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"You get America out of Iraq and Israel out of Palestine and you'll stop the terrorism." - Cindy Sheehan
P I C T U R E   O F  T H E  D A Y
©Pierre-Paul Feyte
SOTT Editorial
Sharon was recognised as a hawk by all. He was secretly proud of his reputation as a cold-blooded murderer of Palestinian civilians, as were many of his colleagues. In recent months however, Sharon was criticised by the hard right, lead by Netanyahu, for pushing through with the demolition of Israeli settlements in the Gaza strip. These hard right-wingers accused Sharon of offering a sop to "Palestinian terrorists". For his part, Sharon claimed that the Gaza withdrawal was necessary to secure Israel's security and to move the peace process forward.

Both claims were, of course, entirely untrue.

The Gaza withdrawal, far from being a concession, or a gesture of peace and goodwill, to the Palestinians, was a carefully planned maneuver by Sharon to try to persuade international public opinion that Israel was the real peacemaker in the Middle East conflict, despite all of the concealed evidence to the contrary.

The reality of the Gaza withdrawal is that the Gaza settlements were illegal from the beginning and their removal was simply a long overdue adherence to international law and the Geneva convention. The 8,000 settlers that were removed were compensated to the tune of $200,000 per family, despite the endless news footage of tearful settlers and 'poor Israeli soldiers' who could hardly bear to do their duty.

Anywhere else in the world, the return of stolen property to its rightful owners does not result in the thief being lauded as a righteous person, particularly when there is a long list of offences yet to be answered. Yet this was the result of the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza.

In addition, the world was told that, following the Israeli withdrawal, the beleaguered Gazans would now enjoy freedom of movement, self-government and a slice of land to call their own. Not surprisingly, nothing has really changed in Gaza. Coincidence? Gaza's Palestinian inhabitants (women and children included) continue to suffer regular Israeli air raids, military incursions, lock downs and periodic assassination.

Sharon hated the Palestinians, and had the opportunity presented itself, he would not have hesitated to ethnically cleanse or expel the Palestinians from all of the land that Israel claims as its divine right. Yet Sharon was foolish enough to believe himself as somewhat of a realist and held to the idea that, at some point, Israel was going to have to live alongside the Palestinians. He reasoned that, at most, he could probably stomach a future with a Palestinian slave state next door to "greater Israel".

Sharon, however, was not on the same page as the real Middle East policy planners, who see no need to 'face reality' since they believe themselves to be its creators. The disturbing conclusion then is that, despite his years of dedicated service in establishing the nation of Israel on the blood of innocent Middle Eastern Arabs, Sharon's thirst for blood-letting was not 'pure' enough to make him eligible to direct the final phase in the Middle East "peace process".

Realising that a mutiny was in the offing and that he could not rely on the support of a majority of the Likud party, Sharon resigned as its head and formed the 'moderate' (in terms of Israeli politics where all significant parties are right wing) Kadima Party. Parliament was dissolved and new elections are scheduled for March 2006.

Benjamin Netanyahu, finance minister under Sharon, has since taken over the Likud leadership.

We are told that Sharon fell ill on Wednesday January 4th while resting at his ranch in the Negev. He was scheduled for a medical procedure on Thursday to close a small hole in his heart that was identified after his minor heart attack on December 18th. There are suggestions that Sharon's condition may have been complicated (worsened) by blood thinners he was given after his mild stroke on December 18th. Several neurologists are perplexed at the treatment that Sharon was given. The NY Times reported:
"The decision to treat the hole in Mr. Sharon's heart - with all the attendant risks of blood thinners - surprised many neurologists, because recent studies have concluded that such holes are not likely to cause strokes in the elderly. "We've been scratching our heads about the care, since we would not recommend closure of the hole" Dr. Fink said, noting that, at 77, Mr. Sharon presumably had many other risks for stroke.

After "falling ill" on 6th Jan, doctors rushed Sharon to Jerusalem from his home in the Negev desert. He suffered the stroke during the hour-long drive. We will never know what really occurred during that hour-long drive, or why Sharon was treated in a way that increased his chances of suffering a massive brain haemorrhage. We do, however, know the result.

We should also make mention of the obvious attempt at emotional manipulation of the Israeli population through the release of conflicting reports about Sharon's condition. On the 6th Jan, the Guardian reported that Israeli doctors had claimed that Sharon's chances of survival were "slim". One day later, Reuters reported that doctors had claimed that he had a "very high" chance of survival. Just what is being achieved by this, other than to confuse the public about the real state of Sharon's health and the real cause of his condition, is anyone's guess.

Recent poll results suggested that Sharon would have defeated Netanyahu in the upcoming elections. With Sharon's 'demise' however, it seems inevitable that Netanyahu will now be Israel's next Prime Minister. 'Bibi' has made it clear that, at his earliest convenience, he will attack Iran, and in doing so, nonchalantly ignite the fuse that will blow the Middle East back to the stone age, and bring to the wider world the realisation of America's Israel-inspired never-ending war on terror, which, by then, will be recognisable for what it always was - a war of terror on the human race.

In this context, and in the context of the reality of political power plays and the apparent desire by the power elite to bring the world to the brink of destruction and beyond, it seems reasonable then to suggest that Sharon, like his nemesis Arafat, was the victim of a stealth assassination.

Meanwhile, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad continues to play his appointed role of bogeyman, following up his call for Israel to be wiped off the map with an expression of his fervent wish that Sharon's condition prove fatal. Ahmadinejad's comment stands in stark contrast to the concern shown by the Palestinian leadership over Sharon's exit from the stage of Israeli-Palestinian politics.

PA Chairman Abbas knows only too well that, as cruel and ruthless as Sharon was, Netanyahu is a much worse prospect for the Palestinian people. Is it the case then that the Iranian PM is unaware that, with Sharon's departure, the destruction of his country and countless Iranian civilians has drawn one step closer? Or is it simply the case that Ahmadinejad is part of the setup?

Of course, the picture would not be complete without a word from the third member of the trio of organised religions - the fundie Christian corner - they that eagerly await the trumpet blast that will herald the beginning of Armageddon (or rather the fabled "rapture" that their bible tells them must precede it).

