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03-31-2006, 03:45 PM
PeacecaeP to all the members here.

This idea originally came to mind when Iniquity posted a News article from the Bay Area. I thought hey that would be interesting if members can post articles they believe is relevent to Society in these days in time. Whether it be crime, weather, politics and/or funny stories. I'm curious of how people live and where everyone on this site resides and the social impacts of poverty. So please use this thread as a way to inform us (your community) here on Wutangcorp.com

I was Born and Raised in the inner Mission District of San Francisco, Ca.

So I will start with this article.

(03-31) 10:25 PST SAN FRANCISCO -- Police have arrested a 19-year-old San Francisco man in connection with the death of man who was struck and killed by a car following an altercation at a Mission District gas station Thursday afternoon.

San Francisco police Sgt. Neville Gittens said Carlos A. Alaguna turned himself in to police early this morning and has been booked on suspicion of felony hit-and-run and driving without a license.

Gittens said Alaguna was at the Shell station at Randall and Mission streets getting gas shortly after 4 p.m. when he was approached by three men whom he did not know, and the group began arguing.

During the altercation, two of the men began breaking out windows in Alaguna's car, which was occupied by a child in a car seat, Gittens said.

Alaguna got into his car to leave and in the process struck and killed Andrew Kelly, 25, of Brisbane. Then, he fled, abandoning his car a few blocks away at Richland and Mission streets, where police found it a couple of hours later.

"Investigations are looking into whether the driver intended to strike the decedent or if his flight in the vehicle was predicated by actions on the part of the three male suspects," Gittens said.

Shortly before he was killed, Kelly had left a memorial service for a shooting victim at the Valencia Street Serra Mortuary at Valencia and 26th streets, according to James Eagleton, an acquaintance of Kelly.

Eagleton said he was coming home from the same wake on the bus when he saw the crime scene at the gas station. He recognized Kelly, whom he knew only by the nickname "Joker."

Eagleton said he thought Kelly was getting gas but was going to return to the funeral home, where people were gathered for the wake of Rolando Valladares, 21, who was gunned down Saturday as he walked with a group of friends at Capp and 25th streets.

Staff writer Cicero A. Estrella contributed to this report. Staff writer Cicero A. Estrella contributed to this report.

03-31-2006, 04:01 PM
Teen, 18, among two dead in three T.O. shootings

var byString = ""; var sourceString = "CTV.ca News Staff"; if ((sourceString != "") && (byString != "")) { document.write(byString + ", "); } else { document.write(byString); }CTV.ca News Staff
Three separate shootings on the streets of Toronto Monday night left a teenager, 18, and another man dead.
Four people were also wounded in the brash of gun violence.
The teenager, Romaine Lawrence, and several friends were eating at a pizza shop, in the Weston Road and Eglinton Avenue area, when a car pulled up and shot at the store around 10 p.m.
"My opinion is that this case does have hallmarks of gang-related activity," Toronto police Det. Scott Spratt told reporters on Tuesday. "At this point I don't have a motive."
When emergency crews arrived, they found a second man lying outside the shop bleeding from gunshot wounds.
That man, believed to be in his 20s, is still in hospital in serious condition.
Two other victims, one with a gunshot wound, took a taxi cab to an area hospital for treatment. The non-gunshot victim was injured by glass debris from the gunfire.
An hour later, a 22-year-old man died after being rushed to hospital with gunshot wounds related to a separate incident.
Jermaine Lincoln Brown, of Brampton, was found on the lawn of an apartment building at 235 Grandravine Dr., in the Jane Street and Finch Avenue area.
Police found his car still running when they arrived.
Around 7:30 p.m., a woman was taken to hospital with a gunshot wound to the leg.
She had been shot in the Don Mills Road and Eglinton Avenue area.
Police are looking for two suspects in the shooting, which may have been the result of a domestic dispute.
The murders are the 14th and 15th of 2006 with seven of them gun-related.
Investigators are interested in speaking to the taxi cab driver who picked up the two injured men and dropped them off at the hospital.

Aqua Luna
03-31-2006, 04:36 PM
LB Police Seize $300,000 Worth Of Marijuana

(CBS) LONG BEACH, Calif. Long Beach police arrested one man on Monday night after finding $300,000 worth of marijuana plants in a warehouse.

The discovery was made around 7:30 p.m. in the 1400 block of West 14th Street, near Santa Fe Avenue, according to Officer Jackie Bezart of the Long Beach Police Department.

About 400 plants were seized from the warehouse where "a silk screen business was being used as a front," Bezart said.

Philip Northcutt of Long Beach has been taken into custody. He allegedly had a loaded handgun in his possession when he was arrested, according to Long Beach police.

Northcutt had a recommendation from a doctor to use marijuana, but the number of plants in the warehouse "far exceeded" the amount of marijuana one is legally allowed to possess for medical purposes.

Police also found other weapons in the warehouse including a shotgun and bows and arrows.

Northcutt told officers that he recently returned from military service in Iraq, but police had yet to confirm that with military officials.

03-31-2006, 05:02 PM
Recently the media has covered a number of stories about Mothers killing their own children. An Incident that occured a while back and the circumstances surrounding it are very sad. A Mother of Four stripped her children down 1 @ a Time and one by one she threw them off a Pier into the San Francisco Bay, as ( This is what really is Sickening ) Bystandards watched. No one intervened. The Childrens ages ranged from 9 months to 7 years old. Once I find the article I'll post it, but for now here's another LOST MOTHER...

A San Francisco woman charged with murdering her 3-year-old daughter and trying to murder her 4-year-old son had been despondent over the breakup of her marriage and had been seeing a therapist, police said Thursday.

Linda Woo, 39, allegedly lit a portable barbecue Wednesday in a Subaru Outback in the garage of her Ingleside Terrace home. The fumes killed her daughter, Olive Murphy, and left her son, Carter Murphy, in critical condition from apparent carbon monoxide poisoning.

The boy is expected to survive, but authorities don't know yet whether he suffered any brain damage, Assistant District Attorney Harry Dorfman said.

"It's very sad," said Inspector Karen Lynch of the homicide detail. "All of her friends knew she was depressed over her marriage ending."

Woo's acquaintances told police that she had talked recently of suicide, but they thought the therapist she had been seeing was helping, Lynch said.

"They were all trying to help her," Lynch said. "No one saw this coming."

When Woo didn't bring the children to day care Wednesday, the school contacted her estranged husband, Gavin Murphy, police said. Murphy called friends, one of whom discovered the mother and children in the garage at 370 Moncada Way and phoned 911.

Police found a note on the car's dashboard. They said the note suggested Woo was upset over the breakup of her marriage and had been depressed.

She told a neighbor last week that she didn't want to live and that there was "something wrong'' with her brain, authorities say.

Police said Woo had apparently led the children to believe that they were going on a camping trip in the Subaru, which she had borrowed from a friend.

Prosecutors filed murder and attempted murder charges Thursday against Woo, who works as a principal project manager at Pacific Gas and Electric Co. in San Francisco.

She was being treated in the jail ward of San Francisco General Hospital and is expected to recover. Arraignment was scheduled for Monday.

"I'm sure that there are going to be evaluations of her mental condition,'' Dorfman said.

E-mail Jaxon Van Derbeken at jvanderbeken@sfchronicle.com.

03-31-2006, 06:44 PM
Law Enforcement: Austin Police Chief Fires Cop Who Killed Daniel Rocha 11/25/05
Austin Police Officer Julie Schroeder, the officer who shot and killed 18-year-old Daniel Rocha in June, has been fired by Austin Police Chief Stan Knee. Another officer involved in the incident, Sgt. Don Doyle, has been suspended for 28 days. Rocha was shot and killed as Schroeder and Doyle attempted to arrest him for possession of a small amount of marijuana.

Although the killing -- the 14th of a minority by Austin police in the last seven years -- aroused loud and angry protests, an Austin grand jury refused to indict Schroeder in the killing. Similarly, an Austin Police Department internal affairs investigation found that Schroeder had not violated departmental policy on the use of force. But an Austin citizens review committee recommended that Schroeder be fired. The committee also recommended that Doyle be demoted, but Chief Knee did not follow that recommendation.

While police shootings have roiled relations with Austin's black and brown community, Schroeder's firing is the first of any officer for an on-duty shooting in years. The local police union, the Austin Police Association, responded by calling for the firing of Chief Knee.

Rocha was shot in the back and killed on a southeast Austin street after he and two others were stopped during a police drug operation. A struggle broke out, Schroeder lost control of her Taser and, fearing Rocha would turn the weapon on herself or Sgt. Doyle, she shot Rocha. But in firing Schroeder, Chief Knee made it clear that Schroeder's stated belief that she fired because she thought she and Doyle were in danger was not justified.

While Schroeder has been fired, that's not quite the end of it. She has the right to appeal the chief's decision, and the Austin Police Association is ready to support her. The union has called for the chief to be fired for his decision in Schroeder's case. Meanwhile, an FBI investigation into the killing remains open.

03-31-2006, 07:13 PM
12 indicted on pot-candy charges

Henry K. Lee

Friday, March 31, 2006

A federal grand jury indicted 12 people Thursday on charges that they worked at East Bay warehouses to make candy and soft drinks resembling popular goodies but laced with marijuana.

The alleged ringleader, Kenneth Affolter, 39, of Lafayette, six other men and five women worked at Beyond Bomb and allegedly manufactured a range of pot-laced treats with names like Buddahfingers, Munchy Way, Rasta Reece's and Puff-a-Mint Pattie, authorities said.

Beyond Bomb operated from adjoining warehouses at 1055 and 1071 Yerba Buena Ave. and 3960 Adeline St. in Emeryville, according to Drug Enforcement Administration agents.

Most of the defendants have been released from bond, but Affolter will be in court today to argue for his release, said his attorney, Robert Byers of Oakland.

Medical marijuana advocates say the treats are legal under state law and are designed for sick patients who rely on cannabis to ease their symptoms. DEA officials say marijuana in any form is illegal under federal law.

These are Associates of my Friends

galt john galt
03-31-2006, 07:27 PM
Man, 78, gets $75,000 for beating
By Shirley Dang
Knight Ridder
A black eye, a bloody lip and a fractured rib are no way to end a morning walk.

But if you're 78-year-old Melvin Ainsworth, it might be worth a new car.

Barely a year ago, a Vallejo Police Department officer tackled Ainsworth, a retired baker, on the Carquinez Bridge.

A posse of officers had sped to the bridge in response to a 911 call about someone who looked like he was going to leap over the side.

The incident landed Ainsworth in the emergency room and at the law offices of John Burris, a prominent Oakland attorney specializing in police brutality cases.

Earlier this month, Ainsworth won a $75,000 settlement. Though his $50,000 cut amounted to considerably less than the $500,000 in damages he originally sought, Ainsworth said Thursday that he feels relieved nonetheless.

``I'm glad it's over with,'' said Ainsworth, leaning back in a velvety reclining chair, comfortable in his blue sweat pants.

Waiting for the lawsuit to end made him anxious, he said: ``I was cranky and crotchety and cross.''

To take his mind off the suit, Ainsworth worked on patenting a can-crushing device (U.S. Patent No. D510,095).

He also turned to his trusty oven, churning out walnut banana bread and German chocolate cakes oozing with cream cheese, butter and powdered sugar filling.

On March 20, Ainsworth picked up his check from the settlement. He paid off his debts and bought a silver 2005 Volkswagen Passat station wagon, complete with climate control.

``This car is so beautiful,'' Ainsworth said.

Still, when the weather's good, he prefers to walk.

san jose mercury news

galt john galt
03-31-2006, 07:29 PM
Oakland Teachers Plan One-Day Work Stoppage

POSTED: 2:24 pm PST March 30, 2006

OAKLAND -- The union representing 3,100 Oakland public school teachers announced Thursday that teachers will hold a one-day strike on April 20 if contract talks don't lead to a settlement before then.

Ben Visnick, the president of the Oakland Education Association, also said there will be a large rally against state administrator Randolph Ward, who has run the financially troubled Oakland Unified School District for three years, at 4 p.m. on April 5.

Visnick said, "The administration doesn't listen too well so we have to set limits and deadlines" in the effort to reach a contract agreement.

Visnick said he also has been talking almost daily with the head of the union representing San Francisco public school teachers about the possibility of coordinating a work action with them.

"Both unions would be stronger if we go on strike together," Visnick said.

He said, "There's a possibility of a joint San Francisco-Oakland strike. We hope it doesn't happen but that is a possibility."

Visnick said Oakland teacher union leaders met with the school district informally Wednesday night but no further talks are scheduled at this time.

He said the key issues in the contract talks, which have lasted almost two years, are salaries and health care benefits.

Copyright 2006 by KTVU.com and Bay City News. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

04-01-2006, 01:58 PM
The San Francisco Bay Area is falling into the Bay


Michael Cabanatuan, Chronicle Staff Writer

Saturday, April 1, 2006

In like a lion, out like a lion. Chronicle Graphic Unstable ground. Chronicle Graphic A worker climbs under a tarp at a construction site on Bu...

The relentless rains that set Bay Area records in March now threaten to create big problems in April as soggy hillsides show signs they could give way.

"If we continue to have these continuous bursts of rainfall for another week or more, we could have hundreds of landslides -- easily,'' said Alan Kropp, a Berkeley geotechnical engineer.

Forecasters with the National Weather Service say the rainy weather is likely to continue after an expected pause today.

Showers lingering after the latest dousing Friday should end this morning, and the rest of the day should be dry and partly cloudy -- "the best day of the weekend,'' said meteorologist Suzanne Anderson.

More rain is expected Sunday through Tuesday. After a break on Wednesday, yet another storm is due Thursday or Friday, possibly extending into next weekend.

"It doesn't look like there will be any change in the pattern for the foreseeable future,'' Anderson said.

Saturated hillsides around the Bay Area already are beginning to move. In Sausalito on Thursday, a slide carried mud, a wooden deck and a 30-foot-tall tree downhill toward the city's main street. On notoriously unstable Highway 1 in San Mateo County, underground sensors detected movement Friday on Devil's Slide and switched on warning lights, though Caltrans officials said the movement was slight and did not pose a danger.

Crews worked Friday to shore up sinking roadway, undermined by a slide, on Highway 1 south of Pacifica at Shamrock Ranch, but they had to quit for the day when heavy rains inundated the area. Caltrans spokeswoman Lauren Wonder said the agency is keeping watch over those slides and will close the highway if they become dangerous.

Kropp had a burst of business in January helping homeowners cope with slides. He has seen business pick up again in the past couple of weeks, particularly in the East Bay hills.

"I've got lots of mud on my boots and pants in the laundry,'' he said.

They could get a lot muddier.

Heavy rains, combined with unstable soil conditions on slanting terrain, can trigger two types of landslides, said Gerald Wieczorek, a geological engineer and landslide specialist with the U.S. Geological Survey in Menlo Park.

Fast-moving, shallow landslides known as "debris flows" are often set off by intense rains -- perhaps 5 inches in 24 hours, he said. They strike quickly and can carry away houses, trees and rocks, and travel hundreds of yards. Particularly heavy rains in January 1982 touched off 18,000 landslides and debris flows that killed 20 people in the Bay Area, he said.

The rains that inundated the Bay Area between Christmas and New Year's Day also brought such landslides, particularly in the North Bay.

Continuous rains cause the other type of slide -- slow-moving, deep slides known as "earth flows" or "earth slumps," Wieczorek said. The steady soaking of rain into the soil -- even if the rains are not particularly intense -- can create enough water pressure beneath the ground to cause the earth to move, usually slowly, but in some cases not so slowly.

The rains in the month just ended -- which set the record in San Francisco and other Northern California locations for the March with the most rainy days -- generally were not very intense. So the deeper type of landslide is the biggest threat, barring an unanticipated deluge.

"At this point, (the rain) is building up water deeper in the soil,'' said Wieczorek, "and will be developing deeper slides.''

Where those slides will occur depends on the nature of the rainfall, the type of soil or rock, and the degree of the slope, he said. Debris flows typically happen on steep slopes, but the deeper, slower slides can occur on hills with as little as an 8 percent slope.

Parts of the Bay Area particularly prone to slipping and sliding hills include the areas in or near the Santa Cruz Mountains, Mount Tamalpais and the East Bay hills, Wieczorek said. The USGS has produced landslide maps that identify the areas of greatest risk, Kropp said, where 90 percent of all slides are expected to occur.

As the rains continued to fall Friday, some residents of the Bay Area's hillier neighborhoods were admittedly nervous.

In Oakland, residents on Wallace Street near Highland Hospital kept a wary watch. In 2002, three homes were red-tagged by the city after a mudslide.

On Friday, about 20 sandbags were lined outside the fence of a home shared by Carrie Ramirez, 33, and Evan Beckert, 38. Runoff from the rain was going down the hill on Wallace.

Last year, when people parked along the curb, the car tires sent water right into the basement.

Ramirez said, "I'm from the Seattle area, so when I came back here and saw the rain and the mud, that was one of my concerns."

As long as the water stays there," said Beckert, pointing to the gutter, "we're cool."

In Sausalito, Robert Taylor, a 46-year-old native of Australia who moved next door to a slide area three years ago, said the hillside had been stripped bare and trampled by construction workers over the past year. That, combined with constant pounding rain, he said, was asking for trouble.

"It seems anyone can build anything around here if they have enough money," said Taylor, a retired engineer, "until something goes wrong, and then the s -- hits the fan."

The record rains, mudslides and flooding are all part of a plan, said Alberto Alvarez, 84, as he walked confidently up a hill to his own home on Bulkley Avenue, where the hillside was still intact.

"Mother Nature is the boss, and sometimes she gets upset," said Alvarez, who has lived in Sausalito since 1962. "No, no, no, I'm not worried. We cannot be upset because that's just the way it goes."

04-01-2006, 06:55 PM
will hold a one-day strike on April 20
and really what better day than that. lol

04-02-2006, 12:48 PM
Family's best efforts didn't keep party safe
Text messaging seen as a culprit in event that took deadly turn

Jim Herron Zamora, Chronicle Staff Writer

Sunday, April 2, 2006

Aderian and Afeni Gaines thought they'd found a solution to the problem of kids not having anywhere safe to go, or anything positive to do, on the weekends -- they started hosting house parties for neighborhood youth.

They took pains to ensure the gatherings, which would draw dozens of teens to their south Berkeley home, remained safe. They searched people for weapons, forbade backpacks and purses, and kept a tally of how many kids came from each neighborhood, so as not to upset the delicate balance of turf.

But despite their best efforts, things went horribly awry last weekend when a partygoer fatally shot Aderian "Dre" Gaines after the 36-year-old disarmed the teen and kicked him out of the house.

It was the second time this year a party grew larger than anyone expected before turning violent and leaving someone dead. Juan Carlos Ramos, 18, was stabbed Feb. 11 during an unchaperoned party in the Berkeley hills that drew more than 100 teens.

In both cases, police said the parties simply grew too large as word spread via the Internet and cell phone text messages.

Although police say that the fatalities are anomalies and that they haven't seen an increase in large parties or violence resulting from them, some wonder whether the gatherings are a good idea.

"It's extremely common for word to get around (via text message) when you have no idea whose house it is," said Kaila Harrell, a freshman at Berkeley High School. "Normally, it's no big deal. But if the wrong person finds out, it can all go bad."

Even some who joined the Gaines family in throwing the parties have had second thoughts.

"It was a good idea to try to help kids with those parties, but they let it get out of control," said Ernest Carroll, a longtime neighbor and family friend who chaperoned several of the Gaines' parties. "If they just kept it to 20 to 25 friends, it would have been cool. But you can't have 60 to 70 kids coming from all over Berkeley, Oakland, Richmond and everywhere else in the East Bay and expect to stay safe."

Police said Aderian Gaines was shot twice in the chest on March 25 by a teen at the party.

The family told The Chronicle last week that the gunman was part of a group from West Oakland who was denied entry before chaperones relented. Inside, someone saw a pistol tucked into the suspect's waistband and alerted Gaines, who threw the teen out of the house. He returned, shooting Gaines and wounding another person whose name was not released. Police said that there are conflicting reports of exactly what happened just before the shooting but that they are certain who is responsible.

Police arrested suspected gang members James Freeman, 29, and Antonio Harris, 18, Wednesday night. Police believe that Harris was the gunman and Freeman the getaway driver. No one at the party, which was intended only for minors, knew the two suspects, who live in West Oakland, but beat officers there identified Harris based on descriptions partygoers gave Berkeley police.

The party was the fourth the family had hosted since January.

Previous parties went off without a hitch because the Gaines children and their friends would alert chaperones if someone who didn't belong showed up or if trouble erupted, Carroll said. He noted that previous parties had been marred by one fistfight, "and we ended that one quick."

But this party apparently grew too fast and got out of control as word of its location spread via cell phone text messages.

"There were at least 60 people there. I saw at least 20 arrive all at once (about 9 p.m.) but from different directions," said Carroll, whose girlfriend, Natasha Jackson, was the party's DJ. "That house is too small for that."

But Berkeley police weren't worried. They had stopped by a couple of hours earlier after someone complained about the noise. They talked to Gaines and left satisfied that everything was under control.

"The beat officer went and spoke to the Gaineses, and the beat officer thought that they had some thoughtful measures in place," Berkeley police Lt. Mary Kusmiss said. "It was well before the noise ordinance kicks into effect at 10 p.m. There was no reason to shut the party down then."

Even before the Gaines killing, Berkeley police compiled a list of tips for avoiding trouble at parties, Kusmiss said. They include common-sense suggestions like limiting the size of a party and admitting only guests you know.

Oakland police said they support parents who, like the Gaineses, strive to provide a safe environment for teens to gather, but they too advise caution.

"People need to know who is coming to these parties and who their kids are hanging around with," said Officer Roland Holmgren. "Parents should set an upper limit (on attendance) from the beginning and say this number is non-negotiable.

"Most of all, you should just trust your instincts -- if it feels like a party is starting to go in the wrong direction, shut it down."

But others with experience hosting such gatherings question the wisdom of opening your home to large numbers of youth.

Deane Calhoun runs the Oakland nonprofit Youth Alive, which teaches young people how and why to avoid violence. She said house parties -- with or without chaperones -- have long been problematic. All it takes, she said, is one troublemaker.

"Young people will go to parties and act up, and use alcohol or drugs and get in fights," she said. "The things that have changed are that everyone has a cell phone to spread the word quick and that some kids carry guns."

But Youth Uprising, another nonprofit in East Oakland, hosts hip-hop "dance battles" and other contests and has had no major problems. The events have strict rules and many chaperones who insist that the youth center is neutral turf.

"We've had as many as 400 people in here," said board member Jacky Johnson. "It's amazing we don't have more problems. But I think it's because of the culture we keep here."

Security personnel are quick to turn off the music at the first hint of trouble. Respect is given to all, and all are expected to reciprocate. That means that although someone might throw gang signs or call out their neighborhood or city, it doesn't escalate into violence, Johnson said.

"We understand that people are proud of where they are from, and we respect that," Johnson said. "But we also want them to know that when you're here, we're all family. You leave the rest of that outside the center. What we do here works because everyone knows it's a safe place."
Party tips

The Berkeley Police Department offers these tips for hosting a party:

-- Limit the size of the party to 50 people.

-- Don't promote the party through e-mail or text messaging, and ask guests to respect that.

-- Do not admit strangers.

-- Do not supply alcohol to underage guests.

-- Once guests leave, do not allow them to return.

-- Notify the police immediately if you suspect someone is armed or if there is a disturbance.

-- Alert your neighbors to the party ahead of time. Have a time in mind to shut it down, and stick to it.

E-mail Jim Zamora at jzamora@sfchronicle.com.

04-02-2006, 12:49 PM
Police in Richmond discover woman's body

Bay City News

Sunday, April 2, 2006

Richmond -- Police in Richmond located the body of a woman Saturday afternoon who is believed to be the victim of a homicide, according to the Richmond Police Department.

A resident directed police to the body, which was in a grassy area near the dead end of South 25th Street, around 3:50 p.m. Saturday. The victim had unknown traumatic injuries to the upper body.

The woman may have been killed in a different location and her body dumped where police discovered it, according to the initial investigation by police.

The Contra Costa County Coroner's office will attempt to identify the victim.

Anyone with information on this incident is asked to contact Detective Aaron Mandell at (510) 620-6622 or the Richmond communications center at (510) 233-1214.

Copyright 2006 by Bay City News, Inc. Replication, republication or retransmission without the express written consent of Bay City News, Inc. is prohibited.

04-02-2006, 12:51 PM
52° F
Mostly Cloudy
Wind: SE at 7 mph
Humidity: 71%
Visibility: 10 miles
Today: Mostly cloudy. Rain likely near San Francisco with a chance of rain elsewhere. Highs in the mid 50s to mid 60s. Southwest winds 5 to 15 mph...becoming southeast.
Tonight: Periods of rain. Lows in the 40s to lower 50s. East winds 5 to 15 mph.

Aqua Luna
04-02-2006, 01:28 PM
'Suge' Knight misses court appearance

Rap music mogul Marion "Suge" Knight failed to appear at a court-ordered debtor hearing Saturday, triggering legal actions that a judge had warned would place his Death Row Records in receivership.

In addition, lawyers suing him plan to ask that he be held in contempt and jailed until he participates in the debtor hearing that requires him to disclose all of his assets.

At issue is an unpaid judgment against Knight for $107 million that was awarded to Lydia Harris, the former Knight associate who claimed she helped start the rap record empire with her former husband, Michael Harris.

Harris, an imprisoned drug dealer serving a 28-year sentence at San Quentin Prison, is claiming half of the $107 million as community property in their divorce.

Harris also claims he put up $1.5 million from behind bars to help start the record label, a contention that Knight has repeatedly denied.

Superior Court Judge Ronald Sohegian issued an order last week appointing a receiver to take over Death Row Records. But he stayed the order pending Knight's appearance at Saturday's hearing.

Knight's attorney, Dermot Givens, contacted by phone, declined to comment saying, "We try our cases in the court and not in the press."

Attorney Steve Goldberg, who represents Harris, said attorneys would appear in Sohegian's court Tuesday to make sure the receivership takes effect and to ask that Knight be held in contempt.

He noted that the receiver would take control of all assets of Death Row Records including an extensive music library including the records of Tupac Shakur, Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre and many other rap legends.

"We are going to ask the receiver to take ownership of the music library and auction it off," Goldberg said.

He predicted this could be "a death sentence for Death Row Records."

04-03-2006, 07:36 AM
GOVERNMENT has called for the development of Ethno-tourism, which involves attracting tourists by maintaining ethnic or cultural identities.
Tourism and Environment Minister, Kabinga Pande, said many countries were tourism destinations because they maintained their culture and ethnicity.
Mr Pande said Ethno-tourism was about exploiting unique cultures and that was how countries such as Australia with their Aborigines people, Kenya with the Masaai and Botswana with their Bushmen were attracting tourists because of their unique heritage.
The minister was speaking in Kitwe on Friday night when he officiated at the Nsakwa Yaba Kaonde fundraising dinner for the Kamano Traditional ceremony to be held in May.
He said ethno-tourism ensured that even locals that were upholding culture, benefited from the tourism boom.
Mr Pande said the Kaonde people’s culture was rich and should be promoted for tourism as well.
He denounced politicians who were advocating politics along tribal lines saying this would bring divisions among the many tribes of Zambia.
And Nsakwa national chairman, Geoffrey Mukala, said the association was non-partisan and sought to promote culture and bring the tribe together and work with the Government of the day.

04-03-2006, 05:55 PM

04-03-2006, 06:14 PM
A man was killed in an explosion at a coffee shop near one of the city's busiest intersections Sunday.

Police said the blast happened just after 1pm at a Tim Hortons on Yonge Street north of Bloor.

Officials evacuated a block around the shop as emergency crews investigated the cause. They're still not sure about motivation, but gasoline was the catalyst.

The explosion happened in the men’s washroom and Staff Sergeant Dan Cole said the man who was killed wasn’t a Tim Hortons employee. In fact, the main suspect was the man found dead inside a bathroom stall.

“A male, whose identity has not yet been determined was found suffering from severe burns to most of his body," said Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair.

"We're very preliminary in our investigation to determine the cause of that fire...we're still determining whether this was a purposeful act," said Blair.

There was only a small amount of smoke when emergency crews arrived and there were no other injuries.

"The ceiling started crumbling and everyone ran for the door," said one witness.

"At first people just looked at it, then people started to scream and run out," recalled another.

There were early reports that a man had entered the coffee shop with explosives strapped to his body just moments before the blast, but that was never confirmed.

The explosives disposal unit was called to the scene.

Yonge Street was closed in both directions between Yorkville and Bloor and traffic was backed up in the area for some time.

Hours after this incident, another Tim Hortons at Yonge and Lawrence was evacuated as a precaution after a suspicious package, later determined to be a clock in a bag, was spotted.

04-04-2006, 10:18 AM
IN the late 1980s, Zimbabwean soldiers fought side by side with their Mozambican counterparts against insurgents of the Mozambique National Resistance (Renamo) sponsored by the apartheid South Africa regime.

Many people, including Zimbabwean soldiers and civilians, lost lives and limbs in the civil war. That Zimbabwean soldiers stood side by side with their Mozambican counterparts underlined the strong ties that exist between the two countries; ties that had seen Mozambique at the forefront of supporting Zimbabweans’ struggle against colonial rule. But after the guns fell silent in Mozambique and in spite of the strong political ties between the two countries, Zimbabwean businessmen failed to take advantage of the business opportunities that existed. A few years later, in 1998, the Democratic Republic of Congo was invaded by rebels sponsored by neighbouring Rwanda and Uganda. Their aim was to topple President Laurent Kabila and install a puppet regime that would turn a blind eye to the looting and plundering of mineral and forestry resources of the DRC. But this was thwarted by Zimbabwe, together with Angola and Namibia, which sent troops to defend the territorial integrity of the DRC under the auspices of the Sadc Allied Forces. The three countries made great sacrifices as their troops successfully defended the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the DRC. And just like in Mozambique, Zimbabweans lost lives and limbs in the war. Yet despite these great sacrifices, Zimbab-wean businessmen have again failed to grab the opportunities that abound in a peaceful DRC and make meaningful inroads in that country. The DRC, Africa’s third largest country, presents a vast market and opportunities, with the population of Kinshasa alone estimated at 45 million people. A lot of interest was shown soon after the war and a number of missions were undertaken to Kinshasa and Lubumbashi, the DRC’s second largest city, but these have since fizzled out. In fact, South African companies have taken over in both Mozambique and the DRC and are running the show in a big way. It is sad that the Zimbabwean business sector has failed to take advantage of the strong political ties with Mozambique and the DRC after the sacrifices made to secure the peace that is prevailing in those countries. By sending troops to help secure peace in these countries, the Government played its part in creating the environment conducive for business. One, therefore, hopes that our business people have learnt their lessons from the Mozambique and DRC experiences and will heed the call by Equatorial Guinea President Mr Obiang Nguema Mbasogo to engage their counterparts in the oil-rich West African country and explore opportunities there. Mr Mbasogo, who took time during his three-day State visit to Zimbabwe last week to address captains of industry and commerce at a breakfast meeting in Harare last week, rightly pointed out that Zimbabwe has a highly educated human resource base that could be used to develop human resources in his country so that the two countries can walk together along the path of developing their economies. It is indisputable that when it comes to human resources, Zimbabwe stands head and shoulders above the rest in Africa and competes favourably with other developing countries elsewhere. In fact, Zimbabwean human resources are in demand in many countries. There is need therefore, for the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries and National Chamber of Commerce to seriously consider a mission to Equatorial Guinea to explore what is on offer there and what Zimbabwe can, in turn, export to that country. The political relations between the two countries which strengthened after the capture, at Harare International Airport in March last year, of 67 mercenaries who were on their way to the Equatorial Guinea to topple Mr Mbasogo and his government need to be extended to economic co-operation. The challenge is for the business sector to take advantage of the agreement signed by the two countries last Friday covering economic, cultural, scientific and technical co-operation to cement relations between the two countries. In fact, Zimbabwe’s business people should go back to the drawing board and look at where we went wrong in Mozambique and the DRC and then come up with new strategies. The ball is now in the court of our captains of industry and commerce to further pursue and strengthen economic relations with friendly nations.

04-04-2006, 10:28 AM
THE biblical verse that God’s people are destroyed for their lack of knowledge still rings as true today as when the words were uttered thousands of years ago.
That is the reason why the verse, “men are destroyed from lack of knowledge (Hosea 4:6) continues to inspire people in their search for knowledge.
Even today, education of the mind is the key in every person’s aspirations, and indeed in every country’s desire to bring development and alleviate suffering.
Since development is often determined by the environment in which one lives, it is always imperative one becomes literate in order to be able to understand and articulate issues surrounding them.
Hence the need to acquire knowledge nowadays stretches beyond age barriers, with some people’s desire for school so overwhelming that they even sacrifice their ‘dignity’ all for purposes of literacy.
Gone are the days when people intending to study would think of age or family responsibilities as being a limitation to their advancement or even feel let down by the passage of time.
However, the coming of community schools in society has not just helped vulnerable children to get back to school without necessarily having to worry about school fees and other requirements but mothers as well have also realised the need to acquire knowledge at no cost at all.
The desire for women to become part of the decision-making at different levels of society rather than being used as objects for reproduction has forced many of them to rise up to the occasion and seek to be educated at the slightest opportunity.
While as in the past years a woman’s place was considered to be in the kitchen and a girl-child had little chance of pursuing high school studies as she had to be married off at an early age this is not so with dynamism.
With sensitisation programmes in place on empowering women with education, now the tables are being upset and the attitude towards more mothers being educated is changing.
Forty-four-year old Rosemary Mumba of Matero township is one such person with great passion for school.
“I started school in 1972. When my grandmother died in 1978, I could not continue because no one was willing to pay for my school fees,” said Rosemary.
Prior to her grandmother’s death, Rosemary sat for grade seven examinations but did not reach the pass mark. On the other hand, even if she had qualified, she would still have had a problem raising money for school.
In December 1978, she got married to Mr Mumba with whom she has nine children.
In 2003, Rosemary decided to enrol at the Matero BIGOCA adult school which was established in 2002. The programme is financed by BIGOCA and Father’s Heart International.
“Seeing women taking up influential positions in society has increased my passion for school because I believe determination is all it takes to reach such high heights” she said.
Despite being pregnant in 2004 Rosemary was determined to sit for grade seven examinations in 2005. Although her friends thought it was absurd for her to undergo the pressure of studies while breast-feeding, she was still strong-minded to make it to the next grade.
“Despite my commitment to nursing and breast-feeding the baby, I was still determined to study and sit for the examinations and I thank God I passed with good results” she said.
Seven women sat for grade seven examinations last year at the BIGOCA Adult School in Matero and according to the set standards by the ministry of Education all the seven qualified to grade eight.
These include Mrs Edith Kwabe, Ms Josephine Chewe, Ms Annie Daka , Ms Pamela Musonda, Ms Wyforce Chongwe and Mwila Mulyota.
In his comment Bishop Peter Ndhlovu said he was very proud of the team of women who wrote grade seven examinations last year. Their commitment to school had encouraged the church to strengthen its efforts in educating mothers in this nation.
“We are now determined to open classes for grades eight and nine because we want to accommodate even those who are too shy to start from primary grades. For grade eight, those who wrote exams in our school will be our priority when considering names for sponsorship” he added.
Presently the church is still sourcing finances as it is planning to establish a secondary school which will have capacity for both the vulnerable children and elderly people who are still enthusiastic on completing high school.
Rosemary encouraged mothers who did not have the chance of finishing school to enrol at BIGOCA Adult School as they would not be required to pay anything.
“It is never too late to return to school. All you need is courage because if you listen to people’s discouragements, you will not achieve anything in life” she said.
“BIGOCA has given us an opportunity and we need to maximise it. I am grateful to Fathers Heart because I could not hear or speak a single word in English until I enrolled at this school” she said.
Rosemary says she is geared to finish high school as long as sponsorship is available.
Her Compatriot Mrs Chewe , 35, said she was inspired to sit for grade seven exams last year because she wanted to achieve her dream of completing high school.
Mrs Chewe who is a widow and mother of three boys is also a beneficiary of study material and tutorials from teachers at BIGOCA Community school said she failed to complete high school in 1986 at Nchelenge secondary school after falling sick from Typhoid which had broken out in the district.
‘’I used to suffer from severe headaches whenever I wanted to study due to Typhoid fever which I had contracted at the school .I was then forced to leave school and headed back home in Matero to stay with my parents and that was how my school career ended abruptly,’’ she lamented.
Though she was married at one point she explained that life has not been easy for her as she had to bring up the three kids alone after the death of her husband John who used to work for BP filling station a few years ago.
But Mrs Chewe said that it has always been her strongest desire to complete high school and sometimes while sleeping she would dream that she was sitting in class learning.
Thank God her dream is being fulfilled through the help of the BIGOCA church although she herself is a member of the Apostolic Faith Missions Church but she found herself there as she cooks for the pupils at the community school as a volunteer.
She commended the teachers at the community school for being very helpful in providing reading materials and did not hesitate to state that she was determined to further her education with the support that she was getting from BIGOCA church.
She encouraged other women especially widows not to sit back and look down upon themselves but instead they should grab the opportunity such as this one to educate themselves because the learning process does not end regardless of age if one was to make meaning contribution to development in society.
“ Times are changing and a nation without educated people is a dead one. So I am encouraging my fellow mothers out there to take up the challenge and go back to school. It’s never too late ,’’ she laughed.
If the call for women’s emancipation has to be achieved, then the first step must start with mothers being educated so the step taken by the Matero mothers should be emulated.

04-04-2006, 02:06 PM
S.F. police shoot two on Treasure Island after chase

Cicero A. Estrella, Chronicle Staff Writer

Monday, April 3, 2006

San Francisco police shot and injured two people on Monday night following a high-speed chase that began in the Mission District and ended on Treasure Island.

The two people, who were inside their vehicle when they were shot, were taken to San Francisco General Hospital with injuries that were not life threatening, police Sgt. Neville Gittens said.

The vehicle's third occupant and two police officers were also transported to the hospital with injuries sustained from a head-on collision that occurred after the shooting.

The chase began at around 9:40 p.m. after plainclothes officers saw a person with a gun standing outside a vehicle at Mission and 18th streets. As the officers approached with their unmarked car, the suspect threw the gun inside the car, which was occupied by three people, and fled on foot.

The suspect vehicle fled the scene and police gave chase. The chase went onto the highway and the Bay Bridge before ending at Treasure Island, where the suspect car rammed a police car, Gittens said.

Officers opened fire after the police car was struck, Gittens said.

The suspect vehicle then hit a San Francisco County sheriff's van and wound up on the wrong side of the road, where it collided head-on with a second police car, Gittens said.

The two officers inside the second police car were injured in the crash, Gittens said.

Gittens said he did not know if police caught the suspect who fled on foot.

04-04-2006, 02:24 PM
Rain causing bad commutes, evacuations

Erin Allday, Chronicle Staff Writer

Tuesday, April 4, 2006

Current Conditions
Updated: 11:00 AM,
Tue Apr 04
City Sky Temp
Napa Lt Rain 51
Concord Lt Rain 52
Oklnd Arpt Lt Rain 54
SFO Lt Rain 53
Livermore Lt Rain 52
Hayward Rain 53
SJ Lt Rain 53
Monterey Rain 52

(04-04) 09:31 PDT SAN FRANCISCO -- Rain fell across the Bay Area today this morning, dowsing commuters and sending emergency crews scrambling to shore up slipping hillsides.

Meanwhile, Caltans this morning said the Devil's Slide section of Highway 1 will be closed for at least a week after several large boulders crashed to the road Monday night, further complicating repairs from two earlier slides that had buckled the pavement.

"We've got a new geotechnical issue to deal with now," Caltrans spokeswoman Lauren Wonder said. "We've got to get the slope stabilized above and below. We've got to make sure no more rocks come down the hill. I'm going to say at least a week."

Highway 1 has been closed between Pacifica and Montara since Sunday, when Caltrans crews began working on two spots of the highway where the foundation under the road was slipping away in the rain. The highway serves as a commute route for thousands of workers who live along the San Mateo County coast.

The National Weather Service is forecasting at times heavy rains today, with possible thunderstorms -- including pea-sized hail -- hitting San Francisco at about noon.

The rain should last on and off tonight and tomorrow before the Bay Area sees a short dry spell on Thursday. Yet another storm is expected Friday and through the weekend.

"We've seen the season's weather patterns lagging about four to five weeks this season," said weather service meteorologist Steve Anderson. "We may only have a couple weeks of spring before summer rolls in."

As rains continue to drench the area, mudslides are increasingly becoming a threat to homes and roads.

In addition to the Devil's Slide closure, the main road to Muir Woods National Monument is closed due to a slide that was first reported Sunday afternoon. National Park Service spokesman Michael Feinstein said he didn't expect Muir Woods Road near Panoramic Highway to open again for several days, and crews will be keeping an eye on the area for further sliding.

And in Broadmoor, an unincorporated hamlet near Daly City, emergency crews red-tagged one home still under construction Monday night after rains caused the hillside below it to slip away. Residents of four homes below the red-tagged house were evacuated.

At San Francisco International Airport this morning, flights are arriving up to an hour and 20 minutes behind schedule due to weather, but so far delays are minimal for outgoing flights, officials said.

The Bay Area has endured record-breaking weather the past month. San Francisco had 25 days of rain in March, breaking the previous record of 23 days set in 1904. Oakland, San Rafael and Santa Rosa also broke rainy-day records in March.

San Francisco also nearly broke the record last month for the rainiest March, with 8.74 inches of rain. The record of 9 inches was set in 1983.

Today, low temperatures are expected to be in the 40s to lower 50s, and southwest winds of 5 to 15 miles per hour are anticipated.

E-mail Erin Allday at eallday@sfchronicle.com.

04-04-2006, 02:32 PM
Mood down, weight up? Blame rain

C.W. Nevius

Tuesday, April 4, 2006

The local weather report is turning into a Russian novel -- endless, dark and depressing. When a recent headline in our paper read, "Two More Weeks of Rain,'' the mood of the entire Bay Area sagged.

More rain? We can't take any more rain.

This isn't rain -- the sky has sprung a slow leak. We saw at least 22 lousy days in March -- some places saw 25 -- and April's been just as lousy.

Not only has all that rain canceled sporting events, ruined outdoor wedding plans and generally made it impossible to enjoy doing anything at all outdoors, it's turned nearly everyone cranky and irritable. I called Steve Schroeder, general manager of Harding Park Golf Course to see whether the regulars were getting grumpy.

"We don't have any grumpy golfers,'' Schroeder said.

Just as I suspected. True golfers will tee off in monsoons that would have ducks wearing life vests. I was about to tell Schroeder that it would take more than a little rain to stop dedicated hackers, when he continued, "We don't have any golfers at all.''

"I was born and bred on the Peninsula," he said Monday. "I've been in the area since 1960, and I have never seen anything like this. When I got here this morning, I was almost in shock. There are always a few cars in the parking lot, but today it was just employees. I thought, 'You know what? We ought to be closed today.' ''

Because, well, what's the point? We could probably go do something, slog through a few holes of golf or break out the tire chains and drive up into the mountains, but that would take so much effort. Maybe we'll just sit here, look out the window and sigh for a while.

"Oh my God,'' Oakland's Andy Hess said in an e-mail. "The weather is making me crazy and depressed and I want to drink too much. I'm not feeling cozy at all in my fleeces and blankets and dog. I'm just cold.''

We hear you, Andy. And not just here in the Bay Area. Spring has been put on hold across the country, from floods in the Midwest to tornadoes in Tennessee. Things aren't that bad around here, but it has been no day at the beach -- unless you want to wear your rain slicker while looking for seashells.

The locals are well aware of the long, wet run. Evie Groch of El Cerrito insists she's "becoming scaly and my fingers and toes are starting to web. I notice friends of mine are going stir-crazy as well.''

Well no wonder. This steady drip, drip, drip could give a Zen master cabin fever. And here's the real news: You know that little dip in your mood? It isn't just your imagination. The rain really is getting you down.

Dr. Michael Terman, director of the Winter Depression Program at the New York State Psychiatric Institute, says there are psychological reasons for why sustained bad weather makes some people blue. He's been studying the phenomenon for 25 years and is a top expert in his field.

"To one degree or another,'' he says, "half of the population is affected by seasonal change.''

Three percent of the population will actually develop a major depressive disorder, Terman says. It's called "seasonal affective disorder," or SAD -- and boy isn't that an appropriate acronym. Although medical researchers scoffed at SAD at first, it has become a legitimate diagnosis in psychiatric circles.

Another 12 percent of the population will fight the winter doldrums, a general malaise that makes it hard to get anything done, encourages overeating and leaves people listless.

And then there is what Terman calls "the largest faction,'' the 35 percent of us who may gain five pounds during the winter and need an extra jolt of coffee to get our work done.

The culprit, Terman says, is a lack of sunlight. Our bodies are set up to calibrate our inner clock with a dose of morning sunshine.

"The brain needs this signal to be well,'' says Terman.

To keep SAD from making you sad, Terman recommends an early morning walk. Another option is light-source therapy, in which a patient is exposed to fluorescent light meant to simulate what you'd find during "a walk on the beach 40 minutes after sunrise,'' he said.

You say you aren't worried about rain on the brain? OK, how about your finances?

Two finance professors, David Hirshleifer of Ohio State and Tyler Shumway at the University of Michigan, studied 26 stock exchanges around the world in 2001. Studies have shown that suicide rates go down and tips for waiters go up on sunny days, so they wondered what effect sunshine had on stocks, Hirshleifer says.

"Our evidence suggests that when it is sunnier, the stock market will go up,'' Hirshleifer says. "In fact, on sunny days, the mean return is 25 percent. On overcast days, it is 9 percent.''

So, do we have to draw you a picture? We need some sun. But what are the chances?

"Well the 10-day outlook is very, very wet,'' says KTVU weatherman Steve Paulson. "But you know, things can turn in a day, and it can suddenly be bright and sunny.''

And what are the chances of that?

"We have nothing that shows that,'' Paulson says. "Zero.''

C.W. Nevius' column appears Tuesday and Saturday in the Bay Area section. His blog, C.W. Nevius.blog, runs daily on SFGate.com. E-mail him at cwnevius@sfchronicle.com.

04-04-2006, 02:37 PM
Nanny to be tried on 3 child-abuse counts

Diana Walsh

Tuesday, April 4, 2006

A nanny charged with child abuse after a baby in her care suffered a skull fracture and brain hemorrhage was ordered to stand trial Monday.

Judge Beth Labson Freeman ordered Minerva Rojas to stand trial for three felony child abuse counts at the conclusion of a preliminary hearing in which a doctor testified that the 2 1/2-month-old boy's skull fracture was probably caused when the baby's head either hit or fell against something.

"Something struck the head, or the head struck something,'' said Dr. Christopher Stewart, who examined the baby at UCSF Medical Center last month. "It's beyond the force a normal caretaker would use."

Rojas, 28, faces up to 12 years in prison if convicted of all counts. She was arrested March 17, one day after the baby was rushed to the hospital from his family's Redwood Shores home.

Rojas' version of what happened changed several times, said Redwood City police Detective Mike Reynolds. But after Reynolds told Rojas that it appeared that she threw the baby to the ground, Rojas agreed and said she did it because she was frustrated, the detective testified.

The baby spent a week in the hospital and has been released. Stewart said doctors are hopeful that he will be OK.

04-05-2006, 06:40 PM
Hone Heke's treasures go home
By Jon Stokes

Tears and prayers marked the return of artefacts belonging to one of the country's most high-profile Maori warriors at Waitangi yesterday.

Around 200 people, including Governor-General Dame Silvia Cartwright, attended the ceremony held at Waitangi's upper marae to welcome home 13 taonga of celebrated Ngapuhi warrior-chief Hone Heke.

Hone Heke was the first Maori chief to sign the Treaty of Waitangi, and was instrumental in persuading other northern chiefs to follow.

The artefacts, which include a greenstone mere of Ngapuhi chief Hongi Hika, an axe, taiaha and a hapu flag, have returned from a three-year exhibition that took in Wellington's Te Papa and the National Museum of Australia.

The artefacts are from the collection of Heke descendent David Rankin, who has loaned the items to the Waitangi Trust for a display dedicated to the Maori leader, made famous by actions which included chopping down the flagpole at former capital Kororareka (Russell) four times.

Mr Rankin said it was important that all New Zealanders were able to view the treasures.

"The trust is the safest place we can keep the taonga where they will be protected and looked after. We can no longer keep them hidden away under our beds. They have to come out. They belong to future generations to look at."

He said while Heke was most remembered for his acts of rebellion, there was more to the northern leader than warfare and defiance. He said the artefacts and their history would help detail Heke's history and exploits.

Labour MP and Ngapuhi elder Dover Samuels said Heke was an important figure in the country's history.

"For many he is known as a madman who cut down the flagpole. That was just a part of his expression of disappointment with and disapproval of the effects of colonisation. He was a father, a husband, and a visionary leader of his people."

Waitangi Trust board member and NZ First MP Pita Paraone said it was appropriate the artefacts returned to Waitangi and would become part of the Waitangi Trust collection.

"These taonga have been on a world stage, and have now returned home."

He said details of where the artefacts would be housed and when they would be displayed were yet to be finalised.

Dr Paul Moon, Maori development lecturer at AUT and author of Hone Heke: Ngapuhi Warrior, said Heke remained one of the best-known Maori leaders throughout the country.

He said he was a gifted leader, who was a master of playing off one enemy against another, increasing his mana in a time of near civil war within Ngapuhi, and growing discontent with the encroachment of Pakeha settlers.

"Heke was one of the only people who waged war against the British Empire in the 19th century to go unpunished."

Dr Moon said the Matarahurahu sub-tribe member was also renowned for his defiance, demonstrated in his response to a £100 reward being placed on his head by the then-Governor Fitzroy.

"Heke issued his own bounty of 10 pounds for the head of Governor Fitzroy, saying he was just a tenth of the man Heke was."

04-05-2006, 06:45 PM
Government acts to close border loopholes
By Angela Gregory

The Government is looking at tough new immigration rules that will make it harder to get into New Zealand and easier to kick people out.

Border inspection tools such as fingerprinting or eye scanning are among the proposals. Immigration officers may get greater powers to find and detain suspect visitors.

People who have been removed from other countries or who are considered a serious threat to public safety may be automatically expelled.

Immigration Minister David Cunliffe yesterday outlined suggested changes to the Immigration Act 1987 which are being put out for public discussion.

Mr Cunliffe said it was part of a review of the immigration system to ensure New Zealand attracted skilled workers, had secure borders, and that migrants settled well here. He said the objectives were in the national interest and he hoped the "political football" of immigration could finally be punctured.

The 257-page Immigration Act Review Discussion Paper aimed to speed up and simplify systems by replacing various entry permits with visas and by combining all immigration appeal authorities into one body.

Potentially controversial suggestions included the increased use and storage of types of "biometric information" to crack down on identity fraud.

People entering New Zealand could be subject to fingerprinting, as is done in the United States, or even iris scanning. Limited voluntary DNA sampling was also a possibility.

Mr Cunliffe said many people lodged multiple immigration claims using different identities. Also, terrorists and criminals were becoming more sophisticated and New Zealand had to "have the jump ahead".

Greater powers were proposed for immigration officers, enabling them to detain people, in the absence of a police officer, and to verify and source information.

It was suggested in a "preferred option" that officers acquired the same powers of entry and search as police and customs to serve removal orders or enter and search aircraft or ships.

The delegation of ministerial powers to senior immigration officials to make exceptions to residence policy was also flagged.

A new system could strengthen the case for the automatic expulsion of people with criminal convictions, previous expulsions from other countries, or who were deemed to be a threat to public safety.

A single procedure for determining refugee status with just one right of appeal (any further challenge only available on points of law) was suggested.

Mr Cunliffe acknowledged the need for a balance between "good expeditious decision making" and the rights of individuals.

But he said in too many cases asylum seekers were buying time by relodging claims "on the way to the airport".

The discussion paper also raised the prospect of allowing classified information to be used in any immigration matter without it being released to the applicant.

Immigration and refugee lawyer Deborah Manning said such a move would "increase uncertainty and litigation".

National's immigration spokesman Dr Lockwood Smith said the review was "fantastically underwhelming".

Foreign Affairs Minister and New Zealand First leader Winston Peters said the review formed an important part of his party's confidence and supply agreement with the Government.

"There is some irony in the fact that for some years now New Zealand First alone has front-footed this issue, copping flak from every quarter for doing so," he said. "At least it has resulted in concrete action."

Green Party MP Keith Locke said the review signalled an unfortunate extension of powers or arrest and detention, and intrusive surveillance, which would intrude on migrants' rights.

04-06-2006, 05:14 AM
THE High Court has ordered the Morgan Tsvangirai-led MDC faction to return a Nissan Hardbody pick-up truck it unlawfully seized from a member of the Arthur Mutambara-led camp recently.

Justice Alphas Chitakunye granted the provisional order yesterday and ruled that the vehicle, registration number AAB7931, be returned to Mr Michael Mukashi, the acting director of programmes in the Mutambara faction. The vehicle was seized from him in Harare last month following clashes between the two MDC factions over the party’s name, symbol and assets. The deputy spokesperson for the Mutambara faction, Mr Morgan Changamire, said the vehicle had been seized by the Tsvangirai group youth militia led by one Barnabas Ndira. "Barnabas Ndira revealed that he was under instruction from the Tsvangirai group’s top leadership to seize all movable assets that were under the possession of the rival MDC faction," he said. He also said the Tsvangirai faction should comply with the High Court order and return the vehicle forthwith. Mr Changamire also lashed out at the Tsvangirai faction for using unorthodox means to achieve political support. "We are not surprised by Ndira’s disclosures and as stated in our previous Press statements these acts of criminality and lawlessness are committed under the direction, knowledge and tacit support of the Tsvangirai group’s top leadership. "We reiterate our demand to the Tsvangirai group to desist from violence and lawlessness," Mr Changamire said. Tsvangirai’s camp denies allegations that it is violent. Deputy secretary for legal affairs in the faction, Mrs Jessie Majome, confirmed the High Court order but distanced their camp from the acrimony. "Yes, I appeared on behalf of Barnabas (Ndira). It is true but the MDC is not cited in the case. "The matter was between my client (Ndira) and one (Mr) Michael Mukashi who was claiming to be the MDC acting director of programmes," she said. Another official from the Mutambara faction also had his vehicle seized by rowdy supporters believed to be from the rival faction. The official, whose name was not disclosed, lost the vehicle at the same time that Mr Mukashi’s car was also seized. According to the Mutambara faction, the move to confiscate the vehicles was a well-orchestrated plan by the Tsvangirai camp to try to weaken the rival faction. The Tsvangirai faction has also been accused of disrupting rallies, intimidation of rivals and seizure of the party’s property. However, the Tsvangirai faction has dismissed the allegations as false and calculated to draw people’s attention. The faction, which distanced itself from such acts of violence and barbaric behaviour, said it was focused on tackling national issues and accused the Mutambara faction of lying to the country and using the media to get publicity. It further added that it was peaceful and allegations by the Mutambara faction were a desperate attempt to camouflage their own criminal activities.

04-06-2006, 05:19 AM
THE National Biotechnology Authority Bill, which seeks to establish a body responsible for managing the import, research, development and production of biotechnology, has sailed through the House of Assembly without amendments.

The proposed law was passed on Tuesday with the consent of both the Zanu-PF and MDC lawmakers. In her second reading speech, Minister of Science and Technology Development Dr Olivia Muchena said biotechnology had the potential of greatly contributing to economic development, particularly in the agricultural and health sectors. "Zimbabwe has not positioned itself to benefit from biotechnology that can be applied in the agricultural and health sectors and production of bio-diesel," she said. The minister said the rapid economic development in some Asian countries such as Malaysia and China had been attributed to biotechnology advancement. Dr Muchena, however, said there were some challenges associated with biotechnology and that included importation of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) and bio-terrorism. This, she said, called for the application of biotechnology in a safe manner hence the need for a comprehensive framework for addressing bio-safety. Contributing to the debate, chairperson of the portfolio committee on Education, Sport and Culture Mr Fidelis Mhashu, who is also Chitungwiza MP (MDC), said the Bill was long overdue. He said a portion of the Gross Domestic Product should be channelled towards research in biotechnology. The legislator said human cloning and bio-terrorism posed a challenge in the application of biotechnology and there was need for an ethics committee to monitor such issues. In response, Dr Muchena said according to the United Nations Education Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco), it was a requirement that a bio-ethics committee should be established and the ministry had written to the Research Council of Zimbabwe about the setting up of such a committee. She said a biotechnology fund would be established for the purposes of promoting research in that field. The Bill provides for the imposition of levies on biotechnology producers, processors and consumers for the benefit of the fund.

04-06-2006, 05:22 AM
MMD women in Kitwe have urged Minister for Women Affairs, Rosemary Banda, to prioritise issues of women in rural areas.
MMD Kitwe district women treasurer, Ester Muchaile, said in an interview yesterday that women expected more development in the lives of rural women after the creation of the ministry to specifically deal with their affairs.
Ms Muchaile said lives of rural women needed to be uplifted as most of them lived in abject poverty.
She was happy with the new ministry, which she said had shown how much President Mwanawasa recognised women in his Government.

04-06-2006, 05:26 AM
ZAMBIA and several other developing countries are today struggling with the imposed policies of free trade which have greatly contributed to the rising levels of poverty among their citizens.
But the answer to improving the general livelihood of the people lies in trade justice instead of free trade.
Trade justice is all about giving poor people and countries the chance to work their own way out of poverty, giving farmers the chance to earn enough to feed their families and to send their children to school.
It is also about allowing industries to develop as well as creating jobs and opportunities.
Instead of trade justice, free trade is being forced on developing countries like Zambia. This free trade is what is hurting poor people. It is not helping them at all and it is undermining democracy by denying poor people, especially from the grassroots, a greater say in decisions that affect their lives.
One would ask what free trade is? It is the type of trading within and between the countries that is free from Government intervention.
That is, there are no incentives for producers and no barriers to trade.
Removing this support and protection is devastating for poor farmers and industries, making it harder for the poorest to work their way out of poverty.
The rich countries argue that moving towards free trade is the best way out of poverty for poor countries. But the only sure way to overcoming poverty for the poor people is through trade justice.
Trade justice is the best chance for poor countries to combat poverty. It would give developing countries the flexibility to choose trade policies that will help promote development and lift the poorest out of poverty.
Liberalisation on the other hand, as a gradual removal of Government intervention in markets, is another form of injustice, which forces poor countries into abject poverty. A country can liberalise its trade policies by stopping Government help – by ending subsidies and support for local producers, opening markets by removing barriers that limit the amount of imports into the country and privatising services such as water, health, education and transport.
Stopping Government support for local producers will threaten the country’s food security and productivity. Opening up of our markets will result into Zambia becoming a dumping ground for goods and services that we can provide for ourselves.
On the other hand, privatising of services such as water, health, education and transport will be a clear violation of basic human rights.
What Zambia and other developing countries need in a world that is quickly turning to liberalisation are strong and concrete policies that protect and support their economies and not imposed free trade and liberalisation.
Inappropriate liberalisation threatens the livelihoods of millions of farmers and traders in the developing world. But what is truly unjust is that liberalisation denies the governments of poor countries the right to choose policies that rich countries themselves used to develop their own economies.
Poor countries need policies that will limit unfair competition by reducing cheaper imports and requiring companies to use local products instead of those from abroad, helping small-scale industries and poor farmers by favouring local companies when giving out contracts, providing producers with the services they need (for example, seed, fertiliser and marketing) and offering preferential credit or tax incentives and making sure investment by business benefits poor people by regulating the activities of large transactional companies.
If these measures were good enough for the rich north to develop their economies, then, they should be good enough for the developing countries as well!

Aqua Luna
04-06-2006, 12:54 PM
Grease is a sticky subject for students
By Kevin Butler, Staff writer

Grease is the word and the controversy at Artesia High School.
Some students and parents have expressed dismay that Principal Sergio Garcia decided to grease the school fence during last week's walk-outs in an effort to deter students from leaving campus, according to officials with the ABC Unified School District. Grease also has been used to identify people climbing fences to enter school grounds.

The district believes that the principal acted within his scope of authority, but is re-evaluating the use of grease, said Deputy Superintendent Mary Sieu.

Thousands of students in area school districts including about 300 students at Artesia High School on March 27 skipped classes last week in protest of proposed federal legislation that would crack down on illegal immigration.

"I think that at that time, (Garcia) was trying to hold off any other students" from leaving the campus for unsafe areas, such as freeways, Sieu said.

Some parents and students at a meeting Tuesday of the ABC Board of Education voiced concerns about the decision, while others said they understood the school's reasoning, Sieu said.

Sylvia Gooden, a parent at the school, said that before last week, she had not heard of any school applying grease to fences. Gooden said that many students' hands and clothing were coated with grease.

"I just don't think it's appropriate," she said.

This is not the first time that the school has applied the truck wheel-bearing grease to fences, according to Kathy Frazier, ABC director of schools and the designated spokeswoman for the district. The grease appears to be clear on the fence, but becomes black when it comes into contact with clothing, she said.

The school decided to apply the grease after Artesia High School student Jajuan Jefferson was shot to death in Lakewood on March 11 by assailants chasing him in a car. During the resulting community tension,

the school heard rumors that some unauthorized people were planning to come onto campus to stir up trouble, Sieu said.

The grease was applied the next week to a portion of the fence in order to identify any persons who attempted to jump the barrier, Frazier said. Those people also could leave fingerprints in the grease that law enforcement might inspect, Sieu said.

The grease application, which had been announced to students, helped the school identify four people outside trying to jump the fence to get onto campus, said Frazier.

"The (school) administration also decided to use the same tactic during the actual day of the walk-out," Sieu said.

On March 27, the majority of the protesting students scaled a part of the fence that the school had not greased during the previous application, Frazier said.

The next day, Garcia had custodians and student helpers apply the grease to a larger area of the fence, Frazier said. He did so because of the rain and because he feared that unauthorized people would enter campus, she added.

That same day, the school told students about the grease, and sent an automated voice message to parents' phones, she said. Fewer Artesia High School students skipped class March 28, and most of those who did so gathered at a park across the street before school started, Frazier said.

Frazier said the district has not confirmed any student injuries at the school as a result of the grease.

dif de la rev
04-06-2006, 03:21 PM
Education, race drive incomes
Wide disparities seen in new study
Vanessa Hua, Chronicle Staff Writer

Thursday, April 6, 2006

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Asian American, African American and Latino residents of San Francisco make even less money compared with whites than they do elsewhere in the country, and middle-income residents are abandoning the city, a new study released Wednesday by the city shows.

The study also shows that San Francisco's wages in lower-income sectors have stagnated while the city's top earners have seen their wages skyrocket in the past decade.

The detailed analysis pairing workforce and economic development data, a first for San Francisco, also shows how directly education affects a city resident's ability to earn a living.

San Francisco residents with four-year college degrees, who made up 32 percent of adults older than 25, earned an average of $72,850 in 2004 -- while adults without high school diplomas earned $18,897. A high school diploma brought average earnings up to $29,955, and workers who attended a little college or earned associate degrees made an average of $39,965, reported Ted Egan, director of analysis for ICF Consulting in San Francisco.

Funded by Proposition I, passed by voters in November 2004, the study is part of a series to be released over the course of 2006 and updated every three years.

Steven Pitts, an economist specializing in labor issues at UC Berkeley, said it's vital to link economic development, which aims to attract or grow business, with workforce initiatives, which develop job skills of city residents.

Mayor Gavin Newsom said the data will help the city develop a strategy for economic development and increase and improve the training it offers local workers.

"We won't have to shoot from the hip and react to today's fight or plight. It will sharpen what we are working on and show us what we have to abandon," he said.

Pitts agreed, saying that analyzing workforce and economic development data separately, as cities traditionally do, can cause problems.

"The city and regional government may bring in jobs that local residents can't fulfill, and train residents for jobs that don't exist," Pitts said. "If you don't tie workforce development to actual jobs at the end of the pipeline, you're betraying students."

Newsom said the city is doing its "best to provide a mechanism to move people into the middle class." He cited training programs in biotechnology, digital arts and construction.

Minorities' wages lag whites' in part because they tend to have less education, Egan said.

Sixty-three percent of white San Francisco residents held four-year university degrees in 2004, compared with 38 percent of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, 25 percent of Latinos and 21 percent of African Americans.

Whites held only half the jobs in San Francisco but two-thirds of the managerial, professional and technical service jobs that make up the bulk of high-income positions in the city in 2000.

Egan also found that blacks in San Francisco made on average 40 percent as much as whites in 2004. Asian Americans made 46 percent as much as whites, and Latinos 38 percent. Nationally, blacks made 60 percent as much as whites, Asians 91 percent and Latinos 51 percent.

San Francisco became increasingly diverse between 2000 and 2004, which Newsom said positions it well to serve as a gateway from Asia. About 33 percent of the population is Asian and Pacific Islander, 44 percent white, 14 percent Latino and 6 percent black.

At the same time, nearly 78,000 residents left San Francisco between 2000 and 2004. Many were school-age children and adults in their 40s. People aged 20 to 34 flocked into San Francisco during the dot-com boom of the late 1990s.

High housing costs and access to public education have spurred many families to move, Newsom said, which has long-term economic consequences for San Francisco. But Egan's data show that larger households -- usually families -- have been moving out of the city at roughly the same rate since at least 1994.

Still, the middle class is shrinking. In the 1990s, the percentage of households earning $75,000 fell significantly, while the percentage earning $100,000 rose greatly.

Newsom said children are a key element of any city's population.

"There's a quality of imagination and idealism that children have. Those qualities of youth are critical," Newsom said. "Without families, you don't have advocates for the library, parks and schools. The schools deteriorate and you can't compete in the workforce. There is a direct cause and effect on economic stewardship."

In San Francisco, unemployment is comparable to pre-boom levels -- around 5 percent, Egan reported.

Many of the industries that traditionally dominated the city economy -- such as financial services, professional services, trade and utilities -- have fallen, according to the report. Leisure and hospitality, educational and health services, the arts and high tech have gained jobs.

Another bright spot is small business.

In 2003, about 122,000 San Franciscans were self-employed, representing 18 percent of private sector employment, above the national average. That year, about 45 percent of workers were employed in companies with fewer than 50 employees.

After the release of this report, the city will solicit input from focus groups and surveys.

For more information, go to www.sfeconomicstrategy.org.

dif de la rev
04-06-2006, 03:27 PM
SACRAMENTO (AP) -- Death penalty moratorium supporters will try again this week to put a hold on executions in California, the state with the largest death row in the country.

dated monday april 3. from kron 4.

04-06-2006, 07:30 PM
wow some interesting articles Guardian & Elusive

04-06-2006, 09:22 PM
Allowances stripped after minimum wage raised, Greens say
07.04.06 1.00pm

Some businesses are stripping employees of allowances so they don't have to pay last month's minimum wage increase, Green MP Sue Bradford says.

Ms Bradford has been told of three lower North Island clothing manufacturers which had taken away staff allowances to avoid increasing their wage bill when the minimum wage increased from $9.50 to $10.25 on March 27.

The Clothing, Laundry and Allied Workers' Union had intervened in one case and the company had backed down.

Another is considering the issue but the third was continuing to withhold allowances.

"In the case of one of the companies, individual workers were forced to sign an agreement agreeing to the employer's actions," Ms Bradford said.

"At the other two companies, the workers were expecting their wage rise but when they opened their pay packets found these had been circumvented."

She said it was disturbing that two of the employers said the Department of Labour Employment Relations service had said their plan was acceptable.

"I believe this is illegal and any employers that buy into this kind of thing should be dealt with swiftly," Ms Bradford said.

"This kind of underhanded activity undermines our employment laws and efforts to improve conditions for low paid workers."

Ms Bradford has written to Labour Minister Ruth Dyson about it.

04-06-2006, 09:45 PM
Food advert guidelines for children mean little, say critics
By Errol Kiong

Tougher guidelines that dictate how unhealthy foods can be marketed to children have been dismissed by critics as the industry's attempt to stave off regulation.

The Advertising Standards Authority unveiled additional measures yesterday to its voluntary codes governing the advertising of food. They include not aiming adverts at younger children, a definition of "treat food" and not encouraging children to eat or drink these foods in excess. Ads must also comply with the Ministry of Health's food and nutrition guidelines for children.

