- Signs of the Times Archive for Mon, 12 Mar 2007 -

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SOTT Focus
Iranian "Defector" Was Israeli-CIA Spy - Iran Attack Approaches

Joe Quinn
Signs of the Times
2007-03-12 08:43:00

Looks like we nailed it in our editorial of last week about the Iranian "defector". According to Iranian officials Asghari was, as we suspected, a long-term spy for "Western agencies" i.e. Mossad and the CIA, and his escape into the arms of the West seems to be herald the final stage in the building of the bogus case for a murderous attack on the Iranian people by the American, British and Zionist thugs.

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Signs Economic Commentary for 12 March 2007

Donald Hunt
Signs of the Times
2007-03-12 06:47:00

The stabilizing of stock markets, caused by halfway decent U.S. employment numbers last month (97,000 jobs added) or by the Plunge Protection Team - take your pick - calmed a lot of nerves. I guess last week wasn't the time the Plunge Protection Team either couldn't or wouldn't stop the plunge. Why did the market rally when all week the news on the subprime mortgage front was grim? As we discussed last week, defaults in the mortgage market in the United States will have effects going beyond financial corporations and far beyond the borders of the United States...

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Best of the Web

No new articles.

U.S. News
Propaganda Alert!! 9-11 suspects get 'hearings' at Guantamamo

2007-03-12 14:43:00

Secret hearings for two suspected masterminds of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and a third terror suspect were held over the weekend at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, as the military launched proceedings to determine whether 14 high-profile detainees should be prosecuted.

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Katrina survivor dismembered, cooked

2006-10-18 07:40:00

A Hurricane Katrina victim who gained national notoriety by flashing her breasts for police cars in the wake of the devastating storm was apparently murdered and dismembered this month by her live-in boyfriend, who then cooked her body parts before committing suicide.

Police in New Orleans say they found a suicide note in the pocket of Zackery Bowen, a bartender who had been living with Adrian "Addie" Hall in the post-catastrophe ruins of the French Quarter.

The note led authorities yesterday to the scene of his girlfriend's murder, "where they found her charred head in a pot on the stove, her legs and feet baked in the oven and the rest of her dismembered body in trash bag in the refrigerator," according to the New Orleans Times-Picayune.

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Why Libby's Pardon Is a Slam Dunk

The New York Times
2007-03-11 23:22:00

EVEN by Washington's standards, few debates have been more fatuous or wasted more energy than the frenzied speculation over whether President Bush will or will not pardon Scooter Libby. Of course he will.

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Immigration raids can divide families

Monica Rhor
Associated Press
2007-03-11 22:48:00

HOUSTON - They are the hidden side of the government's stepped-up efforts to track down and deport illegal immigrants: Toddlers stranded at day care centers or handed over to ill-equipped relatives. Siblings suddenly left in charge of younger brothers and sisters.

When illegal-immigrant parents are swept up in raids on homes and workplaces, the children are sometimes left behind - a complication that underscores the difficulty in enforcing immigration laws against people who have put down roots and begun raising families in the U.S.

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500 Homes Evacuated in Calif. Brush Fire

Associated Press Writer
2007-03-11 22:35:00

ANAHEIM, Calif. - A fast-moving brush fire scorched 1,000 acres of parched hillside and charred at least two homes Sunday, forcing authorities to evacuate more than 500 homes, Orange County fire officials said.

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WA state veterinarian investigating reported cow deaths at dairy

2007-03-11 19:31:00

SPOKANE, Wash. -- Preliminary results of an investigation into cow deaths at a Stevens County dairy found no evidence of foreign animal disease infection or mad cow disease, a Washington State Department of Agriculture spokesman said.

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UK & Euro-Asian News
Got Zionism? Churchill's attitude to Jews divides historians

Tim Butcher
2007-03-12 09:34:00

A row over the supposed anti-Semitism of Sir Winston Churchill intensified yesterday as a Cambridge University academic stood by his assertion that the wartime leader held "inconsistent" views about Jewish people.

