Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Controversy grows in Europe over CIA jail network |

By Peter Ford | Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor
PARIS – A gathering storm of outrage will greet Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice when she visits Europe next week amid allegations that the CIA has been using airports and military bases across the Continent to secretly transport and detain terrorist suspects.

Six countries have launched judicial investigations, Europe's top human rights watchdog has begun a probe, and the European Union has formally asked Washington to clarify reports that the Central Intelligence Agency's network of clandestine jails extends to Europe.

"There is a profound shock among the public that some [European] governments seem to have been in collusion with the CIA in assisting them to have individuals disappear into black holes," says Magnus Ranstorp, a terrorism expert at the Swedish National Defense College.


Wanna know the real reason artic icebergs are disapeering? Canadians are shooting them and taking 1 ton pieces to melt down for Vodka and water in the name of providing the 'purest water'. We must put an end to this before we loose all our icebergs and the seas heat up.

Monday, November 28, 2005

swissinfo swiss information business culture news informations of switzerland: Front - Story Detail

A negative image of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) persuaded Swiss voters to approve a five-year ban on their use in agriculture, the rival camps agree.

Final results show almost 56 per cent of voters and all the country's 26 cantons backed a people's initiative for a temporary moratorium on GMOs.

CBC News: Angry Harris wanted protesters out of Ipperwash: former official

An Ontario inquiry heard blunt and sometimes profane testimony on Monday about alleged political directives to end the native occupation at Ipperwash Provincial Park 10 years ago.

* INDEPTH: Ipperwash

Charles Harnick, who was attorney general of Ontario under then-premier Mike Harris, told the inquiry he remembers Harris making it very clear what he wanted to see happen.

"I want the fucking Indians out of the park," Harnick quoted Harris as saying.

NATIONAL JOURNAL: CIA Veterans Condemn Torture (11/19/05)

By Jason Vest, Government Executive
© National Journal Group Inc.
Saturday, Nov. 19, 2005

Among the fundamental conceits of the architects of the Bush administration's war on terrorism is that heavy-handed interrogation is useful, even necessary, to get any information that will protect the American people, and that such interrogation techniques are devoid of negative consequences in dealing with real or suspected terrorists. One way this notion has played out in practice is the CIA's use of "extraordinary rendition," in which terror suspects overseas are kidnapped and delivered to third-party countries for interrogation -- which, not uncharacteristically, includes some measure of torture, and sometimes fatal torture.

In recent years officers have been getting the worst combination of no training plus ambiguous signals from management on the ethics of interrogation.

Details about the extent and excesses of the U.S. government's interrogation practices have been ably documented by the media and human-rights organizations. Many thought that extraordinary rendition would be the worst of the revelations, but on November 2, The Washington Post revealed that the CIA has been running its own system of secret overseas detention and interrogation centers, known as "black sites." Coming at a moment when both CIA Director Porter Goss and Vice President Cheney have been crusading to exempt the CIA from pending legislation authored by Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., that would ban U.S. government personnel from using torture, and other abusive conduct, in interrogations, the story has been particularly resonant -- especially when at least one prisoner under CIA supervision at the now-defunct Afghanistan "salt pit" black site died as a result of abuse.

Although outrage has focused on the existence and symbolism of the black sites, comparatively little attention has been paid to the concerns -- if not outright objections -- of many distinguished CIA veterans about these sites and the use of torture in general. It's not just that such behavior is largely impractical, they say; it's that even by the morally ambiguous standards of espionage and covert action, the abuse is simply wrong.

Some perennially high-profile retired CIA officers like Bob Baer, Frank Anderson, and Vincent Cannistraro recently spoke out to Knight Ridder about their opposition to torture on practical grounds (Cannistraro said that detainees will "say virtually anything to end their torment"). But over the past 18 months, several lesser-known former officers have been trying, publicly and privately, to convince both the agency and the public that torture and other unduly coercive questioning tactics are morally wrong as well.

Former Canadian Minister Of Defence Asks Canadian Parliament Asked To Hold Hearings On Relations With Alien "Et" Civilizations - Yahoo! News

Thu Nov 24, 7:00 AM ET

(PRWEB) - OTTAWA, CANADA (PRWEB) November 24, 2005 -- A former Canadian Minister of Defence and Deputy Prime Minister under Pierre Trudeau has joined forces with three Non-governmental organizations to ask the Parliament of Canada to hold public hearings on Exopolitics -- relations with “ETs.”

