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 18, 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."

While the Zionists are coming in to run Iraq, the twenty remaining Iraqi Jews in Baghdad have but a few more years to live. US archives reveal more on Prescott Bush and his links to Nazi money. Sharon is a criminal, even Jews are saying it, but we can expect him to go 'all out' to achieve his fundamentalist fanatical aims before next years US elections.

The British intelligence agency MI5 attempts to whip up the fear factor - perhaps we should all hand over our mothers as potential terrorists, yet the British public thinks the world would be safer if the US public handed over Bush. Meanwhile endemic racism is revealed within the UK police force.

Bolivia's president finally cuts his losses (or rather the public's losses) and flees, vice president Carlos Mesa takes over and promises a referendum on the proposed export of the countries gas resources (the CIA boys must be hopping mad)

Putin lets the world know that the Russians have the weapons to puncture holes in Bush Jr's. missile defense shield, while in the US, the noose get tighter and tighter. U.S. troops continue to die, and have forced and extended waits in squalor hoping for the needed medical help.

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 went to the local post office the other day like I do several times a week. When I walked in I noticed a big box of AOL freebie discs on the counter and couldn't believe my eyes. I asked the woman behind the desk, "when did the federal gov't start endorsing online services?" At first she looked at me blankly but then said, "oh they have a contract to put their discs in all US post offices. If you want to know more than that you'll have to ask my superiors, that's all I know". I said, "isn't that amazing???" The woman just stared blank faced at me. The man in line behind me said, "money talks". I said, "you got that right, buddy!" As I went out the door I thought to myself, too bad the voice of the People means nothing! I think Janis was right, freedom IS just another word for nothing left to lose and the American people will soon have more freedom than they know what to do with!

Every morning from 7am - 10am EST, seven days a week, C-Span shows the Washington Journal, a viewer call in program centered around current events. I've been watching it for well over a year and the format has changed somewhat to reflect the sentiment of the callers. They used to ask stupid nonsensical questions like, "Do you ride the bus or pack your lunch?". Yes callers on this line and no callers on that line. Due to the tenacity of all us "liberal" callers they have given up this format and focus more on the real questions about gov't, the war, and controversial politics. The funniest thing is now the lines are divided up, yes I support Bush and no I don't support Bush, no matter what the question. Are they still controlled by the Administration? Well of course they are, anytime we say something they don't like they push the button and POOF, we're gone. So please join in the fun and make your voice heard, let's show those brainwashed flag waving American sheep what TRUE patriotism is!!



I'm responding to the request for feedback. I have been sending various articles that you link to on the Signs page to my large family for a few months now. They are a smart bunch, but except for one brother that already was awake (although he thinks you guys are propaganda too), I have not received any response. No arguing, no questions, no aha moments, nothing. Two of them have requested me to remove their names from my mailing list unless I'm sending a joke or something about my own life.

I have interjected some of the ideas into conversations at work, and I am met with silence or a blank look. Occasionally, there is a ridiculing question of "Where'd you get that?"

I think there is no motivation to see the unseen, because there seems to be very little impact on the average life. Even people who can see some things have no clue what to do differently. And with nothing to do themselves, there appears to be no reason to press others to see.

Hello Signs Team,

I'm M***. I've been keeping track of the Signs of the Times page for a large part of this year now. And I've been through the Wave and Adventure series as well as the transcripts and QFS articles since early last year.

I'm a Filipino on a working visa here in East bay, California. This November marks 2 years of my stay here.

Are the people putting 2+2 together? Most people don't have a clue. And people don't like talking about politics, which makes it harder for me to broach the topic.

Even in e-mail. Its like people's visions glaze over when it comes to topics like that. And I take that into consideration when composing e-mail. Its a delicate mix of getting people's attention, trying showing to show them the truth rationally (as opposed to sensationally; but its hard to do because the reality of it is so weird. Twilight Zone weird) and at the same time, add the factor of brevity; keep it short to match the time before their eyes glaze over.

And its really hard to talk about these things. Its frustrating.

Why don't people want to talk about it? Because they'd rather not. They think nothing good would come out of it. They think all that can be done is talk about it and nothing concrete can be done to oppose the atrocities being carried out. "What can one individual do?" is most likely what they're thinking.

But if they can't see that knowing about these things is the first step in making the changes happen, nothing you can say can make them learn that.

They have to learn it for themselves, at their own pace.

But it still really is frustrating.

I used to talk to my girlfriend about philosophical things and Matrix analogies and I've used her as a sounding board for my thoughts and ideas borne of the Cass website and similar material. But always, when it comes to the war, or something that smells like government conspiracy, she shuts me off. Its like her ears glazed over.

Because of those experiences with talking/corresponding with people, I'm led to believe that there's some really powerful mind control juju at work.

And speaking of making sweeping changes with baby steps, which relates to the butterfly effect, there's a movie coming out with Ashton Kutcher (sp?), entitled, "The Butterfly Effect". From the t.v. trailer (yes, I still watch t.v. But with awareness now. Hopefully.), Its kinda like a time travelling movie. And the impression I got was, it would be better not to change the past because of the unpredictable, and subtly implied, negative butterfly effect it has. To me, it felt like the message being broadcast was, don't do anything or try to change anything because it will most likely result in a larger negative butterfly effect.

That was my impression.

Another thing I wanted to get in. When I read today's Sign's page, I read one of the user's e-mail regarding an increase in microwave towers. I noticed that a long time ago. Especially when I joined a forum on cloud(chemtrail)-busting which kinda evolved into "tower busting" (orgonite: a mix of resin and metal and crystals are supposed to eliminate the harmful etheric effects of the mind-control microwave towers).

I've never proven for myself that "orgonite" does what they say it does but I did get some interesting and useful info in other non-newagey topics. A device was brought up called a "Zapchecker".

This device supposedly measures electromagnetic field (EMF) strength. And I've bought myself one (an older version. They have a new fangled model on the website now) just to see for myself. The EMF pollution in the city where I'm at (Concord, California) is measurable.

I guess the meter works because the meter whips all the way up when a microwave is turned on in the vicinity and I couldn't get any reading when I visited Yosemite park last Labor day.

What's interesting is, along the highway, I tried the meter to measure when the EMF pollution would start registering the closer I got back home, and at parts of the highway where the microwave towers where present, I got stronger readings off of them.

I still haven't tried testing the meter on a cell phone because I don't own one. I'll e-mail back again when I get to do so.

Keep up the great work Signs team. Baby steps makes for butterfly effects.

Bush's "spirit" cursed with black magic, tossed into Thai river

Sat Oct 18, 2:31 AM ET

BANGKOK (AFP) - US President George W. Bush has been trapped in a clay pot and tossed into a river in northern Thailand -- or at least his spirit has after being cursed by hundreds of farmers protesting US agriculture policy.

A photograph of the US leader was sealed inside a pot amid black magic mantra chants, then tossed into the Ping River Friday by demonstrators after they rallied at the US consulate in Chiang Mai, a farm group leader said.

"This is a traditional northern Thai ceremony aimed at keeping his spirit down on the riverbed so he could not come and exploit our natural resources or suppress our (farming) brothers with his superior influence," Weerasak Wan-ubol, an executive of the Northern Farmers Alliance, told AFP Saturday. [...]

Comment: Is George Bush the most hated man in the world? It appears that way . . .

Japanese Activists Protest Against Bush

TOKYO - Dozens of anti-nuclear activists demonstrated at the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo as President Bush arrived Friday, demanding the United States give up its nuclear arsenal and enact an international nuclear test ban treaty.
The protest, organized by the Japan Confederation of A- and H-Bomb Sufferers, was timed to coincide with Bush's arrival in Japan for an overnight stay before attending a regional summit in Bangkok, Thailand, said Michiko Kakezuka, the organizers' spokeswoman.

