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October 9, 2003

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"Disasters involve cycles in the human experiential cycle [...] Human cycle mirrors cycle of catastrophe. Earth benefits in form of periodic cleansing. Time to start paying attention to the signs. They are escalating. They can even be 'felt'by you and others, if you pay attention."

Today as the world burns: The threatening and manipulative role that Israel plays in the world is becoming ever more obvious. Anything deemed not in Israel's interest is censored, maligned or bombed out of existence, while Israel is permitted to flout every law imaginable. Saddam had no WMD, even Condi and Colin knew it - and said it. Israel on the other hand has 300 nukes poised and ready to go as it lobbies the US congress to pass bills that hand out ultimatums to it's middle eastern neighbors.

The basis of Israel's apartheid is coming under scrutiny in a very public way, thanks to one of Zionism's most vocal proponents plagiarizing and using data that is easily proven false. We will watch to see how the usual public relations culprits spin this story.

Iraq is still a quagmire, 11 dead yesterday but Bush is committing the troops to a long haul. Peru's glaciers are melting and the penguins are sunning themselves on the fly. A US astrobiologist is scouting for alien planets, and if you happen to step out the front door of our universe, you might find yourself walking in the back.

A most interesting story takes place in Siberia where an incredible find is stumbled upon, preserved in the ice. A lot of head scratching, and perhaps some spin is on it's way to help preserve consensus reality at all costs.

Huge amounts of resources are spent to preserve consensus reality, and massive campaigns launched to keep us all ignorant. Public relations campaigns and COINTLEPRO operations on everything from the Iraq Invasion (something like $600 million spent so far on PR alone) to genetically modified foods, to UFO's and archeology.

The human spirit must be squashed at all costs. What are the power elite so afraid of? It seems that nothing is more dangerous to the power structure than an educated human being who can occasionally think for him/herself.


by Gordon Thomas

Professor Alan Dershowitz, the darling of the Anti-Defamation League, the defender of OJ Simpson, Jonathan Pollard and Ariel Sharon, who often speaks like he is the personal representative on earth of Moses, and is a vicious attacker of anyone who dares reproach Israel for the smallest infraction of human rights, is now revealed as a crude plagiarist and a fraudster. The accusations come from a fellow Jewish professor, Norman Finkelstein. He is on the faculty of the respected DePaul University and is the author of "The Holocaust Industry".

In a devastating onslaught on Dershowitz on MSNBC’s prestigious Scarborough Country, Finkelstein slammed the Harvard professor of law for "falsifying information, plagiarising, and lifting from other books… and violating the most basic canons of historical scholarship".

A transcript of the recording shows Dershowitz at his blustering best. A row between two Jewish academics would not usually arouse much interest outside their campus followers. Dershowitz has written a book "The Case For Israel" which normally would only find review space in the newsletter of the Anti-Defamation League. Dershowitz is the man whose every word is slavishly recorded by his powerful media contacts.

He is the authentic voice of Right Wing Judaism – some would say extremism – in America. To challenge him, it has been said, it is best to carry a cross and a piece of garlic for ever after. He has seen more potential attackers off than there were numbers of the Biblical Gaderene swine. The New York Times, the pillar of the Jewish establishment in the United States, has lavished his new book with the kind of unstinted praise it once gave to Jason Blair, the archetypical fraudster who stoked his reporting ego and fooled his readers for many years.

Finkelstein has traduced Dershowitz with the kind of language the Harvard professor usually reserves for anyone who dares challenge him. "There’s only one conclusion one can reach having read the book. Mr Dershowitz has concocted a fraud, which amazingly in large parts he plagiarised from another fraud. I found that pretty shocking, coming from a Harvard professor. I found it shocking coming from any professor", Finkelstein told the MSNBC’s Amy Goldman and her radio audience.

Throwing his own words back at Dershowitz live on air, Finkelstein slammed the holder of the Felix Frankfurter Chair of Jurisprudence at Harvard Law School: "There was no extensive historical research. Instead, there was the fraudulent manufacturing of historical anti-history. It was the kind of deception for which professors are rightly fired – not because their views are controversial, but because they are violating the most basic canons of historical scholarship".

Dershowitz, now exposed as a master cribber, had levelled the same accusation against a French professor called Faurisson, charging him to be a "fraud and a holocaust denier". Dershowitz could only threaten on the radio programme to sue for defamation. Professor Finkelstein ignored the threat. Instead, he said he had "read the book very carefully. I did what someone serious does with the book. I read the text. I went through the footnotes. I went through it very carefully".

Then, with the remorseless piling of fact upon fact, Finkelstein set about destroying the credibility of Alan Dershowitz. Central to the accusation of fraud and plagiarism against Dershowitz is a previous book, From Time Immemorial by Joan Peters. Published in 1984, the book was a poorly written polemic that tried to support the old Zionist claim that Israel had "been a land without people, awaiting people without a land" and that there had been no substantial presence before the Bible’s wandering Jews arrived. Once more The New York Times had salivated ecstatically over the book. But Finkelstein had set about demolishing the Peters book. As Finkelstein said: "I read it at least four times. I went through all 1854 footnotes". He assumed he would never again have to read the footnotes. But there they were, word for word, in Dershowitz’s new book.

Yet the Peters book gets no mention in the copious index to "The Case For Israel". Indeed, the only mention of Peters is on page 31 of Dershowitz’s book. He assures his readers that "I do not in any way rely on them in this book". Finkelstein cited on air what another writer, the excellent Alexander Cockburn, condemns as "this brazen declaration… and wholesale unacknowledged looting of Peters’ research". Cockburn goes on: "If Justice Frankfurter had fuelled decisions with this kind of scholarship, he’d have been citing Marvel Comics as useful repositories of case law and precedent. If, in writings off the bench, he’d (Frankfurter) used the sort of research procedures displayed elsewhere in Dershowitz’s The Case For Israel, he’d probably have been forced off the Supreme Court for ethical considerations of a sort I imagine Harvard’s president, Lawrence Summers will soon be pondering in the case of Professor Dershowitz".

They make a devastating indictment of his methods.

1. "In the sixteenth century," Dershowitz remarks on the seventeenth page of his book, "according to British reports, "as many as 15,000 Jews" lived in Safad, which was a "center of rabbinical learning." Turn now to page 178 of Ms. Peters' book: "Safad at that time contained as many as 15,000 Jews in the 16th century," and was "a centre of Rabbinical learning."

2. Dershowitz (page 18): "In 1834, Jewish homes in Jerusalem "were sacked and their women violated." Peters (page 183): "The Jews were the worst sufferers, their homes were sacked and their women violated

3. Dershowitz (page 20): "Nor could the Jew seek redress, as the report observed: 'Like the miserable dog without an owner he is kicked by one because he crosses his path, and cuffed by another because he cries out – to seek redress he is afraid, lest it bring worse upon him; he thinks it better to endure than to live in the expectation of his complaint being revenged upon him.' Peters (page 187: "Like the miserable dog without an owner he is kicked by one because he crosses his path, and cuffed by another because he cries out – to seek redress he is afraid, lest it bring worse upon him; he thinks it better to endure than to live in the expectation of his complaint being revenged upon him."

