Today's conditions brought to you by the Bush Junta - marionettes of their hyperdimensional puppet masters - Produced and Directed by the CIA, based on an original script by Henry Kissinger, with a cast of billions.... The "Greatest Shew on Earth," no doubt, and if you don't have a good sense of humor, don't read this page! It is designed to reveal the "unseen."
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Saturday, May 22, 2004

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The material presented in the linked articles does not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the editors. Research on your own and if you can validate any of the articles, or if you discover deception and/or an obvious agenda, we will appreciate if you drop us a line! We often post such comments along with the article synopses for the benefit of other readers. As always, Caveat Lector!

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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, Part 13

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Picture of the Day

Shadow of a Cumulonimbus
©2004 Pierre-Paul Feyte

How long left for the Internet?

The Internet has been invaluable from the point of view of those seeking a more accurate account of events as they transpire here on the BBM. Despite the large quantity of disinformation and outright lies that are also peddled in cyberspace, the ability to offer and avail of a more objective view of reality than that presented by the Zionist owned mainstream media seems to have served to level the playing field somewhat. In this respect, we have often wondered why the Internet was even permitted to become as popular and as widely used as it has. Surely control of what the people think is not facilitated by providing an international forum where conscientious citizens can speak the truth?

In recent years more and more people have turned to the Internet for information on all manner of things. One of the booming Internet "industries" is "alternative" news sites, where those prone to thinking "outside of the box" can air their views. If we believe that most significant cultural advances on this planet happen because they were planned, we might suspect that the Internet too is a controlled experiment of sorts. Perhaps someone, somewhere anticipated that as the 21st century approached, there would be many people "thinking outside the box", and it was decided that some way to contain and control this inner and outer debate would be required.

On the one hand we might think that "the powers that be" saw the Internet as simply a way to widen the dissemination of their version of truth, and the few web sites and commentators attempting to expose the lie would be of little consequence. However, thinking in terms of Machiavelli is much more appropriate when considering the plans of "the powers that be". Perhaps one of the underlying goals of the Internet was to create the impression of a freely available resource for uncensored information, while pursuing the real agenda of information collection, and the weeding out of those who had an inkling of what the real truth was. By allowing the publication of some actual verifiable truth, people would be more likely to believe the disinformation, courtesy of CoIntelPro, that followed along side. Perhaps in the final analysis, the advantages of being able to reach vast numbers of people, crossing cultural and language barriers in a way that printed or televised media could not, far outweighed any drawbacks of the truth seeing the light of day.

Clearly there are events transpiring on our planet now, and events that have transpired throughout history, that the mainstream press simply will not touch, for whatever reason - yet they happened and are happening. Last year a meteorite the size of a house hit the ground in Northern Spain. Hardly a word was reported in the mainstream press about the event, yet many alternative Internet news sites carried the report and speculated on the implications. Indeed, this was not the only event of this kind in recent times. In the last year there have been approximately 13 meteorite sightings or impacts across the globe, few if any reported widely in the printed or televised media. In fact, what we note is that, as if by way of an indirect response, the mainstream press have published reports and commentary by "scientists" to the effect that "there are meteorites out there, but the chances of us being hit by a large one are almost nil, and if it happens, it won't be for another (pick a large integer and add the word "years" after it).

From a personal standpoint, our attempts to provide an objective look at our world via the Internet has been no walk in the park. We, like others, have been subjected to attacks at every turn, apparently from "ordinary Internet surfers" who took exception to our work. Of course, one of the "benefits" of the Internet is anonymity. While we were able to defend against such attacks using the same medium through which they came, we relied on the impartiality of the Internet service providers to keep the playing field level. From recent events we get the impression however that the impartiality of the ISPs can no longer be relied upon.

As most readers will be aware, Paypal recently closed our account without justification or explanation. In doing so they have attempted to prevent us from sharing our research and discoveries with our readers. Recently, Joe Vialls was also on the receiving end of Paypal's "official policy". If it were just a case of Paypal indulging in these fascist activities it may not give us so much cause for concern. However, in a much more worrying development, Yahoo also decided to arbitrarily delete the contents of Joe Vialls' website which had been hosted by "Geocities." Is the first salvo in the setting of a precedent that will ultimately spell the complete gagging of the Internet and any potential for the dissemination of truth it holds? Time will tell, but we are expecting the best, while preparing for the worst. Let's face it, it would not be the first time in the last 100 years that outright censorship dominated the lives of ordinary citizens in the developed democratic western world...

Propaganda and Censorship in Nazi Germany

"The chief function of propaganda is to convince the masses, who slowness of understanding needs to be given time in order that they may absorb information; and only constant repetition will finally succeed in imprinting an idea on their mind...the slogan must of course be illustrated in many ways and from several angles, but in the end one must always return to the assertion of the same formula. The one will be rewarded by the surprising and almost incredible results that such a personal policy secures." Adolf Hitler from "Mein Kampf"

"The essence of propaganda consists in winning people over to an idea so sincerely, so vitally, that in the end they succumb to it utterly and can never escape from it." Goebbels

"Propaganda is not an end in itself, but a means to an end. If the means achieves the end then the means is good...the new Ministry has no other aim than to unite the nation behind the ideal of the national revolution."  Goebbels

Propaganda is the art of persuasion - persuading others that your 'side of the story' is correct. Propaganda might take the form of persuading others that your military might is too great to be challenged; that your political might within a nation is too great or popular to challenge etc. In Nazi Germany, Dr Joseph Goebbels was in charge of propaganda. Goebbels official title was Minister of Propaganda and National Enlightenment.

Propaganda within Nazi Germany was taken to a new and frequently perverse level. Hitler was very aware of the value of good propaganda and he appointed Joseph Goebbels as head of propaganda.

As Minister of Enlightenment, Goebbels  had two main tasks:

        1) to ensure nobody in Germany could read or see anything that was hostile or damaging to the Nazi Party.

        2) to ensure that the views of the Nazis were put across in the most persuasive manner possible.

To ensure success, Goebbels had to work with the SS and Gestapo and Albert Speer. The former hunted out those who might produce articles defamatory to the Nazis and Hitler while Speer helped Goebbels with public displays of propaganda.

To ensure that everybody thought in the correct manner, Goebbels set up the Reich Chamber of Commerce in 1933. This organisation dealt with literature, art, music, radio, film, newspapers etc. To produce anything that was in these groups, you had to be a member of the Reich Chamber. The Nazi Party decided if you had the right credentials to be a member. Any person who was not admitted was not allowed to have any work published or performed. Disobedience brought with it severe punishments. As a result of this policy, Nazi Germany introduced a system of censorship. You could only read, see and hear what the Nazis wanted you to read, see and hear. In this way, if you believed what you were told, the Nazi leaders logically assumed that opposition to their rule would be very small and practiced only by those on the very extreme who would be easy to catch.