By “ETs,” Mr. Hellyer and these organizations mean ethical, advanced extraterrestrial civilizations that may now be visiting Earth.

On September 25, 2005, in a startling speech at the University of Toronto that caught the attention of mainstream newspapers and magazines, Paul Hellyer, Canada’s Defence Minister from 1963-67 under Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Prime Minister Lester Pearson, publicly stated: "UFOs, are as real as the airplanes that fly over your head.

Saturday, November 26, 2005 - Ancient air bubbles shed light on greenhouse gases

WASHINGTON (AP) — There is more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere today than at any point during the last 650,000 years, says a major new study that let scientists peer back in time at "greenhouse gases" that can help fuel global warming.
The drill head and ice core, drilled on Nov. 30, 2002 in Antarctica. The core allowed scientists to study greenhouse gases dating back 650,000 years. The drill head and ice core, drilled on Nov. 30, 2002 in Antarctica. The core allowed scientists to study greenhouse gases dating back 650,000 years.
L. Augustin, LGGE, Science Magazine

By analyzing tiny air bubbles preserved in Antarctic ice for millennia, a team of European researchers highlights how people are dramatically influencing the buildup of these gases.

The remarkable research promises to spur "dramatically improved understanding" of climate change, said geosciences specialist Edward Brook of Oregon State University.

The study, by the European Project for Ice Coring in Antarctica, is published Friday in the journal Science.

Today, scientists directly measure levels of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, which accumulate in the atmosphere as a result of fuel-burning and other processes. Those gases help trap solar heat, like the greenhouses for which they are named, resulting in a gradual warming of the planet.

Those measurements are disturbing: Levels of carbon dioxide have climbed from 280 parts per million two centuries ago to 380 ppm today. Earth's average temperature, meanwhile, increased about 1 degree Fahrenheit in recent decades, a relatively rapid rise. Many climate specialists warn that continued warming could have severe impacts, such as rising sea levels and changing rainfall patterns.

Skeptics sometimes dismiss the rise in greenhouse gases as part of a naturally fluctuating cycle. The new study provides ever-more definitive evidence countering that view, however.

Deep Antarctic ice encases tiny air bubbles formed when snowflakes fell over hundreds of thousands of years. Extracting the air allows a direct measurement of the atmosphere at past points in time, to determine the naturally fluctuating range.

A previous ice-core sample had traced greenhouse gases back about 440,000 years. This new sample, from East Antarctica, goes 210,000 years further back in time.

Today's still rising level of carbon dioxide already is 27% higher than its peak during all those millennia, said lead researcher Thomas Stocker of the University of Bern, Switzerland.

"We are out of that natural range today," he said.

Moreover, that rise is occurring at a speed that "is over a factor of a hundred faster than anything we are seeing in the natural cycles," Stocker added. "It puts the present changes in context."

Friday, November 25, 2005

Newsroom | Canadian Boreal Initiative


Report calls Canada’s Boreal region carbon bank account worth $3.7 trillion

In a new take on Canada’s national accounts, research by the Pembina Institute for the Canadian Boreal Initiative puts the value of ecosystem services like water filtration and carbon storage at roughly 2.5 times greater than the net market value of forestry, hydro, mining, and oil and gas extraction in Canada’s Boreal region.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Global Warming and Hurricanes

Global Warming and Hurricanes: "How does the 2005 hurricane season compare so far?

The National Hurricane Center predicted significantly greater activity for 2005, with 18-21 tropical storms and 9-11 hurricanes projected, 5-7 of which were expected to reach category 3 or greater. So far the season is exceeding expectations; as of October 24, the following activity had occurred:

* 22 named tropical storms for the first time since systematic record keeping began about 150 years ago
* 12 hurricanes
* 6 major hurricanes
* The earliest date on record by which four named tropical storms formed (Arlene, Bret, Cindy, Dennis formed before July 5)
* The earliest date on record by which two category 4 hurricanes occurred (Dennis formed July 4-7; Emily formed July 10-16)
* The most powerful hurricane ever recorded in the Atlantic basin (Wilma, central barometric pressure of 882 mBar)
* Three of the six most powerful hurricanes ever recorded in the Atlantic basin (Katrina, Rita, Wilma; This is the first time three category 5 hurricanes have ever been recorded in the same year in the Atlantic basin)
* The most destructive hurricane in US history (Katrina)

