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

It is dangerous to be right in matters on which the established authorities are wrong. --Voltaire--

Faith of consciousness is freedom
Faith of feeling is weakness
Faith of body is stupidity

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January 15, 2003

Israel to kill on U.S., allies' soil - Israel is embarking upon a more aggressive approach to the war on terror that will include staging targeted killings in the United States and other friendly countries, former Israeli intelligence officials told United Press International. Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has forbidden the practice until now, these sources said, speaking on condition of anonymity. The Israeli statements were confirmed by more than a half dozen U.S. foreign policy and intelligence officials in interviews with UPI.

With the appointment of Meir Dagan, the new director Israel's Mossad secret intelligence service, Sharon is also preparing "a huge budget" increase for the spy agency as part of "a tougher stance in fighting global jihad (or holy war)," one Israeli official said. Since Sharon became Israeli prime minister, Tel Aviv has mainly limited its practice of targeted killings to the West Bank and Gaza because "no one wanted such operations on their territory," a former Israeli intelligence official said. Another former Israeli government official said that under Sharon, "diplomatic constraints have prevented the Mossad from carrying out 'preventive operations' (targeted killings) on the soil of friendly countries until now." He said Sharon is "reversing that policy, even if it risks complications to Israel's bilateral relations." A former Israeli military intelligence source agreed: "What Sharon wants is a much more extensive and tough approach to global terrorism, and this includes greater operational maneuverability."

Does this mean assassinations on the soil of allies? "It does," he said. "Mossad is definitely being beefed up," a U.S. government official said of the Israeli agency's budget increase. He declined to comment on the Tel Aviv's geographic expansion of targeted killings.

An FBI spokesman also declined to comment, saying: "This is a policy matter. We only enforce federal laws." A congressional staff member with deep knowledge of intelligence matters said, "I don't know on what basis we would be able to protest Israel's actions." He referred to the recent killing of Qaed Salim Sinan al Harethi, a top al Qaida leader, in Yemen by a remotely controlled CIA drone. "That was done on the soil of a friendly ally," the staffer said. But the complications posed by Israel's new policy are real. "Israel does not have a good record at doing this sort of thing," said former CIA counter-terrorism official Larry Johnson. Comment: You can say that again. But killing on the soil of other countries is also nothing new for the Jews. According to C's:

Q: We have a series of questions about this recent event. Was the attack on the World Trade Center undertaken by Moslem Terrorists?
A: No.
Q: Who was behind this attack?
A: Israel.
Q: Is it going to become known that it was Israel? Will they be exposed?
A: Yes.
Q: Is this the event that is going to lead to the destruction of Israel [the agenda of the Consortium]?
A: Yes.

Q: (L) You said last time that Israel was behind the attack on the WTC. They are collecting evidence that Osama Bin Laden and company are behind it. Are they manufacturing this evidence?
A: Yes.
Q: (L) Is the truth going to come out?
A: Yes. [...]
Q: (L) What is going to happen with the Middle-eastern situation; this Afghanistan or whatever?
A: Herding of population to much finer order of control.
Q: (L) What is the purpose of this control; this increasing control.
A: Preparation for war in Palestine.
Q: (L) But nobody has said anything about having a war in Palestine. They're all talking about having a war in Afghanistan. How does Palestine fit in here?
A: It is the ultimate objective of Israel.
Q: (L) Why would they want to have war in their own country? Well, aside from the fact that they've been having a war in their own country for a long time. I guess they want to bring it to a final conclusion. What is going to be the result of this plan?
A: Destruction of Jews.
Q: (L) Well obviously this is not what THEY are planning, is it?
A: No.
Q:(L) They are planning destruction of Palestinians, right?
A: Yes.
Q: (L) It seems that through out history whenever the jews have plotted and planned to destroy somebody, they are the ones who have ended up being destroyed themselves. Or am I misreading my history here?
A: No.

Here we go again! With Bush's approval rating falling, with the growing anti-war movement, with all the frustrations poor Bush is feeling because the American people don't want to go along with his Fascist takeover of America, you just knew that more "terrorism" would pop up here and there to scare us all into compliance. And so, we now have: NE Mail Facility Closed After Possible Anthrax Finding Gee, America is getting to be a lot like Israel - when they need an excuse to go and raze some more of the Palestinian land, they just manifest a handy "suicide bomber." Same song, different verse...

Bubonic plague missing from Health Sciences Center - As many as 35 samples of bubonic plague were reported missing from the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center on Tuesday night, the A-J has learned. Law enforcement sources say the vials turned up missing several days before the information was reported to Texas Tech police at about 4 p.m. Tuesday. About 60 investigators from numerous agencies converged on the scene Tuesday night about 8 p.m. City officials were preparing to make a statement at the Emergency Operations Center this afternoon.

Plague is an infectious disease of animals and humans caused by a bacterium named Yersinia pestis. People usually get plague from being bitten by a rodent flea that is carrying the plague bacterium or by handling an infected animal. Less frequently, the organism enters through a break in the skin by direct contact with tissue or body fluids of a plague-infected animal. The disease is treatable with antibiotics. Plague also is transmitted by inhaling infected droplets expelled by coughing, by a person or animal, especially domestic cats. Transmission from person to person is uncommon and has not been observed in the U.S. since 1924 but does occur as an important factor in plague epidemics in some developing countries.

Onset of bubonic plague is usually two to six days after a person is exposed. Initial symptoms include fever, headache and general illness, followed by the development of painful, swollen lymph nodes. The disease progresses rapidly and the bacteria can invade the bloodstream, producing severe illness, called plague septicemia. The most dangerous type of plague is pneumonic. It can be spread through aerosol droplets released through coughs, sneezes, or through fluid contact. Although not as common as the bubonic strain, it is more deadly. Left untreated, its mortality rate is nearly 100 percent, as compared to 50-percent untreated mortality for bubonic plague.

Comment: Now WHO would want to steal samples of Bubonic Plague? Well, of course we will be told that it is terrorists... but, gee, this M.O. looks supiciously like a CIA covert op - you know, Watergate and all that? Break in and steal stuff and try to blame it on somebody else...

The United States of America has gone mad sez John le Carré - America has entered one of its periods of historical madness, but this is the worst I can remember: worse than McCarthyism, worse than the Bay of Pigs and in the long term potentially more disastrous than the Vietnam War. The reaction to 9/11 is beyond anything Osama bin Laden could have hoped for in his nastiest dreams. As in McCarthy times, the freedoms that have made America the envy of the world are being systematically eroded. The combination of compliant US media and vested corporate interests is once more ensuring that a debate that should be ringing out in every town square is confined to the loftier columns of the East Coast press.

The imminent war was planned years before bin Laden struck, but it was he who made it possible. Without bin Laden, the Bush junta would still be trying to explain such tricky matters as how it came to be elected in the first place; Enron; its shameless favouring of the already-too-rich; its reckless disregard for the world’s poor, the ecology and a raft of unilaterally abrogated international treaties. They might also have to be telling us why they support Israel in its continuing disregard for UN resolutions. But bin Laden conveniently swept all that under the carpet. The Bushies are riding high. Now 88 per cent of Americans want the war, we are told. The US defence budget has been raised by another $60 billion to around $360 billion. A splendid new generation of nuclear weapons is in the pipeline, so we can all breathe easy.

Quite what war 88 per cent of Americans think they are supporting is a lot less clear. A war for how long, please? At what cost in American lives? At what cost to the American taxpayer’s pocket? At what cost — because most of those 88 per cent are thoroughly decent and humane people — in Iraqi lives?

