Translations from other sites
Travel Log! The
Quantum Future Group Goes to Rennes-le-Chateau
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and extensive previously unpublished details, at long last, Laura Knight-Jadczyk's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
Volumes 1 and 2 now!
of the Day
| A New Year, A New Opportunity
We spent New Year's Eve in front
of the television. We were watching the excellent new documentary,
which chronicles the rise of the corporation as one of the pivotal
structures of modern society, looking at its impact on our lives
and its effect on the political process. As they say on the site:
One hundred and fifty years ago, the corporation was a relatively
insignificant entity. Today, it is a vivid, dramatic and pervasive
presence in all our lives. Like the Church, the Monarchy and the
Communist Party in other times and places, the corporation is
today's dominant institution.
What is the nature of this institution that is so important to
the workings of the world?
The filmmakers, Mark Achbar and Jennifer Abbott, drawing on the
Corporation: The Pathological Pursuit of Profit and Power,
by Joel Bakan, who wrote the film's script, use the DSM-IV checklist
for personality assessment to gauge the "mental health"
of the legal persons known as corporations. The result?
Polluting the water, the atmosphere, the land, using children in
dependent countries to produce luxury goods for the West, attempting
to privatise everything from the water to our DNA, the corporation
sees the world uniquely in terms of dollar signs.
And what is one of the biggest casualties in this corporate war
The conclusion of the film tells the story of two journalist whistle-blowers
who previously worked for the Fox network. Their story continues
to this day. The following two articles are a brief summary of their
campaign against the corporate media.
Welcome to the online news source for anyone
who drinks milk or consumes other dairy products…and depends
on the news media to report suspected health concerns accurately
Here you will find behind-the-scenes details about how a large
share of America's milk supply has quietly become adulterated with
the effects of a synthetic hormone (bovine growth hormone, or BGH)
secretly injected into cows…and how pressure from the hormone
maker Monsanto led Fox TV to fire two of its award-winning reporters
and sweep under the rug much of what they discovered but were never
allowed to broadcast.
After a five-week trial and six hours of deliberation which ended
August 18, 2000, a Florida state court jury
unanimously determined that Fox "acted intentionally and deliberately
to falsify or distort the plaintiffs' news reporting on BGH."
In that decision, the jury also found that Jane's threat to blow
the whistle on Fox's misconduct to the FCC was the sole reason for
the termination... and the jury awarded $425,000 in damages which
makes her eligible to apply for reimbursement for all court costs,
expenses and legal fees.
Fox appealed and prevailed February 14,
2003 when an appeals court issued a ruling reversing the jury, accepting
a defense argument that had been rejected by three other judges
on at least six separate occasions. CLICK
HERE for more details on latest ruling. CLICK
HERE to view how Fox13 reported the ruling.
The whistle-blowing journalists, twice refused Fox offers of big-money
deals to keep quiet about what they knew, filed their landmark lawsuit
April 2, 1998 and survived three Fox efforts to have their case
summarily dismissed. It is the first time
journalists have used a whistleblower law to seek a legal remedy
for being fired for refusing to distort the news. Steve and
Jane are now considering an appeal to the Florida state Supreme
The journalists happen to be married to each other and this website,
created by their friend and former television news producer Jon
Duffey, was posted on the day the whistleblower suit was filed.
It continues to provide details of the suit and subsequent appeals,
as well as recent developments regarding rBGH and other genetically
Here is an update on their struggle.
Also visit docback.org to read about Jane & Steve and their
expose of Monsanto and how FOX treated them.
TAMPA – The cost of doing the right thing and blowing the
whistle on bad journalism at Fox Television is about to go even
higher for two investigative reporters who once worked for the Rupert
Murdoch-owned station in Tampa.
After winning an appeal of a jury verdict which
found Fox pressured the reporters to broadcast what jurors unanimously
agreed was a false, distorted, or slanted news report, the multi-billion-dollar
corporation has sought court orders seeking
nearly $2 million from its former journalists as reimbursement
for some of the legal fees and defense costs Fox has spent on the
landmark whistleblower case.
Although Florida judge Vivian Maye recently denied a motion to
force journalists Jane Akre and Steve Wilson to pay $1.8 million
in Fox legal bills, she has decided the two are still on the hook
for nearly $200,000 Fox spent at trial and on appeal.
The whistleblowers, who are married, have already spent hundreds
of thousands of dollars of their life savings to pay their own lawyers
and court costs in the battle that began shortly after the two were
hired at WTVT in Tampa in 1996. They were fired by Fox a year later
and filed their whistleblower suit in 1998.
Since filing the first-of-its-kind lawsuit,
Akre has never again found full-time employment as a TV journalist,
despite more than 20 years experience as an anchor and reporter
in major cities and on CNN where she once anchored Headline News.
Wilson works part-time as an investigative reporter for the ABC
television affiliate in Detroit.
"If you ever wondered whether it's true that no good deed
goes unpunished, just look at what's happened here," Akre said.
"A jury of disinterested people decided this news organization
that advertises itself to be fair and balanced pressured us to broadcast
false and distorted news over the public airwaves," said Wilson.
"Getting the verdict overturned on the grounds
that lying on the air and distorting news reports is technically
not against any law, rule or regulation only compounds the disgrace,"
"Regardless of the success with Florida appellate justices
who finally bought an argument rejected by three other courts on
six different occasions, the jury decision in this case is a stink
that will never wash off.
"Now its all about punishment and making an
example to discourage the next Fox journalist who might have the
audacity to challenge the next unethical order from these broadcasters
who should not be allowed to watch television, much less own and
operate stations around the country," Wilson said.
|Should we be worried about the threat from organised
terrorism or is it simply a phantom menace being used to stop society
from falling apart?
In the past our politicians offered us dreams of a better world.
Now they promise to protect us from nightmares.
The most frightening of these is the threat of an international
terror network. But just as the dreams were not true, neither are
In a new series, the Power of Nightmares explores
how the idea that we are threatened by a hidden and organised terrorist
network is an illusion.
It is a myth that has spread unquestioned through politics, the
security services and the international media.
At the heart of the story are two groups: the American neo-conservatives
and the radical Islamists.
Both were idealists who were born out of the failure of the liberal
dream to build a better world.
These two groups have changed the world but not in the way either
Together they created today's nightmare vision of an organised
A fantasy that politicians then found restored their power and
authority in a disillusioned age. Those with the darkest fears became
the most powerful.
The rise of the politics of fear begins in 1949 with two men whose
radical ideas would inspire the attack of 9/11 and influence the
neo-conservative movement that dominates Washington.
Both these men believed that modern liberal freedoms were eroding
the bonds that held society together.
The two movements they inspired set out, in their different ways,
to rescue their societies from this decay. But in an age of growing
disillusion with politics, the neo-conservatives turned to fear
in order to pursue their vision.
They would create a hidden network of evil run
by the Soviet Union that only they could see.
The Islamists were faced by the refusal of the masses to follow
their dream and began to turn to terror to force the people to "see
The Power of Nightmares, a three part series begins on Wednesday,
20 October 2004 at 2100 BST on BBC Two with Baby It's Cold Outside.
The Power of Nightmares continues its assessment of whether the
threat from a hidden and organised terrorist network is an illusion.
Part two, the Phantom Victory looks at how two groups, radical Islamists
and neo-conservatives with seemingly opposing ideologies came together
to defeat a common enemy.
On 25 December 1979, Soviet forces invaded Afghanistan.
Moscow was able to install a friendly government in a neighbouring
country but at a price.
The invasion gave a common cause to an extraordinary alliance of
radical Islamists in Afghanistan and around the world and to the
neo-conservatives in the US.
It was a key battleground of the Cold War.
Washington provided money and arms including even Stinger missiles
capable of shooting down Soviet helicopters.
But it was Islamic Mujahideen fighters who would fire them.
Among the many foreigners drawn to Afghanistan was a young, wealthy
Saudi called Osama Bin Laden.
Long before 9/11, he would have been seen by neo-conservatives
in Washington as one of their foot soldiers, helping fight America's
After nearly 10 years of fighting, Soviet troops pulled out of
Both the neo-conservatives and the Islamists believed that it is
they who defeated the "evil empire" and now had the power
to transform the world.
But both failed in their revolutions.
In response, the neo-conservatives invented a new fantasy enemy,
Bill Clinton, focusing on the scandal surrounding him and Monica
Meanwhile, the Islamists descend into a desperate cycle of violence
and terror to try to persuade the people to follow them.
Out of all this comes the seeds of the strange world of fantasy,
deception, violence and fear in which we now live.
