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October 3, 2003

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"Disasters involve cycles in the human experiential cycle"

The idea that the moral state of the world is reflected in the physical world is not new. Newton, for one, believed that a new deluge would wash away the world's sins. As we gather the news each day, we have been struck by the increasing violence, the overt and almost carefree lying on the part of the Bush Reich, the rage of the Zionists to annihilate the Palestinians on the one hand, and the growing number of earthquakes, volcanos, and meteor showers on the other. When we say things are "heating up" on the Big Blue Marble, this can be taken both figuratively and literally.

Today we see reports on more "muck" in New Zealand, that funny brown stuff that seems to be falling from the skies. Duck doodoo? We think not. But perhaps it is related to outgassing from underneath the oceans. Mike Baillie, in his Exodus to Arthur, writes:

In another description of this earthquake [at Antioch in AD 526] there is talk of liquid mud (sea sand as it were) boiling and bubbling up from the nether regions. There was "a rank stench of the sea, and water seemed to flow out, just as if the sea water were coming up with the hot mud." Is this a direct description of an outgassing associated with the great earthquake? (p. 151.)

We don't know if this muck could be blown up high into the air to fall back upon houses. But another description of this quake describes "Moist dust bubbled up from the depths of the earth" while another described a "shower of sparks." Is this the explanation? We don't know, but we think that this is likely to be a more fruitful area of investigation than duck doodoo. Are these phenomena connected to mysterious deaths also in New Zealand?

So there are no WMD in Iraq but there certainly are lots in Israel and many other countries, largely due, according to El Baredei, to the fact that Wolfowitz (recently named Jewish man of the year) and Co. have them all terrified that they are "next." Meanwhile the US Air Force is continuing with preparations to shoot down any "threatening" passenger airliners (don't know about you, but that just makes me feel soooo safe!). The aging Catholic pontiff is reportedly on death's doorstep, but he can take solace in the fact that his consciousness will live on - according to some scientists anyway. Global warming fears continue to trickle through the media, along with asteroid stories. Rest assured, scientists will be much more careful now that the specter of public ridicule has been unleashed. You can't go around disturbing the status quo...

A QFS Member writes:

Another close Asteroid pass

"The asteroid, designated 2003 SQ222, came from inside the Earth's orbit and so was only spotted after it had whizzed by. "

Whew, things are going to get interesting pretty me thinks.. I think I finally understand what Spirograph means in regards to direction.

"The asteroid's 1.85-year orbit is quite eccentric, indicating it cannot be a man-made object, Marsden says. He estimates the asteroid measured less than 10 metres. This is too small to have posed a danger to Earth, although it would have made a spectacular fireball had it entered the atmosphere."

1.85 year orbit? Something that swings around us that often is just now being 'discovered'? Typical of the media in not stating the hypothesis that it could be a new arrival.

"The passage came at about 2300 GMT, only 10 hours after a bright fireball streaked over the Orissa region of India. Indian villagers have found pieces of the meteorite, which reportedly cause two house fires. However, this event was not connected to the fly past of 2003 SQ222, says Marsden."

Oh I think they might be connected in a very big way!!

Laura responds:

Yeah! Can you believe such a stupid remark? How the heck does he know it was "not connected?" Especially when you consider that we are talking about a couple of hits and a miss???? Excuuuuse me???

Sheesh! What is so totally amazing is the ongoing sleep of humanity at large. It's hard not to keep thinking about the passage in II Thessalonians:

2:3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except
there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of
perdition; 2:4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God,
or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing
himself that he is God.
2:5 Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?
2:6 And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time.
2:7 For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will
let, until he be taken out of the way.
2:8 And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with
the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:
2:9 Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and
signs and lying wonders, 2:10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in
them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they
might be saved.
2:11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should
believe a lie: 2:12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth,
but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

As for the "Lord coming," sure sounds like a comet to me!

Man of the [Jewish] Year

The Jerusalem Post

NO question: This was Paul Wolfowitz's year. On September 15, 2001, at a meeting in Camp David, he advised President George W. Bush to skip Kabul and train American guns on Baghdad. In March 2003, he got his wish. In the process, Wolfowitz became the most influential US deputy defense secretary ever.

Not that this alone qualifies Wolfowitz as the Jerusalem Post's Man of the Year. The war in Iraq had many authors: Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney, Tony Blair, George Bush. Wolfowitz may have been an early and vocal advocate, but he was cheering from the second row.

What's not in dispute is that Wolfowitz is the principal author of the doctrine of preemption, which framed the war in Iraq and which, when it comes to it, will underpin US action against other rogue states.

This is more remarkable than you might at first think. Following September 11, many people grasped intuitively that it was useless to contain or deter foes for whom suicide was an acceptable option. The difference with Wolfowitz is that he's been talking about this since at least 1992. (The prescience is of a piece with his warning -- in 1979 -- that Saddam Hussein might someday invade Kuwait.)

There's a downside. Earlier in the year, the notion took hold that the president was taking the country to war at the urgings of his Jewish advisers, themselves shills for Israel. "Richard Perle, Paul Wolfowitz and Bill Kristol [are]... the clique of conservatives who are driving this war," wrote New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd. She may as well have written "the clique of Jews," some felt. Other critics of the war were more explicit. "If it were not for the strong support of the Jewish community for this war in Iraq," said Democratic Congressman Jim Moran, "we would not be doing this."

Comment: Yes indeed, "Man of the year," 50,000 innocents dead so far, and going strong. Americans will be so happy to hear that 'their' (sort of) undersecretary of defence has been putting their tax dollars to such good work, killing in the name of the Israeli government- the "peace loving Zionists"

Poll shows drop in confidence on Bush skill in handling crises
2003-10-03 15:14:52

BEIJING, Oct.3, (Xinhuanet) -- The US public's confidence in President Bush's ability to deal wisely with an international crisis has slid sharply over the past five months, the latest New York Times/CBS News Poll has found. And a clear majority are also uneasy about his ability to make the right decisions on the nation's economy.

[...] But more than 6 in 10 Americans still say the president has strong qualities of leadership, more than 5 in 10 say he has more honesty and integrity than most people in public life and 6 in 10 credit him with making the country safer from terrorist attack.

[...] In the end, just over one-third of the respondents said the administration had brought more honesty and integrity, while 18 percent said it had brought less and 43 percent said it was about the same as other administrations.

Comment: This just in from a reader who is a doctor. The brain wave of the American public:


Over 76% of Americans think Bush is more honest or at least as honest as other administrations????? Maybe the blackout they had there in August was a reflection of the fact that the "lights are out"...

Washington’s objective is to “cause hunger, desperation and overthrow the government”

BY RAISA PAGES —Granma International staff writer—

Some call it an embargo, for others it’s a blockade. But neither word correctly reflects the magnitude of the actions carried out by the U.S. government against Cuba since 1959.

It was Secretary of State Cristian Herter who used the correct description for the proposed measures during a meeting of the State Department on June 24, 1959, five weeks after the Cuban Revolution passed the First Agrarian Reform Act. Heter considered his country’s measures were an economic war on Cuba, a policy that has continued for the last 44 years.

“(…) We must rapidly use every conceivable method to weaken Cuban economic life…” read an important official document signed by L.D. Mallory, a high-ranking State Department official on April 6, 1960. He added: “(…) A course of action that would have major impact in denying Cuba money and supplies, in order to reduce salaries with the aim of causing hunger, desperation and overthrowing the government”.

From then on, all economic and social sectors of the Cuban nation have felt the effects of the U.S. government’s aggressive policy. But inside this entire punitive arsenal, the blockade on foodstuffs for the island and the measures damaging sugar production and other agricultural produce has been terrorist in it modus operandi.

UN calls for Keynsian injection to avert world slump

By Philip Thornton, Economics Correspondent
The Independent
03 October 2003

The United Nations yesterday called for a return to Keynesian economics to avert a deflationary slump that could trigger a violent backlash in the world's poorest nations.

It said rich governments needed to intervene in the economy, spending money and racking up deficits to reverse falls in output and employment. In particular it criticised Europe's fiscal and monetary regime, blaming the "restrictive" Stability and Growth Pact (SGP) for preventing member states from borrowing to fund growth. It also condemned the European Central Bank as "reluctant" to cut rates. Its report was published just hours after the ECB resisted calls to cut rates to offset the surge in the euro. [...]

He warned that unless urgent action was taken, there was a "real threat" that growing imbalances between the richest and poorest in the world could exacerbate the anger felt by millions. "It could deepen the discontent with globalisation ... triggering a political backlash and a loss of faith in markets ... leading to international economic disintegration," he said. "For all countries the prospects for prosperity hinge on international co-operation as well on the intensity of their own efforts." [...]

