- Signs of the Times Archive for Thu, 22 Nov 2007 -

Sections on today's Signs Page:

SOTT Focus
John F. Kennedy and the Monolithic and Ruthless Conspiracy

Laura Knight-Jadczyk
2006-11-22 12:00:00

As I mentioned in the previous chapter of the present series, I was 11 years old and in my 6th grade classroom when the news of John F. Kennedy's assassination was first broadcast. I was not ignorant of the idea that evil existed in the world, but I thought about it as something that was personal, local even, not some sort of global juggernaut stalking whole societies. John Kennedy's assassination was the event that changed all that.
Even though I was not able to fully comprehend it then, years later I was better able to articulate the raw, horrifying face of evil I had seen on that sunny November day in 1963. I didn't know then that Kennedy himself had already seen it and described it:

For we are opposed, around the world, by a monolithic and ruthless conspiracy...

Well, of course, George W. Bush says the same thing, doesn't he? The difference is, Kennedy died for saying it, Bush didn't. That suggests that Kennedy had in mind the real conspiracy, and Bush either doesn't have a clue, or is busy directing attention away from it.

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Best of the Web
Britain Institutes Death Penalty

Craig Murray
2007-11-22 13:07:00

Jahongir Sidikov [an Uzbek dissident seeking asylum in the UK] is still in detention at Heathrow airport, having offered passive resistance to UK government's attempt to deport him back to likely torture and death at the hands of the US-funded regime in Uzbekistan. Next time they will use staff authorised and equipped to use force.

I am deeply depressed. All yesterday I was working on trying to save him from being returned to the horrors of the Karimov regime's treatment of dissidents, and it was like living inside a nightmare. Together with an Uzbek friend, we got in an emergency application to the European Court of Human Rights for an Article 39 stay on deportation as Jahongir's life was in danger. This involved my friend filling and faxing numerous forms. I spoke with the legal officers filing the report to the Court, and with the National Council for Assisting Deportees who told me that a temporary stay was "always...automatically" granted so the case could be investigated. By the early evening Jahongir had already been taken to the airport to be deported, and still no result. Finally, the news came from Strasbourg - the appeal for a delay had been rejected by the assistant registrar of the Court. I have no idea why.

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U.S. News
Alberto Gonzales Heckled At University Of Florida Speech

Think Progress
2007-11-20 17:21:00

Former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales delivered his $40,000 speech at the University of Florida last night. Gonzales' first stop on a nationwide college speaking tour got off to a very rocky start, as he had to endure shouts of "criminal" and "liar" throughout his speech.

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US leads world in jailing children for life

Henry Weinstein
Los Angeles Times. The Age
2007-11-20 17:15:00

The United States has far more juveniles serving life terms than any other country - 2387. Israel, the only other country that imprisons juveniles for life, according to a new study by the University of San Francisco's Centre for Law & Global Justice, has seven - and has not issued such a sentence since 2004.

In the US, life terms have fallen disproportionately on non-white children, who are 10 times more likely than white children to be given life without parole, the report found.

The study, titled Sentencing Children to Die in Prison, also found that in California, black juveniles are 20 times more likely to receive such sentences.

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The aftermath of the first thanksgiving

Malcom Lagauche
2007-11-22 14:38:00

1st Thanksgiving: praying to a Christian god in front of Indians who saved them from starvation

This is the time of the year when we are inundated with propaganda about the U.S. holiday, Thanksgiving. Recently, the History Channel showed its rendition. The same old story: weary Pilgrims were taught how to plant crops in the new land of America by some savvy Native Americans. Then, to thank the Indians and God, the Pilgrims held a celebration in Plymouth, Massachusetts. Everybody had a great time. This was brotherhood among human beings at its best. Then, the documentary went forward in time to the 18th century. What happened between 1621 and 1675 was completely ignored. Most U.S. history books rarely mention the fate of the Indians who helped the Pilgrims survive.

