Tuesday, July 19, 2005                                               The Daily Battle Against Subjectivity
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Higher Consciousness
SOTT Commentary
July 19, 2005

The sixties defined higher consciousness as psychedelic LSD trips with whirling colours and a perception of the world that seemed immediate and more real than our everyday consciousness, where the emergence of a word to describe any object was so incapable of transmitting the experience of the object that it was best to remain silent. Seeing and understanding were beyond words.

The tradition of magick in the West that has so many strands that go back to the Golden Dawn emphasises the idea that we can control the world around us and bend and shape it to our will.

Theosophy spoke of Ascended Masters who guide our development, watching over us, with whom we can enter into contact to be guided in our own lives.

These ideas are found in the vast majority of so-called spiritual paths promoted in the West today. Often dialogue with people becomes impossible when they resort to the argument that "I know what I experienced and there's no way you can judge it" when pressed about their beliefs. Or "channeled" information is believed and accepted simply because it came through an extraordinary experience, not because the information contained has been independently verified. We still get emails from readers who send us such word salad proclaiming that we will be saved if only we "believe" and "look to the light". People are looking for their "guides", for some other authority to tell them what to do rather than the much more difficult work of figuring out life's problems for oneself. But because they hear voices that are so reassuring and "full of love", they think they are having a "spiritual" experience.

These ideas have shaped our expectations of what spirituality really is, defined our assumptions and anticipations when we embark on what we think is the spiritual path, and finally limit what we seek and what we find. If a teaching isn't "other worldly" enough, we have a mechanical reaction to dismiss it as not being "spiritual". This reaction has been programmed into us, which is one reason why we think that Gurdjieff's description of man as a completely mechanical being is accurate and just.

Our own idea is that spiritual work is much more mundane, that the goal is to see this world as clearly and objectively as possible, to understand the forces at work on our level of existence, and not to try and escape from all the horrors in front of us by ascending to the higher realms while our bodies continue to be subject to the laws of this world. If we are mechanical beings, then the goal is to become less mechanical, to understand our machine and take control of it. Such work is much less trippy than astral travel and demands rigourous awareness and sacrifice. Therefore, it will be less popular in our world of ego gratification and its derivative ideas of "you create your own reality" or "if you shut the negative out of your life, it won't affect you". People who equate "spirituality" with "happiness" or "stress reduction" will not be drawn to a path that demands constant attention to one's thoughts and actions and a rigorous struggle against all forms of automatic behaviour.

However, it is true that there are many "unworldly" things that happen in our world, things that cannot be explained by science and that are therefore dismissed and rejected by those who place rational thinking above an openness to what is. The calculated dismissal and ridicule of these topics and those who investigate them on the part of the scientific community only reinforces the assumptions outlined above among spiritual seekers because enough evidence documenting such experiences exists to suggest that the hard-core materialist scientists who deny it are acting in bad faith -- or are perhaps incapable of seeing them because of their own genetics. Thus the two poles reinforce each other's positions, digging a larger and larger chasm between them, and straw men can be set up on both sides in arguments that pass for refutations of one or the other point of view.

We deal with these anomalous issues from time to time on the Signs page, but it is neither the main focus of our work, nor our major preoccupation. Such events are interesting to us because they help us to see that the world is a very much stranger place than mainstream science would have us believe. The accumulation of evidence points to the reality of the existence of higher planes of existence, to the existence of beings from these realms who have intervened throughout history to influence us in ways very detrimental to our existence, and who call themselves our gods. While our science may not yet be able to incorporate this data into its theories, that is a shortcoming of our science, not a refutation of its reality.

One day science may well have the proof.

Spirituality for us might be defined as the science of what is, and because our own beliefs and assumptions play such an important role in shaping our perception of the world, rooting our these assumptions is the starting point. Some of these assumptions are easy to identify and fairly easy to remove. Many people go through this process naturally to some extent as they learn and grow. However, there are layers that are so deep that we are incapable of seeing them ourselves.

These are our sacred cows.

Sacred cows are best worked on with others who are doing the same work. It is easier to see the mote in another's eye than in your own. It is not so easy to put them into question once identified.

As our sacred cows are rooted out, we are able to see the world with fewer and fewer filters. We no longer have the automatic faith in our leaders that would blind us to the possibility that the "terrorist" attacks that have made headlines in the Western countries are the work of our own governments or their allies. We no longer believe that "our leaders would never do such a thing" because the facts tell us otherwise. Innocents are slaughtered time and again to achieve the agenda of the people in power.

We are also able to read the geological and archaeological record and see that evolution and geological development do not develop in a linear, peaceful way. There are many moments of discontinuity, of quantum jumps when chaos and disorder reign, moments of transition when the earth and its societies are thrown into upheaval.

The study of complex systems and chaos theory shows us that such developments are completely natural and should be expected, and that periods of turbulence can be the sign that such a phase transition is on its way.

For us, higher consciousness is the ability to see these things, the ability to discern the invisible hand behind them, that is, the play between creation and entropy, and the existence of a real entropic force in our world. Gurdjieff and Mouravieff call this force the General Law, a force that works to keep us in our place, anchored to our sacred cows.

Many people write to us and wonder what it is they should do in the face of the horrors of our world. We think that the first step is to begin the process of overcoming our own mechanical natures and to learn to see the world without our filters. If we cannot see the world clearly, how can we expect to act in a way that will not add more chaos? We add chaos every time we try to "save" someone or impose our ideas on someone who hasn't asked. In such cases, we are violating the free will of the person we are attempting to influence. They have the right to their ideas. We have no business imposing our own. Coming to an understanding of this question can be a long and painful process as the people we wish to "save" may be very close such as family members or friends. The reality of the General Law is so obvious and clear once it is identified that we can forget how much effort it took to see it for ourselves. It will not be patently obvious to others when we try and point it out. Each person must learn to see it for themselves.

Needless to say, many people react strongly against the idea that we can learn to see the world objectively. They believe that we each have our own truth, and that truth is what we make it. This idea is a form of the "you create your own reality" meme. It has sunk deep roots in Western countries where the idea of the rights of the individual have been promoted so strongly to the detriment of the idea of communal rights. Unfortunately, communal rights have also been used to limit the freedoms of individuals, but such a dialectic is normal in a world where our individualities are shaped by consumer culture. How can mechanical beings such as we are have any real sense of what true freedom might be? Once more, our filters and sacred cows come into play.

The process we are describing is a long one. Our work on Signs of the Times is in a certain sense the documentation of our attempts to come to grips with our own sacred cows. Our comments change as we gather more data and as the work we do to shed our own filters deepens. In the end, it is the direction we are heading that is important. We are each at different places on the road heading for an elusive goal known as the truth.

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Recipe for extinction

Criminal governments, corrupt media, comatose public: the perfect combination to permanently eradicate the human species
By John Kaminski
skylax@comcast.net

I have a recurring dream. I am on an airplane, sitting in a window seat, gazing contentedly out the window at the tops of puffy clouds and microscopic towns far below, gabbing amiably with the passenger next to me. Soon it becomes apparent that we disagree about our scheduled destination. He insists it's L.A.; I say New York.

As I begin to stir in my seat to get up to ask a flight attendant to settle our dispute, we notice the busy stewardesses are conducting an odd exercise. With polite smiles, they are choosing random passengers one by one, and escorting them to the emergency escape hatch. First a boy clutching his skateboard, then a middle-aged woman in a black business suit, then a soccer mom grasping the small hand of her toddler, all willingly step out into thin air as their guides bid them a cordial farewell.

Incredulous, I lurch to the far window and witness a Mary Poppins-like trail of passengers plummeting toward the ground. Panicked, I turn back to my seatmate, and he returns my look of horror with an empty-headed, nothing-is-wrong smile. Apoplectic, I race feverishly toward the cockpit, wrench open the cabin door, and discover there is no one inside. The pilots' seats are empty.

Astonished, I whirl around and find myself face-to-face with a mannequin stewardess. "Don't you just love autopilot?" she mutters dreamily. "You know, you just have to have faith. Here, let me show you the door to your future."

•••

How much longer, I wonder constantly, will seemingly sensible and honest people continue to put up with this perverted political passion play now besieging the world that is so obviously detrimental to the needs of average people, even willfully destructive of those needs?

The dire predictions of so-called conspiracy theorists are all coming true: senseless wars are being created with transparent lies for the profits of a select few; the populace is infected with obvious poisons from both the medical profession and the food industry who because of recently passed laws are immune from legal action by the victims of these cruel concoctions; and our money is being steadily stolen by inbred elitist bankers who use accounting sleight-of-hand to funnel currency to that same small segment of the population who all seem to be immune from laws that guarantee poverty for the rest of us.

Maybe worst of all is the fantasy world created by our commercial mass media, which prohibit any discussion of human values relative to honest government and exacerbate our problems with so-called entertainment dominated by nihilistic and pornographically self-destructive scripts.

What kind of spineless, braindead cretins would tolerate such a blatant conspiracy?

Well, the American people, to name one group, but also most of the people on the planet, who every day choose to trade their hard-won emotional securities and family ties for mindless mechanized titillation, and then cower in their powerlessness because they are all so dependent on a technological system that encourages addiction to mindless consumerism.

Most of us are hypnotized by fashionable capitalistic shills who castigate natural self-reliance as antisocial selfishness. We have all been victimized by the alluring softness of high-tech trinkets that sever our contact with the life-giving land and more and more solidify our isolation while causing us to forsake our healthy dependence on those we are inclined to love.

