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August 16, 2003

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Flashback! June 8, 2003, Signs 153.

Two months ago we ran the following piece on a scandal in Toulouse that was making the headlines across France and Europe. It involved accusations made against politicians in Toulouse by an accused serial killer and two ex-prostitutes.

France fixated on 'orgy' scandal

By Caroline Wyatt
BBC

This has been the scandal to end all scandals in France - a potent brew of sex and politics served daily by the country's media.

It has slavery, sado-masochism, rape, drugs and murder.

Mr Baudis has asked to be put under official investigation.

Even a French Government spokesman has admitted that the country is transfixed by "l'affaire Alegre".

The French public has been treated to almost daily updates from Toulouse, where the allegations are that senior city officials not only covered up for a serial killer, Patrice Alegre, who says he organised sado-masochistic orgies for them, but that they even ordered some of his killings to protect themselves from blackmail. [...]

Even the government has admitted that the affair is an "important" one. In the meantime, members of the French public are waiting with bated breath for the next installment of "l'affaire Alegre", to see if the serial killer manages to back up his allegations.

Indeed, the country was captivated by the headlines and the truly sordid accusations made against Dominique Baudis and others.

However, we were not very surprised to learn when reading through a news magazine this week, that the accusations, one by one, are turning out to be false. The magazine, L'Expresse, reports that the police have been unable to back up the claims and gives details of some of the finds. It appears that the intent of those making the accusations was to tarnish the reputations of those accused, for the killer and the prostitutes knew full well that once the dirt has been flung at an innocent party, some of it would stick. Another objective was to feed the press phony stories and watch them run with them.

According to a report in L'Express # 2718, of the week of August 7-13, 2003 (our translation):

Patricia [the pseudonym of one of the ex-prostitutes] had accused [Baudis] of forcing her to submit to odious favours the evening of her 20th birthday, November 20, 1990, in Toulouse, in the company of Patrice Alègre [the accused killer]...The ex Deputy Mayor, who brought a complaint against the young woman, replied by supplying his daily agendas for the year...These show that on Tuesday, November 20, at 6 PM, he was welcoming a delegation of Lebanese Maronites, and that he had participated, the next morning, in the work of a Parliamentary Commission [both in Paris - ed.]... The transcripts of the sessions include a record of his interventions.

The reaction of the accuser was to change the time of the meeting in Toulouse from early evening to after 11 PM, trying to suggest that Baudis could have flown in and out that night. Isn't this the nature of the psychopath, to change the story to fit the new "facts" without batting an eye?

Another of the men, a local judge, had been accused of giving a second prostitute a red Ford convertible for her birthday. L'Express:

But there is something even more embarrassing [for the accusers]: the ex-prostitute affirmed to the investigators that Marc Bourragué had offered her a red Ford convertible for her 20th birthday. The follow-up showed that the car was a gift from...an electrical entrepreneur.

The article lists a number of other accusations brought against these two men, all of which have been found to be groundless.

So the story boils down to: three people from the underlife of Toulouse bring false accusations against men in prominent places. The accusations are proven to be false. The men, innocent of the accusations, remain sullied.

How often do we tell ourselves "you can't believe everything you read", and then we go right ahead and act as if we believe it.

But there is another issue.

In our culture, we have been trained to believe that when someone makes accusations against someone else, there must be something true about them. We cannot imagine someone intentionally slandering another. This is because we run the "everyone is basically good" program. In a world where perhaps as many as 30% of the population are psychopaths, to believe everyone is "good" is obviously not an accurate reading of the situation. But since the subject of psychopaths is either taboo or dismissed, hidden away and never discussed broadly in public, most people don't even become aware of the problem. But how many times have we heard accusations of sexual harassment, of child abuse being leveled during divorce, or other such dramatic stories, and how many times were these false, manipulations by psychopaths who don't like being told "No!"?

We will never know.

But we have certainly been conditioned to believe them: stories about the high percentages of child abuse in the population, etc, plant the seed. This is such a horrifying subject that it doesn't take much to elicit an emotional response. We know the horror that arises in our stomachs from imagining it happening to our own children.

And in a society of 30% psychopaths, which is an estimate by one researcher on the US population, more and more of these incidents will occur, raising the hysteria level, and setting the stage for the unjust accusation of the innocent.

In these pages, we bring psychopathic activities to light, reporting the facts of our encounters with them. It may be hard to believe. There are certainly things we are still shaking our heads about, both from the news items we run, and from the psychopaths we have had the honour to learn from directly.

When exposed, a psychopath will attack us by lying about us. The three main points of attack appear to be:

  • They say we are a cult.
  • They say that our exposure of their predator behaviour towards us, our defence of our free will, is "psychological pressure" on them.
  • They say that we are engaged in illicit financial dealings to support our rich lifestyle.
  • They twist and distort our work or put outlandish statements into our mouths.

But these insults and accusations are part of a well-tried and tested Standard Operating Procedure that is easy to recognise. They bear the markings of disinfo and those who have any experience with it are able to see it right away for what it is.

Our web site and books are public and can be read by anyone who wishes to compare the psychopath's version of reality against the truth.

When we report the lessons of our encounters with psychopaths, we write our history in an entertaining form so that the reader will continue reading in order to learn from our Adventures with Cassiopaea. We do not make accusations in our writings, we bring to light facts, facts that can be corroborated and documented.

This is not "psychological pressure", it is a reporting of facts. For the psychopath, it is removing his food supply, and he may well live it as "pressure" being applied. The psychopath is not used to hearing the word "No". We all know the sight of the small child who gets what she or he wants. The psychopath may well feel something akin to the child. But no one would accuse the parent of psychological pressure for refusing a candy bar.

The psychopath lives on information staying secret, on people not comparing notes. When you bring the truth to light, you are taking a step in exposing their lies, their manipulations. You are standing up for the principle of Truth.

Gravediggers in France called to work on holiday

In aftermath of heat wave, up to 3,000 in nation dead

Associated Press
Originally published August 16, 2003

PARIS - Gravediggers were called back to work on a national holiday yesterday to deal with the grim aftermath of a heat wave that left up to 3,000 dead in France.

With morgues full, authorities took over the vast storeroom of a Paris farmers' market and kept bodies in refrigerated tents, as temperatures subsided throughout Europe, ending one of the most severe periods of intense heat on record across the continent.

Morgues and cemeteries have been overwhelmed in the heat wave, which the health minister called "a true epidemic." A Paris regional funeral official said families would likely have to wait 10 to 15 days to have relatives buried.

"We're explaining the situation to families," said Hugues Fauconnet of General Funeral Services, the country's largest undertaker. "Our most important mission is to preserve the dignity of the deceased."

Funeral officials claimed the 43,000 square-foot refrigerated storage area of the Paris area's wholesale market in the suburb of Rungis. They planned to place bodies on army cots.

Complicating matters for burials was that many priests were away on summer vacation in predominantly Roman Catholic France, which all but shuts down in August.

Doctors have said many victims, who were generally elderly, died of dehydration or heat stroke in the punishing heat wave that has gripped Europe, where many homes and offices lack air conditioning.

Throughout Europe, temperatures settled back to normal yesterday. At times, the mercury had hovered around 100 degrees, fanning forest fires and devastating livestock and crops.

Thunderstorms cooled Switzerland yesterday, while in the Netherlands, temperatures were down to 68 degrees. The heat eased in Germany, though officials were on watch for fires.

