Monday, March 27, 2006

Blast hits southern Philippines

At least nine people have been killed and 20 injured in an explosion on the southern Philippine island of Jolo, police and witnesses have said.

The blast occurred at a grocery shop on a busy street in Jolo town, local police chief Ajiron Ajirim said.

No-one has claimed responsibility for the attack but local police suspect the al Qaeda-linked militant group Abu Sayyaf of involvement.

One person is being held for questioning by authorities.

The explosive device, which detonated at about 1300 (0500GMT) was planted on the ground floor of a two-storey building in Jolo town.

Those killed were mostly employees working in the Sulu Consumers' Co-operative, Senior Superintendent Ajirim said.

Police have set up road blocks around the town and many businesses have closed.

More than 20 people with severe burns have been taken to Jolo's provincial hospital, according to an AFP reporter in the area.

Jolo violence

In February, one civilian was killed and 20 others were seriously wounded in a bomb attack by insurgents at a bar near a Philippine Army camp in Jolo.

Abu Sayyaf is the smallest and most violent Islamic separatist group in the Philippines.

It is infamous for kidnapping Westerners and Filipinos, beheading victims and receiving large ransom payments. It was blamed for the bombing of a passenger ferry in 2004 which killed more than 100 people.

US-backed military offensives have considerably weakened the group to a few hundred rebels who are mostly on the run, according to the Philippine government.
Judge 'rejects Guantanamo rights'
A US Supreme Court justice has been quoted as saying that Guantanamo detainees do not have the right to be tried in civil courts.

Newsweek magazine said it had heard a tape of a recent talk given by Antonin Scalia in which he made these comments.

The report comes as the court prepares to hear a challenge by a Guantanamo detainee against US military tribunals.

The case is considered an important test of the Bush administration's handling of its war on terror.

Lawyers for Salim Ahmed Hamdan - Osama Bin Laden's former driver - will argue that President George W Bush does not have the constitutional right to order these military trials.

The US government has urged the Supreme Court to dismiss the case.

'Hypocritical'

In a speech to Swiss law students at the University of Freiburg on 8 March, Justice Scalia dismissed the idea that detainees had rights under the US constitution or international conventions, Newsweek reported.


"War is war, and it has never been the case that when you captured a combatant you have to give them a jury trial in your civil courts," he is quoted as saying.

"Give me a break."

Asked whether Guantanamo detainees have any rights under international conventions, Justice Scalia reportedly answered:

"If he was captured by my army on a battlefield, that is where he belongs.

"I had a son (Matthew Scalia) on that battlefield and they were shooting at my son and I'm not about to give this man who was captured in a war a full jury trial. I mean it's crazy."

Mr Scalia is also quoted as saying he was "astounded" at the "hypocritical" reaction in Europe to Guantanamo.

Legal experts quoted by Newsweek said Mr Scalia's comments could compromise his position in the Hamdan case, even though he did not refer directly to it.

Eight judges are expected to start hearings in the Hamdan case on Tuesday. Chief Justice John Roberts has decided not to take part in the hearings because he ruled on the case while he was an appeals court judge.

About 14 out of the estimated 490 Guantanamo detainees have been deemed eligible for hearings under the commissions.
Freed hostage arrives in Canada
Peace activist James Loney has arrived back in his native Canada after being held hostage by militants in Iraq for almost four months.

He arrived at Pearson airport in Toronto on a commercial flight from Frankfurt, Germany, where he was treated after his release.

He told reporters it felt like being freed from a "black hole".

A second Canadian activist freed with him, Harmeet Singh Sooden, is flying to New Zealand where he now lives.

For 118 days I disappeared into a black hole and somehow by God's grace, I was spit out again
James Loney

The two Canadians were released along with Briton Norman Kember while a fourth hostage captured at the same time in Baghdad, US citizen Tom Fox, was found shot dead earlier this month.

"During my captivity I sometimes entertained myself by imagining this day," Mr Loney told reporters at the airport.

"For 118 days I disappeared into a black hole and somehow by God's grace, I was spit out again."

The former hostage went on to express his thanks to "the British soldiers who risked their lives to rescue us, to the government of Canada who sent a team to Baghdad to help secure our release" and to those who prayed for the captives.

"It's great to be alive," he added.

Bloodless operation

Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT), the group the men were campaigning for, has said all three are still committed to working for peace in Iraq.

"I don't know if it will be here, or if it will be in another country but they are still very concerned," the CPT's Peggy Gish said.

The hostages were freed from a house west of Baghdad by multinational forces in a bloodless operation.

No kidnappers were found in the swoop which reportedly followed a tip-off by one of the group who had been captured earlier.

Their rescue followed a weeks-long operation by British troops and US and Canadian special forces.

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper said the Canadian special forces were in Iraq only temporarily to carry out the rescue.
SA plane robbery - 'inside job'
Police in South Africa suspect that the theft of a reported $16m from a plane inside Johannesburg's airport may have been an inside job.

The cash had been flown in from the UK and was being transported to Tanzania and one other African country.

A police spokesman said they had made no arrests and had no firm leads in the airport's biggest robbery.

A gang armed with AK-47s were able to access the plane inside a supposedly top security section of the airport.

They reportedly held up security guards and police officers and escaped without a shot being fired on Saturday morning.

"Our detectives haven't slept all night and they will continue working around the clock to catch the suspects," said senior police superintendent Vish Naidoo.

"We view this matter in a serious light and I must emphasise that we will leave no stone unturned to get to the bottom of it."

"But now, part of our theory will be that this was an inside job," he said.

South African Airways, which owns the Boeing 747 plane, said it was seeking a meeting with the airport authorities to discuss security arrangements.
Nigeria militants release workers
Nigerian militants have released three kidnapped Western oil workers held hostage for more than a month.

The two Americans and a Briton were handed over to government officials in Warri, 340km (210 miles) south-east of the commercial capital Lagos.

The men - all unharmed - were among a group of nine foreign workers kidnapped on 18 February. The other six were released after a week.

Their kidnappers want Nigeria's oil wealth to be shared more fairly.

The kidnapping was part of a wider recent campaign of attacks on Western targets in the main Niger Delta oil producing region.

The three released men, Americans Cody Oswald and Russell Spell and Briton John Hudspith, work for US engineering firm Willbros under contract to the Anglo-Dutch energy giant Shell.

Said to be in good health, they are expected to be flown out of the country shortly.

'Intense mediation'

The militants, from the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (Mend), said they would now stop taking hostages, in order to concentrate on attacking oil installations, reports the Reuters news agency.

Mend snatched the nine hostages in a gun battle on an oil company barge.

The final three captives were released five weeks later under cover of darkness, brought in by boat from the creeks of the Niger Delta to Warri, says the BBC's Alex Last in Lagos.

He says the kidnappers held on for longer to what they called the "high-value" hostages because they wanted guarantees that there would be no military retaliation after the men were freed.

They have not given a reason for the timing of the release but there has been intense mediation by leaders of the local Ijaw people, including former militants, to secure their freedom, our correspondent says.

A member of the mediation team told the BBC that the militant group had understood that talks with the government could only proceed once the hostages were freed.

Delta state governor James Ibori denied that any ransom had been paid.

"Now that they have been released, the pertinent issues raised by the youths on the Niger Delta condition will have to be addressed," he said.

Mend is demanding an end to military operations in the Niger Delta, greater local control of the area's oil wealth and the release of two prominent local leaders.

The militants also want $1.5bn (£860m) compensation from Shell for pollution in the Niger Delta.

Mend has threatened to carry out more attacks on oil industry targets if its demands are not met.

