As Mind Control
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and extensive previously unpublished details, at long last, Laura Knight-Jadczyk's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!
| Polarisation: Prelude to War
| SOTT Analysis
Thinking people everywhere were
amused by the following post-election pronouncement by President
"With the campaign over, Americans are expecting a bipartisan
effort and results. I'll reach out to everyone who shares our goals."
Ah, yes, Bush is willing to reach out in a bipartisan way to "everyone
who shares our goals". Unfortunately, after the amusement wears
off, one is left with the reality of a man in the White House convinced
of his own infallibility and his own "gut instincts".
These "instincts" are pushing the world into a growing
polarisation as the US sinks ever more deeply into the imperial
agenda of Bush and his neo-con advisors. These instincts are fed
by his private conversations with God, you know the one, the God
who told Bush to invade Iraq. Bush's God sounds an awful lot like
the vengeful and jealous God of the Old Testament. That God was
ready to smite his enemies, too.
We note in passing that another modern leader who thought he obtained
instructions from "higher ups" was Adolph Hitler.
What God might this be that demands blood sacrifice from his subjects?
Following the 9/11 false-flag operation, international good will
towards the US was at an all-time high. The French paper Le
Monde put the headline "We are all Americans" on
the front page. Canadians welcomed stranded US citizens into their
homes after their flights were diverted to airports in Halifax and
elsewhere. Candle-light vigils were held in front of US Embassies
and elsewhere in many countries. The world was shocked and its sympathy
went out to the victims, their families, and to the country as a
whole. The pictures on this page show the tremendous outpouring
of sympathy for the US.
That was then; this is now.
Look at the situation three years later.
Bush and his advisors have lied to the world about Osama bin Laden.
First, Bush told us that "he can run, but he can't hide".
Then he told us that bin Laden isn't important. Three years later
bin Laden is still at large. Or maybe dead from his diabetes. You
know, the diabetes he was having looked after when he checked into
the hospital in Dubai during the summer of 2001 and had a meeting
with the local CIA station chief. What? That wasn't reported on
Fox News? Gee, it must have been a busy news day.
Having pushed bin Laden off centre stage -- and with the links
between the Bushes and the bin Laden family, Osama's disappearance
shouldn't be surprising -- Bush then began his lies about Saddam
Hussein and Saddam's supposed WMD. Based upon those lies, he illegally
Remember Bush's State of the Union address in January 2003? Nigerian
Remember Colin Powell's presentation to the UN in February 2003?
Then we were told how caring and careful the US was going to be
during the invasion: precision strikes, smart missiles, the best
of high technology applied to saving civilian lives. The techonology
was so successful that the US didn't even bother compiling statistics
of civilian deaths and woundings during the invasion. They still
don't, 100,000 civilian deaths later, according to the report recently
published in The Lancet.
Bush lied when he said hostilities were over in May 2003 during
his photo op on the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln, all decked
out in his flight uniform. The truth has gone AWOL.
Bush lies today when he tells us how successful the US has been
in imposing democracy over a shell-shocked Iraqi people, when he
tells us of the successes of US corporations such as Haliburton
is rebuilding the country while the Iraqi people have electricity
several hours a day at best, while sewage plants have yet to be
rebuilt, while the country is so dangerous that Western reporters
hide in their hotels and report the PR releases released to them
by the military.
Freedom has come to Iraq!
Bush lies when he says that the torturing of prisoners in the Abu
Ghraib prison was only due to a few bad apples, denying that the
orders came from the top, justified in a legal brief composed by
his new Attorney General.
Confronted with such open and obvious lies from the Bush Administration,
lies that establish clearly for all to see that Bush is willing
and capable of lying about anything and everything, more and more
people across the globe are asking serious questions about the official
story of 9/11. What started right after the attack on a few websites
and which blossomed in early 2002 with the publication of Thierry
Meyssan's book The
Big Lie has become an international movement of individuals
and groups who question the holes and contradictions of the government's
version of the events. From Michael Moore's Farhenheit 911
to Power Hour's 911 In Plane Site, from Mike Ruppert's
Crossing the Rubicon to David Ray Griffin's The New
Pearl Harbor, videos and books are appearing that marshall
together the evidence that the official story is but more lies from
the Bush Administration.
A recent entry into these investigations comes from a Japanese
TV network, TV Asahi:
A two hour long documentary just
released by Japan's second largest television network, TV Asahi,
probes deeply into the 911 tragedy. It has painstakingly investigated
and interviewed numerous witnesses and experts, and exposes further
flaws in Washington's 911 myth. Japanese pilots and aviation specialists
also give expert opinion in the documentary.
The world is divided between those who are just content to believe
stories they hear while gulping beer and junk food, and those who
take the troubles to investigate to find out the truth. In today's
world when wars are waged and thousands of innocent people are murdered
on false information (and, as a double whammy, the victims are demonized
as 'terrorists'), people of conscience are becoming more skeptical
and demanding proofs. Thankfully, Canadians are in the latter category.
Among the many interesting points the documentary presents, is
a strong possibility that United flight 93 was shot down by the
military. Several proofs are offered. Also, actual experiments conducted
prove that Cell phone calls couldn't have been made from the ill
It also makes a strong case that the Pentagon was NOT hit by Flight
AA77. According to the experts, not even the most skilled pilot
could have manoeuvred the massive 757 plane just a few feet above
the ground to hit the Pentagon (at the location where the hole was
made). The complexity and precision of the approach manoeuvre are
nearly impossible to reconcile with the official account that the
plane was piloted by Hani Hanjour, an incompetent pilot of even
Also, there was no damage to the fence and the lawn and no dead
bodies strewn around - remember it was supposed to be a passenger
plane! Most eye-witnesses said they thought it was a missile that
Based on the size of the engine found in the photo taken by the
official federal photographer, Jocelyn Augustino, experts speculate
that it could have been a Sky Hawk which hit the Pentagon (the diameter
of the engine is less than 1 metre whereas that of the 757 is over
2 metres). For a similar detailed discussion on this read: "Pentagon
So, if the Pentagon was, in fact, hit either by a missile or a
Sky Hawk, then it poses a potentially problematic question: "How
on earth did Al-Qaeda get hold of the missile or the Sky Hawk to
fire at Pentagon"? Then, another question follows: "If
Al-Qaeda did not fire the missile or the Sky Hawk, then, who are
the real perpetrators of the 911 Terror Attack?"
One more surprising revelation was about the Egyptian plane, Flight
990. Readers will remember the intense media frenzy alleging the
co-pilot to have taken his own life and that of 216 other people,
based on an utterance declaring faith in Islam (shahada).
For days and weeks, Islam and Muslims took a savage beating in
the Media- a case of victims being demonized.
Britain's John Coleman and other experts believe that the Egyptian
plane may have been electronically hijacked, as a trial run before
the real 911 attack. The plane carried among the passengers, 33
very important military personnel, including an Army and an Air
Force brigadier general.
