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The most successful tyranny is not the one that uses force to assure uniformity but the one that removes the awareness of other possibilities, that makes it seem inconceivable that other ways are viable, that removes the sense that there is an outside.
Allan Bloom The Closing of the American Mind

Win the Cassiopaea House!


Ark's Jokes

New C 's Session
Sept. 14, 2002

Signs Supplement 6
Hope and Glory

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The Winds of Change

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Splitting Realities

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To Be or Not to Be

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November 1, 2002 - Physics hoaxers discover Quantum Bogosity - From the Register, UK - Usenet posters describe the papers as "laughably incoherent". A fascinating thread on Usenet begun by John Baez brought the hoax to light, and persistent questioning by Arkadiusz Jadczyk on his website has done much to expose the pair. The Bogdanovs apparently foxed a New York Times reporter curious about the case, who after an angry denial from one of the hoaxers - denying that he was a hoaxer - dropped his investigation.

The Pentagon Plan to Provoke Terrorist Attacks - This column stands foursquare with the Honorable Donald H. Rumsfeld, U.S. Secretary of Defense, when he warns that there will be more terrorist attacks against the American people and civilization at large.

We know, as does the Honorable Donald H. Rumsfeld, U.S. Secretary of Defense, that this statement is an incontrovertible fact, a matter of scientific certainty.

And how can we and the Honorable Donald H. Rumsfeld, U.S. Secretary of Defense, be so sure that there will be more terrorist attacks against the American people and civilization at large?

Because these attacks will be instigated at the order of the Honorable Donald H. Rumsfeld, U.S. Secretary of Defense. [...]

According to a classified document prepared for Rumsfeld by his Defense Science Board, the new organization--the "Proactive, Preemptive Operations Group (P2OG)"--will carry out secret missions designed to "stimulate reactions" among terrorist groups, provoking them into committing violent acts which would then expose them to "counterattack" by U.S. forces.

In other words--and let's say this plainly, clearly and soberly, so that no one can mistake the intention of Rumsfeld's plan--the United States government is planning to use "cover and deception" and secret military operations to provoke murderous terrorist attacks on innocent people.

Let's say it again: Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney, George W. Bush and the other members of the unelected regime in Washington plan to deliberately foment the murder of innocent people--your family, your friends, your lovers, you--in order to further their geopolitical ambitions. [...]

The Rumsfeld-Bush plan to employ murder and terrorism for political, financial and ideological gain does have historical roots (besides al Qaeda, the Stern Gang, the SA, the SS, the KGB, the IRA, the UDF, Eta, Hamas, Shining Path and countless other upholders of Bushian morality, decency and freedom). We refer of course to Operations Northwoods, oft mentioned in these pages: the plan that America's top military brass presented to President John Kennedy in 1963, calling for a phony terrorist campaign--complete with bombings, hijackings, plane crashes and dead Americans--to provide "justification" for an invasion of Cuba, the Mafia/Corporate fiefdom which had recently been lost to Castro.

Kennedy rejected the plan, and was killed a few months later. Now Rumsfeld has resurrected Northwoods, but on a far grander scale, with resources at his disposal undreamed of by those brass of yore, with no counterbalancing global rival to restrain him--and with an ignorant, corrupt president who has shown himself all too eager to embrace any means whatsoever that will augment the wealth and power of his own narrow, undemocratic, elitist clique.

[ more...]

Smallpox and Forced Vaccination: What Every American Needs to Know - Biological warfare is not a new phenomenon. History is full of examples of warring factions trying to weaken each other’s troops or civilian populations by making them sick. From the ancient Greeks and Romans, who polluted the water supplies of their enemies with dead animals, to warriors in medieval times who catapulted corpses of people infected with bubonic plague into the castles of their enemies, to European conquerors who came to the New World and used smallpox contaminated blankets to kill native Indians with no natural immunity to smallpox, there is a long history of man using disease as a weapon. -

One month after the September 11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, DHHS Secretary Tommy Thompson called on industry and government to produce and stockpile 300 million doses of vaccinia virus vaccine by the end of 2002. He said that all Americans should know they “have their name on a vaccine shot in our inventory.” Cost estimates range from $500 million to nearly $2 billion.1,15,78 In order to be able to accomplish this goal, some in industry are calling for cutting the number of participants in vaccine trials and bypassing standard safety and efficacy requirements to quickly create a stockpile of vaccine. -

Drug companies competing for the multi-million dollar contract to produce enough vaccinia virus vaccine to vaccinate every American are asking Congress to pass legislation shifting all liability for vaccine injuries and deaths to the government (American taxpayer). Already, there are bills being drafted in Congress to create a federal fund to compensate victims of bioterrorism vaccines, such as vaccinia virus vaccine. -

The Working Group on Civilian Biodefense has stated “The discovery of a single suspected case of smallpox must be treated as an international health emergency.”49 Although it is very important to have a well crafted bioterrorism emergency response plan in place, along with enough vaccine for everyone who wants to use it, it is difficult to envision the necessity for giving public health officials the kind of sweeping police powers now being advocated by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). -

With funding and direction provided from the CDC, a lawyer at the Georgetown University Center for Law and the Public’s Health, Lawrence Gostin, has created model state legislation that will allow public health officials to mobilize and use “all or any part of the organized militia” to isolate, quarantine and force vaccination and medical treatment on American citizens in states where a Governor has called a “state of emergency” for 30 days or more. (Go to to read the law). -

Public health officials would be given the power to “coordinate all matters pertaining to the public health emergency,” including the right to seize private property such as “communications devices, carriers, real estate, fuels, food, clothing and health care facilities” and take control of “the use, sale, dispensing, distribution and transportation of food, fuel, clothing and other commodities, alcoholic beverages, firearms, explosives and combustibles” as well as take control of roads and public areas. -

If passed by the states, the law would give unprecedented police powers to public health officials and those they designate to charge citizens with misdemeanors and imprison them if they refuse to comply with vaccination, medical treatment or isolation orders without being able to go to court first. Those who participate in enforcing the law would not be held liable for any injury, death or loss of property which resulted. -

How did we get to this point in America, where public health officials would presume to appropriate the kind of police power they are now saying they should be given? It all goes back to a man name Jacobsen who, in 1905, sued the state of Massachusetts for requiring him and his son to get a second vaccinia virus (smallpox) vaccination or pay a $5 fine. Jacobsen refused to get revaccinated or pay the fine, saying that he and his son had had a bad reaction to a previous vaccination for smallpox and were afraid they would be injured or die from a second one. Jacobsen maintained that forcing him to be revaccinated was “an assault upon his person” and violated his constitutional rights. -

