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[Transcript]  Mosaic News - 7/8/10: World News From The Middle East [VIDEO]

Deadly attacks target Iraq pilgrims

Dubai TV, UAE
Presenter, Male #1
More than 68 people were killed and nearly 150 others were wounded in a series of attacks on Shiite pilgrims marking the death of Imam Musa Kadhim in Baghdad. The attacks come despite the strict security measures taken by the Iraqi authorities. The security forces rushed to the scene of the blast and imposed a curfew in and around the area. The attack took place near the Aema Bridge where nearly 1,000 Shiite pilgrims were killed in 2005 in a stampede that was sparked by a rumor of a bomb in the area. Abed-Latif Omar reports.

Reporter, Male #2
“His finger on the trigger and his eyes are watching for any unusual activities.” This is the case of more than 1,000 military officers deployed by the Iraqi government to protect Shiite pilgrims, marking the death of Imam Musa Kadhim in Baghdad. What happened yesterday has brought back to memory the incidents that targeted Shiite pilgrims, notably the attack on the Aema Bridge nearly 5 years ago. In yesterday’s attack, a suicide bomber strapped with an explosive belt blew himself up as thousands of visitors were about to cross the main road to the area of al-Kadhimya. At nightfall, the suicide bomber struck, blowing up dozens of Shiite pilgrims in injuring 150 others. Elsewhere in the Iraqi capital, a series of sporadic bombs were detonated, targeting civilians.

Guest, Male #3
A bomb, targeting the visitors of Imam al-Kadhim, peace be upon him, was detonated in the area of Adhamiya.

Guest, Male #4
The pilgrims came from everywhere. Despite all the terror, the pilgrims are determined to mark this occasion. This is due to their firm belief in the Prophet and his family.

Guest, Male #5
The security agencies are here to protect and serve the visitors. God willing, every year, we come here to renew our vows. We will not be intimidated by these attacks.

Reporter, Male #2
The security agencies, which were able to provide relative security in similar occasions, are being tested in light of yesterday’s attacks. This news comes despite the heightened security measures imposed by the security forces. The attacks, which appeared to be politically motivated, may prompt Iraqi politicians to review their security plan.

Is the newly formed Shia National Coalition about to collapse?

Al-Iraqiya TV, Iraq
Presenter, Female #1
The head of the Iraqiya List, Iyad Allawi, and the president of the Iraqi Kurdistan Region, Massoud Barzani, discussed the formation of the upcoming government. A source affiliated with the Iraqiya alliance said that Allawi, who arrived this morning in Irbil, held a meeting with Barzani over the formation of the next government. The two leaders stressed the importance of reaching a political
consensus before the next parliament session convenes.

Presenter, Male #1
The differences between the factions of the Iraqi National Alliance or the (INA) and their failure to elect a candidate for the post of prime minister may lead to the emergence of a new coalition, bringing the Iraqiya List and the State of Law Coalition (SLC) together. If formed, the new coalition may launch efforts to form the new government before the constitutional deadline for the election of the parliament’s speaker expires on July 13th.

Reporter, Male #2
Will the parliamentary bloc formed between the Iraqi National Alliance (INA) and the State of Law Coalition (CLC) collapse? All possibilities are available as talks between the two sides have hit a new political stalemate, with each side rallying behind its candidate for the prime minister’s post. The media adviser of the president of the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq, Bassem al-Awadi, said that the INA has sent a letter to the SLC, rejecting its nomination of Nouri al-Maliki for the office of prime minister. Al-Awadi added that the INA is still waiting for a response from the CLC. This news comes one week after talks between the two sides broke-off. Meanwhile, Hadeed Ma’alim and Wael Abed Latif, two INA leaders, hinted that their coalition with the CLC will likely collapse in the coming days if the latter continues to insist on naming al-Maliki for the post of the prime minister, adding that the INA would rather join the opposition than play a marginal role in the government.

Guest, Male #3, unidentified
This is what will eventually happen in the absence of a political breakthrough. The deal signed between the INA and the CLC will collapse. If this happens, each side will take a different political route. If the INA senses that its participation in the upcoming government is marginal, it will likely join the opposition and willingly abandon the government.

Reporter, Male #2
Ali Ladir, a CLC leader, said in a phone interview with al-Iraqiya channel that his coalition received a letter from the SLC and it’s currently weighing its options. Haidar al-Jurani and Sa’ad al-Mutalabi, two senior leaders at the CLC, described the INA request as “odd and unreasonable,” which further strained the relations between the two sides. In another development, Kamal al-Saidi, a CLC leader, announced that his coalition rejects the election of a compromise candidate for the prime minister’s post, as a possible solution to the government’s crisis. Al-Saidi said that a compromise candidate will be weak due to the absence of a strong coalition to back him up.

