May 1-15 Stories


U.S. President Bush Proclaims End to
Major Combat Ops in Iraq

WASHINGTON, May 1, 2003 – Major combat operations in Iraq are over, and America and her allies have prevailed, President Bush said this evening on the flight deck of a U.S. Navy aircraft carrier.
      "In this battle we have fought for the cause of liberty and for the peace of the world. Our nation and our coalition are proud of this accomplishment," Bush said aboard the deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln as the sun set on the Pacific Ocean. "Yet it is you, the members of the United States military, who achieved it. Your courage, your willingness to face danger for your country and for each other made this day possible. President George W. Bush makes his way to the stage to address the nation and sailors from the flight deck of USS Abraham Lincoln on May 1, 2003. (Full Story)

US Administrator Approves Lists of Former Iraqi Servicemen Ready to Stay in the Ranks
BAGHDAD, 4 May 2003. /from RIA Novosti correspondent Pavel Davydov/. -Head of US postwar administration in Iraq, retired general Jay Garner, has approved the lists of former Iraqi servicemen ready to stay in the ranks.
      According to a report published Sunday in Iraq’s Al-Zaman newspaper, the lists of former Iraqi servicemen of various ranks had been compiled by "a committee of independent Iraqi servicemen" on the basis of a questionnaire each of them had to complete. The questionnaire required each serviceman to state whether he wished to stay in the ranks or to seek employment in the civil sector.
      With regard to "desired salary", former servicemen cited amounts ranging from 100,000 to 900,000 Iraqi dinars (an equivalent to $50 – $450). In Saddam’s army officers used to get from 90,000 to 250,000 dinars a month.

Sir David Weatherall of Oxford to Provide Expertise in Research
BETHESDA, MARYLAND — Sir David Weatherall famed for his work in human genetics and scientific reports to the World Health Organization will work with a top U.S. health agency to bring his expertise in the fight against dangerous diseases in first and third world countries. "We are particularly interested in discussing the potential follow-up to Sir David’s landmark report to the World Health Organization, "Genomics and World Health", published last year, and its focus on diminishing the great and increasing divide between investments in research focused on first world and third world diseases," said Gerald Keusch, M.D of the Fogarty International Center. (Full Story)

Iraq’s Future in Hands of Its Own People,
U.S. Officials Say

Three senior U.S. government officials agreed that humanitarian efforts to renew and restore Iraq have gone well so far, and movement will continue to return Iraq to the Iraqi people.
      Undersecretary of Defense Dov Zakheim, DoD comptroller and chief financial officer, Undersecretary of State Alan Larson and Undersecretary of Treasury John Taylor, updated Arab and Muslim reporters in a press conference here May 1. Larson is in charge of economic business and agricultural affairs at the State Department; Taylor handles international affairs for the Treasury Department. (Full Story)

Protecting A Nation’s Sovereignty – U.S. Congressman Fights "Outrageous" Belgian Notions
Last Friday in Tirana, Albania — US Secretary of State Colin Powell signed an agreement with Albania that would grant US and Albanian citizens immunity from prosecution by the new International Criminal Court.
      In Washington D.C. last week U.S. Congressman Brad Sherman, the top Democrat on the new House Subcommittee on International Terrorism, Non-proliferation and Human Rights, continues to call on the Belgian government to clarify their laws concerning the prosecution of non-Belgians for crimes against humanity. (Full Story)

Unprecedented Times Ahead for the International Space Station
Two go up.
      Three come down.
      That’s the new math NASA and its international partners are using for the latest crew exchange for the International Space Station. And never before in the Station’s history have the numbers added up like this.
      At 11:59 p.m. EDT Friday, April 25th, NASA Astronaut Ed Lu and Russian Cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko (mal entch’ en co) launched on a Russian Soyuz spacecraft from Kazakhstan. These two men make up the Expedition 7 crew, and they’ll serve aboard the Station until October. Malenchenko is the Commander while Lu serves as the NASA International Space Station Science Officer. (Full Story)

