying to jeopardize the interests of Russian firms in Iraq, a senior US diplomat told a news conference in St. Petersburg.
      He said most of the contracts with Russian companies within the UN Oil for Food program’s framework would be implemented in the end. Furthermore, "Russian companies can bid for long-term reconstruction work contracts in Iraq on the fair competition basis," the official said, according to the Russian translation of his remarks.
      The existing contracts, including the one with Russian oil major Lukoil, are currently frozen, which is to say not implemented at the moment, but not terminated either, the diplomat said.
"All the issues relating to long-term prospects of development of Iraq’s oil sector will not be settled until a new government of the country is formed," he said, emphatically.

US Interested inRussian Oil
ST. PETERSBURG, June 1. /RIA Novosti/. The United States is interested in Russian oil.
      A senior US diplomat told a briefing in St. Petersburg, "The US is interested in building new pipelines to increase Russian oil exports to North America and other regions." He urged "new investments into Russia’s energy sector by American companies." He also noted the importance of the fact that the issue of US poultry exports to Russia had been resolved. "That was an important issue to our relationship," emphasized the diplomat.
      But he pointed out, "While we do note substantial progress in the settlement of veterinary issues, the issue of poultry meat import https://nyjtimes.com/files/archive/2003/june/quotas remains outstanding." It "also requires discussion," the diplomat said.

North Korea’s Nuclear Program Threatens Regional, Global Stability
SINGAPORE – There’s no greater threat to peace and stability facing Asian – and other — nations today than North Korea’s nuclear program, said U.S. Deputy Defense Secretary Paul D. Wolfowitz while at the Asia Security Conference in Singapore.
      Wolfowitz remarked on the spirit of multilateral cooperation embodied by such conferences holds "important promise for enabling countries in the region to resolve problems peacefully." The conference is sponsored by the International Institute for Strategic Studies.
      And, he asserted, "nowhere is that challenge greater than in confronting the problem posed by North Korea’s nuclear program." (Full Story)

World Leaders Applaud 300 Years of St. Petersburg
Russian President Vladimir Putin and nation leaders from around the globe have come to St. Petersburg to take part in grand celebrations of its 300th anniversary. Widely celebrated with visits is the historic spectacular Amber Room within the Catherine Palace.
      Russian President Vladimir Putin: "I would like to thank President Bush for coming to Russia and to St. Petersburg, especially in these festive days in St. Petersburg. For me, personally, this is a special sign and I am very appreciative of that. Thank you." (Full Remarks)

In Iraq Team in Hunt for the Weapons of Mass Destruction
Washington, – A significant expansion of effort in the hunt for weapons of mass destruction will begin to take hold in Iraq in coming days.
The group from the United Kingdom, Australia, the United States military, other       U.S. government agencies will ultimately have between 1,300 and 1,400 people conducting the tasks of detection and search for WMD. The main headquarters will be in Baghdad. The group’s analytical center will be located with U.S. Central Command’s forward headquarters in Qatar as will the Combined Media Processing Center. (Full Story)

Coalition Forces and Iraqi Police Work to
Make Iraq Secure

CAMP DOHA, Kuwait — Coalition Forces continue to aggressively patrol Iraq to eliminate crimes against people and property, rid populated areas of weapons, ammunition and explosives, and stop the black market trade in fuel and other commodities. Coalition Forces also continue to conduct joint security patrols with Iraqi police in their efforts to increase the professionalism of the police force and prepare them for their role in a self-governed Iraq.
      Coalition Activity:
      Marines from 1st Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment raided a suspected arms market in Abu Sukayr (An Najaf Governate) yesterday. They detained two people and seized five AK-47 rifles. (Full Story)

