July 1-15 Stories


Bush Back Home and Fighting a New Threat to Sovereignty
After Meeting with Foreign leaders at the G-8 Summit in Canada, the President is faced with a new problem: the International Criminal Court.

     Sunday, the United States vetoed a 6-month UN extension to continue peacekeeping in Bosnia, which would place U.S. citizens under the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court. Effective July 1st, any person in any country in which the ICC treaty has been ratified is subject to the court’s power, whether or not that person is a citizen of a ratifying country. (Full Story)

Egyptian Commits Act of Terror at Los Angeles World Airport
At 11:32 am 4th of July, an Egyptian man entered the Los Angeles World Airport armed with 2 guns and a knife and systematically killed Vicky Chen, a 25 year old El Al employee, Ya’akov Aminov, 47, a married father of 8, and wounded several others at the El Al area.
     Witnesses say that the ‘Arab looking man was wearing black pants, and a brownish-tan shirt’. Eyewitnesses report that the man went to the El Al ticket counter and said some angry words, which could not be heard, and the next thing they saw was the man firing a gun "point blank" at a female employee. "He just murdered her…!" one witness recounted. He then turned around and started shooting into the crowd; within seconds security guards surrounded him. (Full Story)

LA Judge Dismisses Terror Case, Law Enforcement’s Hands Could Become Tied
(AP) U.S. District Court Judge Robert Takasugi said that unconstitutional measures were used to put the case together. In throwing out the 59-count indictment, Takasugi wrote that the government’s system for designating a group as a terrorist organization violated the defendants’ rights to due process. The designation thus cannot be used in the criminal prosecution, the judge said. (Full Story)

U.S. – Afghan Investigation Find 15-ton Cache of Munitions
A team of American and Afghan investigators has arrived at the site of an alleged friendly fire accident in Oruzgan Province. Marine Lt. Gen. Gregory Newbold, operations director for the Joint Staff, didn’t confirm media reports that 40 civilians had been killed in an errant bomb strike on an Afghan wedding in the province July 1.
     U.S. officials have said coalition forces were operating in Oruzgan July 1 looking for suspected Taliban members believed to be hiding in the area. U.S. Air Force B-52 bombers and AC-130 gunships had struck several ground targets, including anti aircraft artillery sites that were engaging the aircraft over Oruzgan Province. (Full Story)

Police Smash Huge Internet Porn Network
(Reuters) – European police have swooped on a suspected Internet child pornography ring with raids in seven countries, the European Union’s police agency Europol said. Police seized suspects, computers, CDs and videos in raids in Belgium, Britain, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and Sweden. (Full Story)

U.S. Troops Continue Bosnia Mission, Despite ICC Concerns
U.S. troops will continue performing U.N. peacekeeping missions in Bosnia despite senior DoD officials’ concerns about the lack of legal protections for American troops under the recently established International Criminal Court.
     Established July 1, the ICC was formed to prosecute war criminals and dictators alleged to have committed genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity. Some 138 countries signed on to create the organization, which is to be based in The Hague, the Netherlands. (Full Story)

Agency: ‘Excellent Judgment’ Stopped Drunken Pilots
(Reuters) – The transit security agency formed after the Sept. 11 attacks on the United States heaped praise on Tuesday on Miami airport workers credited with stopping two allegedly drunken pilots from taking off in a commercial plane full of passengers. The security screeners alerted authorities that they smelled alcohol on the pilot and co-pilot of an America West jetliner. (Full Story)

Congressman Condemns EU – Iran Deal
Congressman Brad Sherman, a member of the House International Relations Committee and its Subcommittee on Europe, sent a letter to the 15 European Union Member Ambassadors to the United States expressing his great disappointment that European Union foreign ministers had agreed on mid-June to negotiate trade agreements with Iran without strict conditions.
     The government in Iran, which the U.S. Department of State recently identified as the #1 state sponsor of terrorism, devotes significant resources toward the development of missile technology and nuclear weapons. Sherman argues that were Iran to succeed in developing weapons of mass destruction, American cities would most certainly be in danger and that financing the Iranian regime is not an appropriate activity for those who are friends of America (Full Story)


July 15-31 Stories


U.S. HHS Promotes Grants to Help Communities Create Volunteer Medical Reserve Corps
Washington: "Following the September 11 tragedy, many health professionals wanted to volunteer to help," U.S. HHS Secretary Thompson said. "While well-trained in their individual professions, they were not necessarily trained to respond in an emergency. Moreover, existing structures weren’t fully adequate to absorb these volunteers and to use their expertise as effectively as possible. The Medical Reserve Corps will enable local officials to strengthen their community’s ability to respond effectively." (Full Story)