How come so few people realize that nobody is free, that everybody is owned by banks? Nobody owns their homes, their cars; even their educations and careers are in significant hock to the banks. You regard your marriage, for those of you who still have one of those, as inauthentic without the sanction of the state. Even your children are not your property; they must be given poisonous vaccinations at birth or public health fascists will take them from you and claim you are unfit parents. This is law in a world made mad and turned upside down.

Isn't it strange so few Americans have objected to the new, out-front use of torture on people who have never even been tried in a court of law - never mind convicted - especially when underground reports of those taken prisoner and persecuted at Guantanamo reveal them not as terrorists but as hapless victims abducted to lend apparent authenticity to a minor detail of Washington's contrived terror fantasies?

Why has nobody figured out that our government is not protecting us from terrorists? Our government creates terrorists so we will in sheer insecure panic support the criminal cabal that is ravaging the world with senseless mass murder, enabling it to keep us in a stirred-up state of dependent fear because that allows it to better control and regiment us into prescripted cadres of servile dupes. This is not freedom, this is slavery - terrorized, manipulated slavery to the banks - and it is what we face with increasing insecurity every single day.

Why do we put up with it? Why don't we see through the ruse? Especially since our lives depend on seeing through it.

•••

Right after the recent bombings in London, I was so impressed by the size of the web chorus immediately pointing out that the deed was a deception, and that four innocent Islamic chaps from Leeds had apparently been set up to take the fall as the culprits for this latest public atrocity from the power elite. These reports dutifully noted that all the suspicious characters, from Rudy Giuliani to Benjamin Netanyahu, were conveniently in place to spin the traditional public myth, just like after 9/11.

I thought, each time the The Big Lie becomes a little bit clearer, the human future gets a little bit brighter.

But the power of big media is monstrous, and just as with 9/11 and the Iraq war, what is on the lips of people in the street is far different from what is on the minds of intelligent commentators in cyberspace.

First it was my neighbor. "Those freaking ragheads. We oughtta just go over there and bomb them all to bits." Taken aback, I retorted, "We've already been doing that for years." But he would not be placated, or reasoned with. "Nuke 'em. Nuke 'em all," he barked, and stormed off.

Things were no better with my family. "Why do THOSE PEOPLE keep doing these things to us?" several wondered, interrupting their trains of thought from the preparation of a family feast, with no recognition of the continuing American atrocities all over the world. "Oh? Which people are that?" I countered casually, but they didn't answer.

Then came the TV blasts of Muslim-this and Arab-that, the prediction by Bush-shill Joseph Farah that al-Qaeda would strike soon in the U.S.

But lost amid all the mawkish mourning of the London tragedy was the excellent story about what al-Qaeda truly was - a CIA database that the war machine's spin doctors had long ago morphed into the reincarnation of Dracula's vampires - that was posted on the Conspiracy Planet website which I read at <http://100777.com/node/1343> (another cool website) that had been sent to me by some friendly Dalits in India (love those Dalits, but the rest of the Indians seem as ugly as Americans and Israelis put together).

And speaking of great webfriends, Lilia Firefly, well-known West Coast tawo seed carrier (Google it), sent me a very telling story that aptly signified the danger of careening from atrocity to atrocity without stopping to think about the context of all these serial depredations. The Downing Street Memos. Remember them? Two weeks down the line and they've already been sucked into the memory hole.

The Downing Street Memos, dear American friends, are the documents which prove Bush and Blair had determined to go to war against Iraq and fixed their public pronouncements - tailored their phony evidence - around this murderous policy. The Downing Street Memos are what should have brought every honest American into the streets as a lynch mob demanding the immediate and public hanging of George W. Bush and hundreds of other U.S. government officials.

But this also should have happened after 9/11 when Bush and Daschle agreed to limit the scope of the investigation so as not to jeopardize "national security." By now you can see by all these non-responses how many honest Americans really exist - namely, not nearly enough.

The Downing Street Memos are what proves that George W. Bush and his Gang of Ghouls (prominently featuring Judith Miller and The New York Times in the starring role of perverted propagandists) have thrown away 9,000 American lives and 128,000 Iraqi civilian lives for what were provably premeditated lies.

The Downing Street Memos verify beyond any doubt what Americans have become - irredeemable Zionist Nazi thugs, who will kill anyone for any reason, or no reason at all.

The main reason for the London bombings was to disappear the Downing Street Memo story from the world's headlines, and it worked perfectly. The satanic chorus of Fox News, CNN, et al chimed in with strategic bits of planted information to brook no doubt that Islamic terrorists were behind the London atrocities, even though the alleged perps - now conveniently dead - previously exhibited not a sniff of terrorist tendencies.

Even an old Mossad chief got in on the act, advocating for World War Three. And several Israeli officials hammered their propaganda point home with remarks like "now you know how we feel."

Yes, we do, I thought. We are being lied to constantly about what is actually happening, and you are blowing us up to prove your point. The mass media are in your pocket and ordinary people are so consumed by their own survival requirements that they can't possibly perceive the twists and turns of all the deceptions, and consequently just accept the pap they hear on their local media outlets, because they don't have the time and energy to pursue the accurate details themselves. Which is just the way they want it, they being the people who control us, conduct fraudulent elections, and bomb whomever they please in pursuit of profit.

Nobody I know in cyberspace believes the official story. What appears to have happened is that four innocent patsies were recruited to participate in a terror drill, then deceptively given live bombs that took their lives, and the lives of 50-some others. Once again, the anticipated aftermath was meticulously scripted to defame Muslims.

The ensuing spin goes one better than the trick of 9/11, in which the FBI instantaneously named 19 Arabs as the culprits, then had to suffer the indignity of having eight of the names turn up alive in various places, all claiming that they didn't do the deed. Of course, the FBI wasn't embarrassed enough to change their list of 9/11 perps, and the American public was simply too stupid to ask why not.

This time around, they figured out a way to kill them all, then planted their papers near the scene. So while their families know these men to be innocent, at least the FBI will have no surprise patsies turning up alive this time.

If this caper could be anything other than a Zionist false flag advertisement for its continuing genocide against the worldwide threat known as the Amalek (a.k.a, non-Jews who don't support Israel), I would like to know what that is.

•••

I receive about 500 e-mails each day, and most frequent question I get is - for sure - what can we do?

For a long time now I've been fielding questions about what to do and have only had the clumsy answer, "Stand securely in your own truth and be an example to others."

But lately I've realized that the world has never been in touch with a reality that we desperately need to achieve if we are to survive.

The principal revelation of this reality is that religions control our minds with magical, fictional lies, and if we choose to believe them, we become susceptible to authoritarian propaganda that also is all lies.

You can't prove that Moses, Krishna, Buddha, or Jesus ever walked on this planet, and if you believe in the statements attributed to them, you cannot accurately perceive what is happening to you as the bars on this prison planet are securely constructed around your lives.

As long as we continue to believe that we are to bow down to and not criticize these religious stereotypes, we can't adequately challenge the same kind of authoritarianism we get from our corrupt leaders, and as a consequence, the "authorities" have carte blanche to exploit and obliterate us at their whim. And we, in our gratitude for the gifts we have been given, are constrained from challenging them with simple logic.

How many times in your life have you heard your preacher, your priest, or your rabbi declare with unctuous certainty, support your leaders, or, my country right or wrong. It all stems from the Biblical injunction, "Render unto Caesar ...."

This is not spirituality. This is mind-control. To go against this portentous command, you risk eternal damnation, the loss of your soul, and whatever other dire consequences you may, from your many formative years of conditioning in these matters, contemplate.

We need to reach a new reality we have never had, and first among the tasks in accomplishing that is doing away with magic myths that prevent us from seeing what's really going on.

Because of their ingrained preconditioning, this solution offends a majority of the world's population, who since their childhoods have been indoctrinated in one religious system or another, and consequently base their perceptions of the world and its chaotic human society on these magical stories and senseless myths that in a very real way limit their ability to react sensibly to insane pronouncements, like "they hate our freedoms" or "Saddam has weapons of mass destruction," two deliberate, stupid, and facile lies that have been believed by a majority of the American people.

These are lies we tell our children, and lies we tell ourselves.

The only legitimate excuse for religious ritual is to calm the fears of children who wonder where their loved ones have gone when their lives have expired. The unexpected consequence of this seemingly innocent practice is that these children never grow up. Instead, they transfer the feelings of both security and fear they felt toward their parents to an imaginary superbeing whom they regard as an imaginary parent for the rest of their lives.

As this is the single most important cultural ritual humans ever undergo, its power and importance was long ago recognized and by those with the psychological need to dominate others, and was cloaked by a profession of altruism that thrived on a certain power to control the lives of others with magical myths that masked the exploitation of innocents by self-labeled aristocrats. The same process continues today.

The relationship between holy men allegedly possessing secrets of the afterlife and those who cherish such fantasies because they alleviate the everpresent but suppressed fear of death is the dark side of human consciousness, and a corrupt cultural relationship that has lasted for more than five thousand years. So in a sense, the priestly process can be regarded as satisfying an obvious and universal emotional need.

But it is also a recipe for extinction, since holy warriors will always willingly kill for a goal that no one else can see, except the malicious minds of power-mad priests. And mullahs. And rabbis. It has been proven too many times that when the enemy is completely annihilated, then we begin killing each other, because we have learned no other way to live.

