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The most successful tyranny is not the one that uses force to assure uniformity but the one that removes the awareness of other possibilities, that makes it seem inconceivable that other ways are viable, that removes the sense that there is an outside.
Allan Bloom The Closing of the American Mind


Ark's Jokes

Book Reviews

Earthquake bulletins

Nostradamus, Revelation, Edgar Cayce and The False Prophet

General Mahmoud Ahmed
The Key to 9-11

Signs Supplement 6
Hope and Glory

Signs Supplement 5
Sept. 14, 2002
New C's Session

Signs Supplement 4
The Winds of Change

Signs Supplement 3
Splitting Realities

Signs Supplement 2

Signs Supplement 1
To Be or Not to Be

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September 28, 2002
- This war is wrong and we won't stand for it - Up to 350,000 people marched in London yesterday against military action in Iraq. And they were not the 'usual suspects' - The voice of middle-class England was how Debbie Mainwaring described herself yesterday as she stood amid the clamour of one of the biggest anti-war demonstrations ever, and it was clear that she was not alone. The sheer numbers who turned out to express vociferous opposition to military action in Iraq – between 150,000 and 350,000 on the central London march – meant there was no way they could be dismissed as "the usual suspects" of the hard left. - The message of the people was being driven home to President Bush and Tony Blair, a man widely characterised as his unquestioning accomplice: this war is wrong, and we won't stand for it.

Biggest protest in a generation hears calls for peace with Iraq - Mr Dalyell, a Labour MP, told the crowd: "We are sleep walking to disaster. The Government's dossier states that Iraq has chemical and biological weapons ready to use. We can be sure they will use them if cornered."

"Opinion polls show 65-70 percent of people are now opposed to attacking Iraq. People see no reason for this attack on Iraq and it's like a tidal wave building up. It would be an unwise head of state who took his country to war against the wishes of his people."

Bush robbing from the Old to pay for Death - Social Security Funds Raided by Bush - Democrats focused their Saturday radio address on the economy, saying Americans are concerned about their financial security. - [Democrats] criticized the Bush administration for beginning with a budget surplus of $5.6 trillion that "has been transformed into a deficit of $400 million." - Combined with new expenses associated with war abroad, "has forced the government to raid Social Security funds to pay its bills, something the president pledged as a candidate he would never do."

US draws up plans for Saddam's exile - Disclosure of the exile plan came as Baghdad rejected the draft UN resolution for which Britain and the US are seeking international backing. Senior officials from the two countries are in Moscow after visiting Paris, looking for approval for a resolution that would set a timetable for the return of weapons inspectors and make clear that military force would be used if Iraq did not fully comply with the inspectors' demands. Comment: I've said it once, and I'll say it again: all this "leaking of plans" is an obvious ploy to get Saddam to make a pre-emptive strike and destroy Israel. This is, after all, what the Consortium wants and what they are pulling the strings of their puppets Georgie Porgie and the Warmongers to do.

100,000 are expected at London anti-war protest - We have heard from some attendees that over 400,000 actually turned out.

French forces rescue 1,500 from city under siege - French forces, deployed by the hundreds, evacuated 1,500 French, Americans and other Western nationals from Ivory Coast's second-largest city. - On Thursday, French forces had arranged a 48-hour cease-fire with rebels to clear the way for a rapid withdrawal of their citizens and others from the city, which normally has a population of half a million. Question: Why aren't the UN, the US, and all the folks who want to attack Iraq doing something about this situation?

New York Times:G.A.O. Seeks to End Secrecy Surrounding Cheney's Energy Task Force - Lawyers for the General Accounting Office and Vice President Dick Cheney clashed today before a federal judge over which branch's claim is paramount -- the executive power to keep records confidential or the legislative right to investigate how public money is spent. - For the first time in the 81-year history of the agency, the comptroller general of the United States went to Federal court today to ask a judge to order a member of the executive branch to turn over records to Congress. Comment: How long is it going to take people to wake up to the fact that we have THUGS in the White House? We need to IMPEACH the whole damn lot of them!

