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November 5, 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."

The biggest solar flare ever recorded tops today's news.

The U.S. headquarters in Iraq was attacked, while worries continue to increase back in America about reinstating the draft. Who you vote for probably won't matter, as the government continues to press for electronic voting even as the Diebold scandals come to light. Surprise! The recent California elections had different software than what was approved. No one is calling for a recall. And the CIA is cooking up more sci-fi, people-control technology.

All of Europe is anti-Semitic, the EU declares. All it took was a little complaining from Israel, and an entire continent gets the usual slur to quiet any discussion regarding Israel's genocidal, murderous policies.

Today is Guy Fawkes day, a day on which millions of British children go from door to door with a wheelbarrow containing an effigy of a man called Guy Fawkes, asking for a "penny for the guy". They later immolate the unfortunate Mr. Fawkes on a large bonfire. But were Fawkes and his co-conspirators the victims of a 9/11-style set-up?

The EU starts a trade embargo against the US to the tune of 300 million Euros. Meteorites and sonic booms in Arkansas, air pollution in China, global warming leading to another ice age, more earthquakes, foul gases that cause extinction and mystery stones top environmental news. Japan is in the middle of a big UFO flap, and they are about to get rid of their constitution so they can go to war.

Biggest solar flare EVER goes off

By Dr David Whitehouse
BBC News Online science editor
Wednesday, 5 November, 2003, 01:31 GMT

Just as solar scientists thought the Sun might be winding down it has unleashed the biggest solar flare ever recorded.

It was so energetic that it overloaded the detectors on satellites monitoring the Sun's surface.

The blast was accompanied with a gigantic gas cloud of billions of tonnes of superhot gas being ejected into space - some of it directed at Earth.

Researchers are saying that the Sun's current spate of activity - now 10 days in duration - is the most dramatic and intense ever witnessed on the Sun's surface.

Huge energy

Powerful solar flares are given an "X" designation. There was an X8 and an X3 event on Sunday.

On Monday, there was an X3 flare followed by smaller ones. Last week there were X7 and X10 events that took place back-to-back.

Tuesday's flare went off the scale, researchers say it was "well above X20".

This would make it the most powerful ever recorded, surpassing the X20 flares of 2 April 2001 and 16 August 1989.

The major flares have come from sunspot region 486, now officially the most active solar region in recorded solar observational history.

Region 486 is being taken over the Sun's limb by solar rotation. Parts of the latest megaflare occurred beyond the limb.

Dr Paal Brekke, deputy project scientist for the Solar Heliospheric Observatory (Soho) Sun-monitoring satellite, told BBC News Online: "I think the last week will go into the history books as one of the most dramatic solar activity periods we have seen in modern times."

Syria Calls on U.S. to Leave Iraq to End Violence

Wed November 5, 2003 01:40 AM ET

DUBAI (Reuters) - A Syrian official called in remarks published Wednesday for the United States to withdraw from Iraq, saying the problem of terror attacks had arisen only since U.S.-led forces occupied the country.

Syrian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Bushra Kanfani told the London-based Asharq al-Awsat newspaper that Damascus was not optimistic about U.S.-Syrian ties in the short term and urged Washington to engage in dialogue instead of making demands.

Last week, Washington demanded after a string of deadly suicide attacks that Syria -- which it calls a sponsor of "terrorism" -- should stop foreign militants from entering Iraq.

"The problem is America, not Syria. America must be more objective, because when it entered Iraq there was no terrorism and now there is the problem of terrorism and of al Qaeda and the matter has changed from one of weapons of mass destruction and toppling a regime to a new one of terrorism," Kanfani said.

"America must accept the reality that it is no longer in its interest to continue this way in Iraq. They must hand over power to other parties whose behavior is more acceptable to Iraqis and bring Iraq closer to regaining its sovereignty and holding free elections and then the problems will end," she said.

"We are doing what we can (to stop militants crossing the border) and I think there are many claims which are incorrect and which serve as a political cover for the instability inside Iraq and lack of control. The occupation power has electronic devices and satellites which offer more than we have, so why don't they guard their borders?" [...]

Kanfani said the short-term outlook for U.S.-Syrian ties was not one for optimism, "especially during a (U.S.) election year."

"The problem is there is no objective and fruitful dialogue... The issue is not for America to come with a list of demands, but for us to sit and talk objectively far away from dictates to reach common grounds. This is what we ask for."

Kanfani said Syria would defend itself if Israel launched a repeat attack, but did not elaborate.

"If the attack is repeated we have the right to legitimate self-defense by every means," she said.

Comment: As we recently reported, Israel is sending planes over Syrian territory, and carpeting them with sonic booms to deliberately increase tensions.

Israeli Jews fear becoming minority: poll

AFP
Wednesday November 5, 4:42 PM


Two out of three Israeli Jews fear becoming part of a minority if the occupation of the Palestinian territories continues, according to a poll published here.

A total of 67 percent of those polled said that they feared becoming part of a minority, while 24 percent disagreed.

An even larger percentage, 78 percent, said they favoured formal separation and the creation of a Palestinian state on Israel's borders, with only six percent voicing support for the indefinite continuation of the status quo. [...]

Israel gets apology for peace-threat poll

By Ed O'Loughlin
November 5, 2003

The European Commission has apologised to Israel for an opinion poll which found that Israel is the country most ordinary Europeans regard as the biggest threat to world peace.

Israeli leaders and international Jewish groups have angrily denounced the poll, saying European criticism of Israel is motivated by anti-Semitism.

In apparent agreement, the President of the European Commission, Romano Prodi, said the results "point to the continued existence of a bias that must be condemned out of hand".

"To the extent that this may indicate a deeper, more general prejudice against the Jewish world, our repugnance is even more radical," he said. [...]

Comment: As usual, stating the obvious is associated with anti-Semitism. Israel managed to force the EC to declare the entire continent anti-Semitic, exposing just how much power Zionists have. No one is supposed to talk about how this tiny country is bringing the whole world to the verge of another world war with their genocidal policies.

Who are the real anti-Semites? Those who call it like they see it, or those Zionists who throw their weight around with actions sure to only incur the wrath of the world? It appears that actions like these are cleverly designed to incur anger, and to stir up real anti-Semitism in people not educated enough to see the clever manipulations. Just what are the Zionist plans for the "rank and file" Jewish settler? Their actions seem carefully crafted to increase violence. Nothing in politics happens by accident. Sydney has also caved in from Zionist pressure. . .

When Did "Arab" Become a Dirty Word?

Smearing Said and Hanan Ashrawi

By ROBERT FISK
CounterPunch

Is "Palestinian" now just a dirty word? Or is "Arab" the dirty word? Let's start with the late Edward Said, the brilliant and passionate Palestinian-American academic who wrote--among many other books--Orientalism, the ground-breaking work which first explored our imperial Western fantasies about the Middle East. After he died of leukaemia last month, Zev Chafets sneered at him in the New York Daily News in the following words: "As an Episcopalian, he's ineligible for the customary 72 virgins, but I wouldn't be surprised if he's honoured with a couple of female doctoral graduates." [...]

When I read this vicious obituary, I recalled hearing Chafets' name before. So I turned to my files and up he popped in 1982, as former director of the Israeli government press office in Jerusalem. He had just published a book falsely claiming that Western journalists in Beirut--myself among them--had been "terrorised" by bands of Palestinians. He even claimed my old friend Sean Toolan, who was murdered by a jealous husband with whose wife he was having an affair, was killed by Palestinians because they disapproved of a US television programme about the PLO.

