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Monday, May 3, 2004

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

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©2004 Pierre-Paul Feyte

Profane and Sacred Love

Guest Editorial - Walter Lippman

There are two arts of love and it makes a considerable difference which one is meant. There is the art of love as Casanova, for example, practiced it. It is the art of seduction, courtship, and sexual gratification: it is an art which culminates in the sexual act. It can be repeated with the same lover and with other lovers, but it exhausts itself in the moment of ecstasy. When that moment is reached, the work of art is done, and the lover as artist "after an interval, perhaps of stupor and vital recuperation," must start all over again, until at last the rhythm is so stale it is a weariness to start at all; or the lover must find new lovers and new resistances to conquer. The aftermath of romantic love -- that is, of love that is consumated in sexual ecstasy -- is either tedium in middle age or the compulsive adventurousnous of the libertine.

Now this is not what Mr. Ellis means when he talks about love as an art. "The act of intercourse," he says, " is only an incident, and not an essential in love." Incident to what? His answer is that it is an incident to an "exquisitely and variously and harmoniously blended" activity of "all the finer activities of the organism, physical and psychic." I take this to mean that "when a man and woman are successfully in love, their whole activity is energized and victorious. They walk better, their digestion improves, they think more clearly, their secret worries drop away, and the world is fresh and interesting, and they can do more than they dreamed that they could do. In love of this kind sexual intimacy is not the dead end of desire as it is in romantic or promiscuous love, but periodic affirmation of the inward delight of desire prevading an active life. Love of this sort can grow: it is not, like youth itself, a moment that comes and is gone and remains only a memory of something which cannot be recovered. It can grow because it has something to grow upon and to grow with; it is not contracted and stale because it has for its object, not the mere relief of physical tension, but all the objects with which the two lovers are concerned. They desire their worlds in each other, and therefore their love is an interesting as their worlds and their worlds are as interesting as their love.

From a Reader - Thoughts on the Torture of Iraqi Prisoners

All the talk in the media about the treatment of Iraqi prisoners and the rape of Iraqi women has me remembering my days in the U.S. Marine Corps.

A couple things in particular struck me. Number one, the idea that the U.S. military is a "value-based organization". And the second thing being that the people who did what has been reported and photographed to the Iraqi prisoners were only a small deviant minority and in no way are representative of the majority of the military.

Back during my first year in the USMC, one thing stuck out in my mind that relates directly to the above topics. In all of our training, be it Boot Camp, Infantry School, or on-going regular unit training, we were taught two things in particular. Number one, we were taught to be extremely aggressive on command. The level of aggression taught is unprecedented in "civil" society where only the most violent criminals display the level expected from U.S. Marines. And second, we were taught to be smart while we were being aggressive. This latter teaching involved overcoming our own normal fears and instinctive reactions so that we could more efficiently channel our aggresion towards killing the enemy while sustaining minimal casualties ourselves. These two things combined make a truly deadly combination, even without "modern" weapons.

Sometime during our initial training, we were schooled in how to behave generally. We were told morals. We were told how to be "honorable" and "just". But what stuck out was that I could see that what we were being told about these things did not fit well at all with the aggression and the killing smarts that we were being taught elsewhere in our training. And probably you can guess where the emphasis lay. On one hand we should be deadly and savage killing machines, and on the other hand we should be polite, honorable, and reserved. Clearly these two worlds do not match. And the one that was tied to survival and "winning" would surely be the one that would "win out" over the other.

This was particularly clear to me when I spent about a year on a USMC base in Okinawa, Japan. You've probably all heard about the problems they've had with rapes and assaults on Japanese Nationals in Okinawa from U.S. servicemen. I watched myself and the other men in my unit as we trained hard on how to best kill the enemy, and then in the evenings we went out into town and were expected to behave like civil gentleman and treat others as human beings. Often I was shocked at the irony of the situation. The ONLY thing that deterred us from being MORE aggressive in town was the fact that the Japanese Police were as tough as we were and they had weapons and were allowed by law to use any amount of force they wanted to.

In Boot Camp, we were subjected to a great many humiliating experiences, including doing things in the nude. These things were a part of the brainwashing techniques applied to the recruits and also included things like sleep deprivation and severe stress. Please note, THESE THINGS WERE DONE TO RECRUITS! It is only natural that some of us would go on to use some of those same techniques on others, including on other Marines. To say that members of the military who do these things to others only represents a small number of deviants is hogwash. We were all TAUGHT these things by having them done to us!

And not only were we taught to do these kinds of things, in many cases we were encouraged, sometimes even by tradition. For instance, when an enlisted man gained rank, all other enlisted men of the same rank or higher in the unit were expected to abuse the newly promoted man in a certain way. For E-3 and E-2, we were to be punched in each shoulder. I became a Lance Corporal (E-3) while in Okinawa in a unit of about forty enlisted men with all but about a half dozen of them E- 3 or above. More than thirty Marines literally lined up in a double row while I walked down the middle and stood still while two of them punched me in the shoulder at the same time, one on each side. I have pictures of the bruises that literally wrapped around the top of my arms 360 degrees! And most men considered these bruises marks of honor! I couldn't move my arms for a week. When a Marine was promoted to Corporal (E-4), then not only was the shoulder punched, but the sides of the knees were kicked, too. It was normal for many newly promoted corporals to spend a week or two in the hospital right after being promoted. When I gained the rank of Corporal three months before leaving the USMC, I was willing to fight to keep from getting hit or kicked and so they mostly left me alone.

To further demonstrate the point, I would like to relate something graphic that was a weekly ritual for awhile in my last unit. Every week we went to the armory and checked out our weapons and cleaned them. During my first several months in this particular unit, there was a group of Marines in the unit who had been with each other for quite some time. I was a part of an influx of newer members to the unit and most all of us "newbies" were of less rank than the other guys and we had not formed a close bond with anyone else like the "older" ones had with each other. We would all take our weapons outside into a fenced-in area around the armory and disassemble them on wooden tables and clean them for an hour or more. During this time, the "older" guys decided it would be fun to humiliate the "newbies". Two of them would sneak up to one of us and hold the person bent over and prone across the table. A third Marine would run up and pretend to have sex with the held down Marine. After witnessing this behavior, I was mortified, to say the least. I did NOT want it to happen to me for obvious reasons. But there wasn't much we could do about it. Our leaders didn't care and considered it just "play" among the troops. I managed to avoid being targeted because I pretended to the perpetrators that I might actually enjoy it and for some reason that bothered them so they avoided me.

To make a long story longer, what I have said above is only the tip of the ice berg. I could go on for pages and pages and I was only a Marine for four years. Now consider that these were things that we did to EACH OTHER! And on a regular, EVERYDAY basis! These were not "isolated incidents" among a few deviants. These are the "values" that we put into practice on an organization-wide scale. This is the "inside story" behind all the flag waving and heroic tales of courage and valor. This is the real military man behind the red, white, and blue embroidered curtain. THESE are the people who are now handing out "freedom" and "liberation" and "democracy".

Now taking this all into account, just imagine for a minute what would happen with servicemen who had almost absolute power over a group of prisoners, people who are "foreigners" and considered enemies. Remember, military members are taught to kill enemies which means that enemies must be faceless lumps of flesh to be shot at, they are not real human beings. If the servicemen were trained to abuse each other who they saw as "brothers-in-arms", just imagine how they would treat those who were seen as foreigners and enemies and who they had real power over. It is truly chilling to consider. And with all the new reports, we don't even have to imagine anymore.

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God save America ...

The race for the White House will be decided by fundagelicals. That's good news for twice-born George Bush

John Sutherland
Monday May 3, 2004
The Guardian

George W Bush is a fundagelist. Dad wasn't. George H Bush (not renowned for his Wildean wit) delivered his most memorable wisecrack on walking into a room full of fundagelists: "Gee! I'm the only person here that's only been born once."

His son is truly twice born, with two dads. Nor are the parents equal in the eyes of their son. The journalist Bob Woodward, as he recalls, asked the current president if he ever turned to the ex-president for help. "Well, no," replied Bush Jr: "He is the wrong father to appeal to for advice. The wrong father to go to, to appeal to in terms of strength. There's a higher father that I appeal to."

[...] What do fundagelicals instinctively oppose? Gay marriage, abortion, gun control, taxes, the UN (and the currently top-rated candidate for anti-Christ, Kofi Annan), withdrawal from Iraq, Michael Moore, Janet Jackson's left breast.

