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A blog on the current crises in the Middle East and news accounts unpublished by the US press.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 08, 2005

8 August Events in Iraq and in the Region

Baghdad Sandstorm

Jerusalem. The Israeli Anti-Terrorism Bureau has warned Israeli nationals to avoid the Mediterranean coast of Turkey. Yesterday's explosion in Istanbul's Zeytinburnu quarter killed two and wounded five. Traces of type A-4 were found in the apartment where the blast occurred. The Kurdish Workers' Party is (PKK) is suspected.

Baghdad. Iraq's political leaders, resolving to meet daily to settle differences over the Iraqi Constitution, have cancelled today's meeting due to the sandstorm. Also, Kurdistan President Massoud Barzani was unable to reach the capital. Meanwhile, a spokesman for Iraqi President Talabani, Kamaran Garadaghi, says that Prime Minister Ibrahim Jaafari is unable to leave the Green Zone due to "security concerns" to meet with Talabani. Sheikh Houmam Hammoudi, chairman of the committee drafting the new Constitution, has given Iraq's political leaders until 12 August to settle remaining questions. There are at least 18 issues which must be resolved to form a consensus.

Baghdad. Prime Minister Ibrahim Jaafari has dispatched Adnan al-Assadi as his personal representative in Samawa following clashes between demonstrators and police. This evening, the Al-Muthanná Provincial Council in Samawa deposed Governor Mohammed Ali Hassani. Two more Iraqis have been added to yesterday's death toll: an unarmed civilian mistaken for a gunman and a police officer shot dead by unknown assailants.

Baghdad. A Turkish truck driver and 11 Iraqis, including four members of the security forces, were killed in and north of the capital.

Ankara. The employer of three Turks, kidnapped on Sunday, has confirmed their abduction but insists that they haven't been working with the US military for more than a year.

Washington. The US may reinforce its military presence in Iraq between now and the end of the year to provide security for the constitutional referendum and the general election scheduled for October and December.

Amman. The family of Saddam Hussein announced that it would deal only with a single lawyer and has fired their Arab and foreign legal team. In a communiqué signed by Saddam's daughter, Raghd, the family says it will retain only Iraqi lawyer Khalil Doulaïmi.

New York. Benon Sevan, former director of the Oil for Food Program, has resigned his position at the United Nations. The report drafted by Paul Volcker accuses Benon Sevan of accepting several under-the-table contracts for oil. The contracts were then given to an Egyptian company, which has refused to cooperate with the investigation. In his resignation letter, Sevan claims that he is a scapegoat. Sevan, together with Fred Nadler, brother-in-law of former UN Secretary General Boutros Boutros-Ghali, are said to have received kickback from the Egyptian firm, owned by Fakhry Abdelnour, a cousin of Boutros Boutros-Ghali.

23:58 New York. Iran has secretly manufactured machines to enrich uranium and intends to use them at a number of hidden locations across the country, says a group of Iranian exiles. The National Council for Resistance in Iran says it has obtained a copy of a reported issued by the Iranian Supreme Council on National Security and addressed to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei which summarizes two years of negotiations with the European "troika": France, UK and Germany.

20:37 Jerusalem. Olmert replaces Benjamin Netanyahu as Finance Minister.

16:45 US. Light crude reaches $63.60 per barrel.

15:19 Tehran. The official reply of Iran to proposals by European Union has been issued in a letter delivered to the ambassadors of France, UK and Germany.

14:11 London. Haroon Rashid Aswat, suspected of links to al-Qaida and to the July 7 London bombings, has been extradited from Zambia and will be arraigned in London on 11 August.

13:44 Tehran. The Isphahan plant for uranium enrichment has been restarts.

13:30 Isphahan. Uranium enrichment plant restarts activities.

12:23 Rome. Attorney Antonietta Sonnessa, defending Hamdi Issac, wanted in Britain in connection with the 21 July attempted bombings in London, as well as his brother Remzi, jailed for possession of forged documents, challenges a new Italian law equating document forging with terrorism. Sonnessa hopes to have Remzi released, who had only offered lodging to his brother, Hamdi.

12:14 London. Charges relating to the 21July attempted bombings have been announced: conspiracy to commit homicide, attempted homicide, and manufacture and possession of illegal explosive.

08:54 New York. Price of light crude reaches historical high of $62.69 per barrel. . Meanwhile Brent hits $61.35 per barrel, also an historical high.

07:48 Baghdad. Iraqi capital paralyzed by violent sandstorm. Shop are closed and traffic has halted.

06:13 Tehran. Iranian government denies US accusation of arms smuggling to Iraqi guerrillas.


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