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November 10, 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."

We appreciate e-mails to Signs, and we will answer one as part of today's commentary:

First I want to say that signs of the times is very informative and I for one really appreciate everyone involved with this information source. It lets everyone know what the "forces of Darkness" are doing in the world today but I was wondering is there anything going on with the "forces of Light"? --All I read is all negative type of information---is there any positive type of information out there? If there is --I would very much like to read it. Keep up the good work.

This is a question we can understand. We, ourselves, can feel overwhelmed by the sheer onslaught this horrifying machine, that has gripped the world in its psychopathic claws, is perpetrating upon humankind.

First, here is a bit more "bad news." You are the forces of light.

For too long humankind has been duped by the concept of a savior. The belief that some outside source would come down and save all who did nothing but have the right belief. There was no need to learn how to do, to take action of any sort, to learn and educate ourselves. This cultic programming has kept mankind in the dark, and allowed the forces of darkness to make choices for us.

Perhaps the universe depends on choice. Every choice is a creation. If we refuse to choose, this creates a vacuum which must be filled. Something must make those choices. Of course, that something is going to make choices that benefit them and not you.

Fear of the unknown may be the basis for all other fears. Imagine you are dropped in the middle of the jungle. You can only see so far, since the plant life is so thick. You can hear strange animal sounds off in the distance. You are surrounded by the unknown.

There are several ways to deal with this fear. Some will turn away and pretend there are no unknowns and no dangers. They will blindfold themselves, stuff cotton in their ears, and handcuff their hands behind their back and say there are no lions, snakes, and spiders. Others, when they hear a lion approaching, assume that they are so special that they will be whisked out of harm's way. They will blunder through the jungle with no apparent direction, no aim to find their way back to civilization.

Another option is to learn all the dangers that the jungle contains. We can use fear as an alert system. We hear the lion approaching; we can then use our intellect and make choices to preserve ourselves, so that we may continue to live and learn. We could have another day to work toward finding our way out of the jungle, but only if we have made proper use of the shock of hearing the approaching lion. That shock was a gift.

We can use the propaganda of the day. It provides choices. Do we accept the propaganda as truth, or do we question and do our own research? Why accept anything at face value? Why trust anyone who claims to be an expert merely because they speak with authority? Because we have been conditioned. Another choice. Do we accept the conditioning or do we question ourselves and the source?

We have a problem with our warning systems. They have been tainted by socio-religious cultic thinking patterns. We can't entirely trust ourselves. Often we are afraid of the wrong things, and have no fear of that which should shock us into action. Over a period of time of absorbing truth and rejecting lies we heal ourselves. Perhaps we can even learn how to do. We can begin to act as if the entire universe depends on our choices. Perhaps it does.

What is life for? Do we want to look back on our lives and see that we cowered in the corner and allowed the machine to roll over us, or do we want to become individuals? Individuals who can give to those who ask. Individuals who are informed and can make decisions that benefit themselves and those in their lives. Do we want to become someone who can stand up for their own destiny? Or do we bury our talent, sit around and cower in fear, repeatedly assuring ourselves that we are special and will be saved?

If we won't stand up for our own destiny, who will?

The positive information is that it is possible to uncover the negative information. It is all there, for those who have eyes to see, and ears to hear. We can become seers. We can learn how to choose.

Too often we assume we are making choices. If we are only using lies as information, and living as consensus reality has deemed appropriate, are we really choosing? Or, are we merely supporting the machine?

Many are tired of supporting the machine. They are willing to remove the blindfolds and untie their hands. Perhaps they falter, perhaps at times they are overwhelmed. That is all part of the process. If anyone is overly certain that they can succeed and find their way out of the jungle, they are probably lost. They will not be sensitive enough to their surroundings to survive. We just have to get used to facing the unknown.

Please see Laura's new series Truth and Lies for a much broader perspective. Also read Shocks and the Signs of the Times for a better understanding of the process outlined in this brief commentary.

Today in the news:

The Mossad increases the noise level of propaganda for perpetual war for peace. Sharon arranges to trade one Israeli for the release of over 400 Palestinians. US forces tie up little children as part of their occupation duties. Richard Armitage knows an awful lot about al-Qaeda and when and where they are going to attack, now he is warning the Saudi royals that they are next. You'd almost think he had inside information or something...

The Saudis aren't the only ones under attack, the current escalating scandal involving Prince Charles threatens to bring down the whole British monarchy. We wonder who would want to do that?... The Rothschilds consolidated their power recently, pulling off a move that outfoxed the Russian government.

