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

Sunday , March 14, 2004

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New Article: Jupiter, Nostradamus, Edgar Cayce, and the Return of the Mongols - Laura Knight-Jadczyk

Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7

Picture of the Day

Leaning Oak
©2004 Pierre-Paul Feyte

We received a couple of messages from readers in response to yesterday's page that raise important questions for people who are beginning to see the real nature of our world. The first deals with a common occurrence that happens to us all when we start to see things in a new way: having had our eyes opened a bit, we start sharing our discoveries with others. Then the reaction sets in. Our friends give us blank stares or find that we are crazy for believing such outlandish things. The reader writes:

Anyway, I’d just like to say, your website has changed my life so much, you could never understand. My whole views about religion, life, war etc. are now not as simplistic, ignorant and sheepish. I’m only 17 years old. I tell friends about some of your articles when I’m at college. Unfortunately, they find them completely absurd – no matter how much I try to prove them or give some form of evidence, they go along with the general consensus of the country. It’s terribly annoying, but I feel guilty if I accidentally say something that challenges their beliefs in particular about religion for example. I suppose they would have to find out for themselves, if they need to.

Thanks for such a thought-provoking and life changing website.

First, we do understand how learning to see in a new way can change one's life. We have all been through it ourselves. When we discuss the changes that occur within as one begins to think for oneself, we do so from experience. This is not just theory. The founders of this site and the contributors to the Signs page have all gone through what our reader is now confronting. The world is going crazy, and when we begin to see it, we wonder how it is that it took so long. It is so obvious, so clear. Because we are struck by this clarity, we believe that by simply drawing the attention of those around us to these facts, that they will be able to see things as clearly as we do.

Unfortunately, this is not the case.

It is as if some people have the necessary circuits to see and others do not. Perhaps as things get more and more out of control, those who cannot see objective reality in the current conditions will be shaken awake and will see them in the new conditions. As the lives they have been living become more and more difficult to maintain, they may be stirred out of their lethargy. But until then we must learn to respect the free will of others. If someone does not see what we see, we have no right to judge or to force our views upon them.

A consequence of this growing divergence between our views and those of the people around us is an ever greater sense of estrangement. This estrangement comes not from being brainwashed into a belief system at odds with the consensus, but from the removal of the socialization we have undergone since our birth and our burgeoning ability to think for ourselves, our refusal to accept at face value what we see and hear around us.

Our young reader is learning one of the first lessons of the work: we are alone. No one can do the work of self-mastery for you.

Moreover, we can work on ourselves, but we cannot impose the work on anyone else. The desire and the need for this Work can only come from within. One feels the need or one does not.

But if we are alone when we look to those near us, we are not alone in the larger sense of the world at large. There are individuals in every country, from every culture, who see the same things that we do. It is therefore necessary for these people to find one another.

Another common experience of those who work on this site is the longtime feeling of being different, of not fitting in to the world as it is. Fortunately, with the Internet, it has been possible for us to meet up together and to discover that we are not alone. There are others who are going in the same direction with whom we can share experiences and ideas. We can help one another in the work on the self, the work of ridding oneself of the programmes and illusions with which we have been inculcated our whole lives.

This site is one such group. There are others. Each of us must find the group that best fits. The mere fact that one has learned from our work on Signs of the Times does not mean that one will necessarily be co-linear with the Quantum Future School, but with the effort and intention, one will find the school that is best suited to one's individual needs and intentions.

This discussion leads us to the second message, this one posted on our Signs Interactive page:

I am following the clues and connecting the dots, as I have been for many years. This includes taking the time at least a couple times a week to meditate on what I have read, to let it "sink in". You seem to say this is not enough, that I have to "DO" something; if this something is not political or other mundane action (and I agree with you there), then what do I actually DO? This question has plagued me un-answered for years before this day's SofT commentary.

You gave example of taking without giving; but, surrounded by psychopaths, it has been more a matter of becoming capable of not being affected by their attack. "Giving" to psychopaths is unadvisable.

Is "acting in favor of my own destiny" (as I seem to have only recently become capable of doing) enough?

P.S.
Thanks for the article on wiring in psychopaths - that one's a keeper!

We have done much research on the question of psychopaths and will look at this subject to begin. Our awareness of this issue began with Laura Knight-Jadczyk's series Adventures with Cassiopaea, Laura's recounting of her own encounters with a psychopath whose goal was the destruction of her life's work. Her research on the nature of psychopathy has become one of the most popular sections of the site. Obviously many, many people have encountered the psychopath in their lives. As the reader says, we do not "give" to a psychopath. One must learn how to recognise them and remove them from one's life.

The issue of the psychopath brought us to one of our other important understandings, that of the Organic Portal. It is our hypothesis that there are two races on this planet, those who have the potential to "grow" an individuated soul and those who do not. This is a controversial subject with many people who find it a form of discrimination to insist that not everyone has soul "potential." Our religions have brainwashed us into believing that we all have souls, but what is this belief based upon? Why is it easier to believe that we all have souls than that we do not? Doesn't our experience tell us that this world is "soulless"? Are not the values of our society designed to inflict suffering on others? If all of the people in this world had individuated souls, wouldn't that be an even greater cause of concern? We find there is more hope in the idea that we are souled beings who have fallen into a soulless world, for at least there is a way out by reconnecting with our higher centres.

Most people in this world have no interest in matters of the soul. As our first writer mentioned, his attempts to discuss these issues with those around him led to dead ends. Might this lack of interest be a sign of a lack of a soul?

Consider as well that if our soul is that which we can attain of greatest value, why should we expect that it would be given to us? Don't we have to work for anything of value?

But lest we be misunderstood, we admit that we are ignorant of much that touches this question. Perhaps we all have the potential to form our soul, but our sensitivity differs. Some people may be more open and others less so. Some people learn from their suffering. That suffering opens them to the suffering of others, forges a greater sense of empathy. Others turn in upon themselves and blame others for their problems. Until one stops turning the blame outward and begins to understand how one's own programmes and illusions are the basis of our suffering, there is no soil in which a soul can be nourished.

