September 5, 2005

News for September 5, 2005

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Chinese activist warns of nuclear war (September 1, 2005) - China is preparing for nuclear war with the United States over Taiwan, and a conflict is likely in the near future because of divisions among Beijing’s leaders, a Chinese democracy activist says. Wei Jingsheng, a leading international advocate for political reform in China, said in an interview with The Washington Times that President Bush and other U.S. leaders do not fully understand the chance of a conflict breaking out and must do more to avert it. “Sino-U.S. relations are reaching a crucial point and most of the American public does not know about,” said Mr. Wei, who spent almost 18 years in Chinese prisons before his release in 1997. “The United States needs to pay more attention to the possibility of nuclear war with China.” Mr. Wei said he has heard from government officials in China, including some within the military, who are worried by the growing chance of a nuclear war. Recent Chinese military exercises and a Chinese general’s threat to use nuclear missiles against U.S. cities are two signs of the danger, said Mr. Wei, who has an office in Washington. more...


Russia Maintaining Offensive Bio Weapons (August 31, 2005) - Evidence indicates that Russia along with Iran, North Korea and Syria continues to maintain biological weapons programs, AP reported Tuesday citing a U.S. State Department report. The study, mandated by Congress, assesses compliance by foreign countries with arms control, nonproliferation and disarmament agreements. It covers developments over a two-year period ending in December 2004. Available evidence shows that Russia “continues to maintain” an offensive biological weapons program, the report said. The United States also reaffirms its judgment that China “maintains some elements of an offensive BW capability” in violation of the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention. more...


You can use the f-word in class (but only five times) (August 29, 2005) - A secondary school is to allow pupils to swear at teachers - as long as they don't do so more than five times in a lesson. A running tally of how many times the f-word has been used will be kept on the board. If a class goes over the limit, they will be ‘spoken’ to at the end of the lesson. The astonishing policy, which the school says will improve the behaviour of pupils, was condemned by parents’ groups and MPs yesterday. They warned it would backfire. Parents were advised of the plan, which comes into effect when term starts next week, in a letter from the Weavers School in Wellingborough, Northamptonshire. more...


Kuwaiti: ‘The Terrorist Katrina’ is a Soldier of Allah’ (September 2, 2005) - In reaction to Hurricane Katrina and the destruction in its wake, a high-ranking Kuwaiti official, Muhammad Yousef Al-Mlaifi, who is director of the Kuwaiti Ministry of Endowment’s research center, published an article titled “The Terrorist Katrina is One of the Soldiers of Allah, But Not an Adherent of Al-Qaeda.” [1] The article appeared August 31, 2005 in the Kuwaiti daily Al-Siyassa. The following are excerpts from his article: “The Terrorist Katrina is One of the Soldiers of Allah…” “...As I watched the horrible sights of this wondrous storm, I was reminded of the Hadith of the Messenger of Allah [in the compilations] of Al-Bukhari and Abu Daoud. The Hadith says: ‘The wind is of the wind of Allah, it comes from mercy or for the sake of torment. When you see it, do not curse it, [but rather] ask Allah for the good that is in it, and ask Allah for shelter from its evil.’ more...


Canada Border Guards Walk Off Job (September 2, 2005) - News that an armed and dangerous fugitive in the US might be heading for Canada caused customs officers to walk off the job Wednesday. The agents walked off the job citing their rights under the Labour code to refuse dangerous work. Ron Moran, national president of the Customs and Excise Union (CEUDA) that represents the agents, said that guards in Fort Erie were issued a photo of a criminal who escaped from custody in Winchester, Ky., and told to let him through. The idea, as he understood it, was to allow the man to walk into the waiting arms of the police. Dramatic events took place Wednesday at the Rainbow, Peace and Queenston Bridges in Fort Erie and Niagara Falls, ON, that prompted more than forty full-time Customs Officers, including student tasked with Customs duties, to exercise their rights under the Labour Code to refuse dangerous work. Labour Affairs Officers are still assessing the situation and Customs Officers at those locations continue to be on work-refusal status with no sign of a quick resolution in sight. more...


