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Wednesday, June 16, 2004

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US Military Plots Coup
©2004 Pierre-Paul Feyte

Since 9/11 John Kaminski has written many articles with which we have been in agreement or which have raised important questions that were worth discussing. Unfortunately, he has of late been caught up in the Patriot fantasy that "good, Patriotic" elements of the US military will ride in and deliver us from the unconstitutional Bush Reich. Some folks are waiting for the Space Brothers to come down and save us. Kaminski and his friends are waiting on the Cavalry.

It is with great amazement and distaste that we present you Mr. Kaminski's latest offering:

Why We Need Martial Law

Criminal government is destroying America; military must step in to restore Constitution

by John Kaminski
skylax@comcast.net
6-16-04

Our government is out of control. The elections are rigged. The Congress is completely bought off. The White House administration is a gang of criminals who are stealing the nation blind. There is no proper accountability from any department of government. And the United States is conducting two major wars, irresponsibly squandering the lives of our young people, for reasons that everyone in the world knows are lies.

Be clear about this: no government official, nor any major media outlet, is objecting to two wars the United States is conducting that everyone knows the reasons for are lies. Tens of thousands of people have been killed for lies, and no one in a position of public responsibility is condemning it.

America has become a nation of monstrously perverted mass murderers. And if you’re an American and are not condemning it, then you are complicit in it. You’re supporting needless mass murder, you pig!

People are being jailed for no reason, illegally tortured while in custody and deprived of due process. Innocent families around the world are being humiliated and killed for no legitimate reason. Our law enforcement apparatus — corrupt courts and cops — are failing to stop obvious crimes committed by the very rich, and assaulting ordinary citizens trying in a lawful manner to protest these injustices.

I repeat, rich corporations are allowed to commit crimes, and ordinary people are being put in jail for committing no crime.

Legitimate law enforcement in the United States has completely broken down. The biggest criminal in the country right now is John Ashcroft, the top man in America's law enforcement hierarchy, who is guilty of thousands of counts of obstruction of justice by failing to investigate and prosecute a titanic list of crimes committed by those who gave him his job.

The Supreme Court, the highest law panel in the land, assisted in a coup d'etat in 2000 by failing to investigate thousands of people who were illegally prevented from voting that changed the outcome of the election.

The upcoming election promises no relief from the murderous tyranny that now grips Washington. Both candidates are privileged children of the rich who are members of a satanic fraternity at Yale University and won’t talk about their perverted rituals. No matter who is elected, America’s future is more wars, more deaths, more destruction.

An irrational president and his demonic accomplices keep talking about a new terror attack they are expecting any day. Legitimate researchers have pointed out the worldwide terror threat known as al-Qaeda is actually a deceptive construction of the U.S. CIA and Israel's Mossad.

The terror attacks that threaten us are actually coordinated by Washington and Tel Aviv. There exists legitimate evidence that the bombings in New York, Madrid, Bali, Istanbul, Yemen and elsewhere were actually the work of CIA/Mossad operatives, as are the murders of thousands of innocent people in Iraq. The anthrax murder investigation was stopped when the trail led back to the White House.

In 2001, terror attacks by this same organization created by White House speechwriters and CIA recruiters killed more than 3,000 Americans in New York and Washington. The government had steadfastly impeded an investigation of the events of 9/11, and the commission it has empaneled to conduct a probe has consistently failed to address the major questions asked by thousands of researchers around the world.

Specifically, billions of dollars were made in profits from insider trading in the days before 9/11. The FBI has investigated and said there was nothing suspicious about these profits. How the American people can accept this blatant lie is a preposterous example of the soporific stupor that has engulfed the U.S. populace. The identity of the perpetrators of the treasonous attacks of 9/11 is known by those investors, yet the government refuses to pursue those criminals.

Plentiful photographic evidence and eyewitness testimony exists that the World Trade Center was brought down by explosions. The evidence was carted off and disposed of without an adequate investigation. The Air Force failed to defend the nation against the air attacks on 9/11. The people in charge of our air defenses were promoted, because they were complicit in the crime of the century.

The mainstream media has for years failed to report on crimes by the federal government. It has failed to report that the ingredients of major soft drinks puts holes in your brain with extended use. Mainstream media conducted a powwow after the last election to review the voting process, concluded the election had been stolen, but then decided to cover up the crime.

Most people agree that Senator Paul Wellstone was murdered after an argument with Vice President Dick Cheney. There was no real investigation. A woman in Texas who filed a lawsuit against the president for rape and torture was found shot to death. It was ruled a suicide. No one is investigating. Bush reportedly dated the woman in high school and speculation is that he was using the woman as his sex slave because he is above the law.

Virtually all members of the Congress, shortly after 9/11, voted to pass legislation that nullified most of the basic protections in the Constitution for the American people. Few Americans protested. Additional legislation has further eroded the rights of Americans.

The right to privacy in America has all but disappeared. The government operation to deprive Americans of their privacy, once guaranteed by the Constitution, was headed by a known felon, who lied to Congress and was convicted for it during the reign of Ronald Reagan.

American citizens are being infected with unknown diseases by strange practices called chemtrails that appears in our skies. Doctors in league with evil pharmaceutical companies are forcing mind-numbing drugs on both children and adults, and after paying off politicians are granted legal immunity from mistakes they may make, from outright poisons they choose to prescribe.

The American government is criminal enterprise, and American law enforcement is complicit in the crime.

Comment: OK. Up til here, we are more or less in agreement with Mr. Kaminski. Where we disagree is in his belief that something can be down to rectify or change the situation. We can see that Mr. Kaminski is extremely frustrated. He sees that most Americans are caught up in the lies, refuse to admit to them, and have no intention of ever asking a question in their lives. Disturbing, yes.

He sees that the institutions have broken down, corruption is the order of the day.

But where does he go from here?

The only way to stop the continuing crime spree is by a military takeover and a declaration of martial law.

Comment: Whoa! What a minute! Where does this come from? What guarantee is there that martial law is going to do this? Why should we have any faith in the US military?

Hundreds of cops, attorneys and judges need to be in jail.

We need a new government, one that sees to the needs of people, not to the needs of bankers and corporations.

Ordinary citizens might be worried about such a move, but they shouldn’t be. The purpose of this martial law situation would not be to curtail American liberty, but to restore it.

The thrust of a military takeover should be directed at the people committing the crimes, primarily government officials, executives of the petroleum and pharmaceutical industries, and bankers and stock traders. All officials of the Federal Reserve Board, Council on Foreign Relations and Trilateral Commission should be immediately jailed for future interrogations concerning their crimes against humanity.

Comment: And how can the "ordinary citizens" of the United States be assured of this largesse on the part of their military leaders? Kaminski gives us nothing in the way of proof or evidence that we should trust the military.

And investigation needs to be conducted into the FBI and CIA for their creation of the terror apparatus known as al-Qaeda, which has been blamed for innumerable instances of terror around the world. A good place to start would be the Philippines, where American agents have fomented revolution against that government and exported terrorist double agents around the world as part of a devious plan to increase profits for American defense contractors.

The entire Congress needs to be indicted for treason, simply for their vote on the Patriot Act, but for plenty of other corrupt actions as well.

The entire Bush administration, and many officials from previous presidential adminstrations, need to be arrested for corruption for taking bribes from corporations and then promptly passing laws advantageous to those corporations.

