- Signs of the Times Archive for Fri, 06 Apr 2007 -

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SOTT Focus
Environment of Evil

Henry See
Signs of the Times
2007-04-06 14:51:00

Do we all have a Dr Hyde within?

There is much evil in the world. A large part of it seems to be centered in the United States, radiating out in its wars of conquest, its television shows, movies, and music, in the fascination with which the world follows the pointless excesses of its stars, in its politics and self-absorbtion and disdain for the rest of the world. The mythos of the Wild West and men with six-shooters settling arguments with a bullet at high noon before riding off to wipe out the Indians has congealed and hardened the hearts of its population to the reality of invasion and occupations eternally justified with noble slogans as vapid as they are proposterous.

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Fox News - Not Even Trying To Pretend Anymore

2007-04-05 19:59:00

In honor of April Fool's day, Fox News decided to run a poll asking viewers: "who do you think the most foolish American this year was?"

The results were so truthful that the Fox news editors and anchors were forced to do something they do just about every day - lie.

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Best of the Web
A Time to Break Silence

By Rev. Martin Luther King 1967
Information Clearing House
2007-04-06 00:42:00

Martin Luther King

King had become the country's most prominent opponent of the Vietnam War, and a staunch critic of overall U.S. foreign policy, which he deemed militaristic. In his "Beyond Vietnam" speech delivered at New York's Riverside Church on April 4, 1967 -- a year to the day before he was murdered -- King called the United States "the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today."

Time magazine called the speech "demagogic slander that sounded like a script for Radio Hanoi," and the Washington Post declared that King had "diminished his usefulness to his cause, his country, his people."

Audio mp3 of Address

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U.S. News
Researchers tested pot, LSD on Army volunteers

Richard Willing
USA Today
2007-04-06 17:39:00

Army doctors gave soldier volunteers synthetic marijuana, LSD and two dozen other psychoactive drugs during experiments aimed at developing chemical weapons that could incapacitate enemy soldiers, a psychiatrist who performed the research says in a new memoir.

The program, which ran at the Army's Edgewood, Md., arsenal from 1955 until about 1972, concluded that counterculture staples such as acid and pot were either too unpredictable or too mellow to be useful as weapons, psychiatrist James Ketchum said in an interview.

The program did yield one hallucinogenic weapon: softball-size artillery rounds that were filled with powdered quinuclidinyl benzilate or BZ, a deliriant of the belladonnoid family that had placed some research subjects in a sleeplike state and left them impaired for days.

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13-Year-Old Arrested In School For Writing On Desk

Tanya Rivero
2007-04-06 17:18:00

In this day and age where young students are frequently charged for serious school offenses such as possessing weapons, dealing drugs, or assaulting other students on school property, one Brooklyn teen's arrest may come as a surprise. A 13-year-old girl was handcuffed and placed under arrest in front of her classmates in Dyker Heights after she wrote "Okay" on her desk.

The "suspect," Chelsea Fraser, says she's sorry for scribbling the word on her desk, but both she and her mother are shocked at the punishment.

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Flashback: Bush's grandfather was director of bank seized by government for affiliation with Nazi-funding German industrialist

2003-10-17 11:16:00

President George W. Bush's grandfather was a director of a bank seized by the federal government because of its ties to a German industrialist who helped bankroll Adolf Hitler's rise to power, government documents show.

©New Hampshire Gazette
Prescott Bush

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Questions Linger About Bushes and BCCI

Lucy Komisar
IPS News
2007-04-06 10:58:00

Now that the U.S. Congress is investigating the truth of President George W. Bush's statements about the Iraq war, they might look into one of his most startling assertions: that there was a link between Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden.

Critics dismissed that as an invention. They were wrong. There was a link, but not the one Bush was selling. The link between Hussein and Bin Laden was their banker, BCCI. But the link went beyond the dictator and the jihadist -- it passed through Saudi Arabia and stretched all the way to George W. Bush and his father.

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UK & Euro-Asian News
Russia: Would-Be Great Power?

Ian Pryde
RIA Novosti
2007-04-06 17:47:00

Anyone strolling around a half-decent bookshop these days will find that most of the books on current affairs seem to deal with Islam and the war in Iraq - and China.

