Former SS doctor Aribert Heim tops a list of hundreds of suspected war criminals believed still at large.
BADEN-BADEN Germany (AP) — Former SS doctor Aribert Heim tops a list released Wednesday of most-wanted suspected Nazi war criminals. He is a man so brutal that witnesses remember him as the worst they saw, though he was only at Mauthausen concentration camp for two months.
Former SS doctor Aribert Heim tops a list of hundreds of suspected war criminals believed still at large.
1 of 2 Heim would be 93 today, but “we have good reason to believe he is still alive,” said Efraim Zuroff by telephone from Jerusalem. Zuroff is the top Nazi hunter for Simon Wiesenthal Center, which published the list.
Still, despite a $485,000 reward for Heim’s arrest posted by the center along with Germany and Austria, he has managed to avoid capture for decades.
He is only one of hundreds of suspected Nazi war criminals that the center estimates are still at large.
After Heim on the center’s most wanted list are: John Demjanjuk, fighting deportation from the U.S., which says he was a guard at several death and forced labor camps; Sandor Kepiro, a Hungarian accused of involvement in the wartime killings of than 1,000 civilians in Serbia; Milivoj Asner, a wartime Croatian police chief now living in Austria and suspected of an active role in deporting hundreds of Serbs, Jews and Gypsies to their death; and Soeren Kam, a former member of the SS wanted by Denmark for the assassination of a journalist in 1943. His extradition from Germany was blocked in 2007 by a Bavarian court that found insufficient evidence for murder charges.
But the nature of Heim’s alleged crimes are what catapulted him to the top of the list.
Karl Lotter, a prisoner who worked in the hospital at Mauthausen concentration camp, had no trouble remembering the first time he watched Heim kill a man.
It was 1941, and an 18-year-old Jew had been sent to the clinic with a foot inflammation. Heim asked him about himself and why he was so fit. The young man said he had been a soccer player and swimmer.
Then, instead of treating the prisoner’s foot, Heim anesthetized him, cut him open, castrated him, took apart one kidney and removed the second, Lotter said. The victim’s head was removed and the flesh boiled off so that Heim could keep it on display.
“He needed the head because of its perfect teeth,” Lotter, a non-Jewish political prisoner, recalled in testimony eight years later that was included in a 1950 Austrian warrant for Heim’s arrest uncovered by The Associated Press. “Of all the camp doctors in Mauthausen, Dr. Heim was the most horrible.”
But Heim managed to avoid prosecution, his American-held file in Germany mysteriously omitting his time at Mauthausen.
The hunt for Heim has taken investigators from the German state of Baden-Wuerttemberg all around the world. Besides his home country of Austria and neighboring Germany where he settled after the war, tips have come from Uruguay in 1998, Spain, Switzerland and Chile in 2005, and Brazil in 2006, said Heinz Heister, presiding judge of the Baden-Baden state court, where Heim was indicted in absentia on hundreds of counts of murder in 1979.
Born June 28, 1914, in Radkersburg, Austria, Heim joined the local Nazi party in 1935, three years before Austria was bloodlessly annexed by Germany.
He later joined the Waffen SS and was assigned to Mauthausen, a concentration camp near Linz, Austria, as a camp doctor in October and November 1941.
While there, witnesses told investigators, he worked closely with SS pharmacist Erich Wasicky on such gruesome experiments as injecting various solutions into Jewish prisoners’ hearts to see which killed them the fastest.
But while Wasicky was brought to trial by an American Military Tribunal in 1946 and sentenced to death, along with other camp medical personnel and commanders, Heim, who was a POW in American custody, was not among them.
Heim’s file in the Berlin Document Center, the then-U.S.-run depot for Nazi-era papers, was apparently altered to obliterate any mention of Mauthausen, according to his 1979 German indictment, obtained by the AP. Instead, for the period he was known to be at the concentration camp, he was listed as having a different SS assignment.
This “cannot be correct,” the indictment says. “It is possible that through data manipulation the short assignment at the same time to the (concentration camp) was concealed.”