South Koreans firebomb U.S. base after girls' deaths - Police say the attackers were students protesting the June deaths of two South Korean girls struck by a U.S. military vehicle.

Dancing on the Edge - Mr. Magoo is starting to resemble Gollum of Lord of the Rings in his single minded obsession. I also believe he will share the warm embrace of Mt. Economic Doom's volcanic heart. Unfortunately, the entire global economic system will follow him into the molten sauna. For a culture that has sown all its wild oats, we sure are having a hard time accepting the fact we will be eating oatmeal. - People think the economy can be separated from people like Mrs. Toogood, but it can't. It's all jumbled together in one big stew of stupidity. Economics, politics, the culture: it's all one big happy family. - The current atmosphere is rancid, nasty and more than a bit over the edge. What passes as normality is in reality a form of insanity that has camouflaged itself very well. For instance, you would think the mainstream press would have figured out there is a stock market collapse going on by now. After watching a 9% decline in June, another 10% in July, followed by an August "rally" that has now collapsed to 4 and 6 year lows in September, you would think the law of averages would show at least half of them would have got it. Nope. Our elite is going to ride this one into the ground. See also: Bear Market Longest in 60 Years - But with little good news coming through, and more risk than reward on the horizon, investors are merely hoping that the bottom is close, if it's not already in.

The McCain-Feingold campaign finance law won't take effect until Nov. 6, but its chilling effects on the First Amendment's free-speech rights already are apparent. - Instead of having the broadest possible political debate during the prime time in which voters are focusing on the election, the law mandates virtual silence - except for the officially sanctioned campaign ads made by candidates and which operate under federal campaign spending limits. - Over the objections of the law's staunch supporters, the commissioners voted to allow certain church and charitable groups to be exempt from the restrictions during election season. - it's clear that McCain-Feingold has undermined the free exercise of political speech by allowing speech decisions to be determined by a panel of government commissioners rather than in the free marketplace of ideas.

Mosquitoes infected with malaria have been found this week in two locations in Loudoun County, health officials said today, raising concerns that more humans could be infected by the mosquito-borne illness.

Castro Weaponizes West Nile Virus - As the Bush administration prepares for war with Iraq a growing threat to its rear flank is being ignored, according to senior officials who believe that Cuba's biological-weapons (BW) program is at more advanced stages than officially is acknowledged. See also: Mississippi: A Polio-Like Syndrome from West Nile Virus Infection and Georgia: Poliomyelitis Due to West Nile Virus and West Nile vaccine may not be ready for 3 years Comment: Could a bio-terroristic attack be underway with no one noticing? If you review the above links, you may uncover some of the disinformation the media is reporting about the virus. Particularly, the reported fact that it only adversely affects the elderly and individuals with immuno-deficiency. Keep in mind that the item about Castro is probably disinfo. As FDR once said: Nothing in politics happens by accident; if it happens, you can bet it was planned that way. And the US happens to be the one in the driver's seat, so whatever happens, happens because the US and its STS controllers want it that way: including 9-11 and bio-terror attacks. Take that to the bank.

An increase in syphilis infections among gay and bisexual men in New York and elsewhere indicates they may be letting their guard down against sexually transmitted diseases, government health officials said this week.

September 27, 2002 - U.S. and British jets bombed two Iraqi surface-to-air missile sites south of the capital Baghdad after Iraqi forces fired on Western aircraft, a Pentagon spokesman said on Friday. In Baghdad, an Iraqi military spokesman said the targets attacked were civilian and that one civilian was hurt.

Frequent drought and natural disasters in Central America are causing crop failures and food shortages affecting more than eight million people, the United Nations food aid agency said on Friday. - Chronic malnutrition affects 23 percent of the population in El Salvador, 33 percent in Nicaragua, 38 percent in Honduras and 48 percent in Guatemala, WFP said.

