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and extensive previously unpublished details, at long last, Laura Knight-Jadczyk's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!
of the Day
New York Times -
|November 10, 2004
Protecting the Islamic cultural center in Falluja was one the marine's
"The size of the lie is a definite factor in causing it
to be believed, because the vast masses of a nation are in the
depths of their hearts more easily deceived than they are consciously
and intentionally bad.
The primitive simplicity of their minds renders them more easy
victims of a big lie than a small one, because they themselves
often tell little lies but would be ashamed to tell big ones.
Such a form of lying would never enter their heads. They would
never credit others with the possibility of such great impudence
as the complete reversal of facts. Even explanations would long
leave them in doubt and hesitation, and any trifling reason would
dispose them to accept a thing as true.
Something therefore always remains and sticks from the most imprudent
of lies, a fact which all bodies and individuals concerned in
the art of lying in this world know only too well, and therefore
they stop at nothing to achieve this end."
US and Iraqi forces are locked
in desperate street battles against insurgents in the Iraqi city
The BBC News website spoke by phone to Fadhil Badrani, a journalist
in Falluja who reports for the BBC World Service in Arabic.
Iraqi man buries his brother in Falluja
I am surrounded by thick black smoke and the smell of burning oil.
There was a big explosion a few minutes ago and now I can hear
A US armoured vehicle has been parked on the street outside my
house in the centre of the city.
From my window, I can see US soldiers moving around on foot near
They tried to go from house to house but they kept coming under
Now they are firing back at the houses, at anything that moves.
It is war on the streets.
The American troops look like they have given up trying to go into
buildings for now and are just trying to control the main roads.
I am sitting here on my own, watching tragedy engulf my city.
Looks like Kabul
I was with some of the Falluja fighters earlier. They looked tired
- but their spirits were high and they were singing.
Local fighters have reportedly been joined by Iraqis from other
Recently, many Iraqis from other parts of the country have been
joining the local men against the Americans.
No one has had much sleep in the past two days of heavy fighting
and of course, it is still Ramadan, so no one eats during the day.
I cannot say how many people have been killed but after two days
of bombing, this city looks like Kabul.
Large portions of it have been destroyed but it is so dangerous
to leave the house that I have not been able to find out more about
A medical dispensary in the city centre was bombed
I don't know what has happened to the doctors
and patients who were there.
It was last place you could get medical attention because the big
hospital on the outskirts of Falluja was captured by the Americans
A lot of the mosques have also been bombed.
For the first time in Falluja, a city of 150 mosques,
I did not hear a single call to prayer this morning.
I broke my Ramadan fast yesterday with the last of our food - two
potatoes and two tomatoes.
The tomatoes were rotten because we have no electricity to run
My neighbours - a woman and her children - came to see me yesterday.
They asked me to tell the world what is happening here.
I look at the devastation around me and
ask - why?
said he watched his nine-year-old son bleed to death at their Falluja
home, unable to take him to hospital as fighting raged in the streets
and bombs rained down on the Iraqi city.
In the midst of a US onslaught and hemmed in by a round-the-clock
curfew, he said he had little choice but to bury his eldest son,
Ghaith, in the garden.
"My son got shrapnel in his stomach when our house was hit
at dawn, but we couldn't take him for treatment," said Abbud,
a teacher. "We buried him in the garden because it was too
dangerous to go out. We did not know how long the fighting would
Residents say scores of civilians have been killed or wounded in
24 hours of fighting since US-led forces pushed deep into the city
on Monday evening.
Doctors said people brought in at least 15 dead civilians at the
main clinic in Falluja on Monday. By Tuesday, there were no clinics
open, residents said, and no way to count casualties.
Medical supplies low
US and Iraqi forces seized control of the city's main hospital,
across the Euphrates river from Falluja proper, hours before the
Overnight US bombardments hit a clinic inside
the Sunni Muslim city, killing doctors, nurses and patients, residents
said. US military authorities denied the reports.
Interim Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi said troops detained 38
fighters entrenched at Falluja hospital and accused doctors there
of exaggerating civilian casualties.
Sami al-Jumaili, a doctor at Falluja hospital, said the city was
running out of medical supplies.
"There is not a single surgeon in Falluja. We had one ambulance
hit by US fire and a doctor wounded. There are scores of injured
civilians in their homes who we can't move," he said by telephone
from a house where he had gone to help the wounded.
"A 13-year-old child just died in my hands."
ICRC voices concern
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said on Tuesday
that it was extremely worried about the fate of people wounded in
the battle for control of the Iraqi city of Falluja.
"The ICRC urges the belligerents to ensure that all those
in need of such care - whether friend or foe - be given access to
medical facilities and that medical personnel and vehicles can function
without hindrance at all times," a statement said.
The organisation said it was "deeply concerned about reports
that the injured cannot receive adequate medical care".
Weekend air raids destroyed a clinic funded by an Islamic relief
organisation in the centre of Falluja and a nearby warehouse used
to store medical supplies, witnesses said.
Many families fled the city of 300,000 long before the offensive
began. An official from a Sunni Muslim group with links to some
fighters in Falluja said on Monday only about 60,000 people remained.
Residents say they have no power and are using kerosene lamps at
night. They say they keep to ground floors for safety. Food shops
have been closed for six days.
"My kids are hysterical with fear," said Farhan Salih.
"They are traumatised by the sound but there is nowhere to
US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said on Monday
he did not foresee large numbers of civilian casualties in the assault,
saying US forces were disciplined and precise.
Those words were of little comfort to the Abbud
family, sitting in a house damaged by the bomb that killed their
"We just bandaged his stomach and gave him water, but he was
losing a lot of blood. He died this afternoon," said Abbud.
Almost half of the mosques in
the Iraqi town of Falluja have been destroyed, with US warplanes
launching air strikes and fierce fighting on the ground continuing.
An Iraqi journalist told Aljazeera that US forces on Wednesday
resumed attacks on the city, targeting Julan in the north-west to
al-Jughaivi in the north-east.
Fadil al-Badrani said there are an estimated 120 mosques in the
"Almost half of the city's mosques have been
destroyed after being targeted by US air and tank strikes,"
Fierce clashes also erupted between armed fighters as the US forces
thrust deeper into the city in the early hours, he said.
Machinegun, mortar and rocket fire shook the city as planes made
several bombing runs over Julan district in the space of 15 minutes,
a Reuters reporter said.
Smoke was rising from houses just beyond Falluja's captured rail
station, where marines and Iraqi forces have a base.
Marines said their opponents showed no signs of giving up, even
though US forces penetrated to the centre of the city, west of Baghdad,
after an offensive launched on Monday night.
A tank platoon that moved along Falluja's main street saw fighters
who had just come under mortar fire climb on to rooftops and fire
rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs) and machineguns.
"There are lots of them. We took heavy fire," Gunnery
Sergeant Ishmail Castillo told Reuters. "They opened up on
my tank. They don't look like they are going to cave in."
Castillo said his tank had killed six fighters and that two marines
were wounded in fighting. "One of the marines was hit in the
head by RPG shrapnel," he said.
"They hit us from one area and then another right afterwards.
There is in-depth organisation. There were small-arms attacks all
night," he said.
Al-Badrani said US forces had taken some casualties. "Two
US military tanks have been so far destroyed in Julan neighbourhood,
where the most violent clashes are taking place," he said.
"Three US armoured vehicles have been also destroyed in other
parts of the city. The clashes are very violent. Fighters have showed
up from other neighbourhoods and streets the US forces are unfamiliar
"US forces entered central Falluja city at around 12:00 (Iraqi
local time) but were fiercely attacked by the fighters," al-Badrani
"They withdrew from the area after half an hour, heading for
their positions in the northern parts of the city," he added.
Residents told al-Badrani the crews of two US tanks deserted their
vehicles in Julan, leaving them to be seized by fighters.
Marine tanks that pushed through central Falluja on Tuesday night
encountered stiff resistance.
The Pentagon said on Tuesday evening that at least 10 US and two
Iraqi soldiers had died in the offensive unleashed by 10,000 US
soldiers and marines and 2000 Iraqi troops.
US marines poured hundreds of rounds into rebel positions and blasted
buildings with tank shells on Tuesday, but also took casualties,
with bloodied troops stretchered away.
Explosions could be heard across Falluja after nightfall, but large-scale
fighting appeared to have eased.
"I think we are looking at several more days of tough urban
fighting," said the US commander in charge of day-to-day military
operations in Iraq, Lieutenant-General Thomas Metz.
The assault on Falluja, where residents say wounded children are
dying from lack of medical help, food shops are closed and power
is cut, angered Muslim clerics who urged Iraqis to boycott January
elections seen as vital to peace.
Al-Badrani said many civilians had died in indiscriminate
bombing of the city and people had resorted to burying their dead
in gardens. Many houses have been destroyed.
Interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi, who on Tuesday imposed a night
curfew on Baghdad for an indefinite period, got a personal taste
of the clerics' anger at a Ramadan iftar meal the same day.
"You have to stop fighting for four or five hours," Adnan
al-Dulaimi, a Sunni official in the Religious Affairs Ministry,
told Allawi before the evening meal, a pool reporter said.
"There are a lot of injured that have to be taken care of.
Give them time to rescue the injured. There are civilians getting
killed in Falluja. You are responsible for their lives in front
of God," Dulaimi declared.
"As you know, we tried every alternative before resorting
to military force," Allawi replied. "We have nothing against
the civilians of Falluja ... . They are the sons of this country."
In a move that could potentially undermine the 27 January polls,
the Sunni body, the Association of Muslim Scholars (AMS), urged
"The clerics call on the ... people of Iraq
to boycott the coming elections that they want to hold on the remains
of the dead and the blood of the wounded from Iraqi cities like
Falluja and others," Harith al-Dhari, its top official, said.
Residents say scores of civilians died and for those struggling
to live in the city, life is grim.
Many of the city's 300,000 people had fled to escape
air strikes and artillery bombardments preceding the assault. The
US military said about 150,000 residents had left.
Those left behind say they have no power and use kerosene lamps.
They keep to ground floors for safety, some living in shattered
homes because it is too dangerous to move.
"Body parts everywhere!" cries a
US soldier as a shell crashes onto a group of suspected rebels in
the Iraqi city of Fallujah, where a punishing torrent of firepower
thundered down on Tuesday.