In its majority opinion in Jacobsen v Massachusetts, 197 U.S. 11(1905), the Supreme Court rejected the evidence Jacobsen presented to show that the vaccine can cause injury and death and that doctors cannot distinguish between those who will be harmed and those who will not be harmed. The Court concluded, “The matured opinions of medical men everywhere, and the experience of mankind, as all must know, negative the suggestion that it is not possible in any case to determine whether vaccination is safe.” -

The fact the Supreme Court at the turn of the 20th century did not have accurate medical information upon which to base their precedent-setting decision is unfortunate. It has been proven in the succeeding 96 years, most recently in the US Court of Claims in Washington, D.C. where nearly two billion dollars has been awarded to families whose children have been killed or been injured by mandated childhood vaccines, that often doctors cannot predict ahead of time which individuals will react to vaccines and die or be left with mental retardation, medication-resistant seizure disorders, paralysis, learning disabilities, ADHD, autism, chronic arthritis, or other immune and brain dysfunction. -

This is a critical point in measuring the consequences of assigning police powers to public health officials for the purpose of enforcing vaccination, particularly in cases where parents suspect their children are at increased risk for reacting to vaccines - even though government health officials, anxious to achieve a 100 percent vaccination rate, disagree. In their opinion, the 1905 Supreme Court justices acknowledged that vaccination must not be forced on a person whose physical condition would make vaccination “cruel and inhuman to the last degree. We are not to be understood as holding that the statute was intended to be applied in such a case or, if it was so intended, that the judiciary would not be competent to interfere and protect the health and life of the individual concerned.” -

Therefore, when interpreting Jacobsen v Massachusetts in 2002, it is important to remember that, although the Court agreed that states may enact “such reasonable regulations established directly by legislative enactment as will protect the public health and the public safety,” the Supreme Court made it clear that mandatory vaccination laws must not be applied unreasonably so as to result in harm to individuals. In other words, the state does not have the right to command that an individual sacrifice his or her life in the name of the public health. -

What, then, did the 1905 Supreme Court mean when it went on to declare that “it was the duty of the constituted authorities primarily to keep in view the welfare, comfort and safety of the many, and not permit the interests of the many to be subordinated to the wishes or convenience of the few?” The “wishes or convenience” of the few certainly does not translate into the ”lives” of the few, but still, the historical context in which this declaration was made is very important. -

These pictures show reactions to the vaccine.

And yes, I am itching like crazy just for having looked at them. But I think that we REALLY need to be informed on this issue. It seems that biological warfare is going to be initiated against America by its own government. Do NOT, I repeat, do NOT put off writing to your congressperson, phoning, faxing, repeatedly about the fact that we have a gang of fascists in the White House and we are NOT going to take it anymore.

In 1905, the political doctrine known as “utilitarianism” was a popular philosophical tenet, which judged the rightness or wrongness of an action by its consequences and held that an action that is moral or ethical results in the greatest happiness for the greatest numbers of people. With its emphasis on numbers of people, utilitarianism became a convenient way to justify state legislative policy. Karl Marx used utilitarian principles to formulate his economic theories and modern cost benefit analyses are also descendents of utilitarianism. - In 1927, jurist Oliver Wendall Holmes embraced the utilitarian rationale when he used Jacobsen v Massachusetts to justify the forced sterilization of a mentally retarded woman to, in effect, protect the public welfare. Writing for the majority in a 8-1 Supreme Court decision, Buck v Bell, 274 U.S. 200 (1927), Holmes said “The principle that sustains compulsory vaccination is broad enough to cover cutting the Fallopian tubes.” -

Not long after, Hitler would embrace the same kind of rationalization used by Holmes in that stunning 1927 legal opinion and go on to pursue his own brand of social engineering to eliminate from society those persons the Third Reich had judged to be genetically inferior, physically or mentally compromised, or socially unacceptable (homosexuals, political dissidents) because they were thought to be a threat to the public health and welfare.81 The tragic moral failure of utilitarianism was finally revealed at the Doctor’s Trial at Nuremberg after World War II, where it was discredited by the Nuremberg Tribunal as a pseudo-ethic.11 In its place stands the Nuremberg Code, which places the right of individuals to self determination and autonomy above the right of the state, science and medicine to derive benefits from them. - The human right to informed consent to medical interventions that can injure or kill is the centerpiece of modern bioethics. It insures that the individual has control over decisions and actions involving life and death, which are the most sacred of all decisions and actions humans are ever called upon to make. -

In response to the fear and anxiety that still hangs like a bad dream over our nation, in the mad scramble to “do something” to make Americans feel safe again, government officials employed by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have stepped forward to suggest that they and their state health department counterparts are the only ones who can keep us safe whenever they decide there is a “public health” emergency – if only we will give them the power to use the state militia to arrest, quarantine and forcibly vaccinate and medicate us. Not satisfied with that, they also want the power to seize our private property, including our homes, as well as our telephones, fax machines, computers, cars, fuel, food, clothing, firearms, prescription drugs and the alcoholic beverages in our refrigerator. Just in case you were thinking you could make it to the border before the public health militia comes to get you, they want the power to take over all roads in and out of your city and state, too. -

And to make sure they can’t get sued by anyone for anything they do, they are asking for total legal immunity for destroying your property or killing you or your children when they enforce the law. They are joined in this quest by the drug companies making “bioterrorism” vaccines, like the notoriously reactive smallpox vaccine never tested for safety in clinical trials. Not only are the drug companies demanding that Congress give them total legal immunity for all vaccine-induced injuries and deaths, they are also demanding that the bioterrorism vaccines they produce be exempt from normal federal safety and efficacy standards. -

Certainly, America should have enough smallpox vaccine or other “bioterrorism” vaccines for everyone who voluntarily wants to use them: but not ones that haven’t been properly tested. Certainly, America should have a sound, workable emergency plan in place in the event of a bioterrorism attack: but not one that places the life and liberty of the majority of citizens in the hands of an elite few, who will have the power to take both from citizens without their consent. -

This CDC-funded and initiated legislation treats us like runaway slaves in need of subjugation. The law’s proposed elimination of the informed consent principle, which has governed the ethical use of medical interventions that can injure or kill ever since the Doctor’s Trial at Nuremberg after World War II, is clear indication that public health officials want the sole authority to decide who will live and who will die and under what conditions. -

No state of emergency in a free society justifies the sacrifice of the most sacred human right: the right to voluntarily decide what you are willing to risk your life for or your child’s life for. What it means to be free doesn’t get more basic than that. -

