- Signs of the Times Archive for Wed, 31 Oct 2007 -

Sections on today's Signs Page:

SOTT Focus
94% - Signs of the Times Halloween Special

Laura Knight-Jadczyk
Signs of the Times
2005-10-31 17:48:00

©Signs of the Times

Note: Even though this Hallowe'en special article was published in 2005, it is even more true today. And, with the recent publication of Naomi Klein's "Shock Doctrine" and Martha Stout's "The Paranoia Switch", the general public is now able to see even more of the "man behind the curtain" that Laura Knight-Jadczyk has been speaking and writing about for over 20 years. It doesn't have to be Hallowe'en to be scary anymore.

Last Hallowe'en I was left here at Signs Central to hold down the fort and produce the Hallowe'en Signs page by myself. That page has become a classic and I received a pile of emails from readers about it. What can I say? It was one of those golden moments in journalism where all the pieces were right to hand, and all I had to do was relax into the flow and write.

This Hallowe'en the Signs Team have asked me if I would write again and I am hard-pressed to think of anything that can top last Hallowe'en's page. However, Hallowe'en Weirdness (as it is wont to do) has certainly begun to weave its spell around the events of the last couple of weeks and maybe - just maybe - I have some Hallowe'en Candy for everyone!

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Scary! Limbic Warfare and Martha Stout's "Paranoia Switch"

Harrison Koehli
2007-10-29 17:36:00

The events of 9/11 traumatized the American public. The Bush administration exploited that fear and continues to do so.

Martha Stout's newest book, The Paranoia Switch, is a welcome addition to the new and growing science of ponerology: the study of the root causes and genesis of evil, on both the social and interpersonal levels. Stout uses her years of experience as a trauma therapist to clinically diagnose the sickness of our 'terror culture,' and those who would manipulate this trauma for their own self-interest.

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Best of the Web
From the Dark Side: Cheney is Darth Vader, says Bush

Herald Sun
2007-10-31 13:31:00

US President George W. Bush joked today that Vice President Dick Cheney, sometimes caricatured as Darth Vader, did not need a costume to play the sinister Star Wars villain for Halloween.

"This morning I was with the Vice President.

"I was asking him what costume he was planning. And he said 'I'm already wearing it'.

"Then he mumbled something about the dark side of the Force," Mr Bush quipped.

Might we suggest an alternative comparison?

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Video: The Shock Doctrine

Alfonso Cuarón and Naomi Klein
2007-10-31 10:48:00

Directed by Jonas Cuarón. Alfonso Cuarón, director of Children of Men, and Naomi Klein, author of No Logo, present a short film from Klein's book The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism.

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Getting your victims to love you

Azmi Bishara
Al-Ahram Weekly
2007-10-30 20:42:00

If you want to understand the magnitude of the Palestinian tragedy and the depths of their dilemma take a look at the recent decree issued by the Israeli Ministry of Education which in essence asks Jewish and Arab schoolchildren to sign the Israeli declaration of independence as part of the celebrations marking the 60th anniversary of the state of Israel.

In a statement distributed to the schools the ministry's Society and Youth Administration set the following objectives for the jubilee: "To commemorate the passage of 60 years since the establishing of the state of Israel in the Arab and Jewish educational system; to strengthen the sense of belonging to, pride in and love for the 60-year-old state among all who attend educational institutes; to help all Jewish, Muslim, Christian, Druze and other youth to form a clear vision of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state; to inspire a sense of responsibility and social commitment among the young and to encourage them to become active participants in the affairs of society."

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Frankenstate News
Ms Hughes: loyal to Bush but she is also leaving

Guardian/Associated Press
2007-10-31 14:22:00

One of George Bush's last remaining advisers from his tight circle of Texas aides today announced she was leaving the administration at the end of the year.

Karen Hughes, an undersecretary in the state department responsible for improving the US's image abroad, is to return to her home state.

It is her second departure. She was among Mr Bush's closest confidantes during his first term before leaving the White House in 2002.

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Strange Case of the Disappearing War Protesters: Why no coverage?

Jerry Lanson
Yahoo News
2007-10-30 14:12:00

Coordinated antiwar protests in at least 11 American cities this weekend raised anew an interesting question about the nature of news coverage: Are the media ignoring rallies against the Iraq war because of their low turnout or is the turnout dampened by the lack of news coverage?

I find it unsettling that I even have to consider the question.