More than 500 rounds of 155-millimetre Howitzer cannon shells
have been fired on the besieged Sunni stronghold west of Baghdad
since a US-Iraqi offensive to take control of the city started on
Monday evening, said Sergeant Michael Hamby.
Using a global positioning system, each shell is precision aimed
and fired at insurgent spots, while unmanned reconnaisance aircraft
check whether the target was hit and feed back the information,
Hamby told AFP.
Unconfirmed estimates suggest that as many as
100†000 residents of Fallujah could still be inside the city.
In the northwestern Jolan neighbourhood alone - branded the hotbed
of insurgent activity in Fallujah - US forces unleashed more than
20 air strikes and some 60 artillery rounds on Monday, said Major
"We probably had 20-to-30 air strikes in the Jolan and probably
two-to-three times that in artillery missions," he said.
Attack helicopters swooped overhead, dropping flares on buildings
from where the muzzle of insurgent rocket heads jutted out.
"Nothing is being indiscriminately fired at. These are spots
where they (militants) are either getting ready to fight or already
are," the major said.
Further demonstrating its superior firepower,
the military said it fired an air-to-surface missile on a suspected
insurgent building in Fallujah on Monday.
"The building was destroyed and enemy fire ceased,"
it said in a statement.
Casualty figures were unavailable from Fallujah, where estimates
for the number of its 300†000-strong population who fled ahead
of the long-threatened assault vary widely from 20 to 90 percent.
US warplanes pounded suspected rebel targets in the city over the
past few weeks with air strikes on a daily basis in the build-up
to the assault.
An AFP reporter in the Jolan district said one
building in every 10 had been flattened. As US-led troops
closed in on the neighbourhood overnight, at least four 900-kilogram
bombs were dropped in the city's northwest.
The blasts of mortars exploding in the so-called
"Green Zone" are thumping out my window as I type tonight.
The blades of military helicopters chop the air as they circle above
the area looking for, well, looking for something.
"I know what they are doing to us-they
are putting is in a big jail. First they close the borders with
Syria and now Jordan, so we are trapped in Iraq," says
Salam. "Now they put a curfew on Baghdad. This is the first.
The second is that the highway bridge connecting us to the west
of Baghdad is bombed. Another bridge that leads to the south (Kerbala,
Hilla, Najaf) was bombed. And now the other highway south to Amara,
Nasiriya and Basra is blocked."
"So all they have left to close is the highway to Diala…when
that last one is closed, we are locked in to Baghdad," explains
Salam, his face stoic but concerned, "We are in. This is our
life here man."
Iraqi Secretary of Defense, Hassim al-Sha'alan, today announced
to al-Arabia television that the resistance is organized and they
have already prepared to fight in other places. So
the fighting in Falluja will not end when the Americans take the
city. The fighting will begin in other places like Baghdad, Baquba,
Latifiya, Ramadi, Samarra, Khaldiya, Kirkuk and elsewhere.
Thus, the word on the street that the resistance was mostly out
of Falluja prior to this battle is verified by the Iraqi Minister
of Defense himself. The fire had begun to spread long before the
current onslaught of Falluja.
Salam has a friend who just came from Baquba and said that the
resistance came to the police station and told them to leave because
they would be bombing the station. This policemen who left said
he watched the resistance bomb the station. At least 25 policemen
have been killed there, between two stations that were bombed.
In Kirkuk, the retaliatory strikes by the resistance for what
is happening in Falluja have commenced as well. A suicide bomber
detonated his car at a base for Iraqi National Guard, killing at
least 1 national guard member and 2 civilians.
Of course the random gun battles and retaliation is ongoing in
Baghdad. The so-called "Green Zone" continues to take
mortars. This has been going on sporadically throughout the day,
but is consistent now…the whumping explosions are incessant,
even with choppers circling about overhead.
Also today, two churches in Al-Dora were destroyed
by car bombs which detonated 5 minutes apart. When the injured and
dead were taken from the scenes to Yarmouk Hospital, the hospital
was car bombed. At least 8 people died it the hospital car bombing.
"We are looking at this just as numbers," says Salam
with a deep breath, "But this is 8 families. This is 8 families
that are suffering now."
5 policemen were killed in Al-Dora as well-not by car bomb, but
by fighting with the resistance.
The growing fire of resistance has spread into the political realm
in Iraq as well. The Association of Muslim Scholars (AMS) has called
upon people not to vote in the upcoming election.
Dr. Harith al-Dhari, the secretary-general of the AMS, openly
supports the Iraqi resistance to the occupation and has from the
beginning. "We have said we support the resistance since the
occupation of this country began," he said today, "This
is our right as Iraqis. Therefore, we don't need a fatwa on this
issue as this matter is clear."
Also today, a major Sunni political party, the Iraqi Islamic Party,
has withdrawn from the Iraqi Interim Government. "We are protesting
the attack on Falluja and the injustice that is inflicted on the
innocent people of the city," said Abd al-Hamid, "We cannot
be part of this attack."
Abu Talat called and told me of the curfew
now in Baghdad. We have to be off the streets by 9:30 pm or we will
be shot on sight.
"You know Dahr, I used to stay out until 3am. Now this is our
life," says Abu Talat. He is enraged. "This
is some kind of freedom. Thank you, George Bush. This is our life."
Everyone is nervous on the streets in Baghdad tonight. Every car
left unattended is suspected as a car bomb.
Another man I met with today, Haythem, expressed his feelings
about the occupation, Falluja, and the martial law.
"Iraq is pregnant with an American fetus," he pauses
for emphasis and says, "And we need birth control pills."
He sits for a moment, and after making a toast with a soft drink
adds, "Long life to Falluja."
-- Let me be perfectly
clear, there were no weapons of mass destruction found in Iraq.
There was no imminent 45 minute threat to the United States of America
or to any other nation on the planet. Bush's
preemptive war on Iraqi continues for only one reason and that is
to murder Iraqis. The new interim Prime Minister of Iraq,
Iyad Allawi issued the order for martial law to be imposed on all
of Iraq so, there goes the wondrous Bush experiment in giving the
Iraqi people democracy. The north of Iraq that is controlled by
the Kurds is exempt from Allawi's martial law order. Why would that
be? Is Allawi concerned about upsetting Turkey? I found the Kurdish
exemption to be curious in the very least.
The assault on Fallujah has been under way since four or was it
five, American mercenaries were assassinated in Fallujah. America
will extract it's revenge on the residents of Fallujah and pacification
is mere pretext and cover for the real plan of the U. S. government
and that is the complete destruction and razing of Fallujah. How
dare those nasty insurgents kill four American mercenaries. America
is going to show those Iraqis and insurgents just exactly who is
boss and competent killer supreme. The American military has now
killed in excess of 100,000 innocent Iraqis and the number escalates
every day. The United States military isn't fighting Saddam Hussein's
army, that was over in about three weeks way back in April of 2003.
George W. Genocide proclaimed proudly from the deck of a Navy aircraft
carrier, "mission accomplished" and the hostilities were
over. Right, tell that to the Iraqi people that are being brutally
butchered in Iraq right this very minute.
The Iraq preemption is a "holy crusade"
and we'll take the word of one U.S. Marine Corp Lieutenant Gareth
Brandl. I distinctly remember prior to Bush's preemption
of Iraq, Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. Iraq had forty five
minute threats that were ever so scary and nuclear intentions to
cause our President George W. Genocide worlds of trouble. President
George W. Genocide, Vice-President Dick Genocide Cheney, Secretary
of State General Colin Genocide Powell, Secretary of Defense Donald
Genocide Rumsfeld, National Security Director for Genocide Condoleeza
Rice, Paul Genocide Wolfowitz, Scooter Genocide Libby, the Reverend
Genocide Jerry Falwell, the Reverend Pat Genocide Robertson, the
Wall Street Journal of Genocide, the New York Times for Genocide,
and all to a man/woman stated categorically, "hell yes Iraq
and Saddam Hussein are a very real threat to America and MUST be
Now we discover that all along, the war on Iraq was just a crusade?
Shades of General Jerry Jesus Boykin, is it constitutional to wage
a war, preemptive or otherwise for God? Does God really give two
figs whether a war or any war should be preemptive or just aggravated
aggression? Granted, these are some very pressing theological questions
and these questions deserve a deep and well reasoned answer. Maybe
we should go and ask the Pope. I recall that the Pope issued a Papal
encyclical decrying the Iraq war and the preemption question was
deemed to be irrelevant by his Holiness.
I need to ask our brave Lieutenant Colonel Gareth
Brandl, what weapons are you going to use and direct at Satan? Does
an all out frontal assault on Satan preclude that it is already
a given that Fallujah is militarily considered to be the gates of
hell? Will standard military and Marine Corp weapons issue, be an
appropriate enough response for use on Satan? Were tactical nuclear
battlefield weapons considered at any time as a possible armament
for use against Satan? Does the military's admission that the enemy
is indeed Satan, now qualify the military's assessment of the residents
of Fallujah, to be considered satanic and collateral damage would
then be of no consequence?
My dear Lieutenant Colonel Brandl, I understand your desire to
give your troops the old pre-invasion pep talk. Did you take any
time to spend on the intricacies of making a last will and testament?
Did you explain to the boys that are going to die in this Fallujah
insanity, that this is all for nothing? No threats, no w.m.d.'s,
no Iraqi democracy, no rational reason for President George W. Genocide
to issue the preemption order in the first place, and that these
brave young souls are dying for political deceit?
So many freaking and troubling questions. Here is one that is
probably just a snudge off track, was the presidential election
of 2004 just a rigged affair? How would one ascertain an answer
to the question...an honest and factual answer. Is the President
of the United States of America George W. Genocide, insane? I would
be referring to a certification of authenticity that would/should
come from a board certified psychiatrist. Is the preemptive war
on Iraq, to be considered some kind of retributive payback for the
failure of Vietnam? Realistically, there are an amazing number of
similarities between Vietnam and the preemptive atrocity that is
Iraq. When is genocide actually qualified by the United Nations
High Commission on Qualifying Genocide, as being genocide? Is there
an official United Nations commissioner that determines when genocide
is indeed, genocide? Isn't there something wrong with our world
when such a question needs to be asked?
What in the hell was Lieutenant Colonel Gareth Brandl thinking
when he made his now infamous remark about Satan being the focus
of the assault on Fallujah? I understand the
psychology of reducing the enemy to a mere pile of human meat that
is only fit for slaughter. It relieves the guilt...or so all the
official military authorities maintain. I find the premise
to be condescending swill that is unworthy of an Arkansas pig trough.
