SPECIAL COVERAGE
CHANDIGARH

LUDHIANA

DELHI


THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
W O R L D

Prisoners’ abuse: new sex charges against US soldier
Miami, July 10

US military prosecutors have lodged new sex charges against a female soldier photographed holding an Iraqi prisoner on a leash in an abuse scandal that rattled the US war effort in Iraq, officials said.

Spies overstated Iraq’s WMD threat: US Senate panel
Washington, July 10
The US intelligence agencies used unfounded “group think” assumptions to assess the existence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and reached conclusions that were often “overstated” or “not supported by underlying evidence,” a Senate investigation concluded today.

An Iraqi Christian mother is comforted by relatives during the funeral of her two sons

An Iraqi Christian mother, Samira Dania, is comforted by relatives during the funeral of her two sons who were killed in a mortar attack the night before in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad on Saturday. Mortars slammed into a house behind central Baghdad's al-Sadeer Hotel often used by foreigners, killing two children and wounding three hotel guards, the police said. — Reuters.

50 Indians helped by diplomats in S.Arabia
Dubai, July 10

Indian expatriates in Saudi Arabia had a new experience regarding the consular services launched under the Open House scheme by Minister of State for External Affairs E. Ahamed during his first official visit to the Arab state.


Filipino truck driver Angelo de la Cruz
An undated handout photo of Filipino truck driver Angelo de la Cruz. Cruz taken hostage in Iraq and threatened with execution is being released, family members have quoted his brother in Saudi Arabia as saying. — Reuters

EARLIER STORIES

  SAARC meeting to focus on poverty
Kathmandu, July 10

The South-Asian Association for Regional Cooperation Council of Ministers meeting will be held in Islamabad on July 20 and 21. It will focus on economic issues, including poverty alleviation.

The Dutch goelette Thalassa sails into Brest harbour The Dutch goelette Thalassa (R) sails into Brest harbour, western France, on Saturday. Brest 2004, the International festival of sailors and the sea runs through July 16, 2004, and gathers traditional sailing fleets from the humblest to the most majestic of vessels. — Reuters

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Prisoners’ abuse: new sex charges against US soldier

Miami, July 10
US military prosecutors have lodged new sex charges against a female soldier photographed holding an Iraqi prisoner on a leash in an abuse scandal that rattled the US war effort in Iraq, officials said.

The new charges against Pfc Lynndie England, who faces a host of charges for allegedly abusing detainees at Abu Ghraib prison near Baghdad, were unrelated to mistreatment of Iraqis, the officials said yesterday.

A statement issued in Fort Bragg, North Carolina, said she was charged late on Thursday with violating a rule that prohibits creation and possession of sexually explicit photographs and with four counts of indecent acts.

England had been due to face a military court in Fort Bragg on Monday, but her lawyers requested a delay, a military spokesman said.

England became pregnant in Iraq and media reports have said the father is one of her superiors, Sgt Charles Graner, who also has been charged in the abuse scandal.

The original charges state that she conspired to mistreat Iraqi prisoners, assaulted prisoners on at least three occasions, committed acts prejudicial to good order and committed an indecent act.

England was charged along with six other US military police reservists with abusing prisoners at Abu Ghraib.

England has said she was obeying orders when she was photographed in gleeful poses with humiliated prisoners at Abu Ghraib.

The photographs were made public in April and prompted worldwide protest against the US treatment of war prisoners.

US President George W. Bush and other US officials apologised but put the blame on a small group of soldiers. — Reuters
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Spies overstated Iraq’s WMD threat: US Senate panel
T.V. Parasuram

Washington, July 10
The US intelligence agencies used unfounded “group think” assumptions to assess the existence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and reached conclusions that were often “overstated” or “not supported by underlying evidence,” a Senate investigation concluded today.

The Senate’s Select Committee on Intelligence, in its ‘Report on Pre-War Intelligence on Iraq’, said “a series of failures, particularly in analytic trade craft, led to the mischaracterisation of intelligence about Iraqi weapons.

The 511-page report, the product of the committee’s year-long investigation of pre-war intelligence on Iraq, also pointed to severe management problems at the CIA. The agency’s Director, George J. Tenet, announced his resignation last month for personal reasons and leaves office Sunday.

In accusing the CIA and its top leaders of engaging in a “group think dynamic”, the committee said analysts and senior policymakers never questioned their long-held assumption that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction. — PTI 
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50 Indians helped by diplomats in S.Arabia

Dubai, July 10
Indian expatriates in Saudi Arabia had a new experience regarding the consular services launched under the Open House scheme by Minister of State for External Affairs E. Ahamed during his first official visit to the Arab state.

At least 50 Indians visited the consulate in Jeddah on Thursday at the mission's first open house where, without prior appointment, they received help from senior diplomats.

Mr Ahamed had promised that Indian missions in Gulf countries would be pro-active and the Embassy in Riyadh and the consulate in Jeddah would host an open-house every second Thursday of the month.

The minister also announced that a helpline cell would be set up at the Riyadh Embassy to function 24 hours a day and seven days a week.

Similar services would be extended to all Indian missions in the region after fine-tuning the services based on the experience of the embassy in Saudi Arabia, he added. — UNI 
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SAARC meeting to focus on poverty

Kathmandu, July 10
The South-Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Council of Ministers meeting will be held in Islamabad on July 20 and 21. It will focus on economic issues, including poverty alleviation.

Foreign ministers of the seven member-countries of SAARC will meet on the occasion focusing on poverty alleviation, SAARC Secretary-General Q.A.M.A. Rahim said here yesterday.

A Standing Committee meeting of the foreign secretaries on July 18 and 19 will precede the meeting.

The Programming Committee meeting comprising joint secretaries will be held on July 16-17.

The Council of Ministers’ meeting will also discuss the rules of origin of goods and tariffs to put into practice the South-Asian Free Trade Agreement (SAFTA). — PTI
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BRIEFLY

Annan for hostage release
UNITED NATIONS:
UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan called for militants in Iraq to free two Bulgarians and a Filipino being held hostage and threatened with death. A group linked to Al-Qaida said it would execute the two Bulgarian lorry drivers kidnapped on Thursday unless the US troops freed Iraqi prisoners within 24 hours. — AFP

India to probe attack on Dalits
NEW YORK:
A US-based human rights group has asked the Indian Government to launch a full-scale investigation into allegations that the police used “excessive” force against Dalits who tried to participate in a religious ceremony in Tamil Nadu last week. At least 20 Dalits were injured and eight hospitalised, the Human Rights Watch quoted in a statement issued on Friday. — PTI

Forbes Editor shot dead
MOSCOW:
Paul Khlebnikov, the editor of Russian edition of the financial magazine Forbes, was shot dead near his office in Moscow on Friday night, the police said on Saturday morning. Khlebnikov (41), was shot at several times and was taken to a Moscow hospital in an unconscious state, but he died later. RIA Novisti news agency reported on Saturday quoting the Moscow Interior Department. — UNI
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