The Washington Post is reporting that Ralph Nader has still not decided whether to run for president again in 2004. But one thing has become clear if he chooses to run he will not do so on a Green Party ticket. Sources close to Nader say the longtime consumer advocate recently told Green Party officials he will not seek the party’s nomination again. In 2000 on the Green ticket Nader received about 3 million votes for president.
At least eight Palestinians and two Israelis have died in Gaza over the past day. In Rafah, 40 Israeli tanks led a raid into the southern refugee camp of Rafah where Israeli forces killed six Palestinians including a police officer. The raid came hours after two Israeli army officers and two Palestinians died in a firefight in Gaza.
In Jerusalem, visiting Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Maher was hospitalized Monday after a group of Palestinians threw shoes at him and called him a traitor outside the Al-Asqsa mosque. It was not clear if the 68-year-old foreign minister was injured. Israeli police have arrested five Palestinians in connection with the incident. Agence France Press reported the suspected assailants were members of a fringe Palestinian group called the Islamic Liberation Party. The group opposed Maher’s meeting Monday with Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon in an attempt to restore peace talks.
In Baghdad, two U.S. soldiers and an Iraqi interpreter died after a roadside bomb exploded near their convoy. Two other soldiers were wounded.
Russia has agreed to forgive more than $4 billion in debts from Iraq after the Iraqis indicated Russia would have a chance to revive oil contracts signed during Saddam Hussein’s era. This according to the New York Times.
Former Center Command General George Zinni has lashed out at the Bush administration accusing them of conning the country into invading Iraq. Zinni told the Washington Post, “The more I saw, the more I thought that this was the product of the neocons who didn’t understand the region and were going to create havoc there. These were dilettantes from Washington think tanks who never had an idea that worked on the ground.”
The Guardian of London is reporting that Britain is planning to join with France and Germany to put pressure on Syria over weapons of mass destruction and terrorism. The Guardian reports the top goal is for Syria to get rid of its chemical weapons before it receives sanctions from the United Nations.
The New York Times is reporting that the Pakistani government has questioned Abdul Qadeer Khan, the scientist who developed Pakistan’s atomic bomb, as part of an ongoing investigation into whether Pakistani scientists secretly helped Iran and North Korea. Khan is seen by many in Pakistan as a national hero. Three of his aides were detained recently for questioning.
The Food and Drug Administration is warning that any state or city that imports cheaper prescription drugs from Canada will face legal action and fines. The announcement comes shortly after the state of Illinois requested a waiver to let the state buy drugs from Canada for state workers and retirees. The state estimates it would save about $91 million annually. At least 10 states have expressed interest in running similar programs. A recent USA Today poll found 71 percent of Americans supported legalizing the sale of Canadian drugs.
Judge Bars Military From Requiring Anthrax Vaccine
In Washington a federal judge in Washington has ordered the Pentagon to stop forcing U.S. service members to take the controversial anthrax vaccine. The judge said the government can not use soldiers as “guinea pigs for experimental drugs.”
On Monday, an earthquake of a magnitude of 6.5 hit central California about 200 miles north of Los Angeles. At least two people died. The town of Paso Robles was heavily damaged in what was the largest earthquake to hit the state in four years.
The New York Police Department has begun an investigation into a Brooklyn officer who has been writing about his experience on a website. According to Newsday, the officer brags about beating suspects, writing phony tickets and ignoring calls to his precinct. In one post, the officer who goes by the online name of Brooklyn Bacon, wrote “”I am the type of person who loves getting my hands dirty whether it is chasing someone down a street or just giving them the 'good old fashion NYPD beat down.' I hope you didn’t think those beatings don’t really exist do you?”