In terms of overall hurricane activity (number and intensity of storms), the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season has apparently been the most active season on record, and"

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Independent Online Edition > Environment

The Big Thaw... "Research to be published in a few days' time shows how glaciers that have been stable for centuries have started to shrink dramatically as temperatures in the Arctic have soared with global warming. On top of this, record amounts of the ice cap's surface turned to water this summer."
Global disaster will follow if the ice cap on Greenland melts. Now scientists say it is vanishing far faster than even they expected. Geoffrey Lean reports
Published: 20 November 2005

Greenland's glaciers have begun to race towards the ocean, leading scientists to predict that the vast island's ice cap is approaching irreversible meltdown, The Independent on Sunday can reveal.

Research to be published in a few days' time shows how glaciers that have been stable for centuries have started to shrink dramatically as temperatures in the Arctic have soared with global warming. On top of this, record amounts of the ice cap's surface turned to water this summer... subscription

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Reuters AlertNet - China city residents flee after taps turned off

BEIJING, Nov 23 (Reuters) - Residents of one of China's biggest and coldest cities, where water has been shut off for fear of chemical contamination, are jamming the airport and railway stations to get out, a witness said on Wednesday.

Taps were turned off in Harbin, capital of northeastern Heilongjiang province and famous for its January snow and ice show, at midnight on Tuesday after there had already been panic buying of bottled water and food.

"Everyone wants to leave Harbin and it is very difficult to buy tickets, just like during the Lunar New Year," a factory manager told Reuters.

"All containers are being used to store water, including the bathtub. It will be okay for four days, but not longer than that."

The water supply was shut down after a blast at a chemical plant on Nov. 13 in neighbouring Jilin province only a few hundred metres (yards) from the Songhua River, which supplies water to Harbin, a metropolitan area of nine million people. Five people were killed.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

United Nations Climate Change Conference - Montreal 2005 - Montreal 2005 Home

Montréal 2005 is expected to bring as many as 10,000 people to the city, including delegates, official observers from government, industry, business, the scientific community, and other groups interested in action on climate change. The parallel events are expected to attract 2,000 to 3,000 people alone, and up to 1,000 journalists from around the world will cover the conference – in all, one of the largest meetings ever held in Canada, and the largest non-sporting event in Montréal since EXPO 67.

Information about Montréal 2005:

* General Information
* Preliminary Program for Parallel Events 'A World of Solutions'
* UN Agenda and Background Documents
* Canada , Montreal, the venues and hotel reservations
* Canada’s Action on Climate Change
* Canada Pavilion brochure

BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | Polar bears face up to warmer future

On the shore of the Hudson Bay in Northern Canada, a huge male polar bear stretches and yawns, sniffs the air and rolls back onto his side to sleep.

It is mid-November and bitterly cold. The sea wind blows through our protective coats and our fingers start to lose circulation. But ironically, what we are witnessing is climate warming in action.

Temperatures in western Hudson Bay have been steadily rising 0.3 to 0.4 degrees every decade since 1950.

Scientists at the US space agency's (Nasa) Goddard Space Flight Center, who have been monitoring the sea-ice from satellite data, believe it could be retreating at a rate of up to 9% every 10 years.

Click here to see a map of polar bears' range

Each autumn, polar bears in this part of Canada migrate north, heading for the sea-ice which begins to form about now and stays solid until late spring the following year.

Graph showing ice decline (NSIDC)
The straight line tracks a more than 8% decline per decade
By sniffing the air, the bears know when the temperature is dropping and the sea is beginning to freeze.

The bear, who has been named Echo by scientists, should by now be way out on the frozen waters hunting for seals.

He has not had a proper meal since the ice broke up in July. He is hungry and losing up to a kilogram in body fat every day.

For the past 30 years or so, people living in Canada's north have been noticing a phenomenon that many scientists now believe is a direct result of our planet warming up.

Climate change in Arctic studied for keys to Earth's warming -

TOOLIK LAKE, Alaska - Bruce Peterson, on his hands and knees, claws through a thick pad of peat moss and into the brown muck beneath. "Put your hand in there and feel that," he says over his shoulder.

The hole is an icebox chilled by a slab of frozen soil that starts about a foot below the surface and, in places, extends deeper than the length of a football field.

