Tuesday, May 31, 2011

MIDDLE EAST NEWS_ Conflict Hardens in Libya's Mountains

Conflict Hardens in Libya's Mountains

Pro-Gadhafi Forces Step Up Assault On Rebels Who Hold Tunisia Crossing.

A Libyan family shelters Monday in a cave near Zintan, southwest of Tripoli, amid attacks by the government.

Families in Libya's Western Mountains abandon their homes and set up camp in caves that provide better shelter from civil war fighting. Video courtesy of Reuters

WAZEN, Libya—From the desert plains southwest of Tripoli, Col. Moammar Gadhafi's forces have intensified their shelling of rebellious mountain communities and cut off the electricity, forcing tens of thousands of inhabitants to flee the besieged Libyan region or hide in caves.

The offensive has turned a 125-mile strip of the dun-colored Nafusa Mountains into a major battleground, as government and rebel forces vie for the road linking the region's isolated hilltop cities and villages with this crossing at the Tunisian border.

Fighting has picked up since the rebels, then numbering several hundred ill-equipped and untrained men, captured the border crossing in late April. A stalemate emblematic of the Libyan conflict has since developed: After the mountain rebels lost the largest city they had held, Yefren, they repelled ground assaults elsewhere and were battling Tuesday to control Kikla, a town a few miles east. But they have failed to drive the colonel's army out of rocket range.

"At the start, Gadhafi had the advantage in weapons and troops, but we have gained volunteers and experience and held our ground," said Mohammed Abujedidi, a 53-year-old army special forces defector who commands the rebel border post here at Wazen. But without more aggressive air support by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, "we're stuck," he added. "We can't break the siege."

Clad in desert camouflage and a black Dolce & Gabbana belt, Mr. Abujedidi oversees the rebel lifeline to the outside world. As he spoke, a large truckload of food, fuel and medicine entered from Tunisia, bound for the besieged communities. Sick, wounded and frightened inhabitants lined up to cross the border in the opposite direction.

A rusty Toyota pickup outfitted with the cannon of a captured government tank roared into the desert to scout for mobile artillery crews that target the border post almost daily.

The Nafusa range is populated mainly by Berbers, a non-Arab ethnic group that feels marginalized by the colonel's 41-year-old Arab nationalist rule. When the uprising started in eastern Libya in February, most Berber communities raised the tricolor rebel flag and took up arms.

The rebel governing council, based in the eastern city of Benghazi, has embraced the mountain revolt, a move the council says underscores its tolerance of minorities and broad geographical support. The mountain fighters are a potential threat to the west of Col. Gadhafi's Tripoli stronghold, as it battles rebels on two fronts to the east.

The Gadhafi regime's escalating offensive has driven at least 61,000 mountain people into Tunisia, the United Nations refugee agency says. The offensive has battered and choked off entire communities, according to several dozen inhabitants interviewed in Libya and in Tunisia's refugee camps.

Grad rockets, an inherently indiscriminate weapon in populated areas, land with growing frequency on homes, these inhabitants say. Electricity stations in the government-controlled plains frequently cut power to much of the region, as they have done since last week, disabling water pumps. The most isolated communities are running out of food and water.

The government denies it has turned against the mountain people. It says it is working to restore basic services and battling rebel bands that enjoy scant following. "These people started a war in the middle of our civilian population, so now we are liberating these places," said government spokesman Moussa Ibrahim. "What we have in the western mountains are isolated pockets of violence."

A few mountain villages tied to Col. Gadhafi by tribal loyalty cooperate with his army. But many people from larger communities say they fully support the rebels and suffer collective retaliation.

Hadhoum Yerrou returned from Tunisia last week to her home in Nalut to gather clothing left behind when the family fled in March. As she bowed for midday prayer in her living room, she said, a rocket crashed through the roof and exploded, embedding shrapnel in her legs and back.

A brother-in-law drove her to Nalut's hospital, then back to Tunisia. Ms. Yerrou, 38 years old and seven months pregnant, said doctors told her that her unborn child was unharmed.

In Zintan, headquarters of the rebels' regional command, four Grad rockets landed last week near the hospital, the mosque and central market, according to Lahoucine Boufoullous, head of a Doctors Without Borders aid mission. The group abandoned the city, saying the hospital, far from any military facility, appeared to be a target.

People fleeing Zintan and the twin cities of Yefren and Al-Galaa say daily shelling has sent some of the several thousand remaining families into caves once inhabited by their ancestors. The retreat limits casualties—the hospital has treated 120 wounded since late April—but Mr. Boufoullous said hundreds more are severely traumatized.

A NATO military official said alliance aircraft attacked three government ammunition depots south of Zintan on Monday and Tuesday, part of what he called regular daily strikes on targets considered a threat to civilians. Inhabitants of the region said Col. Gadhafi's forces had recently switched to smaller rocket launchers to avoid NATO's bombs.

Government tanks, artillery guns and snipers occupy the center of Yefren, long a locus of Berber activism. From a base at the hospital, empty of patients, they shell rebel villages to the east, residents said.

Col. Salem Mehrez defected from the regime's civil guard and left his home in one of those villages to live in a cave. Every three nights, he said he led a donkey caravan to smuggle Yefren's wounded to safety over 30 miles of trails and bring back food. That ended when a fall fractured his hip.

Rebel leaders are urging NATO to enforce a "humanitarian corridor" into the region or airdrop relief supplies.

Meanwhile, civilians like Hassan, a 44-year-old insurance salesman, and his wife, Naima, fend for themselves. For 17 days in April, the couple said they moved five times under fire with his octogenarian mother and five children, from one refuge to another near Al-Galaa.

"It was like rain; it fell everywhere and made little puffs of dust," said Naima, speaking in Tunisia about the shelling from anti-aircraft guns. She declined to give the family name, fearing reprisals against relatives in Tripoli, and avoided uttering the name Gadhafi.

—Stephen Fidler in Brussels contributed to this article.

Write to Richard Boudreaux at richard.boudreaux@wsj.com

USA_ Cyber Combat: Act of War

Cyber Combat: Act of War

Pentagon Sets Stage for U.S. to Respond to Computer Sabotage With Military Force

WASHINGTON—The Pentagon has concluded that computer sabotage coming from another country can constitute an act of war, a finding that for the first time opens the door for the U.S. to respond using traditional military force.

The Pentagon's first formal cyber strategy, unclassified portions of which are expected to become public next month, represents an early attempt to grapple with a changing world in which a hacker could pose as significant a threat to U.S. nuclear reactors, subways or pipelines as a hostile country's military.

In part, the Pentagon intends its plan as a warning to potential adversaries of the consequences of attacking the U.S. in this way. "If you shut down our power grid, maybe we will put a missile down one of your smokestacks," said a military official.

Recent attacks on the Pentagon's own systems—as well as the sabotaging of Iran's nuclear program via the Stuxnet computer worm—have given new urgency to U.S. efforts to develop a more formalized approach to cyber attacks. A key moment occurred in 2008, when at least one U.S. military computer system was penetrated. This weekend Lockheed Martin, a major military contractor, acknowledged that it had been the victim of an infiltration, while playing down its impact.

The report will also spark a debate over a range of sensitive issues the Pentagon left unaddressed, including whether the U.S. can ever be certain about an attack's origin, and how to define when computer sabotage is serious enough to constitute an act of war. These questions have already been a topic of dispute within the military.

One idea gaining momentum at the Pentagon is the notion of "equivalence." If a cyber attack produces the death, damage, destruction or high-level disruption that a traditional military attack would cause, then it would be a candidate for a "use of force" consideration, which could merit retaliation.

The Pentagon's document runs about 30 pages in its classified version and 12 pages in the unclassified one. It concludes that the Laws of Armed Conflict—derived from various treaties and customs that, over the years, have come to guide the conduct of war and proportionality of response—apply in cyberspace as in traditional warfare, according to three defense officials who have read the document. The document goes on to describe the Defense Department's dependence on information technology and why it must forge partnerships with other nations and private industry to protect infrastructure.

The strategy will also state the importance of synchronizing U.S. cyber-war doctrine with that of its allies, and will set out principles for new security policies. The North Atlantic Treaty Organization took an initial step last year when it decided that, in the event of a cyber attack on an ally, it would convene a group to "consult together" on the attacks, but they wouldn't be required to help each other respond. The group hasn't yet met to confer on a cyber incident.

Pentagon officials believe the most-sophisticated computer attacks require the resources of a government. For instance, the weapons used in a major technological assault, such as taking down a power grid, would likely have been developed with state support, Pentagon officials say.

The move to formalize the Pentagon's thinking was borne of the military's realization the U.S. has been slow to build up defenses against these kinds of attacks, even as civilian and military infrastructure has grown more dependent on the Internet. The military established a new command last year, headed by the director of the National Security Agency, to consolidate military network security and attack efforts.

The Pentagon itself was rattled by the 2008 attack, a breach significant enough that the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs briefed then-President George W. Bush. At the time, Pentagon officials said they believed the attack originated in Russia, although didn't say whether they believed the attacks were connected to the government. Russia has denied involvement.

The Rules of Armed Conflict that guide traditional wars are derived from a series of international treaties, such as the Geneva Conventions, as well as practices that the U.S. and other nations consider customary international law. But cyber warfare isn't covered by existing treaties. So military officials say they want to seek a consensus among allies about how to proceed.