In this time of great sadness, fear and confusion, Americans have a choice to make: either we defend the individual freedoms our forefathers fought and died to give us, or we sacrifice those freedoms and let the terrorists win. What we do will define who we are as a nation for many years to come. -

Bottom Line: What You Need to Know About Smallpox Vaccine

* It spreads vaccinia virus from one person to another, which can kill or injure people
* It causes reactions in almost everyone who gets it (fever, spread of vaccine virus to other parts of body) and causes extremely severe reactions in 1 in 4,000 persons which can lead to death or injury;
* It was never tested in clinical trials before it was used on a mass basis and mandated;
* Drug companies making old and new smallpox vaccines want normal federal vaccine safety and efficacy standards to be suspended so the vaccines can be licensed quickly;
* Drug companies do not want to be held liable for any injuries and deaths caused by old and new smallpox vaccines. -

Bottom Line: What You Need To Know About Proposed Laws in Your State When federal and state public health officials convince your Governor to declare a “public health” emergency, they want to be able to use the “state militia” to:

* take control of all roads leading into and out of your cities and state;
* seize your house, car, telephones, computers, food, fuel, clothing, firearms and alcoholic beverages for their own use (and not be held liable if these actions result in the destruction of your personal property);
* arrest, imprison and forcibly examine, vaccinate and medicate you and your children without your consent (and not be held liable if these actions result in your death or injury). -

What YOU Can Do: The most important action you can take is to give this information to as many people as you can and let your individual voice be heard. Let people know where you stand. Contact your local newspaper, radio and television stations and give them a copy of this report. Talk to as many people as you can in your community, especially your community leaders.

New quake shakes Italy, 29 confirmed dead - As Italy mourned the deaths in an earthquake of 26 young children and three adults, a new tremor forced the evacuation of the southern village where the tragedy occurred. The new quake measured 5.1 on the Richter scale, slightly less than the tremor Thursday morning that destroyed a school in the village of San Giuliano di Puglia and damaged local homes. See also: Seismic Monitor for great graphic representation.

General linked to Jenin atrocities named defence chief
A former Israeli army chief who presided over the controversial invasion of Jenin this year, and who is being investigated by Scotland Yard over allegations of war crimes, was named as Israel's new Defence Minister yesterday, an aide to Ariel Sharon said. Lieutenant-General Shaul Mofaz, who has flown back to Israel after Scotland Yard started investigating him during a fund-raising tour of Britain, had been Chief of Staff for most of the current Palestinian intifada until he retired in July. - In General Mofaz's time at its head, the Israeli army came under international criticism for tactics used against Palestinians, including the routine assassination of militants, in what the authorities euphemistically call "targeted killings". The army was condemned in particular criticism for its invasion and reoccupation of cities in the West Bank in April, especially Jenin, where bulldozers levelled an entire neighbourhood of more than 100 houses. Comment: Looks like sharon is planning to set himself up in power with a bunch of far right neo nazis...

Torture and rape stalk the streets of Chechnya - The Russians do not deny that these things happen. Indeed, an official order has been issued banning such abuses. - Polish writer Krystyna Kurczab-Redlich visited the region where she witnessed the brutal work done by Russia's soldiers in their fight against separatists. -

At 5am on 14 April 2002, an armoured vehicle moved slowly down Soviet Street. A young brown-haired man, covered in blood, his hands and feet bound, stood onboard. The vehicle stopped and the man was pushed off and brought over to a nearby chain-link fence. The car took off and there was a loud bang. The force of the explosion, caused either by a grenade or dynamite, sent the man's head flying into the neighbouring street, called Lenin's Commandments. -

Blowing people up, dead or alive, she reports, is the latest tactic introduced by the federal army into the conflict. It was utilised perhaps most effectively on 3 July in the village of Meskyer Yurt, where 21 men, women and children were bound together and blown up, their remains thrown into a ditch. - From the perspective of the perpetrators, this method of killing is highly practical; it prevents the number of bodies from being counted, or possibly from ever being found. It has not always succeeded in this respect, however. Since the spring, dogs have been digging up body parts in various corners of Chechnya, sometimes almost daily. -

Meanwhile, the more traditional methods endure. On 9 September the bodies of six men from Krasnostepnovskoye were found, naked, with plastic bags wrapped around their heads. In June, a ditch containing 50 mutilated bodies was discovered near the Russian army post in Chankala. The corpses were missing eyes, ears, limbs and genitals. Since February, mass graves have been found near Grozny, Chechen Yurt, Alkhan-Kala and Argun. -

The Society for Russian-Chechen Relations, in collaboration with Human Rights Watch, reports that in the span of a month between 15 July and 15 August this year, 59 civilians were shot dead, 64 were abducted, 168 were seriously wounded and 298 were tortured. Many men simply disappeared after being detained by Russian soldiers or security police; others were shot outright. During an operation in Chechen Aul between 21 May and 11 June, 22 men were killed. The majority were aged 20 to 26; two were 15. -

Since Chechen Aul is considered hostile territory, it has undergone 20 such 'mopping-up operations' this year. Usually the raids are conducted by federal armed forces (particularly OMON, the police special forces, and Spetsnaz, its army equivalent) and occur at any time of day or night. -

'They arrived on 23 August at 5am,' says Zuhra from Enikaloi. 'There were about 100 army vehicles, all packed with soldiers. We ran out to meet them with our documents. God forbid you encounter an impatient 'federal'. If you do, then in the best-case scenario you may be tortured or shot dead on the spot. In the worst case, they take you away. About 20 of them, armed to the teeth and wearing masks, climbed into the yard and the house. As always, they were dirty, unshaven and reeking of vodka. They cursed horribly. They shot at our feet. They took my identification papers and started to shred them. I had bought them for 500 roubles. They cost me everything I had.

They went to our neighbours' house, the Magomedova family. We heard shots and the screams of 15-year-old Aminat, the sister of Ahmed and Aslanbek. "Let her be!" screamed one of the brothers, "Kill us instead!". Then we heard more shots. Through the window we saw a half-dressed OMON commander lying on top of Aminat. She was covered in blood from the bullet wounds. Another soldier shouted, "Hurry up, Kolya, while she's still warm".' -

Sometimes those who survive wish they were dead, as in Zernovodsk this summer, when townspeople say they were chased on to a field and made to watch women being raped. When their men tried to defend them, 68 of them were handcuffed to an armoured truck and raped too. After this episode, 45 of them joined the guerrillas in the mountains. One older man, Nurdi Dayeyev, who was nearly blind, had nails driven through his hands and feet because it was suspected that he was in contact with the fighters. When relatives later retrieved his remains, he was missing a hand. The relatives of another villager, Aldan Manayev, picked up a torso but no head. The families were forced to sign declarations that Dayeyev and Manayev had blown themselves up.

