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April 14, 2006

Grover Norquist attempts to trademark \’K Street Project\’

Grover Norquist attempts to trademark ‘K Street Project’

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Friday, April 14, 2006

Grover Norquist, a conservative activist, is working to trademark the term ‘K Street Project’. Norquist feels that Democrats, along with Republican Jay Boehner, have hijacked the term and made it symbolize corruption and scandal, which he says is entirely unrelated to his project, a branch of Americans for Tax Reform.

Norquist states that his project is just a job listing for lobbyists in Washington, as well as a list of political ties or campaign contributions that they may have. Originally founded in 1989, the goal of the K Street Project was to correct the imbalance that Norquist saw in lobbyist’s political views in Washington.

Norquist later stated: “Some people say Kleenex when they mean tissue. We will jealously guard the real phrasing the way Kleenex and Coca-Cola do. We will sue anyone who says it wrong and make lots of money.”

A spokesperson for House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said, “Republicans can call it anything they want. It doesn’t change the fact that every single Republican is responsible for enabling and benefiting from a K Street Project that puts their cronies ahead of the American people.”

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Explosion rocks Jama Masjid in India

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Explosion rocks Jama Masjid in India – Wikinews, the free news source

Explosion rocks Jama Masjid in India

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Friday, April 14, 2006

File Picture of the Jama Masjid

Twin blasts have rocked the historic Jama Masjid in Old Delhi (India), killing at least five people and injuring thirteen. The explosions were not strong enough to damage the 17th century mosque.

The first explosion occurred around 1730 hrs local time (IST) and the second at 1740 hrs. The explosives were reportedly carried in plastic bags. There were around 1000 people in the mosque at the time of blasts as the day happened to be Friday, considered holy by the Muslims as well as because of the fact that it was the first Friday after Milad un Nabi, Prophet Muhammad’s birthday. The blasts took place just before the Azaan. Some sources claim that the mosque was almost empty with only 100-150 people in the premises when the blast took place. The first blast occurred near Gate No. 1, a place where people wash their hands before offering prayers.

The injured have been admitted to Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Hospital. Alert have been sounded in major mosques in India, especially in Mumbai. Fire trucks, ambulances and bomb disposal squads reached the site and have cordoned off the area for their operations. The nearby shops have been asked to suspend operations. The Delhi State Government has requested the people to maintain calm and announced an ex-gratia compensation of Rs. 50,000 for the seriously injured and Rs. 25,000 for those with minor injuries.[1] It is being speculated that these blasts might be linked with coincidental six grenade attacks in Srinagar, that took place the same day.[2] As of 15th April, no terrorist group has claimed the responsibility of the blasts. The Delhi police have arrested four people and are questioning them for the blasts.[3] However, the police have ruled out involvement of any major terrorist group because of the crude nature of explosives.

Type of explosive

It has been established that the explosives used in the blast were very crude in nature and consisted of Potassium chlorate and Sulphuric acid. These two were separated by a rubber wall. When the acid corroded the rubber to make contact with the Potassuim chlorate on the other side, the explosion was triggered.

References

  1. Report on CNN IBNLive
  2. Report on Irish Examiner.
  3. Report on NDTV.

Sources

Wikipedia
Wikipedia has more about this subject:
2006 Jama Masjid Blasts
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Egyptian official states Al-Qaeda explosives expert killed in airstrike

Egyptian official states Al-Qaeda explosives expert killed in airstrike

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Friday, April 14, 2006

FBI Photograph of Mohsin Musa Matawalli Atwah.

Mohsin Musa Matawalli Atwah, 45, who is accused of being an Al-Qaeda explosive expert, was killed in a missile attack on Wednesday night in Pakistan, said Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, Pakistan’s information minister. At least eight other alleged terrorists, both foreign and of Pakistani descent, were also believed to have been killed in the strike. However, the body of Atwah has not yet been found and the identities of the others killed are not yet known. It is believed that at least two children were also killed.

“We can confirm the identities of the foreigners killed once we have carried out a thorough ground check,” said Pakistani military spokesman Major General Shaukat Sultan.

Atwah, also known as Abdul Rahman Al-Muhajir, Muhammad K.A. and Abdel Rahman, is accused of being responsible for the bombings of the American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania on August 7, 1998 which killed 20 Americans and at least 200 Africans. Atwah is on the FBI‘s list of most wanted terrorists with a bounty of five million dollars.

