March 17/2007

Bible Reading of the day
Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Mark 12,28-34. One of the scribes, when he came forward and heard them disputing and saw how well he had answered them, asked him, "Which is the first of all the commandments?"Jesus replied, "The first is this: 'Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is Lord alone! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.' The second is this: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no other commandment greater than these." The scribe said to him, "Well said, teacher. You are right in saying, 'He is One and there is no other than he.' And 'to love him with all your heart, with all your understanding, with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself' is worth more than all burnt offerings and sacrifices." And when Jesus saw that (he) answered with understanding, he said to him, "You are not far from the kingdom of God." And no one dared to ask him any more questions.

Free Opinions
Arab regimes have to back up their peace plan with a sales campaign. Daily Star. March 17/07
Ban Ki-moon's New Approach for Dealing with Iran and Syria. By:Raghida Dergham Al-Hayat March 17/07
Don't expect a soldier like John Abizaid to just fade away-By David Ignatius. March 17/07
This time, Palestinians should show the way to responsible action. Daily Star March 17/07

Latest News Reports From miscellaneous sources For March 17/07
Fatah Al Islam chief denies Al Qaeda link-Middle East Times
UN chief to visit Lebanon-France24
A New Generation of Al Qaeda Emerges in Lebanon-AINA
France supports extension of Brammertz enquiry on Lebanon-Kuwait News Agency
UN probes Lebanon-Israel border row-MWC News

Brammertz: Lahoud's Term Extension a Motive Behind Hariri Killing
Conflicting Reports on Berri-Hariri Dialogue Progress
Hariri Vows Nonstop Talks with Berri until Settlement is Reached
Solana: Lebanon, Iraq Stability Key to Normalizing Ties with Syria
U.S.-Syria Talks Seen Aimed at Easing Isolation
Rafsanjani: Resistance Not Restricted to Muslimns After Aoun Joined It-Naharnet

Latest News Reports From the Daily Star For March 17/07
Syria lauds Brammertz report as 'professional'
Siniora's office plays down reports of progress in Hariri-Berri meetings
Sayyed lawyer cites UN report in call for client's release
Fadlallah blasts 'self-enriching' politicians
Prosecutor steps up probe into February bombings
Civil-society leaders, activists invited for training in US
Expert to try out 'cancer cure' on humans 'soon'
Environment group warns of 'drastic effects' of dumps
Lebanese University president says elections will resume
LAU receives international grants to fund research
Students set to compete in science competition
Waterbury to step down as AUB president
Presidents of American universities plan US trip
Conference tackles meaning of citizenship
Advocacy group kicks off campaign to spotlight plight of migrants

Latest News Reports From the Daily Star For March 16/07
Problems' still mar relations with Syria - EU
Berri, Hariri 'reach deal' on international court

Brammertz links Hariri killing to election law, 2005 polls

Post reporter Shadid among recipients of Gibran award

UNIFIL insists tripartite meetings have 'borne fruit'
US praises achievements made in 'Cedar Revolution

Order of Physicians chief attacks herbal medicine programs

Rafsanjani: Resistance Not Restricted to Muslims After Aoun Joined It
Former Iranian president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani has said that Gen. Michel Aoun has joined Hizbullah's resistance which "indicates that it is not restricted to Muslims.""Gen. Michel Aoun's affiliation with the resistance is an indication that the resistance of the Lebanese people is not restricted to Muslims, but is a resistance adopted by the oppressed against oppressors," Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) quoted Rafsanjani as telling Lebanon's Islamic Action Front Leader Fathi Yakan on Wednesday.
Rafsanjani praised the resistance "adopted by all Lebanese groups to confront the enemies' schemes and actions," IRNA said.
He also lauded the Islamic Action Front, which he described as a Sunni resistance group, saying its cooperation with Hizbullah has "thwarted several plots aimed at creating discord among Muslims."Rafsanjani also touched on the common viewpoints among the various Islamic sects, stressing the "importance of avoiding minor differences."
He also said that Iran's aid to refugees of Kosovo and the Palestinian territories was an example of Islamic humanitarian values.
Muslims should avoid extremist religious differences and exert efforts to uphold the dignity of Islam, IRNA quoted Rafsanjani as telling Yakan. Yakan, for his part, briefed Rafsanjani on the latest developments in Lebanon, and urged all Muslims to preserve "the greatness of Islam." Beirut, 15 Mar 07, 10:42