Russian Soyuz TMA-1 Spaceship Lands With Russian and American Crew
MISSION CONTROL CENTER (Korolyov, Moscow Region)–The spacemen of the long-time expedition returning from the international space station have landed north of the Aral Sea, 500 km away from the pre-set place of landing, the mission control center reports.
      It was pointed out at the center that the An-12 aircraft, which had spotted them, could not land at the place of spaceship’s landing. So, helicopters with a team of rescuers and doctors on board flew to them. They are expected to arrive at the place of the spaceship’s landing at 10:18 a.m. Moscow time. (Full Story)

Spain to Syria– Talks on Iraq and the ‘Road Map’
Powell began a three-day trip to Europe and the Middle East on Thursday last week, in which he visited Coalition countries regarding Iraq and stopped in Damascus and Beirut.
      Before the meetings in Syria, U.S. Secretary of State Powell told the press in Damascus that he was there to address terrorist organizations in Syria that are a threat to Israel and the world. He wants Syria to end support to organizations "that are headquartered in Syria that have rejectionist agendas." And he said that also at issue are "weapons of mass destruction development, sealing of borders with Iraq and a number of issues that are well known." (Full Story)

Bush Thanks Amir of Qatar for Support
President Bush May 8 thanked the leader of the tiny Gulf country of Qatar for his nation’s steadfast support.
      In brief remarks at the White House after the two leaders met, Bush said Hamad bin Khalifa al Thani "showed great leadership" in leading his country to join the coalition that took on Saddam Hussein’s regime.
      U.S. Central Command located its forward headquarters in Qatar before the conflict began.
      Bush called the amir a "reformer" and "a strong example of what is possible in his part of the world." Al Thani has promoted a new constitution for Qatar that allows women to vote and has appointed women to his cabinet. (Full Story)

Georgia’s Servicemen to Guard Ammo Depots in Iraq
TBILISI/MOSCOW, May 10 RIA Novosti – Georgia’s servicemen will be dispatched to Iraq to guard ammunition depots there, Georgian Defense Minister David Tevzadze told journalists Saturday. He said that three battalions (commandos, medics and military engineers) of the country’s armed forces are to fly to Iraq within the next few days. Georgia, known for its utter alignment with US policy, welcomed Washington’s action against Iraq.
      In turn, US Ambassador in Georgia, Richard Miles, told journalists that the US Administration is currently holding talks with governments of Qatar and Kuwait, Iraq’s neighbours, on the Georgian servicemen’s status.
      "It is quite possible that some Georgian servicemen duly trained in the framework of the "Training and Equipment" Georgian-American program will take part in the operation in Iraq," the Ambassador said.

‘Guardian’ Project to Bolster Force, Installation Security
WASHINGTON – A new DoD force and installation security project targeted against terrorist threats – to include possible use of weapons of mass destruction — is slated to debut Oct. 1.
      The $1 billion effort, named "Guardian," will ultimately bolster anti-terrorism force protection and security at about 200 stateside installations and overseas posts over the next five years, Army Brig. Gen. Stephen Reeves, DoD’s program executive officer for chemical and biological defense, said in an interview May 6. (Full Story)

Eastern European Nations Join NATO
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Senate voted today to support NATO admission for seven central and eastern European nations, President Bush said.
      During a November summit in Prague, Czech Republic, NATO invited the seven former-communist nations – Estonia, Bulgaria, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia – to join the alliance. But member states must still ratify the expansion.
      "It was here, 58 years ago today, that President Harry Truman announced the end of the war in Europe, and the people of America and Europe celebrated that victory together," Bush said today at the White House, flanked by the seven nations’ foreign ministers and several high- ranking American dignitaries. "This year on V-E Day we mark another kind of victory in Europe." (Full Story)

