TUESDAY, JANUARY 30, 2007
14:15 MECCA TIME, 11:15 GMT
Nothing but the TRUTH...
Posted by tcmatin at 7:32 AM
Police are still hunting for the four alleged co-conspirators of Mr Johnson, described by sources within the expatriate Australian community as a "happy drunk" who frequented the Honiara Yacht Club when he was visiting the capital from the nearby island of Malaita.
The arrest comes amid a simmering brawl between the Solomons Government and Canberra over Mr Sogavare's plans to form an armed police "close personal protection unit". All Solomons police were disarmed in 2003, following the arrival of the Australian-led intervention force to restore peace after years of ethnic-motivated violence. Some of the armed police were found to have been involved in the ethnic violence that tore the country apart.
In December, the Australian-dominated unit of police protecting Mr Sogavare were withdrawn at his request. Mr Johnson was yesterday charged with conspiracy to murder Mr Sogavare on January 18 and 23 for "a reward bounty payment of $50,000 sponsored by Australia". A Department of Foreign Affairs spokesman last night said he could not comment on the allegations of Australian involvement in sponsoring the alleged assassination plot.
Sources said prosecutors will allege that Mr Johnson initially approached an inspector in the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force for assistance in executing the plot to kill Mr Sogavare, who took power soon after the April riots that razed much of Chinatown in Honiara. Mr Johnson allegedly thought the senior officer was an opponent of Mr Sogavare and would be able to ensure armed killers could pass through the checkpoints set up around the parliament and offices of the Prime Minister.
The plotters are alleged to have planned their conspiracy in the mountains of Malaita, a hotbed of past ethnic violence. The police inspector is understood to have informed Mr Sogavare's office and an investigation launched. A statement was last night released by Mr Sogavare's office detailing the charging and appearance in court of "Bill Johnson" in Honiara. "The man is alleged to have made statements to police that he, in company with other people not named in court, had made plans to assassinate the Prime Minister," the statement said.
Magistrate William Seneka remanded Mr Johnson in custody till next Tuesday when the court will hear an application for bail. Mr Seneka denied bail because of the serious nature of the alleged offences and fears that Mr Johnson might abscond or interfere with further investigations.
The Australian consulate organised legal representation for Mr Johnson, as well as diabetes medication. At the time of his arrest, Mr Johnson was staying in a budget motel in Honiara. He appears on the nominal roll of Vietnam veterans as having served in four units in Vietnam - the 2nd, 5th and 8th battalions, Royal Australian Regiment as well as at Headquarters, 1st Australian Taskforce.
Mr Sogavare's office could not be contacted last night. DFAT issued a statement last night detailing the assistance given to Mr Johnson after his arrest. "The Australian consul in Honiara has been providing consular assistance to the man and attended the court hearing on January 30," she said.
Posted by tcmatin at 7:23 AM
Posted by tcmatin at 12:06 AM
Posted by tcmatin at 12:05 AM
The parents of Michael Bates, Michael Robert Six and Christopher Barnette issued a statement Friday, asking the public to "withhold judgment" until an investigation was completed. The statement said Six was attacked with a belt by one of the accusers but didn't offer further details.
Five players face charges of assault and ethnic intimidation in connection with a fight Saturday. The charges do not reflect results of a police investigation.
The charges were approved by a magistrate judge after a complaint was filed by the victims - Guilford College students Faris Khader and Osama Sabbah and North Carolina State student Omar Awartani, who was visiting Greensboro from Raleigh.
The Palestinian men said they were taunted with racial slurs and called terrorists as they were beaten and kicked, according to court documents.
Lawyer Seth Cohen said his clients didn't do anything wrong and didn't provoke the attack.
"They were minding their own business,'' Cohen said.
The FBI is investigating to determine whether a hate crime was committed, FBI spokesman Tim Stutheit said.
Bates, Six and Barnette were arrested Monday on misdemeanor charges. Two other players, Jonathan Underwood and Jazz Favors, were charged Thursday. Underwood also faces one count of communicating threats.
An Arab-American group blamed growing bigotry against Arabs for an attack on three Palestinian students on a North Carolina college campus.
The students at Guilford College in Greensboro allegedly were kicked and beaten with brass knuckles by 15 members of the college football team last Saturday. "There is a need for national recognition that the effect of negative stereotypes of Arabs and Muslims has created a dangerous environment where incidents like this can occur," the Arab American Institute said in a statement. It particularly blamed calls by some North Carolina state officials to intern Arab Americans.
