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Sunday, June 13, 2004

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New Article: Will the REAL "Dr. Grant Gartrel(l)" please stand up? - 'Aussie Bloke' exposed

New Part II: Who is Behind the 'Aussie Bloke' Hoax? Some Additional Discoveries...

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©2004 Pierre-Paul Feyte

A Presidential Farce

Signs of the Times Editorial

In recent days and weeks, one question in particular has been bugging us - Just how did George Bush Jr. get to be the 'Commander in Chief', President of the US of A? Sure we know that he stole the election and was appointed to his position by a Supreme Court judge, but what we want to know is how did such a scenario actually come about? How do we reconcile the general belief that, in a democracy the people elect a president based on his suitability for the job, with the fact that someone like George Jr. now occupies the White House?

By all accounts Bush is a semi-literate, recovering drink and drug addict who knows little and cares less about what is required to preside over the policies of the most powerful nation on earth. From his words and actions, it is apparent that he is merely concerned with the trappings of power and the power trip he gets knowing that, in theory, he sits atop the festering pile that is the political power structure in the US.

In his own words:

"I'm the commander. See, I don't have to explain why I say things. That's the interesting thing about being the president. Maybe somebody needs to explain to me why they say something, but I don't feel like I owe anybody an explanation." - President G W Bush to Bob Woodward

So how does such a man get to be President? Clearly it cannot be as a result of a honest assessment of the credentials and abilities of the candidates.

So how?

The very fact that a man such as Bush has acceded to the preeminent political position in the US makes a mockery of the idea that the US Presidency is won on merit, or that the people choose the best man for the job. Furthermore, if someone of such low intellectual and moral standing can become President, then the idea that the President of the US shapes and implements the complex foreign and domestic policies of that country is merely further evidence of delusional thinking.

The unfortunate truth, it seems, is that for many years now, the job of president of the USA has been a ceremonial position only.

CIA insider Victor Marchetti remarked that:

There exists in our world today a powerful and dangerous secret cult. [...] This cult is patronized and protected by the highest level government officials in the world. It's membership is composed of those in the power centers of government, industry, commerce, finance, and labor. It manipulates individuals in areas of important public influence - including the academic world and the mass media. The Secret Cult is a global fraternity of a political aristocracy whose purpose is to further the political policies of persons or agencies unknown. It acts covertly and illegally.

It is perhaps true to say that JFK was the last president of the US who tried to unseat this "powerful and dangerous cult", and he paid the ultimate price for it at the hands of that same "cult". All US presidents since have been mere tools of these people, whoever they are, and have had little choice but to bow to their will as they dictate the direction of the "great American experiment", both at home and abroad.

Yet the American people themselves have also contributed significantly to the erosion of accountability in American politics. More so than at any other time in the recent history, there exists an enduring and pervasive apathy among US citizens towards the clear decline in noble leadership that has culminated today in the incoherent idiot that occupies the White House. Back in 1965, when LBJ was asked by a reporter about his gall bladder operation, he proceeded to display his scar to all and sundry. The reaction from the general public at the time was to see this as a clear breach of protocol, if not evidence of a crassness unbefitting their representative on the international stage.

Since then however, the American public seems to have consciously relinquished any right or responsibility to have a say in the quality of their elected leaders. Perhaps at least some of them are aware, to some extent, that they never really had any such right - and in response to this awareness, they see no option but to turn and drink deeper from the cup of lies and illusion offered to them by the PTB. Many others of course, primarily those inclined fundamentally towards religious belief, fervently believe that the Presidency of the US is similar in nature to the Pontificate, and as such it is not so much the people who determine who gets to be President, but rather "God" himself. A perfect way to wash your hands of any responsibility for sure...

In our article on the 'Aussie Bloke' fiasco, we included an excerpt on "conspiracy theorists by Peter Knight, editor of the 2002 collection: "Conspiracy Nation: The Politics of Paranoia in Postwar America". In it he states:

"Conspiracy thinking has become not so much the sign of a crackpot delusion as part of an everyday struggle to make sense of a rapidly changing world. In effect, individuals are losing their sense of agency in a period of political chaos and technological overload, compulsive consumerism and fear of the future, experiencing a loss of self and a sense of interchangeability with other digitized and horrifically surveilled humans, unable to get the big picture into focus and hence fixating on an idea of the world itself as a vast, impenetrable conspiracy."

While it is undoubtedly true that the hectic, pressured nature of the modern world leads some people to seek answers which lead to what are known as 'conspiracy theories', it is also true that conspiracy theorists are very few and very far between relative to the population of the 'mechanised' western world. So what effect, then, is this modern world having on the remaining vast majority? Apparently it sends them reeling in exactly the opposite direction, prompting many to outright deny that which is staring them in the face and to concoct theories like the one expressed by Peter Knight above, which seem to be saying that the very existence of conspiracy theorists proves that no conspiracies exist!

But in attempting to answer the question that we posed at the beginning of this little dissertation, perhaps the answer can be found in the bizarre relationship that often forms between prisoner and jailer. It is said that, after years of institutionalization in a prison, the idea of freedom or the responsibility to decide ones own fate is very frightening to the prisoner, and one which he or she consciously shuns. In the end, the people get the leaders that they deserve, or those which best reflect their own secret inner desires.

Never desirous to come across as limited in our hypotheses however, we present our readers with an alternative rather more simplistic answer to the above question, and who better to provide it than the great thinker himself. In his own words:

"People that are really very weird can get into sensitive positions and have a tremendous impact on history." George W. Bush, Jr.

Ain't that the truth George!

Bush On The Couch


"Bush on the Couch," authored by a longtime Washington psychiatrist who has never met or treated the president, offers "an exploration of Bush's psyche" that delves into such touchy topics as his baby sister's death, his relationship with his mother and father and his drinking history.

In the book, to be released Tuesday, Justin A. Frank, a clinical professor at George Washington University Medical Center, claims President Bush exhibits "sadistic tendencies" and suffers from "character pathology," including "grandiosity" and "megalomania" -- viewing himself, America and God as interchangeable. Frank told us yesterday that his opinions are based on publicly available materials, adding, "I've never met the president or any members of his family."

A Democrat who once headed the Washington chapter of Physicians for Social Responsibility, Frank concludes in the book: "Our sole treatment option -- for his benefit and for ours -- is to remove President Bush from office . . . before it is too late

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Flashback: Reagan blasts Bush

"My father crapped bigger ones than George Bush," says the former president's son, in a flame-throwing conversation about the war and the Bush administration's efforts to lay claim to the Reagan legacy.

