Today's conditions brought to you by the Bush Junta - marionettes of their hyperdimensional puppet masters - 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!
June 23, 2003
JERUSALEM, June 22 — The
Israeli army has charged a female soldier with forcing a
Palestinian woman at a checkpoint to drink the cleaning fluid she
was carrying, a military spokesman said on Monday.
Military sources said the soldier was arrested over the incident, and that the Palestinian woman received treatment in a Gaza hospital.
Palestinian civilians have complained of hundreds of cases of abuse by soldiers at army checkpoints that have spread across Gaza and the West Bank since Palestinian militants began an uprising against occupation in September 2000.
Military sources said the case was among 35 lodged against soldiers during the uprising.
army gets new rules of engagement to avoid hurting civilians:
The Israeli army has received new rules of engagement for its operations in the Palestinian territories to avoid hitting "innocent civilians" when firing, Israel's military radio said Sunday.
The army commander of Israel's central region, which includes the West Bank, said firing orders had been modified following several operations during which "innocent Palestinian civilians" were killed or injured, the radio said.
General Moshe Klaplinsky did not elaborate on the new rules of engagment. [...]
(AP) Israeli tanks fired shells at a group of Palestinian militants in northern Gaza late Sunday, killing three, Palestinian witnesses and security officials said.
The Israeli military had no immediate comment. [...]
Dead Sea, Jordan — Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon called the assassination of a militant leader "successful and important" despite criticism from the United States, Europe and the United Nations, putting Israel on a collision course with the international community over the implementation of the road map to Middle East peace.
He also reportedly told his cabinet that Israel can continue some construction on settlements in the Palestinian territories, an apparent violation of the road map to which he agreed just 2½ weeks ago.
Mr. Sharon's statements and continued attacks on Palestinian militants threaten to strain relations with Israel's ally and the road map's principal backer, the United States.
Both U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell and United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan objected to the killing on Saturday night of the Hamas militant Abdullah Kawasme.
"I regret that once again we had an incident that could be an impediment to progress," said Mr. Powell, in Jordan. He spoke on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum, a meeting of international business and political leaders devoted to reshaping the Middle East after the war in Iraq...
"We have to punch through this," Mr. Powell repeated twice, saying that Israel's campaign of assassinations is part of a cycle of violence that has failed to deliver security to the Israeli public.
Mr. Annan went further, calling on Israel to end "extrajudicial killings" as well as other uses of "disproportionate force," which he said were hampering peace efforts...
[Kawasme] was among Israel's most wanted men, responsible for planning a series of suicide attacks in recent months in Jerusalem and Haifa that claimed a total of 40 lives. He does not, however, seem to fit the definition what Israel calls a "ticking bomb," a terrorist about to perpetrate an attack. Mr. Powell has said before that Israel has a right to assassinate "ticking bombs," but should restrain itself otherwise, a view he repeated yesterday...
Mr. Sharon has dismantled some settlement outposts, as he publicly promised Mr. Bush at Aqaba. Others, however, have already been erected. When Mr. Sharon told his cabinet yesterday that Israelis could continue to build on existing settlements, so long as they went about it quietly, it seemed to undermine his own gesture.
Comment: Notice the couched terms, the kid gloves used when referring to the murder of opponents by Israel and Sharon's obvious sabotage of the so-called "road-map" through the encouragement of new settlements. In a world where game theory rules, in national politics as well as international politics, is it any wonder that country after country is run by psychopaths? To get to the top of the pyramid, the STS hierarchy, one must be willing to do anything and betray anyone. It is an effective mechanism for weeding out people who can hurt for another.
The New Thought Police
"I am troubled by the recent Israeli helicopter gunship attacks. I regret the loss of innocent life. I also don't believe that the attacks help Israeli security."
From the hysterical reaction, one might have thought that he had uttered a blood libel, or suddenly taken to wearing a kaffiyeh. Such a commotion! House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Texas), reportedly strode into the Oval Office and threatened to push a resolution through Congress offering unconditional support to Sharon and implicitly rebuking the President.
God forbid the President of the United States should mourn the death of a three-year-old child whom the Israelis say was inadvertently killed. That this troubles him troubles DeLay – and that is more than a little troubling. I mean, what are we talking about here: aren't we supposed to be against the taking of innocent life? And why, pray tell, shouldn't an American President forbidden say out loud what he really thinks about the immoral and self-destructive behavior of a foreign government, albeit one that is ostensibly our faithful ally?
We hear constantly about the supposed rise of anti-Semitic sentiments in Europe: this is not neo-Nazi activity, or the "old" anti-Semitism of the Protocols, but the "new anti-Semitism," which boils down to criticism of Israel and its supporters. As officials of the Anti-Defamation League recently put it in the Denver Post:
"Today's strain of anti-Semitism usually targets Israel in some form. The most socially acceptable way to vent anti-Semitism today is to criticize Israel, the only state controlled by Jews, by holding Israel to standards not applied to any other country. Of course, it is not anti-Semitic to express sympathy with the Palestinian people or to disagree with Israeli government policies. But a hateful bias is revealed when critics subject Israel, and Israel alone, to invective and demonization, while human-rights abuses of other countries are overlooked or excused."
If you criticize "the only state controlled by Jews" you aren't necessarily anti-Semitic – but you probably are. And just what are these standards that Israel alone is held to? Any other country that separated out the majority of the population on the basis of ethnicity, and subjected them to draconian controls, controlling their movements, and keeping them penned up in special ghettos, would long ago have been declared an international pariah. How has Israel managed to get away with it – and, not only that, but how have they managed to go on the offensive, and target their critics as 'bigots"?
Make no mistake about it: they are indeed on the attack, and not only in the occupied territories. At a recent international conference on anti-Semitism called by the O.S.C.E. , addressed by former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani, a number of Orwellian proposals were floated.
"Another idea advanced by some delegates that would certainly provoke disagreement if it ever became actual policy by O.S.C.E. governments was that ways need to be found to control publications and Web sites that promote anti-Semitism. One delegate, for example, Jean Kahn, president of the Union of French Jewish Communities, argued that the Arab television network Al Jazeera fomented anti-Semitism and that it should be suppressed."
The American representatives, far from dissenting, sat complicit with this totalitarian proposal, and hailed others just as bad if not worse. [...]