This is why we find discussions of "spotting the OP" to be dangerous. Until we begin the work, we are all soulless, so to judge others on this basis is clearly the work of our ego and not our intelligence.

The writer's second question deals with DOing. This is a question to which we will be returning again and again over the coming months, for after one's eyes begin to open, it is the next step. What can I DO?

The work of the Quantum Future School is based upon the idea that in the beginning, there is nothing that we can DO because there is no one home to DO anything. So the first thing to DO is to watch ourselves in order to recognise that we are indeed machines that react mechanically to stimuli from our environment. Things happen to us, and we react. One moment our desires pull us in one direction, then minutes later we are pulled somewhere else. As long as this condition remains, we will be unable to DO because the small part of ourselves that decides to DO will be superceded by another part of ourselves that can't be bothered.

The first step is to develop the Will to do this work. This is difficult because we are surrounded by distractions appealing to the multiple parts of our Personalities, like the Sirens that called sailors to their deaths on the rocks. It will often take what we call a "bankruptcy" before one can summon the Will necessary to embark upon the work. The bankruptcy is the moment when we have our hopes and illusions shattered. We can no longer continue to live in the old way because we have hit our head on the wall of despair one too many times. Our lives are empty. The illusions and material pleasures and successes of the world no longer satisfy us. We know that there must be something more, and, finally, we know that no matter how long or how difficult the path, we have no other choice but to find it.

Without hitting bottom, the work may not be taken seriously. Our commitment can fade in the face of the difficulties we encounter, on the threshold of a decision that is too gut-wrenching to make. In this case, the seeker turns back, often finding comforting excuses to explain away the change of heart. We call this "self-calming." But if one wishes to align oneself with the Creative Principle, such an alignment is made through each of our choices, and these choices will become more and more difficult as the seeker mounts the staircase because only then are we really confronted with a CHOICE. Choices that make themselves are not choices.

Our experience has shown us that, even if we are alone in having to do the work on ourselves, this work can only be done with the help of others. As Gurdjieff put it:

"You do not realize your own situation. You are in prison. All you can wish for, if you are a sensible man, is to escape. But how escape? It is necessary to tunnel under a wall. One man can do nothing. But let us suppose there are ten or twenty men -- if they work in turn and if one covers another they can complete the tunnel and escape.

"Furthermore, no one can escape without the help of those who have escaped before. Only they can say in what way escape is possible or can send tools, files, or whatever else may be necessary. But one prisoner alone cannot find these people or get into touch with them. An organization is necessary. Nothing can be achieved without an organization." [cited by Ouspensky, In Search of the Miraculous, p. 30]

There are many schools available to the seeker. He or she must find the one that fits with his or her Personality. Some may lead to dead ends, some may lead out of the prison. Learning to discern the difference is also part of the Work.

This brings us back to the idea of finding those with whom we are co-linear, that is, people moving in the same direction towards the same goal. The QFS is one possible school or organisation. It is a virtual community of people from around the world who meet and exchange ideas on-line. The public discussion forum, CassChat, is open to anyone who is interested in discussing the ideas found on the Cassiopaea web site. The moderators are members of the private QFS discussion group, a place for people who have chosen to work more intently upon themselves.

We finish today with a message from a member of the QFS in Australia:

The recent events in Madrid have delivered a sobering shock. I was playing a gig at a club last night and time and time again kept thinking of the bombings. All I could see around me were people who were laughing and smiling and enjoying themselves without a care in the world, and yet on the other side of the globe there were an equal number of families grieving over their loss of parents, sisters, brothers, friends... I just couldn't make sense of it. It felt like I was inhabiting some virtual reality game, some plastic fantasy world in which people dreamed their dreams of a beautiful and happy life which had no basis in reality whatsoever. The air felt thick, like a cotton wool coating that smothered and calmed. The few times I tried to talk to someone about Madrid, they just "switched off" straight away. It was clearly supposed to be a "happy night" of fun and partying and no one wanted to care. So I didn't bother after that... I just left the sleepers to their sleep and tried to love them for who they were.

We bombed Madrid, says al-Qaeda tape

Giles Tremlett in Madrid
Sunday March 14, 2004
The Observer

The Madrid bombings which killed 200 people were dramatically claimed by the Islamic militant group al Qaeda early on Sunday morning.

The Interior Minister Angel Acebes said police had recovered a videotape. 'It's a claim made by a man in Arabic with a Moroccan accent,' he said. 'He makes the declaration in the name of someone who says he is the military spokesman of al- Qaeda in Europe.'

The man on the tape says: 'We declare our responsibility for what happened in Madrid exactly two-and-a-half years after the attacks on New York and Washington. This is an answer to the crimes in Afghanistan and Iraq. If your injustices do not stop there will be more if god wills it.'

The discovery of the tape followed a phone call to a radio station announcing that it had been left near the main mosque in Madrid. The speaker was identified as Abu Dujan al Afghani. Acebes said he was not known to police in Spain, and they were checking the tape's veracity. He urged caution in accepting it as true.

The dramatic revelation of the tape followed the arrest of five men over their alleged involvement in the bombings which have convulsed Spain with grief.

The three Moroccans and two Indians were arrested in the city last night for allegedly providing a mobile phone and SIM card found in a backpack with unexploded explosives on one of the commuter trains targeted in Thursday's attacks. Mobile phones were used to detonate the bombs which killed 200 people. Sources claimed the Moroccans may have provided safe houses for the bombers.

Acebes said: 'This opens an important route of investigation. All the detentions were made "for presumed implication in the sale and falsification of the mobile phone and cards found in the bag that did not explode".' [...]

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Castro says Aznar deceived Spaniards on attack

HAVANA, Mar 13 (Reuters) Cuban President Fidel Castro has accused Spain's government of deceiving its citizens over the Madrid train bombings for electoral gain.

In a television interview released yesterday, Castro said the government of Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar had known an Islamic group was behind the explosions that killed 200 people on Thursday but preferred to blame Basque separatists ahead of today's general elections.

