8 May 2005 Events in Iraq (and Elsewhere)
Off topic but too big to ignore. Baradei affirms that North Korea has at least six atomic weapons. The Director of the IAEA, Mohammed el-Baradei, tells CNN that North Korea has at least six atomic weapons. We know that they have the plutonium for five or six nuclear weapons. We know that they have the industrial infrastructure to convert this plutonium. We know that they have a delivery capability....The sooner we intervene to pursue talks with the the North Koreans and the sooner we try to find an overall solution, the better off we all will be.
Tunis. 2.8 million Tunisians voted in municipal elections. With Islamist parties banned and leftist parties off the ticket, the ruling Constitutional Democratic Party won a crushing victory in 264 municipalities. Municipal elections occur every five years.
Jerusalem. Shaken by a scandal, the Greek Orthodox community in the Holy Land is in a uproar. Patriarch Ireneos the First was destituted of his functions by the synod after a secret sale to a Jewish businessman of church property in Jerusalem's Old City: two hotels near the Jaffa Gate. Jerusalem's old city was conquered and annexed by Israel after the 1967 War. Supporters of Ireneos are protesting the decision.
Jerusalem. Despite the engagements of Sharm el Sheik, Israeli PM Ariel Sharon announced that he would freeze the release of 400 Palestinian prisioners claiming lack of resolve on the part of Mahmoud Abbas in dealing with the security situation. The postponement is likely to undermine the current de facto truce. Moreover, access has been restricted to the Esplanade atop the Temple Mount to Muslims over the age of 45 and this has irritated the Palestinian Authority. Israel claims the decision was taken to avoid clashes with the Jewish extremist group, Revava. Later the Palestinian Authority claimed via communiqué that Israeli threats seem to be coupled with threats by Revava to invade the al Aqsa Mosque on Monday. The Palestinian Authority plans to set up surveillance cameras to snare Revava infiltrators. The PA warned Israel against any official support of the planned invasion of the Esplanade, saying that the situation could become "explosive".
Gaza Strip. Fatah members operating outside the control of Mahmood Abbas shut down several voter registration centers set up in advance of the July legislative elections. They were protesting the success of Hamas at the polls last week during municipal elections.
Gaza Strip. Eight Israeli trucks and bulldozers vandalized in the Gaza Strip. Foam was introduced into the exhaust pipes and doorlocks were damaged by glue. Slogans used by settlers against the mid-August pullout were painted on the windshields. The incident took place in an equipment parking lot near an Israeli military position. The Israeli Army did not observe the perpetrators.
Jerusalem. Pollard wants to be recognized as a « prisoner of Zion» Jonathan Pollard, an American Jew sentenced to life in prison in 1987 on charges of spying for Israel has filed a petition with the Supreme Court to be recognized as a "prisoner of Zion." If the status is granted, Jonathan Pollard will compel the State of Israel to demand his release from prison. The Jews of the USSR, insisting on their right to emigrate, were declared "prisoners of Zion" by Israel and thus received the full support and backing of the state. Mr. Pollard was granted Israeli citizenship in 1998.
Cairo. Mohammed Mahdi Akef, the Supreme Guide of the Muslim Brotherhood, urged the Egyptian Parliament to reject a constitutional amendement allowing the head of government to be elected by direct universal suffrage because of the "prohibitive restrictions" imposed on candidates wishing to run for office. The written endorsement of at least 300 parliamentarians is to be required for all candidates, which is impossible to obtain because most MPs are members of the majority ruling party. Mr.Akef also called for the immediate release of Brotherhood members who were arrested for demonstrating for reforms. Of the 2,000 protesters arrested, 600 were placed in preventative detention for two weeks.
Cairo. One hundred Islamist lawyers protested outside the Ismaïliya courthouse against the detention of three of their colleagues. Lawyers Mohammed Nafee, Achraf Mohammed Ali and Eid Ebeid were among 29 people arrested during protests on Friday. The accused were locked in police vans under high security while the demonstration took place.
