Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Morning copy 8/10/2005

Today, and maybe ever day until 8/15/2005 (and beyond) we lead with Iraq. This time with a segue provided perhaps by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard.

Iraq (Iran) Iraq (Iran)

This is not on CNN this morning, even though they have a brave reporter in Iraq.

During a powerful sand storm in Baghdad on Monday, armed 'insurgents' ousted Baghdad's mayor "and installed a member of Iraq's most powerful Shiite militia." NY Times LINK. Excerpt:

The deposed mayor, Alaa al-Tamimi, who was not in his offices at the time, recounted the events in a telephone interview on Tuesday and called the move a municipal coup d'├ętat. He added that he had gone into hiding for fear of his life.

"This is the new Iraq," said Mr. Tamimi, a secular engineer with no party affiliation. "They use force to achieve their goal."

The group that ousted him insisted that it had the authority to assume control of Iraq's capital city and that Mr. Tamimi was in no danger. The man the group installed, Hussein al-Tahaan, is a member of the Badr Organization, the armed militia of the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq, known as Sciri.


Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld predicts a rise in violence as elections approach, LA Times LINK.

More violence today in iraq, killing US troops and Iraqis, CNN.com LINK. AFP story with the attacks and the proximity to the deadline for a finalized constitution, LINK.

Iran link to weapons

The Herald Sun of Australia reports an intelligence official linking weapons cache(s) to Iran, LINK, Excerpt (but every word is a must-read):

US intelligence believes that a cache of manufactured bombs seized in Iraq about two weeks ago was smuggled into the country from Iran by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, an intelligence official said today.

"We believe they came from Iran's Revolutionary Guards," the official said.
The find is significant not only because of the Iranian connection but also because it indicates manufactured bombs are now being introduced in a conflict that has seen the widespread use of mainly improvised explosive devices.

"I think we believe there is more of them out there, that this is just the first cache we've actually obtained," the official said.

He said intelligence analysts had "fairly high confidence" that the bombs came from the Iranian Revolutionary Guard.


This report echoes Rumsfeld's aggressive and noticeably upset remarks from yesterday's Pentagon briefing, which is part of this morning's CNN news cycle.

From the Detroit Free Press' site, LINK, Excerpt:

"Weapons -- clearly, unambiguously -- from Iran have been found in Iraq," Rumsfeld told a Pentagon news conference. He declined to elaborate on whether the weapons are from the Iranian government or from terrorist groups based in the country.


Insurgency's perpetual and consistent (in Myer's account) strength

OR.

Insurgencies' perpetual and consistent (in Myer's account) strength

Officials back track, ever so slightly, on the early withdrawal from Iraq. Xinhua LINK. Withdrawal will be "event driven".

Iran's luxury (time) with American forces dealing with Iraq

Iran is very close to breaking the last seal and fully operating nuclear facitilies, though the gradual approach may imply some diplomatic tensions playing out. Iranian president hints at future diplomacy and Bush is cautiously optimistic. Washington Post LINK.

China

As the US and Chinese economies become more and more linked, it is shall become a common story to see businesses from across the other pond linking. (In business speak: firms will leverage synergies to grow their brand in vast, new markets and to...) Yahoo! in talks for a partnership with China's Alibaba.com, Xinhua LINK. Yahoo!'s Market Cap is $47.56 billion, which I looked up on Yahoo! Finance, LINK.

China also announced the "basket" of currencies that it uses to claibrate, although in a very controled way, its currency. Basket includes US Dolla, Yen, Euro, British pound and more.

A series of protests raise concerns among Chinese officials, Washington Post LINK.

Afghanistan

Neo-Taliban are able to use Pakistan as a base to disseminate communications, GlobalSecurity.org LINK.

Muslim-West dialogue

Former British intelligence agent interviewed by al Jazeera, LINK.

Excerpts:

Al Jazeera: Would it be fair to say that Britain's role in Iraq increased the terror threat to the UK?

I think what one can say is, the role of Iraq - the events in Iraq - the way they have turned out, has increased the radicalisation of particularly young Muslims and here in the region [the Middle East].

Alastair Crooke: It's very clear not only in Britain but even here in Lebanon in the camps [about 400,000 Palestinian refugees live in camps in Lebanon], people are angry and concerned about what they see happening in Afghanistan and Iraq, and even the policy towards Iran.


If this interview gets any play today or in the near future in the mass media, it is going to be controversial.

Domestic news

Beginning with some lighter fare. A heck of a narrative lede brings us to the office world: "underemployed and bored out of his mind". Great office-email story by Amy Joyce in the Washington Post, LINK.

Something to do when you are bored at work!


Roberts

Back to the serious news.


Because it's so easy to just copy and paste:

Roberts Papers Being Delayed
Bush Aides Screen Pages for Surprises

By Jo Becker
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, August 10, 2005; Page A01

Thrown on the defensive by recent revelations about Supreme Court nominee John G. Roberts Jr.'s legal work, White House aides are delaying the release of tens of thousands of documents from the Reagan administration to give themselves time to find any new surprises before they are turned into political ammunition by Democrats.


Washington Post LINK to the rest of the article.

Those would be the papers that were "released" with such media-gusto.

LA Times story on a speech Roberts gave earlier this year to law students. LINK.

Terri Schiavo and similar cases brought up in the Roberts nomination media extravaganze, NY Times LINK.

Terrorist cells/camps in US?

Christian Science Monitor raises the specter of the possibility of terrorist camps existing in the United States. One or perhaps two have been attempted. LINK.

Assorted links (the blurbs section)



A noted presidential historian questions Bush's political loyalty. Read, Raffy Pameiro. LINK.

Lede:

WASHINGTON - Former Major League Baseball Commissioner Fay Vincent wasn't surprised this week when President Bush supported embattled Baltimore Orioles slugger Rafael Palmeiro after he tested positive for steroids by saying the star first baseman was a trusted friend.


Excerpt/quote:

But the president's quick and unequivocal defense of Palmeiro - who's now the subject of a congressional investigation - has raised questions about whether Bush's loyalty undercuts his political judgment.

"It seems that President Bush is falling into the Nixon trap - his administration can do no wrong. His allies and people who support him can do no wrong," said Robert Dallek, a presidential historian. "Palmeiro is above suspicion, Rove is not to be questioned, John Bolton is a stand-up guy.

"The danger is he divorces himself from public reality, political reality, and it erodes his ability to lead the country," Dallek said.


If you told someone in 2004 that Raffy Palmeiro, Karl Rove and John Bolton would be linked in newstories and blogs, they'd call you a lunatic.


Representative Katherine Harris, of hanging chad fame, will seek the Senate in 2006, Washington Post LINK.

More criticism of evolution included in Kansas School Board's latest draft of science standards, NY Times LINK.

Democratic strategists warn that in spite of GOP shortcomings, a cultural gap could make 2006 a tough-go, Washington Post LINK. Plus, this is a Dan Balz story, and everything he writes is v.good.

Dallas Mavericks owner, and e-technology tycoon, Mark Cuban is targeting Utah Senator (Republican) Orin Hatch as a-technological, Salt Lake Tribune LINK.

Now for something completely technical, but an interesting point. Why there may be a developing gap for sciences in America, Washington Post LINK. An excerpt:

We're producing a shrinking share of the world's technological talent. China and India are only the newest competitors to erode our position. We need to consider the implications, because they're more complicated than they seem.

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