Since signing the Camp David peace accord with Israel in 1978,
Egypt has been receiving $ 1.3 billion a year in military financing
from the United States. Much of that aid has paid for weapons from
U.S. defense contractors, tanks, fighter planes, helicopters and
missile systems. Thousands of Egyptian officers have visited the
United States to meet with defense contractors and participate in
Pentagon-sponsored training programs. The presence of the 33 officers
aboard the commercial flight, has prompted questions about whether
they were potential targets of a terrorist attack.
After the US announced the deal to help Egypt in a major military
modernization by selling the Egyptians 24 of the latest-model F-16
fighter planes, a Patriot missile battery and 200 new heavy tanks,
an Israeli official told The Dallas Morning News that Israel considered
Egypt to be a potential risk. One can only speculate if Israel had
a hand in the 990 crash, especially when it was carrying 33 military
After laying the blame on the Egyptian pilot and his belief system,
suddenly the whole thing hit a black out. Too many questions began
to pop up. A scientific analysis of what may have happened, completely
disproves the Administrations' theories. Please read "The
REAL Mystery of Egypt Air Flight 990" by Mike Bara, who
was employed by Boeing as a structural designer for more than 14
years, and worked on every major commercial (and some military)
vehicle that the company produced, including the 767.
It will take a lot of time for me to translate the Asahi documentary
and give even a brief summary, but almost in every city, readers
may find Japanese speakers who could translate. So, purchase a video
from Asahi and learn the facts!
6-9-1 Roppongi, Minato-ku
Tokyo 106-8001, Japan
Our country is under attack,
but instead of bombs and bullets — the weapons of choice are
hateful words and images aimed at distorting American policy and
image around the world.
From Toronto to Tehran, "Hating America" shines a bright
light on the haters themselves, exposing the malicious messages
they send out with each passing day.
With America's steadfast support of Israel and the ever-widening
War on Terror, we might expect anti-U.S. feelings in the volatile
Middle East, but a new survey shows that anti-Americanism is growing
in Europe too.
What's behind this disturbing trend and what can we do to reverse
Will the outcome of the hotly contested presidential election improve
or worsen our standing in the world?
"Hating America" is another in an important series of
investigative documentaries brought to you by the staff of the FOX
News Channel, including reports from FOX News' bureaus in London,
Paris and Baghdad. Don't miss it!
"The American Dream has
run out of gas. The car has stopped. It no longer supplies the world
with its images, its dreams, its fantasies. No more. It's over.
It supplies the world with its nightmares now: the Kennedy assassination,
--J.G. Ballard, British Author
"No matter that patriotism is too often the refuge of scoundrels.
Dissent, rebellion, and all-around hell-raising remain the true
duty of patriots." -- Barbara Ehrenreich
My date of birth is July 4, 1975. I once told this fact to an Army
recruiter, and he replied that this was a sign from God that I was
meant to serve in the U.S. military. I think that if God were to
speak for Himself, he would differ with that assessment.
I feel no shame in admitting that I am not a "patriot."
It makes no difference to me what country I was born and raised
in, because my humanity is not defined by my nationality. My American
"heritage" is as meaningless to me as the color of my
skin. Why should I take "pride" in my place of birth and
residence? Doing so implies that there is something undesirable
about the rest of the world's citizens. And I have never looked
at a "foreigner" and said to myself, "Thank God I
am not like him or her."
I can't help but think that my attitude is currently frowned upon
by a majority of U. S. citizens. For the last three years, nationalism
has been relentlessly fomented by the U.S. news media, festering
and metastasizing like the blackest cancer in our very souls. And
no matter what one thinks of the validity of the '04 election results,
the fact remains that a President whose defining characteristic
is his stupidity is going to serve a second term in office. And
if the election was stolen (which it almost certainly was), where
is the outrage over the result? Unlike the Ukraine, where hordes
of citizens have marched the freezing streets in protest of a fraudulent
election, Americans seem as indifferent to their fate as placid
cows awaiting slaughter.
With all of that stated, I repudiate the notion that I am "anti-American."
I don't hate the United States or her citizens, and I would never
deny the enormous benefits and privileges entailed by the American
lifestyle. I am grateful that I have ever experienced hunger, abject
poverty, disease, or torture. But my dispassionate view of my nationality
enables me to honestly recognize the numerous and devastating problems
endemic to my home country.
I don't the hate the U.S., but increasingly, I feel embarrassed
by and for her. She has become the drunken friend at a party dancing
naked on a table, and you want desperately to cover her nakedness
and restore her dignity. You pity her, yet at the same time, she
is pissing you off, and you're tempted to walk out the door and
pretend not to know her.
I am embarrassed by the image America presents to the rest of the
world. Thanks to 21st century media, nothing that happens here can
be kept secret from the global community. Other nations catch a
glimpse of our culture and our way of life, and God knows they must
turn up their noses in disgust.
Over the past 3 years, anti-Americanism has ignited like a global
conflagration. Many people blame this on the constant warfare waged
by the Bush administration, but remember that Bush is not the first
President to outrage the international community with his foreign
policies and use of military might. The difference between America
in 2004 and, say, the Vietnam era is that corruption in the Whitehouse
is now both expected and TOLERATED. The world community knows that
Americans are indifferent to the criminality of Bush Co., and hence,
any last vestige of respect they felt towards our culture has been
We accept a criminal in the White House, because our values and
priorities have been twisted beyond all repair. If there can be
one defining word to describe the attitude of 21st century Americans,
it would be "egocentric." Every cultural plague destroying
this country stems from our neurotic and near-total involvement
in ourselves. This should surprise no one, since the guiding principles
of our economy are, "Every man for himself," and "Screw
everyone but me," and "Win at all costs." These "values"
are in display at the highest levels of corporate power, where CEOs
happily pillage the life-savings of "worker bees" while
simultaneously cheating on their taxes, so they can meet a repugnantly
decadent and totally illusory "standard of living."
This neurotic self-involvement is reflected in our lifestyle choices,
which generally range from gluttonous to hedonistic. The U.S. has
by far the highest rate of obesity, with 55% of the population classified
as overweight or obese. Paradoxically, we also have by far the highest
incidence of the eating disorders anorexia and bulimia. Of course,
this is to be expected in a country where media perpetuate the illusion
that physical appearance defines a person's value.
An extreme result of egocentrism is sociopathy, so it is not surprising
that America overwhelmingly leads the world in the production of
sociopathic pathologies. Although the U.S. sports only 3% of the
world's population, it has given birth to 76% of the world's serial
killers. We also have the highest rate of childhood murder and suicide
among the world's 26 wealthiest nations. You will never hear these
facts on the Fox News channel or any other government mouthpiece
designed to procure mindless nationalism.
