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June 21, 2003

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Settlers fight Israeli troops dismantling outpost

Israeli shopkeeper dies foiling suicide attack

Jun. 19, 2003. 06:10 PM

JERUSALEM (AP) - Hundreds of angry, screaming Jewish settlers scuffled with Israeli troops on a West Bank hilltop today when the military tore down a tent camp, the first populated outpost targeted under a U.S.-backed peace plan.

Settlers set fire to underbrush and threw purple paint on the windows of armoured bulldozers as the troops approached. When the soldiers began tearing down the four filthy tents, the settlers hollered battle cries and charged, trading blows with them on the dusty hilltop. [...]

Hundreds of Israeli soldiers and police sent to dismantle the West Bank settlement outpost of Mitzpeh Yitzhar got into bloody fistfights with settlers today after about 200 people from nearby settlements converged on the hilltop.

They blocked the road with cars, burning tires and sharp objects. They then grappled with soldiers and police who began ripping down the tents.

The hundreds of paratroopers and police on the hilltop were armed only with the knives they carried to remove the settlers' tents. About 30 people were hurt on both sides, none of them seriously, and Israel Radio said 15 people were arrested.

The year-old outpost, with four filthy tents and two buildings, had about 10 residents. Israel dismantled 10 uninhabited outposts last week.

Authorities also used sledgehammers to demolish one building. The settlers immediately began working in the foundations of two tents that had been torn down.

"This is our land, our home," said Yosi Peli, a settler from the nearby Yitzhar settlement. "Tomorrow we will be here again on this hill or on other hills." [...]

Florida Doctor Sentenced To Prison For Plan To Attack Islamic Center

(IsraelNN.com) Florida podiatrist Robert Jay Goldstein, 38, was given a 12-year and seven-month jail sentence for plotting to bomb the Pinellas Country Islamic cultural center. Goldstein told his friends he desired to blow up the building as a means of revenge for 9/11 and continued Arab attacks against Israel.

One Dead After Palestinian Gunmen Ambush Car

Fri June 20, 2003 07:52 AM ET

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - At least one person was killed and three were wounded on Friday in a Palestinian ambush of an Israeli car in the West Bank, the Israeli army said.

A settler spokesman said two of the wounded were Americans who came to Israel on Thursday to visit relatives.

The attack took place as Secretary of State Colin Powell, on a visit to Israel and the Palestinian territories in a bid to salvage the battered "road map" peace deal, was holding a news conference with Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.

Powell Calls Hamas Enemy of Peace, Vows U.S. Push

Fri June 20, 2003 09:45 AM ET
By Arshad Mohammed

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Secretary of State Colin Powell called the militant group Hamas an enemy of peace during a troubleshooting mission to the Middle East on Friday and vowed to "blast through" those behind the latest wave of violence.[...]

Terrorists on the Brooklyn Bridge?

By PATRICK HEALY he day after federal law enforcement officials announced a foiled terrorist plot to destroy the Brooklyn Bridge, Steve Curry laced up his tennis shoes, donned a green windbreaker and set out for his first walk over the bridge. [...]

Comment: The ever insightful New York Times decided to run a structural analysis of the bridge in this article, and did everything but draw a little map which says, "detonate charges here." More blatent scare tactics from our propaganda machines.

More Missing Intelligence

by Robert Dreyfuss
The Nation


As the Pentagon scours Iraq for weapons of mass destruction and Iraqi links to Al Qaeda, it's increasingly obvious that the Bush Administration either distorted or deliberately exaggerated the intelligence used to justify the war against Iraq. But an even bigger intelligence scandal is waiting in the wings: the fact that members of the Administration failed to produce an intelligence evaluation of what Iraq might look like after the fall of Saddam Hussein. Instead, they ignored fears expressed by analysts at the Central Intelligence Agency, the Defense Intelligence Agency and the State Department who predicted that postwar Iraq would be chaotic, violent and ungovernable, and that Iraqis would greet the occupying armies with firearms, not flowers. [...]

Kenai council opposes terrorism, but not at cost of citizens' rights

By JENNY NEYMAN
Peninsula Clarion

Protecting the country against terrorism is important, but so is protecting the civil rights of its citizens, the Kenai City Council concluded this week.

The council unanimously passed a resolution regarding the USA PATRIOT Act, whose name is an acronym standing for Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism.

The resolution states that the city "denounces and condemns all acts of terrorism, wherever occurring" and acknowledges that the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, have necessitated "creating effective laws to protect the public from terrorist attacks."