Comment: Given that the debt-ridden US economy appears to be about ready to plunge off the cliff, perhaps other nations shouldn't heed the UN's economic advice. Although, the Western economies had tremendous growth during the forties, fifties, and sixties while Keynsian economics were being applied. The fact that the current neo-liberal doctrine asserts that Keynsianism is bad makes you wonder...

Military Ready to Shoot Down Airliners - U.S. General

Thu October 2, 2003 12:27 PM ET
By Charles Aldinger

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Air Force pilots practice weekly and are psychologically ready to shoot down civilian airliners in any new attack on America like Sept. 11, the general in charge of domestic defense said on Thursday.

The chief of the U.S. military's Northern Command also said better cooperation with the Federal Aviation Administration and other agencies had minimized the risk of downing an innocent civilian passenger jet.

"We practice it several times a week. Sometimes we practice three or four times a week -- the connectivity and having pilots airborne and go through mock exercises," Air Force Gen. Ralph Eberhart told reporters in an interview.

He said pilots and ground controllers were screened to make sure they would not refuse an order to shoot down a suspicious airliner packed with civilians such as the hijacked jets that crashed into the World Trade Center in New York, the Pentagon outside Washington and a field in Pennsylvania on Sept. 11, 2001.

Comment: Feel safer yet? This War on Terror is working just like the Bush Reich planned.

U.S. Must Counteract Image in Muslim World, Panel Says

New York Times

W ASHINGTON, Sept. 30 — The United States must drastically increase and overhaul its public relations efforts to salvage its plummeting image among Muslims and Arabs abroad, a panel chosen by the Bush administration has found. [...]

Comment: File this under DUH! A panel needed to be formed for this brilliant analysis? This is precisly what the Bush Reich wanted. Peace is not profitable.

Three APS Teachers Who Opposed War Not Rehired

Location: Albuquerque
Source: AP

Albuquerque's public school district has decided not to rehire three teachers who'd been suspended for posting anti-war material in classrooms. [...]

Teachers were told they were violating policy on teaching controversial subjects.

US wounded in the shadows

By David Isenberg

On July 2, President George W Bush, in referring to combat operations in Iraq, said, "Bring them on." And bring it on they have. As everyone knows, coalition forces, primarily American, are being killed and wounded on a regular basis - 357 US and British fatalities to date. But while the US dead, whether in combat operations or from other causes, are reported publicly, the wounded have almost disappeared from public view. And their numbers are growing, and providing appropriate care is an increasing burden for the military and civilian health systems.

How many wounded and injured are there? Nobody really knows for sure. Understandably, it is difficult to be precise when more casualties are being created on a near daily basis. But gathering data is difficult for other reasons. [...]

Life Dangerous in Iraq's Sunni Triangle

Associated Press Writer

AL-QURTAN, Iraq - When the U.S. tank opened fire, Fawaz Hasan said, one of his donkeys — laden with a big stack of hay — was spooked and started running in the direction of the shooting.

"They blasted him to pieces with the machine gun," Hasan said, able to grin about it two days later. " "I guess they figured it was a suicide donkey." [...]

But, said Nash, even a military victory in the region would not be sufficient.

"We must win the battle of making these people believe that we are going to make their lives better right away," he said.

Hasan's heart and mind have not been won. Facing tens of thousands of dollars of repairs to the farm, not to mention 15 cattle he said were killed along with the donkey, he pointed to the big holes in the wall of one of the villas and said: "These are the bombs of freedom."

Gesturing to a big hole in the roof, he said: "This one is democracy."

1,200 weapons inspectors spent 90 days in Iraq. The exercise cost $300m. And the number of weapons found? 0

By Rupert Cornwell in Washington and Paul Waugh
03 October 2003

Five months after the end of the war in Iraq, a CIA adviser has admitted that his 1,200-strong team of inspectors has discovered none of Saddam Hussein's alleged weapons of mass destruction.

"We have not yet found stocks of weapons," David Kay, the head of the CIA-led Iraq Survey Group, said in a first report to closed-door sessions of the Senate and House Intelligence Committees, 90 days after the arrival of his group in Iraq. Mr Kay insisted that lines of inquiry on which the group were working might yet yield concrete proof. He hoped to "draw a line" under his work in six to nine months. In the report he argued that the bulkiest material that inspectors were searching for could be hidden in spaces little larger than a two-car garage.

"We are not yet at the point where we can say definitively either that such weapon stocks do not exist or that they existed before the war and our only task is to find where they have gone".

He said: "Much evidence is irretrievably lost." He also blamed the slow progress on the way Iraq had arranged its WMD activities, the widespread destruction of materials and documents before the war, and looting of suspect sites afterwards.

But the meagre results seem bound to reinforce contentions that the US and British governments, wilfully or by error, grossly exaggerated the scale and the imminence of any threat from Saddam.

Mr Kay could do no better than draw three broad conclusions from his endeavours.

First, he reported the deposed Iraqi leader had "not given up his intentions and aspirations of continuing to acquire WMD" and resuming programmes once sanctions were lifted.

Second, had the Allies not invaded in March, the regime would have continued to develop missiles with a range of up to 1,000km (630 miles), considerably more than the 150km permitted by the UN.

Finally, the report states there were, at minimum, secret research and development activities for chemical and biological weapons, under the umbrella of the Iraqi intelligence services. Those would have left Saddam with a trained corps of specialists, capable of moving swiftly ahead once circumstances permitted. But the evidence unearthed thus far, on the basis of what Mr Kay told Congress yesterday, does not start to measure up to the apocalyptic warnings brandished by George Bush and Mr Blair before the conflict.

On nuclear weapons, Mr Kay is equally downbeat. The team had found no evidence Saddam took any significant steps to build weapons or produce fissile materials after 1998 - when UN weapons inspectors left the country for the last time before their brief return in the three months before war began on 20 March. [...]

Comment: Apart from the fact that any findings of a group headed by a CIA sponsored group are suspect to begin with, the main point is being repeatedly ignored here. Iraq was invaded on a single pretext: Saddam WAS IN POSSESSION of WMD. The fact that he maybe, might have been planning to manufacture them at some stage in the future or had aspirations to do so is COMPLETELY IRRELEVANT, given that there are literally dozens of so called "rogue states" in the same position.

The Final Conclusion is that both the Bush and Blair governments KNOWINGLY LIED to the people and as such their representatives should be tried as war criminals.

US finds no sign of Iraqi WMDs

Friday October 3, 3:11 PM

The United States has found no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, a top arms expert said, despite "substantial evidence" that Saddam Hussein intended to make chemical and biological arms. [...]

But Jay Rockefeller, the ranking Democrat on the Senate intelligence committee, said Kay's statement had raised questions about the Bush administration's general war doctrine as well as the reasons for invading Iraq, where there are still about 130,000 US troops.

"I just think it's extraordinary that a decision was made to go to war and that we were told by our highest policymakers that there was (an) imminent threat, dangers, national security was at stake, as well as regional security.

"And intelligence had been taken and now we find that nothing is available. No weapons of mass destruction, the biological, the chemical, nuclear perhaps least of all. I think we've all known that for a long time."

Rockefeller said there was now little hope of finding much more.

He said the failure to find evidence "raises real questions about something called the doctrine of preemption, the way we make decisions at the highest level."

He added: "You just don't make decisions like we do and put our nation's youth at risk based upon something that appears not to have existed."

Comment: If Rockefeller has turned on Bush - well, perhaps we may not need to worry about Bush being reelected...

No more meal bills for hospitalized troops

From Jamie McIntyre
CNN Washington Bureau
Wednesday, October 1, 2003 Posted: 11:22 PM EDT

WASHINGTON (CNN) --Wounded service members in U.S. military hospitals will no longer be presented with a bill for meals upon discharge, the Pentagon said Wednesday.

The idea -- not precisely true, as it turned out -- that U.S. troops, some of whom had lost limbs or were gravely wounded, were being charged $8.10 per day for meals while they were in military hospitals outraged some members of Congress.

What was happening was that the wounded patients were being asked to reimburse the government for what is known as their basic subsistence allowance -- money they get in their paychecks to cover meals.

Because they did not have to buy meals in the hospital, they were asked to return that allowance, a step required by law.

But Pentagon officials admit it seemed like adding insult to injury. [...]

Three killed in bus attack

Associated Press
10:07 Friday 3rd October 2003

Gunmen have opened fire on a bus carrying Shiite Muslim worshippers in Karachi, killing at least three and wounding several others.

About 20 Shiite Muslims were on their way to a mosque for Friday prayers when the attack happened, said Athar Rashid Butt.

Nobody claimed responsibility, but suspicion fell immediately on one of several Sunni Muslim extremist groups which have killed hundreds of minority Shiite Muslims over recent years.

