Friday, November 30, 2007

Những người vô tổ quốc

Iraqi contractors frozen out of U.S. AP
By MATTHEW LEE, Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON - Thousands of Iraqis whose support for the U.S. war effort in Iraq has put them and their families in grave danger at home are being excluded from a new fast-track system aimed at speeding up refugee resettlement in the United States for American allies, officials said Thursday.

The Bush administration within the next month will begin accepting refugee applications directly from the about 100 Iraqi employees of the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad and their relatives, letting them bypass an often-lengthy U.N. referral process in third countries where they must travel at great expense, they said.
But possibly tens of thousands more at-risk Iraqis — those who worked for private contractors, aid agencies or media outlets and their relatives — won't be eligible due to objections from the Homeland Security Department, which fears that terrorists might use it to slip into the country, the officials said.
Homeland Security is effectively blocking contract employees, like drivers, translators, technicians, from benefiting from the initiative by insisting they provide official U.S. references and sponsors before applying for resettlement, a more stringent standard than for direct hires and even those in the U.N. system, according to the officials.
Meeting that higher bar will be almost impossible for many whose work for private U.S. employers in Iraq ended months or years ago, the officials said.
The officials spoke on condition of anonymity to describe internal deliberations between Homeland Security, which must vet all would-be Iraqi refugees, and the State Department, which wants to widen resettlement opportunities for Iraqi refugees.
The two agencies have been unable to reach a compromise and the issue has been referred to the National Security Council, although the matter may be resolved before that happens through legislation pending in Congress.
That legislation would include Iraqi contract employees in the so-called P2 refugee category. Those in that category are considered to be members of groups of "special humanitarian concern" to the United States and have the right to apply for resettlement in the United States directly instead of having to seek help from the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees.
The State Department's position is that security safeguards are already built into Homeland Security's own vetting process and that expanding the P2 category does not guarantee any applicant entry to the United States as a refugee, only the chance to apply directly.
Lori Scialabba, a top immigration lawyer at Homeland Security, acknowledged the disagreements but expressed hope that they could be resolved.
"I'm sure State would say that they're just as concerned with security as we are, and we're just as concerned with assisting this group of people as State is," she said. "We're working things out."
Scialabba and James Foley, a career diplomat and former ambassador, were appointed by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff to improve coordination between the agencies.
Foley declined to comment on the dispute.
The Bush administration has set a goal of admitting 12,000 Iraqi refugees in the current budget year that ends next October.
That would be a more than sevenfold increase in the 1,608 admitted in fiscal year 2007.
Last month — the first of the new budget year — only 450 Iraqis were allowed in, less than half the monthly average of 1,000 needed to reach the target.
Scialabba and Foley briefed reporters Thursday on the administration's broader effort to boost the slow pace of Iraqi admissions, which has been heavily criticized by some in Congress and refugee advocacy groups.
More than 2 million Iraqis have fled their country since the war began, most of them to neighboring countries and of those about 13,000 have been referred to the United States for resettlement through the U.N. process.
About 1.4 million of the refugees are in Syria, 750,000 in Jordan, 100,000 in Egypt, 54,000 in Iran, 40,000 in Lebanon, 10,000 in Turkey and 200,000 in various Persian Gulf countries, according to the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees. Some who fled to Syria have recently begun to return to Iraq but the numbers are unclear.
The U.S. admissions process had been badly hampered by the refusal since May of Syria to grant visas to U.S. interviewers to screen potential refugees. But on a visit to Damascus last month, Foley and Scialabba won approval for the process to restart, and Homeland Security officials are currently in Syria interviewing U.N. refugee referrals.
Associated Press writer Eileen Sullivan contributed to this report.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Mẹ giết con 2 tuổi

Documents: Mom describes killing girl, 2 AP

By JUAN A. LOZANO, Associated Press Writer Tue Nov 27, 7:35 AM ET

GALVESTON, Texas - Authorities are trying to determine if the 2-year-old dubbed "Baby Grace" after her body was found in Galveston Bay was repeatedly abused by her mother and stepfather, an investigator said Tuesday.


*ADDS THAT INVESTIGATORS ARE 'FAIRLY CONFIDENT' OF IDENTITY OF CHILD** Kimberly Ann Trenor, 19, of Spring , Texas is shown in this undated booking photo released by the Galveston County Sheriff's office. Trenor is the mother of Riley Ann Sawyers, 4, known as Baby Grace , a young girl found in a storage box on an island off of Galveston, Texas. Investigators said Monday, Nov. 26, 2007, they are 'fairly confident' of the identity of a 2-year-old girl whose body washed ashore in a storage bin in Galveston Bay. Trenor and Royce Clyde Zeigler II, 24, were arrested early Saturday and charged with injury to a child and tampering with evidence, Tuttoilmondo said Monday, Nov. 26, 2007. (AP Photo/Galveston County Sheriff's Office)


This undated photo released by Sheryl Ann Sawyers shows her granddaughter Riley Ann Sawyers, 2, whose body washed ashore in a storage bin in Galveston Bay on Oct. 29, 2007. Investigators said Monday, Nov. 26, 2007, they are 'fairly confident' of the identity of a 2-year-old girl whose body washed ashore in a storage bin in Galveston Bay. The girl's mother, Kimberly Dawn Trenor, 19, and her companion, Royce Clyde Zeigler II, 24, were arrested early Saturday and charged with injury to a child and tampering with evidence. (AP Photo/Sheryl Ann Sawyers)


This undated photo released by Sheryl Ann Sawyers shows her grandaughter Riley Ann Sawyers ,2, whose body washed ashore in a storage bin in Galveston Bay on Oct. 29, 2007. The girl's mother, Kimberly Dawn Trenor, 19, and her companion, Royce Clyde Zeigler II, 24, were arrested early Saturday and charged with injury to a child and tampering with evidence. (AP Photo/Sheryl Ann Sawyers)


Galveston County Sheriff's Major Ray Tuttoilmondo holds up a shoe symbolizing the investigation surrounding the remains of a child dubbed Baby Grace during a briefing Monday, Nov 26, 2007 in Galveston, Texas. Baby Grace has been identified as Riley Ann Sawyers, 4, of Spring, Texas. (AP Photo/Dave Einsel)

A woman believed to be the mother of the girl told police she and the girl's stepfather beat and tortured the child to death, court documents show. The girl, believed to be Riley Ann Sawyers, was found by a fisherman in a plastic box Oct. 29, but her identity was unknown for weeks.

The mother told authorities how the girl died "of her own volition," sheriff's Maj. Ray Tuttoilmondo said Tuesday on CBS' "The Early Show." One of the things authorities are looking at is whether or not there was a pattern of abuse against the girl, he said.

"In a little over 20 years of doing this, I've seen a lot ... of heartbreaking cases," he said. "I think this one certainly still remains in our hearts and always will."

"In a little over 20 years of doing this, I've seen a lot ... of heartbreaking cases," he said. "I think this one certainly still remains in our hearts and always will."

Investigators are awaiting DNA test results, but said Monday they are fairly confident of the girl's identity. Her mother, Kimberly Dawn Trenor, and stepfather, Royce Clyde Zeigler II, were arrested early Saturday and are in custody on charges of hurting the girl.

The details in an arrest affidavit paint a chilling picture of the girl's last days. In a statement to police included in the affidavit, Trenor, 19, said she and Zeigler, 24, killed Riley July 24.

The girl was beaten with leather belts, had her head held underwater in a bathtub and then was thrown across a room, her head slamming into a tile floor, the mother said in the document. She said they kept the body in a storage shed for one to two months before they put it in a plastic bin and dumped it into Galveston Bay.

An autopsy revealed that Riley suffered three skull fractures, but the cause of death has not been determined.