PM and Netanyahu Reject February Primary Date (September 5, 2005) - Their remarks came after Sharon and his main rival, former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, both rejected a compromise over the primary’s date that ministers Silvan Shalom, Tzachi Hanegbi and Limor Livnat proposed Sunday. The three ministers, who plan to meet again with both candidates in the coming days, suggested that the primary be held in February and that both publicly pledge to remain in the Likud if they lose. Netanyahu and the third candidate, MK Uzi Landau, both want the primary to be held in November or December, while Sharon prefers to hold it in May 2006, six months before the scheduled date for national election, in November 2006. Netanyahu has already announced that he would remain in the Likud if he loses, but Sharon has publicly declared that he would never agree to be Netanyahu’s No. 2. Sharon has also refused to pledge to remain in the Likud in private conversations with ministers who support him. That has posed a problem for some of these ministers. “How can we go with him if he doesn’t promise to remain in the Likud?” asked one. more...


Israel Rejects Claims by Palestinians That Pullout Won’t End Gaza Occupation (September 5, 2005) - The controversy over the border flared up over the weekend after Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas said that even after the pullout from the Gaza Strip, Israel would still be occupying some Palestinian land there. “The evacuation of the settlers, the settlements and the army from the strip are steps in the right direction, but it does not mean the end of the occupation .... There are lands in eastern and northern Gaza [such as the Karni and Erez border crossings] still under occupation,” Abbas said in an interview published yesterday in the Palestinian daily Al Quds. “We need to renegotiate the details and get back to the real border,” Abbas said, referring to the pre-1967 border between Israel and Gaza. Israel says that the 1949 cease-fire line was altered afterward based on an agreement between Israel and Egypt, which controlled the Gaza Strip at the time. The amended border was also used later during the Oslo Accords, with the PA’s consent. Israel maintains that the border determined in the Gaza and Jericho agreement of 1994 is the one that counts. The border controversy has led to the PA suspending talks with Israel on the new terminal at the Erez checkpoint, claiming that it is on Palestinian land. Israel is proceeding with building a large terminal with corridors for people and merchandise and waiting rooms. more...


Some evacuees see religious message in Katrina (September 5, 2005) - In the last week, Joseph Brant lost his apartment, walked by scores of dead in the streets, traversed pools of toxic water and endured an arduous journey to escape the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in his hometown New Orleans. On Sunday, he was praising the Lord, saying the ordeal was a test that ended up dispelling his lifelong distrust of white people and setting his life on a new course. He said he hitched a ride on Friday in a van driven by a group of white folks. “Before this whole thing I had a complex about white people; this thing changed me forever,” said Brant, 36, a truck driver who, like many of the refugees receiving public assistance in Houston, Texas, is black. “It was a spiritual experience for me, man,” he said of the aftermath of a catastrophe al Qaeda-linked Web sites called evidence of the “wrath of God” striking an arrogant America. Brant was one of many refugees across Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi who gave thought to religion on Sunday, almost a week after the floods changed their lives, perhaps forever. At the Astrodome in Houston, where 16,000 refugees received food and shelter, Rose McNeely took the floods as a sign from God to move away from New Orleans, where she said her two grown children had been killed in past years in gunfights. “I lost everything I had in New Orleans,” she said. “He brought me here because he knows.” more...


Chinese death toll in wake of Typhoon Talim rises as a million flee (September 5, 2005) - Landslides and flooding have killed at least 24 people in south-east China, adding to a rising death toll caused by torrential rains, the official Xinhua News Agency reported yesterday. Some 19 deaths were reported over the past two days in Yuexi, a county in Anhui province, where more than 10,000 houses have been destroyed and 210,000 people forced from their homes or otherwise affected, Xinhua said. More than 30,000 people have been evacuated from the area and 200 rescued from floodwaters, it said. Telephone exchanges, electricity and water supplies, and roads in the area have been either knocked out or badly damaged, the report said. Another five people in neighbouring Jiangxi province were killed and at least eight were missing after flooding and landslides. Around China, at least 82 people - possibly many more - have died in storms, floods and landslides brought on by Typhoon Talim when it hit the mainland last week, according to sometimes conflicting media reports. more...