The permafrost on Alaska's northern reaches froze thousands of years ago and has acted as a year-round thermostat for the tundra's plants, animals and water systems.

But in recent decades, temperatures have warmed in the Arctic, and the top layers of the permafrost have thawed. One longtime researcher predicts that half of interior Alaska's permafrost could be gone by the end of the century.

In some places, the tundra is already crumbling into itself because of the thawing. In other places, suddenly unstable trees are tilting over in "drunken forests" and coastal villages on eroding land are being relocated.

They are just a few tangible signs of the Earth's warming, scientists say.

"We think the system is falling apart," says Peterson, a scientist who has been tracking the effects of climate change in Alaska since 1976. "This is the canary in the mine. There's no other latitude on Earth that's seen that kind of change."

In the Arctic, climate change - in the form of melting sea ice, shifting vegetation and thawing permafrost - is arriving sooner and more intensely than anywhere else on the planet, scientists say.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

New Scientist: The food you eat may change your genes for life - News

New Scientist The food you eat may change your genes for life - News:IT SOUNDS like science fiction: simply swallowing a pill, or eating a specific food supplement, could permanently change your behaviour for the better, or reverse diseases such as schizophrenia, Huntington's or cancer.

Yet such treatments are looking increasingly plausible. In the latest development, normal rats have been made to behave differently just by injecting them with a specific amino acid. The change to their behaviour was permanent. The amino acid altered the way the rat's genes were expressed, raising the idea that drugs or dietary supplements might permanently halt the genetic effects that predispose people to mental or physical illness.

It is not yet clear whether such interventions could work in hum"

Chess Game - LittleFunny • Clean Humor • Games • Wallpapers • Flash Movies • Jokes

Chess Game - LittleFunny • Clean Humor • Games • Wallpapers • Flash Movies • Jokes

The International Centre for Hydrogen Energy Technologies

The International Centre for Hydrogen Energy Technologies

Canada's Retreat from Laws of War

Why do we still collude with torturers?
By Michael Byers
Published: November 15, 2005
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[Editor's note: UBC professor of international law Michael Byers, author of the new book War Law, was invited to deliver the F.C. Cronkite Lecture in the College of Law at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon on November 14. What follows is taken from his address.]

The government of this country -- our country, our government -- has, since September 11, 2001, repeatedly and cynically disregarded fundamental rules of the laws of war.

The laws of war are also referred to as "international humanitarian law", since these rules are designed to prevent unnecessary suffering during armed conflict. They are paralleled, in times of peace, by international human rights. And they include the prohibition on the use of chemical or biological weapons, the prohibition on the intentional targeting of civilians and the prohibition on torture; cruel or inhuman treatment or punishment.

For decades, Canadians were at the forefront of efforts to protect human beings during times of both peace and war. In 1948, McGill law professor John Humphrey drafted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In 1956, then-Foreign Minister Lester B. Pearson pioneered the concept of UN peacekeeping-and won the Nobel Peace Prize. In 1994, then-Lieutenant General Romeo Dallaire served as force commander of the UN peacekeeping mission in Rwanda and fought valiantly to convince the member states of the UN Security Council to enforce the prohibition on genocide. In the late 1990s, then-Foreign Minister Lloyd Axworthy threw his weight, first behind a new multilateral treaty banning anti-personnel landmines and then behind the creation of a permanent international criminal court. Today, a Canadian, Philippe Kirsch, serves as the first president of that judicial body. Another Canadian, Louise Arbour, is the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

Humphrey, Pearson, Dallaire, Axworthy, Kirsch, Arbour -- great names, Canadian names, that epitomize the pursuit of justice and dignity for all.

For decades, the Canadian government - or, rather, previous Canadian governments -- took international human rights and the laws of war seriously.

In 1976, Canada was one of the first countries to ratify the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. In 1977, Sandra Lovelace, a Maliseet woman from New Brunswick, used this mechanism to file a complaint against Canada with the UN Human Rights Committee. She alleged that the Canadian government had violated international law when it stripped her of her status and rights under the Indian Act after she married a non-native man.

The Human Rights Committee upheld her complaint. And the Canadian government responded by doing the right thing: amending the Indian Act to make it consistent with international human rights standards.