''They are deceiving the Spanish people ... it is a most important factor in the elections on Sunday'' because a majority of Spaniards opposed the war in Iraq, he said in the interview with a Chilean television channel taped on Friday night.

The Spanish government initially said Basque separatists ETA were the most likely suspects.

But today the Spanish Interior Ministry said a tape purportedly from al Qaeda claimed the militant Islamic group had planted the 10 bombs on Madrid trains in retaliation for Spanish cooperation with the United States.

Castro, who is accused by the United States of harboring members of ETA, said the synchronized blasts on four commuter trains had all the hallmarks of al Qaeda.

Comment: And "al-Qaeda" is a CIA/Mossad creation.

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It's not raining, Madrid is crying

JEREMY WATSON

AFTER the mass displays of collective anger came the shattering images of deeply personal grief.

Under a grey drizzle, the traumatised citizens of Madrid and its surrounding towns turned out in their thousands yesterday to bury their dead.

There was nine-year-old Marcos Gonzales, who should have been playing football in the park with his friends. Instead, he was bravely trying to wipe away the tears as he stood at the side of his father’s coffin.

There was the distraught but proud family of Federico Miguel Sierra who gathered in a rain-sodden cemetery to say goodbye to their army officer son.

They were scenes gruesomely replicated across the Spanish capital, awash with black mourning sashes, as the relatives of the first 60 of the 200 dead did what they had to do.

The first funeral masses took place in the sports pavilion of Alcala de Hanares, best-known up to now as the birthplace of Don Quixote writer Migel de Cervantes. Forever more it will be known as the place where three of the four ill-fated trains set off on Thursday.

Yesterday, the local sports hall should have been echoing to the sounds of youngsters taking part in their favourite sports. Instead, hundreds of mourners crammed into plastic seats for a mass for Felix Gonzales, an air force lieutenant, and Pilar Cabrejas.

It was left to Bishop Jesus Catala to put into words what many felt. "There is a divine justice that nobody can escape from," he said. "They will never escape from this justice."

As relatives of the dead stood up to leave, they received a round of applause. Psychologists stood by for those in need. One woman fainted.

Juana Torres, 47, said: "We are all devastated. We have all been crying. One does not have to be a family member to feel grief. It is a terrible pain which all the inhabitants of Alcala de Henares feel."

Comment: Consider the nature of the people that carried out this attack. Consider that they were not "crazy Arab terrorists" as the government would have us believe. Consider that the massacre in Madrid was a deliberate and conscious act, carried out by representatives of the very same government that wants us to believe that the perpetrators were "crazy Arab terrorists". The truth is that the "war on terror" is a fake war. Years before the 9/11 attacks, this phony war was being planned. The "war on terror" is owned by the US and Israeli governments. It is their plan. If it is to continue, it is they that must continue to carry out the "terror attacks", and, make no mistake, they will continue to do so.

We are well aware of the fact that it is very difficult to admit that we are being deceived, that much of what we believe about life is a lie. It goes against all of our programmed beliefs. We do not want to accept the fact that a government, supposedly tasked with protecting the people, in reality, poses the greatest threat to the people. Yet, in the face of facts that suggest that this is exactly the situation we are faced with, we all have a choice to make. It is in making this choice, one way or the other, that each of us can DO something. To choose to objectively search for truth, and then to accept the reality that results from our search, is to DO, and then to BE. To choose to ignore, at every turn, the reality that is staring us in the face, is to declare that we wish to live in a dream world, to DO nothing, to BE nothing. Those of little faith in their ability to do or be, will become that which they desire, they will become a "dream" in the past. Objective reality is made up of those that have the courage to confront it, however difficult or painful it may be to do so.

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Bomb claim overshadows Spain poll

Sunday, March 14, 2004 Posted: 1518 GMT (2318 HKT)

MADRID, Spain (CNN) -- Spaniards are voting in a general election thrown wide open by a reported al Qaeda claim that it was responsible for Thursday's Madrid train bombings to punish the government for supporting the Iraq war.

Polling booths opened at 9 a.m. (0800 GMT) Sunday amid claims that Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar's government possibly withheld information from the public about who was behind the terror attack that killed 200 people and injured 1,500 more.

Until Thursday's attack, political observers had predicted a narrow victory for the ruling conservative Popular Party over the main opposition Socialists.

It was unclear what effect the al Qaeda claim of responsibility would have on the outcome of the election, which was taking place on the third day of official mourning across the country. [...]

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Europe's Sept. 11

A U.S. expert on Europe and security warns that politics across the continent could be transformed if the Madrid bombings prove

MARK FOLLMAN
SPECIAL TO THE STAR
Mar. 14, 2004. 01:00 AM

Terrorist violence is nothing new on European soil.

From the Irish Republican Army to the Basque separatist movement ETA, political militants have spilled innocent blood for decades.

But the great fear after Thursday's devastating train bombings in Madrid is that Islamic terrorists have brought the full fury of their holy war to the heart of Europe. [...]

There are compelling reasons for Al Qaeda to strike inside Spain.

Under Prime Minister José Maria Aznar's conservative leadership, Spain was second only to Britain as Europe's biggest U.S. backer in the Iraq war and it currently has 1,300 troops fighting in Iraq.

But Europe as a whole has bigger long-term issues to face in light of the rising Islamist terrorist threat, says Kupchan, who has authored books on European nationalist movements and Europe's evolving role in global politics.

Large Muslim populations across Europe remain culturally and politically isolated, he says in this Salon.com interview — a widespread disenfranchisement that many terrorism and security experts believe will only lead to more bombs exploding across the continent.

Given the magnitude of the Madrid bombing, how will it affect Europeans' view of the terrorism issue?

If the evidence points to Al Qaeda or some other Islamist terrorist group, I think the impact on Europe's view of terrorism and its potential willingness to move closer to the U.S. on the issue will be muted.

If it's ETA, this is a new scale of destruction, but it's not something that's entirely new. Spain and most other European countries have been living with terrorism for decades. This shocks and angers people, but it doesn't suddenly revolutionize the political landscape.

