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Friday, January 14, 2005

No chance of peace in Middle-East until Prime Minister Ariel Sharon resigns.

Opinion: There will not be any serious attempts for peace while
Ariel Sharon is Prime Minister of Israel. However, no one cause
is ever worthly if individuals are called upon for self-destruction.

Likewise, deaths of children on either side is equally wrong, not
right for either side. Neither does rocks equal rockets. Nor does
bombs out weight tanks and planes. If your country is war-like
then it's at war with itself -- then others. U.S. not excluded. No
lasting peace has ever been born out of death-for-death means.

If Sharon really wanted peace & a free neighbor, it would happen
tomorrow. Likewise, if Hamas wanted their family's & friend's to
be safe in their own country -- it could happen tomorrow. There's
no salvation, under either's faith for what is now happening period.

Only the sadness & sorrow of death for both sides. Shame on both
side's supporters -- or those that help supply dealth to this region.


Israel cuts Palestinian contacts

* Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has ordered a freeze
on all contacts with the Palestinians until their newly elected
leader acts against militants. *

The announcement comes after militants killed six Israelis at
a Gaza Strip crossing point on Thursday night.

The attack was a blow to Mahmoud Abbas, who was elected on
Sunday amid hopes he could promote new moves toward peace.

After his election, Mr Sharon called Mr Abbas to congratulate
him and said he hoped to meet the new leader "soon".

But on Friday hopes for a speedy meeting appeared to be

"Israel informed international leaders today that there will
be no meetings with Abbas until he makes a real effort to
stop the terror," Mr Sharon's spokesman Assaf Shariv said.

A Palestinian cabinet minister, Saeb Erekat, confirmed the news.
"We call on the Israelis to resume a meaningful peace process and
dialogue because this is the only way to break the vicious cycle of
violence," Mr Erekat said.

Joint responsibility for Thursday's raid was claimed by three
Palestinian groups, including Hamas and the al-Aqsa Martyrs'
Brigades, which has links with Mr Abbas's Fatah movement.

Three Palestinian gunmen were killed in the attack at Karni,
the main crossing point for food and vital supplies into the Gaza
Strip, home to 1.3 million Palestinians.

Mr Abbas, the successor to the late Palestinian leader Yasser
Arafat, said the bombing and shooting raid at Karni, as well as
Israeli military actions, "do not benefit peace".

He had been hoping to persuade militant groups to agree to a

Israeli raids in the Gaza Strip over the past week have also left
several Palestinians dead, including a man driving a pregnant
neighbour to hospital.

The news that contacts have been cut is a huge setback for the
new leader - who is not even sworn into office until Saturday -
says the BBC's James Reynolds in Jerusalem.

Israel has made clear that it will resume contacts if Mr Abbas
confronts and reins in the gunmen - but Mr Abbas has based
his tactics on talking.

His strategy is to talk to the gunmen to try and co-opt them
rather than confront them, and to talk to Israel to try to draw
concessions from them.

But this strategy cannot work if ties are cut off with one side,
says our correspondent.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2005/01/14 19:45:42 GMT

Torture & lifetime prisons, the next "King" Geo. Bush II's 'kindness to all THE people?


14-Jan-05 (blog-usa op_ed) title:

Torture & lifetime prisons, the next "King" Geo. Bush II's
'kindness to all THE people...let them eat cake...fiddle on...

RE: "Torture Watch"

Douglas Jehl [&] David Johnston write in the New York Times:

"At the urging of the [W. H.], Congressional leaders scrapped
a legislative measure last month that would have imposed new
restrictions on the use of extreme interrogation measures by
American intelligence officers, Congressional officials say. . . .

"The Senate had approved the new restrictions...96-to-2 vote,
as part of the intelligence reform legislation. They would have
explicitly extended to intelligence officers a prohibition against
torture or inhumane treatment, and would have required the
C.I.A. as well as the Pentagon to report to Congress about the
methods they were using.

"But in intense closed-door negotiations, Congressional officials
said, four senior members from the House and Senate deleted
the restrictions from the final bill after the [W. H.] expressed
opposition. . . .

"A Congressional Democrat said the White House stance had
left the impression 'that the administration wanted an escape
hatch to preserve the option of using torture' against prisoners
held by the C.I.A."

