Friday, June 03, 2005                                               The Daily Battle Against Subjectivity
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"Girl Scout Hannah McVey of Rosamond, Calif., takes a photo as her sister Caitlin adds a flag to the dozens surrounding a new grave, of Army Pfc. Samuel Sungjune Lee, who died in the Iraq war on March 28, 2005"

Ed: Note the fact that, in this photo and caption from Reuters, the phrase "died in the Iraq war" is used. Wasn't it back in May 2003 that Bush announced "Mission Accomplished"? What's this talk of "Iraq war"? Did we miss something? Was Bush LYING to us??

The "War on Terror" is a Global Corporation PsyOps campaign to create unending profit through WAR
Wednesday 1st June 2005

Profit is the mantra of the CEO. It is the goal that embodies the motives, agendas, and actions of the modern corporation. And it is this very goal that will lead all "profit at any cost" corporations to their own self destruction. How is this so?

Well behavior eminates from motivation and from that agendas are set and parameters of operational strategies to enable these profits are put into place. It can be seen today that an almost psychopathic set of events have transpired and with it the rise of power and domination over world events by multinational corporations.

To enable the maximum profit the agenda of the present day corporation is to find the most exploitable, undereducated, politically powerless, and "most terrorizied" people they can find to manufacture goods, provide services, and ENABLE the PROFITS for those that INVEST in this form of modern psychological slavery, physical abuse, economic domination, and "fear mongering" that is possible under a set of legal and military strategies that enables the corporations to strip the people of human rights, politital power, and the abilities to act in civil disobedience to such immoral and unjustified authority.

Multinational Corporations are legal money making influence oriented investment vehicles that allow the use of money to enable the all important and worshiped profit to be had. That profit then has lead the ideology of the corporation to use any and all means neccessary to gain the maximum amount of control and domination in any profitable situation and has led them to form a global investment coalition of elite rich self decieving individuals that ascribe to a set of psychopathic beliefs that rest on the ideals of profit through "terror" and "terror" for profit, which as we shall see is the reason that conventional ideology wars to be abandoned and a new PsyOps oriented war against the worker to be waged. A war where the leaders do not promise a set of ideals like freedom, but sell fear, uncertainty, and doubt in the "terror" campaign. This PsyOps campaign has at its core several values that are common for this type of Psychologcial Warfare that is being practiced by multinationals against the common working people of the world.

1. The enemy is trying to destroy your way of life and terrorize you.

2. In order to fight this kind of enemy you must TRUST and SUPPORT the states platform.

3. The platform includes the use of secret organizations to fight this new enemy.

4. The secret orginazations are able to violate CIVIL LIBERTIES to fight the enemy.

5. Civil Liberties are too dangerous with this type of enemy and must be curbed to protect you.

6. You will be watched to determine if you are in support of the official propaganda platform.

7. If you are NOT supporting the official propaganda then you will be marginalized as a "terrorist"

8. Terrorists will be subject to a range of behavior modifiing procedures to enable mind control

9. If you do not submit your politcial free will to the state you will be detained or terminated by the states secret organization to enable profiling and refinement of techniques to control a wider range of free thinking people that would POSE A THREAT TO THE CORPORATIONS PROFIT.

The above is highly simplfied in form but is adequate to understand the operational techniques of this model of human behavior control for profit by the corporations "terror" agenda models.

In item #1 and #2 the citizen is put in a psychosocial trap where he is in fear of his being and is given a psychological out by being led to TRUST the STATE and the same one who usually dispenses the fear or "terror" information. The purpose of this step is to align the thinking and the behavior in a way as to hold the mind hostage to a certain set of prescribed cercumstances including lowering of trust of other free thinking humans, degrading of social dialog and intercourse with propaganda, marginalizing current civil institutions as being to "liberal" and thus "unsafe in a world of terror". If you accept this step they have controlled your mind.

In item #3 to #7 the corporations set up a sham orginazation in the states official government machiniary with the title of "Protector of your Security". This is the psychologcial clue that this institution is here to protect you from the terrorist influences and attacks. This is the propganda orginization and terror enforcement branch of this corporation controlled profit support center. Its job is to marginzalize and to ensure no actual factual or useful information or actions that would enable the workers to gain security and actual fair working conditions could arise. This is always operated in secret and is designed to minimize any groups or individuals that subscribe to liberal concepts like democratic self rule, open honest communications of issues or facts, educational or informational outlets that would or could define agendas contraty to the corporations profit motives.

In items #8 and #9 should any "free thinkers", activites, socialist, democracts, leftists, or anybody else that is not mind controled by the psy ops techniques or propaganda will be detained and questioned and labels and made an example of so as to maximize the fear instilled in the target population for exploitation for profit by the CORPORATION.

Anyone that has a free mind use it to free other minds. Any minds in bondage to the corporations propganda "take the RED pill" and "see what the TRUTH actually is"

The TRUTH will set you FREE.

Please see the following links to educate yourself on how this is being used now and how it was used in the past. http://www.informationclearinghouse...

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Hollywood-like Fake Smoke Made 9/11
By Jon Carlson

On Monday, May 23, 2005, FOX affiliate WSVN-TV sent Patrick Fraser, with only a BS in Journalism from UF-Gainsville, to tangle with Scientist Dr. A.K. Dewdney over the 9/11 Pentagon quagmire. Dr. Dewdney: "If we are right the implications are profound."

Reporter: "Right or right off the wacko chart, common sense tells you its not likely. In fact common sense tells you its not only outrageous -- its ridiculous and one well known skeptic has another description for it -- laughable." INDEED, 'laughable' describes most of this article.

As the pioneer 9/11 researcher Kee Dewdney struck gold when he proved beyond a shadow of doubt that extended cell phone calls from airliners were a fable of the Bush Administration on 9/11. That was the first foot in the doorway to 9/11 Truth.

As most Americans are unfamilar with using the Scientific Method in solving problems, everyone should pay attention when Kee Dewdney demonstates the use of the Scientific Method in explaining 9/11. BY THE WAY, the Scientific Method completely funks the Fed Govt. 9/11 conspiracy theory.

Links to Kee's 9/11 research here

As an affiliate of FOX network, WSVN-TV should focus on the Hollywood-style Towering Inferos or lack thereof on 9/11. In the RENSE article, Sneak Preview - 911 Pentagon Tapes Firefighter Russell Dodge said:

"There were two vehicles burning, along with a construction trailer - we didn't know at the time, but that trailer was the main producer of smoke on the outside of the building. He said the foam units got there and concentrated on the area of the construction trailer, which was producing some severe fires and subsequent mini explosions due to highly flammable chemicals in it THAN on the actual point of impact from the hijacked aircraft.

The 'construction trailer', actually a large generator trailer with its own 500 gallon diesel tank, was not used but kept for an emergency. As there was no need for the large extra tank nearby, the tank apparently was filled with a crude oil-diesel oil mixture, similar to an orchard smudge pot, and remotely ignited to create the enormous smoke plume . Note that the smoke from the burning trailer is whitish.

Witnesses said the aircraft hardly penetrated the brick Pentagon wall before an explosion blew it to bits. Apparently that explosion is caught here. See the RENSE article, Sneak Preview - 911 Pentagon Tapes

Note that the circled area around the generator trailer was also ignited.

This photo JUST AFTER the Explosion shows a bonfire in front of the impact area with its smoke plume and the Generator trailer area highlighted with its smoke plume just getting a start. Of course, NO Pentagon section down.

This photo shows the generator trailer area producing an enormous smoke plume with the bonfire in front of the impact area about the same as the last photo but a better show for the camera shots sent around the world.

Witnesses said they thought explosive charges were set off inside the Pentagon 'impact area' to make it appear that the aircraft actually passed the front wall when it really didn't. That would explain large fire development even outside the impact area.

Here the firetruck is directing foam at the large fuel tank only with a minor fire still burning on the generator trailer.

Comment: It still amazes us that so many apparently intelligent and rational 9/11 researchers dismiss the "no plane at the Pentagon" theory as disinformation. If there is ever to be any 9/11 "smoking gun" evidence, then it is very likely that it will be found among the glaring problems with the official story of events about the Pentagon attack. While the entire world saw two passenger airlines hitting the WTC towers, NO ONE saw a plane hit the Pentagon. Not only that, but the photographic evidence of the damage to the Pentagon facade in the immediate aftermath of the explosion makes it almost impossible to suggest that a Boeing 757 was involved. Look again at picture number 3 (from the top) again. All we see is smoke damage, broken windows, a small fire and a TINY hole where the fire is burning. As the above article shows, the majority of the thick black smoke that was rising from the scene was caused by a tanker full of oil that had ignited (or been ignited). It is very probable that this tanker was put in place to deliberately obscure the evidence that a 757 did NOT hit the Pentagon.

The main point made by those researchers who dismiss the "no plane" theory, base their argument on the claim that there would be no reason for the government and Israeli conspirators to NOT use Flight 77 to hit the Pentagon. But clearly such an argument is poorly thought out. The simple fact is that the Pentagon is a government building, the WTC towers were not. If the conspirators had used a fully fueled 757 they would not have been able to control the damage and would have been risking the lives of their own people. Nevertheless they had to attack the Pentagon in a controlled way in order to make it appear that this was an attack by "Arab terrorists" against the American people AND the American government, rather than the truth - an attack by the American and Israeli governments against the American people in order to manipulate them into accepting a bogus war on terror for profit. For this reason, a "Global Hawk" drone with a DU explosive warhead, that was made up to look like an AA plane, was used in the Pentagon attack.

As for the real Flight 77 with its passengers...well, you can use your imagination to find the answer. Remember, we are talking about people who have NO respect for human life, other than their own.

