Today's conditions brought to you by the Bush Junta - marionettes of their hyperdimensional puppet masters - Produced and Directed by the CIA, based on an original script by Henry Kissinger, with a cast of billions.... The "Greatest Shew on Earth," no doubt, and if you don't have a good sense of humor, don't read this page! It is designed to reveal the "unseen."
If you can't stand the heat of Objective Reality, get out of the kitchen!
October 12, 2003
"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."
Images of the wreckage of the plane that hit the Pentagon confound experts, provoking outright hostility from some. The question remains however, what actually hit the Pentagon? It seems more and more likely it was not a Boeing 757.
Taking a cue from the Israelis, US soldiers in Iraq have begun bulldozing when they don't get the information they want. Arafat is back on his feet and battling the new Palestinian PM, while the Kurds are threatening war on the Turks.
As Bush's popularity continues to slide, do we hear rumblings of discontent within the prison of the US Empire? A genuine revolt of the people, or the manipulations of the CIA, recently playing the fall guy for the errors of the Bush Reich? In any case, the dollar is expected to continue falling, a new cyber security czar is appointed, and a second NYU student jumps from a tenth-floor balcony.
Bush is fighting back, by yelling at whomever will listen, that he was protecting us from a mad man. More infantile braying carefully crafted by Rove to take advantage of those with eighth grade or lower education levels. Freedom is systematically stalked by the psychopaths in power and destroyed. We continue our coverage of those brave souls out there doing what they can, even when they face financial ruin.
When the tensions are highest, it is announced that Israel can launch nuclear bombs from land, sea and air. Israel plans to bomb Iran says the Mossad. The Middle East views the U.S. as complicit in allowing and contributing to a rogue state threatening the whole region with annihilation, and are questioning Mossad's involvement in 9/11. The US is saying let Israel do what they want; no one can stop them anyway. Meanwhile, The Israeli 'peaceniks' receive verbal abuse, for not wanting to participate in a genocide.
An Austrian geologist has published a book with a scenario of Paris getting hit by a meteor in July, 2005. Also, if a meteor crashes through your house, do you become rich?
Long gone and lethal viruses revived in a lab for no good reason, Scottish heritage a myth, pedophiles appear to be everywhere, mass extinction from a "big burp", nuclear reactor shipments gone awry, fake letter campaigns regarding Iraq, and a little history, including a Texas rain of nails, and Lego introduces Homeland Security for kids.
American Free Press
[...] The photograph is one of many taken by Jocelyn Augustino, a FEMA photographer, at the Pentagon crash site on Sept. 13, 2001. In the FEMA on-line photo library, the best photos of the unidentified disc are numbered 4414 and 4415, archived here
Several readers wrote to AFP suggesting that the unidentified disc was a piece from the Auxiliary Power Unit (APU) mounted in the tail section of a Boeing 757. Honeywell makes the GTCP331-200 APU used on the 757 aircraft. No one suggested, however, that the small disc was a piece from one of the main engines of a 757-200.
AFP contacted Honeywell’s Aerospace division in Phoenix, Ariz., and sent high-resolution photos for their examination. "There’s no way that’s an APU wheel," an expert at Honeywell told AFP. The expert, who cannot be named, added: "That turbine disc—there’s no way in the world that came out of an APU."
American Free Press contacted Pratt & Whitney and Rolls Royce, manufacturers of the 757’s turbofan jet engines to try and identify the piece.
"If the aircraft that struck the Pentagon was a Boeing 757-200 owned by American Airlines, then it would have to be a Rolls Royce engine," Mark Sullivan, spokesman for Pratt & Whitney, told AFP.
John W. Brown, spokesman for Rolls Royce (Indianapolis), had previously told AFP: "It is not a part from any Rolls Royce engine that I’m familiar with, and certainly not the AE 3007H made here in Indy."
The AE 3007 engines are used in small commuter jets such as the Cessna Citation; the AE 3007H is also used in the military’s unmanned aircraft, the Global Hawk. The Global Hawk is manufactured by Northrop Grumman’s subsidiary Ryan Aeronautical, which it acquired from Teledyne, Inc. in July 1999.
If the government version that an American Airlines 757-200 hit the Pentagon is accurate, then the object in the photo would have to be from a Rolls Royce RB211-535 turbofan engine.
When AFP told Brown that it must be a piece of a Rolls Royce engine, Brown balked and asked who at Pratt & Whitney had provided the information.
Asked again if the disc in the photo is a piece of a Rolls Royce RB211-535, or from the AE 3007 series, Brown said he could not answer.
AFP then asked Brown if he was actually familiar with the parts of an AE 3007H, which is made at the Indiana plant: "No," Brown said. "I don’t build the engines. I am a spokesman for the company. I speak for the company."
Rolls Royce produces the RB211-535 engines for American Airlines 757-200 aircraft at a plant in Derby, England. Martin Johnson, head of communications at Rolls Royce in Derby, said he had followed the story closely in American Free Press and had also been notified in advance by Rolls Royce offices in Seattle and Indianapolis.
However, rather than address the question of the unidentified disc, Johnson launched a verbal attack on this reporter for questioning the government version of events at the Pentagon on 9-11. "You are the only person in the world who does not believe that a 757 hit the Pentagon," Johnson said. "The idea that we can have a reasonable conversation is beyond your wildest dreams," Johnson said and hung up the phone.
Flug Revue, a German magazine about aviation equipment was more willing to discuss the disc. Karl Schwarz, a technical editor at the Bonn-based publication, examined the photo and technical drawings of the RB211-535 for AFP. "I think only an engineer who is involved in the design of the engine could identify the part," Schwarz said.
While the front fan of the RB211-535 has a 74.5-inch diameter, compression discs inside the engine are much smaller. Schwarz said the inner discs are between 29 and 41 inches in diameter. "It could well be" an inner compression disc, Schwarz said. The discs from the inner stages are made of titanium, he added.
AFP asked Schwarz if this could be a disc from a smaller engine, such as the Global Hawk’s AE 3007H. "It could come from any jet engine," Schwarz said.
If the disc in the photo can be matched with a Rolls Royce AE 3007H engine, some speculate that it would prove something like a Global Hawk hit the Pentagon.
The Global Hawk engine is hand built at the Rolls Royce plant in Indianapolis and has an opening diameter of 43.5 inches. Schwarz said he did not have a technical diagram of an AE 3007 engine to consult.
Because the disc in the photo appears very similar in size and shape to the front fan of a Global Hawk engine, AFP asked Schwarz in what position is the solid disc found behind the front fan of a turbofan engine. "Immediately," Schwarz said.
An unnamed former cruise missile engineer for the engine manufacturer Teledyne Continental Motors-Turbine Engines added his opinion to the debate:
"Clearly, the part in the picture is larger than 24 inches in diameter. It also appears to have a nosepiece-like device on its front. This probably houses bearings, front oil sump and perhaps an alternator or starter."
This engineer concluded with the intriguing comment, "This fan did not come from a cruise missile engine."
Comment: The AE 3007 is the engine used in the US military's 'Global Hawk' (among others). If the 'turbine disc' in the photograph above came from the aircraft that hit the pentagon and we use it to assess the relative size of the entire engine of the craft, then it is clear that it was NOT a 757-200 that hit the Pentagon.
If any readers have any further information that might help to identify the part please email us.
Officials confirm that the nation can now launch atomic weapons from land, sea and air. The issue complicates efforts to rein in Iran.
