WW4 Report

Turks protest Schwarzenegger for bad reason

A group of prominent businessmen in Turkey have issued a call for Arnold Schwarzenegger's movies to be banned from Turkish TV after the California governor endorsed a call by Armenian-Americans (a sizeable constituency in his state) for April 24 to be declared "Day of Remembrance of the Armenian Genocide."

Kashmir water war

The recent moves towards peace between India and Pakistan, symbolized by the historic establishment of bus service across the line of control in divided Kashmir, are a welcome development. But the April 6 arson attack on a Srinagar compound where trans-border bus passengers were being housed is testament to the potential for further armed resistance. This report from the Pakistan Daily Times of April 25 delineates some of the little-noted reasons that Jammat-e-Islami, the biggest Kashmir resistance group, is not laying down arms (a position supported by the group's legal arm, Muthidda Majlis-e-Aamal):

Moussaoui pleads guilty (sort of)

Zacarias Moussaoui, the only man to be charged with a crime related to 9-11 in the U.S., was finally allowed to enter a plea in federal court April 22, and, in his inimitably garbled fashion, pleaded guilty to all six charges of terrorist conspiracy (for which he will likely face the death penalty) while insisting he had no involvement in 9-11. Instead, he said he was recruited for a separate series of attacks aimed at freeing Sheikh Omar Abdul Rahman, the notorious "Blind Sheikh" imprisoned at a top-security facility in Minnesota. (CNN, April 23)

Arab unrest, peace protests in Iran

Ethnic tensions are rising in southwest Iran's Khuzistan province along the Iraqi border, where violence has left three dead and injured in recent days. Protests by the region's Arab minority were sparked by reports that authorities were planning to colonize the city of Ahvaz with ethnic Farsies. Nationwide operations of Qatar-based Al-Jazeera TV were suspended by the government April 18 on charges of inciting the unrest. (AP, April 18)

Victory in Amazon indigenous struggle

An important victory is reported from the Brazilian Amazon, which has been the scene of recent violence linked to struggles for control of land and resources. From the BBC, April 15:

President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has signed a decree creating an Amazonian Indian reserve the size of a small country in northern Brazil. The reserve, Raposa Serra Do Sol, is called "the land of the fox and mountain of the sun" by the 12,000 Indians who live there. Its hills, rivers and forests cover 17,000 sq km (6,500 square miles).

True freedom fighter killed in Iraq

From the San Francisco Chronicle, April 18:

A car bomb attack near Baghdad has killed a well-known activist from Northern California who entered war zones to record civilian deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan and secure aid for those caught in the crossfire.

Marla Ruzicka, 28, of Lakeport (Lake County), founder of CIVIC -- Campaign for Innocent Victims of Conflict -- died with her driver on the Baghdad Airport road Saturday when a suicide bomber attacked a convoy of security contractors that was passing next to her vehicle, according to her family and news reports quoting U.S. Embassy officials in Iraq.

National Counter-Terrorism Center takes over

By order of Secretary Rice, the State Department will stop publishing its annual report "Patterns of Global Terrorism," ceding responsibility for counting and analyzing worldwide terror attacks to the new National Counter-Terrorism Center. The order comes despite controversy over the Center's findings, on which the State Department relied for last year's report. The report found a higher incidence of terror attacks in 2003 than in any year since the State Department began counting them in 1985. This year, the number has again risen dramatically, according to intelligence sources—from 175 "significant" attacks in 2003 to 625 in 2004. The State Department has issued a public version of the report every since 1985, and it is uncertain if the National Counter-Terrorism Center will now do so. The move to halt publication is controversial on Capitol Hill. "This is the definitive report on the incidence of terrorism around the world," said Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA). "It should be unthinkable that there would be an effort to withhold it—or any of the key data —from the public. The Bush administration should stop playing politics with this critical report." (Knight-Ridder, April 16)

PKK resurgence in Turkish Kurdistan

At least 20 Kurdish guerilla fighters are dead in an assualt by Turkish army troops backed up by US-made Cobra attack helicopters near the Iraq border, AP reported April 15. Three Turkish soldiers and a village guardsman were also killed in the fighting in Siirt and Sirnak provinces. Turkish authorities said the guerillas infiltrated Turkish territory from Iraq, where they had taken refuge across the border.

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