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"You get America out of Iraq and Israel out of Palestine and you'll stop the terrorism." - Cindy Sheehan
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©2005 Pierre-Paul Feyte
Mon Dec 19, 7:31 PM ET
Cleveland, Ohio - A bill on Gov. Bob Taft's desk right now is drawing a lot of criticism, NewsChannel5 reported.

One state representative said it resembles Gestapo-style tactics of government, and there could be changes coming on the streets of Ohio's small towns and big cities.

The Ohio Patriot Act has made it to the Taft's desk, and with the stroke of a pen, it would most likely become the toughest terrorism bill in the country. The lengthy piece of legislation would let police arrest people in public places who will not give their names, address and birth dates, even if they are not doing anything wrong.

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Comment: Governor Taft also announced that Ohio law enforcement officials would be outfitted with black uniforms, jackboots, and machine guns... 2005-12-21 02:19:17
WASHINGTON, Dec. 20 (Xinhuanet) -- The US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has conducted numerous surveillance and intelligence-gathering operations that involved groups active in environment, animal cruelty and poverty relief and other causes, newly disclosed agency records showed.

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Comment: Reading between the lines, or reading the signs if you will, it is clear that the Bush administration is attempting to draw an association in the minds of American citizens that dissent = terrorism. And in their minds, dissent does equal terrorism because the people in power in the pathocracy are aware of the gulf that separates them and the society of normal people.

Dissent is a signal that the society of normal people is seeing through the smokescreen and beginning to awaken to the real situation. Because, as Lobaczewski shows in his book Political Ponerology, no more than 18% of a society's population will come under the sway of the pathocracy, the other 82%, after they begin to see clearly, after they become immune to the psychological beating they have taken at the hand of pathological leaders, pose a significant and real threat to the existence of the pathological system. Any and all resistance must be crushed because it can only snowball if left alone, leading to the ultimate demise of the pathocratic system.

The pathocrats know this, that is why they can come out with statements that the "constitution is only a scrap of paper". Laws and rules, be they legal or moral, have no inner meaning for them. "Thou shalt not steal" or "thou shalt not kill" could easily be reversed to "Thou shall steal" and "Thou shall kill", and they would see no fundamental difference; they would have no inner voice of conscience saying to them "The first is right, the second is wrong".

If we look at the Bush regime since 9/11, it has consistently ignored any treaty or law which stood in its way, doing this because for the Bush Reich any and all laws are completely arbitrary.

William Fisher
Arab News
19 Dec 2005
As Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice stilettos her way across Europe facing tough questions about who, where and how the US treats prisoners in the “global war on terror”, 2005 may be remembered as the year “torture” and “rendition” became parts of the everyday American vocabulary.

The latest iteration of these issues arose from the Washington Post’s recent disclosure that the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) was using its fleet of secret aircraft to render high-value terror suspects to secret prisons it is reportedly operating in former Soviet bloc states in Eastern Europe.

To avoid compromising national security, The Post did not name the countries, but they have been widely reported to be Poland and Romania. At former Soviet gulags there, “ghost prisoners” simply fall off the radar — unnamed, unregistered, without access to lawyers, family members, or the International Committee of the Red Cross.

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by Rob Kall
19 Dec 2005
Will they continue to allow him to keep doing it now that he's confessed? If WE THE PEOPLE don't act on this, and demand an end to it and serious, legal repercussions, the USA is lost.

Bush spends a few years, with the collaboration of right wing psycho members of congress, ordering a spy agency that's not supposed to operate in the US to spy on US citizens.

The sycophant mainstream media pick up the spoon-fed Republican spin that it was about national security. They fail to ask the big question. What the hell were you doing violating federal laws against non-court-authorized spying? If the nation was in danger, why couldn't you get court authorization? Why did you use the NSA to spy illegally. Why not use legal agencies that have conventional rules, oversight and protections?

But these pathetic media pawns, these stenographic transmitters of the right wings lying spin didn't ask any of these obvious questions. Or they gently offered them and let Bush's evasions pass.

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Comment: Take action -- contact your local newspaper or congress people
Tell Bush He Does Not and Never Had the Right to Order Spying on Americans Without Court Authorization

Associated Press
December 20, 2005
WASHINGTON - Some Democrats say they never approved a domestic wiretapping program, undermining suggestions by President Bush and his senior advisers that the plan was fully vetted in a series of congressional briefings.

