Weekly World News Brief
Friday, March 23, 2007
Early on Friday, Iranian Revolutionary Guard Navy Units captured 15 British marines. The marines had left the H.M.S. Cornwall, which was allegedly patrolling the very narrow stretch of Iraqi territorial waters in the north of the Persian Gulf, and boarded a skiff suspected of transporting smuggled goods. Before they could rejoin the Cornwall, the soldiers and their equipment were apprehended by Iranian units, who claimed the British operation was taking place within Iranian territorial waters. British diplomacy has been working in full gear to secure their release and minimize the incident, but, at the time of writing this article, no resolution had been reached.
Iraq’s Weekly Woes
On Thursday, a press conference by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon had to be interrupted, and the press room evacuated, after a Katyusha rocket shook the Baghdad compound where it was taking place. No one was hurt in the attack.
In an unrelated attack on Friday, Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Salam al-Zubai was gravely hurt in a suicide attack in his own home. It is unknown how the suicide bomber managed to overcome several layers of draconian security measures around al-Zubai. Nine people, including two of the Deputy Prime Minister’s bodyguards, were killed, and another 15 were injured. Al-Zubai was not killed, but his condition remains uncertain.
Poland Considers Anti-Gay Legislation
Poland, led by President Lech Kaczyinski and twin brother and Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczyinski, is drafting legislation to “punish anyone that promotes homosexuality or other sexual deviances [sic] in educational institutions,” which includes the firing and possible prosecution of openly gay teachers. This comes in the wake of another controversial Polish law that forces a number of citizens (instructors, executives in state-owned businesses, journalists, civil servants, and lawyers) to confess if they were Soviet collaborationists prior to 1989.
For the record, Jaroslaw Kaczyinski never married and lives with his elderly mother and his cat.
Attorney-Gate Haunts Bush, Gonzales and Rove
The firing of eight U.S. Attorneys over political loyalty rather than competence has become the latest scandal to plague the U.S. Government. A flurry of emails and internal memos from White House and Administration Officials surfaced this week, revealing, among other things, that the White House expects U.S. Attorneys to be “loyal Bushies [sic],” and that six of the eight attorneys had favourable, sometimes excellent, performance reviews.
Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, who is ultimately responsible for the Department of Justice, is facing heated calls for his resignation. Bush mastermind Karl Rove and White House Counsel and Supreme Court flop Harriet Miers are also coming under scrutiny. President Bush has offered to allow a legislative committee to interview Rove and Miers about the matter, but only under the conditions that the interviews are done in private and off-the-record and that the interviewees not be put under oath.