About 40 people, including victims of the atomic bombings in Hiroshima and Nagasaki during World War II, held a banner that read: "No More A-Bomb Sufferers!" [...]

Comment: Notice how the protests are downplayed. The protests against the Iraq Invasion are not mentioned in an article, like the above photo shows. A couple more photos here.

Protests, MPs walkout mark brief Bush Philippines visit

MANILA (AFP) - Several thousand anti-US protesters demonstrated in the Philippines' capital and burned US flags while five leftist legislators walked out as US President George W. Bush gave a speech before a joint session of Congress. [...]

Five House of Representatives members from fringe parties walked out as Bush began his speech. One of the five, J. Virgilio Bautista, unfurled an anti-war banner as he left his seat but marshals seized it from him.

"It did not create any disturbance. It was completely ignored by the whole House," House Speaker Jose de Venecia told reporters later. [...]

Comment: In this article, the protests are characterized as anti-American, but the photos show the protests as anti-Bush. More photos here. Of course, there is no telling what they will think of Americans if they allow Bushy to steal the next election also.

Protests greet Bush in Philippines

Associated Press
10:00 Saturday 18th October 2003

More than a thousand people have taken part in a protest against George Bush's visit to the Philippines.

Waving placards saying "Ban Bush" and "Bush No 1 terrorist", they marched from the University of Philippines campus in Quezon City for the House of Representatives building. [...]

Thousands of riot and traffic police kept protesters away from the area by blocking off roads and re-routing traffic to allow the president's motorcade through. [...]

US pushes for Taiwanese military build-up against China


Taiwan must move fast to beef up its military in order to counter rival China’s growing arms build-up, the head of the Washington body in charge of Taiwan affairs said on Friday. "We have a serious problem because (China) is building up rapidly missiles across the Strait, and doing a lot of other things that don’t show peaceful intent," said Therese Shaheen, chairwoman of the American Institute in Taiwan.

"If something isn’t changed now, the balance will change, and not in Taiwan’s favour," Shaheen said in a discussion at the National Chengchi University. Shaheen urged the Island to reset its defensive priorities and order pressing items such as early-warning radars rather than concentrating on its current order of submarines from the United States, which are taking a long time to build...

Vive la difference

October 7, 2003

Some might think it dumb to tour France while America flaunts its francophobia. But what I did on my summer vacation produced a refreshing reminder that individuals are often smarter than their leaders.

As they have for two centuries, the French respect America, its people and its ideals. Heck, the Champs Elysees intersects Franklin Delano Roosevelt Boulevard. The papers tend not to mention such things.

Instead, a couple of Americans in the French Alps last month learned that France is America's emerging foe. The International Herald Tribune informed the travelers that they and their country "are at war with France."

New York Times Columnist Thomas Friedman, the three-time Pulitzer winner, warned: "It's time we Americans came to terms with something. ... France is becoming our enemy."

America's oldest ally dislikes the Bush administration's manner of occupying Iraq, just as it opposed Bush's decision to launch a first strike in the first place.

Friedman took an "our way or the highway" stand, albeit a nuanced one. It coincided with revelations that Vice President Dick Cheney recently asked a French ambassador, "Is France an ally or an adversary of the United States?"

Another question is more piquant: Do U.S. allies lose the right to speak their minds?

The French don't think so. They don't think that being a friend means becoming a sycophant. But during three weeks in Paris, Provence, the Pyrenees and beyond, a hick from Colorado (with an accent to prove it) failed to elicit a single anti-American insult. Nay, not so much as a raised eyebrow. [...]

Average French people understand the difference between legitimate political disagreements and hostile enemy tactics. Many of our leaders (and a few of their friends in the press) seem less sophisticated. They should understand that honest, civil debate among friends is quintessentially democratic. It's as American as apple pie and French fries.

Bolivian president quits amid turmoil

Saturday, 18 October, 2003

Bolivian President Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada has resigned after weeks of violent anti-government protests.

Vice-President Carlos Mesa was sworn in to serve out the president's term, due to end in 2007.

In a letter read out by the secretary of the Congress in La Paz, President Sanchez de Lozada said he hoped his resignation would help to solve Bolivia's problems.

A huge popular uprising against his free market policies - including plans to export natural gas to the United States and Mexico - has left at least 70 people dead.

A respected journalist and political independent, Mr Mesa immediately pledged to hold "a binding referendum" on exploitation of Bolivia's natural gas.

Mesa promised a referendum on gas - the issue that sparked the riots
He also addressed the calls of Indian leaders for early elections, proposing that his mandate be shortened.

"Bolivia is still not a country of equals. We must understand our peoples, our (indigenous) Quechuas and Aymaras," he told the Congress.

Wearing the presidential sash and reading from a prepared speech, he said it was time for "reparations" for the indigenous majority that led the wave of protests against Mr Sanchez de Lozada. [...]

Putin says Russia too can resort to preemptive strikes

MOSCOW (AFP) Oct 17, 2003

President Vladimir Putin confirmed Friday that Russia retains the right to deliver preemptive military strikes against its enemies since the policy was also practiced by the United States.

Putin told the Al-Jazeera network in comments carried in Moscow by Interfax that he shared the views delivered earlier this month by Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov that prompted questions for clarification from Western capitals.

The Russian defense minister "really did speak about the option of preemptive strikes," said Putin.

"What he had in mind, and this is my view as well, is this: We are against such a policy, but if other nations continue to make a priority (of preventive strikes) in their foreign policy, than Russia reserves the right to act in the same way."

Ivanov was forced to soften his remarks in comments delivered in the United States earlier this month.

But Putin stuck firmly to Russia's new military position.

"Nations that threaten us must know that our response will be adequate," the Russian leader was quoted as saying. [...]

And Putin hinted broadly on Friday that Russia still planned to rely on its massive nuclear arsenal for decades to come despite signing a broad disarmament agreement with the United States last year.

He said Russia has a "significant amount" of SS-19 intercontinental ballistic missiles that had never previously deployed -- and thus not part of disarmament negotiations -- and which remain mothballed for emergency use.

"These are probably the most powerful rockets in the world," said Putin. He said they would be the perfect weapon for breaking through a potential missile defense shield that has been heavily backed by US President George W. Bush. [...]

"In the meantime, we will begin producing new strategic weapons that will guarantee are strategic nuclear missile deterrence system," he said.

Rumsfeld warns Congress to be "careful" on Buy America Act

WASHINGTON (AFP) Oct 17, 2003

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld warned Congress to avoid damaging relations with allies who have invested in US weapons systems like the Joint Strike Fighter by requiring the Pentagon to "buy American."

Passage of the 2004 defense authorization bill has been held up as the administration and the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee have sought to find a compromise on the issue. [...]

"But certainly with the Joint Strike Fighter and the various things we do around the world with other countries, we have to be careful on that issue," he said. "And I'm sure that Secretary Wolfowitz and the negotiators in the conference are being careful." [...]

Comment: It is most interesting that the Bush Reich feels that ignoring the international community is okay, except when military spending and defense contracts are involved.

S.Korea Says to Send More Troops to Iraq

By Judy Lee
October 18, 2003

SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korea said on Saturday it had decided to send additional troops to Iraq to back up U.S-led forces there but deferred a key decision on whether these should include combat personnel.

"The government has decided to send additional troops to help the rapid reconstruction of post-war Iraq and the settlement of peace in the region," the presidential office said. [...]

Last month the United States asked Roh's government to send combat troops as well to help stabilize Iraq. South Korean media have said Washington wants Seoul to commit to sending about 5,000 men by the end of this month. [...]

Pentagon to Call on More Support Troops

AP Military Writer
Friday October 17, 2003 5:01 AM

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Pentagon is drawing up plans to mobilize more National Guard and Reserve forces for duty in Iraq, in the expectation that too few international troops will be available by early next year, officials said Thursday.