Anatomy of a Victory: CIA's Covert Afghan War

911 Victims Families Accuse White House Of Cover Up

Jun 20, 2003
Source; Salon

For family members of those who died on Sept. 11, last week brought a rare chance to meet face-to-face with a man who's become a symbol of their dissatisfaction -- FBI director Robert Mueller. The bureau had quietly invited several dozen family members to Washington to hear a presentation on the war on terrorism, but for the small band of husbands, wives and parents who successfully lobbied Congress last year for an independent 9/11 commission to investigate the attacks, it was a chance to ask some of the troubling questions that they have about that day. [...]

Where Did Missing 727 Jetliner Go?

(Washington-ABCNEWS.com) The family of a man believed to have been piloting a Boeing 727 that mysteriously took off and disappeared from an Angolan runway last month today told of their anguish as international authorities fear the jetliner could be used for a terrorist act.

In a baffling aviation vanishing act, workers at Luanda Airport in Angola watched dumbfounded on May 25 as the Boeing 727 taxied down the runway and took off — without permission. The plane, which ABCNEWS has learned was refitted to haul diesel fuel tanks, making it a potential flying bomb — has not been seen since.

The man the U.S. government suspects of piloting the 727 is Benjamin Padilla - a U.S. citizen from Florida. Padilla, too, has vanished, and his family is worried. [...]

Putin Says Iran Is Ready to Accept Nuclear Controls

By Susan B. Glasser
Washington Post Foreign Service
Saturday, June 21, 2003

MOSCOW, June 20 -- Russian President Vladimir Putin said today he has received new personal assurances from Iran that it does not aspire to build a nuclear weapon and is prepared to accept strict international controls over its nuclear program.

Putin told reporters at a Kremlin news conference that he had spoken with Iranian President Mohammad Khatami by telephone this week and had been told "the Iranian leadership is ready to fully join all protocols" and comply with International Atomic Energy Agency demands regarding its nuclear program.

His remarks come as Russia is under pressure from the United States to terminate an $800 million contract to build a nuclear reactor in Iran. Iran says the facility will be used only to generate electricity, but the United States contends it could help in nuclear weapons programs.

At an IAEA meeting in Vienna Thursday, the U.N. watchdog agency pressed Iran to sign a new protocol that would allow for expanded, brief-notice inspections of nuclear facilities. Putin's remarks suggest Iran may agree to it. [...]

Special forces 'prepare for Iran attack'

By Robert Fox, Evening Standard
17 June 2003


British and American intelligence and special forces have been put on alert for a conflict with Iran within the next 12 months, as fears grow that Tehran is building a nuclear weapons programme.

Iran has been constructing a nuclear civil power programme for some years. It is due to start generating significant amounts of electricity for the national power grid in two years.

However, United Nations, American and EU experts have become alarmed at the extent of the nuclear plants in Iran, and many are of a sophistication that suggests that they are for a weapons programme rather than for civil use.

A full report by the International Atomic Energy Authority is due to be published within days. It points at "discrepancies" in what Iran has officially disclosed about its nuclear facilities.

The chief IAEA inspector Mohammed El Baradei said: "Tehran has failed to report certain nuclear material and activities."

The EU has declared this week that it backs the demands of the United States and Britain that IAEA inspectors should be allowed full access to all nuclear sites in Iran. Russia, which has helped Iran develop nuclear plants, has also backed the international effort to get more inspectors on the ground there.

Comment from QFS Member: I just cannot believe that this is a surprise to anyone. Not too many outcries against this coming out of the US. It seems that as a nation we have given up all hope and decided to accept the inevitable.

Iran Defies International Pressure on Nuclear Aims

By Paul Hughes and Jeremy Lovell
Fri June 20, 2003 06:33 PM ET


TEHRAN/LONDON (Reuters) - Iran said on Saturday it would not allow U.N. inspectors to take samples at an alleged nuclear plant, as Washington warned it reserved the right to use military action to stop Tehran making atomic weapons.

The Islamic republic, sandwiched between Iraq and Afghanistan where U.S. forces now have a strong foothold, accused Washington of waging a baseless propaganda campaign that Tehran had a secret program to develop nuclear arms.

Gholamreza Aghazadeh, head of Iran's Atomic Energy organization, said allowing inspectors from the U.N. nuclear watchdog to take samples at the Kelaye Electric Company in Tehran would expose Iran to a rash of similar requests.

"We've had no problem concerning environmental samples, but we've been telling the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) that this location is a non-nuclear location," Aghazadeh told state television.

The IAEA on Thursday urged Iran to remain "transparent" and accept without delay or conditions more intrusive, short-notice inspections. The Kelaye facility was cited by the IAEA. [...]

Captured secretary: Saddam survived bombings

Ex-president's sons expelled from Syria during war, he says

Saturday, June 21, 2003 02:04 GMT

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Saddam Hussein's former personal secretary has told interrogators he saw the deposed Iraqi president alive after both attempts to kill him with U.S. bombs, U.S. officials told CNN.

