- Signs of the Times Archive for Thu, 16 Aug 2007 -

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SOTT Focus
The Art of the Con

A Branson
Psychopaths, psyops and COINTELPRO Blog
2007-08-11 14:38:00

Not one of the people getting on the I-35W Bridge on August 1st had any reason to suspect what was going to happen that night. The day before, and the day before that, the bridge had held just as much traffic as it did on the 1st. The bridge had help up just fine since its opening in 1967. It had a history of holding the weight of vehicles traveling across the Mississippi River without any problems.

If someone with knowledge of the bridge's lack of structural integrity stood at one end of the bridge trying to warn commuters of their imminent demise, he would've been laughed off as a nut case. Political cartoonists would have, if they had the time, probably drawn him as a long-haired, bearded, sandal-wearing lunatic carrying a sign reading "THE END IS NEAR!"

And yet, at 6:05pm on August 1st, the I-35W Bridge did collapse. The collapse was so sudden and catastrophic that some thought explosives had gone off. Cars plummeted into the water, below. A school bus full of children just managed to stop before going over the edge. Panic ensued.

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Best of the Web
Nearly All the War Crimes Were Israel's: The Second Lebanon War, A Year Later

Jonathan Cook
2007-08-16 11:21:00

This week marks a year since the end of hostilities now officially called the Second Lebanon war by Israelis. A month of fighting -- mostly Israeli aerial bombardment of Lebanon, and rocket attacks from the Shia militia Hizbullah on northern Israel in response -- ended with more than 1,000 Lebanese civilians and a small but unknown number of Hizbullah fighters dead, as well as 119 Israeli soldiers and 43 civilians...

But many significant developments since the war have gone unnoticed, including several that seriously put in question Israel's account of what happened last summer. This is old ground worth revisiting for that reason alone...

It is clear that during the Second Lebanon war Israel committed the most serious war crimes.

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U.S. News
Kucinich: 'Belligerent' Bush Admin. trying to 'deceive' US into 'yet another war'

Nick Juliano
Raw Story
2007-08-15 20:11:00

Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), one of the most anti-war members of the House, accused the Bush Administration's labeling of Iran's Revolutionary Guard as a terrorist organization a prelude for war there.

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UK & Euro-Asian News
Britain: Guantánamo detainee details years of torture

Paul Mitchell
2007-08-15 14:16:00

A British resident, Omar Deghayes, detained at Guantánamo Bay as an alleged terrorist, reports that he has suffered years of torture, sexual abuse and death threats. Last week, Omar's family released a dossier documenting his terrible ordeal, which he dictated to a lawyer visiting the United States-run military prison.

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Airport meltdown as EVERY flight leaving Heathrow is delayed

2007-08-16 13:45:00

Every single departure from Heathrow was late on Wednesday during a morning of misery for air passengers.

A survey of 100 departures showed that no flights left on time and 14 per cent of flights were delayed by more than an hour.

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Around the World
Malaysian 'fake dentist' arrested

2007-08-16 13:22:00

A man has been arrested in Malaysia for working as a dentist for 29 years with no medical training or qualifications.

He treated patients at his home in Kuala Lumpur, using a cast-off army dentist's chair dating from the 1940s, the New Straits Times newspaper said.

Police and health officials raided the man's apartment, acting on a tip, and found painkillers and syringes.

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Southern African heads gather in Zambia as all eyes on Zimbabwe

2007-08-16 04:55:00

LUSAKA - Southern African heads of state begin Thursday a two-day summit in the Zambian capital Lusaka likely to be dominated by the crisis in Zimbabwe, which is being felt across the region as Zimbabweans flee the imploding economy at home.

President Robert Mugabe, 83, who has been in power since Zimbabwe's independence from Britain in 1980, arrived in Lusaka on Wednesday afternoon.

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Big Brother
Lawsuits May Illuminate Methods of Spy Program

Dan Eggen
Washington Post
2007-08-14 00:34:00

In 2003, Room 641A of a large telecommunications building in downtown San Francisco was filled with powerful data-mining equipment for a "special job" by the National Security Agency, according to a former AT&T technician. It was fed by fiber-optic cables that siphoned copies of e-mails and other online traffic from one of the largest Internet hubs in the United States, the former employee says in court filings.