Celebrities cannot be used to "undermine" healthy diets. Advertisers have a three-month transition period to comply.

But critics say the wording leaves plenty open to interpretation.

Endocrinologist Dr Robyn Toomath, of Fight the Obesity Epidemic, said the interpretation of the guidelines at the moment was "loose and sloppy".

"If they truly follow the intent, which is protecting children and not doing anything to adversely affect their health, then all of the junk food advertising, all of the advertising for soft drinks, would immediately be removed."

Green Party food safety spokeswoman Sue Kedgley said the reviews were an attempt to stave off regulation "by coming up with codes that look and sound quite good, but are general and waffly and don't change a lot".

"It is not enough to just suggest, as the review does, that advertisers not promote excessive consumption of treat or unhealthy food. It is widely recognised that the advertising of unhealthy food to children is a significant contributor to the present obesity epidemic. If we want to improve the health of our kids then we must tackle this issue head on with tough rules that prevent companies from targeting children and encouraging them to eat unhealthy food."

But Health Minister Pete Hodgson welcomed the changes.

"This is a step in the right direction, though it's clear that we all need to be doing more to stop the obesity epidemic, which may see our children dying before we do."

04-07-2006, 05:01 PM
Cool iPods also play stolen data

David Lazarus

Friday, April 7, 2006

IPods are totally cool for listening to music or watching videos. And now San Francisco police are saying they have another, way-less-cool capability: identity theft.

Police say a San Francisco man has been arrested on 53 felony counts of fraud, forgery and other charges related to the theft of hundreds of credit card numbers -- including those of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and a special agent in the local office of the FBI.

Making the case even more audacious, police say, is the fact that some of the stolen data were found on an iPod belonging to the suspect. Investigators say this is the first time they've seen an iPod -- which is essentially a small computer -- used to store people's personal information.

"These devices create a whole new challenge for law enforcement," said Lt. Kenwade Lee, who runs the fraud division at the San Francisco Police Department. "It's a whole lot easier to walk around with an iPod than a case full of papers."

The suspect, identified as Wilson Lee, 35, is scheduled to appear in court on Monday. He remains in custody after pleading not guilty after his arrest on Oct. 26.

If convicted on all the charges against him, Lee faces a maximum sentence of 15 years in state prison.

Details of the case became clear only recently as investigators pieced together the extensive amount of data and documents involved.

"We're only starting to itemize things," the SFPD's Lee said. "The suspect isn't talking to us, so it's taking time."

Brian Petersen, Wilson Lee's San Francisco attorney, acknowledged that his client "faces a tough time at trial based on the evidence they have."

"The issue is not whether he did something wrong," Petersen said. "The issue is whether he was the only one responsible."

Police say they caught Lee red-handed in a sting operation in which a plainclothes officer delivered a shipment of laptop computers ordered by the suspect using a stolen credit card and a counterfeit driver's license.

The computers were delivered to the high-end Grosvenor Suites hotel on Nob Hill, one of about a half-dozen swanky hotels that police say Lee had been staying at for months using stolen identities and credit cards.

Police say Lee was arrested after he signed for receipt of the computers on the sidewalk outside the Grosvenor Suites using the name of a San Francisco attorney whose wallet was reported stolen from his Mercedes a few days earlier.

At the time of his arrest, Lee was in possession of a laptop and an iPod containing dozens of tax returns, credit files and loan applications from people throughout the country, police say.

A subsequent search of Lee's hotel room turned up a list of more than 500 names and credit card numbers, they say.

Among the names investigators said they recognized were those of San Francisco's Pelosi, the House Democratic leader in Congress, and LaRae Quy, spokeswoman for the FBI's San Francisco office.

Both names are also cited in court documents related to the case. Neither Pelosi nor Quy could be reached for comment.

"We still have no idea where he got all this stuff," the SFPD's Lee said.

He speculated that the suspect may have been in the process of uploading various files from his laptop to the iPod at the time of his arrest.

"This is new for us," Lee said. "Obviously, we're going to start paying more attention to electronic music players from now on."

According to court documents, Wilson Lee embarked on the fraud spree in June 2005, running up bills at luxury hotels with stolen identities and credit cards.

He also allegedly placed a series of orders with companies that rent computer equipment for corporate meetings and other events. The orders involved thousands of dollars of gear, court documents say.

In mid-October, San Francisco attorney David Sohn reported to police that his Mercedes had been broken into while parked overnight in North Beach.

"I got to my car the next morning and found the door open," he told me. "The car had been cleared out, including my wallet."

Within a few days, Sohn said he received a warning from a credit card issuer that his card had been used to purchase an iPod from a vending machine at the downtown Argent Hotel. (Such machines are increasingly common at hotels, airports and other venues.)

Shortly thereafter, Sohn said he received a call from a computer-rental firm confirming an order placed in his name for a bunch of laptops. He promptly contacted police investigators, who attempted to nab the perpetrator when the computers were delivered.

Whoever ordered the gear didn't show up when the computers were delivered to a hotel by a plainclothes cop.

A day or two later, though, Sohn was notified of yet another computer order, and once again he arranged for a police officer to make the delivery. This time, police say, someone was there to sign for the delivery: Wilson Lee.

"We figure he was ordering all these computers and then turning around and selling them," the SFPD's Lee said.

He said that between the computer purchases, the data-loaded iPod and the cache of credit card numbers, it appears that Wilson Lee was an unusually clever thief.

"He's very good at what he does," the police lieutenant said.

Petersen, Wilson Lee's attorney, acknowledged that a considerable body of evidence seems to tie his client to the alleged crimes. He indicated that negotiations are under way for Lee to plead guilty to at least some of the charges facing him.

"The issue is what an appropriate sentence would be if he pleads guilty," Petersen said.

He said at least three other people may have been involved in the case and noted that a video camera at the Argent Hotel's iPod vending machine captured someone other than his client using Sohn's credit card to make the purchase.

Petersen declined to comment on whether Lee would be willing to cooperate with authorities in return for a lighter sentence.

San Francisco District Attorney Kamala Harris noted that high-tech gadgets like laptops and iPods make identity theft and fraud all too easy.

"Perpetrators of identity theft are using increasingly sophisticated methods, and many serious white-collar crimes are now being committed primarily online," she said. "My office is committed to holding identity thieves accountable."

The SFPD's Lee said that, if nothing else, Lee's case highlights how things like iPods make data more portable than ever before.

"You want to think about that when you see people listening to iPods at a company where they have lots of information," he said. "They might not be listening to music."

David Lazarus' column appears Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays. Send tips or feedback to dlazarus@sfchronicle.com.

04-07-2006, 05:07 PM
More evidence, more questions in killings
Police recover one victim's car -- body officially identified

Police uncovered more evidence Thursday as the investigation widened into the slayings of two young women whose bloody bodies were wrapped in plastic bags and dumped in industrial Richmond and San Francisco's Golden Gate Park.

Sophia Sciutto-Creps, 27, of South San Francisco was officially identified as the woman whose body was found by a gardener Wednesday in Golden Gate Park. Authorities say there were no obvious signs of trauma on her body, but blood was found on her face.

Sciutto-Creps' 21-year-old friend, Kimberly Millen of San Bruno, was found bludgeoned, stabbed and dumped four days earlier in Richmond.

The two women were last seen alive on March 27, and police are tracking their whereabouts that day.

Investigators got a break at 9 a.m. Thursday, when a law enforcement officer discovered Sciutto-Creps' missing 1996 green four-door Honda Civic parked in a space at a housing project in the 1700 block of 26th Street on Potrero Hill.

"A parole agent was out there, and a resident told him, 'Hey, that car was on the news,' " said Inspector Mike Johnson of San Francisco police homicide detail.

The car joins other key evidence now in the hands of investigators, including rubber gloves, identification belonging to the two women and Sciutto-Creps' bloody purse -- all found Monday alongside San Francisco's Lake Merced.

Sciutto-Creps' mother said her daughter, who was married and had a 2-year-old son, had known Millen for several years. Sciutto-Creps had previously worked as a paraprofessional at George Washington High School in San Francisco. On the day she disappeared, she had told her stepson that she was going for a job interview.

Her husband, Nigel Woods, told police that he was concerned about the people she had been associating with.

"Sophie was a very loving wife, and a loving mother -- she was loved and liked by a lot of people,'' Woods told The Chronicle on Thursday. "I did not like the people she was around, and I tried to tell her not to hang around those people.''

But, he said, she was a strong-willed person.

"She felt like she was in good company,'' Woods said.

Woods told authorities that his wife was sometimes gone for more than one day and had been using drugs, including crack and marijuana.

Creps' mother, Irene Creps, has said that her daughter had made some poor choices and that she believes her daughter did not realize the danger involved. She said the only drug she believed her daughter had experimented with was marijuana.

Millen's mother said that her daughter had called her March 27 and told her that she was on the way back with her friend after visiting friends in Oakland.

Richmond police Lt. Mark Gagan said investigators have yet to locate where the two women were killed.

"We don't have any evidence as to where she (Millen) was killed,'' Gagan said. "She could have been killed a hundred yards away or a hundred miles away. It's really hard to know.''

"Normally,'' he said, "as cases go forward, we eliminate people and angles and the evidence paints a picture. In this case, the more evidence that is located, the more witness statements we take, the more questions we have.''

Gagan said that locating the murder scene will be crucial to the case. "Our victim had dozens of stab wounds and blunt-force trauma,'' he said, indicating that it would be very difficult to conceal all the evidence left behind at the murder scene.

E-mail Jaxon Van Derbeken at jvanderbeken@sfchronicle.com.

04-10-2006, 03:02 AM
FUGITIVES from justice will soon have no hiding place as steps are being taken to harmonise legal systems in the Southern African Development Community (Sadc), in addition to strengthening domestic regulatory and supervisory systems for the monitoring and detection of organised crime in United Nations member-states

To this end, last Wednesday, the House of Assembly ratified two protocols that deal with crime in the region and abroad. The first was the Sadc Protocol on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters that provides wide measures for legal co-operation between member-states in criminal matters. The second was the UN Convention Against Transnational Organised Crime that promotes effective co-operation among member-states in combating and preventing cross-border organised crime. The UN convention provides for the extradition of suspects wanted in connection with organised crime, including corruption. Legislators from both sides of the House consented to the protocols. Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Cde Patrick Chinamasa told the House that the Sadc protocol would clear some of the legal hurdles that were faced when suspects wanted in connection with corruption fled to neighbouring countries. The minister said the document was central to efforts to harmonise legal systems in the region. He said any disputes between member-states in relation to mutual legal assistance would be referred to the tribunal for arbitration. Contributing to the debate, Mr David Coltart (MDC, Bulawayo South) said the opposition welcomed the Sadc protocol. "Our law enforcement agencies have had problems in combating crime that goes beyond our borders. This is good and a welcome addition to our statutes," said Mr Coltart. The Sadc protocol provides for co-operation in investigations, prosecutions or proceedings relating to offences involving transnational organised crime and corruption. Assistance shall be provided without regard to whether the conduct under investigation or prosecution in the requesting state constitutes an offence under the laws of the requested state. The protocol will go a long way in enabling Zimbabwean police to facilitate prosecution of suspects wanted in connection with corruption who have taken refuge in some Sadc countries, particularly South Africa. Member-states are obliged to facilitate the appearance of witnesses or the assistance of persons in investigations as well as taking measures to freeze or forfeit the proceeds of crime. Upon request, a person in custody in the requested state shall be temporarily transferred to the requesting state to assist investigations or testify, provided that the person consents. When the person transferred is required to be kept in custody under the law of the requested state, the requesting state shall hold that person in custody and shall return the person at the conclusion of the execution of the request. The requested state shall also execute a request for the search, seizure and delivery of property to the requesting state if the request includes information justifying such action under its laws. However, the protocol shall not apply to the arrest or detention of a person with a view to extradition or the transfer of persons in custody to serve sentences. It shall also not apply to enforcement in the requested state of criminal judgments imposed in the requesting state except to the extent permitted by the laws of the requested state. The UN Convention Against Transnational Organised Crime requires member-countries to establish domestic regulatory and supervisory systems for the monitoring and detection of organised crime. The convention also provides for the confiscation and seizure of proceeds from transnational organised crime. State parties may consider the possibility of requiring that an offender demonstrate the lawful origin of alleged proceeds of crime or other property liable to confiscation. Proceeds of crime or property confiscated by a state party shall be disposed of in accordance with its domestic law and administrative procedures. The extradition of suspects shall be subject to the conditions provided by the domestic law of the requested state or applicable extradition treaties, including conditions in relation to the minimum penalty for extradition. Moving a motion for the ratification of the convention, Deputy Minister of Home Affairs Cde Reuben Marumahoko told the House that the document was an effective legal tool in combating various forms of organised crime that included terrorism. Cde Marumahoko said the UN had created a fund to provide technical assistance in the implementation of the convention.

galt john galt
04-10-2006, 03:25 AM
Huge Block Of Ice Falls From Sky In Oakland

POSTED: 10:54 am PDT April 9, 2006
UPDATED: 11:16 am PDT April 9, 2006

OAKLAND, Calif. -- Even the experts are having trouble explaining a solid block of ice that fell from the sky, crashed into earth and left behind a three-foot hole in the grass.

The ice fell at Bushrod Park in Oakland early Saturday when homeowner Jacek Purat of Berkeley was waiting nearby to show apartments to prospective renters.

"It was totally amazing. ... I saw this flash, like a streak. Then I saw this explosion, like a big boom! I came over and it (the field) was all covered with ice. Some were this big," Purat said, making a head-size circle with his two hands.

Brooks and Judith Mencher said they were standing on their back porch near the park when they heard a sound like a very loud rocket. "It kind of went 'whoosh!"' Brooks Mencher said.

The impact "knocked turf 20 feet away," according to Oakland Police Sgt. Ron Lighten. No one was injured.

Lt. Charles Glass of the Oakland Fire Hazardous Materials Team said the ice was pure water. "It didn't come from a toilet on a plane or anything like that."

Glass said the ice that firefighters pulled from the hole was about the same size of the hole -- three by three feet and two and a half feet deep.

Tony Hirsch, a Columbus, Ohio-based aviation expert, said ice falls of pure water are not uncommon: "Ice builds up on airplanes and falls off as they prepare to land."

But Hirsch said the airplane "would have to descend through what we call visible moisture, rain or clouds, for ice to build up." The skies were partly cloudy Saturday morning.

He said a large chunk of ice could build up on the vertical stabilizer or in a wheel well: "When they lower their landing gear, it falls off."

The National Weather Service said San Francisco Bay area storms haven't been violent enough to hatch a gigantic hailstone on its own. "There's nothing meteorological that would create a piece that big falling into Oakland," said weather service forecaster Diana Henderson.

It could simply be an unexplained "ice fall," one expert said. Big balls of ice sometimes fall from the sky without any real explanation.
Copyright 2006 by KTVU.com. The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

galt john galt
04-10-2006, 03:31 AM
Wednesday, April 05, 2006
Quick Hits: Election Tab, Fed Funds, Gloves Off

* Watchdog Funding Defeated: Meantime, a bill to restore full funding to the state's campaign watchdog agency, the Fair Political Practices Commission, was defeated in the Senate Elections Committee. SB 1120 (Ortiz) would have raised funding for the FPPC-- an agency whose total budget is about the same as it was 15 years ago, but whose caseload has increased while staff positions have been cut. Last fall, the FPPC had to close the books on political violation cases that may have been winnable, due to lack of funding.

* We Jail 'Em, Now Pay Up: California and 13 other states today called on Congress to provide more money to cover the costs of prisoners who are illegal immigrants. In 1990, the feds created a program to reimburse states, the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program (SCAAP). But full SCAAP funding has often been one of the casualties of the federal budget process. It's estimated that California spends some $750 million a year on these prisoners, while receiving only $121 million in reimbursements in 2005. Today's letter, signed by Schwarzenegger and 13 other governors, asks for $850 million in the 2007 fiscal year for the SCAAP program. "It is imperative," said Schwarzenegger in a news release, "that states receive financial assistance for the continued costs associated with the federal government's failure to secure the border." posted by John Myers at 4:03 PM

04-10-2006, 03:39 AM
COMMUNICATIONS minister Abel Chambeshi on Thursday informed Parliament that Zambia would soon have two more international gateways to supplement Mwembeshi Earth Station.

Contributing to the motion to scrutinise the appointment of six individuals as members of the board of regulators for the Communications Authority, Chambeshi said another international gateway was in the process of being formed in Zambia.

He explained that the Zambia Telecommunications Company (Zamtel) was trying to lay a national network of fibre optic before the end of this year.

Chambeshi explained that the national network of fibre optic would act as another international gateway.

He said Zamtel and his ministry were currently negotiating with an organisation called Rascom (a Pan African Institution under the African Union) to set up a base in Lusaka to put up an all African Satellite into space.

“We hope that this extension will be within the precincts as Mwembeshi Earth Station. This will become our third international gateway,” Chambeshi said.

Chambeshi said whereas liberalisation was good, the nation should be careful not to kill the goose that lays the golden egg.
He said Zamtel was currently earning 60 per cent of its income from the international gateway.

Chambeshi said the government was actively investigating possibilities of liberalising the international gateway.
Chairperson of the select committee Joseph Kasongo said the Communications Authority should address the issue of another international gateway to supplement Mwembeshi Earth Station.

He noted over-reliance on Mwembeshi might one day create problems if it failed to work.
Kasongo argued that another gateway would help reduce communication costs.

Namwala UPND member of parliament Ompie Nkumbula-Liebenthal who seconded the motion said the Communications Authority played an important role in information dissemination.

She also called for adequate laws to mitigate against loss of privacy resulting from advances in telecommunication technologies.

Contributing to the motion, Chilanga UPND member of parliament Captain Cosmas Moono said mobile phone operators should be encouraged to roll out in rural areas.
Capt Moono advised government against liberalising the international gateway.

“Communication is business and government is earning revenue from this facility controlled by Zamtel,” Capt Moono said.

He said placing the international gateway in private hands might spell problems for the country.

Kalomo UPND member of parliament Request Muntanga said the 40 per cent shareholding for Zambians should be emphasised in the mobile phone industry.
He called for improvements in service delivery by mobile phone operators.

Muntanga said he was disappointed that Cell Z was failing to compete with the two other mobile phone operators.
Those appointed to the board are Alec Malichi, Colonel Crispin Mukumano, John Katepa, Wellington Chellah, Nancy Kalikeka Phiri and Elizabeth Kachamba.

04-10-2006, 07:25 PM
http://media.apn.co.nz/webcontent/image/jpg/08mob.jpgMongrel Mob member Tai Nuttall. Picture / Alan Gibson
Doing the gangster rap in Rotorua
By Catherine Masters

Tai Nuttall's pet bulldogs don't look much like the one snarling away on the Mongrel Mob flag.

Javelin and Misla tumble out of the car wagging their tails. They look more interested in licking you to death than biting. Bulldogs may look ugly but they have a reputation for being gentle, not savage.

What's a Mob boss doing with them instead of pitbulls? The tattooed - but not particularly evil-looking - leader of the Mongrel Mob's Rotorua chapter gives a sideways look.

He has bulldogs obviously because bulldogs are the gang's insignia. They're on the patches on official jackets and the posters on Nuttall's garage wall.

"I just call her Jabby Girl, don't I, girl?" he says affectionately to one of the dogs. In the early days the breed was chosen as the Mob's symbol "probably for the vicious look".

Nuttall poses patiently for the photographer under the flag set up in his tidy lounge, his more agreeable side obscured by the weight of gang symbolism.

Rotorua police say we shouldn't be fooled by gang PR. The Mongrel Mob, they say, are the scum of the scum.

The "pigs", as Nuttall calls the police, have declared war on the Mongrel Mob.

In a new campaign of prolonged harassment the police are out to jail "key personalities" or drive them out of town.

Wanganui may be debating whether to ban gang patches in public places, but the war for control of Rotorua has already begun.

The police have had enough. They have had a gutsful of the armed robberies, burglaries, violence, weapons hauls, methamphetamine laboratories and other drug offences that they have traced back to the Mob.

Other gangs are being watched, but the Mob have been put on notice.

This is a reclaiming of the town. Police say crime has risen since the release of several prominent Mongrel Mob members over the past few years.

They have created themselves a business plan and are trying to rebuild their structure, busy recruiting young people.

At any one time the police have around six Mob names on a list.

As one member is arrested, another is targeted. If one is released from prison he goes back on the list.

The Weekend Herald is aware of some of the mob members police are watching.

Tai Nuttall is one. He has served time for armed robbery and two of his sons are known to the police.

Then there is Sam Cameron, one of nine Mongrel Mob members who went down for gang rape in 1992. And Malcolm Corbett, another of the gang rapists. In fact, all the rapists who are back in the area are being watched.

The list would include George Perham, if he was not already in Waikeria Prison.

But even in prison, the police keep watch on a man with Mob links who is said to be able to exert influence on criminals on the outside.

Late last year Perham allegedly assaulted three police officers and was considered so dangerous a special court hearing was held at the police cells.

Perham has been in and out of jail over the years and like many, "he really is doing life imprisonment by instalments", said one officer.

Police pull Mob members over for anything from minor traffic infringements to bail breaches, and drop around to their homes unannounced.

If a suspected methamphetamine lab is found or the police believe guns are involved, they call in the armed offenders squad. They say the Mob are not so brave face down in the dirt with a gun in the back of the head.

But this is not a quick crackdown. Police plan to wage this war indefinitely until the Mob stop offending.

Tai Nuttall calls it harassment. The police call it a stake in the ground.

In a town with a reputation of being ruled by the Mongrel Mob, its members are surprisingly hard to find. And when some are found, they do not want to talk.

Gone is the day of the big gang pad.

That burnt down after the gang rape and the Mob is scattered throughout Rotorua's low-decile suburbs while the tourists peel off into the nice motels and hotels and eat tourist-style hangi.

Nuttall does talk though, after an unscheduled visit to his modest rental home, where he is under the bonnet trying to fix his car. He can do without the police harassment, he says. He has had to leave two houses because of the police and his car is pulled over two or three times a day. "At the moment I'm having a hard enough problem trying to live a daily life, going through every day being judged."

Nuttall says he is not the leader of the Rotorua chapter, he is just a member. The group is run by committee.

He says it is not true that the Mongrel Mob is the worst, most violent gang, but the police don't like them because they cannot control them.

He works hard and says every time the police come around he is working on his car.

"I've worked all my life; forestry, logging. That's not an easy job."

He does not say much about his boys, but "It's not like I'm telling them how to do it ... Kids will be kids, teenagers will be teenagers. I've told my kids all their life, 'I was in jail, don't go down that road I went down, son'.

"I don't even want them to do crime. I tell you what, they don't have to do crime. I'm trying to teach them how to grow potatoes ... "

I ask if he has any guns inside. "Yeah, water pistol maybe."

Nuttall's philosophy on life and the Mongrel Mob - he is a 20-year veteran - goes like this: "If the brother's over there with all his family having a good day, good on him.

"If the brother's down the road beating someone up, good on him. What goes around comes around.

"It's up to each individual how they want to live their life. Why mock people? Life to me is about being happy, enjoying it and if the brother over next door wants to be a Christian, that's his priority, that's his life, and if the brother over here wants to be gay, good on him. I don't judge no one."

Asked about his comment that beating someone up is okay, he says that's how it was in the old days.

"That's how we survived as Maori. It's passed on to us through our blood - ancestors, tipuna. I don't judge no one, I keep my shit to myself, I try not to hurt anyone but if someone's going to hurt me, I'm going to stick up for myself."

When one of his boys said he wanted to be in the Mongrel Mob, Nuttall told him to stay in school.

"I said the only way you'll be able to help us will be [as] a lawyer."

Acting Rotorua Area Commander, Inspector Steve Bullock sits behind his desk in his lavender-coloured office at the Rotorua Police Station.

He feels pretty good about Operation Monkey because it seems to be working.

He didn't pick the lavender colour - he's only been in Rotorua a year - but isn't lavender supposed to be a soothing colour? he asks.

"They say if you go along the spectrum of the rainbow red is the most aggressive colour and violet is the most passive."

The Mongrel Mob favours red, the colour of aggression. Just look out for people wearing red in the city and surrounding suburbs and you will spot the Mob, he says.

But there is not much red and no sign of patches this week. This is because Operation Monkey has been going for several weeks and the Mob are lying low.

"It's about ownership," Bullock says. "When gang members feel confident enough to wear patches and to move around the town freely, well for me it's a pretty good signal they're feeling in control."

In February police found the Mob were responsible for 50 per cent of all burglaries in Rotorua.

It's not a huge number of people - Bullock reckons of three or four groups, about 15 or 20 people are the main offenders - but they commit a huge amount of crime.

In the first week of Operation Monkey 14 Mob members were arrested and burglary and vehicle crime halved, a good start. But there is another point to Operation Monkey. It is to remove what Bullock calls the Robin Hood syndrome where young people look at patched members as folk heroes.

"They look up and they say, 'Hey, he's cool, he's always got beer or drugs or cars or this and that', so by taking those people out and making their life uncomfortable we hope to take away the romance of being a gang member."

It may take a long time, but Bullock says police will give it a long time.

He makes no apology if the gang feels it is being harassed. It is being harassed.

"My staff won't be breaking any laws in pursuing these people. Stop committing crime and we won't harass you."

Senior Sergeant Dennis Murphy comes into the lavender office for a chat and takes the boss's chair.

Murphy co-ordinates who the patrols will visit each day. Police have no fear of gangs, he says.

Some are unpredictable but others are "gutless wimps". Besides, the police have the armed offenders squad.

"We're dealing with big, armed, organised criminals and they don't respond to bloody afternoon tea and crumpets. They respond to firm and hard policing and there's plenty of that to go around.

"You know, if gang members are the scum of the earth then as far as I'm concerned the Mongrel Mob are the scum of the scum. They're just vicious thugs."

Like many New Zealand towns, Rotorua has had a gang culture for decades and Murphy does have some sympathy for young members who want to get out but cannot.

He says the police have relocated some people, and anyone wanting out can contact them at any time.

Many of the young men coming up have seen extreme violence in and outside the home. They have been reared on drug use and alcohol abuse, they have been educated through video games and violent and pornographic movies and that is all they know.

"As a result of that we're dealing with 14- and 15-year-olds that are carrying guns. They want to be associated with the Mob, their role models are Mongrel Mob members and they want to be part of that gang culture.

"They think they're living out some sort of video game fantasy, that's all it is, they sit around smoking dope and P and bloody playing video games and that's their distorted view of reality and then they get hold of guns and they think that's all part and parcel of it that they can light up a street with a shooter," says Murphy.

P is not helping them - although it is helping the police. Murphy says P will cause the gang culture to be eroded. P wrecks minds and bodies and police can exploit that.

Gang members who are drug addicts are easier to get information from, are more willing to give up their associates.

"They get loose, they get untidy, they make mistakes and we just pick them off one by one, which is what we're doing."

Are the Mongrel Mob all bad? Slim, blonde Teresa Scally is behind the bar at The Lakehouse, a gang hang-out from way back with fantastic views of Lake Rotorua. We've got to get out of this place by the Animals plays on the jukebox as half a dozen old timers drink Happy Tuesday $5 jugs of beer. It's late afternoon.

Scally thinks about the question and comes up with the surprising answer: "They're lovely." She qualifies it later but says there is another side to the Mob.

They have not been in so much lately but she says they have always supported her in any sort of trouble and she has supported them as human beings.

"I've met the big bosses just by fluke. I didn't know they were the big bosses. I've met the worst of them, the very worst of them and unfortunately that drug P has got most of them.

"They haven't laid a finger on me, they haven't threatened me, they haven't stolen from me and up until about a year ago they were here; this is where they feel safe."

The Green, Green Grass of Home now plays as she says, "Sure, they can be nasty and bad ... "

But in this town, she says, there are so many unwanted children and lost teenagers, they have nothing else to gravitate to.

Another woman who knows Mongrel Mob members says they don't drink in the pubs any more; they drink in their own homes.

They move about town without their patches and you can't tell they are Mob. They hold down jobs, trying to keep it quiet.

"It's hard because they are trying to get on with their lives but their patch will always be there. I know bouncers that work in Rotorua and they're patched members and you wouldn't think so ... I never told you that."

The Mob are lovely people on the inside "but when they've got their patches on and alcohol and drugs inside them they're different, they're not the same people. They're nasty."

If you really want to interview a patched member go to the courthouse, she says.

At the courthouse there are no patches but there are some young men wearing red. One with tattoos who looks a likely candidate says politely he is not a Mob member but thank you for asking.

Outside a bar on Thursday morning a young man comes out for a smoke. Asked if he is Mongrel Mob, he grins and waves his hand in the Mob sign - thumb and little finger up, the middle fingers down. But his brain seems scrambled and he won't talk.

Convicted rapist Sam Cameron is polite on the phone, "Sure, mate." He would be happy to talk face to face but at the moment he's out of town.

Another of the gang rapists tracked down won't talk. He has turned his life around and wants to leave the past in the past.

In Christchurch a 31-year-old sociology student is writing a thesis about gangs in New Zealand. Jarrod Gilbert has hung with gang members, including Mob members, for about four years. He says the Mob is New Zealand's biggest gang, a third bigger than the Black Power. They have a fierce reputation, and yes, they can be incredibly violent.

But they can be hospitable and funny and doting parents too.

"Banning patches won't get rid of gangs, it will just drive them underground, he says.

Gangs form out of communities which are poor and marginalised.

"If we choose not to solve the problems in those communities we can't complain about gangs because they're natural consequences."

Back in Rotorua the police pose for their photograph, arms folded, staunch in front of rows of mugshots of Mongrel Mob targets on the wall behind them.

This is a war neither side wants to lose - the question is, who will win?

Aqueous Moon
04-10-2006, 11:35 PM
Senior enraged over ticket for walking too slow
Dana Bartholomew, LA Daily News

LOS ANGELES — Mayvis Coyle, 82, was shuffling with her cane across busy Foothill Boulevard while a traffic police officer watched and waited. And watched and waited.
Even before Coyle finished crossing the intersection at Woodward Avenue, he had scribbled a $114 ticket for crossing against a don't-walk signal.

"I entered the crosswalk, it was green," said Coyle, of Sunland, who is fighting the infraction issued Feb. 15. "It turned red before I could get over. There he was, waiting, the motorcycle cop.

"He said, 'You're obstructing the flow of traffic."'
Coyle and other seniors at Monte Vista Mobile Estates are up in arms over signals they say are too short to safely cross the five-lane boulevard. They say signals turn red before they can reach the opposite curb on Sunland-Tujunga's busiest thoroughfare. They risk their lives each time they enter the crosswalk, they insist. At least one resident calls a cab just to cross the street.

"I can go halfway, then the light changes," said Edith Krause, 78, who uses an electric cart because she has difficulty walking. "I try my darndest to get to the other side without being killed."

So many seniors have complained about hasty intersections that Councilwoman Wendy Greuel asked transportation officials last week to study how to accommodate them.

The standard speed used for timing pedestrians is 4 feet per second. Greuel said that on streets with numerous seniors, like Foothill, signals need to be lengthened to make way for elderly pedestrians and those with special needs.

The Coyle incident "has brought to bear an issue that is relatively common," Greuel said. "We should look at those areas with predominantly seniors and accommodate their needs in intersections."

The danger to pedestrians — particularly senior citizens — is acute, Los Angeles police say. Of the 94 pedestrians killed in the San Fernando Valley from 2003-05 while crossing the street, 31 were seniors.
Sgt. Mike Zaboski of the Valley Traffic Division said he couldn't comment on Coyle's ticket, that it was her word against the officer who cited her — identified only as Officer Kelly — as to whether she entered the crosswalk on the green.

"Right now, pedestrian accidents are above normal," he http://extras.mnginteractive.com/live/std/clear.gifhttp://extras.mnginteractive.com/live/std/clear.gifhttp://extras.mnginteractive.com/live/std/clear.gifsaid Friday.

"We're looking out for pedestrians — people who think they have carte blanche in crossing the street.

"I'd rather not have angry pedestrians," he said of those like Coyle. "But I'd rather have them be alive."

"It's a safety concern," added Jerry Baik, an assistant supervisor of trials for City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo, whose office prosecutes traffic infractions like Coyle's.

"It's the officer's observation … that she was acting in a dangerous way to herself as well as oncoming traffic."

Others besides Coyle, however, say signals on Foothill prompt a foot race to the other side.

On Friday, students ran — not walked — to make the lights, measured at 20 seconds from green to red.

"It sucks," said Sara Johnson, 14, of Sunland, who had just scampered with friends across the crosswalk at Woodward. "When the light turns red, you can't cross the street."

Chung Kim, manager of Jimmie Dean's Charbroiled Burgers at Foothill and Woodward, has seen many close calls.

"Very hard to cross," he said, watching the intersection from his grill,

"because signal's too short, the cars go so fast, every car over 45 miles per hour. It's crazy."

Coyle, a Cherokee medicine woman who splits her time between Sunland and the mountains above Sedalia, Colo., has done everything to fight her ticket, including send letters to Greuel's office.
The octogenarian, who has no phone or car, said she was simply hefting her groceries home when she not only got trapped in a busy intersection but got a ticket from a cop to boot.

"I think it's completely outrageous," said Coyle, wearing an Indian feather cap and homemade rock pendant. "I can't walk without a stick and I lose my balance. "He treated me like a 6-year-old, like I don't know what I'm doing. I'm in shock that somebody's going to stop me on a green light while crossing the street."

galt john galt
04-12-2006, 03:45 PM
Names change, faces the same
Oakland police see troubling trends continue as the city's homicide rate climbs
By Harry Harris, STAFF WRITER

Beverly Franklin, holding a picture of daughter Stephanie Franklin, cries as she remembers seeing her child walk out the door for the last time. Stephanie Franklin, an 18-year-old honor student at Merritt College, was killed in 2004 when a gunman shot into a car where she was a passenger. (Nick Lammers/staff)

OAKLAND — Ninety-four homicide victims were added to Oakland's roster of the dead in 2005.
The tally was six more than in 2004, but the faces of victims and suspects did not change much from previous years, and neither did the reasons or attempts to explain why people kill.

As upsetting as the deaths are for relatives and friends of the victims, more sobering is why police believe some suspects are more apt to pull a trigger or thrust a knife, beyond the traditional reasons of poverty, social breakdown or greed.

Twenty-nine of 51 suspects arrested in 2005 were18 to 25 years old.

Veteran officers said many lacked morals and were simply trying to make names for themselves by exhibiting violent behavior they learned from others.

"The biggest problem we have is their behavior didn't start (recently)," said Lt. Jim Emery, homicide unit commander. "It started years ago when these young guys were developing, and it got to the point today where they feel it's all right to kill somebody. They don't value life, some of these young guys."

Another factor, Emery said, is that many murder suspects have a criminal record and either were on probation or parole when they killed someone. If they had received longer prison time, some killings might not have happened, he said. Of the known suspects in 2005 killings, more than 30 were on parole or probation.

Officer Jason Andersen, who works as a field investigator for the homicide unit, has arrested more than 30 murder suspects in his 15-year career, most of them 18 to 25 years old.

He said he believes drug use — especially Ecstasy — peer pressure and exposure to violence, both personally witnessed or seen in the media, play a role in a killer's makeup.

That, and a lack of positive upbringing and no respect for authority, whether it be law enforcement, parents or teachers.

"Some of these kids are pretty much raising themselves and learning on the street," Andersen said. "They're trying to make names for themselves."

Retired Officer Margaret Dixon, who headed the department's Police Activities League program for many years and still volunteers there, has been a mentor to thousands of young people.

She agrees that younger, violent offenders are usually exhibiting "behavior that is learned," whether from family members or others. "They are doing what they have been seeing. No one has intervened."

The young people she had dealt with, including some who have had brushes with law enforcement, "want to do better. But they also want to be accepted, and to some this violence is acceptable behavior. We have to change that mind-set."

Of the 2005 victims, 88 were men, and six were women. Sixty-two were African American, 25 Latino, four Asian, one white, one Samoan and one Middle Eastern.

Eighty victims died from a gunshot. Knives or some other cutting weapon killed another 12. One victim was beaten to death, and one was almost literally scared to death when robbers denied him his heart pills.

The races of the 74 known suspects — including those not arrested — generally mirror that of victims: Fifty-seven were African American, 13 Latino and four Asian. At least 42 suspects were 18 to 30 years old.

Some of those slain were innocent, random victims who had no idea who their killers were. Some were the intended target who had known their killers for years.

Their last breaths were taken mostly on a sidewalk or street, but some died in their homes, in a car or at a business. Good neighborhoods, not-so-good neighborhoods — slaying sites spanned the city.

Last year's higher homicide tally was mainly because of increases in three categories. Robbery-related



killings went from five in 2004 to 11 in 2005, gang killings from three to nine and domestic violence slayings from two to five, although one was deemed self-defense and the suspect not charged.

There were no child abuse murders in 2005 compared with three in 2004, and there have been none so far in 2006.

Argument-related killings dropped from 25 in 2004 to 16 in 2005. But some of the incidents that ignited the deadly disputes were as inconceivable as in past years, involving a minor traffic accident, staring too much at an attractive woman and deciding what TV channel to watch.

Some say fewer police officers on the street — there are about 100 vacancies in the Police Department — played a role. That may have contributed, but there were some cases where people were killed moments after an officer drove by, making investigators wonder whether the killer would have eventually gotten his target anyway.

The increase from 88 to 94 slayings was not much by itself. But because there were 13 homicides in December alone and 39 more so far this year — a number that was not reached until July 2005 — people are concerned a triple-digit finish is possible for 2006.

So far, 2006's high number can be attributed to at least six gang-related killings, at least five retaliation or revenge slayings and five with some kind of drug link.

To deal with the rising homicide rate and ominous double-digit percentage increases in robberies and assaults, police have increased the number of officers on the streets — more than 100 now work weekend shifts where crime is more prevalent — and redeployed them more effectively.

Chief Wayne Tucker said victim and suspect patterns are being analyzed to gain useful prevention information, and Oakland officers are talking to other cities to see how they are combating rises in crime.

Since drugs play a huge role in most crimes, that will be an enforcement focus, as will added "targeting of people with a history of violence and an inclination to be violent," Tucker said.

Dixon believes preventive approaches will help lower the homicide rate. She said young people need to be reached as early as possible to turn them away from a life of crime, to show them they can succeed in a different environment.

Voter passage of Measure Y has made money available for intervention and other programs not only for young people but others at risk, including ex-convicts trying to stay out of trouble.

Dixon is optimistic such programs can have an impact. But they have to be something young people will participate in, and their input should be sought.

"As adults, we put out what we think they want, but they might not, so we have to find out what they want to do. We have to let them know they can do better, they can be better. They just need a chance."

Making participants feel safe is also important. Dixon said that some of the youngsters she has talked to are reluctant to go to parts of the city where they don't live because they are fearful of violence they have heard about, whether real or embellished.

"What good is the money if the programs aren't used?" Dixon said.

Correspondent Veronica Martinez contributed to this report.

galt john galt
04-12-2006, 03:48 PM
Governor backpedals on emissions
Schwarzenegger: Caps before 2010 would scare off businesses
By Ian Hoffman, STAFF WRITER

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger answers questions at a climate change summit Tuesday at San Francisco City Hall. (Associated Press)

SAN FRANCISCO — After pushing the nation's most aggressive goals for cutting greenhouse gases, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Tuesday disappointed many environmentalists by backing a go-slow approach, making industry report its greenhouse emissions but not capping those emissions until 2010.
"I think we should start without the caps," Schwarzenegger said at a hearing on greenhouse-gas reductions at San Francisco City Hall. "I think we can accomplish a lot without the caps. I think with the caps we could really

scare the business community, and they mightleave California."

Environmentalists said setting a ceiling on releases of greenhouse gases was essential for getting industry to buy cleaner technologies and build more energy-efficient plants.

"What we're hearing today is a lot of talk and no action," said Bill Magavern of the Sierra Club.

Others said it probably would take years for California to set up a regulatory cap, as well as a carbon market, so that hundreds of power plants, cement factories, refineries and other major sources could buy, sell and trade permits to release greenhouse gases at levels under the cap. But they agreed industry needs to know emissions reductions will be required.

"We think a cap is essential and needs to be put into law now, even if it is not implemented now," said Karen Douglas, director of the California Climate Initiative for Environmental Defense. "To get industry to be serious about how does this work, we think there needs to be a commitment to a cap right now."

Advocates for greenhouse-gas reductions at the Union of Concerned Scientists and the Natural Resources Defense Council chalked up the governor's new position to "a matter of timing."

"We just hope the governor doesn't get stalled by some business interests who don't want to do anything," said Dan Kalb, coordinator of California policy for UCS.

Flanked by twin, giant photos of an Austrian glacier, full of ice in 1875 and vanished to reveal grassy alps in 2004, Schwarzenegger asked corporate executives, economists and state lawmakers for advice on curbing emissions in California, the world's 12th largest source.

PG&E president and chairman Peter Darbee said the "problem of global warming is urgent and something we need to deal with."

He prefers uniform federal regulation rather than a patchwork of state limits. But if California is moving toward regulation, Darbee said, "What we think is important is to get the right balance between moving ahead and doing it thoughtfully, so we know that it works."

But some manufacturers and industries warned that greenhouse gas regulations will cost California growth and jobs. Tom Tietz, head of the California-Nevada Cement Promotion



Council, said his energy-intensive industry is growing but would be at risk.
"We fear that a cap system would effectively force us to import more cement from foreign nations and other states," he told Schwarzenegger.

Three studies of California's goals for greenhouse gas reductions have found little or positive economic impact, with the governor's own advisory team reporting a net gain of 83,000 jobs.

But Margo Thorning, chief economist for the American Council for Capital Formation, said those studies use "non-mainstream" assumptions. Other studies of greenhouse regulations in the U.S. Northeast and Europe found substantial costs, including higher heating and vehicle fueling costs for families.

"If they spend more to insulate their houses, they might not be able to spend as much money on other things," she said.

Thorning also voiced doubts that creating a cap-and-trade program will nudge ahead the kind of technological advances needed to capture greenhouse emissions from fossil fuel burning or find new, carbon-free energy sources.

Manufacturers said much the same thing in 1959 when California led the nation in regulating air pollutants, said Mike Peevey, president of the California Public Utilities Commission.

"Everyone said, 'Oh, you can't do this, you'll screw up the economy,'" Peevey said. "We can deal with the cement industry and not thwart its growth. There are things we can do that are thoughtful and logical. But I do think we need caps."

Assemblywoman Fran Pavley of Southern California authored California's law requiring vehicles to cut greenhouse gas emissions 30 percent and is co-sponsoring legislation that would firm up Schwarzenegger's goals — cuts to 2000 emissions by 2010 and to 1990 levels by 2020 — by ordering the air-pollution agency to come up with reduction strategies.

Climate change is happening faster than many scientists predicted, she said, and California can reap economic benefits by inventing and selling solutions.

"California needs to seize this economic opportunity," Pavley said. "A cap right now would signal the marketplace that we're serious, that we're going to be the home of clean tech to export to other communities."

Contact Ian Hoffman at ihoffman@angnewspapers.com.

galt john galt
04-13-2006, 01:29 AM
Member Of Oakland's Famed Pointer Sisters Dies

POSTED: 11:10 am PDT April 12, 2006
UPDATED: 4:10 pm PDT April 12, 2006

LOS ANGELES -- June Pointer, the youngest of the Pointer Sisters -- known for the '70s and '80s hits "I'm So Excited," "Fire" and "Slow Hand" -- has died of cancer, her family said Wednesday. She was 52.

Pointer died Tuesday at Santa Monica University of California, Los Angeles, Medical Center, the family said in a statement. She had been hospitalized since late February. The type of cancer wasn't disclosed.

She died "in the arms of her sisters, Ruth and Anita and her brothers, Aaron and Fritz, by her side," the statement said. "Although her sister, Bonnie, was unable to be present, she was with her in spirit."

The four sisters grew up singing in the choir of an Oakland church where their parents were ministers. Bonnie and June formed a singing duo and began performing in clubs around the San Francisco Bay area. Anita and Ruth later joined the group, which sang backup for artists such as Taj Mahal, Boz Scaggs and Elvin Bishop.

Their self-titled debut album was released in 1973, and the song "Yes We Can Can" became their first hit. They followed up with "That's A Plenty," which featured an eclectic mix of musical styles ranging from jazz to country and pop. They won a Grammy Award in 1974 for best country vocal performance by a group for the song "Fairytale."

Bonnie Pointer left the group in 1977 for a solo career.

The Pointer Sisters recorded several more albums, including 1984's "Break Out," which won two Grammys for "Automatic" and "Jump (for My Love)." The album's other hit song, "Neutron Dance," was prominently featured in the movie "Beverly Hills Cop."

June recorded two solo albums, and later left the trio.

Anita and Ruth still perform under the group's name. Ruth's daughter, Issa Pointer, is the trio's newest member.

Funeral arrangements were incomplete.
Copyright 2006 by KTVU.com. The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

04-13-2006, 10:38 AM
Joshua Ryen's court statement in the Kevin Cooper execution case

Ryen is the sole survivor of a 1983 hatchet massacre in Chino Hills in which his parents, sister and friend were killed. Ryen, then 8, survived the attack despite having his throat slashed.

The first time I met Kevin Cooper I was 8 years old and he slit my throat. He hit me with a hatchet and put a hole in my skull. He stabbed me twice, which broke my ribs and collapsed one lung. I lived only because I stuck four fingers in my neck to slow the bleeding, but I was too weak to move. I laid there 11 hours looking at my mother who was right beside me.

I know now he came through the sliding glass door and attacked my dad first. He was lying on the bed and was struck in the dark without warning with the hatchet and knife. He was hit many times because there is a lot of blood on the wall on his side of the bed.

My mother screamed and Cooper came around the bed and started hitting her. Somehow my dad was able to struggle between the bed and the closet but Cooper bludgeoned my father to death with the knife and hatchet, stabbing him 26 times and axing him 11. One of the blows severed his finger and it landed in the closet. My mother tried to get away but he caught her at the bottom of the bed and he stabbed her 25 times and axed her 7.

All of us kids were drawn to the room by mom's screams. Jessica was killed in the doorway with 5 ax blows and 46 stabs. I won't say how many times my best friend Chris was stabbed and axed, not because it isn't important, but because I don't want to hurt his family in any way, and they are here.

After Cooper killed everyone, and thought he had killed me, he went over to my sister and lifted her shirt and drew things on her stomach with the knife. Then he walked down the hallway, opened the refrigerator, and had a beer. I guess killing so many people can make a man thirsty.

I don't want to be here. I came because I owe it to my family, who can't speak for themselves. But by coming I am acknowledging and validating the existence of Kevin Cooper, who should have been blotted from the face of the earth a long time ago. By coming here it shows that he still controls me. I will be free, my life will start, the day Kevin Cooper dies. I want to be rid of him, but he won't go away.

I've been trying to get away from him since I was 8 years and I can't escape. He haunts me and follows me. For over 20 years all I've heard is Kevin Cooper this and Kevin Cooper that. Kevin Cooper says he is innocent, Kevin Cooper says he was framed, Kevin Cooper says DNA will clear him, Kevin Cooper says blood was planted, Kevin Cooper says the tennis shoes aren't his, Kevin Cooper says three guys did it, Kevin Cooper says police planted evidence, Kevin Cooper gets another stay from another court and sends everyone off on another wild goose chase.

The courts say there isn't any harm when Kevin Cooper gets another stay and another hearing. This just shows they don't care about me, because every time he gets another delay I am harmed and have to relive the murders all over again. Every time Kevin Cooper opens his mouth everyone wants to know what I think, what I have to say, how I'm feeling, and the whole nightmare floods all over me again: the barbecue, me begging to let Chris spend the night, me in my bed and him on the floor beside me, my mother's screams, Chris gone, dark house, hallway, bushy hair, everything black, mom cut to pieces saturated in blood, the nauseating smell of blood, eleven hours unable to move, light filtering in, Chris' father at the window, the horror of his face, sound of the front door splintering, my pajamas being cut off, people trying to save me, the whap whap of the helicopter blades, shouted questions, everything fading to black.

Every time Cooper claims he's innocent and sends people scurrying off on another wild goose chase I have to relive the murders all over again. It runs like a horror movie, over and over again and never stops because he never shuts up. He puts PR people on national television who say outrageous things and then the press wants to know what I think. What I think is that I would like to be rid of Kevin Cooper. I would like for him to go away. I would like to never hear from Kevin Cooper again. I would like Kevin Cooper to pay for what he did.

I dread happy times like Christmas and Thanksgiving. If I go to a friend's house on holidays I look at all the mothers and fathers and children and grandchildren and get sad because I have no one. Kevin Cooper took them from me.

I get terrified when I go into any place dark, like a house before the lights are on. I hear screams and see flashbacks and shadows. Even with lights on I see terrible things. After I was stabbed and axed I was too weak to move and stared at my mother all night. I smelled this overpowering smell of fresh blood and knew everyone had been slaughtered.

Every day when I comb my hair I feel the hole where he buried the hatchet in my head, and when I look in the mirror I see the scar where he cut my throat from ear to ear and I put four fingers in it to stop the bleeding which, they say, saved my life. Every year I lose hearing in my left ear where he buried the knife.

Helicopters give me flashbacks of life flight and my Incredible Hulks being cut off by paramedics. Bushy hair reminds me of the killer. Silence reminds me of the quiet before the screams. Cooper is everywhere. There is no escape from him.

I feel very guilty and responsible to the Hughes family because I begged them to let Chris spend the night. If I hadn't done that he wouldn't have died. I apologize to them and especially to Mr. Hughes for having to find us and see his son cut and stabbed to death.

I thank the judge who gave my grandma custody of me because she took good care of me and loves me very much.

I'm grateful to the ocean for giving me peace because when I go there I know my mother and father and sister's ashes are sprinkled there.

Kevin Cooper has movie stars and Jesse Jackson holding rallies for him, people carrying signs, lighting candles, saying prayers. To them and you I say:

I was 8 when he slit my throat,
It was dark and I couldn't see.
Through the night and day I laid there,
trying to get up and flee.
He killed my mother, father, sister, friend,
And started stalking me.
I try to run and flee from him but cannot get away,
While he demands petitions and claims, some fresh absurdity.
Justice has no ear for me nor cares about my plight,
while crowds pray for the killer and light candles in the night.
To those who long for justice and love truth which sets men free, When you pray your prayers tonight, please remember me.

04-13-2006, 10:09 PM
wow this world is full of assholes!!!

04-13-2006, 11:45 PM
wow this world is full of assholes!!!

ha ha!

Soul Controller
04-14-2006, 09:42 AM

some news i been checking the last week or so..

U.S. blocks UN draft pressing Israel to end attacks -


Reinforcing The Official Lie - http://prisonplanet.com/articles/april2006/130406officiallie.htm

US government wants PayPal records - http://www.rte.ie/business/2006/0413/ebay.html

Ancient Aryan civilization achieved incredible technological progress 40 centuries ago - http://english.pravda.ru/science/19/94/377/15814_Arkaim.html

Mass Graves Of Children Found Near Montreal; Another Duplessis Orphan Tells Of Being Tortured As A Child In CIA Experimentation Programs Using Nazi Doctors - http://www.arcticbeacon.com/13-Apr-2006.html

mostly what i been concentrating on the last 2 weeks or so is this


if u live in england.. use the above site.. u will find many weird and wonderful things especially if u walk along these places. (and dont get caught!!!)


Aqua Luna
04-14-2006, 06:37 PM
Aryan Brotherhood Tried for 40 Years of Prison Mayhem

March 15, 2006 — Murder, conspiracy to commit murder, narcotics trafficking, extortion, gambling, robbery, intimidation and assault. According to federal prosecutors, these are the crimes the Aryan Brotherhood carried out behind bars for over 40 years.

The group's homicidal and corrupting tentacles, which first sprouted in 1964 in California's San Quentin prison, now reach across the country and throughout the federal prison system, alleges a newly unveiled 140-count federal indictment.

In one of the largest capital punishment cases ever, the document alleges 32 murders and almost as many attempted murders. As many as 16 defendants could face the death penalty; some of them are already serving multiple life sentences. The first of several trials involves four of the alleged leaders and could last until the end of the year.

Race War Not Profitable

The Aryan Brotherhood reportedly hatched from a collective of white inmates known as The Bluebird Gang. In the racially charged world behind bars, they watched as black and Hispanic inmates organized and gained influence in the California prison system, so they changed their name.

And these days, they've even changed their stripes — the Aryan Brotherhood now counts some mixed-race men among their legion.

Prosecutors say the Brotherhood's endgame is power and intimidation, and even white inmates not invited to join feel threatened. Members are required to abide by rules established by the "councils" or "commissions."

"In the beginning, their crimes were solely motivated by race. As the criminal organization has evolved, they have tended towards crimes that have little or nothing to do with race," said Melissa Carr of the Anti-Defamation League of Orange County.

There have been times, however, that the group has reverted back to its original purpose, said Carr. "Violent criminal activity exploded around the Aryan Brotherhood in the late '90s in what their leader called a 'race war'," she said. "Their mindset was to take down all black prisoners or members of black prison gangs."

These undated prison inmate photos show Aryan Brotherhood gang leaders Tyler Davis Bingham, left, and Barry "The Baron" Mills. Prosecutors hope to dismantle the Aryan Brotherhood prison gang in a series of high-profile trials that together make up what's believed to be the biggest capital murder case in U.S. history. Both Bingham and Mills face the death penalty if convicted. (Orange County Register/AP Photo)

galt john galt
04-14-2006, 08:41 PM
Owner of problem house loses appeal
Neighbors had sued because of drug dealing, violence
Jason B. Johnson, Chronicle Staff Writer

Friday, April 14, 2006

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For more than a decade, residents of a south Berkeley neighborhood have tried to shut down a house they're convinced is a drug den so their children can play safely and they can live without random gunfire piercing the night.

They sued the owner of the house on Oregon Street in small-claims court, winning a judgment of more than $155,000 in 1992. But the ruling was appealed, and they said little has changed in the years since. The case was back in court last week, and on Wednesday the ruling was upheld.

Residents say the house at 1610 Oregon St. remains a magnet for crime, and they've launched a petition drive demanding that the city crack down on the owner.

Beyond the drug dealing, neighbors say the house is the scene of fights, screeching cars and occasional shootings.

"It's ruined our lives," said area resident Sam Herbert, a leader of the effort to shut down the house. "We also have friends who are afraid to come over here."

But Lenora Moore, the 76-year-old woman who has lived in the house for several years, says things are not as bad as her critics claim. Nevertheless, she said she will have to sell her home because a judge on Wednesday denied her appeal of the 1992 settlement.

"Some of them (complaints) are true; some of them are not. It's exaggerated," said Moore, who is black and says all of her critics are white. "I'm going to move. It's been tough on me. I've got to sell the house, and that's going to take a while."

Herbert denied Moore's claim that she is the target of discrimination.

"One of our plaintiffs is black," she said.

The first time Moore's critics were in court, a judge ordered her to pay 31 neighbors a total of $155,248 for allowing "a drug-related nuisance" at her home. "Keep Out" and "No Trespassing" signs are posted on the front door.

Moore's grandson, Mark A. Perry, 23, was killed in a drug-related shooting a half-block from her house in April 1992.

Herbert and other residents said the activity continues even though police have raided the house several times in the years since the judgment was ordered, and they wonder if the city's liberal-minded leaders have failed to aggressively go after illicit drug dealing.

Mayor Tom Bates said the city has worked hard to crack down on problem residences and businesses in recent years using a team of code-enforcement officials.

"We obviously take the quality-of-life concerns of residents seriously. We've been working on that issue," he said.

"Over the last couple of years, they've been able to address over 70 problem properties. We've closed down three liquor stores and put restrictions on others (from selling hard liquor)."

Police spokesman Ed Galvan said calls to the neighborhood have dropped dramatically since the case returned to court. Over the years, police have conducted raids and put four restraining orders in place barring certain individuals from coming to the residence.

"Historically, that house has been very problematic for the city of Berkeley. It's always been known as a drug house," he said, expressing sympathy for Moore.

"They needed to get restraining orders from some of their own family members from coming back. They are the problem -- the kids," he said. "That is her family, and it's hard for her to not allow them in there. Nobody wants to think of their kids as bad kids."

Bates said one of the most effective things a neighborhood can do is take the problem property owner to small-claims court, precisely what residents of the south Berkeley neighborhood have done.

Bates said it's not true that the city's open-minded politics gives a free ride to drug dealers.

"We're a tolerant city. But we're not tolerant of alcohol abuse. Were not tolerant of drug abuse," said Bates. "Sure we have problems, and we have problem properties all over the city. But we are addressing them."

E-mail Jason B. Johnson at jbjohnson@sfchronicle.com.

galt john galt
04-14-2006, 08:45 PM
BART faces $4.7 million budget gap for next year
Board has until June 8 to fix deficit that is smaller than the $50 million and $60 million annual gaps of the past five years
By Kiley Russell
High energy and medical costs are forcing BART to grapple with an estimated $4.7 million shortfall in next year's budget.

The $557.3 million preliminary spending plan for fiscal year 2006-2007 was presented to the BART board Thursday. By June 8, when the final plan is due, the board will have to find a way to eliminate the deficit despite escalating costs and "extremely erratic" sales tax growth, said BART General Manager Thomas Margro.

Still, the budget gap is considerably smaller than the $50 million and $60 million annual shortfalls the transit agency has had during the past five years.

"It feels like we have a breather after five straight years of monstrous deficits," said BART spokesman Linton Johnson.

The transit agency expects a $52.2 million revenue increase. The added income is mostly attributable to ridership growth and the Jan. 1 fare increase that brought in almost $22 million over the previous year's ticket sales, Johnson said.

The system also expects nearly $11 million from federal and state transportation and maintenance grants.

At the same time, the preliminary budget shows BART spending $56.9 million more than this year, based largely on estimated power and labor cost increases.

The agency expects to spend more than $325 million on its workforce next year. The nearly $11 million increase is largely attributable to a 12 percent increase in medical costs.

It also expects to spend $40 million for power, almost $18 million more than this year. For the past decade, BART spent about $22 million a year for electricity, but that contract ends June 30 and the agency expects to enter a less advantageous market.

One major wrinkle remains before BART knows its exact deficit. The agency is in a dispute with the San Mateo County transit agency, which claims it no longer owes BART an $11 million annual payment for operating the San Francisco Airport extension.

It is unclear whether negotiators can reach an agreement before the BART budget is due.

Kiley Russell covers growth and development. Contact him at 925-952-5027 or krussell@cctimes.com.

04-15-2006, 04:10 PM
Fucking BART is always breaking down I hate that shit no bathrooms or any garbage cans in that bitch because of so-called terrorist threats

Soul Controller
04-16-2006, 08:29 AM
how mercury in vaccines causes Autism in kids - http://putchildrenfirst.org/

(dont take any medicine peoples!!)

the gospal of judas - http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/gate/archive/2006/04/14/notes041406.DTL

Fixed news network, adding pleasent 'spring' noises to videos from iraq - http://www.newshounds.us/2006/04/14/happy_little_birds_in_happy_little_iraq.php

Soul Controller
04-16-2006, 08:31 AM
whistleblower on how AT & T spy on the world - http://www.alternet.org/blogs/themix/34733/

dna held by british police - http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/crime/article357642.ece

Soul Controller
04-16-2006, 08:34 AM
New from Coke: A 'carbonated fusion' of caffeine and aspartame.
Mmmmmm, yummy

Coca Cola Blak: Shit in a bottle
Soft drink makers are always coming out with new flavors they hope will click with consumers.The Coca Cola Company has high hopes for Coke Blak, it's new "carbonated fusion beverage." The clever marketing people at Coke say Blak "fuses Coke effervescence with coffee essence."
The French have been able to sip Coke Blak for a few months now, but it just arrived in U.S. supermarkets last week. Blak comes in distinctive 8-ounce bottles (a 4-pak will run you around $6).
Each bottle has 45 calories, about half as much as you'll get in a 16-ounces bottle of regular coke. It also has about twice the caffeine.
For those who care about how their beverages are sweetened, Coke Blak has high fructose corn syrup and two artificial sweeteners - aspartame and acesulfame potassium.

Source:Komo News

you gota love how that aspartame gets everywhere,, almost as bad as mono sodium glutomate..

re-wireing ov the brains electrical signals..

04-17-2006, 05:14 AM

April 16, 2006

Mysterious ‘Ritual’ Performed By United States Military Forces In Babylon Raises Concerns Of Muslim And Russian Orthodox Religious Leaders

By: Sorcha Faal, and as reported to her Russian Subscribers

Russian Intelligence Analysts are reporting today on a bizarre religious ritual being preformed by elements of the United States Military, including some of their top leaders, in the closed Military Zone of the ancient city of Babylon in the Iraqi War Zone.

Seen by Russian satellite photos taken of the areas around Babylon, these reports state that the Americans have constructed a nearly one kilometer circle around their massive excavation of Babylon of a ‘Feathered Serpent’ in an apparent ritual relating to the ‘ancient objects’ they are about to unearth and have stationed giant US Military Cargo aircraft to bring to the United States, and which they have apparently been waiting to do on the specific date of April 16th.

Upon the complaints of the Iraqi Government to the Americans for the destruction of Babylon the US Military remains to this day defiant, and as we can read as reported by the UK’s Independent News Service in their article titled "US colonel offers Iraq an apology of sorts for devastation of Babylon", and which says:

"In an act of at least partial contrition, an officer in charge of the US military occupation of Babylon in 2003 and 2004 has offered to make a formal apology for the destruction his troops wrought on the ancient site. Colonel John Coleman, former chief of staff for the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force in Iraq, said yesterday that if the head of the Iraqi antiquities board wanted an apology, "if it makes him feel good, we can certainly give him one".

For more than a millennium, Babylon was one of the great cities of antiquity. It reached its greatest glory in the early 6th century BC, as the capital of Nebuchadnezzar II, builder of the celebrated Hanging Gardens."

The ‘Feathered Serpent’ aspect of this most strange ritual being performed by the Americans in their retrieval of their underground finds in the ancient vaults of Babylon lend further credence to historians who state that the actual name of America was taken from the Winged Serpent God of the Americas name in Peru, which is called Amaruca, and as we can read:

"In the most prevalent versions of American history, the origin of the name America is attributed to the Italian explorer Amerigo Vespucci. This popular distortion of the true origin of the native Amaruca, which translates as: Land of the Great Plumed Serpent, may be finally gaining more credibility among scholars to restore the name Amaruca to it's rightful place.

Recent discoveries in Peru may lead to more conclusive evidence concerning the relationships between North and South American indigenous peoples. As discoveries continue to unearth ancient Incan cities, writings pertaining to the mysterious origins of Amaruca are sure to be found. The Incas abandoned their towns and cities and retreated from the treasure-hunting Spanish invaders after the Conquistadors captured and executed the last Incan leader, Tupac Amaru, in 1572. Some of the cities have since been rediscovered, but many more are believed to lie hidden in the dense jungle."

Most concerning to both Muslim and Russian Religious Leaders of these mysterious events is the timing of them to coincided with the ancient Babylon Religious worship of Easter, but to which Western Christians have adopted as being the day their Lord arose from the dead, but in actuality is a celebration of the Darkest of the World’s powers, and as we can read:

"Most children and families who color or hide Easter eggs as part of their Resurrection Sunday tradition have no knowledge of the origin of these traditions. Easter egg activities have become a part of Western culture. Many would be surprised and even dismayed to learn where the traditions originated.

"The egg was a sacred symbol among the Babylonians. They believed an old fable about an egg of wondrous size which was supposed to have fallen from heaven into the Euphrates River. From this marvelous egg - according to the ancient story - the Goddess Astarte (Easter) [Semiramis], was hatched. And so the egg came to symbolize the Goddess Easter."

The idea of a mystic egg spread from Babylon to many parts of the world.[12] In Rome, the mystic egg preceded processions in honor of the Mother Goddess Roman. The egg was part of the sacred ceremonies of the Mysteries of Bacchus. The Druids used the egg as their sacred emblem. In Northern Europe, China and Japan the eggs were colored for their sacred festivals.

The egg was also a symbol of fertility; Semiramis (Easter) was the goddess of Fertility. The Easter egg is a symbol of the pagan Mother Goddess, and it even bears one of her names."

To the Darkness that has enveloped the Western peoples for their devotion to the ancient gods of darkness we have spoken of many times, but with these new events occurring in Babylon today the entire world should indeed shudder…for by all accounts, those cruel demons of our ancient days may be once again unleashed upon us all by the actions of the Americans.

For even in our most ancient of days these horrific dark masters were feared by the Angels themselves, and as war with the Persians of Iran is soon to occur, and which will undoubtedly unleash the largest war of all, it is well that we all remember the words of Daniel [10:20] about this greatest of beasts, read and understand:

"But I am going back to make war with the angel of Persia, and when I am gone, the angel of Greece will come. And there is no one on my side against these, but Michael, your angel."

© April 16, 2006 EU and US all rights reserved.

[Ed. Note: The United States government actively seeks to find, and silence, any and all opinions about the United States except those coming from authorized government and/or affiliated sources, of which we are not one. No interviews are granted and very little personal information is given about our contributors to protect their safety.]

i pitty all you who are proud to be Amuericans... i mean you can blame europe for all history's past fucked up events but

the greatest trick by the devil was creating RELIGION.. in a way many worship the devil n are happy.. then GUNS and CARS ... no other world inventions kill more every year!!!

Soul Controller
04-17-2006, 01:59 PM
Britain took part in mock Iran invasion

'British officers took part in a US war game aimed at preparing for a possible invasion of Iran, despite repeated claims by the foreign secretary, Jack Straw, that a military strike against Iran is inconceivable. The war game, codenamed Hotspur 2004, took place at the US base of Fort Belvoir in Virginia in July 2004.
A Ministry of Defence spokesman played down its significance yesterday. "These paper-based exercises are designed to test officers to the limit in fictitious scenarios. We use invented countries and situations using real maps," he said.'

Yeah, sure you did.

full story =- http://www.guardian.co.uk/print/0%2C%2C329458147-103685%2C00.html

Soul Controller
04-17-2006, 02:00 PM
Massive New U.S. Embassy in Iraq
(Yes, of course, they always had every intention of leaving)

Construction underway ...
'The fortress-like compound rising beside the Tigris River here will be the largest of its kind in the world, the size of Vatican City, with the population of a small town, its own defense force, self-contained power and water, and a precarious perch at the heart of Iraq's turbulent future. he new U.S. Embassy also seems as cloaked in secrecy as the ministate in Rome.
"We can't talk about it. Security reasons," Roberta Rossi, a spokeswoman at the current embassy, said when asked for information about the project.'

Read more ... (http://www.commondreams.org/headlines06/0415-07.htm)

04-17-2006, 02:31 PM
yes both of these things have great meaning SC for the future but still have no idea what kind of artifacts are there in Iran..