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A child playing with matches and arsonists started California blaze

Jack Malvern
Times Online
2007-10-31 13:20:00

A boy playing with matches started a fire in north Los Angeles County that destroyed more than 15,000 hectares (38,000 acres) and destroyed 21 homes last week, according to Californian police.

One of 21 buildings destroyed by the Buckweed fire in Los Angeles County. The blaze was started by a boy playing with matches

The boy, whose name and age were not released, confessed to starting the Buckweed fire, north of Los Angeles, on October 21 but claimed it was an accident.

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Weapons Industry Dumps Republicans, Backs Hillary

Leonard Doyle
The Independent
2007-10-31 00:00:00

The U.S. arms industry has all but abandoned its traditional allies in the Republican party and is putting their money on Hillary Clinton.

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Traffic stop yields embalmed heads

Associated Press
2007-10-31 10:41:00

A traffic stop in Texas yielded about two dozen embalmed heads. But it's no Halloween joke. Investigators said the human heads had been used for medical training in the Fort Worth area and were being returned to Little Rock, Arkansas.

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Sick! Tech accused of abusing elderly corpse

Associated Press
2007-10-30 20:26:00

A Teaneck hospital lab technician has been jailed after being accused of sexually abusing the corpse of a 92-year-old woman, authorities say.

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Mukasey draws more heat on torture

Thomas Ferraro
2007-10-31 00:58:00

Michael Mukasey, President George W. Bush's nominee to be attorney general, said on Tuesday he does not know if any waterboarding interrogation methods that may be used by the United States constitute unlawful torture. But he vowed to find out.

Failing to placate critics seeking a definite denunciation of such simulated drowning, Mukasey said if confirmed by the Senate, "I will review any coercive interrogation techniques currently used."

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Teen charged with killing woman seeking job

2007-10-30 21:45:00

Minneapolis - A 19-year-old man suspected of killing a woman who answered an online ad for a baby sitter was charged Tuesday with second-degree murder.

Michael John Anderson is accused of shooting Katherine Ann Olson in the back at his home in suburban Savage, according to the criminal complaint filed in Scott County District Court.

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Kucinich questions Bush's mental health

Associated Press
2007-10-30 20:16:00

PHILADELPHIA - Democratic presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich questioned President Bush's mental health in light of comments he made about a nuclear Iran precipitating World War III.

"I seriously believe we have to start asking questions about his mental health," Kucinich, an Ohio congressman, said in an interview with The Philadelphia Inquirer's editorial board on Tuesday. "There's something wrong. He does not seem to understand his words have real impact."

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Attorney General Nominee Won't Say Waterboarding Is Torture, But in 1947 the U.S. Called It a War Crime

Jon Ponder
Pensito Review
2007-10-29 00:30:00

Immoral Relativism: George Bush's nomination of Michael Mukasey for U.S. attorney general - once thought to be smooth sailing - is experiencing a bit of turbulence. The problem is, Mukasey can't bring himself to say whether or not waterboarding is torture:

"I don't know what's involved in the techniques. If waterboarding is torture, torture is not constitutional."
- Mukasey

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Will witch Rice pull rabbit out of hat on Turkey trip?

Sue Pleming
2007-10-31 13:49:00

Turkey will push U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice this week to follow through on promises to help eradicate Kurdish rebels in northern Iraq but experts say the top U.S. diplomat's hands are tied.

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Pope Benedict to meet Saudi king

Herald Sun
2007-10-31 13:54:00

Pope Benedict will meet Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah next week for talks expected to centre on Christian-Islam relations, the Vatican said.

The first talks between a Saudi monarch and a pope will take place on Tuesday.

The king, currently in Britain, will be in Italy to meet government officials.

Comment: First the UK rolls out the red carpet and the Queen for Abdullah, now Italy is keen to entertain the Suadis even conjuring up a meeting with the Pope. Seems western governments are suddenly very keen to promote the repressive Saudi regime as 'friend and ally'. Remember its Iran that are the bad guys, no need to look too closely at Saudi Arabia's influence on the region.

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Bomb on Russian Bus Kills at Least 8

Michael Schwirtz
New York Times
2007-10-31 12:47:00

A bomb exploded on a passenger bus during the morning rush in a central Russian city today, killing at least eight people and wounding about 50 in what could be a terrorist attack, said Irina Doroshenko, a spokeswoman for the investigative wing of the local prosecutor's office.

