Today's conditions brought to you by the Bush Junta - marionettes of their hyperdimensional puppet masters - Produced and Directed by the CIA, based on an original script by Henry Kissinger, with a cast of billions.... The "Greatest Shew on Earth," no doubt, and if you don't have a good sense of humor, don't read this page! It is designed to reveal the "unseen."
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December 19, 2003

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The material presented in the linked articles does not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the editors. Research on your own and if you can validate any of the articles, or if you discover deception and/or an obvious agenda, we will appreciate if you drop us a line! We often post such comments along with the article synopses for the benefit of other readers. As always, Caveat Lector!

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SARS, FLU, AIDS, humanity is not only under attack from "Terrorists", but from unseen viruses also. Be afraid, be very afraid! This mentality of fear is the main tool in the government's box of tricks to keep humanity enslaved. The battle is, as it always has been, for your mind.

Diana and Dodi were murdered, the victims of a MI6 conspiracy, Dodi's father reiterates the accusations and claims to have overwhelming evidence to back up his case. A judge in the UK has put the kabosh on any investigation however.

Courts in New York and San Francisco rule against the legal limbo status given by the Bush Reich to terrorism detainees. The pressure on Bush is continuing to build... Released videos reveal that post-9/11 detainees were abused by federal prison guards.

Americans don't need to think, Polls do it for them, as they sit transfixed by "(un)reality TV". Back in the "real" world, it seems Saddam had more than just vegetables in his spider hole - he allegedly had a list of loyalists that infiltrated the Iraqi CPA. We can't wait to see what else he had in his tiny hideout. Perhaps he had all of Iraq's WMD's, a laptop containing e-mails from the leaders of Syria, Iran, and North Korea, and maybe even one of those drones that was supposed to be able to fly all the way to the US and unleash hell on the American people.

US military reserve forces continue to equip themselves for Iraq duty, a US commander orders his troops to attend a Christmas party, a European probe makes it to Mars, and Global Dimming.

Fever and the Mystery Disease SARS: A Bio-Terror Weapon Spreads Around the World

Marshall Smith, Editor, BroJon Gazette

The "mystery" disease SARS, severe acute respiratory syndrome, is being used as a "bio-terror campaign" by the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control. They have used normal diseases with strange new names to terrorize people many times in the last 30 years. SARS is clearly a new variation of an old Influenza. So what makes SARS so dangerous?

Most flu comes from China, as in Asian Flu, Hong Kong Flu or Swine Flu, since it is mostly caused by rare avian or bird viruses crossing species with pig viruses. Many rural Chinese farmers raise flocks of geese side-by-side with herds of swine or pigs. Geese and pigs are a traditional Chinese food source. Humans have no natural immunity to avian bird viruses, and are able to "catch" pig or porcine viruses because of the similarity of human and porcine lung and organ tissue.

If a pig is ill with porcine flu and then eats droppings from an avian-virus-infected goose the result is a new cross-species flu virus, with the outer lining of a pig and the inner viral core of a goose, which spreads from central China around the world and usually kills about 100,000 or more each year in the U.S. Several new variations of goose-pig generated influenza occur each year coming mostly from China. Skip all the CDC recommended flu shots. They are much more dangerous killers than any Influenza. Here's why.

The problem is the method of treatment. The viral core molecule of RNA cannot reproduce if the body temperature is above 101 degrees. Humans have genetically developed a natural method to defeat viral infections called a fever. With a mild fever of 101 degrees the telomers on the ends of the RNA molecule cannot attach and the virus cannot reproduce itself, and the body's white blood cells quickly destroy the invading virus. But the modern "regular" treatment for a fever from a cold or flu is to reduce the fever to ease the discomfort. This is wrong.

By lowering the fever below 100 degrees, the invading virus is allowed to reproduce and spread massively throughout the body. If the multitude of viruses finally cross the blood/brain barrier the result is a fever of 104 or more, causing brain damage or death. This is often called Reyes Syndrome or Viral Encephalitis and is not a disease but the result of improper treatment with aspirin or other NSAIDs to lower the natural viral infection fever.

