SPECIAL COVERAGE
CHANDIGARH

LUDHIANA

DELHI



THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
W O R L D

CBMs useless without settling
Kashmir issue, says Pervez

Pervez Musharraf
Islamabad, July 23
Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf has said there could be no headway in the confidence building measures (CBMs) to improve ties with India without the resolution of the Kashmir issue.

Turkey train derailment toll 36
Istanbul, July 23
Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan said 36 persons were killed in a derailment, following earlier reports that the death toll had reached 139.

A firefighter stands on a derailed express train near Pamukova A firefighter stands on a derailed express train near Pamukova, northwestern Turkish town, on Thursday. A packed express train travelling from Istanbul to Ankara derailed on Thursday, killing 36 persons in one of Turkey’s worst ever rail disasters.
— Reuters photo

Iraq takes fledgling steps towards democracy
Baghdad, July 23
Trouble-torn Iraq has an interim government, an interim presidency and an interim cabinet. None of the above institutions, however, came to power as the result of democratic elections, or even as the result of any process that could lay any claim to democracy.

Angelo de la Cruz, a Filipino truck driver freed by Iraqi militants, speaks outside a church in Pangasinan An eight-storey residential building collapsed in the heart of Manila's crowded commercial district on Friday
Angelo de la Cruz, a Filipino truck driver freed by Iraqi militants, speaks outside a church in Pangasinan, northern Manila, on Friday. Angelo arrived home to a hero's welcome on Thursday after Manila withdraw its troops from Iraq. An eight-storey residential building collapsed in the heart of Manila's crowded commercial district on Friday. The incident brought business to a halt causing damage to nearby buildings. There were no casualties. —  Reuters photos






Former South African President Nelson Mandela smiles after receiving the Freedom of the City award, the highest honour of Johannesburg
Former South African President Nelson Mandela smiles after receiving the Freedom of the City award, the highest honour of Johannesburg, at a ceremony in Soweto on Friday. Mandela said he was truly honoured to receive the award especially as it bound him to two other former recipients, his late friend and fellow Robben Island prisoner Walter Sisulu and anti-apartheid cleric Beyers Naude. — Reuters




EARLIER STORIES

 


9/11 panel report evokes mixed response
Washington, July 23
Like patients analysing a Rorschach test, readers of the final report by the September 11 Commission were able to find support for their individual views on the reasons and remedies for the 2001 terror attacks.

Bell to deliver copters to Pak
New York, July 23
A US company will deliver 26 twin-engine helicopters and associated equipment to Pakistan in a deal valued at over $ 230. Bell Helicopters, a subsidiary of Textron Inc., delivered nine of the Bell 412 EP medium twin-engine helicopters last month and the rest would be delivered over the next 10 months, the company said in a press note.

Cherie holds ‘Big’ talk with Indian women
Cherie BlairLondon, July 23
Ms Cherie Blair, wife of British Prime Minister Tony Blair, has said the priorities of Indian and British women in the UK have similar aspiration - equal treatment and opportunity. “We want equality of treatment and equality of opportunity,” Ms Blair said.

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CBMs useless without settling Kashmir issue,
says Pervez
K.J.M Varma

Islamabad, July 23
Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf has said there could be no headway in the confidence building measures (CBMs) to improve ties with India without the resolution of the Kashmir issue.

“While we are working both on dialogue and CBMs with India, Kashmir is the main dispute, which must be resolved. Until there is a progress towards its resolution, there can be no headway on CBMs or other issues,” he said while addressing army officers at the concluding ceremony of the army war games ‘Sabit Qadam-III’ here last night.

Asserting that Pakistan wanted a peaceful resolution of all issues with India, including Kashmir, he said maintenance of credible, conventional and strategic deterrence was the cornerstone of Pakistan’s national security strategy.

“We shall not only maintain it (the policy of deterrence) but also enhance it further,” an official statement quoted General Musharraf as saying.

He also assured the participants of the war games that balance of power in the region would be maintained and needs of modern hardware, weaponry and technology of the three services would be met.