The explosion in Tolyatti, about 600 miles from Moscow, was caused by a four-and-a-half-pound explosive device, though no information was available on possible suspects, Ms. Doroshenko said. Vladimir Artyakov, governor of the Samara Region where the explosion occurred, said that a terrorist attack was the main theory, the Interfax news agency reported. Earlier, the news agency, citing an unnamed police source, said that a passenger carrying the bomb could have accidentally detonated it.

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Madrid court convicts 21 of 28, clears 'mastermind'

The Independent
2007-10-31 12:35:00

Four terrorist ringleaders of the Madrid train bombings were sentenced to thousands of years in jail today for the murder of the 191 victims.

But a fifth, an Egyptian who apparently bragged that he masterminded the operation, was cleared of all charges at the end of Europe's biggest Islamic terror trial.

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Putin pays rare tribute to victims of Soviet repression

Agence France-Presse
2007-10-31 02:57:00

BUTOVO - President Vladimir Putin, widely accused of undermining post-Communist freedoms, for the first time Tuesday publicly commemorated Russia's day for remembering millions of victims of Communist repression.

At a ceremony marking the height of the Stalin-era "Great Purge" in 1937, Putin said the Soviet Union had lost sight of "fundamental" human values and that it was essential to preserve political diversity.

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Spanish judge due to rule on Madrid train bombs

Jane Barrett
2007-10-31 00:29:00

A Spanish court will deliver verdicts on Wednesday on 28 people accused of playing a role in the 2004 Madrid train bombings, ending a politically charged trial into Europe's deadliest al Qaeda inspired attack.

Ten bombs ripped through four commuter trains early on March 11, 2004, strewing the tracks with bodies. The Islamist bombings killed 191 people and injured 1,800 when mobile phones set off homemade bombs packed into sports bags.

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King Abdullah flies in to lecture us on terrorism

Robert Fisk
The Independent
2007-10-30 18:16:00

In what world do these people live? True, there'll be no public executions outside Buckingham Palace when His Royal Highness rides in stately formation down The Mall. We gave up capital punishment about half a century ago. There won't even be a backhander - or will there? - which is the Saudi way of doing business. But for King Abdullah to tell the world, as he did in a BBC interview yesterday, that Britain is not doing enough to counter "terrorism", and that most countries are not taking it as seriously as his country is, is really pushing it. Weren't most of the 11 September 2001 hijackers from - er - Saudi Arabia? Is this the land that is really going to teach us lessons?

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Incredible hypocrisy: Red carpet welcome for Saudi king

2007-10-30 16:37:00


King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia has been welcomed ceremonially to Britain by the Queen, amid burgeoning controversy over the Middle Eastern ruler's stay.

The Queen greeted him on Horseguard's Parade at the start of his first visit to the UK in 20 years.

The Lib Dems and some charities said the visit should not take place because of the kingdom's human rights record.

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Vietnam's preference for boys tips gender scales in Asia

Margie Mason
Associated Press
2007-10-31 17:44:00

Vietnam's preference for baby boys over girls is further tipping Mother Nature's scale in Asia, already skewed by a strong bias for boys among Chinese and Indians. The trend could lead to increased trafficking of women and social unrest, a United Nations report says.

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On the run? Taliban overrun Afghan district, dozens killed

Agence France-Presse
2007-10-31 04:01:00

HERAT - Taliban rebels overran a western Afghan district, sparking a fierce battle Tuesday that left seven civilians and a policeman dead and 20 militants killed or wounded, officials said.

A soldier with the US-led coalition, an Afghan spy chief and 20 militants were killed in other incidents linked to the spiralling insurgency by the hardline regime, which was ousted by international forces in late 2001.

Comment: We keep hearing that the Taliban is on the run and how the US-led coalition is gaining ground. Only 3 month ago did Karzai tell Bush what he was instructed to say, namely that the Taliban was a defeated force. It has to be said that for a defeated force on the run, they are doing remarkably well. In this case, their being 'on the run' has resulted in the overrunning yet another district.

Could it be that the US military spokesmen and leaders are continually lying to us about what is really happening?

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False Flag! "Suicide" blast kills seven near Musharraf's HQ

Agence France-Presse
2007-10-31 03:50:00

A suicide bomber blew himself up close to where Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf was holding talks at army headquarters in the garrison city of Rawalpindi on Tuesday, killing seven people, officials said.

The blast happened at a police checkpost a less than a kilometre (half a mile) from where Musharraf was holding talks with top government officials about a spate of attacks, including a recent bid to kill Benazir Bhutto.

