Today's conditions brought to you by the Bush Junta - marionettes of their hyperdimensional puppet masters - Produced and Directed by the CIA, based on an original script by Henry Kissinger, with a cast of billions.... The "Greatest Shew on Earth," no doubt, and if you don't have a good sense of humor, don't read this page! It is designed to reveal the "unseen."
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Tuesday , March 23, 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, Part 8, Part 9, Part 10

Picture of the Day

Cove on the Grande-Terre coast of Guadeloupe
©2004 Pierre-Paul Feyte

Many modern political commentators lament the alleged demise of America as "the greatest democracy on earth". They assert that what was once a land of opportunity and freedom for all has now been annexed and become the property of a small cabal of greedy and ruthless "elite" who see the people, as well as the land, as one of the resources now at their disposal. In doing so, these same political commentators, overtly or by implication, suggest that America can, in some way, be restored to it's former mythical, liberated state. This concept, while partly true, is nevertheless distorted in such a way as to render any truth it contains useless to the reader.

The crucial point that is omitted is that America never was the "land of the free and the home of the brave", except in the minds of the people. From day one, and before it, America was always becoming that which it is today - a fascist dictatorship in everything but name. There is no scope then for the people to Do anything about the current state of America. On the one hand you have the reality that the US, since it's creation, has brought poverty and suffering to billions throughout the world, killing many millions more. At the same time you have the average American still believing that the US is the greatest democracy on earth. How can two such opposing "realities" coexist? Without doubt, such a situation can only be the result of a conscious campaign of deception and brainwashing that is staggering in its scope and intensity.

In a maneuver that must have Machiavelli applauding from the beyond, successive US governments and other agencies, with an advanced understanding of the human condition, have waged a campaign of lies and disinformation against the American people that has resulted in the complete subversion of reality and truth. Many Americans today live in a "dream world", where truth and reality are completely subjective. The overview, or foundational "facts" of reality are provided by the "leaders"; the people themselves are allowed to decide the details, over which they are free and encouraged to argue with each other. Democrat or Republican, Gay or Heterosexual, Gun rights or Gun ban, Jesus or Abraham. All of these and more provide the "evidence" that Americans have a choice and therefore inhabit a free and Democratic society.

Tell us this: If a person has "free speech", which he or she is permitted to use to openly discuss and debate the pros and cons of a number of social, political or religious systems - all of which are completely illusory and have no basis in fact or reality - can this really be used to declare that such a person is truly "free"? Where is the choice in such a scenario?

The psychological enslavement of the American people could not have been achieved without the willing participation of the people themselves. A person can be enslaved simply by force, but then it is clear to the person that they are enslaved. To achieve the enslavement of a population while maintaining the illusion of freedom is much more complex, and it is in the complexity and SCALE of the maneuver that success is ensured. The egocentrism that forms a basis for the human condition means that people have an innate desire and need to believe that they are right. This trait has been used to great effect by the "elite" to manipulate people into believing the lies that have been presented to them. The bigger and more complete the lie, the less chance there is that people will be willing to accept it as such. Do any of us want to believe that our entire world view might be a lie? What are your "sacred cows"? What aspects of your view of reality are "no go" areas? If you refuse to allow any reassessment of your world view, when it can be proven that many aspects of it are in fact not YOURS at all, then by definition you are not free - you are a slave, and you have chosen slavery. It is not that the average American citizen CANNOT see but that they REFUSE to see, and there is no way to convince such a person that they are blind.

A case in point is a recent email that came to us from one of our regular readers:

"For the longest time I had been reading this web site with a curious open mind, I liked reading everything, always finding it an interesting stream of ideas, but now, I'm beginning to think you're all demented and essentially lost in your original mission. Same old story, seen it a dozen times, bloated egos take a particle of hidden truths and flip out becoming their own parody. Your politics stink.

Of course, we are in wicked times, and, of course, politicians are doing their underhanded business lead by evil puppet masters, but sometimes this site goes down the spider hole of real Leftist insanity.

I'm sick of it. What turned the tide is that I'm sick that your sarcastic, ugly attack on Mel Gibson's movie and people who have a more complex conception of Christianity. Tired of the Leftist wallow of paranoia, self-righteousness and accusations. Sure, I can take criticism but this has become something entirely different. You ask who benefits? I say who benefits from attacking him? I found Gibson's movie deeply moving and aware of the conflict of good and evil that happens on more than one level of existence. His good works, both public and private are far better than the spiteful ideas of "Signs of the Times". To think that you have the corner on truth is delusional. I once believed you folks, now I think you lost it all and lost your way in ego and spirit.

What a shame."

Notice in the above how the reader is willing to accept that politicians have an agenda and even the possibility that "evil puppet masters" are manipulating the politicians, yet he is obviously unwilling to consider the idea that politics and the arguments between left and right wing are part of the same "evil puppet masters" agenda. Logical thinking? We think not!

But the real bone of contention for this reader is that ubiquitous bane of humanity, organised religion. Emotions are so easily manipulated, and the above reader has obviously had an emotional reaction to our commentary on "The Passion" movie. The movie is clearly designed to provoke an emotional reaction in viewers. Emotions, when allowed to run wild without input from the intellect, can seem very complex to us, making it very difficult to See anything objectively. Emotions can even convince us that we have a more "complex" understanding of something, and that is why others do not understand us. This seems to be the case with the above reader. Of course, this is his choice. Everyone is free to choose between fact and fantasy. There is a wealth of information on this website that provides ample evidence for the likelihood that the entire histories of the mainstream organised religions are to a large extent fictitious. We cannot force anyone to accept them as truth, but present them as they are for each to consider.

We find it at once fascinating and alarming to see the extreme resistance in many people to the idea that they have been fooled, that their very thoughts are not their own. Most people are less interested in finding out how deep the rabbit hole really goes, preferring instead to decide for themselves how far they will LET it go. A nice mixture of truth and reality still results in illusion. There can be no compromise with the truth.

Clearly, the main way that the illusion of reality is perpetuated is through the denial of access to historical truth. We can do nothing to force anyone to See. Those that desire to do so will hopefully find the strength to overcome the illusions which they have, up to this point, chosen. Our work is to reassemble, as much as humanly possible, the truth of history and the part we play in it. This, at least, can facilitate a true choice for those that desire it.

Israel will target all Hamas leaders: defence minister

Last Updated Tue, 23 Mar 2004 7:43:41

JERUSALEM - Israel has decided to kill the entire leadership of Hamas, the country's defence minister said Tuesday, as Palestinians vowed to inflict revenge for the assassination of Hamas founder Sheikh Ahmed Yassin.