04-17-2006, 06:58 PM


















Aqueous Moon
04-18-2006, 04:40 PM
Mom, daughter brawl at park
By Tracy Manzer and David Rogers, Staff writers (tracy.manzer@presstelegram.com)
SIGNAL HILL — A fight between a mother and her daughter at a local park Sunday escalated into an hourlong brawl that left a police officer hurt and resulted in four arrests, including the mother on a warrant for alleged elder abuse.
Police were called to Signal Hill Park, near the rear of the police station, around 5:30 p.m. after an anonymous tipster told them a fight had broken out, said Sgt. Mike Reid, spokesman for the Signal Hill Police Department.
When police arrived they found that Susana Rosales, 45, of Wilmington and her daughter Evelyn Rosas, 31, of Torrance had been fighting. Some of their relatives were trying to restrain Rosales, who appeared to be drunk, the sergeant said.
As the officers walked up to the women and began to ask questions, three men intervened and began fighting with police, which touched off the hour-long struggle, Reid said.
Long Beach Police were called in to provide backup. One Signal Hill officer suffered minor injuries in the confrontation and was treated and released from a local hospital that same day, Reid said. Another officer received a minor injury when a probe from her Taser got caught on her hand, Reid said.
Arrested were Adrian Isreal Hernandez, 24, of Long Beach, Ruben Linares Jr., 18, of Wilmington and Juan Jose Perez, 24, of http://extras.mnginteractive.com/live/std/clear.gifhttp://extras.mnginteractive.com/live/std/clear.gifhttp://extras.mnginteractive.com/live/std/clear.gifAdvertisementGetAd('tile','box','/news_article','','www.presstelegram.com','','null' ,'null');http://extras.mnginteractive.com/live/std/clear.gifhttp://extras.mnginteractive.com/live/std/clear.gifRiverside. All three face charges of interfering with and obstructing a police officer in the performance of his or her duty, while Hernandez faces a charge of assault on a police officer and Perez faces a charge of battery against a police officer, Reid said. Linares is a son of Rosales, Reid said.
Rosales was being held by Long Beach police because Signal Hill didn't have a matron available for her, Reid said. The charge was for physical elder abuse, but Reid said he didn't know whether Rosales was accused of inflicting abuse or of allowing abuse to take place. The warrant was from the Los Angeles Police Department Harbor Division, and attempts to reach a detective there were unsuccessful late Monday afternoon.
Reid said Rosales also faces a public intoxication and disturbing the peace charge. Reid said the argument between mother and daughter was triggered by the mother's drinking.

galt john galt
04-18-2006, 04:59 PM
Enterprise zones found to be failing
Report says tax breaks not going to areas that are most in need
Tom Chorneau, Chronicle Staff Writer

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

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Sacramento -- Tax breaks intended to spur growth in depressed parts of the state are instead going to wealthy companies located in some of the most prosperous parts of California -- including San Francisco and Oakland -- according to a new report on enterprise zones released today.

The incentive program was started more than 20 years ago with the goal of encouraging business owners to locate in blighted areas and to hire disadvantaged workers.

But a review from the California Budget Project found that the program has failed to target those areas most in need of the incentives and that the biggest tax breaks have gone to companies that don't create new jobs or hire disadvantaged workers.

The analysis found that 42 enterprise zones cost the state $300 million in tax income in 2003, the last year for which data are available. The program overall has cost more than $1.5 billion since it started in 1986.

"The program is just too large and isn't reaching the communities, businesses and workers it was created to target," said Jean Ross, executive director of the California Budget Project, a nonprofit group that evaluates the impact of state spending on low- and middle-income families.

The report comes as legislators consider whether to reauthorize the program or limit its scope. Ross and her organization are advocating for a much smaller program that would better target depressed areas.

She said the San Francisco zone, in particular, is one that should be dropped from the program. Ross pointed out that it encompasses some of the city's most economically robust districts including Union Square, Nob Hill, the Civic Center and Chinatown.

Supporters of the program dispute Ross' findings and argue that the state tax breaks have done exactly what they were intended to do -- spur growth.

Chris Micheli, spokesman for the Association of Enterprise Zone Employers, said San Francisco is a good example of a city where the tax breaks helped turn things around.

He pointed out that for a zone to be designated, it must meet certain guidelines for unemployment and poverty -- which the San Francisco zone did when it was established in 1992. Now that the city had rebounded, he said, some neighborhoods might be dropped from the zone if city officials sought reauthorization.

"If it was to be reauthorized now, it would still have to meet those standards so it probably would not look the same," he said. "I would argue that the program has been successful."

His group released its own evaluation of the program earlier this year, finding a net benefit to the state of $1.7 billion.

The state has authorized 42 enterprise zones across California, including Oakland, San Jose and Richmond. In 2003, businesses located inside the San Francisco zone took the highest amount of tax credits, costing the state almost $14 million. Oakland cost $9.2 million and San Jose $6.9 million.

Ross argues that the tax breaks were not necessary to improve conditions in San Francisco. She said that a scarcity of real estate and regional economic conditions set off by the high tech boom would have transformed the area anyway.

But Wes Dixon, president of the Private Industry Council of San Francisco, which helps manage the San Francisco enterprise zone, said the city still needs the tax credits. He pointed out that some of the tax breaks are given to companies that hire disadvantaged workers -- such as the homeless, the disabled or the non-English-speaking.

But Ross said employers are not required to keep good hiring records. She noted a 2003 audit done on the enterprise zone in Oakland that criticized the city's process for evaluating employers' hiring of the disabled and awarding of tax credits.

There are 18 zones set to expire at the end of this year and 13 more -- including San Francisco's -- that will expire next year. Legislators are contemplating different bills that could extend the program five years or longer.

E-mail Tom Chorneau at tchorneau@sfchronicle.com.

04-18-2006, 08:08 PM
Bombing won't halt aid to Palestinians
By Audrey Young

New Zealand will continue to give $500,000 in humanitarian aid to the Hamas-governed Palestinian territories despite a suicide bomb attack against Israel the Palestinian Authority described as "self-defence".

Prime Minister Helen Clark said yesterday that New Zealand would be guided by the attitude of such bodies as Unicef and the UN Relief and Work Agency and New Zealand's friends in them.

She was questioned about it in light of the bombings by Islamic Jihad in Tel Aviv at the weekend that killed nine people. Hamas has largely stuck to a year-long ceasefire but spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri described the bombing as "a natural result of the continued Israeli crimes against our people".

"Our people are in a state of self-defence and they have every right to use all means to defend themselves," he was reported as saying.

The moderate Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, condemned the bombings.

Hamas swept to power in January but has disregarded international calls, including from this country, to renounce violence and recognise Israel's right to exist.

The European Union and the United States have cut direct bilateral aid totalling more than $1.6 billion to the Palestinian Authority.

New Zealand does not give aid directly to the territories. But soon after Hamas was elected to power, Foreign Minister Winston Peters said New Zealand aid - most recently through a World Bank-managed fund - would continue and that the Hamas-led Government should be judged on its actions.

Helen Clark said yesterday: "There will be a dialogue that's going on but I am not aware of any large-scale withdrawal of support for basic relief-type work.

"And it has to be remembered that even with a regime as repugnant to us as the one in North Korea we have continued to put in relief aid through international agencies so as not to see families literally starve."

She condemned the suicide bombings saying "You cannot justify suicide bombings at all in any way."

04-18-2006, 08:16 PM
Pitcairn looks to break out of its isolation
By Angela Gregory

Hit by sex scandals, the loss of its regular shipping service and slumping stamp profits, the embattled community of Pitcairn Island is slowly beginning to fight back for its long-term survival.

Under the guidance of Pitcairn's Auckland-based commissioner, Leslie Jaques, a number of projects are under way on the remote island group to try to improve its sustainability.

British-born Mr Jaques, who has lived in New Zealand for the past 25 years, was appointed to the operational role of commissioner by the Governor of Pitcairn (the British High Commissioner to New Zealand) in 2003, just months after sex charges were laid against Pitcairn island men that would divide the community.

In 2004, six of those men were found guilty of serious charges against minors, and a final appeal against the legal process is to be heard in July at the Privy Council in London.

But for Mr Jaques, whose background is in finance and banking, the focus is on the long-term future and moving the island towards a more secure and self-reliant economic footing.

He admits his first public meeting on Pitcairn was a "riot" as the islanders had not realised how badly they were losing money. But he has revisited about half a dozen times since and says the locals' feelings towards him have warmed.

He acknowledges that Pitcairn had previously been badly run, and the islanders are now starting to accept they need to respond to change.

Mr Jaques told a recent breakfast business meeting in Auckland how he would never forget his first sight of Pitcairn Island - "its intimidating beauty, its volcanic cliffs rising from the South Pacific. A sense of history, a sense of apprehension".

He said it would not be an exaggeration to say that Pitcairn, one of the world's most isolated islands, was at a major crossroads. It has a population of about 55, most of whom are descendants of the Bounty mutineers and their Tahitian consorts who arrived in 1790.

By the start of this century Pitcairn had faced major problems, including the serious charges of rape and sexual abuse against children, the drying up of its main income streams and accumulated reserves, and the loss of its only regular shipping route, Mr Jaques said.

For years Pitcairn's primary source of revenue was from philately (stamp collecting) which enabled substantial surpluses to be built up. But that has declined progressively in the last decade partly because the internet has significantly reduced the number of letters being written and stamp collectors are a dying breed.

"Pitcairn didn't see this coming, didn't adapt, didn't prepare, and its income was reduced by over 80 per cent in 10 years," Mr Jaques said.

The former administration responded by cutting essential repairs, maintenance and essential services, which proved costly to rectify. Accumulated surpluses had absorbed the losses until they too ran out in December 2004 and Pitcairn went into budgetary aid.

Mr Jaques said Pitcairn's overheads were significantly greater than its income. The British could either keep putting money into a bucket with a hole in the bottom or invest to create a more sustainable economy and the opportunity for self-sufficiency in the future.

Mr Jaques' role as a commissioner is to administer Pitcairn in conjunction with its elected island council and in tandem with the Governor's office in Wellington as the Queen's representative.

In restructuring Pitcairn's economy they had divided what needed to be done into three key areas - wealth creation, infrastructure and services.

The aim was to invest in Pitcairn's future and create a sustainable economy with full employment, higher standards of living, greater discretionary dollars, improved communications, both transport and technology, with improved access and affordable regular transport for Pitcairners.

"What will hopefully be achieved by all of this will be repopulation."

Mr Jaques said the initial aim was for a population of 120 people. Given it peaked in 1939 at 233 inhabitants, there should be sustainable resources to accommodate that growth.

Already significant steps had been undertaken to increase the island's income. The revamped stamp operation was outsourced to experts in Wellington, the website upgraded into an interactive shopping trolley, complimentary lines were introduced and the initiatives were starting to bear fruit.

Mr Jaques has been keen to see Pitcairn better milk the profits of its honey, one of the purest in the world and one of only two allowed into New Zealand.

"We have reformed a revamped co-operative, split hives and are looking to increase production from 6000 250gm units to 24,000 250gm units per annum."

The first commercial shipment to Japan was made last year.Mr Jaques, awarded an OBE for services to British-New Zealand trade in 1998, was also planning to meet Fortnum and Masons in London in late April to explore options for selling the honey in superior outlets.

A comprehensive report on tourism had also shown potential.

There were currently 40 cruise ships that travel the Easter Island to Tahiti route but only about 10 currently call at Pitcairn.

"Most say they would call if they were able to lower their own tenders and transport their passengers into a safe harbour."

Funding was being sought for a $13.5 million breakwater to allow the tenders to come in. Mr Jaques hoped the project could be put out to international tender by mid-year, with construction beginning in early 2007 and completed by early 2008.

The breakwater project will also provide opportunities for Pitcairners based in New Zealand, where most go, to return to work on the island.

Mr Jaques said more able bodied men were needed and he was pleased some families were already committed to returning to help with various projects.

He said eco-tourism was another avenue to be developed. An eco-trail was due to open this year capitalising on Pitcairn's unique flora and fauna. Pitcairn has 11 endemic plant species, some so rare they have not yet been named.

Henderson Island, one of the four islands comprising the Pitcairn group, was already a world heritage site with its own endemic plants and three of the world's rarest birds.

He also saw potential in whale watching as they come in close to the islands at certain times of the year to feed.

"So we have history, heritage, culture, eco-adventure to attract cruise ship day-trippers and much more to attract longer-stay, higher-value, high-intelligence visitors like archaeologists, anthropologists, botanists and ornithologists."

Mr Jaques was also investigating fishing opportunities within Pitcairn's 800,000 sq km exclusive economic zone and was considering short-term leasing of the marine-rich waters.

Meanwhile, infrastructure is being developed, like the rebuilding of the slipway and jetty and the building of a cement road up the aptly named Hill of Difficulty. The $5 million projects, paid for by Britain, were completed on time and inside budget in September.

Recommendations from a comprehensive communications review were due to be implemented in the coming financial year. They included video conferencing facilities which would be used for medical consultations and education. For the first time each home would have a private telephone linked to the New Zealand system. Previously communications were made through shipping radio frequencies where everyone could listen in.

There would be increased internet bandwidth and, in another first, television broadcasts via satellite have been approved by the island council.

In the 2006/07 budget, wind generators were planned to provide 24-hour power. They would supplement two diesel generators which currently provide power for 10 hours a day from 8am to 1pm and from 5pm to 10pm.

A memorandum of understanding between Pitcairn and its closest neighbour, French Polynesia, was signed in February this year, the first that Pitcairn had negotiated in its own right. It is intended to open up trade, tourism and immigration routes, and provides the ability to source supplies from French Polynesia as well as New Zealand. It also allows for six regular shipping services to Pitcairn each year, carrying passengers and freight.

Mr Jaques said there was full employment on Pitcairn. Job descriptions have been written and performance appraisals introduced for government jobs

"A CV has been written for every islander and we are moving towards a more egalitarian society."

Pensions for senior citizens were increased by 14 per cent this financial year and islanders had taken advantage of a scheme to upgrade their properties to accommodate home-stay tourists.

Mr Jaques said education was a key to strengthening and sustaining the community.

"In May, we rebuild the school, sending a powerful message about the future."

It would have a sixth form common room for adult education to encourage adults to prepare for new industries and take a more responsible role within the community.

A museum to house a collection of Polynesian pre-history and Bounty and post-Bounty artefacts including the Bounty Bible was opened in August 2005.

"We are actively seeking the return of Pitcairn artefacts from museums and collections around the world."

Mr Jaques said if a remote community like Pitcairn was to survive, it must change its mindset and be attractive to new generations.

Access, communication, full employment, a fairer society and the rule of law would encourage Pitcairners to return home and new people to settle.

"We are looking at ways to help with financial packages to encourage repopulation of those with particular skills."

The British Government, working with the European Union, still had a firm commitment to Pitcairn. Its white paper, Partnership to Peace and Prosperity, recognised Pitcairners' rights to self-determination and for them to remain with Britain as long as they wanted.

But Mr Jaques said they wanted to remain with Britain but they also needed to be empowered to take control of their destiny and that was a challenge.

"They need to take leading roles and express themselves, have confidence ... we are all working together to build a better tomorrow."

Isle of history

* Pitcairn is a United Kingdom overseas territory, of which there are 14 scattered around the world including Bermuda, Gibraltar, the Falkland Islands, Anguilla, Montserrat, Cayman Islands and St Helena.

* It is 4.7 sq km and situated about 5500km northeast of New Zealand, roughly halfway between New Zealand and Peru.

* Its nearest landfall is 550km away in Mangareva, one of the Gambier Islands in French Polynesia.

* Pitcairn was originally occupied by Polynesians from about AD800 to AD1400 but was uninhabited when the Bounty mutineers arrived in 1790 seeking a refuge.

* Pitcairn was the name of the midshipman who was the first European to sight the Island, in July, 1767 aboard HMS Swallow.

04-18-2006, 08:18 PM
One-stop shop idea for victims of violence
By Jarrod Booker

Visiting experts say "one-stop shops" for victims of domestic violence would save lives and get more abuse sufferers to come forward.

Most New Zealand murders are domestic-related, and Gisborne, Nelson and Christchurch have been suggested as potential sites for the country's first such centre.

It would be modelled on the highly successful San Diego Family Justice Centre, which brings police, social workers, counsellors, doctors, lawyers and prosecutors together under one roof.

Prosecutor Gael Strack and Dr George McClane, both from the San Diego centre, told a Christchurch audience yesterday that the idea was to save distressed victims from having to front up to various government and non-profit agencies scattered across a city.

At the centre victims could get food, shelter, medical help, legal advice, protection orders and - if they wished - make a complaint with police.

Cases were also investigated and prepared for prosecution at the centre.

The Americans' call comes a month after Principal Family Court Judge Peter Boshier told a hui domestic violence was a scourge which must be addressed by the whole of society.

Judge Boshier said over half the murders in New Zealand were the result of domestic violence.

Police statistics show a growing rate of callouts to domestic disputes. In 2002-03 there were 24,700 callouts. In 2004-05 it was 30,692.

Mrs Strack said: "We are making it much easier for victims of domestic violence and their children to seek services, and because they are seeking services, we are seeing our homicide rate drop dramatically."

In 1985, San Diego averaged 30 domestic violence homicides a year. So far this year there had been one.

"It is probably the biggest initiative San Diego has done in the past 20 years. I didn't realise how empowering it was going to be for all of us until we had this army of people all working together," Mrs Strack said.

Centres had since sprang up across the United States, and in Canada, Mexico and Australia.

Mrs Strack urged New Zealand to follow. "All we can do is hope we can impact on the next generation, and the next."

She said Christchurch could be a good spot for the country's first family justice centre.

Inspector Rob Veale, head of the police Violence Reduction Unit, said it was not for police to decide where a centre could be set up.

He told the Herald it would be up to energetic communities to get centres running in their own cities and towns.

Police in Nelson had been trying for two years to set up a centre similar to the one in San Diego, but had met widespread resistance.

Mrs Strack said it had not been easy bringing the various organisations together in San Diego. The idea was born in 1989, and it took 13 years.

When she originally asked the city's police what it would take to get some of their staff to shift into the centre "you would have thought that the room was set on fire".

The national manager of the National Collective of Independent Women's Refuges, Heather Henare, welcomed any move to increase resources for combating domestic violence, but had doubts about the "one-stop shop" idea.

"For New Zealand, I think it is slightly unrealistic in the current environment since the Government can't adequately fund the services we have got now. Ideally, what we probably need to be concentrating on is what services we have and how we fund them.

The Government had already spent $15 million establishing family safety teams that brought agencies together.

Aqueous Moon
04-19-2006, 03:55 PM
Bubonic plague case in L.A.
By Alicia Chang, Associated Press
LOS ANGELES — A woman was hospitalized earlier this month with bubonic plague, the first confirmed human case in Los Angeles County in more than two decades, health officials said Tuesday.
The woman, who was not identified, was admitted April 13 with a fever, swollen lymph nodes and other symptoms. A blood test confirmed she had contracted the bacterial disease. The woman was placed on antibiotics and is in stable condition, officials said.
Bubonic plague is not contagious, but if left untreated it can morph into pneumonic plague, which can be spread from person to person. Bubonic plague is usually transmitted to humans from the bites of fleas infected by dead rodents.
Health officials suspect the woman was exposed to fleas in her central Los Angeles home, said Dr. Jonathan Fielding, the county's director of public health. The woman's family was also placed on antibiotics as a precaution, but there's no evidence they were infected.
The case is unusual because it occurred in an urban area, Fielding said. Most bubonic plague outbreaks happen in rural communities.
Health officials said there was no cause for panic because the disease is not easily transmissible.
"There's no cause for alarm in the community," Fielding said.
Health officials went to the woman's home Monday to trap squirrels and other wild animals. Blood samples from the animals will be sent to a lab to determine if any are infected.
An estimated 10 to 20 Americans contract http://extras.mnginteractive.com/live/std/clear.gifhttp://extras.mnginteractive.com/live/std/clear.gifhttp://extras.mnginteractive.com/live/std/clear.gifAdvertisementGetAd('tile','box','/news_article','','www.presstelegram.com','','null' ,'null'); http://oascentral.zwire.com/RealMedia/ads/adstream_nx.ads/www.dailynews.com/pandg300X250.html/@Topx (http://www.wutang-corp.com/forum/) http://extras.mnginteractive.com/live/std/clear.gifhttp://extras.mnginteractive.com/live/std/clear.gifplague each year, mostly in rural communities. About one in seven cases is fatal, according to federal statistics.
The last human cases of plague in Los Angeles County occurred in 1984 when three people contracted the disease. Two of those cases were travel-related and the third involved a person exposed to a sick animal. All three survived.
Bubonic plague, also known as the Black Death, killed an estimated 25 million people in Europe between 1346 and 1351. The last major urban outbreak in the United States occurred in Los Angeles in 1924-25, when at least 30 people died.
In California, bubonic plague is prevalent among squirrels in the Angeles National Forest and other parks. Health officials regularly warn campers and hikers to take precaution against the disease by avoiding infected animals. The plague is considered a bioterrorism agent, and state law requires that doctors report suspected cases to local health departments.

04-20-2006, 05:34 PM
Kindy arsenic eight times over limit
By David Eames

Soil tests taken in an Auckland kindergarten garden area have revealed lead contamination more than seven times the acceptable standard and arsenic contamination eight times over the limit.

Papers released to the Herald yesterday by Auckland City Council show four tests for lead, arsenic and benzo-a-pyrene taken at Ferndale Kindergarten in Mt Albert returned too-high readings on every occasion.

The surface samples at one area found lead contamination at 2160milligrams per kilogram of soil. The acceptable limit is 300mg/kg.

The worst-case reading for arsenic was 384mg/kg. The maximum acceptable reading is 30mg/kg.

The lowest benzo-a-pyrene reading was 20 times above the level high enough to prompt a council investigation of a site.

The tests were carried out this month after a study showed an area near the kindergarten was previously used for "horticultural purposes".

The report says: "The risk is likely to be low for most children who do not regularly eat soil."

Children with "a tendency to eat large amounts of dirt", could be exposed to higher levels of lead, arsenic and benzo-a-pyrene, the report says.

Some of the contaminated soil had been laid only this year.

A Ferndale Kindergarten parent contacted the Herald yesterday worried that Auckland City Council has no record of when lead-contaminated soil was placed at the kindergarten, or its origin.

"Of interest was the fact that this soil had only been in place for about three months but the council was unable to disclose where the soil has been sourced from. It goes without saying the soil was not tested at its source," the man said in an email to the Herald yesterday.

The man - who did not wish to be named - wants to know why the soil was not tested for contaminants at source, and whether the same fill had been used on other Auckland sites.

Those who attended a council-organised meeting at the Mt Albert kindergarten on Wednesday night to discuss toxic soil were told of "a high level of lead contamination in a small garden area".

But that was all the council representative, Deputy Mayor Bruce Hucker, could tell the parents, the man said. "Council were not exactly keen to be asked questions about where that dirt came from. They didn't have an answer."

The media was banned from the meeting and earlier meetings.

A council spokeswoman said yesterday it was working with the Auckland Kindergarten Association to determine how much soil had been dumped on the site, and when.

"That's obviously something we need to look into."

Council and kindergartens had a landlord-tenant relationship, and council staff would have had no part in the installation of the potentially toxic fill, she said.

Council testing of the Ferndale site had revealed "elevated levels" of arsenic, lead and benzo-a-pyrene that were "outside of the thresholds that we use", the spokeswoman said.

Auckland Kindergarten Association boss Tanya Harvey said there could have been some confusion over whether the topsoil was contaminated before it was placed at Ferndale. An investigation was under way to see if tests were taken specifically from the area covered with the topsoil.

She said she had been assured by the council that topsoil was tested for contamination before being placed on a new site.

Auckland City Council also announced yesterday that blood samples from children at another contaminated site, Auckland Central Playcentre in Freemans Bay, have showed no elevated levels of lead in their systems.

Public health service staff usually investigate when the levels are above 15mcg per decilitre of blood, but all children tested at Auckland Central Playcentre came in at below 10mcg, the council said.

Mr Hucker said: "It is tangible proof that the risk of exposure to contaminants at this site has been low for these children and that's something we can all be grateful for."

The Freemans Bay playcentre was one of nine preschools tested for contamination from the cancer-causing chemical benzo-a-pyrene following a council desktop study which suggested the land they were on may have contaminants from previous uses.

A kindergarten in Point Chevalier and the Mt Wellington Playcentre have been tested and cleaned up after chemicals were found about half a metre under the surface, and clean-up at Auckland Central Playcentre has just finished.

Work has begun to clean up the Barnardos Early Learning Centre, also in Freemans Bay, and at the Community Hall play area in Ellerslie.

Testing has also found contaminants at Onehunga Playcentre. The results from a second Mt Albert playcentre are not available yet.

04-20-2006, 05:47 PM
http://media.apn.co.nz/webcontent/image/jpg/21PhilGoff.jpgPhil Goff (left) and Donald Rumsfeld at the Pentagon. Picture / Reuters
Goff talks nukes with embattled Rumsfeld
By Fran O'Sullivan

WASHINGTON - It was show-time at the Pentagon yesterday when United States Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld broke from strenuously defending his Iraq record to meet Phil Goff.

Six former US generals are calling for Mr Rumsfeld's head as opinion polls turn against the Bush Administration's handling of the Iraq invasion.

But Mr Rumsfeld still turned on a guard of honour for New Zealand's Defence and Trade Minister on the Pentagon steps, even though New Zealand did not join the American-led invasion.

Mr Goff, who arrived in Washington in the midst of President George W. Bush's surprise White House reshuffle, found Mr Rumsfeld fairly chirpy under the circumstances.

But this was also a business meeting and an "engaging and constructive one" at that, said the NZ minister.

Mr Goff has met a stellar line-up of powerful figures during his first visit to Washington as Trade and Defence Minister after relinquishing foreign affairs to NZ First's Winston Peters.

Mr Goff also met the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Peter Pace, and officers at the National Security Council.

On the agenda at yesterday's meeting were the riots in the Solomons, the long-standing nuclear ships issue and Afghanistan.

New Zealand's foreign policy-makers have made a deliberate point of underlining to Washington the extent of New Zealand's engagement in maintaining security in the increasingly unstable South Pacific.

They want to move the bilateral debate on to New Zealand's real contribution in the region and away from the nuclear policy issues which have been a sticking point in the relationship for two decades.

"I was able to background him [General Pace] on the Solomon riots and the need for stronger intervention by our military and police," said Mr Goff.

NZ's disproportionate effort in Afghanistan, where it contributes far more troops on a per capita basis than other countries, was noted, he said.

So, too, was the recent commitment to extend the term of the provincial reconstruction teams. But there was no US request this time for New Zealand to extend military support elsewhere.

Mr Goff said he also tabled the nuclear issue "because we don't pretend it doesn't exist".

"Both sides hold their opinions. But we want to move to common understanding based on our shared obligations and values."

He said New Zealand's nuclear ships ban was still cited by some in Washington as a negative factor in the relationship. Some observers believed it had prevented New Zealand from getting a place in the US free trade negotiating queue.

The minister's high-level meetings come on the eve of the inaugural Partnership Forum, a non-governmental leadership dialogue organised by the New Zealand-United States Council and its Washington counterpart, to look at the relationship between the two countries.

Mr Goff and US Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill will address the gathering. Mr Goff will also give a speech at the National Defence University in Washington.

Soul Controller
04-21-2006, 09:07 PM

this isnt news but a pretty sick website, scroll down on the 1st page,
the website is pretty sick, dark humour
facts backed with links.



Soul Controller
04-22-2006, 07:55 AM
Hope over £2.99 spray
By Greig Box
AN ORDINARY handwash costing just £2.99 can kill the bird flu virus in 30 seconds, tests have found.
No-Germs, a simple hand spray, has been on sale over the counter for two years. But when the H5N1 avian flu outbreak gathered pace among birds, No-Germs owners decided to test it against the virus.
The results, revealed yesterday, were remarkable - the handwash was more tha 99.8 per cent efficient in killing H5N1. The discovery has been heralded as a "major breakthrough" - particularly if the virus ever mutates into a human form.
Sean Campbell, managing director of the British company behind the product, said: "We are very excited.
"We tested the product against H5N1 on the off-chance. We were confident it would work as it kills most viruses, including hospital superbug MRSA.
"The tests are incredibly thorough and took a few months
We put the virus into kidney cells, then the product. The test was whether the product protected the kidney cells from the virus, which it did.


"Eighty per cent of all common illnesses are spread by hand to mouth, nose and eye contact. Killing the H5N1 virus before it has a chance to enter the body is the key.

"On average, people touch their faces every five minutes and that is how germs spread.

"We can say with total confidence No-Germs will protect against H5N1. We will now work hard to get the product included in any H5N1 emergency pack."

No-Germs is already widely available in the UK.

Stores including Tesco, Boots, WH Smith, Londis, Moto and Superdrug have stocked it.

The product was developed two years ago in an effort to tackle MRSA.

No-Germs was tested against a strain of H5N1 at a lab at Queen Mary's School of Medicine and Dentistry in the University of London.

H5N1 has killed more than 100 people worldwide - but almost all were in direct contact with diseased birds.

http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/tm_objectid=16968301%26method=full%26siteid=66633% 26headline=handwash-kills-bird-flu-bug-in-30-seconds-name_page.html

bird flu is a hoax,
u will get the disease once u r injected with the immunisation


Soul Controller
04-23-2006, 02:52 PM
Save The Net - Congress
Sells Out The American Public
From Dahr Jamail
By Robert W. McChesney
President - Free Press
4-21-6 Congress is about to sell out the Internet by letting big phone and cable companies set up toll booths along the information superhighway. Companies like AT&T, Verizon and Comcast are spending tens of millions in Washington to kill "network neutrality" -- a principle that keeps the Internet open to all. A bill moving quickly through Congress would let these companies become Internet gatekeepers, deciding which Web sites go fast or slow -- and which won't load at all -- based on who pays them more. The rest of us will be detoured to the "slow lane," clicking furiously and waiting for our favorite sites to download. Don't let Congress ruin the Internet: Rep. Joe Barton http://www.savetheinternet.com (http://www.savetheinternet.com/) Congress Sells Out After accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars in contributions from big telecom firms, Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas) is sponsoring a bill to hand over the Internet to these same companies. He's not alone. Where Does Your Representative Stand? http://www.savetheinternet.com/=map (http://www.savetheinternet.com/%3Dmap) Act Now: Save the Internet http://action.freepress.net/campaign/savethenet/i73nxku49jnx8jd? *Tell Congress to Save Net Neutrality Now* http://action.freepress.net/campaign/savethenet/i73nxku49jnx8jd? Our elected representatives are trading favors for campaign donations from phone and cable companies. They're being wooed by people like AT&T's CEO, who says "the Internet can't be free" and wants to decide what you do, where you go and what you watch online. The best ideas never come from those with the deepest pockets. If the phone and cable companies get their way, the free and open Internet could soon be fenced in by large corporations. If Congress turns the Internet over to giants like AT&T, everyone who uses the Internet will suffer: * *Google users* -- Another search engine could pay AT&T to guarantee that it opens faster than Google on your computer. * *iPod listeners* -- Comcast could slow access to iTunes, steering you to a higher-priced music service that paid for the privilege. * *Work-at-home parents* -- Connecting to your office could take longer if you don't purchase your carrier's preferred applications. Sending family photos and videos could slow to a crawl. * *Retirees* -- Web pages you always use for online banking, access to health care information, planning a trip or communicating with friends and family could fall victim to Verizon's pay-for-speed schemes. * *Bloggers* -- Costs will skyrocket to post and share video and audio clips -- silencing citizen journalists and amplifying the mainstream media. * *Online activists* -- Political organizing could be slowed by the handful of dominant Internet providers who ask advocacy groups to pay a fee to join the "fast lane." * *Small businesses* -- When AT&T favors their own services, you won't be able to choose more affordable providers for online video, teleconferencing, and Internet phone calls. * *Innovators with the "next big idea"* -- Startups and entrepreneurs will be muscled out of the marketplace by big corporations that pay for a top spot on the Web. We can't let Congress ruin the free and open Internet. *Let Congress Know that You Want Net Neutrality Now* http://action.freepress.net/campaign/savethenet/i73nxku49jnx8jd? We must act now or lose the Internet as we know it. Onward, Robert W. McChesney President Free Press www.freepress.net P.S. Visit www.SavetheInternet.com <http://www.savetheinternet.com> to contact your representative, learn more about this issue, and discuss this campaign with other activists. P.P.S. Tell your friends about this campaign http://action.freepress.net/campaign/savethenet/forward. If you received this message from a friend, you can sign up for the Free Press at: http://action.freepress.net/freepress/join.html?r=77MST6F1mj1kE& (c)2004, 2005 Dahr Jamail. All images, photos, photography and text are protected by United States and international copyright law. If you would like to reprint Dahr's Dispatches on the web, you need to include this copyright notice and a prominent link to the http://DahrJamailIraq.com website. Website by photographer Jeff Pflueger's Photography Media http://jeffpflueger.com . Any other use of images, photography, photos and text including, but not limited to, reproduction, use on another website, copying and printing requires the permission of Dahr Jamail. Of course, feel free to forward Dahr's dispatches via email. More writing, commentary, photography, pictures and images at http://dahrjamailiraq.com

04-24-2006, 01:51 PM
Interesting articles soul controller

04-25-2006, 07:01 AM
AFRICAN Union Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) ministers are pushing strongly for governments across the continent to abolish duplicate ICT focal ministries, as that stalled ICT advancement.

This also creates unnecessary bureaucracy in government systems, contended the officials, whose ICT conference was held last week. African ICT ministers were meeting for the first time under the auspices of the AU to consider strategies of improving ICT development in the region. The ministers meeting observed that the implementation of ICT in particular and World Summit on Information Society resolutions in general in African countries is being hampered by the fact that more than one ministry was championing the ICT agenda. This, they said, was militating against initiative, responsibility and accountability in the field. Ministers, however, noted that the structures of governments were a sovereign right of countries but encouraged rationalisation of the structures to promote efficiency in the co-ordination and implementation of projects. The meeting, instead, proposed ICT should be housed within the information, broadcasting and related ministries key to dissemination of major government data. "Africa’s various ministries, which carry the same functions are hampering ICT growth," commented an official from Kenya. "I think it’s important for African governments to split these ministries, if we are to break the region’s digital divide and enhance Africa’s ICT sector development." In Africa, a substantial number of countries have stand-alone ministries such as Transportation; Communication and Publicity; Information and Publicity; Science and Information Communication Technology, etc. But the problem emanates when ministries fall head-on for an ICT base, which should be a grid for networking all key sectors of an economy such as financial and manufacturing, as well as connecting other government departments. In Zimbabwe, there is the Information and Publicity, Transport and Communication, and the Science and Technology ministries. The functions of these ministries are more or less interrelated, but the major platform for information dissemination lies in the Information and Publicity ministry, which links all Government departments. The Minister of Information and Publicity, Ambassador Tichaona Jokonya, yesterday said Zimbabwe was raring to go, and was in the race for the development of ICT. He suggested that African countries establish independent parastatals falling rightly under management of the information ministry from which ICT development would spring to other sectors of the economy. Effective ICT in Africa, as agreed by ministers and other experts in Cairo, should target to connect villages and establish community access points, as well to connect all universities, colleges, secondary and primary schools with ICT. Africa should also aim to ensure the continent’s populace has access to TV and radio services while at the same time ensuring member countries adopt ICTs in their primary and secondary curricula to meet the challenges of the information society taking into account national circumstances. Rtd Major Anywhere Mutambudzi, Principal Press Secretary (Security) in the Ministry of Information and Publicity, said: "Recognising the important role of ICT in promoting development, including achievement of the MDGs, it is now time for the African continent to start the implementation of the agreed decisions and action plan in order to realise these set goals. We are excited about the commitment being shown by Africa in advancing ICT." As ICTs are becoming more widely used and benefiting more people, the majority of African population either does not reap these benefits or are effectively cut off from them. As a result, in the digital society, Africa’s economic and social performance will greatly depend on the extent the continent can use the potential of ICTs in incorporating them in Africa’s different economies and building up a knowledge-based society. Already, the AU has identified the widening digital divide between Africa and the rest of the world as a key challenge. In fact, the body takes note that ICTs are key ingredients for speeding up development in Africa, particularly in trade and business promotion, providing universal access to education and health and promoting good governance.

Strange Fruit
04-25-2006, 07:47 AM
Jacob Zuma (south africa's former vice president) is up on trail for raping a woman ( woman of 31 he is 62) he has known since she was a girl.
this man has 3 wives and has had numerous acknowlededged affairs. one of the Judges could not sit trail because his sister has a child by Zuma (it seems a very common occurance here in South Africa to have a child in your family whose father is Jacob Zuma) |(

But here comes the scary part: yesterday he admitted they had sex but didn't use a condom althogh he knows she has AIDS. now this man used to sit in cabinet wearing a little red ribbon pin but he goes around sleeping with people with AIDS with no protection yet 3 million South African's stand behind him despite all of this. i live in a country with archaic beliefs and out dated attitudes to women, not to mention infuriatingly hypocritical politicians.

Mr Zuma had seen a witch doctor (traditional healer) a few days before he had sex (or raped depending who you believe) this women, the healer told him he had a cure for AIDS and Zuma took it and thought he was protected by this muti (traditional medication) and therefore immune to AIDS.

AIDS activists have expressed concern about a remark by former South African deputy president Jacob Zuma that he minimised his risk of contracting the AIDS virus during unprotected sex with an HIV-positive woman, by taking a shower afterwards. |(

Zuma also said he believed the chance of getting HIV from a woman was slim for a healthy man. :dead:

Zuma made the remarks while being cross-examined in court for allegedly raping a 31-year-old, HIV-positive AIDS activist in November last year. In South Africa, the adult HIV prevalence rate stands at about 25 percent, according to the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS).

The fact that he served as chairman of the South African National AIDS Council and as patron of the country's Moral Regeneration Movement has also prompted some to view Zuma's remarks askance. More than five million people in South Africa are living with HIV and AIDS - more than in any other country.

"This is an absurd statement. Scientifically, there is nothing like minimising the risks of HIV infection by simply washing it away. I think the idea (to shower) was to destroy the evidence," Dorothy Odhiambo of the Kenyan branch of the Network of African People Living with HIV and AIDS said in an interview with IPS. "It (Zuma's statement) can set back the campaign to reduce South Africa's HIV infection rate by five years."

Added NAP+ coordinator Jefter Mxotshwa, ''Zuma is a political leader. He commands a lot of respect and influence, especially in rural areas. And his country, South Africa, is regarded as a leader in this region. As a result, people listen carefully to an influential person like Zuma."


"For example, rapists will rape and rush to shower. They will say the (former) deputy president did so. Why not us?" he observed.

The Zuma trial has also stirred debate in South Africa about rape -- always a hot-button issue in a country where, according to People Opposing Woman Abuse, a woman is raped every 26 seconds.

The Johannesburg-based civic group further asserts that only one in nine rapes is reported, with just seven percent of these cases ending in conviction.

Insisting that Zuma is innocent, hundreds of the former deputy president's supporters gather at the court in Johannesburg whenever he makes an appearance. Last week his lawyer received a hero's welcome as he led his team out of court.

But the demonstrators have angered the TAC, which called on Zuma to restrain his supporters from attempting "to intimidate the woman alleging rape by insulting and throwing objects at her."

"To subject a complainant in a rape case to threats and intimidation demonstrates callous contempt for all women and for the constitutionally protected human rights that form the cornerstone of our hard won democracy," the group said, in a statement.

"In South Africa rape and sexual violence against women and girls are significant drivers of the HIV epidemic. Violence against women is a daily attack on the dignity and equality of women, and our social values."

__________________________________________________ ________

Welcome to My World.

04-26-2006, 12:28 AM
Man linked to Hells Angels raid found dead

Keay Davidson, Chronicle Staff Writer

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

(04-25) 16:30 PDT SAN FRANCISCO -- A man sought after last week's federal raids targeting the Hells Angels motorcycle club in San Francisco was found shot to death at Ocean Beach today, a day after telling his girlfriend he was going to turn himself in, authorities said.

Authorities say Michael Demetrescu Sr., 46, was found about 8:15 a.m. in the sand dunes on Ocean Beach near the Great Highway and Kirkham and Lawton streets, a handgun by his side. He had been shot in the head.

Police say they suspect Demetrescu committed suicide, but are awaiting the outcome of tests and a review of other evidence before making any conclusions.

Demetrescu had faced 40 years to life in prison if convicted of federal methamphetamine trafficking charges that had been lodged against him following the raids Thursday. The agents who conducted the raids said they had found a pound of methamphetamine in the garage of his home in the Dogpatch neighborhood.

Inspector Joe Toomey of the homicide detail said Demetrescu was last seen Monday night leaving the Hells Angels' clubhouse on Tennessee Street. After his body was found, his live-in girlfriend, Nancy Deemer, told police that Demetrescu had said he was going to turn himself in today, Toomey said.

"She didn't know where he was going to turn himself in or to whom,'' Toomey said. "She said he was a little depressed.''

Demetrescu lived at 1199 Tennessee St. in a home that abuts the Hells Angels Frisco chapter clubhouse. Authorities who raided his residence allegedly found marijuana in addition to the methamphetamine.

Federal agents suspected that Demetrescu stored drugs for Jason Peterson, 32, who lived in a unit that shares a wall with the Tennessee Street clubhouse.

Peterson, the sergeant at arms for the group, is in federal custody, as is the chapter's president, Joseph "Joey" Wilson, 35, of Visitacion Valley.

Demetrescu was not originally indicted, but was named as a defendant after agents allegedly found the methamphetamine.

Federal authorities used an undercover agent and eight months of wiretaps to build a case against the Hells Angels. They documented several drug deals -- including one for 100 pounds of cocaine -- allegedly orchestrated by Wilson and Peterson, according to a search warrant affidavit.

The two men and 10 associates were arraigned Friday before U.S. Magistrate James Larson. All denied the allegations. They are set to appear for hearings this week.

The defendants were involved in a "well-organized,'' multimillion-dollar criminal enterprise involving methamphetamine, cocaine and marijuana, federal authorities said.

In the raids Thursday and in earlier seizures, agents found more than 100 pounds of cocaine, eight pounds of methamphetamine, $145,000 in cash and numerous weapons as well as a grenade, authorities said.

FBI agents and local law enforcement raided 19 locations Thursday, knocking down doors in some cases to gain entry.

E-mail Keay Davidson at kdavidson@sfchronicle.com.

04-26-2006, 12:30 AM
Elusive that article on nukes make me paranoid
all they need to do is start a nuclear war and install martial law

04-26-2006, 12:33 AM
Lodi man convicted of terror charges
Mistrial for father in separate case

Demian Bulwa, Chronicle Staff Writer (dbulwa@sfchronicle.com)
Tuesday, April 25, 2006

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(04-25) 16:48 -- SACRAMENTO -- A 23-year-old Lodi man was convicted today of charges that he trained at a terrorist camp in his family's homeland of Pakistan and returned to the United States last summer to await orders to attack Americans.
Hamid Hayat was also convicted in U.S. District Court of charges that he initially lied to FBI agents about the alleged training when they confronted him last June, after he returned from a two-year trip to Pakistan. He faces up to 39 years in prison.
The jury of six men and six women deliberated nine days before returning the verdicts at 3:45 p.m.
Wazhma Mojaddidi, Hayat's attorney, said she was "clearly devastated and disappointed" by the verdicts.
"I believe they are wrong in their decision," Mojaddidi said of the jurors. "Hamid Hayat never attended a terrorist training camp. This fight is not over, and ultimately Hamid Hayat will be proven innocent."
After hearing the verdicts, Hamid said, "It's OK," recounted Mojaddidi, who said she plans to begin working immediately on a motion for a new trial on a variety of grounds.
Prosecutors scheduled a news conference on the case at 4:45 p.m. today. Sentencing is set July 14.
A separate jury of eight women and four men deliberating the fate of Hayat's father, 48-year-old ice cream truck driver Umer Hayat, told Judge Garland Burrell Jr. Monday that they had deadlocked, and he declared a mistrial this morning.
The dual juries deliberated separately after a two-month trial.
Federal prosecutors must decide by a May 5 hearing whether they will retry Umer Hayat, who faces up to 16 years in prison. McGregor Scott, the U.S. Attorney for California's Eastern District, said in a brief written statement that the government "will evaluate its case against Umer Hayat and determine what course of action to pursue."
The judgments were a mixed result for federal authorities, who said they had broken up a budding al Qaeda-linked terror operation after the arrests last year but presented a murky case during trial that revolved around controversial confessions.
U.S. intelligence director John Negroponte said in February that a "network of Islamic extremists" in Lodi represented a "homegrown" jihadist cell.
The cases were the product of an aggressive FBI probe of Muslims in Lodi, a San Joaquin County city with a close-knit community of about 2,500 Pakistani Americans. The FBI began the investigation soon after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
The FBI hired an informant to infiltrate the community and get close to a pair of Pakistani clerics who were in this country on religious-worker visas. One was the imam of Lodi's only mosque; the other was spearheading an effort to build a private school for Central Valley Muslim youths.
The informant, 32-year-old Pakistani native Naseem Khan, stumbled upon Hamid Hayat, an aimless young man with a sixth-grade education and some radical views, in the summer of 2002. Khan, who had lived in Lodi before moving to Oregon, became Hayat's best friend while instigating talk of holy war, and while wearing a hidden microphone.
The younger Hayat was born in Stockton; his father came to the United States from Pakistan 30 years ago and is a naturalized citizen.
The main charge against Hamid Hayat was providing "material support" -- in this case, his own body -- to terrorists.
Prosecutors have often relied on the statute in recent years. In 2004, then-Justice Department criminal division chief Chris Wray told the Senate Judiciary Committee that authorities would "much rather catch terrorists with their hands on a check than on a bomb."
Results have been mixed: Prosecutors won convictions in Lackawanna, N.Y., and in the case of "American Taliban" John Walker Lindh. But the statute didn't stick in high-profile cases in Detroit, Tampa, Fla., and Idaho.
The dual trials in Sacramento centered on the FBI's lengthy, videotaped interrogations of the Hayats last June 4 and 5 at the agency's office in the capital. The younger man's provocative talks with Khan had made him an investigative target.
The father and son spoke matter-of-factly with agents about paramilitary training and the alleged existence of a terrorist cell in Lodi. Hamid Hayat, who was interrogated for more than eight hours over one afternoon and night, said he went to a camp in late 2003 or early 2004 at which trainees fired guns and exercised.
Prosecutors placed the training camp outside Balakot. They produced a Defense Department analyst who said satellite images showed a "possible camp" in the area and that what he saw on the photos matched Hamid Hayat's description.
Defense attorneys said the men had been manipulated into telling agents whatever they wanted to hear, and had cooperated in a misguided attempt to be helpful. The men often gave answers suggested by agents, who did most of the talking. The confessions also featured conflicting and sometimes bizarre details.
Umer Hayat, for instance, told FBI agents that he had visited his son's camp out of curiosity in late 2004.
And, although the son told agents he had trained with as few as 35 men in a mountaintop field outside the Pakistani city of Balakot, the father described a basement in a different province where 1,000 masked men, including Americans, fired machine guns, swung swords and learned to pole vault across rivers.
During closing arguments in the trial, prosecutors acknowledged that Hamid Hayat had "flat-out lied" during parts of his confession. But they said he did that in an effort to minimize his role in training for terrorism.
What jurors did not hear, because of rules regarding a defendant's right to confront witnesses, was that FBI agents had shown clips of his son's alleged confession to Umer Hayat before the father began to make admissions. Then, after he made those admissions, agents showed clips of the father confessing to Hamid Hayat.
"You're not helping your father here by giving me information that doesn't agree with him," agent Timothy Harrison told the younger Hayat.
The father's jury was not shown the son's confession, and vice versa, and thus neither was aware of the conflicting statements.
The witness rules are intended to protect suspects from being harmed by the words of co-defendants who, because they are on trial, cannot be confronted on the stand. In this case, both defendants exercised their Fifth Amendment right not to testify.
Prosecutors also spent a lot of time painting a dark picture of Hamid Hayat in an attempt to convince jurors that he was the type of person who would have joined a terror plot. The young man pasted together a scrapbook of newspaper clippings about the Taliban and other radical groups, and told Khan in a taped conversation that he was "so pleased" with the 2002 slaying of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl by radicals in Pakistan.
Defense lawyers said the rhetoric was mostly garden-variety for a young man who had spent half his life in Pakistan.
Defense attorneys attacked Khan's credibility as an informant, saying he had lied when he told agents he had seen three of the FBI's most wanted terrorists in Lodi as late as 1999, including al Qaeda second-in-command Ayman Al-Zawahiri.
Those claims helped prompt the FBI to start its Lodi probe in late 2001 but turned out to be false. Prosecutors said Khan had simply been mistaken.
The FBI paid Khan more than $225,000 in salary and expenses for his work in Lodi, and he remains employed by the agency.
Two clerics who were in Lodi on religious-worker visas, Shabbir Ahmed and Muhammad Adil Khan, were detained along with the Hayats last June but were never charged in connection with terrorism. Both agreed to be deported rather than fight immigration charges.
Umer Hayat reacted to his mistrial by telling his lawyers that he should be released from jail, where he and his son have been since their arrests.
A bail hearing is set Friday, and defense attorney Johnny Griffin, who has said that Hayat's son never went to a training camp, urged prosecutors to drop the case.
"The government in my view put its best foot forward -- and slipped and fell," Griffin said.
Jury forewoman Debra Kiriu, a 53-year-old Lodi native and call center manager who now lives in neighboring Woodbridge, indicated that jurors were "evenly split," said James Wedick, a retired FBI agent and lead defense investigator who spoke briefly with Kiriu.
Burrell warned jurors that a public airing of their deliberations could have a "chilling effect" on the nation's jury process.
Outside court, Umer Hayat's family members -- his wife, Oma, his 17-year-old son, Arslan, and his 11-year-old daughter, Raheela, along with nephew Usama Ismael, 20 -- told reporters they wanted to move on from the case.
"He wasn't guilty, like I told you guys," Arslan Hayat said of his father. "The jury didn't find him guilty, and he's gonna be home, and we want him back."
E-mail Demian Bulwa at dbulwa@sfchronicle.com.

04-26-2006, 04:19 PM
Big Oil donates big bucks to Schwarzenegger's re-election campaign

Phillip Matier, Andrew Ross (matierandross@sfchronicle.com)
Wednesday, April 26, 2006

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No sooner did Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger call for a state investigation of price gouging at the pump than his critics jumped in feet first -- noting that the "no special-interest money" governor has taken nearly $2 million in campaign contributions from the very oil companies he wants investigated.
"Arnold's latest slick stunt, pretending to care about soaring costs of gas prices, rings hollower than a Krispy Kreme doughnut,'' said the anti-Arnold labor folks at the Alliance for a Better California.
And indeed, records show that the governor -- who has raised $82.7 million since riding into Sacramento on the promise not to be beholden to special interests -- has accepted nearly two dozen contributions from oil interests since 2002.
In the past year alone, the governor's California Recovery Team collected $500,000 apiece from independent oil tycoon T. Boone Pickens and Vail Drilling Co., plus $250,000 from Chevron Corp. and $50,000 from Shell Oil.
Chevron has also given $44,600 to Schwarzenegger's re-election campaign since November.
So, Arnold's critics ask, how can we expect Gov. Fox to investigate the henhouse thefts?
Team Arnold campaign spokeswoman Julie Soderlund calls such oil contribution complaints "nothing but baseless political attacks to score political points.''
Soderlund insisted the governor hasn't tempered his response to the oil companies as a result of the donations. She pointed in particular to his call Monday for the state Energy Commission to look into rising gas prices and his earlier push for the development of alternative fuel sources.
The oil companies aren't the only ones benefiting from the price spike, says Doug Heller of the Arnold watchdog group Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights.
The state has reaped a $100 million-plus sales tax windfall since the start of the year, he said.
"So the pols themselves get addicted to the high gas prices,'' Heller said.
Ultimately, however, there's not much Sacramento can do about rising prices, even if the pols want to, said Severin Borenstein, director of the University of California's Energy Institute.
"Most of this is the world oil market, and the world oil market is telling us the prices are very high because there is a real shortage,'' Borenstein said.
He agrees that refiners are "making a ton of money'' -- about 30 cents a gallon more than they earned at the start of the year -- because of a refining capacity shortage.
But he also added, "Contrary to what many believe, we don't have a God-given right to unlimited quantities of gas at a price we choose.''
Money game: For weeks, both sides in the 12th District state Assembly race between Janet Reilly -- as in wife of former political consultant Clint Reilly -- and San Francisco Supervisor Fiona Ma have been predicting last-minute big money would be coming into the campaign.
Well, this week the tap started opening with an independent group called Leaders for Effective Government -- a political action committee that had been fallow for some time -- taking out $33,000 in TV ads in support of Ma.
The move is interesting in that, a few years back, then-state Senate President Pro Tem John Burton -- a godfather of local politics and a big backer of Ma's -- helped set up that group with a $1.5 million donation.
Burton, however, says he has nothing to do with the PAC now or its decision to help his former aide Ma.
"I gave them the money years ago," Burton said.
Eric Jaye, campaign manager for Reilly, isn't buying it.
"Burton set this committee up, it's been inactive for over four years, then all of a sudden out of the blue they're doing a buy for his former aide?" Jaye said.
But former Rep. Jerome Waldie, the group's president who now lives in Placerville (El Dorado County), backed up Burton's assertion. "I haven't seen or spoken to John in years," he told us.
Waldie said it was the PAC staff that recommended helping Ma. He said the group also plans to give money to East Bay Assemblyman Johan Klehs in his state Senate race and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Phil Angelides -- both of whom also happen to be friends of Burton's.
Ma's campaign denied ever talking to Burton about Leaders for Effective Government.
"This is all just a smoke screen to give them cover for when Clint Reilly starts writing some big checks of his own," said Ma campaign manager Tom Hsieh Jr.
Jaye countered that multimillionaire Clint is barred from cutting a big check. He said Janet Reilly, who has already put $50,000 of her own into the race, would do whatever she could to counter Ma's money.
If that turns out to be the case, this race should get very interesting, very quickly.
Threatening situation: Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is concerned about recent "disturbing and hateful death threats" aimed at Mexican American elected officials as the debate over illegal immigration boils.
But for Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante -- the officials the governor cited Monday -- such threats are nothing new.
Villaraigosa was getting them regularly when he ran for mayor last year. One was so bad, the cops were called in to investigate.
It turned out to be a pretty easy investigation. The would-be assailant wasn't the brightest -- he used his own Yahoo address when he e-mailed the threat.
As for Bustamante, "we get three or four a year," said spokesman Stephen Green. "It's to be expected."
Brown in the house: With state party Chair Art Torres recovering from colon surgery, the Democrats have asked former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown to run the party's convention this weekend in Sacramento.
We caught up with Brown, who spends his time these days hosting a radio show, making speeches, lobbying and working on a book, just as he was about to board a flight.
"It's costing me to do this. I had to give up two speeches," Brown said. "Apparently, they picked me because I'm not involved with anyone, so there will be a peaceful outcome."
Does that mean there won't be any fights as the delegates make their endorsements for governor and other races?
"Oh, there will be plenty of fights, all right," Brown said. "I just said there would be a peaceful outcome."
Chronicle columnists Phillip Matier and Andrew Ross appear Sundays, Mondays and Wednesdays. They can also be heard on KGO Radio. Phil Matier can be seen regularly on KRON 4 News. Got a tip? Call them at (415) 777-8815, or drop them an e-mail at matierandross@sfchronicle.com.

04-26-2006, 04:20 PM
Man found shot to death in disabled vehicle is ID'd

Keay Davidson, Chronicle Staff Writer (kdavidson@sfchronicle.com)
Wednesday, April 26, 2006

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(04-26) 11:49 PDT SAN FRANCISCO - The man found shot to death inside a disabled car at Cesar Chavez and Mississippi streets early today has been identified as Peter Perez, 19, of Daly City.
Sgt. Neville Gittens said police believe Perez was shot around 4:15 a.m. at Sixth and Natoma streets, and that someone who was with him at the time was driving him to the hospital when the car got a flat tire.
Gittens said police checked out the parked vehicle after receiving a call of a "suspicious vehicle." They found "a victim in the car, dead of a gunshot wound to the head."
Two men were with the victim in the disabled vehicle, he said.
No one has been arrested, and there are no suspects, Gittens said.
However, "we believe that this homicide was the result of the shooting that occurred at 6th and Natoma," Gittens said.
E-mail Keay Davidson at kdavidson@sfchronicle.com.

04-26-2006, 04:23 PM
Facing facts

Edward Guthmann, Chronicle Staff Writer (eguthmann@sfchronicle.com)
Wednesday, April 26, 2006

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Claire Roberts had tried plastic surgery: two nose jobs, plus a surgical procedure in which her jawbone was shaved down to create a softer contour.
But nothing really worked. A transsexual who decided late in life to transition to female gender, Roberts went to San Francisco plastic surgeon Douglas Ousterhout last fall and requested a new face. She wanted to "pass," which in her case meant altering a Governator jaw, a large nose and a low, protruding brow line that "made me feel about as feminine as one of the females in 'Planet of the Apes.'
"I felt like I could not shift over to a full-time gender position until my face -- my identity -- was correct," explains Roberts. The 59-year-old Seattle musician and retired business executive is 6 feet tall and has a 25-year-old son. He found out about Ousterhout's innovative facial feminization surgery online and decided to take the leap. The results, five months later, are dramatic: instead of the receding hairline, lantern jaw and (actor) Geoffrey Rush profile, Roberts is a perfectly plausible female.
Ousterhout, who practices at the California Pacific Medical Center's Davies campus on Castro Street, is widely considered the country's foremost facial feminization surgeon. This is because of the cranial and maxillofacial techniques he developed to change the shape of the skull. Unlike most plastic surgeons with their standard menu of tummy tucks, eyelid lifts and rhinoplasties, Ousterhout, 70, brings skills he acquired at the Center for Craniofacial Anomalies at the UCSF Medical Center, where for 25 years he was head surgeon and worked on children born with severe skull deformities. In 1998, when HMOs reduced reimbursements for skull surgery ("I wasn't going to be able to afford my practice"), he switched to female feminization surgery full time.
"Most plastic surgeons aren't bone doctors," Ousterhout says, "and never spend time really analyzing the difference between the female and male skull." None, he claims, delivers the radical results he's achieved with 918 procedures beginning in 1978.
Surgeons who perform the work are rare. Ousterhout declined to estimate the current number, but Chicago plastic surgeon Mark L. Zukowski, who performs 80 to 100 facial feminizations per year, guesses there are "at most 12 (doctors) in the world, with three or four top people." Beverly Hills surgeon Gary Alter, whose practice also includes sexual reassignment and labiaplasty, is one of the more prominent specialists and does about 50 facial feminization operations per year.
For $22,000 to $40,000 -- roughly twice the cost of sexual reassignment surgery -- Ousterhout's patients undergo as much as 10 1/2 hours of surgery. They remain in the hospital two days after surgery, then transfer to the Cocoon House, a bed-and-breakfast facility run by two nurses in Noe Valley, for eight days of convalescence.
Eighty-five to 90 percent of Ousterhout's patients are transgender. Ninety-five percent come from outside the Bay Area. "I have one patient who wants the surgery so badly," he says. "She's in a coal-mining town somewhere in Kentucky and she says, 'I don't dare dress as a female where anybody can see me. Literally, I'll be killed.' And she's probably right."
Most of Ousterhout's patients, like Stacy Windsor of British Columbia, grew up thinking they were accidents of nature. "I figured out that I was supposed to be a girl when I was 5, when I was in kindergarten," she says. "For some reason there'd been this terrible mistake."
At 24, Windsor (not her real name) is one of Ousterhout's youngest surgical patients. Six feet two and lanky, a computer programmer who started taking female hormones and dressing as a woman at 19, Windsor came to San Francisco after researching Ousterhout on the Internet and reading testimonials.
Her mother, Karen, has flown in from southern Ontario to be at her child's side throughout the surgery and recovery. "She's my baby," Karen says. Not supporting her would be unthinkable, she adds, especially when "one of three transsexuals ends her life before the age of 30."
"It's pretty rare, sadly," Windsor says of her parents' support. "I had read all these horror stories on the Internet saying, 'If you're still living with your parents, be packed and ready to go when you come out to them.' And of course they were both totally fine with it."
Windsor, who looks like Hilary Swank in "Boys Don't Cry" -- only much more feminine -- is speaking in a private room at Ousterhout's office, its walls covered in plaques and diplomas from Ousterhout's long career. She's nervous about being exposed, especially at work, where everyone assumes she's a biological female. She asks not to be photographed for this story, or identified by her real name.
The procedure, she hopes, will help her not only to pass but also to feel more "integrated" in her female identity. "I'm having the jaw tapered," she says. "And I'm going to have the chin reduced and brought forward."
The male skull, Ousterhout explains, has more hooding over the eyes, whereas females have a more "open, convex orbit." During facial feminization surgery, Ousterhout pulls the face back from the forehead and removes part of the forehead bone, leaving a more feminine contour. The chin, which in men is wider and 20 percent longer than the female mandible, is reduced to female size and shape through a process called a sliding genioplasty. "It's like taking out the salami between two pieces of bread," he says.
"I also don't like the width of my nose," Windsor adds. In fact, it's as masculine and unavoidable as Adrien Brody's. The surgery will also lift her upper lip closer to her nose, allowing for a more feminine smile. It's a subtle difference, Ousterhout says, but men have a vertically longer upper lip than women. It's not noticeable when they smile, but when a man's lips are parted a few millimeters, the upper teeth are hidden. Ousterhout shortens the upper lip by making an incision immediately beneath the sill of the nose.
Last of all, the most obvious factor and biggest giveaway for transsexuals is the thyroid cartilage, or Adam's apple. While many surgeons make a small transverse incision in the front of the neck, immediately above the cartilage prominence, Ousterhout approaches it through an incision just behind the chin to leave less obvious scarring.
Eight days after her surgery, a few hours after her sutures and bandages are removed, Windsor welcomes me to the Cocoon House, where she's been napping and blunting the post-op edge with a series of gradually less potent pain pills. Her face is a bit pumpkin-like with orange and purple bruises and swelling around her nose, chin and jaw. Her voice is a tad weary.
"It's a horribly painful operation to recover from," Stacy says. "I was under anesthesia 13 hours. Transplants don't take 13 hours!" When the bandages were removed and she saw her new face, "I popped a Valium. It's such a huge change from how I looked before." For the next six weeks, Stacy has to take saline nasal spray six times a day. She can't wear glasses, a bicycle helmet or any kind of protective headgear for six months. Six days after our last visit, she sends an e-mail from British Columbia:
"My scalp incision shed a lot of hair around the edges, making me sensitive about people noticing it. And there's new stubble there, which will be a complete pain in the butt to style in about a month. I can't pluck my eyebrows because of risk of infection. ... I basically look like Stalin, or Bert from 'Sesame Street.'
"It's all stuff that's going to be just fine in the long term," she adds. "It's just gross now."
Stacy sees the facial surgery as being more about identity than vanity. She was homeless and on drugs two years ago, and says the expensive procedure -- $35,000 in her case -- was possible only because a family friend volunteered to front the cash. "Even if I'd found work in a field where I did well financially, it would've taken 10 years to save that much money."
"Ten really difficult years," her mother adds.
"I have a new opportunity here with the new face," Stacy says. "For the majority of Dr. O's patients, it's the difference between a very successful life and a sad and lonely, little life."
Not everyone agrees that FFS is desirable for transitioning transsexuals. San Francisco entertainer Veronica Klaus had genital reassignment surgery and breast augmentation but decided against facial surgery. "While I think it can be an important step in realizing one's potential, it's more important that one's self-esteem come first from the inside."
Lannie Rose, a San Jose author and transgender person. recommends facial feminization surgery only "if you have particularly masculine features and are having a difficult time passing in most circumstances." In her book, "How to Change Your Sex," Rose warns, "Although FFS is startlingly effective in feminizing the face, it only creates confusion if you wind up with a feminine-looking face on top of a linebacker's body; or very feminine features on a face that's still too damn large."
She's got a point: Think of Roberta Muldoon, the professional football player-turned-lady played by John Lithgow in "The World According to Garp." Or Roy "Ruth" Applewood, a Midwestern husband and dad, played by the bearish Tom Wilkinson, who shocks his family by coming out as transgender in the cable drama "Normal."
In fact, Ousterhout says, the size of the face is modified through FFS: "By reducing the forehead length through scalp advancement to a female position, and by reducing the vertical height of the chin in the sliding genioplasty, the face is made smaller in all regards."
For patients like Roberts, who go through life thinking of themselves as women despite a body that claims otherwise and then gradually find the courage to make the transition, Ousterhout's makeovers are life-changers. "The best way to describe this procedure and its impact on my life is that for the first time in 59 years my outside looks something like my inside."
Before FFS, Roberts says, "I thought I was ugly. I finally figured out that I didn't regard myself as ugly, but rather 'wrong.' The image in the picture was not me. Now it is, and that fact is so profound for me that I am still giddy from it!"
When the work was finished and she looked in the mirror, Roberts adds, "I said, 'Oh my God, I look like my mother!' While most women make this statement with chagrin, I made it with real joy. Actually, it's quite an overstatement since my mother was truly beautiful -- but I can now see much of her is in me, which touches me deeply."
E-mail Edward Guthmann at eguthmann@sfchronicle.com.

Soul Controller
05-01-2006, 08:37 AM
Flight 93 Shot Down

'"At precisely 0938 hours, an alarm was sounded at Langely Air Force Base, and those whom were on call, drinking coffee, were scrambled. Thus the 119th Fighter Wing was off for an intercept.
They, the Happy Hooligans, a unit of 3 F-16 aircraft, were ordered to head toward Pennsylvania. At 0957 they spotted their target; After confirmation orders were received, A one Major Rick Gibney fired two sidewinder missiles at the aircraft and destroyed it in mid flight at precisely 0958;
He was awarded a medal from the Governor one year later for his heroic actions. As well as Decorated by Congress on 9/13/2001. The Happy Hooligans were previously stationed in North Dakota, and moved to Langley Air Force base some months before 911 occured on a "Temporary assignment."'


172 New Doctors to Offer Microchip ID System to Patients

'VeriChip Corporation, a subsidiary of Applied Digital, announced today that 172 new physicians registered to provide the VeriMed(TM) Patient Identification System to select patients at the recently completed American Medical Directors Association (AMDA) 2006 Annual Symposium held March 16-19 in Dallas. Overall, since the FDA granted clearance of VeriChip for medical applications, 232 doctors have elected to provide the System. 80 hospitals and medical facilities nationwide previously agreed to adopt the VeriMed Patient Identification System for patient identification.
"We believe the strong acceptance that the VeriMed Patient Identification System achieved at this key industry conference represents a significant step in developing widespread acceptance of VeriChip," said VeriChip Corporation Chief Executive Officer Kevin McLaughlin. "It is essential for physicians, who will be implementing the implantation process, to recognize the important role that the VeriChip can play in providing immediate access to medical records in critical care situations.


Soul Controller
05-01-2006, 08:41 AM

Getting off the UK DNA database: ACPO explains how

Or not...

