News Headlines & Trends
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>>aljazeera.net]
05.21.05 Karzai "shocked" by allegations of US prisoner abuse
KABUL (AFP) May 21 Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Saturday said he was shocked at fresh details of prisoner abuse in Afghanistan and demanded the US cede more control of counter-terrorist operations to government forces. Speaking before he left for an official visit to Washington, Karzai called for ³strong, clear-cut action² to deal with the offenders.
³It has shocked me thoroughly. We condemn it and we want the US government to take very, very strong actions to take away people like that that are working with their forces in Afghanistan,² he told reporters at a press conference in Kabul. Two Afghan prisoners held in a US-run prison in Bagram were tortured to death by American soldiers in 2002, The New York Times reported Friday, citing a 2,000-page file on the US Armyıs criminal investigation of the case...³All Afghan prisoners... in Bagram, Guantanamo, or elsewhere should be held in Afghan prisons and (the US) should help us with the building and formation of facilities for the prisoners,² Karzai said...[More>>khaleejtimes.com]
05.21.05 China hikes textile tariffs to appease trading partners: textile manufacturers panic
May 21 China took decisive action to ease rising concern in trading partners by hiking textile tariffs on more than 70 products by 400%. The rise on 74 Chinese-made textile products will come into force from June 1, China's Ministry of Finance announced on Friday. The rise sent panic through the country's textile and garment industry. Some have predicted factory closures and job losses.
The Ministry of Finance said in a statement on its website tariffs would rise from 0.2 yuan (2.4 US cents) to 1 yuan (12 US cents) per unit. The largest tariff increase would be from 0.3 yuan (3.6 US cents) to 4 yuan (48 US cents) per unit. And a new tariff of 3 yuan (36 US cents) per kilogram will be imposed on exports of flax yarn...Some Chinese textile manufacturers said they were shell-shocked after the announcement and claimed the rise will drastically slash their profit margin.
"Our profit will be squeezed as we currently only earn 1 yuan (12 US cents) to 2 yuan (24 US cents) from each shirt," said Guo Jiahong, an official of Yangzhou Shuaimeisi Garments Ltd. [More>>chinadaily.com.cn]
05.21.05 Longest quake ever recorded caused tsunami
May 21 New data has revealed the staggering power of the earthquake that generated December's tsunami, showing it was the longest-lasting quake on record and left the planet trembling for weeks. The quake was the first of its size to be measured and studied by a worldwide array of digital seismic instruments, with the results appearing in yesterday's issue of the journal Science.
Professor of earth sciences and director of the Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics at the University of California Thorne Lay said: "This is really a watershed event. We've never had such comprehensive data for a great earthquake because we didn't have the instrumentation to gather it 40 years ago." The quake resulted from the longest fault rupture ever observed -- 1255km -- which spread for a record 10 minutes.
Associate professor of geosciences at Penn State University Charles Ammon said a small earthquake might last less than a second while a moderate-sized earthquake might last a few seconds. "This earthquake lasted between 500 and 600 seconds," Professor Ammon said. Much of this information came from digital broadband seismometers, a new era of instruments that the National Science Foundation and the US Geological Survey began deploying around the world several years ago.
"Globally, this earthquake was large enough to basically vibrate the whole planet as much as half an inch, or a centimeter. Everywhere we had instruments, we could see motions," Professor Ammon said. [More>>theaustralian.news.au]
05.17.05 Suicide attacks forbidden in Islam; religious scholars decree
LAHORE, May 17 Pakistanıs 58 religious scholars have issued a fatwa (decree) declaring suicide attacks forbidden in Islam. Those who plan and carry out attacks are involved in anti-Islam acts, they said. Chairman, central moon-sighting committee Mufti Muneeb-ur-Rehman announced the fatwa at a press conference in Jamia Islamia Thokar Niaz Baig in Lahore. Seven prominent religious scholars from different Islamic schools were also present in the press conference.
Mufti Muneeb-ur-Rehman said bombings and killing Muslims at mosques and public gatherings forbidden in Islam, as attacks at public places and prayer places have nothing to do with Islamic faith... Mufti Muneeb also declared that extra-judicial killings were also prohibited in Islam. [More>>jang.com.pk]
05.17.05 Iraq clerics killed in sectarian strife
BAGHDAD (Reuters) May 17 Insurgents have assassinated three clerics in Baghdad in an escalating wave of violence that authorities fear is aimed at sparking civil war. Al Qaeda's wing in Iraq also warned the country's Sunni Arabs to take no part in drafting a new constitution, in another sign militants are trying to fuel sectarian tensions.