The additional reservists have not been notified because Pentagon planners have yet to decide which units to call on, and there remains a chance that international troops can be used instead.

The extra forces - which could turn out to be a mixture of international troops, active-duty U.S. Marines and National Guard and Reserve soldiers - are to replace active-duty units due to return home. [...]

Four U.S. Military Police Killed in Iraq Attacks

Fri Oct 17, 3:09 PM ET
By Michael Georgy

KERBALA, Iraq (Reuters) - Three U.S. military police died in an ambush in the Shi'ite holy city of Kerbala and another American military policeman was killed by a bomb in Baghdad, the U.S. military said Friday. [...]

Sick, wounded U.S. troops held in squalor

By Mark Benjamin
UPI Investigations Editor

FORT STEWART, Ga., Oct. 17 (UPI) -- Hundreds of sick and wounded U.S. soldiers including many who served in the Iraq war are languishing in hot cement barracks here while they wait -- sometimes for months -- to see doctors.

The National Guard and Army Reserve soldiers' living conditions are so substandard, and the medical care so poor, that many of them believe the Army is trying push them out with reduced benefits for their ailments. One document shown to UPI states that no more doctor appointments are available from Oct. 14 through Nov. 11 -- Veterans Day.

"I have loved the Army. I have served the Army faithfully and I have done everything the Army has asked me to do," said Sgt. 1st Class Willie Buckels, a truck master with the 296th Transportation Company. Buckels served in the Army Reserves for 27 years, including Operation Iraqi Freedom and the first Gulf War. "Now my whole idea about the U.S. Army has changed. I am treated like a third-class citizen."

Since getting back from Iraq in May, Buckels, 52, has been trying to get doctors to find out why he has intense pain in the side of his abdomen since doubling over in pain there.

After waiting since May for a diagnosis, Buckels has accepted 20 percent of his benefits for bad knees and is going home to his family in Mississippi. "They have not found out what my side is doing yet, but they are still trying," Buckels said. [...]

Eight Marines Charged in Death of Iraqi POW

Saturday, October 18, 2003

CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. — Eight Marine reservists stationed at Camp Pendleton have been charged in connection with the June death of an Iraqi man who was held at a detention facility in Iraq, authorities said.

Two of the men, Maj. Clark A. Paulus and Lance Cpl. Christian Hernandez, face negligent homicide charges, said staff Sgt. Bill Lisbon, a Marine spokesman at Camp Pendleton. Charges against the other six range from assault to dereliction of duty.

"I think it's surprising because this is not what Marines do," Lisbon said Friday. "They don't do what these guys are being charged with."

All eight men, who belong to the 2nd Battalion, 25th Marine Regiment, are being held at Camp Pendleton. It was not known late Friday who their lawyers were.

Lisbon acknowledged the charges stemmed from a case in which an Iraqi man died while being detained by U.S. authorities. He would not, however, say whether the case in question was that of a 52-year-old Iraqi prisoner of war, whose corpse was found June 6 at a camp run by the 1st Marine Division near Nasiriyah. The man had been held at the camp in southern Iraq since his capture May 3. [...]

FBI: Plane-Security Perpetrator Located

Oct 17, 8:29 PM (ET)

WASHINGTON (AP) - The government on Friday ordered intensified security checks of the entire U.S. commercial air fleet after small plastic bags containing box cutters and other suspicious items were found on two Southwest Airlines (LUV) planes. The FBI announced later it had found the perpetrator.

A 20-year-old North Carolina man was being questioned in Baltimore - site of a major Southwest hub - by the FBI in connection with the incidents, according to a congressional official and a senior law enforcement official, both of whom spoke on condition of anonymity.

The congressional official said the man, described as a college student, had informed the Transportation Security Administration that he planned to put packages on planes in an effort to expose gaps in aviation security. [...]

Calif. Tightens Police Spying Rules

By MARTHA MENDOZA, AP National Writer
Sat Oct 18, 1:27 AM ET

SAN FRANCISCO - In a new set of guidelines about police surveillance, law officers around California are being told not to attend political, religious, social or educational meetings unless they have reason to believe a crime is planned or has happened. [...]

Dollar Falls; Data Fail to Inspire

By Gertrude Chavez
Fri Oct 17, 4:53 PM ET

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The dollar retreated on Friday in choppy, desultory trading as fairly solid economic data failed to meet the market's lofty expectations set after a series of consensus-busting numbers in the past few sessions.

This left the U.S. currency vulnerable to squaring of long positions when the dollar breached some crucial technical levels. [...]

The University of Michigan's index of consumer sentiment came in higher than expected, but markets viewed the data as mildly disappointing, coming on the heels of surprisingly robust economic figures in the previous sessions. The index rose to 89.4 in October, outstripping economists' forecasts of a rise to 88.0 and up from a final reading of 87.7 in September. [...]

Comment: In another Reuters article, the same University of Michigan data is used to show that the U.S. economy is improving.

Bush pushes Japan to let dollar sink

Asian visit opens with warm images with Koizumi, but little agreement

By David E. Sanger NYT
October 18, 2003

TOKYO: President George W. Bush thanked Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi here Friday for Japan's $1.5 billion commitment to rebuilding Iraq. But the two men emerged from a meeting and informal dinner with no agreement on a politically critical issue for both of them: the value of the dollar, at a moment when both Japan and the United States are struggling to revive manufacturing jobs.

[...] But the consensus between the two men broke down when the subject turned to the strength of the dollar, which has become a potentially major political problem for Bush. The president is under pressure from American manufacturers, including some of the biggest donors to his campaign, to let the dollar fall in value relative to some of the major Asian currencies. A weaker dollar would help American companies export more goods abroad, and would make Japanese and Chinese goods more expensive in the American market.

Bush clearly wants to accommodate them, but he is fearful of steering too far away from the mantra of the 1990's that "a strong dollar is in the interest of the United States." So Bush has split the difference, saying that the United States still favors a strong dollar but wants "the market to determine exchange rates." That last phrase is a signal to American companies, administration officials say, that Bush believes that China and Japan should stop intervening in the markets to keep the dollar artificially high. In short, the new American policy appears internally contradictory.

Bush is declaring that the dollar should be strong, while calling for the freeing of markets that would, most experts guess, send its value down in relation to the Japanese and Chinese currencies.

"It's a combination of statements that make no sense, when you think about it," a senior American official deeply

involved in the issue said just before Bush left Washington on Wednesday. "Either you want a strong dollar or you want the markets to determine the rate, but you can't pray at both altars." Koizumi's problem is the mirror image of Bush's. He wants a strong dollar, and a weak yen, to improve Japan's exports. At the heart of it all is a battle over jobs, and whether they will be created in, say, the auto parts companies surrounding Detroit or in cities like Yokohama and Nagoya. [...]

Chicago Office Building Fire Kills Six

Grid's maintenance record under attack as another power cut hits

By Saeed Shah
The Independent
18 October 2003

The electricity regulator is to investigate allegations that the recent blackout in London was caused by a failure of maintenance by National Grid Transco, the power network operator.

The claims - by National Grid employees - surfaced as the main railway station in Birmingham, New Street, suffered a power failure yesterday afternoon. [...]

Jews in earlier demonstration in
solidarity with Arabs in France

French Jews Call For Prosecuting ‘Criminal’ Sharon

By Hadi Yahmed,

PARIS, October 16 ( - In an unprecedented event, a thousand French Jews Wednesday, October 15, urged to have Israeli Premiere Ariel Sharon prosecuted for his “criminal policies” against Palestinians, and supported the notion of a Palestinian state with occupied east Jerusalem as its capital.

In a strongly-worded statement entitled “Another Jewish Voice”, the signatories said they are against the oppressive practices by the Israeli army in Palestinian-ruled areas.