Those officials said Gen. Abid Hamid Mahmoud al-Tikriti, who was recently captured by U.S. forces, told interrogators that Saddam had been hiding separately from members of the former ruling family.

Government sources told CNN that Mahmoud said the last time he saw Saddam was in early April, when Saddam and his two sons, Uday and Qusay, split up to avoid capture.

The United States has no way of knowing whether Mahmoud's statements are true, officials said. [...]

Comment: And that's exactly the way they like it! Now, like Bin Laden, Saddam can magically appear in the next country the U.S. wants to invade to help "justify" the military actions.

U.S. Troops Frustrated With Role In Iraq

Soldiers Say They Are Ill-Equipped For Peacekeeping

By Daniel Williams and Rajiv Chandrasekaran
Washington Post Foreign Service

BAGHDAD, June 19 -- Facing daily assaults from a well-armed resistance, U.S. troops in volatile central Iraq say they are growing frustrated and disillusioned with their role as postwar peacekeepers.

In conversations in a half-dozen towns across central Iraq, soldiers complained that they have been insufficiently equipped for peacekeeping and too thinly deployed in areas where they are under attack from fighters evidently loyal to deposed president Saddam Hussein. Others questioned whether the armed opposition to the U.S. presence in Iraq may be deeper and more organized than military commanders have acknowledged.

"What are we getting into here?" asked a sergeant with the U.S. Army's 4th Infantry Division who is stationed near Baqubah, a city 30 miles northeast of Baghdad. "The war is supposed to be over, but every day we hear of another soldier getting killed. Is it worth it? Saddam isn't in power anymore. The locals want us to leave. Why are we still here?" [...]

"The way it seemed is, once Iraqis got over being grateful for getting rid of Saddam, they found out quickly they don't want the Americans, either," said Sgt. Nestor Torres, a military policeman with the 3rd Infantry Division in the restive town of Fallujah, 35 miles west of Baghdad. "Everyone is blending in with everyone else, so you can't tell the friendly ones from the hostile." [...]

Some soldiers complain they are playing roles for which they are ill-prepared. In Baqubah, the domain of the 4th Infantry's 2nd Brigade, combat engineers who specialize in weapons demolition and building bridges have been given a new mission: to drive around in their M113 armored personnel carriers to fight crime.

"I don't know why they're keeping us around here," said Cpl. Anthony Arteaga, 25, of Hammond, La., who is assigned to the 588th Engineer Battalion. "We're not peacekeepers. We're heavy-combat engineers."

As Arteaga's M113 roared out of a parking lot to conduct a patrol, the noise of the engine drowned out nearby conversations, prompting Pvt. Dan Sullivan, 21, of Gainesville, Fla., to complain that the vehicle was ill-suited for catching criminals.

"They hear you from two miles away," he said. "By the time we get there, the bad guys are gone."

Sullivan also said that the armored vehicle was too wide to travel down some of Baqubah's narrower streets. "This wasn't made for patrolling a city," he said. [...]

The focus on crime fighting has annoyed Boston and his men, who said they would rather be blowing up ammunition caches. "It's getting really frustrating," Sullivan said. "We took the city, but what was it for? We took one bad guy out, but now there are lots of bad guys here." [...]

At a checkpoint on the outskirts of Baghdad set up to search for illegal weapons, a soldier sweating in the 110-degree heat told a reporter, "Tell President Bush to bring us home." On a skylight atop Fallujah's city hall, a soldier has scrawled in the dust: "I'll kill for a ticket home." [...]

Looted Iraqi Uranium Found, Report Says

Fri June 20, 2003 07:28 PM ET

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Most of the uranium missing from a looted storage facility at Iraq's main nuclear site has been accounted for, Science magazine reported on Friday.
It said the International Atomic Energy Agency had found virtually all the missing material from the site at Tuwaitha, but had not been able to assess whether any Iraqis had become ill after exposure to it.

"Nearly all the material that went missing has been recovered," an IAEA official was quoted as saying by ScienceNOW, the magazine's Internet Web site.

It said IAEA spokeswoman Melissa Fleming declined comment.

"We want to make sure first that the report is completely accurate," she told Science, published by the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Looters attacked the Tuwaitha compound, 12 miles south of Baghdad, and sold off some of the material after the U.S. invasion.

Anti-Constitutional Activities and Abuse of Police Power by the
U.S. Food and Drug Administration and other Federal Agencies

by James DeMeo, Ph.D.

