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    Saudi Arabia's King Fahd is being treated in hospital amid conflicting reports about his condition.
    The authorities say he is in good health after being admitted for tests in the capital, Riyadh, on Friday.

    But some medical sources suggest the king is being treated for possible pneumonia following a bout of flu.

    The BBC's Frank Gardner says there have been rumours about King Fahd's health before but the latest scare could be more serious.

    In 1995 he suffered a stroke, and Crown Prince Abdullah has performed most of his functions since then.

    Prince Abdullah is regarded as successor to the throne.

    Opposition sources in London predict that if the king dies there may well be a power struggle against the ruling princes.

    There is heavy security around Riyadh's King Faisal hospital. Saudi security sources said a number of princes from the ruling family have been arriving in the capital.

    The royal palace has not given details of the king's symptoms.

    On Saturday Reuters news agency quoted officials as saying he was stable following treatment to drain water from his lungs.

  • #2
    Iraqi police officers and army soldiers stand by a large cache of mortar shells, rocket-propelled grenade launchers and other weapons discovered on a farm to the south of Dora, at Dora police station in southern Baghdad in Iraq Saturday, May 28, 2005. Iraqi authorities are preparing to launch a massive security crackdown, involving more than 40,000 soldiers and policemen, in Baghdad to try root out insurgents responsible for a wave of violence.


    • #3
      A supporter of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez holds a poster that portrays U.S. President George W. Bush as a devil during a march against terrorism in Caracas May 28, 2005. The U.S. rejected on Friday Venezuela's first move to extradite a Cuban exile wanted for an airliner bombing, in a case that could challenge the U.S. commitment to fight all forms of terrorism.
      Last edited by Rasputin; 11-19-2005, 04:50 AM.


      • #4
        TEHRAN (AFP) - Leading Iranian presidential candidate and top cleric Akbar Hasemi Rafsanjani has again moved to dispel the widely-held belief that he is extremely rich -- insisting that he has spent nearly all his money.

        "Before the revolution I was among the rich seminary students," Rafsanjani was quoted as saying by the student news agency ISNA.

        "After the victory of the revolution, I gradually spent my assets on living, my children and the revolution. Now I only have a plot of land in city of Qom and I do not have any house or land in Tehran," he insisted during a meeting with students.

        Although informal opinion polls have placed Rafsanjani as the current favorite to win the presidency on June 17, the 70-year-old cleric remains the target of the commonly-held belief that he is one of the Islamic republic's wealthiest men.

        The son of a pistachio farmer, Rafsanjani went on to become a leading figure in the 1979 revolution. He served as president from 1989 to 1997, and is seeking a comeback by campaigning on a moderate, centrist platform.

        According to ISNA, Rafsanjani said he had handed Iran's judiciary a list of his assets -- from both now and before the revolution. In July last year he made a similar denial of his wealth, and challenged his critics to try and prove he was rich.


        • #5
          WASHINGTON, D.C., May 26, 2005 ( - A majority of Iranians support their country’s quest for nuclear weapons technology, according to the results of a random telephone survey released today by InterMedia, the Washington, D.C.-based media and public attitudes research institute. Fifty-five (55) percent of the 2,001 Iranians questioned support the country’s development of nuclear weapons technology, according to InterMedia, which commissioned the survey, with 46 percent of the respondents strongly supporting the nuclear program.

          “Despite the U.S. perception that a nuclear Iran is a threat to American and global interests, Iranians themselves are motivated to support this program for various reasons,” said Dr. Haleh Vaziri, InterMedia’s Regional Research Manager for the Middle East and North Africa. “Some of these reasons are national and regional in scope: nuclear weapons are seen as potential symbols of national pride. They would also affirm what many in Iran believe, that the country deserves a place as a recognized regional power. Finally, some think the country needs a nuclear arsenal for deterrence in what is a dangerous neighborhood.”

          The InterMedia survey covered a range of current media and political issues. Fifty-three percent of those surveyed believe the country is currently heading in the right direction, and 44 percent saying that an Islamic republic based on the clergy’s guardianship is the best model for the country’s future -- disappointing numbers for advocates of reform in Iran. “People may have lost hope in the reformists -- at least for now,” Vaziri said. Iran will hold presidential elections June 17.