“Israelis will never enjoy peace or even a future for their country unless they set on the negotiating table and settle a compromise with the Palestinians,” read the statement, signed by politicians, doctors and legalists.

It warned that Israeli actions against the Palestinians “could end up with their perpetrators standing before the International Criminal Court”.

Belgium's highest court ruled on February 12 that Sharon and a former army commander, could face war crimes charges once he leaves office.

Palestinian survivors of the 1982 Sabra and Shatila massacres also attempted last year to indict Sharon, who was then a minister of defense, for “war crimes” committed against them almost 20 years ago.

The statement carried the French Jews’ denial that the Israeli government should act on their behalf and their backing to efforts for “realizing peace, justice and equality in the face of the criminal policy of Sharon’s government”.

They also took aims at control of the French political scene by the pro-Israel extreme rightist groups. [...]

Comment: There may well be many more people speaking out against fascist regimes than we realise, their voices are seldom heard however, due largely to the death grip that those same regimes have on the mainstream media - "the opium of the masses."

Patrick Seale: Sharon's main plan is to capture more land


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. Political and economic pressure, financial penalties, sanctions, intervention, regime change by military force, these are their chosen instruments for bending the Arabs to the will of Israel and its United States patron.

Sharon's main objective is the building of a Greater Israel on the ruins of Palestinian nationalism. His latest instrument is the wall or fence which is imprisoning the Palestinians on a fraction of their territory, cutting them off on all sides from contact with their Arab neighbours. The wall is due to be finished in eight months' time. Sharon is determined that nothing must prevent its completion.

At the UN Security Council this week, he won a major victory when the United States vetoed a resolution, proposed by Syria, condemning the wall. Within hours, a radical Palestinian group attacked the motorcade of an American delegation in Gaza, killing three Americans and wounding a fourth. Sharon will no doubt exploit this latest incident to rally American opinion against the beleaguered Palestinian president, Yasser Arafat.

Israel's main worry

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 September 11, 2001. These are the men who pressed for war against Iraq as a first step towards reshaping the geopolitics of the entire Middle East. But the sluggish US economy, the mess in Iraq, and the anti-American anger sweeping the Arab and Muslim world are now making Bush look vulnerable. A Democrat in the White House may not be so tolerant of Israel's foolhardy ambitions or so ready to endorse the neo-cons' aggressive policies.

Sharon has other worries closer to home. The political fall-out from the current police investigations of his two sons, Omri and Gilad, for alleged sharp practice and bribe-taking could drive Sharon himself from office in 2004. And to compound his fears, the Israeli Left which for the past two years has seemed terminally ill and politically irrelevant is showing faint signs of revival.[...]

Comment: Perhaps it is a little naive to think that US policy towards Israel will change regardless of who occupies the white house. After all, it was said that Clinton was the most pro-Israel US president ever.

Would-be successors jockey to replace larger-than-life Arafat

By Ed O'Loughlin, Herald Correspondent in Ramallah
October 18, 2003

Under mounting pressure to act against militants, Yasser Arafat faces yet another threat to his position as subordinates jockey to succeed him as Palestinian Authority chairman.

Observers in Ramallah say a two-week stand-off between Mr Arafat and his nominated Prime Minister, Ahmed Qurie, stems from the latter's desire to position himself as a powerful figure in his own right. Mr Qurie has publicly threatened to resign the post he assumed only last month unless Mr Arafat allows him to appoint his own interior minister, with full control over the security forces.

Mr Arafat's refusal to relinquish his considerable power over the security forces led to the resignation six weeks ago of Mr Qurie's predecessor, Mahmoud Abbas.

Originally touted as an Arafat loyalist, Mr Qurie has rapidly taken on a more independent role as he faces US and Israeli pressure to sideline Mr Arafat and move against Palestinian militant groups. But another key motive, observers believe, was the mysterious illness that struck down Mr Arafat this month.

Although his officials said it was merely flu, there were rumours that the 74 year-old veteran guerilla had suffered a heart attack or stroke.

"Arafat is clearly in bad health and whoever is prime minister when he dies will probably be the next real leader," says Daoud Kuttab, a Ramallah-based journalist and commentator.

"My take is he [Qurie] won't resign . . . He wants to be number one one day and if he resigns he'll be burnt out, out of the picture." [...]

Baghdad's Jews: On their last leg

By Lawrence Smallman in Baghdad
Saturday 18 October 2003, 11:46 Makka Time, 8:46 GMT

The Jews of Baghdad trace their presence in Iraq to the court of Nebuchadnezzar and ancient Babylon.

But a history that spans 2600 years is unlikely to last another 20.

The community that once boasted numerous synagogues and played a major role in the skilled trades have lost all hope.

There are less than 20 Jews living in Baghdad, almost all to be found in the al-Bitawin district. Down from over 125,000 less than 60 years ago.

End of an era

Nidhal Salhi, the community's youngest member, is in her late forties.

She could never marry as there were no eligible men under the age of 70.

[...] Strangely enough, the Jews of Baghdad benefited a great deal from former president Saddam Hussein.

He paid for the restoration of the Meir Tweg synagogue, the only standing place of worship in the whole of the country. It has not been used since the invasion and the collapse of public security.

Nidhal also told me that it was Saddam Hussein's Jewish neighbours in Tikrit who had persuaded the former president's mother not to have an abortion.

Women want Saddam

Nevertheless, it was still a surprise when Baghdad's youngest Jew blurted out: "I wish Saddam could return."

Up until now, I must have spoken to dozens of taxi drivers and café owners, policemen and imams – they all say the same: We are glad to see the back of Saddam Hussein and hope for his capture and death.

But I had only been speaking to men.

Here was the first person I had met who yearned for the clock to be turned back and former president Hussein to return – not a Baathist sympathiser, not a former member of the secret police - but a middle-aged Jewish women!

The other two women [a Christian and a Moslem] said they also wished for the return of the former president and swore all their friends felt the same.

"In Saddam's day, there was the rule of law, there was safety. Now I dare not let my daughter out of the house. She won't be able to complete her studies. This is what the Americans have brought", said Subhiyya.

Unwanted change

I suggested that the security situation would improve, that there would be a new democratic government eventually.

"What good is that to us. Look at our houses, look at the way we live … has democracy put food on our tables, safety on our streets, electricity in our homes. Saddam did all these things" Nidhal replied.

Just as the call to the Maghrib (evening) prayer began to sound, a wizened old man bent double with age joined what had now become a group of six women.

Despite the obvious pain in a man who may well have been Baghdad's oldest Jew, Yaqub told the gathering that no Jew would ever have left Iraq if it hadn't been for the British.

Nidhal and the others all laughed, much to his irritation. "Yaqub always blames the British for the end of our community."

Another relatively famous Iraqi Jew, Naeim Giladi, holds a similar opinion. He also maintains Zionists scared Jews into leaving Iraq as well. But I didn't want the conversation to end with history.

Small expectations

So I asked Yaqub if he thought the Americans would leave soon, as they have always promised.

"I don't know. The British used to say the same. All we can do is hope."

But unlike the men, Baghdad's women seem to have no fear in saying exactly what they think.

Nidhal and the others – a group that had now grown to eight women and two babies - were all agreed and adamant. "The Americans will never leave."

Tackle terrorism without double standards, says Muslim summit

Muslim leaders have ended their summit of the Organisation of Islamic Conference in Malaysia by vowing to tackle what they called the "scourge" of terrorism. In a reference to the Israeli- Palestinian conflict, they said there should be no double standards in trying to pin the term terrorism on a particular religion or culture. During the summit, UN chief Kofi Annan had warned of rising hostility between Islam and the West.

Summit leaders also rallied behind Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohammed, claiming his controversial claim that Jews ruled the world had been taken out of context. That claim drew a storm of western condemnation. Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Maher said Mahathir had delivered a "wise assessment" that the Muslim world should overcome its weaknesses.

