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 17, 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."

Americans can be thankful to Lieutenant General William Boykin, Deputy Undersecretary of Intelligence, for clarifying that their God is the best God around and as such they can be confident of victory in the "holy war against terrorism." If you don't believe him, then just go above his head and ask Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. With people like these in charge Americans really have nothing to fear...

US soldiers are frisking four-year-olds in Afghanistan. At least one soldier has had enough - see the full interview below. The Bushes are putting the pieces in place to secure Florida in 2004, building alliances with former Batista henchmen and their families. Torture does wonders for getting voter support. Speaking of torture and butchers, Israel's invasion of the Rafah refugee camp is described by an eyewitness. Sharon has a lot to accomplish before the next US election.

Bolivia is embroiled in civil and political strife with the population demanding the resignation of the President over his plans to sell of the country's gas reserves to multinationals. Thankfully the CIA is down there doing all it can to ensure that the Bolivian people get what they deserve - 86 demonstrators shot dead to date - Bush gives his full backing - "God bless America."

Don't take the microwave with you on the vacation you're planning in Antarctica. Monsanto abandons GM food in Europe, deciding to aim for India instead. Six million dollar man - remember him? If you don't, keep an eye on the US war on terror battlefields, the "six million barrels of oil man" may soon be making an appearance, leaping tall buildings and massacring civilians with the greatest of ease.

Large meteorite spotted in Salt Lake City. Will this sighting receive one of those media campaign attempts to explain it away like the one in Wales? Speaking of explaining away, or damage control, we have the official explanation for the mysterious 'Seattle thumping'.

Citizens of the the 'Axis of Evil', US, UK and Australia, are obviously not frightened enough. Terror warnings have all been turned up a notch. Just in case they were starting to lose their stomach for perpetual war, and perhaps to set up a "See, we told you so," situation. The old create the problem and offer the solution routine.

This week we have been asking American readers the following:

If you are an American reader, we'd like to get your feedback. What is going on around you? Are the people you work with, the members of your family, the local newspapers, starting to put 2+2 together? Are people beginning to ask questions?

I live in Vermont and I would have to say that people aren't putting 2 and 2 together. I'd have to give a similar number as the first reader, Jeff, I can't really think of more than two people who have a clue about what's going on in this country.

I feel as if I'm caught in some weird Twilight Zone episode and I'm living amongst totally mind controlled zombies. Every time I think that people will wake up, it's like someone or something just turns up the power on the slumber machine. The frustration becomes very high at times and I must remind myself that "it's all just lessons". I guess it's all part of learning "compassion", one must be willing to let people travel their own paths and learn their own lessons, you can only help if they ask for it.

John

Hi. I'm glad you've asked for responses, in our area. I live in Vegas, and it's always seemed like a slightly weird place to me, but it's getting weirder. The odd thing is, people are noticing; I've read several good articles about the increase in violence, the changes in attitude of those governing us, as well as the world at large, but it doesn't seem to mean anything. So, they read it? What has all of that have to do with me?, they ask.

I feel so lonely, even in my own house. It sucks, pardon my French (which is an insult to the French, imo). Many times, I mistake what I'm seeing and understanding as what those around me are seeing and understanding and that obviously isn't the case. It is as though I can no longer speak. I've lost my voice, and it becomes a real struggle for me to even write to casschat, or to anyone, for that matter. Always the same looks: derision or complete blankness. I can see them shut their minds to what I am saying, so I don't talk. It is frustrating, heartbreaking, depressing. Everyday, there are tears; I cry because of what I see around me. It's like looking down the barrel of a gun, only no one else even acknowledges that a gun exists! Wake Up, I want to scream! But no one listens.

One friend, he is brilliant, extremely intelligent, and yet, he is so wrapped up in attaining money, that he can't see how truly unimportant money is, the entire town is like that. The surface is all. There are other things that are going on here, but they are part of the unseen and difficult to focus upon. The amount of microwave antennas has increased and I wonder if that has contributed to the fuzzy 'don't look' attitudes around me. Everyday it is a struggle, a fight to overcome this, malaise, this feeling like walking through sludge. Tell me, is there anyone, even one other person in Vegas who understands, who is attempting to see? I find it hard to believe that I am the only one, but maybe I am. It certainly feels that way.

Alone in Vegas A.

Rumsfeld defends 'holy war' general

Friday, October 17, 2003

US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has defended a US general who portrayed the war on terrorism in talks to church groups as a spiritual battle by Christianity against Satan.

The religiously charged remarks by Lieutenant General William Boykin, deputy undersecretary of defence for intelligence, appeared to run counter to the US administration's longstanding insistence that the war on terrorism is not directed against Islam.

Mr Rumsfeld said he had not read or seen the general's statements, which were reported by the Los Angeles Times and broadcast by NBC, but he refused to say whether he would even look into them.

"Whatever he said was in a private capacity," Mr Rumsfeld said.

"There are a lot of things that are said by people in the military, or in civilian life, or in the Congress, or in the executive branch, that are their views. That's the way we live. We are a free people."

Air Force General Richard Myers, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said there was a large grey area in the rules about what was out of bounds while in uniform.

"At first blush, it doesn't look like any rules were broken," he said.

General Boykin, a highly decorated veteran of US special operations, was elevated in June to his new position with the mandate to reinvigorate the search for Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden and Mullah Omar, the Taliban leader who has eluded US forces in Afghanistan.

The general was a commando in the secret Delta Force and took part in the failed hostage rescue mission in Iran, the search for drug lord Pablo Escobar in Colombia and the 1993 raid in Mogadishu that ended in the deaths of 18 US soldiers.

The Times said the day after he was nominated for a third star and to the position of deputy undersecretary of defence for intelligence, General Boykin was speaking from the pulpit of the Good Shepherd Community Church in Sandy, Oregon.

After displaying slides of Bin Laden, Saddam Hussein and North Korean leader Kim Jong-il, the Times said the general asked, "Why do they hate us?"

"The answer to that is because we're a Christian nation. We are hated because we are a nation of believers," he said, according to the Times.

An evangelical Christian, General Boykin has appeared in uniform while delivering his message of a religious war to church groups, the Times said a month-long investigation found.

He was quoted as telling an Oregon congregation that President George W Bush was not elected by a majority of the voters but that "He was appointed by God".

In a speech at a Daytona, Florida church in January, General Boykin recalled how a top lieutenant of Somali warlord Mohammed Farah Aidid had laughed on CNN after a raid by Delta Force commandos had missed by a few seconds, saying they would never get him because Allah would protect him.

"Well, you know what?" the general was quoted as saying.

"I knew that my God was bigger than his. I knew that my God was a real God and his was an idol."

Comment: Consider the fact that this guy is the Deputy Undersecretary of Intelligence for the US government. More and more we are beginning to think that we are all the victims of a very large and frightening joke. Is this real? Can it be true? The ridiculousness of the image of a US army general standing at a church pulpit in military uniform, presenting slides of Osama Saddam and Kim-Jong to the congregated and proclaiming that we are at "holy war" with Islam would be hilarious if we were able to convince ourselves that it is all a big joke. The problem is that these people could not be more serious... Stop the world we wanna get off!

A Bill To Provide For the Common Defense

108th CONGRESS
1st Session

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

January 7, 2003

H. R. 163

To provide for the common defense by requiring that all young persons in the United States, including women, perform a period of military service or a period of civilian service in furtherance of the national defense and homeland security, and for other purposes.

The picture which shames US army

By Yvonne Ridley
Friday 17 October 2003, 5:05 Makka Time, 2:05 GMT

A secretly taken picture of an American soldier frisking an Afghan child has shocked human rights campaigners across the world.

The picture was given to Aljazeera.net by the Islamic Observation Centre to highlight the plight of children in Afghanistan.

It will now be shown to delegates and discussed at the Washington Conference on Civil Liberties in America on Saturday, 25 October.

Taken by a strategically-placed camera, and using a telephoto lens, the undercover photographer snapped a four-year-old child having his clothing searched by a heavily armed US soldier.

Taliban fighters

The child and his friends were playing in the village of Zermit in Paktika when American soldiers, hunting for Taliban fighters, arrived.

Sheepish: Nervous US soldiers in
Zermit keep a watchful eye

"Those children could have been carrying explosives," said an unapologetic US Major Peter Mitchell who was shown the picture by Aljazeera.net.

Major Mitchell, a US marine and spokesman for US Central Command, added: "The troops on the ground in Afghanistan will respond accordingly to whatever threat in that environment exists.

"Maybe they received intelligence that children were carrying explosives and that the children could be used against coalition forces.

"Coalition forces will do whatever it is they need to do to protect themselves. In times of conflict their personal security comes before hearts and minds.

Trigger fingers

"If someone is offended because a four-year-old is being searched they should know that the security of forces will always come first."

[...] Yasser Ansiri, director of the Islamic Observation Centre based in London, said one of his correspondents based in Afghanistan and Pakistan had taken the picture, but wished to remain anonymous so he could continue his work.

"This is a shocking picture. We want Aljazeera.net to show the world what the Americans are doing in Afghanistan. It is a picture which will shame the US military," added Ansiri, spokesman for the centre which is a human rights organisation.

Comment: Uh...er...weren't the US troops there to bring peace, security, freedom, democracy, and McDonalds to the Afghanis?

US Soldiers to America: Bring Us Home Now

Article: Jay Shaft
Part 1 in a 5 part series
Coalition For Free Thought In Media
Monday, 13 October 2003, 10:29 am

I had the unique opportunity to interview five US military servicemen who just got back from Iraq, or in the case of two men, corresponded with their wives so that I could ask questions of these soldiers by mail. When the two I corresponded with came back just last week, I was able to complete the interviews I started several months ago with some new details on how the war is actually going.