TEL AVIV - Israel has modified American-supplied cruise missiles to carry nuclear warheads on submarines, giving the Middle East's only nuclear power the ability to launch atomic weapons from land, air and beneath the sea, according to senior Bush administration and Israeli officials.
The previously undisclosed submarine capability bolsters Israel's deterrence in the event that Iran — an avowed enemy — develops nuclear weapons. It also complicates efforts by the United States and the United Nations to persuade Iran to abandon its suspected nuclear weapons program.
Two Bush administration officials described the missile modification and an Israeli official confirmed it. All three spoke on condition their names not be used.
The Americans said they were disclosing the information to caution Israel's enemies at a time of heightened tensions in the region and concern over Iran's alleged ambitions. [...]
Arab diplomats and U.N. officials said Israel's steady enhancement of its secret nuclear arsenal, and U.S. silence about it, has increased the desire of Arab states for similar weapons.
"The presence of a nuclear program in the region that is not under international safeguards gives other countries the spur to develop weapons of mass destruction," said Nabil Fahmy, Egypt's ambassador to the United States. "Any future conflict becomes more dangerous."
Late last month, Egypt joined Saudi Arabia and Syria at the U.N. General Assembly in criticizing the U.S. and U.N. for ignoring Israel's weapons of mass destruction while pressuring Iran.
A senior Iranian official raised the same issue at a nonproliferation conference in Moscow in September.
"Stability cannot be achieved in a region where massive imbalances in military capabilities are maintained, particularly through the possession of nuclear weapons that allow one party to threaten its neighbors and the region," said Ali Asghar Soltanieh.
Israel will not confirm or deny that it possesses nuclear arms. Intelligence analysts and independent experts have long known that the country has 100 to 200 sophisticated nuclear weapons. [...]
The Bush administration's determination to stop Iran from developing nuclear weapons means Israel's worst-kept secret is likely to loom large in negotiations with Tehran.
"You are never going to be able to address the Iranian nuclear ambitions or the issues of Egypt's chemical weapons and possible biological weapons program without bringing Israel's nuclear program into the mix," said Joseph Cirincione, director of the nonproliferation program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, a Washington-based nonprofit organization promoting international cooperation.[...]
The consensus in the U.S. intelligence community and among outside experts is that Israel, with possibly 200 nuclear weapons, has the fifth- or sixth-largest arsenal in the world. [...]
Israel's nuclear program remains shrouded by a policy it calls "nuclear ambiguity."
The phrase means Israel does not acknowledge its nuclear capability and suffer the accompanying political and economic fallout, yet it gains the benefit of deterrence because other nations know the weapons exist.
Though Israel is a democracy, debating the nuclear program is taboo. The Israeli Atomic Energy Commission is one of the country's most secretive organizations. Its budget is secret, its facilities are off limits, and employees face harsh sanctions if they talk about its operations. Even the name of the chief of nuclear security was a secret until three years ago.
A military censor guards Israel's nuclear secrets. Journalists writing about any security or defense matters must submit articles or broadcast scripts for pre-publication review. The censor, an army general, can block publication or broadcast. Decisions can be appealed to the Israeli Supreme Court, but journalists said the government usually prevails.
Foreign journalists in Israel are subject to the censorship law, though foreigners rarely submit material to the censor and enforcement is less strict. This article, for example, was not submitted to Israeli censors. [...]
Israel ready to launch preemptive strike on
nuclear sites in Iran: report
Israel's spy agency Mossad has drawn up preemptive attack plans on six sites in Iran it suspects are being used to prepare nuclear weapons, Der Spiegel magazine says in its Monday edition, citing Israeli security officials.
A special Mossad unit received orders two months ago to prepare plans for attacks on half-a-dozen targets, the magazine said. Complete destruction of the targets by F-16 fighter bombers was deemed achievable by Mossad, it said. [...]
Friday, October 10 2003
[...] Over the years, Israel has planted more than 400,000 settlers into the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. All that land - like Gaza, like Syria's Golan - has the status in international law of being "occupied territory," and the 4th Geneva Convention expressly states that it is illegal for the occupying power (Israel) to transfer any of its citizens into these occupied lands. (It would be as if the US, now running an occupation in Iraq, should decide to move hundreds of thousands of US citizens into Iraq in an attempt to control the resource base and the government there forever.)
But now, most of the 400,000 Israeli settlers in the West Bank want to stay in the luxurious communities that hefty government subsidies have provided. Politically, it would now be almost impossible for any Israeli government to suggest that they move back to Israel - or to leave them where they are under a Palestinian ruler. But if they stay where they are, and under Israeli sovereignty, then the land left for the Palestinians can never provide the basis for a viable Palestinian state.
As with the "Bantustans" created by the old apartheid regime in South Africa, the Palestinian-ruled area would be resource-starved and totally under the control of the stronger power. No recipe there for long-term stability - for white South Africans, or for Israelis.
If promises are made to be broken, the world may one day hear a telltale crackle coming from Tokyo. That's because, recent assurances by Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi notwithstanding, Japan - the world's only country to suffer nuclear attack - is debating the development of nuclear weapons. And the talk is getting louder. [...]
Gannett News Service
[...] Most worrisome, according to CIA reports, is the burgeoning desire for nuclear weapons among small countries, confronting the world with the likelihood of new regional arms races. [...]
YEREVAN, October 9. KADEK, the assembly for freedom and democracy in Kurdistan (former Kurdish workers party), has already deployed half its forces on Turkish territory in preparation for war. As a Rosbalt correspondent reports, this was announced by Ielmaz Shiar, the official spokesman for KADEK in the Caucasus.
He said that Turkey has completely ignored all the peaceful proposals of the Kurdish party and as a result war is now almost inevitable. Mr Shiar said the war will be different this time. It will take place in Turkish cities and not in the mountains like before. He said the Kurds are not afraid to wage war as this time there are tens and even hundreds of thousands of people ready to fight.
Despite the US' declarations that it will defend Turkey from KADEK, Mr Shiar said he does not expect this to happen. 'The situation has changed and now the Kurds' relations with the US are just as close as those of Ankara,' he said. He also mentioned KADEK's relations with the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan and the Kurdish democratic party. He said the country is now united and these former rivals are now ready to form an alliance. 'Our alliance is not just political but military as well,' he added.
On September 1 KADEK called an end to the ceasefire declared by Abdullah Ocalan 5 years ago. The KADEK leader presented its 'roadmap' to Ankara for resolving the Kurdish-Turkish conflict. Now KADEK is saying there will be a large-scale war if Turkey does not meet its demands by December 1.
05:43 AM EDT Oct 12
MANASSAS, Va. (AP) - Perhaps the biggest mystery remaining before the trial begins Tuesday for sniper suspect John Allen Muhammad is the true nature of his relationship with his teenage companion, fellow suspect Lee Boyd Malvo.
The men's relationship has become a key and complex element in each case, with all sides painting different portraits of the dynamic.
Muhammad's defence team has said evidence points toward the young suspect as the triggerman. Malvo's lawyers now say the older man was so domineering that they are basing an insanity defence on the argument that the teen was indoctrinated to the point he could no longer tell right from wrong.
Malvo's prosecutors portray it differently, saying the teen laughed about the shootings that induced a wave of fear in the Washington, D.C., region during a three-week rampage last October, and admitted pulling the trigger in several shootings.
Sunday 12 October 2003, 11:42 Makka Time, 8:42 GMT
New opinion polls have brought more bad news for US President George Bush and UK Prime Minister Tony Blair, suggesting a further decline in their ratings.
