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Signs of the Times

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The most successful tyranny is not the one that uses force to assure uniformity but the one that removes the awareness of other possibilities, that makes it seem inconceivable that other ways are viable, that removes the sense that there is an outside.
Allan Bloom The Closing of the American Mind

"This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing government, they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it, or their revolutionary right to dismember or overthrow it." - Abraham Lincoln, First Inaugural

It is dangerous to be right in matters on which the established authorities are wrong. --Voltaire--

Faith of consciousness is freedom
Faith of feeling is weakness
Faith of body is stupidity.
Love of consciousness evokes the same in response
Love of feeling evokes the opposite
Love of the body depends only on type and polarity.
Hope of consciousness is strength
Hope of feeling is slavery
Hope of body is disease. [Gurdjieff]

Life is religion. Life experiences reflect how one interacts with God. Those who are asleep are those of little faith in terms of their interaction with the creation. Some people think that the world exists for them to overcome or ignore or shut out. For those individuals, the worlds will cease. They will become exactly what they give to life. They will become merely a dream in the "past." People who pay strict attention to objective reality right and left, become the reality of the "Future." [Cassiopaea 09-28-02]


April 21, 2003 Today's edition of Brought to You by The Bush Junta, Produced and Directed by the CIA, based on an original script by Henry Kissinger, with a cast of billions....The "Greatest Shew on Earth," no doubt, and if you don't have a good sense of humor, don't read this page! It is designed to reveal the "unseen." If you can't stand the heat of Objective Reality, get out of the kitchen!

Chalabi's men shot dead by American Marines - Ahmed Chalabi, the man the Pentagon has been pushing as the face of the new Iraq, is mourning the first fatalities within his ranks. Two members of Mr Chalabi's pro-US Iraqi National Congress (INC) and one member of his militia, the Free Iraqi Forces, were shot dead by US Marines trying to protect a bank in Baghdad. They are the first post-war casualties among followers of Mr Chalabi, the exiled Iraqi businessmen who has a force of 1,500 men armed with Kalashnikovs and US-issued uniforms now operating inside Iraq and – acting in tandem with the Americans – patrolling in Baghdad and elsewhere. The three men were shot in their car in the Iraqi capital late on Friday by a US Abrams tank outside the Central Bank, where US Marines were mounting guard to stop armed men who had been trying to blast their way into the vaults using rocket-propelled grenades and welding equipment. Nearly two weeks after the American tanks rolled in, Baghdad is still an unstable and dangerous city – there is frequent gunfire throughout night and day – and the killing is an illustration of the edginess and suspicion that still prevails among Iraqis and the American forces.

Makow - The Victim As Moral Zombie - If I wanted to brainwash and manipulate a segment of the population, I would convince them they were victims. The economic elites have been controlling us for centuries this way. Human beings are predisposed to victim status. It's like saying, you deserve better. Who can argue? Usually it's easy to support this proposition, easy to blame someone for our problems. Often grievances are legitimate but they are just pretexts for the elite to drive a wedge into society. There is another perk. For some reason which I can't fathom, "victims" are conferred a higher moral status. They become Saintly, faultless and immune to criticism. Historically victims have been the working class and Blacks. Today, victims include Jews/Zionists, homosexuals, feminists and after 9-11, Americans.

Blix attacks US war intelligence - The chief UN weapons inspector, Hans Blix, has claimed that the US tried to discredit his team and used "shaky" intelligence to make the case for war in Iraq. Speaking ahead of a briefing to the UN security council today, Mr Blix told the BBC that US officials tried to discredit UN weapons inspectors working in Iraq in a bid to win security council support for military action.

In a BBC TV interview, extracts of which were broadcast on BBC Radio 4's Today programme this morning, Mr Blix also said the US and Britain appeared to have used "shaky" intelligence, including forged documents, in an effort to prove Iraq had banned weapons. He claimed US officials tried to undermine his inspection team by telling the media he withheld information from the security council about an Iraqi drone.

