Oct 29, 2006

Morning Brief 29-10-2006

Lebanon: Robert Fisk reports how Israel used weapons containing uranium in its attacks on Lebanon July/August, this is creepy:

We know that the Israelis used American "bunker-buster" bombs on Hizbollah's Beirut headquarters. We know that they drenched southern Lebanon with cluster bombs in the last 72 hours of the war, leaving tens of thousands of bomblets which are still killing Lebanese civilians every week. And we now know - after it first categorically denied using such munitions - that the Israeli army also used phosphorous bombs, weapons which are supposed to be restricted under the third protocol of the Geneva Conventions, which neither Israel nor the United States have signed.

But scientific evidence gathered from at least two bomb craters in Khiam and At-Tiri, the scene of fierce fighting between Hizbollah guerrillas and Israeli troops last July and August, suggests that uranium-based munitions may now also be included in Israel's weapons inventory - and were used against targets in Lebanon. According to Dr Chris Busby, the British Scientific Secretary of the European Committee on Radiation Risk, two soil samples thrown up by Israeli heavy or guided bombs showed "elevated radiation signatures". Both have been forwarded for further examination to the Harwell laboratory in Oxfordshire for mass spectrometry - used by the Ministry of Defence - which has confirmed the concentration of uranium isotopes in the samples.

Somalia: a recent UN report uncovers Ethiopian and Eritarian troops inside Somalia . Ethiopian troops have always been inside Somalia however, Eritarian troops supporting UIC is new.

The UN report cites diplomatic sources in estimating that "between 6,000-8,000 Ethiopians and 2,000 fully equipped Eritrean troops are now inside Somalia supporting" the internationally recognized government and the Islamic group known as the Council of Islamic Courts, respectively.

: Russia opposes US call for tough sanctions on Iran. The French have also softened their position on Iran sanctions.

Italy: An interesting paradox in the Italian parliament, what toilet should a transgender MP use, the ladies or the mens?

Another Arab country is upset with Aljazeera's reporting. Tunisia closed it's embassy in Qatar in protest of Aljazeera interview with Moncef Marzouki:

The Tunisian move followed the airing by Aljazeera of interviews with Moncef Marzouki, an opposition activist based in Paris who called for "civil resistance".

The Tunisian foreign ministry released a statement on Wednesday accusing Aljazeera of ignoring “truth and objectivity every time that it deals with current affairs in Tunisia ... apparently waging a hostile campaign aimed at harming Tunisia".

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