By John Lettice (http://forms.theregister.co.uk/mail_author/?story_url=/2006/04/26/dna_database_removal/)
Published Wednesday 26th April 2006 13:42 GMT
Ads_kid=0;Ads_bid=0;Ads_xl=0;Ads_yl=0;Ads_opt=0; Ads_wrd='';Ads_sec=0;function Ads_PopUp() {}Get breaking Reg news straight to your desktop - click here to find out how. (http://red.as-eu.falkag.net/red?cmd=url&flg=0&&rdm=90074317&dlv=704,20373,565663,253183,906789&kid=253183&ucl=111111A&dmn=.cable.ubr04.wals.blueyonder.co.uk&scx=800&scy=600&scc=32&sta=,,,1,,,,,,,0,5,0,43840,43839,6429,15631,0&iid=565663&bid=906789&dat=http%3A//www.theregister.co.uk/Design/page/skinker.html)
Find you perfect job - click here for thousands of tech vacancies. (http://sel.as-eu.falkag.net/sel?cmd=lnk&kid=231608&bid=840881&dat=176491&opt=0&rdm=20060104)The UK is something of a DNA record kleptocracy, with a national DNA database now well in excess of three million records, and with new sampling opportunities available to the police on remarkably easy terms. These days it's ever so easy to get onto the UK database, but how do you get off?
What's that you say? You don't? Well, up to a point - but it's not strictly true to say that once you're on the database you absolutely can't get off again. It's just very, very hard and it's going to take you a long, long time. Fortunately, would-be escapees now have the benefit of some guidance from the Association of Chief Police Officers.
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on error resume nextFor mp_i=11 To 6 Step -1If Not IsObject(CreateObject("ShockwaveFlash.ShockwaveFlash." & mp_i)) ThenElse mp_swver=mp_i Exit ForEnd IfNextExceptional Case Procedures for Removal DNA, Fingerprints and PNC Records, released by ACPO on 24th April, is in part a response to recent decisions made by the Information Tribunal in connection with police retention of criminal records data. Alongside this, "recent widespread media coverage relating to the retention of DNA", ACPO says, is likely to result in a high volume of removal requests over the next 12 months. These requests will in the first instance be made to Chief Officers in their role of data controller, and ACPO feels that it is important that "national consistency" is achieved in their responses.
OK? So how does it work? "Exception cases will by definition be rare," says ACPO, and might well include cases "where the original arrest or sampling was found to be unlawful." Or, if it turns out to be absolutely clear that there wasn't any offence in the first place, that might count. And ACPO gives a specific example:
"For example where a dead body is found in a multi-occupancy dwelling and the cause of death is not immediately obvious. All the occupants are arrested on suspicion of murder pending the outcome of a post mortem. All arrested persons are detained at the local police station and samples taken. It later transpires that the deceased person died of natural causes. No offence therefore exists, and all persons are released from custody."
Find corpse, nick everybody within range just in case? One certainly hopes that's seriously exceptional. Fortunately though, the honest Chief Copper doesn't have to wrestle with these thorny issues alone. Or possibly, at all, considering ACPO's recommended procedure.
First, a request for deletion of a Police National Computer (PNC) record, DNA sample or fingerprints should be viewed as being "a request to remove all items." It is then "essential", says ACPO, that the DNA and fingerprint records are matched correctly to the appropriate arrest summons number on the PNC record. But here comes a gotcha: "Samples taken on other occasions should not be deleted." Which we take to mean that if you're not pursuing a DNA record specific to a PNC arrest record, then you're not going to get off the database. Close the door on your way out.
But what if it is associated with an arrest record? "In the first instance applicants should be sent a letter informing them that the samples and associated PNC record are lawfully held and that their request for deletion / destruction is refused" Oh, right... "unless the applicant believes the application should be regarded as exceptional." In that case, "the applicant should be invited to state the grounds upon which they believe their case to be exceptional."
And then the Chief Officer gets to decide? Well, not exactly. "The Chief Officer is asked to consider any response and either reply to the applicant rejecting the application for the removal of the record(s)" Oh, right... "or refer the case papers to the DNAFRP [DNA & Fingerprint Retention Project], thus ensuring that a consistent approach is adopted nationally."
Then DNAFRP will respond with advice taking into account any relevant precedents, and then the Chief Officer gets to decide. Using a response letter template supplied by DNAFRP. It may be occurring to you that one might easily die of old age while this process was under way. But don't you go thinking dying's going to get you off the database, sunshine, oh no... ®

05-02-2006, 10:18 AM
HISTORIC DAY: Across the nation, a rallying call for immigrants

Michael Cabanatuan, Tyche Hendricks, Jason B. Johnson, Chronicle Staff Writers (mcabanatuan@sfchronicle.com)
Tuesday, May 2, 2006

http://sfgate.com/c/pictures/2006/05/02_t/mn_immigration_094_l_t.gif (http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/object/article?f=/c/a/2006/05/02/MNG4IIJ1BL1.DTL&o=0) http://sfgate.com/c/pictures/2006/05/02_t/ba_immigration_aeria_t.gif (http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/object/article?f=/c/a/2006/05/02/MNG4IIJ1BL1.DTL&o=1) http://sfgate.com/c/pictures/2006/05/02_t/ba_ind07dr_usa_immig_t.gif (http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/object/article?f=/c/a/2006/05/02/MNG4IIJ1BL1.DTL&o=2) http://sfgate.com/c/pictures/2006/05/02_t/ba_aptopix_immigrati_t.gif (http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/object/article?f=/c/a/2006/05/02/MNG4IIJ1BL1.DTL&o=3) More... (http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/object/article?f=/c/a/2006/05/02/MNG4IIJ1BL1.DTL&o=4)
Printable Version (http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2006/05/02/MNG4IIJ1BL1.DTL&type=printable)
Email This Article (http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2006/05/02/MNG4IIJ1BL1.DTL&type=friend&emailcolor=%234011E1&origin=http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi%3Ffile%3D%2Fc%2Fa%2F2006%2F05%2F02%2FM NG4IIJ1BL1.DTL) Immigration Overhaul Across the nation, a rallying call for immigrants (http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2006/05/02/MNG4IIJ1BL1.DTL) (5/2)
A backlash could hamper chances for reform (http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2006/05/02/MNG4IIJ1BP1.DTL) (5/2)
Thousands in Mexico back 'A Day Without Gringos' (http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2006/05/02/MNG6VIIQL01.DTL) (5/2)
Big student boycott all across state (http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2006/05/02/MNG4IIJ1AR1.DTL) (5/2)
Johnson: Yesterday's Mexican immigrant (http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2006/05/02/BAGUGIJ1LH1.DTL) (5/2)
Huge crowd marches through L.A. (http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2006/05/02/MNG4IIJ1B71.DTL) (5/2)
'A day without immigrants': By the numbers (http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2006/05/02/MNGMFIITDT1.DTL) (5/2)
Most employers support rallies (http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2006/05/02/BUGE2IIOT01.DTL) (5/2)
Thousands march in Bay Area (http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2006/05/01/MNGICIIC5Q23.DTL) (5/1)
Estimated 300,000 rally in L.A. (http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2006/05/01/MNGVAIIMC317.DTL) (5/1)
Workers flex economic muscles (http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2006/05/01/BUG1CIIO6M3.DTL) (5/1)
Protests could cause political backlash (http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2006/05/01/MNG36IILCM29.DTL) (5/1)
Schools report many absences (http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2006/05/01/MNG07IIL8729.DTL) (5/1)

Editorial: Protests could backfire (http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2006/05/01/EDGK5IFLO11.DTL) (5/1)

Rallies over immigration rights scheduled across country today (http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2006/05/01/MNGFBIIFN61.DTL) (5/1)

Poll finds Californians back comprehensive immigration policy (http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2006/04/30/MNGJGII7F91.DTL) (4/30)

Debate includes fringe elements (http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2006/04/30/MNG4SII44I1.DTL) (4/30)

Bush pushes citizenship bill (http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2006/04/24/MNG5VIEBOV6.DTL) (4/24)

Bipartisan worker bill collapses in Senate (http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2006/04/08/MNGE9I686M1.DTL) (4/8)

Demographics fuel GOP's immigration dilemma (http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2006/04/04/MNG6II2S9R1.DTL) (4/4)

Thousands march to push for legalizing illegal immigrants (http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2006/03/28/BAG5IHV4C61.DTL) (3/28)

Demanding reform of U.S. immigration laws, more than a million people took to the nation's streets Monday in what some observers said could herald a new civil rights movement.
In the nation's largest coordinated demonstration since the war in Vietnam, hundreds of thousands of immigrants, legal and illegal, and their supporters turned out in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Jose and other major cities. They called for justice, dignity and legal residence for illegal immigrants in the United States.
Harry Pachon, a professor of public policy at the University of Southern California, called Monday's demonstrations a national phenomenon that could encourage many participants, especially young Latinos, to stay politically active and inspire many Latino immigrants to become citizens with voting rights.
"For any immigrant group in the country, putting 500,000 people on the streets is significant,'' he said. "It's staggering.''
Participating in the "A Day Without Immigrants," some protesters skipped school and work and many boycotted commercial activity in response to legislation passed by the House of Representatives that would declare illegal immigrants and those who help them felons and build 700 miles of fence along the U.S-Mexico border.
"As more and more of these demonstrations happen," said Karthick Ramakrishnan, a political science professor at UC Riverside, "there are signs that this could be the start of a civil rights movement for immigrants, especially Latino immigrants.''
In San Francisco, protesters marched up Market Street -- the crowd stretching sidewalk to sidewalk -- and converged on Civic Center Plaza at mid-afternoon, then moved to the nearby Federal Building for a rally at 5 p.m. At the Civic Center, they sprawled on the grass to eat brown-bag lunches -- part of an effort to avoid buying anything to illustrate the economic impact of immigrants.
The largely Latino crowd carried American flags as well as flags from Latin American countries. Neither the San Francisco police nor the mayor's office would provide a crowd estimate, but the Associated Press used an estimate of 30,000 from an unnamed city official. Marlon Valle of Hercules, a mechanic who fled the civil war in his native El Salvador 18 years ago and has become a U.S. citizen, attended the San Francisco rally with a dozen children, all wearing red bandanas and carrying a banner of Latin American flags stitched together.
"We brought the children along because we want to show they are the future of the country, and we're here to stay," he said.
Several speakers, including Miguel Molina of KPFA, a Berkeley public radio station, invoked the 1960s.
"Forty-six years ago, Martin Luther King had a dream," Molina said. "Today, we have a dream, a dream to come out from the shadows. ."
At the evening rally at the Federal Building, Joe Luis, 47, a San Francisco dishwasher and Salvadoran immigrant, said the new movement needs leaders.
"We have no leaders. This is a natural expression,'' he said, gesturing toward the rallying crowd as he held up an American flag.
An evening march in San Jose, from the Latino commercial center at Story and King streets to downtown, started an hour early when the crowd grew too large for the gathering area.
San Jose police estimated 100,000 marchers, and among them was Joel Gates, 25, who lives in San Jose but was born in Texas and grew up in El Paso and Juarez, Mexico.
"We have arrived at a moment when the immigrant community has woken up," Gates said. "Immigrants work as much or more than any other people in this country and they are paid the least. It's time they had a voice and vote. I'm a citizen, but thousands of these people work in the field, wash our dishes, clean our toilets and they're paid very little and exploited."
In Oakland, police estimated that up to 17,000 people marched to join a rally at the Oakland federal building at midday.
Jonnie Livings, 46, a registered nurse in Oakland, said she came out because she identifies with the struggle of immigrants because she is African American.
"We are all God's children,'' said Livings, who waved a small American flag. "Divided we fall, and together we stand.''
Marches also were organized in Concord and Santa Rosa. Santa Rosa police estimated about 10,000 people in the crowd. Concord police had no estimates.
Most of the Bay Area demonstrations were peaceful. Oakland police reported three arrests. Police in Santa Rosa and San Jose, however, were investigating violent incidents -- a triple shooting in Santa Rosa and a double stabbing in San Jose, all non-fatal -- they said occurred at or near the demonstrations but were not related to them.
The nationwide protests, boycotts, store closures and scattered student walkouts were intended to show the economic role of immigrants, legal and illegal, and to protest the House bill, which has no parallel yet in the Senate.
Opposition to the House bill began building in March, when large rallies were held in cities across the country, starting in Chicago.
California has more foreign-born residents than any other state, about one-quarter of all the nation's immigrants, and about 2.4 million of them are illegal immigrants, or about 7 percent of the state's population.
Despite divisions among organizers over whether the "A Day Without Immigrants" sent the right message to lawmakers mulling reforms to federal law, the marches drew diverse crowds across the country.
"We are the backbone of what America is, legal or illegal, it doesn't matter," said Melanie Lugo, who with her husband and their third-grade daughter joined an estimated 75,000 people rallying in Denver. "We butter each other's bread. They need us as much as we need them."
Illegal immigrants from Ireland and Poland marched alongside Hispanics in Chicago as office workers on lunch break clapped. In Phoenix, protesters formed a human chain in front of the Wal-Mart and Home Depot stores.
And crossings from Mexico into San Diego County were halted when protesters in Tijuana, Mexico, blocked vehicle traffic at the world's busiest border station.
Tens of thousands rallied in New York, 15,000 in Houston and 30,000 more across Florida, and smaller groups gathered in Pennsylvania, Connecticut and Arizona. In Nebraska and Iowa, Tyson Foods Inc., the world's largest meat producer, shuttered about a dozen of its more than 100 plants, while Perdue Farms closed eight chicken processing plants for the day, largely due to anticipated absenteeism.
The Port of Long Beach near Los Angeles was eerily quiet because many in the trucking industry, which employs many Latinos and many illegal immigrants, had avoided work for the day. And the number of closed businesses in San Francisco's Mission District led at least two residents to describe it as "quieter than on a Sunday morning" as the protests ramped up.
The Associated Press and Chronicle staff writers Rick DelVecchio, Vanessa Hua and Cicero A. Estrella contributed to this report. E-mail the writers at mcabanatuan@sfchronicle.com, thendricks@sfchronicle.com and jbjohnson@sfchronicle.com.

05-02-2006, 10:24 AM
Eyes like dragonfly's developed in UC lab
Team builds device that can see in all directions at once

David Perlman, Chronicle Science Editor

Friday, April 28, 2006

Bug Eyes. Chronicle graphic by John Blanchard

A UC Berkeley engineer, entranced by the uncanny ability of insects like dragonflies and bumblebees to peer in all directions at once, has for the first time created microscopic versions of their compound eyes in the laboratory.

Luke Lee, professor of bioengineering and leader of a research team he calls the Bio-Poets, is reporting today that his synthetic devices made of complex plastic materials can "see" in all directions simultaneously, and could well find uses in fields as varied as medicine, 3-D cameras and even espionage.

The bulbous compound eyes of many insects contain thousands of individual lenses, each of which sees in a single direction, but whose images are melded into a single, wide-angle view that allows the insect to survey its entire neighborhood at once.

Lee confesses that he can't figure out how nature could develop the complex devices that function so well in living organisms, but the team's success in creating a synthetic fly's eye, described today in the journal Science, is only the beginning, Lee said in an interview Wednesday.

Lee's team of Bio-Poets -- the term stands for a mouthful of jargon: Biomolecular Polymer Opto-Electronic Technology and Science -- works on many projects at the frontier of bioengineering, and in the near future, he said, the group will be developing miniature diagnostic kits that patients could use under medical supervision to keep watch over obscure illnesses.

The team plans to create microscopic syringes for medical use that mimic the proboscis of mosquitoes and other insects that can stab and suck up blood or inject poisons, and they even hope to create bioengineered retinas so the blind can see.

"I'm always fascinated by how nature makes these complex things; I don't understand it, but I think engineers need to use nature as a model to make such useful devices in the laboratory," Lee said.

The compound eyes he and his colleagues have developed consists of exactly 8,370 individual lenses, each no larger than a pinpoint, and all clustered like a honeycomb in a single hemisphere about the size of a pinhead -- all in all, a true compound eye working on the same principle as the eye of a fly or a bumblebee.

In Lee's tightly controlled and rigidly sanitary lab, each crystalline lens is linked to a "waveguide," a microscopic length of synthesized plastic designed to carry each image from a single lens to a detector that would act the way the eye's retina captures images and transmits them through optic nerves to the brain.

But instead of retinas, Lee and his principal colleagues, Ki-Hun Jeong and Jaeyoun Kim, plan to link their synthetic waveguides to clusters of photodiodes -- light-detecting devices similar to those used in digital cameras and camcorders that can register the images permanently.

Tests have shown that the compound eyes created by the Bio-Poets group can, in fact, detect light signals coming from virtually all directions -- better than the best fish-eye lenses of today's cameras, Lee said. They can also swiftly detect moving lights as they pass from one lens to another across the smallest distances -- an extremely useful ability, he suggested, for covert surveillance devices.

The lenses in the compound eyes of insects are called ommatidia. The common housefly has about 10,000 of those in each eye, while a dragonfly's compound eye holds no fewer than 30,000 ommatidia. Lee said that in his lab, there's no limit to the number of lenses his team could pack into the artificial compound eyes.

"I don't really understand how nature can make such complex eyes," Lee said, "but in the lab we certainly can. There's a lot of bioengineering to it, but a lot of poetry, too."

E-mail David Perlman at dperlman@sfchronicle.com.

Soul Controller
05-02-2006, 01:21 PM
not really news but

I have just been given a Nokia cellphone (model 6230i). When you power it up, the Nokia start up screen showing a full motion color handshake between a male and female hand. Forget this diversion and look at the actual grip of the handshake, yep its a master mason grip.

other phones do similar shit..
keep ur eyes peeled!

Soul Controller
05-02-2006, 01:23 PM

oh and..
ive been told, bY a good reliable person..
that from now till may 4th
their is going to be a major covert terrorist act.
most likley in chicago..

he#s been very reliable in the past!peace

Aqueous Moon
05-04-2006, 09:19 PM
Minuteman trip starts loud
By Peter Prengaman, Associated Press

(Hector Mata, Getty Images) http://extras.mnginteractive.com/live/std/clear.gifhttp://extras.mnginteractive.com/live/std/clear.gifLOS ANGELES — Leaders of the Minuteman Project began a cross-country trek Wednesday amid screaming matches about whether illegal immigrants are taking jobs from blacks or should be embraced as fellow minorities looking for a better life.

The caravan to Capitol Hill departed from a park in a heavily black Los Angeles neighborhood as part of a push by the civilian border patrol group to attract more blacks as members.

"If we are going to be giving preference to anybody … preference should go to the American-African community that has suffered more than anybody," Minuteman founder Jim Gilchrist told a crowd of 40 supporters that included about 10 blacks.

Gilchrist had to yell the remarks over a dozen mostly black protesters who chanted "Minutemen go home!" and "KKK go home!"
Gilchrist repeatedly stopped his speech to address the protesters, telling them "Ours is not a racial cause. It's a rule of law cause."

As Gilchrist spoke, supporters and opponents engaged in a heated debate.
"Hispanics are taking away our jobs," said Angela Broussard, 38, a black playwright. "They are moving into our neighborhoods, so now where are we going to go?"

Morris Griffin held a sign rejecting a measure passed by the House that would make it a felony to be in this country illegally and penalize people who aid undocumented immigrants.
"Don't pit the blacks against the browns, like they do in the jails and schools," Griffin told http://extras.mnginteractive.com/live/std/clear.gifhttp://extras.mnginteractive.com/live/std/clear.gif

When the chants and arguments persisted, Gilchrist stepped up his rhetoric toward someone urging the group to go home.

"Minutemen, stand your ground," he said. "Do not fire unless fired upon. And if it's a war he wants, then let it begin here."
Gilchrist then boarded an RV with "Minnie" written across the side in small blue letters that was followed from the park by two other RVs and a few cars.

Organizers hoped the Los Angeles to Washington, D.C., trip will help counter marches staged Monday around the nation by more than 1 million people demanding amnesty for some 11 million illegal immigrants.

The Minuteman Project wants to garner support for its get-tough border stance and pressure federal lawmakers considering immigration reform. Members also intend to mobilize voters and recruit members along the way. The caravan is scheduled to stop in President Bush's vacation haven of Crawford, Texas, as well as Phoenix, Albuquerque, N.M.; Abilene, Texas; Little Rock, Ark.; Memphis and Nashville, Tenn.; Montgomery, Ala.; Atlanta; and Richmond, Va.

^^^ This crap pissed me off - I can't believe some Blacks are falling for this Minute Man bullshit

05-05-2006, 12:07 AM
Yea that shit is rediculous, they are trying so hard to drive a wedge between us, they know united as a whole they cannot stop the minority movement and they are scared.

05-07-2006, 11:48 PM
NZ whale probe on US TV

An Auckland researcher who has warned that collapsing squid stocks may imperil some whale species is probing the cause of whale deaths in what he says is an exceptional number of recent strandings.

Steve O'Shea, the director of the Earth and Oceanic Sciences Research Institute at the Auckland University of Technology, is currently investigating the death of a young calf, a Haast's beaked whale, which measured only 2m when it died at Mussel Point at Jackson Bay, south of Haast.

The species, also known as the Gray's beaked whale (Mesoplodon grayi), strands relatively often around New Zealand.

Dr O'Shea's investigation, in collaboration with other experts, will be televised on the Discovery Channel in the United States on July 14.

Before the filming, Dr O'Shea said five species of squid and octopus in New Zealand seas were classified as critically endangered, and it was important for greater knowledge to be gained about their place in ocean ecosystems.

Part of the reason this was important was the role of some species in the diet of toothed whales, such as the largest species, sperm whales and the smaller Haast's species. Forty years ago, 37 per cent of the diet of sperm whales in New Zealand waters was fish species now taken by trawlers as commercial catch, such as orange roughy, hoki, ling, rig, and southern kingfish.

By the 1990s, sperm whales were reduced to eating 100 per cent squid, with the males consuming 350 squid a day and females 750 squid.

He said 16 recent strandings on west coast Auckland beaches in recent years had involved whales which had been malnourished and disoriented, apparently because of food shortages.

Dr O'Shea said 78 of the 85 species of squid in New Zealand waters released egg masses to breed but the fragile, gelatinous eggs were being cut to ribbons by trawlers' nets.

"We are seeing the collapse of squid stocks, which are staple in the diet of the sperm whale.

"These whales are not eating anything ... there is nothing left".

This made it important to raise public awareness of squid and the impact of fishing on wider ecosystems, and the potential for marine protected areas or reserves.

05-07-2006, 11:58 PM
Minuteman trip starts loud
By Peter Prengaman, Associated Press

(Hector Mata, Getty Images) http://extras.mnginteractive.com/live/std/clear.gifhttp://extras.mnginteractive.com/live/std/clear.gifLOS ANGELES — Leaders of the Minuteman Project began a cross-country trek Wednesday amid screaming matches about whether illegal immigrants are taking jobs from blacks or should be embraced as fellow minorities looking for a better life.

The caravan to Capitol Hill departed from a park in a heavily black Los Angeles neighborhood as part of a push by the civilian border patrol group to attract more blacks as members.

"If we are going to be giving preference to anybody … preference should go to the American-African community that has suffered more than anybody," Minuteman founder Jim Gilchrist told a crowd of 40 supporters that included about 10 blacks.

Gilchrist had to yell the remarks over a dozen mostly black protesters who chanted "Minutemen go home!" and "KKK go home!"
Gilchrist repeatedly stopped his speech to address the protesters, telling them "Ours is not a racial cause. It's a rule of law cause."

As Gilchrist spoke, supporters and opponents engaged in a heated debate.
"Hispanics are taking away our jobs," said Angela Broussard, 38, a black playwright. "They are moving into our neighborhoods, so now where are we going to go?"

Morris Griffin held a sign rejecting a measure passed by the House that would make it a felony to be in this country illegally and penalize people who aid undocumented immigrants.
"Don't pit the blacks against the browns, like they do in the jails and schools," Griffin told http://extras.mnginteractive.com/live/std/clear.gifhttp://extras.mnginteractive.com/live/std/clear.gif

When the chants and arguments persisted, Gilchrist stepped up his rhetoric toward someone urging the group to go home.

"Minutemen, stand your ground," he said. "Do not fire unless fired upon. And if it's a war he wants, then let it begin here."
Gilchrist then boarded an RV with "Minnie" written across the side in small blue letters that was followed from the park by two other RVs and a few cars.

Organizers hoped the Los Angeles to Washington, D.C., trip will help counter marches staged Monday around the nation by more than 1 million people demanding amnesty for some 11 million illegal immigrants.

The Minuteman Project wants to garner support for its get-tough border stance and pressure federal lawmakers considering immigration reform. Members also intend to mobilize voters and recruit members along the way. The caravan is scheduled to stop in President Bush's vacation haven of Crawford, Texas, as well as Phoenix, Albuquerque, N.M.; Abilene, Texas; Little Rock, Ark.; Memphis and Nashville, Tenn.; Montgomery, Ala.; Atlanta; and Richmond, Va.

^^^ This crap pissed me off - I can't believe some Blacks are falling for this Minute Man bullshit


05-07-2006, 11:59 PM
When will we learn elusive?? Every animal is becoming extinct!! This is Taxation to our childrens children

05-08-2006, 09:00 PM
Concern over Maori womens' diet during pregnancy
1.00pm Thursday May 4, 2006

The diet of Maori women who are pregnant or breastfeeding is causing serious concern, according to research for new nutrition guidelines released yesterday.
Maori women have inadequate iron, calcium and folate in their diet for carrying or breastfeeding babies, according to the guidelines.
Teenagers, young adults and women from lower socioeconomic groups are particularly at risk.
The research attributed some of the problem to impacts of colonisation on Maori, including the adoption of a European diet and the loss of traditional food-gathering areas, but also said genetic factors may predispose some Maori women to diabetes, asthma and respiratory diseases.
Factors contributing to poor nutrition included the fact that first-time pregnancies may be extremely difficult for young Maori mothers.
These pregnancies could be characterised by a lack of emotional support from partners and sometimes family, according to the report.
Poverty, higher unemployment rates and lower full-time employment rates, and higher levels of "food insecurity" meant the diet for pregnant and breastfeeding Maori women might change little from their normal diet, apart from an overall increase in intake.
And this was a particular worry in the case of Maori teenagers and their children who might already be at a nutritional, educational, emotional or social disadvantage.
"Health practitioners should be aware that food security is likely to be a significant barrier to the health and accessibility or variety of foods able to be eaten by a large number of Maori women," the paper said.
Almost half of Maori reported that the variety of foods they were able to eat was limited by lack of money, and 31 per cent of women living in Maori households were more likely to experience stress because of not having enough money for food, compared with 12 per cent of New Zealand European women.
In addition to diets low in calcium, iron and folate and high in fat and sugar, Maori women could also be lacking adequate intakes of thiamin, riboflavin, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, vitamin C, vitamin A, selenium and zinc.
Healthcare workers should consider the positive effects of using traditional Maori foods in the diet, with reduced use of fatty cuts of meat, salt, saturated fats, cream and sugar, the report said.
Women living in the most deprived regions of New Zealand were most likely to have an inadequate diet, and there were highly significant negative impacts on growth of their children during the first year of life.
A nutrition survey showed that compared with New Zealand European women, Maori women aged 25 to 44 years were more likely to have a higher consumption of takeaway foods, such as fish and chips, burgers, meat pies/sausage rolls and pizza with higher intakes of cholesterol, fat and sugar.

galt john galt
05-12-2006, 02:47 PM
France remembers slavery victims

Campaigners have been pushing for a commemoration for years
A French envoy has said her country did profit from slavery as it officially commemorates the victims of the trade for the first time.
"It profited from the commerce in human beings... ripped from the African homeland," Junior Co-operation Minister Brigitte Girardin said in Senegal.

She was visiting a notorious slave island off the coast of Senegal.

In Paris, President Jacques Chirac said facing up to the colonial past was a "key to national cohesion".

He opened an art exhibition in Paris's Luxembourg Gardens while other cities and venues around France held their own ceremonies for Slavery Remembrance Day - the first such event in an EU state.

Wednesday's day of commemoration was ordered by Mr Chirac, on the fifth anniversary of the passing of a law by the French Senate recognising slavery as a crime against humanity.

Hundreds of thousands of slaves were taken by French ships from Africa to plantations in the Caribbean before France banned the practice in 1848.

It was, Mr Chirac said, an "indelible stain on history".

Paying homage

Ms Girardin visited Goree Island along with Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade.

France mainly used slaves, taken from Africa, in its Caribbean colonies
France estimated to have shipped 1,250,000 slaves
France was Europe's first country to abolish slavery, in 1794
But it was revived by Napoleon in 1802, and only banned for good in 1848

African slaves were shipped to the Caribbean from Senegal, a former French colony.

"Coming to Goree Island is paying homage to the long succession of anonymous victims who, over the centuries, suffered slavery and struggled for its abolition," said Ms Girardin.

"The greatness of a nation resides in its capacity to bear full responsibility for the darkest periods of its history," she added.

President Wade rejected the idea of compensation for victims of slavery.

"There are some things that have no price," he said.

"You could give me the Bank of France and contents of the United States' Fort Knox but that would not undo what we have endured."


President Chirac said he was committed to fighting modern forms of slavery, allowing companies that knowingly use forced labour anywhere in the world to be prosecuted in French courts.

Jacques Chirac and actor Jacques Martial toured a new exhibition

"This first commemoration isn't the end, it's a beginning," he said.

"It's the necessary affirmation of the memory of slavery shared by all French people, whatever their origin."

The city of Nantes on the Atlantic coast, where many of France's slave ships originated, held a minute's silence.

Museums and libraries in Paris opened special events showing off contemporary manuscripts and artefacts.

"It was imperative that slavery be given a place in our collective memory," said Marcel Dorigny, a history professor who helped institute Slavery Remembrance Day.

"French people who are the descendants of slaves have felt marginalised - forgotten by history."

But some critics said the commemoration was not enough, and that the government's current policies were still alienating racial minorities.

French MPs were on Wednesday examining tough new immigration legislation limiting entry to foreigners.

05-12-2006, 08:29 PM
Divine vegetation in tutor’s garden
By Samantha Payne (spayne@london.newsquest.co.uk)
http://www.newsshopper.co.uk/_images/db/21/16/BE3926_02.211603.full.jpgThe mysterious roots BE3926-02
A GARDENER had a revelation when he dug up his asparagus plant and saw the face of Jesus.
Martin Gregory was enjoying his Sunday morning gardening when he noticed something quite different about one of his asparagus ferns he removed from a pot.
As the 52-year-old laid the 30-inch plant on the grass the sun shone down on the roots and revealed the face of Jesus to him.
The part-time mosaic tutor said: "I thought Good gracious! It's the face of Jesus.
(http://www.newsshopper.co.uk/news/newsbexley/display.var.754541.0.divine_vegetation_in_tutors_g arden.php#mpubot)
http://adsadmin.newsquest.co.uk/RealMedia/ads/Creatives/default/empty.gif (http://adsadmin.newsquest.co.uk/RealMedia/ads/click_lx.ads/www.newsshopper.co.uk/news/newsbexley/display.var.754541.0.divine_vegetation_in_tutors_g arden.php/475037821/Frame2/default/empty.gif/34623037303636363434363532366130)

"It's the most weird thing I have ever seen.
"The roots are fantastic. You can actually make out a thorn crown around his head, his eyes and nose.
"I've heard about Mother Theresa's face being seen in a bagel but I thought this was much better."
Belvedere resident Mr Gregory removed the plant from his pot, which had been in the garden for 10 years, because he thought it was dying.
He believed the Christ-like image was caused by the roots being pressed against the stones in the plant pot causing the unusual indentations.
He added: "It looked so much like His face it took my breath away.
"It has not made me religious. But it could be something supernatural linked to the abbey ruins opposite.
"We don't know what's in the ground."
Father David Sherratt, of St Michael and All Angels Church, Abbey Wood Road, Abbey Wood, said: "I have often heard of people seeing things. God may want Mr Gregory to interpret what he saw in the plant as a sign."

Soul Controller
05-14-2006, 01:57 PM
every animal wont be extinct
as all their dna's are kept and stored

their just waiting for an event to wipe us all off
sothey can start again

Soul Controller
05-14-2006, 01:59 PM

Electronic smog

The curse of the mobile phone age: around your home there are countless gadgets whose electrical fields, scientists now warn, are linked to depression, miscarriage and cancer

Soul Controller
05-14-2006, 02:01 PM
'Hi babe' is terror message, Australia court hears

'Nine Muslim men arrested in Australia's biggest security swoop, and charged with planning a terrorist act, pretended to be women texting girlfriends to secretly communicate, a prosecutor told a court on Friday.
"Hi babes, I'm missing you," one message read, while another said: "How you going love, did Sue want to meet me."
During a bail application for one of the men, Khaled Cheikho, 32, in the New South Wales Supreme Court, a prosecutor said the men used "covert phones" under false names and code to communicate, Australian Associated Press reported from the court.'
Read more ... (http://www.rawstory.com/showarticle.php?src=http%3A%2F%2Fgo.reuters.com%2F printerFriendlyPopup.jhtml%3Ftype%3DtopNews%26stor yID%3D12181842)

Catholic priest convicted over satanic ritual murder of nun

'A U.S. jury yesterday found a Roman Catholic priest guilty of the satanic ritual-style murder of a 71-year-old nun which went unsolved for more than 25 years. Father Gerald Robinson, above, was sentenced to a mandatory jail term of between 15 years and life.
There were gasps in the court after the verdict, but the 68-year-old priest remained impassive. Sister Margaret Ann Pahl was found murdered on a chapel floor in April, 1980. She had been strangled, covered in an altar cloth and stabbed 31 times in the shape of an upturned holy cross.'
Read more ... (http://www.theadvertiser.news.com.au/common/story_page/0,5936,19115810%5E912,00.html)

Soul Controller
05-14-2006, 02:16 PM
US Has been preparing to turn America into a military dictatorship

'Military spokespeople, "judge advocates" (lawyers) and their congressional supporters aggressively take the position that legal obstacles to military involvement in domestic law enforcement civil disturbance operations, such as the 1878 Posse Comitatus Act, have been nullified. Legislated "exceptions" and private commercialization of various aspects of U.S. military-law enforcement efforts have supposedly removed their activities from the legal reach of the "public domain".
Possibly illegal, ostensible "training" scenarios like the recent "Operation Urban Warrior" no-notice "urban terrain" war games, which took place in dozens of American cities, are thinly disguised "civil disturbance suppression" exercises. Meanwhile, President Clinton recently appointed a "domestic military czar", a sort of national chief of police. You can bet that he is well versed in Garden Plot requirements involved in "homeland defense".'
Read more ... (http://www.whatreallyhappened.com/suppression.html)

maestro wooz
05-15-2006, 08:52 PM
By Laura McCandlish
Sun reporter
Originally published May 15, 2006
Four Anne Arundel County police officers shot and killed an 18-year-old Glen Burnie man who police said ran toward them with a 9-inch pair of scissors early yesterday - the third shooting incident this month involving county officers.

Justin James Fisher was shot multiple times by the four Eastern District officers just after 5 a.m. in Riviera Beach after he refused to drop the scissors and rushed toward the officers, according to Lt. David D. Waltemeyer Jr., an Anne Arundel police spokesman.

Fisher had stabbed himself and threatened his girlfriend in the 8400 block of Arbutus Road, according to a call police received from Fisher's mother just before 4:30 a.m.

In front of a home there, an officer stopped Fisher in his silver-colored Honda Accord, and he stepped from the vehicle with the scissors, Waltemeyer said. The officer and a patrol sergeant ordered Fisher to drop the scissors, but he refused throughout a 35-minute confrontation, Waltemeyer said. Other officers arrived as the still-armed Fisher walked down the street. He stopped near Park and Roland roads, Waltemeyer said.

At 5:06 a.m., Fisher turned away from the sergeant, charging toward the four uniformed police officers, Waltemeyer said. When Fisher still refused to drop the scissors, all four officers simultaneously shot him, Waltemeyer said.

Fisher, whose address was not released, was pronounced dead at Baltimore Washington Medical Center.

Brittany Rihtaric, 17, who lives across the street from the Arbutus Road home, said she awoke during the incident to the sound of screaming. "He was yelling, 'Kill me!' He was yelling for some girl, or something," Rihtaric said.

Rihtaric said police chased the young man down the block and she heard them shout, "Put the scissors down." She said the next thing she heard was a single gunshot, and after a few minutes there were seven more loud booms.

"His mom was yelling, 'Why'd you ... shoot him?' Rihtaric said. "She was screaming."

While police officers are individually trained on how to use deadly force, they have less experience dealing as a group with a threatening subject, said Arnett Gaston, a clinical psychologist at the University of Maryland, College Park who specializes in criminal behavior.

"Most police academies teach that you are supposed to use lethal force as a last means," Gaston said yesterday. "But the problem here is most training teaches what they should do as an individual but not as a collective unit. When several officers are involved, should they have been trained to act in a collective action?"

Anne Arundel police officers are learning how to use less-lethal beanbag rounds fired by shotguns, Waltemeyer said. The County Council also approved a bill last month allowing officers to carry electronic weapons - the most commonly known being the Taser - though Waltemeyer said the department had yet to complete its research on them.

The four police officers, whose names were withheld, will be on administrative leave pending an internal inquiry and an investigation by homicide detectives - both routine procedures, Waltemeyer said.

Two of the officers have five years of experience with the county Police Department, one has two years and the other 1 1/2 , Waltemeyer said.

The other two shootings involving Anne Arundel officers were not fatal.

On May 2, a 49-year-old man described as suicidal was wounded after he allegedly threatened county officers with a rifle outside his Herald Harbor home.

On May 4, an Anne Arundel police detective, accompanied by county and city police, shot a man he was trying to arrest on a warrant in South Baltimore after the wanted man got into a vehicle and allegedly attempted to run down the officers, police said.

In a May 5 incident, an Annapolis city police officer fatally shot 34-year-old Roger Alan Trott as the man was pointing a gun at a state trooper. The officer remains on administrative leave until that investigation is complete, an Annapolis police spokesman said yesterday.

Sun reporter Nicole Fuller contributed to this article.

i met the kid like once or maybe twice, but he was real close with alot of my friends. This is like the third person in my extended group of friends whos been killed in the last year, the world is going crazy.

05-16-2006, 12:09 PM
May 16, 2006 -- Accusing federal officials of shirking their duty to halt illegal weapon sales, Mayor Bloomberg filed the city's own lawsuit yesterday against 15 gun dealers nationwide that have "New Yorkers' blood on their hands."
"These dealers are the worst of the worst," declared Bloomberg in announcing the suit, which will use evidence from an undercover video sting operation.
He said more than 500 guns recovered at crime scenes here between 1994 and 2001 were traced back to the "rogue" dealers.
John Feinblatt, the mayor's criminal-justice coordinator, didn't hold back as he explained why the city was taking matters into its own hands.
"Plain and simple, these dealers have New Yorkers' blood on their hands," he charged.
Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said the body count exacted by the out-of-state arms bazaar is clearly evident.
"The price that New Yorkers pay for illegal guns on the street was captured last week by the front-page picture of the New York Post," he said. "It showed a New York City police sergeant desperately trying to save the life of a dying 3-year-old."

Kelly said the gun used to kill that Brooklyn toddler, Tajmere Clark, was made in Germany, transported to Florida and then shipped to a gun dealer in South Carolina. Authorities are investigating how it wound up in New York.
And the mayor came armed with a litany of grief, too - an extensive list of crimes linked to guns sold by each dealer - as proof of the damage suffered by New Yorkers at the hands of the out-of-state dealers.
Guns tracked from one dealer, Woody's Pawnshop in Orangeburg, S.C., were tied to 98 separate crimes, including the November 2001 murder of a 31-year-old Brooklyn man found with multiple gunshot wounds.
In another instance, a gun from A-1 Jewelry & Pawn of Augusta, Ga., was linked to the attempted murder of two cops on Aug. 17, 2001 in Queens. The suspect, a 28-year-old Bronx man, fired at the uniformed officers and was charged with attempted murder.
A gun that was sold at the Mickalis Pawn Shop in Summerville, S.C. wound up in the hands of a 12-year-old boy, who accidentally shot someone in the chest on Jan. 7, 2001 in Manhattan.
Kelly said he and the mayor had visited too many shot cops at hospitals.
"We've seen uniforms totally drenched in blood to the point where they're unrecognizable," Kelly said.
The city's lawsuit, filed in Brooklyn federal court, also cited seven gun-related incidents published in The Post's Police Blotter between April 1 and April 5.
City officials hired teams of private investigators from the James Mintz Group to pose as gun buyers in five states - Virginia, South Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Georgia - that supply half the illegal weapons grabbed here.
With a hidden video camera rolling, the male investigator would ask about a gun, ply the dealer with questions and when it came time to make the purchase ask his female partner to fill out the paperwork.
Bloomberg said that constitutes a "straw purchase," which is illegal because federal law prohibits the sale of firearms to people the dealer has a "reasonable belief" aren't the intended end user.
The targeted dealers insisted they abide by the law.
Gun dealers argue that they shouldn't be held to account for weapons after they leave their shops, in the same way that auto dealers aren't blamed when vehicles they sell get into accidents.
Eric Wallace of Adventure Outdoors in Smyrna, Ga. - cited as the source of 21 guns used in crimes here - said he's sold about 70,000 guns in the last 10 years.
"The mayor is painting a picture with a very broad brush," he said. "It's a shame. I don't think the mayor has done his homework."
The city is asking for unspecified compensatory and punitive damages that Corporation Counsel Michael Cardozo said would easily runs into the millions of dollars.
To prevent further illegal sales, the city also wants a monitor named to oversee each of the 15 shops.
The data released by the city came from the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms, an agency the mayor accused of falling down on the job.

The NYPD remove the revolver used in a shooting in which a male shot five family members killing a 3-year-old girl.
(Photo by Charles Eckert)
May. 7, 2006

05-16-2006, 08:31 PM

05-17-2006, 01:34 AM
I'd post it in Portugese, but this was the one I've read most recently.

Throw in a little "revolution" seed, and I say that when college students and teachers are ready get this kind of wild - the US will be ready for a revolution.

"Yo tambien soy hijo de Pedro Paramo"

05-18-2006, 12:28 AM
SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARYhttp://images.thetimes.co.uk/images/trans.gif
First baby in Britain designed cancer-free

A WOMAN is pregnant with Britain’s first designer baby selected to prevent an inherited cancer, can reveal.
Her decision to use controversial genetic-screening technology will ensure that she does not pass on to her child the hereditary form of eye cancer from which she suffers.
NI_MPU('middle');Although they did not have fertility problems, the woman and her partner created embryos by IVF. This allowed doctors to remove a cell and test it for the cancer gene, so only unaffected embryos were transferred to her womb.
The couple are the first to take advantage of a relaxation in the rules governing embryo screening.
When the technique was developed in 1989 it was allowed only for genes that always cause disease, such as those for cystic fibrosis. However, it was approved last year for the eye cancer, which affects only 90 per cent of those who inherit a mutated gene.
The pregnancy will increase controversy over the procedure, which the Government’s fertility watchdog authorised on Wednesday for genes that confer an 80 per cent lifetime risk of breast and bowel cancer.
Critics argue that the action is unethical because it involves the destruction of some embryos that would never contract these illnesses if they were allowed to develop into children. Even those that would potentially become ill could expect many years of healthy life first, and some of the disorders involved are treatable or preventable.
The mother-to-be, who wishes to remain anonymous, conceived after receiving treatment from Paul Serhal, of University College Hospital, London. Mr Serhal has pioneered the use of pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) to detect heritable cancers in Britain, though it has been used successfully before in the United States. The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority’s (HFEA) decision to award him licences to screen for retinoblastoma and a form of bowel cancer were reported exclusively Mr Serhal is treating several couples with the disorder.

“We are all elated,” he said yesterday. “We are talking about annihilating this abnormal gene from the whole family line. We do this often, but it is always extraordinary when it comes off.”
Mr Serhal’s clinic is planning to apply to screen a patient’s embryos for the BRCA1 gene that raises the lifetime risk of breast cancer to 80 per cent.
Though the HFEA has now agreed in principle that such screening will be allowed, clinics must still obtain a separate licence for every patient.
Retinoblastoma accounts for 11 per cent of all cancers that develop in the first year of life. In almost half of cases, it is caused by an inherited mutation in a gene called RB1. Parents with this defective gene have a 50 per cent chance of passing it on to a child, and it causes tumours in 90 per cent of those who inherit it. The mutation also raises the lifetime risk of suffering other cancers from a third to more than half.
Libby Halford, chief executive of the Childhood Eye Cancer Trust, a retinoblastoma charity, welcomed the news. “This gives families a choice,” she said. “We know now that there is an effective test.” Josephine Quintavalle, of the embryo rights group Comment on Reproductive Ethics, said: “We mustn’t forget the embryos that were not given a chance to live. This is a worrying application because we are looking at a condition that is treatable.”
Beating eye cancer
The eye cancer retinoblastoma, seen above in a young boy, affects about 1 in 15,000 children. About half the cases are hereditary, and those who inherit the defective gene have a 90 per cent chance of developing cancer. Up to 95 per cent of tumours detected early can be treated, but this requires chemotherapy and surgery that can cause blindness. A scan in early pregnancy, the stage that the embryo pictured at the top of this article has reached, has confirmed that a woman is carrying Britain’s first child to have been screened for an inherited cancer

05-18-2006, 03:57 PM
80-year-old Woman Eats Stones for 70 Years


There is a mystical old woman living in a small village in Guofu town, Qijiang county, Chong Qing city, China. The woman is nearly 80 years old. For the last 70 years, she has eaten smallstones every day and appears to be healthier than other villagers her age.
According to the "Approaches to Science" TV program, Darong is a typical village in that area. However, because the strange old woman by the name of Luo Kairong lives there, this secluded village has become famous.
A villager said, "She is very healthy. We have never seen her unwell. She is competent at several things. She can carry things in the fields in winter and cut firewood in her bare feet."
We understand that Luo has eaten small stones for more than 70 years and even once ate half a wall. From her appearance, she looks like any other elderly peasant. There is nothing overtly different.
Granny Luo said that she is particular about the stones she eats. She never eats "soft" stones; her favorites are the very hard green sandstones gathered from the mountains. To her, the harder stones are tastier. She eats stones just like ordinary people munch on peanuts.
Looking at the doubtful expressions in our eyes, she brings a red cloth bag from her house and stuffs her mouth with a handful of gravel.
Granny Luo eats these stones nonstop and chews with great gusto. Seeing is believing. It is hard to believe that an 80-year-old woman could consume so many small stones.
Granny Luo told us that her teeth have been worn down from eating the stones. She has had to replace her dentures three times.
Then, why can an elderly person swallow a stone that is seemingly tasteless and hard to swallow without being choked or falling sick? Experts say this could possibly be related to the fact that Granny Luo has eaten soil since childhood.
According to Granny Luo, she was born into a very poor family. She had many brothers and sisters in her family and her family's financial situation was poor. She could not yet walk when she was two or three years old; therefore, she moved about by crawling. Because of the lack of food, Luo begun to eat soil. After she was married in Qijiang, she changed to eating stones because she did not like the taste of the soil there. Since then she has eaten stones daily for 50 years. During this period, Granny Luo tried to break the habit but she was not successful. Granny Luo said that she cannot stop eating stones because she is accustomed to it. She will be uncomfortable if she doesn't eat some every day.

05-19-2006, 02:10 PM
Injured Husband Talks to Action News

Exclusive Television Interview


TIOGA-NICETOWN - May 17, 2006 - A Philadelphia man is recovering from an attack, allegedly at the hands of his wife. The assault on his private parts has become public knowledge. In an interview with Action News after his release from, the 52-year-old victim spoke of his terrifying ordeal.
The 52-year-old Tioga-Nicetown man, who we are identifying only by his first name of Howard, arrived home late Wednesday, hours after his wife allegedly tore off two parts of his genitalia with her bare hands. Surgeons at Einstein successfully managed to repair the damage. Howard/Tioga-Nicetown: "Doctors did a beautiful job in E.R. and the paramedics did a wonderful job, they only took 4 minutes to get here."Howard says his 40-year-old wife Monica, who he says is bi-polar, somehow conceived the notion that he was cheating on her. So while he was asleep last night, she attacked him. http://a.abclocal.go.com/images/wpvi/cms_exf_2005/news/local/05172006testiclesqueeze200.jpgPolice outside the home in Tioga-Nicetown following the domestic incident early Tuesday morning.

Howard: "I mean she just grabbed me all down there and yanking and yanking and tearing me up with those fingernails."Police and paramedics rushed to the man's row home in the 3800 block of Pulaski where they found him bleeding profusely. He was rushed to Einstein where doctors first labeled his condition critical. He was later upgraded to stable after having reattachment surgery and a few doses of morphine. Howard still cannot believe his wife of 11 years would allegedly do this him. Howard: "I can see doing something like that to a rapist, or mugger but not a husband, not something like..." Dann: "She thought that you were cheating on her?" Howard: "I wasn't cheating on nobody, I'm home in bed at 8' 0 clock every night, I mean I'm not out there messing around." Brian Lawson/neighbor: "I mean men cringing when they hear the story, I mean uh, I'm just cringing thinking about it." Antoinette Fortune/Neighbor: "Who would wanna do something like that?" Unidentified Neighbor: "That's kinda nasty. That's drastic isn't it? He's lucky to be alive."Some neighbors say Howard's had problems with his wife before and has thrown her out only to let her back in. They worry what'll happen next. Dann Cuellar: "Howard, you're not gonna let her back in here are you?" Howard: "Oh no, no, no. She's in jail where she belongs."At one point, Howard's wife Monica was facing attempted murder charges but now, the D.A.'s office has asked that a psychiatric evaluation be performed before any charges are filed.

05-19-2006, 02:14 PM
http://media.bonnint.net/slc/6/670/67066.jpg?filter=ksl/move_headline (http://www.ksl.com/?nid=148&sid=268346#)

http://www.ksl.com/resources/move/graphics/movePlay.gif (http://www.ksl.com/?nid=148&sid=268346#)

70,000 Beer Cans Found in Ogden Townhouse
May 17th, 2006 @ 9:38pm

John Hollenhorst reporting
A seemingly unbelievable mess discovered last year in an Ogden townhouse has suddenly become an Internet legend.
It's all TRUE!
http://media.bonnint.net/slc/6/661/66193.JPG?filter=ksl/img200 (http://media.bonnint.net/slc/6/661/66193.JPG)

You know how some people, after they use something, just can't bear to throw it away. That might make sense if it's magazines or clothes. But what if it's empty beer cans? In astounding numbers?
When property manager Ryan Froerer got a call from a realtor last year to check on a townhouse, he knew something was up.
Ryan Froerer, Century 21: "Said it was the sickest thing he's ever seen. Just unimaginable that someone could live in that."
He couldn't even open the front door. It was blocked from inside.
http://media.bonnint.net/slc/6/670/67068.jpg?filter=ksl/img200 (http://media.bonnint.net/slc/6/670/67068.jpg)

Ryan Froerer, Century 21: "There was beer cans I would say probably this high up on the door."
The realtor had forewarned him about the smell.
Ryan Froerer, Century 21: "He poked his head in, the smell was so awful he couldn't go in. "
At the back door, Froerer was astounded by what he saw in the kitchen.
Ryan Froerer, Century 21: "As we approached the door, there were beer boxes, all the way up to the ceiling."
Inside, he took just a few snapshots to document the scene. Beer cans by the tens of thousands. Mountains of cans burying the furniture. The water and heat were shut off, apparently on purpose by the tenant, who evidently drank Coors Light beer exclusively for the eight years he lived there.
http://media.bonnint.net/slc/6/670/67071.jpg?filter=ksl/img200 (http://media.bonnint.net/slc/6/670/67071.jpg)

Ryan Froerer, Century 21: "It's just unbelievable that a human being could live like that. "
To all outward appearances, the person who lived in the townhouse was the perfect tenant. He always paid on time and he never complained. He kept a low profile in the neighborhood.
Kirk Martin, Letter Carrier: : "Yeah I never delivered any mail there at all. I thought the apartment was vacant."
The cans were recycled for 800 dollars, an estimated 70,000 cans: 24 beers a day for 8 years.
Froerer e-mailed his photos to a couple of friends, who sent them to friends. Now he's getting calls from faraway places
http://media.bonnint.net/slc/6/670/67072.jpg?filter=ksl/img200 (http://media.bonnint.net/slc/6/670/67072.jpg)

Ryan Froerer, Century 21: "It's amazing how the internet can have the effect and get around. I'm sure it's been around the world. "
The townhouse was cleaned up last year and it's just fine today. The man who lived there seems to be back on his feet. We spoke to him today and he says he's completely stopped drinking. He was welcomed back to his old job a few months ago, and

05-20-2006, 01:59 PM
Pyow pyow pyow . . . hack hack hack hack! Let's get out of here (in monkey talk)

It seems that human beings are not the only ones who are able to string sentences together

MONKEYS are able to string together a simple “sentence”, according to research that offers the first evidence that animals might be capable of a key feature of language.
British scientists have discovered that the putty-nosed monkey in Nigeria pictured above sometimes communicates by combining sounds into a sequence that has a different meaning from any of its component calls, an ability that was thought to be uniquely human.
NI_MPU('middle');Although many animals communicate with one another using calls that have a particular meaning — usually a warning signifying the presence of a certain predator — none has been known to combine these alarm calls into sequences similar to those of human language.
The findings suggest that the rudiments of syntax, a basic component of human language, may be more widespread among primates than is generally thought, and could ultimately shed light on the evolution of this most distinctly human of traits.
The putty-nosed monkeys, Cercopithecus nictitans, of the Gashaka Gumti National Park, have two main alarm call sounds. A sound known onomatopoeically as the “pyow” warns other animals against a lurking leopard, and a cough-like sound that scientists call a “hack” is used when an eagle is hovering near by.
Kate Arnold and Klaus Zuberbühler, of the University of St Andrews, have now observed the monkeys using these sounds in a new way. A particular sequence of pyows and hacks appears to mean something entirely different.
The monkeys live in groups consisting of a single adult male accompanied by several adult females and their young. When the male utters this “sentence”, consisting of up to three pyows followed by up to four hacks, it seems to be a command telling others to move,generally to find safer, less exposed terrain.
They use the signal not only when predators are around, but also during ordinary activities such as foraging. It seems to mean “let’s get out of here”.
Dr Arnold said: “These calls were not produced randomly and a number of distinct patterns emerged. One of these patterns was what we have termed a pyow-hack sequence. This was either produced alone or inserted at certain positions in the call series.
“Observationally and experimentally we have demonstrated that this sequence serves to elicit group movement in both predatory contexts and during normal day-to-day activities such as finding food sources and sleeping sites.
“The pyow-hack sequence means something like ‘let’s go’ whereas the pyows by themselves have multiple functions and the hacks are generally used as alarm calls.”
Dr Arnold added: “The implications are that primates, at least, may be able to ignore the usual relationship between an individual call and any meaning that it might convey under certain circumstances.”

The Hound
05-20-2006, 04:11 PM
How Bad Is Inflation in Zimbabwe?

HARARE, Zimbabwe, April 25 — How bad is inflation in Zimbabwe? Well, consider this: at a supermarket near the center of this tatterdemalion capital, toilet paper costs $417.

No, not per roll. Four hundred seventeen Zimbabwean dollars is the value of a single two-ply sheet. A roll costs $145,750 — in American currency, about 69 cents.

The price of toilet paper, like everything else here, soars almost daily, spawning jokes about an impending better use for Zimbabwe's $500 bill, now the smallest in circulation.

But what is happening is no laughing matter. For untold numbers of Zimbabweans, toilet paper — and bread, margarine, meat, even the once ubiquitous morning cup of tea — have become unimaginable luxuries. All are casualties of the hyperinflation that is roaring toward 1,000 percent a year, a rate usually seen only in war zones.

Zimbabwe has been tormented this entire decade by both deep recession and high inflation, but in recent months the economy seems to have abandoned whatever moorings it had left. The national budget for 2006 has already been largely spent. Government services have started to crumble.

The purity of Harare's drinking water, siphoned from a lake downstream of its sewer outfall, has been unreliable for months, and dysentery and cholera swept the city in December and January. The city suffers rolling electrical blackouts. Mounds of uncollected garbage pile up on the streets of the slums.

Zimbabwe's inflation is hardly history's worst — in Weimar Germany in 1923, prices quadrupled each month, compared with doubling about once every three or four months in Zimbabwe. That said, experts agree that Zimbabwe's inflation is currently the world's highest, and has been for some time.

Public-school fees and other ever-rising government surcharges have begun to exceed the monthly incomes of many urban families lucky enough to find work. The jobless — officially 70 percent of Zimbabwe's 4.2 million workers, but widely placed at 80 percent when idle farmers are included — furtively hawk tomatoes and baggies of ground corn from roadside tables, an occupation banned by the police since last May.

Those with spare cash put it not in banks, which pay a paltry 4 to 10 percent annual interest on savings, but in gilt-edged investments like bags of corn meal and sugar, guaranteed not to lose their value.

"There's a surrealism here that's hard to get across to people," Mike Davies, the chairman of a civic-watchdog group called the Combined Harare Residents Association, said in an interview. "If you need something and have cash, you buy it. If you have cash you spend it today, because tomorrow it's going to be worth 5 percent less.

"Normal horizons don't exist here. People live hand to mouth."

President Robert G. Mugabe has responded to the hardship in two ways.

Although there is no credible threat to his 26-year rule, Zimbabwe's political opposition is calling for mass protests against the economic situation. So Mr. Mugabe has tightened his grip on power even further, turning the economy over to a national security council of his closest allies. In addition, he has seeded the government's civilian ministries this year with loyal army and intelligence officers who now control key functions, from food security to tax collection.

At the same time, Mr. Mugabe's government has printed trillions of new Zimbabwean dollars to keep ministries functioning and to shield the salaries of key supporters — and potential enemies — against further erosion. Supplemental spending proposed early in April would increase the 2006 spending limits approved last November by fully 40 percent, and more such emergency spending measures are all but certain before the year ends.

On Friday, the government said it would triple the salaries of 190,000 soldiers and teachers. But even those government workers still badly trail inflation; the best of the raises, to as much as $33 million a month, already are slightly below the latest poverty line for the average family of five.

This will only worsen inflation, for printing too many worthless dollars is in part what got Zimbabwe into this mess to begin with. Zimbabwe fell into hyperinflation after the government began seizing commercial farms in about 2000. Foreign investors fled, manufacturing ground to a halt, goods and foreign currency needed to buy imports fell into short supply and prices shot up.

Inflation, about 400 percent per year last November, edged over 600 percent in January, but began to soar after the government revealed that it had paid the International Monetary Fund $221 million to cover an arrears that threatened Zimbabwe's membership in the organization.

In February, the government admitted that it had printed at least $21 trillion in currency — and probably much more, critics say — to buy the American dollars with which the debt was paid.

By March, inflation had touched 914 percent a year, at which rate prices would rise more than tenfold in 12 months. Experts agree that quadruple-digit inflation is now a certainty.

In the midst of this craziness, some Harare enclaves seem paradoxically normal. North of downtown, where diplomats and aid workers are financed with American dollars, and generators and bottled water are the norm, the cafes still serve cappuccino and the markets sell plump roasting chickens, albeit $1 million chickens.

Everywhere else, the hardship is inescapable.

In Glen Norah, a dense suburb of thousands of tiny homes southwest of the city, 58-year-old Ayina Musoni and her divorced daughter Regai, 26, share their five-room house with Regai's two children and three lodgers. The lodgers, two security guards and a teacher, pay monthly rent totaling $3 million, or about $14.25 in American money.

Ms. Musoni's latest monthly bill for services from the Harare city government was $2.4 million. The refrigerator in her closet-size kitchen is empty except for a few bottles of boiled water. Christmas dinner was sadza, or corn porridge, with hard-boiled eggs. For Easter, there was nothing.

Mother and daughter make as much as $10 in American money each week by selling vegetables, from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. But the profits are being consumed by rising costs at the farmers' market where they buy stock. "Like potatoes," Regai said. "I went last week, and it was $500,000 for a packet. And when I went this weekend, it was $700,000.

Millions of Zimbabweans survive these days on the kindness of outsiders — foreigners who donate food or medicine and, more important, family members who have fled the nation for better lives abroad.

As many as three million Zimbabweans now live elsewhere, usually in Britain, South Africa or the United States. An economist here, John Robertson, estimates that they remit as much as $50 million a month to their families — the equivalent of one sixth of the gross domestic product.

Ms. Musoni's is not a hard-luck story; in Harare, most people now live this way, or worse. Indeed, life for many may be better in the nation's impoverished rural areas, where subsistence farming is the only industry and millions of people are guaranteed free monthly rations from the United Nations and other donors. In the cities, little is free.

Unity Motize, 64, lives with her 65-year-old husband, Simeon, in Highfield, a middle-class suburb turned slum not far south of town. The couple occupies one room of their three-room house. The second sleeps two sons, their wives and their two infants, all left homeless last May after riot police bulldozed the homes of hundreds of thousands of slum-dwellers. A 23-year-old son and an unemployed daughter sleep in the living room.

Hyperinflation is a cradle-to-grave experience here. The government recently announced that the price of childbirth, now $7 million, would rise 463 percent by October. Funeral costs are to double over the same period.

In rural areas, said one official of a foreign-based charity who declined to be named, fearing consequences from the government, even the barest funeral costs at least $6 million, or about $28.50 — well beyond most families' means. The dead are buried in open fields at night, she said. Recently, she watched one family dismantle their home's cupboard to construct a makeshift coffin.

"I'll never forget that," she said. "The incredible sadness of it all."

Critics say that Zimbabwe's rulers are oblivious to such suffering — last year, Mr. Mugabe completed his own 25-bedroom mansion in a gated suburb north of town, close by the mansions of top ministers and military allies.

But the government says it has a plan to revive the economy. That plan, the latest of perhaps seven in 10 years, would quickly raise billions of American dollars to end a chronic foreign currency shortage, cut the inflation rate to double digits by year's end and an end to the recession that has gripped Zimbabwe, halving its economic output, since 1999.

Mr. Robertson, the economist, says that is unlikely. Zimbabweans can and probably will endure greater hardship, he says. As a whole, the nation has only now sunk to standards common elsewhere in Africa. But the government may have reached the limit of its ability to do anything about it. Cutting spending seems impossible, and raising taxes further is unthinkable.

That leaves one option: "much more inflation," he said. "Because this government is always going to be printing its way out of its current difficulty."


05-22-2006, 04:29 PM
Reading, Writing and Race

http://www.wltx.com/images/vidicon.gif Video
Reading, Writing and Race - J.R. Berry Reports (http://www.wltx.com/video/player.aspx?aid=21536&bw=)
WEB EXCLUSIVE - J.R. Berry's extended interview with Winston McCuen (http://www.wltx.com/video/player.aspx?aid=21531&bw=)
Reaction to News19's Story (http://www.wltx.com/video/player.aspx?aid=21549&bw=)
Follow-up: How did McCuen get hired by Lexington Two? (http://www.wltx.com/video/player.aspx?aid=21560&bw=)
Brookland-Cayce High School students react to Dr. McCuen's statements. Will Frampton reports. (http://www.wltx.com/video/player.aspx?aid=21573&bw=)

Winston McCuen

Related Links Viewer Comments on "Reading, Writing and Race" (http://www.wltx.com/news/news19.aspx?storyid=37807)
American Renaissance Web site (http://www.amren.com/)

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Reported by J.R. Berry

(Cayce) - Inside the walls of Brookland-Cayce High School, you expect students to be treated equally. But a viewer tip led News19 online where a teacher's comments left us asking questions.

"These sorts of things are going to upset people, but the truth can be very upsetting," said Brookland-Cayce High School teacher Winston McCuen.

That truth, at least according to McCuen, is that black people are inferior to whites.

"Intellectually, yes they are," said McCuen. "This has been confirmed over and over, and this is a generalization. Again, there are some blacks who are more intelligent than individual whites. But as a rule, that is true. I-Q tests prove it over, and over and over."

News19's J.R. Berry asked McCuen, "Do you think slavery in America was a good thing? "Yes," said McCuen. "In America there was a rational assessment saying listen, if we give these people freedom right as they are and you have to go back to see how they were, you can't assume they were like us.

J.R. asked, "How were they?" "They were coming out of the jungles," said McCuen. "They had been enslaving each other for centuries in Africa, and in terms of being used to rule of law, they knew none of that."

No doubt about it, Winston McCuen has controversial opinions. But do his views make it into the classroom? He teaches Latin at Brookland-Cayce. He told J.R. that most of his students are white.

J.R. asked," Is this something that enters your classroom, something you tell your students?" "I'm a Latin teacher, so I'm not teaching politics or history," said McCuen. "I'm just teaching Latin."

"We got off subject one day and he mentioned that slavery happened and he mentioned the Vice-President around Andrew Jackson's time, and that's how we got off on slavery," said 9th-grader Candace Carol. The Vice-President she was referring to is John C. Calhoun; someone Winston McCuen admires.

"John C. Calhoun: the greatest South Carolinian in terms of political understanding and wisdom," said McCuen. "And he argued that the institution of slavery was a positive good, and he called it a great good and it was good."

Before talking with us, McCuen posted his views on an internet Web site called "American Renaissance." Most of the comments on the site are aimed at blacks. McCuen's comments are no exception. For instance, last August, McCuen said, "There is no apology to be made for black slavery in America. Why should today's whites apologize for the wisdom of their ancestors?"

J.R. commented to McCuen, "There will be some people that will say those are racist remarks." "They can call them what they will," said McCuen. "But if they call it racist, I just say it's true and you've got to deal with that. I have a responsibility to speak the truth; I believe it is."

J.R. asked, "So if you have black students in your class, do you look down on them?" "No, "said McCuen. "I try to do the best I can with every student I've got."

J.R. asked, "But you just said they were inferior?" "You try to actualize whatever potential is there," said McCuen.

This isn't the first time Winston McCuen has been in the news. In 1999, he was a history teacher at St. Joseph's, a private high school in Greenville. McCuen hung a Confederate flag in his classroom. When parents complained, he was told by school officials to take it down. He didn't, and he was fired.

"Our board of trustees ran screaming into the night saying 'take it down, take it down,' and I refused to because you need to present different views in the classroom," said McCuen.

That was seven years ago. Today, the Emory University graduate is on administrative leave after News19 informed Lexington District Two about his comments. He won't be back next year. But he wasn't coming back anyway because of a certification issue. Though the district declined an on-camera interview, they did issue the following statement:

"District officials have not seen the video done by WLTX, but we are now aware of certain web sites. The District cannot dictate the personal political views of its employees. The positions
of Dr. McCuen are not the positions of Lexington School District Two.

The parents of our district have entrusted us with the education of their children, and we
continually strive to foster a positive learning environment for all of our students. The District is investigating the matter and will take appropriate action if warranted. Dr. McCuen is currently on administrative leave. For unrelated reasons, he will not be teaching in Lexington School District Two next year."

While McCuen's days with Lexington Two are numbered, McCuen says his time in the classroom is far from over.

"Is that a problem?" said McCuen. "I hope not. "Am I not supposed to make a living because of my views? Or should I just be wiped out or what, and people like me, what do you think?"

So, what do you think? News19 wants to hear from you. To email us, just click here. (viewersvoice@wltx.com) And to read viewer comments, click here. (http://www.wltx.com/news/news19.aspx?storyid=37807)

05-22-2006, 06:27 PM
Rare Mirage Lasts for 4 Hours off East China Shorehttp://chinastic.chinabroadcast.cn//images//7660.gif http://en.chinabroadcast.cn/mmsource/images/2006/05/08/4316seasea.jpg
(A mirage appears off the shore of Penglai City in eastern China's Shandong Province on Sunday, May 7, 2005. Photo: China Photo Press)

(A mirage appears off the shore of Penglai City in eastern China's Shandong Province on Sunday, May 7, 2005. Photo: China Photo Press)
Thousands of tourists and local residents witnessed a mirage of high clarity lasting for four hours off the shore of Penglai City in east China's Shandong Province on Sunday.

Mists rising on the shore created an image of a city, with modern high-rise buildings, broad city streets and bustling cars as well as crowds of people all clearly visible.

The city of Penglai had been soaked by two days of rain before the rare weather phenomenon occurred.

The mirage took place during the week-long Labor Day holiday. The small city received over 30,000 tourists on Sunday.

Experts said that many mirages have been recorded in Penglai, on the tip of Shandong Peninsula, throughout history, which made it known as a dwelling place of the gods.

They explained that a mirage is formed when moisture in the air becomes warmer than the temperature of sea water, which refracts rays of sunlight to create reflections of the landscape in the sky.

05-22-2006, 06:33 PM

05-23-2006, 03:51 PM
Croc snatches chainsawA crocodile agitated by a chainsaw's noise chased the man operating it and snatched it off him.
Freddy Buckland was cutting a dead tree that had fallen against a saltwater crocodile pen in Australia.
The 14ft crocodile jumped out of the water and bit the chainsaw out of his hands, reports the Sydney Morning Post.
It happened at a roadhouse, near Darwin, where Mr Buckland was clearing up damage from a cyclone.
Owner Peter Shappert said: "As he was trimming up the tree on the outside the croc jumped out of the water and sped along the tree about 18, 20 feet and actually grabbed the chainsaw out of his hands.
"It must have been the noise. I don't think he was actually trying to grab Freddy, but I'm not sure. He had a fair go at him
"I think he just grabbed the first thing he could and it happened to be the chainsaw."
Mr Buckland was not injured nor was the crocodile, Brutus, which Mr Shappert says he might rename Two-Stroke..
"He chewed on the chainsaw for about an hour-and-a-half, then we finally got it out... It's still in one piece but, yeah, it's buggered."

05-23-2006, 04:00 PM
Greek and Turkish planes collide
Greek and Turkish F-16 fighter jets have crashed into the southern Aegean Sea after colliding in mid-air. The Greek pilot was killed, while the Turkish pilot was rescued after ejecting safely, Turkish officials say.
The collision, near Karpathos island, occurred after Greece scrambled a jet to intercept the Turkish aircraft, a Greek spokesman said.
Despite a thaw in recent years, the two neighbours have a long-standing territorial dispute over the Aegean.
Turkey insists Greek airspace extends only 10km (6 miles) offshore, not 16km (10 miles) as Greece maintains.
In the past, the two have come close to armed conflict over the dispute.
The incident occurred at about 27,000 ft (8,000 m), some 21 miles (34 km) southeast of Karpathos.
Greek government spokesman Evangelos Antonaros said the planes had gone down after touching wing tips.
"It was likely an interception operation," he said.
The BBC's Richard Galpin in Athens says interception attempts happen frequently, with the two sides shadowing each other and even staging mock dog fights in their disputed air space.
Nato has previously warned the two member states that these are dangerous.
The collision spotted by passengers on board a plane travelling to Cairo, according to eyewitnesses quoted on Greek television. They reportedly saw an explosion in the sky.
The Turkish pilot was picked up by a passing merchant ship, Turkish officials said.
He was later flown home by an army helicopter. But the officials said the Greek pilot had died in the collision.
This has not been confirmed by the Greek government. However officials in Athens told the BBC they believe the pilot did not eject - and therefore may have died.
A search and rescue operation will continue for 72 hours, they said.
Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul conveyed his country's condolences to his Greek counterpart Dora Bakoyanni in a telephone conversation, the foreign ministry in Ankara said.
"The two foreign ministers expressed their regret at today's incident and agreed that this should not affect the two countries' efforts to improve their relations," a Greek foreign ministry statement said.

we should just go to war and get it over and done with.