Bush Goes to Auschwitz
Before meetings in Russia, France, Egypt and in Aqaba, Jordan to meet with Israel’s Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Palestinian PM Mahmoud Abbas, the President and First Lady Laura Bush visited Poland.
      "Within an hour’s journey of this castle lies a monument to the darkest impulses of man," said U.S. President Bush during his visit to Poland–a nation that has been a strong partner in the fight against terror and that has had a history of incredible struggles. Clearly moved by the shear gravity of the history Bush said, "Today, I saw Auschwitz, the sites of the Holocaust and Polish martyrdom; a place where evil found its willing servants and its innocent victims. One boy imprisoned there was branded with the number A70713. Returning to Auschwitz a lifetime later, Elie Wiesel recalled his first night in the camp: ‘I asked myself, God, is this the end of your people, the end of mankind, the end of the world?’
      "With every murder, a world was ended. And the death camps still bear witness. They remind us that evil is real and must be called by name and must be opposed." (Full Story)

U.S-Japan United Against North Korean Threats
TOKYO – The United States and Japan are united to prevent destabilization in East Asia caused by North Korea’s purported efforts to develop nuclear weapons and more powerful ballistic missiles, two senior U.S. officials told reporters here June 3.
      U.S. Deputy Defense Secretary Paul D. Wolfowitz met with U.S. Ambassador to Japan       Howard H. Baker Jr. at the ambassador’s residence near the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo.
Wolfowitz had arrived in Tokyo June 2 after meeting with South Korean officials in the capital city of Seoul. (Full Story)

Export of Iraqi Oil Starts in Late June
BAGHDAD, June 8, 2003. /From RIA Novosti correspondent Pavel Davydov/–Export of Iraqi oil begins in late June, the Sunday issue of the Iraqi newspaper Al-Taaha quoted Director of the Iraqi Oil Sales Corporation Muhammed al-Jebouri as saying.
      By that moment, according to his words, the corporation would have finished signing contracts for oil sales. The auction, the results of which will be used to sign the contracts, begins next Thursday. Further on, Iraqi oil will be sold on the basis of long-term contracts.
      At this moment, there are 8.3 million barrels of Iraqi export oil in the Turkish port of Ceyhan. A quantity is also stored in Umm Qasr, an Iraqi port on the shore of the Persian Gulf.
      As of today, oil production in Iraq amounts to 700,000 barrels a day, Iraq’s domestic requirement being 600,000 barrels a day. Baghdad is planning to reach a pre-war level of 1.5 million barrels a day by mid-June.

"Punishment Committee" for Hussein’s Supporters
BAGHDAD, June 8, 2003. /From RIA Novosti correspondent Pavel Davydov/–There is a secret "punishment committee" in Baghdad for Saddam Hussein’s supporters. According to the Iraqi newspaper Al-Taahi, it possesses the documents that used to belong to the headquarters of the Iraqi security forces before the fall of Hussein’s regime.
      In the past few days, the "punishment committee" murdered a number of members of Iraq’s ruling party, Baath, as well as a few former security officers and supporters of the previous regime. The committee mostly functions on the territory of one of Baghdad’s poverty-ridden quarters, Sadr City, which is populated by about 2 millions of Shiites.
      The revenge effort has been launched despite the fact that several influential spiritual leaders of Al-Najaf, a sacred Shiite town 160 kilometres south of Baghdad, have been heard urging Iraqis to forgive the ones who implemented the will of the former regime. Some of them including the ayatollah Al-Sistani, even forbade murders among Baath members. As for the ones who guided repression, their fate /according to the Shiite leadership/ must be decided by the democratic court of the new Iraq.

