- Signs of the Times Archive for Mon, 01 Oct 2007 -

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SOTT Focus
Signs Economic Commentary for 1 October 2007

Donald Hunt
Signs of the Times
2007-10-01 13:00:00

Summary: The story of the third quarter of 2007 was the fall of the dollar to record lows and the rise in the price of gold and oil, not only in dollars but also in euros. In essence ALL currencies went down, the dollar just fell more than the others. Much of this can be attributed to the sub-prime meltdown in the United States and to the threat of expanded war in Western Asia.

Events in the third quarter have spooked even the institutional investors and the mainstream media who, until now, viewed the world economy through rose colored glasses. I would like to welcome our friends in the mainstream financial media to reality! Those of us who have been warning people for years about the danger of a dollar currency collapse, about the unsustainable levels of debt in the United States, and about the housing bubble now have a lot more company.

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Best of the Web
The media anesthetizes our minds to make us embrace war as freedom, and fraud as fact

Greg Felton
Canadian Arab News
2007-09-27 00:00:00

"Things like... the Russian purges and deportations, the dropping of the atom bombs on Japan, can indeed be defended, but only by arguments which are too brutal for most people to face, and which do not square with the professed aims of the political parties... Political language - and with variations this is true of all political parties, from Conservatives to Anarchists - is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind." George Orwell, from Politics and the English Language, 1946

In his famous novel 1984, George Orwell introduces us to "Newspeak," the pseudo-language by which the Ingsoc (English Socialist) government of Oceania, led by Big Brother, sabotages independent thought and imposes a repressive conformity on the public.

"The purpose of Newspeak," wrote Orwell, "was to make all other modes of thought impossible. It was intended that when Newspeak had been adopted once and for all, and Oldspeak [standard English] forgotten, a heretical thought... would be literally unthinkable."

For example, in Newspeak, "liberty and equality," are reduced to "crimethink"; "free" only has the sense of "without" as in "free from" something; "dissent" is "thoughtcrime." Syme, a senior editor of the 11th edition of the Newspeak Dictionary proudly describes the purpose behind this linguistic destruction: "The whole climate of thought will be different. In fact there will be no thought, as we understand it now. Orthodoxy means not thinking - not needing to think. Orthodoxy is unconsciousness."

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Dare To Compare - Israel

Ghali Hassan
2007-09-30 18:12:00

Few days ago, I had a long e-mail message from someone with the "Jews for Peace" group. The message starts: "I am very annoyed by your comparison of Israel with Nazi Germany ... There is no Auschwitz in Palestine, and the Palestinians have not experienced a holocaust. Palestinians are free to leave any time they wish." I do not know anything about the group, but a response is in order:

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U.S. News
Massive Vote Fraud Caught on Video

2007-10-01 16:26:00

Comment: Just think, this is what our psychopathic "representatives" do while fully aware that they are on television. Imagine what they say and do when off-camera?

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Classes canceled Monday at University of Memphis after deadly shooting

Associated Press
2007-10-01 06:59:00

Memphis Tennessee - Classes were canceled on the main campus of the University of Memphis Monday after a fatal shooting there Sunday night.

University officials said a student was shot in the chest while in the vicinity of the Carpenter Complex around 9:45 p.m. Sunday. The student drove to the intersection of Zach Curlin and Central, where he was involved in a single car automobile accident.

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U.S. Is Top Arms Seller to Developing World

Thom Shanker
New York Times
2007-10-01 08:31:00

The United States maintained its role as the leading supplier of weapons to the developing world in 2006, followed by Russia and Britain, according to a Congressional study to be released Monday. Pakistan, India and Saudi Arabia were the top buyers.

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McCain: I'd prefer Christian president

Associated Press
2007-09-30 23:58:00

WASHINGTON - Sen. John McCain said in an interview published Saturday that he would prefer a Christian president over someone of a different faith, calling it "an important part of our qualifications to lead."

