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September 1 , 2003

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Patriot Act Con: Feds Use Fear To Grab Power Of A Police State


Opposition to the USA Patriot Act has reached such a high level that Attorney General John Ashcroft has had to launch a road show to defend it. In June he met with editors and media executives in Aspen, Colo., to solicit their assistance in "portraying accurately" the act, which places unprecedented restrictions on the rights and freedoms of people in this country — both citizens and noncitizens. The Justice Department has also asked that law enforcement officials write commentaries supporting the act.

Unfortunately, the arguments used by the Justice Department fail to convince. That is partly because many are deceptive, if not outright lies; and partly because the manipulation of fears and the lack of self-consistency are apparent in those arguments.

The first thing you are likely to hear in defense of the Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terroristm Act — the USA PATRIOT Act — is that it was needed as a response to Sept. 11, 2001. It was, in fact, written long before that day, not in response to that tragedy, and was rejected as too draconian every time Ashcroft tried to introduce parts of it to Congress. And the provisions outlined in the 350-plus pages of the Patriot Act would have done nothing to prevent the horrific attacks of Sept. 11 (see the London Observer, Oct. 27, 2002, Review Section pages 1-4, for starters). The FBI had plenty of information on Sept. 11 suspects and agents who were urging investigations which were shut down by their superiors. Adding information on millions more people will not make it easier to target terrorists; it could conceivably lead to bureaucratic meltdown. [...]

The act is defended as harmless because those officials who wield its power would not think to step on anyone's civil rights unless it were necessary and good. True...for some of them. But those who are familiar with the civil rights movement and the term COINTELPro will understandably not be comforted by this argument. Well-intended though they may be, people don't always define "necessary and good" similarly. The Patriot Act makes legal the very acts for which Richard Nixon was impeached. Nixon and his supporters thought his break-ins were necessary and good. [...]

If we aim to keep the world safe for democracy, let's start at home by demanding that our own rights not disappear.

Comment: This so called "Victory Act" is a terrorist act on the American people. After looking through the stories we pulled together today it appears the final pieces are being put into place so that the many "patriots" will be begging for it to be passed, shouting down those who oppose the final edifice for the Bush Reich and the end of America. When did the term "patriot" come to mean, "keep me safe and watch over me big brother so that I can watch TV in peace"?

A Challenge to Democracy

Comment: A 1944 propaganda film from the Prelinger Archives made by the good ol' USA government. The film attempts to defend the massive internment of Japanese Americans in concentration camps during World War II. Sponsored by the creepily named U.S. War Relocation Authority with the cooperation of the Office of War Information and the Office of Strategic Services. If you thought it couldn't happen here ... well, it already did.

The file is huge, but if you have high speed service it is worth it. Just make sure to check out the Download Options to see if you are set up for viewing.

Also see Japanese Internment Camps in Canada.

N.M. Town Preps for Anti-Terror Training

Associated Press

PLAYAS, N.M. - The eerie silence in this once-bustling mining town won't last long. Soon, helicopters and planes will zoom overhead, and the buzz among locals will be of bio-weapons, agro-terrorism and suicide bombings.

Playas - population about 60 - is destined to be bought up by a New Mexico university and transformed into a sprawling classroom for lessons in anti-terrorism.

With help from the federal government, the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology has agreed in principle to buy Playas from Phelps Dodge Corp., the mining company that built it in the 1970s.

The $5 million deal includes 259 company-owned homes, apartment buildings, a community center, grocery store, medical clinic and air strip. Several hundred nearby acres also are included.[...]

Can we save ourselves?

By Bev Conover
Online Journal Editor & Publisher

August 26, 2003—How long before the whole mountain we call the United States of America comes down? As a nation, we've been sliding down that "slippery slope" for decades, grasping at a twig here, a rock there to slow our journey to oblivion.

All the rights and ideals embodied in our constitution—the glue that has held us together as Americans—are being rapidly stripped away by a criminal gang that has finally succeeded in seizing power and is bent on holding on to it at all costs.

To our criminal rulers not only are our constitutional rights legal fictions, but they have stood the constitution on its head to grant themselves powers denied them by the framers. So much for their nonsensical palaver about being strict constructionists.

Whether the presidential election of 2000 was the first to be stolen we'll never know, but we do know it was the first stolen election to receive the blessing of the US Supreme Court. In any other country—those lesser nations all that must be brought under the heel of the American Empire, one way or another—what happened in 2000 would be called a bloodless coup d'état.

Of course, it took 30–40 years of mucking with the educational system to dumb Americans down—then decrying the state of public education while touting private and parochial schools where much of so-called learning is by rote—so the clucks wouldn't notice that fascism was about to replace freedom. Shoot, one F-word is as good as another, right?

Sleeper Agents Mobilizing for 9-11 Anniversary

Israel is secretly mobilizing its sleeper agents in the United States in the run-up to the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.

Exclusive to American Free Press
By Gordon Thomas

In an unprecedented move, Israel has secretly mobilized its estimated 15,000 sleeper agents —known as sayanim—across America. For the past month, in the utmost secrecy, they have been briefed by former Mossad operations director, Raphael (Rafi) Eitan, on how to update the defense systems of synagogues, Jewish religious schools, Jewish banks, and other Jewish-owned institutions.

Many of the sayanim—the name comes from the Hebrew "to help"—have received weapons training during their military service. Others have worked in U.S. military intelligence. A number are currently employed by police forces across the country.

"While their allegiance to their birth country cannot be doubted, each sayan recognizes a greater loyalty: the mystical one to Israel and a need to help protect it from its enemies," Meir Amit, a former Mossad chief, has said. He created the secret force of sayanim. Known as Israel’s "invisible army," all its members are vetted by professional Mossad intelligence officers, called katsas, before being recruited.

Sayanim reported that the FBI has identified 240 individuals living in the United States—mostly Saudis and Syrians—who are openly sympathetic to al Qaeda.

"We have no hard evidence they are involved in the preparation of an attack to mark the second anniversary of Sept. 11," an FBI source said. "Our policy is to keep close surveillance on them and move in at the first sign of an attack being planned."

This wait-and-see policy has angered Israel’s Mossad, which insists an attack is being planned. Israeli intelligence had given a similar warning before Sept. 11, 2001, which was dismissed as being "too vague" by both the CIA and FBI.

To protect its massive multiple interests in the United States, Israel has decided to act alone. It will be seen by Homeland Security and the FBI as a vote of no confidence in their ability to protect Jewish interests.

The information of a possible attack came from two U.S.-based katsas (Mossad agents). Each made a similar report to Mossad chief, Meir Dagan. Both reports stated al Qaeda terrorists in Canada are preparing to launch an attack in the United States. No date or target was provided.

The decision to send Eitan—the Mossad spy chief who persuaded Jonathan Pollard to betray all of America’s most important defense secrets to Israel—was made by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.

Eitan is traveling on an Israeli diplomatic passport throughout the United States—and requests to question him about his activities have been rejected.

In order to avoid creating a political problem with Israel, FBI Director Robert Mueller is said to have been ordered by Attorney General John Ashcroft not to question Eitan.