I mean no offense to Arkansas pigs or the troughs they might eat
from. The statement is metaphor. George W. Genocide's preemptive
war on Iraq has turned into a nightmarish swamp of no return, especially
for the fine young American service personnel that are following
the orders given by their military commanders. Thus, America finds
itself in one colossal moral quandary. President
Genocide's preemptive war is illegal, immoral, and outright deceit.
The President has placed our nations military into an illegal category
that now qualifies as war crimes and crimes against humanity.
President George W. Genocide has played the religion card and unmercifully
dragged the religious into the equation. Major media concerns are
portraying the religious as "in support" of the Genocide
agenda and therefore, moral responsibility falls on the Christian
right wing, America in general, and the U.S. military. The government
of President George W. Genocide was implicated from the beginning.
Lieutenant Colonels in the U.S. Marine Corp have become so caught
up in the Iraq insanity, they are grasping at straws and the invocation
of incarnate evil spirits to justify the guilt that is swallowing
their souls like sushi treats at a cocktail party. Our predicament
as a nation qualifies the U.S. as having truly hit the skids.
The United States of America is fully qualified to be historically
remembered as being at least on par with Nazi Germany. Illegal preemptive
wars that are started using deceit as the premise, thus qualifies
our nation for the designation. Any David Brooks assertion that
the reasons for the war are now irrelevant as "Saddam Hussein
was an evil man and is no longer in power", would be disingenuous
President George W. Genocide is celebrating an upcoming spending
spree where Genocide will be able to spend his "political capital"
granted him by the American people. Our President should consider
the possibility that he maybe should go shopping for a half decent
international lawyer. President George W. Genocide is going to need
The skies over Fallujah lit up from the flashes
of air and artillery barrages as US troops launched an offensive
to seize key insurgent strongholds in a city that became the major
sanctuary for Islamic extremists who fought Marines to a standstill
Heavy firing continued into the pre-dawn hours today, and residents
reached by satellite telephone reported the constant drone of warplanes
As night fell a civilian living in the centre of Fallujah said
hundreds of houses had been destroyed.
"Every minute, hundreds of bombs and shells
are exploding," Fadril al-Badrani said in an interview. "The
north of the city is in flames. I can also see fire and smoke …
Fallujah has become like hell."
A US military spokesman estimated that 42 insurgents were killed
across the city in bombardment and skirmishes before the main assault
began yesterday. Two marines were killed when their bulldozer flipped
over into the Euphrates near Fallujah.
Hours after starting the offensive, US tanks and Humvees from
the 1st Infantry Division entered the north-eastern Askari neighbourhood,
the first ground assault into an insurgent bastion.
In the north-western area of the city, US troops advanced slowly
after dusk on the Jolan neighbourhood, a warren of alleyways where
Sunni militants have dug in. Some were inside by dawn today.
US troops cut off electricity to the city,
and most private generators were not working – either because
their owners wanted to conserve fuel or the wires had been damaged
Residents said they were without running water
and were worried about food shortages because most shops in the
city have been closed for the past two days.
Masked insurgents roamed Fallujah streets throughout the day.
One group of four fighters, two of them draped with belts of ammunition,
moved through narrow passageways, firing on US forces with small
arms and mortars. Mosque loudspeakers blared: "God is great,
God is great."
The top US commander in Iraq, Gen. George Casey, predicted a "major
confrontation" in the operation he said was called "al-Fajr",
Arabic for "dawn".
He told reporters in Washington that 10,000 to 15,000 US troops
along with a smaller number of Iraqi forces were encircling the
The offensive is considered the most important military effort
to re-establish control over Sunni strongholds west of Baghdad before
elections in January.
"One part of the country cannot remain under the rule of
assassins … and the remnants of Saddam Hussein's regime,"
US Defence Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said.
He predicted "there aren't going be large
numbers of civilians killed and certainly not by US forces."
FALLUJA, Iraq, Nov. 8 - The two marines were
pinned down on a roof on Monday, pressing themselves against a low,
crumbling wall as insurgents fired rocket-propelled grenades at
them from a building near the middle of town.
Hours before, they had clambered over a railroad embankment -
a berm, to the engineering-minded - and started their advance into
this rebel-held city.
Commanders called in artillery fire on the building where the
grenades were emerging, their tails spitting and glowing like sparklers
across the sky. But the artillery only flattened the building next
door to the one occupied by the insurgents.
"This is crazy," one of the marines said. "Yeah,"
his buddy said, "and we've only taken one house."
This is urban warfare, where the technological
advantages of the American military can be nullified, at least for
a few terrifying hours, by a few determined fighters in a warehouse
or an abandoned home.
During the night, the insurgents fired off brilliant red and blue
flares, blinding the Americans' sensitive night-vision equipment,
and slipped quickly from house to house in hopes of confusing the
For hours, they succeeded, pinning down perhaps 150 marines led
by Capt. Read Omohundro, a strapping graduate of Texas A&M who
has a habit of walking around upright during bursts of mortar and
grenade fire while everyone else is hugging an outcropping of concrete.
Even the captain concedes that this is nothing like a fight in
the open desert, where the Americans are always fated to win, quickly.
"The challenge is that the battlefield is three-dimensional,"
he said. "Not only do you have to look in front of you and
behind you, but also above you and below you, even subterranean.''
This night would become a textbook illustration of those complexities.
Captain Omohundro's unit started rolling toward the berm in armored
personnel carriers from an encampment about a mile north about 7
p.m. He was supposed to meet up there with another outfit, but it
had gotten lost.
Finally he found it, and his men started their part of the invasion
by firing a 200-yard cord containing 1,800
pounds of explosive southward from the berm, toward downtown
Falluja. The marines worried that their way into the city had been
mined. But when the charge exploded, it also set off any mines in
a narrow path around it.
That tactic worked, but when the marines climbed the berm in pitch
blackness and went over, they discovered rocky ground with rusty
junk littering the way - a typical railroad district on the edge
of town. They worked their way toward their first objectives, a
small traffic circle, and beyond that, the first buildings of the
But the marines were getting shelled even before they went over
the berm. The area exploded with sporadic gunfire, rocket-propelled
grenade rounds and mortars. The advance bogged down as spotters
tried to locate pockets of insurgents and wipe them out with the
For a time, this frightening urban battlefield became a pulsing
cacophony of strange and deadly sounds. The mosques in the city
broadcast calls to jihad through their speakers. F-18's fired 3,000
rounds a minute in bursts that sounded oddly like burps. AC-130
gunships droned overhead, their big cannons going thunk, thunk as
they found targets.
Perhaps strangest of all, the American troops
brought in their own "psyops" trucks - for psychological
operations - and blared sounds that created a nightmarish duet with
the mosques: old AC/DC songs, something that sounded like a sonar
ping, the cavalry charge.
Captain Omohundro did not like sitting still in this theater of
doom, and for good reason. "My biggest fear is staying in the
same place for too long," he said. "Then they'll pinpoint
us and start firing."
Eventually the artillery found the house that had been spitting
the grenades and flattened that one, too. An AC-130 passed overhead
but decided that the threat had been annihilated along with the
Then the shooting started again, from some other window among
the cracked streets and twisted alleyways of Falluja.
Which Bible do they bash? Not mine
Between a cult of Satanic devil-worshippers and a group of Christians,
which of the two would condone an act of mass murder, torture, rape,
destruction of homes, wanton vandalism and acts of terrorism? The
former, or the latter?
Anywhere else in the world, it would be considered that only those
who walk in legion with Satan would or could support such shocking
acts of butchery. Not so in the USA apparently, where the so-called
Christian Fundamentalists handed George Bush the presidency on a
silver platter, complete with a pat on the back and a reassuring
wink. More of the same, George, more of the same.
However, what "Christians" are these and whose Bible
are they bashing?
Christianity stands for the values preached by Jesus Christ, which,
like other main religions, are based upon the principles of peace,
love, tolerance, dialogue and fundamentally, the respect for life,
property and the basic laws which govern mankind. The main religions
are guardians of the unwritten bond which defines human decency
and that which is considered as unacceptable. [...]
Yet today, two thousand years after the Passion of Christ and
fifteen hundred years after the death of Muhammed, we continue to
see acts of depravity and blasphemy justified under religious banners
on a scale as primary and warped as that used five hundred years
ago by the Inquisition.
One such example was the blasphemy of the Taleban regime, which
usurped the Noble Qu'ran and substituted its core message with a
mixture of Pashtun lore and extremist Islamist law. The result:
an insult and a direct attack against Islam itself. Similarly,
the so-called Christian Fundamentalists in the United States of
America, whose warped and blasphemic view of their religion supports
the acts of the Bush regime.
The Christian Fundamentalists of America
are the mirror image of the Taleban, both of which insult and deny
How can any Christian, in whatever shape or form, support an act
of murder, much less mass murder? How can any Christian turn a blind
eye to acts of torture? How can any Christian accept an act of rape?
Did these fundamentalist Christians in the USA know when they voted
for Bush that a substantial number of sisters, wives and mothers
of men wanted by the USA in Iraq were raped in custody and rather
than abort or face the humility of their condition, meted out by
the soldiers of Bush, preferred to commit suicide?
Did these Fundamentalist Christians know that Bush's military
forces targeted civilian infra-structures so that rebuilding contracts
worth billions of dollars could be handed to Cheney's friends at
Halliburton without even the decency of a tender?
In targeting civilian infra-structures, we are speaking about
power plants, which keep babies alive in winter, we are speaking
about water supply systems, we are speaking about electricity units,
we are speaking about schools, we are speaking about hospitals.
Where in the Christian faith does it state that
it is acceptable to destroy such structures? Where in the Christian
religion does it state that a soldier should open fire on civilians,
including children, yelling "Burn, you mother-f.. Burn"?
Where in the Christian religion is it stated that a soldier can
stick his automatic weapon in the face of a frightened six-year-old
boy and scream: "Get ya f. hands up, now?"
No, it is no good to simply deny everything and turn to the cross.
Such instances are documented and recorded. They happened and continue
to happen and will continue to happen, so long as Bush and his evil
regime, which hoodwinked their people with ludicrous tales of fear,
which made fools out of America's good people with their lies, continues
in power. The good Christians of the
United States of America have just given a four-year lease of life
to this Satanistic regime.