[...] Probably the most significant and blatant example of FDA aggression and anti-Constitutional activity is the case of Dr. Wilhelm Reich. The Reich Legal Case surpassed the Scopes Monkey Trial in legal and historical significance, as it clearly marked the willingness of the US courts to condone the censoring of speech, the burning of books, the unreasonable seizure of property, and the willful ignoring of written documents presented to judges. Reich may not have been what one could call a "model legal client", but the willingness of the US courts to incarcerate him, burn his books, and in general treat him like a criminal, demonstrated how far legal technicalities and procedural issues had replaced the original intent and spirit of the law. Certainly, all the various judges who reviewed Reich's case and ruled against him, from the local and district court judges to the US Supreme Court judges, knew they were agreeing to censorship of speech and to the burning of books .

The judges also demonstrated no interest in any of the technical/procedural issues which would have weighed in Reich's favor, such as the fact that the prosecutor was himself Reich's former personal attorney, or that Reich had submitted documents (his "Response to Ignorance") to the lower courts which were, essentially, thrown into the trash. Indeed, the deep significance the courts gave to procedural technicalities in his case was exclusively to those matters which worked against Reich. Clearly, they were out to "get Reich", no matter what. On the basis of legal technicalities, his many books and research journals were burned in incinerators by court order, and both Reich and a co-worker, Dr. Michael Silvert, were sentenced to over a year in prison. Reich died in prison, while Silvert committed suicide shortly afterward. Other FDA violations at the time included the warrantless invasions and searches of the homes of people peripherally associated with Reich. In one such case, a home was searched and Reich's books were confiscated from private bookshelves. School teachers and doctors who worked with Reich were fired from their jobs, in a manner reminiscent of the more purely political repressions of that time, the McCarthy period.

The Reich Legal Case has been discussed in detail elsewhere,(4) and so will not be repeated here, but its importance lies in the fact that the FDA was able to commit severe anti-Constitutional actions, indeed, murderous actions, against an internationally-known and respected scientist without so much as a peep of protest from the various academic "scholarly societies", "civil liberties" or "free speech" groups, etc. This lack of significant social protest was an encouragement and green light of approval to nearly every federal agency wanting to shape public or private behavior to one or another government policy. [...]

JUDGE BANS BOOK

By Scott Harvey
Las Vegas Tribune

This newspaper stopped the presses today, June 16, 2003, when the news broke that Federal District Court Judge Lloyd D. George finally issued an Order in the injunction and book-banning case captioned, United States of America v. Irwin Schiff, Cynthia Neun, Lawrence Cohen, et al., doing business at Freedom Books here in Las Vegas, a case that this Editor has been following for and reporting to Tribune readers since the Temporary Restraining Order issued on March 19th of this year. [...]

WHO Tightens Grip on World

John Rappaport
No More Fake News

[...] Well, every year in the world, we see about 4.4 million deaths from acute lower respiratory infections.

TB kills about 3 million people.

Every year in Hong Kong, 3000 people die from pneumonia.

In Canada, roughly 7500 people die every year from flu/pneumonia.

There are about 1.9 BILLION cases of respiratory infection every year on the planet.

Now ask yourself: do any of those illness situations provoke masks and heavy, heavy quarantines and travel bans and house arrests and prison sentences for people who spit on the sidewalk and the threat of death for anyone spreading "false information" about disease? Have we seen multi-billion-dollar economic losses (brought on by WHO) from this regular death and illness toll?

Of course not.

But now, with about 9000 cases of so-called SARS and 900 deaths, we have hysteria and madness and repression.

Dear reader, that is what is called an OP.

An operation. [...]

McClellan to replace Fleischer as White House spokesman

From John King
CNN Washington Bureau
Thursday, June 19, 2003 Posted: 2028 GMT

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Deputy White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan will be promoted to replace Ari Fleischer as press secretary after he leaves the post on July 14, administration officials told CNN. [...]

McClellan's pending promotion has been widely expected. He worked for Bush during his time as governor of Texas and is highly regarded by the president's inner circle. [...]

Goodbye, Erin Brockovich, as class actions end

Ed Vulliamy in Washington
Sunday June 15, 2003
The Observer

It was the kind of legal action that made a heroine out of beauty-queen-turned-crusader Erin Brockovich, pitting the little people against the might of corporate America. But now the US Congress is set to hand business chiefs the greatest gift since the advent of the Bush administration: an end to so-called 'class action' suits.

In 1996 Brockovich won damages of $333 million from the Pacific Gas and Electric Company for the people of Hinkley, California, over pollution of the water supply.

Brockovich - played by Julia Roberts in the film - is suing again: this time against district and oil companies who have drilled beneath a school, allegedly causing Hodgkin's disease and cancer. If measures now being pushed through Congress succeed, her career as a champion of local people against big industry is over.

In the past, most class action suits were filed through state courts. In some of the better-known cases, against cigarette and later gun manufacturers, actions swept across states to become a tidal wave of litigation.