Brammertz: Lahoud's Term Extension a Motive Behind Hariri Killing

A U.N. commission probing the assassination of ex-Premier Rafik Hariri said the extension of President Emile Lahoud's term was one of three motives behind his killing. The commission, headed by Belgian judge Serge Brammertz, has also requested in its seventh report released on Thursday for an extension of its mandate. "In light of the current and planned investigative activities, it is unlikely that the commission will complete its work before its current mandate expires in June 2007," the report said. "The commission therefore welcomes the request for an extension of its mandate beyond this date," it said. The panel has been investigating the February 2005 killing of Hariri and 22 others in a massive bomb blast in Beirut for more than a year and had been due to report in June.
Brammertz's report gave three motives to assassinate Hariri:
The inception of U.N. Security Council 1559 (2004) and the political implications of its implementation; the extension of the term of President Emile Lahoud; the personal and political dynamics which existed between Hariri and other political parties and leaders in Lebanon, Syria, and other countries; preparation and maneuvering ahead of the parliamentary elections due to be held in May 2005, as well as other business matters in which he was involved.
Brammertz said "all of these factors came together and were handled by Hariri, sometimes proactively, and sometimes in reaction to events around him."
Brammertz said the U.N. commission believes it is "likely that a combination of these factors may have created the environment in which the motive and intent to kill him arose."The commission also reported "progress in collecting new evidence and in expanding the forms of evidence collected" and described the cooperation of the Syrian government in the investigation as "satisfactory."
"The commission continues to receive responses from the Syrian Arab Republic, which provides information and facilitates interviews with individuals located on Syrian territory," it said. The U.N. probe has implicated top level Syrian figures and alleged Lebanese accomplices in Hariri's assassination, but Syria has denied any involvement.
One of the intermediate reports produced by Brammertz's predecessor, Detlev Mehlis, had accused Syria of not cooperating in the investigation.
In his last report, Brammertz criticized the slow response of 10 unidentified countries in responding to his requests but the commission said it had since held meetings with the ambassadors from the countries concerned. "As a result of these meetings, almost all outstanding matters were resolved to the commission's satisfaction," it said. The probe into the bomb itself had found seismological evidence that supported the theory of a single explosion, most likely above ground. For its next report, the commission is expecting to have comparative data on other explosions that have occurred in Beirut.
It will also aim to determine the origin of the presumed bomber, based on DNA testing and isotope analysis of his remains, which have already suggested the person did not grow up in Lebanon. Hundreds of samples have been collected in Lebanon and Syria and will soon be gathered from other countries to follow up on the lead, the commission said, while cautioning that "results should be carefully interpreted and the limitations clearly understood."
As to Ahmad Abu Adass, the man who claimed responsibility for the attack in a video recording and who has since disappeared, the report said he was "acquainted with individuals associated with extremist groups at least because they attended the same place of worship."
"A working hypothesis is that Ahmad Abu Adass was either coerced or duped into making the video-taped claim of responsibility," the commission said.
"Thus the commission continues to investigate the various possibilities concerning the group that executed the crime," it said.
Besides the Hariri affair, the Brammertz commission has also been helping Lebanon investigate 16 other incidents, including the killing of Industry Minister Pierre Gemayel in November last year and a twin bus bombing attack in Ain Alaq north of Beirut last month.
The move was aimed at finding any possible links between the attacks. Lebanon has been in turmoil since Hariri's killing, which has been widely blamed on Syria. After the killing, Damascus was forced to end its 29-year military domination of its small neighbor.(Naharnet-AFP)

