January 3, 2006

News for January 3, 2006

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Iran vows ‘crushing response’ to attack by U.S., Israel (January 3, 2006) - Iran warned on Sunday of a “crushing” response if its nuclear and military facilities were attacked by the U.S. or Israel. Top nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani said, however, that talk of such an attack most likely was “psychological warfare.” “Iran has prepared itself ... they will get a crushing response if they make such a mistake,” Larijani said on state-run television late Sunday. Larijani said Israel would “suffer greatly” if it launched an attack. “If there is any truth in such talks, Israel will suffer greatly. It’s a very small country within our range. Our (defense) preparedness is a deterrence,” he said. He also said a Russian proposal that the two nations enrich uranium in Russian territory could not ignore Iran’s right to carry out enrichment at home. “It’s not logical for a country to put the fate of its nation at the disposal of another country even if it’s a friend. You can meet part of your fuel needs from abroad. But is there a guarantee that nuclear fuel producers won’t play with you over price or other things? History and experience show that if you don’t have technology, you will damage your independence,” he said. Larijani’s remarks coincided with Tehran’s announcement that it had produced equipment for separating uranium from its ore, a fresh development in Tehran’s drive to control the whole nuclear fuel cycle - from mining uranium to enriching it for use in atomic reactors. European media have indicated in recent days that the U.S. was preparing its allies for a strike against Iran’s nuclear and military facilities with the aim of curtailing Iran’s nuclear program. Reports of a strike escalated after comments by Iran’s ultraconservative President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad who called Israel a “disgraceful blot” that should be “wiped off the map” and his call to relocated Israel to Europe or North America. more...


Illegals threaten closure of emergency rooms (January 3, 2006) - Hospital emergency rooms in Florida may soon be closing their doors as a result of increased demands by uninsured and under-insured patients – many of them illegal aliens. According to a new study by University of South Florida researchers, much of the demand on hospitals comes from new residents of the state. More than half of all emergency room patients in some Florida hospitals do not have insurance. Doctors who treat uninsured patients are not compensated for their treatment. As a result, hospitals in Florida have lost surgeons and stand to lose entire surgical departments. Some hospitals are having a hard time getting physicians to work because they are choosing to work in other areas where they will be fully compensated for the treatment they give. As WorldNetDaily previously reported, a study by a prominent medical attorney concludes the porous border with Mexico and the resulting influx of illegal aliens poses a major public health threat to the U.S. Madeleine Pelner Cosman, author of a report in the spring issue of the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons, is particularly concerned with increases in multiple drug-resistant tuberculosis, chagas disease, dengue fever, polio, hepatitis A, B, and C, she told Lou Dobbs on CNN in June. “Certain diseases that we thought we had vanquished years ago are coming back, and other diseases that we’ve never seen or rarely seen in America, because they’ve always been the diseases of poverty and the third world, are coming in now,” she said. As WorldNetDaily reported, even leprosy is suddenly on the radar of health officials. more...


Iran's HIV cases top 12,000 (January 2, 2006) - Some 12,556 people in Iran are infected with the HIV virus, 631 of whom have already developed AIDS, according to the health ministry’s latest figures reported by a student news agency. Based on the statistics reported the news agency ISNA, the age range of 25-34 with 3,800 cases accounts for the highest rate of infection and most of the reported cases are men, with 11,875, compared to 681 women. The report put the number of dead at 1,457. Intravenous drug use is still the main cause of infection at 62.3 percent, followed by unknown causes with 27.9 percent and sexual contact at 7.4 percent. The official number of the country’s infected was 10,265 in April. But with testing facilities limited and shunned sufferers often unwilling to come forward, experts estimate that as many as 40,000 people may be HIV positive.