Hitler came to power in January 1933. By May 1933, the Nazi Party felt sufficiently strong to publicly demonstrate where their beliefs were going when Goebbels organised the first of the infamous book burning episodes. Books that did not match the Nazi ideal was burnt in public - loyal Nazis ransacked libraries to remove the 'offending' books. "Where one burns books, one eventually burns people" commented the author Brecht.  

The same approach was used in films. The Nazis controlled film production. Films released to the public concentrated on certain issues : the Jews; the greatness of Hitler; the way of life for a true Nazi especially children, and as World War Two approached, how badly Germans who lived in countries in Eastern Europe were treated. Leni Riefenstahl was given a free hand in producing Nazi propaganda films. A young film producer, she had impressed Hitler with her ability. It was Riefenstahl who made "Triumph of Will" - considered one of the greatest of propaganda films despite its contents.

What was seen in the cinemas was controlled. "Hitlerjunge Quex" was made in 1933. This film told the story of a boy brought up in a communist family in Germany who broke away from this background, joined the Hitler Youth and was murdered by the Communists in Germany for doing so. "The Eternal Jew" was a film that vilified the Jews - comparing the Jews in Europe to a hoard of rats, spreading disease etc. "Tarzan" films were banned because the Nazis frowned on so little clothing being worn especially by women. One film that celebrated the might of the German Navy was not screened as it showed a drunken German sailor. However, the cinemas were not full of serious films with a political message. Goebbels ordered that many comedies should be made to give Germany a 'lighter' look.

Why was so much effort put into propaganda?

At no time up to 1933, did the Nazi Party win a majority of votes at elections. They may have been the largest political party in 1933, but they did not have a majority of support among the people. Therefore, those who had supported the Nazis needed to be informed on how correct their choice was with an emphasis on the strength of the party and the leadership. Those who opposed the Nazi Party had to be convinced that it was pointless continuing with their opposition. The fact that Goebbels had so much power is indicative of how important Hitler thought it was to ensure that the people were won over or intimidated into accepting Nazi rule.  

Censorship was rampant throughout Nazi Germany. Censorship ensured that Germans could only see what the Nazi hierarchy wanted people to see, hear what they wanted them to hear and read only what the Nazis deemed acceptable. The Nazi police dealt with anyone who went outside of these boundaries. Censorship dominated the lives of the ordinary citizen in Nazi Germany.

The prime mover in censorship was the Minister of Propaganda, Joseph Goebbels. It was his responsibility to see that the German people were fed with material acceptable to the Nazi state. Newspapers, radio and all forms of media were put under the control of the Nazis. Even the film industry became controlled by the Nazis where the leading light was Leni Riefenstahl - who, though favoured by Hitler, did not enjoy a good relationship with Goebbels. Music was controlled by the Nazis. Music by Gustav Mahler and Felix Mendelssohn was banned as they were both Jews. Jazz was also banned. Even telling jokes about Hitler became a serious offence - one to send you to the concentration camps and potentially death.

Censorship was enforced by a number of methods. First, the secret police or the 'normal' police ensured that the rules were kept to. Secondly, anyone who wanted to go outside of the desired party norm faced the most serious of consequences. Third, people in general were expected to report anything unacceptable to their local party chief. Those who knew something but did not report it were deemed as guilty as those who went against the system. Censorship ensured that the Nazis had the German public in their grip as they bombarded them on a daily basis on how their lives had been improved from the day Hitler became Germany's leader.

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Israeli Movers Freed, back in Miami

May 20, 04 --Venice, FL
by Daniel Hopsicker

According to law enforcement officials at the scene the rented moving van used by two Israelis involved in the high speed chase near the tiny Appalachian hamlet of Mars Hill, N.C. last week tested positive for drugs, the MadCowMorningNews has learned exclusively.

While the FBI dismissed the finding as a 'false positive,' local law enforcement regards the test as highly accurate.

A spokesman for the FBI also dismissed the importance of the liquid tossed from the van by the men during the pursuit. "It's really no more than littering to be honest," said Thomas Browne, supervisor at the FBI's Johnson City, TN office.

"The Mystery of Mars Hill"

The dogged persistence of local officials in the face of seeming Federal indifference paid dividends when information surfaced this week indicating that the mysterious liquid the men threw out of the van during the pursuit can be used "as a culture, for growing some kind of bug.”

Notwithstanding these developments, the two Israeli men were released from government custody, after a judge in Erwin, TN suspended a 30-day sentence and turned the pair, 23-yr old Shmuel Dahan and 19-yr old Almaliach Naor, over to the INS.

In earlier statements, INS officials said the men would be subject to immediate deportation. Yet despite convictions for evading arrest, and being in the country illegally on tourist visas, the Israelis were freed on bond Monday morning, a discovery made in a phone call to Summit Moving Van Lines in Miami, the men's employer.

When the caller asked to speak to Shmuel Dahan, a man answering the phone there said, "I'm 'Shmuel."

Even as it ‘went away,’ at least officially, we learned of a possible New Jersey connection to the case, which one wag dubbed ‘The Mystery of Mars Hill.’

Former U.S. Highway 23, where the incident began when County Sheriffs noticed a rental moving truck traveling at a high speed, is a lightly-traveled highway near the North Carolina state line, a road made famous by men who later became renowned NASCAR drivers who used it to outrun and out-wit the authorities.

We retraced the “NASCAR Israelis” route, and it quickly became clear that anyone driving in excess of posted speed limits is in danger in numerous places of plunging a thousand feet down a mountainside.

There is no way anyone could mistake the curvy, winding two-lane mountain road for a well-traveled interstate. But the old US 23 does conveniently bypass the inspection stations on both the north and south-bound Interstate at the Tennessee border, in operation even on weekends.

Either the Israelis were really really lost… or they were trying to travel under the sheriff’s radar.

“They were driving recklessly and at a high rate of speed down an old highway that nobody uses anymore,” said Sheriff Harris who chased them, he said, for more than three miles before they consented to pull over.

"I was really concerned because the driver would not stop after I flashed my headlights for nearly three miles. He was weaving back and forth, and I was wondering what a large truck was doing on a two-lane highway instead of the much-faster I-26 interstate."

The incident highlighted a spate of reports since 9/11 about Israelis in moving vans running afoul of suspicious local law enforcement. But what propelled it into the national news was the “Learn to Fly in Florida” business card found by police in the wallet of 23-year old Dahan, an Israeli military veteran.

"I got a sick feeling when I saw it (the business card)," Kent Harris, Sheriff of Uncoil County in Tennessee, told the Associated Press. He cited the proximity of the Nuclear Fuel Services plant nearby, the nation’s sole provider of fuel for the Navy’s nuclear subs, according to officials.

"They were just three miles from where, if you get off at exit 15, off I-26, you’re just a half-mile from all the nuclear plants," he told the MadCowMorningNews. "There’s Nuclear Fuel Services, which is a privately-owned company. Studdwick, another privately-owned company. And they’re building a third one now.”

What were Israelis doing in Mars Hill?