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20 Dec 2005
U.S. Rep. John Lewis said Monday in a radio interview that President Bush should be impeached if he broke the law in authorizing spying on Americans.

The Democratic senator from Georgia told WAOK-AM he would sign a bill of impeachment if one was drawn up and that the House of Representatives should consider such a move.

Lewis is among several Democrats who have voiced discontent with Sunday night's television speech, where Bush asked Americans to continue to support the Iraq War. Lewis is the first major House figure to suggest impeaching Bush.

"Its a very serious charge, but he violated the law," said Lewis, a former civil rights leader. "The president should abide by the law. He deliberately, systematically violated the law. He is not King, he is president."

Comment: We couldn't agree more!

By Doug Ireland
December 20, 2005
President Bush may find himself in deep trouble after ordering and defending illegal wiretaps of U.S. citizens -- a crime for which Richard Nixon was impeached.

When the U.S. Senate last Friday refused to renew the liberticidal Patriot Act -- with its provisions for spying on Americans' use of libraries and the Internet, among other Constitution-shredding provisions of that iniquitous law -- it was in part because that morning's New York Times had revealed how Bush and his White House had committed a major crime.

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By Jonathan Alter
6:17 p.m. ET Dec. 19, 2005
Dec. 19, 2005 - Finally we have a Washington scandal that goes beyond sex, corruption and political intrigue to big issues like security versus liberty and the reasonable bounds of presidential power. President Bush came out swinging on Snoopgate — he made it seem as if those who didn’t agree with him wanted to leave us vulnerable to Al Qaeda — but it will not work. We’re seeing clearly now that Bush thought 9/11 gave him license to act like a dictator, or in his own mind, no doubt, like Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War.

No wonder Bush was so desperate that The New York Times not publish its story on the National Security Agency eavesdropping on American citizens without a warrant, in what lawyers outside the administration say is a clear violation of the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. I learned this week that on December 6, Bush summoned Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger and executive editor Bill Keller to the Oval Office in a futile attempt to talk them out of running the story. The Times will not comment on the meeting, but one can only imagine the president’s desperation.

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Comment: The problem with this story and the general consensus on the wiretapping scandal is that it creates the impression that the mainstream press is in any way "free". For example we are told: "On December 6, Bush summoned Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger and executive editor Bill Keller to the Oval Office in a futile attempt to talk them out of running the story. The Times will not comment on the meeting, but one can only imagine the president’s desperation." And there you have it, the mainstream press standing eyeball to eyeball with the President, not backing down and delivering the truth to the American people! The only problem with this image is that it is wholly illusory because, on countless occasions in the past, the mainstream press has unashamedly prostrated itelf at the foot of Washington bigwigs and paid homage to the god of money and power. We can safely conclude therefore that, if Bush was indeed stonewalled by New York Times editors in his plea to not have the story published, they only did so because they were dancing to the tune of a different set of taskmasters - most likely the Washington Israeli cabal, which of course is bad news not only for George, but for the disenfranchised American public, the peoples of the Middle East and the world in general.

By Thomas Ferraro
Dec 19, 2005
WASHINGTON - A key Republican senator asked Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito on Monday about President George W. Bush's domestic spying order and whether war gives the president a blank check when it comes to civil liberties.

In a letter to Alito, Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter, who will preside at Alito's Senate confirmation hearing next month, also asked what approach he would use to assess Bush's authority.

"Historically, the court has shied away from checking executive power while a military conflict was going on," Specter, a Pennsylvania Republican, wrote the 55-year-old conservative in preparation for the hearing set to begin January 9.

"Pursuant to your jurisprudential framework and understanding of the separation of powers, do you believe the court's reluctance to decide these issues is justified?" Specter added.

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By Stephen Pizzo
News for Real
December 20, 2005
If Bush wants to know where domestic spying leads, he should read some of the millions of files the East German Stasi compiled on its own citizens.

There is something George W. Bush should understand, being that he's a dry drunk; one is too many and a thousand never enough.

That little rule of thumb is doubly true of torture and spying on fellow Americans. Justifying one water-boarding becomes justification for the next, and the next until, before you know it, torture becomes not just another tool in the box, but the tool of choice.

The same goes for spying on one another.

