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Snowmail May 28 2004


'The real deal' that's what the New York Police Commissioner is calling Abu Hamza, the rabble rousing cleric arrested yesterday for eventual dispatch for trial in America. But the more we learn about this case the less it seems to stack up. The British authorities have had ample opportunity to lift him for years and have never seriously bothered. Add to this that he will only go to the US if they guarantee not to kill him in the electric chair. Yet if he ever faces trial there, it will be on the basis of satellite phone intercepts that are not accepted in UK courts. So when we clash legally with Uncle Sam, it seems we are inconsistent about whose law prevails. We'll be seeing how with the Human Rights Act, and much else, he'll probably never make it to the States.


The Americans seem to have found someone to agree to run Iraq after they have gone. Iyad Allawi is an old anti-Saddam operative, who left Iraq in 1978. He's close to the CIA and guess what? He ran the Iraqi National Accord and they were the clever clogs who brought us the claim that Saddam was 45 minutes from a major chemical weapons attack. Many wonder how long America will be able to keep him alive.


The appalling Haitian floods claim still more lives. Katie Razzall is trying to find out why - deforestation seems to be at the root.


And the publicly accessible unit where British American Tobacco keep records about what they get up to. Julian Rush has cracked the security and found out just how hard it is to extract real information about the company and its killer weed.

PS Small secret with the tie tonight, I do not jest : it is the official Brighton and Hove Albion football tie.

Must run, plenty cooking. See you at seven, best wishes, have a great weekend, Jon Snow


In the City the FTSE's finished the day down 23 points, at 44/31. Even a rally by M&S shares has failed to lift the index out of the doldrums this afternoon. Stock in the high-street chain's finished over four percent higher following a potential takeover approach from retail giant Philip Green. But weak consumer confidence data from the States darkened the mood. In New York a short time ago, the Dow Jones was down 20 points at 10/185. On the money markets, the pound's down against the dollar, at just over 1 dollar 83. Against the euro the pound's up, at 1 euro 50.


UK - Tonight

A mild night for most with some showery rain for Eastern Scotland and down the spine of England. Some clear Spells further west, with showers for western parts of Ireland. Gentle to moderate south to south-easterly winds.

UK - Tomorrow

Showery rain will continue its eastward progress through eastern parts of Scotland and England through tomorrow. Sunny spells to the west but with some showers across Ireland, temperatures in the mid to high teens.

UK - Sunday

The past few days front may still be giving some showery rain across parts of East Anglia through Sunday morning but most other parts will have a dry morning with sunny spells apart from some showers across Ireland and western Scotland.
Through the afternoon there will be some showers developing across inland parts but there will still be sunny spells around. Later on in the afternoon some frontal rain will be reaching southwest Ireland. Mostly light southerly winds with temperatures up to 20 or 21C across some parts of central and southern England.

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