Zeigler attempted suicide last week and wrote a note saying, "My wife is innocent of the sins that I committed," according to the court documents.

Trenor said in the document that after her daughter was killed, Zeigler had her forge a document that the Ohio Department of Children's Services had taken Riley away because of allegations of sexual abuse.

Tuttoilmondo said Trenor had told relatives that someone claiming to be a social worker from Ohio, where Riley's father lives, took the girl in July. Riley's paternal grandmother, Sheryl Sawyers, hadn't seen her granddaughter in months when she saw a police sketch of "Baby Grace." Thinking it might be Riley, she called authorities in Texas.

In Mentor, Ohio, on Monday, Sawyers wiped away tears at a news conference and held up the Elmo doll she had already bought Riley for Christmas.

"It's hard to think that I'll never see her again," she said.

Trenor's attorney, Tom Stickler, said she has cooperated with authorities. He declined to comment about her statement to investigators.

"But from what she said, there is no doubt that the girl found is Riley Sawyers," Stickler said.

Trenor and Zeigler were charged with injury to a child and tampering with evidence, Tuttoilmondo said. Bail was set at $350,000 each. The couple's next court appearance was expected to be scheduled on Tuesday.

Trenor and Zeigler met a couple of years ago playing an online game, World of Warcraft, and she moved with her daughter from suburban Cleveland to Spring in June, Stickler said.

Wendell Odom, Zeigler's attorney, declined to comment on the case except to say Zeigler grew up in Spring, about 75 miles north of Galveston, and works as an instrument technician in the oil industry.

The Sawyers family's attorney, Laura DePledge, said they take comfort in knowing that the girl is "resting peacefully and is no longer subject to abuse."


Associated Press writer M.R. Kropko in Mentor, Ohio, contributed to this report.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Putin accuses U.S. of meddling in Russia vote


Putin accuses U.S. of meddling in Russia vote

By Oleg Shchedrov

ST PETERSBURG, Russia (Reuters) - President Vladimir Putin accused Washington on Monday of plotting to undermine December parliamentary elections seen widely as a demonstration of his enduring power in Russia.


Russian President Vladimir Putin (2nd L) speaks during a meeting with supporters in St.Petersburg November 26, 2007. Putin said on Monday Russia has information suggesting the United States influenced a decision by OSCE international observers not to monitor the Dec. 2 parliamentary election. (Alexander Demianchuk/Reuters)

"We have information that, once again, this was done on the recommendation of the U.S. State Department," Putin said at a meeting with activists of his United Russia party.

"Their aim is to deprive the elections of legitimacy, that is absolutely clear," he said in his home city of St Petersburg. ODIHR has said Russian obstruction left it with no choice but to cancel the monitoring mission.

In Washington, State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said that while Washington supported the OSCE's decision, it had not influenced OSCE representatives.

"Our very clear message (to them) was that this is your decision. We don't want to try to influence you one way or another," McCormack told reporters.

He dismissed Putin's sharpness of language as election-time rhetoric. "Any time you have a political season, you sometimes get rhetoric that is a little more sharp than it might otherwise be. I don't put it down to anything more than that," McCormack said.

A poll published on Monday by Russia's FOM pollster predicted United Russia would win 60.1 percent in the vote this weekend, a dip of two percent from the previous week. The poll put nearest rivals the Communist Party at 7.5 percent.

A high vote would underline Putin's popularity and help him retain authority in some form after yielding the presidency.

Two weekend rallies by an anti-Putin coalition protesting that the vote would be unfair were broken up by police using truncheons. Former chess champion Garry Kasparov, one of the coalition's leaders, was one of dozens of people arrested.

Kasparov is serving five days in detention for organizing an illegal protest. A Moscow court on Monday rejected an appeal lodged by his lawyer against the sentence, one of Kasparov's aides told Reuters from the courtroom.


In Brussels, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said he was concerned by the "heavy-handed action" by Russian police. French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner said Russia's government should explain its actions.

Kremlin officials say the protesters do not have popular support and are dangerous radicals trying to destabilize Russia with help from foreign governments. Kasparov's coalition barely registers any support in opinion polls.

Putin is running in the election as No. 1 on United Russia's slate of candidates.

The 55-year-old Russian leader has said he will hand over power to a successor in line with a constitutional ban on a head of state serving more than two consecutive terms as president.

Putin, seen by many as bringing Russia much-needed stability, has said he will endorse one of his lieutenants as a successor. But he has refused to say which one.

Some observers speculate that Putin might step down early and run in the presidential vote, exploiting a legal loophole to get around the three-term ban.

Russia's upper house of parliament, the Federation Council, officially named March 2 next year as the date of the presidential vote, shifting the guessing game over what will happen when Putin's term ends into its decisive phase.

After the date has been published in the official gazette on Wednesday, would-be candidates will have 25 days to apply to run in the presidential election.

(Additional reporting by Guy Faulconbridge, Conor Sweeney and Dmitry Solovyov in Moscow and Brussels and Paris bureaux)

(Writing by Christian Lowe, Editing by Richard Balmforth)

Overspending on Yesterday's War

Overspending on Yesterday's War
f-22 raptor lockheed martin

When presidential candidates, especially Republicans, head to South Carolina's Citadel military college, it's time to hang on to your wallet. Rudy Giuliani spoke at graduation last May, and called for boosting the Army by 100,000 soldiers — 35,000 more than the 547,000 the Pentagon wants by 2010. On Tuesday, Fred Thompson saw Giuliani's 100,000, and then raised him by nearly 200,000, calling for a 775,000-member force. Thompson also got the military-industrial complex salivating by proposing that 4.5% of the U.S. gross domestic product should be earmarked for defense (not including the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq), up 10% from the military's current slice of the economic pie. Numbers crunched by the Senator's staff suggests their boss would boost the current $460 billion military budget (not counting $196 billion for the wars) by $150 billion a year. "Some would say this plan is too much and too big," Thompson said in Charleston. "I don't believe that's the case."