4. Dershowitz ( page 26): "A Christian historian has reported that several villages throughout Palestine "are populated wholly by settlers from other portions of the Turkish Empire within the nineteenth century. There are villages of Bosnians, Druzes, Circassians and Egyptians." Peters (page 156): "In some cases villages [in Palestine] are populated wholly by settlers from other portions of the Turkish Empire within the nineteenth century. There are villages of Bosnians, Druzes, Circassians and Egyptians," one historian has reported.

5. Dershowitz (page 26): "Four years later, it was reported that "depopulation is even now advancing." Peters (page 159): "In the 1860s, it was reported that "depopulation is even now advancing."

6. Dershowitz (page 27): J.L. Burkhardt [sic] reported that as early as in the second decade of the nineteenth century, "Few individuals die in the same village in which they were born. Families are continually moving from one place to another in a few years they fly to some other place, where they have heard that their brethren are better treated." Peters (163) "Few individuals die in the same village in which they were born. Families are continually moving from one place to another in a few years they fly to some other place, where they have heard that their brethren are better treated."

A comment from Cockburn: "Dershowitz plagiarized Peters, while simultaneously claiming he hadn't used her for any historical material. One fraud ripping off another, the former at last giving the latter justifiable grounds for arguing maltreatment."

An excerpt from the MNBC broadcast offers further evidence on how Finkelstein traduced Dershowitz ...

Comment: This report comes from Gordon Thomas' free email service from his web site,, and is not posted on the internet. He has some interesting books available with free chapters for downloading. The well researched book Gideon's Spies: The Secret History of the Mossad is widely considered the best book regarding the Mossad. No outsider has gotten closer.

Regarding the above article: The reality of ADL mouthpieces like Dershowitz falsifying data (to put it mildly) and plagiarizing, to further justify Zionist apartheid and genocidal policies, is all too common. Thankfully in this case it has been exposed on a mainstream media channel, however there is much that goes uncontested.

In an ideal world facts would speak for themselves. In regard to Israel and Jewish history, as it is presented by people like Dershowitz, more often than not the truth is twisted and distorted to support the apparent "right" of the Jews to be perennial victims and therefore "God's chosen people". Any that would attempt to address this imbalance find themselves on the wrong end of the slur "anti-semite" or "holocaust denier."

With Israel attempting to ignite the tinder box that is the middle east with their continual invasions and war mongering, based on Zionist claims of what god gave them, the timing of Dershowitz's exposure could not have been better.

In the 21st Century, we are still fighting wars based on religion, people are still being sacrificed to angry and vengeful gods. The death of 6 million Jews in W.W.II is being used to justify further war and bloodshed, and this time it may be on a level that even surpasses the horrors of 60 years ago. In the Whitehouse we see a similar pattern, with Bush repeatedly evoking and disgracing the memory of the 3000 victims of 9/11 by using it to continue his murderous rampage.

You can read the entire transcript of the radio broadcast here. Recommended reading to see how Dershowitz primary mode of attack was name calling and hubris. For further facts check out Zionists Frequently Asked Questions, particularly this question Palestine was empty and mostly inhabited by nomads who immigrated to the region from neighboring countries:

From the early stages of Zionism, it maintained its position that the indigenous Palestinian population are naive, nomadic, and non-existent until the development of Palestine by the Zionist movement. To facilitate such disinformation, the Zionist movement adopted the following slogan to entice European Jewry to immigrate to Palestine: 

"A land with no people is for a people with no land".

Had the Zionist leaders admitted the existence of such an indigenous population, then these leaders would have been obliged to explain to their followers how they intended to make this indigenous population leave their homeland. To contradict this baseless and concocted myth, it is worth quoting Ben-Gurion who stated in 1918 that "Palestine is not an empty country." According to Shabtai Teveth (who is one of Ben-Gurion's official biographers), Ben-Gurion stated in an article published in 1918 that:

"Palestine is not an empty country . . .  on no account must we injure the rights of the inhabitants." Ben-Gurion often returned to this point, emphasizing that Palestinian Arabs had "the full right" to an independent economic, cultural, and communal life, but not political. ( Shabtai Teveth , p. 37-38) [...]

Based on Ottoman census records in the late 19th and early 20th century, Palestine was widely inhabited at the time especially in the rural areas where agriculture was the main profession. According to Justine McCarthy (p. 26) the population of Palestine in the early 19th century was 350,000 people, and in 1914 , just before the outbreak of WWI,  Palestine had a population of 657,000 Muslims Arabs, 81,000 Christian Arabs, and 59,000  Jews (including many European Jews from the first and second Aliyah).

So the Jewish population of Palestine in 1914 made up under 8% of the total population, which was much smaller than the Palestinian Christian population. It should be noted that our source, Justine McCarthy, is an authority on the Ottoman Turks who was quoted by many Israeli Jewish scholars like Benny Morris and Tom Segev . In that regard, it is worth quoting one of the most zealous Zionist leaders, Israel Zangwill , who stated as early as 1905 that Palestine was twice as thickly populated as the United States....

The lies about the reason for invading Iraq

Pepe Escobar – Asia Times October 7, 2003

BAGHDAD and AMMAN - Chief United Nations weapons inspector Hans Blix knew it. Former weapons inspector Scott Ritter knew it. French, German and Russian intelligence knew it. Sultan Hashim Ahmad - Iraq's former minister of defense, now safe after a cosy deal with the Americans - knew it. In 1995, Hussein Kamel, married to one of Saddam Hussein's daughters and the man in charge of it all, knew it. The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in Langley and the MI6 in London knew it. Saddam's regime was not lying when it claimed that it had destroyed all its WMD after the 1991 Gulf War. Whatever the spin, the fact of the matter is that now there's conclusive proof that both US President George W Bush and UK Prime Minister Tony Blair lied about the reason for invading Iraq.

As it was widely reported at the time, on the night of August 7, 1995, General Hussein Kamel, former director of Iraq's Military Industrialization Corp - the organism in charge of Iraq's weapons program - defected to Jordan, along with his brother, Colonel Saddam Kamel. Hussein Kamel managed to smuggle tons of documents with him with priceless information about different Iraqi weapons programs. A few days later, Saddam's regime went on the offensive, presenting another set of documents showing that Iraq had conducted an aborted crash program to develop a nuclear bomb. A few months later, Hussein and Saddam Kamel made the biggest mistake of their lives. Following family pleas and giving credence to assurances from Baghdad, they returned to Iraq in early 1996, and were inevitably killed by Saddam's secret services.

On August 22, 1995, Hussein Kamel was interviewed in Amman by three top Western officials: Rolf Ekeus, executive chairman of UNSCOM from 1991 to 1997; Professor Maurizio Zifferero, deputy director of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and head of the inspections team in Iraq; and Nikita Smidovich, a Russian diplomat who led UNSCOM's ballistic missile team, and Deputy Director for Operations of UNSCOM. Major Izz al-Din al-Majid, a cousin of Saddam Hussein's who defected with the Kamel brothers, was also present. Unlike the brothers, he remained in Jordan and exiled himself in Europe in an undisclosed location.

The key document - shown to Asia Times Online by a Jordanian intelligence source - is in the form of an internal UNSCOM/IAEA report classified as "sensitive". On page 13 of what is the transcript of the UNSCOM/IAEA interview with Hussein Kamel, he categorically says, "I ordered the destruction of all chemical weapons. All weapons - biological, chemical, missile, nuclear were destroyed." He also says that "not a single missile was left, but they had blueprints and molds for production. All missiles were destroyed."

