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and extensive previously unpublished details, at long last, Laura Knight-Jadczyk's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!
of the Day
Won't Get Fooled Again?
who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it."
- George Santayana
"We learn from history that we learn nothing
- George Bernard Shaw
History is repeating itself yet again, a point that we have been
attempting to communicate to our readers for some time now. This
re-run of events appears to be playing out in two places at the
moment - the US and Israel - soon to be shown in a country near
you, if the imperialist US/Israeli coalition fulfills its objective
of a New World
We have discovered that a few comparisons of the Roman Polanski
film, The Pianist, might be a good way to illustrate that we are
replay of historical events, as there are stark parallels between
events depicted in the film and certain events that have played
and are playing out on the world stage, particularly in the Middle
East and the US. If you have not seen the film, we suggest that
do. It may be just what you need to wake up to the reality in which
we currently reside.
In the first scene of The Pianist, the protagonist of the film,
Wladyslaw Szpilman, is sitting at the piano playing a piece of music
(by Chopin?) for Warsaw radio. There is an explosion. He continues
play. Even though the radio technicians are startled, he is calm
collected. Another blast. He insists on continuing. In fact, it
only when the building starts falling down around his head that
decides he had better make a run for it. Until the very last possible
second, he ignorantly continues on with what he is doing as though
nothing is happening, putting not only himself in mortal danger,
the radio technicians who were in the booth as well.
Now, let's look at that a little closer. Szpilman ignores - out
pure stupidity or arrogance - the clear signs that things are amiss.
That there is a clear and present danger. He ignores REALITY. In
this blindness, this denial, this desire to maintain the illusion
normalacy is so strong, that when he is finally on his way out,
still finds that his thoughts are not primarily concerned with the
danger that is, quite literally, falling down right on his head,
rather with chatting up a woman.
Denial. Blindness. Arrogance. Ignoring the signs. An adamant refusal
to accept reality, which consequently puts both himself and others
Do we not see precisely this now, in the US and elsewhere? How
many are ignoring the signs, right here and now? How many are in
denial, right here and now? How many are refusing to face the Truth,
the facts, the REALITY of the situation? How many did it during
WWI and WWII? How many deaths resulted as a consequence? How many
are in denial about, or willingly agreeing to, the genocide that
is taking place in Iraq and Palestine today? How many think that
such only happens to "other people"? How many think that
a government would never do anything so horrific to its own people?
Well, let us tell you a secret, if a government will murder people
of other nations for the sole sake of obtaining as much wealth and
power as they possibly can, then life - regardless
of whose - is of no consequence to them in the slightest.
Yes, the situation is terrifying, if and when one finally accepts
for what it is. But will we allow ourselves to be frozen by that
and cower in the dark, trembling like a frightened dog? Or will
that fear to motivate and move us to DO something?
The mission of Signs of the Times is to provide its readers with
information, those signs that tell us that something is amiss. That
the bombs are dropping and the building is falling down around us.
Like Szpilman, most are ignoring those signs and many will continue
to do so until it is too late. The mission
of Signs of the Times is to
serve those who are interested in seeing the reality for what it
who are interested in the Truth, no matter how painful. That
that Truth, could save your backside.
What do the signs tell us? They tell us that the United States
government, in collaboration with the Zionists in the Israeli
government, are bringing the world to the brink of another World
War. The signs tell us that the United States
is the hub of a new, vivified Nazi regime intent upon world domination,
just as Hitler and Nazi Germany were in the past. The signs
tell us that those who are "other", whether from a religious,
ideological or ethical point of
view, those who do not follow willingly and keep in line as good
sheeple should do, will be slaughtered. Exterminated.
There is a scene in The Pianist when, having ignored all of the
and stayed in Warsaw, all of the Jews, including Szpilman's own
family, are herded into boxcars to be transported to their deaths.
What do you think all of those white box cars that have been seen
crossing the US will be used for?
There is another scene in the film where Szpilman and his family
something from the window of their tiny apartment. They look down
and suddenly see that there are workers there building a wall around
the ghetto. They are being fenced in. Penned up like so many cattle,
for later transport to the slaughterhouse. Does this not bring to
the wall the Israelis have built around the West Bank, albeit on
smaller scale? And what about the concentration camps where the
Nazis housed, tortured and executed countless human beings? Do you
think such camps do not already exist in the US, just waiting for
the right time to be utilized? Again, what do you think those white
boxcars are for?
There is another scene in The Pianist when Szpilman, by sheer luck,
has survived and is wandering from place to place in Warsaw, hiding
and scrounging for food. He ends up in an abandoned hospital, but
is eventually forced out. After a crew of Nazi soldiers burn a pile
bodies (while casually eating yoghurt) which Szpilman saw from the
window, the Nazis begin torching all of the buildings. Szpilman
escapes out the back of the building and over the wall encasing
the back courtyard. Over this wall is a scene of utter destruction
and devastation. Warsaw behind this wall is nothing but a mass of
ruins. Dead. A wasteland.
Today, Falluja is a wasteland. Today, the occupied territories
are a wasteland. Tomorrow, if the regime in the US continues
its course of world domination, your backyard, your own cities,
be a wasteland.
Don't think it can't happen to you.
If you believe that it can't, then you may likely end up being
the millions that will perish in what will very likely be WWIII.
you believe that your government wouldn't do something so horrific,
that it is just too absurd a notion, then you may likely end up
among the millions that will perish in what will very likely be
If you believe that you are too special, priviledged or chosen for
such a thing to happen to you, then you may likely end up being
among the millions that will perish in what will very likely be
However, if you do accept that such a thing can happen, that the
signs all indicate that there is a high probability that it will
what do you intend to DO?
Will you wait for a "savior"? Will you wait for the "allies"
to your rescue? Will you rely on "good fortune", the good
others, as did Szpilman in the film, who only survived by pure accident?
Or will you DO something yourself?
Take your fate in your own hands. That is where it belongs. Take
Grasp it. Recognize it for what it is, and fulfill it.
Once you do that, you will not only be capable of helping yourself,
but ultimately, capable of helping others as well.
If you so choose.
"Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat
When I watched Oscar-winning film The Pianist
I had three distinct, uneasy reactions. I was not particularly impressed
by the film, from a purely artistic angle; I was horrified by the
film's depiction of the dehumanization of Polish Jews and the impunity
of the German occupiers; and I could not help but compare the Warsaw
ghetto wall with Israel's much more ominous wall caging 3.5 million
Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza in fragmented, sprawling
In the film, when German soldiers forced Jewish musicians to play
for them at a checkpoint, I thought to myself: "that's one
thing Israeli soldiers have not yet done to Palestinians."
I spoke too soon, it seems. Israel's leading newspaper Ha'aretz
reported last week that an Israeli human rights organization monitoring
a daunting military roadblock near Nablus was able to videotape
Israeli soldiers forcing a Palestinian violinist to play for them.