Conflicting Reports on Berri-Hariri Dialogue Progress
Conflicting reports emerged Friday about an alleged settlement between Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri and legislator Saad Hariri on the procedural track regarding the establishment of an international tribunal to try suspects in the 2005 assassination of ex-Premier Rafik Hariri and related crimes.
The daily An Nahar on Friday quoted Berri as saying: "I can say that procedures for the international tribunal have been established."
"We have moved from the issue of the court to means of forming a (new) government," Berri said. "May God help us," he added. However, sources at Hariri's office said such published remarks are "unrealistic and do not support chances for a settlement." "The fact is that MP Hariri honestly cooperates with Speaker Berri in an effort to achieve a settlement. Dialogue still focuses on the international tribunal and the government formation," the sources added without further elaboration. Hariri has vowed nonstop talks with Berri until a settlement to the nearly four-month-old political crisis is reached.
Hariri and Berri have met four times in less than a week in an effort to end the stalemate that has crippled Lebanon's institutions.
The Central news Agency, citing sources close to Berri, also said the talks have entered a new phase after the two rival leaders agreed on the establishment of the court. It quoted the sources as saying that the discussions will now focus on "exchanging formulas," a reference to the number of ministers for each camp in a new cabinet. CNA quoted the sources as saying a "Christian agreement" on the issue of the creation of a national unity cabinet would "make things easier." Beirut, 16 Mar 07, 10:45

Hariri Vows Nonstop Talks with Berri until Settlement is Reached
Future Movement leader Saad Hariri has vowed nonstop talks with opposition Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri until a settlement to the nearly four-month-old political impasse is reached. "For my part, I will keep on meeting with Speaker Berri day and night if necessary to resolve the crisis," Hariri told reporters at the end of his meeting with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak on Wednesday. "A settlement is obligatory," Hariri said during his short visit to Cairo. Hariri, in his capacity as representative of the pro-government March 14 coalition, held a fourth round of talks with Berri on behalf of the Hizbullah-led opposition, upon arrival in Beirut Wednesday night in a bid to end the stalemate which has crippled Lebanon's institutions.
A short statement released by Berri's office on Thursday said: "progress will continue until a settlement is reached." Hariri said from Cairo that he has presented a number of ideas to be considered by the opposition, adding that the rival camp has welcomed the new proposals.
"In my opinion, there is a positive reaction from the other side," Hariri said. He assured that Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Iran were exerting efforts to ease tensions in Lebanon, adding that they are applying pressure on certain "sides and nations, particularly Syria, to come out with a solution."
Hariri stressed that it is not the wish of the March 14 camp to rule Lebanon exclusively, insisting that his group wants a non-crippling partnership.
"We want partnership where together, as Lebanese, we can work for the interests of Lebanon alone," Hariri pledged. Beirut, 15 Mar 07, 08:08

Solana: Lebanon, Iraq Stability Key to Normalizing Ties with Syria
Europe's drive to thaw relations with Syria hinges on the willingness of Damascus to help stabilize the Middle East, notably Lebanon and Iraq, the EU's foreign policy chief said Thursday. Javier Solana, who met with President Bashar Assad in Damascus on Wednesday, urged Syria to work for peace and security in Lebanon. Syria is slowly emerging from two years of isolation. It attended a conference in Baghdad last weekend on ways to stabilize Iraq and then Solana and U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Ellen Sauerbrey visited Damascus. Solana's visit to the Syrian capital was his first in two years.
Syrians say the West now understands it is essential to engage their country to calm regional trouble spots. Yet "there are still important problems" blocking a normalization of relations, Solana told reporters on arrival at an EU-Southeast Asia foreign ministers meeting in the southern German city of Nuremberg. "We still have some issues to be resolved and we have to keep on pushing" Damascus on its role in Lebanon, its alleged support for terrorist organizations and lack of support for the Middle East peace process, he said.
He said the EU was ready to engage Syria in a dialogue on these issues, adding that there would be a "follow-up" to his Damascus visit. He did not elaborate. The EU wants Syria to endorse an international tribunal to try suspects in the assassination of former Premier Rafik Hariri and related crimes.(AP-Naharnet) Beirut, 15 Mar 07, 13:07