Top Chechen warlord Shamil Basayev claimed responsiblity for last week's Moscow hostage-taking and said separatist Chechen leader Aslan Maskhadov was not involved in the operation. In a statement issued Friday on the rebel's Kavzak Centre website, Basayev asked "forgiveness from him (Maskhadov) and my fellow fighters for that fact that I hid the planning and carrying out of this operation from them."

Forty-nine people died and 89 were injured when a fire raged through a prison in El Jadida, south of the Moroccan capital Rabat, reviving a debate about conditions in the north African kingdom's notoriously overcrowded jails. Many of the 49 killed in the blaze at Sidi Moussa Prison, on the outskirts of the Atlantic coastal town of El Jadida, were inmates who died of smoke inhalation, the MAP news agency reported Friday.

Some 172 people remained hospitalized, seven of them in critical condition, six days after being released from a Moscow theatre. Six children were among those still in hospital, Interfax quoted health services officials on Friday. A total of 119 captives died in the three day Chechen hostage-taking crisis.

All 800 hostages would have died at the hands of Chechen rebels armed with explosives if crack Russian troops had not used a powerful narcotic to end the Moscow theatre siege, officials said. With Russia facing heavy criticism over the deaths of 119 hostages, most of whom died after inhaling the gas used by Russian special forces to stun the hostage-takers, a top security figure insisted that there had been no other choice. - Telephone calls intercepted between the leader of the hostage-taking, Movsar Barayev, and former president Zelimkhan Yanderbyev, believed to be in Qatar, implicated Maskhadov, said Sergei Yastrzhembsky. Despite Russian accusations that he was behind the dramatic 57-hour standoff at a Moscow theatre in which nearly all the Chechen hostage-takers were also killed, the Chechen rebel leader has insisted he did not order any such attack.

With a flair worthy of PT Barnum and Edward L Bernays, mainstream media is lately employing a brilliant menage of pseudoscience and well-edited history to concoct a new myth out of thin air: terrorists are about to release smallpox as a bioweapon that could decimate our population. ( GO HERE to see photos of Vaccine Reactions - but brace yourself) - Government leaders with degrees in law, not science, have decided to prepare enough vaccine to inoculate every American. And to empower themselves to legislate the vaccine's administration, sanctioned by severe penalties for refusal. [...]

[A]lmost 100% of Prussians got Jenner's smallpox vaccine. So what happened in Prussia 35 years after this vaccination law? A smallpox epidemic which killed "124,978 of her vaccinated and re-vaccinated citizens after thirty-five years of compulsory vaccination!" [...]

A compulsory "immunization" program was set up in England in 1853 using Jenner's methods. (McBean p.13) [8] Before that time, the highest number of deaths in a 2 year period in England from smallpox was about 2000. Results of this "immunization": 1857-9 deaths: 14,244; 1863-5 deaths: 20,059; In response, in 1867 Parliament enacted a stricter vaccination law, and 97% of the people were inoculated. Result: 44,840 deaths.

Alfred Russell Wallace offers abundant proof how vaccine statistics were manipulated in England during the 1800s - the who and the why of it. After a thorough presentation charting actual deaths throughout the UK and the Continent from smallpox and from the vaccine, Wallace concludes that smallpox vaccine "...has actually increased susceptibility to the disease. ... the conclusion is in every case the same: that vaccination is a gigantic delusion; that it has never saved a single life; but that it has been the cause of so much disease, so many deaths, such a vast amount of utterly needless and altogether undeserved suffering, that it will be classed by the coming generation among the greatest errors of an ignorant and prejudiced age, and its penal enforcement the foulest blot on the generally beneficent course of legislation during our century." - Alfred R. Wallace, Chapter VI 1898

Other physicians of the smallpox era were not that impressed with the vaccine. William Howard Hay MD, at an address he gave on 25 June 1937, remarked: "...of all the insane things we have advocated in medicine - that is one of the most insane, to insist on the vaccination of children or anyone else for the prevention of smallpox, when as a matter of fact, we are not able to prove that vaccination saved one man from smallpox." [...]

After WWI, there was a lot of surplus smallpox vaccine that didn't get used. So we looked to another market we could control. When the U.S. mandated a mass smallpox vaccination program in the Philippines in 1917, some 25 million shots were given to those people. 163,000 Filipinos came down with the disease after the vaccination, and 75,339 Filipinos died from it, quadrupling the death rate prior to the inoculation program. That's way more than the total number of Americans who died in the entire Vietnam war! American "immunization" of its Philippine territory caused several horrific epidemics there that didn't quite make the six o'clock news. (Anderson, p 69 W.H.Hay, also James, p 410) [...]

To sum up, what Jenner did was to take an old superstition of Gloucester dairymaids and pander it into a fortune for himself and the English government by the most ridiculous "scientific" posturing.

Bringing the discussion to the present, post-9/11 politics has created marketing niches like the world has never seen. In classic Edward L Bernays style, the illusion of a smallpox threat has been created - an $800 million illusion. [Appleby) [28] With no proof whatsoever, the scripted media daily barrages the unlettered public with likely scenarios of Muslim terrorists unleashing weaponized smallpox into metropolitan areas, supposedly resulting in epidemics of smallpox spreading like wildfire through an unvaccinated population, etc. In an eerie replay of the social politics of 200 years ago, scientific fact is brushed aside and we are distracted from the lessons of our own history, as though these events never took place...

UPI Special: US al Qaida cells attacked - Local and federal law enforcement officials are using sophisticated infiltration and disinformation campaigns to expose and neutralize al Qaida sleeper cells operating in the United States, U.S. intelligence officials tell United Press International. FBI officials say that al Qaida cells are embedded in most U.S. cities with sizable Islamic communities. New York, Detroit, New Jersey, Los Angeles, the Virginia area, Florida and cities in North Carolina like Charlotte are all believed to contain cells and their supporters, usually living in run-down sections of urban areas or towns, these officials say.

Prime Minister John Howard warned that sleeper cells of terrorists may already be in Australia as he defended raids by the nation's spy agency on homes of Indonesian Muslim families. He also warned the raids, by the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO), would continue despite a growing backlash in Indonesia over Australia's anti-terrorist crackdown.

