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and extensive previously unpublished details, at long last, Laura Knight-Jadczyk's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!
Letter to the FBI
|By John Kaminski
Why do you protect criminals
instead of catching them?
In Ray Bradbury's famous sci-fi novel "Fahrenheit 451,"
firemen didn't put out fires, they started them. They burned books
— which were banned — and the houses that held them,
and then giggled salaciously as the dreams of innocent people went
up in flames.
This is an apt portrayal of what today's FBI has become, a cowardly
secret police protecting the evil interests of the powers that be
at the expense of ordinary citizens trying to live decent and honest
You trumpet your astute captures of spies such as Regan, Hanson,
and Ames, but you ignore the real spies, who are Perle, Wolfowitz,
and Kissinger, as well as the Democrats' golden Chinese geese, because
you are too corrupted and too chicken to confront the people with
the real money whose psychopathic agenda you preserve and protect.
To preserve and protect the rich and persecute the poor, that's
your motto. Destroy the Constitution to increase profits of the
wealthy? No problem for the FBI. Never has been.
Why else would Dick Simkanin be imprisoned for decades for merely
trying to prove a relatively trivial point about withholding taxes,
and Dick Cheney be running fat and free and still stealing billions
from the American people?
Why else would you have ignored esteemed General Benton Partin,
who proved conclusively that the courthouse in Oklahoma City was
blown outward by bombs inside the building, and not by some ineffectual
truck bomb that didn't even knock down a nearby tree?
Why else would you have the twisted temerity to pronounce the pre-9/11
investments as "not suspicious" when everyone in the world
knows that the ruthless manipulators who made those investments
know exactly who arranged the demolition of the World Trade Center
towers that caused the deaths of 3,000 innocent people? Even you
know they sure weren't Arabs. Nor Afghanis. Nor Iraqis.
There are thousands of people right now, members of the Council
on Foreign Relations and trustees of the big banks and financial
houses, who know exactly what happened on that terrible day, but
you won't go after them because they sign your paychecks. You love
your paycheck. To hell with the little people. Constitution vs.
paycheck. No contest.
You played right along with all these ruses, and so many, many
You promoted Ricks, supervisor of the senseless Waco slaughter,
and imprisoned Charles Sell, the hapless dentist who took those
X-rays of the corpses of the children who had bullets in their brains.
You gave a medal to sniper Lon Horiuchi for putting a bullet through
the head of Vicki Weaver while she was holding her baby in her arms,
then paid off her husband to keep quiet and got a whore judge to
say it wasn’t Horiuchi’s fault.
You didn’t say a thing when the Bushes and Scalia stole the
2000 election. Never an investigation into the minus-17,000 votes
Gore received in Volusia County.
And never an investigation into the World Trade Center catastrophe.
Quite an enviable record. America’s finest law enforcement
agency. Just like the fire department in Fahrenheit 451! Let ’er
I guess I’m writing this in hopes of reaching some young
agent not yet curdled by the perverted protocol that enables the
FBI to create Muslim terrorists in a Filipino terror training camp,
where the Oklahoma City and World Trade Center bombing schemes were
first hatched. But when Michael Meiring blew his legs off, the cat
came out of the bag, and now millions of astute people around the
world know that this bogus Muslim terror threat has really been
created by certain special departments of the FBI, the CIA, the
NSC, the NRO, MI-6, the Mossad, and other intelligence apparatuses
privy to this demonic agenda.
Most intelligent people around the world have figured out that
the bombings in Madrid, Bali, Istanbul, Yemen and elsewhere were
not accomplished by Islamic terrorists, but by highly paid cynics
from a number of different countries — Israel, South Africa,
and Chile, to name three — working for the same group that
invented the idea of false flag terror in Afghanistan, and perfected
some techniques in the Philippines, under the watchful eye of the
organization you work for.
Probably young FBI agents haven’t figured this all out yet.
They haven’t reached that Faustian point where they either
sell their souls to the devils incarnate named Ashcroft or Mueller,
or get booted out of the bureau.
This is really who I’m trying to tweak, trying to penetrate
the armor of their conditioning and make the point that if they
don’t honestly try to defend freedom — and not this
rhetorical George W. Bush zombie freedom concept, because that’s
the lie that’s accounting for all these needless murders all
over the planet .... if those young people who joined the FBI to
do the right thing still retain a scintilla of integrity, I need
to ask them: who is going to protect our liberty, pursue our justice,
if you don’t? Does it matter to you?
You need to know Army intelligence killed Martin Luther King. You
need to know Bobby Kennedy was shot by his bodyguard from behind.
You need to know JFK .... well, there’s simply so much to
say, a lot of it involving Israel, the Dulles brothers, and the
You get brought into the FBI in a totally brainwashed state, believing
the Bureau acts for the finest motives and highest ideals of law
and order. It can’t be very long before you begin to realize
a lot of the law enforcers act like crooks, including, very likely,
a lot of your own supervisors. The anthrax killer was very likely
one of your own.
You need to know one of your brethren could have stopped the 1993
World Trade Center truck bombing, but chose not to. You need to
know a lot of your brethren are into drug-smuggling up to their
Is this what you signed on for? To become part of America’s
ruthless and heartless and brainless and spinless and gutless Gestapo?
Well, in this day and age, perhaps you did.
But just in case you didn’t, we need to ask you this. We
need your help.
We need courageous individuals who aren’t afraid of the consequences
to blow the damn whistle on all these coverups. We need to know
who made the pre- 9/11 investments, because those people know who
planned the whole operation.
We need to know — as if we didn’t know — who
started everyone lying about Iraq, and made it OK to kill 100,000
people in Iraq last year for reasons that we all know are lies.
Hundreds of questions like this are waiting for the right person
to come and blow the damned whistle.
Will it be you, young agent? Do you dare risk everything for freedom,
or will you keep silent and maintain the 9/11 hijacker fiction?
Will you act on your conscience or sit on your wallet? And if you
choose the latter, what kind of reputation will that earn you? And
how will it mesh with the oath that when you first took it, you
Freedom is not what someone orders you to do. Freedom, as Ray Bradbury’s
hero fireman Guy Montag eventually came to learn, comes up from
inside you, and ultimately becomes more important than absolutely
Do you have the courage to do it? It is no exaggeration to say
the future of the whole world depends on what you will do.
Guy Montag enjoyed his job. He had been a fireman for ten years,
and he had never questioned the pleasure of the midnight runs nor
the joy of watching pages consumed by flames ... never questioned
anything until he met a seventeen-year-old girl who told him of
a past when people were not afraid.