Arab regimes have to back up their peace plan with a sales campaign
Friday, March 16, 2007
Editorial - Daily Star
The reintroduction of the peace proposal adopted unanimously at the 2002 Arab League summit in Beirut will achieve no more progress this time around if those who understand its potential fail again to do an adequate job of promoting it. Given the powerful propaganda tools at the disposal of those who will oppose any agreement that does not favor Israel from start to finish, Arab governments cannot afford to let their plan be defined by others. This process is already under way, with several Israeli officials having publicly ruled out key provisions of the proposal. If Arab leaders are serious about making peace - and about improving the lot of the Palestinian people - they must not repeat the errors of 2002.
Warm and wise courtship of Jewish communities outside of Israel will be an essential part of any successful campaign. Many of these are important sources of funding and influence for the Israeli government, so their support would be far more than symbolic. They will not be convinced of the proposal's potential benefits for the Jewish state, though, if the Arabs themselves do not make an all-out effort to explain the details of what is on offer.
Among the obvious tactics would be an extensive series of appearances on American television by representatives of key regimes like those in Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia. The same could be repeated over airwaves and in newspapers in every country with a Jewish population of any size. The Internet is another medium through which the Arab world could reach out to even the remotest outposts of the Jewish diaspora. Perhaps most importantly, the Arab League and its members could mimic a common strategy of governments seeking subscribers for the issue of sovereign debt: the roadshow. A few of these aimed at explaining the Arab world's proposal - and its reasons for making it - could do wonders for the cause of a full and fair peace.
The conduct of public diplomacy is a complicated challenge, but Arab governments have ample resources with which to obtain top-notch advice from marketing and communications professionals. Far from revealing a dearth of indigenous capabilities, such an investment would illustrate the commitment of the Arab world to a peace that holds so much potential for all sides in one of the 20th century's most shameful legacies. There is no time to waste, because radical elements in Israel and America are already doing their best to abort the resurrection of the Arab proposal before the document has a chance to be appreciated for what it is: an alternative to chaos.