These sociopathic "values" are presented in every form
of American "entertainment," which has spread across the
globe like the most virulent pandemic. Hollywood films, TV shows,
music, and video games portray murder and mayhem as fun and even
admirable behaviors. American "good guys" no longer need
to be GOOD. Quentin Tarantino and the makers of Grand Theft Auto
have made sure of that.
Let's not forget, the Americans most admired by the global community
tend to be professional athletes. More children in third-world countries
have heard of Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods than George Washington
and Abraham Lincoln. And what does the world think when they see
the Indiana Pacers' Ron Artest, a man whose salary exceeds many
countries' national budgets, charging into the stands and swinging
his fists at everyone who looks at him cockeyed?
This is a country where the people entrusted with protecting our
safety, including our non-elected officials in the Food and Drug
Administration, have sold us out for a fistful of coins and a pat
on the head. It's a country where our government has deliberately
dumbed our children down to make them more pliable and useful for
God-knows what evil purpose. But again, where is the OUTRAGE? U.S.
citizens are too busy going to the movies, watching sports, and
planning their next Wal-Mart shopping spree to give a shit what
their government is doing.
Of course, none of these facts are supposed to matter, because we
live in THE FREEEST NATION IN THE WORLD, where the democratic process
guarantees us personal choice. But when that process is subverted
and irrevocably destroyed by our most trusted and powerful leaders,
what real choice have we been left with?
And this is the "way of life" that we seek to impose on
the rest of the world?
Do not underestimate the intelligence of the global community. They
watch and learn and may even know more about us than we do of ourselves.
I am aware of the microscope my nation is under, and I am embarrassed.
BAGHDAD, Nov 26 (IPS) - The U.S. military
has used poison gas and other non-conventional weapons against civilians
in Fallujah, eyewitnesses report.
"Poisonous gases have been used in Fallujah,"
35-year-old trader from Fallujah Abu Hammad told IPS. "They
used everything -- tanks, artillery, infantry, poison gas. Fallujah
has been bombed to the ground."
Hammad is from the Julan district of Fallujah where some of the
heaviest fighting occurred. Other residents of that area report
the use of illegal weapons.
"They used these weird bombs that put
up smoke like a mushroom cloud," Abu Sabah, another
Fallujah refugee from the Julan area told IPS. "Then
small pieces fall from the air with long tails of smoke behind them."
He said pieces of these bombs exploded
into large fires that burnt the skin even when water was thrown
on the burns. Phosphorous weapons as well as napalm are known to
cause such effects. "People suffered so much from these,"
Macabre accounts of killing of civilians are emerging through
the cordon U.S. forces are still maintaining around Fallujah.
"Doctors in Fallujah are reporting to me that there are patients
in the hospital there who were forced out by the Americans,"
said Mehdi Abdulla, a 33-year-old ambulance driver at a hospital
in Baghdad. "Some doctors there told
me they had a major operation going, but the soldiers took the doctors
away and left the patient to die."
Kassem Mohammed Ahmed who escaped from Fallujah a little over
a week ago told IPS he witnessed many atrocities committed by U.S.
soldiers in the city.
"I watched them roll over wounded people
in the street with tanks," he said. "This happened so
Abdul Razaq Ismail who escaped from Fallujah two weeks back said
soldiers had used tanks to pull bodies to the soccer stadium to
be buried. "I saw dead bodies on the ground and nobody could
bury them because of the American snipers," he said. "The
Americans were dropping some of the bodies into the Euphrates near
Abu Hammad said he saw people attempt to swim across the Euphrates
to escape the siege. "The Americans shot them with rifles from
the shore," he said. "Even if some
of them were holding a white flag or white clothes over their heads
to show they are not fighters, they were all shot.."
Hammad said he had seen
elderly women carrying white flags shot by U.S. soldiers.
"Even the wounded people were killed. The Americans made announcements
for people to come to one mosque if they wanted to leave Fallujah,
and even the people who went there carrying white flags were killed."
Another Fallujah resident Khalil (40) told IPS he
saw civilians shot as they held up makeshift white flags. "They
shot women and old men in the streets," he said. "Then
they shot anyone who tried to get their bodies...Fallujah is suffering
too much, it is almost gone now."
Refugees had moved to another kind of misery now, he said. "It's
a disaster living here at this camp," Khalil said. "We
are living like dogs and the kids do not have enough clothes."
Spokesman for the Iraqi Red Crescent in Baghdad Abdel Hamid Salim
told IPS that none of their relief teams had been allowed into Fallujah,
and that the military had said it would be at least two more weeks
before any refugees would be allowed back into the city.
"There is still heavy fighting in Fallujah," said Salim.
"And the Americans won't let us in so we can help people."
In many camps around Fallujah and throughout Baghdad, refugees
are living without enough food, clothing and shelter. Relief groups
estimate there are at least 15,000 refugee families in temporary
shelters outside Fallujah.
has turned into barbarism. The
U.S. administration is committing genocide...in Iraq.
"This occupation has entirely imperialist aims."
Head of Tukish Parliament's human rights commission
MIDDLEEAST.ORG - MER - Washington - 28 November: Americans are
busy with their favorite passtimes, shopping and going to often
childish and excessively bloody and patriotic adventure movies.
But much of the world is seething. We wouldn't and we haven't phrased
things in the way this respected Turkish Parliamentarian has, but
the very fact that he and others are doing so, lashing out at the
American Empire in this way, is telling in itself. True, the historical
record of Turkey when it comes to human rights is quite awful in
many aspects, most especially with regard to the Kurds. True as
well the Turks have in recent years allowed themselves to become
aligned with both the U.S. and Israel geostrategically for reasons
of their own crass 'national interests'. But those are subjects
for another day that we've dealth with before and will deal with
lawmaker says US in Iraq worse than Hitler
By Gareth Jones
ANKARA (Reuters - 26 November) - The head
of Turkey's parliamentary human rights group has accused Washington
of genocide in Iraq and behaving worse than Adolf Hitler,
in remarks underscoring the depth of opposition in Turkey to U.S.
policy in the region.
The United Sates embassy said the comments were potentially damaging
to Turkish-U.S. relations.
"The occupation has turned into barbarism,"
Friday's Yeni Safak newspaper quoted Mehmet Elkatmis, head of parliament's
rights commission, as saying. "The U.S. administration is committing
"Never in human history have such genocide
and cruelty been witnessed. Such a genocide was never seen in the
time of the pharoahs (of ancient Egypt), nor of Hitler nor of (Italy's
fascist leader Benito) Mussolini," he said.
"This occupation has entirely imperialist
aims," he was quoted as telling the human rights commission
Elkatmis does not speak for Turkey's government but he is a prominent
member of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), a centre-right
grouping with Islamist roots which has become increasingly critical
of U.S. actions in Iraq.
Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul played down Elkatmis's comments but
defended Turks' right to speak freely.
"In open societies everybody can say what they want,"
Gul told reporters.