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by Christopher Westley
19 Dec 2005
Michael Kinsley, the political writer and newspaper editor, is now becoming the thought experimenter. He wonders, in a recent Slate article, about the various cases under which State torture may be justified. To wit:

What if you knew for sure that the cute little baby burbling and smiling at you from his stroller in the park was going to grow up to be another Hitler, responsible for a global cataclysm and millions of deaths? Would you be justified in picking up a rock and bashing his adorable head in? Wouldn't you be morally depraved if you didn't?

Or what if a mad scientist developed a poison so strong that two drops in the water supply would kill everyone in Chicago? And you could destroy the poison, but only by killing the scientist and 10 innocent family members? Should you do it?

Or what if an international terrorist planted a nuclear bomb somewhere in Manhattan, set to go off in an hour and kill a million people. You've got him in custody, but he won't say where the bomb is. Is it moral to torture him until he gives up the information?

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Associated Press Writer
December 20, 2005
ABOARD AIR FORCE II - Vice President Dick Cheney on Tuesday vigorously defended the Bush administration's use of secret domestic spying and efforts to expand presidential powers, saying "it's not an accident that we haven't been hit in four years." [...]

"I believe in a strong, robust executive authority and I think that the world we live in demands it. And to some extent, that we have an obligation as the administration to pass on the offices we hold to our successors in as good of shape as we found them," he said.

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Today in 1989, in 'Operation Just Cause', 27,000 US troops invaded Panama to overthrow the government of Manuel Noriega, who had been indicted on charges of drugs trafficking, racketeering and money laundering. Noriega is still in US custody today.

The REAL story, as is so often the case, is much different from the official story.

1989: The United States launched an assault on Panama, ostensibly to rid the country of its leader, Manuel Noriega. However, Noriega's primary crime seems to have been refusing to go along with US plans for Nicaragua and El Salvador. These plans included the subversion of the anti-imperialist government of Nicaragua via the use of mercenary forces contracted by the CIA and the destruction of the popular insurgency in El Salvador against the US-sponsored government. These operations involved the use of procedures on insurgent forces that were developed in Vietnam: torture, murder, and economic subversion. After the assault on Panama is over, world news media concludes that over 2000 civilian residents of Panama City were murdered in the US attack. The US denies the carnage.

International War Crimes Tribunal

[...] On December 20, 1989, President Bush ordered a military assault on Panama using aircraft, artillery, helicopter gunships and experimenting with new weapons, including the Stealth bomber. The attack was a surprise assault targeting civilian and non-combatant government structures. In the E1 Chorillo district of Panama City alone, hundreds of civilians were killed and between 15,000 and 30,000 made homeless. U.S. soldiers buried dead Panamanians in mass graves, often without identification. The head of state, Manuel Noriega, who was systematically demonized by the U.S. government and press, ultimately surrendered to U.S. forces and was brought to Miami, Florida, on extra-territorial U.S. criminal charges. [...]

It is also widely accepted that a primary reason for the American invasion of Panama was due to the fact that Noriega, a personal friend of the first President Bush, foolishly attempted to confront U.S. bullying by suggesting that he was going to blow the whistle on American and Israeli Mossad drug smuggling through Panama; soon thereafter, up to 5,000 Panamanian civilians were killed by U.S. soldiers and Noriega was no more.

AP Education Writer
December 20, 2005
HARRISBURG, Pa. - A federal judge has ruled "intelligent design" cannot be mentioned in biology classes in a Pennsylvania public school district, deciding the latest chapter in an ongoing debate over evolution and the separation of church and state.

The Dover Area School Board violated the Constitution when it ordered that its biology curriculum must include "intelligent design," the notion that life on Earth was produced by an unidentified intelligent cause, U.S. District Judge John E. Jones III ruled Tuesday.

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The Associated Press
Monday, December 19, 2005
WASHINGTON -- The nation's murder rate jumped 2 percent during the first six months of this year, with the biggest increases reported by small towns and in the Midwest, the FBI said Monday. The number of rapes, arsons and assaults fell during the same period.

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Dec. 19, 2005
ABC News
— Officials are investigating the theft of 400 pounds of high-powered plastic explosives in New Mexico. The material was stolen from a bunker owned by a bomb expert who works at a national research lab outside Albuquerque.

ABC News has been told it's one of the most significant thefts of high-power explosives ever in the United States.

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Associated Press Writer
Dec 19, 2005
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Monday told officials in his hometown in Austria to remove his name from a sports stadium and stop using his identity to promote the city. The governor's request came after politicians in Graz began a petition drive to rename the stadium, reacting to Schwarzenegger's decision last week to deny clemency to condemned inmate Stanley Tookie Williams. Opposition to the death penalty is strong in Austria.