So I got the point. You can kick a scholar when he's dead if he's a Palestinian, and kick a journalist when he's dead if you want to claim he was murdered by Palestinians. But now the same sick fantasies are taking hold in Australia, where a determined effort is being made by Israel's supposed friends there to prevent the Palestinian scholar Hanan Ashrawi--of all people--from receiving the 2003 Sydney Peace Prize this week. A Jewish writer in Sydney has bravely defended her--not least because the local Israeli lobby appears to have deliberately misquoted an interview she gave me two years ago, distorting her words to imply that she is in favour of suicide bombings.

Ashrawi is not in favour of these wicked attacks. She has fearlessly spoken out against them. But Sydney University has already withdrawn the use of its Great Hall for the presentation of the peace prize and the Lord Mayor of Sydney, Lucy Turnbull, has dissociated the City of Sydney, sponsor of the prize, from the presentation. And just to show you what lies behind this--apart from the fact that Turnbull's husband Malcolm is trying to get a nomination for a parliamentary seat--take a look through the following exchange between Kathryn Greiner, former chairwoman of the Sydney peace foundation, and Professor Stuart Rees, the foundation's director:

KG: "I have to speak logically. It is either Hanan Ashrawi or the Peace Foundation. That's our choice, Stuart. My distinct impression is that if you persist in having her here, they'll (sic) destroy you. Rob Thomas of City Group is in trouble for supporting us. And you know Danny Gilbert [an Australian lawyer] has already been warned off." [...]

Comment: Just imagine the out cry if a Palestinian wrote such commentary regarding a recently deceased Jewish scholar. Check out the whole article for more quotes from the hate filled invective and Zionist ploys.

Soldiers can shoot Gazans spying on Netzarim

By Amos Harel
Haaretz
Wednesday, November 05, 2003

Soldiers stationed near the Gaza settlement of Netzarim may shoot to kill if they spot a Palestinian observing Israel Defense Forces activity via binoculars, according to new rules of engagement recently issued by the IDF for that area. [...]

After a new batch of reservists who arrived in Netzarim this week was briefed on the orders, one complained to his commanders that this practice seemed trigger-happy. When the order was not changed, the reservist complained to the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, and ACRI's legal advisor, Dan Yakir, sent a letter of protest to the IDF Judge Advocate General. Yakir charged that the new order is blatantly illegal, since it permits "killing people even if they constitute no apparent risk." [...]

A senior army officer told Haaretz that "the new orders permit firing only at a terrorist who is observing, not at anyone holding a pair of binoculars. The soldiers have clear criteria for determining who is a terrorist." [...]

Comment: Apparently, the process for determining who is a terrorist and dealing with them is as follows:

Does the person look like a terrorist?
If yes, shoot them.
If no, shoot them anyway, then blame the shooting on the Palestinians and declare that anyone who doubts you is anti-Semitic.
(Note: If the person looks like a peace activist, run them over with a bulldozer.)

Gaza Strip: Israel's laboratory

By Laila El-Haddad in Gaza
Tuesday 04 November 2003, 11:49 Makka Time, 8:49 GMT

At first glance, al-Siyafah may seem like nothing more than a lifeless desert worthy of just passing attention.

Dry sandy hills stretch out for several kilometres in all directions, interrupted only by the occasional obstinate bush of wildflowers.

Most people in Gaza, let alone the rest of Palestine probably do not know of this obscure place.

It is the kind of setting favoured by directors of commercials selling cars, which drive past petrol pumps without stopping.

But advertising directors do not come to the tiny Palestinian village of al-Siyafah.

If they did, the cinematic bleakness of the landscape is all they would get. The villagers have little else to offer the visitor to this northwest corner of the Gaza Strip, south of the “no man’s land” separating Israel from Gaza and bordering the Mediterranean Sea.

It is hard to believe that this barren village was once one of the most fertile areas in the entire Gaza Strip renowned for its strawberry, avocado, and guava crops.

That was then. Today al-Siyafah stands as a classic example of what is becoming of Palestinian land as Israel's policies of isolation and displacement continue.

Since the beginning of the second Intifada, al-Siyafah has been effectively divided into two cantons with the help of a large electrified barbed-wire fence.

Residents of inner al-Siyafa are now completely isolated from those in outer al-Siyafa and from the rest of the Gaza Strip.

Their freedom of movement has been severely restricted, their public services and infrastructure destroyed or limited and their lands annexed. In short, their entire lives are at the mercy of the Israeli military.

Israel destroys US-built wells

By Justin Huggler in Jerusalem
05 November 2003

The US has reportedly complained after the Israeli army destroyed wells built for civilians in Gaza by an American government aid agency.

Huge areas have been demolished by the Israelis in the Gaza Strip in recent weeks, including more than 150 homes.

The wells had just been dug by the United States Agency for International Development (USAid). A few months ago the agency announced a $20m project to rebuild infrastructure including roads, electricity supply lines and sewers in the occupied territories.

The agency was reporting good progress. But its workers were dismayed when they turned up to finish the wells and found that their work had been destroyed. A source at the American embassy said that when USAid complained, the Israelis told them that they demolished the wells because Palestinian militants had been hiding in them.

That has been a regular claim from the Israeli military to justify demolishing houses in Gaza - but in recent weeks whole streets have been knocked down. Israel has also been accused of trying to move refugee camps away from the border with Egypt.

Comment: Israel should get some kind of award for the abovementioned reason for destroying Palestinian wells, without doubt it is the most ridiculous excuse for Israeli aggression we have yet come across. Perhaps soon they will ban Palestinian toilets being used as meeting rooms for "terrorists".

Arms sales to Israel breach guidelines

Government turning blind eye to human rights abuses

Richard Norton-Taylor
Wednesday November 5, 2003
The Guardian

Large quantities of British arms and internal security equipment are being sold to Israel despite the government's public criticism of the country's human rights record and growing violence there, the Guardian can reveal.

Export licences for weapons are being cleared even though Jack Straw, the foreign secretary, has admitted that Israel has breached assurances that British equipment would not be used in the occupied territories. Exports approved by the government this year cover categories including leg-irons, electric shock belts and chemical and biological agents such as tear gas. They also include categories covering mortars, rocket launchers, anti-tank weapons, military explosives, and infrared and radar sensors.

The hitherto undisclosed arms sales are revealed in a letter from Nigel Griffiths, the minister for export controls at the Department of Trade and Industry, to Menzies Campbell, the Liberal Democrats' foreign affairs spokesman.

The Foreign Office says in its annual human rights report that it is "deeply concerned at the impact that the continuing Israeli occupation and the associated Israeli military operations have had on the lives of ordinary Palestinians".

It says "both Israel and the Palestinian terrorist groups have shown a worrying disregard for human rights". [...]

Ayoon wa Azan (How Did We Get Here?)

Jihad Al Khazen Al-Hayat 2003/11/3

Soldiers in bulldozers, with speakers blasting jazz music, up-rooted old palm trees and orange and lemon trees, implementing a new policy that consists of collective punishment of peasants who do not provide soldiers with information regarding armed people who intend to attack them.

The reader must think that I am talking about the Palestinian territories, as the up-rooting of trees there is a daily practice; however, the reader is wrong, because I am quoting Patrick Cockburn, a renowned British journalist, whose report on the darkness in Iraq was published in the Independent, and it seemed to be addressing the occupied territories as I was reading it.

The American administration, which is allied with a war criminal such as Ariel Sharon, would never hesitate to use his means, though Israeli soldiers themselves, as well as some of the ministers have criticized these ways.

[...] If I were to choose from the Daily Telegraph and the American Washington Times specific samples, I would pick the following:

*The hanging rope getting tight around Iran's neck (the newspaper is writing its wishes.)