A case has recently been won in Madison, Illinois, against Philip Morris, where a judge awarded plaintiffs $12 billion after finding that the cigarette-maker failed to inform consumers that 'light' brands were no less harmful than full-tar cigarettes.

But the House of Representatives has voted by 253 to 170 to thwart the vast majority of class action suits in state courthouses, limiting all but the smallest claims to federal courts, where the big companies, say citizens' groups, find it easier to delay the progress of suits and 'shop' for courts more favourable to their interests.

'It's the biggest thing for years,' said a jubilant Lawrence Fineran, vice-president at the Association of Manufacturers. 'Just about every industry group is on this bandwagon, because every industry is affected.'

The battle over the future of class actions, in which consumer and environmental groups face some of the Bush administration's most powerful financial backers, now goes to the Senate, where Republicans won a powerful majority during last winter's mid-term elections.

Big firms and their lobbying groups in Washington - led by the insurance, energy and private health giants - have been pushing for years to achieve a shift away from state benches, to which judges are usually elected, to the politically appointed federal judiciary.

In Texas, Bush's political home, business interests - mostly oil and chemical companies, under pressure from environmental groups for wholesale polluting - poured money into Bush campaigns.

Down on Our Knees - An American Tale

By WALTER BRASCH
June 20, 2003

Standing before more than 1,400 loyalists and lobbyists who threw him more than $3.5 million, President Bush claimed he "got the economy going again . . . laid the foundation for greater prosperity" and defended the country against terrorism.

Assuming he was neither drunk or stoned, he may have believed what he was spinning.

But, let's look at the record. First up, the economy.

-- More than 2.7 million jobs have been lost during the past two years. More than 10 million are unemployed, the highest unemployment rate since the Bush I era.

-- The Republican-controlled Congress failed to pass any significant legislation to raise the minimum wage or to provide health coverage for 60 million Americans.

-- although the Administration says it wants to extend universal health coverage to all Iraqis.

-- President Bush declared that leading economists said if the $350 million tax cut was approved, the economy would grow by 3.3 percent. As Gordon Livingston, writing in the Baltimore Sun, correctly noted, "no such report exists."

-- What does exist is a welfare package for the rich. The top one percent, many of whom live on dividends and stock sales, benefit far more than most Americans who are paid hourly. Among their benefits are reduced income taxes, dividend exclusions and capital gains benefits, and a special deduction of up to $100,000 for any vehicle over three tons. About 50 million lower- and middle-class families get nothing; about 20 million get less than $100. In his original proposal, eventually modified by Congress, President Bush allocated nothing for military pay increases, nor any provisions to cover military families.

-- The package includes a "child tax credit." Those with incomes below $26,625 a year get nothing. In killing the credit for low-income families, House Majority Leader Tom Delay coldly set the Republican priority. "There are other things that are more important," he told more than 12 million families.

-- Among the "more important" items was a $1 million expense to turn around the U.S.S. Lincoln as it neared San Diego so the flight-suited President Bush could jet out and pose for several hundred cameras.

-- Although President Bush declared he wanted corporate reforms, the actions of the administration proved otherwise. Halliburton, the company that Vice-President Cheney once ran, got a no-bid contract to help clean up Iraq--after American-led forces tried to destroy and are now trying to "Americanize" one of the world's oldest civilizations. There have yet to be any prosecutions for Enron or WorldCom, among dozens of other corporations, which gave multi-million dollar benefits and bonuses to its executives while the workers lost their savings and retirements.

Let's now look at the President's claims that he is responsible for reducing the levels of terror.

-- What the Administration has reduced is the number of airport security screeners, delayed implementation of port security vulnerability assessments, and given the Coast Guard even more responsibilities with severe budget constraints. Nevertheless, we now have a color scheme.

-- In his January 28 State of the Union message to justify his planned war, the President strongly implied that Saddam Hussein had ties to al-Qaeda, and claimed that Iraq already had and was continuing to develop substantial quantities of biological and chemical weapons. He even cited documents that he said proved Iraq was buying supplies from African countries. Even as the President spoke, intelligence agencies had called these documents suspicious; the documents later proved to be forgeries. Those who argued there was no justification to go to war with Iraq, no matter how evil its leader was, were banded by the President's followers to be unpatriotic and un-American. No intelligence agency claimed there was any connection between Iraq and the 9/11 attacks. In Poland after the war, the President declared "We found weapons of mass destruction." But, two months after the war was officially over, but with American troops still dying in Iraq, Marine Lt. Gen. James Conway, said that extensive searching showed no weapons of mass destruction exists.

-- At the same time the Bush administration is de-arming Iraqi civilians--claiming that guns are too dangerous for the average citizen--the NRA-controlled administration is doing nothing to influence the NRA-controlled Congress to continue the temporary ban on assault weapons when it expires in September, thus raising Americans' own terror levels.