In his speech, General Musharraf emphasised that all-time preparedness of war was a guarantee for peace and efforts should continue to be focused on the principles of peaceful coexistence, without lowering Pakistan’s guard.

The vice-chief of army staff, Gen Yousuf Khan, who acted as the director of the war games, expressed his satisfaction on drawing all intended lessons set for ‘Sabit Qadam-III’.

The Pakistan army undertook ‘Sabit Qadam-III’, a computer simulated war games exercise, for a few weeks at the army headquarters in Rawalpindi.

Earlier, General Musharraf, during talks with visiting German Foreign Minster Joschka Fischer, expressed concern over Germany’s support for India’s bid for a permanent seat in the United Nations Security Council.

“President Musharraf said, we respect Germany, but he noted his concerns about India getting a permanent seat,” a German diplomat told reporters after their talks last night. — PTI
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India, Pak to form young MPs’ group

Islamabad, July 23
With the bonhomie between them increasing by the day, India and Pakistan have decided to enhance cooperation between their parliamentarians and agreed to form a group of young MPs in the age group of 25-35.

‘’We have agreed to form a group of young Parliamentarians of both the countries, especially those who are in the age group of 25-35 to strengthen bilateral ties between the two countries,’’ External Affairs Minister K. Natwar Singh said after a meeting with Pakistan Senate Chairman Muhammadmian Soomro yesterday. — UNI

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Turkey train derailment toll 36

Istanbul, July 23
Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan said 36 persons were killed in a derailment, following earlier reports that the death toll had reached 139.

“The information we have received from hospitals is that around 36 persons were killed and 68 of our citizens were injured,” Mr Erdogan was quoted as saying by the state-run Anatolian news agency late on Thursday night.

He was speaking at the scene of the derailment near the town of Pamukova in northwestern Turkey.

The new express train had been travelling from Istanbul to Ankara when a suspected mechanical fault pulled it off its tracks.

This is one of the worst train disasters in Turkey.
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Iraq takes fledgling steps towards democracy

Baghdad, July 23
Trouble-torn Iraq has an interim government, an interim presidency and an interim cabinet.

None of the above institutions, however, came to power as the result of democratic elections, or even as the result of any process that could lay any claim to democracy.

One of the major problems still facing Iraq is that its rulers, despite the official handover of power from the US-led Coalition Provisional Authority on June 28, still labours under their perceived close associations with an occupying military force.

Many members of the “interim” administration, despite protestations to the contrary, are seen by ordinary Iraqis as having slipped into the country from comfortable exile in the wake of US tanks, and are now reaping the rewards of their close associations with Washington in the form of plum political posts.

The upcoming Iraqi National Conference convenes on Sunday and at which a 100-member Interim National Council (INC) will be chosen.

Some 1,000 representatives from all walks of Iraqi life - workers’ unions, political parties, religious and tribal groups, and cultural and scientific organisations - will gather in an as yet unspecified Baghdad location to choose 80 members of the INC, the idea for which was proposed earlier this year by United Nations envoy Lakhtar Brahimi during talks to map Iraq’s political future.

The role of the INC, as foreseen by the interim Iraqi constitution signed in March by the now-disbanded Iraqi Governing Council (IGC), will be to stay on the political sidelines, acting in an “advisory” capacity to the interim government before elections in January 2005 at the latest.

The members of the INC itself, however, may have other ideas in mind, as among the powers granted to the body is the ability to block, with a two-thirds majority, proposed Iraqi Interim Government (IIG) legislation.

Other powers assigned to the INC are final approval of the 2005 Iraqi budget and, should the interim president or either of his two deputies resign or be removed from office by any other reason, the INC will be charged with electing a successor. “The INC will be an important building block on the way to a new and democratic Iraq,” said high-profile former judge Dara Noor al- Din, an ex-member of the IGC.

Critics of the INC, however, question why 20 seats on the new interim council are reserved for former members of the IGC who did not make it into the interim government, among them Noor al-Din and Ahmed Chalabi, the former Pentagon ally fallen drastically out of favour.