The same organization confirmed that similar abuse had taken place
months ago at another checkpoint near Jerusalem.
In typical Israeli whitewashing, the incident was dismissed by
an army spokesperson as little more that "insensitivity,"
with no malicious intent to humiliate the Palestinians involved.
And of course the usual mantra about soldiers having to "contend
with a complex and dangerous reality" was again served as a
ready, one-size-fits-all excuse. I wonder whether the same would
be said or accepted in describing the original Nazi practice at
the Warsaw ghetto gates in the 1940's.
Regrettably, the analogy between the two illegal occupations does
not stop here. Many of the methods of collective
and individual "punishment" meted out to Palestinian civilians
at the hands of young, racist, often sadistic and ever impervious
Israeli soldiers at the hundreds of checkpoints littering the occupied
Palestinian territories are reminiscent of common Nazi practices
against the Jews. Following a visit to the occupied Palestinian
territories in 2003, Oona King, a Jewish member of the British parliament
attested to this, writing: "The original founders of the Jewish
state could surely not imagine the irony facing Israel today: in
escaping the ashes of the Holocaust, they have incarcerated another
people in a hell similar in its nature - though not its extent -
to the Warsaw ghetto."
Even Tommy Lapid, Israel's justice minister and a Holocaust survivor
himself, stirred a political storm last year when he told Israel
radio that a picture of an elderly Palestinian woman searching in
the debris for her medication had reminded him of his grandmother
who died at Auschwitz. Furthermore, he commented on his army's wanton
and indiscriminate destruction of Palestinian homes, businesses
and farms in Gaza at the time, saying: "[I]f we carry on like
this, we will be expelled from the United Nations and those responsible
will stand trial at The Hague."
Some of the war crimes that concern people like Lapid have been
lately revealed in eyewitness accounts given by former soldiers,
who could no longer reconcile whatever moral values they held with
their complicity in the daily humiliation, abuse and physical harm
of innocent civilians. Such crimes have become normalized in their
minds as acceptable, even necessary, acts of "disciplining"
the untamed natives, as a measure to maintain "security."
According to a recent report in the Israeli media, an army commander
was accused of gratuitously beating up Palestinians at the notorious
Hawwara checkpoint. Ironically, the most damning evidence presented
against him was a videotape filmed by the army's education branch.
In that particular episode, the senior officer at that roadblock,
knowing that an army film crew was located nearby, and without any
provocation, beat a Palestinian "flanked by his wife and children,"
punching him in the face, and "even kicked[him] in the lower
part of his body," the report said.
A recent exhibit titled "Breaking the Silence," organized
in Tel Aviv by a number of conscientious Israeli soldiers who served
in occupied Hebron, exposed in photographs and objects more serious
belligerence towards defenseless Palestinians. Inspired by Jewish
settlers' graffiti that included: "Arabs
to the gas chambers"; "Arabs = an inferior race";
"Spill Arab blood"; and, of course, the ever so popular
"Death to the Arabs," soldiers used a myriad of methods
to make the lives of average Palestinians intolerable. One photograph
showed a bumper sticker on a passing car, perhaps explaining the
ultimate goal of such abuse: "Religious penitence provides
strength to expel the Arabs." The exhibit's main curator described
a particularly shocking policy of randomly spraying crowded Palestinian
residential neighborhoods, like Abu Sneina, from heavy machine guns
and grenade launchers for hours on end in response to any minor
shooting of a few bullets from any house in the neighborhood on
the Jewish colonies inside the city.
The Hebron horrors pale, however, in comparison to what Israeli
army units have done in Gaza. In an unnerving interview with Ha'aretz
in November last year, for instance, Liran Ron Furer, a staff sergeant
(res.) in the Israeli army and graduate of an arts school, described
the gradual transformation of every soldier to an "animal"
when staffing a roadblock, irrespective of whatever values
he may bring with him from home. From his perspective, those soldiers
get infected with what he calls "checkpoint syndrome,"
a glaring symptom of which is acting violently
towards Palestinians in "the most primal and impulsive manner,
without fear of punishment …." "At the checkpoint,"
he explains, "young people have the chance to be masters and
using force and violence becomes legitimate … ."
Furer cites how his colleagues degraded
and mercilessly beat a Palestinian dwarf just for fun; how
they had a "souvenir picture" taken
with bloodied, bound civilians whom they'd thrashed; how
one soldier pissed on the head of a Palestinian
man because the latter had "the nerve to smile" at a soldier;
how another Palestinian was forced to stand
on four legs and bark like a dog; and how yet another soldier
asked Palestinians for cigarettes and when they refused "broke
someone's hand" and "slashed their tires."
The most chilling of all the incidents was his
own personal confession. "I ran toward [a group of Palestinians]
and punched an Arab right in the face," he admitted. "Blood
was trickling from his lip onto his chin. I led him up behind the
Jeep and threw him in, his knees banged against the trunk and he
landed inside." He then goes on to describe in gruesome details
how he and his comrades stepped on the tightly handcuffed captive,
dubbed "the Arab;" how they hit him until "he was
bleeding and making a kind of puddle of blood and saliva;"
how he "grabbed him by the hair and turned his head to the
side," until he cried aloud, and how the soldiers then "stepped
harder and harder on his back," to make him stop crying.
Furer then reveals that the company commander cheered them on:
"Good work, tigers." And
after they took their prey to their camp, the abuse continued in
different forms. "All the other soldiers were waiting there
to see what [my emphasis] we'd caught. When we came in
with the Jeep, they whistled and applauded wildly." One of
the soldiers, Furer said, "went up to him and kicked him in
the stomach. The Arab doubled over and grunted, and we all laughed.
It was funny ... I kicked him really hard in the ass and he flew
forward just as I'd expected. They shouted … and laughed ...
and I felt happy. Our Arab was just
a 16-year-old mentally retarded boy."
As savage as it is, checkpoint abuse is not unique in any sense.
It fits perfectly well into the general picture of viewing the Palestinians
as relative humans who are not entitled to the dignity and respect
that full humans deserve. At the height of Israel's massive reoccupation
of Palestinian cities in 2002, for example, soldiers
used their knives to engrave the star of David on the arms of a
number of detained Palestinian men and teenage boys. The
haunting pictures of the victims were first shown on Arab satellite
TV channels and eventually exposed on the internet.
In the same year, at al-Amari refugee camp, during a mass roundup
of Palestinian males, teenagers and elderly included, Israeli troops
inscribed identification numbers "on the foreheads and forearms
of Palestinian detainees awaiting interrogation." The late
Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat compared the act to well known
Nazi practices at concentration camps. Tommy Lapid was incensed,
saying: "As a refugee from the Holocaust I find such an act
insufferable." Nonetheless, Raanan Gissin, a spokesman for
Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon, was worried only about Israel's
image being tarnished: "clearly it conflicts
with the desire to convey a public relations message,"
he told Israel Army Radio. Parroting that line, the mainstream media
in Israel, too, were far too concerned about the "public relations
disaster" to express any abhorrence or protestation at the
immorality of the act and the irony of it all.