How Bush and his junta succeeded in deflecting America’s anger from bin Laden to Saddam Hussein is one of the great public relations conjuring tricks of history. But they swung it. A recent poll tells us that one in two Americans now believe Saddam was responsible for the attack on the World Trade Centre. But the American public is not merely being misled. It is being browbeaten and kept in a state of ignorance and fear. The carefully orchestrated neurosis should carry Bush and his fellow conspirators nicely into the next election. [ More...]

The media support for Bush's war against Iraq has been working. According to a Knight-Ridder poll, only 17% of those asked knew that there were no Iraqis among the September 11 hijackers! And in spite of the antipathy between Al Queda and Iraq, 65% believe that the two are working together on new attacks. Repeat the lie often enough and they will believe it. Wasn't it Goebbels who said that?

While most people, including most Americans, tend to believe that the United States has largely been a peaceful country until recently, in reality nothing could be further from the truth. Actually, the United States has been engaged in military operations for most of this country's history. Of all the things the United States can claim, it certainly has no claim to being a "peace loving" country. This site has a table containing every year, from 1776 to the present - all of US history. Just click on the year to see who US troops were killing, or threatening to kill, in that year.

Threats or victims? - It's called "the North Korean nuclear threat," but you would be hard pressed to say exactly what threat North Korea poses. And Iraq, we're told, is also a threat, but how, and to what, is never entirely clear. It just seems that Baghdad and Pyongyang are threats, because Washington says they are, and therefore, the media -- which almost always faithfully reflects the Washington line -- say they are, too. Vaguely, the two countries being threats seem to have something to do with them either having, and cleverly concealing, weapons of mass destruction, or trying to develop them. Yet surprisingly, it's doubtful that either country has the weapons they're alleged to have.

Bush to Oppose Affirmative Action - The White House is expected to file a brief by Thursday with the U.S. Supreme Court opposing a University of Michigan affirmative action program, according to administration officials. Such a move would immerse the administration in a politically and socially charged subject at a time when Republicans are trying to recover from a racially tinged firestorm in the Senate and reach out to minority voters. Details of the brief are still being finalized, the officials said, but the White House is expected to argue that there are better ways to promote diversity than the program that gives preference to African-Americans and Hispanics applying to the university. Comment: Well, Bush and the Gang have undone just about everything else good that has been fought for and died for in this country, so this is just to be expected.

Mario Cuomo Accuses Bush of Class Warfare - President Bush (news - web sites )'s proposed tax cuts favor wealthy Americans, former New York Gov. Mario Cuomo said Tuesday as he kicked off a speaking tour aimed at helping revive Democrats after last November's election setbacks. "Class warfare? He declared the war," Cuomo said at the National Press Club. "He said, 'We're going to give all the money to the rich.'"

Bushisms; They Resignate - Don't "misunderestimate" Dubya. Those verbal Bushisms are beginning to "resignate" with the American people. Maybe they'll even "embetter" the English language. They may have started out as verbal slip-ups but several of President Bush's mangled phrases found their way on Tuesday to a list of the top words of 2002. "There are already 11,000 instances of 'misunderestimate' on the Web. The more people use words, whether jocularly or seriously, the more likely they are to enter the language and last for generations," said Paul J.J. Payack, chairman of, which compiled the list. Payack, a man who refuses to misunderestimate the power of a president to shape the language, said, "Our lists attempt to capture those ... innovations in word choice and usage that tell us something about ourselves."

Flashback Time!!

Is Dubya Nuts? - As a board-certified psychiatrist, I feel it's my duty to share my understanding of his psychopathology. Possibilities: Antisocial Personality Disorder - Dissociative Identity Disorder - Narcissistic personality disorder - Dependent Personality Disorder

Comments from readers on "Is Dubya Nuts?":

1) I read the above 'diagnosis', and if I did not have any experience at all with GWB, I would say he is definitely an organic portal and totally STS in orientation.

2) From a Spirit Attachment point of view all that diagnosis would pale into insignificance with the probable amount of extremely dark attachments filling up every nook and cranny of this pyramidal OP. Only the best for Dubya. Lucky critters that they are....

3) Although I personally favor the idea that Dubya suffers from brain damage caused by Greenbaum programming, this site offers a plausible third-density hypothesis:

Alcoholics Anonymous has a name for someone who is a drunk in every way except for the actual imbibing of spirits. Whether George W. Bush is or was an alcoholic is not the point here. I am taking him at his word that he stopped what he termed "heavy drinking" in 1986, at age 40. The point here is that, based on Bush's recent behavior, he could very well be a "dry drunk." Of course, he may just be an immature bully who will gladly sacrifice thousands of lives to get his way even against the advice of the most respected and mature members of his own party. Still, Bush's past battles with the bottle are worth pondering at a time like this, one of the most dangerous in the nation's history.

Expert warns of dangers of the corporate psychopath - Corporate executives should be screened for psychopathic behaviour disorders, just as teachers and police are, a leading Canadian researcher says. "Why wouldn't we want to screen for them?" Robert Hare said yesterday after a speech to 150 members of the Canadian Police Association. "We screen ... police, teachers. Why not people who are going to handle hundreds of billions of dollars?" - He turned his attention to a little-known subset of psychopaths: the corporate kind. - The problem, he said, is corporate headhunters rely on resumes and standard face-to-face interviews, which reveal little about a candidate's psychological profile. "The average psychopath has no trouble moving through that process," Dr. Hare, who teaches at the University of British Columbia, said. "That's not even a hurdle." - When there's chaos, when the rules no longer apply -- enter, stage right, the psychopath. A psychopath flourishes in that atmosphere."

There are other arenas where the psychopath flourishes - the New Age COINTELPRO, for example. We have been slowly, but surely, wading through this issue and much of the Adventures Series is devoted to the subject and our own experiences with psychopathy. We have posted a chapter of Hervey Cleckley's groundbreaking study on the site, which describes in some detail the exact type of personality that alerted us to this problem.

One thing you can say for him, Sodamn Insane knows how to play to the public! Bush-the-boy-emperor, on the other hand, makes jokes about sending people to the execution chamber. ("Please," Bush whimpers, his lips pursed in mock desperation, "don't kill me." — Bush mocking what Karla Faye Tucker said on Larry King when asked, "What would you say to Governor Bush?" prior to her execution by lethal injection as reported by Talk magazine, September 1999)

As it turns out, the Larry King-Karla Faye Tucker exchange Bush recounted never took place, at least not on television. During her interview with King, however, Tucker did imply that Bush was succumbing to election-year pressure from pro-death penalty voters. Apparently Bush never forgot it. He has a long memory for slights." [Carlson, Talk, 9/99]

(I'm not defending Karla Faye here. For all I know, she was a psychopath who pretended to reform to avoid the death penalty. The point is George Bush's stunning lack of compassion.)