          At the same time, the numbers may not tell the whole story: “We found there was a greater reluctance on the part of respondents to speak out this year, as perhaps there was more fear of reprisal,” said Vaziri. “We had higher refusal rates to the survey and believe the chance of respondent bias is high when Iranians when asked over the phone about their domestic political options.” Telephone penetration throughout Iran is roughly 85 percent, but is higher in major cities than in rural areas, where it drops to about 60 percent.
          Last edited by Rasputin; 11-19-2005, 04:50 AM.


          • #6
            AMARA, Iraq (AFP) - A British soldier was killed in a bomb attack against a military convoy in southern Iraq on Sunday, Iraqi and British officials said.

            "A British soldier was killed and three others wounded when a roadside bomb exploded around 9:50 am (0550 GMT) as a British military convoy was driving on the main road near Kahla," Iraqi police Captain Karim Asab told AFP.

            Kahla is in southern Iraq near the main city of Basra, where the bulk of the Britain's 8,000 troops are based.

            London has been Washington's staunchest ally in Iraq and has the second largest military contingent there after the US forces.

            Thus far, 89 British military personnel have died in Iraq since the US-led invasion in March 2003.


            • #7
              To: UN Human Rights Commisionaire, European Parliament, and Iranian Authorities .

              Free Akbar Ganji.



              • #8
                A group of students gathered at Tehran University last night to protest the disqualification of most reformist presidential candidates by the Guardian Council.

                Iran's hard-line Guardian Council disqualified more than 1,000 presidential hopefuls on Sunday, narrowing a diverse field of candidates for next month's election to just six conservative contenders. The surprise announcement all but guarantees that a conservative will take over the presidency from moderate Mohammad Khatami, whose attempts at reform have been stifled in the increasingly rigid political climate of recent years .
                Last edited by Rasputin; 11-19-2005, 04:50 AM.


                • #9
                  France rejects EU treaty, Europe faces crisis
                  French President Jacques Chirac casts his ballot in the referendum for the European constitution in Saran, south-western France, May 29, 2005. The French voted in a referendum on the European Union's new constitution on Sunday with Europe watching closely after final opinion polls pointed to a rejection that could kill the charter.


                  • #10
                    پيتر مندلسون، کميسر تجاری اتحاديه اروپا به منظور جلوگيری از بروز بزرگترين مناقشه در سازمان تجارت جهانی بر سر پرداخت يارانه به شرکتهای هواپيماسازی ايرباس و بوئينگ پيشنهاد تازه ای به آمريکا داده است، ولی واشنگتن از وی بخاطر افشای اين پيشنهاد در مطبوعات انتقاد کرد.
                    آقای مندلسون خواستار کاهش پرداخت يارانه ها به اين دو شرکت رقيب و ادامه مذاکرات شده است. کميسيون اروپا اعلام کرد اين پيشنهاد "مشخص تر" از طرحهای قبلی است.

                    بنا به يک گزارش، بروکسل پيشنهاد داده است که کمک خود برای ساخت هواپيماهای متوسط ايرباس ای-۳۵۰ را تا ۳۰ درصد کاهش دهد.

                    اما نماينده تجاری آمريکا در بيانيه ای اعلام کرد طرفين متعهد شده بودند پيشنهادهای خود را با رسانه ها در ميان نگذارند.

                    وی گفت: "ما فوق العاده مايوس شده ايم که آنها به حربه مطبوعات متوسل شده اند. اين کار هيچ کمکی به مناسباتمان نمی کند."

                    سخنگوی ايرباس حاضر به اظهار نظر نشد و گفت اين اختلافی است که واشنگتن و بروکسل بايد حل و فصل کنند.


                    • #11
                      Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi welcomed efforts made by the Europeans for Iran's joining the World Trade Organization, terming it as a positive step, according to IRNA.

                      Addressing domestic and foreign reporters in his weekly press conference, Asefi said Iran believes its rights were ignored without any justification.

                      "We have told the Europeans nothing will replace our legal rights of having access to fuel cycle and peaceful use of nuclear technology.

                      "The Europeans stressed they made great efforts for Iran's WTO joining due to Iran's cooperation with Europe in nuclear negotiations and the country's goodwill and we accept this," he said.

                      The spokesman dismissed any link between the US approval of Iran's membership at the WTO and recent Geneva nuclear talks, saying the two issues should be dealt with separately.