Britain Indicts Tel Aviv Bomber’s Family
British authorities indicted on Thursday the brother, sister and wife of Omar Khan Sharif, the would-be homicide bomber involved in last week’s homicide attack on a Tel Aviv cafe. Sharif managed to flee when his explosive belt malfunctioned. (Full Story)

Mrs. Anthrax – Member of ‘Iraqi Top 55’
Out of Play

CAMP AS SAYLIYAH, Qatar – Huda Salih Mahdi Ammash was taken into the custody of Coalition forces last week. She was a Ba’ath Party Regional Command Member and weapons of mass destruction scientist. She is No. 53 on the U.S. Central Command ‘Iraqi Top 55’ list.
      The high ranking female scientist known as "Mrs. Anthrax" is believed to have had a lead role Iraq’s biological warfare programs. Huda Salih Mahdi Ammash, incredibly was educated in the United States. (Full Story)

Act of Terror in Chechnya Kills 40 People
MOSCOW–The Chechen Prosecutor’s Office has reported that the act of terror in the Znamenskoye village killed 40 people, RIA Novosti learned in the Chechen Prosecutor’s Office.
      Information concerning the number of those wounded is currently being checked, the Prosecutor’s Office stated.
According to preliminary estimates, as many as 100 people may have been wounded.
      So far, the rescuers have managed to extract two dead bodies and two living people from under the debris, the Prosecutor’s Office informed. (Full Story)

Coalition Aids Iraq’s Security and Recovery
In yet another sign of Coalition confidence in the stability of Iraq and efforts there to rebuild, British diplomats have returned to their embassy in Baghdad that had been vacated since 1991. British diplomat Christopher Segar said, "I see this as a symbol of the commitment of our government to working with Iraq and the Iraqi people."
      Meanwhile, the U.K., U.S., Italy, Spain, Poland, and other members of the Coalition, are continuing to carry out efforts to bring about stability and security during the rebuilding process.
      Removing boxes full of weapons from schools that Saddam had used for storage is only one of the many tasks to bring about the reconstruction for the people of Iraq. (Full Story)

Security Still Most Serious Concern for
U.S. Forces in Iraq
WASHINGTON, May 15, 2003 – Security is currently the most serious concern of U.S. forces in Iraq, and commanders are taking substantial steps to stem lawlessness, several American officials said today.
Maj. Gen. Buford Blount, commander of the Army’s 3rd Infantry Division, which is responsible for maintaining the peace in and around Baghdad, said 90 percent of the problems his unit deals with stem from common criminals. The rest comes from attacks by forces loyal to deposed dictator Saddam Hussein, he said in a video teleconference from Baghdad with reporters in the Pentagon. (Full Story)


May 16-31 Stories


International Community Condemns
Acts of Terror in Morocco
BRUSSELS, 17 May 2003 -Walter Schwimmer, Secretary General of the Council of Europe, has condemned the acts of terror in Morocco’s largest city, Casablanca, that have claimed lives of dozens of people.
      "These infamous acts have been committed by people having no respect for the basic values of the civilized world," Walter Schwimmer says in a special statement issued in Strasbourg. He points out that he expresses his deep indignation on behalf of the Council of Europe’s 45 member states. (Full Story)

Greatest Security Risk
WASHINGTON–Weapons of mass destruction in the wrong hands are the "greatest security risk of this decade," said deputy defense secretary Paul Wolfowitz while at special Conference on Counterproliferation last week.
      The United States will continue to have a requirement for a "robust WMD elimination capability" even after the discovery and the destruction of Iraq’s WMD capabilities, he noted. (Full Story)

Bombings Show ‘The War on Terrorism Goes On’
WASHINGTON–Before the recent terror bombings in Morocco, Condi Rice U.S. National Security Adviser told reporters last week at the Washington Foreign Press Center, that the terrorist attacks in Saudi Arabia and Chechnya demonstrate that the war against global terrorism isn’t over.
      Reports from the region are that about 30 people were killed and 200 injured, including eight American dead and 40 wounded, on May 12 in three suicide bombings in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. (Full Story)

