March 6, 2003, Chandigarh, India
a terrorist: USA
Iraq even sans mandate: USA
pleads for consensus
‘destroys’ 9 more missiles
Bush talked as ‘allies’
ends hostage drama
refuses to produce bombing suspects
asked witch doctor to cast spell
Saddam is a terrorist: USA
Washington, March 5
“Well, certainly Saddam is the dictator of a State that is on the US terrorist list, so I see nothing that would indicate he is anything but a terrorist” White House spokesman Ari Fleischer told reporters yesterday in response to a question whether the Bush Administration considers Saddam Hussein to be a terrorist.
On whether the USA will go after him “overtly” as in the case of Al-Qaida chief Osama bin Laden, Mr Fleischer said “Yes. If force is used (to disarm Iraq), you can assume we will obviously not carve out a safety zone for Saddam Hussein”.
Mr Fleischer, who was holding his briefing the day before the anticipated arrival of a Papal envoy to persuade US President George W Bush against a war, said “the President looks forward to receiving and greeting the Papal emissary to find out what message the Pope has on this topic”.
The spokesman reminded Mr Bush’s earlier statement that he hoped that Iraq issue could be resolved peacefully, and that the onus lied on Saddam.
On Pope’s comment that there is no moral or legal justification for war, Mr Fleischer said “If there are those who differ with the President on this, he respects their opinion, ideas and thoughts”.
“The President listens carefully and, in the end, will make a judgement that he thinks is best needed to protect the USA”, Mr Fleischer said.
Asked whether Mr Bush sees a moral or legal justification for war, Mr Fleischer countered that Saddam had violated the UN Security Council resolutions and he was not following the legal path that the world had set out to preserve peace.
“The President thinks that the most immoral act of all would be if Saddam Hussein were to somehow transfer his weapons to terrorists who could use them against the USA. So he does view the use of force as a matter of legality, as a matter of morality, and as a matter of protecting the American people.”
War on Iraq even sans mandate: USA
Moscow, March 5
While Washington hoped that Iraq's disarmament could be achieved through peaceful means, if that failed, "the USA, with or without UN support, will lead the coalition of countries willing to join us to disarm Iraq by force," Mr Powell late yesterday told Russia's ORT television, according to a Russian translation.
So far Mr Saddam Hussein has refused to "make a strategic decision" on disarming Iraq, yielding only when under pressure, Mr Powell said, adding "those ridiculous games are now over."
However, Mr Powell reiterated that the US call for a new UN resolution on Iraq was not certain and would be decided by next week in the course of talks with "our colleagues, including Russia."
The USA put forward the new resolution on Iraq to the UN Security Council last week, along with Britain and Spain, Russia, France and Germany have opposed it, calling instead for increased UN weapons inspections in Iraq. However, Mr Powell insisted that while Washington "understands and respects Russia's stance," the USA did not share the view put forth by Russia and France that UN monitors should be allowed more time to work in Iraq.
Annan pleads for consensus
United Nations, March 5
Diplomats say rather than trying to reach a consensus, major powers continue to harden their positions and the hard-hitting political speeches are making finding a common ground harder and harder.
The USA with around 300,000 troops and five aircraft carrier in the region and one on way to the Gulf, appears poised to attack Iraq, barring some dramatic development like abdication of President Saddam Hussein, which seems unlikely at present.
Several foreign ministers are expected at the briefing to the Security Council by Chief Weapons Inspector Hans Blix and Director-General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Mohamed Elbardei on Friday which diplomats say could be the last before the American military action.
Germany, France, Spain and Syria have confirmed that their foreign ministers will attend the meeting.
Mr Annan told members to consider the implication of any unilateral action on the mandate to inspectors and the humanitarian work.
He is optimistic that a common ground can be found, but the optimism is not shared by several other members who say the divide between the USA, Britain and Spain on the one hand and France, Russia and Germany on the other is so wide that finding a middle ground is becoming impossible.
Council diplomats said the USA was not very keen on the resolution — something which White House spokesman Ari Fleischer made very clear. “The vote is desirable but not necessary”, he commented as Russia once again indicated that it might veto the resolution.
Diplomats say Britain is keen on vote as adoption of resolution would take pressure off the back of its Prime Minister Tony Blair.
The non-permanent members, who are on the fence and being vigorously wooed by both sides, too, hope that the vote would not be held as that would put them in a spot and their supporting the resolution might not go down well with the domestic audiences.
