Friday, October 29, 2010

Bin Laden tape is real, French say

Bin Laden warns France to get out of Afghanistan.
A tape of a man claiming to be Osama Bin Laden threatening France appears to be authentic, the French Foreign Ministry said Thursday. Bin Laden warned France to get its troops out of Afghanistan and not to oppress Muslims at home in a tape broadcast by the Al-Jazeera network Wednesday. "If you want to tyrannize and think that it is your right to ban the free women from wearing the burqa, isn't it our right to expel your occupying forces, your men from our lands by striking them by the neck?" the speaker demands, in reference to recently passed French legislation barring women from covering their faces in public. "This message only confirms the reality of the terrorist threat against which the French authorities have taken and continue to take appropriate measures," the ministry said in a statement Thursday. "French authorities are fully mobilized to secure the release of seven hostages kidnapped in Niger on September 16. These statements by Bin Laden will not affect our assessment of the situation of our hostages and obviously will, therefore, not erode our efforts to secure their release. France will continue to fight against terrorism alongside its partners," the ministry said. Five French nationals were kidnapped last month along with a person from Togo and one from Madagascar. A photograph of them was posted September 30 on a website linked to al Qaeda.

French authorities are treating the Bin Laden message "very, very seriously," CNN counterterror analyst Paul Cruickshank said. An opposition lawmaker Wednesday urged "contempt towards these terrorists. "All of this is derisory, contemptible. We must take this message for what it is but we must stand together in France, all French, whatever the circumstances and whatever our differences," said Francois Loncle, a Socialist Party member of the foreign relations committee of the National Assembly said on RTL radio. The demands of the speaker on the tape are clear. "The only way to safeguard your nation and maintain your security is to lift all your injustice and its extensions off our people and most importantly to withdraw your forces from Bush's despicable war in Afghanistan," the speaker says. The tape is audio only. The speaker does not appear. CNN was not able to confirm that it is really Osama Bin Laden, the head of al Qaeda. But fake Bin Laden tapes have never been broadcast, U.S. intelligence experts say. "As you kill us, you will be killed. As you imprison us, you will be imprisoned, and as you threaten our security, we will threaten your security and the initiator of the injustice is the true aggressor," the speaker says. The France's terror alert level is red, the second highest, authorities say. It did not change immediately in response to the new tape. Paris has been on edge lately, with the Eiffel Tower having been evacuated twice. Al Qaeda has issued a series of threats against France in the past, and French citizens have been killed by groups in Africa claiming affiliation with Bin Laden's group.

Bin Laden is still providing strategic direction to al Qaeda from a base somewhere in Pakistan, Cruickshank said. "He is still involved in actual plotting... signing off on (an) operation, Western intelligence authorities believe," he said. But there have been only two successful attacks on the West since September 11, 2001, he pointed out. Commuter trains in Madrid, Spain, were bombed in March, 2004, killing 191 people. Public transport in London, England, was bombed in July, 2005, killing 52, plus four suicide bombers. France has 3,750 troops in Afghanistan, according to NATO's International Security Assistance Force. French lawmakers approved a ban on full-face veils in September, citing security concerns and saying they violated women's human rights. The ban is scheduled to come into effect in the spring.

Indonesia: Tsunami death toll rises to 370 as more bodies found

Indonesia: Tsunami Death Toll Rises to 370 more

An official says the death toll from a tsunami off western Indonesia has risen to 370 as more bodies have been found in a search of the remote islands that were hardest-hit. Ferry Faisal, of the West Sumatra provincial disaster management agency, raised the official toll on Thursday to 370 from 311 earlier in the day. He says 338 people are still missing. Rescuers fear the numbers could climb higher, suspecting many of the missing may have been swept away to sea.

370 as more bodies have been found

UK wins allies in EU budget battle at summit

Ten EU countries have rallied behind the UK's call to limit an increase in the 2011 EU budget to 2.9%
Ten EU countries have rallied behind the UK's call to limit an increase in the 2011 EU budget to 2.9% - well below the rise that Euro MPs called for. France and Germany are among the group backing UK Prime Minister David Cameron on the budget. The issue was not formally on the agenda at the Brussels summit, but Mr Cameron insisted that the EU should set an example of budget prudence. Tough talks lie ahead with the European Parliament, which wants a 5.9% rise. The European Commission - the EU's executive arm - is on the parliament's side in calling for 5.9%. If no compromise is reached by a mid-November deadline the budget will remain frozen at the 2010 figure. A freeze was what Mr Cameron was originally calling for, but other EU leaders refused to back the idea. In a letter to the European Council President, Herman Van Rompuy, the 11 leaders say the budget proposals from the Commission and the parliament "are especially unacceptable at a time when we are having to take difficult decisions at national level to control public expenditure". They say they cannot accept any more than 2.9% - the increase agreed earlier this year by the Council. That rise would still cost UK taxpayers an estimated £435m (nearly 500m euros).  The main focus of the summit talks on Thursday was a plan to tighten EU budget surveillance, to prevent any future debt crisis like the one which triggered an emergency bail-out for Greece in May.

EU leaders backed a report by a European Council task force on measures to strengthen economic governance in the EU. But the leaders remained divided over whether an EU treaty change would be needed to make a crisis mechanism legally watertight. An array of sanctions is envisaged, including fines and even stripping a country of its EU voting rights if it persistently overshoots the agreed limits for budget deficits and public debt. The EU created an emergency 440bn-euro (£386bn; $612bn) fund called the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) to protect any EU member states vulnerable to Greek-style liquidity problems. But the EFSF only runs until 2013, so France and Germany are arguing for a permanent shield to protect the eurozone. German Chancellor Angela Merkel says that requires a treaty change because the Lisbon Treaty does not allow any country to be bailed out by other member states. She also wants more clarity and legal certainty on the emergency funding arrangements, so that in future the banks take some of the burden off taxpayers for any bail-out. But several other EU leaders signalled that there was little appetite for rewriting the Lisbon Treaty, which was only adopted after eight years of tortuous negotiations.