There are some clear problems in Thompson's logic, however. For one, tying the nation's defense spending to its economic output makes absolutely no sense; the scale of defense spending should be determined by threat. If America needs to dedicate a third of its economy to the military — as it did during World War II — it will. But if the panoply of threats facing the nation can be handled with a 2% slice, that's also fine. In the event of an economic depression, would the nation allow its military preparedness to suffer? Surely not. What's more, the Army can't attract the full complement of recruits it needs now; expanding it would require billions of dollars in incentives, and force it to accept less-capable youngsters.
But the G.O.P. isn't alone in playing a Pentagon numbers game. Democrats, who have lost to the Republicans on all 40 legislative initiatives designed to curtail the Iraq war, seem to be getting desperate. Democratic members of the Joint Economic Committee issued a report Tuesday predicting that Afghanistan and Iraq will cost far more than the sums appropriated to fight them. "All potential costs," said the 27-page study, total $3.5 trillion. That's $46,400 per American family. (It's also more than $1 trillion higher than a recent projection by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, which limited itself to measuring the wars' direct costs and interest payments on the funds borrowed to fund it.)
Committee Republicans complained that the Democrats' study was "released without any notice or consultation," and they questioned several of the economic calculations used to produce the $3.5 trillion figure. Still, they were unable to rebut the premise that the cost of war goes far beyond those funds appropriated to wage it. Lifetime care for injured troops and upward pressure on oil prices, among other costs, don't show up on the government's bill for combat in Afghanistan and Iraq. Those numbers may be fuzzy, but they're also real — and Republicans plainly don't like to discuss them.
Whatever their complaints about military spending, some Democrats are doing a fine job of ensuring that it flows into their districts and states. Three Democrats from Connecticut, Rep. Joe Courtney and Sens. Christopher Dodd and Joseph Lieberman, prevailed Tuesday in adding $588 million to the Navy's 2008 budget for submarines — built in Connecticut.
"This bill is a vote of confidence in the workers of Connecticut who make the equipment that our military depends on to keep our nation safe," Dodd said. "The additional submarine will fortify Connecticut jobs, and will make the entire country safer," Lieberman added. Courtney, the local congressman in the submarine-building town of Groton, concurred. "We have set a new expedited pace in delivering the most advanced ship to our nation's naval fleet, which will secure our defense jobs in Connecticut," he said. And the legislators from Connecticut are not going to sit on their laurels. Added Courtney, "The next step is to continue discussions for increasing design work on the next-generation submarine." (To stimulate demand for new submarines, the Navy has been known to prematurely retire older submarines.)
The Navy's demand for new submarines is hardly atypical. The Army wants $162 billion for a new fleet of ground vehicles known as the Future Combat Systems. And, not to be shortchanged, the Air Force wants $65 billion to build 184 of its F-22 fighters, designed to prevail in dogfights against Soviet aircraft. That's despite the fact that plane-on-plane aerial combat has followed the Soviet Union into the dustbin of history.
The Citadel has certainly heard the counter-argument: "Every service and every constituency of our military must be willing to sacrifice some of their own pet projects. Our war on terror cannot be used to justify obsolete bases, obsolete programs, or obsolete weapons systems. Every dollar of defense spending must meet a single test: it must help us build the decisive power we will need to win the wars of the future." That was President Bush speaking at the Citadel, three months after 9/11.
In the six years since, however, President Bush has continued, with bipartisan congressional help, to pump hundreds of billions of dollars into obsolete weapons systems. At the same time, the U.S. has deployed inadequate numbers of troops on the ground, lacking basic body armor and vehicles designed to thwart roadside bombs. The wars of the future are not going to be fought tank-on-tank, sub-on-ship, or in glorious dogfights high in the sky. But so long as both parties see the Pentagon as a jobs program to build weapons for wars that will not happen, the nation will continue to bear the burden of politicians boosting military spending rather than retooling it for the 21st Century.

US, Iraq deal sees long-term US presence

US, Iraq deal sees long-term US presence

By BEN FELLER, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON - President Bush on Monday signed a deal setting the foundation for a potential long-term U.S. troop presence in Iraq, with details to be negotiated over matters that have defined the war debate at home — how many U.S. forces will stay in the country, and for how long.

The agreement between Bush and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki confirms that the United States and Iraq will hash out an "enduring" relationship in military, economic and political terms. Details of that relationship will be negotiated in 2008, with a completion goal of July, when the U.S. intends to finish withdrawing the five combat brigades sent in 2007 as part of the troop buildup that has helped curb sectarian violence.

"What U.S. troops are doing, how many troops are required to do that, are bases required, which partners will join them — all these things are on the negotiating table," said Lt. Gen. Douglas Lute, President Bush's adviser on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The proposal underlines how the United States and Iraq are exploring what their relationship might look like once the U.S. significantly draws down its troop presence. It comes as a Democratic Congress — unsuccessfully, so far — prods Bush to withdraw troops faster than he wants.

Bush and al-Maliki signed the new U.S.-Iraq "declaration of principles" during a secure video conference Monday morning.

Al-Maliki, in a televised address, said his government would ask the United Nations to renew the mandate for the multinational force for one final time with its authorization to end in 2008.

The U.S.-Iraq agreement will replace the present U.N. mandate regulating the presence of the U.S.-led forces in Iraq. Al-Maliki said the agreement provides for U.S. support for the "democratic regime in Iraq against domestic and external dangers."

It also would help the Iraqi government thwart any attempt to suspend or repeal a constitution drafted with U.S. help and adopted in a nationwide vote in 2005. That appeared to be a reference to any attempt to remove the government by violence or in a coup.

Al-Maliki said the renewal of the multinational forces' mandate was conditional on the repeal of what he called restrictions on Iraqi sovereignty introduced in 1990 by the U.N. Security Council to punish Iraq for invading neighboring Kuwait.

The new agreement would not signal an end to the U.S. mission here. But it could change the rules under which U.S. soldiers operate and give the Iraqis a greater role in determining their mission.

Two Republican senators said that unless Baghdad makes more political progress by January, the U.S. should consider withdrawing financial aid or political support from al-Maliki.

The warnings, coming from Sens. Lindsey Graham and Saxby Chambliss, were an indication that while GOP patience on the war has increased this fall because of security gains made by the military, it isn't bottomless.

"I do expect them to deliver," Graham, R-S.C., said in a phone interview. "What would happen for me if there's no progress on reconciliation after the first of the year, I would be looking at ways to invest our money into groups that can deliver."

Likewise, Chambliss, R-Ga., suggested lawmakers might even call for al-Maliki's ouster if Baghdad didn't reach agreements on at least some of the major issues seen as key to tamping down sectarian violence.

Two senior Iraqi officials familiar with the issue say Iraq's government will embrace a long-term U.S. troop presence in return for U.S. security guarantees as part of a strategic partnership. The two officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the subject is sensitive, said U.S. military and diplomatic representatives appeared generally favorable, subject to negotiations on the details, which include preferential treatment for American investments.

Preferential treatment for U.S. investors could provide a huge windfall if Iraq can achieve enough stability to exploit its vast oil resources. Such a deal would also enable the United States to maintain leverage against Iranian expansion at a time of growing fears about Tehran's nuclear aspirations.

The framework Bush approved outlines broad principles, such as that both countries will support Iraq's economic institutions, and help its government train Iraqi security forces to provide stability for all Iraqis. Lute said "all major national leaders of the existing Iraqi government" have committed to it.

"The basic message here should be clear: Iraq is increasingly able to stand on its own; that's very good news, but it won't have to stand alone," said Lute, who rarely holds televised briefings.

He said it is too soon to tell what the "shape and size" of the U.S. military commitment will look like, including military bases.

The Iraqi officials said that under the proposed formula, Iraq would get full responsibility for internal security and U.S. troops would relocate to bases outside the cities. Iraqi officials foresee a long-term presence of about 50,000 U.S. troops, down from the current figure of more than 160,000.


Associated Press Writer Qassim Abdul-Zahra in Baghdad contributed to this story.

Illegal immigrants not U.S. health care burden: study

Illegal immigrants not U.S. health care burden: study

Mon Nov 26, 4:14 PM ET

CHICAGO (Reuters) - Illegal Latino immigrants do not cause a drag on the U.S. health care system as some critics have contended and in fact get less care than Latinos in the country legally, researchers said on Monday.

Such immigrants tend not to have a regular doctor or other health-care provider yet do not visit emergency rooms -- often a last resort in such cases -- with any more frequency than Latinos born in the United States, according to the report from the University of California's School of Public Health.

The finding from Alexander Ortega and colleagues at the school was based on a 2003 telephone survey of thousands of California residents, including 1,317 undocumented Mexicans, 2,851 citizens with Mexican immigrant parents, 271 undocumented Latinos from countries other than Mexico and 852 non-Mexican Latinos born in the United States.

About 8.4 million of the 10.3 million illegal aliens in the United States are Latino, of which 5.9 million are from Mexico, the report said.

"One recurrent theme in the debate over immigration has been the use of public services, including health care," Ortega's team wrote in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

"Proponents of restrictive policies have argued that immigrants overuse services, placing an unreasonable burden on the public. Despite a scarcity of well-designed research ... use of resources continues to be a part of the public debate," they said.

The researchers said illegal Mexican immigrants had 1.6 fewer visits to doctors over the course of a year than people born in the country to Mexican immigrants. Other undocumented Latinos had 2.1 fewer physician visits than their U.S.-born counterparts, they said.