The FBI invades a terrorist ice cream shop. Taiwan reconsiders purchasing US submarines after learning that the price was marked up over 100%. It looks like Iraq isn't the only country being overcharged by the U$A.

Strange sounds are coming from Utah's skies. "Experts" declare we reside in a "preposterous universe."

Mossad chief: invasion has created a holy war

By Kim Sengupta and Kendah El-Ali
The Independent

A former chief of Mossad, the Israeli intelligence service, has accused the United States and Britain of lack of foresight over the Iraq invasion and warned of even greater violence unless the civic infrastructure is established quickly.

Major General Danny Yatom said the presence of Western forces in Iraq has presented the opportunity for a holy war, or jihad, by Islamists in a country surrounded by Muslim neighbours. [...]

Comment: It appears the next stage of war plans are being set up. The plan: blaming the US entirely for the ensuing "holy war", which Israel is sure to be in the middle of, and saying that they better fight on Israel's side. An out and out jihad is just the excuse Israel has been looking for to finally finish off the Palestinian genocide. This explains why there have been so many attacks on Muslims in Iraq from supposed al-Qaeda forces. They have to maintain a certain amount of chaos so that an all out jihad will break out from sheer frustration. We are all being set up.

Al-Qaeda 'threat to Saudi royals'

Monday, 10 November, 2003

Al-Qaeda is actively seeking to bring down the Saudi ruling royal family, the US Deputy Secretary of State, Richard Armitage, has said.

Osama Bin Laden's organisation has long been a critic of the Saudi Government, regarding it as too pro-American. Mr Armitage also warned of fresh terror attacks to come in the kingdom.

He was speaking after holding talks in Saudi Arabia with Crown Prince Abdullah following Saturday's suicide bombing in Riyadh, which killed at least 17.

The target was a foreign workers' residential compound close to the homes of several Saudi ministers.

More than 120 people were injured, most of them non-Saudi Arab workers and their families.

The BBC's Paul Wood, from the scene of the blasts, says the bombers penetrated far into the compound before detonating their explosives.

Buildings of several storeys high were reduced to rubble, he adds. [...]

Comment: It is being claimed that al-Qaeda carried out the Saudi attack yesterday, the same group blamed for 9/11. We are constantly amazed at the accuracy of American intelligence about upcoming attacks on other countries, yet the US were supposedly unable to uncover even a hint that the 9/11 attacks were being planned. The only individual brought to trial for 9/11 has proven in court he had nothing to do with 9/11! Just 1 day before yesterday's attack in Saudi Arabia, the US warned that it was coming. Most amazing of all is the fact that the US government is able to pass off the ridiculous notion that "Arab terrorists" would attack their own people! Consider human nature, the same human nature we have all observed, even in ourselves. Then consider an individual or group with a clearly stated agenda, vast resources and power to do as they please. Then look objectively at the situation.

Sharon's prisoner swap with Hizbollah splits his cabinet

By Eric Silver in Jerusalem
The Independent
10 November 2003

By the narrowest of margins, 12 votes to 11, Ariel Sharon persuaded the Israeli cabinet yesterday to approve a prisoner swap that is bound to provide fodder for moral philosophers and conspiracy theorists for years to come.

The Prime Minister is now free to conclude a deal with the Lebanese guerrilla group Hizbollah to release about 20 Lebanese and 400 Palestinian prisoners in exchange for one live Israeli civilian, Elhanan Tannenbaum, and the remains of three soldiers abducted on the Israeli-Lebanese border three years ago.

Although the Supreme Court lifted a gag order last month and the Israeli media put their best investigative reporters on to the story, there are still questions over how Mr Tannenbaum, 57, a reserve colonel and spectacularly unsuccessful businessman, ended up in a Hizbollah cell in Beirut in October 2000 - and why Mr Sharon was ready to pay so high and humiliating a price for his return.

The Prime Minister told the cabinet that failure to authorise the deal would mean "leaving a Jewish, Israeli citizen in the hands of Hizbollah, thereby bringing about his death".

Israel has repeatedly denied claims by the Shia militia that Mr Tannenbaum was an agent for the Mossad secret service. And Mr Tannenbaum certainly didn't behave like James Bond when he fell into the Hizbollah trap. Rather, local media have accused him of "naivety" and "cupidity".