Israel's international amen corner is hoping that criticism of the Jewish state is now going to be made a "hate crime," at least in Europe. So that if harsh words for Ariel Sharon aren't accompanied by equally harsh words for, say, Yasser Arafat, the author may find him-or -herself fined, jailed, and silenced. The ever-expanding definition of "anti-Semitism" is certain to put a chill on Israel's critics, as the socialist EU imposes limitations on speech throughout the continent: even, now, in England. The campaign to stamp out all but the mildest criticism of Israel is also likely to impinge on the Internet, as the New York Times reports:
[...] Jacques Picard, a professor at the University of Basel in Switzerland told the conferees. His point was that the ideas being expressed on the Internet hate sites are imitations of old anti-Semitic notions but that they have gained new force both by the power of the Internet and by the anonymity of many of those who use it.
'What's new here is that the Internet disseminates these ideas with the protection of anonymity,' Mr. Picard said. 'Anonymity should be lifted.'"
This pompous frog flapping his lips about "hypertexts and cybertexts" is the voice of the new Euro-commies, at once absurd and deadly dangerous. "Hate speech" as defined by some committee of commissars is a crime throughout Europe, including the once-free British isles, as well as Canada. And our own would-be commissars on this side of the Atlantic are all too eager to start implementing the same totalitarian methods here.
[...] The goal of this O.S.C.E. initiative is to apply the same standards to criticism of Israel that have been enforced in regard to matters of race, religion, and ethnicity. Taki Theodoracopoulos, the British columnist and socialite, is now under "investigation" for his politically incorrect remarks in The Spectator on Britain's growing criminal underclass. In Europe, today, opposition to an open borders policy on immigration is for all intents and purposes an illegal act, along with displaying Nazi paraphernalia and denying the Holocaust.
[...]The tactics of the pro-Israel crowd are bound to backfire. Americans don't like to be told what they can read, or hear, and they aren't easily intimidated, either physically or intellectually. Israel's amen corner can scream "anti-Semitism" all they want, but the actions of the Israeli government in the West Bank and Gaza are not winning them any friends in the U.S.
the President of the United States can be forced to make an abrupt
about-face, is it a "hate crime" to point to the power of the
Israeli lobby? Is it "anti-Semitic" to wonder how and why Tom DeLay
can threaten the President of the United States, the leader of his
party – and win? Is it a "conspiracy theory" to observe that
Israel always gets what it wants from the U.S. government, come
hell or high water, and to wonder out loud: now, why is that?
It's a matter of honor.
We ended the tyranny of Saddam Hussein in but a few weeks -- but we didn't do it alone. The honorable course of action would be, at the least, to acknowledge that we had some very significant help from our friends.
I'm not talking about the Brits, the Aussies or the Poles, who all, generously, offered manpower. I'm talking about the Israelis, who provided brainpower.
Our capable ally not only supplied us with weaponry for use in Iraq, including Israeli-armored bulldozers and Israeli-made pilotless planes, but, as reported in USA Today, played "a key role in U.S. preparations" for the war, even "helping to train soldiers and Marines for urban warfare, conducting clandestine surveillance missions in the western Iraqi desert and allowing the United States to place combat supplies" within her borders.
We also went to the Israelis for advice on such things as how "to spot a suicide attacker on his way to attack, how to deal with roadblocks, overpowering a suicide bomber," reported the Israeli mass circulation daily Ma'ariv. That paper reported too that before the start of war Israeli Defense Minister Sha'ul Mofaz "was summoned for a few consultations" with Washington and "recommended a great increase in the number of soldiers (from 50,000 to a quarter million), to combine air strikes with broad ground operations, to attack Baghdad from many directions and be careful not to wind up in a death trap inside the city. In the end, the Americans are doing precisely that."
One can only guess, then, how many American lives the Israelis are responsible for saving.
Also revealed this week, to U.S. Congressman Tom Lantos (D-CA.) by Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, was that the Jewish State played a key role in providing critical initial intelligence that helped locate U.S. Army PFC Jessica Lynch and other American military. This, according to the New York Post and Ma'ariv.
Shamefully, though, we have shunned our ally from manifest participation in our "coalition of the willing." Like a faithless teenage girl afraid to be seen with an unpopular friend, we prefer to associate with Israel out of public view. So rather than welcome our ally to stand beside us openly -- a powerful statement that we will no longer pander to the Arab world's rejection of Israel's existence -- we instead treat that country's friendship as a dirty little secret.
Comment: This bit of revisionism is quite startling. Wonder what reality this guy lives in? Let's start writing those cards and letters to Hollywood so that the blockbuster TV film depicting that heoric "rescue" of Jessica gives the Israeli intelligence folks all the credit they deserve! It's a matter of honor.
Cuban Foreign Minister,
Felipe Perez Roque
Here is the response by the Cuban Foreign Minister, Felipe Perez Roque, read before a gathering of the national and international media, June 11 at the foreign ministry.
STATEMENT FROM THE MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS
Once again the European Union has decided to kowtow to the U.S. government over the subject of its policy towards Cuba.
The European Union, ignoring usual diplomatic practices, published a communiqué on the morning of June 5th in which they announced punitive measures against Cuba and told the international community that they had sent a letter to Cuban authorities. This only reached the Ministry of Foreign Affairs that afternoon.
This did not take the foreign ministry by surprise: we were very well aware that Europe most probably, hoped that the aforementioned document be seen in Washington before it was seen in Havana.
They are very conscious in Europe that their decision to join in the U.S. government's attacks against Cuba will be seen as more proof of their contrition and repentance over the differences that arose over the war in Iraq between "Old Europe" - as Mr Rumsfeld called it- and the imperial Nazi-fascist government which is trying to impose a dictatorship on the rest of the world.
The new statement signed by the Fifteen is the culmination of a stage of continual pronouncements and aggressions against Cuba made at the very time when our country has had to deal with the cunning plans which people in Miami and Washington are hatching to try to come up with pretexts for a military attack on our country...
This unheard of display against our country has been all the more noticeable because of Europe's proverbial wisdom about keeping respectfully silent when it suits it and even in being a tolerant bystander to behaviour and acts far worse than those of which Cuba is now being groundlessly accused. How, for example, are we to judge its silence over the U.S. army's crimes against the Iraqi civilian population?
It's too much. After exhausting her patience and capacity for dialogue and tolerance, Cuba feels obliged to reply to what it considers to be the European Union's hypocritical and opportunist behaviour.
In its most recent Declaration, "the European Union laments that Cuban authorities have ended their de facto moratorium on the death penalty".