The Power of Nightmares, the second episode of a three part
series was broadcast on Wednesday, 27 October 2004 at 2100 BST on
BBC Two with The Phantom Victory.
|The Power of Nightmares assesses whether the threat
from a hidden and organised terrorist network is an illusion. In
the concluding part of the series, the programme explains how the
illusion was created and who benefits from it.
In the wake
of the shock and panic created by the devastating attack on the
World Trade Center on 11 September, 2001, the neo-conservatives
reconstructed the radical Islamists in the image of their last evil
enemy, the Soviet Union - a sinister web of terror run from the
centre by Osama Bin Laden in his lair in Afghanistan.
There are dangerous and fanatical individuals and groups around
the world who have been inspired by extreme Islamist ideas, and
who will use the techniques of mass terror - the attacks on America
and Madrid make this only too clear.
But the nightmare vision of a uniquely powerful hidden organisation
waiting to strike our societies is an illusion.
Wherever one looks for this al-Qaeda organisation,
from the mountains of Afghanistan to the "sleeper cells"
in America, the British and Americans are chasing a phantom enemy.
But the reason that no-one questions the illusion is because this
nightmare enemy gives so many groups new power and influence in
a cynical age - and not just politicians.
Those with the darkest imaginations have now become the most powerful.
The Power of Nightmares, the final episode of the three part
series will be broadcast on Wednesday, 3 November 2004 at 2100 GMT
on BBC Two with The Shadows In The Cave.
Power of Bad Television
The BBC's bizarre new documentary on terrorism and neoconservatism.
| By Clive Davis
October 21, 2004, 10:43 a.m.
Even before the first episode went on air,
the BBC's new documentary series, The Power of Nightmares was being
showered with superlatives. "Brilliant," "fascinating,"
chirped the chorus of bien-pensant admirers. The Guardian, inevitably,
was at the forefront: "This intelligent, scintillating series
is a must for anyone who has the remotest interest in what is going
on the world." Even the conservative Daily Telegraph joined
in on Monday, heading its op-ed page with a column by the paper's
political correspondent Rachel Sylvester, printed under the headline:
"Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid . . . It's What Blair and [Home
Secretary] Blunkett Want."
Thanks to Jim Geraghty's outraged response on the Kerry Spot, NRO
readers will already have some idea of the arguments put forward
in the series, written and produced by the award-winning film-maker
Adam Curtis. The Power of Nightmares would have us believe that
the international terrorist threat is a myth concocted by governments
and orchestrated by a cabal of devious neoconservatives. Since the
public has lost faith in ideology, politicians must now use fear
in order to maintain their hold over the masses. Al Qaeda is a figment
of our imagination; there are no sleeper cells, and talk of lethal
dirty bombs is all so much radioactive hot air.
If that seems bizarre enough, the series also sets out to claim
that the Islamists and the neocons are, in reality, soul mates.
As Curtis explained in a magazine interview this week: "My
original intention was to look at the neo-cons and then the radical
Islamists. I was astonished to discover that they have the same
philosophical roots. They both believe that the problem with modern
society is that individuals question anything; by doing that they
[those individuals] have already torn down God, that eventually
they will tear down everything else and therefore they will have
to be opposed."
This symbiotic relationship with Islamism will no doubt come as
a surprise to the good folks at the American Enterprise Institute.
It is a sign of how fevered political debate has become in Britain's
media-land that such lurid, Michael Moore-ish notions are given
a prime-time slot on the channel that once gave us Kenneth Clarke's
Civilisation. BBC executives were nervous enough about the contents
of Curtis's films to ban the showing of trailers in the immediate
aftermath of the murder of the British hostage, Kenneth Bigley.
But normal service was quickly resumed, blanketing the TV and radio
airwaves with teasing clips juxtaposing fundamentalists and Cold
After seeing a preview tape of the first
installment of the three-part series, I can only say that Jim Geraghty's
account — which was based on a Guardian report — was
The opening episode amounts to a ludicrously one-sided account
of the rise of the neocons which manages to impute all manner of
sinister motives to a tight-knit circle devoted to the teachings
of Leo Strauss. In Curtis's world, it is Strauss, not Osama bin
Laden, who is the real evil genius.
Slick editing and arty use of archive footage cannot hide the flimsiness
of the concept. I am no expert on Strauss,
but I know enough about him to be aware that much of his thinking
was influenced by his first-hand observations of life in Weimar
Germany. Curtis's narrative cleverly fails to mention this point,
portraying Strauss and his followers as responding to the wickedness
of American suburbia. The program is not short of American talking
heads — Harvey Mansfield, Paul Weyrich, and Bill and Irving
Kristol are among those taking part — but the editing of the
interviews is manipulated to support Curtis's conspiracy theories.
One of the most egregious examples is Curtis' portrayal of the Reagan-era
arms build-up as the fruit of a devious "Team B" plot
(supervised by Paul Wolfowitz and the eminent historian Richard
Pipes) aimed at misleading the American public about the nuclear
threat from the Soviet Union. While Pipes is allowed to present
his arguments in the sketchiest of terms (he was, in effect, questioning
the efficacy of the CIA long before it was fashionable), Curtis
proceeds to rubbish him with the help of disarmament expert Anne
Cahn, who concludes that the Harvard professor's claims were "fantasy."
Pipes, perhaps the world's leading expert
on Kremlin ideology, is left looking an amiable dunce. British
viewers, unaware of his distinguished career, will be none the wiser.
Pipes tells NRO in response to it all: "The
allegations made by Ms. Cahn and others about Team B are so preposterous
that I would be at a loss to answer them: they are similar to those
made by the Holocaust deniers. They sort of leave you speechless."
Clive Davis writes for the Times of London and the Washington
10. The Earth's magnetic poles will dramatically
shift 70 degrees south sometime in early spring causing Hawaii
to become the new polar ice-cap. We can expect Antarctica to be
the vacation hotspot for 2005 while the Ididerod will be run from
Hollywood to Molkai.
9. Tony Blair is predicted to embrace his "alternative lifestyle"
by wearing a collar and getting a tight curly perm. He will shock
the world by brazenly coming out of the closet as Dubya's official
8. Tired of buggy software, Bill Gates and Microsoft Corp ditch
the entire "Windows" platform and replace it with the new "Cameras"
Operating System. The new slogan of "we will be watching over
you" captures the hearts of fearful Americans from coast to coast.
This OS becomes all the rage as it is destined to be the only
browser sanctioned for use on the the new "government-controlled"
7. Sadly, Govenor Arnold Schwarzenegger passes away in office
on April Fool's Day. Years of steroid abuse finally catch up to
him when he suffers a stroke while eating lunch alone in the Govenor's
office. Unable to move, and ironically like a girlie-man, he drowns
in a bowl of vichyssoise.
6. The new Chicken
Little movie becomes eerily prophetic in November of 2005
when 700 pound meteorite crashes into a Denver movie theatre on
5. Politcal tensions rise in North America when millions of Americans
flee to Canada after Congress passes a law requiring all police
enforcement personel to carry tasers and use them indiscriminately
on anyone remotely "suspicious". The U.S. retaliates by arresting
Wayne Gretzky as a terrorist.
4. The American economy continues it's spiralling freefall until
bread lines and civil unrest prompt the government to eliminate
the dollar entirely and issue new currency called the "Dollarino".
3. After declaring war on Iran, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Saudi
Arabia, and Egypt, the U.S. government becomes in dire need of
new soldiers. Not wanting to reinstate the draft like they promised
before the election, the White House spin doctors come up with
the idea of a "lottery", where lucky young men and women could
"win" an all-expenses-paid "vacation" to a hot and sandy place.
After a multi-million dollar marketing campaign and a catchy jingle,
it is predicted that people will flock to this idea in droves.
2. Extraterrestrial life will be discovered on Mars during the
summer, and though it will only be of the micrscopic variety,
the buzz generated will prompt several appearances of the famous
bacteria on the Oprah Winfrey show.
1. Not satisfied with merely being the President of the United
States, George Bush declares himself unequivocal and penultimate
Emperor of the Universe.
| No need for early earthquake warning
systems and experts to make sure that the conditions for the Iraqi
earthquake are about to be complete and that what we witnessed, so
far, although horrible, is only an introduction. Who knows, we might
discover later on that the waves of the Iraqi earthquake are not less
violent than those that hit the shores of eight Indian Ocean countries.
We might also discover that the Iraqi earthquake will spread poisons
that could be categorized as epidemics threatening the region's security
and undermining its stability. Today, we are witnessing the transformation
of an Islamic Arab country, nestled in the heart of a sensitive region,
with its fortune and structure, into an arena for a conflict that
is bigger than it and beyond the region's capacity to bear.
