Dear Friend, This mail may not be surprising to you...

The perpetrators of Advance Fee Fraud (AFF), known internationally as “4-1-9” fraud after the section of the Nigerian penal code which addresses fraud schemes, are often very creative and innovative. The following e-mail is a genuine 419 scam letter, puporting to be from Suha Arafat, published by and reprinted here with permission. 

Controversy over Suha Arafat comments rages in media

As Yasser Arafat lies gravely ill in a French military hospital, a bitter dispute between Arafat’s estranged wife, Suha, and his top advisors has broken out into the international media. “I appeal to you to be aware of the scope of the conspiracy,” Suha Arafat�told the Al-Jazeera satellite channel in a telephone interview, “They are trying to bury Abu Ammar alive.” Not so Suha herself. Hospital officials report that Suha has been behaving exactly as family members of seriously ill patients typically do, spending late nights with Arafat in his hospital room and only emerging for brief periods looking tired and upset. 

Fear of flying

Two days after a flight carrying former pop star Cat Stevens was diverted from Washington, DC to Maine, where the 1970s pop idol, now known as Yusuf Islam, was removed from the plane and sent back to London, and one day after a flight in Wisconsin was forced to turn around after a passenger opened the inflight magazine and found scribbled words in an “Arabic style writing,” another US flight was interrupted after a passenger grew suspicious of a man sitting next to him. The flight was grounded for six hours as security teams searched the aircraft and questioned all passengers. BNN’s Loreh Al-Malakeh reports. 

Round-up of recent wire service images

The origin of the well-known quotation, Un croquis vaut mieux qu’un long discours (“A picture is worth a thousand words”), is attributed to Napoleon. Back by popular demand, BNN Photo Editor Najeeb Al-Anbarri looked at recent wire service images of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and offers a selected overview of how the conflict is being visually portrayed by the commercial media. From hard news to entertainment, the breadth of images communicates much about the realities on the ground. 

Press conference: Rumsfeld announces new Iraqi leader

Faced with increasing violence and chaos across Iraq as the June 30 deadline for handing over to an Iraqi government, US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld today announced the new Iraqi leader to “help Iraqis make the transition to self-rule and democracy.” The shock move follows the decision last week by the head of the US occupation authority in Iraq, Ambassador L. Paul Bremer, to lift the ban on former members of Saddam Hussein’s Ba’ath party holding government jobs. BNN Foreign Correspondent Avraham Avinunu reports. 

Bush offers solution to leadership problem

During secret talks between US President George W. Bush, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and former Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas, the US President offered both leaders a solution to the leadership problem. “I don’t like leaders who are not listening to me. Today, I offered them a solution. The Israelis and Palestinians have been fighting each other for too long. I presented both leaders with the tools to solve their issue.” 

Israelis, Palestinians Seek Corporate Sponsorship for Conflict

Hoping to reverse their sagging/non-existent economies, and realizing that the prospects for a peaceful settlement in the near future are bleak at best, the Israeli and Palestinian governing authorities have finally agreed on something — selling the rights to aspects of the conflict to the highest corporate bidder (although who will collect and keep the profits is, of course, the subject of bitter debate). BNN special correspondent Barad Al-Roubeen investigates the latest in a long line of proposals to sustain the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, from Madrid to the Geneva Accord. 

Photo of the Day

Photo of the Day is a BNN feature which offers a photograph on a day. This is not to imply that this is a regular feature, nor that this photo is truly the mother of all photos for the day in question. Usual disclaimers apply. Residents of the Palestinian town of Ramallah increasingly appear to have bad teeth. One of the few orthodontists, Dr. Hytham Shit, fears that it has something to do with his name. Dr. Shit told BNN that sometimes his patients would pay someone else to go for them or they would put lots of onions and garlic in their falafal. 

Peace process for dummies

Peace process for dummies as explained through the eyes of a war-monger, or a peacenik, or demolition man, or the terminator, or who’s that person on the couch in front of new kids on the settlement. Are you intimidated and confused by Ariel Sharon? Do you find that traditional newspapers are overloaded with technical details and maps you’ll never use? Do you postpone important life decisions because you just don’t want to deal with them? Then the latest For Dummies series, “Peace Process for Dummies” is for you. 

What's law got to do with it?

Al-Bassaleh’s Loreh Al-Malekeh has just scooped Israel’s pop music story of the year! Here she reports on Israel’s exciting new entry into next year’s EuroVision music competition. Following in the gender-bending footsteps of Israel’s award-winning pop diva, Dana International, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon will don a full Tina Turner wig, a black suede miniskirt, and fishnet stockings to perform a new twist on a 1980s hit song at next year’s contest. In the intro to a new rock video featuring Sharon in drag, the hardline PM gushes with gratitude.