Two killed in mosque grenade attack

Associated Press
07:59 Friday 3rd October 2003

At least two people have been killed and 30 others wounded after an unidentified man tossed two hand grenades inside a southern Philippine mosque packed with worshippers. [...]

Pakistan test-fires nuclear-capable missile

Friday October 3, 2:41 PM

Pakistan has test-fired a short-range nuclear-capable missile, the military announced, its first missile test since peace overtures began with nuclear rival India six months ago.

"Pakistan carried out a successful test fire of its indigenously developed short-range surface to surface ballistic missile Hataf III Ghaznavi," an official military statement said. [...]

Gunmen kill five Shi'ite Muslims in Pakistan

KARACHI (Reuters) - Two gunmen have attacked a passenger bus carrying Shi'ite Muslim worshippers in the Pakistani port city of Karachi, killing at least five people and wounding seven others, police say. [...]

Al-Qaeda battle on Pakistan-Afghan border ends with 10 dead and 18 captured

Pakistani forces have wrapped up one of their fiercest battles with al-Qaeda and Taliban fighters on the tribal-dominated northwest border with Afghanistan, killing eight militants and capturing 18. [...]

Pakistan test-fires nuclear-capable missile

Pakistan has test-fired an indigenous short-range nuclear-capable missile, the military announced, its first test since peace overtures began with rival nuclear power India six months ago. [...]

Blix Says No Surprises in Iraq Weapons Report

October 3, 2003

LONDON (Reuters) - Former U.N. chief weapons inspector Hans Blix said Friday there were no surprises in the report by the U.S.-led team hunting for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

"The most important point is that they can confirm they have not found any stocks or weapons of mass destruction of any kind," Blix said of the report by CIA adviser David Kay. [...]

"The intelligence was not so strong in reality that it (the threat) could be said to be manifest," he said.

"If they could develop weapons of destruction in five years or 10 years, well that certainly is not imminent. It probably failed in my view on these two counts." [...]

US draft 'falls short' on Iraq

Associated Press
09:17 Friday 3rd October 2003

France, Russia and Germany have signalled that a new US draft resolution on Iraq does not meet their demands.

UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan has also said it did not follow his recommendation for a quick transfer of power to a provisional Iraqi government.

However the revised resolution has won support from Britain, which signed on as a co-sponsor. There was also a sympathetic response from Bulgaria and Spain. [...]

UN role in doubt as Annan shuns US Iraq plan

Friday October 3, 4:51 PM

The UN's future in Iraq was thrown in doubt after Secretary General Kofi Annan rejected US proposals on what role the United Nations would have there, Security Council diplomats said.

At a lunch with the 15-member council, Annan stressed he could not accept the terms of a new US draft resolution which did not incorporate his suggestions on how to handle the eventual transfer of political power in Iraq.

Diplomats said he also bristled at taking on responsibilities given the dire security situation in Iraq, where two suicide bombings at the UN's Baghdad office since August killed 23 people, including his top envoy.

Annan told reporters his proposal to let Iraqis form a government first, before writing a constitution and then holding new elections, could help stem the guerrilla-style attacks against the US occupation. [...]

Annan pours scorn on new U.S. draft resolution as blasts rock Iraqi city of Kirkuk


Secretary-General Kofi Annan said Thursday a new U.S. draft resolution on Iraq does not follow his recommendation for a quick transfer of power to an interim Iraqi government.

[...] "Obviously, it's not going in the direction I had recommended, but I will still have to study it further," Annan told reporters on Thursday, according to the AFP.

Putin sees compromise on US draft resolution on Iraq
2003-10-03 18:19:36

MOSCOW, Oct. 3 (Xinhuanet) -- Russian President Vladimir Putin said Friday that there is room for compromise although Moscow is dissatisfied with the US-proposed UN draft resolution on Iraq, the Interfax reported.

Addressing a World Economic Forum in Moscow, Putin noted that he saw a willingness in the "American partners" to compromise.

"Decisions by the UN Security Council should provide more opportunities for the world community to get involved in reviving Iraq," Putin said, expressing the hope to achieve great success in reconstructing Iraq in this way.

"As a matter of fact, the Iraqi population trusts traditional partners more than those who are currently in control of the situation," he said.

Comment: Hmmm. Might Vlad be referring to the Russians?

Putin Beefs Up ICBM Capacity

By Simon Saradzhyan
Staff Writer

President Vladimir Putin told top military commanders Thursday that Russia will put dozens of multi-warhead SS-19 intercontinental ballistic missiles on combat duty.

In a separate development, a Defense Ministry paper released ahead of Putin's comments warned that Russia might have to revise its plans for military reform and nuclear defense strategy if NATO did not drop what it termed its "anti-Russian orientation."

[...] Putin and U.S. President George W. Bush signed the so-called Moscow Treaty last May that requires the two countries to cut the number of warheads on combat duty to between 1,700 and 2,200 a side. It allows both countries to store, rather than dismantle the warheads. It is the scrapping of the START-II strategic arms reduction treaty, however, that has allowed Russia to keep SS-19s on combat duty.

How Yeltsin crushed democracy

Secrets are spilled of 1993 deception that allowed president to suppress parliament

Nick Paton Walsh in Moscow
Friday October 3, 2003
The Guardian

Officials and participants today paint a fresh picture of the clashes that began with rioting on October 2 and led to tanks rolling up to the parliament building on October 4. The Kremlin and western governments portrayed the unrest as a liberal regime suppressing angry communist hardliners and rightwingers. Yet 10 years after the bloodshed, in which at least 123 people were killed, Russia is exploding the myth that the crackdown was anything other than a putsch against Mr Yeltsin's political opponents.

ExxonMobil rumours abound as Russian oil firms merge

Mark Tran
Friday October 3, 2003

Yukos and Sibneft today completed a $45bn (£26.9bn) merger to create Russia's biggest company amid reports that US oil giant ExxonMobil was in talks to acquire a stake in the new group.

Shares of Yukos and Sibneft rose despite a Yukos denial of an imminent deal with ExxonMobil. Mikhail Khodorkovsky, Yukos chief executive, said there was no foreign investment deal involving the new group.

Domestic war crimes tribunal to be set up

Baghdad | | 03-10-2003

Iraq's US-appointed Governing Council is preparing a domestic war crimes tribunal that would try members of Saddam Hussain's government and Saddam himself should he be captured, Iraqi officials said.

[...] The war crimes tribunal announcement at a news conference here was the first concrete acknowledgment that accused war criminals would be tried in Iraq, the option US officials long have said they preferred over a U.N. court or other international tribunal.

Such a course would defy the recommendation of international legal experts who have warned that an Iraqi court would generate suspicions of "victor's justice," or manipulation by the American authorities who retain ultimate power in Iraq.

Terrorist infiltration worries U.S. military
Three prison staff at Guantanamo face suspicion

WASHINGTON (AP) - Pentagon officials said today they worry that terrorists are trying to infiltrate the U.S. military and may have done so at the prison camp in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Three workers at the prison, including two members of the military, have been arrested on suspicion of espionage at the high-security base. It is unclear whether the men were connected to or part of any terrorist plot, the commander in charge of homeland security said.

Powell: US has ''concerns'' about Israel's settlement activities


U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell said on Thursday the United States has "concerns" about settlement activities after Israeli plans to build more than 600 new homes in West Bank settlements were disclosed. "We also have concerns about continuing settlement activity on the part of the Israelis," Powell said.

Israel has recently issued tenders for the 600 new housing units in the West Bank. These tenders drew criticism from the Palestinian side. "This is evidence that the road map has been fully assassinated by an Israeli policy of settlement expansion, to which the United States is a witness," said Palestinian cabinet member Yasser Abed Rabbo.

Comment: Powell has "Concerns." Well, we're reassured now. Perhaps he has "vague misgivings" about the Israeli policy of "collective responsibility", their illegal rationale for holding entire families responsible for the acts of individual family members? Perhaps he feels "slightly uneasy" about the Israeli practice of bulldozing Palestinian homes over the flimsiest of excuses? But perhaps he is like the rest of the Bush Reich and these emotions are manufactured for the camera, for the news bite.

Dr. Robert Hare found that the brain scans of psychopaths did not appear "human." Coincidence. We think not.

Bait Arabiya has become a symbol of resistance against Israeli occupation in Gaza

Stay of execution for Rachel Corrie home

By Lawrence Smallman
Friday 03 October 2003, 4:27 Makka Time, 1:27 GMT

The Palestinian family home dedicated to the memory of Rachel Corrie has been given an 11th hour temporary reprieve.

Rachel Corrie was the heroic Jewish volunteer who was crushed to death in Rafah, Gaza, in March 2003 as she tried to prevent a bulldozer from demolishing a Palestinian home.

