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By PAUL RICHTER and PAUL RICHTER,LOS ANGELES TIMES | November 18, 2005
WASHINGTON -- A former U.S. contract supervisor in Iraq has become the first current or former American official to face criminal charges in connection with the multibillion-dollar reconstruction of the country, federal authorities said yesterday. Robert J. Stein, 50, a former Coalition Provisional Authority official in Hillah, Iraq, was arrested in Fayetteville, N.C., in connection with an alleged fraudulent scheme to award construction contracts worth more than $18 million. Philip H. Bloom, 65, a New Jersey businessman, allegedly paid Stein at least $630,000 in kickbacks for his part in a bid-rigging scheme in 2003 and 2004, according to papers filed by the U.S. Justice Department in Washington.
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NEWS
By PAUL RICHTER and PAUL RICHTER,LOS ANGELES TIMES | November 18, 2005
WASHINGTON -- A former U.S. contract supervisor in Iraq has become the first current or former American official to face criminal charges in connection with the multibillion-dollar reconstruction of the country, federal authorities said yesterday. Robert J. Stein, 50, a former Coalition Provisional Authority official in Hillah, Iraq, was arrested in Fayetteville, N.C., in connection with an alleged fraudulent scheme to award construction contracts worth more than $18 million. Philip H. Bloom, 65, a New Jersey businessman, allegedly paid Stein at least $630,000 in kickbacks for his part in a bid-rigging scheme in 2003 and 2004, according to papers filed by the U.S. Justice Department in Washington.
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NEWS
By NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE | January 17, 2004
BAGHDAD, Iraq - Lebanese security officials in Beirut seized a plane Thursday that had arrived from Baghdad carrying 19.5 billion in new Iraqi dinars, or about $12 million, said Lebanese journalists who spoke to the country's prosecutor general. The officials then detained three Lebanese businessmen for questioning on possible smuggling charges, the journalists said. Separately, in the Shiite holy city of Kerbala, a representative of Grand Ayatollah Ali Husseini al-Sistani told worshipers at Friday prayers that protests would be held if the American-led administration of Iraq refused to hold direct elections as part of its effort to turn over governance of the country to Iraqis by July 1. One of the men detained in Lebanon, Muhammad Issam Abu Darwish, the scion of a prominent Shiite family from southern Lebanon, told investigators that the money had come from the American-led Coalition Provisional Authority in Baghdad and was intended to buy armored cars.
NEWS
By Todd Richissin and Todd Richissin,SUN FOREIGN STAFF | December 15, 2004
LONDON -- Elections in Iraq scheduled for Jan. 30 most likely will do little to end the violence there and could embolden an already stubborn insurgency, according to former British and U.S. officials, advisers who have worked in the country, and Iraqi politicians. Today marks the official start of campaigning for a new transitional parliament, and the condition of the country is far from where American and Iraqi officials had hoped it would be. Noting the continuing violence, Sunni religious leaders are calling for a boycott of the election.
NEWS
By NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE | April 22, 2004
The insurgency in Iraq has driven two major contractors, General Electric and Siemens, to suspend most of their operations there, raising new doubts about the American-led effort to rebuild the country while hostilities continue. Spokesmen for the contractors declined to discuss their operations in Iraq, but the shutdowns were confirmed by officials at the Iraqi Ministry of Electricity, the Coalition Provisional Authority and other companies working directly with GE and Siemens in Iraq.
NEWS
By Jules Witcover | April 26, 2004
NEW YORK - When President Bush launched his invasion of Iraq more than a year ago, he warned that the United Nations would become irrelevant in international affairs if it failed to sanction his military adventure. It didn't, but today the American president is counting heavily on the diplomats and political technocrats in the edifice on the East River to pull off what his own foreign-policy counterparts failed on their own to achieve - stitching together a new Iraqi government. U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan's special envoy to Iraq, Lakhdar Brahimi, has just returned from Baghdad and will report to him and to the Security Council this week on the arrangements Mr. Brahimi has worked out to restore sovereignty to Iraqis by the agreed deadline of June 30. A key to the deal is that the Bush-appointed American occupation czar, L. Paul Bremer III, and the U.S.-created Coalition Provisional Authority and Iraqi Governing Council all are to step aside on that date.
NEWS
By Alissa J. Rubin and Alissa J. Rubin,LOS ANGELES TIMES | March 11, 2004
BAGHDAD, Iraq - Two U.S. citizens working for the Coalition Provisional Authority were gunned down along with their Iraqi interpreter in a tense area south of Baghdad, becoming the first civilians working for the U.S.-led administration to be killed in Iraq, a coalition official said yesterday. On another front, Kurdish officials in Iraq said they had captured Ayyoub Afghani, reputed to be the chief bomb-maker for the militant group Ansar Al-Islam. The capture could yield important information about recent bombings, particularly in Kurdistan, Kurdish officials said.