The BBC's diplomatic correspondent Jonathan Marcus says a revision of Lisbon would create major domestic political problems in many EU states, with referendums or embarrassing parliamentary votes. The likely outcome is that Mr Van Rompuy will be sent away to explore how some kind of compromise might be stitched together, our correspondent says. The permanent crisis mechanism is intended to prevent contagion spreading among eurozone economies should there be another major debt crisis in one of the weaker members. The UK says a mechanism to ensure stability in the eurozone is desirable - and that the planned sanctions would not apply to the UK. But all 27 member states' budgets will come under close scrutiny in a "peer review" process. There would be progressive sanctions on countries which overshot the maximum debt level allowed under the EU's Stability and Growth Pact (SGP), which is 60% of GDP. Sanctions would kick in earlier than is the case under the current SGP, enabling the EU to take preventive action for example against a country with an unsustainable housing bubble or with unsustainable debt that undermines its competitiveness.

Mr Cameron (right) lobbied hard to put the EU budget issue on the agenda

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Building collapse kills Afghan wedding guests

building collapsed on guests at a wedding in northern Afghanistan

At least 60 people have been killed after part of a building collapsed on guests at a wedding in northern Afghanistan, officials say. The incident occurred in Jelga, a remote district in the northern province of Baghlan. Officials said most of the dead were women and children who were celebrating separately from the men, according to Afghan tradition. It was not clear if the roof or a floor had given way at the mud brick house. Munshi Abdul Majid, the governor of Baghlan, said the wedding party was being held in a three-storey house and one of the floors had collapsed. "This is such a tragedy at a time when the family was gathering for a happy moment," he told the BBC.  Provincial police chief Jawad Bashart said the roof had collapsed on the women and children who were on the top floor of the house. He put the death toll at 65, while the Afghan Red Crescent said about 60 people had died. At least 40 people are reported to be injured. Baghlan health chief Dr Salim Rasouli said getting help to the victims in such a remote area was difficult.

"We don't have any access. The nearest clinic to that area is in the neighbouring district," he said. Baghlan government spokesman Mahmood Haqmal said the weight of so many people and the age of the house could have caused the collapse. "Phones don't work in the area and the flow of information is slow," he added. The country's Western-backed government has been embroiled in conflict against a Taliban-led insurgency since the Islamist group was ousted from power by a US-led invasion in 2001. More than 150,000 foreign troops remain in the country, although the conflict is focused in the south and east.

Images reveal Indonesian tsunami destruction

Government helicopters were able to survey the damage on Wednesday
Aerial images from the tsunami-hit Mentawai Islands in Indonesia have revealed the extent of destruction, as officials raised the death toll to 311. Flattened villages are plainly visible on the images, taken from government helicopters circling the islands. Rescuers, who have finally reached the area, say 13 villages were washed away by the 3m (10ft) wave, and 11 more settlements have not yet been reached. President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono is due to visit the region later. He cut short a trip to Vietnam to oversee the rescue effort. A 7.7-magnitude earthquake triggered the tsunami in western Sumatra two days ago. The first cargo plane loaded with tents, medicine, food and clothes landed on the islands on Wednesday, but rescue teams believe they have yet to reach the worst-affected areas. Local disaster official Ade Edward said 411 people were still missing. Bad weather has delayed the rescue effort, with boats carrying aid struggling to make the trip from Padang on Sumatra in choppy seas. The first images emerging from the islands, taken on mobile phones, showed bodies being collected from empty clearings where homes and buildings once stood. District chief Edison Salelo Baja said corpses were strewn along beaches and roads.

Locals were given no indication of the coming wave because an early-warning system put in place after the devastating 2004 tsunami has stopped working. Fauzi, the head of Indonesia's Meteorology and Geophysic Agency, told the Associated Press that the system began to malfunction last year, and was completely inoperative by last month.  "We do not have the expertise to monitor the buoys to function as intended," he said. However, even a functioning warning system may have been too late for people in the Mentawai Islands. The vast Indonesian archipelago sits on the Pacific Ring of Fire, one of the world's most active areas for earthquakes and volcanoes. More than 1,000 people were killed by an earthquake off Sumatra in September 2009. In December 2004, a 9.1-magnitude quake off the coast of Aceh triggered a tsunami in the Indian Ocean that killed a quarter of a million people in 13 countries including Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India and Thailand.

Parents shocked to learn examiner kept son's brain

Medical examiner keeps teen's brain
Andre and Korisha Shipley were still mourning the death of their 17-year-old son, Jesse, when two months after his funeral, they received shocking news from students of the same Staten Island, New York, high school Jesse had attended. Members of a forensic science club on a field trip to the morgue couldn't believe what they noticed on a cabinet in the medical examiner's lab. "They saw this jar with a brain in it labeled Jesse Shipley," recalls Korisha Shipley, whose daughter Shannon came home in tears that day delivering the news. "They knew Jesse and he knew them. They were looking at his brain, and his brain was looking right back at them," the father adds. Jesse Shipley died in a car accident in January 2005, and the family members say that even though they agreed to an autopsy, they thought they were burying their son with all of his organs. To them, the cause of death was obvious - blunt trauma resulting from a car accident - so there was no reason for authorities to have kept the brain for further review. 

The couple are now suing the city for the emotional distress caused by the handling of their son's remains. "As far as we understand, during an autopsy you cut open the body, you look for the cause of death, you check out the organs and you put them back in. In this case, it was a little more than that," Andre Shipley says. In a statement to CNN, the attorney representing the city wrote that although officials sympathize with the family, "it was within the Medical Examiner's discretion to perform an autopsy, and in appropriate cases, to remove and retain bodily organs for further testing." Dr. Victor Weedn, a forensic pathologist and a spokesperson for the National Association of Medical Examiners, says determining cause of death is not as simple as people think. He says it is common practice for medical examiners in the U.S. to save the brain and certain other organs when they think it's important. "To say someone died of a motor vehicle accident, doesn't really tell us anything," Weedn explains. "For example, if a passenger in the backseat was epileptic, their fit could have distracted the driver and led to the death. So, from the outside it may not be so obvious why the person actually died."  Weedn says the brain is preserved for at least two weeks in a formula that firms the matter enough for the coroner to examine it, a process necessary to rule out suspicion and to maintain evidence for cases when the death is determined to be the result of criminal activity. He says the deceased is often buried within that time period.