"At that time the US was very eager to sway the votes in the security council," he said. "They felt that stories about these things would be useful to have and they let it out. In that way they tried to hurt us a bit and say that we had suppressed this. "It was not the case. It was a bit unfair and hurt us." Mr Blix said he was "a little bit displeased about it. But you know, this is a rough and tough, rough game and I don't think that we really felt desolate about it".

In the interview, for a BBC2 programme, to be broadcast next Saturday, Mr Blix also said that he had serious doubts about the quality of some of the intelligence used by Washington and London. "I think there's been a lot of disturbing elements that so much of the intelligence on which the capitals built their case seems to have been shaky," he said.

US 'failed to spot forged documentaries' Blix said he found it "very, very disturbing" that US intelligence failed to identify as fakes documents suggesting Iraq tried to buy uranium from Niger, the West African nation which is the third-largest producer of mined uranium. In December, the US state department used the information to support its case that Iraq was lying about its weapons programs. But on March 7, Mohammed ElBaradei, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), told the security council that the documents were forgeries.

Asked whether he believed US agents had fabricated the documents, Mr Blix said: "Not quite that far. They might have got this fake contract from somewhere. The CIA say they got a copy of the document from the UK." "I certainly do not suggest that the UK intelligence service would have fabricated [it], I wouldn't dream of that. But there may be others around."

Mr Blix said he believed the US secretary of state, Colin Powell, was entirely honest in his presentation on Iraqi weapons to the security council. The UN weapons chief was preparing to brief the security council on his readiness to send arms experts back to Iraq, in a closed session at 3.30pm today. Mr Blix, who is leaving his post in June, has said he is willing to field inspection teams if the security council agrees, on the condition that they are independent from the military.

Most members of the council, including Britain, say any weapons of mass destruction found now by the US military must be verified by the UN inspectors before sanctions can be lifted. But the US is urging the council to approve immediately the lifting of the 13-year-old UN sanctions, so that Iraqi oil revenues can be used to finance postwar reconstruction. Instead of Mr Blix's team, US officials want to send former UN inspectors from the US, Britain and Australia to verify any discovery of banned weapons.

The Bush administration blames Mr Blix for hurting its drive for international support in the run-up to the war and has not invited UN inspectors to return, deploying its own teams to search for illegal weapons. "We see no immediate role for Mr Blix and his inspection teams," Richard Grenell, a spokesman for the US ambassador to the UN, John Negroponte, said yesterday. But many diplomats argue that the US would have difficulty convincing most people in the world of the validity of any chemical, biological, ballistic or nuclear arms the US military may find without some neutral verification. "The whole basis by which for years the sanctions regime was held in place was the prospect of UN arms inspectors confirming the disarmament of Iraq," said David Scheffer, an international lawyer and former state department official, now senior vice president of the United Nations Association.

Russia: send in inspectors before lifting sanctions The Russian foreign ministry today warned that UN sanctions could only be lifted after the international weapons inspectors are allowed to return and complete their work in Iraq. A Russian foreign ministry spokesman, Alexander Yakovenko, told the Interfax news agency: "Only inspectors from Unmovic [the UN monitoring, verification and inspection commission which Mr Blix heads] and the IAEA, who have a mandate from the UN security council, can clarify this issue." On the ground in Iraq today, the retired US general who is overseeing the postwar reconstruction of Iraq was today given a warm welcome by Iraqi Kurds in the northern town of Sulaimaniya.

Residents of the Kurdish-controlled town, 205 miles north-east of Baghdad, greeted Lieutenant General Jay Garner with cheers, hugs and a shower of petals on the second day of his tour around Iraq. It was Lt Gen Garner's first time in the region since he ran Operation Provide Comfort, coordinating humanitarian aid after Saddam Hussein crushed a Kurdish rebellion following the 1991 Gulf war. He was appointed in January by Washington to run the Office of Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance, which is charged with restoring services in Iraq while an interim government is formed.

