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Sunday, April 25, 2004

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New Article: Jupiter, Nostradamus, Edgar Cayce, and the Return of the Mongols - Laura Knight-Jadczyk

Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9, Part 10, Part 11, Part 12

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Picture of the Day

The Road to St-Jacques in the Evening
©2004 Pierre-Paul Feyte

The Evolution of Humanity

Imagine that you are standing in a large room, which is full of people. You are not part of the assembled crowd but are merely observing the activities and the people.

A large and grandiose party is in full swing. People continue to arrive all the time, swelling the already voluminous mass of humanity. A band plays in the corner, some of the people are talking and drinking while others dance to the music. As you wander around you notice that the people gathered in the room seem to have organised themselves into groups. As you listen in on the conversations that are taking place you learn that these groups seem to be organised by social status or racial type or simply those with a similar world view. Very clear however is the fact that there are those that are well dressed and seem to be "well fed" and there are those that appear to be rather more dishevelled and monetarily poor.

All of the groups tend to keep to themselves, there appears to be no cross-communication between them and many seem to stand in direct opposition to each other. Additionally, and quite apart from the main groups, there is a small group of exceptionally well dressed people who seem to be directing the overall proceedings. We shall call them "the directors". They keep the bar well-stocked, they orchestrate the style and tempo of the music, and make regular announcements and speeches which have the effect of setting the general tone of the various conversations that are taking place.

In general everyone seems to be happy and enjoying themselves. As you continue to observe the scene your attention is caught by a light in the corner of the room. As you focus upon it, you realise that it is a flame - the curtains of the room are on fire.

Naturally you are concerned by this, and you are glad to see that the directors seem to have noticed it also, they are gathered around the curtains inspecting the flames and talking excitedly together. You expect that very soon they will attempt to inform the throng that continues to involve themselves with the party and seem oblivious to the fact that anything is wrong.

Not long thereafter, one of the directors steps up to the elevated podium, but instead of making an announcement about the imminent danger, he orders that free drinks be provided for all, and instructs the band to up the tempo and volume of the music. The crowd responds by immersing themselves further in the revelry.

You focus again on the flames and see that some of the directors have erected a flimsy screen around the curtains that serves to obscure the fire from the party-goers. You are perplexed, why would they do this?

The fire continues to spread behind the screen engulfing more and more of the room. As it does so, the directors continue to erect more screens around the flames. It is obvious to you that very soon the entire room will be surrounded by flames, and the people themselves engulfed and burned to a cinder, yet to your amazement, almost no one seems to notice the obvious fact that something is amiss. The temperature in the room has already increased to the point that people are sweating and removing items of clothing, yet it appears that this gives no cause for concern among the people. The paint on the ceiling of the room is starting to bubble, and crack, small fragments of burning paint are falling on the heads of the crowd, yet no one seems to consider this strange. Indeed, it seems that the increasing heat and spread of the flames serves only to increase the intensity of the partying. While the Signs are unmistakable that the room is on fire, this fact is not accessible to the partygoers apparently because they cannot see the flames.

At this point, you take it upon yourself to raise the alarm. You shout at the people, warning them that they are in mortal danger, but incredibly your efforts have little or no effect on them. Slowly you begin to realise that due to the hypnotic rhythm of the music and the effects of the drinks, most of the people are virtually unable to either see you or hear you. Now and again a few people seem momentarily to hear your shouts, or to catch a glimpse of you as you attempt to direct their attention to the flames, yet very quickly they are distracted again by the music and dancing and interesting conversation, even as the flames encircle them.

As all of this is happening, and in response to your attempts to alert the people to their predicament, you notice that the small group of directors have again ordered the band to play louder still, the bar is now an "open bar" with the people themselves serving the drink, filling large glasses full of potent cocktails. The announcements and speeches by the directors to the main groups are more and more frequent. The room now is fully aflame, the screens that obscured the truth have themselves been reduced to ash. By this stage many of the people are lying unconscious on the floor in a stupor. Among those still lucid, previously friendly debates have now turned ugly and fights break out between the groups and within the groups themselves. Still none recognise that they are about to be consumed.

