Source: Al-Watan, Qatar, March 21, 2007
Turkish Manufacturers Send Socks to Wolfowitz
Turkish sock manufacturers have sent gifts of socks to World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz, reports the Turkish Islamist, high circulation daily Zaman.
The paper said that the gifts follow Wolfowitz's January visit to Turkey's famous Selimiye Mosque, when it became evident that his socks had holes in them.
Source: Zaman, Turkey, March 22, 2007
Iraqi Gov't, Resistance Elements Negotiate to Join Efforts to Expel Al-Qaeda
U.N. Commission in Istanbul to Investigate Syrian Al-Qaeda Terrorist's Link to Al-Hariri Assassination
Two members of the U.N. International Investigative Commission are in Istanbul to research possible links between top Al-Qaeda operative Louai Sakka and the 2005 assassination of former Lebanese prime minister Rafiq Al-Hariri.
Commission members Ahmet Kaya of Turkey and Alastair Macleod from the U.K. arrived March 19 in Istanbul, and met Tuesday with Turkish Prosecutor Zekeriya Oz and head Republic Prosecutor Turan Colakkadi to exchange information about Sakka.
Sakka, who is a Syrian national, was convicted and sentenced to life in prison in Turkey for his role in November 2003 bombings of two synagogues and the British Consulate in Istanbul, as well as for planning to blow up a cruise liner carrying Israeli tourists to the southern coast of Turkey.
Source: Hurriyet, Turkey, March 22, 2007
The Iraqi Dinar Gains Strength Against the Dollar Since War Began
The Iraqi dinar continues its appreciation against the dollar. The rate of exchange has now reached 1300 dinars to the dollar. Before the invasion, the rate was 2000 dinars to the dollar. [The improvement is attributed the monetary policy of the Central Bank.]
Source: Al-Sabah al-Jadid, Baghdad, March 22, 2007
Al-Anbar Province Tribes in Battle to Rid Province of Al-Qaeda
The tribes of Al-Anbar Province in Western Iraq, under the leadership of Sheikh Abdul Sattar abu Risha, are engaged in a fierce battle to rid the province of Al-Qaeda and those who call themselves “The Islamic Republic of Iraq.” [Abu Risha recently met with Prime Minister Al-Maliki who promised the tribes in the provinces considerable financial help if they use their fighters to clean up the province of the terrorist elements.]
Source: Al-Sabah, Baghdad, March 22, 2007
Belgian Foreign Minister Skeptical of Al-Assad Finding Solution to Lebanese Crisis
Syria Denies the Smuggle of Arms Across Its Lebanon Border
Iraqi Defense Minister Resists Power Sharing System and Cites Corruption Throughout Ministry
Independent Iraqi defense minister Abdul Qadir Muhammad Jassim told the daily Al-Zaman that he was resisting pressure to introduce a system of sharing positions among the ruling Shi’ite political parties. He also said that corruption in the ministry is widespread as salaries are paid to fictitious persons and weapons from the ministry are filtered to the militias.
Source: Al-Zaman, Baghdad, March 22, 2007
France Refuses to Adequately Compensate Families of Iraqi AIDS Victims Infected By Imported French Blood
Of 238 Iraqis infected with the AIDS virus, 199 have died. The AIDS cases in Iraq are the result of blood imported from France for transfusions in the 1980s by the Saddam regime. The French companies that supplied the blood have offered to compensate the victims' families with the paltry amount of $5,000 to $25,000 per person. The Iraqi health ministry has rejected the offer.
Source: Al-Sharq Al-Awsat, London, March 22, 2007