By David Talbot

April 14, 2003 | The Bush inner circle would like to think of George W.'s presidency as more of an extension of Ronald Reagan's than of his one-term father's. Reagan himself, who has long suffered from Alzheimer's disease, is unable to comment on those who lay claim to his political legacy. But his son, Ron Jr., is -- and he's not pleased with the association.

"The Bush people have no right to speak for my father, particularly because of the position he's in now," he said during a recent interview with Salon. "Yes, some of the current policies are an extension of the '80s. But the overall thrust of this administration is not my father's -- these people are overly reaching, overly aggressive, overly secretive, and just plain corrupt. I don't trust these people."…

Reagan took a swipe at Bush during the 2000 GOP convention in Philadelphia, which featured a tribute to his father, telling the Washington Post's Lloyd Grove, "The big elephant sitting in the corner is that George W. Bush is simply unqualified for the job... What's his accomplishment? That he's no longer an obnoxious drunk?" Since then he's been quiet about the current occupant of the White House -- until now…

Reagan has strong feelings about Bush's policies, including the war in Iraq, which he ardently opposes. "Nine-11 gave the Bush people carte blanche to carry out their extreme agenda -- and they didn't hesitate for a moment to use it. I mean, by 9/12 Rumsfeld was saying, 'Let's hit Iraq.' They've used the war on terror to justify everything from tax cuts to Alaska oil drilling."…

Reagan's parents were notoriously remote from their four children. Ron Jr. reportedly had the closest relations with his parents and he remains close with his mother, Nancy Reagan, who as the keeper of the Reagan flame is often called upon to dedicate public sites bearing her husband's name. Reagan says his mother shares his "distrust of some of these [Bush] people. She gets that they're trouble in all kinds of ways. She doesn't like their religious fervor, their aggression."

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Bush Calls for 'Culture Change'

In interview, President says new era of responsibility should replace 'feel-good.'

By Sheryl Henderson Blunt

President George W. Bush, in a rare on-the-record session with religion editors and writers on Wednesday, said his job as president is to "change cultures."

In wide-ranging comments inside the Roosevelt Room, Bush spoke passionately about his resolve to establish a free Iraq, his desire to promote cultural change in the United States through his faith-based initiative, and his belief in the power of prayer. Appearing relaxed and self-assured, the President also reaffirmed his support for a Federal Marriage Amendment, urging the American people to become more involved.

Taking a firm line on the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse scandal, Bush said that while he was sorry for those who had been humiliated, and has said so publicly, "I never apologized to the Arab world."

Following is an edited transcript of the May 26, 2004, session.

President Bush:

Let me just tell you a little bit of what's on my mind. Obviously Iraq's on my mind. We are in the process of transferring full sovereignty and eventual freedom—full sovereignty and freedom—to the Iraqi people as they head towards free elections. It's a historic moment. At least that's how I view it. It's a historic opportunity to bring peace to the world.

Right away here there is something wrong. How exactly will establishing a Pro-US government in Iraq bring "peace to the world"? By using just such sweeping, feel good generalisations as this, Bush is able to fool the average American into believing that he actually knows what he is talking about. We all want freedom, right? We all want peace. These are good things. So according to George all we have to do is travel around the world and hand them out to people. We can just load lots of freedom and peace in a big container (clearly the US has a surplus) and send it off to places like Iraq. The problem is that, while freedom is a noble ideal, it is by no means a black and white issue. For starters, there is the problem of the understanding of just what "freedom" means. As we noted in a previous Signs page:

"Freedom" is such a great word, isn't it? It has so many applications; there is freedom of speech, freedom of movement, freedom to own as much property as you like and invest money in any economy you choose, regardless of the effects on the economic welfare of other people. Then there is the freedom to do as you like, freedom to disregard the opinions of anyone else, freedom to ignore the suffering of others, freedom to tell lies to people about anything - about freedom itself, for example. There is also the freedom to believe the lies and propaganda of those in authority.

But perhaps the most useful freedoms of all are the freedoms to first of all decide for everyone else what freedom actually means and then to force others to accept that idea of freedom. "Freedom" - ya gotta admit, it really is a great word.

The word "freedom" can be extremely useful to those involved in the game of deceiving the masses. There is no requirement for those that use the word to qualify it in any way, and because "freedom" conjures up a generally positive idea in the mind of the average person, our leaders can simply allow us to think that our understanding of freedom is the same as theirs. The problem of course, is that this has rarely, if ever, been the case.

Goerge continues:

I'm giving a speech next Tuesday that will talk about a clash of ideologies. I talked about it … I referred to it a little bit on Monday night. Monday night was a speech to explain to the people that we, you know, that we know where we're going. It's not going to be easy, by the way. People who lived in tyranny, they haven't developed the habits of free people yet.

The above is another example of crass oversimplification of the issue. Bush claims that Iraqis, having lived under a dictator like Saddam for many years, have not "developed the habits of free people". Logically it would be more true to say that people that have lived under tyranny have a much more acute sense of what "freedom" really means, having been deprived of it for so many years. Yet logic has nothing to do with Bush's analysis. It is also probably true to say that people that have lived under a dictatorship are much better able to spot government lies and propaganda when they hear it, regardless of which government it comes from. This is the real reason for Iraqi resistance to the imposition of American style "freedom and democracy".

I believe there's a clash of ideologies and I think—I just know—that America must be firm in our resolve and confident in our belief that freedom is the mightiest gift to everybody in the world and that free societies will be peaceful societies.

Is it fair to associate the nature of the members of a "free" society with the policies of the government supposedly elected by those members? If so, then we see that the "free society" that is America, has done more to promote and wage war and violence around the world than any other nation in recent history.

At home, the job of a president is to help cultures change. The culture needs to be changed. I call it, so people can understand what I'm talking about, changing the culture from one that says, "If it feels good, do it, and if you've got a problem, blame somebody else," to a culture in which each of us understands we're responsible for the decisions we make in life. I call it the responsibility era. … I said that when I was governor of Texas. As a matter of fact, I've been saying that ever since I got into politics. This is one of the reasons I got into politics in the first place. Governments cannot change culture alone. I want you to know I understand that. But I can be a voice of cultural change. Part of the responsibility era is the responsibility that comes with promoting—taking care of your bodies to the point where we can promote a culture of life.

