ACLU: Iraq Prison Photos to Be Released
By LARRY NEUMEISTER, Associated Press WriterTue Mar 28, 10:45 PM ET
The federal government has agreed to release disputed pictures showing American soldiers tormenting Iraqi detainees at Abu Ghraib prison, the American Civil Liberties Union said Tuesday.
Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein had ordered the release of the pictures from the infamous Baghdad prison over complaints by government lawyers, who complained that doing so would incite violence against U.S. troops in Iraq and provoke terrorists.
The Department of Defense had appealed that order but planned to drop the appeal, the ACLU said.
Anthony D. Romero, ACLU executive director, said the civil rights group "will press on with its lawsuit to hold high-level officials accountable for creating policies that resulted in the abuse of detainees."
The judge ordered the pictures released earlier this year, saying terrorists "do not need pretexts for their barbarism" and that suppressing the pictures would amount to submitting to blackmail.
"Our nation does not surrender to blackmail, and fear of blackmail is not a legally sufficient argument to prevent us from performing a statutory command," he said. "Indeed, the freedoms that we champion are as important to our success in Iraq and Afghanistan as the guns and missiles with which our troops are armed."
Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, rear, walks by French President Jacques Chirac, front left, during a round table meeting at an EU summit in Brussels, Friday March 24, 2006. European Union leaders condemned the latest crackdown against opposition protesters by Belarusian authorities Friday, and were expected to endorse a move to slap new sanctions against top officials there for what they called 'fundamentally flawed' elections. Seated right is French Foreign Minister Philippe Douste Blazy. (AP Photo/Yves Logghe)
Look who's more likely to have risky sex
By Anne Harding Reuters Mon Mar 27, 10:23 AM ET
Young men who feel good about their looks are more likely than their peers with a less positive body image to engage in risky sexual behavior, a new study of college students shows.
The men who were most satisfied with their appearance, and the most appearance-oriented -- meaning they were highly invested in their looks and considered appearance to be important -- were also the most likely to have sex without condoms and to have sex with multiple partners, Dr. Eva S. Lefkowitz of Pennsylvania State University in University Park and colleagues report.
While sexually active students reported less dissatisfaction with their looks and a more positive body image on average, "it's important to point out that we don't know which comes first," Lefkowitz said. People who feel better about their looks may be more likely to have sex, or being sexually active may confer a better body image, she explained.
Chancellor Angela Merkel waves on March 24 to Christian Democratic Union (CDU) supporters during an election campaign rally in Dessau, eastern Germany. Three German states went to the polls for the first electoral examination of Merkel's power-sharing government since she took office in November.(AFP/DDP/File/Sebastian Willnow)
German Chancellor Angela Merkel (L) of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and Christoph Boehr, leader of the party's Rhineland-Palatinate section arrive to an election campaign rally in southwestern German city of Trier March 22, 2006. German state of Rhineland-Palatinate will hold state elections on March 26. REUTERS/Alex Grimm
German chancellor Angela Merkel (L) and Guenther Oettinger, premier of the southern German state of Baden-Wuerttemberg and top candidate of Germany's Christian Democratic Union (CDU) for the Baden Wuerttemberg federal state elections, wave after an election campaign rally in the southern German town of Ravensburg March 21, 2006. Baden Wuerttemberg state elections will be held in Germany's third biggest federal state March 26. REUTERS/Alexandra Winkler
Chilean police officers and rescue workers stand next to victims of the bus crash in the highlands of northern Chile near Arica 2,000 kilometers (1,250 miles) north of Santiago, near the border with Peru and Bolivia in Chile, Wednesday, March 22, 2006. A bus carrying tourists from a cruise ship plunged more than 100 meters (yards) into a ravine. Officials said 11 people were killed, most believed to be U.S. citizens. (AP Photo/Diario La Estrella)
By DENNIS CONRAD, Associated Press Writer
March 22, 2006
Tammy Duckworth, a former Army helicopter pilot who lost both legs in a grenade attack in Iraq, is now leading the charge for the Fighting Democrats.