* A warrant showing that Iraq and Iran called Osama bin Laden (obvious lying that remains a lie despite its reiteration.)

* Tehran spreading its spies in Iraq (Who said that? The Mossad?)

* Iranian spies wandering in Britain to locate Jewish temples for Al Qaeda to attack. (This English headline is similar to the previous American one and they both reflect the unity of their sources and ideas.)

* Foreign religious combatants escalate a campaign of intelligent and ferocious terror. (How did any newspaper find out the day following the explosions in Baghdad that foreign radical religious militants had perpetrated them? This is intelligence information, or what is known as the black propaganda.)

*Syria and the new axis of evil. (If there is an axis of evil, it is amid the Jewish newspapers, the neo-conservatives in the American administration and the radical rightist research centers spreading their poison every day.)

Both newspapers are just an example, and they, alone, could not have achieved anything, but they still are part of a radical front that supports war on Palestinians one day, and on Iraq another day. When the Daily Mail addressed the day explosions took place in Baghdad, it said: 42 victims following Al Qaeda's attack against five locations in Baghdad. But how did the newspaper decide that Al Qaeda was behind these attacks? This is not journalism, as I find it to be a peculiar madness coming from newspapers that are supposed to be professionally developed.

The Mail On Sunday bid on everyone, as its petty reporter, Sarah Oliver, sent an article from Iraq saying that Iraqis are the greatest dodgers and thieves in the world and that they descend from a long breed of Ali Babas…

What would have happened had an Arab newspaper written something similar on Jews? The American embassy would interfere and threaten, as it is Israel's embassy after all, besides being that of the U.S. However, I did not hear that any American embassy objected to what the racist press writes, although the U.S. is the occupational authority, and is hence legally responsible for Iraq, whereas it is not responsible for Israel.

Germany fires top general in "anti-semitic" row

Luke Harding in Berlin
Wednesday November 5, 2003
The Guardian

The head of Germany's equivalent of the SAS was sacked last night after he expressed support for a rightwing German MP at the centre of a growing row over an anti-semitic speech.
The German defence minister, Peter Struck, announced that the commander, Brigadier General Reinhard Günzel, had been relieved of his duties.

Gen Günzel, the head of the country's prestigious special forces unit, the Kommando Spezialkräfte, was apparently fired after writing a letter of support to a backbench MP Martin Hohmann. In a recent speech Mr Hohmann described Jews as a "nation of perpetrators", and said it was unfair to single out Germans for their role in the Holocaust given that Jews also had a "dark side".

Yesterday Mr Struck said Gen Günzel's views were not those of the army. "This is about a lone, confused general who agreed with an even more confused statement made by a conservative member of parliament."

The row over Mr Hohmann's remarks has dominated the German press since last week. The MP has refused to apologise for a speech on October 3, in which he compared what the Nazis did during the Holocaust to the "crimes of Jews" during the Russian revolution.

At the weekend he appeared on Germany's state-run ZDF television brandishing a letter of support from Gen Günzel. In it, the 59-year-old commander apparently wrote: "An excellent speech... of a courage, truth and clarity that you rarely hear or read in our country."

He also complained that anybody who expressed nationalistic views was immediately labelled a rightwing extremist. He told the MP: "You can be sure that you speak for the majority of Germans... Don't let the accusations from the dominant left camp put you off."

Jewish groups are furious and have consulted lawyers.

Comment: There is only one explanation for this: The truth IS anti-semitic.

Guy Fawkes faces his intended victim King James I

Guy Fawkes - An English "terrorist"?

After Queen Elizabeth I died in 1603, English Catholics who had had a rough time under her reign had hoped that her successor, James I, would be more tolerant of their religion. Alas, he was not, and this angered a number of young men who decided that violent action was the answer.

One young man in particular, Robert Catesby suggested to some close friends that the thing to do was to blow up the Houses of Parliament. In doing so, they would kill the King, maybe even the Prince of Wales, and the Members of Parliament who were making life difficult for the Catholics.

To carry out their plan, the conspirators got hold of 36 barrels of gunpowder - and stored it in a cellar, just under the House of Lords.

But as the group worked on the plot, it became clear that some innocent people would be hurt or killed in the attack. Some of the plotters started having second thoughts. One of the group members even sent an anonymous letter warning his friend, Lord Monteagle, to stay away from the Parliament on November 5th.

The warning letter reached the King, and the King's forces made plans to stop the conspirators. Guy Fawkes, who was in the cellar of the parliament with the 36 barrels of gunpowder when the authorities stormed it in the early hours of November 5th, was caught, tortured and executed. [...]

Comment: The story of the Gunpowder Plot is an interesting one. It is generally accepted that it would have been unlikely that the conspirators could gather 36 barrels of gunpowder and store them in a cellar under the house of Lords without the security forces getting suspicious. Furthermore there is serious doubt about whether the letter mentioned above was in fact genuine. In fact, it is believed today to have been fabricated by the king's officials. Historians suggest that the letter was simply a tool for the King's officials who already knew about the plot from the very mouth of one of the plotters.

As a tool for the king's men, the letter was ideal. It made it easy to explain how the king found out about the Plot and stopped it just in time before his untimely death. At the same time, the letter was vague enough to give the officials all the latitude they wanted in falsifying confessions and to pursue their own anti-Catholic ends.

Fabricating a threat in order to further an agenda...hmmm, sound familiar?

FBI identifies new 9/11 suspect - report

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Wed 5 November, 2003 10:22

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The FBI has identified an al Qaeda suspect who agents believed was the "20th hijacker" in the September 11, 2001 plot but left the country before the plan was realised, USA Today has reported, citing a top federal law enforcement official.

The official said the al Qaeda operative got into the country but "had to leave" shortly before 19 hijackers carried out the attacks.

"We are fairly confident we know who No. 20 is," said the official, who is involved in September 11 investigation and asked not to be identified, according to the newspaper report on Wednesday.

USA Today said the official would not say why the operative left, whether he is alive or whether he is in U.S. custody.

Reported U.S. Strike Disconcerts Karzai

As the Afghan leader's government tries to build support for a draft constitution, the homes of supporters are hit in an airstrike, killing six.

By Paul Watson
LA Times Staff Writer
November 4, 2003

KABUL, Afghanistan — The deaths of six villagers in what Afghan officials said was a U.S. airstrike embarrassed President Hamid Karzai's government Monday as it tried to rally support for a draft constitution that is key to reuniting this war-ravaged country.

The attack Friday night destroyed two houses in the village of Warez in the eastern province of Nuristan, killing four children, a woman and a young man, Deputy Governor Abdul Haleem Nooristani said in a telephone interview. [...]

"It hasn't happened with the cooperation of the government, and we are in contact with the international coalition forces to find more explanations for it," he said.

Col. Rodney Davis, spokesman for the U.S. command at Bagram air base, north of Kabul, did not respond to an interview request Monday. [...]

Baghdad: Headquarters of U.S.-led occupation under mortar attack, at least four wounded

04-11-2003, 19:02

Iraqi resistance fighters fired mortars Tuesday night into the "Green Zone," the highly guarded headquarters area of the U.S.-led occupation, injuring at least four people.

Four large blasts could be heard about 7:45p.m., and smoke could be seen rising from the northern end of the one-square-mile zone near the al-Jamhuriya Bridge over the Tigris River.

At the Pentagon, spokesman Lt. Col. Jim Cassella said four people were injured in the attacks. According to The AP, the U.S.-led coalition said in a statement that "two projectiles were launched" in central Baghdad and that "there is no damage and no casualties at (coalition) headquarters."