Yesterday was a Roman Catholic holiday, the Feast of the Assumption, and most of France had a long weekend. The Paris mayor's office authorized cemetery personnel to stay on the job.

If the preliminary French figures of up to 3,000 deaths holds, the death toll would be among the highest in recent years, officials at the World Health Organization in Geneva said.

About 2,600 heat-related deaths were recorded in India five years ago, and roughly 500 people died from heat-related causes in 1995 in Chicago, according to WHO experts.

No other European countries reported deaths anywhere near the scale of those in France. Spain, for example, has recorded 42.

Can't Stand the Heat?

Editorial
The Washington Post
Thursday, August 14, 2003; Page A18

TO LISTEN TO THE FUSS Europeans are making about their weather, anyone would think that it was actually hot over there. In Paris, shops have experienced a run on electric fans. In Sweden, a male bus driver showed up for work in a skirt after his company informed him that he was not allowed to wear shorts. In Amsterdam, zookeepers are giving iced fruit to their chimpanzees to cool them off.

Okay, so maybe it's a bit warmer than usual. Temperatures across the continent have shot up into the 90s and once or twice have topped 100 degrees in London and Paris. But is this really hot -- hot enough to close businesses, hot enough to cancel trains (the tracks might buckle), hot enough to wax nostalgic for the summer rain to which some Europeans, notably residents of the British Isles, are more accustomed?

Last time we checked, the weather here in Washington was in the upper 80s, which is average to low for this time of year. Temperatures in Houston and Dallas in the past couple of days have topped 100, as they usually do in summer. Yet somehow, no one's talking about extraordinary measures being taken by Texans or Washingtonians. On the contrary, President Bush, who qualifies as both, by some measures, is currently mocking the press corps by pretending to enjoy jogging in the Texas heat. Not all Europeans may want to go this far -- but maybe they will now at least stop turning up their noses at those American summer inventions they've long loved to mock: The office window that doesn't open, the air conditioner that produces sub-arctic temperatures and the tall glass of water, served in a restaurant, filled to the brim with ice.

Comment: I don't know how many times a day we say it: we wonder how it can get worse, how anything the psychopaths who rule the world can do could ever shock us again. Then we come across some incident, some comment, that shows us that we haven't hit bottom yet.

From our windows, the fields are brown. The summer's crops are dead. Lost. Looking at the wooded hills across the way, you would think it was fall. The leaves have turned brown and are beginning to fall. Only it is August, and we missed the colours of fall. Other places are not so lucky. Their forests are ablaze. They are witnessing the yellows, reds, and oranges of autumn as an intense fire.

Are these the colours of The Fall?

Where is simple human decency? Three thousand people have died in France due to this heat. The Editors of The Washington Post, with its reputation as the "Number 2" paper in the US after The New York Times, amuse themselves. You can almost hear the locker room humour in their offices, about "European wimps", "that's what they get for drinking wine, not beer", and on and on.

It is as if, for one uncontrolled moment, we were offered a glimpse behind the curtain.

The rulers of the world, sitting in the air conditioned offices, fueled by the oil plundered from "foreigners", are not touched by the natural world and either its beauty or its harshness.

Or so they think.

The remarks remind me of another remark, now infamous: "Let them eat cake."

Meteorologists Debunk Lightning Theory

Mother Nature Should Not Be Blamed For Power Outage

POSTED: 9:14 p.m. EDT August 14, 2003

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- National Weather Service officials in Buffalo debate the theory that a lightning strike caused the massive power outage that affected much of the northeastern United States Thursday.

According to Edward Reich, meteorologist at the Buffalo National Weather Service, there were no thunderstorms anywhere in western New York Thursday.

"I believe the report came out of Canada, but we're not sure where the information came from. There was not a thunderstorm within 500 miles of Niagara Falls today," Reich said. [...]

Experts at U of I are Trying to explain Huge Power Outage

By KCRG-TV9 News
Iowa City Reporter Mike Wagner

Experts in the electrical industry are trying to explain what caused yesterday's huge power outage and now a U of I professor says one more possibility for the list could involve outer space.

Physics professor Crockett Grabbe says the sun may be to blame. He says power surges that regularly knock out communication satellites may have made it through the atmosphere.

The sun is one big power plant that sits in the sky. Scientists say the sun often sends out solar flares or bursts of energy. The atmosphere filters most of them out and they don't affect us on the ground. U of I Researcher Crockett Grabbe says if one burst made it through it might have some effect on the power grid.

Crockett Grabbe, U of I Physicist "When The Power Comes Down To Earth, You Have These Current Surges And It's Like You Have Large Currents That Are Interfering With What's Going On In The Reactors And Suddenly You Have An Overload."

Now these energy bursts that may have hit the power system aren't like laser beams shooting from the sky. Rather they're more like radio waves that we can't see.

"Certain Frequencies Can Penetrate The Atmosphere. If You Have Geo-Magnetic Activity, Which Means The Magnetic Field Is Rapidly Changing..That Can Create Current Surges."

Grabbe says his solar storm theory may help explain why the outage covered such a large area. He says this is not the first time this has happened.

"But There's Only So Many Things That Can Produce A Black-Out Of This Sort And The Similarities To What Happened In 19-89..Raises A Big Question. As To If Storms On The Sun Could Have Caused It."

While the answer could be real complicated and involve solar flares, there could be a simple reason.

The great power outage of 1965, which had similar effects to this most recent one started when one power line went

While there's no sign this was a terrorist attack, some in Washington fear the widespread outage may give terrorists some ideas.

New Power Problems Arise in Northeast

[...] There were growing indications the original problem began in Ohio, rather than New York or Canada, as some had thought. [...]

U.S., Canada Form Blackout Task Force

Comment: The biggest spin doctors from each adminstration come together to dream up the most convincing lie to tell to the public.

Canada-U.S. task force to investigate cause of blackout

Last Updated Fri, 15 Aug 2003 22:42:44

OTTAWA - Prime Minister Jean Chrétien and U.S. President George W. Bush issued a joint news release on Friday announcing the two countries will get to the bottom of what caused Thursday's massive blackout.

[...] The announcement comes as questions continue to be asked about Ottawa's reaction to the blackout.

National Defence Minister John McCallum, who leads Canada's office of critical infrastructure protection and emergency preparedness (OCIPEP), has found himself defending the agency.

The $52-million-per-year organization acts as the co-ordinator between the provinces, the federal government and the U.S. in times of crisis. But at the height of the blackout OCIPEP was unable to provide McCallum or the federal government with correct information.

[...] McCallum says OCIPEP performed well, determining within an hour that the outage was not an act of terrorism and offering assistance to Ontario officials.

But by Friday afternoon the agency couldn't explain why its phones went unanswered, or why McCallum told reporters the outage was caused by a fire at a U.S. nuclear power plant.

"Well, at that time we thought the information was harder than in turned out to be. We have heard contradictory messages coming from officials in the United States and to a degree in Canada. So, in the heat of the moment, or the fog of war, the confusion immediately following this incident ... there were mixed, confusing reports as to exactly what was the source.

Grid failure shunts the 'powerful'

CHIDANAND RAJGHATTA
TIMES NEWS NETWORK[ SATURDAY, AUGUST 16, 2003 03:34:43 AM ]

WASHINGTON: Niagara in native American language means 'at the neck.' Much of north east United States had its jugular pressed after a power grid breakdown in the Niagara region cut off electricity to six states and southern Canada in the most monumental infrastructure collapse in American history.