What do they believe in? Christian values and the future as foretold in the Book of Revelation. According to a Time Magazine poll (which strains credulity but seems to be valid) 59% of Americans trust that St John's prophecies will be fulfilled - probably during their lifetime. November could be a last opportunity to vote for God's preferred candidate. Iraq (ancient Babylon) figures centrally in the fundagelist vision of things, as does the Rapture, and the imminent mass conversion of the Jews (hence fundagelist-Zionism).

The White House has recently been accused of inveighing (via Nasa) against the movie The Day After Tomorrow (out on May 28) because it narrates the wrong apocalypse. One caused by man-made global warming, that is, rather than God's white-hot rage against sinners. The apocalypse depicted in Tim LaHaye's Left Behind books is, we assume, the US government-approved version.

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Spanish PM describes intervention in Iraq as "failure"

www.chinaview.cn 2004-05-03 11:15:15

MADRID, May 2 (Xinhuanet) -- Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero said Sunday that the intervention in Iraq was a "failure."

The international community should learn the Iraq "lesson" and "never again" stage a preemptive war or illegal action, Zapatero said at a celebration of the 125th anniversary of the ruling Socialist Party.

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Falluja Turns Out to Bury Dead After U.S. Pullback

By Joseph Logan
May 3, 2004

FALLUJA, Iraq (Reuters) - Victory, proclaimed by the people of Falluja when the American Marines who besieged and bombed them withdrew, often carries its own loss.

With the fighting in the city mostly over, they are now free to bury their dead.

At a soccer stadium Monday, Iraqi youths dug trenches where they laid bodies freshly pulled from rubble in neighborhoods held by the Marines until a few days ago. The Marines have now pulled back to let an Iraqi force take over.

As plumes of dust and a fetid odor rose from the field, workers planted gravestones -- two and three to a grave, in the case of families -- marking the cost of a month of siege.

"I thank God for letting us stand up to the Americans, but it is also bitter," said Hamid Eisawy, whose daughter was among those killed in Golan neighborhood -- pounded by U.S. bombers last week. Residents were unable to retrieve the bodies until now.

The leader of a team of gravediggers, his clothes and beard caked with mud, said the newest graves had been dug in the last two days, after U.S. forces pulled back to the edges of the city.

"We started digging over there almost a month ago, when they were hitting with planes, and the water was cut and there was no food or medicine coming," said Khayri al-Rawi, pointing to a second field filled with rows of graves and dotted with headstones.

By afternoon, about 20 bodies, including the unidentified, whose graves were simply marked "Martyr," had been buried.

"These are all from today, and more are coming," he said. [...]

Gravediggers at the soccer stadium showed visitors a trench at the fringe of the field marked by a heap of newly turned, rancid-smelling earth and a stone block reading "Spies."

"These were seven who we caught spotting for the Americans and killed," said one youth who identified himself as Jassem.

Others trooped past the grave and spat on it.

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Wolofowitz Flubs Iraq Casualties

Thu Apr 29

WASHINGTON - Asked how many American troops have died in Iraq, the Pentagons No. 2 civilian estimated Thursday the total was about 500 — more than 200 soldiers short.

Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz was asked about the toll at a hearing of a House Appropriations subcommittee. "It's approximately 500, of which — I can get the exact numbers — approximately 350 are combat deaths," he responded

"He misspoke," spokesman Charley Cooper said later. "That's all."

Comment: Of course, Wolfy "misspeaks" all the time. He lies about the truth and sometimes even tells the truth about the lies he tells.

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Iran Blasts U.S. Abuses, Urges EU to Get Serious

By Sebastian Alison
Mon May 3, 9:57 AM ET

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Iran accused the United States of systematically killing, torturing and raping Iraqis, and said such abuses by U.S. troops had bred hatred throughout the Islamic world.

Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi was speaking after the U.S. army reprimanded six officers in connection with the abuse of prisoners at the Abu Ghraib prison outside Baghdad.

"What the Americans have been doing in Iraq, the very brutal actions of American soldiers, the systematic plan to torture Iraqis, to kill them, to rape them, is outrageous," he said after meeting European Commission President Romano Prodi.

"If Americans are in Iraq to promote democracy, is this the way to do it? American policy has created hatred all among Islamic countries, and we are at the stage of developing clashes between different cultures which is very, very dangerous," Kharrazi told reporters. [...]

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US military torture is old history: Buried Secrets

ICH
05/02/04

The following is an index of stories on the "secret" and twisted history of the US military:

Massacre story needs to be told

This series reveals for the first time anywhere that members of a platoon of American soldiers from the 101st known as Tiger Force slaughtered an untold number of Vietnamese civilians over a seven-month period in 1967.

Rogue GIs unleashed wave of terror in Central Highlands

For seven months, Tiger Force soldiers moved across the Central Highlands, killing scores of unarmed civilians - in some cases torturing and mutilating them - in a spate of violence never revealed to the American public.

Take No Prisoners : Another proud moment in U.S. Military History

6 million killed in Third World countries by secret CIA programs

A short history of CIA experimentation

Comment: The reader may also wish to view our Timeline for further information on CIA experimentation and much more.

Brutal dictators U.S. has created & supported

We have ways of making you talk too, U.S. citizens

U.S. admits to 50 WMD tests on its own troops

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A year on from 'Mission Accomplished'

An army in disgrace, a policy in tatters and the real prospect of defeat

Patrick Cockburn
The Independent
02 May 2004

Wisps of grey smoke were still rising from the wreckage of four Humvees caught by the blast of a bomb which had just killed two US soldiers and wounded another five. It seemed they had been caught in a trap.

When the soldiers smashed their way into an old brick house in the Waziriya district of Baghdad last week, they were raiding what they had been told was an insurgent bomb factory, only for it to erupt as they came through the door. The reaction of local people, as soon as the surviving American soldiers had departed, was to start a spontaneous street party.

A small boy climbed on top of a blackened and smouldering Humvee and triumphantly waved a white flag with an Islamic slogan hastily written on it. Some other young men were showing with fascinated pride a blood-soaked US uniform. Another group had found an abandoned military helmet, and had derisively placed it on the head of an elderly carthorse.

A year after President George Bush famously declared "major combat" in Iraq over, how is it that so many Iraqis now have such a visceral hatred of Americans? One reason is that the photographs of brutality and humiliation of Iraqi detainees by British and American troops, which have so shocked the rest of the world and angered Arab countries, have come as little surprise to Iraqis. For months it has been clear to them that the occupation is very brutal; for weeks they have been watching pictures of the dead and injured in Fallujah on al-Jazeera satellite television which CNN did not broadcast.

Iraqis, who are cynical about their rulers, may also suspect that real as well as simulated torture is going on in Abu Ghraib prison, where US intelligence calls the shots. They may suspect that, as under Saddam Hussein, the humiliation and ill-treatment were quite deliberately inflicted to soften up prisoners before they were interrogated. More graphic pictures of real torture are said to have been taken as well those shown on US television last week.

Saddam should not have been a hard act to follow. Iraqis knew that he had ruined their lives through his disastrous wars against Iran and Kuwait, and were glad to be rid of him. Even the supposed beneficiaries of his rule, the Sunni Arabs of cities such as Tikrit and Fallujah, could not see why they were so much poorer than the people of other oil states such as Kuwait and Abu Dhabi.

Watching the dancing, jeering crowd in Waziriya was Nada Abdullah Aboud, a middle-aged woman, dressed in black. She had a reason for hating Americans, though she claimed she did not do so. "I do feel sorry for the young soldiers, though they killed my son," she said quietly. "They came such a long distance to die here." It turned out that her son, Saad Mohammed, had been the translator for a senior Italian diplomat working for the ruling Coalition Provisional Authority. She said: "My son was driving with the Italian ambassador last September near Tikrit when an American soldier fired at the car and shot him through the heart."

Saad Mohammed was one of a large but unknown number of Iraqis shot down by US troops over the past year. There seems to have been no rational reason why he had been killed. But the high toll of Iraqi civilians shot down after ambushes or at checkpoints has given Iraqis the sense that, at bottom, American soldiers regard them as an inferior people whose lives are not worth very much. [...]

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Daily Mirror: Iraq prisoner abuse photos genuine

David Kay suggests photographs have lent weight to calls for coalition troops to withdraw from Iraq.

LONDON - The London newspaper which published pictures apparently showing British troops abusing an Iraqi detainee on Monday denied suggestions that they are fakes.