Stomach Bug Mutates Into Medical Mystery (January 2, 2006) - First came stomach cramps, which left Christina Shultz doubled over and weeping in pain. Then came nausea and fatigue -- so overwhelming she couldn’t get out of bed for days. Just when she thought things couldn’t get worse, the nastiest diarrhea of her life hit -- repeatedly forcing her into the hospital. Doctors finally discovered that the 35-year-old Hilliard, Ohio, woman had an intestinal bug that used to be found almost exclusively among older, sicker patients in hospitals and was usually easily cured with a dose of antibiotics. But after months of treatment, Shultz is still incapacitated. “It’s been a nightmare,” said Shultz, a mother of two young children. “I just want my life back.” Shultz is one of a growing number of young, otherwise healthy Americans who are being stricken by the bacterial infection known as Clostridium difficile -- or C. diff -- which appears to be spreading rapidly around the country and causing unusually severe, sometimes fatal illness. That is raising alarm among health officials, who are concerned that many cases may be misdiagnosed and are puzzled as to what is causing the microbe to become so much more common and dangerous. “It’s a new phenomenon. It’s just emerging,” said L. Clifford McDonald of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. “We’re very concerned. We know it’s happening, but we’re really not sure why it’s happening or where this is going.” It may, however, be the latest example of a common, relatively benign bug that has mutated because of the overuse of antibiotics. more...


Council bans Australian flag (January 2, 2006) - THE New South Wales Government has urged a Sydney beachside council to rethink its decision not to fly the Australian flag over the iconic Bondi Pavilion amid suggestions the move was inspired by racial tensions. But Waverley Council’s deputy mayor said Premier Morris Iemma didn’t understand the facts and accused Liberal councillors of hijacking the issue for political gain. Mr. Iemma today urged the council to reconsider its 6-5 vote against flying the flag over the heritage-listed building. “Our flag is a symbol of national unity and the council decision is just ridiculous, they want to reconsider it and reconsider immediately,” he said. “There’s no excuse for anyone else to be saying ‘Well, because of the incidents, the riots of two weeks ago we’re not going to fly the Australian flag’. That is just ridiculous.” Waverley deputy mayor George Newhouse, who was among councillors who rejected the flag proposal, said it had nothing to do with racial tensions. “We already fly the flag at Bondi, we proudly fly the flag at Bondi and this decision has absolutely nothing to do with racism or Cronulla. It has everything to do with practical common sense,” Mr. Newhouse said. “The Pavilion is a heritage-listed building and it will cost thousands of dollars to perform a heritage study and then erect the poles, which don’t exist.” “We already have the flag, we love the flag, there is no problem with the flag and as for council banning the flag, it’s absolute nonsense.” more...


Wildfires Spread in Oklahoma, Texas, N.M. (January 2, 2006) - Wildfires raged across Oklahoma, Texas and New Mexico on Sunday, burning several homes in Oklahoma City and sparking patchworks of flames across the region as gusting winds blew flaming embers into the dry grass. In Texas, at least 20 fires sprang up Sunday, continuing several days of damaging grass fires that officials warned were likely to continue as long as the dry, warm and windy conditions held on. An 8,000-acre blaze threatened 200 homes near Carbon, about 125 miles west of Dallas, and at least three homes had been destroyed by evening. Just west of the Texas border in Hobbs, N.M., officials evacuated a nursing home, casino, community college and several neighborhoods as firefighters battled spreading grass fires on the western edge of the town of 29,000. In Oklahoma City, two neighborhoods were evacuated as flames snaked across the northeastern part of the city and several homes were in flames. One man suffered minor smoke inhalation after refusing to evacuate his home, Stanaland said. Firefighters later rescued the man in a field near his home. “We will overcome this challenge,” Oklahoma Gov. Brad Henry said in a televised news conference Sunday night as the fires continued to burn. Drought-like conditions have pushed the fire danger to critical levels across Oklahoma and Texas. more...