As everyone now knows and as George Bush himself now admits, Iraq
and 9/11 were unconnected, wholly and totally unconnected. Saddam
Hussein is not Bin Laden, indeed they hate each other and Islamism
detests Saddam Hussein as being not Islamist enough. Therefore any
connection between Islamist terrorism and Iraq is in plain English,
and I apologize, bullshit.
Yet this bullshit sees US troops, every day, slaughtering Iraqis,
including women and children and let it be
said that if any Iraqi men are resisting this illegal invasion (which
breaks the UN Charter and also breached the Geneva Convention, on
many counts), are only doing what any patriotic US citizen would
do if his country was invaded.
Therefore every time that the Christian Fundamentalists of America
enter into a Church and are faced by a barrage of blasphemy connecting
Christ or Christianity to Bush, may they choke on the Host if they
The Christian Fundamentalists of the United States of America
are, at best, a well-meaning slice of the population which allowed
itself to be misled and deceived by its collective ignorance and
bloody-mindedness. At worst, they are a gullible clique of sniveling
sycophants who cow-tow to authority, whatever it is and whatever
its precepts, listening blindly to the criminals who burn their
money every month in acts of depravity, the hard-earned money which
they donate to their "churches", so often controlled by
masters of mass hysteria who once again have mastered the gift of
mixing religion and politics.
The Christian religion has nothing to do with what Bush is doing
abroad. The Christian religion never did, does not and never will,
condone acts of murder, condone acts of torture, condone acts of
rape, condone invasion of property, condone acts of disrespect for
Iraq is not about 9/11, it is about oil and a geo-strategic position
because Saudi Arabia is becoming too unstable. Afghanistan was not
about bin Laden, it was about the pipeline for gas from Turkmenistan
and Iran is (or will be) about the connectivity of the oil and gas
pipelines, greatly benefiting the corporate elite which gravitates
around the White House, in the figures of Messrs. Cheney and Rumsfeld.
Those who wish to disbelieve and cocoon themselves in a nice,
cozy, protective environment, believing that Mr. President knows
what he is doing, will soon see the errors in their judgement. Mr.
President, in this case, does what he is told.
And the forces behind Mr. President are not Christian or Islamic
or anything else remotely religious. They are guided by greed, by
the lust and thirst and quest for power, in short, they are guided
by the precepts upon which Satan acts and they are wily enough to
have duped the good Christians of the United States of America hook,
line and sinker.
They have taken these good people, they have insulted their beliefs
and they have manipulated them, through fear.
To conclude, a message from my friend of 26 years, Ali, who I
spent three years with at University, whose son Rashid, six years
old, was in Baghdad in the opening days of George Bush's Shock and
He told me, among many tears staining the writing paper, that
his son Rashid had been killed as he stayed with his grandparents
in Baghdad, at the beginning of the horrific bombing campaign unleashed
by the Bush regime, supported by the fundamentalist Christians of
He had been found by his grandmother in the ruins of her home,
with a gaping hole in his abdomen through which blood and faeces
seeped. Knowing his condition, he bravely looked into his grandmother's
eyes and said: "Grandmother, please tell daddy that I was brave
and didn't cry".
Then he died. Six years old.
How can any Christian anywhere on earth say that he supports such
Satanistic acts of depravity? These are not the soldiers of Christ.
They are the legions of Baal. And the Christian Fundamentalists
of the United States of America, in voting in favour of the regime
which perpetrated these evil actions, are as guilty as the demons
which performed them.
Call yourselves anything you like, but do not insult Christianity
and please do not insult the Christians who respect the fundamental
principles of the religion, by calling yourselves Christians. Instead,
call yourselves a cult of Satan worshippers, or the like.
And be ashamed of what you have done, namely supporting a regime
of mass murderers and war criminals.
WASHINGTON - US Attorney General John Ashcroft
and Commerce Secretary Don Evans have resigned their posts, kicking
off a series of cabinet changes in the White House after President
George W. Bush won his second, four-year term in office last week.
The White House said Bush on Tuesday had accepted both resignations.
White House spokesman Scott McClellan said it was not yet clear
who would replace Ashcroft, 62, and Evans, 58.
Political observers have named former New York mayor Rudolph Giuliani
and Deputy Attorney General Larry Thompson, who if tapped would
become the first African-American to head up US law enforcement,
as possible replacements for Ashcroft.
Cabinet overhauls are common features of presidential second terms,
and several other high-profile departures were expected -- including
that of Secretary of State Colin Powell.
The New York Times on Wednesday said Treasury Secretary John Snow
would probably step down within the next six months to a year, and
White House National Economic Council director Stephen Friedman
was also under consideration to replace Robert Zoellick as US trade
"I believe that the Department of Justice would be well served
by new leadership and fresh inspiration. I believe that my energies
and talents should be directed toward other challenging horizons,"
Ashcroft wrote Bush.
"While the promise of your second term shines bright, I have
concluded with deep regret that it is time for me to return home,"
to Texas, said Evans, one of Bush's oldest and closest friends.
Evans and Ashcroft were no strangers to controversy: The commerce
secretary drew fire for suggesting that job losses on Bush's watch
were a myth, while the attorney general, a deeply religious conservative,
was a perpetual lightning rod for opposition Democrats.
Some critics assailed Ashcroft over the Patriot Act, legislation
that broadened law enforcement powers after the September 11, 2001
terrorist attacks, saying it did so at the expense of civil liberties.
"John Ashcroft has worked tirelessly to help
make our country safer," Bush said in a statement released
by the White House.
"During his four years at the Department of Justice, John
has transformed the Department to make combating terrorism the top
priority," he said.
In an implicit knock at critics, Ashcroft wrote in his resignation
letter that "Americans have been spared the violence and savagery
of terrorist attack on our soil since September 11, 2001."
And the former senator also celebrated that: "During the last
four years, our violent crime rate has plunged to a 30-year low."
However, Ashcroft said in a letter to department
employees that it "would be the height of arrogance to assume
we achieved this alone."
"The Psalms remind us: 'Unless the Lord watches
over the city, the watchman stands guard in vain'."
"I express my gratitude to God for the each
day the sun rises on a free and safe America," the devout Ashcroft
The American Civil Liberties Union, in a statement, described Ashcroft
as "one of the most divisive forces in the entire Bush administration,"
whose legacy has been "an open hostility to protecting civil
liberties and an outright disdain for those who dare question his
More than the mere replacement of Ashcroft,
the rights group urged a "wholesale reexamination of the Justice
Department policies that trample on civil liberties and human rights."
WASHINGTON - President Bush has chosen White
House counsel Alberto Gonzales, a Texas confidant and one of the
most prominent Hispanics in the administration, to succeed Attorney
General John Ashcroft, sources close to the White House said Wednesday.
Ashcroft announced his resignation on Tuesday, along with Commerce
Secretary Don Evans, a Texas friend of the president's.
After a National Security Council meeting, Bush was sitting down
Wednesday with Secretary of State Colin Powell, another figure being
closely watched for signs of whether he will stay or go. Powell
has been largely noncommital when asked about his plans.
Gonzales, 49, has long been rumored as a leading candidate for
a Supreme Court vacancy if one develops. Speculation increased after
Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist announced he has thyroid cancer.
Gonzales' career has been linked with Bush for
at least a decade, serving as general counsel when Bush was governor
of Texas, and then as secretary of state and as a justice on the
Texas Supreme Court.
Gonzales has been at the center of developing Bush's
positions on balancing civil liberties with waging the war on terrorism
— opening the White House counsel to the same line of criticism
that has dogged Ashcroft.
For instance, Gonzales publicly defended the administration's
policy — essentially repudiated by the Supreme Court and now
being fought out in the lower courts — of detaining certain
terrorism suspects for extended periods without access to lawyers
He also wrote a controversial February 2002
memo in which Bush claimed the right to waive anti-torture law and
international treaties providing protections to prisoners of war.
That position drew fire from human rights groups, which said it
helped led to the type of abuses uncovered in the Abu Ghraib prison
Some conservatives also have quietly questioned Gonzales' credentials
on core social issues. And he once was a
partner in a Houston law firm which represented the scandal-ridden
energy giant Enron.
A US-led attack on the Iraqi Sunni-stronghold
will breach the Geneva conventions, writes Tony Kevin.
We need to be clear on what is about to happen in the Iraqi city
of Falluja, about 64 kilometres west of Baghdad and a key centre
of Sunni population in Iraq. This city has for many months held
out as a centre of Sunni-based political-military resistance, refusing
to accept the authority either of the former US-led occupying authority
nor, since July, of the interim Iraqi administration led by the
Prime Minister, Iyad Allawi.
Falluja is now to be brought to heel by overwhelming military
power. As I write this, the US attack on the city has begun. The
message to Falluja from the US armed forces in Iraq and from Allawi
was brutally simple: submit now to Baghdad's authority or face attack.
It is still possible that resistance in Falluja will melt away
in the face of US attack. While this would be a more optimistic
scenario, I think it more likely at this point that the insurgents
will fight, because too much is at stake politically for them to
accept a bloodless Allawi victory. I look here at the - in my judgement,
now more likely - scenario that Falluja insurgents will dig in and
defy the invasion force.
What I believe is then likely to be done to Falluja
will be a war crime and crime against humanity, morally indefensible
by any civilised standard or for that matter, by the Statute of
the International Criminal Court (to which, conveniently, neither
the US nor Iraqi Government adheres).
This will be no neat, surgical strike. To get the measure of this,
think of the Warsaw rising in 1944, or the Russian Army's destruction
of the Chechen capital, Grozny. In 1999 this already battered city
(of originally 400,000 people) was finally destroyed by massive
Russian bombardment. Today, insurgents still fight it out with Russian
troops among the ruins.
Eighteen months ago, before the US-led invasion of Iraq, Falluja
was a living city of 300,000 people. Now - depopulated of most of
its civilians by intimidation and fear - what is left looks like
it is about to be blasted out of existence, simply as a demonstration
of overwhelming US power in Iraq.
Of course, the US Army has been for weeks "humanely"
encouraging women and children to leave the encircled city through
checkpoints while there is still time to save their lives.
The Russians did the same before and during the destruction of
Grozny. In a few days, as the battle and the flight of civilians
expands, there may be tens of thousands of new refugees in tent
cities, and tens of thousands of women left without husbands, and
children left without fathers.