On a recent fishing trip to Ireland, Mueller made plain his feelings along the banks of one of Ireland’s finest salmon rivers. A source close to Mueller said: "Once more the Israelis are trying to run their own show. Eitan appears to have mobilized a private army within the United States which will ultimately only be answerable to Israel."

Comment: It is clear that Israel's interests are best served by the US continuing 'war on terror'. Public support and justification for the war on terror is essential. It is obtained through 'proof' of the existence of 'terrorists'. Proof of the existence of 'terrorists' is provided to the American people with a 'terror attack'. Support for the war on terror is therefore support for Israel to plan and/or perpetrate attacks on US targets which are made to look like 'terror attacks'. Which is easy, because they are 'terror attacks', Israel and the US simply assign responsibility to 'Arab terrorists'. Ironically this is quite close to the truth since Jews are genetically very similar to the Palestinians.

FLASHBACK: Missing Jetliner Could Be Used As ‘Flying Bomb’

British Intelligence Cancels Saudi Flights For Fear of Terrorism

What has happened to a Boeing 727 that mysteriously disappeared in Saharan Africa?

Exclusive to American Free Press
By Gordon Thomas

An international hunt is on to find a potential flying bomb—a stolen Boeing 727—which led to British Airways canceling all flights to Saudi Arabia in early August. [A Boeing 727 is pictured above.]

The plane is a fuel tanker that MI6 and other spy agencies fear is in the hands of the purported terrorist group, al Qaeda.[...]

Hidden somewhere in the vast Sahara Desert of East Africa—an area the size of Europe—the spy chiefs believe the Boeing was poised to launch its attack on a British airliner as it began its descent over Saudi Arabia into Riyadh airport.

Suspected al Qaeda terrorists spotted outside the airport last week are now believed to have been using electronic equipment to track British Airways flights. They escaped before Saudi police could arrest them.

The international agencies involved in the hunt for the Boeing are MI6, Mossad and the CIA. The National Security Agency (NSA), America’s spy in the sky, has also taken part in the search. All have confirmed the feasibility of the flying bomb destroying a British Airways commercial plane.

"Al Qaeda has a number of such pilots who were trained in Iran," said a Mossad source. "We have been hunting them for some time in Africa."

The area where the Boeing is believed hidden has little or no radar cover—making it almost impossible to track as it took off on its mission.

"We are certain that the flying bomb will have been re-sprayed in the colors of one of the small airlines operating in central Africa," an intelligence officer involved in the hunt said. "That makes it even harder to spot as there are a lot of old 727s flying in Africa, bought cheap from major airlines."

The Boeing’s navigation system would enable it to intercept a British Airways flight as it descended into Riyadh airport.

The Boeing fuel tanker can carry twice the amount of jet fuel that, many contend, caused the fires that allegedly toppled the World Trade Center in New York.

America’s Homeland Security Department—which coordinates all intelligence for Bush—sent out an urgent warning that al Qaeda "has a continuing fixation to use a large plane to launch a spectacular event to mark the second anniversary of 9-11" (Sept. 11, 2003).[...]

Comment: Now you have been warned! Everyone be suitably afraid, and if and when it happens, be sure to immediately buy the government story that it was "Arab terrorists who hate us because of our freedom" (like the freedom delivered to Iraq). Whatever you do, DO NOT use your brains and make the logical and obvious connection that, since such an attack merely furthers long-established government objectives, then, like 9/11, to understand who is responsible, we should ask who benefits.

Laden threatens 'unbelievable' attacks

PTI [MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 01, 2003 12:31:27 AM]

NEW YORK: World's most wanted terrorist Osama Bin Laden convened a huge 'terror summit' in Afghanistan shortly after the Saddam Hussein regime collapsed in Iraq, in which he outlined plans to launch "unbelievable" attacks using biological weapons, a media report said on Sunday.

At the meeting held in a mountain stronghold in April, Bin Laden said he was working on "serious projects", the latest issue of Newsweek magazine quotes Taliban officials in Pakistan and Afghanistan as saying.

"His priority is to use biological weapons," a source, who claimed that al-Qaeda already has such weapons, was quoted as saying. The source insisted he did not know any further details like how these would be transported, but bragged: "Osama's next step will be unbelievable."

Comment: If Time is pushing the bin Laden-Saudi-Pakistani angle, then Newsweek has to come up with their own. It is the tried and true "Osama is under the bed" angle, guaranteed to fool the brain-dead American public into believing they have something to fear from others than their own "elected" officials. "He" is till "out there" and he is still full of "hatred for America." Be scared. Be very scared....

Rumour mill abuzz with Saddam sightings as U.S. army does aggressive search

04:45 AM EDT Sep 01

MOSUL, Iraq (AP) - The Saddam Hussein rumour mill runs swiftly through the northern city of Mosul, through its groves of trees along the Tigris River, through its tea houses, through its tight-knit clans.

Sightings of the ousted president, Washington's most-wanted man, have him dressed in an Arab robe, bearded and in sunglasses moving from hideout to hideout using three cars. Others, equally dubious, have him sitting on the floor of a humble Bedouin home eating a meagre meal with the family. He's even said to have visited a Mosul doctor.

"This guy's Elvis," said Gen. David Patraeus, commander of the 101st Airborne Division, in northern Iraq.

Comment: Saddam is under the bed, too! Be afraid. Be very, very afraid!

Mourners of car bomb cleric cry 'revenge'

By Harry de Quetteville in Baghdad
The Telegraph
(Filed: 01/09/2003)

Hundreds of thousands of mourners, many of them ritually beating themselves and shouting "Revenge", escorted the remains of the murdered Shi'ite cleric, Ayatollah Mohammed Baqr al-Hakim, in a tumultuous procession through the streets of Baghdad yesterday.

It was the first stage of a 100-mile funeral journey that is likely to become even angrier as it approaches the scene of his killing at the Shrine of Ali in the city of Najaf , one of the holiest sites for Shi'ite Muslims. [...]

As the crowds chanted "Vengeance, vengeance", the Badr Brigade leader, Sayed Ali, vowed a violent response to his long-time master's death. "The Americans cannot give us security," he said. "It is the Iraqis who must do this and the Badr Brigades are Iraqi. This is their right."

The targets of such revenge remain unclear, however. In the immediate aftermath of the bombing, the coalition itself and the governments of America and Israel were the prime suspects of wildly grieving Shi'as around the shrine of Imam Ali. [...]

Comment: So, who benifits from this bombing?

Traces of Mossad Agents in Najaf Blast

TEHRAN, August 31 (Mehr News Agency)

An Iraqi analyst said traces of Mossad agents were found at the Najaf blast site where Ayatollah Seyed Mohammad Baqer al-Hakim, the leader of the Supreme Assembly for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SAIRI), and more than 80 others were martyred on Friday.

The analyst, who requested anonymity, told the Mehr News Agency that Zionist intelligence agents have made great efforts to infiltrate Iraqi groups in order to thwart efforts to create national unity.