The storyline is, of course, that China is changing the world as the rising giant and superpower of the twenty-first century. India also warrants the odd volume, but more by virtue of its size and software industry rather than its overall economy, even though it averaged GDP growth of 5.7% per annum between 1979 and 2006 and since implementing liberal reforms in the early 1990s has achieved an average of 6.8% since 1994 - a solid performance, of course, but way below that of China's.

But go back to the early 1990s and the time after the collapse of the Soviet Union, and the bookshelves were full of books on Russia, on its politics and its opportunities for western business.

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Around the World
For the Love of Christ: Gruesome crucifixions in annual Philippines cult ritual

2007-04-06 12:09:00

Victor showed no fear, smoking a cigarette, waiting in line for his turn on the cross.

But he cried out and openly wept as the five-inch, (13-centimetre) stainless-steel nails -- pre-soaked in alcohol to disinfect them -- were driven through his palms with the ordinary carpenter's hammer.


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'Chairman' reveals seedy world of trafficking

Andrew Harding
2007-04-01 23:01:00

The BBC's Asia correspondent Andrew Harding has a rare encounter with a conscience-stricken Philippines gangland boss who runs a network trafficking underaged girls to work in brothels. He agreed to talk on condition of anonymity.

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1 killed as police attack protesting teachers in Argentina

2007-04-05 22:13:00

Police in the Argentine province of Neuquen have used tear gas for a second day against teachers protesting over pay and working conditions.

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Big Brother

No new articles.

Axis of Evil
Pentagon 'Undercut' CIA on Pre-War Intelligence, Probe Finds

Tony Capaccio
2007-04-06 10:31:00

Defense Department officials ''undercut'' the U.S. intelligence community when making a case to White House officials that Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein had a close relationship with the al-Qaeda terror network, the Pentagon inspector general said in a declassified report.

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US reveals its efforts to topple Mugabe regime

Ewen MacAskill
The Guardian
2007-04-06 10:28:00

· State department tells of regime change strategy
· Washington funded opposition activities

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Bin Laden Rises From the Grave, Expected To Release New Video

US Central Command
2007-04-06 06:37:00

On 4 April, a jihadist website carried the following posting:

"After a long absence by the shaykh of mujahidin, whom we have missed as well as his speeches, some news is being leaked indicating that Shaykh Usama Bin Ladin, God protect and preserve him and make him a thorn in the throat of the enemies, will make an appearance. The news indicates that Al-Sahab Media Establishment, which specializes in publishing Al-Qa'ida leaders' speeches, has recently finished producing a video featuring Bin Ladin's speech to the entire Islamic nation. "

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Psychopath in Action: Cheney Reasserts al-Qaida-Saddam Link Fabrication

2007-04-06 06:27:00

Vice President Dick Cheney repeated his assertions of al-Qaida links to Saddam Hussein's Iraq on Thursday as the Defense Department released a report citing more evidence that the prewar government did not cooperate with the terrorist group.

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Federal Climate and Ocean Scientists Put Under New Restrictions - Any Scientific Statements "of Official Interest" Must be Pre-Approved

Carol Goldberg
2007-04-06 05:51:00

Federal climate, weather and marine scientists will be subject to new restrictions as to what they can say to the media or in public, according to agency documents released today by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). Under rules posted last week, these federal scientists must obtain agency pre-approval to speak or write, whether on or off-duty, concerning any scientific topic deemed "of official interest."

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Cheney hits out at Pelosi visit

2007-04-06 00:04:00

US Vice-President Dick Cheney has accused House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of "bad behaviour" for holding talks with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

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Middle East Madness
IDF troops kill unarmed Palestinian near Jericho

Avi Issacharoff
2007-04-06 03:43:00

Israel Defense Forces troops shot and killed a Palestinian civilian Thursday evening in a case of suspected misconduct while on patrol in the Nabi Moussa area of the Judean Desert, the army said.

The army said soldiers patrolling a live-fire training zone in the desert between Jerusalem and Jericho saw three men and ordered them to halt.