If this attack goes ahead as appears inevitable, it will obviously
breach the laws of war and the Geneva conventions. First, it will
grossly exceed proportionality in terms of ends and means. What
intended political or military objective could justify so much death,
the creation of so many new refugees, and wholesale destruction
What threat does the city of Falluja pose to
the Iraqi state at this point? Allawi has claimed that free elections
cannot take place unless Falluja is subdued. What a spurious argument.
The truth is that this city, which has become
a symbol of Sunni-Iraqi political resistance to the occupiers, is
to be made an example of, to deter others. The message the siege
of Falluja sends is brutally simple: resist us and we will destroy
you. It is the same message that the Wehrmacht sent in Warsaw
in 1944, and the Russian Army in Grozny in 1999.
This attack will also violate the rules of war and the Geneva
conventions in having grossly indiscriminate effects on civilians
and civilian homes and infrastructure. America's largely untrained
in battle but over-armed forces will start their attack "humanely",
but as they inevitably take numbers of lethal casualties, their
tactics will quickly escalate to indiscriminate bombing and shelling
of the city using their WMD armouries.
Eventually, the attackers will flatten the city
and kill everyone that still resists in it. Falluja will be the
Iraqi people's Masada, and it will sow seeds of deep anti-Western
hatred in the Middle East for decades to come.
The UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, understands all this, in
pleading for a negotiated solution. And as usual, Washington is
summarily ignoring his pleas.
As a military ally with our troops in Iraq,
Australia is morally implicated in this. While Australian
former SAS commanders, the Governor-General, Major-General Michael
Jeffery, and the Australian Christian Lobby's executive chairman,
Brigadier Jim Wallace, moralise about abortions and gay marriages,
Australia's military ally is about to destroy a living city and
An unnamed US military commander in the tightening military ring
around Falluja proudly boasted (as heard on ABC Radio yesterday)
that this battle will go down in US military history as another
Hue. Indeed it will - who can forget the wholesale artillery destruction
of that sacred, historic Vietnamese city? "We had to destroy
it in order to save it" was the line at the time. Now it looks
like our military ally in Iraq is about to do it all over again
What are Australian political leaders - Government or Opposition
- saying to Washington at this point? Are they saying anything at
all? We reap what we sow.
Tony Kevin, a former Australian diplomat, is a visiting fellow
at the Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies, Australian
National University, Canberra.
The belligerent trumpetings of the US Marines
bode ill for Fallujah. Sgt Major Carlton W Kent, the senior enlisted
marine in Iraq, told troops that the battle would be no different
from Iwo Jima. In an analogy the Pentagon may not relish, he recalled
the Tet offensive in Vietnam in 1968 and added: "This is another
American voters last week never seemed to
take on board the extent of the US military failure in Iraq.
The rebel control of Fallujah, half an hour's drive from Baghdad,
was the most evident symbol of this. It was as if a British government
in London had been forced to watch as an enemy force occupied Reading
for six months.
The US army ceded control of much of western Iraq during the Sunni
uprising last April. Its failure to recover fully from this setback
underlines the extent to which the US as a military power has proved
itself much weaker than the rest of the world had assumed before
the invasion of Iraq last year.
There is no doubt that the US can recapture Fallujah, if only by
blowing most of it up. But this is unlikely to have much of an effect
on the guerrilla war in central and northern Iraq which continues
to escalate. It is still unclear how far the rebels will stand and
fight against the massed firepower of the marines and the US air
force. They know they are far more effective in launching pin-prick
attacks with roadside bombs and suicide bombers.
The recapture of Fallujah is likely to be as disappointing
in terms of ending the resistance as was the capture of Saddam Hussein
last December or the hand-over of sovereignty to an interim Iraqi
government at the end of June. Each event
was billed as a success which would tip the balance towards the
US. Instead the fighting got bloodier and more widespread.
There should be no mystery about why this is happening. All countries
object to being occupied. Foreign invasions provoke nationalist
resistance. This has happened with extraordinary speed in Iraq because
of the ineptitude of the US civil and military commanders, but in
the long term it would have happened anyway.
The US in Iraq has always behaved as if the resistance was fomented
by foreign powers or adherents of Saddam Hussein. A lesson of the
ground war last year was that few Iraqis were prepared to get killed
for their old leader. Earlier this year I asked American helicopter
pilots operating from a base near Fallujah whom they thought they
were fighting. They said firmly that they were at war with "FFs"
and "FRLs". These turned out to be Foreign Fighters and
Former Regime Loyalists. One of the pilots added nervously that
there seemed to be a third somewhat shadowy group "who want
us to go home".
The US and the British are trying to seize Fallujah and the central
Euphrates cities . These may have been the original heartlands of
the rebellion, but today there are guerrilla attacks in every Sunni
region in Iraq. US and interim government control of Baghdad is
One of the strangest justifications for the attack on Fallujah
is that it will allow an election to take place. This would only
be true if the Sunni rebellion was a mirage and was entirely the
work of FFs and FRLs oppressing a local population yearning to break
free. A much more likely result of an increase in the fighting is
a boycott of the election by the Sunnis. Even if they do vote then
there is no reason to suppose that the guerrillas will stop fighting
any more than the IRA laid down its arms despite numerous elections
in Northern Ireland in the 1970s and 1980s.
The election will take place in January and voting will be heavy
because Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, the Shia religious leader, wants
the Shia to show at the polls that they are 60 per cent of the population.
The Kurds, who total another 20 per cent, will also take part. But
Sistani has made clear ever since the overthrow of Saddam Hussein
that he is against the occupation and has steadfastly refused to
meet American officials. The Sunni, another 20 per cent of the population,
have shown that they are strong enough to destabilise Iraq just
as long as they want to. (The Kurds, with a similar proportion of
the population, were able to destabilise Iraq for almost half a
It is worth remembering that the elections are taking place largely
because of armed resistance. Until guerrilla war started in the
summer of last year US officials in Baghdad were speaking airily
of an American occupation going on for years. It was only as the
military situation deteriorated by the week that the US suddenly
decided to appoint an interim government and hold elections. Many
Iraqis say quietly that the only way to get concessions from the
Americans is to shoot at them.
The French failed to hold Algeria against
a nationalist revolt despite fielding an army of half a million.
With similar numbers the US failed in Vietnam. With a much smaller
army in Iraq, it will fail again. As in Algeria and Vietnam,
the war in Iraq will only cease when an end to the occupation is
Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi said he wants
Japanese troops to stay in Iraq as a Buddhist party which gives
him crucial coalition support backed extending the mission past
"Members of the Self-Defense Forces are carrying out a mission
appreciated by local residents. We want to continue these activities
that are highly regarded by residents there," Koizumi said
New Komeito, a pacifist party drawn from lay Buddhists, signalled
it supported keeping troops in Iraq beyond December 14, when their
one-year deployment is set to expire.
"As far as I see there at present, I believe we are in a situation
in which we can continue the deployment," New Komeito leader
Takenori Kanzaki told reporters.
But a New Komeito spokesman said later the party was not giving
"Our official stance remains unchanged -- the government should
make a decision by examining the situation in Iraq up to the very
last moment," the spokesman told AFP.
Some 550 troops are conducting non-combat operations in the southern
city of Samawa in Japan's first military deployment since World
War II to a country of active combat.
Japan passed special legislation declaring the military, known
as the Self-Defense Forces, to be in a "non-combat zone"
so as not to violate its constitution which forbids the use of force.
"There is no way I can say whether a certain area in Iraq
would be 100 percent safe," Koizumi said.
"If it (Samawa) changes from the non-combat
status, we would have to withdraw."
Recent opinion polls have showed a majority
of Japanese oppose extending the mission. Five Japanese have
been killed in Iraq: two diplomats, two journalists and a backpacker
who was kidnapped and beheaded last month after Koizumi rejected
the kidnappers' demand to withdraw his forces. [...]
Japan "expects Iraq's security situation to
improve if the United States inflicts considerable damage on the
insurgents," the daily said, quoting anonymous government sources.
Japan, a close US ally, also wants to show its commitment to rebuild
Iraq as the country elects a new administration next year and does
not foresee changes in US policy toward Iraq after President George
W. Bush's re-election, the report said.
Defence Agency chief Yoshinori Ono is to make a five-day trip to
the United States and Britain from November 19, discussing the security
situation in Iraq with his US and British counterparts Donald Rumsfeld
and Geoff Hoon.
Japan was on alert after a suspected Chinese
nuclear submarine entered its waters near a disputed gasfield, setting
off a high seas chase amid mounting disputes between the two countries.
The submarine was detected in Japanese waters near islands disputed
with China about 300 kilometers (180 miles) southwest of Okinawa,
officials said. The southern island of Okinawa is home to a major
US military base.
Japan was following the submarine with a PC-3 surveillance airplane,
a destroyer and at least one navy helicopter, a military spokesman
"The submarine is (now) cruising in international waters and
it is not necessarily cruising straight. The PC-3 is continuing
to follow it," Chief Cabinet Secretary Hiroyuki Hosoda, the
government spokesman, told reporters.
The Kyodo News agency, quoting unnamed defense sources, said the
vessel was a nuclear submarine from China. Jiji
Press said the vessel was in Japanese waters for about three hours.
The incident comes amid a series of disputes between
Japan and China, including friction over the right to explore for
gas near their maritime border in the East China Sea.
Japanese officials declined to blame China.
"We are still in process of confirming the nationality,"
Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi told reporters who asked him if
the submarine was Chinese.
"Once we confirm it, we will disclose it," said Koizumi,
who earlier called the incident "regrettable."
A Defense Agency spokesman said Japan had between
Friday and Monday spotted two Chinese ships near southern Japan
-- one designed to rescue submarines and the other to tow wrecked
The Chinese ships were in international waters some 1,000 kilometers
(620 miles) south of Tokyo, the spokesman said.
Asked if the Chinese ships had a link to Wednesday's submarine
incident, the spokesman said: "We don't know."
Japan wants the submarine to surface and show its flag but has
not given orders to attack the vessel as it is in international
waters, the Defense Agency spokesman said.
Hosoda said the submarine was found near Okinawa's Sakishima island
chain, which lies close to islands disputed between China, Japan
and Taiwan -- known as Senkaku in Japanese and Diaoyu in Chinese.
