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."
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July 12, 2003

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CIA's Tenet Takes Blame for Fake Iraq Claim

Fri July 11, 2003 06:56 PM ET

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - CIA Director George Tenet took responsibility on Friday for President Bush's false accusation that Iraq was trying to obtain uranium from Africa, saying his agency should have cut it from the State of the Union address.

"I am responsible for the approval process in my agency," Tenet said in a statement marking the latest twist in the controversy dogging both the British and U.S. governments.

Critics have accused Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair of exaggerating the threat posed by Saddam Hussein in trying to build a case for the invasion of Iraq in March.

"The president had every reason to believe that the text presented to him was sound. These 16 words should never have been included in the text written for the president," Tenet said.

Bush said in his January speech: "The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa."

Tenet issued his statement hours after Bush, traveling in Africa, said the charge that Iraq tried to buy uranium from Africa was approved by his "intelligence services." White House national security adviser Condoleezza Rice said the specific wording was cleared by the CIA.

Portions of a draft of the State of the Union speech came to the CIA for comment shortly before the president delivered it, Tenet said.

At that time the documents related to the alleged Niger-Iraqi uranium deal had not yet been determined to be forgeries, but CIA officials raised concerns about the "fragmentary nature" of the intelligence with White House National Security Council colleagues, Tenet said.

"Some of the language was changed. From what we know now, agency officials in the end concurred that the text in the speech was factually correct," he said.

It was correct in that the British were reporting that Iraq was seeking uranium from Africa, Tenet said.

"This did not rise to the level of certainty which should be required for presidential speeches, and the CIA should have ensured that it was removed," Tenet said.

Comment: Makes you wonder what they had on Tenet that he would take the fall. However, the vise is closing on Bush, slowly. Yesterday, CBS reported that "Bush knew". Now Tenet takes the rap (and CBS changes its story, see below).

Obviously the guy knew. He has been lying for years. For many of Bush's lies, see the list compiled by Steve Perry at BushWars.

If you want to look at the evidence on whether or not Herr Bush knew, the Center for Cooperative Research has compiled this outline with documents.

A reader sent the following in yesterday.

Yesterday, my cousin Theresa remarked how weird it was that Bush didn't seem to be showing any signs of stress these days.

"Look at President Kennedy after the Bay of Pigs. Johnson and Cambodia. Nixon, Carter and even Clinton during his impeachment. The weight of the events was evident in their words and faces. We could tell they were having a very difficult time.

"This one, after 'elections', 9-11, Afghanistan and 'war', he's fresh like Tuesday morning."

I said, 'I don't know. What do you think?'

Food for thought.

CBS "doctors" report right in front of our noses

Comment: Of course, the sheeple are too dozy to even notice, or if they do, too apathetic to care...(prove us wrong please!)


Jon Rappaport
No More Fake News

I don't know, call me crazy, but i think that headline would sell a lot of papers---and as a bonus, it's true.

But selling papers, contrary to conventional wisdom, takes a back seat when the basic reputation of the federal government is at stake.

And believe me, it would be at stake if the REAL uranium story climbed to the top of the media charts and stayed there.

What's that you say? You haven't heard anything about soldiers or reporters or civilians in iraq getting sick from the "depleted" uranium?


Quit before it gets nasty, Blair told

Tony Blair's troubles are set to worsen - and he should quit as prime minister before things get "ever nastier", former cabinet minister Clare Short has said.

The ex-international development secretary - repeating a warning she made soon after leaving the government - said Mr Blair faced increased "muttering" among union leaders and was losing support among voters. She said an "elegant handover" of the Labour leadership was in the party's interests.

Ms Short said the centralisation of power at Downing Street was behind a fall in the prime minister's popularity...

Bush losing public favor over foreign policy

Administration forced to go on the defensive after its political advantage slips

Washington Post Writers Group

WASHINGTON -While President Bush tours Africa, the winds of change are blowing at home. They threaten his overwhelming political advantage on foreign policy and national security.

Despite the great pictures from that trip, it has not been a good week for Bush. The White House finally admitted that the president never should have claimed in this year's State of the Union address that Iraq sought to buy uranium in Africa to reconstitute its nuclear weapons program. Reports to that effect had been debunked by a respected American diplomat even before Bush gave his speech.

Then the commission investigating 9/11 criticized the administration for failing to respond expeditiously to its requests for documents and testimony. Tom Kean, the Republican chairman of the commission, also charged that the administration's refusal to allow witnesses to be interviewed without "minders" amounted to "intimidation." Kean and his Democratic co-chairman, former Rep. Lee Hamilton, are among the most respected and least partisan figures in American public life. If they are complaining, something is definitely wrong.