Mirroring the continuing decline in his popularity, a latest Newsweek poll indicated that half of Americans now wish to replace Bush in next year's elections.
A YouGov poll in the UK also underlined the declining fortunes of Blair.
While Blair's personal approval rating slid down to 37% from 40% just a week ago, the poll said the opposition Conservatives have now overtaken the ruling Labour.
By LARRY TUTTLE
In August, two EPA bureaucrats finalized air quality roll backs for power plants, promptly abandoned their government jobs, and immediately found lucrative positions in the power-generating industry. Down the street, Secretary of Interior Gale Norton's top lieutenant, Steven Griles, was dutifully short-circuiting environmental regulations for oil, gas, and mineral mining enterprises, the same industries his Washington, DC lobby shop represented until 2001.
EPA employees who double-deal away public health no longer raise my ire. Neither am I outraged about Steven Griles' sleaziness.
05:43 AM EDT Oct 12
FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) - New York City-born author and political activist Susan Sontag criticized President George W. Bush's policies Saturday as imperialistic and a break with 50 years of U.S. foreign-policy tradition.
Sontag, 70, spoke a day before receiving the German book trade's $17,700 US Peace Prize.
"I think as long as the U.S.A. has only one political party - the Republican party, a branch of which calls itself the Democratic party - we aren't going to see a change of the current policy," she said.
Sontag said Bush's policy breaks with the U.S. tradition of consulting with allies on global matters, instead of acting alone. She was referring to the Bush administration decision to invade Iraq without UN backing.
"It's really the end of the republic and the beginning of the empire," she said, comparing the United States to ancient Rome.
12 October 2003
Guantanamo Bay may be a place of legal limbo for 680 detainees, but clearly US laws apply to US personnel overseeing the suspects being held there. A US Army chaplain and two translators, all of them Muslim, have been charged with spying. The chaplain and one of the translators are accused of handling classified information and the second translator is allegedly guilty of espionage and aiding the enemy. At this point, it is entirely inappropriate to suggest that any of the three are guilty.
But if they are, what is surprising is that not more individuals from a country which sets such great a store by human rights, justice and equality before the law have not already broken rank. That the land of the free has created a small, hidden outpost of tyranny is becoming ever clearer.
By BEN TRIPP
[...] Bush's people, and I use the word 'people' loosely, decided to make the CIA take the fall for the one canard out of several thousand that a slumbering nation happened to catch on its way into the swamps of the Mesopotamian desert in the name of anti-terrorism. This canard also happened to be one of the few that the CIA specifically suggested Bush not espouse as an excuse for his little camping trip to hell, so we have a painful insult/injury compound already, vis-à-vis the CIA.
Shortly thereafter, same Bush people, in a moment of good-natured backstabbing retribution, exposed one of the CIA's own assets, and by extension all the other assets to which she can be connected by a reasonably bright foreign intelligence agency with access to a telephone. I'm just guessing here, but it seems to me that an agency willing to overthrow the government of Guatemala in the name of banana imports ought to have no problem saying "screw you right back" to a bunch of venal, inbred frat boys blundering their way through their last terms in public office.
You don't play dirty tricks on the folks who invented them. Expect events in the next few months to get very interesting as political revelations start to occur at the most embarrassing moments, policy notions don't get properly cooked intelligence to back them up, and personal secrets float into public view for no apparent reason, drifting down the cloaca publicum to the delight of scandal-mongers everywhere. The CIA has officially been dicked with. They might even start parting people's brains again, although probably not the president's. They don't make spatulas that small.
Comment: We have been tracking the battle between the White House and the CIA for some months, noting the articles from "well-meaning" CIA agents and former agents who are upset at the dunking this noble American institution has undergone. There are also rumours that "well-meaning" generals in the Pentagon, upset at Rummie's refusal to listen to their advice, and the subsequent thrashing experienced by US troops in Iraq, are not very happy either. Can anyone say "W-E-S-L-E-Y C-L-A-R-K"? As Ben Tripp puts it in his article, "Expect events in the next few months to get very interesting..."
Pimentel, Chronicle Staff Writer
A Silicon Valley executive known for his work in defending computer networks against hacker attacks has been named by the Bush Administration as the nation's new cyber security czar.
Amit Yoran, 32, vice president of Symantec Corp.'s worldwide managed security services, will become the chief of cyber security at the Department of Homeland Security next month.
Yoran, who earned a bachelor's degree in computer science from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, will take charge of developing a government strategy in the battle against hackers and threats to computer systems.
His appointment comes in the wake of a new wave of computer virus attacks that have disrupted both public and private networks. [...]
Yoran had also worked for the U.S. Department of Defense, as director of the vulnerability assessment and assistance program of the agency's Computer Emergency Response Team. [...]
By WILLIAM A. COOK
Have the American people capitulated to the manufactured fear fabricated by Bush, Ashcroft and Ridge? Are we the sheep Churchill mocked when he said, "Sheep don't need whipping"? Do we sit passively in front of our television sets listening to lie after lie and do nothing, knowing now that these lies sent American boys abroad as administration aggressors, yea, as unprovoked invaders of a foreign land, as occupiers entrusted with securing the natural resources of that land to be used to pay for the reconstruction caused by the invasion?
Had we known the truth would we have agreed to be the mercenaries of the Cabal, to secure for them the millions they will accrue from contracts paid for by our tax dollars while we suffer the indignity of being labeled across the globe, "foot soldiers of the corporate elite"? Has the "dumbing down" of America, that has turned our Democracy into a "Corpocrisy," turned us as well into corporate robots to be used at will by those who buy our politicians?
[...] The Arab world sat in disbelief as Bush went to the Security Council to demand that Iraq comply with UN resolutions, condemning its inaction against a nation that defies its resolutions while citing its irrelevance if it does nothing. The duplicity of the administration's behavior was lost on America but not on the rest of the world, for they knew that the continued Israeli occupation of Palestinian land and the frightening power Israel wielded against its powerless foe had full American support. Still Bush went to the UN condemning Iraq. Iraq, Bush claimed, defied 16 UNSC resolutions; he did not mention that Israel continues to defy 69.
Iraq, he bellowed with fingers crossed behind his back, has WMD including nuclear, biological and chemical, a clear threat to peaceful nations; he did not mention that Israel has nuclear, chemical and biological weapons and has threatened to use them. Iraq, he cried, has invaded its neighbor, Kuwait; he did not mention that Israel has occupied all but 22% of Palestinian land since 1967 and refuses to return that land despite numerous UN resolutions demanding that it do so. He pointed out that the UN has cited Saddam for human rights violations; he did not mention that the UN has cited Israel for such violations over and over since its founding in 1948.
But Bush duplicity does not end there...
05:42 AM EDT Oct 12
TEHRAN (AP) - While reformers have hailed the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to an Iranian human rights lawyer as a boost for democratic reforms, powerful hardliners denounced it as an act of interference in Iran's internal affairs that supports secularism over the religious ideals of the 1979 Islamic revolution.
Shirin Ebadi, a human rights and democracy activist, won the 2003 Nobel Peace Prize on Friday for efforts that include promoting the rights of women and children in Iran and worldwide. She is the first Muslim woman to win the award.
"The prize is a source of pride for Iran and a boost to reforms and those seeking greater freedoms," reformist cleric Naser Qavami said Saturday.
"As an elected lawmaker, I thank the Norwegian Nobel Committee for their right choice. Ebadi did deserve the award because of her brave efforts in promoting human rights," Qavami, a former judge, told The Associated Press.