"We have a certain authority to investigate death for public health and public safety reasons. That is a right pitted against the individual right, and sometimes that does upset families," he explains. Others, such as University of Pennsylvania medical ethicist Art Caplan, disagree. He says most people recognize the duty of medical examiners to rule out crime, but that does not justify keeping organs. "The state says we're going to take this body and examine it to see what might have happened, but we promise you, we'll give everything back," Caplan says. "When you don't do that, you're breaking a basic covenant with society and with families." The College of American Pathologists provides a sample autopsy consent form on its website. According to the form, the consenter authorizes "the removal, examination, and retention of the pathologists deem proper for diagnostic, education, quality improvement and research purposes." However, the form also states that "organs and tissues not needed for diagnostic, education, quality improvement, or research purposes will be sent to the funeral home or disposed of appropriately." According to Caplan, the laws are clear about what a medical examiner should do, but there is little oversight in the industry. He says in situations where an autopsy has been performed and a bereaved family is concerned whether all the remains have been returned, it is usually up to the family to ask.

Court documents from the Shipley case indicate that medical examiners have extensive, but not unlimited, discretionary authority. The trial court "found that questions of fact existed with regard to whether Jesse's brain had been lawfully retained for scientific purposes, and whether the defendants unlawfully interfered ... by failing to advise [the family] at the time the body was released for burial that the brain had been removed and retained." But, Weedn says approaching the family with this information is an area where even some medical examiners disagree. "Some forensic pathologists would say going to the family and asking, 'Can I keep this?' would further upset them at a time of grieving," he explains. "But, there are others who say we really should be asking the family every time." Still, Weedn says, in some circumstances it is not beneficial to ask family, because the person of you ask permission could potentially be connected to the cause of death. "It's all about trust," says Rebecca Skloot, author of the book, "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks," which explores the history of tissue research in the United States. In her opinion, cases such as the Shipleys' contribute to a growing mistrust in the medical system.

"People worry things are being done to them without their knowledge, and so they don't trust doctors," Skloot explains. "It doesn't matter if you take it out and put on your shelf or send it off to do research, it's still taking something without people's knowledge." Perhaps what's most extraordinary in the Jesse Shipley case is that the family did find out through the serendipitous field trip students from Jesse's high school took the morgue. Dr. Cyril H. Wecht, a forensic pathologist and attorney who reviews cases like these but is not involved in the Shipley case, says leaving the organs out in the open clearly labeled should not have happened. "You're talking about a matter of sensitivity and common sense," Wecht says. "Certainly if you're going to have student visitors, then you should not have names and numbers available to see." The Shipleys' attorney, Marvin Ben Aron, says not only the brain, but parts of the liver and testes were later returned and buried in a small casket with their son's body. He says handling the remains was the most traumatizing aspect for the family. "For them, whenever they remember their child, part of their memory is holding a jar of organs in their hands that they never should have known existed," he explains. He is hoping for a settlement during their October 27 court date. er their child, part of their memory is holding a jar of organs in their hands that they never should have known existed," he explains. He is hoping for a settlement during their October 27 court date.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Paul the octopus dies

Paul the octopus
Paul the octopus, who shot to fame during this year's football World Cup in South Africa for his flawless record in predicting game outcomes, has died, his aquarium in Germany said today. "Management and staff at the Oberhausen Sea Life Centre were devastated to discover that oracle octopus Paul, who achieved global renown during the recent World Cup, had passed away overnight," the aquarium said in a sombre statement. "Paul amazed the world by correctly predicting the winners of all Germany's World Cup clashes, and then of the final," said Sea Life manager Stefan Porwoll. "His success made him almost a bigger story than the World Cup itself... We had all naturally grown very fond of him and he will be sorely missed," said Porwoll. Paul beat the odds during the World Cup by correctly forecasting all eight games he was asked to predict, including Spain's 1-0 win over the Netherlands in the final.

For the prediction, two boxes were lowered into the salty soothsayer's tank, each containing a mussel and a flag of the two opposing teams. Watched by a myriad of reporters, Paul would head to one box, wrench open the lid and gobble the tasty morsel, with the box he plumped for being deemed the likely winner. Paul's body is now in cold storage while the aquarium decides "how best to mark his passing." However, Paul's fans need not despair. The aquarium has already been grooming a successor, to be named Paul like his mentor. "We may decide to give Paul his own small burial plot within our grounds and erect a modest permanent shrine," said Porwoll. "While this may seem a curious thing to do for a sea creature, Paul achieved such popularity during his short life that it may be deemed the most appropriate course of action."

China inaugurates world's fastest train

China-made CRH380 train
With two trains gliding silently out of a glossy new station, China's latest high speed rail line opened on Tuesday, as officials proudly boasted of setting world records using domestic technology. Many, but not all, of the trains plying the new railway between Shanghai's western suburb of Hongqiao and Hangzhou will travel the 200 kilometres (126 miles) in 45 minutes, about half the time trains usually take to make the trip at their fastest speeds. The China-made CRH380 train has been clocked at almost 420 kilometres per hour (kph) (262 miles per hour (mph)), a world speed record, though it will usually operate at a maximum speed of 350 kph (220 mph). China aims to have 13,000 kilometres (10,000 miles) of high speed rail in operation by 2012. The efforts to develop China's own ultra high speed rail technology is a showcase project seemingly nearly on a par with the country's space programme in terms of national pride and importance.

Railway officials recently announced they were working on technology to boost speeds to over 500 kph (312 mph). One of the biggest high-speed rail lines under construction is a 32.5 (b) billion US dollar, 1,318-kilometre (824 mile) Beijing-to-Shanghai high-speed railway that is scheduled to open in 2012. That line will halve the travel time between China's leading cities to five hours. High speed railways now connect many of China's cities, helping to reduce overcrowding on the countries heavily used lines.  But the replacement of slower lines with more expensive high-speed trains has prompted complaints from passengers reluctant to pay higher fares, especially on shorter routes. Though the brand new trains were impeccably clean and the service attentive, Hangzhou's own grimy, unrenovated railway station lacks services and facilities to match. 