Finally, there is the continuing mess on the ground in Iraq: the almost daily deaths of American soldiers, the failure to restore order and public services, the anger in military families over the extended commitment of their loved ones to a war zone. Even the war's strongest supporters are saying that the administration's postwar strategy was deeply flawed.

A CBS News poll released Thursday showed that public doubts are growing. Approval for Bush's handling of the situation in Iraq fell from 72 percent in May to 58 percent. For the first time, a majority -- 56 percent -- say they believe the administration overestimated the number of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. [..]

As the problems in Iraq mount, Democrats by the day are becoming less afraid of foreign policy. The president's free ride is over.

Comment: With all this "Bush is in trouble" talk in the media we are suspicious. Bush is merely a puppet and when his handlers are done with him he will be discarded. The He said-she said business is a distraction.

The white house is a front.

Hopefully no one is pinning their hopes on the Democrats. Certainly not to look up to them as some sort of "savior." If this fascism is to be stopped it will have to come from the will of the people. Most Democrats are just another part of the same game, and those that aren't have been assassinated.

"Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety." - Benjamin Franklin

Palestinian advocate receives standing ovation at Loyola lecture

May 13, 2003

Francis Boyle began his university-sponsored lecture at the Loyola Law School on Wednesday, April 23 by noting that he was raised on the Jesuit values of peace, justice, human rights and concern for the downtrodden. [...]

Although the topic of his lecture was "Iraq and Israel: A Legal Double Standard," Boyle, a professor of international law at the University of Illinois, devoted his entire talk to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and in fact did not even mention Iraq until the subject was raised in the question-and-answer period.

His thesis, which he repeated often, was that Israel has never engaged in good-faith negotiations with the Palestinians and that its offer at the 2000 Camp David peace talks amounted to a "Bantustan" arrangement, analogous to an American Indian reservation. Such a Bantustan offer, Boyle argued, would not enable Palestine to become a viable, independent state. He also noted that Israel¹s treatment of the Palestinians fulfills all but one criteria of the legal definition of apartheid and that Israel "couldn't care less about the law." [...]

Boyle ended his talk with a call for Loyola to embark on an Israel divestment campaign, arguing that hurting Israel in the pocketbook is the only way to force it to negotiate in good faith with the Palestinians.

Boyle's speech received sustained applause and a standing ovation from many members of the audience. [...]

WEAPONSGATE: The Coming Downfall Of Lying Regimes

Jul 12, 2003
By Wayne Madsen,

Editors Note: Wayne Madsen is a Washington, DC-based investigative reporter. He was also the Operations Officer at Naval Facility Coos Head, Oregon from 1980 to 1982 and assisted the FBI and NIS in the investigation as a temporary special agent. **

You wouldn't know it from listening to the leading Democratic candidates for president, but "Weaponsgate" may ultimately bring about the downfall of the Bush regime and its allies in London, Canberra, and elsewhere. The neoconservatives may have also finally stirred something in the Fourth Estate, which has suddenly begun challenging the lying echo chambers in the White House and Number 10 Downing Street.

The arrogance displayed by the Bush regime, somewhat surprising since it gained power through a fraudulent election process, is what may result in its eventual undoing. Bush may or may not ever realize how he was ill served by the neocon blight that took root within his administration, particularly within the Department of Defense. But the historians and scholars, who will look back on what turned the tide for a supposedly "popular" war president, will point to the self- described "cabal" whose lies brought about a credibility gap unseen in the United States since the days of Watergate. [...]

Revealed: first dossier also dodgy

By Kim Sengupta
12 July 2003

Tony Blair's first Iraq weapons dossier used material culled from the internet to buttress the Government's case for war - exactly as the now-discredited second, so-called dodgy dossier did.

The document, released last September, shows at least six separate items on Saddam Hussein's alleged weapons of mass destruction were lifted from reports up to 21 months old. The revelation will be acutely embarrassing to the Prime Minister who, only this week, defended the first dossier robustly, and insisted it supported the need for action. [...]

Comment: This whole business is getting ridiculous. How much evidence does the public need? That Bush and Blair can still be in public office really is a testimony to the extent of mind control under which the sheeple live." I think therefore I am?" If so, then most of humanity is headed for the anti-matter universe.

How the Land of the Free Became the Dinosaur in the Tar Pit

By Maureen Farrell, BuzzFlash
July 11, 2003

"From the brief time that we did spend occupying Iraqi territory after the war, I am certain that had we taken all of Iraq, we would have been like the dinosaur in the tar pit – we would still be there, and we, not the United Nations, would be bearing the costs of the occupation. This is a burden I am sure the beleaguered American taxpayer would not have been happy to take on." – Norman Schwarzkopf, from his 1993 autobiography, "It Doesn't Take a Hero."

