Tuesday, November 23, 2004
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New Publication! The Wave finally in book form!

The Wave: 4 Volume Set
Volume 1

by Laura Knight-Jadczyk

With a new introduction by the author and never before published, UNEDITED sessions and extensive previously unpublished details, at long last, Laura Knight-Jadczyk's vastly popular series The Wave is available as a Deluxe four book set.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 pages.

The Wave is an exquisitely written first-person account of Laura's initiation at the hands of the Cassiopaeans and demonstrates the unique nature of the Cassiopaean Experiment.

Pre-order Volume 1 now. Available at the end of November!



Picture of the Day


Marsolan by Night
©2004 Pierre-Paul Feyte


Why People Won't See

How your government gets away with murder

by John Kaminski
skylax@comcast.net
11-21-04

I receive 200-500 e-mails per day. Needless to say I can't read them all, never mind answer them all. But many of them are like this one, and these I always try to answer these even though I really don't have THE ANSWER when people ask me, "What can I do to stop this madness?"

"Hello, John. Thanks for the education. I am wondering, what is that makes most people "uneducable?" Fear? Denial? Upbringing?

"I have a friend who had opened up a bit to the idea that 9/11 was pure theatre, but now is sliding back to "I don'twant to talk about it ... after saying to me, 'What are you trying to prove that the government is wrong? Why should people care?'

"I guess I must examine my own fears: the feeling I had when I first started e-mailing people — after learning just enough on 9/11 to be convinced it was an inside job. Maybe it's just the crowd mentality ....

"So I am asking you, what do you think is the main reason why people are uneducable?

"I'd appreciate your opinion.

"Craig R."

Craig, I think there is one overriding reason that prevents people from confronting the lies their government tells them, and it's the hardest one to realize. And by your phrasing, I can see you're already onto it.

Sure, you can blame a lot of the American public's indifferent and uninvolved behavior on a deliberately retarded school system that prioritizes regimentation as far more important than enlightenment, or our bozo media industry that reduces everything to lowest common denominator pandering to our baser instincts.

Or, you can suspect the mentally debilitating effects of fluoride, chemtrails, and food additives — not to mention the omnipresent radioactivity increasing in our atmosphere by the day, or the conscience-numbing aphasia of antidepressant drugs — as possible reasons for this detached malaise that causes many people to be completely disinterested in the vital processes that control and diminish their own lives.

But really, you hit it on the head when you speculated that you must examine your own fears.

I've said this before, and I'll never stop saying it.

The real opportunity for growth and learning when studying the events of 9/11 is this.

Once you realize that 9/11 was an inside job, conceived and carried out by members of the highest levels of the American government, a window opens in your mind that reveals the hypocritical and destructive nature of American behavior over time, and you begin to see that all these heroicized wars that have been conducted in the name of democracy and freedom were really something quite different.

At this point, it becomes a matter of do you have genuine integrity or don't you? As we all know, the first requirement of true integrity is admitting your own faults. I think there is no question in anyone's mind at this moment that America has no integrity (hell, you just need to look at the Indian treaties to realize that). Certainly the mainstream American media has absolutely no integrity, in that it's obvious to everyone the real stories about the Iraq war, depleted uranium, public corruption, fixed elections, and on and on ad infinitum are never mentioned by the hateful robots you see reading the "news" on TV).

But the larger question is: Do WE have integrity? I'm talking about you and me.

Are we willing to look at the truth as we perceive it and try to identify and admit our own complicity in all these atrocities, as the American government runs around the world shooting innocent women and children in the head over reasons we KNOW are lies. I mean, we're supposed to be fighting terrorists, right, but we KNOW these terrorists are not Muslim malcontents, and that most likely they are CIA/Mossad-contracted mercenaries assigned to kill Iraqi aid workers, behead innocents and blow up churches and mosques in order to inflame the situation to kindle support from the braindead public, who then mindlessly cheer the genocidal tactics of George W. Bush and pretend not to notice that not only did America CREATE the terrorists and start the war with phony evidence, we now continue the war as viciously as we can, continually murdering innocents and turning our own troops into raging psychopaths. Why? Increased profits for the military contractors, of course, which means increased under-the-table payments for our elected officials.

In a way, the easiest way to deal with that guilt is to pretend it's not really happening, which is what most Americans are doing right now.

But in the conversation between you and me, Craig, we both know that WE are partly responsible — not matter how small or unwilling a part — for the American mass murder in Iraq, because we know we are American citizens and as such have a responsibility for controlling what our government does, at least if we are to believe and endorse the fact that America is a participatory democracy in which the people are ultimately responsible for what their government does.

Of course on another level, we have absolutely no control over what our government does. The Congress and most elected officials throughout America are bought off by the financial powers-that-be, and they do what they want, ordinary people like you and me be damned. But again, if we have integrity, we can trace a small shard of responsibility back to ourselves, to some small event in our histories in which we did not stand for principle, but instead held back and let some innocuous hypocrisy pass us by unchallenged with the rationalization that "there's nothing we could have done about it" or "it didn't affect me that much."

Although these events seemed unimportant at the time, these small defeats, multiplied by the American population total — some 300 million — have combined to produce the situation we face today — an endless war aimed at stimulating hatred and conflicts for the ubiquitous and ever-present purpose of increasing profits for the goons who make and sell the weapons.

Why people try to hide in their own indifference is a very old question. So is why they are uneducable.

But beyond the political ramifications of this widespread indifference are the spiritual dimensions, the conversations each of us has with ourselves, either lying on a pillow in the dark late at night or taking that first hard glance in the mirror before shaving in the morning.

To a degree, you are right about the crowd mentality. Everybody wants to fit in. Our minds create and accept authority figures, and we try to live our lives according to these dictates we have accepted as legitimate to our own self-worth.

But a deeper reason exists with regard to what we choose to believe. And let me preface this by admitting I’ve been saying this for a long time, and haven’t found all that many who agree with my opinion. But that doesn’t stop me from repeating it.

