Thursday, November 16, 2006
Al Qaida suckered US into Iraq and other news you won't hear
Richard Norton-Taylor in The Guardian
A senior al-Qaida operative deliberately planted information to encourage the US to invade Iraq, a double agent who infiltrated the network and spied for western intelligence agencies claimed last night.
The claim was made by Omar Nasiri, a pseudonym for a Moroccan who says he spent seven years working for European security and intelligence agencies, including MI5. He said Ibn Sheikh al-Libi, who ran training camps in Afghanistan, told his US interrogators that al-Qaida had been training Iraqis.
Battle Royal as French nominate woman for president:
Ségolène Royal's battle to become the first woman president of France begins in earnest today, after the Socialist party last night overwhelmingly endorsed her as their candidate in next April's election....She has surprised the Socialist old school by side-stepping the party machine, using the internet to build up a support base and appealing directly to the public by promising to break with France's unpopular, aloof political elite.
South African wildcatters battle police
Police in South Africa have launched a series of daring operations to combat bands of gold smugglers who operate more than a mile underground in mineshafts using homemade bombs to fend off arrest.
The smugglers, called the "Zama Zama" boys, face suffocation and even madness in their pursuit of wealth in an illegal trade that is estimated to be worth $700m (£371m) a year.
The smugglers haunt abandoned mine workings, remaining underground for as much as a year at a time, according to the police. The bombs used are crudely constructed using commercial explosives rammed into bottles. Bits of scrap iron are added for shrapnel. Sometimes they are strung up as booby traps...In South Africa, where unemployment runs at more than 40% and social welfare benefits are low, it is not unusual for people to go to exceptional lengths to try to make a living.
More blogs about politics.