The group has already managed to cut Nigerian oil production by 25%, our correspondent says.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Stark reality of the American dreamBy Humphrey Hawksley BBC News, United StatesHumphrey Hawksley asks whether that once universal idea of the American dream still exists.It was a brilliant, hot day on the Seattle waterfront, with unspoilt views across the sound to outlying islands.Just beyond a stretch of grass where people lay with books and lovers, came the melody of live unaccompanied singing from deep within the bustle of the nearby Pike Market.It turned out to be four men outside a cafe singing a love song about Cupid, each with different voice ranges, and a deep, swaying crowd, clapping along.The Starbucks logo of the cafe struck me as a little old-fashioned until someone mentioned that this was the first Starbucks ever opened anywhere in the world.I had come to Seattle because of a recent survey by the Centre for Economic Performance in London, on how easy or difficult it was to get rich in different parts of the world - or if not rich, at least move out of poverty."If you are born into poverty in the US," said one of its authors, "you are actually more likely to remain in poverty than in other countries in Europe, the Nordic countries, even Canada, which you would think would not be that different."PossibilitiesThe study, together with general anti-American sentiment which has become more prevalent since the Iraq war, raised for me a question about the American dream - the idea that the United States is a place where anything is possible.American culture is about self-reliance and the individual fighting a way throughI had chosen Seattle not only because Starbucks was created there, but also because Microsoft and Amazon Books and Boeing airliners all come from this small city. Dreams, if you want, which began small but are now global brands."Great day, isn't it?" I turned to see the lined, and drawn face of a man I will call Dave."Are you getting what you want?"We had met a couple of days earlier when he was having breakfast at a charity for the broke and homeless, and I had asked him if he believed in the American dream."The American dream," Dave said, eating a muffin and wiping his lips with a paper napkin."Well, it comes and goes. It will come again."Winners and losersIn a low-ceilinged eating hall, maybe 100 men sat side by side along trestle tables.They had queued up since five, registered in case there was any work, then ate while security guards watched over them in case there was trouble.In Europe or just across the border in Canada, they would be more likely to get social security, but this was America, where society is starkly divided into winners and losers.Strangely, though, there seemed to be little resentment or blame of government. American culture is about self-reliance and the individual fighting a way through."The American dream," said one of the men, his eyes dartingly alive, his nose so skewed it must have been broken many times in different fights."I guess you are talking about a home, wife, children and all that.""Do you have it?" I said."No. No. I don't. I had my opportunities, but I lost."ControlJust up the road in a small print shop, a fit, thoughtful former air force officer, Bobby Ray Forbes, was slotting calendars into envelopes.In America, I felt a sentiment that the more say the government has over you, the more you carry a sense of failureHis life collapsed when his marriage went wrong. He had ended up on the street, but recently had managed to get a job and keep it."Oh sure, I have had the house, picket fence, two cars," he said."But I put myself in a position where the government could take control. Right now I am happy just being back in control. You see, what a lot of people do not know is that the key is not getting the American dream. It is holding onto it."In Europe, the government is entwined with a lot of what we do, yet in America, I felt a sentiment that the more say the government has over you, the more you carry a sense of failure.Yet millions still yearn to come and take up the challenge.A million a year settle to start the process of becoming American citizens. Half a million actually take the oath.Flag wavingAt the landscaped Seattle centre, using cards and newspapers to shield themselves from the sun, rows and rows of immigrants at a naturalisation ceremony listened to local officials speak about various aspects of the American dream.They came from everywhere: Britain, France, Iran, Iraq - the name of every country read out, to cheers, as if we were at the Oscars and, of course, the waving of American flags."Why do you want to live here and not in Europe?" I asked a young woman from Ethiopia, who tipped back her Seattle Mariners baseball cap and looked at me as if I were completely mad."Europe," she said disdainfully."What do they ever hope for in Europe? Here they have a law that you can dream to be happy."From Our Own Correspondent was broadcast on Thursday, 18 August, 2005 at 1100 BST on BBC Radio 4. Please check the programme schedules for World Service transmission times.LISTEN AGAIN TO THE LATEST RADIO 4 PROGRAMME Listen to the programme Download the mp3 (8 Mb) Story from BBC NEWS:http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/1/hi/programmes/from_our_own_correspondent/4159974.stmPublished: 2005/08/18 10:31:59 GMT© BBC MMV
A changed Aceh attempts peace
By Rachel Harvey BBC, Indonesia
United in grief, the two sides in Aceh's long-running civil war are attempting a new peace deal in the aftermath of the tsunami, and this time the world is watching.
There were four of us crowded around the small television in the BBC office in Jakarta.
On the screen was a group of men in dark suits, pens poised, sitting behind a long table in a room in a far-off land, where chandeliers hung from the ceiling.
Alright, I admit the pictures were not that exciting. But that is not the point. This was history in the making.
After almost 30 years of conflict, the Indonesian government and rebels of the Free Aceh Movement were signing up to peace.
The rebels have set aside their demand for independence in return for a strong provincial government and the right to form their own political party.
In a month's time, the rebel fighters are supposed to start handing in their weapons to international monitors.
At the same time, government troops and police sent to quell the rebellion will begin withdrawing.
A year ago all this would have been unthinkable.
Appalling abuses
I remember a village in Aceh that I visited in May 2003 when the conflict was still raging.
We had been attracted by the haunting sound of women singing. Prayers for the dead as it turned out.
A woman had just finished burying her son.
Her body shaking with emotion, she told me Indonesian soldiers had shot him, first in the leg to stop him running, then again in the back of the head at close range.
"He was a rebel supporter," she said, "but he didn't deserve to die like this."
Throughout what has been a brutal and dirty conflict, both sides have been guilty of appalling abuses, including execution-style killings, rape, torture, extortion, and kidnappings.
All that could now be at an end. But it won't be easy.
There is still huge mistrust on both sides and other recent attempts to bring peace to Aceh have fallen apart when it came to implementation.
Unimaginable horror
There are differences, though, this time.
A new government came to power last October, and from the outset President Yudhoyono made solving the Aceh problem a priority.
But it was last December's earthquake and tsunami which really changed everything.
Aceh bore the brunt of the disaster.
I got there two days after the massive waves struck. It was a shattering experience.
Plenty has by now been written and said about the scale of the destruction and the almost unbelievable number of lost lives.
Whatever any of us has said, it will not, it cannot, have conveyed the true horror of what we found.
And everywhere we went, the same question from traumatised survivors: "Why Aceh? Why us? Haven't we suffered enough?"
No, Aceh has not suffered enough. It has suffered far, far too much. The tsunami brought that home. And I mean home.
Media censorship
Before 26 December, Aceh had for months been effectively closed off by the government.
But after the tsunami the doors were opened to allow in desperately needed humanitarian aid.
Aceh was suddenly the focus of international attention. And crucially it was also - as never before - the focus of Indonesian attention.
During the conflict, the Indonesian media was heavily censored.
The rebels - and by implication the Acehnese in general - were largely portrayed as ungrateful traitors whose activities could, if left unchecked, lead to the break-up of the country.
Little was said about the grievances which lay behind the conflict.
For years the central government in Jakarta had exploited Aceh's rich natural resources but little of the revenue came back into the province.
Nor was much attention given to the harm done to innocent civilians.
But after the tsunami the tone changed.
National bonding
The terrible scenes broadcast on television for hours on end prompted an outpouring not just of sympathy, but also of national bonding.
Aceh now had a human face, and it was a face contorted with grief. Across Indonesia attitudes changed. Which is why there is a sense of optimism that this peace deal might just work.
Around the world, and at home in Indonesia, people now care what happens
Not everyone is convinced, mind you.
There are hardliners in parliament and the military who think the government has made too many concessions to the rebels.
And friends I have spoken to in Aceh say they are still sceptical that the two sides will stick to the deal.
Understandable perhaps, given all they have been through.
But for me the telling moment came when the men in suits in Helsinki, put pen to paper, live on TV and radio.
Not because of what they had done, but because of the reaction of my Indonesian colleagues.
They burst into spontaneous applause.
Around the world, and at home in Indonesia, people now care what happens to Aceh. That is where hope lies.
From Our Own Correspondent was broadcast on Thursday, 18 August, 2005 at 1100 BST on BBC Radio 4. Please check the programme schedules for World Service transmission times.
LISTEN AGAIN TO THE LATEST RADIO 4 PROGRAMME Listen to the programme Download the mp3 (8 Mb)
Story from BBC NEWS:http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/1/hi/programmes/from_our_own_correspondent/4159918.stmPublished: 2005/08/18 10:32:15 GMT© BBC MMV
Taiwan opposition leader sworn in Former Taipei mayor Ma Ying-jeou has been sworn in as chairman of Taiwan's opposition Kuomintang (KMT) Party.
Mr Ma was inaugurated at the party's annual congress, where he formally took over from outgoing leader Lien Chan.
Party members hope Mr Ma's appointment will improve the KMT's fortunes, and improve relations with Beijing.
Mr Ma won the chairmanship race last month, beating parliamentary Speaker Wang Jin-pyng in the first leadership contest in the KMT's 110-year history.
In a televised speech on Friday, the new leader praised Mr Lien for his historic visit to the Chinese mainland in April, and pledged to continue efforts to build cross-strait ties.
"I will do my best to carry on and push for Lien Chan's policies," Mr Ma said. "My mission is to press ahead with the reforms."