“His death has been confirmed. The confirmation is based upon multiple intelligence sources,” said Ahmed.

“I confirm the death of this Egyptian terrorist,” said an Egyptian minister.

Pakistani forces used missile fire and explosives launched from assault helicopters to kill the expert in the North Waziristan village of Naghar Kalai, which lies near the border of Afghanistan.

Atwah “had been living here for quite some time,” said one security official.

However, it is believed that associates of the alleged terrorists killed removed the bodies and buried them in an unidentified location, but at least four tribesmen that were killed were buried in the town’s cemetery.

So far, neither the United States FBI nor U.S. officials in Egypt have confirmed the death of Atwah.

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Australian PM faces inquiry into Iraqi kickbacks

Filed under: Australia,AutoArchived,Original reporting — admin @ 5:00 am

Australian PM faces inquiry into Iraqi kickbacks

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Friday, April 14, 2006

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Wikinews Australia has in-depth coverage of this issue: Cole Inquiry

Official photograph of Mr Howard

Australian Prime Minister, John Howard appeared before the Cole inquiry on Thursday, the first time an Australian Prime Minister has appeared before an inquiry with royal commission powers since 1983.

Unlike his foreign minister Alexander Downer who gave evidence before the inquiry on Tuesday, Mr Howard entered through the front door where he gave a brief address. He told the press that his government is being open about the Iraqi kickback affair. ” just want to make one point and that is that the appearance by me, earlier this week by the Foreign Minister and also by the Trade Minister, demonstrates absolutely how open and transparent and accountable the Government is being in relation to this matter” Mr Howard said to reporters.

Mr Howard was questioned by John Agius, counsel assisting the inquiry. Counsel for AWB, the company at the centre of the scandal did not apply to cross-examine the prime minister.

Terrence Cole, the inquiry’s commissioner received an application from Peter Geary and Micheal Long’s counsel to cross-examine the prime minister but refused it on the grounds that the proposed line of questioning was similar to that of Mr Aguis’ and that there was no evidence that Mr Howard had “ever met with Mr Geary or Mr Long”.

Mr Agius questioned the prime minister about a series of diplomatic cables sent to his office, which raised concerns about AWB’s contracts in Iraq.

Mr Howard told the inquiry that he doesn’t recall reading or being briefed about any of the cables referred to by the inquiry. The inquiry also heard that prior to 2003 there was no system in place to identify which cables had been bought to the prime minister’s attention.

In his statement to the inquiry, Mr Howard said that his office had not received four of the cables mentioned by the inquiry. Under questioning, Mr Howard confirmed this but conceded that it was likely that his staff had read the other 17.

When asked whether there were any guidelines which guided his advisors in deciding which cables should be bought to the prime minister’s attention, Mr Howard replied “No, there weren’t”.

The inquiry heard that the only discussions about which cables which should be bought to Mr Howard’s attention occurred when an advisor changed in very generic terms. Mr Howard told the inquiry that he would tell a new advisor “Well, you’ve got to exercise your own judgment, I can’t possibly read everything, and clearly I want things brought to my attention which are, in your judgment, important and are relevant to issues in front of the government at the time”.

Mr Howard admitted that the government had an interest in Iraq using the United Nations oil for food program for its own financial benefit, but said he did not expect cables dealing with alleged breach of UN sanctions to have been bought to his attention.

The questioning then turned to a statement Mr Howard made to the National Press Club on March 13, 2003, one week prior to the US-led Iraqi occupation. Speaking about Saddam Hussein Mr Howard said “He has cruelly and cynically manipulated the United Nations oil-for-food programme. He’s rorted it to buy weapons to support his designs at the expense of the wellbeing of his people”.

Mr Agius asked Mr Howard if his statement was based upon briefngs he had received. Mr Howard told the inquiry that the information was based upon “open source” intelligence stated at addresses by British foreign secretary Jack Straw and the United States state department. Mr Howard said one of his advisors “checked with some cables to confirm that those cables supported the open-source claims and was satisfied that they did”.