On Thursday, reported how a Palestinian house rebuilt with help from volunteers was destined to be destroyed within 24 hours.

But a wave of outraged campaigning has caused the Israeli occupation authorities to reconsider razing Arabiya and Salim Shawamrah’s property to the ground, a building dedicated to American-born Rachel's memory and home to seven children.

Bait Arabiya has been given another two weeks while an Israeli court decides if the Palestinian home in occupied Gaza should be destroyed for a fifth time.

Former member of the Jerusalem Municipal Council Meir Margalit said the Israeli Court has frozen the demolition order to give the Israeli army time to explain why they must demolish this house.

"This is standard procedure. It does not mean the house is safe," said Margalit. "We know from experience that chances are small because the army now takes this house as something personal. They cannot allow it to stay."

[...] ICAHD Coordinator Jeff Halper said that after volunteers rebuilt the home, they dedicated it to the “memory of Rachel Corrie and Nuha Swaidan”.

Nuha Swaidan was a pregnant Palestinian woman who was also killed by a bulldozer during a house demolition in Gaza at the same time as Rachel.

El Al pilots condemn signatories of letter of refusal

By Zohar Blumenkrantz and Lily Galili,
Haaretz Correspondents

A group of El Al pilots on Friday condemned their colleagues who have signed a letter refusing to carry out targeted killings in the territories, but said that they would not take any steps to punish them.

"We condemn the pilots who signed the letter, not because of their opinions, but because their declaration represents incitement to refuse orders," said a letter distributed Friday among El Al pilots and signed by the chairman of the pilot's union, Captain Itay Regev.

The letter said that El Al does not intend to dismiss the signatories, despite many requests that action be taken against them.

Meanwhile, a fourth pilot retracted Friday his refusal to take part in operations in the territories. Lieutenant Colonel (Res.) Adam Netzer, a helicopter pilot, wrote to Israel Air Force chief Dan Halutz that he intended to raise a public discourse on moral issues, but did not intend to harm the public's faith in the air force.

Netzer is the fourth pilot to remove his signature from the letter of refusal, but there are still 27 signatories because four additional pilots signed the letter since it was released.

Jews renounce right to Israeli citizenship

Friday 03 October 2003, 6:20 Makka Time, 3:20 GMT

A group of San Francisco Jews have renounced their automatic right to immigrate to Israel in protest of the country’s refusal to extend the same right to Palestinians.

Chanting "Palestine will be free," protesters handed in a petition to the Jewish Community Federation in San Francisco declaring their rejection of Israeli citizenship rights, known as Aliyah.

[...] A petition was gathered and others held placards declaring “Jews are not Zionists and Zionists are not Jews”.

Nobel prize for chronicler of S Africa's woes

By Tim Butcher in Johannesburg
The Telegraph

[...] The 63-year-old writer was praised by the Swedish Academy not just for the quality of his writing but for its variety and his role explaining the evolution of apartheid, which he argued could arise in other societies outside South Africa. [...]

Comment: Somewhere like Israel?

A Farewell To Edward Said

Ghada Karmi
Al-Hayat 2003/10/2

After the initial shock of hearing about Edward Said's death on September 25th hit me, I found myself wondering about two things: first, if the Zionist will now be celebrating the demise of one of their most successful, articulate and effective enemies. The Israelis do not seriously fear Palestinian military resistance or so-called Palestinian terrorism, or the threats of militants. The battle they fear the most is the one for hearts and minds, the public relations contest in which they have usually been the victors and the Arabs the incompetent losers. Edward Said reversed that perception in the most important of arenas for Israel and its supporters: the USA and the West.

To quote Menachem Begin's words in 1948 when he was leader of the Irgun terror gang in Palestine after the massacre of Deir Yassin had succeeded in driving out thousands of Arabs, "(the massacre) was worth more to us than half a dozen battalions in the war against the Palestinian Arabs". Likewise, Edward Said was more effective than a dozen armies in the fight against the Zionists. The effect on millions of people of his speeches, writings, ideas and sheer personal charisma has been stupendous and its full effects are still to be assessed in the years to come.

Ayoon wa Azan (Presidential Bubble)

Jihad Al Khazen
Al-Hayat 2003/10/2

I leave the President to find his own way out because I had already advised him not to go to Iraq. However, he does not read the Washington Post, so he certainly does not read Al-Hayat. Back to what I saw in New York, where I spent a week, it only rained cats and dogs with strong winds when the president gave his speech. I bought a big umbrella and kept the rain away from me until I left the financial capital of the world, where wealth does not keep one out of every five New Yorkers from having psychological problems, or from being completely insane. I pity the Arab diplomats living there and I leave in a hurry before I catch anything. Filthy rich people constitute 1% of Americans, who earn a trillion dollars per year. Nevertheless, poverty is widespread. Actually, my visit coincided with the official figures issued by the official census bureau, saying that poor people in America had reached more than 11.7% in 2001, 12.1% last year or almost 34,600,000 Americans are below the level of poverty.

[...] so I shall close with a salute to the heroes who protested in support of Palestine while President Bush was giving his speech; they actually protested in New York, in an opposed atmosphere, then the rain was a bigger challenge, but they still raised their voices out loud and the police was surrounding them. Not all of them were Arabs, as the Palestinian cause has gained large sympathy, knowing that there were American Jews among the protestors. The Palestinian delegate's speech at the General Assembly is always applauded more than that of the damned Israeli one, who did not attend, along with his delegation, most of the sessions, all because of an arrogance, condescendence and insolence that no one else is capable of.

America the Forgiven

Reem Al-Faisal
Special to Arab News

The Americans insist that most criticism directed toward their policies stems from a deep-seated anti-Americanism, which the entire world has been suffering from since the founding of the US.

In fact I find that the world has been more than forgiving toward the Americans from the very beginning.

If you take a quick look at American history, you will realize instantly that the atrocities committed by the Americans on their fellow man might be one of the worst in human history, and that’s saying much — one, because humanity has reached levels of evil that no other creature on earth can compete with, and two, because the very short history of the American nation makes its crimes even more shocking when compared with other, more ancient lands.

The Americans are responsible for one of the most thorough and extreme genocides in history, that of the Native Americans. Yet the world still sees it as a benign and innocent state which faced great challenges and surmounted them through ingenuity and perseverance. As the Americans proceeded to the extermination of the native people of the land they were conquering, the world looked the other way even though it was generally well documented and the few of them who are left still suffer from discrimination to this day.

[...] How dare America look the rest of the world in the face, when it refuses even to admit or ask forgiveness from just these people it has so wronged.

You talk about anti-Americanism. I say the world is besotted by an America which never even existed. The land of the free and the home of the brave only exists in the song and nowhere else.

It is time for us, the rest of the world, to see America as it truly is, just another nation with great gifts and terrible faults.

There is nothing special about America, and we, and most of all the American people, must begin to admit this. When we begin to view America in the light of reality, then we might begin to avoid the horrors which have been wreaked on humanity by those who think they are above the rest.

It is time for the American nation to acknowledge its crimes and apologize and ask forgiveness from the many people it has harmed. Beginning with the Native Americans, followed by the Africans and South Americans, right through to the Japanese, who have suffered such horror by being the only race to know the true meaning of weapons of mass destruction.

The US should leave Iraq after apologizing for over a million dead after an unlawful embargo and a colonial war which at best is a farce and at worst a crime.

Finally, ask an American how many died in Vietnam, and he will tell you58 ,000. That is because they have wiped out from their mind the three million Vietnamese as they have forgotten every race and nation they have harmed since their inception.

Are the Americans willing to admit their mistakes? This is the most important question of the21 st century, since much of the world’s safety depends on it.

Novak and the art of the Leak

By: Ahmed Amr

Outing an undercover CIA agent is a major national security crime that dwarfs the third class burglary we know as the Watergate scandal. So, you would think that every mass media journalist would be chomping at the bit to locate a ‘deep throat'. Just think of the movie rights and contact Robert Redford with an early draft of the screenplay.

In the spirit of giving aid and comfort to the intellectually challenged scribes who toil for the mass media barons, I have a few hints.

First Hint. There are a few actors in this sordid affair walking around with huge blinking billboard signs that read ‘DEEP THROAT SUSPECT'. The biggest billboard is dangling around a no-neck journalist named Novak. The second billboard is hanging around a yet unnamed anonymous leaker who informed the Washington Post that two senior administration officials had revealed the identity of the CIA agent to six prominent journalists. Who wrote that Washington Post Article?

[...] Hint3 . Why were the six journalists who were privy to the leak considered ‘safe'? The American Enterprise Institute folks gloat over their media connections. They actually list the ‘prominent' journalist associated with their ‘neo-conservative' Likudnik agenda. On their Web Page AEI boasts that their ‘standing in the national media is unmatched by any other policy research institute. The work of AEI scholars is cited more frequently and is published far more often in the leading U.S. newspapers and news magazines than the work of scholars at other national think tanks. Similarly, AEI scholars appear more often on television than their peers at rival research institutes.'

