Trying to Anchor Down a Job

And now the most telling two minutes in television, the latest from the wartime grapevine:

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The Bin Laden-Saddam Connection
The British government is calling the first discovery of a documented link between Saddam Hussein's regime and Usama bin Laden's Al Qaeda network "no surprise."

A British foreign Office official tells London's Daily Telegraph that the British government "welcomes" documents like those found by the newspaper, which show a meeting in Baghdad between the Iraqi intelligence service and an Al Qaeda envoy to discuss their mutual hatred of America.

The talks went so well, the paper says, that there was talk of bin Laden himself going to Baghdad.

Meanwhile, London's Sunday Times reports that other intelligence documents found in Iraq show Saddam considered some French officials "friends of Iraq," since they were giving Saddam's regime regular reports on their dealings with American officials.

Trying to Anchor Down a Job
Former Iraqi TV anchors have reappeared at their studios, trying to reclaim their old jobs, which involved reading what government officials told them to say.

One who worked for a station operated by Saddam Hussein's son Odai suggested to The New York Times that he could easily make the transition.

"We will be at the service of any government that comes to serve the Iraqi people," he said.

The former voices of Saddam's regime do have some standards though, in spite of their checkered past.

None of them wants to be an announcer for the news now being offered in Iraq by the U.S. government, which includes segments from this program among others.

The announcers, used to showing those fascinating meetings of Saddam and his underlings, say the American broadcasts are technically "primitive" and lacking in sound news judgment.

Baghdad Bob's New Suit
The former Iraqi information minister, known to many as "Baghdad Bob," was popular with some, but an Egyptian lawyer is suing him along with his boss Saddam for $33 million in emotional damages.

An Arab newspaper in London quotes the lawyer, Yaseri Omran, as saying he faithfully followed Information Minister Mohammed Al-Sahhaf's statements on Iraq's victory, but then "was struck by shock that caused fainting" to learn that "Al-Sahhaf's statements were false... and that he had betrayed the feelings of the simple citizens in all the Arab countries and caused them great sorrow."

Omran also wants Saddam and Al-Sahhaf to repay him for his new TV, on which he watched the war, which he says ultimately caused him to suffer a nervous breakdown.

Forces Rolling in Najaf
U.S. Marines hoping to establish friendly relations with civilians set up a game of soccer in the Iraqi city of Najaf.

Reuters says Iraqi spectators were cheering for the Iraqi team, but once they realized how badly the Marines were getting beat — 7-0 — they started rooting for the Americans too.