Ban Ki-moon's New Approach for Dealing with Iran and Syria
Raghida Dergham Al-Hayat - 16/03/07//
New York - Lebanon has become a fundamental key in regional relations with Iran and Syria alike. The consensus over establishing the international tribunal to try those implicated in the political assassinations is nearly completed, despite Damascus' efforts to obstruct its formation. Also relevant is the surveillance of the Syrian-Lebanese borders to prevent the continued violations of the embargo on arms smuggling, this surveillance is making its way to the UN Security Council. In addition, forcing Iran to stop providing weapons to Hezbollah, or any party of any kind, has also been met with consensus among the five permanent members of the Security Council. There is now a European official notification to Damascus that its path to international rehabilitation undeniably passes through Lebanon and its acquiescence to the international tribunal, the international borders and the Lebanese-Lebanese dialogue.
There has also been a regional notification sent to the leadership in Syria to the effect that avoiding the international tribunal is absolutely not an option, and that there will be no Arab cover for any attempt to prevent its establishment, whether by damaging Lebanon or by its allies, Lebanese or Palestinian. Moreover, there is an international notification at the level of new UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon that he is very serious about his insistence that everybody in the region - Iran, Syria, Israel, Hezbollah and the Palestinian factions - must all submit to international resolutions that bolster the legitimately elected Lebanese government. This includes the Islamist extremist groups that have taken the Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon as a safe haven. Everyone also must abide by the embargo on arms smuggling to the militia groups in Lebanon, which also must be disarmed, as stipulated by the international resolutions.
The UN resolutions also insist on setting up the international tribunal so that more assassinations do not resume with impunity. Finally, there is a unanimous notification from the Security Council to Iran that it will continue - under Article 7 of the Charter - to bear sanctions that isolate it and harm it economically, no matter how much Tehran shows indifference. Iran and Syria have begun to feel the noose tighten around their necks by a quasi international and regional consensus. They have also begun to realize that encircling one while courting - although provisionally - could dismantle the strategic relation, via decisions taken by the ruling establishment itself in Tehran.
The Iranian leadership is also well-aware of the meaning of the consensus between China, Russia, the US, the UK, France and Germany over keeping Iran under sanctions will leave it like Sierra Leone, Sudan, al-Qaeda and the Taliban. In addition, Iran also knows, without admitting, that such sanctions, as superficial and weak as they may appear, have genuinely danmaged the Iranian economy to a great extent. It is very costly indeed for a weak economy during the era of George Bush's provocative leadership that has sent three aircraft carrier to the Hormuz Straights in preparation for imposing a blockade to prevent the export of Iranian oil, if needs be.
The ruling establishment in Iran is already taking serious steps to reigning in President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, at least at the regional level, particularly through the important talks with the Saudi Kingdom. Some attempts have been made at the level of the nuclear portfolio that is on the international agenda; knowing that the Security Council in New York is tackling the nuclear issue after Tehran refused to submit to the demands made by the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
Now Iran is repeatedly trying to return the portfolio to Vienna, offering readiness and guarantees that it had not offered before. Alas, it is too late, since Iran will not be able to take the file away from New York, since it is subject to sanctions by virtue of the Security Council resolution in line with Article 7 of the Charter. This is precisely what the Iranian leadership wants to recover from and brush off, but it has thrown itself into a tight corner due to its refusal to meet the condition of suspending its uranium enrichment in exchange for suspending the sanctions.
What the major powers are heading toward now, and what the Security Council will be precisely examining soon, is a new draft resolution that will bolster the already existing sanctions regime. This will include adding new Iranian names and institutions to the list of boycott and punishing officials alongside the revolutionary guard. The negotiations are ongoing, but the principle of submitting Iran to additional sanctions enjoys consensus; i.e. Russia and China's approval to the ongoing sanctions.
According to the draft resolution, there is a regional dimension meant to contain Iran's regional ambitions, not just its nuclear ones. There is an indication that the resolution will include a mandatory ban imposed on Tehran that will prevent it from providing, selling or transporting any weapons from its territories or via its citizens, directly or indirectly. There are also signs that the draft proposal will stress the obligation of each State to provide all necessary mutual aid to guarantee the implementation of the measures stipulated by the resolution.
This means that the Security Council, when it adopts the resolution, will prohibit Iran from selling or supplying weapons to any organizations, groups, individuals or entities in Iraq, Palestine or Lebanon. This also means that all States are committed to provide mutual assistance to insure the implementation of this clause. For instance, in the event that Iran tries to supply Hezbollah with yet more missiles and weapons, the States will have the right to help the Lebanese government insure that these arms do not reach Hezbollah. That in turn means that additional sanctions will be imposed on Tehran in the event that it tries to breach the sanctions on military exports.
This is as far Iran is concerned; containing its export of weapons to Hezbollah in Lebanon. Since these weapons will cross the Syrian-Lebanese borders and thereby violate the arms embargo to prevent smuggling weapons to any entity in Lebanon besides the government by virtue of Resolution 1701, there is a inclination in the Security Council to tighten the noose on Damascus as well to prevent it from pumping weapons into the Lebanese scene; to Hezbollah, the Palestinian factions, and the Islamist extremists affiliated to al-Qaeda network and its likes.
This is a cause for concern for the three pronged axis made up of Tehran, Damascus and Hezbollah; not only due to regional and international attempts to contain this axis, but also due to the possibility that this containment will influence the decisions of its members. That is to say, the possibility than Iran might abandon Damascus and even take a decision to reign in and contain Hezbollah.