"Act of war" is a political phrase, not a legal term, said Charles Dunlap, a retired Air Force Major General and professor at Duke University law school. Gen. Dunlap argues cyber attacks that have a violent effect are the legal equivalent of armed attacks, or what the military calls a "use of force."

"A cyber attack is governed by basically the same rules as any other kind of attack if the effects of it are essentially the same," Gen. Dunlap said Monday. The U.S. would need to show that the cyber weapon used had an effect that was the equivalent of a conventional attack.

James Lewis, a computer-security specialist at the Center for Strategic and International Studies who has advised the Obama administration, said Pentagon officials are currently figuring out what kind of cyber attack would constitute a use of force. Many military planners believe the trigger for retaliation should be the amount of damage—actual or attempted—caused by the attack.

For instance, if computer sabotage shut down as much commerce as would a naval blockade, it could be considered an act of war that justifies retaliation, Mr. Lewis said. Gauges would include "death, damage, destruction or a high level of disruption" he said.

Culpability, military planners argue in internal Pentagon debates, depends on the degree to which the attack, or the weapons themselves, can be linked to a foreign government. That's a tricky prospect at the best of times.

The brief 2008 war between Russia and Georgia included a cyber attack that disrupted the websites of Georgian government agencies and financial institutions. The damage wasn't permanent but did disrupt communication early in the war.

A subsequent NATO study said it was too hard to apply the laws of armed conflict to that cyber attack because both the perpetrator and impact were unclear. At the time, Georgia blamed its neighbor, Russia, which denied any involvement.

Much also remains unknown about one of the best-known cyber weapons, the Stuxnet computer virus that sabotaged some of Iran's nuclear centrifuges. While some experts suspect it was an Israeli attack, because of coding characteristics, possibly with American assistance, that hasn't been proven. Iran was the location of only 60% of the infections, according to a study by the computer security firm Symantec. Other locations included Indonesia, India, Pakistan and the U.S.

Officials from Israel and the U.S. have declined to comment on the allegations.

Defense officials refuse to discuss potential cyber adversaries, although military and intelligence officials say they have identified previous attacks originating in Russia and China. A 2009 government-sponsored report from the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission said that China's People's Liberation Army has its own computer warriors, the equivalent of the American National Security Agency.

That's why military planners believe the best way to deter major attacks is to hold countries that build cyber weapons responsible for their use. A parallel, outside experts say, is the George W. Bush administration's policy of holding foreign governments accountable for harboring terrorist organizations, a policy that led to the U.S. military campaign to oust the Taliban from power in Afghanistan.

Write to Siobhan Gorman at siobhan.gorman@wsj.com


The War on Cyber Attacks

Attacks of varying severity have rattled nations in recent years.

June 2009: First version of Stuxnet virus starts spreading, eventually sabotaging Iran's nuclear program. Some experts suspect it was an Israeli attempt, possibly with American help.

November 2008: A computer virus believed to have originated in Russia succeeds in penetrating at least one classified U.S. military computer network.

August 2008: Online attack on websites of Georgian government agencies and financial institutions at start of brief war between Russia and Georgia.

May 2007: Attack on Estonian banking and government websites occurs that is similar to the later one in Georgia but has greater impact because Estonia is more dependent on online banking

Read more: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304563104576355623135782718.html#ixzz1NyjOyOkX

WORLD_ Libya: Col Gaddafi plots retaliatory strikes if forced from leadership

Libya: Col Gaddafi plots retaliatory strikes if forced from leadership

Col Muammar Gaddafi is plotting to unleash a wave of retaliatory attacks in the vaccuum of power if he is forced from the presidency.

At the time the NATO no-fly zone was imposed, Col Gaddafi said he was issuing a million guns to people across the country Photo: EPA/MOHAMED MESSARA

By Richard Spencer, Tripoli
7:03PM BST 31 May 2011

His regime has handed out thousands of weapons to ordinary civilians, saying they would turn Libya into a "living hell" if Nato ground forces invade.

He is also gathering a coterie of young members of his own tribe around him to make a last stand as his regular forces are depleted by defections and Nato bombing.

Anti-Gaddafi activists fear they could unleash a wave of killings and revenge attacks if Col Gaddafi is forced out whether by western military might or negotiations.

“The reason why people are given guns now is because Gaddafi wants it to be chaos whether he is in power or out of power,” said one activist living in a suburb of southern Tripoli.

The regime is playing up the spectre of a wave of vengeance similar to post-2003 Iraq rather than denying it. Moussa Ibrahim, the chief spokesman, said even if there were a negotiated solution opposition leaders like Mustafa Abdul Jalil, chairman of the Benghazi-based Transitional National Council, would be targeted by loyalists.

“Jalil will never be safe in Libya,” he said. “He would be killed, such is the hatred we have for him. He would have to live with permanent security guards.”

Promotion of fanatical and violent Gaddafi loyalists within the armed forces is said to have been one trigger for the defection of five regular army generals who announced their switched loyalties in Rome on Monday.

They said they could no longer tolerate the revenge attacks in rebel towns that this younger generation of officers had overseen.

Col Gaddafi has enforced his rule in recent years by packing the security services with members of his own small tribe, the Gadadfa, and an allied tribe, the Megarha, to which the alleged Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset Ali Megrahi belongs.

They themselves have been taught to fear retribution from the rebel side if Col Gaddafi goes.

“There will be chaos here if the colonel goes,” said one loyalist policeman. “We will not let it happen.”

At the time the Nato no-fly zone was imposed, Col Gaddafi said he was issuing a million guns to people across the country. In the days afterwards, journalists were introduced to teenagers and young men proudly brandishing their new Kalashnikov assault rifles.

But the Tripoli activist said that the purpose of the distribution had since become clear. Families applying for weapons had to prove their pro-regime credentials.

Those with identity cards showing they were from areas where there had been anti-Gaddafi demonstrations were automatically refused.

“It is another trick by the regime. They only give weapons to supporters,” he said. “This is what worries us now.”

Fighting has already broken out in some parts of the city, according to several residents, as the once ever-present plain-clothes police have drained away.

A protest in the east Tripoli suburb of Souq al-Juma’a filmed and posted on Youtube on Monday was said by one local dissident to have begun at the funeral of two men killed in a shoot-out at a checkpoint.

Some may be simple criminal activity. A shop-keeper in the old city said many shops, particularly gold and jewellery stores, were shut because they feared robbery.

“There are fights in the street at night,” he said. “The dealers are afraid.”

The air of tension is added to by state television footage repeating claims, some apparently true, of revenge attacks on Gaddafi loyalists, particularly black fighters accused of being mercenaries, captured in eastern Libya.

“If the rebels win they will kill us,” said Joy Badmos, 37, a Nigerian who has lived in Tripoli for 15 years running a family fashion design business.

“We have seen on state TV how the rebels are killing Africans”.

What is not clear is whether there is any co-ordinated planning for resistance should Col Gaddafi be forced to leave. But Khaled Kaim, the usually conciliatory deputy foreign minister, gave an indication of a change of mood at the weekend with a fierce attack on the rebels, saying that opposition leaders were “traitors”.

“Those who sided with NATO in attacking their own people, it will be impossible for them,” he said.

WORLD_ 'Mobile phones cause cancer'

WHO says cell phone use "possibly carcinogenic"

Kate Kelland, Health and Science
Correspondent, Reuters
June 1, 2011, 6:25 am

'Mobile phones cause cancer'
The World Health Organisation now says mobile phone use may raise the risk of developing cancer.

LONDON (Reuters) - Using a mobile phone may increase the risk of developing certain types of brain tumour and consumers should consider ways of reducing their exposure, World Health Organisation (WHO) cancer experts said on Tuesday.

A working group of 31 scientists from 14 countries meeting at the WHO's International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) said a review of all the available scientific evidence suggested cell phone use should be classified as "possibly carcinogenic."

The classification, which puts mobile phone use in the same broad IARC cancer risk category as lead, chloroform and coffee, could spur the United Nations health body to look again at its guidelines on mobile phones, the scientists said.

But more lengthy and detailed research is needed before a more definitive answer on any link can be given.

The WHO had previously said there was no established evidence for a link between cell phone use and cancer.

"After reviewing essentially all the evidence that is relevant... the working group classified radiofrequency electromagnetic fields as possibly carcinogenic to humans," Jonathan Samet, chair of the IARC group, said in a telebriefing.

He said some evidence suggested a link between an increased risk for glioma, a type of brain cancer, and mobile phone use.

The WHO's position has been keenly awaited by mobile phone companies and by campaign groups who have raised concerns about whether cell phones might be harmful to health.

Industry groups immediately sought to play down the decision, stressing that the "possibly carcinogenic" category also includes substances such as pickled vegetables and coffee.

"This IARC classification does not mean that cell phones cause cancer," said John Walls, vice president of public affairs for the United States-based wireless association CTIA.

He noted that the IARC working group did not conduct any new research, but reviewed published studies, and said other regulatory bodies such as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration have stated that "the weight of scientific evidence has not linked cell phones with any health problems."

John Cooke, executive director of the British-based Mobile Operators Association, said IARC had only found the possibility of a hazard. "Whether or not this represents a risk requires further scientific investigation," he said in a statement.


The IARC remarks follow a study published last year which looked at almost 13,000 cell phone users over 10 years and found no clear answer on whether the mobile devices cause brain tumours.

Many previous studies have also failed to establish any clear cancer link, but a U.S. study in February found that using a mobile phone can change brain cell activity.