Turkey and U.S. Department of Defense Sign Joint Strike Fighter Agreement
Under Secretary for Defense Industries Ali Ercan of the Turkish Ministry of Defense and Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics Edward C. "Pete" Aldridge met to sign a $175 million memorandum of understanding (MOU) for Turkish partnership in the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) systems development and demonstration (SDD) phase. (Full Story)

Chinese Military Power Secret, but Growing
A report to Congress detailing the military power of the People’s Republic of China is filled with words and phrases like "approximately," "roughly," "likely" and "is believed to be."
     This is because despite tremendous strides in economic growth, the Chinese government is still extremely secretive and opaque about military matters.
     "The official Chinese military budget is $20 billion," said a defense official. "But the actual money invested could be as much as four or five times greater. The $20 billion is just a start." (Full Story)

Operations Continue in Eastern Afghanistan
U.S. and coalition troops continue the painstaking process of searching eastern Afghanistan for al Qaeda and Taliban fighters, Combined Joint Task Force 180 officials said July 18.
     Operation Mountain Lion continues in the region with U.S. and coalition forces finding ammunition caches and a Soviet-era armored personnel carrier. They have not found any terrorists. Task force officials noted the area is honeycombed with natural caves and manmade tunnels, many cleverly disguised. (Full Story)

Poland’s Leader Defends Protection of Freedom
Poland’s leader, President Kwasniewski and First Lady visited with U.S. President Bush and First Lady Laura Bush last week in upbeat meetings, black tie dinner, and a speaking event at Oakland University in the State of Michigan.
     Peace and alliance was foremost on their minds, "Poland is steadfast ally of America", said President Kwasniewski. "Whether in the Balkans or in Afghanistan, Polish and American soldiers cooperate everywhere where the peace is threatened and human rights are violated. Together we have undertaken a decisive fight against global terror. We shall not allow madmen to threaten our values." (Full Story)

Spanish Clash Over Island Takeover
On Thursday July 11th, 12 Moroccan soldiers, known as the royal gendarme, landed on the tiny island of Perejil at the mouth of the Mediterranean, 200 yards from the shore of Morocco. According to reports, the Moroccan flag was raised a day before Mohammed VI’s public wedding celebrations. And on July 17th, Spanish gunboats, submarines, attack helicopters, and Legionaries rushed to the scene in order halt any further activity.
     A heated dispute over the football field sized island soon embroiled into a 10-day standoff, which caused Secretary of State Colin Powell to strike a deal between the two countries and pushed all parties off the island and into agreement for talks. For 3 Centuries Spain has claimed the area around Ceuta and Melilla, which in the 1500’s was a hotbed for fighting Berber pirates. However, when Morocco gained independence in 1956, the Muslim country claimed the island, as well as several others in the area and renamed it "Leila" or "Night". (Full Story)

Spy Museum Reveals Espionage Gadgets, Tactics
(Reuters) – The mayor wore a disguise, agents in black trenchcoats crept down the building’s brick face, and with the cut of a ribbon the "Top Secret" banner tore away to unveil the International Spy Museum which opened its doors to the public on Friday.
     Displayed inside were espionage tools like the KGB’s single-shot lipstick pistol known as "the kiss of death," bugging devices that turned progressively smaller through time, and CIA briefcase recorders so bulky in the early Cold War years that it was hard to imagine how they went undetected. (Full Story)

Pentagon Memorial Design Competition Draws Global Interest
Artists, architects, sculptors and students from 43 states, a dozen prestigious academic institutions and two dozen countries are interested in designing the Pentagon Memorial.
     Students at Columbia, Harvard, Princeton and Yale Universities, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of California want to create a lasting, physical tribute to those who died in the Sept. 11 terrorist attack. International inquiries so far have come from Canada, China, Germany, Hong Kong, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Panama and the West Indies. (Full Story)

"Russia and the United States both face new and different security challenges"
Washington D.C. – In testimony before the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee on the Moscow Treaty, US Secretary Rumsfeld spoke on the importance of Russian and US relations, especially in terms of defeating global terror, "In this century, Russia and the United States both face new and different security challenges, not exactly the same, but certainly the threats of terrorism and fundamentalism and the spread of weapons of mass destruction to rogue states are common. The difference is that these are threats our two nations have in common and that we can face together rather than threats from each other.
     It means that we’ve entered a period when cooperation will be increasingly important to our security and our prosperity. We can work together to stop the spread of weapons of mass destruction into the hands of terrorists." (Testimony for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee regarding the Moscow Treaty)