Then he met a professor who told him of a future in which people
could think ... and Guy Montag suddenly realized what he had to
John Kaminski’s essays have appeared on hundreds of websites
around the world and have been collected into two anthologies. The
latest, titled "The Perfect Enemy," is available at http://www.johnkaminski.com/
Like most of the world and at least half the
population of America, I was somewhat shocked and saddened by the
"supposed" re-election of George W. Bush on Nov 3rd. Of
course none of it came as any real surprise. I read the Signs everyday.
I knew he would win, whether from rigged voting machines, a manipulated
Supreme Court decision, or a fake terrorist attack. The result was
never in doubt.
Still, in spite of the certain foreknowledge of his victory, watching
it transpire in real time, and dealing the confusing emotional aftermath
was something I hadn't counted on. I spent the whole of the next
few days enveloped in a kind of dark fog of depression, carrying
what felt like a heavy oppressive burden whose intesity is difficult
to describe. No matter how much evidence there was to indicate that
Bush would be re-installed to continue his warring ways, there was
still some small hope left inside me that perhaps, if he had lost,
things might be different.
Wishful thinking will get you every time.
Well, that hope is dead now, and I am left to face the stark reality
of another four years (or more) of global rule by a ruthless, smirking
psychopath. It has become apparant that all things we have brought
to light on the Signs pages over the last few years are now coming
to pass. It has moved beyond the realm of probable speculation into
the arena of cold, hard fact, and this knowledge is what I've been
trying to process over the last four days.
It can often feel literally incapacitating when our illusions die.
It's so difficult and painful to let go of our programmed perceptions
of reality, that most of us would rather retreat into the comfort
of self-calming and wishful thinking rather than accept the awful
truth of our world today.
When one comes face to face with this truth, and when that truth
stands in direct opposition to all we've been conditioned to believe,
shattering our hopes and dreams of the future, there are usually
only two ways to respond. The first is to go into denial, to pretend
that the situation is "not as bad as it seems", or "things
are bound to get better." This approach does no one any good,
and by denying that which is staring us in the face, we merely facilitate
the entropic decline of the universe, leading to ever more chaos
The second response is to examine our internal state, to see where
it is that our beliefs are being contradicted by the facts, and
throw those beliefs away entirely. By following this approach we
begin the process of aligning ourselves with objective reality and
serving the creative forces of the universe, which in turn opens
up the possibility, even if small in potential, of actually realizing
a different future.
"Straight is the road and narrow is the gate", as they
say. There is no easy way to get around it. The process of eliminating
those belief systems that hinder us from seeing what is real may
be the most important work we can do with what little time we have
left. The recent "faux" re-election of Georgie and his
gang presents us with the perfect opportunity to put these ideas
into practice, for one of the most resistant and insidious programs
we run is our identification with our "nation", and all
it implies. To have "pride" in one's country results from
carrying erroneous beliefs about it and can only lead to more and
more difficult problems later on.
Sure, it's understandable to be disheartened when our illusions
are shattered, but to wallow in such feelings, or to retreat into
denial when things don't go our way, is to waste a valuable opportunity
to really begin to SEE. The stunning "shock" of Bush's
recent coronation can provide us with the necessary fuel with which
to overcome our limiting belief systems, and put it to work in creative
and helpful ways.
So, in a way, I write this message for all those anti-war activists,
and die-hard Democrats who, in their justifiable disbelief and sorrow,
may be looking ahead to Hillary or Arnie in 2008 as an answer to
our present woes. The system is rotten to the core, and not even
Kerry, Jesus, or Space Brothers can help us now. It is time to see
beyond the contrived right/left dualism of American politics and
take the fight for truth to the battlefield that really matters,
And this brings me to the point of this essay, the conclusion I
arrived at after mulling over the events of the last few days; the
question of what to DO now, knowing the dire situation to come.
I understood that the oppresive feelings and overwhelming depression
I experienced following the election, (although perfectly understandable
considering what's likely in store for us), could lead to a kind
of stagnation or paralysis if over-indulged. Identifying with the
dread and all those ominous feelings could prevent anything productive
from being done.
What is emotion but a build up of "energy" after all.
This energy can be channeled in any direction we choose. We can
use this energy of emotion to further cement our illusions of freedom
and democracy, or it can galvanize us to take a hard look within
ourselves, and see where our perceptions are out of sync with what
the universe is clearly telling us.
The choice, as always, is up to each of us individually. We can
choose to retreat into denial, or shine the light of truth onto
a world, that for the most part, seems completely devoid of it.
Because if we don't take on this task ourselves, there will be no-one
to do it for us.
What hope is there in the thought that no-one is going to come
in at the last minute and save us? What strength of will is needed
to become our own saviours? As incredible as it sounds, we may literally
be humanity's last hope. You and I here, reading this page.
Bleak times indeed.
What will you do with your energy over the next four years?
For me, the choice couldn't be more clear. To keep on keeping on.
To continue to read the "Signs" everyday, and try and
give voice to the truth in my own life. To grow in awareness by
applying what I'm learning directly to my interactions with others.
To continue to work on my own limiting internal programs, with the
help of a great group of folks also committed to the truth. And
hopefully be able to share what knowledge I may have gained from
this process with those who sincerely ask.
I do this because I can, because if I don't no one else will, because
it is in me to do.
Creation loves the light of truth.
Entropy thrives in the darkness of lies.
The universe's prime motivation is simply "to BE".
It is up to each of us to respond in kind.
NEW YORK (AP) - It's a long way from the Manhattan
office of psychoanalyst Sherman Pheiffer to the Cambridge, Mass.,
practice of psychologist Jaine Darwin. But both are in blue states
that voted heavily for John Kerry, and on the day he conceded, they
heard plenty of distress about the election.
"My patients were incredulous, depressed, angry,
very frightened," Pheiffer said. "Everyone talked about
feeling frightened (about) the future of this country."
Darwin heard the same kinds of reactions. At the end of the campaign,
Massachusetts Democrats "kind of let themselves hope Kerry
would pull it out," she said, so patients felt "the roller
coaster had crashed. I think we all had a little post-Red Sox magical
And among Kerry campaign volunteers, of course, the loss was still
stinging the day after the concession.
"If I happened to be on a tranquilizer or Prozac, I would
have to triple my dose," joked Sam Feldman, a 75-year-old retired
businessman who lives on Martha's Vineyard in Massachusetts but
who volunteered for Kerry in Florida.