[...] Hint four: The President boasted in a February speech to the American Enterprise Institute that he had hired twenty of their ‘experts' and placed them in senior positions in the Pentagon and State Department. Powell has the list. Rumsfeld has long been associated with this Likudnik lobby, as has Cheney, whose wife still gets a W- 2from the AEI. Have any of them asked their senior staff to take an oath denying being one of the felons? What did the Vice President know and when did he cover it up?

Hint Five: In the interest of saving precious taxpayer funds, why does Bush not demand an oath by senior administration officials denying involvement in the leak and lie detector tests? Clinton did exactly that on a security leak that did not even endanger the life of any member of the intelligence community. Why doesn't Bush, our ‘national security president', follow Clinton 's example?

Hint Six: Read Richard Perle's ‘The Art of the Leak'. Given Perle's intimate knowledge of the anatomy of a White House leak, why does he not use his connections to assist in unmasking the culprits?

Hint Seven: The Vice President and his wife are intimately associated with the American Enterprise Institute. Since so many of his Likudnik pals are well placed in the administration, why can't they get together and help narrow the list of suspects? Surely this ‘cabal of experts' is working hard to track down these felons.

Hint eight: Is this a plausible Bush strategy? Have Ashcroft stretch out the investigation until after the election. As a distraction, have their willing media enablers focus on a very unlikely suspect, Karl Rove. Keep denying it is Rove. Convict the real culprits after the election. Pardon them on the last day of the second term in office, along with Jonathan Pollard. Libby (Mark Rich's lawyer) and Elliot Abrams are well acquainted with this ‘last day' pardon scenario.

Hint Nine: Why is Rupert Murdoch and his crowd so intent on killing this story? They seem to be very aggressive in diminishing the importance of this investigation? Is it because three or four of the six suspect journalists are consultants for FOX or work for Murdoch's Weekly Standard?

Hint Ten: Why are other mass media titans actively working to fog up the obvious leads? What do they have to hide about the ‘art of the leak'? How come so many of them are avoiding the last nine hints? Are they all the President's men? One would think that the folks at FOX would wrap themselves up in the flag and take pot shots at CNN's treason. Instead, they are making every effort to minimize the impact of the story.

One last word. If any journalist in Washington, Crawford or Peoria ends up getting a book deal or a Redford movie by following these hints, I would like him to consider making a significant contribution to,, and other alternative media outlets. They were all valuable sources for much of the information in this article.

Comment: This pretty well spells it out. For more information and links, check out the BushWar blog.

The White House could find out who leaked the information if they wanted. Obviously they don't want to. And once more the American people buy the lie. With each lie, they are more and more firmly sealing their future. Speaking of which, those meteors sure are getting more and more frequent, aren't they? But then you read the Signs of the Times. Ever wonder why this news doesn't get promoted on Fox or CNN?

Of course, even hypothesizing a potential relationship between the comets and events here on the Big Blue Marble is too crazy, too far out. But might it have something to do with:

Life is religion. Life experiences reflect how one interacts with God.

Those who are asleep are those of little faith in terms of their interaction with the creation. Some people think that the world exists for them to overcome or ignore or shut out. For those individuals, the worlds will cease. They will become exactly what they give to life. They will become merely a dream in the 'past.'

People who pay strict attention to objective reality right and left, become the reality of the 'Future.'

Cassiopaeans, 09-28-02

Schwarzenegger Admired Hitler, Book Proposal Says

New York Times

A film producer who chronicled Arnold Schwarzenegger's rise to fame as a champion bodybuilder in the 1970's circulated a book proposal six years ago that quoted the young Mr. Schwarzenegger expressing admiration for Adolf Hitler. [...]

Rush Limbaugh in pill probe

Talk radio star had drug habit, maid sez

Blunkett admits people 'feel at mercy of thugs' (UK)

By Philip Johnston, Home Affairs Editor
The Telegraph

David Blunkett conceded yesterday that most people felt they were "at the mercy of thugs" despite a record number of police officers . [...]

Drink-drive deaths jump by 22pc in three years (UK)

Terms Longer for N. Ireland Hate Crimes

BOURNEMOUTH, England - People convicted of crimes motivated by prejudice will get longer prison terms under legislation targeting Northern Ireland extremists, the province's British governor said Thursday.

The bill, unveiled by Northern Ireland Secretary Paul Murphy, would increase the sentences for many offenses if a racist, homophobic or sectarian motive is proven. Police statistics have shown a rise in all three categories in Northern Ireland. [...]

Paratrooper admits killing four on Bloody Sunday

By David McKittrick, Ireland Correspondent
03 October 2003

A former paratrooper admitted to the Bloody Sunday inquiry yesterday that he had killed four of the civilians who died as a result of the events on that day.

The soldier had previously acknowledged that he shot three of those who died, but under cross-examination agreed he had also killed a fourth.

At the hearing at Central Hall in Westminster yesterday he accepted that he was being accused of responsibility for four murders. He maintained however that he was not guilty of murder, since those he shot were carrying bombs or guns. The inquiry, chaired by Lord Saville, is examining the events of 30 January 1972 when 13 civilians were shot dead by troops following a civil rights march in Londonderry. A 14th person died later.

The former lance-corporal, who has been granted anonymity and is referred to as soldier F, dramatically conceded that he had killed Barney McGuigan. Numerous witnesses have said that McGuigan was shot dead as he waved a white handkerchief while going to the aid of an injured man.

The injured man, Patrick Doherty, had earlier been shot by the same soldier and later died.

Sex assault charges filed in alleged football hazing case

Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA -Prosecutors on Thursday charged three high school football players from New York with sodomizing and hazing younger teammates at a preseason training camp in northeastern Pennsylvania. [...]

Mother jailed for using boy, 11, as slave


A young mother whose “house of dread” turned a friend’s once-happy son into a bruised and frightened slave, was jailed for 15 months today.

While she doted on her own children, he suffered a Cinderella existence with regular beatings, cold baths and a ban on using the toilet.

Almost every evening the 11-year-old, who had been sent to Britain for a better education, spent hours doing chores.

The youngster rarely got to bed before 2am and often fell asleep at school, London’s Southwark Crown Court was told.

His year-long ordeal finally came to an end after he was forced to eat mouldy curry.

The next day he fell ill during a class with acute stomach pains and was taken to hospital.

As soon as doctors heard what had happened and saw his many bruises, social services were called in.

Passing sentence Judge Paul Dodgson told 29-year-old Shajna Begum, who admitted one count of cruelty between May 1 2000 and May 10 last year, it was clear she had been consumed by resentment at having to look after the son of her husband’s friends with little or no say in the matter.

But that did not excuse her conduct.

She remained emotionless as he went on: “One can only imagine the misery he must have suffered ... he had no one to turn to.

“And when he cried, as he was bound to do, you ridiculed him saying ’Have you lost your mummy?’

Comment: We can only guess at how many there might be.

Man sentenced for firing at motorcyclists (Indiana)

By Dan Cortez
of The News-Sentinel

Frederick Daniels said he was sorry and he would never touch a gun again. Judge John Surbeck didn't believe him.

Daniels, 66, of Cedar Ridge Run near Butler Road, was ordered to serve three years of a 5 1/2 year sentence for firing a handgun at a group of three motorcyclists he nearly ran off the road Aug. 3, 2001 on East Washington Boulevard. One of the motorcyclists was struck in the back by a bullet. He recovered from his wound, but the bullet remains lodged near his spine.

"He'll react the same way," Surbeck said, speculating if Daniels is put in a similar situation in the future. "As far as he's concerned, he did nothing wrong." [...]

Romania Orders Gypsy Teen Couple Breakup

'One size fits all' learning axed in shake-up

By John Clare, Education Editor
The Telegraph

The biggest shake-up in secondary education for 60 years was announced yesterday by the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority.

For children aged 14 and above it means the end of the national curriculum, common exams and a unified system of schooling - amounting to an admission that 30 years of comprehensive education have failed. [...]

Austrian Cardinal Says Pope Nearing Death

France set for deficit showdown

France has blamed its inability to reduce its budget deficit next year on the cost of the 35-hour working week, brought in under the previous socialist government.

Economics minister Alain Lambert said France was trying to reduce its deficit to the 3% of GDP limit laid down in the European stability pact signed by eurozone countries - but it would not do so at the risk of creating a recession.

Its decision to stand firm puts it at risk of a head-on confrontation with the European Union. France was meant to have presented plans to the EU on how it would reduce its budget deficit by Friday.