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America's Rich Citizens Can't Escape Our Poor Public Infrastructure

Barbara Ehrenreich
2007-11-22 14:21:00

Can you spare a tear for the ultra-rich? One week after achieving the Guinness World record for the world's most expensive dessert - a $25,000 "Frrozen Haute Chocolate" containing 5 grams of edible 23-karat gold - the New York restaurant Serendipity 3 was shut down by the health department. It turns out that in addition to truffle shavings and other Haute Chocolate ingredients, the restaurant's kitchen contained "a live mouse, mouse droppings in multiple areas of the restaurant, fruit flies, house flies, and more than 100 live cockroaches," according to the inspectors.

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Crucifixes allegedly made in Chinese sweatshops

2007-11-22 10:51:00

A labor rights group alleged Tuesday that crucifixes sold in religious gift shops in the U.S. are produced under "horrific" conditions in a Chinese factory with more than 15-hour workdays and inadequate food.

Kernaghan said the factory's mostly young, female employees work from 8 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. seven days a week and are paid 26 cents an hour with no sick days or vacation. Workers live in filthy dormitories and are fed a watery "slop," he said.

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Utah: Polygamist leader sentenced to prison

Jennifer Dobner
Associated Press
2007-11-22 11:59:00

A judge sentenced a polygamous-sect leader Tuesday to two consecutive terms of five years to life in prison for his role in the arranged marriage of teenage cousins.

Warren Jeffs, 51, was convicted of two counts of rape as an accomplice for his role in the marriage of a 14-year-old follower and her 19-year-old cousin in 2001. It will be up to the Utah parole board to decide how long he actually stays behind bars.

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9-11 Victim's Families and Firefighters Condemn Giuliani As Coward

2007-11-22 10:47:00

New York firefighters, including two who lost sons in the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, joined other victims' relatives Monday to argue that Rudy Giuliani's character and actions make him unfit to be president.

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Everglades project is bogged down

Brian Skoloff
Associated Press
2007-11-22 00:28:00

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - The multibillion-dollar project to restore the Everglades has come to a near standstill, and the government can no longer estimate how much it will cost or how long it will take, the top federal official in charge of construction told The Associated Press.

In part because Congress has failed to come through with the promised money, some tasks have fallen years behind schedule. In the meantime, construction costs are rising, along with the price of the Florida real estate that must be bought up as part of the plan to restore the natural flow of water in the Everglades.

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Americans enter holidays in dark mood: poll

2007-11-21 20:02:00

Americans enter the holiday season in a dark mood, with economic worries, security fears and a lack of confidence in government fueling growing pessimism, according to a Reuters/Zogby poll released on Wednesday.

The Reuters/Zogby Index, which measures the mood of the country, fell for the third consecutive month, dropping from 96 in October to 94.9 on new growth in the number of Americans dissatisfied with the economy and pessimistic about the future.

President George W. Bush rebounded slightly from last month's record low, with the number of Americans who give him positive marks climbing to 28 percent from 24 percent. But Congress remained stuck with a dismal positive rating of 11 percent, tying its record low.

"For the third straight month, Americans have a sense that things are not getting better, they are getting worse," pollster John Zogby said.

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Bush, Cheney lied about Plame, ex-press chief says

Matt Apuzzo
Associated Press
2007-11-20 18:59:00

WASHINGTON - Former White House press secretary Scott McClellan blames U.S. President George W. Bush and Vice-President Dick Cheney for efforts to mislead the public about the role of White House aides in leaking the identity of a CIA operative.

In an excerpt from his forthcoming book, Mr. McClellan recounts the 2003 news conference in which he told reporters that aides Karl Rove and I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby were "not involved" in the leak involving operative Valerie Plame.

"There was one problem. It was not true," Mr. McClellan writes, according to a brief excerpt released Tuesday. "I had unknowingly passed along false information. And five of the highest-ranking officials in the administration were involved in my doing so: Rove, Libby, the vice-president, the president's chief of staff and the president himself."

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Video: Giuliani 'Not a Hero' 'He Ran That Day' - Says NYC Fire Chief

MSNBC / YouTube
2007-11-19 18:53:00

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The End of America? Naomi Wolf Thinks It Could Happen

Don Hazen
2007-11-21 18:16:00

An interview with author Naomi Wolf, whose new book, "The End of America: Letter of Warning to a Young Patriot," may confirm your worries about democracy in America.