If the attacks were Al Qaeda, I think there will be strong conflicting impulses. On the one hand, there will be an effort by the conservatives — who are likely to win again (in the Spanish general elections today) — to say, "Bush is right, and Aznar was right to stand behind Bush, because we all face this problem in common."

But another voice will be saying, "This is what we get for lining up with the U.S."

Keep in mind that the vast majority of Spaniards opposed the war and were not so happy with the Spanish government backing Bush. So, it will have a dual effect. [...]

Comment: The US "expert on Europe" interviewed in this article talks about possible attacks in Paris and Berlin. What he doesn't discuss is any possible reason why al-Qaeda would strike these cities in two different countries that vehemently opposed Bush's invasion of Iraq. While sympathetic towards Americans in the aftermath of 9/11, both France and Germany have been rather critical of Bush's so-called War on Terror, and rightly so. The fact that this expert sees anti-Americanism in European countries is evidence of his personal bias. It seems to us that the majority of Europeans make a clear distinction between the people of America and the actions of US leaders.

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Al-Qa'eda: We were behind the massacre in Madrid

By Damien McElroy in Madrid
14/03/2004
The Telegraph

Al-Qa'eda claimed responsibility for the Madrid train bombs atrocity late last night as Spanish police arrested five suspects in the hunt for those responsible for the deaths of 200 train travellers.

Spain's interior minister, Angel Acebes, said that an Arab-language video tape - which has yet to be authenticated - had been located in which the attacks were claimed on behalf of al-Qa'eda by Osama bin Laden's military spokesman in Europe. [...]

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FLASHBACK: French accuse MI5 of harboring "terrorists"

By Kim Willsher in Paris and David Bamber
The Telegraph
15/09/2002

French intelligence personnel have accused Britain of failing to cooperate with European partners in the war against Islamic terrorist groups. The allegations, made by senior French officials, have angered MI5 officers.

France's security services claim that their British counterparts are refusing to share information, work with them or act against known British-based terrorist suspects.

[...] The anti-terrorist official also said that the French were certain that MI5 was sheltering Abu Qatada, a militant cleric, while officially denying knowledge of his whereabouts. Mr Qatada, named by Spanish intelligence as the "spiritual head" of al-Qa'eda in Europe, disappeared from his home in Acton, west London, at the beginning of this year shortly before new anti-terrorism laws came into force. French anti-terrorist officers in Paris believe that their British counterparts at MI5 colluded in his disappearance. [...]

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Al Qaeda Claims Obscure, May Be Islamist 'Branding'

By Mark Trevelyan, Security Correspondent
Sun Mar 14, 8:11 AM ET

BERLIN (Reuters) - Messages claiming responsibility for the Madrid bombings in the name of al Qaeda are hard to verify and may be attempts by obscure factions to identify themselves with the world's leading militant "brand."

Security analysts said Sunday the discovery by Spanish police of a videotape with a purported al Qaeda claim was still inconclusive, although it added to mounting evidence of an Islamist link to the attacks that killed 200 people.

The speaker on the tape was named as Abu Dujan al Afgani and described as al Qaeda's military spokesman in Europe, although Spain's interior minister said neither Spanish nor foreign intelligence officials had heard of him.

It came days after a similar statement from a group called Abu Hafs al-Masri, claiming links to al Qaeda, in an e-mail to a London-based Arab newspaper. Basque separatist group ETA, originally blamed by Spain, has denied involvement. [...]

Experts said it was not typical of the original al Qaeda to claim responsibility in the immediate aftermath of an attack, or even at all. [...]

Comment: These "terrorists" are an ideal way to sow chaos around the world. Any group could conduct bombings or attacks anywhere, and then send either anonymous or open claims of responsibility. If a nation's intelligence agencies have never heard of the terrorist group or individual, it must be a new faction! Run for your lives! Now, what group or agency actually does have the resources, the network of "helpers", and the will to carry out these terror attacks? Take your time... We'll give you a hint: They did the happy dance when the WTC towers collapsed.

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Powell: Too Soon to Link Spain, al-Qaida

AP
March 14, 2004

WASHINGTON - The railway bombings in Spain should only underscore rather than weaken European resolve against terrorism, Secretary of State Colin Powell (news - web sites) said Sunday.

He also said it was too early to say whether al-Qaida was responsible for the attack last week that killed 200 and wounded 1,500. [...]

"I think what this illustrates is that there is a war on terror that must be fought," Powell said on "Fox News Sunday." "Nobody's immune. Saudi Arabia's not immune. Turkey's not immune. Indonesia's not immune. Spain is not immune, Germany, France.

"And so rather than finding fault with what Spain has done by being aggressive in the war on terror, this should redouble everyone's efforts to go after terrorist organizations of any kind." [...]

Comment: So, Powell is saying that although being aggressive in the War on Terror results in being attacked by terrorists, those that are not aggressive should try to be more so. That way, everyone will be attacked and they'll all sign on for America's Crusade.

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Seven killed in blast in southern Israel port

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Australia tightens train security

Sunday, March 14, 2004 Posted: 0536 GMT (1336 HKT)

SYDNEY, Australia (Reuters) -- Australia, an ally of the United States in last year's invasion of Iraq, is tightening security measures to guard against attacks similar to last week's deadly blasts in Madrid.

New South Wales, where Sydney, Australia's largest city, is located, has removed rubbish bins from railway stations and put curbs on the use of public lockers.

It is also spending $11 million (Aust. $15 million) to protect Sydney's drinking water from terrorists.

A tape purportedly from al Qaeda said the Islamic militant group had placed bombs on trains in Madrid to retaliate for Spanish cooperation with the United States, Spanish officials said on Sunday.

Spain, like Australia, has supported the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq. [...]

An exercise would be staged in Sydney on Monday, while Australia's largest-ever counter-terrorism exercise would be conducted later this month, Defense Minister Robert Hill told Channel 7 on Sunday. [...]

New South Wales Premier Bob Carr said on Sunday that regular anti-terrorism exercises would be conducted in Sydney, with every person and building a potential target of attack.