French Finance Minister Francis Mer said this week France did not intend to alter its 2004 budget before Friday's deadline.

40, 000 Applicants for 80 Jobs

Somayya Jabarti, Special to Arab News

Job applicants line up in front of the Finance Ministry’s recruitment office in Riyadh. (Courtesy Al-Watan)

JEDDAH, 3October 2003 — Some40 , 000applicants lined up for 80 job vacancies at the Ministry of Finance over the last five days.

Iraqi Shias commemorate slain cleric

Friday 03 October 2003, 11:49 Makka Time, 8:49 GMT

Around 10,000 Shia Muslims gathered on Friday by the grave of Ayat Allah Muhammad Baqir al-Hakim, on the 40th day of mourning for the slain cleric.

[...] Hakim was killed, along with 82 others, minutes after delivering a Friday prayer service on 29 August at the Tomb of Imam Ali, one of the holiest shrines in Shia Islam, when a massive car bomb exploded as the cleric exited the mosque compound.

His death provoked anger toward the US-led coalition forces occupying Iraq, as Shia Muslims accused the Americans of failing to provide enough security in the country.

Comment: As we reported, this is most likely a Mossad operation in Iraq. No Moslem would bomb this site, one of the most holy in Islam.

Editorial: Bluff and Brinkmanship

3 October 2003

North Korea has announced that it has processed 8,000 nuclear fuel rods, enough to make six nuclear bombs. The North Korean official who made the announcement also added that the country is already in possession of nuclear weapons and intends to expand its arsenal.

This is very worrying.

[...] But bluffs have to be taken seriously. We see a North Korea which, whether it has nuclear weapons or not, is too puffed-up with its own importance to back down and offer concessions; we see a US that has to assume it does; and we see stalemate. Sooner or later, one or the other is going to react with force.

Comment: What are the Bush Yanks saying now about Saddam? That he was bluffing. Of course they continue to insist that regradless of whether he was bluffing or not, they were correct to invade and destroy the country.

North Korea says technical hitch overcome in atomic bomb-building

Friday October 3, 3:48 PM

North Korea said it had overcome technical obstacles to building atomic bombs from weapons grade plutonium obtained from spent nuclear fuel rods.

The communist country's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said the reprocessing of some 8,000 spent fuel rods, which had been kept under seal, had been successfully completed by the end of June.

It indicated for the second time in two days it had begun to use the weapons-grade plutonium obtained in the course of reprocessing to make atomic bombs.

"In order to cope with the situation created by the US hostile policy toward the DPRK (North Korea) it made a switchover in the use of plutonium obtained in the course of reprocessing those spent fuel rods in the direction of increasing its nuclear force," it said. [...]

Scores of States May Build Nuclear Weapons - ElBaradei

By Louis Charbonneau
Tue September 30, 2003 11:19 AM ET

VIENNA (Reuters) - The head of the U.N. nuclear watchdog said on Tuesday that unless the United States and other nuclear powers take concrete steps toward disarmament, scores of countries will follow their lead and build atomic weapons. [...]

Hospital Justifies Eviction of AIDS Patient

Essam Al-Ghalib
Arab News Staff

JEDDAH, 3October 2003 — The New Jeddah Clinic Hospital has given its version of the events which led to the ejection of a terminally-ill AIDS patient from its care. In the much-publicized case, the hospital has been under investigation for using its security personnel to transport the dying AIDS patient in a pickup truck to his employer’s offices on Palestine Street. There, he was left on the pavement behind the building in the afternoon heat barely conscious and unable to fend for himself.

Maid Killed in Bid to Escape

P.K. Abdul Ghafour
Arab News Staff

JEDDAH, 3October 2003 — An expatriate maid died while another was seriously injured in separate attempts to escape from their Saudi sponsors in Makkah.

The first maid lost her life while she was trying to escape from her sponsor’s locked fourth floor apartment. She attempted to abseil from the window by tying several bedsheets together while the sponsor and his wife were away.

But the knots were not strong enough to hold the woman and the baggage she was carrying on her back and she fell several stories onto the sidewalk and died instantly, according to Al-Madinah Arabic newspaper. The incident took place in the Taneem district of Makkah on Monday.

In the second incident, which occurred in the Zahra district, the Indonesian maid used a television lead to abseil from her sponsor’s third floor apartment.

[...] Runaway maids have become a frequent problem for Saudi employers. Many maids escape with their employer’s valuables.

The increase of cases in the past few years has variously been attributed to sexual harassment and beatings from the employers, long working hours without days-off, as well as the maids’ lack of Arabic or inability to operate various household gadgets.

Radioactive water flowed to thousands of homes

10,000 Pensacola, Gulf Breeze residents drank unsafe water for 54 months [...]

'This Is Lethal Damage'

October 2, 2003
By Tracy Vedder

State lawmakers want to know if Navy sonar blasts killed more than a dozen porpoises in Puget Sound, and if so what can be done to stop it.

WESTERN WASHINGTON - Many people heard loud, high-pitched, screeching noises last May when the USS Shoup conducted sonar exercises in Haro Strait, in the north end of Puget Sound.

Residents in the San Juan Islands used underwater microphones to get a good listen. Divers in the water off Victoria, B.C didn't need any microphones, they could hear the sonar blasts as plain as day.

"Navigation of mine fields is critical," explained Naval Commander Arnie Lusis. "Mines are cheap and just about everyone in the world has got them and they are very easy to deploy."

But during those sonar training exercises cameras on San Juan Island caught killer whales behaving strangely.

Then, more than a dozen harbor porpoises washed ashore and some of them were bleeding from the eyes.

Trojan hijacks web browsers

By John Leyden
The Register
Posted: 03/10/2003 at 07:38 GMT  

A Trojan that exploits an Internet Explorer vulnerability is capable of allowing attackers to hijack browser behaviour, anti-virus firms warn. [...]

Microsoft Faces Class Action Over Virus Crashes

US, Turkey agree on rebels

Ankara |Reuters | 03-10-2003

Turkey and the United States have agreed an action plan to banish the threat of Turkish Kurdish rebels based in camps in northern Iraq, a Turkish official said yesterday after talks with US officials.

[...] Turkey stations thousands of troops just inside northern Iraq in a controversial deployment designed to stop hundreds of PKK militants from launching attacks on Turkish soil.

The presence of the Turkish troops has been a source of friction with Washington. US troops briefly detained 11 Turkish commandos in northern Iraq in July on suspicion they were involved in a plot to kill a senior Iraqi Kurdish official.

The US has made it clear to Turkey that it is committed to dealing with the PKK, US State Department official Cofer Black told the same news conference.

"We are very clear about this: PKK/Kadek is designated by the United States as a terrorist organisation. There is no place in Iraq for PKK/Kadek," he said.

A US official said earlier yesterday that Ankara had pledged to refrain from unilateral military action in northern Iraq in return for $8.5 billion in loans for its frail economy.

US pressure has been mounting on Turkey to decide if it will become the first Muslim nation to send troops to Iraq, but deployment appears to increasingly hinge on Turkish demands that the US crack down on the Kurdish militants.

Turkish troops could give much-needed relief for the US military operation in Iraq. But for now, the US appears reluctant to fight the militants, fearing the confrontation could spark tension in one of Iraq's most stable regions.

Guinea-Bissau gets caretaker government
2003-10-03 18:01:46

LUANDA, Oct. 3 (Xinhuanet) -- Guinea-Bissau's National Transition Council (CNT) agreed Thursday on the composition of a caretaker government to serve under interim Prime Minister Artur Sanha.

Une civilisation vieille de plus de 5 000 ans sort de terre en Iran
5,000 year old civilisation unearthed in Iran

LE MONDE | 02.10.03 | 14h33 •
MIS A JOUR LE 02.10.03 | 17h02

Comment: A heretofore unknown civilisation has been discovered in South-East Iran in the area of Jiroft. According to Carl Lamberg-Karlovsky, a professor at Harvard, the discovery "puts into question our fundamental concept of the origins of civilisation in the Middle East." Previously specialist thought the region was nomadic. But they now have found an evolved civilisation equal or superior to anything in Mseopotamia in the same period. Archeaologists working on the site think it could take over 50 years to fully excavate.

Scientists Say Warming Could Cut Crops

By Alister Doyle

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Scientists said on Thursday that global warming could slash Russia's crucial grain harvests if President Vladimir Putin and other world leaders refuse to endorse the U.N. pact.

About 1,000 scientists at a World Climate Change Conference in Moscow ending on Friday were sharply divided over Putin's belief that Russians could benefit overall from a world with less bone-chilling winters.

But some experts say that agricultural output in the key southern grain areas could be hit by a forecast decline in rains even though a warmer climate will extend growing areas further north as the permafrost thaws in Siberia.