British Report Blames Rifle Problem
(AP) – An official inquiry into the fault-prone assault rifle used by British troops in Afghanistan has blamed soldiers for not cleaning and maintaining the weapon correctly, a newspaper reported Sunday.
     The government has come under pressure to scrap the modified SA80-A2 rifle after troops reported it had misfired and jammed during anti-terrorist operations. (Full Story)

More Life Lost Since July 18th Terror Attacks
Another Russian immigrant to Israel died from wounds suffered during the terror attack in Tel Aviv on July 18th. Thirty-three-year-old Dmitri lost his fight for life at Ichilov Hospital on Thursday leaving behind his 9 year old son Dennis and his wife Helena. Dmitri worked for an air conditioning company, he had immigrated to Israel with his family three years ago, his brothers arrived from Russia last Wednesday to be by Dmitri’s side.
     Even as terror victims are dying in hospitals from attacks the week before, more youngsters were among victims killed this week by Palestinian terrorists. A two-year-old child, was killed with her family when terrorists staged a surprise shooting attack as the family was driving near Hebron. (Full Story)

Moscow Treaty Reflects New Relationship
The United States and Russia are moving toward dramatically reducing their nuclear arsenals and clearing the way for a new relationship, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said on Capitol Hill today.
     The two countries are basing relations on cooperation rather than fear of mutual annihilation, the secretary told the Senate Armed Services Committee this morning. He discussed the national security implications of the Strategic Offensive Reductions Treaty that President Bush and Russian President Vladimir Putin signed May 24 in Moscow. Bush is seeking Senate ratification of the treaty. (Full Story)

U.S. Forces Find More Weapons in Southeast Afghanistan
Anti-terror activity is still high in Afghanistan as another large weapons cache is discovered. During a press briefing to disclose the find, a question was asked about the July 1, US defense attack, where reports revealed that al Qaeda leader Mullah Mohammed Omar had been seen in that proximity prior to the incident.
     Air Force Brig. Gen. John W. Rosa, said the "operation was part of an overall larger operation throughout the country where we are searching, attempting to locate and eradicate the Taliban and al Qaeda. As you know, the Oruzgan Province, where this incident happened, is Omar’s homeland. He’s from that area. To say that this operation was targeted to get Omar, I think, would be — would be an overstatement." (Full Story)

Ashcroft Says Terrorism-Drug Trafficking Link ‘Shocking’
Federal law enforcement officials have developed a "most wanted" list of terrorist organizations heavily involved in drug trafficking.
     "America is beset by evil, be it the scourge of illegal drugs or the persistent threat of terror," and each American "holds the power and bears the responsibility of America’s defense," Attorney General John Ashcroft said July 30 at the 20th anniversary conference of the Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force.
     Earlier this year, Ashcroft asked law enforcement officials for a list of the organizations responsible for the U.S. drug supply. What the list revealed, he said, "is shocking." (Full Story)

Miracles in Somerset, PA
SOMERSET, Pennsylvania — As the 9th coal miner, Mark Popernack, was rescued out of a flooded mine shaft at 2:43am, elation, gratitude and cheers of relief erupted. Governor Mark Schweiker declared, "when we band together there’s no stopping Americans in what can be accomplished. Whether it’s repelling international terrorism or bringing 9 of our guys to the surface here in Pennsylvania. It certainly makes me proud…proud to be an American."
     As the miners were pulled out of the cold, flooded mine shaft, they were greeted with cheers from the crews who were thrilled to see each man arrive safely. Crews and volunteers had been working around the clock to save the nine men.
     Ron Chad, a fellow miner, explained the events that took place Wednesday which led to the cooperative rescue efforts. The team of 9 had hit a wall of water, and it started flooding the mine…(Full Story)

New Terrorist MO Kills 7, Including 5 Americans at Hebrew University
Jerusalem — Americans Janice Ruth Coulter, 36, of New York; Benjamin Blutstein, 25, of Susquehanna Township, Pennsylvania; Marla Bennett, 24, of San Diego; and David Gritz, 24, who holds dual American-French citizenship were murdered in the terrorist attack Wednesday at the Hebrew University, Mount Scopus. Among the wounded were foreign nationals from South Korea, Japan, Great Britain, Italy and Turkey. Janice Ruth Coulter, a well liked and respected Assistant Director of Graduate studies at the University’s New York office, had been escorting American students in Israel. She was supposed to return to Brooklyn on Sunday, a day before her 37th birthday.
     The popular Hebrew University is also frequented by American dignitaries each year and attracts students from around the world. It’s known as a safe haven of sorts, as Arabs and Jews and people from around the world come to enjoy the location, education and camaraderie. (Full Story)