Global Game of Survivor: America's Next Four Years
Strike Flash Presentation by a QFS member
Publication! The Wave finally in book form!
Wave: 4 Volume Set
With a new
introduction by the author and never before published, UNEDITED sessions
and extensive previously unpublished details, at long last, Laura Knight-Jadczyk's
vastly popular series The Wave is available as a Deluxe four
book set. Each of the four volumes include all of the original illustrations
and many NEW illustrations with each copy comprising approximately 300
is an exquisitely written first-person account of Laura's initiation at
the hands of the Cassiopaeans and demonstrates the unique nature of the
Volume 1 now. Available at the end of November!
November 5, 2004 - Two days ago, the SOtT team quoted Gurdjieff
on the subject of those periods of history that he described as
"times of mass madness such as wars, revolutions, and so
on, when men suddenly seem to lose even the small amount of common
sense they had and turn into complete automatons, giving themselves
over to wholesale destruction in vast numbers, in other words,
even losing the instinct of self-preservation."
Gurdjieff was talking about WW I. He hadn't
witnessed WW II yet. That was still in the future. But his description
of such times was exact even to the detail of "losing the instinct
of self-preservation." I realize that even though we have repeatedly
outlined a scenario for the future of the United States that matches,
almost exactly, with the history of Hitler and the Third Reich,
almost no one will take heed. It will certainly seem, when it is
all over, as though everyone had lost all common sense and all instincts
In 1951, almost half of the citizens of Germany
who responded to a public opinion poll, said that the period between
1933 and 1939 was a time during which things had gone best for Germany.
And yet, at the end of WW II, over 65 million
human beings were dead and almost one third of the Earth was uninhabitable.
How can it be that half the people of a country
that was almost totally destroyed in a war, perceive all the events
leading up to that war as "the best there ever was?" How
do they perceive - IF they perceive it at all - the deaths of 65
million other human beings? How do they justify the fact that an
entire cultural way of being is gone forever? How is it that they
have so completely lost their minds that they cannot even see the
direction they are going?
Lack of knowledge. Irretrievable loss of Reason.
Gurdjieff was recorded as saying:
"There are periods in the life of humanity, which generally coincide
with the beginning or the fall of cultures and civilizations,
when the masses irretrievably lose their reason and begin to destroy
everything that has been created by centuries and millenniums
of culture. Such periods of mass madness, often coinciding with
geological cataclysms, climatic changes, and similar phenomena
of a planetary character, release a very great quantity of the
matter of knowledge. This, in turn, necessitates the work of collecting
this matter of knowledge which would otherwise be lost. Thus the
work of collecting scattered matter of knowledge frequently coincides
with the beginning of the destruction and fall of cultures and
Certainly, the fall of every civilization
or culture is not accompanied by geological cataclysms and/or climatic
changes; they just "often coincide." But we will come
back to that in a moment. Just now, let's consider the idea that
such periods are characterized by the "release of a very great
quantity of the matter of knowledge."
How can knowledge be "matter?" In
my editorial on Hallowe'en I addressed this issue in part as follows:
Our universe seems to be made up of matter/energy and of consciousness.
Matter/energy by itself "prefers", as it seems, a chaotic state.
Matter/energy by itself doesn't even have a concept of "creation"
or "organization". It is the consciousness that brings to life
these concepts and by its interaction with matter pushes the universe
towards chaos and decay or towards order and creation.
This phenomenon can modeled mathematically and simulated on a
computer using EEQT (Event
Enhanced Quantum Theory). [...]
What we learn from EEQT can be described in simple terms as follows:
Let us call our material universe - or any reality we wish to
examine - "the system". The system is characterized by a certain
"state". We represent the state of the system as a point on a
disc. The central point of the disk, its origin, is the state
of chaos. We could also describe it as "Infinite Potential."
The points on the boundary represents "pure states" of being,
that is states with "pure, non-fuzzy, knowledge". In between the
boundary of the circle and the center, there are mixed states.
The closer the state is to the boundary, the more pure, more 'organized'
Now, an external "observer", a "consciousness
unit", has some idea - maybe accurate, maybe false or anywhere
in between - about the "real state" of the system, and
observes the system with this "belief" about the state.
It can be said that the "state of belief" of the observer
is a state itself, that may be more or less pure. We will come
back to this. Observation, if prolonged, causes the state of the
system to "jump". In this sense, you DO "create
your own reality", but the devil, as always, is in the details.
The details are that the resulting state of the system under
observation can be more pure, or more chaotic depending on the
"direction" of the jump. The direction of the jump depends
on how objective - how close to the reality of the actual state
- the observation is.
According to EEQT if the expectations of the observer are close
to the actual state of the system, the system jumps, more often
than not, into more organized, less chaotic state.
If, on the other hand, the expectation of the observer is close
to the negation of the actual state (that is when the observer's
beliefs are closer to being false than to being true according
to the ACTUAL state - the objective reality), then the state of
the system, typically, will jump into a state that is more chaotic,
less organized. Moreover, it will take, as a rule, much longer
time to accomplish such a jump.
In other words, if the observer's knowledge of the actual state
is close to the truth, then the very act of observation
and verification causes a jump quickly, and the resulting state
is more organized. If the observer's knowledge of the actual state
is false, then it takes usually a long time to cause a change
in the state of the system, and the resulting state is more chaotic.
What this means is that order can be brought out of chaos by
observing chaos as it IS and not pretending that it is otherwise.
In short, everyone who "believes" in an attempt to
"create reality" that is different from what IS, increases
the chaos and entropy. If your beliefs are orthogonal to the truth,
no matter how strongly you believe them, you are essentially coming
into conflict with how the Universe views itself and I can assure
you, you ain't gonna win that contest. You are inviting destruction
upon yourself and all who engage in this "staring down the
universe" exercise with you.
On the other hand, if you are able to view the Universe as it
views itself, objectively, without blinking, and with acceptance,
you then become more "aligned" with the Creative energy
of the universe and your very consciousness becomes a transducer
of order. Your energy of observation, given unconditionally, can
bring order to chaos, can create out of infinite potential.
On our October 31 Signs page, we also reported
the following article:
Chris Floyd wrote in his piece: Hysterica
Now we come at last to the heart of darkness. Now we know, from
their own words, that the Bush Regime is a cult -- a cult whose
god is Power, whose adherents believe that they alone control
reality, that indeed they create the world anew with each act
of their iron will. And the goal of this will -- undergirded by
the cult's supreme virtues of war, fury and blind faith -- is
likewise openly declared: "Empire."
You think this is an exaggeration? Then heed the words of the
White House itself: a "senior adviser" to the president, who,
as The New York Times reports, explained the cult to author Ron
Suskind in the heady pre-war days of 2002.
First, the top Bush insider mocked the journalist and all those
"in what we call the reality-based community," i.e., people who
"believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible
reality." Suskind's attempt to defend the principles of reason
and enlightenment cut no ice with the Bush-man.
"That's not the way the world really
works anymore. We're an empire now, and when we act, we create
our own reality," he said. "And while you're studying that reality,
we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can
study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's
actors ... and you, all of you, will be left to just study what
Anyone with any knowledge of 20th-century history will know that
this same megalomaniacal outburst could have been made by a "senior
adviser" to Hitler, Stalin, Mussolini or Mao. Indeed, as scholar
Juan Cole points out, the dogma of the Bush Cult is identical
with the "reality-creating" declaration of Mao's "Little Red Book":
"It is possible to accomplish any task whatsoever." For Bush,
as for Mao, "discernible reality" has no meaning: Political ,
cultural, economic, scientific truth -- even the fundamental processes
of nature, even human nature itself -- must give way to the faith-statements
of ideology, ruthlessly applied by unbending zealots.