Today, Sandra Lovelace sits as a Senator in the Canadian Parliament.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Doing Unto Others as They Did Unto Us - New York Times

American Torture. Why? Because of our leader's incompetence, we used a strategy that does not work simply because we wanted to do more than we knew how to do. The Pentagon appears to have flipped SERE's teachings on their head, mining the program not for resistance techniques but for interrogation methods. At a June 2004 briefing, the chief of the United States Southern Command, Gen. James T. Hill, said a team from Guantánamo went "up to our SERE school and developed a list of techniques" for "high-profile, high-value" detainees. General Hill had sent this list - which included prolonged isolation and sleep deprivation, stress positions, physical assault and the exploitation of detainees' phobias - to Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, who approved most of the tactics in December 2002. Some within the Pentagon warned that these tactics constituted torture, but a top adviser to Secretary Rumsfeld justified them by pointing to their use in SERE training, a senior Pentagon official told us last month. -----but SERE was not to understand how to extract information...--- Fearful of future terrorist attacks and frustrated by the slow progress of intelligence-gathering from prisoners at Guantánamo Bay, Pentagon officials turned to the closest thing on their organizational charts to a school for torture. That was a classified program at Fort Bragg, N.C., known as SERE, for Survival, Evasion, Resistance, Escape. Based on studies of North Korean and Vietnamese efforts to break American prisoners, SERE was intended to train American soldiers to resist the abuse they might face in enemy custody. Submitted on November 14, 2005 7:42 p.m. by anymouse. [UserTrolls]

Monday, November 14, 2005

Cocaine Use in Germany: Mountains of Coke along the Rhine - International - SPIEGEL ONLINE - News

By Markus Becker

Germans, it turns out, snort more coke than originally thought. That is the result of a new study which measured cocaine residue in the country's rivers. Eleven tons of pure cocaine per year -- and that's just in the Rhine River region.

Songs From Gone Ain't Gone.


Factor in climate change dangers, insurers told - Business - Business

CLIMATE change is to blame for the increasing number and severity of natural disasters and should be included in risk modelling for insurance companies, a conference of insurers has heard.

Peter Hoeppe, head of geo-risks research/environmental management at Munich Reinsurance, told the Insurance Outlook Conference in Melbourne on Friday that the industry had an obligation to protect itself from an increasingly angry earth.

Bigger, Stronger Homemade Bombs Now to Blame for Half of U.S. Deaths

: "BAGHDAD - After 31 months of fighting in Iraq, more than half of all American fatalities are now being caused by powerful roadside bombs that blast fiery, lethal shrapnel into the cabins of armored vehicles, confronting every patrol with an unseen, menacing adversary that is accelerating the U.S. death toll.
U.S. military officials, analysts and militants themselves say insurgents have learned to adapt to U.S. defensive measures by using bigger, more sophisticated and better-concealed bombs known officially as improvised explosive devices, or IEDs. They are sometimes made with multiple artillery shells and Iranian TNT, sometimes disguised as bricks, boosted with rocket propellant, and detonated by a cell phone or a garage door opener.
The bombs range from massive explosives capable of destroying five-ton vehicles to precision 'shaped charges' that bore softball-size holes through thick armor, the main defense of troops in the field, and they are becoming a key factor in the fast-rising U.S. death toll."

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Climate change 'disaster by 2026'

Climate change 'disaster by 2026': "Dangerous levels of climate change could be reached in just over 20 years if nothing is done to stop global warming, a WWF-UK study claims.
At current rates, the Earth will be 2C above pre-industrial levels some time between 2026 and 2060, says a paper by Dr Mark New of Oxford University.
Polar bears are at risk if the Arctic summer sea ice melts
Temperatures in the Arctic could rise by three times this amount, he says. " - Canada - Canada gravely threatened by climate change - study

TORONTO -- A draft report says Canada is more vulnerable to climate change than any other industrialized country, but is unprepared to deal with the impacts.

The Toronto Star says the unpublished study lists damage to forestry, fishing and agriculture from higher temperatures and less reliable precipitation.

It also predicts that large swaths of Ontario's boreal forest are also likely to die over the next century.

The draft report from the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy was specially commissioned by Prime Minister Paul Martin.

The round table - an advisory body of business and labour leaders, academics, environmentalists and other activists - was created by the federal government in 1994.

A United Nations-sponsored climate change conference set for Montreal begins at the end of the month.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Boeing jet goes the distance

LONDON -- It was the mother of all red-eye flights.

Hong Kong to London the hard way, eastbound with the winds. Nonstop across two oceans and North America -- more than half way around the world.