Indonesia tsunami: Rescuers battle to reach survivors

As many as 4,000 homes may have been destroyed by the tsunami
Indonesian rescue teams are battling to reach hundreds of people believed to be missing a day after a tsunami struck small islands off the coast of Sumatra. Officials say a 3m-high wave crashed into the Mentawai islands, leaving more than 100 people dead and 500 missing. Rescuers continue to be hampered by bad weather and aftershocks from the quake that caused the tsunami. US President Barack Obama, who spent some of his childhood in Indonesia, has spoken of his sadness at the deaths. "At the same time, I am heartened and encouraged by the remarkable resiliency of the Indonesian people and the commitment of their government to rapidly assist the victims," he said in a statement. He said the US was ready to help in any way. Officials said Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono would fly back from a regional economic meeting in Vietnam to help deal with the tsunami aftermath, and the rescue effort on Java, where an erupting volcano has caused chaos. Regional disaster official Hermansyah said rough seas were making it difficult to ship aid to the Mentawai islands from Padang, the nearest major port on Sumatra.

"Yesterday a ship was forced to return," he said. Forecasters say the bad weather is likely to continue in the coming days. Mr Hermansyah told BBC Indonesian that about 4,000 households had been displaced by the tsunami, and that many people had fled to higher ground. He said that those displaced needed tents, blankets, food, drinking water and medicine. The Indonesian Red Cross said it was despatching a team to the islands, and would send 1,000 tents. Vice-President Boediono is due to fly to the area with top military and health officials later. On Tuesday, local fisheries official Hardimansyah said most buildings in the South Pagai coastal village of Betu Monga had been destroyed. "Of the 200 people living in that village, only 40 have been found - 160 are still missing, mostly women and children," he told Reuters news agency. "We have people reporting to the security post here that they could not hold on to their children, that they were swept away. A lot of people are crying."

The tsunami was caused by a 7.7-magnitude earthquake late on Monday. Waves reached 3m (10ft) high and the water swept inland as far as 600m on South Pagai. The vast Indonesian archipelago sits on the Pacific Ring of Fire, one of the world's most active areas for earthquakes and volcanoes. More than 1,000 people were killed by an earthquake off Sumatra in September 2009. In December 2004, a 9.1-magnitude quake off the coast of Aceh triggered a tsunami in the Indian Ocean that killed a quarter of a million people in 13 countries including Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India and Thailand.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Teenager known for hiccups now faces a murder charge

"hiccup girl"
Floridians frequently become famous either for heinous crimes or odd achievements, like building the world's largest rubber-band ball. Rarely, however, do the two intersect, which is why the Sunshine State marveled on Monday at the fate of Jennifer Mee. Ms. Mee, one may recall, was the "hiccup girl" of 2007 -- the teenager from Tampa whose nonstop hiccups, up to 50 times a minute for six weeks, caught the attention of the nation. Now she is back in the spotlight, facing murder charges. The police in St. Petersburg say Ms. Mee, 19, lured Shannon Griffin, 22, to a home there on Saturday, where two male accomplices -- Laron C. Raiford, 20, and Lamont Newton, 22 -- tried to rob him. When Mr. Griffin resisted, he was shot four times and killed, the police said. Ms. Mee, Mr. Raiford and Mr. Newton are all charged with first-degree murder. A judge on Monday ordered them held without bail. The police said in a statement that the three had admitted their involvement, but the authorities did not divulge who was accused of pulling the trigger.

Rachel Robidoux, Ms. Mee's mother, cried in a radio interview  on the "MJ Morning Show" on WFLZ in Tampa. "I don't think she knew what was going to happen, because that's not Jennifer," Ms. Robidoux said. "She's not out to hurt anyone." Ms. Robidoux said that she did not know where her daughter might have gone wrong, but that the hiccup fame -- "her case wasn't a case of the hiccups, it was a curse of the hiccups," she said -- might have led to the wrong crowd of friends. "All of a sudden people knew her name and she would talk to them on different chat sites, and they would act like they knew her when they didn't," Ms. Robidoux said. "She's very naïve, and I just think she was getting herself into stuff when she didn't know what she was doing." 

Mexican officials ID 13 people killed in Tijuana drug rehab center

Mexican officials have identified 13 people killed

Mexican officials have identified 13 people killed Sunday night in a Tijuana drug rehabilitation center, the state-run news agency said Monday. Four heavily armed men stormed into the Centro de Rehabilitacion El Camino and opened fire, the Notimex news agency said. The reported ages of those killed ranged from 19 to 56 years old. The assailants escaped in a vehicle, the news agency said. The dead were identified as: Irineo Godinez Garcia, 47; Antonio Mesa Contreras, 56; Bernabe Alvarez Piceno, 35; Jose Lopez Sauceda, 28; Fabian Gonzalez Zea, 19; Juan Daniel Casi Esquer, 32; Wilson Ramírez Pena, 42; Joaquin García Hernandez, 39; Jorge Palacio Goya, 37; Pedro Villegas, 30; Juan Roberto Sanchez Ortega, 30; Edwin Vargas Avila, 33; and Salvador Bustos, 30.
The slayings occurred one day after armed men burst into a house party in Ciudad Juarez and opened fire, killing 14 people and wounding 14, Notimex said. The ages of those killed in Juarez ranged from 14 to 30, Notimex said. Children as young as 7 and 11 were among the injured, the agency reported.

The attack in Juarez was reminiscent of an incident in January, when drug cartel gunmen stormed a house party and killed 15 people. Most of the victims were youths who had no ties to organized crime. Investigators said the January shooting was a case of mistaken identity caused by bad intelligence. It sparked widespread outrage in the violent border city, including calls for Mexican President Felipe Calderon to resign. The Tijuana slayings also were similar to previous attacks carried out at drug rehab centers. A massacre at a Juarez rehab facility in early June left 19 dead. Twenty-seven people were killed in September 2009 in two attacks at separate drug facilities in Ciudad Juarez, the bloodiest city in the nation. Officials said the previous attacks were done by drug gangs killing members of other gangs. At least 2,500 people have been reported killed in drug violence this year in Ciudad Juarez. Nationwide, more than 28,000 people have died in drug-related violence since December 2006, when Calderon took office and stepped up efforts to fight organized crime and narcotrafficking cartels.

Mexican federal police investigate the shootings at a Tijuana rehab facility on Sunday

Federal agents nationwide eye ATF agent murder trial

ATF agent faces murder trial

Was the off-duty federal agent brave and chivalrous, or did he overreact when he intervened in a heated domestic argument and shot a man five times, killing him? A U.S. Virgin Islands jury this week will hear the case for and against Clark, a nine-year veteran of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, now charged with second degree murder. The prosecution of Special Agent William G. Clark for the 2008 shooting death of Marcus Sukow has enraged many federal law enforcement officers, who say Clark was heroically coming to the defense of a battered woman. Federal authorities were so incensed by the Virgin Island's prosecution of Clark -- and so concerned other federal agents could similarly be prosecuted -- that they removed all ATF agents from the Virgin Islands in 2008, a policy that continues today, the agency said. The U.S. Virgin Islands is an unincorporated territory of the United States, and as such has a unique legal relationship with the federal government.