Now, let's come back to the remark: "It
can be said that the "state of belief" of the observer
is a state itself, that may be more or less pure." Now, let's
consider what Gurdjieff said about the "matter of knowledge."
What, exactly, did he mean? If we suggest that experiences bring
knowledge to our "being", we might wish to look at a snippet
of dialogue with the C's from May 27, 2000:
Q: (L) Moving along to the next question: we have been discussing
memories and how memories of, say, past lives are stored, and
that leads to the question of what is the structure and composition
of the soul? How does the soul remember? How does it carry its
memories from lifetime to lifetime, from body to body, whether
simultaneous or sequential? How does the soul "store" them?
A: Has to do with atomic principles. These with gravity present
the borderland for the material and the nonmaterial. Which theoretical
atomic particulates would you think form the basis here? Q: (L)
How about tachyons?
A: Maybe neutrons?
Q: (A) Neutrons? Or neutrinos?
Q: (A) Well, first they say neutrons, then neutrinos. Or "maybe
neutrons." I say "neutrinos" and they say "yes." So a "maybe"
is only a pointer. Neutrinos are funny particles because they
are massless. But, some people don't believe that neutrinos exist.
My guess would be neutrinos. Do they exist?
A: Okay, we are going to throw caution to the "winds," and say
Q: (L) In terms of these neutrinos and soul composition, how
are memories formed or held or patterned with these neutrinos?
A: Contained within for release when and if suitable.
Q: (L) Memories are contained within the neutrinos?
A: Sort of.
Q: (L) Are they contained within patterns formed by the neutrinos?
Q: (L) So, that means that if one "consciousness unit," or soul,
has more memories or experiences than another consciousness unit,
it would have more neutrinos?
Q: (B) Different patterns?
Q: (L) What's the difference?
A: More data per unit, sort of.
Q: (L) Does that mean that an individual neutrino can be, in
and of itself, more "dense" in data, so to speak?
A: So to speak.
Q: (L) Does this increased density of data change the nature
or function of the individual neutrino?
A: Maybe it changes the function of the awareness, thus the environs.
Q: (L) Is there a specific number of neutrinos that constitutes
a consciousness unit, or soul?
A: Number is not quite the right concept. Orientation is closer.
Q: (L) What are the orientational options?
A: Vibrational frequencies.
Q: (L) Do the vibrational frequencies increase or decrease with
density of data?
A: Change; better not to quantify.
Such periods of mass madness... release a very great quantity
of the matter of knowledge. This, in turn, necessitates the work
of collecting this matter of knowledge which would otherwise be
And the C's have said that memories/experiences are Contained within
neutrinos - More data per unit, sort of - for release when and if
Then, of course, we come to this:
Life is religion. Life experiences reflect how one interacts
with God. Those who are asleep are those of little faith in terms
of their interaction with the creation. Some people think that
the world exists for them to overcome or ignore or shut out. For
those individuals, the worlds will cease. They will become
exactly what they give to life. They will become merely a
dream in the "past." People who pay strict attention to objective
reality right and left, become the reality of the "Future."
Adolf Hitler was an individual whose mandate was to "re-create"
the world in exactly the same way George Bush seeks to create a
"We're an empire now, and when we
act, we create our own reality," he said. "And while you're studying
that reality, we'll act again, creating other new realities, which
you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're
history's actors ... and you, all of you, will be left to just
study what we do."
The Bush Insider who enunciated the above doctrine ridiculed the
idea of judiciously studying reality and attempting to determine
how the Universe sees itself. In short, they believe that the world
exists for them to overcome, ignore or shut out. This is at the
root of the Bush Administration attitude toward science. Certainly
it seems that they have "used" science when it serves
their own purposes, but there is something very important to learn
about how they go about "creating" their own reality.
Over the past 50 years or so, scientists have discovered that biofeedback
techniques can teach people to control their own bodies in various
ways. It is known that there is a connection between the mind and
the immune system. Many physical problems are now understood to
be psychosomatic, and the placebo effect has been demonstrated time
and again. It seems pretty obvious that if you can convince your
subconscious mind of something, your body will consider it to be
true and it will "manifest" as true.
Mizrach tells us about lamas in Tibet who can:
"survive through freezing cold, go without food or water
for amazing periods of time, suspend vital functions (such as
heartbeat) for hours, or stop bleeding or injury. Islamic religious
mystics can be so "enraptured" that they pierce their flesh with
hooks and lie on sword blades; "possessed" Haitian voodoo houngans
chew glass and razor blades; "ecstatic" Fijians walk across blazing
hot coals; and all do this without pain or injury. Christian mystics
have a long history of self-inflicted pain, but a much lesser
record of avoiding injury or death (hence the high number of Christian
martyrs.) Some, like the Welsh Revivalists of 1905, have done
some amazing things, like slam each other with sledgehammers or
mauls, to little effect.
"When the mystics are asked how they perform such feats,
they claim that they empty their mind of all thoughts except one,
which is usually their key concept of the Divine or sacred. Sufi
dervishes dance endlessly without fatigue, claiming they are so
"filled with G-d" that they cannot feel anything, not even exhaustion.
"Martial artists in the Orient fill their mind with their
characteristic yell, which allows them to focus ch'i to do the
unthinkable, such as shattering brick. The Tibetan lamas claim
that when the mind concentrates properly on its own Buddha-nature
(mantras, yantras, mandalas, breathing, and yoga are all important
techniques), all the Siddhas are possible, including the creation
of thought-forms (tulpas) with a reality of their own."
But here, it is extremely important to understand that we are only
talking about an individual's control over their own body or their
own perception of reality. That says nothing at all about controlling
the external reality. Indeed, our cognitive structure - personality,
attitudes, preconceptions, worldview, socialization, enlanguagement,
etc. - shapes our perception of reality but, so far, the evidence
for being able to actually construct, create, and/or transform the
external, consensus reality is severely lacking. I discussed this
The evidence of "advanced spirituality" in our world is severely
lacking in spite of the New Age claims that "light workers" can
"help bring forth the ascension for the masses before physical
death, before totally wearing out the physical body in resistance
to evolution. Much more energy can be expended on the positive
and much less wasted on the negative."
Again, we note that objective reality does not support such a
claim. If anything, since the inception of the New Age "movement,"
if it can be so called, things have gotten a lot worse.
This leads to another point: it seems that we must accept the
objective fact that attempts to change the world spiritually,
or to regulate large scale events, simply do not work.
Yes, there does seem to be evidence that individuals or small
groups of individuals can make small changes or produce effects
with a limited range of influence. But for some reason, the world
as it is, seems to operate based on rules or laws that we do not
understand. The fundamental nature of the physical world seems
to be antithetical to this "spiritualization."
One recent work that attempts to provide a scientific explanation
for this ability to influence the world, Conscious Acts of
Creation, tells us:
This book marks a sharp dividing line between old ways of
scientific thought and old experimental protocols, wherein human
qualities of consciousness, intention, emotion, mind and spirit
cannot significantly affect physical reality, and a new paradigm
wherein they can robustly do so!
The book, written by three mainstream scientists, goes on to
tell us that:
…utilizing a unique experimental protocol on both inanimate
and animate systems, that the human quality of focused intention
can be made to act as a true thermodynamic potential and strongly
influence experimental measurements for a variety of specific
After almost 400 pages of math and speculation and descriptions
of experiments we are told:
Under some conditions, it is indeed possible to attach an aspect
of human consciousness, a specific intention, to a simple electrical
device and have that device, when activated, robustly influence
an experiment conducted in its vicinity in complete accord with
the attached intention. Thus, if they do it right, humans can
influence their environment via specific, sustained intentions.