Doubts arose Sunday over the authenticity of the shocking photos, after military sources quoted by the BBC said many aspects of the pictures were suspicious.

The British military has launched an investigation into photographs published Saturday in Britain's mass-circulation Daily Mirror newspaper appearing to show troops beating and urinating on a hooded Iraqi prisoner in a camp near Basra in British-controlled southern Iraq.

The Daily Mirror, an opponent of the Iraq war, said that the prisoner, aged 18-20, was savagely beaten before being thrown from a moving truck.

However, Britain's national broadcaster said unnamed sources close to the Queen's Lancashire Regiment, from whose soldiers the Daily Mirror said it had obtained the photos, believed several aspects of the pictures are suspicious.

The rifle appears to be an SA80 mk 1, which was not issued to soldiers in Iraq. Troops wear berets or hard hats, not the floppy hats as seen in the pictures. The truck in the photo also appears to be a type never used in Iraq.

British Prime Minister Tony Blair on Saturday condemned the photos - if genuine - as "completely and utterly unacceptable".

Daily Mirror editor Piers Morgan said Sunday he stood by the story and hinted at more revelations after "sensational interviews" with the soldiers who provided them.

"We told the truth" the paper's Monday edition quoted the two British soldiers in question as saying.

"We stand by every single word of our story," they told the paper under cover of anonymity.

"This happened, it is not a hoax and the Army knows a lot more has happened," the pair were quoted as saying.

Comment: In Kevin McDonald's "Culture of Critique", he makes the case that Jewish society is tribal, and as a result, Jews tend to "stick together" more so than Westerners. He further argues that the Jewish owned media in the US, and to a lesser extent in Europe, are exploiting this vulnerability in an attempt to bring down Western (and especially US) society. As McDonald says:

"This suggests the fascinating possibility that the key for a group intending to turn Europeans against themselves is to trigger their strong tendency toward altruistic punishment by convincing them of the evil of their own people. Because Europeans are individualists at heart, they readily rise up in moral anger against their own people once they are seen as free riders and therefore morally blameworthy—a manifestation of their much stronger tendency toward altruistic punishment deriving from their evolutionary past as hunter gatherers. In making judgments of altruistic punishment, relative genetic distance is irrelevant. Free-riders are seen as strangers in a market situation; i.e., they have no familial or tribal connection with the altruistic punisher.

Thus the current altruistic punishment so characteristic of contemporary Western civilization: Once Europeans were convinced that their own people were morally bankrupt, any and all means of punishment should be used against their own people. Rather than see other Europeans as part of an encompassing ethnic and tribal community, fellow Europeans were seen as morally blameworthy and the appropriate target of altruistic punishment. For Westerners, morality is individualistic—violations of communal norms by free-riders are punished by altruistic aggression.

On the other hand, group strategies deriving from collectivist cultures, such as the Jews, are immune to such a maneuver because kinship and group ties come first. Morality is particularistic—whatever is good for the group. There is no tradition of altruistic punishment because the evolutionary history of these groups centers around cooperation of close kin, not strangers".

Is it possible that the effects of the exposing of the "torture pictures" will be to turn American, and western people in general, against themselves and each other? To fill them with disgust for their own culture and identity? Perhaps they would have to awaken first, but is this to be their first view of the "real world"? Rather than seeing that the free expression that is given to the entropic aspect of our nature is the result of ignorance, and in seeing this learn the lesson and change, are we to be further manipulated by "the powers that be" to wish for our own destruction, which our hyperdimensional masters will be only to happy to provide?

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Reprimands for US senior officers

Six senior US officers have been reprimanded for allowing the abuse of Iraqi prisoners held at Abu Ghraib jail in Baghdad.

The reprimands could lead to them being thrown out of the army. The abuses, which occurred in late 2003, are said to have involved about 20 prisoners.

Brigadier General Janis Karpinski, who headed the 800th Military Police Brigade, is reportedly among the six.

Another six soldiers at the jail are already under criminal investigation.

The six officers have received a General Office Memorandum Reprimand, which prohibits any further promotion and paves the way for dismissal from the army.

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US media grapples with Iraq horrors

By Kevin Anderson
BBC News Online in Washington

April was the deadliest month for the US in Iraq. And on the home front, the battle is also heating up over coverage of the war and whether showing the horrors of battle undermines the war effort.

Since Vietnam first sent the horrors of conflict into the living rooms of America, the US government and military has tried to carefully manage the media during times of war.

As the violence and chaos increases, supporters of the war and of the administration fear that coverage could turn public opinion not only against the war but also against President George W Bush.

Recent polls show support for the war and for President Bush's Iraq policy slipping.

And in the battle for hearts and minds at home, the media is on the front line.

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7 More U.S. Soldiers Reprimanded for Abuse

May 3
By JIM KRANE

BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) - Seven more U.S. soldiers have been reprimanded in the alleged abuse of Iraqi prisoners, and the U.S. officer who oversaw Baghdad's notorious Abu Ghraib prison suggested Monday that more may be involved.

On the orders of Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, commander of U.S. forces in Iraq, six of the soldiers - all officers and noncommissioned officers - have received the most severe level of administrative reprimand in the U.S. military, a military official said on condition of anonymity. A seventh officer was given a more lenient admonishment.

The official said he believed investigations of the officers were complete and they would not face further action or court martial. However, the reprimands could spell the end of their careers.

Another six U.S. military police already are facing criminal charges.

President Bush called Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld before a campaign trip Monday and urged him to make sure that U.S. soldiers are punished, White House spokesman Scott McClellan said.

"The president wanted to make sure appropriate action is being taken against those responsible for these shameful and appalling acts," McClellan said. [...]

Comment: That's it - "reprimanded"? The Iraqis that were tortured and abused must certainly feel much better now, especially since "the president" wanted to make sure they were reprimanded. The problem however, is that the president is an idiot, plain and simple. The man cannot speak English properly, he cannot make decisions, he cannot think for himself. He is an pathetic excuse for a human being and he represents the American people. What of the thousands of Iraqi civilians killed in the sick "shock and awe" campaign that began the attack on Iraq? As Americans sat in their "lazy boy" chairs watching the nice flashes and pretty colours, innocent people were being murdered, blown to pieces, supposedly on the orders of Herr Bush. What does that tell you about his humanity, his compassion? It does not exist.

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Abuse may have been 'order'

Abuse of Iraqi prisoners that sparked worldwide condemnation may have been ordered by US military intelligence to extract information from the captives, and was possibly more cruel than officially acknowledged, The New Yorker magazine and Britain's daily Guardian reported on Saturday. Seymour Hersh, investigative reporter for The New Yorker, said that Staff Sergeant Ivan Frederick, one of six US military policemen accused of humiliating Iraqi prisoners at the Abu Gharib prison outside Baghdad, wrote home in January that he had "questioned some of the things" he saw inside the prison, but that "the answer I got was, 'This is how military intelligence wants it done'."

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CIA behind Iraqi prisoner abuse

A US Army Reserve general whose soldiers were photographed abusing Iraqi prisoners has said the prison cellblock involved was under the tight control of military intelligence, which may have encouraged the abuse. Brigadier General Janis Karpinski told The New York Times in a telephone interview that the special high-security cellblock at the Abu Ghraib prison outside Baghdad had been under the direct control of army intelligence officers, not the reservists under her command.

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Torture commonplace, say inmates' families

Luke Harding at Abu Ghraib prison, near Baghdad, where stories of US guards routinely abusing prisoners come as no surprise to Iraqis
For the families standing in the dusty car park of Abu Ghraib prison yesterday, the revelations of torture and abuse came as no surprise. Every morning, relatives of Iraqi detainees inside the US prison, just west of Baghdad, gather in the hope that their loved ones might be released. They rarely are. The photos of US soldiers abusing and humiliating Iraqi detainees may have provoked outrage across the world. But for Hiyam Abbas they merely confirmed what she already knew - that US guards had tortured her 22-year-old son Hassan.

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Nine U.S. troops die in Iraq, U.N. expects to help

Nine US servicemen were killed, six in a mortar attack, in a bloody 24 hours for US-led forces in Iraq. But Washington had good news yesterday when US civilian Thomas Hamill escaped from being held hostage for three weeks by gunmen and UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan said he expected the Security Council to authorise a multinational force for Iraq.