Germany, Spain, Pakistan, Chile and Angola were easily elected to the U.N. Security Council on Friday, none of them having faced opposition in their geographical regions. All five take their seats as rotating members of the 15-nation Security Council in January for a two-year term, at a time the Iraqi controversy likely will be high on the agenda.

France still opposed to Iraq resolution - France remains opposed to any UN resolution on Iraq that provides for the automatic use of military force if Baghdad fails to cooperate with UN demands, President Jacques Chirac told US counterpart George W. Bush. Comment: Since we have a pretty good idea that Georgie Porgie and the Warmongers are following instructions from "on high" to get this war on the road, we wonder what they will resort to next with all the rising opposition now at home as well as abroad? Either people taking action have somehow managed to "change the future," or they have more aces up their sleeves to cheat with. It's rather entertaining to watch the cosmic forces battling through people and groups this way. Better than any soap opera for sure!

Lili reborn: TS Lili was downgraded to a tropical depression on Thursday when its maximum winds dropped below the 39 mph threshold for tropical storm status. But the system regrouped overnight and had 45 mph winds on Friday afternoon, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said.

East Timor joins United Nations, backs Palestinian and Saharan independence - Thanking the UN for the decisive part it played in freeing East Timor from 24 years of Indonesian occupation, President Jose "Xanana" Gusmao said the Palestinian and Western Saharan peoples also deserved independence.

On the eighth day of an insurgency that has stunned West Africa and cost hundreds of lives, renegade soldiers were reported in control of another Ivorian town, extending their grip on the north. - The Ivory Coast government says the rebel soldiers aimed to seize power in a coup planned by former junta leader Robert Guei -- killed by loyalist forces on the first day of fighting. - The conflict has raised fears over cocoa supplies from a country producing 40 percent of the world's crop. It casts a shadow over the future of a region already battered by wars in countries like Liberia and Sierra Leone. Comment: Buy lots of chocolate.

600 missing in Senegalese ferry disaster - According to officials, the ferry, the Joola, which plies the route between the southern Senegalese coast of Casamance and the capital Dakar, was carrying 796 people, including an unspecified number of foreigners, including French and other European citizens. - "We were watching a video. It was raining a lot, and the wind was blowing hard," survivor Patrick Sauverey, told a local radio station. He said the ship keeled over so quickly that passengers did not have the time to realise what was going on, let alone find lifejackets. Comment: Strikes me as odd that it should just suddenly "keel over."

Trouble brewed for the Bush Gang at the United Nations, as well. There, a tough resolution prepared by the United States and Britain to threaten Iraq faces stiff opposition from France, Russia and China, who hold veto power in the U.N. Security Council.

Three other Democratic senators, Paul Sarbanes of Maryland, John Kerry of Massachusetts and Russ Feingold of Wisconsin, said the White House was asking Congress for unprecedented backing. They said the congressional resolution the president proposed was far too broad. Kerry told Powell "you are asking for blanket authority" and Feingold said "we are hearing shifting justifications for using force in Iraq."

Barbra Streisand sez: "Sadam Hussein did not bomb the World Trade Center." The Streisand memo, released by the President of the Barbra Streisand Foundation, Margery Tabankin, warns Democrats to "get off the defensive and go on the offensive."

Gore accuses White House of ignoring 9/11 warnings in his second attack this week on President Bush's war on terrorism, accusing the administration of ignoring signs that al Qaeda terrorist leader Osama bin Laden planned to attack the United States on September 11. Mr. Gore's speech, which also accused the administration of running roughshod over civil liberties, capped a week of Democratic dissent, including party lawmakers' angry charges that the administration was politicizing the war. The two speeches were seen as a strong signal that Mr. Gore intends to run for president again in 2004, by leading those Democrats who oppose the president's policies on Iraq.