By the time the wheels of the Boeing jet touched down at London's Heathrow airport at 1:18 p.m. local time Thursday, it had set a distance record of 11,664 nautical miles. Flight time was 22 hours, 42 minutes.

That's more than half-way around the world or, measured on the same scale your car's odometer uses -- 13,422 statute miles or 21,601 kilometers.

Since the dawn of the jet age more than a half century ago, no jetliner had ever flown as far nonstop without refueling.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

The Globe and Mail: B.C. lab develops rapid HIV test

A new Canadian-designed blood test can determine whether a patient is HIV-positive in one minute.

The INSTI kit, which has been approved by Health Canada, is a pinprick test that can be administered at doctors offices, clinics, or care facilities and has shown a 99.6 per cent accuracy rate. The 60-second test is the first point-of-care test of its kind in Canada.

The kit, developed by privately-held bioLytical Laboratories in Richmond, B.C., detects the presence of antibodies to HIV, or Human Immunodeficiency Virus, the precursor to AIDS, in whole blood, serum, or plasma. Currently, an HIV test in Canada can take anywhere from five to 10 days.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Independent Online Edition > Middle East

By Peter Popham
Published: 08 November 2005

Powerful new evidence emerged yesterday that the United States dropped massive quantities of white phosphorus on the Iraqi city of Fallujah during the attack on the city in November 2004, killing insurgents and civilians with the appalling burns that are the signature of this weapon.

Ever since the assault, which went unreported by any Western journalists, rumours have swirled that the Americans used chemical weapons on the city.

On 10 November last year, the Islam Online website wrote: "US troops are reportedly using chemical weapons and poisonous gas in its large-scale offensive on the Iraqi resistance bastion of Fallujah, a grim reminder of Saddam Hussein's alleged gassing of the Kurds in 1988."

The website quoted insurgent sources as saying: "The US occupation troops are gassing resistance fighters and confronting them with internationally banned chemical weapons."

In December the US government formally denied the reports, describing them as "widespread myths". "Some news accounts have claimed that US forces have used 'outlawed' phosphorus shells in Fallujah," the USinfo website said. "Phosphorus shells are not outlawed. US forces have used them very sparingly in Fallujah, for illumination purposes.

"They were fired into the air to illuminate enemy positions at night, not at enemy fighters."

But now new information has surfaced, including hideous photographs and videos and interviews with American soldiers who took part in the Fallujah attack, which provides graphic proof that phosphorus shells were widely deployed in the city as a weapon.

In a documentary to be broadcast by RAI, the Italian state broadcaster, this morning, a former American soldier who fought at Fallujah says: "I heard the order to pay attention because they were going to use white phosphorus on Fallujah. In military jargon it's known as Willy Pete.

"Phosphorus burns bodies, in fact it melts the flesh all the way down to the bone ... I saw the burned bodies of women and children. Phosphorus explodes and forms a cloud. Anyone within a radius of 150 metres is done for."

Photographs on the website of RaiTG24, the broadcaster's 24-hours news channel,, show exactly what the former soldier means. Provided by the Studies Centre of Human Rights in Fallujah, dozens of high-quality, colour close-ups show bodies of Fallujah residents, some still in their beds, whose clothes remain largely intact but whose skin has been dissolved or caramelised or turned the consistency of leather by the shells.

A biologist in Fallujah, Mohamad Tareq, interviewed for the film, says: "A rain of fire fell on the city, the people struck by this multi-coloured substance started to burn, we found people dead with strange wounds, the bodies burned but the clothes intact."

The documentary, entitled Fallujah: the Hidden Massacre, also provides what it claims is clinching evidence that incendiary bombs known as Mark 77, a new, improved form of napalm, was used in the attack on Fallujah, in breach of the UN Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons of 1980, which only allows its use against military targets.

Meanwhile, five US soldiers from the elite 75th Ranger Regiment have been charged with kicking and punching detainees in Iraq.

The news came as a suicide car bomber killed four American soldiers at a checkpoint south of Baghdad yesterday.

Powerful new evidence emerged yesterday that the United States dropped massive quantities of white phosphorus on the Iraqi city of Fallujah during the attack on the city in November 2004, killing insurgents and civilians with the appalling burns that are the signature of this weapon.

Ever since the assault, which went unreported by any Western journalists, rumours have swirled that the Americans used chemical weapons on the city.