Part of government's role is to foster responsibility and hope by standing with those who have heard a call to love a neighbor, which is the second point of the faith-based initiative that I think is one of the most important domestic initiatives that I have pushed, if not the most. It recognizes the rightful relationship between hearts and souls and government. Again, my job is to try to distill things down so that average people can understand it. Here's the way I put it, "Government can hand out money, but it cannot put love in people's hearts or a sense of purpose in people's lives." [...]

Wow, what a statesman! The precision guided missile that is the cognitive process of Dubya really is awesome to see in action. Lucky for us, Dubya took the time to simplify it for us lay people, because we really had no idea what he was talking about...come to think of it, we still have no idea what he is talking about. We'll just put it down to the deranged ramblings of a psychotic mind.

Explain your comment "I don't do nuance" in the context of the war.

Well, my job is to speak clearly and when you say something, mean it. And when you're trying to lead the world in a war that I view as really between the forces of good and the forces of evil, you got to speak clearly. There can't be any doubt. And when you say you're going to do something, you've got to do it. Otherwise, particularly given the position of the United States in the world today, there will be confusion. And it is incumbent upon this powerful, rich nation to lead—not only lead in taking on the enemies of freedom, but lead in taking on those elements of life that prevent free people from emerging, like disease and hunger. And we are. We feed the world more than any other country. We're providing more money for HIV/AIDS in the world. We are a compassionate country.

At this point Bush resorts to outright lies, and who can blame him? He can make any claim he wants, safe in the knowledge that the dire lack of knowledge among the masses about the true nature of this world means that no one will ever challenge his assertions. Those that have an inkling of the truth are often unwilling to make a fuss because they realise that they themselves are complicit in the actions of the leaders that they supposedly elected.

What is the hardest aspect of the war for you personally, and how has your Christian faith affected your perception of the war?

Death. That's the hardest part of any war. Knowing that a mother, father, husband, wife, son, daughter is lonely and sad and grieves because of the loss of a loved one. … My faith sustains me because I ask for God's blessings, strength, forgiveness and love. And interestingly enough, I also get sustained by the loved ones. Part of my job is to comfort, as best I can. To walk into a room full of people—maybe a room with one person—who has lost a loved one. And hug them, laugh with them, cry with them, hold them, you know, do whatever I can to add a moment of inspiration.

Very interesting. Apparently, after sanctioning the murder and death of an innocent man woman or child, Bush is then "sustained" by meeting with the grieving relatives of the person for whose death he is responsible. Of course, Bush can do this and appear totally sincere, because when you are dealing with a psychopath, there is no conscience, no real human emotion - just mimicry

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Nine-month-old baby wounded in Rafah 2004-06-13 20:48:01

GAZA, June 13 (Xinhuanet) -- A nine-month-old baby girl was shot and wounded Sunday as Israeli troops stationed on the borderline between the southern Gaza Strip and Egypt opened fire at Rafah refugee camp, Palestinian medics said.

Witnesses also said that the soldiers opened intensive gunfire at the residential area of Rafah and wounded the baby girl.

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Freedom in Iraq

' "It was discovered that the freedom in this land is not ours. It is the freedom of the occupying soldiers in doing what they like, such as arresting, carrying out raids, killing at random or stealing money," Sheik Mohammed Bashir declared in his sermon Friday at Um al-Oura, a Sunni Muslim mosque in the middle-class Ghazaliya neighborhood.

"No one can ask them what they are doing, because they are protected by their freedom," he continued. "No one can punish them, whether in our country or their country. The worst thing is what was discovered in the course of time: abusing women, children, men, and the old men and women whom they arrested randomly and without any guilt. They expressed the freedom of rape, the freedom of nudity and the freedom of humiliation." '

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Second Iraqi government official assassinated in 24 hours

June 13, 2004

BAGHDAD (AFP) - A senior official at Iraq's education ministry was shot dead in Baghdad, the second such attack here in 24 hours, officials said.

Kamal Jarrah, the ministry's director of cultural relations, was gunned down in front of his home in the west of the capital as he left for work, a ministry official said.

The attack bore similarities to the killing a day earlier of deputy foreign minister Bassam Kubba, who was the first official of Iraq's new interim government to be assassinated.

"Unknown attackers opened fire on Kamal Jarrah in front of his house in the Ghazalia quarter," the ministry official said on condition of anonymity.

The education ministry's cabinet chief said the wife of the 60-year-old official had witnessed the attack, which took place as he left for work in his car.

"He was hit by several bullets in front of his wife and he was taken to Yarmuk hospital, where he died," Abdel Khalek al-Amer told AFP.

"We have no information on the number of attackers or their motive because we don't know any enemies of Kamal Jarrah, who did not belong to any party," he added. [...]

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A torturer's charter

Secret documents show that US interrogators are above the law

Richard Norton-Taylor
The Guardian
Saturday June 12, 2004

On the stage of a London theatre on Thursday night, a lawyer held up an official US document, classified by Donald Rumsfeld as "secret" and "not for foreign eyes". Considering its contents, the document has attracted remarkably little attention here since it was leaked this week to the US media. Its significance was raised by Clive Stafford-Smith, director of the US-based group Justice in Exile, at the end of a performance of Guantánamo, the Tricycle Theatre's moving indictment of how the US rounded up detainees - or "unlawful combatants", as it calls them - and sent them to the US base in Cuba.

Stafford-Smith is acting for some of the Guantánamo prisoners, challenging the conditions in which they are being held. The US supreme court is expected to give its ruling before the end of this month. Rumsfeld's classified document, drawn up by US government lawyers, bears directly on the case. It argues that American interrogators can ignore US domestic law banning torture, because it would restrict the president's powers in his "war on terror".

The document, drawn up last year, says that "criminal statutes are not read as infringing on the president's ultimate authority" over "the conduct of war". It adds: "In order to respect the president's inherent constitutional authority to manage a military campaign, [the prohibition of torture] must be construed as inapplicable to interrogators undertaken pursuant to his commander-in-chief authority".