One of these reforms is that of the KMT itself, and Mr Ma pledged to fight internal corruption and recruit new, younger members.
He also promised to push for direct transport links to the mainland - a move the ruling Democratic Progressive Party has so far rejected.
Mr Ma said such links would help turn the island into a regional business hub.
Mr Ma is almost certain to lead the KMT into the 2008 presidential elections, where he will run against the yet undetermined successor to President Chen Shui-bian, who cannot seek a third term in office.
The KMT once ruled Taiwan with an iron fist, but it is now trying to boost its image after two presidential election losses and damaging splits.
Mr Ma, who was educated in Harvard, once served as minister of justice and still retains a reputation for being incorruptible.
Although he is believed to favour eventual unification with mainland China, Mr Ma has strongly criticised China's lack of democracy and its human rights record.
His public image - as someone who is honest, clean cut, competent and reformist - has made him especially popular with young female voters.
Story from BBC NEWS:http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/4165364.stmPublished: 2005/08/19 09:51:48 GMT© BBC MMV
Burundi MPs appoint new president Burundi's parliament has elected a new president in the final step of a deal to end 12 years of war between Hutu rebels and the Tutsi army.
Former rebel leader Pierre Nkurunziza was the only candidate, after his FDD group won parliamentary elections.
He will be the first president chosen through democratic means since the start of the civil war in 1993. The vote follows five years of peace talks.
A small group of Tutsis has dominated Burundi since independence in 1961.
Under the terms of the deal agreed between the government and Hutu rebels, democracy will be balanced with guarantees for the Tutsi minority.
Peace talks priority
The BBC's Rob Walker in the capital, Bujumbura, says there are now real hopes that Burundi is finally turning the corner away from violence.
There are indications that the FNL is planning to intensify attacks from now until the inauguration, just to show that it is still present on the ground Maj Manirakiza
Mr Nkurunziza, 40, is to be sworn in on 26 August.
Although he was the only candidate, he received 151 of the 162 votes cast. There were nine votes against, one abstention and one unmarked paper.
Our correspondent says the new president will need to reassure Tutsis, some of whom are wary of rule by former Hutu rebels.
Mr Nkurunziza will also need to breathe life back into a shattered economy if he is to meet the growing expectations of Burundi's impoverished population, our correspondent says.
On the eve of Mr Nkurunziza's election, the last remaining rebel group, the National Liberation Forces (FNL) attacked a military base, leaving three soldiers and five rebels dead, the army said.
The FNL is a much smaller group than Mr Nkurunziza's Forces for the Defence of Democracy (FDD).
"There are indications that the FNL is planning to intensify attacks from now until the inauguration, just to show that it is still present on the ground and maybe put some pressure on the new government to talk to them," said army spokesman Maj Adolphe Manirakiza.
In a speech to parliament on Thursday, Mr Nkurunziza vowed to engage the FNL in peace talks.
"The first priority is to engage in talks with the FNL and to conclude hopefully a ceasefire agreement with that movement," he said.
Story from BBC NEWS:http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/1/hi/world/africa/4165094.stmPublished: 2005/08/19 10:12:35 GMT© BBC MMV
Thaksin reassures S Thai traders Thailand's prime minister is visiting the nation's south, where an insurgency has killed hundreds of people since the beginning of last year.
Thaksin Shinawatra wants to reassure traders after suspected militants threatened to attack people working on Fridays, the Muslim holy day.
Mr Thaksin visited markets in Yala, Pattani and Narathiwat provinces.
He told the BBC he was confident his government now had the insurgency in the south well under control.
BBC correspondent Tony Cheng, who saw Mr Thaksin welcomed at a market in Narathiwat, says he looked at ease and that many young Muslims pushed forward to greet him and be photographed by him.
"Every day we're making arrests, and we now have the situation under control," he told the BBC.
But the only traders operating at this particular market on Friday had driven 12 hours from Bangkok, and the food they were selling from the back of their trucks was heavily subsidised by the interior ministry, our correspondent says.
At a market in Pattani, one vendor told the Associated Press that it was busier this Friday because local officials asked them to come to welcome Mr Thaksin.
"The market has been very quiet [previously]. Both sellers and buyers are afraid to come on Friday," said Haripa Ni-ngoh, a 51-year-old chicken vendor.
Shootings and bomb attacks have become a daily occurrence in the Thai south.
The government blames the violence on a mix of Muslim militants and criminal gangs.
Courage call
"Everybody has to be strong. Don't be weak," Mr Thaksin told a ceremony to open a new public playground in Pattani.
"This is the land we love and care about. We don't need to be afraid of anything. Every party concerned is coming in to look after you."
Anonymous hand-written notes threatening to chop the ears off or kill traders working on Fridays have appeared throughout the south in the last two weeks, according to the French news agency AFP.
The Mujahideen Islam Pattani (MIP), which has been involved in insurgent activity in the past, has reportedly responded with its own leaflets in Yala, saying it was not involved in the threats.
"The Mujahideen Islam Pattani wants to reiterate that we have never prohibited people from working on Thursdays and Fridays, even during the month of Ramadan," the MIP said in its leaflets.
In a sign of continuing tensions in the region, police had to defuse two fertilizer bombs in neighbouring Yala province, close to a market Mr Thaksin was due to visit.
"These bombs could easily have blown up a two-storey building," a bomb-squad officer at the scene told Reuters news agency.
There are concerns that the threats and violence are ruining local trade, with many scared to venture into orchards and rubber plantations to work following a series of beheadings.
Mr Thaksin's administration has battled the insurgency with a series of unusual measures, including dropping paper birds on the south, and this week, offering free cable TV in tea houses to act as a distraction.
Story from BBC NEWS:http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/4165042.stmPublished: 2005/08/19 11:46:25 GMT© BBC MMV
Kurdish rebels declare ceasefire The Kurdish rebel group fighting for autonomy in south-eastern Turkey, the PKK, has announced a one-month ceasefire.
The statement called on the armed wing of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) to hold fire until 20 September.
But the PKK said rebels would defend themselves if attacked.
Last week Turkey's prime minister described the situation in the south-east as a political problem which needed settling through more democracy.
The PKK statement on Friday said the ceasefire call was a response to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's speech.
"We will give time to Prime Minister Erdogan's well-intended efforts," said Zubeyir Aydar, head of the PKK's political wing Kongra-Gel.
The PKK has been blacklisted as a terrorist organisation by Turkey, the United States and the European Union.
The rebels called off a five-year unilateral ceasefire last summer.
More than 30,000 people have been killed in the conflict, which has been going on for more than two decades.
The PKK has stepped up attacks in recent months.
It was blamed for a bomb in the Aegean resort of Kusadasi last month that killed five people, recalling a PKK campaign against tourism in 1993.
Story from BBC NEWS:http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/1/hi/world/europe/4166166.stmPublished: 2005/08/19 11:52:32 GMT© BBC MMV
McLaren make fast start in Turkey
McLaren pair Juan Pablo Montoya and Kimi Raikkonen took little time getting to grips with the new Istanbul circuit in practice for the Turkish Grand Prix.
Toyota tester Ricardo Zonta set the best time of one minute 25.583 seconds, with McLaren's Pedro de la Rosa second.
But Raikkonen and Montoya took it in turns to go fastest of the race drivers in Friday's two one-hour sessions.
BAR's Jenson Button was next quickest ahead of Red Bull's Vitantonio Liuzzi and Renault's Fernando Alonso.
Championship leader Alonso's team-mate Giancarlo Fisichella was eighth, with David Coulthard 12th for Red Bull and world champion Michael Schumacher 13th in the Ferrari.
The new 5.3km Istanbul Otodrom is one of only three circuits on the Formula One calendar which run anticlockwise.
It is a nice track, a unique circuit and a success Ferrari's Michael Schumacher
The drivers' previous experience of it had been on computer simulators and video games, and De la Rosa was the first out as the teams began work on their set-ups for Sunday's race.
By the end of the session, all 25 drivers had completed a timed run as the need to learn the track took priority above the desire to conserve their engines.
De la Rosa's lap of 1:27.882 put him 0.571 seconds ahead of Raikkonen, who won the last race in Hungary.
Several drivers made mistakes, with Schumacher spinning his Ferrari across the gravel at turn 12 late in the session.
Mark Webber also took to the gravel in his Williams after running wide, Liuzzi lost control at turn eight, Nick Heidfeld's Williams went off at turn one and Rubens Barrichello spun his Ferrari at turn three.
Montoya went quicker than Raikkonen in the second session, the Colombian's lap of 1:26.525 almost a second slower than the benchmark set by Zonta with his final lap of the day.
Friday practice times: 1 Ricardo Zonta (Br) Toyota one minute 25.583 seconds 2 Pedro de la Rosa (Sp) McLaren-Mercedes 1:26.196 3 Juan Pablo Montoya (Col) McLaren-Mercedes 1:26.525 4 Kimi Raikkonen (Fin) McLaren-Mercedes 1:27.274 5 Jenson Button (GB) BAR-Honda 1:27.346 6 Vitantonio Liuzzi (It) Red Bull-Cosworth 1:27.578 7 Fernando Alonso (Sp) Renault, 25, 1:27.579 8 Giancarlo Fisichella (It) Renault, 29, 1:27.673 9 Jarno Trulli (It) Toyota 1:27.964 10 Takuma Sato (Jpn) BAR-Honda 1:28.081 11 Mark Webber (Aus) Williams-BMW 1:28.120 12 David Coulthard (Sco) Red Bull-Cosworth 1:28.235 13 Michael Schumacher (Ger) Ferrari 1:28.293 14 Jacques Villeneuve (Can) Sauber-Petonas 1:28.404 15 Rubens Barrichello (Br) Ferrari 1:28.460 16 Ralf Schumacher (Ger) Toyota 1:28.641 17 Felipe Massa (Br) Sauber-Petronas 1:28.681 18 Christian Klien (Aut) Red Bull-Cosworth 1:28.828 19 Nick Heidfeld (Ger) Williams-BMW 1:28.959 20 Tiago Monteiro (Por) Jordan-Toyota 1:30.626 21 Robert Doornbos (Mon) Jordan-Toyota 1:30.628 22 Christijan Albers (Neth) Minardi-Cosworth 1:30.730 23 Nicolas Kiesa (Den) Jordan-Toyota 1:30.884 24 Narain Karthikeyan (Ind) Jordan-Toyota 1:30.899 25 Enrico Toccacelo (It) Minardi 1:32.813
Story from BBC SPORT:http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/sport1/hi/motorsport/formula_one/4165466.stmPublished: 2005/08/19 12:18:34 GMT© BBC MMV