Today all that remains of the two Israelis’ presence in tiny Mars Hill, North Carolina are the mysteries they left behind. For example, the unidentified liquid thrown out of their van during the chase…

“My biggest concern was finding out what it was,” Sheriff Kent Harris stated in an interview in the Unicoi County Sheriff’s Office after the men’s release. “I still can’t understand why they didn’t admit to throwing the stuff out.”

The results were reported two days later. "A bottle authorities say was tossed onto a Tennessee highway during a chase Saturday contained a latex stripper and an acid compound but didn't pose any threat of explosion, according to the FBI," read an account in the Johnson City Press.

Harris said tests showed the bottle contained a mixture of Astromid 18, Gluconic acid and water. Astromid 18 is a latex stripper/cleaner. But he said it's not clear why the two were mixed together, and according to a scientist at the nearby nuclear lab he consulted, the liquid could be used as a culture.

“I asked the lab if there was anything else you can think of that it could be used for,” said Harris. “The chemist told me, ‘Well there’s no way it’s a bomb. If you drank it definitely it could kill you. But it could possibly be an agent for growing some kind of bug.’”

Normally in cases like this the FBI would be the final arbiter of “what’s what.” But these are anything but normal times. And the FBI has been behaving strangely since 9/11.

“The FBI never tested it (the liquid),” said the Sheriff. “We took some samples for them but the FBI never even sent anyone over to pick them up.”

"Nobody knows nothing."

Had the FBI been completely uninterested?

“Well they seemed to be,” Harris admitted. “Especially after they said the men were here legally. The FBI actually said the two were here legally. It wasn’t until the INS called Tuesday that we found out they weren’t.”

What were two Israeli reservist/movers doing in backwater Mars Hill, N.C.?

“That’s a pretty good question,” said the Sheriff. “Their excuse was the truck was full and they had to stop and pick another load up. But that part don’t make sense to me. I can’t get it through my mind why they were unloading some junk there so they could go pick some more up somewhere else.”

The Israeli ‘movers’ rented a storage locker at Triple AAA Storage outside Mars Hill before their arrest. How had they found it? Had they just driven by?

The answer is: nobody knows. “Its sort of off the way,” said the Sheriff.

We visited Triple AAA Storage of Mars Hill North Carolina on a fine Spring day in the Appalachians, and can confirm its remote location. The facility’s manager, a man named ‘George,’ told us, of the two Israelis, “They were joyriding, and it cost ‘em. They said they was, at least that’s what I heard one of ‘em tell the sheriff.”

He referred any other questions to the facility’s owner, who was, George said, “Sal Annone from New Jersey. He bought the business three or four years back.”

A 'Salvatore Annone' owns a number of North Carolina businesses, a search of corporation records indicated. We asked George if we could speak to Mr. Annone, but were told he has an unlisted phone. Employees are forbidden to give it out. Was Sal Annone the Israelis point of contact with some other organization?

The Sheriff's investigation, halted by the involvement of the FBI, had been unaware of the reason the Israelis stopped at Triple AAA Storage, and of the recent (last September) ownership change there.

No matter how it was considered, the case seemed full of “anomalies.” Shmuel Dahan, for example, listed an address in swanky Miami Beach, and had more than $12,000 in his personal bank account. “That sort of caught my attention,” said the Sheriff.

A local reporter who overheard lawmen discussing Shmuel’s bank account later told us, “My brother delivered furniture all through college, and I don’t think he made $12,000 the whole time. Where was this kid getting the money?” [...]

Fueling law enforcement suspicions of the two Israelis is their clear belief that the two men were lying.

"I know when they tell that they didn’t see me behind them, it has to be a lie,” said Harris. “They said, at first, that they were going to Boston to take some furniture. Then later on we found out it was West Virginia. And all that their truck was packed with was some used furniture so old it doesn't seem anybody would pay to move it."

But, couldn't it all have been just a really horrible mistake? Maybe the Israeli military reservists/movers just hadn't heard the police sirens... “Oh no he had to see me,” said the Sheriff. “The siren was going…. I could see him in the mirror looking back at me.“

"People at a big fish fry came out to the front porch when they heard the sirens, and seen the blue lights. They all saw the truck go by, saw me go by. One man seen the bottle come out of the truck, and the rest saw it turning in the road after the truck went by."

"There’s no doubt about the fact they threw the liquid out of their truck. And they didn’t stop when they should have. I would have been happier if they’d said, ‘yes, the bottle was ours.’ That would have relieved my mind. But they still say they didn’t throw it out. They still say they didn’t see me behind them, even though they pled guilty to evading arrest.

The Sheriff shrugged fatalistically. "I was asked by a reporter today about my impression of the case. I said I can’t really give an answer to that. There are still a lot of questions to be answered."

Interestingly, the Israeli-owned company the men worked for, Summit Movers, is much-written about on the Web, and allegedly has had approximately twenty insurance policy cancellations in their short three years of existence, as well as being allegedly implicated in the Israeli-run "scam" moving company scandal in Miami which the FBI seems always jes' a step or two slow in closing down.

Comment: There is now more than enough evidence to suggest that there are many Israeli (probably Mossad) agents in the US posing as moving company workers or art students. They are clearly there for a reason, and it has nothing to do with fighting Arab terrorism. The Mossad was behind the 9/11 attacks - we suppose we may all just sit back and wait and watch to see what the next phony terror attack will be...

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Stonewalling On Bin Laden/Saudi Flights After 9/11

With questions swirling about who authorized allowing relatives of Osama bin Laden to fly out of the country immediately after 9/11, The Hill newspaper is reporting that President Bush is "refusing to answer repeated requests by the September 11 commission" about the matter.

Last year, Secretary of State Colin Powell acknowledged that, even as all foreign and domestic flights were grounded after 9/11, the bin Ladens and other wealthy Saudis were allowed to fly out of the United States. He said that "the flights were well-known and it was coordinated within the government".

Yet now, even as White House officials claim that "the President has fully cooperated with this commission in an unprecedented way", the panel vice chairman Lee Hamilton disclosed that the Administration is refusing to answer any questions on the subject -- even in closed-door meetings with Senators. The President is also still refusing to release 28 pages of the bipartisan 9/11 congressional report about the Saudi Government. That report is known to "depict a Saudi government that not only provided significant money and aid to the suicide hijackers but also allowed potentially hundreds of millions of dollars to flow to Al Qaeda". Some of that money may have even flowed through Riggs Bank, where the President's uncle (and major fundraiser) is a top executive. Nonetheless, the President continues to refer to the Saudi government as "our friend" .

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'US soldiers started to shoot us, one by one'

Survivors describe wedding massacre as generals refuse to apologise

Rory McCarthy in Ramadi
Friday May 21, 2004
The Guardian

The wedding feast was finished and the women had just led the young bride and groom away to their marriage tent for the night when Haleema Shihab heard the first sounds of the fighter jets screeching through the sky above.