Our allegiance may not be to one race, creed, or color. If it is, within the rules of the free market, we will eventually claim supernatural superiority for ourselves and begin the holy task of eliminating all the infidels. Clearly written in the Talmud and the Old Testament, it is really the beginning of the task of eliminating ourselves, subliminal marching orders to our own self-destruction.

This is what will finish us. It's time to realize this very small-minded syndrome has been going on for much longer than two thousand years, and it's a stupid illusion, cultivated for profit by the very perps who besiege us now with all their fake terror alerts, false flag mass murders, and supercilious, sanctimonious soliloquies saying they are acting in the name of God.

The choices are two: get real, and let people venerate the awesome miracle of life in any way they wish, or perish, by the sword or by the pox. Time grows short.

•••

Here's another recurring nightmare, one that you, dear reader, have experienced all too frequently in recent years. In it, an angelic being, majestically robed in sacred raiments, benevolently beams down at you and says, in the most soothing voice imaginable, "My God is better than yours ...."

John Kaminski is an Internet columnist whose essays are seen on hundreds of websites around the world. They have been collected into two anthologies, titled "America's Autopsy Report" and "The Perfect Enemy." These are for sale on his website, http://www.johnkaminski.com/ Also for sale is "The Day America Died: Why You Shouldn't Believe the Official Story of What Happened on September 11, 2001," written for those who still believe the government's false story of that tragic day.

Comment: Kaminski writes:

For a long time now I've been fielding questions about what to do and have only had the clumsy answer, "Stand securely in your own truth and be an example to others."

But lately I've realized that the world has never been in touch with a reality that we desperately need to achieve if we are to survive.

He then goes on to describe the mind-numbing effects of the world's major religions. For a deeper look into this phenomenon, don't miss Laura Knight-Jadczyk's book The Secret History of the World - And How to Get Out Alive.

We are often asked the question, "I see what's going on, but what can I DO about it??" as well. The simple "clumsy" answer is much as Kaminski has written: Stand in truth and be an example to others. Always be willing to revise your understanding when new data becomes available.

This response isn't as clumsy as it may seem.

We certainly cannot go around trying to preach the truth to those who do not wish to see reality as it IS. That would be no different than a religious door-to-door salesman peddling salvation if only we will convert to his religion and embrace his beliefs. Well, heck - we don't want to convert anyone to anything. If we attempt to force the truth upon another, we are no better than those now most infamous door-to-door salesmen, the Neocons and Zionists.

No, the solution is much simpler: Stand in truth and be an example to others. Amidst a world of lies that fly far and fast through television and the internet, coupled with COINTELPRO operations that seek to defame and discredit anyone who refuses to toe the party line, it can be VERY difficult to refrain from trying to preach and convert. We can tell ourselves, "But I have the facts. I have proof. THEY have nothing but lies!" While this statement may be true, it is no excuse to violate the free will of another who chooses to live in illusion and accept the lies without question.

Indeed, our combined efforts may not seem to be doing much. But think for a moment about the effects of the work of Kaminski himself. His essays are read by countless people around the world. If people are writing him and asking what they can do, his work has obviously not been in vain. As another example, take our Pentagon Strike flash presentation. As of about six months ago, over 300,000,000 people had watched the presentation. In creating the flash, we never in a million years expected it to spread so quickly or so far. Sure, we receive some hate mail for it, but we also receive a lot of letters of support and people asking what they can do. The Pentagon Strike was not intended to provide proof of any theory. Rather, it was intended to show just enough evidence that the official story is a lie that maybe - just maybe - people might start asking their own questions and doing their own research. Sometimes simply planting a seed is all we can do. Whether or not the seed is watered and placed in the sun to grow and blossom is up each individual.

So, yes - stand in the truth and be an example to others. Shine the light of truth into the deep black night. Flap your little butterfly wings as fast and as hard as you can, and don't expect to change anything. We are programmed by those who deceive us daily that one person or even a small group cannot have an effect on the future - only our black-hearted leaders have the power to do that. If everything else they have told us is a lie, why should we believe them when they tell us we are powerless? Sometimes the most momentous and extraordinary nonlinear changes come from what seems like the most miniscule of actions.

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London bomber made one-day Israel visit - official
18 Jul 2005 16:05:13 GMT
Source: Reuters
by Dan Williams

JERUSALEM, July 18 (Reuters) - One of the suspected bombers in the London attacks visited Israel for one day in 2003, an Israeli official said on Monday, bolstering a news report the British-born Muslim helped plan a Tel Aviv suicide bombing.

The government official said Mohammad Sidique Khan, who London police believe blew himself up on an underground train this month, arrived in Israel on Feb. 19, 2003, and left the next day.

The official declined to speculate on reasons for the visit.

Israeli daily Maariv said on Sunday that Khan was suspected of helping plan a pro-Palestinian suicide bombing by two fellow Britons of Pakistani descent on April 30, 2003. Three Israelis were killed in the attack on Mike's Place bar in Tel Aviv.

But Israeli security sources played down the report, which cited no evidence. "This is not a concrete finding," a source said on Sunday.

British police named Khan as a member of an al Qaeda-style cell that killed 55 people in the July 7 bombings in London.

Pakistani immigration officials told Reuters on Monday that Khan, 31, and two other cell members visited Karachi last year.

One of the suspects, Shehzad Tanweer, visited madrasahs, or Muslim religious schools, in Pakistan, the sources said.

Israeli officials are under orders from Prime Minister Ariel Sharon not to link the London attacks and Palestinian militants.

After al Qaeda's Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States, Sharon was quick to draw parallels to Israel's own struggle against Islamic militants who have spearheaded a Palestinian uprising since 2000.

Hamas, an Islamic movement sworn to Israel's destruction, issued a joint claim of responsibility for Mike's Place bar along with al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, an armed wing of the dominant Palestinian political faction Fatah.

Asaf Hanif, a Briton of Pakistani descent, blew himself up at the bar, but his comrade Omar Sharif fled after apparently failing to detonate his bomb. Sharif's body was found in the sea a week later. Investigators concluded he had drowned.

Palestinian officials and militants say al Qaeda has no significant presence in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Some Israeli analysts agree, noting doctrinal differences between Osama bin Laden's network, which operates globally and targets moderate Muslims as well as non-Muslims, and Palestinian militants, who have recently limited their attacks to Jews in Israel and Israeli-occupied territories. (Additional reporting by Faisal Aziz in Karachi)

Comment: Obviously, if one of the accused stopped off in Israel, the press will attempt to find a link between the London bombing patsies and Palestinian suicide bombers. Might we suggest that there are other organisations in Israel that might also have been the host, if not directly, then through a false front of some sort?

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Mossad Chief Confirms Netanyahu's Warning of London Bombing
Justin Raimondo

The controversy continues over an Associated Press story detailing the remarks of a "senior Israeli official" who claimed that Finance Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in London for an economic conference, was warned by Scotland Yard "minutes" in advance of the terrorist bombings. According to the original story, Netanyahu's prior knowledge was the cause of his not showing up at the conference, which took place at a hotel near the Liverpool Underground station. A subsequent AP report contained the Israeli's government's denial of a prior warning, and claimed that Netanyahu received a warning after the blasts.

Although the first AP story was never retracted, that didn't prevent Israel's American amen corner from claiming that it had been withdrawn, nor did it stop Stratfor.com from coming out with an analysis claiming that Israel knew "days" in advance, and that it wasn't Scotland Yard that informed Netanyahu. Former intelligence analyst Tommy Preston, of Preston Global, concurred.

My own column drawing on these sources drew fire, not only from the usual suspects, but also from dailykos.com, the Democratic party website spawned by the Dean campaign. "Antiwar.com is not a legitimate source," declared one poster.

This from a website that headlined "Did BushCo Tip Off London Bombers?"!

An author who goes by the name "DHinMI" manufactured a quote, purportedly from me, that was nothing more than a crude fabrication: it had quote marks around it, as if I had written it, when in reality I had written no such thing. DhinMI's point: that to even suggest that Netanyahu had advance notice of the London bombings is so obviously an "anti-Semitic conspiracy theory" that no discussion is required, regardless of what the Associated Press reports.

The Kossacks, as they call themselves, are trying to clean their act up so that they can be more closely associated with the Democratic party apparatus. However, why limit themselves to condemning my column: why not condemn AP as an "illegitimate source" for publishing the news of Netanyahu's foreknowledge to begin with? And while they're at it, they need to add a few more media source to the list, including some of the Israeli media. Israel Insider cites Mossad chief Meir Dagan, in an interview with the German newspaper Bild am Sonntag:

"The Mossad office in London received advance notice about the attacks, but only six minutes before the first blast, the paper reports, confirming an earlier AP report. As a result, it was impossible to take any action to prevent the blasts."

Here is the Bild am Sonntag story in German, and a Google translation.

Is this just empty boasting on the part of the Mossad chief, or is there some truth to the initial AP report? Is Meir Dagan spreading anti-Semitic conspiracy theories?

We report. You decide.

I might add that some of the DailyKos folks are shocked – shocked! – that Antiwar.com opposed the Kosovo war. We, in turn, are shocked at the hypocrisy of those who support a war of aggression against a country, Yugoslavia, that had never attacked us, and that was never sanctioned by the United Nations. They only oppose wars started by Republicans: we at Antiwar.com, on the other hand, oppose all wars of aggression, regardless of the partisan affiliation of those in power at the time.