Yoram Peri, a professor of politics and media at Tel Aviv University,
sees PR as "a fundamental issue in Israeli life." "We
do not think we do anything wrong," he clarifies in
an interview with the Guardian, "but
we think we explain ourselves badly and that the international media
is anti-Semitic." Obsessed with how Israel is seen rather
than with what it actually does, Israelis, according to Peri, are
mostly worried that "we do not explain ourselves well. When
we discuss the horrible things that happen in the West Bank, we
don't talk about the issue but about how it will be seen."
Recognizing this prevailing cynicism, apathy and acquiescence
among the majority of Israelis in the criminal oppression of the
Palestinians, former Knesset member Shulamit Aloni pronounced in
a recent interview with the Irish publication the Handstand that
"gross insensitivity" was threatening a moral disintegration
of Israeli society. Referring to the Germans during the Nazi rule,
she added, "I am beginning to understand why a whole nation
was able to say: ‘We did not know.'"
I wonder when the time will come when a glamorous, award-winning
director braves predictable intellectual terror and intimidation
tactics to expose the venomous Israeli cocktail of racism and impunity
by making a Palestinian version of "The Pianist."
Omar Barghouti is an independent political analyst based in
Damascus has dismissed an offer
by Israel to resume peace negotiations because it came with strings
"We have proposed a resumption of negotiations without conditions.
I now notice the Israeli prime minister is setting conditions on
Syria, and that is unacceptable," Foreign Minister Faruq al-Shara
said on Thursday.
His comments came shortly after Israeli premier Ariel Sharon expressed
willingness to talk to the Syrians under "certain conditions".
These included demands that Syria stop supporting what Israel calls
But Syrian state radio accused Israel of deliberately trying to
sabotage peace efforts.
"Israel is allowing opportunities for peace
to slip by and blocking international efforts by setting defective
conditions which sabotage the peace process and raise tension in
the region," Damascus Radio said.
Bethlehem - Zionist jailers' savage assault
on Palestinian female prisoners a few days ago resulted in the wounding
of a number of them and the injury of the baby boy of one of them.
Raíed Mahamid, lawyer of the Palestinian prisoner's club,
said that the infant Waíel the son of the detainee Mirvat
Taha was injured in the incident in Talmund jail.
Mahamid said that about 400 heavily armed Zionist
soldiers forced all females out of their cells, sprayed them with
teargas and beat them up and did not even spare the baby boy, who
was born in prison.
Occupied Jerusalem - Zionist special forces
and policemen escorted municipal bulldozers on their devastation
mission today that flattened the home of
75-year-old Suhaila Abdul Mohsen Shabana in Tal Al-Fool,
Beit Hanina village to the north of occupied Jerusalem.
A number of foreign peace activists and family members of Shabana
entrenched in the house in a bid to prevent the Zionist bulldozers
from razing it to the ground but the security men evacuated them
The old lady said that her house, which used to provide shelter
for ten individuals, was only built a year and a half ago over 100
square meters of land. She affirmed that the family members had
nowhere else to go to.
The Zionist occupation authorities had
demolished five Palestinian houses in the holy city since last Thursday
and distributed tens of demolition notifications on Jerusalemites
in Beit Hanina, Shaífat and its refugee camp, Einata and
The Zionist authorities last Thursday leveled the 150-square-meter
house, which is still under construction, of Palestinian MP Ahmed
Al-Batsh in Bir Nabala in addition to 41 huts belonging to the Jahalin
Bedouin tribe that used to accommodate 157 individuals along with
27 cattle corrals.
The municipal authorities recently started a campaign against
those who allegedly build houses without permits in the holy city.
Palestinian sources affirmed that the phenomenon
of unlicensed buildings was due to the Zionist municipalityís
racial policies that ignored the Palestinian natural growth and
hence the need for more houses while allowing Jews to build at will.
The sources charged the Zionist municipality of imposing strict
and complicated measures to attain a building permit.
They recalled that the municipality had distributed 43 demolition
notifications last week only. [...]
MANCHESTER, Conn. - In a shopping mall outside
Hartford, past the Abercrombie & Fitch and the cell phone kiosks,
tucked away by the Barnes & Noble, a
conference room full of security guards is learning how to spot
They are being taught blast patterns and behavior profiles, how
a bomb is packaged and how a bomber is recruited.
Suburban shopping mall security guards — whose jobs usually
consist of watching for shoplifters and shooing away loitering teenagers
— are receiving the type of training that just a few years
ago was reserved for the Israeli police and the U.S. military.
"If they're carrying a bag, look for
that white-knuckle grip. ... They're carrying that package and they're
holding onto it for dear life," Patrick Chagnon, a Connecticut
State Police detective and national counterterrorism instructor,
tells his class of 10 students as the Shoppes at Buckland Hills
mall bustles with holiday shoppers carrying bags and boxes of all
Chagnon's students are also told to watch for people wearing oversized
clothes, and are instructed to make eye contact with shoppers and
look for either extremely focused people or those who won't return
a look. Another tip-off: Terrorists often ritualistically shave
their bodies before carrying out a suicide bombing, he says.
Around the country, enrollment in these suicide
bombing classes has increased in the past year, and the students
include not just elite SWAT team members, but also local patrol
officers and private security forces.
"Everyone has an obligation to be a soldier
in this war," Connecticut Homeland Security Director John Buturla
In Israel, mall security guards, bus drivers and
hotel managers are added eyes and ears for the police. That is what
state and federal officials are trying to build in the United States.
In New York City, for example, apartment doormen and supers are
being trained to be on the lookout for cars or trucks that are parked
outside for a long time; for anyone who takes pictures of the building
or lingers too long outside; and for new tenants who move in with
little or no furniture.
The International Council of Shopping Centers held about 20 anti-terrorism
classes this year and plans dozens more next year, says Malachy
Kavanagh, who helps organize training for the organization. A class
of mall security directors recently received training at the FBI
Academy in Quantico, Va., he says.
"Our attitude is that everybody has a role: mall managers,
engineers, maintenance people," Kavanagh says. "The more
people you train, the more eyes you have, the more people you have
aware, the better your opportunity to prevent things."
Such training frequently is met with skeptical
questions: Is al-Qaida really going to attack a Connecticut shopping
mall? Anti-terrorism instructors say a bombing is nearly twice as
likely at a commercial establishment than at a government building
or military installation.