The claims were made by Richard Toye, a lecturer at Homerton College, after he discovered a 3,000-word article from 1937 entitled "How The Jews Can Combat Persecution" in the university's Churchill archive.

The article states that the "aloofness and separateness" shown by Jews means "they have been partly responsible for the antagonism from which they suffer".

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French President Jacques Chirac will not seek third term

Sebastian Rotella
Times Staff Writer
2007-03-11 22:27:00

PARIS -- Setting the stage for a suspenseful presidential race, French President Jacques Chirac announced Sunday that he would not run for a third term after 12 years in office and 40 years in politics.

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Army cuts number of psychiatrists as level of sick war veterans soars

Ian Bruce
The Herald
2007-03-11 18:27:00

The Army has fewer than half of the psychiatrists it needs to cope with what military charities described yesterday as a "tsunami-level bow wave" of psychiatric casualties from Iraq and Afghanistan.

Figures obtained by The Herald also show that the Ministry of Defence has reduced the manning requirement for psychiatrists from 25 in 2001 at the start of the "war on terror" to 15 last year as veterans reporting signs of anxiety and depression rose to more than 21,000.

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Around the World
Get Sick Bag Ready:Bush Pushes U.S. Compassion in Guatemala

Associated Press Writer
2007-03-12 10:24:00

GUATEMALA CITY, Guatemala - Frame-by-frame, the images of President Bush in Guatemala on Monday will depict sharp contrasts. The leader of the richest nation reaching out to the impoverished. A smiling vegetable farmer benefiting from a free trade deal that Bush had trouble selling to Congress. Bush touring Mayan ruins and speaking out against social injustice suffered by Guatemala's indigenous citizens of Mayan ancestry, who have protested his visit.

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Accused Narco Banker to Host Bush-Calderón Meeting in Yucatán

Al Giordano
2007-03-12 08:49:00

Another US-Mexico Presidential Summit in the Temozon Sur Hacienda of Roberto Hernández Ramírez of Banamex-Citigroup. Hernández had been accused - publicly and via a criminal complaint - by the daily newspaper Por Esto! of trafficking tons of Colombian cocaine through his Caribbean coasta properties on that peninsula since 1997.

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Bush in Bogota: it's been emotional

Associated Press
2007-03-11 22:52:00

About 150 protesters attacked riot police with rocks and metal barriers and ripped down lampposts in Colombia's capital today, just moments after US President George W Bush landed for a six-hour visit.

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Big Brother

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Axis of Evil
Israeli envoy to El Salvador found naked in street

Lester Haines
The Register
2007-03-12 13:06:00

The Israeli ambassador to the sun-kissed Central American paradise of El Salvador is for the high jump after being found "in a street, drunk, wearing only bondage gear", the BBC reports.

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Blackwater: superbly researched indictment of America's hired killers

Boing Boing
2007-03-12 08:36:00

Jeremy Scahill's brave and outraged "Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army" renders the story of the Blackwater mercenary group, and other mercenary groups that have seized the economic opportunities opened by the Bush regime's willingness to offer no-bid contracts and no-liability opportunities to fight America's wars. Backwater -- founded by ultra-right-wing Christian conservatives -- hires Pinochet-era Chilean war-criminals, ex-law-enforcement types and former military, and others to serve in Iraq, Afghanistan -- and in America. They can and do murder civilians with impunity, they line their pockets with cost-plus multi-billion-dollar military expenditures, and they kill their own men -- and the American soldiers they are supposed to be helping -- through corner-cutting profiteering.

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Middle East Madness
Two Palestinian civilians abducted by Israeli forces near Jenin

Ghassan Bannoura
2007-03-12 09:43:00

The Israeli army invaded Al Far'a refugee camp near the northern West Bank city of Jenin on Monday morning and abducted two civilians.