If you think we are living in scary times, your worst fears may be confirmed by reading Naomi Wolf's newest book, The End of America: Letter of Warning to a Young Patriot. In it, Wolf proves the old axiom that history does repeat itself. Or more accurately, history occurs in patterns, and in order to understand where our country is today and where it is headed, we need to read the history books.

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UK & Euro-Asian News
Russian cult leader speaks of angels, the apocalypse and 666

RIA Novosti
2007-11-22 11:52:00

The leader of the Russian sect holed up in a cave in the Penza Region for over a week has given an interview from the psychiatric hospital where he is being held.

Speaking to Russian daily Komsomolskaya Pravda, Pyotr Kuznetsov, or Father Pyotr, spoke at length on the views and actions of his "True Russian Orthodox Church".

Pyotr Kuznetsov

Heavily medicated, Kuznetsov, 43, said that police had questioned him for four days to make him divulge the location of the sect's cave. He explained away bruises around his eyes as a result of "falling face-down on the floor" in "dark corridors" at the police station.

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Venezuela's Chavez warns Europeans not to side with US on Iran nuclear standoff

Associated Press
2007-11-22 04:29:00

PARIS: Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez on Tuesday urged Europe not to side with the United States over Iran's nuclear program, dismissing as a "big lie" U.S. concerns that the Tehran is trying to develop an atomic bomb.

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U.S. aircraft carrier denied access to Hong Kong

2007-11-22 00:32:00

China has refused permission for a U.S. aircraft carrier and accompanying vessels to visit Hong Kong for a long-planned Thanksgiving holiday visit, the U.S. State Department said on Wednesday.

The Kitty Hawk group and its crew of 8,000 U.S. airmen and sailors had been expected in Hong Kong on Wednesday, but will now spend the holiday on the South China Sea.

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Putin slams foreign nations for backing opposition

Guy Faulconbridge
2007-11-21 23:32:00

President Vladimir Putin, using Cold War rhetoric, accused foreign governments on Wednesday of sponsoring his opponents in next month's election to weaken Russia and carry out "dirty tricks" against it.

Russia's President Vladimir Putin speaks to supporters in a sports arena in Moscow, November 21, 2007.

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Sabotage hits French railways

Crispian Balmer
2007-11-21 19:04:00

PARIS - Saboteurs staged a co-ordinated attack on France's high-speed rail network early Wednesday, causing nationwide delays to services already hit by an eight-day transport strike, the SNCF state railways said.

A senior SNCF executive blamed militant strikers for the damage and said police were hunting those responsible.

"These are genuine acts of sabotage. It is extremely shocking," the SNCF's Mireille Faugere told reporters.

"We think it was the diehard [strikers]," she added.

Comment: Another possibility: perhaps it was an attempt to demonize the strikers? Perhaps even implemented by actual 'diehard strikers' who unwittingly carried out the agenda of those attempting to undermine the negotiating position of the workforce? It would be all in a day's work for a Machiavellian pathocrat to set up such a scenario. Notice that, by emphasising the 'disruption and damage' of the strike in general, the saboteurs are directly associated with the genuine strikers - the workers who are exercising their only legitimate means of defending their rights. This is exactly the same little manoeuvre that associated 'suicide bombers' with 'Muslims' in order to promote the message that 'all Muslims are terrorists'.

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France's Chirac targeted in corruption probe

2007-11-21 18:56:00

PARIS - A French judge has placed former president Jacques Chirac under formal investigation for embezzlement of public funds during his time as mayor of Paris, Mr. Chirac's lawyer Jean Veil said on Wednesday.

Mr. Chirac, who lost his immunity from prosecution after stepping down as president in May, has consistently denied any wrongdoing while he was mayor between 1977-1995.

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Around the World
Civilian presidency beckons for Pakistan's Musharraf

Simon Cameron-Moore
2007-11-22 00:49:00

ISLAMABAD - Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf returned from Saudi Arabia on Wednesday expecting to be sworn in as a civilian leader within days, having already freed thousands of detainees held under emergency rule.