Guest, Male #4,
We have received the letter, which reiterates the position of the INA. The INA has rejected the election of Mr. al-Maliki. In fact, this constitutes a breach of the SLC’s authority, as each bloc is mandated to elect its own candidate. Before rejecting Mr. al-Maliki, the INA should have presented its own candidate. Based on the mechanism and terms agreed upon, the INA candidate, whether Dr. Jaafery or Dr. Adel Abed al-Mahdi, will compete for the position.

Reporter, Male #2,
All possibilities are available. This expression is being reiterated by most members of the INA, especially in light of their internal differences. Under the given circumstances, it’s possible that the upcoming days will bring about a new wave of alliances. The vast majority of the INA believes that their alliance with the SLC will ultimately collapse. Will this end or further complicate the government crisis? The answer to this question is only known by Iraq’s major winning blocs. From Baghdad, Mithaq Hikmat, Iraqiya.

Israel claims Hezbollah storing weapons in Lebanese villages

Al Arabiya TV, UAE
Presenter, Woman #1
The Israeli media has revealed that Syria, in cooperation with Iran, has built a factory to produce missiles that can reach all of Israel. At the same time, the Israeli army published images showing what it called evidence that the Lebanese Hezbollah is pilling up missiles in towns and villages in southern Lebanon, near the Israeli border.

Reporter, Male #2
Israel can be reached by missiles made by Iran, transported through Syria, and launched from Lebanon. The Israeli Ha’aretz newspaper implied that Damascus has built a secret factory to make M600 missiles that can precisely hit targets anywhere inside Israel. The newspaper reported on a joint Syrian- Iranian project financed by Tehran. Syria was supposed to produce the weapons and was to be provided with the necessary technological expertise. In exchange, Damascus would send half of the produced missiles to Hezbollah. The smart M600 missiles have a range of 250 to 300 kilometers. They have a 600 millimeter radius and can carry an explosive warhead that can weigh up to half a ton. It is developed based on a relatively old technology, the Iranian Fateh-110 missiles that Hezbollah already has. In addition, according to Israeli documents, Hezbollah has accumulated 40,000 missiles in the past four years and stored them in residential towns, which shows that they use human shields on a large scale. Hundreds of Iranian experts helped Hezbollah build a communication network, dig tunnels and build fortified underground positions. Hezbollah has 20,000 thousand fighters, and each of its units is comprised of 200 to 300 armed men and they are deployed in 160 villages in the Shiite dominated areas in southern Lebanon. In some cases, they have armed bases only tens of meters away from schools, hospitals and residential areas. The Israeli army confirmed that Hezbollah has transformed 100 towns in southern Lebanon into military bases. Hezbollah can attack Israel with 600 to 800 missiles a day if new clashes were to erupt.
Khaled al-Kashef, al-Arabiya.

Tel Aviv, Washington relations back on track

IBA, Israel
Joining us now to discuses the prim minister trip to Washington from out Tel Aviv studio is political affairs analyst Dr. Ra`anan Gissin, talking about the relations between Washington and Jerusalem.

Report accuses Israel of war crimes in control of housing and water

BBC Arabic, UK
Presenter, Female #1
In a new report, the UN Human Rights Committee has accused Israel of committing serious human rights violations in relation to housing and access to safe drinking water in the Palestinian territories, which, according to the report, constitute war crimes. The committee will question some Israeli representatives at a hearing in Geneva on July 13th and 14th.

Reporter, Male #1
It might not be the first time that the UN Human Rights Committee issues a report on the condition of Palestinians in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. However, it’s the first time that the committee looks at access to safe drinking water as a human right. The UN report was prepared in part by the Center on Housing Rights and Evictions, an international housing rights watchdog based in Geneva, and al-Haq, a non-governmental human rights organization based in Ramallah. The report cited that Israel has violated its commitments to international law by demolishing the homes of Palestinians, forcibly evicting civilians from their homes, and denying Palestinians access to safe drinking water and sanitation. According to the report, nearly 60,000 Palestinians in occupied East Jerusalem are at risk of administrative house demolition due to a lack of proper building permits issued by the occupation authorities. In Gaza, more than 100,000 residents were affected by the 2008 Israeli war, which caused massive destruction of civilian infrastructure, including hospitals, schools, mosques, homes, as well as water and sanitation facilities. The organizations that helped prepare the report have principally accused Israel of denying Palestinians access to safe drinking water and adequate sanitation in the West Bank. They also accused Israel of deliberately destroying water resources in the Gaza Strip, which is a blatant violation of international law that strictly prohibits attacks on civilian infrastructure. The Additional Protocol I to the Geneva Conventions states that attacking drinking water installations constitutes a crime under the laws of war. The report cites that Israel, which signed a UN Human Rights Document in 1991, will find itself legally bound under the terms of the document. Nasim Ramadan, BBC.