"We should not march into Baghdad. To occupy Iraq would instantly shatter our coalition, turning the whole Arab world against us and make a broken tyrant into a latter-day Arab hero. Assigning young soldiers to a fruitless hunt for a securely entrenched dictator and condemning them to fight in what would be an unwinnable urban guerilla war, it could only plunge that part of the world into ever greater instability."
– George H.W. Bush, "A World Transformed," 1998

"Facing a marked increase in the frequency and brazenness of attacks on U.S.-led forces in Iraq in the last two weeks, military officials are for the first time speaking more openly about the potential for a long-term fight to quell the resistance to the American presence. Although the term is rarely used at the Pentagon, from every description by military officials, what U.S. troops face on the ground in Iraq has all the markings of a guerrilla war. . . ."
– The Los Angeles Times, June 29, 2003

Believing in the projected brevity and stated purpose of W.W.I, diehard imperialist Rudyard Kipling used his influence to secure a commission in the Irish Guards for his only son, Jack, who was both medically unfit and underage. Wounded in combat, Jack was listed missing in action and confirmed dead two years later. By that time, Kipling's grandiose notions about patriotism and valor were replaced by bitter self-recrimination. "If any ask us why we died; Tell them 'Because our fathers lied,' a haunted Kipling wrote.

By now, more and more Americans are coming to understand how deeply we were deceived as our sons die daily in the long, unforgiving shadow of WMD "exaggerations." Though some tried to warn us, the mainstream media sold the war so fiercely and thoroughly that these small voices had relatively little impact – particularly when anyone attempting to expose uncomfortable truths was accused of "drinking Saddam Hussein's Kool-Aid."

But even so, Norman Schwarzkopf, George H. W. Bush, Brent Scowcroft and Colin Powell told us what to expect a decade or so ago. "The Gulf War was a limited-objective war. If it had not been, we would be ruling Baghdad today – an unpardonable expense in terms of money, lives lost and ruined regional relationships," Powell wrote in 1992. "Would it have been worth the inevitable follow-up: major occupation forces in Iraq for years to come and a very expensive and complex American proconsulship in Baghdad? Fortunately for America, reasonable people at the time thought not. They still do."

Bush and Scowcroft were among the reasonable. "Had we gone the invasion route, the U.S. could conceivably still be an occupying power in a bitterly hostile land," they wrote, while Schwarzkopf was similarly sane earlier this year when he told the Washington Post he "would like to have better information" before endorsing the war in Iraq. And despite attempts to paint such concerns as the province of the "loony left," "reasonable people" included military experts; distinguished scientists; the CIA; conservative columnists; the National Council of Churches; traditional allies; The W.W.II generation; businessmen and millions who took to the streets in protest.

Surprisingly, various veterans organizations also became vehemently antiwar. Some found this war so unreasonable, in fact, that they urged soldiers to disobey orders. "Many of us believed serving in the military was our duty, and our job was to defend this country," one group wrote. "Our experiences in the military caused us to question much of what we were taught. Now we see our REAL duty is to encourage you as members of the U.S. armed forces to find out what you are being sent to fight and die for and what the consequences of your actions will be for humanity. . . If you choose to participate in the invasion of Iraq you will be part of an occupying army. Do you know what it is like to look into the eyes of a people that hate you to your core?"

They do now [ full article here]

A QFS member comments:


Q: (L) What is going to happen with the Middle-eastern situation; this Afghanistan or whatever?
A: Herding of population to much finer order of control.

That phrase of the C's always stuck with me and it hit home vividly during my air travels this week.

There I was, inching forward in a huge a mob of travelers who'd been herded into the security line at Seattle's Sea-Tac Airport. The narrow corral line snaked around and around, forcing hundreds of people from all over the world into a ridiculously confined indoor space. The ticking clock, the cumulative effect of hundreds of voices, the urgency in the air was all stress-inducing as controllers (airport workers) barked commands at us from all sides.

"Herding of population to much finer order of control" and visions of "1984" sprang to mind as I realized that I had no choice but to follow commands if I wanted to get on that plane -- we were at their mercy. But, there could never be mercy in a situation like this. The controllers were under stress, too -- there would be no time or place for mercy should someone have a problem. In fact, I doubt that the mob itself would have allowed mercy for anyone who slowed down the march.

Having experienced herding in a literal sense, I understood much more clearly Laura's later restatement of the concept as "herding of minds."

