WW4 Report

Collaborationist protests in Western Sahara

Excerpt from a report by Moroccan news agency MAP (via M&C News):

Laayoune, 19 June: Hundreds of citizens today Sunday held a protest at the Hassan I Airport in Laayoune against the scheming intentions and provocative attempts of the Spanish pro-separatist activists who are trying to visit the town despite the Moroccan authorities' refusal to let them step on national soil.

Hamas leader arrested in South America?

From the Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA), June 20:

The local leader of Hamas was arrested in an often lawless frontier area where Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina meet. Brazilian and Paraguayan news agencies confirmed June 17 that Saiel Bashar Yahya Al Atary and 21 others described as Islamic terrorists had been arrested by Brazilian federal police in the city of Foz de Iguazu. The men were charged with being part of an international ring that committed credit card fraud, counterfeited documents and was involved in drug trafficking.

Inuit to file petition against US on climate change

The Inuit of Alaska and Canada's far north, whose traditional way of life depends on hunting seals and polar bear—and therefore on cold—are not so sanguine about global warming. Thanks to TruthOut for passing on this interesting June 16 Reuters story:

Inuit to File Anti-US Climate Petition
Oslo - Inuit hunters threatened by a melting of the Arctic ice plan to file a petition accusing Washington of violating their human rights by fuelling global warming, an Inuit leader said on Wednesday.

Uzbek units in May massacre received US aid

Thank goodness the New York Times put this on the front page, above the fold yesterday. We have excised out two information-free propaganda paragraphs about the "implicit gamble" that anti-terrorist aid to authoritarian states "can backfire"--as if keeping down the populace of Uzbekistan was not part of (or even primarilly) what the aid is intended for. Admittedly, the May repression in Andijan does seem to have been rather too indiscrete for Washington's sensibilities...

Journalists under attack in Western Sahara

We get very little new about the new intifada in Western Sahara, and here's one of the reasons why: Morocco is effectively barring journalists from the occupied territory. This from
Reporters sans Frontières via allAfrica.com, June 17:

Journalists in Western Sahara Face Assaults, Arrests And Harassment
RSF has called on the Moroccan authorities to put an end to the harassment of local and foreign media in Western Sahara and allow them to work normally.

More unrest in Kyrgyzstan

More than 1,000 Kyrgyz troops fired tear gas June 17 to drive protesters from a key state building, foiling what the government said was an attempt by supporters of the ousted president to regain power. Acting President Kurmanbek Bakiyev blamed the riots on followers of his predecessor Askar Akayev, who fled into exile after a coup in March, and said he would personally defend his government "with a gun in my hands if necessary."

Spain rebuffs ETA on talks

The Basque separatist group ETA called for the start of a peace process in a letter published June 17. "It is essential to open a democratic process without limits and involving everyone. ETA is totally prepared to become involved in such a process," Basque newspaper Gara quoted the group as saying in its open letter. But Spain's Socialist government insisted the group must lay down its arms first.

France: al-Qaeda cell convicted?

A Pakistani man and two Frenchmen of Pakistani origin, who were at first suspected of helping would-be shoe-bomber Richard Reid, were instead found guilty of links to the Jammu and Kashmir separatist group Lashkar-e-Taiba June 16. The Paris court sentenced the main defendant, Ghulam Rama, 67, a Pakistani who headed the Chemin Droit (Straight Path) humanitarian group in France, to five years in prison. Two men who apparently trained for insurgency in Jammu and Kashmir with Rama's help, Hassan el-Cheguer and Hakim Mokhfi, both 31, were given four-year prison sentences. They were all charged with criminal association in connection with a terrorist enterprise, a sweeping charge widely used in terror cases in France that carries a maximum 10-year sentence.