-- And then there's John Ashcroft. The attorney general, with complete approval and encouragement from the White House, launched a massive attack upon the Constitution and civil liberties. Patriot Act I, with its sequel in development stages, has provisions that make even Saddam Hussein's disregard for human rights look rather mild. In a scathing report, the Justice Department's own inspector general blasted the FBI and Justice for massive violation of citizen rights. [...]

Car Bomb Explodes Near Chechen Government Building

June 20, 2003 09:44 AM ET

MOSCOW (Reuters) - A vehicle packed with explosives blew up outside a government building in the Chechen capital Grozny on Friday causing fatalities, Interfax news agency reported from the site.

There were no firm details on the number of casualties.

The agency said the explosion occurred only yards from a main government complex in the separatist region.

"According to preliminary information, this was a car with explosives," an unnamed source quoted by Interfax said.

Interfax had earlier said a government building was destroyed.

The bomb attack came only hours after President Vladimir Putin told a news conference in Moscow that the only way forward in the rebel region was to follow the peace blueprint laid out by the Kremlin.

Russian troops have been fighting to quell separatist rebel fighting for over a decade in a conflict that has cost tens of thousands of lives.

Government buildings have become preferred targets for guerrillas, who have recently switched to suicide bomb attacks carried out by women fighters. Last December an attack on the local government headquarters in Grozny gutted the building and left more than 80 people dead.

Galloway papers deemed forgeries

Iraq experts, ink-aging tests discredit documents behind earlier
Monitor story.

By staff writers of The Christian Science Monitor

On April 25, 2003, this newspaper ran a story about documents obtained in Iraq that alleged Saddam Hussein's regime had paid a British member of Parliament, George Galloway, $10 million over 11 years to promote its interests in the West.

An extensive Monitor investigation has subsequently determined that the six papers detailed in the April 25 piece are, in fact, almost certainly forgeries.

The Arabic text of the papers is inconsistent with known examples of Baghdad bureaucratic writing, and is replete with problematic language, says a leading US-based expert on Iraqi government documents. Signature lines and other format elements differ from genuine procedure.

The two "oldest" documents - dated 1992 and 1993 - were actually written within the past few months, according to a chemical analysis of their ink. The newest document - dated 2003 - appears to have been written at approximately the same time.

"At the time we published these documents, we felt they were newsworthy and appeared credible, although we did explicitly state in our article that we could not guarantee their authenticity," says Monitor editor Paul Van Slambrouck. "It is important to set the record straight: We are convinced the documents are bogus. We apologize to Mr. Galloway and to our readers."

Woman talks friend out of suicide; police shoot her dog

June 20, 2003

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- A woman who had just talked a friend out of suicide had her pet cocker spaniel shot to death by a police officer called to her house.

Then the officer handed Valerie Mueller a $120 citation for having her dog, Sprite, outside without a leash.

"I will fight that ticket," said Mueller, 33, a special education teacher with Milwaukee Public Schools.

Since last weekend's incident, Mueller has filed a complaint with the city Fire and Police Commission.

At the time of the shooting, she and her dog were in the backyard around 2 a.m. Saturday waiting for police, but when squad cars arrived, Sprite bounded toward the officers.

Seconds later, the 6-year-old, 38-pound Sprite was shot in the head. [...]

"I told them, 'The dog is harmless, don't hurt the dog,"' said Dave Williams, another friend of Mueller who witnessed the shooting. "Three seconds later, they shot the dog." [...]

Canada-U.S. relations 'back to normal,' says ambassador

Last Updated Fri, 20 Jun 2003 11:56:30

HALIFAX - The U.S. ambassador to Canada says relations between the two countries are "back to normal" after the strain caused by Ottawa's decision not to send troops to Iraq.

In a speech at a breakfast meeting with a Halifax business group Friday, Paul Cellucci said ties between the U.S. and Canada are too strong to be permanently damaged by one event.

"It's in each of our national interests to continue to work together and that's exactly what we are doing. We're too interconnected and interdependent not to do so," he said.

Cellucci had criticized Canada for its decision not to support the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, but has been more conciliatory in his language lately.

He praised Nova Scotians for accommodating tourists who where diverted to the province following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

"You opened your schools, your homes, your churches and your hearts to people in need and we will never, ever forget that," he said.

Cellucci also praised Canada for working with the U.S. to tighten border security and for its contribution in the fight against global terrorism.

About 100 striking group home workers staged a noisy demonstration outside the meeting. Their protest was aimed at Nova Scotia Premier John Hamm, who workers say can end their 73-day strike.

Powerful Quake Hits Chile, Little Damage Reported

By Louise Egan
Fri June 20, 2003 01:34 PM ET

SANTIAGO, Chile (Reuters) - A powerful earthquake with a magnitude of 6.9 rattled Chile on Friday, causing widespread panic, blackouts and evacuations of schools, according to preliminary reports by authorities.