This was the first time I'd seen Security force absolutely everyone (except small children) to remove their shoes for scanning. I had already been singled out for the semi-strip-search treatment in Chicago a couple of days before. In Boston, I saw a security line over 100 yards long for the first time. Of course, minds have already been herded into acceptance for this kind of miserable treatment, but in my mind I was saying, "this is ridiculous."

Iraq war may have made terror threat worse

By Shaun Waterman
UPI Homeland and National Security Editor

WASHINGTON, July 9 (UPI) -- One of the world's leading terrorism experts Wednesday told the panel investigating the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks that the U.S. invasion of Iraq may have worsened the threat of terrorism.

Prof. Rohan Gunaratna, giving evidence at a public hearing of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, also criticized the failures of intelligence and policy he said had turned Afghanistan into a "terrorist Disneyland," and allowed al-Qaida and other terror groups "a free reign." [...]

Abbas under fire; Sharon hurries U.S. trip
But unrest continues to swirl around 'road map to peace'


JERUSALEM - Palestinians warned today that support for Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas could collapse if Israel does not take more concrete steps toward peace, while Israel announced that Prime Minister Ariel Sharon will be going to Washington much sooner than expected.

The meeting between Sharon and President George W. Bush, initially expected in September, was moved up to later this month. The change suggested a sense of urgency about the halting implementation of the "road map" peace plan that aims to end nearly three years of fighting and create a Palestinian state by 2005.

Comment: The article goes on to say the Abbas has been "pleading" with the Israeli Defense Minister to release more prisoners, some of whom are members of Hammas and other organizations the Israelis define as "terrorists". Negotiating from a real position of strength...

Israel to fight for U.S. visa exemption

By Aluf Benn and Irit Rosenblum
Saturday, July 12, 2003 02:21

Israel has launched a diplomatic offensive to persuade the United States to exempt Israelis from requiring a visa to enter the country.

Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom raised the issue with Secretary of State Colin Powell two weeks ago and has ordered the ministry's North America desk to prepare a plan of action. Powell advised Shalom to exploit Israel's good relations with Congress in the case.

Shalom's initiative follows new regulations that became effective yesterday, making it much harder to obtain a visa. Under the new rules, prompted by the September 11, 2001 terror attacks and subsequent fierce domestic criticism of America's visa procedures, all Israelis between the ages of 16 and 60 must have a personal interview with an American official before getting a visa.

This is expected to create huge delays - travel agents predict up to several months - since the embassy has received no extra funding and hired no additional staff to carry out this task. [...]

US Leans On Belgians to Spare Sharon From Trial

By Robert Fisk
For The Independent

Mohamed Shaukat Abu Rudeina believes that his family will never receive justice. "It’s all over," he says. "The world has changed since Sept. 11, 2001. The Americans rule the world."

A few yards from his concrete breeze-block home, the bullets that killed his father and uncle still puncture the walls. In 1982 up to 1,700 Palestinians were massacred here, in the camps of Sabra and Shatilla. The Israeli Kahan Commission stated that Ariel Sharon — then the Israeli defense minister, now the prime minister, who sent the killers into the camps — was "personally responsible" for the killings. On that basis, Mohamed was one of the survivors who brought the legal case against Sharon to Brussels.

"All my life," he says, "I wanted a father and I resented the fact that he was killed. I hated his absence in my life." Alas, for Mohamed Shaukat, America’s pressure on the Belgian government meant that Brussels — under threat of losing its rebuilding of NATO headquarters and the presence of US officials in the capital — demanded changes in Belgium’s war crimes laws, so that US soldiers could not be taken to court in Europe. The Belgian administration caved in — not least because of claims that George Bush and Gen. Tommy Franks were accused of war crimes during their March invasion of Iraq. In future, any defendants would be transferred to their own countries for trial. The Americans were safe.

But, as Chibli Mallat, one of the three lawyers representing the survivors, pointed out, this was not enough. "After the Belgians agreed to the changes, [US Secretary of Defense] Donald Rumsfeld said he wasn’t happy with the changes. Is this to save Sharon from coming to trial?" Mallat has studied Belgian law all too carefully. "The Belgians decided that the accused could be tried in their own country, provided it had a fair legal system. We said, ‘Fine, but our plaintiffs cannot go to Israel — they, as Palestinian refugees, won’t have any chance of setting foot in Israel to state their case’. So the case has to be heard in Belgium."

Mohamed Shaukat still remembers the day his father and uncle and other members of his family were ordered from their shack and taken to the yard outside. He heard the bullets that killed them, fired by the Lebanese Christian Phalangists sent into the refugee camps by Ariel Sharon in 1982 to fight "terrorists". "I knew they were murdered and I saw their bodies," he says. "Now the Belgians will submit to whatever the Americans say."