There is no indication who might have been responsible.
Eli Rosenbaum, director of the Justice Department’s Nazi-hunting Office of Special Investigations, was on the road and did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Austrian authorities sent the 1950 arrest warrant to American authorities in Germany who initially agreed to turn him over, then told the Austrians, in a December 21, 1950, letter obtained by the AP, that they couldn’t trace him.
What happened next is unclear, but in 1958 Heim apparently felt comfortable enough to buy a 42-unit apartment block in Berlin, listing it in his own name with a home address in Mannheim, according to purchase documents obtained by the AP. He then moved to the nearby resort town of Baden-Baden and opened a gynecological clinic — also under his own name, Heister said.
In 1961 German authorities were alerted and began an investigation, but when they finally went to arrest him in September 1962, they just missed him — he apparently had been tipped off.
Heim continued to live off the rents collected from the Berlin apartments until 1979 when the building was confiscated by German authorities.
Proof that he is alive may lie in the fact that no one has claimed his estate. Heim has two sons in Germany and a daughter who lived in Chile but whose current whereabouts are unknown.
Ruediger Heim, one of the sons, would not comment when telephoned at his Baden-Baden villa.
“All I can say is that it has been implied that I am in contact with my father, and that is absolutely false,” he said. “The rest is speculation, and I can’t enter into that.”
Pursue them to the ends of the earth…
Undated handout image shows a single glowing hematopoietic stem cell in its natural environment at the edge of bone marrow in a section of mouse scapula.
(University of Michigan Medical School/Douglas Engel, Ph.D,./Handout/Reuters)
1 hour, 33 minutes ago
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A new type of powerful stem cell made from ordinary skin cells has been coaxed into becoming three different types of heart and blood cells in mice, U.S. researchers reported on Wednesday.
They said they had made heart and blood cells from so-called induced pluripotent stem cells, or iPS cells — which are transformed skin cells that mimic the powers of embryonic stem cells.
They said their finding, published in the journal Stem Cells Express, brings one step closer the possibility of using the cells to treat heart disease in humans.
Dr. W. Robb MacLellan of the University of California Los Angeles and colleagues got their mouse iPS cells to differentiate, or mature, into cardiomyocytes, which are cardiac muscle cells that contract with the beating heart; vascular smooth muscle cells, the specialized muscle cells lining the blood vessel walls; and hematopoietic or blood-forming cells.
“Thus, iPS cells could prove a valuable cell source for applications in regenerative medicine,” they wrote in their report.
Last week a different team reported a similar experiment using human embryonic stem cells.
Embryonic stem cells are considered the most powerful kinds of stem cells, as they have the potential to give rise to any type of tissue. But they are difficult to make, requiring the use of an embryo or cloning technology.
Many people also object to their use, and several countries, including the United States, limit funding for such experiments.
But in the past year several teams of scientists have reported finding a handful of genes that can transform everyday skin cells into iPS cells, which in turn look and act like embryonic stem cells.
Skin cells, eh? I guess we didnt need human embryos after all..
US Air Force B-52H long range strategic bombers, part of the US Eight Air Force, in 2007 at the Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana. The United States Air Force had considered a plan to drop nuclear bombs on China during a confrontation over Taiwan in 1958 but it was overruled, declassified documents showed Wednesday.
(AFP/File/Paul J. Richards)
by P. Parameswaran
Wed Apr 30, 12:22 PM ET
WASHINGTON (AFP) – The United States Air Force had considered a plan to drop nuclear bombs on China during a confrontation over Taiwan in 1958 but it was overruled, declassified documents showed Wednesday.
When he learned about it, President Dwight Eisenhower instead required the Air Force to initially use conventional bombs against Chinese forces if the crisis escalated, according to previously secret US Air Force history.
The president’s instructions seemingly astounded the Air Force top brass but the author of one of the studies released said US policymakers recognized that atomic strikes had “inherent disadvantages” because of the fall-out danger in the region as well as the risk of nuclear escalation.