While critical of his imposition of the emergency on November 3, Washington has given General Musharraf, a crucial ally against al Qaeda, space to put things right before a parliamentary election on January 8 that the opposition could boycott.

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Resurgent Taliban closing in on Kabul: report

Luke Baker
2007-11-22 00:36:00

The conflict in Afghanistan has reached "crisis proportions," with the resurgent Taliban present in more than half the country and closing in on Kabul, a report said on Wednesday.

If NATO, the lead force operating in Afghanistan, is to have any impact against the insurgency, troop numbers will have to be doubled to at least 80,000, the report said.

Comment: It was only in August that, Karzai told Bush that the Taliban was a defeated force.

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Mexico edges toward ban on smoking in public

2007-11-21 23:48:00

©REUTERS/Daniel Aguilar
Argentine soccer coach Ruben Omar Romano smokes a cigarette during a news conference in Mexico City September 23, 2005.

A Mexican congressional committee approved on Wednesday a ban on smoking in public places, a first step toward prohibiting the lighting up of cigarettes and cigars in a country of heavy smokers.

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Divided Koreas to re-establish severed rail link

2007-11-21 23:42:00

Cargo trains will cross the heavily fortified border dividing North and South Korea every day from next month, restoring a link severed for more than half a century, South Korea's Unification Ministry said on Thursday.

Seoul has been pushing to re-open the rail link cut by the 1950-1953 Korean War so it could shuttle goods to an industrial park it operates just inside the North where its manufacturing companies have access to cheap labor and land.

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We're living in a time of hysteria

Globe and Mail
2007-11-21 18:52:00

MONTREAL - For weeks, they had bitten their tongues and listened to others portray them as a threat to the future of Quebec. Last night, the much talked about minorities of Montreal got a chance to unburden themselves.

In an evening in one of Montreal's poorest, most diverse districts, the Bouchard-Taylor Commission heard of the frustrations and bewilderment minorities have felt since the province plunged into a contentious debate about religious accommodation.

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Big Brother
Nova Scotia Man dies in jail after Taser hit

2007-11-22 14:34:00

A man who was jolted with a Taser has died in a Dartmouth jail, prompting Nova Scotia's justice minister to order a review of police use of the weapon.

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School of the Americas - Video

Brasscheck TV
2007-11-18 00:00:00

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MI, US: Plan to put video from surveillance cameras on the Internet

2007-11-21 19:03:00

More controversy surrounding plans to install surveillance cameras around Lansing. The city has now unveiled plans to put those cameras on the internet in an attempt to combat crime. That plan has many residents wondering if they are trading their privacy for security with a plan that may not work. They're supposed to keep a close eye on the city and catch criminals in the act.

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Second Taser Death in Two Days

Eddie Farah
2007-11-21 19:04:00

We've been told that tasers are a useful tool for law enforcement to subdue agitated people.

But in the last two days in Jacksonville, tasering has resulted in two deaths.

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Video: Driver tasered for refusing to sign ticket

Nathan C. Gonzalez
The Salt Lake Tribune
2007-11-21 18:31:00

Was a Utah Highway Patrol trooper acting within policy when he Tasered a driver for refusing to sign a traffic ticket?

That is the question UHP internal investigators hope to answer after Trooper John Gardner - a 14-year UHP veteran - zapped Vernal-area resident Jared Massey with the device after he refused to sign a speeding ticket or submit to arrest about 10 a.m. on Sept. 14.

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Axis of Evil
Flashback: CIA foreknowlege of 9-11: Suppressed details of criminal insider trading lead directly into the CIA's highest ranks

Michael C. Ruppert
2001-10-09 16:33:00

One of a series of stories on CIA foreknowledge of the WTC attacks.