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Selective Service eyes women's draft

Eric Rosenberg – Seattle Post Intelligence May 1, 2004

WASHINGTON -- The chief of the Selective Service System has proposed registering women for the military draft and requiring that young Americans regularly inform the government about whether they have training in niche specialties needed in the armed services.

The proposal, which the agency's acting Director Lewis Brodsky presented to senior Pentagon officials just before the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, also seeks to extend the age of draft registration to 34 years old, up from 25.

The Selective Service System plan, obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, highlights the extent to which agency officials have planned for an expanded military draft in case the administration and Congress would authorize one in the future.

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Homily- Sunday

5/2/2004
Lewis News Columnist

Rise and be seated. Bow yo heads, Saints. Lord, I join with our great and wonderful leader, George Bush, whom I know You pushed-off on us, and together, we thank you for being solidly on our side in this war.Lord, I know you love truck drivers; why else would You have made so many of them. We want to thank You, Jesus, for the release of Brother Tommy Hamill.

We want to thank You that nobody stuck a broom handle up his ass, or forced him into a naked pile of prisoners, or made him feign sex acts, or took pictures of his genitals, or tied electric wires to any of his appendages. We thank You that those barbarian A-rabs fed him, and gave him water, and kept him safe from their sadistic, lesbian women.

We are grateful that nobody pissed on him, or put a piss-soaked sack over his head, or sodomized him, (oh, maybe I said that already), or kicked or beat him, or locked him in a dark cell with no toilet.

Now, Lord, we ask that You also bless and protect our mercenary, death squads, and continue to reward them financially. Bless our American corporations that are sacrificing so much to rebuild what we tore-up.

And bless our new general from Saddam?s Republic Guard whom we bribed into being our top Kapo. Bless our radical clerics, Lord, and damn theirs.

I see Yo hand in all this, Lord, and I know that You are blessing us because of our family values and because we support Ariel Sharon, and his marauding, land thieving Jews. Help us, Lord, to continue to be more like them, Your chosen people.

Lord, I ain?t asked nothing for meself, but I do have one small request. If You ever talk to George Bush again, please, let me know, ahead of time, because this sophomoric son of a bitch gets mixed-up, sometimes, really confused, and maybe I could help keep him straight.

Help us to keep the faith. With all the infantile lies flying about, Lord, it?s getting harder and harder to be a true believer. Help our leaders to tell the truth or be more sophisticated in they lying.

Amen and Amen

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Third Canadian kidnapped, MP says

CANADIAN PRESS

A Toronto man has been taken hostage in Iraq, the minister responsible for Canadians abroad said today as he advised all Canadians to leave the country.

Dan McTeague said that Naji al Kuwaiti was taken hostage by an undisclosed group in Baghdad on Wednesday.

The capture emphasizes the need for all Canadians currently in Iraq to get out of the country, McTeague said in an interview.

The situation in the country “puts every Canadians’ life at risk,” he said.

McTeague said the abduction was likely not for political or religious reasons, adding that a “rogue group” may be responsible.

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Germany to shorten missions abroad, take guards off US bases

BERLIN (AFP) May 02, 2004

Germany will shorten the length of its troop missions abroad and stop guarding US bases on its soil by the end of the year, Defence Minister Peter Struck said in an interview published Sunday.

The German military, the Bundeswehr, has more troops deployed abroad as peacekeepers and in the fight against terrorism than any country apart from the United States, but it is currently undergoing massive cost-cutting reforms.

"We will reduce the duration of international missions from six months to four months in the second half of the year," Struck told the weekly Welt am Sonntag newspaper.

Germany has some 7,700 soldiers deployed on foreign operations: around 2,000 with the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan; 4,900 troops in Kosovo and Bosnia; 250 in the Horn of Africa and others on smaller missions.

"At the end of the year, we want to stop the German federal armed forces guarding American military bases," Struck also told the newspaper.

The US defence department is currently studying a "base re-alignment and closure" (BRAC) programme aimed at redeploying troop bases around the world so Washington can react quickly to new military threats.

A number of bases are likely to close in Germany and tens of thousands of troops move out of the country, probably to central and eastern Europe.

Some 2,500 German personnel guard around 100 US military facilities in Germany, and the Bundeswehr has been protecting the bases since January 2003, when it became clear that Washington was going to attack Iraq. [...]

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Saudi Says Shooting Spree Was 'Act of Madness'

By Dominic Evans
Mon May 3, 8:13 AM ET

RIYADH (Reuters) - A Saudi prince said Monday the killing of five Westerners in a weekend shooting spree was an act of madness and urged citizens to protect foreigners helping to develop the oil-rich kingdom's economy.

His comments came as Swiss-based ABB Lummus said it was evacuating all 90 foreign staff from Yanbu, where the shooting occurred, and that an expansion project it was carrying out for Saudi petrochemical firm YANPET would have to be put on hold.

"This is an act of madness which no sane person would carry out," Prince Saud bin Abdullah, chairman of the Royal Commission for Jubail and Yanbu, said of Saturday's shooting, the first assault on an energy facility and the most brazen attack yet on Westerners.

"We must treat our guests well, especially since they came to help develop this country and participated in many of our achievements," he told Okaz daily. "Islam forbids such acts."

Three Saudi men, employed at the ABB Lummus facility, used their entry passes to enter the site and helped sneak a fourth accomplice to carry out the attack.

They also tied the body of one American victim to their car and dragged him through the streets of the industrial city. [...]

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the rampage which killed two Americans, two Britons and 57-year-old Australian Anthony Richard Mason. A Canadian wounded in the shooting was in critical condition.

It was not clear if the attack would prompt an exodus among the 35,000 Americans -- a move that could badly damage the economy of the world's biggest oil exporter. [...]

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Ayoon wa Azan (TV Camera)

Jihad Al Khazen Al-Hayat 2004/05/3

From the Palestinian right which is as much constant as holy, I will add:

- Egypt supports Palestinians politically, and protects them; it is their strategic extension. If it was not for Egypt, Palestinians, or their cause, would be lost. President Mubarak drives the Egyptian effort, and General Omar Suleiman represents it.

- Saudi Arabia supports Palestinians politically, but its greatest and most important support is financial. The declared Saudi financial commitment to Palestinians is the highest in the world; Saudi Arabia regularly provides undeclared aids as well. If it was not for this Saudi financial support which is fully implemented, Palestinians would have starved, or pushed to starvation in order to subjugate them, as starvation is an introduction for subjugation.

- The Saudi and Egyptian roles are the essence. But other Arab, Muslim, and foreign countries have played a role; such as Tunisia which contains the headquarters of the PLO, Qatar which provides Hamas with facilities, Syria which nurses Palestinian parties, and countries of Scandinavia who have always provided humanitarian aids.

- Saddam Hussein harmed the Palestinian issue the most; he tried to use its popularity in order to serve his own interests, paid money to some families of martyrs, and fooled average people. But he did not fool everyone, as he repeatedly invited the leaders of Islamic Palestinian groups to visit Baghdad, and promised them millions of dollars, but they clearly refused. I might add Moammar Gadhafi who expelled Palestinians from Libya, and humorously claimed he did this in order to get them closer to Palestine. The Colonel declared leaving the Arab League, because its members are American collaborators; look in whose arms he is now… indeed he has a sense of humor.

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Pakistan car bomb blast kills 3 Chinese

www.chinaview.cn 2004-05-03 15:57:36

ISLAMABAD, May 3 (Xinhuanet) -- Three Chinese were killed and nine other Chinese and two Pakistanis were injured in a car bomb explosion in Pakistan's southwestern Balochistan Province on Monday, a senior police officer and doctors said.

The news was confirmed by an official of Chinese Consulate in southern Pakistan city of Karachi.

The Chinese were working on a seaport project in Gawadar, about 500 kilometers west of Karachi, close to the border with Iran.

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White House: Bush still backs Sharon's disengagement plan

www.chinaview.cn 2004-05-03 11:13:48

WASHINGTON, May 2 (Xinhuanet) -- The White House said on Sunday that President George W. Bush still supported Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's disengagement plan even after it was rejected by Sharon's Likud Party.

"We have been informed of the results of the Likud voting. Our own view has not changed: The president welcomed Prime Minister Sharon's plan to withdraw settlements from Gaza and a part of the West Bank as a courageous and important step toward peace," White House spokesman Scott McClellan said in a statement.

"We will be in consultation with the prime minister and the government of Israel about how to move forward," McClellan said.

Bush announced his endorsement of the disengagement plan at a joint press conference with Sharon on April 14 when the Israeli prime minister visited the White House.