I was shocked and angered when I found out how many of the service men hate being in Iraq and want nothing to do with rebuilding and policing the devastated nation. From the conversations I had, many soldiers never wanted to go over to Iraq and fight, and the ones who had were now convinced of the awful crime that had been committed against Iraq and our own troops. I was told very few soldiers now believe in staying in Iraq, or want to stay in the country and serve any more days.

The following interview was with an enlisted man, but someone very high up in the enlisted ranks, with over 20 years of military service. I have promised not to reveal his identity for reasons that he has a family and has been told not to speak to journalists. He told me the Army had put a gag order on him while he was home, and told him they would give him twenty years in prison if he spoke out in any manner against the US or the government.

I took several weeks to finish this interview because of not being able to safely be seen with this individual out of his fears of being caught speaking out.

He asked me to call him USA in all the transcripts of these interviews. I have followed his wishes and tried to write what he said in the manner it was said so as not to lose any impact. At times the interview was very rough and the grammar is not perfect, but I tried to write this in his voice so that he can tell the world how bad it is in Iraq. I truly want you to feel what he has experienced in some way if possible.

CFTM-- "How are you today? Resting I hope?"

USA-- "Can't sleep for sh..t and I have horrible nightmares when I do sleep. I might be lucky to catch an hour at a time before the nightmares wake me up. I slept easier in the combat then now that I'm away from there. Most awful place I've ever been or served duty and I didn't want to leave my guys. That was the hardest part was leaving the guys I had been leading around and trying to keep out of trouble and alive."

CFTM-- "Did you see a lot of your buddies get killed? How did it affect you?"

USA-- "How the hell do you think it affected me? I saw over 30 of the men I had to keep safe die, and over 100 get wounded and not come back. I still don't know if some of the wounded men made it or not. I was never told before I came back home."

CFTM-- "So it really was awful and as bad as some returning troops have claimed?"

USA-- "It was like a long trip to hell that you knew you might return from. Of course it is as bad as the soldiers say it is. Hell it's even worse if the truth has to come out. It's a constant fu..ing nightmare trying to figure out where the guerillas are going to hit, how to keep the civilians calm, and also getting enough water and food to eat. That is one thing the media never really told the Americans about, how bad it was when our convoys weren't getting through. We had to go to some Iraqi people and trade socks and underwear for some food and a little water."

CFTM-- "You really did get that desperate because I saw it in the foreign media that the Iraqi civilians had stepped in and fed a whole bunch of troops that had been days without food."

USA-- "Yeah, that ain't no joke about getting help from the civilians right after the invasion. We had a pretty good laugh about that and how the army owed them some money for reimbursement. We would not have starved probably, but when we got the food from the people it made sure we could still operate as a functioning unit. It was a near thing that several guys almost died of dehydration because we ran out of clean water for a few days."

CFTM-- "Just keep going, I want to hear more about the hardships the military and Bush made you go through. I want the American people to know what a nightmare this war has become and what it's doing to our service men over there."

USA-- "Okay, well I can bitch about the problems like food being short and water going bad, but I want to tell people about how bad the attacks on US and coalition forces have gotten in the last month. In the last two weeks I was there we were attacked at least 20 times a day if you count all the shots we heard from random sniper or opportunity attacks. We were losing at least five men a day to injuries and there was at least one of our unit killed every twenty four hours."

CFTM-- "So you were getting one a day killed and at least five injured? Did you know many of the guys killed?"

USA-- "That's a real dumb fu..ing question to ask me. You know what my rank is, of course I knew them, I was the head NCO for years in our unit. I knew most of the guys who died and I held a lot of hands as they were dying. You tell me that's not gonna to give you nightmares!"

"I had one guy tell me all he wanted was to see his little daughter; she was born three days after the war started. He died in the sand holding my hand and crying because his daughter would never know him. Tell me that's fu..ing right. Where was George Bush when this kid was gasping for air and spitting his blood on foreign soil?"

CFTM-- "I talked to you about this the other day. Do you think George Bush is the wrong man to order troops into battle when he ducked it himself?"

USA-- "That asshole went AWOL and never showed up for duty and then he has the nerve to take us into two different wars that will be going on for years. I do not believe he should be president of this country, he's a complete idiot and he's controlled by madmen with a drive for only profits and getting oil."

CFTM-- "I just have to get this straight for the public, you are well educated are you not? I mean you have had years of leadership training and schools right? You sound very well informed and aware of the current lies and manipulations, which I have not found in some other soldiers."

USA-- "I have a four year degree in the economics field and I am not a soldier all the time. I am Reservist who just keeps getting caught on long duty assignments. Believe it or not I read authors like Noam Chomsky, Gore Vidal, and Jim Hightower, and went through three copies of 'Stupid White Men' by Michael Moore while I was over there. I let people read parts of Mike's book and they were irate that Bush had screwed us so hard. I had parts of 'Best Democracy Money Can Buy' mailed to me because I knew if I had the whole book it would get stolen in a heartbeat."

CFTM-- "So you might be quite a bit more aware and well informed about the real reasons for the war that others did not know. I don't know of many line soldiers reading Greg Palast or Noam Chomsky."

USA-- "I guess you're right and that might be why I am trying to speak out and let the Americans know that they are sending us to be slaughtered. If you don't mind I am going to cut through all the niceties and get down to why I am going against every oath I took and giving you this interview. I am doing it for the guys still over there and for the ones who are going. If I'm not careful I'll end up back there for another six months."

CFTM-- "Alright tell me what it was really like and don't skip the gory details. I want people to be shocked and offended enough to realize why you spoke out and what it is doing to our military by sending them over there with blind flag waving and cheers of false victory"

USA-- "Well the first thing I would like to thank Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, and Congress for is that nice huge cut they made to Veterans Benefits as soon as the war started. I am in the Reserves after years of active duty and now I cannot get PTSD counseling or many medical benefits I used to take for granted. I knew I would have the benefits because I was laying my life down for my country. Now my benefits are cut by around 2/3 and I have to go to either group therapy or pay for a private counselor out of my own pocket. What happens when someone like me has been through enormous battle stress and combat fatigue and then comes home to no counseling?"

"I'll tell you what is going to happen, he will either kill himself or take a bunch of people with him. Some of the guys coming back are going to have gone through the worst time of their lives with their buddies dying and getting hurt, and then they'll find out they got screwed out of any counseling. It is the greatest disservice America is committing against soldiers who fought for this country and may come back wounded or horribly scarred. Medical services, school aid to dependents, school aid for the vets, all slashed to the bare bones; mental health and drug and alcohol counseling are being eliminated or the waiting lists will be years long for whatever services manage to survive."

"That is one thing the American people still have not really caught on to is the fact that while they were screaming out 'Support Our Troops' the current regime makers were fu..ing the military and veterans out of almost every social program and non essential service that would make life easier."

"Bush really fu..ked us while we were gone. We found out about after being in the middle of heavy fighting for several weeks. It was one of the first things I read in Stars and Stripes, and I thought it was a joke because it was just to hard to believe Congress and our leaders would screw us that bad while we were fighting and dying."

CFTM-- "Glad you brought that up about counseling because I wasn't even aware of it. Are you alright to talk about some of the civilian casualties you witnessed and some of the horrifying images you told me about when we first started talking?"

USA-- "I want to talk about some of the children I saw killed for no reason, maybe it will wake someone up who doesn't believe it was happening, or that it was very bad. I can tell you I will never forget the screams of the wounded or orphaned kids, or the wailing of the parents who lost their kids. The Iraqis and most Muslims have a very vocal way of mourning the dead by lamenting and wailing for the dead. There is no mistaking a mother or father crying out in pain for the loss of a child. They don't cry like that unless there has been a death. Sometimes after a bombing raid or an artillery attack you could here hundreds of people wiling and weeping."

"I have several grown children with grand kids about the age of most of the dead children I saw in Iraq. I also have several kids who are about half grown and I saw a lot of Iraqi children that age wandering around in charge of three or four little ones because their parents were dead."

"Let me tell you about the cluster bomb raid we saw wipe out a whole bunch of little kids. It looked like they had already lost their parents and were trying to salvage food from a destroyed Iraqi convoy by the side of the road we were on. The kids were way off to the side about half a mile away by then when we got the word that the Iraqi column was going to be hit with cluster bombs and we had to clear the area. We got on the radio and tried to get the air strike stopped but we were told it was too late to get it stopped."

"We could see the body parts flying up into the air after the bombs hit. It was terrible and we could not do a damn thing but watch it happen and scream into the radio at the dumb sh.t pilot that was dropping the bombs. After the strike was over we went to see if there were any survivors and all we found was bits and pieces of little kids and here and there an arm or leg you could still identify."

CFTM-- "Pretty rough stuff to have to see. Did that kind of thing happen a lot?"

USA-- "More than you can imagine until you've seen it over and over again. Man I don't want to talk about this sh.t anymore. It doesn't help to talk about it because it just makes me think about it again. I can't even get any counseling without having to pay for it."

"Let all those people who support our troops in on that nice surprise that Bush gave us. That's how much we really mean to Bush, the Department of Defense and all those other stupid assholes who keep saying how good we're doing over there. Let those patriotic morons go and fight and die for our country. Let them leave their families behind for months and maybe come back home in a box. I'll be the first one to salute them or honor them when they die."