Thousands of investment bankers, securities dealers, and stock traders need to be arrested for theft. Kenneth Lay, George Bush’s top contributor, needs to be in jail immediately for his theft of a billion dollars from the people of California.

In addition, the military needs to take an immediate hard look at Israel, whose agents have penetrated virtually all aspects of the operation of the American government and American society as well. Next to the United States, Israel is the greatest threat to peace in the world, as it has already admitted it has missiles aimed at all the capitals of Europe, and it continues to conduct its heartless genocide against the hapless Palestinian people.

Ordinary people should not be affected at all by martial law. The military should leave them and their families alone. Ordinary Americans have not broken the law, but have been the victims of governmental leaders who have.

First of all, the military needs to bring as many troops home as possible, immediately. Arrangements can be made with other grateful countries to stem the needless bleeding America has caused in so many places around the world. Our continuing commitment to Iraq should not be to fatten the coffers of corporations, but to apologize to the Iraqi people that Americans have committed in the name of so-called democracy.

The military needs to investigate virtually every law enforcement operation in America. Every town, city, county and state in America is afflicted by criminal behavior in its law enforcement and court apparatus.

And first and foremost, as a new government of the United States is reconstituted in a democratic way guided by the principles of the Constitution, America needs to regain control of its money supply from the international bankers who control the world. Most of those international bankers need to be in jail, too, in orange jumpsuits at Guantanamo alongside the whole Bush family, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Ashcroft, Myers, Rice, Perle, Wolfowitz, Libby, Scalia, Rehnquist, Clarence Thomas, Tenet, Freeh, and all those other corrupt law enforcement officials and judges, corporate presidents, and corrupt Congressmen.

I know, the prospect of a military takeover is scary. But consider the choice: do you want men in control who are sworn to defend the Constitution, as is the military, or those who are sworn to make money for the super-rich, as are both Bush and Kerry and practically anybody else who runs for office.

Consider what will happen is this DOESN’T happen. It’s really no exaggeration to say we likely are looking at the end of the world as we know it. At the very least, we are headed toward a slave society in which many Americans will starve to death if Bush and Kerry are allowed to continue on their merry way.

In addition, there is another important reason for a military takeover, and that is to redeploy our forces to defend our country, rather than to misuse and abuse them by plundering innocent nations for the criminal corporations who control so many of our politicians.

I really trust our people in uniform, because I really am an American. And as an American, I am terribly ashamed of my country for the horrific things it has done, both to people around the world and its own citizens. It’s the criminals in Washington who have no allegiance to any country who have ordered our military to do all those bad things. The Bush family and their criminal sidekicks are not really Americans, they’re murderous crooks who lie about everything and whose only allegiance is to their own wallets, their own sexual perversions, their own sick visions of the world which decent people want no part of.

Martial law now. Military tribunals for Bush, Cheney and the rest of those sick sociopaths.

It’s the only way we’re ever going to find peace again. And the only way we’re really ever going to be able to defend our country.

Otherwise, it’s curtains for everyone.

Comment: Sounds great, doesn't it. Bush and the gang brought to trial. The economy taken away from the international bankers. The US bringing home its troops and making amends to the rest of the world.

Hey, John, what have you been smokin'? This sounds like the end of the film Brazil when the hero, under torture, pushed to the limit, escapes into his dream world.

The Bush gang has been trying to implement martial law. They are setting the stage. They have been moving against the rights and liberties of US citizens, and have been working to impose the same strictures in Europe. Now, conveniently, one of the people who has been most vocal in denouncing the Bush gang is coming out calling for the same solution: Martial Law. We are not suggesting that Kaminski is in on anything with the Bushes. On the contrary, the scarier explanation is that he is so frustrated and outraged that his thinking is clouded, and that in this condition, he proposes the same "solution" as his opponents.

The pieces have been laid over the last two years for this move. Articles have been appearing on alternative web sites about the military's distrust and disdain for Bush and the group around Rumsfeld in the Pentagon. Hints are made that these "patriotic" generals are ready to step in. Plans are being laid. They are only awaiting the moment.

This is a completely materialist view of the problem and the solution. By limiting the parameters of the debate, these "Patriots" are limiting the possible solutions.

What Kaminski and his Patriot friends are not factoring in is the notion of our hyperdimensional reality and the cyclic character of time. The clampdown on the planet is being put into place because the odds are very high we will be facing a variety of catastrophes over the next few years: climate change, possible cometary impact, shortage of food, and war are among the possibilities. There isn't going to be enough to go around if these events come to pass, and the Powers That Be are preparing society for these circumstances. It isn't going to matter if it is the Bushes, the Neocons, or the military, because when push comes to shove, whoever is in power will be shooting to kill when the people revolt.

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US insists on security for Saddam handover

Tuesday 15 June 2004, 21:52 Makka Time, 18:52 GMT

US President George Bush has said he will not hand over former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein to the interim government in Baghdad until adequate security is in place to ensure he does not escape trial.

Bush would not commit to handing over Saddam by the 30 June transfer of power, as asserted by interim Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi, but Bush did not rule it out.

He said the United States would not allow "lax security" to jeopardise plans for Saddam to be tried by a special tribunal.

"He is a killer. He is a thug. He needs to be brought to trial," Bush said on Tuesday at a Rose Garden news conference with Afghan President Hamid Karzai.

"We want to make sure that he [Saddam] doesn't come back to power. And so therefore, it's a legitimate question to ask of the interim government: 'How are you going to make sure he stays in jail?' And that's the question I'm asking. And when we get the right answer, which I'm confident we will - we'll work with them to do so - then we'll all be satisfied," Bush said.

"I'm confident that when it is all said and done, he will stay in jail. I just want to be assured," he added.

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Poll of Iraqis Reveals Anger Toward U.S.

By JOHN SOLOMON, Associated Press Writer
Tue Jun 15, 7:18 PM ET

WASHINGTON - A poll of Iraqis commissioned by the U.S.-governing authority has provided the Bush administration a stark picture of anti-American sentiment — more than half of Iraqis believe they would be safer if U.S. troops simply left.

The poll, commissioned by the Coalition Provisional Authority last month but not released to the American public, also found radical cleric Muqtada al-Sadr is surging in popularity, 92 percent of Iraqis consider the United States an occupying force and more than half believe all Americans behave like those portrayed in the Abu Ghraib prison abuse photos.

The Associated Press obtained a copy of a multimedia presentation about the poll that was shown to U.S. officials involved in developing Iraq policy. Several officials said in interviews the results reinforced feelings that the transfer of power and security responsibilities to the Iraqis can't come too soon.

"If you are sitting here as part of the coalition, it (the poll) is pretty grim," said Donald Hamilton, a career foreign service officer who is working for Ambassador Paul Bremer's interim government and helps oversee the CPA's polling of Iraqis.

"While you have to be saddened that our intentions have been misunderstood by a lot of Iraqis, the truth of the matter is they have a strong inclination toward the things that have the potential to bring democracy here," he said in a telephone interview Tuesday from Baghdad.

Comment: Oh horse hockey! What did the Iraqis misunderstand? Was it that their children and wives were blown to pieces in the US invasion of Iraq? Was it that the interim government will still be completely under the control of Paul Bremer? Or maybe it was that US soldiers and intelligence officers tortured innocent men, women, and children at Abu Ghraib and elsewhere?