Kamel discloses that anthrax was "the main focus" of the Iraqi biological program (pages 7-8). He confirms all weapons and agents were destroyed: "Nothing remained after visits of inspection teams." Kamel also says, "They put VX [nerve gas] in bombs during the last days of the Iran-Iraq war [of the 1980s]. They were not used and the program was terminated." On page 13, Rolf Ekeus asks Kamel if Iraq had restarted VX production after the Iran-Iraq war. Kamel says, "We changed the factory into pesticide production. Part of the establishment started to produce medicine [...] we gave instructions not to produce chemical weapons." On page 8, Kamel insists that "I made the decision to disclose everything so that Iraq could return to normal."

In August 1995, both the Bill Clinton administration in the US and the John Major government in the UK took Kamel's assertion that Iraq had destroyed its entire stockpile of chemical and biological weapons and banned missiles - as Saddam's regime claimed - very seriously. But this "sensitive" interview was kept secret for more than seven years. It was only leaked in early 2003. Kamel's interview was then endlessly spun by Bush and Blair. But the key point remains undisputable: Saddam's regime destroyed all its WMD after the 1991 Gulf War.

This was not the soundbite that the Pentagon neo-conservatives wanted..

Flashback Pilger claims White House knew Saddam was no threat

September 23, 2003

Australian investigative journalist John Pilger says he has evidence the war against Iraq was based on a lie which could cost George W Bush and Tony Blair their jobs and bring Prime Minister John Howard down with them.

A television report by Pilger aired on British screens last night said US Secretary of State Colin Powell and National Security Adviser Condoleeza Rice confirmed in early 2001 that Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein had been disarmed and was no threat.

But after the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington on September 11 that year, Pilger claimed Rice said the US "must move to take advantage of these new opportunities" to attack Iraq and claim control of its oil.

Pilger uncovered video footage of Powell in Cairo on February 24, 2001 saying, "He (Saddam Hussein) has not developed any significant capability with respect to weapons of mass destruction. He is unable to project conventional power against his neighbours."

Two months later, Rice reportedly said, "We are able to keep his arms from him. His military forces have not been rebuilt."

Powell boasted this was because America's policy of containment and its sanctions had effectively disarmed Saddam.

Pilger claims this confirms that the decision of US President George W Bush - with the full support of British Prime Minister Blair and Howard - to wage war on Saddam because he had weapons of mass destruction was a huge deception.[...]

Comment: While, by now, the evidence is literally overwhelming that the unprovoked Iraq invasion was simply that - an invasion - and the reasons given to the public for same were completely bogus, it would seem that this reality has not been fully grasped by the public at large.

Perhaps it is the White house propaganda, repeated ad nauseum, that Saddam was a real threat that has many still undecided, causing them to think that it is a case of "their word against ours". This is however NOT the case.

The above report and accompanying video here prove pretty much CONCLUSIVELY that Saddam was NOT a threat. This assertion comes from the mouths of the very people who now claim he was. Neither is it believable that in the space of a few months Saddam's threat status could have done a complete 180 degree turn.

Of course there is the problem of the likelihood of this news actually reaching the populace, given the nature of the mass media and it's wholesale sellout to the establishment. However, in the case that the facts do actually reach the ears of the people and they remain unwilling even then to accept the facts, we must conclude that this is their CHOICE. If this is the case, it does not take a major leap in imagination to see that a heavy price may well be paid by them as a result.

Syria Sanctions Bill Poised to Pass Key House Committee

Legislation that seeks to sanction Syria for its ongoing support for terrorism and development of chemical and biological weapons will likely pass overwhelmingly today in the House International Relations Committee, and could be voted upon by the full House next week, The Washington Post reported. More than 280 House members and 78 senators have signed onto the bill as cosponsors.

Without interference from Syria, terror groups have maintained offices, training camps and facilities in Damascus from which they have orchestrated terror attacks against Israelis. Administration officials have recently criticized Syria for undermining U.S. efforts in Iraq and allowing fighters to cross the border to attack American troops. Learn more about the Syria Accountability Act and urge your members of Congress to support the bill.

Bush Backs Israel's Right to Self Defense.

After Israel struck an Islamic Jihad terrorist training camp in Syria, President Bush told Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon that he backed Israel's right to self-defense, The Washington Post reported. "I made it very clear to the prime minister, like I have consistently done, that Israel's got a right to defend herself; that Israel must not feel constrained in defending the homeland," Bush said Monday at the White House. Bush yesterday added that Israel's air strike was essential to its defense. "We would be doing the same thing," he said.

Comment: The above is from AIPAC - "American Israel Public Affairs Committee" an organisation which, according to the New York Times, is "the most important organisation affecting America's relationship with Israel." It is unsurprising therefore that they would urge people to lobby their members of congress to support the "Syria accountability act".

This newest piece of bogus legislation is, like so many others passed in recent years, based on lies and propaganda, and affords Israel the same right that the US awarded itself after 9/11, that is, to preemptively attack another country in the interest of "protecting the homeland". Notice here the subtle manipulation. Bush states that the core principle is the "right to defend the homeland" and while this may be true in essence, what is not being said is just what Bush and Sharon are defending their respective "homelands" against.

Repeatedly we have seen evidence suggesting that there is no "terrorist" threat as so often stated by the White house et al. The conclusion therefore must be that the actions of Bush, Sharon an Co. are designed to protect against one thing only, the "threat" of an outbreak of peace and stability, which would seriously limit the possibility of the realisation of their megalomaniacal designs on the world.

Israel's Dimona Reactor Dome

Inspecting the Obvious: Israel’s WMD’s and the West’s Double Standard

Wednesday, October 08 2003

[...] Israel’s refusal to approve the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, in addition to strong speculations that Israel owns up to 300 nuclear warheads and the Arab League’s most recent assertion to the IAEA that Israel now has the capability of producing a hydrogen bomb, are all not enough to convince the US that Iran and Iraq aren't the real 'imminent' danger.

Israel’s refusal to approve the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, in addition to strong speculations that Israel owns up to 300 nuclear warheads and the Arab League’s most recent assertion to the International Atomic Energy Agency that Israel now has the capability of producing a hydrogen bomb, are all not enough to convince the United States and its war ‘coalition’ that Iran and Iraq aren’t the real ‘imminent’ danger.

The present hierarchy of power in the West, the neo-imperialism, of which Israel is an essential part, seems little concerned with logic and rationale when one of its members is the wrongdoer. Aside from that, it makes perfect sense for Bush, Blair and Howard to chase after the phantoms of Iraq’s alleged weapons, not leaving an orchard near Baghdad thoroughly excavated, while Israel amasses a wealth of banned weapons, unscathed.

Comment: "I've never seen a president --I don't care who he is-- stand up to them [the Israelis]. It just boggles your mind. They always get what they want. The Israelis know what's going on all the time. I got to the point where I wasn't writing anything down. If the American people understood what grip those people have on our government, they would rise up in arms. Our citizens don't have any idea what goes on."--Admiral Thomas Moorer of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Washington Report 12/1999

Israel locks down West Bank towns


JERUSALEM --  Trying to prevent another terror attack during the Jewish holidays, Israel enforced an open-ended lockdown of Palestinian towns yesterday. [...]