But hardliners, an unelected but powerful force in this conservative country, denounced the decision.
"The prize is a support for secular movements and against the ideals of the 1979 Islamic revolution," said Hamid Reza Taraqi, a former legislator and member of the hardline Islamic Coalition Society.
"The Norwegian Nobel Committee, against its original objectives of promoting peace, has turned into a political tool in the hand of foreigners to interfere in the internal affairs of our country," Taraqi said.
SOFIA, Oct. 12 (Xinhuanet) -- The United States is considering stationing "patriot" missiles in Bulgaria and Romania against a potential attack from Iran, local daily "Work" reported Sunday.
The United States plans to station the defensive missiles in the Black Sea coast and the Rodopi mountains, South Bulgaria, the daily quoted a high-ranking US diplomat as saying.
US defense policy specialist Benjamin Schreer of the German Institute for International and Security Affairs also told Germany's Sueddeutschen Zeitung newspaper that Bulgaria and Romania couldbe the "first choices" for the United States to station the "patriot" missiles.
The United States is considering building military bases in Bulgaria, a spokesman for the Bulgarian foreign ministry confirmed.
If the Americans stationed a missile base in Bulgaria, the country would "benefit a lot from it" and would get "a missile umbrella" from the United States, officials from the Bulgarian defense ministry said.
Americans accused of brutal 'punishment' tactics against villagers, while British are condemned as too soft
Patrick Cockburn in Dhuluaya
US soldiers driving bulldozers, with jazz blaring from loudspeakers, have uprooted ancient groves of date palms as well as orange and lemon trees in central Iraq as part of a new policy of collective punishment of farmers who do not give information about guerrillas attacking US troops.
The stumps of palm trees, some 70 years old, protrude from the brown earth scoured by the bulldozers beside the road at Dhuluaya, a small town 50 miles north of Baghdad. Local women were yesterday busily bundling together the branches of the uprooted orange and lemon trees and carrying then back to their homes for firewood.
Nusayef Jassim, one of 32 farmers who saw their fruit trees destroyed, said: "They told us that the resistance fighters hide in our farms, but this is not true. They didn't capture anything. They didn't find any weapons."
Other farmers said that US troops had told them, over a loudspeaker in Arabic, that the fruit groves were being bulldozed to punish the farmers for not informing on the resistance which is very active in this Sunni Muslim district.
"They made a sort of joke against us by playing jazz music while they were cutting down the trees," said one man. Ambushes of US troops have taken place around Dhuluaya. But Sheikh Hussein Ali Saleh al-Jabouri, a member of a delegation that went to the nearby US base to ask for compensation for the loss of the fruit trees, said American officers described what had happened as "a punishment of local people because 'you know who is in the resistance and do not tell us'." What the Israelis had done by way of collective punishment of Palestinians was now happening in Iraq, Sheikh Hussein added.
The destruction of the fruit trees took place in the second half of last month but, like much which happens in rural Iraq, word of what occurred has only slowly filtered out. The destruction of crops took place along a kilometre-long stretch of road just after it passes over a bridge.
Farmers say that 50 families lost their livelihoods, but a petition addressed to the coalition forces in Dhuluaya pleading in erratic English for compensation, lists only 32 people. The petition says: "Tens of poor families depend completely on earning their life on these orchards and now they became very poor and have nothing and waiting for hunger and death."
The children of one woman who owned some fruit trees lay down in front of a bulldozer but were dragged away, according to eyewitnesses who did not want to give their names. They said that one American soldier broke down and cried during the operation. When a reporter from the newspaper Iraq Today attempted to take a photograph of the bulldozers at work a soldier grabbed his camera and tried to smash it. The same paper quotes Lt Col Springman, a US commander in the region, as saying: "We asked the farmers several times to stop the attacks, or to tell us who was responsible, but the farmers didn't tell us."
Informing US troops about the identity of their attackers would be extremely dangerous in Iraqi villages, where most people are related and everyone knows each other. The farmers who lost their fruit trees all belong to the Khazraji tribe and are unlikely to give information about fellow tribesmen if they are, in fact, attacking US troops.
Asked how much his lost orchard was worth, Nusayef Jassim said in a distraught voice: "It is as if someone cut off my hands and you asked me how much my hands were worth."
Comment: It seems Bush and gang have adopted some of Sharon's methods of dealing with Arabs. How can destroying farmland possibly bring peace or stability to Iraq? It is obvious that the Bush Reich's intention is to stir up as much resentment as possible. If an enemy doesn't exist, just create one. Given these recent despicable actions against the Iraqi people, as well as Cheney's warning of a " single day of horror," how long can it be before the next "terrorist" attack occurs and the fascist overthrow of the US is completed?
Move Seen as Challenge to U.S.-Appointed Governing Council
Oct. 11 -- A young Shiite cleric whose militia patrols parts of a
Baghdad slum said he was forming his own cabinet, a move seen as a
challenge to the U.S.-appointed Governing Council, which received
the news coolly.
"Although this might entail some danger to my person, I have created some cabinet posts in our government," he said. "I want a state of freedom and democracy."
He called on his followers to stage "peaceful demonstrations that express your agreement." [...]
Last Updated Sun, 12 Oct 2003 0:00:26
PUTRAJAYA, MALAYSIA - The withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq was fervently debated on the opening day of the Organization of the Islamic Conference attended by 57 Islamic nations.
Most leaders agreed that the United Nations should administer Iraq until the country is ready to govern itself.
Malaysia told the conference that Islamic states should not send peacekeepers to Iraq unless the UN takes control of such operations.
For much of the membership, the war against terrorism has turned into a war against Islamics.
Less diplomatic was Malaysia's Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, who accused the U.S. and Israel of trying to spark a Mideast war against weakened Islamic nations.
"Israel has been urging America to invade Syria, and Americans seemed to be reluctant, so in order to force the hand of America, Israel invades Syria," Mahathir said.
Alec Russell in Washington
President George W Bush defended his policies yesterday in the face of mounting criticism of the Iraqi conflict, saying he had acted to protect Americans from a "madman", Saddam Hussein.
With senior aides in his administration openly bickering, and America's diplomatic efforts stalling at the United Nations, the White House is seeking to rally the nation with a public relations offensive.
"I acted because I was not about to leave the security of the American people in the hands of a madman," Mr Bush told National Guardsmen and reservists in New Hampshire. "I was not about to stand by and wait and trust in the sanity and restraint of Saddam Hussein."
In a sideswipe at his critics who have highlighted the failure to find weapons of mass destruction, he added: "Who could possibly think that the world would be better off with Saddam Hussein still in power?" [...]
By CHARLES J. HANLEY
BAGHDAD, Iraq - A suicide attacker, stopped from reaching a hotel full of Americans, detonated his car bomb on a busy commercial avenue Sunday, killing six bystanders, wounding dozens and terrorizing the heart of this tense city.
A member of Iraq's 25-seat interim Governing Council, Mouwafak al-Rabii, was in the Baghdad Hotel at the time and suffered a slight hand injury, he told Al-Jazeera satellite television. Police said an Iraqi security guard and the bomber were among the dead.
It was the second big car bombing in the capital in the past four days. A suicide bomber hit a police station in Sadr City, the northeast Shiite Muslim slum, on Thursday, killing at least 10 people, including the bomber.
Earlier reports had said the hotel housed CIA headquarters but the agency denied that. [...]