"If we will continue, in a determined way, with our strikes against Hamas and other terror groups, with the means I outlined, including action against those leaders, we will bring more security to Israeli citizens," Shaul Mofaz said. Mofaz and his security chiefs decided to step up targeted assassinations after meeting for five hours late Monday, despite international condemnation of Yassin's assassination and Palestinian warnings that Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon "opened the gates of hell" in ordering the attack.

Security sources told the Associated Press that the Israeli cabinet made a decision in principle to target top Hamas officials one by one last week, after two Palestinian suicide bombers killed 10 people at the Israeli port of Ashdod.

[...] One Israeli politician told CBC News that Sharon's decision to have Yassin killed was equal to his provocative visit on Sept. 28, 2000, to the Temple Mount.

That visit led, one day later, to the beginning of the current intifada, or Palestinian uprising against Israel.

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Israel promises more targeted killings

Tuesday 23 March 2004, 15:27 Makka Time, 12:27 GMT

Hamas is to hold elections to designate a successor for its slain spiritual leader Shaikh Ahmad Yasin as Israel reiterates threats that all Palestinian resistance leaders are targets.

Hamas political chief Muhammad Shamaa said on Tuesday the movement would decide on a successor in a democratic manner.

[...] In his first comments since the attack, Israeli Defence Minister Shaul Mofaz said the killing of Yasin was a huge blow to Hamas.

However, he admitted that the immediate reaction might be counterproductive, saying that, "Maybe in the short run such an act may strengthen the emotions and the motivation of Hamas."

Hamas leaders confirmed the Intifada or uprising against Israeli occupation would not be deterred.

“We are going to intensify our armed struggle until the elimination of the occupation and nobody will say that Israel left our area by negotiation but they suffered too much from our struggle,” said Hamas leader Mahmud Zahar.

He was speaking at Shaikh Yasin’s home in Gaza City, where Palestinians had been lining up to offer condolences to his family.

The occupied Gaza Strip and West Bank were in mourning for the loss of the wheelchair-bound cleric.

Schools, universities and businesses are closed, reported Aljazeera’s correspondent.

Israel was on heightened alert for retaliation attacks. Security has also been boosted at Israeli embassies around the world.

World anger

On the diplomatic front, international condemnation for Israel’s attack continued.

One of the strongest condemnations came from the European Union’s External Affairs Commissioner Chris Patten, who said Israel's assassination of Yasin was downright "stupid”.

"We have to make it clear, like (UN Secretary General) Kofi Annan, that what has happened was illegal,” said Patten, speaking on BBC radio.

Japan on Tuesday summoned Israel's ambassador over the killing, describing it as "a reckless act that has no justification whatsoever."

Russian newspapers said Yasin's murder could bury any chance of peace in the Middle East and warned that Israel had opened the "gate to hell".

"Iraq 2. The murder of Hamas's leader is going to make the situation in the Middle East unpredictable," wrote Nezavisimaya Gazeta.

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Assassination method: surveillance drone and a Hellfire missile

A small, pilotless plane circling above the home of Sheikh Yassin - unseen in the pre-dawn gloom and almost silent - was the only advance warning that anyone on the ground might have had. Far away, the Israeli military studied the night-sight images from the plane on a TV screen, waiting for the Hamas leader to leave his house on a short, fateful journey to the mosque. The few minutes that he spent praying were enough time to call up an Apache helicopter armed with Hellfire missiles. As he left the mosque, the drone overhead shone its laser beam on to the target (probably the wheelchair), guided by the distant Israeli operator at the TV screen. [...]

Comment: US citizens donate part of their income to purchase one Apache attack Helicopter, one drone surveillance craft, assorted surveillance equipment and 3 Hellfire missiles. On behalf of US citizens, the US government sends the equipment to Israel, which then uses the "gifts" to kill an old man in a wheelchair. Isn't America great!

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Yassin assassination sends global shockwaves, Israel warns of more killings

Wednesday March 24

Israel's assassination of Hamas spiritual head Sheikh Ahmed Yassin touched off more worldwide protests and strong condemnation but the Jewish state refused to change its policy of targeting the group's leaders.

From Tripoli, Libya, to Cairo, Egypt and Amman, Jordan, thousands of Arabs took to the streets to vent their outrage, burning Israeli and US flags as well as portraits of Sharon. [...]

"Israel, by taking this means, has actually committed an act of state terrorism," the ministry was quoted as saying by the official Bernama news agency.

And Syria warned the United States that its failure to condemn the Israeli action undermined Washington's bid to improve its image among Arabs.

Speaking in Cairo after talks with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, Syrian Foreign Minister Faruq al-Shara said "The entire international community denounced this attack, except the United States which refused to condemn it."

He urged Washington to "reconsider its position, which would save them a great many of their efforts they are making to improve their image in the Arab and Muslim world. [...]

The EU's External Affairs Commissioner Chris Patten was scathing in its denunciation of Israel, saying the killing of the 67-year-old wheelchair-bound cleric during an Israeli air strike Monday was downright "stupid".

The press reaction around the world was overwhelmingly negative for Israel. [...]

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Arafat's turn is coming

News RU, a Russian news site, is reporting that Israel declares: this is the message to Arafat and Nasrall - they must understand that their turn is coming soon. This was at press conference this morning in Tel Aviv. The speaker was an army official.

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Murdered At Daybreak: Hamas spiritual leader Sheikh Ahmed Yassin was murdered at daybreak on Monday.

Gilad Atzmon

03/22/04: "ICH" -- Israel Air Force helicopters fired missiles at the car carrying the wheelchair-bound head of the Islamic group as he left a mosque near his house in Gaza City. It also appears Ariel Sharon was in direct command of the assassination operation, not entirely surprising considering his bloody history.

For those who fail to realise, today's barbaric Israeli act is an open call for a world war. It is the final wake up call for every Muslim around the world. It is violent proof that Israel isn't only against the Palestinians but rather against Islam. Israel killed a prime spiritual leader on his way out of the mosque. I have no doubt that this Israeli act won't be forgiven.

I also have no doubt that many Israelis will pay with their life for Sharon's act. Moreover I am sure that sooner rather than later many innocent non-Israelis around the world will die just for being near by an Israeli embassy, Israeli consulate, a synagogue or even an American bank... This is the reality Sharon favours the most.

This is exactly what Israel wants: to turn the entire world into a victim of terror. This might help us to realise the main difference between the Israeli left and right. While both believe in the right of the Jews to live in Zion on the expense of the Palestinian people, the Israeli right wing rely on maintaining a bloody struggle, oppressing the Palestinian people (in particular) and humiliating Arabs (in general). While the Israeli left would attempt to come up with some unrealistic righteous suggestions to appease the Palestinian people and the world community (Oslo accord for instance), the right wing Israelis will suggest that the only method to guarantee Israeli security is to maintain the conflict with the Palestinian people and to let it escalate into an international battle.