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EXCLUSIVE: SCENT FROM HELL..
'Terror plot to use perfume in bomb'
18 July 2005
By Graham Brough And Paul Byrne
Daily Mirror

BOMBER Jermaine Lindsay bought innocent designer perfumes and aftershaves as a deadly mix for the London gang's home-made devices, police fear.

Just days before the 7/7 explosions killed at least 55 people, the 19-year-old Jamaican fanatic spent £900 at three shops on dozens of bottles of scent.

The names - Jean Paul Gaultier, Fahrenheit, Emporio Armani and Boss - are the epitome of "decadent" Western luxury.

But in the hands of Lindsay the alcohol-based perfumes could have been used to fuel bombs with a deadly napalm-style effect, causing hideous burns.

The Gaultier fragrances were in metal containers which would have splintered into lethal shrapnel in an explosion. Lindsay bought 10.

Terror expert Dr Andrew Silke, of the University of East London, said: "The active ingredient in any perfume is alcohol which can be used in creating devices.

"The effect would be more incendiary, like napalm, rather than highly explosive. It would create more more fire and therefore more burn injuries."

On July 4 Lindsay visited branches of the Fragrance Shop in his home town of Aylesbury, Bucks, and Milton Keynes and Woolworth's in Aylesbury, spending about £300 in each store.

The following day he returned to the Fragrance Shop in Aylesbury searching for a bottle of Boss In Motion perfume he had been unable to buy at Milton Keynes.

Detectives are also investigating whether Lindsay also bought peroxide. Peroxide is an ingredient in Acetone Peroxide - also known as TATP or "Mother of Satan" - which was used in the London attacks.

Lindsay's spending patterns had already aroused the suspicion of his bank who brought in private detectives.

Noel Hogan, of investigators Hogan and Co International, said last night: "We were aware of this man's movements in the immediate run-up to the London bombing.

"As soon as we became aware of his involvement we contacted the Anti-Terrorist Branch. We have passed them our full records. I can say no more."

Yesterday staff at the Fragrance Shop in Aylesbury recalled Lindsay's spree. One said: "He came in here over two days and spent about £330. He was calm and polite. But it's strange to buy so much perfume at once and my manager was suspicious.

"The next day he spent £300 on more scents at our shop in Milton Keynes.

"While there, he got really agitated because he wanted a perfume called Boss In Motion Green which comes in a little hard sphere. He was telling them 'I must have one - where can I get one?' Next day he bought it from us."

"Apparently he went back to the shop in Milton Keynes all flustered saying, 'Have you seen a red bag I had?' They didn't have it and I don't know if he ever found it again. But he was really worried."

It is believed Lindsay tried to buy hundreds of pounds worth of Jean Paul Gaultier perfume at Aylesbury a week earlier. A man matching his description left the shop empty-handed when his cheque and bank card did not tally.

Lindsay worked under a false identity as a fitter for Haddenham Carpets in Aylesbury until around May 2005. He called himself Gemal Lindsay, a corruption of his real name and Islamic name Abdullah Shaheed Jamal.

Around the time he left the job he stopped making weekly phone calls to his father Nigel in Jamaica.

Two months later he joined Mohammed Sidique Khan, 30, of Dewsbury, Shehzad Tanweer, 22, of Leeds, and Hasib Hussain, 18, also of Leeds, on their killer attacks on three Tubes and a bus in London.

Nigel, 45, who split from Lindsay's mother Mary when the boy was five months old, said: "Jermaine sounded like he was happy with his life and his religion.

"He gave no sign that he was up to anything bad. I never thought my boy would do this kind of thing in a million years."

Lindsay's mother Mary, 39, who lives in Boston, Massachusetts, said: "I haven't stopped crying for all the people who died."

Mary hoped Islam's strict codes on alcohol and sex would keep her son out of trouble. She was pleased when he married 21-year-old Samantha Lewthwaite, also a recent convert to Islam.

Pregnant Samantha - mother of Lindsay's year-old son - said at the weekend: "I never imagined he was involved in such horrific activities. My thoughts are with families of the victims."

The strain on Lindsay's family became apparent yesterday when his stepsister collapsed in the street. Dana Reid was taken to hospital after being found near her home in Huddersfield, West Yorks.

Before her dramatic collapse, pregnant Dana recalled the moment she learned Lindsay was a mass killer.

She received a phone call from Mary last Friday. Dana said: "Her voice started to quiver and she said 'Jermaine's dead'. I screamed and she added 'He wasn't a victim. He was one of the bombers'."

Lindsay's step-grandmother, Stella McLeod, said: "It's Satan. It's the devil. God wouldn't allow that to happen."

Friends said Lindsay's transformation from normal boy to killer came after a summer holiday to Afghanistan.

Samantha Rana-Liburd said: "He was a really popular lad but all that changed. He had converted to Islam and his character was totally different."

Her boyfriend Kyle Walter, 19, added: "It was like he was brainwashed."

Another former friend, who did not want to be named, said: "Jermaine went to the extreme. He became an evil bastard to a lot of people he had grown up with."

SIX people were arrested by police probing the massacre last night. They were held in a guesthouse in the Beeston area of Leeds.

Comment: In the days following the bombing in London, we were told the explosives were of military quality and likely came from the Balkins. Others suggested they came from the British military. We are now being told they were whipped together out of expensive perfume purchased in a rather public display that seems unusual for someone engaged in covert activities. Wouldn't it have been easier to find a different form of alcohol that could be purchased without attracting such attention?

It sounds to us like he was being set up. His behaviour drew the attention of the shop keepers and his bank who then brought in private detectives and subsequently notified Anti-Terrorist Branch.

How convenient.

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Britain moves closer to tough anti-terror law in wake of London bombings
AFP
July 19, 2005

LONDON - Britain's interior minister moved a step closer to passing tough new anti-terrorism laws by December after he won "broad support" from the opposition parties in the wake of the London bombings.

The news came as the death toll from the country's worst terror attack rose by one to 56, and as a report linked Britain's support of the Iraq war to the July 7 atrocity, turning up the heat on Prime Minister Tony Blair.

Home Secretary Charles Clarke said he and his counterparts in the main opposition Conservative and smaller Liberal Democrat parties agreed in principle to co-operate on the draft legislation following hour-long talks.

"We believe that is the right way to go and we believe that it will enable us to address the threat we face with a unity and determination which is critical," Clarke, flanked by David Davis of the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats' Mark Oaten, told reporters.

Comment: This all sounds eerily familiar, doesn't it?

The bill is expected to be put before lawmakers in October when parliament reopens after its summer recess and become law by December.

The interior minister wrote to opposition parties Friday outlining plans for the bill that would outlaw the indirect incitement of terrorism, for example preachers who praise suicide bombers or describe them as martyrs.

Tougher new laws -- which initially sparked outrage from the opposition when they were first aired earlier this year -- seem likely to win widespread support among a public still reeling from the twin shock of the suicide bombings coupled with the discovery the attackers were home grown.

Asked how confident he was that the bill would survive parliamentary scrutiny, Clarke said: "Very confident. The broad support for where we are is very strong."

He also said that the government was ready to consider even tighter legislation if the security services deem such a move desirable, but he noted that police for the time being were concentrating on unraveling the London bombings. [...]

"I'm astonished that Chatham House is now saying that we should not have stood shoulder to shoulder with our long-standing allies in the United States," Straw said on arrival at a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Brussels.

Chatham House also heavily criticised the British government's anti-terrorism strategy, accusing it of working shoulder-to-shoulder with the United States as a back seat passenger rather than an equal decision maker.

To this charge, Blair's official spokesman said both London and Washington simply had the same priorities in the fight against terrorism.

"What it means is that we work with allies," he added.

Comment: Right. That must be why when Bush says, "Jump!" Blair asks, "How high?" Blair is hardly Bush's equal. Blair might delude himself into believing he has a chip in the big game, but in Bush's eyes, he is the master and Blair is the puppet.

Meanwhile, the massive police investigation into the blasts on three London Underground trains and a bus rumbled on.

The Times reported that two of the suspected bombers, Shehzad Tanweer and Mohammad Sidique Khan, may have met the chief plotter of the London attacks after arriving in the Pakistani port city of Karachi last November for a visit.

It carried a grainy photograph of the pair while they arrived in Karachi.

The Pakistani authorities told The Times they know the identity of the British-born mastermind whom the British authorities are trying to track down. "We believe this is where they could have met their mentor," a Pakistani security source was quoted as saying.

"They did not appear to go where they told their families they were heading, and they have no obvious connection to Karachi, which was the center of previous Al-Qaeda operations," the source was quoted as saying.

British officials say the July 7 attacks bore the hallmarks of
Osama bin Laden's Al-Qaeda network.

Keen to forge a consensus on confronting Islamic extremism, Blair will meet leaders of Britain's 1.6 million strong Muslim community Tuesday, his spokesman said.

Comment: Britain's 1.6 million Muslims would do well to review US history since 9/11 to get a taste of things to come.

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Britain bars over 200 foreign scientists amid terror fears
AFP
Tue Jul 19, 3:19 AM ET

LONDON - Security services have barred more than 200 foreign scientists from studying at British universities over the past four years, amid fears they could present a terrorist threat, a newspaper reported.

The Guardian newspaper said the scientists were among more than 2,000 vetted after applying to universities to do postgraduate or post-doctoral research in fields such as chemistry, microbiology and biotechnology.

