Morning Report: August 7, 2005

Russian sailors rescued. CNN reports: "The seven-man crew of a trapped Russian mini-submarine are back in port after a three-day ordeal at the bottom of the Pacific with dwindling oxygen. Six of the seamen were taken to hospital for observation in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky on the eastern coast of the Pacific peninsula of Kamchatka after arriving on board a rescue ship. ...' (CNN)

Israeli terrorist kills four Arabs. The Jerusalem Post reports: 'A far-right activist who was AWOL from his army unit murdered four Israeli Arabs and wounded 12 on Thursday evening when he opened fire while riding in an Egged bus in the northern city of Shfaram. He was then lynched by an angry mob. The shooter, identified as Natan Eden Zada, 19, of the Samaria settlement of Tapuah, had deserted his IDF unit and was on Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) watch lists. Despite this, Shin Bet sources said no warnings had been received regarding plans by Zada or other Jewish extremists to target the Israeli-Arab sector. Among the victims were two young sisters, Hazar and Dina Turki, 23 and 21-years-old respectively, and the driver of the bus, Michel Bahous, 56. Nadir Hayak, 55, a passenger on the bus, was killed as well.' Zada will be buried without military honors. (JPost)

Israel set to begin Gaza pullout; Netanyahu resigns. Debka reports: 'Finance minister Binyamin Netanyahu has resigned. He walked out of cabinet meeting Sunday which approved first evacuations from Gaza. Netanyahu left session in the middle leaving a letter on the cabinet table. He announced his refusal to be part of the “irresponsible” and “blind advance” towards a unilateral withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and its handover to be “an Islamic terror base” posing extreme peril to the nation and Jerusalem. Earlier, education minister Limor LIvnat said she would vote against the first Gaza withdrawals from Netzarim, Morag and Kfar Darom due to begin in 10 days. Three more Likud ministers Danny Neveh, Israel Katz and Tsachi Hanegbi oppose the evacuations which has a cabinet majority without the Likud ministers.'

Iranian group lays claim to killing of judge. News media reported that Masoud Moqadasi, a judge who oversaw a case against now-imprisoned journalist Akbar Ganji, was shot dead in his car after leaving his central Tehran office Tuesday afternoon, according to a judiciary spokesman. The comment thread a Free Iran offers some analysis: 'For a single person on a moterbike to aim and fire a full clip from an assault rifle on the move, into another moving vehicle is pushing the limits of the possible, one only has two hands. Even letting go of the handle bars (which is possible, in a straight line), the recoil would throw the bike off center, risking a wreck. It's virtually impossible to handle an assault rifle one handed, and keep aim steady, during a full-auto burst using up a full clip (30 rounds AK 47 7.62 mm) Perhaps having the sling of the rifle rapped around the arm holding the handle bars, as a prop to hold the gun steady, but aiming would be a bit more difficult. Not something one could do alone without practice, in any case. Plus then there's the fact that it would be almost impossible to hide such a weapon prior to, or after assault on a bike. Only certain people on the street allowed to carry that type weapon, thus it's probable that when "Iran's Intelligence Ministry later blamed the murders on "rogue agents" in the secret service. " ..They were accurate. Don't think for a minute that Opposition is not inside... as well on the street in protests. - Oppenheimer. / Iranian bloggers and news sources such as Pichay, Goroohesiyahkal, IranPan, and Gooya News: an English translation of the essential elements of these reports. As indicated in these Persian web sites, a group called Secret Armed Youths Organization ( A Branch of Pan-Iranists party) takes the full responsiblity of murder of the judge who was shot a few days ago in Tehran. The group claims they killed the judge because he has been killing and torturing political prisoners since 1980s. This group also claims that they killed this judge to support Akbar Ganji and other political prisoners in the prisons of the Islamic Republic. - Rasker.' (Free Iran)