[...] There was no particular spike in demand (temperatures were only about 33 Deg C) to explain the great American power collapse that dwarfed similar breakdowns in 1965 and 1977.

[...] The collapse also served to illustrate the extent of American dependence on energy and the humongous nature of consumption in the world's most industrialised nation.

Americans use about 14,000 kwhr per capita of electricity, some 30 times more than the Indian average (415 kwhr per capita). The US also produces eight times more electricity (3235 billion kilowatt hours) than India for a population that is about one-fourth of India's.

Iraqis gloat as North Americans suffer

By ORLY HALPERN
From Saturday's Globe and Mail

Baghdad — Nijaat Muwafaq sat with her husband and four children in a fancy Baghdad restaurant yesterday, and gloated at the news from afar.

"I was thrilled when I heard the Americans had a power shortage," she said, her family murmuring in agreement.

"We want them to know what 'hot' means for us," said Ms. Muwafaq's daughter, Sarah. "Here in Iraq it's much hotter than America, and we can't sleep because we have no electricity. We lie on the roof at night but we are scared of robbers.

"We want them to feel that for one day," Sarah said with a bitter smile, "just one day."

Iraqis say blackout no comparison

Hannah Allam
Knight Ridder Newspapers
Aug. 16, 2003 12:00 AM

BAGHDAD - A power generator hummed in the corner of a popular Baghdad menswear shop where Leith Tamimi sat smirking Friday as he listened to news of the massive electrical blackout that plagued the northeastern United States for the second day.

"It's not in Iraqi nature to be happy when someone is suffering, but I thank God for allowing them to see how we live," Tamimi said. "I saw Americans on TV, and they were enraged. If they were enraged after two days without power, how do they think we feel after four months?"

Iraqis Offer Tips Over U.S. Blackout

Fri Aug 15,
By NIKO PRICE, Associated Press Writer

BAGHDAD, Iraq - Iraqis who have suffered for months with little electricity gloated Friday over a blackout in the northeastern United States and southern Canada and offered some tips to help Americans beat the heat.

From frequent showers to rooftop slumber parties, Iraqis have developed advanced techniques to adapt to life without electricity.

Daily highs have soared above 120 degrees recently as Iraq's U.S. administrators have been unable to get power back to prewar levels. Some said it was poetic justice that some Americans should suffer the same fate, if only briefly.

"Let them taste what we have tasted," said Ali Abdul Hussein, selling "Keep Cold" brand ice chests on a sidewalk. "Let them sit outside drinking tea and smoking cigarettes waiting for the power to come back, just like the Iraqis."

WHO 'RESET' THE POWER GRID?

by Joe Shea
America Reporter Correspondent
Fort Stockton, Texas

[...] As the New York Times said this morning, "The problem of preventing such power failures has been that, for the most part, no one has an incentive to invest billions of dollars in new wires, new towers and new transformers. The old utilities have sold off their power lines but still hold a highly regulated monopoly on the network of lines, and they would only invest in new transmission if state regulators would guarantee them rate increases to pay for it."

In those words are the seeds of a trillion-dollar ripoff of American taxpayers. Having bilked California out of $21 billion in 2001, energy companies are turning their attention to the national treasury. They have contrtibuted millions of dollars to thousands of elected officials across the country who are now in no position to argue with them. When Con Ed or Florida Power & Light says "I told you so," they'll say, "How much?"

Rather than seize back the monopoly power they gave the utilities that now own their elected officials, the states and the federal government will bankrupt the American people to pay for an overhaul of the power industry that has probably been catalyzed by a lone computer virus that reset just a single machine, triggering a network response that killed the whole system at just one plant near Erie, Pa.

Industry officials say that's impossible. [...]

BLACKOUT SQUEEZE PLAY

Jon Rappoport
nomorefakenews.com
AUGUST 16.

Another vector comes to light, as Bush says the national power grid must be fixed, modernized, and updated.

Here is the game in a nutshell. First deregulate the hell out of the energy industry, putting more and more of it into private hands. But these private hands have no intention of paying for the upgrades.

Why should they? They have friends in high places.

This is free-market capitalism like a snail called Joe is winning the Kentucky Derby. These corporations will get the feds to print more money and throw it at them. They are lining up as we speak, and they have their well-manicured hands out. [...]

Reader's comments on the Blackout:

Z writes:

I live in Scarborough, a northeast suburb of Toronto. The power went out around 4:10 p.m. on Thursday, and came back on at 9:15 p.m. Friday night, almost exactly 29 hours later. Our only major issue was keeping our cat's insulin cool, which we did by floating it inside a plastic bag in the toilet tank.

Even my conservative neighbor, who will only talk to me about gardening because I'm a woman, said he didn't believe the explanation about how the grid went down. Even the people in Pickering were still without power today, and they have a nuclear plant right in their own backyard.

On the plus side, with all the city lights out, we were able to see stars Thursday night like I've never seen since I lived in the country as a child. And in the space of 35 minutes, I counted 8 shooting stars, plus a multitude of light flashes, which may have been meteorites that entered the atmosphere directly above us, relative to our position on the ground (the Perseid showers, I think?). The first thing I wondered was if it had anything to do with the blackout, as we had heard nothing at that point about the cause. Maybe the "lightning" wasn't really lightning at all.

J Writes:

"I live in suburban Detroit; I was driving down the road when the reception on my radio went all screwy - the station I was listening to was replaced by 3 or 4 other stations for a few seconds, and then the regular station came back. The song was still playing like I hadn't lost it, so it was my reception, not the station. The next intersection I got to, the power was out.

My car is not "on the grid", so obviously there was some sort of wave or field moving through the air at the time of the collapse. I do not know if this was cause or effect or both.

I saw your comment on 4th density bleed-through, but could it have been sunspot or CME?"

JD Writes:

"At around 4:05 PM today, I was on the computer and the electric power dipped way down. The lights dimmed and my computer crashed. PRECISELY at that instant, there was a "sonic boom" that originated, I perceived, from south of my location, here in northern New Jersey. The boom lasted for about five seconds. The skies were clear blue and the sun was very bright. Later, my friend who lives near Cleveland, Ohio called me, told me she had no electricity, and that a man called in to her local radio station and reported that he heard two sonic booms shortly after 3 PM at the same time the whole northeast United States lost power."

Comment: Another reader suggested that an "electromagnetic pulse" could be one possible explanation for the blackout, and interestingly we see that sonic boom type noises were reported at the time of the Columbia shuttle explosion, an event that the Cs have said was the result of a EM pulse:

February 2, 2003

Q: One of the first questions we want to ask tonight is about the event of the Space Shuttle that was lost. First, was it an explosion, or was it just disintegration, or breaking up?
A: It was a "direct hit."

Q: A direct hit by what?
A: EM pulse.

Uncurious George

Despite what is unfolding before us, the majority of this country's honest, freedom-loving people seem ever less interested in knowing, and ever more inclined toward believing that what we're being shown and what we're being told and what is being carried out in our name, is truth.

By Dom Stasi ResponDS1@aol.com

August, 14, 2003: I'd rather know than believe. Five words, penned by a paragon of thought, they have stayed in my memory and my own humble thoughts since I first encountered them several years ago. For me, the words leapt from the pages of Carl Sagan's masterpiece of reason entitled, The Demon Haunted World.

