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Maravot News of the World
12:25 PM – San Francisco
Mon, Jan 2, 2006
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December 22, 2005 will be observed once again as "Global Minute for Peace Day." The event was first observed at the time of President John F. Kennedy's death. Click on image to read about this remarkable event founded by John McConnell – or how to participate.

Faces of the Fallen – Iraq

US & Coalition
Casualties, War in Iraq

Trends, Iraq Casualties

US Fatalities City Map
Coalition Fatalities by location across time.

Metric Conversion

kilometer: 0.6214 mile
meter: 39.37 inches
centimetre: 0.3937 inch
millimetre: 0.03937 inch
foot: 30.48 cm
Br. stone: 14 pounds
kilogram: 2.2046 pounds
litre: 1.0567 US quarts
hectare: 2.471 acres
– 1 djerib (Turkey)
– 1 jerib (Iran)
– 1 gong qing (China)
0° Celcius: = 32° F

Click on image for org. to impeach Bush & Cheney. Click here for talking points paper pdf. file download.

Federal Debt vs GDP– Click image for larger view. (OMB)

Chart showing National Debt & Annual Deficits with Presidents. Democrat administrations are blue, Republican in Red. Green reflects projected Bush debt. Click chart for larger image.

Interest exceeds Group A outlays. Click chart for larger image.

Gross Domestic Products. Click here for image.

Western News
Worth frequent visits

Village Voice
babble (

Skippy the Kangeroo
grumpy old man (PG-18)
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Aral Sea Disaster
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Greg Palast
information please
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IRIN News, Africa & Asia
Power & Interest News Report

Osama bin Laden fatwas.
This monster's own words will
lead to his destruction
Definition of fatwa (fatwah)
Maravot News Comment


August 1996

Maps of interest
Click on maps for larger image
Russia, Belarus and neighbors
Iraq and neighbors
Afghanistan & neighbors
Kazakhstan & neighbors

Historical map of Israel. Figure 2 shows the area allocated to
Israel by the UN in 1948. Compare to Israel' s interactive map below of its controversial security wall

Israel's Security Fence. Click on image for larger view or here for interactive link.

(AP photo) Click photo for story

Middle East Watch

Middle East Times


Kurdo's World (Blog)
Iraq the Model (Blog) (Iraq)
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Saudi Post
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Russia & Ukraine Watch

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Daily Times,com. pk
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Hindustan Times

xinhuanet (China)

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China Daily

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Big News Network
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Daily Yomiuri (Japan)

The Star (Malaysia

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Bangkok Post

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Kashmir Times
Press Trust of India

Daily News (Sri Lanka)

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Mel West

Maravot's Protest against
Bush consortium:

Relevant Works by Mel

The Romance of Anais, an Arthurian-style tale written 1996 describing how Bush got us in the mess in Iraq with a short commentary on the
Chang-an cheat
Tapestry of One – on the creed of Buddha,
Duty & Profit, Nov. 1994
Against Leviathan, Jan. 1993
Immoral Coercion, Dec. 1994
Philistia Triumph thou
because of me
, Dec. 1993
Quest for Human Dignity, July 1994

I am not responsible for the
content of any links
from this site.

Question: Has Bush caused the US to be outflanked?

The main Trend we have seen at Maravot News is that Bush's hostile policies worldwide have created new alliances among the EU, China, India, Russia and the Middle East. Also, the Monroe Doctrine is being challenged in South America.

News Headlines & Trends

12.30.05 The future of democracy as we knew it

December 29– An interview by David Swanson of Congressman John Conyers brings forth a statement on democracy from Conyers that can be compared to Demosthene's address, "On the Crown." The audio of Congressman John Conyers talks about the Bush Administration's national and international crimes, and their rule of law through "intimidation." The conversation was recorded by Swanson with the Congressman on December 29th and is well worth the hearing and also taking notes (for those who are studying Political Science or law). To listen to the 24 minute conversation, mp3, click here. The bills and and the report referred to in the conversation are here. David Swanson is a journalist affiliated with

12.30.05 Update, 12.29.05 Iraq Al Qaeda claims missile attack on Israel: website

DUBAI (Reuters) December 29 – Al Qaeda in Iraq said it had launched missiles at Israel from Lebanon as part of a ³new attack² on the Jewish state, a statement posted on the Web said on Thursday. It appeared to be the first claim of responsibility from Al Qaeda for an attack on Israel from Lebanon. A senior Israeli security source questioned the claim.

"The lion sons of Al Qaeda launched ... a new attack on the Jewish state by launching 10 missiles ... from the Muslimsı lands in Lebanon on selected targets in the north of the Jewish state," said the statement, attributed to Al Qaeda and posted on an Islamist Web site. The statement could not be authenticated, but was posted on a main Web site frequently used by Iraqi insurgent groups. It did not give the date of the attack.
[More>> ; See also ; Update 12.30.05,, "Lebanon opposition leader calls Al Qaeda claim 'Syrian game.'"]