"Low rates of use of health-care services by Mexican immigrants and similar trends among other Latinos do not support public concern about immigrants' overuse of the health care system," the researchers wrote.

"Undocumented individuals demonstrate less use of health care than U.S.-born citizens and have more negative experiences with the health care that they have received," they said.

(Reporting by Michael Conlon; Editing by Maggie Fox and Bill Trott)

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Báo cũ Monday, Oct. 10, 1949 | TIME


For three years, the French have been fighting a weary, tenacious jungle war against the Communists in Indo-China. To save France's richest prewar colony (and a potentially important anti-Communist base in Southeast Asia), the French government has thrown a third of its small, painstakingly rebuilt army into the fight; so far, it has been unable to achieve anything like a decisive victory over Communist Leader Ho Chi Minh. Last week it looked as if the French chances of licking Ho had improved.

Last spring, the French proclaimed IndoChina's autonomy under the French Union (roughly designed as an equivalent of the British Commonwealth).* They also returned to the Indo-Chinese their plump former Emperor Bao Dai ("The Great Protector").  In his exile at La Croisette, near Cannes, Bao Dai lived quietly in a 20-room chateau, occasionally visited a bar (drinking only coffee) and gambled modestly at the Cannes casino, 10,000 francs ($30) being his limit for one night. Early this year, the French government sent bluff Leon Pignon, French high commissioner for Indo-China, to persuade His Majesty that he must return to his country as "chief of state."

100 dozen ping-pong balls

Bao Dai did not look like the man to lead his people to independence and victory over the Communists. When he first assumed his Dragon Throne (1932), he was a playboy and a puppet. The French owned him, along with the 7,000 jazz phonograph records and the 100 dozen ping-pong balls with which he moved into his teakwood Palace of Supreme Peace. The young emperor, as "absolute master, father and mother" of his tough, diligent people, seemed only partly to fulfill the requirements of the Imperial Book of Rites which says that "the Emperor's eyes must dwell motionless upon utter vacancy, as his mind is filled with August Thoughts." When Bao Dai returned to his country last June, IndoChina's mother & father was changed. He no longer wanted to be a playboy or a puppet. TIME Correspondent Sam Welles visited the Emperor and his troubled country, cabled:

In the old days, Bao Dai's favorite sport (in addition to chasing chorus girls) was tracking down tigers, elephants and gaur (fierce wild buffalo) on foot through the jungle. That took intelligence and guts. Both traits are needed in the fierce jungle of Viet Namese politics, and Bao Dai is displaying both. The Communist radio had predicted that he would be assassinated; the French authorities were so concerned that at public ceremonies they kept the crowds 100 yards from His Majesty and gave him an armored car. But Bao Dai scorned such protection. At Hanoi, which he proclaimed his capital, he walked down a narrow street, right through 50,000 people, any one of whom could have killed him with a pistol or a grenade. He has done this again & again all over the country, walking as calmly as he did when he was stalking gaur.

"Every statesman should have a sport," he says with a twinkle. Then he adds seriously: "I cannot gain support by bowing from a distant balcony."

A Medieval Touch. Bao Dai is gaining support. Many nationalists who in the past fought the French are joining him. They have come to believe that the French are sincere in giving Indo-China self-rule. By year's end, Viet Nam will run its own courts, finances, railways and utilities. The French will have to retain a heavy hand in military affairs; they are now training a Viet Namese national army of 90,000 to complement the 130,000 French troops now in Indo-China. Chief problem of the French is to clear the Communists from the country's rich food-producing areas and to prevent a junction between Ho's forces and the victorious Communists of China.

The French are doing well in both respects. Last year, the Communists controlled virtually the entire country except the major cities. Since then they have lost the key rural areas, including the Red River delta and Mekong River delta, where 90% of IndoChina's rice is grown. In a land that is five-sixths jungle, Ho and his forces can still strike almost anywhere. But while last year the Communists levied $30 million worth of money and rice from farmers taking their crops to town, government forces now guard the roads so well that the Reds' toll is almost nil. This has been achieved by what one French colonel called un petit cachet medieval: sentries are posted on 40-ft. towers recently built on each road at one-mile intervals. A dawn patrol from each tower digs up the land mines which the Communists plant during the night.

Mangoes & Chanel No. 5.

The little medieval touch has given the new regime a valuable breather. Some of the country's wounds are healing fast. In Sontay, once a thriving town of 6,000 in the Red River delta, only seven people and one church were left when the French took it from the Communists last November. When I visited Sontay last month, it was largely rebuilt, 5,000 of its people had returned, and in its bustling market, cheerful, slim-hipped women were buying everything from mangoes to Chanel No. 5.

The approach of the Chinese Communists across the border has given the Reds visions of decisive victory, but it has also aggravated a growing rift between the hard Communist core of leaders around Ho, who are ready to accept Mao Tse-tung's leadership, and the rank & file, who fear China and want Viet Nam for the Viet Namese. One French general told me: "For two years I had to keep statistics of desertions to the Communists. For the last two months my statistics are Communist desertions to us."

Guilty Husband. France has taught many Indo-Chinese to read (they have one of Asia's highest literacy rates—40%), but it did not teach them how to rule themselves. Viet Nam has many ambitious politicians with loose personal followings. The most remarkable of these is perky little Ho Phap, self-styled pope of Caodaism, a faith (founded by him in 1926) which combines belief in everything from Confucianism to Christianity. Ho Phap, who claims 2,000,000 disciples, has a private army of 20,000 which provides Bao Dai's personal guard and bitterly fights the Communists as enemies of religion.

Among Bao Dai's other loyal followers are the Mois, a million G-stringed men and bare-breasted women who still lead a nomad life in the uplands. Last June, Buddhist Bao Dai personally took the oath of allegiance of a Moi tribal chief. The Mois still live under their ancient tribal laws, including the one that covers adultery. The first time an adulterous wife is caught, her lover is punished for seducing her. The second time, she is punished for permitting herself to be seduced again. The third time, the husband is punished—for not knowing how to keep her in line.

This quaint law of Father & Mother Bao Dai's subjects has its larger applications. In the past, the French (and all the West) might blame Communist successes on the Communists, who seduced Asia's millions, or on the people, who let themselves be seduced. But today, in Indo-China and elsewhere, it is clearly up to the West to keep Asia's people in line, by offering them a better life than the Communist tempters.

*Most important part of the new Indo-China (with 21 out of 25 million of its people) is the Union of Viet Nam, composed of the old colonial provinces of Cochin-China, Annam and Tonkin, and run by an autonomous federal government. To continue as French 

protectorates with semi-autonomous status are the remaining two provinces: Laos, the land with the three-headed elephant in its flag (TIME, Aug. 1) and Cambodia, ruled by young (26) King Norodom Sihanouk.

Dân chủ ở Lebanon

Bạn có muốn có những nhóm thân nước ngoài tranh giành quyền lực ở VN?


Political crisis deepens in Lebanon

By ZEINA KARAM and BASSEM MROUE, Associated Press Writers 1 hour, 43 minutes ago

BEIRUT, Lebanon - Prime Minister Fuad Saniora assured his country Saturday that the military was in control of the streets while lawmakers struggled to overcome a political crisis that has left the country without a president.

The army made clear it will stay out of politics, emerging as the country's best hope for stability.

Beirut remained calm Saturday and shops opened for business following a tumultuous day that intensified fears of street violence between supporters of Saniora's U.S.-backed government and the opposition led by the Shiite militant group Hezbollah and backed by Syria and Iran.

After months of trying, the two rival camps were unable to agree on a compromise candidate to succeed pro-Syrian President Emile Lahoud who stepped down Friday night, leaving a political vacuum.