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Comment: Tit for tat.

By Shaun Waterman
UPI Homeland and National Security Editor
Dec 20, 2005
Legislation promoted by a slain American aid worker and passed by lawmakers at the weekend requires the U.S. military to report to Congress about what information it collects on civilian casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The amendment to the 2006 Defense Authorization Act sponsored by Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., highlights an issue that U.S. aid worker Marla Ruzicka made her life's work before she was slain by a suicide bomber in Baghdad on April 16.

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By Jill Carroll
CS Monitor
April 18, 2005
Aid worker Marla Ruzicka was photographed the day before she died in Baghdad. [...]

When she died Marla was traveling to visit some of the many Iraqi families she was working to help. Lately, she had been attempting to aid the relatives of a toddler whose parents were killed after the mini-bus they were traveling in was hit by what was believed to be an American rocket. The baby was thrown out of a window to save her life.

It's still unclear exactly how Marla and her driver, Faiz, were killed. But early reports indicate that they were traveling on the dangerous route between Baghdad and the airport when a suicide car bomber tried to attack a military convoy. Faiz was an Iraqi Airways pilot, who at one time worked as an interpreter for Monitor correspondents in Iraq. [...]

I found out that Marla had died several hours after she didn't show up for a party that she planned at the Hamra, a hotel occupied mostly by foreign journalists. I was tired and wasn't going to go. My friend Scott went and called me about 11 p.m. He said no one had heard from Marla since about 2 o'clock that afternoon. The other journalists and I all feared a kidnapping. I went over to the Hamra lobby and asked at the reception desk if they knew Marla's driver's family. They said his brother had just called because they were worried they hadn't seen him. A bad sign.

Then we got a call from the US military saying a woman fitting her description had been in an accident, but that she was in the military hospital and in good condition. We were relieved. In Baghdad's strange logic, we all thanked God it was a car accident and not a kidnapping. Then we received another call. It was the military again. This time they said the woman was dead on arrival.

The only thing we can say now is at least she died doing what she wanted, doing what she really, really believed in. If she were still here, she'd be most worried now about her driver's family and who will take care of all the other Iraqi families she was working with.

She would point out, this happens to Iraqis every day and no one notices or even cares. There are no newspaper articles or investigations into what happens to them. For most of them, there was only Marla.

Comment: Aside from the tragedy of the loss of one of the few people fighting on the side of the millions of innocent Iraqi civilians, there are a couple of interesting and somewhat disturbing points about Marla's death. The Washington Post tell us:

"She was killed on the road to a U.S. military base by the airport, where foreigners travel for flights out of the country and where Iraqis go to ask for help from the American forces"

Writing about the stretch of highway in June 25, 2004, in her online journal Marla stated:

"The ride is not pleasant. Military convoys passing every moment. Faiz and I hold our breath." "Such convoys in that area are the target of rockets and fire from the resistance. It would be nice if there was a more secure location for Iraqis to seek compensation."

Indeed, we wonder if the fact that Iraqi civilians have to risk their lives if they want to claim compensation for the ravages of liberation was not a deliberate decision by the benevolent occupying troops.

In the same report we learn:

"Ruzicka stayed in Baghdad longer than she had planned because she believed she had found the key to establishing that the U.S. military kept records of its civilian victims, despite its official statements otherwise, colleagues said."

It is no secret that the US government has gone to great lengths to hide from the US population not only US military deaths, but also the "collateral" damage that they have inflicted on the Iraqi people. It would certainly be displeasing to the US government and military if, somehow, someone were to discover that the US military has indeed been keeping a list of Iraqi "casualties of war" and were to reveal it to the international press. Indeed, one suspects that any such list would be extremely long (hundreds of thousands) and could seriously damage US government claims that they are spreading freedom to the Iraqi people.

With that in mind, read again the words of Jill Carroll of the Christian Science Monitor who is currently in Baghdad and who was on hand when the US military notified her of Marla's death:

"Then we got a call from the US military saying a woman fitting her description had been in an accident, but that she was in the military hospital and in good condition. We were relieved. In Baghdad's strange logic, we all thanked God it was a car accident and not a kidnapping. Then we received another call. It was the military again. This time they said the woman was dead on arrival."