Ever since the beginning, the Bush administration dealt with Iraq
as an arena. It toppled Saddam Hussein's regime without taking into
consideration the consequences of the emptiness that could follow
its swift military victory. It showed a strange incapacity to understand
the structure and feelings of the Iraqi people. It showed inability
to understand the general situation in the region. The sole supreme
superpower acted like a giant crushing machine without taking into
consideration the responsibilities that occur due to the situation
it created. It dealt with Iraq as if it was an arena where victory
allows launching the change slogans or threatening messages in the
A quick look at the Iraqi situation puts us in front of a dark
image that came to a visitor named Donald Rumsfeld, without learning
the necessary lessons.
There is an occupation power able to strike a village, city or
any clear objective, but it is unable to provide the necessary minimum
of safety. It is a power concerned with the safety of its bases
and members, while dozens of Iraqis die everyday due to explosions,
security chaos and criminal acts. An Iraqi force was built ever
since Saddam's regime was toppled and some Iraqis accuse it of being
a mere occupation tool or consider it as a future tool for an internal
party. This is why, the attacks are sometimes considered as resistance
and at others a confessional conflict. The coming elections clearly
show that Iraqis are divided between supporting elections under
occupation, in order to shorten its stay, and refusing elections
because of reasons not only related to the occupation. In other
words, those who support the elections consider that it will be
an opportunity to prove they are the majority and those who refuse
it consider that it is a way to refuse submission to the new equation.
In this conflict, the accounts of positions in the arena took over
the necessities to exchange concessions in order to save the nation.
In addition, there is the Iraqi resistance that stretches from resisting
the occupation to the desire of resisting the demographic truths.
These are resistances that stretch from the Iraqi Baath to the Iraqi
Islamists and mobile fighters who search for an opportunity of confrontation
with the U.S. forces.
With Osama bin Laden appointing Abu Musaab Al Zarkawi as the Emir
(Prince) of Al Qaeda in Iraq, one can say that the conditions of
the earthquake are about to be complete, for Al Qaeda also considers
Iraq as an arena that provides an opportunity to exhaust the Americans
and produce new generations of suicide bombers. This means that
Iraq became a confrontation scene and will probably become a scene
to launch the instability of the region. True, bin Laden's statement
gave Bush an opportunity to say that he wasn't wrong when he considered
Iraq as an "essential front" in the war on terror. But
also true that "appointing" Zarkawi will help him gather
the Islamic groups under his umbrella and make any American withdrawal
impossible on the short term.
This is the trouble that opens the way to the earthquake. Al Qaeda
will deep root its presence in the Sunni Triangle, the confrontations
with Americans will escalate and Shiites and Sunnis will have even
more different calculations. If we remember that Iraq is constituted
of a people, petroleum, confessions, national groups, tribes and
extensions, and that the incapacity to find a solution allows us
to fear the Iraqi earthquake and its waves.
NEW YORK Since its large scale destruction
in the November U.S. offensive, Fallujah has often slipped out
of sight and out of mind of the press, as assaults by insurgents
in Iraq have increased elsewhere and the January elections approach.
A new report from that city by a major news outlet at least remedies
that in part.
A Los Angeles Times article by Edmund Sanders on Thursday reported
the disgust among the few refugees who have returned to the battered
city and found: "Lakes of sewage in
the streets. The smell of corpses inside charred buildings. No
water or electricity. Long waits and thorough searches by U.S.
troops at checkpoints. Warnings to watch out for land mines and
booby traps. Occasional gunfire between troops and insurgents."
Sanders noted that "the initial clamor by an estimated
200,000 refugees to return to the homes they had fled last month
is being replaced by a bitter resignation that the city remains
largely uninhabitable and unsafe. Hopes of quickly restoring normality
to the restive Sunni Muslim city are fading, raising questions
about whether Fallujah will be ready to participate in the Jan.
30 national election."
Nearly 15,000 residents have re-entered Fallujah during the
last week, military figures show. Males between the ages of 15
and 55 must carry special identification cards.
U.S. military officials have announced plans to use fingerprinting
and retina scans to prevent insurgents from returning.
Most are returning to destroyed and looted homes
in a city that resembles a disaster zone with no power, heat or
running water. Some are finding bodies of relatives that stayed
Sanders recounted the experience of Yasser Abbas Atiya, a grocer
who "swore he'd sooner sleep on the streets of his beloved
hometown of Fallujah than spend another night in the squalid Baghdad
shelter where his family had been squatting."
Thirty minutes after he returned home this week, however, Atiya
had seen enough, finding his house wrecked
and ransacked by American soldiers. He left in dismay and
had no plans to go back.
He told Sanders: "I couldn't stand it. I was born in that town.
I know every inch of it. But when I got there, I didn't recognize
The entire staff of Iraq's Independent
Electoral Commission in the northern city of Mosul, amounting
to about 700 employees, have resigned amid growing violence in
Staff members said on Thursday their resignation followed
threats they received in the past few days. The withdrawal of
the Iraqi Islamic Party from the election also figured in their
decision, Aljazeera has learned.
In its response, however, the electoral commission has vigorously
denied the report. "That's not true. We have our staff in
Mosul and al-Anbar," Abd al-Hussain al-Hindawi, the head of Iraq's
Independent Electoral Commission, told AFP.
Al-Hindawi was also referring to the explosive province of al-Anbar,
home to the strife-torn towns of Ramadi and Falluja. He declined
to give staff numbers for Mosul, but said: "We have a larger staff
than we did before across Iraq."
In a related move that could affect the 30 January elections,
Shia leader Muqtada al-Sadr's political office announced it was
taking legal action against the interim Iraqi government for alleged
torture and murder of its members.
Fadhil al-Shara, an al-Sadr official, said the legal action focused
on the Iraqi police in Hilla, who are alleged to have arrested
15 al-Sadr supporters in the town and tortured another four to
Illegal construction on occupied
land is becoming an Israeli trend
A planned rail line between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem is to traverse
the occupied West Bank in two areas, according to Israeli officials.
A spokesman for Israel's Transport Minister Meir Sheetrit said
on Friday that the train project had received a green light from
the attorney-general to route the line through the illegal Latrun
and Mevasseret Zion settlements.
The attorney-general, Meni Mazuz, had held up planning on the line
to study the legal implications of its crossing West Bank territory,
but had now decided it could move forward, Transport Ministry spokesman
Jonathan Beker said.
"The minister has been informed that there is not a problem
that should stop the progress of the rail line," Beker said.
The announcement on Friday was immediately criticised by Palestinian
representatives and raised questions about Israel's intentions for
the occupied territory.
Palestinian cabinet minister, Saib Uraiqat, said any Israeli building
in the territories occupied in 1967 is illegal according to international
"This rail route is part of an Israeli policy of creating
a permanent occupation and this policy will undermine any possibilities
of reaching a peace agreement," he said.
Israeli forces took control of the West Bank in the 1967 Middle
East War, and its final status is supposed to await peace talks.
Besides its plans for the rail line, Israel is also constructing
a separation barrier in the West Bank and Israel, which has illegally
annexed a large part of the occupied territory.
Israel says the barrier is necessary to prevent Palestinian resistance
from attacking Israelis, while Palestinians condemn it as a land
Israeli officials have said the barrier is a temporary structure
that could be dismantled if there is a peace deal with the Palestinians.
But Israel Railways, a public corporation, says the planned Tel
Aviv-Jerusalem rail line is a permanent part of its infrastructure.
event of civil insurrection or physical resistance to U.S. government
policies, the official machinery is now in place for swift containment
of areas of insurrection by U.S. military forces, to include
the various State National Guards, Special Forces and Military Police
It is to be stressed that while these plans, which have been maturing
since the Reagan Administration and are now fully functional, are
only contingency plans. It would require
a Presidential Order to activate them.
When President Ronald Reagan was considering invading Nicaragua
he issued a series of executive orders that provided
the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) with broad powers
in the event of a "crisis" such as "violent and widespread
internal dissent or national opposition against a US military invasion
abroad". They were never used.
But recent pronouncements by Bush's now-retired domestic security
chief Tom Ridge and an official with the U.S. Civil Rights Commission
should fire concerns that these powers could be employed or a de
facto drift into their deployment could occur
On July 20, 2002, the Detroit Free Press ran a story entitled "Arabs
in US could be held, official warns". The story referred to
a member of the U.S. Civil Rights Commission who foresaw the possibility
of internment camps for Arab Americans.
FEMA has practiced for such an occasion.
FEMA, whose main role is disaster response, is also responsible
for handling US domestic unrest. From 1982-84 Colonel Oliver North
assisted FEMA in drafting its civil defense preparations. Details
of these plans emerged during the 1987 Iran-Contra scandal. They
included executive orders providing for suspension of the constitution,
the imposition of martial law, internment camps, and the turning
over of government to the president and FEMA
A Miami Herald article on July 5, 1987, reported that the former
FEMA director Louis Guiffrida's deputy, John Brinkerhoff, handled
the martial law portion of the planning. The plan was said to be
similar to one Giuffrida had developed earlier to combat "a
national uprising by black militants". It
provided for the detention "of at least 21 million African-Americans”
in "assembly centers or relocation camps."
