Morning Report: January 16, 2005

Graner gets 10 years. Army Specialist Charles Graner was sentenced to 10 years for his role in the Abu Ghraib torture/abuse scandal, Command Post reports. CNN reported that 'Many Iraqis reacted angrily on Sunday to news that U.S. soldier Charles Graner had been sentenced to 10 years in jail for his role in prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib jail, saying he should have faced harsher punishment.' Similar sentiments were expressed by many Americans, such as Blackfive. (Command Post; AP via CNN; Blackfive)

Sharon: Gloves off for IDF in Gaza. Prime Minister Ariel Sharon made it clear he expects more than words from newly-elected Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, freezing relations with the Palestinian National Authority until the PNA can see its way clear to get serious about stopping terrorism. In a recent bulletin from Debka, 'Sharon tells Israeli cabinet: Army ordered to step up military actions “without restrictions” after weekend surge of Palestinian terrorist attacks in and around Gaza Strip. He accused new Palestinian leadership of taking no action against terrorists. Friday, Israel broke off contact with Abbas after 6 Israeli deaths - 3 from Sderot - at hands of Palestinian suicide bombers at Karni goods crossing from Gaza to Israel.' (Debka)

DDT reconsidered? The recent tsunami tragedy in southern Asia has brought fears of a malaria outbreak - and renewed debate over the acceptability of the use of the now-banned pesticide DDT, as Winds of Change reports. (Winds of Change)

Iraqi government publishes names of terrorists. MEMRI reports (January 13): 'The Iraqi Ministry of Human Rights published the names of 99 Arabs and Iranians who were arrested for planning or taking part in acts of terrorism. The list comprises 26 Syrians, 14 Saudis, 14 Iranians, 12 Egyptians. 4 Palestinians, 8 Jordanians and 5 Tunisians as well as individuals from numerous countries.' (Al-Mashriq, Baghdad, 1/15/05, via MEMRI)

Russia: Bushehr construction completed. Also from MEMRI: 'Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov, in a recent meeting with U.S. President George W. Bush, said the construction phase of the nuclear units of Bushehr atomic power plant had been completed: 'Russia's fundamental stance is that nuclear material will be delivered to Iran when Iran and Russia sign a contract for returning spent nuclear fuel to Russia.' (Iran Daily, 1/13/05, via MEMRI)

Jakarta: Benchmark, not deadline. Indonesia's government has back-pedaled from its earlier statement that foreign humanitarian troops must leave the country by March 26, the BBC is reporting: 'Indonesia has denied saying that foreign troops involved in the tsunami relief operation must leave the country within three months of the disaster. Defence Minister Juwono Sudarsono said 26 March was not a deadline for foreign military personnel, but a benchmark. He said that by that date, Indonesian authorities aimed to be able to take over most of the relief effort. The minister was speaking after talks on Sunday with visiting US Deputy Defence Secretary Paul Wolfowitz.' (BBC)