Before you go poopooing what we are not so subtly hinting at here, remember that, just a few weeks ago, another peace activist in Iraq was marked for death by the US military in a very blatant and flagrant way. They say that war is hell, but what is war but men fighting other men, killing and maiming without compunction. Is it possible that in "hell" a non-critically wounded Marla Ruzicka might have been murdered in a US military hospital?

Given the vast war crime already committed that is the Iraq invasion, such an act, by now, is probably just par for the course for the corrupt and vicious men who are directing the bogus "war on terror."

by Staff Sgt. Julie Weckerlein
Dec 20, 2005
"ROVER" is an unimpressive piece of equipment. But one Air Force officer swears it's the link to the Air Force's future in communications -- where the Xbox generation meets real-time battle.

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By Andrew Buncombe in Washington
20 December 2005
UK Independent
Two scientists once at the centre of Saddam Hussein's efforts to develop biological weapons have been released from custody in Iraq where they had been held without charge for more than two-and-a-half years.

Unidentified officials in Iraq, told Associated Press yesterday that Rihab Taha, dubbed "Dr Germ", and Huda Salih Ammash, known as "Mrs Anthrax", were among 25 former senior officials from Saddam's regime released from detention over the weekend.

An Iraqi lawyer, Badee Izzat Aref, said some of the prisoners released were his clients. "The release was an American-Iraqi decision and in line with an Iraqi government ruling made in December 2004, but hasn't been enforced until after the elections in an attempt to ease the political pressure in Iraq," he said. "Because of security reasons, some of them want to leave the country ... Some have already left Iraq today."

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Tuesday December 20, 2005
Associated Press Writer
BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) - Sunni Arabs alleged Tuesday that last week's parliamentary elections were fraudulent, especially in Baghdad province, and they said if the irregularities are not corrected, new balloting must be held in Iraq's largest electoral district.

An electoral commission official said more than 1,000 complaints from the Dec. 15 vote were being investigated, but only 20 were "very serious," and were not expected to change the overall outcome. Final results will be announced in early January, he said, which would delay formation of a new government.

The United Iraqi Alliance - a Shiite party - won about 59 percent of the vote, according to returns from 89 percent of ballot boxes counted in Baghdad province. The Sunni Arab Iraqi Accordance Front received about 19 percent, and the Iraqi National List headed by Ayad Allawi, a secular-minded Shiite, got about 14 percent.

The general director of Iraq's electoral commission, Adel al-Lami, told The Associated Press that officials didn't announce the results of the remaining 11 percent because of complaints of irregularities. He refused to elaborate.

The Iraqi Accordance Front, a coalition of three major Sunni groups, rejected those results, warning of "grave repercussions on security and political stability" if the mistakes were not corrected.

Preliminary returns showed Iraqi voters divided along ethnic and religious lines with a commanding lead held by the religious Shiite coalition that dominates the current government, even though Sunnis turned out in large numbers after boycotting previous elections.

U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad, noting those results, said Iraq needs a broad-based government that crosses that divide if it is to succeed and prosper.

"Sectarianism undercuts prospects for success and increases the risk for conflict among sects," Khalilzad said.

If Sunnis are marginalized politically, it could cement divisions in Iraq and undermine U.S. hopes of a quick return to stability that would allow for the eventual withdrawal of American troops.

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Comment: Here's just how irregular last weeks election results in Iraq were:

The United Iraqi Alliance - a Shiite party - won about 59% of the vote. Add that to the 14% for CIA asset Allawi - also a Shiite - and you get 73%. The problem is, only 55% of Iraq's population are Shia with Sunnis representing 35%. So how can Shia candidates have received 73% of the votes cast when we are told that Sunnis came out in large numbers? Also, how can these results be described as along ethnic lines, unless a large percentage of the Iraqi population have been disenfranchised?

The above article also makes the point that, "if Sunnis are marginalized politically, it could cement divisions in Iraq and undermine U.S. hopes of a quick return to stability that would allow for the eventual withdrawal of American troops", but why should anyone believe that the US government is willing or in a position to ever withdraw US troops from Iraq? Most US wars of agression of the 20th and 21st century have resulted in the permanent stationing of US troops in foreign nations. Consider also the fact that there is much evidence pointing to the Iraq invasion having been waged at the behest of Israel, and that Israel has big plans for the 130,000 US troops in Iraq. In short - Iraq was only the beginning.

Staff and agencies
Tuesday December 20, 2005
The Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has banned western music from state radio and TV stations, it was announced today.