The report on the crisis by Bernard Nalty, a then historian with the Air Force, included significant detail on nuclear planning, including an initial plan to drop 10-15 kiloton bombs on airfields in Amoy (now called Xiamen) in the event of a Chinese blockade against Taiwan’s so-called Offshore Islands.
“This was in accordance with the drift of Air Force thinking which considered nuclear weapons as usable as ‘iron bombs,'” according to the report released Wednesday by the National Security Archive.
The body, a non-governmental research institute at George Washington University in Washington, collects and publishes declassified documents obtained through the US Freedom of Information Act.
“Of course, if there was a real war who knows what would have happened but there wasn’t fortunately,” William Burr, senior analyst at the National Security Archive, told AFP.
There were two crises on the status of the Offshore Islands — in 1954 and 1958 — during the term of Eisenhower, a former military commander, but they did not lead to any serious military confrontation, he said.
“Instead, he ordered the Air Force and Navy to prepare for conventional strikes as a show of determination,” the report said, adding however that “if the conflict escalated, nuclear strikes could have followed.”
What led the White House to change the ground rules was the recognition that atomic strikes had “inherent disadvantages” — fallout would cause civilian casualties not only in China but in Taiwanese territory and the risk of nuclear escalation could present itself, the report said.
An important lesson from that crisis was “armed forces must expect civil authority to impose tight controls on them in times of emergency,” the report said.
Taiwan and China split in 1949 at the end of a civil war, but Beijing still sees the island as part of its territory awaiting reunification, by force if necessary.
The United States, obliged by law to offer Taiwan a means of self-defense if its security is threatened, is the leading arms supplier to the island despite switching diplomatic recognition from Taipei to Beijing in 1979.
China-Taiwan political ties deteriorated during the past eight years under the rule of President Chen Shui-bian, who had irked Washington and Beijing with his pro-independence stance.
But Beijing-friendly Ma Ying-jeou, who took over from Chen last month, has vowed to improve relations with China, increase trade, tourism and transport links, and work on a peace treaty to end hostilities.
Hmmmm. No comment..
WELLINGTON — Marine scientists in New Zealand on Tuesday were thawing the corpse of the largest squid ever caught to try to unlock the secrets of one of the ocean’s most mysterious beasts.
No one has ever seen a living, grown colossal squid in its natural deep ocean habitat, and scientists hope their examination of the 1,089-pound, 26-foot long colossal squid, set to begin Wednesday, will help determine how the creatures live. The thawing and examination are being broadcast live on the Internet.
The squid, which was caught accidentally by fishermen last year, was removed from its freezer Monday and put into a tank filled with saline solution. Ice was added to the tank Tuesday to slow the thawing process so the outer flesh wouldn’t rot, said Carol Diebel, director of natural environment at New Zealand’s national museum, Te Papa Tongarewa.
After it is thawed, scientists will examine the squid’s anatomical features, remove the stomach, beak and other mouth parts, take tissue samples for DNA analysis and determine its sex, Diebel said.
“If we get ourselves a male it will be the first reported (scientific) description of the male of the species,” Steve O’Shea, a squid expert at Auckland’s University of Technology, told National Radio. He is one of the scientists conducting the examination.
The squid is believed to be the largest specimen of the rare deep-water species Mesonychoteuthis hamiltoni, or colossal squid, ever caught, O’Shea has said.
Colossal squid, which have long been one of the most mysterious denizens of the deep ocean, can grow up to 46 feet long, descend to 6,500 feet into the ocean and are considered aggressive hunters.
At the time it was caught, O’Shea said it would make calamari rings the size of tractor tires if cut up — but they would taste like ammonia, a compound found in the animals’ flesh.
Fishermen off the coast of Antarctica accidentally netted the squid in February 2007 while catching Patagonian toothfish, which are sold under the name Chilean sea bass.
The squid was eating a hooked toothfish when it was hauled from the deep. Recognizing it as a rare find, the fishermen froze the squid on their vessel to preserve it. The national museum, Te Papa Tongarewa, later took possession of it.