U.S. Faces Troop Pressure As Turkey Balks

By MATT KELLEY
Associated Press Writer
November 5, 2003, 3:28 AM EST

WASHINGTON -- Turkey's reluctance to send troops to Iraq without clear support from U.S.-installed Iraqi leaders could deal a major blow to U.S. efforts to attract other countries' help against an increasingly deadly resistance. [...]

Under those plans, about 15,000 Army National Guard troops have been mobilized for possible service in Iraq beginning early next year, to replace weary active-duty troops who already have been there close to a year. [...]

Senate Sends Spending Bill for War Costs to President

New York Times

[...] The Senate's action came on a voice vote with only six members present, meaning that the decisions of individual members on the administration's vision for Iraq were not recorded. Not voting on the record appealed to both Republicans nervous about explaining the amount to their constituents, and Democrats who did not want their patriotism questioned for opposing the bill. On Friday, the House voted 298 to 121 in favor of the bill. The bill now goes to the president for his signature. [...]

Comment: Either they are cowards, or they support the Bush Doctrine. There is no real division between left and right, but rather it is a mere circus for your mind. See The Psychopathology of Politics.

Aljazeera cameraman arrested again

By Nurah Tape
Aljazeera

US occupation forces have arrested an Aljazeera cameraman in Iraq for the second time in less than a month.

Salah Hasan arrived at the scene of explosions in Baquba on Monday and was arrested only minutes later.

According to an Aljazeera TV spokesman, Jihad Ballut, Hasan was among several international journalists on the scene who were asked for their IDs. 

“Hassan was the only one arrested. The rest were allowed to go,” Ballut told Aljazeera.net.

The forces confiscated Hasan’s camera and videotapes and transferred him to a US military camp. No reasons have been given for his arrest. [...]

U.S. spends more on military than all its allies, "rogues", China, and Russia combined

Will U.S. bring back the draft?
Defence Web site seeks volunteers - Conscription abolished in '73

TIM HARPER
WASHINGTON BUREAU

WASHINGTON—A call from the U.S. Defence Department for volunteers to sit on local draft boards has sparked debate here about whether a nationwide military draft could ultimately be needed to complete Washington's Iraq mission.

A number of analysts said yesterday that while any public suggestion of a draft would be politically suicidal for U.S. President George W. Bush in an election year, he could find himself with few other options if he is returned for a second term and the fighting in Iraq is still raging.

Bush, touring fire-ravaged regions of California yesterday, again vowed troops will never cut and run in Iraq, even as attacks on Americans escalate.

[...] "I don't think a presidential candidate would seriously propose a draft," said Charles Pena, a senior analyst with the Washington-based Cato Institute. "But an incumbent, safely in for a second term — that might be a different story.

Comment: This showed up in our mailbox this week:

While walking down the street one day, George "Dubya" Bush is shot by a disgruntled NRA member. His soul arrives in heaven and he is met by St. Peter at the Pearly Gates.

"Welcome to Heaven," says St. Peter. "Before you settle in, it seems there's a problem: We seldom see a Republican around these parts, so we're not sure what to do with you."

"No problem, just let me in; I'm a believer." says Dubya.

"I'd like to just let you in, but I have orders from the Man Himself: He says you have to spend one day in Hell and one day in Heaven. Then you must choose where you'll live for eternity."

"But, I've already made up my mind; I want to be in Heaven."

"I'm sorry, but we have our rules." And with that, St. Peter escorts him to an elevator and he goes down, down, down, all the way to Hell. The doors open and he finds himself in the middle of a lush golf course; the sun is shining in a cloudless sky, the temperature a perfect 72 degrees. In the distance is a beautiful clubhouse. Standing in front of it his dad...and thousands of other Republicans who had helped him out over the years..Karl Rove, Dick Cheney, Jerry Falwell.... The whole of the "Right" was there...everyone laughing...happy.... casually but expensively dressed. They run to greet him, hug him, and reminisce about the good times they had getting rich at expense of the "suckers and peasants".

They play a friendly game of golf and then dine on lobster and caviar. The Devil himself comes up to Bush with a frosty drink,

"Have a Margarita and relax, Dubya!"

"Uh, I can't drink no more, I took a pledge," says Junior, dejectedly.

"This is Hell, son: you can drink and eat all you want and not worry, and it just gets better from there!"

Dubya takes the drink and finds himself liking the Devil, who he thinks is a really very friendly guy who tells funny jokes and pulls hilarious nasty pranks...kind of like a Yale Skull and Bones brother with real horns. They are having such a great time that, before he realizes it, it's time to go. Everyone gives him a big hug and waves as Bush steps on the elevator and heads upward.

When the elevator door reopens, he is in Heaven again and St. Peter is waiting for him.

"Now it's time to visit Heaven," the old man says, opening the gate. So for 24 hours Bush is made to hang out with a bunch of honest, good-natured people who enjoy each other's company, talk about things other than money, and treat each other decently. Not a nasty prank or frat boy joke among them; no fancy country clubs and, while the food tastes great, it's not caviar or lobster. And these people are all poor, he doesn't see anybody he knows, and he isn't even treated like someone special! Worst of all, to Dubya, Jesus turns out to be some kind of Jewish hippie with his endless 'peace' and 'do unto others' jive.

"Whoa," he says uncomfortably to himself, "Pat Robertson never prepared me for this!"

The day done, St. Peter returns and says, "Well, then, you've spent a day in Hell and a day in Heaven. Now choose where you want to live for eternity."

With the 'Jeopardy' theme playing softly in the background, Dubya reflects for a minute, then answers: "Well, I would never have thought I'd say this -- I mean, Heaven has been delightful and all -- but I really think I belong in Hell with my friends."

So Saint Peter escorts him to the elevator and he goes down, down, down, all the way to Hell. The doors of the elevator open and he is in the middle of a barren scorched earth covered with garbage and toxic industrial waste..kind of like Houston. He is horrified to see all of his friends, dressed in rags and chained together, picking up the trash and putting it in black bags. They are groaning and moaning in pain, faces and hands black with grime.

The Devil comes over to Dubya and puts an arm around his shoulder.

"I don't understand," stammers a shocked Dubya, "Yesterday I was here and there was a golf course and a clubhouse and we ate lobster and caviar...drank booze. We screwed around and had a great time. Now there's just a wasteland full of garbage and everybody looks miserable!"

The Devil looks at him, smiles slyly, and purrs, "Yesterday we were campaigning; today you voted for us."

Americans rally behind officer who foiled plot

Family shares stress of assault charges, girls hear at school: 'Your daddy is no hero'

By Art Moore
WorldNetDaily.com
November 5, 2003

A U.S. Army officer is facing assault charges for allegedly frightening an Iraqi into disclosing details of an impending ambush plot, but he's garnering support from Americans who regard him as a hero even while his daughters endure taunts from classmates.

Under threat of an attack, Lt. Col. Allen B. West, a battalion commander with the 4th Infantry Division, took charge of the interrogation of an Iraqi policeman, determined to flush out information as he warned subordinates "it could get ugly." Threatening to kill the Iraqi if he didn't talk, West fired a pistol near the policeman's head, prompting a flow of information that led to arrests and the probable foiling of a deadly attack. [...]

In an interview with WorldNetDaily, West's attorney, retired Marine Corp Lt. Col. Neil Puckett, said he's received about 100 e-mails in support of his client, some from veterans who served in Korea and Vietnam.

"Nearly everyone says this guy is an American hero who should be commended rather than court martialed," Puckett said. [...]

"The fact is," the attorney said, "two trained interrogators, both female, worked with [the Iraqi policeman] for hours and hours, and he wouldn't talk, so they called their commander."