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Chicago cops awash in scandal

Mike Robinson
Associated Press
2007-09-30 14:47:00

Videotapes of angry officers savagely beating civilians and charges that a murder plot was hatched within an elite special operations unit have Chicago's troubled police department reeling again.

Adding to the department's woes is word from federal prosecutors that they are investigating claims that homicide detectives tortured suspects into confessing to murders that landed them on death row in the 1980s.

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UK & Euro-Asian News
North Korea talks consider "nuts and bolts" text

Ben Blanchard
2007-09-30 11:44:00

©REUTERS/Kim Do-yun/Yonhap
Soldiers stand guard in front of a military fence near the demilitarized zone separating the two Koreas, north of Seoul, September 30, 2007. The banner reads, "We wish to travel North Korea by a train".

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Opening move! Kasparov picked to fight Russia presidential election

2007-09-30 22:20:00

Chess great Garry Kasparov was named Sunday as the Other Russia opposition coalition's candidate for 2008 presidential polls, and vowed to fight for democracy against the Kremlin's political juggernaut.

Kasparov overwhelmingly won a party congress vote against five other contenders to run in the March 2, 2008, election to replace President Vladimir Putin.

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Merkel consolidates power as Bavarian rival steps aside

2007-09-30 21:25:00

A longtime rival of German Chancellor Angela Merkel exited the political stage at the weekend, leaving her more powerful than ever but faced with mounting tensions in her ruling coalition.

Edmund Stoiber stood down as Bavarian state premier and head of the Christian Social Union (CSU), the regional sister party of Merkel's conservatives and a member of her government, after 14 years at the helm.

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Pro-West forces score narrow victory in Ukraine: exit polls

2007-09-30 21:25:00

Pro-Western parties in Ukraine narrowly defeated their Moscow-backed rivals in snap parliamentary elections Sunday, exit polls indicated, but the apparent victory was unlikely to end months of political unrest.

Four exit polls released after voting in the former Soviet republic gave President Viktor Yushchenko's Our Ukraine party and the allied Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc a razor-thin lead over parties backing Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych.

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Around the World
Burma: Thousands dead in massacre, monks dumped in the jungle

Marcus Oscarsson
Daily Mail
2007-10-01 15:04:00

Executed: The body of a Buddhist monk floats in a river.

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Ecuadoran president celebrates victory after reform vote

2007-10-01 10:06:00

QUITO - Ecuador's leftist President Rafael Correa celebrated victory Monday after claiming that his ruling coalition had won a solid majority in a newly elected assembly that will rewrite the country's constitution.

"The projections are clear: the victory of the citizens is unquestionable," Correa told a news conference, predicting that his government would win 80 out of the 130 seats up for grabs on the future Constituent Assembly.

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U.N. peace envoy waits to see Myanmar junta supremo

Aung Hla Tun
2007-10-01 01:10:00

©REUTERS/Chaiwat Subprasom
Myanmar workers in Thailand hold placards and shout slogans against the military junta during a protest outside the Myanmar embassy in Bangkok, September 30, 2007.

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Five killed, 25 wounded in northeast India blasts

2007-10-01 17:13:00

KOLKATA, India - At least five people were killed and more than 25 wounded when three bombs exploded on Sunday in India's restive northeastern state of Assam, which has seen a spurt in separatist violence, police said.

Those killed and wounded were non-Assamese people living in the oil- and tea-rich state wracked by an insurgency that wants a separate homeland for ethnic Assamese, a senior police officer told Reuters by telephone.

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Huge crowds in Costa Rica protest U.S. trade pact

John McPhaul
2007-09-30 21:25:00

SAN JOSE, Costa Rica - More than 100,000 Costa Ricans, some dressed as skeletons, protested a U.S. trade pact on Sunday they say will flood their country with cheap farm goods and cause job losses.

Chanting "No to the free-trade pact!" and "Costa Rica is not for sale!" demonstrators filled one of San Jose's main boulevards to show their opposition against the Central American Free Trade Agreement with the United States.