Iran’s leader calls for Jihad against Israel (September 5, 2005) - Iran’s supreme leader hailed Palestinian militants for “expelling the Zionist regime from Gaza” and called for the “continuation and fortification of resistance and Jihad,” or holy struggle. “The only way to confront the Zionist enemy is the continuation and fortification of resistance and Jihad,” Ayatollah Ali Khamenei was quoted as saying Saturday in a meeting with the militant group Islamic Jihad’s secretary general Ramazan Abdullah. “Although the retreat of the Zionist regime from Gaza is short of Palestinian rights and demands, it is however a big victory that shows the inability of the occupier regime of Qods (Jerusalem),” the ISNA news agency quoted Khamenei as saying. He added that “with the cooperation of Jihadi groups”, further “success is also possible in other parts of the occupied territories”. Iran is frequently accused of funding and supplying Palestinian militant groups, but the clerical regime says it only provides “moral” backing. Tehran also refuses to recognise Israel. more...


Brokaw to Focus on Evangelical Movement (September 5, 2005) - “While attendance at traditional churches has been declining for decades,” Tom Brokaw says, “the evangelical movement is growing, and it is changing the way America worships.” Consider New Life Church in Colorado Springs, Colo., which marks the Easter holiday with a full-scale staging of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ — with a cast and crew of 750 mostly coming from the church’s membership of 11,000. The phenomenon of such an evangelical “mega-church” is part of Brokaw’s focus on “In God They Trust,” a one-hour NBC News special airing 8 p.m. EDT Friday. Brokaw notes that evangelical Christians have become a powerful force in American culture, politics and the economy, and that, propelled by their faith, they’re determined to spread the word. But he also explores why so many Americans are turning to this expression of faith, and whether some evangelicals are going too far: imposing on others their spiritual beliefs not only for personal reasons but also for political reasons. Brokaw talks with families at New Life as well as cadets at the nearby U.S. Air Force Academy. And he interviews Ted Haggard, president of the National Association of Evangelicals (which represents 45,000 churches) and New Life’s pastor. Haggard “believes that America is entering a new period of religious intensity that will alter both souls and society,” reports Brokaw. Attempting to explain the growth of the evangelical moment, Haggard says, “It’s not political — it’s authentically spiritual renewal.” But Haggard, who speaks regularly with the White House, also declares that, although Americans live in a pluralistic society, “all of us have a responsibility to advance God's will through government.” more...


Report: U.S. Urges Allies to Ease Pressure on Israel (September 4, 2005) - Citing senior officials within the Bush administration, the Times said the Americans’ top priority in the Middle East is for Israel to complete its military withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and for Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas to show he can impose security control over the area being evacuated. Bush administration officials openly hope Sharon remains in charge of the Likud and later carries out steps to accommodate the Palestinians, the Times said. “There’s no question that we are aware of the toll that the whole disengagement debate took on Israelis,” a senior administration official told the paper. “In our view, the message to Prime Minister Sharon from people in New York should be one of congratulations, not one of new pressures.” Since the disengagement, Palestinian leaders have called on Israel to work to halt the growth of West Bank settlements. “We will be saying to anyone who asks us that if your goal is Israeli-Palestinian progress, you’re not going to get there by misunderstanding the Israeli political situation,” the unnamed official told the Times. The newspaper reported that the Americans will seek to stave off diplomatic pressure on Israel later this month, during the United Nations General Assembly summit meeting, which Sharon is expected to attend. The Likud Central Committee will vote on September 26 on a proposal to advance the party’s leadership primaries, thereby effectively beginning the process of ousting Sharon as the party’s head. more...


US Chief Justice Rehnquist Dies (September 4, 2005) - Mr. Rehnquist - a conservative who had served on the court since 1972 - had been suffering from thyroid cancer. A Supreme Court spokeswoman said there had been a “precipitous decline” in his health over the past few days. His death creates the second court opening within four months after the announced retirement of Justice Sandra Day O’Connor. He was first diagnosed with cancer in October but had kept working up to the final days of his life. President Richard Nixon nominated him to the Supreme Court in 1972 and Ronald Reagan appointed him chief justice in 1986. He championed states’ rights, supported the death penalty and opposed abortion. more...