There were no reports of deaths or major damage three hours after the tremor but experts said such a large quake could be devastating.

The epicenter of the quake, which hit at 9:31 a.m. (1331 GMT), was 250 miles north of the capital, Santiago, home to 6 million people. [...]

U.S. sources ruled out any relation between the Chilean quake and a rare, strong earthquake that hit Brazil's remote Amazon jungle before dawn on Friday. But one Brazilian scientist disagreed.

"These are different earthquakes in different seismic areas, but the Brazilian one must have caused the other one in an effect called remote earthquake triggering," said Prof. Vasile Marza of the University of Brasilia's Seismology Observatory. [...]

Rare Earthquake in Brazil's Amazon but No Damage

Fri June 20, 2003 01:04 PM ET

RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil (Reuters) - A rare, strong earthquake deep under the earth's surface hit Brazil's remote Amazon jungle before dawn Friday, causing no known damage or victims, scientists said.

Prof. Vasile Marza of the University of Brasilia's Seismology Observatory told Reuters the quake's epicenter was 344 miles beneath the surface and of magnitude 7.

"It is a very lightly populated area, and probably no one even felt anything. ... But it is a pretty rare earthquake for Brazil," he said.

Latin America's largest country registered three earthquakes of that magnitude in the past 20 years, he added.

A magnitude 7 earthquake nearer the earth's surface and in a populated area would have been capable of causing widespread, heavy damage.

Marza said the number of strong tremors in the world had generally been low recently, raising the possibility an especially forceful earthquake is coming.

Another 300 homes evacuated ahead of Arizona fire

Official: Wildfire could burn tens of thousands of acres

Saturday, June 21, 2003 Posted: 0251 GMT

TUCSON, Arizona (CNN) -- Residents of about 300 more homes in the path of a wildfire raging near Tucson, Arizona, were evacuated Friday, bringing to about 1,000 the number of people forced from their homes since Tuesday, officials said.

The 4,000-acre Aspen fire has burned down at least half the homes in the vacation community of Summerhaven, northeast of Tucson, and fire officials predicted Friday that the blaze would spread and do more damage before they contain it.

The blaze started in the "worst dreams of a place for a fire to start," incident manager Larry Humphrey said Friday.

Humphrey said the fire could swell into the "tens of thousands of acres" and burn many more homes than the 250 already destroyed. He told reporters that because of the rugged terrain, it could take at least two weeks to contain the fire. [...]

The winds -- some gusting up to 60 mph -- forced fire crews to retreat from 9,157-foot Mount Lemmon. The winds also were too strong and too erratic for an aerial attack. [...]

Arizona firefighters also were battling the 4,500-acre Lizard fire southeast of Flagstaff, the 1,000-acre Cherry fire in Prescott National Forest, and the 2,000-acre Picture fire in Tonto National Forest.

In all, 14 large wildfires were burning Friday in five Southwestern states and Alaska.

Comment:
(7-16-94)
Q: (L) Do you serve self or others?
A: I serve both.
Q: (L) What is your philosophy?
A: One.
Q: (L) What are you here for tonight?
A: Prophecy.
Q: (L) What prophecies?
A: Tornadoes/Florida - several. Also Texas and Alabama.
Q: (L) When?
A: When the Sun is in Libra.
Q: (L) What planet are you from?
A: Corsoca.
Q: (L) What else is going to happen?
A: Seattle buried;
buckles; Missouri shakes; California Crumbles; Arizona burns.

The Sun is in Libra in the late September to late October time period. However, as the C's themselves indicate, timing is always "open."

Flashback:

Tornadoes touch down in north Texas

Minor damage reported; no injuries or deaths

Monday, May 5, 2003 Posted: 1315 GMT

FORT WORTH, Texas (CNN) -- A severe weather system spanning 140 miles of Texas spawned at least three tornadoes that touched down Saturday in remote Haskell County, according to the National Weather Service's office in Fort Worth. [...]

Alabama latest to be declared disaster

Tuesday, May 13, 2003 Posted: 0222 GMT

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- President Bush on Monday declared a major disaster in Alabama following severe storms, tornadoes and flooding in the state, the White House said.

The action makes federal funding available in 16 counties.

Supercell thunderstorms on May 7 generated at least 10 tornadoes and record flooding in Alabama, according to the National Weather Service. Most of the damage was from Lamar County to the northern edges of Birmingham. [...]

Quake shakes California wine country

Sunday, May 25, 2003 Posted: 1206 GMT

SANTA ROSA, California (AP) -- An earthquake with a magnitude of 4.2 shook this wine-country town in the heart of Sonoma County early Sunday morning. There were no immediate reports of damage or injuries. [...]