"Regarding U.S.-Turkey relations we can comfortably discuss
any subject," he added.
The U.S. embassy in Ankara rejected Elkatmis's accusations.
"Such unfounded, inaccurate, exaggerated claims are not good
for relations, especially at a time of strain when Turkish public
opinion is so critical of what the United States is trying to do
in Iraq," one U.S. diplomat told Reuters.
Tellingly, Elkatmis's comments, which might have sparked outrage
in many Western countries, drew barely a flicker of interest in
Turkey, where opinion polls point to a growing tide of anti-American
Turkey has been especially disturbed by the recent U.S. offensive
against insurgents in the city of Falluja in which civilians also
died and mosques were damaged.
Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan relayed Turkish concerns over the
Falluja offensive in two recent telephone calls to U.S. President
George W. Bush and to Vice-President Dick Cheney.
Elkatmis accused U.S. forces of deliberately targeting mosques
and schools in Falluja.
Washington says the Falluja campaign was necessary to bring the
Sunni Muslim city back under the control of the central Baghdad
government ahead of planned Iraqi elections in January.
The U.S. diplomat said Elkatmis had overlooked the fact that Iraqi
insurgents like those in Falluja had abducted and beheaded a
number of Turkish truck drivers in recent months.
Underlying Turkish criticism of U.S. policy in Iraq is the fear
that Kurds in the north of the country may use the general turmoil
as an excuse to seek independence from Baghdad, a move which could
reignite separatism among Turkey's own Kurds.
German army conscripts broke their silence
yesterday over a scandal of widespread physical abuse of soldiers
at a military base, and told how they were
bound, beaten and subjected to electric shocks by instructors in
staged hostage-taking exercises
The scandal, which has provoked comparisons with the torture of
Iraqi detainees at the US Army's Abu Ghraib prison, is being investigated
by state prosecutors and 16 NCOs have been suspended, although no
victim had been prepared to speak out in public.
But yesterday, two soldiers said they were among 80 conscripts
subjected to systematic maltreatment at the German army's Coesfeld
base near Münster between July and September last year. They
told Bild newspaper they were abused during regular hostage-taking
exercises in which they were hooded and beaten.
One soldier, identified as Sven G, told Bild he was in a group
of 12 recruits on a 20km night march. "Suddenly we were grabbed
by masked men who pulled sacks over our heads and bound our limbs,"
he said. "We had no chance to defend ourselves."
The conscripts were pushed on to a lorry and taken to a cellar
for "interrogation". Another recruit, Lars K, told Bild:
"We all had to kneel down and wait. Some lay down, they couldn't
get up because of how they were tied. Then every one of us was led
away and interrogated. They screamed at us. If we didn't answer
correctly, they screamed even more. Some of us were sprayed with
water, others were struck on the neck. It was so humiliating."
Lars K told the newspaper he had witnessed recruits
being given electric shocks by their instructors. "They held
a wire on the neck of one of my companions and gave him electric
shocks," he said, "They forced him on to the floor, but
he kept on screaming."
Other evidence, apparently leaked by state prosecutors to the
German media, stated that army instructors
were reported to have applied electric shocks to the groin, neck
and stomachs of their victims and to have recorded the abuse on
video. One recruit was said to have been shown naked from the waist
Unidentified witnesses also spoke of recruits
"gripped by panic" who tried to attack their instructors
during the abuse sessions and of others who returned to their barracks
after the "simulated torture" and wept all night.
"The affair raises nasty associations with the conditions
at the Abu Ghraib US military prison in Iraq," Der Spiegel
magazine said, pointing out that the abuse was committed at almost
the same time as reports about the Iraqi prison scandal started
One of the abused recruits told Bild that none of the victims
had dared to speak out until now because they were terrified of
being branded a "weakling or a coward" by their comrades.
Münster prosecutors began investigating 20 German corporals
and an officer serving as a captain in connection with the affair
Sixteen of those being investigated have been suspended from the
ranks. But Wolfgang Schweer, the chief state prosecutor, said the
number of suspected culprits could easily rise. The affair has shocked
senior German army officers, because most of the recruits subjected
to abuse were not destined to enter combat zones but were conscripts
doing ordinary military service, generally served within Germany.
Peter Struck, the German Defence Minister, said the abuse at Coesfeld
was an "isolated incident", and warned that any officers
caught maltreating recruits would be summarily dismissed from service.
General Alois Bloch said simulated hostage-taking was standard
practice for soldiers being sent abroad. "It is indispensable
for mission training, but it should done only by specially trained
staff," he said.
MADRID (Reuters) - The FBI has established
the clearest link yet between the March 11 Madrid train bombings
and the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States, a Spanish
newspaper reported Sunday.
The FBI has told Spanish investigators that one
of three men believed to have planned the Sept. 11 attacks from
Spain in the summer of 2001 also gave the order to carry out the
Madrid blasts, the newspaper ABC reported.
The train bombings killed 191 people and wounded 1,900 three days
before a general election. In videotapes, the bombers claimed the
attacks in the name of al Qaeda in Europe and said they were in
revenge for Spain sending troops to Iraq and Afghanistan.
Investigators have long concluded that the Sept. 11 attacks were
partially planned in Spain in July 2001.
Hijacker Mohammed Atta, believed to have piloted one of the airliners
that crashed into New York's World Trade Center, visited Spain two
months before the attacks and met two men.
One was Ramzi bin al-Shaibah, who is being held by U.S. authorities,
while the other was unidentified.
ABC said investigators now believe that third man was the one who
in December 2003 activated the Qaeda cell that carried out the March
11 attacks, which Spaniards call "our Sept. 11." [...]
Some 30 people are in custody or under court supervision for the
train bombings for which one minor has so far been convicted. Seven
prime suspects are dead and two or three other suspected collaborators
remain at large.
MOSCOW -- The head of a parliamentary commission
investigating the September hostage seizure at a school in southern
Russia said there
is evidence of involvement by a foreign intelligence agency,
the Interfax news agency reported Saturday.
The statement was the latest of several in which Russian officials
and politicians have alleged foreigners were involved in the Sept.
1-3 attack on a school in the southern town of Beslan, which ended
in bloody chaos and left more than 330 people dead, many of them
"For the moment the evidence that we have of this involvement
is indirect, so I consider it premature to name exactly which special
service it is," Interfax quoted commission head Alexander Torshin
as saying. Russians refer to intelligence and security agencies
as special services.
Torshin, deputy speaker of the Federation Council, Russia's upper
parliament house, said that "when we gather enough convincing
evidence, we won't hide it."
Russian officials initially said the attackers
killed at the school included nine or 10 Arabs, but they never provided
any proof. Shamil Basayev, a Chechen warlord who claimed
responsibility for the raid, said his militants who seized the school
included two Arabs.