After Saddam Hussein was ousted, the Zionist regime took advantage of a lack of cooperation among the Iraqi Shia and sent a large number of extremist Jews and Mossad agents to Iraq, with the help of the occupying forces, to infiltrate Islamic groups and obtain information, the analyst said.

He added that a few months ago, a Mossad agent who knew Arabic and was quite familiar with Iraqi Muslim groups made a great effort to infiltrate organizations in southern Iraq and even influenced these groups. According to some reports, a written agreement and direct help from the U.S. troops, members of the terrorist Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO) have helped Zionist operatives in this mission.

Saddam supported the MKO for years and ordered to spy on and wage war against the Iraqi Shia.

The main goal of the Zionists is sowing discord among Muslims, especially the Shia, because they are aware of the people’s great attachment to clerics such as the marty Ayatollah Baqer al-Hakim, whose efforts to unite the people would disappoint them from dominating and pillaging the Iraqi resources. While not ruling out the hand of the extremist groups such as al-Qaeda in the massive blast in Najaf, he noted, "Of course I think the massive propaganda by some Western-minded media and an emphasis on blaming al-Qaeda or remnants of the Baath party is to be considered a conscious effort to hide the role of Zionist and occupying forces in this abominable atrocity."

Insecurity and the breakout of a civil war among Muslims especially the Shias would largely contribute to the continued presence of occupying forces in Iraq and the lack of a serious effort by the U.S. to maintain security in southern religious cities may be in line with this purpose.

Chaos, Despair Reign in Iraq; Go Unreported By Mainstream

As U.S. Troops Are Picked Off, Scores of Iraqis Dying Daily

The chaos, death and suffering that have befallen the Iraqi people as a result of the destruction of their nation’s vital infrastructure by coalition forces is a non-story for the plutocratic controlled media.

Exclusive to American Free Press
By Christopher Bollyn

As an increasing number of Americans lose their lives in "post-war" Iraq, the mainstream press sees fit to report only the essential facts. Clearly, most of the happenings in that war-torn nation are deemed unworthy for the network nightly news. Kept out of the news reports, and off the television screens, is the urgent and widespread humanitarian catastrophe in Iraq, which has resulted from the coalition bombing of essential infrastructure.

"Desperation" and "chaos" are words frequently used to describe the living conditions in which most of Iraq’s 25 million people struggle to survive after the Anglo-American invasion.

What is meant by "chaos," however, and what it means in human terms, and how it came to Iraq is apparently a non-story for the controlled media.

On the network news, one occasionally hears an Iraqi voice clamoring for "services." "Services" refers to electricity, water, communication and sanitation. However, those essential services have ceased to exist in much of Iraq since the U.S.-British occupation began.

Bush must court veterans to get their support in 2004

The Kansas City Star

WASHINGTON -A sign of political trouble for the president surfaced at a breakfast meeting in July at an unlikely place: the Capitol Hill headquarters of the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

Present were groups representing the leading veterans organizations. Their members might be viewed as likely Bush backers in 2004, given that troops are under fire overseas and given the traditional loyalty former servicemen and servicewomen show the commander in chief.

But angry over health care and other issues, the veterans told a White House official that it will take more than patriotic appeals to win the support of their combined membership of about 5 million. [...]

Comment: See this new flash presentation to see how Bush actively presses for legislation hurting U.S. troops. Bush is obviously mocking them when he talks about "supporting our troops."

Soldiers, money in short supply for U.S. effort in war-ravaged country

Washington |By Paul Richter | 01-09-2003

Soldiers aren't the only foreign contribution in short supply for the U.S. effort in Iraq. So is money. U.S. officials are finding it hard to persuade allies to help underwrite the costs of policing and rebuilding the ravaged country, even as Congress steps up pressure on the administration to find a way to share the burden.

After months of appeals from U.S. and UN leaders, key foreign governments including Russia, China, France and Germany remain adamant that they will not contribute in those fields, U.S. officials say.The issue has taken on new urgency in recent days as the Bush administration has begun preparing a supplemental budget request that officials say could reach as much as $3 billion.

U.S. officials had expected that renewed Iraqi oil exports would help finance reconstruction, but exports have rebounded more slowly than expected, at least in part due to looting and sabotage.[..]

US soldiers die in Afghan clash

Two American soldiers have been killed in south-east Afghanistan in a clash with guerrilla fighters, the US military says.

The one-and-a-half hour battle took place near the Pakistan border close to Shkin, in Paktika province, a statement said. [...]

In Besieged Iraq, Reality Pokes Ideology in the Eye


WASHINGTON — Deputy Secretary of State Richard L. Armitage, a hard-liner who had pressed for five years to topple Saddam Hussein, admitted last week to mistakes in planning the war in Iraq. He said, for the first time, that the administration is considering placing American and British forces there under a United Nations flag, provided their leader is American.

Mr. Armitage declined to give details. "I don't think it helps to throw them out publicly right now," he said.

Too late. The deputy secretary's comments became part of a nascent chorus — tentative but unmistakable — of officials, lawmakers and others re-examining their preconceptions about Iraq and calling for a midcourse correction. Reality has poked ideology in the eye.

For conservatives, this has meant considering the idea that America can't go it alone and may have to appease allies who benefited from the war but failed to support it. It means acknowledging that Iraq is so badly broken it could well require a lengthy and extremely costly process of nation-building, a term that makes many on the right cringe.

For liberals — many of whom opposed the invasion — it may mean admitting there can be no swift departure because the stakes have become too high. Leaving now would place Iraqis under violent usurpers, and set a precedent that could haunt Washington for years. [..]

Comment: Perhaps if George and Dick had taken note of the white paper "An Attack on Iraq: The Military, Political, and Economic Consequences. Scenario Briefing" written by The Center for Strategic and International Studies and available via Council of Foreign Relations website since March 2003, they might have had some idea of what to expect (most likely they did).

A quick perusal of the white paper seems to put an emphasis on OIL!

Note: this predicted post-war CSIS summary is written in capitals for those busy politicians who find it hard reading those little letters mixed up with them big ones.


4 LeT terrorists held for Mumbai twin blasts


MUMBAI: Four members of the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), including a woman, were arrested by the Mumbai police on Sunday night for their alleged involvement in the twin blasts in the city on August 25.

Al-Qaeda leader exposes Saudi-Pak-Osama nexus

ANI[ MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 01, 2003 12:50:49 PM ]

WASHINGTON: Startling revelations about secret connections linking Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Osama bin Laden has been made by an operational commander of the Al-Qaeda, Abu Zubaydah, claims a new book by Gerald Posner.

The book, Why America Slept, reviewed exclusively in the current issue of Time, goes on sale on September 2. According to a review by Time's Johanna McGeary, the book is "a lean, lucid retelling of how the CIA, FBI and US leaders missed a decade worth of clues and opportunities that, if heeded, might have forestalled the 9/11 terrorist attacks".

[...] Posner's sources include a US official outside the CIA at a "very senior executive branch level", a CIA official who gave what Posner viewed as general confirmation of the story. However Prince Turki, now Saudi Arabia's ambassador to Britain, did not respond to Posner's letters and faxes.