Moreover, Bush shocked the Arab world by saying that Israel could not be expected to give up all occupied Arab land or accept the return of Palestinian refugees to what is now the Jewish state.

Comment: The Likud vote shows once more that it is Israel that does not want peace. Taking 92% of historic Palestine, the land they would have under the Sharon plan, isn't enough. They want it all. How many more will die? How many more Palestinian homes will be destroyed, olive groves uprooted, towns rendered to rubble?

All of them.

Yahweh must be fed.

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Chalabi, Bush's Iraqi Puppet, A Double Agent?

Has Chalabi given 'sensitive' information on U.S. interests to Iran? He denies it, but the White House is wary

By Mark Hosenball
Newsweek
May 10 issue

Ahmad Chalabi, the longtime Pentagon favorite to become leader of a free Iraq, has never made a secret of his close ties to Iran. Before the U.S. invasion of Baghdad, Chalabi's Iraqi National Congress maintained a $36,000-a-month branch office in Tehran—funded by U.S. taxpayers. INC representatives, including Chalabi himself, paid regular visits to the Iranian capital. Since the war, Chalabi's contacts with Iran may have intensified: a Chalabi aide says that since December, he has met with most of Iran's top leaders, including supreme religious leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and his top national-security aide, Hassan Rowhani. "Iran is Iraq's neighbor, and it is in Iraq's interest to have a good relationship with Iran," Chalabi's aide says.

But U.S. intelligence agencies have recently raised concerns that Chalabi has become too close to Iran's theocratic rulers. NEWSWEEK has learned that top Bush administration officials have been briefed on intelligence indicating that Chalabi and some of his top aides have supplied Iran with "sensitive" information on the American occupation in Iraq. U.S. officials say that electronic intercepts of discussions between Iranian leaders indicate that Chalabi and his entourage told Iranian contacts about American political plans in Iraq. There are also indications that Chalabi has provided details of U.S. security operations. According to one U.S. government source, some of the information Chalabi turned over to Iran could "get people killed." (A Chalabi aide calls the allegations "absolutely false.")

Why would Chalabi risk his cozy ties to Washington by cuddling up to Iran's fundamentalist rulers? Administration officials say Chalabi may be working both sides in an effort to solidify his own power and block the advancement of rival Iraqis. A U.S. official familiar with information presented to policymakers said that White House advisers were concerned that Chalabi was "playing footsie" with the Iranians. Yet Chalabi still has loyal defenders among some neoconservatives in the Pentagon. They say Chalabi has provided information that saved American lives. "Rushing to judgment and cutting off this relationship could have unintended consequences," says one Pentagon official, who did not respond to questions about Chalabi's dealings with Tehran. Each month the Pentagon still pays his group a $340,000 stipend, drawn from secret intelligence funds, for "information collection."

Comment: Chalabi's masters are the same people that are directing current US foreign policy...

Zionists Get Major Part of Iraq Pie

Vera Katz

An ultra-Zionist Israeli settler has joined forces with the nephew of the Iraqi leader Ahmad Chalabi to promote investment in Iraq. The venture - which has excellent connections with the Pentagon and the new Iraqi government - is the first joint Israeli-Iraqi business project publicly documented since the fall of Saddam Hussein.

In Iraq, where there has been much unconfirmed speculation about Israeli business involvement, news of the controversial partnership is likely to fuel suspicions.

The Iraqi International Law Group (IILG) was set up in July "to provide foreign enterprise with the information and tools it needs to enter the emerging Iraq and to succeed", according to its website.

"Our clients number among the largest corporations and institutions on the planet," IILG says.

The firm, which says it employs four Iraqi lawyers and three "international business attorneys", is temporarily operating from rooms at the Palestine Hotel in Baghdad.

It was established by Salem "Sam" Chalabi, the 40-year-old nephew of Ahmad Chalabi, head of the Iraqi National Congress, a Pentagon favourite and now a prominent member of Iraq's governing council.

Sam Chalabi's "partner for international marketing" is Marc Zell, a rightwing Zionist lawyer who has offices in Jerusalem and Washington and previously ran a legal practice with Douglas Feith - now a leading Pentagon hawk with responsibility for the reconstruction of Iraq.

Until recently, Mr Zell - an Israeli citizen - was the registered owner of the Iraqi firm's website. Registration was transferred to Sam Chalabi's name on September 25 - the day after Mr Zell's ownership of the site was revealed by an article on Guardian Unlimited.

Data buried in the "Iraqi" website's source code has not been changed, however, and shows that the content was produced by a member of Mr Zell's Jerusalem office staff. [...]

In the 1996 Israeli election Mr Zell campaigned for the rightwing Binyamin Netanyahu and was also at one time a member of the Likud party's central committee and policy bureau.

Since then, he has been a frequent spokesman for settlers.

In a recent law journal article, written with a colleague, Mr Zell argued that the right of return for Palestinian refugees "is not only ungrounded as a matter of law, but also unjustified in historical retrospective".

His Jerusalem-based firm, Zell Goldberg & Co, claims to be "one of Israel's fastest-growing business-oriented law firms". One of its main activities is to help Israeli companies to do business abroad.

Mr Zell's role in IILG, according to Sam Chalabi, is to find companies interested in doing business in Iraq.

IILG claims to be the first international law firm based inside Iraq. "Many firms outside the country purport to counsel companies about doing business in Iraq," its website says. "The simple fact is: you cannot adequately advise about Iraq unless you are here day in and day out, working closely with officials at the CPA [coalition provisional authority] and the few functioning civilian ministries." [...]

Sam Chalabi's uncle and Mr Zell have close ties to Mr Feith at the Pentagon. Ahmad Chalabi, a former banker who was sentenced to 22 years' jail by a Jordanian court in connection with a $200m scandal in the 1980s, worked closely with the hawk in the run-up to the invasion. Mr Feith has shown strong leanings towards the Israeli right, in his Pentagon role and earlier as Mr Zell's partner in a Washington law firm.

Like Mr Zell, he has argued that Jewish settlements on occupied Palestinian land are lawful and has been promoting the idea of supplying Iraqi oil to Israel via a pipeline.

In 1996 he was one of the authors of the Clean Break document which proposed overthrowing Saddam as the first step towards reshaping Israel's "strategic

Zionist Agents Fail in Attempt to Assassinate New Hamas Leader

TehranTimes.com – Monday May 3, 2004

TEHRAN (MNA) – The Israeli intelligence agency Mossad failed in an attempt to assassinate the new Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal.

Reports from reliable sources indicate that five Yemeni Jews disguised in Muslim clothing recently took part in a ceremony held in commemoration of former Hamas leader Abdel-Aziz al-Rantissi.

They had entered the Yarmook camp in Damascus to meet with Khaled Meshaal and Mousa Abu Marzook, a high-ranking member of the Hamas political office.

The five members of the group who were commissioned by Mossad to assassinate Khaled Meshaal in Damascus were captured by his bodyguards before they could take any action.

The five men were then handed over to Syrian security forces but have not yet been identified.

During interrogations the men confessed that they entered Syria through Jordan and were commissioned by the Mossad to assassinate Khaled Meshaal and Mousa Abu Marzook.

Hamas leader Abdel-Aziz al-Rantissi was killed by a Zionist helicopter missile strike in Gaza City on April 17.

This was the Mossad’s second failed assassination attempt against Khaled Meshaal.

The Mossad first attempted to assassinate Meshaal by dispatching an assassination team to Jordan on September 25, 1997, when agents carrying forged Canadian passports tried to kill Meshaal by injecting him with poison.

Following the attack, former Jordanian King Hussein announced that the Mossad agents would all be executed if an antidote was not sent to Jordan in 48 hours. Meshaal’s life was saved after an Israeli doctor delivered an antidote for the poison.

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Enlargement adds weight to EU

Sunday 02 May 2004

The expanded EU is now a market of 455 million people

The European Union has expanded its frontiers with addition of 10 new members, but the long-term economic consequences of its enlargement could prove greater than the political reunification.

The European Union is now a market of 455 million people, more than twice the size of the United States, putting the EU third behind China and India.

With a comparable 2003 gross domestic product of $11.7 trillion according to the EU's statistics unit Eurostat, the union now rivals the US as the world's largest economy, though the latter is growing faster.

The 10 new members – Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia - have added 20% to the bloc's population, but only 5% to GDP.