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7 News Investigation - Pentagon Plot
Air Date: 05/23/2005
Patrick Fraser

Several people are now claiming that is not what happened at all. They claim that the plane that crashed was not a passenger jet at all, and that it was all a plot to mislead the American people. Here's the nighteam's Patrick Fraser with his special report: "Pentagon Plot."

WSVN -- We never put a man on the moon, these pictures were taken in the Nevada desert the conspiracy theories claimed...

President Kennedy was not shot just by Lee Harvey Oswald. The CIA was involved...

And now this was not a passenger plan that crashed into The Pentagon on September 11th.

Scientist Dr. A.K. Dewdney: "I mean how much evidence do people need."

A.K. Dewdney is one of several scientists who have investigated the pentagon crash and concluded something devious and diabolical happened that day.

Their proof...

They say a Boeing 757 was never found at The Pentagon, that only one engine was found and that engine does not seem to match the engine from a 757, that airplane crashes leave wreckage, they mess up the ground -- Not at The Pentagon.

Patrick Fraser: "Dr. Dewdney you also wrote that the wings are missing from the crash site -- I thought they were incinerated in the enormous blaze inside The Pentagon."

Dr. Dewdney: "The structure of the wings dictate that the wings should have sheared off. The fact that there is no wing debris outside the building indicates it was not a 757 that struck the pentagon."

Another point the conspiracy buffs make -- the hole in the side of The Pentagon is too small for a 757 to fit thru. One web page even superimposes a 757 onto the ground to prove its point.

Dr. Dewdney: "So all of this evidence is just sitting there waiting for people to examine it."

The conspiracy theories even claim to have video proof from a security camera outside The Pentagon as the plane neared the building -- they claim the picture is not a 757.

But they are not certain what type of craft it is.

Dr.Dewdney: "The guesses vary from an F-16 loaded with a depleted uranium warhead -- possibly a cruise missile."

But if its a cruise missile, what happened to the plane and its passengers. Dr. Dewdney says they don't know, however they say they do know who is behind the conspiracy.

Dewdney says all the September 11th attacks were planned or allowed to happen to fuel a war with terrorists and as an excuse to invade and gain control of the oil in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Dr. Dewdney: "If we are right the implications are profound."

Right or right off the wacko chart, common sense tells you its not likely. In fact common sense tells you its not only outrageous -- its ridiculous and one well known skeptic has another description for it -- laughable.

James Randi from the Randi Educational Foundation: "Come on, in order to do a thing like that you would have to have a conspiracy that would involve thousands of people..all of whom would have to be completely silent. Now thats impossible to do."

We showed James Randi the claims of Dewdney's scientific group, and he countered each one -- beginning with the hole in The Pentagon.

James Randi: "Now the hole isnt big enough. Oh I see now you know how big the hole should be do you? No, that's data that we simply don't have."

As for those missing wings -- easy to explain Randi says.

James Randi: "That the fuselage penetrates the brick wall and the wings fold back just like an umbrella."

Finally the people who helped Dewdney research his theories are all well educated, very intelligent people which Randi says proves one more thing.

James Randi: "Well-educated intelligent people doesn't mean smart people."

Dewdney's reply -- prove him wrong.

Dr. Dewdney: "By all means get in touch with us none of us want to spend our time doing this if we are just wasting our time if we are wrong."

And even if he is wrong, a few people may believe him -- but a few million won't.

By the way we spoke with The Pentagon about the conspiracy theory, and they said, "it's so ridiculous, we don't even address it."

Comment: Exactly. The Pentagon cannot address such matters, because if it did, it would soon become clear that the entire official version of 9/11 events is a lie. Questions like: "why is the Bush administration refusing to release the many video tapes that exist that would prove conclusively what it was that hit the Pentagon?" These types of questions do indeed have answers, but not the type of answers that the Pentagon will ever willingly allow the public to become aware of.

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Washington Is the Source of Terror
by Paul Craig Roberts

06/02/05 - - The U.S. government gave the slave trade a boost by offering money for al-Qaeda and Taliban fighters. Afghan and Pakistani warlords simply rounded up people who looked Arab or foreign and sold them to the Americans as captured fighters. The "fighters" apparently included relief workers, refugees, and Arab businessmen. The tribunals looking into the classification of Guantanamo prisoners as "enemy combatants" have uncovered numerous examples of hapless victims of a naive U.S. government too flush with money.

The Bush administration, of course, denies that it bought its detainees, as it denies everything. However, on May 31, 2005, Michelle Faul of the Associated Press reported that in March 2002, leaflets and broadcasts from helicopters in Afghanistan enticed Afghans to "Hand over the Arabs and feed your families for a lifetime." One leaflet said: "You can receive millions of dollars. This is enough to take care of your family, your village, your tribe for the rest of your life, pay for livestock and doctors and school books and housing for all your people."

Najeeb al-Nauimi, a former Qatar justice minister, leads a group of lawyers representing 100 detainees who were sold to the naive Americans. He says a consortium of wealthy Arabs are buying back fellow citizens kidnapped by Pakistani gangs before they can be sold to the Americans.

More is going on here than merely unintended consequences of a harebrained policy. The Bush administration has proven itself to be utterly irresponsible in the use of power. And it keeps demanding more power, including the suspension of our civil liberties in order to better fight "terrorism."

Aside from 9/11, an event of several years ago, the only terrorism the U.S. has experienced is the terrorism Bush created by invading Iraq. Why are we worried about Osama bin Laden when the moronic Bush administration is so adept at creating terrorism?

Notice the pattern. Bush creates terrorism and then suspends our civil liberties in the name of his war on terror.

The real terror Americans experience comes from their own government. Indeed, consider the terror the accounting firm, Arthur Andersen, and its 85,000 worldwide employees experienced as a result of the Gestapo tactics of federal prosecutors. Prosecutors used a stupid jury and a weak-minded judge to convict an entire accounting firm for the actions of the few accountants who handled the Enron account. It was completely clear at the time that whereas a case existed against a few individual accountants, no case existed against the firm itself. Arbitrary and capricious prosecutors grabbed power. The American public was so whipped up in a frenzy over Enron that it didn't care whose blood was spilled. Just as someone had to pay for 9/11 – even if it is our own troops and tens of thousands of innocent Iraqis who had no more to do with 9/11 than the U.S. troops who are losing their lives and limbs – someone had to pay for Enron. So the prosecutors destroyed Arthur Andersen, one of the top 10 companies in the world ranked by market value and one of America's greatest assets.

Now the U.S. Supreme Court has reversed the conviction. The highest court says Arthur Andersen was not guilty. But how do we bring Arthur Andersen back to life and restore the reputations and careers of its many thousands of employees? Federal prosecutors effectively executed the firm and destroyed the highly valuable asset.

Don't expect Bush, who admits no mistake, to make restitution for the criminal actions of his Department of Justice (sic). The remedy is a civil suit by all the partners and employees of Arthur Andersen against the U.S. government for damages. I think $1 trillion is a good number. It is a figure demanded by justice. And it will serve the cause of peace by bankrupting the warmongering Bush administration and applying the brake to Bush's wars of empire.

Dr. Roberts is John M. Olin Fellow at the Institute for Political Economy and Research Fellow at the Independent Institute. He is a former associate editor of the Wall Street Journal and a former assistant secretary of the U.S. Treasury. He is the co-author of The Tyranny of Good Intentions

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Administration's offenses impeachable
Bangor Daily News
Thursday, June 02, 2005

Let's consider an item from the news of about two weeks ago:

A British citizen leaked a memo to London's Sunday Times. The memo was of the written account of a meeting that a man named Richard Dearlove had with the Bush administration in July 2002. Dearlove was the head of the England's MI-6, the equivalent of the CIA. On July 23, 2002, Dearlove briefed Tony Blair about the meeting. He said that Bush was determined to attack Iraq. He said that Bush knew that U.S. intelligence had no evidence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and no links to foreign terrorists, that there was no imminent danger to the U.S. from Iraq. But, since Bush was determined to go to war, "Intelligence and facts are being fixed around the policy." "Fixed" means faked, manufactured, conjured, hyped - the product of whole cloth fabrication.

So we got aluminum tubes, mushroom clouds imported from Niger, biological weapons labs in weather trucks, fear and trembling, the phony ultimatums to Saddam Hussein to turn over the weapons he didn't have and thus couldn't. We got the call to arms, the stifling of dissent, the parade of retired generals strategizing on the "news" shows, with us or against us, flags in the lapel, a craven media afraid to look for a truth that might disturb their corporate owners who would profit from the war. Shock and Awe. Fallujah. Abu Ghraib.

It was all a lie. Many of us have said for a long time it was a lie. But here it is in black and white: Lies from a president who has taken a sacred trust to uphold the Constitution of the United States.

So, what does it mean? It means that our president and all of his administration are war criminals. It's as simple as that. They lied to the American people, have killed and injured and traumatized thousands of American men and women doing their patriotic duty, killed at least 100,000 Iraqi civilians, destroyed Iraq's infrastructure and poisoned its environment, squandered billions and billions of our tax dollars, made a mockery of American integrity in the world, changed the course of history, tortured Iraqi prisoners, and bound us intractably to an insane situation that they have no idea how to fix because they had no plan, but greed and empire, in the first place.

What does it mean? It means that everyone in this administration should be impeached. It means that our Maine Sens. Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins and our Congressmen Tom Allen and Mike Michaud should call for immediate impeachment. They were lied to by their president, voted for war, and are thus complicit in the multiple betrayals of the American people unless they stand up now for the truth.

Richard Nixon was impeached for a cover-up of a two-bit break-in. William Cohen, a young Maine Republican, played an important role for the prosecution in those proceedings. Bill Clinton was impeached for lying about sex with an intern. Now we have the irrefutable evidence that George W. Bush lied about the reasons for taking the United States to war. The intelligence wasn't flawed. The weapons weren't hidden. Our elected leaders were lying.