"Police, fire brigades, ambulance crews are ... ready for the event when it comes. It's a matter of when, not a matter of if," he told Radio 2GB. [...]

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Undercover police to patrol British trains

March 15, 2004

London: British police are reportedly planning to deploy train marshals to patrol the rail system in an effort to prevent terrorist attacks of the sort which killed 200 people in Madrid last week.

The Observer newspaper said undercover police officers would patrol trains on the national network as well as the London Underground. [...]

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Our reserves will train to face same terror here

By David O'Brien
Sat Mar 13 2004

CANADA'S army reserves will be trained and equipped as a homeland defence force that could respond to terrorist threats, including attacks with chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear weapons, according to a senior Defence official in Ottawa.
The initiative is just one part of an expanded role for the reserves that will see the part-time soldiers forge deeper links with civil authorities, such as police and firefighting forces. This will lead to a better response to domestic emergencies, said Maj.-Gen. Ed Fitch, commander of the Land Force Reserve Restructure project.

Other plans will see the creation of armed security platoons that can be deployed within hours to support the civil authorities, as well as local contingency planning officers to boost military and civil co-operation, Fitch said.

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Top US general warns that troops in Haiti won't tolerate further violence

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China Agrees to Amend Its Constitution

By ALEXA OLESEN, Associated Press Writer
Sun Mar 14, 5:14 AM ET

BEIJING - China took symbolic steps toward a more capitalist society Sunday, amending its constitution to protect private property rights and formalizing a former president's once-unthinkable legacy — inviting entrepreneurs to join the Communist Party. [...]

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UN caves in on inquiry into its Iraq oil-for-food 'scandal'

By Charles Laurence in New York, and Inigo Gilmore
The Telegraph
14/03/2004

The United Nations has bowed to international pressure to investigate allegations of corruption surrounding its oil-for-food programme , under which Iraqi oil was sold on behalf of Saddam Hussein's regime.

The move follows claims that UN officials were caught up in a reward system set up by Saddam, which apparently granted proceeds from the sale of million of barrels of oil to friendly politicians, officials and businessmen around the world. [...]

Comment: Now it is beginning to make "sense" (only to a psychopath), why the UN would support sanctions that starved thousands of children to death.

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FLASHBACK: Black box opens UN to new Rwanda genocide probe

The United Nations faced new questions on Thursday over its handling of the 1994 Rwanda genocide after admitting it had received an airplane black box from the country at the time - and then forgot about it until a newspaper report this week. [...]

Comment: In a world fully dominated by the self serving aspect of human nature, how deep might the rabbit hole go? Would it not be true to say that, all groups or organisations that seek to control and exert power over the population are, by default, corrupt? If so, "we the people" find ourselves in a rather precarious position, do we not? Here we sit, having acquiesced to the megalomaniacal lusts of a relatively small group of people, hoping that they will always act in our best interests. Were we deluded when we chose to do this? Or were we merely asleep? Perhaps the truth is that too many of us are too willing to reject any responsibility for our own lives, eagerly giving it up to the first "higher power" that presents itself as the protector of the people. So desireous are we for someone to take us away from the encroaching vastness of reality, which sits as a constant backdrop to our slumbering consciousness, that we have taken evil for good, wrong for right, lies for truth, and death for life.

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GIs Leave Cultural Imprint on Iraq

Morning Edition, Thursday , March 04, 2004

As the transfer of sovereignty in Iraq inches closer, U.S. soldiers starting to pull out are leaving behind subtle cultural influences. In Iraqi shops, shelves are dominated by heavy metal and rap music, Playboy magazines and U.S. Army Meals-Ready-to-Eat. [...]

Comment: Here you have an example of the much touted "freedom and democracy" that the US is determined to bestow on the "uncivilised" Arab world. The chief reason why Americans find it most difficult to see the lies of their government, is because the entirety of American culture is built on lies. American citizens themselves are actually part of the lie. The same is true, to a slightly lesser extent, of most western culture.

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Happy first birthday, war on Iraq

It was almost year ago, on March 20, when the first bombs struck 30km from Baghdad, orange glows that wallowed along the horizon. They came for Baghdad the next day, and the Cruise missiles swished over our heads to explode around the presidential palace compound, the very pile where Paul Bremer, America's supposed "expert" on terrorism, now works, resides and hides as occupation proconsul over the Anglo-American Raj.

The illusions with which the Americans and British went to war are more awesome now than they were at the time. Saddam Hussein, the man we loved when he invaded Iran and hated when he invaded Kuwait (our dictators have got to learn that only our enemies can be attacked) had already degenerated into late middle-age senility, writing epic novels in his many palaces while his crippled son Oudai drank and whored and tortured his way around Baghdad; hardly the target for the world's only superpower.[...]

United States President George Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair, of course, had a remarkably parallel set of nightmares and dreams, encouraged all the while by the right-wing neo-conservative pro-Israeli American Vulcans. Hussein was the all-powerful, evil state terrorist whose non-existent weapons of mass destruction and equally non-existent connections to the perpetrators of the 2001 attacks on New York and Washington must be laid low. Liberation, democracy, a New Middle East. There was no end to the ambitions of the conquerors.

I remember how anyone who attempted to debunk this dangerous nonsense would be set upon. Try to explain the crimes against humanity of September 11, 2001 and we were anti-American. Warn readers about the crazed alliance of right-wingers behind Bush, and we were anti-Semites. Report on the savagery visited upon Iraqi civilians during the Anglo-American air bombardment, and we were anti-British, pro-Hussein, sleeping with the enemy.

When Blair's first "dossier" was published - most of it, anyway, was tired old material on Hussein's human rights abuses, not weapons of mass destruction - the beast's weapons capability was already hedged around with "mights" and "coulds" and "possiblys". When a day after Baghdad's "liberation" I wrote in The Independent that the "war of resistance" was about to begin, I could paper my bathroom wall with the letters of abuse I received.[...]