The Iraqis haven't misunderstood anything. They know they are an occupied country. The misunderstanding is on the part of the American geniuses who actually believed that the invading American soldiers would continue to be greeted as liberators long after it became clear to the Iraqi masses that the US had no intention of relinquishing control of the country.

Hamilton noted the poll found 63 percent of Iraqis believed conditions will improve when an Iraqi interim government takes over June 30, and 62 percent believed it was "very likely" the Iraqi police and Army will maintain security without U.S. forces.

Comment: We have to wonder if the freedom fighters were included in this poll...

State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said, "Let's face it. That's the goal, to build those up to the point where they can take charge in Iraq and they can maintain security in Iraq."

The poll, conducted by Iraqis in face-to-face interviews in six cities with people representative of the country's various factions, conflict with the generally upbeat assessments the administration continues to give Americans. Just last week, President Bush predicted future generations of Iraqis "will come to America and say, thank goodness America stood the line and was strong and did not falter in the face of the violence of a few." [...]

The current generation seems eager for Americans to leave, the poll found.

The coalition's confidence rating in May stood at 11 percent, down from 47 percent in November, while coalition forces had just 10 percent support. Nearly half of Iraqis said they felt unsafe in their neighborhoods.

And 55 percent of Iraqis reported to the pollsters they would feel safer if U.S. troops immediately left, nearly double the 28 percent who felt that way in January. Forty-one percent said Americans should leave immediately, and 45 percent said they preferred for U.S. forces to leave as soon as a permanent Iraqi govermnment is installed.

"To a certain degree it is self-evident that Iraqis have lost some confidence in us, particularly in our ability to protect them," Hamilton said. [...]

Comment: That might have something to do with the whole imprisonment without charge and torture thing...

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Bush to allow Sadr political role

By David Morgan
Tuesday June 15, 06:13 PM

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President George W. Bush says the United States will not oppose a political role in Iraq for Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, the fiery radical Bush branded an anti-democratic thug just last month.

Bush said that would demonstrate the United States' intention to respect the independence of the new Iraqi government that is to assume power on June 30.

"The interim Iraqi government will deal with al-Sadr in the way they see fit," Bush said at a Rose Garden press conference on Tuesday. [...]

The U.S.-led administration in Iraq has maintained Sadr must surrender to an Iraqi arrest warrant in connection with the murder of a rival cleric in Najaf last year and is reluctant to see him take a leading role in Iraqi politics. [...]

Comment: So, it seems that the title of this article is a bit misleading. Bush isn't going to allow Sadr to play a political role - he's going to allow the US-controlled interim Iraqi government to try and arrest Sadr. Then again, to be fair, arresting Sadr would probably fire up the Iraqi resistance forces, which certainly involves the Iraqi political system - or lack thereof.

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Official: Al-Zarqawi may be in Fallujah

Wednesday, June 16, 2004 Posted: 1:34 PM EDT (1734 GMT)

U.S. officials say Abu Musab al-Zarqawi has close ties to al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.

BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- Fugitive al Qaeda associate Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and members of his organization may be hiding in the Sunni stronghold city of Fallujah, according to a senior Pentagon official.

Comment: al-Zarqawi is the US's favourite terrorist-in-hiding. They pull him out for the slow news days or if they need to combat some particularly nasty story of torture by US troops. Last month it was al-Zarqawi who supposedly killed Nick Berg. He appears to be all-powerful, his fingers in every bombing that isn't claimed by anyone else. A real bogeyman.

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Panel Says No Signs Iraq Aided Qaeda Plots on U.S.

By Deborah Charles

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Investigators have found no evidence Iraq aided al Qaeda attempts to strike the United States, a commission investigating the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks said on Wednesday in a report that undermines Bush administration
arguments for war. [...]

President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney this week reiterated pre-war arguments that an Iraqi connection to al Qaeda, which is blamed for the Sept. 11 attacks, represented an unacceptable threat.

However, the commission said in a staff report, "We have no credible evidence that Iraq and al Qaeda cooperated on attacks against the United States." [...]

Counterterrorism officials from the FBI and CIA testifying at Wednesday's hearing said they agreed with the staff report's conclusion. [...]

The report stood in contrast to comments this week by Vice President Dick Cheney, who said that ousted Iraqi leader Saddam had "long-established ties" to al Qaeda. [...]

[C]ommission members wanted to know why Bush was allowed to continue meeting with Florida schoolchildren after the attacks were known, and why Bush hopscotched around the country on Air Force One before returning to Washington.

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German Cancels 9/11 Hearing Appearance

By HOPE YEN, Associated Press Writer
Tue Jun 15, 3:57 PM ET

WASHINGTON - The German prosecutor who investigated the al-Qaida cell in Hamburg, Germany, has canceled his appearance before the commission investigating the Sept. 11 attacks, the panel said Tuesday.

Matthias Krauss was scheduled to testify Wednesday before the 10-member panel as part of a public hearing on the 9/11 plot. He notified the commission during the weekend that he could not attend and declined last-minute overtures to reconsider, the panel said.

In Germany, a spokeswoman for Krauss said the prosecutor couldn't attend because of scheduling reasons but would submit written answers to the panel's questions. The office also stressed its commitment of "full cooperation" with U.S. authorities.

"As a result of the short notice, it was not possible for organizational reasons for prosecutor Matthias Krauss to appear," said spokeswoman Frauke Scheuten.

Krauss, who would have been the first international official to testify before the commission, was expected to highlight problems with U.S. intelligence-sharing and cooperation with the international community in prosecuting terror suspects. [...]

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Turkish PM Claims That Israel is Inflaming Worldwide Anti-Semitism

By Yoav Stern, Haaretz Correspondent, and Reuters
15/06/2004

The Israeli Foreign Ministry responded sharply Tuesday to fresh criticism by Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan, who said earlier in the day that Israeli policy is inflaming global anti-Semitism.

In an address to members of his Justice and Development Party in parliament earlier in the day, Erdogan, who has in recent weeks condemned Israel's treatment of the Palestinians, blamed the Israeli government for rising anti-Semitism in the world.

In its first statement since the crisis between the two states began, the ministry rejected "the statements and implications made by Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan."

Turkey recalled its ambassador to Israel and another top diplomat earlier this month for "consultations" but said the move was strictly routine. The diplomats returned within days.

NATO's only Muslim member has close economic and military ties with Israel despite supporting Palestinian statehood. But Israel's crackdown on Palestinian militants, including assassinations of their leaders, has strained relations.

"We agree [with Israel] on most issues, but we think differently on one or two matters," Erdogan said.

"We don't have a problem with the Israeli people, but unfortunately, the Israeli administration's current actions are increasing anti-Semitism in the world."

Europe has seen a rise in attacks on Jews coinciding with an upsurge in violence since the outbreak of the intifada in September 2000.

Erdogan said Israel, a major arms producer, could not compare itself militarily to the Palestinians.

"While Palestinians are using stones as weapons, your [Israel's] helicopters are raining bombings," he said.

Israel said in response that, "The latest statements add to a series of recent remarks that unfortunately do not reflect our reality. Israel is not fighting against stones but against the terror of suicide bombers, which has claimed the lives of some 1,000 Israelis over the past few years, Erdogan should address these facts when addressing the matter.