After he retired from the army, Mr Tannenbaum bought and sold pharmaceutical products - some of them in Southern Lebanon, where he had served as an artillery officer. Ten years ago, he was declared bankrupt. In an attempt to clear his debts, he is reported to have gambled heavily and lost still more.

According to Israeli security sources, an Israeli Arab friend, Keis Obeid, tempted Mr Tannenbaum with "the deal of a lifetime". Mr Obeid has since fled to Lebanon with his family and is said to be working for Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, the Hizbollah leader.

The unsuspecting Mr Tannenbaum flew to Brussels, where Mr Obeid and a Hizbollah reception committee awaited him. The Lebanese, posing as businessmen, supplied him with a forged passport and persuaded him to fly to Abu Dhabi to complete the deal.

There are conflicting accounts of what happened once he reached the Gulf emirate, and about the merchandise involved. Israeli reporters speculate that it might have been drugs, gold, or diamonds.

According to the liberal daily Ha'aretz, the captive was interrogated in an Iranian safe house, then drugged and flown to Beirut via Tehran. Hizbollah claims he entered Lebanon of his own free will.

What no Israeli disputes is that the prisoner trade will be a dangerous propaganda victory for Hizbollah, which remains a ruthless enemy of the Jewish state and an inspiration for Palestinian bombers. Israeli critics fear Sheikh Nasrallah will be crowned as the Saladin of the 21st century. [...]

Comment: Given the 420:1 exchange ratio that is certainly not in Israel's favor, it appears that Tannenbaum is very important to Sharon for one reason or another.

Shocking images shame US forces

By Yvonne Ridley and Lawrence Smallman

Fearful women and children are bound by US soldiers

A series of shocking pictures revealing US soldiers tying up Iraqi women and children in their own home has provoked international outrage.

The occupying forces have now come under renewed fire for their treatment of ordinary Iraqis as shown in the pictures published today by [...]

"This kind of image increases resentment of American troops in Iraq and can also play a major part in demoralising troops who are having to tie up small children.

"We are seeking to raise this issue further in the appropriate arena," said Washington CAIR spokesman Ibrahim Hooper.

A spokesman for the London-based Islamic Observation Centre said the pictures showed a "complete disregard for the human rights of the Iraqi people".

He added: "A normal human being should be repulsed by the very idea of tying up children. [...]

"The American and British forces in Iraq are showing all the worst traits of colonial occupying forces throughout history." [...]

Comment: It appears that the US has learned from the Israeli army and their treatment of the Palestinians.

U.S. warns of increased Iraq attacks

By Dean Yates
Sun November 09, 2003 11:41 PM ET

BAGHAD (Reuters) - Iraq's U.S. governor Paul Bremer warns guerrillas will step up attacks to stop reconstruction efforts and says several hundred foreign militants have entered the country.

Bremer vowed in an interview with The Times newspaper U.S.-led forces would not be driven out of Iraq by the militants because the price of failure was too high for the country itself and the Middle East.

"We're going to have increased attacks and increased terrorism because the terrorist can see the reconstruction dynamic is moving in our direction," said Bremer, adding the foreign fighters were from Sudan, Syria, Yemen and Saudi Arabia.

"It will be more of a problem in the months ahead unless the intelligence gets better," he said. [...]

Military: Jessica’s Comrades: Untold Stories From the 507th

By Julie Scelfo, Joan Raymond and Joseph Contreras
Nov. 17, 2003 issue

The Jessica Lynch blitz isn’t a feel-good celebration for everyone. Lynch miraculously survived the ambush on the Army’s 507th Maintenance Company. First Sgt. Robert Dowdy—scarcely a household name—was killed riding in the military vehicle along with her. His 14-year-old daughter, Kristy, swallows hard at the constant mentions of Jessica’s battle. “Don’t they know it was Dad’s Humvee?” she says. “Don’t they know it was Dad doing stuff?”

The U.S. government tried to portray POW Lynch as a hero of the attack. It didn’t publicize Sgt. Donald Walters. The 33-year-old cook and mechanic was killed in the ambush, apparently while fighting bravely, suggests a military report. But his parents, Arlene and Norman, got so few questions answered by the Army they finally filed a Freedom of Information request. “I am angry,” says his mother, who wants the government to give her son a hero’s due. Walters left a wife and three daughters. His 27-year-old widow, Stacie, says: “It seems like after a soldier is dead, they’re forgotten.”