What occurred in the room is now at the center of a pivotal legal battle in a federal appeals court over the Bush administration's controversial spying program, including the monitoring that came to be publicly known as the Terrorist Surveillance Program.

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Ridiculous! Internet is "the new Afghanistan": NY police commissioner

By Michelle Nichols and Edith Honan
2007-08-15 23:14:00

NEW YORK - The Internet is the new battleground against Islamist extremism because it provides ideology that could radicalize Westerners who might then initiate home-grown attacks, New York police commissioner Raymond Kelly said on Wednesday.

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Axis of Evil
Stance by Bush administration may gut suits on Enron

David Ivanovich
Houston Chronicle
2007-08-15 14:45:00

The Bush administration, weighing in on a case before the Supreme Court that could have broad ramifications for lawsuits stemming from Enron's collapse, threw its support Wednesday behind companies under attack from investors.

But shareholders who sued the banks that helped finance Enron's dealings were heartened by the Justice Department's seeming acceptance of at least some of their arguments.

The Supreme Court has agreed to hear a securities fraud case brought by investors, led by Stoneridge Investment Partners, against Scientific-Atlanta and Motorola, which make digital boxes for cable TV subscribers.

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Abdullah Azzam and the Omissions of Neocon Historians

Kurt Nimmo
Another Day in the Empire
2007-08-16 14:28:00

In an "editorial" published in the Boston Herald, neocon propagandist - and jackleg historian - Jonah Goldberg gives us a running history lesson on "al-Qaeda," specifically its purported ideological founder, Sheikh Abdullah Azzam. According to Goldberg, the late Azzam was "one of the founders of the jihadist movement that became al-Qaeda." Indeed, this is true, although Mr. Goldberg, of course, does not bother to tell us the rest of the story, as Paul Harvey might have it.

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Speechless in Chicago, Mearsheimer and Walt censored

Wall Street Journal
2007-08-07 14:28:00

The Chicago Council on Global Affairs has canceled a September speech on U.S.-Israel relations and Washington's pro-Israel lobby by two prominent U.S. political scientists.

John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt were scheduled to use the Sept. 27 address to outline their upcoming book, "The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy," which is expected to be released by Farrar, Straus & Giroux early next month. But the president of the Chicago Council, Marshall Bouton, canceled the event under pressure from critics who were uncomfortable with the academics' arguments, according to a letter drafted by Mearsheimer and Walt to the Council's board.

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Group that advocated Bush become "President-for-Life" linked to Bush Administration itself

Democratic Underground
2007-08-16 06:29:00

You can't find the story now, they removed it after DU'ers, and other people possibly, exposed the story a little group called Family Security Matters was running.

But, just because they removed it, that doesn't mean it doesn't exist anymore.

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September progress report being written by White House

Julian E. Barnes and Peter Spiegel
LA Times
2007-08-15 20:05:00

Intent on demonstrating progress in Iraq, the top U.S. general there is expected by Bush administration officials to recommend removing American troops soon from several areas where commanders believe security has improved, possibly including Al Anbar province.

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Feeling safer yet? The true extent of Bush's private Neocon army

Jeremy Scahill
2007-08-13 18:30:00

Since launching the "global war on terror," the administration has funneled billions of public dollars to "private contractors" and more than doubled the size of the occupation with these hired guns.

If you think the U.S. has only 160,000 troops in Iraq, think again.

With almost no congressional oversight and even less public awareness, the Bush administration has more than doubled the size of the U.S. occupation through the use of private war companies.

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Middle East Madness
Army Suicides Highest in 26 Years

2007-08-16 04:55:00

WASHINGTON - Army soldiers committed suicide last year at the highest rate in 26 years, and more than a quarter did so while serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to a new military report.

The report, obtained by The Associated Press ahead of its scheduled release Thursday, found there were 99 confirmed suicides among active duty soldiers during 2006, up from 88 the previous year and the highest number since the 102 suicides in 1991 at the time of the Persian Gulf War.