Seems that lack of respect for other people and the rules is a common trait of the Bush family. One of the first things that Jeb Bush's wife, Columba, did after he was elected governor of Florida, was to attempt to perpetrate fraud on the American people by failing to declare $19,000 worth of clothes and jewelry she purchased on a Paris shopping spree. Speaking at a luncheon for the Central Florida Make-A-Wish-Foundation, Mrs. Bush apologized for what she called "an awful mistake." Mrs. Bush said she now realizes the responsibility that comes with being married to Gov. Jeb Bush. "I am by nature a very private person, some might even call me shy," she said. "I did not ask to join a famous family, simply to marry a man that I loved. But with that decision came a responsibility beyond anything that I could imagine and my recent actions made that painfully apparent." In other words, before she became aware of the fact of how closely her actions might be scrutinized, it was perfectly okay to do whatever she wished. And now she wishes she wasn't under such scrutiny so she could continue to get away with fraud. One has to wonder how many other shopping sprees she went on and did not declare while she was a "private" person! But then, maybe she was only getting back at Jeb? See the following:

JEB 'N KATHERINE IN TALLAHASSEE TRYST? The Jeb Bush-Katherine Harris rumors in the media will be heating up again, according to the pro-Bush folks at"America's most notable supermarket tabloids...are set to reveal a bombshell story about an affair between Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris," according to those tabloids. "News of the tabloid story - said to be backed up by three witnesses, all of whom took polygraphs - has the Bush transition team and Florida governor's office bracing. A source at the Bush transition team says that Jeb Bush was soon going to name Harris his chief of staff. The position of secretary of state has been eliminated under changes made before the recount crisis hit. The story of Bush and Harris has been floating around almost from the day the election nightmare hit on Nov. 8." 1/9/01 more

Dubya's wife, Laura, really can't be criticized because she killed a 17 year old boy in a car crash. However, one of the interesting things about it is that her first reported comment about it seems to be that it is "sad" that this information was uncovered.

"The daughter of a home builder and a homemaker who kept her husband's books, Laura Welch decided by second grade to become a teacher. Life in Midland was both limited and enriched by oil. Children rode their bikes down hot streets and went to the drive-in in their PJs. When the first lady was in high school, friends recall, social life consisted of dancing to the Drifters in the basement – she loved to dance – and sneaking cigarettes on joy rides. One night in November 1963, a ride went wrong. Laura, who had just turned 17, didn't see a stop sign and hit a car driven by Mike Douglas, a track star who ran with her crowd. He died at the scene. She was not charged. "That was a very hard time," says Regan Gammon, her friend since they were Brownies. "He was wonderful. It changed everyone in some way. I know I was so sad I might not have been able to see how sad Laura was. He was a very close friend of Laura's." In the past, the first lady has said she thinks it is "sad" this piece of her background has been unearthed. Now, however, she discusses it evenly but with that resolute self-possession. "It makes me have more of a perspective on life," she says of what she calls "a tragic accident. And maybe I would already have had that perspective anyway. I just got it at 17." --Washington Post, 3/22/01

Nevertheless, the Bush wives seem to be singular non-entities, and most definitely NOT role models for American women to look up to and admire. But that is typical of the wife of the psychopath. Most often, these are women who rigidly adhere to the traditional role of the female with a strong sense of duty to be a "good wife."  She will believe that if she tries harder or simply waits it out, her husband will reform.  When he ignores her, abuses her, cheats on her, or uses her, she can simply just decide to "try harder, put more energy into the relationship, and take better care of him."  She believes that if she does this, eventually he will notice and will see how valuable she is, and then he will fall on his knees in gratitude and treat her like a queen.

The Bush children might also be considered embarassments if it weren't for the fact that they are only living up to the family standards: booze and drugs.

"The Bushes were part of a five-person group sitting at a table in the [Chuy's] restaurant Tuesday night when other patrons, a waitress and a bartender recognized Jenna Bush, who will be a sophomore at the University of Texas. Mia Lawrence, the restaurant's manager, said she asked to see Jenna Bush's driver's license. The picture on the license, however, looked "slightly off," Lawrence said, and had another person's name on it. "It was a valid Texas driver's license; it just wasn't hers," Lawrence said. Other people at the table with Jenna Bush had what appeared to be valid identification, including her sister. Barbara Bush, whom the restaurant staff didn't recognize, was served a margarita and a tequila shot, Lawrence said.

"Lawrence said she called 911 and reported that Jenna Bush was trying to buy alcohol with someone else's identification. Lawrence said one of the officers who responded, Sgt. Rodney Keene, asked her what she wanted to do about the situation. "He suggested that I turn the other cheek," she said. "I said I felt the police should do what they normally do." Police said Keene was not available for comment. Police spokeswoman Sally Muir said, "I never heard that." Bartenders and managers typically deal with fake identifications by confiscating them or refusing service, not by calling 911, [Assistant Police Chief Jimmy] Chapman said. Whether Chuy's routinely calls 911 to report minors who are attempting to buy alcohol couldn't be determined Thursday. The restaurant was referring questions to a spokesman who could not be reached. The group was getting ready to leave the restaurant when police arrived, [Assistant Police Chief Jimmy] Chapman said. Chapman said there was too much commotion at the restaurant Tuesday night to issue the tickets. "It got kind of convoluted," he said. Instead, police sent the girls on their way with Secret Service agents and continued to interview witnesses....The Bushes signed the [police citations] at their lawyer's office Thursday. Both charges are Class C misdemeanors under the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code and carry a fine of up to $500, attendance at an alcohol awareness course, community service and 30-day driver's license suspension. "They were very cooperative," Assistant Police Chief Jimmy Chapman said." --Austin American-Statesman, 6/1/01

And then, of course, there is the now well-known cocaine problem of Jeb's daughter Noelle, who has been jailed twice this year. It seems that the Bushes tried to avoid this one, but with so much scrutiny at present - as there was on Columba's shopping spree - and so many people noticing that they seem to think they are above the law, Noelle seems to have been abandoned to her fate. Considering the genetic implications of psychopathy, it is altogether likely that the Bush kids will go on to greater heights of embarrassing behavior, so watch for it.

Bush himself, as Maureen Dowd points out in her lampoon piece, operates at about the intellectual level of a 10 year old. However, there is something far more troubling about Bush's use of language. Have a look at some of his most revealing comments:

"There ought to be limits to freedom. We're aware of the site, and this guy is just a garbage man." — Bush, commenting on the website

"I will do everything in my power to restrict abortions." — George W. Bush, Dallas Morning News October 22, 1994

"I saw the report that children in Texas are going hungry. Where? You'd think the governor would have heard if there are pockets of hunger in Texas." — George W. Bush whose state ranks 2n in total number of children living in poverty to Austin American Statesman, 12/18/99

"People that are really very weird can get into sensitive positions and have a tremendous impact on history." "If I decide to [run for President], it will be to restore the promise of America. And I'll define what that means later." (11/15/98)

"The vast majority of our imports come from outside the country."

"The Holocaust was an obscene period in our nation's history. I mean in this century's history. But we all lived in this century. I didn't live in this century."... 9/15/95

"I have made good judgments in the past. I have made good judgments in the future."

"The future will be better tomorrow."

"I stand by all the misstatements that I've made."... 8/17/93

"We have a firm commitment to NATO, we are a part of NATO. We have a firm commitment to Europe. We are a part of Europe."

"We are ready for any unforeseen event that may or may not occur." ... 9/22/97

"Illegitimacy is something we should talk about in terms of not having it." ... 5/20/96

"Well, I think if you say you're going to do something and don't do it, that's trustworthiness."

"I mean, there needs to be a wholesale effort against racial profiling, which is illiterate children."