Use of mobile phones has increased hugely since their introduction in the early- to mid-1980s. About 5 billion mobile phones are currently in use worldwide.

Christopher Wild, IARC's director, said it was important that more research should be conducted, particularly into long-term and heavy use of mobile phones.

"Pending the availability of such information, it is important to take pragmatic measures to reduce exposure such as hands-free devices or texting," he said.

Malcolm Sperrin, director of medical physics and clinical engineering at Britain's Royal Berkshire Hospital, said he thought the IARC move was appropriate because it reflected the "anecdotal evidence that cancers may be associated with phone usage." But he added: "It is vitally important to fully understand that there is no definitive correlation."

(Additional reporting by Sinead Carew in New York, editing by Mark Heinrich)

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Độc tài Gadhafi vẫn cố bám quyền lực_Libya's Gadhafi pledges he won't leave

Libya's Gadhafi pledges he won't leaveDIAA HADID, Associated Press
Updated 12:28 p.m., Tuesday, May 31, 2011

In this Monday, May 30, 2011 photo supplied by the South African Government Communications and Informations Services (GCIS) South Africa President Jacob Zuma, left, meets with Libyan President Moammar Gadhafi, right, in Tripoli. Moammar Gadhafi is ready for a truce to stop the fighting in his country, the visiting South African president said after meeting the Libyan ruler, but he listed familiar Gadhafi conditions that have scuttled previous cease-fire efforts. Rebels quickly rejected the offer. . / GCIS

TRIPOLI, Libya (AP) — Moammar Gadhafi insists he will not leave his country, South Africa's president said Tuesday after he met the embattled Libyan ruler.

Gadhafi's departure is the key demand of rebel forces battling his troops. On Tuesday, Italy's foreign minister pledged to provide Libya's rebels with fuel and hundreds of millions of dollars backed by frozen assets of Gadhafi's regime. Franco Frattini spoke during a visit to the de facto rebel capital, Benghazi.

The hard lines of the two sides and the competing, high-level visits illustrated the virtual stalemate in the conflict. NATO aircraft bomb the Libyan capital night after night, and military forces from the two sides engage each other in battles, shelling and rocket attacks, little is changing on the ground.

South Africa is concerned for Gadhafi's safety, according to the statement released by President Jacob Zuma's office Tuesday, after he returned home from his talks with Gadhafi in Tripoli — a rare visit by a high-level world figure.

Zuma was pressing to revive an African Union proposal for a cease-fire and dialogue to settle the Libya conflict, and Gadhafi agreed, the statement said, "Col. Gadhafi called for an end to the bombings to enable a Libyan dialogue," it said. "He emphasized that he was not prepared to leave his country, despite the difficulties."

Zuma called for a halt to NATO airstrikes as part of the cease-fire. After initially backing NATO's involvement, Zuma and the African Union called for a cessation, charging that NATO had overstepped its U.N. mandate to protect civilians.

NATO aircraft blasted five tank transporters near the western coastal town of Zlitan on Monday, British military spokesman Maj. Gen. John Lorimer said in a statement. The town is between Tripoli and the rebel-held city of Misrata.

Through the statement, the African Union appealed for recognition of its role in finding a formula, adding, "Nothing other than a dialogue among all parties in Libya can bring about a lasting solution." The African body's image has deteriorated in recent years because of its inability to resolve conflicts on the continent.

Rebel leaders immediately turned down the African initiative because of Gadhafi's refusal to relinquish power.

The statement said Zuma had lengthy talks with Gadhafi. South African foreign affairs spokesman Clayson Monyela said he raised issues brought up in his talks with rebel leaders in Johannesburg. Monyela did not say when the meetings took place or what the issues were.

Defections from the Gadhafi regime appear to be speeding up. Thirteen servicemen loyal to Gadhafi, including a colonel and four commanders, have fled to neighboring Tunisia, the official Tunisian news agency said. It was the second group of military men to defect to Tunisia this week.

The latest group arrived Sunday in the port of Ketf in southern Tunisia, the news agency TAP said Tuesday.

On Friday, a group of 22, including a colonel and ranking officers, arrived in two boats at the same port from the rebel-held Libyan city of Misrata.

On Monday, eight top Libyan army officers, five of them generals, made an appeal in Rome to fellow officers to join the revolt.

At the United Nations, political chief B. Lynn Pascoe told the Security Council that although their positions remain far apart, government authorities in Tripoli and opposition representatives in Benghazi have reiterated their commitment to work through U.N. special envoy Abdelilah Al-Khatib. Pascoe said Al-Khatib, who will return to Tripoli this week, has been trying to narrow the differences between the two sides to get indirect talks under way.

In Beijing, China added its voice to calls for a political solution, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said, "We hope all sides can put the interests of the Libyan nation and its people first and take into full account the mediation plans put forward by the international community so as to ease tensions as soon as possible."

Effects of more than three months of fighting are being felt all over. Shortages plague the western part of the country under Gadhafi's control, where miles-long lines wait at gas stations, and basic supplies, even some food items, can be hard to find.

On the rebel side where most of Libya's oil fields are located, oil exports have been halted after fighting and shelling around the wells, plunging the National Transitional Council into a financial crisis.

Frattini offered to correct that. He said Italy would provide "for the needs of the Libyan people with a huge quantity of fuel and huge amount of money."

He did not provide an exact figure but said the assistance would amount to "hundreds of millions of euros (dollars) that are necessary for the daily life of the population."

"The Libyan nation is not a poor nation, it has its resources. But during this difficult period of time, the financial needs are extreme, and the Italian government has come in to give us the necessary financial support for our development," said Ali al-Essawy, a senior rebel official.

"With this continued support on a daily basis, the national transitional council and the Libyan revolution grows in strength, so does the Gadhafi regime weaken, and to this end, we believe the end of the Gadhafi regime will soon be here," he added.

Italy, the former colonial power in Libya, was the third country, after France and Qatar, to give diplomatic recognition to the rebel council. Rome has also dispatched military advisers to help train the rebel military and sent doctors to help organize hospitals and medical efforts.

Frattini vowed Italy would continue such support and repeated his demand that Gadhafi step down.

"Gadhafi's regime is over. He has to leave power, he has to leave the country," he said.

Additional reporting by Associated Press writers Ryan Lucas and Michelle Faul in Benghazi, Libya and Edith M. Lederer at the U.N.

Read more: http://www.seattlepi.com/news/article/Libya-s-Gadhafi-pledges-he-won-t-leave-1402662.php#ixzz1NxnTdadJ


Độc tài Gadhafi vẫn cố bám chặt quyền lực .

Những người VN bị MẤT NƯỚC vào tay bè lũ Việt gian ĐỘC tài Độc đảng ĐỘC quyền BÁN NƯỚC BÁN DÂN, rút tỉa thêm được kinh nghiệm gì cho Công Cuộc tranh đấu giành lại đất nước qua tình hình Libya hiện tại ???

Trước đây không lâu, conbenho có nghe audio, đọc vài bài viết từ vài "bình lọan gia" từ vài đài phát thanh của người Việt tại hải ngọai, đã "nhận định" một cách chắc chắn rằng Gadhafi "sẽ ra đi" . Từ bài "report" trên, các anh chị nghĩ thế nào ?

Nhiều người "đấu tranh dân chủ" trong và ngoài nước vẫn còn chập chờn mê ngủ, ngồi chờ bè lũ Việt gian ĐỘC tài ĐỘC đảng phản quốc bán nước csVN "nhường quyền" lại cho dân VN, cứ mở miệng là "bất bạo động" và van xin cầu khẩn ơn huệ của bè lũ thú vật csVN hầu thỏa hiệp để chia quyền chia tước và chia chung bàn tiệc MÁU XƯƠNG Ô NHỤC của cả dân tộc .

Họ chưa hiểu được bản chất của bè lũ buôn nòi bán giống phản quốc diệt chủng bán nước csVN hay cùng chung một bản chất ???

(Dĩ nhiên conbenho không phải "quơ đủa cả nắm" như những bọn óc ung chuyên nghề chụp mũ.)

Chân thành cám ơn Quý Anh Chị ghé thăm "conbenho Nguyễn Hoài Trang Blog"
Xin được lắng nghe ý kiến chia sẻ của Quý Anh Chị trực tiếp tại Diễn Đàn Paltalk:
1Latdo Tapdoan Vietgian CSVN Phanquoc Bannuoc .

Kính chúc Sức Khỏe Quý Anh Chị .

Tiểu Muội quantu
Nguyễn Hoài Trang

Bao che, dung dưỡng TỘI ÁC là đồng lõa với TỘI ÁC

WORLD_ Col Gaddafi 'emphatic' he will not leave Libya

Col Gaddafi 'emphatic' he will not leave Libya

Colonel Gaddafi is 'emphatic' he will not leave Libya, despite Nato airstrikes and concern about his 'personal safety', South Africa's President Jacob Zuma said after returning from a peace mission to the country.

Nato gave special permission to Jacob Zuma to fly into Tripoli Photo: EPA/Ntswe Mokoena
By Richard Spencer, Tripoli and Aislinn Laing
6:21PM BST 31 May 2011

Despite claims that Mr Zuma might seek to negotiate an exit strategy, his statement focused on a demand for agreed ceasefire throughout Nato.

"(Col Gaddafi) expressed his anger at the Nato bombings, which have claimed the lives of his son and grandchildren and continue to cause a destruction of property and disruption of life," the statement said.