Four Israeli reserve units to be deployed to West Bank, Gaza

JERUSALEM (AFP) Oct 09, 2003

Four Israeli army reserve units are to be deployed to the West Bank and Gaza Strip from October 22 as part of a host of security measures to foil feared attacks by Palestinian militants, Israeli radio said.

Defense minister Shaul Mofaz had decided to deploy the units to the West Bank towns of Jenin, Tulkarem, Qalqilya and Ramallah as well as in Gaza, the report said. [...]

Mofaz said that the call-up of the reservists was needed as "the Israeli people will not tolerate a new attack like last Saturday's in Haifa", the radio added. [...]

Arafat weakened by stomach flu

RAMALLAH, West Bank (Reuters) - Palestinian President Yasser Arafat has been weakened by a bad case of flu and Egyptian doctors hope to have a clearer picture of his health after completing tests, aides say. [...]

A senior aide said an Egyptian medical team headed by President Hosni Mubarak's private physician had examined Arafat at his headquarters in the West Bank city of Ramallah.

"They took blood samples and carried out several tests," the aide said on Thursday. "Their initial findings were that he had a very strong flu and stomach virus, but the final results will be given to us tonight."

As a result of the illness, Arafat did not eat solid foods for 10 days and could not even keep soup down, aides said.

Arafat had lost a lot of weight but his appearance had improved over the past three days and he has been more alert, the aides said. [...]

Israeli minister calls for incinerating Damascus, Beirut

Jerusalem: 8 October, 2003

(IAP News) - An Israeli cabinet minister said Wednesday that Israel should carry out devastating air strikes against Syria an Lebanon if Palestinian resistance groups continued to fight Israel's colonialist occupation.

The minister, Avigdor Lieberman, said Israel should "incinerate Beirut and Damascus" in retaliation for resistance attacks in the West Bank.

"We should take advantage of our military superiority and visit Syrian and Lebanon with destruction for their support of Hamas and Islamic Jihad." [...]

One State or Two? A False Dilemma

October 8, 2003

Do you favor a one-state solution or a two-state solution to the Israel/Palestine conflict? Personally, I favor both.

The one-state solution calls for a single state made up of Israel plus the occupied territories. Since the state is conceived as democratic, it would very likely involve a Palestinian majority. Sometimes there is talk of giving Jews in this state certain protections; always there is talk of acknowledging a Palestinian right of return. The proposal is said to be the only just solution, and the only one which can eventually produce a happy, prosperous, beautiful Palestine.

The two-state solution has several variants, some of them justly infamous. Mine is very simple: Israel gets out of every square inch of the occupied territories, and the Palestinians acquire complete, unqualified sovereignty over every square inch of the West Bank and Gaza. In return, the Israelis get the one thing they need--defensible borders. Anything else can be negotiated later.

No doubt Israel would also want Palestinian guarantees to end terrorism, but why? Guarantees are mere words. If Israel wants real security, it must end the oppression of the Palestinians and permit the formation of a genuinely independent Palestinian state--a state its rulers and virtually its entire population would want to preserve. Since cross-border attacks would certainly provoke an Israeli invasion, a truly sovereign Palestine and its supporters would not allow such attacks. Palestinians would not want their newly independent country to be destroyed.

When it comes to comparing the proposals, as always, the devil is in the details. The most important division among proposed solutions is not between one-state and two-state arrangements, but between those arrangements which do and which do not take the settlements as accomplished fact. Sleazy one-state and two-state proposals accept the settlements with a patently insincere throwing up of hands: "gosh, there are so many settlers, so well established--why can't we just all get along?" -- Because the settlers are taking all the good land, dummy, not to mention the water!

Anyone who thinks the Jewish presence in the occupied territories is an accomplished fact should look back to the expulsion of the French 'colons'--settlers--from Algeria. Even for many Israelis, the abolition of the settlements is neither unwelcome nor impossible. Presumably, if Israel cares for its settlers, it would force them to depart with its armies, who after all are very practiced in expelling people from their homes. [...]

Jewish group wants Athens art show closed

Oct 9 2003

A Jewish human rights group yesterday condemned an Athens art exhibition depicting a pregnant woman blown up by a suicide bomber in an Israeli supermarket, and urged Prime Minister Costas Simitis to shut it down.

The Paris-based Simon Wiesenthal center warned in a letter to Simitis that the exhibition titled “Body Milk” would increase the “prospect of terrorism in the context of the approaching (Athens 2004) Olympics.”

Artist Alexandros Psychoulis said the show was meant to look into the relationship of women and supermarkets.

“Politics are not a part of this work,” he told the daily Ta Nea. The exhibition, which opens later this month, consists of scenes depicting a pregnant woman shopping in an Israeli supermarket, a Palestinian explosives belt, and the supermarket after the blast, in which body parts are visible.

Comment: More twisted logic from the Jewish lobby.

Israeli air force general sacked for signing rebel petition

JERUSALEM (AFP) Oct 08, 2003

An Israeli air force general who signed a petition refusing to take part in strikes in the Palestinian territories has been dismissed from his position as an instructor, Israeli media reported Wednesday. [...]

2 soldiers hurt in suicide attack at roadblock near Tul Karm

By Amos Harel, Haaretz Correspondent

Two Israel Defense Forces soldiers were wounded Thursday when a female suicide bomber detonated explosives at a military roadblock close to the West Bank city of Tul Karm.

One of the soldiers sustained moderate to serious wounds and the second was lightly hurt. Palestinian sources said the IDF has imposed a curfew on Tul Karm, Israel Radio reported.

Eleven killed in Iraqi terror attacks


Two terror attacks in the Iraqi capital Baghdad today left at least 11 people dead including a Spanish military attaché who was assassinated.

A suicide car bomber hit a police station in the north-east of the city killing 10 people including the bomber, police and the US military said.

Shortly afterwards, the Spanish attaché was shot dead outside his home by men including one disguised as a Shiite cleric.

Three policemen and five civilians were killed by the car bomb in addition to the attacker.

Police Major Majid Abdel-Hameed said the car was a white Oldsmobile. The driver drove through the police compound gate, was fired at by officers and then detonated the bomb.

There were at least 28 people injured.

Comment: Notice the biased headline above. How can it be a "terror" attack when a country was illegaly invaded and occupied? If the US were to be invaded would the armed response of the American people be labeled "terror??"

US forces pull out of Iraqi town after repeated attack: local official

HUWAIJAH, Iraq, Oct 9 (AFP) - US forces Thursday withdrew from the town of Huwaijah, 80 kilometres (50 miles) north-east of Baghdad, due to repeated guerrilla attacks against them, a local official told AFP.

"The American forces based in the institute of technology in Huwaijah have left today to five kilometres (three miles) outside the town, near Bakara," a village between Huwaijah and al-Riyadh, said Atallah Iskandar Al-Juburi, a municipal council member.

According to him, the redeployment was due to "the intensity of anti-American attacks by supporters of deposed president Saddam Hussein or extremist Islamist movements."

More than a thousand inhabitants of the Huwaijah area are being detained by US forces, "increasing the exasperation of the local population," Iraqi attorney Hadi al-Qorra, responsible for Huwaijah's prisoners in US custody, told AFP. [...]

Too soon to rule out finding WMD in Iraq: top US diplomat

LONDON (AFP) Oct 09, 2003

The top US diplomat for arms control said late Wednesday that it was too soon to rule out finding weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, and suggested that Saddam Hussein's removal was justified even if no actual weapons were uncovered.