Cuba will not go into great detail about the extraordinary reasons, explained more than once, that forced it to take energetic measures against three armed hijackers who had criminal records who threatened to kill dozens of hostages, including several European tourists. Cuba has never heard a word from the European Union condemning the death penalty in the United States. It has never seen the European Union spearhead a motion in the Commission on Human Rights condemning the United States for inflicting the death penalty on minors, the mentally ill and foreigners who were denied their right to meet with their consuls. Cuba has never heard the European Union criticize the 71 executions that took place in the United States last year, including the executions of two women. Why does the European Union condemn the death penalty in Cuba and not in the United States?
Therefore Cuba does not take the Union's lament seriously; it knows it is replete with hypocrisy and double moral standards...
Later on, the European Declaration appeals to Cuban authorities to ensure that the prisoners do not suffer unduly prisoners and are not exposed to to inhuman treatment" Cuba will make no attempt to comment on this offensive appeal. All it will say is that it is a despicable thing to do.
Cuba will not repeat the arguments it has used over and over again. It will only point out that it has never heard the European Union say one word of censure about the hundreds of prisoners -some of whom are Europeans- who the United States is holding, in violation of the most basic norms about human rights, in the naval base in Guantanamo which they force on us against our will. The European Union has never said a word about the thousands of prisoners that the United States has kept locked up since September 11, often simply because of the way they looked or because they are Muslims. These people do not enjoy even the most basic legal safeguards, nor have they been been tried and their names have not even been published.
Four measures have been announced.
First: Limit bilateral high-level government visits.
We must remember that in the last five years not one European Union head of state or government has visited Cuba.
Not even the king of Spain, Don Juan Carlos 1, whose natural charm and modesty have earned him the respect of the Cuban government and people, could carry out his official visit; the head of the Spanish government, José María Aznar, who, according to the constitution must give his approval, was categorical. "The King will go to Cuba when it's his turn".
What is more, only two of the fifteen's foreign ministers have visited Cuba since 1998: Mr Louis Michel, of Belgium in 2001 - he made a genuine effort to expand relations- and Mrs Lydie Polfer from Luxembourg, in 2003.
No one else in Europe - and they have even less desire to do so - wanted to upset Washington. Meanwhile in 2002 alone, 663 high-level delegations from the rest of the world visited Cuba, including 24 heads of state or government and 17 foreign ministers.
Second: To reduce the participation of member States in cultural events.
On this unheard of decision by educated and civilized Europe we will only say that its authors should, at the very least, be ashamed of themselves.
To make artists and intellectuals, both European and Cuban, and our people who benefit from cultural exchanges, into the particular victims of aggression is such a reactionary measure that it seems inconceivable here in the 21st century...
Third: To invite Cuban dissidents to national holiday celebrations.
This decision, which will, to all intents and purposes, turn European ambassadors in Havana into Mr. Carson's hired hands, and which will put the embassies of the European Union's member countries at the service of the U.S. Interests Section's subversive work - something that up until now only the Spanish embassy has done openly- formalises the European Union's intention of defying the Cuban people, their laws and institutions...
Fourth: Re-examine the European Union's Common Position on Cuba.
This last point is Mr. Aznar and the Spanish government's way of announcing, from this moment on, its hopes of making the wording of the so-called Common Position on Cuba tougher. The Position, it is worth remembering, was imposed by Spain on the rest of the European Union in 1996.
On November 13 of that year, under the headline: "Spain proposes that the European Union cut credit to and cooperation with Cuba" the Spanish daily El País reported that:
"In Brussels tomorrow, the Spanish government will propose to its partners in the European Union that they implement a strategy of economic harassment of Fidel Castro's regime(.) The package Aznar is proposing closely follows the line of current U.S. policy. The plan Aznar's government wants to push through entails cutting off the flow of cooperation and credit from the Fifteen and raising the level of the dialogue with the anti-Castro opposition.
"(.) The measures planned by Aznar . envisage a complete break in Spanish Cuba policy."...
El País ended by saying: "Spain, which used to be the mainstay of an autonomous way of doing things would thus become, if its initiative was successful, the spearhead of the opposite tendency".
And Mr. Aznar's initiative was successful...
Mr Aznar, obsessed with punishing Cuba and now a minor ally of the Yankee imperial government, has been the person mainly responsible for the fact that the European Union has not developed an independent and objective approach to Cuba and today is the man mainly responsible for its traitorous escalation in aggression, just when our little island has become the peoples' symbol of resistance to the threat that the United States may impose a Nazi-fascist tyranny on the rest of the world, including European peoples -who were recently unrecognised and humiliated when their stalwart opposition to the war in Iraq was ignored- and even on the American people themselves.
Cuba knows that the Spanish government has been funding the annexationist and mercenary groups which the superpower is trying to organise in our country- just as the U.S. government does, following the dictates of the Helms-Burton Act.
How can we explain Mr Aznar's interest in "promoting democracy in Cuba" if he was the first and only European head of government to support the fascist coup in Venezuela and offer his "support and availability" to the ephemeral "president" of the Venezuelan coup?
Nevertheless, Cuba places no blame on the noble Spanish people, nor on any of the other European peoples. Quite the contrary. Cuba is aware of how much warmth and admiration it arouses in many of the citizens of those countries - in spite of the loathsome media campaigns- which send us almost a million visitors every year. Cuba knows how much solidarity it arouses in Europe and throughout these years has received a helping hand from thousands of European non-governmental organisations, civic associations and town councils.
Cuba is aware that the European peoples - giving an exemplary ethical and humane lesson- opposed the war in Iraq, which the European Union could not, however, avoid, divided as it was by the betrayal of the rest of Europe lead by the Spanish government and humiliated by a superpower which went so far as to announce that it would launch a military attack on the Hague if a single U.S. soldier was brought to trial at the International Criminal Court there...
Cuba does not look upon all European governments equally and is well aware which ones are the chief instigators of this unwonted provocation.
Moreover, it must be said that the conduct of the Italian government headed by Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi is giving a helping hand to the Spanish government's conspiratorial activities.
Italy took a unilateral decision to suspend its development cooperation with Cuba which this year might have been worth almost 40 million Euros.
Comment: Notice how Aznar and Berlusconi, Bushie's two pals, are serving as US point men in Europe? Of course, this is being said by a member of the Cuban Government, so, of course, it must be lies? Right? And we are publishing it because we are "liberals", or, even, god help us, "academic socialists"!
David Rennie in Washington
The American al-Qa'eda operative unmasked last week as having planned to bring down the Brooklyn Bridge was first detained in March, and has been used by the FBI for months as a double agent, it was reported yesterday. [...]
Comment: See also
The Triple Life of a Qaeda Man: Inside the
secret operation to turn a truck-driving bin Laden follower into an
agent for the U.S. Offering material support to the FBI now carries a
sentence of 20 years.