Comment: There is no need for the Turkish PM to address these facts, we shall do it for him...after all, it is quite simple...

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Sharon's Fingerprints on Latest Suicide Bombing

It is difficult to imagine that Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, with his much vaunted military and strategic acumen, did not understand the consequences of his policies over the past month. [...]

Any observer with elementary skills in discerning cause and effect could see this latest suicide bombing atrocity coming. In fact, the vast majority of the nearly 100 Palestinian suicide bombings since they began in 1994 have followed an almost predictable sequence: Israeli attacks that cause major Palestinian civilian casualties or Israeli assassinations of important militant leaders are the most common trigger leading to suicide bombing cycles. [...]

The only conclusion one can draw from these actions is that either Sharon thought it so important to kill these militant leaders despite the bloody consequences for Israeli civilians or that he took these actions precisely because he expected these consequences and cynically sought to reap the political gains. Either way, Sharon is complicit.

And any observer can easily discern the obvious political windfall for Ariel Sharon generated by this attack. [...]

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Israeli Roots of Hamas Are Being Exposed

by Dean Andromidas

Speaking in Jerusalem Dec. 20, U.S. Ambassador to Israel Daniel Kurtzer made the connection between the growth of the Islamic fundamentalist groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad, and Israel's promotion of the Islamic movement as a counter to the Palestinian nationalist movement. Kurtzer's comments come very close to EIR's own presentation of the evidence of Israel's instrumental role in establishing Hamas, and its ongoing control of that organization.

Kurtzer said that the growth of the Islamic movement in the Palestinian territories in recent decades—"with the tacit support of Israel"—was "not totally unrelated" to the emergence of Hamas and Islamic Jihad and their terrorist attacks against Israel. Kurtzer explained that during the 1980s, when the Islamic movement began to flourish in the West Bank and Gaza, "Israel perceived it to be better to have people turning toward religion rather than toward a nationalistic cause [the Palestinian Liberation Organization—ed.]." It therefore did little to stop the flow of money to mosques and other religious institutions, rather than to schools.

According to the Dec. 21 Israeli daily Ha'aretz, Kurtzer made these extraordinary statements at a seminar on religion and politics sponsored by Oz V'Shalom-Netivot Shalom, a largely Anglo-American organization that promotes peace between Israelis and Palestinians. Rabbi Dr. Aharon Lichtenstein, the head of Har Etzion Yeshiva in Alon Shvut, who is an active advocate of a just regional peace, also spoke. Kurtzer said that as a result of the growth of Islam at the expense of education, there are now Palestinians who are "determined terrorists that use religious beliefs in a perverted way to appeal to the masses."

Kurtzer said that cultural and religious interaction is potentially a way to "build bridges." But instead, "the perverted use of religion in the region is today becoming one of the great challenges for the years ahead." He said that there is no "inherent component" in Islam that advocates violence. But one of the five principles of Islam, jihad—resistance—"in classic religious associations connotes religious belief and fervor, not violence." But extremists have distorted the meaning of jihad, so it now has a connotation of violence in the service of a religious purpose.

The Enemy of My Enemy Is My Friend

This statement is extraordinary given the fact that Kurtzer is a very senior diplomat, having held the post of Ambassador to Egypt just prior to going on to Tel Aviv. He is also an Orthodox Jew who is not shy of criticizing the extreme anti-Israeli and anti-Semitic views held by certain Arab circles. But Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon rarely grants the United States' highest representative in Israel an official audience.

The ambassador's comments are an acknowledgment of what any serious Middle East observers knows: Hamas has always been seen as a tool by which Israel could undermine the nationalist movement led by Palestinian Authority President and Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Chairman Yasser Arafat. Similar statements by Arafat have been dismissed by Israel as "cranky" propaganda. In an interview with the Dec. 11 Italian daily Corriere della Sera, Arafat said, "We are doing everything to stop the violence. But Hamas is a creature of Israel which at the time of Prime Minister [Yitzhak] Shamir [the late 1980s, when Hamas arose], gave them money and more than 700 institutions, among them schools, universities and mosques. Even [former Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak] Rabin ended up admitting it, when I charged him with it, in the presence of [Egpytian President Hosni] Mubarak."

To the Italian daily L'Espresso, Arafat laid out the reasons for this support. "Hamas was constituted with the support of Israel. The aim was to create an organization antagonistic to the PLO. They received financing and training from Israel. They have continued to benefit from permits and authorizations, while we have been limited, even to build a tomato factory. Rabin himself defined it as a fatal error. Some collaborationists of Israel are involved in these [terror] attacks," he said. "We have proof, and we are placing it at the disposal of the Italian government."

Sharon is not interested in peace and therefore is not concerned that the violence and needless deaths of Israelis and Palestinians continue. In the Jan. 3 Ha'aretz, Yossi Sarid, chairman of the Meretz party, wrote, "What does frighten Sharon ... is any prospect or sign of calm or moderation. If the situation were to calm down and stabilize, Sharon would have to return to the negotiating table and, in the wake of pressure from within and without, he would have to raise serious proposals for an agreement. This moment terrifies Sharon and he wants to put it off for as long as he possibly can." In contrast, Sarid said that Sharon understands "that the terrorists and those who give them asylum are not the real enemies. Instead, the real enemies are the moderates.... You fight terrorists—a pretty simple operation—but you must talk with moderates, and this is a very tricky, if not dangerous, business."

More important for the survival of not only the Palestinian people, but especially Israel itself, is the dangerous role of the puppetmasters outside the region, who are manipulating both sides of this deadly game as part of their own demonic plans to spread the policy of a "clash of civilizations." In this regard, Sharon, and his "Greater Israel" policy, is just as much a puppet as the Palestinian, strapped with explosives, who blows himself up at an Israeli bus station.

Two Decades of Undermining Arafat

Given the level of control that the Israeli intelligence services such as the Shin Bet and Mossad have been able to exert over the Palestinian territories during the last 35 years of Israeli occupation, the capability to manipulate militant and violent organizations, such as those associated with Hamas, should not surprise anyone familiar with intelligence and even routine police operations. This should be obvious, considering that Israel has routinely recruited thousands of collaborators and provocateurs among the tens of thousands of Palestinians who have passed through Israeli prisons in over 35 years of its occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Most convincing is a comparison of the development of Hamas, Islamic Jihad and their antecedents, and the growing national and international legitimacy of the PLO and its undisputed leader, Arafat.

Hamas is an acronym for Harafat al-Muqawama Al-Islamiyya, or Islamic Resistance Movement. Its spiritual leader is Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, who, despite his fiery anti-Israeli sermons, has had an unusual relationship with the Israeli authorities. In 1973, Yassin established the Islamic Association—at a time when it was Israeli policy to promote what Ambassador Kurtzer refers to as the "Islamic movement."

One might ask: Why should Israel promote an Islamic movement which later turns around and attacks it? How could the Israeli secret services be taken in by a Yassin? They weren't. The simple fact is, that the stated policy of Hamas is simply the flip side of Sharon's "Greater Israel" policy that refuses to seek a territorial compromise. The Hamas charter in 1988 stated, "The land of Palestine has been an Islamic Waqf throughout the generations, and until the Day of Resurrection, no one can renounce it or part of it, or abandon it or part of it.... Peace initiatives, the so-called peace initiatives, are all contraray to the beliefs of Hamas, for renouncing any part of Palestine means renouncing part of the religion." In this rhetoric there is no room for a state of Israel—as there is none for a state of Palestine in Sharon's "Greater Israel."