Elizabeth Marshall, a volunteer at the Centre County Democrats
headquarters in Pennsylvania, said people
there showed "bereavement, almost. People feel that something
they had, which was hope for imminent change, has been taken from
The good news, mental health experts say, is that most Kerry supporters
will get over their disappointment on their own. In fact, maybe
sooner than they think.
"Right now you've got them at the depths of their despair,"
said Daniel Gilbert, a Harvard psychologist who has studied voters'
emotional reaction to elections. "They're not going to feel
worse in a week. They're going to feel better." [...]
In fact, Gilbert said, his work has shown that voters get over
their election-day disappointments faster than they predict they
"They don't think they'll be over it in a month, but they
will be," he said.
Even now, Pheiffer, Darwin and other mental health professionals
said they weren't getting any new patients because of the Kerry
defeat. And Dr. David Rissmiller, chairman of the psychiatry department
at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey-School
of Osteopathic Medicine, said there's been no election-related jump
in calls at two New Jersey crisis centers he's familiar with.
Temporary sadness, anxiety and concern
about the future are understandable responses among Kerry supporters,
said Dr. Charles Goodstein, a psychiatrist at the New York University
So when is it time to call a mental health professional? "When
something goes on longer than you're comfortable with, then talk
to somebody," Darwin advised. "You don't have to have
major depression to talk to somebody."
Healthy reactions to post-election disappointment include talking
about it with others and becoming or remaining politically active,
"I think it's important to give yourself a little bit of
time to grieve," said Mary McClanahan, a psychologist in State
College, Pa., who volunteered along with Marshall at the local county
She described herself as "incredibly
disappointed" but also galvanized.
Her fellow volunteers felt the same way,
she said. And for both civic and psychological reasons, she said,
such people should re-invest that energy in
"Whenever we suffer a disappointment, and there's a chance
to have a future success experience and we don't take advantage
of that, it leaves people with greater regrets in the long run,"
WASHINGTON (CP) - The bookies are already
betting on Hillary Rodham Clinton to take the White House in 2008.
And she was the first person on everyone's lips as talk turned
to who will win the next Democratic presidential nomination after
John Kerry's narrow election loss this week to George W. Bush.
Not so fast, though. There's every indication that Kerry's vice-presidential
running mate, John Edwards, is interested in the job.
Howard Dean and Wesley Clark, who lost the nomination to Kerry this
time, could be in the mix.
And there's any number of Democratic governors, including New
Mexico's Bill Richardson and Iowa's Tom Vilsack, who might give
it a shot.
Barack Obama, who just became the sole black voice in the U.S.
Senate, is a rising star who impressed the Democratic convention
this summer with a passionate speech about self-reliance and the
At age 42, however, Barack is considered perhaps too young and
won't have enough experience in national politics for a decent shot
at the presidency. His fans are looking to 2012 or 2016.
Donna Brazile, who ran Al Gore's failed 2000 campaign against
Bush, says the trick is to look at fresh faces with an open perspective,
people who aren't in the political headlines now but could rise
to the challenge.
"Too bad Oprah wouldn't stick her neck out. I think she'd
be fantastic," Brazile said in an interview Friday. [...]
SACRAMENTO - Except for the accident of birth,
Arnold Schwarzenegger would have awakened Wednesday to speculation
that in 2008, when the White House comes open, he would be a likely
Republican candidate for president.
But the Austrian-born governor, barred by the Constitution from
running for the highest office, might yet find a way to 1600 Pennsylvania
Ave. Schwarzenegger, who made one appearance on President Bush's
behalf in the pivotal state of Ohio, remains coy about his future.
"I think that this is a debate people will have in America,
all of America, and I hope to be out of the debate,'' he told reporters
Wednesday. "Otherwise it becomes kind of a political debate,
between Democrats and Republicans.''
That hasn't stopped the governor's supporters from dreaming. At
his election night party in Beverly Hills, several people wore orange
"Amend for Arnold'' buttons.
To succeed, the movement to allow foreign-born
leaders to run for president probably needs to be tied to a personality.
It needs a public face -- whether it's Schwarzenegger, Jennifer
Granholm, Michigan's Democratic governor who was born in Canada,
or former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, a native of Czechoslovakia.
Schwarzenegger's plans are a matter of widespread interest in
Sacramento. As he ponders his future, the governor has several options:
• He could decide to make a quick exit after one term
in the Capitol and mount a dual campaign to change the Constitution
at the same time that he runs for president.
• He could run for the U.S. Senate and try to cajole
his congressional colleagues in Capitol Hill's cloakrooms into amending
the Constitution to make him eligible for the nation's top job.
• Or he could seek re-election and use his post as
leader of the nation's most populous state -- with the highest number
of Electoral College votes -- as his launching pad to higher office.
A man who shot himself at the
World Trade Center site was apparently distraught over President
George W. Bush’s re-election, a newspaper reported today.
The body of 25-year-old Andrew Veal of Athens, Georgia, was found
yesterday morning inside the off-limits site, said Steve Coleman,
a spokesman for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.
A shotgun was found nearby, but no suicide note was found, Coleman
Veal’s mother said her son was upset about the result of
the presidential election and had driven to New York, Gus Danese,
president of the Port Authority Police Benevolent Association, told
The New York Times.
Friends said Veal worked in a computer lab at the University of
Georgia and was planning to marry.
“I’m absolutely sure it’s a protest,” Mary
Anne Mauney, Veal’s supervisor at the lab, told newspapers.
“I don’t know what made him commit suicide, but where
he did it was symbolic.”
Police were investigating how Veal entered the site of the World
Trade Center, which was destroyed in the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.
The site is protected by high fences and owned by the Port Authority.
Defence expert says America is
likely to ignore treaty ban
America has begun preparing its next military objective - space.
Documents reveal that the US Air Force has for the first time adopted
a doctrine to establish 'space superiority'.
The new doctrine means that pre-emptive strikes against enemy satellites
would become 'crucial steps in any military operation'. This week
defence experts will attend a conference in London amid warnings
that President Bush's re-election will pave the way to the arming
Internal USAF documents reveal that seizing control of the 'final
frontier' is deemed essential for modern warfare. Counterspace Operations
reveals that destroying enemy satellites would improve the chance
of victory. It states: 'Space superiority provides freedom to attack
as well as freedom from attack. Space and air superiority are crucial
first steps in any military operation.'