Tamil Tigers agree to hold talks Sri Lanka's government and Tamil Tiger rebels have agreed to hold their first high-level talks since peace moves stalled in 2003, mediators have said.
The chief Tamil Tiger negotiator confirmed the Tigers had agreed to discuss the implementation of the 2002 ceasefire agreement.
The move follows last week's assassination of Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar.
The government blames the Tigers for his death but they deny involvement.
Government spokesman Nimal Siripala de Silva welcomed the rebels' decision to attend talks and said the government was willing to engage in them without any preconditions.
Heavy pressure
The assassination of Mr Kadirgamar was seen as a major setback to Sri Lanka's peace process.
In response, the government introduced emergency rule, allowing it to deploy troops throughout the country.
TAMIL TRUCE
Feb 2002: Government and Tigers sign ceasefire paving way for talks
Dec 2002: Both sides agree to share power with autonomy for Tamils in north and east
Apr 2003: Tigers suspend talks claiming marginalisation
Mar 2004: Renegade Tiger leader splits group in east
Jul 2004: Suicide blast in Colombo - first since 2001
Dec 2004: Tamil areas badly hit as tsunami strikes
Jun 2005: Aid deal reached with Tigers amid protests
Aug 2005: Tigers agree to high-level peace talks with the government
Vidar Helgesen, deputy foreign minister of Norway, part of the foreign mission overseeing the truce, said the Tamil Tigers' agreement to talks was an important move.
"This is a significant step forward against the backdrop of the killing of the foreign minister," he said.
A time and place for the talks has yet to be confirmed.
The Tigers have been fighting for a separate nation for the minority Tamils in the north and east since 1983.
The BBC's Dumeetha Luthra, in Colombo, says that since the assassination, the rebels have been under heavy pressure to show they are maintaining peace.
A Norwegian embassy spokesman stressed the talks would focus only on the ceasefire.
"This is not the resumption of peace talks," Tom Knappskog told AFP.
The government says the rebels have made several violations of the ceasefire agreement in recent years.
On Wednesday, they called for a "review" of the ceasefire.
It wants to "make use of the hindsight wisdom of three years to ensure the stronger implementation of the ceasefire", an official source told the BBC.
Tsunami dispute
Tiger chief negotiator, Anton Balasingham, told the pro-rebel TamilNet web site that the rebels had accepted a Norwegian invitation to "participate in a review of the implementation of the ceasefire agreement in order to find practical ways of ensuring full compliance by both parties".
The Tigers have also accused the government of failing to keep to the terms of the ceasefire.
They allege the Sri Lankan military has been providing support to several Tamil paramilitary groups who have carried out attacks against the Tigers.
Five rounds of peace talks were held between the government and Tamil Tigers after the ceasefire agreement was formalised in February 2002.
The Tigers withdrew in April 2003, saying the government had failed to honour pledges on autonomy.
More recently disputes over the administration of the tsunami relief effort and the sharing of international aid have caused tension.
More than 60,000 people have died as a result of the conflict in Sri Lanka since 1983.
Story from BBC NEWS:http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/1/hi/world/south_asia/4164150.stmPublished: 2005/08/19 12:27:34 GMT© BBC MMV
Pope issues anti-Semitism warning Pope Benedict XVI has warned of rising anti-Semitism as he visited a synagogue in Cologne, in his native Germany.
Condemning the "unimaginable crime" of the Holocaust, he joined in prayers before a memorial to the six million Jews killed by Nazi Germany.
The visit was only the second time a head of the Catholic Church has visited a Jewish place of worship.
The Pope is on the second day of a trip originally scheduled for Pope John Paul II, who died in April.
Addressing Jewish leaders at the synagogue, Pope Benedict said: "Today, sadly, we are witnessing the rise of new signs of anti-Semitism and various forms of a general hostility toward foreigners.
"How can we fail to see in this a reason for concern and vigilance?"
The synagogue - destroyed by the Nazis in 1939 and reconstructed 20 years later - contains a memorial to the Jews who died in the Holocaust, of whom 11,000 lived in the city.
The Pope said progress had been made in improving relations between Catholics and Jews, but that "much more remains to be done".
"We must come to know one another much more and much better," he said.
Pope Benedict's visit follows Pope John Paul II's decision to enter the Rome synagogue in 1986.
Rabbi Alan Plancey of the UK's Chief Rabbinate welcomed the visit as "an important symbolic moment" in relations between Catholics and Jews.
"It is imperative that we continue to talk to each other, and learn from the past to improve our shared future," he said.
Later on Friday, the new Pope will meet representatives of the German Protestant Churches. During his four-day stay in Cologne, he also plans to meet Muslims.
The Pope plans to make clear that he regards the creation of better relations with all religions as an essential step on the road towards seeking world peace, says the BBC's Rome correspondent David Willey.
Young Catholics
About 400,000 Christians are in Cologne for a Catholic World Youth Festival. Their numbers are expected to double when the Pope preaches at an outdoor mass on Sunday.
The World Youth Day festival, invented by the late Pope, is held in a different part of the world every three years.
Arriving on Thursday, the Pope said he wanted to reinvigorate Christianity in an increasingly secular Europe.
The Pope has frequently bemoaned the waning role of the Church in Europe and says he hopes his trip will help kick-start "a wave of new faith among young people".
Vatican observers will be watching to see what sort of relationship he is able to establish with young Catholics, our correspondent says.
Many of them have been openly critical of the prohibitions he issued during the 20 years when he headed the Roman Catholic Church's disciplinary body.
Story from BBC NEWS:http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/1/hi/world/europe/4164890.stmPublished: 2005/08/19 12:44:11 GMT© BBC MMV
Genocide suspect flown to Hague A Rwandan accused of playing a leading role in the 1994 genocide has been transferred to the Netherlands.
Michel Bagaragaza pleaded not guilty to genocide charges earlier this week after handing himself in to the international tribunal in Tanzania.
The tribunal said he was sent to The Hague because of security concerns.
He is accused of using his position as head of Rwanda's crucial tea industry to help Hutu militias who killed hundreds of Tutsi civilians.
An estimated 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus were killed during the genocide.
The transfer to The Hague was a condition for Mr Bagaragaza's surrender, said a statement released by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, based in Arusha.
Mr Bagaragaza, 60, is accused of working with tea factory workers to kill Tutsis who had sought refuge in the north-western Gisenyi region.
Tea is one of Rwanda's major export earners.
He was seen as being close to Rwandan President Juvenal Habyarimana, whose death in a plane crash on 6 April, 1994, sparked the 100-day massacres.
Story from BBC NEWS:http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/1/hi/world/africa/4166662.stmPublished: 2005/08/19 14:26:01 GMT© BBC MMV
'Remarkable' Mo Mowlam dies at 55
Former Northern Ireland secretary Mo Mowlam has died, aged 55.
She was admitted to hospital following a fall at home and never regained consciousness. She had previously suffered a brain tumour.
Ms Mowlam, Labour MP for Redcar between 1987-2001, oversaw the talks which led to the 1998 Good Friday Agreement.
Tony Blair paid tribute saying Ms Mowlam was one of the shrewdest political minds he had encountered as well as a "remarkable personality".
'Brave'
"[She was] great company, utterly irreverent, full of life and fun," Mr Blair said in a statement.
"Yet behind that extraordinary front presented to the world was one of the shrewdest political minds I ever encountered. She was a natural politician, could read a situation and analyse and assess it as fast as anyone."
Former Labour leader Neil Kinnock said Ms Mowlam would want to be remembered as a "hell of a woman" and described her as "serious, smart, fun and a fighter".
If one word summed her up it was "brave", he added.
Honesty
Ms Mowlam had been suffering from ill health for some time. It is understood she suffered balance problems as a result of treatment for her brain tumour - and had failed to regain consciousness after falling and hitting her head at home.
WHEN I MET MO I remember her as someone who was full of energy and good humour Saul Billingsley
She was admitted to King's College Hospital, London, before being moved on 12 August to Pilgrim House Hospice in Canterbury, Kent. She never regained consciousness.
It is understood food and water were withdrawn earlier this week, in accordance with her wishes, to allow a natural death. She had asked not to be resuscitated.
Paying tribute, Bill Clinton said he and his wife, Senator Hillary Clinton, were "saddened" by news of Ms Mowlam's death, adding that she was an "integral part" of building peace in Northern Ireland.
"Her persistence, toughness and good humour were legendary. All of us who worked to support peace in Northern Ireland owe her our gratitude," the ex-US president said.
Ex-senator George Mitchell, who chaired the Good Friday Agreement talks, said: "Mo Mowlam made a major contribution to the peace process in Northern Ireland at a crucial time when little progress was being made."
'Beautiful'
Former cabinet minister Clare Short described Ms Mowlam's death as "a very sad day indeed".
"Mo's been ill for some time, but it's still such a shock to lose her so young. It feels unfair and wrong. She was so full of life and sparkle.
She displayed great courage and deep humanity Lib Dem leader Charles Kennedy
"She was a very beautiful young woman, she survived ill health and helped bring peace to Northern Ireland and now she's gone far too young," Ms Short told BBC News.
Conservative leader Michael Howard said Ms Mowlam was held in great affection by many people, adding that her honesty and sense of fun had enriched British national life.
Liberal Democrat leader Charles Kennedy said: "She displayed great courage and deep humanity both in her public life in politics and privately coping with her prolonged medical condition."
Standing ovations
During her time at the Northern Ireland Office Ms Mowlam's enthusiastic, unpretentious attitude appealed to a public who yearned for an end to terrorism in the province and she won standing ovations and media awards in equal measure.
She took a major political risk by going inside the Maze prison to talk to prisoners in a bid to restart the peace process.
But the failure of the Northern Ireland parties to agree on implementation of the Good Friday agreement and the release of IRA prisoners without the parallel surrender of arms led to calls for her dismissal from Ulster Unionists, who lost confidence in her when she insisted the agreement had not been broken by the IRA.