"Climate change will generally not benefit Russia," said Joseph Alcamo of the University of Kassel in Germany. Harvests in the south might be hit by more frequent droughts, he added. [...]

Advanced Search Global warming could boost area's water demand

Jeff DeLong

Global warming appears to be driving up temperatures in the Sierra and could substantially increase the demand for water across the Truckee Meadows, a scientist told water experts Wednesday. [....]

Antarctic Astronomy: Exoplanet Hunt Moves Way Down Under

By Diane Richards
SETI Institute,

Sometimes being left out in the cold is a good thing. Or so thinks SETI Institute astrophysicist, Dr. Douglas Caldwell, whose planet hunting team has set up shop in one of the most cold, remote areas of the planet, the South Pole.

At this location, the sun sets in April and rises in September. During the four-month night, the stars shine constantly against crisp black skies, never rising nor setting, but wheeling about in circles above the automated photometric search equipment. Weather, despite the cold (temperatures average a bone-chilling negative 49 degrees Centigrade!) is relatively mild with few storms and moderate winds. [...]

'Earthquake swarm' likely hitting Reidsville

By TIM YEADON, Staff Writer
News & Record

REIDSVILLE -- The rumble and crack that surprised Reidsville [North Carolina] three weeks ago could have been mistakened for the sonic boom of a passing jet fighter. [...]

Suddenly, the city of 14,400 began to roil and rumble in a way that some said they had never before felt, but yet instantly recognized. [...]

Alabama Earthquake
September 30, 2003

If you live in west central Escambia county Alabama and think you have felt the ground're not imagining things.

The National Earthquake Information Center in Boulder Colorado has confirmed the area experienced two earthquakes in the last several days.

The first one happened on September 25th and registered 2.9 on the richter scale.
The second struck around 9:30 last night and registered 3.3. [...]

Tsunami alert system not fail-safe, quake shows

The Japan Times
Oct. 3, 2003

The tsunami alert, issued within minutes of last week's earthquake, didn't seem terribly ominous. But by the time it was lifted, fishing boats had been tossed ashore, coastal towns flooded.

Tsunami triggered by the Sept. 26 temblor that struck Hokkaido left fishing boats askew at Otsu port.

Though Japan's tsunami warning system is among the best in the world, even it came up woefully short in predicting what to expect from the magnitude 8.0 quake that rocked the northern island of Hokkaido on Sept. 26. [...]

300 more evacuated as landslides continue in Uttarkashi

Press Trust of India
Uttarkashi, October 2

Landslides hit new areas in this ancient town as authorities evacuated 300 more people to safer places, taking the number of displaced people due to the natural disaster so far to 2,800, officials said on Thursday.

The landslides, continuing for the ninth consecutive day on Thursday, affected new localities like Collectorate and Masjid Mohalla areas in the town, situated on the foothills of Varunavat mountain, Sub-Divisional Magistrate, Uttarkashi, Mahendra Prasad told PTI. [...]

Wild storms hit NSW mid-coast
Friday, October 3, 2003. 9:11am (AEST)

The mid-coast region of New South Wales is cleaning up this morning after a series of wild storms swept through yesterday afternoon.

Roofs were blown from houses in Port Macquarie and Kempsey. [...]

Orionid meteor shower is on tap for October

September 28, 2003 — 9:24 a.m.

The Orionid meteor shower, planets, stars, nebulae and the moon are some of the marvelous celestial wonders that greet our gaze toward the heavens this month.

Observed by Hailey in 1835, comet Hailey (1835 III) leaves dust along an orbital path around the sun and every year the Earth crosses through this path. The dusty cometary debris moves so fast that when it enters our atmosphere, frictional heat burns it up with so much intensity that it produces a streak of light at an altitude of 40 to 60 miles above the Earth's surface.

The Orionid shower is active between Oct. 15 and Oct. 29 with the peak of activity occurring Oct. 21. Historical records show that typically 75 meteors per hour are visible under dark skies. The moon is in a waning crescent phase on Oct. 21, so it will be below the horizon most of the evening, allowing the sky to become very dark — the perfect setting for watching meteor showers. [...]

Mining plans could scuttle SA telescope bid
Friday, October 3, 2003. 8:52am (AEST)

South Australia's chances of securing the world's most powerful radio telescope could be under threat, due to plans for mining exploration in the area where it is proposed to be built.

The State Government is bidding to have the square kilometre array telescope located at Murnpeowie Station, east of Marree in the state's north.

But a mining exploration licence has been submitted for the same area, unbeknownst to the Australian SKA consortium which has put in the state's application to an international panel. [...]

Huge Antarctic Iceberg Makes a Big Splash on Sea Life

Goddard Space Flight Center
Wednesday, October 01, 2003

NASA satellites observed the calving, or breaking off, of one of the largest icebergs ever recorded, named "C-19".

C-19 separated from the western face of the Ross Ice Shelf in Antarctica in May 2002, splashed into the Ross Sea, and virtually eliminated a valuable food source for marine life. The event was unusual, because it was the second-largest iceberg to calve in the region in 26 months.

Over the last year, the path of C-19 inhibited the growth of minute, free-floating aquatic plants called phytoplankton during the iceberg's temporary stopover near Pennell Bank, Antarctica. C-19 is located along the Antarctic coast and has diminished little in size. Since phytoplankton is at the base of the food chain, C-19 affects the food source of higher-level marine plants and animals. [...]

C-19 is about twice the size of Rhode Island. When it broke off the Ross Ice Shelf, the iceberg was 32 km (almost 20 miles) wide and 200 km (124 miles) long. It was not as large as the B-15 iceberg that broke off of the same ice shelf in 2001 but among the largest icebergs ever recorded. [...]


Tremor strikes central Peloponnese

An earthquake measuring 4.8 on the Richter scale struck Mount Erymanthos on the border of the Arcadia and Ileia prefectures in the Peloponnese shortly before 8 p.m. yesterday. There were no reports of injuries or damage as a result of the quake.

Tropical Storm Larry kills at least 11 in Mexico
2003-10-03 14:48:40

MEXICO CITY, Oct. 2 (Xinhuanet) -- Tropical storm Larry churning in the Gulf of Mexico has lashed the southeastern, northern and central regions of the country in the past few days, killing at least 11 people and leaving many others missing, authorities said on Thursday.

[...] As a result of heavy rains and the effects of changing climate,there has been an outbreak of dengue fever in four states of the country. More than 3,000 cases of dengue fever were reported and seven of them died.

Mexican President Vicente Fox Thursday urged relevant authorities to strengthen preventive measures against the deadly disease and prevent the epidemic further spreading.

Mystery-death husband tells of flu symptoms, 'then a thump' (New Zeland)


A Dunedin woman complained of flu-like symptoms not long before her 12-year-old daughter heard a thump and found her dead on the floor of their home.

Julie Millan died suddenly last Friday at her home in the central Dunedin suburb of Mornington from what is thought to have been a pulmonary haemorrhage - bleeding in the lungs.

The 46-year-old housewife's death is similar to that of two other west Dunedin residents who died this month with unexplained lung haemorrhages.

But deadly coincidence is considered the most likely explanation for the sudden cluster of mystery deaths.

The three were unknown to one another and lived several kilometres apart. They had no obvious risk factors and were people who were not likely to die suddenly.

Disease experts and health officials, keen to avoid flooding hospitals with needlessly anxious patients, say tests have discounted Sars and a range of other illnesses. They say it is highly unlikely the three died of an infectious disease.

Preliminary autopsy results blame pneumonia and bleeding in the lungs.

Julie Millan's husband, John, told the Weekend Herald his wife had always enjoyed excellent health.

Even that Friday, while feeling a little under the weather, she had been getting ready for a "night in and a few wines".

She had mentioned to their daughter that she thought she might be getting the flu and had complained of chest pains.

"Soon after, my daughter heard a thump upstairs and went up to find her mother collapsed on the floor."

Mr Millan said his wife had also text-messaged their son about her flu-like symptoms.

He said he had been scared for his three young children when health officials told him on Thursday night of their concerns about the mystery illness.

Mr Millan originally believed his wife had most likely died of a heart attack. His family were desperate to know what was behind the three similar deaths, he said.

Otago medical officer of health Dr John Holmes said none of the tests looking for an infection had found any organism that would explain the deaths.

But until more questions were answered, the three cases were being treated as though caused by infection, he said.

Dr Blackmore said the more time that passed without new cases, the less likely it was that the three deaths were caused by an infectious disease. [...]

"The working hunch is that this is going to be a series of probably unrelated coincidences, as opposed to one weird infection or toxin that no-one has met before and that hasn't infected anyone else." [...]