Bush: God has called us

11/07/2003 19:04 - (SA)

Entebbe, Uganda - US President George W Bush on Friday met Ugandan victims of the HIV/Aids pandemic that is sweeping Africa and praised his host President Yoweri Museveni for helping to stem the rise of the killer disease in his country.

"It's one thing to hear about the ravages of Aids, it's another thing to see them first hand," Bush said at a brief speech at an HIV/Aids treatment centre on the shores of Lake Victoria shortly after arriving in Uganda on a four-hour visit. [...]

He pledged to Africans, "You are not alone. America has decided to act."

"I believe God has called us into action. Our country has got a responsibility, we are a great nation, we are a wealthy nation, we have a responsibility to help a neighbour in need, a brother and sister in crisis." [...]

Comment: A "great nation?" A "wealthy nation?" Maybe you should ask the American people about that Bushy boy. The only ones getting wealthy are you and your gang of thugs... As for "great?" America is now the most hated nation on Earth. How's that for "great?"

African leaders back new peace council

AFP, Saturday July 12, 5:38 AM

African leaders meeting in Maputo offered wide support for a Peace and Security Council which will be able to send peacekeeping troops to quash genocidal wars on the continent.

Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade said heads of state meeting at the second summit of the African Union (AU) discussed defence and the setting up of the council at a closed session.

"It was widely supported," he told AFP, but added that no decisions had been made.

The establishment of the council is regarded as a top priority at the summit.

The body is loosely modelled on the United Nations Security Council and will have the power to deploy what will be called the African Standby Force to intervene in wars involving crimes against humanity. [...]

Algeria hit by plague outbreak

Thursday, 10 July, 2003, 17:21 GMT

UN health officials are helping Algeria to investigate an outbreak of plague in the west of the country which has claimed at least one life.

A team from the World Health Organization and other international bodies went to the Oran region after reports of plague emerged last month.

Algeria's health ministry has announced 10 laboratory-confirmed cases to date and one probable case.

France, the former colonial power which has a large ethnic Algerian community, has tightened sanitary controls at its ports to guard against contaminated rats and insects. [...]

SARS Quarantine In Texas

ABILENE, Texas, July 11, 2003

(CBS/AP) Nine people connected to the military have been quarantined in Texas after some reported respiratory problems similar to SARS, officials said.

A group of military personnel passed through the Toronto Airport recently, and some reported mild to moderate respiratory problems earlier this week after returning home, said Capt. David May of Dyess Air Force Base in Abilene.

Only one person in the group fits the definition of a suspected SARS case, and no one has been officially diagnosed with SARS or been hospitalized, May said. But he said the military travelers and some people they've come in contact with, nine people in all, are now under home quarantine.

Officials with the Abilene-Taylor County Public Health District said Thursday that there is no reason for alarm. [...]

49 dead in past month as rains ravage Nepal

KATHMANDU (AFP) Jul 10, 2003

At least 49 people have been killed over the past month by floods, landslides and lightning in monsoon rains that have ravaged Nepal, the home ministry said Thursday.

"We have information that at least 24 have died from floods and landslides since mid-June. Twenty-five people have been killed by lightning in the last 72 hours," home ministry spokesman Gopendra Bahadur Pandey told AFP.

He said hundreds of people have lost their homes in the monsoon, primarily in the low-lying and mid-mountain ranges in the east and center of the kingdom. [...]

Bush Issues Disaster in Ind. After Storms

By JAMES HANNAH, Associated Press Writer
July 12, 2003

WILLSHIRE, Ohio - President Bush issued a disaster declaration Friday for 25 counties in storm-ravaged Indiana as flood water began receding from hundreds of homes there and in neighboring Ohio.

The disaster declaration triggered the release of federal money to help victims of the heavy rain, tornadoes and flooding that have plagued northern Indiana and Ohio. [...]

The St. Marys River had dropped to about 25 feet Friday morning at Decatur, Ind., after cresting at 27 feet Wednesday, and the National Weather Service said it should fall below its flood stage of 17 feet on Sunday. [...]

Death toll in China floods hits 569

BEIJING (AFP) Jul 11, 2003

The death toll from massive floods crippling large parts of China jumped to 569 Friday with half a million homes destroyed as Chinese President Hu Jintao ordered increased efforts to fight the annual blight.

Up until July 10, more than 505,000 homes had collapsed and 1.33 million houses had been damaged by floods that have mainly occurred in central, east and southern China since mid-May, the Civil Affairs Ministry said in its latest report.

