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by Fran on Sun Oct 1st, 2006 at 01:51:46 AM EST
Seattlepi: Man forced off plane by fellow passengers

MADRID, Spain -- A Spanish university professor with a long beard and dark complexion said Thursday he was briefly forced off an airliner during a layover on the Spanish island of Mallorca by passengers who feared he was an Islamic terrorist.

Pablo Gutierrez Vega said he was humiliated when three German passengers on an Air Berlin flight approached him during a layover in Palma de Mallorca on Aug. 30 en route from Seville, Spain, to Dortmund, Germany, and asked to search his carry-on luggage.

The men told him that other passengers were frightened by his appearance, said Gutierrez Vega, 35, a law professor at the University of Seville.

"They treated me like an Islamic terrorist because of my appearance," Gutierrez Vega said, according to an account posted Thursday on the Web site of the newspaper El Pais.

The airline confirmed the incident and called it regrettable.

by Fran on Sun Oct 1st, 2006 at 01:54:23 AM EST
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Pavlov, meet dog.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sun Oct 1st, 2006 at 04:25:38 AM EST
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Yes.  Someone said:
To a person with only a hammer, everything is a nail.

Our knowledge has surpassed our wisdom. -Charu Saxena.
by metavision on Mon Oct 2nd, 2006 at 01:24:52 PM EST
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Don't worry, fashion trends come and go. Just you wait and see, fifteen years from now beards and dark complexions will be the new hula-hoop.
by Alex in Toulouse on Sun Oct 1st, 2006 at 07:08:00 AM EST
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Pablo Gutierrez Vega said he was humiliated when three German passengers on an Air Berlin flight approached him during a layover in Palma de Mallorca on Aug. 30 en route from Seville, Spain, to Dortmund, Germany, and asked to search his carry-on luggage.
Passengers asked to seach his carry-on luggage? And he didn't call airport security on them?

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Oct 1st, 2006 at 07:11:03 AM EST
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Alternately he could have joked, to get them to relax. Along the lines of "only if you show me your underpants hehe" with a big grin.
by Alex in Toulouse on Sun Oct 1st, 2006 at 07:18:09 AM EST
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Pablo Gutierrez Vega is an associate professor of law. He has written on indigenous peoples and constitutional law.

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Oct 1st, 2006 at 07:21:42 AM EST
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There's not really anything that can be said, is there?
by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sun Oct 1st, 2006 at 08:22:41 AM EST
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I'm tempted to invite him to blog here, he's written on the EU constitution as well.

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Oct 1st, 2006 at 08:38:52 AM EST
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Why don't you give in to your temptation?
by Fran on Sun Oct 1st, 2006 at 08:41:13 AM EST
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Excellent idea.
by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sun Oct 1st, 2006 at 09:31:48 AM EST
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BBC: EU-US airline data talks collapse
Talks between the United States and the European Union on sharing confidential airline passenger information have broken down, according to the EU.

But officials say there will be no disruption to transatlantic flights.

After 9/11, US authorities demanded that airlines should provide personal passenger data for all inbound flights.

But the subsequent US-EU agreement was ruled illegal by the highest European court in May of this year. Saturday was the deadline for a new deal.

A European Commission spokesman said that a legal black hole could be created by the lack of agreement.

"There is no agreement. There is a legal vacuum as of midnight tonight," EU Transport Commission spokesman Jonathan Todd said on Saturday.  

by Fran on Sun Oct 1st, 2006 at 01:55:53 AM EST
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Deutsche Welle: NATO's Rapid Response Force Finally Ready for Action

After 4 years in the making, the NATO Response Force will be operational as promised in time for its October 1 launch. Germany is contributing the majority of the soldiers for the alliance's new rapid deployment force.

The United States, NATO's leading member, had pushed for a thorough rebuilding of the Alliance after the terror attacks on New York and Washington in 2001 and the deployment of international troops to Afghanistan. Washington set out to convince its fellow alliance members that NATO should be remodelled in order to face new challenges.

US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld had developed the idea of using NATO as some sort of "tool kit" for the protection against global threats. In 2002, heads of states and governments decided to develop a quick response force, scheduled to be fully operational by October 1st of this year.                

The military dress rehearsal for the force took place this summer on the Capverdian Islands. NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer was quite satisfied with the test run. "I am convinced that we will be fully operational by October 1st, just as scheduled," he said at the time.

NRF's 26,000 soldiers are now ready for action. The troops -- lead by Supreme Allied Commander of NATO in Europe, General James Jones -- are to be able to react to crises within a lead time of 5 days.  

NATO member states will provide troops for the NRF on a rotational basis. The soldiers will stay in their home barracks until required for an emergency. They will be on duty for at least half a year, and 6 months prior to their deployment, will get trained on how to interact with other nations' armies.

by Fran on Sun Oct 1st, 2006 at 01:58:25 AM EST
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And who gets to decide what they rapidly respond to ?

Let me guess ....the White House ?? So basically Europe is now signing its military up for supporting all american wars of choice, without hindrance or debate from Europe about the purpose of such actions.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Oct 1st, 2006 at 06:02:07 AM EST
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The EU is not interested in putting its "rapid response force" at the White House's disposal, so we just create a "NATO rapid response force".

It would be interesting to compare troop contributions to either by various countries...

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides

by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Oct 1st, 2006 at 06:04:59 AM EST
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BBC: Russia suspends Georgia pullout

A senior Russian army commander says Moscow is suspending the withdrawal of its forces from Georgia, amid a spying row between the two countries.