Toni Locy writes in USA Today:

"Americans strongly disapprove of harsh interrogation tactics
the [Bush Administration & GOP] government has used to try
to extract information about possible terrorist attacks from
detainees held in Afghanistan, Iraq and Cuba, a new [survey: ]
USA Today/CNN/Gallup Poll says."

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Bushed on Iraq & WMD's ("absolutely" worth it...') or, stupid is, as stupid does.

A U.S. Army soldier arrives at the scene of a roadside bomb
attack in the northern city of Mosul, January 12, 2005.
Photo by Namir Noor-Eldeen/Reuters [------------]Posted by Hello

[Surprised, this would wait
until after the election.......?]

The U.S. force that scoured [all] Iraq
for weapons of mass destruction has

abandoned its long [&] fruitless hunt
and is assisting in the more immediate
[oil] task of counter-insurgency efforts,
U.S. officials said on January 12, 2005.

President Bush and other U.S. officials
cited the grave threat posed by Iraq's
chemical and biological weapons and
Baghdad's efforts to acquire a nuclear
arms capability as a central justification
for the March 2003 invasion of Iraq.

No such weapons have been found.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. force that scoured Iraq
for weapons of mass destruction -- cited by President Bush as
justification for war -- has abandoned its long and fruitless hunt,
U.S. officials said on Wednesday. The 1,700-strong Iraq Survey
Group, responsible for the hunt, last month wrapped up physical
searches for weapons of mass destruction, and it will now gather
information to help U.S. forces in Iraq win a bloody guerrilla war,
officials said.

"I felt like we would find weapons of mass destruction ... like
many -- many here in the United States, many around the
world," Bush told ABC's Barbara Walters, according to excerpts
from an interview airing on Friday.

Bush said "we need to find out what went wrong in the
intelligence gathering," and that the invasion was "absolutely"
worth it even if there were no weapons of mass destruction.

Bush and other U.S. officials cited the grave threat posed by
Iraq's chemical and biological weapons and Baghdad's efforts
to acquire a nuclear arms capability as a central justification
for the March 2003 invasion. No such weapons have been found.

"You can only search so many places for WMD," said a defense
official, who added that the ISG continues to review documents
and interview people knowledgeable about deposed President
Saddam Hussein's arms programs for possible leads.

Charles Duelfer, the CIA special adviser who led the ISG's
weapons search, has returned home and is expected next
month to issue a final addendum to his September report
concluding that prewar Iraq had no WMD stockpiles...

White House spokesman Scott McClellan said he was not
holding out the possibility these weapons would turn up in

But he added that "based on what we know today, the
president would have taken the same action" -- war with Iraq
-- in order to "confront a threat posed by Saddam Hussein.

"And now what is important is that we need to go back and
look at what was wrong with much of the intelligence that we
had accumulated over a 12-year period and that our allies had
accumulated over that same period of time and correct any
flaws," McClellan said.

House of Representatives Democratic Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi
of California retorted, "Citing the continuing search by the Iraq
Survey Group, President Bush has refused to concede what has
been obvious for months: the primary justification for the
invasion of Iraq was not supported by fact."

*Continued ... * © Reuters 2005. All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Vietnam confirmed two dead from bird flu...others suspected.


Vietnam confirmed that two had died from bird flu
as others suspected of contracting the virus.

"Vietnam officially confirms two children died from bird flu"

Sat Jan 8, 8:18 AM ET

HANOI (AFP) - Vietnam officially confirmed that two young
boys had died from bird flu as state media said two other people
are suspected of contracting the virus.

"We assert that there have been three people infected with
the H5N1 virus since December 16, of whom, two had died," the
daily Lao Dong newspaper quoted Deputy Head of the ministry's
legal department, Tran Duc Long as saying on Saturday.

On Thursday, the government said that only a 16-year-old girl
from southern Tay Ninh province, who is in critical condition in
Ho Chi Minh City, had been infected with the H5N1 strain of the
bird flu virus. The two boys, aged six and nine, were also from
the south and died on December 30 and January 4.

Their deaths brought the total toll from bird flu in Vietnam since
late 2003 to 22.

Another state-run newspaper, Tuoi Tre, said a further two
suspected bird flu patients, an 18-year-old girl and a 65-year-old
man, were being treated.

