Extracts.

Bankrupt US Energy Firm Silent on Steel Project in Mozambique.

The bankrupt American energy company Enron has still not contacted the
Mozambican government about the future of the Maputo Iron and Steel Project
(MISP), of which Enron was the sole shareholder.

The bankrupt American energy company Enron has still not contacted the
Mozambican government about the future of the Maputo Iron and Steel Project
(MISP), of which Enron was the sole shareholder.

The Noticias daily Friday quoted Mozambican Deputy Minister of Industry and
Trade Salvador Namburete as saying "Enron has an authorization from the
government to implement the project. The authorization belongs to Enron".

MISP is a project to build a factory on the outskirts of Maputothat would
produce 2.5 million tons of steel slabs a year, using iron ore from South
Africa, and natural gas from the southern Mozambican province of Inhambane.

But the spectacular collapse of Enron in December last year, and the
subsequent revelations of criminal behavior by its top executives, have left
the future of MISP in grave doubt.

Even before the bankruptcy, Enron was having difficulty in attracting
partners for MISP. Originally Enron had planned to workwith the Industrial
Development Corporation (IDC) of South Africa,but the IDC pulled out in
1999. 

Enron then brought in the companies Duferco, of Switzerland, Kobe Steel of
Japan, Midrex of the U.S., VAI of Australia, and Techint of Italy. These
companies were to hold 50 percent of the equity in MISP, with Enron owning
the other 50 percent.

But by early 2001, all five companies had withdrawn, apparentlyworried about
the future market for steel slabs.

"Enron spent money preparing this project", said Namburete. "It's up to
Enron to decide what it's going to do. We don't know whether it's going to
sell it or not. We don't know what it's going to do with the authorization
it has". 

Namburete claimed that other companies, whom he did not name, had asked if
they could look at the project, to see whether they might be interested in
taking it over. 

"We've told them to contact Enron, because the project belongs to Enron", he
said. 

But the project authorization is limited in time. If within that time there
is no movement on the MISP site, then the authorization expires.





****



Weapons Purchase Priority of Bush's Defense Budget Proposal.

United States President George W. Bush will request 68.7 billion U.S.
dollars for buying weapons and other equipment as part of the defense budget
for fiscal year 2003, according to documents obtained by local media Friday.

United States   President George W. Bush will request 68.7 billion U.S.
dollars for buying weapons and other equipment as part of the defense budget
for fiscal year 2003, according to documents obtained by local media Friday.

The amount would be more than 10 percent over the about 60 billion dollars
the Pentagon received for weapon purchase last year. Included is 911 million
dollars to continue developing the Comanche reconnaissance helicopter, the
documents said. 

Bush will submit to Congress a 2.13 trillion-dollar federal budget on
Monday. He will request 379 billion dollars for the Defense Department, a
revised increase of 45 billion, or 13.5 percent, over this year's defense
total. 

Putting security on top of his priorities, Bush said he needs to increase
the defense budget to cover weapon purchase, missile defense and another
military pay rise. 

With the war in Afghanistan
<http://www.peopledaily.com.cn/english/data/afghanistan.html>  still under
way, it is widely expected that the military spending hike will get a
bipartisan approval in Congress.

The defense budget also requests 53.9 billion dollars for research and
development, almost 10 percent above this year's total.

It includes 7.8 billion dollars for national missile defense research and
testing procurement, plus an extra 815 million U.S. dollars for development
of space-based sensors that can detect missile launches, about the same as
this year. 

It calls for 9.4 billion dollars to be spent on fighting terror,including 3
billion for counter-terrorism, force protection and domestic security; and
1.2 billion dollars to continue combat air patrols over the country, which
started after the September 11 terror attacks.

The documents say Bush will also propose money for a 4.1-percent increase in
basic military pay, a cut in troops' out-of-pocket costs for private
housing, and extra spending for training and for the increased military
operations after the September 11 attacks.

****



U.S. Leads Comprehensive War Against Islam: Hamas.

Palestinian radical Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) said on Friday in a
leaflet that the United States is leading a war against Arab and Islamic
countries and not against terrorism.

Palestinian radical Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) said on Friday in a
leaflet that the United States  is leading a war against Arab and Islamic
countries and not against terrorism.

The leaflet was an apparent reaction by Hamas to the speech of U.S.
President George W. Bush in which he considered both Hamas and Islamic Jihad
(Holy War) as "terrorist" organizations and vowed that the U.S would fight
them. 

"The United States is fully and directly responsible for the crimes that
Israel carries out everyday against the Palestinians in the West Bank and
Gaza," claimed the Hamas leaflet.