I believe that religions are ultimately debilitating to the spirit, because they try to make us believe things that we know are not true, and in accepting the tenets of any religion, we leave ourselves open to a pattern of behavior that accepts things on faith, without examining them rationally. And this process habituates us to accepting lies as truth, as long as they emanate from an authority figure we have conditioned ourselves to respect.

Once you are willing to accept something that deep in your psyche you know goes against what you perceive to be rational truth — e.g., Jesus died for our sins and rose again from the dead — THEN YOU CAN BE MADE TO BELIEVE ANYTHING, whether it is true or not, as long as it comes from an authority figure to whom you have given credibility in your mind.

I believe this is a central component in the phenomenon of a majority of the American people believing the government’s bogus story about 9/11, and in their willingness to accept the psychotic carnage in Iraq as being somehow relevant to their own well-being.

Thus, according to the tenets of the psychological process known as transference (in which we take the feelings of trust and dependence that we feel as children toward our parents and transfer them as adults to a relationship with an imaginary sky god to maintain our inner feelings of security), we want to accept what George W. Bush tells us because we have embedded ourselves in American society, and our whole meaning becomes challenged and distorted when we lose that focus by realizing that probably everything that has come out of Dubya’s mouth in his whole life has been a cynical and sarcastic rich boy’s lie.

Therefore, challenging his public statements can be disorienting to those who are not committed to their own integrity or trapped in the psychological prison of a fictitious belief system that can be proven false, should such believers suddenly develop the courage to confront the lies they are telling themselves.

In some cases, confronting these lies can totally shatter a person’s sense of self, which is why the majority choose not to do that. Unfortunately, not confronting these lies is very likely to shatter our world into little radioactive bits, a profoundly ugly process we see happening — and accelerating — as we speak.

Thanks for writing, Craig.

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Just unfair, unfair, unfair.
By Abu Assur

Mr. Bush why are you killing all these simple, innocent people in Iraq? Why are you destroying their homes, their holy shrines, their churches and mosques? Why are your troops raping their women and children and why is the mob you sent abusing them sexually? Just tell us what have the Iraqi people done to you or to the US? Why did you send your troops to kill an elderly man praying in a mosque, a place of refuge and serenity? Haven't you been told even a wild boar when entering a church, is safe from hunters? Mr. Bush do you really realize what the US is doing in Iraq? Do you think just one second about the tremendous consequences of your deeds?

You say you are a Christian, a believer? How on Earth can a Christian send his troops and death machines to slaughter innocent people who have done nothing to you or to your people? Do you have a Christian counselor, a minister, and a God fearing man to listen to?

It is just unfair what is being done in Iraq. Did you see Mr. Bush the horrifying scenes of your soldiers shooting in a mosque, God's dwelling place, shooting a wounded defenseless old man. Is this freedom you came to preach in Iraq? Is this the democracy you intend to impose in Iraq? Is this what your Gospel tells you to do? Mr. Bush have you read your Bible? Do you know that every innocent Iraqi you are killing is the image of a Christ you are crucifying every day in Iraq?

Did you see the old wounded man being shot in the mosque? Mr. Bush, I know professional killers surround you, but by shooting a wounded elderly man you are shooting all humanity and you are killing every human noble practice. Blessed is the old man murdered while in the hands of his Lord. He is for sure resting in immense peace. I am sure he has been welcomed to the bosom of the Lord.

You old man slaughtered during your prayers, while talking to your lord, your heart filled with faith, prays for Iraq, amen!

Yes Mr. Bush your country crucified Iraq for thirteen years killing hundreds of its innocent civilians through the inhuman embargo and now you are devastating this country by using the most horrible chemical, nuclear and biological weapons.

Mr. Bush where is your human conscience? If you don't know what a conscience is then where is your Christian education?

I do respect your beliefs, but how can you sleep at night or be respected by your own family and daughters when they see what the US is doing in Iraq?

Mr. Bush, when someone is that violent, it doesn't mean he is strong. In fact, and this is a proven psychoanalytical point of view, it demonstrates that he is frightened to death. When you exercise violence towards the others, it really means that you are violent to yourself, towards your kin, and towards your family. As you know violence as a practice can't be split (i.e. I am violent with others but I am forgiving and serene with my people'). No this doesn't work like that, unless the person concerned is a psychopath, or is badly suffering from a syndrome called schizophrenia, whose symptoms are the ambivalence of thoughts, feelings and paradoxical behavior, which makes someone out of touch of reality. Only your dual personality can explain what is going on in Iraq! In the church you beg, "forgive us our debts as we also have forgiven our debtors." while your troops slaughter the innocent in Bethlehem, I mean in Fallujah and elsewhere in Iraq.

Mr. Bush you could be a perfect Pharisee, "You are like white washed tombs which look beautiful on the outside; but on the inside are filled of dead men's bones and everything unclean. In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous, but on the inside, you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.

There is something you should know Mr. Bush that the Iraq, you are crucifying today on the cross of genocide via chemical weapons, and that you think you are burying for ever, is going to rise again, then we shall see what your end will be.

Comment: Although we share this author's sense of outrage, there seems little point in trying to appeal to Bush's sense of Christian morals. Being a probable psychopath who's devoid of conscience, it is likely that his so-called Christian conversion is more for show, paying lip-service to the teachings of Jesus in order to placate the easily hoodwinkable fundamentalist right. If anything, Bush's real God is more apt to modeled after the angry, jealous Jehovah of the Old Testament, whose insatiable demands for human sacrifice have resulted in an ocean of blood in the middle east. And this is only the beginning.

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Iraq's children suffer most under U.S. occupation: report
Last Updated Mon, 22 Nov 2004 19:40:51 EST
OSLO - Malnutrition among the youngest children in Iraq has nearly doubled since the U.S.-led invasion of that country, according to a survey done by Norwegian researchers, the United Nations and the Iraqi government.