NEWS
By Doug Donovan and Doug Donovan,SUN STAFF | November 29, 2003
Thanksgiving in Iraq for the policeman and the college student from Maryland did not differ too much from how the U.S. Army reservists would have celebrated the holiday back home. They had the day off, ate turkey, watched football and promptly fell asleep. By yesterday, however, Staff Sgt. James Dyson Jr. and Specialist Charles R. Ellison were headed back to their Military Police posts in Karbala, one of Islam's holiest cities, 55 miles south of Baghdad. Their job: bodyguards. Dyson, in civilian life a patrolman for the Prince George's County Police Department, and Ellison, a freshman at Howard Community College, were activated in February and now find themselves cruising the streets of Karbala in black Chevy Suburbans, providing security for Coalition Provisional Authority employees who work with Karbala's governor.
NEWS
By Todd Richissin and Todd Richissin,SUN FOREIGN STAFF | December 15, 2004
LONDON -- Elections in Iraq scheduled for Jan. 30 most likely will do little to end the violence there and could embolden an already stubborn insurgency, according to former British and U.S. officials, advisers who have worked in the country, and Iraqi politicians. Today marks the official start of campaigning for a new transitional parliament, and the condition of the country is far from where American and Iraqi officials had hoped it would be. Noting the continuing violence, Sunni religious leaders are calling for a boycott of the election.
NEWS
By Mark Matthews and Mark Matthews,SUN NATIONAL STAFF | July 3, 2004
WASHINGTON -- U.S. officials in charge of the Development Fund for Iraq drained all but $900 million from the $20 billion fund by late last month in what a watchdog group has called an "11th-hour splurge." An international monitoring board is planning an audit of money from the fund that was spent on contracts for Iraq's reconstruction that were approved without competitive bidding. The fund, made up largely of Iraqi oil revenue, is intended to pay for the rebuilding of Iraq. Critics have charged that U.S. officials have failed to account properly for money spent so far. In a report this week, the General Accounting Office said that "contracts worth billions of dollars in Iraqi funds have not been independently reviewed."
NEWS
By Mark Matthews and Mark Matthews,SUN NATIONAL STAFF | July 3, 2004
WASHINGTON -- U.S. officials in charge of the Development Fund for Iraq drained all but $900 million from the $20 billion fund by late last month in what a watchdog group has called an "11th-hour splurge." An international monitoring board is planning an audit of money from the fund that was spent on contracts for Iraq's reconstruction that were approved without competitive bidding. The fund, made up largely of Iraqi oil revenue, is intended to pay for the rebuilding of Iraq. Critics have charged that U.S. officials have failed to account properly for money spent so far. In a report this week, the General Accounting Office said that "contracts worth billions of dollars in Iraqi funds have not been independently reviewed."
NEWS
By Todd Richissin and Todd Richissin,SUN FOREIGN STAFF | June 27, 2004
BAGHDAD, Iraq - Saddam Hussein is out of power, schoolchildren are being taught mathematics rather than Baath Party propaganda, newspapers are publishing with no official censorship, the closed society has opened, and democracy, or another step toward it, arrives on Wednesday. This is the new Iraq. Then there is this: Two men are burned alive in front of a barbershop after hitting a roadside bomb, foreigners are beheaded for being foreigners, the bodies of four dead American soldiers are left to bake on a rooftop, electricity blinks out for hours at a time, U.S. guns are pointed at the heads of innocent women, a bomb explodes at a recruitment center, another bomb explodes on a street corner, another bomb cuts an oil pipeline, cities are battle zones again, bodies are strewn about, and a toddler is killed.
NEWS
By Scott Shane and Scott Shane,SUN NATIONAL STAFF | May 30, 2004
When Iraqi police raided the Baghdad home and offices of politician Ahmad Chalabi on May 20, U.S. officials hurried to distance themselves, saying that the operation was an Iraqi affair and that no U.S. government employees were involved. But eight armed American contractors paid by a U.S. State Department program went on the raid, directing and encouraging the Iraqi police officers who eyewitnesses say ripped out computers, turned over furniture and smashed photographs. Some of the Americans helped themselves to baklava, apples and diet soda from Chalabi's refrigerator, and enjoyed their looted snacks in a garden outside, according to members of Chalabi's staff who were there.