Theresa Hitchens, vice-president of a Washington-based independent
think-tank, the Centre for Defence Information, said: 'These documents
show that they are taking space control seriously.'
This week's meeting, held by the British-American Security Information
Council (Basic), will also discuss whether Britain can restrain
a US administration intent on strategic control of space.
Next year's budget for the US Missile Defence Agency includes funding
for research into the development of 'space-based interceptors'.
Although the funding allocated to develop lightweight ballistic
missile parts is only £7.5m, further details have emerged
of a more ambitious programme to site weapons in space.
Plans for a 'thin constellation of three to six spacecraft' in
orbit, which would target enemy missiles as they took off or landed,
are planned, according to Hitchens. The document, said Hitchens,
signals that the 1967 Outer Space Treaty, which outlaws the use
of weapons in orbit, will be ignored. [...]
"The Project for the New American Century was established
in the spring of 1997. From its inception, the Project has been
concerned with the decline in the strength of America’s
defenses, and in the problems this would create for the exercise
of American leadership around the globe and, ultimately, for the
preservation of peace."
"At present the United States faces
no global rival. America’s grand strategy should
aim to preserve and extend this advantageous position as far into
the future as possible."
"Preserving the desirable strategic situation in which the
United States now finds itself requires a globally preeminent
military capability both today and in the future."
"Although it may take several decades
for the process of transformation to unfold, in time, the art
of warfare on air, land, and sea will be vastly different than
it is today, and "combat" likely will take place in
new dimensions: in space,
"cyber-space,” and perhaps the world of microbes.
Air warfare may no longer be fought by pilots manning tactical
fighter aircraft sweeping the skies of opposing fighters, but
a regime dominated by long-range, stealthy unmanned craft. On
land, the clash of massive, combined-arms armored forces may be
replaced by the dashes of much lighter, stealthier and information-intensive
forces, augmented by fleets of robots,
some small enough to fit in soldiers’ pockets.
Control of the sea could be largely determined not by fleets
of surface combatants and aircraft carriers, but from land- and
space-based systems, forcing navies to maneuver and fight underwater.
Space itself will become a theater of war,
as nations gain access to space capabilities and come to rely
on them; further, the distinction between military and commercial
space systems – combatants and noncombatants – will
become blurred. Information systems will become an important
focus of attack, particularly for U.S. enemies seeking to short-circuit
sophisticated American forces. And advanced
forms of biological warfare that can "target" specific
genotypes may transform biological warfare from the realm of terror
to a politically useful tool."
"Further, the process of transformation, even if it brings
revolutionary change, is likely to be a long one, absent some
catastrophic and catalyzing event – like a new Pearl Harbor..."
A spokesman for Iraq's interim
prime minister Ayad Allawi has announced that the country's government
has declared a 60-day state of emergency, in response to escalating
Thaer al-Naqib said the state of emergency, which is equivalent
to martial law, will apply to the whole of Iraq except Kurdish areas
in the north.
The announcement comes ahead of an expected offensive by US and
Iraqi forces on the city of Falluja.
BAGHDAD, Iraq - The U.S.-led
occupation authority is taking initial steps toward selling off
the first of Iraq's scores of state-owned companies to investors,
but will stick to small enterprises until a sovereign Iraqi government
takes over the job, the American privatization chief said Friday.
Thomas Foley said the privatizing of Iraq's government-dominated
economy will begin with service companies, such as a taxi-limousine
service and an architectural design firm.
"We selected a small group, fewer than 10 SOEs (state-owned
enterprises) that are very small and very simple, low-asset businesses
to begin initial privatization steps," said Foley, in charge
of private-sector development under the Coalition Provisional Authority.
The U.S. plan for Iraqi privatization is controversial. Some critics
interpret Article 47 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, protecting
civilians in wartime, as outlawing major alterations in an occupied
country's economic system, through its prohibition of annexation
of occupied territory.
I cannot say for you, but if
the Iraqis invaded the United States and started privatizing the
assets of my home state, literally stealing what is the economic
backbone of my state and my nation, I think I would pick up a gun
and be an "insurgent".
You see, there is a big difference in a Patriot standing up for
their nation, and a "terrorist insurgent" when the nation
has been invaded by a trespasser, a thief. The more I look at what
Bush-Cheney are up to, the more I am coming to the conclusion that
most of the Iraqi insurgency is a legitimate opposition to our occupation
of their nation and systematic theft of their national assets by
deceit and subterfuge. [...]
Are you aware of Israeli firms that are setting up shop in Iraq?
With the hatred towards Israel, what role do you think that lunacy
would produce in a nation that does not like Israel at all? The
only reason Israel is there is because we are there and think we
can change 1,000 to 2,000 years of seething hatred with the wave
of a Bush or Rumsfeld wand.
I see many lies, no truth. It does not matter how Bush - Cheney
spin it, thievery is still thievery.
People resent being robbed and plundered. You would, so put
yourselves into the shoes of others and look at things from both
sides before making up your mind.
Aiding and abetting theft of property is not one of those proper
uses of our military in my mind. We have done it in Afghanistan
in the military forced removal of the Taliban and Bridas Corporation
of Argentina to get control of a pipeline that is necessary to make
the landlocked Caspian Basin un-land-locked $10 trillion oil deal
and about $3 trillion in natural gas, and we are now doing it in
on a national basis.
In a little reported event, President Bush appointed Tom Foley of
Connecticut as the Privatization Czar of Iraq and although most
Americans have not followed that trail as I have, and our media
has completely kept this quiet, our President is privatizing the
Iraqi power, oil, gas, water and other national assets of Iraq straight
into the hands of his wealthy elite campaign backers. It is - in
a word -
a despicable and systematic act of theft [grand larceny] from the
The hospital was run by an Islamic
A hospital has been razed to the ground in one of the heaviest
US air raids in the Iraqi city of Falluja.
Witnesses said only the facade remained of the small Nazzal Emergency
Hospital in the centre of the city. There are no reports on casualties.
US troops using 155mm howitzers pounded a number of pre-planned
targets in Falluja on Saturday.
Along with air strikes - one of the heaviest in recent days - this
is all part of what appears to be a steadily increasing pressure
on the insurgents, says the BBC's Paul Wood, who is with US marines
Overnight, a column of armoured vehicles and humvee jeeps carried
out attacks in the outskirts of Falluja designed to draw out the
rebels and provide fresh targets for the air power and artillery.
These are the kind of preliminary operations which would be carried
out before a full-scale assault on Falluja, our correspondent says.