Call for US to exit Iraq
Instead the United Nations should take over the administration of Iraqi affairs, said the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC) secretary-general Abdelouahed Belkeziz.
The conference of the 57-member OIC is taking place in Malaysia and comes ahead of next week's summit, when heads of state from up to 35 countries are set to gather. [...]
Addressing the start of the conference on Saturday, Mr Belkeziz said of all the conflicts involving Muslims, the occupation of Iraq and the Palestinian problem needed to be addressed most urgently.
"Foremost of these is the eviction of foreign forces from Iraq, allowing the United Nations to administer Iraqi affairs,"
He told senior officials the Islamic world had been "in the face of the storm" in the three years since the last triennial summit in 2000.
As far as Iraq was concerned, he said the people there had "been afflicted by the occupation of their territories, usurpation of their sovereignty, denial of their independence, destruction, plunder and burning of their country".
Newspapers around U.S. get identical missives from Iraq
LEDYARD KING GANNETT NEWS SERVICE
WASHINGTON -- Letters from hometown soldiers describing their successes rebuilding Iraq have been appearing in newspapers across the country as U.S. public opinion on the mission sours.
And all the letters are the same.
A Gannett News Service search found identical letters from different soldiers with the 2nd Battalion of the 503rd Airborne Infantry Regiment, also known as "The Rock," in 11 newspapers, including Snohomish, Wash.
The Olympian received two identical letters signed by different hometown soldiers: Spc. Joshua Ackler and Spc. Alex Marois, who is now a sergeant. The paper declined to run either because of a policy not to publish form letters.
The five-paragraph letter talks about the soldiers' efforts to re-establish police and fire departments, and build water and sewer plants in the northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk, where the unit is based.
"The quality of life and security for the citizens has been largely restored, and we are a large part of why that has happened," the letter reads.
describes people waving at passing troops and children running up
to shake their hands and say thank you. [...]
A few hours and a simple internet search was all it took for UN inspectors to realize documents backing US & British claims that Iraq had revived its nuclear program were crude fakes, a UN official said.
Speaking to Reuters on condition of anonymity, a senior official from the UN nuclear agency who saw the documents offered as evidence that Iraq tried to buy 500 tons of uranium from Niger, described one as so badly forged his "jaw dropped".
"When UN experts started to look at them, after a few hours of
going at it with a critical eye things started to pop out," adding
a more thorough investigation used up "resources, time and energy
we could have devoted elsewhere". The US first made the allegation
that Iraq had revived its nuclear program around September last
year when the CIA warned that Baghdad "could make a nuclear weapon
within a year" if it acquired uranium. US President George W. Bush
found the proof credible enough to add it to his State of the Union
speech in January. [...]
By Martin Asser
response to a reader's suggestion, I spent some time at an
emergency ward in Baghdad to see how hospitals are coping after the
withdrawal of humanitarian relief workers.
The calm means the two young senior house officers have time to talk about the incredibly difficult circumstances they have to work under.
The nights are the worst, they say, when the ward overflows with victims of the wave of lawlessness which has swept Baghdad and its environs since the fall of Saddam Hussein's regime.
The bullet injuries have become routine though staff are severely stretched to cope. The main problem, they say, is the gangs of relatives armed with guns, knives and clubs who invariably accompany the wounded or dying patient.
"Usually by this time on Saturday morning the ward is full,"
says Dr Assad looking down the ward of 12 beds. "We have to treat
people on the floor."
The Top 25 Censored Media Stories of
October 12, 2003
RAMALLAH, West Bank (Reuters) - Palestinian President Yasser Arafat has completely recovered from illness and Egyptian doctors who treated him have returned to Cairo, a senior Palestinian official said on Sunday.
"President Arafat has fully recovered from the flu and stomach ailments he suffered from. The Egyptian medical team has departed after determining that Arafat's health is all right," said Tayeb Abdul-Rahim, a senior aide to the president.
Palestinian officials earlier denied reports that Arafat, 74, the longtime icon of Palestinian nationalism, had suffered a heart attack or had stomach cancer.
Arafat attended Friday prayers at his Ramallah compound in his first public appearance for days. He looked pale but showed no sign of weakness, bowing and kneeling without assistance.
Arafat planned to convene his Fatah faction's executive on Sunday to resolve disputes over the makeup and legality of an emergency cabinet he appointed after Israeli threats to "remove" him three years into a Palestinian revolt for statehood.
05:43 AM EDT Oct 12
RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) - Palestinian President Yasser Arafat fought with his new prime minister Saturday over who should be the new security chief, in a deepening dispute that threatens to bring down the government appointed less than a week ago.
Laila El-Haddad in Gaza
When 27 Israeli Air Force pilots signed a letter refusing to take part in operations in the West Bank and Gaza Strip last month, they caused a national uproar.
While the pilots have become the target of their leaders’ vitriol, the letter has sparked a debate about both the refusenik movement and the Israeli policy of extra-judicial assassinations.
Prime Minister Ariel Sharon condemned the pilots during a radio address to the nation, as did both the Army and Air Force Commanders, Moshe Yaalon and Dan Halutz, who accused them of abusing their uniforms for political gain.
Three pilots have since withdrawn their names from the list, while four others have joined, bringing the total to 28.
[...] Unlike their fellow refuseniks in the army who believe their mere presence in the OPT is unethical, the pilots are refusing to carry out a specific operation: the "targeted killings", a euphemism for extra-judicial assassinations of suspected political activists and guerrillas. Carrying out such orders, contend the pilots, makes them war criminals.
The Israeli human rights organisation B’Tselem reports that at least 123 Palestinians have been killed as a result of extra-judicial assassinations launched by the Air Force. Eighty-four of these victims - about 70% - were civilian bystanders. Extra-judicial killings are illegal under international law and qualify as war crimes under Article 147 of the Fourth Geneva Convention and Article 85 of the 1977 Additional Protocol to the Geneva Convention.
[...] The government has launched an offensive against the pilots, accusing them of "helping the enemy" and describing their letter as "pretentious snivelling".
[...] Could it be not Osama in a cave holding his kidneys or the Saudi government or disgruntled princes but an entity famous for its stunning competence that carried out the September 11 attacks?
Could it have been Israel and its intelligence agency, MOSSAD? If Michael Moore can theorize that the Saudi government or disgruntled Saudi princes, not terrorists, did it, then it is no more outlandish to suggest that Israel did it. It is not outside the realm of possibility that MOSSAD could hatch such a plot and execute it, possibly even with the help of fanatics in the US government apparatus given the high degree of Israeli penetration in it and indeed all sections of American society and opinion.
The 'evidence' for this suggestion is not the Bush family's business dealings with Saudi Arabia. The evidence is precisely the same as that presented by Michael Moore: newspaper headlines. Which begs yet another question: How did the US administration manage every news medium all over the world to follow the line that terrorists, not Saudis, attacked America on September 11?
But we all know that much of the powerful western media that matter, particularly US media, are controlled by Jews who would naturally protect Israel. Once they got the leading television stations to repeatedly blare and newspapers headlines to scream that Osama bin Laden was the culprit behind the September 11 attacks, the rest of the world's media, brainless as it is made much of the time by the pressure of deadlines and the compulsion to be first with the news, started parroting the 'Osama did it' line.
But the clincher is the obvious question, the question that begs to be asked: Who benefited from September 11? Saudi Arabia or Israel? Saudi Arabia's survival is under question whereas Israel is stronger than ever, with Yasser Arafat all but buried, the Palestinian Authority a total colony, Iraq gone, Iran and Syria under imminent threat and the west's media orchestrating a campaign against Pakistan very much like preparing the ground for some future punitive action to immobilize the only professional army left in the Muslim world with nuclear assets.
