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A hibee bites the big apple
Alan Taylor's New York Diary

Alcohol responsible for 500 breast cancers a year
By James Hamilton

And then God said ... 'strewth'
By Nick Squires in Sydney

Bagpiping is a blast, even in Milton Keynes
By James Hamilton

Blair fell for US spin on Iraq WMD and ignored UK advice
PM insists: Iraq had weapons of mass destruction and I'll reveal the proof
By Neil Mackay and David Pratt

Blair loses key union ally as left-winger takes over TGWU
By Torcuil Crichton

Blunkett gags Home Office on terror
By James Hamilton

Booze ban leaves SRU with cup loss hangover
By Bridget Morris

Crumbling zoo 'set to close by September'
SSPCA called in as cash-strapped animal park fails to meet new legislation
By Jenifer Johnston

Doctors and nurses blamed for barriers stopping home births
Rates fall to 0.9% compared to 45% in parts of England
By Karin Goodwin

Eclipse chasers see the light in Scotland
They came from all over the world, hoping for a glimpse of a once-in-a-lifetime event
By Stephen Naysmith

Executive to quiz BP over job cuts
By Alan Crawford, Political Correspondent

Furious Geldof loses patience with West
Outburst in Ethiopia as conditions get worse than those before Live Aid
By Torcuil Crichton and Natalie Walker in Ethiopia

Half of all dementia patients not told by GPs
By Karin Goodwin

Island community furious after 'hidden' cod farm plan is unveiled
Company's proposal for Arran sparks new debate over marine pollution
By Alan Crawford

Legendary British record producer Mickie Most dies of cancer aged 64
By Liam McDougall, Arts Correspondent

Libraries must turn new leaf or perish
Report calls for libraries with cafˇs, music and video rooms to woo back the public
By Liam McDougall, Arts Correspondent

McCartney buries Lennon feud
Exclusive: By Mike Merritt

McConnell: 50% of councillors must be women
By Douglas Fraser, Political Editor

Mobile texts fuel surge in violent crime
Big increase in offences is linked to extortionists and bullies exploiting anonymity of mobile phones, reveal police
By Douglas Fraser, Political Editor

New drugs test to foil sport cheats
By Liam McDougall

Scotland needs its own policy on immigration
Call to allow Scotland to accept more asylum seekers
By Douglas Fraser, Political Editor

Support 'overwhelming' in our appeal to fill Iraq's libraries
By Liam McDougall, Arts Correspondent

Suspect arrested over bombing of Atlanta Olympics
By James Hamilton

Swinney faces revolt over Europe
By Douglas Fraser, Political Editor

Toxic Scotland finally revealed in shock study
Environmental agency publishes true picture of climate-wrecking industrial emissions
By Rob Edwards, Environment Editor

When the chips are down, bad luck is all in the mind
New study claims that, with the right attitude, you can overcome life's bum deals
By Jenifer Johnston

Women's golf champ: R&A still sexist
By Jenifer Johnston

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America tore out 8000 pages of Iraq dossier


THE United States edited out more than 8000 crucial pages of Iraq's 11,800-page dossier on weapons, before passing on a sanitised version to the 10 non-permanent members of the United Nations security council.

The full extent of Washington's complete control over who sees what in the crucial Iraqi dossier calls into question the allegations made by US Secretary of State Colin Powell that 'omissions' in the document constituted a 'material breach' of the latest UN resolution on Iraq.

Last week, Secretary General of the UN Kofi Annan accepted that it was 'unfortunate' that his organisation had allowed the US to take the only complete dossier and edit it. He admitted 'the approach and style were wrong' and Norway, a member of the security council, says it is being treated like a 'second-class country'.

Although Powell called the Iraqi dossier a 'catalogue of recycled information and flagrant omissions', the non-permanent members of the security council will have no way of testing the US claims for themselves. This will be crucial if the US and the UK go back to the security council seeking explicit authorisation for war on Iraq if breaches of resolution 1441 are confirmed when the weapons inspectors -- this weekend investigating 10 sites in Iraq, including an oil refinery south of Baghdad -- deliver their report to the UN next month.

A UN source in New York said: 'The questions being asked are valid. What did the US take out? And if weapons inspectors are supposed to be checking against the dossier's content, how can any future claim be verified. In effect the US is saying trust us, and there are many who just will not.'

Current and former UN diplomats are said to be livid at what some have called the 'theft' of the Iraqi document by the US. Hans von Sponeck, the former assistant general secretary of the UN and the UN's humanitarian co- ordinator in Iraq until 2000, said: 'This is an outrageous attempt by the US to mislead.'

Although the five permanent members of the security council -- the US, the UK, France, China and Russia -- have had access to the complete version, there was agreement that the US be allowed to edit the dossier on the ground that its contents were 'risky' in terms of security on weapons proliferation.

Yesterday, US President George W Bush announced that a planned trip to several African countries, scheduled for January, had been cancelled. As he gave the go-ahead to double the current 50,000 US troops deployed in the Gulf by early January, he used his weekly radio address to say that 'the men and women in the [US] military, many of whom will spend Christmas at posts and bases far from home' were the only thing that stood between 'Americans and grave danger'.

An equally pessimistic view of the immediate future came from the Vatican. Pope John Paul II promised the Catholic church would not cease to have its voice heard and would offer prayers 'in the face of this horizon bathed in blood'.

Despite the prayers, the US military isn't expecting peace. Yesterday, General Richard Myers, chairman of the US joint chiefs of staff, was asked if US forces were ready if called upon immediately. General Myers simply said: 'You bet.'

The language coming from Baghdad was equally gung ho. The Iraqi newspaper Babel, owned by Saddam Hussein's eldest son Uday, likened US and UK political leaders to ruthless Mongol conquerors of the past.

News in focus: Into the breach

News in focus: Blair keeps UN in the picture, but does he want to stop Bush or speed him along?

News in focus: Police swoops in Edinburgh leave paranoia in their wake

Seven Days: The Iraqi regime may be brutal, but we must overcome evil with good in the framework of the UN

What we think: Christmas is coming, the war is getting fat

Iain MacWhirter: War Is A Suspect Package, Tony

Web report: Iraq

22 December 2002

needtoknow: the week's essential reads
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focus: No weapons in Iraq? Try Iran
sport: Rangers seal treble
sevendays: Exclusive Paul McCartney interview
magazine: Meet Britain's best young novelist
review: Terminator 3 - Arnie's back
what we think: Blair must bring EU fight to Britain
  Click here to watch our short documentary film on the African Famine crisis
More than words

VideoFile: Our correspondent's powerful & moving footage of Africa's escalating crisis
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