Answer? Out of the Question - For two years, lawmakers, journalists and watchdog groups have complained that the Bush administration has been stingy with information on everything from energy policy to Iraq rebuilding. But the less-is-more communications approach reached its logical extreme in a pair of briefings in Texas on Thursday and Friday by deputy White House press secretary Claire Buchan. In an exchange of nearly 3,800 words, the spokeswoman managed not to answer about 75 questions. Thursday went like this: Did President Bush discuss U.N. sanctions on Iraq with the Spanish prime minister? "I don't have the specifics of their call." Timing of the lifting of sanctions? "We have not set a specific time line." Timing of weapons inspections? "I don't have a time frame." Aid groups proselytizing in Iraq? "I haven't seen the reports." Scientists going to Iraq to find weapons? "That's a question you ought to put to DOD." Syrian proposal for disarming Middle East? "They know our views, and I will leave it at that." Will Bush make statements about Cuba? "I don't have anything on that." Information on Bush's discussion with Gen. Tommy Franks? "No."

Carving Up The New Iraq - IRAQ lies in ruins this morning. Its cities are bombed; its buildings have been torched by teenage arsonists; its shops, hospitals, factories and homes have been looted. This is Year Zero for Iraq. The old regime is gone and the United States is to rebuild this country literally from the ground up. Since the beginning of the year, America has had its reconstruction plan in place. Answering directly to Centcom commander General Tommy Franks, retired Lt Gen Jay Garner will be in command of the reconstruction effort. He will be aided by a series of military hardmen, diplomats and Republican party place-men who will help the United States create “Free Iraq” – aided by exiles who are returning to get their share of the spoils. This isn’t a selfless exercise. In a special Sunday Herald investigation, we have charted the network of financial kickbacks, political pay-backs, cronyism, self-interest and ferocious ideology that underpins the entire reconstruction scheme.

So, where are all the weapons? - So where are they? In case we forget, distracted by the thought of thousands of dead Iraqi civilians, looted museums and gathering political chaos: the proclaimed purpose of this war, vainly pursued by Britain and the United States through the United Nations, was to disarm Saddam Hussein and to destroy weapons of mass destruction deemed a menace to the entire world. But where are they?

A month has passed since American and British troops entered Iraq, more than a week since the fall of Baghdad. But thus far not even a sniff. Not a drum of VX or mustard gas, not a vial of botulin or anthrax, not a shred of evidence that Iraq was assembling a nuclear weapons programme. But that was not what they told us. Remember Colin Powell, the US secretary of state, at the UN security council two months ago (though today it seems another age on another planet): the charts, the grainy intelligence satellite pictures, the crackly tapes of the intercepted phone conversations among Iraqi officials? How plausible it all sounded, especially when propounded by the most plausible figure in the Bush administration.

And what about those other claims, wheeled out on various occasions by US President George Bush, British Prime Minister Tony Blair, Dick Cheney, the US vice-president, and Donald Rumsfeld, the US defence secretary? The Iraqi drones that were supposed to be able to attack the US east coast, the imports of aluminium tubes allegedly intended for centrifuges to enrich uranium, the unaccounted for lethal nerve and germ agents, in quantities specified down to the last litre or kilograms, as if exact numbers alone constituted proof. All, it seems, egregious products of the imagination of the intelligence services, one commodity whose existence need never be doubted.

It's Not Just Protesters Anymore : When Police Attack Journalists - I have reported on mass protests where police attacked protestors, but I tended to accept- and even wrote in some articles- statements by police that protestors provoked this violence. The crowd got out of control, I thought. Surely, someone threw rocks, threw punches, or did something to instigate these assaults. The police would not attack people for no reason. After witnessing, and feeling, attacks by multiple baton-wielding officers during the permitted anti-war march in the capital on April 12, I realized I have made a mistake. As a reporter, I have mistakenly placed the burden of proof on the protestors, rather than the police. And now, as I see coverage of the protest where I was beaten, I see other journalists doing the same.

Raiders of the lost art - "It now appears that the looting of the museum was neither spontaneous nor random. In all probability, it was planned well in advance of the American-led invasion" Witnesses have spoken of seeing well-dressed men with walkie-talkies at the scene, and of artifacts being transported away in orderly convoys of vans rather than over the heads of the crowd. "We already have reports of exhibits being offered for sale in Switzerland and Japan," says Karl-Heinz Kind, Interpol's specialist officer for art and antiquity trafficking.