Saudis funded infiltration of U.S. military

Friday, October 17, 2003

Saudi Arabia has funded the indoctrination of U.S. soldiers and inmates to an ideology adopted by Al Qaida.

Research conducted by the Washington-based Institute of World Politics has asserted that Saudi Arabia poured tens of millions of dollars into spreading Al Qaida-related ideology among American soldiers and inmates. The report said the Saudi aim was to form insurgency cells throughout the United States that support a Wahabi agenda.

"Islamists terrorists view conversions of non-Muslims to Islamism as vital to their effort," J. Michael Waller, a professor at the institute, said. "U.S. counterintelligence is vigilant against recruitment of American military personnel by foreign intelligence services, but has been blind toward the possible recruitment of American officers into Wahabi political extremism or Islamist terrorist networks." [...]

Muslim charities send funds to terror groups, agent says

Douglas Farah
Washington Post
Oct. 18, 2003

A secretive group of tightly connected Muslim charities, think tanks and business based in northern Virginia was used to funnel millions of dollars to terrorists and launder millions more, according to court records unsealed Friday.

An affidavit from Homeland Security Agent David Kane said that the Safa Group, also known as the SAAR network, in Herndon, Va., had sent more than $26 million in untraceable money overseas and that leaders of the organization "have committed and conspired to ... provide material support to foreign terrorist organizations." [...]

Al-Qaeda 'sleepers' in Britain, says MI5

Micheal Evans
The Times October 17, 2003

Osama bin Laden's terror group has “sleepers” in the United Kingdom who live normal lives but are primed for terrorist action, the head of MI5 disclosed last night.

These individuals do not fit the typical image of a terrorist but just blend into society, Eliza Manningham-Buller, the Director-General of MI5, said.

She gave an insight into “new leads” that her service and other Western agencies have followed since the September 11 terrorist attacks in the United States. Ms Manningham-Buller said: “Western security services have uncovered networks of individuals, sympathetic to the aims of al- Qaeda, that blend into society, individuals who live normal, routine lives until called upon for specific tasks by another part of the network.”

She added: “Some of these individuals are in the UK.”

In her second public lecture since becoming the head of MI5 a year ago, Ms Manningham-Buller said that one of the lessons learnt from September 11 and other incidents was the ability of the terrorist “to hide in plain sight, to be seen but not noticed and to all intents and purposes to live a law-abiding existence”.

She delivered the annual James Smart Memorial Lecture (in honour of the first chief constable of Glasgow) at the City of London Police headquarters, saying that bin Laden’s organisation had established “a highly covert series of networks” to support and sustain terrorist activities.

This explained why al- Qaeda had been able to carry out terrorist acts since September 11, despite the worldwide intelligence-gathering operation to counter its activities.

She said that, despite many recent counter-terrorist successes, she saw “no prospect of a significant reduction in the threat posed to the UK and its interests from Islamist terrorism over the next five years, and I fear for a considerable number of years thereafter”.

'Bush makes world more dangerous' say survey Britons

Thursday 16th October 2003

More than half of Britons feel the policies of George Bush have made the world a more dangerous place to live, according to a new poll.

Some 52% of British people questioned in the Europe-wide survey said the world was more dangerous as a result of Mr Bush's war on terrorism.

In other contries 69% in Belgium and Switzerland, 67% in the Netherlands and 57% overall say he has made the world more dangerous.

Just 7% of Europeans asked by pollsters TNS for CNN and Time magazine said Mr Bush had made the world safer...

Lahoud asks US to free itself from 'Zionist lobby'


Lebanon urged Washington yesterday to free itself from the grasp of a "Zionist lobby" it said threatened US interests through measures likes a draft law that would sanction Syria for backing anti-Israel militants.

"President (Emile) Lahoud calls on the United States to liberate itself from the hegemony of the Zionist lobby on various positions including this bill, because this type of hegemony represents certain danger to the interests of the American people," Lahoud's office said in a statement.

"It pushes the United States to adopt policies which increase extremism, because they give pretexts to extremists." [...]

Israeli forces kill three Palestinians

GAZA (Reuters) - Israeli forces have killed a senior member of the Hamas group, another militant and a woman bystander in fighting at a Palestinian refugee camp in the Gaza Strip, medics say. [...]

Bush targets Abu Sayyaf, Jemaah Islamiyah in speech

US President George W. Bush has addressed a joint session of the Philippine Congress in the first speech by an American president in over 40 years. Bush spoke at length on issues surrounding the international war on terror, vowing to help the Philippines bring Muslim Abu Sayyaf rebels "to justice." He also said he would work with Southeast Asian nations to destroy the Jemaah Islamiyah group linked to the al-Qaeda terrorist network. Earlier, Bush met with Philippines President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo to thank her for her support in the war on terror and on Iraq.

Bush grandfather director of bank with Hitler ties: U.S. government documents

Oct 18

WASHINGTON (AP) - President George W. Bush's grandfather was a director of a bank seized by the U.S. government because of its ties to a German industrialist who helped bankroll Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler's rise to power, government documents show.

Prescott Bush was one of seven directors of Union Banking Corp., a New York City investment bank owned by a bank controlled by the Thyssen family, said recently declassified National Archives documents reviewed by The Associated Press.

Fritz Thyssen was an early financial supporter of Hitler. The documents do not show any evidence Bush directly aided that effort. His position with Union Banking never was a political issue for Bush, who was elected to the Senate from Connecticut in 1952.

Reports of Bush's involvement with the seized bank have been circulating on the Internet for years and have been reported by some mainstream media. The newly declassified documents provide additional details about the Union Banking-Thyssen connection.

Trent Duffy, a spokesman for the U.S. president, declined comment.

Union Banking was owned by a Dutch bank, Bank voor Handel en Scheepvaardt N.V., which was "closely affiliated" with the German conglomerate United Steel Works, said an Oct. 5, 1942, report from the U.S. Office of Alien Property Custodian. The Dutch bank and the steel firm were part of the business and financial empire of Thyssen and his brother, Heinrich Thyssen-Bornemisza, the report said.

The 4,000 Union Banking shares owned by the Dutch bank were registered in the names of the seven U.S. directors, said a document signed by Homer Jones, chief of the division of investigation and research of the Office of Alien Property Custodian, a Second World War-era agency that no longer exists.

Roland Harriman, the bank chairman and brother of former New York state governor Averell Harriman, held 3,991 shares. Bush had one share.

Both Harrimans and Bush were partners in the New York investment firm Brown Brothers, Harriman and Co., which handled the financial transactions of the bank, as well as other financial dealings with several other companies linked to Bank voor Handel that were confiscated by the U.S. government during the Second World War.

Union Banking was seized by the government in October 1942 under the Trading with the Enemy Act.

No charges were brought against Union Banking's U.S. directors. The government was too busy trying to fight the war, said Donald Goldstein, a professor of public and international affairs at the University of Pittsburgh.

"We did not have the resources to do these things," Goldstein said.

Fritz Thyssen broke with the Nazis in 1938 over their persecution of Roman Catholics and Jews and fled to Switzerland. He later was arrested and spent 1941 to 1945 in a Nazi prison. His brother lived in Switzerland from 1932 to 1947 but continued to operate businesses in Germany.

The new documents were first reported by freelance writer John Buchanan in the New Hampshire Gazette newspaper.

Arab-Americans jeer Lieberman

Saturday 18 October 2003, 4:05 Makka Time, 1:05 GMT

US senator and aspirant for president Joseph Lieberman’s pro-Israel speech has provoked jeers and taunts at a gathering of Arab-Americans in a Detroit suburb.

Lieberman, the first of seven Democratic presidential candidates scheduled to speak at the Arab American Institute's national leadership conference, on Friday refused to criticise Israeli policies and insisted on the need for Palestinians "to dismantle the terrorist infrastructure".