Constitutionally, America's founding fathers entrusted the president with the primary responsibility, and therefore the power, to ensure the security of the US in situations of "grave and unforeseen emergencies". It goes on: "Numerous presidents have ordered the capture, detention, and questioning of enemy combatants during virtually every major conflict in the nation's history, including recent conflicts in Korea, Vietnam and the Persian Gulf". And it continues: "Congress can no more interfere with the president's conduct of the interrogation of enemy combatants than it can dictate strategy or tactical decisions on the battlefield."

The lengths to which Rumsfeld's lawyers are prepared to go to protect the freedom of the president's agents and place them above the law are reflected in other passages.

The document states that US interrogators can use harsh measures as long as they were not "specifically intended" to inflict "severe mental pain or suffering". In another passage, it says that even if an interrogator "knows that severe pain will result from his actions, if causing harm is not his objective, he lacks the requisite specific intent."

Interrogators can appeal to the defence of "necessity" - in other words, they can argue that torturing individuals is needed to prevent greater harm or evil such as threats to the safety of the nation. And the concept of "self-defence" is given the widest possible interpretation, referring to the nation rather than any individual.

The document, on the face of it, is a charter allowing the US president to abuse human rights and ignore domestic as well as international law.

Stafford-Smith yesterday pointed to what he called its most outrageous argument - namely, that domestic law does not apply to actions inside the US. Torture can be committed inside the US.

The Pentagon's lawyers describe Guantánamo Bay as "included within the definition of the special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the US and accordingly is within the US". They add: "Thus, the torture statute does not apply to the conduct of US personnel" at Guantánamo Bay.

The apparent non sequitur is based on the argument that the statute is confined to actions outside the US - in other words, that torture is not banned within the US. Yet this directly contradicts claims made by other US government lawyers who insist Guantánamo Bay detainees have no rights under US law. The naval base, they insist, is not US sovereign territory so the detainees do not have such basic rights as access to a fair trial.

The issue is now before the US supreme court. If the detainees win this argument, it could lead the way to at least some kind of judicial process, including the testing of evidence. But whatever Guantánamo Bay's territorial status, according to the Rumsfeld document, detainees there and anywhere else can be tortured at will in Bush's global "war" on terrorism.

"The authorisation I issued was that anything we did would conform to US laws and would be consistent with international treaty obligations," Bush said this week. Little comfort there.

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Use of Dogs to Scare Prisoners Was Authorized

Military Intelligence Personnel Were Involved, Handlers Say

By Josh White and Scott Higham
Washington Post Staff Writers
Friday, June 11, 2004; Page A01

U.S. intelligence personnel ordered military dog handlers at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq to use unmuzzled dogs to frighten and intimidate detainees during interrogations late last year, a plan approved by the highest-ranking military intelligence officer at the facility, according to sworn statements the handlers provided to military investigators.

A military intelligence interrogator also told investigators that two dog handlers at Abu Ghraib were "having a contest" to see how many detainees they could make involuntarily urinate out of fear of the dogs, according to the previously undisclosed statements obtained by The Washington Post.

The statements by the dog handlers provide the clearest indication yet that military intelligence personnel were deeply involved in tactics later deemed by a U.S. Army general to be "sadistic, blatant and wanton criminal abuses." [...]

In Army memos regarding interrogation techniques at the prison, the use of military working dogs was specifically allowed -- as long as higher-ranking officers approved the measures. According to one military intelligence memo obtained by The Post, the officer in charge of the military intelligence-run interrogation center at the prison had to approve the use of dogs in interrogations. There is no explanation in the memo of what parameters would have to be in place -- for example, whether the dogs would be muzzled or unmuzzled -- or what the dogs would be allowed to do. The Army previously has said that the commanding general of U.S. troops in Iraq -- Lt. Gen. Ricardo S. Sanchez -- would have had to approve the use of dogs.

Human rights experts said the use of dogs at Abu Ghraib violates longstanding tenets regulating the treatment of prisoners and civilians under the control of an occupying force, including the Army's field manual, which prohibits "acts of violence or intimidation" by American soldiers.

"Using dogs to frighten and intimidate prisoners is a violation of the Geneva Convention," said Elisa Massimino, Washington director of Human Rights First, an international organization based in New York. "It's a violation of U.S. policy as stated in the Army field manual, and it's a violation of the prohibition against cruel treatment." [...]

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US officials ordered to ill-treat Iraqi prisoners: report 2004-06-13 00:05:48

WASHINGTON, June 12 (Xinhuanet) -- The cruel treatment of Iraqi inmates at a Baghdad prison was approved by Lieutenant General Ricardo Sanchez, the top US general in Iraq, the Washington Post reported on Saturday.

Sanchez approved senior officials at Abu Ghraib prison to "use military dogs, temperature extremes, reversed sleep patterns, sensory deprivation, and diets of bread and water on detainees whenever they wished," said the newspaper, citing US government documents.

Sanchez borrowed heavily from a list of high-pressure tactics used at the detention center at the US naval base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, the report said.

In late May, unnamed Pentagon officials had said that Sanchez will be replaced when the transitional Iraqi government takes office on June 30.

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Brahimi quits post as UN envoy in Iraq

By Shlomo Shamir
Sun., June 13, 2004

NEW YORK - Lakhdar Brahimi, the United Nations special envoy to Iraq, announced his resignation from the post at a meeting yesterday of the Security Council and in the presence of Secretary General Kofi Annan.

The resignation, brewing for a number of days, shocked the diplomatic community at the world body.

Brahimi explained that his decision stemmed from great difficulties and frustration experienced during his assignment in Iraq. He said that he does not intend to return to Iraq.

The UN diplomat has still not delivered a letter of resignation but senior UN sources said the secretary general is already exploring possibilities for a replacement.

According to UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric, Brahimi's current assignment in Iraq has been completed.

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Sadr to form political party for elections 2004-06-13 20:46:23

BAGHDAD, June 13 (Xinhuanet) -- Shiite radical cleric Moqtada al-Sadr will form a political party to join Iraq's national elections in January, a top aide to Sadr said Sunday.

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NATO battles to avoid Franco-US split on Iraq

BRUSSELS, June 11 (AFP) - Less than three weeks before a summit in Istanbul, the US is increasing pressure on NATO to accept a bigger role in Iraq, but faces stiff opposition from allies led by France, officials said Friday.

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Blair to send 3,000 extra troops to Iraq

By Robert Fox and Francis Elliott
The Independent
13 June 2004

Tony Blair is preparing to defy voters' protests by sending another 3,000 British troops to Iraq. The announcement, which could come within a fortnight, is being finalised in the Ministry of Defence.