Butler didn't do it Sez the Queen - The theft case against royal butler Paul Burrell collapsed today after new information from the Queen. The prosecution's claim that he had not told anyone he had hundreds of Princess Diana's possessions folded when it emerged that he had informed the Queen he was holding them for safe keeping.

Alleging that the Republican Party is resorting to dirty tricks to intimidate voters, Janet Reno and U.S. Rep. Carrie Meek filed suit Thursday to prevent a Republican political-action committee from stationing more than 450 poll watchers at heavily Democratic precincts in Miami-Dade County polls on Election Day.

Abortion is proving to be among the most divisive issues in several Senate races that could affect the future of abortion rights. With control of the Senate up for grabs Nov. 5, both sides in the abortion debate consider the stakes momentous. A return to Republican control, they agree, could result in the next Supreme Court vacancy going to a justice who would tilt the court toward more restrictions on abortion.

All signs point to relatively low voter turnout this year, says a new report released as the major political parties are stepping up their efforts to reduce that trend for midterm elections. Comment: Is this another one of those manipulative polls designed to discourage people? Whether or not it is, let's all get out and vote. If the turnout is low, then our individual votes will have more "weight."

Israel has revised its assessment of a U.S.-led war against Iraq. Defense officials said the United States appears to have shelved plans for an imminent war against the regime of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. They said the Bush administration has delayed any attack on Baghdad until early 2003. Defense Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer said he did not believe the U.S. war against would take place for another several months. He indicated that this was a change in U.S. plans. Earlier, senior Israeli defense officials said the war would take place by December. They said the United States has accelerated preparations in the Middle East and in Israel for a war against Baghdad.

North Korea has a right to develop nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction because of a US threat to its sovereignty, Pyongyang's ambassador to Moscow said in the first firm defense of the Stalinist state's clandestine military program. [...] "We unambiguously told the US presidential special envoy that, facing a growing nuclear threat from the US, we have the right to possess not only nuclear, but even more powerful weapons in order to defend our sovereignty and the right to survive," news agencies quoted Pak Hui Chun as saying.

Russia said the five permanent members of the UN Security Council were on the verge of agreeing on a new resolution over Iraq, but stressed it still opposed a military attack against Baghdad. Iraq meanwhile said it was confident that "friendly countries" will not allow the United States and Britain to get UN approval to wage war against it.

The Arabic television news station Al-Jazeera, notorious for broadcasting exclusive tapes of Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, is planning to target the English language market for the first time, according to a British daily. The station once denounced by the White House for 'inciting attacks' against America, whose offices in Kabul were bombed by the US Air Force, now wants to reach millions more viewers in the West, The Times said Friday. Earlier this year, the 24-hour television channel was made available in Britain on satellite television in its original Arabic. But, according to the right-of-centre Times newspaper, the Qatar-based station will, in the first quarter of 2003, begin dubbing its news, commentaries and current affairs programmes into English for non-Arabic speakers. The English version of Al-Jazeera will be available across Europe, the daily said, and will enable viewers to monitor world events from a Middle Eastern perspective, according to its marketing director Ali Mohammad Kamal.

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon on Friday offered the post of foreign minister to his main rival in the right-wing Likud party, Benjamin Netanyahu, an Israeli diplomatic source said. Netanyahu, a former prime minister and hard-liner who has accused Sharon of not going far enough to quell a Palestinian uprising, would move a new Israeli government in the making even farther to the right. He would also present a sharp contrast to dovish Foreign Minister Shimon Peres, who resigned when the center-left Labour Party pulled out of Sharon's coalition government on Wednesday.

Smokers Fined for Lighting Up in Tokyo Streets - The regulations, rare in a country where about 31 percent of all adults and nearly half of men smoke, were introduced by the ward office to help keep the area litter-free and cut down on the number of incidents where people are burned by passing smokers.

"Today, it looks like some more Americans are looking for work and that's a problem." --President Bush after seeing the numbers that the U.S. economy lost jobs last month.

Russian President Vladimir Putin already sure of his place in history, is fast becoming a pop icon -- thanks to a racy all-girl band. "And now I want a man like Putin," croons a saucy female voice on Russian radio. Her sticky pop tune -- called "A Man Like Putin" -- can be heard blasting from Moscow's shops and cars. It suggests a remarkable high point in the president's career -- the country's top bureaucrat might soon turn into its chief sex symbol.

High Honors to Cannabis Constipation Cure - the Korean government awarded a top science prize this year to the medicine made by Pyongyang Hospital of Koryo Medicine after it "completely cured" 97 percent of the thousands of constipated patients who tried it.

Peruvian divers have found pre-Inca stairways, ramps and walls beneath the waters of Lake Titicaca, but experts said on Wednesday the discoveries were not the remains of a legendary lost city. "The remains were found at a depth of between 6.5 and 26 feet on the eastern side of the lake. ... They are built with interlocking stones," oceanic engineer and expedition member Gustavo Villavicencio told Reuters.

October 31, 2002: Halloween - Wonder if any of the "spooky" folks are going to do weird things today? We suggest that if your children are going out tonight to do the annual candy thing, please accompany them and keep your eyes open for anything suspicious. I can't say that we would reccommend any large gatherings in public places - such as Malls - because it would be too easy for the "terrorists" to hit a large number at once that way. Knowledge Protects.

Q: (A) I want really to know what kind of mechanism is behind this 911 number coming up in the NY lottery. (V) Yeah, me too, and it wasn't only that it was something with the...
A: Warning. It ain't over!!! ... Mass consciousness signals to self about clear and present danger.

Update on the Bogdanov Affair...

Iranian Defence Minister Adm. Ali Shamkhani says Iranians should assume the U.S. is planning an attack against their country. - So far, Iran has stood firmly against a unilateral U.S. attack on Iraq. But the Iranian foreign minister has said Tehran would not oppose military action that is backed by the UN. Iran fought an eight-year war against Iraq in the 1980s and has urged Baghdad to obey the UN resolutions on disarmament. The United States has not had any official ties with Iran since the 1979 hostage crisis, in which Iran kept U.S. diplomatic personnel hostage for over a year.