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Big Brother
British Government and councils to spy on ALL phone conversations

Jason Lewis
Daily Mail
2007-10-01 13:01:00

Officials from the top of Government to lowly council officers will be given unprecedented powers to access details of every phone call in Britain under laws coming into force tomorrow.

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Axis of Evil
Right-Wing Rag: Attack on Iran Said To Be Imminent; Illegal sanctions considered

New York Sun
2007-10-01 14:31:00

UNITED NATIONS - In a sign that U.N. Security Council-based diplomacy is losing steam, a number of sources are reporting that a military strike against Iran's nuclear facilities may be imminent. France and America also are pushing for tighter economic sanctions against Tehran, without U.N. approval.

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Shifting Targets: The Administration's plan for Iran.

Seymour Hersh
New Yorker
2007-10-01 13:38:00

In a series of public statements in recent months, President Bush and members of his Administration have redefined the war in Iraq, to an increasing degree, as a strategic battle between the United States and Iran. "Shia extremists, backed by Iran, are training Iraqis to carry out attacks on our forces and the Iraqi people," Bush told the national convention of the American Legion in August. "The attacks on our bases and our troops by Iranian-supplied munitions have increased. . . . The Iranian regime must halt these actions. And, until it does, I will take actions necessary to protect our troops." He then concluded, to applause, "I have authorized our military commanders in Iraq to confront Tehran's murderous activities."

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I hate all Iranians, US aide tells MPs

Simon Walters
The Daily Mail on Sunday
2007-10-01 10:53:00

Britsh MPs visiting the Pentagon to discuss America's stance on Iran and Iraq were shocked to be told by one of President Bush's senior women officials: "I hate all Iranians."

And she also accused Britain of "dismantling" the Anglo-US-led coalition in Iraq by pulling troops out of Basra too soon.

©Daily Mail
Hard line: Debra Cagan stunned the MPs with her comments

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Bush eyes 'surgical' strikes vs. Iran

Tamer el-Ghobashy
New York Daily News
2007-10-01 08:30:00

THE WHITE HOUSE is planning "surgical" strikes in Iran to cripple agents the United States says support Iraqi insurgents fighting American soldiers, a new report says.

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Cindy Sheehan: Pro-Democracy Means Anti-Fascism

Cindy Sheehan
2007-09-28 22:43:00

"The world is watching the people of Burma take to the streets to demand their freedom, and the American people stand in solidarity with these brave individuals," - George W. Bush

Watching the pro-democracy marches in Burma both inspires and sickens me. I am inspired by seeing thousands of red-robed monks leading the demonstrations and sickened by the violence they are being met with by the military.

Seeing the images of the monks and others being beaten reminds me of the Democratic Convention in 1968 where Chicago police beat the living daylights out of demonstrators who were there to try and force the party to come closer to the budding anti-war movement. It didn't work. Instead of wonderful pro-peace candidate, Eugene McCarthy, the party nominated Johnson's VP, Hubert Humphrey. We know what happened next: Nixon. After last night's Democratic "debate" I am terrified and assured that the Democrats will have another pro-war nominee.

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Yes - "A Coup has Occurred" & "The Answer is Blow'in in the Wind"

Jim Kirwan
2007-09-28 20:38:00

In his clearly written article, Daniel Ellsberg points out many of the obvious things that others have been trying to unscramble now for at least the last six years. Line by line he wrestles with the reality of the facts as most have come to see them in this situation. What seems to be missing here is the poverty of both attitudes and motives that allowed this to happen in the first instance. With every passing moment these differences become more necessary, to any possible solution, to all that the Ellsberg article so clearly delineates.

For generations now people with real experience, individuals that have actually lived their lives in that crucible that molds experience and courage have been missing-in-action when it counts the most. These traits are necessary, not because they are exceptional: but because only with these capacities can this nation or any person in it-- even begin to overturn--not only the nightmare we are living but the one to come as well.