Some of the living don’t get their due, either. Fellow soldiers say Pat Miller, a lanky 23-year-old private, acted heroically in battle, killing eight Iraqis. Despite his valor, Miller, the father of two, is still waiting for his next promotion. “I get paid to be a soldier,” he says with a shrug. “That’s what I’m supposed to do.”

But few soldiers ever have to endure being held captive by the enemy. In Baghdad, the prisoners were held in tiny cells without a toilet, a chair or a bed. The walls were three-foot-wide cinder block, and the color of filth; the doors were solid steel with only a peephole cut through. The ceilings were about 12 feet high. In some rooms, a giant hook was affixed overhead. “You could see where they cut the rope off,” David Williams, a downed helicopter pilot locked away with the 507th’s prisoners, tells NEWSWEEK. He says the guards sometimes beat them. One time the guards blindfolded Williams and questioned him. “I wasn’t answering questions the way they wanted. And this guy spoke English and said, ‘You’re not being honest with us’.” He felt a gun at his temple. “I started crying—I said, ‘Please God, don’t kill me.’ And also I was thinking, ‘Please make it quick’.”

Shoshana Johnson was one of the 507th’s prisoners. But while Lynch is being given 80 percent disability pay, Johnson is getting only 30 percent. It’s a difference of $600 or more a month. Shoshana’s mother, Eunice, has told reporters her daughter has had a hard time. “She gets depressed,” she said. “Her mental state is not what it used to be. She has a lot of medical appointments.”

Lynch has plenty of medical appointments, too. But she also has a $1 million memoir, to be released Tuesday, the day she appears on TV with Diane Sawyer. On Friday she goes on the Letterman show. [...]

Comment: It is evident that although Lynch may say that the way she is being used as propaganda is "wrong," she is still milking it for all it's worth. Those soldiers and their families who have made real sacrifices and even paid with their lives receive little or nothing. The individuals running the show gain economically, and the "little people" are left broke, broken, or dead. If the serfs complain, they are tossed a bone - in this case Jessica Lynch. Give the people a lie, give them anything to believe in, and they will apparently turn docile again. What is wrong with this picture?

AP: NYC Terror Raid Busts Ice Cream Shop

By TOM HAYS, Associated Press Writer
Sun Nov 9,11:31 PM ET

NEW YORK - At dawn, armed FBI agents assigned to an anti-terrorism unit converged on an unlikely front in the war on terrorism: a tiny ice cream shop in Brooklyn.

The agents arrested the Yemeni proprietor, a naturalized U.S. citizen, who lived three floors above. Based on a tip, they said, they had learned that $20 million had passed through the bank accounts of his business from 1997 until the raid in January. [...]

Gore denounces Bush administration's attack on civil liberties

Associated Press

WASHINGTON - Former Vice President Al Gore accused President Bush on Sunday of failing to make the country safer after the Sept. 11 attacks and using the war against terrorism as a pretext to consolidate power.

"They have taken us much farther down the road toward an intrusive, 'big brother'-style government - toward the dangers prophesied by George Orwell in his book '1984' - than anyone ever thought would be possible in the United States of America," Gore charged.

Gore, who lost the disputed 2000 presidential election to Bush, said terrorism-fighting tools granted after Sept. 11 amount to a partisan power grab that have led to the erosion of the civil liberties of all Americans.

He brought the crowd to its feet when he called for a repeal of the Patriot Act, which expanded government's surveillance and detention power, allowing authorities to monitor books people read and conduct secret searches.

Gore chided the administration for what he said was its "implicit assumption" that Americans must give up traditional freedoms in order to be safe from terrorists.

"In my opinion, it makes no more sense to launch an assault on our civil liberties as the best way to get at terrorists than it did to launch an invasion of Iraq as the best way to get at Osama bin Laden," Gore said.

In both cases, Gore said, the administration has "recklessly put our country in grave and unnecessary danger."

What I Have to Say About George W. Bush

by Thom Rutledge
Information Clearing House

Okay, that's it. I've had it. I have finally gotten old and tired enough to not worry so much about what everyone else in the whole damn world is going to think of me, so I can just begin to say exactly what I think without apologizing and without fretting over whether or not you are going to still like me once I say whatever it is that I have to say.

First, George W. Bush is an odd combination of ridiculous and dangerous. He's sort of an evil idiot savant. He also is the perfect poster boy for hypocrisy. Just this morning I heard Georgie say on the television that the best way to protect our homeland is to hunt our enemies down one by one and stop them, which I suppose means to kill them. The idiot part comes in when I realize that he really believes what he is saying. This guy really believes that he is here to wipe out evil.