"The evidence that we had... was that Saddam had failed to account for substantial elements of a biological and chemical weapons programme that we suspected were in weaponised form," John Bolton, the under-secretary of state for arms control and international security, told the BBC.

"Whether they were in weaponised form or not is really not the issue. The issue is that the regime that had a pattern of trying to get and use these weapons... has now been eliminated." [...]

Bush Beats The Drum On Iraq

In the face of growing doubts about postwar Iraq, President Bush is leading a new public relations offensive to highlight positive developments.

Afghan artillery clashes leave scores dead

MAZAR-I-SHARIF, Afghanistan (Reuters) - More than 60 fighters have been killed or wounded in one of the worst outbreaks of fighting between pro-government factions since the Taliban fell almost two years ago, a faction official says. [...]

U.S. troops expect long haul in Iraq

By Ian Simpson

TIKRIT, Iraq (Reuters) - Six months after the fall of Saddam Hussein, U.S. troops based in one of his former palaces in Tikrit say Washington will have to keep soldiers in Iraq for years, even decades, to keep it stable. [...]

White House Denies Differences with Rumsfeld on Iraq

By Steve Holland

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The White House Wednesday sought to paper over any differences with Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, who complained he was not told of a postwar Iraq reorganizational shake-up. [...]

Bush used a $14 million fund-raiser Wednesday night to reassure Republican campaign contributors that "America did the right thing" in Iraq and that the hunt for weapons of mass destruction was well under way. [...]

Bush Adviser Rice: Saddam Never Disarmed

Associated Press Writer

CHICAGO - National security adviser Condoleezza Rice defended President Bush's Iraq policy Wednesday, asking Americans to be patient with rebuilding efforts in the region and with the hunt for weapons of mass destruction.

Rice said a team led by chief U.S. weapons hunter David Kay has found proof that Iraq's deposed president, Saddam Hussein, had the ambition and ability to use weapons of mass destruction, even though no weapons have been found.[...]

"Right up until the end, Saddam lied to the Security Council. And let there be no mistake, right up to the end, Saddam Hussein continued to harbor ambitions to threaten the world with weapons of mass destruction," she said. [...]

NYT: World Bank Says Iraq Needs Just $6 Bln '04

October 9, 2003

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Iraq can absorb only $6 billion in infrastructure aid next year, World Bank economists said, a target that the U.S. and its international allies can likely meet, according to a New York Times report Thursday.

A World Bank report has concluded that Iraq can only take in about that amount since it takes months or years to plan projects, the Times said. Some international organizations have said Iraq needs a total of $55 billion over the next four years.

Bush administration officials said Wednesday that the World Bank's 2004 assessment could likely be met by the United States with other international assistance, according to the Times.

Countries or regions expected to help foot the bill include Japan and Europe, the newspaper said.

Protests rock Turkey over Iraq troop decision

ISTANBUL (AFP) Oct 08, 2003

Thousands of demonstrators took to the streets across Turkey Wednesday to denounce the government's controversial decision to send troops to Iraq, with police detaining some 60 Kurdish activists.

In Istanbul, protestors chained themselves to the wire fencing of an American high school and shouted "We will not allow our soldiers to be killed" and "We will not be soldiers for the US." [...]

Defense Official Moves to Ease Strained Relations With Army

By Thomas E. Ricks
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, October 9, 2003; Page A13

Seeking to end a running feud that has strained relations between senior Pentagon civilians and the top brass for more than a year, Deputy Defense Secretary Paul D. Wolfowitz extended the olive branch to the Army yesterday.

"We appreciate what the Army does," Wolfowitz said in a speech to the Association of the U.S. Army, the service's alumni organization and lobbying group. Since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, he said, the service "has had a major role in joint operations that have won two wars and liberated nearly 50 million human beings from horrible tyrannies."

Most notably, he lauded Gen. Eric K. Shinseki, with whom he clashed publicly last spring about the likely size of the U.S. occupation force that would be needed in postwar Iraq. When Shinseki left office as Army chief of staff in June, neither Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld nor Wolfowitz attended his retirement ceremony, a breach of protocol that raised eyebrows across the service.

"If you've been reading any newspapers lately, you undoubtedly know that we had a difference or two," Wolfowitz told his audience of several hundred, which generally reacted with silence. "What the papers fail to report is that I have enormous respect for what General Shinseki accomplished in his four years as chief of staff, moving the Army into the 21st century. . . . General Shinseki did much to bring the Army into a new era, and we will be grateful for him in the future."

In a tone that was conciliatory yet unapologetic, Wolfowitz also reminded his audience that the Army is subordinate to civilian authority. [...]

No, California Is Not Falling Into the Sea

By Christopher Scheer, AlterNet
October 8, 2003

[...] Forget what the talking heads tell you: California is not falling into the sea, people. And if this is a sign of the coming Apocalypse, it is only the latest of its type. Or have you forgotten the kind of folks we elect here on the left coast? Ronald Reagan, Jerry Brown, George Deukmejian, Pete Wilson, Gray Davis – those are the governors that have run things here since I was born, and I'm not sure how Arnold could be much worse.

Furthermore, when Arnold gets to Sacramento he is not only going to be bored out of his mind – Ole' Sack-A-Tomatoes makes his hometown of Graz, Austria look like Paris – but he's going to find himself stuck firmly between his hack reactionary advisors (never mind the token nods to free-thinkers like Warren Buffet) and the hard-nosed Democratic vet John Burton running the legislature down the street. It won't matter how many East Coast Kennedys he has delightedly sniffing his sweat, the first move is now Arnold's and the Democrats get to play the spoilers. Remember how the government shutdown backfired on the Gingrich gang? A sequel is definitely possible here.

In fact, going down the line, there is actually nothing shocking about last night's results. We are just relearning the same old lessons:

  • Americans are – stop me if you've heard this before – disconnected from the democratic process and so frustrated with feeling powerless to "be heard" that they are increasingly resorting to clumsy, angry acts of rebellion against anything that can be considered the status quo. Arnold is most definitely a Republican, but he still managed to secure the crucial "a pox on both your houses" vote.
  • Elections of individuals are always at their core personality contests, as frustrating as that may be to intellectuals of all political stripes, who want them to be about the facts, the issues, the qualifications and platforms of the candidates. Schwarzenegger had more charisma and effortlessly garnered more media coverage.
  • American voters no longer think celebrities or politicians should be held morally responsible for things they do on their "own time." Furthermore, if we like you, you'll be forgiven quickly, as long as you express a bare minimum of contrition.
  • We don't think our vote is "precious," and we're not at all sure it really matters who sits up in the Capitol, so why not have somebody that we like to see on TV? Like Mack in the Dr. Seuss story, "Yertle the Turtle," we're all much more aware of the view in our immediate vicinity than what happens in the proverbial smoke-filled room. Things not feeling so good at the bottom of the muck? Let's shake the tree and see what falls out.
  • Intellectuals need not apply: The progressive left tried to take Arnold down for not being smart, drafting to oppose him an honest-to-god debating champ from Oxford. Duh! Americans, and Californians have made it abundantly clear: They do not like know-it-alls, except on "Jeopardy!" After all, most Americans don't have time or the willingness to read the front section of their daily newspaper, don't discuss politics beyond the bare surface in their social circles, aren't active in any political organization and see democracy as primarily a once-a-year ten-minute duty. Why would we want to elect somebody who makes us feel uninformed? If you're book smart, like Gore, you'd better do like so many women have done through the centuries – hide it well.
  • It is not that Americans like stupid leaders, although we certainly have chosen plenty over the years. But we are very afraid of being condescended to, and violently opposed to what we consider elitism. Unfortunately, most of us are deluded by our culture into believing we are only a lottery ticket or a few decades of hard work away from being millionaires, and we want our tax breaks to be nice and juicy when we finally get there. Compare this to the fact that most Americans consider being an intellectual (or, god forbid, an artist) only slightly less burdensome on society than being a "welfare cheat," and it becomes clear what a bonehead move it is to keep pushing brain-on-a-stick nerds like Ralph Nader and Arianna Huffington into the mainstream as our chosen representatives.
  • In fact, everything that we said bad about Arnold arguably helped him. We said he was a megalomaniac, for example – but this is America, we love megalomaniacs here! Henry Ford, John Kennedy, Joe Namath, Barbara Streisand, Muhammad Ali, Billy Graham, Bill Clinton – a massive ego combined with a winning smile can take you very, very far in this country. Similarly, we emphasized Arnold's "bad boy" side, ignoring the abiding fondness Americans have for the leering pirate who opposes the Puritan angel on our other shoulder. The key for a public figure is not to be pure – yuck! – but merely to aspire to be pure, and show us an "aw shucks, you caught me momma," smile once in a while.
  • In bad times, the current government will be blamed whether it deserves it or not. Life isn't fair.
  • As the saying goes, "If you don't stand for something, you'll fall for anything." For triangulating, take-no-risks Democrats like Gray Davis, it eventually becomes clear to voters that there is no there-there.
  • We don't trust the media, especially when it uses words and not pictures. People wonder why the groping stories didn't seem to affect the outcome, but it's not a mystery: They were reported in the print press, otherwise known as the liberal media, and we didn't see the harassed women themselves on Oprah. This allowed pundits like Rob Lowe to dismiss what amounts to an overwhelming amount of evidence that Arnold is a sick, abusive man as "puke politics."
  • It is easy to have a perfect platform on paper. (If you don't believe it, check out the innovative progressive solutions offered by porn star candidate Mary "Carey" Cook.) It is very, very hard, however, to build movements and win elections. I personally like Arianna Huffington and think she is one of the most brilliant pundits around. But think about it, she is famous in California for two things: The nutty, cynical campaign her millionaire husband ran for governor with her strong support; and being on Comedy Central, a niche cable channel for smirking Bohemians.
  • The vast majority of us don't have any emotional attachment to a political party. Consider this: I was born and raised in California. I am 36 years old and have voted in every election I could, even sometimes when abroad. I went to college. In all that time, I have never been personally approached by a Democrat or Republican to take part in a political activity except for on election day. We live in a democracy and politics are not in any way part of the tissue of our lives, except for, possibly, the local school board. This is a problem. We can believe that Arnold is "not a real Republican" because we don't feel like a real [fill-in-the-blank] ourselves. Are you a Democrat? A Green? Say it out loud and see how it feels.

For those who think Arnold will be a less-than-one-term guffaw, guess again. His victory is not a fluke, a result of "a perfect storm" as NPR's national political analyst said this morning. In fact, probably the only reason he didn't run – and win – the year before is because he was thought to be too liberal for the conservative base that votes in the Republican primary. We have known the guy was coming for a few years, just like the next Terminator sequel, and the fact that it didn't surprise anybody hasn't hurt sales.

For now, Arnold is not Hitler-groping, steroid-pumping gazillionaire but a winner. Americans – and this will be my final sweeping generalization for the day, I promise – love a winner, and for now, Arnold is not a guy who has to figure out how to balance the budget or try to find a good cigar bar in California's version of Squaresville, he is simply a megalomaniac, charismatic, not-so-bright-you-couldn't-have-a-beer-with-him, self-made man with a huge smile.

So call us crazy, world, tell us it was all a circus, shout that the sky is falling. Hey, we're California – we don't care at all what you think, frankly. But know that the problems this exposes are both far bigger and more mundane than whether an action figure should be governor.

Dozens dead in Java bus crash

Thursday, October 9, 2003

JAKARTA, Indonesia -- At least 54 people, mostly high school girls, have died after their bus burst into flames in one of Indonesia's worst traffic accidents this year [...]

FBI bugged Philadelphia mayor's office

Bush Endorses Anti-Gay Proclamation

WASHINGTON -- Over the objections of gay civil rights groups and human rights agencies, George W. Bush has issued a proclamation bearing his signature which lends administration support to Marriage Protection Week, slated for October 12-18. [...]

"Marriage Protection Week provides an opportunity to focus our efforts on preserving the sanctity of marriage and on building strong and healthy marriages in America," the statement, released by the White House, says. [...]

Brussels presses France for flouting budget rules

EU Business

The European Commission launched the next stage of EU disciplinary action against France Wednesday, confirming that Paris has taken "no effective action" to cut its public deficit in line with EU rules. [...]

New York Times Ads Offer Designer Babies

Austin Ruse
Wednesday, Oct. 8, 2003

Over the past few months, the New York Times has repeatedly printed advertisements for the Genetics and IVF Institute (GIVF), a Virginia-based clinic that promises parents the ability to choose the sex of their babies. This marks the first time that a eugenics procedure has been marketed openly in a mainstream American publication.

GIVF claims that its sperm-sorting sex-selection technique, called Microsort, is currently offered for two reasons, as a method of "balancing" the composition of a family's offspring, as well as to avoid conceiving babies with gender-linked diseases. GIVF charges $2,300 for its services.

However, some observers worry that the advertisements signal an increasingly widespread acceptance of eugenics, of efforts to improve the human race through breeding and genetic manipulation. In this regard, GIVF's Web site also allows customers to shop for human eggs based upon race, eye and hair color, and education level of the donors, raising the prospect of a future of "designer babies." [...]

US clears drug cure for killers on death row

Duncan Campbell in Los Angeles
The Guardian
Wednesday October 8, 2003

Convicted murderers with severe mental health problems can be forced to take drugs that would make them clinically sane so that they can be executed, the US supreme court has ruled.

Opponents of the death penalty yesterday described the court's decision to uphold an earlier ruling on the issue - without debating it - as shocking. [...]

This year an appeals court in St Louis ruled that it was acceptable to give Singleton the drugs, although the decision was not unanimous. A dissenting judge, Gerald Heaney, said: "I believe that to execute a man who is severely deranged without treatment and arguably incompetent when treated is the pinnacle of ... the barbarity of exacting mindless vengeance."

At issue is whether such action amounts to "cruel and unusual punishment" under the American constitution. In 1986 the supreme court ruled that it was cruel and unusual to execute someone if they did not know why they were being executed or even that they were about to be executed. [...]

US parents sue over WLAN school fears

By Tim Richardson
Posted: 08/10/2003 at 14:33 GMT

Parents in Oak Park, Illinois, have launched a class action lawsuit against their local school board for allegedly threatening the health of children by installing wireless local area network technology in classrooms.

The lawsuit, reported by Wi-Fi Networking News, alleges that Oak Park Elementary School District 97 has "ignored the substantial body of evidence that high frequency electro-magnetic radiation poses substantial and serious health risks, particularly to growing children". [...]