Artifacts with links to Bible unearthed (January 2, 2006) - Israeli archaeologists, screening tons of rubble scooped out of this ancient city’s sacred Temple Mount, have discovered hundreds of artifacts and coins, as well as jewelry, some with biblical links dating back more than three millennia. Most of the stones and earth originally were taken to an organic garbage dump in nearby Bethany, the New Testament town known in Arabic as Al-Azariya, and could not be retrieved. But a substantial portion was diverted to the Valley of Kidron, mentioned in the Old Testament and located just outside the Old City’s massive walls. This ambitious archaeological project, known as the Temple Mount Antiquities Operation, was started in November 2004, when Muslims excavated the sector north of Solomon’s Stables to build the massive underground Marwani Mosque. Its second season, now under way, will last until February. The Waqf, or Muslim officials who administer the site -- known to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary -- helped the Israelis arrange the transfer. Among the unusual finds extracted by Bar-Ilan University’s Gabriel Barkai and his team of students and volunteers is a “bulla,” or seal impression, thought to be used to close cloth sacks of silver. “It bears the name Gedalyahu Ben Immer Ha-Cohen, suggesting that the owner may have been a brother of Pashur Ben Immer, described in the Bible [Jeremiah 20:1] as a priest and temple official,” Mr. Barkai said. That verse says: “Pashur, the son of Immer the priest, who was also chief governor in the House of the Lord, heard that Jeremiah prophesied these things.” The team’s discoveries span 10,000 years “and belong to all the historical periods that transpired in Jerusalem,” Mr. Barkai said. One of the finds is a stone weight equivalent to four shekels (an ancient Hebrew measure, about 2 ounces), marked with words written in the ancient Hebrew alphabet. The site is not considered an archaeological dig. The workers use a technique called “wet sifting,” similar to the way prospectors pan for gold. Mr. Barkai’s team examines every particle, using large wire filters to rinse each one with cold water while looking for valuable objects. Some finds reflect the Temple Mount’s unique and dramatic history. An example of this is an iron arrowhead with a shaft used by the Roman legions during the siege of the Second Hebrew Temple 2,000 years ago. more...


‘Palestinians agree’: Wipe Israel off map (January 2, 2006) - A senior Palestinian official says Palestinians share the sentiment of Iran’s president that Israel should be “wiped off the map,” or at the very least, moved to Europe. The statement from Mahir al-Tahir, representative of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, was reported by the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting News Network. In November, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad threatened to “wipe Israel off the map.” Then in December, he suggested European nations should give up some of their territory if they believed the World War II-era Holocaust took place, noting, “certain European countries would have the world go with their stand that Hitler killed millions of innocent Jews in furnaces and have passed laws punishing anyone who says anything to the contrary.” “Granting without accepting that the Holocaust did occur, our question to the Europeans is: ‘If innocent Jews were indeed butchered by Hitler, why should Palestinians be made to pay the cost in order to seek redress for the occupiers of Jerusalem?’” Ahmadinejad continued: “If the killing of Jews in Europe is true and the Zionists are being supported because of this excuse, why should the Palestinian nation pay the price?” “The Islamic world should give up its policy of passivity and deal with the Palestinian issue more actively,” he said. On Friday, al-Tahir of the PFLP stated Ahmadinejad’s view is based on historical realities.


Pallywood, All the fake news you ever wanted that you watch every night (January 1, 2006) - Ever think that the news has been lying to you? Want to find out about who has been lying to you on the nightly news? Want to become angry about it? Want to see the way they manufacture lies for you to watch and get you to believe? This is a little different then what we normally do for news so hang on. This is a video story that you have to see: http://www.seconddraft.org/movies.php Click the Second one listed “Pallywood.”