The UN Secretary General suggested that new steps be taken to the Security Council in order to insure the arms embargo that was imposed by Resolution 1701. He said, in a report to be discussed by the Security Council today, that: "In considering further steps to ensure full implementation of paragraph 15 of UN resolution 1701, including the arms embargo, the Security Council may wish to consider supporting an independent assessment mission to consider the monitoring of the border [Syrian-Lebanese]." Ban Ki-moon urges the SC to find means to monitor the Syrian-Lebanese international borders to fend off any leak of weapons and prepare the case to condemn and punish whoever breaches the embargo.
However, the embargo will not prevent infighting in the context of a civil war if Hezbollah's leadership decides to wage it. After all, the weapons are available to Hezbollah; those received lately are not the kind it needs to fight Israel, but the kind used in internal wars.
This international encirclement is meant to contain the possibility of another unfolding war between Hezbollah and Israel, because the latter promised to destroy Lebanon and take its revenge if the Lebanese government and the international community do not take measures to prevent Hezbollah from dragging it into another war - not to mention preventing it from acquiring new arms guaranteed by Iran, via the Lebanese-Syrian borders.
Then there is the matter of the international forces that are working in the context of the reinforced UN forces in Lebanon (UNIFIL 2). Some of the participating countries in the forces have made it clear that they will not risk their troops by placing them in such a volatile situation, the kind prevailing in Lebanon, especially via its borders. As a result, there is a drive in the Security Council toward increasing the surveillance of the borders and tightening the noose to prevent the smuggling of arms to anyone in Lebanon, except for the legitimate government, the Lebanese army and the international forces.
In his latest report over implementing Resolution 1701, Ban Ki-moon stressed repeatedly that it was imperative that the Lebanese army and the security forces be supported; calling on the international community to provide assistance to the Lebanese armed forces and multiply the assistance that is already being given. He also dealt with the issue of arms smuggling, saying that there was key and critical information in this regard that revealed that smuggling was taking place, suggesting the formation of an 'independent military group' to look into the matter. He also said that Syria and, Iran, in particular, must be encouraged to insure the respect of the arms embargo, calling on the Syrian government to take the necessary steps to demarcate the borders between Syria and Lebanon. That is exactly what the Lebanese government itself has been requesting over and over again for more than a year now.
Moreover, Ban Ki-moon dealt with the issue of the Chabaa Farms, which Syria says are Lebanese, even though in 2000, the UN included it to the Syrian territory when it carried out its geographical survey in order to implement Resolution 425. This Resolution was meant to bring the Israeli occupation of Lebanese territory to an end. The report shows that good progress has been made in designating the location of the Chabaa Farms; there are even 'new' documents that the original geographical experts in 2000 did not have access to. According to Ban Ki-moon, these experts will complete their survey by mid June. A schedule was set to deal with the results, as needs be. Therefore, in the event that these documents prove that the Chabaa Farms are Lebanese, the responsibility will lie on Israel to withdraw and return it to Lebanon instead of keeping them under Syrian sovereignity. This would make the return of the lands from Israel subject to Resolution 242.
Until this very moment, Syria has not responded to the requests made by the UN to provide it with the documents supporting Syria's case that the Farms are Lebanese. From now until June, it will become clear whether these Farms are Lebanese, or if Syria created the whole notion that the Farms are Lebanese to justify Hezbollah's continued resistance, instead of leaving the liberation of these lands to the Lebanese State.
The important thing is that Ban Ki-moon is pressuring, and not only Syria on this matter, but also Israel. What angered Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni is giving the Chabaa Farms this attention in the report about the implementation of Resolution 1701. Moreover, the Secretary General also blamed Israel for its violations of the Blue Line that forms, in effect, the current borders between Lebanon and Syria. He blamed Hezbollah as well for its violations of the Blue Line. He made it clear that maintaining the stability of Lebanon demands by necessity implementing the Security Council Resolution that stipulates the "disarming of all armed groups" in Lebanon. He called for the "immediate assistance" of the Lebanese army in standing up to the danger resulting from the 'Islamist extremists' infesting the Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon, using them as a safe hiding place to undermine Lebanon's stability.
In other words, the new Secretary General is serious in his stances with regard to the Lebanese portfolio, and in the notifications and messages of warning he has sent to Lebanon's two neighbors, Syria and Israel. The same goes for Iran. His predecessor, Kofi Annan, left his post while sending out positive signals to Tehran and Damascus due to their cooperation and 'encouraging' promises, as he put it. But they remain promises that Annan did not reveal, and that were not implemented by the Syrian and Lebanese leaderships.
Ban Ki-moon is heading to the Middle East next week in a tour that excludes Syria and Iran, in contrast to what Annan insisted on doing in his tours in the area that always included Damascus whenever he visited Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and Israel. Ban Ki-moon's message to the Syrian leadership is very clear: 'Implement the resolutions concerning Lebanon'. His message to Iran is just as serious, and the essence of the message is that the world is keeping its eye on Tehran, not only with regard of its nuclear ambitions, but also from the perspective of its regional activities, especially Lebanon.
Lebanon has become a test for Syria and Iran by virtue of a quasi Arab, regional and international consensus. Thus, any talk of deals that would sacrifice the international tribunal is nonsense. Undoubtedly, the tribunal is upcoming, surveillance is also on its way, just as preventing more arms smuggling is taking on a qualitative leap.