Meanwhile a US intelligence official has dismissed bin Laden's alleged ties to Pakistan as "absurd."

"These allegations are utter nonsense," the official was quoted as saying on condition of anonymity by an international news agency. When The News contacted top government officials in Islamabad, they also categorically rejected the accusation.

Comment: The author of this book, Gerald Posner, has written a book on the JFK assassination that comes to the startling conclusion that... Oswald acted alone! What more needs to be said? The gist of his new book is that the US intelligence agencies were incompetent.

Anyone who comes out with a theory that doesn't incorporate Mossad, that doesn't understand how the events of 9/11 have benefited the Israelis and the Bush Reich, and from there, works back to show how the attacks were part of an American coup d'état, either doesn't have a clue or is part of the disinformation campaign. That Posner has already worked to cover up the conspiracy against Kennedy is a good indicator of who he is working for, whether consciously or not is another question.

As to the ties between bi Laden and Pakistan, check out our article on Mahmoud Ahmad and The Secret Cult that shows that these ties extend to the US Government, including the Senate Intelligence Committee. Guess Posner forgot to mention that.

It is also interesting that it is Time that is pushing the book. The Time-Life group has long been close to the US intelligence community, serving as a means of pushing propaganda. See out timeline for more on that.

Obvious Facts

Walid Choucair

A few obvious facts can help refresh one's memory regarding the present course of events. Following the September 11 attacks, and before the American war to occupy Iraq, the Arab leaders, and the opinion leaders in Arab countries friends of America, were advising Washington to spare no effort in solving the Palestinian cause, as a means to alleviate the persistent suffering of the Palestinian people. They viewed this option as a major factor in confronting terrorism and the radicals, who use the Palestinian cause as one of the pillars of their political, ideological and religious source of mobilization to attract the young generation and the believers.

[...] But the logic dominating the U.S. administration is totally different, since it is convinced that by toppling Saddam Hussein's regime and occupying Iraq, this is what will help settle the Palestinian cause, because by doing so, they would be eliminating a strategic threat that was constantly worrying Israel and pushing it to accept concessions in favor of a Palestinian state. But now Israel is demanding to be freed from the Iranian threat, the Syrian one, from Hamas, the Islamic Jihad and from Palestinian President Yasser Arafat… and now it has even started considering the Palestinian Prime Minister as incapable of fighting terrorism…

An Open Letter To President George W. Bush

Amin Hwaidi

We are implementing the Roadmap and accepting the truce, while Israel is still building the wall, thereby destroying 83,000 olive and fruit trees, hundreds of square kilometers of agricultural land and 37 Km of water networks, etc., then, it kills the leaders of those very movements that accepted the truce, all this while you remain locked in a terrible silence. But when the victims retaliate, you accuse them of terrorism and demand the dismantlement of the organizations and you freeze the assets of individuals and organizations. Israel is pushing you into a vicious circle and this is not right.

[...] I will conclude with a last advice I give about your relations with the Arabs: it is about the congressional report published on July 24, 2003 about the September 11 attacks, which accused Saudi Arabia without bringing forth any evidence. Saudi Arabia is participating in terrorist attacks against the U.S.?! Saudi Arabia has been fighting terrorism for years; it has deployed all the necessary efforts, taking decisive measures before the U.S. even announced its war on terror.

Shebaa Farms: CNN and the US media encounter difficult terrain

Michael Brown,
The Electronic Intifada,
27 August 2003

Over the past 16 months, Partners for Peace has repeatedly contacted CNN to explain that Shebaa Farms is not in Israel, but in occupied territory. Time and again, we have sent letters stating that the United Nations regards Shebaa Farms as Syrian while Hezbollah sees it as Lebanese (as does Syria, albeit disingenuously). The one thing we know is that it is not Israeli.

CNN has the information, but almost without exception gets the story wrong.

[...] In January 2003, the most recent time violence had been reported at Shebaa Farms, Partners for Peace also wrote CNN.

" CNN's calling Shebaa Farms 'disputed' can only confuse readers as they will think Israel has a real legal claim to it. In fact, Shebaa Farms is either Lebanese or Syrian but emphatically not Israeli. But I have been over this ground with CNN many, many times and presumably this is known but ignored."[1]

Contradictions in the American way of life

Dr. James J. Zogby
Gulf News, Dubai

Two headlines, appearing next to each other on the front page of the August 28 edition of the Washington Post prompted me to write this article. In just 11 words they spoke volumes about the contradictions that define the politics of my country and the challenges we are facing as a nation.

The first headline read: "D.C. Guardsman Killed in Iraq", and was followed by the sub-headline: "For Father, Pride and Grief". It told the story of a young Washingtonian, Darryl Dent, who was killed in action in Iraq last week. Darryl was 21.

I was especially moved by this death because Darryl's father, Vernon, was a friend of mine. For many years he worked as the doorman in my downtown Washington office building. Though his life had been filled with hardship, Vernon could be witty and wise. Like all proud fathers, he had high hopes for his son.

[...] His death, like the deaths of so many others - combatants and non-combatants on all sides - represent a tragic end of hopes and dreams. Their families and their nations have a right to be proud of them.

Each of these young men and women fought in the service of their countries and did so selflessly. Which brings me to the story that appeared right next to the tragic account of the death of Darryl Dent.

This headline read: "Halliburton's Deals Greater than Thought". This story reports on how recently revealed documents establish that Halliburton, the company recently headed by U.S. Vice President Richard Cheney, will earn far more than was previously known as a result of almost $2 billion in Iraq war related contracts it has secured from the U.S. government.

[...] It simply cannot be right that Darryl Dent died in the service of his country leaving a hole in the heart of his family, while Halliburton share prices increased by 50 per cent and the company reported tens of millions of dollars in profits during the past three months - all from the war.

US attacked over green card soldiers

By James Gooder
Monday 01 September 2003, 0:45 Makka Time, 21:45 GMT

Nearly 40,000 of America's frontline soldiers are not US citizens.

Many of the troops on duty in Iraq do not count English as their first language and would prefer to take orders in their native tongue ... usually Spanish.

The revelation has prompted British MP George Galloway, one of the fiercest critics of the invasion of Iraq, to accuse the US of using its "green card" troops as cannon fodder.

Galloway went on to attack the US policy of putting its poor minorities and non-citizens in the frontline of its foreign wars.

In an exclusive interview he told that it was part of a long US tradition of using its underclass as cannon fodder.

The statistics, buried by White House spin doctors, reveal that a significant minority of troops fighting under the US banner are not in fact US citizens but residents hoping to speed up their citizenship.

[...] The Pentagon says that there are 37,401 non-US citizens on active duty, and that joining up has a special incentive for them - an American passport.

"The military services have processes and programmes in place to help service members expedite their citizenship," says a US Department of Defence spokesperson.

"The estimated time for the application is about six months."