Democracy, like any sound relationship between people, is built on trust. We trust our leaders to tell the truth so that the consent that we give them is honestly informed. If the consent is won through manipulation, propaganda, fear, or lies, the basis of our democracy has been subverted. It is no longer democracy at all, but we continue to call it that because we have not the courage or stamina to demand its overhaul.

We live a lie when we fail to hold leaders accountable for their lies. By not calling now for impeachment, we are saying that we condone hypocrisy, pseudo-democracy, and murdering thousands of Americans and Iraqis for strategic control of energy resources that we have no right to. Patriotism demands that we insist on the ideals of democracy, not that we support the "leaders" who cynically destroy them.

What's curious is why anyone like me should have to even point this out. Don't our senators and congressmen feel betrayed? Are they content to continue the murdering rather than do what truth demands? Do they think they can lie to history, too? Do they think that this little Iraq problem will somehow just go away, that the courageous resistance to the United States occupation will give up and hand Bush the keys to the oil wells? Do they think that any of the grave crises facing the world now - energy consumption, global warming, species extinction - can be solved by lying about them?

We are living in an age of no accountability. It's also an age upon which may hang the survival of human life on this earth. One should not bet one's future on people who abjure responsibility. The first courageous step is to come to terms with what we know is true: America's president lied to America's people to create an unnecessary war. I ask Sens. Snowe and Collins, Reps. Allen and Michaud to take that step. Begin impeachment proceedings. It's really no more or less than their duty. It's also the first step toward restoring America's integrity.

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Patriot Act II?

A broad right/left coalition is pushing Congress to revise the Patriot Act's more egregious provisions -- while we still can.
By Dave Lindorff
In These Times
Posted June 1, 2005

Last October, agents from the FBI and Treasury Department, accompanied by a gaggle of TV news crews, raided the Columbia, Mo., offices of a small charity called the Islamic-American Relief Agency (IARA). Computers and records were seized, and several hundred thousand dollars in donated funds destined for relief work in Kenya were frozen. There were no arrests or charges, though federal agents visited the homes of many of the charity's local donors. IARA, according to its attorney, Shereef Akeel, was effectively shut down under a little-known provision of the USA PATRIOT Act, which expanded the International Emergency Economic Powers Act to allow the government to freeze the assets of organizations while it investigates for links to terrorism.

"The government has not presented one shred of evidence linking IARA to funding for terror, but by seizing their funds and interviewing their donors, they have effectively destroyed the charity and created a chilling effect in the Muslim community in Columbia," Akeel says. He suggests the government may have confused IARA, founded two decades ago as the Islamic African Relief Agency (the name changed during the Bosnia conflict when demands for aid moved beyond an African focus), with a Sudan-based charity called the Islamic African Relief Agency, which the government claims has links to terrorists.

The USA PATRIOT (Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism) Act, signed into law six weeks after the 9/11 attacks with no congressional debate, faces review in Congress, as 16 of its provisions "sunset" at the end of the year.

Patriots to Restore Checks and Balances (PRCB), an unusual right/left coalition that includes the ACLU, the American Conservative Union and the Free Congress Foundation, is pressing to end some of the act's particularly egregious civil liberties abuses--specifically, the sneak-and-peek provision, which allows the government to spy on people without notifying them or obtaining a court order, and the library provision, which grants federal authorities the power to inspect library, video, and bookstore user records without a warrant, and which bars librarians and store owners from alerting customers.

ACLU national security lobbyist Lisa Graves says the coalition is optimistic about winning some improvements. "Judiciary Committee Chair Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) held a 'critics' hearing last week," says Graves, "which the last chair, Orrin Hatch, (R-Utah) would never have done, and in the House, Judiciary Chair James Sensenbrenner (R-Wisc.) has expressed some 'concerns' about the act." The nationwide grassroots movement, which has seen 383 communities, including seven states, pass anti-Patriot Act resolutions, has also put pressure on Congress to amend the law.

"I'm guessing the reforms we want in the act could gain some traction," says Steve Lilienthal, director of the Center for Privacy and Technology Policy at the Free Congress Foundation, a conservative member of the coalition. "It will be an uphill battle, but I think we may win."

Not everyone, however, is happy with the notion of reforming the law.

"There's a danger in trying to fix it," argues Michael Ratner, president of the Center for Constitutional Rights, which has not joined the coalition. "I'm afraid by working to fix problems with a few provisions that have gotten attention--the library provision and sneak-and-peek--the focus is taken off of the really serious threats to freedom, both in the Patriot Act and outside it.

"Things like the broadened definition of terror, which can include blocking a highway during a demonstration, or the enhancement of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which now allows the government to spy on ordinary criminal suspects without showing probable cause or obtaining a warrant, are horrible," says Ratner. "Whole Islamic communities in the U.S. now live in terror and fear. It's much worse than the spying on CISPES [Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador] in the '80s.

"Just because 9/11 happened, doesn't mean you need new laws, " Ratner says. "The government should have to prove why current laws and powers don't work. It should have to justify each new power given to law enforcement and intelligence agencies. On some things, you have to stand on principle and not compromise."

Graves concedes that Ratner may have a point. "The 9/11 Commission had a similar perspective," she says. "One of their recommendations was that the administration should have the burden of proof for any change in the laws that affect civil liberties." But Graves says that the coalition's--and ACLU's--view is that by joining right and left, they can win at least some improvements, while repealing the PATRIOT Act is not politically possible--at least for now.

Meanwhile, Akeel and the IARA, taking matters in their own hands, have sued in federal court in Washington, D.C., to unblock the charity's funds. "I've been getting letters from little kids in Kenya begging for me to restore the money that was being sent to support them," says Akeel.

Dave Lindorff, a frequent contributor to In These Times, is the author of This Can't Be Happening: Resisting the Disintegration of American Democracy. His work can be found at

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Code Red
By Chris Floyd
Published: June 3, 2005

Last month, we reported here about Jeb Bush's courtroom efforts to crush the life of an abused, poverty-stricken 6-year-old girl in his gubernatorial satrapy of Florida. Later, against all odds, a jury of ordinary citizens thwarted the dynast's brutal will. But as befits a scion of the ruling family, Bush is now brushing aside this interference from the rabble and pressing ahead with his plans to strip the little girl of all public assistance.

Bush's minions went to court earlier this year in a bid to cut off medical aid to Marissa Amora, who, at the age of 2, had been abandoned by Jeb's "Department of Children and Families" despite overwhelming evidence of horrific past abuse -- and the imminent danger of more to come. More came. Within weeks, she was beaten almost to death; then Jeb's agents tried to stop her medical treatment and let her die. She survived their malign intervention and is now thriving with a new family -- but still suffers from permanent, catastrophic damage caused by the entirely predictable beating she received after the DCF cast her aside.

But late last month, the jury in the case issued a stern rebuke to these perverted Bush Family values: They awarded Marissa $35 million in damages for institutional neglect and for her future medical care, with the DCF ordered to pay the bulk of the costs. So, a happy ending, right?

Don't be silly -- we're dealing with the Bush-Walker gang here. And for almost 100 years, from their ammo-dealing days in World War I to their heavy investments in Nazi Germany to their profitable hook-ups with Arab oil tyrants to their back-door buttressing of Saddam Hussein to their present- day bonanza of blood money gushing from the slaughter in Iraq, this clan of wingtipped thugs has always built its fortune on the backs -- and the bones - - of the poor. And no self-respecting Bush clansman would ever let some uppity little black girl and her foster mother make him look bad, no matter how egregious his failures.

Jeb had three choices after the verdict. He could have simply accepted responsibility for his agency's horrible neglect and paid the full amount. Or he could have accepted responsibility but asked that the large award be reduced, as often happens in such cases, which would still leave Marissa with enough money to afford the extensive and costly health care she will need for the rest of her life. The first course would have been just and honorable; the second, pragmatic yet not inherently cruel.

But honor, justice and responsibility have no place in the Bush clan's ruthless operations. So Jeb picked the third choice, the "nuclear option." He asked an appeals court to throw out the entire award -- even the damages levied against other, non-state parties in the case -- leaving Marissa with absolutely nothing, The Palm Beach Post reports.

Filing for dismissal, Bush's lawyers blasted the jury for being too stupid to process the complex documentation of the case and acting instead on "prejudice and sympathy." While any "prejudice" in the case would seem to lie with the lily-white governor's attempt to grind a black child under his heel, it's true that the jury probably did have some measure of sympathy for a 6-year-old girl who will have to be kept alive through a feeding tube for the rest of her days because Bush's bureaucrats failed to protect her from well-documented abuse. But sympathy is for "girlie-men" in the demented moral universe of the Bushist faction. Or as one of the Bush Family's old business partners once said, just before he launched an unprovoked war of aggression against Poland based on lies, propaganda and manipulated intelligence about a bogus threat to the nation: "Close your hearts to pity. The stronger man is right. Be steeled against all signs of compassion." Power is everything, people are nothing, and the weakest go to the wall -- that's the Kennebunkport Code.

But of course you have to dress up your blood-and-iron philosophy with the prevailing pieties of the day if you want to snow the hoi polloi and weasel your way into power. And Jeb is one of the great whited sepulchres of our time, a master of the hypocritical arts, ever eager to hog the nearest camera and blubber teary platitudes about the "culture of life" -- even as he feverishly signs death warrants in an apparent bid to surpass his older brother's record as the most bloodthirsty executioner in modern U.S. history. If Marissa were, say, a nice white woman in a vegetative state whose case had been taken up by powerful interest groups and ballyhooed into a national media carnival, then doubtless Jeb would even now be dabbing his eyes as he knelt for a photo-op at her bedside.