While the broad outline of the shooting is undisputed, two government investigations came to starkly different conclusions. A federal government multi-agency investigation of the 2008 incident unanimously concluded the shooting was justified. The ATF even returned Clark's gun and badge and put him back to work. But a Virgin Islands Police Department investigation prompted prosecutors to charge Clark with second degree murder. The incident occurred the morning of Sunday, September 7, 2008, outside a St. Thomas condo, where all of the main participants were neighbors. According to a police affidavit, Clark was leaving his condo when he encountered Sukow and his girlfriend, Marguerite Duncan. They had been drinking and were having a "disagreement." Duncan asked Clark for a ride to the guard gate and got in Clark's sports utility vehicle. Sukow approached Clark, who was sitting in the car with the driver's door open. One witness said he saw Sukow striking the driver's door with his flashlight, and saw Clark draw his weapon and tell Sukow to step back.

"Mr. Sukow stood there with his hands at his side when William Clarke [sic] discharged his firearm at him several times," the affidavit reads. Local prosecutors evidently were heavily influenced by two facts: First, the deceased, Marcus Sukow, was armed only with a flashlight; second, Clark shot him five times. "These facts are undisputed and were the findings of the local police investigation," Gov. John de Jongh Jr. wrote in a letter justifying the prosecution.
But a defense lawyer says the local police department's affidavit is inaccurate and its investigation grossly incomplete. Attorney Mark Schamel said Sukow weighed 260 pounds, had a history of violent assaults, and was acting violently at the time of the incident. When Clark first encountered the fighting couple, Sukow was naked, intoxicated and shouting threats at his girlfriend and racial slurs at a neighbor who had come out during the commotion. At one point, Sukow went into his condo and returned wearing gym shorts, and then pelted his girlfriend's car with landscaping stones.

After Duncan sought refuge in Clark's car, Sukow charged at Clark's open driver door, the flashlight -- a heavy-duty, 18-inch metal one -- raised "like a tomahawk," poised to strike Clark, Schamel said. Clark fired rapidly, as he was trained, Schamel said. Tests later showed that Sukow had a blood-alcohol content of 0.29 percent, and had barbiturates and morphine in his blood, the defense lawyer said. Schamel said the former head trainer for the Virgin Islands Police Department academy will testify as an expert witness that the shooting was justified. Schamel said he also has subpoenaed the Virgin Islands' governor and first lady to testify, because Duncan called them shortly after the shooting. He declined to say what he expected them to say. On Monday, ATF Deputy Director Kenneth Melson reiterated the agency's support for Clark. "Special Agent Clark intervened in a domestic dispute in order to protect a woman that was endangered by her boyfriend. His actions were necessary to save a woman's life and his own life," Melson said. "The ATF family supports Special Agent Clark and seeks an immediate, non-criminal resolution in this matter."

Clark's attorney fought to have the case transferred to federal court, saying Clark was acting as a federal agent and deserved federal protections. But a district court judge ruled against the motion, and a federal court has declined to halt the trial. "William Clark is a federal ATF agent who does not have peace officer status under Virgin Islands law and therefore had no authority to enforce law including the domestic violence statutes," said Sara Lezama, a spokeswoman for the Virgin Islands Department of Justice. As a private citizen, Clark was authorized to carry a gun and use reasonable force to defend himself and others, Lezama said. But Sukow "did not inflict bodily harm on anyone the morning he was shot," she said. "That's the government's general position in this case. We believe that he used excessive force instead of reasonable force in this matter," Lezama said. Clark's advocates say the case has far-reaching ramifications. "It is well recognized that federal law enforcement officers are immune from state criminal liability for actions that are taken within the scope of their employment as federal officers," Sen. Charles Schumer, D-New York, wrote in a letter to Gov. de Jongh. "That principle... applies with equal force in United States territories." The Clark prosecution "has the potential to create a chilling effect on the operation of federal law enforcement throughout the United States' territories," Schumer wrote. "The American law enforcement community is outraged that the USVI prosecutor seems more intent on punishing American cops than woman beaters," Jon Adler, president of the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association, said in a written statement. Adler and others are calling for an investigation into the prosecution, saying it is in retaliation for federal corruption investigation in the Virgin Islands.

Iran's cash to Kabul worries US

Hamid Karzai said the cash was used to maintain the presidential palace and run his office

The US has voiced concern about Iran's "negative influence" on Afghanistan, after Afghan President Hamid Karzai admitted receiving cash from Tehran. White House spokesman Bill Burton urged Iran to play a more positive role. Mr Karzai has denied any wrongdoing, saying the cash was part of a "transparent" process to help to run the president's office. He was responding to a report that Iran had been passing bags stuffed full of cash to his aides. Mr Burton told reporters that the American people and the global community had "every reason" to be concerned about Iran trying to have a "negative influence" on Afghanistan. "[Iranian officials] have a responsibility just like all their neighbours to try to have a positive influence on the formation of a government there, and to ensure that Afghanistan is not a country where terrorists can find safe harbour, or where attacks can be planned on their soil." The White House spokesman added that Barack Obama's administration had seen the reports about Iran's payments, but declined to give any further details. 

His comments come just hours after Mr Karzai admitted that his chief of staff, Umar Daudzai, had received cash. "The government of Iran has been assisting us with five or six or seven hundred thousand euros once or twice every year, that is an official aid," he said. He said he had discussed the issue with former US President George W Bush. "This is nothing hidden. We are grateful for the Iranian help in this regard. The United States is doing the same thing, they're providing cash to some of our offices."