You continue to attempt to attract the attention of the people, right up to the point that you are endangering your own life, but to no avail. Finally you are forced to flee from the searing heat as you see the flames approaching the last exit door from the room. You stand outside frantic and exasperated, barely able to see inside the room through the flames.

It is only then that you hear the music and conversation grind to a sudden halt, and the screams begin. As you take one final look back into the room through a small gap in the raging inferno, you are just able to see the small group of impeccably dressed directors quietly slipping out a concealed exit - they seem to be congratulating each other, a look of glib self satisfaction on their faces.

"Humanity neither progresses nor evolves by Nature. One can evolve; humanity cannot, for evolution proceeds only consciously.

Yet humanity must evolve or perish.

The process of social evolution is the process of individual evolution, the formation of a conscious nucleus within humanity. Even 200 conscious individuals would change the whole of life on earth.

The individuals forming this inner circle of humanity, though they evolved by different ways, always agree and understand one another. Misunderstandings belong to the outer circle of sleeping people whose confusion of tongues and inevitable discord attest to their ignorance.

In order to help others one must first learn to help oneself. people's consuming interest in changing others is a sign of laziness in working on their own evolution.

Wars cannot be stopped bu ordinary means; they are the result of cosmic forces acting upon organic life on earth. The energy made available by mass destruction of life is necesary for the cosmos in the abscence of consciousness in humanity." - G. I. Gurdjieff - from "Gurdjieff, Seeker of the Truth" by Speeth and Friedlander

In the final analysis, we are responsible for our own future. The future we find ourselves in will not be the result of fate, but of our level of consciousness.

The following comment was left on our Signs Interactive page yesterday.

In Saturday's SOTT, you wrote:

"Most people are essentially useless to life and creation, they serve no purpose other than to reflect lies and illusions and to be the lifeless pawns of their taskmasters who manipulate them at their will. To be in some way useful to life we must strive to Be. To Be we must first throw off the shackles on our mind that have been imposed since birth. ALL of our lives, our beliefs, our wishes, our wants, ALL are the product this world of lies and illusion and the people that reap the benefits of our continued apathetic subservience to same.

Let those that have eyes to see, see, and those that have ears to hear, hear."

I'm curious: Are there any people you can think of (famous or obscure), who, in your view, are "useful to life and to creation?"

We've seen all the negative examples. Can you think of any positive ones?

What would be a "positive example"? What example would such a person have to set? The images that are normally given to us are those of self-sacrifice and love for all in the face of overwhelming hardship. In other words, models that ensure the feeding will continue unabated.

Our models or exemplars are different.

Who are those who have helped humanity see the prison within which they are trapped? Who are those who have left signs indicating the way out? These are the people we would consider positive examples, the ones who have identified the real cause of our problems, the hyperdimensional control system and our existence as "food for the moon."

In the 20th century, there are two names that stand out: Gurdjieff and Fulcanelli.

Historically, there have been other alchemists, the Cathars, the Knights Templar, the Sufis, and the esoteric Christian current in the Orthodox Church that have left clues or who appear to have lived a life indicative of those who are looking for the exit. The teachings were hidden from public scrutiny, and given the fate of many of the Cathars and Knight Templar, we understand why.

Further back in time, men like Jesus or Sakyamuni were probably also exemplars, teaching something similar to the groups and individuals mentioned above. It is harder to tell because their words have been taken out of context and distorted. The religions that have appropriated their names very likely have little to do with the teachings of these men and have most likely turned the messages on their heads. Instead of a Jesus who is teaching people how to stand up to those who would suck them dry, we get the long-suffering, physically abused Jesus who is packing them in at cinemas near you. We don't think that this has anything to do with the teachings of the man who has come to be known as Jesus.