"It's just like Nam was in the beginning. I was twelve when my dad got back and I'll never forget the pain and agony he lived with the rest of his life. Its kind of what I feel now, I suppose. I never thought I would ever serve in some stuff that's so much like Nam it isn't funny. Now I really see what my pop went through, and if I could I would go back in the past a few months, I would go AWOL or turn conscientious objector on them, but it's too late for that now."

"I damn sure will not go back over there even if they throw me in Leavenworth. I never could understand how a guy could be a conscientious objector until what I just went through. I wish more guys would stand up and tell Bush and the Pentagon they will not fight their war for oil. We should not have to die for these rich bastards profits and enrichment."

CFTM-- "Thank you for taking the risk and talking to me. I know there will be other soldiers who can't speak out who will thank you for having the courage."

USA-- "It isn't about courage it's a matter of what's right. This war is killing the poor or middle class American men and women who went in the armed forces to have college or some kind of better future. You don't see the rich kids joining up or any Senator's kid dying in Iraq. It's us little guys who are dying over there or getting disabled for life. Where are the leaders that are supposed to be looking out for the little man? They are elected to look after our interests not the interests of Cheney and Halliburton, or any of the rest of the fat cats piling up the profits while the blood of our soldiers flows over their hands."

CFTM-- "Anything else you want to say to America? Any final thoughts or words?"

USA-- "Yeah! Wake up America! Your sons and daughters are dying for nothing! This war is not about freedom or stopping terrorism. Bring us home now! We are dying for oil and corporate greed!"

U.S. Works to Boost Troop Morale in Iraq

By PAULINE JELINEK
Associated Press Writer
Oct 16

WASHINGTON (AP) -- One-third of U.S. troops in Iraq surveyed by a military newspaper said their morale was low, a finding that led Pentagon leaders to say Thursday they are closely watching for such problems.

Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Richard Myers said at a press conference that there are initial indications in one area - an Army reserve component - that recruiting could be suffering. They did not elaborate and other officials later said they had no further details.

Myers and Rumsfeld commented in response to a report by the newspaper Stars and Stripes that one-third of the U.S. troops questioned in Iraq said their morale is low and half said they are unlikely to re-enlist.

11 die in clashes in southern Iraq

17/10/2003

Three American soldiers and at least eight Iraqis were killed in a midnight clash at a Shiite Muslim cleric’s headquarters in the southern Iraq city of Karbala.

An earlier report from Iraqi police had indicated three Poles – not Americans - were killed.

Gunfire broke out again today in the same area of the city, where rivalries among Shiite factions have produced sporadic violence in recent weeks.

An armoured personnel carrier of the US-led coalition appeared to be firing as screaming men, women and children fled for cover. Shiite gunmen defiantly shouted, “Allahu Akbar!” – “God is great!”

Malik Kazim, a gunman who said he was involved in the fighting, said it involved a American-Polish patrol of armoured vehicles and Humvees passing the offices of a local senior Shiite Muslim cleric, Mahmoud al-Hassani.

Since Karbala has been under a 9pm curfew, the international patrol ordered the gunmen inside the offices, but they refused and a gunbattle started.

Three American soldiers and two Iraqi policemen were killed, a Polish Defence Ministry source said in Warsaw. He said no Poles were hurt. [...]

Operation Condor: Clandestine Inter-American System

by J. Patrice McSherry

[...] The CIA was responsible, McGehee said, for the deaths of between 500,000 and one million Indonesians in 1965 when the Agency overthrew the government of Sukarno.

Chamorro updated the Agency's atrocities. The CIA hired hardened Argentinian soldiers to teach the contras how to commit atrocities against the civilian population, Chamorro said. "The philosophy was that you have to fight in ways that people will be really scared, or otherwise they will not respect you." Chamorro said the Agency asked him to translate a stack of blue mimeographed sheets that bore the title Psychological Operations in Guerrilla Warfare . The manual, a copy of which was admitted as evidence, advises contra leaders to assassinate respected citizens of small towns, such as judges and doctors, and to make it appear as if the Sandinista government were responsible. Chamorro said the document also asked the contras to "create martyrs of our own followers, someone who is well-liked that gets killed in a way that looks like the government did it." The CIA also delivered to the contras mines powerful enough to maim but not kill civilians, Chamorro testified, in hopes of overburdening the Sandinista health-care system. "The CIA was telling us, in this kind of war, there is no difference between civilian and military," Chamorro said. [...]

Comment: The CIA doing the Lord's work...

Bolivia on 'Brink of Catastrophe,' U.S. Urged to Mediate

WASHINGTON, D.C., Oct 16 (OneWorld) -- U.S. human rights groups are calling on the government and armed forces of Bolivia to exercise restraint in dealing with a popular tide of protests that have swept much of the country and left as many as 80 people dead over the past several weeks. [...]

Comment: ehh... they already have "mediated." See below.

Bush administration backs massacres in Bolivia

By Bill Vann
17 October 2003

With at least 86 workers, peasants and students confirmed killed by army and police bullets and hundreds more wounded during the last three weeks of mass protests, the Bush administration has solidarized itself fully with the repressive regime of President Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada.

There is also mounting evidence that the CIA and US military are playing a direct role in organizing the bloodbath that has been unleashed against Bolivia’s rebellious population.

"The American people and their government support Bolivia’s democratically elected president," the US State Department declared in the aftermath of last Sunday’s massacre of poor and indigenous residents of El Alto, the sprawling industrial suburb of La Paz that has been the center of the strike and protest movement. Adopting a threatening tone toward the popular revolt, it warned that Washington "will not tolerate any interruption of the constitutional order in Bolivia, nor will it support a regime that results from undemocratic means."

The statement was seconded by the US Embassy in La Paz, which declared its "full support for this constitutionally and democratically elected government. This government should not be replaced by one imposed by criminal violence." It added that "sticks and stones are not a form of peaceful protest, nor is the burning of vehicles or businesses." Washington had no such words of condemnation, however, for the machine-gunning of unarmed demonstrators, including a five-year-old child, last weekend.

Soldiers moved into the shantytown neighborhoods of El Alto on Sunday and Monday with shoot-to-kill orders. Their objective was to break the siege that protesters had imposed on the capital city of La Paz as part of a nationwide protest over the government’s plan to sell off Bolivia’s natural gas to a consortium of energy multinationals seeking to export the fuel to California and Mexico. Opponents of the government have charged that, while the gas plan will yield ample profits for the foreign firms and their Bolivian partners, it will produce scant public revenues.

The fight against the gas deal has awakened mass resentment against the deepening poverty and social polarization produced by two decades of International Monetary Fund-dictated "free market reforms." Large sections of the Bolivian working class, including tin miners and public sector workers, have seen their jobs wiped out by the wave of privatizations and budget-cutting that has swept the country. At least 60 percent of the population subsists on $2 a day or less.

The government’s attempt to drown the mass protests in blood has for the moment produced the opposite effect. The killings in El Alto were answered Monday by a mass protest in La Paz in which another 11 people were killed. The capital remains completely paralyzed by a general strike, with banks, businesses and public offices closed and no vehicles moving on the streets. [...]

US military said to direct repression

Meanwhile, an issue of the weekly magazine Pulso published a detailed account of the extensive US role in organizing the government’s murderous repression against the protest movement. Security forces confiscated the edition as soon as it was distributed. Also seized was the daily newspaper El Diario, which carried a headline "Bolivians have the right to demand the resignation of the president." Security forces have also shut down a radio station that broadcasts in the Aymara language and have threatened to move against other media.

According to the report in Pulso, a US military command has taken effective control of the Bolivian army in the face of the mass upheavals. Leading this operation, according to the magazine, is the US military attaché, Col. Edward Holland. Another officer has been assigned to oversee troop deployments and tactics, the article said, adding that it was he who made the decision to bring in units from Bolivia’s eastern lowlands, for fear that local troops would hesitate in firing on civilians. According to one report, a Bolivian officer shot and killed an Aymara Indian conscript who refused to shoot down the predominantly Aymara protesters.

Another US official has been assigned to organize logistical support for the military repression, assuring adequate supplies of ammunition, food and materiel for the Bolivian army, the magazine added. It said that the US military has organized regular flights from Miami for this purpose, a charge that has also been confirmed by opposition legislators. Paulo Bravo, an opposition deputy, reported that a US Hercules military transport landed Tuesday at an airfield near La Paz with a cargo for the Ministry of Defense that apparently included fresh weapons. [...]

Sanchez de Lozada was installed in the presidential palace in August 2002 largely through US intervention. On the eve of last year’s presidential election, the US ambassador threatened that if Sanchez de Lozada’s principal opponent—Evo Morales, the former coca grower and candidate of the MAS, or Movement towards Socialism—won, Washington would impose an economic blockade on Bolivia. After neither candidate secured a majority, the US Embassy maneuvered to secure Sanchez de Lozada’s victory by cobbling together a majority in a run-off vote by the Bolivian Congress.

In Sanchez de Lozada, the Bush administration has a fitting representative for its "free market" policies. One of the richest men in the country, he is widely known as "el gringo," for having grown up in the US and gone to the University of Chicago, as well as for his servile attitude toward Washington. As a recent protest statement issued by the association of Bolivian sociologists noted, the 73-year-old Sanchez de Lozada is "profoundly linked to the United States, the country in which he lived the better part of his life, to the point where he cannot even speak Spanish correctly."

The apparent direct US military intervention in Bolivia is aimed not merely at rescuing a trusted servant, but at quelling a social revolt that Washington fears could spread throughout Latin America, where in country after country successive IMF-backed austerity and privatization programs have produced mounting poverty, unemployment and unrest.