The air strikes reduced the Nazzal hospital, run by a Saudi Arabian
Islamic charity, to rubble.
Hospital officials quoted by Reuters news agency say all the contents
JENIN, West Bank (AP) - Six Palestinians,
including a 14-year-old boy, were
killed and three Israelis were wounded Saturday in West Bank and
Gaza Strip violence, the army and Palestinian sources said.
Israeli soldiers shot and killed Ala Samara, 14, during a clash
in the West Bank town of Jenin. Samara was
unarmed and was standing near a group of stone-throwing youths when
troops shot him, Palestinian residents and hospital officials
Israeli military officials said the youths threw a firebomb at
the troops, and soldiers fired at a youth who was about to throw
a second firebomb.
The latest violence erupted as Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat,
75, remained in a hospital outside Paris in critical condition from
an undisclosed ailment. [...]
RAMALLAH, West Bank—A dying Yasser Arafat
is in the midst of a last historic battle with Israel, one he is
not even well enough to know he's waging.
As the 75-year-old Palestinian leader hovers in a coma in a Paris
hospital — somewhere "between life and death," in
the delicate words of one aide — his loyalists are locked
in a struggle to bury him near Jerusalem's Al Aqsa Mosque, Islam's
third-holiest shrine. The location, which Jews call the Temple Mount,
symbolizes the very heart of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
For Israel, the answer is a non-negotiable No,
a stance emphasized yesterday by notably pugnacious Justice Minister
Yosef Lapid, who declared Jerusalem a city "where Jewish kings
are buried and not Arab terrorists."
For Palestinians, Arafat's stated wish to be buried near the Al
Aqsa Mosque is no less carved in stone, as the city's top Muslim
cleric explained yesterday.
"President Arafat wants to be buried in Jerusalem. Under
sharia law, the righteous thing is to obey his will. We must abide
in full," said Ekrima Sabri, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem,
in an interview with the Toronto Star.
"We are expecting Israel to refuse. They
have already said so.
"But I am not willing to ask permission. To so much as ask
confirms Israel as the owner of land. And the land is ours."
French and Egyptian diplomats were last night
working urgently to broker a solution to the impasse, mindful that
under Muslim custom Arafat is to be buried within 24 hours of death.
With each passing hour, as Arafat continues clinging to life in
hospital, the dispute takes on greater import.
Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, for decades Arafat's strongest
single adversary, vows to prevent Arafat's burial within the area
Israel claims as Municipal Jerusalem, according to a source privy
to the details of negotiations. Instead, Israel is urging Palestinians
to consider a cemetery in the southern Gaza Strip town of Khan Younis,
where several of Arafat's ancestors are buried.
Israel's preference for burial in Gaza is based on the logic that
under Sharon's plan to unilaterally withdraw from the coastal territory
next summer, Arafat's shrine will soon be in exclusively Palestinian
A Gaza burial would also spare Israel and diplomats from throughout
the Arab world the embarrassment inherent in an expected state funeral,
the first of its kind in the territories since the onset of Israeli
occupation following 1967's Six-Day War.
Located just a few kilometres from the Egyptian border, the Khan
Younis site is the least problematic destination for the Arab world,
a short journey that avoids much of the awkwardness of stepping
inside the umbrella of Israeli control.
The West Bank, by contrast, involves a
far more complicated and politically sensitive journey in which
Arab diplomats would be duty-bound to blatantly break their own
boycott by trekking through multiple Israeli army checkpoints,
whether to East Jerusalem, the suburb of Abu Dis or the de facto
Palestinian capital of Ramallah.
Analysts in Ramallah said yesterday the interim Palestinian leadership
is leaning toward compromise, if only because it is in no position
"If Israel refuses, what choice do we have?" said Mohammed
Yaghi, executive director of the Palestinian Centre for Mass Communication,
a Ramallah-based think-tank.
"It is not as if thousands of Palestinians will raise Arafat's
body on their shoulders and march him to Jerusalem. The new Palestinian
leadership will not let the street rise up. This would be insane,"
"The new leaders want to clutch this moment of Arafat's burial
as a way to ease things with Israelis, not to increase the uprising."
Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qureia, who together with his
predecessor Mahmoud Abbas has assumed the day-to-day affairs of
Palestinian leadership, denied any such negotiations were under
Cabinet minister Saeb Erekat, another longtime Arafat loyalist,
told Associated Press, "It's premature
at this stage to talk about burying or not burying."
Grand Mufti Sabri rejected Israeli suggestions that Arafat's body
could be entombed temporarily, pending the outcome of any possible
future peace negotiations with Palestinians.
"This is not acceptable to Islam. The way to honour the dead
is to leave him where he is buried, and not to move him later,"
"We want our dead to have the respect and dignity they had
Crucial tests to establish whether
Yasser Arafat is brain dead have not been carried out by a Paris
hospital, a French newspaper reported yesterday, leading to claims
that doctors are under pressure to delay tests to determine his
Amid conflicting reports of the Palestinian leader's
health, there were rumours on the West Bank that he was being kept
alive in order to buy time for a political deal on his succession
to be hammered out.
In France, a patient can be declared brain dead only after a series
of strict clinical tests. They include two brain scans - either
two EEGs performed four hours apart or an EEG and an artery scan
showing no blood flowing to the brain.
According to the newspaper, Liberation, Mr Arafat, 75, underwent
only one brain scan on Thursday, which showed a blood-flow failure.
The required second scan was reportedly not carried out.
Earlier last week, unidentified French medical officials said that
Mr Arafat was brain dead but being kept alive on life-support machines.
The Percy military hospital, where the ailing leader was taken
from the West Bank on October 29, did not respond yesterday to queries
from the Telegraph about the second scan. But a senior Palestinian
adviser, Nabil Abu Rudeina, denied that Mr Arafat was beyond recovery,
saying that his condition remained critical but not hopeless.
As confusion over Mr Arafat's condition grew, a Palestinian legislator
last night called for his financial adviser, Mohammed Rashid, who
controls a multi-billion dollar network of Palestine Liberation
Organisation accounts, to be investigated.
Over the past 40 years, Mr Arafat's PLO has built up a global empire
of investments, worth an estimated $4.2 billion to $6.5 billion.
(£2.3-£3.5 billion). Meanwhile the Palestinian Authority,
which administers the territories, is virtually bankrupt.