Russian President Vladimir Putin and other officials have cast
the hostage seizure as part of a war against Russia by international
terrorists -- not a product of the Kremlin's military campaign in
Chechnya, where officials said several of the attackers were from.
Many Russian officials have accused foreign countries, particularly
in the West, of double standards on terrorism. In a televised address
after the attack, Putin suggested some Cold
War throwbacks in the West who are bent on weakening Russia are
A leading Israeli rights group
has called for the resignation of army Chief of Staff Moshe Yaalon
for what it denounced as a culture of impunity over Palestinian
B'Tselem published adverts on Friday in local papers putting 10
questions to Yaalon about the army's rules of engagement in the
It questioned the lack of accountability and inconsistent punishment
handed down to troops for killing civilians.
"Do you intend to resign?" read the last question.
B'Tselem also asked Yaalon: "Is it true that there are 'zones
of destruction' in the Gaza Strip where the army receives orders
to kill anyone if even that person does not endanger the lives of
The media campaign came a few days after an Israeli military court
indicted an army officer accused by his own soldiers of emptying
his weapon into a Palestinian schoolgirl who was already dead.
The charges were levelled just five weeks after the soldier was
cleared of any wrongdoing in another army investigation.
Channel Two broadcast a conversation between the officer and other
troops recorded on military radio at the time of shooting, where
he said: "Anything that's mobile, that moves in the zone, even
if it's a three-year-old, needs to be killed."
The rights group also asked Yaalon why "at least 1369 unarmed
Palestinian civilians were killed by soldiers since the beginning
of intifada when only 22 troops were accused of illegally firing
and one actually charged?"
It said 529 children were among those killed civilians.
More than 3550 Palestinians - armed and unarmed - and 961 Israelis
have been killed since the start of the Palestinian uprising in
late September 2000, according to an AFP count.
"This is the first time we publish such adverts because the
situation has become unbearable and the number of civilian deaths
has steadily soared without any serious army investigation,"
B'Tselem spokeswoman Sarit Michaeli said.
THE senior British MP in charge of monitoring
last Sunday's polls in Ukraine has revealed how the election was
undermined by intimidation, fraud and invisible ink.
Bruce George, chairman of the Commons Defence Committee and head
of the international Short-Term Observation Commission in Ukraine,
told The Times one of the election monitors handed him a suspicious
pen from a polling station.
Mr George, a veteran Labour MP who helped to oversee the election
in Georgia last year, found that anything
written with the pen vanished in 15 minutes. "I saw
a pen that had ink that disappeared when it dried," he said.
"People were issued with pens to cast their
votes, but their votes would have disappeared after they dropped
the paper into the ballot box."
The pen with disappearing ink was the most devious example of
a range of underhand methods observed by the 600-strong STOC on
behalf of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe.
"My deputy went to a polling station and could not see the
ballot boxes, so he became very suspicious," Mr George said.
"But we had heard that people were
going around throwing some kind of chemical into the ballot boxes
to destroy the contents, so they were hiding them or putting
masking tape over them to protect them."
In Ukraine, prison inmates have the vote, but Mr George received
reports of intimidation.
"A group (of monitors) told me that prisoners had been told
that unless the Prime Minister (Viktor Yanukovych) gets 90 per cent
of the vote, privileges will be withdrawn."
Mr George visited a dozen polling stations in Kiev without incident,
but said: "In eastern Ukraine (a staunchly
Yanukovych area), the turnout in Donetsk was more than 96 per cent,
and in one polling station it was 99.8 per cent.
"It is an entirely improbable statistic
in an area which was very heavily for the Prime Minister. Even the
dead were voting to accentuate the total."
Mr George heard reports of people being bused around to swell
the vote, of many names being added and removed from electoral registers,
and intimidation at polling stations.
"A Swedish MP saw some thugs come in and say that the polling
station had been illegally constituted and they were going to close
it down and impound the ballot boxes," Mr George said.
"The entire local election commission consisted of young
women, who jumped out of their chairs and formed a human shield
between these thugs and the ballot boxes. A stand-off ensued and
eventually the thugs left, no doubt to intimidate someone else.
"The fraud starts fairly high up," he said. "If
you make sure that the central electoral commission is run with
your appointees, it guarantees that complaints are thrown out.
"Abuse of administrative resources to advance the interests
of one political party ... was done blatantly.
"It will take some years before they are able to conduct
half-decent elections," he said.
"They make up the rules as they go along."
WASHINGTON - It always makes me feel slimy
and humiliated, as though I'm in one of those cheesy women-in-prison
movies, with titles like "Caged," "Slammer Girls"
or "Reform School Girls."
First you have to strip, unzipping your boots, unbuckling your
belt and unbuttoning your suit jacket while any guys standing around
watch. Then you have to walk around in some flimsy top and stocking
or bare feet. Then you have to assume the spread-eagled position.
Then a beefy female security agent runs her hands all the way around
your breasts, in between, underneath - again with guys standing
Flying on business, I've gone through this embarrassing tableau
two dozen times in airports all over the country in the last couple
of months. I've been searched more than Martha Stewart. I watched
a Transportation Security Administration screener brusquely insist
that my friend take off her blazer even though she had on only lingerie
underneath - a see-through camisole - and the man behind her was
Airport screening procedures are more reactive than imaginative.
There's an attempted shoe bombing, so all passengers must shed their
shoes. Two female Chechens may or may not have sneaked explosives
onto Russian planes, so now some T.S.A. genius decides all women
are subject to strips and body searches.
I get flagged for extra security every time I buy a one-way ticket,
which seems particularly lame. Doesn't the T.S.A. realize that a
careful terrorist plotter like Mohammed Atta could figure this out
and use his Saudi charity money to pop for round trips even if the
return portion gets wasted?
In two articles in The Times, Joe Sharkey has chronicled the plaints
of women angry about new procedures in airport security that have
increased both the number and intensity of the airport pat-down,
or "breast exam," as one woman put it.
He described the experience of Patti LuPone, the singer and actress,
at the Fort Lauderdale airport, who resisted taking off her shirt
and got barred from her flight, and of 71-year-old Jenepher Field,
who walks with the aid of a cane, being subjected to a breast pat-down
at the airport outside Kansas City, Mo. (Do we have intelligence
telling us that grandmothers are part of Al Qaeda now?)
Even a stripper complained in an e-mail message to Mr. Sharkey
that she found her experiences degrading: "On one occasion
a screener flat out asked if they were fake."
Somebody tell me what quantity of explosive material they have
found through these strip searches, because I've got a hunch it's
zero. How many billions are they wasting on this?
Maybe we're not at the Philip K. Dick level of technology yet.
But how about some positive profiling? If airport security can have
a watch list for the bad guys, why can't it develop a watch list
for the good guys? Can't there be a database of trustworthy American
frequent travelers who are not going to secrete things in their
bras? After all, no one is going to sneak anything in there without
our knowledge. Can they at least get a screen?