The reinforcement has been scaled up in recent weeks after fierce fighting in the British sector, according to senior military officials.

The Chief of the Defence Staff, General Sir Michael Walker, initially recommended sending an extra enhanced battalion of just 1,000 with the option of sending headquarters staff at a later date.

However, commanders on the ground, including General Andrew Stewart, the British commander of coalition forces in southern Iraq, have asked for a further 2,000 reinforcements as an insurance against further violence after the hand over of power on 30 June. [...]

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Reform And Its Troubles

Abdulwahab Badrakhan Al-Hayat 2004/06/12

Finally, the famous reform document was issued in the European's moderated text. Nevertheless, the text was not the problem; the American usage of "reform" is the problem. Nothing guarantees that Washington will not go on with its same foolish policy claiming that reform is the essence of its strategy in the Arab region. "Peace process" was deep-rooted in this strategy, but then it became silly and was subjected to the Israeli's desires until it disappeared.

Everything related to reform was discussed during the last six months. It is unlikely that Americans benefited from this discussion, because they originally suggested their subject in an opportunistic approach and with preconceived ideas. Reform is a necessary duty; however, it was presented as a punishment. Reform is a long process which is supposed to achieve social peace and security; however, America presented it as a revengeful plan which aims at changing some regimes. Reform does not handle lies or vagueness; on the contrary it succeeds in the light of transparency. However, Americans, in their dual calls, proved that they are ready for poor bargains where they offered "good conduct" certificates to fabricated "reform" experiences. They relied on services they get from this or that regime.

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Behind the Scenes, a Restless and Relentless Kerry

June 13, 2004

BOSTON, June 12 — Like a caged hamster, Senator John Kerry is restless on the road. He pokes at the perimeter of the campaign bubble that envelops him, constantly trying to break out for a walk around the block, a restaurant dinner, the latest movie.

Landing one sunny day in St. Louis, Mr. Kerry wandered off the airstrip to stroll through a grass patch, leaving his security detail trying to keep him in sight while scores of staff members, supporters, police officers and journalists waited without explanation for an hour. Another afternoon on another tarmac, he tossed a baseball, then a football, then hopped on a policeman's motorcycle for a spin, all in the space of 30 minutes. Late one evening in Harrisburg, Pa., Mr. Kerry jumped from the motorcade to greet some children on a street corner.

"Can we walk over there?" he had asked an aide earlier that day, heading for a fund-raiser after a series of radio interviews from a hotel. "I'd love to get outdoors and remember what it's like."

This restlessness is one of many facets of Mr. Kerry's style and personality that is all but invisible to most voters in this era of stage-managed politics, where authentic insights into the people who would be president are precious few. [...]

Comment: With rigged elections, who needs to know anything about the candidates?

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Students Found Apathetic About Politics

Sat Jun 12,11:07 PM ET

SEASIDE, Calif. - Most college students doubt that voting in presidential elections will make major changes in American society, according to a nationwide survey.

Only 35 percent of the students surveyed said presidential voting will create "a lot of change," compared to 47 percent who thought so in March 2001, according to the poll conducted for the Leon and Sylvia Panetta Institute, a public-policy think tank at the California State University, Monterey Bay.

The survey also found that only 19 percent of American college students believe that politics is "very relevant" to their lives, and 43 percent believe that politics has little or no relevance. [...]

Comment: In one sense, the students in this poll are being rather realistic - in a nation where the current president stole the last election, how can anyone believe that voting in the upcoming election will make any difference? On the other hand, only 19% of the students surveyed believe that politics is relevant to their lives. One might suggest that this result indicates a rather severe lack of attention to the events that are currently playing out on the world stage. The Bush administration can order the torture of US citizens, the economy is in tatters, the draft is looming, the US is supporting Zionist-inspired genocide against Palestinians, and people around the world are continuing to die at the hands of soldiers from the American Empire - yet, like most Americans, these students believe that they are and will remain unaffected?

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National mourning helps Bush politically 2004-06-12 21:19:48

BEIJING, June.12 (Xinhuanet) -- A week of national mourning for Ronald Reagan has helped President Bush politically by shunting Democrat John Kerry to the sidelines and driving bad news from Baghdad off the front pages, according to agencies' reports quoted by China Daily on Saturday.

This week's burst of Reagan nostalgia, which included a flood of tributes to the Republican icon and reminders of Bush's claim to Reagan's legacy, could provide at least a short-term political boost for the president in his race for re-election.

But analysts and strategists in both parties caution that any benefits for Bush, who delivered a eulogy at Reagan's funeral on Friday, were likely to fade by the time voters cast their ballots in November.

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Has W. morphed from Neo to Smith?

Juan Cole

The poll also found that Kerry leads Bush nationwide by 51 to 44 percent. By 51% to 16%, they felt that Bush is "too ideological and stubborn." Over half of Americans think Bush is too ideological and stubborn? This is a remarkable statistic. It is important because it helps explain why they think he is not in control. He is perceived as having a tragic flaw, like a Greek or Shakespearian tragic protagonist, which prevents him from being in control and gets him into messes. Hamlet was indecisive, Macbeth over-ambitious, etc. OK, for Americans probably one should think in terms of a flawed character in some recent film. But my rhetorical analysis would remain the same.

(Here's a try: Neo and Smith in The Matrix are actually similar in many ways. Both of them want to overturn the Matrix status quo, both of them use violence, both of them are seeking to become something more than they are, are seeking to escape the trap of the pods in which the machines have imprisoned them. But Neo is open to reality, is willing to question, to go where the leads take him. Perhaps most Americans saw Bush as like Neo in the months immediately after September 11. Smith is "too ideological and stubborn," and as a result over-reaches at a crucial moment. It seems to me that his Iraq misadventure, Abu Ghuraib, Torturegate, the proto-fascist memos of the counsels to the president--all this has made Bush look increasingly Smith-like. If you are running for office, you want to be seen by the young people as like Neo, and not at all like Smith.

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Summit: Putin Defends Bush Against Democrats on Iraq

Created: 11.06.2004 10:30 MSK (GMT 3), Updated: 11:13 MSK

Russian President Vladimir Putin, visiting the United States for the G8 summit, stepped into the U.S. political campaign on Thursday, saying the Democrats had “no moral right” to criticize President George W. Bush over Iraq, Reuters reported.