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The Loan Gunmen
Carry Trade Unwinds: ''The market is in panic mode...This is just the beginning.''

Min Zeng and Kim-Mai Cutler
Bloomberg News
2007-08-16 17:10:00

The yen rose to its highest since June 2006 against the dollar as investors fled carry trades while companies in Australia and Canada sought emergency funds because they were unable to refinance debt.

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U.S Stocks recover at end of trading day.

2007-08-16 16:49:00

NEW YORK - The S&P 500 index ended higher on Thursday in a powerful last-minute rally led by financial shares on optimism that regulators may let Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the two biggest U.S. mortgage funding companies, play a bigger role in steadying the ailing industry.

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Millions of toxic toys recalled: The nightmarish reality of global capitalism

David Walsh
World Socialist Web Site
2007-08-16 13:59:00

The world's largest toy maker, Mattel Corporation, announced August 14 that it was recalling nearly 19 million toys worldwide, half of them in the US, because of the dangers they pose to children. Some 436,000 toy cars made in China were withdrawn because they are covered in lead paint, while more than 18,000,000 other toys, also made in China, are being recalled because they contain small, powerful magnets that could do great damage if swallowed.

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Subprime menace endangers hobbits and James Bond

Andrew Leonard
2007-08-16 11:06:00

Is there no end to the carnage wrought by subprime madness? Far from being "contained," the fallout is now spreading to fictional realms populated by some of the mightiest icons of human civilization. On Wednesday afternoon, the Financial Times published a scoop breaking the news that funding for a slate of upcoming blockbuster movies may be delayed because of Wall Street's current woes.

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Asian Stocks Tumble to Their Biggest Two-Day Decline in a Year

Patrick Rial and Chan Tien Hin
2007-08-16 09:50:00

Aug. 16 -- Asian stocks tumbled to their biggest two-day drop in a year after Australia's Rams Home Loans Group Ltd. said it was unable to refinance $5 billion of debt amid a widening credit crunch.

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Housing starts fall to 10-year low

Herbert Lash
2007-08-16 09:46:00

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Two key indicators in the struggling U.S. home construction sector fell to 10-year lows in July and the number of U.S. workers seeking jobless benefits rose, government reports said on Thursday.

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The Living Planet
Geologists fear undersea mud mountain in Indian Ocean may trigger tsunami

Apinya Wipatayotin
2007-08-16 17:44:00

A giant mountain of mud found under the Indian Ocean's Nicobar Islands is being closely monitored by geologists who fear a tsunami could be triggered by a massive landslide. Smith Dharmasarojana, chairman of the National Disaster Warning Centre Committee, said the geologists from India recently discovered the giant mud mountain, and some parts of it measured more than seven kilometres high.

He conceded there was little information on the mud formation but it is widely believed it was formed by sediment transported by rivers for over a thousand years accumulating under the sea.

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Villagers fight off animals in flood-hit South Asia

2007-08-16 14:12:00

Flood victims fought off hungry animals and battled waterborne diseases in South Asia on Thursday as unrelenting monsoon rains caused fresh flooding in the region, already battered by weeks of bad weather.

The death toll in eastern India alone rose by over 100 in the past week with thousands more marooned or made homeless as bloated rivers burst mud embankments.

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Volcano erupts in northern Ethiopia, two missing

2007-08-16 14:02:00

A volcano in north-east Ethiopia's Afar region erupted over the weekend, leaving two people missing and forcing hundreds to flee, state-run media reports.

The Ethiopia News Agency (ENA) said the volcano spewed lava on Sunday, forcing mainly salt-mining Afar nomads living around the mountain's range to escape.


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Mag 3.2 earthquake rocks San Francisco

Marisa Lagos
2007-08-15 13:50:00

That rumbling you felt a little after midnight today was an earthquake - but a small one.

The magnitude 3.2 quake in the Oakland Hills was felt up to Richmond and out to Walnut Creek, with some of the strongest shaking experienced just east of Oakland, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

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Australia: Ocean 'supergyre' link to climate regulator

2007-08-16 12:58:00

Australian scientists have identified the missing deep ocean pathway - or 'supergyre' - linking the three Southern Hemisphere ocean basins in research that will help them explain more accurately how the ocean governs global climate.