U.S. Indicts 2 Al Qaeda Members in USS Cole Attack
WASHINGTON–Two Yemeni nationals were indicted on charges for plotting the attack on the naval destroyer USS Cole in the Gulf of Aden in Yemen in 2000, officials said.
      Attorney General John Ashcroft and FBI Director Robert Mueller unsealed a 50- count indictment, naming Jamal Mohammed Al-Badawi and Fahd Mohammed Ahmed Al- Quso for their roles in the Cole attack that killed 17 sailors and wounded more than 40 others. The two were also charged with a previous failed attempt to bomb another destroyer, the USS The Sullivans, in early 2000. (Full Story)

Terror In Casablanca
MADRID–The Spanish embassy in Morocco reported that, according to more precise information, two Spaniards, entrepreneur Manule Albiace and Joan Aliei, vice-president of the House of Catalonia, died as a result of the explosion in the Casa de Espana in the Moroccan city of Casablanca.
      Head of the Moroccan Ministry of the Interior Mustapha Sahel reported that at the moment of the explosion there were more than 100 people in the restaurant of the Casa. In total, 16 people, mostly Moroccans working with Spaniards, were killed in the Casa de Espana and 6 people were wounded. (Full Story)

Eu Hr Denounced Terrorist Acts in Casablanca
BRUSSELS, 17 May, 2003 /from RIA Novosti correspondent Viktor Onuchko/ — Secretary General of the Council of the European Union and high commissioner for the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) Javier Solana denounced terrorist acts in morocco.
      Solana’s statement disseminated in Brussels runs that he denounced terrorist acts committed in Casablanca and expressed his condolences to families of the dead, Morocco authorities and His Majesty king Mohammed VI as well as to governments of the countries affected by these terrorist acts.
      Solana indicated that those shameful acts again reminded everybody that the struggle against terrorism was a constant priority demanding long-term efforts, active and close international co-operation in which the Kingdom of Morocco was already involved.
      According to the EU Secretary General, that anti-terrorist struggle was one of the elements of European-Mediterranean partnership and the European Union was prepared to intensify its co-operation in this sphere with Mediterranean partners.

Prince Michael of Kent Will Lead Tercentenary Rally
LONDON/YEKATETINBURG, May 19 — A member of the British Royal Family, Prince Michael of Kent is to lead the St. Petersburg Tercentenary Rally, a vintage car race starting on May 20 in the Ural Mountains city of Yekaterinburg.
      Prince Michael, who is known for his charitable work around the world and who patronizes a whole range of charities in Russia and beyond, is the main driving force behind the rally. His opinion is that organizing the race is an opportunity to forge close ties between the two countries and learn more about Russian culture and history. (Full Story)

Why Terror Threat Level Was Raised
WASHINGTON – Federal law enforcement organizations — and some state and local authorities — ramped up vigilance when the Department of Homeland Security’s color-coded national terror alert level was raised May 20 from "elevated," or yellow, to "high," or orange, the top domestic anti-terrorism official said today on Capitol Hill.
      When the terror alert level went to orange, Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge remarked in testimony before the House Homeland Security Select Committee, the amount of protection at federal government buildings and facilities nationwide was enhanced and increased. (Full Story)

Intelligence Agencies of Georgia and France to Deepen Co-Operation
TBILISI, 24 May 2003. /from RIA Novosti correspondent Marina Kvaratskhelia/. -Intelligence agencies of Georgia and France will deepen their co-operation in the sphere of information exchange. An agreement to this effect has been reached during the one-day visit of Pierre Brochard, head of the French intelligence service, to Tbilisi.
      Archil Chkhartishvili, the official spokesman for Georgia’s Department of Intelligence, told RIA Novosti that Pierre Brochard has paid a return visit to Georgia.
      Chkhartishvili ruled out any link between Brochard’s visit to Tbilisi and a recent statement made by French Interior Minister Nicholas Sarkozy at the meeting of G8 Interior and Justice Ministers in Paris. Nicholas Sarkozy said then that he did not exclude a possibility that Al-Qaeda terrorists might have moved base from Afghanistan to Georgia.