"He emphasised that he was not prepared to leave his country, despite the difficulties."

Libyan government spokesman Moussa Ibrahim said on that the meeting did not discuss 'exit strategies'.

Mr Zuma "never discussed any exit strategies as they have been described in the media," said Moussa Ibrahim, government spokeman at a news conference on Tuesday night.

Mr Zuma became the first outsider to see Col Gaddafi in person since May 11, meeting him in his home and seeing the bombed building where the regime says his son Saif al-Arab and three grandchildren were killed in April.

In state television pictures, Col Gaddafi seemed well and, contrary to some rumours, uninjured by the bombing raids.

Nato gave special permission to Mr Zuma to fly into Tripoli, along with a heavily armed support group, to present an African Union "road map" for peace. But his efforts were immediately dismissed by the rebels, who have demanded that Col Gaddafi step down before any negotiations take place.

Despite denials that South Africa was working on an exit strategy for Col Gaddafi, it was reported that senior Libyan officials had engaged the services of a local law firm to defend him should he be brought before the International Criminal Court at The Hague.

Langa Attorneys is alleged to have negotiated a "mandate agreement" to protect the Libyan leader's interests three weeks ago.

Meanwhile, residents of an east Tripoli suburb confirmed yesterday that Monday had seen the largest anti-regime protest in the capital since the beginning of March.

One resident of the suburb, Souq al-Juma'a, said that 1,000 people had gathered at the funeral of two men killed in a shoot-out with police at a check-point the day before. Footage posted to Youtube showed a crowd chanting anti-Gaddafi slogans.

He said there were regular shootings in the night. "Everyone in Souq al-Juma'a is against Gaddafi," he said. "People paint slogans on the walls but they get painted over."

Related Articles
Libya: Col Gaddafi plots retaliatory strikes if forced from leadership- 31 May 2011
'Armed Westerners' on the ground in Libya_ 31 May 2011
Jacob Zuma arrives in Libya_ 30 May 2011
Gaddafi agrees AU peace plan with Zuma_ 31 May 2011

Lại thêm một "câu chuyện lợn"_ Egyptian banker arrested over Manhattan hotel maid assault

Egyptian banker arrested over Manhattan hotel maid assault
From correspondents in New York
From: AP
May 31, 2011 3:42PM

Mahmoud Abdel Salam Omar, former chairman of Egypt's Bank of Alexandria was arrested on charges of sexually abusing a maid at The Pierre hotel. Picture: AAP File Source: news.com.au

_ Mr Omar accused of sexually abusing maid
_ Former chairman of Bank of Alexandria
_ IMF chief recently arrested on similar charges

THE former chairman of one of Egypt's major banks has been arrested on charges of sexually abusing a maid at a Manhattan hotel, just weeks after the arrest of former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn on similar allegations.

Police say Mahmoud Abdel Salam Omar was arrested at the Pierre Hotel today.

The 74-year-old businessman is accused of sexually abusing the maid and holding her against her will inside his hotel room.

Police say the incident happened on Sunday night.

Police spokesman Paul Browne says detectives found the complainant to be credible.

Mr Omar is the former chairman of Egypt's Bank of Alexandria.

Mr Strauss-Kahn quit as the leader of the International Monetary Fund on May 18 after he was charged with sexually assaulting a maid at a different city hotel.

He has denied the allegations, but is under house arrest as he awaits trial.

Read more: http://www.news.com.au/world/egyptian-banker-arrested-over-manhattan-hotel-maid-assault/story-e6frfkz0-1226066568076#ixzz1NvWdPuJR


Nếu vậy thì lại thêm một "câu chuyện lợn", thêm một khuôn mặt "sáng giá" "danh tiếng" và giàu có nữa "lòi mặt lợn" .

Báo chí, truyền thông internet thiệt là "tuyệt vời", giúp cho chúng ta có thể biết được rất nhiều chuyện .

Nghe "chuyện lợn" nước người, ngán ngẫm và lợm giọng "chuyện lợn" nước ta, đã và đang bị lãnh đạo bởi cái đảng xuống hàng chó ngựa, ở đó có rất nhiều mặt lợn trong bè lũ ký sinh trùng chuyên hút xương tủy đại khối người dân Việt cùng khổ .

Hy vọng một ngày không xa người dân VN sẽ đồng lọat đứng lên lôi cổ bè lũ ĐỘC tài ĐỘC đảng ĐỘC ác phản quốc cướp nước diệt chủng bán nước Việt gian csVN xuống trị tội, chừng ấy một bầy lợn trong mấy triệu thằng của cái đảng mất dạy buôn nòi bán giống csVN sẽ LÒI mặt ra, có lẽ dân VN sẽ phải làm rất nhiều chuồng lợn để chứa bầy lợn nhơ nhớp bẩn thỉu này .

Chân thành cám ơn Quý Anh Chị ghé thăm "conbenho Nguyễn Hoài Trang Blog"
Xin được lắng nghe ý kiến chia sẻ của Quý Anh Chị trực tiếp tại Diễn Đàn Paltalk:
1Latdo Tapdoan Vietgian CSVN Phanquoc Bannuoc .

Kính chúc Sức Khỏe Quý Anh Chị .

Tiểu Muội quantu
Nguyễn Hoài Trang

Bao che, dung dưỡng TỘI ÁC là đồng lõa với TỘI ÁC

Monday, May 30, 2011

Ý Kiến- Phê Bình qua bài " Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi's reign of terror near end, says NATO"

Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi's reign of terror near end, says NATO

Imed Lamloum
From: AFP
May 31, 2011 10:11AM

Muammar Gaddafi is increasingly being isolated.
Source: The Daily Telegraph

UPDATE 10.06am: SOUTH African President Jacob Zuma has met Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi for truce talks as NATO said the strongman's "reign of terror" was nearing its end and top military officers deserted him.
Zuma left the capital after a visit lasting several hours during which he met Gaddafi, state news agency JANA said.

State television broadcast footage of Gaddafi welcoming Zuma at the entrance to a building, in the embattled Libyan leader's first reported public appearance in weeks.

JANA said during Zuma's talks, Tripoli denounced NATO "violations" of UN resolutions, attempts at "political assassination" and destruction of the country's infrastructure and the maritime blockade of Libya.

Zuma arrived at Gaddafi's Bab al-Aziziya compound, a regular target of NATO air strikes, at 1400 GMT (2400 AEST).

During the talks, the Tripoli regime also demanded a meeting of the UN Security Council to review "mechanisms for applying resolutions on Libya", JANA said.

Before his Tripoli talks, Zuma told South African television news the NATO campaign was thwarting African Union attempts to broker a peace deal.

"Even going there had to be delayed because of bombing," he said in apparent reference to an initial AU mission to Libya.

"We only went there long after the time that we had taken a decision, and even going there, you have to ask permission from the NATO to get to Libya."

At a meeting of NATO's parliamentary assembly in Bulgaria, NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen insisted: "Gaddafi's reign of terror is coming to an end.

"He is increasingly isolated at home and abroad. Even those closest to him are departing, defecting or deserting. ... It is time for Gaddafi to go as well," Rasmussen said.

In Rome, Libyan General Salah Giuma Yahmed said the ongoing defections meant Gaddafi's forces could no longer prop up the regime.

"NATO forces are paralysing Gaddafi's troops; they are now running at about 20 per cent of their military capacity," he told reporters.

Ahead of Zuma's visit, his ruling African National Congress slammed the NATO raids.

The Libyan regime also got support from two French lawyers who planned to initiate legal proceedings against France's President Nicolas Sarkozy for crimes against humanity over the Libya campaign.

Libyan justice ministry official Ibrahim Boukhzam told reporters in Tripoli Jacques Verges and Roland Dumas had offered to represent families he said were victims of the NATO bombs.

The regime's response to the rebellion, however, was condemned in Geneva by UN rights chief Navi Pillay.

"The brutality and magnitude of measures taken by the governments in Libya and now Syria have been particularly shocking in their outright disregard for basic human rights," Pillay told the UN Human Rights Council.

Mustafa Abdul Jalil, who heads the rebels' provisional government, welcomed a Friday call by G8 world powers for Gaddafi to stand down, saying it was the position reflective of the "will of the international community as well as the demands and aspirations of the Libyan people".

The Libyan regime responded by saying only an AU initiative matters and the rebels reiterated they would accept no settlement that did not entail Gaddafi's departure.

On the humanitarian front, announcing 10 million euros ($A13.4 million) in aid for refugees, the European Commission said on Monday about 40,000 Chadian workers trying to flee Libya were stranded in "dire conditions" at the border with Chad.

Qatar, meanwhile, has opened a government-financed refugee camp in southern Tunisia to host 1600 Libyan refugees, a camp official said.

_________ 3 comments on this story

Sensible Discussion Posted at 4:23 AM Today This man needs to be taken out or brought to justice. More and more reports are coming in about systematic rape being committed by Gaddafi forces, especially from Misrata. This is a deliberate strategy that we have seen in countries before.

Libyan society is quite conservative and most families would view this as shameful and will not speak out about it. Women who have been raped are viewed as "spoiled" and will have difficulty ever getting married or living a normal life. Everyone hopes it will end soon but especially those who are vulnerable and left exposed to exploitation of this regime.

Comment 1 of 3

Hotheads Online of Australia Posted at 5:09 AM Today People ought to be careful what they wish for. The Arab Spring may turn into the Arab Islamic Caliphate that supports the aims of Al-Qaeda and forms a united front against the Great Satan USA and its allies - like Australia.