The previous largest colossal squid ever found was a 660 pound female squid discovered in 2003, the first ever landed.
Researchers plan to eventually put the squid on display in a 1,800 gallon tank of formaldehyde at the museum in the capital, Wellington.
Colossal squid are found in Antarctic waters and are not related to giant squid found round the coast of New Zealand. Giant squid grow up to 39 feet long, and are not as heavy as colossal squid.
One day, Giant Squids will take over the world, right, Todd?
By SARA KUGLER, Associated Press Writer
4 minutes ago
WILMINGTON, N.C. – Hillary Rodham Clinton said the assassination attempt Sunday on the Afghan president shows that the U.S. has failed to give proper attention to Afghanistan.
The Taliban claimed responsibility for the assault that missed President Hamid Karzai but killed three and wounded eight others at a ceremony in Kabul. Gunman opened fire as a 21-gun salute echoed over the capital at an anniversary ceremony marking the mujahedeen victory over the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan.
Clinton noted how she had met Karzai, and said, “He is a brave man trying under very difficult circumstances to hold that country together, and we have not given him the resources he needs.”
Afghanistan needs to get “as much, if not more attention” than Iraq, she added.
Clinton was speaking at an evening rally along Cape Fear in North Carolina, which, along with Indiana, holds its primary May 6. She returned to the southern state, where her opponent Barack Obama is favored, after spending two days campaigning in Indiana and appealing to working-class voters who have helped propel her to victory in Pennsylvania and Ohio.
The polls show a much closer race in Indiana between the two Democratic candidates.
Speaking in a broadcast interview Sunday, Obama said race is not the reason he is struggling to attract working-class votes and insisted he can win over uncommitted superdelegates by showing he is “best able to not just defeat John McCain, but also lead the country.”
Obama brushed aside a challenge from Clinton to debate before the May 6 primaries. “I’m not ducking. We’ve had 21” debates, he said.
Trailing in delegates and the popular vote, Clinton has been stepping up the pressure on Obama for more debates before the upcoming primaries, which are crucial to her candidacy. She also has been reaching out to uncommitted Democratic superdelegates in hopes of capitalizing on her Pennsylvania primary victory.
Clinton’s Pennsylvania victory was buoyed by support from working-class and white voters, but Obama dismissed the notion that race will be a factor in the presidential election.
“Is race still a factor in our society? Yes. I don’t think anybody would deny that,” he said on “Fox News Sunday.”
“Is that going to be the determining factor in a general election? No, because I’m absolutely confident that the American people — what they’re looking for is somebody who can solve their problems.”
Addressing whether superdelegates should back the candidate with the most pledged delegates and popular vote, Obama said he believed voters will be frustrated if Democratic superdelegates choose to back the trailing candidate. He expressed confidence that he can convince superdelegates he is more electable.
“I think we should find that person who is going to be best able to not just defeat John McCain, but also lead the country. I happen to think I’m that person,” Obama said. “I will make that argument forcefully to the superdelegates prior to the convention.”
Speaking in Indiana to reporters, Obama declined to set expectations on a margin of victory in that state.
“I think winning is winning, 50 plus one,” Obama said. “Indiana is a very important state, so is North Carolina, we’re not taking that for granted. There’s no doubt it’s close.”
Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean said superdelegates should make known their choices on the Democratic nominee for president by the end of June. Ultimately, he said he believes their decisions will be based on who is more electable, rather than who has the most pledged delegates, because that is what party rules stipulate.
“What’s going to happen in the last nine primaries is there’s going to be some feeling at some point that one of these candidates is more likely to win than the other and that person will get the nomination. I can’t tell you who that is, I have no idea who that is, but that’s what’s going to happen,” Dean said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
The Democratic Party stepped up its attack on Sen. John McCain, using a new ad to cast the presumed Republican presidential nominee as a commander in chief who would keep troops in Iraq for 100 years. The ad is part of a half-million-dollar, three-week national cable television campaign aimed at linking the Arizona senator to the policies of President Bush.