Saddam's Taste in Art- N.Y. painter is shocked by find at Saddam pad - The artist known as Rowena admits her fantasy-art paintings - filled with snarling dragons, Fabio lookalikes and buxom damsels - can attract an offbeat clientele. But Saddam Hussein? The upstate painter was stunned to learn two of her campy, sexually charged artworks wound up at the tyrant's love shack in Baghdad. A busty blond is depicted in one painting conjuring up a forked-tongued serpent to wrap itself around the body of a hunky bare-chested warrior. In another, a chained woman clad in a tattered bikini arches her back as a dragon's talons reach toward her.

Breast-feeding in a time of war - What did the American male passenger think they were - weapons of mass distraction? Apparently, yes. Deborah Wolfe, a Canadian citizen who was just breast-feeding her son and changing his diaper while en route between Houston and Vancouver, says her "subversive" actions led to her being threatened with detainment, RCMP involvement and legal charges for terrorist action against a U.S. citizen in international airspace while on an American flight during a time of war.

Go directly to jail, crime or no - Sometimes, before an abusive government practice gains widespread attention, bad things have to happen to someone with this bio: American citizen, blond wife, adorable children, good job and high-status friends. That victim would be Maher "Mike" Hawash, a naturalized American of Palestinian descent who has been held in federal custody as a material witness to a terrorism investigation since March 20.

John Pilger: The unthinkable is becoming normal. Do not forget the horror The unthinkable is becoming normal. Do not forget the horror. The saving of one little boy must not be a cover for the crime of this war! Last Sunday, seated in the audience at the Bafta television awards ceremony, I was struck by the silence. Here were many of the most influential members of the liberal elite, the writers, producers, dramatists, journalists and managers of our main source of information, television; and not one broke the silence. It was as though we were disconnected from the world outside: a world of rampant, rapacious power and great crimes committed in our name by our government and its foreign master. Iraq is the "test case", says the Bush regime, which every day sails closer to Mussolini's definition of fascism: the merger of a militarist state with corporate power. Iraq is a test case for western liberals, too. As the suffering mounts in that stricken country, with Red Cross doctors describing "incredible'' levels of civilian casualties, the choice of the next conquest, Syria or Iran, is "debated'' on the BBC, as if it were a World Cup venue.

In gratitude to Tim Robbins, Susan Sarandon and the person I admire most, Helen Thomas After 9/11, I also dared to hope, as did Tim Robbins, that some great good might come from the horrors of that day. I imagined that our leaders finally might begin to listen rather than pontificate; that my generation might finally be roused from its apathetic, avaricious condition and remember that it is more blessed to give than to receive.

Fast food comes to Iraq - Basra: Fastfood giants Pizza Hut and Burger King have set up their first franchises inside war-torn Iraq, even as many aid convoys waited on the borders for the war to officially end. The arrival of the two restaurants - sited inside giant trailers on a British military base near Basra - won a rapturous welcome from soldiers, whose limited range of rations lost their appeal many weeks ago.

DNA can last in soils for up to 400,000 years - A New Zealand scientist has kicked off a new era in dna research, after showing that dna can last in soils for up to 400,000 years. The discovery of ancient mammoth and moa dna in Siberian and New Zealand soils showed that dna could last much longer than previously thought, opening up new avenues for studying pre-history and genetic engineering, Alan Cooper, a professor at Oxford University, said this week.

Chernobyl Worms Have Begun To Have Sex - The influence of radiation upon human beings has been thoroughly studied, while practically no investigation has been held concerning the effect it exerts upon nature. Worms inhabiting the radioactive zone near the nuclear power plant in the Ukrainian city of Chernobyl have begun reproducing by syngenesis and have ceased unisexual reproduction. Ukrainian scientists hypothesize that the changes in sexual behavior have taken place because they raise the chances of the species to survive. The discovery was the first direct evidence proving that the radioactive contamination has affected natural fauna.

Calif. farmers put live chickens in wood chippers - Two California poultry farmers who fed some 30,000 live chickens into wood chippers will not face criminal charges because they had permission from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, prosecutors said on Friday. But a spokesman for the Humane Society of the United States called the farmers "callous and barbaric" and disagreed with the decision not to prosecute them.

