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International News and Issues
For January 2000


*************

January 03, 2000
American Advocate on Russian Front

A note worthy item that's being squashed by the international
and domestic press is on the Chechyan front in Grozny.
Yesterday, the Rebels launched chemical warfare shells
at the Russian lines surrounding the city.  The shells contained
chemical mixtures of chlorine and ammonia and other substances.
Unfortunately, the Rebels not being exactly the swiftest in
foresight or intelligence didn't think about wind factors and the
lethal mixture was then blown back into the city from which
it originated.  The civilians trapped inside obviously getting
the brunt of their endeavor.

I suppose I don't need to even go into the implications of
this kind of escalation of desperation and disregard for
international law or sheer base humanity.  A sub-human
act that completely legitimizes the Russian Governments
position and reasoning.  Because of this  it is the position
of AA that in spite of the mayhem going on there and the
fact that we do NOT support the use of military force against
a civilian population, we have to concur with the Russian
Government that these band of rebels are purely terrorist's
and criminals , in fact, even below those as even terrorist's
and criminals would never launch chemical warfare attacks;
and need to be contained and removed as a threat to the
rest of civilized society.

(waiting for the political backlash)
IMHO,
Ellis

***********

Monday, January 03, 2000
  20 Die in Religious Riots in Egypt
  By MAAMOUN YOUSSEF Associated Press Writer

  CAIRO, Egypt (AP) - Egyptian security forces quelled three days
  of religious rioting and looting that left at least 20 dead in southern
  Egypt, officials said today.

  Coptic Bishop Wissa, whose parish includes several of the villages
  hit by the unrest, said today that the number of dead had reached
  20. He said all were Christians from el-Kusheh, a village of 23,000
  at the center of the unrest. It is located 275 miles south of Cairo.

  The Interior Ministry, which had earlier put the death toll at eight,
  later released a statement reported by the local Middle East News
  Agency confirming 20 people were killed in el-Kusheh. It also said
  44 people were injured and buildings and vehicles were torched.

  The area was reported quiet and under curfew today. Authorities
  had closed off the area to outsiders.

  The violence was sparked Friday in el-Kusheh by an earlier dispute
  between a Muslim street vendor and a Christian shopkeeper. It
  later spread to the nearby villages of Dar el-Salam and Awlad Toq
  West.

  Witnesses in Dar el-Salam said protesters claiming Christian
  attacks against Muslims smashed and burned scores of
  Christian-owned shops and offices. They said police opened fire to
  disperse the protesters, some of whom fired back, and that more
  forces were called to restore order.

  The Interior Ministry said el-Kusheh residents exchanged gunfire
  from their rooftops.

  ``Security organs have controlled and contained the situation
  between the two disputed parties,'' the Interior Ministry said in a
  statement.

  The government blamed ``criminal and violence-seeking elements
  who manipulated conflicting reactions between Muslims and
  Christians on business matters.''

  Security forces arrested several instigators and some people who
  took part in the rioting in el-Kusheh, the statement said. Fires set in
  shops were extinguished, and authorities confiscated cars carrying
  looted items, the ministry said.

  The office of regional Gov. Ahmed Abdel-Aziz Bakr said he
  traveled to the site today to meet with Muslim and Christian
  religious leaders.

  Wissa said Pope Shenuda, the Coptic patriarch, dispatched a
  fact-finding mission of two bishops who met with the governor,
  toured el-Kusheh and talked to witnesses.

  The trouble began Wednesday in el-Kusheh, when Fayez Awad, a
  Muslim street vendor, tried to purchase on credit some textiles from
  Rashad Fahim Mansour, a Christian shop owner. Mansour allegedly
  refused and insulted Awad.

  According to authorities, Awad returned Friday with one or two of
  his brothers. When Mansour refused to apologize for insulting him,
  the men started shooting, injuring three farmers passing by on
  donkeys, authorities said.

  El-Kusheh gained international attention in 1998 because of
  allegations of police brutality toward Christians.

  Coptic Christians are the largest religious minority in mainly Muslim
  Egypt, making up 10 percent of the population of 64 million.
  El-Kusheh is 75 percent Coptic.


It seems to me that killing in the name of God is
oxymoranic, figure the Great Mystery is quite capable
of doing his own killing if he wanted to.
Paul