It was 10.30pm in the remote village of Mukaradeeb by the Syrian border and the guests hurried back to their homes as the party ended. As sister-in-law of the groom, Mrs Shihab, 30, was to sleep with her husband and children in the house of the wedding party, the Rakat family villa. She was one of the few in the house who survived the night.

"The bombing started at 3 am," she said yesterday from her bed in the emergency ward at Ramadi general hospital, 60 miles west of Baghdad. "We went out of the house and the American soldiers started to shoot us. They were shooting low on the ground and targeting us one by one," she said. She ran with her youngest child in her arms and her two young boys, Ali and Hamza, close behind. As she crossed the fields a shell exploded close to her, fracturing her legs and knocking her to the ground.

She lay there and a second round hit her on the right arm. By then her two boys lay dead. "I left them because they were dead," she said. One, she saw, had been decapitated by a shell.

"I fell into the mud and an American soldier came and kicked me. I pretended to be dead so he wouldn't kill me. My youngest child was alive next to me."

Mrs Shibab's description, backed by other witnesses, of an attack on a sleeping village is at odds with the American claim that they came under fire while targeting a suspected foreign fighter safe house.

[...] The military admitted there had been a raid on the village at 3am on Wednesday but said it had targeted a "suspected foreign fighter safe house".

"During the operation, coalition forces came under hostile fire and close air support was provided," it said in a statement. Soldiers at the scene then recovered weapons, Iraqi dinar and Syrian pounds (worth approximately £800), foreign passports and a "Satcom radio", presumably a satellite telephone.

"We took ground fire and we returned fire," said Brigadier General Mark Kimmitt, deputy director of operations for the US military in Iraq. "We estimate that around 40 were killed. But we operated within our rules of engagement."

Major General James Mattis, commander of the 1st Marine Division, was scathing of those who suggested a wedding party had been hit. "How many people go to the middle of the desert ... to hold a wedding 80 miles (130km) from the nearest civilisation? These were more than two dozen military-age males. Let's not be naive."

When reporters asked him about footage on Arabic television of a child's body being lowered into a grave, he replied: "I have not seen the pictures but bad things happen in wars. I don't have to apologise for the conduct of my men."

[...] "I saw something that nobody ever saw in this world," said Mr Nawaf. "There were children's bodies cut into pieces, women cut into pieces, men cut into pieces."

Among the dead was his daughter Fatima Ma'athi, 25, and her two young boys, Raad, four, and Raed, six. "I found Raad dead in her arms. The other boy was lying beside her. I found only his head," he said. His sister Simoya, the wife of Haji Rakat, was also killed with her two daughters. "The Americans call these people foreign fighters. It is a lie. I just want one piece of evidence of what they are saying."

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US generals admit they are 'on road to defeat'

Doug Lorimer – Green Left Weekly, May 19, 2004

Growing support among Iraqis for the armed resistance against the US-led occupation has led top US military officers to acknowledge that the US is headed for defeat in Iraq. According to the May 9 Washington Post, this “view is far from universal, but it is spreading, and being voiced publicly for the first time”.

The Post reported that a “senior general at the Pentagon said he believes the United States is already on the road to defeat”.

“It is doubtful we can go on much longer like this”, the general, who asked not be named, said. “The American people may not stand for it — and they should not.”

His comments were echoed by US Army Colonel Paul Hughes, who last year was the first director of strategic planning for the US occupation authority in Baghdad and who is currently involved in formulating the Pentagon's Iraq policy.

Hughes told the Post that the US military in Iraq was headed toward the same sort of strategic defeat that it had suffered in Vietnam. “I lost my brother in Vietnam”, said Hughes. “I promised myself, when I came on active duty, that I would do everything in my power to prevent that [sort of strategic defeat] from happening again. Here I am, 30 years later, thinking we will win every fight and lose the war, because we don't understand the war we're in.”

Many senior US officers, the Post reported, “are worried by evidence that the United States is losing ground with the Iraqi public”. It cited a USA Today/CNN/Gallup poll conducted in March which found that about two-thirds of Arab Iraqis want the US-led occupation forces to leave Iraq immediately.

“In Iraq, we are rapidly losing the support of the middle, which will enable the insurgency to persist practically indefinitely until our national resolve is worn down”, an unnamed senior US military intelligence officer told the Post.

Major General Charles Swannack, the commander of the US Army's 82nd Airborne Division, told the Post he believed the US occupation forces were capable of winning any specific battle with Iraqi resistance fighters. But when asked whether he believed the US was losing the war, he responded: “I think strategically, we are.”

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Baghdad car bomb kills five

By Michael Georgy
Saturday May 22, 05:41 PM

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - A suicide car bomb in Baghdad has killed at least five people and wounded a senior Interior Ministry official, five days after the head of Iraq's Governing Council was assassinated in a similar bombing.

The same group, Jama'at al-Tawhid and Jihad, headed by al Qaeda-linked figure Abu Musab al-Zarqawi claimed responsibility.

Deputy Interior Minister General Abdel Jabar al-Shaikli was in a stable condition but four guards and a woman neighbour died outside his home on Saturday. U.S. generals predict more violence as Iraqis prepare to take over running their own affairs next month. [...]

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Palestinian doctors despair at rising toll of children shot dead by army snipers

As the carnage in Rafah escalates, bullet wounds belie the official Israeli line on killings of young teenagers

Chris McGreal in Rafah
Thursday May 20, 2004
The Guardian

The tiny hole buried under Asma Mughayar's thick black hair, just above her right ear, is an illusion, according to the Israeli army. So is her family's insistance that Asma, 16, and her younger brother Ahmed, were both shot through the head by an Israeli soldier as they fed their pigeons and collected the laundry from the roof of their home in Rafah refugee camp.

But their corpses tell a different story, as do the bodies of other children brought to Rafah's hospital and makeshift mortuaries even before yesterday's carnage, in which Israeli tanks and helicopters fired on a peaceful protest by Palestinians in the camp, killing 10 demonstrators, according to Palestinian paramedics.

Israel disputes the Mughayar family's account: that soldiers shot the children on Tuesday. Hours after their death, Israeli officials blamed the Palestinians, telling reporters that Asma and Ahmed had been killed in a "work accident" - a euphemism for bomb-makers blowing themselves up - or by Palestinian fighters who had left a landmine in the street.

"A preliminary investigation indicates they were killed by a bomb intended to be used against soldiers. It was set outside a building by Palestinians to hit an Israeli vehicle. This is probably what happened," a military spokesman said yesterday.

Dr Ali Moussa, head of Rafah hospital, is as furious at the claim as he is at Israel's assertion that almost all the 20 or more people killed during the army's seizure of the Tel al-Sultan district of the Rafah refugee camp were armed men.

"They are liars, liars, liars, because these children have bullet wounds to the head. There is no doubt about it," he says.

Dr Ahmed Abu Nkaria, who pronounced the Mughayar children dead, insists on proving the manner of their killing. He pulls Asma's body from the mortuary's refrigeration unit and fumbles through the teenager's hair to reveal the hole where the bullet entered above one ear and ripped a much larger wound as it emerged above the other.