Tripoli. Libya extradites brother of suicide bomber. Mohammed Yousri Yassin, brother of Nagat and Ihab Yousri Yassin, may be linked to a terrorist cell which has carried out several attacks targeting tourists in Cairo and was extradited to Egypt.
Baghdad. Iraqi Parliament ratifies the nomination of the last five ministers in the Jafaari cabinet. However, Sunni nominee Hachem Abderrahmane al-Chibli rejected his nomination as Minister for Human Rights. He was not consulted before the appointment.
Baghdad. The US Army announced the capture of six suspect members of a group led by Abu Moussab al-Zarqawi
Baghdad. Seven US soldiers were killed in and around Baghdad in the last 48 hours. Meanwhile, al-Jafaari threatened to invoke a state of emergency.
Amman. Jordan and Iraq will step up their efforts to combat terrorism, says Iraqi FM Hoshyar Zebari who accompanied President Jalal Talabani on his first trip outside the country. Mr. Zebari also indicated that talks would resolve the delicate matter of Ahmad Chelabi legal troubles in Jordan. During his talks with Talabani, King Abdallah II assured him that Jordan would not recognize any legal action agains the Iraqi people or members of its government. Mr. Chalabi was sentenced to 22 years in prison by the Jordian judiciary in 1986 for corruption and enbezzlement of $228 million while he served as CEO of the Petra Bank.
Washington. Senate to divulge names in Oil for Food scandal. The US Senate will release the names of foreign personalities being investigated for their involvement in the Oil for Food scandal. Bush asked that the names of Russians involved in the scandal be withheld until after his return from Russia. The Senate will provide the details of corruption focusing on French ex-Interior Minister Charles Pasqua, a British MP, a Russian politician and an advisor to President Putin.
Baghdad. New ministry appointments. Defense: Dr Saadoun al-Dulaimi (Sunni); Oil: Dr Ibrahim Bahr al-Uloum (Shia); Deputy prime minister: Abid Mutlak al-Jubouri (Sunni); Electricity: Dr Mohsen Shlash (Shia); Industry: Usama al-Najafi (Sunni); Human Rights: Hashim al-Shible (Sunni). Mr. al-Jaafari indicated that he was seeking a woman to fill a final deputy prime minister's position.
22:12 Haditha. Guerrillas conduct raid on hospital killing four US troops.
20:12 Khaldiyah. Two US soliders killed in clashes northwest of capital
19:29 Samarra. Marine killed by bomb.
18:34 Baghdad. Group linked to al-Zarqawi threatens Vatican and the Whitehouse.
18:00 Baghdad. Nth al Zarqawi arrest. Al Zarqawi lieutenant Amar Adnan Muhammad Hamzah al-Zubaydi, alias Abu Abbas, was arrested on May 5 in a raid on a Baghdad neighborhood. He is accused of directing an attack on Abu Ghraib prison on April 2 and of a series of suicide attacks. Abu Abbas confessed to stealing and hiding 400 mortar round and 720 cases of explosives at his farm in Youssoufiah, south of Baghdad.
17:44 Beiji. Iraqi civilians wounded in a shootout following a carbombing which targeted a US convoy.
17:36 Baghdad. Two Americans killed yesterday in downtown Baghdad were employees of a North Carolina security company. CTU Consulting of North Carolina, identified the two American security contractors who were killed as Brandon Thomas and Todd Venette. Five other CTU employees were also wounded, and four were treated and released, the company said.
17:00 Kuwait City. Twenty suspected Islamist activists received a sentence of three years in prison without appeal. Abdallah Matar ach-Chimmari will serve an extra five years for attempting to enter Iraqi without a passport. A group of three other received fines of ranging from $3,400 and $10,000.
14:51 Baghdad. Two Iraqi soldiers killed in a suicide carbombing along the Mosul-Beiji highway targeting a US-Iraqi military convoy. Four civilians were wounded, including a child. The attack destroyed two private cars.
12:15 Baghdad. The director-general of the Ministry of Transport, Zoubaa Yassin Khodeïr al-Maïni, was shot dead together with his chauffeur by unknown gunmen.