In 1999 she was replaced as Northern Ireland secretary by Peter Mandelson, and became Tony Blair's cabinet "enforcer" after turning down the job of health secretary. She stood down as an MP in 2001.
Lecturer
A former key ally of Mr Blair, who helped organise his leadership bid in 1994, she became increasingly disaffected with his premiership and was a vocal opponent of the war in Iraq.
Marjorie 'Mo' Mowlam was born in Watford on September 18, 1949 and attended Coundon Court Comprehensive School, in Coventry, before going on to study at Durham University and the University of Iowa.
She worked as a lecturer and university administrator before pursuing a career in politics.
She married merchant banker Jon Norton, already a father of two, in 1995.
Story from BBC NEWS:http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/1/hi/uk_politics/4126986.stmPublished: 2005/08/19 14:41:37 GMT© BBC MMV
Moroccan jailed in 9/11 retrial A Moroccan man who was friends with three of the 9/11 suicide hijackers has been found guilty in Germany of belonging to a terrorist organisation.
Mounir al-Motassadek, 31, was sentenced to seven years in prison following a year-long retrial.
However, the court in Hamburg ruled there was no proof that he knew about the 11 September 2001 plot.
Motassadek was originally convicted of those charges in 2003 but the verdict was overturned and a retrial ordered.
After the original conviction was quashed by Germany's Supreme Court last year, the retrial heard new evidence - excerpts of interviews with key al-Qaeda suspects provided by the US.
MOTASSADEK CASE
November 2001: Arrested in Hamburg
February 2003: Convicted of being accessory to 9/11 attacks
February 2004: Mzoudi acquitted on same charges
March 2004: Motassadek conviction quashed
July 2004: Moves towards deportation to Morocco begin, pending trial outcome
August 2004: Retrial starts
One of these told how Motassadek had taken part in vitriolic anti-US discussions in the home of hijacker Mohammed Atta, but also insisted he was not aware of the 9/11 plot.
Prosecutors argued that Motassadek provided key assistance to the "Hamburg cell", pointing out that he signed the will of Atta - believed to be the ringleader of the 19 suicide hijackers - and held power of attorney on the bank account of another hijacker.
While the hijackers were attending flight training schools in the US, he used that power of attorney to handle the transfer of small amounts of money for them.
Motassadek had also admitted attending an al-Qaeda training camp in Afghanistan in early 2000.
But he has repeatedly denied any prior knowledge of the attacks on New York and Washington, saying that the favours he did for the hijackers were just part of being a good Muslim.
Motassadek's lawyer said on Friday he would appeal against the new verdict.
US criticised
When Motassadek was originally convicted, he was sentenced to 15 years in prison. Following the quashing of that conviction he was released on bail.
Announcing the fresh verdict, Judge Ernst-Rainer Schudt did not explain the reasons, but he criticised the US for not giving more evidence.
Washington had refused to let the court question captured al-Qaeda suspects, citing security concerns, and released only excerpts of information the prisoners revealed during interrogation.
"The point is we would have liked to have questioned them ourselves," said Judge Schudt.
He said the summaries released by the US did not constitute "sufficient proof in either direction".
The BBC's Ray Furlong in Berlin says the latest verdict is something of a surprise as there had been an expectation that Motassadek would be acquitted, after a fellow Moroccan was cleared of having links to the 9/11 hijackers.
Abdelghani Mzoudi was cleared by the same Hamburg court in February 2004 and the decision upheld by Germany's federal appeals court in June.
Story from BBC NEWS:http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/1/hi/world/europe/4164780.stmPublished: 2005/08/19 14:46:18 GMT© BBC MMV
Jordan rockets miss US Navy ship Three missiles have been fired from the Jordanian port of Aqaba, missing a US Navy ship but hitting Israel.
Two rockets missed the USS Ashland, an American naval ship docked in the port. A Jordanian soldier died when one of the two missiles hit the dockside.
The third missile landed near Eilat airport in neighbouring Israel, causing no injuries.
An internet statement, purportedly from a group which says it has links to al-Qaeda, said it was to blame.
The statement, allegedly from the Abdullah al-Azzam Brigades, said the attacks were the group's first attack in Jordan and were aimed at both the US and Israel.
"The Zionists are a legitimate target and we warn the Americans, who are spreading their corruption throughout the world and who have stolen the wealth of the Muslim nation, to expect even more attacks," it said.
The group is one of several to have said it carried out the bombings on a market and hotels in the Egyptian resort of Sharm al-Sheikh on 23 July.
Police hunt
Jordanian police are searching for two Iraqis and a Syrian thought to have rented an industrial warehouse from which the rockets were fired.
"I can confirm that a rocket flew over the bow of USS Ashland and the rocket impacted in the roof of a warehouse. No sailors or marines were injured," said Commander Jeff Breslau, of the US Fifth Fleet.
The Jordanian soldier who died was on the dockside when he was hit. He was taken to hospital where he died of his wounds, a security source said.
Another Jordanian was injured in the attack.
Katyusha rockets were used in all three attacks, officials say.
The USS Ashland and its sister amphibious ship, the USS Kearsarge, have been docked in Aqaba, Jordan's only sea port, for the past 10 days, witnesses said.
Both ships are reported to have left the port in response to the attack.
Correspondents say the attack is the most serious on a US navy ship since the bombing of the USS Cole in Yemen in 2000 that killed 17 sailors.
The third rocket hit a taxi on the outskirts of Eilat airport, but did not explode, Israeli police reported.
Close co-operation
The missile created a small crater in the road, about 15m from the airport fence, local police commander, Avi Azulin told the Associated Press.
The commander said the rocket was fired from nearby Jordan.
Aqaba and Eilat are about 15km (9 miles) apart, located at the northern end of the Red Sea.
Israeli Defence Minister Shaul Mofaz said the attacks were "intended to hit the Israeli side and the Jordanian side as well".
"We still don't know who is behind this act," he said.
Story from BBC NEWS:http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/1/hi/world/middle_east/4165190.stmPublished: 2005/08/19 14:51:01 GMT© BBC MMV
Cameroon yields plant spectacular
By Richard Black Environment Correspondent, BBC News website A ten-year survey in Cameroon by scientists from the UK's Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew has turned up more than 200 previously unknown plants.
The researchers have found a higher diversity of plants in the Kupe-Bakossi region than any other site in tropical Africa.
Highlights include new species of coffee, spectacular orchids and new relatives of the fig.
The researchers say their work has led to local conservation initiatives.
Mountain road
Kupe-Bakossi lies around 100 kilometres north of Douala, Cameroon's second city - a two-hour journey by bumpy road.
At the end of it is a treasure-trove of specimens for the hungry botanist; which is why organisations including the Cameroon National Herbarium, Conservation and Research for Endangered Species (CRES), the British government's Darwin Initiative and Kew have spent a decade exploring it.
"Of any area that's been surveyed in Africa, this contains the highest number of species," Kew's Conservation Project Co-ordinator Ben Pollard told the BBC News website.
Since surveying began in 1995, the Kew team and their seasonal armies of volunteers from the conservation charity Earthwatch have found 2,440 different kinds of plant living in the region - around one in ten of them new to science.
"They range from a tiny plant called Macropodiella pellucida , which is smaller than a fingernail, to giant canopy trees more than 45 metres high," recalled Ben Pollard, "and included 187 species of orchid."
Rocks and falls
Kupe-Bakossi is a highly diverse region, with two extinct volcanoes - Mwanenguba and Edib - river valleys, grassland and some of the wettest forest in Africa.
This diversity is one of the reasons why so many plant species can find a niche here.
Distinctive features include 'inselbergs' - uplifted areas of rock rising above the ground like islands in the forest.
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle used the concept in his book 'The Lost World'; high on their South American inselberg, isolated from the surrounding region and so immune from the prevailing local thrusts of evolution, dinosaurs found a way to persist into the modern era.
The Kew team found no dinosaurs on their inselbergs, but did turn up plant species which live only on these secluded heights, such as the delicate Nodonema lineatum .
Modern threats
More than 200 of Kupe-Bakossi's plants are at risk of extinction, according to the Red List of threatened species maintained by IUCN, the World Conservation Union; and human activities on the regions' fringes could constrain its future.
"There is urbanisation to the east and south of the area," said Ben Pollard, "and there are huge banana and rubber plantations, which lead to erosion problems and possibly pollution, with substances like fertilisers being picked up by the wind and rained out over the forest.
"There are also reports of illegal logging, which is very worrying.
"However, our colleagues from CRES are working with local communities, and several areas are now going to be protected."
After a decade of research, vast tracts of Kupe-Bakossi remain unexplored.
The Kew team intends to probe these areas as fully as possible over the coming years, and perhaps discover more new and spectacular species.
Story from BBC NEWS:http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/1/hi/sci/tech/4162602.stmPublished: 2005/08/19 15:08:17 GMT© BBC MMV
Crash relatives fly to Venezuela Relatives of those killed when a jet crashed in Venezuela on Tuesday, killing all 160 people on board, have been arriving in Venezuela.
Some 100 relatives from the French island of Martinique, where most of the victims came from, flew to Maracaibo - the city closest to the crash site.
Almost all body parts have now been recovered and await identification.
The Colombian-owned West Caribbean Airways MD-82 crashed after the pilot reported problems in both engines.
French President Jacques Chirac will fly to Martinique, in the Caribbean, on Wednesday to attend a day of mourning in memory of the 152 French people killed in the crash.
Emotional scenes
Some relatives wept as they as they got off their plane in a deserted Maracaibo airport.
All wanted information on what exactly went wrong on the flight from Panama City to Martinique.
"That night, my sister called me from the airport to tell me when she would take off. I still don't manage to understand she will never call again," Rose-Marie Pelican, 51, whose sister Marie-Annick Taupin and 18-year-old niece Elodie Maquiava were killed, told reporters.
"They have to find the culprits," she added.