The savant part --- the genius --- is found in how he gets so many otherwise intelligent people to cheer him on. Now, to the hypocrisy part. President Georgie is a born again Christian, as are the vast majority of his adoring followers. Do they think that Jesus was just kidding around, or maybe having an off day, when he gave the sermon on the mount ---- and when he said turn the other cheek, and when he said put away your sword? Do these people actually believe that if Jesus himself were here on earth, he would be suggesting that we hunt our enemies down one by one? Really - think about it:

And Jesus said to the disciples, "Whenever you feel threatened, hunt thine enemies down one by one and destroy them."

And Peter was confused, asking, "Lord, pardon me, but aren't you contradicting much of what you have been teaching us?"

Jesus looked upon Peter with a smirk and said, "You are either with me or against me. What will it be?"

Peter was silent, realizing that the teachings of the Christ were flying right over his head.

The preceding passage is from the Lost Gospel of Rummy, recently unearthed in Iraq by someone working for Halliburton on behalf of the Bush administration. Lucky find, huh?

It's not just Georgie and his daddy's friends that get on my nerves. Even more baffling to me are their loyal fans --- fan being short for fanatic you know. These people don't seem to have one independent thought within a thousand mile radius of any of their brains. They are as impressionable as silly putty. The fact that they have been lied to, just like the rest of us, doesn't phase them. And I'm not just talking about the Richie Rich's who benefit from our nation's blossoming plutocracy; I'm talking about middle class folks who are being royally screwed by the objects of their affection. (Well, I guess that works on one level.)

I'm losing patience with this insanity. Consider the uproar in the Episcopal Church over the newly installed Bishop Gene Robinson. These people actually believe that God is a judgmental homophobic prick. How hard is it to look at this discrimination against gays and figure out that in another 10 to 15 years, the anti-gay position will look pretty much like the racially bigoted position prevalent before the civil rights movement. Learning from the past is definitely not a strong suit here.

Consider another passage from another lost gospel somewhere:

And the homophobes chanted, "If the Bishop's gay, we won't stay, if the Bishop's gay, we won't stay!"

And Jesus said, "Okay. Don't let the screen door hit you on the way out."

Truly, that would be a courageous and innovative response to those threatening to break away from the church because the Bishop is gay. It's like someone handing you the end of a rope for a tug-of-war and you just drop the rope --- and you drop the rope every time someone puts it in your hand. My wife asked a good question during the evening news: "Why do they want to put up resistance to anyone leaving the church?" When we don't invest energy in power struggle (inside our heads or out) we have so much more energy to spend on the things that really matter. [...]

Comment: Refusing to play the games the powers that be have created seems to be an important element of seeing what is happening in the world today. More important, perhaps, is what we choose to do with the energy conserved. If an American decides they don't like the direction in which the Bush Reich has taken the country, simply sitting around and thinking about it probably isn't going to help much. Writing an article expressing one's views, sharing that article with the world, and continually searching and pushing for the facts - for objective reality - just might help. The real question appears to be: What are "the things that really matter"?

Plan for UN to run internet 'will be shelved'

By Frances Williams in Geneva
Financial Times

An attempt by developing countries to put management of the internet under United Nations auspices is likely to be shelved at next month's world information summit in Geneva - but the issue is now firmly on the international agenda, summit sources say.

It will be one of the main bones of contention this week as government negotiators and non-governmental organisations descend on Geneva for the final round of preparatory talks on the draft declaration and plan of action due to be endorsed by heads of state and government at the summit on December 10-12.

However, UN officials say they see no compromise emerging. They expect governments to decide instead to continue talks on internet governance with the aim of reaching accord by 2005, when the second stage of the two-part summit is due to take place in Tunisia.

"They're no longer going to try to agree on this," a UN official said last week.

Poorer nations such as Brazil, India, South Africa, China and Saudi Arabia, as well as some richer ones, are growing dissatisfied with the workings of California-based Icann (the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers), the semi-private internet address regulator set up five years ago.

The critics argue that the internet is a public resource that should be managed by national governments and, at an international level, by an intergovernmental body such as the International Telecommunications Union, the UN agency that is organising the information summit. [...]

Arrested Russian oil tycoon passed shares to Jacob Rothschild

LONDON (Agence France-Presse) — Control of Mikhail Khodorkovsky's shares in the Russian oil giant Yukos have passed to renowned banker Jacob Rothschild, under a deal they concluded prior to Mr. Khodorkovsky's arrest, the Sunday Times reported.