As to 'Sleeping with the Devil' may I suggest that the Saudis didn't so much as 'buy' important Americans but that important Americans exploited the Saudis and looted their money under the false pretence of lobbying for them, all the while helping Israel instead and enriching themselves on Saudi money to boot.
[...] After the September 11 incident, terrorism has roused global resentment and in the meantime some countries took the advantage to jump onto the bandwagon of "anti-terrorism". By flaunting the flag of "anti-terrorism", Israel turned the public opinion of the long-lasting conflict of occupation and anti-occupation between Palestine and Israel into the one of anti-terrorism and terrorism with Palestine as "terrorist" and Israel as "anti-terrorist". Israel and the United Sates labeled the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) under the leadership of Arafat as a "terror-supporting entity".
However, actually, although the suicidal attacks waged by some few Palestinian radicals toward Israeli civilians are to some degree a terrorist activity, on the whole, the conflict between Palestine and Israel remains an essential conflict of occupation and anti-occupation.
As there sees no end of the conflict, Israel has to bear unshakable responsibility. Israel ignored the UN Security Council's Resolutions 242 and 238 demanding that Israeli army withdraw from Arabian territory, rejected the "land-for-peace" principle established at the Madrid Peace Conference. Since the present Israeli Prime Minister Sharon entered into the office, Israel took a tough position: wanting to have peace but not to hand over the land. Once the Palestinians resisted, Israeli army just made double retaliation. Therefore, we should not put the blame of the continuing conflict between Palestine and Israel all on Arafat alone.
Now the United Sates and Israel accuse Arafat as an "stumbling block to peace". This accusation can't hold water whether to be weighed from history or the present situation. [...]
UNITED NATIONS, Oct. 10 (Xinhuanet) -- The United Nations Security Council will hold a public meeting next Tuesday on Israel's building of a security fence in the occupied Palestinian territory in West Bank, US Ambassador to the UN John Negroponte told reporters Friday.
The meeting was called at the request of Syria on behalf of Arab nations, Negroponte said after closed-door council consultations on the Middle East. The US envoy holds the council presidency for October.
Syrian Ambassador Fayssal Mekdad said he had asked the council to vote at the end of the open meeting on a draft resolution denouncing the Israeli security fence.
The draft, presented by Syria Thursday, would declare the security fence project as "illegal under relevant provisions of international law" and demand Israel cease and reverse it.
Accusing the Israeli government of "a de facto annexation" and "vandalization" of the Palestinian territories, Mekdad said this is "worse than the apartheid regime of South Africa was doing."
"We waited for them in Palestinian camp of Jenin but they came from Syrian Ain Saheb camp."
This is how one of the Islamic Jihad leaders commented on the latest Israeli raid, saying that it was "just an American political message that Sharon wanted to send to Syria." On the other hand, Syria said this operation was a clear breach of the truce agreement that has lasted since May 1974, without ever being violated by any party.
In comparison to what happened last Sunday, analysts have concluded that Sharon's government is seeking to destroy the American-Syrian relation and breach the agreement that General Hikmat Shahabi and Moshe Dayan had signed. In both ways, it is aiming at achieving a series of strategic goals regarding the withdrawal of the Syrian troops from Lebanon and subjugating any American peace project aimed at solving the problem of Golan and the Shebaa Farms.
[...] Following the formation of the new Syrian government and the new confidence vote given to the Syrian Baath party, the American administration decided to set Sharon's government loose and give him the green light to create crises in Syria, aiming at causing instability and mayhem. Although the Syrian President expressed his intention to maintain negotiations with the U.S., Israel is taking advantage of this opportunity to create problems.
On October5 th, Israel struck what it claimed to be an Islamic Jihad training camp deep inside Syrian territory following the Haifa suicide bombing that left 20 people dead and more than 50 others injured.
Observers view the Israeli raid as full of hidden messages, which both Israel and the USA wanted to deliver to Damascus jointly.
DAMASCUS (Reuters) - Syria warned on Saturday that the United States had most to lose from severing trade and diplomatic ties with the Arab state if Washington passed a proposed act to impose sanctions.
Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Bushra Kanafani said Syrian-U.S. ties were at their lowest point ever because of the proposed Syria Accountability Act and Washington's backing of Israel in its attack last weekend against Syria. [...]
Kanafani said the Act, which won an initial nod from a panel of the House of Representatives on Wednesday, was "a product of Israeli policy against Syria."
"The relations of the United States and the (Arab) region are becoming more tense, enmity (against the U.S.) is rising and its credibility is declining and this is an issue that is not in the interests of the United States at all," Kanafani said.
Kanafani dismissed the economic impact of the sanctions on Syria, saying trade amounted to less than $400 million per year. She said U.S. firms would suffer more if the Arab country fell under additional U.S. sanctions.
If endorsed, the Act "is not going to be very harmful for us. The United States of America will be loser number one, maybe we will be loser number three or four," she said. [...]
"We are conducting our contacts with the relevant parties, but it seems that at the Congress there is an Israeli activity larger than ours. The Zionist lobby in the United States is the strongest lobby known to America and probably the strongest in the world." [...]
The various stances of the United States, taken while President Bush is controlled, heart and mind, by the hawks and radicals, have led the American strategy to a crossroads in terms of its relationship with the world. This relationship is governed by hatred and coercion, in a bid to promote the good-and-evil equation, with a prophetic mission Bush seems to believe he was chosen for. To the American President, this apostolic and religious sense rises above the traditions of international law in international relations.
The 9/11 attacks turned Bush into a missionary preaching against terror, and war on terror became the cornerstone of his policies everywhere. Hence, the Arab region stands at a major crossroads with the U.S., regardless of the nature of past bilateral or regional relations. George W. Bush could genuinely believe that he is working for a good cause to save the world from terror, but the hawks, who control his mind and heart, have found in him a golden carriage to carry out evil goals in the clash of religions and civilizations.
Jihad Al Khazen
There is a Jewish man called Laurent Zeister who reads this column, and I believe I have mentioned him before, as he reads the English website of Al-Hayat newspaper and my writing makes him angry.
[...] To answer Zeister's question in the beginning, I shall ask another one: how could Palestinians, Arabs and Muslims, reach peace with radical Sharonist Likudnik murderers if those people can't reach an understanding with me?
I have written time and again to assert that the majority of Jews in Israel and worldwide wanted peace, and I also wrote to criticize all those who raised doubts about the Holocaust, and the fact that the Nazis killed six million Jews, not to mention that I asserted that the book called Protocols of Zionist Wise Men was fake, and invited everyone not to use it as a reference. More importantly, I constantly object to the suicide operations; I am against all wars.
In other words, I'm a supporter of peace without any conditions or terms. And yet, Israel's supporters can't accept my stance, which means that they will not accept anyone else's.
Two Colombian politicians killed before
Bogota, Colombia — Suspected leftist guerrillas gunned down two candidates in Colombia's upcoming state and mayoral elections after a campaign meeting in a lawless southwestern province, authorities said.
At least 23 mayoral candidates have been killed and eight others kidnapped in the run-up to the elections. The FARC has been blamed for most of the attacks. Nearly 160 candidates have pulled out of the race, a third of them citing death threats, according to the nation's registrar's office. [...]