Duckworth narrowly won the Democratic nomination for Congress in a primary race Tuesday for the House seat held by Republican Rep. Henry Hyd, who is retiring after 32 years. She is the best-known of the Iraq war veterans who want to go to Capitol Hill this year.
In November, Duckworth will face state Sen. Peter Roskam, a well-to-do lawyer and conservative from Wheaton who ran unopposed in the GOP primary. Roskam also drew support from Vice President Dick Cheney, who helped with a fundraiser that brought in an estimated $200,000.
These are the results from Dupage and Cook counties, which comprise the 6th District of Illinois. Notice how many votes the Republican received compared to the Democrats-
Peter J. Roskam REP 49,957
Total Republican votes: 49,957
Christine Cegelis 12,939
Lindy Scott 5,038
L. Tammy Duckworth 14,019
Total Democrat votes: 31,996
Democrats have a huge uphill climb to win this district, as they were outpolled by 18,000 in the primary. This shows there is no "energy" or "rage" in this district toward Republicans (the Republican base would have stayed home if there were, especially with an uncontested race for the Republican nomination, and Democrats would have come out to vote in huge numbers), which signals bad signs for the Dems in November.
Peace activist Cindy Sheehan, left, and musician Michael Stipe, right, hold hands in front of a 'Bring 'Em Home Now' postage stamp prior to a benefit concert in New York, Monday, March 20, 2006. The benefit was organized to mark the third anniversary of the Iraq War and give voice to the Americans who support the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq. (AP Photo/Henny Ray Abrams)
German Chancellor Angela Merkel attends the debate about the government's EU policy at the parliament in Berlin on Friday, March 17, 2006. The leaders of the European Union will hold a summit in Brussels on March 23 and 24, 2006. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)
Madeline O'Brien, right, joins a protest outside a Cleveland hotel where President Bush delivered a speech on the war on terrorism Monday, March 20, 2006. Three years after the start of the war in Iraq, Bush is trying to shore up support for both the lingering conflict and his leadership. (AP Photo/Jamie Yanak)
Marines rap busty TV girl
By ANTONELLA LAZZERIG
MTV beauty Lara Logan was given a dressing down by Forces chiefs for “flashing her cleavage” at Royal Marines in Afghanistan.
The married newsgirl was said to have upset Our Boys by wearing a skimpy top.
A source said: “Half her boobs were out.”
The reporter had launched a sexy manoeuvre and sent an American officer in Afghanistan running for cover, it was claimed.
The Bagram airbase press officer was shocked when 34D Lara, 31, brushed against him.
And he was soon in full retreat as she bent over a computer in her low-cut top.
A source at the base said: “He stood up red-faced and told her, ‘Ma’am, that is not the way we do business here,’ then marched out.”
TV's Lara ... 'wore skimpy top'
It was one of a series of incidents involving Lara.
The source said of the offended American officer: “Lara had been trying to beg a favour out of him, so it completely backfired on her.
“She did the same with a few British officers and it didn’t go down well with them either.
“Lara is a gorgeous-looking woman, there is no denying that.But a military base in a war zone is not a place for being flirtatious.
“She was very keen to get exclusives but had a funny way of going about trying to get them.
“One guy told her, ‘I feel sorry for your husband’ after she tried the bending over his computer trick in front of him. To be honest it became an embarrassment.”
Two Royal Marines made official complaints about married Lara at Bagram — and top brass ordered her to cover up.
One source said: “She caused ill feeling by going to the galley, the marines’ canteen, in a top with an extremely plunging neckline.
Relaxing ... Lara on a break from reporting
“To be honest half her boobs were hanging out.
“A marine was so furious he stood up and shouted, ‘That isn’t fair! Some of us have been out here away from women for months’. Then he complained.
“A chef also complained that men are not allowed in the galley wearing sleeveless vests or T-shirts. It is a hygiene rule and he felt Lara should obey it.
“It wasn’t the first time her dress out here has caused offence.
“She spent most of her time wearing very tight jeans and tops with spaghetti-style straps.
“You’d have thought she would have had more sense on a base full of thousands of men.”