"Christian evangelical broadcaster Pat Robertson linked Sharon's stroke to God's "enmity against those who 'divide my land,'" and added on his television program, "I would say woe unto any prime minister of Israel who takes a similar course."
We are not sure who should receive the award for the "MOST THRILLED" by Sharon's exit, but Ahmadinejad and Robertson appear as strange bedfellows indeed; but only until we realise that all three major organised religions were established with one ultimate goal in mind – to manipulate the human race to walk blindly down the road to its own destruction.

And from that perspective, things seem to be progressing quite nicely here on planet earth.

Monday, 9 January 2006, 08:59 GMT
Ariel Sharon is able to breathe independently, report doctors who have started to bring the Israeli prime minister out of a coma.

While stressing that his condition remained critical, the Hadassah hospital said the development indicated "some sort of activity in his brain".

Doctors are currently reducing the amount of anaesthetic Mr Sharon is being given, in an effort to wake him.

He has been in an induced coma since being operated on for a major stroke.

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Mitch Prothero in Beirut
Sunday January 8, 2006
The Observer
Hamad Shamus remembers the morning in September 1982 when the right-wing Lebanese forces and their Israeli advisers sealed the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps on the outskirts of Beirut and began to massacre the Palestinians inside.

His home was nearest to the camp entrance and he was one of the first to hear shots as the Phalangist militia, in uniforms adorned with the Cedar Tree insignia, arrived. The Phalange had been fighting the PLO and its Lebanese allies since 1975 and were seeking revenge for the killing of their leader, Bashir Gemayel, in a car bombing.

'They put all of us against the wall by our home and shot us,' says Shamus, who was 20 at the time. 'Me, my father, my brother and a family from next door. I was shot three times. One man lived for an hour before he gave up and died. I lay there for three days listening to them kill the others. I prayed to God for myself and for my family. I don't know how I lived.' He rises and limps to a wall of pictures showing piles of dead. He points to a body. 'That is my father,' he points again, 'and that leg is my brother.'

As Israel's top military official in the 1982 invasion of Lebanon and backer of the Phalangists, Ariel Sharon is here thought of as a butcher of innocents. 'He is the King Kong of massacres,' says Abu Khalil, 46, another survivor.

The Israeli Kahan Commission found Sharon indirectly responsible for the massacre - he was dismissed as Israel's Defence Minister. 'I want to see him recover so that we can charge him with crimes,' Hamad says. 'But it seems maybe God has decided to charge him instead.'

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Sun Jan 8, 2006
BAGHDAD (Reuters) - A U.S. UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter crashed in northern Iraq on Saturday night, killing all 12 aboard in one of the worst incidents of its kind since the war began in 2003, the U.S. military said on Sunday.

Four crew and eight passengers were listed as being aboard, the military said in a statement, adding that the cause of the crash was under investigation.

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Comment: A simple yet important reminder of the fact that the public is incessantly lied to about what is really happening in Iraq. In all liklihood, this helicopter was shot down, but due to the need for the U.S. government to promote the fantasy that the normalisation of Iraq is progressing well, the official line must be that the helicopter "crashed". Then simpy allow your imagination to be your guide in understanding the massive gulf that exists between what you think your know about what is happening on the planet and what is really happening. 2006-01-09 13:02:35
GENEVA, Jan. 8 (Xinhuanet) -- An Egyptian government fax intercepted by the Swiss secret services said that the United States had detained 23 terror suspects in a detention center in Romania, a Swiss weekly reported on Sunday.

The fax said the Egyptian embassy in London learned from its own sources that 23 Iraqi and Afghan citizens had been questioned at the Mikhail Kogalniceanu base in the Romanian town of Constanzaon the Black Sea coast, the Zurich-based weekly Sonntags Blick reported.

Egypt believed there were similar centers in Ukraine, Kosovo, Macedonia and Bulgaria, the paper quoted a report written by the Swiss Defense Ministry.

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Sun Jan 8, 1:56 PM ET
BERN - A fax sent by the Egyptian foreign ministry to its embassy in London stated that more than 20 Iraqis and Afghans had been questioned at a US-run base in Romania, a Swiss newspaper reported.

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Layla A. Asamarai, MA Doctoral Candidate in Clinical Psychology – January 7, 2005
I received an e-mail today from a dear friend in Minnesota who is grieving the death of her uncle in Iraq. Her heartrending personal account of his murder deeply saddened me and I include it for all those who wish to read it. Afterwards, please read a passionate appeal to the American people by Cindy Sheehan, a tireless crusader to bring an end to the war in Iraq. God Bless.

I wanted to share some really sad family news that we were just stricken with yesterday. My uncle Abdulrazaq (my father's younger brother who is 50 years old) was in Iraq (in our local city of Samarra Iraq) on Thursday January 5th, 2006 and at 8pm went to go meet with his business partners to finish financial exchanges and on his way back he was killed by American troops.

Upon stealing the $10,000 that were in his coat pocket the troops that the Americans are so proud of and support, found that he did not have any weapons or explosives and then they dumped his body at the local hospital and walked away with his money.

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By Zbigniew Brzezinski
Sunday, January 8, 2006; Page B07
"Bring 'em on."

-- President Bush on Iraqi insurgents, summer 2003

The insurgency is "in its last throes."

-- Vice President Cheney, summer 2005

" . . . there are only two options before our country: victory or defeat."

-- President Bush, Christmas 2005

The administration's rhetorical devolution speaks for itself. Yet, with some luck and with a more open decision-making process in the White House, greater political courage on the part of Democratic leaders and even some encouragement from authentic Iraqi leaders, the U.S. war in Iraq could (and should) come to an end within a year.

"Victory or defeat" is, in fact, a false strategic choice. In using this formulation, the president would have the American people believe that their only options are either "hang in and win" or "quit and lose." But the real, practical choice is this: "persist but not win" or "desist but not lose."

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Comment: Zbigniew Brzezinski is the man who plotted the strategy of arming the Muslim fighters in Afghanistan against the Soviets. He might say he had a certain role to play in creating the scenario we see playing out in the Middle East and Central Asia.

He also used his connections to stifle the publication of Andrew M. Lobaczewski's book Political Ponerology, all the while telling the author that he would use his connections to ensure its publication.

In other words, the man is a player.

So what does it mean that he is now chracterising the US occupation of Iraq as a "foreign occupation" of Iraq? What does it mean that he describes the handpicked leaders of Iraq as "leaders handpicked by the United States"?

And that his remarks are published in The Washington Post?

Are the rats jumping ship?