Arab-American journalist dismissed after tweet praising cleric

Press TV, Iran
A message on networking site twitter has cost a long time CNN employ her job, a senior CNN Middle East editor Octavia Nasr was told to pack up her things after praising the late grand Ayatollah Mohammad Hussein Fadlallah. The decision to fire Nasr came off that she showed her respect for Fadlallah on a tweet, Nasr wrote that she was sad to hear the late cleric passing and praised him as one of Hezbollahs giants. It did not take long before she got hit by the consequences of her remarks.

Turkey's High Court annuls constitutional changes

Al Jazeera, Qatar
Presenter, Female # 1
Turkey will hold a national referendum next September on constitutional amendments presented by the government and a majority of parliament.

Presenter, Male # 1
These amendments aim to restructure judicial bodies and subject the military to civilian courts, in addition to increasing personal freedoms and democracy. The decision has, once again, caused debates between what is referred to as the secular powers and the Turkish government.

Presenter, Female # 1
Omar Khashram has the details from Istanbul.

Reporter, Male # 2
The decision did not please anyone in Turkey. The court rejected the secular opposition’s request to cancel the constitutional amendment and merely altered some articles that it considered contrary to principles on the rule of law. It annulled the article related to the nomination and election of its members, and the one that was to organize the nomination and appointment of members of the Higher Council of Judges and Prosecutors. The government considered the decision politically-motivated. It concentrated its protest on the court’s overstepping its constitutional rights by annulling some of the articles of the constitutional amendment, thus limiting the public’s ability to decide on its fate. But even with that decision, the government got some of what it wanted.

Guest, Male # 3 (Beşir Atalay, Turkish Interior Minister)
The court ignored the people’s will, which was represented by the parliament’s decision, and it exceeded its authority. However, even if some articles were annulled, the amendment still accomplishes most of its goals.

Reporter, Male # 2
Judicial bodies, which will be affected the most by the amendment, rushed to express their deep disappointment, and their fear of future repercussions.

Guest, Male # 4 (Kadir Özbek, Head, Higher Council of Judges and Prosecutors)
We didn’t expect this disappointing decision. Nothing has changed; the government will control our institutions to accomplish its goals, which contradicts the government’s philosophy. In the coming days, we will see the negative effects.

Reporter, Male # 2
The opposition seemed angrier. They believe that the decision will not impede the efforts of the government to control government institutions and its secular foundation. Their new goal is to convince the public to refuse the constitutional amendment through the referendum.

Guest, Male # 5 (Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, President, Republican People's Party)
What we wanted was not accomplished; we fear the politicization of the judiciary. We see shadows being cast on Turkey’s democracy. Through the referendum, let’s vote to refuse the amendments so we can dissipate these dim shadows.

Reporter, Male # 2
The ball is now in the public’s court, that’s what the Constitutional Court stated in its decision. Next September, the Turks will decide on the fate of the constitutional amendments, considered by many experts to be a new phase that will have a direct impact on Turkish political life. Omar Khashram, al-Jazeera, Ankara.

Egyptian-Ethiopian ties remain strong despite Nile River water disagreement

Nile TV, Egypt
Presenter, Woman #1
In the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa, Egyptian Foreign Minister, Ahmad Abu al- Gheit, and Minister of International Cooperation, Faiza Abu al-Nada, held talks with Ethiopian officials, led by Prime Minister Meles al-Sinawi, about the bilateral relations between the two countries in all areas and especially in the commercial and investment sectors. They also focused on the Nile River water and on ways to reach an agreement on the disputed issues that are related to the framework agreement for cooperation between the Nile nations, especially after five of those nations signed the agreement in Entebbe, despite Egypt and Sudan’s boycotts.

Presenter, Woman #1
In a special interview with the Egyptian television, Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles al-Sinawi confirmed that Egyptian-Ethiopian relations are strong. He reiterated that friendship between the two countries must be developed in all areas. Al-Sinawi also said that Ethiopia will make sure that an agreement is reached in relation to the latest disputes over the framework agreement for cooperation between the Nile nations.

Presenter, Woman #1
The relations between Egypt and Ethiopia are strong. Sometimes there are temporary disputes, but we must keep in mind that these disputes are temporary. We must understand that the Nile’s water should not be fought over like a soccer game between Egypt and Sudan on one hand and the rest of the Nile nations on the other. We want to utilize the Nile River water for electricity and we must reach an agreement that protect Sudan and Egypt’s interests, as well as ours. Ethiopia will not win if Egypt and Sudan’s interests are harmed. We must reach a solution in which all parties feel like they won.

World Cup: Mani the parakeet predicts a Netherlands victory

Jordan TV, Jordan
The seven year old bird from Malaysia has become a national sensation having predicted that Holland, Uruguay, Germany and Spain would make it into the semi-final s and that Spain would beat Germany. And for the championship title Mani has pick the Netherlands and his owner a fortune teller has full confident in the feathered pundit. Though Mani's recent celebrity is due to his football predictions, he has been helping out locals on questions about marriage and fortune for years in Singapore's historic 'little India' district.

** Mosaic News is produced by Jamal Dajani. Contact: mosaicnews{at}linktv{dot}org