In the last 50 years a whole new large section in your local drug store has arisen called "Cold and Flu" medications. There seems to be a vast variety of various types to choose from, but really there are only two flavors": those containing Ibuprofen and those with Acetaminophen. These are commonly known as Advil and Tylenol. There are many other similar NSAIDs, but in cold medications those are the two most commonly found.

They are about the same, which is why they both remain side-by-side on the store shelves. These are both NSAIDs (NonSteroidial Anti-Inflammatory Drugs) or synthetic forms of aspirin. Since aspirin is an old Native-American Indian traditional medication, made from Aspen Tree bark hence the name Aspirin, its patent ran out over a century ago. But the newer synthetic forms are still patent medicines; and thus the reason for the multi-million dollar ad campaigns each year to get you to buy the higher cost synthetics whenever you get a cough or cold. Don't buy them.

If you become infected with even a single cold or flu virus, it quickly within minutes will enter one of your nose or lung cells, make many copies of itself and then the copies burst out of the damaged cell carrying with them a covering made from the old cell wall material. This covering is to protect the virus from attack since your body will attack and destroy all "foreign" invaders. But since the new viruses are covered with cell wall material made from your own body the white blood cells of your immune system can't see them. These many new viruses also within minutes invade other nearby healthy cells and repeat the process. Without anything to stop it, within several hours that one single virus will have copied itself many millions of times quickly overwhelming your body.

But that very first infected cell, when it became destroyed by the infecting virus sent out a hormonal signal created by bursting the cell wall which causes two things to occur. First, the white blood cells stored in your lymph nodes are sent out to seek and find the cause of the damaged cell. Second, a fever is induced.

In order to raise your body temperature to create a fever the heat losses through your extremities, such as the hands, feet and skin are reduced by slowing down and constricting the peripheral blood flow. This causes your hands, feet and skin to feel cold. You may even shiver. This occurs within several minutes of the first viral damage. This is called "catching a cold" and the cold feeling is the first step to raising your core body temperature to above 101 degrees to stop any further viral reproduction and infection. At this point you may feel achy and uncomfortable, with a chilled sensation and even a mild fever. You may even have sneezed a few times, caused by the nasal irritation of the invading virus. [...]

Here's a prediction. Based on the fact that there is as yet no test to distinguish SARS from any other cold or flu, some medical labs are calling SARS a form of cold virus and others call it some kind of new influenza virus. The CDC is defining a case of SARS as a flu-like fever and having had recent contact with a person from Asia or China. In this day of jet travel, that pretty much includes anybody in the world who comes down with a cold or flu.

Since there are usually several hundreds of millions of cases of cold or flu each year, by mis-labeling SARS, that means without any clear differential diagnosis to separate the fever of SARS from flu, the number of reported cases in the next week will skyrocket from 1,500 to about 10,000, and to around 200,000 by the end of the month. Why?

Because your doctor does not have access to all those expensive tests to determine which brand of flu you might have, he just assumes you have that thing that's going around" which in this case is SARS. Thus you are diagnosed as having SARS even if you only have the sniffles. Not because there was any test to determine if that is true, but simply because, to be safe, your doctor assumes it to be true. The CDC can then toot their horn and claim they have discovered a new rapidly expanding epidemic based on the number of "reported cases," but all they have really done is mis-label flu as SARS. Read more here.

Comment: Above it is stated that humans have no immunity to avian bird viruses. We find it very interesting that the Flu vaccine, presently being administered to all of America (if the government has its way) and many in the UK and Europe, is produced in hens eggs. These eggs are "specific pathogen free" which merely means that they were tested for a limited number of viruses, and declared free of any virus that could kill the hen. However as has been noted before, a virus that is not lethal to a hen could be to a human.