The survey discovered the rate of acute malnutrition in children under five years old shot up to 7.7 per cent from four per cent since the March 2003 invasion of Iraq.

The study was conducted by Iraq's Health Ministry in co-operation with Norway's Fafo Institute for Applied International Studies and the UN Development Program.

The report, released by the Norwegian institute, said about 400,000 Iraqi children are suffering from "wasting" — a condition marked by chronic diarrhea and deficiencies in protein.

"It's in the level of some African countries," said Jon Pedersen, deputy managing director of the Fafo Institute.

The World Food Program, a UN agency, reported in September that 6.5 million Iraqis were dependent on food rations. Its program in Iraq is aimed at providing food to more than 1.7 million children.

Pedersen says given those statistics, he is baffled by the extent of the malnutrition problem in Iraq.

"Given the fact that World Food Program has distributed a lot of food, it's quite clear that one could expect some malnutrition, but the level that there is, it's a bit difficult to explain."

The report offers some explanation, blaming deteriorating conditions in Iraq. Unreliable supplies of electricity have made it hard to boil water for safe drinking. In poor areas, people rely on kerosene to fuel their stoves but high prices and a lack of jobs has aggravated the health situation of Iraqis.

The country's infrastructure is in disarray, including the sewer system. Sixty per cent of rural residents and 20 per cent of urban residents don't have access to clean water.

Violence has also driven away international aid agencies, who provide food aid and medical help.

Comment: And remember the comment of former Secretary of State Albright under Clinton. When asked about the reported 500,000 deaths of women and children in Iraq due to the embargo imposed by the UN and the US, she replied, "We think it's worth it."

Democrat, Republican, same killers, same war criminals. Don't be fooled by the label.

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Trespass Against Us:
Twenty Things to Know About Dow Chemical on the 20th Anniversary of Bhopal
By Russell Mokhiber and Robert Weissman

Let's assume for a second, as the law does, that a corporation is a person.

If a corporation is a person, then how come we don't see biographies of corporations?

We're not talking about "official" biographies -- those written by people in the pocket of the corporation.

Of course they exist.

By why not warts-and-all biographies of major American corporations?

Like -- the Life and Times of General Motors?

Actually, a historian by the name of Brad Snell has been working for years on such a biography about General Motors -- warts and all. He says he's almost finished.

In 1974, Gerard Colby Zilg wrote a book titled "DuPont: Behind the Nylon Curtain," which was a biography of DuPont Corporation -- warts and all.

Zilg claimed that his publisher, under pressure from DuPont, buried the book -- and it went nowhere.

Now comes Jack Doyle.

Doyle is trying to make a career out of writing critical corporate biographies.

In 2002, under contract with the Environmental Health Fund, Doyle wrote his first corporate biography, titled Riding the Dragon: Royal Dutch Shell & The Fossil Fire.

Now, to coincide with the 20th anniversary of the Bhopal disaster, Doyle is out with Trespass Against Us: Dow Chemical and the Toxic Century (Common Courage Press, 2004).

At midnight on December 2, 1984, 27 tons of lethal gases leaked from Union Carbide's pesticide factory in Bhopal, India, immediately killing an estimated 8,000 people and poisoning thousands of others.

Today in Bhopal, at least 150,000 people, including children born to parents who survived the disaster, are suffering from exposure-related health effects such as cancer, neurological damage, chaotic menstrual cycles and mental illness.

Over 20,000 people are forced to drink water with unsafe levels of mercury, carbon tetrachloride and other persistent organic pollutants and heavy metals.

Activists from around the world -- including human rights, legal, environmental health and other experts -- are mobilizing over the next two weeks to demand that Dow Chemical, the current owner of Union Carbide, be held accountable.

Here we are 20 years after this disaster, and the company responsible for this catastrophe and its former executives are still fugitives from justice. Union Carbide and its former chairman, Warren Andersen, were charged with manslaughter for the deaths at Bhopal, but they refuse to appear before the Indian courts.

Many events worldwide are taking place to coincide with the 20th anniversary, including the release of Doyle's book-length rap sheet against Dow.

Doyle took the title of his book "Trespass Against Us" from Lord's prayer:

Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.

We asked Doyle if he was urging humanity -- those who have been polluted by Dow chemicals -- to forgive Dow for its trespass against us.

"Not at all," Doyle said. "By using the 'trespass against us' phrase, I am trying to make visible the invisible -- trying to show that there are boundary lines being violated daily by toxic substances. Corporations are making a profit on the invasion of my personal space, my biology. They are not controlling the full costs of their operation, and we are picking up the tab for their externalities in form of disease, illness, lower immunity, altered reproduction, birth defects, cancer. That's not right. That's a mortal trespass, an unforgivable transgression that must be stopped. We are certainly not calling on consumers to ask that companies be forgiven -- quite the opposite. They need to be prosecuted. Companies like Dow are getting away with biological trespass daily."

And his book documents this.

In honor of the dead and dying in Bhopal, we urge you to buy Doyle's book. Every time you use common plastic items, think of the destruction. Every time you use Saran Wrap (originally a Dow product), question the consequences.

And in commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the crime of Bhopal, we present here 20 things to remember about Dow Chemical -- the company now responsible for Bhopal and a fugitive from justice.

20. Agent Orange/Napalm -- The toxic herbicide and jellied gasoline used in Vietnam created horrors for young and old alike -- and an uproar back home that forced Dow to rethink its public relations strategy.

19. Rocky Flats -- The top secret Colorado site managed by Dow Chemical from 1952 to 1975 that is an environmental nightmare for the Denver area.

18. Body burden -- In March 2001, the Centers for Disease Control reported that most Americans carry detectable levels of plastics, pesticides and heavy metals in their blood and urine.

17. 2,4-D -- An herbicide produced by Dow Chemical. It is still in use today. Used for killing lawn weeds, crop weeds, range weeds, along utility company rights-of way, railroads. One of the key ingredients in Agent Orange, the toxic defoliant used in Vietnam. 2,4-D is the most widely used herbicide in the world.