When the men fled, the soldiers fired into the air and then at the men, killing one, the army said.

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More Iran "Good Guy" Damage Control: 'Iranian designed' bomb killed British soldiers

The Daily Mail
2007-04-06 17:54:00

The roadside bomb that killed four British soldiers in Iraq on Thursday had not been used in southern Iraq before, a Basra police commander said today.

His description of the deadly weapon indicated it was a feared Iranian-designed explosively formed projectile.

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Iran "Good Guy" Damage Control Swings into Action

2007-04-06 13:49:00

British sailors and marines held for nearly two weeks in
Iran were blindfolded, bound and threatened with prison if they did not say they had strayed into Iranian waters, a Royal Navy lieutenant who was among the capitives said Friday.

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Chlorine Truck Bomber Kills 27 in Ramadi

Associated Press
2007-04-06 11:53:00

©AP Photo/Mahmoud al-Badri
US troops patrol a market in Abu Ghraib district of Baghdad Iraq, Thurs. April 5, 2007...

BAGHDAD - A suicide bomber driving a truck loaded with TNT and toxic chlorine gas crashed into a police checkpoint in western Ramadi on Friday, killing at least 27 people and wounding dozens, police in the Anbar provincial capital said.

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What the end of the hostage crisis means for the world

By Angus McDowall and Anne Penketh
The Indepedent
2007-04-06 23:47:00


Much has been made of the factionalism in Iranian politics, but the past fortnight has demonstrated an unusual degree of unity. Whether the capture of the British boats was planned by the Revolutionary Guards alone, or approved from on high, will probably never be known.

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The Loan Gunmen
German February Industrial Output Unexpectedly Rises

Simone Meier
2007-04-05 22:47:00

Industrial production in Germany, Europe's largest economy, unexpectedly rose for a fourth month in February as manufacturers boosted output of goods such as factory machinery and equipment.

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Ryland, warning of loss, discloses 26% drop in homes sold in quarter

2007-04-05 22:43:00

Ryland Group Inc., the biggest U.S. home builder for first-time buyers, forecast a loss of 50 cents to 60 cents a share for the first quarter as preliminary estimates show the number of homes sold fell 26%.

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Fund issues dire equities warning

Robert Orr
Financial Times
2007-04-03 22:41:00

A leading UK fund manager has sold off about half the equities in the portfolios he oversees in anticipation of an imminent and severe market correction.

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U.S. Initial Jobless Claims Rose to 321,000 Last Week

Shobhana Chandra
2007-04-05 22:37:00

More Americans filed first-time claims for unemployment benefits last week, while the number of people on jobless rolls remained at a level that indicates strength in the job market.

Initial jobless claims increased by 11,000 in the week ended March 31 to 321,000, more than economists had forecast, Labor Department figures showed today. The four-week moving average, a less-volatile measure, fell to 315,750 from 317,250.

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UK and US unions in merger talks

2007-04-05 22:07:00

Amicus, a major union in the UK, is to discuss a possible merger with another union based in the US and Canada.

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The Living Planet
Billions face climate change risk

2007-04-06 16:31:00

Billions of people face shortages of food and water and increased risk of flooding, experts at a major climate change conference have warned.

The bleak conclusion came ahead of the publication of a key report by hundreds of international environmental experts.

Agreement on the final wording of the report was reached after a marathon debate through the night in Brussels.

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Thousands in Dark After New England Snow

Associated Press
2007-04-06 11:26:00

©AP Photo/Pat Wellenbach
A tree lies on top of downed power lines in Brunswick, Maine, Thursday, April 5, 2007. ...

CONCORD, N.H. - Utility crews worked to restore power Friday to tens of thousands of northern New Englanders after a spring snowfall dumped more than a foot of snow around the region.

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Health & Wellness
Study demonstrates remarkable power of social norms

2007-04-06 17:31:00

Most people want to be normal. So, when we are given information that underscores our deviancy, the natural impulse is to get ourselves as quickly as we can back toward the center.