Abdul Jawwad Saleh, a leading independent member of the Palestinian
Legislative Council, wants Mr Rashid to be questioned at the organisation's
Ramallah headquarters. His demand reflects concern that very few
people will know the whereabouts of more than £2 billion of
PLO funds if Mr Arafat dies. Mr Rashid left Ramallah some months
ago, and is currently in Paris. Hassan Khreishe, another legislative
council member, said Mr Rashid would be held to account. "We
will follow him, don't worry," he said.
Mr Saleh is also calling for Mr Arafat's wife, Suha, who is said
to be a business partner of Mr Rashid, to be questioned. "Mr
Arafat's situation has presented a chance for us to question Mohammed
Rashid," he said. "He knows better than anyone else the
whereabouts of all the money, all the secret accounts. This is the
A confidential report last month by the Palestinian finance ministry
shows that the Palestinian Authority is running a deficit of about
£73 million a month.
Last year, the International Monetary Fund said Mr Arafat had diverted
$1 billion or more of Palestinian Authority funds from 1995 to 2000.
A Palestinian lawyer who has investigated PLO corruption, and who
wished to remain anonymous, said he knew of three or four Arafat
loyalists who held secret bank accounts. "He paid a lot of
this money to buy loyalty, squandering millions of dollars,"
"The corruption was huge. The PLO had monopolies on cement,
petrol, construction, taxes and cigarettes. It has investments everywhere.
Nobody knows what has happened to all these assets."
Conflicting reports about Mr Arafat's condition
have fuelled rumours that he was poisoned by Israeli agents.
Dr Hisham Ahmed, a member of Mr Arafat's Fatah
faction, said a bodyguard told him that the Palestinian leader had
whispered to him: "This time they got me."
LOS ANGELES - Explosives were looted from
the Al-Qaqaa ammunitions site in Iraq while outnumbered U.S. soldiers
assigned to guard the materials watched helplessly, soldiers told
the Los Angeles Times.
About a dozen U.S. troops were guarding the sprawling facility
in the weeks after the April 2003 fall of Baghdad when Iraqi looters
raided the site, the newspaper quoted a group of unidentified soldiers
as saying. U.S. Army reservists and National Guardsmen witnessed
the looting and some soldiers sent messages
to commanders in Baghdad requesting help, but received no reply,
"It was complete chaos. It was looting
like L.A. during the Rodney King riots," one officer
The eyewitness accounts reported by the Times are the first provided
by U.S. soldiers and bolster claims that the U.S. military had failed
to safeguard the powerful explosives, the newspaper said.
Iraqi officials told the United Nations International Atomic Energy
Agency last month that about 380 tons of high-grade explosives,
a type powerful enough to detonate a nuclear weapon, had been taken
from the Al-Qaqaa facility.
Soldiers who belong to two different units described how Iraqis
snatched explosives from unsecured bunkers and drove off with them
in pickup trucks.
The soldiers who spoke to the Times asked to remain
unidentified, saying they feared retaliation from the Pentagon.
The soldiers said they could not confirm that looters took the
particularly powerful explosives known as HMX and RDX. One soldier,
however, said U.S. forces saw looters load trucks with bags marked
"hexamine," which is a key ingredient for HMX.
One senior noncommissioned officer said troops "were running
from one side of the compound to the other side, trying to kick
people out" and that at least 100 vehicles
were at the site waiting for the military to leave so that they
could loot the munitions.
The Pentagon has offered accounts that suggest the explosives
were removed before the U.S.-led invasion to oust Iraqi leader Saddam
Hussein and not during the chaos following the fall of Baghdad.
A Pentagon statement last week said the
removal of the explosives would have required dozens of heavy trucks
moving along the same roads as U.S. combat divisions. [...]
NEAR FALLUJAH, Iraq, Nov. 6 -- More than 30
people were killed and more than 60 wounded in a rash of suicide
bombings and mortar and rocket attacks in the Sunni Triangle on
Saturday, as U.S. Marines and soldiers prepared for a possible assault
on the rebel-held city of Fallujah.
The wounded included at least 16 U.S. soldiers injured when a
suicide bomber rammed a car into their convoy in Ramadi, 60 miles
west of Baghdad, U.S. officials said.
The deadliest violence occurred Saturday morning in Samarra, a city
about 65 miles north of Baghdad that U.S. and Iraqi forces retook
from insurgents early last month. A series of closely coordinated
attacks killed about 30 people, according to tallies by news services,
which canvassed hospitals. More than half of the casualties were
Iraqi police officers killed in mortar attacks or ground assaults
on police stations. [...]
Samarra residents said the violence threw
the city into turmoil. Helicopters roared overhead, gunfire echoed
through much of the day and U.S. forces imposed a curfew starting
at noon. U.S. and Iraqi forces also closed down the main
bridge leading into the city, firing toward boats that attempted
to cross the Tigris River.
Hours after the attacks began, Fallujah's mujaheddin shura, or
council of holy warriors, which governs the city, issued a statement
in which it threatened to "launch wide
military operations within the first hours of the U.S. attack on
Fallujah, to open several fronts at the same time." The statement
said insurgents were standing by in the cities of Baghdad, Kirkuk,
Basra and Samarra.
In Baghdad, at least one Iraqi civilian was killed when a roadside
bomb exploded near a military convoy in the western part of the
city, the military said. Three U.S. soldiers were wounded in the
Explosions echoed across the capital after dark, and residents
said they were bracing for insurgent attacks when the U.S. assault
on Fallujah begins.
The U.S. military has stepped up operations around Fallujah in
advance of an expected offensive to retake the city, which has been
controlled by insurgents since April. U.S. warplanes pounded enemy
positions and stockpiles of weapons in the city Friday night and
into Saturday, while Marine and Army units on the outskirts of the
city staged a moonlit battle rehearsal that one Army officer described
as a "boxing match" to see what kind of punch the insurgents
would throw back.
The U.S. military cordoned off the city and threatened
to arrest anyone younger than 45 who tried to flee.
Commanders have said they would not enter Fallujah until Iraq's
interim prime minister, Ayad Allawi, gave the word. Allawi, who
returned to the country Friday night from a diplomatic trip, was
scheduled to give a news conference in Baghdad on Sunday.
At least 23 people, mostly policemen,
have been killed in attacks against police stations in the western
Anbar province for the second day in a row.
In Haditha, 200km north-west of Baghdad, fighters with rocket-propelled
grenades and mortars attacked a police station at dawn on Sunday.
After a 90-minute battle in which six policemen were wounded, the
attackers took 21 captured policemen to the K-3 oil-pumping station
area and shot them dead. [...]