At least 2.29 million people have been evacuated while economic losses nationwide have risen to 39.87 billion yuan (4.8 billion dollars). [...]

If Disaster Hits New York, Hide Under a Desk - City

By Mark Egan
Fri July 11, 2003 09:12 AM ET

NEW YORK (Reuters) - In the 1950s Americans were told to hide under tables if a nuclear bomb went off -- an infamous warning that became the butt of endless jokes. Now amid a high terror alert, New York is giving its residents the same advice.

On Thursday New York published its new household preparedness manual, telling residents what to do in case of any number of disasters, ranging from earthquakes, floods, tornadoes, terrorist attacks, collapsing buildings, chemical spills to dirty bombs. [...]

Ten pages into the document, the city offers one quarter of one page of pithy advice on what to do.

"If you are in a building collapse or explosion, get out as quickly and calmly as possibly," it suggests, before adding, "If you can't get out of the building, get under a sturdy table or desk."

New Yorkers who believe hiding under a table might help them if their office skyscraper collapsed in a terrorist attack are encouraged to try all sorts of other tips.

What to do if exposed to radiation? Well, it depends on where you are. If you're outside, the city suggests you go inside. And if the event happens inside, going outdoors might be a good idea. [...]

Moderately strong earthquake rocks central Philippines

MANILA, Philippines (AP) - A moderately strong earthquake with a 5.9 magnitude rocked the central Philippines, but no damage was immediately reported, officials said Saturday.

Minor earthquake reported northeast of Ogden

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - A minor earthquake was reported northeast of Ogden on Friday night.

Walter Arabasz, director of the University of Utah seismograph stations, said the tremor with a magnitude of 3.7 hit at 7:57 p.m. with the epicenter eight miles east of Huntsville and about 19 miles northeast of Ogden. [...]

Arabasz said earthquakes like Friday's happen in Utah about three times a year. The most recent was one of 3.6 magnitude in January.

News photographer nabs rare shot of meteor on video

By Louis Galvan
The Fresno Bee

No, it wasn't a bottle rocket left over from the Fourth of July. And, nope, no matter what your know-it-all brother-in-law said, it wasn't an alien spaceship, doomed as it entered the Earth's atmosphere.

"It was a meteor," said Dr. Fred Ringwald, a department of physics professor at California State University, Fresno, after reviewing a videotape of a streaking bright light that shot across the sky about 10 p.m. Wednesday.

"It was a rock from space, probably traveling about 100,000 miles an hour when it hit the Earth's atmosphere and started to burn," he said. [...]

SOHO Nabs its 500th Comet

by Vanessa Thomas

The most accomplished comet -catcher reached a milestone this week. On August 12, the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) spacecraft imaged a comet swinging around the sun. Now called C/2002 P3 (SOHO), the comet is the 500th discovered in images from the spacecraft.

SOHO wasn't originally designed to discover comets, but to monitor and study solar activity. Discovering comets was an unexpected talent. With an instrument called LASCO (the Large Angle and Spectrometric Coronagraph ), SOHO uses a circular mask to block out most of the sun's light in order to observe the solar corona and the space near the sun. When sungrazing comets reach perihelion , they're lost in the sun's glare for observers on Earth, but come into view for LASCO.

Catching a comet's tail in the Earth's upper atmosphere


For more than 20 years, NASA has flown high-altitude research aircraft to collect cosmic dust -- debris of comets and asteroids that fills the inner solar system. In late April though, they made the first attempt to collect dust particles from a very specific target -- comet Grigg-Skjellerup. [...]

A Turkish UFO site is claiming, in all caps:


From the same site, and of some interest: THE CIA OFFICIALLY REQUESTED INFORMATION ON THE LATEST UFO INCIDENTS IN TURKEY FROM MIT (TURKISH INTELLIGENCE AGENCY ). They show photos of the actual newspaper article.

'Kill the president' e-mail prompts probe

Anastasia Hendrix, Chronicle Staff Writer
Thursday, July 10, 2003

A political science instructor at Santa Rosa Junior College is being investigated by the Secret Service for telling his students to compose an e-mail to an elected official that included the words "kill the president, kill the president," a school administrator said Wednesday.

Michael Ballou, a part-time lecturer who teaches an "Introduction to U.S. Government" course at the college's Petaluma campus, intended the assignment to be an "experiential exercise that would instill a sense of fear so they would have a better sense of why more people don't participate in the political process," said Doug Garrison, the vice president and executive dean of the Petaluma campus. [...]