Some new field appears to be involved in the information passage
that occurs between conditioned locales that are widely separated
from each other in physical space. Even with transmitters and
receivers located inside electrically grounded Faraday cages,
highly correlated patterns of information appeared in the remotely
Although we don't fully understand them, we now have some new
tools with which to probe the deeper structures of the universe
and a new adventure is underway for humanity. [Tiller, William
A., Ph.D., Dibble, Walter E., Ph.D., Kohane, Michael J., Ph.D.,
Conscious Acts of Creation (Walnut Creek: Pavior 2001) (www.pavior.com)]
It is important to note that the "intenders" of the experiments
were long-time practitioners of Siddha Yoga and could thus be
considered metaphysically "in tune" to some considerable extent.
The question is: What did they accomplish? Based on the descriptions,
it sounds pretty earth shaking, right?
Well, as noted, after almost 400 pages we find that the most
significant result seems to have been changing the pH of a small
sample of water.
Yup. That's it.
Let's go back to Mizrach's remark: "Christian
mystics have a long history of self-inflicted pain, but a much lesser
record of avoiding injury or death (hence the high number of Christian
This should give us some pause to consider carefully just how likely
it is that Bush and Co will accomplish what they wish no matter
how hard they "wishfully think." All we have to do is
look at Hitler's attempt to do the same thing to realize that such
hubris inevitably leads to a clash with the universe itself. We
could also cite many other historical attempts of similar nature
that ended equally disastrously.
For example, the Crusade against the Cathars was supposed to eradicate
heresy. This crusade symbolized Western Civilization in a profound
way: a particular view of God and the Universe was going to be forced
on all peoples. The church sought to outlaw ancient beliefs whether
Roman or Celtic, or to take them over and turn it to profitable
use. The result was twofold: First, the creative energy of
the West was almost wholly canalized into a religious life that
was quite simply paganism with a thin veneer of something called
"Christianity." Second: far from eradicating the Catharist
heresy, the Crusade against it actually renewed and redoubled its
strength so that, in the end, the only way to achieve the goal was
to obliterate everything which made up the living tradition of the
Languedoc. The unintended result of this crusade was that the moral
authority of the Catholic Church was destroyed forever, and the
foundations on which that authority rested was broken giving way
to the Protestant Reformation.
Yes, it took hundreds of years; the wheels of Cosmic Justice grind
slow, but they grind exceeding fine. And it seems that the rate
of grinding is accelerating.
In our present time, we are still experiencing the repercussions
of this frantic urge to incarnate the divine, to give it concrete
shape, to make it material, to "create your own reality"
at the expense of other human beings. The result is always and inevitably,
a standoff against the Universe, and that's a staring contest that
no one has won yet.
Steve Mizrach writes:
Belief systems have often been created to shape the mind into
narrow reality-tunnels that exclude other modes of perception.
If you can control what people believe - as Hitler, Stalin, and
other dictators realized - you have a method of coercion better
than a thousand tanks or the death penalty. The so-called holy
wars of religion and the Inquisition were waged in the name of
belief, the idea being that either you believed in the True Religion
or you were deserving of death. As Robert Anton Wilson points
out, convictions make convicts - rigidity of belief and ideological
dogmatism ("there is only one true way") have restrained and distorted
the human spirit for thousands of years. People will do things
they wouldn't otherwise - such as suicide bombings or kamikaze
dives - in the name of religious or nationalistic beliefs.
The problem of the human race has not been a lack of belief,
it has been a surplus of it.
He who can get us to believe in an ideology has us under his
And this is certainly where the danger comes in:
if we believe someone whose beliefs are orthogonal to the reality
of the Universe, then we, too, get sucked into the maelstrom of
chaos... slowly. As EEQT suggests:
If, on the other hand, the expectation of the observer is close
to the negation of the actual state (that is when the observer's
beliefs are closer to being false than to being true according
to the ACTUAL state - the objective reality), then the state of
the system, typically, will jump into a state that is more chaotic,
less organized. Moreover, it will take, as a rule, much longer
time to accomplish such a jump.
Yet, it does seem on the surface that those who control ideological
apparatuses can therefore control reality. But if we take the example
of the Crusades and the Catholic Church, or WW II and Hitler, we
can see that such attempts to control reality always result in disaster
for those who dare such hubris. As it says in the Apocalypse of
13:10 He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity:
he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword.
Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.
For over 50 years, the American people have been being slowly guided
into that narrow reality tunnel. At the present moment, the Bush
administration seems to be able to control what America believes
to such an extent that America actually believes that Bush won the
election. What is worse is that the rest of the world believes that
Bush won the election - that he was actually elected in a fair and
democratic process. And yet, anyone who takes the time to carefully
examine the charade of John Kerry "running against" George
Bush can easily see that it was just a drama staged to give the
impression of a "free election."
"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times..."
We stand upon the precipice.
LITTLE EGG HARBOR, N.J. - (KRT)
- The custodians at Little Egg Harbor Township Intermediate School
heard a strange noise Wednesday night - as if someone were running
across the roof - that could not be explained even when police officers
In the morning, the mystery grew when school staff found hunks
of metal that had punctured ceiling tiles in several classrooms
and scuffed the floors.
The metal, it turned out, had come from an altitude of 7,000 feet.
An Air National Guard fighter plane had strafed the school on a
By Thursday morning, police had roped off the school, the military
had begun an investigation and the township rumor mill had spun
a story that the school had been bombed.
Military officials called the firing an accident and said they
had no idea why the plane's Vulcan cannon blasted 1.5-inch-long
20 mm training rounds at the school. No one was injured.
They would not give the pilot's name or rank, saying that was the
policy during an investigation. They also would not say what discipline
the pilot could face.
The pilot was flying one of two F-16s from the 113th Wing of the
District of Columbia Air National Guard that took off Wednesday
night from Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland. They were headed
for Warren Grove, a bombing range in Ocean County, N.J., where they
were supposed to fire their nonexplosive rounds. The range is about
3 1/2 miles from the school.
"He inadvertently discharged the weapon. He was not in the
act of aiming the gun at anything," said Col. Brian Webster,
commander of the 177th Fighter Wing of the New Jersey Air National
Guard, of the incident. "We do not know exactly why the gun
The New Jersey Air National Guard operates the range.
The warplanes returned to Andrews Air Force Base as scheduled.
John R. La Montagne, Ph.D.,
deputy director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious
Diseases (NIAID) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), died
suddenly in Mexico City on November 2, 2004. He was 61.
“All of us are profoundly saddened by the loss of John La
Montagne,” said NIAID Director Anthony S. Fauci, M.D. “Personally,
he was a dear friend and one of the finest people I have ever known.
Professionally, in an NIH career spanning nearly 30 years, his leadership
and commitment to improving global health were remarkable. His generosity,
wit, even-handedness and kindness made him a friend to all who knew
him. He will be sorely missed.”
Tommy G. Thompson, Secretary of the Department of Health and Human
Services, the parent agency of NIH, said, "We mourn the passing
of John La Montagne, a true public health hero whose leadership,
especially in the realm of infectious diseases, left the world a
healthier place. His passing is a tremendous loss for all of us."
Elias A. Zerhouni, M.D., NIH Director, said, “John La Montagne
devoted his life to improving the health of children and adults
here and abroad. His leadership and counsel have been invaluable
in NIH research efforts to fight emerging and re-emerging diseases,
including biodefense research activities. I count myself lucky to
have known and worked with John.”
Dr. La Montagne, a native of Mexico City, Mexico, received his
Ph.D. from Tulane University in 1971. In 1976, he came to NIH as
the Influenza Program Officer at the NIAID. He became the Program
Officer for the Viral Vaccines Program in 1983, and the Influenza
and Viral Respiratory Diseases Program Officer in 1984. Beginning
in 1986, Dr. La Montagne assumed the role of Director of the AIDS
Program. In 1987 he was appointed Director of the Microbiology and
Infectious Diseases Program, which became a Division in 1988. Dr.
