MEXICO CITY - Mexico will send a diplomatic letter to the United States protesting the extension of a wall along the U.S.-California border, officials said Friday.Then why don't you smart guys find a solution?
Ruben Aguilar, a spokesman for President Vicente Fox, said the president would also continue to pressure the U.S. government to approve a migration accord that would allow more migrants to work legally north of the border.
President Bush proposed a temporary work program last year, but it has stalled amid opposition in Congress.
Mexican Foreign Secretary Luis Ernesto Derbez said Thursday that Fox had instructed him to send the diplomatic letter with the message that the wall's construction was "unacceptable and not a solution."
A corrugated metal wall — dubbed the "Tortilla Wall" — goes all around the edge of Tijuana, but a second and more substantial layer of barriers that was built behind the first one that is incomplete and, among other things, does not stretch out into the Pacific. The measures passed this week allow for the completion of that second layer of barriers.Can I go to Mexico illegally and get a driver's license? I doubt it.
The upcoming letter will be Mexico's first formal protest of new U.S. immigration regulations that require states to verify that people who apply for a driver's license are in the country legally.
The rules also make it harder for migrants to gain amnesty, and easier to override environmental laws to build a barrier along the Mexican border in California.Get angry. Who cares, Derbez? Maybe if we can stop you from exporting your poverty, you'll be forced to deal with the corruption in Mexico.
The new provisions were signed by Bush on Wednesday and threaten to unravel recently patched relations between the United States and Mexico.
"We hope it doesn't make things worse than they already are, which is the obvious anger that building walls is not the way to resolve things along the border," Derbez said.
Economist Gareth Morgan and a group of fellow New Zealand bikers under house arrest in Iran expect to be on the road again tomorrow, a spokesman for the group says.If only Iran's today had at least the same security as the time of Marco Polo.
The six New Zealanders, calling themselves the Silkriders, are in Iran as part of a three-month effort to ride the old Silk Road from Italy to China on the 750th birthday of Marco Polo.
Silkriders logistics coordinator Mike O'Donnell from Wellington told NZPA the group arrived in Iran almost a week ago and have had a great time.
"In Tehran they found themselves being interviewed on television about tourism in Iran and that happened just yesterday, so that was quite funny," Mr O'Donnell said.
As they headed from Tehran towards the Caspian Sea they arrived in a small town called Bubolsor.
"As they arrived there, it's a relatively small town and six large-ish looking motorcycles arrived and created a bit of a kerfuffle and the people gathered around them and had a yarn to them," he said.
"The police noted there was something going on and came across and looked at the bikes and suggested the bikes were too big to be in Iran."
After Mr Morgan produced documentation to show the bikes were there legally, the police took the group's passports.
"They suggested the visas were out of order and they would need to get confirmation from Tehran before they would allow them to continue."
Mr O'Donnell said the riders were under a "loose house arrest" but were able to come and go and had visited an e-mail cafe and a bookshop.
"It's kind of a storm in a teacup, and they're expecting to be on the road tomorrow morning," he said.
"Their spirits are all good and they are just keen to get on the road."
Mr O'Donnell said a similar thing happened when he and the group did a ride in Kashmir two years ago and it was not unexpected in small towns in third world countries.
With Mr Morgan and his wife Jo on the tour are head of Trade and Industry New Zealand Phil Lough, professional aviator Brian Wyness, Tauranga dairy farmer Dave Wallace and Brendan Keogh who runs a motorcycle dealership in Wellington.
The group have been designated as UNICEF Goodwill Ambassadors for the purpose of promoting the needs of children during their travels.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade is aware of the situation and would be following up later today.
Italians are experiencing new feelings of fear and anguish following the kidnapping of a young aid worker in Afghanistan. Some have begun to feel Italian nationals are too exposed and their presence in crisis areas should be limited.I don't want to be cold about it, but can it really be a surprise that another Italian was kidnapped? The terrorists got such a huge PR benefit from the fighting and wild accusations thrown at the Americans-not to mention the Italians talking about withdrawing their troops in Iraq-after the Italians botched the rescue of Giuliana Sgrena and got their special agent Calipari killed (ironically, by a US soldier with an Italian name). They gave the terrorists far more than they dreamed they'd get.
Italian aid worker Clementina Cantoni was to have returned to Italy at the end of the month. She had been working in Kabul for three years, for the aid organization Care International.
Her abduction has brought new anguish in Italy where many have become increasingly aware of just how difficult it is for aid workers and journalists to work in some areas of the world, namely Iraq and Afghanistan.
Many Italians still vividly remember the nightmare that ended with the freeing in Iraq of journalist Giuliana Sgrena, but the killing of an intelligence officer who helped negotiate her release. This time it is a young aid worker who has been helping out Afghan widows and their families.
Foreign Minister Gianfranco Fini called the hostage's family in Milan. He said caution and especially discretion are needed and promised that no efforts will be spared.