Speaking at a Democratic fund-raising breakfast in Wilmington, Del., Mr. Gore accused the administration of failing to heed intelligence signals that the FBI and the CIA had picked up in the months before the September 11 attacks. Mr. Gore also said Mr. Bush's Justice Department and the FBI had spent more time and resources investigating a suspected brothel in New Orleans than monitoring bin Laden and his terrorist network. "Where is their sense of priorities?" Mr. Gore asked. Mr. Gore also accused the administration and the Justice Department of violating the civil liberties of Americans in the move to round up terror suspects and said "highly questionable" decisions have been made under Attorney General John Ashcroft. "What's going on nationally, with the attack on civil liberties, with American citizens in some cases just disappearing without right to counsel, without access to a lawyer — I think that is disgraceful," Mr. Gore said.

Ironically, while Mr. Gore was escalating his attacks on the administration, former President Bill Clinton was planning to attend a Labor Party conference in Great Britain to help Prime Minister Tony Blair persuade skeptical party members to support Mr. Blair and Mr. Bush in taking military action against Iraq.

How to make your car invisible to radar and laser! -

Africa may harbor three species of elephant instead of just two, suggests a study based on DNA extracted from dung.

Ted Kennedy counters Bush on Iraq - "I have come here today to express my view that America should not go to war against Iraq unless and until other reasonable alternatives are exhausted," Kennedy said in a speech before the Johns Hopkins Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies. - "It is possible to love America while concluding that it is not now wise to go to war," Kennedy said. "The standard that should guide us is especially clear when lives are on the line. We must ask what is right for our country and not party."

Kennedy's speech follows one Wednesday by Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, who blasted the Bush administration for what he described as its efforts to exploit the war for political gain. Monday, former Vice President Al Gore also challenged Bush on his Iraq policy. Gore's speech appeared to have energized some Democrats who have privately been voicing concerns about the Bush approach. Kennedy warned that a war with Iraq could trigger Baghdad's use of weapons of mass destruction, and possibly start a wider, destabilizing conflict in the Middle East.

German Scientist: Saddam Has Doubles - Saddam's elaborate security precautions have been widely reported in the Arab press, which has said he makes frequent use of doubles and never spends two nights in a row in the same building. Comment: I wonder if this scientist did an analysis of Dubya? Naaah. He doesn't have doubles, he's an OP from birth.

Actress Jessica Lange says she "hates" President George Bush's administration and regards a possible attack on Iraq as "unconstitutional, immoral and illegal", Spanish press reports said on Thursday.

"What Bush intends to do with Iraq is unconstitutional, immoral and illegal," Lange was quoted as saying. "I hate Bush. I despise him and his entire administration - not only because of its international policy, but also the national. Today it makes me feel ashamed to come from the United States - it is humiliating."

Comment: We couldn't agree more. The US is the playground bully, the bad apple that spoils the whole barrel. We are ashamed of Bush, a nearly illiterate clown-puppet of the Global Elite. But then again, maybe it's a good thing that he is so obvious. After all, if Bush weren't such a DORK, it wouldn't be so easy to see through him.

The Russian foreign minister, Igor Ivanov, today rejected British and US attempts to link Iraq with the al-Qaida terrorist network. Comment: In other words, he's calling Condoleezza Rice a LIAR. And he's right. She IS a LIAR along with her puppet masters - the Bush Gang.

Lizi Allnatt, 33, nurse and CND activist from Exeter, Devon - Both Bush and Blair have tried to justify an attack by saying we can't ignore a dictator who has ignored UN resolutions, but having worked for five years in the occupied territories of Palestine, I've seen the results of the Israelis ignoring 62 UN resolutions. The double standards are unbelievable.

We are sleepwalking into a reckless war of aggression - The Bush doctrine (set out last Friday in the US National Security Strategy) laid bare the ground rules of the new imperium. The US will in future brook no rival in power or military prowess, will spread still further its network of garrison bases in every continent, and will use its armed might to promote a "single sustainable model for national success" (its own), through unilateral pre-emptive attacks if necessary.