Then, in 1988, the Islamic Association created Hamas as a direct alternative to the PLO, which had launched the first Intifada the year before. 1988 was also important because the PLO, at the 19th Conference of the Palestinian National Council in Algeria in 1988, accepted the United Nations Security Council resolution of 1947 calling for two states in Palestine. They also called for convening an international peace conference based on UN Resolutions 242 and 338, which established the land-for-peace concept. This was a de facto recognition of Israel by the PLO and Arafat. By the end of 1988, the Reagan Administration extended official recognition to the PLO as the official representative of the Palestinian people.

When Palestinian leader Abu Jihad began negotiating with Hamas, in an attempt to win its mass base over to the new policy, he was promptly assassinated by the Mossad. [...]

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Time to put the US media on trial for complicity in genocide?

Nigel Parry
The Electronic Intifada
4 June 2004

Following pressure from the Israeli public, international condemnations and a UN resolution, and a flurry of rare coverage of Rafah from American cable news networks, Israel's "Operation Rainbow" was 'concluded' in Rafah on 24 May 2004. According to Israel at least.

Since then, during a one week period in Rafah (27 May-2 June 2004), Israel destroyed another 39 Palestinian homes, leaving at least another 485 Palestinian civilians homeless, and razed another 24 dunums[1] of Palestinian land.

Google News continuously crawls more than 4,500 news sources from around the world, yet a search for the keyword "Rafah" shows that, beyond the Israeli press, supplementary news websites such as the Electronic Intifada, and a handful of US newspapers, coverage of the latest demolitions following "Operation Rainbow" has been minimal, particularly in the United States.

CNN's most recently published article on Rafah "Israelis: IDF forces out of Rafah camp" is dated Monday 24 May 2004, and reads as if it were an Israeli government press release:

JERUSALEM (CNN) — Israeli military officials said Monday evening that all Israeli troops and tanks have withdrawn from Rafah refugee camp in southern Gaza, marking the end of Operation Rainbow.

The officials said that during the operation three arms-smuggling tunnels under the border into Egypt were found and destroyed, 40 armed militants were killed, and other wanted militants were arrested.

Twelve civilians were killed and 56 buildings were destroyed during the mission, according to the officials.

The article, credited to CNN's Jerusalem Bureau, is a good example of CNN's lack of credibility in covering the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The fact that this "It's all over in Rafah" article is the most recent article that CNN.com's search engine or archive returns for the keyword "Rafah" — when the following week was characterised by massive Israeli violence against Palestinian civilians and their property — says much about CNN's priorities in covering stories in which Palestinians are the victims, and not Israelis.

One is left imagining that CNN's editors took the Israelis at their word, and ceased their Rafah coverage after being told it was 'all over'.

Jarringly, at no point in the article does CNN even consult any Palestinian sources for comment, only a variety of "Israeli military officials" and senior adviser to Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, Ra'anan Gissin.

And then there's the problem with statistics.

The statistics

In the 24 May 2004 article, CNN's total reliance on Israeli military sources for the grim statistical tally of the human cost of "Operation Rainbow" is unacceptable for any international media organisation that claims balanced coverage.

Israel claims that during the 13–24 May 2004 "Operation Rainbow" (which saw a brief pause between May 15-17), that 40 "armed [Palestinian] militants" and 12 Palestinian civilians were killed, and 56 buildings were demolished. No figure for the number of injured Palestinians or land razed was given.

During the same period, fieldworkers from the Palestinian Center for Human Rights, based in Gaza, recorded that "56 Palestinians, 45 of whom are civilians, including 10 children, were killed and at least 200 others were injured"

PCHR continues to note that "220 houses were completely destroyed and 140 others were partially destroyed, leaving 4,847 people (821 families) homeless. 220 of these houses were destroyed in al-Brazil and al-Salam neighborhoods, 9 in Um al-Nasser village, north of Rafah, 15 in Qeshta and al-Sha'er neighborhoods and 128 in Tal al-Sultan neighborhood. At least 700 donums[1] of agricultural land were razed, and 46 shops, several civilian facilities, including a mosque and cemeteries, and the civilian infrastructure were destroyed."[2]

CNN vs. Reality: "Operation Rainbow" statistics

  Deaths (Civilians) Deaths ("armed militants") Buildings Demolished No. of Homeless Land Razed
Israel/CNN 12 40 56 No mention No mention
PCHR 45 11 220 homes (complete), 140 homes (partial), 46 shops 4,847 people 700 dunums[1]
Israel/CNN Disparity -33 29 -350 -4,847
-700 dunums[1]

CNN's reliance on Israeli sources for what happened during "Operation Rainbow" and its lack of attention to what happened after the operation, convey a grossly misleading impression of recent events in Rafah. Regardless of how this came to be, CNN's selective coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict undeniably acts to obscure the true scale of Israel's genocidal policies in Rafah, just one Palestinian area among many that suffers ongoing Israeli attacks.

CNN's record

For years, EI team members and correspondents have approached CNN executives privately and in public action items with specific examples such as the one above, with no real improvement in the network's coverage. To date, CNN has been called on:

# Describing periods in which many Palestinians but no Israelis were killed as "relative calm" or "comparative calm". (See FAIR's advisory about exactly the same issue during another period.)

# Reporting on events in which Israelis were killed while ignoring simultaneous events in which Palestinians were killed

# Misrepresenting the facts of where Israel's West Bank barrier runs, again and again

# Using misleading terminology to describe Israel's West Bank barrier

# Presenting attacks on Israeli military positions in occupied territory as if the the target was located inside Israel's borders

# Failing to report that the Israeli cabinet formed by Ariel Sharon in February 2003 included parties with an ethnic cleansing platform

# Falsely claiming that Al-Qaida was loose in Gaza

# Falsely portraying an attack on Israeli soldiers in occupied Hebron as a massacre of "worshippers"

# Claiming that two Palestinian children killed in an Israeli attack were "bodyguards"

# Covering the 30th anniversary of the Munich Olympics massacre while ignoring the 20th anniversary of the Sabra and Shatila massacre

# Describing lethal rubber-coated metal bullets with the diminutive term "rubber bullets"

# Repeating Israeli claims that all Palestinians inside the Church of the Nativity during the siege were "armed"

# Portraying a period of intense violence perpetrated by Jewish settlers as taking place by both sides

# Under-reporting the number of Palestinians killed

# Producing a lavish series and website on "Israeli victims of terror" without mentioning in either the killing of more than 1,000 Palestinian civilians, one quarter of them children, and the 19,452 Palestinians injured

# Promoting misleading Israeli documents as proving a link between Arafat and suicide bombings

# Correspondent Jerrold Kessel presenting the existence of the Israeli military occupation as a Palestinian 'point of view' and again

# Referring to the West Bank and Gaza Strip as part of Israel

# Misrepresenting the Nakba as an anti-Israeli protest instead of a Palestinian commemoration

# Describing the occupied territories as "disputed territories", in defiance of their international legal status

CNN: "jingoistic, amateurish, shallow, and speculation-crazy"

In a 13 January 2003 article entitled 'Lovely Outrage' on TomPaine.com, award-winning journalist Russ Baker reported on a media training visit he made to Belgrade. Baker wrote:

Vladimir Milic, a producer with Mreka, a news production company, expressed the group's disillusionment succinctly:

"What a paradox: the United States is the global leader, yet you can't find information about the world your country controls."