The avian theme with a report earlier this year that the US military have successfully reengineered the Spanish Flu that killed up to 40 million people in 1918, again using a lab specialising in avian diseases:

" Recreating the deadly flu may create international unease, in particular because of the leadership of the US military in the project.

The Spanish flu reconstruction began at a University of Georgia biosafety level three (BSL-3) facility in 1999. Researchers from US universities, the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, and the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) are involved. The lab specializes in diseases of poultry, including avian influenza."

Comment: More recently we see further evidence of military involvement in the engineering of SARS:

Taiwan Military Researcher tests positive for SARS

18 Dec 2003
Stephen S. Morse <ssm20@columbia.edu>
AP Report

Taiwan's 1st SARS patient in 5 months didn't strictly quarantine himself at home as officials originally said he did, and 2 colleagues who had close contact with him have flown to America, officials said on Thu 18 Dec 2003. These developments raised more serious questions about decisions made by the patient, a 44 year old military scientist who officials say might have caught SARS while mishandling virus samples in his lab. Officials also have said he allegedly wasn't wearing safety gear, like a gown and gloves. Although the researcher suspected that he might have been exposed to the highly contagious virus, he kept his plans to go to Singapore on 7 Dec 2003 to attend a conference, officials said.

Singapore already has quarantined 70 people who had contact with the man. Taiwanese officials have issued quarantine orders for 25 people, including 3 Americans, one Japanese, and a Singaporean who flew with the scientist when he returned from Singapore on 10 Dec 2003. Officials said they were searching for the foreigners. So far, none of the quarantined has developed SARS symptoms, and officials have said the man was asymptomatic during his travels and probably didn't infect anyone.

When the patient tested positive for SARS on Wednesday, officials said that he had quarantined himself at home since developing a fever upon his return on 10 Dec 2003. But on Thu 18 Dec 2003, Shih Wen-yi, a spokesman for Taiwan's Center for Disease Control, told reporters that the man didn't stay at home the entire time. Shih said that the scientist spent the night at his work dormitory on 10 Dec 2003. The next day, his wife drove the researcher -- who wore a surgical mask -- to a suburban Taipei medical clinic, he said. After his check-up, the scientist went back home and waited 5 days before he went to a hospital, Shih said. This was a violation of guidelines that require SARS researchers to seek immediate hospital care, he said. [...]

Comment: Naturally there is much more to this, and we will keep digging in an attempt to expose the truth. At this stage however, there is enough evidence to conclude that the whole SARS and present FLU epidemic is manufactured more than natural, and designed to further control and restrict the physical, emotional and spiritual freedom of the global population. To simply see this affords at least some protection.

Flu Outbreak Worst in 30 Years in West

Dec 17
DANIEL Q. HANEY

The current flu outbreak is the worst for young U.S. children in years, several experts say, perhaps worse in Western states than the Hong Kong flu of 1968-69.

A government epidemiologist and other disease doctors predict flu deaths among babies and toddlers will exceed the estimated 92 who die in an average flu year. [...]

Diana's Death Likened to MI6 Plot

John Robertson – The Scotsman December 16, 2003

More than six years after the deaths of Diana, Princess of Wales, and Dodi Al-Fayed, the questions surrounding the Paris car crash in which they were killed continue to grip the public imagination.

The Court of Session in Edinburgh became the centre of international attention yesterday as Mohamed al-Fayed, the owner of Harrods, pursued his search for the truth about how, or why, his son and Diana died.

"I have been fighting for six years, but I can see the light and justice can be done. What I am doing is for the nation and for the ordinary people ... Eighty-five per cent believe Diana was murdered with my son."

The court heard Mr Fayed’s counsel contend that he had "substantial grounds" for fearing that the British security services were implicated. The crash, it was claimed, had "striking similarities" to an earlier MI6 plot to remove Slobodan Milosevic, then president of Serbia.