Currently, Brinkerhoff is with the highly influential Anser Institute
for Homeland Security. Following a request
by the Pentagon in January 2002 that the U.S. military be allowed
the option of deploying troops on U.S. streets, the institute in
February 2002 published a paper by Brinkerhoff arguing in defense
of the legality of this. He alleged that the Posse Comitatus
Act of 1878, which has long been accepted as prohibiting such deployments,
has simply been misunderstood and misapplied. The preface to the
article also provided the revelation that the national plan he had
worked on, under Giuffrida, was "approved by Reagan, and actions
were taken to implement it".
By April 2002, the US military had created a Northern Command to
aid Homeland defense. Reuters reported that the command is "mainly
expected to play a supporting role to local authorities." However,
Ridge, the Director of Homeland Security, has just advocated a review
of U.S. law regarding the use of the military for law enforcement
Disturbingly, the full facts and final contents of Reagan's national
plan remain uncertain. This is in part because
President Bush took the unusual step of sealing the Reagan presidential
papers, to specifically include the documentation on the declaration
of martial law in the United States and its implementation,
after he took over the presidency in November 2001. However, many
of the key figures of the Reagan era are now part of the present
administration, including John Poindexter, to whom Oliver North
later reported. [...]
Criticism of the Bush Administration's response to September 11
echoes Smith's warning. On June 7 2002, Nixon's
former presidential counsel John Dean spoke of the U.S. sliding
into a "constitutional dictatorship" and martial law as
a result of the September 11, 2001 events.
In a revealing admission the Director of
Resource Management for the U.S. Army confirmed the validity of
a memorandum relating to the establishment of a civilian inmate
labor program under development by the Department of the Army. The
document states, "Enclosed for your review and comment is the
draft Army regulation on civilian inmate labor utilization"
and the procedure to "establish civilian prison camps on installations."
Cherith Chronicle, June 1997.
Under President Bush's "National Strategy For Homeland Security",
FEMA will be placed under the Office of Homeland Security. Both
Homeland Security and the Department of Defense planned to participate
"in homeland security training that involves military and civilian
emergency response", provoking comparison to Rex-84. And now,
the Bush administration is moving to give FEMA disturbing new responsibilities.
Civilian internment camps or prison camps, more commonly known
as concentration camps, have been the subject of much rumor and
speculation during the past few years in America. Several publications
have devoted space to the topic and many talk radio programs have
dealt with the issue.
However, Congressman Henry Gonzales (D,
Texas) clarified the question of the existence of civilian detention
camps. In an interview the congressman stated, "the
truth is yes - you do have these stand by provisions, and the plans
are here...whereby you could, in the name of stopping terrorism...evoke
the military and arrest Americans and put them in detention camps."
Currently (December, 2004), President Bush and Homeland Security
have authorized preliminary studies for the rapid construction of
a National Detention Center Program-controlled series of detention
centers, to be added to the existing 600 units now in place
The Department of Homeland
Security is consulting with an Israeli company, Israeli Prison Systems
Ltd. for the expedited construction of modular internment
camps‘ Interment Camps’ generally located in rural and
relatively uninhabited areas throughout the Continental United States
and Alaska. .
A Brief History of U.S. Civilian Internment Camps
The concept of mass internment camps was implemented during the
decade of the 1930's when the idea was either integrated into national
security planning or put to actual use in the Soviet Union, Nazi
Germany and the United States under Roosevelt.
On August 24, 1939, FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover met with President
Franklin Roosevelt to develop a detention plan for the United States
On August 3, 1948, J. Edgar Hoover met with Attorney General J.
Howard McGrath to form a plan whereby President Truman could suspend
constitutional liberties during a national emergency. The plan was
code-named "Security Portfolio" and, when activated, it
would authorize the FBI to summarily arrest up to 20,000 persons
and place them in national security detention camps. Prisoners would
not have the right to a court hearing or habeas corpus appeal. Meanwhile,
"Security Portfolio" allowed the FBI to develop a watch
list of those who would be detained, as well as detailed information
on their physical appearance, family, place of work, etc
Two years later Congress approved the Internal Security Act of
1950 which contained a provision authorizing an emergency detention
plan. Hoover was unhappy with this law because it did not suspend
the constitution and it guaranteed the right to a court hearing
(habeas corpus). "For two years, while the FBI continued to
secretly establish the detention camps and work out detailed seizure
plans for thousands of individuals, Hoover kept badgering...[Attorney
General McGrath for] official permission to ignore the 1950 law
and carry on with the more ferocious 1948 program. On November 25,
1952, the attorney general...caved in to Hoover."
Congress repealed the Emergency Detention Act of 1950 more than
twenty years later in 1971. Seemingly the threat of civilian internment
in the United States was over, but not in reality. The Senate held
hearings in December, 1975, revealing the ongoing internment plan
which had never been terminated. The report, entitled, "Intelligence
Activities, Senate Resolution 21", disclosed the covert agenda.
In a series of documents, memos and testimony by government informants,
the picture emerged of the designs by the federal government to
monitor, infiltrate, arrest and incarcerate a potentially large
segment of American society.
The Senate report also revealed the existence of the Master Search
Warrant (MSW) and the Master Arrest Warrant (MAW) which are currently
in force. The MAW document, authorized by the United States Attorney
General, directs the head of the FBI to: "Arrest persons whom
I deem dangerous to the public peace and safety. These persons are
to be detained and confined until further order." The MSW also
instructs the FBI Director to "search certain premises where
it is believed that there may be found contraband, prohibited articles,
or other materials in violation of the Proclamation of the President
of the United States." It includes such items as firearms,
short-wave radio receiving sets, cameras, propaganda materials,
printing presses, mimeograph machines, membership and financial
records of organizations or groups that have been declared subversive,
or may be hereafter declared subversive by the Attorney General."
Since the Senate hearings in 1975, the steady development of highly
specialized surveillance capabilities, combined with the exploding
computerized information technologies, have enabled a massive data
base of personal information to be developed on millions of unsuspecting
American citizens. It is all in place awaiting only a presidential
declaration to be enforced by both military and civilian police.
In 1982, President Ronald Reagan issued National Security Directive
58 that empowered Robert McFarlane and Oliver North to use the National
Security Council to secretly retrofit FEMA (Federal Emergency Management
Agency) to manage the country during a national crisis. The 1984
"REX exercises" simulated civil unrest culminating in
a national emergency with a contingency plan for the imprisonment
of 400,000 people. REX 84 was so secretive that special metal security
doors were installed on the FEMA building's fifth floor, the center
of the project, and even long-term officials of the Civil Defense
Office were prohibited entry. The ostensible purpose of this exercise
was to handle an influx of refugees created by a war in Central
America, but a more realistic, and well-documented, scenario was
the detention of rebellious American citizens.
Under "REX" the President could declare a state of emergency,
empowering the head of FEMA to take control of the internal infrastructure
of the United States and suspend the constitution. The President
could invoke executive orders 11000 thru 11004 which would:
2- Draft all citizens into work forces under government supervision.
3- Empower the postmaster to register all men, women and children.
4- Seize all airports and private and commercial aircraft.
5- Seize all housing and establish forced relocation of citizens.
A Listing of U.S. Presidential Executive Orders Relating to Domestic
Executive Order #
the government to take control over all modes of transportation,
highways, and seaports.
the government to seize and control the communication media.
the government to take over all electrical power, gas, petroleum,
fuels, and minerals.
the government to take over all food resources and farms.
the government to mobilize civilians into work brigades under
the government to take over all health, education, and welfare
the Postmaster General to operate national registration of all
the government to take over all airports and aircraft, including
the Housing and Finance Authority to relocate communities, build
new housing with public funds, designate areas to be abandoned,
and establish new locations for populations.
the government to take over railroads, inland waterways, and
public storage facilities.
the responsibility of the Office of Emergency Planning and gives
authorization to put all Executive Orders into effect in times
of increased international tensions and economic or financial
authority to the Department of Justice to enforce the plans
set out in Executive Orders, to institute industrial support,
to establish judicial and legislative liaison, to control all
aliens, to operate penal and correctional institutions, and
to advise and assist the President.
emergency preparedness function to federal departments and agencies,
consolidating 21 operative Executive Orders issued over a fifteen
the Federal Emergency Preparedness Agency to develop plans to
establish control over the mechanisms of production and distribution,
of energy sources, wages, salaries, credit and flow of money
in the U.S.A. financial institution in any undefined national
emergency. It also provides that when a state of emergency is
declared by the President, Congress cannot review the action
for six months.