French experts will help study flight data recorders recovered from the plane's wreckage.

French transport minister Dominique Perben told Paris' RTL radio the flight recorders - which contain flight data and cockpit voice records - would be analysed in Venezuela "in the presence and with the collaboration of our technicians and engineers".
Tough task
"The near-total destruction of the plane makes this investigation tough," a police investigator said.
The task of identifying the dead will also be problematic. French interior ministry forensic experts are helping with the process.
The passengers included civil service and local government officials from Martinique.
The crash has had an enormous impact on the small island of Martinique, home to some 430,000 people.
"It really is a huge catastrophe for us. Almost every family is concerned, be it through a relative or friends," the president of the island's assembly, Claude Lise, told the Associated Press news agency.
West Caribbean Airways was set up in 2000 to provide low-cost flights within Colombia and to the Caribbean region, according to the company website.
This is the second incident this year involving the airline. In March a flight taking off from the Colombian island of Providencia crashed, killing eight people.

Story from BBC NEWS:http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/1/hi/world/americas/4166116.stmPublished: 2005/08/19 15:15:12 GMT© BBC MMV
Menezes' family calls for justice
Relatives of the Brazilian man killed by police on the Tube have demanded the resignation of London's top officer and the prosecution of those responsible.
They accused Met Police chief Sir Ian Blair of lying about aspects of the shooting, and of attempting a cover-up.
Sir Ian has "rejected utterly" the claims and said some of the disputed statements were never provided by his force. He has said he will not resign.
Mr Menezes was mistakenly shot as a suspected suicide bomber on 22 July.
Brazilian investigators are to fly to London next week for talks with the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) to clarify conflicting reports of how he died at Stockwell station.
The police know Jean was innocent and yet they let my family suffer Alessandro Pereira, cousin of Jean Charles de Menezes
The incident came a day after the failed 21 July attacks on the London Underground and a bus.
Investigation papers leaked to the media this week seemed to contradict initial police statements and eyewitness accounts of events.
And the IPCC has said Scotland Yard "initially resisted" the regulator's attempts to launch an investigation into the shooting.
Mr Menezes' cousin Alessandro Pereira said: "For three weeks we have had to listen to lie after lie about Jean and how he was killed."
Speaking at a press conference near Stockwell station, Mr Pereira said: "I want Ian Blair to think how it felt having to ring Jean's mother and father... and tell them their son was dead, that he was killed in such a way.
I am defending myself against an allegation that I did not act in good faith and I reject utterly the concept of a cover up Sir Ian Blair, Met Police commissioner
"The police know Jean was innocent and yet they let my family suffer."
He said lies had been told about his cousin such as that he was a suspected terrorist, that he looked like a suicide bomber, that he was wearing a big jacket and that he ran from police.
But Sir Ian Blair has strongly defended his actions and those of his officers in the aftermath of the shooting.
In an interview with the London Evening Standard on Thursday, Sir Ian said people had to be careful about attributing statements to the police.
"We have looked at what we have actually said about this incident. The number of features about heavyweight coats or hopping over barriers have never been said or confirmed by the Metropolitan Police Service.
Calculated risks have to be taken, often by necessity in haste, and mistakes are therefore likely Len Duvall, chair of the Metropolitan Police Authority
"I did say there were direct links to the investigation and that is because he [Mr Menezes] came out of the house that we had under surveillance."
The BBC's home affairs correspondent Daniel Sandford said he did not think Sir Ian's position was at risk, but he would have to "sit it out" and take the criticisms.
He said it was important to note where the calls for Sir Ian's resignation were not coming from - and pointed out that no such call had come from the government, London Mayor Ken Livingstone or his employer the Metropolitan Police Authority.
Graphic images
Yasmin Khan, from the Jean Charles de Menezes' Family Campaign, said the family had witnessed a "Laurel and Hardy police operation" in recent weeks.
She said there were three issues to consider, the first being the "shoot-to-kill policy", and the second the "incompetence of the police on the day".
"Thirdly the attempted cover-up and misleading by Ian Blair, the Metropolitan Police and with government officials colluding with this," she said.
She urged supporters to attend a vigil to be held outside 10 Downing Street at 1800 BST (1700 GMT) on Monday.
Chair of the Metropolitan Police Authority (MPA), Len Duvall, said Mr Menezes' death was a "tragic loss" but added the officers involved would also be under "immense strain" and needed support.
"The MPA will do everything in its power to ensure that whatever the circumstances surrounding the fatal shooting of Mr de Menezes, the full facts and truth will be made known," he said.
Mr Duvall added London was facing an "unprecedented" potential threat to the safety of its inhabitants.
"This means calculated risks have to be taken, often by necessity in haste, and mistakes are therefore likely," he said.
Graphic photos of Mr Menezes' dead body lying on the floor of the Tube train have appeared in most of Brazil's newspapers.
The papers also reported claims from the leaked documents that the Brazilian electrician had not fled from police as initially claimed, nor had he hurdled a ticket barrier.
The Brazilian Foreign Ministry said the press coverage had heightened the government's sense of indignation at the shooting.
Story from BBC NEWS:http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/1/hi/uk/4164856.stmPublished: 2005/08/19 15:18:05 GMT© BBC MMV
Palestinian prayers mark pullout
By Lucy Williamson BBC News, Gaza City
Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas has joined Friday prayers in Gaza City to give thanks for the Israeli withdrawal.
The prayer service was also held to remember Palestinians killed by Israeli soldiers and settlers during Israel's 38-year occupation.
Palestinian groups have been marking Israel's pullout from Gaza this week with rallies and marches.
But for many ordinary people the celebrations have taken longer to feel real.
As the first television pictures of Israel's withdrawal bounced onto screens across Gaza City, Palestinians watched, curious and pleased, but largely impassive.
To the Israelis we say, 'You have pulled out of Gaza. Tomorrow you will pull out from the West Bank and Jerusalem, God willing' Yusuf Selama Palestinian religious official in a sermon
In the nearby grocery store, the manager began the week by telling me: "I don't believe it will happen. The Israelis never keep their promises."
But five days of pictures and news reports have begun to change his mind.
"What do you think will happen with the borders?" he asked me excitedly on Friday morning, now that Israel is leaving.
Next step
Palestinians living next-door to the Jewish settlements have also been wary of celebrating too soon. They have watched as the army observation posts empty as the settlers leave, but the red-roofed houses remain and the pullout will not feel real, many say, until they are gone too.
The Palestinian Authority has shown more confidence. A rally last Friday at the harbour in Gaza City kicked off days of marches and celebrations by groups across Gaza's political spectrum.
The walls of the parliament building here have been decorated by Palestinian artists and a large multi-coloured balloon floats in the sky above Jabaliya refugee camp.
Now that the news is sinking in, thoughts are turning to the next stage of the process, the day when Palestinians take over the land.
The PA has laid careful plans to ensure the handover of settlements is as smooth as it can be, but many here say the excitement building among ordinary Palestinians could mean a rush to see inside the settlements for themselves.
Story from BBC NEWS:http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/1/hi/world/middle_east/4166852.stmPublished: 2005/08/19 15:23:50 GMT© BBC MMV
Priest charged over bishop death Six men, including a Catholic priest, have pleaded not guilty to charges of murdering an Italian bishop in Kenya.
Bishop Luigi Locati was shot dead in July in the town of Isiolo.
He had spent most of his working life in Kenya and thousands of people - including Kenyan leader Mwai Kibaki and Vatican envoys - attended his funeral.
After initially linking his death to an ethnic feud, police now allege Bishop Locati was killed in a struggle for control of church funds.
Reverend Guyo Waqo Male appeared in court in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, along with five other men to face charges of killing the 77-year-old bishop.
The AFP news agency says they could face the death penalty if convicted - though Kenya has not executed anyone since 1987.
Bishop Locati's death coincided with a massacre in northern Kenya, attributed to an ethnic feud, and police initially suspected the two crimes could be linked.
Isiolo has the same ethnic mix as the northern Kenyan region where 76 people - 22 of them children - were killed in July.
Story from BBC NEWS:http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/1/hi/world/africa/4166720.stmPublished: 2005/08/19 15:32:28 GMT© BBC MMV
Australia are below par - Wessels Former Australia Test batsman Kepler Wessels believes the current team are not the powerful force they once were.
Wessels, who played 24 Tests for the Australians before leading his native South Africa, now coaches Northants, who host the tourists on Saturday.
"I don't think they've been as good as they have been," he told BBC Sport.
"They've still got a lot of ability and can probably still win the series, but it's in their interests to win at Trent Bridge as England do well at The Oval."
Wessels, the scourge of many an international attack with his stubborn, well organised defence, believes that the extraordinary frenetic flavour of the current Ashes series will continue.
"The modern trend of Test cricket suggests that you could well get two more results," he said.
"The days of the boring draw are long gone.
"A series between two top teams these days may have one draw over a five- match period, but because the scoring rates are so quick, and the game moves forward so quickly there's always the chance of a result.
"I wouldn't expect there to be a dull draw unless the pitches are very flat."
Many of the Australian batsmen have been criticised for poor shot selection, notably Matthew Hayden.
The tall left-hander broke the Australian record for runs in a calendar year in 2001 but has made only 147 runs from his first six innings in this year's series, with a top score of 36.
"Matthew Hayden has changed his game to be almost too aggressive, which is something he doesn't have to do," Wessels observed.
"He can afford to take a lot more time and get himself in, and he doesn't have to impose himself on the attack all the time, he scores quickly enough anyway.
"He's playing a whole range of strokes that keep getting him into trouble."
Wessels agrees that the English fast bowling trio Steve Harmison, Andrew Flintoff and Simon Jones have been a major concern for the Australians.
"The England attack has really fired and put them under the sort of pressure they haven't been under for a long, long time, and I don't think they coped very well with it in the last two Tests."
England have come very aggressively at Australia and played them at their own game, they haven't been used to it so they will have to try and adapt. Kepler Wessels
With Australia possessing a left-handed opening pair and key batsman Adam Gilchrist also a southpaw, Wessels is convinced England have found a key ingredient as they bid to win back the Ashes.
"The left-handers in particular have had a problem with the ball reverse swinging away from them," he said.
"Other than the Lord's Test when I thought they were extremely good I don't think their basic skills have been as good as in the past."
After rain denied them the chance to play Scotland, Australia's preparations for the fourth Ashes Test starting on 25 August turn to Northampton and a two-day game.
Wessels revealed that the decision for the shorter length of the match was Cricket Australia's.
"All it really amounts to probably is practice for the touring side and for us," he said.
Martin Love, who has not played Test cricket for Australia since July 2003 when he made his maiden century, against Bangladesh, misses the match to rest a tendonitis problem.
It has been an agreed to play an extra hour on both days at the County Ground, play scheduled from 1045 to 1845.
Story from BBC SPORT:http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/sport1/hi/cricket/other_international/australia/4166776.stmPublished: 2005/08/19 15:59:00 GMT© BBC MMV
Egypt resort bomb suspect 'held' Egyptian police have arrested a man suspected of planning last month's bomb attacks in the town of Sharm al-Sheikh, Interior Ministry sources say.
Hassan al-Arishi was detained at a house in the northern Sinai peninsula area, the sources said.
Mr Arishi had been using the identification papers of another man to cover his tracks, he added.
At least 64 people were killed when bombs exploded outside two hotels and a market in the Red Sea resort town.
Several groups have said they carried out the attacks, with at least one citing links to the al-Qaeda network.
Earlier this month, police killed another man they said was suspected of helping to plan the Sharm el-Sheikh attacks.
Police said Mohammed Suleiman Felaifil was killed in a shootout near Gebel Ataqa, near the northern town of Suez.
Three other men were reportedly arrested last week.
Reports suggest the other suspects had identified Mr al-Arishi.
On Sunday, the Egyptian state newspaper Al Ahram said investigators had uncovered nearly one metric ton of high explosives at a farm.
Story from BBC NEWS:http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/1/hi/world/middle_east/4166982.stmPublished: 2005/08/19 15:59:20 GMT© BBC MMV
US concern at Pakistan textbooks
By Aamer Ahmed Khan BBC News, Karachi The United States has described some of the material contained in Pakistani textbooks as "inciteful" and said it was an issue of "serious concern".
The US said it feared the material might "cause people to... lash out with violent actions".
Despite two government reviews of the textbooks, a leading Pakistan NGO says little has changed.
Pakistan's school curriculum has been in the spotlight since the 11 September attacks in the US.
Pakistan and the US are key allies in the latter's war on terror.
US State Department spokesman, Sean McCormack, was commenting on media reports that jihad, or holy war, was still a part of school curriculum in Pakistan.
"We have engaged the Pakistani government on... the issue of textbooks and language that... was clearly, clearly unacceptable and inciteful or would cause people to perhaps lash out with violent actions," he told a press briefing on Thursday.
He said the US had raised the matter with the Pakistani education minister during his visit to Washington in March.
Independent review
The administration of President Pervez Musharraf asked the education ministry in March 2002 to undertake a comprehensive review of all textbooks.
But the review recommended that no major changes were required in the existing curriculum.
This prompted one of Pakistan's most respected non-government organisations, the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI), to undertake an independent review.
It examined textbooks for Urdu, English, Social Studies and Civics from grades one to 12 (5-18 years) and came out with its report a few months after the ministry's review. The findings created a furore.
It found "falsehoods, distortions and omissions" in all the textbooks, which it said defied Pakistan's declared objective of turning into a modern, dynamic state.
I don't think anything has changed in substance Ahmed Salim, Sustainable Development Policy Institute
It also found the books "full" of material "encouraging or justifying discrimination against women, religious and ethnic minorities and other nations".
The report said that most of the textbooks incited "militancy and violence, including encouragement of holy war and martyrdom".
There were repeated instances of "glorification of war and the use of force".
The religious parties in particular were incensed at the report and labelled it "paid Western propaganda".
Curriculum change
The report was taken seriously by the government which ordered another review.
The second review, completed in mid-2004, recommended that references to holy war and the use of force be deleted.
The ministry also recommended that the social studies subject be scrapped.
The recommendations were implemented for the school year starting 2005.
"I don't think anything has changed in substance," co-editor of the SDPI report Ahmed Salim told the BBC news website.
The SDPI is planning to undertake another review which it expects to complete in a month's time.
Story from BBC NEWS:http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/1/hi/world/south_asia/4167260.stmPublished: 2005/08/19 16:54:12 GMT© BBC MMV
Discovery heads home at last The shuttle Discovery has begun its journey back to the Kennedy Space Center in Florida from Edwards Air Force Base in California.
The shuttle is riding piggyback on a modified jumbo jet, more than a week after it landed in the Mojave desert.
The pair will make stops in Oklahoma and Louisiana before arriving in Florida on Saturday morning.
The 3,591 km (2,232 mile) trip is expected to cost the US space agency a hefty $1 million (£820,000).
Discovery and its seven member crew touched down on 9 August at the Edwards Air Force Base after a 14-day mission to service the International Space Station.
Nasa diverted the landing to California after poor weather prevented the shuttle from returning to Florida.
After landing, Discovery underwent maintenance and crews worked around the clock to prepare the shuttle for departure by purging it of hazardous substances and removing fuel from the on-board tanks.
Technicians attached an aluminium tail cone to the shuttle to eliminate drag during the flight, and coupled Discovery to the 747 jet just hours before takeoff.
Uncertain homecoming
Discovery's homecoming has been tempered by uncertainties about the future of the shuttle programme.
Yesterday, Nasa announced that its shuttle fleet will not fly again before March at the earliest.
The fleet was grounded after a large piece of foam was shed from Discovery's external fuel tank during lift-off on 26 July.
A similar problem caused the shuttle Columbia to break up on re-entry to the atmosphere in 2003, killing all seven astronauts on board.
"From an overall standpoint we think really 4 March is the time frame we are looking at," said Bill Gerstenmaier, Nasa's new head of space operations and the official overseeing the foam fix.
"The teams are making very good progress. But we are still not complete by any stretch of the imagination."
Nasa chief Michael Griffin told journalists at a press briefing in Washington that there had been complacency in the agency in the past but that there was now a new culture at Nasa.
"For good or ill - and obviously, it was for ill, a poor choice of words on my part - we in Nasa didn't look in detail at foam shedding from the tank for 113 flights - and shame on us," Dr Griffin said.
Space shuttle Atlantis was due to blast off in September. But Nasa engineers will now have to make modifications to the shuttle's external fuel tank, particularly to an area known as the Protuberance Air Load (Pal) ramp.
Minority report
Seven members of an oversight panel said Nasa had not learned key lessons that had emerged from the Columbia disaster.
Their "minority report" was contained within the final report by the 26-member Return to Flight task group appointed to evaluate how the US space agency meets the recommendations by the Columbia Accident Investigation Board (Caib).
So much emphasis was placed on trying to meet unrealistic launch dates that some safety improvements were skipped, said the seven members.
"We expected that Nasa leadership would set high standards for post-Columbia work...we were, overall, disappointed," the panellists wrote in the report.
The seven critics included a former shuttle astronaut, former undersecretary of the Navy, a former congressional budget office director, former moon rocket engineer, a retired nuclear engineer and two university professors.
Dr Griffin said that he was "changing the game" on thinking regarding the shuttle's usage by Nasa ahead of its September 2010 retirement.
It was originally calculated that about 28 further shuttle flights would be needed to complete the International Space Station. That prediction was later reduced to about 15.
Now, Dr Griffin said, Nasa was "not trying to get a specific number of flights out of the shuttle system".
He added: "The United States has a commitment to its partners to complete the station. We believe that, absent of major problems, we...can essentially complete assembly of the station with the shuttle fleet in the time that we have remaining."