12.30.05 Deadly attacks shake Baghdad

December 30 – A car bomber and a mortar have killed five people and injured 10 others in two separate attacks in Baghdad, Aljazeera reports. On Friday the car bomber blew himself up next to a police patrol in a commercial area on al-Kifah street, killing three Iraqi civilians and injuring two police officers, Lieutenant Ali Mitaab said. The mortar landed in Baghdad's Shourja market and killed three Iraqi civilians and injured 21 others, police Lieutenant Thaer Mahmoud said. The market was closed because of the Friday holiday. [More>>]

12.29.05 The future of the dollar

December 26 - January 2 issue – The smart money is betting, once again, that the days of the almighty dollar are numbered. And just because this prediction was startlingly wrong for 2005 doesn't mean it's wrong again for 2006. After a yearlong bull run fed by rising U.S. interest rates, political disarray in the euro zone and sustained dollar buying by Asian central banks, the dollar is running out of fuel, say economists and investors. The latest warning shot came when the European Central Bank, led by president Jean-Claude Trichet, earlier this month raised its basic interest rate for the first time in 30 months, a move that could attract investors to the euro. After the first quarter of 2006 "things get dicier" for the dollar, says Anton Pil, global head of fixed income for JP Morgan Private Bank. "You'll start seeing the unwinding of dollar positions back into euros and yen... and then the debt cloud will re-enter the picture." [More> ; See also Maravot News June 17, 1905, "Federal Debt not a concern of the press."]

Editorial note: China news agency Xinhuanet recently announced an increase in China's interest rates. There were earlier reports recorded by Maravot News on China's [partial] separation from the US dollar.

12.29.05 China confirms 7th human bird flu case

BEIJING (Xinhuanet) December 29 – The Ministry of Health on Thursday announced the country's seventh human case of H5N1 bird flu. The infected was a 41-year-old factory worker surnamed Zhou in Sanming City, east China's Fujian Province. She showed symptoms offever and pneumonia on Dec. 6 and was hospitalized two days later.She died on Dec. 21, according to a report released by the ministry. [More>>]

12.29.05 Govt talks resume; Shi'ite family massacred

DUKAN, Iraq (Reuters) December 30 – Iraq's most powerful Shi'ite politician met the country's Kurdish president at a lakeside retreat on Thursday to sketch out plans for a grand coalition government capable of ending violent sectarian unrest. In an illustration of the size of the task the politicians face, 11 members of a Shi'ite family had their throats slit in an attack south of Baghdad. Police said insurgents had warned the family to move out of their largely Sunni neighbourhood.

With Sunni politicians angry about the election results and Shi'ites seeking to press home their advantage after dominating the Dec. 15 poll, the meeting between Shi'ite leader Abdul Aziz al-Hakim and President Jalal Talabani in the Kurdish mountain resort of Dukan had been billed as a key encounter. "Among the things we discussed was the possibility of getting others involved in forming the next government," Hakim told a news conference afterwards. Hakim's Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq is part of a Shi'ite Islamist coalition that appears to have dominated the vote. The coalition, the United Iraqi Alliance, wants to press on with forming a government and has insisted it should choose the next prime minister.

12.29.05 Aid agencies predicted winter disaster – now it is reality for people of Kashmir

JANDALY, Kashmir, December 30 — ... According to Ishfaq Ahmed of the Kashmir International Relief Fund, 100 children have died of the cold in the past month in the towns of Muzaffarabad and Bagh alone, and the death toll in more remote regions must be higher.

Three and a half million earthquake victims are still homeless, many of them surviving in makeshift tent cities. Relief workers, who are already speaking of a lost generation, fear the death toll from the winter - temperatures dip to minus 10C at night - could exceed that of the quake. "The winter will be a bigger killer," said Mr. Ahmed...
[Full story>>]

12.29.05 US reports surge in Guantanamo hunger strike

WASHINGTON (Reuters) December 30 – The number of Guantanamo Bay prisoners taking part in a hunger strike that began nearly five months ago has surged to 84 since Christmas Day, the U.S. military said on Thursday. Forty-six detainees at the prison for foreign terrorism suspects at the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, joined the protest on the Christian holiday on Sunday, said Army Lt. Col. Jeremy Martin, a military spokesman. The prisoner population, which the Pentagon says numbers about 500, is believed to be uniformly Muslim. Only nine have been charged with any crime. [More>>]