The problem with the US-driven NATO is that most of its actions interfering in other nations invokes the Law of Unintended Consequences, where the result is exactly opposite to the one intended.

The Americans have been shooting themselves in the foot for decades with their illegal interference in other nations, Iran being a good example, where the current theocracy is the result of Americans and British overthrowing a legally elected president in 1953. They reap what they sow.

And the NATO interference in Libya may result in a Libyan government that will not be the model of democracy that is desired, but another Islamic theocracy like Iran.

Comment 2 of 3

Paddy of Box Hill Posted at 10:13 AM Today All credit goes to the people. This man was romanced by the west for their own purposes. Only when the people revolted did the west start to have some feelings.

Comment 3 of 3


Các anh chị nghĩ thế nào về bài viết và 3 "comments" trên ?

Từ những diễn biến qua Cuộc Cách Mạng Lật Đổ bè lũ cầm quyền độc tài bạo ác trên thế giới, đã và đang diễn ra và cháy bùng từ Ngọn Đuốc Sống Muhammet Bouazizi, Tunisia, kế đến là Ai Cập, Yemen, Syria ... và cụ thể là Libya từ bài viết trên, thực tế không phải cúi đầu van xin cầu khẩn mà có được Tự Do, Dân Chủ và Nhân Quyền .
Lại càng không thể ngồi dựa hơi dựa hám các "cường quốc" để họ mang tự do, dân chủ và nhân quyền đến "tặng" cho những người dân bị trị .

Thân phận của người phụ nữ dưới sự cai trị của cầm quyền độc tài Gadhafi đã bị chà đạp như những con vật, không có nhân phẩm, không có quyền làm người. Đáng khâm phục cho những người đã can đảm đứng lên tranh đấu giành lại Quyền làm người cho chính họ .
Sớm hay muộn, những tên độc tài bạo ác kết cuộc cũng đều ô nhục như nhau .

Những người VN bị MẤT NƯỚC vào tay bè lũ thú vật phản quốc cướp nước diệt chủng bán nước ĐỘC tài ĐỘC đảng dã man csVN sau 36 năm nếu vẫn chưa nhìn ra bản chất buôn nòi bán giống, giết dân bán nước vô cùng chó má của tập đòan Việt gian csVN, so với độc tài Gadhafi còn kinh khủng hơn nhiều, vẫn lại còn u mê ám chướng "đòan kết" với lũ thú vật này để "chống ngoại xâm" thì quả là hết thuốc chữa .

CHÍNH lũ súc sinh csVN, chính bè lũ thú vật Việt cộng này đã BÁN NƯỚC .
CHÍNH lũ súc sinh csVN, chính bè lũ thú vật Việt cộng này đã GIẾT dân, đã BÁN dân .
CHÍNH lũ súc sinh csVN, chính bè lũ thú vật Việt cộng này đã rước giặc về thờ, rước ngọai ban vào làm nhớp nhúa đất nước VN cho chúng độc quyền đớp hít

Ngày nào lũ súc sinh csVN còn ngồi trên đầu trên cổ dân Việt, ngày đó dân tộc VN còn ô nhục, còn làm nô lệ ngọai bang, còn làm nô lệ khắp thế giới .

Còn nữa, người VN bị MẤT NƯỚC còn tiếp tục tranh đấu giành lại đất nước cho dân VN bị trị dưới sự chà đạp của lũ súc sinh csVN, tiếp tục tranh đấu cho Tự Do, Dân Chủ, Nhân Quyền thật sự cho dân tộc VN không những phải nhìn ra bản chất thú vật của bè lũ cầm quyền ĐỘC tài bạo ác csVN mà còn phải nhìn cho ra từng "cái MẶT THẬT" của những "cường quốc" trên thế giới .

Chân thành cám ơn Quý Anh Chị ghé thăm "conbenho Nguyễn Hoài Trang Blog"
Xin được lắng nghe ý kiến chia sẻ của Quý Anh Chị trực tiếp tại Diễn Đàn Paltalk:
1Latdo Tapdoan Vietgian CSVN Phanquoc Bannuoc .

Kính chúc Sức Khỏe Quý Anh Chị .

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Nguyễn Hoài Trang

Bao che, dung dưỡng TỘI ÁC là đồng lõa với TỘI ÁC

W)ORLD_ Libya: Five generals defect as pressure mounts on Muammar Gaddafi

Libya: Five generals defect as pressure mounts on Muammar Gaddafi

A mass defection of senior military officers puts more pressure on the regime of Col Muammar Gaddafi as the last chance for a negotiated settlement to the crisis seemed to pass and Nato prepared to intensify air strikes.

President Jacob Zuma of South Africa (left) spent all afternoon with regime officials, including a long one-on-one discussion with Col Gaddafi, at the Libyan leader's Bab al-Azizia compound in the centre of Tripoli Photo: REUTERS

By Richard Spencer, Tripoli 7:38PM BST
30 May 2011

Five generals, two colonels and a major told a news conference in Rome that they fled Libya in protest at the killings of civilians and that Col Gaddafi's military strength had been reduced by 80 per cent.

Only ten generals remain loyal, Gen Melud Massoud Halasa, one of the defectors, said.

At least 100 more army officers have left Libya in recent days, according to Abdurrahman Shalgam, Libya's ambassador to the United Nations, who defected himself in the early days of the uprising against Col Gaddafi's regime.

The mass defection will place more pressure on Col Gaddafi's military, which is now fighting rebel forces on three fronts – to the west in the Nafusa mountains, in the enclave around Misurata and against the main opposition forces in Benghazi and Ajdabiya in the east.

The rebels in both Benghazi and Misurata are being assisted by western advisers. Britain has confirmed it has sent advisers to Benghazi to help with organisation and logistics, and western troops were filmed in Misurata for the first time by al-Jazeera at the weekend.

The defence secretary, Liam Fox, also warned at the weekend that RAF Tornado jets would be loaded with 2,000 bunker-buster bombs and targeted on compounds used by the regime in Tripoli in the coming days.

Nato's secretary-general, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, said: "Gaddafi's reign of terror is coming to an end. He is increasingly isolated at home and abroad. Even those closest to him are departing, defecting or deserting."

Col Gaddafi has still refused to listen to demands that he leave office – regarded by the rebels and Nato as essential for a resolution of the crisis.

The latest attempt to forge a compromise was made on Monday by President Jacob Zuma of South Africa, who was sent by the African Union to present their “road map” for peace.

A clip of Mr Zuma being greeted by Col Gaddafi, who had not previously been seen in public since May 11, was later shown on state television.

Mr Zuma spent all afternoon with regime officials, including a long one-on-one discussion with Col Gaddafi, at the Libyan leader's Bab al-Azizia compound in the centre of Tripoli.

Mr Zuma said afterwards that the “Brother Leader” had accepted the road-map and was willing to call a ceasefire as long as it included an end to Nato bombing.

He made no mention of having urged Col Gaddafi to leave, as demanded by Nato powers and the rebels.

But there were no immediate signs of a breakthrough. The plan agreed by the African Union is similar to Libya’s own — a ceasefire to be followed by reconciliation talks, without a guaranteed departure for Col Gaddafi — and has already been rejected by both Nato leaders and the rebels.

The generals who defected may have been forced out – according to one account, one motive was the rise of younger, more assertive Gaddafi loyalists, many from the leader's own tribe, in the ranks.

But they will give credibility to stories told by rebels in areas freed from control by pro-Gaddafi troops of multiple rapes and brutal treatment of the civilian population. Gen. Halasa also told the news conference that Col Gaddafi's support was rapidly weakening and his military running at 20 per cent capacity.

Nato bombers have not struck Tripoli since Saturday morning, but are expected to renew their attacks after Mr Zuma's departure.

They did hit the town of Zlitan, which lies between Misurata and Tripoli, killing 13 people according to the Libyan government. Rebels in Misurata say they have been told to expect attacks, possibly by Apache helicopters, on government front lines there in the next few days.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

OPINION_ IMF Chief Case Proves There’s Shocking Wealth in Being A Socialist

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, head of the International Monetary Fund, is lead from a police station Sunday, May 15, 2011 in New York where he was being held. Strauss-Kahn, a possible candidate for president of France, was pulled from an airplane moments before it was to depart for Paris on Saturday, and arrested in the alleged sexual assault of a New York hotel maid, police said. Photo: Craig Ruttle /

IMF Chief Case Proves There’s Shocking Wealth in Being A Socialist

by Rachel Marsden

Apparently there’s some good money to be made with a career as a professional Socialist. Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the French Socialist Party’s formerly best hope for president and former International Monetary Fund chief now sits in a $50,000 a month townhouse rental in Manhattan’s Tribeca district in the wake of his Picasso-collecting heiress wife posting $1 million bail and $5 million bond. This doesn’t include the $280,000 monthly bill for detectives and lawyers in a bid to clear him of charges of allegedly sexually assaulting a maid at a luxury NYC hotel.

All this flaunting of wealth by someone who was supposed to be the best hope for the great unwashed French masses has forced his party to acknowledge the disconnect. Benoit Hamon, the Socialist Party’s spokesman, says that he “understands that this could shock millions of French.”