Faster growth

Their economies are nonetheless forecast to grow by an average 4% this year, more than twice the 1.7% estimate for previous EU members, and the new states hope to follow the Irish "Celtic Tiger" in using union development funds to catch up with the pack.

Eight of the countries are former communist countries, and the 15 years of painful restructuring they have gone through to join the EU has in turn drawn foreign direct investment of $126 billion between 1993 and 2002.

The leaner economic models should help maintain investment rates which have weakened recently, but are forecast to increase by 5.75% this year and by 7.25% in 2005.

Challenging US

That should spur EU growth and could also come at the expense of the United States, which must continue to attract massive amounts of foreign investment to fund its record budget and current account deficits.

European enlargement has resulted in another fundamental change.

The EU now shares a common border with Russia and is becoming a dominant factor in Moscow's economic calculations.

Russia expects EU to account for 53% of its foreign trade and a third of foreign direct investment. EU industry on its part is hungry for Russian natural resources, setting the stage for agreements that should bind them closer together.

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Germany, Spain and France to work 'hand-in-hand' for Europe

30.04.2004

The months of wrangling between Spain and the Franco-German alliance over the Constitution seemed a distant memory yesterday (29 April) as the French President and Spanish premier stressed complete agreement on Europe's future.

After talks between France and Spain, French leader Jacques Chirac said, "In Berlin, as well as in Paris, there is a very strong desire to walk down the European road hand-in-hand with Spain", according to AFP.

Spanish premier Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero replied, in slightly less flowery style, "France and Spain must work together to build an active, dynamic and strong Europe".

All change

What a difference 5 months make.

In December, Madrid - albeit with a different government - was fighting tooth and nail to preserve their voting rights gained in the Treaty of Nice.

France and Germany were equally stubborn on the issue and it seemed the deadlock would never be broken.

But the terrorist attacks in March and the subsequent change of government in Spain has changed the political landscape in Europe and has enabled progress to be made.

And now Mr Zapatero says that "Spain will spare no effort to reach an agreement in this present term". The Constitution is expected to be signed in mid-June.

Comment: Two scenarios. The first is that, for some reason, the perpetrators of the Madrid bomb knew it would result in a change of government and a boost to EU cohesiveness. The second is that the bombings were a (failed) attempt to ensure that the pro "war on terror" government of Aznar would be reelected as a result of bringing "terrorism" home to the Spanish people.

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U.S. Factories Slow in April

By Daniel Bases
May 3, 2004

NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. factories slowed the pace of their output slightly in April but hired more workers, while an index of prices that companies pay for materials hit a near 25-year high, a survey released on Monday said. [...]

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California decertifies Diebold bugware

By Thomas C Greene
Published Monday 3rd May 2004 12:37 GMT

In a move anticipated for several months, the state of California has decertified all touch-screen voting machines due to security snafus and vendor stonewalling.

California Secretary of State Kevin Shelley announced the decision late last week. The move is in response to Diebold's failure to deal honestly with numerous security issues in particular, but extends, at least temporarily, to all touch-screen devices. Still, only the Diebold AccuVote TSx will be strictly forbidden.

Those counties that can satisfy a list of new regulations will be permitted to use touch-screen devices other than the TSx. Among the new requirements will be a voter-verifiable paper trail for all new machines, a step that had previously been slated for 2006.

Furthermore, all polling places will be required to provide paper balloting as an option for voters who request it. Also, and quite sensibly, the machines must not have any telephone, wireless or Internet connectivity.

Diebold can now choose between fixing its systems in short order, or challenging California's commonsense decision vigorously in the courts. It will be difficult for the company to sit by and let this dangerous precedent stand, perhaps encouraging other states to question their equipment as well.

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New Virus Snarls Thousands of Computers

By ANICK JESDANUN
May 3, 11:44 AM (ET)

NEW YORK (AP) - An Internet worm that takes advantage of a known flaw with the Windows operating system raced around the world Monday, snarling tens of thousands of computers and causing Internet traffic to slow.

Though Microsoft Corp. had announced the flaw with the so-called Local Security Authority Subsystem Service last month, many computer owners had yet to apply the fix that the company had released.

Unlike most outbreaks, the Sasser worm does not require users to activate it by clicking on an e-mail attachment. Sasser is known as a network worm because it can automatically scan the Internet for computers with the security flaw and send a copy of itself there. [...]

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City-Sized Asteroid to Pass Earth This Fall

By Robert Roy Britt
Senior Science Writer
posted: 06:30 am ET
03 May 2004

A minor rumor has hatched on the Internet that a large and deadly asteroid will strike Earth this fall. Bulletin board discussions cite a 63 percent chance of impact, while concerned readers have e-mailed SPACE.com wondering if it is true.

Astronomers know of no such impending doom.

The rumors are likely rooted in a real event, however. On Sept. 29, 2004 an asteroid the size of a small city will make the closest known pass of such a very large space rock anytime this century.

Computer model based on radar data reveals different views of Toutatis.[...]

The orbit of Toutatis is pinned down with better precision than any other large asteroid known to cross Earth's orbit. Toutatis' 4-year trek around the Sun ranges from just inside the Earth's path out to the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. The asteroid visits us every four years.

This fall, it will zoom by our planet within a million miles, or about four times the distance to the Moon.

That's close by cosmic standards for an object that could cause global devastation. Toutatis hasn't been so near since the year 1353 and won't be that close again until 2562, NASA scientists have calculated. No other asteroid so large is known to have come so close in the past, though accurate tracking of space rocks is a fairly recent, high-tech skill that still leaves wide margins of error for many objects.

Toutatis is about 2.9 miles long and 1.5 miles wide (4.6 by 2.4 kilometers).

Many smaller space rocks have passed by much closer, well inside the Moon's orbit. Other asteroids in the size range of Toutatis have surely navigated that window, too, but were unseen in eras when the skies were not scanned so fully as today.

And throughout history, several asteroids and comets have hit the planet. In fact, an object the size of Mars hit Earth when it was very young, creating the Moon, scientists believe. But experts say the odds of a major collision in any year are extremely small. Any other near-Earth asteroid as big as Toutatis would almost surely be spotted decades or centuries before any possible impact.

The prediction of any such event would make huge news rather than small rumors.

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The loss of nearly 60 percent of Lake Powell's water led to cracks five feet deep in the dried lake bed near Hite, Utah, as the Colorado River cut a new channel in the sediment.

Drought Settles In, Lake Shrinks and West's Worries Grow

By KIRK JOHNSON and DEAN E. MURPHY
May 2, 2004

PAGE, Ariz. — At five years and counting, the drought that has parched much of the West is getting much harder to shrug off as a blip.

Those who worry most about the future of the West — politicians, scientists, business leaders, city planners and environmentalists — are increasingly realizing that a world of eternally blue skies and meager mountain snowpacks may not be a passing phenomenon but rather the return of a harsh climatic norm.

Continuing research into drought cycles over the last 800 years bears this out, strongly suggesting that the relatively wet weather across much of the West during the 20th century was a fluke. In other words, scientists who study tree rings and ocean temperatures say, the development of the modern urbanized West — one of the biggest growth spurts in the nation's history — may have been based on a colossal miscalculation.

That shift is shaking many assumptions about how the West is run. Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming, the states that depend on the Colorado River, are preparing for the possibility of water shortages for the first time since the Hoover Dam was built in the 1930's to control the river's flow. The top water official of the Bush administration, Bennett W. Raley, said recently that the federal government might step in if the states could not decide among themselves how to cope with dwindling supplies, a threat that riled local officials but underscored the growing urgency.

"Before this drought, we had 20 years of a wet cycle and 20 years of the most growth ever," said John R. D'Antonio, the New Mexico State engineer, who is scrambling to find new water supplies for the suburbs of Albuquerque that did not exist a generation ago.

The latest blow was paltry snowfall during March in the Rocky Mountains, pushing down runoff projections for the Colorado River this year to 55 percent of average. Snowmelt is the lifeblood of the river, which provides municipal water from Denver to Los Angeles and irrigates millions of acres of farmland. The period since 1999 is now officially the driest in the 98 years of recorded history of the Colorado River, according to the United States Geological Survey.

"March was a huge wake-up call as to the need to move at an accelerated pace," said Mr. Raley, assistant secretary of the interior for water and science. [...]

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NZ Volcano Scarier Than Mt. Doom

May. 02, 2004

WHAKAPAPA VILLAGE, New Zealand -- New Zealand's Mount Ngauruhoe starred as fiery Mount Doom in Peter Jackson's epic film trilogy Lord of the Rings, but neighboring Mount Ruapehu is the volcano scientists fear most.