AJAF, Iraq — As each restaurant worker declared whom he would support in an election for mayor in this city, Dhirgham Najem, a meek, skinny 23-year-old busboy quietly waited for his turn and then shocked everyone in the room.
"I will run for mayor," he proclaimed. "Because we have freedom."
His comment is part of what one American military officer stationed here called the "beautiful thing" that is happening in Najaf. Even as American soldiers run into ambushes in Baghdad and central Iraq, this more stable corner in the country's south is alive with complaint, debate, opinion and dreams that were scarcely imaginable before the fall of Saddam Hussein.
Everyone here, it seems, has something to say. And all, it seems, are eager to tell visitors, particularly Americans, what they think. No one is quite sure what "demokratiya" — democracy in Arabic — is. But the word is constantly invoked as an almost utopian ideal.
Just as neoconservatives in Washington had hoped, the concept of demokratiya has taken hold in the Iraqi imagination, raising the possibility that it will inspire change throughout the Middle East.
But there is a problem: The United States isn't perceived as a cultivator of democracy here. It is seen as a military occupier that supports democracy and free speech when they serve its interest, but suppresses both when they don't.
Last week, many Iraqis here, and some Americans, were baffled by the decision of L. Paul Bremer, the American administrator of Iraq, to cancel what would have been Iraq's first general election for mayor here.
A few days later, American marines arrested members of a political party. American military officials had decided articles they wrote in their newspaper praising attacks on United States servicemen violated an edict from Mr. Bremer that banned "incitement" of violence against American forces, political groups, minorities and women.
At first glance, even some Americans here saw both moves as, well, un-American. "We should've had this election," said the American military officer here, who asked not to be named. "What are we telling them?" [...]
The U.S. military said a second soldier was wounded in the attack on a military convoy at Khan Azad, some 12 miles south of Baghdad. The first was dead on arrival at hospital.
It was the latest in a spate of deadly assaults on U.S. forces in which 19 soldiers have been killed since President Bush declared major combat in Iraq over on May 1.
Two U.S. soldiers were wounded in the town of Hit, about 90 miles northwest of Baghdad, Saturday afternoon when their vehicle ran over a land mine.
About an hour before midnight, a U.S. patrol reported a fire at an Iraqi fuel pipeline in the desert near Hit.
"This incident is an act of sabotage. The pipeline was blown up deliberately," said one Oil Ministry official. He did not elaborate and asked not to be named. [...]
June 21, 2003: (Los Angeles Times) WASHINGTON -- In concluding that two trailers seized in northern Iraq were biological weapons labs, the United States rejected Iraqi claims that the vehicles were designed for making hydrogen for weather balloons.
But although some have described the Iraqi explanation as far-fetched, the U.S. Army has its own fleet of vehicles designed for precisely the same purpose. [...]
One veteran intelligence official in Iraq said he is convinced that the seized trailers were indeed designed to produce hydrogen gas to fill weather balloons that were routinely used by Iraqi field artillery batteries.
The intelligence official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the trucks did not carry autoclaves or other equipment needed to sterilize laboratory equipment, as would be needed to grow sensitive pathogens used as germ agents. [...]
"Iraqi fighters: 'We will send them back
the bodies of their soldiers'"
(YellowTimes.org) – Somewhere in America someone is itching to say, "I told you so." Elsewhere in the world millions of people laugh, scoff, mock, and launch vitriol and hyperbole when discussing America's role in the world. All of a sudden, the so-called victory in Iraq, which was neither a military nor a popular victory, is beginning to look like a public relations disaster.
Consider the facts:
Iraqis today fare far worse than they did under Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. Yes, worse -- you only have to ask the Iraqis themselves, not the Friedmans and Krauthammers of the world, who speak from a bastion of cultural ignorance. Iraqis no longer feel safe in their own country, in their own houses. Some have pooled their financial resources and bought weapons to defend themselves. Others, who can afford it, have hired bodyguards. The weapons trading and protection businesses are thriving in lawless Iraq. [...]
The sidelining of Iraqis, both in creating a government and in running economic affairs, is pushing hatred of everything American to new heights. This weekend, a new Iraqi resistance group, Iraqi National Front of Fedayeen, said they had nothing to do with Saddam or his cronies, and everything to do with killing Americans. They promised to send at least one U.S. bodybag a day back home. A country that had no ill will toward Americans now despises the very word. [...]
Flames were seen shooting into the sky after the blast late on Saturday near the town of Hit nearly 140 kilometres (90 miles) north-west of Baghdad. [...]
Local Iraqis and oil officials told the BBC's Caroline Hawley that the pipeline explosion was blown up deliberately.
Iraq's fuel infrastructure has come under attack several times - most recently 10 days ago when another supply route from Iraq to Turkey was damaged. [...]
[...]The president thanked American service members for their service in Iraq and assured them that the Iraqi people also appreciate their willingness to aid the country. "For the people of free Iraq, the road ahead holds great challenges," he said. "Yet at every turn, they will have friendship and support from the United States of America." [...]
WASHINGTON, June 22 — Leaders of the Senate Intelligence Committee expressed a guarded hope today that United States missiles might have hit a convoy thought to have been carrying Saddam Hussein.
Asked about a reported missile attack Wednesday on a convoy in western Iraq, Senator Pat Roberts, chairman of the committee, said that he would "not be surprised" to learn that Mr. Hussein had been killed.
"I do not know of any, but I have always been concerned, on a personal basis, about the whole matter of Niger and the enriched uranium that was said to have been imported into Iraq for nuclear purposes," he said. "But I am not going to conclude from that that the president was deliberately misleading. I have concerns about that, but that is what our inquiry is for [to determine]." Jay Rockefeller
BAGHDAD –With tears in his eyes, US Army paratrooper Richard Bohr knelt down in the Iraqi dust and kissed a handmade memorial stone, bidding farewell to a brother in the US Marine Corps who was killed in action on the spot April 10, the day after Baghdad fell to invading American troops.
Draped with a necklace and pendant imploring, "St. Michael Protect Us," the concrete memorial put in place by a US unit Friday morning measured two-by-three feet, and had been painted with a bright American flag, the Marine Corps shield, and the words "Operation Iraqi Freedom."
Iraqi children stand around
a memorial to a US Marine killed in action in Baghdad, placed on
the spot of his death today by his brother.
Sun June 22, 2003 03:00 PM ET
DEAD SEA, Jordan (Reuters) - Secretary of State Colin Powell on Sunday dismissed as "absolutely wrong" any suggestion that the United States was preparing to attack Iran.