Humanity lost Dr. Sagan to a prolonged illness in 1996. But in his short 62 years, the renowned scientist and philosopher left all of us far more than most. Among his gifts are those five haunting words: I'd rather know than believe. Ironically, what I've chosen to believe Carl Sagan was relating, but I'll never know for certain is this: Seek truth though knowledge, not through faith.

His words haunt me still. They haunt me first because they provide me an insight to faith, and the wanting to believe that is somewhere inside us all. I want to believe that my interpretation is exactly what their author meant. I want to believe that my children will live long and happy lives. There are certain things I want very much to believe. The simple phrase thus tempers my cold, engineer's logic with humanity. I'm aware now that there is something in all of us that sometimes would rather just believe than know.

But those five words haunt me for a far more disturbing reason as well. Because, today, even the non-scientific me, the personal, entirely human, fiercely American me who wants so desperately to believe his beloved country is a force for freedom and human dignity in a world never quite sane, is instead seeing our government engaging in behavior that is neither logical nor humane, and by no means, sane.

We the people of the United States are being held hostage to our own government's domestic economic policies, many of which border on the fraudulent. At the same time, our monetary treasure, our priceless young, and our military might are all being squandered further still by imposing dictatorship and indignity on entire regions of the world. They then expect us to believe, such actions are consistent with the promotion and spread of democracy. [...]

Today - in fact every day - our self-appointed daddy in Washington tells us, not about Santa, or the Tooth Fairy, but about the Bogie Man. He tells us over and over again (maybe he's sadistic dad). As of this morning, 59% of American adults still believe him. As predictable as rats in a Skinner box, the operant conditioning of our childhood plays on our ignorance, causes us to believe.

Like frightened children, only all big now and no longer cute and harmless, we're trembling beneath our metaphoric security blankets, terrified of shadows. The fear has us lashing out and killing what we can, indiscriminately, just like frightened beasts. Our "leaders" deliberately scare us. They do so because they think we're simple-minded. The majority of us respond exactly as expected. Uncritical, faithful, Pavlovian dogs. [...]

Condi's Speech: From Birmingham to Baghdad, Imperialism's Freedom Ride

By GARY LEUPP
August 14, 2003
CounterPunch

[...] But National Security Adviser and former Chevron Oil board member Condoleeza Rice did not identify those who disparage Third World "freedom" and alleged U.S. efforts to impose it. She's obviously not targeting L. Paul Bremer III, civil administrator in Iraq, who told the Washington Post June 28, "Elections held too early can be destructive," adding that while there's "no blanket rule" against democracy in Iraq, and he's "not personally opposed to it," it must take place "in a way that takes care of our concerns" and "done very carefully." (Is it just me, or is he saying the Iraqis "are culturally just not ready for freedom, and just aren't ready for freedom's responsibilities"---at least until they learn how to say "Yes, Boss!" with genuine feeling?)

Rice is not targeting Henry Kissinger, who as U.S. Secretary of State, following the (democratic) election of Salvador Allende in 1970, declared, "Chile shouldn't be allowed to go Marxist just because its people are irresponsible," and proceeded to help organize a bloody fascist coup, producing a regime more suitable to those Latinos down there.

She's not trying to chasten Vice President Dick Cheney, who as a Wyoming representative in Congress in 1986 voted against a resolution urging the apartheid government of South Africa (which then-President Reagan pronounced America's "closest friend" in Africa) to release Nelson Mandela---freedom fighter, democrat---from prison.

No, no, no. Condi's saying: Those criticizing the U.S. occupation of Iraq are the moral equivalents of the KKK. The implicit allegation is bizarre. It is also both wise and stupid. Politically wise, because the American people, due to many decades of struggle, have come to see the Civil Rights Movement, the moral authority of which she seeks to appropriate in pursuit of Bushite global ambitions, as a good thing. So she can, maybe, for awhile, exploit the widespread, decent sentiment in support of racial equality to generate sympathy for what is in fact an inherently racist crusade.

Comment: Rice's speech shows us that the Bush Reich is very knowledgeable in the manipulations of symbols and their emotional power. If the Reich can equate their racist policies in Iraq with "civil rights" long enough, then they can accomplish their agenda.

This is how they worked with the invasion. They associated over and over again the pain and shock of Americans at the WTC attacks with Saddam until, beaten into psychological submission, the Bush Reich rolled into the oil fields.

US says it doesn't know how many detainees in Cuba

Reuters, 12 Aug 2003, 11:21 AM

SAN FRANSISCO - The US government said today it had neither an exact count nor all the names of hundreds of people captured in Afghanistan over a year ago and now detained at the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base in Cuba.

Comment: Seems like Guantanamo has become a full fledged and publicly declared concentration camp, and no one cares...

Revolt brewing, U.N. adviser warns

Aug. 14, 2003. 01:00 AM
PARIS

Prominent Iraqis who despised Saddam Hussein will take up arms against U.S. forces if life under occupation does not quickly improve, a senior U.N. official said in outspoken criticism of Washington's postwar policy in Iraq.

Ghassan Salameh, adviser to the special United Nations representative to Iraq, told a French magazine the United States had bungled its victory since toppling Saddam.

"Many influential Iraqis who initially felt liberated from a despised regime have assured me that they will take up arms if the coalition troops do not arrive at a result. Time is short," Salameh said in an interview published yesterday in the weekly Le Nouvel Observateur.

The comments appeared as a new letter purportedly written by Saddam called on Iraq's powerful Shiite Muslim clergy to call for a jihad — or holy war — against U.S. occupation. [...]

Salameh warned that ordinary people, frustrated by the lack of basic services four months after the fall of Saddam, could rally behind ideological opponents of the occupying forces.

"In reality, the population is very surprised. They don't understand how such a level of efficiency during the war could be followed by such a lack of efficiency in 'peace,'" he said. [...]

Saudis to interrogate 12,000 suspects

By Brian Whitaker
August 16, 2003

Saudi Arabian authorities have embarked on a vast anti-terrorism operation in which up to 12,000 citizens will be questioned at the behest of the United States, a Saudi opposition group has said.

"The Saudi Government is doing a full-scale sweeping activity," said Saad al-Fagih, of the London-based Movement for Islamic Reform in Arabia.

"This is causing occasional confrontations with members [of militant groups] who have decided not to surrender themselves."

Several sources in the kingdom had told him of a "substantial list", provided by the US, naming Saudi citizens who were to be questioned or arrested, he said. One put the number of names at 12,000. Others gave lower figures but all were well into the thousands. "There are strong signs that the number is 12,000," Mr Fagih said.

The information had been compiled by the US from various countries, including Pakistan, Bosnia, Russia, Saudi Arabia and Egypt, he said. Some names were included because they had been mentioned by suspects under interrogation, but others were on the list because of money transfers or travel bookings. [...]

South heats up: Tensions are running high along the Lebanese-Israeli border.

Mohalhel Fakih
Beirut

Lebanon and Israel have each sought the intervention of the United Nations Security Council after an Israeli civilian was killed in cross-border fire from Hizbullah on Sunday and Beirut residents were rattled early Monday morning by sonic booms from Israeli fighter planes.

Hizbullah said it had targeted Israeli jets breaching Lebanese airspace when shrapnel fell on the Israeli border town of Shlomi, killing one person and wounding five others. A few hours later, Israeli warplanes swooped over Beirut.

