Monday, July 26, 2004

Palestinians 'made millions' selling cheap cement for barrier they bitterly oppose:
Palestinian businessmen have made millions of pounds supplying cement for Israel's "security barrier" in the full knowledge of Yasser Arafat, the Palestinian leader and one of the wall's most vocal critics.
A damning report by Palestinian legislators, which has been seen by the Telegraph, concludes that Mr Arafat did nothing to stop the deals although he publicly condemned the structure as a "crime against humanity"
(from the Telegraph).

Friday, July 23, 2004

A cutting-edge science experiment left behind in the Sea of Tranquility by Apollo 11 astronauts is still running today...
a 2-foot wide panel studded with 100 mirrors pointing at Earth: the "lunar laser ranging retroreflector array." Apollo 11 astronauts Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong put it there on July 21, 1969, about an hour before the end of their final moonwalk. Thirty-five years later, it's the only Apollo science experiment still running
(from Science @ NASA).

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Chinese accused of stealing rainclouds

A storm is brewing in China as drought-plagued regions accuse each other of stealing clouds for rain-seeding.
With the help of modern technology, scientists can fire rockets filled with various substances into light, fluffy clouds to make them rain.
"But the practice has caused considerable controversy in recent days, with some saying that one area's success with rain has meant taking moisture meant for one place and giving it to another," the China Daily said.

(from news.com.au).

Monday, July 19, 2004

Iraq wanted to buy Uranium from Niger:
First, contrary to what Wilson wrote in the New York Times, Saddam Hussein was trying to acquire uranium from Niger. In support of that proposition are a Senate report in Washington, Lord Butler's report in London, MI6, French intelligence, other European agencies - and, as we now know, the CIA report, based on Joe Wilson's original briefing to them. Against that proposition is Joe Wilson's revised version of events for the Times.
This isn't difficult. In 1999, a senior Iraqi "trade" delegation went to Niger. Uranium accounts for 75 percent of Niger's exports. The rest is goats, cowpeas and onions. So who sends senior trade missions to Niger? Maybe Saddam dispatched his Baathist big shots all the way to the dusty capital of Niamy because he had a sudden yen for goat and onion stew with a side order of black-eyed peas, and Major Wanke, the then-president, had offered him a great three-for-one deal
(from Chicago Sun-Times).

Sunday, July 18, 2004

Saturday, July 17, 2004

Fallujah Savors Quietest Spell in a Year:
Two months after U.S. Marines pulled out, residents of Fallujah feel safe again, sleeping on their roofs to escape the heat without fear of the once-constant nighttime gunbattles, and traveling the streets without worrying they could be stopped or detained
(from Associated Press, via Yahoo News).

The younger brother of vice presidential candidate John Edwards

The younger brother of vice presidential candidate John Edwards is wanted on a Colorado warrant issued a decade ago in a drunken driving case (from Associated Press, via Yahoo News).

Iraqis don't like Saddam (picture):
Iraqis step on a page of a local newspaper featuring pictures of former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein as they participate in a demonstration against Saddam in Baghdad
(from AFP, via Yahoo News).

Friday, July 16, 2004

I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but

World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.
- Albert Einstein

Thursday, July 15, 2004

A new kind of Red Scare, Zimbabwe's color TV has banned Red, and may ban other colors:
"Red is just the start," said Solly Solinga, spokesperson for Zimbabwean Television, when I phoned him about the decision to ban that colour from the country's TV screens because it symbolised the opposition Movement for Democratic Change party. "We have other colours in mind, too."
"But there is red in so many things," I argued. "You can't simply ban it out of the spectrum."
"We can do what we like with the spectrum, whatever that is," said Solly. "We are not bound by Western concepts. Besides, red also signifies other hateful things to our revered president. It is the colour of London buses, so beloved by our former colonial oppressors. There is also the red herring of human rights abuses, when everyone knows our people have never been happier. Worst of all is when our enemies claim our national finances are in the red, so envious are they of our favourite colour, black."
"What about red carpets?" I asked.
"The president is prepared to make an exception in the case of red carpets, so long as they are for him," said Solly. "Pink is also banned. It reminds the president of homosexuals."
(from Cape Times).