Unit to use downtown Toledo
The Marines will take over parts of downtown
Toledo as sounds of gunfire will echo off buildings when
training exercises are conducted next weekend.
A Marine Corps unit based in Perrysburg will stage the exercises
from 9 p.m. Jan. 7 to about noon Jan. 9, Maj. Gregory Cramer said.
Major Cramer said most of the 130-member unit - Weapons Company,
1st Battalion, 24th Marines - will take part in the exercises.
"We're looking for an urban environment to do our training,"
he said. "Urban training is one of the proficiencies we're
required to maintain."
Major Cramer said Marines will be dressed in green and will be
carrying rifles through the streets, but the exercises should have
a minimal impact on the downtown area. He said the Marines will
be firing blanks and conducting operations throughout the area.
"The only request we would have of folks, if they happen to
be near where an exercise is taking place, is to stay away as much
as possible," Major Cramer said. [...]
"We used to do this when we were kids - you know, running
around the woods," Ms. Atkin said. "They're just going
to use the downtown."
NIAGARA FALLS - The fingerprinting
of Muslims returning from a religious conference in Canada has prompted
calls for an investigation from an Islamic civil rights and advocacy
The Washington, D.C.,-based Council on American-Islamic Relations
said the incident is a disturbing example of religious profiling
that would have a chilling effect on the constitutional rights of
It happened earlier this month, when Muslims returning from an
Islamic conference in Toronto were detained at the Lewiston-Queenston
Bridge until they agreed to be fingerprinted. Some said they were
held for as long as six hours.
A spokeswoman for Homeland Security's Customs and Border Protection
said agents stopped anyone who said they attended the three-day
convention, "Reviving the Islamic Spirit," based
on information that such gatherings can be a means for terrorists
to promote their cause.
A Customs and border spokeswoman, Kristie Clemens, said 34 people
were stopped at the Lewiston bridge and four others were checked
at the Rainbow Bridge in Niagara Falls. They were held for an average
of 21/2 hours and offered coffee and tea, she said.
Clemens acknowledged the inconvenience over the additional security
measures but said with the threat of terrorism, there was no room
"As the front-line border agency, it is our duty to verify
the identity of individuals - including U.S. citizens - and one
way of doing that is fingerprinting," Clemens said.
The Muslim group is demanding an investigation by homeland security
"The image of a room full of American
Muslim citizens apparently being held solely because of their faith
and the fact that they attended an Islamic conference is one that
should be disturbing to all Americans who value religious
freedom," said Nihad Awad, the group's executive director.
IT seems almost impossible.
Just days after the tidal wave disaster, one of the devastated
beaches was returning to normal yesterday.
On Sunday, Patong Beach was hit by a wall of water that swept into
Phuket, claiming at least 120 lives.
Parasols, chairs, and other beach paraphernalia were swept to the
top of the tree-lined beach, dragging helpless holidaymakers with
them. It was at this beach that six-month-old Melina Heppell, of
Perth, disappeared from her father's arms when the huge wave struck.
For some tourists yesterday, however, the tragedy
was becoming a memory, albeit a vivid one, as they made the most
of the weather and topped up their tans.
Many in bathers and bikinis, some lounged on sunbeds and others
took a dip in the water that had claimed so many lives a few days
Their fun in the sun came despite warnings that aftershocks could
follow the disaster that is likely to have killed as many as 100,000.
As many Westerners waited for news of missing loved ones others
arrived to take holidays as usual.
Engineer Paul Cunliffe, from Manchester, arrived on an almost empty
flight from Malaysia. Gin and tonic in hand, Mr Cunliffe said he
and two friends were booked into a beach-front hotel that had escaped
serious damage, and had been assured of a "wonderful holiday".
"Our friends think we're mad. The only risk we face I think
is if there's another quake. We love the place that much and we
thought we would take the risk," he said.
Further south at Surin Beach, where 10 died, tourists also were
out in force.
BUFFALO, N.Y. -- An Islamic civil rights
group Wednesday accused U.S. border agents of religious profiling
after dozens of American Muslims were searched, fingerprinted
and photographed while returning from a religious conference in
Some of those stopped said they were
held at the Lewiston-Queenston Bridge for six hours or more with
A spokeswoman for Homeland Security's Customs and Border Protection
said agents stopped anyone who said they attended the three-day
convention, titled Reviving the Islamic Spirit, based on information
that such gatherings can be a means for terrorists to promote
"I asked 'If I refuse to give my fingerprints, what will you
do?' " said Galeb Rizek, 32, who claimed he arrived at the border
around midnight and was held until 6:30 a.m. "(The agent) said,
'You can refuse, but you'll be here until you do.' "
Rizek, whose family owns a hotel in Niagara Falls, said he is
a frequent traveller across the border and has never before been
fingerprinted or photographed. He described one woman, travelling
with her young daughter, who protested and sobbed through the
fingerprinting. The little girl cried as well.
"It was kind of dramatic. You really feel like a criminal and
you haven't done anything wrong," said Rizek, who was born in
the United States.
"The image of a room full of American
Muslim citizens apparently being held solely because of their
faith and the fact that they attended an Islamic conference is
one that should be disturbing to all Americans who value religious
freedom," said Nihad Awad, executive director of the Washington-based
Council on American-Islamic Relations.
The group demanded an investigation by Homeland Security officials.
CBP spokeswoman Kristie Clemens said 34 people were stopped at
the Lewiston crossing and four others were checked at the nearby
Rainbow Bridge in Niagara Falls. They were held for an average
of 21?2 hours and offered coffee and tea, she said.
Clemens acknowledged the inconvenience over the additional security
measures, but said with the threat of terrorism, there was no
room for error.
"We have ongoing credible information that conferences such
as the one that these 34 individuals just left in Toronto may
be used by terrorist organizations to promote terrorist activities,
which includes travelling and fund raising," Clemens said. "As
the front-line border agency, it is our duty to verify the identity
of individuals - including U.S. citizens - and one way of doing
that is fingerprinting."
Mo Rizek, 19, said frustration among those held for several
hours boiled over to anger.
"Everyone was yelling," he said. "Some people had a 10-hour
drive back to Connecticut in front of them, people had to go to
work in the morning . . . Every
single person there was a U.S. citizen."
He said one of the messages of the convention was how to change
for the better the way people feel about Muslims post-Sept. 11.
WASHINGTON - Disagreements among government
agencies are hampering efforts to combine U.S. immigration and
law enforcement fingerprint information, making it more difficult
to prevent known terrorists and criminals from entering the country,
according to a Justice Department review released Wednesday.
Despite some progress, the Justice, State and Homeland Security
departments continue to clash over such
fundamental questions as whether two or 10 fingers should be printed
at U.S. borders and which law enforcement agencies should
have access to the information.
The review by Glenn A. Fine, the Justice Department inspector
general, also found that watch lists used
to check visitors at the borders contain only a portion of the
47 million records in FBI fingerprint files _ the Integrated
Automated Fingerprint Identification System, or IAFIS _ and
that the lists are prone to error.
"The majority of visitors to the United States are still not
checked against the FBI's IAFIS Criminal Master File, which is
the most complete and current law enforcement database," Fine
said in the report.
This lack of immediate access, Fine added, "creates a risk that
a terrorist could enter the country undetected."
An internal Justice Department study found in August that 73
percent of criminal foreigners encountered at Border Patrol stations
and other port of entry could be detected through only the FBI
database, not the smaller one relied upon by the Homeland Security
Department _ known as the Automated Biometric Identification System,
Fine said key decisions must be made quickly by the agencies
involved, including which people should be subjected to fingerprinting,
what standards and databases should be used and who will have
access to the information. On average,
about 118,000 daily U.S. visitors will be subjected to the screening.
In a written response, Homeland Security Undersecretary for
Transportation and Border Security Asa Hutchinson agreed that
more refinements are needed but disagreed with several of Fine's
Paul Corts, the Justice Department's top administrative official,
said he hoped the report would help resolve the disagreements,
particularly involving the standards to be used for fingerprinting.
"Each one has been a forceful advocate for its respective position,"
Corts said in a letter to Fine.
It is time to invade Cuba and put an end
to what has become another Devil's Island in the annals of government-sanctioned
The barbaric treatment of political prisoners on the island
is made no more palatable by being conducted in the name of an
ideology that claims to be liberating the world from its shackles.
Once again, we are witnesses to the ugly truth bound up in that
philosophical contradiction that the ends can justify the means:
Desecrations of the human body and spirit can never be righteously
justified by high-minded appeals to the needs of the masses.