The United States accuses Iran of seeking nuclear weapons, supporting "terrorist organizations," and meddling in the affairs of neighboring Iraq, where U.S.-led troops have the toppled the government of president Saddam Hussein.
Conservatives inside and outside the Bush administration have called for the United States to take a harder line toward Iran, which President Bush last year included in an "axis of evil" with North Korea and Iraq.
But U.S. officials from Bush down have sought to play down the idea that the United States had any intention of going to war with Iran, despite the fact that some officials refuse to rule out conflict as a theoretical possibility. [...]
Dempsey and George Parker in Thessaloniki
EU member states, however, accepted the extradition agreement only on condition they received guarantees that none of their citizens would be subject to the death penalty.
The delegation, led by Romano Prodi, European Commission president, Javier Solana, the EU's foreign policy chief, Costas Simitis, Greek prime minister, and George Papandreou, Greek foreign minister, will also clinch an accord on container security.
It will give US officials based in some of Europe's main ports the right to check containers crossing the Atlantic. A controversial proposal that will give the US the right to check airline passenger lists is expected to be agreed as well. [...]
Greece seizes 680 tonnes of explosives on ship in
Greek special forces on Sunday seized 680 tonnes of explosives when they boarded a ship in the Mediterranean west of Greece, the Merchant Marines ministry said.
The Baltic Sky ship, bearing the flag of the African nation of the Comoros Islands, was stopped in Greek waters in the Ionian Sea, a statement from the ministry said.
The ship belonged to a company named Alpha Shipping ANC registered in the Marshall Islands in the south Pacific. The ministry was not able to give information on where the ship was coming from or where it was travelling to.
The ship's crew, five Ukrainians, the captain among them, and two Azerbaijanis, was arrested.
Delves Broughton in Paris
The leader of France's anti-globalisation movement, José Bové, was snatched from his bed at dawn yesterday and taken to prison by helicopter.
The justice minister, Dominique Perben, struggled to explain the need for 80 policemen, teams of dogs and the helicopter to apprehend a man whose main weapons are his tractor and chunks of Rocquefort cheese.
"We wanted to avoid any confrontation," he said.
Having negotiated a difficult spring of strikes and union pressure, the government faces further trouble over Bové, a popular hero in France for standing up to what he calls "the totalitarianism of capitalism". [...]
A butcher has slashed six people, including two children, with his knife after going on the rampage in a village in south-western France. [...]
"He was on the ground, covered in blood, saying 'The Jehovah's Witnesses have said it's the end of the world'," said one bystander. [...]
The Belgian Government plans to reduce the scope of war crimes legislation which has led to charges against US President George Bush and UK Prime Minister Tony Blair among others.
The US Government has indicated it will press for the transfer of Nato headquarters from Brussels unless the 10-year-old legislation is changed.
Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt said late on Sunday he intended to modify the law so that either the defendant or the victim in a war crimes case must be a Belgian national or resident.
Under the existing law, charges can be laid in a Belgian court against foreign nationals for alleged war crimes committed outside Belgian jurisdiction.
Papers were filed last week charging President Bush and Mr Blair with war crimes in Iraq.
Similar action has been taken - though suspended - against the Israeli Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon, over the killing of Palestinians while he commanded Israeli forces in Lebanon in 1982...
Mr Verhofstadt denied that Belgium was giving in to US demands.
is not US pressure," he said. "The reason why we have modified
it... is really because we want to keep the law."
BEIJING: China on Monday pledged an investment of $500 million for infrastructure development and resource building in India and agreed to a plan of action for economic cooperation between the two countries.
This was stated by the External Affairs Minister Yashwant Sinha after hour-long talks between Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and his Chinese counterpart Wen Jiabao at the Great Hall of the People here. Sinha told reporters that the Chinese side sought cooperation in the area of public finance and the need for setting up a mechanism for a dialogue in this regard.
The two sides also signed nine accords, including those on simplifying visa procedures, enhancing cooperation on renewable energy and increasing contacts in the field of law and justice...
During their wide-ranging talks, Vajpayee and Wen explored the possibility of boosting the trade potential...
Both the leaders, he said agreed that the 50th anniversary of Panchsheel, the five principles of peaceful co-existence, should be observed with "great elan" and the respective foreign offices would work out a detailed plan, he said.
Vajpayee shared with Wen India's views on the situation in South Asia, Afghanistan and North Korea, Sinha said. The tri-lateral meeting between the foreign ministers of India, China and Russia which was held last year on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly also figured in the discussions, he said.
The Press Ministry pulled the plug on financially beleaguered TVS television Sunday, replacing its often critical newscasts with the all-sports programming of the new state-controlled channel Sport.
TVS was the last private national channel, and its closure gives the Kremlin a monopoly on the airwaves ahead of December's parliamentary elections and the March presidential vote.
"I have a feeling that somebody really needs what is happening," TVS chief editor Yevgeny Kiselyov said by telephone. "I have a persistent feeling that the events are guided by somebody's evil will."...
The Press Ministry said it ordered that TVS be closed because of is longtime financial problems. "In this situation it was necessary to make a decision aimed at protecting the viewers' interests," the ministry said in a statement.
Critics brushed off the explanation as hypocritical and said the closure was illegal. Under the law, a television channel can be shut down only by a court decision, not a Press Ministry order, said Oleg Panfilov, head of the Center for Journalism in Extreme Situations.
"The authorities have achieved what they have wanted -- to destroy Kiselyov's team," Panfilov said. "They have been working at it for 3 1/2 years in a very consistent manner."
Some of Today's Headlines From Africa
Much of the world's attention has been focused on the Middle East, but the Signs team realizes that misery is everywhere and seems to be increasing where ever one happens to glance. While Iraq burns, Bush will be skipping through Africa.The White House feeds us more propaganda by stating that they have a "commitment to working toward a free, prosperous, and peaceful Africa." One can only wonder at how he will embarass us all. In Nigeria over 100 people have been killed in an oil pipeline explosion. Despite having Africa's largest oil reserves the country is continually plagued by fuel shortages. American Peace-Keepers are on their way To Liberia, and lets all hope they have more success than they usually have in Africa. Secretary-General Kofi Annan today urged all warring parties in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) to cooperate unconditionally in the release of two United Nations military observers who were abducted in the town of Beni. Congo Peacekeepers are still exchanging fire. We have posted rumors and announcements of the U.S. shipping forces to several other countries in Africa recently, which does not seem to get much notice in the mainstream media. Just recently, a Marine was killed during training exercise in Africa, and eight others injured in an anti-terror maneuver.