Both are from Tien Giang in the south and are being treated in
Ho Chi Minh City's Hospital for Tropical Diseases, it said.

The country is implementing drastic measures to prevent bird
flu spreading, especially in the Mekong river delta provinces.

Neighbouring China Saturday said it was taking emergency
measures to prevent bird flu spreading into its Yunnan province,
which shares a 1,200 kilometre (750 mile) border with Vietnam.

Yunnan has established a 30-kilometre-wide "immune protection
zone" along the border and set up disinfecting stations for all
vehicles and personnel crossing the frontier, the Chinese Xinhua
news agency said.

At least 29,000 birds have been culled in Vietnam since
December to try to contain the disease, according to local officials.

Next month's upcoming Lunar New Year festivities are proving a
headache for officials with the demand for poultry consumption
expected to boom, said the Agriculture Ministry's Animal Health
Department Director Bui Quang Anh.

Prime Minister Phan Van Khai has ordered a ban on the
transportation of sick poultry from affected areas to keep
outbreaks in check and asked concerned authorities to step
up their vigilance, particularly in regions along the border
with China.

The government said in October that it had brought bird flu
under control. It had made a similar announcement on March 30
but later admitted that the declaration had been premature after
three people, including two children, died in August after being
infected with the H5N1 virus.

International experts said avian influenza has entrenched itself
in much of Asia and is unlikely to disappear anytime soon.

More than 120 million birds were killed or culled in two huge
outbreaks throughout Asia last year of the H5N1 avian flu which
has so far claimed at least 34 lives.

Source: Copyright © 2005 Yahoo! Inc. All rights reserved.
Copyright © 2005 Agence France Presse. All rights reserved.

Ask a question

Thursday March 25, 2004 [-] Dear Yahoo!:

"What is bird flu and how is it transmitted?"

Feeling Fowl [-] Eagle Lake, Illinois

Dear Feeling Fowl:

Bird flu, or avian influenza, is a Type A influenza virus

that affects mostly birds and occasionally pigs.

The virus can pass from bird to bird when it is inhaled

and from contact with infected droppings.

Contaminated equipment, infectious particles carried

on the feet and bodies of animals, and migratory

waterfowl can spread the disease. Since December 2003,

a highly pathogenic strain has devastated dozens of

Asian domestic poultry stocks, and several human

infections have been reported.

According to the CDC, which offers a basic fact sheet on the
virus, bird flu is especially pernicious to humans because we
lack the necessary immune protections against the disease.

All influenza viruses are dangerous because they are prone to
change; the Hong Kong flu pandemic of 1968 killed 34,000
people in the United States. The World Health Organization's
excellent Bird Flu FAQ notes that no human-to-human
transmissions have been reported.

There's much warranted concern about the latest

outbreak -- it has spread rapidly and is highly pathogenic.


"Rights Group Accuses Vietnam of Torture"

Mon Jan 10, 4:10 PM ET

HANOI, Vietnam - Human Rights Watch on Monday accused

Vietnam of mass arrests and torture of ethnic minorities in the

central part of the country and urged Cambodia to open its

border and allow asylum-seeking tribal members to cross.

In a report released Monday, the New York-based organization

said police had rounded up and detained dozens of Montagnards

— as the hilltribe people are collectively known...".

Wild Boar Seen Chasing Man in Poland


[AP] Posted [this article] on Thu, Jan. 06, 2005

** ** Wild Boar Seen Chasing Man in Poland ** ** *

Associated Press* *WARSAW, Poland - *

A man escaped unscathed after a boar chased him around a hospital parking lot in southwestern Poland, the hospital spokesman said Thursday.

Cameras monitoring hospital grounds in the city of Legnica captured a boar who approached the hospital's main entrance and then crossed the path of an unidentified man before dawn on Wednesday.

When the man tried to flee, the boar pursued him around a parked car for a few minutes until it apparently got bored, Rafal Pilch told The Associated Press. "The man was taken by surprise and after a moment of consternation started to run," Pilch said. "The boar ran after him and chased him for a few minutes around a parked car and then left."

The man did not need hospital treatment. Pilch said he did not know where the boar came from, but it could have been one of two tame boars owned by a nearby inn specializing in traditional Polish cuisine.

(ms/vg) ------------------------------------------------------------------------ © 2005 AP Wire and wire service sources. All Rights Reserved.