In a move reminiscent of the 1979 Islamic revolution, when popular music was outlawed, Mr Ahmadinejad - the head of the Supreme Cultural Revolutionary Council - ordered the implementation of a ruling prohibiting all forms of western music.

It means music including classical compositions will be barred from public service broadcast outlets, local media said. "Blocking indecent and western music from the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting is required," a statement on the council's website said.

Comment: With his public statements about the holocaust and Israel, and now his entirely unreasonable, and not a little Draconian rulings on "Western music", it seems that the Iranian President is determined to provide the US and Israel with every opportunity to paint him as a "dangerous madman" and thereby make the job of convincing the Western public that Iran should go the same way as Iraq. Of course, when some kind of "Iranian agression" comes, there is more than a fair chance that, like 9/11 and so many other "attacks by foreign agents", it will simply be a case of the murderer attacking himself in order to divert attention.

December 19, 2005
Mumbai: At least 136 tremors were recorded all over the world by seismologists between December 9 and 16 and these shocks were concentrated all along plate boundaries and majority of them along the Pacific and Indian ones.

Compared to earlier years, the earth is showing a pattern not experienced by humans although such unusual phenomena is not uncommon to the planet, Prof Chandrasekharam, Earth Science department of IIT here said while explaining the earthquake record for the period.

"This apparently shows the dynamic changes that the earth is undergoing internally. A large amount of scientific data is pouring-in with respect to such changes taking place within the earth," he said.

One of the most interesting phenomena noticed recently, is the shifting of the present magnetic pole of the earth towards Russia. A major shift of the pole was recorded by palaeomagnetist Joseph Stoner from Oregon State University, who announced it last week. 2005-12-20 15:52:53
CANBERRA, Dec. 20 (Xinhuanet) -- An earthquake measuring 6.2 on the Richter scale rocked the Pacific seabed between the island groups of Micronesia and Guam on Tuesday, the U.S. Geological Survey Web site said.

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CBC News
Dec 19 2005 08:44 AM NST
A couple in Central Newfoundland has had a close encounter with a mysterious object that appeared to fall from the sky at a high speed.

"I would say [it was] the size of a chicken, probably," says Joanne Knee, who says her experience on Friday afternoon reminded her of the story of Chicken Little.

Knee and her husband were driving from Gander to Carmanville when an object narrowly missed their truck.

She said the beige-coloured rock hit the ground so close to the truck that when it exploded, shards damaged the front grill and a signal light.

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Comment: Yup, meteorites are extremely rare these days... go back to sleep.

By Robert Roy Britt
Senior Science Writer
19 December 2005
A swath of space beyond Neptune is getting stranger all the time as astronomers find an ever-more diverse array of objects in various orbits and groupings.

A pair of discoveries this month along with a handful of others in 2005 have begun to reveal what some astronomers long suspected: The outer solar system contains a dizzying array of round worlds on countless odd trajectories around the sun, often with multiple satellite systems.

The problem is, current theories of the solar system’s formation and evolution can’t account for it all.

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Dec 20, 2005
WELLINGTON - Volunteers and conservation staff battled Tuesday to save more than 120 pilot whales stranded on a beach on New Zealand's South Island.

The whales became stranded on Puponga Beach near Farewell Spit in the north of the South Island on Tuesday as the tide went out, said John Mason, a local conservation department official.

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Associated Press Writer
December 20, 2005
CHEYENNE, Wyo. - Wyoming is embarking on an $8.8 million, five-year cloud-seeding project that aims to bolster mountain snowpack, and possibly yield proof of whether cloud seeding actually works.

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By Ker Than
LiveScience Staff
20 December 2005
Around midnight on January 27, 1700, a mysterious tsunami stole through several villages on the eastern coast of Japan.

The waves reached as high as 12 feet and flooded rice paddies, washed away buildings and damaged fishing shacks and salt kilns. Sleeping villagers awoke startled and wet and had to hastily scramble to high ground. The waters knocked down oil lamps and started a fire in one village and destroyed 20 houses in another.

The waves pounded the villages all through that night and into the late morning of the next day.

They swept through Miho, a village about 90 miles (140 kilometers) southwest of what is now Tokyo, about seven times.

The tsunami struck not only without warning, but without an apparent cause.

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Associated Press
December 20, 2005
WASHINGTON - Drinking water may have a lot more in it than just H20 and fluoride, according to an environmental group's analysis of records in 42 states.