16. Mercury -- In Canada, Dow had been producing chlorine using the mercury cell method since 1947. Much of the mercury was recycled, but significant quantities were discharged into the environment through air emissions, water discharges, waste sludge and in end products. In March 1970, the governments of Ontario and Michigan detected high levels of mercury in the fish in the St. Clair River, Lake St. Clair, the Detroit River and Lake Erie. Dow was sued by state and local officials for mercury pollution.

15. PERC -- Perchloroethylene, the hazardous substance used by dry cleaners everywhere. Dow tried to undermine safer alternatives.

14. 2,4,5 T -- One of the toxic ingredients in Agent Orange. Doyle says that "Dow just fought tooth and nail over this chemical -- persisted every way it could in court and with the agencies, at the state and federal levels, to buy more time for this product. They went into a court in Arkansas in the early 1970s to challenge the EPA administrator. They did that to buy some extra marketing time, and they got two years, even though it appears that Dow knew this chemical was a bad actor by then, caused birth defects in lab animals, and was also being found in human body fat by then. But it wasn't until 1983 that Dow quit making 2,4,5-T in the U.S., and 1987 before they quit production in New Zealand. And 2,4,5-T health effects litigation continues to this day."

13. Busting unions -- In 1967, unions represented almost all of Dow's production workers. But since then, according to the Metal Trades Department of the AFL-CIO, Dow undertook an "unapologetic campaign to rid itself of unions."

12. Silicone -- Key ingredient for silicone breast implants, made by a joint venture between Dow and Corning (Dow Corning). Made women large, but also made them sick. Ongoing illness and litigation.

11. DBCP -- Toxic active ingredient in Dow pesticide Fumazone. Doctors who tested men who worked with DBCP thought they had vasectomies -=96 no sperm present.

10. Dursban -- Chlorpyrifos, a toxic pesticide, a product that proved to have the nerve agent effects that Rachel Carson warned about. Also tested on prisoners in New York in 1971 and in 1998 at a lab in Lincoln, Nebraska. Took over for DDT when DDT was banned in 1972. Huge seller. In June 2000, EPA limits use.

9. Dow at Christmas -- "Uses of Dow plastics by the toy industry are across the board," boasted Dow Chemical in an internal company memo one Christmas season -- "and more and more of our materials are found under the Christmas tree and on the birthday table, make some child, some toy company, and Dow, very happy indeed." Among the chemicals used in these toys -- polystyrene, polyethylene, ethylene copolymer resins, saran resins, PVC resins, or vinyls and ethyl cellulose. And a Happy New Year.

8.The Tittabawassee -- River and river basin polluted by Dow in its hometown, Midland, Michigan.

7. Brazos River, Freeport, Texas -- February 1971 headline in the Houston Post read: "Brazos River is Dead." In 1970 and 1971, Dow's operation there was sending more than 4.5 billion gallons of wastewater per day into the Brazos and on into the Gulf of Mexico.

6. Toxic Trespass -- Doyle writes: "Dow Chemical has been polluting property and poisoning people for nearly a century, locally and globally -- trespassing on workers, consumers, communities, and innocent bystanders -- on wildlife and wild places, on the global biota and the global genome. ... Dow Chemical must end its toxic trespass."

5. Holmesburg Experiments -- In January 1981, a Philadelphia Inquirer story reveals that Dow Chemical paid a University of Pennsylvania dermatologist to test dioxin on prisoners at Holmesburg Prison in Philadelphia. Tests were conducted in 1964. Seventy inmates tested.

4. Worker deaths -- Dow has a long history of explosions and fires at its facilities, well documented by Doyle in Trespass Against Us. One example, in May 1979: an explosion ripped through Dow Chemical's Pittsburgh facility, killing two workers and injuring more than 45 others.

3. Brain tumors -- In 1980, investigators found 25 brain workers with brain tumors at the company's Freeport, Texas facility -- 24 of which were fatal.

2. Saran Wrap -- The thin slice of plastic invaluable to our lives. Produced by Dow until consumers were looking for Dow products to boycott. Dow decided to get out of consumer products for this reason -- they sold off Saran Wrap -- and since just makes chemicals that make our consumer products.

1. Bhopal -- Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we seek to bring to justice those who trespass against us.

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Senior Sunni cleric killed in Mosul
Monday 22 November 2004, 15:42 Makka Time, 12:42 GMT  

A senior Sunni Muslim cleric has been killed in a drive-by shooting in the northern city of Mosul, medical sources say.

Assailants in a vehicle shot Shaikh Faidh Muhammad Amin al-Faidhi as he was leaving a place of worship in Mosul's al-Rifaq district at about 9am (0600 GMT) on Monday. 

"The cleric was shot four times, in his chest and abdomen, and died shortly after he was transferred to hospital," said Abd al-Jabbar Muhammad, a doctor at Madinat al-Tib hospital. 

The cleric was a member of influential Iraqi Muslim body the Association of Muslim Scholars (AMS), and the brother of the organisation's spokesman in Baghdad, Muhammad Bashar al-Faidhi.

The AMS has called for a boycott of elections planned for 30 January. It says its members have been targeted by US and Iraqi security forces and also by armed fighters trying to fuel sectarian unrest.

The AMS was formed after Saddam Hussein's ousting last year by US-led forces to try and fill a political vacuum among Sunnis. It maintains ties with anti-US Shia groups, such as the movement led by leader Muqtada al-Sadr. [...]

Comment: So, a senior Sunni Muslim cleric is assassinated by unknown assailants in a drive-by shooting, and he just happens to be a staunch anti-US supporter calling for a boycott of to the upcoming "faux" elections in January. The city of Mosul is in the north and it has been reported that Israeli military and intelligence has been active in that area. Coincidence? We think not.

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Iraqi civilians gunned down at checkpoint
Monday 22 November 2004,
Reuters

 US marines have killed several Iraqi civilians after opening fire at a bus which drove through a checkpoint in the city of Ramadi, the US military and Iraqi police say.