05-23-2006, 06:20 PM
Mystery disturbance traced to sound wave


Scripps scientists say it traveled over the ocean to desert

A group of local scientists has uncovered some clues to the source of a mysterious disturbance that rattled San Diego County on the morning of April 4, shaking windows, doors and bookcases from the coast to the mountains.
The scientists, based at Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, say the disturbance was caused by a sound wave that started over the ocean and petered out over the Imperial County desert. Using data from more than two dozen seismometers, they traced its likely origin to a spot roughly 120 miles off the San Diego coast.
Tracking the boom
(http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/metro/20060427-9999-1n27boom.html#)That spot is in the general vicinity of Warning Area 291, a huge swath of ocean used for military training exercises. The Navy operates a live-fire range on San Clemente Island, which is within Warning Area 291 and sits about 65 miles from Mission Bay.
The researchers also have charted dozens of similar, if less dramatic, incidents that seem to have originated in the same general area of the ocean. They aren't sure what caused any of them.
Peter Shearer, a Scripps professor involved in the research, has no idea whether the April 4 disturbance was natural or made by humans.
“I would guess it's either an explosion that somebody hasn't told us about or it could have been a meteor coming into the atmosphere,” he said. “But it was certainly a big disturbance in the atmosphere.”
Steve Fiebing, a Coronado-based Navy spokesman, said the live-fire range on San Clemente Island was inactive April 4. He also said there was no Navy or Marine Corps flight activity in Warning Area 291 on that day that would have caused a sonic boom or a countywide tremor.
The area, also known in military circles as Whiskey 291, covers 1 million square miles and is off-limits to civilian planes and ships, Fiebing said.
“There was no unusual training that would have caused anything close to what people here felt,” he said.
Cmdr. William Fenick, another local Navy spokesman, said no San Diego-based warships were conducting operations in Warning Area 291 that day.
“We don't know at this time where this earthquakelike sensation came from,” Fenick said.

http://www.signonsandiego.com/images/t.gifhttp://www.signonsandiego.com/images/t.gif'The April 4 disturbance hit San Diego County shortly before 9 a.m. A quake was quickly eliminated as the cause, leaving a mystery that has been the source of three weeks of speculation from Pacific Beach to Lakeside to the Internet.
The Scripps researchers believe the disturbance was the result of a low-frequency wave that traveled through the air at the speed of sound as it moved from the ocean to the desert. It was picked up by more than two dozen seismometers in San Diego and eastern Riverside counties, the researchers said.
According to data analyzed by the scientists, the wave was felt on San Nicolas Island, northwest of San Clemente Island, at 8:40 a.m. It hit Solana Beach at 8:46 a.m., the western edge of the Cleveland National Forest at 8:47.30 and the eastern side of the Salton Sea at 8:53 a.m. From there, it appears to have dissipated.
Elizabeth Cochran, the lead researcher on the project, said the wave moved at 320 meters per second, roughly the speed that sound travels through the air. Its velocity was too slow to be that of an earthquake, she said.
Cochran, a postdoctoral researcher in the geophysics and planetary physics department, said the only explanation is that the wave was traveling through the atmosphere, not through the ground. At each location, the wave could be felt for roughly 10 seconds, she said.
Several months before the April 4 incident, the team had begun studying other nonquake disturbances that were registering on San Diego County seismometers, including 76 that apparently originated in that same general area of the ocean in 2003. Shearer said he and his colleagues figured that some of those disturbances surely must have come from offshore military exercises.
The researchers haven't been able to determine whether the April 4 wave was more powerful than the earlier ones or whether it simply felt that way because of atmospheric conditions.
If the disturbance was caused by the military, no one has owned up to it. The Navy and Marines say none of their planes were flying at supersonic speeds that morning.
“I'm told that a sonic boom would not cover that distance at all,” said Fiebing, the Navy spokesman.
The Navy uses Warning Area 291 for a wide range of training, including large-scale ship maneuvers and battle exercises, but Fiebing and Fenick said they were unaware of any such training April 4 that would have caused such a disturbance. Authorities have said a meteor probably wasn't the cause because it would have been noticed by the scientific community. The American Meteor Society reported no fireball sightings over Southern California on that day.

05-24-2006, 07:52 PM
http://media.apn.co.nz/webcontent/image/jpg/25easttimor.jpgAn East Timorese soldier runs for cover during a battle in Dili yesterday. Picture / Reuters
Timorese ask NZ to help quell rebellion
UPDATED 8.10am Thursday May 25, 2006
By Mike Houlahan and Derek Cheng

New Zealand soldiers are poised to fly to East Timor to help end fighting between the military and disgruntled former soldiers.
Timor's Foreign Minister, Jose Ramos-Horta, said yesterday that New Zealand and Australian troops would "disarm renegade troops and police rebelling against the State".
Mr Ramos-Horta said both countries had agreed to the request.
Officials are seeking more information before the Government sends troops in response to the request, Prime Minister Helen Clark said this morning.
Today diplomats and a military attache stationed in Jakarta in Indonesia would assess the situation.
"So that's where we are at the present time. It's very important not to walk into what is a factional dispute, in some respects, and be seen to be taking sides," Helen Clark said on National Radio.
"We have to also be mindful the (United Nations) Security Council is having consultations as we speak."
The Government is urging about 40 New Zealanders in East Timor to leave. Around 30 soldiers are understood to be ready to go.
The number and type of troops New Zealand might send would depend on whether they were going to help an evacuation or to restore law and order.
Helen Clark said: "The request was to provide elements of our defence force to support theirs and the suggestion appeared to be they might be looking for some military to go to their border area while they brought their own troops closer into Dili."
Gun battles raged around Dili yesterday for the second day running, rival military factions exchanging fire around an Army base in the western outskirts of the capital.
Australia yesterday began evacuating all non-essential public servants.
New Zealand has made no such move but upgraded its travel advisory, giving a warning against travelling there.
The Defence Force has a contingency plan to evacuate people. Spokesman Mike Shatford said troops were ready and on stand-by. "It has to come through the Prime Minister and until we hear from her, we are not in a position to do anything," he said.
Worried UN officials in the ramshackle capital raised the level of its security alert as President Xanana Gusmao ordered Government forces to hunt down renegades.
At least one pro-Government soldier was wounded yesterday and was undergoing emergency surgery to remove shrapnel from his neck.
Terrified residents fled the outer suburb of Tasi Tolu, saying there was intense fighting between pro-Government soldiers and rebels.
International aid worker Nata Andjaparidze said she and her husband had been trapped in their house when fighting broke out. "It wasn't just a normal exchange of gunfire. It was more intense. Machineguns and grenades were being used."
"We only succeeded in getting out of the area during an interval in the shooting of about five minutes."
East Timor, or Timor-Leste, formally came into being in 2002 after a long-running struggle for independence from Indonesia, which took over the former Portuguese colony in 1975.
New Zealand and Australian troops last played a leading role in a 1999 United Nations peace mission which helped bring order to Timor.
The UN had been scheduled to pull out of East Timor this week but because of the violence will stay for another month.
Meanwhile, Helen Clark has announced that some of the New Zealand troops rushed to the Solomon Islands last month to quell rioting in the capital, Honiara, are to return.
She confirmed 30 police would withdraw, leaving 37 officers there.
* Around 600 soldiers - a third of the East Timorese Army - were dismissed in March amid claims of ethnic favouritism.
* The soldiers' grievances have run parallel to political upheavals which have seen Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri withstand efforts to depose him

05-24-2006, 08:07 PM
Former Salvation Army captain charged with sex abuse
Tuesday May 23, 2006
By Jarrod Booker

An elderly Auckland man will stand trial on multiple sex-abuse charges from his time as manager of a Salvation Army children's home in the 1970s.
John Francis Gainsford, 69, managed the Bramwell Booth children's home in Temuka, South Canterbury, between January 1973 and January 1975, and allegedly abused seven young people in that time.
He faces 28 charges of sexual violation and other indecencies, and is expected to stand trial later this year.
The Salvation Army said it had been up to 30 years since Mr Gainsford, a former captain, was involved with the organisation. The home ceased caring for children in the late 1970s.
It has accepted that abuse took place at its children's homes, all of which are now closed. In recent years the army had met dozens of people claiming they were abused.
"We are aware of instances in the past where people in the care of the Salvation Army were abused," said spokesman Major Alistair Herring.
"In some instances [the abusers] are no longer alive. It has horrified us that this could occur for any child at any time."
Some people simply wanted to tell their story, some wanted an explanation and apology, while others sought cash payouts or assistance with counselling or therapy, which the Salvation Army had provided, he said.
Of the seven alleged victims of Gainsford, some had approached the Salvation Army before going to police to make a complaint.
"It is standard practice to advise people to seek legal advice and support and we have assured them if it leads to them approaching police then we will fully co-operate with the investigation," said Mr Herring.
Only a small handful of complaints from people who had approached the Salvation Army had still to be settled, he said. The organisation was open to others coming forward.

05-24-2006, 08:15 PM
Aboriginal communities rife with horrific sexual violence
Wednesday May 17, 2006
By Nick Squires

SYDNEY - Australian authorities say they are struggling to combat an epidemic of sexual violence against Aboriginal women and children after horrific new details emerged of babies as young as seven months being raped.
The shocking level of violence is blamed on alcohol abuse, petrol sniffing and a breakdown in traditional beliefs.
The remote desert region has the country's highest murder rate and Aboriginal women are 52 times more likely to be assaulted than white women.
A 10-year-old girl who was promised as a wife to a 55-year-old Aboriginal man was tied to a tree in the bush for several weeks. The man gave her food and water and repeatedly had sex with her until she became pregnant.
A 7-month-old baby who was raped after being snatched from her bed by an Aboriginal man in 2003 needed surgery for extensive internal injuries.
The abuse was revealed after ABC television obtained a confidential briefing paper prepared for senior police.
It was written by the Crown Prosecutor for central Australia, Nanette Rogers, who has worked for 12 years in Alice Springs.
In one of the most distressing incidents, an 18-year-old Aboriginal man anally raped and then drowned a 6-year-old indigenous girl.
Cases like this were really beyond the range of normal comprehension, Dr Rogers said.
Many of the incidents do not reach the courts because of a lack of witnesses and a propensity in Aboriginal communities not to seek help from the law.
Children were being abused because their parents were too drunk to intervene, or were simply absent at the time of the attack. Poverty, boredom and alienation also contribute to the abuse.
Of the 40 Aboriginal communities with a population of 2500 or more scattered across central Australia, only eight have a police presence nearby.
Alcohol abuse and sniffing petrol have reached epidemic proportions. In the Northern Territory, 80 per cent of the prison population is indigenous.
"It is really, really bad," said Margaret Kemarre, an Aboriginal elder from Alice Springs. "I think the grog is really taking away all our families."
Federal Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Mal Brough, said he was glad the report had been leaked because the rest of Australia needed to know the extent of the crisis.

05-24-2006, 08:18 PM
wow best thread on the forum

05-24-2006, 08:24 PM
http://media.apn.co.nz/webcontent/image/jpg/ACFXCAsZaiVS.jpgA bus torched by gangsters in a wave of violence to hit Sao Paulo. Picture / Reuters
Inequality in Brazil 'tearing nation apart'
Saturday May 20, 2006

Gang violence that has rocked Brazil's business capital Sao Paulo in the past week should serve as a warning to the nation's richer classes that the country's deep social inequalities were tearing it apart, the Sao Paulo State Governor said.
In a full-page interview in leading newspaper Folha de S.Paulo, Governor Claudio Lembo also denied police were carrying out massacres to quell the violence, in which about 140 people have been killed since last Friday.
"All this has been a big wake-up for Brazil. The social situation is the cancer for crime and it is bigger than we imagined," he said.
Brazil's most powerful criminal gang, the First Command of the Capital (PCC), unleashed a wave of bloodshed in Sao Paulo city and state at the weekend in retaliation for the transfer of jailed gang leaders and members to a remote high-security prison.
Dozens of policeman were killed in attacks on police posts, vehicles and off-duty officers. Dozens of buses were also set ablaze. Related uprisings broke out in dozens of prisons across the state to demand better conditions.
The attacks caused panic and chaos in Sao Paulo, the world's third-largest metropolis with a population of 20 million. It had largely subsided by midweek after police killed around 100 suspected gangsters in operations through poor districts of the city.
While condemning the gangsters, human rights groups have expressed concern the police are resorting to extra-judicial executions to stamp out the violence.
Asked if the police were carrying out revenge attacks in which innocent people may be killed, Lembo said the police were under control.
"There are clashes every night in the streets.
"The police are acting to avoid the worst for society."
While crime and lawlessness is rampant in Brazil's cities, the scale of the Sao Paulo gang offensive was unprecedented.
Lembo had candid words for Brazil's upper classes, saying the crime problem was rooted in the desperate poverty and wide gap between rich and poor in the nation of 185 million people.
"We have a white minority that is very perverse. The bourgeoisie will have to open their pockets to lift the misery so there are more jobs, more education," he said.
While leftist politicians and humanitarian organisations have long linked crime to deprivation, Lembo's comments were notable as he is a member of the right-wing Liberal Front Party and comes from a banking background.
Many of Brazil's upper classes endorse repressive police tactics and show little concern for social problems. "Brazil is disintegrating and losing its civic values," Lembo said.

Wamukota X
05-25-2006, 12:51 PM
CONTACT: EWG Public Affairs Staff, (202) 667-6982
FDA Finds High Benzene Levels in Limited Test of Drinks

Today FDA announced it found high levels of benzene in several samples (http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~dms/benzdata.html) in a test of a small number of sodas and juice drinks.
"FDA's test results confirm that there is a serious problem with benzene in soda and juices," said Richard Wiles, senior vice president at Environmental Working Group.
In a very limited sample of products, FDA found two popular drinks—Safeway Diet Orange and Crystal Light Sunrise Classic Orange—with up to 17 times more benzene than allowed in tap water, and three other products with benzene levels up to four times the drinking water limit. Many other products had detectable levels of the carcinogen.
"There is no excuse for deliberately putting chemicals that form high levels of potent cancer-causing benzene in popular drinks," Wiles said. "This is a wake-up call for the beverage industry. It is time to get benzene-forming ingredients out of sodas and juices."

FDA Found the Potent Carcinogen Benzene in 10 Soft Drinks at Levels Up to 17 Times The EPA Drinking Water Standard

Crystal Light Sunrise Classic Orange (lot 1)87.9-76.6 ppb

Safeway Select Diet Orange (lot 1)79.2 ppb

Crystal Light Sunrise Classic Orange (lot 3)73.9 ppb

AquaCal Strawberry Flavored Water Beverage (lot 1)23.4 ppb

Safeway Select Diet Orange (lot 2)15.2-10.7 ppb

Safeway Select Diet Orange (lot 3)13.2-11.4 ppb

Giant Light Cranberry Juice Cocktail (lot 1)10.7-9.1 ppb

AquaCal Strawberry Flavored Water Beverage (lot 2)10.4-9.2 ppb

Crush Pineapple9.2 ppb

Giant Light Cranberry Juice Cocktail (lot 2)5.4 ppb

Note: EPA drinking water standard for benzene is 5 parts per billion (ppb)
Source: FDA Data on Benzene in Soft Drinks (http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~dms/benzdata.html)

http://www.ewg.org/images/bulletin/bulletin_header.gif (http://www.democracyinaction.org/dia/track.jsp?key=128783518&url_num=1&url=http://www.ewg.org/) Dear Friend,
I wanted to share with you an important food safety update that the Environmental Working Group (EWG) and our online community helped bring about.
Last Friday, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released the names of five beverages that it found had high levels of cancer-causing benzene. Two brands -- Safeway Diet Orange soda and Crystal Light Sunrise Classic Orange -- had 17 times the level of benzene that is allowed in tap water. As a result of EWG's pressure and publicity, the FDA committed to testing more products, and several major manufacturers, including Kraft and Schweppes, agreed to reformulate their beverages.
To see a list of the most-contaminated beverages, and EWG's media statement, click here (http://www.democracyinaction.org/dia/track.jsp?key=128783518&url_num=2&url=http://www.ewg.org/issues/toxics/20060519/index.php).
EWG first sounded the warning in late February that consumers should scan their soda labels for the presence of both sodium benzoate and ascorbic acid, two chemicals that combine to form benzene, a potent carcinogen. We did so after uncovering evidence that the FDA's own tests, going back as far as 1995, had found disturbing levels of benzene in soft drinks.
In spite of our efforts, the FDA continued to proclaim that consumers had nothing to worry about. Only after an EWG petition drive (http://www.democracyinaction.org/dia/track.jsp?key=128783518&url_num=3&url=http://www.whatsinmysoda.com/campaigns/benzene/) and public awareness campaign did the agency back down and agree to release testing information on some beverages.
But they didn't go far enough. These test results, which cover only a small fraction of the beverages on the market today, show that there's a serious problem with benzene in soda and juices. The very least FDA can do is disclose test results for all soft drinks containing benzene-forming chemicals.
There should be a zero tolerance policy for benzene in any consumer product. There's simply no excuse for this potent carcinogen to be in any drink.
This drama has been playing out since 1990, when the FDA first learned of the benzene problem and, rather than informing the public about it, decided to allow the beverage industry to address it on its own. The industry, by all accounts, did nothing. But the FDA kept the lid on information that could have helped consumers avoid benzene-laden drinks.
A government agency siding with industry and against the health of our children -- that's the kind of behavior that motivates us to action. At EWG, we believe in the power of information to protect people's health, and we'll continue to fight for your right to know about dangerous chemicals in the products you buy.
Thanks for being part of our community,

05-25-2006, 09:35 PM
Police: Fatal fight began over chicken

FW: Man took piece from brother, stabbed him, officers say

10:19 AM CDT on Sunday, May 21, 2006

By JENNIFER EMILY / The Dallas Morning News
FORT WORTH – An argument between two brothers over a piece of chicken ended when one of them was stabbed to death with a kitchen knife, Fort Worth police said Saturday.
Michael Williams, 17, brought the chicken home Friday evening, and his brother Marcus Williams, 21, swiped a piece. A brawl ensued, and Marcus Williams grabbed a knife from the kitchen, police said.
Police said three family members witnessed Marcus Williams stab his brother in the chest and left temple.
Fort Worth police and paramedics were called at 6:19 p.m. Friday. Michael Williams died at John Peter Smith Hospital.
The Tarrant County medical examiner said the chest wound killed Michael Williams.
Police arrested Marcus Williams on a murder charge, Fort Worth police Lt. Gene Jones said. He was taken to the Mansfield Jail.
Lt. Jones said Saturday he did not know whether the brothers had a history of fighting.
The stabbing occurred on Andrew Street in East Fort Worth, just east of Loop 820 and south of Rosedale Street.
No one answered the door Saturday afternoon at the home.
Several neighbors said they had seen the Williams brothers but had never spoken to them.

05-25-2006, 10:13 PM
Enron's Lay found guilty on all counts, Skilling on 19

Last Updated Thu, 25 May 2006 16:02:47 EDT CBC News (http://www.cbc.ca/news/credit.html)
A jury has convicted Enron Corp. founder Kenneth Lay and former chief executive Jeffrey Skilling in their criminal trial related to the demise of the once high-flying company.
http://www.cbc.ca/gfx/images/news/photos/2006/05/25/skilling-j060525.jpg Jeffrey Skilling speaks to reporters after being convicted on 19 of the 28 charges he faced.

Lay, 64, was convicted on six counts of fraud and conspiracy linked to the downfall of the company he helped build into the seventh-largest company in the United States.
Skilling, 52, was found guilty on 19 of the 28 charges he faced. He was convicted on one count of conspiracy, one count of insider trading, five counts of making false statements and 12 counts of securities fraud. He was acquitted on nine counts of insider trading.

RELATED: The rise and fall of Enron: a brief history (http://www.cbc.ca/story/business/national/2006/05/25/enron-bkgd.html)

The jury of eight women and four men reached their verdict on their sixth day of deliberations.
Sentencing for the two men is set for Sept. 11. Lay faces up to 45 years in prison, while Skilling faces a sentence of up to 185 years.
U.S. District Judge Sim Lake set a $5-million US bond for Lay, who was ordered to surrender his passport before he left the Houston courthouse where the trial was held.
Lay was also convicted on a count of bank fraud and three counts of making false statements to banks in a separate trial heard by Judge Lake on Lay's personal banking. Lay faces a sentence of up to 120 years related to those convictions.
Lay "shocked" at verdict
Following a bond hearing, Lay emerged from the courthouse to tell reporters he was surprised and shocked at his conviction.
"Certainly, this was not the outcome we expected," said Lay, who was flanked by his wife Linda.
"I firmly believe I'm innocent of the charges against me, as I have said from day one," he said.
For his part Skilling said he was disappointed.
"But that's the way the system works," he said.
Skilling's lawyer, Daniel Petrocelli, said they will mount a "full and vigorous" appeal.
Sean Berkowitz, the director of the U.S. government's Enron task force, also commented on the verdict. "The jury has spoken, and they have sent an unmistakable message to board rooms across the country: you can't lie to shareholders, you can't put yourselves in front of your employees' interests," he told reporters.
"No matter how rich and powerful you are, you have to play by the rules," he added.
In Washington, U.S. Deputy Attorney General Paul McNulty said the message of today's trial is that criminal law will be enforced just as vigorously against corporate criminals as against street criminals.
"No one, including the head of Fortune 500 companies, is above the law," he said.
Massive failure
Enron went bankrupt in December 2001 following revelations that it had hidden huge losses by using fraudulent partnership deals. The losses were kept off the company's balance sheet.
After the losses were revealed, the company's stock plunged, wiping out billions of dollars of investors' money.
Enron's collapse was the biggest case of bankruptcy in the United States up to that point. (WorldCom's collapse would later steal that dubious honour.) Roughly 5,600 Enron employees subsequently lost their jobs.

05-25-2006, 10:44 PM
All in the head?

http://images.thetimes.co.uk/images/trans.gifImagine one day you see strange fibres, usually clear but sometimes blue, red or black, protruding from your skin, like a piece of spaghetti, or a hair where none is supposed to be.
You itch all over, lesions appear and you have an unnerving, infuriating feeling that bugs are crawling under and on your skin.
NI_MPU('middle');"Brain fog" and short term memory loss set in. You are plagued by chronic fatigue. You can't work or go outside much because you don't know if you're infectious and anyway, you're too tired.
Doctor after doctor sees the evidence you bring to your visit - the fibres and the scabs - as the "matchbox" sign that you are imaging things because sufferers of delusional parasitosis traditionally bring their "proof" in a matchbox.
Still the lesions appear, and the fibres. Sometimes you see things that can only be called "fuzzballs," or sometimes grains of sand, or other times, black granules. It hurts. You try to pull the fibres out when you can see them but it doesn't help. Years later, you're still searching for a cure. You might get temporary relief from powerful, long-term antibiotics but as soon as you stop taking them, the symptoms return.
It may sound like a scene from Alien, an elaborate hoax or a biblical parable you forgot. But for an estimated 3,500 self-reported cases, many of them in California, Florida or Texas, it is 21st century reality. These sufferers have registered at a website that seeks support for clinical studies into a mystery disease they have named "Morgellons (http://www.morgellons.org/)." Cases have been reported in all 50 states here but also all over Europe, including Britain, many of them by nurses and teachers, according to the Morgellons Foundation. Some doctors have been reported to take it seriously, and one says he has had success treating it with antibiotics. Another physician who specialized in treating Morgellons was in the news a lot lately after he had his license revoked.
But most doctors believe Morgellons is not in the skin, but in the head.
"This is not a mysterious disease," says Dr Norman Levine, a Professor of Dermatology at the University of Arizona. "If you polled 10,000 dermatologists, everyone would agree with me." He says he has seen 100 patients suffering from such symptoms, and they responded well to treatment, including a drug called Pimozide, which is used for chronic schizophrenia. According to Dr Levine, they are suffering from a monosymptomatic disorder in which they are absolutely convinced something is in their skin, a delusional parasitosis. He says he has studied the fibres his patients bring in by the bag-load and they are textile in nature.

Yet the case displayed most prominently by the foundation set up by sufferers is that of a child. Magnified 60 times, this was reportedly extracted from a lesion on the face of a three-year-old boy. Children are not known to suffer from delusional parasitosis. But I suppose organized medicine would say their parents are.
So I talked to Mary Leitao, who set up the foundation after she says her son Drew, now seven, first started complaining about the bugs in his skin at the age of two. She put a plastercast on his arm to make sure the fibres she kept finding really weren't coming from the carpet or some other external source. They weren't, she said. A trained biologist, she works from home full-time now, trying to draw attention to Morgellons, which she said also afflicts her two teenage children. Her story is tragic. Her husband, a physician, passed away unexpectedly from a heart attack in his sleep two years ago.
A Dr. C.E. Kellett of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, in 1935, wrote an account of references to this or similar conditions through the ages in 1935 (http://penelope.uchicago.edu/letter/kellett.html).

Mothers of infants who typically suffered from the ailment resorted to honey or heat treatments that forced the "worms" to come to the surface and were then shaved off or pulled out with a tweezer or fingernails, or so Dr Kellett wrote.
NI_MPU('middle');Ms Leitao described her son's experience like this. "One day he was taking a bubble bath and scratching and he just looked at me and said wickety whack, I hate this disease," she said. "Last night he had just taken a shower and I dried him off and he said Mom, is it normal for black hairs to come out of your skin when you scratch it? He scratched where his skin was very inflamed and blueish grey fibers rolled out of clean skin. He had just gotten out of the shower," she said.
My next port of call was Dr Randy Wymore, an assistant professor of pharmacology at Oklahoma State University who is studying the disease as a non-delusional phenomenon.
At his laboratory, he has been studying skin samples taken from sufferers. He emailed me these images and said he has compared them to microscopic images of many samples of textiles and animal hairs and that they are incomparable.
"At the moment I'm leaning towards the possibility that some kind of neurotoxin may be involved in this," he said. "There's clearly something going on. These people are not imagining this."
But for Dr Levine, people who believe the condition is not delusional are "part of the problem." Me, I'm baffled, itchy, feeling terrible for these patients, and hoping that if they are indeed suffering from a delusion, that I have not fed it by writing about it. Shouldn't someone just run a proper clinical study, so it can be established once and for all whether these poor people are indeed suffering from a new disease? Or does that make me delusional too?

05-26-2006, 03:23 PM
Family's tragic story told on police video
Oakland woman details drowning 3 sons, tape shows

John Koopman, Chronicle Staff Writer (jkoopman@sfchronicle.com)
Thursday, May 25, 2006

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Lashuan Harris' children did not go quietly to their deaths.
Trayshaun, the oldest at 6, was the first to go over the railing at San Francisco's Pier 7. He fought her as she took off his clothes, his mother told police afterward. He said, "No, Mama. What are you doing?"
The second child, 2-year-old Taronta, struggled, too, as she wrestled him out of his clothes, and then screamed as he went over the side.
The little one, 16-month-old Joshua, had gotten out of his stroller and was playing around, she said. Harris said she took off Joshua's clothing, too. He clung to her tightly, she said, before she tossed him into the water.
Those heartbreaking stories came from a videotaped interview conducted by San Francisco homicide investigators the evening of Oct. 19, hours after the Oakland woman allegedly killed her three children. The interview was shown Wednesday in court, where San Francisco Superior Court Judge Teri Jackson is conducting a preliminary hearing to determine whether Harris should stand trial.
She is charged with three counts of murder and three counts of child abuse.
Harris' attorney, Assistant Public Defender Teresa Caffese, said her client is mentally ill, that she committed the acts because she heard voices in her head. She believed, Caffese said, that God was telling her to kill her children.
The hearing began Tuesday. Later that day and most of Wednesday morning, the court watched the videotape of the detectives questioning Harris the night the children died.
Harris sat impassively at the defense table. Family and friends who came to court cried quietly as they listened to her describe in the taped interview how she killed her children.
"He didn't know what I was doing," Harris said of Trayshaun.
"Did he try to get away?" a homicide inspector asked.
"Yes," she said.
"Then what did you do?"
"I picked him up.''
The detectives continued to ask questions about Trayshaun, but Harris had a hard time answering. She seemed detached in the video, almost comatose. The officers had to repeat questions several times, and her answers were brief: "yes," "no" or "I don't know."
Taronta, Harris said, knew what she was doing after having watched Trayshaun go into the water.
"What was he saying?" a homicide detective asked Harris.
"Mama," she replied.
Taronta was the only child whose body was recovered. The others are still missing.
Inspectors Daniel Everson and Dennis Maffei treated Harris gently during the interview, never raising their voices but persistent in their questions. Harris showed little emotion during most of the interview, but later, after the officers had left the room with the camera running, she burst into tears and wailed uncontrollably.
As Harris talked about dropping her children into the bay, they asked her several times if she knew right from wrong, and whether it was wrong to do what she did.
"When Taronta was fighting you, did that make you think what you were doing was wrong?" one asked.
"Yeah," Harris responded.
But more often, she referred to "the voices." One of the inspectors asked if she was hearing voices right then, during the interview. "A little bit," she said. When asked to describe the voices, she could not. The voices told her to make "a living sacrifice" to God, she said.
Earlier Wednesday, a psychiatrist testified that Harris suffers from paranoid schizophrenia and thought that heaven was an actual place where she could send her sons.
Dr. Gil Villela, an attending psychiatrist at San Francisco General Hospital, said he met with 24-year-old Harris the day after the incident on Pier 7.
He said Harris was cooperative, very sedate and open to answering questions during the session. He said she suffered from "command auditory hallucinations," that is, voices telling her what to do. His immediate diagnosis was that she suffered from psychosis. Over time, he said, he came to the determination that she was a paranoid schizophrenic.
"She had a delusional thought disorder of a religious nature," he testified. "She had been told by God to put her children into the bay."
During the time he saw Harris, she gave him a letter she had written to her children and asked him to put it on an airplane to be taken to heaven, he said. The outside of the envelope was addressed, in crayon, "To Heaven."
"Dear God," the letter began. "I did what you told me. Now I'm in lock up and in a crazy house." In words written to her children, Harris had written, "I just wanted to tell you I love you. How is heaven holding up? Kiss my boys for me."
E-mail John Koopman at jkoopman@sfchronicle.com.

05-27-2006, 01:44 PM
wigz d to the icky in driveby flashing happened sometime eralier this year somebody needs to get on him right away he uses a tall black 4 by 4 and a clapped out blue hatchback. Watch out for him he is a phoney car painter and decorator who is believed to be armed and dangerous. You'll know him if you get near him he talks shit, all the time, shit just coming out of his mouth and he has got really woffin aftershave and he smells like kentucky fried chicken and brylcreem.

05-28-2006, 05:52 PM
http://media.apn.co.nz/webcontent/image/jpg/rakon_hq.jpgHerald inquiries revealed Rakon had knowingly provided a key component of smart bombs for the past 10 years. Picture / Paul Estcourt
The Rakon files: Parts don't need export okay, says PM
Monday May 29, 2006
By Phil Taylor

Star technology firm Rakon's crystals and oscillators which are used in smart weapons' navigation systems do not require export permits "at the moment", says the Prime Minister.
"As far as we can ascertain, Rakon's oscillators and crystals are not on the internationally agreed list of controlled goods and therefore do not require export permits," a spokesman for Helen Clark said yesterday.
"This is a list that is compiled by member countries signed up to the export control regimes of which New Zealand is a member.
"These lists aren't static, they are added and deleted as technology changes and things develop, but as far as we can ascertain these oscillators and crystals have a wide range of potential uses in communication and navigation technology and they are not on any list of controlled goods. "That's where the Government's position is at the moment."
The Weekend Herald reported that despite claiming last August not to know the end use of its products, Rakon has knowingly provided a key component of smart bombs for the past 10 years, is developing a component of a product for the US nuclear defence programme, and one which turns dumb shells into smart shells.
The report disclosed that Rakon, which last year won the New Zealand Trade and Enterprise supreme award for exports, had not been upfront at times in the past with clients over complaints of faults with products.
JDAM smart bombs used in the war in Iraq have almost certainly contained key Rakon components.
The Government is opposed to the war, which the Prime Minister has described as "wrong".
Although export regulations don't specifically identify crystals and oscillators as products that must be vetted before being sent overseas, there are sections which appear to deal with goods for guidance systems.
These mention goods that can be used in "the handling, control ... of bombs, torpedoes, rockets [and] missiles ... target acquisition, designation, range-finding, surveillance or tracking systems ... guidance and navigation for [naval] military use" as exports that may be restricted.
Green MP Keith Locke said the issue could have been sorted out when it arose last August if the Ministries of Economic Development and Foreign Affairs and Trade, and the Security Intelligence Service, which talks about its "role in stopping New Zealanders being involved in anything connected with nuclear weapons", had investigated.
"It seems all these agencies were so bedazzled by Rakon's export success they were reluctant to investigate properly then and ask hard questions."

Statement issued by Rakon Limited, May 27, 2006:
In response to coverage in the New Zealand Herald, May 27:
There is no hidden story. Rakon has fully disclosed the use of its products for military and aerospace applications in its recently published offer document.
We are disappointed and surprised that the Herald did not contact Rakon to verify any of the details in its article.
Rakon is proud of the quality of its products and the consistently superior quality ratings achieved across its broad customer base.
None of our products are being designed or manufactured for use in nuclear weapons.
Rakon has not invented technology specifically for US smart bombs. Although the military and aerospace industry is an important market for Rakon, it comprises less than 4% of Rakon's output by unit volume.
We are disappointed that the Herald has taken internal emails and distorted them out of context to sensationalise them.
- Brent Robinson, managing director, Rakon Ltd

05-28-2006, 06:07 PM
http://media.apn.co.nz/webcontent/image/jpg/poppies.jpgAfghan women work in a poppy field. Picture / Reuters
'Perfect storm' set to create record opium harvest
11.05.06 1.00pm
By Tom Coghlan

GRISHK, Helmand Province - Two hours drive from the Afghan city of Kandahar, 'the perfect storm' is about to break in the fields of Helmand province, according to a western official.

Here, in the place where British troops are to spend the next three years, a combination of factors have conspired to produce what is probably the biggest opium harvest in the history of a province that last year produced more than 20 per cent of the world's heroin on its own.

A law and order vacuum has allowed an increasingly well organised drugs mafia, a corrupt local government and resurgent Taleban to structure the poppy cultivation of the province as never before.

That has combined with fine growing conditions this year to produce what, if these were wine producers, might be considered a memorable vintage. And country wide it is now clear that the poppy harvest will be close to record levels again.

It is a dispiriting blow for the international counter-narcotics effort as 86 per cent of the world's heroin comes from Afghanistan.

Amongst a gently swaying sea of poppy heads near the town of Grishk, Haji Shadi Khan, 50, squatted wearily on his haunches and drained a proffered bottle of water at a single draught.

The harvest began last week and it is brutally labour intensive and skilled work. Every one of thousands of poppy heads must be lightly scored with a four bladed razor and then the opium 'milk' that oozes forth scrapped off and collected. Depending on the quality of the crop, the operation must be repeated three to seven times.

Behind him in the field his sons Gul Ahmed, 10 and Juma Jan, 7, were hard at work. Small boys have the advantage of working at the same height as the poppy heads.

Though he is only a paid labourer and doesn't own the land he is working Haji Shadi expects to make around $1,800. That represents one third of the value of the crop on a plot that is four fifths of a hectare large.

In April a UN rapid assessment which sought only to estimate broad trends in poppy cultivation offered an alarming picture of likely production when it suggested that cultivation was down in only three of Afghanistan's thirty-six provinces and was increasing or strongly increasing in thirteen.

This then left the British led counter-narcotics effort relying on a massive eradication effort to make an inroad into the Afghan poppy crop.

However, in the south at least efforts at eradication appear to have largely failed.

Haji Shadi chuckled merrily as he described how the provincial governor's eradication team arrived at his fields, enjoyed a convivial cup of tea and then left again with a wink, $50 the richer. $50 is equivalent to a month's wages for most government employees.

An estimated 40,000 to 50,000 hectares of poppy are being cultivated in Helmand this year, at least a 50 per cent increase on last year.

The governor of Helmand Engineer Mohammed Daoud claims to have eradicated 7,000 hectares of poppy this year.

But even this modest claim is disputed.

"The real figure is around 1,000 hectares," one Western source said.

"The district elders just followed the eradication teams around handing out wads of money. Sometimes the teams just drove a single tractor through the field and announced they had eradicated it."

Another Western source described the shambolic progress of a central government eradication team also sent to Helmand.

Backed by American mercenaries from the Dyncorp corporation, the force suffered endless delays as Afghan drivers refused to travel to dangerous areas of the province; a problem compounded when a number of Afghan police were killed by a roadside bomb clearly intended to send a warning to the force.

The forces' eventual impact was negligible.

The central eradication force is said to cost US$175m this year.

Such is the glut of opium that is about to flow onto the market that the price has plummeted to less than US$100 a kilo, 50 per cent lower than it was a year ago.

The relationship between price and availability is not exact, but the drop is broadly indicative of anticipated market forces.

Western officials admit to intense frustration in a war where so many Afghan officials are a part of the narco-criminal problem.

Engineer Daoud, the Helmand governor, is widely respected as an honest man.

But last summer almost 9 tonnes of opium was discovered in the offices of his predecessor Sher Mohammed Akhundzada, who claimed he had seized them and was on the point of handing them in.

After intense British and American pressure to have him ousted, Akhundzada was given a seat in the new upper house of the Afghan parliament.

In his office in Kandahar the province's director of drugs control, Gul Mohammad Shukran, shifted uncomfortably as the Independent ran through a list of well known millionaire drug smugglers in the province.

"If I answer your questions I will be dead within three days," he said, showing us to the door.

Meanwhile, a campaign of Taleban intimidation and assassination is targeting government officials working across the south.

In Helmand it has been what one Western source called "a methodical slaughter".

Four out of twelve district police chiefs have been killed in six months, further undermining the effort to establish some sort of order.

The smugglers and the Taleban were increasingly close, with the Islamic fighters suspending their operations during the poppy harvest to ensure it is safely out of the way before the Taleban's promised campaign of summer violence.

The Taleban have a vested interest as they take a tax on opium produced in the region, which could be worth tens of millions of dollars this year.

In the face of so much bad news the authorities point to some small beacons of hope.

In Kandahar province there was some effective eradication under the new governor, Asadullah Khalid.

In Nangahar province where a remarkable and many thought unsustainable 96 per cent drop in poppy cultivation was achieved last year, opium production was expected to bounce back this year after farmers complained that promised foreign aid to help them grow alternative crops never materialised.

The ounce has occurred, but not as much as many officials had feared.

06-02-2006, 04:42 PM
Baby With 3 Arms May Have Surgery

http://www.sfgate.com/c/pictures/2006/05/31_t/mn_boy_bej803_t.gif (http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/object/article?f=/n/a/2006/05/30/international/i044035D40.DTL&o=0&type=health)

(05-31) 05:51 PDT SHANGHAI, China (AP) --
Doctors in Shanghai are considering surgery options for a two-month old boy born with an unusually well-formed third arm.

Neither of the boy's two left arms is fully functional and tests have so far been unable to determine which was more developed, said Dr. Chen Bochang, head of the orthopedics department at Shanghai Children's Medical Center.

"His case is quite peculiar. We have no record of any child with such a complete third arm," Chen said in a telephone interview. "It's quite difficult to decide how to do the operation on him."

The boy, identified only as "Jie-jie," also was born with just one kidney and may have problems that could lead to curvature of the spine, according to local media reports.

Jie-jie cried when either of his left arms was touched, but smiled and responded normally to other stimuli, the reports said.

Chen said doctors hoped to work out a plan for surgery, but the boy's small size made it impossible to perform certain tests that would help them prepare.

"We are meeting with several experts now. We hope we could work the plan out soon," Chen said.

Media reports said other children have been reported born with additional arms and legs, but in all those cases it was clear what limb was more developed.

Chen's hospital is one of China's most experienced in dealing with unusual birth defects, including separating conjoined twins. Like Jie-jie, many of the children are sent to relatively wealthy Shanghai from the poor inland province of Anhui.

06-03-2006, 01:21 AM
a lot of good stuff, THANKS BEN!

06-05-2006, 09:13 PM
Student's Maori cloak ruffles a few feathers in USA
1.00pm Saturday June 3, 2006

Northlander Sarah Smith, 32, has become the first Maori to take a degree from the City University of New York.
With 208,000 students enrolled in degree programmes and another 200,000 enrolled in continuing education courses at campuses in all five NY boroughs, it is America's third-largest university.
Ms Smith graduated from Hunter College wearing a handmade cloak of feathers and shells that had travelled more than 14,162km but almost could not get past inspection at Kennedy International Airport, the New York Times reports.
Fifty people in Ngati Kuri made the cloak to celebrate her achievements, and her parents carried it from New Zealand to New York, so that at Radio City Music Hall, where Hunter held its graduation ceremony, she stood out among the about-to-be graduates in Hunter-purple robes.
She said the tribe had sought permission from the New Zealand Government to use the feathers of three protected species, each of them figuring in the story of the cloak.
There are feathers from the kiwi to symbolise stability, she said -- their feet are planted firmly on the ground because they do not fly.
There are the feathers from the kuaka, also known as the bar-tailed godwit, a migratory bird that goes from the southern hemisphere to the northern, as she has already done. Then the kuaka returns to the southern hemisphere, as she intends to do. And there are feathers from the wood pigeon.
When the undergraduates left the dressing room -- normally used by the Radio City Rockettes chorus line -- Ms Smith's assigned seat was on the main stage, to let the audience see the cloak.
President of Hunter Jennifer J Raab even had her stand up and turn around.
The cloak was blessed before it left New Zealand, but that did not ward off what Ms Smith diplomatically called a "complication with customs".
When her parents, Graham and Nettie Smith, arrived at Kennedy Airport last week, they told customs officials about the cloak and handed over a sheaf of documents, including a fumigation certificate.
Hunter officials said Ms Smith had been assured by the US Fish and Wildlife Service last month that the cloak could be brought into the country. The inspectors at Kennedy, however, refused to release it. It turned out that the kiwi is an endangered species and the kuaka is covered by an international treaty.
It took calls from the likes of Senator Charles E Schumer to get the cloak to graduation, Ms Raab told the crowd.
Ms Smith enrolled at Hunter after visiting New York and tracking down a friend who was dancing with a Maori group represented by a Hunter graduate, Bess Pruitt.
Ms Pruitt, two sisters and a brother all graduated from Hunter, and in 2002, after Bess Pruitt's 50th reunion, Ms Smith decided to enrol.
On Thursday, her mother, who had never visited New York before, marvelled at Radio City and the excitement of her daughter's graduation, so far from home.
"I didn't expect anything like this," Mrs Smith said. "This is just magic. I never thought it would end up like this."

06-07-2006, 12:44 AM
US says data on 2.2 million troops may have been stolen
1.20pm Wednesday June 7, 2006

WASHINGTON - Personal information on about 2.2 million active-duty, National Guard and Reserve troops may have been stolen in a burglary at a government employee's house in January, US officials have revealed.

The Department of Veterans Affairs said the information, including names, Social Security numbers and dates of birth, may have been stored in the same stolen electronic equipment that contained similar personal data on 26.5 million US military veterans.
In the wrong hands, such data can be used in credit-card fraud and other crimes.
The government disclosed on May 22 that unidentified burglars on May 3 had broken into the Maryland residence of a Veterans Affairs employee who was not authorized to take the data home, and stole equipment containing the veterans' data.
Later, the government said personal information on about 50,000 active-duty, National Guard and Reserve personnel may have been involved.
But now Veterans Affairs said that as it and the Pentagon compared electronic files, officials discovered that personal information on as many as 1.1 million military members on active duty, 430,000 National Guard troops and 645,000 members of the Reserves may have been included in the data theft.
The Department of Veterans Affairs said it receives records for all military troops because they become eligible to receive certain benefits, such as GI Bill educational assistance and a home-loan guaranty programme.
Law enforcement agencies investigating the incident have no indication that the stolen information has been used to commit identity theft, the department said in a statement.

06-07-2006, 05:22 PM
Cave face 'the oldest portrait on record'

http://images.thetimes.co.uk/images/trans.gifhttp://images.thetimes.co.uk/TGD/picture/0,,306225,00.gifhttp://images.thetimes.co.uk/images/trans.gifhttp://images.thetimes.co.uk/images/trans.gifA DRAWING discovered by a potholer on the wall of a cave in the west of France appears to be the oldest known portrait of a human face.
The 27,000-year-old work was found by a local pensioner, Gérard Jourdy, in the Vilhonneur grotto near Angoulême.
Drawn with calcium carbonate, and using the bumps in the wall to give form to the face, it features two horizontal lines for the eyes, another for the mouth and a vertical line for the nose. “The portrait of this face is unique,” said Jean Airvaux, a researcher at the French Directorate of Cultural Affairs. “We have other drawings, but they are more recent. Here, it could be the oldest representation of a human face.”
NI_MPU('middle');Archaeologists are particularly interested in the Vilhonneur cave because there are several drawings, including one of a hand in cobalt blue, along with animal and human remains.
Jean-François Baratin, the regional director of archaeology in western France, said that there were only two known examples of prehistoric caves from this era containing both bones and drawings. The other is at Cussac in the Dordogne.
The discovery was made by M Jourdy in November, but kept secret until February while the site was sealed. The results of a scientific analysis were made public on Friday.
M Baratin said ribs, a thigh bone and a tibia taken from the floor of the cave had been dated by scientists in Miami, as were the drawings. These turned out to be about 11,000 years older than the renowned paintings at Lascaux in the nearby Dordogne.Michel Boutant, chairman of the local Charente department council, said: ‘The face reminded me of a Modigliani portrait.”

Aqueous Moon
06-07-2006, 09:54 PM
NEW YORK Syndicated columnist and author Ann Coulter appeared on the Today show on Tuesday, promoting a new book. Host Matt Lauer asked her to explain certain remarks in the book aimed at activist 9/11 widows, including her charge that they were nothing but "self obsessed" and celebrity-seeking "broads" who are "enjoying" their husbands' deaths "so much."

After she defended these statements, he closed by saying, "always fun to have you here."

Elsewhere in the book, Coulter refers to the widows as "witches" and asks, "how do we know their husbands weren't planning to divorce these harpies"?

In response, a group of five 9/11 widows, who may have been the prime targets of Coulter's remarks, issued a statement denouncing Coulter's views. The New York Daily News on Wednesday featured a smiling Coulter and this headline on its front page (http://www.nydailynews.com/front/covers/): COULTER THE CRUEL. One story (http://www.nydailynews.com/front/story/424405p-358034c.html) inside was topped with "Massive Chip on Her Coulter " and another (http://www.nydailynews.com/front/story/424472p-358075c.html) called her a "a model of meanness."

The Star-Ledger in Newark, meanwhile, carried a story (http://www.nj.com/news/ledger/index.ssf?/base/news-7/114966058594750.xml&coll=1) today with the headline "For 9/11 widows, book adds insult to injury." It featured interviews with some of the widows. The New York Post headlined a story (http://www.nypost.com/news/nationalnews/69756.htm): "RIGHTY WRITER COULTER HURLS NASTY GIBES AT 9/11 GALS."

The Post interviewed one of the widows, Mindy Kleinberg of East Brunswick, N.J. -- part of a group Coulter dubbed "The Witches of East Brunswick." Kleinberg said, "We are trying to make sure that nobody else walks in our footsteps. And if she [Coulter] thinks that's wrong, so be it." Newsday (Melville, N.Y.) carried an Associated Press story (http://www.newsday.com/news/local/newyork/am-coulter0706,0,4054164.story?coll=ny-top-headlines).

Universal syndicates Coulter's column. A spokesman there told E&P it had no response to the latest firestorm.

The five widows' statement is reprinted below (it first appeared at crooksandliars.com).


We did not choose to become widowed on September 11, 2001. The attack, which tore our families apart and destroyed our former lives, caused us to ask some serious questions regarding the systems that our country has in place to protect its citizens.

Through our constant research, we came to learn how the protocols were supposed to have worked. Thus, we asked for an independent commission to investigate the loopholes which obviously existed and allowed us to be so utterly vulnerable to terrorists. Our only motivation ever was to make our Nation safer. Could we learn from this tragedy so that it would not be repeated?

We are forced to respond to Ms. Coulter’s accusations to set the record straight because we have been slandered.

Contrary to Ms. Coulter’s statements, there was no joy in watching men that we loved burn alive. There was no happiness in telling our children that their fathers were never coming home again. We adored these men and miss them every day.

It is in their honor and memory, that we will once again refocus the Nation’s attention to the real issues at hand: our lack of security, leadership and progress in the five years since 9/11.

We are continuously reminded that we are still a nation at risk. Therefore, the following is a partial list of areas still desperately in need of attention and public outcry. We should continuously be holding the feet of our elected officials to the fire to fix these shortcomings.

1. Homeland Security Funding based on risk. Inattention to this area causes police officers, firefighters and other emergency/first responder personnel to be ill equipped in emergencies. Fixing this will save lives on the day of the next attack.

2. Intelligence Community Oversight. Without proper oversight, there exists no one joint, bicameral intelligence panel with power to both authorize and appropriate funding for intelligence activities. Without such funding we are unable to capitalize on all intelligence community resources and abilities to thwart potential terrorist attacks. Fixing this will save lives on the day of the next attack.

3. Transportation Security. There has been no concerted effort to harden mass transportation security. Our planes, buses, subways, and railways remain under-protected and highly vulnerable. These are all identifiable soft targets of potential terrorist attack. The terror attacks in Spain and London attest to this fact. Fixing our transportation systems may save lives on the day of the next attack.

4. Information Sharing among Intelligence Agencies. Information sharing among intelligence agencies has not improved since 9/11. The attacks on 9/11 could have been prevented had information been shared among intelligence agencies. On the day of the next attack, more lives may be saved if our intelligence agencies work together.

5. Loose Nukes. A concerted effort has not been made to secure the thousands of loose nukes scattered around the world – particularly in the former Soviet Union. Securing these loose nukes could make it less likely for a terrorist group to use this method in an attack, thereby saving lives.

6. Security at Chemical Plants, Nuclear Plants, Ports. We must, as a nation, secure these known and identifiable soft targets of Terrorism. Doing so will save many lives.

7. Border Security. We continue to have porous borders and INS and Customs systems in shambles. We need a concerted effort to integrate our border security into the larger national security apparatus.

8. Civil Liberties Oversight Board. Given the President’s NSA Surveillance Program and the re-instatement of the Patriot Act, this Nation is in dire need of a Civil Liberties Oversight Board to insure that a proper balance is found between national security versus the protection of our constitutional rights.

-- September 11th Advocates

Kristen Breitweiser
Patty Casazza
Monica Gabrielle
Mindy Kleinberg
Lorie Van Auken


06-08-2006, 07:24 PM

HORROR film fan Suzanne Cooper yesterday named her baby Damien after the devil child in the The Omen, who was also born on June 6.
Suzanne went one better than the movie by hitting the full Number of the Beast with the date - 6/6/06.
Special needs teacher Suzanne, 36, was also induced for six days before Damien arrived at 6.59am, tipping the scales at a spine-chilling 6lb 6oz.
She said: "We are overjoyed about the baby. The Omen is one of our favourite films and that's why I was keeping my legs crossed for a birth on the 6th.
"It does seem a bit weird I suppose, but he's a perfect baby - nothing at all like Damien in The Omen."
Dad Michael rushed Suzanne to hospital in Bristol last Wednesday afternoon after she began suffering back pains.

The baby was due on Saturday and doctors decided to induce her straight away, but little Damien refused to arrive until yesterday.

Suzanne went into labour in the early hours and Damien was born shortly after 6am. Electrical engineer Mike said: "It was a devil of a birth - a bit of a horror show. Once she went into labour it was straightforward, but six days in hospital is a long time to wait.

"Suzanne and I love watching horror films and we were both keeping our fingers crossed that he would be born yesterday.

"It took a fair bit of persuasion for Suzanne to let us call him Damien but it seems fitting considering the date."

The baby also arrived on the day the remake of the 1976 film The Omen was released in the cinemas.

A spokesman at Bristol's Southmead Hospital said: "We would all like to say congratulations on the birth of their new baby.

"We're very pleased that all went smoothly with the birth and we are happy to have been involved."

Kerry Laing, who also gave birth to a baby boy yesterday, told how her gran Helen, 79, phoned family to tell them they had named him Damien.

Kerry, 20, from Cardenden, Fife, had actually called him Rhys.

Sicka than aidZ
06-11-2006, 12:31 AM
Man Shoots Little Girls With Squirt Gun Loaded With Semen
Man Shoots Little Girls With Squirt Gun Loaded With Semen
"raw dogma" by Nkrumah Steward, creator of 8BM.com

As an 8-year-old girl looked at toys in an Orlando Kmart, a 5-foot-6, 160 pound man with blondish-brown hair politely approached and asked her to open her mouth. Yes, this story gets really nasty. When she refused, he pointed a fish-shaped squirt gun at her, sprayed her face, snapped her photograph and ran. What he shot on her face was not water but semen from inside a squirt gun. The picture he took was going to be used no doubt to help refill the gun.

Apparently this was at least the ninth time -- possibly the 11th -- that a bizarre child molester has struck in the past year, police said.

Most of the squirting incidents have occurred at Wal-Mart stores in Orange County. The man appears to be targeting children who are alone in the toy section of stores.

Forensic psychologist Jeffrey Danziger said the attacker may be acting out a sexual fetish. He also might suffer from a mental illness and be psychotic and delusional. Once again we can thank a forensic psychologist for his take on the fucking obvious.

"Squirting semen in someone's face would be for the purpose of the humiliation, shock and the anger it causes," Danziger said. "He's going back home to relive it and relish it. An assault like this against a child is more twisted still."

He said it was impossible to predict whether the assaults might turn more violent.

"Some sexual offenders are nonviolent, like exhibitionists," he said. "Others might progress, I've heard of strange sexual fetishes, but I've never heard of this."


06-11-2006, 07:00 AM

Wamukota X
06-14-2006, 04:24 PM
Black child burned alive
By FinalCall.com News
Updated Jun 12, 2006, 06:35 pm

Malik ThomasARIZONA CITY, Ariz. (FinalCall.com) - The mother of 9-year-old Malik Thomas is still trying to sort out why her son is dead, after he was allegedly doused with gasoline and set on fire by a group of White youths. Two weeks after the incident, no one has been charged for the brutal death.
The Pinal County Sheriff’s Department has released very little information on the heinous crime to the family or media. Phoenix Vice Mayor Mike Johnson and Arizona NAACP Chairman Reverend Oscar Tillman were told that the Pinal County Sheriff’s Department was investigating the death as a homicide.

However, Pinal County Sheriff Spokesman Mike Minter told the Associated Press that no homicide investigation was being conducted.
“At this time, it is a death investigation. We have not labeled it a homicide or an accident,” he was reported as saying May 27. “But if it is a homicide we will definitely press for charges.”
Malik died May 22 after being treated for severe burns to the upper body at the Maricopa County Burn Unit in Phoenix. “We want justice for Malik,” declared his grieving mother, Pamela Bishop. “They can’t give me back my baby, but I want justice.”
Malik’s grandfather, Robert Banks, was the first family member to reach the child at the scene. He described the terror of seeing Malik, sitting on the curb as paramedics and police officers waited for the Air EVAC Helicopter. A motorist and other bystanders had smothered the flames before fire officials arrived to administer first aid. An unidentified Mexican child claimed that he was also targeted for attack, but was able to run before gasoline could be thrown on him.
However, sheriff spokesman Mr. Minter said Malik and two White boys his age, including one of his closest friends, were at a construction site playing when they found a milk jug filled with liquid. The surviving boys told investigators they all began kicking the jug around a room, then tossed matches at it.
“The fumes had built up in the room and an explosion occurred,” Mr. Minter maintains. “The Black boy was standing in front of the other boys and the explosion engulfed him.”
The sheriff’s office told the family that the clothing Malik was wearing had been lost. Later, Rev. Tillman was told that the clothing was found in a locker at the Fire Department. Mr. Minter stated that doctors at the hospital said there is no sign that the clothing was saturated with a flammable liquid, but the sheriff’s office will conduct further testing.
Vice Mayor Johnson has requested the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms assist in the investigation and the NAACP wants the FBI to become involved as well.

© Copyright 2006 FCN Publishing, FinalCall.com

06-16-2006, 05:25 PM
New shark discovered in US waters

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/41747000/jpg/_41747832_shark_203.jpg The shark prefers to breed in South Carolina waters

A new type of hammerhead shark has been discovered in the northwestern Atlantic Ocean, marine scientists say.
The shark resembles a common species called the scalloped hammerhead but has not yet been classified or named.
US researchers say the animal appears to be rare, breeding only in waters off the South Carolina coast.
They believe the shark is at risk of extinction and conservation efforts are needed to protect females when they are raising their pups.
The shark was discovered by a biology professor at the University of South Carolina.
Dr Joe Quattro became curious about a common coastal shark called the scalloped hammerhead shark while studying coastal fish.
Genetic studies revealed that there was a second "cryptic" species - that is, "genetically distinct" from the scalloped hammerhead.
Nursery grounds
The shark appears to breed only in waters off South Carolina, although adults swim into waters off Florida and North Carolina.
http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/shared/img/o.gifhttp://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/nol/shared/img/v3/start_quote_rb.gif Small areas of coastline are significant to certain species and it is so important to consider shark conservation on an area by area basis http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/nol/shared/img/v3/end_quote_rb.gif

Ali Hood, Shark Trust

"If South Carolina's waters are the primary nursery grounds for the cryptic species and females gather here to reproduce, these areas should be conservation priorities," said Dr Quattro.
"Management plans are needed to ensure that these sharks are not adversely impacted so that we can learn more."
Scientists plan to tag the shark so they can understand more about its range.
Ali Hood, director of conservation at the Shark Trust in the UK, said with only 454 recorded species of shark in the wild, it was exciting to discover another one. "It shows how small areas of coastline are significant to certain species and it is so important to consider shark conservation on an area by area basis," she said.

Soul Controller
06-20-2006, 12:52 PM
not really news
just hmm
you;ll see

Remember the MUSHROOM CLOUD in NK on 9/9/04?

http://www.calendarhome.com/cgi-bin/date2.pl?month1=9&date1=9&year1=2004&month2=6&date2=20&year2=2006 (http://www.calendarhome.com/cgi-bin/date2.pl?month1=9&date1=9&year1=2004&month2=6&date2=20&year2=2006)
9 months 11 days 1 year between 9/9/04 MUSHROOM CLOUD IN NORTH KOREA and 6/20/2006 (this week)

http://www.calendarhome.com/cgi-bin/date2.pl?month1=9&date1=11&year1=2001&month2=6&date2=20&year2=2006 (http://www.calendarhome.com/cgi-bin/date2.pl?month1=9&date1=11&year1=2001&month2=6&date2=20&year2=2006)
9 months 9 days 4 years between 9/11/01 and 6/20/2006

On 9/9/04 there was an event suspected to be a large explosion in North Korea's second northernmost province of Ryanggang. The nature and cause of the suspected explosion is the subject of speculation. There are many political implications surrounding potential causes and the secrecy of the North Korean government about it

The suspected explosion was located near the town of Yongjo-ri in the county of Kimhyŏngjik in Ryanggang. This is in a mountainous region, about 1.5 km above sea level. The explosion was about 30 km from the border with China. The area contains several military installations, including munitions factories and a secret underground military base suspected to contain a uranium enrichment plant. The Yongjori Missile Base was 10 km northeast of the explosion.

Early reports said that seismic activity had been detected early on September 9, 2004, and this was correlated with a "strangely shaped cloud", suspected to be a mushroom cloud. Together these would indicate a large explosion. The date, September 9, 2004, the 56th anniversary of the formation of North Korea, was taken as significant; North Korea has a habit of making grand military gestures on significant dates. However, the original reports have been contradicted by later reports denying that there was any explosion.

The cloud, 3.5 km to 4 km (2 miles to 2.5 miles) in diameter, was observed by a reconnaissance satellite at 11:00 on September 9, 2004. Something that was interpreted as a subsidence crater resulting from the explosion was also imaged by satellite.

edit!!! somthin will happen either today or this week.. in nk or usa

anyone remember the shootings in the capitol building 3 weeks back?
i wasnt here then.(on wu corp)
did anyone cover it on herE?

Soul Controller
06-20-2006, 12:56 PM
M-25 is always busy Crisis Exercise On M-25

Updated: 23:50, Saturday June 10, 2006

A section of Britain's busiest motorway will be closed overnight while the
emergency services carry out a live major incident response exercise.

The northbound tunnels at the Dartford-Thurrock Crossing on the M25 will be
closed between 1am and 6am on Sunday morning, with diversions in place for
motorists travelling north.

Operation Orpheus will involve police, fire and ambulance services from Kent and

A Highways Agency spokesman said: "The purpose of this is to test the
relationship between all the services in the event of the tunnel having to be
closed or if there is an incident in the tunnel.

"It's to test the capabilities of all the services. It is about working in a
co-ordinated manner."

John Aspinall, Highways Agency Divisional Director South East, said: "It is
vital to ensure that in the case of a real emergency all the parties involved
operate in an efficient manner to safeguard the public, as well as guaranteeing
the minimum disruption to traffic flow."

The Highways Agency is holding the exercise at this time to cause minimum

It said that in previous years between 1am and 6am on this date less than 2,500
vehicles used the Dartford Tunnels travelling northbound.

The M-25 is known by motorists as the 'road from hell' because of the constant
delays suffered by users.

06-20-2006, 07:24 PM
On 6/14/06 during my lunch hour, I had let my cat outside while I went and fixed my lunch. When I went back outside, I saw my cat "Annie" playing with a rare albino squirrel that visits us on rare occasion. Right now, the cherries are almost ripe and I caught this playing with Annie before going up to eat some cherries. It spent the afternoon eating and sleeping up in the tree!






Soul Controller
06-21-2006, 08:53 AM
Saddam lawyer 'killed' in Baghdad

'One of the main lawyers defending former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein at his trial has been killed in Baghdad, it is reported. State television in Iraq said Khamis al-Obeidi had been killed by "terrorists", but gave no details.The Associated Press news agency quoted court officials as saying he was killed after he was abducted from his home by men wearing police uniforms.'

Read more ... (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/5101162.stm)

CFR/Bilderberg Plan To Erase US Borders Finally Gets Attention

'The open plan to merge the US with Mexico and Canada and create a Pan American Union networked by a NAFTA Super Highway has long been a Globalist brainchild but its very real and prescient implementation on behalf of the Council on Foreign Relations has finally been reported on by the Associated Press ...

... The article even carries the admission that the Council on Foreign Relations, often the bane of sophomoric stereotypical caricatures of paranoid conspiracy theorists, played a fundamental role in crafting the policy for the homogenization of the US, Canada and Mexico.'
Read more ... (http://www.prisonplanet.com/articles/june2006/210606cfrplan.htm)

US rejected Iranian overtures in 2003

'Officials in US President George W. Bush's administration turned down a 2003 Iranian offer to begin talks with the US, recognize Israel, and end support of Palestinian terror organizations, The Washington Post reported on Sunday.

The proposal, which arrived via fax along with a letter of authentication by a Swiss ambassador, was ignored. Reports have circulated in the past that Iran had extended its hand to the US, but the document itself was only recently obtained by the Post - reportedly from Iranian sources - and confirmed as genuine by both American and Iranian officials.'
Read more ... (http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1150355517833&pagename=JPost/JPArticle/ShowFull)

now some real shit

'Team 21 linked to the kidnapping of American soldiers in Iraq'
'Kidnapping of American soldiers in Iraq now linked to Israeli-British Mi6 assassination teams. The domestic H.Q.'s for this group are at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. They are now operating in Iraq. This new Intel dovetails to the Gary Best-Tim Spicer-Victor Bout Bosnia U.A.E. connection. These British-Israeli mercenaries have been trained on American soil in North Carolina for the purpose of domestic assassinations of politically outspoken American citizens and for counter-insurgency A.K.A.'
Read more ... (http://www.cloakanddagger.de/media/TOM%20HENEGHAN/Identify%20The%20Enemies%20of%20America/CLOAKANDDAGGER.DE_IEARJUN19.htm)

11-27-2006, 10:11 AM
Exploit Zambezi’s potential to reduce poverty — ex

From Tsitsi Matope in WINDHOEK, Namibia

WATER resource management experts who attended the second annual Zambezi River Stakeholders’ Meeting here last week said the region should strengthen efforts to tap from the river’s immense potential to help alleviate poverty and enhance development.

About 50 water experts from Angola, Botswana, Namibia, Tanzania, Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia and Zimbabwe, whose countries rely heavily on the Zambezi River for the development of various sectors, focused on how best they could increase and maximise the benefits from the robust water-course without over-exploiting the resource.

The experts indicated that there was a lot the region could benefit from the river if its management and coherence in the development of projects that included hydropower generation were properly co-ordinated.

Although power experts had done all the necessary groundwork and ascertained how much energy the region would benefit from, lack of commitment on the part of some Governments and inadequate resources to further tap the aspect of energy could see numerous projects collapsing.

Zambezi Action Plan Project information officer Ms Leonissa Munjoma said eight countries that rely heavily on the river had realised the importance of acting on the challenges facing the sustainability of the river with a view of maximising the benefits accruing to communities.

"It is true that agricultural sectors of the eight countries are heavily supported by the existence of the Zambezi. It feeds into many dams that include Kariba, amongst many others.

"The experts are very sensitive about issues pertaining to land usage around and along the Zambezi River course. This is why they will continue meeting to discuss past agreements to see whether they are being implemented at various levels," Ms Munjoma said.

The experts said the sustainability of the "River of Life", therefore, was under threat and it was up to all the stakeholders, ranging from the Governments, civic organisations to the local communities, to be more serious and organise themselves to see how best to protect the river.

"At least 42 million people live on the Zambezi basin and managing their activities that affect the flow of the river is a major challenge. We need to set up effective systems to be able to reach all stakeholders and influence them to play their part," World Conservation water engineer Mr Lenka Thamae said.

He added that any more delays to the ratification of the Zambezi Water Course Commission by some countries would further hinder efforts being made to protect the river.

"The ratification of this important commission will go a long way in making countries more responsible and help them to prioritise issues to do with the protection of the river," he added.

The Zambezi River sustains agriculture, the fishing industry, tourism and communication, energy, and industry, and sustains the health sector, mining and infrastructure development, among many other essential socio-economic facets.

The Zambezi River is, however, viewed as the river of life, which miraculously starts from a wonder tree in Zambia before it bulges into a very powerful water source that passes through some of the eight countries.

What came out strongly during a session that looked at the water challenges the eight countries were faced with, was the need to properly manage the usage of water for consumption, industry and agriculture.

An example of how arid countries like Namibia properly use and manage water was cited.

The country receives very little rain and this has compelled local authorities to take drastic measures that include putting stickers at all strategic places reminding people of the need to conserve water.

Experts from Zimbabwe said there was need to solve water problems in the country that were largely a result of the Zimbabwe National Water Authority’s poor distribution.

11-27-2006, 10:12 AM
‘Some infrastructural developments at Victoria Fal

Bulawayo Bureau

THE United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation and the World Conservation Union have asked the World Heritage Committee to investigate whether Victoria Falls should remain on the World Heritage Site following revelations that Zambia has approved the construction of 500 chalets in the rainforest.

According to Unesco regulations, the construction of the chalets would negatively impact on the natural state of the rainforest.