Yet we have dangerously altered the narrative of Baghdad's last days. There was a fearful battle along Highway 1 on the western bank of the Tigris river in which Hussein's guerrillas fought off an American tank column for 36 hours, the US tanks spraying shellfire down a motorway until every vehicle - military and civilian - was a smouldering wreck. I walked the highway as the last shots were still being fired by snipers, peering into cars packed with the blackened corpses of men, women, children.

Carpets and blankets had been thrown over several piles of the dead. In the back of one car lay a young, naked woman, her perfect features blackened by fire, her husband or father still sitting at the steering wheel, his legs severed below the knees.

It was a massacre. Did we think the Iraqis would forget it?[...]

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U.S. plans big purchase of new anthrax vaccine: anti-terror strategy: enough doses for 27 million

The federal government is preparing to buy enough experimental anthrax vaccine for 27 million people, a stockpile that would permit mass inoculations in numerous U.S. cities if terrorists launched a broad assault with the deadly germ. The new vaccine would be the most significant addition to the national anti-terrorism stockpile since the Bush administration fulfilled a pledge to buy enough smallpox vaccine for every U.S. citizen.
[...]

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"Borg Invasion 4D"

Las Vegas, Nev. (February 2, 2004) — When Paramount Parks opens its latest attraction "Borg Invasion 4D" on March 18, 2004, guests will be amazed by the multiple state-of-the-art technologies and special effects that immerse visitors into the power of Star Trek, a worldwide phenomenon that has spanned nearly four decades.

"Borg Invasion 4D" is one of the most advanced entertainment attractions in the world and boasts a long list of "firsts":

The first Star Trek production that has ever been shot digitally

The first all-digital motion picture to incorporate live action and animation within a 3D cinema environment

The first multiple-angle 3D cinema production with 3D effects from the front, overhead and both right and left sides of the participant

The first time a Steadicam has ever been used in a 3D production, allowing the director to achieve shots from the "point of view” of the guest, placing the viewer in a "you are there" environment.

The first world-wide attraction to use the 2K digital cinema projection, which produces a clearer resolution than any other digital projection system in the world.
In addition to its innovative digital technologies, "Borg Invasion 4D" will incorporate revolutionary live special effects to enhance the overall guest experience.

"Our technology partners have helped produce one of the most exciting and innovative attractions in the world that uses physical effects to fully immerse the guest in the entertainment experience," says Alexander Weber, Jr., CEO of Paramount Parks."'Borg Invasion 4D' participants will experience an unprecedented marriage of technology and entertainment as the Borg attempt to assimilate each guest using sight, sound and touch."

Comment: Symbolic on more than one level, perhaps.

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Big sunspot 570 has broken in two

spaceweather.com

The disintegrating sunspot has a "beta-gamma-delta" magnetic field that harbors energy for X-class solar flares.

Comment: Do geomagnetic storms have an impact on our health. There has been some research that concludes that there may be.

GEOMAGNETIC STORMS AND HUMAN HEALTH

Psychiatric admissions. Since the work of T. Dull and B. Dull in 1935, other studies have reinforced the suspicion that solar activity and the resultant geomagnetic activity are associated with human health problems. Here is the abstract of the latest study found:

"Numbers of first admissions per month for a single psychiatric unit, from 1977 to 1987, were examined for 1829 psychiatric inpatients to assess whether this measure was correlated with 10 parameters of geophysical activity. Four statistically significant values were 0.197 with level of solar radio flux at 2800 MHz in the corresponding month, -0.274 with sudden magnetic disturbances of the ionosphere, -0.216 with the index of geomagnetic activity, and -0.262 with the number of hours of positive ionization of the ionosphere in the corresponding month."

(Raps, Avi, et al; "Geophysical Variables and Behavior: LXIX. Solar Activity and Admission of Psychiatric Inpatients," Perceptual and Motor Skills , 74:449, 1992.)

Comment . The above correlations are significant, but who knows how these parameters operate on the human body?

Cancer recurrence . Another possible health correlation was explored by H. Wendt in a paper presented at the 1992 European meeting of the Society for Scientific Exploration, in Munich. In this paper, Wendt claimed a correlation between the incidence of cancer recurrence and geomagnetic storm activity. Hopefully, further details will soon become available. (Anonymous; "SSE News Items," Journal of Scientific Exploration , 6:208, 1992.)

If true, such data could be known, but all kinds of other factors could be blamed to increase control and fear.

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FLASHBACK: Solar activity reaches new high

2 December 2003
Physics Web

Geophysicists in Finland and Germany have calculated that the Sun is more magnetically active now than it has been for over a 1000 years. [...]

"We need to understand this unprecedented level of activity," Usoskin told PhysicsWeb . "Is it is a rare event that happens once a millennium - which means that the Sun will return to normal - or is it a new dynamic state that will keep solar activity levels high?" The Finnish-German team also speculates that increased solar activity may be having an effect on the Earth's climate, but more work is needed to clarify this.

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Tracking Disease Outbreaks From Space

[...] Then they scrutinize satellite images to learn how disease-friendly conditions look from space. The satellites can then watch for those conditions over an entire region, country, or even continent as they silently slide across the sky once a day, every day. [...]

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22 Dolphin deaths in Florida bay

CAPE SAN BLAS, Florida (AP) -- Scientists stepped up efforts Friday to discover what's been killing bottlenose dolphins in and near a bay in the Florida Panhandle, as the death toll climbed to at least 22 over three days.

Water samples from St. Josephs Bay will be tested for possible toxins, and autopsies were being conducted, but it could be two weeks before biologists have an answer, said Blair Mase of the National Marine Fisheries Service.

The carcasses have been found in the bay up to a mile from shore, and in the Gulf of Mexico near the mouth of the bay, about 80 miles southwest of Tallahassee.

Anne Harvey, manager of St. Joseph Peninsula State Park, said redfish and horseshoe crabs also have been killed. That has increased suspicion that red tide or some other toxin may be responsible, Mase said.

The scattering of dolphin carcasses in open water as well as along the shore indicates the mammals did not strand themselves, Harvey said.

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Life on Mars?