"A mall is packed with people. Government buildings usually
are not," says Uri Mendelberg, a former Israeli military official
whose company, ISDS International, teaches a three-day, $1,300 course
on suicide attacks in Springfield, Mass. Mendelberg says about 60
people, including security agents for major U.S. corporations, have
taken his class since it started last year.
Chagnon's lectures for mall security officials on how to prevent
suicide bombings are paid for by the state and run about four hours.
"It will happen. You just need to make sure
it doesn't happen here," he tells the security guards. "If
terrorists know that 'Mall A' has good security and 'Mall B' doesn't,
where are they going to go?"
An Associated Press reporter was allowed to sit in on the training,
but the security guards were not allowed to be interviewed.
Some of the security guards questioned how much they could be expected
to help, since they do not carry weapons and have no powers of arrest.
But Chagnon told them their job is to alert law enforcement, and
he assured them they could help thwart attacks by spotting surveillance
teams and terrorism rehearsals.
"They're going to do a dry run," Chagnon
Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin has ordered
an inquiry into "allegations of police brutality" by officers
at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.
Franklin's directive comes three weeks after initial news reports
of a physical confrontation between a Stockbridge woman and an Atlanta
police officer outside a terminal. On Tuesday, the story got national
attention when ABC-TV's "Good Morning America" showed
video of the woman being hustled to the pavement.
Franklin said Wednesday she had asked airport General Manager Ben
DeCosta and Atlanta police Chief Richard Pennington to review "any
incidents" of brutality that have been alleged during her three
years in office.
"As the mayor of a big city, I am always concerned about
allegations of police brutality," Franklin said. The results
of the inquiry will be made public, she said.
The mayor's statement came in reaction to news reports of a Nov.
2 confrontation in which Officer Terence
Alexander threw Diana Dietrich-Barnes of Stockbridge to the pavement
in an effort to arrest her for a traffic violation while
she was dropping off her mother at the airport.
After reviewing an airport security videotape of the incident,
Alexander's supervisors dropped charges of illegal parking, battery
and obstruction that he had filed against Dietrich-Barnes.
The officer, who said he was injured by the woman, then tried
to get three felony charges filed against her in Clayton County,
where the airport is located. Clayton Magistrate Gloria Darty Reed
refused Monday to hear the case.
Alexander is on medical leave and an internal investigation is
being conducted by Atlanta police. The officer has been reprimanded
or suspended without pay 13 times since 2001 for violating departmental
rules, police said.
According to court records, more than 160
people at the airport have been jailed this year, as of October,
for arguing with a police officer, not moving a vehicle quickly
enough, or snatching a ticket from an officer's hand. [...]
Former CIA Director George J. Tenet yesterday called for new
security measures to guard against attacks on the United States
that use the Internet, which he called "a potential Achilles'
"I know that these actions will be controversial
in this age when we still think the Internet is a free and open
society with no control or accountability," he told an information-technology
security conference in Washington, "but ultimately the Wild
West must give way to governance and control."
The former CIA director said telecommunications -- and specifically
the Internet -- are a back door through which terrorists and other
enemies of the United States could attack the country, even though
great strides have been made in securing the physical infrastructure.
The Internet "represents a potential Achilles' heel for our
financial stability and physical security if the networks we are
creating are not protected," Mr. Tenet said.
He said known adversaries, including "intelligence
services, military organizations and non-state actors," are
researching information attacks against the United States.
Within the federal government, the Department of Homeland Security
has the lead role in protecting the Internet from terrorism. But
the department's head of cyber-security recently quit amid reports
that he had clashed with his superiors.
Mr. Tenet, who retired in July as director of the CIA after seven
years, warned that al Qaeda remains a sophisticated group, even
though its first-tier leadership largely has been destroyed.
It is "undoubtedly mapping vulnerabilities and weaknesses
in our telecommunications networks," he said.
Mr. Tenet pointed out that the modernization of key industries
in the United States is making them more vulnerable by connecting
them with an Internet that is open to attack.
The way the Internet was built might be part of the problem, he
said. Its open architecture allows Web surfing, but that openness
makes the system vulnerable, Mr. Tenet said.
Access to networks like the World Wide Web
might need to be limited to those who can show they take security
seriously, he said.
Mr. Tenet called for industry to lead the way by "establishing
and enforcing" security standards. Products need to be delivered
to government and private-sector customers "with a new level
of security and risk management already built in."
The national press, including United Press International
(UPI), were excluded from yesterday's event, at Mr. Tenet's request,
China has been accused of blocking access
to Google News by the media watchdog, Reporters Without Borders.
The Paris-based pressure group said the English-language news site
had been unavailable for the past 10 days.
It said the aim was to force people to use a Chinese edition of
the site which, according to the watchdog, does not include critical
Google told the BBC News website it was aware of the problems and
was investigating the causes.
China is believed to extend greater censorship over the net than
any other country in the world.
A net police force monitors websites and e-mails, and controls
on gateways connecting the country to the global internet are designed
to prevent access to critical information.
Popular Chinese portals such as Sina.com and Sohu.com
maintain a close eye on content and delete politically sensitive
And all 110,000 net cafes in the country have to use software to
control access to websites considered harmful or subversive.
"China is censoring Google News to force
internet users to use the Chinese version of the site which has
been purged of the most critical news reports," said the group
in a statement.
"By agreeing to launch a news service that excludes publications
disliked by the government, Google has let itself be used by Beijing,"
For its part, the search giant said it was looking into the issue.
"It appears that many users in China are having difficulty
accessing Google News sites in China and we are working to understand
and resolve the issue," said a Google spokesperson.
Google News gathers information from some 4,500 news sources. Headlines
are selected for display entirely by a computer algorithm, with
It offers 15 editions of the service, including one tailored for
China and one for Hong Kong.
Google launched a version in simplified Chinese in September. The
site does not filter news results to remove politically sensitive
But Google does not link to news sources which are inaccessible
from within China as this would result in broken links.
United States (AFP) - Bernard Kerik, the New York city police chief
during the September 11 attacks, has been chosen as the new US homeland
"I can confirm Kerik at DHS (Department of Homeland Security),"
the official told AFP on condition of anonymity. Outgoing Homeland
Security secretary Tom Ridge announced his resignation on Tuesday.
The department was created in the aftermath of the September 11,
2001 attacks, pulling together 22 previously disparate domestic
agencies, including the Secret Service and the Coast Guard, and
counts some 180,000 employees.
Kerik, a burly ex-soldier, became the New York City police commissioner
in August 2000, and led the city's police department during the
Al-Qaeda attacks on the city that brought down the World Trade Towers
and killed almost 3,000 people.
He quit in December 2001 with the departure of
mayor Rudolph Giuliani and was subsequently dispatched to Iraq by
the Bush administration in 2003, after Saddam Hussein's ouster,
as a senior adviser to Iraq's interior ministry on police training.