In an interview after a three-day consultative meeting with the Zambian and Zimbabwean officials, the deputy director of the World Heritage Centre in Paris, Mr Kishore Rao, said the joint consultative meetings were meant to improve conservation programmes on both sides of the rainforest.

He said his delegation was looking at various aspects that included tourism regulations and infrastructural development within the rainforest.

He said some of the infrastructural developments were a threat to the site.

"We are here to assess the state of the site in terms of the rules and regulations governing the world heritage sites. The regulations are meant to improve the state of conservation and there are specific regulations that we want to see being implemented.

"Some infrastructural developments are a threat to the site and we are making assessments on the both sides of the site," he said.

Mr Rao said the results on whether or not to de-list the site as a World Heritage Site would only be known after a WHC meeting in June next year.

Mr Rao was, however reluctant to comment on the variance between Livingstone and Victoria Falls in terms of meeting the requirements of WHC.

"We came to Zimbabwe, met Government officials in Harare and we arrived here (Victoria Falls) and we visited the sites and then we went to Livingstone where we also visited some sites.

"We are now leaving for Lusaka where we intend to meet government officials there as some of the decisions might be political. So it will be premature if I am to say anything concerning the delisting of the site," he said.

On Wednesday, the commission visited a refuse dumpsite, the Helipad and on the Zambian side they visited the proposed site of the 500 chalets.

11-28-2006, 08:58 PM
Good articles in here!

M.I.C Diesel
11-29-2006, 12:27 PM
Interesting topic.

I'm a 29 year old father of 2 sons. I was born/raised/ & continue to live & work in Birmingham (Englands 2nd City), aswell as raising my fam' & producing & emceeing.

This is our news!

Parents appeal over son's killing

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/42318000/jpg/_42318582_meshack203.jpg Meshack Bernard-Brown wanted to be a football coach

The parents of a man shot dead on his 20th birthday have organised a meeting to appeal to the community for help in finding his killer.
Meshack Tesfa Bernard-Brown was shot in Melbourne Avenue, Newtown, Birmingham, on 13 November.
Mandy Bernard and Andrew Brown have invited community representatives to a private meeting at the Birmingham Race Equality Unit on Wednesday.
The parents said they wanted answers so they can lay their son to rest.
http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/shared/img/o.gifhttp://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/nol/shared/img/v3/start_quote_rb.gif I'm still waiting for him to come home http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/nol/shared/img/v3/end_quote_rb.gif

Mother Mandy Bernard

Mr Brown said: "Look into your hearts and acknowledge our responsibilities to each other. Put yourself in our shoes. What would you do?
"It doesn't get anyone anywhere to hold back, especially if they know the answers to the questions that are being asked.
"Whatever the motive, my son didn't deserve to die."
The victim's mother said: "I'm still waiting for him to come home. It's a mother's worst nightmare for my son to be taken away. "Don't be afraid to say 'there was a witness to this'. "I just want the truth of that night so I can put my son to rest."

M.I.C Diesel
11-29-2006, 12:38 PM
Community features

You are in: Birmingham (http://www.bbc.co.uk/birmingham/) > Your Community (http://www.bbc.co.uk/birmingham/your_community/) > Community features (http://www.bbc.co.uk/birmingham/your_community/community_features/) > Homeless for one nighthttp://www.bbc.co.uk/f/t.gifhttp://www.bbc.co.uk/birmingham/content/images/2006/11/27/sleep_out_raincoat_girls_203_203x152.jpgSleeping rough for one nightHomeless for one night

By Patricia Hoskins
Hundreds of people braved really wet and cold weather and slept rough for one night in a carpark, to raise the awareness of youth homelessness in the city. See highlights from the event.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/f/t.gifhttp://www.bbc.co.uk/birmingham/content/images/2006/11/27/sleep_out_adults_203_203x152.jpgJennifer really enjoyed the experienceOn Friday 24th November over 400 people of all ages and backgrounds, wrapped themselves up in warm clothing, sleeping bags and plastic sheets and bedded down in cardboard boxes for the night in a Digbeth carpark, to help raise funds for Birmingham based homeless charity St Basils.
"Our biggest Sleep Out yet..."

Communications Officer Catherine Clarke was really pleased with the turn out and said it was their biggest ever Sleep Out event:
“This years Sleep Out has been our best attended yet! As the weather forecast predicted we had winds and heavy rain, but that didn't turn people away, they've still turned up in their droves.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/birmingham/content/images/2006/11/27/sleep_out_girls_203_203x152.jpgTaking part"Last year we raised £ 30,000 and this year we are set to raise £40,000 to help us continue to do our fantastic work. The atmosphere has been great.
"Next year we’re hoping the event will be even bigger.”
A homeless life

The fundraising event highlighted the issues of youth homelessnes across the city and raised money for young people trying to set up new homes for themselves and to prevent more young people from becoming homeless in the future.
Sutton Coldfield MP Andrew Mitchell attended the fundraising event to show his support:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/birmingham/content/images/2006/11/27/sleep_out_mv_180_180x200.jpgNathan from Millennium Volunteers“I think it’s a really important cause. It’s poured down with rain and everyone is getting terribly wet, but what I’ve noticed the most is the enthusiasm of everyone involved.
“St Basils work very hard to keep young people from sleeping rough on the streets of Birmingham, the charity also gives them hope for the future, their self respect and the opportunity to help themselves.”
A real eye opener

At he end of the night a free breakfast of toast and a hot drink was supplied by St Basils and the temporary cardboard homes were thrown away.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/birmingham/content/images/2006/11/27/sleep_out_maninbox_203_203x152.jpgHome for the night But while the hundreds of people who took part went home to a hot bath and a warm bed hundreds of young people across the city still don’t have a roof over their head they can call home.
Claire Lewis from Harborne spent the night sleeping outside in a cardboard box to help raise funds for St Basils:
“It’s been good fun but very wet and very cold. The experience has been a real eye opener for me to think that some people have to sleep like this every night and not being able to go home to a bed and a hot shower.”
St Basils Sleep Out 2006 in pictures

http://www.bbc.co.uk/birmingham/content/images/2006/11/27/sleep_out_girl_203_203x152.jpgGetting wet at the Sleep OutWatch video highlights and take a look at loads of pictures from the fundraising event.
See the highlights below.
Homeless for one night - in pictures (http://www.bbc.co.uk/birmingham/content/image_galleries/sleep_out2006_gallery.shtml) >
http://www.bbc.co.uk/englandcms/f/video.gif St Basils Sleep Out event video highlights (http://www.bbc.co.uk/mediaselector/check/birmingham/realmedia/sleep_out?size=16x9&bgc=C0C0C0&nbram=1&bbram=1) >
Audio and Video links on this page require Realplayer (http://www.bbc.co.uk/webwise/categories/plug/real/real.shtml?intro)

More about St Basils

St Basils works with young people to enable them to find and keep a home, to develop their confidence, skills and opportunities to prevent homelessness.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/birmingham/content/images/2006/11/27/sleep_out_stbasil_girl_180_180x200.jpgSt Basils VolunteerEach year thousands of young people across the city receive housing advice, support and secure accommodation through St Basils.
The Birmingham based charity works across all communities using education methods to identify and support young people at risk.
Visit the St Basils website to find out more

St Basils website (http://www.bbc.co.uk/go/birmingham/content/articles/2006/11/27/stbasils_sleep_out_2006_feature.shtml/ext/_auto/-/http://www.stbasils.org.uk/) >

Source : BBC News Website


M.I.C Diesel
11-29-2006, 12:45 PM

You are in: Birmingham (http://www.bbc.co.uk/birmingham/) > Weather (http://www.bbc.co.uk/birmingham/weather/) > Main Summaryhttp://www.bbc.co.uk/f/t.gif
The symbols on these charts show the predominant weather for the day given. The charts are created by the computer model and updated by our forecasters. Further information... (http://www.bbc.co.uk/weather/help.shtml#interpreting)


Birmingham is roughly situated in the middle of above diagram. Our weather's screwed up. Sunny/cold/raining etc! In the Summer you can go out in the morning in a T, & need a coat 2 hours later. Seasons are screwed! Occasional consistency.


11-29-2006, 04:22 PM
Disembowelled and murdered for teaching girls Thursday November 30, 2006By Kim Sengupta GHAZNI - The gunmen came at night to drag Mohammed Halim away from his home, in front of his crying children and his wife begging for mercy. The 46-year-old schoolteacher tried to reassure his family that he would return safely. But his life was over. He was partly disembowelled and then torn apart with his arms and legs tied to motorbikes. The remains were put on display as a warning to others against defying Taleban orders to stop educating girls. Halim is one of four teachers killed in rapid succession by the Islamists at Ghazni, a strategic point on the routes from Kabul to the south and east which has become the scene of fierce clashes between the Taleban and United States and Afghan forces. The day we arrived an Afghan policeman and eight insurgents died during an ambush in an outlying village. Rockets were found, primed to be fired into Ghazni city during a visit by the American ambassador a few days previously. But, as in the rest of Afghanistan, it is the civilians who are bearing the brunt of this murderous conflict. At the village of Qara Bagh, Halim's family is distraught and terrified. His cousin, Ahmed Gul, shook his head. "They killed him like an animal. No, no. We do not kill animals like that. They took away a father and a husband, they had no pity. We are all very worried. Please go now, you see those men standing over there? They are watching. It is dangerous for you, and for us." Fatima Mustaq, the director of education at Ghazni, has had repeated death threats, the notorious 'night letters'. Her gender, as well as her refusal to send girls home from school, has made her a hate figure for Islamist zealots. "I think they killed him that way to frighten us, otherwise why make a man suffer so much? Mohammed Halim and his family were good friends of ours and we are very, very upset by what has happened. He came to me when the threats first began and asked what he should do. I told him to move somewhere safe. I think he was trying to arrange that when they came and took him." The threats against Mushtaq also extend to her husband Sayyid Abdul and their eight children. "When the first letters arrived, I tried to hide them from my husband. But then he found the next few. He said we must stand together. We talked, and we decided that we must tell the children, so that they can be prepared. But it is not a good way for them to grow up." During the Taleban's rule she and her sister ran secret schools for girls at their home. "They found out and raided us. We managed to persuade them that we were only teaching the Koran. But they spied and found out we were teaching algebra. So they came and beat us. Can you imagine, beating someone for teaching algebra."

11-29-2006, 04:26 PM
Beijing this week registered pollution one level below hazardous, closing highways. Picture / Reuters The greening of China Saturday November 25, 2006By Clifford Coonan Beijing this week registered pollution one level below hazardous, closing highways. Desert winds drive the turbines in the vast wind farm on the outskirts of Urumqi, dusty capital of the northwestern Chinese region of Xinjiang, and daytrippers travel from the city to photograph the sight in the barren wilderness. Down the road, white-domed houses in a village populated by Central Asian Uighurs use solar power to provide their energy needs. In the province of Gansu, officials plan to build the world's largest solar-power station, part of efforts to ease China's dependence on coal to fuel the booming economy. In fast-moving, sophisticated Shanghai, China's biggest city and its financial hub, hundreds of thousands of householders are using solar panels to heat water. Meanwhile, in the capital Beijing, plans are well advanced to use renewable energy for a big chunk of the city's power needs by the time it hosts what China is billing as the first "green" Olympics in 2008. Beijing intends to build a "solar street" where buildings and streetlights will run entirely on energy from the sun. To be green is to be hip in China these days, and even the Government is taking note. But is this the same China, infamous for its dirty rivers and poisoned skies? Nearly all of the world's most polluted cities are in China. Green China as a concept seems ridiculous, particularly when you look at other headlines coming out of China. Strong economic growth led to a major increase in the discharge of major pollutants in the first half of this year. Beijing's air pollution became so bad this week it reached "hazardous" levels on a government air-quality index. The city was blanketed in heavy fog, visibility was cut to a few hundred metres, around 80 flights were delayed and some motorways were closed. Between July to September, one out of every three days was classified as polluted in Beijing and 15 other major cities. Increasingly, in the world's factory, 70 per cent of China's energy needs are met by coal, and every 10 days another coal-fired power plant opens somewhere in China, adding to the country's environmental woes. Meanwhile, China is the world's second-largest consumer of oil, behind the United States. But China is on a drive to boost renewable energies and cut pollution - for sound financial and political reasons. Oil is too expensive and the Government wants alternative energies to reduce China's dependence on it. People in the highly polluted cities often complain that their children have nowhere to go to escape the bad air, and they are worried about what all this will mean for their future. Farmers have rioted and held demonstrations over pollution damaging their crops, making environmental hazards a potential source of political instability, something the ruling Communist Party refuses to tolerate. China's top environmental watchdog, the State Environment Protection Administration (SEPA), said pollution cost China £34 billion ($97 billion) in 2004, around 3 per cent of the GDP that year. In true pragmatic style, Chinese leaders introduced laws this year that set a goal of doubling the use of alternative sources of energy. By 2020, 15 per cent of China's energy needs will be met from renewable sources, with the amount of green power produced rising to 10 gigawatts by 2010 and 30 gigawatts by 2020. "I'm very optimistic about the outlook for renewable energy here. In China, introducing renewables is good industrial development strategy, it's not part of the climate change argument," says Dr Eric Martinot, a research fellow with the US-based Worldwatch Institute and a visiting scholar at Tsinghua University. China invested £3.3 billion in renewable energy last year, making it one of the biggest investors in renewables in the world, and Martinot believes the spending was based on sound reasoning. "In other countries it's a question of 'a' or 'b', but here people say 'Let's develop everything - 'a' and 'b' and 'c', we need it all'," he says. "Local air pollution is playing a big factor in driving many of these arguments, as ordinary people don't accept this kind of pollution." There are 30 million solar households in China, which account for nearly 60 per cent of global solar capacity. Prime Minister Wen Jiabao says solar power is central to his government's efforts to cut the use of fossil fuels by 20 per cent over the next five years. Industry leaders all over the world are watching what is happening in China. The scale of the country makes it prime testing ground for new technologies - if something works in a country of 1.3 billion people, it is likely to be viable the world over. The Chinese Renewable Energy Industries Association (CREIA) was set up in 2000 to promote the industrialisation of the use of green energy in China. "Using renewable energy can promote economic development in an environment-friendly way, which would be the key method to balance China's economic development and its environment protection," says CREIA secretary-general Li Junfeng. China still has vast coal reserves, but officials are examining the potential of renewable energy to resolve a potential bottleneck to faster economic growth. Experts say the challenges facing China's environment require a multi-faceted response - wind power in particular is especially suitable for remote, economically underdeveloped regions in China, such as Xinjiang and other barren provinces such as Inner Mongolia. Meanwhile, CREIA is developing solar energy and biomass energy in several other provinces including Hebei and Jiangsu. Local government in Dunhuang in Gansu province said they would build the world's biggest solar plant there, a 100-megawatt project costing £400 million. Dunhuang has 3362 hours of sunshine every year, making it a prime spot for solar energy development. The world's biggest solar plant is at Arnstein near Wuerzburg in southern Germany, with a 12-megawatt capacity. Beijing is also examining the potential of ethanol and biodiesel. China produced 1 billion litres of ethanol last year - a small proportion of global production (which hit 33 billion litres) but one that is growing. China is also getting help from some significant global players in realising its green goals, including the World Bank and corporations like General Electric. Big British companies such as BP are also getting involved - the Tsinghua-BP Clean Energy Research and Education Centre was launched by Tony Blair three years ago and receives more than £500,000 a year from BP. Its aim is to develop practical clean energy technologies and advise the China's National Development and Reform Commission on the use of clean energy. "As the 2008 Beijing Olympics approaches, we are also conducting several related projects, such as the sustainable urban energy system," said the centre's director, Jiang Ning. With less than two years to go, Beijing is working hard to meet its pledge to make the 2008 Games a "green Olympics" and provide a platform for China to show itself as a modern, progressive country. The goal is that by 2008, up to 90 per cent of the city's street lamps will use solar power, which will also heat 90 per cent of the water used for bathing, according to Tian Maijiu, deputy director of the Standing Committee of Beijing Municipal People's Congress. Wind power will generate 20 per cent of the electricity for the Olympic venues, and the city will provide direct investment or interest-free loans to key projects. Solar power, biomass and wind power development will be the three main projects in Beijing's rural ecological park, and the city is also planning to build a series of large recycling projects that will include refuse incineration and processing plants and a disposal centre for dangerous waste. The World Bank will work with China to promote sustainable development, looking at how to manage scarce resources and optimise energy use.

11-29-2006, 04:28 PM
Fiji's armed forces have held regular exercises during the confrontation between the Government and the military. File Picture / Reuters Fiji braces for military 'exercise' Thursday November 30, 2006 Armed soldiers in full battle gear were due to deploy on the streets of Suva early today in what Fiji's military called a training exercise aimed at repelling any foreign intervention. Soldiers were expected to fire "illumination" rounds into the sea and secure strategic parts of the capital. "The exercise is in anticipation of any foreign intervention and the [Fiji military] is taking all precautionary measures," the Army said. The three-hour show of muscle was announced after inconclusive peace talks in Wellington yesterday involving warring Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase and military commander Frank Bainimarama. The talks at Government House aimed at averting a coup ended with no sign of a backdown by either side. Foreign Minister Winston Peters, who brokered the talks, described them as "lengthy, serious and meaningful" but said there was more talking to be done. Commodore Bainimarama would not talk to reporters as he left for his flight back to Fiji, while Mr Qarase said the talks were not long enough to reach conclusions. "I'm not going to give you any details but, overall, it was a good start and there is need for further consultations on some of the issues," he said. Regional foreign ministers are to meet in Sydney tomorrow, at Mr Qarase's request, to consider the repeated coup threats from Fiji's military leader. Under a Pacific Forum declaration, member countries can intervene to help resolve unrest in another member state but only at the request of the affected Government. Attempts this week by the United States, British and Australian ambassadors to Fiji to meet military officers to seek an assurance there would be no coup met with an angry response. Army spokesman Major Neumi Leweni said it was "inappropriate for a civilian diplomat to visit a military camp and seek to speak directly to officers". The military said today's exercise would involve rounds being fired into the sea near Nukulau Islands, Makuluva Island and the entrance to Suva Harbour. Major Leweni could not say if they would be firing live rounds. Prime Minister Helen Clark said she was concerned about the military exercises in Suva. "I'm not aware anyone's threatening foreign intervention. I can assure you New Zealand isn't," she said. Police spokeswoman Sylvia Low said the military did not need its permission to conduct such exercises. In another development, Fiji's Police Commissioner, Andrew Hughes, took leave to be with his family in Brisbane. Reports in Fiji said he moved to an undisclosed location in Suva a few days ago after receiving threats. Mr Hughes flew to New Zealand on Tuesday night with Mr Qarase and left yesterday for Brisbane. He will not resume work until the middle of next month. The Deputy Police Commissioner, Moses Driver, will now act as the head of Fiji's police. Mr Hughes has been at the centre of turmoil between the Government and the military after he was told to resign by Commodore Bainimarama following suggestions the military chief could face sedition charges after his threats against Mr Qarase's Administration. Last week, Commodore Bainimarama promised a "clean-up campaign" against the Government within two weeks if the demands of the military were not met. The armed forces want three controversial bills and police investigations into senior military officers dropped.

11-30-2006, 03:37 PM
Commodore Frank Bainimarama High noon for Fiji Friday December 1, 2006 SUVA - Fiji's military commander, Commodore Frank Bainimarama has set a deadline of 12 noon today to meet the army's demands or else. The renegade military commander has vowed to overthrow the government at noon after declaring that concessions offered by the prime minister did not go far enough. Two hours after Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase promised measures he hoped would avert a fourth coup in 20 years, the military chief responded with an all-or-nothing ultimatum. Commodore Frank Bainimarama said the concessions were unsatisfactory and gave the prime minister until noon to meet every one of the military's "non-negotiable" demands. "We have given the government until tomorrow afternoon to answer to our demands," Bainimarama told reporters last night. "If by [Friday] afternoon they have not answered to our demands, then we will take as given that we have been endorsed to do the cleaning up campaign in Fiji. "We hope this is going to be a peaceful transition, because we don't expect any confrontation nor do we expect any opposition. "We will look after everybody in Fiji." He accused Qarase of playing games by promising only to review three contentious bills the military had demanded be scrapped. Prime Minister Helen Clark's spokesman said Cdre Bainimarama's comments were extremely disappointing and there was a need for "cool heads". "There's no doubt that the prime minister and the Government of Fiji were willing to move forward." Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters told NZPA through a spokesman it would be disappointing if the commodore decided to turn his back on the opportunity for dialogue just 24 hours after the first substantive conversation he had had for some time with Fiji's prime minister. "We hope that he won't follow through on his threat and that he will give the process that was begun with yesterday's talks time to run their course. But at the end of the day the New Zealand Government remains fully supportive of the democratically elected Government in Fiji," Mr Peters said. The threat sent residents in the capital, Suva, streaming into supermarkets to stockpile supplies, with cash machines beginning to run dry. Less than two hours before Bainimarama's ultimatum, the prime minister addressed the nation in a televised press conference, saying he was willing to move on some of the military's demands. Qarase said the key planks of the offer were nutted out at New Zealand-brokered crisis talks in Wellington yesterday, but Bainimarama who was at the meeting today labelled it a "failure". The military indicated its intentions through a provocative show of force early today in the streets of downtown Suva. The military had called the operation, which locked down strategic sites, a "military operation" to prepare for any foreign intervention in Fiji's political crisis. Bainimarama said he would hold Qarase and two top government officials responsible if any Fiji troops were hurt in the event of a foreign intervention. Regional leaders will meet in Sydney today under a pact that could allow Pacific Island Forum members, including Australia, to send in troops should Qarase's government request it. Qarase earlier in the day said he would not seek help from foreign troops, but that could change given the ultimatum. "... the question of direct action by the forum would only arise if the democratically elected government of Fiji were unlawfully removed from office," Qarase had said. Australia's foreign minister warned Bainimarama that any coup could isolate Fiji. "Fiji risks international isolation if the military proceeds down this dangerous path," Alexander Downer said. Bainimarama has repeatedly threatened to remove Qarase's government unless it drops the three bills, including one that would grant amnesty to those involved in Fiji's 2000 coup. In his address, Qarase said he had suspended the bills, pending a constitutional review, after which he could withdraw them completely. But Bainimarama said it was a ruse and delaying tactic. He indicated that nothing short of an iron-clad guarantee on every demand the military had made would avert tomorrow's action. Those demands include the resignation or removal of Fiji Police Commissioner, Australian Andrew Hughes, and the dropping of police investigations into whether his threats against the government were seditious. Qarase appeared to have made significant concessions on both those fronts. He hinted that his government would welcome any decision by prosecutors not to charge Bainimarama with sedition. If prosecutors "decided not to proceed further, in the greatest interest of peace and stability in Fiji, the government would agree with this," he said during his address. He also said Hughes' tenure as Fiji's police commissioner was under review. Hughes has been a vocal critic of the military in its standoff with the government and is currently in Australia on leave, following threats against him in Fiji. Qarase said the police chief's contract was nearing an end and he would take into account the military's concerns in reviewing his position. Hughes will hold a press conference in Cairns today to discuss his future. Meanwhile, two Australian warships, HMAS Kanimbla and HMAS Success, continue to sit in waters near Fiji awaiting any full scale evacuation. The frigate HMAS Newcastle, which had also been in the area, is now on its way to Noumea carrying the body of the Australian pilot who died Wednesday's Black Hawk helicopter crash aboard the Kanimbla. Seven of the injured are also aboard. From Noumea, an RAAF C-130 Hercules will bring them back to Australia, arriving tomorrow night.

maestro wooz
11-30-2006, 03:42 PM
Birmingham is roughly situated in the middle of above diagram. Our weather's screwed up. Sunny/cold/raining etc! In the Summer you can go out in the morning in a T, & need a coat 2 hours later. Seasons are screwed! Occasional consistency.


it's the same thing here this year. It's nearly december and i had to take my sweatshirt off because it's way too hot. We've had 70 degree temperatures in october and november, followed by crazy winds and tons of rain, followed by temperatures in the 40s, the next week followed by unusually warm weather. There's gonna be a huge weather disaster somewhere in the next year or two.

11-30-2006, 03:46 PM
Wow Elusive thats some fucked up shit!

maestro wooz
11-30-2006, 03:50 PM
wasn't there a coup in the phillipines a couple months ago also?

11-30-2006, 05:42 PM
Bizarre deep-sea creatures imaged off New Zealand

The weird and wonderful creatures living by methane vents in the southwest Pacific have been photographed for the first time (see images right and below).
The deep-sea communities live around methane seeps off New Zealand’s eastern coast, up to 1 kilometre beneath the sea surface. The team of 21 researchers from the US and New Zealand, who spent two weeks exploring the area, have just returned to shore. See video footage recorded by the researchers here (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lR2x5YWjpnY), here (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bPQG8IpBlwU) and here (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9sSkJG8dNqs).
“It's the first time cold seeps have been viewed and sampled in the southwest Pacific, and will greatly contribute to our knowledge of these intriguing ecosystems,” says Amy Baco-Taylor from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in the US.
Cold seeps are areas of the seabed where methane or hydrogen sulphide gas escape from stores deep underneath. Like hydrothermal vents, the gases support unique life forms that can convert the energy-rich chemicals into living matter in the absence of any sunlight.
Sheer extent

Animals living around methane seeps off Chile and Japan have been observed before, but not near New Zealand. “The seeps here are remarkable in the sheer extent of their chemosynthetic communities,” says Baco-Taylor, whose team visited eight such sites between 750 and 1050 metres beneath the surface.
They used sonar to map the seafloor and to detect plumes of water rich in methane, then lowered a video and stills camera system over each site.
This allowed them to record images of tube worms between 30 cm and 40 cm in length as they emerged from beneath limestone boulders. They also recorded corals, sponges and shell beds covered with various types of clam and mussel.
The expedition was led by scientists from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, the Scripps Institution of Oceanography and the University of Hawaii at Manoa in the US, and New Zealand’s National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research.

http://www.newscientist.com/data/images/ns/cms/dn10653/dn10653-3_250.jpg (http://www.newscientist.com/data/images/ns/cms/dn10653/dn10653-3_600.jpg) Enlarge image (http://www.newscientist.com/data/images/ns/cms/dn10653/dn10653-3_600.jpg)
Vestimentiferan worms - a type of tube worm widely seen at the methane seeps - were sampled from the "Builder's Pencil" site. Builder’s Pencil, which covers 180,000 square metres, is one of the largest seep sites in the world

http://www.newscientist.com/data/images/ns/cms/dn10653/dn10653-1_250.jpgEnlarge image (http://www.newscientist.com/data/images/ns/cms/dn10653/dn10653-1_600.jpg)
The furry filaments on this hermit crab’s claws are thought to allow it to feed off the energy-rich chemicals from the seep http://www.newscientist.com/data/images/ns/cms/dn10653/dn10653-2_250.jpg

Enlarge image (http://www.newscientist.com/data/images/ns/cms/dn10653/dn10653-2_625.jpg)
Glass sponges and tube worms poke through the seafloor

11-30-2006, 08:35 PM
Ancient computer found on seabed Friday December 1, 2006By Steve Connor ATHENS - An astronomical instrument built by the ancient Greeks in the second century BC has turned out to be a complex computer for calculating the relative position of the sun, the moon and the planets. Scientists studying the internal workings of the machine using a sophisticated medical scanner have concluded that it was at least a thousand years ahead of its time. The Antikythera Mechanism was recovered from a Roman shipwreck at the turn of the last century but its precise function was little understood because it was broken into 82 incomplete fragments. Made of bronze and wood, the device was evidently an instrument of some sort because it used a complicated set of gears to move a series of concentric wheels and pointers which appeared to predict the movements of astronomical objects. However, the scientists were surprised to find that the machine was in fact a sophisticated analogue computer that acted as a long-term calendar for predicting lunar and solar eclipses as well as the movements of the planets. A large international team of scientists drawn from many different disciplines took part in the study. Their picture of how the device worked and what it was intended to do has astonished classical scholars. "This device is just extraordinary, the only thing of its kind. The design is beautiful, the astronomy is exactly right. The way the mechanics are designed just makes your jaw drop. Whoever has done this had done it extremely well," said Professor Mike Edmunds of Cardiff University, a leading member of the research team. "It does raise the question of what else were they making at the time. In terms of historic and scarcity value, I have to regard this mechanism as being more valuable than the Mona Lisa," Professor Edmunds said. The scientists, who included researchers from the National Archaeological Museum of Athens, found that the complex gearing mechanism of the device acted as a long-term calendar, enabling its operators to track the Moon and the Sun through the Zodiac, predict eclipses and even calculate the irregular orbit of the Moon. Greek sponge-divers discovered the Roman shipwreck off the island of Antikythera in 1900. A year later, archaeologists recovered the device which had been submerged 42m under water for about 2000 years. The shipwreck was dated to about 65BC but the instrument is thought to have been made between 100BC and 150BC, possibly by the Greek astronomer Hipparchos, who lived on the nearby island of Rhodes.

maestro wooz
11-30-2006, 08:45 PM
i wonder if MR HIP HOP HEAD will start posting in this thread if we keep it up.

12-01-2006, 07:07 PM
Photo Gallery: New Glowing Mushrooms Found in Brazil


Like a black light poster come to life, a group of bioluminescent fungi collected from Ribeira Valley Tourist State Park near São Paulo, Brazil, emanates a soft green glow when the lights go out. The mushrooms are part of the genus Mycena, a group that includes about 500 species worldwide. Of these only 33 are known to be bioluminescent—capable of producing light through a chemical reaction. Since 2002 Cassius Stevani (http://www.iq.usp.br/wwwdocentes/stevani/FungusLux/inicial.html), professor of chemistry at the University of São Paulo; Dennis Desjardin (http://www.mycena.sfsu.edu/pages/Desjardin_Lab/desjardinlab.html), professor of mycology at San Francisco State University in California; and Marina Capelari of Brazil's Institute of Botany have discovered ten more bioluminescent fungi species—four of which are new to science—in Brazil's tropical forests.

The work, Stevani says, has increased the number of glowers known since the 1970s by 30 percent.

Here are some more....




Black Man
12-01-2006, 07:19 PM
Photo Gallery: New Glowing Mushrooms Found in Brazil


Like a black light poster come to life, a group of bioluminescent fungi collected from Ribeira Valley Tourist State Park near São Paulo, Brazil, emanates a soft green glow when the lights go out. The mushrooms are part of the genus Mycena, a group that includes about 500 species worldwide. Of these only 33 are known to be bioluminescent—capable of producing light through a chemical reaction. Since 2002 Cassius Stevani (http://www.iq.usp.br/wwwdocentes/stevani/FungusLux/inicial.html), professor of chemistry at the University of São Paulo; Dennis Desjardin (http://www.mycena.sfsu.edu/pages/Desjardin_Lab/desjardinlab.html), professor of mycology at San Francisco State University in California; and Marina Capelari of Brazil's Institute of Botany have discovered ten more bioluminescent fungi species—four of which are new to science—in Brazil's tropical forests.

The work, Stevani says, has increased the number of glowers known since the 1970s by 30 percent.

Here are some more....





12-03-2006, 03:05 PM
NZ asylum seekers in jails as well as refugee centre Monday December 4, 2006By Simon Collins Refugee claimants seeking asylum in New Zealand are now just as likely to be held in jail as in the Mangere Refugee Resettlement Centre. The Labour Department says 23 people claiming refugee status were being held in jail on October 17, compared with 22 at the low-security Mangere centre. The figures, supplied in response to a Herald request under the Official Information Act, have been condemned by refugee lobby groups who say some asylum seekers have been beaten and abused by other prisoners and guards. The Herald asked for the data on October 10 when Global Peace and Justice Auckland protested about an Iranian Christian chef, Hossein (Thomas) Yadegary, who has been held in Auckland Central Remand Prison for two years since his application for refugee status was rejected. He cannot be deported because he refuses to sign travel documents and says that Muslims who convert to Christianity face a potential death penalty in Iran. Yadegary's lawyer, Isabel Chorao, plans to apply to the High Court next week for a writ of habeas corpus declaring that Yadegary should not be detained indefinitely. The Labour Department data shows that on October 17: * 45 people who had claimed refugee status were being held in custody - 23 in jail and 22 at Mangere. * 18 of the 45 were waiting for initial decisions from the department. * 11 had been rejected by the department and were waiting for decisions from the Refugee Status Appeals Authority. * 13 had lodged at least one appeal to the Associate Immigration Minister, currently Clayton Cosgrove. * Five of those held in jail lodged refugee claims only after being served with a removal order, and were detained pending a decision on their claim. * Seven had been through all appeals up to the associate minister and had been rejected every time, but required travel documents to leave the country. Five of these were "refusing to co-operate with Department of Labour staff in obtaining a travel document". Auckland Refugee Council executive officer Elizabeth Walker said she was surprised the figures were so high. Refugee Council of New Zealand vice-president Neville Kay said he was preparing a report for the Government arguing that refugee claimants should not be held with criminals in jails. The council's secretary, lawyer Heval Hylan, said clients had told him they had been subjected to beatings and verbal abuse from both prisoners and prison officers. "They hate them. They can be almost sadistic in some cases," he said. "It's not extreme. I'm not talking about Turkey or Thailand, but the emotional impact is quite considerable." Labour Department spokeswoman Dionne Barton said the department carried out a risk profile of failed asylum seekers to establish if they were likely to flee or commit crimes, or if their identity could not be confirmed. "Where they are housed while they await their appeal is dependent on our assessment of their risk profile."

12-03-2006, 03:09 PM
Fourth infection thought linked to Samoan tattoo Monday December 4, 2006 A fourth person is feared to have contracted an infection from a Samoan tattoo session, and doctors are being asked to check their records for other possible cases. An urgent investigation is under way by health officials and the Labour Department into how three young Samoan men received severe infections from traditional tattoos. All three required hospitalisation. One young man has had nearly 25 per cent of his skin removed to save him from the flesh-eating disease necrotising fasciitis. Another man also caught the flesh-eating disease, while another had cellulitis, a serious skin inflammation around an infected wound. Wellington region doctors have been told to report cases of skin infections that might be linked to tattoos in the past six months. Tattooist Sua Vitale Fa'alavelave, who is believed to have been involved in at least two of the cases, has agreed to stop his work. Wellington medical officer of health Margot McLean told the Dominion Post information from local GPs had uncovered a fourth case suspected to be linked to the same tattoo artist. &quot;There is someone else who we think has had a less severe cellulitis and just needed oral antibiotics, but we haven't linked it to him yet.&quot; Joe Seupule, a spokesman for Mr Vitale who has done hundreds of tattoos, defended his record for good hygiene. He questioned whether the victims had followed instructions for hygiene after the tattooing at Mr Vitale's Hutt Valley home. Dr McLean said Mr Vitale had voluntarily agreed not to do any more tattoos until the investigation was complete, but the department could issue an order prohibiting him from working. &quot;We want to look very closely at his infection control practices. The Labour Department will also be investigating and we would not be happy for him to reopen until this is fully worked through and any concerns addressed,&quot; she said.

12-03-2006, 03:11 PM
Blockade of Suva tipped for today Monday December 4, 2006By Phil Taylor Fiji military commander Frank Bainimarama's "clean-up" campaign may begin as early as today. A Fijian Sunday newspaper, citing "well-placed sources" in the military and Government, said a blockade of Suva was expected to be put in place at 3am. The President, Ratu Josefa Iloilo, would then dissolve the Government and an interim Administration would be set up. Commodore Bainimarama was not asked directly about this report, but the tone of an hour-long interview he gave to Fiji television suggested that action was imminent. The Army was taking over now, he said, and warned against intervention by foreign troops. He also warned people against looting - looting and arson during the 2000 coup cost Fiji about $127 million - and said the Army and police would act together to stop it. The Commodore rejected an assertion by Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase that he would be acting illegally and gave Mr Qarase a last chance to resign. "He says there are three ways to remove him, but the military says there are 5001 ways to skin a cat," the Commodore said. He declined to give details of the lineup of his interim Government but said President Iloilo was the only person he was listening to. Mr Qarase and three members of his Cabinet watched the live interview from the Prime Minister's offices over the road from the studio. The Prime Minister emerged 30 minutes later and told the Herald his national security council had met to consider the Commodore's "latest and ever-changing demands". "We have decided to convene a special meeting of the Cabinet on Tuesday morning [to] consider these demands and we will bemaking a decision as the Government on those demands." Mr Qarase said he did not expect the military to act today, nor did he plan to call for international help. That was "out of the question". Commodore Bainimarama said the damage to tourism meant it was important the clean-up campaign occurred as quickly as possible. People should go about their business as usual today and the transition would be peaceful, he said. The Army and police would protect all citizens and visitors.

12-03-2006, 03:17 PM
Philippine typhoon victims buried in mass graves Monday December 4, 2006By Pedro Uchi DARAGA, Philippines - Villagers in the central Philippines buried their dead in mass graves yesterday after landslides and raging flood waters triggered by Typhoon Durian killed hundreds. Officials fear the death toll from Durian, which swept into the South China Sea on Saturday, could reach 600 after torrential rain and winds of up to 225km/h sent tidal waves of mud crashing onto communities circling an active volcano. Soldiers, miners and locals, some using their bare hands, continued to pull corpses and body parts from areas surrounding Mount Mayon, about 320km south of Manila. There was little hope of finding anyone alive under the fetid sludge. The National Disaster Coordinating Council said 309 people had been killed due to landslides, flooding and flying debris and 298 were still missing across the central Bicol region. In worst-hit Albay province, unembalmed corpses littered the streets and, amidst the stench of rotting flesh, survivors were forced to pile the dead into mass plots. "Some of the corpses are almost decomposed," said Cedric Daep, head of the provincial disaster coordinating council. More than 800,000 people were affected by the typhoon, which triggered flooding so intense some people, vainly clinging onto coconut trees, were washed out to sea. Thousands were still without food, electricity and fresh water yesterday after nearly 120,000 homes were damaged, communication lines uprooted and fruit trees, rice paddies and irrigation systems destroyed. Durian, one notch below a category 5 "super typhoon" when it hit the Philippines, later weakened to a category 1 typhoon over the South China Sea and was expected to cross Vietnam's coast today, potentially disrupting the coffee harvest. Residents around Mayon thought they had escaped catastrophe in September when the volcano subsided after months of spewing lava and rocks, raising fears of a major eruption and forcing thousands of residents to evacuate. The debris left behind proved deadly when Durian struck. Once lively villages were reduced to sticks and roofs protruding from the mud. Thousands of survivors crammed into schools and churches as disaster agencies called for fresh water, food and medicine. Named after a pungent Asian fruit, Durian was the fourth typhoon to hit the Philippines in three months. Forecasters expect one more before the end of the year. In September, 213 people were killed when Typhoon Xangsane battered the north and centre of the country, leaving millions without electricity or running water for days. Xangsane also killed dozens in Vietnam.

12-04-2006, 04:16 PM
Brand new substance created from water

If you think we know all there is to know about water, think again. Scientists claim they have created a totally new alloy of hydrogen and oxygen molecules by splitting water.
It takes high-energy X-rays and an extremely high pressure, but the end result is a solid mixture of H2 and 02 that has never been identified before, they say. The discovery could change our understanding of the complex chemistry of water.
The new alloy is "a highly energetic material", says Wendy Mao at Los Alamos National Laboratory, US, who led the research. "It may help us find a way of storing energy."
Mao’s team subjected water to a pressure 170,000 times greater than atmospheric pressure at sea level. Then they bombarded it with X-rays, causing the water molecules to split and reform into a previously unknown crystalline solid made of H2 molecules and 02 molecules.
Just right

The phenomenon has been missed by hundreds of previous experiments, researchers say, because it only happens after several hours of exposure to 10-kiloelectronvolt-X-rays. "We managed to hit on just the right level of X-ray energy input," says team member Russell Hemley, at the Carnegie Institution’s geophysical laboratory in Washington DC, US.
"Any higher, and the radiation tends to pass right through the sample. Any lower, and the radiation is largely absorbed by the diamonds in our pressure apparatus," he explains.
After making several nanograms (10-9 of a gram) of the new alloy, researchers tested its properties by subjecting it to a range of temperatures and pressures, and further bombardment by X-rays and laser radiation. As long as it remained under a pressure 10,000 times greater than at sea level, it was "surprisingly stable", they say.
Fresh avenues

Under pressure, water is known to form 15 different types of ice, with a variety of crystal structures. But in all of them hydrogen and oxygen atoms remain bound to each other.
The discovery that molecules of oxygen and hydrogen can form an alloy opens up fresh avenues of research, including new possibilities for studying molecular interactions between oxygen and hydrogen, the researchers say.
"The existence of this new alloy is very interesting but not hugely surprising," says Sean McWhinnie, at the Royal Society of Chemistry in London, UK.
"Given high enough pressures, even hydrogen will behave as a metal. All, the other heavier elements in hydrogen's group of the periodic table are metals," she points out.

12-05-2006, 04:42 PM
Giant catfish scares tourists

The 2.3 metre European catfish eats two or three ducks a day and has even taken a few small dogs, reports Hetlaatste News.
Dutch divers reckon 'Big Mama', in the lake of a Centerparcs at Kempervennen, could be the world's biggest.
Remco Visser, head of a Dutch diving school which uses the lake for practice dives, said the fish had scared a number of divers.
But he added: "They don't have to worry because catfish don't eat humans. Most of the ducks have moved to another lake but visiting ducks, who don't know there is a catfish in the water, get caught."
Centerparcs guards patrol the lake to keep away fishermen who have been trying to climb over the fences at night to catch Big Mama.
Biologist Jean Henkes, of Centerparcs, added: "The catfish has grown so big because of the excellent water quality, enough food and rest."

12-06-2006, 03:55 PM
Thursday December 7, 2006 The growers' lobby Horticulture NZ wants a "thorough review" of procedures for importing sweetcorn seed. HortNZ chief executive Peter Silcock said growers wanted assurances that "robust biosecurity systems" could ensure shipments contaminated with genetically-engineered seeds were not brought into the country. Biosecurity Minister Jim Anderton said in Parliament on Tuesday that about 4420kg of sweetcorn seed was being investigated for possible GE contamination. About two-thirds of the seed, 3067.5kg, was planted in the Hawkes Bay, Gisborne, and Mid-Canterbury regions. The remaining 1352.5kg of seed had not been planted and had been "secured". Mr Silcock said the announcement was a worry. "Growers have planted this seed in good faith. If the crops are to be destroyed, it will have a big impact on those growers and we will be expecting compensation". If the growers, on 25 properties, were ordered to destroy their crops soon, they might still have time to replant, he said. "We would like to see these decisions happen quickly so growers aren't left hanging and can make decisions about the future use of the land," Mr Silcock said. Sweetcorn is a major horticultural crop, and 5000ha to 6000ha is grown annually. The crops being investigated total 373.3ha. Mr Anderton said Biosecurity NZ was consulting growers and seed producers, but it was "almost certain" that the unplanted seeds and the crops which were growing would be destroyed. And questions were being asked about how the seeds were able to enter the country despite documents accompanying at least two of the consignments showing the parent batches from which the seeds originated had GE-contaminated seed in them. "The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry is conducting a stringent inquiry," he said. "There will be accountability here." New Zealand has a "zero-tolerance" policy on GE seed contamination. Asked by Green Party co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons if the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry was trying to implement its preference for a threshold below which GE contamination was legal - an acceptable level of "inadvertent" contamination - Mr Anderton said seed producers claimed they had a system of control that eliminated GE contamination. "The ministry is rather questioning of that possibility, but that is what the seed producers say," he said. None of the crops was likely to create any long-term problem as long as the plants were removed before they set seed. Ms Fitzsimons said any GE seeds in the shipments were unapproved organisms under the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act and were illegal under the Biosecurity Act. "MAF does not have the authority to decide, after 'consultation', to let them mature, flower and seed," she said. The suspect sweet corn came from the American company Syngenta, which was known as Novartis when it supplied the seeds that caused the 2002 "Corngate" controversy. It also supplied the seeds which in 2003 led to a Japanese pizza-maker complaining that a topping from New Zealand contained GE-sweetcorn.

12-06-2006, 04:00 PM
Army seizes power in Fiji: 'We have taken over' UPDATED 10.35pm Tuesday December 5, 2006By Phil Taylor and agencies SUVA - The military has finally seized control in Fiji in the fourth coup in 20 years after days of shadow boxing. At a press conference at 7pm, Commodore Frank Bainimarama said he had established military law in Fiji and installed himself as President. "As of six o'clock this evening, the military has taken over the government, has executive authority and the running of this country," Bainimarama told reporters. He added: "We urge all citizens to stay calm." New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark immediately branded the Commodore as "deluded" and said his actions were a "display of military arrogance". And Fijian PM Laisenia Qarase said the action was illegal, a "national embarrassment" and the action "raped" the Fiji constitution. The coup came after days of pressure by the military in an effort to force Qarase to step down. A calm-looking Bainimarama read a lengthy statement which included legal arguments over the military's right to take control under what he called the "doctrine of necessity". "Having taken over from the president I dismiss the Prime Minister Qarase." He said soldiers would accompany police on patrols through Fiji and he gave Cabinet Ministers one month to clean out their desks in Government. "The stalemate has forced me to step forward and the military has taken over government," Bainimarama said. He said Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase's refusal to agree to President Ratu Josefa Iloilo's request to resign had left Fiji in "limbo" and forced him to act. Bainimarama said the interim prime minister would be Jona Baravilala Senilagakali, a former Army medic in his 70s who has little political experience except as head of the Fiji Medical Association. Asked how effective the new interim prime minister would be, given his lack of political experience, military spokesman Major Neumi Leweni said: "What do you mean he's got no qualifications. That's your interpretation". Senilagakali was paraded before the media following the press conference but did not take any questions. The coup, the fourth in 20 years, came after a prolonged period of uncertainty in which the military and the Government squared off over controversial laws. At a press conference tonight, Qarase said a military regime was "illegal and unconstitutional". He was quoted on fijilive.com as saying; "What the military commander has done is that he has raped the constitution and we have become the laughing stock of the world. "They (military) have bought shame to the country, it is a national embarrassment. "I don't think that we should take this lying down," he said. Speaking minutes after Cdre Bainimarama announced in Suva that he had taken over, Miss Clark said she could only conclude the commander was "severely deluded". "He called on people not to break the law -- the military commander has just ripped up Fiji's constitution and chucked it out the window," she said on TV One's Close Up programme. "It is supreme arrogance to say other people shouldn't break the law when you have just single-handedly set out to destroy the law." Miss Clark described Cdre Bainimarama's actions as "simply an extraordinary display of military arrogance". Miss Clark said Cdre Bainimarama had talked about government ministers not being arrested, but Mr Qarase had told her during a phone conversation at 1.45pm he was going to be taken to the offshore island where convicted traitor George Speight is imprisoned. "The tragedy of this is that Mr Bainimarama has turned himself into a Speight, and history will be his judge," she said. Speight was the leader of a failed coup in 2000, backed by army mutineers. He pleaded guilty to treason and is serving a life sentence. Miss Clark praised Mr Qarase's courage, and has urged him to continue resisting Cdre Bainimarama's demands that he resign. "He knows he's absolutely in the right," she said. Miss Clark brokered talks in Wellington last week between the two men, hoping they would be able to at least agree to a framework for negotiation. Cdre Bainimarama initially agreed to negotiate, but reneged on that when he reached Suva and said the talks had failed. The Auckland-based Coalition for Democracy in Fiji (CDF) condemned the military's actions. "We are saddened that Fiji is yet again being subjected to an illegal and armed usurping of parliamentary democracy," CDF chairman Ahmed Bhamji said. "We call on those forces in Fiji that are undermining democracy to pull back and uphold the constitution." Earlier, Qarase was placed under house arrest with soldiers surrounding his home. But he refused an official request from President Ratu Josef Iloilo to give into military demands or resign, saying he still has the backing of his cabinet. He told ABC radio: "We are totally unarmed and we can't give in to the commander's demands and I am not prepared to resign voluntarily or even by force." He said he was not frightened but expected to be taken away by the military. "So basically if they want to carry out the coup, they have all the freedom to do it now," he said. Australia refused a last ditch plea for military help from the Fijian prime minister. Qarase earlier phoned Prime Minister John Howard from his home in Suva, appealing for assistance. Mr Howard rejected the plea, declaring it was not in Australia's national interest to become involved in the political crisis. "The possibility of Australian and Fijian troops firing on each other in the streets of Suva was not a prospect that I for a moment thought desirable," he told reporters. The Fiji military had made it clear in the lead-up to today's coup that it would not welcome foreign intervention

12-06-2006, 04:01 PM
9.20am Thursday December 7, 2006 CANBERRA - Thousands of Australians living with debilitating diseases have been given new hope of a cure, with federal parliament overturning the ban on therapeutic cloning. Liberal senator Kay Patterson's private member's bill will allow researchers to clone embryos using donor eggs and cells without sperm, and extract their stem cells for medical research. Prime Minister John Howard and new Labor leader Kevin Rudd both spoke against the bill before it passed the House of Representatives last night. Mr Howard said he struggled with his decision, but ultimately could not support the bill to overturn the legislation passed in 2002 banning therapeutic cloning. "I don't think the science has shifted enough to warrant the parliament changing its view," he said. Mr Rudd said he found it very difficult to support a law that would allow human life to be created for the explicit purpose of experimentation and ultimate destruction. Senior cabinet ministers Peter Costello, Tony Abbott and Kevin Andrews also spoke against the technology. It was the second conscience vote in parliament this year, following a vote on the abortion drug RU486 in February. But after an emotional four-day debate, the final vote was an anti-climax -- with MPs electing not to call a division and have their choice recorded.

12-06-2006, 06:51 PM
Scientists have shown that the genetic make-up of humans can vary hugely - far more than was previously thought.

Humans show big DNA differences

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/42346000/jpg/_42346340_dnaprofiles_hurles_203b.jpg DNA comparisons: Gains (green), losses (red), the same (yellow)

A UK-led team made a detailed analysis of the DNA found in 270 people and identified vast regions to be duplicated or even missing.
A great many of these variations are in areas of the genome that would not damage our health, Matthew Hurles and colleagues told the journal Nature.
But others are - and can be shown to play a role in a number of disorders.
"We were certainly surprised; we expected to find that there would be some variation, but we weren't expecting to find quite this much," Dr Hurles told BBC News.
To date, the investigation of the human genome has tended to focus on very small changes in DNA that can have deleterious effects - at the scale of just one or a few bases, or "letters", in the biochemical code that programs cellular activity.
And for many years, scientists have also been able to look through microscopes to see very large-scale abnormalities that arise when whole DNA bundles, or chromosomes, are truncated or duplicated.
But it is only recently that researchers have developed the molecular "tools" to focus on medium-scale variations - at the scale of thousands of DNA letters.
Big factor
This analysis of so-called copy number variation (CNV) has now revealed some startling results.
It would seem the assumption that the DNA of any two humans is 99.9% similar in content and identity no longer holds.
The researchers were astonished to locate 1,447 CNVs in nearly 2,900 genes, the starting "templates" written in the DNA that are used by cells to make the proteins which drive our bodies.
This is a huge, hitherto unrecognised, level of variation between one individual and the next.
"Each one of us has a unique pattern of gains and losses of complete sections of DNA," said Matthew Hurles, of the UK's Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute.
"One of the real surprises of these results was just how much of our DNA varies in copy number. We estimate this to be at least 12% of the genome.
"The copy number variation that researchers had seen before was simply the tip of the iceberg, while the bulk lay submerged, undetected. We now appreciate the immense contribution of this phenomenon to genetic differences between individuals."
Evolving story
The new understanding will change the way in which scientists search for genes involved in disease.
"Many examples of diseases resulting from changes in copy number are emerging," commented Charles Lee, one of the project's leaders from Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston, US.
"A recent review lists 17 conditions of the nervous system alone - including Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's disease - that can result from such copy number changes." Scientists are not sure why the copy variations emerge, but it probably has something to do with the shuffling of genetic material that occurs in the production of eggs and sperm; the process is prone to errors. As well as aiding the investigation of disease and the development of new drugs, the research will also inform the study of human evolution, which probes genetic variation in modern populations for what it can say about their relationship to ancestral peoples.

12-07-2006, 03:37 PM
Friday December 8, 2006By Mike Houlahan New Zealand should press the Tongan Government to investigate claims that prisoners arrested during the November riots were abused and tortured, Green MP Keith Locke says. Tonga's National Centre for Women and Children has issued a report which alleges widespread maltreatment of prisoners after unrest in the capital, Nuku'alofa. The centre, which is partly funded by NZAID and combats domestic violence, said its report exposed systematic torture and abuse by Tongan Defence Service personnel and police. The Tongan Government has said it condemns torture and abuse of prisoners and will look at the report's claims. Mr Locke, the Greens' foreign affairs spokesman who was in Tonga last week, said the report tallied with what he had been told. "The pictures I've seen ... they've all got very puffed-up and bruised faces and they didn't just walk into a door or anything ... It all adds to a picture that needs to be investigated." New Zealand and Australia rushed soldiers and police to Tonga to help to restore order after a pro-democracy protest disintegrated into violence. Several police officers are still there. The report did not mention any abuse involving foreigners. "The Government, particularly as it has police and has had military over there, we don't want them to be tainted by what the Tongan military in particular are doing," Mr Locke said. "I think it's important that the Government look closely at that report and our diplomatic people over there fully investigate what has been going on and express our serious concerns." Prime Minister Helen Clark and Foreign Minister Winston Peters were unavailable for comment. A spokesman for Defence Minister Phil Goff said there was no evidence New Zealanders were implicated in any way in claims of abuse. The report said treatment amounting to torture under Tongan and international law had been reported. Injuries included facial cuts, swelling and bruising, ripped ears, broken and missing teeth, split lips and heavily bruised ribs. "I saw bloody people come into the cells every day. People with smashed faces - it just became normal," one former prisoner said. Cells were overcrowded - one cell for 16 reportedly had 64 prisoners in it on one day. They lacked bedding and proper toilet facilities. One prisoner estimated that 40 per cent of prisoners in his cell had been subjected to some form of violence during interrogation.

12-07-2006, 03:39 PM
Friday December 8, 2006 Some of the soldiers who felt the mist of Agent Orange on their backs or drank it in their water during the Vietnam War are disappointed by the compensation package. They say it is unnecessarily restrictive, barring from compensation conditions which are covered for US veterans. Ray Beatson, a veteran who has helped the campaign for compensation, said yesterday that many would be upset when they read details of the package and realised they were not covered. Conditions such as heart and circulatory diseases ought to have been included, he said. The package limits ex-gratia payments to veterans of up to $40,000 to four kinds of cancer and a skin condition, chloracne. Payments of up to $30,000 to veterans' children are limited to two types of cancer, spina bifida, cleft lip and cleft palate. John Jennings, who served in Vietnam's Phuoc Tuy and Bien Hoa provinces, recalls the chemical smell from when he was sprayed by Agent Orange - a herbicide used to kill jungle and deny the enemy cover - from an aircraft in the late 1960s. He has suffered an itchy rash since and developed a condition, linked to dioxins in the herbicide, that left him blind in one eye. His daughter, Marrakech Jennings-Lowry, has had to spend thousands of dollars on her wide range of health problems, one of which left her unable to have children. Mr Jennings said it was hoped a wider range of conditions would be covered, in light of Massey University research showing that Vietnam veterans had a significant degree of genetic damage. His hope now was that the $7 million trust fund included in the package would help a wider group. Mrs Jennings-Lowry said that despite her lung, heart and other conditions, she would not qualify for compensation. "The package is sadly lacking." Mr Beatson, a lieutenant when he went to Vietnam with the infantry in 1967 for nearly eight months, said he decided to help press the case for Government compensation after realising the death rate among his war comrades was extraordinarily high. By last May, from a platoon of 36 men, 12 had died. Eight were seriously unwell, a group that has grown since. "Last year, I went to a funeral of one of the many in my platoon. The wake-up call for me was that five of the six pallbearers were beneficiaries - because of service in Vietnam," said Mr Beatson, now aged 63. He said there was scepticism among veterans about the compensation package, which fell short of what was sought. "One of the recommendations [to the Government] was that veterans have access to an annual free medical. The press statement [yesterday] says one-off comprehensive medical examination. There's a certain amount of flannelling going on." Roly Flutey, 59, who served in the artillery, remembers a mist of Agent Orange from aircraft falling on him and his mates. They were shirtless while playing basketball at Nui Dat camp. "It seemed like a nice cooling drop of water at the time." He said he had had skin cancer and still suffered from the skin condition psoriasis, a type of arthritis, deafness and post-traumatic stress disorder. While he did not wholly blame Agent Orange, he said it played a part. He would not qualify for compensation. He objects to the plans for a Defence Force welcome home parade for veterans. "It's too late. I would not go if they called it a welcome home get-together or parade."

12-07-2006, 06:52 PM
http://a52.g.akamaitech.net/f/52/827/1d/www.space.com/images/hf_plutoplanet_060823_01.jpg Pluto: Down But Maybe Not Out

If you did not like Pluto's demotion, don't give up hope.
Arguments over the newly approved definition for "planet" are likely to continue at least until 2009, and astronomers say there is much that remains to be clarified and refined.
While it is entirely unclear if the definition (http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/060824_planet_definition.html) could ever be altered enough to reinstate Pluto (http://www.space.com/pluto/) as a planet (http://www.space.com/planets/), astronomers clearly expect some changes.
In a statement today, the largest group of planetary scientists in the world offered lukewarm support for the definition, which was adopted last week by a vote of just a few hundred astronomers at the International Astronomical Union (IAU) General Assembly meeting in Prague.
Lukewarm support

The definition basically states that the eight worlds from Mercury (http://www.space.com/mercury/) to Neptune (http://www.space.com/neptune/) are planets, and that Pluto and other small round objects in the outer solar system are not planets but will be referred to as dwarf planets.
The wording has been heavily criticized (http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/060824_pluto_follow.html) as being vague and arbitrary and failing to include planets around other stars. One highly controversial aspect is the idea that a planet must control a zone of space by clearing it of other objects. In fact, Earth (http://www.space.com/earth/) and some of the giant planets have not cleared their paths—asteroids (http://www.space.com/asteroids/) cross the planetary orbits frequently and in some cases orbit in lockstep with the planets.
Nonetheless, the Division for Planetary Sciences (DPS) of the American Astronomical Society (AAS) "recognizes the authority of the IAU to render a decision," today's statement reads. "All definitions have a degree of fuzziness that requires intelligent application: what does 'round' really mean? What does it mean to 'control a zone'?"
The statement suggests there are at least three years of wrangling ahead:
"These are technical issues to be addressed by Division III of the IAU, currently chaired by Ted Bowell, a fellow DPS member. There is still work to be done, too, in constructing a definition that is generally applicable to extra-solar planetary systems. These and other changes, radical or moderate, presumably will be addressed at the next IAU General Assembly in Rio de Janeiro in 2009 (http://www.livescience.com/blogs/2006/08/25/on-to-rio/), and the DPS community will continue to be involved in all stages of this process.

[UPDATE 9:10 p.m. ET: A separate group of more than 300 astronomers announced today they will not use the new definition (http://www.livescience.com/blogs/author/robbritt).]
Lack of authority?
Other astronomers have said or indicated that the IAU decision might not carry much weight.
David Morrison, an astronomer at NASA's Ames Research Center, was in Prague for the debates and the vote. He called the resulting definition "reasonable" but termed the IAU process "highly convoluted."
"The definition of a planet is not primarily a science issue. Scientists can (and often do) use all sorts of jargon," Morrison told SPACE.com. "This issue is of interest because non-scientists, including writers of science textbooks, want a definition. Now they have one. But it is not obvious to me that planetary scientists will adjust their terminology because of the IAU votes."

The IAU's final proposal was lambasted by many astronomers for having been slapped together at the last minute and for not adhering to recommendations from two separate committees. Morrison was on an IAU committee of astronomers (http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/050921_planet_definition.html) that debated for months on a definition proposal. The one they adopted, Morrison said, was approved by the committee in a vote of 11-8. But it never saw the light of day. Ultimately, another committee of seven (http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/060608_planet_definition.html), including historians, was formed by the IAU, and the second committee's proposed definition (http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/060816_planet_definition.html) was scrapped too (http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/060818_planet_newprop.html), in the last moments in Prague.
"Is Pluto, then, still a planet? Yes and no," Morrison said. "The answer is semantic, based on whether dwarf planets are planets, just as dwarf pines are pines. I would say that Pluto is a planet, but it is a dwarf planet, and the first example of the class of trans-Neptunian dwarf planets."
Lack of science

The whole debate, many astronomers say, has little if anything to do with science (http://www.space.com/searchforlife/seti_pluto_060831.html).
Geoff Marcy, a researcher at the University of California, Berkeley, has led the discovery of dozens of planets outside our solar system (http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/exoplanet_pair_040831.html). "The astrophysics of planetary bodies is so rich and complex that defining 'planet' has never been an issue under discussion among professionals," Marcy said in an email interview earlier this week.

Pressed on whether the definition made any sense, Marcy said: "It makes no scientific sense to have a definition that pertains only to our solar system and not to other planetary systems."
The DPS represents 1,300 astronomers, about a third of them from outside the United States. Today's statement included a phrase that hints at the discontent felt among many members and the likelihood that all is not said and done:
"Ultimately, the definition of a planet will come through common usage and scientific utility. There is no need to throw away current school texts; Pluto has not gone away."

12-07-2006, 08:04 PM
Wow the Water and clone articles are interesting...Keep it up!!!! and Thanks!!

12-08-2006, 08:05 AM
Dont know if this has been posted anywhere else but..
LONDON (Reuters) - A severe tornado ripped roofs off homes and tore down walls in a residential area of northwest London on Thursday, injuring six people.

Television footage showed a trail of destruction in Kensal Rise, with trees uprooted and cars damaged by falling debris. Tornadoes in Britain are normally weak and rarely cause damage.

Local resident Daniel Bidgood was in his house when the tornado, which he said was about 20 meters (yards) across, smashed his windows.

"It was very large and certainly very powerful," he told BBC television. "You could see it ripping up heavy chunks of mortar and smashing it into cars."

One man in his 50's was taken to hospital with head injuries. Five other adults were treated for shock and minor injuries after the tornado struck at around 1100 GMT.

Around 100 houses were damaged, a Fire Brigade spokesman said, "so I would imagine several hundred people may be displaced." Some of those evacuated were being housed in local churches.

More than 20 fire engines were sent to the scene and the area was cordoned off.


The London tornado was rated at T4 on a scale of 0 to 10. This means winds were moving at between 115 and 136 mph (185-219 kph), rating the tornado as severe, said a spokesman for the Meteorological Office.

Britain experiences between 30 and 40 tornadoes in an average year, he said, but they rarely hit built-up areas. In July 2005, a tornado in Birmingham, central England, damaged dozens of homes.

The cost in London could run into millions of pounds. Houses in the area cost an average 550,000 pounds ($1.08 million), a local estate agent said. The Association of British Insurers said most home insurance policies would cover the costs.

"You're not likely to find the word 'tornado' in a UK insurance policy," a spokesman said. "But it would be covered under 'storm damage'."

Tornadoes are a vortex of swirling air caused by a build-up of heavy thunder clouds. The Met Office spokesman said it was impossible to tell if global warming had a role to play in the London tornado.

The Met Office issued severe weather warnings for southern England, with heavy rains and winds gusting up to 70 miles per hour, after the warmest autumn in the last 347 years.

Yikes!! Didnt even know we got tornados in the UK

Aboriginal God
12-09-2006, 02:52 AM
There's a few things you need to know about the United Nation's Draft Declaration on the Rights Of Indigenous Peoples.
1.Firstly, as the name implies, it's a draft document - it hasn't be ratified yet.The "Draft Dec", As it;s Known more widely, has been several decades in the making.
Momentum really started to gather in 1995, the year which marked the start of the UN's International Decade Of The Worlds Indigenous Peoples.
The Process has been moving at a fast pace ever since, although getting all the nations on earth to agree on a single set of principles in just 10 years proved to be unrealistic.
As this edition Of NIT goes to print, the Draft Declaration is still sitting in the UNs Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (basically, a sub commitee of the United Nations).
But the good news is that the Draft Dec is expected to be passed by the end of this year.
In December the Draft Declaration goes before the entire United Nations where it's expected to be ratified.
But there is a hitch.That's the second thing you need to know about the Draft Dec.
2.Throughout the process, there have been four nations (known as member states in the UN) that have provided the roles of spoilers.
Three Of those states are New Zealand, Canada and the United States.
They've opposed much of the progress over the last decade for a variety of reasons, but chief among them is the belief that the finacial cost of recognising the rights of Indigenous peoples ( as articulated by the world community) would be astronomical.In other words, doing the right thing - giving Indigenous peoples the same rights as everyone else - would be expensive.
Who knew you could really put a price on human rights?
The fourth nation playing the spolier role has been Australia.But we're in a league of our own.
Even Canada, New Zealand and the US are embarassed not by just Australia's conduct in relation to Indigenous rights, But by how far behind the rest of the world we really are.
Canada, New Zealand And the US all accept - to varying degrees - the rights to self determination.
Australia prefers the term "self management".
Canada, New Zealand and the US each have treaties with their Indigenous peoples.
Australia has none.
Canada, New Zealand and the US make special provisions for self-government of Indigenous peoples.
Australia doesn't.It prefers "mainstreaming".
Canada, New Zealand and the US accept that Indigenous peoples should have rights to resources and mineral wealth.
Australia doesn't.It prefers to keep it all for the whitefellas.
Canada, New Zealand and the US accept that land rights are an intergal part of Indigenous rights.
Australia doesn't.It has been busy undermining land rights and native title.
In short, If Canada, the US and New Zealand are the "Axis of evil" when it comes to the rights of Indigenous peoples, then Australia is from another planet.
Even so, with or without the objections of the four rogue states (plus possibly Russia, which is trying to cosy up to the US), the UN Draft Declaration will pass.
There are 192 member states in the UN, and despite their wealth, Australia, Canada, New Zealand And the US only get four votes.
3.Third, the Draft Dec has been negoiated by the world's Indigenous peoples for the world Indigenous peoples.In Australia, a multitude of Aboriginal people have been involved over the decades, but in recent years the process has been led by Les Maelzer, Tom Calma ( Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Comissioner) and Megan Davis, a lawyer and expert in international law.
4.The final thing you need to know about the Draft Dec is that it is not legally binding - Australia may live in a "global commmunity", but provided it doesn't invade other countries,it doesn't necessarily have to abide by its rules.
Particularly not in the treatment of its own citizens( or refugees, for that matter).
The legal effect of the Draft Declaration in Australia (once it is ratified by the UN, and thus no longer "draft")will be zero.
But it is still important to Indigenous Australians.
It sets out a road map for how the rights of Idigenous people should be respected by all the world's nations.
Australia, at least in the short term, will definitely ignore the Declaration and continue to erode the rights of Indigenous peoples.
But it will do so at its own international peril - pressure will inevitably mount from other nations on Australia to reform its ways.
Of course, how long that takes is anyone's guess.

Taken from the " National Indigenous Times Nov. 16 2006)

12-10-2006, 03:47 PM
NEW YORK - Scientists have discovered why tea extracts help repair skin damage, a finding that may benefit cancer patients who suffer skin problems from radiotherapy. Dr Frank Pajonk from the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California's Los Angeles campus said tea extracts were a traditional remedy for sunburn, and had been used successfully to treat the effect of radiation damage. But until now there had been no data to explain how it worked. The researchers found that tea extracts affect the body signals that trigger inflammation. In a study reported in the journal BMC Medicine, the researchers analysed the effects of green or black tea extracts given to 60 patients with skin damage related to radiotherapy for head and neck cancers and cancer in the pelvic region. Dr Pajonk said more studies were needed to compare tea extract therapy with standard treatments for radiation-induced skin damage.

12-10-2006, 04:10 PM
^^ Great post Aboriginal God... Peace

Aboriginal God
12-11-2006, 02:01 AM
TOWNSVILLE, December 11, 2006: A man has been jailed for a revenge attack on the police liaison officer who was in the Palm Island island watchhouse when Mulrunji Doomadgee was killed two years ago.

Albert James Wotton, 22, was on Friday sentenced in the Townsville District Court to two years jail after he pleaded guilty to assaulting off-duty police liaison officer Lloyd Bengaroo in April last year.

He will be eligible for parole after eight months.