In the following week, Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld accused the German chancellor of "poisoning" relations by daring to win an election with a declaration of foreign policy independence. Even the Liberal Democrat leader Charles Kennedy felt moved to accuse the US of "imperialism". But it has been Al Gore, winner of the largest number of votes in the last US presidential election, who blurted out the unvarnished truth: that the overweening recklessness of the US government has fostered fear across the world, not at what "terrorists are going to do, but at what we are going to do". -

What is actually happening is that Blair, as Bush's senior international salesman, is providing political cover for a policy which is opposed throughout the world, using the time-honoured New Labour methods of spin and "sequencing": drawing his government and MPs into a succession of positions intended to lock them into acceptance of the final outcome. So while Rumsfeld - the man who as President Reagan's envoy came to Baghdad in March 1984 to offer US support to Saddam, on the same day Iraq launched a chemical weapons attack on Iranian troops - rages on about a "decapitation strategy" for his former allies, Blair has been busy promoting Britain's dossier of assertion, conjecture and intelligence speculation to soften up public opinion for war.

But more importantly, the Iraqi government's announcement that it intends to allow UN inspectors free and unfettered access has already stolen the dossier's rather modest thunder. After all, it should soon be possible to put its claims seriously to the test. That is presumably why Bush immediately threatened to veto the inspectors' return without a new, more aggressive UN resolution and why Condoleezza Rice has been trying to revive discredited claims of links between Iraq and al-Qaida.

There is nothing whatever in the dossier, as the former Tory foreign secretary Malcolm Rifkind said this week, to suggest that Iraq is any more of a threat than it was in the days when the US and Britain were arming it - in fact the opposite, as would be expected after 12 years of sanctions and seven years' weapons inspections.

Expect, instead, some implied threat of force, which could then be used to create provocations, trigger an attack and be claimed as UN authorised. But it would be nothing of the sort. Nor would it reflect the genuine will of the international community, but only further serve to discredit the UN as a cipher for American power, to be used or discarded as and when convenient. - That process was accelerated this week when the only Middle Eastern state with an advanced programme of weapons of mass destruction - nuclear-armed Israel - refused to comply with a UN security council resolution demanding an immediate end to its destruction of Palestinian compounds in Ramallah because it said it was "one-sided". No action is expected. But then Israel is a serial flouter of UN security council resolutions - and some resolutions are treated more seriously than others.

The planned US invasion of Iraq will increase the threat of war throughout the world. By legitimising pre-emptive attacks, it will lower the threshold for the use of force and make aggression by powerful states more likely. It will encourage nuclear proliferation, as states rush to get hold of some protective deterrent. It will damage the fabric of international law and multilateral treaties. It will encourage terrorism by pouring oil on the flames of anti-western rage.

It also risks creating a humanitarian disaster in Iraq - on top of the terrible human toll exacted by sanctions. Nor is it easy to believe that a US-orchestrated regime change in Iraq will lead to democracy, or that the US would be likely to accept the kind of government free elections might produce. The last time Britain and the US called the shots in Baghdad, in 1958, there were 10,000 political prisoners, parties were banned, the press was censored and torture was commonplace.

For the US, this war is not mainly about Iraq at all, but about the implementation of its new doctrine and the reconstruction of the entire region. For Tony Blair, it is about his "article of faith" in the centrality of the American relationship and the need to pay a "blood price" to maintain it. For the British people, across the political spectrum, it should highlight the moral and democratic necessity of starting to loosen what has become a profoundly dangerous alliance.

Jay Leno and David Letterman still will be able to joke about federal political candidates in the weeks before an election. The Federal Election Commission says comments like theirs are not covered by the new campaign finance law.