Marketers know about this impulse, and a lot of marketing makes use of social norms. This is especially true of campaigns targeting some kind of public good: reducing smoking or binge drinking, for example, or encouraging recycling. The problem with these campaigns is that they often do not work. Indeed, they sometimes appear to have the opposite of their intended effect.

Why would this be? Psychologist Wesley Schultz of California State University, San Marcos believes that despite the fact that we want to be normal, most people are very bad at estimating what normal human behavior really looks like. For example, many people probably think it's typical to spew 11 tons of carbon into the world every year, while others might think that a couple tons is probably closer to the mark. But, when Al Gore tells us that the national average is in fact 7.5 tons, he likely is sparking two very different reactions: Some feel guilty for being so gluttonous. But others probably react: whew, did something right for a change.

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Dieting does not work

Innovations Report
2007-04-06 17:25:00

Will you lose weight and keep it off if you diet? No, probably not, UCLA researchers report in the April issue of American Psychologist, the journal of the American Psychological Association.

"You can initially lose 5 to 10 percent of your weight on any number of diets, but then the weight comes back," said Traci Mann, UCLA associate professor of psychology and lead author of the study. "We found that the majority of people regained all the weight, plus more. Sustained weight loss was found only in a small minority of participants, while complete weight regain was found in the majority. Diets do not lead to sustained weight loss or health benefits for the majority of people."

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Genetic Mutation Boosts Memory

Forbes / AP
2007-04-06 16:35:00

Canadian researchers have discovered a gene mutation that actually improves long-term memory and could eventually lead to a memory-enhancing pill.

Working with mice, lead researcher Mauro Costa-Mattioli, a postgraduate fellow at McGill University in Montreal, and colleagues found that rodents that had a defective version of a gene that produces a memory-blocking protein could learn and remember tasks faster than normal mice.

"We discovered a protein that is called eIF2a that, when mutated, mice have an enhanced memory," Mattioli said. "We hope that this could be a good target to develop a compound that will mimic this mutation, and we can enhance memory in humans," he said.

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NYC Eyes Circumcision Push to Fight AIDS

Associated Press
2007-04-05 22:19:00

NEW YORK - City health officials are considering a program to urge circumcision for men at high risk of AIDS, noting studies that the procedure can reduce the chances of getting the disease.

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Science & Technology
Mystery of Red Space Glow Solved

Robert Roy Britt
2007-04-06 17:50:00

Scientists have solved a decades-long mystery of a red glow that permeates our Milky Way Galaxy and other galaxies.

The red glow is most prominent in a strange, dying star called the Red Rectangle, named for the bizarre structure that surrounds it.

The red light, astronomers now say, radiates from invisibly small clusters of dust that are now believed to glow because of newly described molecular forces that oppose each other on very small scales.

The glow, called the Extended Red Emission (conveniently ERE for short) has been known but inexplicable for more than 30 years. Researchers suspected carbon-rich molecules called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) were the culprit. These clusters of molecules form a structure that looks like chicken wire; they are measured on a scale of billionths of a meter, far too small to see.

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Solar power breakthrough at Massey University

Manawatu Standard
2007-04-06 10:32:00

New solar cells developed by Massey University don't need direct sunlight to operate and use a patented range of dyes that can be impregnated in roofs, window glass and eventually even clothing to produce power.

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Our Haunted Planet

No new articles.

Don't Panic! Lighten Up!
Parrot rescued by helicopter

2007-04-06 17:27:00

US coastguards had to use a helicopter to rescue a man who climbed a 60ft pine tree to retrieve his pet parrot.

William Hart, 35, from Montgomery County, near Houston, Texas, followed his £1,000 white cockatoo Geronimo after it escaped its cage.

After he got stuck, about 30 Sheriff's deputies and firefighters converged on the tree but the ground was too wet to get a ladder near the tree.

Houston Police Department's water rescue team then tried to reach Mr Hart with a rope, but it was not long enough.

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Disease underlies Hatfield-McCoy feud

Associated Press
2007-04-05 21:25:00

The most infamous feud in American folklore, the long-running battle between the Hatfields and McCoys, may be partly explained by a rare, inherited disease that can lead to hair-trigger rage and violent outbursts.

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