Wednesday, October 12, 2005

**UPDATES**: Iraqi Constitution; Earthquake; and NYC Terror Threat

UPDATE: Earthquake

The Wall Street Journal today discusses what the U.S. is doing to help the victims of the earthquake in Pakistan this week.

With the consent of the Pakistani government, the U.S. has jumped in with a $50 million pledge, an amount that may increase, according to Ryan Crocker, the U.S. ambassador to Pakistan. The large initial response contrasts with the early days of the tsunami, when the U.S. was criticized for being slow to pledge aid. Yesterday, five U.S.-military heavy-lift helicopters ferried in emergency supplies such as tents and blankets, and flew out causalities. The U.S. military also is bringing in bulldozers and tractors to help with recovery and reconstruction.

The U.S. is consulting with Pakistan about being part of the longer-term reconstruction, Mr. Crocker said. Along with medical supplies, the U.S. may help bring into the Kashmir region prefabricated houses that can be set up quickly and fare better than tents in the coming winter. (Wall Street Journal - 12 Oct 2005)


UPDATE: NYC Terror Threat

And the Washington Post reports that the terror threat to NYC might have been a hoax.

The alleged threat that led to heightened security on New York subways last week may have been a hoax on the part of an Iraqi informant attempting to get money in exchange for information, U.S. intelligence and counterterrorism officials said yesterday.

The informant has since disappeared in Iraq, and the Defense Department has not been able to locate him, city and federal officials said.

U.S. troops in Iraq captured three suspects south of Baghdad who the informant said were involved in the alleged plot. But none of the suspects, including two who were given polygraph examinations, corroborated the informant's allegations or appeared to have any connection to a terrorist plot, according to intelligence officials. (Washington Post)


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