La Montagne was appointed Deputy Director of the NIAID in February
Dr. La Montagne made significant contributions
to the national and international effort against emerging and re-emerging
infectious diseases, including biodefense-related activities, and
has been recognized internationally for his leadership in this area.
He chaired the WHO Task Force on Strategic
Planning for the Children’s Vaccine Initiative, advised
the Pan American Health Organization on their programs in vaccine
research implementation, and served as a member of the board of
the Global Alliance for Tuberculosis Drug Development. Dr. La Montagne
also served as a member of the Biomedical Research Confederation
Executive Steering Committee at Ft. Detrick, Maryland, and as co-chair
of the Research and Development Gaps Working Group, a component
of the Weapons of Mass Destruction Subcommittee of the National
Science and Technology Council. His outstanding administrative
leadership at NIH included membership on the NIH Community Advisory
Board for Security and the recently formed NIH Ethics Advisory Committee.
As an influential contributor to the field of infectious diseases,
Dr. La Montagne delivered numerous major lectures all over the world.
He received many prestigious awards for his scientific accomplishments,
including the PHS Special Recognition Award for leadership in childhood
vaccine research programs, the Surgeon General’s Certificate
of Appreciation, the Presidential Meritorious Executive Rank Award,
the Distinguished Executive Award for his work in the areas of infectious
diseases research of global health relevance, the Secretary’s
Award for Distinguished Service for leadership of acellular pertussis
vaccine trials, and most recently the Secretary’s Award for
Distinguished Service for design and implementation of critically
important biodefense strategies.
the influenza vaccine could be expanded by up to five times by changing
how the shot is given — administering a small dose under the
skin rather than a larger dose into muscle, two teams of researchers
The new technique, which is already used for some other types of
vaccines, produces just as strong an immune response as the conventional
approach, studies in a relatively small number of humans have shown.
The findings probably come too late to have much effect on this
year's flu vaccine shortage, experts said, but should provide increased
flexibility in handling future outbreaks.
Using a reduced dosage could have "important
public health implications," said Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, director
of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
Dr. Myron J. Levin of the University of Colorado Health Sciences
Center, chairman of the government's vaccine advisory panel, cautioned
that the studies show only that recipients developed antibodies
against the flu virus, not that they were protected from infection.
He said more studies would be needed before the government could
officially recommend the technique.
Dr. Gregory Glenn of biotech company Iomai Corp., co-author of
one of the studies, urged that the studies begin soon in case Chiron
Corp. — whose vaccine plant closure in Liverpool, England,
was responsible for the current shortage — is unable to produce
vaccine next year as well.
"We could, if we get going soon, expand this to enough people
that we could recommend the approach with confidence for next year,"
Iomai, located in Gaithersburg, Md., is developing
new ways to administer vaccines under the skin. Because the skin
is normally in contact with the hostile world of germs, he said,
it has a much more competent immune system than the muscles, where
vaccines are traditionally administered. As a result, smaller doses
can be used.
The second study was conducted by Dr. Robert B. Belshe and his
colleagues at Saint Louis University and the University of Rochester.
The two papers, plus an editorial by Fauci and Dr.
John R. La Montagne of the National Institute of Allergies
and Infectious Diseases, are scheduled for publication in the Nov.
25 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, but were published
online Wednesday because of the current flu vaccine shortage.
Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin has been
Mr Rabin was shot three times at close range in the stomach and
chest by an assailant as he left a peace rally in Tel Aviv earlier
He was taken to hospital in Tel Aviv where he later died.
The gunman, named as Yigal Amir, was rapidly overpowered and arrested.
He is believed to be one of the founders of an illegal Jewish
settlement on the West Bank and a member of an extreme right-wing
The rally at which Mr Rabin was shot was attended by about 100,000
Israelis who back the Rabin government's peace initiatives with
Security was tight but police allowed right-wing groups, who oppose
any peace deal, to protest nearby.
Israel TV said Yigal Amir, 27, had confessed to shooting the prime
minister and had told investigators that he did not regret his actions.
Has the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin in
November 1995 been adequately closed by the arrest, conviction and
life sentence now being served by Yigal Amir for the killing? Not
according to some observers both inside and outside of Israel. Many
of the unresolved issues are summarized and contextualized in an
article on the affair by Victor Ostrovsky, a former Mossad case
officer now based in Canada, who claims that "Rabin
was murdered in a well-orchestrated assassination carried out by
extremist right-wing officers of the Shabak. The man sitting in
jail is only a puppet triggerman, the kind a clever agitator could
get to do just about anything."
In his article, ("Commission Report Leaks Make Strong Case
for Complicity of Shabak Officers in Rabin Assassination,"
The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, January/February 1998,
Pages 30, 111-112) Ostrovsky combines his own expert understanding
about intelligence procedures along with disturbing information
reported in the media in the wake of the assassination. In addition,
explains Ostrovsky, in November 1997, the Netanyahu government unexpectedly
made available "astounding" details about the assassination
from portions of the Shamgar Commission report, the official government
investigation into the assassination. Ostrovsky believes that the
Netanyahu government released the secret information in the wake
of its own intelligence fiasco in Amman, Jordan in September 1997,
"in order to prove the responsibility of the Shabak for the
murder" [of Rabin].
Perhaps the most troubling intelligence
lapse of the affair is the question of how Yigal Amir was able to
penetrate the safe zone where Rabin's bulletproof car was parked.
No doubt the security services were embarrassed when an amateur
videotape later revealed a clearly nervous Yigal Amir pacing about
in the safe zone before the assassination. Amir's
presence there was no security lapse, argues Ostrovsky. He believes
that Amir must have been deliberately allowed into the area with
the express permission of the Shabak authorities.
Ostrovsky points to several other well known disquieting facts
about the case. Rabin had only one bodyguard
the night he was killed. That man left his side supposedly to go
to Leah Rabin. According to Ostrovsky, standing orders strictly
forbid a bodyguard to leave the Prime Minister. Also, many people,
including Leah Rabin, heard someone shout "blank, blank"
just after the shots were fired. Right after the shots, Avishai
Raviv, a Shabak informer revealed to be an associate of Amir, sent
a wireless message to the media saying, "We failed this time,
we will succeed next time".
According to Ostrovsky, portions of the Shamgar Commission report
released by Netanyahu detail Raviv's undercover activities inciting
hatred and opposition against Rabin. It was informer Raviv and his
group who printed and distributed the infamous poster of Rabin in
an SS uniform. They also were the ones who carried the mock coffin
with Rabin's name on it during the Likud rallies.
The key to understanding the assassination, Ostrovsky explains,
lies in the technique that the Shabak has
long employed of allowing a "controlled release of hostile
energy," to deal with potential terrorists. "The
assumption is that there is a subcurrent in the population that
is militant in its nature and that, sooner or later, will produce
an act of terror. As there is no way for the security services to
be everywhere at all times, they infiltrate the movement and then
bring about the anticipated terrorist action when and where it is
most convenient for the security services to act."
"As they are `in on the act,' the security service, i.e.
the Shabak, can replace the real bullets with blanks or, as in the
case of the Jewish underground, replace live explosives with duds.
The Shabak believes that in doing so it creates the cause for an
arrest while preventing an actual act of terrorism."
Ostrovsky believes that a plot was hatched by the Shabak for "a
controlled release of hostility." The Shabak planned that Amir
would believe he was going to kill Rabin, but would instead be given
blank bullets. Ostrovsky believes that an
as yet unexposed Shabak official decided to use real bullets in
order to eliminate Rabin.