NEWS
By Jules Witcover | April 26, 2004
NEW YORK - When President Bush launched his invasion of Iraq more than a year ago, he warned that the United Nations would become irrelevant in international affairs if it failed to sanction his military adventure. It didn't, but today the American president is counting heavily on the diplomats and political technocrats in the edifice on the East River to pull off what his own foreign-policy counterparts failed on their own to achieve - stitching together a new Iraqi government. U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan's special envoy to Iraq, Lakhdar Brahimi, has just returned from Baghdad and will report to him and to the Security Council this week on the arrangements Mr. Brahimi has worked out to restore sovereignty to Iraqis by the agreed deadline of June 30. A key to the deal is that the Bush-appointed American occupation czar, L. Paul Bremer III, and the U.S.-created Coalition Provisional Authority and Iraqi Governing Council all are to step aside on that date.
NEWS
By NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE | April 22, 2004
The insurgency in Iraq has driven two major contractors, General Electric and Siemens, to suspend most of their operations there, raising new doubts about the American-led effort to rebuild the country while hostilities continue. Spokesmen for the contractors declined to discuss their operations in Iraq, but the shutdowns were confirmed by officials at the Iraqi Ministry of Electricity, the Coalition Provisional Authority and other companies working directly with GE and Siemens in Iraq.
NEWS
By Alissa J. Rubin and Alissa J. Rubin,LOS ANGELES TIMES | March 11, 2004
BAGHDAD, Iraq - Two U.S. citizens working for the Coalition Provisional Authority were gunned down along with their Iraqi interpreter in a tense area south of Baghdad, becoming the first civilians working for the U.S.-led administration to be killed in Iraq, a coalition official said yesterday. On another front, Kurdish officials in Iraq said they had captured Ayyoub Afghani, reputed to be the chief bomb-maker for the militant group Ansar Al-Islam. The capture could yield important information about recent bombings, particularly in Kurdistan, Kurdish officials said.
NEWS
By Scott Shane and Scott Shane,SUN NATIONAL STAFF | May 30, 2004
When Iraqi police raided the Baghdad home and offices of politician Ahmad Chalabi on May 20, U.S. officials hurried to distance themselves, saying that the operation was an Iraqi affair and that no U.S. government employees were involved. But eight armed American contractors paid by a U.S. State Department program went on the raid, directing and encouraging the Iraqi police officers who eyewitnesses say ripped out computers, turned over furniture and smashed photographs. Some of the Americans helped themselves to baklava, apples and diet soda from Chalabi's refrigerator, and enjoyed their looted snacks in a garden outside, according to members of Chalabi's staff who were there.
NEWS
By Todd Richissin and Todd Richissin,SUN FOREIGN STAFF | June 27, 2004
BAGHDAD, Iraq - Saddam Hussein is out of power, schoolchildren are being taught mathematics rather than Baath Party propaganda, newspapers are publishing with no official censorship, the closed society has opened, and democracy, or another step toward it, arrives on Wednesday. This is the new Iraq. Then there is this: Two men are burned alive in front of a barbershop after hitting a roadside bomb, foreigners are beheaded for being foreigners, the bodies of four dead American soldiers are left to bake on a rooftop, electricity blinks out for hours at a time, U.S. guns are pointed at the heads of innocent women, a bomb explodes at a recruitment center, another bomb explodes on a street corner, another bomb cuts an oil pipeline, cities are battle zones again, bodies are strewn about, and a toddler is killed.
NEWS
By NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE | January 17, 2004
BAGHDAD, Iraq - Lebanese security officials in Beirut seized a plane Thursday that had arrived from Baghdad carrying 19.5 billion in new Iraqi dinars, or about $12 million, said Lebanese journalists who spoke to the country's prosecutor general. The officials then detained three Lebanese businessmen for questioning on possible smuggling charges, the journalists said. Separately, in the Shiite holy city of Kerbala, a representative of Grand Ayatollah Ali Husseini al-Sistani told worshipers at Friday prayers that protests would be held if the American-led administration of Iraq refused to hold direct elections as part of its effort to turn over governance of the country to Iraqis by July 1. One of the men detained in Lebanon, Muhammad Issam Abu Darwish, the scion of a prominent Shiite family from southern Lebanon, told investigators that the money had come from the American-led Coalition Provisional Authority in Baghdad and was intended to buy armored cars.
NEWS
By Doug Donovan and Doug Donovan,SUN STAFF | November 29, 2003
Thanksgiving in Iraq for the policeman and the college student from Maryland did not differ too much from how the U.S. Army reservists would have celebrated the holiday back home. They had the day off, ate turkey, watched football and promptly fell asleep. By yesterday, however, Staff Sgt. James Dyson Jr. and Specialist Charles R. Ellison were headed back to their Military Police posts in Karbala, one of Islam's holiest cities, 55 miles south of Baghdad. Their job: bodyguards. Dyson, in civilian life a patrolman for the Prince George's County Police Department, and Ellison, a freshman at Howard Community College, were activated in February and now find themselves cruising the streets of Karbala in black Chevy Suburbans, providing security for Coalition Provisional Authority employees who work with Karbala's governor.
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