By Michael Alicea
Palm Beach Post
Sunday, March 14, 2004

The two Mars Rovers, Opportunity and Spirit, working on opposite sides of the planet, have already achieved their shared goal: to find evidence of liquid water on the barren world. Although they didn't find actual glistening pools of Martian water, they did discover strong evidence that Mars was once a world drenched in water, with rivers and streams flowing into larger basins and perhaps even an ocean or two.

Important questions remain unanswered: Where did the water go? How long was it on the planet? And, because water is one of the key elements needed for life as we know it, was there -- is there -- life on that hunk of rock next door?

Comment: So much talk about Mars in the media these days, it has almost become boring. Fascination with all things Martian seems to go in waves. The below article discusses the Viking experiment results, and highlights how you can't trust media interpretations:

UNEARTHLY LIFE ON MARS

From the media standpoint -- and therefore that of most people -- the Viking Martian biological experiments were uncompromisingly negative. However, R. Lewis points out that this is simple not so.

The labelled-release experiments on both landers produced positive results every time a nutrient was added to fresh Martian soil. (The nutrient was tagged with carbon-14, and radioactive carbon dioxide always evolved, suggesting biological metabolism.) Further, the soil samples, when sterilized by heat, gave uniformly negative results.

On earth, such repeatable experiments would be considered strong evidence that life existed in the samples. The reason the Viking experiments were described as "negative" is that the other two life detection experiments produced negative or equivocal results. The gas chromatograph, for example, detected no organic molecules in the Martian soil; and it is difficult to conceive of life without organic molecules. At first, most scientists preferred to explain the ambiguous life-detection-experiment results in terms of strange extraterrestrial chemistry.

Nevertheless, strange extraterrestrial life would explain the data equally well. Everyone should be aware that the Viking biology team still considers life on Mars as a real possibility. (Lewis, Richard; "Yes. There Is Life on Mars," New Scientist , 80:106, 1978.)

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Are U.S. senators real 'inside traders'?

Study shows stock portfolios outperform market by 12%

While Martha Stewart is facing jail time for her role in dumping stock just before a government action would decrease its value, U.S. senators have an uncanny knack for doing this on a regular basis – with impunity from the securities laws they write. A study of U.S. senators' personal stock portfolios has found they outperformed the market by an average of 12 percent a year in the five years to 1998. [...]

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Critics see nothing fantastique in Kerry's impeccable French

WASHINGTON -- Sacre bleu! U.S. Republicans have come up with a novel line of attack against Democrat John Kerry -- he speaks French. Worse yet, he has family in France.

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Koevoet, 32 battalion and the coup plot

The alleged plan to overthrow the government of Equatorial Guinea was hatched on a farm in Walkerville, about 40km south of Johannesburg.

The farm, sources have told The Sunday Independent, is owned by a farmer well-known in right-wing circles. Although the South African authorities are keen to ask the farmer some questions, their actions largely depend on the developments in Harare and Equatorial Guinea, where 70 men have been held for plotting to overthrow the government of President Obiang Nguema.

The majority of those held in Harare held South African citizenship but were not born in this country. Most of them worked for the notorious 32 battalion and Koevoet, a special force which operated under the South African Defence Force. In 1994, most of the men, originally from Namibia and Angola, were integrated into the South African National Defence Force and given South African citizenship.

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Extradition unlikely for Zimbabwe coup accused

The alleged South African mercenaries detained in Equatorial Guinea and Zimbabwe this week for plotting to overthrow the government of President Obiang Nguema are highly unlikely to be extradited and will probably be tried in those countries.

Chris Maroleng, a researcher from the Institute for Security Studies, said evidence was mounting that the arrest of the men was a "joint African sting" involving the intelligence, security and military agencies of South Africa, Equatorial Guinea and Zimbabwe.

South Africa, however, did not have the necessary treaties with Zimbabwe and Equatorial Guinea to effect extradition.[...]

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Haiti's new PM vows to unite island

Port-au-Prince - Haiti's new prime minister Gerard Latortue promised to unite his rebellion-scarred country, even as he criticised Jamaica's decision to host a visit to the region by ousted president Jean-Bertrand Aristide.

United States Marines, engaged in nightly gunbattles with looters and dissidents, guarded the National Palace on Friday as Latortue took the oath of office in front of 200 dignitaries and members of Haiti's former opposition.

"I'm a man of dialogue," he said. "I give you the assurance that I will work and listen to you all as much as possible."

Latortue said he would begin visiting cities across Haiti, starting with his hometown of Gonaives, where the rebellion that helped push Aristide from office began on February 5.[...]

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SA family wins asylum case in the US

A white South African family which accused the South African government of failing "to protect white citizens" has won a landmark case in the United States, which will see people getting asylum in that country if they prove they are being persecuted by other people or relatives for simply being members of the same family.

According to reports, a US federal appeals court this week ruled that the family's link to a racist father-in-law qualified them for asylum protection, because they were victims of persecution by black employees of the "bigoted relative".

According to a report in the Los Angeles Daily Journal, the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals decision expands asylum protection for persecuted refugees by declaring that the family qualifies as one of the five protected specified categories for asylum - the "social group".

The white South African family, the Thomases, sought asylum in the United States because they were allegedly targeted for violent attacks by blacks who worked for the family's racist father-in-law, known only as "Boss Ronnie".[...]

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A snuff movie for Christians

The Passion Of The Christ is a pointless and sick film. It has been mired in controversy ever since devout Catholic Mel Gibson first announced that he was making a movie about Jesus Christ’s Crucifixion. At first the project seemed praiseworthy: unknown actors were to be cast (instead of buff starlets with impossibly perfect teeth), the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John were to be consulted and the dialogue was to be rendered in Aramaic and Latin.

So far, so good.

But something went wrong. And instead of making a film that explains why Jesus was persecuted, or reinvigorates Christian faith, or even clarifies some aspects of Christianity to non-Christians, Gibson has made a snuff movie – with the Son of God as the victim.[...]

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Madagascan cyclone blows away 59 souls

Antananarivo - At least 59 people were killed on Madagascar when a tropical cyclone swept across the north of the Indian Ocean island last week, the national rescue centre said on Saturday in an updated toll.

