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European Maccabi football trophy in Berlin

By Oliver Bradley in Berlin 

Just over a month before the kick off of this year’s FIFA world cup, Germany 2006, the third European Maccabi Football Trophy was played in Berlin. The semi-finalists were the Maccabi national teams from Russia, Great Britain, Hungary and Germany who vied for the trophy from April 28 through May 1st.

Europe Market and Football fever: Adidas CEO, Happy

Mon 08 May 2006
LONDON (SHARECAST) – European markets managed to inch higher in the afternoon, hovering at near-five-year highs, as banks rallied taking their cue from a strong performance in the US.

In Frankfurt sportswear manufacturer Adidas led the gains after it said products related to the World Football Championship exceeded expectations in the first quarter and would benefit tomorrow’s first-quarter results.

Ahmadinejad writes letter to Bush

Ahmadinejad Seds letter to Bush

Ahmadinejad sends letter to Bush

Monday May 8, 2006 (Stop Fundamentalism) – Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has written a letter to U.S. President George Bush, a government spokesman said Monday.

"In this letter, he has given an analysis of the current world situation, of the root of existing problems and of new ways of getting out of the current vulnerable situation in the world," government spokesman Gholamhossein Elham said Monday to a press conference.

According to the state-run news agency IRNA, Ahmadinejad told reporters earlier in the day he had decided to send letters to leaders of certain countries on the occasion of "Year of Great Prophet Mohammad."

The announcement came just ahead of a meeting of the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council in New York in which delegates will discuss a draft resolution on Iran that was introduced last week by the United States, France and Britain.

It’s the internet bubble all over again…

I just don’t get it.

Maybe I’m not seeing something that those wacky eBay managers see, but this seems to be totally out of the market that eBay has conquered. PayPal makes sense. Shopping.com makes sense. Skype — well, someone needs to lay out the plan for me, because, again, I just don’t get it.

As a comparison, Oracle bought Siebel for $5.8 billion. You know, Siebel, that huge CRM company that has pretty much owned that market for a while. That makes sense, because it fits Oracle’s business, and could integrate weill with their applications.

THINKING ALOUD: Into space in a time warp

 Razi Azmi

 There can be no competition between a Muslim culture which is frozen in time and the West which has moved light-years ahead thanks to its uninhibited pursuit of scientific knowledge. The clash of civilisations often cited in editorial comments since the appearance of Samuel Huntington’s famous book by that name is just that — a clash, not a competition

When the Soviet Union launched the world’s first satellite into space in 1957, the United States scrambled to catch up and created the National Aeronautical and Space Agency (NASA). Four years later, Yuri Gagarin of Russia became the first man to go into space.

American Alan Shepard followed him after 23 days, on May 5, 1961. The huge American investment in space research paid off and, eight years later, the US became the first country to land man on the moon.

The stiff competition between the two superpowers had crossed the frontiers of this earth as we knew it and entered space, the forbidden zone traditionally known as high heaven. The world viewed it as the contest between two systems vying for global superiority, the capitalist and communist systems.

For their part, many Muslim countries of the world continued to be client states of either the United States or the Soviet Union, seeking the economic and military support of one or the other superpower, sometimes switching sides from political, military or economic expediency, or threatening to do so to increase their bargaining power.


Is the U.S. better off with the Middle East as it is now than as it was before 2001?

For Better or Worse?
By Victor Davis Hanson

After September 11, there were only seven sovereign countries in the Middle East that posed a real danger to the policies and, in some cases, the security of the United States—Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and Syria. Ignoring the hysteria about the Sunni Triangle in Iraq, if we look at these states empirically, have they become more or less a threat in the last five years?

The Taliban in Afghanistan was actively harboring bin Laden and al Qaeda. Without their support, the mass murder on September 11 would have been difficult to pull off.

Iran was the chief sponsor of Hezbollah, which had killed more Americans than any other Islamist terror organization and was rumored to be at work on obtaining nuclear weapons.

Sudanese governrment and rebel groups agree to end war

Anna Badkhen, Chronicle Staff Writer
Friday, May 5, 2006

 The Sudanese government and a major rebel group signed a peace deal today to end three years of war in Darfur, which has killed at least 180,000 civilians and displaced more than 2 million in western Sudan.

Under the agreement, Khartoum agreed to demands from the Sudanese Liberation Army’s demands for power-sharing, disarming the government’s proxy militia — the notorious Janjaweed — integrating rebels into the national security force, and compensating war victims.

"The deal is peace," said government spokesman Abdulrahman Zuma before the 85-page accord was signed. "I think that the victory today is for Sudan."

However, two other rebel groups have refused to accept the agreement, and analysts warned that peace may still be far off in settling what the United Nations has called the world’s worst humanitarian crisis and the United States has labeled genocide.

"One shouldn’t get overly optimistic that (the end of genocide) is the result," Roberta Cohen, an expert on Sudan and humanitarian issues at the Brookings Institution, a Washington think-tank told The Chronicle. "It doesn’t necessarily mean (the two sides) would adhere to their word."

State Sponsors Religious Teaching

RABAT, Morocco — Fifty women have graduated as Muslim preachers, part of a concerted effort by authorities in Morocco to promote moderate Islam in a country grappling with extremism.

Another 150 men graduated Wednesday as imams, or prayer leaders. The 50 female religious guides, or morchidat, won’t lead prayers in mosques, which is reserved for men, but will be sent around the country to teach women – and, occasionally, men – about Islam.

While Moroccan officials said the appointment of female state preachers was a rare experiment in the Muslim world, others said it was unprecedented in Morocco and the majority of other Arab countries.

"Your duty … is to prevent intrusion by foreign agents trying to violate our values and traditions," Ahmed Taoufiq, minister of Islamic Affairs, told the graduates Wednesday.


Out of Desert Poverty, a Caldron of Rage in the Sinai

EL ARISH, Egypt, May 6 — The Melahy tribe of northern Sinai is the poorest in the region, its members herding other people’s cattle, farming other people’s land, its very name used as a slur among local Bedouins. And so Nasser Khamis al-Melahy held great promise for his family when he left his sun-baked home here for law school in the Nile Delta.

But he never did practice law. Instead, he returned to this city on the banks of the Mediterranean and, the authorities say, helped set up an Islamist terrorist cell that has staged five suicide attacks in the Sinai, including a triple bombing in the resort town of Dahab last month.

Mr. Melahy’s turn to terrorism is one aspect of the strong undercurrent of anger and tension roiling the Middle East, where disillusionment and hostility toward national governments move many young people to adopt Islam as an identity, supplanting nationality or ethnicity. It also underscores a challenge facing many Arab countries where local customs and heritage are being abandoned by young people who instead adopt the dress, customs and behavior of conservative Islam.

Iranians aspire to overthrow mullahs

Iran NuclearFalling into the hands of the United Nations Security Council, Iranian mullahs are now trying any possibility to slowdown the decision making process to somehow pass this crisis.

On one hand the mullahs are threatening that they are now a “nuclear power” and incase of any measure by the Security Council “Iran will change its behavior.”

The mullahs’ regime tried to misuse the International May Day to divert the worker demonstrators’ aims to display support for its nuclear weapons program; a plan that the brave Iranian workers, by denouncing regimes policies, did not let succeed.

The dictator mullahs ruling in Iran had planed for some time to stage a demonstration in front of the old US embassy for a crowd to chant slogans saying, “Having nuclear energy is our right.  But the workers started playing a different tune: “staging strikes is our right.”