OPEC Rejects Former Plans to Reduce Oil Production and Export Quotas
VIENNA, June 8, 2003. /From RIA Novosti correspondent Borislav Pechnikov/–The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, or OPEC, has rejected former plans to reduce oil production and export quotas, a high-ranking official from the OPEC General Secretariat told RIA Novosti on Sunday.
      According to his words, oil and energy ministers from members of the world oil cartel, who are to gather in Doha on June 11 for the 125th extraordinary session, will not be making any decisions dealing with oil quotas, since it would be economically and practically inexpedient to cut oil deliveries to the world’s energy markets in view of the fact that the USA and other large oil consumers "report a deficit of raw oil in their traditional reserves." At the same time, raw oil prices on international markets "have reached an optimal level," which is a stimulus for the world community to "keep the status quo of the whole OPEC oil business," said RIA Novosti’s source. Due to an unprecedentedly high demand for oil and oil products in the USA the prices of raw oil, including those from the OPEC "basket" and from Russia, grew 13% during the past month.
      Participants in the Doha conference, where Russia, Mexico, Oman and other large oil exporters will be present as observers, will focus on coordination of actions on the world oil markets and ways to build up co-operation in the field of oil policy.

Kabul Terrorist Act Kills At Least Six Peacekeepers
ISLAMABAD, JUNE 7. /FROM RIA NOVOSTI’S CORRESPONDENT VLADIMIR SHRETER/ — According to preliminary information, six peacekeepers have been killed and 16 wounded as a result of blasting a bus with peacekeepers in Kabul.
      An unidentified explosive device came into action outside, not inside the bus.
      The tragedy happened 5 kilometers east of the center of the Afghan capital on a highway leading southwards near a base with German and Dutch servicemen. The bus was running from the airport to Kabul. Representatives of the peacekeepers forces’ command have confirmed the fact of explosion and death of German soldiers. A precise number of victims has not yet been cited.
      The law enforcement forces have fully blocked the region where the blast has sounded. Only ambulances and peacekeepers’ vehicles are being allowed in.

Spanish Political Scientist: Chechen Militants Definitely Linked to International Terrorism
MADRID, JUNE 7. /FROM RIA NOVOSTI’S CORRESPONDENT JUAN KOBO/ — Actions of militants in Chechnya are inseparably linked to international terrorist organizations, the largest of which is Al-Qaeda of Osama bin-Laden.
      In the opinion of Spanish political science Professor Fernandez Reinarez of the United Nations anti-terror department, Chechnya sets an example of how international terrorist organizations promote the conversion of movements born under nationalist slogans into those with Islamic fundamentalist goals, providing them with finance and experienced militants.
      The professor has made a press publication in connection with the recent act of a suicide terrorist in Mozdok /North Ossetia, a constituent republic of the Russian Federation/. He says it is the job of the selfsame "global" terrorist forces, who have recently staged similar bloody acts with the involvement of kamikaze in Casablanca in Morocco and Al Riyadh.

Activity of Coalition Efforts Aid Iraq’s Recovery
Kuwait – Coalition Forces continue to assist in developing a safer and more secure environment in Iraq through the following activities.
      Coalition Forces are working to eliminate crimes against people and property, rid populated areas of weapons, ammunition and explosives, and stopping the black market trade in fuel and other commodities. These efforts include security patrols with the Iraqi police as the increase their professionalism in their police force their role in a self-governed Iraq. (Full Story)

U.S., Italian Forces Launch Strike in Afghanistan
WASHINGTON – U.S. and Italian forces launched an offensive last week against anti-coalition forces in the Shahi Kowt section of the Paktia province in Afghanistan, Combined Joint Task Force 180 said an official.
A brigade-sized unit launched Operation Dragon Fury to prevent the re-emergence of terrorism, to deny sanctuary to terrorists and to protect nongovernmental organizations and coalition forces from enemy attack. (Full Story)

Coalition to Aid U.N. Inspectors at Iraqi Nuke Storage Site
WASHINGTON – Coalition forces will assist International Atomic Energy Agency officials as they inspect the Iraqi nuclear storage facility near Baghdad, DoD officials said.
      The IAEA inspectors will help coalition officials determine if uranium or nuclear by-products are missing from the site.
      IAEA inspectors last visited Location C at the Tuwaitha facility in December 2002. The inspectors were there as part of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty annual inspection. (Full Story)

