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November 20, 2005

Tunisian Muslim says apologise to Baha\’is

Filed under: Archived,Baha'i,Religion — admin @ 5:00 am

Tunisian Muslim says apologise to Baha’is

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Sunday, November 20, 2005

A Tunisian Muslim academic has called on Muslims to reconcile with Baha’is and followers of other religions. He has also called on involved Muslims to apologise to the Baha’is that have been humiliated and denigrated in Muslim coutries.

Dr Iqbal Al-Gharbi, a psychology lecturer at the Al-Zaytouna University in Tunis said that many peoples across the world were asking for forgiveness for past wrongs, such as the Catholic Church, who asked for forgiveness for its treatment of Jewish people, and France which apologised for the complicity of the Vichy regime. She said that, Muslims, by contrast, usually consider themselves to be the victims and usually innocent of any wrongs.

Al-Gharbi said Muslims should reconcile with Christian and Jewish minorities who lived in Muslim countries, and to Africans who suffered in the Arab slave trade. She said they should also reconcile with “small schools of Islamic thought” such as the Ismaili, Baha’i, Alawite and Druze.

Baha’is do not consider themselves to be a school of Islam but instead an independent world religion. They protest persecution in Iran (which has the largest Baha’i population of any Muslim-majority country) including execution, imprisonment, torture, deprivation of property and exclusion from education.

The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom stated in its 2005 report that Baha’is are repressed in Iran and Egypt, and face execution, imprisonment and discrimination. Forum 18, the Norwegian human rights organisation has also reported discrimination against Baha’is in Muslim-dominated Azerbaijan and Turkey.

The Government of Iran maintains that the Baha’i Faith is not a religion but an “espionage establishment”, with links to the Israeli, British and American governments. Other Muslims consider Baha’is to be apostates – Muslims who have abandoned their religion – and this justifies discrimination.

Sources

  • Baha’i International Community. “Persecution” — 
  • United States Commission on International Religious Freedom. “Annual Report 2005” — United States Commission on International Religious Freedom, May 2, 2005

See also

  • Archive of all stories on Forum 18 regarding the Baha’i Faith and religious discrimination:

http://www.forum18.org/Archive.php?query=&religion=22&country=all&results=10

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German BND claims U.S. exaggerated Iraq WMD claims

German BND claims U.S. exaggerated Iraq WMD claims

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Sunday, November 20, 2005

Iraq War
Other Iraq War stories
  • 14 March 2014: Labour politician Tony Benn dies aged 88
  • 28 February 2012: U.S. Army identifies remains of last U.S. soldier unaccounted for in Iraq
  • 21 December 2011: Remaining US troops exit Iraq
  • 3 December 2010: British warship HMS Invincible put up for auction online
  • 23 October 2010: WikiLeaks releases Iraq War logs
Iraqi security forces
Armed forces in Iraq - January 2008.png
Background
  • Wikipedia article about the Iraq War

One of the most important arguments in the run-up to the Iraq war made by Colin Powell in his United Nations speech and President Bush in his State of the Union address was that Iraq had an active biological weapons program and possessed mobile biological weapons labs. According to an investigation by the Senate Intelligence Committee, the main source for this information was an Iraqi defector codenamed Curveball who was a source for the German central intelligence agency BND.

Several German intelligence officials responsible for Curveball have now told the LA Times that the Bush administration and the CIA have repeatedly exaggerated his claims and ignored warnings of the BND that the source was unreliable. Recounting his reaction after seeing Powell’s United Nations speech one German intelligence officer said: “We were shocked. Mein Gott! We had always told them it was not proven…. It was not hard intelligence.” This corroborates reporting by the German weekly newspaper Die Zeit from 2003 and 2004 based on statements of unnamed senior German intelligence officials.

Nine months earlier, in May 2002, a fabricator warning was posted in Curveball’s file in U.S. intelligence databases. Powell was never warned that his United Nations speech contained material that both the DIA and CIA had determined was false, even though several people present at Powell’s CIA meetings were fully aware of this.

At this time German intelligence officers would not let the CIA meet directly with Curveball, but allowed a CIA doctor to draw blood samples. Questioning the validity of Curveball’s information in front of his CIA supervisor, the doctor was advised to “Keep in mind that this war is going to happen regardless of what Curveball said or didn’t say and the Powers That Be probably aren’t terribly interested in whether Curveball knows what he’s talking about.”

Shortly after Powell’s UN speech and several days before the invasion, United Nations weapons inspectors attempted to directly verify several key claims made by Curveball, but concluded that they were unsustainable. The White House insisted on its WMD claims based on Curveball’s information.