************

Rockets Hit Russia Embassy in Beirut
 
The Associated Press
Jan 3 2000 9:55AM ET  

BEIRUT, Lebanon (AP) - Assailants reportedly angered by Russia's military offensive in Chechnya fired rocket-propelled grenades at the Russian Embassy in Beirut today, killing a police officer and wounding six others before one attacker was shot dead, officials said.
A Russian diplomat said there were no Russian casualties in the assault on the embassy. Political attache Andrey Avdeev added that there was no serious damage to the embassy.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, but media reports cited a document found on the dead attacker that said it was a protest of Russia's military offensive against Muslim rebels in Chechnya. The reports did not identify their source.
Lebanese Muslim militants opposed to the military campaign in the Caucasus have staged protests against Moscow and have been raising money for the Chechens.
An assailant who had launched four rocket-propelled grenades and automatic rifle fire at the embassy from a nearby building was later gunned down by security forces who stormed his hideout, police officials said.
The television station identified the dead assailant as a Palestinian named Ahmed Raja Abou Kharroub. It said he carried a paper with the words: ``In sacrifice for Chechnya.'' A private radio station, Voice of Free Lebanon, said the paper found on Kharroub was addressed ``The Call of Grozny.'' It wasn't clear if the reports conflicted or if the paper said both things.
Lebanese army troops and policemen in armored personnel carriers and trucks fanned out in the area shortly after the midday attack at the busy Corniche Mazraa thoroughfare. Troops sealed off neighboring buildings and streets and searched for assailants who fled under heavy rain.
Earlier it appeared the assailants had taken up positions inside the embassy grounds, but it was later found that they had been next door.
After the attack, which lasted only a few minutes, troops carrying assault rifles ordered people indoors as shopkeepers shuttered their stores and evacuated during the search. The cordon was lifted about two hours later.
An official police statement said one policeman and an attacker were killed, and several passers-by were wounded. Police had reportedly earlier that two officers were killed and six others were wounded in the clash.
The Mazraa area is in the Muslim sector of Beirut, where extremists have been sympathetic with fellow Muslims in Chechnya who are fighting an onslaught by Russian forces.
Russian troops launched a military offensive in September to wrest control of the rebel republic after Chechen-based militants invaded a neighboring region and were blamed for ensuing apartment bombings elsewhere in Russia.
It was the most serious attack on a foreign diplomatic mission in Lebanon since the end of the 1975-1990 civil war, during which foreign nationals and embassies as well as ordinary Lebanese were targets of armed factions. During that time, quarrels were frequently settled by gunfire on the streets of the capital.

******************

January 03, 2000
  Media Coverage of Terrorism Increases When Muslims are Involved

  CAIR
  Council on American-Islamic Relations
  1050 17th Street, N.W., Suite 490
  Washington, D.C.  20036
  Tel: 202-659-CAIR (2247)
  Fax: 202-659-2254
  Page: 202-490-5653
  E-mail: cair1@ix.netcom.com
  URL: http://www.cair-net.org

  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

  MUSLIM ADVOCACY GROUP CALLS FOR BALANCED COVERAGE OF TERRORISM
  Media content analysis shows coverage increases when Muslims are
  involved

  (WASHINGTON, DC - 12/29/99) - The Council on American-Islamic
  Relations (CAIR), a Washington-based Islamic advocacy group, is
  calling on media professionals to use one standard of newsworthiness
  when reporting on issues related to domestic and international
  terrorism. CAIR expressed concerns about an apparent imbalance in
  coverage whenever Muslims are involved or alleged to be involved in
  terrorist activities.

  In examining that imbalance, CAIR compared the coverage of three
  different news stories:

  1. The recent arrest of an Algerian man who allegedly tried to
  smuggle bomb-making materials into the United States.
  2. The arrest this month of two suspected militia members accused of
  plotting to blow up a California propane plant. (Officials say the
  resulting firestorm could have killed as many as half the people
  within a five-mile radius of the plant and was intended to spark an
  uprising against the government.)
  3. The arrest on Tuesday of an American Airlines mechanic who was
  charged with possessing bomb-making material after potential
  explosives and assault rifles were found in his home. White
  supremacist and anti-government publications were also found.

  In the case of the Algerian suspect, a search of Lexis-Nexis and Dow
  Jones Interactive databases produced 129 (113 print, 16 broadcast)
  stories on the day of and the day following the announcement of the
  man's arrest. Twenty-one stories ran on page one.

  The California propane plant case search produced 51 (51 print, 0
  broadcast) stories on the day of the arrest and the following day.
  Only one of the stories ran on page one. Many of the stories ran as
  news briefs.

  A similar search of stories related to the American Airlines mechanic
  produced a total of 10 articles. The New York Times ran the story on
  page 20. The Washington Post ran it on page eight. None of the
  propane plant or American Airlines stories highlighted the alleged
  perpetrators race or religion.

  According to a survey of national media outlets by the Muslim
  Internet news service iViews.com, linkage of Islam and Muslims with
  terrorism has increased 51 percent since the beginning of the month
  of December. (see http://www.iviews.com) The survey tracked the words
  "Islam" or "Muslim," occurring within a three-word proximity of
  "terror" and its derivatives.

  iViews.com's research also showed that the sharp increase seemed to
  coincide with a December 11th State Department warning to U.S.
  citizens traveling abroad. The warning referred to "credible
  information that terrorists are planning attacks" to coincide with
  New Years Eve and the Islamic month of Ramadan in which Muslims fast
  during daylight hours. A number of American Muslims contacted CAIR to
  express concern about the apparent linkage between terrorism and
  Ramadan.

  "The disparity in media coverage of terrorism-related stories
  involving Muslims is disturbing. Newsworthiness, not religion or
  ethnicity, should be the determining factor in the amount of coverage
  given to a particular story," said CAIR Board Chairman Omar Ahmad.
  Ahmad added that any Muslim who contemplates or carries out an act of
  violence in this country would face rejection and repudiation from
  the Islamic community.

  There are an estimated six million Muslims in America and some 1.2
  billion worldwide. Islam is one of the fastest growing religions in
  the United States.

  ------

  Islamic search engine, post Ads, dowload free Islamic software
  http://www.musalman.com/topmain.shtml

  Daily News
  http://www.iviews.com

  The Islamic Information Office Of hawaii
  http://www.iio.org/

  Islam On-Line
  http://www.islam-online.net/iol-english/index.asp


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