Diplomacy Towards North Korea’s Looming Threats
"’We will not tolerate North Korea’s possession of nuclear weapons. At the same time, we believe this issue should be settled peacefully through dialogue,” said South Korean President Roh Moo Hyun on Monday during meetings in Japan about North Korea’s nuclear buildup.
      Japan and South Korea are still healing wounds made in history to team up with the U.S. and other nations to find a calm solution to North Korea’s threats. The challenge is tough for many obvious reasons and North Korea has made enemies of some Japanese citizens since their family members were kidnapped in past years by North Korea’s regime. During the meetings protestors held up signs saying, "Give us back our abducted relatives!" Roh expressed compassion regarding the abducted people to the Japanese Diet members, ”I understand well the shock and pain Japanese people suffered.” The meetings between South Korea and Japan work to boost ties between the nations that lend strength to finding a solution to the problems arising from North Korea. (Full Story)

Underworld to Be The Death of Georgia, Warns President
TBILISI, JUNE 14 (RIA Novosti’s Marina Kvaratskhelia) – "The underworld will be the death of Georgia," warns President Eduard Shevardnadze.
      "We shall quite soon see criminals ordering politicians about if organised flights from prisons become an established routine. An emergency situation has developed in Georgian prisons, and directly threatens the political system," he said to an enlarged-attendance session of the National Security Council this afternoon.
      The Georgian political and criminal circles are getting close, pointed out the President, who was republican Interior Minister in the Soviet years. He strongly called on the police to sever whatever contacts they may have with the criminal world. 

St. Petersburg Photographs Exhibition Opens in London
LONDON, JUNE 14 (RIA NOVOSTI CORRESPONDENT ALEXANDER SMOTROV) – An exhibition called "People and Palaces of St. Petersburg in Photographs at the Turn of the 20th Century" opens in London today. The display in the famous Somerset House is devoted to the 300th anniversary of the former Russian capital. It includes about 200 photographs from the collection of the Hermitage museum in St. Petersburg, the largest museum of fine arts in Russia.
      The exhibition consists of five sections in which photographs of the interiors of the palaces of Russian tsars and mansions of the nobility built in the city at the turn of the past century. They show what Russia looked like before the 1917 communist revolution and how ordinary residents of imperial St. Petersburg lived at that time.
      Of special interest are the photographs of Russian Emperors Alexander II, Alexander III and Nicolas II made not on official occasions but at home. The exhibition organizers believe that the visitors will be attracted also by the pictures showing the grandiose ball, the last one held before the revolution in the imperial palace. It was a fancy dress ball in February, 1903, when the 200th anniversary of St. Petersburg was celebrated. The costumes had been made for a few months by the best Russian tailors and embroideresses. Some of the costumes are displayed in a separate showcase.
      The London exhibition is but a small portion of about 40,000 photographs made in tsarist Russia and kept in Hermitage. They were taken from the archives of the emperors’ families and the St. Petersburg nobility.

Local Residents Helped Prevent Terrorist Act in Chechnya
GROZNY, JUNE 14 (RIA NOVOSTI) – Information provided by local residents helped prevent a terrorist act in a region of Chechnya, the Russian military reported Saturday.
      According to the press service of the Joint Group of Forces in Chechnya, people in the village of Komsomolskoye in the Urus Martan region in the central part of the republic informed the Russian military that a suspicious person had been seen on the road two kilometers from the village. An operational group was immediately sent to that place. The man, about whom the villagers told the servicemen, had already planted an explosive device at the roadside. When the servicemen tried to detain him, he blew up the mine and made an effort to escape but was seized. No one suffered in the explosion.
      According to the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB), a powerful explosive device was defused on that day in the suburbs of the Chechen capital Grozny. FSB officers found in the outskirts of the Staraya Sunzha village in that region 200 TNT blasting cartridges, their total weight being 40 kg, and a detonator connected to them. The find was destroyed on the spot.