Color me personally unshocked, Benoit. Strauss-Kahn – or “DSK” – is a longtime French civil servant. Climbing to the pinnacle of public service and politics is how the left gets rich – and it’s really the only way they can do so, aside from marrying rich or inheriting wealth, because their business model doesn’t really allow for much else without delving into capitalist activities. Even the universally recognized symbol of extreme leftism, Che Guavara, was a product of Argentine high-society and invested in a yacht company before setting out to lead the peasants in revolution against capitalism.

DSK has been mayor, parliamentarian, minister, then subsequently collected a $500,000 yearly salary as head of the IMF. Whenever I see a wealthy self-described socialist, it’s a pretty sure bet that, like DSK here, they fell into a giant pile of someone else’s cash at some point. Redistribution of wealth primarily towards themselves is how socialists roll: What’s Jacques Taxpayer’s is mine. What’s wifey’s is mine. What enters my hotel room is (allegedly) mine…A French BFM TV reporter broadcasting live recently from DSK’s new apartment held up two NYC newspaper covers expressing shock at his monthy living costs, explaining to French viewers that although Americans have less of a complex about money than the French, they’re still raising eyebrows at the lavish spending. That's because his new spread is theoretically supposed to substitute for a jail cell. Not too many people charged with rape end up landing a massive new pad with a “girl’s room” or "nanny's room" within a week of release – let alone someone who was supposed to represent the great hope for the so-called people’s party back home.

Not to say that socialists don’t deserve to be well-paid for a productive job well done, but the key word is “productive”. The position of IMF chief shouldn’t be held by anyone for whom it’s the best paying gig they’ve ever known. Instead, it should pay nothing in salary and allow for bonus performance-based payouts. For example, DSK was set lay out an austerity plan and strategy for Greece to reduce its debt in exchange for a 110 billion Euro bailout from Eurozone countries. The head of the IMF shouldn’t get a cent of salary until his advice pans out and Greece turns a profit based on it. The same goes for the 78 billion Euros the EU just gave Portugal to sort itself out. The IMF chief ought to moralize to them as he’s apt to do, and if his hot air manages to push their sinking ship’s sail in the right direction, then he should get a cut. Instead, we hear that countries like Tunisia went from 3.7% growth to 1.7% growth, according to the IMF. Whoops, looks like global governor DSK underperformed. Those who want to be responsible for the world should then take responsibility for the world.

The great paradox is that Socialists like DSK want to run their own countries and the entire planet while enjoying the power, prestige and salaries associated with doing so. But at no point are they ever accountable or responsible for any results. If they ever did solve the world’s problems, they’d be out of jobs. If countries couldn’t depend on the IMF, they’d be forced to get themselves in order, which would likely mean cutting costs and limiting government. A limited government wouldn’t rely so heavily on civil servants and clunky paper-shuffling administrations. DSK and other self-proclaimed societal managers would have to find something more productive to do.

Being a man of the people moving societal goalposts around, making all sorts of rules, and telling others how to live pays wonderfully and represents the pinnacle of socialist achievement. That’s the dirty little secret the French are discovering with the DSK affair. It’s hard to make a living as a socialist otherwise -- on an open, level and fair field with everyone else. The ones who secretly aspire to it are hardly going to protest it. DSK’s biggest claim to fame prior to his IMF stint involved bringing in the now-repealed 35-hour French workweek, handicapping capitalism and forcing employers to pay the same salary for less productivity. Ironically it’s that same kind of thinking from which he and the IMF had to rescue bankrupt EU countries. The private sector equivalent would be someone who burns down your house then offers you the chance to pay him to rebuild it. DSK and socialists are good at creating employment and wealth – for themselves.

Rachel Marsden is an international political and communications strategist based in Paris, France. http://www.rachelmarsden.com

COMMENT_ Libya: On a wing and a prayer

Libya: On a wing and a prayer

Con Coughlin is the first journalist to report from inside the RAF's Italian base since the Libyan bombing raids began.

The Italian job: an RAF pilot prepares for a mission over Libya at Gioia del Colle in Italy Photo: Sgt Pete Mobbs; SAC Sally Raimondo

By Con Coughlin
10:00PM BST 29 May 2011

RAF fighter pilots are making their final checks for a combat mission over Libya when an intelligence report flashes across the operations room's computer screen. Pro-Gaddafi forces have been spotted setting up a checkpoint on the outskirts of Tripoli.

The report indicates that a group of fighters have parked their pick-up trucks on one of the main roads leading to the Libyan capital. Surveillance satellites have identified that the men are armed and, under the terms of the UN mandate, are deemed to pose a threat to the civilian population.

But, before an order can be given to attack the "technicals", to use the Nato jargon for pro-Gaddafi fighters, Nato officers must undertake a rigorous assessment of the risks posed to civilians if they order an air strike. This task is made more difficult by the fact that a low blanket of cloud has settled over Tripoli.

"We set the bar very high when it comes to protecting civilians," explains a senior RAF intelligence officer, who is part of the team that is constantly monitoring the Libyan battlefield. "We'd rather abort an air attack against a target than risk killing civilians."

This is not just a hi-tech war, it is an ethical war, and killing civilians is, in Nato's view, as disastrous to a mission's ultimate outcome as having one of its fighters shot down.


27 minutes agoRecommended by
2 peopleNothing to be proud off.

Yesterday 11:47 PMRecommended by
1 person I and my team have been in Gioia del Colleover the last couple of months gaining data on our targeting and telemetry systems that are installed on some of the aircraft involved in this conflict.

Talking to the aircrew it appears that not only are Gaddafi's military firing on the aircraft but also the rebels, who seem not to be able to identify their nationality.

This gives our aircrew a dilemma, are the people firing on them friends or foe? There have already been incidents reported whereby rebel fighters have been killed for being falsely identified. That is why Gaddafi's troops are resorting to using standard vehicles to launch some of their weapon systems. On first recon they look friendly and not locked on as targets but on damage assessment they open up with everything they have got.

So far, luckily, we have not lost any aircraft or personnel. Our intelligence is good though, so mistakes are few and far between.

And the good news for me is that my systems have now been proven in battle, which results more orders for my organisation. UK based with only a few components manufactured outside of the country, and all of those within the Western Europe.

It is a shame that those new orders are virtually all from Middle Eastern customers!

_ AWoLsco
15 minutes agoCan' t you find some useful peaceful application or is it all part of a game?
Have you ever stopped and thought seriously about your life's work and its moral implications?
Does one have to be in the business of killing people to make any money these days? Report Recommend

Yesterday 11:00 PMRecommended by
4 peopleNever before in the field of human conflict have so many been conned out of so much by so few.....for f... all.

dangerous mission....no opposition.....press a couple of buttons....job done. Back home for tea and biccies.
This isn't any Battle of Britain. This is something else....and it doesn't look good at all. Report Recommend

Yesterday 10:39 PMRecommended by
3 peopleAnybody think that only anarchists, assholes, dipsticks, cowards, rats and Gaddafi supporters are against action by Britain and NATO?

_ AWoLsco
24 minutes agoRecommended by
1 person Spare a thought for the poor old British taxpayer.
My microlight costs £50hr to fly. OK a jet is going to cost a bit more. I could live with say £500/hr . But come on, £50,000/ hr! Absolutely insane. Fine for intercepting the Russians, if they ever come, but all this joyriding back and forth from Italy to Libya just to cause devastation supporting "rebels" who may turn out to be worse than Ghaddafi?
I'm no Ghadaffi supporter. That's the point I couldn't give a stuff one way or the other.Let them sort it out themselves. It's just a local tribal spat.
Then there's your cruise missiles...£600,000 a pop, all gone up in smoke. Use once only. I could buy a hundred microlights with that and have enough change left over to run them for ages.
Can't you find something cheaper?
Where can we get the figures so that we know how much it's costing?
Don' t tell me. That's all a bit hush hush....always bleedin' is.


Với những nguồn tin và những nhận định, ý kiến, phê bình ... khác nhau, các anh chị nghĩ thế nào về những ý kiến, phê bình trên về tình hình Libya hiện nay ???

Chân thành cám ơn Quý Anh Chị ghé thăm "conbenho Nguyễn Hoài Trang Blog"
Xin được lắng nghe ý kiến chia sẻ của Quý Anh Chị trực tiếp tại Diễn Đàn Paltalk:
1Latdo Tapdoan Vietgian CSVN Phanquoc Bannuoc .

Kính chúc Sức Khỏe Quý Anh Chị .

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Nguyễn Hoài Trang

Bao che, dung dưỡng TỘI ÁC là đồng lõa với TỘI ÁC

WORLD_ Liam Fox says it is 'inevitable' allied forces will 'get' Gaddafi

Liam Fox says it is 'inevitable' allied forces will 'get' Gaddafi

Liam Fox, the Defence Secretary, has said it is "inevitable" that allied forces will "get" Colonel Gaddafi and described the Libyan dictator as a "loser".

British Apache helicopters will be used against Col Gaddafi's forces Photo: REUTERS

By Robert Winnett, Deputy Political Editor 6:35PM BST 29 May 2011
He said that it was now "very clear" that the civilian population could not be protected by Nato forces while Col Gaddafi remains in power.

The comments come as Nato forces step up attacks on the regime with the deployment of Apache attack helicopters.

The Ministry of Defence announced on Sunday that large "bunker-busting" bombs would now also be available for use by RAF jets attacking Libyan targets.

Over the weekend, Nato forces launched a series of attacks against targets in Tripoli which are thought to include Gaddafi's personal compounds.