West strode into the room, according to Puckett, and said to the Iraqi, "If you don't give us this information, I'm going to kill you."

The policeman, "as a demonstration of his seriousness," responded to West with a smile and said, "I love you."

West then took the Iraqi outside and, with the help of colleagues, forced his head down. With one hand on the man's head – to provide protection – and the other holding the pistol, West fired into a weapons-clearing barrel filled with sand.

"There was an immediate outpouring of information," Puckett said. The man told my client everything he wanted to know." [...]

Hollings on War in Iraq

The State
Tue, Nov. 04, 2003

Excerpts from remarks U.S. Sen. Fritz Hollings, D-S.C., made on Monday from the Senate floor:

"This is, chapter and verse, Vietnam."

"This was a bad mistake. We were misled. We are in there now, and I am hearing the same things that (we) heard in 1966, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971 right on through 1973."

"Unless we put in 100,000 or 150,000 more United States troops and get law and order in Iraq, in Baghdad, we are going to have ‘Operation Meat Grinder’ continue, and it is our meat."

"The most ridiculous thing on the TV last night was to hear the president say foreigners are in Iraq killing our soldiers. Can you imagine us, thousands of miles away, talking about foreigners killing our soldiers? Come on!"

"Why we went in, the administration has yet to tell us. They keep changing the rules and the goal posts every time, but somehow, sometime, they’ve got to put the force in there and quit doing it on the cheap, or otherwise get out as fast as we can."

N. Korea: U.N. a 'tool of U.S.'

CNN
Wednesday, November 5, 2003


UNITED NATIONS -- North Korea has voted against a resolution supporting the U.N. nuclear agency, calling the U.N. body "a tool of the United States."

North Korea's deputy ambassador Kim Chang Guk objected to a resolution with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) aimed at safeguarding the country's nuclear material as "totally irrelevant."

He strongly denied U.S. claims that North Korea had admitted to its uranium enrichment program, and he called the nuclear standoff the product of a "U.S. hostile policy" toward his country.

"The argument that North Korea has admitted its uranium enrichment program is a part of foolish acts to mislead public opinion," Kim said. [...]

Guantanamo inmate sues US

By Zaffar Abbas
BBC

A man who was imprisoned by the US military at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, is suing the Pakistani and US governments for damages worth over $10m. [...]

His lawyers say he is suing for the mental and physical torture he endured at Camp X-Ray in Guantanamo Bay. [...]

Arresting the Peace while the terrorist run free

Tuesday, 4 November 2003
Press Release: Peace Action Wellington

The arrest of Auckland Peace activist Bruce Hubbard for sending an email to the United States Embassy is a chilling reminder that freedom of speech is being attacked by the new Counter-terrorism legislation. The email was in protest of the illegal invasion of Iraq' said Peace Action Wellington member Valerie Morse.

'The new counter-terrorism legislation is a specific directive from Washington DC. Our government is willing to do almost anything to appease the Yanks including arresting its own citizens for nothing more than expressing their opinions. It is likely that Bruce was targeted for arrest and will be used as an 'example' to anyone trying to challenge America's illegal occupation of Iraq.'

'There is significant evidence that the US and its coalition partners have violated human rights and have committed war crimes in Iraq. Helen Clark has now committed us to participate in these atrocities.'

Peace Action Wellington extends its support to Bruce Hubbard and calls on the Government to withdrawal all support for the occupation of Iraq immediately.

Carlos Santana Calls On Bush To Change Is Evil Ways

by Richard S. Ehrlich

BANGKOK, Thailand -- After denouncing the U.S.-led war in Iraq, rock legend Carlos Santana told more than 10,000 cheering fans at a sensational concert on Monday (Nov. 3) that President George W. Bush must change his "evil ways". [...]

During his packed, boisterous concert in an indoor stadium on Monday night, Mr. Santana suddenly quieted his searing electric guitar and told enthralled listeners, "We represent a different side of the United States.

"We do not feel oneness with Bush at all. We say, God bless humanity first."

The more than 10,000 Thai and foreign fans erupted in wild applause and later cheered their endorsement again when Mr. Santana introduced one of his most famous songs by saying, "To Bush...you've got to change your evil ways".

The fiery guitarist then unleashed a blistering version of the song titled, "Evil Ways." [...]

Why America's plutocrats gobble up $1,500 hot dogs

In the final part of a series, Julian Borger examines the inequality of the Bush era

Wednesday November 5, 2003
The Guardian

The band pumped out brassy dance tunes, many dedicated to the gritty urban realities of New York. A few couples in the black tie and taffeta crowd found a space to dance, but most milled about in the packed ballroom, gravitating towards the stage as they waited for the president.

Republicans used to detest New York as a heaving pit of liberalism, but since September 11 the city has become a patriotic icon. This Republican fundraising gala was in a Washington hotel, but the imagery was a pastiche of New York streetlife, complete with street signs and a mock facade of the Yankees' stadium. The catering followed the same theme.

These politically charged dinners are normally five-course affairs eaten off white linen, but the folksiness of the Bush White House has by now pervaded the Republican party. The menu on this night was hot dogs and peanuts, served from food carts and eaten standing up.

"I think it's great because I thinks folks would rather be eating hot dogs with President Bush than sipping wine and nibbling cheese with Hillary Clinton," declared George Allen, a Virginia senator.

The president, who marched in to an ecstatic welcome, offered rhetoric to match the humble fare. After vowing to persevere in the battle against terrorism, he turned to his domestic ambitions, "to work for a society of prosperity and compassion so that every single citizen has a chance to work and succeed and realise the great promise of this country".

Comment: Of course the gathered sycophants cheered, these are the people the will remain completely unaffected whether Bush fulfills his promise to create a "society of prosperity" or not. It is the "duped class" (basically anyone other than the rich elite) that will suffer, all they get is BS and rhetoric, high sounding words with absolutely no intent behind them.

Jobs Still Missing From Economic Recovery

LEIGH STROPE
Associated Press

WASHINGTON -Democrats are using the ghost of Herbert Hoover to taunt President Bush, who so far has the worst jobs growth record of any president since the Great Depression. [...]

EC planning €300m sanctions on US goods

05/11/2003

The European Commission has announced plans to introduce almost €300m worth of sanctions on US goods as part of a minor trade war with the Bush administration.

The EC said it would introduce the sanctions if the US failed to comply with a World Trade Organisation ruling ordering it to remove an illegal tax break that has benefited corporations like Boeing and Caterpillar.

In August 2002, the WTO gave the EU permission to impose up to €3.5bn worth of retaliatory tariffs on the US because of the so-called Foreign Sales Corporation tax break.

However, the EU has decided not to impose the full range of tariffs, saying to do so would harm transatlantic trade and hurt European as well as American companies.

Telstra staff scoured tips

Samantha Maiden
November 4, 2003

RUBBISH tips were searched by Telstra staff in a desperate attempt to recover classified government emails stored in a wheelie bin and accidentally dumped, a Senate committee has been told. [...]

Email back-up tapes from five government departments and agencies recording correspondence classified as protected were lost in the incident involving IT contractor, Telstra Enterprise Services. [...]

Affected government departments and agencies included the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, the Department of Communications, Science Technology and the Arts, the Department of Transport and Regional Services, the Department of Industry, Tourism and Resources, and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission. [...]

Labor Senator Kate Lundy said the incident was a major security breach.

"The missing files are for the month of March 2003 — the month Australia committed troops to Iraq," Senator Lundy said. [...]