The only other time Japan has ordered such a hunt was in March
1999, when two suspected North Korean ships were spotted off its
coast. A plane dropped 12 bombs as a warning.
Okinawa hosts about 65 percent of the more than
40,000 US forces in the country.
China feels deep resentment about Japan's refusal to admit its
atrocities during its occupation from 1931 to 1945 -- a feeling
reinforced by Koizumi's regular visits to a Tokyo shrine that honors
the war dead including convicted war criminals.
A fact-finding mission to China by six Japanese lawmakers recommended
Wednesday slashing aid to China, noting that Beijing tolerated anti-Japanese
sentiment and was making its own loans to other countries.
Japan has also said China may be planning new fields in a disputed
gas project around the maritime boundary between the countries,
which are both major energy importers.
A Japanese defense study reported Monday envisaged three scenarios
for a possible Chinese attack on Japan, including one focused on
Okinawa in which China would try to stop US forces from helping
Taiwan in the event of a conflict over the island.
China voiced anger over Japan's "Cold War mentality"
and said it was not certain that President Hu Jintao would meet
Koizumi when they attend a regional meeting in Chile this month.
BERLIN - War is not an option against Iran
and no one expects the standoff over Iran's nuclear program to lead
to an "Iraq-like confrontation," German Foreign Minister
Joschka Fischer was quoted as saying on Wednesday.
But Fischer added in an interview with Germany's Stern magazine
there were "deep concerns" about Iran's nuclear and missile
programs, saying the acquisition of nuclear weapons would pose a
grave threat to the region and Europe.
The European Union's "Big Three" -- Germany, France and
Britain -- have struggled for more than a year to persuade Iran
to give up its enrichment program, which Washington believes will
be used to produce fissile uranium for nuclear weapons.
"I don't see that we're immediately heading for an Iraq-like
confrontation," Fischer said. "I believe that it's clear
to all parties involved that war is not an option."
British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw has also ruled out this week
that the United States was preparing to resolve the standoff with
The United States, which accuses Iran of developing nuclear weapons
under cover of an atomic energy program, wants Iran reported to
the U.N. Security Council for hiding its enrichment program for
Iran denies wanting nuclear weapons and says its nuclear ambitions
are limited to the peaceful generation of electricity. "A military
nuclearization of Iran would have unforeseen consequences in one
of the most dangerous regions of the world. That would not only
threaten Israel but also Europe," Fischer said.
LONDON (AP) - The head of Britain's MI-5 domestic
security service said Monday that Britons face a "serious and
sustained threat" of terror attacks at home and abroad.
Eliza Manningham-Buller said Osama bin Laden's al-Qaida network
can still mount attacks, despite the arrest and killing of many
of its senior leaders. The terrorist group has also inspired other
militants, she said.
"There is a serious and sustained threat of terrorist attacks
against U.K. interests at home and abroad, including against the
business community," Manningham-Buller told the Council of
Business Industry annual conference in London.
"There might be major attacks
like Madrid earlier this year. They might
be on a smaller scale," she added.
"The terrorists are inventive, adaptable and patient. Their
planning includes a wide range of methods to attack us."
Manningham-Buller has repeatedly warned that the al-Qaida network
was resilient and that the threat of attack
by Islamic terrorists would remain for "a long time."
She said Monday that counterterrorism has helped to prevent attacks
in Britain since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks in the United States.
"Responding to the threat has not been easy, and difficult
judgments have to be made," she said. "Balancing liberty
against security is perhaps the most difficult of them."
MIDDLEEAST.ORG - MER - Washington
- 10 November: Yasser Arafat has been all but legally dead for many
days now. He has been kept 'between life and death' in a very 'complex
situation' (to use the crafty words that have come from key officials)
for financial and political reasons rather than for medical reasons.
A mad scramble has been underway by various parties -- including
his 'wife' Suha as well as his U.S. and Israeli-approved successors
-- to get as much of the money and power as they can manage at this
critical time. Much more important however to the Israelis and the
Americans -- and to the Europeans as well -- is what they can all
manipulate to happen now with Arafat finally eliminated.
By a preponderance of the circumstances and the evidence Yasser
Arafat has effectively been stealth assassinated by the Israelis
as MER first reported and explained last Saturday. His long-time
personal physician has been removed from the scene after announcing
he had been blood poisoned. The French 'military doctors' have been
ordered not to reveal the cause of death and the details of what
has happened to Arafat. Most others not playing ball with the the
U.S. and Israeli approved 'new Palestinian leadership' have been
pushed aside in the past few days. The widely despised 'Palestinian
Foreign Minister', Nabil Sha'ath, long working with Israel and the
U.S., was put in front of the cameras yesterday to attempt to publicly
discredit the death by poisoning verdict and to help confuse and
coverup as much as can be managed before the funeral and burial.
The Israelis never really thought Arafat would be buried in relatively
obscurity in 'a family plot' in Gaza -- though they pushed for it
thinking they just might manage that final insult on top of everything
else. They knew all along the burial would likely take place at
the Muqata in Ramallah and have thus appeared to give their reluctant
'permission' with all kinds of secret restrictions worked out with
their new team of 'Palestinian leaders' -- Sha'ath, Abu Mazen, and
Abu Ala. They are working now to undermine the possibility that
Arafat might first be taken to Arab League Headquarters in Cairo.
And 'negotiations' over just what is now going to happen continue
to hold up the official announcement of Arafat's death even as a
senior 'approved' Muslim Cleric has been rushed to Paris to give
a kind of religious OK to 'pulling the plug' as soon as the crucial
political details are finally approved by all parties, including
Israel and the Americans.
RAMALLAH, West Bank - The death of Palestinian
leader Yasser Arafat, who has been lying in a coma in a French hospital
for a week, was set to be announced at his West Bank headquarters,
a Palestinian official told AFP.
As a top Islamic cleric prepared for a bedside visit to Arafat,
other sources meanwhile said Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak had
offered to host an official funeral in Cairo in the event of Arafat's
"The death of President Arafat should be announced Wednesday
after meetings of the central committee of Fatah and the executive
committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) to be held
at the Muqataa," said the official who asked to remain anonymous.
The announcement of the ailing 75-year-old leader's death was expected
after the return here early Wednesday of four top Palestinians from
a visit to the military hospital at Clamart near Paris where Arafat
was admitted 12 days ago.
However negotiations minister Saeb Erakat told AFP early Wednesday
that Arafat was still fighting for his life as he confirmed that
the veteran leader would be buried at the battered Muqataa compound
in the event of his death.
"There is no doubt that if President Arafat dies he will be
buried at the Muqataa," Erakat said.
However, he stressed that the head of the Palestinian Authority,
who was dramatically flown from Ramallah for treatment in France
on October 29, was still alive "at 2:00 am (midnight GMT)".
GAZA CITY - Israel has agreed that the eventual
burial of comatose Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat can take place
in the West Bank city of Ramallah, Palestinian negotiations minister
Saeb Erakat said.
"Israel made it known to us a few minutes ago that the Israeli
government agrees to a Palestinian request to bury president Arafat
in the Muqataa," Erakat told AFP, referring to Arafat's battered
Israeli public radio had earlier reported that Prime Minister Ariel
Sharon's security cabinet had given the go-ahead for the burial
Eliminating Israel's nuclear arsenal is essential
to a lasting peace in the Middle East and should be part of comprehensive
talks to solve the dispute over Palestine, says the head of the
UN's nuclear watchdog.
The director-general of the International Atomic Energy Agency,
Mohamed ElBaradei, told the Herald in Sydney yesterday:
"This is not really sustainable, that you have Israel sitting
with nuclear weapons capability there while everyone else is part
of the non-proliferation regime."
With optimism rising that Iran may be prepared to suspend its
uranium enrichment program, Dr ElBaradei said Israel's nuclear stockpile
created great resentment among Muslims. "It is a very emotional
issue in the Middle East."
Dr ElBaradei said he hoped to get the disarmament process started
soon, convening a summit in January of Middle East nations, including
The British prime minister Tony Blair is to visit Washington this
week, where he will urge President George Bush to re-invigorate
the Middle East peace process as a second-term foreign policy priority.
The US and its allies have largely turned a blind eye to Israel's
undeclared nuclear arsenal, recognising
that many of its neighbours want Israel wiped from the face of the
earth and the weapons are an important deterrent against invasion.
THE HAGUE : A bomb exploded at an Islamic
school in the Netherlands, spreading fear among the country's 900,000-strong
Muslim community which has been targeted by a wave of hate attacks
in recent days.
Three mosques were targeted by arsonists and two by vandals at
the weekend, one of them daubed with offensive slogans and pig heads,
in apparent reprisal attacks for the murder of a Dutch filmmaker
by a suspected Islamic extremist.
The blast took place before dawn at a Muslim school in the southeastern
city of Eindhoven, causing heavy damage but no injuries, authorities
said. No one has been apprehended over the attack, police said.
THE HAGUE - Dutch police mounted a major anti-terror
raid against suspects holed up in an apartment in The Hague, who
retaliated by hurling a grenade that wounded three policemen and
jolted nearby residents awake in this normally quiet city.
Authorities closed down air space over the city, police said, evacuated
people living in five streets near the targetted apartement and
cordoned off the area.
Officials would not identify the suspects nor give their number,
but said police had surrounded the building in a working class neighborhood
near the Holland Spoor train station.
The Netherlands has been on alert since the November 2 murder of
controversial Dutch director Theo van Gogh, killed by a suspected
Islamic radical in the capital Amsterdam. [...]
IVEL, Ky. — A gas line exploded Monday
in rural Kentucky, burning four houses and injuring nine people,
including an off-duty state trooper who helped rescue a woman and
child, officials said.
Trooper Rick Conn suffered third-degree burns and was hospitalized
in fair condition late Monday.
State police said Conn was heading to work when he smelled gas from
a 4-inch line that leads to a processing plant. The force of the
subsequent blast blew out the windows in his cruiser, but Conn kept
driving toward homes to evacuate residents.
"He heard a call for help and pulled a woman and small child
out and then collapsed," said Sgt. Phil Crumpton, adding Conn
suffered burns on his face, neck, chest and hands.
By late afternoon, the fire had destroyed four homes and continued
to burn. The cause of the blast was not immediately known. [...]
WASHINGTON -- Korean Air is the first airline
granted permission by the federal government to carry electric stun
guns aboard jetliners that fly within U.S. airspace.