Converts to Islam biggest threat’ (September 4, 2005) - A group of converts to Islam with links to the Jema’ah Islamiyah Muslim extremist network is the biggest “headache” facing Metro Manila, National Security Adviser Norberto Gonzales said on Saturday. The Rajah Sulayman Group, made up entirely of Filipino Christians who have converted to Islam, has ties with the domestic Abu Sayyaf Muslim rebel group and the Jema’ah Islamiyah regional Muslim extremist network, Gonzales said in an interview on government radio. “They are the biggest headache because they are former Christians. They are from [the main island of] Luzon, from Manila, so they know their way around Manila,” he said. The group was receiving funds from the Middle East but he did not elaborate. Gonzales remarked that the Abu Sayyaf leader Khadaffy Janjalani, whose group is behind the worst kidnapping and bombing incidents in the Philippines, had boasted that they had trained 80 members of the Rajah Sulayman group. Gonzales believes, however, that the group has only a little more than 20 actual members. more...


Scientists rip district’s evolution policy (September 4, 2005) - Rio Rancho’s public-school district should abolish a policy that opens the doors for religion in science classes, says a group of University of New Mexico scientists. The people who chair UNM’s anthropology, biology, chemistry, earth and planetary sciences, physics and astronomy, and mathematics and statistics departments have signed a letter opposing the policy. The Rio Rancho school board voted 3-2 on Aug. 22 to adopt a policy allowing alternative theories of evolution to be discussed in science classes. The policy was proposed by board member and full-time pastor Don Schlichte, who has said it follows scientific principals of critical thinking and “opens the door for more academic freedom.” Other board members who supported the measure have strong Christian ties. Opponents accused them of trying to introduce “intelligent design” into Rio Rancho’s public-school curriculum. The theory of intelligent design says life on Earth is too complex to have developed through evolution, implying that a higher power must have had a hand in creation. Critics say it’s religion masquerading as science. The scientists’ letter was mailed Thursday to Sue Cleveland, Rio Rancho’s superintendent of schools. “The policy is a means to facilitate the introduction of completely nonscientific ideas like ‘intelligent design’ and unscientific ‘evidence against evolution’ into the public schools’ science classrooms, and we reject such attempts,” the letter said. “The policy, written by nonscientists who admitted the aforementioned, changes the intent of the State Content Standards and, in effect, changes the definition of science itself in the process,” the letter said. Schlichte refused comment on the letter. more...


Stop the atrocities – stop selling young Indian girls to old oil rich Arabs India Daily (September 4, 2005) - Still in Hyderabad, old Arabs flock to buy young Indian girls. The price is cheap for these old oil rich Arabs buying tens of young Indian girls for their sexual pleasures. According to media sources, “Arab Shiekh marries poor Indian girl”, “Arab marries, and then ditches teenage Hyderabadi girl”, “Arab Sheikhs marry young Indian girls and flee”, “Parents marry off daughter to Arab for money” - The headlines aren’t from decades old newspapers. But, before you start putting stress on your grey cells to find out in which era such inhuman acts happened, let’s make clear that this is a “harsh present day reality”. Yes, in today’s era also Arab Shiekhs marry poor Indian girls paying a paltry sum, live with them for a short while, and then, go back to their countries, abandoning the girls. And, in Hyderabad, also known as the City of Nawabs, the practice has become very common, with marriage becoming a trade and woman a commodity. more...


Computer models simulate universes developing and colliding as bubbles in the 5-D Hyperspace India Daily (September 4, 2005) - Bubble-particle formations and collisions in quantum vacuum using nonlinear stochastic modeling, and the use of these characteristics, primarily with collision frequency and efficiency manifests how the universes are developed and finally collide in the Hyperspace. The kinetic behavior along the 5-D spatial shows what really happens before individual big bang. The model then allows the bubbles to expand rapidly as the universes expand after the big bang. The model clearly shows that orderly expansion is not possible unless gravitational and electromagnetic radiation in the form of Fermions is applied. 4-D universes expand in a much more orderly fashion than a typical physical universes with 3-D spatial. more...