However, he only served out three months of a scheduled six-month
Kerik's curriculum vitae is straight out of the school of hard
Three years ago while researching his biography,
"The Lost Son," Kerik uncovered that his mother, who abandoned
him as a child, was an alcoholic prostitute who may have been beaten
to death by a pimp.
Born in 1956 in New Jersey, the Big Apple's former police chief
discovered that Patricia Kerik was found dead in Ohio at the age
of 34, in 1964, with a severe head wound, but that her death was
not classified a homicide.
Following an impoverished childhood, Kerik worked
his way up into the top ranks of US law enforcement, and now appears
poised to become a cabinet secretary and the chief figurehead charged
with defending the United States from potential terror attacks.
Before joining the New York Police Department in 1985, Kerik
served in the US Army as a military policeman for three years and
worked as a guard for Saudi royalty, US media said.
Upon donning the NYPD's blue uniform, Kerik wrote in his book that
he found himself assigned as a beat cop to Times Square, chasing
down prostitutes where his mother had once worked.
More recently Kerik -- who attended the
Republican National Convention backing Bush this year -- has been
working for ex-mayor Giuliani's consulting company. He has
also advised the Mexican government on the crime problems of Mexico
If confirmed by the Senate, Kerik would become only the second
person to hold the post after Ridge.
Asked on Tuesday what advice he would offer
a successor, Ridge replied: "You have to work as long as it
takes to get the job done on a day-to-day basis." [...]
I am a complete ignoramus at economics, but a thought has occurred
Right now, what is still holding the USA above water, is the crooked
corporate press, which is not giving anything like the true picture
of the fact that the USA is bound to lose most ignominiously in
Iraq, and is, in fact, taking a very heavy and unreported pounding
now. As this finally becomes known, simply by being too obvious
to hide anymore, it is bound to undermine international investor
confidence, as people move their money into safer investments, elsewhere.
And in these days of a falling US Dollar, any net oil importer such
as the EU, China or Japan cannot in its best interests wish to support
the dollar against its own currency, because the lower the dollar
falls, the relative cheaper will be its own oil imports, all else
such as its own export market versus the dollar left out of the
equation, and its only hope of competition against a falling dollar
being cheaper oil for itself, so it will let the dollar slide in
some balance of forces one against the other.
On the other hand, net oil exporters who still have to sell off
their oil in dollars will be making less profit, unless the oil
price in dollars is increased, or they themselves support the dollar,
which latter would be tantamount to shooting themselves in the foot.
Or else they can demand payment in a more-stable currency, such
as the Euro?
But if the oil-price becomes pegged in Euros, then exchange profits
for the USA will fall away, and the dollar will slide still farther,
and faster, too, further undermining investor confidence, and industries
and jobs will be lost to the US, exacerbating an already-critical
employment situation, as work is outsourced overseas in spite of
a falling dollar making US exports cheaper on the world stage, because
the rot in US productivity and the job market is already rampant
as jobs are outsourced, and big US companies stash their own profits
And as the dollar falls, the US, as a net importer of oil, will
have to pay relatively more dollars per barrel, against some other,
stabler currency, making the impact of the dollar's fall noticeable
at the pumps, in the USA itself.
Higher gas prices, when the entire hidden-agenda rationale for the
"War Against Terrorism" was to steal someone else's oil
without paying for it, will have a tremendous social impact in US
daily life, which is largely, without extensive public-transport
systems such as in Europe, and dependent upon high individual mobility
which requires low gas prices.
Add to this inability to still relatively inexpensively commute
to work areas and job opportunities becoming leaner by the passing
day, the reduction of social structures for the purpose of privatising
them away and with them, the safety nets of US society and the savings
of the individual, together with fewer jobs, and social unrest on
a quite unprecedented scale is bound to follow.
As the ruling Pirate Crew, its fingers in the oil-pie worldwide,
will never back down either on raising its internal gasoline and
oil prices (are they philanthropists, those for whom the killing
of entire peoples is OK, just so long as they get their "free"
oil, to sell at higher profits?), nor on their intent to exercise
absolute control over their own people, so following on unrest will
come repression, and following on repression, further loss of investor
confidence, and following on that, greater loss of jobs, and so
a continually falling dollar, and so higher gas prices at the pumps
... ad infinitum.
If I were a military analyst with some charge
of saving my country from such a pirate crew, whereas one might
believe or disbelieve the myth of some valid constitutional provision
making the arrest of the President a possibility in case of his
grievous wrongdoing leading to what is de-facto treason against
his own people, I doubt, given the large number of people in administration
apparently all on the take, and the fact that the average US citizen
does not yet recognise the urgency of the situation in relation
to their own country's well-being, and the closing window-of-opportunity
to address this problem in any democratic way or otherwise -- I
mean, pow(d)er to the people --that any such attempt would ever
What I should do, as a military man, would
be to organise a relatively small (200-300 or so) force of storm-troopers,
enter the White House when all are known to be present (getting
past the guard is something any military man will know is no problem
at all), and simply take a rope for each pirate, tie a noose at
one end around the necks of each traitor and the other end around
the White House balcony balustrade, and toss the buggers over, to
This is not the way it always has been done, except in some "banana"-republic,
but, by God, it will set an example, to boot John and Jane Doe out
of their stupor and into the present - and perhaps to even save
their country -- in a rapidly-closing window-of-opportunity, which
is down to such a knife-edge crack still left open, that only such
an action, by a dedicated military man, might still save it.
CONCORD, N.H. - President Bush's former New
England campaign chairman was indicted Thursday on charges he took
part in the jamming of the Democrats' get-out-the-vote phone lines
on Election Day 2002.
James Tobin, 44, stepped down Oct. 15 after the Democrats accused
him of involvement. At the time, he called the allegations "without
In 2002, six phone lines run by the Democrats
and the Manchester firefighters union were tied up for one and a
half hours by 800 computer-generated hang-up calls.
Federal prosecutors said Tobin and other Republicans hired a company
to make the calls to disrupt the organizations' get-out-the-vote
Tobin was charged with conspiracy to commit telephone harassment
and aiding and abetting of telephone harassment. He could get up
to five years in prison.
Calls to Tobin's lawyer and representatives of both parties were
not immediately returned.
At the time of the jamming, Tobin was Northeast
political director for the Republican Senatorial Committee, the
party operation working to elect Republicans to the Senate.
Among the races affected by the phone-jamming was
the Senate contest between Democratic Gov. Jeanne Shaheen and Republican
Rep. John E. Sununu. Sununu ended up winning by about 20,000 votes.
Over the summer, Chuck McGee, former executive director of the
state GOP, pleaded guilty to conspiracy and admitted paying $15,600
to a Virginia telemarketing company that hired another business
to make the calls. A Republican consultant with the telemarketing
company also pleaded guilty.