ISRAELI intelligence officers were called
to a meeting today to discuss reports that Palestinian leader Yasser
Arafat's health had sharply deteriorated, security sources said.
Defence Minister Shaul Mofaz called the meeting
of top officials from Mossad, its domestic security counterpart
Shin Beth and army intelligence.
Army chief of staff Moshe Yaalon was also to convene a meeting
of Israeli military commanders based in the Palestinian territories,
the sources said.
The body of the millionaire newspaper publisher, Robert Maxwell,
has been found in the sea off the coast of Tenerife.
Mr Maxwell's body was discovered at approximately 1800 local time
(1700 GMT) and flown to Gran Canaria for identification.
The publisher had been cruising in the Canary Isles aboard his
luxury yacht, the Ghislaine.
He is thought to have gone overboard early this morning but was
not reported missing until about 1100 local time (1000 GMT) when
he failed to answer a telephone call.
Two helicopters, rescue launches and a dozen ships were then sent
to the area to assist in the search.
It is not yet known how Mr Maxwell ended up overboard.
After Robert Maxwell's death it emerged that
the Mirror Group's debts vastly outweighed its assets and £440m
was missing from the company's pension funds.
In 1996, after an eight-month trial, Kevin and Ian Maxwell and
another man, Larry Trachtenberg, were cleared of conspiracy to defraud
Mirror Group pensioners.
In 2001 the Department of Trade and Industry released a report
into the Maxwell affair which said "primary responsibility"
for the collapse of the Maxwell business empire lay with its founder.
Robert Maxwell's contact was
not in the best of moods when he received a call on a special secure
line at the Israeli embassy in Madrid. Maxwell was phoning from
London, saying it was imperative that a meeting be set up. He was
willing to come to Madrid.
The ties between Maxwell and the Mossad went back a long way.
Elements within the Mossad had offered to finance Maxwell's first
big business ventures, and in later years Maxwell received inside
information on global matters from the Office. Maxwell was originally
codenamed "the Little Czech," and the sobriquet stuck.
Only a handful of people in the Israeli intelligence community knew
who the Little Czech was, yet he provided an unending supply of
slush money for the organization whenever it ran low.
For years, Maxwell would hit financial lows whenever
the Mossad was in the midst of expensive operations that could not
be funded legitimately and when other less legitimate sources were
unavailable, as was the case after the American invasion of Panama
in 1990, which dried up the Mossad's income from drug trafficking
and forced Maxwell to dig deep into his corporate pockets.
But the Mossad had used its ace in the hole one time too many.
Asking Maxwell to get involved in a matter of secondary importance
(namely, the Vanunu affair) had been a big mistake, for which the
media mogul would be made to pay the price.
That involvement caused suspicion in the British Parliament that
there was no smoke without fire, particularly after the publication
of a book by an American reporter claiming Maxwll was a Mossad agent.
Maxwell retaliated in a lawsuit, but the ground was starting to
burn under his feet. The Mossad was late in giving him back his
money, and the usual last-minute rescue of his financial empire
was looking less and less feasible.
For Maxwell, what was already bad was about to get worse. His call
couldn't have been more poorly timed. Israel
was participating in a peace negotiation process that the Mossad
top clique believed would be detrimental to the country's security.
At the same time, news was reaching the Office of a growing scandal
caused by Mossad involvement in Germany. This scandal was a result
of Uri's having made a call to the Hamburg River Police informing
them that a shipment of arms was about to be loaded onto an Israeli
The arms consisted of Soviet tanks and antiaircraft equipment,
concealed in large crates marked agricultural equipment. The shipment
had been arranged with the help of the BND, without the knowledge
of the German government or the Ministry of Defense. It was exactly
the same equipment that the Ministry of Defense had refused to send
to Israel in March of the same year, because they believed the shipment
would defy the German law forbidding the shipment of war materiel
to a conflict zone.
The Mossad's right-wing element wasn't sure to what extent this
scandal would grow. They remembered very well the scandal that had
occurred in 1978 when the German police had allowed Mossad officers
posing as German intelligence officers to interrogate Palestinians
in German prisons. If the German government could contain the situation,
things would be fine. But once the story was in the hands of the
media, there was no telling where it would go.
And then came this call from Maxwell, insisting he must meet his
contact on a matter of great urgency. The mogul was rebuffed at
first, but then he issued a veiled threat: Now that he was being
investigated by Parliament and the British media, if he wasn't able
to straighten out his financial affairs, he wasn't sure he could
keep the Kryuchkov meeting a secret.
What he was referring to (and in doing so, he sealed his fate)
was a meeting that he'd helped arrange between the Mossad liaison
and the former head of the KGB, Vladimir Kryuchkov, who was now
jailed in Number Four Remand Center in Moscow for his role in the
Soviet Union's August coup to oust Mikhail Gorbachev.
At that meeting, which took place on Maxwell's yacht at anchor
in Yugoslav waters, Mossad support for the plot to oust Gorbachev
was discussed. The Mossad promised to bring
about, through its politlcal connections, an early recognition of
the new regime, as well as other logistical assistance for the cop.
In exchange, it requested that all Soviet Jews be released, or rather
expelled, which would create a massive exodus of people that would
be too large to be absorbed by other countries and would therefore
go to Israel.
Certain right-wingers within the government had believed this meeting
with the coup plotters was a necessity. They
knew that if the Soviet Union were to stop being the enemy, there'd
no longer be a threat from the East, and the strategic value of
Israel to its greatest ally, the United States, would diminish.
Alliances between the United States and the Arab nations in the
region would then be a realistic prospect.
It was Maxwell who'd helped create the ties with the now-defunct
KGB. The right-wingers realized it would be a devastating blow to
Israel's standing in the West if the world were to learn that the
Mossad had participated in any way, as minute as that participation
might be, in the attempted coup to stop the democratization of the
Soviet Union. It would be perceived as treason against the
West. Maxwell was now using the Mossad's participation as a threat,
however veiled, to force an immediate burst of aid to his ailing
empire. His contact asked him to call back in a few hours.
A small meeting of right-wingers at Mossad
headquarters resulted in a consensus to terminate Maxwell.
At first, the participants thought it would take several weeks to
put together a plan, but then someone pointed out that the process
could be accelerated if the Little Czech could be made to travel
to a rendezvous where the Mossad would be waiting to strike.
Maxwell was asked to come to Spain the following day. His contact
promised that things would be worked out and that there was no need
to panic. The mogul was asked to sail on his yacht to Madeira and
wait there for a message.
Maxwell arrived in Gibraltar on October 31, 1991, boarded his yacht,
the Lady Ghislaine, and set sail for Madeira, as instructed. There
he waited for directions. Meanwhile, the Mossad was getting read
to strike. On Friday, November 1, a special Mossad troubleshooting
team that was in Spain to cover the peace talks was dispatched.
The team flew to Morocco, where they were met by a confederate who'd
already taken care of all the necessary equipment and other arrangements.
At first, Maxwell was told that the meeting would take place in
Madeira and that he'd receive as much money as he needed to calm
the situation. Additional moneys would be advanced to him later.
All this was to be kept completely quiet, since there was no point
in providing more fodder for his enemies, who would have liked nothing
better than to show his direct connection to the Mossad.
On November 2, the Mossad learned that Maxwell had called his son
in England and scheduled a meeting with him on the island. Maxwell
was told to cancel the meeting. He was also told that the meeting
with the money people would now take place on the island of Tenerife.
When he reached Santa Cruz on the island of Tenerife, he headed
for a meeting in the Hotel Mency. As he dined alone in the hotel
restaurant, someone walked over to him and gave him a message indicating
that he should be in Los Cristos on the other side of the island
the next morning. He was to make his way there in his yacht, sailing
around the island of Grand Canary.
