Annan: Iraq close to civil war

From Reuters:

U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan said on Monday Iraq was in danger of descending into civil war, as insurgents killed more than 30 people in a fresh wave of bomb attacks ahead of the holy month of Ramadan.

Annan, opening an international aid conference for Iraq, said: “If current patterns of alienation and violence persist much longer, there is a grave danger that the Iraqi state will break down, possibly in the midst of full-scale civil war.”

Bracing Baghdad for an expected increase in attacks by al Qaeda and other Sunni militant groups fighting the Shi’ite-led government, U.S. and Iraqi officials are planning to shield the capital from car bombers by sealing off its entrances with checkpoints and trenches. Ramadan starts next week.  more

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It is clear to Koffi Annan.  It is clear to me.  Unfortunately, it really isn’t clear to President Bush.

ammonia as fuel

DES MOINES, Iowa — An Iowa alternative fuel engine manufacturer has reached an agreement with an irrigation pump maker in California to make the world’s first ammonia-powered irrigation pump system.

The system will help meet California’s new strict emissions requirements scheduled to go into effect in 2010, the companies said.

Hydrogen Engine Center of Algona said Tuesday it’s working with Corcoran, California-based Sawtelle & Rosprim to integrate HEC ammonia-powered engines with Sawtelle’s pumps “to complete a prototype system for testing and evaluation.” The prototype system will run 24 hours a day.

The sytem will be tested during California’s 2007 irrigation season. If testing is successful, HEC plans to begin selling ammonia-powered irrigation systems in California in 2008. more

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Sounds interesting.

Iraqi Prime Minister did what?

From NYT:

BAGHDAD, Sept. 19 — The chief judge in the genocide trial of Saddam Hussein was removed from the case on Tuesday after he said last week that Mr. Hussein was “not a dictator,” government officials said.

Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki of Iraq decided to remove the judge, Abdullah al-Amiri, because he had “hurt the feelings’’ of Kurds and many other Iraqis with comments that seemed to support Mr. Hussein, according to Bassam al-Husseini, one of the prime minister’s advisers.

Mr. Husseini said the judge has been reassigned to other cases. Mohammed al-Uraibiy, another member of the five-judge panel that has been hearing Mr. Hussein’s case, will take over as chief judge.

Last week, a court prosecutor demanded the judge be removed for showing bias toward Mr. Hussein and letting him harangue witnesses.

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Can the Prime Minister do this?  Can you imagine Bush removing a judge because he thought the judge was bias?  ‘Splain this to me?  How is this a democracy, again?