But because Marissa is "nobody" -- one of the poor, the powerless, the "insulted and injured," in Dostoevsky's phrase -- she can be flushed down the toilet and no one will notice. For the aim of Bush's legal maneuvering is clear: He wants to "run out the clock" on Marissa, litigating the case quite literally to death, until her family sinks beneath the overwhelming financial and physical burden of keeping her alive and her makeshift, overstrained support system eventually suffers the inevitable breakdown.

It's a despicable strategy, a wicked strategy, but entirely in keeping with the Ruling Family's ethos, which has given the world a terror-spawning quagmire of murder and atrocity in Iraq -- 10,000 Marissa Amoras, dead, mangled, orphaned, abandoned, abused, forgotten. And for what? For power. For money. For the Code.

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After 30 Years, Draft Fears Rise
By Christian Davenport
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, June 2, 2005

Some Youths and Parents Worry Despite Government's Assurances

In their Ellicott City kitchen, Jeff Amoros's parents handed their son the Selective Service registration form that arrived shortly after his 18th birthday. For them, it evoked dark memories of the Vietnam era. For Amoros, it meant: "I'm old enough to die for my country now."

At a Montgomery County Friends meeting house, peace activist J.E. McNeil explained to an audience how to convince draft boards that they are conscientious objectors. "Let me tell you why I think there's going to be a draft," she said.

Rarely in the more than 30 years since the draft was abolished has the Selective Service triggered such angst. Two years into the Iraq war, concern that the draft will be reinstated to supplement an overextended military persists -- no matter how often, or emphatically, President Bush and members of Congress say it won't.

In this atmosphere of suspicion, the Selective Service System, the Rosslyn-based agency that conscripted 1.8 million Americans during the Vietnam War and 10 million in World War II, quietly pursues its delicate dual mission: keeping the draft machinery ready, without sparking fear that it is coming back.

"We're told not to do a particular thing but to be prepared to do it," said Dan Amon, a spokesman for the Selective Service, which last year registered about 15.6 million young men between the draft-eligible ages of 18 and 25. "We just continue to carry out our mission as mandated by Congress."

These days, the agency spends a lot of time allaying fears and dispelling rumors. Go to the Selective Service Web site, and the first thing you see is an explanation of how Congress voted 402 to 2 against a bill to make military service mandatory.

A Washington public relations firm, Widmeyer Communications, hired by the agency to offer strategic advice, noted last year that "virtually any move taken by Selective Service is seen in many quarters as clear evidence that a draft is imminent."

"There is so much misinformation out there," said Richard Flahavan, associate director of Selective Service for public and intergovernmental affairs. "Most folks, if you pulled them off the street, would believe we could turn on the draft in the dark of night and consult no one." [...]

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2 June (AKI)

Baghdad, - The Jordanian militant Abu Musab al-Zarqawi - al-Qaeda's leader in Iraq - died on Friday and his body is in Fallujah's cemetary, an Iraqi Sunni sheikh, Ammar Abdel Rahim Nasir, has told the Saudi on-line newspaper Al-Medina. He claims that gunfights which broke out in Fallujah in the last few days involved militants trying to protect the insurgency leader's tomb from a group of American soldiers patrolling the area.

During a telephone conversation from the city of Fallujah with the Saudi newspaper, Nasir said al-Zarqawi was taken there after being injured in the city of Ramadi around three weeks ago, and may have been treated by two doctors who had worked with his aides in Baghdad. He said the two doctors had stopped a serious haemorrhage in al-Zarqawi's intestines, but that after his condition worsened last week, the militant died on Friday.

Nasir adds that in his will the insurgent leader left the order that no funeral should be held for him and the right to announce his death should be left to the al-Qaeda leadership in Afghanistan and Osama bin Laden.

The Al-Medina newspaper reports that it also called the headmaster of a school in Fallujah, who preferred to remain anonymous, but confirmed that many people in the city were aware of the fact that al-Zarqawi had recently been taken to the city.

Sheikh Nasir's claims appear to correspond with reports several weeks ago that al-Zarqawi had been injured and taken to Ramadi hospital for emergency treatment, and with messages on the Internet talking of two Arab doctors accompanying him. Al-Zarqawi was reported to have been seen at the hospital on April 27. The hospital's director told an Iraq-based newspaper that US troops later surrounded and raided the entire building, searching for the Jordanian militant.

Only two days ago, an audio message attributed to al-Zarqawi was posted on the Internet, in which he assured his followers that he had only been lightly injured. Following the message, the US defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld warned countries neighbouring Iraq not to give any medical assistance to al-Zarqawi. "Our current theory is that he is in Iraq," he said. "Were a neighbouring country to take him in and provide medical assistance or haven for him, they obviously would be associating themselves with a major linkage in the al-Qaeda network, and a person who has a great deal of blood on his hands," Rumsfeld continued. "And that's something that people would want to take note of."

Comment: Of course, as evidenced by the recent "unable to be verified" conversation between Osama and Al-Zarqawi, the Bush administration is at pains to assert that Al-Zarqawi is still alive and directing the resistance in Iraq, because it "proves" to the great American public that the Iraqi resistance are "terrorists" and not ordinary Iraqis defending their country and lives. It certainly would be tragedy for the Bush administration if Al-Zarqawi were to actually be dead as it would rob them of one of their major boogeyman and force them to find someone else to blame for the devastation that they themselves are wreaking on the Middle East.

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'I knew what I had right away'
Wednesday June 1, 2005
The Guardian

Last year, Kevin Sites filmed a marine shooting an apparently unarmed insurgent in Falluja. He tells Dan Glaister the truth of what he saw and how what followed changed his life

'This was a fucking mess, man." Kevin Sites peers at the monitor in the bright Californian sunlight, trying to make out the images on the screen. But Sites doesn't really have to look. This is his film, his moment; the images on the screen ones that have come to define his life.

Kevin Sites is the journalist who captured the moment when a young US army marine shot an equally young insurgent inside a mosque in Falluja in November last year. Sites' video, broadcast around the world, caused a storm. For some it showed an American soldier executing an insurgent, proof of the brutality of war, of the US army and of its soldiers. For others, it highlighted the perils faced by US troops, from booby-trapped insurgents taking cover in mosques to the threat of an embedded liberal media.

For Sites, it posed other questions: of how to reconcile the need for truth and honesty with the sense of responsibility to the troops around him, of how to honour his duty to minimise harm through his reporting.

Assailed by all sides, Sites wrote a memorable explanation of his actions in releasing the video on his blog,, "Dispatches from a life in conflict". Titled "To Devil Dogs of the 3.1", the text, in turn, was reprinted by media around the world, including this newspaper. Sites, it seemed, had inadvertently become the conduit for debate about the war. Earlier this month, a military tribunal ruled that the corporal involved in the incident should not face charges.

On Sites' laptop, the 12-minute video he shot in the dust of Falluja plays out its story. Working as an embedded "sojo" - a solo journalist - employed by NBC to cover the offensive in Falluja, Sites arrives outside a mosque with a squad of six marines. Shooting has been heard from inside the mosque, even though the site had been cleared the day before. Another squad enters the building from the rear. Three shots ring out, and a marine emerges to say that they have found five insurgents and have shot them. "Were they armed?" asks the lieutenant with Sites's squad. The marine shrugs and wanders off.

Sites enters the mosque. His camera pans around a small room, settling on two bodies lying together, one wearing a red kaffiyeh on his head. Blood bubbles from the man's nose. Off-screen a voice says, "He's fucking faking he's dead. He's faking he's fucking dead." Sites' camera slowly pans across the room until it stops at the image of a marine, his body made bulky by equipment, standing before two figures lying on the floor. The camera's movement is matched by the barrel of the marine's M-16 being raised. As the camera stops moving, so does the gun. A shot rings out. One of the figures is thrown back. The marine fires a second shot and abruptly turns and walks away. The camera pauses for a moment on the figure lying on the ground. In an almost balletic movement, the figure's leg drops gracefully to the floor. The camera, echoing the stillness of the scene, slowly moves back to the dying man with the bleeding nose. The video ends a few moments later.

Six months later and Sites is still reeling from the effects of the video he shot that day. Tanned and muscled, he exudes the genial, unreserved charm that can seem almost de rigueur in southern California. Dressed in black T-shirt and jeans, black hair swept back, the 42-year-old talks quickly and confidently about his experiences. He is clear now, he says, about his actions and what happened in Falluja. But underlying his resolve, there is a sense of anxiety. Did he favour one side over the other? Did he become a pawn for the anti-war movement? Was he swayed by his allegiance to the troops he was embedded with? In trying to present every side of the story, did he lose sight of the story?

Sites, who had been to Iraq many times, and was even held captive by Saddam's Fedayeen outside Tikrit, was embedded with the US marines for three weeks prior to the onset of the offensive against Falluja.

"I would sleep in the dirt," he says. "I would do whatever they did, and they liked that. We ended up developing this incredible relationship. To the point where people started to criticise me on my blog that I was becoming too sympathetic. I was taking pictures of them holding up pictures of their kids. My whole idea was to humanise them."

When his employer, the NBC network, tried to replace him with a more traditionally telegenic frontman, the marines came to Sites' rescue, saying that it was Sites or nobody. So Sites, with his video camera, went to Falluja and the mosque and one of the biggest stories of the war.

"I knew what I had right away," Sites says. "I called the top bosses at the network, the three news officials that are responsible for foreign news. Got them out of bed. I said I've got something that is potentially bigger than Abu Ghraib. I need you to know that I have it. For the first time I watched the videotape on playback as I talked to them and I remember my words, I go, 'Fuck, I have it.'"

