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U.S. Eyes Israeli Software as Training Tool for Forces in Iraq

JERUSALEM - For US soldiers wondering what they should and should not do in their role as occupiers of Iraq, help may be on the way from the Israel Defense Forces.

The Israeli military has developed a software program to teach junior commanders 11 "codes of conduct'' when operating among civilians - fight only those fighting you, respect the dignity of the local population, don't pillage, and so forth...

The American interest in the software - which a US Embassy spokesman in Tel Aviv confirmed but would not elaborate on - is a rare public acknowledgment that the US is even contemplating Israeli assistance. While analysts speculate that Israel may be providing intelligence or other kinds of military support, officials refuse to comment on the matter. "It's a closed door," says one Israeli Foreign Ministry spokeswoman.

Israel has occupied the West Bank and Gaza Strip for more than 36 years, experience that might benefit US troops in Iraq, where their presence is increasingly seen as occupation rather than liberation. The problem is that overt help from Israel, despite the potential benefits of Israeli expertise, might complicate America's role in a Middle East already upset about the war in Iraq and the dismal state of Israeli-Palestinian relations...


Libaries Get New Package to Study Islam

In a bid to quench Canadians' need for answers about Islam, a North American organization launched a national initiative yesterday to provide literature on the religion to public libraries.

The main branch of the Calgary Public Library was the site for the launch of the CAIR-CAN -- the Canadian office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations -- national Islamic library project.

The initiative follows two trends observed in the last few years by the organization, said CAIR-CAN executive director Riad Saloojee.

"The first is a great deal of interest, phenomenal interest about Islam and...we saw an increase in interdenominational dialogue, more discussion and more acceptance," said Saloojee.

Since the attacks against New York City and Washington D.C., Canadians have had difficulty finding literature on Islam and Muslim culture as orders for books have been back-logged at stores and the copies available at libraries are few in numbers…


U.S Uses Terror Law to Pursue Crimes from Drugs to Swindling

WASHINGTON - The Bush administration, which calls the USA Patriot Act perhaps its most essential tool in fighting terrorists, has begun using the law with increasing frequency in many criminal investigations that have little or no connection to terrorism.

The government is using its expanded authority under the far-reaching law to investigate suspected drug traffickers, white-collar criminals, blackmailers, child pornographers, money launderers, spies and even corrupt foreign leaders, federal officials said.

Justice Department officials say they are simply using all the tools now available to them to pursue criminals - terrorists or otherwise. But critics of the administration's antiterrorism tactics assert that such use of the law is evidence the administration is using terrorism as a guise to pursue a broader law enforcement agenda…


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