The Saudi influence on terrorism in Shia-dominated Basra has not been previously reported but has caused concern among military commanders because of their training, technology and finance. Although the majority of Saudi Arabians are Sunni, the minority Shia have taken part in terrorist attacks.
Commanders are concerned that Saudi and other foreign fighters are co-ordinating the attacks in a "consensual environment", in which the locals will not tell the military where roadside bombs have been planted. "The concern is that support for our presence is going down," a defence source said.
There is also a strong belief, particularly among the Americans, that Iran is continuing to ferry bombs to Baghdad via Basra.
WASHINGTON, DC – Over 60 Members of Congress, led by Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA), sent a letter to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice asking for clarification on reports of U.S. Ambassador to Armenian John Evans’ recall over his forthright remarks about the Armenian Genocide, reported the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA).There's a list of the Congressmen who signed the letter; go see if yours isn't on it and if not, ask them why the hell not?
The letter was sent on the eve of a May 23rd White House announcement nominating Richard Hoagland to serve as the new Ambassador to Armenia. Amb. Evans will be relieved of his duties as soon as Hoagland's Senate confirmation process is completed.
The Administration has recalled Amb. Evans over his February 2005 statements at Armenian American community functions, during which he properly characterized the Armenian Genocide as ‘genocide.’ Following his statements, Amb. Evans was apparently forced to issue a statement clarifying that his references to the Armenian Genocide were his personal views and did not represent a change in US policy. He subsequently issued a correction to this statement, replacing a reference to the genocide with the word “tragedy.” The American Foreign Service Association, which had planned to honor Amb. Evans with the “Christian A. Herter Award,” recognizing creative thinking and intellectual courage within the Foreign Service, reportedly rescinded the award following pressure from the State Department a few days before Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan traveled to Washington, DC to meet with President Bush.
“Ambassador Evans has been recalled for doing nothing more than honoring the forsaken pledge of his president,” said ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian. “We want to thank Congressman Markey and his 59 colleagues for calling for a clarification and rejecting the Armenian Genocide ‘gag-rule’ imposed by the Turkish government and, sadly, enforced by our own State Department.”
"Armenian Americans truly regret that the Administration lacks the courage to speak honestly about its reasons for firing Ambassador Evans," added Hamparian. "We call upon the Senate Foreign Relations Committee - the Congressional panel constitutionally charged with oversight of diplomatic appointments - to hold a hearing thoroughly examining the reasons behind this firing, the role of the Turkish government, and the broader implications for the future of the Foreign Service that a senior American diplomat's career has been ended simply for speaking the truth."
The party wants private possession of child pornography to be allowed although it supports the ban on the trade of such materials. It also supports allowing pornography to be broadcast on daytime television, with only violent pornography limited to the late evening.The free train travel is not a bad idea...
Toddlers should be given sex education and youths aged 16 and up should be allowed to appear in pornographic films and prostitute themselves. Sex with animals should be allowed although abuse of animals should remain illegal, the NVD said.
The party also said everybody should be allowed to go naked in public and promotes legalizing all soft and hard drugs and free train travel for all.
On an unusually warm day in December 2003, three dozen men filed into the Islamic Society of Bay Ridge on Fifth Avenue in Brooklyn, kneeling on the moss-green carpet for the midday prayer.
To anyone watching, the service itself would have appeared unremarkable. But several police reports, when taken together with testimony at the recent federal trial of a Pakistani immigrant in the plot to bomb the Herald Square subway station, revealed something extraordinary about the gathering: Among the kneeling men were at least three who were working undercover for the New York Police Department.
The intense level of scrutiny in the mosque that day was, by all accounts, exceptional. But it nonetheless suggests the depth of the Police Intelligence Division's clandestine programs, developed since the Sept. 11 attack, to infiltrate mosques and Muslim gatherings around New York City to try to prevent another terrorist strike.
Several of the police reports, which were disclosed during the trial, and the testimony of several witnesses also revealed much about the department's latest tactics and about these programs that were kept secret for several years.
The defendant's lawyers and civil liberties groups have criticized the use of informers and an undercover officer at the mosque, contending that the department violated limits placed on the division by a court's 1985 consent decree, which restricted its investigation of political and religious groups. But the department rejects that claim, saying that the procedures were lawful and necessary.
After Sept. 11, intelligence and law enforcement agencies were criticized for failing to recruit Muslims who could move within circles where they could gather information to learn about terrorist threats. "Now it's five years after 9/11, and nothing has blown up, and people are saying 'Why do they have the gall to attempt to penetrate?' " said one law enforcement official who has worked closely with the department and the F.B.I.
LOS ANGELES, May 4 (JTA) — “Arab demographic momentum” has become part of the Israeli lexicon.Must be something in the water.
Under this theory, the Arab sector, with its rapid population growth, will soon overwhelm the Jewish population, as “baby boom” generations of Arabs give birth to an even greater number of children. Arab births will accelerate even if birth rates remain stable or drop slightly because such a large number of women will enter their childbearing years.
But the evidence is now in, and it shows something surprising: Demographic momentum indeed exists — but among Jews, not Arabs.
Jewish births grew rapidly, from 80,000 per year in 1995 to 96,000 in 2000 and to more than 103,000 in 2003. The demographic outlook for Jews has been improving because the Jews’ total fertility rate, or the number of children a woman is likely to bear over her lifetime, has been rising.
In 2005, the Jewish fertility rate reached 2.7, the highest of any advanced industrial nation. While the fervently Orthodox contributed to this rise, secular Israelis and immigrants from the former Soviet Union also experienced increasing fertility.