A trio of active volcanoes in the center of New Zealand's North Island -- Ngauruhoe, Ruapehu and Tongariro -- form the southern tip of the "Rim of Fire," an arc of active volcanoes circling the Pacific Ocean.

A simmering acidic crater lake on Mount Ruapehu, belching steam and gas that smells like rotten eggs, has been the site of more eruptions than any other crater lake in the world.

Scientists studying the lake say higher levels signal a greater chance of a mudflow, and warn that a disastrous mudslide could flow down the mountain some time between November this year and next March. [...]

When the level of the lake, now about 95 percent full, rises another 16 feet it may break free, releasing a fast-moving wave with the consistency of wet cement. Such an event is likely between November and March because, while water levels in the lake are low in autumn and winter, during the warmer months the spring melt and rain drive up the levels.

Another trigger for a lahar -- an Indonesian word for a volcanic mudflow -- would be volcanic activity. Ruapehu is showing some signs of volcano unrest, said the New Zealand Institute of Geological and Nuclear Sciences, with "elevated hydrothermal activity" in the crater lake.

Small high-frequency earthquakes beneath Ruapehu tapered off during Easter, followed by 12 hours of volcanic activity, and the volcano has been quiet since.

"That hazard is always there and many people seem to forget that," said Keys. "Eight years ago we had the biggest eruptions for 50 years and heaps of lahars, including ones that destroyed four bridges," he said.

New Zealand straddles a zone where the Indian-Australian and Pacific tectonic plates meet, causing the upper part of the North Island to slide away from the lower part of the South Island at a rate of about 13 feet every century.

Much of New Zealand was pushed up out of the sea as recently as 10,000 years ago, as the never-ending collision causes the landscape to buckle and rupture.

As the Pacific plate slides underneath the Indian-Australian plate, a hot spot of volcanic and thermal activity is created in the central North Island.

The plateau that dominates the island is home to a line of volcanoes and a deep crater now called Lake Taupo, a hole in the North Island as big as Singapore carved out by massive eruptions thousands of years ago.

The most recent eruption from Taupo, around AD 200, ejected clouds of dust that caused red sunsets seen as far away as the Roman and Chinese empires and was the world's biggest volcanic eruption in the last 5,000 years.

The best guess for the next Ruapehu lahar would be February 2005, and it is not possible to prevent them, said New Zealand's Department of Conservation.

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Yellowstone Unlikely To Blow Anytime Soon

No Signs Of Cataclysmic Eruption

By Mike Stark
The Billings Gazette Staff
4-30-4

Here's a reason to breathe easier: Civilization probably won't be crippled anytime soon by a pulverizing volcanic eruption at Yellowstone National Park.

New research indicates there is probably not a huge pot of magma brewing beneath Yellowstone that's building up to a superviolent eruption thousands of times more powerful than the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens.

"If something like that was cooking up right now we'd see the evidence, and we don't," said Drew Coleman, an assistant geology professor at the University of North Carolina.
Coleman is one of three scientists who authored two recent studies aimed at changing the way we think about volcanoes - especially how often the "big ones" erupt.

Earth has seen staggering volcanic eruptions. The last was about 75,000 years ago when an eruption at the Toba volcano in Indonesia may have come close to wiping out all primates, including humans, university officials said.

Yellowstone, the largest known center of active volcanism on the planet, has had its share. Massive eruptions 2 million, 1.3 million and 630,000 years ago were 2,500, 280 and 1,000 times larger, respectively, than Mount St. Helens.

The latest major eruption formed the famous Yellowstone Caldera than encircles Old Faithful, Canyon, Grant Village and portions of Yellowstone Lake.

"It's not hyperbole to say that the biggest eruptions could bring an end to civilization," said Allen F. Glazner, a geology professor at UNC. "Our new work casts doubt on the assumption that gigantic eruptions should be relatively common."

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Scientists expanding search for life in space

They're finding the building blocks of living organisms scattered throughout the universe.

By Robert S. Boyd
Knight Ridder News Service
Mon, May. 03, 2004

Encouraged by evidence that water once flowed on the surface of Mars, scientists are stepping up their search for past or present life beyond Earth.

They're finding water and molecules of hydrogen, oxygen and carbon - the building blocks of living organisms - scattered throughout the universe on planets, moons, asteroids and comets, and even in the space between the stars.

"The field is energized by excitement and controversy," said Bruce Runnegar, director of the NASA Astrobiology Institute, a collaboration of a dozen universities and research centers studying the origin, evolution, distribution and future of life.

The astronomers, biologists, chemists, geologists and other scientists who make up the astrobiology community think it's highly unlikely they will find intelligent beings living on other worlds. If life is found, they say, it will most likely be microscopic, such as the single-celled creatures that ruled Earth for its first two billion years. [...]

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UFO Planet

NASA Website

The planet Venus, so bright it is often mistaken for an alien spaceship, reaches maximum brilliancy this week.

Listen to this story via streaming audio, a downloadable file, or get help.

May 3, 2004: Picture this: You're in a car riding along a country road at night. The sky is clear; the stars are twinkling. The silhouettes of moonlit trees glide by the side window. Flash! A blue-white light beams through a gap in the forest. Flash! It happens again. And again, and again. It's following you.

In the movies, this is when the spaceship lands. A door opens. Eerie-green lights flood the roadside. Something alien steps out ... and you have a Close Encounter. Time to dial 9-1-1!

Relax. It's only Venus, the second planet from the Sun.

Venus is the brightest of all planets. It makes Sirius, the brightest star in the night sky, look feeble. At sundown Venus materializes close to the western horizon where it can beam through trees and make you think you're being chased by something from outer space. No wonder so many people call 9-1-1 to report a UFO when they see it.

Comment: Truly it is a damning indictment on the state of the mental capacity of the US population that the official US government space agency can actually publicise the above explanation for UFOs and expect that the average citizen will buy it. Why don't y'all prove 'em wrong...

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Water Crisis As Mexico City Sinks Faster Than Venice

By Tim Gaynor
The Independent - UK
4-30-4

MEXICO CITY -- Standing in his office high above Latin America's largest city, the water board operations chief Alejandro Martinez smiles as he considers one of the ironies of Mexico City's development.

Five hundred years ago, it was a compact Aztec citadel set in a broad highland lagoon. But today it is a vast metropolis sprawling across a dried-up lake bed.

Mexico City's underlying aquifer is now collapsing at a staggering rate beneath the streets. While Venice slips into the Adriatic at a fraction of an inch each year, Mexico City is lurching downwards by as much as a foot a year in some areas. Over the past century, it has dropped 30ft.

Chugging the equivalent of one Olympic-sized swimming pool full of water every minute, the city's strained aquifers are dragging much of the capital's rich heritage down with them, while the 20 million residents face problems that include water-borne diseases, power outages and the threat of riots.

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Sweden Probes Lake Monster Being on List


By Tommy Grandell
Associated Press Writer
Stockholm, Sweden

A government watchdog has asked a regional council why it placed a mythical monster on Sweden's endangered species list.

The Parliamentary Ombudsman's office in Stockholm also asked the environment court in the Jaemtland province of central Sweden to explain why a businessman, who said he wanted to raise monster babies, was denied permission to search for its purported eggs.

"During a routine inspection of the environment court in Jaemtland recently, we came across a decision that attracted our interest," Parliamentary Ombudsman Nils-Olof Berggren told the AP on Monday. "It was the local environment court, as a superior instance to the regional council, that had turned down an application from a man who wanted to search for and hatch the monster's eggs, probably believing it was just a joke."

However, Berggren also found that there was an actual decision from 1986, placing the monster under protection.

"So far we decided to have a closer look at how the listing came about, and how it is applied. If a court decided that it cannot be applied, we want to find out if the monster really needs to be protected or if the decision can be scrapped," Berggren said [...]

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Our daily bread

Felicity Lawrence
Monday May 3, 2004

[...] At the beginning of the 19th century, most bread was made in the home. But with increasing urbanisation, long working hours and the high cost of fuel needed to keep ovens warm, the baking industry began to develop. After the second world war the sector rationalised rapidly, but its mass-produced bread was still made in a way recognisable to home bakers: dough would be left to ferment and prove over extended periods.