Reports: U.S. preparing military strike on Iran (additional news) (January 1, 2006) - While the U.S. has always refused to take the military option off the table in dealing with Iran, the German press is reporting new developments that indicate the U.S. has gone from acknowledging the possibility of action against Tehran’s suspected clandestine nuclear weapons program to preparing its allies for a strike. According to Der Spiegel, the German daily, reports of a pending strike escalated following Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s recent statements that Israel should be wiped off the face of the map and his calls for Israelis to be relocated to Europe. On Dec. 23, a journalist for the German news agency DDP, who is also an intelligence expert, cited “western security sources” in a report claiming CIA Director Porter Goss asked Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to provide full intelligence cooperation and exchange for a possible air strike on Iran’s nuclear and military facilities. Goss reportedly provided Turkey with three dossiers at the Dec. 12 meeting containing evidence Tehran is cooperating with the Islamic terror network al-Qaida, as well as information about the current status of Iran’s weapons program. German security sources, it is reported, say Goss assured Erdogan Turkey would be alerted to any air strikes, should they occur, a few hours before they were launched. Goss also gave the Turkish government the “green light” to strike the separatist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in Iran if the U.S. proceeds. The governments of Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Oman and Pakistan were also informed in recent weeks that air strikes are a “possible option,” but no timeline was provided. more...


Mount St. Helens releasing lava at astonishing pace (January 1, 2006) - Roughly every three seconds, the equivalent of a large dump truck load of lava -- 10 cubic yards -- oozes into the crater of Mount St. Helens, and with the molten rock comes a steady drumfire of small earthquakes. The unremitting pace, going on for 15 months now, is uncommon, said U.S. Geological Survey geologist Dave Sherrod. Experts say it is unclear what the activity signifies or how much longer it will continue. “One view of this eruption is that we’re at the end of the eruption that began in 1980,” Sherrod said. “If it hadn't been so cataclysmic ... it might instead have gone through 30 or 40 years of domebuilding and small explosions.” St. Helens’ violent May 18, 1980, eruption blasted 3.7 billion cubic yards of ash and debris off the top of the mountain. Fifty-seven people died in the blast, which left a gaping crater in place of the perfect, snowclad cone that had marked the original 9,677-foot peak known as “America’s Mount Fuji.” St. Helens -- now 8,325 feet -- rumbled for another six years, extruding 97 million cubic yards of lava onto the crater floor in a series of 22 eruptions that built a 876-foot dome. The volcano, about 100 miles south of Seattle, fell silent in 1986. Then, in September 2004, the low-level quakes began -- occasionally spiking above magnitude 3. Since then, the mountain has squeezed out about 102 million cubic yards of lava, more in 15 months than in the six years after the eruption. Sherrod describes the movement of lava up through the volcano as being “like a sticky piston trying to rise in a rusty cylinder. These quakes are very small -- we think they’re associated with that sticking and slipping as the ground is deformed and relaxes.” The dome collapses and grows and collapses and grows, he said. “It changes its location ... it can’t seem to maintain its height at much more than it is now” -- about 1,300 feet. “Then it kind of shoves the sandpile aside and starts over.” more...


Four Palestinian terror groups mark the New Year by announcing end of purported de facto ceasefire in attacks on Israel (January 1, 2006) - They are Fatah-al Aqsa Brigades, Jihad Islami, the Popular Resistance Committees and the Hamas Ezz a-Din al Qassam. DEBKAfile adds: Before these announcements, 50 terrorist alerts, 10 specific, kept Israeli security on high alert over the weekend. The Israeli air force enforced its no-go zone in the northern Gaza Strip Saturday night by striking a missile crew on the point of launching another of the almost daily Qassam firings into Israel. Two crewmen were killed. Early Sunday, masked Palestinians blew up the UN club bar in Gaza City Sunday, up the security guard, a day after three British hostages were freed by Palestinian gunmen. The bar was almost the only place in Gaza that sold alcohol. Most of foreign staff have left the territory for fear of kidnapping.