American Named to Head Russian Oil Giant

By Peter Baker
Washington Post Foreign Service
Wednesday, November 5, 2003

MOSCOW, Nov. 4 -- YukosSibneft, the Russian oil giant under siege by the government, appointed a new American-dominated management team Tuesday, a move analysts said could reassure edgy investors and provide some political protection for the company.

The firm named veteran oil executive Simon Kukes, a Russian-born U.S. citizen, to take over from Mikhail Khodorkovsky, the imprisoned chief executive who resigned Monday. Kukes will head a new seven-member management board that includes two other Americans, Steven M. Theede and Bruce Misamore. [...]

Yukos oilfield licences could be revoked

By Richard Milne in London and Guy Dinmore in Washington
November 5 2003

Yukos, the Russian oil company whose former chief executive was arrested last month, could lose its licences to develop several oilfields, a senior Russian official said on Wednesday.

Vitaly Artyukhov, natural resources minister, told the government-controlled Rossiskaya Gazeta newspaper that the freezing of 44 per cent of shares in Yukos by prosecutors could lead to the revocation of some of its licences.

"If need be, we will act in a pre-emptive manner," Mr Artyukhov said. " The reasons are obvious: a company which has had a controlling packet of shares frozen is hardly a suitable partner for cooperation with the federal licensing authority."

President Flies Into Firestorm in Rome

By Alex Nicholson
Staff Writer

President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday moved to calm growing unease in Europe over the jailing of Mikhail Khodorkovsky, saying he considers the tycoon "innocent until proven guilty" and that he is "categorically opposed" to overturning the privatizations of the mid-1990s.

Putin, speaking to Italian journalists before flying off to Rome to meet with Pope John Paul II and attend the EU-Russia summit, admitted that some officials may have been a little over-zealous in their attack of Khodorkovsky and his Yukos empire.

Putin's attempts to limit the political fallout over the Oct. 25 arrest of Khodorkovsky and subsequent sequestering of 40 percent of his oil giant's shares came as Brussels warned that the affair could affect relations between the EU and Russia.

The European Commission issued a statement saying it intended to seek "clarifications" from Putin over his handling of the Yukos affair and that the rule of law was upheld in Russia.

How to Make Real Enemies From Thin Air

By Yulia Latynina

Former Yukos CEO Mikhail Khodorkovsky is sitting in Matrosskaya Tishina; prosecutors froze 44 percent of Yukos' shares; Alexander Voloshin, head of the presidential administration, tendered his resignation.

Russia is in the midst of a crisis, and all thanks to Khodorkovsky. Do you really think anyone wanted him arrested? You may recall a similar situation three years ago when the Prosecutor General's Office decided to lean on Interros chief Vladimir Potanin. They reckoned he owed the government $140 million in compensation for what they called a rigged privatization auction in which Potanin acquired Norilsk Nickel. Did anyone go to jail? Did the oligarch pay for his sins? A deafening silence ensued. Maybe they cut a deal.

Law enforcement clearly wanted to cut a deal with Khodorkovsky, too. They did everything they could to get this point across to him. They made very clear that the balance of power in Russia had changed. If you "respect" the new regime, then make a visible and, shall we say, material show of your respect. Khodorkovsky was a little slow on the uptake. He didn't want to deal. To translate from gangster-speak into plain Russian, he didn't want to get milked. This left the dutiful prosecutors no choice but to inform the president that Khodorkovsky did not respect his authority, or in other words, that he wouldn't toe the line. And it goes without saying that anyone who doesn't toe the line is a dissident with political ambitions.

Sri Lankan crisis deepens as president declares state of emergency

AFP
Wednesday November 5


Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga has declared a state of emergency as a political crisis on the island deepened and fears grew for the fragile peace process with Tamil Tiger rebels.

The president's office said the state of emergency -- giving sweeping powers to the security forces to make arrests -- would last 10 days and reassured the international community a ceasefire with the rebels would be respected.

The move came after the president Tuesday sacked the ministers of defence, interior and information, suspended parliament for two weeks and deployed troops around key installations.

Her actions were widely seen as a "constitutional coup" against her bitter political rival Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe who signed the landmark truce with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) on February 23 last year as part of a Norwegian-backed effort to end three decades of civil war. [...]

E-voting runs into bumps in East Bay

Computer software was not certified for a California election

By Ian Hoffman
Oakland Tribune

Thousands of Alameda County voters cast ballots Tuesday on computer software that state and county elections officials say was never certified for a California election.

The same problem existed for last month's recall election.

State and county officials were dismayed last week to learn that Diebold Elections Systems Inc. altered the software running in Alameda County's touchscreen voting machines yet neither submitted it for state testing nor even notified state authorities of the change. [...]

California voting machine called into question

By Paul Festa
Staff Writer, CNET News.com

As voters in California go to the polls, the state is launching an investigation into alleged illegal tampering with electronic voting machines in a San Francisco Bay Area county.

The voting machine fracas involves Diebold Election Systems , a North Canton, Ohio-based company whose machines are in use by four of California's 58 counties--Alameda, Plumas, Riverside and Shasta--and will be used by three more next year: Kern, San Joaquin and Solano. [...]

Diebold Voting Case Tests DMCA

Company invokes copyright law to quash discussion fueled by stolen documents.

Paul Roberts
IDG News Service

Can Diebold Systems use copyright law to pressure Netizens into removing links to online discussion archives stolen from the company in March? That question is before a federal judge.

The stolen archives contain conversations from online bulletin boards in which Diebold employees discuss problems with the company's electronic voting systems. [...]

Democrats lose Kentucky, Mississippi governorships

Poll: More voters say definitely vote against Bush

By MARC HUMBERT
AP Political Writer
November 4, 2003

ALBANY, N.Y. -- More than four in 10 voters nationwide say they definitely plan to vote against President Bush next year _ more than plan to vote for him, a poll reported Tuesday.

The poll, from Marist College's Institute for Public Opinion, found that 44 percent of voters surveyed said they planned to definitely vote against the Republican president while 38 percent said they would vote for his re-election. [...]

Comment: Not that it will matter with the new voting machines in place.

End of peace constitution? Japan seeks right to make war

Special to World Tribune.com

Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi has made clear that he would legitimize the Self-Defense Forces by revising the country's controversial pacifist constitution if his party does well as expected in next week's elections to the lower house. [...]

Imelda Marcos Faces Arrest After Late Return Home

By Manny Mogato
Wed Nov 5, 2:32 AM ET

MANILA (Reuters) - Former Philippine first lady Imelda Marcos, famous for her enormous shoe collection and extravagant shopping sprees, faces arrest when she returns to the country after staying away longer than she was allowed, an official said. [...]

"Carlos the Jackal" to Testify in Berlin Trial

International terrorist Ilich Ramirez Sanchez, better known as "Carlos the Jackal," is expected to testify in the Berlin trial of a German left-wing extremist. French authorities have agreed to transfer Sanchez to Berlin for his testimony under tight security. Sanchez, 54, is currently serving a life sentence in a French prison for murdering two French intelligence agents and an informant. The Venezuelan native was convicted of the murders in 1975 but only captured in Sudan in 1994. Johannes Weinrich, whose trial began on March 5, is accused of plotting a series of bomb attacks in France, Germany and Greece with "Carlos." The blasts left six people dead and more than 150 injured. Weinrich, 55, is already serving a life sentence for a 1983 attack on the French cultural institute in Berlin, which killed one man and injured 23 people.

CIA Seeks to Capture Eye I.D. from a Distance

By Tabassum Zakaria
Tue Nov 4, 5:01 PM ET

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The CIA is trying to improve facial recognition technology which can be notoriously inaccurate, and also develop ways to identify from a distance a target in motion by the iris of the person's eye, a CIA scientist said on Tuesday. [...]