Iowa Cops Fear Teen Suicide Pact

(CBS/AP)  Police woke the parents of nine high school students before dawn to warn them of a suspected suicide pact a week after a 15-year-old classmate hanged himself. [...]

Liberty Bell Moves to New Home Thursday

By ERIC TUCKER, Associated Press Writer
October 9, 2003

PHILADELPHIA - Tourists have for decades visited the Liberty Bell Pavilion to find the cracked symbol of democracy that once hung in Independence Hall. Not anymore.

The Liberty Bell was set to embark on a nearly 1,000-foot journey to its newest home in history-steeped procession Thursday morning.

The bell was expected to arrive before noon at the Liberty Bell Center, a new facility constructed as part of a sweeping $314 million transformation of Independence Mall. [...]

Putin Doesn't Rule Out Oil Sales in Euros

October 9, 2003

YEKATERINBURG, Russia (Reuters) - Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday he did not rule out pricing sales of oil in euros.

"We do not rule out that it is possible. That would be interesting for our European partners," he told a news conference alongside German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder in the Urals city of Yekaterinburg.

"But this does not depend solely on us. We do not want to hurt prices on the market." [...]

Dollar Roundly Beaten, Plumbs Lows Vs Yen

By Shinichi Kishima
Wed Oct 8,11:01 PM ET

TOKYO (Reuters) - The dollar plumbed three-year lows against the yen and 3- month lows versus the euro on Thursday amid growing views the U.S. and European authorities would let it weaken to correct a ballooning U.S. current account deficit. [...]

Strong earthquake hits northern Japan

Oct. 8, 2003. 11:18 AM

TOKYO (AP) - A strong earthquake shook Japan's northern island of Hokkaido today - the fourth large tremor to jolt the region in two days, and the latest since a powerful quake injured more than 700 people less than two weeks ago.

There were no immediate reports of major damage from the magnitude 6.3 quake. [...]

Earthquake shakes California-Mexico border

Posted on Wed, Oct. 08, 2003

CALEXICO, Calif. (AP) - A magnitude-4.3 earthquake shook northern Baja California and residents near the U.S.-Mexico border early this morning. There were no immediate reports of injuries or property damage. [...]

China floods kill 29 with more rain to come

Last Update: Thursday, October 9, 2003. 10:31am (AEST)

Floods in northern China triggered by weeks of heavy rain have killed 29 people and destroyed tens of thousands of homes with no let-up in sight, according to a local official. [...]

Natural disasters claim 1,911 lives this year

BEIJING, Oct. 8 (Xinhuanet) -- Natural disasters has claimed 1,911 lives this year and caused direct losses of 151.4 billion yuan (18.2 billion U.S. dollars), the Ministry of Civil Affairs revealed Wednesday.

Yang Yanyin, Chinese vice-minister of civil affairs, said the central government had reinforced disaster relief efforts as the nation had suffered more than the usual number of natural disasters this year.

China was jolted by a total of 29 earthquakes above five on Richter Scale this year in addition to severe insect pest problemsin the north and flooding in the south. Approximately 2.62 millionresidential buildings tumbled and damages or cracks were brought to 6.8 million. Over 50.7 million hectares of crops were seriouslyaffected by various natural adversities. About 6.31 million peoplewere displaced from their homes. [...]

City's prepares mammoth flood prevention measures

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

To face possible flooding in coming weeks, the city's crisis coordinating team revealed that this year's project would be more comprehensive than in previous years. [...]

During floods in early 2002, at least 30 people were killed and 300,000 were forced to flee their homes. The biggest flood in the city's history hit 168 of 262 subdistricts and paralyzed the capital for days. [...]

Storm knocks out power to 15,000
Wednesday, October 08, 2003

About 15,000 people had their power knocked out in the Vancouver region as strong winds swept over the area this morning.

It was the first major storm of the fall and brought down power lines and trees.

No one is reported hurt.

The outages occurred from Powell River and the Sunshine Coast to Surrey and Langley and most were quickly repaired.

Gov. Perry declares 3 counties a disaster area

The Brownsville Herald

At Gov. Rick Perry’s request, the U.S. Small Business Administration has declared Cameron, Hidalgo and Willacy counties to be disaster areas in connection with the Sept. 18-22 torrential rains that flooded much of the Rio Grande Valley. [...]

Nasa says its satellites have detected a crack in the glacier near Lake Palcacocha

Melting glaciers threaten Peru

Thousands of people in the Andes mountains of Peru are having their lives affected in both a practical and cultural way by global warming, which is causing the region's glaciers to melt.

This is already having a major impact of some aspects of life for the people who live in the mountains - and the government of the country is worried that the situation could get much worse.

In the last three decades Peruvian glaciers have lost almost a quarter of their area.

"This is an indicator which gave us some concern on how the future was going to be on these tropical glaciers," Patricia Iturregui, head of the Climate Change Unit of Peru's National Council for the Environment, told BBC World Service's One Planet programme.

"All our estimations on the basis of this data are that in the next ten years the top tropical glaciers of Peru - and eventually other Andean countries - above 5,500 metres will disappear if climate conditions remain as the last ten years."

The most immediate threat is coming from the change to water supplies in the area. During the dry season, river water comes exclusively from the glaciers, which melt naturally at that time of year. They then replenish themselves in the wet season.

But this balance has been upset - the glaciers are melting faster than they can replenish themselves. As they thaw, dozens of new lakes have spread all over the highland.

A recent report by US space agency Nasa suggested that a large chunk of ice in the area could break off and fall into one of these lakes, triggering a devastating flood.

Satellites had detected a crack in the glacier overlooking Lake Palcacocha.

One city under threat would be Huaraz, with a population of 100,000. The news from Nasa came as a very worrying shock to many in the city. [...]

Nasa satellites show penguins' Antarctic 'oases'


Nasa satellites have helped scientists to learn about the hard-to-find Antarctic Ocean "oases" where penguins feast and thrive, researchers say.

These "oases" are actually warm patches in the normally ice-covered ocean along Antarctica's coast, enabling vast stretches of open water to support the microscopic plants that are the base of a food chain that ultimately feeds penguins, whales, seals and other animals.

Some of these stretches of open water, known as polynyas, are as big as mini-oceans themselves - at least one is the size of California - but because they are surrounded by ice, they are impossible to see by ship.

For this reason, Stanford University scientists used satellite data to analyse the plant life in these areas.

Sonar 'may cause whale deaths'

By Alex Kirby
BBC News Online environment correspondent

Many unexplained strandings and deaths of marine mammals could be caused by soundwaves from underwater military sonar equipment, zoologists believe [...]

Insurers refuse to cover GM farmers

Leading companies liken risk to thalidomide and terrorism

Paul Brown, environment correspondent
Wednesday October 8, 2003
The Guardian

Insurance companies are refusing cover for farmers considering growing GM crops or for conventional farmers anxious to insure against GM contamination of their crops.

The main farming underwriting firms likened the idea of insuring against the dangers of GM to the situation with asbestos, thalidomide and acts of terrorism. Some had a total exclusion clause so that any damage which might be associated with GM crops, even arson of farm buildings, nullified insurance claims.

All the companies surveyed by Farm, a group campaigning on behalf of small farmers, felt that too little was known about the long-term effects of these crops on human health and the environment to be able to offer any form of cover.[...]