Comment: The election is approaching and there is nothing but a near miss attempt at the incumbent leaders life to boost his rating in opinion polls. And don't think that Musharraf and his backers would shy away from sacrificing a few people to achieve re-election.

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Commander guy Bush bullies UN to 'get moving' on Darfur

Agence France-Presse
2007-10-31 03:09:00

US President George W. Bush called on the United Nations Tuesday to "get moving" on deploying a joint UN-African Union peacekeeping force to help end "genocide" in Sudan's Darfur province.

Bush told visiting Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni that he had discussed the conflict with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and urged him to "get moving those troops into the Darfur region as quickly as possible."

Comment: The oil wealth in Sudan is the real reason why Bush and his corporate backers are so keen on getting a UN 'peacekeeping' force in place and why the AU force was continually sabotaged and under equipped for it's mission. See comment below as well.

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US ship helps North Korea vessel crew overpower Somali pirates

Agence France-Presse
2007-10-31 02:34:00

MOGADISHU - A US naval destroyer helped crew members of a North Korean cargo vessel on Tuesday to violently regain control of their freighter captured off Mogadishu port, the vessel's contractor said.

The 22-strong crew of the MV Dia Honga Dan overpowered armed pirates who had seized it overnight Monday, with help from a US warship, said Ali Gabow Jillo, the Mogadishu trader who had contracted the vessel.

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Australia to collect troop DNA to help ID bodies

Rob Taylor
2007-10-31 00:43:00

Australia's military will ask 90,000 soldiers for DNA blood samples to help identify troops as the country prepares for more deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan.

After two soldiers were killed by the Taliban in Afghanistan over the last month, Australian commanders on Wednesday said voluntary DNA collection would begin as soon as possible for 3,500 Australian soldiers currently deployed overseas "as a result of recent operational experience".

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U.S. Stands in the Way of International Pipeline Deal

Abbas Matei
2007-10-31 00:00:00

A major natural gas pipeline that would stretch from the fields of southern Iran to Pakistan and India -- itself a remarkable prospect -- is being planned. But it faces serious hurdles, not least the fierce opposition of the U.S. government.

The history of relations between Persia and the Indian subcontinent is more than 2000 years old. Until 200 years ago, Persian was the language of literature and government in India. After separation of Pakistan from India, Iran faced a dilemma of its relations with these two new states. During the Shah's era, Iran preferred to have close relations with Pakistan, although economic ties with India were not ignored. After the collapse of the Soviet Union and Pakistan's support of hardliners in Afghanistan, Iran found India as a new partner in Asia. India has been slowly but surely forging a comprehensive relationship with Iran on energy and commerce, infrastructure development, and military ties. Iran looks to India as a developed, democratic, and politically lucrative country for cooperation. For instance, some 8,000 Iranian students are studying in India, compared with 2,000 in the United States.

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Peak Oil Lie - Manufacturing a Crisis

Ashley Seager
Guardian Unlimited
2007-10-22 20:41:00

World oil production has already peaked and will fall by half as soon as 2030, according to a report which also warns that extreme shortages of fossil fuels will lead to wars and social breakdown.

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Indian government mulls laws to regulate 'rent-a-womb' business

Mahendra Kumar Singh
The Times of India
2007-10-31 05:27:00

New Delhi: Foreigners lining up to rent a womb in India will soon have to face legal regulations being planned by the ministry of women and child development (WCD).

Surrogacy, an area unregulated till now, meant that childless couples from abroad as well as in the country could get away with renting a womb at terms often to the disadvantage of a needy women who stood the chance of being exploited.

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The encroaching Darkness
North America Union : "Reorganizing" the Americas for big business

Brasscheck TV
2007-10-31 00:00:00

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Halloween scare from potty police

Lachlan Cartwright
The Sun
2007-10-31 09:33:00

©The Sun
Dangerous "illegal traders" Robin, 7, Jack, 4, and Benjamin, 3 will be haunted by their run in with Britain's faux police.

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Lockheed Martin co-developing system to predict stability of nations

Washington Business Journal
2007-10-31 08:27:00

Lockheed Martin Corp. said Wednesday that a team lead by its Cherry Hill, N.J.-based Advanced Technology Laboratories has won a $1.3 million contract to develop a system for predicting crises and the stability of countries.

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Flashback: Sentient world: war games on the grandest scale

Mark Baard
The Register
2007-06-23 06:45:00

Perhaps your real life is so rich you don't have time for another.

Even so, the US Department of Defense (DOD) may already be creating a copy of you in an alternate reality to see how long you can go without food or water, or how you will respond to televised propaganda.