Even after the invasion, when more and more of Curveball’s accounts were shown to be pure fabrication, the CIA and the Bush administration relied on Curveball’s information. When U.S. forces discovered trucks with lab equipment and Curveball claimed that these were identical to the ones he has been reporting about, the CIA rushed to publish a White Paper claiming that these trucks were part of Saddam Hussein’s secret biological weapons program and Bush claimed publicly that “We found the weapons of mass destruction.” Several days later, twelve of the thirteen WMD experts who analyzed the trucks agreed that the equipment was not suited for biological weapons production, with the only dissenting voice coming from the author of the original White Paper.

The White Paper remains posted on the CIA website to this date, and President Bush has not yet retracted his statement that Iraq produced “germ warfare agents” made in his State of the Union address or his postwar assertions that “we found the weapons of mass destruction.”

Sources

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Coal mine floods in northern China: 12,000 mines ordered to close

Filed under: Archived,Asia,China,Disasters and accidents,Mining — admin @ 5:00 am

Coal mine floods in northern China: 12,000 mines ordered to close

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Sunday, November 20, 2005

Update November 21, 2005: All of the 14 miners missing were confirmed dead on Monday, the official Xinhua News Agency said.

Seven miners have been killed and seven more are missing after a coal mine flooded in north China’s Hebei province. The Xinhua news agency reports the latest coal mine disaster occurred around 5:00 a.m. on Saturday in Xingtai City.

A reason for the accident has not yet been given. Owners of the coal mine have been detained by local police and the investigation into the cause of the flooding is underway. State media reports say the disaster occurred at a pit in Xingtai City, but gave few other details.

China’s mines, many of them illegal, are considered the world’s most dangerous. More than 6,000 miners died in accidents in China last year, according to previously released government figures. Other independent estimates put the real figure at around 20,000.

Saturday’s accident follows a gas explosion at a coal mine in south-western China’s Guizhou province on Friday killing at least ten people.

Xinhua reports that rescue work is underway, according to the local work safety supervision bureau. A spokesman said Yuanda Coal Mine, a collectively-owned mine in Neiqiu county of Xingtai, was flooded and all the 14 miners working down the pit were trapped.

This is the second fatal mine accident in the area in two weeks. Cave-ins at three plaster mines on November 6 caused 33 deaths and left at least four missing.

Government orders closure of 12,000 mines

A committee for safe production, under the State Council, on Sunday urged relevant local governments to streamline the operation of mines and close unqualified ones.

More than 12,000 Chinese mines have been ordered to suspend production, and they will be closed if they fail to pass government assessments at the end of this year, the committee said.

A gas explosion on November 11 at a mine in Wuhai, a city in north China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, killed 16 miners and wounded three others. The mine lacked a required safety license.

The committee said in a statement that other mines should draw serious lessons from the deadly accident and “steadfastly prevent illegal production and curb the occurrence of big mining accidents.” (Source: Xinhua)

Related Wikinews

  • “170 workers trapped in Chinese mine after explosion” — Wikinews, November 28, 2004
  • “Explosion kills 42 miners in northern China; 27 missing” — Wikinews, March 20, 2005
  • Chinese mine blast kills over 200” — Wikinews, February 15, 2005

Sources

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Bomb blasts hit south Thailand market town Sungai Golok

Bomb blasts hit south Thailand market town Sungai Golok

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Sunday, November 20, 2005

South Thailand insurgency
Related stories

  • Islamic insurgents kill three in Thailand
  • Insurgent attack in South Thailand injures 24
  • 40 injured after attacks in Thailand
  • Police officer killed, at least 18 injured in south Thailand blasts
  • 17 hurt in southern Thailand blasts, schools closed

The involved provinces and surrounding area of Thailand and Malaysia The involved provinces and surrounding area of Thailand and Malaysia

Wikipedia has articles on
  • Thailand
  • South Thailand insurgency
  • 2005 Songkhla bombings
  • Patani United Liberation Organization

and the involved provinces,

  • Pattani
  • Narathiwat
  • Yala
  • Songkhla
See also

Police in Thailand have reported two bomb explosions in the southern province of Narathiwat. Twelve people are reported to have been injured, including three police officers, a two-year-old boy, and a 58-year-old Malaysian tourist.

The two explosions came within a five minute interval around 6:00am local time (23:00 GMT). The target of the attack was a restaurant in a market town, Sungai Golok, which borders with Malaysia. Police Captain Teerapak Sengseng said that the first of the explosive devices was concealed in a fruit basket, and that as the blast was being investigated the second device exploded only metres away.

The ongoing violence which is believed to be the work of insurgents in the predominantly Muslim south of Thailand has resulted in over 1,000 deaths since January 2004, with the Associated Press putting the figure at over 1,100. The area remains under Martial law which was recently extended to some areas of neighbouring Songkla Province. The provinces, Yala, Pattani, and Narathiwat which were formerly the Malay Sultinate of Pattani are the only Muslim-majority part of the traditionally Buddhist country.