[...] According to the updated toll, 161 people are missing, 21 injured and more than 33 400 left homeless.[...]

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UK to fingerprint Ugandan visa applicants

Kampala - Britain's High Commission in Kampala said on Friday it will fingerprint visa applicants from Monday to prevent abuse of immigration and asylum rules.

The move is part of a worldwide programme to cut unfounded asylum claims, the High Commission in the Ugandan capital said in a statement.

Thousands of people in the East African country apply for visas to visit Britain every year, with long queues outside the High Commission daily.

Britain announced the measure in January, saying it would affect applicants from five East and Horn of Africa countries, including those with refugee documents.[...]

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Zimbabwe's inflation rate slows to ... 602.5%

Harare - Zimbabwe's annual inflation rate slowed slightly to 602,5 percent in February from 622,8 percent in January, official figures showed.

The drop in consumer prices is the first this year, a year that the central bank is certain inflation will drop to below 200 percent.[...]

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A robot indistinguishable from a human?

Tokyo - Japanese consumer electronics giant Sony will set up a laboratory to develop intelligent robots, adding to its line of pet and humanoid machines, a press report said on Sunday.

The laboratory will be established in May or June by recruiting 10 to 20 leading researchers in robotics and brain science from universities and research institutes in Japan, the Asahi Shimbun daily said.

No official was available at the head office of Sony to confirm the report.

"I hope to bring into existence in five years' time a robot which can communicate so naturally that it is indistinguishable from man," the daily quoted senior Sony executive Toshitada Doi as saying.[...]

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Broadened FBI wiretapping powers would require net fixes

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Firefighters to go after Bush 'loudly and aggressively'

By Klaus Marre

When, in the future, the Bush campaign is “using firefighters for their photo op,” the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) “will loudly and aggressively” make known the administration’s cuts to federal funds for first responders, Harold Schaitberger, the group’s general president, told The Hill. [...]

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'No one could help me escape'

By Kim Wilsher
The Telegraph

Tens of thousands of unwanted Swiss children were sold in auctions or given away as cheap labour until the 1950s, according to a shocking television documentary which has forced the country to confront a dark chapter of its recent past.

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Exercise leaves El Al passenger with a gun

By Zohar Blumenkrantz

El Al places firearms in the suitcases of some passengers without their knowledge as part of a training exercise for security personnel.

The practice was exposed last week after a passenger returning to Israel from Frankfurt opened his suitcase to find a pistol that did not belong to him. After alerting the police, the passenger was informed that it was a simulated weapon used by El Al security in training exercises.

El Al is negotiating with the startled customer over appropriate compensation. [...]

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One Mexican Worker Dying Every Day in the US

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B.C. bird flu control zone imposed

Last Updated Fri, 12 Mar 2004 9:43:48

VANCOUVER - Federal Agriculture Minister Bob Speller imposed restrictions on the movement of poultry and eggs in Greater Vancouver and in the Fraser Valley late Thursday in an attempt to stop avian influenza from spreading.

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Britain is in smoking 'timewarp'

BBC
Sunday, 14 March, 2004, 03:43 GMT

Britain is not doing enough to stop people from smoking, public health experts have warned.

Writing in the Medical Journal of Australia, the researchers said Britain was in a "timewarp" and people should have been given more help to quit.

They pointed to the fact that adult ex-smokers have outnumbered smokers in Australia since 1989. [...]

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Hungary for a hamster cull

London - On a ramshackle farm in the frozen plains of central Hungary, three tin cans dangle unthreateningly from a nail hammered into the wall of a small, wooden shed. They are open at both ends and inside each is a small metal coil. It is hard to determine what use such contraptions could be put to, but Arvai Agoston insists they are a vital piece of equipment, without which many farmers would suffer devastating blows to their crops.

Poking a finger inside one of the cans, the 46-year-old smallholder touches the metal coil, activating a spring mechanism. At either end of the can, a wire noose springs shut. "And it is here," he explains matter-of-factly, "that the hamster is strangled."

In a few weeks, just as Hungary becomes a full member of the European Union, contraptions like this will start to appear all over the country as a cull of hamsters, or horcsog, gets under way.

Tens of thousands of the tiny creatures will suffer a gruesome death, often taking several hours to suffocate, in a procedure that is sanctioned by the state and the rest of Europe, where a thriving trade in hamster fur relies upon it.

Each pelt sells for 600 Hungarian forints (R18) to furriers, who export them to Germany and Austria, to be made into coats and hats that are sold around the world. The latest luxury must-have fashion item at a store in Scotland is a hamster-lined coat on sale at P1 750 (about R21 000). The coats were taken off the shelves at the House of Bruar at Blair Atholl in Perthshire after public outrage.[...]

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City investigates 'Kill Bush' graffiti

By The Denver Post

Greenwood Village police are investigating a series of images spray-painted on a city wall that call for the death of President Bush.

Twelve apparently stenciled images were found Saturday sprayed on a city-owned concrete wall in the 4800 block of South Yosemite Street, said Officer Richard Benavidez. Each had an image of the president with the words "Kill Bush" and "Liberate America."

There was writing between two of the Bush images and gang-unit experts are being contacted to determine what the writing represents, Benavidez said.

He said the Secret Service has been notified of the anti-Bush images. Threatening the president is a felony, he added.

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A Florida Town Asks Itself: Did Banning Satan by Proclamation Make a Difference?

By Todd Lewan
The Associated Press

INGLIS, Fla. (AP) - It truly was an ambitious undertaking: But Carolyn Risher, mayor of this coastal hamlet of shrimp fishermen and God-fearing folk, believed the hour had come to cleanse her town of the giver of evil.

Of Satan himself.

His grip on the community, she'd noticed, had become disturbingly apparent: a father had molested a child, teens were dressing in black and powdering their faces white, pot and crystal-meth use was on the uptick.

So she sat at her kitchen table on Halloween night two years ago and drafted a proclamation. The words flowed from her pen almost, she recalled later, as though God was guiding her hand. [...]

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