The ad set to begin airing Monday accuses McCain of wanting to remain in Iraq for “maybe 100” years, a link to a remark McCain made in January while campaigning in New Hampshire. The ad concludes, “If all he offers is more of the same, is John McCain the right choice for America’s future?”
Since then, McCain has repeatedly said he has no intention of extending the war into the next century, but would keep a U.S. military presence in Iraq much as the United States has in Germany, Japan and South Korea.
The Republican National Committee charged that the DNC ad distorted McCain’s comments, and it asserted again that the ad was illegal because it was made in coordination with the Obama and Clinton campaigns. Dean has denied any coordination with the campaigns.
The Democratic candidates have also acknowledged they would keep non-combat troops in Iraq to ensure its stability. But they have said they would begin withdrawing combat troops promptly upon becoming president, a step McCain has said would be precipitous.
Associated Press writers Mike Glover in Indianapolis and Jim Kuhnhenn in Washington contributed to this report.
GRRRRRR!! What kind of twisted joke, what cruel turn of fate, has revived the Clintons? Wont these two grifters EVER go away?? The comments made last week from Howard Dean tell the whole story-he used the word “healing”, the worst of all Clintonspeak. The Screamer used the word when questioned about divisions in the party. Denver will be ugly for all the Obama supporters, when they learn the Arkansas Grifters have cajoled, bribed and blackmailed the uncommitted delegates into nominating Hillary. She will never win any popular vote, her plan is to win the key states and contest everything else in court, Ill bet. And once that woman gets a hold of the White House, she will never leave. Air Force One will be Bill Clinton’s flying whorehouse again, while Hillary’s Stalinst colors are demonstrated for all to see when she dismantles the Constitution Article by Article, Amendment by Amendment, by Executive Order. Shakespeare was truly clairvoyant if not a little early when he wrote “Something wicked this way comes..”
By Jon Herskovitz
SEOUL (Reuters) – Protests and scuffles greeted the Olympic flame as it began a two-day journey on the divided Korean peninsula on Sunday along a route guarded by thousands of riot policeman wielding shields and truncheons.
Thousands of Chinese wrapped in their country’s flag shouted, “Come on China”, “No politics, only Olympics” at the start of the torch relay in Seoul where they greatly outnumbered South Koreans protesting Beijing’s human rights record.
At one point, the two groups clashed with Chinese students kicking an elderly South Korean protester and hurling rocks at a group that raised banners chastising Beijing.
The torch relay in South Korea began at a park used for the 1988 Seoul Olympics and followed a 22-km (14-mile) route kept secret until the last minute.
The global torch relay ahead of the Beijing Games in August has prompted protests against China’s human rights record in Tibet as well as patriotic rallies by Chinese who criticize the West for vilifying Beijing.
“The torch relay is being used for anti-Chinese protests. This has provoked a lot of anger inside China and caused people like myself to come out here to defend our country,” said Chinese student Yang Hui.
Protests have disrupted the global torch relay and by far the biggest issue has been criticism of China’s recent crackdown in Tibet after deadly riots there and in surrounding areas.
China has blamed the Dalai Lama for stirring up the unrest and accused him and his government in exile in India of trying to spoil the Games in August, charges the Tibetan spiritual leader denies.
Several Western countries, including the United States, have urged China to resume talks with aides of the Dalai Lama and on Friday Beijing abruptly announced that it intended to meet his aides in the next few days.
But the government has kept up its attacks on the Dalai.
China on Sunday poured scorn on the Tibetan leader and hailed protesters against Tibetan self-rule as patriotic heroes, suggesting the government will not give ground in talks.
“The Dalai clique has always been masters at games with words and the ideas that they have tossed about truly make the head spin,” the People’s Daily, the top paper of the ruling Communist Party, said in a commentary.
“Questions of sovereignty are beyond debate and splitting China is sure to fail.”
ACTIVISTS REFUSED ENTRY
The flame is meant to transmit a message of peace and friendship but in Seoul protesters used it as an opportunity to urge Beijing to better protect what rights groups estimate are the hundreds of thousands of North Koreans who have fled to China, escaping poverty at home.