(What's the betting that the
company commander, mentioned in the report below, had joined the
newly formed Iraqi security forces with the intention of playing
exactly this sort of trick? In other words, he joined up as a double
agent whose real loyalty lies with the Iraqi resistance. Which begs
the question: how many more are there in Iraq’s newly formed
security forces? Ed.)
NEAR FALLUJA, Iraq -- A company commander of the Iraqi security
forces who received a full briefing on the expected Falluja assault
is missing from a military base where U.S. and Iraqi troops are
preparing for the possible operation.
The captain, a Kurd with no known ties to the Sunni city of Falluja,
is thought to have taken notes from the battle briefing late Thursday.
U.S. Marines and his fellow Iraqi officers found no sign of him
Friday morning, except for his uniform and a weapon on his cot.
Marines are concerned that the information he knows could be passed
along to insurgents. U.S. military sources believe insurgents have
friends in the military and government.
The captain commands a company of about 160 men. He is among 10,000
U.S. and Iraqi forces expected to take part in the operation.
Marines say the captain's disappearance won't alter the tactics
or timing of the Falluja operation.
Coalition officials hope the missing captain, who was not named,
has merely headed home.
Most Kurds in Iraq live in the northeast corner of the country,
several hundred miles from Falluja.
BEIRUT (AP) - Prominent Saudi religious scholars
urged Iraqis to support militants waging holy war against the U.S.-led
coalition forces as American troops prepared Saturday for a major
assault on the insurgent hotbed of Fallujah.
The 26 Saudi scholars and preachers said in an open letter to
the Iraqi people that their appeal was prompted by "the extraordinary
situation through which the Iraqis are passing, which calls for
unity and exchange of views." The letter was posted on the
"At no time in history has a whole people been violated .
. . by propaganda that's been proved false," Sheik Awad al-Qarni,
one of the scholars, told Al-Arabiya TV.
"The U.S. forces are still destroying towns
on the heads of their people and killing women and children. What's
going on in Iraq is a result of the big crime of America's occupation
In their letter, the scholars stressed that armed
attacks by militant Iraqi groups on U.S. troops and their allies
in Iraq represent "legitimate" resistance.
The scholars were careful to direct their
appeal to Iraqis only and stayed away from issuing a general, Muslim-wide
call for holy war. They also identified the military as the
target, one that is considered legitimate by many Arabs who view
U.S. troops and their allies as occupiers.
The independent scholars - some of whom have been criticized in
the past for their extremist views - apparently did not want to
antagonize the Saudi government, a U.S. ally, or appear to be flouting
its efforts to fight terrorism.
Saudi Arabia has sealed off its long border with Iraq and bars
people from crossing into that country. Its most senior clerics
issued a statement last year saying the call for jihad - or holy
war - should come only from the ruler and not be based on edicts
issued by individual clergy.
Saudi officials did not comment on the latest statement.
The clerics' appeal came as U.S. troops, backed by air and artillery
power and Iraqi security forces, were gearing up for a major assault
The clerics issued a fatwa, or religious edict, prohibiting Iraqis
from offering any support for military operations carried out by
U.S. forces against insurgent strongholds.
"Fighting the occupiers is a duty
for all those who are able," the letter said. "It is a
jihad to push back the assailants. Resistance is a legitimate right.
A Muslim must not inflict harm on any resistance man or inform on
them. Instead, they should be supported and protected."
Besides al-Qarni, the scholars signing the letter included Sheik
Safar al-Hawali, Sheik Nasser al-Omar, Sheik Salman al-Awdah and
Sheik Sharif Hatem al-Aouni.
Al-Hawali, who was jailed in the 1990s
for five years without trial because he criticized U.S. involvement
in the 1991 Gulf War against Iraq, once was close to Saudi-born
al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden. He opposed the presence of U.S.
troops in the kingdom.
His name appeared this month on a list issued by a group of Arab
intellectuals seeking to prosecute prominent clerics for encouraging
The scholars said inter-Iraqi fighting would cause
"great damage to the Iraqis and give a free service to the
Jews who are infiltrating into Iraq and to the coalition forces
which exploit differences to consolidate their domination."
Saudi Arabia, the birthplace of Islam and home to its two holiest
cities, has launched a campaign against militants. The crackdown
began after al-Qaida-affiliated operatives attacked three residential
compounds in Riyadh in May 2003 and killed dozens of people, bringing
terrorism to the kingdom for the first time since the Sept. 11,
2001, attacks on the United States.
ABIDJAN (Reuters) - Loud explosions rocked
Ivory Coast's main city of Abidjan early on Sunday and heavy gunfire
could be heard as thousands of anti-French demonstrators marched
toward a French military base.
A witness said a French military helicopter fired warning shots
into a lagoon crossed by two bridges that lead from the city center
toward the French base and the airport.
Red tracer bullets streaked across the night sky, coming from
the residential district of Cocody in the commercial capital of
the world's top cocoa grower.
The witness said Ivorian army soldiers appeared to be shooting
at the helicopter from positions in Cocody, which is just across
the lagoon from the two bridges and the city center.
On Saturday, Ivorian warplanes killed nine French peacekeepers
in a bombing raid during the fiercest clashes with rebels for 18
France hit back by destroying most of the West African country's
small air force, sparking anger in Abidjan against French troops
based in the city.
Thousands of stick-wielding youths marched past the French embassy
in the city center and headed toward the airport, which was under
French army control.
U.N. spokesman Jean-Victor Nkolo said there had been shooting
at a crossroads near the airport for about 45 minutes but it had
| WELLINGTON : Enquiries from Americans wanting
to move to New Zealand have skyrocketed since George W. Bush was reelected
president of the United States.
The Immigration Service website had 10,300 hits from the United
States the day after the election, compared to the daily norm of
Thousands of North Americans have migrated to New Zealand in recent
years -- attracted by the country's small population, clean, green
image of bush-clad mountains, and isolation from world trouble spots
-- but the number now looks set to soar.
Phones at the Immigration Service offices in Los Angeles, San
Francisco and Portland have been ringing constantly since the vote
outcome, Marketing Manager Don Badman told the Dominion Post newspaper
There have been up to 300 telephone calls and
emails a day compared to six-to-eight calls a day before the election.
"It's exploded. It really started picking up from 11:00pm
the night of the election," he said.