Fortunately, a few brave U.S. intelligence agents have managed
to penetrate the security of a morally repugnant Cuban gulag and
documented both the barbaric acts occurring on the island and
their state-sanctioned rationalizations.
"On a couple of occasions, I entered interview rooms to find
a detainee chained hand and foot in a fetal position to the floor,
with no chair, food, or water," wrote an FBI agent who gained
access to the prison compound. "Most times they had urinated or
defecated on themselves and had been left there for 18-24 hours
Also reported by U.S. agents: freezing or very hot cells; feverish
prisoners left untreated; loud music and strobe lights directed
for long periods at prisoners in solitary confinement; growling
dogs used to frighten prisoners. The prisoners themselves have
testified to even worse tortures, their stories smuggled out by
lawyers after they had been held incommunicado for years. Beatings
that ended in injury and even death. Forced sex acts, often videotaped
for use as blackmail. Coerced confessions. Injections of unknown
The prisoners' claims were so outrageous that many of their
attorneys did not believe the stories until U.S. government documents
corroborated key aspects. "Now there is no question that these
guys have been tortured," said Brent Mickum, a Washington attorney
for one of the roughly 10 per cent of detainees at the camp who
have finally secured legal representation.
"Every allegation that I've heard has now come
to pass and been confirmed by the government's own papers."
Even more troubling is that the FBI agents make it clear this
is not the work of a few poorly supervised sadists. Their reports
refer to what they described as a new — and very much secret —
executive order on prisoner treatment by the president at the
top of the camp's chain of command, which allowed for severe interrogation
tactics, including "sleep deprivation and stress positions" combined
with "loud music, interrogators yelling at subjects and prisoners
with hoods on their heads."
So, shouldn't such leaders who authorize state torture be on
trial for war crimes? Ah, but the torturers always tell us, such
high-minded thinking does not square with real-world exigencies.
The "people" must be protected at all costs! Never mind that the
inevitable revelations of such outrages cost immeasurable goodwill
around the world in what amounts to a global war for hearts and
minds. Short-term pain for long-term gain is always the name of
the game. But in this case, there is not even that justification
— not a single detainee has been proved
in a court of law to be a terrorist.
This Kafkaesque gulag, like others in
human history, is an expression of a governing doctrine that defines
morality as simply an expression of power:
Might makes right. What the system can get away with, it does,
unless reined in by the people it claims to represent. The ideology
invoked in defence of the indefensible does not matter, for it
has by that time been reduced to noble-sounding yet ultimately
empty slogans, which clumsily paper over a steady erosion of the
sanctity of individual rights.
This is what we can see so clearly at the American military
base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, if only we have the stomach to bear
witness. Yes, all of the above is a description of "Gitmo," the
colonial-style U.S. prison camp run by American soldiers and paid
for with American dollars. The president who apparently authorized
a global reign of prisoner torture in the "war on terror" is our
own elected leader, not a convenient caricature of a foreign dictator.
The military and legal systems that have looked the other way
are our own.
Unfortunately, we look more and more like
our enemies every day. On an island invaded, sabotaged
and barred from U.S. trade and even tourism in the name of spreading
our version of democracy, we have erected a massive torture chamber
any deranged dictator would envy.
John A. Shaw, the deputy undersecretary of
defense for international technology security and formerly
an aide to Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, said he
had been asked to resign for "exceeding his authority"
in disclosing the information, a charge he called "specious,"
The Washington Times reported.
Defense officials, meanwhile, were quoted as saying that Shaw
was forced to leave his position Dec. 10 as the result of a "reorganization"
that eliminated his job.
In October, Mr. Shaw told The Washington Times that
he had received foreign intelligence data showing that Russian
special forces units were involved in an effort to remove Saddam
Hussein's weapons of mass destruction in the weeks before the
U.S.-led invasion of Iraq began in March 2003.
A letter written by Shaw to Rumsfeld said that information about
the covert Russian role in moving Iraqi arms to Syria, Lebanon
and possibly Iran was discussed during a meeting that included
retired Air Force Lt. Gen. James Clapper, head of the National
Geospatial Intelligence Agency; the head of Britain's MI6 intelligence
service; and the head of a foreign intelligence
service that he did not name.
Shaw had directed a Pentagon program called the Iraq Technology
Transfer List that identified foreign weapons and technology discovered
in Iraq after the March 2003 invasion.
After Shaw's disclosures, the Pentagon released spy satellite
photographs of Iraqi weapons facilities that showed truck convoys
at the plants, apparently in preparation to transport materials.
Reports in the Russian media about two retired Russian generals
receiving awards from Saddam's government 10 days before the coalition
assault on Iraq began corroborated Shaw's report.
WANZHOU, China, Dec. 24 - The encounter,
at first, seemed purely pedestrian. A man carrying a bag passed
a husband and wife on a sidewalk. The man's bag brushed the woman's
pants leg, leaving a trace of mud. Words were exchanged. A scuffle
Easily forgettable, except that one of the men, Yu Jikui, was
a lowly porter. The other, Hu Quanzong, boasted that he was a
ranking government official. Mr. Hu beat Mr. Yu using the porter's
own carrying stick, then threatened to have him killed.
For Wanzhou, a Yangtze River port city, the script was incendiary.
Onlookers spread word that a senior official had abused a helpless
porter. By nightfall, tens of thousands
of people had swarmed Wanzhou's central square, where they tipped
over government vehicles, pummeled policemen and set fire to city
Minor street quarrel provokes mass riot. The Communist Party,
obsessed with enforcing social stability, has few worse fears.
Yet the Wanzhou uprising, which occurred on Oct. 18, is
one of nearly a dozen such incidents in the past three months,
many touched off by government corruption, police abuse and the
inequality of the riches accruing to the powerful and well connected.
"People can see how corrupt the government is while they barely
have enough to eat," said Mr. Yu, reflecting on the uprising that
made him an instant proletarian hero - and later forced him into
seclusion. "Our society has a short fuse, just waiting for a spark."
Though it is experiencing one of the most spectacular economic
expansions in history, China is having more trouble maintaining
social order than at any time since the Tiananmen Square democracy
movement in 1989.
Police statistics show the number of public protests reached
nearly 60,000 in 2003, an increase of nearly 15 percent from 2002
and eight times the number a decade ago. Martial
law and paramilitary troops are commonly needed to restore order
when the police lose control.
China does not have a Polish-style Solidarity labor movement.
Protests may be so numerous in part because they are small, local
expressions of discontent over layoffs, land seizures, use of
natural resources, ethnic tensions, misspent state funds, forced
immigration, unpaid wages or police killings. Yet several mass
protests, like the one in Wanzhou, show how people with different
causes can seize an opportunity to press their grievances together.
The police recently arrested several advocates of peasant rights
suspected of helping to coordinate protest activities nationally.
Those are worrying signs for the one-party state, reflexively
wary of even the hint of organized opposition. [...]
Last month, as many as 100,000 farmers in Sichuan Province,
frustrated by months of fruitless appeals against a dam project
that claimed their land, took matters into their own hands. They
seized Hanyuan County government offices and barred work on the
dam site for days. It took 10,000 paramilitary
troops to quell the unrest.
A blaze in a crowded Argentine nightclub
has killed at least 175 people and injured 714.
Buenos Aires Health Secretary Alfredo Stern told local television
on Friday that "the city does not remember such a terrible
Local media reported that as many as 5000 to 6000 people may
have been inside the club listening to a band play when the blaze
broke out an hour just before midnight.
Witnesses said the fire started when a flare was shot into the
club's ceiling, which was covered with foam. There was a stampede
and many people fainted from inhaling smoke.
"There are versions that flares caused the fire, but I cannot
confirm this until we have more information from the fire department,"
Mayor Anibal Ibarra said.
Police said the fire was extinguished quickly, but rescue workers
continued to remove people on stretchers from inside the club.
Television showed pictures of the bodies of young people lying
on the sidewalks outside the club.
Parents rushed to the scene desperate to find their sons and daughters
amid the chaos. Dozens of ambulances took the injured to 14 hospitals
in the city.
The blaze was the worst in the Americas since a supermarket fire
in neighbouring Paraguay last August killed nearly 400 people.
The owners are accused of closing the doors
after the fire broke out to stop looting.
|KARACHI : At least 31 people died and 10 were
injured in a fireball when their bus rammed into an oil tanker in
Most died on the spot when their vehicle hit the tanker, which
burst into flames near Saeedabad, some 230 kilometers (143 miles)
northeast of Karachi, highway police officer Faisal Mahmood said.
Many of the dead, who included some 12 children of the two families
travelling on the bus, suffered horrific burns, he said. "The
injured have been sent to Liaquat National hospital in Hyderabad
city," he added.
The accident occurred when the bus was overtaking and lost control,
Traffic on the main national highway bordering Sindh and Punjab
provinces remained suspended.