300 Protesters Arrested in Capital - At one downtown intersection, protesters chained themselves together, and police had to cut the chains to arrest them. Fire trucks were called to put out a few tires set ablaze on the outskirts of town. Protesters broke windows at a Citibank office and tossed smoke bombs during a clash with police at another intersection. - Dozens of other protesters rode bicycles through the city. The Anti-Capitalist Convergence said they were protesting the Bush administration's environmental policies, the World Bank and International Monetary Fund and "corporate greed." Others were there to voice their opposition to war against Iraq.

Iraqi War Song Gives Protesters Musical Boost: Country Joe McDonald's Woodstock Anthem Updated - The famous Vietnam War protest anthem written and performed by Country Joe McDonald at the historic Woodstock concert in 1969, has been re-released with updated lyrics to serve the rapidly growing anti-globalization and War protest movement. The single titled, "The Iraqi War Song' or `Feel Like I'm Smelling a Rat Rag,'" is a parody of the original "Feel Like I'm Fixin' to Die Rag" that became the "rallying cry" of the hippie and baby-boomer generations. The song helped bring an end to the Vietnam War. -

The new song by "Country Bumpkin and the Hogs" offers comical hard-hitting lyrics that include references to the president as "that son-of-a-Bush," who directs a globalist war for oil. "Most people know it's a scam," yet do nothing. "With Prozac-minds we don't care to know why, whoopee we're all gonna die!" [Free download at the above site.]

Bush Gets Tangled in his 9-11 Lies - As you will recall, Bush said he learned of the first World Trade Center crash sitting outside a classroom at the Booker School. He said he saw TV video footage of the plane hitting the building. Of course, this is impossible because, at the time, the TV stations didn't have such footage. Indeed, the TV news people weren't even sure it was a plane crash until the second plane hit the WTC.

ISRAELI troops demolished three houses of Palestinian terror suspects overnight, while Jewish leaders inaugurated a new settlement near the Palestinian city of Nablus.

A DOSSIER which claims Australia's elite spy agency, the Defence Signals Directorate, is beset by sex scandals and corruption has been dismissed as "gossip" by Defence Minister Robert Hill.

THREE former prime ministers, a former governor-general and two ex-defence chiefs have called on the Howard Government to reject any US assault on Iraq without the backing of the United Nations.

Australian MPs turn on Iraq letter writers - A LETTER from former Australian leaders and defence chiefs urging caution on Iraq has failed to impress some current Government MPs. The group of nine sent a joint letter to national newspapers voicing their concern. Former governor general Bill Hayden, former prime ministers Gough Whitlam, Malcolm Fraser and Bob Hawke and former opposition leader John Hewson all signed.

Questions about remote control and 9-11 - when it comes to speculation, there is always room for more than one opinion.

Without providing any fresh evidence, the Bush administration continues to claim that there are operational links between Iraq and al-Qa'ida. The latest allegations were said to be based on information from al-Qa'ida prisoners in US custody. - President George Bush's national security adviser, Condoleeza Rice, became the latest senior official to make such claims when she said Iraq had been helping al-Qa'ida develop chemical weapons. She also said Saddam Hussein's regime was sheltering al-Qa'ida operatives in Baghdad. -

Ms Rice's comments are the strongest yet from the Bush administration as it tries to make the case linking Iraq to Osama bin Laden's organisation. Mr Bush and his Defence Secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, have made similar claims in recent days. US officials said Ms Rice's claim was significant because it marked the first time the administration had claimed that al-Qa'ida operated in areas of Iraq controlled by President Saddam.

Comment: Is no one wondering why there is so much "trying" in the whole deal to prove things against Saddam with so little evidence? To date every shred of evidence against saddam that the US and UK have presented has immediately been contested. Surely if saddam is the nasty evil tyrant we are all told he is there would be a long list of corroborative evidence to indict him, but we see that this is not the case, in reality he is no worse than Bush or any other US or european head of state insofar as they are all money worshipping megalomaniacs. We should remember that a trait of the psychopath is to accuse others of doing what they themselves are in fact guilty of.