The figures were released to the Guardian under the Freedom of Information Act as police continue to search for those linked to the London terror bombings on July 7.

The British authorities started taking greater security precautions in response to the September 11, 2001 terror attacks in the United States.

Universities have long been seen as attractive to potential terrorists because of the high level of scientific training on offer, the Guardian said.

Institutions can refer potentially suspect applicants for security clearance via the Foreign and Commonwealth Office's voluntary vetting scheme, which was set up in 1994 to prevent foreign scientists learning skills on British soil that could be used to develop weapons of mass destruction.

Under the scheme, universities can request security checks on scientists from 10 countries, including Pakistan, Syria, India and Egypt, who apply to study any of 21 scientific disciplines.

The documents, obtained before this month's bombings, reveal that 2,282 scientists were referred for vetting from 2001 until May this year. Of those, security officials recommended that 238 be rejected admission to their chosen university, the Guardian said.

In the year until May, eight foreign scientists had their applications rejected.

The scheme was being reviewed by the Cabinet Office when the bombers hit London. Many academics believe it is flawed and several prominent universities refuse to participate.

Comment: With the impending passage of new draconian legislation after the London bombings, even prominent universities will no doubt start to toe the line.

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Charge: killing a child; Sentence: a scolding and a promotion
Saed Bannoura, IMEMC & agencies - Monday, 18 July 2005

An Israeli military court sentenced a soldier charged of killing a Palestinian resident in Rafah, in the south of the Gaza Strip, to disciplinary measures but did not delay his promotion.

Officer Adam Zousman ordered soldiers under his command to conduct a military march after their group was promoted to a brigade. The soldiers marched along the Rafah borders and were allowed to fire "warning shots", towards the Palestinian homes in the area.

The soldiers marched near Rafah and Khan Younis and continued firing their live ammunition until they reached their final destination in the Moragh settlement.

One Palestinian child, aged 15 years, was shot dead by military fire during their march.

The army investigated the incident and claimed that there was no connection between the two incidents. Two weeks ago, officer Zousman was charged by the military prosecution for the illegal usage of arms, but it also recommended that his promotion should not be delayed.

Comment: Shoot a Palestinian child and get a promotion. That's how it works in the IDF.

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Congressman suggests way to retaliate for nuclear terror
Spokesman: Tancredo was speaking hypothetically
Monday, July 18, 2005; Posted: 12:44 p.m. EDT (16:44 GMT)

DENVER, Colorado (AP) -- A Colorado congressman told a radio show host that the U.S. could "take out" Islamic holy sites if Muslim fundamentalist terrorists attacked the country with nuclear weapons.

Rep. Tom Tancredo made his remarks Friday on WFLA-AM in Orlando, Florida. His spokesman stressed he was only speaking hypothetically.

Talk show host Pat Campbell asked the Littleton Republican how the country should respond if terrorists struck several U.S. cities with nuclear weapons.

"Well, what if you said something like -- if this happens in the United States, and we determine that it is the result of extremist, fundamentalist Muslims, you know, you could take out their holy sites," Tancredo answered.

"You're talking about bombing Mecca," Campbell said.

"Yeah," Tancredo responded.

The congressman later said he was "just throwing out some ideas" and that an "ultimate threat" might have to be met with an "ultimate response."

Spokesman Will Adams said Sunday the four-term congressman doesn't support threatening holy Islamic sites but that Tancredo was grappling with the hypothetical situation of a terrorist strike deadlier than the September 11, 2001, attacks.

"We have an enemy with no uniform, no state, who looks like you and me and only emerges right before an attack. How do we go after someone like that?" Adams said.

"What is near and dear to them? They're willing to sacrifice everything in this world for the next one. What is the pressure point that would deter them from their murderous impulses?" he said.

Tancredo is known in the House for his tough stand on immigration.

Mohammad Noorzai, coordinator of the Colorado Muslim Council and a native of Afghanistan, said Tancredo's remarks were radical and unrepresentative but that people in Tancredo's position need to watch their words when it comes to sacred religious sites and texts.

Comment: The Neocon agenda is the "clash of civilisations", total war between the West and Islam. We are being programmed to see all Muslims as being less than human, savages that worship a false god, and people who are fully deserving of whatever we drop on them. Tancredo is simply voicing what many Americans believe and think.

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Poland supports Ukraine's bid to join NATO, EU
www.chinaview.cn 2005-07-19 13:49:43

WARSAW, July 18 (Xinhuanet) -- Poland supports Ukraine's efforts to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the European Union (EU), Deputy Foreign Minister Andrzej Zalucki said Monday.

Zalucki made the remarks at the second session of the Polish-Ukrainian parliamentary assembly.

Discussion within the EU on a new round of enlargement was deeply affected after the bloc was plunged into crisis by France and the Netherlands' rejection of the EU constitution treaty, he said, adding that the enlargement process should not come to a standstill.

Ukraine's status of market economy should be recognized in a foreseeable future and Poland supports the country's bid to join the World Trade Organization, Zalucki said.

The Polish-Ukrainian parliamentary assembly, in operation since2003, is comprised of 40 parliament members from the two countries.

Comment: Poland is one of the voices of the United States within Europe. The Ukraine, should it become a member, would become another. The United States, for all its protests, does not want a strong Europe, at least not a strong Europe under the influence of Germany and France. However, if Britain, Poland, and Italy were to become the dominant force, the US would indeed be very happy.

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Maurice Strong loses UN job
Last Updated Tue, 19 Jul 2005 07:43:57 EDT
CBC News

Canadian businessman Maurice Strong has lost his job as the United Nations top envoy to North Korea over his connection to the oil-for-food scandal, said the UN.

A UN spokesperson said Monday that the 76-year-old's contract expired last week and will not be renewed.

He had stepped down from his post in April while investigators looked into his ties with a South Korean businessman accused in the scandal.

Tongsun Park is accused of accepting millions of dollars from the Iraqi government while lobbying illegally for oil-for-food contracts.

Park invested money in a Calgary oil company run by Strong's son, Frederick.

Strong has denied any involvement in the scandal.

Strong was also criticized for giving his stepdaughter Kristina Mayo a job at the UN. She worked as Strong's assistant for two years.

Comment: Maurice Strong is a curious character with strong ties to the Rockefellers. One idea that he advocates is the collapse of the industrialised nations. See the Rigorous Intuition story as well as this article.

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New report connects Rove to CIA leak
Last Updated Mon, 18 Jul 2005 23:22:01 EDT
CBC News

A new report in the U.S. media is once again linking Karl Rove to the unmasking of an undercover CIA agent.

Rove, 'Bush's brain' as he is often called, is legendary for his ability to get his boss elected and his political enemies destroyed.

Now Democrats are hoping to turn the tables with some new ammunition in this week's Time magazine.

Journalist Matt Cooper reports it was Rove who told him him that Joe Wilson, a prominent critic of the Bush administration, was married to a CIA agent later identified as Valerie Plame.

"After that conversation [with Rove] I knew she worked at the CIA and worked on WMD [weapons of mass destruction]," said Cooper.

It is one more twist in a tangled story that began when Saddam Hussein was accused by President George W. Bush of trying to buy nuclear materials in Africa.

The charge was used to justify invading Iraq but it was later discredited by Wilson, a former U.S. ambassador and who in 1990 was U.S. charge d'affaires in Baghdad, who investigated the claim and wrote an article in the New York Times saying it was false.

It was shortly after that article was published in July 2003 that Wilson's wife's identity was leaked to several Washington reporters: an effort some claim to punish him. Disclosing the identity of a covert CIA agent is federal crime in the U.S and the case is now being investigated by a grand jury.

"Using the West Wing of the White House to be engaged in a smear campaign is an outrageous abuse of power," said Wilson.

What is most damaging for Bush is that two years ago, the White House denied allegations that Rove was involved.

Rove's only public statement on the issue was last year when he said "I didn't know her name or leak her [Valerie Plame's] name."

On Monday, Bush was noncommittal about Rove's involvement. "I would like this to end as quickly as possible so we know the facts," said Bush. "And if someone committed a crime, they will no longer work in my administration."

The Democrats though are already mounting protest demonstrations saying it's time for Rove to go. "I believe very clearly that Karl Rove ought to be fired," said Massachusetts Senator John Kerry.

Political analyst Stuart Rothenberg says there could be a backlash for the Democrats.

"Certainly this is of political benefit to the Democrats, or at least potentially of benefit over the long term. But there is an element of 'Gotcha' in all this, of sticking it to a political strategist who has stuck it to them over the past number of years."

Because Rove didn't actually name the CIA agent it's not likely that he will be charged with any crime. But it is clear that the White House misled the public about Rove's involvement for the past two years years and that could raise new doubts about both the administration's credibility and its judgment.

Comment: There is no way that Bush will allow Rove to be chased out of office. You can see the backpedaling going on as Bush refines his criteria to "committing a crime". Too bad international law isn't being used, then the entire Bush gang would be off to jail.

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Bush loses some luster on credibility
By Linda Feldmann
The Christian Science Monitor
Mon Jul 18, 4:00 AM ET

WASHINGTON - When George W. Bush ran for president in 2000, he sought to contrast himself implicitly with President Clinton, promising to restore "honor and integrity" to the White House. The argument seemed to work.

Now, in the public's view, President Bush is sliding into negative territory on that score. For the first time in his presidency, more Americans give Bush a low rating (45 percent) on being "honest and straightforward" than give him a high rating (41 percent), according to a Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll.