Posted by tcmatin at 11:48 PM
The Press has always suppressed the fact of violence against Muslims throughout the coastal belt: but, this time around, they suppressed police atrocities too; the non-bjp parties too have maintained complete silence. This is a new development in the bloody history of coastal Karnataka's communal violence. The administration, the police, and the media had never before worked unanimously and in tandem.
From what we saw in the violence-affected areas, wherever the Muslims had taken to destruction, it was as a response to the violence inflicted on them.
Posted by tcmatin at 10:47 PM
By Chang-Ran Kim, Asia auto correspondent
TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan's top two carmakers, Toyota Motor Corp. and Honda Motor Co., are likely to post double-digit profit growth for the latest quarter on strong sales and a weaker yen, while third-ranked Nissan Motor Co. is seen stalling on tepid demand.
The domestic Japanese market offered a mixed bag of sales data for October-December, with popular 660cc minicars lifting Honda while reining in Toyota, but both continued to increase sales in the more profitable Western markets.
Solid vehicle exports from Japan to meet voracious demand overseas also worked in Japanese automakers' favor as the yen slipped further, especially against the euro. "We can't expect the kind of big boost from the dollar's rise as we did in the first half, but the euro continued to strengthen," said Atsushi Kawai, auto analyst at Mizuho Investors Securities. "The rise in raw material costs also seems to have abated, so the third quarter is likely to be solid."
Posted by tcmatin at 10:37 PM
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - By deploying a second aircraft carrier to the Gulf the United States has sent a "strong signal" that it is in the region to stay and working with allies to deal with an Iranian threat, Vice President Dick Cheney said.
He repeated the Bush administration's stance that the United States seeks to resolve the dispute over Iran's nuclear program through diplomatic means, but that all options are on the table.
"I think most of the nations in that part of the world believe their security is supported, if you will, by the United States. They want us to have a major presence there," Cheney said in an interview with Newsweek magazine, according to a transcript released by the White House on Sunday.
Posted by tcmatin at 10:36 PM
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Iran is taking steps to greatly expand military and economic ties with Iraq, Tehran's ambassador to Iraq said in an interview on Sunday with New York Times.
The ambassador, Hassan Kazemi Qomi, said Iran was prepared to offer Iraqi forces training, equipment and advisers for "the security fight" and was ready to assume major responsibility for the reconstruction of Iraq. He also acknowledged for the first time that two Iranians detained last month by U.S. forces were security officials as the United States has claimed. "They worked in the security sector in the Islamic Republic, that's clear," Qomi said in a 90-minute interview at the Iranian Embassy in Baghdad. The interview appeared in Monday's New York Times. The Iranians were in Iraq because "the two countries agreed to solve the security problems," the ambassador said. The Iranians "went to meet with the Iraqi side," he told the newspaper. Qomi said the Iranians should not have been detained and he ridiculed evidence the U.S. military said it has which proving the Iranians were involved in planning attacks on American and Iraqi forces.
Qomi also announced that Iran would soon open a national bank in Baghdad. An Iraqi banking official confirmed that Iran has received a license to open what would be the first "wholly owned subsidiary bank" of a foreign country in Iraq, the newspaper reported.
United States has accused Iran of helping arm, train and fund Iraqi militants, notably fellow Shi'ite Muslims. President George W. Bush said on Friday U.S. forces in Iraq have authority to protect themselves against Iranians attempting to launch attacks inside Iraq.
State Department spokesman Sean McCormack told The New York Times that the United States had a significant body of evidence tying Iran to sectarian attacks inside Iraq.
"There is a high degree of confidence in the information that we already have, and we are constantly accumulating more," McCormack said.
Posted by tcmatin at 10:33 PM
By Paul Tighe
Jan. 29 (Bloomberg) -- Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah invited leaders of the Palestinian groups Hamas and Fatah to hold talks in Mecca to try to end fighting between their supporters in the Gaza Strip. The king issued his invitation yesterday, saying the leaders should ``discuss the issues between them in an objective manner without any interference from outsiders,'' the official Saudi Press Agency reported on its Web site.
Hamas and Fatah officials accepted the king's invitation, the Israeli daily newspaper Haaretz reported on its Web site, citing spokesmen for the groups. Hamas and Fatah have failed in attempts to form a national unity government since talks began last May, leading to violence that has killed 23 people since Jan. 24. The Hamas movement won control of the Palestinian Authority from Fatah in elections a year ago. Hamas appreciates, the ``generous position'' of King Abdullah, Haaretz cited Taher An-Nono, a Palestinian Foreign Ministry official, as saying.
Posted by tcmatin at 10:23 PM