Although uniformly ignored by the mainstream U.S. media, there is abundant and clear evidence that a number of transactions in financial markets indicated specific (criminal) foreknowledge of the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. In the case of at least one of these trades -- which has left a $2.5 million prize unclaimed -- the firm used to place the "put options" on United Airlines stock was, until 1998, managed by the man who is now in the number three Executive Director position at the Central Intelligence Agency. Until 1997 A.B. "Buzzy" Krongard had been Chairman of the investment bank A.B. Brown. A.B. Brown was acquired by Banker's Trust in 1997. Krongard then became, as part of the merger, Vice Chairman of Banker's Trust-AB Brown, one of 20 major U.S. banks named by Senator Carl Levin this year as being connected to money laundering. Krongard's last position at Banker's Trust (BT) was to oversee "private client relations." In this capacity he had direct hands-on relations with some of the wealthiest people in the world in a kind of specialized banking operation that has been identified by the U.S. Senate and other investigators as being closely connected to the laundering of drug money.

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The Annapolis illusion

Khalid Amayreh
The Palestinian Information Center
2007-11-22 00:49:00


"The mountain went into labor, then it gave birth to a rat ," so says the famous Arab proverb. This adage is likely to caricature the outcome of the upcoming American-sponsored "peace conference," slated to take place on 27 November, in Annapolis , Maryland .

Forecasting the failure of the Annapolis meeting is more than speculation. It is a realistic assessment of an event that is not intended to be successful, even if the declared desire suggests otherwise.

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Plans for disintegrating Pakistan are now up for debate

Abid Ullah Jan
The Independent Centre for Strategic Studies and Analysis
2007-11-20 22:22:00

Frederick Kagan and Michael O'Hanlon presented their strategic plan for disarming Pakistan in the New York Times on November 19, 2007. Written with imperial arrogance and colonial mindset, this piece cannot be contemptuously dismissed because the duo is a respected pair of neocons. O'Hanlon is the cheerleader of surge in Iraq and with Brookings and New York Times standing behind them, there is good reason for Pakistanis and their corrupt leadership to wake up.

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Isolation Torture Routine at Guatánamo - A How-To Manual for Psychological Torture

Stephen Soldz
2007-11-21 21:26:00

On November 7th of this year, a major 2003 Guantanamo Standard Operating Procedures [SOP] manual was posted on the wikileaks web site. Ignored by most major sources for nearly a week, Wired and the Miami Herald picked it up the following Wednesday [the Herald amplified their reporting the next day]. Reuters, has picked up on the leak Thursday and the New York Times on Friday.

The Miami Herald describes the manual and its importance and give a flavor of its bureaucratic contents:

A how-to manual, it draws back a curtain on the secretive, isolated base in 2003, more than a year into operation of the Bush administration prison.

And it lays out -- with typical military attention to detail -- everything from when to use pepper spray to who should witness a cavity search to how to dig a proper Muslim grave.

It also offers the mundane details of what detainees were given at the open-air prison camp overlooking the Caribbean, where the Pentagon today holds about 300 war-on-terror captives at Guantánamo for possible interrogation and trial by Military Commission.

No hair dye, it says on one page. But a double amputee got to keep a bucket in his cell, it says.

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Middle East Madness
Video: Palestinian children cut off from their homes

Sabbah's blog
2007-11-22 15:27:00

The clip shows that the kids could not get home from school. Someone made them a meal to eat and a temporary camp to study and do their homework.

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Tehran paper attacks Ahmadinejad

Sadeq Saba
BBC News
2007-11-22 09:12:00

In a rare attack on Iran's president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, a hardline newspaper has accused him of behaving immorally towards his political rivals.


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Israel: Police officers indicted for attempting hit on known criminal

Ahiya Raved
2007-11-22 09:56:00

The Haifa District Court on Thursday cleared for publication the existence of an internal affairs investigation within Israel Police. Considered one of the gravest affairs in police history, the investigation was under a gag order for the past month.

According to initial investigation details, five police officers have been implicated in the assassination attempt of Michael Mor, a known Nahariya criminal.

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'Strip the Middle East of nuclear programs': Greenpeace strippers disrupt Peres

Yael Ivri-Darel
2007-11-22 09:50:00

Greenpeace activists who arrived Thursday morning at a conference on the nuclear issue at Tel Aviv University stripped in protest a few moments before the start of a speech by President Shimon Peres.