It's not just the recent revelations about top aide Karl Rove - now known to be involved in the imbroglio over the outing of a CIA operative - that have hurt Bush. A range of issues are dampening the president's numbers, from his as-yet-unsuccessful attempt to sell partial privatization of Social Security to increasing public doubts over the decision to go to war in Iraq, says one of the pollsters who conducted the survey.

"We really didn't ask about Rove," says Peter Hart, a Democratic pollster who ran the survey with Republican pollster Bill McInturff. "It's sort of a sense that nothing's going right, and that a lot of his basic tenets that he put out for the second term are coming up a cropper."

Republican analysts don't disagree.

"From a public opinion standpoint, the administration's in a slump," says Charles Black, a Washington lawyer and GOP adviser. "Some accomplishments will help break the slump: If we can get an energy bill and get it signed, get a highway bill and get it signed, if we continue to have a good economy."

On the last point, Mr. Black adds, "it's weird, because the economy is good, but a lot of people don't think it is."

Comment: Perhaps a lot of people have simply stopped believing the deceptively rosy economic picture painted by the Bush administration and spread by the mainstream press.

Black also sees press coverage of the outed CIA agent, Valerie Plame, dying down until the special prosecutor releases his report. The grand jury hearing testimony on the case is empaneled until October.

Focus on key adviser Rove For now, though, intense focus on the Plame investigation - including the role of Bush's top adviser, Mr. Rove - continues to dominate political conversation. On CBS's "Face the Nation" Sunday, former Ambassador Joseph Wilson, an administration critic and Ms. Plame's husband, decried the partisan turn in public discourse. "They [Republicans] have tried to make this partisan," he said. "It is not partisan, it is an issue of national security."

Because the Plame affair is rooted in the issue of questionable intelligence leading to the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, the emerging details on Plame's exposure have led to renewed public focus on the runup to the war - a reminder that, in fact, no weapons of mass destruction were found in Iraq. That point goes to the heart of questions about Bush's truthfulness, say Democrats.

On NBC's "Meet the Press" Sunday, national GOP chair Ken Mehlman deflected questions about Rove by expressing confidence in the special prosecutor, Patrick Fitzgerald, and attacking the honesty of Ambassador Wilson.

Based on what is now known - that Rove spoke to reporters, including Robert Novak, the author of the original column at issue, about Wilson's wife - Bush's most valuable aide will remain under a cloud unless or until he is cleared by Mr. Fitzgerald. Rove's involvement also provides a peg for the press to review his career as a bare-knuckled political operative known to work with devastating effect.

Even now, Rovian techniques are at play: Instead of cowering before Wilson, Republicans are going after him.

For Bush, the promise to fire anyone from his administration involved in leaking the name of a covert agent now looms large. Short of an indictment of Rove, analysts expect him to stay in the White House - in part, because Bush is loyal and also because Rove is so central to this presidency, politically and on policy matters.

But keeping Rove after making that promise puts Bush in the kind of awkward, word-parsing spot that famously caught his predecessor. Just as Clinton mused aloud on the meaning of the word "is," so Bush could be caught over the meaning of "leak." If Rove was not the original leaker, but instead just confirmed classified information to a reporter, is that a leak?

Challenges ahead for Bush

And more broadly, can Bush reverse his slide in public trust?

"That's very event-dependent," says political scientist Bruce Buchanan of the University of Texas, Austin. "It's hard to predict with confidence that he can recover."

Comment: Of course can reverse his slide in public trust - just look at how popular 9/11 made the formerly despised US president.

Relevant factors include whether Rove or someone else from the administration is indicted; how the Iraq war goes; whether the president is successful in getting initiatives through Congress; whether he can avoid a catfight over his forthcoming Supreme Court nomination.

One area of solace for Bush is that public approval of Congress (28 percent) is even lower than his own job approval rating of 46 percent in the new NBC/Wall Street Journal poll. But if public disgust with all of Washington continues or escalates, that could hurt his allies in Congress in the next election, making it even more difficult to make major accomplishments in the final two years of his presidency.

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Singh, Bush agree to step up nuclear cooperation under 'new' partnership
AFP
Tuesday July 19, 5:29 AM

US President George W. Bush and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh agreed on a "new global partnership" with increasing cooperation in civilian nuclear energy and other key areas.

Singh was optimistic after their talks at the White House that the United States would remove restrictions on access to American technology to expand India's nuclear power industry for generating electricity.

"Today, we announce the completion of the Next Steps in Strategic Partnership," Bush said at a joint press conference with Singh, referring to a 2001 signed framework pact aimed at boosting bilateral ties.

"Completing this partnership will help us further enhance our cooperation in the areas of civil nuclear, civil space and high-technology commerce," Bush said.

The two countries launched a dialogue last year under the pact to forge non-military nuclear cooperation but there has been no major breakthrough.

The United States had placed sanctions on India after its second round of nuclear tests in May 1998, but agreed after the September 11, 2001 attacks to waive those and other sanctions in return for support in the war on terrorism.

Comment: In other words, the US bought support for its war on terrorism. In fact, one might say that the US bribed India to support the Neocon crusade.

India is not a party to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. US law bars export of technology that could aid a nuclear program to any country that has not signed the treaty.

Details of an agreement on civil nuclear energy cooperation were expected to be released in a joint statement later Monday, capping discussions over the last seven weeks, Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Nicholas Burns told a White House media briefing. [...]

The two leaders also Monday launched a trade forum designed to develop still-meagre commercial relations.

The United States is India's largest trading partner, but India ranks only 22nd among US export destinations. [...]

Comment: This article offers further proof that the "you're either with us or against us" mentality has very little to do with spreading freedom and democracy across the globe and battling terrorists.

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U.S. extradites Guantanamo prisoner to Spain
Reuters
Mon Jul 18, 3:31 PM ET

MADRID - The United States has extradited a suspected Islamic militant held at its Guantanamo Bay prison camp to Spain, which wants him for its own investigation into al Qaeda, Spain's Interior Ministry said on Monday.

Spanish Judge Baltasar Garzon issued an arrest warrant for Lahcen Ikassrien just months after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on U.S. cities, accusing him of being part of al Qaeda.

Spain's Interior Ministry said on Monday Ikassrien, from Morocco, had had conversations with the suspected leader of al Qaeda in Spain, Imad Eddin Barakat Yarkas, also known as Abu Dahdah, who is being held in Spain.

Abu Dahdah is accused of helping arrange a July 2001 meeting in Spain at which prosecutors say the attacks on U.S. cities might have been planned.

He is awaiting a verdict after his Madrid trial for terrorist murder.

Last year Spain secured the extradition of the only Spanish detainee at Guantanamo Bay -- set up as a prison camp after the United States invaded Afghanistan in 2001 -- also as part of its investigation into al Qaeda.

Spain has since launched a separate investigation into suspected militants after train bomb attacks linked to al Qaeda killed 191 people in March 2004.

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Al-Qaeda suspect walks free in Germany
AFP
Mon Jul 18, 3:32 PM ET

KARLSRUHE, Germany - A suspected Al-Qaeda financier was freed from jail in Germany after the country's highest court blocked his extradition to Spain, dealing a new blow to German anti-terror efforts.

The federal constitutional court ruled that handing over Syrian-German businessman Mamoun Darkazanli to Spain on a new EU arrest warrant would violate Germany's basic law.

Darkazanli, 46, was released from custody in Hamburg a few hours later and climbed into a taxi without commenting.

Spain accuses him of being Osama bin Laden's "permanent interlocutor and assistant" in Europe and having provided the Al-Qaeda network with logistical and financial support between 1997 and 2002.

German Justice Minister Brigitte Zypries condemned the Karlsruhe-based court's decision as "another setback for the German government in the fight against international terrorism".

In Spain, Justice Minister Juan Fernando Lopez Aguilar said he respected the German court's decision, but added: "We will find a way to resolve these legal difficulties."

A spokesman for EU justice commissioner Franco Frattini said the decision was bad news for Europe's efforts to combat terrorism -- which have again come under the spotlight since the July 7 attacks in London -- but insisted it was up to Germany to make the arrest warrant work. [...]

German authorities investigated Darkazanli for several months after the attacks but never charged him.

He was eventually detained in Germany in October last year on an arrest warrant issued by high-profile Spanish judge Baltasar Garzon.

But Darkazanli's lawyers argued that Germans may be expelled and tried abroad only when the crimes they are accused of are not subject to prosecution at home.

The government's anger at the decision to free Darkazanli reflects tensions between the authorities and the justice system over the prosecution in Germany of suspects linked to the September 11, 2001 attacks.

A Moroccan man, Mounir el Motassadeq, who is accused of involvement in the attacks, is currently nearing the end of his retrial in Hamburg.

Motassadeq was sentenced in February 2003 to the maximum 15 years in prison on charges of membership of a terrorist organization and more than 3,000 counts of accessory to murder for his alleged role in the so-called "Hamburg cell" run by the lead September 11 hijacker, Mohammed Atta.

But a federal tribunal overturned the conviction and ordered a new trial. A verdict is expected August 19.

And another Moroccan national, Abdelghani Mzoudi, who was tried on the same charges as Motassadeq, was acquitted last October for lack of evidence.

The Karlsruhe-based federal court found that the new EU arrest warrant offered insufficient legal protection for German citizens and must now be implemented with a new German law that allows all extradition orders to be reviewed by German judges.

The ruling will mean that all German citizens being held for extradition within the EU must be released until the new legislation is passed. [...]