Mr Howard denied seeing the cables used by the advisor to support the claims, but believed he would have told her to be sure that everything they were saying can be supported by fact. Mr Howard told the inquiry that he never knew about cables which referred to Hussein rorting the UN Oil for Food program. Mr Howard admitted that at the time his “general knowledge” was that Hussein had breached UN sanctions and was rorting the Oil for Food program.

“My general knowledge at the time and belief was that the program had been rorted, and it was not seriously in dispute. Nobody was arguing it hadn’t been rorted” Mr Howard said.

The prime minister was questioned about an unassessed intelligence report which mentioned a Jordanian trucking company known as “Alia” paying kickbacks to Hussein. In response to this Mr Howard told the inquiry that he could not recall the information being bought to his attention, which was not unusual.

Related Wikinews

  • “Australia’s deputy PM faces Iraqi kickback inquiry” — Wikinews, April 11, 2006
  • “Australian foreign minister tells inquiry it was the UN’s job to investigate Iraq kickback claims” — Wikinews, April 12, 2006
  • “Australian PM to face Cole inquiry” — Wikinews, April 12, 2006

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Salon: Rumsfeld allowed Guantanamo abuse

Salon: Rumsfeld allowed Guantanamo abuse

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Friday, April 14, 2006 According to the online magazine Salon on Friday, United States Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld let an “abusive and degrading” interrogation happen in 2002, citing an Army document obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request as its source. The magazine quoted a December 2005 Army inspector general’s report where officers told of Rumsfeld’s direct contact with the overseeing general at the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

According to the article, the victim, Mohammed al-Kahtani, was made to stand naked in front of a female American interrogator and accused of being a homosexual, forced to wear women’s underwear and to perform “dog tricks” on a leash and went though 18-20 hours of interrogation per day during 48 of 54 days.

Salon reports that “on Dec. 2, 2002, Rumsfeld approved 16 harsher interrogation strategies for use against Kahtani, including the use of forced nudity, stress positions and the removal of religious items.” According to the report, Rumsfeld revoked these harsher interrogation techniques in mid-January 2003 and they were not approved again.

Salon cites Army investigator Lt. Gen. Randall Schmidt’s statement, which was made under oath, that he concluded that although Rumsfeld did not specifically order the interrogation methods used on Kahtani, the open-ended policies approved by Rumsfeld paired with lack of supervision of day-to-day interrogations permitted the abusive conduct to take place.

Pentagon spokesman Jeffery Gordon told Reuters that “We’ve gone over this countless times and yet some still choose to print fiction versus facts,” and added that “Twelve major reviews, to include one done by an independent panel, all confirm the Department of Defense did not have a policy that encouraged or condoned abuse. To suggest otherwise is simply false.”

Wikipedia Learn more about Mohamed al-Kahtani and the Guantanmo Bay detention facility on Wikipedia.

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New Apple software lets Microsoft Windows boot on Macs

Filed under: AutoArchived,Science and technology,United States — admin @ 5:00 am

New Apple software lets Microsoft Windows boot on Macs

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Friday, April 14, 2006

The Boot Camp boot screen; in which the user opts for loading under Mac OS or Windows

Last week, Apple Computer released a program for their Mac OS operating system called Boot Camp Assistant, which will allow Macs to boot Microsoft Windows. The software was released as a beta version for Apple computers powered on the Intel architecture, which is also used by Windows. Assistant works by creating a hard drive partition to contain the Windows operating system. Unlike the current method of reformatting, the software will arrange files so that the new partition will not erase existing files. After the partition is created, the user must load a Microsoft Windows install disc.

While Macs will support booting competitors’ operating systems with Boot Camp Assistant, Apple will not offer support for them. Infinite Loop reports that this has led to people accidentally permanently installing Windows on their computers. Another concerned party is Microsoft, who claims that their commitment to the Macintosh operating system “has not changed.”

One group seen to benefit is gamers, who will no longer be left waiting for delayed releases of Macintosh versions of games. Peter Cohen of Macworld notes that he has been able to play certain games with a moderate level of quality. However, he considers this to be a disadvantage for Mac developers, who are responsible for bringing software already available for Windows to the Macintosh operating system.

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Forecast cloudy for COSMIC launch

Forecast cloudy for COSMIC launch – Wikinews, the free news source

Forecast cloudy for COSMIC launch

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Friday, April 14, 2006

The COSMIC atmospheric research spacecraft launch is likely to be rescheduled to Saturday due to inclement weather.