Moreover, the Bush administration is pursuing a strategic policy that is directly linked to its unleashing of military aggression in Iraq, Colombia and elsewhere. Having built up its military presence in Bolivia under the guise of combating the production of coca, the plant from which cocaine is made, Washington has sought to gain control over the country’s natural gas supplies and divert them to the US market. Similarly, in Colombia, an intervention carried out in the name of fighting drug trafficking and "terrorism" has evolved into a military program for securing the country’s significant oil reserves.

For his part, Sanchez de Lozada made an implicit case for further US intervention, claiming that the mass upheavals against his government were the result of "sedition" by "anarchists and narcos" who have been "organized and financed from abroad." Meanwhile, the president’s spokesman charged that the protesting workers and peasants were supported by "the Colombian and Peruvian guerrillas."

The Bolivian president has attempted to defuse the protest movement by promising to put off any decision on the natural gas project until the end of the year and offering to organize a popular referendum on the issue.

The Confederation of Bolivian Workers (COB) as well as other opposition groups have rejected these proposals, demanding that Sanchez de Lozada resign. In the wake of last Sunday’s massacre in El Alto, four ministers have resigned from the government and Carlos Mesa, the vice president, announced he had withdrawn his support for Sanchez de Lozada.

Comment: American citizens take note. The above is an example of standard US foreign policy. While Americans sat (and continue to sit) complacently in front of their television screens absorbing lies and propaganda from the media whores, the US military and intelligence agencies have been busy maiming and killing around the world in THEIR name, to maintain the severe economic imbalance that exists between the US and most of the rest of the world.

Due to their overwhelming need to believe the rose-colored view of their "great country" as a bastion of freedom and democracy, America citizens are guilty of ignoring the truth, allowing and encouraging those that seek to deceive them, and facillitating the rise to power of consecutive US administrations that waged a brutal and widespread war on people's of the world.

Do the Bolivian people not have the democratic right to eject a corrupt leader that has been proven to be acting against the interests of the people? Is this not enshrined in the US constitution also? Just what type of democracy are the US representatives exporting? Could it be the same type of democracy that exists presently within the US?

SPECIAL AFTERNOON MIS-LEAD: Additional Money for Iraq Not Needed Until Spring, According to New Study

October 16, 2003 | Daily Mislead Archive

As Congress is preparing to vote on the administration's emergency $87 billion request, a new study is challenging the immediate need for the funding.

Defense Secretary Rumsfeld asserted two weeks ago that "the funds the president requested are vital to our success in the global war on terror and to our ability to finish the job in Iraq."1 But that position is being undermined by a Congressional Research Service (CRS) study that has found that Iraq military operations have sufficient funds until May of next year.

Bush's foreign policy "not good for the world": Madeleine Albright

Friday October 17, 03:15 AM

PARIS (AFP) - [...] In an interview with the Europe 1 station Albright heavily criticised the actions of the Republican leadership that replaced the Democratic administration she worked for, and notably the "chaos" that reigns in Iraq.

"America is much stronger in a multilateral system, we must be on the same side, work with other people in the world. It shouldn't be America versus the others," Albright said, speaking in French.

"It's difficult to be in France and criticise my government. But I'm doing so because Bush and the people working for him have a foreign policy that is not good for America, not good for the world," she said.

Albright, who was US ambassador to the United Nations before becoming the first woman secretary of state in 1996, was in Paris to promote the French launch of her autobiography, "Madame Secretary: A Memoir". [...]

Australian leader tosses off "sheriff's badge" from Bush

AFP
Friday October 17, 12:21 PM


Prime Minister John Howard brushed aside charges he was a puppet of the United States after US President George W Bush called the Canberra government Washington's "sheriff" in Asia.

"Can I make it very clear: I don't see this country as being a sheriff, a deputy sheriff, as having any kind of enforcement role in our region," Howard said in a radio interview when asked about Bush's remark.

"If I myself were to choose an expression to describe our role in the region, I would use the name given to our operation in the Solomon Islands -- Helpem Fren -- which is Pidgin for helping your friends," he said. [...]

GERARDO HERNANDEZ: Life sentence even though the District Attorney acknowledges lack of evidence

BY JEAN-GUY ALLARD -Special for Granma International-

• The U.S. Federal Aviation Agency itself advised the Cuban authorities that the planes that Gerardo was accused of downing were on their way

GERARDO Hernández, one of the Miami Five, was sentenced to life imprisonment by virtue of a charge linking him to the shooting-down of two light aircraft, even though the District Attorney’s office acknowledged that there was no evidence whatsoever - to the point of asking the Appeals Court in Atlanta to drop the charge. Even more absurdly, Cuba was actually advised of the arrival of those planes in its airspace, not by Gerardo but by the U.S. Federal Aviation Agency itself.

Comment: The US accused Hernandez of notifying the Cuban government of an illegal flyover of Cuba by two aircrafts. In fact, it was the FAA that did it. But it is the Cuban Hernandez who is sentenced to life imprisonment, not the FAA...Jeb Bush's Florida: Home of Choice-Free Elections and Justice-Free trials of pro-Castro Cubans.

PRESS FREEDOM, U.S. VERSION: Phantoms in the White House

BY JEAN-GUY ALLARD —Special for Granma International—

IT had to be seen to be believed, Ninoska Lucrecia Pérez-Castellon in the White House Rose Garden on tiptoes to show her smile from the second row of those assembled, individuals claiming to represent the Cuban-American community. Visibly excited, she was begging for a glance from President “Dubya,” who reserved his attention for the “fatties” positioned in the front row of a savage protocol.

Strange scene in the White House Rose Garden: the U.S. president effusively embracing Luis Manuel de la Caridad Zúñiga Rey, a terrorist of Cuban origin and one of the heads of the so-called Council for Cuban Freedom (CLC), the grouping of all the former directors of the Cuban-American National Foundation (CANF) most identified with such actions. Zúñiga was sanctioned in 1974 for carrying out an operation of that nature on the island. In the early 90s, as part of the CANF terrorist group, he supplied, recruited and made contact with Cuban nationals traveling temporarily to the United States, whom he instructed in acts of sabotage on economic objectives on the island. He is one of the most fanatical aides of Ninoska Pérez-Castellón (also present), life president of the CLC and the wife of Roberto “Macho” Martín Pérez, son of Lutgardo Martín Pérez, one of the most notorious torturers in Fulgencio Batista’s dictatorship.

Really, the fundamentalist leader – who heads Miami’s most fascist Mafioso fauna – deserved to be treated better. Even if only for her role as organizer of the campaign of pressure, blackmail and unmentionable maneuvers to be unleashed in Miami next year with the aim of maintaining the candidature of the Bush dynasty No. 2.

[...] The U.S. press, in its entirety, reported (with tremendous self-discipline), that Bush spoke “in the presence of several dozen Cuban-Americans” without actually identifying them. Tremendous pro-government reserve from the presidential press services.

It was only just disclosed that three Republican Congress members from South Florida were present – all of them the heirs of families linked to Fulgencio Batista’s bloody dictatorship defeated in January 1959 – and, accidentally, the attendance of Ninoska Lucrecia Pérez-Castellon and Sylvia Iriondo, infamous in Miami for her hysteria whilst leading the campaign to prevent young Elián González from being reunited with his father. She subsequently promoted herself as a human rights defender in Geneva, where she was provided with a significant budget by funds from the anti-Cuban National Endowment for Democracy, the US Agency for International Development and, more directly, the CIA.

Ninoska of course, needs no introduction. She is the leader of the neofascist Cuban Liberty Council alongside her husband, Roberto “Macho” Martin Pérez, son of Batista henchman Lutgardo Martín Pérez, one of the dictatorship’s most notorious torturers. She herself is the daughter of another such henchman.

Comment: The US press is so full of lies about Cuba. To have a look at the US's real Cuba policy and the butchers whom the US supports, read this article in its entirety as well as the article on Granma by Philip Agee depicting four decades of US-led terrorism against the Cuban government.

Antarctic only safe hols spot

By Oonagh Blackman And Gary Jones
Oct 17 2003

BRITAIN'S top spy boss last night warned terrorism is such a threat that the only safe place for a holiday is the South Pole.

MI5 chief Eliza Manningham-Buller said the risk to the UK from Islamic terrorists will stay high for at least five years.

The fight against groups such as al-Qaeda will be a "long haul", she warned.

In a rare speech, she said in London: "I see no prospect of a significant reduction in the threat posed to the UK and its interests from Islamic terrorism over the next five years and, I fear, for a considerable number of years thereafter."

Attacks such as the September 11 and Bali atrocities meant Britons could be at risk in any country.

She added: "I recall reading one gloomy [Joint Intelligence Committee] paper on the threat, after which a colleague said 'Holidays only safe in Antarctica then'."

She also said "sleeper al-Qaeda terrorists" were living normal lives in the UK awaiting calls to act.

Comment: Don't you all feel safer now that the war on terror is going so well? Advancing merrily from one success to another.

Terror plans of supermarkets

17 October 2003
This is London

The UK's food industry insisted today that preparing for a potential terrorist strike was a "top priority". [...]

The head of MI5 delivered a speech last night in which she said it had broadened the number of organisations it advised on anti-terrorism measures [...]

Govt plans national centre to assess terror threats

ABC

A national centre designed to assess the increasing number of terrorist threats made against Australia will be set up in Canberra.

The Federal Government will transfer around 40 people from relevant departments to staff the new centre, at a cost of around $50 million over the next five years.

Federal Attorney-General Philip Ruddock says the centralised unit will dramatically improve Australia's counter-terrorism capabilities. [...]