On the surface it seems bizarre considering Sharon was just recently pretending to suggest a plan of Israeli disengagement from the Gaza strip.

Today he gave us a real chance to peep into his mind. The 'disengagement plan' was just another of Sharon's tricks. In fact, Sharon and the Israeli right wing need the Palestinians, they need them oppressed and humiliated, they need their terror. Israeli right wing hegemony is fed by terror. And now there is a new need emerging. Israel is facing a demographic disaster.

Within five years there will be a Palestinian majority in the territories controlled by Israel (between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River). This is literally the end of the Zionist dream. Eventually Israel will have to give away its Jewish identity. While the Israeli left remains confused about this reality, the Israeli right wing is fully prepared. For years Israeli warmongers have openly discussed 'transfer': the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people.

Considering the current world affairs and general opposition to Israel it is hard to believe that large scale ethnic cleansing would go ahead unless some colossal catastrophe was in place. Sharon is preparing the ground for such a disaster. He needs a war, a big one, something that will allow him to go wild, to go out of control, to initiate a campaign in which Israeli soldiers will become murderous squads ready massacre against the Palestinian civilians.

Sharon wants to re-launch the1948 Nakba. Sharon fully understands that this is what the Israeli public want. He is very good at reading their innermost desires.

The killing of Sheikh Yassin pushed the violence far beyond any recognisable measure. It is pushing the Palestinian masses towards martyrdom. According to the Israeli military doctrine, Israel would never be defeated by terror.

But at the same time every Israeli realises that the Zionist adventure will be categorically defeated by a demographic crisis. The assassination of Sheikh Yassin is there to push the Palestinians towards acts that will allow the Israelis to impose the most murderous measures against the Palestinian civilians. Mr Sharon, a world acclaimed war criminal and serial murderer proved again that at least when blood games are concerned, he is one step ahead of the game.

A reader comments: A helicopter MISSILE attack on a wheelchair-bound half blind old man is so ludicrously, sick-and-twistedly over-the-top (notwithstanding his significance as a person) it would be hilarious if it wasn't so tragically real - its like something out of an 'itchy & scratchy' cartoon.

Is this being partly used as a 'sleepiness tester' on the general population, to see just to what extent such outrageous, blatant and seemingly irresponsible actions can be carried out, (again), without so much as a murmur of disbelief from the world at large?

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Angry Palestinians Bury Hamas Leader

Mar 22, 9:07 PM (ET)

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) - Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians chanting "Revenge! Revenge!" flooded Gaza's streets Monday to bury Hamas founder Sheik Ahmed Yassin, who was assassinated by an Israeli missile. As ordinary Palestinians seethed with anger, militants pledged unprecedented retaliation - including threats against the United States.

[...] The attack came before daybreak, when Israeli helicopters swooped toward a Gaza street and fired three missiles as Yassin, his bodyguards and dozens of others left the mosque.

Blood and flesh splattered on the walls. Nearby windows shattered. Only a charred metal seat and two twisted wheels were left of Yassin's wheelchair, and a blood-soaked brown shoe lay in the street. Lying in tatters nearby was the brown blanket in which Yassin - a quadriplegic - was nearly always wrapped.

"Two or three people were lying next to him on the ground. One was legless," said taxi driver Yousef Haddad.

Among those killed were several of Yassin's bodyguards and his son-in-law. Seventeen people were wounded, including two of Yassin's sons.

After the attack, residents rubbed their hands in pieces of gravel mixed with Yassin's blood, a traditional sign of anger and a preparation for revenge.

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Airport security as political bullying

By Jonathan Cook in Nazareth
Friday 12 March 2004, 21:49 Makka Time, 18:49 GMT

A recent trip by Holocaust survivor Hedy Epstein, 79, to see for herself what is happening to Palestinians under Israeli occupation in the West Bank and Gaza ended with shocking humiliation.

Epstein says she was questioned for five hours by a security team at Israel's Ben Gurion airport when she arrived for her flight home to Saint Louis, Missouri, in the United States.

After it was discovered that she had visited the Palestinian cities of Bethlehem and Qalqilya and participated in protests against the separation wall Israel is building, she was taken off to a side room.

There she was told to undress.

A woman security officer carried out a "strip search of every part of my naked body," she recalls. "The only shame these security officials expressed was to turn their badges around so that their names were invisible.

"The only conceivable purpose for this gross violation of my bodily integrity was to humiliate and terrify me," she adds.

Epstein, whose parents were killed during the Holocaust and was saved because she was smuggled out of Nazi Germany in 1939, says the airport checks were the final indignity in a trip full of horrors.

[...] But it has become apparent over the past few months that a new group has been added to the list of those likely to be humiliated at the airport: leftwing Israeli Jews.

The Israeli authorities have always tracked closely the small number of Israelis - maybe a few dozen - belonging to extreme or militant anti-Zionist groups.

But they now seem to be worried by what they see as the increasing radicalisation of some leftwing activists, especially among the youth.

The security services have been particularly alarmed at the number of Israelis prepared to cross the Green Line, the pre-1967 border with the West Bank, in violation of military orders, to see for themselves what the country's army is doing.

Many have been drawn to visit Palestinian villages for the first time by demonstrations against the separation wall.

[...] A former airport security officer recently told Haaretz anonymously: "Once, every Arab was considered a terrorist. Then it was everyone who knows an Arab, and now it's anyone who knows someone who knows an Arab. Altogether that adds up to quite a few people."

Comment: The article continues with a long list of ways and means used by the Israelis to humiliate people traveling through the airport in order to prevent activists from coming into Israel to support the struggle of the Palestinians in the occupied territories.

Another brick in the wall.

The assassination of Shaiyk Yassin is a calculated act to take the conflict to a new level. Today's announcement that Israel wants to kill all the leaders of Hamas shows that this is no hiccup. Sharon is a bloodthirsty war criminal who has shown a consistency of policy and action for his entire career, both in the military and as a politician. He appears to have an agenda of eradicating the Palestinians and taking Israel along with them. Of course, the Palestinians are going to fight using every means at their disposal. It is a matter of life and death for them. What other option do they have? Why wouldn't they continue to use suicide bombers?

If this is the case, then Sharon's agenda is not the security of Israel, but rather the destruction of Israel. But Zionists have always been willing to sacrifice other Jews in order to implement their plans. It is clear that there is a group of Zionists who have no love for the rest of humanity, including the Jews. Some of them are in power in Washington, some are in power in Tel Aviv. But we are then left to pose the question, what plan could they possibly have that would necessitate the sacrificing of all the Jews of Israel, not to mention the Moslems of the Middle East? What god are they really worshipping? What master do they really serve?