Strange Bed-fellows

Caught between the involuntary complicity of two improbable bed-fellows -- anti- Arab zealots in Washington and anti-American reformists in Syria -- Syria's "old guard" is just playing the waiting game.

David Hirst
Damascus

Rarely has Syria felt more besieged than it is today -- and rarely has external siege had such potential domestic ramifications. For in addition to the traditional, Zionist enemy on one flank, and the new, unprecedentedly pro- Israeli America in direct occupation of a key Arab neighbour on the other, it faces what Riad Turk, much-imprisoned doyen of Syrian dissidents, calls the "third force in this equation": the Syrian people.

Israel pays young couples to move to settlements

IN A slap at international peace efforts, Israel is offering generous financial incentives to lure young couples to the occupied territories.

Couples who sign up to move to Givat Ze’ev during the next four months will receive a grant of £7,100 and a loan for the same amount. Couples moving to other settlements will receive similar largesse.

[...] One expansion site is a hilltop several kilometres from the main settlement, making it another settlement in all but name.

Givat Ze’ev has palm-lined streets and spacious houses. It looks more like a suburb of Jerusalem, six kilometres to the south, than an outpost of zealots.

Yet it is a front line of Israel’s effort to seize as much of the West Bank as possible. It drives a wedge between Arab localities and the West Bank city of Ramallah.

New preoccupations

Insurgency in Iraq is shifting into a deadly campaign of bombings and the occupiers are being forced to reconsider strategies.

Salah Hemeid

[...] The bombing came as American military commanders said they were revising their strategy in Iraq by limiting the scope of the US army's raids after receiving warnings from Iraqi leaders that the raids were alienating the public. Lieutenant General Ricardo S Sanchez, the chief commander of allied forces in Iraq, said in an interview with The New York Times published Friday 8 August that the military had virtually exhausted the gains from this approach and that continuing it could be counterproductive. "It was a fact that I started to get multiple indicators that maybe our iron-fisted approach to the conduct of ops was beginning to alienate Iraqis," General Sanchez said, referring to military operations. "I started to get those sensings from multiple sources, all the way from the Governing Council down to average people."

Comment: There is a pattern here that seems familiar: just as things are starting to calm down, or a new strategy to lessen the violence is brought in, "enemy" forces start hostilities again. Doesn't this sound like what is happening in Israel? Isn't this exactly what the Israeli government does when it thinks peace is close to breaking out?

Do the Israelis have an interest in maintaining the heat on the US in Iraq so that the US will be pushed into war with Syria and Iran, two of Israel's strategic goals? Perhaps the new "Islamic militants" in Iraq are connected in some way to the "suicide bombers" in Israel, you remember, the ones that an Israeli government communiqué has successfully identified, with family history and photos, five minutes after the explosion...

Israel to Hand Over W.Bank Cities if Calm Holds

By Mark Heinrich
Fri August 15, 2003 07:23 PM ET

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israel agreed on Friday to hand security control of four West Bank cities to Palestinian authorities by the end of August to push Palestinian militants to honor a truce crucial to peace moves, security sources said.

They said any further "terror attacks" would scuttle the accord reached by Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz and Palestinian Security Minister Mohammed Dahlan after a weeks-long impasse over how to implement a U.S.-backed "road map" peace plan.

Dahlan's spokesman said the meeting had a "very positive" outcome against expectations. But militants dismissed the deal as "worthless" as Israel had not dropped a policy to hunt them down for previous attacks in a 34-month-old uprising. [...]

The Coup, 50 years after: What Kermit didn't say: In memory of August 19, 1953

By Sasan Fayazmanesh
sasanf@csufresno.edu

 
" 'I owe my throne to God, my people, my army and to you!' By 'you' he [the shah] meant me and the two countries - Great Britain and the United Sates - I was representing. We were all heroes." Countercoup: The Struggle for the Control of Iran , Kermit Roosevelt, 1979
 
It is ironic that CIA agent Kermit Roosevelt, the grandson of Theodore Roosevelt, published his book on the 1953 CIA coup in Iran and the return of the shah in the same year that "his majesty's government" was overthrown. An American friend gave a copy of the book to me shortly after its publication in 1979. I skimmed through the book and put it on my bookshelf. The CIA coup appeared irrelevant when the old and decadent institution of monarchy in Iran seemed to be finished once and for all.

More importantly, however, I, along with many other Iranians of my generation, knew the story full well and did not need Kermit to repeat it. We knew that the shah owed his throne to the likes of Kermit. But we also knew something that Kermit didn't know, or didn't say.

We knew that we owe to the Kermits of the world our tortured past: years of being forced as students to stand in the hot sun of Tehran in lines, waving his majesty's picture or flag as his entourage passed by in fast moving, shiny, big black cars with darkened-glass windows; years of being forced to rise and stay standing in every public event, including movie theaters, while his majesty's national anthem was being played; years of watching a dense megalomaniac try to imitate "Cyrus the Great" by wearing ridiculous ceremonial robes in extravagant celebration of his birthdays or crowning of his queens; years of being hushed by our parents, fearful of being arrested, if we uttered a critical word about his majesty's government or his American advisors.

Years of worrying about secret police (SAVAK) informants, who were smartly, but ruthlessly, trained by the best of the US's CIA and Israeli's Mossad; years of witnessing our friends and acquaintances being taken to jail, some never heard from again; years of passing by buildings in which, we were told, people were being tormented; years of hearing about people dying under torture or quietly executed; years of being exiled in a foreign country, which ironically was the belly of the beast, the metropolis, the center which masterminded much of our misfortune in the first place; years of spending our precious youth to free or save thousands of political prisoners by marching in the streets of the metropolis, wearing masks to hide our identities and looking bizarre to those who knew nothing about our story; and, finally, years of trying to prove to the American people that the 1953 CIA coup was not a fig-leaf of our imagination or a conspiracy theory, that it indeed happened and that they, whether they like it or not, have a certain culpability in what their government does around the world. [...]

Possible Israeli Strike At Iran's Nuclear Plants?

Asaad Telhami Al-Hayat 
2003/08/15

Nazareth - Sources close to the Israeli Premier denied reports that Sharon had discussed last month with President Bush the possibility of Israel carrying out a preemptive strike at Iran's nuclear plants. Army Radio reported diplomats at the Israeli embassy in Washington saying that "Sharon informed Bush that the Iranian nuclear reactor in Boushar would be a threat to Israel if it reached the stage of producing uranium, and this would require speedy intervention."

The Israeli media reopened the Iranian file, after The Washington Post published an article on Tuesday about this issue. The American paper reported U.S. concerns that Israel would attack Iran's nuclear capacities, from fear of it reaching a point of no-return, namely its ability to build its first nuclear bomb. 

The Washington Times mentioned that Sharon, based on satellite pictures of the Iranian nuclear plants which he showed Bush, left the Americans with the impression that Israel was planning for a military action, as it did in 1981 when it bombed the nuclear reactor in Iraq. [...]

Comment: Also see this story from the Guardian we posted a link to previously: The spies who pushed for war

[...] The Israeli influence was revealed most clearly by a story floated by unnamed senior US officials in the American press, suggesting the reason that no banned weapons had been found in Iraq was that they had been smuggled into Syria. Intelligence sources say that the story came from the office of the Israeli prime minister.

The OSP absorbed this heady brew of raw intelligence, rumour and plain disinformation and made it a "product", a prodigious stream of reports with a guaranteed readership in the White House. The primary customers were Mr Cheney, Mr Libby and their closest ideological ally on the national security council, Stephen Hadley, Condoleezza Rice's deputy. [...]