Comment: While the Chickenhawks and their sons and daughters stay at home, they send the youth of those Americans and would-be Americans who they exploit off to die for Haliburton. Then, of course, there is the Kommandant in Chief who was AWOL during his tour of duty.

Outrage at Israeli mission to Morocco

Monday 01 September 2003, 11:09 Makka Time, 8:09 GMT

The president of a Moroccan Palestinian rights group has criticised his country's efforts to normalise diplomatic ties with the Jewish State.

Israeli Foreign Minister, Sylvan Shalom, left Jerusalem on Monday for Morocco, where he is to discuss a normalisation of relations with the North African country, Aljazeera reported.

Reacting to the news, Khalid Soufiani, the president of Morocco’s Palestine Supporters Association, said, "It would be catastrophic to re-establish ties with Israel, and contrary to the wishes of the majority of Moroccan people."

During talks with King Muhammad VI and Moroccan Foreign Minister Muhammad Benaissa, Shalom is expected to raise the question of re-opening liaison offices in Tel Aviv and Rabat, closed following the September 2000 outbreak of the Palestinian uprising.

Israeli army escalates military actions in Palestinian territories
2003-09-01 15:55

GAZA, Sept. 1 (Xinhuanet) -- The Israeli army escalated on Monday its military actions of raiding towns, detaining Palestinians, demolishing houses and closing main roads in the Palestinian territories.

Palestinian witnesses said the Israeli army raided one of the neighborhoods of the West Bank city of Hebron and dynamited a housewhich belongs to a Hamas militant involved in armed attacks againstIsrael.

The Israeli forces raided Hebron and imposed curfew on most of the town's neighborhoods before raiding the Hamas militant's house and blowing it up with explosives, the witnesses said.

Palestinian security sources said the Israeli army had intensified its military actions on Monday in most of the West Banktowns, especially Qalqilya, Tulkarem and Hebron.

According to Israel Radio, the Israeli army raided the West Bankcities after Israeli security sources received warnings that the Palestinian militants are planning a huge suicide bombing attack onIsrael.

In the Gaza Strip, a Palestinian public security spokesman said the Israeli army had closed down Salah El Dein road, which split the Gaza Strip into two parts.

The Israeli soldiers continued shooting at Palestinian populatedareas overnight and on Monday morning in several Gaza Strip towns, especially Rafah, Khan Younis and Deir El Ballah, the spokesman added.

French ambassador calls Israel 'paranoid' and Sharon 'a lout'

By Ohad Gozani in Tel Aviv
The Telegraph
(Filed: 01/09/2003)

France's new ambassador to Israel caused a diplomatic row with his hosts yesterday after he was reported to have described the Jewish state as "paranoid" and called its prime minister, Ariel Sharon, "a lout".

Limor Livnat, Israel's education minister, said the remarks attributed to Gerard Araud were "very grave". If true, she said, Israel should refuse to accept his letter of accreditation.

The row is reminiscent of comments by Daniel Bernard, the former French ambassador to London . He caused a storm in December 2001 after being heard at a dinner party speaking of "that shitty little country, Israel". [...]

'Anti-Semitic' labels used as political tools

By Linda S. Heard
Online Journal Contributing Writer
August 26, 2003

Star of "Braveheart" Mel Gibson is the latest in the line of actors, writers and celebrities to be dealt a blow to his career: a label planted on anyone who dares to reflect Jews or Israel in anything other than a favourable light. Yes, you've guessed it, the dreaded term "anti-Semite." His crime? Gibson directed, produced and financed "The Passion"—a movie based on the Christian Gospels, centering on the life and crucifixion of Jesus.

In an attempt to deflect the accusations of various Jewish interest groups, Gibson organised a series of private screenings so as to gauge the views of journalists, film critics and religious leaders, including Jews, none of whom perceived the movie as being anti-Semitic.

"Neither I, nor my film are anti-Semitic," stressed Gibson. "Nor do I hate anyone, certainly not the Jews. They are my friends and associates, both in my work and social life." If Gibson seeks prolongation of his Hollywood career, he may have to go a lot further with his protestations than that in order to shake off the anti-Semitic slur.

While there is no doubt that anti-Semitism has existed throughout the ages and should be condemned, as should all form of racism and bigotry, it is also true that the label is currently often misused and deliberately so.

What is "anti-Semitism?" Its etymology is confusing as it does not mean "hatred of Semites," which would also include most Arabs. The term has come to mean solely "hatred of Jews" and implies an irrational hatred, hatred due to their religious, ethnic or cultural differences.

In other words, "anti-Semitism" is another way of saying " bigoted or racist attitudes towards Jews" . . . or it should be. It is true to say that the pogroms against Jews in Russia and the Nazi Holocaust were, indeed, horrific racist acts against a people, anti-Semitic mass murders, but it is also true that accusations of anti-Semitism are brandished by the Israeli government and Jewish groups as protective mantels deflecting not only anti-Jewish/Israel bigotry but also justified criticisms of Israel's crimes against the Palestinians.

Gretta Duisenberg, wife of the governor of the European Central Bank and chairperson of Stop the Occupation, was blacklisted by Israel as an anti-Semite for flying a Palestinian flag from the balcony of her home.

The writer A.N. Wilson metamorphosed into an "anti-Semite" in Zionist eyes for daring to compare the damage inflicted upon the Church of the Nativity by Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) with the destruction of the Buddhist statues in Afghanistan.

Aggressive Policies

A French ambassador was deemed an anti-Semite for describing Israel as "a small shitty country," a remark related to the aggressive policies of the Israeli government, rather than the Jews as a people.

Actor Marlon Brando blotted his copybook when he announced on Larry King Live, "Hollywood is run by Jews.

"It is owned by Jews and they should have a greater sensitivity about the issue of people who are suffering." Even though this may technically be a reality, it is also considered an anti-Semitic statement because it is perceived to bolster that old canard used by genuine anti-Semites—that of a Jewish conspiracy to run the world.

Vanessa Redgrave is an actress who has spent her life as an advocate for the less fortunate. Yet she has been badly maligned by those who point the finger of anti-Semitism. Redgrave opposed the Vietnam War and championed freedom for Soviet Jews, receiving the Sakharov Medal for her efforts.

Despite her good works, in 1980, effigies of the actress were burned outside CBS studios in both Hollywood and Philadelphia all because she had been selected to play the role of a concentration camp inmate in "Playing for Time," a movie made for television.

Jewish Defence League leader Irv Rubin said of the casting: "It's a horrible insult. Six million Jews will roll over in their graves."

The Boston Symphony Orchestra went as far as to cancel a performance of Oedipus Rex narrated by Redgrave, concerned that her involvement would offend the Jewish community.

The cause of the outrage? Redgrave had previously financed and narrated "The Palestinian," a documentary about the Palestinian struggle.

Nowadays, Zionist organisations and websites are targeting Arabs as so-called "anti-Semites," citing political cartoons in the Arab press as well as programmes on Arabic channels as "evidence" of this.