June 16-30 Stories


North & South Korea Linked by Railway
TOKYO / MOSCOW — The ceremony of linking South and North Koreas by a railway was held last week. An understanding on this was reached last week at the talks in North Korea. This event was timed to coincide with the third anniversary of the inter-Korean summit held in the summer of 2000 in Pyongyang. (Full Story)

NATO Ministers Okay Sweeping Command Changes
BRUSSELS, Belgium – NATO defense ministers approved the most extensive command structure revision in the history of the alliance.
      Under the plan, the number of NATO headquarters will drop from 20 to 11 and will place the alliance firmly on the road to counter the threats of the 21st century, NATO officials said.
      U.S. officials are pleased with the changes. A senior defense official speaking on background said this will leave NATO forces better organized to conduct joint combined operations. There will be two new strategic commands: Allied Command-Europe will become Allied Command- Operations; Allied Command-Atlantic changes to Allied Command-Transformation. (Full Story)

Belgian Law May Force U.S. to Stop Attending NATO Meetings
BRUSSELS, Belgium – Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said that American officials may stop attending NATO meetings in Belgium because of a law that allows "spurious" suits accusing American leaders of war crimes.
      Rumsfeld said the United States will withhold any further funding for a new NATO headquarters building here until the matter is resolved. He spoke during a press conference following the NATO defense ministerial. (Full Story)

Coalition and Iraqi Police Work to Make Iraq Secure
CAMP DOHA, Kuwait — Coalition Forces continue to aggressively patrol Iraq to eliminate crimes against people and property, rid populated areas of weapons, ammunition and explosives, and stop the black market trade in fuel and other commodities. Coalition Forces also continue to conduct joint security patrols with Iraqi police to increase the professionalism of the police force and prepare them for their role in a self-governed Iraq. (Full Story)

Spain Pledges Troops to Polish Division
BRUSSELS, Belgium – Spain today pledged 1,100 troops to the Polish-led division that will become part of the coalition force in Iraq.
      At the NATO defense ministerial, Spanish Defense Minister Federico Trillo-Figueroa y Martínez-Conde confirmed his country would provide the military aid.
NATO has already agreed to help Poland with the force. The alliance will not have any permanent presence in Iraq, but will aid Poland in supporting roles. These include help with force generation, communications, logistics and movements, said NATO officials. (Full Story)

U.S. Troops Defeat Enemy Attack from Fedayheen and Foreign Fighters in Iraq
WASHINGTON – American troops in Iraq blunted a night attack by pro-Saddam regime fighters, counter- attacked, and routed the enemy, killing more than 20 in a June 13 battle fought north of Baghdad, according to the top U.S. general in Iraq.
      "Last night we had some actions against part of our forces in that area," Army Lt. Gen. David D. McKiernan, the commander of U.S. and coalition land forces for Operation Iraqi Freedom, remarked to Pentagon reporters from his Baghdad headquarters during a June 13 video teleconference.
      "The (U.S.) battalion that was engaged pursued those (enemy) forces, made contact with them, and killed over 20 of them," he noted.
      The fighting, McKiernan explained, involved U.S. forces participating in Operation Peninsula Strike, a series of raids and searches undertaken to eliminate Saddam-regime loyalists remaining in Iraq. The 4th Infantry is leading the strike force. (Full Story)

Dangers of ‘Eroding’ Sovereignty
GARMISCH, Germany — Harsh words were targeted toward the International Criminal Court and a Belgium law that is geared to allow anyone to prosecute anyone for war crimes by U.S. Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld.
The secretary spoke at a ceremony marking the 10th anniversary of the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies here. He said the Belgian law is one example where nations are "eroding sovereignty." (Full Story)

U.S. Department of Homeland Security Seizes
Cesium-137 in Thailand
In October 2002, Homeland Security agents based in Bangkok, Thailand, received information about the potential sale of enriched, or weapons-grade, uranium in Asia. Department of Homeland Security agents immediately began working with the Royal Thai Police and the U.S. Embassy on an investigation into this matter. (Full Story)