Boris Mouravieff claims to have traced the teachings of Orthodox esoteric Christianity back to the Scythians, to whom we most likely also owe the origin of the stories of King Arthur via the Nart Sagas.

Coincidence? We think not.

Therefore, the hidden teachings of the Eastern Church go back long before the time of the New Testament.

But there is another issue raised by the quote from yesterday. We wrote "Most people are essentially useless to life and creation, they serve no purpose other than to reflect lies and illusions and to be the lifeless pawns of their taskmasters who manipulate them at their will." From our point of view, this is what we see. People live mechanical lives contributing nothing new to Creation.

That, of course, does not mean that they serve no purpose whatsoever. They are necessary in the role they perform, that of food. Creation could not exist without them.

Civilians die in gunfights on border

As scores are killed in northern town and Falluja ceasefire is strained, jostling for power intensifies

Jason Burke in Baghdad
Sunday April 25, 2004
The Observer

American troops fighting insurgents killed scores of civilians in protracted battles in a remote town on Iraq's Syrian border last week. The deaths, not previously reported due to the remoteness of the area, will raise tensions still further in the country and make the increasingly frantic attempts by the US-led coalition to ensure security and stability even harder.

Yesterday the fragile ceasefire in the western city of Falluja, where around 600 civilians are believed to have been killed in nearly two weeks of intermittent fighting between US marines and insurgents, appeared close to collapse. Increasingly impatient American military commanders promised action 'within days' if rebels continued to refuse their demands. They would not give details for reasons of 'operational security'.

The battles on the western frontier - seen as critical to cutting off the flow of logistic support and volunteer fighters from Syria - are going unnoticed. Last Saturday in al-Qaim, a city of around 100,000, US marines were surprised by a contingent of 'anti-coalition fighters' - a loose alliance of former Baath party cadres and foreign militants behind the recent upsurge in violence. Five marines were killed and nine wounded. Medical sources in al-Qaim said the main hospital in the city had recorded 31 deaths, including the city's police chief, two women, a seven-year-old boy and a five-month-old baby, and 47 wounded. Locals claim the dead were civilians shot by snipers or caught in crossfire. US official sources say most of those killed were armed fighters.

The news will further inflame public opinion in Iraq where many have been angered by heavy-handed US military tactics. The ongoing siege of Falluja has sparked outrage throughout Iraq. Senior coalition figures admit that attempts to pacify the country will founder if the rate of civilian deaths does not fall.

Comment: One might imagine that given the increasing number of civilian casualties in Iraq, the American people might begin to suspect that the "insurgents" and "guerillas" are actually ordinary Iraqis who are fighting for their very freedom from US occupation - but that would mean that Americans are being lied to. No, we must be off our rockers. Just another crazy conspiracy theory...

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US to lose more occupation support
Saturday 24 April 2004, 9:06 Makka Time, 6:06 GMT

Faced with an eroding occupation force, the United States has said it hopes several nations will keep troops in Iraq past their July deadline for withdrawal.

But Norway rejected the appeal on Saturday, indicating its 180 troops would leave after an American-backed interim Iraqi government takes power on 30 June.

Foreign Minister Jan Petersen said: "We must follow our original plan, of a commitment until the summer."

In the face of worsening violence, three countries - Spain, Honduras and the Dominican Republic - have announced they are pulling out their troops, totalling roughly 2000.

And occupation strength could crumble further because several nations have committed only to staying until the US occupiers transfer power to a selected Iraqi government.

US request

In interviews with media from occupation allies on Friday, Secretary of State Colin Powell acknowledged Norway, the Netherlands and El Salvador - who have almost 2000 troops in Iraq - may not be in Iraq after 1 July.

Powell said a new UN resolution the US was drafting may persuade some nations to extend their tours of duty. [...]

But critics of the plan say Iraq will remain under American occupation because US troops will be outside the control of the interim government. [...]