Three charged under Terrorism Act

BBC
Friday, 15 August, 2003, 23:44 GMT


Three man are due to appear in court charged under the Terrorism Act with having weapons and money for terrorism.

Robert Naylor, 48, Benjamin Wilson, 35, and James Patrick Moloney, 44, are being held in custody and are due to appear before Bow Street Magistrates' Court in London on Saturday.

They are all charged with possession of money, firearms, silencers and ammunition for terrorist purposes and conspiracy to possess firearms to endanger life and possession of two handguns, two silencers and a machine gun, said Scotland Yard. [...]

Shenzhou-5 Single-Person Mission Could Be Launched On October 10

by Hou Yi
Hong Kong - Aug 15, 2003

A yuhangyuan ("astronaut") could make history and become an instant hero in China with the launch of Shenzhou-5 (SZ-5) that may take place on October 10, an aerospace forum posted the unconfirmed information on Tuesday (Aug. 12).

One of the posts on the forum cited the launch date from news that originated from the Xi'an Satellite Control Centre (XSCC) in Shaanxi Province. The poster emphasized, however, that the accuracy of the information could not be guaranteed.

But a report in Wednesday's (Aug. 13) Wen Wei Po appears to support the timeframe of the launch. The local newspaper said that the launch of SZ-5 would happen after the weeklong celebration of the National Day, which is on Oct. 1. [...]

As China is on the verge to become the third nation to launch its own people into space, the government is mounting a public education campaign to raise the profile of the mission and the general awareness of its space program. [...]

Judge warns he may postpone recall election

Saturday, August 16, 2003 02:56 GMT

SAN JOSE, California (AP) -- A federal judge warned Friday that he may postpone California's October 7 recall election over voting rights questions, and ordered Monterey County to refrain from mailing out overseas ballots until the questions are resolved.

The new uncertainty in the already chaotic special election came on a day a poll showed support building for the ouster of Gov. Gray Davis, and when a billionaire adviser to candidate Arnold Schwarzenegger was widely rebuked for suggesting California property taxes are too low.

U.S. District Judge Jeremy Fogel's ruling came hours after two civil rights groups argued that the hurry-up election doesn't give the Justice Department enough time to approve changes in the voting process.

Under the 1965 Voting Rights Act, the federal government must approve voting changes in four California counties with a history of low voter participation. The cases argued Friday focus on Monterey County, which plans fewer polling places and fewer Spanish-speaking poll workers for the election. [...]

Military Families, Veterans Demand End to Occupation of Iraq, Immediate Return of All U.S. Troops to Home Duty Stations

On Wednesday August 13th, Bring Them Home Now! launced our campaign with a nationally-televised press conference. View the video footage on C-SPAN.org.[...]

Sniper-Style Shootings Reported In W. Va.

POSTED: 10:29 a.m. EDT August 15, 2003

There have been three fatal shootings outside convenience stores in Kanawha County, W.Va, within four days.

At about 10:20 p.m. Thursday a woman was shot while pumping gas at a SuperAmerica store in Campbells Creek, W.Va., WVIT-TV reported. The second fatal shooting happened a little more than an hour later and 10 miles away outside a Go-Mart in Cedar Grove, W.Va., on U.S. Route 60.

Kanawha County sheriff's spokesman Lt. J.S. Bailes said the shootings appear to be random.

Sunday night, 34-year-old George Carrier of South Charleston, W.Va., was shot in the head and killed while using a pay telephone outside a Charleston Go-Mart.

Police across the area have been alerted to increase patrols around stores with gas pumps. They are looking for a black pickup truck with gold trim seen leaving the Cedar Grove store and a dark-green or blue Chevrolet Corsica from the Campbells Creek shooting.

Police are not confirming that the shootings are connected, but they are an eerie reminder of Washington, D.C., sniper shootings last year.

Military to Conduct Bio-Terror Exercise

Friday August 15, 2003 8:49 PM
By ROBERT BURNS
AP Military Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. Northern Command, which is responsible for military operations inside the United States, said Friday it will begin an exercise next week to test its ability to respond to multiple domestic emergencies simultaneously, including a bio-terror attack in Nevada.

The exercise, dubbed Determined Promise '03, includes a simulated hurricane, real and simulated wildfires, an airborne terrorist threat in Alaska and an outbreak of pneumonic plague in Nevada.

It begins Monday with the plague outbreak in Clark County, which includes 70 percent of Nevada's population, including Las Vegas. Local authorities will respond first by activating an emergency operations center, followed by action at the state level and activation of the Nevada National Guard on Wednesday. Northern Command will direct the use of active-duty forces.

At the same time, Northern Command's headquarters at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., will deal with a variety of simulated natural disasters and terrorist threats elsewhere in the country.

Russian scientists design hyper-sound spacecraft

Interfax.
Saturday, Aug. 16, 2003, 1:11 PM Moscow Time

MOSCOW. Aug 16 (Interfax) - Russian scientists continue working on a project for designing a hyper-sound shuttle that can reach distant planets. "We are designing a spacecraft that will conduct multiple sorties to geo-stationary orbit at an altitude of 36,000 kilometers and return to a lower orbit or directly enter the Earth's atmosphere and land with a parachute," Vladimir Plokhikh, a specialist from the Central Aero- Hydro-Dynamic Institute, told Interfax on Thursday.

The spacecraft will reach a speed in the atmosphere exceeding the speed of sound by more than five times, Plokhikh noted.

The craft will be used to service high-orbit communication satellites and prolong their life span, and will lower the cost of telecommunication services in the long run, he said. "At present, we can only speak of an unmanned craft. It can be upgraded later and used in manned flights to Mars. Specialists estimate that we will be able to conduct such flights after 2020," he said.

U.S. aid to Russia threatened

Associated Press

Moscow — Russia's evasiveness about its biological weapons program could slow efforts to get U.S. money to destroy of its chemical weapon stockpiles, a U.S. Senator said Friday.

While Russia has made clear declarations about its chemical and nuclear stockpiles, "still there is a sense of denial" surrounding biological programs," said Sen. Richard Lugar, an architect of the Nunn-Lugar program to help the Soviet Union destroy and safeguard weapons of mass destruction.

New Zealand rumble latest in series of quakes

TERRA.WIRE
WELLINGTON (AFP) Aug 16, 2003

A minor earthquake Saturday morning centred near Eketahuna - in the lower North Island about 150 kilometres north of the capital Wellington - was the latest in a string of recent North Island tremors.

The quake happened at around 8.30 am (2030 GMT) and measured 3.5 on the Richter scale. It was centred 30 kilometres northeast of Eketahuna, the Institute of Geological and Nuclear Sciences' GeoNet information website said.

Four earthquakes shook North Island regions two weekends ago, measuring between 3.9 and 5.4 on the Richter scale.

The Earthquake Commission is expecting up to 250 property claims relating to minor damage caused by the earthquakes.

Moderate Quake Shakes N. Calif. Ocean

Friday August 15, 2003 8:49 PM

EUREKA, Calif. (AP) - An earthquake shook people awake early Friday but was well off the northern California coast and caused no damage or injuries.

The magnitude-5.1 quake occurred at 2:22 a.m. in the Pacific Ocean, two miles below sea level and 76 miles west of Eureka, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

It woke up some residents but did little else, said Brenda Gainey, a Humboldt County sheriff's spokeswoman.