4 Dead, 4 Hurt in Ariz. Highway Shooting

By BETH DeFALCO, Associated Press Writer
November 5, 2003

CASA GRANDE, Ariz. - A highway chase turned deadly when immigrant smugglers opened fire at a rival group, killing four people and wounding five, authorities said.

Four suspects were arrested in the desert Tuesday, following the deadly chase. [...]

First-grade teacher charged in school bomb threat

By the Associated Press
November 4, 2003

MONTCLAIR, Va. -- A 42-year-old first-grade teacher at Washington-Reid Elementary School wrote a note claiming there was a bomb in the building, Prince William County police said Tuesday.

The note was intended as a practical joke, police said, but Elizabeth Schuette, of Montclair, was charged with threatening to bomb. [...]

Police said the note was left for another teacher, who was expected to be the next person in the door. [...]

Child Hands Out Heroin 'Candy' to Classmates

Tue November 4, 2003

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - A five-year-old Dutch girl handed out "sweets" to classmates that turned out to be ecstasy, cocaine and heroin pills, police said on Monday.

The drugs were confiscated by a suspicious teacher before any were consumed at the primary school in Hilversum, southeast of Amsterdam. Police arrested the girl's older brothers aged 21, 19 and 16 and her 43-year-old mother.

Large quantities of soft drugs and hard drugs were found in the car of the eldest brother. The brothers were in custody, but their mother was set free after questioning.

Boy, 14, stabbed to death in school (UK)

By Paul Stokes and Sandra Laville
05/11/2003
The Telegraph

A 14-year-old boy was stabbed to death at a village school yesterday after a fight broke out in a corridor between lessons.

Luke Walmsley was airlifted to hospital within minutes of the attack at Birkbeck School and Community Art College, but was later pronounced dead. [...]

"To think a youngster can be stabbed to death in a school in a relatively quiet part of the country will send shockwaves through the school system." [...]

Sentence on paedophile infuriates families

By Nigel Bunyan
05/11/2003

A judge provoked uproar yesterday by granting a child abuser his freedom and describing him to his victims as "a thoroughly broken man".

George Boothroyd's two victims waited more 13 years to see him brought to justice at Liverpool Crown Court.

They had expected to see him sent to prison but broke down in tears as Judge Denis Clark sentenced the father-of-two to a three-year community rehabilitation order.

The sentence means Boothroyd is likely to be freed next week after spending 12 months on remand.

The father of one of his victims shouted at the judge: "These girls have been through hell." Turning to Boothroyd, he screamed: "You're still a pervert!"

Judge Clark said the two victims would want to know "why this beast of a judge" had come to a decision "they will never understand". In his view Boothroyd, 54, a former mechanic, of Anfield, Liverpool, was not the "monster" some had portrayed him as being.

He had been left isolated as a result of the acts of indecency he committed against two girls more than 13 years ago.

His partner had left him in the aftermath of his arrest, and both his grown-up sons shunned any contact with him.

Judge Clark, who imposed a three-year community rehabilitation order, told him: "You are a human being, you are entitled to dignity and you will receive it in a court of law." [...]

Forgotten West Sahara Refugees Languish in Desert

Tue November 4, 2003
By Paul de Bendern

TINDOUF (Reuters) - Aziz speaks three languages but they do him little good in the refugee camp where he lives deep in the Sahara desert.

Like thousands of other young men, Aziz, 20, has grown up in the cramped Tindouf camps because his parents fled Western Sahara from invading Moroccan forces in 1975 shortly after Spain granted independence to the vast desert territory.

"All my friends want to leave. There's no life left here, just sand," said Aziz.

"We're told we'll return home but our parents have lived here for 25 years so how much longer should we wait. War is the only way," he said, speaking Arabic, Spanish and English.

Some 155,000 Polisario refugees, also know as Sahrawi indigenous people, live in poverty under the protection of Algeria and the United Nations in camps dotted around the desert town of Tindouf. No one knows the exact total population of the Sahrawis, many of whom live in traditional tents.

The Polisario Front independence movement has claimed the Moroccan-held territory as its own since 1976. It agreed to a cease-fire brokered by the United Nations in 1991 after 15 years of guerrilla war in exchange for a referendum on the future of the territory, which is rich in phosphate and fishing.

No referendum on whether to choose independence, semi-autonomy or integration with Morocco has taken place. Shelters that were built as temporary are now permanent for the nomads. [...]

Over 100 million Chinese inhale polluted air every day

www.chinaview.cn 2003-11-05

SHANGHAI, Nov. 5 (Xinhuanet) -- Two in every five Chinese town and city dwellers, or over 100 million people, are inhaling polluted air every day, an official with the Chinese national legislature said here Wednesday.

Global Warming Means Snow for Great Lakes - Report

Tue November 4, 2003

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - In theory, global warming should be a good thing for the Great Lakes, right? Wrong.

Global warming means more snow, not less, for the snowbound region along the eastern border between Canada and the United States, researchers said on Tuesday.

Their study of snowfall records in the Great Lakes region and elsewhere suggests there has been a significant increase in snowfall in the Great Lakes region since the 1930s but not anywhere else.

The team, at Colgate University in Hamilton, New York, said that global warming does not mean sunnier weather everywhere. Other researchers have predicted that, as the climate gets warmer overall, it could mean colder temperatures in some parts of the world and more severe weather in general as weather patterns change.

For instance, warmer surface sea temperatures could fuel more violent hurricanes and typhoons.

In the Great Lakes region, warmer temperatures mean more snow, Adam Burnett, an associate professor of geography, writes in the November issue of the Journal of Climate. [...]

The Reckoning

Global Warming is Likely to Cause Huge Climatic Changes -- and Possibly a New Ice Age

By Jim Motavalli
emagazine.com

[...] Some of the consequences of accelerating CO2 buildup, such as melting polar ice and damage to forests, are well known. Others are relatively obscure, but no less devastating. Again, we’re drawn back to the ancient record. Russell Graham, chief curator of the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, has noted at least 63 sudden climatic changes in the last 1.6 million years, an average of one every 2,000 years. As Gregg Easterbrook noted in "A Skeptical Guide to Doomsday," a 2003 Wired article, "Ten thousand years have passed since the current pleasantly temperate period began, so another sudden shift is overdue. The notion that greenhouse gases could trigger such a rapid change keeps serious scientists up at night….And since scientists today have little understanding of past climate flips, it’s impossible to say when the next one will start." [...]

But global cooling does not simply cancel out global warming, preserving the status quo (as some simplistic analyses have claimed). William H. Calvin, a professor at the University of Washington, says, "We must be careful not to think of an abrupt cooling in response to global warming as just another self-regulatory device, a control system for cooling things down when it gets too hot. The scale of the response will be far beyond the bounds of regulation—more like when excess warming triggers fire extinguishers in the ceiling, ruining the contents of the room while cooling them down."

Calvin says the whole world could be chilled. "Tropical swamps decrease their production of methane at the same time that Europe cools," he wrote in Atlantic Monthly, "and the Gobi Desert whips much more dust in the air. When this happens something big, with worldwide connections, must be switching into a new mode of operation." [...]

Flood disaster claims 170

BUKIT LAWANG, Indonesia (Agencies) - At least 170 people have been confirmed dead in a flash flood which swept through a resort town in one of Indonesia's biggest national parks, a senior official said on Tuesday. [...]

Warning About Disaster Scams (California)

CONSUMER NEWS —It happens every time there is a major disaster. Unscrupulous contractors and charity scam artists are ready to burn their next victim [...]