"You f--cking son of a bitch. I saw what you wrote. We're not going to forget this."-- to writer Al Hunt, 1998

"They misunderestimated me."—Bentonville, Ark., Nov. 6, 2000

"I know how hard it is for you to put food on your family."—Greater Nashua, N.H., Chamber of Commerce, Jan. 27, 2000

"I know the human being and fish can coexist peacefully."-Saginaw, Mich., Sept. 29, 2000

"Rarely is the question asked: Is our children learning?"-Florence, S.C., Jan. 11, 2000

"The most important job is not to be governor, or first lady in my case."-Pella, Iowa, as quoted by the San Antonio Express-News, Jan. 30, 2000

"I think if you know what you believe, it makes it a lot easier to answer questions. I can't answer your question."— Reynoldsburg, Ohio, Oct. 4, 2000

"Natural gas is hemispheric. I like to call it hemispheric in nature because it is a product that we can find in our neighborhoods."—Austin, Texas, Dec. 20, 2000

"The senator [McCain] has got to understand if he's going to have—he can't have it both ways. He can't take the high horse and then claim the low road."—To reporters in Florence, S.C., Feb. 17, 2000

"They want the federal government controlling Social Security like it's some kind of federal program."—Debate in St. Charles, Mo., Nov. 2, 2000

Now, what is so troubling about these "mixed up" remarks? Those of you who have read the segments of the Adventures Series about psychopathy, are already aware that this "thinking discrepancy" is proposed as one of the observable symptoms of congenital psychopathy.

Hare writes:

What makes psychopaths different from all others is the remarkable ease with which they lie, the pervasiveness of their deception, and the callousness with which they carry it out.

But there is something else about the speech of psychopaths that is equally puzzling: their frequent use of contradictory and logically inconsistent statements that usually escape detection.  Recent research on the language of psychopaths provides us with some important clues to this puzzle, as well as to the uncanny ability psychopaths have to move words - and people- around so easily. […]

Here are some examples:

When asked if he had ever committed a violent offense, a man serving time for theft answered, "No, but I once had to kill someone."

A woman with a staggering record of fraud, deceit, lies, and broken promises concluded a letter to the parole board with, "I've let a lot of people down… One is only as good as her reputation and name.  My word is as good as gold."

A man serving a term for armed robbery replied to the testimony of an eyewitness, "He's lying.  I wasn't there.  I should have blown his fucking head off."

From an interview with serial killer Elmer Wayne Henley:

Interviewer:  "You make it out that you're the victim of a serial killer, but if you look at the record you're a serial killer."
Henley:  "I'm not."
I:  "You're not a serial killer?"
H:  "I'm not a serial killer."
I:  You're saying you're not a serial killer now, but you've serially killed."
H:  "Well, yeah, that's semantics."

And so on.  The point that the researchers noted was that psychopaths seem to have trouble monitoring their own speech.  What is more, they often put things together in strange ways, such as this series of remarks from serial killer Clifford Olson:  "And then I had annual sex with her."  "Once a year?"  "No.  Annual.  From behind."  "Oh.  But she was dead!"  "No, no.  She was just unconscientious."  About his many experiences, Olson said, "I've got enough antidotes to fill five or six books - enough for a trilogy."  He was determined not to be an "escape goat" no matter what the "migrating facts." [Hare]

Sounds like Dubya, eh? And that's the scary part.

Ghost ship mystery deepens - The "ghost ship" was found last week drifting aimlessly off the Western Australian coast and has since been towed to a quarantine bay close to the fishing port of Broome. However, police say that despite an extensive search there is no sign of the ship's crew, or any indication of what might have happened to them. "We have insufficient evidence at this stage to even speculate on what has occurred," federal agent Bill Graham told reporters. The mystery has deepened further after investigators revealed Tuesday that the ship, the High Aim 6, had recently been some 3,500 nautical miles (6,500 kilometers) away in the Marshall Islands, halfway between Papua New Guinea and Hawaii, The Australian newspaper reported. Shortly afterwards the owner reported to U.S. authorities that the ship was missing after he had been unable to contact its captain.

A mobile telephone belonging to the missing chief engineer of a ship found abandoned off Australia has been used to make more than 80 calls from Indonesia, adding to the mystery over the fate of the crew.

President Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair, staunch allies in the showdown against Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein, plan to meet Jan. 31 at the Camp David presidential retreat. The meeting is scheduled three days after the president's State of the Union address and four days after the United Nations Security Council plans to convene to hear reports from U.N. weapons inspectors. The White House hopes to use both events, plus Blair's visit, to build momentum against Saddam. Bush has vowed to disarm Iraq, even if it requires military action without approval of the U.N. Iraq says it has no weapons of mass destruction, an assertion contested by the United States. Bush and Blair are under pressure not to use force unless U.N. arms inspectors find evidence of Iraqi banned weapons and the United Nations supports an attack. Comment: After this meeting, I guess we can expect renewed fraudulent "terrorist attacks" to whip us all into line...

Blair: Iraq oil claim is 'conspiracy theory' - Debunkery at its finest! - Tony Blair today derided as "conspiracy theories" accusations that a war on Iraq would be in pursuit of oil, as he faced down growing discontent in parliament at a meeting of Labour backbenchers and at PMQs. The prime minister's double defence of Britain's backing of president Bush came as one of Tony Blair's oldest political allies, Peter Mandelson, insisted that the US and British governments did not need a second UN resolution to justify an attack on Iraq. The MP for Hartlepool, traditionally used as a back channel for No 10's thinking, insisted that only his questioners on the BBC Radio 4's Today programme were asking for a new UN resolution - not France, Russia or China, the other members of the security council. - His intervention in the ongoing political debate on Iraq comes as Church of England bishops issued their strongest criticism yet of plans for military actions. The drumbeat of war sounded louder today after Downing Street also announced that Mr Blair would fly to Washington for talks with president Bush at the end of January. Most military experts are currently predicting an attack in February.

Three Palestinians were killed by Israeli troops in a new night of violence, as Israel Prime Minister Ariel Sharon continued a recovery from corruption allegations to stretch his lead in opinion polls two weeks before general elections. One of the Israeli army's nightly sweeps for suspected Palestinian militants resulted in two deaths in the northern West Bank village of Qabatiya, south of Jenin, Palestinian security sources said. One of the victims was a 16-year-old shot dead by troops after throwing stones at them, the sources said. Israeli military sources said he had lobbed "incendiary devices" at the Israeli patrol. The other was a mentally-ill 44-year-old fatally wounded when standing in one of the streets where the military operation was taking place, the Palestinian sources said. The all too familiar pattern of Palestinian stones being met by Israeli bullets had already caused the death of another teenager in the Palestinian refugee camp of Tulkarem overnight.

Israel's economy is suffering its worst recession in 50 years but voters would never know it. Politicians have all but ignored a two-year downturn, soaring unemployment and poverty levels rising to 20 percent of the population in the run-up to the country's general election on January 28. Economists warn the newly elected government will have to make some painful economic decisions upon taking office. In the meantime, security concerns caused by the more than two-year-old Palestinian uprising have greatly overshadowed economic woes. Yet analysts say the two issues go hand in hand and they doubt that the economy can stage a recovery until a solution with the Palestinians is reached.