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Middle East Madness
Syria wants Golan Heights on Middle East agenda

2007-10-01 12:11:00

LONDON - Syria will not attend a Middle East peace conference set for next month unless the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights are on the agenda, President Bashar al-Assad said in comments broadcast on Monday.

"If they don't talk about the Syrian occupied territory, no, there's no way for Syria to go there," Assad told the BBC, referring to the Golan Heights, which Israel captured from Syria in the 1967 Arab-Israeli war.

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Police Report: Blackwater fired unprovoked from ground and sky

Kevin Peraino
2007-10-01 14:04:00

An extensive evidence file assembled by the Iraqi National Police after the controversial Blackwater shooting suggests that the private contractors opened fire unprovoked from the ground and the sky.

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Poll: Most Israelis support using nukes

Jersualem Post
2007-10-01 12:44:00

Approximately 72 percent of Israelis support the use of nuclear weapons in certain circumstances, according to a Canadian survey released recently.

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The insidious American implanting of sectarianism - through corruption

Imad Khadduri
2007-09-30 12:25:00

Sensitive But Unclassified
Not for distribution to personnel outside of the US Embassy in Baghdad Iraq Working Draft

©Shalom TV
US Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr.

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Propaganda Alert! Israel freeing 87 jailed Palestinians to aid Abbas

2007-09-30 18:26:00

JERUSALEM - Israel releases 87 jailed Palestinians on Monday in a bid to shore up President Mahmoud Abbas against rival Hamas Islamists and ahead of a U.S.-sponsored conference on Palestinian statehood.

The prisoners, all members of Abbas's embattled Fatah or smaller secular factions, will be bussed out of the desert stockade of Kitsyot by 7 a.m. (0500 GMT) to Israel's boundaries with the West Bank and Gaza Strip, the Prisons Service said.

Comment: Let us keep in mind that Abbas and Fatah are puppets for the Israeli government. So they are actually doing no favors for the Palestinians. Just trying to have Abbas be seen in a favorable light.

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The Loan Gunmen
Citigroup says quarterly profit to plunge

Christian Plumb
2007-10-01 15:39:00

NEW YORK - Citigroup Inc, the largest U.S. bank by market value, said on Monday its quarterly earnings will drop 60 percent on $5.9 billion in losses and write-downs from subprime and leveraged loan woes, fixed income trading, as well as weakness in its consumer business.

The profit warning came on the same day that Swiss bank UBS AG disclosed $3.4 billion in losses, driven by some of the same factors, and raised questions about whether other banks that have not yet reported third-quarter results will also warn.

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Dow surges to record high

Ellis Mnyandu
2007-10-01 17:04:00

©REUTERS/John Gress
Traders work in the NASDAQ pit at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange October 1, 2007

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Nokia Buys Navtec Mapping Service for $8.1 Billion

James Niccolai
IDG News Service
2007-10-01 07:00:00

Nokia Corp. has agreed to buy the digital mapping company Navteq for US$8.1 billion, supporting a plan to add navigation capabilities to more of its devices.

The acquisition, announced Monday, also helps Nokia to grow the services side of its business at a time when profits from mobile phones are being squeezed.

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UBS to write down $3.4 billion

Thomas Atkins
2007-10-01 10:16:00

ZURICH - UBS AG (UBSN.VX), the world's largest wealth manager, unveiled $3.4 billion in losses, swept out senior managers and slashed jobs in one of the biggest casualties yet from the worldwide credit crunch.

UBS said on Monday it would write down a net 4 billion Swiss francs ($3.42 billion) in its fixed-income portfolio and elsewhere, resulting in a third-quarter loss of 600 million to 800 million Swiss francs, its first quarterly loss in nine years.

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Babcock & Brown buys Bluewater wind power firm

2007-09-30 17:15:00

NEW YORK - Australian investment firm Babcock & Brown Ltd bought offshore wind power developer Bluewater, which is seeking to build a wind farm off the coast of Delaware expected to cost about $1.6 billion.