12.27.05 Afghanistan may demand war compensation from Russia

KABUL (Xinhuanet) December 27 – The Afghan government on Tuesday hinted at demanding war compensation from Russia for the former Soviet Union's invasion of the country in 1979. "The government of Afghanistan is mulling over the issue," Presidential spokesman Mohammad Karim Rahimi told a questionnaire while his opinion was sought with regard to demanding war compensation from Moscow. He made the comment on the 26th anniversary of the ex-Soviet Union's invasion of Afghanistan. Over 100,000 troops of the former Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan on December 27, 1979 and occupied the country till Feb.15, 1989. The poor central Asian state plunged into civil war following the withdrawal of the Red Army and experienced brutal factional fighting as well as Taliban's hard-line rule till the regime's removal by the US-led war in 2001. [More>>]

12.27.05 US puts sanctions on Chinese firms for aiding Tehran

December 27 – Several Chinese companies involved in selling missile goods and chemical-arms materials to Iran have been hit with US sanctions, Bush administration officials said yesterday. The sanctions cover six Chinese government-run companies, two Indian firms and one Austrian company, according to officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity. The penalties have been under consideration since April and were approved by Deputy Secretary of State Robert B. Zoellick within the past several weeks. An announcement will be published in the US government's Federal Register in the next several days – and perhaps as early as today, the officials said. The sanctions were imposed under the Iran Nonproliferation Act, which Congress passed in 2000 to deter international support for Iran's nuclear, chemical and biological weapons programs and missile-delivery systems. [More>>]

12.27.05 Taliban warn of human-bombing blitz

December 27 – A top Taliban commander has said more than 200 fighters are willing to become attackers against US forces and their allies. In an interview late on Sunday with The Associated Press, the commander, Mullah Dadullah, ruled out any reconciliation with the government of Hamid Karzai, the Afghan president who is backed by the US, and claimed the country's new parliament, its first in more than 30 years, inaugurated last week, was "obedient to America." Dadullah spoke to the AP via satellite phone from an undisclosed location. He said he was inside Afghanistan. [More>>]

Editorial note: This story is an illustration of "out-of-bounds news reporting." Here an alleged AP reporter, serving as a propaganda medium, speaks with an alleged Taliban commander. How the reporter came to be contacted by the commander and aided him in getting his message out would be of interest to those concerned about stopping terrorism.There is a need for the international courts to set a criteria as to what constitutes aiding terrorists versus aiding freedom figthters. The Taliban don't have a reputation as "freedom fighters," and on this note I think the reporter would have done a legitimate service by turning over to authorities details on the Taliban commander that are known to him, to aid in preventing the alleged attacks.

Mel Copeland

12.27.05 Women, children found in Iraqi mass grave

KARBALA, Iraq (AFP) December 27 – The remains of women and children, believed to be victims of Saddam Husseinıs ousted regime, have been found in a mass grave dug up by workers who were laying down pipes in Iraqıs southern city of Karbala, a local official said on Tuesday. "The skulls of children and women with long hair were found in the grave," Abdel Rahman Meshawi, a spokesman for Karbala province told AFP. Some 20 bodies have so far been recovered and taken to the local hospital for DNA testing, he said. The people appear to have been victims of Saddamıs bloody suppression of a Shia uprising in 1991. "Inhabitants who lost relatives when a Shia rebellion was crushed in 1991 have come in to help assist with the identification," he added. The mass grave was uncovered by chance on Monday some 500 metres (yards) away from Imam Husseinıs mausoleum, in the centre of the Shia town, some 100 kilometres (60 miles) south of Baghdad. []

12.27.05 Arab world's first parliament meets in Cairo

CAIRO (Reuters) December 27 – The Arab worldıs first regional parliament held its inaugural meeting in Cairo on Tuesday but officials say it could be many years before the new institution gains enough clout to influence events in the region. The 88 members, four from the parliaments or advisory councils of each Arab League member, met at the leagueıs Cairo headquarters for a session addressed by Secretary-General Amr Moussa and Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.

Rawhi Fattouh, speaker of the Palestinian legislature, said the parliament would be valuable only if it kept an eye on the actions of Arab governments. "It must be a monitor of Arab executive institutions, but if it is just a union of parliaments then itıs not going to be important," he told reporters at the meeting. The concept of the Arab parliament was part of a package of institutional changes promoted by Moussa as a way to make the Arab League a stronger and more effective institution.

12.27.05 Kuwait sentences al Qaeda-linked militants to death

KUWAIT (Reuters) December 27 – A Kuwaiti court on Tuesday sentenced to death six suspected militants linked to al Qaeda for bloody attacks in the country. The six were among 37 Islamists on trial as members of the "Peninsula Lions" group believed to be linked to Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda in Iraq and Saudi Arabia. They include 25 Kuwaitis, seven stateless Arabs, two Jordanians, a Saudi, an Australian and a Somali. A Reuters reporter who was at the court said none of the defendants were present when the verdict was announced. Other suspects received jail terms of between four months to 15 years, and one received a life term. [More>>]

12.26.05 Bombs shake Baghdad

December 26 – Fighters have killed 10 Iraqi policemen and soldiers in attacks north of Baghdad, while the capital itself was rocked by five large explosions that left at least eight dead. Monday was one of the bloodiest days in Iraq since the largely peaceful election on 15 December, when rival ethnic and sectarian groups took part in a vote for a new parliament. By nightfall, at least 20 people had been killed and more than 40 injured.