The DOD is developing a parallel to Planet Earth, with billions of individual "nodes" to reflect every man, woman, and child this side of the dividing line between reality and AR.

Called the Sentient World Simulation (SWS), it will be a "synthetic mirror of the real world with automated continuous calibration with respect to current real-world information", according to a concept paper for the project.

"SWS provides an environment for testing Psychological Operations (PSYOP)," the paper reads, so that military leaders can "develop and test multiple courses of action to anticipate and shape behaviors of adversaries, neutrals, and partners".

SWS also replicates financial institutions, utilities, media outlets, and street corner shops. By applying theories of economics and human psychology, its developers believe they can predict how individuals and mobs will respond to various stressors.

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Curse of the Zionists
Manufacturing Consent: Bomb Iran, majority of Americans says in new poll

Nick Juliano
Raw Story
2007-10-31 07:55:00

Despite President Bush's perpetually abysmal approval ratings, it appears his increasingly hostile rhetoric against Iran has drummed up enough fear of a "nuclear holocaust" or a World War III that a majority of Americans are in favor of a US strike against the country aimed a curtailing its apparent nuclear ambitions, a new poll shows.

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When Blackwater kills, no questions asked

Ali al-Fadhily
IPS News
2007-10-31 07:36:00

The recent attacks by Blackwater USA mercenaries in Baghdad are far from the first -- and many believe they will not be the last.

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Rumsfeld Flees France, Fearing Arrest

Inter Press Service News Agency
2007-10-29 00:00:00

Anti-torture protesters in France believe that the defense secretary fled over the open border to Germany, where a war crimes case against Rumsfeld was dismissed by a federal court.

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Perpetuate the Genocide: Democrats Consider More Money for Wars

CBS News 8
2007-10-30 01:09:00

Democrats are debating whether to approve $50 billion to $70 billion for Iraq and Afghanistan, less than half of President Bush's $196 billion request but enough to keep the wars afloat for several more months.

Such a move would satisfy party members who want to spare the Pentagon from a painful budget dance and support the troops as Congress considers its next major step on Iraq.

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War Whore Rice: Turning truth on its head

Abbas Edalat and Mehrnaz Shahabi
The Guardian
2007-10-29 20:30:00

Condoleezza Rice's declaration of Iran's complicity in terrorism looks like another step on the White House's march to war.

The US has opened up a new front in its now sharply accelerated war drive on Iran. The announcement last week by Condoleezza Rice, branding Iran's Revolutionary Guards Corps a terrorist organisation, and imposing the strongest sanctions yet since 1979 Iranian Revolution, alarmed several democratic presidential candidates who described it as an indication that the White House had begun its "march to war".

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Witches' Cauldron
The Catastrophic Iraq Occupation the U.S. Media Rarely Reports: Interview with Dahr Jamail

Kevin Zeese
2007-10-31 15:53:00

"The bogus idea that if the U.S. leaves things will worsen is both inherently racist and ignorant."

Dahr Jamail's MidEast Dispatches are essential reading for anyone who wants to understand what is happening in Iraq (you can sign up on the site to receive his reports via email). Dahr Jamail has spent a total of 8 months in occupied Iraq as one of only a few independent U.S. journalists in the country. His current book is Beyond the Green Zone: Dispatches from an Unembedded Journalist in Occupied Iraq. Jamail was recently interviewed by Democracy Rising's Kevin Zeese.

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US fatalities in Iraq lowest in 18 months as Soldiers Refuse to go on Patrols

Ewen MacAskill
The Guardian
2007-10-31 15:43:00

The death toll for US combat troops in Iraq dropped sharply last month, part of a downward trend that the Pentagon claims shows its 'surge' strategy is working.
©Alaa al-Marjani/AP
A US soldier stands guard as a Blackhawk helicopter lands in Kerbala, Iraq.

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Soldiers in silent revolt in Iraq

Socialist Worker Online
2007-10-31 15:22:00

British troops say 'get us out of here' and US soldiers' 'fake patrols'

British and US troops are turning away from confronting the Iraqi resistance - despite the rhetoric from Gordon Brown and George Bush that they are "winning" the war.

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Iraqi city in the grip of militias

Ahmed Janabi
Al Jazeera
2007-10-31 15:24:00

Amid warnings that southern Iraq could erupt into civil war when British troops withdraw, Basra's chief of police has publicly admitted that his forces have been unable to clamp down on growing militia warfare in the city.