DAMAGE TO THE EXTERNAL TANK
The shuttle's two Protuberance Air Load (PAL) ramps act as aerodynamic covers to the various cables and air lines running up the side of the external tank
The PAL ramps are sprayed with insulating foam, like the rest of the tank, to prevent the formation of ice when it is filled with freezing liquid hydrogen fuel
During Discovery's launch a 0.5m long chunk of foam weighing about 450g broke away from one of the PAL ramps. It caused no damage - but a similar incident of foam loss is believed to have caused the Columbia accident in 2003
Story from BBC NEWS:http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/1/hi/sci/tech/4166502.stmPublished: 2005/08/19 16:54:53 GMT© BBC MMV
Iraq Sunni party workers killed Three members of Iraq's main Sunni Arab political party have been abducted and killed in the northern city of Mosul.
The Iraqi Islamic Party members were seized as they put up posters urging Sunnis to vote in a referendum planned later this year on a new constitution.
Politicians are still wrangling over the draft constitution, ahead of an extended deadline to present it to parliament for approval.
Meanwhile, two Iraqis were reported killed by a roadside bomb near Tikrit.
Leaders 'optimistic'
A spokesman for the Iraqi Islamic Party, Noureddine Hayali, said the three men had been kidnapped early on Friday in a southern neighbourhood of Mosul.
They were then driven to another part of the city before being shot dead in front of a mosque, Mr Hayali said.
The killings came a day after an attack in Ramadi on Sunni leaders who had been discussing voter registration, in which several people were injured.
The BBC's Barbara Miller says Iraqi politicians have expressed optimism they can reach a deal on the draft constitution before the extended deadline of 22 August.
But the latest violence could further delay agreement, she warns.
The constitution needs to be approved by the National Assembly before it can go to a nationwide referendum in October.
Story from BBC NEWS:http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/1/hi/world/middle_east/4167304.stmPublished: 2005/08/19 17:14:19 GMT© BBC MMV
Drugs firm Merck loses Vioxx case US pharmaceutical giant Merck & Co has been found liable over the death of a man who took the once-popular painkiller Vioxx.
Jurors at a court in Texas awarded Robert Ernst's widow, Carol, $253.4m (£141.07m) in damages.
The damages cover a combination of Mr Ernst's lost pay as a Wal-Mart produce manager, mental anguish, loss of companionship and punitive damages.
Shares in Merck, which plans to appeal against the verdict, fell 5% on Friday.
More soon.
Story from BBC NEWS:http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/1/hi/business/4167784.stmPublished: 2005/08/19 19:14:03 GMT© BBC MMV
Abbas voices joy at Gaza pullout Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas has described his people's delight at the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza this week.
He told a cheering, flag-waving crowd in Gaza that they were experiencing "historic days of joy" - but he warned them great challenges still lay ahead.
Mr Abbas said he hoped Israel's exit from Gaza was a precursor to a pullout from the West Bank and Jerusalem.
Israeli forces are to resume evicting settlers and their supporters from Gaza after the Jewish Sabbath.
Efforts to remove die-hard opponents of the withdrawal plan were suspended on Friday evening at the start of the Sabbath.
Israeli officials said that the evacuation of the settlements had taken place a lot faster than expected, with only four of the original 21 settlements yet to be cleared on Friday.