The US military said, in Baghdad, five people were killed and 15 wounded when four car bombs exploded in quick succession as civilians travelled to work in the morning. Police said, later in the day, a parked motorbike loaded with explosives blew up in a market in a Shia neighborhood of Baghdad, killing at least three and wounding 23 others.

12.22.05 US suspends publication of Arab youth magazine

WASHINGTON, December 22 – The US State Department announced it was suspending print publication of an Arab youth magazine once billed as a key component of US public diplomacy but derided by critics as pop-culture "brainwashing." A statement said the department was halting the print version of "Hi" magazine, which had been selling only 2,500 copies a month, "to assess whether the magazine is meeting its objectives effectively."

"The purpose of this review will be to develop quantitative data on how broadly Hi magazine is reaching its intended audience," the statement said.

...Distributed at a cost of 4.5 million dollars a year, Hi eschewed political content for puff pieces on subjects ranging from Internet dating to rock climbing, yoga and sandboarding.

Its website currently features stories on President George W. Bush's home state of Texas, AIDS, special visual effects and an interview with a chef in a suburban Washington restaurant.
[Full story>>]

12.22.05 Blocked sewer leads to finding whole Jerusalem pool of Siloam

December 23 – If the central sewage line for Jerusalem's Old City, which runs down the slope of the village of Silwan, had not gotten blocked a year ago, it would probably have been many years before we would have discovered the real dimensions of the historic Pool of Siloam in the second Temple Period. The pool, whose present small dimensions date from Byzantine times, is the outlet for the spring water coursing through the ancient Hezekiah's tunnel. It was once huge – three to four dunams.

And if the huge dimensions of the pool had not been discovered, it is doubtful that the Israel Antiquities Authority and the Elad association, which is working for the development of the area also known as the City of David, would not have come across the dramatic discovery now underway: the far end of a street dating from the Herodian period, which begins at the outer southwestern corner of the Temple Mount and is familiar to visitors to the Western Wall.
[ More>>]

12.22.05 Saddam denounces White House "liars" at trial

BAGHDAD (Reuters) December 22 – Saddam Hussein denounced American leaders as liars at a turbulent court hearing on Thursday and his once feared intelligence chief abused prosecutors before threatening to walk out. The former Iraqi president, on trial for his life, said the White House had lied to justify its 2003 invasion of Iraq by saying he had chemical weapons, and had lied again on Wednesday when it denied his claim he was tortured in US custody. He again alleged torture at Thursdayıs hearing and said he had twice been denied medical treatment while in captivity.

"The White House are liars," he told the court, where he and seven others, including his half-brother and former intelligence chief Barzan Ibrahim Al Tikriti, stand accused of crimes against humanity. "They said Iraq had chemical weapons."

Saddam said he had marks on his body to prove he had been tortured by the Americans. He did not show any marks and the judge has not so far ordered an investigation. The White House has already dismissed his torture claim as ²preposterous² and was backed up on Thursday by Raed Jouhi, the Iraqi magistrate who brought the case against Saddam to court.

12.22.05 Probes reveal BLA's links with Al-Qaeda

ISLAMABAD, December 22 – The initial investigations of the rocket attack on President Gen. Pervaiz Musharraf during his visit of Kohlo Balochistan revealed that the Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) had links with Al-Qaeda outfit. The weapons being used by the Balochistan Liberation Army are similar to those being used by Taliban and Al-Qaeda forces in Afghanistan, according to well-placed sources.

"Total strength of the Liberation Army is around 100,000 people, most of them are out of the country and the young people working for this Army are getting a salary of around Rs. 8,000 each and working with ranks like major and colonel," the sources added.

12.22.05 Foreign tourists kidnapped in Yemen

December 22 – Two foreign tourists, believed to be Austrians, have been kidnapped while visiting a tourist site in the northern Yemeni province of Marib, local officials and police say. The local officials in Marib, speaking on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to deal with security issues, said tribal gunmen on Wednesday kidnapped the two Austrian tourists and probably took them to an area called Abeda. Police officials, also speaking on condition of anonymity because they are not allowed to deal with the media, confirmed the kidnapping of two foreign tourists, but said they were not sure of the nationality of the two.

Tribesmen kidnap Westerners from time to time in Yemen, often to try to force concessions from the government. The hostages are usually released unharmed, but several were killed in 2000 when security forces carried out a raid to force their release. The police officials said the kidnappers were from the Abeda tribe and that government forces had been sent to the area.