Eureka is 225 miles north of San Francisco.

Erika may muscle into hurricane

Rio Grande likely target for landfall

By JAMES PINKERTON
Copyright 2003 Houston Chronicle

Hurricane warnings were posted Friday along parts of the lower Texas coast as Tropical Storm Erika sped across the Gulf of Mexico and headed for landfall.

Satellite hacked by Falun Gong, China says

By TED ANTHONY, Associated Press
Published Friday, August 15th, 2003

BEIJING (AP) - Practitioners of the outlawed Falun Gong spiritual movement commandeered China's main television satellite twice this week, the Chinese government said Friday.

"(Falun Gong) practitioners in China have discovered a nonviolent means - one that harms neither people nor equipment - to break through the information blockade and let the people see programs that openly show the human rights violations happening in their own country," Falun Gong spokesman Erping Zhang said last week in a release posted on the group's Web site.

The Chinese government banned Falun Gong in 1999 as a threat to public safety and calls it an "evil cult."

The movement has attracted millions of followers with a mix of traditional Chinese calisthenics and doctrines drawn from Buddhism, Taoism and the ideas of its founder, Li Hongzhi, a former government clerk.

Since it was banned, thousands of its followers have been detained by the Chinese government. Activists abroad say scores have died in police custody from beatings or mistreatment.

Cartoonist Fired After Being Accused Of Anti-Semitism

The Sydney Morning Herald
8-15-3

(New Zealand Press Association) -- An award-winning cartoonist dumped by New Zealand's biggest newspaper because of his drawings on the Middle East conflict said he stood by his work and rejected an editor's right to direct what he could or could not draw.

Malcolm Evans, twice named as the country's cartoonist of the year, says he was sacked by The New Zealand Herald after the newspaper received complaints from Jews about his cartoons on the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.

Evans, who denied that his cartoons were anti-Semitic, said while he accepted an editor's right to reject a cartoon, he did not accept an editor's right to direct what he should draw.

Gibson Says He's 'Softened' Crucifixion Story In New Film

By Kevin Eckstrom
Religion News Service
8-13-3

Director Mel Gibson, under heavy fire from Jewish groups for his $25 million movie on the death of Jesus, has "softened the story" and made changes to make "The Passion" more palatable to critics, according to a spokesman. Scheduled for release next year during Lent, "The Passion" has some Jewish groups nervous it will resurrect old beliefs that Jews were responsible for the death of the Christian savior.


Dead Journalist's Family Calls US Iraq Report Lies

Reuters – Madrid August 13, 2003

MADRID, Aug. 13 — The family of a Spanish television cameraman killed by a U.S. tank shell in Baghdad four months ago dismissed as a series of lies on Wednesday a U.S. report that cleared its soldiers of blame.

The U.S. military said on Tuesday that an inquiry had found the tank crew acted in self defence when they fired on the Palestine Hotel, home to many foreign journalists covering the arrival of U.S. troops in the city centre on April 8.

Jose Couso of Spain's Telecinco and Reuters cameraman Taras Protsyuk were killed and three other Reuters staff wounded. Couso's brother, Javier Couso, told Reuters: <>The report is more of the same. A series of lies, hiding the truth to justify the actions of their soldiers. This report does not clarify anything. This is not an investigation for us.

He said the family would petition the Spanish government and U.S. congressmen to request an independent inquiry.

Comment: Aznar's cosy realtionship with Bush over the invasion of Iraq would suggest that justice for this family is very unlikely

Liberians overrun barriers to get food

Rebels withdraw from port area

By GLENN MCKENZIE, Associated Press
August 16, 2003

MONROVIA, Liberia - Embracing loved ones and gulping down whatever food they could find, tens of thousands of hungry Liberians on Friday broke through the front lines that had divided the capital for 10 weeks of the deadly siege. U.S. Marines and West African peacekeepers stood guard as the first aid ship docked.

Singing gospel songs, women surged over a bridge lined with bullet casings and shrapnel after crowds overran razor-wire barricades in search of rice, oil and other goods. All around, men and women toted bags, baskets and even wheelbarrows on their heads as they ventured out for food.

India Plans Mission To Moon Before 2008

8-15-03

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India will send an unmanned mission to the moon by 2008, Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee said on Friday, in what is seen as an effort to showcase the country's scientific capabilities.

"India is ready to take a big leap in science," Vajpayee said in his Independence Day anniversary address to the nation. "I am happy to announce that before 2008 India will send a mission to the moon."

Global Warming Not Man-Made

Terradaily
Jerusalem - Aug 15, 2003

Global warming will not be helped much by efforts to reduce carbon dioxide emission into the atmosphere, say two scientists who have studied the matter. Dr. Nir Shaviv, an astrophysicist from the Racah Institute of Physics of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and Prof. Jan Veiser a geochemist at the University of Ottawa in Canada and Ruhr University in Germany, say that temperature variations are due more to cosmic forces than to the actions of man.

In a recent article published in GSA Today (the journal of the Geological Society of America) and described in Nature, Shaviv and Veiser tell of their studies illustrating a correlation between past cosmic ray flux -- the high-energy particles reaching us from stellar explosions -- and long-term climate variability, as recorded by oxygen isotopes trapped in rocks formed by ancient marine fossils. The level of cosmic ray activity reaching the earth and its atmosphere is reconstructed using another isotopic record in meteorites. [...]

Europe's largest glacier shrivels under global warming

RIEDERALP, Switzerland
(AFP) Aug 16, 2003

Switzerland's Aletsch glacier, the largest in the Alps, is imposing enough to generate a wind of its own, but the 23-kilometre long (14-mile) river of ice is visibly shrivelling under the impact of global warming.

"In the last 140 years it has moved back three kilometres (two miles)," Laudo Albrecht, a Swiss nature conservation expert said, standing on a ridge above the sweating glacier.

He was clutching a graph which also shows that the ice flow has melted faster in the past decade or two, and this summer's heatwave is likely to deepen the trend. [...]

Cleveland Faces Worst-Ever Water Crisis

By CONNIE MABIN, Associated Press Writer
Fri Aug 15,10:37 PM ET

CLEVELAND - From beauty salons to homes to hospitals, people relied on bottled water Friday after an epic power outage sparked one of the worst water crises in the city's history.

Power was restored early Friday to four pumps that move water uphill from Lake Erie to 1.5 million customers in the city and suburbs, but the flow was a trickle at faucets because of low pressure. [...]

Ohio Gov. Bob Taft authorized use of about two dozen National Guard tankers to begin distributing emergency drinking water, but most businesses and residents were left with bottled water. [...]

Montana Wildfires Threaten Electricity

By DAN D'AMBROSIO, Associated Press Writer
August 16, 2003

CONDON, Mont. - Utility workers are joining firefighters as the state's biggest electricity supplier looks to save transmission lines from fires burning across the state.

Workers for NorthWestern Energy were hauling 95-foot power poles into the still smoldering fire west of Billings, looking to rebuild the torched lines responsible for a brief outage earlier in the week.

NorthWestern Energy officials warned that more damage to its lines could lead to major blackouts this weekend and specifically warned customers in Missoula, Butte, Bozeman and Hamilton to prepare for that possibility. [...]

No Big Blackout for Europe, but Glitches Lurk

By Margaret Orgill
Fri August 15, 2003 01:35 PM ET

LONDON (Reuters) - A massive U.S.-style blackout is unlikely in Europe but cracks are appearing in the region's electricity system which struggled to cope with soaring power use during a heatwave this summer.