In his first comments since Lahoud left office, Saniora defended his government, saying it will continue to function according to the constitution. In the absence of a president, Saniora's cabinet, which the opposition considers illegitimate, takes executive power under the constitution.

"Our main goal in the coming stage, which we hope will not take longer than few days, will be to exert all possible efforts ... to end this situation as soon as possible," said Saniora.

He dismissed a declaration by Lahoud, who before departing the presidential palace at midnight Friday said the country was in a "state of emergency" and he was handing over security powers to the army.

"There is no state of emergency, and there is no need for that," Saniora said. "There is absolutely no need for any Lebanese to be concerned about the security situation. The army is doing its work and is in full control of the situation on the ground."

The departure of Lahoud, a staunch ally of Syria during his nine years in office, was a long-sought goal of the government installed by parliament's anti-Syria majority. The government has been trying to put one of its own in the post and seal the end of Syrian dominance of Lebanon.

International pressure and mass protests after the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri forced Syria to withdraw its troops from Lebanon in 2005 after 29 years. Many in Lebanon blamed Syria for Hariri's killing but Syria denied it.

Hezbollah and its opposition allies have been able to stymie the government's hopes by repeatedly boycotting parliamentary votes for a new president, as they did Friday afternoon, leaving it without the required quorum.

Pro-government Christian leader Samir Geagea accused Syrian-backed Hezbollah of obstructing the election.

"We will not let Syria control again Lebanese politics no matter what happens," he warned at a news conference.

Opposition Christian politician Michel Aoun warned against the cabinet taking over the role of the presidency.

The fight has put Lebanon into dangerous and unknown territory. Both sides are locked in bitter recriminations, accusing the other of breaking the constitution, and they are nowhere near a compromise candidate.

So far, the 56,000-member military has successfully kept this tiny, fractious country together, surviving one crisis after another since the February 2005 assassination of Hariri.

On Saturday, army chief of staff Maj. Gen. Shawki al-Masri visited the Presidential Guards at Baabda Palace near Beirut and said the army command will strengthen security measures when needed as it "did in the past years."

The army will face a tough challenge maintaining the peace in the coming days and weeks amid the sectarian-charged atmosphere and persistent reports of proliferation of small arms among individuals and political parties.

In the past two years, the army has emerged as a neutral force, protecting and separating pro- and anti-Syrian groups and maintaining order during angry protests and funerals. In January, the army imposed a curfew to quell Shiite-Sunni clashes that killed 11 people.

Army commander Gen. Michel Suleiman has ordered his soldiers to ignore politics and "listen to the call of duty."

But the open-ended political crisis raises the question of how long the under-armed and over-stretched army can continue to hold.

Experts say the army will be united unless Lebanon endures major sectarian violence — especially fighting between Sunni and Shiite Muslims — over an extended period.

"Then it will start to fracture," said retired Lebanese army general Elias Hanna.

He said the conditions today are different from those at the onset of the 1975-90 civil war, which pitted Christians against Muslims and saw the military splinter along sectarian lines. Unlike then, Lebanon political tensions are now fractionalized more along Sunni-Shiite lines, with Christians divided.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Putin gọi đối lập là 'chó hoang'

Rõ ràng mục tiêu của Anh-Mỹ không phải là "dân chủ" hay "tự do" mà là lợi dụng chiêu bài đó để cướp đi dân chủ tự do độc lập của một quốc gia mà thôi.
Họ đã tốn bao nhiêu công sức và tiền bạc để đánh sập LX. Nước Nga bây giờ đã có đa đảng nhưng họ vẫn chưa thỏa mãn vì chưa có một đảng thân Anh-Mỹ lên cầm quyền ở nước này!
Một cường quốc như Nga mà họ còn nuôi tham vọng nắm đầu gián tiếp thì họ có tha một nước đang phát triển nằm ở một vị trí địa lý hết sức quan trọng như VN không đây? VN có rất nhiều người sẵn sàng nhận tiền làm việc cho Mỹ như đã từng xảy ra trong lịch sử.
Theo lời Putin, ở Nga cũng vậy, có nhiều người Nga đang nhận tiền của sứ quán nước ngoài để làm việc chống lại Kremlin.
Putin gọi đối lập là 'chó hoang'
Còn chưa đầy hai tuần trước khi có kỳ tổng tuyển cử tại Nga, Tổng thống Putin đã ra đòn tấn công các nhân vật chính trị đối lập bằng việc ví họ như lũ chó hoang ăn của bố thí của các sứ quán nước ngoài.
Tổng thống Putin nói rằng Phương Tây muốn giở trò bẩn thỉu
Trong buổi ra mắt đám đông ủng hộ viên của mình, ông Putin nói rằng Phương Tây muốn giở trò bẩn.
Ông nói "những ai đối đầu với chúng ta không muốn thực hiện kế hoạch của chúng ta bởi họ có các kế hoạch cho nước Nga hoàn toàn khác biệt".
Tổng thống Nga cáo buộc những nhân vật đối lập muốn có một nước Nga yếu thế, vô tổ chức và xã hội bị chia rẽ.
Ông Putin cũng cảnh báo các giới đầu sỏ vốn thao túng chính trường Nga hồi thập niên 1990 đang lên kế hoạch trở lại.
Mặc dù sẽ từ bỏ ghế tổng thống vào năm sau nhưng ông Putin tỏ ý ông sẽ vẫn hoạt động chính trị, có thể là với tư cách là thủ tướng.
Ông nói là ông sẽ lãnh đạo đảng Thống nhất Nga trong kỳ bầu cử quốc hội vào tháng Mười Hai mặc dù ông không phải là đảng viên.
Đảng của ông được sự hậu thuẫn khá lớn và theo dự kiến sẽ thắng với đa số phiếu.
Các nhóm đối lập và nhân quyền đã chỉ trích và cáo buộc ông Putin đang dùng lối cũ thời Liên Xô cũ để hình thành một nhà nước độc đảng toàn trị.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Cảnh sát bắn người hoàn toàn không có vũ khí và đã bị bắt

Elio Carrion, 21 tuổi, ngồi kế bên người lái trong một chiếc xe Corvette không tuân lệnh cảnh sát dừng lại và họ đã bị cảnh sát truy đuổi trong vòng 5 phút, tốc độ có lúc lên tới 100 mph. Cuộc truy đuổi đã kết thúc bất ngờ khi chiếc xe này đụng vào một bức tường.

Chuyện xảy ra sau đó tình cờ đã được ghi lại trên băng video bởi một người tên là Jose Luis Valdez vì câu chuyện xảy ra trước nhà anh ta.

Trong video có thể thấy Carrion đã được khống chế, đang ngồi bệt dưới đất và một cảnh sát đang cầm súng trên tay đứng kế bên.

Sau đó người cảnh sát đó hô lớn bảo Carrion đứng lên. Carrion nói OK hai lần như vậy và lần thứ hai Carrion chống tay đứng lên. Nhưng vừa đúng lúc người này hơi nhỏm dậy, viên cảnh sát vừa ra lệnh đó đã nổ súng. Carrion bị bắn trúng ở ngực, vai và đùi ngã xuống đất vừa rên la vừa giải thích. Viên cảnh sát nói: "Câm miệng lại!" và "Mày không được đứng lên!"

Ngay sau đó có thể nghe được tiếng của người hàng xóm đang chứng kiến cảnh đó nói rằng: "Nhưng mà ông đã bảo người ta đứng lên mà?"

Câu chuyện này đã không thể bỏ qua dễ dàng được vì thứ nhất, nạn nhân là một quân nhân đang phục vụ ở Iraq và thứ hai là diễn biến ở hiện trường đã được thu hình và phát tán lên đài TV và YouTube sau đó. Nhưng cho dù là vậy, viên cảnh sát đó vẫn được một bồi thẩm đoàn tuyên bố không có làm sai chuyện gì cả và do đó hoàn toàn không chịu trách nhiệm hình sự.