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In Diyala, Iraq, violence is quelled, fear is not

James Janega
Chicago Tribune
2007-10-31 14:28:00

Baqouba, Iraq - Police chief Ghanem al-Qureshy bristles at rumors that his officers are in cahoots with the sectarian Mahdi Army. And he says he is certainly not hiring fighters from Al Qaeda in Iraq as neighborhood watchmen in Diyala province.

It is al-Qureshy's lot that he serves Diyala, a place that is home to all of Iraq's sects, ethnic groups and economic interests -- and all their suspicions.

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Propaganda Alert! Saad Hariri claims Syrian plot to kill Lebanon PM

Agence France-Presse
2007-10-31 03:42:00

Lebanese parliamentary majority leader Saad Hariri said on Tuesday that he had evidence of Syrian assassination plots against himself and Prime Minister Fuad Siniora.

Hariri made the claim in response to a question about alleged assassination plots against the leaders by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's brother-in-law and head of intelligence Assef Shawqat.

"We have intelligence about this and we are following it up," he told reporters.

Comment: Read: Mossad Murders Former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri

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Russia FM blasts US over Iran sanctions

Agence France-Presse
2007-10-31 02:33:00

TEHRAN - Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov criticised United States sanctions against Iran as "not helpful" after meeting Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Tehran on Tuesday.

He also called on the Iranian leader to be "more active" in allaying the international atomic watchdog's concerns over Tehran's controversial nuclear programme.

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Israeli Child Abuse: 360 Palestinian children are imprisoned by Israel, facing harsh conditions - Report

2007-10-30 19:58:00


The Wa'ed Society for political prisoners and ex-prisoner, reported on Monday that the Israeli army continued its violations against the Palestinian people, continued the arrest campaign, and that currently there are 360 Palestinian children still imprisoned in several Israeli prisons and detention facilities.

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The Grim Reaper
Fed Lowers Key Interest Rate by a Quarter Point

Edmund L. Andrews
The New York Times
2007-10-31 17:50:00

The Federal Reserve gave investors what they wanted today, lowering short-term rates for the second time in two months. But it quietly warned Wall Street not to assume that more reductions are ahead.

The move, to reduce short-term rates by a quarter point to 4.5 percent, was aimed at preventing the meltdown in housing from crippling the rest of the economy. But the vote was not unanimous, reflecting disagreement among policymakers about the risks that confront the economy.

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Flashback: Kurdistan discovery may tempt oil majors

2006-09-07 14:14:00

International oil companies including Shell, ExxonMobil, Total, BP and Chevron are positioning themselves to exploit Iraq's rich oilfield potential once the country agrees to legislation protecting their investments.

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Another kind of 'vampire' victimizes Americans this Halloween

Julie Carr Smyth
Ohio.com/Associated Press
2007-10-29 13:10:00

Vampire electronics, a force as insidious as Bram Stoker's leading man, are quietly sucking a nickel of every dollar's worth of the electricity seeping from your outlets.


Insert the little fangs of your cell phone charger in the outlet and leave it there, phone attached? That's vampire electronics.

Allow your computer to hide in the cloak of darkness known as "standby mode" rather than shutting it off? That's vampire electronics.

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German jobless falls below 3.5m

Bertrand Benoit
Financial Times
2007-10-30 01:20:00

Germany has reached the European Union's employment goals two years early, according to official figures that underscore the strength of the labour market recovery in Europe's largest economy.

The data, published on Tuesday by the Federal Statistical Agency, showed 40.05m Germans had jobs last month, or 70.7 per cent of the population. This puts Germany in line with the 2010 employment goals agreed by the EU as part of its so-called "Lisbon Strategy".

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Data add to gloom on US economy

Francesco Guerrera, Jonathan Birchall and Daniel Pimlott
Financial Times
2007-10-30 23:57:00

A build-up of bearish data fuelled fears of a US economic slowdown on Tuesday as consumer confidence slumped to a two-year low and house prices in big cities suffered their biggest drop in 16 years.

The growing evidence that the credit squeeze and housing meltdown are spreading to the rest of the domestic economy will increase pressure on the Federal Reserve to set aside concerns over rising inflation and cut interest rates on Wednesday.

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Home price drop worst since June 1991: S&P

Al Yoon
2007-10-30 20:24:00

NEW YORK - The decline in prices of existing single-family homes accelerated in August and fell at their fastest pace since 1991, according to the Standard & Poor's/Case Shiller national home price index.

