18 December 2003 Edition

The world in 2003

18 December 2003

• Iraq The capture of Saddam Hussein at a farm in Adwar, ten miles from his home town of Tikrit, on Saturday 13 December, may secure the electoral fate of US President George W Bush. The Iraq war initially sent Bush's poll ratings soaring. However, they had been steadily falling as the post-war situation grew increasingly dangerous and the US public became increasingly sceptical about his Iraq strategy. The detention of Saddam may make the forthcoming Presidential campaign a lot easier for the Republicans. Free article

Ferris calls for Public Inquiry into Barron Report

18 December 2003

On Tuesday night in the Dáil, Sinn Féin TD Martin Ferris raised the need to hold a public inquiry into the issues highlighted by the Barron Report. Ferris also asked that such an inquiry would consider all allegations of British military and intelligence involvement in violent incidents within the state between 1969 and 1976. In his reply, Minister for State Brian Lenihan said that the Barron Commission would report on these in the New Year, and that the question of whether to hold a public inquiry would then be considered. Free article

Cormac

18 December 2003

Report highlights plight of Colombia Three

18 December 2003

The Bring Them Home Campaign (www.bringthemhome.ie), which is working to secure the release of three Irishmen awaiting a verdict in Colombia on charges of assisting FARC guerrillas, has published a report titled Colombia: Judge for Yourself. The booklet details the serious violations of fair trial rights of Niall Connolly, Martin McCauley and James Monaghan. Free article

Sectarian Attacks

18 December 2003

Catholic school evacuated Catholic schoolchildren who had been attacked at a residential course last week in Bushmills County Antrim were evacuated from their school in Cushendall during a loyalist bomb scare. St Aloysius's High School was evacuated after receiving a phone call warning that a bomb had been left at the premises around 1pm on Friday 12 December. Free article

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In the courts this week

18 December 2003

The family of IRA Volunteer Pearse Jordan has expressed anger after the Court of Appeal dismissed their case against the Director of Public Prosecutions' decision to refuse to press charges against the RUC man responsible for killing Pearse on 25 November 1992. The Court of Appeal dismissed the case against the DPP on Friday 12 December. Free article

British to break plastic bullet pledge?

18 December 2003

Relatives for Justice has called on the British Government to stand by its commitment to ban plastic bullets by this Christmas. The call comes after the British Home Office issued 'new' guidelines on the use of the weapons in the Six Counties, despite a pledge given during negotiations at Hillsborough that the deadly projectiles would be discontinued by Christmas 2003. Free article

Acquitted man's car bugged

18 December 2003

A man acquitted of trying to kill two RUC members and a woman voter at a Draperstown polling station in 2001 has accused British agents of bugging his car. Noel Abernethy said he found the device after he was forced to stop his car half a mile from his Dungannon home because of a problem steering the vehicle. Free article

BRO leaves Belfast Community Groups in the lurch

18 December 2003

West Belfast community workers are furious with the Belfast Regeneration Office (BRO) after a number of funding applications for much needed projects based in the Twinbrook and Poleglass areas of West Belfast were rejected or deferred over recent months. Free article

Sinn Féin meets Electoral Office

18 December 2003

Sinn Féin Chair Mitchel McLaughlin met with Chief Electoral Officer Dennis Stanley on Monday 15 December to discuss the difficulties surrounding the Assembly elections on 26 November. Noting that tens of thousands of people who were entitled to vote had that right taken away from them at the November election, McLaughlin said every effort must be made to ensure that the experience is not repeated when the European Parliament elections come around in June. Free article


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