The Transportation Security Administration last week approved
Korean Air's request to carry "Tasers," agency spokesman
Mark Hatfield said today. The weapon, made by Taser International
Inc., gives off a jolt of electricity that incapacitates the victim.
Korean Air has been using Tasers on flights outside the United
States for several years, airline spokeswoman Penny Pfaelzer said.
The airline has 50 flights a week to the United States.
Hatfield said Korean Air was the only airline so far to submit
an application to use Tasers.
Taser International Inc.'s stock price on the
Nasdaq exchange jumped on the news by more than 20 percent, or $9.67,
In recent months, the company has secured big
orders from the Army National Guard and major U.S. police departments,
including Houston. Tasers also were approved in September by police
forces throughout England and Wales.
Pilots on U.S. airlines are allowed to carry handguns if they
undergo special training. Thousands have done so, although the exact
number is classified.
USA Today first reported that Korean Air was given permission
to use Tasers.
'A large bunker project is being constructed
at the Jiupeng missile test-launch ground by the Zhongshan Scientific
Research Institute, under Taiwan's "Defense Ministry",
and upon completion next year, will be used
to deploy a "Patriot III" missile system purchased from
the United States', Taiwan newspapers reported October 27.
Jiupeng base, located in Pingdong Province, has been a key site
for missile research and testing for the Taiwan army, known also
as the "Space Center Houston" of Taiwan. It has drawn
wide attention as it is reportedly being developed into Asia's biggest
Large bunker suspected to be a nuclear test ground
The arms research by the Zhongshan institute has drawn close attention
from the United States due to frequent remarks made by the Taiwan
authorities for developing offensive arms to be used against the
mainland, and You His-kun ("president of the Administrative
Yuan") advocating the so-called "balance of terror"
US intelligence satellites recently noticed that a large reinforced
concrete structure is being built at Jiupeng base, which belongs
to the Zhongshan institute. From its unusual thickness, the Americans
guessed it to be a bunker able to resist heavy bombs.
It is suspected the bunker was built for
"special purpose", which may relate to Taiwan's alleged
research into medium-range missiles, cruise missiles, and even nuclear
KATHMANDU : A powerful bomb planted by suspected
Maoists exploded in a government office block in Kathmandu on Tuesday,
injuring 36 people and shattering a six-week calm in the Nepalese
capital, police said.
The blast occurred on the ground floor of the newly built Civil
Servants Provident Fund Office near the army headquarters, a police
"Suspected Maoists left a bag packed with a powerful locally
made bomb which went off, injuring some workers ... and some pedestrians
waiting outside for three-wheeler autorickshaws," the official
The explosion, which was heard some two kilometres away, shattered
windows in the building and damaged rickshaws and a motor cycle
ST. JOHN'S — Almost 500
students were forced to leave a St. John's school Tuesday afternoon
after explosive material was discovered on the front steps.
St. Teresa's School was evacuated after a police officer discovered
a suspicious package while he was there on a routine visit to talk
about bus safety.
To the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary officer's surprise, he
found a package on the steps marked 'explosive'.
The officer went to the principal's office to alert staff of the
The entire school body was moved to nearby St. Teresa's Parish.
After the students left the building, police took a closer look
at the package. They discovered a piece of commercial explosive
that was not dangerous by itself, but could detonate if it was combined
with other materials.
Police say it's possible the explosive material came from a nearby
They're still trying to find out how the package ended up on the
KAMPALA, Uganda (AP) - An anthrax outbreak
has killed 194 hippos in western Uganda, wildlife officials said
Tuesday and scientists are struggling to develop a way to quickly
diagnose and contain the disease.
The first hippos died in late July in Queen Elizabeth National
Park but it took months of research and testing to determine the
cause, said John Bosco Nuwe, the park's chief warden. The disease
has also killed 14 buffalo, he said.
Unconfirmed reports said 10 people died after eating infected
hippo meat but officials could not verify those reports.
"We are vaccinating the livestock around the park or those
in close proximity," Nuwe said.
"We're telling people not to panic and stop eating hippo
AMSTERDAM - Almost half of the species of birds
in Europe are at risk of disappearing, according to a new report.
The latest assessment by BirdLife International, an umbrella organization
of conservation groups, says 226 species of birds on the continent,
or about 43 per cent, are in danger of being wiped out.
The northern lapwing has suffered declines across much of Europe
since 1990. (Andy Hay/RSPB Images) "Birds are excellent environmental
indicators and the continued decline of many species sends a clear
signal about the health of Europe's wildlife and the poor state
of our environment," said Clairie Papazoglou, head of BirdLife.
Perth, Australia — An oil slick up to
12 kilometres long is polluting a World Heritage-listed stretch
of the Western Australian coast that includes an important nesting
site for threatened loggerhead turtles, a state government said
The slick in the Shark Bay area of Western Australia state's northern
coast includes a turtle habitat on Dirk Hartog Island. It was reported
to the state government Monday, state Planning and Infrastructure
Minister Alannah MacTiernan said.
Authorities have not yet determined the source, she said. [...]
MIAMI : The world is at great risk of a new
pandemic of deadly bird flu, but is ill-prepared to handle it, a
top World Health Organization official said at an international
conference in Miami.
"It's a very difficult issue ... where there's been a crescendo
to the present situation and where incomplete understanding of the
risk factor could lead to a global pandemic," said David Heymann,
who heads WHO's communicable diseases section.
"We can say the risk is great, but we cannot quantify it,"
he told AFP during the American Society of Tropical Medicine and
Hygiene's annual meeting.
"The world is not prepared to handle
it," he said.
He told experts at the gathering the flu vaccine's current production
capacity of 300 million doses was far short of what is needed, and
that the vaccine cannot be stockpiled.
Public health officials and vaccine manufacturers were to convene
in Geneva, Switzerland, this week to plan for the eventuality of
a pandemic. [...]
Ottawa — Canada should become the first
country in the world to systematically vaccinate all
citizens over the age of six months against the flu, a blue-ribbon
panel of scientists recommends.
In a statement to be made public today, the Canadian Task Force
on Preventive Health Care says that doing so could reduce cases
of influenza by as much as 93 per cent.
Universal vaccination would sharply reduce deaths among the elderly
(almost 5,000 of whom die annually in Canada from flu-related illnesses),
cut sick days among workers and schoolchildren, lower health-care
costs and potentially save the economy hundreds of millions of dollars
"Ideally, we would like to have everyone immunized against
influenza," said task force member Joanne Langley of the Department
of Community Health and Epidemiology at Dalhousie University.
"Universal vaccination would likely
be of great benefit and unlikely to cause any significant harm,
so we are recommending this approach," she said in an
The only people who should not be vaccinated against influenza
are babies under the age of six months, people who are allergic
to eggs or thimerosal (a mercury-based preservative used in the
flu vaccine), and those who have had a severe reaction to a previous
flu shot. [...]
About 140 people were under quarantine last
night as fire, police and EMS crews investigated a mysterious viral
outbreak at the Calgary Drop-In Centre. The decision was made to
lock down the facility -- at 423 4 Ave. S.E -- after staff called
911 around noon because a number of people were suffering from symptoms
including nausea, diarrhea and vomiting.
A staff member identified a number of sick people around 6 a.m.
"As the night progressed into the morning, the number of people
who were sick increased as did the severity of their symptoms,"
said Calgary EMS spokesman Mike Plato.
A floor-by-floor assessment of the 500 people in the building
identified 140 who were ill to some degree, but the decision was
made not to take any of them to hospital.
"Everybody is stable enough and their symptoms are such that
the decision was made to treat all of them in the Drop-In Centre,"
Plato said, adding people were being treated with medication and
Calgary Health Region staff said it's possible it could be the
Norovirus -- formerly known as Norwalk virus -- but at this point
it's unclear. [...]
DENVER (AP) -- A government climate researcher
is predicting that the five-year Western drought could linger for
several more years and more frequent droughts are likely.
"It could continue for several more years, and it's something
we need to be aware of," Gregory McCabe of the U.S. Geological
Survey said. "I think people should be on their guard."
Drought in the West often is linked to periods when the northern
Atlantic Ocean is warmer than normal, periods that tend to last
nine to 23 years, McCabe said.
The northern Atlantic switched into a warm phase nine years ago,
and it shows no signs of fading, McCabe said Monday at the annual
meeting of the Geological Society of America. [...]
The prospects and implications of an asteroid
impact on Earth will be the topic of the November meeting of the
Café Scientifique at Queen's University. [...]
On average 30- 40 Near-Earth Objects (NEOs) are discovered each
month - asteroids and comets that could one day collide with the
Earth. Over 3,000 NEOs have been found, and a world-wide effort
involving professional and amateur astronomers attempts to keep
track of these objects. Now a team of astronomers at Queen's will
endeavour to track some of these objects each week using large high-performance
Dr Fitzsimmons and his colleagues from the UK Astrometry and Photometry
Programme (UKAPP) for Near-Earth Objects, based at the University,
are currently tracking NEOs and feeding their information into the
international programme of protecting the Earth from any future
impact by a comet or asteroid.
HILO, Hawai'i — For the first time since
August, lava from the Kilauea volcano is flowing into the sea, but
it probably won't trigger a surge in visitors to Hawai'i Volcanoes
The flow is difficult to reach, and getting close to it requires
a 90-minute hike over rough, potentially dangerous lava fields.
Park rangers don't recommend it.
Lava first reached the sea Friday night, and peaked Saturday night
and Sunday morning, with open cascades visible, said Don Swanson,
a geologist with the U.S. Geological Survey's Hawaiian Volcano Observatory.
PETROPAVLOVSK-KAMCHATSKI, - The Shiveluch
volcano, which is located in the so-called "Country of geysers
and volcanoes" - the Kamchatka peninsula in the north-east
of the Asian part of Russia, washed by the waters of the Bering
Sea and the Okhotskoe Sea - continues to eject ashes to the heights
between 1,500 and 4,500 meters.
According to experts from the Kamchatka scientific and methodological
seismology research group, they registered a 3,000-meter-high emission
at 11:05 local time on Monday (the time difference with Moscow is
Poor weather conditions hindered the visual observation of the
volcano for the most part of yesterday. However,
according to seismic data, the volcano has already registered at
least 5 high-altitude emissions of gas and ashes.