There are 1,700 troops, including 800 marines, stationed at Bagram for the war on al-Qa’ida terrorists.
An officer warned ex-swimsuit model Lara she had upset the men and should cover up.
The source said: “She went absolutely mad and stormed off, saying she was leaving the airbase.
“She said she was fed up with its ‘sexist atmosphere’ and didn’t like the attention from the troops.
“That was a joke, she seemed to lap it up. She was always posing for photos like a forces sweetheart and signing autographs.”
Furious Lara hit back at claims she wore sexy low-cut outfits, saying: “I don’t wear clothes like that at home, so why would I wear them out in Afghanistan?”
She admitted she had been told to cover her arms because of a “hygiene issue” in the kitchen.
GMTV bosses also strongly denied Lara had offended the troops.
They said on the day the marines complained she was wearing a black M&S vest top with inch-thick straps and a scoop neck that did not show cleavage.
They also said she was due back in the UK yesterday and had not stormed out. A spokeswoman added: “There has been no bust-up. She’s doing a very good job and is dumbfounded by this.”
While covering the war last year Lara won respect for the intrepid way she got in the thick of the action.
But a reporter who worked with her at Bagram said: “We had bets on how low-cut or skimpy her T-shirt would be.
“She was very touchy-feely, coming up close and giving you a hug.
“She certainly seemed to like showing off her body, which given the environment was a bit strange.
Lovely Lara ... she smiles sexily as she interviews a Royal Marine NCO
“You’ve got thousands of hot-blooded males here who have been away from wives and girlfriends for months. “It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to work out that a girl is going to get a lot of attention if she dresses in a sexy way.
“When we were helicoptered out to see troops in the field, she would wear tight jeans and very tight T-shirts. It was a bit odd.”
This afternoon it was claimed that Lara had quit GMTV after landing a top job alongside American TV legend Dan Rather.
She is said to have clinched a deal this week to join US station CBS.
"This is an absolutely brilliant move for Lara," the report quotes one GMTV insider saying.
"It's very exciting and will give her a chance to prove herself in one of the toughest TV markets."
The report claimed Lara would head a show called 60 Minutes Two and would report for other news programmes along with Rather.
It also says she will leave GMTV next week.
JULIA NECHEFF March 16, 2006
EDMONTON (CP) - An infantry soldier who suffered head injuries in a suicide bomb attack in Afghanistan says he wouldn't hesitate to return to the strife-torn country to help the Canadian Forces mission there.
Pte. William Salikin, 22, of Grand Forks, B.C., spoke publicly Thursday for the first time since he and two comrades were wounded in the Jan. 15 blast that killed senior Canadian diplomat Glyn Berry. "I feel great about my time in Afghanistan," Salikin told a news conference.
"As a soldier you want to go on a tour whenever you can, and if the government so chooses that we go to Afghanistan, I'm all for it."
Salikin said he doesn't remember anything about the bombing and was surprised when he regained consciousness back in Canada. His family, he said, is behind him all the way.
"They have shock that I got hurt and all that, but they support what I do."
Salikin also said he believes the mission in Afghanistan is extremely important, and support from Canadians means a lot to the soldiers there.
"As a soldier you have your family back home to support you, you have your buddies. You also need to have the country behind you to support you - that's probably one of the bigger points you can't control yourself."
Risk, he said, comes with the territory. Soldiers "sign on the dotted line knowing what could happen...that people may die on (the current) mission."
However, Salikin said most Afghans are glad for the Canadian presence in their country, and are helpful to the soldiers.
"Like every nation that any military visits, you'll have bad people who want to do bad things to you, so you deal with them," the private said.
"But thankfully, the whole country wants us to be there and so we get a lot of support."
AP - Tue Mar 14, 10:27 AM ET
French President Jacques Chirac, left, listens to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, right, before they meet the media in a joint press conference following the meeting of the German-French Ministers Coluncil at the Berlin Chancellery on Tuesday, March 14, 2006. (AP Photo/Fritz Reiss)
By BEN FOX, Associated Press Writer March 6, 2006
Fearing militants or even their own governments, some prisoners at Guantanamo Bay from China, Saudi Arabia and other nations do not want to go home, according to transcripts of hearings at the U.S. prison in Cuba.