Comment: Is too much of a streach to put this together with the strange "muck" landing on people's houses in NZ, the recent earthquakes, and earthquake induced oceanic methane burps?

Student Murder Jolts Quiet Maine College

By GLENN ADAMS, Associated Press Writer
October 3, 2003

WATERVILLE, Maine - There was a time when students at Colby College left their dorm doors unlocked and young women jogged alone.

No one felt the need for escorts through the campus, which occupies a corner of this central Maine city of 15,605. It was as if the school's 714 acres were under a big protective bubble.

That was before Sept. 16, when a stranger walked on to campus, snatched 21-year-old Dawn Rossignol of Medway and killed her in what police say was a random act. [...]

Delivering Letters to God

Thu October 2, 2003 09:46 AM ET
By Megan Goldin

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Thinking of writing a letter to God?

The address, according to those who regularly write to the Almighty, is "God, Jerusalem, Israel." Alternatively you could try: "God, the Wailing Wall," a reference to the Jewish holy site known as the Western Wall.

Either address will ensure your letter ends up in the sorting room of the Israeli post office's Dead Letters Department where it will be collected, placed in a velvet bag and posted to God through the cracks of the Western Wall.

Hundreds of people every year jot down their prayers, wishes or problems and mail their notes to the Holy City where the creed of the Dead Letter Department's postmen is to ensure that every piece of mail reaches its destination -- rain or shine.

"We are going through a peak period at the moment," said harried Dead Letters Department manager, Avi Yaniv. [...]

Study into near-death experiences supports theory of a 'sixth sense'

Richard Sadler –
The Scotsman 11 September 2003

British scientists say there is convincing evidence that a significant proportion of the population possess psychic powers.

The British Association for the Advancement of Science was told an increasing number of experiments support the theory of a human "sixth sense" - an ability which may have its roots in our past, when the ability to sense the presence of a predator was a matter of life or death.

The view that people are capable of paranormal feats, such as premonitions, telepathy, and out-of-body experiences, is supported by new research by the Institute of Psychiatry, which suggests the human mind may exist outside the body like an invisible magnetic field.

The research is being led by Dr Peter Fenwick, a neuro-psychiatrist at London University, who has just completed a survey of heart patients claiming to have had "near-death experiences" after their hearts had stopped beating.

"There is now convincing evidence to challenge the current theory that consciousness can only exist inside the brain - and if you can have consciousness without associated brain function, that is enormously important for our understanding of the mind," he said.

For his latest research, 60 patients at Southampton General Hospital’s coronary care unit were interviewed after heart attacks had left them temporarily brain-dead. Seven reported near-death experiences - defined by characteristic features such as a feeling of leaving your body, going through a tunnel and entering an area of "love, bliss and consciousness".

"The significance of this is that after a cardiac arrest you lose consciousness within eight seconds; within 11 seconds the brain’s rhythms become flat, and within 18 seconds there is no possibility of the brain creating a model of the world - so the brain is down," said Dr Fenwick.

"Yet whenever we asked people when their near-death experiences occurred, they said it was during unconsciousness. If that’s true, their experience was occurring when there was no blood flowing through the brain - and consciousness would appear to exist outside the brain."

It could be argued that their experiences occurred in the few seconds between brain functions being restored and the return of consciousness. But recent research on a patient in the United States, where traces of electrical activity in the brain were closely monitored, suggested this was not the case.

"That study and other evidence points to the mind and brain not being identical, and it seems that the mind may operate in part outside the brain as a sort of field which works in the same way as a TV receiver receives programmes through the airwaves," said Dr Fenwick.

"The main question we are trying to answer is does the brain-identity theory really hold - and the next step is to find more people who experience leaving their bodies and put symbols on the ceiling or walls of the ward to see if they are able to detect them."

Dr Fenwick said the idea of the mind existing outside the body helped to explain the growing weight of scientific evidence pointing to genuine psychic powers.

For example, US trials showed women trying to become pregnant by in-vitro fertilisation were twice as likely to conceive if they were "prayed for" by a group of people hundreds of miles away who had never met them.

Government snipers started 1968 massacre, documents say

MEXICO CITY, Mexico (AP) -- At least 360 snipers under government command fired into a crowd of protesters, touching off a massacre 35 years ago that scarred a generation of Mexicans, according to once-secret government files obtained by The Associated Press.

Government officials at the time said armed dissidents provoked the deadly confrontation on October 2, 1968 -- 10 days before the start of the Olympics hosted by Mexico -- by firing on police during a protest against Mexico's lack of democracy. Estimates on the number of people killed range from 38 to several hundred. [...]

Mexicans piece together million piece jigsaw

Associated Press
07:05 Wednesday 30th July 2003

A collection of civic groups in northern Mexico are attempting to assemble the world's largest jigsaw puzzle that should cover 430,000 square feet with a million pieces. [...]

Naked workers invade Mexican senate
14:31 Wednesday 1st October 2003

Naked farm workers staged a mass invasion of the Mexican senate as part of a land row.

Some 150 naked protestors broke windows, seats and tables, according to Terra Noticias Populares. They left only after the senate's vice president Carlos Chaurand guaranteed he would carry out their demands.

The men and women also appeared naked or in their underwear on the corners of the main streets of Mexico City.

Their main claim is that a decree, signed by former president Carlos Salinas who left power in 1994, be put in action. The decree donates land to the workers who are part of the "400 People" movement.

Grease on the go

Two Gustavus Adolphus graduates converted an old Volkswagen to run on fryer fat and plan to use it on a road trip

Remains Of Xena-Like Woman Found

Jennifer Viegas
Discovery News

Oct. 1, 2003 — The remains of a six-foot tall woman, buried with a shield and knife, were recently discovered in an Anglo-Saxon cemetery in Lincolnshire, England.

The body and artifacts, which date to A.D. 500-600, suggest that more women than previously believed may have fought alongside men during the turbulent years following England's Roman period. [...]

Mysterious muck strikes again

A couple have become the latest target of a mysterious airborne menace that has dumped large amounts of foul-smelling muck on homes in some parts of the country.

Clive and Raewyn Patching, of Omokoroa, 18km northwest of Tauranga, were watching TV on Saturday night when something slammed into their roof.

The next day the couple inspected the damage - "a big splat on the roof, about 6-7sq m".

The roof was covered in a brown, smelly substance that looked like cow manure, only "much finer" in texture.
Mr Patching said it seemed his home had become the latest target of mystery "muck bombings" that have plagued home owners in Wellington, Cambridge, Te Awamutu and the Manukau Harbour settlement of Huia.

Like other victims, Mr and Mrs Patching believe the substance came from a passing aeroplane.

Comment: UFO sewage not from plane, says official

Eggs were frogs


BERLIN -- Eggs that mysteriously fell from the sky after Hurricane Isabel onto one single porch in town Sept. 19 have been identified as coming from frogs.

"We have found that they are probably some kind of egg, but we do not know what species (of frog)," said Ruth Rollin, chairman of the Central Connecticut State University biology department. "In order to be sure, they would have had to live." [...]

Comment: Read Charles Fort who has recorded many instances of mysterious rains of various objects. The hurricane cannot be entirely responsible. Frog eggs do not exist in isolation, and other items would have fallen around the home.

Alien visit? Crop circles remain a mystery

Comment: Let us lump all phenomena in one pot, and mix it together for public consumption so it is an incoherent mess making it difficult to logically analyze. It seems most are willing to jump to conclusions so they do not have to think.

Ours is the age that is proud of machines that think and suspicious of men who try to. - H. Mumford Jones

Consistency requires you to be as ignorant today as you were a year ago. - Bernard Berenson

The more you know, the more you know you don't know. - Aristotle

The average man never really thinks from end to end of his life.  The mental activity of such people is only a mouthing of clichés. - H.L. Mencken, Prejudices, 1925

[Thinking is] what a great many people think they are doing when they are merely rearranging their prejudices. - William James

Few people think no more than two or three times a year; I have made an international reputation for myself by thinking once a week. - George Bernard Shaw

Men fear thought as they fear nothing else on earth, more than ruin, more even than death.  Thought is subversive and revolutionary, destructive and terrible, thought is merciless to privilege, established institutions, and comfortable habit.  Thought looks into the pit of hell and is not afraid.  Thought is great and swift and free, the light of the world, and the chief glory of man.  - Bertrand Russell

What luck for rulers, that men do not think.  - Adolph Hitler

One of our readers takes a stab at political cartoons

A Thai-Chinese man pierces rods through his cheeks to mark the annual Vegetarian festival in Phuket, southern Thailand. The Thai-Chinese in Phuket believe gods take over their bodies during the festival. They perform self-torture in order to remove any evil brought upon themselves and to bring the community luck.

Comment: Looking at this, who could deny that, as a race, we truly are in reach of the humanists' dream...





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