|W O R L D||
Sunday, February 14, 1999
|USA to revamp intelligence agencies
WASHINGTON, Feb 13 The CIA has appointed Mr James M. Simon to revamp all intelligence agencies and coordinate among the various US intelligence agencies.
India, Morocco sign 2 treaties
RABAT, Feb 13 India and Morocco signed two agreements today for investment promotion and protection and cooperation in tourism at a glittering ceremony here during the visit of Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee.
Pak optimistic about PMs visit
ISLAMABAD, Feb 13 Pakistan has expressed the hope that the Indian Prime Minister Mr Atal Behari Vajpayees forthcoming trip to Islamabad would provide an opportunity to the two nations to discuss important issues at the highest political level and would yield tangible results in bettering ties.
Ershad takes on dissidents
DHAKA, Feb 13 Jatiya Party chief Hussain Mohammad Ershad has cracked down on growing dissidence in his party, stripping a senior leader of all party positions and expelling a key dissident lawmaker from the primary membership of his outfit.
ASTRAKHAN, RUSSIA: S-400 missile is launched at the shooting range of Kapustin Yar near Astrakhan, 1150 km south of Moscow, on Friday. Russia's air force plans to introduce a new air defence missile, the S-400, which is currently under testing. AP/PTI
USA to revamp intelligence agencies
WASHINGTON, Feb 13 (PTI) The CIA has appointed Mr James M. Simon to revamp all intelligence agencies and coordinate among the various US intelligence agencies.
Mr Simon, chosen by CIA chief George Tenet, told the Senate Committee that he would soon look into the appointment of intelligence agents, intelligence analysis and coordinate among various agencies.
The intelligence agencies in the USA were assigning people their agencies did not want or felt were not progressing acceptably to the intelligence community management (ICM) positions, Mr Simon said.
He also said he would strengthen the ICM as some former members of the ICM staff were retired in place or brain dead.
Mr Simon was critical of agencies for instituting irrational security regulations that encouraged disrespect for security.
It is necessary to stop genuinely harmful leaks and compromises and put an end to the twin abuses of excessive classifications and foolish compartmentalisation, he told the committee.
He said other agencies withheld information from Mr Tenet and his ICM subordinates, adding the Pentagon held back the data on special action programmes when many of them dealt in intelligence.
A problem to fix, he said, is the parochialism that makes it impossible to determine what we know, who knows it and who ought to know it.
He said a process of determining overall national intelligence requirements would be created to ensure that the needs of all government customers tactical and strategic, intelligence and battlefield surveillance are articulated, validated and made manifest in our programme.
To keep top central intelligence policymakers aware of all ICM operations, Mr Simon said he would like Mr Tenet to use his authority to seek a new executive order to establish a central repository that would contain information about all special compartments that covered the most secret programmes, set up by various agencies.
It would also list those individuals who had access to the compartments and various clearances used to limit the access, he added.
He said the introduction of a joint CIA and Pentagon system that kept track of clandestine operations involving agents abroad was an excellent first step and a concept we need now to extend throughout the community.
The intelligence agencies,
the CIA chief and Mr Simon would supervise the CIA, the
Defence Intelligence Agency, the National Reconnaissance
Office, the National Imagery and Mapping Agency, the
State Departments Office of Intelligence and
Research and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
India, Morocco sign 2 treaties
RABAT, Feb 13 (PTI) India and Morocco signed two agreements today for investment promotion and protection and cooperation in tourism at a glittering ceremony here during the visit of Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee.
The two treaties were signed in the presence of Mr Vajpayee and Moroccan Prime Minister Abderrahmane el Youssoufi by Minister of State for External Affairs Vasundhara Raje and the respective Moroccan ministers.
On Moroccos behalf, Government Affairs Minister Ahmed Lahlimi signed the investment promotion and protection agreement while Tourism Minister Hassan Jabbar inked the treaty on tourism.
Under the investment promotion agreement the two countries will have greater economic cooperation between the two sides through investments in each others territory.
The treaty on cooperation in tourism, will help both sides to set up and operate tourist offices in the two countries besides creating a working group to promote tourism by increasing exchanges in tourism and other related activities.
Upon his arrival, Mr Vajpayee was given a traditional Arab welcome in which the host makes an offering of dates to the guest.