In an interview, Mr Fox was asked whether allied forces would "get" Col Gaddafi "in the end".

"Well I think that it's inevitable when you've got the entire international community united behind you," the Defence Secretary said.

"We saw the Russians change their position subtly this week and I think it's now very clear that the international community believes that it's not possible to protect the civilian population while Gaddafi remains in control of the regime. He will go sooner or later and the calculation for those around him is how long they continue to invest in someone who will ultimately be a loser."

Mr Fox also admitted that the deployment of attack helicopters had an increased risk to British pilots. But he indicated their use was necessary as Libyan forces loyal to Gaddafi are hiding military equipment close to hospitals, schools and mosques.

"It's quite right that if we use attack helicopters there is an increased risk -they fly at far lower heights than fast jets would, obviously at slower speeds than the fast jets would, and they are more susceptible," Mr Fox said.

"That's why in taking that decision we have looked at all the variables, the risk to our service personnel which is always very key, but also the fact that we are making progress in Libya, it's clear the regime is having trouble sustaining military activity and the more we can degrade that the more we can protect the civilian population."

He added: "He's [Gaddafi] got a lot of bunkers, there are a lot of facilities that are being used partly as accommodation but also largely for military control and we will continue to degrade that."

Last week, it emerged that the Russian Government was preparing to take a more active role in trying to persuade Col Gaddafi to step down. Officials said they had contacts within Gaddafi's inner circle.

On Sunday, it also emerged that a former British Government minister had travelled to Tunisia for talks with Libya's foreign minister.

Lord Trefgarne, a junior government minister in the 1980s, who is chairman of the Libyan British Business Council, met Libyan Foreign Minister Abdelati Obeidi in Tunis on Saturday.

WORLD_ Barack Obama: can anybody beat him?

Barack Obama: can anybody beat him?

US economy seems to be the only obstacle between the resurgent president and re-election

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Chris McGreal in Washington
The Observer, Sunday 29 May 2011
Article history

Barack Obama gestures as he is given a tour of Westminster Abbey in London last week. Photograph: Leon Neal/AFP/Getty Images

Some say it was the bullet to Osama bin Laden's head. Others point to the Republicans' seemingly insatiable desire to inflict self-harm since they took back control of the lower house of Congress in last year's elections. And then there is the growing realisation that Barack Obama might just have saved America from economic disaster.

Whatever the cause, a president who just a few weeks ago was regarded by his political opponents as being on the ropes before the fight for re-election had even properly begun is now being treated with a new, grudging respect as his poll numbers rise and he comes out punching.

Earlier this year, even those who argued that Obama was still favourite for re-election in 18 months were forced to concede that he was being dragged down by a host of problems.

His popularity ratings plummeted as many independent voters shied away from a president they regarded as too ideological on issues such as healthcare reform and not focused enough on economic revival or cutting the deficit. The drumbeat of rightwing radio and Fox News constantly questioned the president's legitimacy and painted him as somehow un-American. Even among many of Obama's supporters there was disillusionment at what they saw as his disinclination to stand up for what he, and they, believed in. He was too cowed by criticism from the right, they said; too willing to seek a consensus that amounted to surrender.

In November, the Republicans seized control of the House of Representatives, greatly reduced the Democratic party's majority in the Senate, and declared the victory as a repudiation of all that Obama stood for. It was a stunning reversal for a man who had won an election just two years earlier with a message of hope that seemed to have buried a disheartened and divided Republican party.

But in recent weeks Obama's approval ratings have risen significantly – to a 16-month high of 53% in the most recent poll – and the president is widely thought to have rediscovered some of his old political mojo in the wake of the raid to kill Bin Laden.

The death of the al-Qaida leader cut the ground from under the rightwing pundits and their constant refrain that Obama is weak and endangering America. Even George W Bush's defence secretary and vice-president, Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney, grudgingly praised the president. Since then, the ideological fissure within the Republican party over budget cuts has been laid bare, leading it to make the colossal misstep of proposing to privatise medical insurance for the elderly, alienating much of the baby boomer generation. The party paid the price last week in an upset win for the Democrats in a New York state congressional election.

Meanwhile, Obama's crowd-pleasing tour of Ireland and Britain did him no harm back home.

For many pundits, that recent run of success was making the president look like a certainty for re-election. But then on Thursday, the well was poisoned by a single statistic: that US economic growth had slumped to an annualised rate of just 1.8% in the first quarter of this year.

"That's miserable," said Larry Sabato, head of the University of Virginia's Centre for Politics, who has made a speciality of studying the factors that influence presidential elections. "There's probably only one thing that can beat Obama. You never know about scandal, but I doubt it. War and peace: we don't have Iraq now and Afghanistan's winding down. But the economy – I don't care how good a president he looks a year and a half out, if you have a growth rate that is well below 3%, that president is probably going to lose as long as the opposition party nominates a respectable candidate."

That's a big "if" for the Republican party as it kicks off more than a year of wrangling between its political head and ideological heart to find a champion.

Obama has most to fear from a moderate Republican candidate. Three stand out among those likely to run: Mitt Romney, the former Massachusetts governor; Tim Pawlenty, the former Minnesota governor, and Jon Huntsman, the former US ambassador to China and ex-governor of Utah. All are former state governors, who often make compelling candidates – think of Bill Clinton, a former governor of Arkansas – because they are used to winning and using power by reaching across the political divide.

On paper, Obama should be most worried about Huntsman – but only for the reasons that make it likely that Huntsman's own party will reject him.

An anti-Huntsman spoof campaign advert produced by conservative bloggers shows images of a rhinoceros pounding through the African bush. No subtlety there: conservative critics of moderate members of their own party deride them as Rinos – Republican In Name Only.

The advert highlights Huntsman's criticism of the divisiveness of American politics ("Yelling and screaming and finger pointing. We all want the same thing"), the need to regulate carbon emissions, his assertion that "healthcare is a right" and, perhaps most contentious of all, his support for Obama's economic stimulus policies.

Close to the end, the video shows Huntsman endorsing John McCain – something of a hate figure on the right these days – in his 2008 presidential bid. The video closes by saying: "Not authorised or endorsed by Jon Huntsman or anyone affiliated with his campaign. Obviously."

Huntsman's position on almost all the issues for which he is targeted in the video would give him cross-party appeal in a head-to-head with Obama, drawing in many independents and conservative Democrats disillusioned with the president. But his problem will be to attract support in primaries where Tea Partiers and libertarians, who are deeply hostile to government in general and who loathe Obama in particular, will reject Huntsman not least because he has in the past praised the president.

"The Republican base hates Obama so much that one would think they would nominate a candidate who can beat him even if that person isn't perfect in their minds," said Sabato. "But you can argue it another way. You can say they hate Obama so much that they will nominate the candidate who hates Obama as much as they do."

In a Gallup poll released on Thursday, Huntsman fared the worst of the three Republican contenders thought most likely to be able to bring down Obama. He pulled in just 2% of support among likely Republican primary voters. Romney leads the field with 17%; Sarah Palin sits just a couple of points behind.

Romney has moved further to the right as his aspirations have grown but he has enough crossover appeal to be palatable to many independents. Tea Partiers and small-government activists, however, do not like it that, as governor, he signed legislation that provided near-universal healthcare insurance for Massachusetts residents – not least because health reform is now a favourite conservative stick with which to beat Obama.

But if the Republican right can forgive Romney such ideological transgressions, those same issues could prove powerful in luring the independents and conservative Democrat voters who are unhappy with Obama's first term.

Not so with Palin. After months of debate over whether she would or would not run, the charismatic but divisive 2008 vice-presidential nominee took a major step toward launching a presidential bid this weekend with the start of her "One Nation" bus tour of America's east coast, which has all the hallmarks – including the red, white and blue bunting on the bus – of an old fashioned whistlestop campaign tour.

Palin's recent purchase of a house in Arizona and the recruiting of an expanded staff has intensified speculation that she is about to enter the race.

Her star has fallen considerably since it shone so brightly over the Republican landscape three years ago. Some of her erstwhile supporters have grown weary of her political missteps, such as her ill-judged defence of gun-toting rhetoric after the shooting of Arizona congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords in January.

Others have been driven away by Palin's vague blandishments when it comes to policy specifics on issues that matter to them – concerns that will have been reinforced by the hokey statement she put out about her bus tour: "Our nation is at a critical turning point. As we look to the future, we are propelled by America's past," she wrote. "It's imperative that we connect with our founders, our patriots, our challenges and victories to clearly see our way forward. A good way to do this is to appreciate the significance of our nation's historic sites, patriotic events and diverse cultures."

The ultra-conservative congresswoman Michele Bachmann is also toying with a run for the White House. She would be a wild card but could cause political mayhem among other candidates by giving voice to the frustrations of those Tea Partiers who think that the Republican leadership in Congress is betraying its pledge to slash and burn the budget.

The battle over government spending will provide the backdrop to the next 18 months of campaigning by both parties as the Republicans wrestle with just how far to push back against Obama's economic stimulus plans and how deep to cut.

Last week they were reminded just what dangerous territory this is. New York state voters elected a Democrat to a once-safe Republican congressional seat in rebellion over Republican plans to privatise Medicare, the government-funded health insurance programme for the over-65s. That election – prompted by the resignation of a married congressman caught trawling on websites for sex – has served as a warning to the Republicans that their takeover of the House of Representatives last year could prove to be a poisoned chalice at the next presidential election.

