A television news engineer faces smuggling charges after attempting to bring into the United States 12 stolen Iraqi paintings, monetary bonds and other items, federal officials said Wednesday. A criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Va., charges that Benjamin James Johnson, 27, tried to bring the paintings into this country last Thursday. They were contained in a large cardboard box that was examined by Customs agents at Dulles International Airport outside Washington.
The US Secretary of State, Colin Powell, warned that France would face consequences for its opposition to the war in Iraq as Bush Administration aides met to consider ways to express Washington's anger.Onya Col."
Asked whether Paris would be punished for its anti-war stance, Mr Powell replied bluntly: "Yes."
The United States will not permit United Nations weapons inspectors to return to Iraq, saying the US military has taken over the role of searching for Saddam's weapons of mass destruction."
In simultaneous briefings in New York and Washington, both the White House and the US ambassador to the UN said they saw no role in postwar Iraq for the UN weapons inspection teams.
Australia had a key influence on the United States military strategy in Iraq in persuading it to take greater steps to minimise civilian casualties and damage during its bombing campaign, the Minister for Defence, Robert Hill, said yesterday.Also in the same article was a brief explanation by General Cosgrove for Australia's luck in having no casualties:
Senator Hill and the chief of Defence Force, General Peter Cosgrove, on a tour of the Middle East, met the US commander, General Tommy Franks, in Qatar yesterday.
General Franks told them the targeting approach of the coalition was more conservative than it might have been largely because of the attitude of the Australian Defence Force, Senator Hill said.
" Our very conservatively drawn rules of engagement in that regard have been a lesson that have been taken up not only in this campaign but as a precedent for the future as well ." ... Australia's conservative approach to targeting has never been precisely defined due to "operational security", but it puts a great premium on the possibility of civilian deaths. The military advantage of an air strike had to significantly outweigh the prospect of "collateral damage".
As such, Australia's squadron of 14 F/A 18 Hornets rarely ventured into built-up areas to make strikes and, on occasion, pulled out of bombing raids at the last minute when it was realised civilians were in the target area.
General Cosgrove told the troops they could take great pride in their achievements, and that their contribution to deposing Saddam Hussein would be hailed for generations."
He also cautioned that Australian troops, who have yet to suffer any casualties or serious injuries, had to remain vigilant to ensure their continued safety.
" This is like a marathon runner running into the stadium," he told reporters.
"You don't turn around and wave to the crowd until you've crossed the finish line. I keep saying to our boys and girls: 'You stay with it. The harder you work, the luckier you get' ."
The printing press in the Bab al-Muadham district used to print the official al-Iraq newspaper, and also issued the last editions of Iraq's three other main official newspapers because other presses were out of action."
But it has been taken over by a Kurdish group, the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), and will now produce a newspaper called Al-Ittihad. The PUK has taken over the only working newspaper press in the capital, workers say.
Other newspapers have been distributed in Baghdad since the fall of Saddam, including one by a communist party, but workers say Wednesday's edition of Al-Ittihad will be the first to be printed in the capital.
The European Union is to begin airlifting emergency humanitarian aid to Iraq, probably this week, its executive arm said Tuesday after unblocking a further 10 million euros in urgent funds."
The spiritual leader of a small, radical Iraqi opposition party was being held Tuesday by U.S. and British forces along with dozens of others at the Iran-Iraq border, Iraqi exile groups and clerics said."
Ayatollah Mohammad Taki al-Mudarissi, leader of the Islamic Action Organization, was detained along with 60 others, according to a statement faxed by al-Mudarissi's office to The Associated Press in Damascus.
The Islamic Action Organization is a radical Shiite party responsible for bombings and assassinations carried out against Saddam Hussein's regime in the 1980s. It is part of the Iran-based Supreme Council of the Islamic Revolution in Iraq.
In much of Iraq, government right now, where it exists at all, is as improvisational as jazz. And here in Diwaniya, a city of more than 400,000 people 120 miles south of Baghdad, the bandleader for the moment is Dr. Shammary, a genial former medical professor."
The deputy dean of Diwaniya's college of medicine before the war, Dr. Shammary, 55, has been installed by American military officials, with the blessing of local religious and tribal leaders, as the city manager.
It is a job he did not seek, but he has embraced it with saintly patience and good-natured vigor. Each day, working from the Special Forces compound in his former college, Dr. Shammary is a swirl of activity, trying to resolve a flood of crises while directing the slow process of reconstruction.