Italians in the streets are fearful of what could happen to Clementina Cantoni. Italy has had at least eight of its citizens kidnapped in Iraq, two of whom have been killed.
Rome has denied ever paying a ransom to obtain the release of its hostages, but analysts say the Italian government has negotiated in every possible way to free its nationals. They say that because of this Italians have been more at risk than others of being abducted.
Some 100 survivors of terror attacks, relatives of those killed, police investigators, Magen David Adom paramedics, and ZAKA volunteers will testify in what American authorities regard as the most important terrorist trial in the United States since the September 11, 2001 attacks.Wow, just wow. The defense isn't taking this lying down, however. They have a brilliant plan: they are going to tell an American jury that Islamic Jihad is a legitimate resistance group, and imply that all the graphic, wanton murder that they just heard about and saw, all the families torn apart and the innocent Jewish and American mothers, fathers and children slain...deserved it.
The group will be flown to Tampa, Florida early next month to serve as prosecution witnesses in the trial of four Arab-Americans accused of belonging to Islamic Jihad and raising funds to finance terror attacks, including some that took place in Israel.
The trial is due to start on June 6, with jury selection to begin this week.
The Israeli witnesses, flying to Florida at the expense of the U.S. government, include survivors of terror attacks going back to 1989, as well as relatives of some of those killed, eyewitnesses, doctors from the Institute of Forensic Medicine at Abu Kabir in South Tel Aviv and police officers.
Dozens of boxes of documents in Hebrew are also being flown to the trial, for the prosecution's use.
Among the terror attacks for which the four are being charged are the Bus 405 incident, from 1989, when an Islamic Jihad man forced an Egged bus off the highway and into a ravine on the road to Jerusalem, the 1992 pitchfork attack at a training base, the 1995 double suicide bombings at Beit Lid, the 1996 bombing at the Dizengoff Center, and a terror attack in Karkur in 2002. More than 100 Israelis and Americans were killed in the attacks mentioned in the 118-page indictment.
The Israelis will be asked to testify about their experiences.
The lead defendant in the case is Sami al-Arian, a University of South Florida computer engineering professor who has been held by authorities for the last two years. Also on trial are Sameeh Hammoudeh, Hatim Naji Fsariz and Ghassan Zayed Ballut.
The indictment also names non-U.S. citizens who are absent from the U.S. and therefore not being charged. Most prominent of these is Ramadan Salah, a friend and partner of Al-Arian and the head of Islamic Jihad, who lives in Damascus. Also named in the indictment are known Islamic Jihad leaders from Gaza, London, Lebanon and Saudi Arabia.
There are more than 50 individual charges being leveled against the four defendants, including running an organized crime ring, membership in a criminal organization and financing terror. They are also accused of murder, money laundering, conspiracy and extortion.
The FBI investigation against the four has gone on for some 10 years, both inside the U.S. and abroad. Much of the evidence was gathered via electronic surveillance and wiretaps, a result of close cooperation between U.S. and foreign police, including the Israel Police.
In Israel, investigators from the International Crimes Unit worked on the case. Although there is no gag order, police have refused to divulge anything about the case to the press as the trial has approached. Furthermore, the U.S. authorities will likely play down the role of the Israeli authorities in gathering the material on which they are basing their case.
However, the Americans do want to make the jury understand not only how the four defendants helped finance terror, but also "what terror looks like." It is for this purpose they are bringing in the Israeli witnesses. They also plan to play videotapes of news footage shot at terror scenes, display material from the forensic institute and present testimony from both survivors and the ZAKA volunteers who collect the tiny bits of human remains that are often left by a bombing.
While the prosecution plans to focus on the work the four did to help Islamic Jihad, the defense is planning to argue that Islamic Jihad is a legitimate resistance group - an argument that might not pass muster with the judge in the case since not only has the U.S. listed Islamic Jihad as a terror group since the 1980s, but the judge has announced he does not plan to allow the case to become a lesson in the history of the Middle East conflict.Good luck with that, guys.
A top Palestinian minister called on Wednesday for the suspension of a Muslim preacher who described Jews as "a virus resembling AIDS" and questioned the Holocaust in a sermon broadcast live on Palestinian television.
Palestinian Minister of Information Nabil Shaath told Reuters he had asked the Muslim Waqf and Religious Affairs Ministry, who employ the cleric, "to suspend him, investigate him and prevent him from delivering further sermons on Fridays."
Whoever is benefiting from the Chinese economic boom, it is not local stock market investors.A six year low? Does this sound like the stock market of an economy that grew 8-9% a year for the last six years to you? Shouldn't we be at a six year high?
The Shanghai and Shenzhen indices have consistently been outperformed by most of Asia, hitting a new six-year low on Monday in spite of the fact that Chinese GDP grew at a cracking pace of over 9 per cent in the first quarter.
Hong Kong companies boom but mainland missing out