A judge is ordering government workers
to waive their confidentiality
agreements with journalists. What impact will the controversial
tactic have on the media's ability to report news?
Dec. 1 - A hard-edged tactic used by a Justice Department special
counsel to smoke out anonymous sources in a CIA leak case is about
to be expanded to the 2001 anthrax investigation—despite profound
misgivings within the department about the legitimacy of the practice.
As many as 100 FBI agents, federal prosecutors and other department
employees are likely to be asked—possibly as early as the
next few weeks—to sign broadly worded statements waiving any
confidentiality agreements they had with journalists about the anthrax
case, Justice officials tell NEWSWEEK. The waiver statement was
recently ordered by a federal judge at the urging of lawyers for
bioterrorism expert Dr. Steven J. Hatfill, who has filed a lawsuit
alleging that government officials leaked damaging personal information
about him in an effort to connect him with the anthrax attacks.
The language is to be patterned on a similar statement distributed
last year to White House officials and others in the investigation
headed by special counsel Patrick Fitzgerald, a U.S. attorney in
Chicago, to determine who leaked the identify of undercover CIA
agent Valerie Plame to columnist Robert Novak. Like the upcoming
Hatfill waiver, the so-called "Plame waiver" was designed
to be an end run around journalists' claims that they are protecting
the confidentiality of sources when they refuse to testify in leak
investigations. The statement asserts that a government official
who talked to the news media waives "any promise of confidentiality,
express or implied" that was offered to them by a reporter,
according to a copy of the Plame waiver obtained by NEWSWEEK.
It further authorizes any reporter with whom the official talked
to disclose to investigators "any communications that I may
have had … regarding the subject matters under investigation,
including any communications made 'on background,' 'off the record,'
'not for attribution,' or in any other form." [...]
Aid agencies and UN officials
are growing increasingly concerned about the fate of more than 200,000
Iraqis who fled their homes before the US-led assault on Falluja.
At least 210,000 Iraqis are now living as refugees in deteriorating
conditions and are unlikely to be able to return to their badly
damaged city for several weeks, according to reports compiled by
a UN-led emergency working group.
Families fled to at least nine villages in the desert around Falluja
in the weeks before the assault began last month. Others are staying
in Baghdad, often with relatives. At least 100 families are camped
out at Baghdad University mosque. Access to the refugees "remains
sporadic due to insecurity and military operations", said the
"Shortages in fresh food items and cooking fuel have also
been reported. The temperature has dropped, underscoring an urgent
need for winterisation items and appropriate shelter," it said.
US troops still maintain a tight cordon around Falluja as they
move from house to house, searching for insurgents and removing
Over the summer, Falluja had become a bastion of the insurgency
and too dangerous for US or Iraqi troops to patrol.
Water and electricity supplies are still cut off and the city's
general hospital, the first target seized in the assault, remains
under US military control, the report said.
Al-Rawda al-Mohammadia mosque has been turned into an aid centre
that residents can use for only four hours each morning. One of
Falluja's main health clinics was destroyed in the assault.
In another report a fortnight ago, the working group suggested
that residents would not be allowed to return for some time. "Some
reports are now suggesting that return to Falluja may take a matter
of months rather than days, as was previously suggested by multi-national
forces," it said.
Government defense giant Raytheon Co. has developed
the first nonlethal weapon that fires a heat beam to repel enemies
and reduces the chance of innocent civilians being shot, a Pentagon
Raytheon, the world's largest missile maker, delivered a prototype
to the U.S. military last month. The product is expected to be evaluated
from February through June to determine whether to equip U.S. forces
with it, Colonel David Karcher, director of the Joint Non-Lethal
Weapons Directorate, told Bloomberg Business News.
With U.S. casualties in Iraq rising, expectations are growing
that Raytheon's weapon, called the Active Denial System, could be
sent to Iraq in the next year, according to Charles "Sid''
Heal, commander of the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department. A former
Marine, Heal headed nonlethal-weapons training for the U.S. military
in Somalia in 1995 and advised Raytheon on the beam's development.
"It's there, it's ready,'' said Heal, who
has felt the weapon's beam and compares it to having a hot iron
placed on the skin. "It will likely be in Iraq in the
next 12 months. They are very, very close.''
The weapon, mounted on a Humvee vehicle, projects a "focused,
speed-of-light millimeter wave energy beam to induce an intolerable
heating sensation,'' according to a U.S. Air Force fact sheet. The
energy penetrates less than 1/64 of an inch into the skin and the
sensation ceases when the target moves out of the beam.
The weapon could be used for crowd control
and is effective beyond the range of bullets fired by small arms,
Karcher said. The effective range of an AK-47 assault rifle is as
far as 273 yards, while an M16A2 rifle has a range of 400 meters.
The primary benefit would be protecting U.S. troops, Heal said.
The weapon would also limit deaths of noncombatants, he said.
"This forces your adversary to declare intentions,'' Heal
said. "U.S. forces get killed because they are reluctant to
shoot. It happens in Iraq every day."
"This is where the future is going,''
Raytheon Chief Executive William Swanson, 55, said at a conference
in Tucson, Ariz., where he introduced the weapon to investors Wednesday.
"This is the ability to protect our troops, and we're talking
about the speed of light.''
Raytheon is two years into a four-year, $40 million development
contract, Karcher said. How soon the weapon is deployed will depend
on the military's interest, and while the technology may be ready,
troops must also be trained on it and engagement rules must be decided
by a four-star general, he said.
Heal said the military version would cost about $1 million, and
the U.S. military could require many.
Karcher said the first prototype cost about $10 million.
Heal told Bloomberg Business News that Raytheon
could expand the market by selling a smaller version to law-enforcement
agencies. The company is working on
a smaller, tripod-mounted version for police forces, and
the price would have to come down to a few hundred thousand dollars
each to be affordable, he said.
the "State of America" Department:
The Bush administration
is funding sexual health projects that teach children that HIV can
be contracted through sweat and tears, touching genitals can result
in pregnancy, and that a 43-day-old foetus is a thinking person.
A congressional analysis of more than a dozen federally funded
"abstinence-only programmes" unveiled
a litany of "false, misleading and distorted information"
in teaching materials after reviewing curriculums designed to prevent
teenage pregnancy and sexually transmitted disease.
There are more than 100 abstinence programmes, involving several
million children aged nine to 18, and running in 25 states since
1999. They are funded by the federal government to the tune of $170m
(£88.5m), twice the amount when George Bush came to power.
The money goes to religious, civic and medical organisations as
grants. To qualify they may only talk about types of contraception
in terms of their failure rates, not about how to use them, or the
The survey was conducted by the staff of congressman Henry Waxman
of California, a longstanding Democratic critic of the Republican
administration's approach to sex education. His team concentrated
on the 13 programmes that are most widely used, and found only two
of them were accurate.