Anti-Zionism is the new anti-Semitism they say in a grotesque distortion of the essence of anti-Semitism, while conveniently forgetting the apartheid wall being constructed through Palestinian lands, the thousands of Palestinian youths languishing in Israeli prisons, the land grab of the illegal settlers and the extra-judicial assassinations regularly perpetrated by the IDF—in short, the evils of occupation.

The more "anti-Semitism" is used as a shield against political criticism, the more it is devalued and the less clout it will carry when attached to real haters of everything Jewish. There is even a label given to Jews who speak out against Israeli aggression: "self-hating."

Those who deplore the treatment meted out by the Israeli authorities to the Palestinians are either one or the other, whereas activists against the policy of other governments are often perceived as humanitarian.

Truth Be Told

If the truth be told, the Semitic recipients of racism in today's world are not the Jews but the Arabs who in the U.S., and to a lesser extent in Europe, are having to unfairly defend themselves from slurs of religious extremism or even links to terrorism.

The Arabs are the ones who are today suffering from negative stereotyping as well as having to respond to insults piled on to their culture and religion.

Perhaps "anti-Semitism" should be expunged from our lexicon. Its blatant misuse has destroyed both lives and careers, often without foundation. Its interpretation is too broad and its definition shaded with historical connotation. Let's instead say it like it is.

People who hate Jews simply because they are Jews are either religious bigots or racists no different from those who hate Muslims, Arabs or any other religious group or ethnicity.

Preaching white supremacy in South Africa

By Barnaby Phillips
BBC, Northern Cape

Almost 10 years after the end of apartheid, far-right religious groups in South Africa appear to be growing.

With a message of white supremacy, they find converts amongst some Afrikaner people who feel increasingly insecure in the new multi-racial democracy.

Reverend Willie Smith founded the church of Lewende Hoop (Living Hope) five years ago and preaches that Afrikaners are God's chosen people.

He says he now has 30 congregations, and thousands of followers all over the country.

The majority of South Africans find the message of this church deeply offensive. But for a minority of Afrikaners it provides reassurance in a country that is changing so fast all around them.

"We know that we are God's people, he forbid us to mix with other nations, to marriage with other nations, to live on the same level as they are. We see this ANC government as punishment [for abandoning apartheid]," says Reverend Smith.

Comments: Geez, first the Jews, then the Yanks, and now the Afrikaners are claiming to be 'God's' Chosen People. Seems that somewhere along the line 'God' got his wires crossed in communicating with 'His People.' Or maybe this is intentional? Maybe those who say this is the world of the Devil, the Evil God, are closer to the truth.

School drops Muslim girl over scarf


A 17-year-old Muslim girl, about to begin her senior year at a Cleveland area Catholic school, has been dismissed because of a head scarf.

Amal Jamal was informed that she violated her Catholic school dress code by wearing a Muslim headscarf, or hajib, and thus was no longer welcome at Regina High School.

Man stabs old women with samurai sword

Hanne Dankertsen

A 33-year-old Swede attacked two elderly women with a samurai sword in a staircase in Stockholm on Tuesday. One of the women had her ear cut off.

One of the ladies, a 75-year-old, met the 33-year-old banker as she stepped out of the elevator in the block of houses where she lives.

"She has explained that she could tell he was not feeling well, and that she asked if he was OK. He did not reply", the 75-year-old's son told Expressen.

Then the man pulled put a sword. [...]

Study debunks myth regarding sex offenders

By Jeremy Browning
Craig Daily Press

The incarceration and subsequent treatment of sex offenders provides valuable information and sometimes shocking revelations.

"There is no indication as we once believed that offenders are bound to a gender preference and an age preference," Young said. "What you'll see is that they offend across the board."

Young pointed to a 1998 study by the Office of Research and Statistics, a branch of the Division of Criminal Justice.
The study used data from the case files of sex offenders in treatment in which offenders undergo polygraph monitoring in conjunction with their treatment.

The study revealed a "crossover" that Young said was shocking [...]

No one cares about the Baby Busters

By George Trefgarne
The Telegraph

[...] But the real economic pain is being shouldered by the generation I like to call the Baby Busters - those in their twenties and thirties who are the children of the Baby Boomers born after the war.

Unlike some previous generations, Baby Busters find it easy to get a job. But they are an assetless group, groaning with debts. Baby Busters graduate from university with thousands of pounds of loans to pay off; they cannot afford to get on to the housing ladder as prices have soared to their highest ever level (when measured as a multiple of incomes); they are not saving for a pension because the stakeholder wheezes that the Government invented for them are a flop; and they are not earning enough to progress in life. [...]

Neighbours not happy with lottery winner


[...] He bought the three acres of agricultural land shortly after moving in and the area has been turned from an area covered with crops into a dust bowl littered with burnt-out and wrecked vehicles.

In a letter to the council, Mrs Skeat said on one occasion distress flares and industrial fireworks had been set off over neighbouring homes.

During the recent hot weather, dust clouds from activities in the field meant she had to keep all windows and doors shut. [...]

Anger at plan to add fluoride to water supplies for 13m

Mark Townsend
Sunday August 31, 2003
The Observer

Fluoride could be added to the drinking water of another 13 million people by next summer under plans by Ministers to supply major cities with the chemical.

A new amendment to forthcoming legislation will force water companies to add fluoride to water supplies, smoothing the way for the largest extension of fluoridation for almost 50 years. Opponents have condemned the moves, accusing Ministers of mass medication by stealth and a 'nanny state' mentality.

They also claim fluoride has been linked to adverse health affects including cancer, brittle bones and thyroid disease and can cause teeth to mottle. [...]

Comment: That will teach those uppity people getting upset over Blair's lies. They will just deaden the people's brains into passivity with fluoride.

No freedom for Suu Kyi in Burma junta's reform plan

By Mark Baker, Herald Correspondent in Singapore
September 1, 2003

The Burmese military regime has unveiled a plan to return the country to democracy but refused to give a timetable or to signal when it will release the jailed opposition leader, Aung San Suu Kyi.

General Khin Nyunt, the military intelligence chief newly appointed as prime minister, announced that stalled talks on drafting a new constitution would be resumed, leading to a national referendum on political reform and, possibly, elections.

But in a meeting with senior officials at the weekend, General Khin Nyunt gave no commitment on freeing Ms Suu Kyi, who has been held at a secret location in Rangoon since a bloody crackdown on her National League for Democracy in May.[..]

Rich lease land cheaply: report

Big business and some of Australia's wealthiest people are renting taxpayer-owned land for peppercorn payments that effectively subsidise their operations, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.The paper reported that total rents collected by the NSW Lands Department of $60 million a year contributed less than $2 per hectare to the public purse.[..]

Mr [Rupert] Murdoch was reported to pay less than $3 per week for 48 hectares located near Yass, although both billionaires paid the previous leaseholders market rates before taking over the sites.[..]

Prime city site for $70 - on the taxpayer

One of Australia's biggest insurance companies is renting an entire Sydney CBD block from taxpayers for just $70 a year.The GIO deal is among thousands of cases of State Government property being leased at peppercorn rentals to private business, clubs and rich individuals.