Monday, October 25, 2010

Italian seaside town planning miniskirt ban

The dress code would ban everything from miniskirts to low-cut jeans
A seaside city in Italy is planning to ban miniskirts and other revealing clothing to improve what the mayor calls standards of public decency. Castellammare di Stabia is trying to be the latest location in Italy to make use of new powers to crack down on what is deemed to be anti-social behaviour. Mayor Luigi Bobbio said the regulations would help "restore urban decorum and facilitate better civil co-existence". Offenders would face fines of between 25 ($35) and 500 euros ($696). "Nothing too revealing" is the new policy Mayor Bobbio wants to enforce, says the BBC's Duncan Kennedy in Rome. That means a tough new dress code which would effectively outlaw everything from miniskirts to low-cut jeans when people walk around Castellammare di Stabia, our correspondent adds.

Mr Bobbio, from the centre-right People of Freedom party, says he wants to target people who are "rowdy, unruly or simply badly behaved". There will also be a ban on sunbathing, playing football in public places, and blasphemy, if the proposals are approved at a council meeting on Monday. "I think it's the right decision," a local parish priest, Don Paulo Cecere, told the Cronache di Napoli newspaper. "It's also a way of combating the rise in sexual harassment." Castellammare di Stabia is latest city to make use of the extra powers handed down by Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's government to mayors, in the effort to fight crime and confront anti social behaviour. In other places they have banned sandcastles, kissing in cars, feeding stray cats, wooden clogs and the use of lawn mowers at weekends.

A female Dalai Lama will be more attractive: Dalai Lama

"If a female reincarnation is more useful - why not?"

The Dalai Lama, who wound up his three-day visit here by leading prayers at the newly opened Tibetan cultural centre, doesn't rule out a female successor. The purpose of the Dalal Lama's reincarnation is to serve the Buddha, the 14th Dalai Lama told a week-end audience of more than 15,000 at the city' Rogers Centre. "If a female reincarnation is more useful - why not?" he retorted when asked if the next Dalai Lama could be a female. In his typical jovial style, he explained the two advantages of having a female Dalai Lama. The first advantage, he said, is that females are "biologically more sensitive about others' pain'' than males. The other advantage of having a female Dalai Lama is that she would be a lot more attractive than him, he said amid peels of laugher.

The spiritual and temporal head of the Tibetans said he was now looking for retirement after his long innings at the helm. "I am looking forward to complete retirement. If I have human rights, I should have the right to retire,'' he said, letting off his trademark infectious laugh. Giving an assessment of himself, the 75-year-old pontiff joked, "I am certainly not the best Dalai Lama of the 14, and certainly not the worst. But I am a popular Dalai Lama.'' Speaking on "Human Approaches to Peace,'' the Dalai Lama said amid laughter that peace will not "drop from the sky. We should create some visions (on) how to build a healthy world.'' He said peace can be ushered in only through dialogue. But unfortunately in the century gone by, he said, governments resorted to violence to settle differences. Referring to his own plight at the hands of the Chinese, he said, "At 16, I lost my freedom, at the age of 24 I lost my own country. Now, at 75, what I learned is the power of talk. In the spirit of dialogue, you can't have one side that is defeated and one side win. Open your hearts; consider others.'' The Dalai Lama also opened the local Tibetan Canadian Cultural Centre where about 5,000 people, mostly Tibetans, prayed for his long life and sought his blessings Sunday. The Dalai Lama is an honorary citizen of Canada where about 5,000 Tibetans live.

Got bedbugs? New Yorkers may scratch that relationship

Why bed bugs and sex just don't mix

You have heard of the seven-year itch in marriage. Now, the itch caused by bedbugs is causing relationships to come under even more pressure. New Yorkers say they have increasingly heard tales of couples breaking up because of the little creatures that have infested New York homes, stores and movie theaters. One man, interviewed randomly on the street, said he knew someone who broke up because of the bugs who like to hide in mattresses. He said that's "because they were scared to death about bugs. She wouldn't date him because he had bedbugs, and she freaked out." The fear of bedbugs is also heightening intimacy tensions. Stacie Handwerker, a real estate attorney, said, "I was dating a guy, and he asked me do you have any bedbugs in [your] apartment? Because if you do, you won't be seeing me!" The exterminators are on the front lines of the bedbug battles, and they have seen the casualties: romance. Timothy Wong, the technical director of M&M Environmental exterminators in lower Manhattan, said he has seen couples break up because of bedbugs.

"The girlfriend had them at home, and the boyfriend didn't stick by her, so it actually destroyed that relationship," he said. "I got rid of the bedbugs, but I wasn't able to salvage the relationship, but I'm sure there were other problems before that," said Wong. The phones were ringing nonstop in his offices. Wong says the callers are usually the ones not getting bitten. Some of the callers blame their loved one, claiming they don't have any bites. Relationship and life coach Donna Barnes said bedbugs are a creepy aspect to dating right now. She advises not telling people on the first date you have bedbugs. She says that when the relationship is escalating, it's a good idea to inform the other person if you are bringing him or her into areas of potential exposure, Barnes said. She recalled a client who admitted having bedbugs.

"She was horrified, embarrassed and didn't want to tell anybody." Barnes cautions "if that's the case, you're better off to not date for a little while and clean out the problem first and then go out." Handwerker, who was interviewed while out with friends at a bar, said "what an age we live in where people now are vetting you out to see if you have bedbugs first. He didn't even ask me if I had any diseases. He doesn't want to be eaten by bedbugs." Based on interviews, it appears women have more resistance to meeting a man who might have bedbugs. One woman said "men and women are different. A woman would care if a guy had bedbugs but if a man met a hot girl, he probably wouldn't care if she had bedbugs." A man at the bar confirmed this, admitting "come back to my place" would be his response to an attractive woman with bedbugs. There are no official figures regarding the effects of bedbugs on relationships in New York. Many New Yorkers questioned reported no contact with bedbugs or any relationship strains because of the fear. One woman said, "I think there's enough excuses not to date someone in New York. ... Bedbugs doesn't need to be added to it."

