LONDON - The United States should "shut up" with its concerns about China's growing military spending because the increase is no threat, a Chinese ambassador said Thursday.
Sha Zukang, China's ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva, told British Broadcasting Corp. radio that American concerns about his country's growing military might were misguided.
"It's better for the U.S. to shut up," Sha said. "Keep quiet. It's much, much better."
Sha said the world need not worry about China's growing economic and military might because "China basically is a peace-loving nation."
"China's military buildup is not threatening anyone," Sha said. "This is a legitimate defense."
China's 2.3 million-member People's Liberation Army is the world's largest fighting force, and Beijing has alarmed its neighbors with double-digit percentage increases in military spending nearly every year for a decade.
U.S.-China military relations have been strained over a number of issues in recent years, including Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's push for Beijing to be more open about its defense priorities, its military budget and its nuclear arsenal.
A senior al Qaeda commander allegedly tied to the London airplane bomb plot has been arrested in Pakistan, Pakistani intelligence and law enforcement officials have told ABC News. Matiur Rehman, one of the most wanted men in Pakistan, is known to have met with the alleged plot ringleader Rashid Rauf, according to the officials.Zawahiri is said to have personally approved the operation, so he may be the next big fish caught.
Rehman’s capture could provide the most important leads in months to the whereabouts of Al Qaeda’s top two leaders, Osama bin Laden and Ayman al Zawahiri. Rehman was believed to be in frequent contact with Zawahiri.
Rehman was taken into custody in the southern Punjab city of Bawalpur, the same town where alleged London plot ringleader Rashid Rauf was arrested last week. ABC News saw a copy of the police report on Rehman, with an attached copy of his photo.
Pakistani officials told ABC News earlier that 29-year Rehman was known to be planning a terror spectacular to mark the fifth anniversary of the 9/ll attacks, and the London plot may have been it.
Police investigating the alleged airliner bomb plot have found a suitcase containing components needed to make an explosive device.
The discovery is thought to have been made in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, where specialist officers are combing King's Wood for traces of explosives or evidence of explosive tests.
The BBC reported a police source as saying the suitcase contained "everything you would need to make an improvised device".
Scotland Yard has refused to comment on the reports.
Mayo's son, Josh, 31, described his mother as a peace activist and said she had been in Pakistan since March. She traveled there often since making a pen pal prior to Sept. 11, 2001, he said. The pen pal hasn't been allowed to visit the U.S., he added.Snuck things onto her person that she knew she wasn't supposed to have:
In the affidavit, Choldin says flight attendants noticed Mayo about 90 minutes into the flight because she was pushing against the aircraft bulkhead. When the attendant told her to return to her seat, Mayo said she wanted to speak to an air marshal and made statements about knowing that people wanted to see what was in her bag.Took delight in freaking people out with "forbidden" words:
FBI spokeswoman Gail Marcinkiewicz confirmed Thursday that authorities found a screwdriver and an unspecified number of cigarette lighters in her bag, items that are banned under new security regulations. Marcinkiewicz also confirmed that matches were found in Mayo's bag.
She also had a bottle of water, which did not appear to be supplied by the flight crew. It wasn't clear how the items made it through airport security, which has been significantly tightened since the terror plot arrests.
"She made reference to being with people associated with two words. She stated that she could not say what the two words were because the last time that she had said the two words she had been kicked off of a flight in the United Arab Emirates," according to the affidavit.At the top of her form, she then demonstrated her lack of toilet training:
The captain and purser both believed that she was referring to al-Qaida, Choldin wrote.
About 35 minutes later, when she tried to go to the bathroom, the flight attendants directed her to a different lavatory. Instead, she pulled down her pants and urinated on the floor, Choldin wrote in the affidavit, which was based on his interviews and those of other federal officials.All we are saying...is give pee a chance!
Countries that were most culpable in the Holocaust tend to be stauncher supporters of Israel—especially Germany. What was then West Germany became the main financial backer of the new Jewish state six decades ago, with a first payment of $865m in 1952. Aid continued throughout the 1960s, long before America became Israel's main source of outside support. This week's decision to commit German troops to the peacekeeping force in Lebanon also reflects past guilt.
If the right (and the Germans) are doing penance, the left, which now controls many of Europe's chanceries, and certainly much of its media, feels a sense of betrayal—which is why many now attack Israel with all the zeal of the convert. Until the 1960s European socialists championed the cause of the Jews and Israel. Mid-century socialists saw anti-Semitism and fascism as products of the right, so they became instinctively pro-Israel. In the 1950s it was left-wing French governments that provided Israel with nuclear power and a modern air force.
This changed with the six-day war in 1967, when Israel launched a pre-emptive strike to defeat the Jordanian, Egyptian and Syrian forces that seemed about to invade. It was a stunning victory, but it led to the occupation of the West Bank, Gaza and Sinai. To European socialists, who had rallied to the underdog Israel in 1967, the Palestinians were now the oppressed and displaced. Israel came to be seen as a neo-colonial regional superpower, not the plucky survivor of the Holocaust keeping powerful neighbours at bay.
In the decades after 1967 Israeli politics also changed. The Labour Party, which had largely ruled Israel since 1948, began to lose ground to right-wing parties, notably Likud. European left-wingers, who had idealised Golda Meir's Israel as a pioneering socialist collective of happy kibbutzniks, were shocked by what they saw as the militarisation and racism of Menachem Begin's Israel—and they began a romance with the Palestinians instead.
This change can be chronicled over nearly a century in such liberal papers as Britain's Guardian. Chaim Weizmann, the first president of Israel, played a vital role in fostering the Guardian's early advocacy of Zionism and Israel, but the paper is now one of Israel's harshest critics. The BBC, a bastion of the soft left establishment, has also been criticised for its bias against Israel, not least during the latest war.
Attitudes to America have also clouded European views, especially on the left. As Israel has drawn closer to America in the past few decades, the left's antipathy towards the behemoth of capitalism has spilled into dislike of Israel. Public opinion in Turkey, the one Muslim country that was once pro-Israel, has turned against it in parallel with its turn against America, especially over the war in Iraq.
Emanuele Ottolenghi, an expert on Israel and Europe at Oxford University, argues that “Europeans see Israel as the embodiment of the demons of their own past.” The European Union is supposed to have traded in war, nationalism and conflict for love, peace and federalism. But Israel now reminds Europeans of darker forces and darker days.
The Israeli government, Jewish groups and the mayor of Paris on Thursday condemned an Iranian exhibition of cartoons on the Nazi Holocaust, accusing Tehran of spreading hatred and trivializing the murder of six million Jews.
Organizers of Iran's International Holocaust Cartoon's Contest said the museum exhibit, which has drawn more than 200 entries, aims to challenge Western taboos about the discussing the Holocaust.
Israeli government spokesman Gideon Meir called on the international community "to express disgust from such an anti-Semitic and inhuman event."
Yosef Lapid, chairman of the council of the Yad Vashem Holocaust museum in Jerusalem, said: "The exhibit not only is horrific propaganda that supports Holocaust denial, it also paves the road to justifying genocide of the Jews in Israel."
BANGKOK (Reuters) - An American suspected over the murder of six-year-old beauty queen JonBenet Ramsey during Christmas 1996 has said her death was an accident, a senior Thai policeman said on Thursday.What. The. Heck...
"He killed the girl by accident," Immigration Police chief Lieutenant-General Suwat Tumroungsiskul told reporters after primary school teacher John Mark Karr, 41, was interrogated a day after his arrest in Bangkok.
"They fell in love with each other. She was very beautiful. So he kidnapped her and killed her by accident," Suwat said.