Colin Boyd, QC, the Lord Advocate, has refused an inquiry into the crash, but Mr Fayed maintains that as a resident of Scotland, at Balnagown Castle, Kildary, Easter Ross, he is entitled to secure his rights under the tenets of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).

Mr Fayed argues there should be an effective, official inquiry when someone appears to have been killed as a result of the use of force and is asking Lord Drummond Young to set aside the Lord Advocate’s decision as incompatible with the ECHR.

Richard Keen, QC, for Mr Fayed, said that the official line from the French police after the crash in a tunnel in Paris in the early hours of 31 August, 1997, was that it had been an accident caused by Henri Paul, assistant head of security at the Ritz hotel and the driver of the Mercedes the couple died in. The French police said Mr Paul was drunk and on anti-depressants at the time of the crash. Mr Paul also died in the incident.

"He [Mr Paul] had been in the Ritz Hotel for two hours before he left and is recalled by all those who spoke with him as being entirely sober," said Mr Keen. He said British and American security services were monitoring Diana and Dodi in the month leading up to their deaths and that Henri Paul may have been an MI6 informant.

And on the night of the crash Mr Paul had taken a "highly unusual route" from the Ritz to Dodi’s apartment.

The QC said pieces of a broken tail-light, from a white Fiat Uno, had been found at the scene of the crash, and there were marks on the bumper of the Mercedes.

Inquiries had "led to the suggestion" that the driver of the Fiat might have been James Andanson, a member of the paparazzi who had been pursuing the couple that summer, although he denied being in Paris that night. In 2000, Mr Andanson’s body was found. It was initially treated as murder, but then was declared to have been suicide.

Mr Keen said there had been reports of a flash of light in the tunnel, which would have blinded a driver.

A former MI6 agent had said the circumstances bore "striking similarities" to a plan in 1992 to assassinate Milosevic. The agent had also revealed that MI6 had an informant on the security staff at the Ritz Hotel. After the crash, it was learned that Mr Paul had 13 bank accounts containing more than a million francs.

"It might suggest he had at least some kind of part-time job," said Mr Keen.

Diana had expressed fears for her safety, and Mr Keen added: "If her fears had only one ounce of truth in October 1996, one is entitled to ask how much greater they may have been in August 1997 when the general anticipation was that a person denigrated by sections of the establishment was about to become stepfather to the future king," said Mr Keen.

Mr Keen said Diana and Princes William and Harry were being monitored from around 10 July, 1997, when they arrived at the Fayed estate in St Tropez in the south of France.

After the couple arrived at Beauvais airport on August 30, Mr Keen told the court, "as a matter of practice French security reported the arrival of the Princess to the UK embassy assuming they were not aware of it.

Mr Keen added that the US National Security Agency has confirmed the Princess was the subject of monitoring at the time of the crash.

The hearing is expected to last several days, and the judge will issue his ruling later.

Court Rulings Slam Bush's Terror Strategy

By DAVID KRAVETS, AP Legal Affairs Writer
December 19, 2003

SAN FRANCISCO - Two federal courts ruled that the U.S. military cannot deny prisoners access to lawyers or the American courts by detaining them indefinitely, dealing twin setbacks to the Bush administration's strategy in the war on terror.

One of Thursday's rulings favored the 660 "enemy combatants" held at the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The other involved American citizen Jose Padilla, who was seized in Chicago in an alleged plot to detonate a radioactive "dirty bomb" and declared as an enemy combatant.

In Padilla's case, the New York-based 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals (news - web sites) ordered the former gang member released from military custody within 30 days and if the government chooses, tried in civilian courts. The White House said the government would appeal and seek a stay of the decision.

In the other case, a three-judge panel of the San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that prisoners held at Guantanamo Bay Naval Base should have access to lawyers and the American court system.

The White House said the ruling was inconsistent with the president's constitutional authority as well as with other court rulings. [...]