Water war looms as Israel tells Lebanon to halt river works - the Lebanese are laying pipes along the Lebanese side of the Israeli frontier wire to carry the warm waters of the river to dirt-poor Shia Muslim villages. The trouble is that the Wazzani flows right out of Lebanon and into Israel, where it feeds the fish-farm lakes of four Jewish kibbutzes. - Binyamin Ben Eliezer, Israel's Defence Minister sez: "Israel cannot tolerate the diversion of the waters of the Wazzani." Israel could solve the problem, said Dan Zazlavsky, the former head of Israel's water commission, with "a few tank shells". -

In Beirut, Emile Lahoud, the Lebanese President, has ordered the contractors to speed their work. Bashar Assad, the Syrian President, has phoned his support to President Lahoud. The Hizbollah militia – the group that drove the Israelis out of southern Lebanon – claims it will "cut off Israel's hands" if military force is used to close the pipelines. -

Along the frontier beside the Lebanese village of Addaisey, unarmed Hizbollah fighters guard the pipeline construction workers. If the Israelis should open fire at the workers, they know the Hizbollah will fire Katyusha rockets back across the border in retaliation. Last week, some of the workers were being abused with obscenities by two Israeli soldiers in a Jeep, a not uncommon experience these days.

40 Palestinian bystanders injured by Israeli attack - Israelii helicopters fired rockets into a busy street in Gaza. At least 40 people were injured, most of them civilian bystanders, 15 of them children who had just left school. Six people were in critical condition, including some children, according to doctors in Gaza. - Witnesses said they saw six Israeli helicopters over Gaza City yesterday before the assassination attempt. There was a traffic jam in the street where the helicopters fired on the car. It seemed clear that firing rockets into the street was likely to injure bystanders. - Hours earlier, Mr Sharon refused to back down to pressure from the US to end the siege of Mr Arafat's compound, claiming the wanted men inside were the "biggest terrorists that exist". Also yesterday, a 14-month-old baby was reportedly killed by fumes from tear- gas thrown by the Israeli army to enforce a curfew in Hebron.

A day after the normally mild-mannered Democratic Senate majority leader Tom Daschle exploded in rage at Mr Bush's "politicisation" of the Iraq crisis, the President appeared in the White House rose garden, flanked by congressmen of both parties, to pour oil on the already very troubled waters. - Mr Daschle's outburst was provoked by accusations at election rallies by Mr Bush and the Vice-President, Dick Cheney, that Democrats, particularly in the Senate, did not care about national security. It reflected his party's seething frustration at how Iraq has taken over and stifled the campaign for the mid-term elections, now five weeks away. Instead of the faltering economy and corporate misbehaviour, issues on which Republicans are vulnerable, the confrontation with Saddam Hussein dominates all. In countless campaign trips President Bush has made to support Republicans, his standard stump speech is two-thirds Iraq and a third on domestic matters.

Britain and US agree on tough new UN resolution over Iraq - and moved to head off opposition to the draft by dispatching senior officials to Paris and Moscow. - The fate of the new resolution was put in doubt, however, after the Russian President, Vladimir Putin, said inspectors could return without further action by the UN Security Council. "We favour a rapid resolution of the situation by political and diplomatic means, on the basis of existing UN Security Council regulations and in line with the principles of international law," he said. France is also balking at a resolution threatening military force.

Ministers tell Prince Charles: you should get out more - Ministers believe the controversy over the Prince's leaked letters to the Government stems from his dependence on a small circle of advisers and friends who, they believe, do not reflect society as a whole. - One minister said yesterday: "The Prince has taken a wrong turn. He has succumbed to a partisan and self-interested group of advisers. They are egging him on and whipping him up." Another minister added: "Prince Charles should open himself to advice from a broader and more diverse range of public and political opinion."

Oil companies from around the world are manoeuvring for the multibillion-dollar bonanza that would follow the ousting of Saddam Hussein.

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