Most people will think in terms of the material world, they will think in terms of conflicts between countries and races. Then they will take sides. This is where discussions of these issues become problematic because they can descend into racism or patriotism and when that happens, lives are lost. Passions are inflamed. People lose their fragile capacities of thought. But when these stories are put in the perspective of world history, we perceive an invisible hand guiding things to this moment in time and understand that there are no "good guys," that there are no "good races" or "bad races." There are only individuals who have to remove themselves from these manipulations. If as an individual, you are capable of rising above the lies and the terrible attempts to manipulate you, it doesn't matter who you are or what colour you are or what culture you are from. What matters is what you SEE.

The others will be pulled into these illusory battles through the threads that tie them to ideologies, bloodlines, or religion.

The pieces are being put into place for civil war in the US, war in the Middle East, war in Europe. The signs are all around us, in politics, in the environment, in the weather, in the growing number of meteors streaking through our skies.

Our gods demand a blood sacrifice and their henchmen in suits and ties are preparing the feast.

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France: Recent Bin Laden Location Found

March 23, 2004

PARIS (Reuters) - International forces recently found a location where fugitive al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden is thought to have taken refuge, according to French Defense Minister Michele Alliot-Marie.

She said in an interview to be published Tuesday that French troops operating near Afghanistan's border with Pakistan had helped trace bin Laden but did not say where, how wide an area she was referring to or whether he was still there.

A ministry spokesman said Alliot-Marie was referring to the discovery of a location where bin Laden was believed to have been "at a certain time" and it was not clear where he was now.

"Our men are well established and know the terrain well. Thanks to certain information, they were recently able to make an effective contribution to locating him," Alliot-Marie told Express magazine in an interview released before publication.

Asked whether the man located was definitely bin Laden, she replied: "Everything leads us to think so."

She said she could provide no details for reasons of security and confidentiality but added that even his capture would not change matters much because terror networks had become increasingly autonomous. [...]

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June target set for European constitution

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Schröder Visits Poland to Break EU Constitution Impasse

German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder is meeting with his Polish counterpart Leszek Miller in Warsaw on Tuesday, in an effort to break the deadlock on the proposed EU constitution.

Schröder's brief visit to Warsaw to lunch with Miller at his private residence is being viewed with optimism by EU officials hoping to move talks on the EU draft constitution forward. Last December's EU summit failed to agree on the constitution due to opposition from Spain and Poland over voting rights, a move that placed them on a collision course with France and Germany.

But, in recent weeks, Poland has feared becoming isolated on the issue and has signaled an easing of its once entrenched stance. The change follows a reverse of policy from the new incoming Socialist government in Spain, which has pledged to work towards reaching a quick compromise on the stalled constitution.

Last week Miller (photo) told journalists in Brussels he did not want his country left alone after Spain's change of tack on the EU constitution and Polish President Alexander Kwasniewski too asserted that there was now room for compromise for a constitution deal.

This week, the Poles stepped up their conciliatory tone. "I see some ground for optimism because at least some of the concepts being unofficially suggested or consulted seem to be a good basis for compromise," Polish Foreign Minister Wlodzimierz Cimoszewicz said at an EU foreign minister summit on Monday.

Comment: In reality it seems that with the change of government in Spain has left Poland with little option but to accept the EU constitution as it was proposed last December. Of course, some sort of apparent compromise will be presented to allow the Polish government to save face.

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France, Germany want European as new IMF chief

BERLIN, March 22 (AFP) - Germany and France want a European to replace German Horst Koehler as head of the International Monetary Fund, in line with tradition, German Finance Minister Hans Eichel said on Monday.

Even though the issue of Koehler's successor had not officially been on the agenda of the regular Franco-German economic meeting here, it had been seen as almost inevitable that French Finance Minister Francis Mer, German counterpart Hans Eichel, Bank of France governor Christian Noyer and Bundesbank head Ernst Welteke would talk about it at their deliberations. [...]

By tradition the head of the IMF is a European while the top job at the World Bank, the IMF's sister institution, goes to an American.

But some IMF officials have recently questioned the European monopoly on the position, with fund representatives from Asia, Africa, Latin America, the Middle East, Australia, Switzerland and Russia saying at the weekend that a candidate be chosen independent of his or her nationality.

Eichel's comments were seen as a response to such suggestions. IMF Managing Director Horst Koehler is stepping down prematurely so that he can stand as a candidate for the German presidency. [...]

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U.S. considers United Nations command in Iraq to keep Spain on board

U.S. officials are exploring ways to persuade Spain to keep its troops in Iraq, including the possibility of a separate United Nations command to oversee international forces. Under that scenario, the U.S. military would continue to lead its own soldiers, while troops from Spain and other countries could be led by the United Nations, a State Department official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

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Paris protest over ITN cameraman missing in Iraq

PARIS, March 22 (AFP) - The family and friends of a French cameraman who has been missing since coming under fire in the Iraq war, allegedly by US or British forces, held a symbolic demonstration in Paris on Monday to demand information as to his fate.

Around 50 red and white balloons were released into the sky over the Louvre museum on the one-year anniversary of the disappearance of Frederic Nerac in the south of Iraq while working for British television news network ITN.

The 43-year-old Nerac was in a convoy that came under fire, apparently from British or US forces, near Basra in southern Iraq on March 22, 2003. ITN correspondent Terry Lloyd was killed, while both Nerac and a Lebanese interpreter, Hussein Osman, disappeared. [...]

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White House dismisses 9/11 criticism

Tuesday 23 March 2004, 4:27 Makka Time, 1:27 GMT

The White House has criticised a former top security adviser who accused President George Bush of doing a "terrible job" in protecting the US from attack.

In response to claims of incompetence by Richard Clarke, White House spokesman Scott McClellan said the criticism was politically motivated.

With presidential elections on 2 November, McClellan dismissed all accusations as "deeply irresponsible" and "offensive", adding it was absurd to suggest that Bush could have prevented the 9/11 attacks.

Comment: We know how poor Scott McClellan must feel. How could Bush have done anything against the 9/11 attacks when they were being organised by dark forces within his government? Come on, give the guy a break. Was Cheney or Rumsfeld going to let Bush DO anything? We often discuss the possibility of DOing on these pages. Does Bush look like he has any kind of permanent 'I'? Some of the others, however, seem to have crystallized some form of permanent 'I', but in twisted and incomplete ways, permitting them to maintain focus on something, but giving them absolutely no sense of morality or ethics. In other words, they have consciously chosen to walk the dark path.