Tapes Show Abuse of 9/11 Detainees

By Dan Eggen
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, December 19, 2003; Page A01

Hundreds of videotapes that federal prison officials had claimed were destroyed show that foreign nationals held at a New York detention facility after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks were victims of physical and verbal abuse by guards, the Justice Department's inspector general said yesterday.

An investigation by Inspector General Glenn A. Fine also found that officials at the Metropolitan Detention Center (MDC) in Brooklyn, N.Y., which is run by the U.S. Bureau of Prisons, improperly taped meetings between detainees and their lawyers, and used excessive strip searches and restraints to punish those in confinement.

The report concluded that as many as 20 guards were involved in the abuse, which included slamming prisoners against walls and painfully twisting their arms and hands. Fine recommended discipline for 10 employees and counseling for two others who remain employed by the federal prison system. He also said the government should notify the employers of four former guards about their conduct. [...]

One focus of the report was an American flag T-shirt that hung from a wall at the MDC with the slogan, "These colors don't run." Four corrections employees told investigators that the shirt, which hung in a prisoner receiving area for months, was covered with bloodstains, including some that appeared to have come from detainees being slammed into the wall. [...]

War in Iraq was right - poll

19/12/2003

Americans think the war in Iraq was the right decision by a 2-1 margin and are more inclined to approve of the job done by President George Bush following the capture of Saddam Hussein, a poll by US news agency the Associated Press has found.

They remain wary, however, of the continuing deadly conflict in Iraq.

Saddam’s capture appears to have given Bush’s re-election prospects a boost: the poll conducted for the AP by Ipsos-Public Affairs found that nearly half of respondents, 45%, said they would definitely support Bush’s re-election, while 31% said they would definitely vote against him.

A month ago, people were evenly divided on that question, at 37% definitely for and 37% definitely against.

Two-thirds in the poll said they were confident the United States would capture or kill Osama bin Laden, who is believed to have orchestrated the September 11, 2001 attacks. That figure is up from about half who felt that way in a poll in September.

More than six in 10 registered voters, 63%, said they approved of Bush’s handling of foreign policy and terrorism, up from 54% who felt that way in early December in an AP-Ipsos poll.

Bush’s overall job approval among voters was 59%, up from 53% in early December but still far below his mid-70s war ratings from earlier this year.

Comment: It is ridiculous to suggest that polls can be presented as representative of "Americans" in general, yet this is the message that is received by Americans when polls like this one are published - a self-fulfilling prophecy of sorts.

The average American hears or reads in the media that "the average American" thinks that "Bush is doing a good job" and is therefore spared the need to think for him/herself. In this way the average American citizen need only tune in to the report on the poll to know his opinion on any political "hot potato". As is evidenced by the report below, Americans can choose to scrutinize a reality TV show rather than Bush's revealing interview on ABC, yet still feel that they are in a position to express an opinion on political issues. One of the bonuses of "democracy" eh?

Paris Hilton beats President Bush in ratings

[...] More Americans watched Fox's "The Simple Life," which depicts the 22-year-old hotel heiress working on an Arkansas farm, than saw Bush being interviewed by Diane Sawyer, Nielsen Media Research said on Thursday. [...]

‘Gold Mine’

Saddam Hussein’s Loyalists Infiltrated U.S. Operations in Iraq

By Martha Raddatz
ABCNEWS.com

Dec. 18 — Agents for deposed Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein have penetrated the U.S. command in Iraq, ABCNEWS has learned. As a result, they have the potential to undermine U.S. authority.

Among the documents found in Saddam's briefcase when he was captured last weekend was a list of names of Iraqis who have been working with the United States — either in the Iraqi security forces or the Coalition Provisional Authority — and are feeding information to the insurgents, a U.S. official told ABCNEWS.

"We were badly infiltrated," said the official, adding that finding the list of names is a "gold mine." [...]

Comment: How convenient... Now the US can remove Iraqis from any important leadership positions.