On 10 November last year, the Islam Online website wrote: "US troops are reportedly using chemical weapons and poisonous gas in its large-scale offensive on the Iraqi resistance bastion of Fallujah, a grim reminder of Saddam Hussein's alleged gassing of the Kurds in 1988."

The website quoted insurgent sources as saying: "The US occupation troops are gassing resistance fighters and confronting them with internationally banned chemical weapons."

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Melting Mountains

How Climate Change is Destroying the World's Most Spectacular Landscapes

Friday, November 04, 2005

SPIEGEL Surfs the Web: FEMA Head's Katrina E-Mails - International - SPIEGEL ONLINE - News

Former FEMA head Michael Brown is having a bad autumn. First, he bungled the federal response to Hurricane Katrina, and now e-mails he wrote during the crisis have been posted on the Web. They are far from flattering. more...

Democracy Now! | Mark Crispin Miller: “Kerry Told Me He Now Thinks the Election Was Stolen”

New York University professor and author Mark Crispin Miller says in an interview on Democracy Now!: “[Kerry] told me he now thinks the election was stolen. He says he doesn't believe he is the person that can be out in front because of the sour grapes question. But he said he believes it was stolen. He says he argues with his democratic colleagues on the hill. He said he had a fight with Christopher Dodd because he said there's questions about the voting machines and Dodd was angry.” [includes rush transcript]

Thursday, November 03, 2005

CANOE -- CNEWS - Science: Dramatic weather changes due to human activity, climate change

DARTMOUTH, N.S. (CP) - Canadians can expect to be living in a much different environment in the near future as the earth's temperature continues to rise and climate change becomes more linked to wild weather, says a senior climatologist.

Dave Phillips of Environment Canada said forecasting models suggest the country will see everything from more rain, less snow, rising sea levels, disappearing lakes, stronger storms and the introduction of species more suited to warmer climes.

CBC News: EU to investigate allegations of secret CIA prisons

"As far as the treatment of prisoners is concerned ... it is clear that all 25 member states having signed up to European Convention on Human Rights, and to the International Convention Against Torture, are due to respect and fully implement the obligations deriving from those treaties."

Abbing warned such prisons could violate EU human rights laws. But he also admitted the EU head office could not take action against member states if they are found to have violated human rights.

Meanwhile, U.S. officials have refused to confirm or deny the Washington Post report regarding the CIA-run prisons.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

ActForChange Petition: President Bush: No Pardons for Treason

There is no graver crime than to mislead a country into war, and then lie to cover it up.

The case of who disclosed the identity of Valerie Plame, a CIA covert operative working to stop the spread of weapons of mass destruction, reaches into the highest levels of the White House. Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald has now indicted Assistant to the President and Vice Presidential Chief of Staff Scooter Libby. Senior Advisor to the President Karl Rove has yet to be indicted but is still under investigation.

President Bush, who has already broken his public promise to fire anyone involved in the leak, is probably considering pardoning those involved before any trial, just as his father did more than a decade ago in pardoning six high-level officials who broke the law in providing arms to Iran and the Nicaraguan contras.

This case has always been about the Bush Administration's brazen efforts to mislead the American public into supporting the invasion of Iraq. With the nation in mourning for our 2000 slain soldiers, nothing could be more offensive than to pardon those who misled us, covered it up, and then endangered the lives of undercover CIA agents in order to intimidate those who stood up for the truth.

This isn't a failed real estate deal or a stained blue dress -- this is the national security of the United States. Thousands have already died, with more to come. Regrettably, we cannot be sure that justice will be served in this case. President Bush has the unilateral power to pardon Libby, Rove and anyone else who might be accused of a crime, even before their trial.

NewsTrolls ~ News Under the Radar

8 Year Old Iranian Boy Caught Stealing Bread Submitted on November 1, 2005 10:11 a.m. by anymouse.

Rhetoric Meets Reality in the Budget Season

Republicans want to starve the poor. It was unfortunate political timing for House Republicans: On Friday, as the Agriculture Committee was drafting budget-cutting legislation that could knock 295,000 people off food stamps, the Agriculture Department released findings that 529,000 more Americans went hungry last year than in 2003. The juxtaposition neatly encapsulated the problems that Republicans will have this week and next when they try to put their rhetorical zeal for spending restraint into legislative action. Submitted on November 1, 2005 1:50 p.m. by anymouse.

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