If so, we live in very dangerous times. Bush and his masters are beings (we hestitate to call such psychopaths "human") who will stop at nothing to achieve their goals. As their chief mode of operation is fear-mongering, might we expect a new threat or attack on the US, one large enough to put all this questioning of Bush's divine right to rule behind us?

Or was Bush a patsy all along, one who was placed into power to pass the needed legislation, only to be removed when the time came? Take Bush out of office, install a new, cleaner model, yet continue with the same policies under a slightly scrubbed rephrasing and packaging in order to convince people that "America Works".

Brzezinski himself was part of such a plan thirty years ago. Nixon and Watergate had tarnished that pristine image the US has of itself, so along comes Jimmy Carter, the outsider, with his National Security Advisor, the aforementioned Mr. Brzezinski, to clean house. Or rather, to put into place some of the key elements for Bush's divine rule.

Can it happen again?

James Sturcke and agencies
Monday January 9, 2006
More than two million Muslim pilgrims from almost 180 countries today arrived at Mount Arafat following an eight-mile hike on the second day of the hajj.

Many worshippers, exhausted after the overnight walk from Mena, near Mecca, rested on the roadside or prayed. Saudi television showed a sea of devotees dressed in white converging on the holy site.

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22:16:04 EST Jan 8, 2006
CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) - American singer and activist Harry Belafonte called U.S. President George W. Bush "the greatest terrorist in the world" Sunday and said millions of Americans support the socialist revolution of Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez.

Belafonte led a delegation of Americans including actor Danny Glover, Princeton University scholar Cornel West and farmworker advocate Dolores Huerta that met with the Venezuelan president for more than six hours late Saturday. Some in the group attended Chavez's television and radio broadcast Sunday.

"No matter what the greatest tyrant in the world, the greatest terrorist in the world, George W. Bush says, we're here to tell you: Not hundreds, not thousands, but millions of the American people . . . support your revolution," Belafonte told Chavez during the broadcast.

Click to Expand Article 2006-01-09 16:33:40
TEHRAN, Jan. 9 (Xinhuanet) -- A senior Iranian official confirmed on Monday that Iran will resume nuclear fuel research in the day,the official IRNA news agency reported.

"As announced, nuclear research will be resumed in Iran today in the presence of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)representatives," government spokesman Gholam-Hossein Elham was quoted as saying.

"Resumption of research is not subject to legal prohibitions. It was suspended voluntarily," Elham added.

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PARIS, Jan 8 (AFP) - Ségolène Royal, the 52 year-old president of the Poitou regional council and partner of Socialist leader François Hollande, is the clear front-runner to become the party's candidate in next year's French presidential election, according to two polls Sunday.

Some 42 percent of the public want her as the Socialist contender in the May 2007 vote, as against 24 percent for former prime minister Lionel Jospin and 20 percent for former culture minister Jack Lang, a CSA poll for Le Parisien found.

Royal also easily topped the list with 48 percent when only Socialist Party (PS) supporters were consulted.

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Doug Ireland
The daily news-bulletin of the weekly Nouvel Observateur reports today on two new public opinion polls that confirm the mounting popularity of Segolene Royal for the French Socialist Party's presidential nomination in 2007. Royal likes to say she considers Tony Blair -- Bush's mendacious partner in the war on Iraq and the man who has put the British welfare state on Slimfast -- as her model. In a CSA poll published by the daily Le Parisien, 42% of all French voters, and 48% of Socialist voters, want to see her as the Socialist candidate (a rise of six points over last month's poll).

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Matthew Tempest and agencies
Monday January 9, 2006
Tony Blair should be impeached over the Iraq war, according to one of Britain's most senior former soldiers.

General Sir Michael Rose, who commanded UN forces in Bosnia, accused the prime minister of taking the country to war on what turned out to be "false grounds", saying it is something "no one should be allowed to walk away from".

Despite publicly insisting that his aim was to rid Iraq of weapons of mass destruction, Mr Blair "probably had some other strategy in mind", said Gen Rose.

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Jan 09 12:16 AM US/Eastern
Al-Qaeda's leader in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, said in an audio tape put onto the Internet that rockets had been fired at Israel from Lebanon last month "on the instructions" of the network's overall chief Osama bin Laden.

"The rocket firing at the ancestors of monkeys and pigs from the south of Lebanon was only the start of a blessed in-depth strike against the Zionist enemy (...). All that was on the instructions of the sheikh of the mujahedeen, Osama bin laden, may God preserve him," said the voice attributed to the Jordanian extremist.

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Comment: This one is a real winner. They have the two biggest boogeymen, Bin Laden and Zarqawi, linked together to take credit for the rocketing of Israel and also calling for jihad against Israel, the US, and pretty much the rest of the world.

By Héctor Tobar, Times Staff Writer
NUEVO LAREDO, Mexico — The most popular instruments of robbery, torture, homicide and assassination in this violence-racked border city are imported from the United States.

"Warning," reads the sign greeting motorists on the U.S. side as they approach the Rio Grande that separates the two countries here. "Illegal to carry firearms/ammunition into Mexico. Penalty, prison."

The signs have done little to stop what U.S. and Mexican officials say is a steady and growing commerce of illicit firearms in Mexico — 9-millimeter pistols, shotguns, AK-47s, grenade launchers. An estimated 95% of weapons confiscated from suspected criminals in Mexico were first sold legally in the United States, officials in both countries say.

Guns are the essential tools of a war among underworld crime syndicates that claimed between 1,400 and 2,500 lives in 2005, according to tallies by various newspapers and magazines.

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A jury due to try Muslim cleric Abu Hamza on race hate allegations – including soliciting murder – was sworn in at the Old Bailey today.

A jury due to try Muslim cleric Abu Hamza on race hate allegations – including soliciting murder – was sworn in at the Old Bailey today.

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Comment: There really is nothing to see here, because the trial of Abu Hamza will, without doubt, NOT be including the following very relevant facts:

Abu Hamza is a veteran of the Russian-Afghan war in 1979, when the CIA recruited trained and financed Islamic fundamentalists to fight the Russians.

Hamza, along with alleged London bombing mastermind Haroon Aswat, was, and still is, a British intelligence asset, as revealed by FOX News Channel's Day Side programme on July 29 2005. Watch the video here. The relevant part of the transcript follows:
MIKE JERRICK [FOX NEWS]: John Loftus is a terrorism expert and a former prosecutor for the Justice Department. John, good to see you again. So real quickly here, have you heard anything about this Osman Hussain who was just picked up in Rome? You know that name at all?