S&P said its composite month-over-month index of 10 major metropolitan areas declined 0.8 percent in August to 214.35, for a 5 percent year-over-year drop, S&P said in a statement on Tuesday.

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Goddess Eiseria's play
Powerful Earthquake Hits South Pacific Island

Associated Press
2007-10-31 05:04:00

A powerful earthquake struck near the Marianas Islands in the South Pacific, Japan's weather agency said Wednesday, adding that there was no threat of a tsunami.

The Meteorological Agency initially said the quake's magnitude was 7.5 but later revised it to 7.0 after analyzing the data. The U.S. Geological Survey said the magnitude was 7.2.

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Moderate earthquake of 5.6 rattles Bay Area

Ron Harris
Associated Press
2007-10-31 04:19:00

SAN JOSE - A magnitude-5.6 earthquake shook the San Francisco Bay area Tuesday night, rattling homes and nerves, but there were no immediate reports of serious damage or injuries.

The moderate temblor struck shortly after 8 p.m., about 9 miles northeast of San Jose, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. Residents reported feeling the quake as far east as Sacramento and as far north as Sonoma.

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Magic Brews
Faking Your Way to Good Health

Alex Jung
2007-10-31 00:00:00

Trendy nutrient-infused drinks like Diet Coke Plus and VitaminWater may be hip, but are they healthy?

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Human blood: Most mysterious liquid on Earth

Translated by Guerman Grachev
2007-10-31 03:36:00

Blood is a symbol of vitality. In pre-Christian cultures, it was thought that blood had the power of fertilization and contained part of divine energy.

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You don't say? Scientists study the ABCs of fear

Associated Press
2007-10-31 08:20:00

Science is getting a grip on people's fears. As Americans revel in all things scary on Halloween, scientists say they now know better what's going on inside our brains when a spook jumps out and scares us. Knowing how fear rules the brain should lead to treatments for a major medical problem: When irrational fears go haywire.

"We're making a lot of progress," said University of Michigan psychology professor Stephen Maren. "We're taking all of what we learned from the basic studies of animals and bringing that into the clinical practices that help people. Things are starting to come together in a very important way."

©AFP/Getty Images
'Halloween Extravaganza & Procession of the Ghouls' in The Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine in New York.

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How Racism Affects IQ

Sean Gonsalves
2007-10-29 00:00:00

Closing the education gap between races requires a critical look at early education and health care disparities -- not unfounded statements that black people are less intelligent.

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Legal Toxins in Toys May Disrupt Male Sexual Development

Mark Schapiro
The Nation
2007-10-30 23:19:00

This article is adapted from Mark Schapiro's new book Exposed: The Toxic Chemistry of Everyday Products and What's at Stake for American Power (Chelsea Green).

Toxic chemicals in toys can interrupt the production of testosterone, the hormone that helps determine everything from gender-based behavior to sex drive to sperm count.

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Wait, don't eat that: Candy scandal stuns Japan

Norimitsu Onishi
International Herald Tribune
2007-10-26 23:49:00

It was supposed to be a celebratory year for Akafuku, a confectioner that had been selling bean-jam sweets here since 1707. On its 300th anniversary, its top-selling sweets were still indispensable gifts to bring back home or to the office after a trip to Ise Shrine here, Japan's holiest religious site.

Instead, Akafuku has become the latest Japanese food company to be exposed for lying about the contents of its products, tampering with expiration-date labels and recycling ingredients. For only the second time in its history, Akafuku, which was forced to halt production during World War II because of a sugar scarcity, has suspended operations, this time indefinitely.

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Dr. Jekyll's Lab
Trail doesn't go dead for archaeologists traveling back in time in search for vampires

Jamie DeLoma
Greenwich Time
2007-10-31 13:33:00


Beliefs about spirits coming in the night to eat the flesh of the living were pervasive among early New Englanders, and may have inspired the creator of Dracula -- and fear of blood-sucking vampires lurking in the night.

Although it is unlikely that the early settlers of Connecticut, Rhode Island, Vermont and New Hampshire used the term "vampire," historical evidence shows rampant belief in the undead.

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Super-strong nanotube body armour in sight

Paul Rincon
BBC News
2007-10-31 01:38:00

A new type of carbon fibre, developed at the University of Cambridge, could be woven into super-strong body armour for the military and law enforcement.

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Google in talks with Verizon Wireless

2007-10-31 00:51:00

Google Inc is in active talks with number-two U.S. mobile carrier Verizon Wireless about putting Google applications on phones it offers, people familiar with the matter told Reuters on Tuesday.