12.22.05 Over 2,500 Indians imprisoned in Saudi Arabia

NEW DELHI (PTI) December 22 – As many as 2,548 Indians were imprisoned in Saudi Arabia during the last two years, government told the Rajya Sabha on Thursday. While 1,444 Indian nationals were imprisoned last year,1,104 were jailed this year till December 9 as per the intimation received from the government of Saudi Arabia, Minister of State for External Affairs E Ahamed said in a written reply.

With regard to Abdul Lateef Naushad, who has been sentenced by a Saudi court that his one eye be gouged for partially blinding a local, the Minister said India has sent a mercy petition to Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz al Saud and Governor of Dammam, where Lateef is imprisoned.

12.22.05 Military secrecy alarms Japan

December 23 – A minister's criticism of the Chinese arms build-up departs from the offical line. Relations between Tokyo and Beijing worsened yesterday when the recently appointed Japanese Foreign Minister condemned the secrecy surrounding Chinaıs rising military spending.The remarks by Taro Aso, who expressed concern at a news conference that China was ³a neighbour with one billion people, has nuclear weapons, and has been expanding its military spending by double digits for 17 consecutive years," were denounced as ³highly irresponsible² by the Chinese Foreign Ministry.

Mr Aso, who has strong nationalist views, referred to the ³perception that China is becoming a major threat," and said that Beijingıs lack of transparency ³fans the anxiety." But political analysts said that his comments marked an important departure from Japanıs official line, which has always stopped short of publicly describing China as a military threat.
[More>> ; See also, " Aso: China starting to pose considerable threat." and, "Japanese FM remarks irresponsible: China."]

12.22.05 China says bird flu prevention measures pay off

BEIJING (Reuters) – An intensive poultry vaccination campaign and enforced quarantine of bird flu outbreak areas have shown results in China's fight against bird flu, state media said on Friday. Only one county out of 31 to have reported the deadly H5N1 strain this year remained under isolation and there had been no new outbreaks for about three weeks, the China Daily quoted chief veterinarian Jia Youling as saying. Since October, China had also vaccinated more than 5 billion birds, the newspaper said, which has led to H5N1 being eradicated from the western region of Xinjiang.

"In the case of Xinjiang, we intensified inoculation of birds in November -- especially on fowl that might have been spared shots earlier," Jia was quoted as saying. But he warned more cases could be found as the winter progresses and turns into spring, the peak flu season, and said that the government would not let down its guard.
[More>> ; See also, "Optimism increases in bird flu battle."]

12.22.05 Indonesia confirms two more human bird flu fatalities

JAKARTA (AFP) December 23 – An Indonesian man and boy have been confirmed by World Health Organization tests as having died of bird flu, bringing the country's death toll from the virus to 11, a hospital spokesman said Thursday. Asked whether test results on the pair had been received from a Hong Kong laboratory, Sulianti Saroso hospital spokesman Ilham Patu told AFP: "It's been confirmed. We were informed of the results this morning. So we have now 16 confirmed cases and 11 deaths," he said. Five people have survived infection of the virus. [More>>]

12.21.05 Bird flu study shows virus evolution in action

WASHINGTON (Reuters) December 22 – At first it looked like the 13-year-old girl was lucky. She only had a little pneumonia in one lung and doctors had treated her early with Tamiflu, a drug known to be effective against avian influenza. She "presented to a hospital in Dong Thap Province on January 22, 2005, with a one-day history of fever and cough," wrote Dr. Menno de Jong of the Hospital for Tropical Diseases in Ho Chi Minh city and colleagues. And for several days, the drug seemed to be working. But then the girl began struggling to breathe and needed more and more oxygen. The pneumonia worsened and she died six days after being admitted.

Tests done in Hong Kong showed the virus infecting her had mutated in a way known to make it immune to Tamiflu. She had a "H274Y substitution in the neuraminidase gene, which confers high-level resistance to oseltamivir (Tamiflu)," the researchers wrote in a report published in the New England Journal of Medicine. The same thing happened with another patient treated by the same group. And four of eight patients they treated with Tamiflu, made by Roche AG under the generic name oseltamivir, died despite treatment with the drug. No one is surprised – viruses often develop resistance to drugs. For this reason, AIDS infections are treated with a cocktail of drugs.