The G8 summit was concluding June 10.

The Kremlin leader, answering a reporter’s question in Sea Island, Georgia, suggested that the Democrats were two-faced in criticizing Bush on Iraq since it had been the Clinton administration that authorized the 1999 bombing of Yugoslavia by U.S. and NATO forces.

The reporter had asked Putin to respond to U.S. press articles questioning Russia’s place at the G8 feast of leading industrial countries. Putin brushed these off, saying such articles were part of an internal U.S. political debate.

“I am deeply convinced that President Bush’s political adversaries have no moral right to attack him over Iraq because they did exactly the same,” Reuters quoted Putin as saying.

“It suffices to recall Yugoslavia. Now look at them. They don’t like what President Bush is doing in Iraq.”

Russia was adamantly opposed to the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia, as it has been to the U.S.-led military operation Iraq to topple Saddam Hussein.

At the same time, Putin forged a strong friendship with Bush by offering immediate support in the global fight against terrorism.

Comment: Indeed the Democrats are as guilty and morally vacant as Bush. They bought Bush's lies about the WMD. They buy the lies on the need to defend Israel. Tweedle-Dum and Tweedle-Dee.

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Ayoon wa Azan (Insolence)

Jihad Al Khazen Al-Hayat 2004/06/12

[...] The Americans played the biggest role in liberating Europe from Nazism; this is why the demonstrations seem to be a sign of ungratefulness. But the fact is that they are against George Bush and his policy, and not against the United States or its people. The American speech overlooked the demonstrations, in order to focus on the point of "we helped you when you needed us, but you did not help us when we needed you."

The American logic seems to be okay at first glance; but in reality, it twists the truth and assassinates it; as 1944 was the war against Nazism, the enemy of humanity, whereas the American war on Iraq was concocted by a cabal of neo-conservatives, for unsaid reasons, and based on assumptions proven to be lies. They targeted a small or dastardly dictator.

How could the war on Nazism be compared to the war against Saddam Hussein? The American administration could do so in a new example on the insolence that has become the major characteristic in international and regional policies.

The Bush administration, in the insolence of its stance between the French and Italian people, took out a page from the Israeli book of insolence.

After 9/11, Israel said: "You see? We face the same terrorism."

Is this true? Thousands of American citizens were killed while working at their offices inside their country, and not threatening anyone. Whereas Israel occupies, kills, and destroys, and its Prime Minister is a famous butcher on a Nazi scale. Despite all this, there are some people who arrogantly compare the innocent civilians who were killed by surprise in their own country, with an invading occupation army that undertakes a new kind of Nazism against civilians under occupation.

This comparison is insulting to the blood of the American victims, to the victims of occupation, and to the intelligence of people everywhere. Comparison does not work except between Ariel Sharon and his cabal, and Osama bin Laden and his gang; since terrorism, like blasphemy, is one.

[...] I am also writing after the resignation of CIA Director George Tenet, expecting the resignation of others, and likening them to the lack of the intelligence in anticipating the information about Al Qaeda before 9/11, and about Iraq prior to the insolent war.

The insolence here is that the CIA and the American Department of State were part in doubting the accuracy of the information of Ahmad Chalabi's group of Iraqi dissidents, which were embraced by the Department of Defense; especially by the neo-con clique in the administration. If there are some people who love to pay the price for mistakes, they are Vice-President Cheney, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle, John Bolton, David Wormser, Elliot Abrams, Douglas Feith, and many others.

George Tenet is of Greek origin, this is why he is a shy person like us; as for the neo-cons, they are bastards.

I will close with an insolence that is 30 years old; it is the price of oil, as what the individual consumer pays in the West is 80% taxes, 10% expenses of extraction, export, refining, the gains of the sellers, and 10% which is the price of the barrel that the producer gets. Despite that, they do not see but this last 10%, in an insolence that is going to last for another 30 years.

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Station fires DJ, rescinds it after anti-Reagan show

The Associated Press
(Published: June 12, 2004)

The firing of a University of Alaska Fairbanks disc jockey who put on a radio show he called a "celebration" of Ronald Reagan's death has been rescinded. Scott Hornyak, 28, who goes by the name "Spider Bui" on-air, was suspended indefinitely from his disc jockey job at KSUA-FM after his show Sunday. He was fired Friday from his paid business manager's job at the station. [...]

The show generated numerous complaints, station managers said.

No tape was available. But, according to Hornyak, he berated Reagan for his foreign policy in Latin America, Iraq and Afghanistan and for what the student called a "homophobic" response to the AIDS epidemic.

He said he was sick of the media "glorifying Reagan and rewriting history." He said he played requests such as "These Boots Are Made For Walking" and told listeners he wanted to "walk over the newly laid dirt" on Reagan's grave. Reagan died last Saturday at 93.

Hornyak had said the station's decision to release him from both his positions was "cowardly." [...]

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Tories to create new security bodies: document

Last Updated Sat, 12 Jun 2004 16:57:44

MONTREAL - An internal party document obtained by the French-language service of CBC suggests the Conservatives want to set up a U.S.-style national intelligence agency to manage information from the Canadian Security Intelligence Service and the RCMP. [...]

The new agency, which a Tory candidate in Quebec likened to the American National Security Agency, would report directly to the prime minister and account for itself privately before a parliamentary committee. [...]

The same document revealed that Stephen Harper's party wants to create another super-agency that would blend Canada Customs, the Canadian Coast Guard, the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority and the harbour police into one entity to monitor activity at the country's borders. [...]

The closest it comes to giving a position on harmonized security is this statement:

"We must stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the United States and other allies when we should, in order to sit eye-to-eye with them when we must. We should have a stronger relationship with the U.S. to deal with issues like the increasingly protectionist stance of U.S. trade policy, border security, and the war on terrorism."

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EU charter plans accommodate UK demands

Sunday June 13, 11:09 AM

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - EU president Ireland has released new proposals on a draft European constitution due to be concluded this week that appear to go a long way towards meeting Britain's "red lines" on maintaining national vetoes.

The proposals, to be discussed by foreign ministers of the 25-nation bloc in Luxembourg on Monday, would require unanimity to take decisions related to taxation and the sources of revenue of the European Union.

They also provided for an "emergency brake" allowing countries to block majority decisions on foreign policy, social security and delay them on judicial co-operation.