Scientists levitate gold coins - Scientists have shown that levitation is not just a trick from a Harry Potter book. The coins "float" on cold oxygen. Researchers at the University of Nottingham have used magnetism to make solid objects such as coins float in the air. Scientists have already proven strong, varying magnetic fields could exert an upward force on objects in their path. The Nottingham team found this effect could be dramatically enhanced in cold oxygen. Magnetic levitation occurs when the magnetic force is strong enough to overcome gravity and balance a body's weight. Cold oxygen provides extra buoyancy through the "magneto-Archimedes" effect - literally allowing an object to float in the air.

450,000 Indians die of tuberculosis every year - About 2.2 million new tuberculosis cases are detected in India annually, while 450,000 people die of the disease each year, the Rajya Sabha was told Monday.


April 20, 2003 Today's edition of Brought to You by The Bush Junta, Produced and Directed by the CIA, based on an original script by Henry Kissinger, with a cast of billions....The "Greatest Shew on Earth," no doubt, and if you don't have a good sense of humor, don't read this page! It is designed to reveal the "unseen." If you can't stand the heat of Objective Reality, get out of the kitchen!

Local Officials Rise Up to Defy The Patriot Act - TARCATA, Calif. -- This North Coast city may look sweet -- old, low-to-the-ground buildings, town square with a bronze statue of William McKinley, ambling pickup trucks -- but it acts like a radical. Arcata was one of the first cities to pass resolutions against global warming and a unilateral war in Iraq. Last month, it joined the rising chorus of municipalities to pass a resolution urging local law enforcement officials and others contacted by federal officials to refuse requests under the Patriot Act that they believe violate an individual's civil rights under the Constitution. Then, the city went a step further.

This little city (pop.: 16,000) has become the first in the nation to pass an ordinance that outlaws voluntary compliance with the Patriot Act. "I call this a nonviolent, preemptive attack," said David Meserve, the freshman City Council member who drafted the ordinance with the help of the Arcata city attorney, city manager and police chief. The Arcata ordinance may be the first, but it may not be the last. Across the country, citizens have been forming Bill of Rights defense committees to fight what they consider the most egregious curbs on liberties contained in the Patriot Act. The 342-page act, passed by Congress one month after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, with little input from a public still in shock, has been most publicly criticized by librarians and bookstore owners for the provisions that force them to secretly hand over information about a patron's reading and Internet habits. But citizens groups are becoming increasingly organized and forceful in rebuking the Patriot Act and the Homeland Security Act for giving the federal government too much power, especially since a draft of the Justice Department's proposed sequel to the Patriot Act (dubbed Patriot II) was publicly leaked in January.

Riddle of 'Baghdad's batteries' - Among the artifacts feared lost in the looted museums are the world's first electric batteries. I don't think anyone can say for sure what they were used for, but they may have been batteries because they do work. War can destroy more than a people, an army or a leader. Culture, tradition and history also lie in the firing line. Iraq has a rich national heritage. The Garden of Eden and the Tower of Babel are said to have been sited in this ancient land. In any war, there is a chance that priceless treasures will be lost forever, articles such as the "ancient battery" that resides defenceless in the museum of Baghdad. For this object suggests that the region, whose civilizations gave us writing and the wheel, may also have invented electric cells - two thousand years before such devices were well known. Biblical clues It was in 1938, while working in Khujut Rabu, just outside Baghdad in modern day Iraq, that German archaeologist Wilhelm Konig unearthed a five-inch-long (13 cm) clay jar containing a copper cylinder that encased an iron rod.

Oklahoma City Bombing Questions McVeigh - If the bombing of the Alfred E. Murrah building in Oklahoma City was a terrorist reprisal for the massacre of the Branch Davidians at Waco, why were no BATF or FBI agents injured? Why was EVERY BADGE-CARRYING FEDERAL AGENT absent from work at nine o’clock on a weekday morning, their offices staffed only with civilian clerical workers? When the word first got out that no Federal agents had been present in the building, the BATF produced its Resident Agent Alex McCauley who told a long story about his own heroism and that of a fellow ATF man who allegedly fell three floors in an elevator, walked away from it, and then helped rescue others trapped by the bomb. This was quickly exposed as a fabrication in an angry interview by building maintenance supervisor Duane James, who described McCauley’s story as "pure fantasy".

