22 January 2004

Daily Times of Pakistan - Wazir tribe demolishes home of Qaeda supporter
A tribal lashkar (army), backed by the political administration and tribal police, on Wednesday demolished the house of a wanted man while bad weather hampered a second attempt to raze the house of another accused in connection with the drive against Al Qaeda supporters in South Waziristan Agency.
The fort-like house of Eida Khan of the Sperkai Wazir sub-tribe in Shaki area was razed with the help of state-provided bulldozers as a 400-man lashkar, formed last week to help the administration capture the men wanted on charges of sheltering Al Qaeda people, looked on. However, the first winter rain in the area prevented the lashkar from demolishing the house of Dawar Khan, also from the Sperkai sub-tribe, in Shah Alam area. “We will raze it tomorrow (Thursday),” a tribal chieftain told Daily Times. “The Wazir tribe will not rest unless all the wanted tribesmen are handed over to the administration,” he added.
A senior administration official said the two wanted men appeared to have crossed into Afghanistan. “In tribal code of conduct, demolishing someone’s home is seen as capital punishment, and we are happy with the lashkar’s efforts to help the administration,” he told Daily Times while requesting anonymity.
By Wednesday, the Wazir tribe had handed over 21 wanted men out of the 57 the administration has demanded for sheltering Al Qaeda and Taliban activists in their homes.

21 January 2004

Jackson's two oldest children 'are Jewish' Thursday 15th January 2004 Ananova

The mother of Michael Jackson's two oldest children has revealed they are Jewish by birth.

Debbie Rowe, Jackson's ex-wife, is reportedly concerned that Nation of Islam members, who are handling some of the pop star's security arrangements, may try to convert them.

According to Fox News, Rowe has told friends she does not want the children "exposed" to members of the black separatist movement.

Prince Michael, six, and daughter Paris, five, are believed to be living in a safe house in Beverly Hills, guarded by Nation of Islam security staff.

Jackson, who is not a member of the group, is also living with his baby, named Prince Michael II, whose mother is unknown to the public.

Rowe's lawyer, Iris Finsilver, confirmed that Rowe is Jewish but had no other comment.
Holocaust memorial vandalised
From correspondents in Vienna
January 20, 2004

VANDALS desecrated a Holocaust memorial near Vienna with an electric saw and spray-painted the German word for "lie" over an informational plaque describing Nazi-era crimes, a news agency reported today.

The attack was discovered yesterday at the site of a Hitler-era concentration camp in Hinterbruehl, a village 10 kilometres south of Vienna, the Austria Press Agency reported. Police were notified but had not yet found the vandals.

Heinz Nussbaumer, one of the initiators of the memorial, told APA he was saddened that even decades after World War II some people try to deny the atrocities carried out by Nazis.

The German word for "lie" - "Luege" - was spray painted over the plaque bearing information in several languages.

Up to about 1800 people were imprisoned at Hinterbruehl between August 1944 and April 1945, mainly political enemies of the Nazi regime from several parts of Europe.

The inmates were forced to work building airplanes in an underground factory there, Nussbaumer said.

When the Russians advanced there in 1945, the Nazis planned to move the inmates to Austria's most notorious concentration camp, Mauthausen.

Some 1840 tried to escape, but were caught, and most were shot to death.

Another 51 in the camp's infirmary were killed either with petrol injections into the heart or by strangulation.

The Associated Press
I haven't had an opinion about the presidential candidates til now. But I just formed one: Dean crashes King Day event What gall!

With the start of the Iowa Caucus only hours away, the former Vermont governor arrived at the Iowa Historical Museum for the State of Iowa King remembrance.

Dean, who was not scheduled as one of the speakers, arrived with the national and local media waiting.

“Dean came here and he was hoping that his henchmen would get the job done," said 26-year-old Seville Lee, who heads a mentoring program for at-risk youth in Des Moines. "He thought he was going to speak."

“I’m offended that Dean would even try and do this,” said Lee, who organized a children’s play that day in honor of King. “He wasn’t scheduled to speak.

"If he wanted to come he could go sit down like everyone else.”

After Dean entered the packed auditorium with a mostly black audience of about 300 people, the former Iowa front-runner took a seat in the front row for about five minutes.

Photographers and camera crews followed, positioning themselves at the foot of the stage. A clearly perturbed Dean sat through the flashes, but soon walked up on stage and had a discussion with local organizers.

A while later he exited the auditorium, making a beeline to the front entrance and to his bus.

Organizers were left confused and frustrated, as the bulk of the media quickly followed Dean out of the auditorium.

“I think it was very disrespectful," said Donna Graves, who was on the planning committee for the commemoration ceremony. "The intent of today was not to look at Howard Dean."

“The planning committee didn’t know he was coming as we invited a lot of people. It was very hectic and this is a day that is supposed to be about Martin Luther King.”
Of course he denied that he was trying to insinuate himself in as one of the speakers. Even if he had come as an attendee he should have realized how much commotion his entourage and media would cause, and made special arrangements with the organizers. Do I really believe that on the very day of the Iowa caucus he was going to waste his precious time in the mere attendance of an event? Please. I'm insulted he would even ask me to believe that.

And then that night he's photographed wearing a Fatah-style kaffiyeh. How did he think THAT was going to come across?

The guy has some serious issues with reality. There are plenty of people facing the same challenge but they know better than to try to run for president.
New York Daily News - Daily Dish & Gossip:
Breaking the ice in Baghdad

I'm told that New York Times foreign-policy columnist Thomas Friedman has become the target of a snarky anecdote told by Ahmad Chalabi, a member of the Iraqi Governing Council.

According to a source close to Chalabi, he likes to recount that for half a dozen years he tried to arrange a meeting with the influential pundit, only to be dissed and ignored.

But last summer, after the invasion of Iraq, it was Friedman who tried unsuccessfully to get an audience with Chalabi (about whom he has written skeptically).

According to the Chalabi version, the two finally met in Baghdad at a dinner where Friedman arrived with top American official Paul Bremer.

Their encounter allegedly went like this:

Friedman: 'I've been trying to see you.'

Chalabi: 'I'm sorry it didn't work out.'

Friedman: 'Well, I'm not the type of journalist you don't see.'

Chalabi (laughing): 'Well, that's what I just did.'

In his retelling, Chalabi then rolls his eyes and adds: 'Tom Friedman must believe he's a very important journalist.'

Still, Friedman and Chalabi ended up having a long chat at the dinner.

The mystified Timesman disputes Chalabi's story. 'Let's just say I have a different recollection,' Friedman told me.