"There are good useful talks going on and they could result in a deal," one of the sources said.

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Our Haunted Planet
Alien Abduction, Demonic Possession, and The Legend of The Vampire

by Laura Knight-Jadczyk
2007-10-31 15:00:00

©Hammer Horror

Note: The following was written in late 1994. Much information has come to light since then as a result of our ongoing research. We would suggest that the reader might like to read our Timeline of Secret Government Research as well as our discussion of Cosmic COINTELPRO for a more complete (though still in process!) information base. This additional information may put a different light on the "mode" of the phenomenon in the present day, though the origins remain the same.

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Kucinich tells debate audience: I saw a UFO

Mike Aivaz and Nick Juliano
Raw Story
2007-10-31 13:00:00

Dennis Kucinich's presidential campaign is hardly being taken seriously by the major media in this country, and that fact was on full display Tuesday night when NBC's Tim Russert took time from the Democratic candidates' debate to ask Kucinich's views on little green men.

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Spooky sighting, flaming sphere a mystery, so far

Byron Crawford
2007-10-31 06:27:00

©Sylvester King

Supernatural phenomena were never more than a passing interest for Sylvester and Cheryl King of southern Hardin County.

"You see things on television and you wonder, 'Could this stuff really happen?' " said Sylvester. "Some of the stories are almost impossible to believe. Now, mine's more bizarre than theirs."

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Close encounters of the Turkish kind

Fazile Zahir
Asia Times
2007-10-31 07:43:00

FETHIYE, Turkey - The alleged sighting of an unidentified flying object (UFO) has excited the Turkish media with pictures appearing in both sensationalistic tabloids and more serious broadsheet papers last week.

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Pennsylvania hunter takes picture of 'Big Foot'

Associated Press / Yahoo News!
2007-10-28 03:16:00

RIDGWAY, Pa. - It's furry and walks on all fours. Beyond that, about the only thing certain about the critter photographed by a hunter's camera is that some people have gotten the notion it could be a Sasquatch, or bigfoot. Others say it's just a bear with a bad skin infection.

©AP Photo/Rick Jacobs
** THE ASSOCIATED PRESS CANNOT AUTHENTICATE THE CONTENT OF THESE IMAGES ** This image provided Monday, Oct. 29, 2007 by hunter Rick Jacobs shows an image taken by a camera with an automatic trigger set up in Pennsylvania's Allegheny National Forest on Sept. 16, 2007. The only thing certain about the critter photographed by a hunter's camera is that some people have gotten the notion it could be a Sasquatch, or bigfoot. Others say it's just a bear with a bad skin infection. (AP Photo/Rick Jacobs)

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Gnomes and Goblins
Wiccan lottery winner plans to open witch school

2007-10-31 14:36:00

An American lottery winner who follows the Wiccan religion has decided to use part of his $49million winnings to set up his very own school of witchcraft and wizardry.

Elwood 'Bunky' Bartlett, an accountant from Nottingham in Maryland and high priest of Wicca, attributed his win earlier this month to Wicca, and specifically to the Mystickal Voyage new age shop.

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He's not undead, just unsober...

2007-10-30 02:12:00

Passengers on a German train mistook a Halloween reveler dressed up as a gore-covered zombie for a murder victim and called the police.

©REUTERS/Seth Wenig
Members of the Zombie Army dance to Michael Jackson's "Thriller" at the 32nd Annual Village Halloween Parade in New York October 31, 2005.

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Australia: Nightclub 'shufflers' fight back

Matthew Bachl
2007-10-31 00:05:00

A plan to ban a popular dance move from nightclubs has been branded as ridiculous by club managers and party goers.

The high-octane steps of the "Melbourne shuffle" came under fire recently when Sydney promoter Tim Sabre declared war on the move, saying young, drunk shufflers were endangering fellow clubbers.

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Teenager escapes prison in suitcase

2007-10-31 00:19:00

A 19-year-old German woman has escaped from prison by hiding in a friend's suitcase.

The fugitive hid inside the large case when her 17-year-old fellow inmate was released from the youth prison in northwest Germany on Friday, Lower Saxony ministry spokesman Dennis Weilmann said on Monday.

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Chasing leprechauns: Hypnosis 'victim' still traumatised

2007-10-30 19:07:00

A man who allegedly ran from a theatre in pursuit of leprechauns after being hypnotised on stage claims he is still feeling the effects of the stunt.

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