JOHN LOFTUS: Yeah, all these guys should be going back to an organization called Al-Muhajiroun, which means The Emigrants. It was the recruiting arm of Al-Qaeda in London; they specialized in recruiting kids whose families had emigrated to Britain but who had British passports. And they would use them for terrorist work.

JERRICK: So a couple of them now have Somali connections?

LOFTUS: Yeah, it was not unusual. Somalia, Eritrea, the first group of course were primarily Pakistani. But what they had in common was they were all emigrant groups in Britain, recruited by this Al-Muhajiroun group. They were headed by the, Captain Hook, the imam in London the Finsbury Mosque, without the arm. He was the head of that organization. Now his assistant was a guy named Aswat, Haroon Rashid Aswat.

JERRICK: Aswat, who they picked up.

LOFTUS: Right, Aswat is believed to be the mastermind of all the bombings in London.

JERRICK: On 7/7 and 7/21, this is the guy we think.

LOFTUS: This is the guy, and what's really embarrassing is that the entire British police are out chasing him, and one wing of the British government, MI6 or the British Secret Service, has been hiding him. And this has been a real source of contention between the CIA, the Justice Department, and Britain.

JERRICK: MI6 has been hiding him. Are you saying that he has been working for them?

LOFTUS: Oh I'm not saying it. This is what the Muslim sheik said in an interview in a British newspaper back in 2001.

JERRICK: So he's a double agent, or was?

LOFTUS: He's a double agent.

JERRICK: So he's working for the Brits to try to give them information about Al-Qaeda, but in reality he's still an Al-Qaeda operative.

LOFTUS: Yeah. The CIA and the Israelis all accused MI6 of letting all these terrorists live in London not because they're getting Al-Qaeda information, but for appeasement. It was one of those you leave us alone, we leave you alone kind of things.

JERRICK: Well we left him alone too long then.

LOFTUS: Absolutely. Now we knew about this guy Aswat. Back in 1999 he came to America. The Justice Department wanted to indict him in Seattle because him and his buddy were trying to set up a terrorist training school in Oregon.

JERRICK: So they indicted his buddy, right? But why didn't they indict him?

LOFTUS: Well it comes out, we've just learned that the headquarters of the US Justice Department ordered the Seattle prosecutors not to touch Aswat.

JERRICK: Hello? Now hold on, why?

LOFTUS: Well, apparently Aswat was working for British intelligence. Now Aswat's boss, the one-armed Captain Hook (Abu Hamza), he gets indicted two years later. So the guy above him and below him get indicted, but not Aswat. Now there's a split of opinion within US intelligence. Some people say that the British intelligence fibbed to us. They told us that Aswat was dead, and that's why the New York group dropped the case. That's not what most of the Justice Department thinks. They think that it was just again covering up for this very publicly affiliated guy with Al-Muhajiroun. He was a British intelligence plant. So all of a sudden he disappears. He's in South Africa. We think he's dead; we don't know he's down there. Last month the South African Secret Service come across the guy. He's alive.

JERRICK: Yeah, now the CIA says, oh he's alive. Our CIA says OK let's arrest him. But the Brits say no again?

LOTFUS: The Brits say no. Now at this point, two weeks ago, the Brits know that the CIA wants to get a hold of Haroon. So what happens? He takes off again, goes right to London. He isn't arrested when he lands, he isn't arrested when he leaves.

JERRICK: Even though he's on a watch list.

LOFTUS: He's on the watch list.The only reason he could get away with that was if he was working for British intelligence. He was a wanted man.

JERRICK: And then takes off the day before the bombings, I understand it--

LOFTUS: And goes to Pakistan.

JERRICK: And Pakistan, they jail him.

LOFTUS: The Pakistanis arrest him. They jail him. He's released within 24 hours. Back to Southern Africa, goes to Zimbabwe and is arrested in Zambia. Now the US--

JERRICK: Trying to get across the--

LOFTUS: --we're trying to get our hands on this guy.

JERRICK: On the phone with us, Mansoor Ijaz; Mansoor you know very well here at Fox News Channel and Dayside. Mansoor, real quickly here, you spent so much time in London, you're probably not that as impressed as I am about how fast Scotland Yard has worked on this case. So impressive, so successful. Why?

MANSOOR IJAZ: Well there are two things that a lot of domestic intelligence agencies don't around the world. One is an extraordinarily detailed database of information, and that database is buttressed by the fact that they have these photos, the graphic images of the faces of the people that they were looking for. So it saved them a lot of time when they got the forensic evidence, like fingerprints or other things that indicated where they could actually go find these people. Because remember, there was a lot of data left on the stuff these guys left behind from the failed bombing attack, and that's what helped to really unravel the cell. Now--

JERRICK: I guess--go ahead, Mansoor.

IJAZ: Now I think there's one very important thing that I think everybody needs to know. And that is that the cellular structure that this new breed of Al-Qaeda people have is such that there is not a clear indication that they all knew each other as much as it is that they had some sort of central control still sitting outside of the framework. Whether that's in a foreign country or a place that is removed from Britain and other place in Europe, that's what we're still looking for. But it's very clear now that these cellular structures were operating independent of each other, but with knowledge that something else was in fact planned in the pipeline.

JERRICK: Real quick, Mansoor. In that regard, maybe a ringleader could be this Haroon Aswat. What do you know about him?

IJAZ: Well, he's a pretty bad guy, and I think your previous guest gave the best assessment of who he is. He's the right hand man of the Al-Muhajiroun leader in London, and has been organizing and planning for some time. And I don't want to minimize the effect of the arrest in Rome, because what that indicates is that the cellular structure is elsewhere and we all know that Italy is a big target on their list.

JERRICK: OK, speaking of him, back to the comments by our John Loftus a little while ago. A question from the audience for you, John. Go ahead.

AUDIENCE MEMBER: Hi Mr Loftus. I recently read a book by Morris Dees called The Gathering Storm , and it talks about extremist militia groups in the United States and how they might be manipulated by some people's rhetoric, very similar to Aswat in London. What do you think the US is doing to prevent terrorist attacks on our own soil that happen--

JERRICK: You're worried about it here?