In a pair of releases Thursday, the companies said Bluewater would continue to negotiate a power purchase agreement with Pepco Holdings Inc's Delmarva Power subsidiary.

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Loonie closes above parity

CBC News
2007-09-30 21:53:00

The Canadian dollar closed above parity Friday for the first time in almost 31 years, as the U.S. greenback continued its dramatic fall against major world currencies.

According to Bank of Canada data, the loonie closed at $1.0052 US, up two-thirds of a cent from Thursday's close.

Expressed another way, it means that a U.S. dollar is now worth a little less than 99.5 cents in Canadian money.

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The Living Planet
Two rescued, three dead as volcano sinks Red Sea island

Deutsche Presse-Agentur
2007-10-01 11:21:00

Sana'a, Yemen - At least two men were rescued in dramatic fashion from the Red Sea, but three more were reported dead on Monday as a volcano blasted a small Yemeni island under the sea.

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Almost 90 dead in fresh India monsoon rains

Associated Free Press
2007-10-01 02:47:00


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"Catastrophic volcanic eruption" on Red Sea island off Yemen

Associated Press
2007-10-01 01:50:00

A volcano has erupted on a tiny island off the coast of Yemen, spewing lava and ash hundreds of feet into the air, a Canadian naval vessel near the island in the Red Sea reported. There were no immediate reports of deaths, but at least eight people were missing.

The entire 3-km-long island was aglow with lava and magma as it poured into the sea.

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Sushi craze threatens Mediterranean's giant tuna

Ben Harding
2007-10-01 00:06:00

©REUTERS/Ruben Sprich/Files
Fishmongers drag frozen giant tuna in the early morning at the Tsukiji Fish Market in Tokyo in this April 25, 2002, file photo.

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Health & Wellness
Tainted-Beef Recall Sparks Consumer Concerns

ABC News
2007-10-01 08:29:00

Topps Meat. Co. is recalling some of its hamburgers after a cluster of illnesses in the Northeast caused by E. coli bacteria.

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US: Six die from brain-eating amoeba in lakes

Chris Kahn
Associated Press
2007-10-01 04:22:00

It sounds like science fiction but it's true: A killer amoeba living in lakes enters the body through the nose and attacks the brain where it feeds until you die.

Even though encounters with the microscopic bug are extraordinarily rare, it's killed six boys and young men this year. The spike in cases has health officials concerned, and they are predicting more cases in the future.

"This is definitely something we need to track," said Michael Beach, a specialist in recreational waterborne illnesses for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Thou shalt not smoke: Smokers Would Pay for Democrats new Health Bill

Charles Babington
Associated Press
2007-09-30 18:00:00

WASHINGTON - Congressional Democrats have chosen an unlikely source to pay for the bulk of their proposed $35 billion increase in children's health coverage: people with relatively little money and education.

The program expansion passed by the House and Senate last week would be financed with a 156 percent increase in the federal cigarette tax, taking it to $1 per pack from the current 39 cents. Low-income people smoke more heavily than do wealthier people in the United States, making cigarette taxes a regressive form of revenue.

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Science & Technology
Flashback: Turkey: Noah's Ark anomaly gets a new image

China View
2007-10-01 14:09:00

BEIJING -- Three high-tech companies have joined technology in the search for evidence that a 980-foot-long feature on Turkey's Mt. Ararat might be what's left of Noah's Ark.

The high-tech effort involves GeoEye, INTA Space Turk, along with the talents of Satellite Imaging Corporation. Satellite Imaging Corporation of Houston, Texas has created a 3D terrain model of the so-called "Mt. Ararat anomaly" -- making use of stereo IKONOS satellite image data to create a flyover of the site in remote northeastern Turkey.