There have been some suggestions that residents of the southern provinces are not accorded the same opportunities as those in other parts of the country. Thailand’s economic improvements from increases in tourism during recent years have not yielded any benefits to the troubled provinces. Public statements by the Thai Prime Minister, Thaksin Shiniwatra, have given the impression that areas which have not given support to his Thai Rak Thai political party will not be prioritised by his government; this impacts the south which returned opposition Democrats during elections earlier this year.

The almost daily violence in the provinces bordering Malaysia is expected to be among the subjects discussed at talks between former Malaysian Prime Minister, Dr. Mahathir bin Mohamad and Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shiniwatra. The former PM is expected to meet Mr Shiniwatra at his official residence in Ban Phitsanulok early next week.

Sources

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APEC 2005 wraps up

APEC 2005 wraps up – Wikinews, the free news source

APEC 2005 wraps up

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Sunday, November 20, 2005

This article is part of the series
APEC
Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation 2005

General
  • World Trade, Bird Flu to be discussed at 2005 APEC
  • More from APEC: EU not backing down
Protests
  • 20,000 South Koreans take to the streets to protest APEC
  • Farmers clash amidst high security at APEC summit in Sth Korea
Background
  • Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation
  • World Trade Organization
  • Globalization

The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, APEC 2005 wrapped up this weekend with trade impasse unresolved. Member countries fell short of blaming EU for causing the impasse. The EU has been largely criticized for not opening up its own agriculture market. South Korean Foreign Minister Ban Ki-moon said “The leaders here … are basically saying that now the ball is in Europe’s court”.

Member countries talked of high oil prices hurting their economies and agreed on energy efficiency, conservation and diversification. Supply and demand issues were not clarified.

Sources

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Deer and other animals found dead at Ball State University

Filed under: Archived — admin @ 5:00 am

Deer and other animals found dead at Ball State University

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Sunday, November 20, 2005

The animals were apparently roadkill.

The carcasses of two deer, a coyote, and a possum were dumped in the Delta Gamma Iota fraternity house on the campus of Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana on November 10. The dead animals were apparently placed in the house while members slept. A repairman discovered the prank while working in the house’s kitchen.

Members left the house for at least a day while the animals were removed and the house was disinfected by the Delaware County Health Department.

The fraternity house is located off-campus and is recognized by Ball State — the DGI house is unaffiliated with the intra-fraternity council, however.

The animals were apparently “roadkill” (struck and killed by automobiles on the road). The Indiana Department of Natural Resources is investigating the incident due to the use of deceased animals in vandalism.

Sources

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60th anniversary of Nuremberg trials marked

Filed under: Archived,Crime and law,Europe,Germany — admin @ 5:00 am

Sunday, November 20, 2005

View of the defendents with Göring, Heß, Joachim von Ribbentrop and Wilhelm Keitel in the front row.

View of the defendents with Göring, Heß, Joachim von Ribbentrop and Wilhelm Keitel in the front row.

The city of Nuremberg has marked the 60th anniversary of the opening of the trials against Nazi war criminals.

At a ceremony in the Palace of Justice, where the tribunal was located, participants of the trials gathered and remembered. Whitney R. Harris, a member of the U.S. prosecution team, emphazised the importance of Nuremberg for contemporary international law claiming that “the principles of the Nuremberg case have been followed in recent years and the fact that we conducted Nuremberg has given impetus to the establishment of these more recent tribunals”. But the president of the International Criminal Court (ICC), Philippe Kirsch, is frustrated that there is still opposition against modern international tribunals like his court: “The spectre of politically motivated prosecution which is a running theme against the ICC is so unfounded that it is to me intellectually difficult to understand”.

On November 20, 1945 the trials began in the courtroom 600 of the Palace of Justice. A total of 24 defendants were tried, among them Hermann Göring and Rudolf Heß. With Geoffrey Lawrence being chair of the court, the trial took 218 days and ended with 12 death sentences, 7 jail terms and 3 aquittals. One defendent killed himself during the trial, another one was declared unfit to stand trial.

Some controversy does exist as to whether the Nuremberg Principles have been adhered to in the years following the trials. Noted intellectual author, Noam Chomsky, has claimed that all US presidents since the end of the war would be judged to be war criminals according to these principles.

Sources

  • “Weg für internationales Recht geebnet”. ZDF, November 20, 2005
Wikipedia
Wikipedia has an article about Nuremberg trials.
  • “Nuremberg: 60 years since Nazi trials”. CNN, November 20, 2005
  • “Nuremberg’s Legacy Lives on in Struggle for International Justice”. Deutsche Welle, November 20, 2005
  • “Germany marks Nuremberg tribunals”. BBC News Online, November 20, 2005
  • “Noam Chomsky Interview”. BBC News Online, May 20, 2004
  • David Crossland “Nuremberg Trials a Tough Act to Follow”. Der Spiegel, November 23, 2005


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