I learned all this in a phone conversation with Ephraim. He had
no idea how the Kidon team had managed to get to Maxwell at sea
while the yacht was cruising at fifteen knots, but making it look
impossible was part of the Kidon magic. Some time during the night
of November 4-5, the Mossad's problem was laid to rest in the salty
waters of the Atlantic.
After an autopsy that raised more questions than it answered, a
second autopsy was held in Israel under the watchful eye of the
security apparatus. Whatever was not detected then was buried forever
on Mount of Olives in Jerusalem, the resting place for the nation's
most revered heroes.
"He had done more for Israel than can today be said,"
Prime Minister Shamir eulogized at Maxwell's burial
Yasser Arafat has lapsed into a coma, a senior
Palestinian official said today after the ailing leader was rushed
into intensive care at a French military hospital following a sharp
deterioration in his health.
The Israeli military was placed on high alert, and was following
the developments closely, security sources said.
The Israeli army has a contingency plan,
called New Leaf, to deal with any fallout from Arafat’s death,
including possible Palestinian riots.
The military has not yet moved forces to anticipated
problem areas, but commanders were told to be on standby.
There was some confusion over the state of Arafat’s health.
Two Arafat aides denied he was in a coma, and French hospital and
military officials would not comment on the ailing Arafat’s
The 75-year-old Palestinian leader was rushed for emergency treatment
to the Percy Military Training Hospital outside Paris last Friday.
Since then, his condition has largely remained a mystery, with Palestinians
issuing conflicting reports about his health.
A senior Palestinian with close access to the French medical team
insisted today Arafat was comatose – but would not say when
he lost consciousness.
But Mohammed Rashid, Arafat’s financial adviser, strongly
denied reports that Arafat had slipped into a coma. [...]
But Israeli media, citing Israeli intelligence officials, said
Arafat suffered organ failure and that he had lost consciousness
several times. The Maariv newspaper said Arafat’s condition
was "very critical."
But some of Arafat’s top aides denied there
had been any setback and accused Israel of spreading rumours.
"These unfounded reports are not coming from French medical
teams, these are leaks from the Israeli side," said Mohammed
Dahlan, a former Palestinian security chief. [...]
Israeli Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom said Israel is tracking
Arafat’s health "very carefully.
"Our goal is to prepare for the day after, if and when he
dies," he said.
Israeli intelligence was widely criticised after it was caught
off guard last week by the sudden deterioration in Arafat’s
Shalom said his condition "is very serious", but gave
no details. At the same time, he said: "it is too soon to eulogise
The Israel Defense Forces recently conducted
a simulation "war game" about what would happen the day
after Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat passes away.
The exercise examined several possible scenarios and how Arafat's
death - by natural causes - would
influence the domestic situation in the Palestinian Authority and
its relations with Israel. The Central Command exercises involved
senior officers; apparently, the General Staff will continue where
the Central Command officers left off.
Security sources told Haaretz that the exercise was not the result
of any new information about the state of Arafat's health.
Last fall there was speculation about the 75-year-old's health
after he appeared to be fatigued and gaunt, but after medical treatment
he seemed to be feeling fine.
The army regards "the day after" as
a "new chapter" in PA - and Palestinian - history. The
assumption is that everything that will take place - the funeral,
the mass demonstrations, power struggles for the leadership - will
lead to a change in the Palestinians' strategic relationship with
The exercise included issues like where the funeral would be held,
the route it would travel, the possibility of violent demonstrations,
loss of control by the PA, and attempts by the Hamas to forcibly
grab power in Gaza.
There is also growing speculation in the PA about what happens
on the day after. Channel 2 reported this week that Arafat wants
a crypt for himself on the Haram al-Sharif, the Temple Mount, where
there are graves of many past Palestinian leaders.
Once again, the United States has shot itself
in the foot and managed to damage the rest of the world in the process.
The consequences that will ensue from Tuesday's presidential election
will reach clear around the world.
At home, Americans will see a continued trend of wealth concentration
with those at the very top of the income scale, further job losses,
the continuation of a slave-labour minimum wage and a greater number
of the homeless and those without health care. There will be continued
restriction of cheaper drugs for seniors and completely inequitable
tax cuts for the super-rich. Fringe issues will be routinely used
as distractions, promoting an agenda of division and deception.
The insane weaponization of space will proceed.
There's almost certain to be a Supreme Court packed with conservative
judges, thereby threatening the Roe v. Wade decision, slowing medical
advances that would have resulted from stem cell research and continuing
the oppression of the country's gay citizens.
In the Middle East, innocent young Americans who wanted to serve
their country will continue to be tossed into a meat grinder for
the sole purpose of enriching corporations like Halliburton. Who
knows? With his doctrine of "pre-emptive war," George
W. Bush may decide to expand the conflict to Iran, North Korea,
etc. The gap between the Islamic world and the West will mirror
the division of the "two Americas," for while there was
no connection between Al Qaeda and Iraq in the beginning, it will
now most certainly become a rich source of recruitment for Osama
bin Laden and his ilk. Continuing U.S. resistance to international
law, combined with this administration's open contempt for the United
Nations, will further erode the emerging world order. Around the
globe, respect for America will continue to degrade into contempt
and resentment, as even moderate former allies become ever more
mistrustful of an increasingly rogue state.
Bush's victory was largely due to two groups, demonstrating two
truly appalling ironies: The most corrupt administration in recent
years has been returned to office, in part, by evangelical Christians
citing "moral" values. And those frightened about national
security and the so-called "war on terror" have given
a second term to the very man who has so dramatically escalated
the tensions in an already dangerous world.
Given the swaggering arrogance exhibited by Bush when operating
on a razor-thin and arbitrary mandate, it is truly horrifying to
contemplate his future behaviour, with a genuine election win behind
him. My sincere condolences, America; you, (and Canada and the rest
of the world) are in for very dark times ahead.
Maybe we should be seriously thinking about
I bet if we got this on the ballot in all 50 states that even the
jesus states would vote to let us go. We'll tell 'em its a moral
WASHINGTON - With the Democratic Party splattered
at his feet in little blue puddles, John Kerry told the crushed
crowd at Faneuil Hall in Boston about his concession call to President
"We had a good conversation," the senator said. "And
we talked about the danger of division in our country and the need,
the desperate need, for unity, for finding the common ground, coming
together. Today I hope that we can begin the healing."
Democrat: Heal thyself.
W. doesn't see division as a danger. He sees it as a wingman.
The president got re-elected by dividing
the country along fault lines of fear, intolerance, ignorance and
religious rule. He doesn't want to heal rifts; he wants to bring
any riffraff who disagree to heel.
W. ran a jihad in America so he can fight
one in Iraq - drawing a devoted flock of evangelicals, or
"values voters," as they call themselves, to the polls
by opposing abortion, suffocating stem cell research and supporting
a constitutional amendment against gay marriage.
Mr. Bush, whose administration drummed up fake evidence to trick
us into war with Iraq, sticking our troops in an immoral position
with no exit strategy, won on "moral issues."
The president says he's "humbled" and wants to reach
out to the whole country. What humbug. The
Bushes are always gracious until they don't get their way. If
W. didn't reach out after the last election, which he barely grabbed,
why would he reach out now that he has what Dick Cheney calls a
"broad, nationwide victory"?
While Mr. Bush was making his little speech about reaching out,
Republicans said they had "the green light" to pursue
their conservative agenda, like drilling in Alaska's wilderness
and rewriting the tax code.
"He'll be a lot more aggressive in
Iraq now," one Bush insider predicts. "He'll raze Falluja
if he has to. He feels that the election results endorsed his version
of the war." Never mind that
the more insurgents American troops kill, the more they create.