Iraq ‘destroys’ 9 more missiles Baghdad, March 5 “The operation continued today at
Al-Taji (military site) under UN supervision,” said the official, who asked not to be named. “Nine missiles are to be destroyed today,” he said. UN spokesman in Baghdad Hiro Ueki said inspection teams supervising the work had left their base, but refused to say how many missiles were to be destroyed. Before today 19 missiles had been destroyed as well as two warheads and two casting chambers.
Baghdad, March 5
“The operation continued today at Al-Taji (military site) under UN supervision,” said the official, who asked not to be named.
“Nine missiles are to be destroyed today,” he said.
UN spokesman in Baghdad Hiro Ueki said inspection teams supervising the work had left their base, but refused to say how many missiles were to be destroyed.
Before today 19 missiles had been destroyed as well as two warheads and two casting chambers.
Vajpayee, Bush talked as ‘allies’
Washington, March 5
Asked whether the call by Mr Bush had anything to do with Indo-Pakistan tension, White House spokesman Ari Fleischer said: “The President and Prime Minister Vajpayee talk from time to time. It is not predicated on one event or another. It is part of what allies do.”
“And the situation involving Kashmir and the Line of Control has long been a contentious issue and an issue that involves tension on both sides, and so this is a matter of ongoing diplomacy by the USA.”
About the telephonic conversation, Mr Fleischer said Mr Bush and Mr Vajpayee spoke and agreed about the need for Iraq to fully disarm and comply with the UN Security Council Resolution 1441.
LTTE ends hostage drama Colombo, March 5 The LTTE released a soldier taken hostage in December and a policemen seized last month after talks with the chief truce monitor, Norwegian Army General Trond Furuhovde, who travelled to the rebel-held Kilinochchi town for the crucial parleys, the officials said. The two men were detained by the rebels after they were found in the rebel-held territory. Truce monitors had warned Tigers that they were breaching the ceasefire by not complying with a ruling from the monitors to release the two security personnel.
Colombo, March 5
The LTTE released a soldier taken hostage in December and a policemen seized last month after talks with the chief truce monitor, Norwegian Army General Trond Furuhovde, who travelled to the rebel-held Kilinochchi town for the crucial parleys, the officials said.
The two men were detained by the rebels after they were found in the rebel-held territory.
Truce monitors had warned Tigers that they were breaching the ceasefire by not complying with a ruling from the monitors to release the two security personnel.
Jail refuses to produce bombing suspects
Karachi, March 5
Mr Abdul Khaliq, an official of the southern Pakistani city Karachi’s Central Jail, told a special anti-terrorism court here that producing the pair would be “a security risk.”
Speaking on behalf of jail’s Director Rashid Saeed, Mr Khaliq said the pair were “dangerous criminals and their production could cause a security problem,” a court official told AFP.
Judge Feroz Mohammad Bhatti adjourned the hearing until March 10.
Asif Zaheer, from the Harkat Jihad-ul Islami militant group, and Mohammad Bashir, from the outlawed Kashmiri militant group Harkatul Mujahedin, are charged with murder and terrorism. Both charges carry the death penalty.
They allegedly helped plot the ramming of an explosive-laden vehicle into a bus carrying the French engineers outside Sheraton hotel in downtown Karachi. The engineers were helping Pakistan’s navy build its second Agosta 90-B submarine.
Two Pakistanis and the suicide bomber who drove the car were also killed.
Jackson asked witch doctor to cast spell
Los Angeles, March 5
Vanity Fair also reported in its April edition that Jackson wears a prosthetic nose that covers his original, surgery-wrecked proboscis that now makes him resemble a “mummy with two nostril holes.” The revelations came in a 10,000-word article by Maureen Orth, who has been studying Jackson since child abuse allegations first surfaced about him 10 years ago, and included details of an alleged voodoo ceremony in Switzerland.
Paid by Jackson ahead of the chilling ceremony in mid-2000, an African voodoo chief cast a hex on 25 of the King of Pop’s “enemies”, including Spielberg and music boss David Geffen, to ensure they would soon die.
SCRIBE RELEASED ON BAIL MAHARAJA’S KIN IS NEWSAGENTS BODY CHIEF FORBES’ TROPICAL PARADISE SOLD MINISKIRT STAGES COMEBACK
MAHARAJA’S KIN IS NEWSAGENTS BODY CHIEF
FORBES’ TROPICAL PARADISE SOLD
MINISKIRT STAGES COMEBACK
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