I know it's not just women who are uncomfortable; a guy I know
said a male screener at the Miami airport recently stuck a hand
down the front of his pants, making him feel "totally manhandled."
And I heard the sad tale of a red-faced Washington businessman who
took off his shoes, only to show the room the red painted toenails
he had forgotten to wipe off.
Barry Steinhardt of the A.C.L.U. told Court TV that the new procedures
are not only "an open invitation for harassment" - there
are not enough female screeners, so sometimes men are doing the
pat-downs of women - but they're also "not particularly effective."
I've never wanted to complain because I assume there are inconveniences
that go along with greater security. But I would feel less creepy
if I thought this were part of an effective overall strategy of
protecting the country. I don't.
Iraq is draining money we should be spending protecting ourselves.
Only 3 to 5 percent of containers coming into ports are checked,
and only a tiny percentage of air, rail and truck cargo is inspected.
Congress is turning homeland security money into another avenue
of pork. Tom Ridge is still making fuzzy ads telling people to have
a plan of action and referring them to his Web site, which hasn't
gotten much beyond duct tape.
If we were buttoning up the borders and making the airlines safer,
unbuttoning in public would be more bearable.
Airport X-rays aren't just for baggage
Radiation-emitting devices now are screening people and vehicles
at terminals, border crossings, and other checkpoints where security
officials want to look for weapons or contraband. More such use
is likely after officials from the Food and Drug Administration
and other agencies described how lower-level radiation machines
could be used without special precautions.
The FDA is planning discussions with Homeland Security officials
about covert X-ray screening of people as well. But already some
passengers at US and foreign airports are knowingly being X-rayed,
part of a broader effort to step up transportation security in the
wake of terrorist attacks.
Several years ago, US Customs and Border Protection officials
began X-raying some passengers arriving on foreign flights. Then
last month scanning was begun of some passengers departing from
London's Heathrow Airport by a low-powered X-ray system. Also in
October, officials started scanning vehicles driven onto a ferry
between New Jersey and Delaware.
Law-enforcement agencies say they're just testing the effectiveness
of these devices before deciding whether to buy more of them. The
machines are based on new technology set to emit lower levels of
radiation than medical X-ray systems, and until recently were used
primarily to peer into cargo containers as a way around having to
But X-raying of individuals is likely to become more common since
the FDA and other groups crafted recommendations last year on how
to mitigate health concerns, say government and security industry
Frank Cerra, who leads an FDA radiation laboratory in Rockville,
Md., expects growing demand for the X-ray systems from security
officials to move people through checkpoints quickly. ''That's why
we were very interested in getting the standards written,"
Industry and scientific groups, including the Health Physics Society,
say people should know when they're exposed to the radiation created
by the machines, but Cerra said he plans
to talk with the Department of Homeland Security and other agencies
about when individuals might be scanned without their knowledge.
''If it's covert, no matter what we regulate, certain agencies
are going to do it," Cerra said.
The idea of covert scans also came up last year in a report Cerra
helped write for the National Council on Radiation Protection and
Measurements called ''Screening of Humans for Security Purposes
Using Ionizing Radiation Scanning Systems." The report says
one possible use of the X-ray technology would be to scan vehicles
and their occupants at customs checkpoints or at the approach of
a vulnerable bridge or tunnel. ''Covert systems capable of scanning
a vehicle traveling at 5 to 30 m.p.h. are possible," it states.
The report technically defined what it called ''general use systems,"
meaning those that don't require special precautions because they
emit low levels of radiation.
Some see the low-power X-ray systems as preferable
to the increasing use of pat-down searches at airports that have
drawn criticism, especially among women, for being intrusive. But
because the X-rays penetrate clothing, they show images of their
subjects essentially naked. For that reason, others fear the X-rays
pose their own potential invasion of privacy.
''We don't willy-nilly allow people to be strip-searched,"
said Barry Steinhardt, a technology specialist for the American
Civil Liberties Union. Steinhardt said he's also concerned about
potential health risks from the systems.
Department of Homeland Security spokesman Donald W. Tighe said
in a statement: ''We look forward to working with the FDA and other
federal, state, and local partners in evaluating what protective
measures are put in place and what technologies are used, balancing
security and privacy with public health."
According to the report by the radiation protection council, a
nonprofit organization in Bethesda, Md., passenger
scans with low-power X-ray technology require ''no special precautions"
even for children or pregnant women. The report said it would
take at least 2,500 scans of the same individual per year before
the total exposure would reach maximum recommended exposures. It
did recommend testing to ensure scanning units remained below certain
Traditional X-ray systems transmit their rays through a subject
to be captured on film or sensors. The newer versions are called
''backscatter" systems because their beams bounce back to sensors
on the same side of the subject.
According to the radiation protection council's report, the backscatter
systems expose humans to about 5 microrem per checkpoint, one hundredth
as much as a person might receive on a one-hour commercial flight,
or one-thousandth as much as a medical chest X-ray.
David J. Brenner, professor of radiation oncology at Columbia
University, and a co-author of the radiation protection report that
the various government agencies will use to decide whether to broaden
the use of X-rays, said he wants to see more research before concluding
it would be safe to screen all 700 million US air passengers per
year. Some people, he noted, are more sensitive to radiation than
''Of course the needs of aircraft security cannot be ignored,
but if there are alternatives to the use of X-rays for mass screening
of passengers . . . they should certainly be fully investigated
before the country commits itself to a mass X-ray program,"
Brenner wrote in an e-mail.
Brenner mentioned one alternative scanning
technology that uses high-frequency microwaves, which are
theoretically safer since they are reflected by the skin. Companies
working on that technology include Safe-View Inc. in Santa Clara,
Calif., and a Woburn unit of L-3 Communications Holdings Inc.
''We just believe the real test is how the general public reacts
and health officials react to the use of ionizing radiation. Obviously
some have concerns," Safe-View chief executive Rick Rowe wrote
in an e-mail response to questions.
The trial X-ray system at Heathrow Airport is made by Rapiscan,
a division of OSI Systems Inc. of Hawthorne, Calif.
Rapiscan vice president Peter Williamson said his company is also
looking at high-frequency microwaves but doesn't think the technology
is effective yet. He said the radiation protection report and similar
guidelines from the American National Standards Institute have helped
him address customers' fears about the X-ray system's health effects.
When he mentions the reports to airport officials, Williamson said,
''that takes one concern off the table."
The system at the New Jersey/Delaware ferry, testing of which
was to end Nov. 21, is made by American Science and Engineering
Inc. of Billerica. American Science executives passed along a 1996
letter from the FDA stating the agency ''has no objection"
to marketing the product. In addition to
its ''Bodysearch" X-ray device for screening individuals, American
Science sells a truck-mounted version called the ''Z Backscatter
Van." The company had sold 57 as of September, including a
$23.2 million federal order.