China says the North Koreans are economic refugees. It has been criticized by human rights groups for repatriating them, where they face prison terms under life-threatening conditions in brutal camps.
South Korea police said they arrested two Chinese on suspicion of throwing rocks at anti-China protesters, one North Korean defector who tried to disrupt the relay and two other defectors who poured paint thinner on themselves in an apparent attempt to set themselves on fire.
There are several thousand Chinese students in South Korea and they were bussed in from all parts of the country, supplied with Chinese flags, T-shirts, banners and stickers.
The pro-Beijing rallies in the South Korean capital left many Seoul residents angered.
“It’s OK to cheer for their Olympic torch, but this is too much,” said Min Chae-woo.
Protests, though, will not be on the carefully planned agenda at the flame’s next stop, the North Korean capital Pyongyang.
Human rights groups say North Korea’s authoritarian leaders crush any attempt at dissent. A protest of any sort is certain to lead to at least a long sentence in a political prison, or even execution.
The torch is expected to arrive with its attendants by airplane in Pyongyang at around midnight (1500 GMT). It then goes to Vietnam and Hong Kong.
Vietnamese security forces alone will guard the torch in Ho Chi Minh City, officials said on Sunday, as political activists called for demonstrations over an island dispute with China.
In Hong Kong, three human rights activists who planned to protest against rights violations in China during the torch relay in the city were refused entry to the city, a newspaper reported on Sunday.
The isolated North, which rarely holds international events, has promised China it will stage an “amazing” relay on Monday.
When North Korea hosts an honored state visitor, it sends hundreds of thousands of its citizens into the streets of Pyongyang. Dressed in their finest clothes, they wave bouquets of pink and purple plastic flowers and cheer on cue when the guest passes by.
In freewheeling Seoul, security was elaborately planned, involving about 8,000 police officers, but some South Koreans were unimpressed.
“This is too noisy,” said an elderly South Korean woman named Park who walked past the start of the relay.
“I wish that the torch never came here and all of this would go away.”
(Additional reporting by Cheon Jong-woo in Seoul, Chris Buckley in Beijing, Grant McCool in Ho Chi Minh City and Anne Marie Roantree in Hong Kong; Editing by David Fogarty)
The last statement is pretty telling. The Olympics are nothing more than political gambit anymore. If the IOC had one gram of testosterone between them, they would yank the Games from China and allow a country who will appreciate the revenue and notoriety the host country receives. China has enough of the World’s currency-let’s give it to someone more appreciative and worthy of the Games..
Chinese officials will hold talks with the Dalai Lama’s representatives, state media say, in the first meeting since rioting broke out in Tibet last month.
Xinhua news agency quoted an official as saying a meeting would take place “in coming days”.
A spokesman for the Tibetan spiritual leader welcomed the offer of talks.
Beijing has consistently blamed what it termed a “Dalai clique” for fomenting unrest in Tibetan areas of China – an allegation he has strenuously denied.
The Dalai Lama insists he has no political role and played no part in the protests.
Xinhua quoted an unnamed official as saying the government had taken into account “requests repeatedly made by the Dalai side for resuming talks”.
“The relevant department of the central government will have contact and consultation with Dalai’s private representative in the coming days,” the official said.
But the official added that the Dalai Lama would need to “take credible moves to stop activities aimed at splitting China”.
This included putting a stop to “plotting and inciting violence and stop disrupting and sabotaging the Beijing Olympic Games so as to create conditions for talks”.
The Dalai Lama’s spokesman, Tenzin Takla, told the BBC he had received no official notification from the Chinese government of its desire to meet.
China has held talks with the Dali Lama’s representatives before, though meetings have rarely resulted in any progress.
According to Mr Takla, the last round was held in June and July last year in Beijing.
He added that the Dalai Lama had been “making efforts to reach out to the Chinese people and the Chinese leadership” since last month’s protests.