LOFTUS: The US government's doing a great job. We arrested the New York branch of Al-Muhajiroun two years ago. We found the subway bombers with the plans to blow up two different subway stations in New York City. The rest of the group is under surveillance. But the US was used by Al-Muhajiroun for training of people to send to Kosovo. What ties all these cells together was, back in the late 1990s, the leaders all worked for British intelligence in Kosovo. Believe it or not, British intelligence actually hired some Al-Qaeda guys to help defend the Muslim rights in Albania and in Kosovo. That's when Al-Muhajiroun got started.

IJAZ: Which is by the way why we know so much about them right now.

LOFTUS: Yes, I'm afraid so. The CIA was funding the operation to defend the Muslims, British intelligence was doing the hiring and recruiting. Now we have a lot of detail on this because Captain Hook, the head of Al-Muhajiroun, his sidekick was Bakri Mohammed, another cleric. And back on October 16, 2001, he gave a detailed interview with al-Sharq al-Aswat, an Arabic newspaper in London, describing the relationship between British intelligence and the operations in Kosovo and Al-Muhajiroun. So that's how we get all these guys connected. It started in Kosovo, Haroon was 31 years old, he came on about 1995.
Chaim Kupferberg of the Global Research website tells us:
Abu Hamza, like bin Laden, was a veteran of the C.I.A.-funded drive to oust the Soviets from Afghanistan. In the mid-eighties, Abu Hamza settled in Britain where he eventually became known as one of the key point men in laying the groundwork for Muslim fundamentalism in the United Kingdom.

As a testament to Abu Hamza's glass-eyed charisma and oratorical skills, hundreds of freshly radicalized British Muslim youths were "processed" through the Finsbury Park mosque, and then sent off to Afghanistan - the "finishing school" for the worldwide jihad. In the immediate aftermath of 9/11, with British authorities rounding up suspected al-Qaida operatives hither and thither, it was indeed a curious fact that Abu Hamza was given free rein to continue his indoctrination activities. On July 30, 2002, Fox News' Carl Cameron and Globe-Intel's Gordon Thomas and Yvonne Ridley reported that a combined FBI-MI5 raid on the former Dublin office of the International Mercy Relief Agency - an alleged al-Qaida front - had yielded up documents linking Moussaoui to Abu Hamza. The documents had also conveniently linked Moussaoui to Mustafa Ahmed al-Hisawi (roughly eight months after they were first linked together in the Moussaoui indictment). As an aside, an earlier raid on the Dublin offices of the Islamic Relief Agency had, as reported in Newsweek on November 11, 2001, yielded up the documents that had first supposedly led authorities to assume that Mustafa Ahmed was a senior al-Qaida financial operative.

As late as September 11, 2002, journalist Farukh Dhondy was raising the question as to Abu Hamza's puzzling status as a free man, given his by now obvious role as a senior - indeed, crucial - recruiter for al-Qaida:

"Scotland Yard's information office refuses to answer questions as to why Abu Hamza isn't under arrest. Several leaders of the Muslim community in Britain allege that he is working for the British Secret Services - in particular MI5 - as an agent provocateur..."

Of course, raising an allegation does not make it so. Yet the very fact that mainstream Muslim leaders would level such a charge at Abu Hamza says something about Abu Hamza's place in that community. In other words, was this al-Qaida recruiter an organic outgrowth of Britain's largely immigrant Muslim community, or was he simply grafted on to serve purposes other than those of his purported constituents?

Abu Hamza's role as an Islamic fundamentalist recruiter (along with that of his counterpart in Hamburg, Mohammed Haydar Zammar - the recruiter of Atta and Binalshibh) must be judged in the light of present demographic realities. And the reality is this: with a population in excess of one billion adherents, and a geographic span that stretches from the West African Straits of Gibraltar to the far east of Asia, the Muslim World apparently was not up to the task of furnishing the most hardcore, sophisticated operative cells of al-Qaida. Contrary to popular wisdom, the inferno of 9/11 was not conceived in fetid slums like Gaza, where deprivation and bitterness has stoked inter-generational hatred of Westerners and Jews. Rather, the peculiarly sophisticated strain of Muslim terror that has been branded as al-Qaida was largely incubated among an insular network in the U.K. and the E.U., where a conveniently incriminating trail could be tracked and showcased as definitive proof of the authorship for 9/11.

By James Sturcke and Hugh Dougherty
Evening Standard
20 February 2003
Radical Muslim Abu Hamza has astonishingly claimed that a Jewish conspiracy destroyed the Twin Towers.

The Egyptian-born preacher made the bizarre claim in the wake of the conviction of a student in Germany for acting as the 11 September attackers' banker.

Hamza claimed Moroccan student Mounir al-Motassadek, jailed for the maximum 15 years for being an accessory to 3,000 murders, had been framed by German police trying to meet performance targets.

The outburst came at a public appearance in Bethnal Green last night by Hamza, who has been barred from preaching at Finsbury Park mosque.

Hamza also claimed that the US was prepared to "invade Turkey" as part of its alleged attempt to seize control of the Middle East's oil, and accused "Zionists" and American fundamentalist Christians of worshipping the Antichrist.

He told how he he believed the World Trade Center was not brought down by planes hijacked by al Qaeda but by Jewish extremists packing the buildings with explosives.

"We are sure it was a Zionist plot," he said. "From the way the building collapsed you could see the building has been demolished from the inside because there is no way the whole building would just collapse like that."

And the hook-handed cleric, who is being investigated over allegations of housing benefit fraud, accused Jews and Christians of a wider conspiracy to bring an end to Islam.

Comment: Now there's one really good reason for the British, Americans and Israelis to want Hamza locked up in a sound proof cell for a long time.
January 7, 2006
by Rodrigue Tremblay
A few years ago, two French writers (Pierre Accoce and Dr Pierre Rentchtick) wrote a book titled "These Sick People who are in Charge". In fact, it happens quite often that circumstances or political cabals bring to power persons of small intellect or worse, people whose state of mind is unstable, and sometimes truly deranged.

In the case of George W. Bush, president of the USA since January 20, 2001, his mental stability or instability has been the topic of Washington speculation for several years, even though American corporate media (ACM) have done their utmost to conceal the fact. In 2004, Dr. Justin Frank wrote a devastating book on Bush's mental state entitled "Bush on the Couch". Frank's conclusion: Bush Administration policies are not only a "great catastrophe" but the products of a disturbed mind.