The assault at Happy Valley, near Townsville, occurred five months after Mulrunji's death in custody that sparked violent riots on the island.

Mr Bengaroo was in the island's watchhouse with Senior Sergeant Chris Hurley when Mulrunji died from serious injuries after being arrested for being a public nuisance.

In September this year, acting state coroner Christine Clements found Snr Sgt Hurley delivered the fatal blows that killed Mulrunji.

Snr Sgt Hurley has been stood down with full pay while the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) decides if he will be charged.

On April 22, 2005, Mr Bengaroo had been drinking with friends in a Townsville pub when they decided to continue on with another group at Happy Valley, the court was told by prosecutors.

He was approached by another man, Gerard Nuggins, who started to abuse him, claiming he was responsible for Mulrunji's death, before kicking and punching him.

The court was told while Mr Bengaroo was on his knees, Wotton joined in, kicking him twice in the head.

Mr Bengaroo needed hospital attention for cuts to his face and knees

By Dave Donaghy December 11 National Indigenous Times

Aboriginal God
12-11-2006, 07:09 PM
Researcher and player, Benjamin Lange
Scientists have revealed the secrets of playing the didgeridoo, the world's oldest wind instrument, according to research in this week's edition of the journal, Nature.

While it's long been known that the didgeridoo's characteristic sound relies on the player's vocal tract to produce enhanced frequency bands called formants, the mechanism was unknown.

Formants are characteristic sound frequencies that identify vowels to listeners of human speech.

A team of Australian scientists measured the acoustic response of a player's vocal tract while playing - the first time this has been done.

The sound produced by the vibrating lips travels both into the instrument and the player's mouth where it is affected by the resonances of the vocal tract, says UNSW physicist, Professor Joe Wolfe, one of the research authors.

Resonance is the amplification of sound by its surroundings. What was unexpected is that the resonances suppress vibration at some frequencies. The formants or prominent frequencies are the ones left behind.

Lead author Alex Tarnopolsky continued: "To make the resonances strong enough, a player must keep his vocal cords in the almost closed position, which is not normal for breathing, but which reflects the sound waves so that they don't get absorbed by the lungs."

Experienced players learn to keep their vocal cords in this almost-closed position unconsciously, according to UNSW research author, Dr John Smith.

"If you leave the vocal folds in the open position normally used for breathing, you don't get strong resonances in the vocal tract because the sound is absorbed by the lungs," said Dr Smith.

The didgeridoo is also known also as yidaki or yiraki in the language of the Yolngu people of northern Australia, where it originated.

Aboriginal God
12-11-2006, 09:14 PM
Leaders of around 150,000 Arabs in Niger say they will fight in court moves to expel them to Chad.
They told reporters in Niamey they would defend themselves against attack.

Niger's government has ordered the Arabs, known as Mahamid, to leave the country accusing them of wrongdoing, including theft and rape.

But they insist they are citizens of Niger and "have no other country to go to", after being given five days to leave the country.

The Mahamid also say they will take their case to the United Nations Security Council.

But the BBC's Idy Baraou says the decision to challenge the government's order through the courts may have come too late, as reports from the east of Niger confirm that the authorities had begun rounding Arabs up around Diffa, located some 1,500km from Niamey.

Originally nomads from Chad
150,000 live mainly in Diffa State
Many came after 1974 drought
More fled 1980s Chad fighting
Fought against 1990s Tuareg rebellion

Many of the Arabs came to Niger from neighbouring Chad following the 1974 drought in Chad.

Others who were fleeing fighting in Chad arrived in the 1980s. Many have since risen to senior positions in the military, local administration and in business.

The governor of Diffa State, where most of the Mahamid live, told them it was "high time" to pack and return to Chad.

"We have decided, starting today, to expel these nomadic Arab 'Mohamides' to their home countries," Niger's Interior Minister Mounkaila Modi told national television.

"These foreigners have shown no respect to the rights of the natives and they're putting pressure on pastures in this region. We can no longer accept seeing our ecosystem degraded by foreigners."

Arid zone

Mr Modi said the Mahamid possessed illegal firearms and were a serious threat to the security of local communities and that their camels were draining local oases, Reuters news agency reports.

Like the rest of the country, the east of Niger is extremely arid.

It is populated by nomadic cattle herders, whilst the Arabs also own camels. Not surprisingly, one source of the tension between the communities is water.

With the Sahara desert expanding quite quickly there are growing fears that the scarcity of water could spark future problems in many African countries in the region.

The BBC's West Africa correspondent Will Ross says that with the spread of Islam to Africa in the 7th and 8th centuries, Arabs greatly expanded their presence and influence and there are many examples of how the African and Arab cultures have mixed.

For example, some 20% of East Africa's Swahili language comes from Arabic. Arab and non-Arab Africans both had the common goal of opposing European colonialists.

But there have also been areas where the cultures have clashed, one example being Sudan, which has been plagued by conflict between the Arab dominated government in the north and the black African south.

12-12-2006, 06:44 PM
Report: Israel developing 'bionic hornet' weapon

Israel is using nanotechnology to try to create a robot no bigger than a hornet that would be able to chase, photograph and kill its targets, an Israeli newspaper reported on Friday.

The flying robot, nicknamed the "bionic hornet," would be able to navigate its way down narrow alleyways to target otherwise unreachable enemies such as rocket launchers, the daily Yedioth Ahronoth said.
It is one of several weapons being developed by scientists to combat militants, it said. Others include super gloves that would give the user the strength of a "bionic man" and miniature sensors to detect suicide bombers.
The research integrates nanotechnology into Israel's security department (http://www.wutang-corp.com/Politicos+suggest+more+Fed+spending+on+nanotech/2100-1008_3-6068809.html) and will find creative solutions to problems the army has been unable to address, Deputy Prime Minister Shimon Peres told Yedioth Ahronoth.
"The war in Lebanon proved that we need smaller weaponry. It's illogical to send a plane worth $100 million against a suicidal terrorist. So we are building futuristic weapons," Peres said.
The 34-day war in Lebanon ended with a U.N.-brokered ceasefire in mid-August. The war killed more than 1,200 Lebanese, mostly civilians, and 157 Israelis, mostly soldiers.
Prototypes for the new weapons are expected within three years, he said.

12-19-2006, 06:27 PM
Jungle secrets: 52 new species found in Borneo's 'Lost World'

discovered in Indonesia's Foja Mountains....

http://img.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2006/12/borneonewspecies_228x295.jpg The rhacophorus gadingensis tree frog and gastromyzon sucker fish

More than 50 new species of animals and plants that have never been seen before have been discovered in a 'Lost World' on the island of Borneo in just 18 months, say scientists.

Among them are two tree frogs, a whole range of plants and trees and 30 brand new types of fish including a tiny one less than a centimetre long and a catfish with an adhesive belly that allows it to stick to rocks.

Scientists said the remarkable discoveries on the island - equivalent to one a week over the past year - show why the unique environment must be preserved for future generations.
They said its previously remote and inaccessible forests are one of the "final frontiers for science".
Yet they are under threat from developers wanting to create new rubber and palm oil plantations.
Last year the WWF conservation charity revealed how 361 new species had been identified and described on Borneo since 1994.
Now a new report has revealed how since July 2005 another 52 new species have been discovered.
Among them is the russet-coloured tree frog officially called Rhacophorus gadingensis.
The 30 new species of fish include one which is the world’s second smallest vertebrate.
The miniature fish, measuring less than one centimetre in length, was found in the highly acidic blackwater peat swamps of the island.
Scientists from the charity have also found six Siamese fighting fish, including one with beautiful russet scales marked with a flash of iridescent blue-green on its side.
The creatures also include a new type of catfish that has an adhesive belly which allows it to stick to rock.
The WWF says the discovery of so many unique species highlights the need to conserve the habitat and species of the world’s third largest island.
Several of these new species were found in the "Heart of Borneo", a mountainous region of almost 85,000 square miles which is covered with equatorial rainforest in the centre of the island.
This habitat continues to be threatened as large areas of forest are being increasingly cleared for rubber and oil palm production.
Since 1996, deforestation across Indonesia has increased to an average of 2 million hectares per year and today only half of Borneo's original forest cover remains.
Stuart Chapman, International Coordinator of the Heart of Borneo programme, said: "These discoveries reaffirm Borneo’s position as one of the most important centres of biodiversity in the world. "The remote and inaccessible forests in the Heart of Borneo are one of the world’s final frontiers for science and many undiscovered species are still waiting to be found there."
The three governments on Borneo - Indonesia, Malaysia and Brunei Darussalam - have recently declared a commitment to supporting plans to conserve the area.
However they have yet to finalise a formal joint declaration to make it a global priority. Borneo is one of only two places on earth, the other one is Sumatra Island, where endangered species such as orang-utans, elephants and rhinos co-exist. Other threatened wildlife that lives in Borneo include clouded leopards, sun bears, and endemic Bornean gibbons. The island is also home to 10 primate species, over 350 bird species, 150 reptiles and amphibians and 15,000 plants.
The newly-discovered Rhacophorus gadingensis tree frog measures 29.5 mm in length and has a wide head, large eyes and a head that is slightly wider than it is long.
It was named after the Gunung Gading National Park in Sarawak, western Borneo where it was found.
The gastromyzon sucker fish are unique to Borneo and were found in the Temburong River basin in the Brunei-controlled part of the island.
They behave more like tadpoles than fish and live in freshwater.
Their enlarged fins allow them to cling onto rocks in fast flowing water and feed on algae and insects.
Scientists also found a new species of catfish called glyptothorax in the Heart of Borneo.
The mottled creature lives in clear streams and has a special organ that allows it to stick onto rocks.
Six new species of Siamese fighting fish were also found in the freshwaters on the island, three from the the Heart of Borneo and the rest in Kalimantan.
Borneo has long attracted traders - including the British between the 17th and 19th centuries who established footholds along the northern coast.
It has also lured scientists for at least 150 years due to its remarkable diversity of creatures.
However there are still areas of the island that remain largely unexplored.
The inner region, called the Heart of Borneo contains relatively inaccessible pristine forest and experts believe there may be thousands more plants and animals still to discover.
Because of their isolation, these areas can harbour a unique and rich selection of species from Asian and Australasian families.
Borneo is very rich in biodiversity compared to many other areas. There are about 15,000 species of flowering plants with 3,000 species of trees, 221 species of terrestrial mammals and 420 species of resident birds in Borneo. Even the largest animals on Borneo have yet to be closely studied by scientists. It was only in 2003 that experts found that the island's pygmy elephants are genetically distinct from other Asian elephants and are likely a new subspecies. And it wasn't until 2000 that scientists found that Borneo's orang-utan population is a separate species from other orang-utans.

Hers some more.....

http://img.dailymail.co.uk/img/galleries/lostworld/kangarooAP_250x350.jpgScientist Kris Helgen makes a new friend as he cuddles a tree kangaroo. It's the first time the creature had encountered man before.

The Six-Wired Bird of Paradise's name is taken from the six fine feathers on the head of the male which can be raised and shaken in courtship

Splash of colour: The red and blue fighting fish

A team of explorers discovered dozens of new species on the mountains, including this wattled smoky honeyeater.
A great find was this golden-fronted bower bird, whose origins had long been a mystery. It treated the team to a stunning courtship ritual, hanging up blue forest berries to attract females

12-19-2006, 10:56 PM
http://a52.g.akamaitech.net/f/52/827/1d/www.space.com/images/061213_sunspot_930_01.jpg New Forecast: Severe Space Storm Headed to Earth
By Robert Roy Britt (http://www.livescience.com/blogs/author/robbritt)
Senior Science Writer
posted: 13 December 2006
03:45 pm ET
Editor's Note: This forecast replaces the predictive aspects of this earlier story (http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/061213_radiation_storm.html) on the solar flare.
Space weather forecasters revised their predictions for storminess after a major flare erupted on the Sun overnight threatening damage to communication systems and power grids while offering up the wonder of Northern Lights (http://www.space.com/auroras/).
"We're looking for very strong, severe geomagnetic storming" to begin probably around mid-day Thursday, Joe Kunches, Lead Forecaster at the NOAA Space Environment Center, told SPACE.com this afternoon.
The storm is expected to generate aurora (http://www.space.com/auroras/) or Northern Lights, as far south as the northern United States Thursday night. Astronauts aboard the International Space Station are not expected to be put at additional risk, Kunches said.
Radio communications, satellites and power grids could face potential interruptions or damage, however.
Solar flares (http://www.space.com/solar-flares/) send radiation to Earth within minutes. Some are also accompanied by coronal mass ejections (CME), clouds of charged particles that arrive in a day or two. This flare unleashed a strong CME that's aimed squarely at Earth.
"It's got all the right stuff," Kunches said.
However, one crucial component to the storm is unknown: its magnetic orientation. If it lines up a certain way with Earth's magnetic field, then the storm essentially pours into our upper atmosphere. If the alignment is otherwise, the storm can pass by the planet with fewer consequences.
Kunches and his team are advising satellite operators and power grid managers to keep an eye on their systems. In the past, CMEs have knocked out satellites (http://www.space.com/news/kodama_down_031029.html) and tripped terrestrial power grids. Engineers have learned to limit switching at electricity transfer stations, and satellite operators sometimes reduce operations or make back-up plans in case a craft is damaged.
Another aspect of a CME involves protons that get pushed along by the shock wave. Sometimes these protons break through Earth's protective magnetic field and flood the outer reaches of the atmosphere—where the space station orbits—with radiation. The science of it all is a gray area, Kunches said. But the best guess now is that there will only be a slight increase in proton activity. That's good news for the astronauts.
"When the shock goes by, we don't expect significant radiation issues," he said.
The astronauts were ordered to a protective area of the space station (http://www.space.com/missionlaunches/061213_sts116_solarflare.html) as a precaution last night.
Now that sunspot number 930 (http://www.space.com/php/multimedia/imagedisplay/img_display.php?pic=061213_sunspot_930_02.jpg&cap=The+Lonely+Sunspot%3A+Number+930+sits+alone+at +a+time+when+overall+solar+activity+is+near+the+lo w+point+in+an+11-year+cycle.+The+spot+has+been+the+source+of+severa l+solar+storms+in+recent+days.+Credit%3A+SOHO/MD) has flared so significantly—after several days of being quiet—the forecast calls for a "reasonble chance" of more major flares in coming days, Kunches said.

12-20-2006, 11:54 AM
Mexico troops find hybrid marijuana plant

By MARK STEVENSON, Associated Press Writer Wed Dec 20, 5:35 AM ET

LAZARO CARDENAS, Mexico - Soldiers trying to seize control of one Mexico's top drug-producing regions found the countryside teeming with a new hybrid marijuana plant that can be cultivated year-round and cannot be killed with pesticides.
Soldiers fanned out across some of the new fields Tuesday, pulling up plants by the root and burning them, as helicopter gunships clattered overhead to give them cover from a raging drug war in the western state of Michoacan. The plants' roots survive if they are doused with herbicide, said army Gen. Manuel Garcia.
"These plants have been genetically improved," he told a handful of journalists allowed to accompany soldiers on a daylong raid of some 70 marijuana fields. "Before we could cut the plant and destroy it, but this plant will come back to life unless it's taken out by the roots."
The new plants, known as "Colombians," mature in about two months and can be planted at any time of year, meaning authorities will no longer be able to time raids to coincide with twice-yearly harvests.
The hybrid first appeared in Mexico two years ago but has become the plant of choice for drug traffickers Michoacan, a remote mountainous region that lends to itself to drug production.
Yields are so high that traffickers can now produce as much marijuana on a plot the size of a football field as they used to harvest in 10 to 12 acres. That makes for smaller, harder-to-detect fields, though some discovered Tuesday had sophisticated irrigation systems with sprinklers, pumps and thousands of yards of tubing.
"For each 100 (marijuana plots) that you spot from the air, there are 300 to 500 more that you discover once you get on the ground," Garcia said.
The raids were part of President Felipe Calderon's new offensive to restore order in his home state of Michoacan and fight drug violence that has claimed more than 2,000 lives in Mexico this year.
In Michoacan, officials say the Valencia and Gulf cartels have been battling over lucrative marijuana plantations and smuggling routes for cocaine and methamphetamine to the United States. In one incident, gunmen stormed into a bar and dumped five human heads on the dance floor.
The president, who took office Dec. 1, sent 7,000 soldiers and federal officers to Michoacan last week.
Officials have arrested 45 people, including several suspected leaders of the feuding cartels. They also seized three yachts, 2.2 pounds of gold, bulletproof vests, military equipment and shirts with federal and municipal police logos. More than 18,000 people have been searched, along with 8,000 vehicles and numerous foreign and national boats.
"We are determined to shut down delinquency and stop crime in Mexico because it is endangering the lives of all Mexicans, of our families," Calderon said, calling the operation a "success" so far.
In the past week, soldiers and federal police have found 1,795 marijuana fields covering 585 acres in Michoacan, security officials said.
Officials estimate the raids could cost the cartels up to $626 million, counting the value of plants that have been destroyed and drugs that could have been produced with seized opium poppies and marijuana seeds.
On Sunday, federal authorities announced the capture of suspected drug lord Elias Valencia, the most significant arrest since the operation began.
Calderon's predecessor, Vicente Fox (http://search.news.yahoo.com/search/news/?p=Vicente+Fox), started out with enthusiastic U.S. applause for his own fight against drug trafficking. U.S. officials called the arrest of drug bosses early in his six-year term unprecedented, while Fox boasted that his administration had destroyed 43,900 acres of marijuana and poppy plantations in its first six months and more than tripled drug seizures.
Yet drug violence has spiked across the country in recent years, with gangs fighting over control of routes following the arrest of drug lords, authorities say.
Mexico has also continued to struggle with corruption among its law enforcement ranks. Garcia said authorities did not tell soldiers where they were being sent on raids and banned the use of cell phones and radios.
http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20061220/capt.moms10412200305.mexico_drugs_moms104.jpg?x=18 0&y=119&sig=x6wLhWw5aXSFhb9C2J4IIw-- (http://news.yahoo.com/photo/061220/481/moms10412200305)

12-22-2006, 01:11 AM
Police commissioners seek review of black arrest rate
They doubt outright racism, but contend disparate numbers warrant close examination

Susan Sward, Chronicle Staff Writer (ssward@sfchronicle.com)
Wednesday, December 20, 2006

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The majority of the San Francisco Police Commission called Tuesday for a review of the Police Department's high black felony arrest rate -- which outstrips all other major cities in the state -- and one member said the department needs to start counting Hispanics it arrests.
The commissioners made their views known in interviews with The Chronicle following its publication Sunday of a story showing African Americans in San Francisco are arrested at a rate two, three and four times higher than in other big California cities. The rate in San Francisco, for example, is three times greater than in San Jose and four times greater than in Oakland.
Commission President Louise Renne, appointed to her post by Mayor Gavin Newsom, said: "I'd like to get some experts to look at the situation.''
Renne's call for a review was seconded by commissioners David Campos, Petra DeJesus, Joe Veronese and Theresa Sparks. Joe Marshall, another commissioner, said in an earlier interview that the numbers "scream for an explanation.'' The seventh commissioner, Yvonne Lee, was not available for comment.
Campos said that as a Latino, he found the story particularly disturbing. Told that San Francisco is the only county in the state not reporting separate arrest numbers on Latinos, Campos said he planned to ask the department to start making such a tally immediately. According to the 2000 census, 14 percent of San Francisco's population is Latino.
The department is in the process of creating a new system that will enable it to count Latino arrests by this spring, according to spokesman Sgt. Neville Gittens.
After seeing the high arrest rate, Newsom said the city was hiring Lorie Fridell, a University of South Florida criminologist who is an expert on racial profiling, to analyze the data on black arrest rates in San Francisco, San Jose, Oakland, Los Angeles, Sacramento, Long Beach, San Diego and Fresno.
Police Chief Heather Fong has said the numbers should be reviewed but has stressed that she believes the department's officers perform their duties "in an impartial manner.'' Police blame several factors for the numbers, including out-of-town criminals who they say come to San Francisco because of the perception the courts will be more lenient than in surrounding counties if they are arrested.
Veronese said he does not believe that "police officers think in their minds, 'I am going to be racist today.' '' But he added: "The fact that our African American population is small -- and getting smaller with the gentrification in some areas of the city -- and yet there is this high black arrest rate is alarming to me.''
Sparks said she does not believe there is "rampant racism in the department.'' But she said the high arrest statistics, coupled with the discovery last year of controversial police-produced videos that included mocking portrayals of minorities, made her think "I don't believe in coincidences.'' She said the videos and high arrest numbers "may point not to racism but to a lack of sensitivity toward communities of color.''
DeJesus described herself as "pretty alarmed that the statistics are so disparate. It can't hurt to have an expert analyze the data, but the department needs to look internally as well.''
Mark Schlosberg, police practices director for the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California, said the arrest data "raises a lot of questions on how policing is being done.'' He added that the department's problems with outmoded technology for tracking officers' work and other department statistics will "make it very difficult for someone from the outside to conduct a comprehensive investigation in a short period of time.''
On the topic of the department's lack of modern technology, Renne said: "We recognize that the department is behind on technology, and I am very pleased that Fong is so focused on improving it. She understands that the inability to get data often means we don't have answers to pressing problems. Infrastructure is never a sexy issue, and the public doesn't understand how much good-government depends on having it.''
E-mail Susan Sward at ssward@sfchronicle.com.

12-27-2006, 04:42 PM
Anti-gang injunction polarizes a town
West Sacramento's experience may hold lesson for S.F., which has adopted similar strategy

Demian Bulwa, Chronicle Staff Writer (dbulwa@sfchronicle.com)
Tuesday, December 26, 2006

http://www.sfgate.com/c/pictures/2006/12/26_t/mn_injunctions_038_pc_t.gif (http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/object/article?f=/c/a/2006/12/26/MNGHGN5TMK1.DTL&o=0) http://www.sfgate.com/c/pictures/2006/12/26_t/mn_injunctions_069_pc_t.gif (http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/object/article?f=/c/a/2006/12/26/MNGHGN5TMK1.DTL&o=1) http://www.sfgate.com/c/pictures/2006/12/26_t/mn_injunctions_118_pc_t.gif (http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/object/article?f=/c/a/2006/12/26/MNGHGN5TMK1.DTL&o=2)

(12-26) 04:00 PST West Sacramento, Yolo County -- A police officer stopped Robert Sanchez one night in April as he walked near his home in this blue-collar city, though Sanchez wasn't suspected of committing a crime.
Sanchez, 18, admitted he was a member of the Norteño gang, the officer said. He also wore a gang tattoo and was with another Norteño, his sister's fiance.
"You are being served with a permanent gang injunction," the officer told him.
With that, Sanchez lost the right to move freely in his neighborhood. He's now prohibited indefinitely from hanging out with more than 125 other alleged Norteños, some of them relatives, in a wide swath of the city. He must also obey other restrictions, including a 10 p.m. curfew.
The court injunction against the Norteño "Broderick Boys," named for the neighborhood where many of them live, has stirred controversy since a judge issued it nearly two years ago, dividing residents who feel safer because of it from those who see it as racial profiling.
West Sacramento's experience may be a lesson for San Francisco, where City Attorney Dennis Herrera secured the city's first anti-gang injunction last month and is preparing to ask for more.
Herrera's action against the Oakdale Mob is narrower than the West Sacramento injunction, applying to a housing project in Bayview-Hunters Point instead of a 3-square-mile "safe zone" in West Sacramento. But it raises many of the same legal and cultural issues.
The toughest question is whether the injunctions work well enough to justify their rigidity.
"It's absolutely worked," said Jeff Reisig, the Yolo County prosecutor who sought the injunction before his successful run this year to become district attorney. "The fact that San Francisco has decided to pursue a gang injunction is telling. This works, and it's legal."
Taking a break from his custodial job at a West Sacramento elementary school, Danny Velez, 56, said the injunction hurt his son, even though the 15-year-old has nothing to do with the Norteños.
"Ever since this injunction, it's been pure hell to raise a son. They've been profiled and segregated," Velez said of young Latinos. "He's constantly harassed about whether he's in a gang, by teachers and by police."
Sanchez, who is on probation for a robbery conviction, concedes he is a member of the Norteños("Northerners"), one of two prison-based gangs that have warred since the 1960s. Rival Sureños ("Southerners") are often newer arrivals to the country. Norteños claim the color red; Sureños wear blue.
Sanchez is looking for work and says he grudgingly complies with the injunction. But at some point, he said, he'll inevitably violate one of the rules.
"I'm going to get in trouble like I was banging," he said, "when I'm not banging anymore."
West Sacramento's safe zone covers roughly one-seventh of the city, including the heavily Mexican American and Russian American neighborhoods of Broderick and Bryte, across the Sacramento River from the state capital. Latinos make up 30 percent of the city's 45,000 people.
Once an industrial backwater isolated by the river, West Sacramento started growing after residents voted to incorporate in 1987 and the city improved roads and water supplies. When the Oakland A's minor-league affiliate built a ballpark seven years ago, it chose West Sacramento.
Some residents, like Ray Martinez, are excited about the growth. "Cleaning up the neighborhood is good," said Martinez, 48, a floor designer who lives in Broderick. "If it wasn't for the real estate market, I don't think the police would be doing this."
Others think gentrification is harming longtime residents and refer to a wall that separates Broderick from a housing development called the Rivers as the "Great Wall of Divide."
"What we've learned is you follow the money," said Rebecca Sandoval, a Sacramento activist who has organized injunction opponents. "Wherever the developers go, up comes an injunction."
Reisig, the county prosecutor, said development had nothing to do with the suit he filed in December 2004. It called the Broderick Boys the city's "most powerful criminal street gang," with 350 members acting in packs to deal drugs, rob and assault.
In a move that still angers opponents, prosecutors gave notice of the suit to just one alleged member, and he lived in Rancho Cordova, 15 miles away. Reisig wrote in a court filing that the alleged Norteño, Billy Wolfington, would spread the word to compatriots.
Wolfington didn't show up in court to contest the injunction, however, and neither did any other alleged members of the gang. With no opposition in attendance, Superior Court Judge Thomas Warriner granted a permanent injunction on Feb. 3, 2005.
Police have since served about 130 alleged Norteños, said Lt. David Farmer. The group, which includes some women and non-Latino whites, also was placed in a gang database accessible to police around the state.
In San Francisco, attorneys say they will file evidence in court against alleged Oakdale Mob members before serving them. But in West Sacramento, police officers carry papers so they can serve people on the spot who fit criteria such as admitting Norteño membership or having visible gang tattoos.
The result has been a polarizing debate. Reisig wrote in a filing that "nobody who lives in the safety zone is immune from a random and violent assault by the Broderick Boys," an assertion rejected as too strong by many city leaders and residents.
"It's not as though you couldn't walk down the streets of Broderick without being gunned down," said Mayor Christopher Cabaldon, who supports the injunction.
West Sacramento recorded two homicides last year; San Francisco had 96, or about three times as many per capita.
The primary victims of Norteños, many residents said, were teenagers who were recruited or attacked for being Sureños -- even if they weren't. West Sacramento has some Sureños, but they are not subject to the injunction.
"Three or four years ago, it was pretty bad. If you walked to the store, they'd ask you what gang you're representing, and you had to be very careful," said Antonio Ramirez, 21, a construction worker who lives in Broderick. "Usually it's not only one (gang member who approaches), but around six or seven."
Ramirez emigrated from Mexico in 2000 and said he was soon threatened because he had Sureño friends. As a result, he said, he dropped out of West Sacramento's River City High School as a junior. He said he believes the injunction has made a positive difference.
But some injunction opponents say there is no such thing as the Broderick Boys, and that the injunction singles out people who aren't connected by a chain of command.
Martha Garcia, a former state worker who heads the anti-injunction Americans for Freedom, said those who have been served are either "wannabes," or Norteños who participate in the gang only in prison, or people who did nothing worse than grow up together in a hardscrabble neighborhood.
Lt. Farmer acknowledged that not everyone who has been served with the injunction is a Broderick Boy. Some on the list, like Sanchez, grew up elsewhere.
"It really had to do with Norteños," Farmer said. "It's like throwing a net out in the ocean, and you're trying to catch salmon. You're going to catch other fish."
Prosecutors and police reject the argument that a person can be a Norteño but not be involved in crime, saying the gang itself is an organized criminal enterprise.
Mayor Cabaldon called the argument that no gang exists "an unfortunate tactic" that "distracted from the question of how we can make this as surgical as possible to avoid problems."
Garcia's nephew, Richard "Trino" Savala, said his aunt's assertions contradict his own experience. A former boxer who became a gang and addiction counselor after serving time in prison, he said he was one of the original Broderick Boys in the 1970s, when he sold drugs and was shot twice.
The Broderick Boys, he said, started with young men drawn to Cesar Chavez's farm labor movement but became more powerful, aggressive and violent.
"Over the years, homeboys kept coming out of prison and promoting this stuff to their little boys and cousins and nephews," said Savala, who left the gang in 2000. "The goal was to put fear in the neighborhood and allow them to profit from selling drugs."
Savala said some people, including his brother, have been unfairly served with the injunction, but he still had harsh words for opponents of the action.
"They're in so much denial," he said. "You have parents who want to point the finger at the police and the schools. They need to open their eyes."
The legal questions in the case have been as intense as the cultural debate. One involves an "opt-out" application offered by police. Those served with the court order can sign a form saying they "renounce any actual or alleged membership" with the Broderick Boys or Norteños. With police approval, they can escape the injunction's restrictions.
Just three people served with the injunction have opted out, Farmer said. Injunction opponents say the reason is simple: The form is an implicit confession.
Robert Sanchez said he wouldn't sign the form because he would be considered a snitch.
"That's paperwork on you," he said. "You're going to get f -- up by your own homies."
The American Civil Liberties Union has tried to fight the injunction, representing four men who said they weren't given fair notice of the initial hearing. A judge, though, said the ACLU couldn't represent the gang's interests if its clients claimed they weren't members. An appeal is pending.
"You don't want to go to court and concede one of the main points they have to prove," ACLU attorney Jory Steele said.
Whether the injunction has made the community safer is difficult to determine. Yolo County Public Defender Barry Melton said the strategy has worked "to some degree. But if I imposed a curfew in the Tenderloin, crime would go down there, too. It's been used more than anything else for monitoring, to stop folks and control them."
Farmer said crime is down in Broderick but said he could not give statistics. Reisig said violent crime prosecutions of Broderick Norteños dropped 80 percent in the year after the injunction.
Reisig said he has prosecuted more than 75 violations of the injunction; one person served 90 days. Melton said two fathers were detained for attending the same youth baseball game, an account Farmer called inaccurate.
Police and opponents disagree on whether officers are honoring the injunction's exceptions for school and church, or traveling to legitimate business and entertainment activities at night.
Standing outside his apartment with family members on a recent afternoon, Sanchez said the injunction was not reforming Norteños. He suggested, though, that it might have some benefit for West Sacramento.
"Hell no, people are just getting smarter," he said. "They're taking it to Sacramento."
His 17-year-old brother, Angel -- who sipped from a 40-ounce bottle of malt liquor -- and his sister's fiance, Jesse Contreras Jr., 20, each said they had been served with papers.
"How can I provide for my family?" asked Contreras, a warehouseman whose fiancee is seven months pregnant. "What if we run out of diapers at 11 at night and I have to go to the store?"
Each said it was hard for young men to avoid Norteño membership when, in Contreras' words, "it's all around you. It's never OK to bang, but you grow up in it."
By continuing to identify themselves as Norteños, they said, they were not admitting to being involved in crime.
"You're still where you're from," said Contreras, who wore a striped red polo shirt common among Norteños, "but you're not acting stupid anymore."
E-mail Demian Bulwa at dbulwa@sfchronicle.com.

12-27-2006, 07:49 PM
Gift of petrified whale vomit could be worth its weight in gold
If it's ambergris of good quality, chunk valued at $18,000

(12-25) 04:00 PST Montauk, N.Y. -- In this season of strange presents from relatives, Dorothy Ferreira got a doozy the other day from her 82-year-old sister in Waterloo, Iowa. It was ugly. It weighed 4 pounds. There was no receipt in the box.
Inside she found what looked like a gnarled, funky candle but could actually be a huge hunk of petrified whale vomit worth as much as $18,000.
"I called my sister and asked her, 'What the heck did you send me?' " recalled Ferreira, 67, who has lived here on the eastern tip of Long Island since 1982. "She said: 'I don't know, but I found it on the beach in Montauk 50 years ago and just kept it around. You're the one who lives by the ocean; ask someone out there what it is.' "
So Ferreira called the town of East Hampton's department of natural resources, which dispatched an old salt from Montauk named Walter Galcik.
Galcik, 80, concluded that the mysterious gift might be ambergris, the storied substance created in the intestines of a sperm whale and spewed into the ocean. Also called "whale's pearl" or "floating gold," ambergris is a rare and often valuable ingredient in fine perfumes.
"He told me, 'Don't let this out of your sight,' " Ferreira said.
She was soon summoned to show the thing at a town board meeting, after which a story in the Independent, a local newspaper, declared Ferreira the proud new owner of "heirloom whale barf." Friends and neighbors flocked to her tchotchke-filled cottage overlooking Fort Pond Bay, the very shores where her sister, Ruth Carpenter, said she found the object in the mid-1950s.
Childless and never married, Ferreira bounced from job to job, most recently as a short-order cook at a local deli, and now lives on her Social Security income.
"If it really does have value, I'm not silly, of course I'd want to sell it," Ferreira said as she looked out past her lace curtains and picket fence at the whitecaps on the bay. "This could be my retirement."
After researching ambergris on the Internet, Ferreira's neighbor, Joe Luiksic, advised, "Put it on eBay." But endangered species legislation has made buying or selling the stuff illegal since the 1970s; a couple who found a large lump of ambergris valued at almost $300,000 on an Australian beach in January has had legal problems selling it.
"If I get locked up, will you bail me out?" Ferreira asked her friends.
Ambergris begins as a waxlike substance secreted in the intestines of some sperm whales, perhaps to protect the whale from the hard, indigestible "beaks" of the giant squid it feeds upon. The whales expel the blobs, dark and foul-smelling, which then float. After much seasoning by waves, wind, salt and sun, they may wash up as solid, fragrant chunks.
Because ambergris varies widely in color, shape and texture, identification falls to those who have handled it before, a group that in a post-whaling age is very small. Ferreira says she has yet to find an ambergris expert.
"A hundred years ago, you would have no problem finding someone who could identify this," said James Mead, curator of marine mammals at the Smithsonian Institution, who said he hears of new ambergris surfacing somewhere in the world maybe once every five or six years. "More often, you have people who think they've found it and they can retire, only to find out it's a big hunk of floor wax."
Adrienne Beuse, an ambergris dealer in New Zealand, said in a telephone interview that good-quality ambergris can be sold for up to $10 per gram, adding that for the finest grades, "the sky's the limit."
At $10 per gram, Ferreira's chunk, according to a neighbor's kitchen scale, would have a value of $18,000. "The only way to positively identify ambergris is to have experience handling and smelling it, and very few people in the world have that," Beuse said. "Certainly, if she has it, it's like winning a mini-lottery."
Larry Penny, 71, director of East Hampton's natural resources department, said he had no way of making a definite determination, because "we don't keep a certified whale-vomit expert on staff."
Penny, whose great-great-uncle was skipper of a whaling ship out of Sag Harbor, said he grew up searching the beach for ambergris.
"The older folks would always tell us, 'Keep your eyes open for that whale vomit because it'll pay your way through college,' " he recalled. "We used to bring home anything that we thought looked like it, but it never turned out to be ambergris. The average person today could trip over it on the beach and never know what it was."
Ambergris has been a valued commodity for centuries, used in perfume because of its strangely alluring aroma as well as its ability to retain other fine-fragrance ingredients and "fix" a scent so it does not evaporate quickly. Its name is derived from the French ambre gris, or gray amber. During the Renaissance, ambergris was molded, dried, decorated and worn as jewelry. It has been used as an aphrodisiac, a restorative balm, and a spice for food and wine. Arabs used it as heart and brain medicine. The Chinese called it lung sien hiang, or "dragon's spittle fragrance." It has been the object of high-seas treachery and caused countries to enact maritime possession laws and laws banning whale hunting. Madame du Barry supposedly washed herself with it daily to make herself irresistible to Louis

12-28-2006, 04:27 PM
Fear grips town as serial rapist stalks men


POSTED: 3:51 p.m. EST, December 26, 2006

var clickExpire = "01/25/2007"; Story Highlights

• Five rapes of men have been reported in Baytown, Texas, since April
• The suspect is described as 18 to 20, up to 6 feet tall, and 200 pounds
• Experts say men raping men is the least reported crime
• Baytown, population 70,000 is a working class town about 30 miles from Houston

Adjust font size:

BAYTOWN, Texas (AP) -- A rapist who has struck at least five times since April in and around Baytown has not only spread fear in this working-class community but also piqued the interest of those who study the criminal mind.
The reason: He preys on other men.
That makes him something of a rarity in the world of crime.................


12-28-2006, 04:51 PM
Children who lose a parent are angry, confused, in pain

Jim Herron Zamora, Chronicle Staff Writer (jzamora@sfchronicle.com)
Thursday, December 28, 2006

http://www.sfgate.com/g/av/slideshows/2006/12/28_t/oakslay_kids/soundslider_t.gif (http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/object/article?f=/c/a/2006/12/28/MNGQ8N95TB1.DTL&o=0) http://www.sfgate.com/c/pictures/2006/12/28_t/ba_oakslay_destiny07_t.gif (http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/object/article?f=/c/a/2006/12/28/MNGQ8N95TB1.DTL&o=1) http://www.sfgate.com/c/pictures/2006/12/28_t/ba_oakslay_children_t.gif (http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/object/article?f=/c/a/2006/12/28/MNGQ8N95TB1.DTL&o=2) http://www.sfgate.com/c/pictures/2006/12/28_t/ba_oakslay_children7_t.gif (http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/object/article?f=/c/a/2006/12/28/MNGQ8N95TB1.DTL&o=3) [/URL]

Oakland Homicides [URL="http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2006/12/28/MNGQ8N95TB1.DTL"]Big effects on little ones (http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/object/article?f=/c/a/2006/12/28/MNGQ8N95TB1.DTL&o=4)
Life is good after brush with death (http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2006/12/23/MNGKCN52FE1.DTL)
Life is good after brush with death (http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2006/12/23/MNGKCN52FE1.DTL)
Quilting helps mom cope with pain of twins' deaths (http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2006/12/20/BAGKLN2N4P1.DTL)
Grieving mom's mission of mercy (http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2006/12/19/MNGVHN29231.DTL)
Homicide victims remembered (http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2006/12/07/BAG4UMQNUR1.DTL)
Busy times for Oakland funeral director (http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2006/12/02/MNG10MO6B21.DTL)
For victims' families, nothing left but grief (http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2006/11/06/BAGCVM6O9H1.DTL)
Slayings cloud Brown's legacy (http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2006/10/23/MNG9NLUADQ1.DTL)
Drill No. 1: Don't get killed (http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2006/09/13/MNG7FL4KQU1.DTL)
Hope faces off against crime (http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2006/09/10/BAG0CL2UJ61.DTL)
Teen slayings rock Oakland (http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2006/08/20/MNGMPKM0VO1.DTL)

A Plague of Killing: Special multimedia package (http://www.sfgate.com/oaklandhomicides/)

Mykaael O'Brien has nightmares that people are shooting at him. Precious Brewer sometimes sees her father's face when looking at strangers. Destiny Quintero sees the moon and says it's her daddy smiling at her.
All three are children who have lost a parent or close relative to homicide in Oakland.
<< Audio Slideshow: 'Please Daddy, come back' (http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/object/article?f=/c/a/2006/12/28/MNGQ8N95TB1.DTL&o=0) >>
So is Jalen Bryant, who spent six weeks mourning a close cousin's death before another relative was killed last week. Asha Parvins had chilling nightmares about her uncle's death for four years, but "now I only have sad dreams."
Victim advocates estimate that for every person killed in a homicide -- there have been 148 in Oakland so far this year, compared with 94 last year -- there is at least one child who has lost a parent.
Kids scarred by the loss respond in different ways.
"Many children just close down, and they give you very little to work with," said Berkeley therapist Lenora Poe, who has counseled more than 250 children of homicide victims in the past 23 years. "It can take a long time to draw them out and help them deal with their loss. These children are angry, confused and in a lot of pain. They often blame themselves when a parent is killed. It's really true that these homicides destroy much more than one person."
These kids often are raised solely by the remaining parent, a grandparent or an aunt, an arrangement that can present additional stresses for the caretaker, said Poe, who also facilitates a support group for custodial grandparents, including many raising the children of homicide victims.
"They are faced with a double whammy," Poe said. "I see many grandparents who take over the parenting role while they are still grieving. They don't have time to grieve, and they feel like they have to put their feelings aside to help the kids."
Ericka Byrd, 24, knows that pull between dealing with her own numbing grief and trying to be strong for her two children, who mourn their father differently.
"I have a lot of trouble sleeping. My poor son has nightmares," Byrd said. "I feel helpless in this situation."
Byrd's longtime boyfriend, Michael O'Brien, was shot to death Aug. 19 in his old neighborhood just east of Lake Merritt. An aspiring songwriter, O'Brien left behind 8-year-old son Mykaael and 5-year-old daughter Mykaela. O'Brien's son responded by becoming very quiet, having nightmares and sometimes just crying alone. "I miss my best friend," he said.
His sister keeps asking her mother questions, such as: "Why would someone kill my daddy?" In a presentation for her kindergarten, Mykaela said that if she could have just one wish, "I would have another day with my daddy."
"This has been the hardest ... four months of my entire life," Byrd said. "I don't understand their grief. My father is still around. My grief is different. I lost my mate."
Byrd knew the holidays were stressful, so she decided to take a month's leave of absence from work. "I took the children to Disneyland for Christmas," Byrd said. "It was too depressing to spend Christmas at home without Michael." Just before they made the drive to Southern California, they stopped by the cemetery where O'Brien is buried and decorated his grave with Christmas ornaments.
Elizabeth Quintero, 23, also had a lot of fear about how she would get through the holiday season. Her husband, Brink's guard Anthony "Jimmy" Quintero, was killed in a robbery in September. Two suspects have been charged with murder in that case. But her own large family and her in-laws "surrounded us with love," Quintero said. "We weren't alone at all. Christmas went better than I expected."
Destiny, 3, often looks at photos of her father and tells her mother that he is watching them from heaven, which she describes as a place inside the moon.
"She gets on the play phone at day care and says she is talking to her daddy," Quintero said. "Then she hangs up and says that Daddy says he loves her. Every time she talks about him, it's with a smile."
Roniyah Mack, 5, lost her father twice -- to prison and then to homicide -- but she gets a big smile when she speaks of "my daddy in heaven." Ronald Mack Jr. was shot to death Oct. 6, less than two months after his release from state prison. The case remains unsolved.
Roniyah treasures several letters that he wrote to her from prison. In the handwritten notes, he refers to her as "my princess" and "shining star." He promised to care for her. Roniyah keeps the letters in a special purple box and asks grown-ups to read them to her every so often.
Jalen Bryant, 11, had six weeks to mourn the unsolved shooting death of "my best cousin," Wayne Gordon Jr., 18, killed Nov. 4 in East Oakland. "I wish I had one more time to play with him," Jalen said. "I can't believe he got shot. ... I just cried and cried."
Then on Dec. 20, Anthony Johnson, the father of another cousin, was killed and Jalen spent the Christmas weekend helping to console other family members.
"I really didn't want to expose him to this," said his mother, Omesa Ingram, who moved to Pittsburg three years ago from East Oakland. "I feel that to raise a young man, a black man, in Oakland is extremely hard and dangerous. There are too many young men hanging on corners and too much killing."
Christmas was tricky also for Seretha Woodland and Precious Brewer.
Woodland had already moved out of Oakland, partially because of safety concerns, even before her boyfriend, Purnell Brewer Sr., was killed Jan. 18. Their son, Purnell Jr., is now 17 months old.
"I moved again before Christmas," said Woodland, who asked that the East Bay city where she now lives remain unpublished. "I didn't want to spend Christmas in the same house without him. All the memories -- it would just be too hard. I felt like we needed a fresh start."
Woodland also spends most weekends with Purnell Jr.'s half-sister, Precious Brewer, 5, who lives with Brewer's parents in Oakland. Precious said she still has vivid memories of "my daddy" and frequently wonders about him. Woodland tells Precious stories about her father's kindness and sense of humor, but she sometimes has to fight back tears while recounting memories.
Each child and adult may respond differently to trauma, counselors said, and each may respond better to a different treatment.
"In many cases, the whole family should come in and be evaluated," said Dr. Herb Schreier, a psychiatrist at Children's Hospital Oakland who has worked with many kids traumatized by violence. "There's no simple answer. The evaluation has to be done on the whole family system."
Asha Parvins didn't lose a parent, but the unsolved killing of her uncle has haunted her for more than four years. She was 13 when Daniel Knowell was killed in West Oakland on May 5, 2002.
"He was really more like a big brother than an uncle," said Asha. "He was the main role model in my life. I saw him almost every day. He told me how to take care of myself around boys. He warned to 'stay smart' and would get down on me when I messed up."
Asha had nightmares for years. Now a senior at Piedmont High School, she said her dreams about him recently changed: "They are sweet but sad."
"I dream that he is still there, watching me grow up into a woman, making jokes with me," Asha said. "Then I wake up and I realize he's dead. I get real sad."

About the series With homicides in Oakland at the highest count in more than a decade, The Chronicle is expanding its coverage with a multimedia project that shows the human impact of violence in the city.
The project is the result of more than four months of work, and dozens of people agreed to share their stories. They include the people left behind by the homicides, including the children of those who died, the subject of today's story.
The online report
Podcasts, audio slideshows, videos and photo galleries with dozens of images at sfgate.com/oaklandhomicides/ :
-- Remembering the dead: A list of this year's homicide victims, with profiles, photos, links to articles and audio clips from family members and friends.
-- Mapping the homicides: Interactive graphics show where each of more than 550 homicides in the past five years has occurred, plus the locations of the city's 365 liquor stores, which residents and police have targeted as magnets for crime.
-- Living amid the killing: Residents tell how the violence has affected them, in audio and video reports.
-- Voices of concern: A variety of thoughts about the problem, plus possible solutions.
-- How to give help or get help: A list of resources.
E-mail Jim Zamora at jzamora@sfchronicle.com.

12-28-2006, 05:27 PM
^^that hit a nerve

12-31-2006, 02:16 PM
Saddam Hussein gettin hung! Actual Video!

The news channels cut the video before he is hung. This is actual footage taken by another reporter which shows the whole Shit



01-01-2007, 11:56 PM
December 20, 2006 -- Ryan Shrouder, senior class president at Cooper City HS in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., previously headed his sophomore and junior classes.

Recently, he was voted "most likely to become president" of the United States.

And even more recently, he was arrested and charged with breaking into the school district's computer system and changing the grades of 19 students.

Yup, his classmates were right. This kid looks as if he's ready for a career in politics after all.

And you think you've had paper-jam problems.

Folks in Houston had one that stopped traffic for hours, when an 18-wheeler overturned, spilling 6,000 pounds of rolled paper onto a highway.

Christmas wreaths, yes; Christmas reefers, no.

A woman in Jay, Okla., was busted for trying to deliver marijuana to her jailed boyfriend - in a Christmas card.

And in the spirit of the holiday season, she apparently forgot that the reason he's in the slammer in the first place is that he repeatedly rammed her car.

While we're on the subject of prison and Christmas . . .

Most people are coming home for the holidays, but 23 in Ohio will be leaving for four days in jail - as part of plea-bargaining deals worked out by a judge in Columbus.

He sentenced the minor offenders to probation after they agreed to spend Dec. 22 through Dec. 26 behind bars.

"I wanted to send a message to those who were borderline . . . It's a reminder of where they could be going, if nothing else," the judge explained.

Call it a fall from grace.

A devout Christian who said an accident at work boosted his sex drive and wrecked his marriage as he turned to prostitutes and porn was awarded more than $5.89 million in damages yesterday.

Stephen Tame, 29, from Suffolk, England, suffered severe head injuries when he fell from scaffolding while working at a bicycle factory in 2002. Tame argued that the fall transformed him from a loyal, young newlywed into a "disinhibited" character who had two affairs.

01-02-2007, 05:05 PM
Call it a fall from grace.

A devout Christian who said an accident at work boosted his sex drive and wrecked his marriage as he turned to prostitutes and porn was awarded more than $5.89 million in damages yesterday.

Stephen Tame, 29, from Suffolk, England, suffered severe head injuries when he fell from scaffolding while working at a bicycle factory in 2002. Tame argued that the fall transformed him from a loyal, young newlywed into a "disinhibited" character who had two affairs.

WHAT THE HELL?!!!! $5.89 mil from falling off scaffolding on the job? It was his fault he was clumsy. I gotta get in on this law suit shit.

01-02-2007, 08:15 PM
Only In New York....

A young woman in New York was so depressed that she decided to end

her life by throwing herself into the ocean. She went down to the docks and

was about to leap into the frigid water when a handsome young sailor saw her

tottering on the edge of the pier, crying. He took pity on her and said, "Look, you've got alot to live for. I'm off to Europe in the morning, and if you like, I can stow you away on my ship. I'll take good care of you and bring you food every day." Moving closer, he slipped his arm round her shoulder and added, "I'll keep you happy and you'll keep me happy." The girl nodded yes. After all, what did she have to lose?

Maybe a fresh start in Europe would give her life new meaning. That night the sailor smuggled her aboard and hid her in a lifeboat.

From then on, every night he took her three sandwiches and a piece of

fruit and they made passionate love! Until dawn. Three weeks later,

during a routine inspection, she was discovered by the captain. "What are you

doing there?" the captain asked. "I have an arrangement with one of the sailors,"

she explained.

"I get food and a trip to Europe, and he's screwing me."

"He sure is, lady," the captain said.

"This is the Staten Island Ferry.

01-03-2007, 10:22 AM
First Lt. Ehren Watada, a 28-year-old Hawaii native, is the first commissioned officer in the U.S. to publicly refuse deployment to Iraq (http://search.news.yahoo.com/search/news/?p=Iraq). He announced last June his decision not to deploy on the grounds the war is illegal.

Lt. Watada was based at Fort Lewis, Washington, with the Army's 3rd (Stryker) Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division. He has remained on base, thus avoiding charges of desertion.

He does, however, face one count of "missing troop movement" and four counts of "conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman." If convicted, he faces up to six years in prison.
Watada's court martial is on February 5. A pre-trial hearing is set for January 4, with an added scope of controversy: the Army has ordered two freelance journalists, Sarah Olson and Dahr Jamail, to testify against Lt. Watada at the hearing. Both journalists are fighting the subpoenas.

Kevin Sites recently spoke with Lt. Watada about the reasoning behind his decision, the controversy the decision has caused and how he is dealing with the repercussions.

Lt. Watada spoke on the phone from his family's home in Hawaii. Click here (http://javascript<b></b>:void(window.open('http://cosmos.bcst.yahoo.com/up/free?ch=87581&cl=1585703&lang=en','playerWindow','width=793,height=608,scro llbars=no'));) to listen to the full audio version of the conversation. A transcript of the interview follows.

KEVIN SITES: Now, you joined the Army right after the US was invading Iraq and now you're refusing to go. Some critics might look at this as somewhat disingenuous. You've taken an oath, received training but now you won't fight. Can you explain your rationale behind this?
EHREN WATADA: Sure. I think that in March of 2003 when I joined up, I, like many Americans, believed the administration when they said the threat from Iraq was imminent — that there were weapons of mass destruction all throughout Iraq; that there were stockpiles of it; and because of Saddam Hussein (http://search.news.yahoo.com/search/news/?p=Saddam+Hussein)'s ties to al-Qaeda and the 9/11 terrorist acts, the threat was imminent and we needed to invade that country immediately in order to neutralize that threat.

Since then I think I, as many, many Americans are realizing, that those justifications were intentionally falsified in order to fit a policy established long before 9/11 of just toppling the Saddam Hussein regime and setting up an American presence in Iraq.

SITES: Tell me how those views evolved. How did you come to that conclusion?

WATADA: I think the facts are out there, they're not difficult to find, they just take a little bit of willingness and interest on behalf of anyone who is willing to seek out the truth and find the facts. All of it is in the mainstream media. But it is quickly buried and it is quickly hidden by other events that come and go. And all it takes is a little bit of logical reasoning. The Iraq Survey Group came out and said there were no weapons of mass destruction after 1991 and during 2003. The 9/11 Commission came out and said there were no ties with Iraq to 9/11 or al-Qaeda. The president himself came out and said that nobody in his administration ever suggested that there was a link.
And yet those ties to al-Qaeda and the weapons of mass destruction were strongly suggested. They said there was no doubt there were weapons of mass destruction all throughout 2002, 2003 and even 2004. So, they came out and they say this, and yet they say it was bad intelligence, not manipulated intelligence, that was the problem. And then you have veteran members of the CIA (http://search.news.yahoo.com/search/news/?p=CIA) that come out and say, "No. It was manipulated intelligence. We told them there was no WMD. We told them there were no ties to al-Qaeda. And they said that that's not what they wanted to hear."

SITES: Do you think that you could have determined some of this information prior to joining the military — if a lot of it, as you say, was out there? There were questions going into the war whether WMD existed or not, and you seemingly accepted the administration's explanation for that. Why did you do that at that point?

WATADA: Certainly yeah, there was other information out there that I could have sought out. But I put my trust in our leaders in government.
SITES: Was there a turning point for you when you actually decided that this was definitely an illegal war?

WATADA: Certainly. I think that when we take an oath we, as soldiers and officers, swear to protect the constitution — with our lives as necessary — and those constitutional values and laws that make us free and make us a democracy. And when we have one branch of government that intentionally deceives another branch of government in order to authorize war, and intentionally deceives the people in order to gain that public support, that is a grave breach of our constitutional values, our laws, our checks and balances, and separation of power.

SITES: But Lieutenant, was there one specific incident that happened in Iraq or that the administration had said or done at a certain period that [made you say] "I have to examine this more closely"?
WATADA: No, I think that certainly as the war went on, and it was not going well, doubts came up in my mind, but at that point I still was willing to go. At one point I even volunteered to go to Iraq with any unit that was short of junior officers.
SITES: At what point was that?
WATADA: This was in September of 2005. But as soon as I found out, and as I began to read and research more and more that the administration had intentionally deceived the public and Congress over the reasons for going to Iraq, that's when I told myself "there's something wrong here."
"I saw the pain and agony etched upon the faces of all these families of lost soldiers. And I told myself that this needs to stop."
SITES: Was there any kind of personal conviction as well, I mean in terms of exposure to returning soldiers or Marines — the kinds of wounds they suffered, the kinds of stories that they were bringing back with them — did that have any kind of influence or create any factors for you in coming to this decision?
WATADA: Sure, I felt, well, in a general sense I felt that when we put our trust in the government, when we put our lives in their hands, that is a huge responsibility. And we also say that "when we put our lives in your hands, we ask that you not abuse that trust; that you not take us to war over flimsy or false reasons; that you take us to war when it is absolutely necessary." Because we have so much to lose, you know — the soldiers, our lives, our limbs, our minds and our families — that the government and the people owe that to us.
SITES: Was there a fear that played into that? Did you see returning soldiers with lost limbs? Was there a concern for you that you might lose your life going to Iraq?
WATADA: No, that had nothing to do with the issue. The issue here is that we have thousands of soldiers returning. And what is their sacrifice for? For terrorism or establishing democracy or whatever the other reasons are. And I saw the pain and agony etched upon the faces of all these families of lost soldiers. And I told myself that this needs to stop. We cannot have people in power that are irresponsible and corrupt and that keep on going that way because they're not held accountable to the people.
SITES: You know on that note, Lieutenant, let me read you something from a speech that you gave in August to the Veterans for Peace. You had said at one point, "Many have said this about the World Trade Towers: never again. I agree, never again will we allow those who threaten our way of life to reign free. Be they terrorists or elected officials. The time to fight back is now, the time to stand up and be counted is today." Who were you speaking about when you said that?
WATADA: I was speaking about everybody. The American people. That we all have that duty, that obligation, that responsibility to do something when we see our government perpetrating a crime upon the world, or even upon us. And I think that the American people have lost that, that sense of duty. There is no self-interest in this war for the vast majority of the American people. And because of that the American soldiers have suffered.
There really is a detachment from this war, and many of the American people, because there is no draft, or for whatever reason, because taxes haven't been raised, they don't have anything personally to lose or gain with this war, and so they take little interest.
SITES: Do you think President Bush (http://search.news.yahoo.com/search/news/?p=President+Bush) and his advisers are guilty of criminal conduct in the prosecution of this war?
WATADA: That's not something for me to determine. I think it's for the newly-elected congress to determine during the investigations that they should hold over this war, and pre-war intelligence.
SITES: But in some ways you have determined that. You're saying this is an illegal war, and an illegal act usually takes prosecution by someone with criminal intent. Is that correct?
WATADA: Right, and they have taken me to court with that, but they have refused — or it will be very unlikely that the prosecution in the military court will allow me to bring in evidence and witnesses to testify on my behalf that the war is illegal. So therefore it becomes the responsibility of Congress, since the military is refusing to do that. It becomes the responsibility of Congress to hold our elected leaders accountable.
SITES: Now this is the same Congress though that in a lot of ways voted for this war initially. Do you think that they're going to turn around and in some ways say that they were wrong? And hold hearings to determine exactly that, that they made a mistake as well? It seems like a long shot.
WATADA: Right, well I think some in Congress are willing to do that, and some aren't. And that's the struggle, and that's the fight that's going to occur over the next year.
http://f3.yahoofs.com/ymg/blogs/blogs-578393710-1167779503.jpg?ymwqH08CcQ5ErgZd Lt. Watada with his mother, Carolyn
Ho, and father, Robert Watada
Photo courtesy:
Jeff Paterson/thankyoult.org

SITES: Let me ask you why you decided to go to the press with this. In this particular case you're the first officer — there may have been other officers that have refused these orders, but you're the first one to really do this publicly. Why did you do that?
WATADA: Because I wanted to explain to the American people why I was taking the stand I was taking — that it wasn't for selfish reasons, it wasn't for cowardly reasons.
You know, I think the most important reason here is to raiseawareness among the American people that hey — there's a war going on, and American soldiers are dying every day. Hundreds of Iraqis are dying every day. You need to take interest, and ask yourself where you stand, and what you're willing to do, to end this war, if you do believe that it's wrong — that it's illegal, and immoral. And I think I have accomplished that. Many, many people come up to me and say, "because of you, I have taken an active interest in what's going on over in Iraq."
And also, you know, [I want to] give a little hope and inspiration back to a lot of people. For a long time I was really without hope, thinking that there was nothing I could do about something that I saw, that was so wrong, and so tragic. And I think a lot of people who have been trying to end this war felt the same way — that there was just nothing that they could do. And I think by taking my stand publicly, and stating my beliefs and standing on those beliefs, a lot of people have taken encouragement from that.
SITES: You've said that you had a responsibility to your own conscience in this particular situation. Did you also have a responsibility to your unit as well? I just want to read you a quote from Veterans of Foreign Wars communications director Jerry Newbury. He said "[Lt. Watada] has an obligation to fulfill, and it's not up to the individual officer to decide when he's going to deploy or not deploy. Some other officer will have to go in his place. He needs to think about that." Can you react to that quote?
WATADA: You know, what I'm doing is for the soldiers. I'm trying to end something that is criminal, something that should not have been started in the first place and something that is making America less safe — and that is the Iraq war. By just going there and being willing to participate, and doing my job, or whatever I'm told to do — which actually exacerbates the situation and makes it worse — I would not be serving the best interest of this country, nor the soldiers that I'm serving with. What I'm trying to do is end something, as I said, that's illegal, and immoral, so that all the soldiers can come home and this tragedy can come to an end.
It seems like people and critics make this distinction between an order to deploy and any other order, as if the order to deploy is just something that's beyond any other order. Orders have to be determined on whether they're legal or not. And if the order to deploy to a war that is unlawful, if that is given, then that order itself is unlawful.
SITES: How did your peers and your fellow officers react to your decision?
WATADA: I know that there have been some people within the military who won't agree with my stance, and there have been a lot of members of the Army of all ranks who have agreed with what I've done. And I see it almost every other day, where someone in uniform, or a dependent, approaches me in person, or through correspondence, and thanks me for what I have done, and either supports or respects my stand.
SITES: You've remained on base, and that's been a situation that can't be too comfortable for you. Can you fill us in on what that's been like there?
WATADA: I think that for the most part, people that I interact with closely — I have been moved, I'm no longer in the 3rd Striker Brigade, I'm over in 1st Corps — treat me professionally, politely, but keep their distance. I don't think anybody wants to get involved with the position that I've taken, either way. People approach me in private and give me their support.
SITES: Tell me about the repercussions you face in this court martial.
WATADA: Well I think with the charges that have been applied to me and referred over to a general court martial, I'm facing six years maximum confinement, dishonorable discharge from the army, and loss of all pay and allowances.
STES: Are you ready to deal with all those consequences with this decision?
WATADA: Sure, and I think that's the decision that I made almost a year ago, in January, when I submitted my original letter of resignation. I knew that possibly some of the things that I stated in that letter, including my own beliefs, that there were repercussions from that. Yet I felt it was a sacrifice, and it was a necessary sacrifice, to make. And I feel the same today.
I think that there are many supporters out there who feel that I should not be made an example of, that I'm speaking out for what a lot of Americans are increasingly becoming aware of: that the war is illegal and immoral and it must be stopped. And that the military should not make an example or punish me severely for that.
SITES: Do you think that you made a mistake in joining the military? Your mother and father support you in this decision, and your father during the Vietnam War refused to go to Vietnam as well, but instead joined the Peace Corps. He went to his draft board and said, "let me join the Peace Corps and serve in Peru," which is what he did. Do you think in hindsight that that might have been a better decision for you as well?
WATADA: You know I think that John Murtha came out a few months ago in an interview and he was asked if, with all his experience, in Korea, and Vietnam, volunteering for those wars -- he was asked if he would join the military today. And he said absolutely not. And I think that with the knowledge that I have now, I agree. I would not join the military because I would be forced into a position where I would be ordered to do something that is wrong. It is illegal and immoral. And I would be put into a situation as a soldier to be abused and misused by those in power.
STIES: In your speech in front of the Veterans for Peace you said "the oath we take as soldiers swears allegiance not to one man but to a document of principles and laws designed to protect the people." Can you expand upon that a little bit — what did you mean when you said that?
WATADA: The constitution was established, and our laws are estabestablished, and our laws are established, to protect human rights, to protect equal rights and constitutional civil liberties. And I think we have people in power who say that those laws, or those principles, do not apply to them — that they are above the law and can do whatever it takes to manipulate or create laws that enable them to do whatever they please. And that is a danger in our country, and I think the war in Iraq is just one symptom of this agenda. And I think as soldiers, as American people, we need to recognize this, and we need to put a stop to it before it's too late.

01-03-2007, 07:30 PM
Photo in the News: Cat Chases Bear Up Tree


Perhaps not since the Cowardly Lion has an animal's appearance been so at odds with its attitude.
On June 4 a black bear wandered into a West Milford, New Jersey, back yard, was confronted by a 15-pound (7-kilogram) tabby cat … and fled up a neighbor's tree. Hissing at the base of the tree, Jack the clawless cat kept the bear at bay for about 15 minutes, then ran him up another tree after an attempted escape.
Finally, Jack's owner, Donna Dickey, called the cat inside, and the timorous trespasser disappeared back into the woods.
"He doesn't want anybody in his yard," Dickey said of Jack in an interview with the Newark Star Ledger. Unlike cats, bears aren't typically territorial, roaming instead over vast areas that would be impossible to patrol for intruders. With a habitat that includes much of North America, black bears are seen fairly often in this region of New Jersey. Full-grown black bears weigh between 200 and 600 pounds (90 and 270 kilograms) and measure as much as 6 feet (1.8 meters) long. Their diets can include fruits, honey, insects, acorns and animals as big as moose calves—a fact apparently lost on Jack.

01-10-2007, 07:39 PM
Birds fall from sky over town

THOUSANDS of birds have fallen from the skies over Esperance and no one knows why.
Is it an illness, toxins or a natural phenomenon? A string of autopsies in Perth have shed no light on the mystery.
All the residents of flood-devastated Esperance know is that their "dawn chorus" of singing birds is missing.
The main casualties are wattle birds, yellow-throated miners, new holland honeyeaters and singing honeyeaters, although some dead crows, hawks and pigeons have also been found.
Wildlife officers are baffled by the "catastrophic" event, which the Department of Environment and Conservation said began well before last week's freak storm.
On Monday, Esperance, 725km southeast of Perth, was declared a natural disaster zone.
District nature conservation co-ordinator Mike Fitzgerald said the first reports of birds dropping dead in people's yards came in three weeks ago. More than 500 deaths had since been notified. But the calls stopped suddenly last week, reportedly because no birds were left.

"It's very substantial. We estimate several thousand birds are dead, although we don't have a clear number because of the large areas of bushland," Mr Fitzgerald said.

Birds Australia, the nation's main bird conservation group, said it had not heard of a similar occurrence. "Not on that scale, and all at the same time, and also the fact that it's several different species," chief executive Graeme Hamilton said. "You'd have to call that a most unusual event and one that we'd all have to be concerned about."

He expected birds would return to the area once the problem - natural or man-made phenomenon - was fixed but said it was vital the cause was identified.

The Department of Agriculture and Food, which conducted the autopsies, has almost ruled out an infectious process.

Acting chief veterinary officer Fiona Sunderman said toxins were the most likely cause but the deaths could be due to anything from toxic algae to chemicals and pesticides.

Dr Sunderman said there were no leads yet on which of potentially hundreds of toxins might be responsible. Some birds were seen convulsing as they died.

Michelle Crisp was one of the first to contact the DEC after finding dozens of dead birds on her property one morning.

She told The Australian she normally had hundreds of birds in her yard, but that she and a neighbour counted 80 dead birds in one day.
"It went to the point where we had nothing, not a bird," she said.
"It was like a moonscape, just horrible. But the frightening thing for us, we didn't find any more birds after that. We literally didn't have any birds left to die."


01-11-2007, 01:14 PM
WTF^^ Its the Plague

Edgar Erebus
01-11-2007, 01:40 PM
Yeah, here in Europe we have the bird flu, and in Australia it's bird ebola.

01-11-2007, 11:14 PM
Heart of downtown Austin closed for testing after dozens of birds found dead overnight

AUSTIN, Texas -- Police shut down 10 blocks in downtown Austin for several hours Monday after 63 birds were found dead in the street, but officials said preliminary tests found no threat to people.
Workers in yellow hazardous-materials suits tested for contaminants in a cordoned-off section near the state Capitol and the governor's mansion before authorities finally gave the all-clear in the afternoon.
Although officials could not immediately determine whether poison or something else killed the birds, "there's no threat to humans at this point," said Assistant City Manager Michael McDonald.
The dead grackles, sparrows and pigeons will be tested.
Some experts said the most likely cause of the die-off was a deliberate poisoning. "It happens quite frequently," said Greg Butcher, director of bird conservation at the National Audubon Society in Washington.
Grackles are a crowlike bird regarded as a major pest in Texas, with Austin sidewalks sometimes covered in their droppings.
The dead birds were found overnight along Congress Avenue, a major downtown thoroughfare. Police closed the route through downtown and two side streets, and a staging area was set up near the Capitol, with dozens of fire trucks, police cars and ambulances.
The Capitol opened on schedule, however. And the governor was not asked to leave the mansion.
Dr. Adolfo Valadez, medical director for the Austin and Travis County Health and Human Services Division, said the birds will be tested for signs of poison or viral infections. But officials do not believe bird flu is involved.
It could be days or weeks before a cause is determined, he said.
The Austin street closures were not the only public health concern in Texas on Monday. In the Houston suburb of Sugar Land, authorities asked people to stay indoors with windows closed after a chemical release at an industrial plant. Ethylenediamine was released into the air while a tanker truck was unloading at a division of Nalco Co.
The warning was lifted a little more than an hour later after emergency crews contained the leak of the colorless liquid, which has an amomonia-like odor and can cause skin and nasal irritation, and possible damage to the kidneys and liver.
Three employees were sent to a hospital and about a dozen others were treated on the scene.