Explosion Rocks Office of Iraq Shi'ite Party

Fri Dec 19, 2:43 AM ET

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - A blast ripped through a house belonging to Iraq's main Shi'ite Muslim political group early on Friday, killing at least one person and injuring seven, witnesses said. [...]

Reserve Unit Awaits OK to Use Steel Armor

By DAVID A. LIEB, Associated Press Writer
December 19, 2003

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - Fearing roadside bombs and sniper bullets, members of the Army Reserves' 428th Transportation Co. turned to a local steel fabricator to fashion extra armor for their 5-ton trucks and Humvees before beginning their journey to Iraq earlier this month.

But their armor might not make it into the war, because the soldiers didn't get Pentagon (news - web sites) approval for their homemade protection. [...]

Five Israeli "Refuseniks" Indicted, Sentenced to Three Years in Prison

GAZA, December 17, 2003 (IPC + Agencies)-- Five Israeli soldiers who refused military service in the occupied Palestinian territories have been indicted by the Israeli Jaffa military court on Tuesday. [...]

The advocate Dove Hanina, defending the five refuseniks, told the judge panel that the five Israeli soldiers refused service for conscience reasons and their draft is a contravention to the dignity and freedom of human beings. [...]

US commander orders staff to attend Christmas party

Ananova.com
09:44 Friday 19th December 2003

The commander of a US base near Southampton has warned staff they face disciplinary action if they miss their Christmas party.

Commander Raymond Langlais wrote to the 200-strong workforce, all but three of whom are British, saying they'll lose pay if they miss the party tonight. [...]

In a memo to staff, he wrote: "If you feel like I am trying to force FUN upon you, then you are correct." [...]

One British member of staff said: "No consideration has been given to those who do not celebrate Christmas due to their religion or choice."

$14.6 billion later, Boston's Big Dig wraps up

By Seth Stern | Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor
December 19, 2003 edition

BENEATH BOSTON – With a tellingly simple ribbon-cutting ceremony, the last underground segment of Boston's Big Dig project opens Friday - completing major construction on one of the most complex and controversial engineering projects in human history.

It may not look as dramatic as the Hoover Dam, but the revamp of traffic flows in one of America's oldest cities rivals any past US public-works project in complexity - and outpaced them all in cost. [...]

Comment: It is quite telling that the most expensive US public-works project ever cost $14.6 billion, while hundreds of billions are spent on military endeavors without a second thought.

Japan to Buy U.S. Missile Defense System

Bush Cabal Hides Patriot II Police State in HR2417

by REP. RON PAUL/ REP. DENNIS MOORE

Mr. Speaker, I rise with great concerns over the Intelligence Authorization Conference Report. I do not agree that Members of Congress should vote in favor of an authorization that most know almost nothing about--including the most basic issue of the level of funding.

What most concerns me about this conference report, though, is something that should outrage every single American citizen. I am referring to the stealth addition of language drastically expanding FBI powers to secretly and without court order snoop into the business and financial transactions of American citizens. These expanded internal police powers will enable the FBI to demand transaction records from businesses, including auto dealers, travel agents, pawnbrokers and more, without the approval or knowledge of a judge or grand jury.

This was written into the bill at the 11th hour over the objections of mmbers of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which would normally have jurisdiction over the FBI. [...]

Should Bill O'Reilly Be Institutionalized?

memes.org

"Now you've got the Matt Drudges of the world and these other people, Michael Moore and all of these crazies, all right, no responsibility... that is a threat to democracy, I think."

"There is no other cure than to kill Matt Drudge," O'Reilly charged on the IMUS in the MORNING radio show.

"I just want to tell everybody that Matt Drudge is smoking crack - right now, in South Miami Beach on Washington Avenue... And the authorities should know it."

XXXXX DRUDGE REPORT XXXXX THU DEC 18, 2003 09:25:08 ET XXXXX

HOST UNHINGED AFTER SALES FIGURES REVEALED; CALLS DRUDGE 'THREAT TO DEMOCRACY' [...]