Then, in the early 1960s, a method evolved that revolutionised the centuries-old process. Researchers at the British Baking Industries Research Association in Chorleywood developed a way of making bread that had first been used in the US: instead of allowing two to three hours' fermentation, they found that air and water could be incorporated into dough if it was mixed at high speeds in mechanical mixers.

Double the quantity of yeast was needed to make it rise, chemical oxidants were essential to get the gas in, and hardened fat had to be added to provide structure - without the fat, the bread collapsed in early experiments. But the process removed labour, reduced costs and gave much higher yields of bread from each sack of flour, because the dough absorbed so much more water. Air and water are the secrets of that springy loaf.

By 1965, the Chorleywood bread process, or CBP as it was known, had become widespread. CBP requires the addition of a hard fat with a high melting point to give the bread structure. The fat has to remain solid at temperatures of up to 43 C, artificially hardened or hydrogenated fats tended to be used. Unfortunately, hydrogenating fats create trans fats which are known to increase the threat of heart disease. Hydrogenated fat may sometimes be listed simply as "vegetable fat", but since it counts as a processing aid, it is not necessarily declared separately.

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MSG - Slowly Poisoning America

Yahoo Health Groups Post
5-1-4


I wondered if there could be an actual chemical causing the massive obesity epidemic, so did a friend of mine, John Erb. He was a research assistant at the University of Waterloo, and spent years working for the government.

He made an amazing discovery while going through scientific journals for a book he was writing called The Slow Poisoning of America. In hundreds of studies around the world, scientists were creating obese mice and rats to use in diet or diabetes test studies.

No strain of rat or mice is naturally obese, so the scientists have to create them. They make these morbidly obese creatures by injecting them with a chemical when they are first born. The MSG triples the amount of insulin the pancreas creates, causing rats (and humans?) to become obese They even have a title for the race of fat rodents they create: "MSG-Treated Rats" .

MSG?

I was shocked too. I went to my kitchen, checking the cupboards and the fridge.

MSG was in everything! The Campbell's soups, the Hostess Doritos, the Lays flavored potato chips, Top Ramen, Betty Crocker Hamburger Helper, Heinz canned gravy, Swanson frozen prepared meals, Kraft salad dressings, especially the 'healthy low fat' ones. The items that didn't have MSG had something called Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein, which is just another name for Monosodium Glutamate. It was shocking to see just how many of the foods we feed our children everyday are filled with this stuff. They hide MSG under many different names in order to fool those who catch on.

But it didn't stop there. When our family went out to eat, we started asking at the restaurants what menu items had MSG. Many employees, even the managers, swore they didn't use MSG. But when we ask for the ingredient list, which they grudgingly provided, sure enough MSG and Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein were everywhere. Burger King, McDonalds, Wendy's, Taco Bell, every restaurant, even the sit down ones like TGIF, Chilis', Applebees and Denny's use MSG in abundance. Kentucky Fried Chicken seemed to be the WORST offender: MSG was in every chicken dish, salad dressing and gravy. No wonder I loved to eat that coating on the skin, their secret spice was MSG!

So why is MSG in so may of the foods we eat? Is it a preservative or a vitamin?

Not according to my friend John. In the book he wrote, an expose of the food additive industry called The Slow Poisoning of America, (www.spofamerica.com ), he said that MSG is added to food for the addictive effect it has on the human body. [...]

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Hidden Sources Of MSG In Foods

From the book 'Excitotoxins - The Taste That Kills'
By Dr. Russell Blaylock, MD
3-6-3

What if someone were to tell you that a chemical (MSG) added to food could cause brain damage in your children, and that this chemical could effect how your children's nervous systems formed during development so that in later years they may have learning or emotional difficulties?

What if there was scientific evidence that these chemicals could permanently damage a critical part of the brain known to control hormones so that later in life your child might have endocrine problems? How would you feel?

Suppose evidence was presented to you strongly suggesting that the artificial sweetener in your diet soft drink may cause brain tumors to develop, and that the number of brain tumors reported since the introduction of this widespread introduction of this artificial sweetener has risen dramatically? Would that affect your decision to drink these products and especially to allow your children to drink them? What if you could be shown overwhelming evidence that one of the main ingredients in this sweetener (aspartate) could cause the same brain lesions as MSG? Would that affect your buying decisions?

And finally, what if it could be demonstrated that all of these types of chemicals, called excitotoxins, could possibly aggravate or even precipitate many of today's epidemic neurodegenerative brain diseases such as Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease, ALS, and Alzheimer's disease? Would you be concerned if you knew that these excitotoxin food additives are a particular risk if you have diabetes, or have ever had a stroke, brain injury, brain tumor, seizure, or have suffered from hypertension, meningitis, or viral encephalitis?

Would you also be upset to learn that many of the brain lesions caused by these products in your children are irreversible and can result from a SINGLE exposure of these products in sufficient concentration?

How would you feel when you learn the food industry hides and disguises these excitotoxin additives (MSG and Aspartate) so they can't be recognized? Incredulous? Enraged? The fact is many foods are labeled as having "No MSG" but in fact not only contain MSG but also are laced with other excitotoxins of equal potency and danger.

All of the above are true. And all of these well known brain toxins are poured into our food and drink by the thousands of tons to boost sales. These additives have NO OTHER purpose other than to enhance to TASTE of food and the SWEETNESS of various diet products.

Hidden Sources Of MSG
As discussed previously, the glutamate (MSG) manufacturers and the processed food industries are always on a quest to disguise the MSG added to food. Below is a partial list of the most common names for disguised MSG. Remember also that the powerful excitotoxins, aspartate and L-cystine, are frequently added to foods and according to FDA rules require NO LABELING AT ALL.
* Food Additives that ALWAYS contain MSG *

Monosodium Glutamate
Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein
Hydrolyzed Protein
Hydrolyzed Plant Protein
Plant Protein Extract
Sodium Caseinate
Calcium Caseinate
Yeast Extract
Textured Protein (Including TVP)
Autolyzed Yeast
Hydrolyzed Oat Flour
Corn Oil

* Food Additives That FREQUENTLY Contain MSG *

Malt Extract
Malt Flavoring
Bouillon
Broth
Stock
Flavoring
Natural Flavors/Flavoring
Natural Beef Or Chicken Flavoring
Seasoning
Spices

* Food Additives That MAY Contain MSG Or Excitotoxins *

Carrageenan
Enzymes
Soy Protein Concentrate
Soy Protein Isolate
Whey Protein Concentrate
Also: Protease Enzymes of various sources can release excitotoxin amino acids from food proteins.
Aspartame - An Intense Source Of Excitotoxins
Aspartame is a sweetener made from two amino acids, phenylalanine and the excitotoxin aspartate. It should be avoided at all costs. Aspartame complaints accounts for approximately 70% of ALL complaints to the FDA. It is implicated in everything from blindness to headaches to convulsions. Sold under dozens of brand names such as NutraSweet and Equal, aspartame breaks down within 20 minutes at room temperature into several primary toxic and dangerous ingredients:
1. DKP (diketopiperazine) (When ingested, converts to a near duplicate of
a powerful brain tumor causing agent)
2. Formic Acid (ant venom)
3. Formaldehyde (embalming fluid)
4. Methanol (causes blindness...extremely dangerous substance)
Common Examples:
Diet soft drinks, sugar free gums, sugar free Kool Aid, Crystal Light, childrens' medications, and thousands of other products claiming to be 'low calorie', 'diet', or 'sugar free'.

A Final Note...

Dr. Blaylock recounted a meeting with a senior executive in the food additive industry who told him point blank that these excitotoxins are going to be in our food no matter how many name changes are necessary...

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Passengers Tip Boat Trying to See Nudists

May 3

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Partygoers apparently hoping to catch a glimpse of nude sunbathers crowded on one side of a floating barge, prompting the ship to capsize and dump all 60 people into Lake Travis.

Two people were hospitalized with minor injuries Sunday after the rented double-decker barge sank near Hippie Hollow, a lakeside park and the only public nude beach in Texas.

The accident occurred during Splash Day, a semiannual event hosted at the clothing-optional area by the Austin Tavern Guild, a gay and lesbian bar association.

Witnesses said that all of the people aboard the barge moved to one side as it neared Hippie Hollow, creating uneven distribution and making it tilt. It sank in 50-foot-deep water.

Krista Umscheid, a spokeswoman for the Lower Colorado River Authority, said that although everyone aboard was accounted for, Travis County sheriff's divers were checking compartments of the sunken pontoon boat as a precaution.

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