Four Hurt in Spanish Post Office Blast
VALENCIA, Spain (AFP) – The explosion of a booby-trapped parcel in a post office in Spain’s Mediterranean port of Valencia injured four people, one seriously, police said, as the country prepared for local and regional polls.
The seriously injured person suffered wounds to an arm and was rushed to hospital. (Full Story)

Disguises Aid Wave of Terror Attacks
(Updated Disguised as a religious Jew wearing a traditional prayer shawl and head covering, the 18 year old terrorist for Hamas boarded a bus that was filled with innocent men, women, and children and then detonated the heavy explosives he was wearing Sunday. The impact of the bomber’s blast was so fierce, the bus was blown back several feet. 7 people were killed: an American, several Israelis, and reportedly 3 CIS citizens.
      On Monday, at a shopping mall in Northern Israel (Afula a homicide bomber exploded while trying to gain entrance to the busy mall. According to the latest report from the IDF, a female bomber that looked like a shopper was the terrorist. 3 Israelis were killed by the bomber and over 70 were wounded. Reportedly, the male security guard at the scene was new on the job and a new immigrant from the former Soviet Union. The female mall security guard had only been on the job 2 days, yet she also tried to stop the homicide bomber when the doorway metal detector went off. The male guard was killed instantly, and at last report, the female guard who also performed an act of heroism to save the innocent inside the shopping mall is in critical condition, suffering with serious burns and wounds. Islamic Jihad and Arafat’s terror group, have claimed responsibility. Israeli officials arrested the bomber’s parents on Tuesday after the bombing. (Full Story)

Coalition Progresses in Iraq, Challenges Remain on the Path
WASHINGTON – Each day the conditions in Iraq are improving and the life for the Iraqi population is starting to return to the "normal pre-war standard," said Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld.
      In his briefing to the Pentagon press, the secretary also said the department has no objection to officials from the International Atomic Energy Agency going back to Iraq. (Full Story)

U.S., Bahraini Defense Officials Tackle Terror
WASHINGTON – Terrorists are the enemy of free people everywhere, and Bahrain welcomes U.S. leadership in the struggle against global terrorism, Bahraini Defense Minister Shaikh Salman bin Hamad Al-Khalifa said following a meeting at the Pentagon.
      During a short question-and-answer period after a session with Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, the shaikh told reporters that Bahrain is committed to working against terror cells in the Persian Gulf region and around the world. (Full Story)

Arafat Linked with Weapons Ship
According to the Israel Defense Forces, two Palestinian officials, Adel Al Mughrabi and Fathi Razam – a naval commander and a military aide to Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat respectively – worked with terror group Hizbullah to have weapons shipped to the Gaza Strip. Mughrabi and Razam – who were involved in the smuggling Karine A episode, where Israel intercepted a boat in the Red Sea with a cargo of 50 tons of weapons destined for the Palestinian Authority in January 2002 – are now linked to another arms smuggling attempt. (Full Story)

Young and Old, America Remembers Our Heroes…
After a week of meeting with foreign allies, President Bush joins all Americans in remembering those who have fought bravely to not only secure our freedoms but to give the gift of freedom to others around the world:
      "Throughout our history, the decency, character, and idealism of our military troops have turned enemies into allies and oppression into hope. In all our victories, American soldiers have fought to liberate, not to conquer; and today, the United States joins with a strong coalition in the noble cause of liberty and peace for the world. On this day, America honors her own, but we also recognize the shared victories and hardships of our allied forces who have served and fallen alongside our troops.
      "The noble sacrifices of our service men and women will not be forgotten. Every name, every life is a loss to our military, to our Nation, and to their loved ones. Americans stand with the families who grieve, and we share in their great sorrow and great pride. There will be no homecoming on this Earth for those lost in battle, but we know that this reunion will one day come. " (Full Story)