Uzbekistan, Yemen, Algeria and Syria are also among the countries to which detainees do not want to return. The inmates have told military tribunals that they or their families could be tortured or killed if they are sent back.
Inmates have told military tribunals they worry about reprisals from militants who will suspect them of cooperating with U.S. authorities in its war on terror. Others say their own governments may target them for reasons that have nothing to do with why they were taken to Guantanamo Bay in the first place.
A man from Syria who was detained along with his father pleaded with the tribunal for help getting them political asylum — in any country that will take them.
"You've been saying 'terrorists, terrorists.' If we return, whether we did something or not, there's no such things as human rights. We will be killed immediately," he said. "You know this very well."
A Saudi identified only as Yasim, who said he attended an al-Qaida training camp in Afghanistan and was jailed in his country for selling drugs, told the tribunal that after being repeatedly interrogated at Guantanamo, he fears his fellow prisoners as well as others back in Saudi Arabia.
"I can't go back to my country. I have been threatened to be killed by many people," he said, according to the transcripts, which the Pentagon released Friday in response to a Freedom of Information Act Lawsuit filed by The Associated Press.
A detainee from Uzbekistan told the tribunals in December 2004 that his father and uncles were jailed for their Muslim faith in his native country and said he fears the rest of his family would be tortured if he returned.
The prisoner shrugged off the threat to his own safety in Uzbekistan, where the government has clamped down on Islamic groups which are not sanctioned by the state.
"I'm not afraid to die. We all belong to Allah and we shall return to him," he said.
In the case of one group of prisoners, Muslims from western China known as Uighurs, the U.S. has struggled to find a solution.
A military tribunal has determined that five are "no longer enemy combatants" and can be released from Guantanamo Bay. The U.S. agrees they could face persecution back in China but so far has not found a third country to take them.
For now, the Uighurs are being kept at Camp Iguana, a privileged section of the prison with televisions, stereos and a view of the Caribbean.
A Uighur told a military tribunal that he feared going back to China so much, he considered trying to convince the panel that he was guilty, according to a hearing transcript.
"If I am sent back to China, they will torture me really bad," said the man, whose name did not appear in the transcript. "They will use dogs. They will pull out my nails."
Two of the Uighurs are appealing a federal judge's rejection of their request to be released in the United States, where a family in the Washington suburbs has offered to take them in.
AP is still desperately trying to make a saint out of this freak...put her in a circus already.
'Peace Mom' Still Campaigning Against War
By MICHELLE LOCKE, Associated Press Writer March 5, 2006
Lunching in the Mission District in a dark skirt, black cardigan and unfussy hairdo, Cindy Sheehan looks every bit the anonymous suburban mom she was not long ago.
That doesn't deter a man who stops at her table to ask for a snapshot and give a word of encouragement as a fellow war protester. "I remember people calling me a leftist," he tells her. "You got to ignore that."
Her recent meeting with Hugo Chavez, Venezuela's leftist president, raised eyebrows, as have her postings on liberal Web sites like that run by "Fahrenheit 911" filmmaker Michael Moore.
Sheehan, 48, seems to be just about everywhere on her campaign that started with the death of her 24-year-old son, Army Spc. Casey Sheehan, who was killed in Iraq two years ago this April.
She was arrested during Bush's State of the Union address for wearing a T-shirt that referred to the number of troops killed in Iraq then: "2245 Dead. How many more?" Weeks later, she held a San Francisco news conference to announce that she wouldn't challenge Sen. Dianne Feinstein. This month she and REM singer Michael Stipe will headline a New York concert, "Bring 'Em Home Now!" and at Easter it's off to Texas for another vigil outside the Bush ranch.
Still liable to tear up when talking about her son, she says her issue is right and wrong, not left and right. She points out that she has criticized Democrats, including Feinstein, for their war stance and has no problem supporting Republicans who oppose the war.