Agents Sneak Arms Through Boston Airport - Paper

Thu October 16, 2003

BOSTON (Reuters) - Undercover agents posing as passengers last week smuggled weapons past security checkpoints at Logan International Airport, where two of the planes used in the Sept. 11 attacks took off from, The Boston Globe reported on Thursday. [...]

Comment: More attempts to frighten the population. U.S. and U.K. citizens should be frightened. The current fascist regime may decide at any time to bolster public support for more murder and religious crusades.

Flashback: Hijack 'suspects' alive and well

BBC
Sunday, 23 September, 2001

Another of the men named by the FBI as a hijacker in the suicide attacks on Washington and New York has turned up alive and well.

The identities of four of the 19 suspects accused of having carried out the attacks are now in doubt.

Saudi Arabian pilot Waleed Al Shehri was one of five men that the FBI said had deliberately crashed American Airlines flight 11 into the World Trade Centre on 11 September.

His photograph was released, and has since appeared in newspapers and on television around the world.

Now he is protesting his innocence from Casablanca, Morocco. [...]

Flashback: Debunking Conspiracy Theorists

Paranoid Fantasies About 9-11 Detract From Real Issues

By Gerard Holmgren

[...] One of the wilder stories circulating about Sept 11, and one that has attracted something of a cult following amongst conspiracy buffs is that it was carried out by 19 fanatical Arab hijackers, masterminded by an evil genius named Osama bin Laden, with no apparent motivation other than that they "hate our freedoms."

Never a group of people to be bothered by facts, the perpetrators of this cartoon fantasy have constructed an elaborately woven web of delusions and unsubstantiated hearsay in order to promote this garbage across the internet and the media to the extent that a number of otherwise rational people have actually fallen under its spell. Normally I don't even bother debunking this kind of junk, but the effect that this paranoid myth is beginning to have requires a little rational analysis, in order to consign it to the same rubbish bin as all such silly conspiracy theories. [...]

Flashback: Meet The Carlyle Group

Former World Leaders and Washington Insiders Making Billions in the War on Terrorism

Bush & Co. Use the Orwell Sales Strategy

James P. Pinkerton

There's nothing like a war to bring out the inner George Orwell in a government. In ways little and small, Uncle Sam has been morphing into Big Brother - spinning the news, even, apparently, manufacturing news. [...]

Somewhere, Orwell's ghost is smiling grimly. In his novel "1984," the British writer imagined a Ministry of Truth that would be responsible for manufacturing news of victories and triumphs. Now, it's no longer fiction; it's your tax dollars at work. [...]

Fact-Free News

By Harold Meyerson
Wednesday, October 15, 2003; Page A23

Ever worry that millions of your fellow Americans are walking around knowing things that you don't? That your prospects for advancement may depend on your mastery of such arcana as who won the Iraqi war or where exactly Europe is?

Then don't watch Fox News. The more you watch, the more you'll get things wrong.

Researchers from the Program on International Policy Attitudes (a joint project of several academic centers, some of them based at the University of Maryland) and Knowledge Networks, a California-based polling firm, have spent the better part of the year tracking the public's misperceptions of major news events and polling people to find out just where they go to get things so balled up. This month they released their findings, which go a long way toward explaining why there's so little common ground in American politics today: People are proceeding from radically different sets of facts, some so different that they're altogether fiction.

In a series of polls from May through September, the researchers discovered that large minorities of Americans entertained some highly fanciful beliefs about the facts of the Iraqi war. Fully 48 percent of Americans believed that the United States had uncovered evidence demonstrating a close working relationship between Saddam Hussein and al Qaeda. Another 22 percent thought that we had found the weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. And 25 percent said that most people in other countries had backed the U.S. war against Saddam Hussein. Sixty percent of all respondents entertained at least one of these bits of dubious knowledge; 8 percent believed all three. [...]

Data Show Economy Picking Up Steam

By Anna Willard
Thu Oct 16, 5:49 PM ET

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. economic recovery is picking up steam, according to government reports on Thursday that indicated the troubled factory sector has turned around and the lagging job market is starting to improve.

Manufacturing activity in the U.S. mid-Atlantic region soared in October, according to a Philadelphia Federal Reserve gauge of regional industry. Another report showed U.S. industrial production rose in September as factory output posted its biggest gain since April 2000.

And in a hopeful sign for job seekers, the number of Americans filing an initial claim for jobless benefits fell last week to the lowest level since early February. [...]

The Labor Department said first-time filings for state unemployment aid fell 4,000 last week to 384,000 from the previous week, the Labor Department said.

"The jobless numbers were certainly encouraging. We got a decline and it suggests that the labor market is recovering," said Parul Jain, Nomura Securities International. [...]

Comment: Notice that this article doesn't mention other aspects of the US economy, but rather focuses on an increase in manufacturing output. A decline in initial claims for unemployment benefits doesn't seem to be anything to cheer about - how many Americans are still unemployed months or even years after being laid off? The report is especially interesting given the recent articles we have run, such as Dollar could plumb new lows, say traders, IMF warns trade gap could bring down dollar, Putin Doesn't Rule Out Oil Sales in Euros, and the following article:

States Suspending Prepaid Tuition Plans

By STEVE GIEGERICH, AP Education Writer
October 17, 2003

A combination of rising costs and plummeting investments has forced several states to suspend enrollment in prepaid tuition plans designed to protect families against spiraling expenses at public colleges.

Ohio announced last week it was suspending its program for a year because the state was losing money. West Virginia, Kentucky and Texas also have temporarily cut off new enrollment, and earlier this year Colorado halted enrollments in its plan completely.

Prepaid tuition plans allow families to purchase tuition credits — based on the current rates — in lump sums or monthly payments. A state then pools the money in long-term investments, hoping that earnings will match or exceed the cost of tuition years later when a child is ready to attend college.

Now, the problem is tuition is rising faster than investment earnings. [...]

FBI Raids 3 City Agencies, Street Fund-raiser's Office

TV camera rigged to kill Afghan rebel Masood stolen in France: police

AFP
Friday October 17, 4:11 AM

The television camera rigged to kill Afghan resistance leader Ahmad Shah Masood in September 2001 was stolen from a cameraman in France the year before, French police said.

French intelligence officers determined that the serial number on the camera matched that of one stolen in the eastern city of Grenoble in December 2000, they said, adding that the French cameraman involved had been questioned. They did not identify him.

Masood, nicknamed the "Lion of the Panjshir" for his armed struggle against the Taliban that ruled Afghanistan at the time, died September 9, 2001 when two Tunisians posing as journalists with fake Belgian passports detonated a bomb hidden in the camera as they pretended to interview him.

His death, just two days before the September 11 attacks in New York and Washington, has been linked to Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda network by US officials.

French cameraman Jean-Pierre Vincendet said his camera had been stolen on December 24, 2000, while he was filming store window decorations in Grenoble.

Vincendet, who was working at the time for the private French station TF1, on Thursday told the public France 3 station, for which he is currently freelancing, that he had been "faced with five threatening individuals" who grabbed his camera -- a Beta Sony BVW 200 AP -- and ran off.

"I followed them. I located the car they were in. I went to file a complaint with the police straight away. Then one day, someone called me, claiming to be from the FBI and said: 'We found your camera, but it's in pieces'."

The person told him the camera had been identified by matching numbers printed on the electronic cards inside the device, Vincendet said, adding that he had noted the registration number of the getaway car which he later learned was not stolen but belonged to a resident of the southern town of Roussillon who had "disappeared." [...]

Comment: This story is reminiscent of the indestructible passports found after the events of 9-11.

Debate is heating up on EU copyright law

Paul Meller/NYT NYT

BRUSSELS In an effort to fight product counterfeiting and piracy, the European Union is preparing to enact a sweeping new intellectual-property law that critics say is ill-conceived and tilted steeply in favor of copyright and patent holders.

The proposal would go far beyond existing laws in Europe and the United States by classifying copyright violations and patent infringements, even some unwitting ones, as crimes punishable by prison terms.

Lawyers who have studied the draft law say that not only could a teenager who downloaded a music file be sent to jail under it, so too could managers of the Internet service provider that the teenager happened to use, whether they knew what the teenager was doing or not.

Backers of the proposed law, which would replace a patchwork of regulations in the union's 15 member states, include influential European Union figures like Frits Bolkestein, the union's commissioner for internal markets, whose department drafted the proposed law, and Janelly Fourtou, the French member of the European Parliament who is in charge of leading the debate on it. Bolkestein said in an interview last month that criminal penalties, which are rarely invoked in Europe-wide laws, are necessary in this case "because the issue of counterfeiting is becoming overwhelming in importance."

Fourtou, the parliament member, ... said she also wanted to see the law enacted before parliamentary elections next summer. "I may not be here after the elections," she said.

While she is willing to narrow the scope of the proposed law to exclude patents, Fourtou is trying to expand its reach in the area of copyrights, and in doing so she has drawn some criticism for a perceived conflict of interest.

The commission's original draft limited criminal penalties to those who violate copyrights "for commercial purposes," and was meant to avoid ensnaring individual consumers like the 12-year-old American girl famously sued by the recording industry for file-sharing on the Internet.

But Fourtou has struck that limitation from the amended text of the proposed law. "In this sense, the scope of the directive is too narrow," she said. "Even if you aren't downloading music for profit, you still are having a very negative effect on authors and musicians. Even a young boy who does it innocently causes an economic countereffect."

One of the world's largest record companies is owned by Vivendi Universal, a French conglomerate whose chief executive is Fourtou's husband, Jean-Réné.