To Milic, local TV news programs — where statistics show most Americans get their "news" — came across as bewilderingly provincial. He swears he saw a segment labeled "international news" that featured a story on... Nevada.

He's right, of course: Frontline aficionados to the contrary, most Americans today are woefully uninformed about the world in general compared to their Serbian counterparts — who know not only a lot about the United States, but about scores of other countries.

Even CNN, America's premier showcase for international news, struck the Serbian journalists as jingoistic, amateurish, shallow, and speculation-crazy, especially when compared to the generally calm and thoughtful BBC. As for the Fox News Channel, its daily fare sounded suspiciously like the rabidly nationalistic, pro-Milosevic propaganda the Serbs are still trying to flush out of the system here.

The unaccountability of the media

Unlike the UK, which has a Press Complaints Commission, there is no ethics mechanism in the US through which inaccurate and distorted coverage can be challenged, beyond direct appeals to the media organisations to self-regulate or suing them in court (which is almost impossible due to a requirement that the media organisation's intent is proven to be "malicious").

Palestinians and Israelis continue to die because citizens of the US — the country that intervenes more than any other to perpetuate the status quo on the ground — are offered a grossly distorted account of events on the ground that gives them no real sense of the imbalance of power between the two sides in the conflict, no idea of the extent of the US role in the conflict, and little impetus to call for a more even-handed US foreign policy in the Middle East.

It is hard to quantify in absolute terms, but most regular readers of the extremely detailed Palestinian Center for Human Rights' Weekly Reports on Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territories would be willing to make a safe guess that somewhere in the region of 98% of the violence perpetrated against all civilians in the conflict is violence perpetrated by Israel against Palestinian civilians, their property, and their land.

Consumers of the US media can be forgiven for concluding that the majority of violence is perpetuated by Palestinians against Israeli civilians, as this violence receives grossly disproportionate coverage.

In the same way that Serbian state television was considered complicit in Serbian war crimes by communicating a distorted view to its people of the decade-ago conflict in the former Yugoslavia, it is time that people begin to consider the culpability of the US media.

In the case of CNN's coverage of Palestine, the lie is one of omission. The effect of the majority of US news coverage is to promote an unbalanced view of who is perpetrating the violence, which has the potential to affect reality in disturbing ways.

The effect

Since the beginning of the Second Palestinian Intifada in 2000, American politicians, entertainers, and religious groups have gone on record calling for genocide of the Palestinian people[4]. On 18 October 2003, The Forward reported that:

Thousands of Evangelical Christians waving Israeli flags cheered last week as Knesset member Benny Elon called for the "relocation" of Palestinians from the West Bank into Jordan.

The enthusiastic crowd at the annual convention of the Christian Coalition in Washington also cheered House Majority Whip Tom DeLay, who urged activists to back pro-Israel candidates who "stand unashamedly for Jesus Christ."

Elon, whose Moledet Party advocates the "transfer" of Palestinians to Arab countries,said that a "resettlement" of the Palestinians is prescribed by the Bible.[3]

Similarly, on 22 February 2002, EI reported that Emanuel A. Winston wrote an article in USA TODAY that expressed extreme racist sentiments towards Arabs and advocated the "resettlement" of Palestinians in Jordan.

On 2 May 2002, EI reported how House Republican Majority Leader Dick Armey (R-TX) recommended the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from their land and endorsed Israel's illegal conquests of the occupied territories on MSNBC's Hardball programme.

EI reported on 28 August 2002 that a US tax-deductible charity was channeling funds to an Israeli political organisation that had published detailed plans for the "complete elimination of the Arab demographic threat to Israel."

On 6 February 2003, EI reported that comedian Jackie Mason published an article in The Jewish Press stating "We will never win this war unless we immediately threaten to drive every Arab out of Israel if the killing doesn’t stop".

All of these instances constitute public calls for genocide.[4]

Hatred of Palestinians is apparently deeply rooted in some sectors of American society. After suicide attacks, EI's mailbox is typically flooded by people writing from US-based e-mail addresses, many "Christians", many calling for the genocide of Palestinians. Needless to say, there is no comparable response from the same people after events such as Israel's May 19th use of combat helicopters and battle tanks against a peaceful demonstration in Rafah, killing nine.

Palestinian child throws a stone at an Israeli tank

The level of reflexive support for Israel is so entrenched in some minds that, during the period of a couple of months last year, EI received more than 5 e-mails from American supporters of Israel making the same claim — that the Agence Presse France/Musa Al-Shaer photo on the front of EI which depicted a Palestinian child throwing a stone at an Israeli tank was "faked", even though similar images of children confronting tanks can be found on the wire services every week.

The shocking image contradicted their fundamental view of the conflict, a view in which Israel — while militarily occupying another people's land — is widely perceived to be under attack.

Conclusions

When one is regularly treated to lavish on-the-spot coverage of suicide and car bombings by unelected Palestinian militant groups, while brutal Israeli military operations sanctioned by a 'democratic' state go completely unreported — such as last week's events in Rafah — it is understandable that people draw the distorted conclusion that Palestinians are the primary perpetrators of the current violence. After all, that's what it looks like on TV.

Defendants and witnesses in US courts are asked to swear an oath to tell "the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth." CNN's inability to tell "the whole truth" is historically and empirically demonstrable as in the case of last week in Rafah, the stunning litany of examples above (by no means a total analysis of all of CNN's Palestine coverage), and by the network's daily, studied avoidance of acknowledging the most obvious root of the conflict — Israel's military occupation.

And CNN is just one of several American networks against which the same charges could be leveled — of grossly distorting the realities of an ethnic conflict in favour of the aggressor and therefore prolonging, thanks to our resulting ignorance, our societal apathy about the ongoing genocide[4].

With no US ethical body to deal with the pervasive distortion, it is time for international legal experts to begin exploring ways to hold the US media legally accountable for its failure to report accurately from both sides of the conflict — specifically for the real-life implications of that failure. Freedom of information is fundamental to informed democratic choice, and lives on both sides of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict literally depend on it.

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Kerry Raises $100 Million in Three Months

By SHARON THEIMER
Jun 16, 10:21 AM (ET)

WASHINGTON (AP) - John Kerry raised a Democratic record $100 million from March through May, lifting his presidential campaign to more than $140 million so far.

Kerry raised roughly $25 million last month alone, figures provided Wednesday by his campaign show.

The Massachusetts senator has already surpassed his financial goal of about $106 million for the primary season. He has about six weeks of fund raising left before he accepts his party's nomination in Boston and receives full government financing for the general-election phase of his campaign.

President Bush has raised at least $216 million since he began his re-election effort in May 2003. That includes at least $13 million raised in May through online and mailed contributions. [...]

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Soros Compares Putin to Pinochet

MosNews

Outspoken philanthropist and financier George Soros has said that President Vladimir Putin is effectively “choking” Russian society. In a column for The International Herald Tribune Tuesday he compared the Russian president, who has been accused of authoritarianism by a number of rights groups, to Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet.