Comment: US officials seem to have confirmed the critics' suspicions:

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US admits it will still control Iraq after transfer

By Rupert Cornwell in Washington
The Independent
24 April 2004

The US has made clear that the transfer of sovereignty to a provisional Iraqi government on 30 June will be a limited affair, and that ultimate authority will reside at a gigantic new US embassy in Baghdad and with the military occupation force.

In sometimes heated hearings on Capitol Hill this week, senior Bush administration officials admitted they did not know who would be in the new government, precisely what powers it would exercise, nor the exact shape of the new Security Council resolution that Washington is seeking at the United Nations.

Marc Grossman, Under-Secretary of State for political affairs, said the government would put "a very important Iraqi face" on many aspects of the country's life. But the US military, not the Iraqi security forces, would be in charge of all security matters.

Asked what would happen if the temporary government acted at variance with US foreign policy - such as by seeking closer ties with Iran - Mr Grossman implied that would not be tolerated. "That is why we want to have an American ambassador in Iraq," he noted cryptically. [...]

Comment: There ya have it, folks. "Iraqi Sovereignty" consists merely of putting "a very important Iraqi face" on aspects of the new government. In other words, the Iraqis will be puppets - masks that their American masters wear. Do they really believe that such a ridiculous plan will work, especially given the recent rebellions that have rocked cities like Falluja?

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Saudis Aided in Iraq More Than Thought

By JOHN SOLOMON, Associated Press Writer
April 25, 2004

WASHINGTON - During the Iraq war, Saudi Arabia secretly helped the United States far more than has been acknowledged, allowing operations from at least three air bases, permitting special forces to stage attacks from Saudi soil and providing cheap fuel, U.S. and Saudi officials say.

The American air campaign against Iraq was essentially managed from inside Saudi borders, where military commanders operated an air command center and launched refueling tankers, F-16 fighter jets, and sophisticated intelligence gathering flights, according to the officials.

Much of the assistance has been kept quiet for more than a year by both countries for fear it would add to instability inside the kingdom. Many Saudis oppose the war and U.S. presence on Saudi soil has been used by Osama bin Laden to build his terror movement.

But senior political and military officials from both countries told The Associated Press the Saudi royal family permitted widespread military operations to be staged from inside the kingdom during the coalition force's invasion of Iraq. [...]

Comment: So, the Saudi royal family helped the Bush gang again. How shocking. It might make one wonder what other secrets the government has not yet revealed - regarding 9/11, perhaps? Nah! We're just a bunch of crazy conspiracy theorists. The American government, the "elected" representatives of the Greatest Democracy on Earth, would never lie to its people - right?

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Day of violence leaves dozens dead in Iraq

Last Updated Sat, 24 Apr 2004 23:10:43

BAGHDAD - Four U.S. soldiers and more than 30 Iraqis died in renewed violence Saturday making April the bloodiest month of the conflict.

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U.S. set to storm Falluja: Bush must weigh huge risks of attack on Iraqi stronghold

Apr. 25, 2004. 01:00 AM

WASHINGTON—Facing one of the grimmest choices of the Iraq war, President George W. Bush and his senior national security and military advisers are expected to decide this weekend whether to order an invasion of Falluja, even if a battle there runs the risk of uprisings in the city and perhaps elsewhere around Iraq.

After declaring Friday evening in Florida that "America will never be run out of Iraq by a bunch of thugs and killers," Bush flew to Camp David, Md., for the weekend, where administration officials said he planned consultations in a video conference with the military commanders who are keeping the city under siege.

But in interviews, administration and senior military officials portrayed Bush's choices as dismal.

"It's clear you can't leave a few thousand insurgents there to terrorize the city and shoot at us," one senior official involved in the discussions said yesterday.

"The question now is whether there is a way to go in with the most minimal casualties possible."

No decision to begin military action has been made.