"The Israeli propaganda is that they were killed in a work accident. These are the kinds of lies they tell all the time," he says. "They say all the dead are fighters. They say they do not deliberately kill children, but about a quarter of the dead from the first day of shooting are children. The evidence is here in the morgue. Does this girl look as if she was blown up by a bomb?"

Asma's body lies in the hospital mortuary unburied, like all the other dead from Tel al-Sultan, because their relatives are trapped in their homes by a curfew. Her 13-year-old brother's corpse is a short drive away in the cold-storage room of an Israeli-owned flower-growing company.

Small boy

Ahmed lies with 14 other bodies. Some are wrapped in the flags of Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, but Ahmed is swaddled only in the white sheet wrapped around him in the ambulance. He was a small boy who could not easily be mistaken for a man.

Dr Nkaria rolls the child over to show a tiny round hole in his forehead, just above his fringe. There is a much larger hole at the back of the head where the bullet came out. Neither Asma nor Ahmed show signs of any other injuries, particularly of the kind that might be expected from a blast, such as shrapnel spread across the body, burns, or mutilation.

"This is what the Israelis claim is a 'work accident'," Dr Nkaria says.

He points to the corpse of another youth in the cold-store."This is Ibrahim Alqun. He is 14 years old. He was shot in the back of the head. The bullet came out of his right eye," he says. The child's face is badly mutilated by the wound.

The bodies of the children continued to pile up in the mortuary yesterday.

Saber Abu Libda, 13, was shot dead by Israeli soldiers after he left his home in Tel al-Sultan in the morning to find water for his family.

Dr Nkaria's finger probes a tiny hole in the small child's back which masks the devastation done to his heart as the bullet shot through it.

"No one can say this child was a fighter. Look at the size of him and look where they shoot him - in the back, not coming to attack someone," the doctor says.

Saber stepped out of the door with his 16-year-old brother Yousef. He too was shot, but has survived so far, with critical chest injuries.

A third brother, Ayub, ran out to save his younger siblings and was also cut down by the snipers.

"My brothers only went out for water," Ayub says.

"We heard the gunshots and I went to their rescue. They were both lying there bleeding and I was shot in the arm.

"We tried to pull Yousef to the house, but we couldn't and he lay there bleeding for half an hour until the ambulance came."

Other children are luckier. Twelve-year-old Ahmed Hussein looked out of his window in Tel al-Sultan on Tuesday afternoon. A sniper's bullet hit him in the shoulder. The bullet passed through a fleshy part and hit his aunt in the hand.

"I thought the Israelis had withdrawn. I went to the window to see. I wanted to get out of the house and they shot me," he says in his hospital bed.

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Israeli troops kill 4-year-old girl

Sat 22 May, 2004 13:44
By Cynthia Johnston

RAFAH, Gaza Strip (Reuters) - A four-year-old Palestinian girl has been shot dead in a Gaza refugee camp where Israeli troops are mounting raids against militants, and a suicide bomber has exploded at a West Bank checkpoint.

Palestinian medics and witnesses said Israeli soldiers shot the girl in the Rafah refugee camp on Saturday, but Israeli military sources denied any knowledge of a killing.

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FLASHBACK -- Yesterday:

Rabbi supports killings in Rafah

By Khalid Amayreh in the West Bank
AlJazeera.net
Thursday 20 May 2004, 13:48 GMT

A prominent rabbi has supported the killings of Palestinian civilians by Israeli occupation troops in the Gaza Strip, saying killing non-Jewish civilians is compatible with religious laws.

Rabbi Dov Lior, Chairman of the Jewish Rabbinical Council, was quoted as saying "during warfare, killing non-Jewish civilians is permitted if it saves Jewish lives".

According to Lior's ruling, which was made public on Wednesday, Israeli occupation troops in Gaza are allowed to kill and harm "so-called innocent civilians" during warfare.

"The law of our Torah is to have mercy on our soldiers and to save them. This is the real moral behind Israel's Torah and we must not feel guilty due to foreign morals," the Ma'ariv Israeli newspaper quoted him as saying.

He added that Jewish lives were more important than non-Jewish lives. [...]

‘Bend Me, but Don’t Think You’ll Break Me’

Tariq A. Al-Maeena, close_encounters@gawab.com

Long suspected before, but blatantly evident today, the United States cannot play the part of the honest broker of peace in the Middle East. The last vestiges of a just and honorable policy have all but evaporated.

In a week that witnessed Israeli troops callously firing at peaceful demonstrators with US-supplied tanks, killing and maiming scores of people, and US helicopters firing missiles at a wedding party in Iraq, duplicating the killing and maiming, one has to have a few screws loose to expect any credibility in the present foreign policies of the United States.

The administration’s words have been of the fight against terror, but its actions have proved dramatically otherwise. In carrying them out, the Bush administration has perhaps become the largest recruitment agent for terrorists in the world. Those who are injured and abused and those who have lost a loved one will not take it lying down. They will fight back with whatever means at their disposal.

The mess in Iraq is an obvious setback to an administration whose publicly stated goal was to free the people from Saddam’s oppression. Only it failed to add that it would replace it with another kind of oppression: An Israeli-American one. They were full-mouthed in their condemnation of Saddam’s brutality. Yet today they scurry about making all sorts of denials or lame excuses when their own forces carry out such brutality.

They raised questions on human rights violations by the countries in the region, failing to perhaps notice that the single largest criminal violation was being carried out by Sharon’s Israel.

This was never about Saddam. It was to safeguard the interests of Israel — to ensure that it remains the dominant military force in the region and to pursue their policies of killing and expansion, protected by US vetoes against any sanctions. Israeli lobbyists long argued for a strike against Iraq.

Ariel Sharon has got Mr. Bush’s number. When he demands, the US is only too willing to comply. US-supplied aircraft and tanks are dispatched to be used as killing machines against the innocent in Palestine. And when peaceful protesters are murdered, the murderous intent of Sharon and his policies of ethnic cleansing are evident to all but the US president, whose only public response was for a call for “all parties to exercise restraint”. For one who usually froths at the mouth whenever Israelis are killed, Mr. Bush’s response was indeed very muted.

At the annual conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee last Tuesday, Bush told the AIPAC delegates: “By defending the freedom and prosperity and security of Israel, you’re also serving the cause of America.”

In defending the state terrorism carried out by Israel against the innocent, Mr. Bush has perhaps played out his last hand in this region.

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After Rafah, protect the Palestinians

By Ali Abunimah
Special to The Daily Star
Saturday, May 22, 2004

Things must be bad in Palestine when the United States allows a resolution to pass in the UN Security Council condemning Israeli actions, as it did on May 19.