Carrion không chết nhưng thương tích đã làm cho anh này không thể chạy nhảy và chơi thể thao, gặp khó khăn khi muốn quì hay nằm xuống.

Các bạn lưu ý, trong trường hợp này , người bị cảnh sát bắn hoàn toàn không có vũ khí trong tay, đã bị bắt, hoàn toàn không chống cự và đang làm theo lệnh của cảnh sát.

Trong entry "Anh rể, em vợ bị bắn chết sau khi có người gọi cảnh sát đến 'giúp'" , có bản tin dẫn chứng nhan đề "Diverse Crowd Remembers Korean Men Shot and Killed by Police", mà nội dung có nhắc đến việc một người gốc Hoa tên Kuang Chung Kao đã bị cảnh sát bắn chết trước nhà năm 1997 vì họ cho rằng ông ta là người Hoa nên có võ đánh chết người!

Trong entry này tôi có dẫn ba nguồn tin tức và video về vụ này. Đầu tiên là một video clip trên YouTube, kế đến là mẩu tin của CNN ngay sau khi câu chuyện vừa xảy ra, và cuối cùng là tin tức nói về bồi thẩm đoàn nói viên cảnh sát nổ súng đã không làm gì sai.


Video shows deputy wounding Iraq war vet

FBI investigates shooting for possible civil rights violations

Wednesday, February 1, 2006; Posted: 12:21 p.m. EST (17:21 GMT)

LOS ANGELES, California (CNN) -- A videotape shows a sheriff's deputy shooting an unarmed Iraq war veteran who appears to be following orders to get up off the ground, and now the FBI is investigating for possible civil rights violations.

Elio Carrion, an Air Force policeman who spent six months deployed in Iraq, was to have rejoined his unit Tuesday. Instead, he was hospitalized in good condition.

The incident began Sunday night, officials said, when Carrion was a passenger in a blue Corvette that was speeding about 100 mph near the Chino Hills, California, area, east of Los Angeles.

The driver, whom authorities didn't identify, failed to pull the car over after police signaled to do so, leading to a five-minute chase that ended abruptly when the vehicle crashed into a brick wall, said Cindy Beavers, a spokeswoman for the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department.

What happened next was captured on video shot by amateur photographer Jose Luis Valdez, who told The Associated Press that he recorded the incident after the car crashed in front of his home. KTLA-TV aired the videotape early Tuesday, then distributed it later in the day.

In the tape, an unarmed Carrion appears to be on the ground as a deputy sheriff stands above him with his gun drawn.

"Get up!" the deputy shouts. "OK," Carrion says.

"Get up!" the deputy shouts again. "I'm going to get up," Carrion says, and he begins to rise.

The deputy fires three shots, reportedly striking Carrion in the chest, leg and shoulder.

Moaning while on the ground, Carrion attempts to explain to the deputy he's an Iraq war veteran. "I mean you no harm," he says. "Shut the [expletive] up!" the deputy shouts. "Shut the [expletive] up!"

The deputy shouts that he has "one down," then again tells Carrion to "shut the [expletive] up."

"You don't get up!" the deputy says.

Then the tape contains the voice of a neighbor who appears to have watched the incident. "You told him to get up!" the voice says.

Beavers, the sheriff's spokesman, declined to release the name of the deputy involved in the shooting but said he was put on leave. She said Sheriff Gary Penrod had invited the FBI to join the investigation.

FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller and U.S. attorney's office spokesman Thom Mrozek confirmed the the agency's involvement on behalf of the Justice Department.

They said the FBI would look into possible civil rights violations. Media reports prompted the probe, Mrozek said.

Beavers said the sheriff's department would review the video forensically "to clear up any questions about dialogue."

"We think it is unfair to make any sort of judgment against any of the parties involved," she said.

The driver of the car, she said, was arrested on charges of felony evading.

CNN's Chris Lawrence contributed to this report.


Airman ‘mystified by verdict’ clearing deputy

Elio Carrion, who was shot after a traffic stop, speaks out on TODAY

By Mike Celizic contributor
updated 7:05 a.m. PT, Fri., July. 20, 2007
Senior Airman Elio Carrion said he used to be "pro-cop," but all that has changed since he was shot three times by a sheriff’s deputy, who was cleared of wrongdoing by a jury in the highly publicized case.

In his first public statement since the June 28 verdict, Carrion admitted to TODAY co-host Meredith Vieira that he did do some things wrong on the January 2006 night when former San Bernardino County Deputy Sheriff Ivory Webb shot Carrion as he was attempting to obey the officer’s order to stand up.

Carrion had been a passenger in a Corvette driven by a friend who had crashed after leading Webb on a 100-mph chase through residential neighborhoods in the town of Chino, Calif. A video shot by a witness shows the officer and Carrion, who is on the ground outside the car, cursing at each other. The officer orders Carrion to stand, and as he is complying, Webb shoots him three times.

Elio Carrion

"Yes," Carrion replied when Vieira asked "Do you think you did anything wrong that night?" "When I used profanity against him, that was wrong." But, he continued, "when he approached us, he was out of control, using profanity a lot, saying the F-word a lot, like, ‘You, shut the F up.’ I was trying to calm him down because he seemed out of control."

He said that Webb seemed to calm down when Carrion cursed back at him.

But Carrion, who admitted that he had been drinking, maintained as he has all along that he did nothing else that warranted being shot. And, he said, as a military policeman who served six months in Iraq, "I used to be pro-cop. But now, since this happened ... It’s very hard to tell who you can trust these days."

Although he was acquitted of charges of attempted voluntary manslaughter and assault with a weapon, Webb, who was dismissed from his job, still could face federal charges of violating Carrion’s civil rights. Carrion is also pursuing a civil case against Webb.

Webb maintained that he thought Carrion was reaching into his jacket as he attempted to push himself up. In an earlier appearance on TODAY, Webb said, "Law enforcement officers are trained to assume that suspects are dangerous and have weapons."

"I was on the ground. I pushed my upper body up," Carrion told Vieira as the video of the shooting ran on a split screen. "The jacket — it has no pockets, it has no zipper. It’s a pullover jacket ... I had no pockets. I had no weapon."

Vieira asked Carrion to put himself in Webb’s shoes. "You are chasing after a car that’s going 100 miles per hour, your adrenaline is going, there are two of you in the car. One officer. Might you not respond somewhat the way he did?" she asked.

"No," the military policeman said. "I would not have approached the vehicle at all. We’re trained to wait for backup, no matter how long it takes. Because if he [encountered] two suspects like that — who knows what could happen? The officer could be hurt."

‘Mystified by the verdict’

Carrion said he is mystified by the verdict. "I don’t know how the jury found that it was justified. Clear as day, he said twice, ‘Get up, get up.’ And then I repeated, ‘I’m going to get up now.’ I did not even get up fully. I pushed my upper body up and then I got shot three times and fell back."

Carrion, 23, was hit in the chest, behind the left shoulder and in the left femur. He re-enlisted in the Air Force and is confined to desk duty at Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana because of his injuries. On Thursday, he was presented the Army Commendation Medal for work performed in Iraq.

"I can’t run, do sports, jump. It’s very hard to kneel down, lay on the ground, stuff like that," he said. Carrion is married and has a young daughter.

After the verdict, Carrion did not speak to anyone about it, including his wife. Asked why he chose to speak out now, he replied, "I just think it’s the right time now. The defense attorney has been portraying me as a drunk, defiant of the law — stuff like that. I just wanted to come out and say that’s totally false."