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US business group slams Bush 'deception' over Iraq war

A US business group that monitors federal spending took out a full-page advert in The New York Times, likening President George W. Bush to a corrupt chief executive officer who has forfeited public trust.

Timed to coincide with the weekend anniversary of the US-led war against Iraq, the advertisement -- paid for by Business Leaders for Sensible Priorities -- said Bush's case for invasion "was built entirely out of falsehoods."

Highlighting the cost of the war in terms of hundreds of US casualties and tens of billions of dollars, the ad said the "state-sponsored deception" underpinning the conflict dwarfed the damage caused by the series of corporate scandals that recently rocked Wall Street.

"It's past time for finger pointing," it said.

"It's time for someone in this government to step forward and take personal responsibility for the deadly deceptions used to mislead this great nation into war.

"And that someone must be George W. Bush."

Business Leaders for Sensible Priorities was formed in 1996 on concerns that federal government spending priorities were undermining national security.

The group's 500 members include the present or former CEOs of Bell Industries, Eastman Kodak and Goldman Sachs, as well as CNN founder Ted Turner.

Comment: The heat is being turned up on ole Dubya. He is looking more and more like the sacrificial lamb. This will not, of course, change a thing in US politics. How many Americans care one way or another? How many Americans are willing to even consider the idea that Bush's "misleadership" was much, much more than that. Sure, he is the puppet. He most likely doesn't know 90% of what his advisors are doing. Looked at in this light, focusing on George is a way to avoid throwing the spotlight on how corrupt this entire administration actually is. A business group that was formed to be a watchdog on federal spending is going to be a defender of all the hypocritical values which hypocritical Americans so love to put on display.

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Fourteen British soldiers were injured yesterday in the southern Iraqi city of Basra when they came under attack from demonstrators throwing petrol bombs, rocks and a grenade. [...]

Comment: In a way, we can be grateful to the liars that we call "leaders". As they continue to ask us to believe increasingly unbelievable "truths", we are presented with an increasingly stark choice. Ultimately, the choice between reality and illusion will be presented to us in such a way that, whatever choice we make, we will not be able to claim that we did not know.

It is clear that, far from "peace and democracy" being the plan for Iraq, the real intention was to destroy the civil infrastructure of the country and essentially enslave the Iraqi people. "By their fruits you shall know them". The choice is yours.

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Finnish civilians join list of fatalities as 14 British soldiers hurt in Basra

23 March 2004

Yesterday, two Finnish businessmen were professionally assassinated in a Baghdad underpass, citizens of a neutral country which opposed last year's invasion of Iraq. [...]

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Democrats Sending Bush A Deeply Covert And Subtle Message Not To Strive For A Second Term

By Joseph B. Ehrlich
Sender, Berl & Sons Inc.

This weekend's news shows gave us enormous support for interpretations long made and held by Sender, Berl & Sons Inc. The following is highly important from our respectful point of view:

1. While Richard Clarke's interviews were quite damaging to the Bush administration, the most important thing he said is something generally overlooked by the media and others. Clarke said that Clinton could not get the CIA and FBI to deal with terrorism issues. This is directly supportive of our analysis that when Bush 41 lost in his re-election bid it was imperative under the N.W.O. agenda to make sure that Clinton didn't eliminate Saddam for he was the bogeyman serving as the future platform for the intrusion into the Middle East for oil. The oil cabal surely had no intention on seeing Clinton reap the windfall of an attack and victory over Iraq. They had no intention on seeing him and his own cabal, Democrats no less, in the oil business. Thus, this confirms what we knew all along: that Clinton was directed to deal with Saddam in a manner where he would remain the latch key for what unraveled as 9-11, the final required predicate for the Middle East invasion.

2. Clarke noted his surprise and dismay over Cheney failing to speak out against Al-Qaeda. When you understand that there are inside agendas and then there are deeper inside agendas, you will easily understand and see how all the pieces fit together.

3. [...] Thus, as far as we can see, Kennedy and others, have moved to have Bush agree to throw the election for the good of the country (similar to what took place on several dimensions after Jack Kennedy's assassination), but it seems to date that Bush is resisting, stubborn as he is, and thus more and more is being leaked until he gets the point that he has no choice. As we said, what Bush 43 doesn't fully know, is that even his N.W.O. backers have covertly and very silently agreed not to support his re-election. There is no way the Democratic insiders and others are going to tolerate his continuing on, with not only the degree of global alienation, but more importantly his continuing to fail in his missions including the one where he was supposed to be from the get go in Syria and Iran and now his fumbling Madrid.

Comment: More 'A' influence explanations for the shenanigans in Washington. The levels of game playing cited in this article are not important. If they were, you wouldn't hear about them. If you hear about them, they are a distraction. So what if Clinton was told not to attack Saddam. If he had, another target could have been manufactured. If they waited, doing regular bombings of Iraq to weaken it for ten years before Bush Jr invaded, does it change anything in the long term?

The idea that the oil cabal didn't want the Democrats getting the "windfall of the attack and victory in Iraq" is laughable, as it promotes the idea that there are differences between the two parties. Next they'll be telling us that there are differences between liberals and conservatives in the US. Tactical differences, maybe. Strategic differences, we think not.

Sure, Bush most likely has to go because he is a bumbling idiot. But he did his job and the world is a much more dangerous place than it was four years ago. The real overseers want chaos and confusion. The bogeyman of the NWO is very useful to whip up xenophobia and patriotism in the US to keep people focused on the illusion they are being sold. The recent circulation of the story of John Titor on the internet, the man who supposedly returned from 2036, after a long civil war in the US between the federal government, ruling the cities, and the patriots in the countryside led by a farmer-patriot general, is an adolescent fantasy made to order for the militia groups, groups of men who have never grown up and who think that the ownership of a gun has something to do with "freedom". There have also been a lot of rumours circulating about the NESARA act that would supposedly get rid of debt and force the resignation of Bush and the Congress. It was to be announced yesterday. Planet X anyone?

People who buy into these militia-patriot fantasies are no different than those who believe our "space brothers" are on their way to save us. Same fantasy, different context. Has somebody put something into the water, or are mind control waves being beamed out to plant this story into people's heads?

Whatever the case, these people are incapable of thought. They are being manipulated, and the people pulling their strings must be having a hearty laugh at the stupidity.

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US administration in the spotlight over September 11

March 23, 2004

WASHINGTON (AFP) - Top current and former US officials make their first public appearances before an official inquiry into the September 11 attacks, as the White House faces strong criticism over its anti-terrorism strategy.