But even though he knew what he had, and he had made sure that his superiors in the US knew of its existence, he didn't immediately know what to do with it. His journalistic instincts were tempered by his comradeship with those around him.

"I wasn't thinking clearly as a journalist," he says. "I was still feeling part of a unit, part of some people who have just been embroiled in some serious conflict. I was heartsick because I just knew that this wasn't good for anybody, not for the guy who got shot, not for that marine, not for me. I've seen plenty of people get killed. I've never seen anybody get killed like that. I'd never seen what looked like an execution point blank. I hoped at that moment that it had been anybody else other than me shooting that video tape."

NBC waited 48 hours before broadcasting Sites' report from the mosque. Instead of broadcasting a story about a marine shooting an apparently unarmed insurgent inside a mosque, NBC and Sites constructed a story about the dangers marines faced in fighting an enemy that used mosques as cover and was not afraid to booby-trap bodies.

"We backed into it," says Sites, with considerable disbelief. "We didn't get to the shooting until a third into the story." He mimics a pompous TV announcer's voice: "'There was a terrifying new technique being used by insurgents: booby-trapping bodies blah blah blah.' We highlighted all the mitigating circumstances to set this up. We made it seem that there was no question that this guy was probably justified."

But, as Sites knew at the time, some of the mitigating circumstances did not apply. The marine who shot the insurgent had himself been shot in the face the day before, a fact reported in Sites' original story. What he did not say was that the shooting was probably an accident, by US forces. Similarly, although marines were aware of the dangers of booby traps in general, the only specific instance of a booby-trapped body in Falluja came at the same time as the mosque shooting.

"If he felt so strongly that this guy was a threat," says Sites, "he knew there were two other guys by me still alive; he never checked them after he shot him, he just spun on his heels. I don't know what was on his mind: the fog of war does strange things to people."

Sites also points out that as the marine left, a fifth Iraqi inside the mosque, who had been hiding under a blanket, popped his head up. The marine ignored him too.

The reaction to the video was immediate. Sites began to get 500 "hate mails" a day, including a dozen or so death threats. Every day. The networks outdid themselves: Rupert Murdoch's Fox News, with cheerleaders such as Oliver North and Bill O'Reilly, took it upon itself to attack Sites, while his employer, NBC, tried to have its scoop while denying any responsibility, choosing to describe Sites as a "freelance cameraman".

So Sites wrote his open letter to the marines, explaining what he had filmed and why he had decided to broadcast it.

"If the truth is known then people will be able to make the responsible decisions that they need to make in a democracy," he says. "And if you're burying it you're not trusting them with that responsibility, you're saying that democracy doesn't work. And to me that was a betrayal of everything I'd spent my whole adult life doing, as well as a betrayal of those very principles of democracy that those soldiers and those marines believe that they're fighting for."

With the appearance of his letter to the Devil Dogs, the hate mail eased off. Sites returned to the US and decided to take a holiday. He went scuba diving in south-east Asia, eventually ending up in Cambodia. He even sent his video camera home, vowing to take a rest from journalism. Then the tsunami hit and Sites was back at work, blogging and filming.

The experience, he says, helped him gain a fresh perspective on the events that had buffeted him in Iraq. He was persuaded again of the usefulness of the media in informing and involving the public. He was also inspired again to use his talents to make a difference.

Does he think that he will always be identified with the video? "In a way that's going to be my burden to bear," he says. "I've seen a lot of death, especially in the last five years. And I have to live with those consequences. They come out, I have nightmares, and I've experienced a lot of personal attrition in my life, failed relationships. But you want your life to have purpose, and you want it to have meaning."

The decision to broadcast the video, he says, "was the hardest decision I'd made in my life. I know passionately now that it was the right thing to do, that I couldn't have lived with myself if I had buried that tape."

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We killed police for revenge, Israeli soldiers confess
By Donald Macintyre in Jerusalem
03 June 2005

Two Israeli soldiers have come forward to describe how they took part in what they say was an officially ordered "revenge" operation to kill Palestinian police officers ­ among them several unarmed men.

In graphic testimony, one soldier has confessed that he "really enjoyed" a chase in which he shot an unarmed Palestinian in the head who was trying to escape during a series of reprisal raids ordered the day after the killing of six Israeli soldiers in an ambush by militant gunmen three years ago.

In what may be the first inside account of such an operation, the soldiers from two reconnaissance units say they were among troops ordered by their commanders to "liquidate" the police officers at a series of Palestinian West Bank checkpoints even though they were given no evidence they had been involved in the killing of the Israelis.

The raids were among a series of ground and air attacks which, in all, killed 15 Palestinians ­ 12 of them policemen­ in and around Nablus and Ramallah 24 hours after the six Israeli soldiers were killed at a military post in the village of Ein Arik, west of Ramallah, at the height of the intifada.

One soldier, who took part in the attack on a Palestinian post at Deir es Sudan said they had lain in wait after finding the position empty when they arrived in the middle of the night.

"The idea was simply to kill them all. Whenever they arrived, we would kill them, regardless whether [they were]armed or not. If they were Palestinian policemen, they were to be shot. The order was given and our six opened fire."

The soldier, from the Yael Reconnaissance Troop, said that their [naval] squad commander had told them: "We are going to kill six Palestinian policemen somewhere, revenging our six they took down". He added: "On my question 'what did they do?' the answer was there was a suspicion that the terrorist who killed our six came through that [Palestinian] checkpoint. Suspicion, but no concrete evidence. But I was told: 'it doesn't matter; they took six of ours, and we are going to take six of theirs.'"

The soldier said that, after hitting and wounding two of the Palestinians as they tried to run away, the soldiers continued to fire, as one ran into a corrugated metal shed and another into a cemetery. After they sprayed the shed with bullets, a gas cylinder in it caught fire. "We had a killed policeman, another one in this burning inferno, and a third one, escaping. We ran after him into a graveyard ... stood on the surrounding wall and shot at him. We killed him too."

The soldier said that no fire had been returned by the Palestinians and added: "Later we understood, that not one of them ... was armed." He added that he had inspected the "completely smashed" body of the man in the graveyard after shooting at it to "confirm the kill" and that it was of "a guy in his mid-50s or 60s, very old."

The accounts were originally given to the "Breaking the Silence" group of young former soldiers which is critical of methods used by the army in the occupied territories.

One of the group's spokesmen, Avichai Sharon, a former member of the crack Golani Brigade, claimed the operations on 20 February 2002 were ordered "from high"­ including the Ministry of Defence­ and added: "In my eyes, this is a very harsh example of crossing the moral and human boundaries."

He said it indicated that "we are not a defence force any more but a tribe which avenges in blood. As an Israeli, I fear this."

He said the soldiers, whose testimony appears in today's Maariv, had not been named "for legal reasons".

Describing another attack on the same day at the Beit Ha Mitbachayim checkpoint on the eastern edge of Nablus ­ in which fire was returned by Palestinian police ­ the other soldier, from the Tzanchanim Paratroop Reconnaissance Unit, said that the order to shoot at Palestinians had given by the unit commander and the brigade commander, a Brigadier Cochavi, had been present at the time.

He said the policemen were ones who normally would have been warned by Israeli liaison officers about any military operations due to take place in their area.

The Israeli Defence Forces said last night that checkpoints attacked on the day in question had included ones where Palestinian police had "actively assisted ... terrorists" by facilitating their passage. The IDF had been instructed by the "political echelon" to change its mode of operation. It had been decided that the IDF would "hunt down all those involved in terror" including members of the Palestinian security apparatus until the PA prevented such attacks. As Israel released 400 Palestinian prisoners yesterday, Dov Weisglass, senior aide to Ariel Sharon, indicated the dismantlement of illegal settlement outposts ­ a demand by the US ­would have to wait until after Gaza disengagement.

Comment: Note the repeated mind programming that Palestinians who defend themselves against a brutal an oppressive government and military that has robbed them of their land and livelihood, are "terrorists." Those who seek freedom and justice in this world are demonised and those who prey on the innocent and defenceless are glorified.

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Top Israeli news anchor attacks occupation
Chris McGreal in Jerusalem
Wednesday June 1, 2005
The Guardian

The revered anchor of Israel's Channel One news programme for more than three decades has caused controversy by making a personalised documentary in which he concludes that Jewish settlements are endangering the country and that the occupation of Palestinian land is a crime.

"Since 1967, we have been brutal conquerors, occupiers, suppressing another people," Haim Yavin, who was a founder of Channel One and once its chief editor, says in the programme.

Even before the five-part series opened last night, settler leaders were calling for the 72-year-old, known as "Mr Television", to be sacked, because they said he was no longer objective.

The documentary would be sensitive in Israel at any time, but particularly now in the weeks before the government plans to remove thousands of Jewish settlers from the Gaza Strip and a small part of the West Bank.

Channel One turned down the documentary and it is being shown on a rival channel that recently lost its licence and is about to go off air.

The series is a the result of Yavin's visits during more than two years to the West Bank and Gaza Strip, carrying a small camera to film ordinary people - some of the 400,000 Jewish settlers, Palestinian residents and Israeli soldiers - in the territories.

"My intention was to get the personal feelings of the settlers, of the Palestinians," Yavin told the Guardian yesterday. "It has strengthened my former opinion that we have to come to terms with the Palestinians; they are not all terrorists.

"Some of my friends on the left hate the settlers. I don't hate them, I appreciate them. I even like them, but I say in the documentary that I think they are wrong and they are endangering us."

The experience has left Yavin more pessimistic about the prospects for peace. "I think the majority of Palestinians and the majority of Israelis want peace and they're willing to divide the country," he said. "But there's such mistrust. Hamas terrorism did such damage to both peoples that I don't think it can be repaired."