Hamas and Islamic Jihad, have claimed responsibility for a series of bombing
attacks into Israel that killed dozens of people, repeatedly vowed to
continue attacks as long as Israel keeps its occupation.

"The United States has no right to be the judge and the executioner and
interfere into the world's countries affairs," the leaflet said, adding that
"The United States is preventing people from struggling and getting their
legitimate rights."

Both the United States and Israel are practicing pressure on Palestinian
leader Yasser Arafat to end violence and crackdown on Palestinian militants
groups, mainly Hamas and Islamic Jihad.

"Such threats (Bush statements) would never frighten us, and would never
weaken us. We will continue our resistance until the Israeli military
occupation withdraws from our territories," said Hamas leaflet.

Hamas also called upon leaders and governments of the Arab and Islamic
countries to find a clear definition of "terrorism" and insist to
differentiate between terrorism and the right of people to struggle for
ending the occupation and get their legitimate rights.

****


U.S. Not Abandoning Talks With DPRK, Iran: Bush.

U.S. President George W. Bush said Friday that his tough talks about the
Democratic People' s Republic of Korea (DPRK) and Iran does not mean that
the U.S. has abandoned any dialogue with the two countries.

U.S. President George W. Bush said Friday that his tough talks about the
Democratic People' s Republic of Korea (DPRK) and Iran   does not mean that
the U.S. has abandoned any dialogue with the two countries.

"No, of course not," Bush said at the White House when asked about whether
he has abandoned efforts to pursuing a peaceful dialogue with the DPRK and
Iran. 

The U.S. president made the remarks while welcoming visiting King Abdullah
II of Jordanian the Oval Office.

"As I said in my speech, I hope nations hear our call and make right
decisions," he said. "A wrong decision will be to continue to export weapons
of mass destruction," he added.

In his first State of the Union speech delivered on Tuesday night, Bush used
harsh languages against the DPRK, Iran and Iraq
<http://www.peopledaily.com.cn/english/data/iraq.html> , accusing the three
countries of seek weapons of mass destruction to threaten the U.S. and its
allies. 

All three countries rejected the accusations on the following day.


****



No Troops Withdrawal: Indian Defense Minister.

Defense Minister George Fernandes Friday once again ruled out withdrawal of
troops from the border, saying Pakistan should end cross-border terrorism
and hand over to India the 20 listed criminals and terrorists before seeking
de-escalation. 

Defense Minister George Fernandes Friday once again ruled out withdrawal of
troops from the border, saying Pakistan  should end cross-border terrorism
and hand over to India  the 20 listed criminals and terrorists before
seeking de-escalation.

"There is no de-escalation on their (Pakistan) side as well ...their armored
units stayed behind after their exercise and we havehad suspicions since
then," he told reporters.

To questions on withdrawal of troops, he categorically said, "We are not
withdrawing troops. We have told Pakistan to send us the 20 persons (a list
of whom has been submitted by India) and end cross-border terrorism."

On infiltration of militants from Pakistan side, he said, "It is down a
little bit but not mentionable." Any withdrawal would depend on "how long
the infiltration continues and what was the actual situation on the ground
and in the Line of Control," he added.


****



China's Public Administration Impresses Me: South African Minister.

"China's public administration level impressed me, and we two nations will
strengthen cooperation in related fields in the future," said South African
Minister of Public Service and Administration, Geraldine Joslyn Fraser-
Moleketi. 


"China's public administration level impressed me, and we two nations will
strengthen cooperation in related fields in the future," said South African
Minister of Public Service and Administration, Geraldine Joslyn Fraser-
Moleketi. 

She made the remark while talking about her five-day visit to Shanghai and
Beijing  at the invitation of Chinese Ministry of Personnel.

China and South Africa have just signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU)
on promoting exchanges in human resource development and public
administration. 

In China nowadays, the Master's of Public Relations has become popular and
many undergraduates have applied for the degree.

Moleketi said that the trend of globlization and the important role of the
market economy have pushed the government to take a more active part in
public administration services. China is undoubtedly developing very fast in
this regard. 

"China launched intensive re-training and reemployment programs, which
allows the Chinese government to shift their human resources according to
their national plan," she told Xinhua.

Moleketi visited a training center for laid-off workers in Shanghai. "It
offered a very professional series of training programs provided by the
Chinese civil service," she said.

"Information technology exchanges will soon be carried out between our two
nations," she said. The scope of the cooperation was also mentioned in the
MOU. 

"I have been in Beijing for two days and I have one suggestion for city
traffic," she said. "Before Spring Festival, it's quite busy downtown.
Traffic will be quite a challenge for preparation for the Olympics."







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