The new research confirms the current sweeping out of the Tasman Sea past Tasmania and towards the South Atlantic is a previously undetected component of the world climate system's engine-room - the thermohaline circulation or 'global conveyor belt'.

Wealth from Oceans Flagship scientist Ken Ridgway says the current, called the Tasman Outflow, occurs at an average depth of 800-1,000 metres and may play an important role in the response of the conveyor belt to climate change.

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Whale found dead on French beach

2007-08-15 12:04:00

A 19-metre (62-foot) whale was found dead on abeach in northwest France on Wednesday, police said.

"It was a fin whale that died recently," said Jean-Yves Le Clech, a marineexpert from the nearby town of Brest. "When there are storms, the currents caneasily push the bodies onto the coast."

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Health & Wellness
Brain imaging reveals breakdown of normal emotional processing

Society for Neuroscience
2007-08-16 13:39:00

Brain imaging has revealed a breakdown in normal patterns of emotional processing that impairs the ability of people with clinical depression to suppress negative emotional states. Efforts by depressed patients to suppress their feelings when viewing emotionally negative images enhanced activity in several brain areas, including the amygdala, known to play a role in generating emotion, according to a report in the August 15 issue of The Journal of Neuroscience.

"Identifying areas in the nervous system that correlate to pathological mood states is one of the pressing questions in mental illness today," says Carol Tamminga, MD, of the University of Texas Southwest Medical Center. Tamminga was not involved in the study.

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Science & Technology
Astronomers discover star with a tail 13 light years long

Niall Firth
Daily Mail
2007-08-16 13:53:00

This incredible picture shows a star with an unusual trait - a glowing, comet-like tail which extends an incredible 13 light years back into space.

The star itself, called Mira, is about 350 light years from Earth.

As the star hurtles through space its tail is shedding carbon, oxygen and other important elements needed to form new stars, planets and possibly even life.


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Eye-catching new Taser sparks controversy

David Schwartz
2007-08-16 11:24:00

It resembles a hand-held electric razor and is available in metallic pink, electric blue, titanium silver and black pearl.

But it gives out a 50,000-volt jolt that short-circuits brain signals and momentarily incapacitates.

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Radar reveals vast medieval Cambodian city: study

2007-08-13 10:13:00

Archaeologists using radar imagery have shown that an ancient Cambodian settlement centered on the celebrated temple of Angkor Wat was far more extensive than previously thought, a study released Monday said.

The medieval settlement surrounding Angkor, the one-time capital of the illustrious Khmer empire which flourished between the ninth and 14th centuries, covered a 3,000 square kilometer area (1,158 square miles).

The urban complex was at least three times larger than archaeologists had previously suspected and easily the largest pre-industrial urban area of its kind, eclipsing comparable developments such as Tikal a Classic Maya "city" in Guatemala.

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Our Haunted Planet
Cell phone captures 'UFOs' flying in the sky

Tony Gardner
Yorkshire Evening Post
2007-08-16 05:47:00

DAVID Chapman has hard evidence that Leeds folk claiming to have witnessed mystery lights above the city's night sky were not just telling tall tales.

The 20-year-old managed to film strange goings-on overhead just hours after reading about Mark Frank's claims to have spotted a phenomenon in the sky.

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Don't Panic! Lighten Up!
Chinese couple tried to name baby "@"

2007-08-16 12:01:00

A Chinese couple tried to name their baby "@", claiming the character used in e-mail addresses echoed their love for the child, an official trying to whip the national language into line said on Thursday.

The unusual name stands out especially in Chinese, which has no alphabet and instead uses tens of thousands of multi-stroke characters to represent words.

"The whole world uses it to write e-mail, and translated into Chinese it means 'love him'," the father explained, according to the deputy chief of the State Language Commission Li Yuming.

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Man Arrested After Trying to Rob a Nun

Associated Press
2007-08-15 23:09:00

MADISON, Wis. - A would-be thief came up empty-handed after trying to rob a nun who had taken a vow of poverty. Madison police arrested the man later in the day. They gave the following account:

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