                      He said Iran's WTO joining was set to be discussed after the Geneva talks which it shows that the Europeans believe there is no link between Geneva negotiations and acceptance of Iran's call to join the organization.


                      • #12
                        غلامعلی حدادعادل، نماينده تهران در مجلس شورای اسلامی برای يک سال ديگر به رياست مجلس انتخاب شد.
                        طی رأی گيری برای انتخاب هيئت رئيسه مجلس قانونگذاری ايران که بامداد چهارشنبه اول ژوئن (يازدهم خرداد) صورت گرفت، آقای حداد عادل با 160رأی موافق از مجموع ۲۵۵ رأی برای دومين سال پياپی در جايگاه رياست مجلس قرارگرفت.

                        تعداد آرائی که امسال به نفع رياست آقای حدادعادل بر مجلس داده شد نسبت به سال گذشته که وی برای نخستين بار در اين مقام قرار گرفت کاهش چشمگيری نشان می دهد.

                        وی در انتخابات سال گذشته ۲۲۶ رأی از مجموع ۲۵۹ رأی نمايندگان مجلس را به نفع خود کسب کرده بود.

                        رقيب امسال آقای حدادعادل برای احراز سمت رياست مجلس، حسن سبحانی، نماينده دامغان و رئيس کميسيون برنامه و بودجه مجلس بود که تنها توانست رأی موافق هشتاد و شش نماينده را کسب کند.


                        • #13
                          Nazi hunters urge Austria to seize war crimes suspect.
                          The Nazi-hunting Simon Wiesenthal Centre urged Austria on Thursday to prosecute a war crimes suspect who recently fled Croatia to southern Austria.

                          Milivoj Asner, 92, is on the centre's top 10 list of alleged Nazi accomplices sought under a "Last Chance" campaign launched last year to track down the last surviving suspects of Holocaust-era crimes against Jews and other minorities.

                          Asner fled Croatia last year shortly after being named as a target of the campaign, and was recently spotted in Klagenfurt, capital of the southern Austrian province of Carinthia, Efraim Zuroff, the centre's director in Israel, said.

                          "He played a very active role" in persecutions and deportations of hundreds of Jews, Serbs and Gypsies, to Nazi concentration camps as police chief in Slavonska Pozega, a city run by the Nazi-allied Croat Ustashe regime in World War II, Zuroff said.

                          Among the millions killed in Europe under Nazi persecution in the 1940's, six million Jews died under Adolf Hitler's "final solution" plan.

                          In a letter to Austria's Ambassador to Israel, Kurt Hengel, Zuroff wrote that "Asner's presence in Klagenfurt has been well-known to the Austrian authorities for months, but yet they have not taken any legal action against him."

                          Zuroff told Reuters there was "enormous" documentation available to prosecute Asner.

                          "You have to send a message that people like this belong in jail ... The passage of time has in no way diminished the culpability of perpetrators" of war crimes," Zuroff said.


                          • #14
                            Milagros Cerron, 13-month old rests in her bed in a hospital in Lima, Peru on Thursday, June 2, 2005. Cerron was stable and awake 15 hours after doctors separated her fused legs in only the second such successful operation on record to correct 'mermaid syndrome,' her doctors said.
                            Last edited by Rasputin; 11-19-2005, 04:50 AM.


                            • #15
                              Police said on Saturday they had charged a 12-year-old girl with attacking a young boy who was left with serious injuries including marks around his neck following an assault earlier in the week.

                              Anthony Hinchliffe, 5, was found wandering alone and distraught on Tuesday evening near woodlands in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, with injuries to his neck and bruising to his body.

                              Detectives originally treated the incident as attempted murder but on Friday night charged the girl with inflicting grievous bodily harm and attempting to pervert the course of justice.

                              The 12-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, will appear at Dewsbury youth court on June 10.

                              Originally five children, all aged 11 or 12, were arrested in connection with the attack but the other four have all been released.

                              "Following extensive inquiries West Yorkshire police are no longer looking for any other suspects in connection with this investigation," a police spokeswoman said.

                              Hinchcliffe's family said he was taken from his mother's back garden and led to nearby woodlands, where he was injured. He was released from hospital on Wednesday.

                              "This has been a very distressing time for both myself and my family," the boy's mother, Terry Brown, said.
                              Last edited by Rasputin; 11-19-2005, 04:50 AM.