Al Qaida is everywhere, and the Pentagon's intelligence branch has issued a terrorism alert to all U.S. interests in Kenya, of course the targets and the nature of the attacks are classified:
"[...] Kenya and other countries in the Horn of Africa have been the focus of counter-terrorism efforts for months. A special U.S. task force has been operating in the area since last year. Both the United States and Britain have warned a number of times of possible terrorist attacks in East Africa, especially Kenya. Last month Britain suspended British Airways flights between Nairobi and London because of a specific threat to British airlines. There have been several terrorist attacks in the past five years.
"In November of last year suicide bombers killed at least 14 people at an Israeli-owned resort in Mombassa. On the same day two heat-seeking missiles were fired at an Israeli plane leaving from Mombassa on its way to Tel Aviv. The missiles missed the plane and no one was hurt.
In 1998 terrorists from al-Qaida attacked the U.S. embassies in Nairobi and Dar Es-Salaam, Tanzania killing more than 220 people in both attacks."
Although France, Belgium and Germany have lifted their travel restrictions to Kenya.
The ship filled with explosives that Greece stopped is from Comoros, an island nation in the Mozambique Channel, off the coast of Africa.
Jon Rappaport of No More Fake News helps us all to begin making some sense of what is going on with all this human misery: "You and I and everybody else with half a brain KNOW what has been killing people in large numbers in Africa, parts of Asia, and Latin America for a very long time. It isn’t this virus or that virus exquisitely sequenced in a lab in Maryland between cocktails on the veranda.
"It’s contaminated water, hunger, starvation, protein-calorie malnutrition, overcrowding, a little thing called poverty, another little thing called hopelessness, good farming land stolen from the people and given to transnationals, no basic sanitation, and yes, vaccines given to millions of people whose immune systems, already suppressed, go down into oblivion from the effects of these vaccines. It’s also banned toxic pesticides, millions of tons of them, being shipped out of the US and other places into the Third World. And it’s also toxic and unrefrigerated medical drugs shipped into those sectors.
in white coats with heroic glances getting off planes in the Third
World to set up clinics and showplace hospitals are adding to the
cover story about various germs. They are the smokescreen obscuring
the real causes of death.
"And despite cute little task-force reports issued by WHO over the years, which do mention the real causes of death in the Third World, WHO has never pressed these issues in a way that brings about real change.
"And when I say PRESS, that’s exactly what I mean. You can issue reports forever, but why not hold a PRESS conference and announce to the planet that all the germ research in the galaxy is not going to change a single goddamn thing in Africa. Why not take off the gloves and make ROGUE PARIAHS OUT OF TINPOT DICTATORS AND MEDICAL BUREAUCRATS AND NATIONAL LEADERS WHO REFUSE TO ATTACK AND SOLVE THE REAL PROBLEMS?
"Instead of trying to make a pariah out of nations who won’t knuckle under to a phony recycled thingo called SARS which has killed fewer people on the whole planet than die in six months in Kampala.[...]"
Angry villagers have hit out at Nigeria's state oil company after an explosion on a vandalised pipeline killed 105 people.
A village chief, Charles Onoha, said the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) failed to repair the ruptured line, which exploded on Thursday in the worst accident of its kind in nearly three years.
"We begged NNPC to stop the spillage, but they did nothing," Onoha told AP. "They should be held responsible for this disaster."
But the company says it only became aware of the leakage after the explosion, though it is thought the pipe was deliberately ruptured by looters more than two weeks before the blast.
People were reportedly siphoning oil when the explosion was ignited by a spark from a passing motorcycle in the village of Amaokwe Oghughe, about 50 km (35 miles) north of the Abia State capital, Umuahia...
In the absence of repairs, locals had been collecting the petrol in whatever containers they could find, with the police doing little to stop them.
"Whole families were wiped out," said the head of Nigeria's Red Cross, Emmanuel Ijewere.
"We fear many more will die as there are many people with first-degree burns in local hospitals and private homes."...
Pipeline looting, known as "bunkering" or "scooping", is common in Nigeria despite the risk of fire or prosecution with security forces known to shoot looters on sight...
Over the past few years hundreds of people have died whilst collecting fuel in this way.
More than 1,000 people died in a single incident in 1998, when a pipeline exploded in the south-eastern state of Delta.
George W. Bush Has Many Millionaires To Help
The information about the income and the property of almost all leading advisors and assistants in the George W. Bush's administration have recently become public. They all are millionaires, except for National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice, who has not evaluated her fortune yet.
The American president reported his income in May. Bush evaluated his family's fortune in the sum of up to $21,9 million as of the end of the past year. Vice President Dick Cheney's wealth counts from $19,1 million to $86,4 million.
The newspaper Kommersant wrote, Condoleezza Rice was the only person in the Bush's administration, who was still working on the information about her financial well-being. The leadership has been taken by well-known economist Stephen Friedman, top economic adviser to the US president, head of the National Economic Council.
Lewis Libby, assistant to the president and chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney, takes the second position on the list. Lewis Libby owns municipal bonds worth between $1 million and $5 million. The bonds earned up to $1 million to Mr. Libby in 2002. The assistant to the president also owns up to $5 million in a money market fund.
White House political adviser Karl Rove is on the third position. He owns two small hotels in Texas, up to $1 million worth. In 2002, Mr. Rove's hotels returned the profit between $50,000 to $100,000. In addition to it, Rove listed the investment between $700,000 and $1,6 million.
Incoming budget director, Joshua Bolten is on the bottom of the list of George W. Bush's assistants and advisers. He valued his Key West vacation home at $500,001 to $1 million. Bolten earned between $15,001 and $50,000 in rent, with a mortgage of $250,001 to $500,000. He disclosed two investment funds with the same value range as the vacation property.
Senior American officials present the information about their income every year, although on a voluntary basis.
It's a great time to be George W. Bush.
The president will waltz into Manhattan today for another $2,000-a-plate fund-raiser, the latest stop on his fabulously successful dining-for-dollars tour. These are fun events at which the fat cats throw millions of dollars at the president to reinforce their already impenetrable ring of influence around the national government.
Mr. Bush is expected to pull in $5 million at this evening's sit-down, and may ultimately raise an astonishing quarter of a billion dollars for his re-election bid. During a brief stop Friday at a reception in Greensboro, Ga., where he picked up a quick $2.2 million, the president happily told his supporters, "You put the wind at my back."
Comment: It's obvious that these people need someone stupid enough to be their pawn, and someone who is then able to strut around believing it is all about him.