Sweltering temperatures caused blackouts in Italy and power supply problems elsewhere, a situation some analysts see becoming more frequent as liberalization forces companies to cut costs and delay investments. [...]

Landslide Sweeps Through Nepal, Kills 7

August 16, 2003

KATMANDU, Nepal - A landslide swept through an army base in northern Nepal, killing at least seven soldiers and leaving 13 missing, a government official said.

The landslide struck close to midnight on Friday at Ramche village, about 50 miles north of Katmandu. [...]

Heavy monsoon rains in the past few weeks have been blamed for mudslides that have killed at least 190 people and stranded hundreds in this Himalayan kingdom. [...]

Sandia Team Develops Cognitive Machines -- Machines Accurately Infer User Intent, Remember Experiences And Allow Users To Call Upon Simulated Experts

Researchers One Step Closer To Holy Grail Of Neurobiology

For scientists in the field of neurobiology, defining the factors that influence the arousal of brain and behavior is a "Holy Grail." Research published by Rockefeller University scientists in the Aug. 11 issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Early Edition are the first to give a rigorous definition of what is meant by arousal, considered to be at the base of all emotionally laden behaviors. In particular, the researchers, led by Donald W. Pfaff, Ph.D., provide an operational definition of arousal that scientists can pursue and measure quantitatively in laboratory animals, as well as in human beings. [...]

Campaigners Seek To Halt 'Absurd' Whale Hunt

Ananova.com
8-15-03

Wildlife campaigners have made a last-ditch attempt to halt a controversial whale hunt.

Demonstrators descended on London's Trafalgar Square to protest against a six week operation to kill 38 minke whales in Iceland. As whalers left harbour, animal rights campaigners branded the reasons behind the programme as spurious and absurd.

The government of Iceland announced last week that it was resuming whale hunting as part of a scientific programme, effectively bypassing international treaties banning commercial killing. They claimed to be investigating the depleting fish stock, but wildlife groups hit back, saying that whales and fish have co-existed for millions of years.

Tony Banks, Labour MP for West Ham, saying: This is commercial whaling, they are perverting the name of science to slaughter animals.

Jackals kill seven in east India, 11 more die in floods

PATNA, India (AFP) Aug 16, 2003

Seven people, including four children, have been killed in jackal attacks in the east Indian state of Bihar, with 11 people perishing in floods, officials said Saturday. [...]

At least half a dozen children were injured in the jackal attacks, village officials said.

Singh said the jackals had come near to human settlements because of the floods in the region. [...]

Wolves blamed for deaths of seven children

Associated Press
09:43 Saturday 16th August 2003

Wolves have killed at least seven children and injured more than a dozen people in northern India over the last three months, according to officials.

Residents in Uttar Pradesh state are keeping children indoors, and male villagers are standing guard through the night.

Forest official AP Sinha, in Bahraich district, 80 miles north of the state capital Lucknow, says his department has ordered the animals be shot on sight.

Wolves usually avoid human habitats, but experts believe dwindling forest may be pushing them closer to villages in search of prey. [...]

The fifth Canadian crop circle reported for this year

New Dinosaur Rises From Fossil Bones In India

A stocky, carnivorous dinosaur with an unusual head crest that has been identified from bones collected in India belongs to a significant line of predatory dinosaurs known from the southern continents.

Statue of Mary glows, and faithful see the light

Whatever the explanation, the statue continues to draw crowds.

[T]he church will determine what the statue is made of and how it was constructed to see if there is a scientific explanation [...]

XTRATERRESTRIAL PHONES OHIO?

By Gerald Tebben
THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH


E.T. might have tried to phone Ohio on Aug. 15, 1977. But nobody was listening at 11:16 p.m., and scientists in the years since haven't been able to figure out what, if anything, the extraterrestrial was saying.

A radio telescope dubbed ''Big Ear'' and operated by Ohio State University was scanning space from Delaware County when a booming 70-second burst was received from a point in the sky that tracked from the middle of the Milky Way. It had all the earmarks of an intelligent transmission. [...]

Expert's photo shows 'UFO'

UFO expert Michael Soper was amazed to capture an object he believes could be an alien spacecraft on his own camera.

Mr Soper, of Ousley Close, Marston, Oxford, spotted the object on a photograph he had taken of a cloud at Middleton Cheney, near Banbury.

He suggested the object could have been an alien sheltering from solar storms which have been linked with the recent scorching weather conditions.

"I took a picture of a cloud which looked like a chicken about to take flight," said Mr Soper, 55, media spokesman for Contact International, a group which monitors UFO sightings across the world.

"When it came out I spotted a small egg shaped object with a bizarre plasma tail." [...]

Paintball Pranksters Get Gunfire

PITTSBURGH-August 13, 2003 —Two teens who drove around Pittsburgh shooting passers-by with paintball guns were shot with real bullets for apparently targeting the wrong group, police said. [...]

Man Cuts Off Own Penis to Cure Sex Addiction

Fri Aug 15,10:33 AM ET
BERLIN (Reuters)

A German cut off his own penis with a kitchen knife to cure his addiction to sex, police in the southern town of Tiengen said on Friday.

"The man called a friend around eight o'clock to say he'd done something stupid," police said in a statement. He had been drinking vodka to pluck up courage for the amateur surgery. [...]

Man Bites Off Girlfriend's Nose but Keeps Her Love

Fri Aug 15,10:32 AM ET
BERLIN (Reuters)

A woman in Germany says she still loves her boyfriend even though he bit her nose right off.

Judge Beatrix Homann said on Thursday her court in the western city of Hanover had sentenced the 26-year-old man to 18 months in jail for the assault, but that his partner, 50, had forgiven him.

"I still love this man," the judge quoted the woman, who has had six operations to build a synthetic nose, as saying at the hearing on Tuesday. "He was just drunk," Homann told Reuters.

And finally...

Robber, 91, charged for third bank heist

By COLIN FREEZE
From Saturday's Globe and Mail

J. L. Hunter (Red) Rountree is back in orange coveralls, the prison uniform in Texas to which he has become accustomed in retirement.

At 91, Mr. Rountree was charged again this week with robbing a bank, the third time that has happened since his 85th birthday.

The former oil-patch entrepreneur, who once claimed to be a millionaire, has said the old-fashioned Texas heist is his best revenge against the institutions that drove him into bankruptcy when he was in his 70s.

[...] In October, 1999, before his 88th birthday, Mr. Rountree hit a Florida bank, again with a note, written in red ink. But as he fled with $8,000 to an idling Ford pickup, civic-minded customers gave chase.

"He was trying to run, but it was more like shuffling — small, fast steps," one said later.

After release from a Florida jail, he returned to Goldthwaite, Texas, where he has relatives, and bought a used Buick. Police said he was driving that car back to his motor home when he was caught this week.

Sgt. Perry said that, on the drive back to prison, Mr. Rountree explained why he made a point of robbing a federally insured bank. That way, if he was caught, he would end up in a federal prison rather than a state institution, which are known for inferior comforts.

"I've been accustomed to having the best food money can buy," Mr. Rountree said in his 2001 prison interview.

It would also give him time to think about future plans, as he may have done during his last time in prison.

"I might rob another bank," he said in 2001. "I'm not saying I will or won't. But, hey, I might need to."

 



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