12.21.05 CNPC, India's ONGC win bid for Syrian assets of Petro-Canada

December 22 – The China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC), China's largest oil producer, and India's Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC), have jointly reached an agreement with Petro-Canada to buy its oil assets in Syria, said sources with the CNPC Wednesday. This is the first bid jointly made by a Chinese oil company and an Indian company for overseas oil assets, said a personnel with CNPC. According to information published on the official website of Petro-Canada, both companies will buy assets for 484 million euros (576 million US dollars). [More>>]12.20.05 Audio of Bush saying wiretaps require a court order

12.21.05 Saddam claims he was beaten and tortured by Americans in detention

BAGHDAD (AP) December 22 – Saddam Hussein again grabbed center stage at his mass murder trial with claims that Americans beat and ³tortured² him and other defendants while in detention. The deposed leaderıs lengthy complaint came Wednesday after witnesses graphically described how their captors administered electric shocks and used molten plastic to rip the skin off prisoners in a crackdown following an assassination attempt against Saddam in 1982. A US military spokesman in Baghdad called Saddamıs allegations ³completely unfounded² but said ³we are prepared to investigate.² [More>>]

12.20.05 Audio of Bush saying wiretaps require a court order

December 20 – Let's hope that in the debate over the President's claims on his legitimate right to conduct wiretaps without Congressional oversight include his recognition that a court order is required to do so, as evidenced in an audio provided by a post by Michael Jay in

Mel Copeland

12.20.05 Gunmen storm city hall in Bethlehem

BETHLEHEM (Reuters) December 20 – Palestinian gunmen briefly seized Bethlehem city hall, overlooking the Church of the Nativity, on Tuesday in a jarring interruption to Christmas preparations in the traditional birthplace of Jesus. The incident, five days before Christmas, was another sign of growing lawlessness in Palestinian territories and the turmoil within Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbasıs Fatah faction ahead of a January parliamentary election. About 20 gunmen from Fatahıs Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades fanned out on rooftops and in the offices of city hall, firing several shots in the air and forcing workers out. They demanded money and jobs for about 320 members. Masked gunmen carrying assault rifles appeared beside the glittering star set up on the roof ahead of festivities. [More>>]

12.20.05 Israel threatens to cut off power to Gaza Strip

December 21 – Israel is threatening to cut off the Gaza Strip's electricity supply if a Qassam rocket hits a vital Israeli infrastructure facility. On Sunday, after a Qassam rocket fired from Gaza landed not far from an Israel Electric Corporation power plant south of Ashkelon, Israel told the Palestinian Authority that it planned to shut off power for two hours in the early hours of Monday morning, as a warning of things to come if the Qassam fire did not stop. [More>>]

12.20.05 Update,12.19.05 Threats can't pressure us: Ronen Sen, Indian Ambassador to Washington

December 19 – Ashish Kumar Sen caught India's Ambassador to Washington in an exclusive interview for The ambassador, the former secretary of the Atomic Energy Commission of India, confirmed the position of India with regard to Bush administration attempts to manipulate India: Ambassador Ronen Sen's tenure in Washington has been eventful. In a little over a year, he oversaw a successful visit to the US in July by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, and was instrumental in crafting a historic civil nuclear deal between India and the US. He's no stranger to matters nuclear, drawing upon his stint as secretary of the Atomic Energy Commission of India. Sen has earlier been ambassador to Russia, Germany and the UK. His clout in the UPA government is considered formidable, partly because of his proximity to Congress president Sonia Gandhi and the close relationship he had shared with her husband and one-time prime minister Rajiv Gandhi. He spoke to Ashish Kumar Sen, prior to leaving Washington on a "working vacation" in India.

...The Bush administration has been vehemently opposed to the idea of a gas pipeline between India and Iran. What is the status of this project?

This is an issue which concerns India, Iran and Pakistan. We will be guided by our own interests.

Has the Bush regime offered India alternative sources of energy in exchange for New Delhi dropping this deal?

It's clearly in our interest to take all measures to promote energy security. A rapid increase in nuclear power production is in our interest, while we explore other alternative and renewable sources of energy and reduce our dependence on imported oil and gas.

...Were you surprised by the reaction from some members of the US Congress to the civil nuclear deal between India and the US, especially the prominent players on the India Caucus on Capitol Hill?

I was somewhat taken aback by comments which presumed that a large and vibrant democracy like India could ever be pressurised by threats.
[Full story>> ; See later story,, "Canada urges India to open up nuclear reactor" : Canada has urged India on Monday to allow nuclear inspectors access to a Canadian-supplied reactor, where experts say the country produces a significant amount of its weapons-grade plutonium. Lack of independent access to the Cirus research reactor in north of Mumbai, is one of the issues slowing implementation of a sweeping nuclear cooperation deal that the United States announced with India on July 18. That deal has come under fire from the US Congress and from non-proliferation experts, who say the case of the 40-megawatt reactor raises questions about Indiaıs trustworthiness...]

12.20.05 Update, 12.19.05 Vegans and Catholic workers on Bush hit list, according to New York Times report

December 20 – Counterterrorism agents at the Federal Bureau of Investigation have conducted numerous surveillance and intelligence-gathering operations that involved, at least indirectly, groups active in causes as diverse as the environment, animal cruelty and poverty relief, newly disclosed agency records show. F.B.I. officials said Monday that their investigators had no interest in monitoring political or social activities and that any investigations that touched on advocacy groups were driven by evidence of criminal or violent activity at public protests and in other settings.