The San Francisco Chronicle reported that Americans were also
looking to Australia and Canada as well as New Zealand following
READING, ENGLAND - Six people died and dozens
were injured Saturday night when a British high-speed passenger
train crashed into a car at a level crossing near a town west of
The evening train, which was headed for Plymouth, was carrying
300 passengers. It flew off the tracks upon impact, said British
transport officials. The train had departed London's Paddington
Eleven people were seriously injured in the accident and some
victims were trapped for hours before they were pulled out past
Saturday's accident is the latest in a long series of train accidents
In May seven people died in a train accident north of London.
In 2000, there were six train crashes in England.
Critics blame privatization for the shoddy upkeep of the British
EVERY school in Singapore will be patrolled
by security guards and fitted with up to 12 closed-circuit TV cameras
over the next few months, as part of enhanced security measures
The new measures will be implemented at all of the nation's 351
schools, from primary level to junior college, after a government
security review to beef up the country's schools against terrorism.
Speaking at a dialogue on national security with around 400 young
Singaporeans at the National Junior College yesterday, Mr Tharman
stressed that the measures were necessary, even
though there was no immediate threat against schools. [...]
The guards will take a little longer to be put in place - six
to eight months - while screening procedures are carried out. Already,
at least 10 per cent of schools here have security guards, and slightly
over half have closed-circuit TV cameras 'because over the last
year they have all stepped up their level of alertness', Mr Tharman
told reporters after the dialogue. National Junior College principal
Virginia Cheng welcomed the announcement.
Her school spends about $3,500 a month on two guards, and has two
closed-circuit TV cameras. Madam Kymberlie Chong, 33, who has two
children in Red Swastika Primary School,
also supported the extra measures, but asked that security guards
be thoroughly screened.
Deputy Prime Minister Tony Tan, who is also Coordinating Minister
for Security and Defence, told students at the dialogue that while
the Government could provide security hardware, young people also
had a part to play. The police and Home Affairs
Ministry receive calls every day about people loitering outside
sensitive buildings and taking photographs, and the authorities
follow up every lead, Mr Tan said.
Warning that they were now facing 'a long-term
ideological war', Mr Tan said students
had to be resilient and determined, but not fearful, in ensuring
the country's security. 'It's necessary to be vigilant and to be
prepared, but we don't want to become paranoid. Life must go on.
Students must go to school, adults must go to work, people have
to go to the market,' he said. National Junior College student
Praseetha Nair, 17, said she never thought that terrorist attacks
would happen here, but learnt yesterday that she could not take
security for granted.
SINGAPORE : Singapore plans to increase the
use of closed circuit TVs around street corners islandwide soon.
Home Affairs Minister Wong Kan Seng said the
move was not a result of a specific threat against Singapore,
but is part of an on-going security review in a bid to fight crime
Elite police officers have started patrolling
Singapore's streets. This was an idea from Mr Wong after seeing
a similar deployment in New York.
And school security will be stepped up over the next few months
with CCTVs and security guards in every school.
Mr Wong, who was at a community event in Bishan on Saturday, explained
why these measures had to be taken.
Mr Wong said: "The threat is real
but there is no specific threat that we are being a target. There
is no particular plan that we know of at this time that they are
going to hit Singapore. We know we are a target, we don't know when
it may happen. If it happens, we do not know, but we cannot take
chances, we cannot afford to be complacent and wait for it to happen
before taking measures." [...]
A new scientific study says the Arctic ice
cover will disappear in summer by the end of this century unless
carbon dioxide emissions are significantly reduced.
The study, to be released next week, says the Arctic ice melt
will cause sea levels to rise and could lead to the extinction of
some species such as polar bears.
"The melt has begun," said Jennifer Morgan, director
of the Climate Change Campaign for the environmental organisation
WWF, which published excerpts of the upcoming Arctic Climate Impact
Assessment (ACIA) report.
Commissioned by the Arctic Council and compiled by more than 250
scientists, the report concludes that climate change is happening
in the Arctic and that it will get worse unless emissions of carbon
dioxide are cut.
The report presents several potential scenarios which would occur
if the Arctic ice were to disappear in summertime by the end of
the 21st century.
It said sea levels could rise by one metre, noting that there
are currently 17 million people living less than one metre above
sea level in Bangladesh. It said places such as Florida and Louisiana
in the United States and the Asian cities of Bangkok, Calcutta,
Dhaka and Manila were also at risk.
However, on the positive side, rising sea levels
could create a northern passage for shipping between the Pacific
and Atlantic Oceans, and would open up new areas for fishing, mining
and oil and gas exploration.
The melting of the Greenland ice sheet, which is expected to take
hundreds of years, could ultimately lead to a seven-metre rise in
sea levels, the report said. [...]
[AUSTRALIA] - A SHORTCUT on a shopping trip
went tragically wrong yesterday when floodwaters claimed the lives
of two young sisters west of Maryborough in central Queensland.
The girls, aged 8 and 11, drowned when the Toyota LandCruiser
in which they were travelling was swept off a causeway in Degilbo
Creek near Biggenden at 8.30am.
The girls were unable to escape the vehicle – driven by
a male family friend – after it sank near a road crossing
in the swollen creek, which had been nearly dry 24 hours before.
For 60 years the skeletal remains
of more than 200 people, discovered in 1942 close to the glacial
Roopkund Lake in the remote Himalayan Gahrwal region, have puzzled
historians, scientists and archaeologists. Were they soldiers killed
in battle, royal pilgrims who lost their way and succumbed to hypothermia,
or Tibetan traders who died of a mysterious illness?
Flights & Hotels
Now, the first forensic investigation of one of the area's most
enduring mysteries has concluded that hundreds of nomads - whose
frozen corpses are being disgorged from ice high in the mountain
- were killed by one of the most lethal hailstorms in history.
Scientists commissioned by the National Geographic television channel
to examine the corpses have discovered that they date from the 9th
century - and believe that they died from sharp blows to their skulls,
almost certainly by giant hailstones. "We were amazed by what
we found," said Dr Pramod Joglekar, a bio-archaeologist at
Deccan College, Pune, who was among the team who visited the site
16,500ft above sea level.
"In addition to skeletons, we discovered bodies with the flesh
intact, perfectly preserved in the icy ground. We could see their
hair and nails as well as pieces of clothing."
The most startling discovery was that many of those who died suffered
fractured skulls. "We retrieved a number of skulls which showed
short, deep cracks," said Dr Subhash Walimbe, a physical anthropologist
at the college. "These were caused not by a landslide or an
avalanche but by blunt, round objects about the size of cricket
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