The protestors carried leaflets bearing the messages "strip the Middle East of nuclear programs" and "a new Middle East = clean from nuclear programs." They were briskly removed from the hall by security guards.

©Dudu Bar Sela
Peres speech disrupted before it begins

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IAEA chief set to defend Iran's progress

Mark Heinrich
2007-11-21 22:55:00

The U.N. nuclear watchdog chief is set to urge full backing for an Iran transparency plan at an agency governors meeting on Thursday after Western powers said Tehran must do more to allay fears about its atomic agenda.

©REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger
IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei listens to journalists questions during a news conference in Vienna November 14, 2007.

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Palestinian Apartheid: The road that divides two peoples

Ben Lynfield
2007-11-20 19:28:00

In the valley beneath an impoverished town in the Judean desert hills near Jerusalem lies the latest innovation in Israel's 40-year occupation of the West Bank: a motorway with a 16ft-high wall in the middle to separate Israeli and Palestinian traffic.

Palestinians say it is apartheid South Africa transplanted to the West Bank, while the liberal Israeli Haaretz newspaper mockingly calls it a "binational ethnic separation highway". Israeli officials say the road will benefit Palestinians and that the apartheid comparison is "rubbish".

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The Loan Gunmen
UK: Second bank may seek emergency funding as Northern Rock shares nose-dive again

Daily Mail UK
2007-11-22 16:57:00

Specialist buy-to-let lender Paragon suffered further share price misery today as its funding woes sent the stock tumbling another 21%.

The mortgage group's shares have lost more than half their value since yesterday's news it may have to turn to shareholders for emergency funding and could close to new business if it cannot secure new credit.

Shares in Northern Rock also took another dive today as the crisis-torn bank said that its advisers had begun talks with 'a number' of interested parties over rescue plans for the business.

Northern Rock said: "The company is aware that all stakeholders want clarity on the outcome of the strategic review as soon as possible and is therefore progressing the process as quickly as possible."

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The Living Planet
History shows climate changes led to famine and war

2007-11-22 12:55:00

A report last week said climate change will put half the world's countries at risk of conflict or serious political instability.

International Alert, a London-based conflict resolution group, identified 46 countries -- home to 2.7 billion people -- where it said the effects of climate change would create a high risk of violent conflict. It identified another 56 states where there was a risk of political instability.

Trawling through history and working out correlative patterns, the team found that temperature declines were followed by wars, famines and population reductions.

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New 6.3 magnitude quake off northern Chile

Agence France-Presse
2007-11-22 00:57:00

A strong 6.3-magnitude earthquake struck offshore northern Chile Tuesday, the US Geological Survey said, just a week after the region was rocked by a major 7.7-magnitude earthquake which killed two, injured 15,000 and damaged an estimated 4,000 structures.

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The Last Days of Mexican Corn

John Ross
2007-11-21 00:26:00

The single, spindly seven foot-tall cornstalk spiring up from the planter box outside a prominent downtown hotel here was filling out with new "elotes" (sweet corn) to the admiration of passer-bys, some of whom even paused to pat the swelling ears with affection. Down the centuries most of the population of this megalopolis migrated here from the countryside at one time or another over the course of the past 500 years and inside every "Chilango" (Mexico City resident) lurks an inner campesino.

But the solitary stalk, sewn by an urban coalition of farmers and ecologists under the banner of "No Hay Pais Sin Maiz" ("There Is No Country Without Corn") in planter boxes outside the downtown hotels, museums, government palaces and other historical monuments can just as easily be seen as a signifier for the fragile state of survival of Mexican corn.

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Health & Wellness
DVT kills 11,000 in seven months and is a 'public health emergency'

Jenny Hope
Daily Mail UK
2007-11-22 16:47:00

Nearly 11,000 patients have died during the past seven months because of a failure by NHS hospitals to prevent them developing blood clots, a report claims.