Leslie Danz, a spokeswoman in Thompson's Washington, D.C., office said the e-mail, which said only "kill the president, kill the president," was not opened until Monday because of the holiday weekend. It was immediately forwarded to the Capitol police service, she said. It was the first time the office has encountered such a threat, Danz said. [...]

"Buy American" plan for Pentagon clears hurdle despite warnings

Wed Jul 9, 9:34 AM ET

WASHINGTON (AFP) - With some lawmakers fuming over opposition by US allies to the Iraq war, Congress is weighing a plan to force the Pentagon to buy more US-made goods despite warnings from industry and the administration.

A "Buy America" amendment was passed by the House of Representatives in May as part of a defense authorization bill, requiring 65 percent of components in items bought by the Pentagon be made in the US, compared to 50 percent under current law. It would also require some components such as machine tools to be 100 percent US-made. [...]

In a statement on the bill, the White House said it "objects strongly" to the provisions "because they are burdensome, counterproductive, and have the potential to degrade US military capabilities." [...]

Comment: "Buy American" out of one side of the mouth, the glories of "free trade" out of the other. Free trade is not for free trade, it is to open foreign markets to US capital investment.

Pentagon staff took $1.5m bribes

From correspondents in Alexandria, Virginia
July 11, 2003

(AP) - TWO former Pentagon officials were convicted today of taking more than $US1 million ($1.53 million) in bribes and accepting prostitutes and boxing match tickets from government contractors.

Robert Lee Neal Jr., 50, was convicted of conspiracy, extortion, money laundering, witness tampering and obstruction of justice. A Clinton appointee, he controlled a government program that distributed $US28 million annually to small minority-owned businesses. His top assistant, Francis Delano Jones Jr., 41, was convicted of the same charges. His lawyer said he would seek a new trial separate from the co-defendant.

Testimony indicated that some businesses that paid bribes received millions of dollars in government contracts. The men demanded bribes as high as $US100,000 ($152,555) each and overall received $US1.1 million ($1.68 million) in illegal funds. [...]

Comment: And they are just the ones that got caught!

FBI: al-Qaida Detainee Spoke of Fire Plot

Associated Press
July 12, 2003

PHOENIX - The FBI alerted law enforcement agencies last month that an al-Qaida terrorist now in detention had talked of masterminding a plot to set a series of devastating forest fires around the western United States...

The Republic reported that the detainee, who was not identified, said the plan involved three or four people setting wildfires using timed devices in Colorado, Montana, Utah and Wyoming that would detonate in forests and grasslands after the operatives had left the country.

The memo noted that investigators couldn't determine whether the detainee was telling the truth.

The newspaper said many forest law enforcement officers it contacted had no idea the warning had been issued.

Comment: Just in case, they better equip Smokey the Bear with an M-16 and an M-1 tank.

Colorado soldier becomes second U.S. servicewoman to die in the Iraq war

The Associated Press
7/11/03 3:57 PM

FORT CARSON, Colo. (AP) -- An Army sergeant killed by a gunshot wound in Iraq became the second U.S. servicewoman to die in the war.

Sgt. Melissa Valles, 26, of Eagle Pass, Texas, died Wednesday from non-combat injuries, according to the Defense Department. The accident in Balad, a city 55 miles north of Baghdad, was under investigation and details were not released...

"We know it is a gunshot wound to the abdomen. We just don't know the circumstances," said Lt. Col. Tom Budzyna, base spokesman.

The first woman to die in the Iraq war was Pfc. Lori Piestewa, 22, of Tuba City, Ariz., who was killed March 23. She was with Pfc. Jessica Lynch when their Humvee crashed into another vehicle.

No confirmation Canadian woman arrested in Iran is brain dead

July 11, 2003

OTTAWA (CP) -- Canadian authorities have been told that the condition of a Quebec woman reportedly arrested and beaten into a coma in Iran has not changed despite reports she is now brain dead.

Canadian officials have visited Zahra Kazemi several times since she was apparently arrested after taking photos outside a prison in Tehran on or about June 23, said Reynald Doiron, a Foreign Affairs spokesman...

Paris on Bastille Day security alert

PARIS, July 10 (AFP) - France is preparing to celebrate its Bastille Day festivities next Monday under high security because of terrorism fears and memories of the attempted assassination of President Jacques Chirac during the parade down the Champs-Elysees a year ago.

Paris police chief Jean-Paul Proust said Friday that significant measures would be put in place, including the "fairly exceptional" deployment of 4,750 police officers in the capital to channel crowds and screen potential threats...