His comments drew such a vehement response that James Zogby, head of the Arab American Institute, had to intervene twice to calm the audience of several hundred so that Lieberman could continue.

The irate audience interrupted him several times, demanding to know his position on what they described Israeli "terrorism" and on Israel's planned security barrier through the West Bank.

"What about the wall?" shouted one woman.

[...] A chorus of moans could be heard when Lieberman said "the wall is temporary" and would be torn down when Israel and a contiguous Palestinian state live side-by-side in peace.

Dr. Strangelove, Marlboro Man and thoughts on carpet bombing

Shades of 1973 as Sharon, with Bush’s green light, prepares to widen Mideast war

[...] So, as Israelis mourned their dead from the 1973 war, they were faced with the prospect that Sharon, the general whose actions in that war as in 1967 amounted to gross insubordination that was only mitigated by his tactical brilliance, was leading them again to the abyss.

Small wonder then that Haaretz questioned where Sharon was leading his country and the region at large. It declared that "under the circumstances, Sharon may … be sowing the seeds of Armageddon."

It added: "The action in Syria may be a fragment of the regional strategy of a leader whose dangerous potential has been fulfilled on more than one occasion. Before our eyes, he may be transformed into Dr. Strangelove, riding toward the horizon on a giant ticking bomb."

The hawkish chief of the general staff, General Moshe Yaalon, Haaretz observed in a separate article, was being portrayed in the media as "Marlboro Man" in TV interviews which show him on his kibbutz engaged in peaceful pursuits, milking a cow, gazing out across the desert landscape, close to nature. Sharon, who owns a ranch in the Negev, was portrayed in a similar vein during his election campaign, taming the wilderness rather than dropping one-ton bombs on apartment blocks in Gaza City.

"The chief of staff," Haaretz noted, "as a symbol of nature, quiet manhood, nobility and tenderness, camouflages his military profession, which is the negative of that image … In recent years, Israeli society has demonstrated a powerful, consistent need to see its leaders ­ and itself ­ that way, as a reflection of the myth of the peace-seeking farmer, who fights against his will, and the entire purpose of that fighting is to preserve nature, the land, the cow and the quiet.

"It’s interesting to ponder where that need comes from. What exactly is this energetic effort covering up? What emanated from the Marlboro Man advertising was the demand for legitimacy, for approval, along the lines of ‘cigarettes aren’t what you think.’ That’s obvious when it comes to cigarettes. But what the hell is it about the Israeli chief of staff that is so illegitimate it needs camouflaging?"

But this soul-searching by a liberal Israeli newspaper, was swept away in another article that, ominously one thought in the circumstances, focused on Winston Churchill’s strategic decision to carpet-bomb German cities night after night during World War II in an effort to break the people’s morale.

"Churchill saw that as inevitable in a just war," wrote military analyst Zeev Schiff.

It didn’t take a great brain to figure out where all this was leading. Schiff concluded: "When comparing the indiscriminate bombing of civilian populations by the greatest of the democracies, Israel’s conduct of its war on Palestinian terror organizations that conduct suicide bombings against civilians appears to be saintly."
Analyze that, if you dare.

Euro force ‘no substitute for NATO’ - Simitis on European Council

The European Council, which ended yesterday in Brussels, was dominated by two major issues: a common EU defense structure and infrastructure projects which will integrate European transport, energy and communications networks and help boost economic growth across the EU.

On the question of defense, the United Kingdom’s decision to approve a decision taken months ago by France, Germany, Belgium and Luxembourg may have prompted dismay on the part of the United States, but it appears that the majority of current and new members do not view the creation of this force as the beginning of the dismantling of NATO. Greece is one of these countries, as Prime Minister Costas Simitis made abundantly clear.

"Greece’s longstanding position is that it is wrong (to believe) that a European defense system is a substitute for NATO," Simitis said.

Other EU leaders, including French President Jacques Chirac, made similar declarations. In a move to placate the United States, the original four states calling for a common European force have shelved their proposal for a Brussels headquarters.

Ayoon wa Azan (More 'Bushisms')

Jihad Al Khazen Al-Hayat 2003/10/17

If President Bush is not suffering from dyslexia, hence mixing letters, numbers and words, then he has something called aprexia, which was described once in the Washington Post as a difficulty in choosing words, bringing the patient to summarize the words by omitting letters or even whole parts; and George W. Bush is known for this.

However, others insist on the fact that this summary of words is due to ignorance, not to any other disease, as they argue that Bush also lengthens other words; there are several examples in this regard.

Jacob Weisberg, author of "More George W. Bushisms," asks: Can the man from Midland in Texas simply be idiot? Then he answers his question by saying that there are journalists in Texas who know Bush very well and ascertain that the issue is not about dyslexia or aprexia, but rather about "ignoranzia."

[...] We should have expected the catastrophe before it even occurred maybe, when we heard him say in his electoral campaign: "The key to foreign policy is to depend on dependence." He also said:

- I will have a foreign policy with a foreign hand.

- If I become president, I hope I can realize how my administration will react to the Middle East, whereas he meant how the Middle East would react to his administration.

- The main question is will I succeed as a president in the foreign policy? Yes, but until I become one, I can't prove my belief that I can be more effective.

- Whoever thinks that I am not smart (enough) to do the job is not underestimating well.

President Bush spoke of the Magna Carta, or the treaty that English King John signed in 1215 with the leaders of the English provinces, hence defining his rights and theirs. However, Bush said the Magna Carter, which is funny and harmless. But the catastrophe is when President Bush speaks of us and says: "We started a war to wage a war. Winning the war is to prevent other wars."

Does the reader know now why President Bush won peace after war on Iraq? Clearly, he went into the war with his own logic and reached peace with that logic.

I shall reveal to the reader a secret that I have kept long enough so that the source would not be discovered. President Bush has lately (which could mean a week, a month or a year ago) met with an Arab leader and told him: you should understand that I'm thinking in a logic of war.

Muslims Rally Around Mahathir Over Comment on Jews

PUTRAJAYA, Malaysia, 18 October 2003 — Muslim leaders closed ranks around Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad yesterday after his attack on Jews caused a firestorm of protest and overshadowed their bid for unity on Iraq at a summit meeting here.

Mahathir’s declaration that "Jews rule this world" and get others to fight and die for them drew violently contrasting reaction in the Western world and at the meeting here of the 57-member Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC).

Western nations condemned the speech as outrageous and offensive. But Muslim officials gathered for the OIC meeting said Mahathir’s comments had been taken out of context and were aimed at rallying the Muslim world.

Yemen’s Foreign Minister Abu Bakr Al-Qurbi said he supported Mahathir "100 percent".

"The prime minister outlined a very important issue that the Israelis and the Jews control most of the economy and the media in the world," he said.

"Therefore we face that challenge of how we can as a Muslim Ummah (community) act to counter such Zionist abilities by building our capabilities, both economically and in the media form." Mahathir had called on Muslims to emulate the Jewish response to oppression, saying the Jews had "survived 2,000 years of pogroms not by hitting back, but by thinking".

"We cannot fight them through brawn alone, we must use our brains also," he said. He defended his statement yesterday and accused critics of bias and double standards.

Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Maher said he did not think much attention should be paid to the "clamor and accusations" from Western countries. "Those who are commenting on the speech have not read it in its entirety," Maher said. "Nobody felt it was inflammatory. We thought it was a very, very wise assessment. It was addressed to the Muslims, it was an appeal for them to wake up."

Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai said Mahathir was just "talking about issues confronting the Muslim world and what Muslims should do. Muslims must educate themselves, must begin to be progressive to develop themselves.

"His historical analysis of what happened in Islam is very correct."

Freedom of expression or of the press? Where? In Spain?


MADRID.— Celebrated author and Nobel Literature Prize winner José Saramago recently announced that he has "not broken his ties with Cuba", but in Spain very few people are aware of this fact because, quite simply, the authorities have preferred to silence the news in this European country.