Pakistan has the world's third highest death rate from road
accidents, the government says. Reckless drivers, overcrowded
vehicles and poor roads are usually blamed for the high number
|RIGA : At least nine Russians were killed and
dozens injured in a bus accident in Latvia, the Baltic country's
state rescue service reported.
Police said the two-storey bus with 65 people on board -- a
stewardess, two drivers and 62 passengers -- was at traveling
at high speed on an icy road and overturned and hit trees at about
5am in the district of Jekabpils in eastern Latvia, about 150
kilometers (90 miles) from the capital Riga.
"The coach was on the way from Moscow to Riga. Passengers were
mostly residents of Russia and came to Latvia to celebrate New
Year," Solveiga Smiltene, spokeswoman of the state rescue service,
"Nine people have died, 24 are in local hospitals," she said.
"At least two of the injured are in critical condition and were
taken to hospital in Riga," Martins Sics, director of the Catastrophe
and Medicine center, told AFP. "Doctors fear for their lives."
"Twenty nine lightly injured passengers came to Riga by other
buses, 16 of them received medical help," Sics said.
"It is one of the most serious accidents for many years," Sics
Ferry service to Lopez Island was suspended
for about six hours yesterday after workers found what appeared
to be undetonated blasting materials near the access road to the
The incident began around 11 a.m., when a worker using a backhoe
found wires sticking out of six holes in the ground, according
to Trooper Lance Ramsay, a State Patrol spokesman.
Bomb technicians determined the wires were connected to some
sort of explosive device — and it appeared they were still live.
It was determined that they had been used to widen the road
leading to the terminal more than 20 years ago, Ramsay said.
By late afternoon, the State Patrol had decided to blow up the
"There wasn't much of a bang, and we are now back in service,"
said Susan Harris-Huether, a spokeswoman for Washington State
Service resumed at 5:15 p.m. Service to other islands had not
BOGOTA, Colombia, Dec 30 (Reuters) - An earthquake
of 5.3 on the Richter scale jolted Colombia's province of Bolivar
about 300 miles (500 km) northwest of the capital Bogota Thursday
morning, the Andean country's National Seismological Network said.
There were no immediate reports of injuries or damage from the
quake, which occurred around 10:02 a.m. (1502 GMT) centered on
the town of Cordoba.
Tremors from the quake were felt in the coastal resort city
of Cartagena, which is filled with holiday vacationers, some 70
miles (120 km) away.
KUALA LUMPUR : Malaysia's Meteorological
Department warned on Friday that aftershocks from last weekend's
massive quake could generate high waves on parts of the country's
northwestern coast and advised people to avoid the sea for the
next two days.
The government department said in a statement that since the
magnitude 9.0 earthquake off neighbouring Indonesia's Sumatra
island on Sunday, a total of 88 aftershocks
of between 5.0 and 6.0 on the Richter scale had occurred.
On Friday, seven aftershocks had been detected
by early afternoon.
"Aftershocks of the earthquake will continue to occur in the
several weeks but the likelihood of another major earthquake occurring
is low," the department said.
"As there is still a possibility that one of the aftershocks
could generate high waves that may affect the coastal areas of
Perlis, Kedah and Penang (states) the public is advised to remain
alert and refrain from activities in the sea for the next one
to two days."
Sixty-six people died in Malaysia in the tsunamis which killed
nearly 125,000 people around south and southeast Asia.
While Malaysia lies closer to the epicentre of the earthquake
than many countries harder hit, it was protected from the full
force of the waves by Indonesia's Sumatra island.
Grieving families of Sri Lankan children
who perished in the tsunamis are abducting orphans from the disaster
area without approval, a move denounced today by the government
and an aid organisation.
An official from the Department of Child Care and Protection
said he had heard of a dozen cases in Galle and Matara, on Sri
Lanka's southern coast, in which orphaned children had been taken
in by families that lost loved ones. He asked families to stop.
The southern coast took the main brunt of Sunday's massive earthquake-generated
tsunamis. As of today, 27,268 people had died on the island, and
children accounted for a third of the victims.
The Save the Children organisation in Sri Lanka said it had
also heard of impromptu adoptions.
"The families which are doing this are trying to deal with their
own grief … of having lost their children," said Maleec Calyanaratne,
the group's spokeswoman. "But they must understand that this is
not the way to go about it."
She said the government's Child Protection Authority was trying
to track down families that had taken in orphans.
"We are advising people that they should follow the proper procedure
of adoption … otherwise there will be long-term problems," Calyanaratne
The group is delivering critical supplies to the devastated
areas, she said.
Calyanaratne said they have been receiving applications and
requests from parents and families who lost their own children
to adopt orphans from the tsunami.
"There is no quick-fix solution. Before adoption you need to
know a lot about the families. Without those details, you are
risking the orphans' future," she said.
DUBAI (AFP) - Snow has fallen
over the United Arab Emirates for the first time ever, leaving a
white blanket over the mountains of Ras al-Khaimah as the desert
country experienced a cold spell and above-average rainfall.
Dubai airport's meteorology department told AFP that snow fell
over the Al-Jees mountain range in Ras al-Khaimah, which is the
most northerly member of the UAE federation.
The English-language Gulf News reported that the mountain cluster,
5,700 feet (1,737 metres) above sea level, "had heavy night-time
snowfall for the past two days as a result of temperatures dropping
to as low as minus five Celsius (23 Fahrenheit)" and stunning
the emirate's residents.
On Monday, 12.6 millimetres (half an inch) of rain fell on the
desert emirate of Dubai, where it hardly ever rains, as police reported
500 accidents on its roads in 24 hours, including one fatality,
as a result of a three-day downpour.
A cold spell has hit the country this week, with the mercury plunging
to 12 degrees Celsius (53.6 Fahrenheit) in Dubai on Wednesday night.
The meteorology department, however, said the chilly weather in
Dubai, where summer temperatures reach 50 Celcius (122 Fahrenheit),
will probably end by next week.
ANCHORAGE, ALASKA - Environmental officials
say an oil spill in an Alaskan wildlife sanctuary that followed
a shipwreck three weeks ago is far worse than originally feared.
Up to 1.28 million litres of thick fuel oil – more than eight
times the original estimate – are believed to have leaked into
the Bering Sea after a Malaysian-flagged freighter ran aground
off the Aleutian islands on Dec. 8.
A spokesperson for the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation,
Lynda Giguere, said Thursday that more than 600 birds have been
coated with oil while 109 others have died since the spill was
Beaches in the area are coated by a thick layer of oil and tar
balls have been seen floating in the region's waters, she said.
The Wildlife Refuge is the nesting haven for 40 million seabirds
and numerous marine mammals, including the endangered Steller
sea lion and western Alaska sea otter.
The Singaporean-owned freighter, Selendang Ayu, was carrying
soy beans from the United States to China when it ran aground
off Unalaska Island on Dec. 8 after losing power to its engines.
Six crew members died while an American Coast Guard helicopter
was trying to airlift them to safety.
"Although this earthquake
was nearly 10,000 miles from Socorro, it still moved the surface
of the earth here by over a centimeter," said Research Geophysicist
Richard C. Aster, an earthquake expert and professor of geophysics
at New Mexico Tech in Socorro.
"This is actually a greater displacement than we have experienced
from many of our 'felt' earthquakes in the region, although in this
case the motion was too slow to be felt." [...]
A seismogram from NMT showed ground movement in Socorro during
the passage of the first seismic waves of Sunday's Sumatra earthquake.
The plot lasts about one hour, Aster said.
Three plots show the vertical, north, and east displacements of
the Earth's surface in millimeters recorded at the PASSCAL Instrument
Center on the NMT campus by a seismic station deployed as part of
EarthScope, a major research program of the National Science Foundation,
"This magnitude 9.0 earthquake was of historic proportions,
both in terms of the tragic, mostly tsunami-induced loss of life,
and because it was the largest event on the planet in more than
40 years," Aster said. "The energy released was comparable
to millions of nuclear weapons. The resulting tsunami produced one
of the greatest natural disasters of the last 100 years."
Aster said the whole earth rings like a bell when an earthquake
of this size occurs and will continue to do so for weeks.
It only took about 16 minutes for the seismic waves to travel the
nearly 10,000 miles through the earthâ to register on the
NMT equipment, he said.
"There are two additional effects that may occur in an earthquake
of this size. First, the length of the day was noticeably reduced
by several microseconds because of the redistribution of mass during
the earthquake. Second, the earthquake can be expected to cause
the earth to wobble slightly on its axis, an effect that will be
noticeable for years," Aster said.
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) - The earthquake
that triggered deadly tsunamis in south Asia and eastern Africa
caused ripples in underground water as far away as Missouri.