Satellite pictures, provided by the Alaska volcanological observatory,
show an 85-km long ash cloud moving in southeast direction. Seismic
stations in the vicinity of the volcano register ground shocks at
the depth of 5 kilometers and intermittent volcanic vibration.
Kamchatka's northernmost active 3,283-meter-high Shiveluch volcano
registered the increase in its activity back in January of this
At present, it does not pose any danged to residents of nearby
villages. Nevertheless, clouds of emitted ashes might be very dangerous
for aircraft and tourists, anglers and hunters who get too close
to the volcano.
| A powerful earthquake hit the Solomon
Islands in the South Pacific today but there were no reports of injury
The US Geological Survey said the quake registered 6.9 on the Richter
scale and hit at 9:58am local time.
It was 10 kilometres deep and 205 kilometres from the nearest settlement,
the regional capital of Kira Kira on San Cristobal Island.
State-owned Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation, which maintains
a two-way radio service around the scattered island nation, said
no one had reported feeling the quake.
The Solomon Islands, 2,575 kilometres east of Australia has just
under 500,000 people living on dozens of islands.
Part of the Pacific "ring of fire", the Solomons frequently
reports volcanic and seismic activity.
Nov. 10 (Bloomberg) -- An earthquake
of preliminary magnitude 5.3 struck Japan's northern Niigata region,
where repeated quakes have killed more than 30 people and forced
tens of thousands into temporary shelters since late last month.
There were no immediate media reports of injuries from today's
temblor and others that followed. The first struck the Niigata region
at 3:43 a.m., according to the U.S. Geological Survey, and was centered
in a mountainous region near the coast about 210 kilometers (130
miles) north-northwest of Tokyo.
It was followed by earthquakes in the 3-4 magnitude range, and
a 2.9-magnitude quake at 6:57 a.m., according to the Japan Meteorological
A 6.5-magnitude earthquake jolted the Niigata area on Oct. 23,
and the region has since been hit by hundreds of aftershocks.
| TAIPEI : An earthquake measuring 5.7 on the Richter
scale rocked Taiwan, swaying buildings and waking people from their
sleep, seismologists said.
In the capital Taipei, buildings swayed for some 14 seconds and
"as the earthquake was on the island, its strength was felt
strongly," said Kuo Kai-wen, head of the Seismology Centre.
The tremor struck at 11:55 pm (1555 GMT) with its epicenter located
one kilometre (0.6 miles) northwest of the northeastern coastal
town of Nanao, 19.4 kilometres under the earth, it said.
Some residents in Ilan city, near Nanao, fled their homes after
being awakened by the strong tremor, TVBS cable news network said,
adding that the quake also triggered rock falls on to a highway.
The world's tallest building, the 508-metre Taipei 101, remained
intact, passing a key safety test, and the capital city's mass rapid
transit system was not interrupted, TVBS said.
There were no immediate reports of casualties.
The destructive force of the quake was greatly reduced by the
sea, the seismological centre added.
TAIPEI : Taiwan's seismology centre said Tuesday
that an earthquake overnight was far stronger than first thought
and measured 6.7 on the Richter scale.
The centre had originally given the quake as measuring 5.7 on
the open-ended scale, but said a computer glitch had caused a false
reading. There were no reports of any casualties or damage from
"It was the first time our automatic computer system misjudged
the magnitude of an earthquake," said an analyst at the seismology
| An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of
5.2 struck central Alaska at 9:21 p.m. on Sunday, according to Bill
Knight with the Alaska Tsunami Warning Center in Palmer. The quake
was centered about 140 miles northwest of Anchorage and 90 miles west
of Cantwell. No injuries were reported. The rumble was felt in certain
parts of Anchorage. People in Trapper Creek called the tsunami warning
center and reported a strong jolt and snow being knocked off tree
branches, Knight said.
KABUL, November 10 (Online): It was still
too early to estimate potential casualties or damages brought about
by an earthquake that struck the war-ravaged Afghanistan, an official
The Interior Ministry of the transitional government has not received
any report regarding the latest earthquake, and it was premature
to make a judgment about the possible loss, a government source
told Xinhua via phone minutes after the tremor jolted the capital.
The flooding that began on Saturday in Kebumen,
Central Java, has spread through the regency to affect several towns
and villages, sweeping away at least four houses and forcing hundreds
of victims to flee on Tuesday.
On Saturday, dozens of villages in the four districts of Karanganyar,
Adimulyo, Kuwarasan and Poncowarno became inundated, and one person
was killed in the disaster. [...]
Floodwaters rushed through Tegalsari, damaging or destroying dozens
of houses after a 100-meter local dike on the Kemit River gave way.
At least four houses in Tegalsari were swept away and 15 others
heavily damaged, while 200 homes were submerged in water. No new
reports on casualties have been issued. [...]
MIAMI - A storm system brewing in the central
Caribbean could develop into a tropical cyclone this week while
dropping heavy rain and causing dangerous flooding and mud slides
on Puerto Rico and the island of Hispaniola, forecasters said.
Clouds and thunderstorms stretched over a vast area from Costa
Rica to Puerto Rico, forecasters at the National Hurricane Center
in Miami reported.
Though the storm had no defined center, it became better organized
Tuesday and could develop into a tropical or subtropical storm by
Thursday, forecasters said.
"The primary threat right now is heavy rain that will continue
whether the system develops or not," said Jack Beven, a hurricane
specialist at the center.
Satellite estimates showed more than 10 inches of rain falling
The next tropical storm to form during the Atlantic hurricane season,
which ends Nov. 30, would be named Otto.
The aircraft that caused a sonic boom over
North Norfolk was a passing foreign warplane flying up the North
Sea, it emerged tonight.
But defence officials are staying tight-lipped over the identity
of the offending military pilot and his nationality.
People across a stretch of east and north Norfolk from Sheringham
to Halvergate heard Monday's big bang at about noon.
The window-rattling boom sparked fears it was huge gas explosion,
but it was later confirmed as a sonic boom
caused by an aircraft that was not British.
Ministry of Defence spokesman Lt Col Stuart Green said last night
the aircraft involved was from another country, and had not been
taking off, landing or involved in an exercise in Britain. [...]
DETROIT - A small plane crashed in a Detroit
neighborhood Monday afternoon, setting at least two houses on fire.
Witnesses said construction workers at the scene helped pull two
people out of the wreckage of the aircraft.
The man and woman were taken to a hospital, where they were in
serious condition, said Detroit Fire Commissioner Tyrone Scott.
Police said nobody on the ground was injured.
The roof of one house was completely burned away, and another house
was damaged by fire. The mangled remains of the two-engine Piper
Aztec plane rested on the ground across the street from one of the
The plane went down after taking off from Detroit City Airport
and clipping a utility pole, Scott said. The
cause of the accident was not immediately known.
Lakisha Roberts, 29, was in the kitchen cooking with her 1-year-old
son when she heard the plane hit her brand-new house. "I just
heard a boom, then I (saw) all the fire in the yard and I just started
running," she said.
The Red Cross was offering the family temporary shelter.
A small plane also crashed into the roof of a
suburban Atlanta house Monday. Authorities said no one was injured.
A single-engine plane crashed into a Chamblee
home Monday, sending the pilot and two occupants of the house to
The three victims — the male pilot, and a woman and her
son on the ground — suffered minor injuries, said DeKalb County
Fire Department Capt. Eric Jackson.
The incident occurred a little after 3 p.m., when the aircraft
crashed into the roof above the kitchen of the one-story bungalow
at 3018 Villa Esta Drive.
The cause of the crash was not immediately known, but witnesses
said the aircraft appeared to fall from about
350 feet directly onto the house — about 10 feet off
"I thought it was a bomb or something," said Lucero
Espinoza, a neighbor. [...]
Country side village residents near Boalput
in West Bengal are reporting strange activities in the sky surrounding
the Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore's heaven of cultire and arts
- the Vishwabharati University in Shantiniketan!
According to poor villagers, these are "Gods" from heavens
who really like to understand world's most spophisticated and advanced
culture of arts and litterature. UFO sighting, presence of alliens
in the area is being reported. According to sources, the University
is tight lipped about anything. However, it seems something is going
on there specially in the India-China cultural center.
According to some, the aliens are trying to understand creativity
and excellence in arts and litteratire. The UFO sightings in India
specially in the Hamalayas has increased very heavily in recent
UFO presence around Shantiniketan is not new. But the number of
UFOs now are so high that villagers are experiencing them every
day. Young children are reporting seeing aliens. [...]
A suspected sonic boom heard across north-east
Norfolk today was not caused by a British aircraft, it was confirmed
The loud bang, heard at least from Sheringham to Halvergate near
Yarmouth, startled hundreds of people going about their daily business
at around noon.
But a Ministry of Defence spokesman said it was not a domestic
fighter that caused the incident, although he was unable to confirm
the source of the sonic boom.
"We believe there was a sonic boom, but it was not a British
aircraft that caused it," said Lt Col Stuart Green. "It
was not one of ours."
Whether the aircraft was European or American was not clear, but
they would be the most likely suspects. But it would have been a
military aircraft, as no civilian plane is capable of going fast
enough to make a sonic boom.
A spokesman for the UK Civil Aviation Authority said the now out
of service Concorde was the only civilian craft that had ever been
able to travel fast enough to create the phenomenon.
North Norfolk MP Norman Lamb described how he had been sitting
in his office in North Walsham when he heard an "incredible
"The building shook and like many people I was shocked. I
thought 'has there been some sort of gas explosion?'"
Mr Lamb said he felt the "disturbing" incident begged
questions that needed to be answered. He pledged to approach ministers
for an explanation.
Ben Dunnell, assistant editor of Aircraft Illustrated and formerly
from Norfolk, said sonic booms were rare in the UK. "There
are regulations governing supersonic flight, but it is not clear
what happened on this occasion."
When the sonic boom was heard, windows and homes shook while some
people were reported to have been running for cover.
"I heard this enormous explosion," said John Hilton,
who was in Stalham at the time. One or two people were very worried,
although most realised fairly quickly what it probably was. But
I don't feel things like this should be happening."
Police and RAF bosses received scores of calls from those concerned
at the explosion. [...]
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Cassiopaean materials Copyright ©1994-2014 Arkadiusz Jadczyk and Laura Knight-Jadczyk. All rights reserved. "Cassiopaea, Cassiopaean, Cassiopaeans," is a registered trademark of Arkadiusz Jadczyk and Laura Knight-Jadczyk.
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