Another Gulf War Vet Opens Fire - Robert Stewart Flores, who killed three professors at the University of Arizona before shooting himself, was a Gulf War veteran. - John Allen Muhammed, better known as the Washington D.C. sniper, is also a Gulf War veteran. Not to mention British Gulf War vet Paul Delaney, who stabbed his ex-girlfriend and mother of two, Colleen Chudley, 30 or 40 times. Or Staff Sergeant Frank Ronghi, a Gulf War vet who murdered and sodomized an 11-year old girl in Kosovo. Or Jeffrey Glenn Hutchinson, also a Gulf vet, who murdered his girlfriend and her three children on Sept. 11, 1998. Or Joseph Ludlam, who murdered his former manager in November 2000. And then there's the most famous Gulf War veteran of all, Timothy McVeigh, who killed hundreds of people in a homegrown terrorist attack in Oklahoma City. -

Consider the tens of thousands of Vietnam veterans who have committed suicide, or the tens of thousands of homeless veterans who've never been able to rejoin society. Just ask the growing numbers of incarcerated veterans. Just ask Timothy McVeigh. Oh ... well, you can't ask him. -

The price of war is often anger, divorce, readjustment problems, drug addiction, homelessness, and sometimes murder. Remember, when you go to the gas pump to buy your Middle Eastern oil, secured by the blood of American soldiers, this too is part of the price you pay. Not just being party to killings halfway around the world, which our society seems to tolerate with a glib "Let's change the channel" attitude, but also the lives torn apart back home. -

You may decide it's okay -- your chances of being murdered by a combat veteran are still less than the risk of being killed in a highway accident. But as we send another few hundred thousand young men and women off to war, the odds are about to get worse.

UK Home Office sought gas used in Moscow - Home Office officials have been investigating buying poison gases, similar to the type used in the Moscow hostage raid, to protect high-security government buildings against terrorist attack. So-called knock-out and evil-smelling gases are two of 28 options considered in a Home Office study into perimeter security. - But on Wednesday night the government said it had dropped its examination of "calmative" anaesthetising gases "because of the health risks". However, the examination of malodorant gases is continuing, despite the Home Office warning that: "The possible effects [of such gases] on people suffering from respiratory illnesses should be considered and the toxicity of chemicals used must be established."

US is developing a new generation of weapons that undermine and possibly violate international treaties on biological and chemical warfare warned respected scientists on both sides of the Atlantic. - The scientists, specialists in bio-warfare and chemical weapons, say the Pentagon, with the help of the British military, is also working on "non-lethal" weapons similar to the narcotic gas used by Russian forces to end last week's siege in Moscow. They also point to the paradox of the US developing such weapons at a time when it is proposing military action against Iraq on the grounds that Saddam Hussein is breaking international treaties.Comment: This page is rather elusive... sometimes it loads, and sometimes it doesn't... here's the rest of the article in case you can't access the page:

Malcolm Dando, professor of international security at the University of Bradford, and Mark Wheelis, a lecturer in microbiology at the University of California, say that the US is encouraging a breakdown in arms control by its research into biological cluster bombs, anthrax and non-lethal weapons for use against hostile crowds, and by the secrecy under which these programmes are being conducted.

"There can be disagreement over whether what the United States is doing represents violations of treaties," Mr Wheelis told the Guardian. "But what is happening is at least so close to the borderline as to be destabilising."

In a paper to be published soon in the scientific journal Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, the two academics focus on recent US actions that have served to undermine the 1972 Biological Weapons Convention. In a move that stunned the international community last July, the US blocked an attempt to give the convention some teeth with inspections, so that member countries could check if others were keeping the agreement.

Mr Dando believes Washington's motive for torpedoing the deal, which had the support of its allies, was to maintain secrecy over US research work on biological weapons. He said that work includes:

· CIA efforts to copy a Soviet cluster bomb designed to disperse biological weapons
· A project by the Pentagon to build a bio-weapon plant from commercially available materials to prove that terrorists could do the same thing
· Research by the Defence Intelligence Agency into the possibility of genetically engineering a new strain of antibiotic-resistant anthrax
· A programme to produce dried and weaponised anthrax spores, officially for testing US bio-defences, but far more spores were allegedly produced than necessary for such purposes and it is unclear whether they have been destroyed or simply stored.

In each case, the US argued the research work was being done for defensive purposes, but their legality under the BWC is questionable, the scientists argue.

For example, a clause in the biological weapons treaty forbids signatories from producing or developing "weapons, equipment or means of delivery designed to use such agents or toxins for hostile purposes or in armed conflict".

Furthermore, signatories agreed to make annual declarations about their biodefence programmes, but the US never mentioned any of those programmes in its reports. Instead, they emerged from leaks and press reporting.

The focus on Washington's biological and chemical weapons programme comes at an awkward time for the Bush administration, which is locked in negotiations at the UN for a tough resolution on arms inspections of Iraq. According to Mr Dando, British and US research into hallucinogenic weapons such as the gas BZ encouraged Iraq to look into similar agents. "We showed them the way," he said.

Mr Dando added that the US was currently working on "non-lethal" weapons similar to the gas Russian forces used to break the Moscow theatre siege. Those include "calmative" agent which are designed to knock people out without killing them.

"What happened in Moscow is a harbinger of what is to come," Mr Dando said. "There is a revolution in life sciences which could be applied in a major way to warfare. It's an early example of the mess we may be creating."

He added that Britain "is implicated as well", as the Pentagon's Joint Non-Lethal Weapons Directorate has worked with British officers on its research.

Jonathan Tucker, a chemical weapons expert at the US Institute for Peace in Washington, said much of the work on non-lethal weapons was being carried out by an institute under the US justice department but was funded by the Pentagon.

"They are trying to keep it at arms length, but it is problematic especially for military purposes. The chemical weapons convention makes a very clear distinction between riot control and incapacitants," he said.

While Mr Tucker believes that such knock-out gases are explicitly banned under the treaty, Mr Dando and Mr Wheelis believe the Pentagon has exploited a loophole that allows for such weapons for "law enforcement purposes". But by blurring the edges of the treaty, they argue the US is inviting other countries to do the same.

The US, Mr Dando said, "runs the very real danger of leading the world down a pathway that will greatly reduce the security of all."

A strong earthquake rocked central and southern Italy today, killing at least four children after a kindergaten school's roof collapsed. Fifty children were trapped. - The quake registered 5.4 on the Richter scale, said Marco Ludovici, an official with the Civil Defense department in Rome. Its epicenter was in area around Campobasso, a city located about 80 kilometers (about 50 miles) northeast of Naples. - Scores of panicked residents fled their homes and went into the streets. Cracks gaped in building walls, and chunks of plaster fell from ceilings, Italian news reports said. People in Campobasso reported a humming sound when the quake struck at 11:33 a.m. (1033 GMT). Comment: Well, that is just TOO perfect. 11:33, eh?