Shock waves from the 9.0 magnitude earthquake in the Indian Ocean
caused fluctuations in Missouri groundwater levels tracked by a
network of monitoring wells, the state Department of Natural Resources
Most of the state's 73 monitoring wells reported only small changes.
But water in the Aurora observation well in Lawrence County varied
about 8½ inches, the department said.
The earthquake occurred about 6:58 p.m. Missouri time on Dec. 25.
The well monitors take measurements only every half hour.
At 7:30 p.m., the water level at the Aurora well still was relatively
stable at 98 feet below the land's surface. By 8 p.m. it had risen
to 97.57 feet, and by 8:30 p.m., it had fallen to 98.28 feet below
the land's surface.
| JAKARTA - A large earthquake struck
under the sea off Indonesia's Sumatra Islands on Saturday afternoon,
The Hong Kong Observatory reported a "severe earthquake"
at 0622 GMT, with an estimated magnitude of 6.5 on the Richter Scale,
with its epicentre 350 kilometres west of Banda Aceh.
The quake was close to the epicenter of last Sunday's temblor,
which measured 9.0 on the Richter scale and unleashed tsunamis,
which killed at least 125,000 people around Asia.
The State Seismological Bureau of China said the new tremor had
a magnitude of 7.0, Xinhua said, while the US Geological Survey's
website said the quake registered 6.5 on the Richter scale.
As 2004 draws to a close, skywatchers
have yet another opportunity to view a naked-eye comet. Comet Machholz
has been brightening steadily and conditions are now prime.
So far this year, there have been four comets that have managed
to attain naked-eye visibility. Last spring, comets Bradfield (C/2004
F4), NEAT (C/2001 Q4), and LINEAR (C/2002 T7) all reached third
magnitude, while in July another comet discovered by the automated
LINEAR project (C/2003 K4) briefly peaked at sixth magnitude.
On the astronomers' magnitude scale, smaller numbers denote brighter
objects. The dimmest objects visible under perfectly dark skies
are about magnitude 6.5.
Discovered on Aug. 27 by veteran comet hunter Donald E. Machholz
of Colfax, California, comet Machholz (C/2004 Q2) has been brightening
steadily during the past several months while approaching both the
Sun and Earth.
This comet currently is glowing at around magnitude 3.5 and is
visible to the naked eye in dark, non-light polluted skies, though
much better seen in binoculars or telescopes. This kind of brightness
makes Machholz a very fine comet from the viewpoint of a serious
amateur astronomer, but it doesn't appear that this comet will become
the kind of spectacle that Comet Hale-Bopp was in grabbing the broader
Yet this is an auspicious circumstance, as Machholz
is now the fifth naked eye comet in 2004. Twice before, in 1911
and again in 1970, four comets managed to reach naked-eye brightness
within a single calendar year.
But when Andrew Pearce of Noble Falls, Western
Australia saw the comet without any optical aid on Nov. 19, it put
2004 into the books as a record year for naked-eye comets.
Port Blair: India's last active
volcano, in the Andaman and Nicobar islands, has erupted in the
aftermath of the huge earthquake that set off tsunamis killing thousands
of people, official sources said on Thursday.
People have been evacuated from Barren Island since the eruption
began on Tuesday night and there were no reports of injury.
Lava was flowing out of the rim of the crater which towers above
the Indian Ocean some 500 metres (yards) away, the sources said.
PORTLAND, Maine (Wireless Flash)
-- The recent tsunami in south Asia is stirring up lots of relief
efforts -- and it could also be splashing all sorts of unknown sea
creatures onto the shoreline.
Cryptozoologist Loren Coleman, co-author of "The Field Guide
To Lake Monsters And Sea Serpents" (Tarcher/ Penguin), predicts
that relief workers will soon be finding a large number of "globsters"
on area beaches.
"Globsters" is the term given to big masses of round flesh
that measure between eight and 20 feet. Although the globs look
like octopi, Coleman says they are often previously-undiscovered
species of sea serpents, dolphins or whales.
There are ominous signs that
the Earth’s weather patterns have begun to change dramatically
and that these changes may portend a drastic decline in food production–
with serious political implications for just about every nation
on Earth. The drop in food output could begin quite soon, perhaps
only 10 years from now. The regions destined to feel its impact
are the great wheat-producing lands of Canada and the U.S.S.R. in
the North, along with a number of marginally self-sufficient tropical
areas – parts of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Indochina and
Indonesia – where the growing season is dependent upon the
rains brought by the monsoon.
The evidence in support of these predictions has now begun to
accumulate so massively that meteorologists are hard-pressed to
keep up with it. In England, farmers have seen their growing season
decline by about two weeks since 1950, with a resultant overall
loss in grain production estimated at up to 100,000 tons annually.
During the same time, the average temperature around the equator
has risen by a fraction of a degree – a fraction that in some
areas can mean drought and desolation. Last April, in the most devastating
outbreak of tornadoes ever recorded, 148 twisters killed more than
300 people and caused half a billion dollars' worth of damage in
13 U.S. states.
To scientists, these seemingly disparate incidents represent the
advance signs of fundamental changes in the world's weather. Meteorologists
disagree about the cause and extent of the trend, as well as over
its specific impact on local weather conditions. But they are almost
unanimous in the view that the trend will reduce agricultural productivity
for the rest of the century. If the climatic change is as profound
as some of the pessimists fear, the resulting famines could be catastrophic.
“A major climatic change would force economic and social adjustments
on a worldwide scale,” warns a recent report by the National
Academy of Sciences, “because the global patterns of food
production and population that have evolved are implicitly dependent
on the climate of the present century.”
A survey completed last year by Dr. Murray Mitchell of the National
Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reveals a drop of half a
degree in average ground temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere
between 1945 and 1968. According to George Kukla of Columbia University,
satellite photos indicated a sudden, large increase in Northern
Hemisphere snow cover in the winter of 1971-72. And a study released
last month by two NOAA scientists notes that the amount of sunshine
reaching the ground in the continental U.S. diminished by 1.3% between
1964 and 1972.
To the layman, the relatively small changes in temperature and
sunshine can be highly misleading. Reid Bryson of the University
of Wisconsin points out that the Earth’s average temperature
during the great Ice Ages was only about seven degrees lower than
during its warmest eras – and that the present decline has
taken the planet about a sixth of the way toward the Ice Age average.
Others regard the cooling as a reversion to the “little ice
age” conditions that brought bitter winters to much of Europe
and northern America between 1600 and 1900 – years when the
Thames used to freeze so solidly that Londoners roasted oxen on
the ice and when iceboats sailed the Hudson River almost as far
south as New York City.
Just what causes the onset of major and minor ice ages remains
a mystery. “Our knowledge of the mechanisms of climatic change
is at least as fragmentary as our data,” concedes the National
Academy of Sciences report. “Not only are the basic scientific
questions largely unanswered, but in many cases we do not yet know
enough to pose the key questions.” [...]
| Shares in Eli Lilly & Company
fell yesterday after an article in a medical journal suggested that
the drug company had long concealed evidence that its well-known antidepressant,
Prozac, could cause violent and suicidal behavior.
The accusations were made in the Jan. 1 issue of The British Medical
Journal, which said it had turned over documents related to the
allegations to the United States Food and Drug Administration. The
F.D.A. was reviewing the papers, which had been missing for more
than 10 years, according to the Journal article, which said they
were originally gathered during a lawsuit against Lilly on behalf
of victims of a gunman in Kentucky who had reportedly been taking
Prozac for a month before going on a rampage.
Japan today became the biggest
single donor to the tsunami disaster aid effort when it pledged
The pledge outstrips the latest US donation of $350m, which was
itself an almost hundredfold increase on the country's original
offer of $4m. Britain's government has pledged £50m, and public
donations have now matched that amount.
United States President George
Bush was tonight accused of trying to undermine the United Nations
by setting up a rival coalition to coordinate relief following the
Asian tsunami disaster.
The president has announced that the US, Japan, India and Australia
would coordinate the world’s response.
But former International Development Secretary Clare Short said
that role should be left to the UN.
“I think this initiative from America to set up four countries
claiming to coordinate sounds like yet another attempt to undermine
the UN when it is the best system we have got and the one that needs
building up,” she said.
“Only really the UN can do that job,” she told BBC
Radio Four’s PM programme.
“It is the only body that has the moral authority. But it
can only do it well if it is backed up by the authority of the great
Ms Short said the coalition countries did not have good records
on responding to international disasters.
She said the US was “very bad at coordinating with anyone”
and India had its own problems to deal with.
“I don’t know what that is about but
it sounds very much, I am afraid, like the US trying to have a separate
operation and not work with the rest of the world through the UN
system,” she added.
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