The van's X-ray is more powerful than the Bodysearch version,
and so far the company doesn't have the certifications to screen
individuals with it. Richard Mastronardi, American Science vice
president, said the company is in talks with the FDA about the van
but wouldn't describe them. The FDA's Cerra said one topic is the
van's lack of a backstop to absorb some of the energy it emits,
which might raise concerns on where it can be used. Even so, Cerra
said, he expects the company will market the
van for covert surveillance uses. ''I"m sure they'll
target that market," he said.
| WASHINGTON, United States : The
United States, stung by insurgent attacks in Iraq, is urging the international
community to consider banning all sales of anti-tank and other heavy
landmines, but has ruled out its participation
in an international conference on landmines designed primarily to
maim or kill people.
Members of the so-called Ottawa Convention
will gather in Nairobi, Kenya, on Monday to review implementation
of the 1997 accord that bans use, development, production, stockpiling
and transfer of anti-personnel landmines.
As many as 143 nations have signed up to the accord, which took
effect in March 1999. But a group of 42 countries
led by the United States, Russia and China have refused, citing
the need to protect their troops in various theaters of deployment.
In a written statement, Deputy State Department spokesman Adam
Ereli gave no indication of change in the US approach and said US
diplomats will not be attending the Nairobi gathering.
But he pointed out that important work still "remains to
be done" to rid the world of the scourge of landmines that,
according landmine ban supporters, still kill and maim between 15,000
and 20,000 people around the world every year. [...]
North Korea threatened in secret talks to
export nuclear weapons and to conduct a test blast, according to
a CIA report made public this week.
"In late April 2003 during the Six-Party Talks in Beijing,
North Korea privately threatened to 'transfer' or 'demonstrate'
its nuclear weapons," the semiannual report on arms proliferation
to Congress stated.
"North Korea repeated these threats at the Six-Party Talks
in August 2003."
The CIA's description was the first official confirmation that
the official North Korean statements were a threat. The disclosure
also contradicted public comments on the matter by Bush administration
BOGOTA, Colombia - President Bush was targeted
for assassination by Colombia's biggest Marxist rebel group this
week when he visited the Caribbean port city of Cartagena, a top
Colombian official said today.
"According to informants and various sources, we had information
indicating that various members of the FARC had been instructed
by their leaders to make an attempt against President Bush,"
Defense Secretary Jorge Alberto Uribe told reporters.
He would not be drawn out on the details of the threat.
The 17,000-strong Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC,
fighting a 40-year guerrilla war against the state, has long accused
the the United States of backing business interests in this Andean
country while ignoring the 60 percent of the population that lives
Two Fort Carson GIs say they took an anti-malaria
drug in Iraq and now are suffering
Fort Carson - Spec. Heather Stanbro finds herself standing in rooms
with no idea how she got there. She shakes uncontrollably and has
trouble walking without staggering. She recently bit and punched
her husband in what she calls a psychotic episode.
The 25-year-old soldier blames her medical problems on the anti-malaria
drug Lariam that she was forced to take weekly last year while serving
as a medic in Iraq.
Stanbro said a military medical specialist recently told her that
she is suffering from brain-stem damage, with Lariam being the probable
cause for at least her balance problems.
The medical expert, Dr. Michael Hoffer, on Thursday confirmed the
conversation and added that he suspects Lariam is also to blame
for the physical problems Fort Carson soldier Georg Pogany suffers.
Pogany became the first soldier since the
Vietnam War to be charged with cowardice after his panicked reaction
to seeing a dead Iraqi in a body bag. His career is in limbo,
and, like Stanbro, he has balance problems and other troubles.
"I've had the ringing in my ears pretty much since I have
been back," Pogany said. "I hear sounds when there is
none. It can drive you crazy." [...]
Sartene, France - Attackers shouting racist
slurs opened fire on a Muslim prayer leader and scrawled a swastika
in front of his door in the latest in an increase of racist incidents
on the French island of Corsica, police said.
The Moroccan imam, Mohammed al-Akrach, was not injured in the
attack at around 02:30 on Saturday at his home, which doubles as
a prayer hall, in Sartene in southern Corsica.
Having first knocked at the imam's door, the attackers shouted
racist slurs and fired gunshots when he came to answer. Before leaving,
the group of several men also scrawled a swastika on the ground
and the Corsican words "Arabi Fora" - Arabs out.
"They opened fire straight away, five or six shots,"
al-Akrach, 53, told reporters. "I hid myself near the wall.
They tried to open the door by hitting it."
"I was very afraid but happily they then left by car,"
he added. "What happened is very serious."
There were no immediate claims of responsibility. Police were
A year ago, the front door of the imam's prayer hall was doused
with inflammable liquid and set afire.
Munich - A German man who had sent letter bombs
to nine officials in the southern region of Bavaria has committed
suicide, a day before he was set to undergo a police DNA test, police
said on Saturday.
The 22-year-old blew himself up on Friday by detonating a gas
bottle in a field near Hutthurm, a Bavarian town where investigators
had been testing 2 300 residents for a possible link to the explosive
Police had already carried out some 600 DNA tests when news surfaced
of the man's death. DNA analysis revealed the young man, who was
unemployed and lived on the family farm in Hutturm, to be the sender
of the trapped letters.
The packages, which targeted regional officials of both the Christian
Social Union (CSU) and Social Democrats (SDU) as well as the Polish
consul in the city of Munich, between April and August this year.
All were detected before they could wreak any damage, except one
which slightly injured a municipal worker in the southern town of
Regen in August.
Police warned that the suspect could have sent more letters before
committing suicide, advising officials to be on their guard in coming
HAKIMABAD, Afghanistan : Instead of the handful
of people with skin diseases he usually deals with, Dr. Mohammed
Rafi Safi says he has recently treated 30 Afghan farmers who allege
their opium crops were sprayed with poison.
The flood of patients in the past two weeks has come since farmers
in part of eastern Nangarhar province alleged their opium poppies
were sprayed with poison from the air earlier this month, destroying
food crops and leaving many feeling ill.
"Other illnesses such as eye and respiratory problems have
also increased," said the doctor at the 20-bed Khogyani District
The Afghan government on November 18 launched a probe into claims
unidentified foreign troops sprayed
fields in Hakimabad and neighboring villages in Khogyani, Shinwar
and Achin districts, in one of the country's biggest poppy-growing
The US military has denied any involvement,
although the United States has indicated it intends to take a tougher
stance in future against the drug trade in the war-torn country.
"US troops are not involved are not involved in eradication,
which would include the spraying of poppy fields which we do not
do," US military spokesman Major Mark McCann told AFP last
But Nangarhar provincial governor Din Mohammed said
there was "no doubt that an aerial spray has taken place."
"I don't know who might be behind
this but you know the fact that the airspace of Afghanistan is under
the control of the United States," he added. [...]