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Only twelve years old

2007-03-12 08:28:00

"It was about 3 P.M. last Wednesday, when Salama suddenly noticed small objects falling on the sand and kicking up little clouds of dust. Salama told her father later that she had no idea what they were; she had never seen a volley of live bullets. A few minutes later she saw her cousin Hanan slump to the ground, a hole in her head. In a panic she left everything and ran to the tent camp, about three kilometers away, to summon help."

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At Least 47 Killed in Bloody Baghdad Day

Associated Press Writer
2007-03-11 22:40:00

BAGHDAD - A suicide car bomber barreled into a flatbed truck packed with Shiite pilgrims Sunday, touching off a giant fireball that left charred bodies strewn through a street in the heart of Baghdad. At least 32 people were killed.

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Thirteen killed in Afghan border post clash

2007-03-11 22:38:00

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan - Eight Afghan border security soldiers and five Taliban fighters have been killed in a clash in southern Afghanistan, near the Pakistan border, a senior official said on Sunday.

The fighting broke out in Arghastan district of Kandahar province after insurgents attacked a border security post on Saturday night.

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The Loan Gunmen

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The Living Planet
A golden age halted by climate change

Globe and Mail
2007-03-12 12:38:00

Freak January thaws, thunder storms in March; it is predicted that this year will go down as the hottest since modern record-keeping began, thanks not only to greenhouse-gas climate change but also to the El Nino cyclical warming of the Pacific Ocean. The weird-weather factor makes the story of South America's Pacific coast Sican people and their rise and fall, all the more chilling. The Sican are the subject of Ancient Peru Unearthed: Golden Treasures of a Lost Civilization, a major exhibition organized by Peru's Sican National Museum and Calgary's Nickle Arts Museum, which opens in expanded form today at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto.

North Americans are more familiar with the Sican than we think. Because Spanish conquistadors melted down most of the gold treasures of the Inca (the Sican's successors), 80 per cent of "Incan" gold artifacts in museums are in fact of Sican workmanship.

The Sican people fished, farmed, traded, mined, built temples and sacrificed other humans in the worship of a bird-faced god 1,100 years ago in the Lambayeque region of northern Peru. They buried their priest-leaders in shaft tombs, some 10 to 20 metres underground, where they remained relatively safe from European predators.

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Pets need extra care in extreme weather

Tim Rohwer
2007-03-12 12:27:00

It's an issue that is sometimes overlooked when harsh winter weather blows in as it did last week.

It's the well being of pets.

"This weather is not good for man or beast," said Stacey Robertson, the chief animal control officer for Pottawattamie County.

Apparently, however, pet owners in the county and in Council Bluffs have taken care of their animals during the latest winter blast.

"We haven't had a lot of calls to collect stray animals, which is good," Robertson said. "People have pretty much kept them in."

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Health & Wellness
Russian scientists considering animal-to-human transplants

RIA Novosti
2007-03-12 12:32:00

Russian specialists are studying the possibility of animal-to-human transplants, organ cloning and the creation of hybrid organs, a leading researcher said Monday.

"We are currently working on the possibility of xenotransplantation - i.e., transplantation of organs from animals to humans. We are also studying the possibility of cloning organs and creating hybrid organs. But until we have some definitive results, we cannot disclose any details," said Valery Shumakov, director of the Russian Scientific Research Institute of Transplantation and Artificial Organs.

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Subliminal Advertising Leaves Its Mark On The Brain

Science Daily
2007-03-12 12:13:00

University College London researchers have found the first physiological evidence that invisible subliminal images do attract the brain's attention on a subconscious level. The wider implication for the study, published in Current Biology, is that techniques such as subliminal advertising, now banned in the UK but still legal in the USA, certainly do leave their mark on the brain.

Using fMRI, the study looked at whether an image you aren't aware of -- but one that reaches the retina -- has an impact on brain activity in the primary visual cortex, part of the occipital lobe. Subjects' brains did respond to the object even when they were not conscious of having seen it.