Terror Takes Lives of More Innocents in Israel
A Palestinian bomber dressed as a religious Jew blew up a Jerusalem city bus last Wednesday. The impact from the explosives he was carrying was so powerful that the bus lunged several feet. The Hamas terrorist bomber killed several passengers, including an Ambassador’s daughter, and wounded hundreds of other innocents. One of the wounded is Sarri Singer, the daughter of New Jersey State Senator Robert Singer.
      Abdel Aziz Rantisi, a Hamas leader, said Saturday, "The word cease-fire is not in our dictionary."
      Israeli Ambassador Daniel Ayalon talked to MSNBC’s Tim Russert about Israel’s recent military efforts against terror group Hamas. "We must maintain our rights to stop terrorists," he said, ‘and protect ourselves.’
      If peace is to happen, terror attacks must stop against Israeli citizens, Ayalon said Israel will continue to fight terror and "we would like to see the Palestinians do the same." (Full Story)

Terrorist Attack Averted in Chechnya
GROZNY, 23 June, 2003. /RIA Novosti correspondent/-RIA Novosti has learnt in the Chechen Interior Ministry that a terrorist attack was averted yesterday in the republic’s Achkhoi-Martan region.
      According to the ministry’s information, sappers discovered a land mine (with an 82 mm charge) by a road near the village of Shalashi at 10.30, Moscow time yesterday during a sweep. The primed explosive device was destroyed at the scene.
      An investigation has been opened into the incident and the police are looking for possible witnesses as to who planted the mine.

Lithuanian State Security Department Closes Chechen Terrorist’s Web-Site
VILNIUS, 23 June, 2003. /RIA Novosti Vitautas Mikulicus/-The Lithuanian Department of State Security has closed a Chechen militants’ web site.
      Independent experts confirmed that the "Caucasus-Centre" site was broadcasting information linked with terrorist propaganda and inciting national and religious hatred, State Security Department spokesman Vitautas Makauskas said.
      Last week the department shut down the site’s server.
The Lithuanian Constitution forbids the incitement of the inter-ethnic and religious hatred.

Russian and British MPs to Play Friendly Match in London
LONDON, June 23. /FROM RIA NOVOSTI CORRESPONDENT ALEXANDER SMOTROV/ – The football team of the State Duma of the Russian Federation will play a friendly match with the British Parliamentarians in London on Monday.
      The match is organised by RIA Novosti within the preparation for the state visit of president of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin to Great Britain from June 24-27.
The game will be staged at the West-Ham stadium in Apton Park in London.
      Listed among the members of the squad of the deputies of the Russian parliament’s lower chamber is Russian woman cosmonaut Yelena Kondakova who holds the record of a woman’s stay in outer space.
      The team of the State Duma of Russia has been in existence for nine years, and from 1994 has been playing football matches with Parliamentarians of other countries, specifically Finland, Germany, Japan, Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Moldova.

Two Terrorists Killed in Special Operation in Chechnya
Grozny –The regional department of the Federal Security Service has carried out a special operation in Argun (a city 20 km east of the Chechen capital Grozny) during which two militants who put up resistance to the officers were killed. (Full Story)

4th Infantry Division Seizes Cash in Raids
WASHINGTON — The 4th Infantry Division confiscated $8.5 million U.S. dollars and between 300 and 400 million Iraqi dinar from two separate farmhouses during a raid last week, said Army Maj. Gen. Raymond T. Odierno, 4th Infantry Division commander.
      The general announced this in a videoconference from Baghdad with Pentagon reporters. The raid nabbed thousands of English pounds and Euro, still being counted. Inside the farmhouses were photos and paraphernalia of the ousted leader Saddam Hussein.
      "In addition, we received a large cache of jewels and gems estimated at over $1 million; Russian-made night-vision goggles, sniper rifles, uniforms and equipment of Saddam’s personal guards," Odierno said. (Full Story)