Police said seven died on Saturday while the military said three.

"The driver ignored verbal warning and several warning shots," the military said in a statement.

"As US marines in the vicinity of the checkpoint attempted to disable the van, the van accelerated toward the marines. The marines then fired upon the vehicle to protect themselves and the integrity of the checkpoint."

Ramadi police chief Brigadier Jasim al-Dulaimi said seven died in the shooting near the central governorate building where US troops are positioned.

Reuters Television footage showed the bus peppered with bullet holes. Some of the windows were shattered and others spattered with blood.

Flies buzzed around corpses in the vehicle, as men carried away bodies and loaded them into cars. [...]

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No known poison found on Arafat but diagnosis unclear: nephew
AFP
Mon Nov 22, 2:11 PM ET
PARIS - French doctors who carried out tests on the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat discovered no trace of any known poison, his nephew Nasser al-Qidwa said, while adding that he could not rule out the possibility of poisoning.

After receiving the medical report on his uncle's death, Qidwa said there was still no clear cause of death and the poisoning theory could not be ruled out definitively, even though there was no clear evidence of it.

"I have not had the time to study the report and obviously I am not competent because I am not a doctor," he said.

"But two central points remain. There is no clear diagnosis of the reason for the death, and second the toxicological tests were made and no known poison was found."

Qidwa, who is also the Palestinian representative at the United Nations, was expected to deliver the 558-page report to a Palestinian ministerial committee which is looking into the causes of Arafat's death on November 11.

"A question mark remains for us because of the lack of a diagnosis," Qidwa said. Asked about poisoning, he went on: "I am not excluding this but not asserting it either. There is no proof." [...]

Qidwa said that "Arafat does not belong to a person or a family, but the whole Palestinian people. I will hand over the report to the Palestinian Authority, and a committee has been designated to study it.

"I can understand the feeling of a wife to keep the information and to remain the unique source but we have to consider the political view ... not only the personal," he said.

He said the report "contains all the details related to the medical history. It does not have anything new, no secrets, only the information we were told earlier."

For his part Faruq Qaddumi, who succeeded Arafat as head of the mainstream Palestinian Fatah movement, reaffirmed Monday his belief that the Palestinian leader had been poisoned.

"He died due to poison. All the treatments and medical examinations have ruled out all the illnesses that you could think of, like leukaemia or the loss of immunity," he said in Beirut.

"Why had all the blood platelets continued to disintegrate? There is no other reason," he told reporters at a news conference with Lebanese Foreign Minister Mahmoud Hammoud.

Last week doctors who treated Arafat at a French military hospital outside Paris were quoted in the authoritative daily Le Monde as saying he died of a blood clotting disorder called disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC).

However the doctors said they had not detected the underlying cause of the condition, which could be a viral infection or a cancer. They had looked at the possibility of poison but had ruled it out, they said.

Arafat was airlifted from his offices in the West Bank town of Ramallah on October 29 and lapsed into a coma on November 3 from which he never emerged. He was declared dead early on November 11.

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World Bank: Palestinians Live in Poverty
By JOSEF FEDERMAN, Associated Press Writer
Mon Nov 22, 8:39 PM ET

JERUSALEM - Despite a slowdown in fighting, the Palestinian economy remains crippled by four years of violence with Israel, with nearly half the population living in poverty on less than $2 a day, the World Bank said in a report released Tuesday.

The international development bank paints a dire picture in its first assessment of the Palestinian economy since May 2003. Economic activity has plummeted, while poverty and unemployment climbed sharply since the current wave of violence began in September 2000, the report said.

The report was issued ahead of next month's meeting of international donors, including the United States and European countries, whose money sustains the Palestinian economy.

The report cites Israel's "closure" policies — a series of restrictions on the movement of Palestinian people and products meant to boost Israeli security — as the main cause of economic hardship in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

It also calls on the Palestinians to carry out further economic reforms. [...]

Comment: Israel is the main cause of the Palestinians' economic hardship... The Zionists will continue until they have choked the life out of the Palestinian people. And it seems that no one in the rest of the world can be bothered to even lift a finger to try to stop the genocide...

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US congress rejects new nuclear weapons funds
23 November 2004
WASHINGTON: The US Congress denied the Bush administration funds to study a new generation of nuclear weapons, omitting the money from a huge mop-up spending bill it passed over the weekend, lawmakers said overnight.

The final $US388 ($NZ552.86) billion spending bill did not include the $US36.6 million President George W Bush sought to study so-called bunker-busting nuclear weapons that would be used to destroy underground facilities as well as smaller nuclear arms with half the power of the bomb dropped on Hiroshima.

The White House said it had no plans to build such weapons, but wanted to keep the door open to their development to deal with emerging threats. [...]

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On this day in History:

1963: Kennedy shot dead in Dallas

22 November, 1963

The President of the United States has been assassinated by a gunman in Dallas, Texas.

John F Kennedy was hit in the head and throat when three shots were fired at his open-topped car.

The presidential motorcade was travelling through the main business area of the city.

Texas Governor John Connally was also seriously injured when one of the unknown sniper's bullets hit him in the back.

The men were accompanied by their wives, who were both uninjured.
Vice-president Lyndon Johnson - who was following in a different car - has been sworn in as the new US leader. [...]

Comment: See our Signs Supplement - The Kennedy Assassination for the low down on this dark day in American history.

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Video game simulates Kennedy assassination
MSNBC
November 22, 2004

LOS ANGELES - A new video game to be released Monday allows players to simulate the assassination of President Kennedy.

The release of "JFK Reloaded" is timed to coincide with the 41st
anniversary of Kennedy's murder in Dallas and was designed to
demonstrate a lone gunman was able to kill the president.

"It is despicable," said David Smith, a spokesman for Massachusetts
Sen. Edward Kennedy, the late president's brother. He was informed of the game on Friday but declined further comment.