Israeli at US loan talks is implicated in massacre - Israel is asking the United States for $8bn (£5bn) in loan guarantees – and has sent to Washington one of the former army officers implicated in the 1982 Sabra and Chatila massacre of Palestinian civilians to persuade the Bush administration to grant the money. - Amos Yaron, who is now director general of the Israeli Ministry of Defence, was the Israeli military commander in Beirut when Lebanese Phalangist militiamen entered the refugee camps and slaughtered up to 1,700 Palestinian refugees. He ordered flares to be dropped over the camps, at the request of the Phalange, and Israeli soldiers blocked the exits to prevent civilians from leaving the area. Israel is pleading for the money – along with an additional $4bn in military aid – on the grounds that a US invasion of Iraq will provoke further attacks against Israel. Comment: We have an easy solution: we do NOT give Israel the money, and we do NOT attack Iraq! Problem solved!

Europeans Give Bush Stern Message - Country after country are calling for Bush to give UN weapons inspectors more time and discreetly telling him that, in the lack of clear evidence that Saddam Hussein has tried to acquire weapons of mass destruction, their public will oppose any strike on Iraq that fails to carry UN backing. Greece, which took over the rotating presidency of the European Union on January 1, said it would ask the 15-nation bloc to adopt a joint stance on preventing a war. "Our desire and intention is that there should be no war. We don't want a war," Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis said at the weekend. "But there is a procedure that has been decided on for the next steps. The Security Council of the United Nations has taken a decision to that effect." The EU's foreign policy chief, Javier Solana, has warned that in the absence of proof that Iraq holds banned weapons it would be "very difficult to declare war".

French President Jacques Chirac said: "The use of force is always a statement of failure and the worst of all solutions. "We have tried to encourage a peaceful solution from the start, in the belief that a military intervention should only be envisaged if absolutely all other options fail, and of course only on the decision of the UN Security Council." German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder said UN resolution 1441, which sent weapons inspectors back into Iraq to vet its armament programmes, "must be applied. We want to do everything we can to make sure that this succeeds without military action".

Five years ago the internet rocked Washington, DC, and beyond, like it has never been rocked before, or since! What began exclusively on the DrugdeReport site on January 17, 1998, and continued exclusively for more than 72 hours, launched a million headlines and directly led to an impeachment count of a sitting United States president. [After reading the DRUDGE REPORT, Clinton called in his secretary Currie to match stories, igniting an obstruction charge.] While the mainpress legacy media will continue to mark the moment when the WASHINGTON POST printed their version of the story on January 21 as the 'start' of the Lewinsky news cycles, those who were on the internet, and President Clinton himself, know and lived a different truth. In fact, the mainpress continuing to ignore the internet timeline of those yesteryear events is proof of their inability to reflect a reality that is not of their own making.

Alleged al-Qaeda operative Ramzi Bin al-Shibh is providing U.S. intelligence officials with valuable information about the terrorist group's potential for using nuclear, biological and chemical weapons, according to U.S. government sources. The interrogation of Bin al-Shibh has been ''very productive in understanding what the capability was, how close to nuke-bio-chem they were'' up to the time of the Yemeni cleric's capture in Pakistan in September, one source says. Bin al-Shibh, one of a handful of living suspects in the Sept. 11 conspiracy, also is revealing helpful details about al-Qaeda's command structure, the sources say. Since his capture, Bin al-Shibh, 30, has expressed ''zero remorse,'' one source says. ''He's made it clear that had he not been captured, he would've continued doing what he had been doing.''

Widespread atrocities in eastern DR Congo - Investigators from the UN mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) have found evidence of widespread rape and looting, as well as cannibalism, committed by rebels fighting in northeastern areas. "Eyewitnesses bear out the reports of looting and systematic rape, summary executions and kidnapping, used as weapons of war" by all parties to fighting in the northeastern Ituri and Nord-Kivu Provinces, said a statement released to AFP.

Russia for the first time aired plans to develop a global missile defense shield along the lines of controversial US proposals. "We will definitely develop theater missile defense systems, as well as air-space defenses" of the type mooted by Washington, said Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov, quoted by news agencies. He added Moscow was permitted to develop such a far-reaching system after the United States last year unilaterally withdrew from the cornerstone 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) treaty which banned global missile shields. "Formally, Russia is also free from the limits that were placed on strategic missile defense systems, by that document," Ivanov said. Comment: Ah, what a Pandora's Box of evils Bush has opened on our Planet!

Britain gave a thumbs up on Wednesday to the United States' planned missile defense shield, allowing Washington to use a key radar base in northern England despite widespread opposition in the ruling Labor Party. The U.S. asked Britain in December to approve the upgrading of early warning radar systems at Fylingdales to allow its missile defense program to go ahead. "I have ... come to the preliminary conclusion that the answer to the U.S. request must be 'yes' and that we should agree to the upgrade proposed," Defense Secretary Geoff Hoon told parliament. Hoon insisted he was giving parliament a say before the government officially replied to Washington. But there will be no vote on the issue. Many in Prime Minister Tony Blair's ruling Labor Party, already worried about British involvement in a possible Iraq war, are bitterly opposed to the system, arguing a missile defense shield could spark a new global arms race. They say that, while protecting the United States, it might simply serve to make Britain a target for a potential aggressor.

North Korea poured cold water on Wednesday on U.S. offers of aid once suspicions about the communist state's nuclear intentions were cleared, saying Washington was trying to trick Pyongyang into disarming. As capitals around Asia buzzed with diplomatic efforts to calm the Korean peninsula, North Korea's Foreign Ministry accused Washington of bad faith and insisted a non-aggression pact was the only way to defuse the nuclear crisis. "The U.S. loudmouthed supply of energy and food aid are like a painted cake pie in the sky as they are possible only after the DPRK (North Korea) is totally disarmed," said the statement, issued late at night by the official Korean Central News Agency. "It is clear that the U.S. talk about dialogue is nothing but a deceptive drama to mislead the world public opinion," the ministry said. White House spokesman Ari Fleischer dismissed the statement as unhelpful bluster. - "We still have not received any official word from North Korea. That's an additional unfortunate statement that North Korea has made. This is why Japan, China, South Korea, Russia and the United States view this matter as a matter of serious concern," Fleischer told reporters. Washington accuses Pyongyang of covertly developing nuclear weapons, a charge the Foreign Ministry spokesman again denied Wednesday. The crisis came to a head Saturday when North Korea pulled out of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). Comment: Gee, this Pyongyang guy is sounding more and more like George Bush every day! Wonder if they are Clones?

Saudi Arabia, apparently stung by criticism of the Arab world's curbs on political freedom, is urging Arab rulers to empower their people. A proposal Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah plans to put to an Arab summit in March also reaffirms his peace offer to Israel and rejects "external, non-legitimate aggression" against any Arab state -- a possible reference to a unilateral U.S. war on Iraq.

Switzerland said Wednesday it may shoot down unauthorized aircraft that enter a no-fly zone over the ski resort of Davos next week when the business and political elite attend the World Economic Forum annual meeting. Should any aircraft ignore warnings to turn back, and pose a threat to the high-profile meeting, Defense Minister Samuel Schmid could give the air force a green light to open fire. The step comes amid heightened awareness of terrorist threats from the sky after the Sept. 11, 2001, kamikaze airline attacks on New York and Washington.