Troops stormed through burning barricades to evacuate the small settler outpost of Gadid on Friday, meeting little resistance compared with the defiance they met in the Kfar Darom and Neve Dekalim settlements on Thursday.
Several protesters evacuated from Gadid on Friday broke out of the bus taking them away and escaped into Mawasi, a Palestinian area on the Gaza coast which is hemmed in by a Jewish settlement bloc.
They were later captured by Israeli soldiers.
'Tomorrow Jerusalem'
Mr Abbas urged Palestinians to unite as he celebrated the Israeli withdrawal with a crowd at Gaza's International Airport.
"The Israeli occupation is leaving today. Let us allow them to leave and let us not give them any reason to delay," he said.
Mr Abbas said he hoped the airport building - currently not in use - would soon be open to traffic, opening up a link between Gaza and the world beyond.
"Today we are visitors to the airport," he said. "Tomorrow we will come here as travellers."
But BBC correspondent Alan Johnston says Israel might want to keep control of Gaza's sea and air links for fear that Palestinian militant groups may use them to smuggle in heavy weaponry.
Mr Abbas pledged to rebuild Palestinian homes destroyed during the Israeli occupation of Gaza.
Celebrations were also held in the town of Rafah in southern Gaza, where Palestinians said prayers at the gates of an abandoned Jewish settlement.
Many wore shirts depicting the Palestinian flag and the slogan: "Today Gaza, tomorrow the West Bank and Jerusalem", the Associated Press news agency reports.
'Moving scenes'
Israeli troops have meanwhile begun digging trenches around Gaza's evacuated settlements in order to prevent Palestinians moving in.
Israel plans to demolish most of the settlement buildings before handing back control of them to the Palestinian Authority.
The bulldozers and cranes have already begun work in the empty settlement of Kerem Atzmona.
Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon voiced fury at protesters' attacks on the security forces - but he also said he was saddened by scenes from the pullout.
"When I see these families with tears in their eyes and police officers with tears in their eyes, it's impossible to look at this without weeping yourself," Mr Sharon said.
The evacuated settlers have been offered temporary housing by the government but many have turned it down, reports the Associated Press news agency, with some choosing instead to camp in Jerusalem near the Western Wall, Judaism's holiest site.
The unilateral Gaza withdrawal marks the first transfer of Palestinian land seized by Israel in 1967.

Story from BBC NEWS:http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/1/hi/world/middle_east/4167482.stmPublished: 2005/08/19 19:14:59 GMT© BBC MMV