Albanian and Russian observers sent to monitor American elections - Yup! We are a REAL Banana Republic NOW! - The joke, during the endless presidential election recounts in Florida two years ago, was that Russia and Albania would send poll monitors to help the United States with its unexpected bump on the road to democracy. Now, the joke has become reality. - A high-level delegation of European and North American election observers – including members from Russia and Albania – arrived yesterday for a week-long mission to watch Florida's mid-term elections, which take place on Tuesday. Their task: to see if the world's most powerful democracy has learned anything from the disastrous 36-day showdown between George Bush and Al Gore in 2000, in which the world saw every wart in Florida's deeply flawed electoral system without ever discovering for sure who had won. Certainly, the Russians and Albanians know a thing or two about flawed, rigged or fraudulent elections. After receiving a decade of lectures from Western democracies about overhauling their own systems, they also have a good idea how to overcome them. It remains to be seen whether Florida isn't too tough a nut to crack, even for them. "Whatever else it is, it will be an experience," said a tight-lipped Ilirjan Celibashi, head of Albania's Central Electoral Committee.

Israel's coalition government collapsed yesterday when Ariel Sharon's main Labour party partners resigned, leaving the country in political confusion even as an American war on Iraq loomed and amid the Palestinian intifada.

Scotland Yard is investigating a former Israeli army chief over alleged war crimes committed by Israeli soldiers against Palestinians in the Occupied Territories this year. Lt-Gen Shaul Mofaz, who is in Britain on a fund-raising tour, is widely tipped in Israel to be named by Ariel Sharon as the new Defence Minister after the coalition government collapsed yesterday. He retired as Chief of Staff in July. - Imran Khan, a British lawyer known for his role in the Stephen Lawrence case, presented a 17-page dossier to the Director of Public Prosecutions, who passed it to Scotland Yard's crimes against humanity unit. Mr Khan, who is representing families of alleged victims, says the case can be investigated and tried in Britain because all Geneva Convention signatories are obliged to enforce them, wherever breaches are committed.

The American government is preparing war crimes charges to bring against Saddam Hussein and most of his inner circle if the Baghdad leadership is ousted. The Iraqi President's two sons and the Deputy Prime Minister, Tariq Aziz, are among those who could be charged. Comment: We find this to be a bit odd considering the demands of the Bush Administration that the U.S. MUST be exempt from any laws about War Crimes that apply to everyone else... Like we need to be spending time and money on this nonsense when our own White House is home to a Liar, thief and terrorist...

Viewers are switching off news and current affairs programmes in droves with shows such as Panorama, Tonight with Trevor McDonald and even Watchdog failing to connect with audiences, a new report claims. Ratings for news and current affairs programmes have fallen by almost a third since 1994, according to the study, fuelling fears that viewers are increasingly turned off by politics on TV. - The sharp falls will further fuel fears that TV is dumbing down but the report says the downturn is rooted in a combination of erratic scheduling and viewer apathy towards politics. - The BBC director of news, Richard Sambrook, admitted in the report that the way that television covers news doesn't engage enough with the issues that affect people. "People do see the way we cover politics as being complicit with politicians...." Comment: You can only stomach the obvious lies and BS so long... When will the media wake up?

Anti-war protesters plan day of civil disobedience - The spark for today's day of action came from comments made by Tony Benn last summer. In a departure from his normal aversion to civil disobedience as a form of protest, the former Labour cabinet minister said: "Non-violent resistance to the government will show they cannot do this in our name. We should stop the buses, stop the trains, stop the schools." Following last month's Stop the War march in London, attended by up to 400,000 protesters, the group has called on supporters to organise their own local acts of civil disobedience. It advocates three forms of protest: · Meetings in or near the workplace with anti-war speakers, perhaps with a local march •: College occupations and teach-ins · Evening protests in town centres, where demonstrators are urged by Stop the War to sit down and block traffic.

France is privately warning the US and the UK that they will be left alone in the political and economic task of reconstructing Iraq if they press ahead with a war on Saddam Hussein without UN support. The French warning comes as the US and UK demanded a decision from the UN security council this week in support of a tough new resolution, or recognise that the British and the US will take unilateral action. But the French foreign minister, Dominque de Villepin, yesterday refused to back down as the last round of the six weeks of talks on the text of a UN resolution got under way in New York. Comment: We don't think that any global pressure is going to change the plans of Bush and the Warmongers. They have been instructed by their Lord and Master what they must do: destroy all Semitic peoples before any cataclysms arrive... the window of opportunity for aligning with a different future reality is getting rather narrow...

October 30, 2002: The Bogdanov Affair gets more interesting...

New York Photographer Captures UFO On Video FAA Says Object Never Showed Up On Radar. Brandon Mowry said that he didn't notice the fast-moving object zooming across the sky on Oct. 20 near Colonie until he went back to his station and watched the video. No one apparently knows what it is. The FBI is investigating. Agents are trying determine exactly what the object is. Officials with the Federal Aviation Administration said that whatever the object is, it never showed up on local radar.

Bush steps in Cow Pie - One week before George W. Bush's now-famous sale of stock in Harken Energy Corp. in 1990, Harken was warned by its lawyers that Bush and other members of the troubled oil company's board faced possible insider trading risks if they unloaded their shares. The warning from Harken's lawyers came in a legal memorandum whose existence has been little noted until now, despite the many years of scrutiny of the Bush transaction. The memo was not received by the Securities and Exchange Commission until the day after the agency decided not to bring insider-trading charges against Bush, documents show. Comment: I hope Martha Stewart notices this one and uses some of her bux to publicize it... Bush has been getting away with too much for too long because the Mass Media is in his pocket. So, Martha, wanna buy some full page ads in the New York Times? What is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.

Rifle tied to 11 shootings traced to Tacoma, Feds say - The astute reader who sent in this url made the following comments: It does seem to me that details on the sniper weapon are being ignored or covered- up in the media. Initial reports pointed to the sale of the .223 Bushmaster AR15-style rifle from Welcher's Gun Shop in Tacoma. Now all of a sudden, attention is focused on Bulls Eye Shooter Supply as the shop that sold him the weapon. Why? According to this article Welcher's confirmed through their sales records that they did in fact sell Muhammad the rifle on Dec. 28, 1999, BUT, Muhammad sold the riffle back to Welcher's on May 23, 2000. Welcher's then re-sold the weapon to another customer who currently has it in his possession. - Now we are to believe that Muhammad bought a rifle from Welcher's, sold it back 5 months later, then turned around and bought an identical Bushmaster rifle from Bulls Eye a month later in June? And it gets worse: by the time he supposedly bought the rifle from Bull's Eye, a background check by the gunshop should have revealed he had a restraining order filed against him by his ex-wife in March. In light of this information, the sale of the rifle should have been illegal. It's becoming obvious that the only concern is linking a weapon to Muhamad, never mind these glaring little details! And why isn't the mainstream media jumping all over this? The plot thickens...