Both sides are expected to sign a cultural agreement during the Prime Ministers stay here.
They will also explore the possibility of promoting cooperation in the fields of agriculture, post and telecommunications and computer software.
Hillary plans political future
WASHINGTON, Feb 13 (Agencies) Now that her husbands impeachment trial is over, Mrs Hillary Rodham Clinton plans to give careful consideration to running for a New York Senate seat in 2000, her aides said here.
Flattered by all the attention she has received about a possible run, Mrs Clinton has done nothing to discourage speculation about what would be an unprecedented political event - a sitting First Lady actively campaigning for a political seat for herself.
Now that the trial is coming to an end shell have a chance to put some thought into this, said her spokeswoman, Marsha Berry.
Other people have been very interested in the speculation and have talked to her about it. But its not the kind of thing that shes really been able to think about at this point, Mr Berry said.
She said it was unclear how soon Mrs Clinton would make a decision, adding that the First Lady was simply relieved that the Senate impeachment trial was over.
Other aides sought to dampen speculation that she might announce a decision as early as next week.
Meanwhile, a subdued President Bill Clinton, with eyes red and voice trembling, said he was profoundly sorry for the trauma his affair with Monica Lewinsky had caused to the Congress and American people and sought reconciliation as he had been acquitted by the Senate.
Now that the Senate has fulfilled its constitutional responsibility, bringing this process to a conclusion, I want to say again to the American people how profoundly sorry I am for what I said and did to trigger these events and the great burden they have imposed on the Congress and on the American people, Mr Clinton said at the Rose Garden after the Senate acquitted him of impeachment charges of perjury and obstruction of justice yesterday.
In sharp contrast to his earlier defiant comments after the House of representatives impeached him in December last, Mr Clinton said, I also am humbled and very grateful for the support and the prayers I have received from millions of Americans over this past year.
When a reporter asked whether he would be willing to forgive his enemies, Mr Clinton returned to the microphone to say that any person who asks for forgiveness has to be prepared to give it.
In a related development President Clinton may soon lose some of his senior staffers.
I think some people who were thinking of leaving, who were involved with this (impeachment), now that this is behind us, can move on to other endeavours, A White House official said.
White House lawyers Greg Craig and Lanny Breuer, who were heavily involved in the impeachment saga, were likely to return to the private sector, officials said.
One senior aide has also discussed leaving the White House, and additional departures are likely, an official said. She declined to name the official.
Pak optimistic about PMs visit
ISLAMABAD, Feb 13 (PTI) Pakistan has expressed the hope that the Indian Prime Minister Mr Atal Behari Vajpayees forthcoming trip to Islamabad would provide an opportunity to the two nations to discuss important issues at the highest political level and would yield tangible results in bettering ties.
We hope the visit will yield tangible results and lay the foundation of a new relationship free of tensions and mistrust, Pakistans Foreign Minister Mr Sartaj Aziz said yesterday.
The Ministers remarks here, at a landmark conference of over 100 lawmakers from India and Pakistan hosted by the Jang Group of Newspapers, came days ahead of Mr Vajpayees scheduled trip to Pakistan on February 20.
Ershad takes on dissidents
DHAKA, Feb 13 (PTI) Jatiya Party (JP) chief Hussain Mohammad Ershad has cracked down on growing dissidence in his party, stripping a senior leader of all party positions and expelling a key dissident lawmaker from the primary membership of his outfit.
The party presidium at an emergency meeting yesterday relieved party vice-chairman Mizanur Rahman Chowdhury of all party positions and expelled MP Sharfuddin Jhantu from the primary membership of the party for their alleged anti-party activities, a party statement said here today.
It decided to strip Chowdhury, a former Prime Minister in the Ershad Government, of his party positions on charges of engaging in activities that would damage the party and opposing the on-going anti-government agitation.
Oscar awards mean money not art
THE Oscars are, without doubt, the most important film awards of the year. But how fair are they? The first thing to realise is that you hardly ever win Oscars with movies that are unsuccessful at the box-office. The only film that might buck the trend in 1999 is Terrence Malicks The Thin Red Line, an art film many critics account the best film of the year but not one likely to set the box-office on fire.
