Nur al-Cubicle

A blog on the current crises in the Middle East and news accounts unpublished by the US press. Daily timeline of events in Iraq as collected from stories and dispatches in the French and Italian media: Le Monde (Paris), Il Corriere della Sera (Milan), La Repubblica (Rome), L'Orient-Le Jour (Beirut) and occasionally from El Mundo (Madrid).

Monday, August 01, 2005

1 August 2005 Events in Iraq and Elsewhere

Teheran. Close ties between Iran and Lebanese Hezbollah remain firm, come hell or high water. Lebanese Hezbollah chief Seyyed Hassan Nasrallah meets with Iranian leaders in Teheran. Despite the assassination of Rafik Hariri and international pressure, Lebanese Hezbollah has not only reinforced its presence in Parliament by winning more seats but its alliance with the Assembly Speaker has reaped benefits. Following his re-election, Amal leader Nabih Berry has become one of the most fervent defenders of Hezbollah. Hezbollah and Amal have been given five ministerial portfolios, including Foreign Affairs. The aftermath of 14 February has demonstrated to the Americans that controlling events in Lebanon and forcing it to adhere to Western aims is easier said than done.
Damascus. Syria lifts holds on commercial traffic. After a visit by Lebanese Prime Minister Fuad Siniora, Damascus has cancelled rigorous "security checks" on inbound commercial traffic.

Baghdad. Despite differences, Sheikh Houmam Hammoudi announces that the draft Constution will be submitted to Parliament before the 15 August deadline.

Baghdad. Nine Iraqi members of human rights associations have demanded the protection of women's rights in the new Constitution.

Baghdad. Eleven persons were killed and 10 wounded in attacks across Iraq.

Paris. French intelligence knows who kidnapped French reporters Georges Malbrunot, Christian Chesnot, Florence Aubenas and Hussein Hanoun. Former hostage in Lebanon Roger Auque makes the statement in an interview in the August-September issue of Afrique Magazine. According to Auque, In the Middle East, everyone is obsessed with espionage. Arabs see spies everywhere. They are very distrustful and take great precautions. The kidnappers did not say at first that they wanted money. They usually claim that they are members of a political or religious movement. Then they say they have difficulty making ends meet. A sum is suggested. Mr. Auque says that $6 million was paid for the release of Florence Aubenas and Hussein Hanoun last June, while for the release of reporters Christian Chesnot and Georges Malbrunot, $2 million was paid. Roger Auque was kidnapped by Hezbollah in 1987 in Lebanon.

Rome. Bombing suspect Hamdi Issac is a member of a large family, including five brothers, all of whom entered Europe through Italy. In addition to Hamdi, there are four other male siblings: Remzi, Fethi, Abdulhai, and Wahib. Remzi is the eldest and runs a shop selling African objects in Via Volturno in Rome. Fethi was arrested in Brescia. Abdulhai moved to Canada where he married and now has children. Wahib lives in London. Both Hamdi and Wahib changed their identity to Hamdi and Osman Hussein to benefit from refugee status. They falsely claimed that they were Somali. [I'm assuming that they are really Eritrean--Nur].

Giuba (Sudan) Violent demonstratons against Sudanese Arabs erupt in Giuba in southern Sudan following death of John Gargang.

23:50 Istanbul. A mayor kidnapped by the PKK was released. Hasim Akyurek was released by his captors.

23:24 Khartoum. Death toll rises to 36 in protests following the death of John Garang.

23:33 London. Two others arrested in probe of 21 July failed bombings.

22:28 Gaza. The resident of the Gaza Public Prosecutor, Hussein Abu Assi, was firebombed.

22:17 Khartoum. Salva Kiir replaces John Garang.

22:12 Cairo. Egypt frees 24 members of Kefaya arrested Saturday in an anti-Mubarek demonstration.

21:34 Washington. Bolton: A very undiplomatic neocon to become United States envoy to the United Nations. John R. Bolton, installed today as US Ambassador to the United Nations, is one of the most contraversial figures among the neoconservatives who filled important posts in Washington during George W. Bush's first mandate. Democrats attempted until the last moment to block his nomination, asking details from the White House on his past which were denied by the Bush adminstration. Bolton's reputation as an undiplomatic, aggressive and contraversial "diplomat" is well know. Many Republicans question his suitability, including former Secretary of State Colin Powell. Born on 20 November 1948 in Baltimore, Maryland, Bolton is a graduate of Yale, the same university attended by Bush. Enrolled in the National Guard, Bolton did not go to Vietnam because, say some, he did not want to die in an Asian rice paddy. He worked for USAID before being appointed Deputy Secretary of State by Bush senior. When Bush junior took power , he became Undersecretary of State for anti-Proliferation. He held the post of Vice President at the American Enterprise Institute. He was an assistant to James Baker during the legal battle in which George W. Bush President was declared President. Bolton is a long-time member of the Federalist Society. In 1994, Bolton wrote for the website, Right Wing, that if the 10 floors were lost at the UN Building in New York, no one would notice. He confessed in an article in the Wall Street Journal that the happiest day in his life is when he signed a lettter declining US membership in the International Criminal Court.

21:32 Khartoum. Two US envoys will be sent to Khartoum to guarantee the continuation of the peace process following the death of John Garang.

20:47 Bahrain. Michael Jackson buys a luxury home in Bahrain adjacent to that of Sheikh Abdullah bin Hamad al Khalifa, son of Emir Hamad. The home includes a 35-acre estate.

19:36 Khartoum. At least 24 dead in protests across the country in demonstrations protesting the death [assassination, no doubt--Nur] of John Garang.

15:41 Jordan declares forty days of mourning for King Fahd (good riddance, the broken-down, hedonistic SOB mascarading as a "man of faith"--Nur).

17:42 Rome. The Rome Public Prosecutor's office has approved the arrest of Hamdi and Remzi Adus Issac. Hamdi Isaac [Hamdi Hussain] is held on charges of international terrorism and possession of forged documents.

16:27 Khartoum. 6 pm to 6 am curfew imposed following death of John Garang. The Khartoum Airport has also been closed to air traffic.

15:23 Jerusalem. Israel will deploy 25,000 troops to the Gaza Strip to prevent a march to the Gaza settlements to be abandoned.

14:32 Baghdad. Two bombs killed at least five soldiers in Baghdad. The first bomb detonated in a quarter of central Baghdad and killed an Iraqi solider. The second blast was caused by a roadside bomb targeting a police patrol.

12:24 Baghdad. Twenty bound and gagged bodies were recovered at a garbage dump in Baghdad.

12:10 Paris. French Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy calls for pressuring Iran to prevent it from developing The Bomb.

10:10 Cairo. The death of King Fahd of Saudi Arabia has resulted in the postponement of the Arab League summit at Sharm al-Sheikh.

10:06 Khartoum. Following the announcement of the death of rebel leader and Sudanese Vice President John Garang, thousands of Sudanese took to the streets to protest.

09:49 London. Death of Saudi King Fahd raises price of oil. Oil reached $62.30 per barrel, shooting past the historical high of $63.10 reached on 7 July 2005. Brent September prices reach $60.96 per barrel, breaking all records.

08:55 Baghdad. Interior Minstry official assassinated. General Abdesalam Rauf Saleh was shot dead by a group of armed men this morning in the Doura district of south Baghdad. Two of his bodyguards were wounded.

08:25 Jerusalem. Israel arrests 5 members of Islamic Jihad.

07:44 Baghdad. No extension requested for drafting of Constitution. Committee spokeperson Bahaa al-Araji makes there announcemtn . The committee has an additional two weeks to hammer out remaining disagreements.


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