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Monday, February 14, 2005

Need money? Call Bush/Cheney [CASH] Inc.

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(fair use credit) BBC NEWS


Iraq agency 'run like Wild West'

By Michael Buchanan
BBC News, Washington

The Coalition Provisional Authority, the US-led agency
that ran Iraq after the fall of Saddam Hussein, has been
accused of wasting millions of dollars.

Speaking to a Senate panel, a former CPA official said the
body's processes for handling contractors were as chaotic
as the Wild West.

Almost two years after the war, 80% of the $18bn set aside
by the US Congress for rebuilding Iraq remains unspent.

A Pentagon spokesman said the CPA had worked under very
difficult conditions.

Incompetence claims [?]

Democratic senators called the hearing into the management
of the reconstruction funds, saying the Republicans who run
Congress have declined to investigate fraud in Iraq.

What they heard did not please them.

Former CPA official Franklin Willis told the US Senate Dem[]
Policy Committee there was widespread abuse and waste of
money at the authority.

He showed pictures of himself and other US officials holding
up plastic-wrapped bundles of $100 notes, worth $2m.

They were used to pay a security contractor.

Mr Willis said a combination of inexperienced officials, fear
of decision-making, lack of communications, minimal security,
no banks and lots of money to spend led to a Wild West type
of chaos.

These allegations of incompetence come just weeks after an
audit of the CPA's handling of more than $20bn of Iraq's own
money found that a lack of oversight had left the funds open
to corruption.

A Pentagon spokesman said the CPA had striven for sound
management and transparency under extremely difficult
conditions.

Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/americas/4266231.stm

Published: 2005/02/15 04:11:49 GMT
© BBC MMV

Tehran, Iran - Mosque fire kills evening worshippers

(fair use credit: Yahoo! News)

Iran Mosque Fire Kills 35, Injures 200
(1 minute ago)

TEHRAN, Iran - At least 35 worshippers were killed
and more than 200 others injured when a fire broke
out a mosque in central Tehran, state-run television
reported late Monday.

The fire, sparked by a malfunctioning power circuit,
started as hundreds of worshippers were performing
evening prayers in the Arg Mosque, the television
report said.

The official Islamic Republic News Agency said a long
sheet of cloth segregating men from women caught fire
and then quickly spread throughout the mosque.

The dead included 20 men and 15 women, the television
said.

Firefighters were working to extinguish the fire and police
have cordoned off the area.

The mosque is close to the historic Golestan Palace where
Reza Khan was crowned as Reza Shah Pahlavi in the 1920s
and the huge Tehran bazaar, the heart of business in the
capital.