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January 9 1863
Monday January 9, 2006
The Guardian
Our errors of taste and judgment, like our greater sins, have an inconvenient habit of finding us out, Several years ago, a number of ladies of high rank did what general opinion, or at least the intelligent portion of the country, pronounced to be a very foolish thing.

Under the temporary disturbance of feeling produced by a glowing work of fiction, they addressed to the "women of the United States" a memorial denouncing negro slavery, and urging its immediate extinction. The authoress of "Uncle Tom's Cabin," and her set were, of course, delighted. Outside that little coterie, however, we fear, it did not obtain a more grateful reception than is given to good advice offered from an assumed standpoint of great moral superiority.

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By Philip Watts
01/08/06 "" -- -- John Yoo publicly argued there is no law that could prevent the President from ordering the torture of a child of a suspect in custody – including by crushing that child’s testicles.

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WASHINGTON — President Bush agreed with great fanfare last month to accept a ban on torture, but he later quietly reserved the right to ignore it, even as he signed it into law.

Acting from the seclusion of his Texas ranch at the start of New Year’s weekend, Bush said he would interpret the new law in keeping with his expansive view of presidential power. He did it by issuing a bill-signing statement — a little-noticed device that has become a favorite tool of presidential power in the Bush White House.

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By Eric Margolis
Toronto Sun
-- -- WASHINGTON -- China's Taoists philosophers warned that you become what you hate. We see this paradox in Washington, where the current administration increasingly reminds one of the old Soviet Union.

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By Brock N. Meeks
5:55 p.m. ET Jan. 6, 2006
WASHINGTON - In the 50 years that Grant Goodman has known and corresponded with a colleague in the Philippines he never had any reason to suspect that their friendship was anything but spectacularly ordinary.

But now he believes that the relationship has somehow sparked the interest of the Department of Homeland Security and led the agency to place him under surveillance.

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Goodman is no stranger to mail snooping; as an officer during World War II he was responsible for reading all outgoing mail of the men in his command and censoring any passages that might provide clues as to his unit’s position. “But we didn’t do it as clumsily as they’ve done it, I can tell you that,” Goodman noted, with no small amount of irony in his voice. “Isn’t it funny that this doesn’t appear to be any kind of surreptitious effort here,” he said.
Goodman has a very interesting point: Why would the US government want people to know they are being monitored? To generate fear - and perhaps even anger?

Monday, 9 January 2006, 11:48 GMT
US Vice-President Dick Cheney has been rushed to hospital in Washington after suffering shortness of breath and apparent fluid retention.

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Associated Press
Sat Jan 7, 11:40 PM ET
LOS ANGELES - Illegal immigration protests organized across the country Saturday drew small numbers, and some were outnumbered and out-shouted by those who support immigrant rights.

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Jan 08 10:46 PM US/Eastern
LOS ANGELES - Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger received 15 stitches in his lip Sunday after he and his 12-year-old son were involved in a motorcycle accident near their Los Angeles home, his spokeswoman said.

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by Missy Comley Beattie
January 8, 2006
Just think. All of you. If the Marines had been provided proper upper-body armor, perhaps 80 percent who died from chest wounds would be alive today.

This is criminally unconscionable. It is a lock-them-up-with-no-possibility-of-parole criminal charge. Murder in the first degree. And it is not a figment of left-wing imaginings. Rather, it is in a report, a secret study by the Pentagon. And it demands a wave of revulsion--an indictment--not only from the public but also from Congress.

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Arianna Huffington
Huffington Post
Here's the next Abramoff blockbuster coming soon to a newspaper, cable TV station, and blog near you. What makes this particularly tantalizing is that it puts the White House squarely in the middle of a 2002 corruption investigation of a sleazy arrangement between Abramoff and Guam Superior Court officials. The chief prosecutor in the investigation was acting U.S. Atty. for Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands, Frederick A. Black. As the LA Times wrote back in August 2005, in more innocent times when Abramoff's shenanigans did not make front page news, Black was removed from his position as acting U.S. Attorney in November 2002. It was a position he had held for over a decade, and which he lost one day after a subpoena was issued demanding the release of records involving the Guam court's lobbying contract with Abramoff -- including bills and payments.

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Donald Hunt
January 9, 2006
Gold closed at 542.20 dollars an ounce on Friday, up 4.3% (and more than 7% for the past two weeks) from $519.70 at the end of the week before. The dollar closed at 0.8239 euros on Friday, down 2.4% from 0.8440 the week before. That puts the euro at 1.2137, compared to 1.1849 at the previous Friday's close. Gold in euros would be 446.73 euros an ounce, up 1.9% from the previous week's 438.60. Oil closed at 64.31 dollars a barrel on Friday, up 5.4% from $61.04 the week before. Oil in euros would be 52.99 euros a barrel, up 3.0% from 51.43 for the week. The gold/oil ratio was 8.43 down 1.0% from 8.51 the week before. In the U.S. stock market, the Dow closed at 10,959.31, up 2.3% from 10,717.50 the week before (down when denominated in gold and oil, though). The NASDAQ closed at 2,305.62 on Friday, up 4.5% from 2,205.32 at the previous week's close. The yield on the ten-year U.S. Treasury note was 4.37%, down two basis points from 4.39 the week before.

Another odd week where the Mainstream Media in the U.S. are trying to push their rosy economic scenario while gold and oil are up sharply, and the U.S. seems to be careening from two disastrous and expensive military defeats while planning several more. Iran, Syria, Venezuela, Cuba? Which will it be? And it is doing this planning with a major constitutional crisis looming (that is, if there is any constitution left to have a crisis).

Speaking of Iraq, lost in the bad news for the U.S. on the battlefield was the news that the International Monetary Fund’s prescription for Iraq is working like a charm in producing the classic "IMF Riot":

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Associated Press
Friday, December 30, 2005
WASHINGTON — Treasury Secretary John Snow said yesterday the United States could face the prospect of not being able to pay its bills early next year unless Congress raises the government’s borrowing authority, now capped at $8.18 trillion.

Snow, in a letter to lawmakers, estimated that the government is expected to bump into the statutory debt limit around the middle of February.

“At that time, unless the debt limit is raised or the Treasury Department takes authorized extraordinary actions, we will be unable to continue to finance government operations,” Snow wrote.