Voting rights to the shares passed to Mr. Rothschild, 67, under a "previously unknown arrangement" designed to take effect in the event that Mr. Khodorkovsky could no longer "act as a beneficiary" of the shares, it said.

Mr. Khodorkovsky, 40, whom Russian authorities arrested at gunpoint and jailed pending further investigation last week, was said by the Sunday Times to have made the arrangement with Mr. Rothschild when he realized he was facing arrest.

Mr. Rothschild now controls the voting rights on a stake in Yukos worth almost $13.5 billion, the newspaper said in a dispatch from Moscow.

Mr. Khodorkovsky owns 4 percent of Yukos directly and 22 percent through a trust of which he is the sole beneficiary, according to Russian analysts. From the figures reported in the Sunday Times, it appeared Mr. Rothschild had received control of all Mr. Khodorkovsky's shares.

The two have known each other for years "through their mutual love of the arts" and their positions as directors of the Open Russia Foundation, Yukos' philanthropic branch, it said. Russian authorities Thursday froze billions of dollars of shares held by Mr. Khodorkovsky and his top lieutenants in Yukos — throwing control of the country's largest oil company into limbo and causing frenzied selling on financial markets.

Russian prosecutors said owners of the shares are still entitled to dividends and retain voting rights, but can no longer sell their stakes. They said the freeze was necessary as collateral for the $1 billion that Mr. Khodorkovsky and his associates are accused of misappropriating during the 1990s.

Mr. Rothschild is the British head of Europe's wealthy and influential Rothschild family, and runs his own investment empire.

Comment: Apparently the Rothschilds were one step ahead of Putin.

Taiwan may scrap purchase of US submarines

Monday November 10, 3:19 PM

Taiwan may back out of its plan to buy eight submarines from the United States claiming they have been overpriced, the China Times reported.

Washington had estimated the eight conventional submarines for Taiwan's navy could cost up to 11 billion US dollars, more than double the market price, a defense official told the paper.

If the differences over the cost could not be resolved, Taiwan's navy might switch to buying used submarines instead, the official said. [...]


by Gordon Thomas

Prince Charles’ aides panicked him into revealing he is at the centre of a serious allegation – after the aides learned intimate details still exist on one of seven video tapes Princess Diana made before her death six years ago.

The tapes were filmed at her request by a former BBC cameraman. Last week, he was interviewed by a senior MI6 officer at his home in California.

Afterwards, he broke six years of self-imposed silence to disclose all he knows about the tapes in an exclusive interview.

His revelations are guaranteed to escalate the crisis now engulfing the Royal Family.
“I was told by the intelligence officer that the tapes involve important matters for not just Charles, but the entire Royal Family. I cannot therefore say where the tapes are today. But they have definitely not been destroyed,” he said.

Sir Michael Peat, the prince’s private secretary, learned last Thursday that the tapes still exist.

Charles was immediately informed when he arrived in Oman. Next day, he issued his unprecedented denial to try and end mounting speculation about the incident.

The cameraman said he was told the tapes were stored in a bank vault in the United States.

Diana’s former butler, Paul Burrel, has denied “they are anything to do with me”.
This week, Royal legal advisers will explore how they can recover the videos that not only contain intimate details of Diana’s marriage to Charles – but also deal with his relationship with Michael Fawcett. [...]

This is what the cameraman said are on the Diana tapes.

“She describes the incident that is now at the centre of what is happening. She spoke of her concern about Charles relationship with Fawcett. She believed it played an important part in the end of her marriage.

“She was very calm and factual. The only time I sensed her pain was when she spoke of Camilla Parker-Bowles. On one tape, she talks of catching Charles and Camilla de flagrante. She reveals that she had listened in to their phone sex talk. She said that Camilla was the raunchier of the two. [...]

“But time and again, she came back to Fawcett. She described how she came across he and Charles whispering to each other in Palace corridors (Kensington Palace). Several times, she said she didn’t like the way he seemed to dominate Charles, not just in a physical way, but mentally also.

“On one video, she spoke at length about sexual goings on among the Royal Household staff. She claimed Charles tolerated it. I made a note after one video filming that she spoke of one staff party being like something out of Caligula.” [...]

“While the tapes are unlikely to have any bearing on national security, their contents have a direct bearing on the Royal Family and it is the duty of the security service to protect the Crown,” said a source.

