A former Enron Corp. executive who reportedly challenged the company's questionable financial practices and resigned last May was found shot to death in a car, an apparent suicide. Police in Sugar Land, a Houston suburb, confirmed the death of 43-year-old J. Clifford Baxter, a former Enron vice chairman. He was shot in the head. A suicide note was found, police said, but its contents were not disclosed. Was it simply that his retirement fund was now worth $22.50? Did he fall, or was he pushed?
A decision by the United States to cut ties with the Palestinian Authority would ``cause an earthquake'' in the Middle East, an adviser to Yasser Arafat warned after the Bush administration said it was reviewing its ties to the Palestinian leader. Nabil Abu Rdeneh's comments came after President Bush leveled his strongest criticism of Arafat yet, saying in Washington that he was ``very disappointed'' over a weapons-smuggling scandal. The White House was contemplating its next move, including suspending contacts or demanding Arafat guarantee to make arrests in the smuggling episode. Bush focused on a boatload of Iranian weapons intercepted earlier this month, apparently headed for the Palestinian territories. ``That's enhancing terror,'' Bush said after reviewing U.S. ties to Arafat with his senior advisers.
Instead of punishing the Palestinians, Abu Rdeneh said Bush should take measures against Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and not receive him at the White House. Sharon is to meet with Bush there on Feb. 7. A U.S. decision to cut ties with the Palestinian Authority ``will cause an earthquake in the region that no one will be able to stop,'' Abu Rdeneh said. ``What is needed is to isolate Sharon.'' Abu Rdeneh insisted the Palestinian Authority had no ties to the shipment of 50 tons of weapons, including missiles. There are lies, damned lies, and Arabs. If ties are cut, they'll be back to basics in no time, pushing Americans in wheelchairs off cruise ships. But it's precisely for that reason that we should be cutting ties with Arafat. He's had his chance, and he's shown what he is. He could have stopped, but he didn't want to. What an epitaph.
Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of Lebanon's Hizbollah said that negotiations with Israel had achieved nothing for the Palestinians and they now had no alternative but violence to regain their lands. He said that after 10 years of negotiations and making major concessions, the most the Palestinians could obtain was the deal offered by Israeli Labour Prime Minister Ehud Barak at negotiations brokered by former President Bill Clinton at Camp David in 2000. "The best the Palestinians could get was a fragmented state with no geographic unity, without any border except with Israel, with the sky and the sea for Israel. The Israeli settlements would stay and there was no Jerusalem," Nasrallah said. "Hey, let's you and him fight!"
This is the "You ain't a man, without a gun in yore hand" school of thought. It could end up with most of the Palestinians, good and bad and indifferent, sitting in Tunisia and talking about the good old days and planning a comeback. To Palestinians, it seems like "planning" consists of ordering more ammunition.
A new study indicates that daily moderate consumption of alcohol, which has already been shown to help prevent heart disease and strokes, may also ward off Alzheimer's disease and other types of dementia. That'sh what I've alwaysh shaid...
An IRA bomber was sent to prison for 14 years for helping in the deadliest bombing in Northern Ireland's history, a sentence applauded in court by relatives of the victims. Colm Murphy, 50, stood stone-faced with arms folded as he listened to the verdict by the three judges of Ireland's Special Criminal Court. The Omagh car bombing of Aug. 15, 1998, killed 29 people and wounded more than 300. Murphy, an Irish Republican Army dissident, is the only person charged in the bombing. Too bad they can't put him away until his victims come back.
A suicide bomber struck a pedestrian mall in a crowded Tel Aviv shopping area, killing himself in the explosion and wounding 24 bystanders, two seriously. The attack came just hours after Hamas said it would avenge a senior commander killed in an Israeli missile attack in the Gaza Strip late Thursday. In the attack, an assailant detonated nail-studded explosives strapped to his body shortly after 11 a.m. in a pedestrian mall near the abandoned old bus station in Tel Aviv, an area filled with ethnic restaurants, small groceries and sidewalk pubs catering mainly to foreign workers. In a march in Ramallah, thousands of Palestinians chanted in Hebrew "no security, no security," and some handed out candy in celebration of the Tel Aviv attack. "Oh, chocolate! Who exploded?"
Looks like they're trying to do one exploder a day.
Police said they discovered a cache of dissident Irish Republican Army weaponry and arrested four people after using sledgehammers to break through the front door of a home. The operation, based on surveillance and an anonymous tip, was the latest effort to suppress activity by two dissident groups, the Real IRA and the Continuity IRA, which oppose the mainstream IRA's 1997 cease-fire. That should keep the schools safe for a few days.
Indian paramilitary in Kashmir shot dead five members of one of the guerrilla groups blamed by New Delhi for last month's suicide attack on its parliament. The Border Security Force (BSF) statement said the rebels from the Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad were killed in a gunbattle in Chrar-e-Sharief village, 20 miles west of Srinagar, the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir. Yep. 4,961 and we can hang it up.
There are at least 18 training camps in Bangladesh where terrorists are trained and sent to India. While New Delhi's is focussing on terrorist training camps in Pakistan, similar camps have sprouted close to the international boundary in Bangladesh in the past year. These camps are not under Dhaka's patronage. Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence has facilitated the setting up of these camps. Thirteen are in Bangladesh's Rajshahi division and the remaining five in the northern part of Khulna division. The camps are situated mostly inside the boundaries of madrassas and mosques. Four terrorist outfits â the Harkat-ul Jehadi-e-Islami, the Sipahi-e-Mohammad, the Harkat-ul-Mujahideen and the Ahle Haadis â are running the camps. They are recruiting not only Bangladeshi youths, but also youths from India. If the charge is true, it would be a nice thing for Dhaka to move quickly to disband them and do something drastic about the instigators.
The West Bengal Government has commenced its crackdown on the banned Students' Islamic Movement of India and madrassas and mosques that encourage subversive activities. Friday marked a series of arrests and detentions of SIMI activists as well as persons having links with Islamic radical and terror groups all over the state. Might as well get the housekeeping done now, before it's a tough job. There are already enough tough jobs to attend to.
A multi-volume chronology and reference guide set detailing three years of the Mexican Drug War between 2010 and 2012.
Rantburg.com and borderlandbeat.com correspondent and author Chris Covert presents his first non-fiction work detailing
the drug and gang related violence in Mexico.
Chris gives us Mexican press dispatches of drug and gang war violence
over three years, presented in a multi volume set intended to chronicle the death, violence and mayhem which has
dominated Mexico for six years.