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Comment: As more and more people are saying, the U.S. economy is no longer sustainable. Massive overspending on needless wars, including 1 trillion dollars that the Pentagon can't account for means that a 'readjustment' is needed. As always, this debt will be passed on to the American people - specifically those Americans who can least afford to support it. In practice, this means job losses on a large scale, factory shutdowns, a sharp rise in the 'cost of living', including oil prices. The price of gold will probably go through the roof...

by Mike Whitney
January 9, 2006
“It's the death blow to the US dollar,” said Peter Grandich, editor of the Grandich Letter.

On Thursday, The People’s Republic of China fired off the first volley in what could turn out to be economic Armageddon. China announced that it would begin to diversify its foreign-exchange reserves away from US dollar.


The only thing keeping the dollar atop its fragile perch is the fact that other countries have been willing to lap up the $600 billion of American red ink every year via the trade deficit. That amounts to roughly $2 billion per day or nearly 7% GDP.

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Mon Jan 9, 2006 1:23 AM ET
SINGAPORE - Billionaire investor George Soros said on Monday he thinks the U.S. Federal Reserve's monetary tightening could tip the economy into recession in 2007 and he expects a sharp dollar decline.

Soros said he expects the federal funds rate, now at 4.25 percent, to peak at 4.75 percent and that the Fed would try to achieve a soft landing for the economy.

Nevertheless, the Fed could overshoot, he told a seminar in Singapore.

"If housing continues to cool while rates are slowing then it could turn into a hard landing," Soros said.

"That's why I expect a recession to happen in 2007, not 2006."

By Peter Bohan
January 8, 2006
DETROIT - Irate U.S. auto workers picketing in the streets and bright prospects for competing Asian automakers cast a damper over struggling U.S. giants General Motors Corp and Ford Motor Co. as the global auto industry's biggest annual show opened on Sunday.

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by William D. Hartung
The Nation magazine
February 23, 2004
We all know that Halliburton is raking in billions from the Bush Administration's occupation and rebuilding of Iraq. But in the long run, the biggest beneficiaries of the Administration's "war on terror" may be the "destroyers," not the rebuilders. The nation's "Big Three" weapons makers- Lockheed Martin, Boeing and Northrop Grumman-are cashing in on the Bush policies of regime change abroad and surveillance at home. New York Times columnist Paul Krugman was on target when he suggested that rather than "leave no child behind," the slogan Bush stole from the Children's Defense Fund, his Administration's true motto appears to be "leave no defense contractor behind."

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BBC News
Bolivia's President-elect Evo Morales has met French President Jacques Chirac in Paris on the latest stage of an international tour.

The two leaders discussed proposals by Mr Morales to partially nationalise Bolivia's gas and oil reserves.

The French energy firm, Total, is one of several foreign companies involved in Bolivia's natural gas industry.

Mr Morales, wearing his trademark jeans and shirt,thanked Mr Chirac for supporting Bolivia's indigenous people.

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Comment: Notice that Morales did not visit the U.K. With the U.S. having essentially confiscated the better part of Iraqi oil and gas,(Iraq has abundant gas reserves) those nations that have not fallen into line behind the Bush regime's plans for the world are being forced to look elsewhere to secure their energy needs, and with an impending collapse of the U.S. economy, things can only get worse for the free distrubtion of energy.

We should also note the increase in recent months of mainstream media mention of "depletion of oil reserves" and a possible oil shortage is a fiction that will nevertheless be used to by the U.S. government to justify further invasions of foreign nations.

Last Updated Sun, 08 Jan 2006 21:31:08 EST
CBC News
Two children and an adult in Ankara have tested positive for the H5N1 strain of bird flu, Turkish officials say.

The Turkish Ministry of Health announced three cases in Ankara and two others in eastern Turkey near Iran on Sunday. They have not yet been confirmed by the World Health Organization.

The diagnoses sparked fear among many people in Turkey, because only a week had passed since the country's first cases were confirmed more than 800 kilometres away in the eastern Turkish city of Van.

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Luke Harding in Berlin
Monday January 9, 2006
The Guardian
It is a mystery that has gone on for more than a century: did the old skull lodged in an Austrian basement really belong to the greatest composer of all time, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart?

The results of DNA tests seeking to solve the mystery were broadcast on Austrian TV to coincide with the 250th anniversary this month of the composer's birth. And the answer is: we still don't know.

Last night researchers revealed that Mozart's "skull" - which has been in the possession of the Mozart Foundation since 1902 - had a different DNA result from that of his two "relatives". This could mean either that the skull is a 200-year-old fake or that it is indeed genuine but that the two "relatives" dug up from the Mozart family plot in Salzburg are not from his family at all. The samples from the skeletons of his supposed relatives had different DNA results from each other, leading to suspicions that neither was related to Mozart.

Click to Expand Article 2006-01-09 16:20:45
BEIJING, Jan. 9 (Xinhuanet) -- China's database of immortalized cell samples of all Chinese ethnic groups has basically taken shape a decade after scientists' investigation and sampling throughout the country, sources with the Ministry of Health said Monday.

The research team, led by principal investigator Chu Jiayou and jointly supported by the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and the Chinese Academy of Sciences, has collected a total of 3,119 different strains of everlasting cells, and kept 6,010 DNA samples for further research.

Click to Expand Article 2006-01-07 21:51:26
BEIJING, Jan. 7 (Xinhuanet) -- Chinese scientists have claimed nearly 100 intellectual property rights on human functional genes,which have shown great potential in disease prevention and pharmaceutical development.

Sources with the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) said here Saturday that the great progress in human genome research is an important step of the "863" high-technology program, a national project initiated in March 1986 aiming to enhance the country's overall strength.

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Comment: Getting patents on the human genome, is that a psychopathic idea or what?

It isn't only China that engages in such activity; all countries doing this research do the same thing, be they socialist, communist, or capitalist.

That should tell us something.

07 January 2006
A Mystery noise, suspected to have been a sonic boom, sent shock waves through communities along a stretch of Aberdeenshire coastline yesterday.

The sound, described as a loud, two-part bang above ground level, shook windows and tiles and prompted several calls to the police.

People in Cove, Portlethen and Stonehaven heard the noise at about 11.25am, variously describing it as like a quarry blast, gas explosion or firework.

But other people, who in some cases were only in the next room, heard nothing. Police are still unsure what caused the sound.