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Sadly, everyone knows how to hate: Rioting Between Palestinian Muslims and Christians Near Bethlehem
A "Peeping Tom" who photographed a woman in the changing room of a Bethlehem area clothes shop sparked a night of rioting between Palestinian Muslims and Christians, witnesses said today.
At the height of the hours-long riot, hundreds of Muslims and Christians fought each other with metal rods and stones overnight in the streets of the West Bank town of Beit Sahour, adjacent to Bethlehem, revered as the birthplace of Jesus.
It was the first time in years that tension between Muslims and Christians in the Bethlehem area had exploded into large-scale violence, residents said.
Inter-religious tension has been brewing for some time in the Bethlehem area, where Christians number only around 20 percent of the population despite making up a majority of the population less than a century ago.
Among grievances cited by Christians are land seizures by Palestinian Muslims, a rise of Islamic radicalism during nearly four years of conflict with Israel, growing numbers of Muslims moving to Bethlehem from elsewhere and Israeli army operations and checkpoints in the Bethlehem area
(from HoustonChronicle.com).

Monday, July 12, 2004

Passengers Stuck on Plane All Night

Passengers stuck on plane all night:

Passengers on a United Airlines flight to Chicago arrived at O'Hare Airport on Saturday morning not by plane but by bus, after spending the night stranded on the tarmac in Milwaukee.
Flight 256 from Denver to Chicago was supposed to land at O'Hare at 9:58 p.m. Friday. Weather in Chicago caused the plane, carrying 155 passengers, to be diverted to Milwaukee's General Mitchell International Airport.
But the only gate at the airport capable of handling the wide-body 777 was occupied by an Air France cargo jet, which also had been diverted because of weather, United spokesman Rich Nelson said. The Air France crew couldn't move the plane because they would have exceeded the maximum number of hours they're allowed to work, Nelson said.
With the help of Northwest Airlines, United eventually got a movable stairway to the side of the plane, allowing passengers to disembark around 5 a.m. United then bused them to Chicago

(from Chicago Sun-Tmes).

Thursday, July 8, 2004

United States has removed some radioactive material from Iraq:
U.S. and U.N. officials said Wednesday Washington had transported 1.8 tons of enriched uranium out of Iraq for safekeeping more than a year after looters stole it from a U.N.-sealed facility left unguarded by U.S. troops
(from Reuters, via Yahoo News).

Tuesday, July 6, 2004

Nigeria arrests 500 suspected email scammers:
Nigeria's agency against economic and financial crime said Monday that it had detained more than 500 suspects and seized property worth more than $US500 million from suspected fraudsters
(from The Australian).

Monday, July 5, 2004

Cassini-Huygens send pictures of Saturn's Rings to Earth:
The [Cassini-Huygens] spacecraft, which left Earth on Oct. 15, 1997, for its 2-billion-mile journey, is scheduled to spend the next four years orbiting the second-largest planet in our solar system, giving researchers what they hope will be insight into how that solar system formed
(from The Boston Globe).
Voting Official Seeks Terrorism Guidelines
The government needs to establish guidelines for canceling or rescheduling elections if terrorists strike the United States again, says the chairman of a new federal voting commission.
Such guidelines do not currently exist, said DeForest B. Soaries, head of the voting panel.
Soaries noted that Sept. 11, 2001, fell on Election Day in New York City - and he said officials there had no rules to follow in making the decision to cancel the election and hold it later.
Events in Spain, where a terrorist attack shortly before the March election possibly influenced its outcome, show the need for a process to deal with terrorists threatening or interrupting the Nov. 2 presidential election in America, he said
(from Associated Press, via Yahoo News).