Published: Saturday 15 November 2003

Halliburton, the us -based oil firm contracted by the us government to carry out reconstruction in Iraq, has asked its employees to contact newspapers and lawmakers to counter criticism of the company's no-bid contract in Iraq. In a memo titled "Defending Our Company," Halliburton's president, Dave Lesar, said "Now I'm asking you to help by writing a letter to the editor of your newspaper." He listed "some facts that you can use to help deliver your letter".

The citizens of Kuwait became more supportive of democracy during the 1990s, but this does not include a desire for closer ties with the us and other Western countries. These are the findings of a survey of 1,500 Kuwaiti citizens conducted in 1994, 1996 and 1998. Researchers found that the citizens have become less interested in trade alliances with the West and less likely to pay attention to Western media over that time period. The survey is one of the first in the Arab world to examine how typical citizens feel about political issues in their country and their relationships with other countries.

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