“President Vladimir Putin of Russia has thrown the gauntlet to civil society,” Soros wrote in the column. “In an address to the nation last month he made clear that the state reigns supreme. His speech drove home just how grim Russia’s political landscape has become.”

In particular, Soros lamented the lack of democracy as Russia focused on economic stability as a top priority — with press freedoms the hardest-hit. He also noted the recent crackdowns on human rights groups in Russia.

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Moscow Duma Gives 1st Approval to Anti-Smoking Bill

MosNews

The Moscow State Duma gave its first approval to an anti-smoking bill on Wednesday , the Ekho of Moscow radio station reports.

The bill provides for the banning of smoking in educational establishments and allowing it only in specially assigned places in other institutions. Violators of these regulations are to be punished by a fine of 5 minimal wages.

However, the radio station notes that, if approved, the new regulations would only be applied to the adult population. Russian citizens can be held administratively responsible only from the age of 16, and many of the smoking schoolchildren are much younger.

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Protesters cut power to French presidential palace

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

PARIS (AP) -- French power workers cut electricity to President Jacques Chirac's official residence Wednesday in the latest in a series of "targeted outages" to protest government plans for the partial privatization of state utilities.

Electricity was cut to the Elysee Palace, the neighboring Interior Ministry and the famous Champs-Elysees avenue for about 15 minutes on Wednesday afternoon.

The CGT trade union, which is leading the protest, said the cuts were part of its campaign of "targeted outages of short duration" in an attempt to force the government drop plan.

Finance Minister Nicolas Sarkozy unveiled plans in parliament Tuesday to transform Electricite de France and Gaz de France -- known by their acronyms EDF and GDF -- from state agencies into companies listed on the stock market.

The government has promised to keep at least 70 percent of EDF, but hopes to raise billions of dollars for the heavily indebted French state by selling a minority stake in the power utility.

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20 killed, 100 injured as train derails in western India

AFP
Wednesday June 16, 11:56 PM

Twenty people were killed and around 100 more injured when a passenger train plunged off a bridge in western India after hitting a boulder, railways minister Lalu Prasad Yadav said.

The accident occurred early morning on a bridge between Veer and Karanjadi stations some 200 kilometres (124 miles) from Bombay in western Maharashtra state, Yadav said. [...]

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Dead dove prompts Sri Lanka probe

The Sri Lankan authorities have ordered an inquiry after a dove freeing ceremony intended to symbolise peace went disastrously wrong.

One bird was dead before take-off and "dropped like a brick" soon after it left the hands of the public security minister at a ceremony last weekend.

A BBC cameraman who witnessed the incident said that the dove may have died due to excessive humidity.

[...] Such an incident is seen as inauspicious by many Sri Lankans, who since the weekend have written to newspapers expressing fears that the death of the dove could symbolise the demise of the country's peace process.

It has assumed added significance because Tamil Tiger rebels have warned that the country risks sliding back into a state of war unless the government of President Chandrika Kumaratunga revives peace negotiations.

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Israel sets off Negev blast to test earthquake measuring

By The Associated Press

Israel set off an enormous explosion yesterday in the Negev near the border with Jordan to test its seismographic measuring equipment.
The explosion, designed to measure about 2.9 on the Richter scale, was to help the Israel Geophysics Institute calibrate its equipment and better estimate the precise location of quakes in the future, said Rami Hofstepter, manager of the institute.

Israel Radio said the blast in the desert involved 28 tons of explosives.

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5.2 Earthquake Reported

ROSARITO — A magnitude-5.2 earthquake centered about 60 miles offshore from Baja California rattled an area from San Ysidro to Los Angeles and Palm Springs today, causing some anxious moments but no serious damage.

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Hidden fault caused Iranian earthquake

Bam, Iran, Jun. 15 (UPI) -- The devastating earthquake in Bam, Iran, in 2003 was caused by the rupture of a rare, hidden fault that is invisible at the surface, scientists said.

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Iran: Quake hits Bam suburbs in Kerman province

Tehran, June 16, IRNA -- A mild earthquake measuring 3.6 degrees on the Richter scale hit suburbs of the ancient, quake-stricken city of Bam in southeastern Kerman province Wednesday morning.

Kerman's seismological base affiliated to the Geophysics Institute of Tehran University recorded the temblor at 06:07 hours local time (01:37 GMT).

The base located the epicenter of the quake at an area 29.15 degrees in latitude and 58.18 degrees in longitude.

There were no immediate reports of any possible damage.

Once known as the "Milk-Road City," Bam was up to 70 percent demolished by a devastating 6.3 magnitude earthquake on December 26 which killed over 41,000 people and injured tens of thousands.

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U.N. Says Globe Drying Up at Fast Pace

Wed Jun 16
CHRIS HAWLEY, Associated Press Writer

UNITED NATIONS - The world is turning to dust, with lands the size of Rhode Island becoming desert wasteland every year and the problem threatening to send millions of people fleeing to greener countries, the United Nations says.

One-third of the Earth's surface is at risk, driving people into cities and destroying agriculture in vast swaths of Africa. Thirty-one percent of Spain is threatened, while China has lost 36,000 square miles to desert — an area the size of Indiana — since the 1950s.

This week the United Nations marks the 10th anniversary of the Convention to Combat Desertification, a plan aimed at stopping the phenomenon. Despite the efforts, the trend seems to be picking up speed — doubling its pace since the 1970s. [...]

"It's a creeping catastrophe," said Michel Smitall, a spokesman for the U.N. secretariat that oversees the 1994 accord. "Entire parts of the world might become uninhabitable."

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Hotter City Summer Nights May Be More Frequent

June 16, 2004

LONDON (Reuters) - Summer nights in cities may get hotter and sweatier because of the impact of global warming, a science magazine said on Wednesday.

Analysis by researchers at Britain's Hadley Center for Climate Prediction in Exeter has shown that the so-called "urban heat island" effect, of heat generated from buildings and vehicles being retained by asphalt and concrete at night, will intensify.

"Cities that now release an average of 20 watts of heat per square meter (yard) will in future release 60 watts more," New Scientist magazine said.

Urban night air is hotter than in the countryside because fields absorb less heat during the day. [...]

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The Ice Age Cometh

[...] Dr Roger Few, an environment expert at the University of East Anglia, said: "There is evidence that climate has changed, but we can never be sure of anything until it is happening.

"The evidence is difficult to refute that there is a process of change."

On the present flooding prediction, he added: "They are talking about one billion people at risk.

"On one hand, we have a sea-level rise, a product of global warming. That is happening and will continue to happen.

"More and more people will face a greater likelihood of flooding. The likelihood is that areas already subject to high rainfall will be hit."

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What's Up in Space -- 16 Jun 2004

SUNSPOT WATCH: If you learned how to safely look at the Sun last week to see the transit of Venus, look again. Two big sunspot groups, each larger than Venus, have emerged over the Sun's eastern limb. This could signal a period of increased solar activity in the days ahead.

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Ancient Meteorite Turned Earth Inside Out

7 June 2004

A meteorite collision nearly two billion years ago caused part of the Earth's crust to flip inside out and left a dusting of a rare metal scattered on the top of the crater, say University of Toronto researchers.