Kirk Ewing, managing director of the Scottish firm Traffic Games,
which developed the game, said he understood some people would be horrified at the concept, but he insisted he and his team had nothing but respect for Kennedy and for history.

"We believe that the only thing we're exploiting is new technology,"
said Ewing, a former documentary filmmaker and senior executive with Scottish developer VIS, responsible for games like "State of
Emergency." He said he sent Edward Kennedy a letter before the game's release.

Ewing said the game was designed to undermine the theory there was some shadowy plot behind the assassination. "We believe passionately there was no conspiracy," he said. [...]

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Bush visit sparks airport alert
SAUDI CITIZENS ARE TARGETED
By TOM GODFREY, TORONTO SUN

Customs and immigration officers have been ordered to conduct secondary checks on all citizens of Saudi Arabia entering the country in advance of next week's visit from U.S. President George W. Bush. The confidential alert originated from the U.S. Secret Service, airports sources said.

The bulletin ordered officers to "refer all holders of Saudi passports for further inspection."

"Officers are to conduct progressive and thorough examinations to establish subject identification, bona fide of their trip and admissibility."

It advised officers to conduct mandatory background checks on the Saudis by using Canadian and U.S. police databases. "This is a precautionary measure," one officer said. "No detail is being left to chance for the visit."

Air Force One touches down in Ottawa next Tuesday.

It was not known yesterday if any Saudis have been detained at Pearson.

Patrizia Giolti, of the Canada Border Services Agency, dismissed allegations by some airport workers that the CBSA is using race to profile Saudis.

"(Our) officers use 'indicators of deception,' " to profile travellers, she said

Airport officers said the alert is aimed at Saudis due to an increase in recent intelligence chatter.

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Oil spill worse than first thought
By DENE MOORE

ST. JOHN'S, Nfld. (CP) - Stormy seas kept containment crews at bay Monday as estimates of an oil spill off the coast of Newfoundland increased dramatically.

As much as 170,000 litres of oil could have dumped into the ocean during a malfunction aboard the Terra Nova oil platform. Original estimates said about 40,000 litres had spilled. "It's a large spill," said Fred Way, acting chairman and CEO of the Canada-Newfoundland Offshore Petroleum Board, which monitors the industry in the province. "It's not an Exxon Valdez category, but it's a large spill."

The board has suspended operations at Terra Nova until further notice.

Bob O'Brien, of the environmental group Ocean Net, said the area is home to many nesting birds and there will be habitat destruction. [...]

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6 dead as bacterial outbreak sweeps across northern Philippine resort
22 November 2004 1207 hrs
BAGUIO, Philippines : An air-borne bacterial outbreak has killed six people and ravaged the tourist industry at a northern Philippine mountain resort, officials said.

Local health officials said meningococcemia struck eight residents of the city of a quarter million people this month, killing five including four last week. An 11 year-old girl who suffered from symptoms associated with the disease also died in Manila last weekend.

Three other people are recovering from symptoms of the disease at Baguio hospitals, assistant city health officer Rowena Galpo told reporters.

Fearful residents here have resorted to wearing face masks and cleaning up drugstore shelves of self-prescribed antibiotics. [...]

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Witnesses see 'big fireball' before plane crash
Nov. 22, 2004. 01:00 AM

BEIJINGóWitnesses said they heard an explosion and saw "a big fireball" overhead before a passenger plane crashed in an ice-covered lake in northern China seconds after takeoff.

The China Eastern Airlines plane went down in Baotou, a city in the Inner Mongolia region 530 kilometres northwest of Beijing, "only about a dozen seconds" after takeoff, Xinhua News Agency reported yesterday.

All 53 people aboard and one person on the ground were killed after an apparent mid-air explosion, the official government agency said.

There was no immediate word on the cause of the crash, which was the country's deadliest in more than two years and a setback to China's efforts to improve air safety following a string of accidents in the 1990s.

The plane, a Bombardier CRJ-200, was headed for Shanghai with 47 passengers and six crew members when it crashed into the lake in Nanhai Park.

Wang Yongqiang, who lives near the park, said he saw black smoke billowing from the tail of the plane before it crashed and broke into fiery fragments, Xinhua said. He also heard "a big blast" when the plane was still in the air. A house next to the park was damaged and several boats were scorched.

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Private jet crashes in Houston fog, en route to pick up ex-president Bush
10:13 PM EST Nov 22

HOUSTON (AP) - A private jet that was en route to Houston to pick up former president George H. W. Bush clipped a light pole and crashed Monday as it approached Hobby Airport in thick fog, killing all three people aboard.

The Gulfstream G-1159A jet, coming into Houston, went down about 6:15 a.m. in an undeveloped area about two kilometres south of the airport, officials said. The former president, who is the father of current President George W. Bush, had been scheduled to travel to Ecuador for a conference. [...]

The jet, en route from Love Field in Dallas, was approaching the runway when it clipped the light pole, losing part of a wing, authorities said. Wreckage extended about 100 metres from there, Williams said.

The crash site is a field near the Beltway 8 tollway. No one on the ground was injured, but one car was hit with debris while another was hit with jet fuel, Williams said.

Roger Smith, a spokesman for the Houston Airport System, said the pilot didn't indicate any problem, and the landing was routine until communications abruptly stopped. Dense fog blanketed most of the area. [...]

Comment: Interestingly enough, Bush Sr. cancelled his trip to Ecuador after the crash.

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Autumn Tradition Turns Deadly in Wisconsin
By JOSHUA FREED and ROBERT IMRIE, Associated Press Writer
Tue Nov 23,12:15 AM ET

BIRCHWOOD, Wis. - As several deer hunters made their way through the woods of northern Wisconsin, they were startled to come upon a stranger in their tree stand. Asked to leave, the trespasser, wearing blaze-orange and carrying a semiautomatic assault rifle, opened fire on the hunters and didn't stop until his 20-round clip was empty, leaving five people dead and three wounded, authorities said. One of the injured hunters died Monday.