"It is absolutely vital that the health education provided
to America's youth be scientifically and medically accurate,"
Mr Waxman said. "The abstinence-only programmes reviewed in
this report fail to meet this standard."
Other "facts" include that abortion
can lead to sterility and suicide, half the gay male teenagers in
the US have tested positive for HIV, and condoms fail to prevent
transmission of HIV in 31% of incidences of heterosexual intercourse.
US government figures contradict all of these assertions. [...]
Mr Waxman also criticised some programmes for reinforcing sexist
stereotypes to children. One - Why Know - says: "Women
gauge their happiness and judge their success by their relationships.
Men's happiness and success hinge on their
Another programme, Wait Training, says: "Just
as a woman needs to feel a man's devotion to her, a man has a primary
need to feel a woman's admiration. To
admire a man is to regard him with wonder, delight, and approval.
A man feels admired when his unique characteristics
and talents happily amaze her."
MIAMI (AP) - Since moving to
Miami from California 18 months ago, Arnold Dejesus has narrowly
escaped getting run over twice while crossing the street. Once,
the 36-year-old salesman was so angry he kicked the offending car.
Dejesus says Florida's roads are extremely dangerous for pedestrians,
and according to a private study released Thursday, he is right.
The study by the Washington, D.C.-based Surface Transportation
Policy Project says Florida's roads are the nation's most dangerous
for people walking along them. Tampa ranked first among the state's
metropolitan areas with 3.69 pedestrian deaths annually per 100,000
people. Orlando was next with 3.15, and Miami-Fort Lauderdale had
"People here do whatever they want without
thinking about the others,'' Dejesus said.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Evidence gained
by torture can be used by the U.S. military in deciding whether
to imprison a foreigner indefinitely at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, as
an enemy combatant, the government concedes.
Statements produced under torture have been inadmissible in U.S.
courts for about 70 years. But the U.S. military panels reviewing
the detention of 550 foreigners as enemy combatants at the U.S.
naval base in Cuba are allowed to use such evidence, Principal Deputy
Associate Attorney General Brian Boyle acknowledged at a U.S. District
Court hearing Thursday.
Some of the prisoners have filed lawsuits challenging their detention
without charges for up to three years so far. At the hearing, Boyle
urged District Judge Richard J. Leon to throw their cases out.
Attorneys for the prisoners argued that some were held solely on
evidence gained by torture, which they said violated fundamental
fairness and U.S. due process standards. But Boyle argued in a similar
hearing Wednesday that the detainees ``have no constitutional rights
enforceable in this court.''
Leon asked whether a detention based solely on evidence gathered
by torture would be illegal, because ``torture is illegal. We all
know that.'' [...]
"The really dangerous American fascist is the man who wants
to do in the United States in an American way what Hitler did
in Germany in a Prussian way. The American fascist would prefer
not to use violence. His method is to poison the channels of public
information. With a fascist the problem is never how best to present
the truth to the public but how best to use the news to deceive
the public into giving the fascist and his group more money or
"They claim to be super-patriots, but they would destroy
every liberty guaranteed by the Constitution. They demand free
enterprise, but are the spokesmen for monopoly and vested interest.
Their final objective toward which all their deceit is directed
is to capture political power so that, using the power of the
state and the power of the market simultaneously, they may keep
the common man in eternal subjection."
- U.S. Vice President Henry Wallace Published in The New
York Times on April 9, 1944
WASHINGTON (AP) - Interception
of several technology shipments to Iran has bolstered U.S. suspicions
that Iran is secretly developing an intercontinental ballistic missile
that could threaten Europe and possibly the United States.
An intelligence report this week to Congress said North Korea,
China and parts of the former Soviet Union provided Iran through
the end of last year with ballistic-missile equipment, technology
The report said Iran, in trying to improve existing missiles, was
``also pursuing longer-range ballistic missiles.''
A well-placed Bush administration official told The Associated
Press on Thursday that U.S. interceptions had strengthened U.S.
suspicions that Iran was trying to develop an intercontinental missile
that could reach Europe and possibly the United States.
The official, speaking on condition of anonymity,
declined to specify what material was intercepted and to identify
the countries that sought to help Iran. [...]
Lohit, 70, a victim of Bhopal
gas tragedy, participates with others at a demonstration near Parliament
house, New Delhi in this file picture. US chemical giant Dow has
accepted full responsibility for the Bhopal disaster in India that
killed 15,000 people and today announced a €9bn compensation
US chemical giant Dow has accepted
full responsibility for the Bhopal disaster in India that killed
15,000 people and today announced a €9bn compensation package,
a company spokesman told BBC World television.
“Today I am very, very happy to announce that today, for
the first time, Dow is accepting full responsibility for the Bhopal
catastrophe,” said spokesman Jude Finisterra. “This
is a momentous occasion.”
“We have a $12bn (€9bn) plan to finally at long last
fully compensate the victims including the 120,000 who may need
medical care for their entire lives and to fully and swiftly remediate
the Bhopal plant site.”
A lethal gas escape from a chemical plant in the central Indian
city of Bhopal has claimed the lives of 15,000 people over the last
20 years and many more have severe medical problems.
The factory was owned by Union Carbide, now a subsidiary of Dow
“We have resolved to liquidate Union Carbide, this nightmare
for the world and this headache for Dow and use the $12bn (€9bn)
to provide more than $500 (€376) per victim, which is all that
they’ve seen,” Finisterra told the BBC.
Dow had maintained the legal case was resolved in 1989, when Union
Carbide settled with the Indian government for more than €362m.
Obese Americans are overwhelming
medical imaging machines that now have a hard time peering inside
their bodies, say doctors.
"Hospital radiology departments are increasingly unable to
adequately image and assess obese patients because of the limitations
in current radiolosgy equipment," said Raul Uppot, a physician
at Massachusetts general hospital in Boston.
The main problem is that ultrasound waves have to penetrate body
tissue to produce a quality image, and that can be hindered in even
slightly overweight patients, the report said on Wednesday.
Over the 15 years, obesity increased in Massachusetts from 9% of
the population to 16%.
More than 60% of Americans are overweight or obese, with a much
higher risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes and some cancers
than people of healthy weight.
The American Obesity Association estimates that 127 million people
in the United States are overweight, 60 million are obese, and nine
million are severely obese.
Ukraine’s Supreme Court
today cancelled the presidential run-off election result and called
for a repeat vote.
It said opposition leader Viktor Yushchenko cannot be considered
elected president based on the first round of the vote which he
Kremlin-backed Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych was declared winner
of the second round run-off by the Central Election Commission.
The opposition and independent observers said that vote was tainted
by ballot rigging.
The court issued its verdict in response to an appeal by Yushchenko,
who asked it to cancel the official results of the runoff, which
he said had been rigged in favour of Yanukovych.