The study, appearing in Nature, examines the devastating effects of meteorite impacts on the Earth's evolution. Researchers from the University of Toronto and the Geological Survey of Canada studied the remains of a 250-kilometre wide crater in Sudbury, Ontario, known as the Sudbury Igneous Complex, caused by a collision with a Mount Everest-sized meteorite 1.8 billion years ago. They discovered that the meteorite burrowed deep into the Earth's upper crust - which measures an average of 35 kilometres thick - and caused the upper crust to be buried under several kilometres of melted rock derived from the lower crust.

The dynamics of meteorite impacts remain a source of debate among researchers and, until now, there has been little hard evidence to prove a meteorite could pierce through the Earth's upper crust and alter its compositional makeup. "It had not really been appreciated that large impacts would selectively move material from the bottom of the crust up to the top," says lead researcher James Mungall. "This has been suggested for the Moon at times in the past but ours is the first observational evidence that this process has operated on Earth."

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Truck hauling bees crashes in Montana: Dumps honey, sending bees on rampage

Wednesday, June 16, 2004 Posted: 11:08 AM EDT (1508 GMT)

BOZEMAN, Montana (AP) -- A tractor-trailer overturned on a curve on a highway, spilling its load of hundreds of bee hives and unleashing some nine million angry honey bees.

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Flashback: A machine called Z

Michael Paterniti
Sunday December 31, 2000

Under a ring of water in a sealed chamber in the middle of the New Mexico desert lies the heart of a machine that could change the world "A switch was flipped, electricity pulsated into the Machine, ripped through the switches, stormed on to the wires. There was a wicked jolt, and... silence. Sweet, beautiful silence. Everyone was still on earth; everything seemed to work. The feeling was surreal. 'I felt the ground shake,' says Yonas, grinning at the memory, 'and everybody said: "Let's do it again!" Nobody wanted to go home. I had to kick them out. There was nowhere else in the world to be.

This was the beginning. Over the next 15 years, the Z Machine gradually improved its output, packing an astonishing wallop - 20 trillion watts' worth of electrical output, as compared with the meagre 100,000 amps of the first machine - but it wasn't enough. Scientists and theoreticians estimated that for high-yield fusion to be achieved inside the Machine, it would need to generate something over 1,000 trillion watts. A factor of at least 50 of Z's output" "They reconfigured the Machine, boosting its X-ray production. Then someone, Melissa Douglas, thought to stack the arrays. Boom ! Two hundred trillion watts in a single pulse! Short of a nuclear blast, it was the most energy ever released on earth, and suddenly, in 1998, after five decades of chasing the illusion of high-yield fusion, of regarding it as some far-off Atlantis or dark galaxy's edge, the Z Machine was a third of the way there. " "Being around this machine, you can't help but feel awe.

The universe is mathematical and, you know, God is a mathematician.'

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Flashback: Patent allows creation of man-animal hybrid

Special report: the ethics of genetics

Antony Barnett, public affairs editor
Sunday November 26, 2000
The Observer

A biotech company has taken out a Europe-wide patent on a process which campaigners claim would allow 'chimeric' animals to be developed with body parts originating from humans.

An Australian company, Amrad, was granted the patent last year, which covers embryos containing cells both from humans and from 'mice, sheep, pigs, cattle, goats or fish'.

Church groups have already reacted with outrage, denouncing the patent as 'morally offensive'.

Details in the patent do not make it clear what use these mixed-species embryos would be put to, but experts are in no doubt that the potential is there to create a hybrid creature.

Dr Sue Mayer, director of Genewatch, said: 'The company is saying that it wants a patent on a process which could produce chimeric animals using cells from a whole range of species including humans. Many people will find the thought abhorrent.'

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Singapore to put gruesome pictures on cigarette packs

AFP
Tuesday June 15, 2:56 PM

All cigarette packs sold in Singapore will soon carry gruesome messages including images of a cancerous lung and a sliced brain oozing blood to scare smokers into quitting, health officials said.

The campaign, starting on August 1, was triggered by the continuing popularity of smoking, which is blamed for seven deaths per day in a city-state with a local population of only 3.4 million.

More women and younger people of both genders are taking up the habit, prompting the government to intensify its anti-tobacco drive and force smokers to literally stare death in the face on each cigarette pack. [...]

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Talk of witches at Vatican

By Philip Pullella
Tuesday June 15, 02:35 PM

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Talk of trials, burned witches and forbidden books has echoed in the Vatican after Pope John Paul asked forgiveness for the Inquisition, in which the Church tortured and killed people branded as heretics.

The pope made his request in a letter read out at a news conference on Tuesday on a new book on the Inquisition.

He repeated a phrase from a 2000 document in which he first asked pardon "for errors committed in the service of truth through use of methods that had nothing to do with the Gospel".

That was shorthand for torture, summary trials, forced conversions and burnings at the stake.

But in the letter, the pope went further, saying the request for forgiveness was for "both the dramas connected to the Inquisition as well as for the wounds to the (collective) memory that followed".

Pope Gregory IX created the Inquisition in 1233 to curb heresy, but Church officials soon began to count on civil authorities to fine, imprison, torture and kill heretics. It reached a peak in the 16th century to counter the Reformation. [...]

Comment: The Catholic church was so sorry that it took about 800 years to issue an apology.

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Vatican 'dispels Inquisition myths'

By Verity Murphy
BBC News Online
Tuesday, 15 June, 2004, 21:43 GMT

The Vatican has published a new study on the abuses committed by the medieval Inquisition and come to a rather surprising conclusion - that in fact the much feared judges of heresy were not as brutal as previously believed.

According to the 800-page report, the Inquisition that spread fear throughout Europe throughout the Middle Ages did not use execution or torture to anything like the extent history would have us believe.

In fact the book's editor, Professor Agostino Borromeo, claims that in Spain only 1.8% of those investigated by the notorious Spanish Inquisition were killed.

Nonetheless, as the report was published, Pope John Paul II apologised once more for the interrogators' excesses, expressing sorrow for "the errors committed in the service of the truth by the recourse to non-Christian methods". [...]

Comment: There, see? It wasn't so bad - just go back to sleep. And besides, when has the church ever lied?

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Burning Man Pagan Festival Grows So Large It Must Be Zoned

What happens when a band of naked, fire and false god-worshipping anarchists attract a massive following? Well, they become a city -- a city with infrastructure, departments, city services, subdivided blocks and, yes, even that apogee of municipal control: zoning.

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It's a light, it's a helicopter, it's a...

That's what some Santa Barbara County residents are wondering following two strange incidents last week that might have Art Bell followers saying we are not alone. The most recent happened on June 8 at the height of the Gaviota fire, on a night when Highway 101 was shut down and the only way to get between the South Coast and North County was Highway 154.

At 10:35 p.m. authorities received reports of a bright light at West Camino Cielo near San Marcos Pass. "Westbound motorists are so confused by the light that they are turning around and coming back down the hill," said a Sheriff's Department dispatcher.

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Batter-Coated Fries OK'd As Vegetable

By IRA DREYFUSS, Associated Press Writer
Tue Jun 15, 5:10 PM ET

WASHINGTON - Batter-coated french fries are a fresh vegetable, according to the Agriculture Department, which has a federal judge's ruling to back it up.

But the department said Tuesday that the classification applies only to rules of commerce, not nutrition, and it doesn't consider an order of fries the same as an apple in school lunches. [...]

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