President George W. Bush, under mounting political pressure, will sign an executive order to establish a full-blown investigation of US intelligence failures in Iraq, a senior White House official said. \nThe investigation will look at what the US believed it knew before the war against Saddam Hussein's regime and what has been determined since the invasion. Former chief weapons inspector David Kay has concluded that Iraq did not possess weapons of mass destruction, a chief rationale for the US-led war. \nThe investigation will examine not only Iraq but also intelligence issues dealing with stateless groups such as terrorists and secretive regimes such as North Korea, the official said on Sunday, on condition of anonymity. Given the broad mandate of the investigation, it is not likely to be completed before the November elections. Bush had resisted an investigation of Iraq intelligence but agreed to an inquiry amid growing pressure. \nLawmakers from both parties say the US' credibility has been undermined by uncertainty over flawed intelligence that led the US into war in Iraq. Republicans joined Democrats in calling for an investigation. \n"I don't see there's any way around it," Senator Chuck Hagel, a senior Republican member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said Sunday on CNN TV. \n"We need to open this up in a very nonpartisan, outside commission, to see where we are," Hagel said. The issue is not just shortcomings of US intelligence, he said, but "the credibility of who we are around the world and the trust of our government and our leaders." \nSenator Trent Lott, another top Republican on the committee, told Fox TV that he may be willing to go along with an independent commission because "I think we have major problems with our intelligence community. I think we need to take a look at a complete overhaul." \nBy setting up the investigation himself, Bush will have greater control over its membership and mandate. The mandate will be broader than simply what went wrong in Iraq, the official said. It also will look into issues such as gathering intelligence on stateless regimes, such as al-Qaeda, and weapons proliferation. \nThere was no indication when Bush would sign the order creating the panel.
FORCED LABOR: Customs officials have seized a 11.8 tonne shipment of products made from human hair on suspicion they were produced by people facing human rights abuses Federal authorities in New York City on Wednesday seized a shipment of weaves and other beauty accessories suspected to be made out of human hair taken from people locked inside a Chinese internment camp. US Customs and Border Protection (CPB) officials said that 11.8 tonnes of hair products worth an estimated US$800,000 were in the shipment. “The production of these goods constitutes a very serious human rights violation, and the detention order is intended to send a clear and direct message to all entities seeking to do business with the United States that illicit and inhumane practices will not be tolerated in
JUST QUESTIONS: Expelled reporter Ai Kezhu said that every member of Southeast Television had complied with the law and had not appeared on any talk shows Two Chinese reporters yesterday left Taiwan after the government revoked their accreditation and ordered them to leave amid a probe into allegations that several Chinese media outlets have set up studios and produced political talk shows in Taiwan. The two reporters — Ai Kezhu (艾珂竹) and Lu Qiang (盧薔) — worked for Fujian Province-based Southeast Television and arrived in Taiwan in December last year. The Mainland Affairs Council has launched an investigation after local media reported that Chinese broadcasters — including China Central Television, Southeast Television and FJTV — had set up studios in Taipei and produced political talk shows. Council Deputy Minister
HONG KONG SECURITY: The president blasted regulations requiring Taiwanese agents or political organizations to provide information on their Hong Kong-related activities President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday warned of countermeasures should controversial Chinese national security legislation imposed on Hong Kong undermine or harm Taiwanese interests. Article 43 of the legislation empowers the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region to serve written notices to Taiwanese political organizations or individual agents to furnish information on their Hong Kong-related activities, including their personal particulars, finances, assets, expenditure and capital in the territory. Failure to comply or providing false or incomplete information can result in a fine of HK$100,000 (US$12,903) or imprisonment of six months or two years respectively. Tsai said that Taiwan would keep a close watch on how
PROBE LAUNCHED: An officer who served as a supervisor in the drill died in an apparent suicide after the accident, which was caused by unexpected waves Two marines who were on Friday injured in a military exercise in the waters off Kaohsiung passed away yesterday, Navy Command said. The marines — surnamed Tsai (蔡), 26, and a sergeant surnamed Chen (陳), 36 — were in a seven-member Marine Corps team that encountered rough seas during a simulated response to enemy forces landing on Taiwan. Their rubber craft overturned in waters off Taoziyuan (桃子園) beach in Zuoying District (左營), injuring four of the marines. They were rushed to hospital, where three of them — Tsai, Chen and a 34-year-old sergeant — were taken to an intensive care unit