He not only questions the settlements and the occupation, but the commitment of successive governments, including Ariel Sharon's, to curbing Israel's hunger for land and the expansion of its colonies.

"This merrymaking will never be stopped," he said. "I regard this as a Greek tragedy. I don't see any solution."

Settler leaders have reacted furiously to the series, saying it will "divide Israeli society". The head of the settler council, Benzi Lieberman, has called for Yavin to be removed as Channel One's news anchor.

"Even if his opinions and the manner in which he presents them may be considered legitimate, his continued serving in the objective newscaster's position constitutes a blow to media ethics and professional integrity," he said.

Among those filmed by Mr Yavin is an Israeli soldier in Hebron who wonders how his compatriots can remain silent in the face of the "horrors" the army commits, and the settlers who ask him why he's not shooting Palestinian children.

Some settlers tell Yavin that the Palestinians must be given a deadline to leave the occupied territories or be forced out. "Otherwise we should just bomb and kill them," says one woman.

· Jerusalem city council has issued orders to demolish the homes of hundreds of Palestinians in an area that Israeli settlers want to be turned into a Jewish neighbourhood.

The council, which has initially ordered 88 buildings to be razed, says it intends to make the Silwan area, just outside the Old City walls, a national park. Palestinian officials say that the real intent is to clear the area for settlers.

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Israel says Syria test-fired 3 missiles
01:16 AM EDT Jun 03

NEW YORK (AP) - Syria test-fired three Scud missiles last Friday, including one that broke up over Turkish territory and showered missile parts onto Turkish farmers, the New York Times newspaper quoted Israeli military officials saying.

These were the first such Syrian missile tests since 2001, the paper's website quoted the Israelis saying, and are part of a Syrian missile-development project using North Korean technology and designed, the Israelis contend, to deliver air-burst chemical weapons.

The missiles included one older Scud B, with a range of about 300 kilometres, and two Scud D's with a range of about 700 kilometres, the Times' sites said late Thursday, quoting Israeli officials.

Little was especially startling about the tests, Israeli officials said, except the embarrassment to Turkey - a member of NATO - and the timing, during the Lebanese elections, the Times said.

The Israeli military officials quoted by the Times said they interpreted the launchings as a gesture of defiance to the United States and the United Nations by Syrian President Bashar Assad, who has been pushed to remove Syrian troops from Lebanon since the assassination of the anti-Syrian politician, Rafik Hariri.

The Times said Israeli officials, who are familiar with the intelligence but asked their names or departments not be identified, decided to publicize the tests in part because they were puzzled by U.S. silence about them and because Israel sees them as part of a troubling pattern of behaviour by Assad. [...]

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Samir Kassir, R.I.P.
Michael Young

Days after the election, a feisty Lebanese journalist is murdered. Why?

Journalists dread the moments they have to write the obituary of a person they know, but when it's a colleague and a close friend the effort becomes a penance. This morning, Samir Kassir, whom I interviewed about a year ago for Reason, was killed by a bomb placed in or under his car. Samir was many good things to his many friends, but he was also, undeniably, the media figure who contributed the most to denouncing the hegemony over Lebanon of the Syrian and Lebanese intelligence services.

Who killed Samir? Perhaps this comment from a municipal worker at the site of the explosion pointed in a general direction: "The army doesn't forgive its critics." However, it would be more accurate to say that Samir had enemies throughout the security and intelligence apparatus, largely because he was so effectively insolent in denouncing their hold on Lebanese political life. Several years ago, the head of the General Security Directorate, Jamil al-Sayyed, once the most powerful man in Lebanon after the Syrian officer tasked to manage the country, had his men tail and harass Samir for weeks because he had written an article critical of Sayyed. At the time, a number of politicians had asked Samir to ride with them as a means of expressing their solidarity. This included former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, though, as Samir later told me, the only ones who pulled out guns and threatened to shoot Sayyed's goons were the bodyguards of Druze leader Walid Jumblatt.

What was the message in the killing? There were many. It was, first, a settling of scores for past affronts; it was a warning to the opposition (Samir was a leading figure in the Democratic Left movement, one of the parties that had demanded a Syrian pullout from Lebanon); it was also a warning to the press to shut up; and it was an affirmation that no one should envisage profound change in the security services, or contemplate removing the person sitting atop the security edifice, Lebanese President Emile Lahoud. Indeed, both Jumblatt and the son of Rafik Hariri, Saadeddine, have made it clear that among their first priorities after Lebanon's parliamentary elections end in late June will be to remove the president. Hariri in particular believes that the security services, working on behalf of Syria, were deeply involved in the assassination of his father.

I first met Samir more than a decade ago in the offices of Al-Nahar, Lebanon's leading daily newspaper. He was young, stylish, arrogant, and sanguine, irresistibly so, and he had the brilliance to pull all that off. He was also someone, I steadily learned, who had the patience to listen. That came with the territory of teaching at St. Joseph's University, where he always had time for students and a willingness to take them seriously. His behavior also confirmed that under that brashness was a hefty reservoir of modesty.

In the mid-1990s, Samir was asked to edit a French-language magazine titled L'Orient-Express. It was a monthly supplement to the sleepy French-language newspaper in Beirut, but it retained editorial independence. Almost immediately, the magazine became one of the most stimulating political-cultural publications in town, as Samir became axle to dozens of eager spokes; most of the contributors were not quite sure they could write until they fell into Samir's overpowering mill. He would berate, provoke, and motivate; and I still remember with delight how, with deadlines already past, he would calmly edit a piece, munch on a sandwich, carry on a conversation with three people, and pull on a cigarette.

In the end the magazine suffered because of its success. Advertisers saw a profitable product, so they tried to transform it into a society rag. When Samir refused to be pushed around, they withheld advertising as punishment, and the publication slowly died. The quality of the content also set off alarm bells in the offices of the editors of the daily paper, who knew it only highlighted the mediocrity of their own endeavors. They asked their owner to pull the plug on the magazine, and he reluctantly obliged. At around that time I saw Samir driving a flashy new car, a dark blue Audi: It was to infuriate his detractors, he told me with a smirk.

Samir will best be remembered for his weekly column in the Friday edition of Al-Nahar. One of the first at the site of his murder was Jubran Tueni, the paper's publisher who was recently elected a parliamentarian from Beirut. He radiated disbelief, though he and Samir had had their political differences. It was Jubran's father, the distinguished Ghassan Tueni, who had hired Samir and who, like him, had a mind in effervescent counterpoint. There was something paternal in the relationship, and it was with pride that Ghassan seemed to survey how gamely Samir chipped away at the cheap masonry of the Syrian order. There was also in Ghassan and Samir a common sympathy for the Arab world and its aspirations and follies - the attention of two Greek Orthodox Christians who regarded their minority's isolation from the surrounding region as absurd.

The last article Samir wrote was about a country for which he had a passion, Syria. His enthusiasm was not for the despotism of the Assad regime or the contemptible kleptocracy its has presided over; it was for the Syrian people and the opposition; for those countless men and women thrown into the dungeons of the Baath Party during the past decades - all of them victims of exceedingly stupid men. His column (which Syrians could only read in samizdat, Al-Nahar being denied entry into Syria) lamented the fate of a group of civil society activists from the Jamal Atasi forum, and their imprisonment for having dared allow the reading in their discussion group of a letter sent by the leader of the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood. Amid general outrage, several of those arrested were released earlier this week. Samir surely had a small part in that the minor victory.

Nor could Samir quite forgive how the Syrians had once tried to swallow the Palestinian cause, to transform it into a branch of their foreign policy. The lingering thread throughout his work was the Palestinians and the tragedy of their recent history. It was revealing how when Sayyed tightened the screws, he accused Samir of being Palestinian, confiscating his passport to allegedly investigate whether his claims to Lebanese citizenship were valid. It was a profoundly vulgar effort, both for implying that one was somehow tainted by being Palestinian and for ignoring that the Kassirs were originally Beirutis who had emigrated to Palestine, before returning.

Throughout Beirut today there is a single regret: that Samir's foes should have gotten him even as the fetid system they spent years setting up slowly collapses. In response to a piece I had published by Samir last year, the newspaper for which I work received a telephone call. "Why are you publishing Samir Kassir?" the person on the line demanded, in lieu of a direct threat. Well, here's the answer: Because Samir Kassir had balls in a country that under Syrian rule spawned cowards and sycophants; he had ideas and openness in a system that rewarded mediocrity and intolerance; and he had the compelling scornfulness for imposed authority that so irritated his murderers - and that we will continue to relish when this cowardly confederacy is kicked into a shallow grave.

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Police Discover Ring of Neo-Nazi Immigrants From FSU
20:23 Jun 01, '05 / 23 Iyar 5765

Israel’s police have uncovered a group of at least 20 neo-Nazis who immigrated to Israel from the Former Soviet Union under the Law of Return.

Police are not certain how to proceed due to the lack of legal basis for prosecuting Israelis espousing anti-Semitic ideology.

The neo-Nazi group was discovered following the arrest of a 20-year-old IDF soldier on drug charges. That resulted in the discovery of neo-Nazi material in his home and a swastika tattooed on his arm.

During the investigation of the arrested neo-Nazi and his mother, who also professed hatred for Jews and Israel, other members of the group were revealed. Police detective Haim Fadlon told the Maariv newspaper that the suspects are believed to have met each other in anti-Semitic chat rooms on the Internet. They have held meeting and performed ceremonies with swastika banners and other Nazi paraphernalia as well.

"We cannot disclose details of the inquiry, but it's chilling," Fadlon said. "It appears these are people living in this country who are talking among themselves about extermination of the Jews."