Frankenfood vs. Mad Cow

By Dr. Ridgely Muhammad

[...] To complicate matters, the once rich nation of Argentina has been transformed into an economy where 54.7 percent of the population has fallen into poverty. This collapse happened in a relatively short period of time, while the nation was still a world leader in the export of beef, corn, wheat and soybeans.

Although Argentina already produces an economic surplus, Mr. Rauchís article would give one the impression that Argentina could produce its way out of hunger by introducing Frankenfood. (If only the "environmentalists" would get out of the way and allow our beneficent scientists and agribusiness industry to bring the world into the new biotech revolution, the success of the "Green Revolution" could be multiplied.) [...]

Change limits farmers from suing pesticide-makers

By Peter Eisler

WASHINGTON — The Bush administration has adopted a new policy that aims to cut off farmers' ability to sue pesticide and herbicide makers when bug-and weedkillers don't work as promised on their labels and damage crops.

The new position, not announced publicly, is a sharp reversal in federal policy toward hundreds of thousands of farmers or anyone else who might claim damages from pesticide use.[...]

The Magic Telescope To Be Inaugurated

Biggest In The World For The Study Of Gamma Radiation

Istituto Nazionale Di Fisica Nucleare

On October 10th the Magic Telescope (Major Atmospheric Gamma Imaging Cherenkov telescope) will be inaugurated. The telescope is located La Palma island, 2200 meters above the sea level at the Observatory Roque de los Muchachos, of the Itituto Astrofisico de Canarias. With his 17-meter-diameter-mirror and 240 square meters surface, it's the largest telescope in the world dedicated to 'gamma astronomy', that is devoted to the detection of gamma rays. [...]

Raytheon wins $9.3M support subcontract for new space telescope

10/08/2003 10:45 AM

Raytheon Co. of Lexington has been awarded a $9.3 million contract for developmental work on the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) program by prime contractor Northrop Grumman Space Technology.

The JWST, a next-generation successor to the Hubble Space Telescope, is scheduled for launch in 2011. According to NASA, it will take about three months for the spacecraft to reach its destination, an orbit 940,000 miles or 1.5 million kilometers from earth, called the second Lagrange Point or L2, where the spacecraft is balanced between the gravity of the Sun and the Earth. The telescope is named after James E. Webb, NASA's second administrator.

Found: The best place for alien life

Thursday, 9 October, 2003

Aliens watch out - a US astrobiologist has homed in on your star.

It is the 37th brightest star in the constellation of Gemini to be precise, 42 light years away from Earth and rather like our own Sun.

The star, 37 Gem, is top of a shortlist of the 30 most promising places to look for life drawn up by Maggie Turnbull of the University of Arizona in Tucson.

"This stable, middle-aged star is just a bit hotter and brighter than our sun," she told New Scientist magazine. And if alien life is anywhere, it's likely to be there."

To come up with 37 Gem, she whittled down a list of 5,000 stars within 100 light years of Earth. Young, violent stars were discarded as were those which look nothing like our sun. With so many to choose from, the obvious candidates are the nearest and most Earth-like.

Cosmos is 'shaped like a football'

By Dr David Whitehouse
BBC News Online science editor

We could be living in a small Universe where space is curved in on itself, rather like a football, say researchers in this week's Nature journal.

More precisely, we may inhabit a dodecahedral cosmos. It is, according to the scientists, the best way to account for the latest satellite observations. Dodecahedrons, and similar shapes, have long fascinated mankind. Plato believed that the Universe was made up of them.

Leonardo da Vinci also studied them, as did the great astronomer Kepler, who thought the structure of the Solar System was based on geometrical shapes. Further observations, especially from space probes yet to be launched, may settle the matter, and may at last reveal the hidden geometry of the Universe.

The Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) radiation, the "echo" of the Big Bang, contains a wealth of data about the early history of the Universe, as well as its large-scale structure. If only we had precise enough observations of it to discriminate between competing ideas of what the Universe is like.

Will it expand forever? Is space infinite? Such profound questions may have their answers in the CMB. Specifically, the answers may be found in the ripples in the CMB - miniscule, regular, fluctuations in its strength over the sky.

Data from the US space agency's Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP), which maps the CMB, suggests that at the very largest scales its temperature fluctuations seen across the sky are smaller than would be produced by an infinite Universe.

It seems the WMAP data shows the Universe is too small for large fluctuations to be seen in the microwave background radiation. Astronomers from the US and France suggest that space itself is not big enough to support such waves. A small, cosmologically speaking, finite Universe, however, made of curved pentagons joined together into a sphere, would fit the observations.

Writing a commentary in Nature, George Ellis of the University of Cape Town, says we live in a Universe "with positively curved space sections and a non-standard topology".

Indeed, a dodecahedral Universe, were you able to traverse it, would have some interesting properties. If you went out to the edge of the dodecahedron, you would come back in through the opposite face.

More precise observations made by WMAP and by its successor, the Planck satellite, to be launched in 2007, will tell scientists if the cosmos does have such a shape, or if it is even stranger.

Plea for probe of Celtic stone arrangements link

A Kaikohe resident wants further investigation of what he believes is evidence of a possible link between stones in Northland and England's Stonehenge.

Shaun Reilly raised the evidence of stones found in the Waipoua Forest having historical links with Europe with the Northland Conservation Board recently.

Mr Reilly, a self-confessed sceptic, said he was finally convinced after he had been to the forest and had a look for himself. [...]

Blind 'see with sound'

By Lakshmi Sandhana

Michelle Thomas is learning to "see", not with her eyes but her ears.

Sleep May Help Restore Memories

Associated Press -- In a finding that backs up motherly advice to get a good night's sleep, scientists have found that peaceful slumber apparently restores memories that were lost during a hectic day.

It's not just a matter of physical recharge. Researchers say sleep can rescue memories in a biological process of storing and consolidating them deep in the brain's complex circuitry.

The finding is one of several conclusions made in a pair of studies that appear in Thursday's issue of the journal Nature that look at how sleep affects the memory-recording processes, and perhaps safeguards them. [...]

Mountain-climbers discover mummified leg of unknown creature in Altai

Mountain-climbers have discovered the mummified fragment of a leg of an unknown creature that lived several thousand years ago in Altai, Siberia.

The discovery was made at an altitude of 3,000 meters, local media reported. The scientists who x-rayed the discovery, established that it was several thousand years old and that the bones did not belong to any known animal.

Scientists from the Veterinary Academy and Altai Agrarian University think that it resembles a human leg. The position of the knee joint indicates that the being walked on two legs. The leg and foot are covered with red hair which indicates the creature moved on a soft surface, probably snow, the scientists say. The big toe consists of three phalanxes compared with the two that humans have.

The limb has been well preserved as the sun and air had mummified the muscle tissue.

The discovery continues to be examined. Scientists say it's early to attribute it to a yeti because this would require a DNA study. Besides, a European size 36 shoe would fit the discovered leg while yetis are believed to have exceptionally large feet.

Comment: The BBC link to the story is here, with a video that shows the x-rays and scientists examining the leg. We expect some cover story to dismiss this as something rather banal any minute now.

New Type of Ancient Lizard-Like Reptile Found

Wed 8 October, 2003 17:58 BST

LONDON (Reuters) - Scientists in South America have discovered fossils of an ancient lizard-like reptile that had survived longer than they had they had previously thought. [...]

Top Ten Things Overheard During George W. Bush's Vacation

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