An American Admits Aiding Al Qaeda;
Plea Bargains With FBI

WASHINGTON – A truck driver, a naturalized American citizen from Columbus, Ohio, reached a plea-bargain agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice, Attorney General John Ashcroft said June 19th in Washington D.C.
      Speaking at a press conference, Ashcroft reported that Kashmir-born Iyman Faris, a 34-year-old independent truck driver who came to the United States in 1994, had pleaded guilty for consorting with al Qaeda. (Full Story)

Operation Desert Scorpion Continues to
Breakdown Resistance

BAGHDAD, Iraq – Coalition forces continue to defeat remaining pockets of resistance throughout Iraq, in efforts to provide a secure and stable environment for the Iraqi citizens.
      Operation Desert Scorpion is designed to identify and destabilize terrorist organizations, criminal elements, and non-compliant forces throughout the country while improving the quality of life for the Iraqi people.
      Some actions taken by Coalition Forces include: (Full Story)

Regime Sabotage Attempts Continue Near Fallujah
WASHINGTON – Operation Desert Scorpion continues, with U.S. troops conducting nine raids throughout Iraq. U.S. 1st Armored Division soldiers conducted five raids in the greater Baghdad area June 20 and detained five Iraqis, according to a U.S. Central Command release.
      The troops also seized a number of small arms and confiscated ammunition. An Iraqi man turned in a box of hand grenades to the unit. (Full Story)

Tempo Down as Desert Scorpion Continues
BAGHDAD, Iraq – The high level of activity of recent days reduced as Coalition forces continue Operation Desert Scorpion.
      The 1st Armored Division executed offensive actions in Baghdad conducting six raids and detaining 22 individuals. The unit seized nine rifles, eight pistols, three knives, two boxes of grenades, one bomb and three 127mm rounds. (Full Story)

Rumsfeld Says World Needs to Work Harder to Control Nuclear Weapons
WASHINGTON – The world’s efforts to counter the proliferation of nuclear weapons have not been successful, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said June 19. If they had, he said, the United States would not have had to go to war in Iraq.
      The world is facing a serious problem, Rumsfeld stressed to about 750 business leaders during a question and answer session following an award dinner sponsored by Business Executives for National Security. Iran, and as many as five other countries, the secretary said, could end up with nuclear weapons during the coming decade. The same is true of biological weapons. (Full Story)

Terror Groups Don’t Want Peace
‘Terror groups don’t want peace; they want Israel, all of it,’ said former assistant Defense Secretary Frank Gaffney during a broadcast on Sunday. He also restated remarks made by U.S. President Bush on June 24, 2002, when he spoke against terror being used as a device to bring down a nation–a nation like Israel, which is the only Jewish state on the outskirts of several Islamic nations. "Today, Palestinian authorities are encouraging, not opposing, terrorism," said Bush at the time. "This is unacceptable. And the United States will not support the establishment of a Palestinian state until its leaders engage in a sustained fight against the terrorists and dismantle their infrastructure." (Full Story)

Abizaid: U.S. Displaying ‘Offensive Spirit’ in Iraq
WASHINGTON – "The best protection that we can give our soldiers is an offensive spirit in a tough place," said Army Lt. Gen. John Abizaid today during his Senate confirmation hearing to be the next commander of U.S. Central Command.
      Abizaid, who is currently CENTCOM’s deputy commander, said that coalition forces need to seek out the enemy and bring the fight to them.
      "They will be able to do that as long as we don’t hunker down in base camps and try to avoid contact," he said before the Senate Armed Services Committee. "We need to seek out contact. We need to be aggressive, and that’s what we’re doing in Iraq." He said that, contrary to press reports, American soldiers and Marines are being aggressive. He said in more than half the instances, the U.S. forces are the ones who initiate the actions. (Full Story)