After the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, John Ashcroft, who was then attorney general, loosened restrictions on the F.B.I.'s investigative powers, giving the bureau greater ability to visit and monitor Web sites, mosques and other public entities in developing terrorism leads. The bureau has used that authority to investigate not only groups with suspected ties to foreign terrorists, but also protest groups suspected of having links to violent or disruptive activities.
[More>> ; See 12.20.05 report,, "US senators seek probe into spying."]

12.19.05 North Korea to build reactors

SEOUL, December 20 – North Korea plans to build its own light-water atomic reactors and develop two other reactors that can produce large amounts of fissile material to boost its nuclear capabilities, official media said.

The comment from the North's official KCNA news agency comes amid a snag in six-party talks aimed at ending North Korea's nuclear weapons programmes. It could further complicate an already difficult diplomatic process, diplomatic analysts said.

North Korea has not said before it plans to build relatively proliferation-resistant light-water reactors (LWRs) but it has threatened to resume work on two graphite-moderated reactors (GMRs), which can produce large amounts of material for atomic bombs, a South Korean Foreign Ministry official said.

12.19.05 Bush says domestic spying program legal, to continue

WASHINGTON (Reuters) December 19 – US President George W. Bush said on Monday he broke no laws in authorizing spying on Americans with suspected ties to terrorism and declared he would continue the practice despite concern that it infringes on civil liberties. Bush, facing a barrage of questions over the program at an end-of-year news conference, said he believed an investigation was under way by the Justice Department into who committed the "shameful act" of revealing the covert program to the press. He rejected any suggestion he was exercising "unchecked power" when he decided after the Sept. 11 2001 attacks to authorize eavesdropping on international telephone calls by Americans with suspected links to terrorism.

"Do I have the legal authority to do this? And the answer is, absolutely," said Bush, who is struggling with low approval ratings and wide public discontent with the Iraq war.

12.19.05 Most Korean protestors released in Hong Kong

December 19 – The majority of Korean protesters detained by Hong Kong police were released yesterday but 12 remain under investigation, the Foreign Ministry here said. Nearly 1,200 protesters, of which more than 1,000 were Koreans, were taken by the Hong Kong police when rallies opposing the World Trade Organization conference held in Hong Kong turned violent on Saturday. Dozens of protesters and police were injured.

The Hong Kong police informed the Korean consul general around 6 p.m. that they will be releasing 838 Korean protesters detained at 21 different police stations this evening, the Foreign Ministry said. The consulate sent buses to transport the released protesters and will be helping them return home safely, it said.

12.19.05 World records 136 tremors in one week of December

MUMBAI (PTI) December 19 – Atleast 136 tremors were recorded all over the world by seismologists between December 9 and 16 and these shocks were concentrated all along plate boundaries and majority of them along the Pacific and Indian ones. Compared to earlier years, the earth is showing a pattern not experienced by humans although such unusual phenomena is not uncommon to the planet, Prof Chandrasekharam, Earth Science department of IIT here said while explaining the earthquake record for the period.

"This apparently shows the dynamic changes that the earth is undergoing internally. A large amount of scientific data is pouring-in with respect to such changes taking place within the earth," he said.


05.21.05 British lawmaker: Iraq war was for oil

LISBON, May 21 – Adam Porter reports: Labour politician and former UK environment minister Michael Meacher has slammed Prime Minister Tony Blair and US President George Bush for starting a war, he says, to secure oil interests.

Speaking on Friday on the sidelines of the fourth International Workshop on Oil and Gas Depletion in Lisbon, Portugal, Meacher, a member of the British parliament, said: "The reason they attacked Iraq is nothing to do with weapons of mass destruction, it was nothing to do with democracy in Iraq, it was nothing to do with the human rights abuses of Saddam Hussein."
..."It was principally, totally and comprehensively to do with oil," Meacher continued. "This was about assuming control over the Middle East and over Iraq, the second largest producer and also over Saudi Arabia next door.

"It was about securing as much as possible of the remaining supplies of oil and also over the Caspian basin, which of course is Afghanistan."
[More>>; See also, article March 17, 2005, "Secret US plans for Iraq's oil."