Spanish judge says case against US troops who shot cameraman can proceed


A Spanish judge said on Friday an investigation into the fatal shooting of a Spanish television cameraman in Iraq by US troops could proceed, judicial sources said. The family of Jose Couso, killed on April 8 in Baghdad when a US tank fired on the Palestine Hotel, in May lodged a complaint against his death, alleging three US soldiers were responsible for unlawful killing.

Following Friday's ruling, Spain's high court can proceed with the case against three members of the US 64th Tank Regiment of the third US Infantry Division. Pilar Hermoso, the lawyer acting for the family, named the trio as a Sergeant Gibson, who allegedly fired the fatal shell, Captain Phillip Wolford, in charge of the armoured unit to which the tank belonged and Lieutenant-Colonel Phillip de Camp, commander of the 64th and understood to have given the order to shoot. According to Hermoso, judge Guillermo Polanco has summoned three Spanish journalists to appear as witnesses next Thursday...

«JFK, le dernier témoin»

Propos recueillis par Tom Bowden *
[18 octobre 2003]

Dallas, 22 novembre 1963. La course de John F. Kennedy s'interrompt brutalement sous les coups de feu. La version officielle, désignant Lee Harvey Oswald comme seul assassin, n'a jamais convaincu grand monde. Et, depuis lors, le monde se passionne pour l'affaire JFK.

Comment: Another piece in the Kennedy assassination puzzle? Truth or disinfo?

According to this interview with Billy Sol Estes, backer of Lyndon B. Johnson and Texan businessman who was imprisioned in the sixties for corruption, it was LBJ who arranged the assassination of JFK. It seems that the Kennedy's were preparing to drop Johnson from the ticket in 1964, eliminating the influence of Texas. Johnson and his cronies didn't like that. They used Johnson's contacts in Washington to get government contracts, then slipped a part of the money back to LBJ himself.

Man fined for smuggling rocket-launcher, weapons into Saskatchewan

ESTEVAN - A Minnesota man who was caught at the Saskatchewan-US border with guns, an anti-tank rocket-launcher, grenades, and ammunition, has pleaded guilty to failing to report imported goods and making a false statement to a Canada Customs officer. Mark Eller was fined $8,000 in an Estevan court.

At the end of June, Eller was driving a moving van that was coming to Saskatchewan through North Portal.

Eller told inspectors he was not carrying any weapons. But, upon examination, inspectors discovered 13 rifles and shotguns, most of which were loaded, three loaded handguns, an inoperable anti-tank rocket launcher, four live-smoke grenades and two training grenades, 4300 rounds of ammunition, seven prohibited ammunition clips and one so-called "blackjack", a prohibited hand-held weapon.

In the cab of the truck, inspectors found an additional list of household effects listing the rifles and pistols as well as a copy of Canada Customs and Revenue Agency's brochure "Importing a Firearm or Weapon into Canada."

Ottawa team finds genetic difference in depression

Last Updated Fri, 17 Oct 2003 20:02:46

OTTAWA - A team of Canadian researchers has identified a genetic difference between those who suffer from major depression and suicide, and those who do not.

Doctors have known for years that suicide and depression tends to run in families, but they didn't know why.

After seven years of research, Dr. Pavel Hrdina and his colleagues found part of a gene appears more frequently in people who are suicidal or suffer from severe depression.

[...] They found the genetic variation is three times as common in people with depression and four times as common in those who commit suicide, according to the researchers.

China starts scientific research in "Sea of Death" 2003-10-18

RUOQIANG, Xinjiang, (Xinhuanet) -- The first team of Chinese scientists has headed for Lop Nur, known as the "Sea of Death", in northwest Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, to study climate change and its effects.

The move, which aims to probe environmental changes in the Lop Nur area, is part of a national program which focuses on studying the continental environment in China.

Covering 2,570 square kilometers, Lop Nur, to the north of Ruoqiang County, used to be the biggest lake in northwest China, but it dried up in 1972 as a result of desertification and deterioration of the ecological environment.

Radioactive water found leaking at Japanese nuclear plant

TOKYO (AFP) Oct 18, 2003

Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) said it found a radioactive water leak at its nuclear power plant Saturday but added there was no danger to humans or the environment.

Some two liters of radioactive water were found leaking at TEPCO's plant in Kashiwazaki, 250 kilometres (155 miles) north of Tokyo, during a routine inspection, said a spokesman for the world's largest private electric power company.

"The level of radioactivity (in the water) was so small that it had no hazardous impact on humans and the environment," the spokesman said.

TEPCO was forced to shut down all 17 of its nuclear reactors earlier this year for inspections after a scandal over the systematic cover-up of inspection data showing cracks in reactors. Of the 17 reactors, 11 remain shut.

Senate won't oblige Cheney to refuse Halliburton money


WASHINGTON -- The Senate rejected efforts on Tuesday to keep Vice President Dick Cheney from collecting $500,000 that he is scheduled to receive from Halliburton Corp. this year.

By a vote of 65 to 34, the Senate voted to set aside an amendment that would have prevented Cheney, who led the Houston-based energy firm from 1995 to 2000, from receiving the deferred compensation. It also would have forced the former Wyoming congressman to sell 400,000 options to buy stock in the firm. [...]

Pensacola schools being tested for toxic waste, radium

The Associated Press

PENSACOLA, Fla. -- The grounds of one Pensacola school are being tested for pollution from two nearby toxic waste sites while drinking water at six other schools is being analyzed for radium. [...]


Battalion commander who spammed media with fake 'good news' from Iraq is no stranger to reporters

by Justin Raimondo

As we pull, and tug at the spam propaganda story – those fake "good news" letters from Iraq sent out to 500 newspapers , signed by different soldiers – the whole fabric of this odd little episode begins to come apart, revealing a whole other layer underneath. The Pentagon, the local commanders, everyone disclaimed any knowledge of this "good news" factory, and it was only a coincidence that the President had just launched a major public relations blitz designed to shore up support for the war.[...]

Revealed: Britain's racist police


STARTLING images of a police recruit wearing a Ku Klux Klan-style hood and simulating the beating of an Asian colleague today reveal the continuing problem of racism within Britain’s constabularies.

The Scotsman has learned that the officer, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, is one of several recruits at Bruche National Police Training Centre near Warrington, one of Britain’s largest and most respected police training centres, implicated in a BBC documentary.

The evidence has been gathered by Mark Daly, a former journalist for The Scotsman, who went undercover as a probationary constable with Greater Manchester Police.

Mr Daly filmed his police colleagues for almost seven months, compiling what the BBC claims is evidence of institutionalised racism within not just Greater Manchester Police, but at least two other forces.

The Scotsman, which has viewed the BBC’s documentary, has seen evidence of police recruits at Bruche fantasising about lynching the only Asian officer in the same training intake.

In one scene, secretly filmed in the undercover reporter’s room at Bruche, the police officer seen wearing a Ku Klux Klan hood unwittingly addresses the camera and threatens to single out the Asian recruit for special treatment. He states: "I haven’t even f****** started with him yet. He’ll regret the day he was ever born a Paki."

When asked later by Mr Daly what his ultimate aim was, the same officer disturbingly replies: "To eradicate the whole f****** country of people like him."

Another police officer boasts to his colleagues in the bar of Bruche how he had fantasised about killing the Asian officer in question, stating: "I’d kill him. I’d pull my f****** hood on my head and chase him down the road."

The Scotsman understands that all the constables implicated in the documentary are serving police officers working in three major forces, including Greater Manchester Police.

The BBC’s undercover operation had been planned since 2000.

Mr Daly, 28, joined the force in January this year, after successfully passing through the rigorous selection procedure and spending five and a half months at Bruche.