Thousands of homeless across South Asia huddled in makeshift plastic tents and lit bonfires to keep warm as the death toll from a harsh month-long cold spell mounted to nearly 1,000 Wednesday. Many of the dead were beggars, laborers or rickshaw pullers. In Bangladesh, newspapers said 40 more people died in the past 24 hours from the biting winter temperatures, raising the reported toll to 460. The government gives no official figures. "Allah alone knows when this cold will end," said Fatema Begum, a mother of two youngsters living in a plastic tent on a noisy roadside in the capital, Dhaka, where tens of thousands sleep on the congested streets. Prime Minister Begum Khaleda Zia handed out clothes to the shivering needy early Wednesday as vendors exploited the cold snap to double prices for woolen caps and jackets. Weather officials saw no let-up for at least a couple of days in the near-freezing temperatures gripping the region that they said were partly due to winds blowing in from Siberia. While the mercury levels are mild by some standards, they can prove deadly in South Asia where millions are homeless or live in shacks without heat. Lack of good food worsens the cold's impact, lowering body heat and leading to hypothermia, doctors say. Minimum temperatures across the region have fallen to around three degrees Celsius (37.40F).

January 14, 2003

Bush job approval lowest since 9/11 Though still high at 58%, rating reflects anxieties - The slip comes as the president is poised for military action against Iraq and is pushing an ambitious program of tax cuts and judicial nominations in Congress. Leading Democrats are deciding whether to seek the nomination against him in 2004. A sense that Bush's record-setting popularity is beginning to erode could make it more difficult for him to win victories on Capitol Hill. It also could embolden Democratic critics who were disheartened by the strong GOP showing, including the recapturing of the Senate, in the November elections.

'Lovely Outrage'  Blunt Words About the Soft Press - "What a paradox: the United States is the global leader, yet you can't find information about the world your country controls." To Milic, local TV news programs -- where statistics show most Americans get their "news" -- came across as bewilderingly provincial. He swears he saw a segment labeled "international news" that featured a story on... Nevada. - Even CNN, America's premier showcase for international news, struck the Serbian journalists as jingoistic, amateurish, shallow, and speculation-crazy, especially when compared to the generally calm and thoughtful BBC. As for the Fox News Channel, its daily fare sounded suspiciously like the rabidly nationalistic, pro-Milosevic propaganda the Serbs are still trying to flush out of the system here.

Indeed, for my Slavic colleagues, the Bush administration's stirring up of patriotic fervor around security issues was unpleasantly reminiscent of the way Slobodan Milosevic incited nationalist sentiment among the Serbs, in the build-up to a war that left hundreds of thousands dead and a region in tatters. Yet the American press seemed to be doing little to call Washington to task on this issue. Several of these young journalists said that the average Serb heard more critical reporting about Milosevic during the height of his power here than the average American hears about the Bush White House today. Nikola Jovanovic, from the Belgrade daily Blic, sounded personally affronted by this state of affairs: "You have freedom of information, which we didn't have. You can question the government -- but you don't do that. I would love to have that opportunity every day."

Not All White House Reporters are Pushovers - The latest in a long line of presidential spinners, Ari Fleischer, began a news conference on Jan. 6 with a nice greeting: "Good afternoon and happy New Year to everybody." But his bonhomie didn't last more than a minute. "At the earlier briefing, Ari, you said that the president deplored the taking of innocent lives," Helen Thomas began. "Does that apply to all innocent lives in the world?" It was a simple question -- and, unfortunately, an extraordinary one. Few journalists at the White House move beyond the subtle but powerful ties that bind reporters and top officials in Washington. Routinely, shared assumptions are the unspoken name of the game. In this case, Thomas wasn't playing -- and Fleischer's new year wasn't exactly off to a great start. His tongue moved, but he declined to answer the question. Instead, he parried: "I refer specifically to a horrible terrorist attack on Tel Aviv that killed scores and wounded hundreds."

Of course that attack was reprehensible. But Thomas had asked whether President Bush deplored the taking of "all innocent lives in the world." And Fleischer didn't want to go there. But Helen Thomas, an 82-year-old journalist who has been covering the White House for several decades, was not to be deterred by the flack's sleight-of-tongue maneuver. "My follow-up is," she persisted, "why does he want to drop bombs on innocent Iraqis?" On a dime, Fleischer spun paternal and nationalistic. "Helen, the question is how to protect Americans, and our allies and friends --" What Fleischer had just called "the question" was actually his question. He had no use for hers.

The Stimulians * A Cult of Cloning! — With no regard for established science or ethics, they continue on a dangerous and expensive course.

Separated Twins Begin New Life in Guatemala - Born to poor parents from a tiny village on Guatemala's south coast, Maria de Jesus and Maria Teresa Quiej underwent a grueling 22-hour separation at Mattel Children's Hospital at University of California at Los Angeles in August. The hospital estimated medical costs at about $2 million, not including the time of doctors and other professionals who donated their services. Nonprofit group Healing the Children is paying for much of their medical care through donations.

Salt Lake City Ectoplasm Photos? - On January 11, 2003, Heather Johnson and I conducted an investigation in the "Avenues" area of Salt Lake City. This is where the mysterious cat mutilations, which have been reported nationally, have been occuring. We photographed numerous orbs and the following unique ectoplasm. Not that I believe there is a direct connection, but the site of the Elizabeth Smart kidnapping is also nearby.

End of World Has Already Begun, University of Washington Scientists Say in Book 'The Life and Death of Planet Earth' - By their reckoning, Earth's ''day in the sun'' has reached 4:30 a.m., corresponding to its 4.5 billion-year age. By 5 a.m., the 1 billion-year reign of animals and plants will come to an end. At 8 a.m. the oceans will vaporize. At noon - after 12 billion years - the ever-expanding sun, transformed into a red giant, will engulf the planet, melting away any evidence it ever existed and sending molecules and atoms that once were Earth floating off into space. ''The disappearance of our planet is still 7.5 billion years away, but people really should consider the fate of our world and have a realistic understanding of where we are going,'' said UW astrophysicist Donald Brownlee. ''We live in a fabulous place at a fabulous time. It's a healthy thing for people to realize what a treasure this is in space and time, and fully appreciate and protect their environment as much as possible.''

Iraq has jamming equipment potentially capable of knocking some of America's "smart" weapons off course, according to a U.S. government official with access to intelligence reports. The official said this week the Iraqis have obtained at least a limited number of transmitters that can jam signals from the satellite-based global positioning system or GPS. The satellite signals are used to guide bombs called JDAMs (Joint Direct Attack Munitions) to their intended targets with precision. "The question is how will they (the Iraqis) implement this and how effective they would be" at sending U.S. bombs astray, said the official, who asked not to be identified. - The use of precision-guided bombs and missiles has been cited by Pentagon officials as a way to minimise civilian casualties in any attack on Iraq, particularly in densely populated areas like Baghdad. If Iraq were able to send some of the GPS-guided weapons off course, it could increase civilian casualties and spur regional criticism of a U.S. attack on Iraq. Specialists, in and outside of government, have long noted the potential vulnerability of GPS-guided bombs to jamming. "If I was going to be bombarded with weapons guided by GPS, I would be out there looking for jammers too," said John Beukers, a radionavigation expert in Vero Beach, Fla. "It's not rocket science to build these things." A Russian designer unveiled a small, 4-watt jammer at the 1997 Moscow Air Show that is said to be capable of disrupting GPS signals over an area about 100 nautical miles in radius.

The US-North Korea showdown has mushroomed from an "axis of evil" sideshow into an international crisis, with the fate of a decades-old global nuclear non-proliferation drive on the line. Pyongyang recast its confrontation with Washington with its announcement Friday that it would become the first nation to pull out of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. (NPT). Now at stake, analysts say, is the world's attempt to halt the spread of nuclear weapons, which was already severly compromised when non-NPT signatories India and Pakistan gatecrashed the nuclear club in 1998.