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Arafat Said Preparing for Possible Death

By MOHAMMED DARAGHMEH, Associated Press Writer
Sat Apr 24,10:38 PM ET

RAMALLAH, West Bank - Addressing thousands of cheering supporters Saturday, Yasser Arafat dismissed the latest Israeli threats against him, referring to himself as a "mountain" that will not be moved.

But confidants of the Palestinian leader said he was taking the warnings seriously and was preparing for the possibility of his death. [...]

"I met with Arafat this morning. He told me, 'I am a believer. My fate is martyrdom,'" said Abbas Zaki, a leading member of Arafat's Fatah movement. [...]

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Israel Backs Off Arafat Threat, Mulls Gaza Ouster

By Dan Williams
April 25, 2004

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israel backed off its latest threat against Yasser Arafat Sunday, saying no action was imminent but that the Palestinian president could eventually be expelled to the Gaza Strip. [...]

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Israeli ex-minister in drugs bust

Thursday, 22 April

A former Israeli minister has been arrested on attempted drug trafficking charges.

Dutch police say 25,000 ecstasy tablets were found in a package which Gonen Segev is alleged to have stowed in a locker at Amsterdam's Schiphol airport.

Mr Segev is alleged to have tried to use a diplomatic passport with a falsified date in it to avoid the airport security checks. Mr Segev, who denies the charges, was energy minister under Yitzhak Rabin.

His lawyer is quoted by the AP news agency as saying a friend had asked Mr Segev, a 48 year-old doctor, to take a gift of chocolates back to Israel.

Israeli police spokesman Gil Kleiman said they had been investigating Mr Segev and the two other people arrested with him for some time.

"On two different occasions he arrived at the airport in Holland," he said."On both occasions there was suspicion he had in possession illegal chemical substances.

"He was asked to open his bag, he showed a diplomatic passport with an invalid date. He refused to open the bag. In both cases he left the airport."

Mr Segev is reported to have placed the suspicious bag in a locker in Schiphol Airport, before continuing onto his flight to Israel.

He was arrested in Israel once the Dutch authorities had confirmed the bag contained the thousands of ecstasy tablets. Mr Segev was remanded in custody for a week when he appeared on Thursday at a Tel Aviv magistrates court.

Israeli police reportedly keeps an officer permanently in the Netherlands due to attempts by Israeli drug rings to smuggle narcotics from Western Europe.

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Sarkozy accueilli en ami dans la capitale américaine (Sarkozy welcomed as a friend in the American capital)

Washington : Guillemette Faure
[24 avril 2004]

According to Le Monde, Nicolas Sarkozy's first day in Washington didn't give any indiciation that he was simply the Minister of Finance. He had lunch with the American Jewish Committee, which awarded him a medal for his work in France against anti-Semitism, and had separate meetings with Colin Powell and Condoleeza Rice. Kenneth Bandler of the AJC said, "We have had a relation with him for a long time. We have already met with him in Paris."

Both the French and the Americans are using Sarkozy to show how relations between the two countries have improved since a year ago.

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China alert after Sars comeback

China says it is screening thousands of passengers at railway stations and airports after the re-emergence of the deadly Sars virus.

A woman who died last Monday is suspected of having the virus.

Her daughter, who worked at a Sars research lab in Beijing, a co-worker and a nurse have fallen ill.

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Cardinal's Communion ban backed

(Original publication: April 25, 2004)

Cardinal Francis Arinze, a top Vatican official who said Friday that Roman Catholic lawmakers who support abortion rights should not receive Holy Communion, was speaking for the pope, local Catholic leaders said yesterday.

"He is the highest-ranking person in the whole chain under the pope with regard to the sacraments," said the Rev. Joseph Koterski, head of the philosophy department at Fordham University.

Pope John Paul II said virtually the same thing in an encyclical fairly recently, he added.

"You can be confident that he is speaking also for the pope" and about Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., said Jack Healey of Bronxville, the retired director of the Archbishop Hughes Institute for Religion and Culture at Fordham.