Another reader comments: ...and the owner of Bull's Eye was quickly interviewed, commenting that all of the stores records are open for inspection to the govt. Then he slips in a remark that only if an employee acted illegally and sold the rifle off the books could it have happened. Wanna bet that there will be an unfindable ex-employee that gets blamed and the store owner who is beholden to the feds for his FFL quietly gets a contract to supply weapons to some alphabet soup agency?

NPR, New York Times Count Out Anti-War Activists - National Public Radio and the New York Times arrived at the same conclusion about the anti-war rally in Washington, DC this weekend: The turnout was disappointing. But neither report matched reality. While it is not unusual to experience biased reporting about progressive activities in the corporate media, the transparently false representations of what took place on October 26 as reported by the Times stood in stark contrast to what participants could see and feel for themselves. This created a wave of outrage which was communicated rapidly to the Times in the form of e-mails, phone calls, and letters. In the biggest anti-war demonstrations since the Vietnam War, hundreds of thousands of people on October 26th took to the streets across the country announcing with a massive visible and vocal presence the creation of a new anti-war movement to stop George W. Bush's plans to wage war against Iraq. The demonstrators included a vast number of people compelled to action because they were frustrated and angered when the Congress failed to listen to the people's opposition to a war on Iraq.

The Canadian government issued a travel advisory this week with a twist: It suggests citizens born in Iraq, Syria and other countries targeted by U.S. anti-terrorism policies consider avoiding travel to the United States.

Plane Lands After Toothbrush Scare - "A crew member saw a suspicious packet on the plane and thought it was a bomb," S.K. Kain, New Delhi's special police commissioner, told Reuters. "But it was found to be a gift packet containing some items like a toothbrush." Comment: I don't know about you, but I don't think that we should have to live this way. And again, we have Georgie Porgie and his gang of 9-11 terrorists to thank.

The Army has concluded that many troubled soldiers shun counseling out of fear that seeking help would be seen as a sign of instability and hurt their military careers. The findings follow an investigation launched after four soldiers killed their wives this summer at Fort Bragg, N.C.

Three days after earthquakes jolted Etna awake, tremors continued to rattle eastern Sicily, where hundreds of families have already been evacuated from damaged homes. - For the fourth day running Etna shot out fountains of fire up to 100 metres high, producing plumes of smoke stretching as far as Africa and visible from space. The boiling tongues of lava slowed on Wednesday morning and stabilised, but tremors kept residents on edge. "Etna is a tragedy, the dust, the eruption, everything," said one woman as she struggled through the thick layers of ash raining down on the streets of Catania, Sicily's second-biggest city which lies at the foot of the volcano. Scientists said they had recorded a series of tremors around Etna on Wednesday measuring up to 3.2 on the Richter scale, but they were nonetheless upbeat. "Etna is stable and the situation is under control, but that doesn't mean that we are letting down our guard," said civil protection official Luca Spoletini.

Israel government collapses as Labour ministers walk out in budget row - Defence Minister Binyamin Ben Eliezer and other Labour ministers quit right-wing Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's cabinet, throwing the country's politics into turmoil and opening the door to snap elections. - Sharon had warned he would sack any minister who voted against a budget designed to tackle the country's worst-ever economic slump, a recession brought on at least in part by the Palestinian uprising, which has been fuelled by fury over the Jewish settlements.

Russia broke four days of silence and revealed that the gas used to subdue Chechen rebels and end the Moscow hostage crisis was fentanyl, a potent agent responsible for nearly all of the 119 deaths among the captives. Moscow also demanded the extradition of a top aide to the Chechen rebel leadership after he was arrested in Denmark on suspicion of being behind the siege. Health Minister Yury Shevchenko denied that the gas used in Saturday's special forces operation to free the hostage was banned under chemical weapons conventions and said that the active substance in the gas was fentanyl, a powerful narcotic used as an anaesthetic. "A fentanyl derivative was used to neutralize the terrorists," the minister said, referring to the Chechen rebels who had threatened to execute the hostages unless Russian agreed to end the war in their homeland.

Danish police detain senior Chechen rebel envoy - Akhmed Zakayev, was detained in Copenhagen after Russian authorities informed Danish police that he was suspected of "a series of terror attacks," including involvement in last week's hostage crisis, police said Wednesday. Zakayev was held yesterday evening after the end of a two-day World Chechen Congress in the Danish capital that had drawn sharp criticism from the Russian government after Chechen gunmen stormed a Moscow theatre and held hundreds of people hostage for 58 hours. Danish police said the action was taken after they received an extradition request from Moscow.

As Russia began to bury the first of more than 100 hostages gassed to death in last weekend's theatre siege, the US ambassador to Moscow said the authorities' failure to reveal details of the gas could have cost lives.

France and Russia remain opposed to a US-UK draft that includes a threat of military action if Iraq fails to cooperate with UN weapons inspectors. Paris wants a two-stage approach that would first give inspections a chance and leave consideration of war until later if Baghdad is obstructive. President George Bush, who first called on the UN to pass a resolution on Iraq in a speech before the General Assembly on 12 September, also put pressure on the Security Council last night. "Either the UN will do its duty to disarm Saddam Hussein. Or Saddam Hussein will disarm himself. In either case, if they refuse to act ... the US will lead a coalition and disarm Saddam Hussein," he said. - Washington has been signalling with decreasing subtlety in recent days that it will soon give up on the UN and plan for military action alone, with support from Britain. Such an outcome, however, would embarrass the UN and could undermine its authority for many years. Comment: Not to mention the fact that Bush is totally ignoring the warnings that America does NOT support his war-mongering. Others have made similar errors in the past...

Millions of people face starvation because the United Nations' World Food Programme (WFP) is being inundated by an unprecedented series of weather-related disasters, the world's largest aid agency warned yesterday. "The sad truth is that as things stand the humanitarian system faces the prospect of being completely overwhelmed. We need more help than we've ever asked for in the past," said James Morris, executive director of the WFP. The event that could cripple the system is a drought in the Horn of Africa, which is threatening up to 14 million people with starvation. Comment: Meanwhile, Dubya just keeps ranting "Bomb 'em! Bomb 'em!"

Powerful bombs which police said had been set by white extremists ripped through the Johannesburg township of Soweto, killing one woman, damaging a mosque and ripping up railway lines.


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