‘Room for dialogue’
French President Nicolas Sarkozy, whose country has been targeted by nationalist Chinese protesters angered by pro-Tibet rallies in Paris, welcomed the prospect of talks.
“The resumption of dialogue carries some real hope,” he said in a statement.
Meanwhile, the US embassy in Beijing hailed the announcement as a “very positive development”.
And EU commissioner Jose Manuel Barroso, who earlier discussed Tibet with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, said he was “very happy”.
“If the concern of the Dalai Lama is… respect of cultural identity, religious identity and autonomy inside China, I believe there’s real room for a dialogue,” he said.
Rallies began in the main Tibetan city of Lhasa on 10 March, led by Buddhist monks.
Over the following week protests spread and became violent – particularly in Lhasa where ethnic Chinese were targeted and shops were burnt down.
Beijing cracked down on the protesters with force, sending in hundreds of troops to regain control of the restive areas.
CHINA OUT OF TIBET!!
BEIJING (Reuters) – Chinese authorities will harshly deal with anyone who spreads rumors which “excite popular feelings” or disturb social harmony in the already restive region of Tibet, the government said on Thursday.
The notice, coming just months before the Beijing Olympics, seems to be aimed at Tibetans who listen to foreign radio broadcasts about the recent demonstrations in their remote mountainous region, skirt China’s firewall to access overseas websites or simply exchange news with friends.
“We will severely root out and give no indulgence to people with ulterior motives who spread rumors or excite popular feelings,” the Chinese-appointed government in Tibet said in a statement on its website (www.xizang.gov.cn).
Rumors which are “malicious and create serious consequences” will be “strictly dealt with in accordance with rules”, it added, without elaborating.
China says that only about 20 people died in the anti-Chinese riots in Tibet, mainly innocent people killed by Tibetan mobs, and accuses the exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, of instigating and masterminding the unrest.
But the government-in-exile and some human rights groups put the number at possibly over 100 and have said Chinese forces opened fire on demonstrators. Pro-Tibet protests have also dogged the international leg of the torch relay for the Beijing Olympics.
The United States on Wednesday urged China to stop vilifying the Dalai Lama and instead talk to the Dalai Lama.
“The Chinese government should seize the opportunity to talk to those Tibetans, represented by the Dalai Lama, who oppose violence and do not seek independence for Tibet,” Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte told a U.S. Senate hearing.
China is regularly forced to put out statements denying rumors which circulate on the Internet or by text message claiming, for example, that eating bananas can spread AIDS.
(Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Nick Macfie)
Chinese thought control..
Officials say the site was the target of an Israeli attack last year
North Korea was helping Syria build a nuclear reactor, US officials are to tell lawmakers in a closed session.
Unnamed officials told a number of US newspapers that the US had video footage of the Syrian facility with North Koreans inside.
Syria has repeated denials that it has any nuclear weapons programme, or any such agreement with North Korea.
It follows an unexplained air strike by Israel last September on a target inside Syria.
According to the Washington Post, the alleged nuclear facility was the target of the bombing.
The video footage – said to have been obtained by Israel – also showed striking similarities between the Syrian facility and the North Korean reactor at Yongbyon, reports said. There was no Syria-North Korea co-operation whatsoever in Syria
Syria ‘has some explaining to do’
However, the facility was not yet operational and there was no fuel for the reactor, officials said.
The White House has not commented on the reports, but Defense Secretary Robert Gates said information on the issue could be made public “soon”.
Syria’s ambassador to the UN, Bashar Jaafari, denied the links.
“There was no Syria-North Korea co-operation whatsoever in Syria. We deny these rumours,” he said.
North Korea has previously denied transferring nuclear technology to Syria.
In a landmark deal reached in February last year, Pyongyang agreed to close its main reactor and divulge the full extent of its nuclear programme by December.
However, it missed the deadline, and while it is taking steps to close its Yongbyon reactor, it has yet to produce a declaration of nuclear activities to the international community’s satisfaction.
Trust the BBC to omit any mention of Iraq..