Yushchenko has pushed for a quick rerun of the run-off.
He has rejected outgoing President Leonid Kuchma’s call for
a completely new election which was widely seen as a bid to field
a new candidate more popular than Yanukovych.
NEW DELHI - Russian President Vladimir Putin
has described Iraq as a terrorist "incubator" that poses
a threat to the world in an interview published in India where he
"As had been the case with Afghanistan, Iraq
turned into a major hotbed of terrorist threat, a firing ground
and 'incubator' for militants," the Russian leader, who is
on a three-day visit to India, told The Hindu newspaper.
"It is here (Iraq) and now that thousands of future terrorists
are being recruited by terrorist networks. Those forces, most probably,
can be employed in other regions of the world," he said.
Russia, which has faced a series of deadly attacks by separatists
battling its rule in mainly Muslim Chechnya, opposed the US-led
invasion of Iraq.
Putin said actions by the world community to tackle "the terrorist
international" should "start from international law"
and be concerted and united.
He said in written responses to questions posed by the newspaper
that differences between global players over Iraq had led to a "significant
slowdown" in developing international "anti-terrorist
Putin said developments in Iraq had proved that
the unilateral action taken by the United States and its allies
"Terrorist activities there are not
diminishing while peaceful Iraqis and citizens of other states become
victims of violence." [...]
COLLEGEDALE, Tenn. - A small plane carrying
Seventh-day Adventist Church officials crashed Thursday soon after
taking off from an airport in a rural, mountainous area, killing
all but one of the six people on board.
The only survivor, co-pilot Jim Huff, walked away from the crash
site and was taken to a Chattanooga hospital, Sheriff John Cupp
said. No information on his condition was immediately available.
The twin-engine Cessna 421 crashed, caught fire and broke apart
in a thicket of trees about 1 1/2 miles north of the Collegedale
Municipal Airport. Airport manager Frank Zarski said the plane crashed
because of engine failure. [...]
A strong earthquake shook Trinidad this afternoon,
officials said. There were no immediate reports of damage or injuries.
The quake had a preliminary magnitude of 5.4, according to the
US National Earthquake Information Service in Golden, Colorado.
Magnitude 5 earthquakes can cause considerable damage.
The epicentre was located around 12.5 miles south of the capital,
Port-of-Spain, where most of the Caribbean country's 1.2 million
The quake came more than a week after a 6.3 earthquake rocked
Guadeloupe and Dominica in the Caribbean, killing a girl and damaging
scores of buildings.
An earthquake measuring 4.2 on the Richter
scale shook the region of Pirgos in southern Greece at 5:36 am this
morning. The epicenter of the earthquake was recorded 30 kilometers
north–northwest of the city of Pirgos in the Peloponesse,
The tremor was felt in the prefecture of Ilia, while seismologists
maintain that there is no reason for alarm. No damages were reported.
MARAGUNDON, Philippines (AP) - A powerful
typhoon sliced through the Philippines on Friday, forcing more than
160,000 people to flee their homes to higher ground even as rescuers
struggled to find the missing from an earlier storm that killed
more than 420 people.
There was an unconfirmed report more than 1,000 were dead or unaccounted
for from the typhoon that hit the Philippines earlier this week.
Civil defence officials said at least 422 people were confirmed
dead and another 177 missing. The military reported a toll of 479
dead and 560 missing but regional commander Maj.-Gen. Pedro Cabuay
cautioned the figures were based on numbers provided by local officials
that could not be immediately confirmed.
Mudslides and flash-floods caused by the earlier storm have turned
entire provinces facing the Pacific Ocean into a sea of chocolate-brown
mud littered with bodies, uprooted trees, collapsed homes and bridges.
Survivors sifted through piles of mud, which in some towns was
ankle deep, for clothes and belongings. Soldiers, police and medical
workers trekked with relief supplies across flood-ravaged roads
and bare mountains to reach towns cut off by landslides.
In the town Infanta in Quezon province, east of the capital Manila,
where at least 100 died, officials allowed residents to briefly
leave evacuation centres to retrieve belongings from damaged homes
but warned them to return because of the typhoon.
"We are not concerned so much about saving property. We just
want to save lives," said Infanta Mayor Filipina America.
The latest storm, Typhoon Nanmadol, made landfall late Thursday
along the northeastern coast with sustained
winds of up to 185 kilometres an hour and gusts of up to 222 km/h,
disrupting maritime rescue operations and partially grounding the
Philippine air force. [...]
The BBC has made a disaster
movie which predicts one billion people will be wiped off the earth
by a "supervolcano".
The £3 million drama claims America's Yellowstone National
Park is due an eruption of cataclysmic proportions.
If - or when - it does erupt, 100,000 Americans will be killed
in minutes by a giant cloud of burning ash.
But the volcano will have such a profound effect on the global
climate that up to one billion people will die as a result, the
program will claim.
The doom-mongering drama is based on real life data, according
to the BBC.
The Yellowstone volcano erupts every 600,000 years - and 640,000
years have passed since the last one.
Filmmakers worked with the US Federal Emergency
Management Agency, which handled the September 11 tragedy, the Pentagon
and the US Geological Survey to make the drama.
Blisteringly hot summers similar
to the one in 2003 when thousands of people in continental Europe
died of heatstroke will become commonplace because of climate change,
a study has found.
Scientists estimate global warming has already doubled the risk
of similar hot summers, and if the climate continues to change,
they will occur every couple of years.
It is estimated that between 22,000 and 35,000 people died heat-related
deaths in Europe during the summer of 2003, when soaring temperatures
and drought also caused widespread forest fires and crop failures
in the Mediterranean area.
Until now it has not been possible to say with any accuracy how
much of this extra heat was the result of man-made global warming
and how much of it was the result of a naturally warm summer. But
Peter Stott, of the Met Office's Hadley Centre, and Daithi Stone
and Myles Allen, of Oxford University, have found a way of teasing
apart the human and natural influences on the temperatures measured
across Europe in 2003. Using a computer model of the climate, they
found the extra heat that made the summer of 2003 the hottest for
at least 500 years was largely the result of human influences, such
as the burning of fossil fuel which exacerbates the planet's greenhouse
Dr Stott said: "We simulated 2003 summer temperatures over
Europe, with and without the effect of man's activities, and compared
these with observations."
"We found that although the high temperature experienced was
not impossible in a climate unaltered by man, it is very likely
that greenhouse gases have at least doubled the risk.
"Our best estimate is that such a heatwave is now four times
more likely as a result of human influence on climate."
The study, published in the journal Nature, calculates that human
influence is to blame for 75 per cent of the increased risk.
At the rate at which the climate is changing, the scientists estimate
that by the 2040s more than half of the summers
will be warmer than that of 2003, and by the end of the century
a summer similar to 2003 will be classed as unusually cold.
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