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Duma Refuses to Forbid Wahhabi Ideology

Created: 11.06.2004 20:01 MSK (GMT 3), Updated: 20:03 MSK

The State Duma did not approve amendments forbidding the Wahhabi ideology in Russia on Friday, Russian Information Agency Novosti reported.

Those amendments were introduced by the assembly of the republic of Dagestan into the law on freedom of religion and religious unions. They said that Wahhabi “and any other extremist activity” on Russian territory should be forbidden in consideration of the situation in the North Caucasus. The amendments also recommended to increase control over religious groups.

The Duma committee on social unions and religious organizations stated that such a bill should regulate the activity not of the religious unions but of the anti-state, anti-social extremist organizations and that their activity is already regulated by the Criminal Code and the law on extremist activity.

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Glass 'explodes' on I-91 vehicles

Saturday, June 12, 2004

SPRINGFIELD - Michael R. Brochu of Springfield had heard that lately some vehicles on Interstate 91 had been hit by unknown objects, but the knowledge did not cause him to take an alternative route to work.

Of all the vehicles zipping up and down the highway each day, Brochu said, he figured the odds of getting hit were extremely unlikely.

"I really wasn't too concerned," he said. "It was kind of like (the odds) of getting hit by lightning."

Lightning - in the form of an unknown projectile - struck Brochu's 1995 Ford pickup truck yesterday shortly before 9 a.m. in the northbound lane of I-91 near the Chicopee line.

The window on his passenger door blew up, spraying bits of glass all over the inside of his truck.

"It exploded - all over me and the front seat," Brochu said.

A little over two hours earlier and about three miles south, a car heading southbound near the former York Street jail also had its rear window blown out, police said.

Information about the other driver was not available.

In a press statement, Hampden County District Attorney William M. Bennett said, "It does not appear to the investigators that a firearm is involved in these two incidents." He could not be reached for comment.

The question of how the damage is being done has arisen during the last two weeks, when at least six similar incidents were reported.

Each of the incidents has taken place along the same stretch of highway from the Longmeadow line near Forest Park to the junction of Interstates 91 and 391 in Chicopee. [...]

According to the statement, no projectiles were found in either vehicle. Nor was there any evidence of a "through-and-through shot," where the projectile passed completely through the vehicle.

Bennett's statement said investigators do not believe a firearm to be involved, but it stopped short of saying what struck either vehicle. [...]

"It was an extremely loud boom - unlike a rock or stone or something like that," he said. "I don't know any pellet gun that would do that to a window." [...]

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Sniper Kills Three in Calif., Then Killed

Jun 12, 8:35 PM (ET)

IRVINE, Calif. (AP) - A camouflaged sniper opened fire Saturday at a rural Southern California recycling center, wounding a worker and a deputy, then fled before being killed hours later in a shootout with deputies who had spotted him from a helicopter. The helicopter pilot was wounded in the leg, but all three victims were expected to survive, Orange County sheriff's spokesman Jim Amormino said.

The sniper, wearing green camouflage and black face paint, began firing at employees at the Baker Canyon Green Recycling Center about 11:10 a.m., Amormino said.

One recycling worker was shot in the arm and a responding deputy was shot twice, once in the arm and once in the shoulder, Amormino said. The shooting victims were taken to a hospital, but their conditions were not immediately available.

The sniper, described only as a white male, fled the business, and deputies searched for him for hours in the area east of Irvine Lake in eastern Orange County.
The gunman was spotted by the helicopter crew around 4 p.m. and shot at the deputies before he was killed, Amormino said.

Amormino said deputies hadn't determined a motive for the attack.

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Misplaced phone diverts Alaska Air jet

Anchorage Daily News
June 12, 2004

An Alaska Airlines jet bound for Seattle from Anchorage was diverted Thursday afternoon to Juneau as concerned crew members barricaded off part of the plane
after finding a suspicious cell phone in the rear. [...]

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June 12, 2004 -- American Airlines is carrying less emergency fuel, United Airlines is slowing flight speeds and JetBlue is using one engine instead of two to taxi down runways.

Faced with skyrocketing oil prices, the nation's airlines are looking at every which way they can to trim their fuel bills and survive another threat to the industry.

Soaring jet fuel prices have dashed hopes that this would be a recovery year for the industry. The airlines had expected to at least break even in 2004 after a rebound in air traffic.

Instead, the industry is expected to lose $3 billion, largely because of rising fuel prices. This follows the three worst years in the history of the airlines, when they lost $23.2 billion following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the war in Iraq and SARS.

"Fuel prices are at levels we haven't seen in more than a decade," said Steve Lott, the business editor of Aviation Week. "It's just one punch after another for the airlines."

Fuel is the second-biggest expense for airlines behind labor. Each penny increase in the price of a gallon of fuel costs the airlines about $180 million more on an annual basis, analysts estimate. [...]

Some airlines locked in lower prices months in advance by signing contracts. Southwest Airlines has hedged 80 percent of its fuel needs for this year at an average price of $24 a barrel. The airline industry expects oil prices to top $38 a barrel this year. [...]

Comment: Many oil industry insiders are predicting that it won't be long until the price of oil reaches over $180 a barrel. Given the Bush administrations extensive ties to the oil industry, it is doubtful that they are unaware of these predictions. It seems that the death of many airlines and the resulting government intervention in the industry would be just what is needed to further isolate the US from the rest of the world. If oil tanks, the only things that will keep the population under control are total annihilation or unending war.

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Stocks Rally May Fade on Inflation Worry

By Herbert Lash
Sat Jun 12, 7:24 AM ET

NEW YORK (Reuters) - More signs of strong economic growth may boost stocks next week, but concerns about inflation and rising interest rates could put a damper on a summer rally before the season officially starts.

Reports on industrial production, retail sales and housing starts and regional manufacturing are expected to show a strong economy. But rising rates have led to concerns about the housing market, and more importantly, how fast the Federal Reserve will move to dampen the quickening pace of inflation. [...]

Comment: It should be obvious by now that the US economy are based on little more than the whims of the powers that be. Psychopaths run psychopathic corporate entities that are above the law. More often than not, it is these corporations that, through political connections, promote or even create the laws that the rest of us have to follow. Elections are won or lost based on who a candidate knows, and whose interests they promote.