Opposes Cheaper Drugs For Americans
By Stewart Nusbaumer
With the prices of prescription drugs skyrocketing, driving many fixed income seniors into poverty, straining the budgets of other Americans, the Bush Administration promises to veto a bill that would lower drug prices.
Using the war on terrorism as justification, the Administration strongly rejects the importation of cheaper prescription drugs from Canada. Many Democratic legislators charge that the Administration is favoring the industry's high profits over the critical needs of Americans.
The Senate vote yesterday, a lopsided 62 to 28, was for a bill that would permit pharmacists and wholesalers to import prescription drugs from Canada and resell them in the United States. According to the vote, then, Senators overwhelmingly support American consumers and want them to benefit from lower Canadian drug prices.
“The U.S. consumer pays the highest prices in the world for prescription drugs,” said Senator Byron Dorgan, Democrat of North Dakota, who offered the Senate plan on drug imports. “We should and must put some downward pressure on drug prices.”...
“The reason the Republicans won’t allow cheaper drugs from Canada,” a Washington lobbyist, who insisted on remaining anonymous, said to this reporter, “is because the pharmaceutical companies make huge financial contributions to their election campaigns. It’s as simple as being bought off.”
[...] The real reason the Bush Administration rejects cheaper drugs for Americans is not because of any threat, but to insure that it receives more campaign money from drug manufacturers. Again, we are witnessing the best democracy money can buy, and who must pay the high cost is the public, especially our senior citizens.
Comment: The Bush administration "cited the war on terrorism as justification" for not permitting cheaper pharmaceuticals to be imported from Canada.. It's those Canadian's don't ya know, they're all closet terrorists, eh?
A BUZZFLASH INTERVIEW
[...]It is a testament to the brain dead mainstream media that the relationship between the Carlyle group and the Bush-Cheney cartel is not a national scandal. [...]
Here are nine for the moment relatively unpopular but nevertheless compelling ideas to consider about the attack. Americans who tend to believe in any or all them are in the minority right now. Perhaps they won't be in the near future. [...]
RealAudio Clip from the Dan Rather interview with Tom Kennedy
22, 2003 07:22 PM ET
"We still have a long, long way to go," said Carrie Templin, a spokeswoman for some 900 firefighters, who were battling the fire on the ground and in helicopters.
Templin said the fire, which broke out Tuesday in the thick Ponderosa pine forest northeast of Tucson, was about five percent contained, but had grown to more than 8,700 acres, from about 6,400 acres on Saturday. [...]
In a hot, dry region accustomed to summer fires, this blaze has caused unusual concern due to the extensive damage it has brought to residential areas. Some 450 people were evacuated as the blaze swept through a popular mountaintop resort, charring 259 homes and other structures. Three television and radio towers were also damaged.
Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano, who has declared a state of emergency, said she was left almost speechless after she viewed the devastation by helicopter on Saturday. [...]
Sunday, 22 June, 2003, 16:30 GMT
Fire crews battling a wildfire that has destroyed more than 250 homes in Arizona are digging lines to protect remaining houses, broadcast towers and an important space observatory.
The Aspen fire, as it is called, has forced about 1,000 people to flee since it broke out on Tuesday.
On Saturday the fire - on Mount Lemmon - swept over a ridge of television and radio towers, fire officials said. Three broadcast transmission towers were lost.
Crews have been clearing the brush around the Mount Bigelow Observatory - which was used by the Nasa space agency to support its moon-landing Apollo programme.
Sprinklers have been set up around the facility to keep the nearby vegetation wet.
With high winds fanning the flames, firefighters have been looking for areas in the rugged terrain where they can create firebreaks to stop the spread of the blaze.
Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano declared a state of emergency earlier this week because of the raging fire, which experts believe will take two or three weeks to contain.
At present the fire is racing through dry forests on rough terrain that is largely inaccessible to firefighting vehicles.
Comment from a QFS member: Another observatory threatened by fire. In January of this year the Australlian Mt. Stromlo Observatory burned, or rather melted, in what is described as a firestorm.
leads to an article which describes not only the damage but also the "strangeness" of what the fire did not destroy. A search shows quite a few "accidents" have taken place at observatories around the world including a large neutrino observatory in Japan.
The PTB will go to any length to distract or destroy.
From another QFS member:
Notice that it was participating in the "Catalina Sky Survey". The Mt Stromlo Observatory that burned down in mid-January was also doing a sky survey, having started it just a month before it burned down.
According to the Catalina Sky Survey site:
"The Catalina Sky Survey (CSS) is a program to discover comets and asteroids and to aid in the identification of potentially hazardous near-earth objects (NEOs). This is one of several surveys working to quantify the danger of future Earth impacts. Such discoveries add to the knowledge of the orbit and size distribution of minor planets and ultimately to a better understanding of their collisional history and origin."
The Astronomy Camp at Mt Bigelow, which previously "confirmed the discovery of a new comet" will have its schedule affected by the fire.
The primary adult teams won't start til later:
June 28-July 1 ---- Educators [25% full on April 24]
October 24-26 ----- Beginning Adult [25% full on April 24]
So if this fire does ruin the observatory, and it was intentional (but how could we ever know?), it would put a damper on the two programs most likely to "confirm the discovery of a new comet" or two or three or...
KASABONIKA, ONT. - Hundreds of people in northwestern Ontario have fled their homes because of choking smoke from a major forest fire in the area.
The isolated community of Kasabonika, Ont., about 500 kilometres north of Thunder Bay, can be reached only by air.
About 720 people living in the community were flown out Sunday.
Four separate fires in northern Ontario have burned 30,000 hectares...
Most of the Ontario fires were caused by lightning.
By Associated Press, 6/22/2003 06:08
FALL RIVER, Mass. (AP) A police officer who was fired for violating an obscure state law banning smoking among public safety workers plans to fight his dismissal, which was based on an anonymous letter.
Wayne Jeffrey, a seven-year veteran of the Fall River force, was fired May 29 after an internal investigation, prompted by an unsigned letter that claimed he smoked tobacco at a party.
A 1988 state law states that police officers and firefighters are subject to immediate termination if they are found to be using tobacco products either on- or off-duty...
The Legislature passed the law to accompany legislation that enables public safety officials to receive special disability benefits easier than the average worker. Without the law, proponents argue, doctors are unable to determine if a heart or lung illness is work related.
Under the law, all new public safety hires must sign a contract, as Jeffrey did, pledging not to smoke tobacco products.
CAROL MARBIN MILLER
Guards at the Miami-Dade Regional Juvenile Detention Center requested medical care for a 17-year-old with appendicitis repeatedly over three days, but their pleas were rejected by higher-ranking officials at the lockup, correctional officers told The Herald. [...]