Foul gas may have killed 95% of life

Tim Radford, science editor
The Guardian

The biggest-ever mass extinction of life on Earth may have been accompanied by the smell of rotten eggs or decomposing cabbage, geologists said yesterday.

At the end of the Permian era, 251 million years ago, 95% of all life went extinct - and the killer might have been foul-smelling hydrogen sulphide.

Life has been wiped out on a massive scale at least five times in geological history. [...]

Fire In The Skies

November 4, 2003

JONESBORO, ARKANSAS, USA- Many [...] residents are still wondering what caused Monday night's terrific light show in the sky and the explosion that followed.

The K8 Newsroom was flooded with literally hundreds of calls that began pouring in around 9:45 p.m. with questions and reports of seeing brilliant flashes of blue and yellow light in the skies.  The Jonesboro 911 dispatch office was flooded with similar calls.  "9:56 p.m., we got the first call at the 911 communications center.  A large boom in the area, then after that we were flooded with phone calls," said dispatch center coordinator Bob Andrews.

Flight instructor Lea Thompson was in the air when she spotted the flying debris.  "All of a sudden, we just saw a bright white light coming in front of the plane.  It came right over the front of the nose and descended down...kind of looked like a shooting star.  It disappeared and we didn't think anything about it," Thompson said.  "We were about 3,000 feet on final, coming in to land.  First I was really confused, didn't know what it was.  Then I just assumed it was a falling star.  I got a bird's eye view this time, instead of on the ground.  So, I didn't think much of it until I got on the ground.

A large "boom" soon followed.  "Explosion and a boom.  We got calls from the Lawrence County area, all the way down to the southern Craighead County area," said Andrews.  The KAIT newsroom received calls from as far south as Brinkley and Oil Trough and as far north and west as West Plains, Missouri. [...]

Dr. Andrew Sustich is the Dean of Humanities & Social Sciences at Arkansas State University, and feels certain the event was a meteorite. [...]

Part Of Pa. Shocked By Earthquake

Officials: No Aftershocks Expected

November 4, 2003

BERKS COUNTY. Pa. -- An earthquake shook parts of Pennsylvania Tuesday. The quake struck Berks County just after 8:30 a.m. It measured 2.7 on the magnitude scale. No major damage or injuries were reported. Officials said no aftershocks are expected.

Quake jolts southern Iranian town of Hajiabad

11/4/03

An earthquake measuring 3.9 degrees on the open-ended Richter scale shook the town of Hajiabad in the southern province of Hormuzgan early Tuesday, IRNA reported from Tehran.

The seismological base of the Geophysics Institute, affiliated to Tehran University, said the tremor, epicentered in an area south of Hajiabad, occurred at 04:21 hours local time (2351 GMT on Monday).

There were no reports of any casualty or damage caused by the quake. Iran is situated on some of the world's most active seismic fault lines and quakes of varying magnitudes are of usual occurrence.

Close encounters

Japan Today

The skies above Japan are alive with extraterrestrial activity, according to the nation’s foremost UFO research group and its fearless leader.

Matt Wilce examines the evidence.

Every January more than two million people crowd the grounds of Harajuku’s Meiji Jingu to celebrate the New Year, but these revelers aren’t the only beings checking out the shrine. On October 11, 1999, roughly 60 transparent rings appeared in the sky over the shrine and were witnessed and photographed by Junichi Kato and his OUR-J UFO group. On other occasions, unidentified shapes and lights have been spotted in the area with remarkable frequency, leading to its reputation as one of Japan’s alien hotspots. [...]

Closest known galaxy discovered

A small galaxy has just been detected as it is being ripped apart and swallowed by the much larger Milky Way. The Canis Major dwarf galaxy, as it is now called, is closer to the center of our galaxy than any previously known. The discovery, announced today by an international team of astronomers, is further evidence that the Milky Way has built its bulk by mergers and acquisitions. Researchers described the galaxy as a "dismembered corpse." [...]

Moon mysteries of island stones

JOHN ROSS
The Scotsman
Wed 5 Nov 2003

FOR 6,000 years the eerie standing stones at Callanish on Lewis have intrigued archaeologists and historians. The monuments, which were erected by Neolithic farming people, are believed to have a special association with the cycle of the moon.

A television programme, to be shown this weekend to coincide with a full moon and also a total eclipse of the moon, will explore the stones’ lunar importance. [...]

Researchers dig up earliest 'butcher shop'

Last Updated Tue, 04 Nov 2003 16:28:01

TORONTO - Anthropologists working in Ethiopia say they've found the earliest direct evidence of a stone tool "kitchen," dating back 2.6 million years.

The stone tools were found in the same site as animal bones, which the researchers said indicate the use of tools by early human to feed themselves.

Michael Rogers, an assistant professor of anthropology at Southern Connecticut State University, was working in Gona, Ethiopia, when he found some small tools made from chipped stone.

Further excavation at the site revealed the tools and bones together.

"Our ancestors were using the artifacts to process animal parts, which probably shows that humans were expanding their diets to include animals and were no longer largely vegetarians," said Rogers, in a news release.

BRYAN ADAM'S 'DIANA SECRET'

By Justine Smith
Nov 5 2003

ROCK star Bryan Adams' ex-lover has claimed that he cheated on her with Princess Diana.

[...] Adams, 44, has not denied the claims. He said last night: "It is pure conjecture and speculation."

Paul Burrell claimed in his book, A Royal Duty, that the Princess had nine secret lovers, including a famous musician.

Liberals want Bono at leadership conference

Last Updated Tue, 04 Nov 2003

OTTAWA - Paul Martin campaign organizers are hoping to elevate the upcoming leadership conference with a special guest – U2 superstar Bono.

The singer has been mentioned as a potential guest speaker, Canadian Press reported Tuesday.

[...] During a U2 concert in Toronto, Bono called Martin "cool."

Study: TV Can Be Effective Sex Educator

By LYNN ELBER
AP Television Writer
November 3, 2003

LOS ANGELES -- Teenagers can get sex education as well as laughs by watching TV series such as "Friends," a new study found.

Watching or discussing a show with an adult reinforces or clarifies the lessons carried by television, according to the study released Monday by Santa Monica-based Rand Corp., a nonprofit research group.

"We've always known that teenagers get useful information about sex from factual reporting and advice-oriented media, but now we know they can get this information from entertainment television programs as well," said Rebecca Collins, lead author of the report.

"That's important because entertainment programs, especially highly rated ones like 'Friends,' reach many more teens," Collins said in a Rand statement. [...]

Nose jobs trump holidays

Tue Nov 4,10:15 PM ET

LONDON (Reuters) - Family holidays and home improvements are being cancelled or postponed to finance facelifts, nose jobs and breast surgery, according to a new survey.

The urge to look better and younger and to improve areas where Nature may have skimped is so strong that people are willing to economise in other ways, dip into their savings or to take out loans to pay for cosmetic surgery. [...]

If money was in short supply family and friends sometimes chipped in to pay for the procedure. [...]

Ex-ambulanceman gives carp kiss of life

Ananova.com
10:41 Wednesday 5th November 2003

A former ambulance driver has used his first aid knowledge to save a koi carp by giving it the kiss of life.

Leo van Aert, 57, from Belgium, gave his beloved koi carp heart massage and mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.

He had been celebrating his birthday at home in Antwerp when his wife noticed the fish behaving strangely and then become motionless.

"I immediately thought it had a heart attack. So I took it from the water and gave it a heart massage," Mr van Aert told Gazet van Antwerpen.

"After 15 minutes it started to move so I put him back in the water. But after some minutes it stopped moving. I took it out of the water and gave it the kiss of life. That made it recover."


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