Russian forces were to pull out of two bases in Georgia by 2008, but the commander said the security of troops could not be guaranteed as they left.
Four Russian officers detained in Georgia have been charged with spying.

Russia has denied the accusations, and is evacuating all its staff from the Russian embassy in Tbilisi.

Deteriorating relations

On Friday a court in Tbilisi charged the four officers and ordered their detention for two months pending investigations.

Russia has denounced the arrests, called for the release of the four officers and urged the United Nations Security Council to take action to restrain Georgia.

by Fran on Sun Oct 1st, 2006 at 01:59:50 AM EST
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Independent: Betrayed: How we have failed our troops in Afghanistan

Military chiefs warned John Reid: 'Don't try to fight war on two fronts'
British soldiers six times more likely to die in Afghan conflict than in Iraq

 Britain's most senior military chiefs warned John Reid not to commit UK troops to "a war on two fronts" in Iraq and Afghanistan more than 18 months ago, The Independent on Sunday can reveal.

Despite clear advice that a "significant" withdrawal of troops from Iraq was needed before a new mission, Mr Reid went ahead with the Afghan deployment after coming under pressure from Tony Blair. The advice, prepared by military planners and endorsed by the Chiefs of the Defence Staff, was given to Mr Reid on his arrival as Secretary of State for Defence in May last year. Despite the warnings, he went ahead with the deployment in January.

Mr Reid was accused last night of having taken "a gamble" by the Conservative spokesman on foreign affairs as the political and military fall-out from the conflict continues to grow. The present Secretary of State for Defence, Des Browne, has been forced to deny persistent reports that military chiefs are pressing for significant withdrawals from Iraq in order to shore up the Afghanistan operation.

On the eve of the fifth anniversary of the war this Saturday, stark new evidence of the suffering being endured by British troops on the ground emerged in a series of leaked emails published in The Mail on Sunday. They amount to a harrowing account of terrified soldiers tormented by heat and sandflies engaged in brutal combat with Taliban fighters. One soldier wrote: "You see the Taliban cutting around on dirtbikes, their weapons in one hand, their kids in the other. They think we will not shoot them. There have been some terrible incidents. It is horrible to kill a kid, nothing could prepare you for it."

by Fran on Sun Oct 1st, 2006 at 02:17:06 AM EST
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after coming under pressure from Tony Blair

Now why would TB do that?

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sun Oct 1st, 2006 at 04:26:36 AM EST
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they're stuck and they don't know what else to do except bleat about staying the course and accusing all their critics of wanting to cut and run.

How very republican of them.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Oct 1st, 2006 at 06:04:05 AM EST
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Tehran Times: EU may ban altered foods, WTO says

GENEVA, Switzerland (UPI) -- The World Trade Organization said European countries were within their rights to ban genetically modified foods on health and environmental grounds.

The organization which sets rules for global trade and resolves disputes among member states left in place government rules without saying if genetically modified foods are dangerous.

Environmental groups said the report showed the WTO was not fit to judge disputes of this kind, The Financial Times reported. Adrian Bebb, a campaigner against genetically modified foods at Friends of the Earth Europe, called the dispute 'a pointless exercise.'

U.S. consumers readily buy genetically modified products, but European consumers are generally suspicious of what some call 'Frankenfoods,' the newspaper said.

U.S. and European Union officials said they would study the WTO report before deciding on any appeal. They have 60 days to do so.

by Fran on Sun Oct 1st, 2006 at 02:27:10 AM EST
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Tehran Times: Russia has opportunity to connect with Islamic world: Taskhiri

MOSCOW (IRNA) -- The Head of the World Assembly for Proximity of Islamic Schools of Thoughts (WAPIST) Ayatollah Mohammad-Ali Taskhiri said on Saturday that today Russia is availed with a golden opportunity to approach the world of Islam, given that the two need each other.

Ayatollah Taskhiri, who is currently in the island of Rhodes in Eastern Greece to attend the international gathering on `Dialogue among Civilizations', made the remark while speaking to reporters.

"Today, the world Muslims hate the U.S. and some Western states and Russia can mediate to fill such a gap through establishment of rational ties between West and the world of Islam," he added.

Turning to Russia as a neighbor of the world of Islam and observer member of the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC), he said that given its Muslim population of 20 million and favorable cooperation with Islamic states, Russia can attempt to get closer to Islam.

About the world's first female space tourist, the Iranian-born American citizen Anusheh Ansari, he said, "The success of any Iranian, particularly in scientific fields, makes us happy.

by Fran on Sun Oct 1st, 2006 at 02:34:37 AM EST
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Tehran Times: Iran seeks "strategic partnership" with Europe

BERLIN (IRNA) -- Iran's chief nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani does not rule out an industrial uranium enrichment, the Munich-based Focus news magazine reported Saturday. Asked by Focus whether Iran which has so far used only a few centrifuges to enrich uranium for research purposes, wants to enrich on an industrial scale, Larijani replied, "Ideally yes."

According to Focus, Larijani rejected again western calls for a suspension of uranium enrichment during his 10-hour meetings with EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana and German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier near Berlin on Wednesday and Thursday.

Larijani and Solana said earlier progress had been made in their discussions over Iran's nuclear program and talks would resume next week.

by Fran on Sun Oct 1st, 2006 at 02:37:03 AM EST
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I've ressurrected my poll review in this diary

And I've found several polls on the Austrian election.  I really do think that a Red-Green coalition might result.  

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg

by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Sun Oct 1st, 2006 at 04:10:12 AM EST
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