Guidelines introduced in April mean every patient at risk should be assessed for treatment to cut the toll of deep vein thrombosis, or DVT.

But only one in three trusts is taking action, according to the damning report from the All Party Parliamentary Thrombosis Group.

It estimates that the failure to implement the guidance has cost 10,700 lives from DVT in the past seven months - nearly three times the number of deaths from the MRSA superbug and C Difficile infections.

The death toll in a year is greater than that from breast cancer, Aids and traffic accidents combined.

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How Do We Make Sense of What We See?

Johns Hopkins University
2007-11-22 12:18:00

M.C. Escher's ambiguous drawings transfix us: Are those black birds flying against a white sky or white birds soaring out of a black sky?

©M.C. Escher

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Penn researchers use brain imaging to demonstrate how men and women cope differently under stress

University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
2007-11-19 12:13:00

According to a study that appears in the current issue of SCAN (Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience), researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine discuss how men and women differ in their neural responses to psychological stress.

"We found that different parts of the brain activate with different spatial and temporal profiles for men and women when they are faced with performance-related stress," says J.J. Wang, PhD, Assistant Professor or Radiology and Neurology, and lead author of the study.

These findings suggest that stress responses may be fundamentally different in each gender, sometimes characterized as "fight-or-flight" in men and "tend-and-befriend" in women. Evolutionarily, males may have had to confront a stressor either by overcoming or fleeing it, while women may have instead responded by nurturing offspring and affiliating with social groups that maximize the survival of the species in times of adversity. The "fight-or-flight" response is associated with the main stress hormone system that produces cortisol in the human body - the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis.

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Flashback: Studies Find Narcissists Most Aggressive When Criticized

American Psychological Association
1998-07-16 15:00:00

Recently, psychologists have debated whether high or low self-esteem underlies violent behavior. New research suggests that the most dangerous people are "those who have a strong desire to regard themselves as superior beings." The research, which is published in the July issue of the American Psychological Association's (APA) Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, demonstrates that actual self-esteem may have little if any relation to aggression.

Psychologists Brad J. Bushman, Ph.D., of Iowa State University and Roy F. Baumeister, Ph.D., of Case Western Reserve University conducted two studies in which they explored the connection between narcissism, negative interpersonal feedback, and aggression in 540 undergraduate students. Narcissists, according to the authors, are emotionally invested in establishing their superiority, yet while they care passionately about being superior to others, they are not convinced that they have achieved this superiority. While high self-esteem entails thinking well of oneself, narcissism involves passionately wanting to think well of oneself. In both studies, narcissism and self-esteem were measured, and participants were given an opportunity to act aggressively toward a neutral third party, toward someone who had insulted them, or toward someone who had praised them.

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Cancer Terrorists Unmasked - Devra Davis On the Offensive

Brian McKenna
2007-11-21 00:07:00

Last month a close friend of mine, a man in his late 40s, got cancer. It was of the colon. He now confronts an uncertain future but his prognosis is good. He's an unrelenting fighter so my bet is that he'll join me in the cancer survivor's club. Mine was melanoma, back in 1992.

These days whenever I think of cancer I think of another cancer fighter, a cultural warrior named Devra Davis. Her new book, The Secret History of the War on Cancer is a disturbing, beautifully rendered work that details how corporate suppression, government inaction and social amnesia have combined to cause an epidemic that makes a mockery of President Nixon's War on Cancer in 1971.

Ten million cancers over the last thirty years were entirely preventable argues Davis.

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Ontario to create panel on bisphenol A

Martin Mittelstaedt
Globe and Mail
2007-11-21 19:20:00

Ontario could become the first jurisdiction in Canada to place restrictions on bisphenol A, a controversial chemical that is found in hundreds of consumer products, ranging from plastic baby bottles to sports helmets and the resin linings on the insides of most tin cans.

Although Health Canada is currently assessing the safety of bisphenol A, Premier Dalton McGuinty said yesterday the province won't wait until Ottawa rules on the chemical's safety.

He said Ontario plans to appoint an expert medical and scientific panel to advise it on potentially dangerous substances in widespread use, and a priority for this group will be to provide recommendations on how best to deal with bisphenol A.