Meanwhile, the average citizen foots the bill and worries about where her family will get the money to put food on the table. The American Dream is a lie. It is the desire to possess and control for oneself - the desire for an empire, just on a smaller scale. It is no surprise, then, when George Jr's push for world domination receives little resistance from the masses.

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The Bush family celebrates during former President H.W. Bush's 80th birthday celebration at Minute Maid Park in Houston, Texas, Saturday, June 12, 2004. Israeli opposition leader Shimon Peres, back row right, is also shown.

George H.W. Bush Celebrates 80th Birthday

By JUAN A. LOZANO, Associated Press Writer
Sun Jun 13, 1:25 AM ET

HOUSTON - A baseball park full of high-powered friends celebrated former President George H.W. Bush's 80th birthday Saturday night, part of a weekend of festivities to be topped with a skydive Sunday.

About 5,200 people, including former Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev, former British Prime Minister John Major and celebrities and sports figures such as Dennis Miller and Pete Sampras, wished Bush a happy birthday at Houston's Minute Maid Park.

When Bush's oldest son, President Bush, and his wife, Laura, were introduced, the audience loudly applauded and waved tiny American flags. When his parents joined him on stage, the nation's 41st president put his arm around the 43rd president's shoulders and gave him a swift slap on the back.

"I want to thank you for coming to wish our dad a happy birthday. Most of you are here because over the years you have come to know and love our dad," President Bush told the crowd. "He has touched you because of his decency and warmth, his humility and humor. You know what we know. We are fortunate to have George Bush as a part of our lives." [...]

The festivities included humorous and heartfelt tributes to Bush from Dan Quayle, his vice president, Hall of Fame pitcher Nolan Ryan and Miller. [...]

Gorbachev, speaking through a translator, said "of all my counterparts in the world arena, George Bush was the best. He was a reliable partner. He had balanced judgment and he had decency."

Bush thanked the crowd, saying, "this has been an emotional and wonderful night." The evening concluded with the crowd singing "Happy Birthday" as the Golden Knights, the Army parachute team that will accompany him on his jump Sunday, parachuted into Minute Maid Park. That was followed by a fireworks display. [...]

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UPDATE: Tornadoes Damage Farms in Midwest

Sun Jun 13,12:58 AM ET

DES MOINES, Iowa - Tornadoes damaged farm buildings and crops as violent thunderstorms battered southeastern Minnesota, northern Iowa and Nebraska. One twister destroyed David Mickelson's barn, home, garage, machine shed and silo south of Otho, Iowa.

"You work all your life to build up a place like this and in a matter of seconds it's all gone," Mickelson said.

No injuries were reported in the storms that started Friday afternoon and continued through the evening.

At least six tornadoes touched down near the south-central Kansas town of Mulvane on Saturday evening, destroying one home and damaging another, overturning cars and downing power lines. Several other tornadoes were reported elsewhere in the state, but there were no immediate reports of injuries. [...]

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Killer storm a twister

Jun 11 2004 09:09 AM EDT

OTTAWA - Environment Canada has confirmed a tornado touched down in eastern Ontario, just north of Gananoque.

The small twister cut a five-kilometre swath through the countryside near Lansdowne during a storm Wednesday.

One man died when a tree crushed his front porch.

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Léger tremblement de terre dans la région du Grand Saint-Bernard

An earthquake of a magnitude of 3 on the Richter scale happened about 7:45 near Grand Saint-Bernard in Switzerland.

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Mysterious stench in Beaverlodge

By Doug Brown
Herald-Tribune staff
June 11, 2004

Alberta Environment officials and residents are baffled by a mysterious smell that descended on part of Beaverlodge late Tuesday night and was so potent one family slept in their basement to avoid the stench.

"It was a terribly strong, strong odour that literally permeated everyone's home," said Tracy Green, 40, who closed up her windows and took her four-year-old
daughter and five-year-old son into the basement of their Beaverlodge home. "It was such a strong smell you couldn't get away from it.

"Most people described it as the smell of mothballs only a hundred times worse. You could taste it in your throat. It was chemical. It wasn't a natural smell."

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23-acre body of water disappears in St. Louis suburb

The Associated Press
Updated: 4:42 p.m. ET June 11, 2004

WILDWOOD, Mo. - To folks around Wildwood, it is nothing but freaky: an entire 23-acre lake vanished in a matter of days, as if someone pulled the plug on a bathtub.

Lake Chesterfield went down a sinkhole this week, leaving homeowners in this affluent St. Louis suburb wondering if their property values disappeared along with their lakeside views.

“It’s real creepy,” said Donna Ripp, who lives near what had been Lake Chesterfield. “That lake was 23 acres — no small lake. And to wake up one morning, drive by and it’s gone?”

What once was an oasis for waterfowl and sailboats was nothing but a muddy, cracked pit outlined by rotting fish.

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Meteorite crashes onto couch

From correspondents in Auckland
June 13, 2004

A 1.3kg (2.8lbs) meteorite crashed through an Auckland city home, hitting the couch and ending up under a computer, the Sunday Star Times reported today.

The book-sized rock hit Phil and Brenda Archer's suburban Ellerslie home on Saturday morning, leaving a large hole in their roof.

"I was in the kitchen doing breakfast and there was this almighty explosion," Brenda said. "It was like a bomb had gone off. I couldn't see anything, there was just dust."

She thought something had exploded in the ceiling, but her husband saw a stone under the computer and it was hot to touch.

The rock hit a leather couch and bounced back up to the ceiling before rolling under the computer.

The Archer's one-year-old grandson Luca was playing nearby but was unhurt.

"He must have a guardian angel," Brenda said.

Auckland University meteorite expert Joel Schiff said the rock was "a national treasure", but international collectors would offer big money for it.

He said the chondrite type meteor - meaning it was chipped off an asteroid - had probably hit the atmosphere the size of a basketball at 15 kilometres per second before slowing to around 100-200 metres a second at impact.

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Soccer becomes game of robotic skill

U of M team off to world RoboCup

By Carol Sanders

Sat Jun 12 2004

A team from the University of Manitoba is competing in the 2004 world cup in Lisbon, Portugal, later this month. But they won't be playing soccer -- their robots will be. The budding computer scientists have qualified for the RoboCup, where 1,000 universities and research institutions from around the world match robotic wit and skill.

"These aren't remote-controlled toys being operated by someone hiding behind a curtain," said Prof. John Anderson of the U of M computer science department. These are machines programmed to operate on their own. " [...]

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