Meanwhile, a number of influential opposition figures, including Moqtada al-Sadr, the youthful Shia cleric who in April led a bloody insurgency in several Iraqi cities, have said they would boycott the National Conference. — DPA
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9/11 panel report evokes mixed response

Washington, July 23
Like patients analysing a Rorschach test, readers of the final report by the September 11 Commission were able to find support for their individual views on the reasons and remedies for the 2001 terror attacks.

US President George W. Bush latched on to the panel’s finding yesterday that US security lapses were “institutional” rather than a failure of his administration.

The Saudi ambassador to the USA, Prince Bandar bin Sultan, exulted the report appeared to exonerate his kingdom of complicity in the plot, even though the vast majority of the hijackers who commandeered the planes used in the attacks were of Saudi origin.

And the Democrats in the Republican-controlled US Congress insisted that yesterday’s report by the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the USA, underscored the Republican intransigence on matters of the national security.

“We know that our ports and our waterways and our borders are not adequately protected. We know that plutonium and uranium that exist out there in the world and that makes us vulnerable,” said House Minority leader Nancy Pelosi.

The Republicans made it clear that they believed the security breakdowns, which allowed the attacks to take place, resulted from the failed policies carried out during Democratic president Bill Clinton’s tenure in the White House. — AFP
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Bell to deliver copters to Pak

New York, July 23
A US company will deliver 26 twin-engine helicopters and associated equipment to Pakistan in a deal valued at over $ 230.

Bell Helicopters, a subsidiary of Textron Inc., delivered nine of the Bell 412 EP medium twin-engine helicopters last month and the rest would be delivered over the next 10 months, the company said in a press note.

The helicopter is in service with a number of nations, including the UK, which employs a dozen aircraft in its Defence Helicopter Flying School. Bell has delivered 100 of its 412 helicopters to the Canadian Forces, which use these for search-and-rescue and emergency medical transport, among other missions, the company said. — PTI
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Cherie holds ‘Big’ talk with Indian women

London, July 23
Ms Cherie Blair, wife of British Prime Minister Tony Blair, has said the priorities of Indian and British women in the UK have similar aspiration - equal treatment and opportunity.

“We want equality of treatment and equality of opportunity,” Ms Blair said while addressing 150 Indian women from across the UK, who had gathered at the House of Commons for the ‘Big Conversation’ with the government.

Ms Blair also discussed issues related to health, women in the workplace, engagement in public life and politics, community cohesion and participation in voluntary and charitable work.

Ms Blair said, “We want to see more women in parliament.”

Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport Tessa Jowell said, “The ‘Big Conversation’ is a way of enriching the Labour Party’s policy-making process by listening to the people about their priorities for the future. We have organised meetings at this stage in our second term in government as people often say that politicians are only interested in what they think during election times.”
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BRIEFLY

Software pirate jailed in Germany
BERLIN:
A German software dealer was convicted of fraud and sentenced to five and a half years in jail on Thursday for selling cheaper versions of products at inflated prices, which the court said cost Microsoft $ 5.5 million in lost revenues. Ralf Blasek (38), a software dealer in the west German town of Willich, purchased cheaper educationally priced versions of software in Belgium, then mislabelled them to sell at higher prices to dealers in Bochum, according to prosecutors. - AP

German memorial needs protection
BERLIN:
Germany’s new memorial to six million European Jews murdered in the Holocaust will need 24-hour protection from neo-Nazi vandalism. Private security firms and the Berlin police will carry out round-the-clock patrols and visitors will have to go through metal detectors and bag checks when the memorial is officially opened to the public in May, 2005. — Reuters

Diocese settles molestation case
SPRINGFIELD (Massachusetts):
The Springfield Diocese reached a proposed settlement worth more than $ 7 million with 46 persons who accused priests of molesting them when they were children. Twenty two of the alleged victims had sued the diocese. The others had complained to the Church about having been abused, but never took legal action against the diocese or their attackers. - AP

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