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Science & Technology
Climate change by Jupiter

Lawrence Solomon
Canada Financial Post
2007-11-10 06:36:00

The alignment of the planets, and especially that of Jupiter and Saturn, control the climate on Earth.

So explained Rhodes Fairbridge of Columbia University, a giant in science over much of the last century whose accomplishments are perhaps unsurpassed for their breadth, depth, and volume. This one man authored or co-authored 100 scientific books and more than 1,000 scientific papers, he edited the Benchmarks in Geology series (more than 90 volumes in print) and was general editor of the Encyclopaedias of the Earth Sciences. He edited eight major encyclopedias of specialized scientific papers in the atmospheric sciences and astrogeology; geomorphology; geochemistry and the earth sciences; geology, sedimentology, paleontology, oceanography and, not least, climatology.

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Mars' Molten Past

Mars Daily
2007-11-22 00:05:00

Mars was covered in an ocean of molten rock for about 100 million years after the planet formed, researchers from the Lunar and Planetary Institute in Houston, Texas, UC Davis, and NASA's Johnson Space Center have found. The work is published in the journal Nature on Nov. 22. The formation of the solar system can be dated quite accurately to 4,567,000,000 years ago, said Qing-Zhu Yin, assistant professor of geology at UC Davis and an author on the paper.


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Oddball white dwarfs embody new category of star

Will Dunham
2007-11-21 23:57:00

Eight unusual examples of a burned-out celestial object known as a white dwarf detected in our Milky Way galaxy represent a previously unknown category of stars, astronomers said on Wednesday.

©REUTERS/M.S. Sliwinski and L. I. Slivinska of Lunarismaar/Handout
An artists' concept of the surface of the white dwarf star H1504 65, released to Reuters on November 21, 2007.

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Our Haunted Planet
UK: UFO sighted at Battle

Andy Hemsley
Rye and Battle Observer
2007-11-22 08:07:00

A Battle woman believes she may have sighted a UFO over the town on Wednesday morning.

Ann Drake, from Mount Street, was looking out of her window at 6.20am when she noticed the mysterious glowing object.

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Another UFO sighting over Ripley

Debbie Lockett
Ripley & Heanor News
2007-11-22 08:03:00

Unexplained orange lights have been sighted for a second time over Ripley. Rebeka Stapleton was driving through the town on the night of November 2 when she spotted 13 UFOs.

She was with her sister and her partner who all saw the orange balls of light floating over the town.

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UK: UFO report - RAF did send fighters up

Chichester Observer
2007-11-21 23:04:00

A UFO spotter from Felpham has appealed to anyone else who saw the objects to contact him. Leo Lindsay and his wife, Rosie, watched the visitors from outer space from a bedroom window.

Mr Lindsay has since had unofficial confirmation from the Ministry of Defence that two RAF planes were sent up to investigate the phenomenon.

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Don't Panic! Lighten Up!
Cannibal turns vegetarian after joining Green group

Allan Hall
2007-11-22 11:45:00

The world's most infamous cannibal has become a vegetarian.

Armin Meiwes - he killed, filleted, froze and ate a man he met in an internet chatroom in Germany - is also the recently elected leader of an environmentalist group in the prison where he is serving life for his crime.

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Nuts! U.S. officials demanding halt to indirect Israel imports of Iranian pistachio nuts

Associated Press
2007-11-22 11:41:00

It's not just Iran's nuclear program that's causing problems for Israel and the U.S. - it's also Iran's pistachio nuts.

The reddish nuts are landing in Israeli shops after funneling through Turkey, violating Israeli law that bans all Iranian imports and angering American officials who are urging Israel to crack down as part of their attempt to keep Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.

U.S. Undersecretary of Agriculture Mark Keenum said in a meeting with Israeli officials in Rome on Monday that the pistachio imports must stop, a U.S. official confirmed Wednesday. Both the U.S. and Israel have been pushing for new U.N. sanctions to persuade Iran to abandon its nuclear program. Iran insists its ambitions are peaceful.

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