BEIJING, Oct. 12 (Xinhuanet) -- The Chinese versions of foreign magazines are not allowed to be published and distributed in the Chinese mainland, according to an official with China's publication administration.
He spoke in response to some reports claiming that three well-known US-based magazines, namely Newsweek, Forbes and Harvard Business Review, published their Chinese editions in China.
"This is not true, because the current laws and regulations of China prohibit such conduct," the official with the State Press and Publication Administration (SPPA) said.
No foreign magazines have been allowed to publish Chinese editions on the Chinese mainland except the US-based Business Week,which obtained permission in 1986, he said, noting that such a permit was given under a complicated situation.
I'm flying back to San Francisco today. While packing, I made a series of calculations:
Should I wear the shoes that are easier to take off?
Can I put the digital camera in my checked luggage or will security steal it?
Make sure the laptop is charged in case they inspect it.
The craziest thing, though, was the security edition Bill of Rights that Cory gave me. It's a prop intended to cause trouble; it's the bill of rights printed on metal, guaranteed to cause hijinks at the security scan.
I'm not one to make displays like that so it was an accident it came with me to New York. But now where do I put it going home? In checked luggage, where security may find it while I'm not around and decide to punish me for being clever? Or in my hand luggage, where it may cause my bag to be searched and an awkward conversation? Maybe I should just leave it behind.
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated
Then I realized, I was stressing about what people would think about me having a copy of the Bill of Rights! It's a terrible thing we've done to ourselves.
Comment: You can purchase the "Security Edition" here. What is the "Security Edition"?
A few Americans are spreading the word about the creeping fascism. Will enough people listen before it is too late? Bill Scannell is telling all who will listen about CAPPS II, and is running out of money. CAPPS II may very well end travel - even interstate travel in the U.S.A. Here is how it works. The fascist boot will soon be felt on every American's neck.
Fri Oct 10,12:31 PM ET
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States has added Web sites to its list of "foreign terrorist organizations" for the first time, under the category of aliases for conventional groups, a State Department official said on Friday.
A list published in the Federal Register includes newkach.org, kahane.org, kahane.net, kahanetzadak.com as aliases for the Jewish group Kahane Chai or Kach, which is suspected of organizing attacks on Palestinians.
Under U.S. law, it would be illegal to provide money or other material support to the designated Web sites, the people who run them could be denied U.S. visas and U.S. banks must block their funds. The State Department said it was yet clear how this would work in practice.
But the law may not enable the United States to block access to the Web sites, if only for technical reasons.
Americans have taken part in peace initiatives across the United States to protest against the continuing war in Vietnam.
The Peace Moratorium is believed to have been the largest demonstration in US history with an estimated 20 to 30 million people involved.
In towns and cities throughout the US, students, working men and women, school children, the young and the old, took part in religious services, school seminars, street rallies and meetings.
Supporters of the Vietnam Moratorium wore black armbands to signify their dissent and paid tribute to American personnel killed in the war since 1961.
Comment: The above link has video of the BBC coverage. For the current campaign, the Power Elite decided that the nebulous concept of Communism was not enough to make U.S. citizens believe that war was necessary. So, they concocted 9/11 and the War on Terror.
On this day in 1973...
During his court martial for the My Lai Massacre, Lt. William Calley testifies that Cpt. Ernest Medina had ordered that anybody they couldn't move would be "wasted." Calley said he and his men killed 350 Vietnamese, including more than 100 civilian men, women, and children.
The massacre was halted by a U.S. Army scout helicopter crew who landed their vehicle between the attacking American troops and the remaining Vietnamese who were alive. The pilot, Warrant Officer Hugh Thompson, Jr., confronted the leaders of the American troops and told them he would open fire on them if they did not cease.
On March 29, 1971, at his sentencing he said, "Nobody in the military system ever described them as anything other than Communism. They didn't give it a race, they didn't give it a sex, they didn't give it an age. They never let me believe it was just a philosophy in a man's mind. That was my enemy out there. And when it became between me and that enemy, I had to value the lives of my troops, and I feel that was the only crime I have committed."
Calley never mentioned the fact that not one round of enemy fire was ever received at My Lai that day and no Viet Cong were ever seen or captured.
An orgy of breast-beating in print claims the French 'piss off the planet', Paul Webster reports from Paris
At the FNAC Etoile in Paris, more a multi-storey literary warehouse than a bookshop, the shelves are buckling under the weight of ammunition for a political and social war. With titles such as French Arrogance, Falling France and French Disarray, this is heavy-calibre weaponry that is being trained on France's political elite in a war that has broken out over the very soul of the country.
Launched against a background of top-level disillusionment with Europe, accelerating unemployment rates, spectacular company failures and a stagnant economy, the books - by some of France's leading social commentators - have added an incendiary factor to popular protests over reforms that could end the 35-hour week, cut social security benefits and introduce across-the-board austerity.
Having recently emerged battered from national education strikes and months of street demonstrations over reduced retirement benefits, Jacques Chirac's administration is looking on with dismay at media encouragement for right-wing intellectual claims that France is now the weak man of Europe, mired in hypocrisy nationally and internationally, indifferent to popular needs such as care of the aged, and shaken by the aftershocks of vain defiance of the US-led war in Iraq. In short, that France is going down the pan.
'Reading these books, France is in agony, powerless and irretrievably condemned to decline,' Dominique de Villepin, the suave but widely mistrusted Foreign Minister, complained over two pages in Le Monde last week, comparing today's prophets of doom to anti-republicans who collaborated with the Nazis. [...]
French school bans headscarf
The move against 16-year-old Alma Levy and her sister Lila, 18, by the Henri Wallon lycee, in the northern suburb of Aubervilliers, followed a vote taken at a meeting of the school's disciplinary board late on Friday night.
"The Islamic veil they were wearing in class was judged to be ostentatious," French TV said. National regulations lay down that signs of religious observance should not be displayed in state educational institutions. [...]
LE MONDE | 11.10.03 | 16h19 • MIS A JOUR LE 11.10.03 | 16h09
Comment: Le Monde has noticed that there are rocks falling on us from the heavens. The article puts much emphasis on the fact that this happens all the time and no one has been killed. But it then discusses a book, Ces bolides qui menacent notre monde, written by Christian Koeberl, professor at the University of Vienna, recently published in France that discusses the hypothetical impact of a meteor near Paris in July 2005...
TOKYO - With the Nikkei stock average currently flirting with 11,000, up about 45 percent from its post-bubble 13-year low of 7,607.88 in April, it is starting to appear that a run on US dollar assets could well be causing the rise in Japanese stock markets.
The yen has surged through the psychological barrier of 110:US$1, creating a sense of crisis as the run on dollar assets gains momentum. Japanese authorities are cautious about intervening heavily before Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi reaches an understanding on the currency in his meeting with US President George W Bush on October 17-18 in Tokyo.
According to one estimate, by Kyoto University Economics Professor Takamitsu Sawa, foreign investors have markedly improved the fundamentals of the Japanese economy by turning into huge net buyers of more than US$1.7 trillion in Japanese equities and assets and, by running away from their dollar positions, are thus generating a self-feeding cycle of further selling dollar assets and pushing up the Japanese markets even more.
The flight of global investors from the dollar has serious implications, not only for the health of markets such as Japan's, but because of the peril to the US economy and thus the global economy as well, for which the United States has acted as economic engine and importer of last the resort. The US must take in $55 billion per day in investment in government paper and securities to fund the enormous deficits in its fiscal budget and its current account, the total balance of goods and services it trades with other countries. The current account deficit is expected to hit more than $540 billion in 2003, with the fiscal deficit trending towards $600 billion when off-budget liabilities are factored in.