Real Terrorists Rape Consumers (January 3, 2006) - How many times have we heard that filthy lie, “It’s for your own good,” as politicians and their owners overstuff their pockets and fat stomachs at your expense? Well, the other boot has finally dropped, and embedded in the rears of America’s working families. We saw it coming; the first thud was a pro-big-money overhaul of bankruptcy procedures that forces single mothers and workers unemployed by federal free-trade sellouts to pay off their debts, even if they can't buy groceries for their children. Debtors are forced to pay for indoctrination classes, even if they are disabled or lost their jobs, where they are given a restructuring plan to pay back debts after being ‘allowed’ a small amount for monthly living. In factoring what your cost of monthly living is, you now cannot subtract what you spend on food, transportation and clothing, but must use limits that the IRS imposes, allowing them to rule what you ‘truly’ need to live on with the same generosity they show elsewhere in their tax forms. “Too bad,” says the Fed, eager to suck up to the financial giants that give Congress-critters massive campaign contributions and cushy retirement jobs. The second boot-thud is from the “federal regulators” issuing “guidelines” that credit card issuers are pretending are mandatory statutes forcing them to ignore all previous contracts and starting January 1, 2006, to charge double the minimum monthly payments for all credit card balances. Want to know who these regulators are? They’re said to be the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, and Office of Thrift Supervision. Try finding the list of governing board members on any of these sites. Although they’re paid with our taxes, they’re as elusive as Mafia dons. Their new ‘guideline,’ which will often double minimum credit card payments, will drastically affect many household budgets. And they don’t care. more...


First TBN Drops Lindsey, Now Lindsey Drops TBN (January 3, 2006) - Hal Lindsey, considered the best-selling non-fiction writer alive today, has notified the Trinity Broadcasting Network he will not return to his twice-weekly Christian commentary program, “The International Intelligence Briefing,” because of what he considers to be efforts to muzzle his opinions about radical Islam. Lindsey, author of “The Late Great Planet Earth” and many other best-selling books and a weekly columnist for WND, has anchored the program for the last 12 years on the world’s largest Christian network. The announcement follows an abrupt six-week suspension of the popular TBN-sponsored program by Jan Crouch, TBN’s vice president for programming. Though John Casoria, TBN’s general counsel first told WorldNetDaily the show’s suspension was simply a traditional hiatus in lieu of seasonal programming, that statement was later revised to confirm that the network believed Lindsey's program “placed Arabs in a negative light.” Lindsey responded to this allegation: “I don’t have to cast radical Muslims in a bad light. If the intimidation and persecution of moderate Muslims makes radical Islam look bad, that is because it is bad – not that I ‘cast’ them in a bad light. But I have never cast the Arabs as a race in a bad light.” more...


7.3 Magnitude Shakers Strikes East of South Sandwich Islands (January 2, 2006) - A major earthquake occurred at 06:10:49 (UTC) on Monday, January 2, 2006. The magnitude 7.4 event has been located EAST OF THE SOUTH SANDWICH ISLANDS. (This event has been reviewed by a seismologist.) more...


US Archbishop Candid About Islamic Persecution of Christian (January 2, 2006) - “Archbishop Charles Chaput, of the diocese of Denver, broke free from politically correct restrictions to speak openly about growing Moslem persecution of Christians, in an address to the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom, of which he is a member.” So wrote Gudrun Schultz in a recent story carried on LifeSiteNews.com. In his story, Schultz quoted Archbishop Chaput as saying, “Anti-Christian discrimination and violence seem to be growing throughout the Islamic world. In the past several years, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Egypt, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia and even Moslem-controlled areas of the heavily Catholic Philippines have all seen extraordinary acts of bloodshed against Christians.” He went on to say, “The Archbishop expressed his concern over consistent lack of media attention given to acts of violence against Christians.” Schultz quoted the Archbishop as saying, “Three things distinguish anti-Christian persecution and discrimination around the world. First, it’s ugly. Second, it’s growing. And third, the mass media generally ignore or downplay its gravity.” Archbishop Chaput referred to media coverage of recent bloody persecution in Indonesia of the Christian minority, by Moslem extremists, as an example of media inaccuracy and neglect. more...