Cholera outbreak in Haiti 'stabilising'

"Cholera spreads at an alarming rate"
Health officials have said there are signs that the cholera outbreak in central Haiti may be stabilising. Although the death toll moved past 250 with more than 3,000 people infected, fewer cases were reported. Five were detected on Saturday in the capital, Port-au-Prince, but they were quickly diagnosed and isolated. Officials say the disease is a serious threat to the 1.3 million survivors of January's earthquake who are living in tented camps surrounding the city. The poor sanitary conditions make them vulnerable to cholera, which is caused by bacteria transmitted through contaminated water or food. Cholera causes diarrhoea and vomiting leading to severe dehydration, and can kill quickly if left untreated through rehydration and antibiotics. nted camps surrounding the city.  The poor sanitary conditions make them vulnerable to cholera, which is caused by bacteria transmitted through contaminated water or food. Cholera causes diarrhoea and vomiting leading to severe dehydration, and can kill quickly if left untreated through rehydration and antibiotics. On Sunday, the director general of Haiti's health department, Gabriel Thimote, said the number of people who had died in the outbreak was rising, but more slowly than during the previous 24 hours. "We have registered a diminishing in numbers of deaths and of hospitalised people in the most critical areas," he told reporters. "The tendency is that it is stabilising, without being able to say that we have reached a peak," he added. Mr Thimote also expressed optimism the outbreak could be contained.

"It's not difficult to prevent the spread to Port-au-Prince." The five victims isolated in the capital had become infected in the Artibonite region - the main outbreak zone - and then travelled there, the UN's Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said. "These cases thus do not represent a spread of the epidemic because this is not a new location of infection," it explained, adding that the development was nevertheless "worrying". Sarah Jacobs, of the charity Save The Children, told the BBC that although there were encouraging signs, the situation remained highly dangerous. "There are still hundreds of thousands of people living in extremely bad conditions in the capital and the key thing now is to prevent this disease from spreading," she said. Ms Jacobs said that informing the public would be crucial. Haitian officials said more households were following advice on drinking clean water and taking care with personal hygiene. 

6 killed in blast at Pakistan shrine

Six people were killed early Monday morning when a bomb exploded

Six people were killed early Monday morning when a bomb exploded at one of Pakistan's largest Sufi shrines, authorities said. Fifteen others were wounded. The bomb exploded at the Baba Farid shrine in Pakpattan shortly after dawn prayers, when crowds of morning worshipers usually leave the site, police said. About 300 worshipers were at the shrine when the blast took place, said Aslam Hayat, the top government official in Pakpattan. Two boys posing as milkmen placed the bomb at one of the main gates of the shrine, Hayat said. They arrived at the shrine with a milk drum attached to their motorcycle and parked at the gate, Hayat said. The bomb detonated 10 minutes later, he said. Hayat said explosives were likely inside the metal milk drum. Pakpattan, an ancient city in Punjab province, is located about 190 km (118 miles) south of Lahore.

Baba Farid is considered one of Pakistan's most revered Sufi saints. No one has claimed responsibility for the blast. But in recent months Muslim extremists have stepped up attacks against minority sects and their places of worship. Police officials said 15 people were injured in Monday morning's blast. Several nearby shops were damaged, Hayat said.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Musharraf fit to be murdered, says fatwa

Pakistan's former military ruler Pervez Musharraf

Adding to woes of Pakistan's former military ruler Pervez Musharraf, a group of religious scholars has issued a 'fatwa' declaring him "fit to be murdered" while a petition filed in the Supreme Court has sought registration of a high treason case against him. The fatwa or edict was issued by a group of politicians and religious scholars during a meeting in Quetta on Saturday, declaring Musharraf, who is preparing to return to Pakistani political arena, 'wajibul qatal' (fit to be murdered). It was issued over the assassination of Baloch nationalist leaders Nawab Akbar Bugti and Nawabzada Balach Marri and the 2007 military operation against a seminary linked to Islamabad's Lal Masjid. The meeting was organised by the Jamhoori Watan Party and presided over by its chief Nawabzada Talal Akbar Bugti, the son of Nawab Akbar Bugti. Talal Bugti recently caused a sensation by announcing a bounty of Rupees one billion and 1,000 acres of land for anyone who beheads Musharraf.

Among those who addressed Saturday's meeting were former Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam parliamentarian Maulana Noor Muhammad, Ata-ur-Rehman and Maulana Abdul Qadir Looni. They called on the Supreme Court to issue a directive for bringing Musharraf back to Pakistan through Interpol and try him for the murder of Akbar Bugti and the killing of students of Jamia Hafsa, a women seminary linked to the Lal Masjid. They also demanded action against Musharraf for abrogating the Constitution and detaining nuclear scientist A Q Khan, who was arrested for heading a secret nuclear proliferation ring. Meanwhile, a man named Maulvi Iqbal Haider has filed a petition in the apex court, asking it to do away with technicalities and order the registration of a case of high treason against Musharraf for proclaiming a state of emergency in November 2007.

The petition said "any inaction" on the court's part may encourage others to do the same. The petition was an appeal against the Sindh High Court's verdict of October 14 that dismissed Haider's earlier petition seeking the registration of a case of treason against Musharraf. Haider has filed a slew of cases against the former military ruler. In his new petition, Haider said action should also be taken against Musharraf's legal adviser Sharifuddin Pirzada and former Attorney General Malik Qayyum for helping the ex-President proclaim emergency. Haider named the federal government, Law Ministry, Interior Secretary, Home Secretary of Sindh, Pirzada and Qayyum as respondents in his petition.  Musharraf, who has been living in self-imposed exile in Britain since April last year, recently launched his new party  the All Pakistan Muslim League  and announced plans to contest the next general election in 2013.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Officials: Toll in Haiti's cholera outbreak now above 150

U.S. Centers for Disease Control and the U.S. Agency for International Development.
The death toll from a cholera outbreak in Haiti has risen to more than 150 confirmed deaths, according to health officials with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and the U.S. Agency for International Development. At a joint news conference held Friday, Dr. Rob Quick and Dr. Carleene Dei discussed the outbreak and efforts to work out a containment strategy. The CDC will send an 11-member team to Haiti over the next few days to find out which antibiotics will be most effective in treating the cholera outbreak. US AID will provide supplies needed to set up treatment centers. The group has already prepositioned 300,000 oral re-hydration kits and are distributing water purification kits in affected areas. Officials also confirmed that all the reported cases are in the Artibonite and Central Plateau regions, north of Port-au-Prince. They said they're working to contain the outbreak there and prevent its spread to the densely populated capital.