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Bị cảnh sát bắn chết sau một vụ đụng xe

Cảnh sát giao thông Raphael Lora, 37 tuổi, có 8 năm kinh nghiệm, đang ở trong nhà ngoài giờ làm việc thì nghe tiếng xe đụng.

Theo lời khai của cảnh sát này, ông ta liền ra khỏi nhà và tiến tới chiếc xe van do Fermin Arzu, 41 tuổi, lái, cho biết mình là cảnh sát và hỏi bằng lái xe của Arzu.

Arzu, là một người nói chuyện không rõ ràng, lấy tay phải đẩy Lora ra, và thò tay trái vào trong xe.

Bất ngờ, chiếc xe chồm lên và cánh cửa xe hất cảnh sát Lora té xuống đất và lúc đó cảnh sát này đã nổ súng. Tổng cộng cảnh sát này bắn 5 viên. Quan khám xác nói Arzu chết vì một viên đạn ở ngực.

Không tìm thấy súng trong xe van của Arzu.

Nhân chứng nói với cảnh sát rằng họ thấy chiếc xe chạy tới và nghe tiếng súng nổ.

Không có nhân chứng nào thấy cảnh sát Lora bị cánh cửa xe hất ra.

Bạn gái của Arzu nói rằng ông Arzu đã tỏ ra bất bình về vụ một người khác tên là Sean Bell, cũng không có mang súng, bị cảnh sát giật mình bắn chết. Ông ta không ngờ rằng mình cũng chết như vậy!


Cop who killed our pa must pay

Bronx driver's kids lash out at officer who fired 5 shots


Monday, May 21st 2007, 4:00 AM

Angry relatives of a Bronx driver slain by an off-duty cop demanded justice yesterday as authorities tried to determine whether the man's van was moving when the officer opened fire.

"The cop that shot my father, he needs to pay," said Katherine Arzu, 20. "He left my brother and me alone."

Fermin Arzu's only son also blasted Officer Raphael Lora, who shot and killed Arzu, 41, while trying to question him about a traffic accident.

Friends help support Isadora Arzu, sister of slain driver Fermin Arzu, at gathering near scene of Bronx shooting.

"I loved him, and cops took away his life," said Jeyson Frederick, 14. "He should pay the consequences. Something should happen to him."

Investigators placed Lora, 37, on desk duty while they probe whether he was justified in firing five shots at Arzu on a Bronx street late Friday night.

The eight-year veteran traffic cop came out of his home on Hewitt Place in Longwood after hearing a crash believed to have been caused by Arzu's minivan.

Police sources who spoke to Lora gave this version of what happened next:

Lora ran up to the van, identified himself as a cop and asked for Arzu's license.

Fermin Arzu

Arzu, whose speech was slurred, pushed at the cop with his right hand as he reached for the glove compartment with his left - making Lora fear the neighborhood handyman and musician was going for a gun.

Suddenly, the van surged forward as Lora was knocked to the ground by an open door. The cop then opened fire.

Witnesses told cops "they saw the car move forward and heard shots," said NYPD Deputy Commissioner Paul Browne.

No witness has reported seeing Lora hit by a door.

And investigators now are talking with witnesses who believe the van lurched forward only after the first shot was fired.

No gun was found in the car.

A spokesman for the Bronx district attorney said the investigation was continuing.

The medical examiner's office said Arzu died of a single bullet wound to the chest.

Lora, who earlier insisted to the Daily News that he was only doing his job, holed up in his Bronx home yesterday as a buddy ran errands.

Activists joined Arzu's grief-stricken family at the scene of the slaying. "This incident [could] have been avoided," said Kirsten Foy of the National Action Network, who came instead of the Rev. Al Sharpton.

Arzu's girlfriend called the Honduran immigrant a good man who had expressed outrage at the police killing of unarmed motorist Sean Bell - not suspecting the same fate would befall him. "He hated injustice, by police, by anybody," said Thomasa Sabeo, 46. "He was my friend, my husband, everything to me. I was happy having a life with him."


Funeral held for N.Y man shot by police

Sat May 26, 2007 7:39pm EDT

By Chris Michaud

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Civil rights activist Al Sharpton on Saturday delivered the eulogy at a packed funeral service for an unarmed Honduran immigrant shot and killed by an off-duty policeman following a traffic accident a week ago.

Fermin Arzu "came to this country to pursue the American dream, but ended up the American nightmare," Sharpton told more than 50 people at a small funeral home in the Bronx.

Many more gathered outside or paid respects after the service.

Arzu, 41, a building porter and father of six, was killed when police officer Raphael Lora fired five shots at him after Arzu's vehicle hit a parked car on May 18.

The Bronx shooting recalled an incident last November in which officers fired 50 shots at three unarmed black men in the borough of Queens, killing 23-year-old Sean Bell on his wedding day and wounding two men. Two officers have been indicted for manslaughter and a third for reckless endangerment.

Sharpton said earlier on Saturday that Arzu's shooting was strikingly similar to the Bell case.

"This is the same case, of police disregarding the rights of the citizens of New York," Sharpton told a rally of about 100 people in Harlem that, like the funeral, was also attended by Bell's fiancee.

He called reports that Arzu had been drinking at the time of the shooting "distractions," adding that even if he had committed a crime, such as fleeing from the scene of an accident, he "should have been arrested, not killed."

Initial police reports said Lora had stopped the Arzu's vehicle after it hit a parked car and was confronting him when the car lurched forward. Lora opened fire, hitting Arzu. Officers are barred from firing at a vehicle unless they feel their lives are in danger. No weapon was found.

Lora has been placed on desk duty while the Bronx district attorney continues his investigation.

New York's police department has come under increased scrutiny following several high-profile cases of fatal shootings or abuse, including the 1999 killing of Amadou Diallo, an unarmed immigrant who died when police fired 41 shots at him in the Bronx.

Anh rể, em vợ bị bắn chết sau khi có người gọi cảnh sát đến 'giúp'

Có một bạn hiện đang ở VN không tin rằng cảnh sát Mỹ có thể bắn xối xả vào người không mang súng, không cần có chuyện lớn gì xảy ra, chỉ cần một vụ cãi nhau trong gia đình, hay một vụ đụng xe cũng có thể bắn chết người rồi, mặc dù tôi đã đưa ra nhiều thí dụ! Vì vậy, theo yêu cầu của bạn này, tôi sẽ post vài trường hợp nữa lên để mọi người cùng tham khảo.
Trường hợp lần này là anh rể Kwang Tae Lee, 61, và em vợ, Richard Kim, 49, người Korea ở một khu phố trung lưu thuộc thành phố Dublin, California, không phải là một khu vực lộn xộn bạo lực. Ngày 11/8/2005, cảnh sát đến nhà ông Kim sau một cú gọi trường hợp "domestic disturbance".
Sau khi có mặt ở hiện trường, cảnh sát thấy ông Lee đang cầm một con dao nên ra lệnh cho ông này bỏ dao xuống nhiều lần nhưng ông Lee không tuân lệnh. Không tuân lệnh thì sao? Thì cảnh sát bắn xối xả chứ sao? Ông Lee bị trúng nhiều phát đạn và chết tại chỗ. Không những ông Lee chết mà một viên đạn lạc khác cũng giết chết ông Kim đang núp sau một cánh cửa gần đó!
Cuộc điều tra sau đó của Văn phòng Công tố Alameda County nói rằng vụ bắn này là hợp pháp, những cảnh sát liên quan sẽ không chịu trách nhiệm hình sự.
Luật sư của gia đình Kim thì nói rằng dân quyền của ông bà Kim và anh rể đã bị vi phạm vì một là ông Lee không hiểu tiếng Anh. Hai là trong khi em dâu ông ta đang ráng trao đổi với ông ta thì cảnh sát nổ súng.
Diverse Crowd Remembers Korean Men Shot and Killed by Police
New America Media, News Report + Video, Wendy Rockett, Video: Mona Koh//Min Lee, Posted: Oct 13, 2005
DUBLIN, Calif. -- Some 150 people gathered at a candlelight vigil in front of city hall Tuesday to remember the two Korean men shot and killed by local police last month. The crowd demanded a thorough investigation of the incident as well as community input on police trainings and reviews.
On Aug. 11 police officers responded to a domestic disturbance at the home of Richard Kim. They found Kim’s brother-in-law, Kwang Tae Lee, 61, holding a knife. According to a police statement, Lee did not drop the knife after being asked to do so repeatedly by police. Community members say Lee had been drinking and did not speak English. Police shot Lee several times and one of the shots hit and killed Kim, 49, who was standing behind a door nearby.