Editorial note: For articles relating to Bush's lying to Congress and the American people with regard to his war on Iraq and other complaints that relate to his abuse of power see:

11.17.05 The man who sold the war
11.12.05 Asterisks dot White House's Iraq argument
10.16.05 Bush to Blair: First Iraq, then Saudi
10.07.05 BBC: Bush said God told him to invade Iraq
08.25.05 Bush administration hiding affects of the war: photos Washington doesn't want you to see
6.18.05 Update The Downing Street memo: the smoking gun to impeach President Bush
6.17.05 Just hearsay, or the new Watergate tapes?
6.17.05 Democrats urge inquiry on Bush, Iraq
6.17.05 Update Senator Feinstein against US becoming a 'unilateralist power'
6.19.05 Rice condemns Iran vote – 'the pot calling the kettle black'
6.21.05 British bombing raids were illegal, says Foreign Office
6.28.05 Special Orders in House of Representatives on Downing Street Memos
6.28.05 From memos, insights into ally's doubts on Iraq War
7.11.05 Report: US war has killed 39,000 Iraqis

08.09.05 Understanding terrorists' use of the Koran – what constitutes extremist activity

August 9 – (Maravot News, Mel Copeland) A trend in combatting terrorism has to do with what constitute's extremist activity, including teachings by immams, publication of books and retail book stores, etc. Statements like (8.09.05) Bakri Mohammed's, " would be 'against Islam' for him to inform the police of any terrorist attacks that he knew were being planned in Britain..." are better understood through an examination of modern scholastic trends in reinterpreting the Koran. See:

08.07.05 Inside the sect that loves terror with Editorial note: An interesting site by an Islamic scholar defines what "kuffar" (disbelievers) means. His site, – Arguments and Rational – details the Koran's verses and traditional and modern applications of the verses dealing with disbelievers: identifying them, punishing them, preaching to them and "'displaced directives." His argument refers heavily to Old Testament verses that set the foundation for verses of the Koran involving the punishment of disbelievers...
08.07.05 UK to deport 500 Muslim extremists
and article, "Diary of British jihadi unearthed in Pakistan," ...the diary wonders how Muslims can live in London, the "vital organ of the minions of the devil," now that the "kufr," or unbelievers, have transformed the world into "a battlefield for the Muslims."

6.17-05 Federal Debt not a concern of the press

SAN FRANCISCO, June 17 Update. While the Federal Reserve continues to increase interest rates, the Exponentially rising Federal Debt is not being reported. What is not being reported is the fact that interest rates are tied to the US National Debt. This year the deficit is expected to exceed $420 billion, and interest on the debt which exceeds $8.2 trillion, is about $1 billion per day. Because the annual deficits are financed via the bond market, and because the amount of the bonds being sold exceeds demand, it is necessary to raise interest rates to attract investors in the US bonds financing the US debt. This routine of increasing debt on an exponential scale was experienced under the administration of George H. W. Bush. I predicted increasing interest rates "to sell bonds" in my conversation with Wm. F. Buckley Jr. at that time, in 1993, and I have repeated the prediction with regard to the current Bush administration's excesses and need to sell more bonds to finance the extraordinary deficits. The rate increases will continue in order to sell the overabundant US bonds. In a few words, George Bush's debt is causing your mortgage rates to increase, and they will continue to increase until the US assumes fiscal responsibility. Click here for details on this trend.

Postscript: If the EU adopts the practice of allowing large budget deficits, the consequence places a strain on the world bond market, since that market is already flooded with US bonds to the tune of some $9 trillion. Those who are allowing budget deficits also own some of the US debt. It's not a good situation, heralding a world economic collapse. That Greenspan has not reigned in the Bush administration on the US debt is a travesty.

Rising interest rates began with a Federal Reserve declaration of the "fear of inflation":
WASHINGTON, March 22 – The Federal Reserve raised new worries about inflation on Tuesday, setting off alarms in the stock and bond markets that the central bank might drive up interest rates faster than investors had been expecting. The Fed nudged up short-term interest rates for the seventh time in the last year, raising the federal funds rate on overnight loans between banks to 2.75 percent from 2.5 percent. It restated its intention to keep raising them at a "measured" pace in the months ahead.

But in a departure from previous declarations, the central bank said there were rising inflationary pressures beyond those tied directly to the recent jumps in oil prices.

Mel Copeland

Historical trend on the New Orleans debacle


09.11.09 When a nation lacks a competent leader it invites disaster – the legacy of Bush
08.13.05 "Using force the George W. Bush way – Bush's crusade"
07.27.05 New security system for Temple Mount: Why the Dome of the Rock is threatened
03.24.05 Temple Mount controversy
02.19.05 'Dog-Deer' clan seen as common Chinese ancestor – relates to European Paleolithic Lion-Deer
02.15.05 Bush & Rice affects upon Iran's liaisons: it's all about oil and gas
12.23.04 US is losing war of ideas
12.21.04 United States attacking itself from behind


(2) The name, Allah, in Arabic is an expression of surprise. It is not unusual for the God of the Bible to be known by many names. Jewish Midrash quotes passages in the Old Testament (Torah) that cite as many as seventy names of God (and more). But they can all be reduced down to one name.
(5) The Law of the Locrians: "In the legislation of the Locrians, the proposer of a new law, with a halter round his neck, to be instantly tightened if the public assembly did not, on hearing his reasons, then and there adopt his proposition."
[Mill, On Liberty, 2.475].

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