Tour de France | Stage 7

Saturday 12th July | 230km
Lyon - Morzine

Stage 7
The overall leaders will be bidding to stake their claim in the race on the first mountain stage, with a string of harsh climbs set to finish off the stragglers in the latter stages.

Italy minister quits over remarks

An Italian Government minister has offered to resign after his outspoken remarks about German tourists prompted Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder to cancel a holiday in Italy.

Tourism Minister Stefano Stefani described Germans as hyper-nationalistic blond louts who invade Italy's beaches.

An apology from Mr Stefani - a junior minister - is also to be published in the Saturday edition of Germany's top-selling tabloid newspaper, Bild.

Mr Stefani's comments followed an incident in the European Parliament in which Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi compared a German member to a Nazi concentration camp guard.

Activists prepare for counter-Bohemian Grove ritual

July 11, 2003

Activists are gearing up to protest the annual summer retreat of San Francisco's Bohemian Club, saying what happens in secret amid the 2,700 acres of privately owned redwoods in Monte Rio influences policies that shape people's lives around the world.

The first campers are expected to arrive today and the first protests are set for Saturday.

The protests are intended to draw attention to the "ways in which the members of the Bohemian Grove use their power to negatively affect the lives of people locally and globally," said Susan Lamont, one of the organizers.

Bohemian Club members have long maintained that the three-week encampment is a chance for men from varied social, economic and cultural backgrounds to simply relax and enjoy a schedule of thought-provoking lectures, theater and musical performances.

Activists call that a naive assessment of what goes on in the Bohemian Grove, where club members and summer guests have included presidents and cabinet secretaries, senators and corporate chieftains, as well as journalists, academics and musicians.
Combine that roster of heavyweights with the topics raised in the twice-daily Lakeside Talks, and, in effect, said longtime activist Mary Moore, the encampment is a "way to float public policy ideas without public discussion." [...]

Danes prepare for snow in Iraq

Denmark's troops in Iraq may dream of the frost of a Scandinavian winter on days when the temperature rises to a blistering 46 degrees.

But many may have been wondering if the military back home really had to rub it in when a recent supply shipment turned up a snowplough and a stock of salt for icy roads.

Baking in the heat and dust outside Basra, the 380-odd Danes could have been forgiven for thinking the lawnmowers also included in the cargo were a mirage. [...]

Body bag maker sues NYC for 9/11 order

(Reuters) A New Jersey plastic bag company sued New York City on Thursday for refusing to pay for 100,000 body bags it had ordered after the Sept. 11 attack on the World Trade Center. [...]

Fordion said that since some of the bags were used, they were acceptable by the city. "The true reason the city belatedly attempted to reject the body bags was that there were far fewer bodies recovered from the World Trade Center" the suit said.

Boys say they're force behind crop circles

But police think Fairfield teenagers' story is full of holes

Saying they were inspired by a late-night TV documentary, four teenage boys from Fairfield claim they created the crop circles that have been drawing the curious and the kooky to a wheat field in Solano County.

But the claim of responsibility, first published in the Vacaville Reporter on Friday, was scoffed at by some who say that the boys must have made it up.

"I think their story is as big a hoax as the crop circles," said Solano County District Attorney David Paulson, who, like hundreds of other people, has been to the Balestra farm to check out the wheat field designs. "The law enforcement community has been waiting for somebody to take responsibility."

Comment: More attempts to discredit the whole crop circle phenomenon. See here for a scientific report on why crop circles cannot be a "hoax".

5,000-year-old skeleton unearthed in south China

Xinhuanet 2003-07-12 08:48

GUANGZHOU, July 12 -- Chinese archaeologists have unearthed an intact skeleton at a Neolithic site in Dongguan City of south China's Guangdong Province.

Experts say that the 5,000-year-old skeleton, positioned face-up with limbs extended was a male inhabitant of the Pearl River delta in the central-south part of Guangdong.

Archaeologists with the Guangdong Provincial Cultural Heritage,the Archaeological Research Institute and the Dongguan City Museum have excavated large quantities of pottery and stone, bone and mussel tools at the Haogang Neolithic site in the Nancheng District of Dongguan, since excavations began on April 15.

The Haogang New Stone Age site has residential housing, designated sites for public activities, areas for garbage disposaland a designated burial area, indicating that human beings lived in the Pearl River delta more than 5,000 years ago, said Feng Mengqin, an expert with the Guangdong Provincial Cultural Heritageand Archaeological Research Institute and head of the excavation team.

Judging from the materials unearthed thus far, the Haogang sitewas the earliest site on the Pearl River delta inhabited by human beings, according to Feng.

[...] The discovery also provides evidence for the study of the relationship among ancient civilizations in the area of the Pacific Ocean.

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