"This has been bothering the bishops and it has obviously been bothering the Vatican that Catholic politicians are responding to the 'American situation' and not trying to impose Catholic understanding of abortion and human life. I think it will be a storm in the church," he said. "Short-lived.''

People should be concerned about Kerry's voting record, said Monsignor William Smith, academic dean at St. Joseph's Seminary in Yonkers, who addressed the Northern Westchester and Putnam Center for Life's annual breakfast yesterday.

The thing about Kerry is "he goes out of the way to tell people how Catholic he is. He can't have it both ways," he said. Kerry is among many lawmakers who say they are not personally in favor of abortion but recognize a woman's right to chose.

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Tweedledee and Tweedledum: Kerry and Bush Melt into One

April 24 / 25, 2004

It occurred to me after Kerry's performance on Meet the Press this weekend that Americans have a choice this coming November between George Walker Bush or George Kerry Bush, the Tweedleddumb and Tweedledeedumb proffered to us by the Republicrats Party. How clever: one party with two candidates playing at politics for the amusement of the world. John pretends to have disagreements with George on taxes and outsourcing of jobs while he obsequiously crawls behind the President when asked about Israel, and, in that shadowed place, regurgitates the policies of Bush that have locked the US into a "war" of terror.

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Bill would let doctors refuse treatment to gays, Muslims, pregnant women ...

by Amy F. Bailey
Associated Press
April 22, 2004

LANSING, Mich. -- The state House has voted to protect health care workers and insurers from being fired or sued for refusing to perform a procedure, fill a prescription or cover treatment for something they object to for moral, ethical or religious reasons.

The law would apply to doctors or nurses who decline to perform or assist with abortions and to pharmacists who refuse to fill prescriptions for morning-after pills.

The Republican-controlled House overwhelmingly approved the four-bill package as dozens of Catholics looked on from the balcony.

The Michigan Catholic Conference, which pushed for the bills, hosted a legislative day for Catholics on Wednesday at the state Capitol. The Catholic Church opposes abortion and birth control.

The bills now go the Senate, which also is controlled by Republicans.

The main bill in the package would create the Conscientious Objector Policy Act. It would allow health care providers to assert an objection within 24 hours of when they receive notice of a procedure with which they do not agree. However, it would prohibit emergency treatment to be refused. [...]

The other three bills, which were approved by similar margins, would exempt a health insurer or health facility from providing or covering a health care procedure that violated ethical, moral or religious principles reflected in their bylaws or mission statement.

The bill does not allow pharmacists to refuse to fill prescriptions for birth control. [...]

Other opponents of the bills said they're worried they would allow providers to refuse service for any reason. For example, they said an emergency medical technicians could refuse to answer a call from the residence of gay couple because they don't approve of homosexuality. [...]

Comment: If this isn't further proof of the lockdown taking place in America, we're not sure what is. Christian doctors and insurers can refuse to treat a Muslim because of their religious beliefs. Once again, monotheistic religions will be responsible for the violation of the supposedly god-given rights of "non-believers". Furthermore, it seems that any health care provider who supports the War on Terror could refuse treatment to Arabs for "moral" reasons.

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Global warming floods threaten 4m in UK

Paul Brown, environment correspondent
Thursday April 22, 2004
The Guardian

Risks of flooding are growing to "unacceptable levels" because of climate change with up to 4 million Britons facing the prospect of their homes being inundated, according to a report to be published today by the government.

The report by the Office of Science and Technology gives the most chilling picture yet of how global warming will affect the lives of millions of Britons over the next half century.

Compiled by 60 experts under the leadership of the government's chief scientist, Sir David King, it shows that many towns in Britain are threatened by rising sea levels, river flooding and the overwhelming of Victorian drains by flash floods.

The report, Future Flooding, looks forward to 2080 but says that the threat is already growing and most of the worst of its predictions will have happened by 2050.

Comment: Subtract at least 70 and 40 years respectively from the above dates and you get the real picture.