With House Republicans now leading the charge to slash government spending, the looming political battles over the budget risk offending an array of the party's constituencies that support cuts in principle but hate them when they intrude on their own interests.

But the Democrats are themselves far from invulnerable over spending. Last week, the senate unanimously rejected Obama's budget because the president had been forced to propose deeper cuts since the original plan was drawn up. Obama had originally proposed a three-year domestic spending freeze and an end to tax cuts for the wealthy, saving about $1.1tn over the next decade. But that did not go far enough for many Americans and Obama has since been forced to raise the cuts to $4tn.

In the wake of the New York state victory, Bill Clinton warned Democrats not to get cocky. For a start, he said, many voters do believe that the rapidly rising costs of Medicare need to be reined in – it's just that they just don't like the way the Republicans proposed to do it, which means that the Democrats have to come up with their own plan.

"You shouldn't draw the conclusion that the New York race means that nobody can do anything to slow the rate of Medicare costs," said Clinton. "You should draw the conclusion that the people made a judgment that the proposal in the Republican budget is not the right one. I agree with that."

It was a point taken up by the Democratic congressional campaign committee chairman, Steve Israel, who told NBC's television news programme Meet the Press: "This is a special election where Medicare was an overriding issue. We're going to stay with our gameplan."

Part of that plan is to play the "Bin Laden card" by portraying the president as tough and decisive, in order to counter a growing belief among many of his supporters that he has spent too much time seeking compromise and consensus and not enough time fighting for what he says he stands for.

Obama's campaign advisers plan to portray him as having made difficult decisions over the economy, Afghanistan and going after Bin Laden. Vice-president Joe Biden is already pushing that line: "We have a leader with the backbone of a ramrod," he told a political fundraiser last week.

Biden illustrated his point by describing how the president's decisiveness over getting Bin Laden had helped bring the real Obama "into focus". The vice-president said that while he was counselling hesitation, Obama gave the go-ahead for the raid that killed the al-Qaida leader.

"Presidential elections are about strength in leadership," said Biden. "The American people now have a crystal-clear picture of how strong and decisive our president is, and that's the last piece of the puzzle that had to be put in place."

UK_ RAF to get 'bunker busters' for Libya mission

29 May 2011 Last updated at 13:19 GMT
RAF to get 'bunker busters' for Libya mission

One of the new bombs is loaded onto a plane by RAF armourers at a base in Italy

The Royal Air Force is to get 2,000lb "bunker busting" bombs to boost its mission in Libya.

The Ministry of Defence said the Enhanced Paveway III bombs were capable of penetrating the roof of reinforced buildings.

The MoD said this would enable the RAF to attack command centres and communications nodes in Libya.

Defence Secretary Dr Liam Fox said: "We are not trying to physically target individuals in Gaddafi's inner circle."

The MoD said the bombs had been prepared and could be used in Libya in a matter of hours and would help to protect civilians from being targeted by Libyan leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi's regime.

Dr Fox said: "The introduction of Enhanced Paveway III bombs is another way in which we are developing our tactics to protect civilians and achieve the intent of United Nations Security Council Resolutions 1970 and 1973.

"We are not trying to physically target individuals in Gaddafi's inner circle on whom he relies but we are certainly sending them increasingly loud messages.

"Gaddafi may not be capable of listening but those around him would be wise to do so," Dr Fox added.

The RAF's arsenal already includes Enhanced Paveway II, Paveway IV, and Dual Mode Seeker Brimstone bombs.

USA_ Ex-IMF chief hires top legal guns in sex case

Ex-IMF chief hires top legal guns in sex case

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, accused of trying to rape a New York hotel maid, has Benjamin Brafman leading his defense. 'If you're in New York and you're in a heap of trouble, Ben's the guy you call,' one veteran attorney says.

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the former head of the International Monetary Fund, has assembled a top-flight team to defend him against charges that he tried to rape a New York hotel maid. (Jim Watson, AFP/Getty Images / May 29, 2011)

By Geraldine Baum, Los Angeles Times
May 29, 2011

Reporting from New York— In some breathless quarters of the New York media, Dominique Strauss-Kahn has been all but convicted.

The former head of the International Monetary Fund, who is charged with trying to rape a hotel maid, has been characterized as an arrogant satyr and dubbed "Le Perv" by the tabloids. Nearly every day, new incriminating details are leaked anonymously to the media. In one report, Strauss-Kahn had the victim pinned to the bed while she begged him to leave her alone, only to be told, "Don't you know who I am?"

Even Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg seemed to overlook the presumption of innocence momentarily when asked why a handcuffed Strauss-Kahn was paraded before a ravenous news pack: "It think it's humiliating, but if you don't want to do the perp walk, don't do the crime."

Though the public may think it knows what happened May 14 around noon in that luxury suite of the Sofitel Hotel, it has yet to hear much from the defense. Strauss-Kahn, 62, has been assembling a well-credentialed team to counter prosecutors with the venerable Manhattan district attorney's Sex Crimes Unit.

A tiny preview of the coming bout between the legal heavyweights was revealed Thursday in a motion Strauss-Kahn's attorneys filed in Manhattan Supreme Court attempting to stop the police from releasing information about the investigation.

In a two-page letter to the judge, defense lawyers indicated that they too could be spewing information to the media — which they said would "gravely undermine the credibility of the complainant" — but they didn't want to prejudice a potential jury pool.

Prosecutors fired back that they were unaware of anything that could "gravely" hurt her credibility, deadpanning, "If you really do possess the kind of information you suggest that you do, we trust you will forward it immediately to the district attorney's office."

Those who have observed Benjamin Brafman, one of Strauss-Kahn's lawyers, say they had never known him to be shy about talking to the press. The letter to the judge from Brafman and attorney William W. Taylor III was seen as part of a strategy — yet another hint — that Strauss-Kahn would insist the 32-year-old woman consented to have sex with him.

Among the first calls Strauss-Kahn made after police escorted him off a Paris-bound jet shortly before takeoff was to Taylor, a soft-spoken Southerner and Washington insider. Taylor represented Strauss-Kahn a few years ago when he was facing an internal investigation by the Washington-based IMF over an affair with a woman who worked for him there. Though he was reprimanded for bad judgment, he was cleared of any wrongdoing.

When Strauss-Kahn was arrested in New York, he again reached out to Taylor, who quickly contacted Brafman, with whom he had worked defending a white-shoe law firm accused of fraud.

"If you're in New York and you're in a heap of trouble, Ben's the guy you call," said Los Angeles attorney Mark Geragos, who teamed up with Brafman in the early stages of defending Michael Jackson against child molestation charges. Brafman's other famous clients include Sean "Diddy" Combs, Jay-Z, former NFL receiver Plaxico Burress and a roster of New York gangsters.

Geragos and Charles Ross, Brafman's former partner, each described him as a savvy cross-examiner with a wily manner and a engaging sense of humor — he was once a Catskills stand-up comic.

"He has very few peers in the courtroom, and it comes from very hard work," Ross said. "He'll get every shred of discovery that the DA will provide … and then some."

Attorneys who have worked with and opposed Brafman say his technique is often to pick one or two factual issues and, starting with the pretrial publicity, hammer away at them. In this case, they predicted he would mold his defense around Strauss-Kahn's accuser, homing in on any weakness in her story or character he could dig up.

Brafman and Taylor have engaged a platoon of investigators, including former prosecutors and ex-police officers who are reportedly ferreting out such things as data recorded on electronic room keys used to open the hotel doors and details of the victim's life in Guinea, a former French colony in West Africa where she lived before she came to New York seven years ago.

In addition, the defense has brought on Marina Ein, a Washington-based public relations advisor who worked for former Rep. Gary Condit (D-Calif.) when he was questioned during the investigation into the disappearance of slain Washington intern Chandra Levy.

This is all adding up to a multimillion-dollar defense bill for a man who, before he got into trouble, had been negotiating the economic crisis in Europe and weighing a run for the presidency of France. Now, he and his wife, Anne Sinclair, an heiress and former French television journalist, who has been by her husband's side, are managing an expensive campaign to keep him out of prison.

When Sinclair arrived from France, she reportedly was accompanied by his French publicist and by Jean Veil, who is defending former French President Jacques Chirac in a corruption trial. It is unclear whether he too is on the defense team.

If this case goes before a jury, however, the challenge of pulling together a convincing argument is likely to rest with Brafman.

Even when there is physical evidence and a victim willing to testify, the outcome of sex crime cases is often unpredictable. The Manhattan Sex Crimes Unit lost a high-profile case last week in which two New York police officers were accused of rape.

Lisa F. Jackson, a filmmaker who recently spent two years shadowing the unit's prosecutors for a documentary being shown next month on HBO, said they are used to difficult cases, though few bring as much attention as the one involving Strauss-Kahn.

"They face big-gun lawyers all the time," Jackson said. "They'll be completely unintimidated by whatever the defense brings to the table in terms of reputations of the lawyers or new information or who-knows-what surprises they'll arrive at trial with."

Strauss-Kahn's next court appearance is expected on June 6; in the meantime, he is living under house arrest in a luxury Tribeca townhouse. Last week, television satellite trucks jammed the Manhattan neighborhood's narrow streets, and photographers, many of them French, were canvassing the neighborhood trying to find a doorman who would take $500 in cash to let them up on the roof to take pictures through the skylight of Strauss-Kahn's townhouse.

By week's end, there was no evidence they'd found any takers.