Fourtou said that when she was given charge of the proposed law in March, neither she nor her colleagues in the parliament saw her husband's job as a reason for her to recuse herself. "There was a plenary session of the parliament in July last year," when Fourtou took the post at Vivendi, she said. "My colleagues all saw his name and his photo in the newspapers. It was not a problem for them. My conscience doesn't have a problem with this."

Sao Tome and Principe parliament to draft oil legislation

www.chinaview.cn 2003-10-17 01:34:00

LUANDA, Oct. 16 (Xinhuanet) -- A commission has been elected by Sao Tome and Principe's parliament to draft legislation to overseethe management of future revenues from the archipelago's promisingoffshore oil resources.

Malaysia plays down attack on Jews

17/10/2003

Faced with furious criticism from the US and Europe over Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad’s assertion that Jews rule the world, Malaysia apologised today for any misunderstanding and claimed that no offence was intended.

Foreign minister Syed Hamid Albar struggled to contain the damage wrought by his blunt-spoken boss, who told a summit of Islamic leaders yesterday that “Jews rule the world by proxy. They get others to fight and die for them”.

Repeated assertions of Jewish dominance dotted the speech to buttress Mahathir’s analysis that Muslims needed to embrace modern knowledge and technology and overcome divisions over religious dogma that have left them weakened on the world stage.

“I’m sorry that they have misunderstood the whole thing,” Syed Hamid told The Associated Press. “The intention is not to create controversy. His intention is to show that if you ponder and sit down to think, you can be very powerful.” [...]

Yesterday, Mahathir, a respected leader in the developing world with a long history of making articulate, provocative comments, told leaders from 57 Islamic nations that Muslims had achieved “nothing” in more than 50 years of fighting Israel.

“They survived 2,000 years of pogroms not by hitting back but by thinking,” Mahathir said. “They invented socialism, communism, human rights and democracy so that persecuting them would appear to be wrong, so that they can enjoy equal rights with others.”

Mahathir said the world’s “1.3 billion Muslims cannot be defeated by a few million Jews”, but suggested the use of political and economic tactics, not violence, to achieve a “final victory”.

He said: “In today’s world, we wield a lot of political, economic and financial clout, enough to make up for our weaknesses in military terms.”

The speech drew a standing ovation from the assembled leaders, who included Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Abdullah, Afghan President Hamid Karzai, Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf and Indonesian President Megawati Sukarnoputri. Russian President Vladimir Putin and Philippines President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo were special guests because of their large Muslim minorities. [...]

“This was a pep talk to the Muslim countries for them to work hard and look to the future,” Maher said.

“But as soon as you have any criticism of Israel, then there are people who are very eager to rush to condemnation, without comprehending what it’s all about.”

Karzai, asked by The Associated Press whether he thought the speech was anti-Semitic, responded: “No, I don’t think so.”

He added: “Dr Mahathir spoke of the inhibitions within the Islamic world and that those inhibitions must go away, and I entirely agree with that.”

It wasn’t seen that way in Washington or Europe. US State Department spokesman Adam Ereli called Mahathir’s remarks offensive and inflammatory. “We view them with the contempt and derision they deserve,” he said.

The leaders of the European Union, meeting in Brussels, planned to adopt a statement saying the EU “deeply deplores” Mahathir’s words, Italian foreign minister Franco Frattini said.

“The prime minister used expressions that were gravely offensive, very strongly anti-Semitic and … strongly counter to principles of tolerance, dialogue and understanding between the Western world and the Islamic world,” he said.

The German Foreign Ministry denounced the comments as ”totally unacceptable” and said it called in Malaysia’s charge d’affaires in Berlin to protest.

“It was made clear to (him) that repeating such prejudices and combining them with the tragic chapter of European and German history, the Holocaust, is irresponsible,” the ministry said in a statement.

Comment: A perfect example of how the whole world has become apologists for Israel and its actions. Is it right that Israel should enjoy such immunity from criticism, let alone prosecution, when its crimes against the Palestinian people (and others) are so obvious? No one is questioning the veracity of the Holocaust, but they are immediately accused of doing so if even a single word is uttered in criticism of Israel...

The Race For Greater Israel

Patrick Seale Al-Hayat 2003/10/17

Israel's Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and his friends in Washington are in a hurry. They are racing to achieve their objectives before anyone stops them. And when they are in a hurry, they are particularly dangerous. Syria and Iran are in their sights, with further down the road Saudi Arabia, and even Egypt.

[...] Sharon's main worry, however, and the reason for his haste, is that George W Bush could be thrown out of office at next year's US presidential election - and with him the whole band of pro-Israeli 'neo-conservatives' which have set the Administration's agenda since 11 September 2001.

[...] Sharon has always wanted one hundred percent of Palestine, an ambition which would have involved expelling most, if not all, of the Palestinian population of the West Bank to Jordan, which would then have become a Palestinian state. As the obstacles to such a project are formidable, Sharon has opted for something a shade more modest: the seizure of about ninety percent of historic Palestine, confining the Palestinians to some ten percent of the overall territory behind the notorious wall. No doubt he calculates that, once the wall is finished, it will in due course come to be accepted by the international community, and by the Palestinians themselves, as defining Israel's borders.

Hence, his determination, and that of his American supporters, to move ahead with all possible speed while the regional and international environment is in their favor.

Sharon's major asset is President Bush himself. Backing off from engagement in the Arab-Israeli conflict, the Bush administration appears to have decided to leave Israel to manage the Palestine problem on its own terms. So much is clear from its veto of UN Resolutions condemning the wall and Sharon's recent strike inside Syrian territory, from its silence over continued settlement expansion and from its failure to react to Israel's massive destruction of Palestinian property at Rafah, on Gaza's border with Egypt, which this week left 1,500 Palestinians homeless. As he nervously prepares for his election campaign, his ratings slipping in the polls, Bush's collapse before Sharon must be judged one of the blackest pages in recent American history. It has provoked incredulity in Europe and, more ominously, bitter hatred of the United States in Muslim communities around the world.

Yet, Sharon has much cause for satisfaction: while Israel faces no strategic threat, its enemies tremble. A shattered Iraq is under American occupation; Iran, facing great international pressure over its alleged nuclear weapons programme, is wracked by internal conflicts between conservatives and reformers; the Arab Gulf, seemingly indifferent and content, lies under America's military umbrella; Egypt, neutralized by its peace treaty with Israel and by America's annual subsidy, hardly dares open its mouth in defense of the Palestinians; while Syria faces harsh and threatening pressure on all sides - from Washington, now preparing to vote into law the economic and diplomatic boycotts enshrined in the Syria Accountability Act; and from Israel, which last week sent its planes to strike at Syria and seems ready to do so again.

Sharon still thinks he can bludgeon the Palestinians into submission. The attack on the Palestinian camp near Damascus, together with Israel's repeated incursions at Rafah, are clearly intended as warnings to Syria and Egypt to halt all support for the Palestinians - or face the consequences. But Sharon has not yet found an answer to the suicide bombers who have traumatized the Israel public, ruined the economy, killed the tourist trade and cut off foreign investment. They are a profound embarrassment to Sharon, but he may think it a price worth paying. His priority is land, not security. That, he believes, will follow once the wall is built and the Palestinians surrender.

Eyewitness account of the invasion of Rafah

Laura Gordon, writing from Rafah, occupied Gaza
14 October 2003

When we'd come to Yibneh the camp was already in exodus mode. Donkey carts piled high with furniture, men removing the doors of their homes from the hinges, children holding the keys to their homes on neon green keychains, the modern picture of a refugee descended from refugees, meeting exile every other generation.

The army had come during the night leaving a city stripped bare, the broken bones of houses like twisted bodies reaching up to heaven. Trees and streets, power lines and water pipes, broken, twisted around each other, uprooted. A graveyard of life things. The real dead had been carried out on stretchers, mostly after lying on the street for hours between tanks and the fearful closed doors of curfew, while the ambulances negotiated with the army to gain access. It was a perfect autumn day, soft clouds dotting a sky blue as swimming pools.

The army had come during the night in the sound of thunder rumbling down the border frightening the whole town. It left, not through the streets as it had come, but by creating a path through the homes still standing in Yibneh, demolishing anything in its way and driving over the remains.

It left 10 people dead and upwards of 80 injured; over 100 homes demolished and 2,000 people homeless, according to the UN's estimate. And even then, the army left incompletely and provisionally, remaining stationed along the border, and Moshe Allon calling to deploy more reserves. The word on the street is that the army has left just long enough for the frightened families to leave the camp, an empty shell for the army to finish demolishing.

Syria puts troops on alert to thwart Israeli plots

Damascus |Reuters | 17-10-2003

Syria's armed forces chief of staff yesterday ordered his troops to be on high alert against any possible Israeli "aggression".

US nominates new envoy to Damascus

Washington |Reuters | 17-10-2003

The White House has nominated a new ambassador to Syria as US lawmakers voted to impose sanctions on Syria that included limiting diplomatic ties between the two countries.

The White House said late on Wednesday that US President George W. Bush had nominated veteran diplomat Margaret Scobey to be the US ambassador to Syria.

Scobey, whose nomination must be confirmed by the US Senate, is currently deputy chief of mission at the US Embassy in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. She would replace US Ambassador Theodore Kattouf, who left Syria in August.

Delhi running terror camps in Afghanistan: India involved in Quetta killing - Faisal

ISLAMABAD, Oct 16: India is running six terrorist training camps inside Afghanistan for subversive activities and attacks on Pakistani territory, Islamabad says.

It is the first time Pakistan has alleged the existence of Indian-sponsored training camps in Afghanistan, though it has repeatedly accused Indian consulates there of indulging in anti- Pakistan activity.