By 14-0, with the US abstaining, the council adopted Resolution 1544, "expressing its grave concern at the continued deterioration of the situation on the ground in the territory occupied by Israel since 1967," and "condemning the killing of Palestinian civilians that took place in the Rafah area." The resolution also called on Israel "to respect its obligations under international humanitarian law, and insists, in particular, on its obligation not to undertake demolition of homes contrary to that law."

The resolution is a moral victory for Palestinians, but there is no reason to take comfort from it. The morning after the resolution passed, Israeli forces pushed deeper into southern Gaza. Between May 17-20, they killed more than 40 Palestinians.

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Macedonia apologizes for killing Pakistanis to win US favor

www.chinaview.cn 2004-05-22 14:43:35

ISLAMABAD, May 22 (Xinhuanet) -- Macedonia has offered apologies and assured full justice to families of six innocent Pakistanis killed in a fake encounter in Macedonian capital two years ago, English-language newspaper Dawn reported Saturday.

The Pakistanis were shot dead by the Macedonian security forces in March 2002 to win US favor and to show Washington that the Macedonian government was its ally in the war against terror, the newspaper said.

The then Macedonian government made a false claim that the Pakistanis were members of Al-Qaeda and were planning a terrorist attack, said the paper.

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What price Israeli security?

As the Israeli army pulls back from some parts of the Gaza town of Rafah, the BBC's Matthew Price in Jerusalem asks how successful the operation was in terms of finding Palestinian weapons and the means of producing and procuring them, as well as the broader goal of making Israel a safer place.

Comment: The growing Israelisation of the American occupation of Iraq is obvious. Here, in the search in Rafah for smuggling tunnels between the Gaza city and Egypt, we find the Israeli version of the search for WMD. For years the Israelis have been claiming these tunnels exist and that the Palestinians are bringing in weapons. So far they have only found one, more than the WMDs that Bush found in Iraq, but hardly the number portrayed by the Israelis as justification for their war against the city.

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US suspects Chalabi of passing secrets to Iran

www.chinaview.cn 2004-05-22 03:48:59

WASHINGTON, May 21 (Xinhuanet) -- US intelligence agencies believe Ahmad Chalabi, the former Iraqi exile once strongly backed by some Bush administration officials, may have passed classified information on the American occupation of Iraq to Iran, the Wall Street Journal said in a report on Friday.

Recent intelligence, including communication intercepts, suggest Chalabi, who has been serving on the US-appointed Iraqi Governing Council, provided contacts in Tehran with details of US security operation and political plans, the report said, citing unnamed officials.

"Is there reason to think he provided sensitive information to Iran? That is absolutely true," the report quoted a US official assaying.

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Berg beheading: No way, say medical experts

By Ritt Goldstein

American businessman Nicholas Berg's body was found on May 8 near a Baghdad overpass; a video of his supposed decapitation death by knife appeared on an alleged al-Qaeda-linked website (www.al-ansar.biz) on May 11. But according to what both a leading surgical authority and a noted forensic death expert separately told Asia Times Online, the video depicting the decapitation appears to have been staged.

"I certainly would need to be convinced it [the decapitation video] was authentic," Dr John Simpson, executive director for surgical affairs at the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, said from New Zealand. Echoing Dr Simpson's criticism, when this journalist asked forensic death expert Jon Nordby, PhD and fellow of the American Board of Medicolegal Death Investigators, whether he believed the Berg decapitation video had been "staged", Nordby replied: "Yes, I think that's the best explanation of it."

[...] In a May 13 article, the Arabic newsgroup Aljazeera reported that a Dubai-based Reuters journalist first broke the story, "but while Fox News, CNN and the BBC" were able to secure the video from the "Arabic-only website" that hosted it, Aljazeera was unable to locate it. And also on May 13, the Associated Press (AP) reported that the US Central Intelligence Agency had determined that Abu Musab al-Zarqawi was the individual who beheaded Berg.

[...] Speaking off the record, intelligence community sources have previously said they believe it "very likely" that al-Zarqawi is indeed long dead. Such a fact makes al-Zarqawi's alleged killing of Berg difficult to reconcile, and there has been broad speculation that blaming al-Zarqawi is an administration ploy. Further anomalies surrounding Berg's death have fueled added speculation.

According to e-mails sent from a US consular officer in Baghdad, Beth Payne, to the Berg family, Nick Berg was being held in Iraq "by the US military in Mosul". A May 13 AP report notes that a US State Department spokesperson subsequently said this was untrue, an error, and that Berg was being held by Iraqi authorities. But another May 13 AP report quoted "police chief Major-General Mohammed Khair al-Barhawi" as claiming that reports of Iraqi police having held Berg were "baseless".

Comment: The most frightening aspect of this is that US and Israeli intelligence agencies actually went to the extreme of staging the beheading of Berg in order to achieve some definite psychological effect on the US and world population. This is the level at which the "game" is being played, and "they" are winning.

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Trucks made to drive without cargo in dangerous areas of Iraq

BY SETH BORENSTEIN
Knight Ridder Newspapers
Fri, May. 21, 2004

WASHINGTON - (KRT) - Empty flatbed trucks crisscrossed Iraq more than 100 times as their drivers and the soldiers who guarded them dodged bullets, bricks and homemade bombs.

Twelve current and former truckers who regularly made the 300-mile re-supply run from Camp Cedar in southern Iraq to Camp Anaconda near Baghdad told Knight Ridder that they risked their lives driving empty trucks while their employer, a subsidiary of Halliburton Inc., billed the government for hauling what they derisively called "sailboat fuel."

Defense Department records show that Kellogg Brown and Root, a Halliburton subsidiary, has been paid $327 million for "theater transportation" of war materiel and supplies for U.S. forces in Iraq and is earmarked to be paid $230 million more. The convoys are a lifeline for U.S. troops in Iraq hauling tires for Humvees, Army boots, filing cabinets, tools, engine parts and even an unmanned Predator reconnaissance plane.

KBR's contract with the Defense Department allows the company to pass on the cost of the transportation and add 1 percent to 3 percent for profit, but neither KBR nor the U.S. Army Field Support Command in Rock Island, Ill., which oversees the contract, was able to provide cost estimates for the empty trucks. Trucking experts estimate that each round trip costs taxpayers thousands of dollars. [...]

Some of the truckers charged that KBR is billing the Pentagon for unnecessary work. KBR described the practice as normal, given the large number of trucks it has delivering goods throughout Iraq. Army officials said longer convoys may provide better security. [...]

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Arrest and Release in Madrid Bombing Center on Fingerprint Match

By SARAH KERSHAW and ERIC LICHTBLAU
May 22, 2004

SEATTLE, May 21 - As the authorities said they were continuing to investigate a Portland lawyer arrested two weeks ago in connection with the deadly Madrid bombings and then abruptly released on Thursday, questions swirled on Friday about the strength of the evidence against him.

The focus was on a fingerprint lifted from the bombing scene that the authorities in the United States had said they traced to the lawyer, Brandon Mayfield. Mr. Mayfield, a Portland immigration and family lawyer, was arrested May 6 and held as a material witness in the Madrid attacks, which killed 191 people and injured more than 2,000.