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Germany sets free suspected al-Qaeda financier
By FT Reporters
Published: July 18 2005 22:01

Germany on Monday freed a suspected al-Qaeda financier after the country's highest court ruled that the European legislation needed to extradite him was unconstitutional.

The ruling on the implementation of the European arrest warrant, one of the European Union's chief tools in the fight against terrorism, threatens to delay extraditions to and from Germany, the centre of many high-profile terror cases.

It also underscored the difficulties of conducting multinational terrorism investigations just as the focus of the hunt for the people behind the recent London bomb attacks shifted to Pakistan to see if the bombers had contacts with extremist groups there. [...]

The ruling by the German constitutional court to free Mamoun Darkazanli, a German-Syrian dual national wanted by the Spanish authorities, could delay extraditions to and from Germany. But the European Commission insisted that the arrest warrant, which came into effect last year as part of the EU's response to the 2001 attacks on the US, would continue to function across the union's 24 other countries and urged Berlin to redress the problem quickly.

Michael Rosenthal, Mr Darkazanli's lawyer, told the Financial Times that while he welcomed the ruling it did not represent "a blow to the EU arrest warrant or to EU integration more generally. This ruling is about mistakes made by the German government."

The court ruled that Germany had not put the arrest warrant into law in a way that was compatible with the constitution.

By Sarah Laitner in Brussels, Hugh Williamson in Berlin and Stephen Fidler, Cathy Newman and Frederick Studemann in London

Comment: A reader comments:

It seems there are very mixed messages coming out of London. One day the explosives are military, most likely from Bosnia, next they are home made. One day there are timing devices, next day there are none. Also, they found NO detonators - is that at the "bomb factory" or at the scenes of the explosions? One wouldn't expect a detonator to survive the explosion - that is what they are for, to explode. Seems the sheeple are being bombarded with BS so fast that they can't get to sit still long enough to think - even if they choose to think, that is.

Oh, and by the way, if it is Muslim radicals it has nothing to do with 12 years of sanctions and an invasion of Iraq that have combined to kill somewhere around one million people, or the blinkered support for Israel, it is because they "hate our freedoms" - those very freedoms that Bush and Blair are busy dismantling - perhaps that is the plan - remove all freedoms and then the terrorists won't have any freedoms to hate?

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Vietnam-Era Commander Westmoreland Dies
By BRUCE SMITH
Associated Press
July 19, 2005

CHARLESTON, S.C. - Retired Gen. William Westmoreland, who commanded U.S. forces during the Vietnam War from 1964 to 1968 and advocated a strong military buildup at a time when American casualties were mounting, has died.

Westmoreland died Monday of natural causes at Bishop Gadsden retirement home, where he had lived with his wife, said his son, James Ripley Westmoreland. He was 91.

"I have no apologies, no regrets. I gave my very best efforts," Westmoreland told The Associated Press in 1985. "I've been hung in effigy. I've been spat upon. You just have to let those things bounce off."

The silver-haired, jut-jawed officer, who rose through the ranks quickly during World War II and later became superintendent of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., contended the United States did not lose the conflict in Southeast Asia.

"We held the line. We stopped the falling of the dominoes," he said in 1985 at the 20th anniversary of the Army's 173rd Airborne Brigade's assignment to Vietnam. "It's not that we lost the war militarily. The fact is, we as a nation did not make good our commitment to the South Vietnamese."

As commander of U.S. forces in Vietnam, Westmoreland oversaw the introduction of ground troops in South Vietnam and a dramatic increase in the number of U.S. troops there. He also sought in vain permission to engage enemy forces in their sanctuaries in Cambodia, Laos and North Vietnam.

American support for the war suffered a tremendous blow near the end of Westmoreland's tenure when enemy forces attacked several cities and towns throughout South Vietnam in what is known as the Tet Offensive in 1968. Though Westmoreland fought off the attacks, the American public remained stunned that the enemy had gained access to the U.S. Embassy in Saigon, even if only for a few hours.

After the event, President Lyndon Johnson limited further increases in troops; Westmoreland was recalled to Washington to serve as the U.S. Army Chief of Staff after asking for reinforcements in response to the attacks. [...]

Comment: From a CNN interview with Westmoreland:

On the introduction of U.S. ground troops in Vietnam in 1965:

The United States moved into Saigon as the French were moving out. And frankly, I don't believe there was a great appreciation in our country that resulted in a commitment. It was going to be quite costly. ...

At the time, things were quite quiet. We had advisers [in South Vietnam] -- we had in fact replaced the French in that regard -- and we had advisers down to battalion level within the Vietnamese military structure. The problem at that time was not an invasion of the area by the North Vietnamese, but it was the erosion of the effectiveness of government brought about by the so-called "VC" -- the Viet Cong. It was not open warfare, but, as we referred to it at the time, insurgency. And we were involved in the counter-insurgency operations.

The political structure of South Vietnam was rather shaky at the time, because nobody knew from day to day who was running the country. ... Our mission at that time was to try to bolster the Vietnamese government, the morale of which was in disarray. We were dealing in a geographical area where we'd had very little experience in the past. We were dealing with a political-military situation. It was really quite complex. [...]

Gee, that all sounds rather familiar...

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Over 1000 Russian Children Killed by Parents in Last 5 Years - Top Official
Created: 19.07.2005 15:31 MSK (GMT 3), Updated: 15:31 MSK
MosNews

Over 1,000 children in Russia have been the victims of murder or attempted murder by their natural or foster parents in the past five years, Interfax reported Tuesday quoting Russian Deputy Prosecutor General Sergei Fridinskiy.

"In the period 2000-05 1,080 murders and 21 attempted murders were committed against children in Russia," Fridinskiy told a news conference.

He added that 1,086 of these crimes were committed by natural parents, and the other 15 by foster or adoptive parents.

According to the Russian Prosecutor's Office, 13 Russian children were killed by foreign adoptive parents, 12 of them in the United States.

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Trial of U.S. Media Group Employees Begins in Tashkent
Created: 18.07.2005 18:15 MSK (GMT 3), Updated: 18:15 MSK
MosNews

Uzbek authorities have begun the trial of a former director and another employee of the U.S.-based media rights and training organization, Internews group, the Svoboda radio station reported Monday.

Internews Network, which teaches journalists and supports press freedom, said an Uzbek ex-director and accountant were charged at the beginning of July with conspiracy to illegally produce videos and publish materials, AP reported earlier.

The charges follow a year of harassment and "fishing expeditions" by Uzbek authorities, said a statement posted on the group's website. "The prosecution of Internews and its staff by the Ministry of Justice in Uzbekistan is at odds with a recent call by President Islam Karimov to 'liberalize the activities' of the media and 'provide them with independence and freedom'," the statement said.

The group said local officials have stepped up pressure on it and other international organizations since the harsh suppression in May of an uprising in the eastern city of Andijan. Authorities deny that troops fired on unarmed civilians during the incident, and say 176 people died. Witnesses and rights groups put the figure at about 750.

Some foreign groups have been under mounting pressure following massive protests that ousted the leadership of Ukraine last year and Georgia in 2003. Karimov has alleged that Western organizations helped the opposition in those two countries.

Comment: There is nothing "alleged" about the interventions of US-backed "foundations" and other groups in the so-called Orange, Velvet or Cedar revolutions. The US is interfering in the internal affairs of every state that doesn't support its plans for world domination. That is what they do. They call it "national security".

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Drilling set at Chesapeake Bay meteor site
July 19, 2005

Scientists will drill more than a mile under Chesapeake Bay this fall to study a 35-million-year-old meteorite impact, the Baltimore Sun reported Monday.

The meteorite struck what is now the lower Chesapeake Bay off Virginia with such force it threw debris for thousands of miles and created a Rhode Island-sized crater, the newspaper noted.

"Whatever we find is going to be interesting," Charles Cockell, a professor of geomicrobiology at England's Open University, told the Sun.

Since the impact crater was discovered in 1993, scientists have drilled at least 12 holes, mainly to assess the crater's effect on groundwater supplies.. This fall's deeper drilling is designed to allow a better determination of how fast the meteorite was traveling, its size, effect on surrounding rocks and whether it was an asteroid or comet.

More than 40 researchers from the United States, Austria, South Africa and Japan will take part in the $1.3 million study. The bay crater is the largest in the United States and the sixth largest of 170 known impact craters in the world, the newspaper reported.

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New comet mission eyed for Deep Impact spacecraft

Scientists analyzing data; module may rest then target 85P/Boethin
By Todd Neff, Camera Staff Writer
July 19, 2005

The surviving half of NASA's Deep Impact spacecraft will steer itself toward another comet Wednesday, even as scientists swim through data from its crushing encounter with the comet Tempel 1.

The Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp.-built spacecraft's flyby module photographed the stunning vaporization of its 820-pound impactor module from a safe distance late July 3. It withstood the sandblast of the comet's tail a few minutes later, and with half its fuel remaining.

Deep Impact's engines will burn a good deal of that fuel Wednesday during a major trajectory change, said Monte Henderson, Deep Impact program manager for the Boulder-based Ball Aerospace. The idea is to put the spacecraft on a near-Earth route and, if NASA decides to pay for an extended mission, the comet 85P/Boethin.

Henderson said a handful of Ball Aerospace engineers would put the spacecraft into a "quiescent cruise" after Wednesday's burn, with its solar panels facing the sun and many of its systems switched off.