The land on the corner of Hunter and Elizabeth streets is home to the 19-storey Goodsell Building, which houses several government entities including the Attorney-General's Department.Suncorp-Metway, which now owns the GIO, rents another block of taxpayer-owned land in Bathurst, also for $70 a year.

In both cases, the State Government rents back the buildings for its departments - at a fee to the insurance giant that the Department of Lands has declined to disclose. However, in the case of the smaller building in Bathurst, the Government is negotiating to end the lease early - by paying up to $3 million to Suncorp-Metway to take over the property. [..]

Documents Detail Maneuvers for Boeing Lease

By Renae Merle
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, August 31, 2003; Page A10

The two years of negotiations that culminated in a $21 billion deal for the Air Force to lease, then buy, 100 Boeing Co. planes were punctuated by attempts to seek "political cover" and personal appeals by House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) to President Bush, according to more than 100 pages of internal documents released yesterday.

The Senate Commerce Committee, chaired by John McCain (R-Ariz.), the chief critic of the deal, released the documents after reviewing about 8,000 pages turned over by Chicago-based Boeing, the Air Force, the Defense Department and the Office of Management and Budget. McCain has accused the Air Force of developing the plan to help Boeing, the Pentagon's second-largest contractor, weather the downturn in commercial aviation.

The plan faces two key tests this week. McCain's committee will hold a hearing Wednesday and the Senate Armed Services Committee will meet Thursday. The Air Force needs only the Armed Services Committee's approval to move forward, but opponents hope to raise enough questions to make that difficult.[..]

Williams says Church faces disintegration

By Jonathan Petre, Religion Correspondent
The Telegraph

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, admits today that the Anglican Church faces a "messy" future with the danger of disintegration into rival factions.

In his bleakest assessment yet, Dr Williams concedes that cracks are widening over a range of issues, from women priests to homosexuality, and predicts that "new alignments" are likely. [...]

Religious Leaders Urge Commandments Supporters to Persist

Bill Fancher, Jim Brown, and Jenni Parker
Agape Press

(AgapePress) - The federal judge has won out in the battle over the Ten Commandments monument in the Alabama judicial building. On Wednesday, as protesters wept and prayed, workers removed the 5,300-pound monument from the rotunda to another area of the building, away from public view. But several leaders are addressing communities of faith to say the fight isn't over.

Many people may view the removal as a defeat both for Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore, who placed the monument there and defied the courts in opposing its removal, and for the Judeo-Christian values upon which America was founded. But an Orthodox Jewish rabbi is saying there is still a blessing to be seen in these events.

Rabbi Yehuda Levin was in Montgomery along with hundreds of other people of faith from across the U.S. to show support for the Commandments that are the foundation of American laws. He said it was heartening to see the turnout of supporters for the Commandments.

"It's gratifying that in these times we still see a religious people who are willing to come out -- not just be soul mates, but come out with their bodies -- to stand up for something as essential as God's Word," Levin said.[..]

Comment: 4 Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth:

Not just warmer: it's the hottest for 2,000 years

Ian Sample, science correspondent
Monday September 1, 2003
The Guardian

The earth is warmer now than it has been at any time in the past 2,000 years, the most comprehensive study of climatic history has revealed. Confirming the worst fears of environmental scientists, the newly published findings are a blow to sceptics who maintain that global warming is part of the natural climatic cycle rather than a consequence of human industrial activity.

Prof Philip Jones, a director of the University of East Anglia's climatic research unit and one of the authors of the research, said: "You can't explain this rapid warming of the late 20th century in any other way. It's a response to a build-up of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere."

The study reinforces recent conclusions published by the UN's intergovernmental panel on climate change (IPCC). Scientists on the panel looked at temperature data from up to 1,000 years ago and found that the late 20th century was the warmest period on record. But the IPCC's report was dismissed by some quarters in the scientific community who claimed that while the planet is undoubtedly warming, it was warmer still more than a thousand years ago. So warm, in fact, that it had spurred the Vikings to set up base in Greenland and led to northern Britain being filled with productive vineyards. [..]

Intense Earthquake Hits Philippines

By Associated Press
August 31, 2003, 10:30 PM EDT

HONG KONG -- A magnitude 5.3 earthquake jolted the western coast of the Philippines, the Hong Kong Observatory said Monday. There were no immediate reports of injuries or damage.[...]

The Philippines is located in the Pacific "Ring of Fire," where earthquakes and volcanic activity are common.[...]

Japanese practice for earthquake disaster

Tokyo-AP -- It's the day of the annual earthquake drill in Japan.

The prime minister kicked off the exercise by going on television to announce that large areas of Tokyo have been devastated by a quake.

That's the cue for more than a (m) million people to mobilize to deal with the mock disaster.

The practice rescue is held on the anniversary of a quake 80 years ago that killed more than 100-thousand people in and around Tokyo.

Japan is one of the world's most earthquake-prone countries. Two powerful quakes just over a month ago injured more than 550 people and damaged at least a thousand homes.

Seismologists say a big quake is long overdue in Tokyo.

Flash floods sweep cars from Kansas highway

Associated Press

Emporia, Kan. — Flash flooding swept seven vehicles off an interstate highway, killing four children, three of them strapped inside a minivan that was dragged for than two kilometres by the rushing water. Rescuers on Sunday were still searching for the children's mother and a driver from Texas.

Everyone was accounted for in the other five vehicles that were swept off the roadway in eastern Kansas when torrential rain sent a creek spilling over Interstate 35 late Saturday, authorities said.

Over 100,000 flood-struck residents evacuated in NW China
2003-09-01 16:02

XI'AN, Sept. 1 (Xinhuanet) -- The second flood crest on the Weihe River, a tributary of the Yellow River, arrived at Huaxian County in northwest China's Shaanxi Province Monday, forcing over 100,000 residents to be evacuated from the threatened areas.

[...] Continuous rain has caused flooding in over 50 rivers in Shaanxi Province since Aug. 24, affecting over one million residents and over 700,000 Mu (46,667 hectares) of cropland. It has caused a direct economic loss of over two billion yuan (about 241 billion US dollars), according the provincial flood control department.

Many other places in southern Shaanxi are also under flood threat. The weather forecast says most areas in Shaanxi Province will have more rain in the coming three days and the central areasin the province will even receive torrential rain.

3 Drown In Pensacola Beach Surf

PENSACOLA BEACH, Fla. -- Rescuers pulled two bodies out of the roiling Gulf of Mexico in Pensacola Sunday, bringing the death toll in the roughed-up surf to three for the holiday weekend.[...]

"I've never seen it this rough," Barry Overstreet told the Pensacola News Journal. [...]

Deadly Italian storms cause up to one million euros in damage

ROME (AFP) Aug 31, 2003

Vicious storms which lashed through northeast Italy, triggering massive landslides and killing two people, have caused between 500 million and one billion euros (550 million to 1.1 billion dollars) in damages, authorities said Sunday.[...]

Television pictures showed houses perched precariously above gorges carved out by the torrents, which had created hollows several metres lower than the buildings' own foundations.[...]

