Nation In Brief

$5 million reward for slain WSJ reporter
A $5 million reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of Daniel Pearl’s kidnappers was announced by the State Department last week.
U.S. officials are “outraged” over Pearl’s death, which was confirmed in an undisclosed videotape two weeks ago according to State Department spokesman Richard Boucher.
The main suspect in Pearl’s disappearance from Karachi over a month ago, Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh, 28, was arrested prior to the release of the tape.
“If somebody is wanted in two jurisdictions for crimes, then the authorities in the two jurisdictions have to work out how, when, what charges, what transfers and things like that. That’s a normal practice between nations,” Boucher said in a statement.

Bush concerned over global image
A majority of Muslims in the Middle East disapprove of President George W. Bush and America, according to a nine-country poll released last week.
Fifty-three percent of Muslims in those countries had an “unfavorable” opinion of the United States, and 58 percent dislike Bush and his war on terrorism in Afghanistan, according to a recent Gallup poll.
Of those polled, 67 percent labeled the Sept. 11 attacks in New York City and Washington, D.C., as morally unjustifiable. And 67 percent of respondents believe Arabs were not responsible for the attacks.
During a statement last week, Bush expressed his concern over America’s global image and vowed to change it saying, “There is no question that we must do a better job of telling the compassionate side of the American story.”

United Nations calls for $1.18 billion to aid Afghanistan
In the largest annual aid package ever announced for Afghanistan, the United Nations requested $1.18 billion in relief funds last week.
The money will be used for schools, hospitals and shelter for returning refugees, according to U.N. officials.
The funds are needed to feed the war-torn country’s 9 million hungry citizens and 5 million returning refugees.

Bush plans to topple Hussein
A plan for what U.S. officials call a “regime change” in Iraq has been approved by President George W. Bush, according to a former CIA agent quoted in USA Today, despite Bush’s refusal to confirm such a plan.
The alleged objective, reported by USA Today last week, is a covert operation to remove Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein, who has ruled Iraq for more than two decades, from power.
Although refusing to comment on the alleged mission, Pentagon officials have announced a proposal that calls for the use of 200,000 American troops. Tactics would include arming and training local rebels and supporting Iraqi defectors.

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