However, since the events of September 11, 2001, fiscal and military decisions by the administration of President George W Bush have raised concerns by both US fund managers and individual investors about the long-term health of the American economy. By diverting their investments outside the United States, these fund managers are corroborating a bleak long-term view of declining US economic strength, gradually running away from dollar assets to buy other assets or currencies like the euro, the yen and the yuan. [...]
LAGOS: Over 150 people were feared missing after a ferry capsized in eastern Nigeria on Thursday, a Nigerian Red Cross spokeswoman told Reuters on Saturday. [...]
By Damian Wroclavsky
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (Reuters) - Argentina would probably allow a former navy officer known as the "Blond Angel of Death", a symbol of the country's human rights horrors, to be extradited to France for a murder trial, Foreign Minister Rafael Bielsa says.
Alfredo Astiz, convicted in absentia and sentenced to life in prison by French courts in 1990, was arrested last month to face possible extradition to France for a fresh trial in the murder of two French nuns. [...]
Family and friends of an Australian cameraman killed in Iraq earlier this year have broken their silence to reject allegations he was a CIA spy.
Freelance cameraman Paul Moran, 39, died on March 22 when a car bomb exploded where he was filming for ABC television in northern Iraq.
However Mr Moran's family have told the Australian Story his work for a Washington-based public relations company in the 1990s was misconstrued.
He had been hired by the Rendon Group to help Kurds and Iraqis opposed to Hussein establish a television station, and only later learned the client was the CIA, they said. [...]
Brenneman and Kate Meyer
A male NYU freshman jumped to his death Friday afternoon from an upper floor inside Bobst Library in an apparent suicide. The student jumped at about 2:50 p.m., police said, and was taken to St. Vincent's Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
The death comes exactly four weeks after a College of Arts and Science junior died after jumping from the 10th floor. The freshman also jumped from the 10th floor, witnesses said. [...]
Three Chilean politicians have been accused of links with a child prostitution ring that is the subject of a criminal investigation. [...]
The Sunday Herald
A child sex abuse scandal has reached into the heart of Portugese politics and celebrity … and the cover-ups may already have begun. Alison Roberts in Lisbon reports on a hidden outrage
October 10, 2003
[...] Dr. Monica Ramirez, a
psychologist, said, "Any pill that can help people lose weight, get
a tan and improve their sex life has got to be a winner for a lot
of people." However, Ramirez worries about the mindset a drug like
this would encourage. She said, "It just raises the bar. So now,
everybody is expected to be thin enough, and beautiful enough, and
sexy enough and it just creates a whole new way to feel like a
Use this fully-equipped Undercover Van and Police 4WD to stop crime in World City. The undercover officer monitors criminals using high-tech surveillance equipment in the Undercover Van. When it's time to go in for the arrest, the Police 4WD swoops in and catches the bad guys in the act.
US Army scientists create "Spanish Flu" virus in laboratory - medical benefit questionable
(Austin and Hamburg, 9 October 2003 ) – The 'Spanish Flu' influenza virus that killed 20-40 million people in 1918 is currently under reconstruction. Several genes of the extraordinarily lethal 1918 flu virus have been isolated and introduced into contemporary flu strains. These proved to be lethal for mice, while virus constructs with genes from a current flu virus types had hardly any effect. These experiments may easily be abused for military purposes, but provide little benefit from a medical or public health point of view. [...]
[...] The truck carrying the vessel broke an axle en route between Charlevoix and Gaylord, Mich., and it pulled over to the side of a road, where it was fixed.
The company then parked the truck Tuesday night near a gas station -- that also serves as a bus stop for 13 elementary and high school students -- until the waste can be transferred to a train that stops in Gaylord. The truck was still there this morning. Company officials expected the transfer to take two to four days. [...]
Employees at Internal Revenue Service help centers gave correct answers to just 57 percent of tax law questions asked by Treasury Department investigators posing as taxpayers. The investigators concluded that about 500,000 taxpayers who visited the centers at the time of the study, July to December 2002, could have received incorrect responses. The I.R.S. disputed the calculations, but agreed that it needed to improve its record.
Quake hits Rann of Kutch (India)
New Delhi Oct. 11 - An earthquake, registering 4.1 on the Richter scale, rocked the Rann of Kutch and Bhuj region of Gujarat today. Its epicentre was at 23.22 degrees latitude and 70.1 degrees longitude, an India Meteorological Department report said. — UNI
An earthquake with an estimated magnitude of 5.5 jolted the eastern part of Japan's northernmost main island of Hokkaido this morning, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency.
No tidal wave warnings were issued after the quake. [...]
By ANNE McILROY
[...] It sounds like a rude way for civilization as we know it to end, in a giant belch. But that's just what a U.S. scientist thinks was responsible for one of the largest and more mysterious mass extinctions in the Earth's history.
Not only does Gregory Ryskin, a chemical engineer at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill., feel that a deadly burp of methane from deep in the ocean wiped out much of life on the planet, it could happen again. One day, he says, humans could face the same gaseous fate as the strange mammal-like reptiles that roamed the planet 250 million years ago.
Death came suddenly at the end of what is known as the Permian period. We know what these ancient creatures looked like only by their fossils. Almost all of the species on land or water were killed in an environmental catastrophe even worse than the one that wiped out the dinosaurs less than 200 million years later. [...]
Historian’s shock claim on birth of tartanry
By Torcuil Crichton
THE pillars of modern Scottish identity, from the national dress to the imagery of Highland landscapes, were created by a rich elite to ensure the country reaped the profits generated by the British Empire, according to Scotland’s best-selling historian. [...]
Charles Hoy Fort
St. Louis Globe-Democrat, Oct. 16, 1888 -- dispatch from Brownsville, Texas -- that, on the night of the 12th, the lighthouse, at Point Isabel, occupied by Mrs. Schreiber, widow of the keeper, who had departed not long before, had been struck by a rain of nails.
The next night, about dark, came another shower of nails. More variety -- also down pelted clods of earth and oyster shells. Bombardments continued. People gathered and saw showers, mostly of nails, but could not find out where they were coming from.
NEW ORLEANS -- So a meteorite crashes through your roof, pulverizes a bedroom upstairs, obliterates a powder room downstairs and splinters into pieces in the crawl space beneath your house.
You are not necessarily having a bad day. Provided you are not flattened like a pancake, you might even get rich. But you may want to start screening your calls and doing some homework, because you have just become a bit player in a multimillion-dollar enterprise -- the strange, impassioned, big-budget commerce in interplanetary objects. [...]
NEW DELHI (AFP) - An 80 year-old Indian man, whose relatives thought he was dead, came "back to life" after being doused with cold water as part of the funeral preparations, a report said Sunday. [...]
Fri Oct 10,10:21 AM ET
STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - Tourists were left scratching their heads in disbelief after finding 70 pairs of shoes filled with butter on an isolated mountain top in northern Sweden, local news agency TT reported on Thursday.
The local newspaper in the town of Ostersund thinks the stunt could be the work of a copycat artist after it received an anonymous tip-off that directed reporters to a Web page showing butter-filled shoes in a desolate Tibetan landscape.
The picture depicts a work called "Shoes with butter" by Chinese photographic artist Yin Xiuzhen and dated 1996, the agency said.
Locals have been
debating the artistic merit of the shoes and officials are
considering what to do with them.
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