13-year-old prodigy to get college degree - Long resume already includes Nobel Peace Prize nominations He was solving math problems at 14 months, reading and correcting adults' grammar by 2 -- the same age he decided to become a vegetarian. He was explaining photosynthesis to kindergarten classmates at 5. He breezed through 10 grades of school in three years, graduated with honors from high school at 9, founded an international youth advocacy organization, met with prime ministers and presidents, and was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. Twice. Now, 13-year-old Gregory Robert Smith is about to add another line to his resume: College graduate.

PALESTINE: US, Australia defend Israel's `mass killing' - The United Nations Human Rights Commission (UNHRC) on April 15 condemned Israel for its “mass killing” of Palestinians and its construction of illegal settlements in the occupied territories. The United States government was the only commission member to oppose all four resolutions condemning Israel's repression and calling for an immediate halt to settlement activity in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The US delegate charged that the criticism of Israel was “unfair and one-sided”. Israel has been regularly condemned by the 53-member UN human rights body. On this motion Germany, Canada, Australia and Peru joined the US in voting against. The resolutions followed heated arguments earlier in the UNHRC's annual session in Geneva, during which Palestinian delegate Nabil Ramlawi highlighted Israel's use of killings and torture, which he described as “worse than the practices of Nazism”. A joint Arab-African motion condemning Israel for “mass killing” of Palestinians was passed by 33 votes to five, with 15 abstentions. The tough seven-page resolution criticised “the gross violations of human rights and international humanitarian law, in particular, acts of extra-judicial killing, closures, collective punishments, arbitrary detentions, the shelling of Palestinian residential districts from warplanes, tanks and Israeli battleships, the conducting of incursions into towns and camps and the killing of men, women and children there.” A motion from the European Union voiced “grave concern” over ongoing settlement activity in the occupied Palestinian territory and condemned Israel's plan to build a unilateral separation wall, which will entail the annexation of more Palestinian land. This motion, which also condemned Israel's restriction of Palestinian freedom of movement, was passed with only the US voting against. Comment: "I want to tell you something very clear, don't worry about American pressure on Israel, we, the Jewish people control America, and the Americans know it."-- Ariel Sharon to Shimon Peres, October 3rd, 2001, as reported on Kol Yisrael radio.

Israel Doesn't Want Peace' - Thomas Friedman is correct that Arabs have so far seen only America's strength and not America's "goodness". How can they when the plight of Palestinians is shown on their TV screens but withheld from ours? President Bush may believe in his "road map to peace," but neoconservatives who run the Department of Defense do not want peace; they want Syria, Lebanon and Iran. It is Israel's security rather than America's they are concerned about. The State Department is powerless. Congress has also abdicated. In spite of the continued human rights violations by Israel in the occupied territories, our "lawmakers" gave Israel the requested $9 billion loan guarantee, in addition to the annual $3 billion donation. We are rewarding a regime that wants to dominate more than it wants peace.

Israel seeks pipeline for Iraqi oil - US discusses plan to pump fuel to its regional ally and solve energy headache at a stroke. Plans to build a pipeline to siphon oil from newly conquered Iraq to Israel are being discussed between Washington, Tel Aviv and potential future government figures in Baghdad. The plan envisages the reconstruction of an old pipeline, inactive since the end of the British mandate in Palestine in 1948, when the flow from Iraq's northern oilfields to Palestine was re-directed to Syria. Now, its resurrection would transform economic power in the region, bringing revenue to the new US-dominated Iraq, cutting out Syria and solving Israel's energy crisis at a stroke.

