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Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Media Watch World: Nauroz, Karbala, Hilary IEDs, FBI Error Riddled Watchlist,

Nauroz or the Persian New Year that begins at 1.50 a.m. on Thursday here in Toronto, "precisely with the beginning of spring on the vernal equinox" is explained by Hanieh Rezaie.

Even though the Iranian calendar is one of the most accurate in the world, it is almost unknown in the West.

Compared with the Gregorian calendar, which errs by one day every 3,226 years, the Iranian calendar needs a one-day correction every 141,000 years. It is the official calendar in Iran and Afghanistan.

The beginning of the year is a natural phenomenon – the arrival of the sun at the vernal equinox – and is determined precisely each year by astronomical observations.

Iranians, regardless of their religion, ethnic background or political views, have celebrated New Day ("Norooz" in Farsi) for more than 3,000 years.

Karbala Blast

A female suicide bomber has attacked Shia worshippers in the city of Karbala, killing 49 of them on the street leading to one of Iraq's most revered mosques.

An Iraqi police officer and a witness said that Monday's bombing was carried out by a woman.

But a US statement said the identity of the bomber remained unknown.

Salim Kadhim, a spokesman of the Karbala health directorate, said on Tuesday that the death the dead included seven Iranian pilgrims.

Hillary Clinton's Campaign IEDs (Insinuations, Exaggerations and Distortions) By Stephen Pizzo

What are you going to do if Hillary Clinton succeeds bagging the Democratic Party nomination for President by playing dirty?

I've begun thinking about that more and more over the last couple of weeks. The Clintons have built their entire political lives on the premise that, if they can't win pretty, they'll settle for winning ugly.

Which is why things have gotten so ugly lately. Once it became clear she could not beat Obama in a fair fight they switched tactics. IED's (Insinuations, Exaggerations and Distortions) are now the weapons of choice for the Clinton campaign. Hardly a day goes by now when one of these IEDs doesn't explode into the news.

Audit: FBI Watchlist Data Error-Riddled Lara Jakes Jordan

WASHINGTON — The FBI gave outdated, incomplete and inaccurate information about terror suspects to be added to the government's watchlist for nearly three years despite steps taken to prevent errors, a Justice Department audit concludes.

Responding, an FBI spokesman said gaps identified in the system should be fixed within six months.

Overall, the audit released Monday by Justice Department Inspector General Glenn A. Fine gave the FBI a mixed review for its process of submitting an estimated 8,000 names and other data to the terror watchlist that is compiled by U.S. intelligence agencies. It found that the FBI has proper training and other internal controls in place to help make sure names of suspected terrorists were accurately added to the list.

However, Fine's report rapped the FBI for failing to consistently pass along newly discovered information about people on the watchlist, or to remove those who were no longer deemed a threat.

"We found that the FBI was not always providing updated nominations when new information became known about a nominated individual," the audit concluded. "We also found that the FBI was not always removing records from the watchlist when it was appropriate to do so.

U.S. Soldier Killed Herself in Iraq -- After Objecting to Torture - Greg Mitchell

Looking back at all of the sad, tragic and unnecessary deaths in Iraq that I have written about in the past five years, it is hard to identify one that stands out. But one death does still haunt me, above all others.

Alyssa Peterson was one of the first female soldiers killed in Iraq -- and she died by her own hand after objecting to interrogation methods used on prisoners. A cover-up, naturally, followed.

Peterson, 27, a Flagstaff, Ariz., native, servied with C Company, 311th Military Intelligence BN, 101st Airborne. Peterson was an Arabic-speaking interrogator assigned to the prison at our air base in troubled Tal Afar in northwestern Iraq. According to official records, she died on Sept. 15, 2003, from a "non-hostile weapons discharge."

Turkish Novelist Up for British Prize

LONDON (Reuters) — A writer whose novel put her on trial for “insulting Turkishness” made the longlist for a prestigious British fiction prize on Tuesday.

Elif Shafak, author of the bestseller “The Bastard of Istanbul” was one of 20 writers longlisted for the Orange Broadband Prize for Fiction.

Ms. Shafak was prosecuted in Turkey over comments made by characters in her book about the 1915 massacre of Armenians by Ottoman Turks. She was acquitted by an Istanbul court in 2006.

Dubious Moves on Immigration - The Toronto Star Editorial

Immigration Minister Diane Finley patted herself on the back last week for admitting more than 429,000 foreigners in 2007 – the highest number in history – as a way of emphasizing that the Conservatives really do like all kinds of immigrants.

But behind the touted numbers, which include just 251,000 permanent residents and a 12 per cent jump in temporary foreign workers, was a controversial move by the government to limit the number and type of immigrant applicants accepted and processed each year.

The reason for the move is ostensibly to deal with a backlog of more than 850,000 applicants already waiting in the system, which the Conservatives mostly inherited from the previous Liberal government of Paul Martin.

Amendments in the budget implementatio


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