Japan escapes quake unscathed

Tuesday, May 27, 2003 Posted: 0741 GMT

SENDAI, Japan (AP) -- The two earthquakes struck within days of each other, unleashing similarly powerful forces. The killer quake in Algeria left thousands dead. It's counterpart in Japan left hardly a scratch.

Monday's quake in northern Japan was estimated at a potentially disastrous magnitude 7, but it left an aftermath of only minor injuries and cracked plaster, underscoring how readiness and good luck helped Japan temper the carnage seen in other quake-prone lands. [...]

Home Foreclosures Hit Record High

By Richard Leong
Fri Jun 20, 2:48 PM ET

NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. mortgages in foreclosure climbed to a record high in the first three months of 2003 as job losses and personal bankruptcies forced more people out of their homes, a mortgage industry group said on Friday.

Home loans in the process of foreclosure climbed to 1.2 percent of all mortgages in the first quarter, beating the previous high of 1.18 percent set in the fourth quarter of 2002, the Mortgage Bankers Association of America said.

Mortgages entering the foreclosure process rose in the quarter to 0.37 percent from 0.35 percent in the fourth quarter. [...]

Hundreds of sheep die after eating toxic plants

June 20, 2003 13:08 EDT

SODA SPRINGS, Idaho (AP) - More than 300 sheep grazing near a former phosphate mine died last month after eating plants contaminated with selenium, a waste product from mining.

The sheep were part of a two-year study sponsored by the University of Idaho and the J.R. Simplot Co. to determine how animals react to selenium in the environment.

They were grazing by the now-defunct Conda phosphate mine, which is owned by Simplot.

Scientists blamed a plant called Curlycap Gumweed, which absorbs high levels of selenium from the soil. Selenium is a naturally occurring element that is toxic in high levels. [...]

Comment: We are the sheep. The plants that are widely available for consumption are the propaganda and the lies, and they are poisoning us. It is only those that are awake enough to note the sour taste that can then choose between "food for the soul or food for the moon".

Giant spiders, prickly sharks

Group's UFO theory over earthquake

A group which researches sightings of UFOs believes there may be a link to the Dudley earthquake last autumn.
Stourbridge-based UFO Research West Midlands today warned there could be a repeat of the earthquake at the end of July.

The warning follows research into a reported UFO sighting at the epicentre of the earthquake, recorded at 5.0 on the Richter Scale on September 23 last year, in Brick Kiln Lane, Gornal, two months before.

Uform member Peter Kimberley said Wombourne resident David Rose contacted the group after he photographed a strange object in the sky near Wombourne last July.

And a photo he took of buzzards at Kingswinford Railway in March had a mysterious rod-like object in the foreground.

"We are now intrigued to see if anything happens around the latter end of July," said Mr Kimberley.

Space Weather News for June 21, 2003

JUNE SOLSTICE: The sun will reach its highest point in northern skies today, June 21st, at 3:10 p.m. EDT (1910 UT). This marks the beginning of northern summer and, at precisely the same moment, southern winter.

UNSEASONAL AURORAS: Solstices are usually poor times for aurora watching. (Follow the links at spaceweather.com to find out why equinoxes are better.) Curiously, though, the weeks leading up to today's solstice have been filled with Northern Lights. Since late May auroras have appeared as far south in the United States as Michigan, Washington, Wisconsin ... even Virginia. Much like Earth weather, it seems, space weather is full of surprises.

Visit Spaceweather.com and browse our galleries of these unseasonal auroras.

German police arrest cow

14:22 Friday 20th June 2003
Ananova.com

Police in Germany have formally arrested a cow after it strayed on to a motorway. Drivers on the A7 motorway near Neumuenster called police after seeing the animal on the road. Officers found the cow in a row of bushes alongside the motorway. It took them 30 minutes and the help of a local farmer to catch it.

Since they had no other vehicle to transport the cow in, they officially declared it arrested. Spokesman Ruediger Schwarz described the act as a "legal trick". It meant officers could call for a prisoner transport van from a nearby police department. They coaxed the cow into it and managed to take her to a nearby farm for the night.

The search for the owner of the cow continues.

And finally...

U.S. President George W. Bush

offers a hug to crying 12-year-old Catlyn Felt, who started crying after she shook his hand, in Greensboro, Georgia, June 20, 2003. The president attended a Bush/Cheney 2004 fund-raiser reception in Greensboro.

Karloff as Frankenstein

Karloff played the Monster as a child, always holding out his hands for something, always pleading. Of course, this particular child tends to murder people if he doesn't get his way, but thanks to a well-written script and Karloff's performance, we tend not to hold it against him. (John Vincent Brennan)


Sorry, we couldn't resist...


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