After his release on Thursday, Mr. Mayfield, 37, went home to his wife and three children, who still do not know why he was detained, relatives said. But even after his release, the authorities said Mr. Mayfield was still a material witness.

The Spanish authorities confirmed on Friday that fingerprints found on a plastic bag filled with detonators and matched by American authorities to Mr. Mayfield, a former Army lieutenant and convert to Islam, belonged instead to an Algerian, Ouhnane Daoud. Prints found on the bag, which were sent to American authorities when the Spanish found no match in their database, were from the thumb and middle finger of Mr. Daoud's right hand, Spanish law enforcement officials said Friday.

Law enforcement officials in the United States, under a court order along with all other parties in the Mayfield case not to discuss it, declined to explain the apparently erroneous fingerprint match.

Spanish investigators said Mr. Daoud's prints had turned up after an exhaustive search of police files following the initial routine database checks, which had proved fruitless. The Spanish police sent the prints to investigators abroad, a standard procedure, investigators said. That led the F.B.I. to declare a match in its database, where Mr. Mayfield's fingerprints were registered because he was an Army veteran. But Spanish authorities continued to comb police files at home.

A senior F.B.I. official said on Friday that Mr. Mayfield had not been ruled out as a suspect and that he continued to be a subject of interest.

"The whole case hasn't played out yet," the official said. "We're going to have to work through it."

But the F.B.I.'s handling of the case prompted second-guessing from legal observers on Friday.

"This administration adopted the policy very early on after 9/11 of arrest first and ask questions later on the theory that we can't afford to follow people around and risk a terrorist attack," said David Cole, a Georgetown University law professor who has been critical of the administration's antiterrorism tactics.

The Bush administration is thought to have used the material witness statute in at least 50 cases to arrest people who it says may have important evidence, including Jose Padilla and Zacarias Moussaoui.

Mr. Cole said Mr. Mayfield's arrest might have been "an honest mistake" and a legitimate use of the material witness statute.

But he added: "Since Sept. 11, the government has employed the material witness authority in many instances where it lacks probable cause to believe an individual has engaged in criminal activity, but it has suspicions nonetheless. It's an end run around the probable cause requirement for detention."

Meanwhile, at the Mayfield home in Aloha, a suburb of Portland, Mr. Mayfield's children were giddy over his return, staying up until 3 a.m. Friday to play with him. But his wife, Mona, and mother, AvNell Mayfield, still worried because Mr. Mayfield was under court supervision and in "close contact with the courts," his mother said.

Sarah Kershaw reported from Seattle for this article, and Eric Lichtblau from Washington. Dale Fuchs contributed reportingfrom Madrid.

Comment: Brandon Mayfield has now been branded a "subject of interest" by our FBI even though there seems to be absolutely no connection between himself and the Madrid bombings. The term "subject of interest," it seems, must be some code that really means 'subject to a smear campaign'. Three purposes are accomplished here: one: intimidate someone who's defending Moslems in a court of law, two: create a diversion - the FBI just has to be on to something here, right? three: test the sympathy of the public for someone, an American, *probably* falsely accused of terrorism.

Remember Dr. Steven Hatfill, the former army microbiologist who was accused of having a connection to the Anthrax mailings? He was a "subject of interest," too. Of course, he was never tried for anything that could stand up to scrutiny either. Are these "subjects of interest" some kind of litmus test for the court of public opinion?

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Manmohan Singh sworn in as prime minister of India

Sat May 22, 8:24 AM ET

NEW DELHI (AFP) - Manmohan Singh was sworn in as prime minister of India by President Abdul Kalam to head a left-leaning government.

Singh, a Sikh who is the first non-Hindu prime minister of India, read and signed an oath in the presence of Kalam, the ceremonial head of state, under glittering chandeliers in the 340-room presidential palace. [...]

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Ugandan rebel attack kills 41

Toronto Star
May 22, 2004. 01:00 AM

UNITED NATIONS—Ugandan rebels attacked a refugee camp, killing 41 people, abducting others, and burning down huts that left 7,000 homeless in the east African nation, a United Nations agency reported yesterday.

The attack was attributed to the Lord's Resistance Army, an eccentric Christian group with no clear objectives except to discredit Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni. It has abducted thousands of children since 1997, forcing them to serve as fighters, porters and sex slaves in camps in Sudan. [...]

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MHS students photograph meteor explosion

By RON BAIN
The Daily Sentinel
Grand Junction, Colorado

MONTROSE — A meteor cruising through the night skies over Montrose on Friday morning couldn’t take the atmospheric heat buildup and blew up into pieces, an event that was caught by a digital camera mounted on the roof of Montrose High School.

“It appears to be descending directly down upon the Montrose area,” said Mike Nadiak, earth-and-space science teacher at MHS. Locals might find blackened chunks of the meteorite lying in their backyards or agricultural fields, he said.

“We’re hoping to get the word out to get people to keep their eyes open for possible meteor fragments,” Nadiak said.

A similar fireball exploded above the Black Canyon around Thanksgiving of 2002, Nadiak said, but no fragments of that meteorite were found.

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Comets make rare joint appearance

By Chris Herde
May 19, 2004

STARGAZERS have been witnessing a rare cosmic event this month with two comets appearing in the sky together.

In what is believed to be the first on record in Australia, two comets – Neat and Linear – are in the inner solar system and visible to the naked eye.

[...] "There are millions of comets out there but we don't see them very regularly in the inner solar system," Ms Morgan said from Charleville in western Queensland.

"But to actually get two at the same time is a really rare event.

"Looking through the records to date I have not found anything where there has been two in the sky together.

"So to be that close together and observable is really quite amazing."

[...] "Everyone is just talking about these two great comets and how fabulous it is and aren't we lucky to be here on the planet when it actually happens," she said.

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UFO On Film

LAST UPDATE: 5/20/2004 4:34:23 PM

To the naked eye, Tommy Woodard's digital photograph appears to be nothing more than a pretty picture of trees in Provo Canyon.

But zoom in, he says, and the purple glow of a saucer hovering at an angle above the tree line starts to take shape.

Woodard, 22, a photo librarian with the Utah Film Commission, took the photo that he believes represents an unidentified flying object.

He was in the canyon Tuesday shooting still pictures for a possible film location, and began taking pictures for himself on his way out.

At the time, he didn't see anything out of the ordinary in his photograph. But later, after noticing a black speck in the frame, he zoomed in and "the closer I got, the more impressed I got by it," he said Thursday.

"I was kind of skeptical but it's pretty obvious when you zoom in," said the self-described "sci-fi" fan, whose friends and colleagues are similarly impressed.

[...] Another skeptical reaction to the digital photograph came from a representative of the National UFO Reporting Center in Seattle -- he said thought the sphere looked like a bird.

"A bird?" asked Woodard in disbelief. "Come on -- I don't know how he could think it's a bird!"