US requests crisis talks over 'Euro army' threat to Nato role

By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard and Toby Helm in Brussels
The Telegraph

Washington requested an emergency meeting of Nato last night amid growing fears in America that the European Union's latest plans for its "Euro army" will undermine the alliance.

The meeting, scheduled to take place in Brussels on Monday, reflects a growing crisis in transatlantic relations triggered by Britain's recent decision to throw in its lot with Franco-German defence plans. [...]

NATO Launches Elite Rapid-Reaction Force

October 16, 2003
From Times Wire Reports

NATO launched the first units of an elite 20,000-member rapid-reaction force that was proclaimed to be the spearhead of the alliance's transformation from Cold War bastion to global peace enforcer. Presiding at the force's inauguration was U.S. Marine Gen. James L. Jones, the alliance's commander.

Run from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization's Northern Command in Brunssum, Netherlands, the NATO Response Force will initially have 9,000 soldiers, sailors and aviators and be at full strength by October 2006.

Dead Scientists

Dr David Kelly's death in July 2003 has been put down as "suicide". This blog investigates whether or not this suicide is, in actual fact, murder dressed up as suicide. In recent months, a string of scientists across the world have also died unexpectedly and in mysterious circumstances. This blog also investigates the reason for their fate.

Meteorite Spotted Over Salt Lake Valley

10/16/2003

If you think you saw a UFO over the Salt Lake valley Thursday morning, you may not have been too far off.

NORAD is saying they think the unidentified object was a meteor but they have yet to confirm their findings.

ABC 4's Andrew Stack has been close on the tail of this meteor all day and has more.

Thursday morning, a soldier on the firing range at Camp Williams looked up to see a blinding flash, and then a long con trail. It was a tail many others would see over the next few minutes.

"All of a sudden, my eyes saw something fantastic," describes one.

"NORAD right now is researching all their records," explains another.

Around 10:30 Thursday morning, some caught a glimpse of a bright, white light.

"I thought, you know, I'm sitting out here taking UFO pictures," says Brad Gygi, an eyewitness.

"At the present time, they figure this is the high time of the season for meteor showers and that's what one of the suggestions has been, but right now, it is undetermined to exactly what it is," says one.

First it flew over Camp Williams.

"...saw an airplane going over and then he saw a white trail that appeared to be coming from the south about two o'clock and heading to the north at about eight o'clock," describes LTC Rick West, Camp Williams Training Site.

Then it was seen over downtown Salt Lake.

"It looked like it was heading for downtown Bountiful," says Richard Law, another eyewitness.

But it never made it that far.

"Naturally, with the war going on, I thought, 'oh, oh, what do we got here?' And then I recognized it immediately as a comet or a meteor because of its shape and the way it was going and then when it exploded and just disappeared, I figured it just burned out in the atmoshpere."

"I was lucky to get a couple that did turn out," says Gygi, of his pictures.

Brad Gygi was on his way to work and was lucky enough to snap a few photos before 'it' exploded.

"It looked really big, a lot bigger than when you see a plane flying across or something and it was pretty bright and it looked like a pretty long tail," says Gygi.

"I just feel like anybody who didn't see it, missed out. It was beautiful. It was just wonderful to see it."

The soldier who first saw this meteor reported it through his chain of command because he feared the meteor might hit one of the commuter flights preparing to land at Salt Lake International.

As it turns out, air traffic controllers at Salt Lake International took immediate action to ensure safety as soon as they heard about this explosion in the sky.

They changed incoming landing approaches for a couple of flights to avoid the area.

There were no close calls, all planes landed safely and everything shortly returned to normal.

6.1 Earthquake kills three in China

17/10/200

A strong earthquakekilled at least three people in a remote area of China’s mountainous southwest and collapsed at least 50 houses.

The quake of magnitude 6.1 struck Dayao county in Yunnan province, the official Xinhua News Agency said.

Ten people were seriously injured and 21 others suffered minor injuries. At least two of the deaths were reported to have occurred in Tanhua Township, near the quake epicentre.

Communication with the area was temporarily cut off but later restored. The reports said the government was sending a 20-member medical team

Second Strong Earthquake Hits Japan

Associated Press

TOKYO -A magnitude 5.5 earthquake rocked northern Japan early Sunday, a day after a stronger temblor hit the same area, the Meteorological Agency said. There were no immediate reports of damage or injuries.

Sunday's quake and the magnitude 6.1 temblor the day before were both centered 43 miles beneath the earth's surface off the southeastern coast of Japan's northernmost main island, Hokkaido, the Meteorological Agency said.

An earthquake of magnitude 6 or higher can inflict widespread damage when centered in a heavily populated area.

Patagonia glaciers 'melting at rapid rate'

Ananova.com
09:35 Friday 17th October 2003

Scientists say glaciers in the mountains of Chile and Argentina are melting at a rate which has doubled since 1975.

The amount of ice lost between 1995 and 2000 was equivalent to to a sea level rise of about 0.105 millimetres per year.

Scientists combined space observation and survey data to study the 63 largest Patagonian ice fields.

Comparing ice loss rates between 1968-1975 and 1975-2000, they found it had more than doubled.

The researchers, led by Eric Rignot from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California said: "The glaciers are thinning more quickly than can be explained by warmer air temperatures and decreased precipitation, and their contribution to sea level per unit area is larger than that of Alaska glaciers." [...]

Denmark's powerful lessons for the future

JAMES REYNOLDS
The Scotsman
Fri October 17, 2003

It is possibly the most advanced, and certainly the most efficient, power station in the world - and the statistics sound almost too good to be true.

Built in two distinct phases over the past 13 years, Denmark’s Avedore power station utilises a staggering 94 per cent of the energy of its fuel, compared with between 40 and 50 per cent for the average electricity producing power station in the UK. [...]

Man Accuses Minneapolis Police of Assault

By TRAVIS REED, Associated Press Writer
Thu Oct 16, 2:29 PM ET

MINNEAPOLIS - A man accused Minneapolis police of sodomizing him with the handle of a plunger during a drug raid, and two officers were suspended while the FBI investigated. [...]

The assault allegedly happened as officers executed a search warrant at a home.

Porter, 25, said two officers — at least one of whom he'd had contact with before — left him in the living room while moving everyone else to the kitchen.

Porter said the pair performed a full body-cavity search but found nothing. The plunger handle was then shoved into his rectum four times, tearing tissue, he said. [...]

Florida Man Arrested For Allegedly Killing Neighbor's Dogs With Pickax

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- A man was arrested on animal abuse charges after being accused of attacking two neighborhood dogs with a hatchet and a pickax. [...]

HSBC to cut 4,000 UK jobs

BBC

High street bank HSBC has confirmed that it is cutting 4,000 jobs at its UK customer service centres over the next three years.

The job cuts are part of plans to transfer work to service centres in China, India and Malaysia from January 2004, an HSBC spokeswoman told the BBC [...]

'No health benefit' from prayer

BBC

The world's largest study into the effects of prayer on patients undergoing heart surgery has found it appears to make no difference.

The MANTRA study, run from Duke University Medical Center in North Carolina, involved 750 patients.

Before their operations, they were randomly split into two groups, and half were prayed for by Christians, Jews, Buddhists and Muslims.

However, checks revealed they had fared no better than those not prayed for. [...]

Monsanto withdraws from Europe, may target India

RASHMEE Z AHMED
TIMES NEWS NETWORK
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 16, 2003 07:35:45 PM


LONDON: In a strategically symbolic retreat, with possible implications for genetically-modified (GM) food production in South Asia, American bio-tech giant Monsanto has announced its partial withdrawal from Europe.

Monsanto, which pioneered GM crops in the West and brought hybrid cotton, sunflower and corn to India despite negative publicity, said it was withdrawing from four European cereal seed development stations in the UK, France, Germany and the Czech Republic.

Monsanto spokesman Tom McDermott told TNN from Brussels, the decision was "totally unrelated to the European Union's (EU) five-year de facto moratorium on (the commercial production of) bio-tech crops". GM crops are notoriously reviled as "Frankenstein's food" in Britain and other parts of the EU.

With bad timing, Monsanto's announcement, resounded like a thunderclap through anti-GM Europe within hours of Britain releasing (on Thursday) the results of the biggest environmental-impact study of GM crops anywhere in the world.

McDermott insisted Monsanto was paradoxically planning to "focus more of our energies" on GM technology by cutting loose from its loss-making European seed business and reducing production costs for a herbicide popular in India and elsewhere. [...]

Inside the Ring: Spy in the sky

By Bill Gertz and Rowan Scarborough
The Washington Times
October 17, 2003

China's first manned spacecraft did more than simply showcase Beijing's efforts for civilian space flight. The Shenzhou 5, or Divine Vessel 5, spacecraft also conducted intelligence-gathering work for China's military.

Included on the top of the Long March 2F rocket, which boosted Shenzhou into orbit Tuesday, was a new Chinese military intelligence-gathering satellite. The satellite was placed in orbit successfully shortly after the Shenzhou began its 14-orbit mission. No mention of the satellite launch was made in the state-run Chinese press.

Additionally, defense officials said the single-astronaut spacecraft carried an infrared camera that conducted photographic spying. The camera was mounted outside the craft and has a resolution of 1.6 meters, meaning something as small as 5 feet wide can be distinguished. [...]

China also has shown "significant indications" of developing space weapons, such as satellite-killing missiles and satellites and lasers that can disable U.S. military and intelligence satellites, he said. [...]