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Two Children Swept Away in Arkansas Flood

By TOM PARSONS, Associated Press Writer
Sat Apr 24,11:36 PM ET

A young brother and sister were swept away in a flash flood Saturday after the pickup truck they were in stalled at a low-water bridge in northwestern Arkansas. The girl's body was recovered, but the boy was still missing after hours of searching.

The truck was caught in flooding that hit many areas of northern Arkansas after days of heavy rain. [...]

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China announces five new suspected SARS cases, shuts down lab

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EU ministers to rule on lifting GM food ban

Sun Apr 25,12:01 AM ET

BRUSSELS (AFP) - EU agriculture ministers are to decide on Monday whether to lift a five-year ban on bio-engineered crops, when they rule on allowing the import of a type of genetically modified (GM) sweetcorn.

By allowing the Swiss firm Syngenta to import the sweetcorn, called Bt-11, the ministers would effectively scrap a moratorium on the import and cultivation of GM products imposed by the European Union in 1999.

But the ministers are widely expected to refer the thorny issue back to the European Commission -- the EU's executive arm -- which openly supports lifting the moratorium to encourage the GM industry in Europe. [...]

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Dogs Maul, Kill Boy in Wash. State

Sun Apr 25, 2:47 AM ET

VANCOUVER, Wash. - Two dogs, believed to be bull mastiff-German shepherds, attacked and killed an 8-year-old boy, authorities said.

John Streeter was found dead Saturday in the back yard of a home where the dogs' owners lived, The Columbian newspaper reported in its Sunday editions. The mauling happened in Sifton, a small community northeast of Vancouver.

The boy, who was a neighbor, had been playing with two teenagers who lived in the home with the dogs. Sgt. John Horch estimated the victim weighed less than 100 pounds, while the dogs each weighed about 90 pounds.

Officials said animal control took the dogs away. No arrests had been made by late Saturday, officials said.

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Celebrating Humanity!

Mankind is such an inventive and imaginative creature, capable of the most outlandish acts. Here, we celebrate a selection of the finest culled from the day's news...

Five found dead in Brazil prison

Police regaining control of a Brazilian prison after a brutal uprising have found five more mutilated bodies.

A total of 14 inmates were killed by fellow prisoners in the five-day revolt in the Urso Branco prison in the Amazon state of Rondonia.

[...] Inmates began a series of revenge killings in which at least one victim's head was cut off and thrown to the ground from the prison roof.

Another man was hacked to death and body parts were thrown out of the prison.

As is often the case in Brazil, the revolt was about overcrowding, our correspondent says.

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Cdn porn actress may have died shooting snuff film: police

Last Updated Sat, 24 Apr 2004 23:00:27

TORONTO - Canadian porn actress Natel King may have died while shooting a film scene in which the character is killed during sex, said prosecutors.

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'Farting Dog' teaches tolerance: author

Last Updated Fri, 23 Apr 2004

HALIFAX - Humour and the "f-word" -- fart-- may initially attract children to the Walter the Farting Dog books, but the co-author of the best-selling series believes there's more to it.

"Kids love scatological detail and bodily functions," Murray admitted. "But Walter has an extra charm, I think, and a message of acceptance and tolerance and making the best of a bad situation."

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Einstein spent last years telling bad jokes to depressed parrot: diary

05:10 AM EDT Apr 25

PRINCETON, N.J. (AP) - In the last years of Albert Einstein's life, he tried to cheer up his depressed parrot by telling it bad jokes and avoided visitors by feigning illness, said a newly discovered diary written by the woman known around Princeton as his last girlfriend.

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Beef-scarfing couple booted from buffet

Apr. 24, 2004. 12:31 AM

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah—A couple on a low-carb diet were kicked out of a buffet restaurant after the manager said they'd eaten too much roast beef.

Sui Amaama, who along with his wife has been on the Atkins Diet for two weeks, was asked to leave after he went up to the buffet at the Chuck-A-Rama in suburban Taylorsville for his 12th slice of roast beef.

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