Secretary of State Colin Powell, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and their counterparts from Bill Clinton's administration, Madeleine Albright and William Cohen are to give evidence Tuesday in open hearings of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States.

"This is clearly one of the most important hearings the commission will hold," said Thomas Kean, the Republican former governor of New Jersey, who chairs the commission set up in November 2002. [...]

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9/11 Panel Cites Clinton, Bush Inaction

By HOPE YEN, Associated Press Writer
March 23, 2004

WASHINGTON - The Clinton and Bush administrations' failure to pursue military action against al-Qaida operatives allowed the Sept. 11 terrorists to elude capture despite warning signs years before the attacks, a federal panel said Tuesday.

The Clinton administration had early indications of terrorist links to Osama bin Laden and future Sept. 11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed as early as 1995, but let years pass as it pursued criminal indictments and diplomatic solutions to subduing them abroad, it found.

Bush officials, meanwhile, failed to act immediately on increasing intelligence chatter and urgent warnings in early 2001 by its counterterrorism adviser, Richard A. Clarke, to take out al-Qaida targets, according to preliminary findings by the commission reviewing the attacks. [...]

Comment: It seems that the conclusion that we are meant to draw from the 9/11 panel is that diplomatic solutions don't work, and neither does failing to act immediately on warnings of terrorist attacks. What is most disturbing is that the Bush administration didn't wait to act after 9/11 - they decided to wage war on Afghanistan and Iraq based upon a series of lies and distortions. The panel, instead of addressing this issue, is essentially endorsing the Bush administration's strategy by denying it ever happened. It appears that regardless of the outcome of the 2004 election, America is destined to become an even greater threat to the world. We can all look forward to more preemptive strikes based on more lies and cherry-picked intelligence.

Kerry has already indicated that he will continue the War on Terror. He is also rather critical of Bush. There can be no doubt that he will capitalize on the panel's findings. Perhaps Bush's usefulness to the puppet masters is coming to an end. We shudder to think what may happen in the US if Bush resists any efforts to dethrone him. What is abundantly clear is that Americans have been given two choices: support the old way of conducting the War on Terror, or support the new way of waging the war. There is no real choice.

Does anyone actually believe that the restrictions on civil liberties in Patriot Acts I and II will never be fully implemented? Ignorance is not bliss. We fear that countries like America and Israel are sowing the wind, and they will ultimately reap the whirlwind.

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Homeland Security to Test Rail Screening

By LESLIE MILLER, Associated Press Writer
March 23, 2004

WASHINGTON - The government this spring will begin testing a way to screen rail passengers and their luggage to see if it can quickly and accurately detect security risks as part of an effort to improve railway security.

Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge announced the project on Monday as he outlined several ideas to improve rail security. After the March 11 railway bombings in Madrid, the administration and Congress want to make sure that terrorists don't attack the U.S. rail system.

The test project would take place at a yet-to-be determined Amtrak commuter rail station. Ridge stressed that the program won't resemble security checkpoints at airports because mass transit systems and railroads require easy access. [...]

Comment: The lockdown continues...

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US to present anti-China resolution to UN rights committee

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Russia may retaliate if NATO stations planes in Baltics: FM official

MOSCOW (AFP) Mar 23, 2004

Russia may take retaliatory steps if NATO goes ahead with plans to station warplanes and air defences in the ex-Soviet Baltic republics, a top Russian foreign ministry official warned on Tuesday.

"If the alliance considers that such defences are needed in the region, then Russia reserves the right to make its own conclusions and if necessary, take corresponding measures," foreign ministry spokesman Alexander Yakovenko told reporters.

"It is clear that such plans directly threaten Russia's security," he added. [...]

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Russian Navy Chief Warns Nuclear Ship Could Explode

By Oleg Shchedrov
March 23, 2004

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia's navy chief said on Tuesday he had sent a nuclear-powered flagship back to base for fear it could blow up, but commentators dismissed his warning as part of an apparent power struggle among navy brass.

Admiral Vladimir Kuroyedov unexpectedly ordered the 19,000-ton cruiser Peter the Great -- the pride of Russia's Northern Fleet -- to return to dock after apparently becoming alarmed at the state of maintenance of its nuclear reactor. [...]

Despite Kuroyedov's tough criticism, Kommersant newspaper quoted fleet sources as saying his decision to send it back to dock was motivated by rivalries among top admirals including Kuroyedov and ship commander Vladimir Kasatonov.

Kommersant said Kasatonov is a son of a former top navy official and Kuroyedov's bitter critic. It also suggested that tainting the reputation of the ship might have been part of a plan to hit at the former fleet commander sacked by Putin. [...]

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US, South Korean troops launch massive joint exercises

SEOUL (AFP) Mar 22, 2004

US and South Korean troops launched massive joint military exercises Monday as part of annual war games designed to deter Stalinist North Korea, officials said. [...]

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Feds Predict Higher Gasoline Prices

Mon Mar 22, 1:03 PM ET

SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS (Reuters) - The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) on Monday forecast unrelenting gasoline demand and high prices for gasoline and natural gas this year.

The EIA said gasoline demand will set a record in 2004, with 100,000 barrels per day (bpd) more than last year during the peak driving season, which traditionally begins in late May, EIA administrator Guy Caruso told a meeting of oil refiners in San Antonio, Texas.

"That's going to be a challenge of course because of the increased specification changes in requirements phasing out of low sulfur" and the MTBE-phaseouts in New York and Connecticut, and the continued transition in California, Caruso said. [...]

The EIA forecast a U.S. average gasoline price of $1.67 per gallon for the full year 2004.

Caruso said this figure is up 10 cents from EIA's projection which was released just last month. [...]

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Mars rover parked at edge of ancient seashore

By Deborah Zabarenko
Tuesday March 23, 07:04 PM

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - NASA's Mars rover Opportunity is parked by the shore of what used to be a salty martian sea, scientists say.

"We think Opportunity is now parked on what was once the shoreline of a salty sea on Mars," said Steve Squyres, principal investigator for the science payload on Opportunity and its twin Mars exploration Rover, Spirit.

Scientists have long seen signs of liquid water on Mars, and the rovers' mission was to investigate areas believed to have been covered with water long ago. If there was water, theorists believe, there might have been life on the Red Planet, Earth's next-door neighbour.

This is the first time, though, that scientists have concrete evidence -- new data from the rovers' analysis of the Mars rocks themselves -- that water might have flowed on the martian surface.

"This dramatic confirmation of standing water in Mars' history builds on a progression of discoveries about that most Earthlike of alien planets," said Ed Weiler, NASA associate administrator for space science.

"This result gives us impetus to expand our ambitious program of exploring Mars to learn whether microbes have ever lived there and, ultimately, whether we can," Weiler said in a statement. [...]

