Scores are dead in Yemen, where security forces are battling Islamist forces led by Badruddin Al-Houthi in and around the northwestern town of Saada. A group of opposition parties is calling for the nation's pariliament to immediately launch an investigation into "extra-judicial killings" by government forces in the operation. (Arab News, April 9) The fighting has left at least 70 this week, and 170 over the past month.
More attacks are reported in Thailand as the country braces for the first anniversary of the April 28, 2004 massacre of 32 Islamic militants by security forces at Krue Se mosque in the restive south of the country. An all-too-typical dialectic of state-versus-insurgent terror is at play here. The massacre came just weeks after the still-unexplained disappearance of Somchai Neelapaichit, a human rights worker who had been reporting on abuses in the region. Local Muslims are also outraged over the death of 85 peaceful prostesters in custody last October—most suffocated to death after their arrest at the village of Tak Bai. Security has been beefed up as the Krue Se anniversary nears. Over the past three days, bomb and grenade attacks on Hat Yai airport, a police station and hotel have left two dead and scores injured. Ten days earlier, an army commander, a Buddhist abbot and his police escort were injured in bomb blasts in Yala province. Four Buddhist monks were killed in the region last year, and attacks on local Buddhists continue. (UK Guardian, April 5)
The City of New York has reached an agreement in a lawsuit brought by the New York Civil Liberties Union on behalf of the Ya-Ya Network, a youth advocacy group. Ya-Ya activists had been threatened with arrest for handing out flyers outside public schools advising students of their right to withhold personal information from military recruiters. The activists will have the right to distribute literature on sidewalks outside schools under the agreement.
More than 400 members of the Federation of Nepalese Journalists (FNJ) staged a rally in Kathmandu March 29 to demand an end to press censorship imposed by King Gyanendra when he seized power last month. Unlike other anti-monarchy demonstrations in the past two months which have been quickly broken up by police, the journalists' protest was allowed to proceed uninterrupted as a strong deployment of armed police looked on.
From Connecticut's Shore Publishing group of community newspapers:
New London -- Drawing parallels to Cold War-era paranoia and fear mongering, a regional group is organizing protests of next month's TOPOFF3 drill, which will simulate a chemical attack on New London. Department of Homeland security officials have said the drill, beginning on April 4, will take place mostly at Fort Trumbull State Park, and will not interfere with daily activities in the city. Culled from the memberships of the Southeastern Connecticut Peace and Justice Network and the War Resisters League, the Mock Terror Task Force has been holding informational forums with promises of future protests in front of City Hall during the exercise.
From the Bond Buyer, April 1:
The Bond Market Association will participate in next week's U.S. TOPOFF 3 test, an exercise in which municipal market participants, government agencies, and trade groups will explore how a simulated terror scenario might affect market operations, the association said yesterday.
The Indonesian army and police have killed three people, burned down houses, killed pigs and destroyed crops, in the latest in a series of attacks against tribal villages in the Papuan highlands. One of those killed was a child. The Indonesian army frequently uses the pretext of searching for members of the Free Papua separatist movement to attack and intimidate the highland people. This latest assault focused on a village called Nggweyage. Besides the child, the village leader and an elder were also killed. Survival International has protested to the Indonesian government at this latest atrocity. (Survival International, March 30)
A group of ex-national security officials have sent an open letter calling for weaning America off the oil addiction and asking the Bush administration to spend $1 billion on develeoping more fuel-efficient automobiles.
Retail gasoline prices now averaging above $2 a gallon make US reliance on foreign suppliers a looming national security crisis, a group of 31 former officials wrote.