Over the same period, he had secretly filmed his colleagues, uncovering what the BBC claims is "damning evidence" of racism.

In August, Mr Daly was arrested by the Manchester force after they received an anonymous tip-off telling them an undercover journalist had joined its ranks. The journalist, who at the time was working in the force’s Stockport Division, was suspected of obtaining a pecuniary advantage by deception and damaging police property. He is expected to answer police bail next month.

The BBC said any pay Mr Daly had received had been kept in a separate account and was to be returned to the force at the end of the investigation. The corporation has also offered to pay for damage caused to Mr Daly’s bullet-proof vest, which was altered to hold a pinhole camera and battery pack.

The BBC went to great lengths to record police activities covertly, placing pinhole cameras in Mr Daly’s police uniform and the dashboard of his private car.

Cameras were also hidden in Mr Daly’s briefcase and in the stereo in his room at Bruche National Police Training Centre.

The Scotsman understands that Michael Todd, the Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police, recently held talks with Greg Dyke, the BBC’s director general, to try to establish details of what was contained in the programme.

Mr Daly told The Scotsman: "The police are accountable to the public like any government organisation and, in an open society, should not themselves be free from scrutiny.

"I believe what we have done will be beneficial not just for the public but in the long run, for the police forces themselves."

At least 15 dead in Vietnam floods

HANOI (AFP) Oct 18, 2003

At least 15 people were killed and eight others injured during three days of torrential rains that battered central Vietnam, officials and state media said Saturday. [...]

Some 15,000 homes were flooded in Quang Ngai, the worst affected province, and around 3,000 hectares of rice and other crops were destroyed by the heavy rains, which began Tuesday evening.

Fifty communes in the province were under water, in places 3.5 metres deep, the Nhan Dan newspaper said. [...]

Indonesian volcano increases activity with constant earth tremors

JAKARTA (AFP) Oct 18, 2003

A long-dormant volcano in Indonesia's West Java province has become active again, triggering earth tremors and raising fears of a possible eruption, an official said Saturday. [...]

Some 6,000 residents in 20 villages are living surrounding the volcano, the highest in West Java province, Sukirman told AFP.

"Villagers living near the volcano have felt minor but constant tremors since last week. They have not yet been evacuated because the volcano's activity is still relatively non-threatening," he said by telephone from his post, some 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) west of the crater. [...]

Leonid Meteors Return! Three Separate Showers Due in November

By Joe Rao

Skywatchers around the world will anxiously look up during the much of mid-November to see what this years version of the Leonid meteor shower will bring. In recent years the Leonids have produced some truly spectacular displays whose accompanying hype is still fresh in the minds of many.

Expert predictions suggest that at peak times this year, a meteor could streak across the sky every minute or two.

That means no meteor storms -- defined as more than 1,000 shooting stars per hour -- as in past years. A better bet, the forecasters say, is a Leonid performance equaling or possibly rivaling two other annually recurring meteor showers, the August Perseids and December Geminids.

This year's Leonids will offer an interesting twist, however. There will be not just one shower, but three. The first arrives Nov. 13 and the last is on Nov. 19. Skywatchers in nearly all locations on Earth will have a chance to see at least one of the showers. [...]

Grandma Kills Baby With Salt To Punish Son

Grandmother Says Son, Girlfriend Were Mean To Her
11:51 a.m. EDT October 17, 2003

READING, Pa. -- A Pennsylvania woman allegedly wanted to get back at her son and his girlfriend -- so she put what turned out to be a deadly dose of salt in their baby's formula. [...]

Mexico shamed by 300 women's deaths in the borderlands

By Sara Lee Harrison in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico
The Independent
18 October 2003

In the industrial Mexican town of Ciudad Juarez, across the border from Texas, women look at every man as a potential rapist or serial killer.

In the past decade, more than 300 women have been raped, battered and strangled to death here, their bodies dumped on stretches of wasteland alongside abandoned cars and scraps of rubbish. [...]

Prostitute Who Provided Daughter, Niece To Mayor Gets Prison

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. -- The prostitute who provided her pre-teen daughter and niece to then-Waterbury Mayor Phil Giordano for sex was sentenced Friday to 10 years in federal prison.

"I can't conceive of anything more horrible that a mother could do to her child," U.S. District Court Judge Alan Nevas said in passing sentence. [...]

Doctor killer executed

Despite capture, conviction and execution, a transnational network of anti-abortion zealots threatens further violence.

By Mike Reynolds

The violent wing of the transnational anti-abortion movement was galvanised to feverish life in recent months by a succession of dramatic events here in the United States that brought the threat of faith-based domestic terrorism back to the front page. [...]

LA prosecutors move to terminate the "Terminator"

LOS ANGELES (AFP) - Los Angeles prosecutors are taking drastic action to get rid of California's governor-elect Arnold Schwarzenegger just days after his election win -- or a giant mural of his face, anyway.

[...] The 12 meter by 30 meter (40 feet by 100 feet) "big brother"-reminiscent mural was erected by Robert Lusk Davis on behalf of nearby Warner Bros. studios that made the hit movie. [...]

Falkland Islands: All flights cancelled after construction workers unearth 1,000 pound bomb at airport

GoAlert24 Internal 

Construction work for a building at Stanley Airport has uncovered a 1,000-pound bomb left over from the 1982 Falklands War, forcing cancellation of all flights into and out of the airport. [...]

Comment: Isn't this discovery proof of psychopathy - planning to use 1000 pound bombs on an island with no strategic benefit to the UK.

Bear smashes through hospital doors - twice
13:49 Friday 17th October 2003

Patients in a Japanese hospital were astonished to see a wild bear smash through the entrance door twice within the space of a few minutes.

The 100kg bear crashed in one entrance and out of another before circuiting the hospital and returning through the first entrance. [...]

Mother Teresa Often Felt Abandoned by God

AP Religion Writer

As the Roman Catholic world prepares for Sunday's beatification of Mother Teresa, she is being revered as a missionary to India's poorest of the poor, someone whose close relationship with God seemed obvious from her willingness to undergo incredible hardship.

"If we went to them (the poor) with a sad face, we would only make them much more depressed," she once explained. And following her own admonition, Mother Teresa's perpetual smile was as integral to her image as the weathered face and blue-trimmed white robe.

But exterior sunniness masked an astonishing secret - known to a handful of clergy counselors but no other close colleagues - that was revealed only through research for her sainthood candidacy.

Mother Teresa was afflicted with feelings of abandonment by God from the very start of her work among the homeless children and dying persons in Calcutta's slums. From all available evidence, this experience persisted until her death five decades later, except for a brief interlude in 1958 [...]

Cambodian smokes his way to 122 years

Fri 17 October, 2003 04:33 BST

TUK YOUNG, Cambodia (Reuters) - In a creaking bamboo hut deep in the Cambodian countryside a very, very old person -- possibly the world's oldest -- smokes a large, hand-rolled cigarette which he swears is the secret of his longevity. [...]

'Magic' wooden penis saves woman
13:44 Friday 17th October 2003

An abbot's 'magic' wooden penis has been credited with restoring a woman to health in Thailand.

Ladda Satiya, 66, was lent the carved phallus by an abbot at the Thepprasart Temple in Pattaya after falling ill from eating poisonous mushrooms.

Satiya called the abbot, Pra Boonsong, when the mushrooms made her feel dizzy and out of breath. He gave it to her brother and suggested she swallowed a mixture of rice and water ground up by the penis.

Satiya said it was like eating pepper and her symptoms disappeared soon afterwards.

Speaking to the Pattaya Mail, the abbot said he had cast a spell on the phallus. He said the 'magic' wood is able to heal people poisoned by toxic substances and prevent the bearer being affected by black magic.

But he refused to reveal the source of the penis wood for fear of forest devastation.

Comment: Sounds like just the thing Bushy needs to protect himself from black magic...

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