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Egyptian 4-year-old tests positive for bird flu

Alaa Shahine
2007-03-11 22:40:00

CAIRO - A 4-year-old Egyptian boy has contracted the deadly bird flu virus, bringing to 24 the number of Egyptians who have tested positive for the disease, Health Ministry and World Health Organization officials said on Sunday.

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Diabetes: a growing problem in newly-rich Asia

Tan Ee Lyn
2007-03-11 22:33:00

HONG KONG - A cheese burger one day, lasagna the next and chicken nuggets instead of a bowl of noodles.

Across the continent, a newly-affluent Asian middle class is splurging after centuries of deprivation, shaking off a diet traditionally high in vegetables and rice and low in meat and opting instead for food loaded with saturated fat.

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Banned food additives found in baby medicine

Martyn McLaughlin
The Herald
2007-03-10 21:20:00

UK: Everyday children's medicines found in cupboards up and down the country contain a "cocktail of additives" banned from foods and drinks for youngsters of the same age, a food watchdog has claimed.

Brands widely used by parents such as Calpol, Benylin, Sudafed, and Tixylix have all fallen foul of a survey of medicines for infants under three, amid concerns manufacturers are using synthetic ingredients unnecessarily.

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Science & Technology
"Killer Asteroid" Debate Pits Gravity Tractors Against Bombs, Projectiles

Victoria Jaggard
National Geographic
2007-03-12 12:56:00

An unusual type of arms race involving nuclear bombs and supermassive spacecraft has been heating up this week in Washington, D.C.

Each team of players hopes to be the one to design the U.S. government's weapon of choice for deflecting comets and asteroids that could be on a collision course with Earth.

A NASA task force today presented Congress with a report that includes recommendations for the best technologies for avoiding an impact with a so-called near-Earth object (NEO).

The debate has been raging among experts about which solution will be the safest, cheapest, and most reliable.

Ed Lu, a NASA astronaut and physicist, has been developing one of the leading contenders: a "gravitational tractor."

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Sound waves turn natural gas into liquid

2007-03-12 12:10:00

Worldwide, 100 billion cubic meters of natural gas is wasted every year. Now, the Denver-based company Swift LNG aims to turn that gas into a usable liquid fuel with a thermoacoustic natural gas liquefaction technology just licensed from Los Alamos National Laboratory.

The thermoacoustic natural gas liquefier converts heat into sound waves and then converts the hot sound wave energy to cold refrigeration using highly pressurized helium contained in a network of welded steel pipes. First, the system combusts a small fraction of the natural gas to heat one end of the steel pipe network. Then, the resulting acoustic energy refrigerates the opposite end of the network, which cools the rest of the natural gas. At minus 160 degrees Celsius the natural gas liquefies - rendered dense enough for economical transport. This technology requires no moving parts, contributing to its economy of operation.

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Fundamental Rule Describes All Galaxies

Ker Than
Live Science/Space.com
2007-03-12 12:04:00

The more massive a galaxy is, the faster its stars and gas will move. This relationship holds regardless of whether a galaxy looks like an ellipse, a cosmic pinwheel or some other odd shape, a new study finds.

This rule even applies to "train wrecks" left after galaxies collide and merge with one another, which is surprising, said study team member Susan Kassin, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC). "It indicates that there is a remarkable regularity to galaxies, irrespective of what they look like," Kassin said.

The new finding, to be detailed in an upcoming issue of Astrophysical Journal Letters, shows that the relation between a galaxy's mass and the orbital speed of its stars and gas is remarkably consistent over a wide range of galaxy shapes and over billions of years of galaxy evolution.

"We think this trend reflects a regularity in the process that led to the formation of galaxies," said study leader Sandra Faber, also of UCSC. "We are not sure where it comes from, but it is a major constituent on galaxy formation."

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British Skynet satellite launched

British Skynet satellite launched
Science reporter, BBC News
2007-03-11 22:15:00

The British military's Skynet 5 satellite has been launched into space from Kourou in French Guiana.