JAKARTA, Nov. 27 (Xinhuanet) -- At least 17
people have been killed and 75 others injured, and hundreds of buildings
destroyed in a powerful earthquake in Nabire district in Papua province
in Indonesia, said a local police officer.
Collapsing buildings cut electricity lines, sparking fires that
destroyed or damaged almost 180 buildings, homes and places of religious
worship, police Deputy Chief for Panial regency in Papuaprovince
Comr. Wempi Batlayeri was quoted by Jakarta Post as saying Saturday.
He said that all forms of communication with Nabire have been
cut off and "Thick smoke is billowing everywhere."
The runway of the town's airport was damaged in the quake. However,
small Twin Otter airplanes are still able to land, he said.
"The residents in those regencies ran out of their homes
when they felt the tremors," said Wirda Fakaubun, chief of
regental development and planning in Puncak Jaya regency.
The earthquake struck at 11:25 a.m. (0425 GMT) on Friday, with
its epicenter some 17 kilometers south of Nabire and 33 kilometers
A fairly strong earthquake jolted Japan's
northernmost prefecture of Hokkaido Saturday morning, the Meteorological
There was no immediate report of casualties or damage to properties,
Hokkaido Prefectural Police said. Nor did the agency issue a tsunami
warning following the quake.
The temblor that struck at 7:42 a.m. registered 4 on the 7-point
Japanese intensity scale in Urakawa, Sarabetsu and Churui and 3
in Niikappu, Shizunai, Erimo, Shikaoi, Toyokoro and Hiroo.
The focus of the earthquake, which is estimated to have registered
5.6 on the open-ended Richter scale, was located about 60 kilometers
below the ground in the southern Tokachi district.
A three-point-one magnitude earthquake shook
the crater at Mount Saint Helens Saturday morning.
That is the mountain's biggest earthquake since the new lava dome
began growing in mid-October, according to the U-S- Geological Survey.
Scientists still say no major eruption is imminent -- just a continuation
of the minor ash and steam eruptions that have been occurring since
the mountain re-awakened this fall.
They hope to take advantage of good weather expected Sunday and
Monday to get a better look at the volcano.
HANOI, Vietnam (AP) - The death toll from floods
and landslides has risen to 21 and two people remain missing following
heavy rains in central Vietnam where water levels continue to rise,
officials said Saturday.
Up to 125 centimetres of water has been dumped on the region over
the last four days and moderate rains were reported Saturday in
low-lying areas in four provinces following the worst drought since
1998, officials said.
Disaster officials in Thua Thien Hue province forecast more rain
for the next couple of days. [...]
RENO, Nev. -- Thousands of passengers were
grounded Saturday during a snowstorm at Reno-Tahoe International
Airport on its busiest weekend of the year.
At nearby Lake Tahoe and elsewhere in the Sierra Nevada, the storm
dumped up to 18 inches of snow and delayed thousands of Thanksgiving
holiday motorists heading over mountain passes.
Sixty-nine flights at the airport were canceled or delayed during
a seven-hour period Saturday after a malfunction in equipment used
to guide pilots when visibility is poor, spokesman Brian Kulpin
The instrument landing system is maintained and operated by the
Federal Aviation Administration, which fixed the problem after the
storm had left up to 6 inches of snow in Reno.
Travelers were urged to contact their airlines before heading
to the airport because delays were expected to continue. Kulpin
said some passengers might not be able to get a flight from Reno
until Tuesday because flights are booked solid Sunday and Monday.
"This has such a ripple effect throughout the system,"
Kulpin said. "It has impacts on other airports because there
are people stranded at other airports."
The Sunday after Thanksgiving traditionally is the airport's busiest
day of the year, with about 10,000 passengers using the facility.
Kulpin said airport officials were livid because it was the second
time this month the instrument landing system malfunctioned during
a storm. [...]
After almost a year of trying
to bring Asia's bird flu under control, World Health Organisation
experts are now warning that the disease is the most likely candidate
to cause the world's next pandemic, with the possibility of as many
as seven million deaths.
"I believe we are closer now to a pandemic than at any time
in recent years," Shigeru Omi, Western Pacific regional director
of WHO, said yesterday at a regional meeting about the disease.
"The current outbreak (of avian influenza) in poultry is historically
unprecedented in terms of geographical spread and impact,"
he said. "This virus appears to be not only very resilient,
but also extremely versatile."
WHO's global influenza expert, Klaus Stohr, said on Thursday that
the H5N1 bird flu virus – which has killed 32 people in Thailand
and Vietnam and millions of chickens across Asia this year –
"is certainly the most likely one that will cause the next
Influenza pandemics historically occur every 20 to 30 years when
the genetic makeup of a flu strain changes so dramatically that
people have little or no immunity built up from previous flu bouts.
"On this basis, the next one is overdue," Omi said.
Health officials fear bird flu could combine with a human flu virus,
creating a new form that could spread rapidly throughout the world.
The WHO says a pandemic could cause an estimated two million to
seven million deaths and make billions of people ill.
Health ministers from 13 Asian countries pledged at the meeting
to cooperate more in efforts to ward off the possible pandemic and
to prepare contingency plans to deal with it.
Omi told the meeting that the region must reduce bird flu's threat
to humans by changing farming practices.
"This means a thorough overhaul of animal husbandry practices,
and the way animals are raised for food in the region. I believe
that anything less than that will only result in further threats
to public health," he explained.
Hong Kong Health Secretary York YN Chow said his government has
set up very strict controls in chicken farms to segregate humans
and chickens, and has tried to minimise contact between wild birds
Chow said Hong Kong has also prevented contamination by setting
up "rest days" in wholesale markets, meaning that a new
batch of chickens is delivered every four days after a previous
batch has been slaughtered.
Chickens, ducks and other animals are often allowed to roam freely
on small Southeast Asian farms, and often come into close contact
with wild animals and with family members.
Some animal health experts have been promoting so-called "closed-system
farming", in which poultry are raised in a sealed environment
where they face minimal exposure to outside infections.
But the system is likely to be prohibitively expensive for many
PHILADELPHIA (AP) - A tanker spilled about
114,000 litres of crude oil into the Delaware River between Philadelphia
and southern New Jersey, creating a 32-kilometre-long slick that
killed dozens of birds and threatened other wildlife, U.S. officials
said Saturday. [...]
here to comment on this article
LESLEY STAHL: "...We have heard
that a half a million children have died. I mean that's more children
than died when-wh-in- in Hiroshima. And- and, you know, is the price
ALBRIGHT: "I think this is a very hard choice, but the price--we
think the price is worth it... It is a moral question. but the moral
question is even a larger one. Don't we owe to the American people
and to the American military and to the other countries in the region
that this man not be a threat?"
"Even with the starvation and the lack..."
"I think, Lesley--it is hard for me to say this because I am
a humane person, but my first responsibility is to make sure that
United States forces do not have to go and refight the Gulf War."
think the price is worth it."
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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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