Comment: For our readers not residing in the US, O'Reilly is a supposed political commentator. This is an example of the level of discourse that is carried on in the US. A number of US citizens turn to O'Reilly to tell them what to think.

Security plans for July emerge

By Rick Klein and Corey Dade
Boston Globe Staff
12/19/2003

During this summer's Democratic National Convention, the FleetCenter will be sealed off by a five-block ring of security in which only credentialed delegates, journalists, and authorized police can enter. A far broader swath of downtown will be designated a "soft" security zone, in which some streets will be closed, police will spot-search pedestrians and vehicles, and residents may be asked to carry special identification. [...]

Comment: America, home of the Police State.

Sony Unveils World's First 'Running' Humanoid Robot

By Edwina Gibbs
Thu Dec 18,12:20 PM ET

TOKYO (Reuters) - He may not be able to give you a run for your money but one quick step for Sony Corp.'s Qrio humanoid robot is one big step for robots in general.

Electronics and entertainment giant Sony said on Thursday that it had developed the world's first running -- okay, jogging -- robot. [...]

The sleek and diminutive Qrio, which until recently had been known as Sony's SDR robot entertaining crowds with fluid and funky dance motions, can now trot at a speed of 15 yards per minute.

If 23-inch, 15-pound Qrio were average human-size, that would translate into 1.5 miles an hour. [...]

Beagle launches successfully

BBC
Friday, 19 December, 2003, 11:38 GMT


Beagle 2 has successfully separated from its "mothership" for the final leg of the journey to Mars.

Mike McKay, flight operations director at the European Space Operations Centre (Esoc) at Darmstadt, Germany, confirmed the separation just after 1110 GMT.

The tiny probe will now glide the last three million kilometres to the Red Planet alone; silent, powerless and in hibernation mode.

The lander is expected to touch down on Mars on Christmas Day, to search for signs of life, past or present. [...]

France to fingerprint for tourist visas

PARIS, Dec 17 (AFP) - From next year, France is to ask visitors from certain countries to supply fingerprints before they will be issued visas, Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy announced Wednesday.

Sarkozy, responding to a question in the parliament, said the measure would allow those staying in France illegally to be identified more quickly. He did not say which countries' citizens would be affected.

He noted that the move to putting "biometric" information - fingerprints and face-scans - on visas and passports in 2005 had been agreed at a meeting of British, French, Germany, Spanish and Italian interior ministers in October, and said that France merely wanted to implement the initiative a year early.

Goodbye sunshine

Each year less light reaches the surface of the Earth. No one is sure what's causing 'global dimming' - or what it means for the future. In fact most scientists have never heard of it.

David Adam
Thursday December 18, 2003
The Guardian

[...] Records show that over the past 50 years the average amount of sunlight reaching the ground has gone down by almost 3% a decade. It's too small an effect to see with the naked eye, but it has implications for everything from climate change to solar power and even the future sustainability of plant photosynthesis. In fact, global dimming seems to be so important that you're probably wondering why you've never heard of it before. [...]

2nd Tremor Felt in Earthquake-Prone Bulgarian Area

An earthquake measuring 2.9 on the Richter scale was felt on the territory of Bulgarian municipality of Strazhitsa at 4. 45 p.m. on Tuesday [...]

In 1986 a huge quake hit the same area, killing people and destroying thousands of buildings. [...]

Small earthquake rattles Oakland

OAKLAND -- A 3.1 magnitude earthquake shook parts of Oakland on Wednesday afternoon, rattling workers in some downtown office buildings while going unnoticed by many others. [...]

Toadfish's steamy love life is revealed

[...] The sound -- a perfect A-flat -- was a mystery for years, blamed by some conspiracy theorists in the 1980s on secret experiments by the Army Corps of Engineers lab on the city's waterfront, on the local water treatment plant or even on extraterrestrials. [...]




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