Firefighters in southern France battle raging forest blaze

LA GARDE-FREINET, France (AFP) Aug 31, 2003

Some 1,000 firefighters backed by 12 water-dropping aircraft on Sunday battled brush fires in hills off France's Mediterranean coast, a region already devastated by massive blazes last month.[...]

Typhoon Dujuan gains power as it sweeps towards Taiwan

Bulgarian Danube sinks to lowest-recorded level

SOFIA (AFP) Aug 30, 2003

The waters of the Danube river sank to their lowest recorded level in northeast Bulgaria on Saturday as the country roasted in temperatures that climbed above 40 degrees Celsius (104 Fahrenheit) in some areas, officials said.[...]

At least 15 die in bus trapped in flooded Indian river

UN forum told one billion lives threatened by bad water

DUSHANBE (AFP) Aug 30, 2003

Nearly one billion people -- or one in every six people in the world -- lack access to safe drinking water and the developed world must understand this threat, a UN-sponsored forum heard here Saturday. [...]

Partly due to global warming, well over two billion people will be suffering from water scarcity by the middle of this century, the report warns.

Malaysia hit by power cut


A power cut blacked out parts of peninsular Malaysia today and disrupted operations at the country’s main airport.

The blackout occurred around 10am local time (3am Irish time) in at least four northern states in peninsular Malaysia, a spokesman for Tenaga Nasional, Malaysia’s main power utility company, said.[...]

Power outage blacks out Helsinki and Vantaa on Saturday evening

Helsinki and Vantaa were left in darkness on Saturday evening, reminding many of the blackout recently suffered in New York and other parts of the United States and Canada. [...]

Spam-blocking lists under siege

By Mike Brunker

Cyberattackers disabling services that cull unwanted e-mail

Aug. 29 - Internet gangsters with a grudge against anti-spam 'block lists' used to stave off unwanted e-mail have unleashed a plague of data packets against some of the leading providers of the services. The onslaughts have intermittently blocked access to several of the spam fighters Internet sites in recent weeks and have succeeded in shutting down the oft-maligned SPEWS list.

[...] "We’re usually under attack from 5,000 to 10,000 servers at once," Linford was quoted as saying in Thursday’s editions. "They're extremely large attacks that would bring down just about anything."[...]

[...] DDOS attacks against any organization are criminal acts," said ActiveState’s Dougherty. "When they were executed against Microsoft and Yahoo and others several years ago, there was very quick action (by law enforcement). But when the target is a (spam block list), it seems there is very little, if any, interest."

Comment: Take a few minutes to read this article, do some research on previous Internet Cracker attacks. Then think objectively about the situation, a good rule of thumb is to always be wary of news about a nameless evil. The Public becomes hungry for the answer to the problem, the tension builds and anxiety increases to the breaking point...then an answer is given, everyone buys it, and no one will question the answer because that would return them to that unsafe, angst-ridden place where they just came from. Is the Internet heading towards a Cyber 9/11? could be, the question is who would benefit most from a massive Internet crash?

Hackers and Crackers, the soon to be announced, obvious, culprits would suffer the most. Arrests, jail time, confiscation of equipment. Who then? I do not know, however; I am sure that Congress will happily hand over billions upon billions of dollars to Homeland Security so that they can ferret out the cyber-terrorists and make the web a 'safer place'.

MIT to uncork futuristic bar code

By Alorie Gilbert
CNET Aug. 29

A group of academics and business executives is planning to introduce next month a next-generation bar code system, which could someday replace with a microchip the series of black vertical lines found on most merchandise.

THE SO-CALLED EPC NETWORK, which has been under development at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for nearly five years, will make its debut in Chicago on Sept. 15, at the EPC Symposium. At that event, MIT researchers, executives from some of the largest global companies, and U.S. government officials intend to discuss their plans for the EPC Network and invite others to join the conversation.[...]

The way it's been designed, an EPC can be linked to databases that can store much more information about a particular product than is possible with the bar code. In addition to price and manufacturer, the EPC could link to information about location of an item based on a complex system of readers and microchips, or 'tags', that communicate via radio frequency, a concept known as radio frequency identification (RFID).

"Put tags on every can of Coke and every car axle, and suddenly the world changes," boasts the Web site of the Auto-ID Center, the research group at MIT leading the charge on the project. "No more inventory counts. No more lost or misdirected shipments. No more guessing how much material is in the supply chain or how much product is on the store shelves." [...]

Comment: Below, for you edification, we present the original transcript of the above, before changes designed to avoid "alarming the public"

"A group of academics and business executives is planning to introduce next month a next-generation bar code system, which could someday replace with a microchip the vast amounts of database information already available on most citizens.

The so-called EPC NETWORK, which has been under development at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for nearly five years, will make its debut in Chicago on Sept. 15, at the EPC Symposium. At that event, MIT researchers, executives from some of the largest global companies, and U.S. government officials intend to discuss their plans for the EPC Network and invite others to join the conversation.[...]

The way it's been designed, an EPC can be linked to databases that can store much more information about a particular person than is possible with existing databases. In addition to all personal, financial and political activity, the EPC could link to information about the location of the person based on a complex system of readers and microchips, or 'tags', that communicate via radio frequency, a concept known as radio frequency identification (RFID).

"Put tags on every man woman and child, and suddenly the world changes," boasts the Web site of the Auto-ID Center, the research group at MIT leading the charge on the project. "No more wasted time and money on traditional surveillance. No more costly undercover operations. No more guessing which citizens are likely to vote for which particular presidential candidate, who they associate with, or how effective the brainwashing is going..."

Doubts cast on Nefertiti discovery

Sunday 31 August 2003, 1:53 Makka Time, 22:53 GMT

The mummy a British Egyptologist says could be the ancient Egyptian Queen Nefertiti is much more likely to be a man, Egypt's antiquities chief Zahi Hawass has said.[...]

Giant lizard terrorises Beirut

By Kim Ghattas
BBC Beirut correspondent

He's big, he's a carnivore, he's terrorising the neighbourhood's residents, he's been swimming in people's pools and he's already claimed victims - several cats, a dog and apparently even a horse.

In Lebanon, a giant lizard has been roaming the streets of a Beirut suburb for several weeks, eluding all the attempts by the authorities to catch it.

He's Lebanon's own Komodo Dragon, or so say the witnesses who have seen him.

Komodo Dragons are an endangered species and live in Indonesia.

They belong to the family of monitor lizards.

It's believed that the one living just outside Beirut was brought to Lebanon by a German who lived here and eventually set him free. [...]

And Finally...

Frito-Lay announces new spokesperson : It's 'Dubya'

WSS News - Because We Say So

Rold Gold Pretzel Manufacturer Frito-Lay announced today that George 'Dubya' Bush would be appearing in several of their new commercials for the crunchy, yet sometimes dangerous, snack food. The President is quoted as saying, "I maybe think that this could be a dang good way to communicate to the younguns of the world that I am still cool and with the times."

Comment: There is truly nothing sadder than an aging Hipster. Oh wait, I was wrong. The fact that he is President is a little bit worse.

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