Peace activist's father demands probe - The father of Tom Hurndall, a British peace activist in Palestine critically wounded in the head by an Israeli sniper in Gaza last week, is demanding that the British and Israeli governments to conduct an immediate and thorough investigation to establish how his was shot. A relative of Hurndall told Gulf News that Anthony Hurndall, a London property lawyer, has travelled with Mrs Hurndall to Israel and both have met the British ambassador in Tel Aviv. Anthony Hurndall is reported to have said that what he and his wife have seen after arriving in Israel, "indicates that there does not seem to be any justification for what happened." "I have an open mind," he added, "but there seems to have been an element of recklessness. There are questions to be answered." In his plea for an investigation, Hurndall said; "Tom was clearly wearing an orange jacket which identified him as a peace activist, and he was nevertheless shot while helping three Palestinian children, who'd been fired on, to safety. I would like to know how it came about." Tom Hurndall, a 21-year-old photography student at Manchester Metropolitan University, has been on life supporting machine in Beersheba's hospital since he was hit. His chances of recovery are said to be slim. He had arrived in Palestine from Jordan a few days earlier after a short period as a human shield in Iraq. With nine others members of the International Solidarity Movement with the Palestinians, he was in Rafah attempting to set up a tent to block Israeli tanks and snipers shooting into Rafah's refugee camp. The British government is pressing for an investigation, but sources believe the Israeli military might block the process as they have done before in the case of Ian Hook, a British United Nations official, killed by Israel snipers in Jenin last November.

Radio Host Alex Jones Listener Incarcerated For Believing Alex Jones - An Alex Jones listener has been arrested and taken into mental health custody because he has believed in and promoted Alex Jone's tapes and materials.

US bases in Iraq to become permanent - The United States is planning to keep long-term access to military bases in Iraq. Military chiefs are said to want to keep the option of using up to four bases around the country. The move could further inflame opposition to the US presence in Iraq and leave America open to accusations of reneging on its promise to leave the country "as soon as possible" after liberation.

British government turned a strange blind eye to Yemeni terror suspects - NOBODY IN THE British intelligence services seemed bothered when a few years ago there was a sudden glut of young men applying for tourist visas to go to Yemen. Their reasons for making the trip were suitably vague, such as brushing up on their Arabic or studying the Koran, but several Muslim clerics were worried enough to mention it to the police.

TV News Lies - How the media has helped the Bush Administration lie about every issue from 9/11 to Iraq to Aids funding.

Genocide Watch - Who is killing who in the world

Eye Witness Report: The Toppling of the Statue of Saddam was a Staged Media Event - After three months in Baghdad as a peace activist, Perth clergyman Neville Watson returned to Australia yesterday convinced that Iraq is on the brink of civil war. His experiences have left him deeply concerned about Australia's role in the war, and critical of the media's coverage of it.

NASA's Top Shuttle Official Is Said to Be Leaving His Post - Ron D. Dittemore, the NASA shuttle program manager whose briefings in the days after the breakup of the shuttle Columbia drew praise for their straightforward professionalism, will be leaving the space agency for a job in private industry, colleagues at the Johnson Space Center said today. Mr. Dittemore is highly regarded in the space community as an effective and dedicated program manager. In the days after the Feb. 1 shuttle disaster, he conveyed a blend of candor and heart that some said defined a new, more open NASA — especially compared with the tight-lipped agency the public saw after the loss of the Challenger in 1986. He did not seek to blame others for the accident, and acknowledged that he was, as he put it in a briefing just days after the shuttle breakup, the "accountable individual" for making decisions about the safety of the shuttle and its crew. t.

Bush, Rumsfeld, Blair, Straw entry banned to Church of Nativity - BETHLEHEM: The Church of Nativity, widely believed to be the birth-place of Jesus Christ, decided to ban entry each of the US President George Bush, his Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, British Prime Minister Tony Blair and his Foreign Secretary Jack Straw the privilege of visiting this sacred place, which is one of the holiest Christian shrines. The move came in protest of "the aggressive war these leaders have waged against Iraq," top Clergy of the church said. The Church Parishioner Father Panaritius made the decision public at a massive protest demonstration organized by Orthodox institutions in front of the Church of Nativity. "They are war criminals and murderers of children. Therefore the Church of Nativity decided to ban them access into the holy shrine for ever," the parishioner said.

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