It is thought it may have been a sonic boom, which is the sound made by the shock wave created when an aircraft or missile passes through the sound barrier.

Sonic booms are often heard as a double-bang, which was reported by some people yesterday.

They also tend to cause windows to shatter. But that did not happen yesterday - and the RAF said there were no military aircraft active nearby.

Harry Roulston, 63, of Stonehaven, was on Portlethen golf course when he heard two very loud noises in quick succession.

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Comment: Note the persistent claim that it was a sonic boom, even after the RAF said there were no aircraft in the area. Of course, they could be lying and were in fact testing some super-secret military craft, but chances are that this mystery boom, like so many others in recent years, was an overhead meteorite explosion.

Sat Jan 7, 2006
LONDON (Reuters) - The preserved remains of two prehistoric men discovered in an Irish bog have revealed a couple of surprises --- one used hair gel and the other stood 6 foot 6 inches high, the tallest Iron Age body discovered.

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Comment: Read the rest of the article above and then marvel at the moral progress humanity has made in 2,300 years.

The Associated Press
Jan 6, 2006
ALBUQUERQUE - A panel of linguists has decided the word that best reflects 2005 is "truthiness," defined as the quality of stating concepts one wishes or believes to be true, rather than the facts. [...]

Michael Adams, a professor at North Carolina State University who specializes in lexicology, said "truthiness" means "truthy, not facty."

"The national argument right now is, one, who's got the truth and, two, who's got the facts," he said. "Until we can manage to get the two of them back together again, we're not going make much progress."

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AP National Writer
Sun Jan 8, 12:54 PM ET
It began as a mass e-mail in a certain Seattle office building on December's first day.

A cold front was arriving! Snow! Ice! Untold inches for the city and surrounding area!

Within hours, the e-mail exchange called for an early dismissal and even generated a catchy headline, the kind that television news offers up for every tempest: "Snowstorm Katrina."

A memo went out: "Please be aware that many or all of the staff will be leaving early today as snow and icy road conditions have hit Seattle." A last call was sounded for overnight mail. Copy writers and bookkeepers turned into amateur meteorologists, e-mailing hourly weather updates to colleagues, and sending links to live weather cams.

The cautious drove home after lunch. The brave stayed behind.

And the snow never came. Not even an inch.

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"We are living in a period now when we are just as fearful about common dangers like bad weather as we are about unusually serious dangers like Category 4 hurricanes. We feel the world is out of control in many ways, politically and economically. So it makes sense to imagine the weather is out of control, too."
Ah yes - don't worry folks! That record hurricane season last year was nothing to worry about! And forget all about the tsunami in Indonesia, increasing earthquakes and volcanic activity around the globe, space rocks falling on our heads, etc. Unlike our counterparts in the mainstream media, instead of just making ridiculous claims like the above quote, we like to gather data to support the ideas we present on the Signs page:

- Climate and Earth Changes in the News: 2002 - 2006

- Meteors, Asteroids, Comets and NEOs in the news

- Supervolcanoes

Sat Jan 7, 2006
TOKYO (Reuters) - Troops and volunteers in Japan shoveled snow from roads and roofs on Sunday as the death toll from the country's heaviest snowfall on record rose to more than 60.

Teams of troops tried to clear snow that had piled up to more than three meters in some of the worst-hit areas of Niigata prefecture and to re-open blocked roads in Nagano prefecture. Both areas are northwest of Tokyo.

At least 63 people have died and over 1,000 injured since the unusually heavy snowfall began last month, Kyodo news agency said, citing a survey of local governments.

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Last Updated Sun, 08 Jan 2006 19:30:09 EST
CBC News
The number of dead from Japan's heaviest snowfall on record has risen to nearly 70 people.

The 68th death linked to the snow occurred on Sunday night, when a 57-year-old man fell into an irrigation ditch in Yamagata prefecture.

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Last Updated Sun, 08 Jan 2006 19:21:16 EST
CBC News
The Indian capital, New Delhi, had its first winter frost since 1935 on Monday as a cold snap swept down from the Himalayas.

It's part of a cold wave that has killed more than 130 people in India in the past month and afflicted other areas of Asia.

Meteorological Department officials said the temperature in New Delhi early Monday morning dipped to 0.2 C for the first time in 70 years.

Click to Expand Article 2006-01-08 21:28:43
SHENYANG, Jan. 8 (Xinhuanet) -- China's first military laboratory for simulating freezing environment is now in operation. The experiment module can reduce the inside temperature to 60 degrees Celsius below zero in two and a half hours.

According to military sources, the lab, located in northeast China's Shenyang Military Command, was built with human experiment modules, animal experiment modules, small medical equipment modules and temperature control modules.

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Comment: Global warming, anyone? 2006-01-09 20:36:14
WUHAN, Jan. 9 (Xinhuanet) -- After finishing the work on images of China's crustal movements in 2005, Chinese experts said the Himalayas showed the most active crustal movements, while Beijing moved five millimeters eastward.

China experiences various crustal movements every year due to pressure from the Indian Plate, said Yang Shaomin, associate researcher with the China Seismological Bureau.

The movements affect earthquakes, glaciers, biology and climate. For example, the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau movements increased earthquakes in western China, Yang said.

Click to Expand Article

A powerful earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 6.4 shook Greece today, the Athens Geodynamic Institute said.

The quake’s epicentre was located about 125 miles south of Athens near the island of Kythira.

No injuries were immediately reported. Media reports said the quake was also felt in northern Greece.

Associated Press
January 8, 2005
AGUILAR, Colo. - Wind-whipped wildfires destroyed at least five houses in southern Colorado and forced the evacuation of several hundred residents Sunday, authorities said.

Two fires had burned over 5,400 acres in Huerfano and Las Animas counties, not far from the New Mexico line. One of them had started as a controlled burn earlier in the week that flared up again despite efforts to keep it down.

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Jan 9, 1:01 AM (ET)
AGUILAR, Colo. - The wildfire danger that has been menacing the parched southern plains spread to Arkansas and Colorado on Sunday, where wind-whipped blazes destroyed at least nine homes and forced hundreds of people to evacuate, authorities said. [...]

In Arkansas, a 3,000-acre wildfire destroyed four homes Sunday east of Hamburg and chased nearby residents from their houses. Four volunteer fire departments were battling the blaze, and Deputy State Forester Larry Nance said it likely would be Monday before they could gain control.

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January 9, 2005



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