A survey by the Environmental Working Group released on Tuesday found 141 unregulated chemicals and an additional 119 for which the Environmental Protection Agency has set health-based limits. Most common among the chemicals found were disinfection byproducts, nitrates, chloroform, barium, arsenic and copper.

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Comment: Ah yes, keeping the population sick, docile and subservient, one glass of water at a time.

Mon Dec 19, 2005
By Fiona Ortiz
LA PAZ, Bolivia (Reuters) - Evo Morales, who challenges U.S. anti-drug policies, was set to become Bolivia's first Indian president and join Latin America's shift to leftist leadership after winning an unexpectedly large majority in Sunday's elections.

Morales' rivals conceded defeat when results tabulated by local media showed him taking slightly more than 50 percent of the vote, much higher than predicted.

Should Morales capture more than half of the votes he would avoid facing a congressional vote between the two top vote-getters as requried by Bolivian law.

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NY Times
20 Dec 2005
When Google introduced Google Earth, free software that marries satellite and aerial images with mapping capabilities, the company emphasized its usefulness as a teaching and navigation tool, while advertising the pure entertainment value of high-resolution flyover images of the Eiffel Tower, Big Ben and the pyramids.

But since its debut last summer, Google Earth has received attention of an unexpected sort. Officials of several nations have expressed alarm over its detailed display of government buildings, military installations and other important sites within their borders.

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Comment: Note this comment from the above article: "It was in the 1990's that the federal government started allowing commercial satellite companies to make and sell high-resolution images, to allow American companies to compete in a growing market. But a number of security restrictions apply to those companies. For instance, United States law requires that images of Israel shot by American-licensed commercial satellites be made available only at a relatively low resolution." Now our question is: Why is there a United States law that forbids the release of high-resolution images of Israel? Is this really a US law or is it an Israeli law, and in any case, is there any real difference?
6:01 am EST December 20, 2005
MIAMI BEACH, Fla. -- A seaplane carrying 20 people crashed into the water within sight of this city's high-rises Monday, killing 19 people, authorities said. The other person has not been found. Witnesses said the plane exploded in the air.

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December 20, 2005
ROME - A passenger train rammed into another at a station south of Rome on Tuesday, injuring about 20 people, Italy's state railway said.

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Dec 18, 2005
DOHA - France's controversial Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy said on Sunday that he had fought the most for the rights of the country's estimated five million Muslims and that recent riots had nothing to do with Islam.

He was speaking during an interview with the Arab channel al-Jazeera about the three weeks of rioting that swept poor sections of French cities in late October during which thousands of cars and public buildings were set ablaze and thousands of people arrested.

He also defended France's newly approved anti-terror measures.

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Mon Dec 19,10:17 PM ET
MEXICO CITY - Kidnappers in Mexico are far more likely to kill their victims than are their counterparts in Colombia, the country long considered to have the world's worst abduction record, an anti-crime group said Monday.

About one out of every seven people kidnapped in Mexico died at the hands of their captors in 2005, compared to one out of every 26 victims in Colombia, according to a report by the Citizen Council for Public Safety, a private-sector think tank.

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Dec 19, 2005
Moscow - Russia has signed a preliminary agreement to sell a dozen Sukhoi fighter jets to Thailand, traditionally a US arms client, in an unprecedented deal worth 500 million dollars, The Moscow Times daily reported Monday.

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The Scotsman
Tue 20 Dec 2005
THE Soviet dictator Josef Stalin ordered the creation of Planet of the Apes-style warriors by crossing humans with apes, according to recently uncovered secret documents.

Moscow archives show that in the mid-1920s Russia's top animal breeding scientist, Ilya Ivanov, was ordered to turn his skills from horse and animal work to the quest for a super-warrior.

According to Moscow newspapers, Stalin told the scientist: "I want a new invincible human being, insensitive to pain, resistant and indifferent about the quality of food they eat."

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Comment: Unlike the Soviets, the Americans were successful in producing a half-man half-ape "superwarrior":


By Erik Kirschbaum
December 20, 2005
BERLIN - Drunken Santas on a rampage in New Zealand, armed German robbers in Santa disguises, a British St. Nick wanted for flashing, and a Swedish vandal in a Santa outfit are giving the big man in red a bad name this year.

Reports of "Bad Santas" breaking the law or otherwise wreaking havoc have been circulating around the world.

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