COSMIC is currently scheduled to launch tonight between 5:10 and 8:20 p.m. PDT (Saturday 0010 to 0320 UTC ). The Air Force launch weather team at Vandenberg Air Force Base is predicting a 70% chance that weather conditions will prohibit the launch from happening tonight.

If tonight’s launch is cancelled, it will be rescheduled for Saturday. Times for a rescheduled launch have not been announced.

The weather outlook for Saturday shows improved conditions with only a 10% chance of rain.

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Canada tests cow for mad cow disease

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Canada tests cow for mad cow disease – Wikinews, the free news source

Canada tests cow for mad cow disease

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Friday, April 14, 2006

Initial tests done on a six-year-old dairy cow in Fraser Valley, a farming community near Vancouver, British Columbia in Canada, are inconclusive for bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or “mad cow disease,” said Canada’s Food Inspection Agency.

Further tests are being conducted at Winnipeg’s National Centre for Foreign Animal Disease and results are expected on Sunday. Officials also say the cow did not enter the human food chain.

“Canada has a suite of internationally recognized safeguards that work together to provide high levels of human and animal health protection,” officials for the agency said in a statement.

If the results are positive, this will be Canada’s fifth case of the disease since 2003.

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Bear in Tennessee kills six-year-old girl

Bear in Tennessee kills six-year-old girl

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Friday, April 14, 2006

Map highlighting Tennessee.

A six-year-old girl was killed after a black bear attacked her. Her mother and two-year-old brother, also attacked, were critically injured.

The nearly 400-pound bear attacked the family when they were staying at Chilwoee Campground located within the Cherokee National Forest in Tennessee. The family was visiting a nearby waterfall when they were attacked.

According to rescuers, the girl managed to escape from the bear, but was found only an hour later by a rescuer who fired shots that scared the bear away.

“Allegedly, after the rescue squad found the little girl, one of the squad members fired a shot from a small-caliber handgun. We don’t know whether the bear was hit or not. There was no blood, but it chased off,” said Dan Hicks, a spokesman for the states Wildlife Resources Agency.

The mother and the brother both remain in critical condition at a hospital in Chattanooga. The boy’s skull was punctured by a bite to the head, before the bear attacked his mother. The mother was trying to scare the bear away with rocks and sticks before being attacked. According to doctors, she had several puncture wounds to her neck, but had too many other claw and teeth marks for them to count. Both are expected to recover.

Investigators have not yet been able to speak to the mother because of the severity of her injuries.

“She may not remember the attack at all,” said Hicks, who also said that it was only Tennessee’s second documented attack involving a bear.

“There is a chance that the same bear would attack someone else, so I hope they do catch him,” said Lynn Rogers of the North American Bear Center.

Officials have baited traps with honey buns and doughnuts to try and catch the bear.

Authorities have not yet released the names of the victims. The campground has been closed.

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Amber Alert canceled in Toronto

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Amber Alert canceled in Toronto – Wikinews, the free news source

Amber Alert canceled in Toronto

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Friday, April 14, 2006

Nevaeh Gough is back with her family, and police in Toronto have cancelled the Amber Alert issued earlier today when she was driven away by her father, Daniel James David, after an alleged domestic altercation between the 10-month old’s parents.

Police were called to a home on Warden Avenue at 1:35 p.m. EDT (1735 UTC) regarding a domestic dispute. Police allege Mr David arrived at a motel where the mother and child were staying and assaulted the infant’s mother, then drove away with the child. When he returned to the hotel, they allege he forced the mother into the car and drove her to the home on Warden Avenue, from which he later fled.

Police issued the alert, along with descriptions of Mr David and his vehicle, and the warning that he may have a gun.

The alert was canceled off after approximately an hour when the baby’s grandfather brought her to the police, about 7 p.m. local time.

Mr David was described as 5’10”, black, with black, short hair and brown eyes and has a cheek scar under his right eye. His vehicle is a silver, four-door, 2006 Mazda M6, with Ontario license plate AYFZ 177.

Anyone with information to his whereabouts is asked to contact police at 416-808-4300, or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416-222-TIPS (8477), or online at www.222tips.com .

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