Opportunity has been roving across the seemingly barren martian surface since January and is now working with rocks that were once covered with a rippling saltwater sea, the scientists said. [...]

Comment: Yet another "dramatic revelation" about Mars. Like some low-budget sci-fi movie, all the fuss seems to be leading up to the predictable finale: news about some basic form of life on Mars.

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UFO investigator: Photos show there's life on Mars

Burlington County Times

MEDFORD — With conviction in his tone and a no-doubt-about-it confidence, George Filer is adamant about his beliefs.

"Take it to the bank," he says bluntly, "there is life on Mars."

A Medford resident, Filer is a retired U.S. Air Force major who writes a weekly intelligence report on UFOs called "Filer’s Files." He has investigated UFO sightings for more than two decades.

"It started when I was in the Air Force when London control asked us to intercept a UFO," Filer said. "We had it on the radar, and they were also tracking a UFO over the center of England.

"We got it on radar … but when we got a couple miles out from it, this object launched into space. We were doing more than 400 miles an hour and it took off more than 100 times faster. Having seen this object, I was convinced there is something out there."

The conviction, Filer said, was reinforced when he saw another UFO rising from a lake near his home on Jackson Road in Medford.

"I have seen UFOs," Filer said without a hint of doubt or sarcasm.

"I saw one in Medford, and I have talked with dozens of people who have seen UFOs in Medford. I talked to a police officer who saw one over the Ford dealer (on Route 70)."

Filer said he has the opportunity to discuss UFOs with astronauts, cosmonauts and airline pilots.

"They have seen them, but won’t say it publicly," Filer said. "To put it bluntly, our (military) air cruisers see them now, but they don’t talk about UFOs either. I’ve also had airline pilots contact me, but they are not supposed to tell the public they are seeing UFOs."

Filer believes stereotypes, quick dismissals and the refusal to "step out on a limb" are the reasons people don’t acknowledge UFO sightings.

"Most articles have an aren’t-you-crazy spin," he said. "I don’t care if you disagree, but don’t dismiss it. There is a large ridicule factor in regards to UFOs. I don’t know if you’ll report the story straight, but most of the time, there are remarks about people who see UFOs being flakes. [...]

Recently, Filer has taken up the task of studying published photos from Mars.

"We have been looking at the Rover film, and we encourage whoever reads this article to look at the film and concentrate on the rocks," Filer said.

"There are a million rocks, but the strange thing about the rocks is there’s a lot of writing on them and it looks like English.

"The logical thing is to think that Martians don’t write in English, but as we’re speaking, I’m looking at pictures from Mars and an X and a P that have been written on rocks.

"I believe what you see with your own eyes is more likely to be true, and I’m looking at it," Filer said.

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UPDATE: "Fireball" streaks across the prairie sky

March 22, 2004

REGINA - There were dozens of calls to police while people as far apart as Eastend, Saskatchewan and Steinbach, Manitoba saw a fireball streaking across the sky Sunday night.

The president of the Royal Astronomical Society in Saskatoon, Richard Huziak, said Monday morning that it was probably a meteor.

RCMP Corporal Brian Jones says about 24 people phoned in within 20 minutes of the event. The fireball was aslo seen in Davidson, Saskatchewan and all the way to Hecla Island, Manitoba. Huziak says that any sounds heard along with the phenomenon were probably sonic booms as the space rock entered the atmosphere. He says it is likely that the meteor hit the earth.

Some people reported that a funny smell accompanying the bright red streak. Huziak says that smell comes from the meteor burning off ozone as it goes through the atmosphere. Huziak says these kinds of reports are fairly commonplace, but says this sighting is of particular interest. The Royal Astronomical Society has a camera that captures these kinds of celestial occurrences. It is hoped those records will provide more clues as to what may have been behind the phenomenon.

Comment: Over the past year there have been approximately 12 sightings of meteors entering the earth's atmosphere at different points on the globe. Many of these actually struck the ground, yet barely one of them were reported by the mainstream media. Last week we had NASA's "big announcement" of a meteor that flew by at about 43,000kms above the earth. Does this seem strange to anyone? The REALITY is that with increasing frequency, "space rocks" are hitting the earth, yet NASA and the "media whores" chose to ignore these facts, and instead announce very publicly that one "came close". Why is this? And what message is being sent to the public? Could it be that NASA wants to convince us that the reality of the meteorite impact threat is that they rarely, if ever, hit the earth? Close passes, yet, but impacts? No! Just ignore those dozen that actually hit the earth this past year, with the recent impact in Spain being the "size of a small house".

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Chronic Illness is becoming extremely prevalent in our society. A large percentage of our so called "autoimmune diseases" are actually caused by spreading pathogens. Microbiology labs, which are discovering these pathogens, in a large percentage of the population, are being harassed and or shut down. This has happened undeservedly to several private labs in the past and I personally know of one currently being targeted.

The doctors who treat these separately labeled diseases with curative treatments, such as antibiotics and natural treatments are also being persecuted. I believe there are several motives behind this shameful and unethical behavior. As many of you know, not only are private labs being silenced but quite a few key microbiologists have also recently disappeared from the scene.

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Meet the cyborgs: humans with a hint of machine

VOLUNTEERS are to have microchips implanted on the surface of their brains in the first human trials of a technology that will enable people to control machines using the power of thought alone. The chips will enable the volunteers to do tasks such as turning on lights or drawing curtains just by thinking about them.

Electrical signals from the brain will be transmitted to a computer and a remote control unit. The developers of the technology also acknowledge that it is likely to raise ethical and practical concerns. “I can understand people will be afraid of machines that appear to read their minds,” said Burke Barrett, a vice-president at Cyberkinetics, which is based in Foxborough, Massachusetts. [...]

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Tiny science is lost on UK public

Nanotechnology is a total mystery to most people, an opinion poll reveals.

The BMRB survey shows just 29% of the public claim to have heard of it, while only 19% are able to give nanotech a definition, whether accurate or not. The science is an emerging field in which new materials or devices are constructed by manipulating individual, or groups of, atoms or molecules. It could lead to a range of materials with novel properties; to new drug delivery systems and smaller computers. The full potential is only just being explored by researchers.

The group was set up after concerns were raised in media reports about the possible dangers particles engineered on the nano-scale - a nanometre is a billionth of a metre - pose to people's health. Science fiction writers, notably Michael Crichton, have also floated the idea that "nanobots" could run amok, turning the world into a "grey goo". However, greater miniaturisation due to nanotechnology also prompted suspicions about the use of surveillance equipment and loss of privacy, whilst others expressed concerns about how much the development of nanotechnology would cost the UK.