Don Yeomans, a NASA scientist on the Deep Impact team, said the Earth flyby would happen in late 2007 or early 2008, with an encounter with the comet Boethin possible in late 2008.

"If the spacecraft remains healthy, it would be a tough one to pass up, I would guess, because it would be an order of magnitude cheaper than anything else," Yeomans said.

With Deep Impact built and launched, only operations costs would be needed, Yeomans said.

Deep Impact's success is just another step in the exploration of comets. Scientists think the celestial wanderers are leftovers from the solar system's formation 4.6 billion years ago, and probably the source of at least some of the water and organic materials key to life on Earth.

Yeomans said the comets explored up close, including Halley, Wild 2, Borrelly and, now, Tempel 1, all appear quite different.

"The question then is, are they all individual or are there some broad characteristics that are similar?" Yeomans said.

A Deep Impact visit to the comet Boethin could help provide answers, Yeomans said.

In the meantime, the Deep Impact science team has made some preliminary conclusions, although much of the data the spacecraft transmitted 80 million miles home remains to be analyzed.

Michael A'Hearn, Deep Impact's lead scientist and a University of Maryland astronomer, said in an e-mail that scientists have been unable to separate the image of the crater from the blaze of ejecta following the 23,000-mph impact.

Given the unexpected brilliance of the impact, it might not be possible.

A'Hearn said scientists have inferred that the newest crater in the 4-mile-diameter comet is probably more than 100 meters in diameter and "at the large end of our range of expectations."

He said most of the solid ejecta came in the form of microscopic particles. Although ice, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide and hydrocarbons were detected, scientists won't know their relative volumes for weeks, A'Hearn said.

Yeomans said the scientific consensus before Deep Impact was that a comet's charcoal-black surface was a crust several feet thick, which encased an icy core.

"Well, we didn't see any crusted surface," he said. "It looks like very weak snow - dirty, of course."

Comment: Essentially, our scientists know very little about comets.

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Heat wave pushing power consumption in Eastern Canada
Last Updated Mon, 18 Jul 2005 19:56:12 EDT
CBC News

A heat wave continues to melt almost all of Ontario, Quebec and much of New Brunswick. Days of 30 plus weather continue to bake the populous eastern cities and consequently are pushing electrical grids to their limits.

In Ontario, Terry Young, spokesperson for the Independent Electricity System Operator [IESO], the organization that is responsible for the day-to-day operations, says so far it has been successful in finding enough electricity to meet demand.

But the province doesn't generate enough power to meet demand, so it's forced to look to its neighbours for help.

"If we get into a situation where we've done all that we can, [if] we've asked people to cut back and we're still running short, then clearly we would have no choice but to cut power to certain parts of the province," said Young.

Power imports from Quebec, New York and Michigan keep the lights on in about one million Ontario homes. If those jurisdictions aren't able to supply energy Ontario would be in trouble.

Mike Richmond, a Toronto lawyer who deals with energy policy, says he's worried about the situation.

"It's very dry in Quebec," said Richmond, pointing to the number of forest fires burning in the province. "That impacts water levels. Most of the power they sell us is hydro power coming from rivers and dams. If their water levels are lower because of the current drought, they won't have that power available to export to us."

Power cuts would not only turn off fans and air conditioners during a heat wave but could also have a considerable impact on the real engines of the province's economy, forcing work slowdowns at the big steel plants and automakers.

Environment Canada says the hot, humid weather is likely to last at least for the rest of the week.

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How Hot Is It? Arizonans Are Complaining
By MICHELLE ROBERTS
Associated Press
Mon Jul 18, 8:08 PM ET

PHOENIX - Arizonans usually just shrug when the mercury climbs beyond 100 degrees and the breeze feels like a giant hair dryer pointed at your face. But lately, even the most seasoned desert dwellers are complaining about the blowtorch heat.

Temperatures have been above average every day since June 29 in Phoenix, where the normal high in the middle of July is a sizzling 107.

"This has gone on a little too long," said Joe Della Rocca, a 41-year-old Arizona native. "All I know is Vancouver sounds fabulous right now."

The city hit 116 degrees on Sunday, two degrees above the old record for the date, set in 1936. Phoenix was almost mild compared with the Colorado River Valley, where Bullhead City reached 124 on Sunday and Needles, Calif., hit 125.

Even nighttime readings were no comfort over the weekend. The low on Monday morning was 91 degrees in Phoenix; the high was 113. [...]

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Earthquake hits Dien Bien Phu
07/19/2005 -- 16:53(GMT 7)

Dien Bien, July 19 (VNA) - An earthquake measuring 2.9 on the Richter scale occurred at the Dien Bien Phu basin in the northern Dien Bien province at midnight of July 18.

The epicentre of the earthquake was in Thanh Nua commune, 12 km from Dien Bien Phu city's centre. The last major earthquake hit Dien Bien Phu on Feb. 20, 2001, reaching 5.3 on the Richter scale and causing damages worth 200 billion VND.

The July 18 earthquake was the biggest this year in the locality, but there has been no serious loss.

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Small earthquake felt in Anchorage
Anchorage Daily News staff report
Published: July 18th, 2005
Last Modified: July 18th, 2005 at 04:14 PM

A wee earthquake joggled Anchorage just before 3 p.m. Monday, nudging people between Wasilla and Girdwood with a reminder that Alaska's urban center straddles immense seismic forces.

The magnitude 3.8 quake struck 28 miles west of Anchorage about 30 miles beneath the Beluga River area at the head of Cook Inlet, according to the Alaska Earthquake Information center at the Geophysical Institute in Fairbanks. It was too small to generate a tsunami, reported the West Coast & Alaska Tsunami Warning Center.

The quake was triggered where the North American tectonic plate continues to grind a chunk of former ocean floor deeper into the Earth, said seismologist Natasha Ruppert, at the earthquake center.

"From our point of view, it's typical," she said. "Not much to say about this event."

Within a half hour, 15 people from Anchorage, Eagle River, Wasilla and Girdwood had reported feeling the motion to the U.S. Geological Survey's "Did you feel it?" web site. For more details, check out the Alaska Earthquake Information Center at www.aeic.alaska.edu.

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Magnitude-5.8 earthquake jolts eastern Indonesia
Jul 19, 2005, 4:29 GMT

Jakarta - A magnitude-5.8 earthquake jolted the eastern Indonesian province of North Sulawesi early Tuesday, but there were no reports of casualties or damage, officials said.

The moderate quake shook the provincial capital of Manado about 3:37 a.m. (1937 GMT Monday), said Subardjo, an official at Manado's Meteorology and Geophysics Agency.

Subardjo said the temblor's epicentre was in the Maluku Sea, about 200 kilometres southeast of Manado, adding that it occurred about 30 kilometres beneath the seabed.

He said there were no reports of injuries or structural damage.

It was the latest in a series of earthquakes to jolt Indonesia in recent weeks. Indonesia is located in the Pacific volcanic belt known as the "Ring of Fire", where earthquakes and volcanoes are commonplace.

On Monday, an magnitude-5.6 quake jolted West Timor, inflicting slight to heavy damage to a number of homes and buildings.

On December 26, 2004, a magnitude-9 quake triggered tidal waves that devastated tens of thousands of homes and buildings along Aceh's coastline, leaving more than 167,000 people dead or missing.

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Rats invade central Hong Kong
Reuters
Mon Jul 18, 9:11 AM ET

HONG KONG - Hong Kong's central business district, famous for gleaming skyscrapers and fashionable bars, is facing an invasion of rats.

Between January and June, the densely populated area's rodent infestation rate swelled to 17 percent from zero, based on the number of rats attracted to every 100 pieces of bait.

"Central was virtually rat-free a few months ago, then the situation deteriorated. We have to tackle the problem actively. What is important is sustained action," said Ho Yuk-yin, a consultant with the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department.

He attributed the influx to poor vigilance at restaurants in the area's old, run-down and poorly-maintained buildings and maze of dank alleyways.

Government officers are distributing pamphlets to educate restaurant workers about hygiene, food storage, rubbish disposal and rat prevention. Workers were also putting out poisoned bait.

The district is now the second-worst rat infested area in Hong Kong, behind a shopping center in rural New Territories. A rodent infestation rate above 20 percent is considered high.

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Malaysia 'teapot cult' attacked
BBC
Monday, 18 July, 2005, 06:52 GMT 07:52 UK

The sect is noted for building a giant teapot to symbolise its belief in the healing purity of water, and is accused of luring Muslims away from Islam.

A lawyer for the sect, Haris Mohamad Ibrahim, said that about 30 armed men dressed in Arab robes had attacked the commune with Molotov cocktails.

No-one was injured in the attack, which caused a small fire.

"The roof of the teapot structure is... slightly charred, but since it is made of concrete, the damage is not extensive," firefighter Ahmad Fakarudin told Reuters news agency.

Police raid

The sect - based in the strongly Muslim state of Terengganu - claims to promote harmony between religious groups.

He has attracted believers from many different religious groups with his message of love and tolerance. He claims to allow his followers to be members of any faith, including Islam.

Earlier this month, the group was raided by police, and 21 followers were arrested for possessing documents contrary to Islam. They were all freed on bail pending a court appearance in September.

Members have been jailed in the past for attempting to renounce Islam, and the group's bizarre constructions have been deemed to be against local regulations.

The group's controversial structures are said to combine architectural elements from Islam, Christianity, Hinduism and Buddhism.

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