Comment: While it is no doubt true that China's space program involves the military, the US seems to be trying to cast China's actions in a bad light. It appears that once again, the pot is calling the kettle black.

Bionic man no longer fiction

JIM MCBETH

COLONEL Steve Austin was born in the Sixties, part man, part machine, and, to a generation of television viewers, worth every cent of the six million dollars invested in the futuristic vision.

In the Seventies, television had the technology to rebuild Austin from Martin Caidin’s thriller, Cyborg, but for 30 years the superhuman pilot remained a dream. Until now.

Shrinking silicon, wireless technology and a quantum leap in the knowledge of men like Professor Chris Toumazou have translated fiction to fact.

From the brain down, humans can be rebuilt and, according to Prof Toumazou, we can make the blind see, the deaf hear and the lame walk.

"Yes, we now have the technology," said the scientist, who was in Edinburgh last night to deliver the 2003 Royal Society Clifford Paterson Lecture at Heriot-Watt University on the reality of the bionic (wo)man.

He said: "The future is here. We just haven’t distributed it."

Prof Toumazou, of Imperial College, London, is a world authority in cybernetic engineering, combining biology with technology with electronics and implants, which have given scientists and surgeons the unprecedented ability to manipulate nature.

Prof Toumazou added: "The breakthrough was the ability to shrink silicon and the 'chip' to phenomenally small sizes.

"In the brain, neural ‘bridges’ can be built with remote, wireless-operated implants that control the nerve impulses.

"Modern limb replacement prosthetics are stimulated by neurons to mimic normal functions.

"Technology exists to affect the left ventricle of the heart with a device generated by only 25 watts of power that pumps seven litres of blood each minute, a genuine bionic heart.

"Photo-receptors can be implanted in the eye and from what we now know about vision systems we are able to create the facility, for example, of telescopic sight.

"Like the Six Million Dollar Man, the ideas have been about for a while, but we are now able to implement them, to make unhealthy people healthy. Everything I do is clinically driven.

"In my case, this is not about making, for example, a super military."

He concedes, however, that projects exist for that end, the creation of the ultimate warrior; stronger, faster and more capable than the enemy.

"We have reached a stage where neurons are being grown on silicon so that, effectively, one could grow an eye.

"Another aspect of progress is the miniaturisation of power supplies that have replaced the ‘battery pack’ with something infinitely smaller that is wireless or conducted through radio waves." [...]

He added: "It is a very exciting time as we progress into the 21st century where a bionic man - a cyborg - is a practical reality."

Engineers consider ethics

New technologies melding biology with machines create new dilemmas

By Eugene Russo

Technologies related to biology, in particular nanotechnology and "neurotechnology," are among the major emerging research areas whose ethical implications engineers should consider more closely, concluded participants in a National Academy of Engineering (NAE) symposium in Washington, D.C. that concluded yesterday (October 15).

Although the engineering profession was one of the first to adopt a code of ethics, the field's focus has typically been on "microethical" issues—how individual engineers should deal with ethical dilemmas on the job—for example, conflicts of interest or duties to one's customer or employer, NAE President William Wulf told The Scientist.

"Macroethical" issues, such as how specific technologies affect society, which are typical fodder for biomedical ethicists, have not been emphasized in engineering education, via professional societies, or at the workplace, Wulf said.

"There's a gap in our understanding of macroethical issues," agreed coorganizer Deborah Johnson, a professor of applied ethics at the University of Virginia. "We're good at thinking about an individual engineer's problems, but not how those concerns affect the rest of the world." [...]

Wolpe also considered the implications of merging animal and machine, a particularly timely issue in light of the widely publicized research published this week describing a brain implant that enabled monkeys to control a robotic arm with their thoughts. "There's very little talk on the ethical perspectives," Wolpe said of the report.

Although the research represents a promising early step for treatment of paralysis victims, Wolpe said that ethicists and engineers should think more about the psychological impact such technology would have on the patient's psyche and about the technology's potential to be used some day to forcibly control other human beings. [...]

In brainstorming breakout sessions, participants alluded to ethical issues arising from the development of "large-scale technologies"—everything from weapons to aerospace, sanitation, mass transit, and tissue engineering—as well as nanotechnology, neurotechnology, and other small-scale technologies like genetic engineering and biosensors. [...]

Comment: Essentially what is being said above is that the people working on these questionable projects care only about getting the job done, the concept of the ethics of building a superhuman for military purposes is not considered. Check the US military DARPA website for evidence of the reality of these projects.

New conductor stands the heat

15 October 2003
PhysicsWeb.org

Researchers in the US have discovered a metallic alloy that does not expand or contract when heated and also conducts electricity at the same time. The material could have applications in components that encounter large temperature fluctuations, such as motors and actuators, and also in space (J Salvador et al. 2003 Nature 425 702). [...]

Microwaving destroys nutrients, study finds

By STEPHEN STRAUSS
From Friday's Globe and Mail

Microwaving raw broccoli drastically diminishes, and in some cases nearly eliminates, some natural health-promoting chemicals, a new study says.

Of particular note in the research was the postmicrowaving disappearance of almost all — 97 per cent — of flavonoids. Flavonoids, substances often found in many brightly coloured fruits and vegetables, have been linked to a reduced risk of coronary heart disease, stroke and lung cancer.

Microwaving reduced other similarly desirable chemicals in broccoli by anywhere from 74 to 87 per cent.

Some of these substances have been associated with slowing the effects of aging, reducing the risk of heart disease and preventing Alzheimer's, Type 2 diabetes and some cancers.

By far the most healthful results were obtained by that staple of French cooking, a simple and quick steaming.

[...] "We were surprised by what seemed astonishing results," said Francisco Tomas-Barberan, a co-author of the new study.

He and his compatriots suggest that microwaving generated unexpectedly high temperatures in the raw broccoli that broke down the disease-fighting chemicals.

Carvings spark off rock solid mystery(UK)

Berwick Today

The discovery of a series of mysterious rock carvings near Wooler has sparked a quest among experts to find out exactly what they are.  Archaeologists from the University of Newcastle, who were alerted to the carvings by a local farm-hand, are baffled as to what they mean or who created them.

 Experts from English Heritage and The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland are equally confused. As far as they know, nobody has ever reported anything like them before. [...]

STONEHENGE SENSATION - SCANNING REVEALS AXE CARVINGS

By David Prudames

Using laser scanning technology to study Europe’s most famous ancient monument, a team of computer experts and archaeologists has discovered carvings of two axe heads on Stonehenge. [...]

Mystery in west Seattle solved

By MEG COYLE
KING 5 News

SEATTLE - Everyone had a theory as to what was making the ground shake Saturday night, and nerves tremble into Sunday morning. Even the experts seemed stumped by the mysterious thump. But on Monday, they found the answer.

A check valve on an effluent pump checked out for a bit and the shock absorber on the hatch to help control the flow didn't absorb the shock.

Officials with King County Solid Waste said when the 14-inch valve slammed shut it couldn't seat well so it just bounced in there, and that's what people were hearing.

To fix it, the air was drained out of the damper that wasn't allowing the hydraulics to work right.

Officials say there was no damage to the line or to the valve system.

Comment: How big is this check valve? The size of a grocery store? If you missed the video, you can find it here. Consensus reality must be protected at all costs. Notice how the story about the leg found in Siberia has just died. No word on the DNA tests that were supposed to have been done.

Ky. Boy Finds Two-Headed Snake

Hunter said the snake "kind of freaked me out a little bit."

Anger as 50,000 sheep face daunting journey

17/10/2003

A ship laden with more than 50,000 Australian sheep has started the long voyage home after more than two months at sea, the Australian government said.

The sheep’s plight since being rejected by a Saudi importer last month has sparked a storm of protest from animal rights activists around the world and threatened to jeopardise Australia’s multimillion dollar live animal export trade.

About 5,400 sheep have died during the voyage.

The Dutch-owned MV Cormo Express left Kuwait in the early hours today having spent the past 70 days afloat in the Middle East since the sheep’s rejection on the grounds too many were suffering from a disease called scabby mouth.

Prime Minister John Howard assured farmers today the sheep would undergo a rigorous quarantine check before being allowed back into Australia for slaughter.

Comment: Recently we carried an article about Arafat from a Jewish newspaper entitled "Kill him before he dies".

Woman tried to smuggle husband in suitcase

Ananova.com
10:09 Friday 17th October 2003

Romanian customs officers caught a French woman trying to smuggle her Turkish husband into Hungary in a suitcase.

The 22-year-old woman's 35-year-old husband, who she had recently married, did not have a visa for travelling to France.

But officials became suspicious when they noticed the woman, named as Angelique J, was acting nervously as they checked a train at Curtici.

The couple face up to 12 months in prison for illegally attempting to cross the border, reports the Ziarul daily.

Prison orders pizzas for hungry inmates

Ananova.com
08:42 Friday 17th October 2003

A prison ordered 24 takeaway pizzas from a high street restaurant to feed inmates after a power cut closed the kitchens.

Prison officers phoned a nearby pizza shop with the £96 order after 30 prisoners were left without an evening meal. They asked for a selection of medium-sized pizzas, including Margheritas, Sicilianas and Special American Hots, reports the Mirror.

And they waited 40 minutes while a delivery man on a moped brought the pizzas to the main gate of Brixton prison in South London. Manager Akbar Mohammadi, at Pizzaring restaurant, said: "We thought it was a joke. This was the first time we've ever had an order from a prison."

A Prison Service spokeswoman said: "The duty governor decided to order takeaway pizzas for the prisoners because if he hadn't ordered any food they wouldn't have been fed at all that night."


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