Just listen to Dick (Oh, lordy, is this cuckoo clock still vice
president?) Cheney, introducing the Man for his victory speech:
"This has been a consequential presidency which has revitalized
our economy and reasserted a confident American role in the world."
Well, it has revitalized the Halliburton segment of the economy,
anyhow. And "confident" is not the first word that comes
to mind for the foreign policy of a country that has alienated everyone
Vice continued, "Now we move forward to serve and to guard
the country we love." Only Dick Cheney can make "to serve
and to guard" sound like "to rape and to pillage."
He's creating the sort of "democracy" he likes. One
party controls all power in the country. One network serves as state
TV. One nation dominates the world as a hyperpower. One firm controls
contracts in Iraq.
Just as Zell Miller was so over the top at the G.O.P. convention
that he made Mr. Cheney seem reasonable, so several new members
of Congress will make W. seem moderate.
Tom Coburn, the new senator from Oklahoma, has advocated the death
penalty for doctors who perform abortions and warned that "the
gay agenda" would undermine the country. He also characterized
his race as a choice between "good and evil" and said
he had heard there was "rampant lesbianism" in Oklahoma
Jim DeMint, the new senator from South Carolina, said during his
campaign that he supported a state G.O.P. platform plank banning
gays from teaching in public schools. He explained, "I would
have given the same answer when asked if a single woman who was
pregnant and living with her boyfriend should be hired to teach
my third-grade children."
John Thune, who toppled Tom Daschle, is an anti-abortion Christian
conservative - or "servant leader," as he was hailed in
a campaign ad - who supports constitutional amendments banning flag
burning and gay marriage.
Seeing the exit polls, the Democrats immediately started talking
about values and religion. Their sudden passion for wooing Southern
white Christian soldiers may put a crimp in Hillary's 2008 campaign
(nothing but a wooden stake would stop it). Meanwhile, the blue
puddle is comforting itself with the expectation that this loony
bunch will fatally overreach, just as Newt Gingrich did in the 90's.
But with this crowd, it's hard to imagine what would constitute
BRUSSELS - An international medical aid group
that once won the Nobel Peace Prize is pulling out of Iraq, citing
the recent targeting of aid workers by militant groups.
Médecins Sans Frontières, also known as Doctors Without
Borders, said on Thursday that it has decided with "a great
degree of regret and sadness" to shut down its three aid centres
in Baghdad and to cancel plans to open a fourth in Fallujah.
"It has become impossible for MSF
as an organization to guarantee an acceptable level of security
for our staff, be they foreign or Iraqi ," said Gorik
Ooms, the general director of the Belgium-based group.
The three medical aid centres in Baghdad, being run by about 90
Iraqi nationals in the mainly Shia Muslim neighbourhood of Sadr
City, had seen more than 100,000 patients since January.
Last month, CARE International ended its operations in Iraq after
militants kidnapped its director in the country, Margaret Hassan.
Her captors have threatened to kill her unless Britain pulls its
troops out of Iraq.
TERRORIST attacks against US interests in
Uzbekistan might be imminent, the United States said. It warned
US citizens in the country "to exercise extreme caution".
"The United States Government has received information that
terrorist groups may be planning attacks against US interests in
Uzbekistan in the near future," the State Department said .
"We remind all Americans that terrorists do not distinguish
between official and civilian targets," it said.
"The Department of State urges Americans in Uzbekistan to
exercise extreme caution, including avoiding large crowds, celebrations,
and places where Westerners generally congregate," it said.
Ottawa — Prime Minister Paul Martin
moved immediately yesterday to begin fixing stubborn trade irritants
with a reinvigorated George W. Bush as he warned his MPs behind
closed doors to use restraint when passing judgment on Mr. Bush's
But even as he raised his concerns, one of his more outspoken
MPs continued to criticize the U.S. leader, referring to him yesterday
as a "war-like" man.
"He has been reconfirmed as their commander-in-chief,
and he is a war-like man," Carolyn Parrish said.
Ms. Parrish, who also said Mr. Bush's re-election
demonstrates that Americans are "out of step" with the
rest of the world, made the remarks after the Prime Minister
told caucus members they should refrain from commenting on who they
thought should have won. [...]
Edmonton - Hundreds of NAIT students and employees
were forced to evacuate a building Wednesday, after a bomb scare.
Police say about 2:30 p.m. someone called the parking office with
a bomb threat, which led to the main road through the campus being
closed. An explosives-sniffing dog was used, and police determined
the call was a hoax.
However, fire Capt. Jim Galellis says despite the fact the bomb
wasn't real, those leaving the building didn't know that and didn't
take the situation seriously enough.
"This day and age we really can't afford to treat these sorts
of things casually," he said. "I'm going to talk with
security at NAIT and we're going to have a talk and see if we can
get this a little bit more organized."
Police are investigating a possible suspect.
Schools in region forced to close amid
warnings of kidnappings
Bangkok - WARNINGS that Muslim insurgents may try to abduct Buddhist
teachers and students prompted most schools in the violence-wracked
southern provinces of Thailand to close yesterday, education officials
Education Minister Adisai Bodharamik said he had warned Buddhist
teachers in the three Muslim-majority provinces that they might
be targets of attacks and hostage-taking by the militants.
An official in Narathiwat, speaking on condition of anonymity,
said only 41 of the province's 351 schools remained open yesterday,
a day after a Buddhist local leader in the province was beheaded
by suspected rebels.
Most schools in Yala province and some in Pattani were also shut,
the official said.
The situation also prompted the United Nations to send out a warning
to its staff in Thailand [...]
Copenhagen — Hundreds of firefighters
contained a huge blaze at a fireworks factory Thursday, a day after
it broke out, setting off at least one explosion
as powerful as an earthquake. One
firefighter was killed and at least 20 homes were destroyed.
As many as 350 buildings, including private homes and small businesses,
may have been damaged by the fire at the N.P. Johnsens fireworks
factory in Kolding in western Denmark, 200 kilometres west of the
The blaze was thought to have started Wednesday when two containers
of fireworks were being loaded onto a truck, police said. It quickly
spread to a nearby building and led to a chain reaction of explosions.
One of the explosions was the equivalent of a magnitude-2 earthquake,
according to the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland.
It was unclear what caused the container to combust.
About 2,000 people living near the factory were evacuated as authorities
set up a security perimeter. It might take days before people can
return, police spokeswoman Gitte Schou said as firefighters worked
to cool the containers.
Although the plant has a licence to store 330
tonnes of fireworks, as much as 2,200 tonnes was stockpiled, police
A 33-year-old firefighter was killed and 17 people, including
firemen, rescue workers and police officers were treated for minor
burns and smoke inhalation, Ms. Schou said.
VICTORIA - Four more earthquakes were recorded
off the west coast of Vancouver Island on Wednesday.
The four quakes all had a magnitude of 3.2 or higher, with one
registering a magnitude of 3.9.
There had been a series of quakes rocked the area on Tuesday,
with one measuring up to 6.6 that was felt in Port Alice, Bamfield
and Alert Bay.
Seismologists say they were centred in an area about 200 kilometres
off the west coast of the Island.
No damage or injuries have been reported.
A magnitude 3 earthquake struck Western Montana
just after 6 a.m. Thursday, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.
The quake was recorded at 6:08 a.m. near Augusta, about 25 miles
south of Choteau and 65 miles west of Great Falls, according to
a preliminary report from USGS.
Montana earthquake officials had not received any calls as of
Thursday morning from anyone who felt the quake. Typically, a magnitude
3 earthquake will be more likely to be heard rather than felt -
creating sounds similar to distant rumbling or a large truck passing
“Unless you're very close to the epicenter, you'd barely notice
the event,” said Mike Stickney, director of the earthquake
studies office at the Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology.