The world’s foremost private detective, Julius Kroll, will be asked to help Prince Charles recover the videos.

On returning to Britain, Charles was told by Royal lawyers that they could mount a successful case to reclaim the tapes as they form part of Diana’s copyright over which Princes William and Harry could now claim full rights.

Prince William and Camilla Parker-Bowles, key members of the crisis management team Charles set up before he flew home from Oman, will also urge him to have an urgent meeting with Britain’s two security chiefs to explore what one Royal insider has called “a plot to destabilise the entire Royal Family”.

Both Sir Richard Dearlove, head of MI6, and Eliza Manningham-Buller, director of MI5, have already indicated in briefings to Downing Street that “the sustained campaign of smears” is already having a world wide effect on the Royal Family. [...]

Bishop's anti-gay comments spark legal investigation

By Richard Alleyne

A bishop who angered homosexuals by suggesting they seek a psychiatric cure is to be investigated by police to see if his outspoken views amount to a criminal offence, it emerged yesterday.

The Rt Rev Dr Peter Forster, the Bishop of Chester, infuriated homosexuals both in and out of the Church of England when he said last week that they could and should seek medical help to "reorientate" themselves.

The Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement (the LGCM) accused him of putting forward an "offensive" and "scandalous" argument from a bygone age. [...]

6-year-old suspected of killing grandfather

Sunday, November 9, 2003
News Tribune

A 6-year-old Cole County boy released Monday from a mental health facility is believed to have shot and killed his grandfather Friday afternoon, Cole County Sheriff John Hemeyer said Saturday.

James Zbinden, 59, was found dead at his home, 2215 Ridge Rd., shortly after 2:30 p.m. Friday, Hemeyer said.

Zbinden's grandson, who has not been identified, apparently shot Zbinden with a .22 caliber rifle.

"We believe, at this time, that he killed his grandfather intentionally," Hemeyer said. [...]

Strange noises are coming from the sky (Utah, USA)

High Country Beat
By Ed Kociela

It's time to admit that my friend and office-mate Jennifer Weaver and friend and radio host Steve Miner are not the only people with unusual UFO experiences recently.

I haven't seen anything funny in the sky, but I sure have heard some strange rumblings -- and I know it's for real because my wife has heard them and even my dogs have been startled from their napping a couple of times over the past few weeks by strange noises from the sky.

Not long ago, another friend told me he saw the B-2 bomber flying over Cedar Mountain. This guy is about to become a pilot and has a set of eyes on him that an eagle would covet, so I don't doubt his report.

The B-2, however, doesn't sound like some of the things that have shaken my home and ears.

Whatever it is, it's flying very high -- out of my eyesight at least -- and fast. And with the sound seemingly echoing around the valley, it's difficult to pinpoint the spot in the sky where this aircraft is flying.

Now just because we can't identify it doesn't mean there are aliens patrolling the neighborhood, to be sure, although it would be interesting to cover an extraterrestrial landing.

I have noticed that there have been a number of corkscrew contrails flowing across the sky, indicating some sort of jet propulsion. Normal jet engines do not produce that kind of pattern, at least in my experience. Calling the U.S. Air Force would be futile, especially since we are so close to Area 51 and Nellis Air Force Base where the military does things we're not supposed to know about. But if anybody else has heard or seen something strange in the skies, let me know. I hate to sound like Art Bell, but there is definitely something odd going on above us.

'Preposterous universe' still perplexes experts

The Dallas Morning News

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – The Elegant Universe is an excellent title for a book, and a PBS special.

Unfortunately, it's not all that accurate. Just as real life is never as neat and clean as it is in novels and movies, the real universe defies the simple pictures that popularizations paint of it. In fact, the universe is a mess.

"This is a preposterous universe," University of Chicago physicist Sean Carroll told a group of science writers last month at a seminar in Knoxville. "Most of us could have done a better job of designing a universe if we'd been given that as a homework assignment."

One major sign of the universe's messiness is its makeup. The list of its ingredients turns out to be a recipe for disaster. Only about 3 percent of the total mass-energy mixture is in the form of ordinary matter, the sort that planets and people and stars are made of. About 26 percent is some exotic sort of matter, a species not yet identified (and almost surely a species that has not yet been discovered). And the 70 percent remaining is even more mysterious – it's an unknown form of energy that took command of the universe a few billion years ago, forcing space to expand at an accelerating rate. Hence the disaster – the universe seems to be blowing itself up. [...]