The shooter was eventually captured.

The killings baffled authorities and stunned residents in a state where deer hunting is a rite of autumn — a sport practiced by thousands of people who scour the woods for nine days each November with hopes of bagging a trophy buck. [...]

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Austrians, Slovaks blown away by gusts
By WILLIAM J. KOLE - Associated Press

VIENNA, Austria (AP) -- Relentless gale-force winds are making life miserable for Austrians, and as if two weeks of accidents, property damage and bad hair days haven't been enough, forecasters say more is on the way.

"I hate wind!" Herbert Hufnagl wrote Monday in a commentary for the Kurier newspaper, capturing the frustration and wind fatigue sweeping the alpine nation along with the howling gales.

The blustery weather is no laughing matter in Austria, where it's been blamed for road fatalities, or in neighboring Slovakia, where record-high winds devastated huge swaths of forest over the weekend.

Powerful winds have made driving a treacherous, white-knuckle experience as motorists struggle just to keep their vehicles on the road. Authorities say gusts exceeding 60 mph have blown cars across the median and into head-on collisions, some resulting in deaths and serious injuries.

Boats plying the Danube have had to deal with stomach-churning whitecaps and swells, and a federation representing Austria's trucking industry said Monday the recent closures of key highways for several hours at a time has cost shippers hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Those who have stayed home have had to cope with blown-off roof tiles and fallen trees that have damaged buildings and snapped overhead power lines, cutting electricity to thousands of households. [...]

In Slovakia, gusts clocked at 108 mph -- the strongest since records began being kept in 1936 -- wiped out an estimated half of all the timber in the country's High Tatras mountains. Officials put the loss at tens of millions of dollars.

The government asked the European Union for emergency financial assistance, and residents described the windstorm as an "apocalypse." [...]

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24 dead, 58 fishermen feared drowned after storm slams Philippines
22 November 2004 1639 hrs
MANILA : Fifty-eight fishermen are missing, feared drowned as the death toll from a severe storm that battered the Philippines rose to 24.

Hopes were fading for dozens of fishermen who were lost at sea south of the main island of Luzon when tropical storm Muifa unexpectedly changed course and struck the region on Friday.

Coastguard spokesman Armando Balilo told AFP the missing men had spent more than 48 hours in raging waters and that aerial searches of the region were underway. "We are using choppers (helicopters) to look for them," he said. [...]

Big waves and strong winds sank or capsized the vessels on Saturday, killing two other crew members. Thirty-four other crew members were rescued by other vessels.

The government agency reported three other deaths by drowning, two by hypothermia, one struck by a falling tree, five by a tornado near Roxas town on Mindoro, and 11 others due to unspecified causes.

Three other people are also missing, while 79 were injured.
Muifa destroyed or damaged more than 27,000 houses and displaced more than 60,000 people, it added. [...]

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South Island rocked by quake
stuff.co.nz
23 November 2004
(New Zealand) - An earthquake measuring 7.2 on the Richter scale struck off the coast of the South Island today.

The quake hit at 9.26am 240 km southwest of Te Anau, at a depth of 33km, a Geological and Nuclear Sciences (GNS) spokesman told NZPA.

"We would expect very minor damage," GNS seismologist Peter McGinty said.

However, the quake would have been felt widely throughout the South Island, and in the North Island as far north as New Plymouth which was on the same fault line, he said.

Mr McGinty said it was a "moderate to deep" quake, but would not cause too many problems because it was so far offshore. [...]

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Small quake strikes in Orange County
Posted on Mon, Nov. 22, 2004
Associated Press

YORBA LINDA, Calif. - An small earthquake struck in Orange County on Sunday, but there were no immediate reports of damage or injury, authorities said.

The magnitude-3.0 quake hit at 9:39 p.m. and was centered about 2 miles southeast of Yorba Linda and about 5 miles northeast of Orange, according to a preliminary report from the U.S. Geological Survey.

A county sheriff's department watch commander said there were no reports of damage or injury.

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Earthquake Rocks Greek/albanian Border
New Scotsman

An earthquake shook the border area between Greece and Albania earlier today, but there were no reports of damage or injuries.

The quake had a preliminary magnitude of 5.5 and struck at 4.26am (0226 GMT), the Athens Geodynamic Institute said.

The epicentre was about 50 miles north of the Greek city of Ioannina, on the other side of the border and inside Albania.

An earthquake of a magnitude between 2.5 and 3 is the smallest generally felt by people.

A quake of magnitude 4 to 5 can cause moderate damage in populated areas.

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Volcano Spews Rocks for Two Miles
Mon 22 Nov 2004
4:04am (UK)

A volcano erupted in south-western Colombia, hurling rocks for a distance of two miles and blanketing the ground with ash, but causing no injuries, the country's Institute of Geology and Mines said.

The eruption of the 14,028ft Galeras Volcano also sent a column of smoke high into the Andean air.

Galeras, 12 miles from the city of Pasto, has a long history of activity. More than 100 minor tremors were felt in the city during the volcano's last eruption, in April 2002, although no damage or injuries were reported then

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Alert still up at Taal Volcano
Nov 22, 2004
Inquirer News Service
Marlon Ramos

TAGAYTAY CITY, Cavite, Philippines -- Two weeks after Taal Volcano started showing signs of activity, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) has maintained the alert level in a 10-km radius around the picturesque volcano, officials said Sunday.

Quoting the latest Phivolcs advisory, Senior Superintendent Roberto Rosales, Cavite provincial police chief, said activities around the volcano's main crater were still prohibited as alert level 1 was still up in the area.

Rosales said the Phivolcs monitoring center recorded at least two high-frequency volcanic earthquakes the other day.

The Phivolcs report said its seismic network registered a total of 31 high-frequency volcanic earthquakes in a span of seven days.

It noted that while there had been no visible "steaming activity of reactivated vent" at the volcano's main crater on Tuesday, there had been "weak steaming (about) 5 meters high" on Nov. 10.