President Bush on Tuesday offered to revive a stalled initiative to give North Korea food and energy aid if it abandoned its pursuit of a nuclear arsenal. In the strongest sign to date the White House had dropped its self-imposed ban on incentives to end the standoff with Pyongyang, Bush suggested he was prepared to renew U.S. largesse in exchange for concessions from the secretive, hard-line state. "We expect them not to develop nuclear weapons, and if they so choose to do so -- their choice -- then I will reconsider whether or not we will start the bold initiative that I talked ... about," Bush told reporters.

The White House on Tuesday denied a report that it has proposed giving North Korea a written security guarantee in a letter from President Bush to North Korean leader Kim Jong-il. "There is no credibility to that story. That story is false," White House National Security Council spokesman Sean McCormack said of the report by Japan's Kyodo news agency. Kyodo quoted a senior U.S. official. Earlier, Bush made a conciliatory overture to Pyongyang, offering to revive a program to give North Korea food and energy aid if it dropped its nuclear ambitions.

We need to ask the questions: Why does America have hundreds of billions to ruin the health and take the lives of innocent people in Iraq but no money to provide health care for all Americans? Why would America spend hundreds of billions to retire Saddam Hussein, but no money to protect the retirement security of its own people? Why does America have money to blow up bridges over the Euphrates River in Iraq, but no money to build up bridges over the Cuyahoga River in Cleveland?

Chief U.N. arms inspector Hans Blix said his teams were widening their search net for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq thanks to new U.S. and British intelligence information. "We have already visited sites that have not been visited before and there will be more of them coming," Blix told the BBC on Monday. Last month Blix complained that the United States and Britain, the chief prosecutors pressing the case that Baghdad possesses weapons of mass destruction, had not been giving him the intelligence he needed. "It is coming and we are going to act on it...I felt in the past that sometimes they were a bit like librarians who had books that they didn't want to lend to the customer -- but I think that is changing," Blix said. The next crunch over Iraq comes next weekend when Blix and U.N. nuclear agency chief Mohamed ElBaradei go to Baghdad to demand Iraq account for missing stocks such as chemical bombs, nerve gas and missile engines. Iraq says it has the answers. Pope John Paul led a growing chorus of voices raised against war or opposed to any hasty decision to pull the trigger, saying a conflict in the Gulf would be a "defeat for humanity." Saudi Arabia, Turkey and others talked of peace initiatives. The big question was whether the U.N. experts and nervous governments in Europe and the Middle East had made Washington more cautious about carrying out a threat of war against Iraq if it failed to come clean over any weapons of mass destruction.

The dollar dredged a new three-year low against the euro and a four-month low against the yen on Tuesday as investors fretted over U.S. retail sales data due at 8:30 a.m. EST. The market has conditioned itself to disappointment after Friday's shock fall in U.S. payrolls data, which darkened the outlook for the economy and punished a dollar already weakened by tensions with Iraq and North Korea.

A policeman has been stabbed to death during an anti-terror swoop linked to the ricin find in London. Stephen Oake, a plain-clothed detective constable, was stabbed in the chest with a kitchen knife in the raid in Manchester. Three more officers were stabbed and one suffered a broken ankle. Police stressed no traces of the deadly ricin poison were found in the flat.

Paris' landmark Sacre Coeur basilica was evacuated for two hours after the discovery of three suspect gas bottles, police said. About 100 people were evacuated from the church in the popular Montmartre neighborhood after the discovery of the small bottles, which were not equipped with any kind of detonator. The church's caretaker found the gas bottles inside a black plastic bag along with four other plastic bottles. Police said an "incendiary device" had been taken to a forensic laboratory for analysis but said it posed no danger of fire or explosion in its current state. Police then searched the basilica -- one of France's most distinctive symbols and a popular tourist spot -- and surroundings but did not find anything suspect.

Police said they increased security around a John F. Kennedy International Airport terminal, a nearby gas station and a city clerk's office in Queens after receiving a tip about a possible terror threat. The tip was unsubstantiated but merited a precautionary response, police Commissioner Ray Kelly said Tuesday. "The credibility of the source is unknown and not seen to be particularly high," he said. The alleged plot was to be launched from Albany by terrorists who were to infiltrate the United States from Ontario, Canada, according to an internal police memorandum. The terrorists were purportedly members of a group called Algerian Tahir bin Ammar al-Yusifi.

US willingness to overlook abuses by allies in the war on terrorism, such as Pakistan, China, Saudi Arabia and some Afghan warlords, undermines efforts to improve conditions around the world, Human Rights Watch said in its annual survey. In its 13th annual review, comprised of reports on 58 countries, the group criticized the United States for turning a blind eye to repression in countries that provide important support for the US-led campaign against terrorism launched after September 11, 2001. "The United States is far from the world's worst human rights abuser," said Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch. "But Washington has so much power today that when it flouts human rights standards, it damages the human rights cause worldwide." In the report, Human Rights Watch said that by ignoring human rights in the name of fighting terror Washington had bred a "copycat phenomenon," in which other governments flout rights in the name of security.

Kmart closes 326 stores, 37,000 jobs to be cut - in the latest effort to emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection by the end of April and return to profitability. The Troy-based discount chain that pioneered the blue-light special and mass-marketed Martha Stewart home fashions will still have some 1,500 stores and nearly 200,000 employees if the cutbacks are approved by a federal bankruptcy judge. But it will come out of bankruptcy one-third smaller than it was when it went in. Tuesday's announcement marks the second round of closings in less than a year. Last March, Kmart closed 283 stores, affecting 22,000 jobs. Wal-Mart Stores Inc. operates more than 2,800 stores in the United States and 52 in Puerto Rico. Target Corp. has 1,148 stores in 47 states. The closings, which also include one distribution center in Texas, are in 44 states and Puerto Rico. Alaska will become the only state in the U.S. without a Kmart store when the five stores there close. In Texas, the closings leave 19 stores from more than 100 about a year ago. Other states with a large number of closures: Florida, with 25; California, 19; North Carolina, 18; Georgia and Ohio, 16 each; New York, 14; and Michigan, 13.

Subject of Clinton pardon arrested on tax evasion charge - A California businessman pardoned by former President Clinton for a 1983 fraud conviction involving a hair-growth product has been arrested on tax evasion charges, authorities said Tuesday. Internal Revenue Service agents took Almon Glenn Braswell into custody Monday, and he was scheduled for an initial court appearance before a federal magistrate Tuesday afternoon. Braswell, 59, was indicted by a federal grand jury in Los Angeles last year. The charges were sealed until the court hearing.

The Pentagon yesterday disputed assertions by two congressmen who seek a reinstatement of the draft that blacks are assigned to disproportionate numbers of combat positions. "Blacks tend to be concentrated in administrative and support jobs, not in combat jobs," the Pentagon report says. "This is in sharp contrast to the situation in a draft force." The 11-page report says blacks make up 21 percent of the enlisted force, but only 15 percent of infantry, armored and artillery units. Blacks are about 12 percent of the overall population. The report was made public in response to calls last week for reinstituting the draft by lawmakers who claimed that military burdens fell unfairly to minorities and the underprivileged. In support and administrative jobs, blacks account for 36 percent of all U.S. military personnel, and 27 percent of all medical and dental personnel in the armed forces.

US President George Bush has warned that "time is running out" for Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein to surrender the weapons of mass destruction which the US insists he owns. "So far I haven't seen any evidence that he has disarmed," said Mr Bush. "I'm sick and tired of games and deception."