Chaos reigned acrooss the Artibonite and Central Plateau regions Friday, as hospitals overflowed with people rushing to get help from the fast-moving cholera outbreak. Eric Lotz, Haiti's national director for the nonprofit Operation Blessing, described a "horrific" scene outside St. Nicolas hospital, the main medical facility in the city of St. Marc, as patients and their family members fought to get care. "There was bedlam outside the gate," said Lotz. "Inside (the hospital), every square inch is covered with people." Some people waited 24 hours or more to get help outside the hospital, many of them on stretchers, said Terry Snow, Haiti director for the nonprofit Youth With a Mission.

US offers Pakistan army $2 billion aid package

Obama administration moved to stop training and equipping Pakistani Army units

Even as the Obama administration moved to stop training and equipping Pakistani Army units that have killed civilians in the offensive against the Taliban, the United States said Friday that it planned increased aid for Pakistan's military over the next five years. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton made the announcement in Washington alongside the Pakistani foreign minister, Shah Mehmood Qureshi, as leaders from both nations convened for a series of meetings. The new aid package, totaling $2 billion, is meant to replace one that expired Oct. 1. It would complement $7.5 billion in aid that the United States has already pledged to Pakistan for civilian projects, some have which have been directed toward helping the nation recover from the damaging floods. In announcing the aid, Mrs. Clinton did not discuss the administration's moves to stop financing certain elements in the Pakistani Army that have killed unarmed prisoners and civilians. On Thursday, senior administration and Congressional officials said that the Obama administration planned to cut off funds to those units. The step appeared to be an unusual rebuke to a wartime ally, illustrating the growing tensions with a country that is seen as a pivotal partner, and sometimes impediment, in a campaign to root out Al Qaeda and other militant groups.

The White House had not told Pakistan of the decision to cut off those units' funds, according to officials from both countries. It has privately briefed a few senior members of Congress, but it has not given them details about which Pakistani units will be affected by the suspension. One senior administration official said there was "a lot of concern about not embarrassing" the Pakistani military, especially during a week in which officials are here for the third "Strategic Dialogue" in a year. Thursday's decision to cut to cut off those units' funds came just as the two countries were trying to get beyond a sharp exchange after NATO helicopter gunships killed three Pakistani paramilitary troops, and Pakistan retaliated by shutting down a critical allied supply route into Afghanistan. President Obama met Wednesday in Washington with Pakistan's army chief, Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, and other senior Pakistani officials before leaving on a campaign trip to the West Coast, but the White House provided only a vague description of their conversations. Most of the strategic dialogue is focused on coordination of a range of subjects, including counterterrorism, nuclear security, flood relief and trade.

The officials who described the decision said it would affect the Pakistani Army and special operations troops supported by the United States that have conducted offensives against Taliban fighters in the Swat Valley and South Waziristan in the past year, the officials said. But the process is not over: some additional Pakistani units may yet be denied American aid, officials say. The Leahy Amendment, a law that stretches back more than a decade, requires the United States to cut off aid to foreign militaries that are found to have committed gross violations of human rights. It has been applied in the past to Indonesia and Colombia, but never to a country of such strategic importance to the United States as Pakistan. "I told the White House that I have real concerns about the Pakistani military's actions, and I'm not going to close my eyes to it because of our national interests in Pakistan," Senator Patrick J. Leahy, the author of the amendment, said Wednesday from his home in Vermont. "If the law is going to have teeth, it has to be taken seriously. Pakistan's military leaders have made encouraging statements about addressing these issues, but this requires more than statements."

The United States spends about $2 billion a year on the Pakistani military, including money specifically designated for counterterrorism operations. A senior Pakistani official who has been involved in discussions about the issue said the United States had conveyed its concerns about reports of extrajudicial killings, which he said Pakistan was addressing. But he said Pakistan had not been notified that any army units had been refused training or equipment. The United States government "has not threatened us with withholding of assistance or training for any of our military units on these grounds," the official said. Much of the administration's review has been overseen by Adm. Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who has also been one of the administration's direct contacts with General Kayani. Admiral Mullen has spoken to senior lawmakers, including Senator Leahy and Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts, the chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, and assured them that the law would be followed, a senior military said.

Once strictures are in place, the government has inspections to make sure that the sanctioned units do not receive American training or equipment. Admiral Mullen is acutely aware that the United States is in a difficult position on this issue, senior military officers said. He is pushing Pakistan to enter forbidding territory to take on Al Qaeda and the Pakistani Taliban -- a point that Mr. Obama reinforced in his meeting with General Kayani -- even as the administration is punishing Pakistani troops for human rights abuses. Part of the difference is a stark cultural gulf between Pakistani military units, especially the lightly trained Frontier Corps, and American troops. American officials have long suspected that some Pakistani units have killed unarmed detainees and their civilian sympathizers in revenge for attacks on military and police outposts. The absence of a reliable court system to handle detainees also encourages battlefield justice, American officials say. General Kayani, who is considered more influential than any civilian official in the weak Pakistani government, has begun to act on the American warnings, senior American officials said. He recently ordered an inquiry into an Internet video that shows men in Pakistani military uniforms executing six young men in civilian clothes.

General Kayani said in a statement at the time that violations of army rules against extrajudicial killings "will not be tolerated." The Pakistani military has been accused of hundreds of extrajudicial killings. The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, a nongovernmental organization, said in June that 282 had been committed in the Swat region in the previous year. But a senior State Department official said the Internet video seized the attention of senior officials at the White House and the State Department, and intensified discussions about how to deal with the issue. Some officials said the video might have also forced General Kayani to act. "As General Kayani has said repeatedly in public and in private, professional standards and enforcement of those standards are the hallmark of a modern and successful military," Tommy Vietor, a White House spokesman, said Thursday in a statement. "These issues are part of our conversations with all militaries around the world with whom we work." The White House's most recent quarterly report to Congress on developments in the region cited continuing reports of gross violations of human rights in Pakistan. "There was some evidence that the Pakistani military has made initial steps to stop those abuses," the report said. "However, despite U.S. engagement on the issue, reports of ongoing abuses continue to surface."

Under pressure from the United States, the Pakistani Army in 2009 carried out an offensive in Swat in the northwest, and a year later in South Waziristan in the mountainous tribal regions along the border with Afghanistan. In each case, the army has struggled to conduct counterinsurgency missions that maintain public support while singling out insurgents and their sympathizers in the population. The killings in Swat appear to include Taliban prisoners. The army has also created makeshift prisons where some 3,000 suspects are believed to be held, whom the army is reluctant to turn over to unreliable civilian courts.