Coalition Not in Guerrilla War
WASHINGTON – Former regime sympathizers and criminals are behind the attacks on coalition forces in Iraq, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said on Capitol Hill today.
      The secretary also said he does not believe the activity in Iraq rises to the level of a guerrilla war.
      Rumsfeld and Marine Gen. Peter Pace, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, spoke to reporters following a closed-door meeting with Senate members.
The senators are concerned about the coalition casualties in Iraq. Two Americans were killed and 13 wounded in separate incidents in Iraq June 26, for example. (Full Story)

Coalition Continues Efforts to Rebuild Iraq
BAGHDAD, Iraq – Coalition forces continue to help rebuild Iraq through reconstruction and humanitarian aid. Some of the tasks accomplished in the last 24 hours:
      In As Sulaymaniyah, the Coalition completed a project to purchase $1,500 worth of medical supplies for the municipality of Bayinjan. The supplies will last for four months in the Bayinjan Clinic.
      In Al Fallujah, the Coalition delivered basic school supplies to area schools and distributed 3,000 gallons of potable water to the city. (Full Story)

Update: Missing Soldiers’ Remains Recovered
BAGHDAD, Iraq – Two soldiers, assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 18th Field Artillery Regiment, deployed here from Fort Sill, Okla., who were discovered missing on June 25, have been found dead west of Al Taji on June 28. The soldiers were part of a force providing perimeter security for the Balad rocket demolition site near Taji. The facility is about 40 kilometers north of Baghdad, firmly in the midst of the "Sunni Triangle" of Tikrit, Baghdad and Ar Ramadi that is a hotbed of support for the former regime. (Full Story)

U.S. and British Forces Killed — Operation Underway to Root Out Fedayeen and Terrorist Foreign Fighters
BAGHDAD, Iraq – There are rumors that Saddam Hussein is alive and organizing attacks against Coalition forces. The rumors seem to hold more truth after many seemingly organized attacks against Coalition troops. One attack included an ambush of a police station where 6 Royal Military Police–who were merely training the Iraqi Police–were murdered and set on fire. At the same time tragically, 2 U.S. soldiers–who were also in a supposedly peaceful situation–were kidnapped and killed. In another ambush against coalition forces, a U.S. soldier was killed near an Najaf June 26. A news release said the soldier was investigating a car theft. In the past week many more Coalition troops have been wounded. (Full Story)

Silent No Longer: Iraqi People Reveal the Past
– Regime of Terror

WASHINGTON – For the first time in decades, the Iraqi people can talk openly about what happened during Saddam Hussein’s regime.
      They’re talking, and the world is listening.
Each day, U.S. and coalition officials in Iraq hear more and more about the atrocities that occurred over the last two decades, according to Sandra Hodgkinson, the Coalition Provisional Authority’s director of human rights. Whether they’re Kurdish, Sunni, Shiia or Christian, she said, "it seems like every Iraqi has a story."
      "In some way, the regime affected their day-to-day life, either someone they knew, or loved or cared about," Hodgkinson said this week during a telephone interview from her office in Baghdad. While many Iraqis seek out the Human Rights Office, she said, others talk to coalition military forces, nongovernmental organizations staff or provisional authority personnel. (Full Story)

Israel, A Country Alone?
With Palestinian terrorist organizations’ announced cease-fire, U.S. President George Bush said that a full dismantling of terrorist groups is required to move the peace process forward and that a temporary halt of attacks would not be acceptable. "The true test for Hamas and terrorist organizations is the complete dismantlement of their terrorist networks, their capacity to blow up the peace process," Bush said. "It’s one thing to make a verbal agreement. But in order for there to be peace in the Middle East, we must see organizations such as Hamas dismantled and then we’ll have peace. Then we’ll have a chance for peace."
      Although Hamas and other Palestinian terror organizations had given their word Sunday night on a temporary truce, news came only hours after that a foreign worker employed in Israel was killed in a Palestinian shooting attack near the West Bank village of Yabed. The "Shahid" faction of the al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigade of Yasser Arafat’s Fatah terror organization claimed responsibility. (Full Story)