George Knapp, I-Team Exclusive
(June 20) -- FBI agents have confirmed that a search warrant was served Thursday night on the home of a self-described military watchdog in the tiny town of Rachel, near the mysterious Area 51 military base. We've learned this action was initiated by the Joint Terrorism Task Force. The search warrant remains sealed and the FBI won't say what was seized from the home of Rachel resident Chuck Clark. We believe the action was taken because Chuck Clark escorted the I-Team on a tour of the roads surrounding the base. During the visit, he showed us the location of military sensors, hidden on public land. Here's our story.
Retired astronomer and desert rat Chuck Clark has a new hobby. He's prowled the hills and deserts of Lincoln County for several years now, has photographed exotic aircraft in the skies, and keeps an eye on the top secret base known as Area 51. He's even written a book about the place. Over the past few months, he's discovered that the military has been installing secret sensor devices on public lands surrounding the base. Using a frequency counter device, he can tell when his vehicle trips a sensor. When that happens, he looks for the hard-to-spot wire atop the device, and then he digs them up, takes pictures, and puts them back.
Clark isn't a terrorist or spy but is angered that hikers, four wheelers, or photographers are being monitored by the military on public land, miles from the boundary of the base, which is clearly marked by signs.
Active galactic nuclei (AGN) are one of the most energetic and mysterious phenomena in the universe. In some galaxies indeed, the core generates amounts of energy which surpass those of normal galaxies, such as the Milky Way, by many orders of magnitude.
The central engine of these power stations is thought to be a supermassive black hole. Indirect lines of evidence have suggested that these massive black holes are enshrouded in a thick doughnut-shaped structure of gas and dust, which astronomers call a "torus". However, due to the limited sharpness of images that can be obtained with present telescopes in the 10-m range, such a torus has never been imaged to date.
ESO Press Release 16/03 18 June 2003
Clearest-Ever Evidence from VLT Spectra of Powerful Event Summary
A very bright burst of gamma-rays was observed on March 29, 2003 by NASA's High Energy Transient Explorer (HETE-II), in a sky region within the constellation Leo.
Within 90 min, a new, very bright light source (the "optical afterglow") was detected in the same direction by means of a 40-inch telescope at the Siding Spring Observatory (Australia) and also in Japan. The gamma-ray burst was designated GRB 030329, according to the date.
And within 24 hours, a first, very detailed spectrum of this new object was obtained by the UVES high-dispersion spectrograph on the 8.2-m VLT KUEYEN telescope at the ESO Paranal Observatory (Chile). It allowed to determine the distance as about 2,650 million light-years (redshift 0.1685).
Continued observations with the FORS1 and FORS2 multi-mode instruments on the VLT during the following month allowed an international team of astronomers  to document in unprecedented detail the changes in the spectrum of the optical afterglow of this gamma-ray burst. Their detailed report appears in the June 19 issue of the research journal "Nature".
The spectra show the gradual and clear emergence of a supernova spectrum of the most energetic class known, a "hypernova". This is caused by the explosion of a very heavy star - presumably over 25 times heavier than the Sun. The measured expansion velocity (in excess of 30,000 km/sec) and the total energy released were exceptionally high, even within the elect hypernova class...
These observations therefore indicate a common physical process behind the hypernova explosion and the associated emission of strong gamma-ray radiation. The team concludes that it is likely to be due to the nearly instantaneous, non-symmetrical collapse of the inner region of a highly developed star (known as the "collapsar" model).
March 29 gamma-ray burst will pass into the annals of astrophysics
as a rare "type-defining event", providing conclusive evidence of a
direct link between cosmological gamma-ray bursts and explosions of
very massive stars.
The official dollar rate announced by the RF Central Bank for June 21 makes up RUR 30.3807. The Bank's public relations department reports thus the ruble value in dollars hasn't changed as compared with the rate announced for June 20. This news is rather pleasant. [...]
However, the situation will be seriously alarming if the dollar gets cheaper as compared with the euro. According to analysts, excess of the level is dangerous for both American and European economics.
On the one hand, the reduction of the US national currency revived export from the USA (it increased by 4.3% in the first three months of the year); however, more expensive import worsened the balance of trade. If we take today's level of the dollar devaluation into consideration, we'll see that investors trust the European assets more and prefer to invest the economies of EU countries. Further devaluation of the dollar may finally undermine the trust of investors to US's economy. In 2002, direct foreign investment in the USA reduced by 80%.
As for Europe, if the dollar grows weaker it may entail much damage to exporting companies, result in bankruptcies, increase the unemployment rate and may even bring political chaos. For Russia, weaker dollar means that exporting branches of the industry will depreciate and majority of the population will grow poorer. Under these conditions it would be insane to keep on playing against the US currency. It is a really scary fact but the dollar may go down even more for many objective reasons. [...]
According to bank experts, it took just a year for many Russians to change the attitude to the American currency; many of them treat the dollar with distrust now. Different estimates show that savings of Russians make up about 40 billion dollars in cash. At the same time, the number of people believing euro savings more reliable is increasing. The demand for dollars has considerably reduced. As a result, net outflow of cash dollars out of Russia was first registered in March 2003. [...]
Dwindling public support for American libraries is a sign of a civilization in decay, Ralph Nader told a convention of North American librarians yesterday...
In his keynote address, Nader said he received his civic education by reading dog-eared copies of congressional testimony in his high school library.
"Libraries should teach people and youngsters how to become skilled citizens," he said. "And if you become a person who has civic skills, you're not going to go through life saying `Que sera, sera' or `You can't fight city hall' or `You can't take on Exxon.' You're going to go through life much more engaged, because you have the tools."
Over the past two years, Nader has played a prominent role in promoting public libraries in his home city of Washington, D.C., where library staffs have been cut 40 per cent since the 1970s.
He said budget cuts at other North American libraries pose a danger to their civic mission and suggested librarians should be more assertive in demanding their fair share of public funds.
Failed Van Gogh, or was this post-pretzel-attack?
So far we've listed 56 Bush administration lies in five days' time, though upon consideration I think I have to disqualify one statement presented as a lie yesterday: Bush's repeated claim during Campaign 2000, "I don't believe in nation-building." Well? He never said he didn't believe in tearing them down, just that he drew the line at rebuilding them. Looks true to me. So call it 55 through yesterday.
C's Quote of the Day
October 3, 1998
Q: (L) I think
that the issue is, what these two guys are
For more on this see Laura's column
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