Under the current 'Law of Return,' anybody with a Jewish grandparent can immigrate to Israel and receive citizenship and benefits. Immigrant groups representing Jews from the former Soviet Union have long called for reform in the law due to immigrants moving to Israel for financial reasons, bringing their enmity for Jews and Israel along with them.

Interior Minister Ofir Pines-Paz has asked Attorney General Menachem Mazuz to interpret the law regarding new immigrants and citizenship to examine the legal procedure under which a new immigrant’s status can be revoked.

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Report: Russia threatens retaliatory steps if any country deploys weapons in space
Associated Press
June 2, 2005

MOSCOW (AP) - Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov on Thursday threatened retaliatory steps if any country deploys weapons in space, Russian news agencies.

"Russia's position on this question has not changed for decades: We are categorically against the militarization of space," Ivanov said, according to the Interfax news agency.

"If some state begins to realize such plans, then we doubtless will take adequate retaliatory measures," ITAR-Tass quoted him as saying at the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

The U.S. administration currently is reviewing the U.S. space policy doctrine. Last month, White House spokesman Scott McClellan told reporters that the policy review was not considering the weaponization of space. But he said new threats to U.S. satellites have emerged in the years since the U.S. space doctrine was last reviewed in 1996, and those satellites must be protected.

In 2002, after the United States withdrew from the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, China and Russia submitted a proposal for a new international treaty to ban weapons in outer space.

But the United States has said it sees no need for any new space arms control agreements. It is party to the 1967 Outer Space Treaty, which prohibits stationing weapons of mass destruction in space.

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Canada unhappy with U.S. passenger list proposal
Wed June 1, 2005 5:37 PM GMT-04:00
By David Ljunggren

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canada is "very worried" by a U.S. proposal that its airlines provide passenger lists for planes flying through American airspace rather than actually landing in the United States, Transport Minister Jean Lapierre said on Wednesday.

Lapierre said the proposal could have "a major effect" on Canadian sovereignty since flights between Canadian cities are often routed over U.S. territory to save fuel.

Of the 160,000 Canadian flights that enter U.S. airspace every year, around 120,000 are traveling domestically.

After the Sept. 11 suicide attacks, U.S. authorities drew up a watch list -- or no-fly list -- of suspected terrorists who were barred from boarding a flight to the United States.

Lapierre said Washington was now considering whether to expand the system and demand passenger lists for Canadian aircraft that merely intended to fly through U.S. airspace.

"I'm very worried about it ... right now we're in discussion with the Americans," he told reporters.

"We don't think it's a good idea that Canadians traveling from one (Canadian) city to another would have to be checked (against) the American no-fly list."

The issue reflects fears among some Canadians that the country's sovereignty could be harmed by the U.S. administration's crackdown on terrorism.

Last year the province of British Columbia imposed controls on private data firms to prevent them from sharing information about Canadians with U.S. authorities.

The left-leaning New Democratic Party, which is keeping the minority Liberal government in power, said the passenger list proposal was unacceptable.

"This is certainly a step toward the kind of deeper integration between our two countries that I think a lot of Canadians are concerned about," said party leader Jack Layton.

Lapierre said the new proposal was prompted by the case of a KLM Royal Dutch Airlines flight from Amsterdam to Mexico that was barred from flying over American airspace in April because two passengers were found to be on the no-fly list. [...]

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Suspicious package found at Australian parliament
03 June 2005 0935 hrs

SYDNEY : A suspicious package was found Friday in Australia's parliament in Canberra and taken for testing, two days after the Indonesian embassy was sealed off when a similar packet was discovered, officials said.

A loading dock in the bowels of parliament house was closed off because of concerns over suspicious powder from a package, a parliamentary spokesman said.

Police and fire brigade were on the scene, he said, although the parliament building has not been evacuated.

"Police have responded and have secured the package for testing," a police spokeswoman told AFP.

The incident came two days after nearly 50 staff at the Indonesian embassy in Canberra were placed in isolation after white powder spilled from an envelope addressed to Ambassador Imron Cotan. [...]

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Five killed in Khartoum plane crash
02 June 2005 1950 hrs - AFP

KHARTOUM : Five people were killed and almost 30 others injured as a private Sudanese plane crashed on take-off from Khartoum, airport authorities said.

"The plane aborted its take-off and crashed at the end of the runway," an airport official said.

"It had 34 people on board, of whom five died on the spot and the other 29 were injured, some of them seriously."

The plane, belonging to the private firm Marsland which runs a domestic service, was due to fly from the capital to El-Obeid in central Sudan and on to El-Fasher in the troubled western region of Darfur.

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Costa Rican plane crash may have killed Canadian skydiver
Last Updated Thu, 02 Jun 2005 19:51:40 EDT
CBC News

A Canadian is believed to be among the victims of a plane crash in Costa Rica.

At least two people died and three others are missing after the plane carrying a group of skydivers crashed into the Pacific Ocean on Tuesday afternoon.

One man, William Slater, 34, who was aboard the plane, was rescued and is in hospital in San Jose.

Slater told authorities that he and two other people jumped from the plane when it encountered severe turbulence. He spent many hours in the water and was not rescued until Wednesday. [...]

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7-year-old boy kills baby: police
03 June 2005 0351 hrs -AFP /ls

MIAMI : A seven-year-old boy beat his seven-month-old sister to death with a board, Tampa police said, and Florida authorities are trying to figure out how to charge him.

On May 22, the boy, whose identity was not revealed, was in Tampa visiting his father, who was outside with his girlfriend when the boy ran out to tell them that the baby was bleeding, authorities said on Wednesday. The parents of the baby, Jayza Laney Simms, entered the house and saw she was bleeding from the nose and not breathing.

The boy denied having touched the baby until he was confronted with the results of the autopsy.

"He then admitted that he kicked, punched and hit his seven-month-old (half) sister in the head with a two-by-four," a piece of construction lumber two by four inches (five by 10 centimeters), said Tampa police spokeswoman Laura McElroy.

She said that the boy was apparently jealous of the sister, who would not stop crying.

"The veteran detectives that worked in this case said they had never seen a child -- who's only seven -- who has shown so much violence and shown so little remorse for hurting his little sister," she said.

Prosecutors are looking at how they can try him, McElroy said. The boy is in his mother's custody, she said.

Last week, a 17-year-old boy was charged as an adult in Palm Beach, Florida for allegedly raping an eight-year-old girl and burying her alive in a garbage dump.

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Three children quizzed over attack

Detectives were continuing to question three children today over the attempted murder of a five-year-old boy who was found with horrific ligature-type marks around his neck.

Anthony Hinchliffe is believed to have been taken from his mother’s back garden and led to a nearby wood, where he suffered neck injuries and bruising to his body.

Detectives – who are treating the incident as attempted murder – have refused to confirm reports that the youngster sustained his injuries through being hanged.

Two girls and a boy – aged between 11 and 12 – were continuing to be questioned over the incident at Dewsbury police station today. Two boys, who had also been arrested, were released without charge last night.

The incident bears chilling similarities to the 1993 murder of Merseyside toddler James Bulger, who was led away by two 10-year-old boys while waiting for his mother outside a shop.

Anthony was found in a distraught state by his 22-year-old cousin Tracey Jones and a member of the public yesterday in a wooded area close to the Earlsheaton Medical Centre in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire.

As well as the ligature marks, there was bruising on his body.

Four local children – two girls aged 11 and 12 and two boys aged 11 and 12 - were arrested on suspicion of attempted murder. [...]

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Photoshop For DNA
Matthew Herper
06.01.05, 6:00 AM ET

NEW YORK - A biotech brain trust is starting a new company that hopes to make a leap for genetic engineering that is comparable to moving from an old mainframe computer to a smaller, faster PC.

The new firm, Codon Devices, is aiming to perfect a new technology that would allow scientists to edit sequences of DNA with never-before-seen ease. The leap might be akin to going from having to correct articles with Wite-Out to editing them onscreen with a word processor. The goal is to move from having to merely tweak the proteins that are used as biotech drugs to being able to design them, even taking material from multiple organisms and using them to create new, functional genes.

"I think if we pull it off, it changes everything to do with our interaction with the living world," says Drew Endy, a young MIT professor who is one of the company's co-founders. "We'll see if it works."

In recent years, scientists have sequenced the genetic code of a wide array of organisms, ranging from mice, humans and fish to common bacterial pathogens and plants like rice and corn. That creates a giant library of genetic material that could bring a bonanza of new industrial enzymes, new biotech crops and, eventually, new cures. But scientists can't just mix and match genes. They are bound by the time-consuming techniques that first allowed researchers to manipulate genes 30 years ago, leading to the founding of such biotech firms as Genentech, Amgen and Biogen Idec.

As it stands, most biologists spend half their time or more manipulating DNA, taking it from one cell to another, from one organism to the next, cleaving one piece laboriously to another, making only small tweaks. But Codon's founders are working on new techniques to make it possible to synthesize DNA much more easily, even connecting bits taken from different species. Jay Keasling, a professor at U.C. Berkeley and a Codon co-founder, has already received a $42.6 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, through the non-profit organization OneWorld Health, to use the technology to work on developing an antimalaria medicine.

"The difference between science and engineering is the difference between discovery and design," says Noubar Afayan, a principal at Flagship Ventures and the chairman of Codon Devices. Flagship is the founding investor in the tiny Cambridge, Mass.-based company, and it took the lead on Codon's series-A round of venture financing. Other investors include Alloy Ventures, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Vinod Khosla, who co-founded Sun Microsystems. Mike Hunkapillar of Alloy Ventures, who led Applied Biosystems when the company's DNA sequencing machines were being used to fuel the gene-mapping craze, will sit on the company's board of directors.