She is co-founder of the nonprofit Gold Star Families for Peace, wrote a book "Not One More Mother's Child," and is working on another.
She gets help from groups including CODEPINK, a national woman's peace group, and Veterans for Peace. Her own operation is small — herself, her sister and someone who helps out from time to time answering e-mail.
AP - Thu Mar 2, 2:24 PM ET
Paul McCartney and his wife Heather pose with a baby pup seal on the ice floes off Iles de la Madeleine in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, Thursday March 2, 2006, as part of a high-profile protest against Canada's annual seal hunt. (AP Photo/CP, Tom Hanson)
NY TIMES March 1, 2006
Florida Youth Enters Plea to Avert Life Sentence
By TERRY AGUAYO
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla., March 1 — A troubled teenager who was sentenced to life in prison in 2001 for stomping a younger playmate to death pleaded guilty to armed robbery in a plea deal that spares him a life sentence for violating the terms of his probation.
Lionel Tate, now 19, appeared before Judge Joel T. Lazarus of the Broward County Circuit Court for a violation of probation hearing stemming from an arrest in May on charges that he robbed a pizza deliveryman while on probation for the murder.
Mr. Tate responded, "Yes, sir" when the judge asked him if he pleaded guilty to the armed robbery charge. He also admitted to having violated his probation terms by breaking the law and carrying a gun during the robbery.
AFP March 1, 2006
German Chancellor Angela Merkel says she still finds the time to go to the supermarket and do her own shopping.
"On Friday I went to the supermarket and bought Evian water and a few other groceries," the 51-year-old leader told the weekly celebrity magazine Bunte in an edition to be published on Thursday.
Merkel, who became Germany's first female chancellor on November 22, said despite the pressures of her job she also tried to talk to her friends and family about everyday matters.
She said her husband -- scientist Joachim Sauer --, her parents and friends were "extremely important" in this regard.
Merkel has made it clear since taking up office at the head of a left-right, power-sharing government that she wishes to lead as normal a life as possible.
She has declined to live in the chancellor's official residence, like her predecessor Gerhard Schroeder, and has kept her apartment in Berlin's Mitte district, in the east of the formerly divided city.
Reuters filed this under there "oddly enough" section...a Pakistani trying to sneak into Europe with an Afghan passport! Odd indeed
Problems with his pasport...
Reuters Wed Mar 1, 8:26 AM ET
You might have the best forgery skills in the world, but it is not much use if you cannot spell.
A Cyprus court jailed Pakistani national Fazal Ur Rehman for eight months for forgery after police spotted spelling mistakes on stamps on an Afghan passport he was carrying -- otherwise it was a near-perfect copy, the Cyprus Mail said Wednesday.
"Ministry" was spelled "Menistry" and the first "n" was missing from government, the newspaper said.
"The passport looked perfect and professionally made ... almost deemed original by forensics," a police officer told a magistrate in the Cypriot capital Nicosia.
Indian actress Rai's invitation to Bush lunch arrives too late
Wed Mar 1, 9:37 AM ET
Bollywood actress Aishwarya Rai will miss a chance to meet US President George W. Bush during his first trip to India because of filming commitments in Brazil.
The actress and former Miss World, 32, was invited to the luncheon for Bush in New Delhi on Thursday along with Indian opinion leaders and other celebrities.
But Rai, widely regarded as one of the world's most beautiful women, had already left to film Dhoom 2, sequel to a hit motorcycle gang movie, before the invitation was issued, her manager Harii Singh said Wednesday.
Gorbachev, Almost 75, Sounds Off on U.S. Mar 01 3:15 PM US/Eastern
By VLADIMIR ISACHENKOVAssociated Press Writer
Mikhail Gorbachev's magnetic brown eyes shine as brightly as ever, and he speaks with the same passion about the collapse of the Soviet Union as he prepares to mark his 75th birthday on Thursday.
The man who ended the Cold War and launched democratic reforms that broke the repressive Soviet regime continues to enjoy the limelight, globe-trotting on behalf of his political foundation and environmental group and taking part in charity projects.