01-12-2007, 04:20 PM
UFO crashes in SA

Pretoria - A UFO was sighted at Lephalale, where it was described as a strange object "on an orange cloud, singing like a million turbines" - hitting the earth with a bang at 04:33 on Saturday.
That's according to Leonie Ras, the administrative manager of Lephalale (Ellisras) who witnessed the spectacle at her daughter's farm just east of the town on Saturday morning.
"I was lying on my bed reading SMS-messages when I heard a noise like an Airbus aircraft firing up its motors."
"It was raining but there was no thunder or lightning. The noise grew louder and eventually it sounded like a million turbines screaming in unison," Ras said.
She walked to the bedroom window and saw the clouds taking on a bright orange-red colour.
"Suddenly, a bright object plunged from the clouds to the earth, at a terrible speed, and hit the ground with an almighty bang."
"It looked like Haley's comet, round in the front and with an orange-red tail following behind."
When the UFO hit the ground the low-lying clouds went orange.
"It was so exceptional that I started crying. I wished my children and grandchildren could have seen it. I had not been drinking and I was in full control of my faculties," she said.
She calculated that the object must have hit the ground near Beauty, between the Tambotie and Palele rivers.
Cobus Nel, her son-in-law, who was also in the house, woke up from the commotion.

"I woke up to a terrible rumbling, followed by a sound like an explosion. I woke my wife up, so that she could also listen, because the rumbling lasted more than a minute, becoming louder, then we heard the bang," Nel said.

Lephlale's fire service, police and disaster control centres seemed to have slept through the commotion. "I want someone to go and have a look. The farms here are big, and it could have fallen somewhere, where the farmer doesn't even know about it," Ras said.

UFO Crash in Central Iran
TEHRAN (Fars News Agency)- An Unidentified Flying Object crashed in Barez Mounts in the central province of Kerman Wednesday morning.

Deputy Governor General of Kerman province Abulghassem Nasrollahi told FNA that the crash which was followed by an explosion and a thick spiral of smoke has caused no casualties or damage to properties.

He further denied earlier reports that the explosion has been the result of a plane or chopper crash, reminding that all the passing aircrafts have been reported as sound and safe.

The official further stated that investigations are underway by police and other relevant authorities in this regard.

While other reports spoke of meteors, Nasrollahi said there were no conclusive witnesses in this regard but he did not dismiss the possibility that the crash has been caused by a meteor.

Eye-witnesses assure that the explosion has been caused as a result of the crash of a radiant unidentified flying object onto the ground.

Meantime, an informed source told FNA that the object has been on fire and there has been thick smoke coming out of it prior to the crash, concluding that the object couldn't have been a meteor as meteors do not smoke.

The source also said that the crash has been witnessed by people in several cities, and mentioned that the rendezvous point is located 100 kilometers from the provincial capital city of Kerman.

He said that people in the city of Rafsanjan also reported to have witnessed a similar incident several days ago.

Similar crash incidents have been witnessed frequently during the last year all across Iran, and officials believe that the objects could be spy planes or a hi-tech espionage device.

01-16-2007, 07:48 PM
Anti-cancer chicken eggs produced

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/42449000/jpg/_42449899_chicken_roslin_203.jpg GM chickens could be a route to faster, cheaper drugs

UK scientists have developed genetically modified chickens capable of laying eggs containing proteins needed to make cancer-fighting drugs.
The breakthrough has been announced by the same research centre that created the cloned sheep, Dolly.
The Roslin Institute, near Edinburgh, says it has produced five generations of birds that can produce useful levels of life-saving proteins in egg whites.
The work could lead to a range of drugs that are cheaper and easier to make.
Professor Harry Griffin, director of the institute, told the BBC: "One of the characteristics of lots of medical treatments these days is that they're very expensive.
"The idea of producing the proteins involved in treatments in flocks of laying hens means they can produce in bulk, they can produce cheaply and indeed the raw material for this production system is quite literally chicken feed."
Roslin has bred some 500 modified birds. Their existence is the result of more than 15 years' work by the lead scientist on the project, Dr Helen Sang.
But it could be another five years before patient trials get the go-ahead and 10 years until a medicine is fully developed, the Roslin Institute cautioned.
Anti-viral approach
Therapeutic proteins such as insulin have long been produced in bacteria; but there are some complex proteins that can only be made in the more sophisticated cells of larger organisms.
Scientists have successfully made a range of these molecules in the milk of genetically modified sheep, goats, cows and rabbits.
The work at Roslin shows it is now possible to use chickens as "biofactories", too.
A number of GM animals are now being used as drug factories

Go-ahead for 'pharmed' goat (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/5041298.stm)

Some of the birds have been engineered to lay eggs that contain miR24, a type of antibody with potential for treating malignant melanoma, a form of skin cancer. Others produce human interferon b-1a, which can be used to stop viruses replicating in cells.
The proteins are secreted into the whites of the eggs. It is a fairly straightforward process then to extract and purify them.
Dr Sang said the team was highly encouraged by the level of the birds' productivity, but further improvements were required.
"We're probably getting a high enough productivity if you want to make a very active protein like interferon, but not enough yet if you want to make an antibody because people need large doses of these over long periods; so one of our next challenges is to try to increase the yield in egg white," she told BBC News.
Wider role
Chickens had some advantages over other animals for "pharming" because their lifecycles were shorter, said Dr Sang.
"Once you've made the transgenic birds, then it's very easy; once you've got the gene in, then you can breed up hundreds of birds from one cockerel - because they can be bred with hundreds of hens and you can collect an egg a day and have hundreds of chicks in no time," she explained.
The Roslin research is part of the Avian Transgenic Project, a joint venture with biotechnology firms Viragen and Oxford BioMedica.
Details of the latest work are to be published this week in the US journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).
The Roslin team also expects its engineered chickens to provide new insights into aspects of reproductive biology.
It says the ability to modify birds' embryos will allow researchers to study fundamental processes that control the very early development of vertebrates. It is just over 10 years since the Finn Dorset lamb called Dolly was born at the institute. She was the first mammal to be cloned from an adult cell - making her a genetic replica of a six-year-old ewe. She was put down in 2003 after contracting a common lung disease.

01-18-2007, 08:07 PM
Air Force colonel reports lights 'not of this world'
Snaps images above Arkansas: 'I have no idea what they were'

Posted: January 17, 2007
6:37 p.m. Eastern

Zoomed image of mysterious orange light seen Jan. 9 near Van Buren, Ark. (photo: Col. Brian Fields, USAF, ret.)
In the wake of reports of unidentified objects flying over Chicago's O'Hare Airport, a retired Air Force pilot has his own mystery with a rash of bright, colorful lights he photographed hovering in skies over western Arkansas last week.
"I believe these lights were not of this world, and I feel a duty and responsibility to come forward," Col. Brian Fields told WND. "I have no idea what they were."
Fields, 61, was cooking chicken at his Van Buren, Ark., home Jan. 9 when just before 7 p.m., he observed two intensely bright lights as he looked to the southeast close to the horizon.
Zoomed image of mysterious yellow light seen Jan. 9 near Van Buren, Ark. (photo: Col. Brian Fields)
"At first I thought they were landing lights from an aircraft," he said. "As I continued to observe them they began to slowly disappear, then suddenly one reappeared, followed by two, then three. On at least one occasion four or five appeared. Each time they would slowly fade and eventually disappear. This occurred several times and when they would reappear they might do so in differing numbers and in different positions, sometimes in a triangular shape, sometimes stacked on top of each other, sometimes line abreast, etc. When the objects appeared they might stay illuminated 10 or more minutes."
Fields' wife thought the lights may have been ground-based, but Fields says he's certain they were airborne. The retired colonel spent close to 32 years in the flying F-16s as a member of the 188th Fighter Wing of the Arkansas Air National Guard.
"I'm certain it wasn't an aircraft [from Earth]," said Fields, who also ruled out the possibility of flares, saying they didn't descend like flares typically do. "It's not anything I ever had any experience with . ... They were some kind of energy or something."
Fields grabbed his Canon digital camera with 6 megapixel resolution to document what he and his wife were seeing, and snapped numerous images of the mysterious lights, which appeared white, yellow and orange.
He says the phenomenon lasted an hour and 15 minutes, and agencies have not published or broadcast any reports of what the couple witnessed. WND surveyed local police and sheriffs agencies, as well as Fort Chaffee, a decommissioned Army base in the region, and no one reported anything out of the ordinary.
"I just can't imagine other people didn't see it," Fields said, noting they appeared at times like a yo-yo at 5 to 10 degrees above the horizon.
Mysterious yellow lights in triangular formation seen Jan. 9 near Van Buren, Ark. The red lights at right are from a local radio tower (photo: Col. Brian Fields)
Earlier this month, the Chicago Tribune reported (http://www.wnd.com/redir/r.asp?http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/chi-0701010141jan01,1,3957154.column?vote27156872=1&coll=chi-news-hed&ctrack=1&cset=true) workers for United Air Lines said they saw a flying saucerlike object hovering "low over O'Hare International Airport for several minutes before bolting through thick clouds with such intense energy that it left an eerie hole in overcast skies."
That Nov. 7 sighting took place just before sunset about 4:30 p.m.
According to Tribune columnist Jon Hilkevitch, "All the witnesses said the object was dark gray and well defined in the overcast skies. They said the craft, estimated by different accounts to be 6 feet to 24 feet in diameter, did not display any lights.
"Some said it looked like a rotating Frisbee, while others said it did not appear to be spinning. All agreed the object made no noise and it was at a fixed position in the sky, just below the 1,900-foot cloud deck, until shooting off into the clouds."

When interviewed on National Public Radio about the story, Hilkevitch indicated the event was anything but a hoax.
"That's what impressed me about this. All aviation professionals, very credible sources and they are very serious," Hilkevitch said. "They are not saying what they saw was a, you know, a spaceship from another planet, but it was unidentified, it was in restricted airspace, and they were concerned from a safety standpoint. That if this was something man-made, they needed to get it out of there because they were having busy flight operations in the early evening hours."
Back in Arkansas, Col. Fields, who says he's a Christian who has not been a believer in alien life forms from other planets, speculated what he saw could possibly be related to ancient texts from the Bible.
One of them is Luke 21:11 (http://www.wnd.com/redir/r.asp?http://www.blueletterbible.org/kjv/Luk/Luk021.html#11), where Jesus discusses signs of the End Times, stating, "And great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven."
Another is even more ancient, going back to the time of Noah's flood.
"That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose. ... There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown." (Genesis 6:2-4 (http://www.wnd.com/redir/r.asp?http://www.blueletterbible.org/kjv/Gen/Gen006.html#top))
These Old Testament verses have been enigmatic for centuries, but many Christians believe they refer to a time in antiquity when spirit beings, perhaps angels in rebellion against God, visited Earth and had sexual relations with human women, producing "giants," which is translated from the Hebrew word "Nephilim," which some scholars say is better translated as "fallen ones."
"I believe it's prophetic, something do with what's happening in the Middle East today," said Fields. "If this is some kind of event with visitation, it's entirely possible. When the anti-Christ comes into power, it's not going to be something we expect. The deception that is going to be attached to it is going to be so powerful, you're gonna have to go against your reason to reject it."
While Fields cannot be certain of what it was he saw, he wants to tell people not to be deceived. "Be awake, be mindful you can be deceived," he said. "There are things that can shake our world."

01-22-2007, 11:52 PM


remember what he said about guys that own a pigfarm?

01-24-2007, 05:09 PM
It's a two-faced, four-eyed pig

Thursday, January 18, 2007


The recent barrage of two-faced (or otherwise unusually shaped) animals just won't stop coming.
Hot on the heels of the two-faced cow and the six-legged cow comes a new entrant in the odd animal hall of fame.
But unlike the previous examples, which have been hailed by Metro (if, admittedly, not by anybody else) as a sign of the imminent apocalypse, the birth of this two-headed pig in China is being hailed as a miraculous conception by the farmers.


The pig is widely seen as a symbol of fertility in China. And, what with 2007 being the Chinese Year Of The Pig, the unique porker is considered to be a blessing. Although, of course, it won't actually be the year of the pig until February 18.
The two-faced porker weighs in at 1.5 kilograms, comes with 2 mouths and 4 eyes, and was born in the small village of Quanzhou in East China's Fujian province on January 15.
Update for people who are having difficulty interpreting the picture: there's two snouts. In the middle, you can see two eyes very close together. On the each other side of the two faces, out of view, there's another eye. Hence the description 'two-faced, four-eyed pig'.

01-25-2007, 06:03 PM
Photo Gallery: Rare "Prehistoric" Shark Photographed Alive


Flaring the gills that give the species its name, a frilled shark swims at Japan's Awashima Marine Park on Sunday, January 21, 2007. Sightings of living frilled sharks are rare, because the fish generally remain thousands of feet beneath the water's surface.
Spotted by a fisher on January 21, this 5.3-foot (160-centimeter) shark was transferred to the marine park, where it was placed in a seawater pool.

"We think it may have come to the surface because it was sick, or else it was weakened because it was in shallow waters," a park official told the Reuters news service. But the truth may never be known, since the "living fossil" died hours after it was caught.

This serpentine specimen may look like a large eel, but its six slitlike gills help mark it as a cousin of the great white, the hammerhead, and other sharks. But this isn't your average fish.

Believed to have changed little since prehistoric times, the frilled shark is linked to long-extinct species by its slinky shape and by an upper jaw that is part of its skull. Most living sharks have hinged top jaws.

With a mouthful of three-pointed teeth, the frilled shark may be a fearsome hunter, but it's considered harmless to humans. Those needle-like choppers are better suited to fleshier forms found in the deep sea, such as squid and other sharks.

Right now it's known as a "living fossil." But the frilled shark may be on its way to joining its ancestors.

Often accidentally caught and killed in trawlers' nets in Japanese waters, frilled sharks are known to turn up in fertilizer or animal food and occasionally on dinner plates. The World Conservation Union (IUCN) lists the species as near threatened, meaning it "is close to qualifying for or is likely to qualify for a threatened category in the near future."

01-26-2007, 03:25 PM
AROUND THE CORNER? Yesterday,something on the far side of the sun exploded, hurling a bright coronal mass ejection (CME) into space:
http://www.spaceweather.com/images2007/25jan06/20070125_0942_c3_strip.gif (http://www.spaceweather.com/images2007/24jan07/20070124_1818_c3.gif)
Note: Algedi and Dahbi are stars in the constellation Capricornus.
This is the second day in a row that a CME has rocketed into view from behind the sun's eastern limb (movies: Jan. 24 (http://www.spaceweather.com/images2007/24jan07/cme_c3_med.gif), Jan. 25 (http://www.spaceweather.com/images2007/25jan06/cme_c3_med.gif)). An active sunspot must be lurking just around the corner. It should appear in a few days when the sun's rotation carries that part of the sun into view. Stay tuned for solar activity.

http://www.coasttocoastam.com/timages/page/cme_c3_medb.gif (http://www.spaceweather.com/images2007/25jan06/cme_c3_med.gif)

COMET MCNAUGHT: The Great Comet of 2007 is receding from Earth and fading fast (http://cfa-www.harvard.edu/icq/CometMags.html#2006P1)--but it is still a naked-eye comet, materializing in the western sky after sunset in the Southern Hemisphere. "These cows and sheep seem to be enjoying the show," says photographer Tim Thorpe on the Mount Lofty Ranges of Australia: http://www.spaceweather.com/comets/mcnaught/23jan07/Thorpe1_strip.jpg (http://www.spaceweather.com/comets/gallery_mcnaught_page18.php)

(http://www.spaceweather.com/comets/gallery_mcnaught_page18.php)Photo details: Nikon D70 (http://spaceweather.com/xtra/results_nikon.php?searchTerm=Nikon+D70), ISO 1000, ~20-sec exposure

01-27-2007, 03:57 PM
Lights 'not of this world' mystery finally 'solved'
UFOAir Force reveals weapons tests that sparked global UFO frenzy frenzy

Posted: January 24, 2007
9:22 p.m. Eastern

Zoomed image of mysterious orange light seen Jan. 9 near Van Buren, Ark. (photo: Col. Brian Fields, USAF, ret.)
Mysterious lights in the sky witnessed and photographed by an Air Force colonel who described them as "not of this world" (http://wnd.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=53820) apparently have an explanation of this Earth after all according to the U.S. Air Force, WND can reveal.
LUU-2 flare deploys parachute to float slowly to Earth
Officials say the colorful illuminations seen Jan. 9 over western Arkansas came from special military flares that slowly parachuted to the ground as part of an Air Force training mission involving A-10 aircraft pilots at nearby Fort Chaffee, a base used for testing weaponry.
"We were flying A-10s in that area and they were using flares," Jessica D'Aurizio, chief of public affairs at the 917th Wing of the Air Force Reserve at Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana (http://www.barksdale.af.mil/), told WND.
She says the flares, which stay lit for about five minutes, produce nearly 2 million candlepower (http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/systems/munitions/luu2-specs.htm).
"It brightens up the target area," D'Aurizio said. "They go down in parachutes, so they're very bright. That had to be what it was, I'm sure."
(Story continues below)

As WND exclusively reported last week (http://wnd.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=53820), F-16 fighter pilot Col. Brian Fields, now retired at 61, was at his Van Buren, Ark., home Jan. 9 when just before 7 p.m., he observed two intensely bright lights as he looked to the southeast close to the horizon.
Zoomed image of mysterious yellow light seen Jan. 9 near Van Buren, Ark. (photo: Col. Brian Fields)
"At first I thought they were landing lights from an aircraft," he said. "As I continued to observe them they began to slowly disappear, then suddenly one reappeared, followed by two, then three. On at least one occasion four or five appeared. Each time they would slowly fade and eventually disappear. This occurred several times and when they would reappear they might do so in differing numbers and in different positions, sometimes in a triangular shape, sometimes stacked on top of each other, sometimes line abreast, etc. When the objects appeared they might stay illuminated 10 or more minutes."
Mysterious yellow lights in triangular formation seen Jan. 9 near Van Buren, Ark. The red lights at right are from a local broadcasting tower (photo: Col. Brian Fields)
He added, "I believe these lights were not of this world, and I feel a duty and responsibility to come forward."
Lt. Col. Pete Gauger, executive staff officer at the 188th Fighter Wing of the Arkansas Air National Guard, confirmed A-10s were on the Fort Chaffee bombing range dropping suspended flares at the time Fields documented the lights some five to ten degrees above the horizon.
"They would drop multiple flares," he said. "That probably solves your mystery. It's beyond coincidence."
A-10 aircraft similar to this were used in a pilot-training mission Jan. 9 in western Arkansas
Gauger said WND's initial report caused a lot of interest among media outlets, especially after being featured on the Drudge Report (http://www.drudgereportarchives.com/data/2007/01/18/20070118_131219.htm).
"It was widely read," he said. "I read it, and I didn't immediately tie it in [to the training]."
Fort Chaffee, which is run by the Arkansas Army National Guard, is situated on approximately 61,000 acres not far from Fields' residence in Van Buren.
"Just a small portion of it is for the Air National Guard to fire and test weapons," said Kim Kimmey, chief warrant officer at Fort Chaffee.
According to the Federation of American Scientists Military Analysis Network (http://www.fas.org/man/dod-101/sys/ac/a-10.htm), A-10 aircraft "have excellent maneuverability at low air speeds and altitude, and are highly accurate weapons-delivery platforms. They can loiter near battle areas for extended periods of time and operate under 1,000-foot ceilings with 1.5-mile visibility. Their wide combat radius and short takeoff and landing capability permit operations in and out of locations near front lines. Using night vision goggles, A-10/ OA-10 pilots can conduct their missions during darkness."
D'Aurizio at Barksdale AFB told WND there were four A-10 planes as part of the training mission the night of Jan. 9, and they used LUU-2 flares.
Schematic illustration of an LUU-2 flare
According to GlobalSecurity.org (http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/systems/munitions/luu2.htm), "The mechanism has a timer on it that deploys the parachute and ignites the flare candle. The flare candle burns magnesium which burns at high temperature emitting an intense bright white light. The consumption of the aluminum cylinder that contains the flare 'candle' may add some orange to the light."
"I did not know that such 'parachute flares' existed and never considered the possibility," Col. Fields told WND upon learning the reason behind the mysterious lights. "I am grateful, however, that the truth has been determined and those that may have been disturbed by this event will be able to rest."
Fields, a Christian who originally speculated his sighting might have had something to do with End Time prophecies from the Bible, still wants people to remain vigilant.
"Because this event was explained does not change the fact that we live in perilous times – and we must still be awake, alert, and know that a great deception is still coming."
WND's original story sparked a flurry of interest in unexplained phenomena and UFO activity (http://wnd.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=53841), with many readers saying they had seen or experienced lights similar to those witnessed by Fields.
D'Aurizio said when the flares are deployed, "It's not unusual to have people think there's something strange going on."
Not everyone is quick to accept the Air Force's explanation.
"Are you trying to tell us that a retired Air Force colonel doesn't know the difference between flares and lights from a UFO? But the Air Force trusted him enough to fly F-16s, multi-million dollar jets?" asks Jim Chadbourne of Waterford, Conn. "When are the media going to stop listening to the government's crap and report the truth?"
Other feedback to WND became comical at times.
Jeff Anno of Cincinnati, Ohio, supplied his own image, explaining, "I looked closely at the orange picture and something looked fishy. It looked like the [Volkswagen] logo."

01-27-2007, 04:02 PM
Mega-marsupials once roamed Australia
POSTED: 11:40 a.m. EST, January 25, 2007

Story Highlights

• Giant lions, kangaroos and wombats once roamed Australia's outback
• They died out around 50,000 years ago after the arrival of human settlers
• Fossilized remains uncovered almost intact in three deep caves
• Scientists have identified the remains of 69 species

CANBERRA, Australia (Reuters) -- Marsupial lions, kangaroos as tall as trucks and wombats the size of a rhinoceros roamed Australia's outback before being killed off by fires lit by arriving humans, scientists said on Thursday.
The giant animals lived in the arid Nullarbor desert around 400,000 years ago, but died out around 50,000 years ago, relatively shortly after the arrival of human settlers, according to new fossil skeletons found in caves.
Fossilized remains were uncovered almost intact in a series of three deep caves in the center of the Nullarbor desert -- east of the west coast city of Perth -- in October 2002.
"Three subsequent expeditions produced hundreds of fossils so well-preserved that they constitute a veritable "Rosetta Stone for Ice-Age Australia", expedition leader Gavin Prideaux said of the find, detailed in the latest edition of the journal Nature.
The team discovered 69 species of mammals, birds and reptiles, including eight new species of kangaroo, some standing up to 9 feet tall.
Protected from wind and rain, and undisturbed due to their remote location, the remains of the mega-beasts are in near-perfect condition, including the first-ever complete skeleton of a marsupial lion, Thylacoleo carnifex.
"Unwary animals bounding around in the case of kangaroos, or running around in the case of marsupial lions and wombats, fell down these holes, as presumably most were nocturnal. It's very difficult to see a small opening on a flat surface at night," Prideaux said.
Research into the fossils challenges recent claims that Australia's megafauna were killed off by climate change, pointing the finger instead at fires, probably lit by the first human settlers who transformed the fragile landscape.
The lands inhabited by the megafauna once supported flowers, tall trees and shrubs. But isotopes extracted from skeletal enamels show the climate was hot and arid, similar to today.
The plants, the scientists said, were highly sensitive to so-called fire-stick farming, where lands were deliberately cleared by fires to encourage re-growth.
"Australian megafauna could take all that nature could throw at them for half-a-million years, without succumbing," said Richard Roberts, a geochronologist at the University of Wollongong.
"It was only when people arrived that they vanished."

Australia is known for its marsupials -- here a kangaroo hops through the outback near Marree, Australia.

01-29-2007, 03:22 PM
Siti Suhana's bizzare condition baffles even doctors

24 Jan 2007

EVEN doctors are baffled over Siti Suhana Saadon's extraordinary toe which produces colourful stones.

The 23-year-old girl from Alor Gajah had become an overnight sensation when TV3 aired the bizarre story of crystal-like stones popping out from beneath her toe nail.
Her rubber-tapper mother Kamariah Komeng, 52, said Siti's toe nail would just open up to release a stone and closes on its own. Some people had offered to purchase the stones from Siti for research purposes.
A medical specialist has expressed interest in checking Siti’s condition, describing that it was unusual.
“The stones looked like gems,” said the doctor who is attached to the UKM Faculty of Medicine.

COLOURFUL: The stones (at left) produced by Siti's toe. NST PIX BY Nashairi Mohd Nawi.

01-29-2007, 03:50 PM
theres something gross about that

01-29-2007, 04:26 PM
Aight how bout this one...

Iranians report 'radiant UFO'

Iranian news agency reports 'a radiant unidentified flying object in Western Iran'

A UFO omitting a "yellow ray" has been seen across Western Iran, the Fars News Agency claimed in a report (http://www.farsnews.com/English/newstext.php?nn=8510280150%20)recently.

"Witnesses told FNA (Fars News Agency) that the object has been observed for more than an hour," the report said, adding: "In a similar incident last Monday, an Unidentified Flying Object was witnessed in the same area and at the same time."

According to eye witnesses, "the UFO has been as big as a ball, with a yellow ray and a bright reddish color in the center. They also stated that the object has been flying at a very low altitude."

The FNA said Iranian officials declined to comment.

The Iranian news outlet also reported a UFO "crashing" last Wednesday, "in Barrez Mounts in the central province of Kerman."

"Deputy Governor General of Kerman province Abulghassem Nasrollahi told FNA that the crash, which was followed by an explosion and a thick spiral of smoke, has caused no casualties or damage to properties," the report said, adding: "He further denied earlier reports that the explosion has been the result of a plane or chopper crash, reminding that all the passing aircrafts have been reported as sound and safe."

Iranian authorities were investigating the crash, described by witnesses as an explosion "caused as a result of the crash of a radiant unidentified flying object onto the ground. ''

"Meantime, an informed source told FNA that the object has been on fire and there has been thick smoke coming out of it prior to the crash, concluding that the object couldn't have been a meteor as meteors do not smoke," the article said.

It added: "The source also said that the crash has been witnessed by people in several cities, and mentioned that the rendezvous point was located 100 kilometers from the provincial capital city of Kerman . He said that people in the city of Rafsanjan also reported to have witnessed a similar incident


01-29-2007, 06:13 PM
I Wouldn't Mind Having That Foot On A Key Chain After Its Owner Has Finished With It. All I get is intergalactic planetary toejam. A bit like Jay Kay.
[IMG] http://tn3-2.deviantart.com/300W/fs7.deviantart.com/i/2005/202/d/5/some_girls_by_dancingbare.jpg [IMG/]

01-30-2007, 09:11 PM
Mysterious source jams satellite communications

Paris-based satellite company Eutelsat is investigating "unidentified interference" with its satellite broadcast services that temporarily knocked out several television and radio stations. The company declined to say whether it thought the interference was accidental or deliberate.
The problem began Tuesday afternoon, blocking several European, Middle East and northeast African radio and television stations, as well as Agence France-Presse's news service. All transferred their satellite transmissions to another frequency to resume operations.
Theresa Hitchens of the Center for Defense Information think-tank in Washington DC, US, says there have been cases of deliberate satellite jamming in the past, but it is hard to see what motivation there would be in this instance.
"It's really puzzling to me," she told New Scientist. "If it was accidental, why would they be so secretive about saying what the source was and if it's deliberate, you've got to wonder why – it just seems to me to be an odd target, unless someone's ticked off at the French," she says.
Hitchens points out that there have been cases of deliberate jamming, including one in the 1990s when Indonesia and Tonga had a dispute over which country had the rights to a particular satellite orbital slot. Tonga had leased the slot to a satellite firm based in Hong Kong, but Indonesia had its own satellite in the same slot and proceeded to jam the Hong Kong satellite.
In a more recent incident, the US claimed in 2003 that Cuba was jamming its satellite broadcasts into Iran.
Listen and repeat

There are a variety of ways to interfere with a satellite's communications. One is to broadcast a stronger signal, either from the ground or from another satellite, that drowns what the satellite is sending to the ground, preventing people from receiving its signal. Another is to blast a signal at the satellite itself so that it cannot hear what the ground is trying to tell it.
Communications satellites act like conduits, listening to the ground and re-broadcasting what they hear. If someone drowns out the uplink signal with noise, then the satellite will re-broadcast the noise instead of the intended television or radio program.
Military satellites use methods like encryption and frequency hopping to prevent jamming, but many commercial communications satellites lack such safeguards, Hitchens says. "Given the fact that militaries increasingly rely on commercial satellites for communication, this has generated a lot of discussion," she says.
A 2004 report of the satellite task force of the US President's National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee highlighted potential jamming of satellites as a key concern.
Nothing nefarious

Richard DalBello, vice-president of government affairs for satellite operator Intelsat General says accidental interference occurs all the time. Intelsat deals with thousands of such events each year, he says. The equipment at ground stations used to communicate with satellites can malfunction, interfering with other people's efforts to communicate with the same satellite, he says.
Given this, the fact that Eutelsat does not know the source of the interference yet is "really not indicative of anything nefarious", he says. "Obviously if something persists or as you move traffic [to other satellites] it follows you, there are some things that give you pretty clear clues," he adds.
Deliberate interference may be more common than is widely recognised, however. The website of the Satellite Users Interference Reduction Group, whose members include Intelsat and other industry players, lists 11 incidents of deliberate interference with satellite communication since January 2005, although this comprises only 0.7% of the total transmissions.

01-31-2007, 03:02 PM
ABC News Exclusive: Murder in a Teapot

http://blogs.abcnews.com/theblotter/images/china_teapot_nr.jpg (http://blogs.abcnews.com/photos/uncategorized/china_teapot_nr.jpg) British officials say police have cracked the murder-by-poison case of former spy Alexander Litvinenko, including the discovery of a "hot" teapot at London's Millennium Hotel with an off-the-charts reading for Polonium-210, the radioactive material used in the killing.
A senior official tells ABC News the "hot" teapot remained in use at the hotel for several weeks after Litvinenko's death before being tested in the second week of December. The official said investigators were embarrassed at the oversight.
The official says investigators have concluded, based on forensic evidence and intelligence reports, that the murder was a "state-sponsored" assassination orchestrated by Russian security services.
Officials say Russian FSB intelligence considered the murder to have been badly bungled because it took more than one attempt to administer the poison. The Russian officials did not expect the source of the poisoning to be discovered, according to intelligence reports.

Russian officials continue to deny any involvement in the murder and have said they would deny any extradition requests for suspects in the case.
[URL="http://blogs.abcnews.com/theblotter/"] (http://abcnews.go.com/WNT/popup?id=2826460)
Sources say police intend to seek charges against a former Russian spy, Andrei Lugovoi, who met with Litvinenko on Nov. 1, the day officials believe the lethal dose was administered in the Millennium Hotel teapot.
Lugovoi steadfastly denied any involvement in the murder at a Moscow news conference and at a session with Scotland Yard detectives. Russian security police were present when the British questioned Lugovoi, and British officials do not think they received honest answers from him.
British health officials say some 128 people were discovered to have had "probable contact" with Polonium-210, including at least eight hotel staff members and one guest.
None of these individuals has yet displayed symptoms of radiation poisoning, and only 13 individuals of the 128 tested at a level for which there is any known long-term health concern, officials said.
The Millennium Hotel has closed the Pine Bar and other areas where Litvinenko and Lugovoi met on Nov. 1, although the hotel says the remaining public areas "have been officially declared safe" and are open to the public.

02-01-2007, 07:41 PM
Survival of the biggest - hobbits wiped out by man

http://www.smh.com.au/ffximage/2007/01/28/hobbits29107_narrowweb__300x530,0.jpg Homo floresiensis … eruption wipeout theory disputed.

MODERN humans wiped out the hobbit-sized people who lived on the Indonesian island of Flores, research suggests.
Remains of at least 13 members of the little species, Homo floresiensis, who were about a metre tall, were unearthed in Liang Bua between 2001 and 2004. The hobbits lived there from 95,000 to 12,000 years ago when a layer of volcanic ash filled the cave.
It had been thought the eruption devastated life on Flores and led to the demise of the little people, as well as the pygmy elephants they feasted on.
Studies of the volcanic ash by two team members, Chris Turney and Douglas Hobbs, however, showed it was from an eruption about 600 kilometres to the west, near Bali, and so was unlikely to have resulted in island-wide extinctions.
Mike Morwood, co-leader of the Australian and Indonesian discovery team, said he now believed modern humans, who arrived on the "lost world" of Flores soon afterwards, hunted the stegadon to extinction and were responsible for the disappearance of the hobbits.
In a separate development, excavations are set to restart for the first time in almost three years in the cave where the remains of the tiny new species were found.
Indonesian officials had blocked further research there following a heated public dispute over the precious bones.
Professor Morwood, of the University of Wollongong, said more fossils were likely to be unearthed at Liang Bua when the team returned in the middle of the year. "Anywhere we dig in the cave we expect to find evidence of the little hominids." Professor Morwood, who has written a new book with Penny van Oosterzee, The Discovery of the Hobbit, on the famous find, said he was most excited by the prospect of making new discoveries during planned field work in Sulawesi, which will begin in March.
This island was the most likely source of the hobbits' ancestors. "My guess is that hominids arrived on Sulawesi a long time before a small group were somehow washed out to sea, to be deposited on Flores," he said. "It is now the place with real potential to surprise."
The tool-making Homo floresiensis which had a brain only the size of a chimpanzee, is thought to have evolved from a small, primitive human ancestor similar to australopithecines such as "Lucy", who lived 3 million years ago in Africa.
The dispute over the remains broke out when they were seized in 2004 by an Indonesian scientist who said the hobbits were just brain-deformed modern humans.
The bones were irreparably damaged when in his care.

hidden ninja
02-01-2007, 07:54 PM
Venezuelan lawmakers give Chavez sweeping powers
POSTED: 12:52 p.m. EST, January 31, 2007

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) -- A congress wholly loyal to President Hugo Chavez approved a law Wednesday granting him authority to enact sweeping measures by decree.

Meeting at a downtown plaza in a session that resembled a political rally, lawmakers unanimously approved all four articles of the law by a show of hands.

"Long live the sovereign people! Long live President Hugo Chavez! Long live socialism!" said National Assembly President Cilia Flores as she proclaimed the law approved. "Fatherland, socialism or death! We will prevail!"

Hundreds of Chavez supporters wearing red -- the color of Venezuela's ruling party -- gathered in the plaza, waving signs reading "Socialism is democracy" as lawmakers read out passages of the law giving Chavez special powers for 18 months to transform 11 broadly defined areas, including the economy, energy and defense.

"The people of Venezuela, not just the National Assembly, are giving this enabling power to the president of the republic," said congresswoman Iris Varela, addressing the crowd.

Lawmakers discussed the law by each of its four articles, approving one after the other by a show of hands. At the end, they stood and cheered.

Chavez, a former paratroop commander who easily won re-election in December, has said he will use the law to decree nationalizations of Venezuela's largest telecommunications company and the electricity sector, slap new taxes on the rich and impose greater state control over the oil and natural gas industries.

The law also allows Chavez to dictate unspecified measures to transform state institutions; reform banking, tax, insurance and financial regulations; decide on security and defense matters such as gun regulations and military organization; and "adapt" legislation to ensure "the equal distribution of wealth" as part of a new "social and economic model."

Chavez plans to reorganize regional territories and carry out reforms aimed at bringing "power to the people" through thousands of newly formed Communal Councils. With these, Venezuelans will have a say on spending an increasing flow of state money on neighborhood projects from public housing to road repaving.

Chavez's opponents, however, argue the law dangerously concentrates power in the hands of single man.

"If you have all the power, why do you need more power?" said Luis Gonzalez, a high school teacher who paused to watch in the plaza, calling it a "media show" intended to give legitimacy to a repugnant move. "We're headed toward a dictatorship, disguised as a democracy."

Chavez supporters said the law will help align the country's government and economy for a swift move toward a more egalitarian society.

"That law is going to allow the president to accelerate the process so that government becomes more efficient," said Ruperta Garcia, a 52-year-old university professor in the crowd.

Vice President Jorge Rodriguez ridiculed the idea that the law is an abuse of power and argued democracy is flourishing. He thanked the National Assembly for providing "gasoline" to start up the "engine" of societal changes.

"What kind of a dictatorship is this?" Rodriguez asked the crowd, saying the law "only serves to sow democracy and peace."

"Dictatorship is what there used to be," Rodriguez said. "We want to impose the dictatorship of a true democracy."

Historian Ines Quintero said that with the new powers, Chavez will achieve a level of "hegemony" that is unprecedented in Venezuela's nearly five decades of democratic history.

Chavez has requested special powers twice before, but for more modest legislative changes.

In 1999, shortly after he was first elected, he was only able to push through two new taxes and a revision of the income tax law after facing fierce opposition in congress. In 2001, by invoking an "enabling law" for the second time, he decreed 49 laws, including controversial agrarian overhaul measures and a law that sharply raised taxes on foreign oil companies operating in Venezuela.

This time, the law will give Chavez a free hand to bring under state control some oil and natural gas projects that are still run by private companies -- the latest in a series of nationalist energy policies in Venezuela, a top oil supplier to the United States and home to South America's largest gas reserves.

Chavez has said oil companies upgrading heavy oil in the Orinoco River basin -- British Petroleum PLC, Exxon Mobil Corp., Chevron Corp., ConocoPhillips Co., Total SA and Statoil ASA -- must submit to state-controlled joint ventures, as companies already have done elsewhere in the country.

The law gives Chavez the authority to intervene and "regulate" the transition to joint ventures if companies do not adapt to the new framework within an unspecified "peremptory period."

02-01-2007, 08:06 PM
^^yep Yep Wow....

02-02-2007, 05:05 PM
Military Builds Robotic Insects

If you feel something crawling on your neck, it might be a wasp or a bee. Or it might be something much more dangerous.
Israel is developing a robot (http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/wireStory?id=2660621) the size of a hornet to attack terrorists. And although the prototype will not fly for three years, killer Micro Air Vehicles, or MAVs, are much closer than that.
British Special Forces already use 6-inch MAV aircraft called WASPs (http://www.avinc.com/uas_products_detail.php?id=113) for reconnaissance in Afghanistan. The $3,000 WASP is operated with a Gameboy-style controller and is nearly silent, so it can get very close without being detected. A new development will reportedly see the WASP fitted with a C4 explosive warhead for kamikaze attacks on snipers. One newspaper dubbed it "The Talibanator."
Fred Davis, technical director of the Assessment and Demonstrations Division of the Air Force Research Laboratory Munitions Directorate at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida, confirmed that the United States has ambitious plans for future micro-munitions, which he says will be pocket-sized with mission-specific payloads.
"You're not going to be knocking down walls," says Davis. "What we're looking at is functional defeat."
This means preventing the target from carrying out its mission, rather than destroying it, Davis says. A truck, for example, can be put out of action by destroying its tires; a MAV can do this by squirting them with few milliliters of a catalytic de-polymerization agent, causing them to disintegrate rapidly.
Davis sees future MAVs landing and hopping or crawling on the ground like insects, enabling them to get inside buildings. Once inside, an entire command center can be disabled by targeting the power supply.
"You could short out the circuit box," says Davis.
The MAV could do this by physically crawling inside like a wayward squirrel, or it might release a cloud of metal-coated fibers -- similar to the "soft bombs" the Air Force used to shut down power stations in Kosovo with a cloud of conductive whiskers. Such fibers could effectively destroy PCs and other electronic gear as well as interrupting power to a building.
But what about attacking people? The smallest munitions ever used by the Air Force were "gravel mines (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gravel_mines)" or "button bombs" dropped by the millions in the Vietnam war, some weighing just a quarter of an ounce. A crawling MAV could deliver this type of bomb to the victim's most vulnerable spot.
Or, as Davis suggests, the tiny vehicle itself might be the warhead.
"You can make the structure of the craft out of reactive (explosive) material," he says. Any unused fuel can add to the blast, a technique already used in some surface-to-air missiles, and the explosion would convert the rest of the MAV into lethal shrapnel.
Others have suggested "fire-ant warfare (http://www.ndu.edu/inss/McNair/mcnair28/m028ch02.html)" with tiny robots that can only do limited damage individually, but have enough cumulative effect to overwhelm an opponent.
Poison needles or stings have also been proposed (https://research.maxwell.af.mil/papers/ay2001/awc/huber.pdf) (.pdf). Treaty obligations would prevent the military from using this approach, but the CIA developed lethal needles using shellfish toxin in the 1950s, and the technology (http://www.chm.bris.ac.uk/motm/stx/saxi.htm) is on the shelf.
Of course, the bad guys can use Micro Air Vehicles too.
"After some development time, many countries would produce them," warns Juergen Altmann, a physicist at Dortmund University, working in assessment of new military technologies. Indiscriminate use would cause many civilian casualties -- and they could end up in the hands of terrorists.
"Big dangers can ensue from terrorists," Altmann says. "For instance, using MAVs with small explosive charges to assassinate high-level politicians or to transport biological/chemical agents into protected infrastructure."
To prevent this danger, Altmann advocates an international ban on armed MAVs, similar to the ban on landmines. Until then, development will proceed apace.

Goggles control the Dragon Eye MAV.

A soldier launches the Raven UAV, which is in service in Iraq.

A technician assembles the Dragon Eye, a four-pound UAV.

Lt. Faminu holds a MAV.

Crew members hande the WASP, one of the smallest operational UAVs.

02-02-2007, 05:58 PM
welcome to 1984 big brother is watching everywhere

Sexy Jasper
02-02-2007, 06:52 PM

I want to fuck Sarah Silverman


02-02-2007, 06:56 PM
she looks youthful..hmmmmmmmm

02-02-2007, 07:18 PM
i alwayz knew she good lol

02-05-2007, 03:55 PM
The real deal?

Against the grain: Some scientists deny global warming exists

Lawrence Solomon, National Post

Published: Friday, February 02, 2007
Astrophysicist Nir Shariv, one of Israel's top young scientists, describes the logic that led him -- and most everyone else -- to conclude that SUVs, coal plants and other things man-made cause global warming.

Step One Scientists for decades have postulated that increases in carbon dioxide and other gases could lead to a greenhouse effect.

Step Two As if on cue, the temperature rose over the course of the 20th century while greenhouse gases proliferated due to human activities.

http://media.canada.com/597ad362-5cf6-4bb7-8991-4f0cecb023b8/ice.jpg?size=l View Larger Image (http://javascript<b></b>:void window.open('storyimage.html?id=156df7e6-d490-41c9-8b1f-106fef8763c6&img=d33f4294-d17e-4b9b-a471-60d76b0a82f3&path=%2fnationalpost%2f', 'storyimage', 'width=760,height=550,location=no,menubar=yes,scro llbars=yes,resizable=yes'))

Step Three No other mechanism explains the warming. Without another candidate, greenhouses gases necessarily became the cause.

Dr. Shariv, a prolific researcher who has made a name for himself assessing the movements of two-billion-year-old meteorites, no longer accepts this logic, or subscribes to these views. He has recanted: "Like many others, I was personally sure that CO2 is the bad culprit in the story of global warming. But after carefully digging into the evidence, I realized that things are far more complicated than the story sold to us by many climate scientists or the stories regurgitated by the media.
"In fact, there is much more than meets the eye."

Dr. Shariv's digging led him to the surprising discovery that there is no concrete evidence -- only speculation -- that man-made greenhouse gases cause global warming. Even research from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change-- the United Nations agency that heads the worldwide effort to combat global warming -- is bereft of anything here inspiring confidence. In fact, according to the IPCC's own findings, man's role is so uncertain that there is a strong possibility that we have been cooling, not warming, the Earth. Unfortunately, our tools are too crude to reveal what man's effect has been in the past, let alone predict how much warming or cooling we might cause in the future.
All we have on which to pin the blame on greenhouse gases, says Dr. Shaviv, is "incriminating circumstantial evidence," which explains why climate scientists speak in terms of finding "evidence of fingerprints." Circumstantial evidence might be a fine basis on which to justify reducing greenhouse gases, he adds, "without other 'suspects.' " However, Dr. Shaviv not only believes there are credible "other suspects," he believes that at least one provides a superior explanation for the 20th century's warming.
"Solar activity can explain a large part of the 20th-century global warming," he states, particularly because of the evidence that has been accumulating over the past decade of the strong relationship that cosmic- ray flux has on our atmosphere. So much evidence has by now been amassed, in fact, that "it is unlikely that [the solar climate link] does not exist."
The sun's strong role indicates that greenhouse gases can't have much of an influence on the climate -- that C02 et al. don't dominate through some kind of leveraging effect that makes them especially potent drivers of climate change. The upshot of the Earth not being unduly sensitive to greenhouse gases is that neither increases nor cutbacks in future C02 emissions will matter much in terms of the climate.
Even doubling the amount of CO2 by 2100, for example, "will not dramatically increase the global temperature," Dr. Shaviv states. Put another way: "Even if we halved the CO2 output, and the CO2 increase by 2100 would be, say, a 50% increase relative to today instead of a doubled amount, the expected reduction in the rise of global temperature would be less than 0.5C. This is not significant."
The evidence from astrophysicists and cosmologists in laboratories around the world, on the other hand, could well be significant. In his study of meteorites, published in the prestigious journal, Physical Review Letters, Dr. Shaviv found that the meteorites that Earth collected during its passage through the arms of the Milky Way sustained up to 10% more cosmic ray damage than others. That kind of cosmic ray variation, Dr. Shaviv believes, could alter global temperatures by as much as 15% --sufficient to turn the ice ages on or off and evidence of the extent to which cosmic forces influence Earth's climate.
In another study, directly relevant to today's climate controversy, Dr. Shaviv reconstructed the temperature on Earth over the past 550 million years to find that cosmic ray flux variations explain more than two-thirds of Earth's temperature variance, making it the most dominant climate driver over geological time scales. The study also found that an upper limit can be placed on the relative role of CO2 as a climate driver, meaning that a large fraction of the global warming witnessed over the past century could not be due to CO2 -- instead it is attributable to the increased solar activity.
CO2 does play a role in climate, Dr. Shaviv believes, but a secondary role, one too small to preoccupy policymakers. Yet Dr. Shaviv also believes fossil fuels should be controlled, not because of their adverse affects on climate but to curb pollution.
"I am therefore in favour of developing cheap alternatives such as solar power, wind, and of course fusion reactors (converting Deuterium into Helium), which we should have in a few decades, but this is an altogether different issue." His conclusion: "I am quite sure Kyoto is not the right way to go."

02-06-2007, 03:03 PM
Bright lights reported over Midwest skies

From southeastern Wisconsin to as far as Des Moines, Iowa and St. Louis, people reported seeing balls of fire, possibly meteors, streaking across the sky Sunday night.
Associated Press
Last update: February 05, 2007 – 8:19 AM

MILWAUKEE — From southeastern Wisconsin to as far as Des Moines, Iowa and St. Louis, people reported seeing balls of fire, possibly meteors, streaking across the sky last night.

No major meteor showers were expected in the northern hemisphere on Sunday night, said Jim Lattis, director of the University of Wisconsin-Madison astronomy department's Space Place. But he said it was possible that a minor shower may have been what prompted calls to authorities.
The National Weather Service's Sullivan office said reports were called in from Iowa, northern Illinois and on up to Green Bay.
Dozens of people throughout the St. Louis region and Illinois reported small objects that looked like bright lights or something burning, with flaming tails behind some of them, said Ken Tretter, with the Missouri State Highway Patrol in St. Louis.
In Wisconsin, a Waukesha County dispatch supervisor said two callers reported a sighting around 8:15 p.m.
The Winnebago County Sheriff's Department said it received calls from Oshkosh, Ripon, Appleton, Neenah, and Pulaski, among others.
A preliminary report Sunday indicated that the lights were from a meteor, said Maj. April Cunningham, a spokeswoman for North American Aerospace Defense Command, or NORAD, which watches for airborne threats to the United States and Canada. "We had a pilot reporting seeing a meteor and that's really all the information we have tonight," Cunningham said.

02-06-2007, 03:10 PM
Photo in the News: Over 100 Dinosaur Eggs Found in India


February 5, 2007—Three Indian explorers are giving amateurs a good name.
The fossil enthusiasts recently set out on an 18-hour hunt near the central city of Indore and ended up with more than a hundred dinosaur eggs (some of which are pictured above, apparently arranged for photographers), the Hindustan Times reported today (India map (http://www.nationalgeographic.com/xpeditions/atlas/index.html?Parent=asia&Rootmap=india)).
"They are the typical, spherical eggs that researchers interpret as having been laid by sauropod dinosaurs," paleontologist Hans-Dieter Sues told National Geographic News via email after viewing photos of the find. Sues is an associate director for research and collections at the National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C., and a former member of the National Geographic Society's Committee for Research and Exploration.
Distinguished by their long necks and tails, plant-eating sauropods are among the largest creatures known to have roamed the Earth (sauropod picture (http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/bigphotos/87644582.html)).
These particular sauropod eggs were found in clusters of six to eight, one of the discoverers told the Hindustan Times. The eggs were laid during the Cretaceous period, roughly 146 to 66 million years ago, by dinosaurs between 40 and 90 feet (12 and 27 meters) long, he added.
Along with the eggs, the fossil hunters uncovered fossilized footprints of the dinosaurs, which used to come from miles around to make their nests in the sandy shores of a long-gone waterway. Dinosaur eggs have been found at hundreds of sites worldwide, Sues said, and "there are thousands of such eggs from the Late Cretaceous in central India." While "it is neither unusual nor unexpected," Sues said, "this is a nice find."

02-06-2007, 03:35 PM

02-07-2007, 01:54 PM
Locked in an eternal embrace

http://img.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2007/02_1/skeletonsDM060207_228x304.jpg Their loving embrace has lasted an eternity - well 5000 years to be precise

Most popular stories It is the city where the exiled Romeo dreamed he died and Juliet's kisses breathed life back into his body.

Tragically, the lifeless bodies of Shakespeare's star-crossed lovers would soon lie side by side.

Yesterday at Mantua, in an amazing echo of that heartrending story, archaeologists revealed the discovery of a couple locked in a tender embrace, one that has endured for more than 5,000 years.

The find was unearthed by experts digging at a neolithic site at a less than romantic industrial estate. Scientists are to examine the skeletons to try to establish how old they were when they died and how long they have been buried.
One theory being examined is that the man was killed and the woman then sacrificed so that his soul would be accompanied in the after life.
Elena Menotti, who is leading the dig at Valdaro near Mantua in northern Italy, said: 'I am so excited about this discovery.
"We have never found a man and a woman embraced before and this is a unique find.
"We have found plenty of women embracing children but never a couple. Much less a couple hugging -- and they really are hugging. It's possible that the man died first and then the woman was killed in sacrifice to accompany his soul.
"From an initial examination they appear young as their teeth are not worn down but we have sent the remains to a laboratory to establish their age at the time of death.
"They are face to face and their arms and legs are entwined and they are really hugging.
"I am so thrilled at this find. I have been involved in lots of digs all over Italy but nothing has excited me as much as this."
"I've been doing this job for 25 years. I've done digs at Pompeii, all the famous sites.
"But I've never been so moved because this is the discovery of something special."
An initial examination of the couple - dubbed the Lovers of Valdaro - revealed that the man (on the left in the picture) has an arrow in his spinal column while the woman has an arrow head in her side.
The area has already given up a spectacular Roman villa.
Five thousand years ago the area around Mantua was marshland and criss-crossed by rivers and the environment has helped preserve the skeletons in their near perfect state.
The tribes of the area thrived through hunting and fishing and travelled along the waterways in boats but even then the simple hunter gatherer lifestyle was being replaced by livestock rearing, weaving and pottery.
In Romeo and Juliet, Romeo is sent to Mantua for killing Tybalt Capulet in a swordfight. Romeo subsequently leaves the city and returns to Verona when he hears his love, Juliet, has died.

02-08-2007, 02:18 PM
Mysterious Lights Spotted Over Phoenix, Again

(CBS4) PHOENIX, AZ Nearly a decade after the highly publicized ‘Phoenix Light Phenomenon’, more strange lights have appeared in the night sky over downtown Phoenix.

Tuesday night, mysterious lights lit up the western skies over Phoenix and soon after, phones began ringing off the hook at radio, television and police stations from witnesses wondering what the lights were.

The Yuma Marine Base claims it has the answer. Base officials said the amber-colored flares came from training flights on the Goldwater Gunnery Range. They went on to explain that the amber flares are used as targets.

Witnesses said it appeared the flares were flying in a formation and base officials explained that the flares float down to Earth attached to parachutes.

Back in March of 1997, a huge object was spotted over parts of Arizona that many witnesses believed to be an extraterrestrial spacecraft that was drifting slowly and silently over the region. The ‘Phoenix Light Phenomenon” became one of the most publicized and well-documented UFO sightings in recent history.

The Air Force said they were flares from an A-10 but many critics said flares couldn’t fly on their own over such a large distance.

The Discovery Channel has done a special on the lights. A movie has even been made about them which recently came out on DVD.


02-08-2007, 03:32 PM
Yeah, it's aliens. I learned all about it playing Deus Ex

02-08-2007, 04:01 PM
..yeah Anna Nicole Just Died...

02-09-2007, 04:12 PM
Russia probes smelly orange snow


Russia has flown a team of chemical experts to a Siberian region to find out why smelly, coloured snow has been falling over several towns.

Oily yellow and orange snowflakes fell over an area of more than 1,500sq km (570sq miles) in the Omsk region on Wednesday, Russian officials said.
Chemical tests were under way to determine the cause, they said.
Residents have been advised not to use the snow for household tasks or let animals graze on it.
"So far we cannot explain the snow, which is oily to the touch and has a pronounced rotten smell," said Omsk environmental prosecutor Anton German, quoted by the Russian news agency Itar-Tass on Thursday.
http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/42528000/jpg/_42528677_newsnow203.jpg The origin of the orange effect is still a mystery (pic: Russian TV)

"We are waiting for the results of a thorough test on samples."
But Vladimir Gurzhey, an official with the civil defence ministry in Omsk, told the Russia TV channel that the snow had four times the normal levels of iron in it. The TV also reported that coloured snow had fallen in the neighbouring regions of Tomsk and Tyumen. Omsk, in western Siberia, is a centre of Russia's oil industry. About 27,000 people live in the areas affected by the snow, Russian officials said.

02-11-2007, 11:35 AM
WTF^Keep it up trumpets I appreciate it!!

02-11-2007, 06:03 PM
people focus so much on the games that they are dying


these people really wish games were real life, where you can be a successful anything by pushing some buttons for hours on end instead of having to get up off your ass and actually do it in real life

Jet Set
02-11-2007, 08:01 PM
I once saw some hard cinical comment aboput a WoW player dying on a forum and someone commenting did they drop any good stuff.

But this is the reality. It is not su much wishing it was real as it is a addiction. Maybe an escapism from the current world.But what is really real anyway. I think we are on the fornt border of re-analyzing the reality and it's changes.

02-11-2007, 08:04 PM
i emailed my room mate two of the headlines cuz he plays and I give him shit every day about it

Jet Set
02-11-2007, 08:08 PM
Next, he's going to kill you for fucking up his winning streak, haha.

Frontal Lobotomy
02-11-2007, 08:34 PM
Its the next big thing, all this online virtual interaction type stuff. I read an article on some new thing kicking off in the states right now. Its basically like the Sims, but more advanced, and you have to use money, buy clothes, home items and all other type of shit. All sorts of big names are looking to get in on lucrative tie-ins to the franchise. Only problem is, I forgot what the damn thing is called hm

I must admit, I did chuckle a bit when I read about that Korean dude dying from a Starcraft session, those motherfuckers really do play that game to death (no pun intended)

Jet Set
02-11-2007, 09:02 PM
That thing is called Second Life, and I maybe getting my bachelor with that subject as my thesis.

Frontal Lobotomy
02-11-2007, 09:18 PM
Fair Do's, Psychology? Sociology? Computing? what?

Jet Set
02-11-2007, 09:27 PM
it will most likely have something to do with computing and setting up business there

02-12-2007, 12:57 PM
Peace to 444 with the info

02-12-2007, 03:23 PM
Grand Canyon Skywalk opens deep divide

Arizona's Hualapai Tribe hopes to draw more visitors with a controversial structure that will jut over the crevasse.

GRAND CANYON WEST, ARIZ. — Perched over the Grand Canyon close to a mile above the Colorado River, a massive, multimillion-dollar glass walkway will soon open for business as the centerpiece of a struggling Indian tribe's plan to lure tourists to its remote reservation.

An engineering marvel or a colossal eyesore, depending on who is describing it, the horseshoe-shaped glass walkway will jut out 70 feet beyond the canyon's edge on the Hualapai Indian Reservation just west of Grand Canyon Village. Buttressed by 1 million pounds of steel and supporting 90 tons of tempered glass, the see-through deck will give visitors a breathtaking view of the canyon.

When the cantilevered structure opens to the public next month, it will be the most conspicuous commercial edifice in the canyon. And, if the tribe's plans come to fruition, the Skywalk will be the catalyst for a 9,000-acre development, known as Grand Canyon West, that will open up a long-inaccessible 100-mile stretch of countryside along the canyon's South Rim. The cost of the Skywalk alone will exceed $40 million, tribal officials say.

"Skywalk is the 'wow' that will draw people," said Steve Beattie, the chief financial officer for Grand Canyon Resort Corp., the tribe's business arm. Construction on an attached 6,000-square-foot visitors center and restaurant is to begin after the walkway opens. The Skywalk will charge an admission fee of $25, Beattie said, adding that some of the financing will come from a private-sector partner.

Tribal officials say the development, which may eventually include hotels, restaurants and a golf course, is the best way to address the social ills of a small reservation, where the 2,000 residents struggle with a 50% unemployment rate and widespread alcoholism and poverty.

But off the reservation, many people regard the development and especially the Skywalk as tantamount to defacing a national treasure.

"It's the equivalent of an upscale carnival ride," said Robert Arnberger, a former superintendent of Grand Canyon National Park who was born near the canyon's South Rim. "Why would they desecrate this place with this?"

"I've never been able to resolve the apparent conflict between the tribe's oft-stated claim that there is no better caregiver and steward of the Grand Canyon than the tribe, and their approach to the land — which is based on heavy use and economics," he said.

"They say the Grand Canyon is theirs to do with however they please. Under law, it's hard to argue that proposition. But obviously the lure of dollars for the tribal treasury is greater than the obligation to manage the Grand Canyon for its cultural and historic values."

Other critics say the Skywalk and related development will only add to the commercialization that has detracted from the experience of nature in the national park.

"What the Grand Canyon needs most is a place for quiet contemplation and recreation," said Kieran Suckling, policy director for the Center for Biological Diversity, an Arizona-based environmental group. "The Skywalk is part of a process that is turning the canyon into a tacky commercial playground."

Not so, say tribal leaders.

"You look at the park side, they have 4.5 million people a year — it's Disneyland in itself," said Sheri YellowHawk, a former member of the Hualapai tribal council and chief executive of the tribe's business entity. "They have too many cars and can't resolve their transportation issues. We're looking at their problems and trying to resolve them up front. We've gone through 2 1/2 years of going back and forth with cultural assessment and biological assessments and community input. We have to find a means to self-sustain ourselves. The money is dwindling."

The Hualapai have worked for years to attract more tourists to their 1-million-acre reservation. About 200,000 people visit the reservation each year. The tribe levies a charge for weddings on the canyon rim and other events, including a motorcycle stunt ride in which daredevil Robbie Knievel jumped a side canyon. But after a disappointing foray into casino gambling, the tribe decided three years ago to launch a one-of-a-kind development at the rim of the Grand Canyon.

The tribe expects the Skywalk to boost tourism at a more modest development already in place: a smattering of sites 120 miles east of Las Vegas offering experiences that can't be found at the park, including an Old West Main Street and cowboy show, an Indian village, horseback riding, wagon rides and Humvee tours.

In addition, the Hualapai operate airplane and helicopter tours that fly visitors into the canyon on low-level routes, which are forbidden at the national park. After landing beside the river, visitors can embark on guided pontoon boat and raft rides — day tours not offered in the park. The tribe's master plan calls for the construction of a cable car to ferry visitors from the canyon rim to the river.

There, the tribe is also seeking to expand tourism. The Grand Canyon National Park's Colorado River management plan, finalized in December, allows the tribe to take 600 passengers on motorized pontoon boats each day, far fewer than the 1,800 daily allotment the Hualapai requested.

Beattie of Grand Canyon Resort Corp. said the boating restrictions would prevent the tribe from expanding river operations, now the tribe's most popular tourist attraction. Although it flows through the reservation, the river is under federal control.

Some members of the tribe are uncomfortable with the development. Joe Powskey, a Hualapai guide who takes tourists through a newly built Indian village adjacent to the Skywalk construction site, said that although growth was necessary to give the tribe an economic base, tribal leaders needed to be careful not to overdo it.

"Our priority is not to overdevelop," Powskey said. "We want to kind of keep it pristine here."

Powskey said he was aggrieved to see visitors step down from buses and toss cigarette butts around the rim. "We ask people not to smoke. They do. We tell them not to throw cigarettes around; the bones of our ancestors are buried here."

Others in the tribe have been critical of what they say is the development's lack of sustainability, pointing out that water used here is trucked in over miles of unpaved, rutted roads, and that there is no sewer, trash, telephone or electrical service. The airport, which is expanding, operates on diesel generators. The park, in contrast, has a busy complex of hotels, shops and restaurants, most clustered on the South Rim of the Canyon, several miles upstream from the reservation. The park does not draw water from the river, but from an aging pipeline.

Tribal officials admit it will be difficult to operate a full-service resort without upgrading infrastructure and finding a local source of water. Hualapai officials said last week that they were considering taking water from the Colorado River.

Pumping water up nearly a vertical mile from the river to the rim of the canyon could be fraught with financial and legal challenges. Joseph Feller, who teaches water law at Arizona State University, says no tribe has ever taken water from the Colorado without first negotiating with the federal government.

The tribe's YellowHawk said: "We're looking at pumping water out of the river; that may be our best bet." She added that the tribe was attempting to negotiate with the Department of the Interior. Attorneys with the department solicitor's office confirmed that the tribe had made initial overtures regarding water rights on the Colorado.

Feller said there was no doubt the Hualapai had long-standing rights to water from the Colorado, but how much they may take has not been determined.

"Usually, you end up with a legal settlement, in which the tribe accepts less water than it wants in return for federal financial assistance to put the rights to use," he said.

But once the infrastructure issues are resolved, "there's no end to investors who want to be a part of this," Beattie said. "Who doesn't want to be part of the Grand Canyon?"

http://www.latimes.com/media/graphic/2007-02/27837644.jpghttp://www.latimes.com/images/standard/clear.gifA drawing of what the Skywalk will look like when it is completed. The U shaped walkway would extend 70 feet over the Grand Canyon and have a see through floor that looks down 4,000 feet

http://www.latimes.com/media/photo/2007-02/27837603.jpghttp://www.latimes.com/images/standard/clear.gifThe Hualapai Tribe in Peach Springs, Arizona, is building a skywalk extending 70-feet over the Southern rim of the Grand Canyon.

http://www.latimes.com/media/photo/2007-02/27837604.jpghttp://www.latimes.com/images/standard/clear.gifA construction worker walks along the steel structure that will make the Skywalk at the South Rim of the Garnd Canyon.

http://www.latimes.com/media/photo/2007-02/27837605.jpghttp://www.latimes.com/images/standard/clear.gifAdjacent to Grand Canyon National Park, The Hualapai Tribe's u-shaped, glass-bottom steel structure will accommodate 120 people, 4,000 feet above the canyon.

http://www.latimes.com/media/photo/2007-02/27837607.jpghttp://www.latimes.com/images/standard/clear.gifTourists stand at Eagle Point at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon, a few hundred yards away from the future home of the skywalk.

http://www.latimes.com/media/photo/2007-02/27837611.jpghttp://www.latimes.com/images/standard/clear.gifAn image of the completed Skywalk adorns the sides of a tour bus.

http://www.latimes.com/media/photo/2007-02/27837614.jpghttp://www.latimes.com/images/standard/clear.gifThe Hualapai Tribe in Peach Springs, Arizona is building a skywalk extending 70-feet over the South rim of the Grand Canyon. Presently, the steel structure is under construction and will be extended into its final spot during the coming month.

http://www.latimes.com/media/photo/2007-02/27837606.jpghttp://www.latimes.com/images/standard/clear.gifThe Colorado River and the steep walls of the Grand Canyon are reflected in tour boat operator Russell Shields' glasses. Shields guides tourists for the Hualapai Tribe, who raise money by offering tours in the canyon.

02-12-2007, 05:43 PM







02-12-2007, 06:06 PM
damn nilla you trippen lol

Your beautiful....your beautiful its true...
That ill never be with you... tears...lol jame blunt

02-13-2007, 01:19 AM
damn nilla you trippen lol

Your beautiful....your beautiful its true...
That ill never be with you... tears...lol jame blunt


02-13-2007, 03:44 PM

How bout this one...

SAN DIEGO (AP) - Dozens of dolphins and sea lions trained to detect and apprehend waterborne attackers could be sent to patrol a military base in Washington state, the Navy said Monday. In a notice published in this week's Federal Register, the Navy said it needs to bolster security at Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor, on the Puget Sound close to Seattle.
The base is home to submarines, ships and laboratories and is potentially vulnerable to attack by terrorist swimmers and scuba divers, the notice states.
Several options are under consideration, but the preferred plan would be to send as many as 30 California sea lions and Atlantic Bottlenose dolphins from the Navy's Marine Mammal Program, based in San Diego.
"These animals have the capabilities for what needs to be done for this particular mission," said Tom LaPuzza, a spokesman for the Marine Mammal Program.
LaPuzza said that because of their astonishing sonar abilities, dolphins are excellent at patrolling for swimmers and divers. When a Navy dolphin detects a person in the water, it drops a beacon. This tells a human interception team where to find the suspicious swimmer.
Dolphins also are trained to detect underwater mines; they were sent to do this in the Iraqi harbor of Umm Qasr in 2003. The last time the animals were used operationally in San Diego was in 1996, when they patrolled the bay during the Republican National Convention.
Sea lions can carry in their mouths special cuffs attached to long ropes. If the animal finds a rogue swimmer, it can clamp the cuff around the person's leg. The individual can then be reeled in for questioning.
The Navy is seeking public comment for an environmental impact statement on the proposal.
The Navy wanted to deploy marine animals to the Northwest in 1989, LaPuzza said, but a federal judge sided with animal-rights activists concerned about the effects of cooler water, as well as how the creatures would affect the environment. Water in the Puget Sound is about 10 degrees cooler than in San Diego Harbor, which has an average temperature of about 58 degrees, LaPuzza said.
Since then, the Navy has taken the dolphins and sea lions to cold-water places like Alaska and Scandinavia to see how they cope.
"They did very well," LaPuzza said. If the animals are sent to Washington, the dolphins would be housed in heated enclosures and would patrol the bay only for periods of about two hours.
Stephanie Boyles, a marine biologist and spokeswoman for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, said that sea mammals do not provide a reliable defense system, and that they should not be kept in small enclosures.
"We believe the United States' citizens deserve the very best defense possible, and this just isn't it," Boyles said, adding that dolphins are easily distracted once in open water. "They don't understand the consequences of what will happen if they don't carry out the mission."
Dolphins can live as long as 30 years. LaPuzza said the Navy occasionally gives its retired animals to marine parks but generally keeps them until they die of old age.
The Navy has been training marine mammals since the 1960s and keeps about 100 dolphins and sea lions. Most are in San Diego, but about 20 are deployed at Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay, Ga.
The Navy hopes eventually to downsize its marine mammal program and replace the animals with machines. "But the technology just isn't there yet," LaPuzza said. "The value of the marine mammals is we've been doing this for 35 years, and we've ironed out all the kinks."


In this March 18, 2003 photo made available by the U.S. Navy, K-Dog, a Bottle Nose Dolphin, leaps out of the water in front of Sgt. Andrew Garrett while training near the USS Gunston Hall in the Arabian Gulf. Attached to the dolphins pectoral fin is a pinger device that allows the handler to keep track of the dolphin when out of sight. The Navy said Monday, Feb. 12, 2007 it is reviving a proposal to send dozens of dolphins and sea lions trained to detect and apprehend waterborne attackers on a mission to patrol a military base in Washington state.