Thats why Citizen Kane, though nominated, lost out to the much more popular How Green Was My Valley in 1941. Many other movies we now regard as classics or at least minor masterpieces never made it either, like Billy Wilders Sunset Boulevard, Kubricks Dr Strangelove and 2001: A Space Odyssey, Carol Reeds The Third Man, John Hustons The African Queen, Hitchcocks Psycho, Stanley Donens Singin In The Rain and Woody Allens Manhattan.
How did Stallones Rocky beat Scorseses Taxi Driver and Pakulas All The Presidents Men in 1976? And what made them vote for Robert Redfords Ordinary People over Scorseses Raging Bull in 1980? How could Kramer Vs Kramer beat Coppolas Apocalypse Now in 1979? And how on earth did Mrs Miniver win over Welless The Magnificent Ambersons in 1942? Part of the answer, of course, is that we, including critics, wake up to many of the great movies years later.
And you cant blame the poor old Academy too much when the Venice and Cannes festivals have committed equally glaring errors. The Academy has often seemed wilfully silly, largely because, until recently, it was populated by distinguished old fogeys, many of whom tended to vote for the films of the major companies to whom they owed allegiance.
Strenuous efforts have been made to get some younger voters in, and to stop the major Hollywood studios having too much say in the results. Unfortunately, the films arent as good as they were.
The new system doesnt work, however, as far as the Best Foreign Film is concerned. Each film-making country selects an entrant, a nominating committee pares the huge list down and at least half the Academy members never even look at the five so-called best. Its a wretched system which, in recent years, has produced some laughable results.
Here, especially, good lobbying counts for a lot. Which is why Roberto Benignis Life Is Beautiful is such a strong favourite this year. It is backed by Miramax, and the companys shrewd boss, Harvey Weinstein. So is Shakespeare In Love, which should give the Britons a head start in translating nominations into Oscars.
Weinstein knows exactly how to gather support. Last year I bet him £100 that Judi Dench wouldnt get the Oscar for Mrs Brown, another of the small British films he bought for America. I very nearly lost my money when she was nominated and only narrowly lost out. Needless to say, hes somehow forgotten to pay me. To win an Oscar you need luck, friends in high places and good publicists, as well as box-office success. Oh, and some talent. Among the directors never recognised as best director are Welles, Chaplin, Renoir, Bergman, Antonioni, Kubrick, Hawks, Hitchcock, Fellini, Scorsese, Altman, Cassavetes, von Stern-berg and Lubitsch. Among those who have been are Delbert Mann, John Avildsen, James L Brooks, Kevin Costner, Frank Lloyd and Hugh Hudson.
Among the actors and actresses who havent made it are Greta Garbo, Chaplin again, Cary Grant, James Dean, Judy Garland, Barbara Stanwyck, Gloria Swanson, Rosalind Russell, Deborah Kerr, Irene Dunne, Richard Burton, Kirk Douglas and Montgomery Clift (some of these later got honorary awards). Among those who have are Warner Baxter, Art Carney, Maximilian Schell, Cher and Shirley Booth.
Lockerbie issue resolved
JOHANNESBURG, Feb 13 (Reuters) South Africa said today that all outstanding issues over the 1988 Lockerbie Airline bombing had been resolved after envoys from Pretoria and Saudi Arabia held talks with Libyan leader Muammad Gaddafi.
"Everything has been resolved and the matter is now in the hands of the Secretary-General of the United Nations", President Nelson Mandelas spokesman Parks Mankahlana, told Reuters.
Mediators from South Africa and Saudi Arabia have been trying to secure Libyas agreement to hand over two suspects over Scotland in which 270 persons died, to be tried in a Scottish court.
"We are happy to be able to announce that positive results were achieved in these discussions and that common understanding was reached on all outstanding issues on this matter", a statement from Mr Mandelas office said.
Mr Mankahlana said he
could give no further details on the breakthrough as it
would undermine the mandate of United Nations
Secretary-General Kofi Annan who had been handed a report
following the talks.
|Chinas warning to USA
BEIJING: China has warned the USA against developing space-based weapons systems or using them to protect, Taiwan, state media has reported. Ambassador Li Changhe, speaking at a conference on disarmament meeting in Geneva on Thursday, said the US plan to develop missile defence systems was detrimental to international arms control and could trigger a new arms race, The China Daily reported on Friday AP
Maid wins damages
Mir space station
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