Comment: And another report on this sighting can be found here with a picture.

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Unidentified Lights in Sunrise Photograph from Long Island, N. Y.

© 2004 by Linda Moulton Howe


On Friday, April 23, 2004, around 7:30 a.m., Marjorie noticed how beautiful the sun was behind cloud cover and got her camera and a piece of dark welder's glass she uses when she aims straight at the sun. Her house is not near the ocean and toward the east, there are one-story houses as far as you can see. But her angle was higher in the sky. She took about twenty-five shots over a couple of minutes, sometimes zooming in, and was surprised when she looked at them. Between normal-looking images, there were two abnormal ones that had a spiral of six lights right in front of the cloud-covered sun and a seventh, dimmer light, to the left. One frame was dark and one was lighter. I asked her about the different exposures.

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Sudan: Ebola-Like Virus Confirmed in Western Equatoria

AllAfrica.com
May 21, 2004

Ten cases of a haemorrhagic fever, similar to Ebola, were confirmed on Thursday in Western Equatoria, southern Sudan, the World Health Organisation (WHO) reported.

Health authorities in Yambio county had reported 15 cases of the fever, including four deaths, WHO reported. Laboratory testing performed by the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) and by the Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC) USA had confirmed "an Ebola-like infection" in 10 of the 15 cases.

Dr Abdullahi Ahmed, head of office in WHO southern Sudan, told IRIN the viral fever appeared to belong to the "Ebola family", in which there were a number of different strains, and that tests would reveal its precise nature within 48 hours. [...]

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Hundreds flee Awu volcano

Jongker Rumthe, Manado

Hundreds of villagers fled their homes on Friday as Mount Awu in the Sangihe islands, North Sulawesi, continued to belch out ash and smoke.

Local authorities issued an official warning to residents living on the slopes of the 1,320-meter-high volcano after it became more active on Thursday.

"Mount Awu's activities have increased, so we have issued a warning for residents," said Saut Simatupang, the volcano monitoring subdirectorate head for Sulawesi and Maluku provinces.

[...) Mount Awu is one of the most active volcanoes in Indonesia. It erupted in 1640, 1641 and 1977, with no recorded casualties.

The volcano also erupted in 1711, leaving some 3,000 people dead and hundreds of houses and hectares of farmland destroyed. Another eruption in 1812 left at least 2,806 people dead.

Awu erupted again in 1856, claiming more than 2,000 lives. The last fatal eruption was recorded in 1966, when at least 39 people were killed.

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Canada, U.S. Scientists Impatient for 'Slow Quake'

By Allan Dowd

VANCOUVER, British Columbia (Reuters) - Scientists are eagerly awaiting the return of a "slow earthquake" that could give them clues to when and where the next major quake will strike Pacific Coast of North America.

The recently discovered phenomenon is believed to occur about every 14 months, which would put the next event anytime now, but people are unlikely to feel anything because it will occur 12 to 25 miles below the earth's surface.

"We're all rushing in every morning and every night looking at the records to see if it has started," Garry Rogers, a seismologist with the Pacific Geoscience Center in Sidney, British Columbia, said on Friday.

The coastal region of northwest Washington state and southeast British Columbia is prone to earthquakes, and scientist warn the area gets hit with a devastating shake of magnitude 9 about every 500 years.

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Climate study cites Mackenzie Delta 'hot spot'

WebPosted May 21 2004 08:03 AM MDT

IQALUIT - A four-year international study of climate change in the Arctic has found global warming affects the north two or three time more intensely than it does the rest of the world. It has also identified several hot spots in the north, including the Mackenzie Delta Region.

[...] "There are hot spots," Dr. Corell says. "Alaska, Mackenzie Delta Region, and eastern Russia are changing much more rapidly. Another thing that we can say without any doubt [is] that, over the next 50 years anyway, we know precisely how it's going to change — and it's going to change again more rapidly than the rest of the planet, probably two to three times more rapidly."

Corell says Greenland was the biggest surprise in the study. He says there's been a 17-per-cent increase in ice melt, much more than expected.

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Chicago feels chill of the Ice Age as geologists say Windy City is sinking

By David Usborne in New York
22 May 2004

The United States is sinking while Canada is on the rise. This has nothing to do with political rivalry between neighbours and everything to do with geology.

There is a see-saw motion going on across the North American continent and it is the southern superpower that is on the downward tilt. This is the startling finding of a group of scientists at Northwestern University in Chicago, based on global positioning satellite readings taken over 10 years at 200 points across the American continent. The Windy City is just on the wrong side of the hinge. It is dipping at the rate of one millimetre a year.

Explaining this unlikely phenomenon is the history of the Ice Age. The researchers argue that when most of the territory from the Great Lakes northward was under the weight of ice that was about a mile thick the crust of the Earth was being pressed down. When the ice started to melt about 18,000 years ago, a rebound began to occur and is still going on today.

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Wind Fanning Flames of N.M. Wildfire

Sat May 22, 9:48 AM ET

CORONA, N.M. - Fire crews who were pulled off a wildfire that burned more than 1,500 acres and a ranch house resumed work early Saturday, hoping to beat a rush of 45-mph wind.

The fire, the state's first large one of the wildfire season, was reported Friday morning in the Cibola National Forest near Corona. By early afternoon, the wind pushed the flames from tree to tree. [...]

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New Object is 2nd Rock from the Sun

By Robert Roy Britt
Space.com
20 May 2004

Astronomers announced Thursday the second known asteroid whose orbit is completely inside that of Earth. It supplants Venus as the second rock from the Sun.

Most asteroids orbit the Sun between Mars and Jupiter. But a handful cross the path of Earth on elliptical trajectories. One had previously been found to move completely inside the annual path of our planet.

The newfound rock, named 2004 JG6, is currently between Earth and Venus and orbits the Sun every six months. But its elliptical path takes it well inside the circle of Venus and even inside Mercury's path. On average, it is closer to the Sun than Venus. [...]

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Virtual Devils Curse Internet Church

Wed May 19,10:05 AM ET
By Jason Hopps

LONDON (Reuters) - The world's first Internet church has fallen victim to a plague of virtual demons, some of whom have been logging on as Satan and unleashing strings of expletives during sermons.

[...] The Church, sponsored by the Methodist Church but organized by the multi-denominational "Ship of Fools" project, said it had removed a "shout" function where people could speak to the whole congregation. Some were using it to hurl abuse or yell: "Satan loves you."

The pulpit, altar and lectern areas will be closed to the public after some worshippers walked their animated character into those areas during sermons.

But the strongest measure against the unruly will be the online equivalent of damnation: wardens will be able to smite the wicked by instantly logging them out of the church if they misbehave.

"In a way, we are facing the same problems faced by the first preachers who met resistance when they moved into new communities," said Goddard.

"But the church has always expanded into new communities and some of those are to be found in cyberspace now, so we are determined to carry on."

The Church of Fools is found at www.shipoffools.com.

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