Comment: A perfect example of the vast gulf there is between reality and that which the public understands as reality.

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Students learn how to deal with disaster

Brandon University lab first of its kind in the world

By Leah Janzen
Mon Mar 22 2004

WILDFIRES, earthquakes, terrorist attacks, mudslides - students at Brandon University have seen them all and know exactly how to cope with such disasters.

Fortunately, the catastrophes are simulated exercises, but the skills learned by students in the Applied Disaster and Emergency Studies program are very real.

The specialized four-year degree program at BU is the only one of its kind in Canada. It teaches students how to manage and respond to natural and manmade disasters.

Ironically, the program received provincial start-up funding on Sept. 10, 2001 -- just a day before the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center made emergency management a highly sought-after skill. [...]

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West Nile breeding in old tire scrap yards

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Six British Scientists Trapped in Mexico Cave

Tue Mar 23, 2:54 AM ET

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - A team will Tuesday attempt to rescue six British scientists trapped for five days in a cave in Mexico, a rescue service spokesman said late on Monday.

The scientists became trapped after part of the cave collapsed. They managed to contact colleagues outside via satellite phone.

The spokesman, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the six were in good health.

He said authorities learned late Monday that the scientists were trapped. They had not been contacted sooner because the scientists apparently lacked permission from the government to work in the cave, some 190 miles northeast of Mexico City.

It was not immediately clear what work the scientists were carrying out or who they were working for.

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Mysterious deaths of Wyoming elk solved; animals died after feeding on lichen

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Trackers claim prints are mystery monster cat's

March 23, 2004

A file shot of earlier paw prints claimed to have been left by the "Blue Mountains panther".

Trackers of the so-called "Lithgow Lion" or "Blue Mountains Panther" claim to have further evidence of the creature's existence - a set of large paw prints.

There have been numerous unconfirmed sightings of the mysterious animal in the Blue Mountains area for many years.

Today, the chief of the Blue Mountains Big Cats Investigation Group, Rex Gilroy, claimed he has found new paw prints in a remote area of the Blue Mountains.

"We're dealing with a marsupial cat that from head to outstretched kangaroo-like tail - they've got a dog, yet cat-like head, their fur colour is brownish to black - but certainly they're anything up to two metres in length," Mr Gilroy told Sydney ABC radio.

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Hunt is on for street's ghosts

Ghostbusters are to investigate mysterious bumps in the night at Glasgow's Museum of Transport.
The Evening Times reported how museum security guard Bill Mutch had experienced weird incidents on the replica street near the main museum entrance.

Now ghostbusters equipped with night-vision cameras and thermometers are to investigate the ghostly goings on which include children's screams, balls of blue light and sightings of a headless female. [...]

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4-year-old brings crack cocaine to school; police search for parents

March 22, 2004

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - A four-year-old boy brought crack cocaine worth up to $10,000 US to his preschool class Monday, authorities said.

Police said the boy took rocks of crack cocaine out of his backpack and showed them to other children in his Head Start class, saying the drugs were flour. Teachers realized it was cocaine and called authorities.

Police searched the boy's home, but did not find the parents, Sgt. Russell Burns said.

The boy and his sister were placed in protective custody and arrest warrants were issued for the parents, Burns said. No names were released.

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Bomb Discovered in Lyubertsy Building

By Carl Schreck
Staff Writer

A powerful makeshift bomb discovered in a Moscow region apartment Friday failed to detonate after a watch timer malfunctioned, Russian media reported Monday.

A cleaning lady in Lyubertsy, just east of Moscow, discovered the explosive device, made up of 18 rocket-propelled grenades attached to a detonator, Kommersant newspaper reported.

The bomb was packed into a large suitcase at 52 Ulitsa Kirova, apartment 84, Kommersant reported.

Local police and the Federal Security Service declined to comment on the incident Monday, confirming only that a criminal case had been initiated on charges of terrorism.

The men who rented the apartment where the bomb was found were Chechens who had lived there for only a few days and moved out last week, Gazeta reported, citing residents of the building.

[...] Chechen rebel leader Shamil Basayev has claimed responsibility for the bomb attempt, and FSB officers believe Basayev may have sent the two men presumed to have left the bomb, Kommersant reported.

A series of detonations have hit gas pipelines and power lines near Moscow in recent weeks. Last Monday, explosive devices toppled three towers supporting high-voltage power lines about 2 kilometers south of Moscow.

Gas pipe explosions have also occurred in the Moscow region towns of Chekhov, Podolsk, Bronnitsy and Ramensky.

Chechen rebel groups have claimed responsibility for previous bombings on the web site, though there was no mention of the Lyubertsy bombing attempt on the site as of Monday evening.

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Jet stops to drop off unruly passenger

WebPosted Mar 22 2004 06:16 PM NST

HAPPY VALLEY-GOOSE BAY — A Swissair jet diverted to Happy Valley-Goose Monday afternoon after a passenger caused a disturbance. The airliner was en route New York City from Zurich when the pilot reported having an unruly passenger.

A man from Libya was restrained with handcuffs on board the plane He cut himself trying to break free of the handcuffs used on the plane. The man is now being held by the RCMP in Happy Valley-Goose Bay. The plane has continued its flight.

Comment: There could be more to this story than what appears here. Notice the man was a passenger from Libya. Perhaps he got fed up with everyone treating him like a terrorist, just because he looks arabic. Maybe he was a little tired and frustrated, as people get on planes sometimes, and because of his background, overzealous security deemed it a flight risk and had the plane diverted. I wonder if the same would have happened if the 'unruly' passenger was a caucasian business man?

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Priest dies at Passion screening

A Brazilian priest has died during a screening of Mel Gibson's controversial film The Passion of the Christ. Jose Geraldo Soares, a 43-year-old Presbyterian, had booked a whole cinema to view the film with his congregation. Halfway through, his wife noticed that he was no longer awake, and a doctor in the audience confirmed that he had suffered a heart attack.

Friends denied that violence scenes of Christ's beating and crucifixion had caused Pastor Soares to expire.

"He was calmly watching the movie next to his wife," said Amauri Costa, a family friend.

Mrs Soares noticed that something was wrong when her husband did not reply when she spoke to him during the film.

[...] Pastor Soares is the second person to die at a screening of the film. Peggy Law Scott, an American woman in her 50s, passed out last month during the crucifixion scene, when watching the film in Wichita, Kansas. She later died in hospital, after suffering a heart attack.

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Man dies after chicken wing-eating contest

Last Updated Tue, 23 Mar 2004 7:22:49

REGINA - Autopsy results are expected this week in the case of a man who died in a Regina bar after taking part in a spicy chicken wing-eating contest.

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