The potential is that engineers could eventually edit together sequences of DNA instead of relying on what nature has given.

"We're at the beginning of this new field of biological engineering where you can start to put together a lot of different parts and get a new function," says Samir Kaul, a principal at Flagship Ventures who is serving as Codon's chief executive. For some, that could lead to uneasiness--the same techniques could allow scientists in biotech to make even bigger leaps than they have before. Whereas cells and plants have been modified in small ways, larger alterations might be possible.

Yet Codon Devices is likely to have more pressing matters to face--such as turning its new technology into practical tools for biologists. George Church, a Harvard professor who will chair the company's scientific advisory board, just published a landmark paper in Nature on the synthetic DNA. But it's going to take more than big-time journal publications to change the biotech industry, not to mention the world.

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74 beached whales rescued in Australia
Associated Press

BUSSELTON, Australia - Dozens of volunteers in wetsuits and woolly hats braved chilly seas Thursday to push scores of false killer whales that had beached themselves on Australia's western coast back out to sea.

One of the dolphin-sized mammals died, but rescuers refloated 74 others.

Two groups of the marine mammals ran aground on separate beaches at Busselton, 225 kilometres south of the Western Australia state capital of Perth.

Volunteers responding to the state government's call for help pushed one group of about 15 whales back into the ocean and were holding them in shallow waters while the animals regained their strength.

The rest of the whales were herded back into the water a short time later, said Greg Mair of Western Australia's Department of Conservation and Land Management.

Whales have stranded themselves in the area before, and scientists are at a loss to explain why.

Volunteer Deidre Beckwith said she was shocked at the scene when she arrived at the beach.

The whales "are very heavy, and they keep moving against us. They are confused,'' Beckwith told the Australian Associated Press. "It was extraordinary to see it, but it is nice to be able to help them. We just hope they survive.''

One five-metre-long whale died before it could be pushed to sea.

False killer whales, or pseudorca crassidens, have a history of beaching on the Australian west coast. In 1986, 114 beached near Augusta, south of Busselton. Of those, 96 were returned to sea and the remainder died.

In April, a pod of 19 pilot whales were stranded on a beach near Busselton for more than a day before most of them were coaxed back to sea. Six died.

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Bird flu: we're all going to die
By Charles Arthur
Published Thursday 2nd June 2005 11:25 GMT

The theme of the person awaking from a deep sleep or coma to find a world utterly changed is a popular one in science fiction. From John Wyndham's book The Day of The Triffids through The Omega Man to the recent film 28 Days Later, the trope of the man arising from his hospital bed to find that nothing is as it was has become well-worn.

That's fine - as long as it remains just a story. But if - when - a flu pandemic comes, and millions of people die around the world over a period of months, the reality will be one of two alternatives. It's either going to be like those films, with videoconferencing suddenly all the rage, local farm produce making a big profit, empty supermarket shelves (you have to ship the oil, and distribute the fuel, but can the Armed Forces really do all that?), tumbleweed blowing in the streets, a medieval attitude to anyone not from "around here".

Or else governments will impose a police state that will make all the ID cards and airport checks look like a tea party. You'd not be allowed to move anywhere without showing off a vaccination certificate. (Sure, you'd get those on the black market, and they'd cost more than £300, but would you really want them? If you're not vaccinated would you really want to travel among people who might be carriers?) Or it might be both at once.

One more thing. You might well be one of those millions who die in such a pandemic. If you travel to work on public transport; if colleagues in your company travel by air to Asia; if you're travelling abroad through a busy airport. You'll probably touch someone or share air with someone who's infected. The premise of Terry Gilliam's Twelve Monkeys will become reality.

You may think this is overblown. But discussion of the possibility of a flu pandemic has fallen out of the news. And as the security consultant Bruce Schneier says: "One of the things I routinely tell people is that if it's in the news, don't worry about it. By definition, 'news' means that it hardly ever happens. If a risk is in the news, then it's probably not worth worrying about. When something is no longer reported - automobile deaths, domestic violence - when it's so common that it's not news, then you should start worrying." [...]

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Barren Island volcano erupts again
Chennai Online News

Port Blair, June 3: Fresh eruptions were noticed this morning at the volcano in Barren Island, India's only live volcano 135 km from here.

Coast Guard Dornier aircraft on regular sorties to the island reported a plume of thick smoke, fresh lava and steam coming out from the crater.

Coast Guard DIG S P S Basra told newspersons that the volcano had shown activity after being dormant for three consecutive days due to incessant monsoon rains.

"It is spewing out lava and stones again since 7.30 this morning", Basra said.

The Coast Guard was carrying out inspection sorties since this morning, he added.

The volcano had erupted on May 28 after remaining dormant for 10 years. (Agencies)

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Moderately strong earthquake hits southern Japan
Friday June 3, 2005

TOKYO (AP) - A moderately strong earthquake shook southern Japan early Friday. There were no immediate reports of damage or injuries.

The magnitude-4.8 earthquake was strong enough to measure as high as 5 on the 7-level Japanese seismic intensity scale - a better indicator of how strongly a quake is felt on the ground - according to Japan's Meteorological Agency.

"There have been a series of magnitude-5 level earthquakes in this area in the past,'' Kyodo News quoted Meteorological Agency official Masahiro Yamamoto reporters at an early morning news conference following the temblor.

"We would like to keep a careful watch (on the situation),'' he said.

The quake, which struck at 4:16 a.m. (1915 GMT Thursday) was centered about 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) underground near the Amakusaashikita region of Kumamoto prefecture, about 900 kilometers (570 miles) southwest of Tokyo.

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Strong earthquake hits Indonesian island
Agence France-Presse
Jakarta, June 3, 2005

An earthquake measuring 5.6 on the Richter scale shook the Indonesian island of Nias on Friday, but there were no immediate reports of casualties or property damage, a meteorologist said.

The offshore quake hit at 7:41 am (1241 GMT), with the epicenter 62 kilometers (20.5 miles) west of the main town of Gunung Sitoli, at a depth of 33 kilometres, said Yono of the Jakarta meteorology office.

On March 28, an 8.7-magnitude earthquake killed more than 900 people on Nias off the southwest coast of Sumatra.

Indonesia sits on the so-called Pacific Rim of Fire, where the meeting of continental plates causes high volcanic and seismic activity.

A 9.3-magnitude quake along the same fault-line as Thursday's tremor triggered last year's Indian Ocean tsunami disaster which left more than 217,000 people dead or missing.

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Earthquake rattles the Mid-South
June 3, 2005, 0-1:55 AM

Another temblor shook the needle at the University of Memphis Earthquake Resource Center. The nearly 4-point-zero magnitude quake was recorded just after 6:30 Thursday morning. Almost everyone we talked with felt or heard the earthquake. All of them said they won't forget it anytime soon. We traveled north to Dyersburg, where hours after the quake, residents were rattled. No visible sign of an earthquake in Dyersburg. Talk of the earthquake was hot. Andrea Pope said, "Felt like a semi that had come that close to my house." Dave Keedy said, 'If you've ever been around a place that had a sonic boom, that's what it sounded like. It was two times. Boom, Boom. The first louder than the second. There was no shaking or anything like that." But mother earth's movement shook five year old Treavor Jones. Now his father worries the big one's on the way. Danny Jones said, "It concerns you. It's always in the back of my mind, cause they keep predicting that sometime in the near future we're going to have the next big one. But you just go on and live your life." That's the attitude of most residents. They just hope the big one is years away.

Comment: Don't bet on it.

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Molecular milestone

Canadian nanotechology team designs tiny switch to greatly increase speeds of computers

Canadian researchers have created simple but robust computing components barely thicker than a single molecule, a necessary first step to building computers millions of times faster than today's most powerful PCs.

The spectacular advance, reported today in Nature magazine, also offers the prospect of computerized sensors navigating bloodstreams to diagnose health problems and anti-terrorism devices capable of detecting as little as a single molecule of a toxic substance.

Avik Ghosh, a computing expert, predicted such sensor applications would hit the marketplace within a decade, while demand for molecular computers would take longer to develop.

"This is a tour de force in terms of chemistry," said Ghosh, a computing researcher at Indiana's Purdue University.

A research team from the National Institute for Nanotechnology and the University of Alberta in Edmonton used a single molecule of styrene, the stuff in disposable cups, to drastically shrink the on-off transistor switch — the basic building block of computer processors.

The styrene molecule replaced the much larger conducting paths currently etched into silicon wafers.

Lead nanotechnologist Robert Wolkow said the process initially would allow switches to be "100 to 1,000 times smaller.

"So that means the switches can be placed much closer together and will work a lot faster because the current doesn't have as far to travel. At least 100 times faster to start with," said Wolkow.

The prototype "nanoswitch" is less than one nanometre thick, meaning that 10,000 would fit in the width of a human hair. [...]

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Manitoba reeling from tornadoes, heavy rains
Last Updated Thu, 02 Jun 2005 20:09:08 EDT
CBC News

Manitoba was under tornado and flood watches on Thursday after a day of exceptionally heavy rain and eyewitness reports of two tornadoes touching down in the province's southwestern corner Wednesday night.

Heavy rains have been pummelling the same region of the province, giving some communities more rainfall in a single day than they usually see in half a year.

"This is very, very unusual," said provincial flood forecaster Alf Warkentin. "This kind of storm is going to be, according to our statistics, a 100-year event kind of thing."

A band of heavy rain stretching from the upper third of North Dakota to Manitoba's Riding Mountain National Park dropped between 150 and 175 millimetres of rain. Some isolated regions have reported receiving as much as 300 millimetres of rain.

The weather office in Melita reported 33 millimetres of rain in just one hour Wednesday. A trailer park in the community was flooded, as were many farmers' fields. [...]

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