An uncompromising Tony Blair said yesterday he would refuse to allow the United Nations to veto military action to rid Iraq of its weapons of mass destruction. The Prime Minister warned the public that Saddam Hussein's weapons posed a "direct threat" to Britain but angered his Labour critics by refusing to guarantee that any war in Iraq would have to win the approval of the UN. - Mr Blair kept open the possibility that the United States and Britain might act in tandem if France, Russia or China, the other permanent UN Security Council members, vetoed a second resolution.

ITALIANS, already nervous about war with Iraq, were stunned to learn yesterday that they are sitting on top of the biggest American ammunition dump outside the United States. Camp Darby, which nestles in a thousand hectares of pinewoods on the Tuscan coast between Pisa and Livorno, is a storehouse for 20,000 tonnes of artillery and aerial munitions, 8,000 tonnes of high explosive and “enough equipment to arm an entire mechanised brigade of tanks and APCs”, according to a report.

A British-hosted conference on Palestinian reforms opened under a dark cloud, marred by an Israeli ban on Palestinian officials attending and Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's verbal attacks on Yasser Arafat. Meanwhile in Israel, the opposition Labour party tried to breathe new life into its flagging campaign for the January 28 legislative elections by again vowing never to join the right-wing in a coalition government. The two-day conference in London opened with Palestinian officials participating by video-link from Ramallah and Gaza City, after they were slapped with a travel ban by Israel following a suicide attack which killed 23 people plus the two bombers in Tel Aviv on January 5. "We're looking forward to a successful conference" despite the "regrettable" travel ban imposed by Israeli authorities, British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said on his way into the meeting at the Foreign Office. The measure sparked an intense diplomatic row between Sharon's government and Downing Street, with Israel accusing Britain of "rewarding terror" and London retorting that Israel was hampering reform efforts.

France gave notice Tuesday that it would not succumb to pressure for war on Iraq and said eventual military action must be debated in the United Nations, where it has a veto. "France intends to remain free in its decisions," Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin told parliament. "We will not allow ourselves to submit to any pressure." Polls show French opinion strongly against eventual war on Iraq, even with the blessing of the U.N. Security Council. As a permanent council member, France has a veto, but has not said if it would use that power to block war. "What we do with our right to veto, we'll do in accordance with the elements that are presented to us," Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy said on RTL radio Monday evening. Raffarin said France wants Iraq disarmed of suspected weapons of mass destruction "through the law" and the Security Council. "If there must be forceful intervention, another debate will be needed," he said.

German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder on Tuesday said Germany would call for another U.N. Security Council resolution before any military strike on Iraq. Addressing a news conference in Berlin, Schroeder said Germany would work with its allies in the 15-member Security Council to try to get a second vote before military action against Iraq was launched. "It is likely that the European partners and also others will work toward a second decision and I also think that is sensible," he said. Germany joined the U.N. Security Council a few days ago as one its non-permanent members, and Schroeder's opposition to the war on Iraq is well known. He reiterated that position Tuesday, saying Germany would make "unmistakably" clear to the Security Council its opposition to war and its unwillingness to participate. So far, Schroeder has not made it known whether Germany would vote for or against military action in the event of the Security Council seeking another vote. Urging Iraq to comply with U.N. Resolution 1441 to avoid a conflict, he said if another decision were taken, Germany would make its basic position clear: "It will not take part in a war."

Police are investigating a report from a mother who said her 4-year-old son was forced to perform oral sex on two boys, ages 6 and 12, as they rode home on a school bus last month, school officials said. The 4-year-old boy, a special education student, told his mother that the 12-year-old threatened to ''beat and stab him'' if he didn't perform the sex act, the 4-year-old's mother told The Boston Globe. ''He told me the 12-year-old pulled down his pants and told another 6-year-old to pull down his pants. My son said if he didn't do it, he was going to get stabbed and beat,'' said Ebony Wise. The Globe said she agreed to be quoted by name because of her anger over the case. Wise said she told school administrators and filed a police report the next morning. Wise said officials continue to allow the 12-year-old to go to school, though they have barred him from the bus, which transports children from pre-kindergarten through fifth grade.

Thousands of people remained out of touch and entire villages submerged under water as Cyclone Ami hurtled southeast away from Fiji into the stormy South Pacific. Northern and eastern islands in Fiji's archipelago were the most badly battered by huge seas roiled by Ami, the second major storm to hit the low-lying islands in the last four weeks after Cyclone Zoe swirled through on Christmas Day. Residents of Nayau island in the Lau group were confronted by 30-metre (90-foot) waves and forced to seek shelter in upland caves, a radio operator there reported. Two children were missing and presumed dead in the village of Druadrua on Vanua Levu after the church they were sheltering in collapsed. The island's main town Labasa reported heavy flooding and suspended telephone service but no casualties, said the Disaster Management Committee.

Joseph Lieberman, the running mate for Al Gore in the 2000 presidential election, became the fifth contender for the Democratic nomination for 2004 warning that "the American Dream is in jeopardy". If successful, the 60-year-old senator from Connecticut would be the first Jew to win the presidential nomination for one of the two major parties. Lieberman was freed to join the nomination fray by Gore's decision last month not to seek a rematch against Bush. Gore lost the closest presidential election battle ever in 2000, and Lieberman promised he would not launch his own bid if Gore stood again.

Israelis To Demolish Entire Palestinian Village - Israeli bulldozers will destroy the entire village of Al-Daba' in the Qalqilya district. The village consists of 250 Palestinians living in 42 houses. Sixty ton American made armored Caterpillar D-9 bulldozers will make short work of 42 houses, 600-700 dunums of agricultural land, a mosque, and an elementary school for 132 children. The military order was issued 30 days ago and required the clearing of 50 meters of land next to the billion dollar wall (financed by the United States) being built to separate Palestinian land from Israel in the northern part of the West Bank. The clearing operation has exceeded its orders and now the destruction will extend 500 meters into the West Bank and engulf the village of Al-Daba'.

Eric Jewell: For those who avoid religious articles, let me assure you I avoid most of them, too and this is not a religious or doctrinal writing. This article offers facts and begs the question, "Is the religious right being duped into accepting the NWO and luring millions in turn to "getting chipped"? The story begins about a year ago when I began to uncover and expose the relationship between Tim Lahaye, co-author with Jerry Jenkins of the 'Left Behind' Christian fiction series, the Reverend Sun Myung Moon, and U.S. Intelligence agencies. What resulted from this was the 4 part series "Christianity and NWO - An Unholy Alliance".

Ghost Ship Packed with Rotten Fish Found at Sea - Australian police said on Tuesday they were baffled by the discovery of a ghost ship full of rotting fish -- but no crew or life rafts -- drifting off the remote northwest coast of Australia. The 65-foot High Aim 6, registered in Taiwan and flying an Indonesian flag, was intercepted and boarded by the Australian navy last week about 185 miles west of the fishing port of Broome after it was spotted drifting aimlessly. A massive search in the area has turned up no survivors, life rafts or clues, but the presence of up to three tons of rotting mackerel and tuna in the hold has convinced police the boat was used by fisherman, not people smugglers. "There weren't any indications on board that anything untoward had happened. The conditions on board were quite good," a spokeswoman for the Australian Federal Police in Perth told Reuters. She said the long-line fishing boat, which would have a crew of around 12, appeared well-equipped and seaworthy. The weather in the area has been calm for weeks.





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