In the wake of Barack Obama’s defeat in Pennsylvania on Tuesday, the Democrats have a huge problem. On the one hand, they have a front-runner who hasn’t won a single one of the major primary states other than his own, who’s a neophyte on the national scene, and who has enormous difficulties attracting the white, non–college educated voters he needs to win. On the other, there’s Hillary Clinton — a candidate who has greatly diminished her stature on the campaign trail, who faces huge liabilities of her own (in part because of her gender and in part because of Clinton fatigue), and whose chances of winning in November would require her to thread an Electoral College needle.
Furthermore, the long, bitter campaign has produced an untenable result: a large portion of each camp’s supporters now say they are unlikely to support the intra-party rival should their candidate not win the nomination.
Therefore, if the Democrats want to have their best chance to win an election in November that six months ago it looked like they couldn’t lose, they may have only one option at this point: they can turn to Al Gore.
In truth, Gore would be a stronger candidate in November than the two front-runners. He knows what it’s like to run in a tough presidential campaign, which, as we’re finding out with Obama, is a huge advantage. He is, after all, a Nobel Prize winner; he has the advantage of now running from outside Washington even though he’s as experienced as John McCain; and he might be able to pick off a Southern state or two. He’s already won once — with an asterisk. And he could put the electoral focus back on the economy and the Republican record of the past eight years — a record likely to continue as long as Clinton or Obama is the nominee.
Sure, Gore’s entry would obviously not be greeted with waves of enthusiasm by Obama supporters. Still, he is quite popular with one of the Illinois senator’s principal constituencies: the young.
Against all odds
It’s true that drafting a new candidate at this point would be unprecedented. But the virtually deadlocked race between the two remaining candidates makes it at least possible.
Several things would have to occur — and quickly. First, some senior Democrats — with the help, perhaps, of a former presidential candidate, such as John Edwards — would have to publicly urge Gore to make a run. It would help matters enormously if this group included former supporters of Clinton and Obama.
Second, though not required, a write-in campaign could be mounted in one of the remaining states, such as Kentucky or Oregon, on May 20, or Montana or South Dakota, on June 3. The advantage of Oregon is that, historically, at least one candidate — Jerry Brown in 1976 — ran a strong third there as a write-in.
The advantage of Kentucky, Montana, or South Dakota is that neither of the present front-runners looks particularly strong on paper in those contests. Furthermore, because those states are relatively small, a well-funded write-in campaign might have a chance to be successful. (Success in this case doesn’t mean winning, just doing “better than expected.”) The key, of course, is to raise the necessary money to mount such a campaign. But in the Internet age — with the right backing — it might be pulled off.
Third, a bloc of superdelegates would have to declare for the putative candidate. Again, this isn’t impossible. There are about 25 Edwards delegates still out there that might be persuaded by Edwards himself — so that’s a start. Plus, there are enough horrified and disgruntled party elders who would welcome an alternative, if they thought they wouldn’t be making fools of themselves by going out on a limb for a candidate with no chance of being successful.
Finally, a Gore draft would eventually need the support of either Bill or Hillary. While the Clinton effort has begun to succeed in its argument that Obama has major weaknesses, it is time for its principals to realize that Hillary is never going to succeed in the camp’s second necessary argument: that she should be the alternative. She’s never going to catch Obama in the elected delegate count. And her initial high poll negatives (that have never been reduced) — combined with the way she has alienated Obama’s supporters — make her now an almost certain loser in November.
So, if she and Bill care about the party and nation and truly believe that Obama is unelectable — an unpopular but defensible argument — they have, really, only two choices. They can throw in with an effort to draft their former protégé. (A Gore and Newark mayor Cory Booker ticket?) Or they can continue to indulge their illusions and send their party hurtling toward disaster.
Odds: 1-5 | past week: same
Odds: 5-1 | same
Short by: 311
Short by: 438
Delegates needed to win: 2024
SOURCE: REAL CLEAR POLITICS AS OF 4/23/08
From The Phoenix.com. Draft Algore! How about a Gore-Blix ticket?