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More area residents are shaken up about booms
BY JULIAN WALKER AND PETER BACQUE
TIMES-DISPATCH STAFF WRITERS
Nov 23, 2004

Reports of the mysterious booms first felt in North Side neighborhoods are now coming from other city sections and beyond.

Folks from the Fan District, Lakeside, Short Pump and New Kent County all say they have sensed the shock.

Richmond leaders have even been contacted by officials from Fort Wayne, Ind., and several Canadian provinces where similar booms have been felt recently, city emergency services spokesman Bill Farrar said.

"We've gotten anecdotal stories, suggestions and theories from all over the place," he said. "But from what has been described to me, I don't believe we are dealing with the same things."
Tier 1 Data Center.

What exactly the city is dealing with remains unclear.

The booms began Nov. 2 and have occurred several times a week since. Most have been localized in North Side neighborhoods. After one of the bigger booms - Sunday about 12:45 p.m. - authorities logged 250 calls to 911 in 90 seconds.

City officials have dismissed construction firms, quarry outfits and railroad companies as the source of the noise. They have ruled out military exercises and aviation activities. Public utility personnel have turned up no evidence of a problem in gas, water or sewer lines.

And scientists say their instruments show no signs of earthquakes in the Richmond area.

"If a human being felt an earthquake in the Richmond area, and it was indeed an earthquake, we would record it on one of these [seismograph] stations," said Waverly Person a geophysicist with the U.S. Geological Survey's National Earthquake Information Center in Golden, Colo. "And we recorded nothing."

The region's long-inactive coal mines are not likely the cause of the reported booms and shaking because none are near North Richmond, the Fan or the near West End, said geologist David Spears with the Virginia Division of Mineral Resources in Charlottesville.

"There's nothing resembling gas- or coal-bearing [rock] strata in the area," he said.

The collapse of old, man-made underground structures, such as shallow subway tunnels or water conduits, could cause a shake perceptible to people but not deep enough to register on seismic scales, ventured James Beard, Virginia Museum of Natural History geology curator.

"Whatever this is," he said, "it is happening relatively close to the surface because they are not picking it up on nearby seismographs."

Another possibility, Beard said, is shifting earth from saturation of the ground from recent rain events, including the remnants of Tropical Storm Gaston. But in that case, he explained, the booms would be followed by landslides.

For now, city officials are considering all options.

Advanced audio equipment that will help pinpoint the origin of the booms will be set up to monitor North Side neighborhoods and a seismic activity device is on its way to Richmond, Farrar said.

"There's a lot of energy being expended," he said. "We're continuing to look for anything that might explain this."

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The mysterious booms: a tale told by a nonidiot
RANDY FITZGERALD
POINT OF VIEW
Nov 19, 2004

Did you see on the news a couple weeks back the bunch of idiots from North Side, standing out in the street at midnight, saying they practically had been bounced out of their beds by a series of "booms" that rocked the neighborhood?

Well, if you did, I was the idiot on the far left, and that was Barb standing next to me.

I refer to me and my, I assure you, mostly sound-of-mind neighbors as "idiots" because that's one hypothesis advanced by some of the folks in a few city departments downtown.

Nobody exactly said that to us, of course, but they did hint to members of the media after a few days of investigating that we might be exaggerating.

Rarely does your old close-to-home columnist here get to be right in the heart of the news, able to give you the true skinny, but let me assure you this time I couldn't have been any closer - and we were not exaggerating.

The event that brought a bunch of people to the intersection of Palmyra Avenue and Gloucester Road in Greater Ginter Park around midnight on election night seemed to have occurred directly under my home.

A canvas of the neighborhood the next day showed that residents from Brookland Park to Laburnum, Chamberlayne to Hermitage, each would have made the same claim about their homes. We all thought our furnaces had exploded.

I've lived in this house for 18 years, and I've never felt anything like the explosive forces we experienced that night and then again early the next morning. (Barb and some others had heard booms the previous night as well, but those had not been as great on the rocked-her scale.)

I might as well tell you now that there is still no explanation for what our explosions might have been.'Tis still a mystery.

Barb had worked at the polls for 16 hours that day. So when she finally got home - after 9 o'clock - and shared a few poll-worker stories with me, she headed to bed.

When the first explosion came, the pillow under her head fell to the floor, and the furniture - not the knick-knacks, mind you, but the end tables - danced around like cartoon furniture at Wile E. Coyote's place.

Our phone rang almost immediately. "What the Sam Hill was that?" a neighbor asked, advising us to get the heck out of the house.

Before I could reply, the second blast went off. The neighbor said later that that one knocked the phone right out of her hand.

By the time we got to the street, several other neighbors had assembled in their nightwear. Firetrucks and police officers also were there very quickly, as several people had called 911.

The firefighters checked out a couple of basements, including ours, to smell for gas leaks, but they found nothing. Someone suggested sewer gas as a possibility, and the city representative who showed up promised to have that checked the next day.

It was right around this time that we first suspected we might be idiots. Someone from public works asked if we were sure we hadn't just heard someone shooting off a firecracker to celebrate the election results.

"Nobody in this neighborhood would be celebrating THOSE results," said someone in the group. (Both our precinct and the one adjoining are liberal strongholds.)

"That being the case," said a fellow from down the street who obviously had not voted with the neighborhood majority, "maybe that boom was a message from God for the rest of you to straighten up."

More people walked up, this time from streets to the west, where I noticed they wear a better grade of pajamas.

Everyone had a theory. Could it have been an earthquake? Most thought not, because earthquakes don't go "BOOM," do they?

A methamphetamine lab gone bad? Probably not in a neighborhood that leans toward Merlot.

A series of sonic booms? Unlikely that they would fall over the same six- or eight-block radius three days in a row.

The sewer-gas theory was revisited after a neighbor said his basement had smelled bad of late. Someone asked helpfully, did he own cats?

My personal theory has something to do with flying saucers, but I am not at liberty at present to give you any details.

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