The spacecraft is part of a £3.2bn system that will deliver secure, high-bandwidth communications for UK and allied forces.

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Our Haunted Planet
UFOs spotted throughout the years in Weld County

Mike Peters
The Tribune
2007-03-12 12:25:00

Weld County phenomena

* July 7, 1947: A Greeley man working on a hay grinder north of Lucerne said he saw three flying saucers at 10 a.m. They were traveling at a high speed to the southwest. The next day, the most famous of all UFO incidents was announced -- the reputed crash of flying saucers in Roswell, N.M.

* On Aug. 25, 1949, a 12-year-old girl who lived northeast of Greeley reported a "flying disk" over her house in the early evening. She said it was flying far above a small plane. About the same time, some men were flying their small plane in the area, but the girl insisted what she saw was a disk above the plane.

* In 1952, although the exact date is unknown, a Weld County farmer reported he saw five "flying saucers" pass over his farm north of Greeley about 6 p.m. He said he also saw five fighter jets come through the area, possibly searching for the flying saucers, but the "speed of the saucers was immensely greater than the jets." The Tribune story also stated "Women folks were frightened by the terrible noise."

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Strange lights above Bridlington UK

Bridlington Today
2007-03-08 18:50:00

David Hinde was travelling from a musical theatre group in Malton to his home in Bempton when he saw what he believes could be a UFO.

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Don't Panic! Lighten Up!
Paranormal investigators try to get to the bottom of some strange pranks at the FireHall Pub and Grille

Mike Kalil
New Hampshire Union Leader
2007-03-12 12:53:00

Bonnie Hall is convinced her pub is haunted but says she doesn't want the prankster of a ghost to leave.

Hall says strange occurrences have been a daily thing since she and her husband, Robert, took over the fire station and converted it into the FireHall Pub and Grille in 2005. Firefighters had told her that the building, more than a century old, may be haunted, she said.

It's little things that make Hall and others believe the place is haunted: The popcorn machine turns on by itself, lights flicker, doors latch by themselves and tools seem to move on their own, among other things, she said.

The rumor is that a firefighter named Frank hanged himself at the fire station many decades ago and his spirit remains inside, Hall said. The story has not been verified. She said the ghost has been harmless and should not be forced out.

"This is Frank's home," she said.

Cathy Simpson, a restaurant manager, said she, too, has experienced many things at the restaurant that are unexplainable. However, she said, she finds them comforting in a strange sort of way.

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Huh?! Alien UFO Detector Strap: Dating Necessity

2007-03-12 12:45:00

Scenario: You meet Jim. He is sweet, kind and most importantly, easy to talk to. It's as if you've known him your whole life. And hugging him, no matter where you may be, feels like home.

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High Speed Message In A Bottle

By Paul Kelbie
UK Independent
2006-10-13 08:39:00

A six-year-old girl has caused a conundrum of global proportions after her attempts to send a message in a bottle to Norway ended up in New Zealand.

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Suitcase Sent to Africa Washed up on Beach Two Miles from Where it started

By Geneviève Roberts
UK Independent
2007-03-12 08:06:00

When Marilyne Simony sent a suitcase of her boyfriend's photographs, books and clothes to South Africa, she never expected to see it again. But after travelling more than 1,000 miles by sea, the suitcase was washed up on Branscombe beach in Devon, less than two miles from where it started its journey.

Ms Simony, 27, only realised that all her belongings had been on the MSC Napoli that ran aground nine days ago when she saw a framed photograph of herself with her arms around Kobus Pretorius, 20, pictured in the local newspaper as an example of wreckage.

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Suicide squirrels driving utilities nuts

Alan Gomez
2007-03-11 23:00:00

Every year, Neil Engelman carefully collects his data, stands before his company's board of directors and is asked the same question: What caused more outages? The lightning or the squirrels?

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