Want better eyesight? Just train your brain

By Arlina Arshad
The Straits Times
November 10, 2003

GOOD eyesight is not about having the most perfectly-shaped eyeballs or the most powerful contact lenses. It's about how hard your brain works.

A trial here with 16 patients, all mildly shortsighted, found that the brain can be trained to see sharper images without the aid of glasses, contact lenses, drugs or surgery. [...]

The pilot study, conducted jointly since March by the Singapore Eye Research Institute (Seri) and the Defence Medical Research Institute, uses the neural correction technology of NeuroVision, a medical technology company based in Israel.

This is based on two decades of research on how the brain sees. The researchers' work has been published in scientific journals such as Nature.

'You're training your brain to see clearly,' said Seri director Donald Tan. [...]

What did we do to wipe out Neanderthals?


Why did the Neanderthals die out? This is one of the biggest mysteries of human evolution.

These were people who flourished in Europe and the Near East for more than 100,000 years, yet vanished from their last stronghold in Europe about 30,000 years ago — at roughly the same time that modern humans arrived. [...]

Greenpeace protests against new Finnish nuclear power plant

HELSINKI (AFP) Nov 10, 2003

Environmental activists from Greenpeace staged protests on Monday against Finnish energy group Fortum's plans to invest in the construction of a fifth nuclear reactor in Finland.

"We are protesting and advising and warning Fortum that it should not invest in this nuclear reactor," Kaisa Kosonen, campaigner with Greenpeace Finland, told AFP.

"The people in the Nordic region don't want more nuclear power, they want alternative and renewable energy sources," she said. [...]

German anti-nuclear activists stage weekend protests

Earthquake jolts Mizoram

New Delhi, Nov 8 (UNI) - An earthquake measuring 4.3 on the Richter scale shook Mizoram this morning but there were no reports of injuries or damage to property.

India Meteorological Department (IMD) said here that the earthquake occurred at 1129 hrs in the region bordering Bangladesh.

The tremor was described by IMD as of "slight" intensity.

'08: No Joke

Howard Fineman
Nov. 17 issue

Arnold Schwarzenegger's victory is prompting talk that a new wave of celebs will enter politics, among them Dennis Miller, George Clooney, and now Al Franken.

THE MINNESOTA NATIVE and 'SNL' alum has played politics for chuckles in best sellers that skewer loudmouthed conservatives while lampooning his own admittedly over-the-top ego. Franken even wrote a book ('Why Not Me?') imagining himself as president, cowering in the Oval Office and beset by 'mood swings.' But this is no joke: responding to entreaties from home-state friends, Franken isn't laughing off the idea of running for the U.S. Senate. A friend of the late senator Paul Wellstone, Franken defends the fiery memorial service held in Wellstone's honor in his current book, 'Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them.' He's 'intrigued' by the idea of taking on Wellstone's successor, Republican Norm Coleman. 'Republicans always say, 'How dare Susan Sarandon and Martin Sheen get involved in politics!' Franken tells NEWSWEEK. 'Then Arnold showed up and it was 'Oooh! Arnold's running! Oooh! The Terminator! Well, "F" you!' So, is he serious? 'I used to say I'd never run because I'd be a terrible officeholder. Now I don't want to say that, because it would look bad if I ever did run.'

5 law officers disciplined for fishing on duty

Associated Press
Nov. 7, 2003, 7:26AM

AUSTIN -- Five police officers were supposed to be protecting a Central Texas power plant against possible terrorism, but they went fishing instead.

The officers, including a lieutenant and a sergeant, were suspended last month for fishing at the Decker Creek Power Plant at Lake Walter E. Long while on duty, according to disciplinary memos obtained by the Austin American-Statesman in today's online edition. A second sergeant was suspended for not reporting the others.

According to the reports obtained Wednesday, the officers were spotted in uniform at least once cleaning the fish they had just caught. The fishing had reportedly continued for a year without action.

"Quite frankly, we are very disappointed," Assistant Police Chief Rick Coy told the newspaper. "We believe our job is to protect the community, and that's what we expect our officers to do."

Most of the officers were assigned to the plant as part of the department's Homeland Defense Unit. [...]

Police cited a number of department violations, including continuing to fish after being ordered to stop and instructing plant security guards to allow fellow officers onto the facility to fish. [...]

Comment: To be fair, somebody has to protect the little mutated fishies and the radioactive water from those dastardly terrorists!

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