Mrs. Kim asks for justice for her slain husband and brother.

“Please help bring justice to their tragic and unnecessary deaths,” pleaded Jeeyoung Kim, widow and also the sister of Lee. Kim fought back the sobs as she addressed the crowd which included Korean-American civil rights groups, Dublin residents, college students, mainstream media and Korean and Chinese media.
After the shooting occurred, Kim and Lee’s wife were placed in a hotel room and told not to leave. Police officers told the women the next morning that they had to vacate the room unless they paid for it. The Dublin police have not yet explained these actions.
Kim is working with renowned civil rights attorney John Burris to take legal action against the Dublin police. The newly formed Korean American Bay Area Justice Coalition is also calling for an independent, public investigation. The police report is still not yet available and Kim herself has not spoken publicly about what happened that night.
The Korean American Bay Area Justice Coalition is also asking for improved training for the police force and the establishment of a civilian police review board.
Reverend Myung Sep Lee, a minister from the Korean Presbyterian church of Tri-Valley, gave a sermon at the vigil.

Reverend Lee speaks at vigil.

“This is a kind of sorrow and deep grief that we never expected. However, we know God is alive in America, especially because God blessed America,” Lee said.
A Dublin City Council meeting took place at the same time as the vigil. Several people from the vigil spoke during the public comment period of the meeting to Dublin’s mayor Janet Lockhart and city council members.
"I want to live in a safe city. If police kills residents, how can I live in Dublin?" said Sungho Suh, a Korean American resident of Dublin who didn’t know the Kims personally but wanted to express his concern.
Chris Markoo, another resident of Dublin said, “I realized it’s not just a Korean issue, it’s a Dublin issue, and therefore involves me.”
Thirty students from San Francisco State University came to show their support for the widow. They carried signs with messages such as “Don’t Hate, De-escalate” and “Respect Cultural Sensitivity.”
"I couldn't believe that this was happening in Dublin,” said Ashlie Sandoval, an SFSU student who grew up in Dublin. “We hope that someone would take notice and think about their actions. This is why we're here."
There have been other Asian American victims of police misconduct in the Bay Area. Cau Tran, a Vietnamese American, was shot in her San Jose home two years ago because she was holding a vegetable peeler. Kuang Chung Kao, a Chinese American, was shot outside his home in Rohnert Park in 1997 because the police assumed he had deadly martial arts skills.
Because of this pattern of police misconduct, New California Media (the creator of this site) last month gathered representatives from Chinese, Vietnamese and Korean media to discuss actions they can take to prevent cultural conflicts when dealing with the police. The media representatives also discussed how to work together.
Jonathan Bae, co-counsel for Kim, said, "We need to keep this issue alive in the public mind.”
“We're hoping the media can help so that people, as well as those who are in a position to change police practices policy and training don't forget," Bae said.
It is unclear how long and what legal action will take. But Ms. Kim told KTVU 2 News later that night that she is heartened by the support she has received.
“I’m ready for the long fight,” she said.
DA says Dublin police shootings were justifiable
The Alameda County District Attorney’s Office has ruled that a Dublin police shooting of two Korean men in August was justifiable.
In a letter to Dublin police chief Gary Thuman that accompanied the report, District Attorney Tom Orloff wrote “I have reviewed and agree that although the result is tragic, there is insufficient evidence to prove criminal liability against Dublin police deputy Tara Russell and Dublin police deputy David Taylor.”
On Aug. 11, officers answering a disturbance call shot Kwang Tae-Lee, 61, of Korea after he refused to put down a knife inside his sister’s Dublin home. One bullet hit homeowner Richard Kim, Tae-Lee’s brother-in-law, who was hiding behind a bedroom door.
Members of the Korean community are upset that the report, completed in March, has just now come to light.
“We were pretty surprised that no one was notified,” said Hun Kim, executive director of the Korean Community Center of the East Bay. “People we thought might know about the report didn’t know about it and were just as surprised as anyone.”
Kim said he and others have asked for months about when the investigation would be complete.
From the beginning, the Korean community has called for transparency and impartiality in the investigation and for cultural sensitivity training for police, especially because Tae-Lee did not understand English.
Immediately after the shooting, police did not disclose that Kim had been shot by police until he died three days later.
Many in the Korean community were not so much surprised by the District Attorney’s findings but of how it was released. A local newspaper had to file a Public Records Act request to get it.
Others are angry about the delay, said B. J. Han, a reporter for the Korea Times.
“They are so upset the D.A.’s office did not disclose the report for almost two months,” he said.
Dublin contracts for police services with the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office. Department spokesman Lt. Jim Knudsen referred questions to county counsel, Richard Winnie. Neither Winnie, nor senior deputy district attorney John Jay, the report’s author, were available to comment Friday.
According to the report, on Aug. 11, neighbors said they had difficulty sleeping because of loud singing and then screams coming from the Kims house in the 3000 block of Innisbrook Way.
Jee Kim told police her husband and her brother had fought earlier and she and her sister-in-law had to separate them. Autopsies showed Richard Kim had a blood alcohol level of .20 and Tae-Lee .19.
Jee told investigators her husband yelled before he closed the bedroom door that he was calling the police. She said she told her brother, in Korean, when the police were in the house.
According to the report, officers arrived about 11:40 p.m. and heard screams. They knocked on the door and tried to kick it in. From the window, Deputy Russell saw Tae-Lee walk up the stairs with a knife and saw Yang Oh, Tae-Lee’s wife, come downstairs walking with difficulty, clutching her side. Oh, who later said she had been drinking that night, let the officers in.
Because of her condition, the deputies thought Oh had been an assault victim. Russell also saw Tae-Lee carry the knife above his head and head toward an upstairs bedroom, where deputies later found Richard Kim behind a door.
The report says the officers thought they, the two women, and whoever was in the bedroom, were in danger of being stabbed or killed. Both repeatedly ordered him to put the knife down. When he did not, they fired.
Tae-Lee was shot five times and died at the scene. A bullet from Russell’s gun pierced the door and hit Richard Kim in the left arm and left eye. He died three days later at Eden Medical Center in Castro Valley.
“To justify the filing of criminal charges, it is necessary to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the killings were neither justifiable nor accidental,” the report concluded. “There is credible evidence that the first shots were fired at Mr. Lee in defense of another and subsequent shots were fired in defense of others and in self-defense. Sadly, one round fired at Mr. Lee passed through the door and accidentally struck Mr. Kim.”
According to the district attorney’s report, a homicide is justifiable if the person believes the victim was going to commit “a forcible and atrocious crime” and danger was immediate.
Oakland attorney John Burris has filed a $60 million wrongful death claim on behalf of Richard Kim’s family. Burris said he did not get the report until about a week ago.
Burris said the civil rights of his client, her brother and her husband, were violated.
“(Tae-Lee) was never given a sufficient opportunity to comply,” Burris said. “One, he didn’t speak English; and two, as his sister was communicating with him in Korean, he was shot.”