Earthquakes can be common in Western Montana, especially along
the Rocky Mountain Front. A magnitude 3.9 earthquake was recorded
in that area in July 2000.
The president of the Australian Earthquake
Engineering Society has warned South Australians should be prepared
for another large earthquake.
The society's annual conference begins in Mount Gambier in the
state's south-east tomorrow.
The city has been chosen because it was the site of one earthquake
registering 6.5 on the Richter scale back in 1897.
Professor Mike Griffith says the scientific community is predicting
another big quake in the future. [...]
spectacular volcanic eruption under an Iceland glacier has forced
airlines to divert flights to avoid flying through gas emissions
from the blast.
The volcano first erupted on Monday, sending thick black smoke
and ash heading towards continental Europe.
Since then, Grímsvötn volcano has produced a steady
stream of ash and lava, with explosions sending
ash up to 12,000m (40,000 feet) in the air.
It is thought to have been caused by drainage of a lake under
Officials say people or homes are not at risk from the eruption
of Grímsvötn, which is in an unpopulated area of the
But ash from the eruption under Vatnajökull glacier - Iceland's
biggest - has landed in Norway, Sweden and Finland. The
eruption was also violent enough to set off earth tremors.
The ashfall in Iceland has caused some problems for wildlife in
the area. For instance, farmers have brought their sheep inside
to prevent them from grazing on land covered with shards of abrasive
"glass-like" material deposited by the eruption.
Oli Thor Arnarsson of the Icelandic Meteorological Office said
a change in the wind could send the cloud toward central Europe.
"We are speculating that the eruption should be clear tomorrow.
But if there are more eruptions, we may have ash over central Europe,"
Trans-Atlantic flights had been diverted south of Iceland to avoid
the ash cloud, and domestic flights to the northeast of Iceland
Dutch airline KLM said it had cancelled
59 flights, stranding hundreds of passengers at Amsterdam's Schiphol
Airport, because of the cloud of ash hanging above Europe.
"Because of company rules we can't fly below it and we can't
fly above it," said airport spokesman Frank Houben.
In addition to visibility problems, abrasive particles released
into the air by the volcano can get inside aircraft engines.
"It's the equivalent of sandblasting an aircraft engine with
grit," Dr Matthew J Roberts of the Icelandic Meteorological
Office in Reykjavik, Iceland, told the BBC News website.
"As the aeroplane draws in large quantities of air, suspended
particles cause abrasion inside the engine that can result in the
This happened once in 1989, when a 747 flew through an ash cloud
from an eruption of the Redoubt volcano in Alaska, US. The engines
stopped, causing the plane to lose several hundred feet in altitude.
Luckily, the pilots managed to restart the engines after several
attempts, averting a catastrophe.
Over the last few weeks, increased earthquake activity below the
Vatnajökull ice cap warned scientists that an eruption was
At 2010 GMT on Monday evening, scientists detected
a series of earthquakes from the Grímsvötn volcano beneath
Vatnajökull, prompting monitors to issue a public warning.
The earthquakes were followed at 2150 GMT by a sequence of volcanic
tremors that confirmed an eruption was underway. Shortly after,
doppler radar detected the first volcanic plume breaking through
"The volcano was maintained under pressure by the weight
of a lake above it. As the lake drained, this pressure was released,
allowing magma to rise to the surface," Dr Roberts explained.
"It was like lifting the lid off a pressure cooker."
Grímsvötn last erupted six years ago and before that
in 1995 and 1993, causing flooding.
The volcano lies on the Atlantic Rift, the meeting of the Euro
and American continental plates.
The three major volcanoes of Iceland - Hekla, Katla and Grímsvötn
- lie on the same fault line.
During the late 18th century, continuous volcanic
eruptions in Iceland heavily damaged a quarter of the island nation,
and blotted out the sun's light for several years.
Ancient explosion may have affected
climate and, possibly, human evolution.
Cosmic fallout from an exploding star dusted the Earth about 2.8
million years ago, and may have triggered a change in climate that
affected the course of human evolution. The evidence comes from
an unusual form of iron that was blasted through space by a supernova
before eventually settling into the rocky crust beneath the Pacific
Gunther Korschinek, a physicist from the Technical University of
Munich in Germany, leads a team who in 1999 found the first deposits
of supernova matter on Earth. But it was impossible to date the
supernova accurately from those samples, because the material was
distributed through several different layers of rock.
The team has now analysed a different piece of ocean crust, where
the supernova detritus is concentrated into a clear band of rock
that can be accurately dated. The researchers found small but significant
amounts of an isotope called iron-60 in the rock, which could only
have come from a supernova.
"We've looked at all the possibilities and we can't find
anything else that could produce such quantities," Korschinek
says. The researchers report their results in the latest issue of
Physical Review Letters.
"It represents an experimental triumph and a milestone in
this field," says Brian Fields, an astrophysicist from University
of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He argues that the result marks
the birth of a completely new area of research, which he calls "supernova
When the iron-60 arrived from space, it was evenly distributed
all over the Earth. But the signatures are only detectable in crust
that has lain undisturbed for millions of years, such as certain
parts of the Pacific Ocean floor. This particular crust was taken
from an area a few hundred kilometres southeast of the Hawaiian
Islands in 1980. It was collected by oceanographers who were investigating
the rocks as a potential source of rare mineral ores.
Korschinek estimates that the supernova was between about 100 and
200 light years away and happened 2.8 million years ago, give or
take 300,000 years. The explosion can't have been too close to Earth,
or it would have delivered enough radiation to cause mass extinctions.
Conversely, if the supernova was any further away, more of the iron-60
would have been filtered out by the thin wisps of matter drifting
between the stars.
This means the supernova would have been at the right distance
to spray out a stream of cosmic rays that could have increased the
cloud cover on Earth. Korschinek calculates that there may have
been 15% more cosmic rays arriving on Earth than normal for at least
100,000 years. This is not enough to actually kill anything, but
was perhaps sufficient to change the Earth's climate.
The increase in cloudiness would have cooled the surface, tying
up water as ice at the poles and leading to a dryer climate in Africa.
Climate records in rock cores match the dates of the supernova event.
"Some people believe this climate change in Africa was a driving
force in our own evolution," adds Korschinek. The argument
is that a drier climate in the continent would have forced humans
to adapt4, and to spread out to other, wetter areas.
| BANGKOK – The world's list of endangered
species is growing at an alarming and unprecedented rate as governments
pay less and less attention to green issues, a major global environmental
body said on Tuesday. The World Conservation Union, which also goes
under the acronym IUCN, said it would release a 'red list' of more
than 12,000 threatened species at the World Conservation Congress
in Thailand, which starts on November 17.
JOHOR BAHARU : A Singaporean driver is feared
dead after he was swept away by strong currents into a river during
Bernama news agency said Yong Poh Hong, in his 40s, and his friend
Ivan Ho, were traversing the flooded Jalan Tampoi Lama when the
car stalled at 4.32pm.
An Indonesian worker at a nearby petrol station, Mohd Khalid Abu,
24, told reporters the car stalled due to the flood waters.
He said both of them managed to get out of the
car but the driver was swept away by the rushing flood waters into
the swelling Sungai Kempas.
He said he then rushed to a nearby bridge with another Indonesian
worker Zakaria Satung, 25, hoping to save the victim who was popping
up and down in the water.
"At one point, Zakaria managed to
grasp the victim's hand but the strong currents pulled him away.
There was nothing we could do," said Mohd Khalid.
Johor Baharu Fire and Rescue Deputy Chief Rashid Hassan Murad
said a search and rescue operations had been mounted to locate the
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