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Sony to launch ultra-thin TVs in December

Associated Free Press
2007-10-01 07:20:00


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Early Polynesians Sailed Thousands of Miles for Trade

Dave Hansford
National Geographic
2007-09-27 04:58:00

Early Polynesians sailed thousands of miles for exploration and trade, suggests a new study of early stone woodworking tools.

The analysis confirms traditional tales of vast ocean voyages and hints that a trading network existed between Hawaii and Tahiti as early as a thousand years ago. (See a photo gallery of the artifacts and early voyages.)

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Kennedy Prepares To Host Constellation Launch Vehicle

Steven Siceloff
Space Travel
2007-10-01 02:25:00

NASA's John F. Kennedy Space Center - Cape Canaveral, Florida - The Ares rockets that will take over for the space shuttle and carry humans to the moon are closer to lifting off from the drawing board. Designs and modifications are under way at Launch Pad 39B, the Launch Control Center and the Vehicle Assembly Building at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida to accommodate the first test flight of an Ares I rocket in April 2009. At the same time, workers in Kennedy's Assembly and Refurbishment Facility and Parachute Refurbishment Facility are working on the components for the first launch test.

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Are manned missions needed to explore Mars and beyond?

Associated Free Press
2007-09-30 17:06:00

Paris - The United States has pledged to colonize the Moon by 2020 and send astronauts to Mars, but many scientists say dangerous and costly manned space missions should be a thing of the past, not the future.

Intelligent robots and satellites such as those already exploring the Red Planet, they say, do a good job and are a lot less fragile than human organisms too easily stranded millions of miles from home.

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Space shuttle moved to Florida launch pad

Irene Klotz
2007-09-30 16:29:00

CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida - Workers at the Kennedy Space Center moved the space shuttle Discovery out to its ocean-side launch pad on Sunday in preparation for a construction mission to the International Space Station slated to begin in three weeks.

Riding atop an Apollo-era mobile transporter, Discovery was rolled out of the massive Vehicle Assembly Building shortly before 7 a.m. for the 3.5-mile trek to the launch pad. It arrived about six hours later.

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Our Haunted Planet
Interview With Mike Fortson (II): Eye Witness to the "Phoenix Lights" UFO

Frank Warren
American Chronicle
2007-10-01 14:37:00

Note: Interview was conducted on September 25, 2007

Note-Having recently passed the 10th anniversary of the so-called "Phoenix Lights" of March 13, 1997, the following is a continuation of a series of interviews/articles with and by direct eye witnesses of this monumental event.

Although many who witnessed this huge "V-shaped craft" have come forward, there are a great deal more who haven't; research concerning this case is ongoing to this day, and it is our hope by highlighting the event(s) and the individuals who witnessed it, more people will come forward and share their experiences. Comments are always welcome, and if requested confidentiality will be honored-FW

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Flashback: Interview With Mike Fortson - Eye Witness To Enormous V-Shaped UFO - AKA "The Phoenix Lights"

Frank Warren
2006-11-24 12:00:00

Note-As we approach the 10th anniversary of the so-called "Phoenix Lights" of March 13, 1997, the following is a continuation of a series of interviews/articles with and by direct eye witnesses of this monumental event.

Although many who witnessed this huge "V-shaped craft" have come forward, there are a great deal more who haven't; research concerning this case is ongoing to this day, and it is our hope by highlighting the event(s) and the individuals who witnessed it, more people will come forward and share their experiences. Comments are always welcome, and if requested confidentiality will be honored-FW

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Don't Panic! Lighten Up!
Woman gives birth to own grandchildren

Associated Press
2007-09-30 21:25:00

SAO PAULO, Brazil - A 51-year-old surrogate mother for her daughter has given birth to her own twin grandchildren in northeastern Brazil, the delivery hospital said.

Rosinete Palmeira Serrao, a government health worker, gave birth to twin boys by Caesarean section on Thursday at the Santa Joana Hospital in the city of Recife, the hospital said in a statement on its Web site.

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