Guerrillas shot two Shi'ite clerics in Baghdad on Tuesday. Mani Hassan, a member of a leading Shi'ite Islamist party, was killed outside his house, and Muwaffaq Mansour was ambushed in his car. The body of Hassan Nuaimi, a member of the Sunni Muslim Clerics Association, was also found in Baghdad on Tuesday, a day after the group accused the Shi'ite-dominated government of state terrorism and ignoring the killings of Sunnis. [More>>reuters.com]
05.17.05 Afghan criminal gang claims kidnap of Italian aid worker: police
KABUL (AFP) May 17 A criminal gang on Tuesday claimed responsibility for the kidnap of an Italian aid worker in the Afghan capital Kabul and demanded the release from prison of their leader, police said.
Abdul Jamil, director of Kabul policeıs criminal investigation department, said the gang was willing to release Clementina Cantoni 32, who works for CARE International, for their leader Tela Mohammed and several accomplices.
³The criminal group of Tela Mohammed, who is police custody, contacted police and claimed responsibility for the abduction of the Italian woman,² Jalil told AFP. [khaleejtimes.com]
05.17.05 Rice warns Syria to close its borders to terrorists
May 17 US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice sharply criticized Syria on Monday for what she called unwillingness to close its borders to terrorists she said are to blame for some of the violence in Iraq. "Their unwillingness to deal with the crossings of their border into Iraq is frustrating the will of the Iraqi people," and leading to the deaths of innocent Iraqis, Rice said en route home from a surprise trip to see Iraq's new leaders. She said the United States will try to enlist Syria's Arab neighbors to pressure Syria to clamp down. [More>>dailystar.com.lb]
05.12.05 Wavemaker moon
May 10 Cassini's confirmation that a small moon orbits within the Keeler gap in Saturn's rings is made all the more exciting by this image, in which the disk of the 7 kilometer-wide body (4-miles) is resolved for the first time.
The new body, provisionally named S/2005 S1, was first seen in a time-lapse sequence of images taken on May 1, 2005, as Cassini began its climb to higher elevations in orbit around Saturn (see Discovery of the Wavemaker for the movie). This view was acquired one day after the discovery sequence of images and has allowed scientists to measure the moon's size and brightness.
In the vicinity of the little moon, the Keeler gap edges bear striking similarities to the scalloped edges of the 322 kilometer-wide (200-mile) Encke gap, where the small moon Pan (25 kilometers, or 16 miles across) resides. From the size of the waves seen in the scalloped edges of the Encke gap, imaging scientists were able to estimate the mass of Pan. They expect to do the same eventually with S/2005 S1.
This image was obtained with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on May 2, 2005, at a distance of about 594,000 kilometers (369,000 miles) from Saturn. Cassini was about 525,000 kilometers (326,000 miles) above the ringplane when the image was taken. Resolution in the original image was 3 kilometers (2 miles) per pixel. The image has been magnified by a factor of two, and contrast has been enhanced, to aid visibility of the small moonlet. [More & link to the movie>>saturn.jpl.nasa.gov]
05.12.05 Blasts and assassinations hit Baghdad
May 12 At least 15 Iraqis have been killed and up to 84 injured after two car bombs exploded in Baghdad, just hours after an Iraqi brigadier-general and a police colonel were assassinated. Several civilians are believed to have died in Thursday's first explosion that hit security officials as they were eating at al-Zahawi restaurant in the capital's eastern Baghdad al-Jadida district.
Speaking to Aljazeera by phone from Baghdad, Iraqi journalist Walid Khalid quoted witnesses and police as saying that a bomber targeted some police officers who were having lunch at al-Zahawi restaurant in Baghdad al-Jadida (New Baghdad) district, east of the capital. "According to medics at al-Kindi and Ibn Sina hospitals, 13 people were killed and 56 wounded", he added. The blast completely destroyed two buildings, five shops, stalls and 13 cars. [More>>aljazeera.net; See also nytimes.com, "14 are killed in Baghdad as insurgents press their offensive."
05.12.05 Big trouble for small plane in Washington
WASHINGTON, May 12 Two men in a small private plane caused the frenzied evacuation of tens of thousands from the U.S. Capitol and the White House on Wednesday and narrowly escaped being shot down when they strayed deep into restricted airspace.
The airspace incursion to within three miles of the White House was described by military officials as the most serious since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. But it apparently was the result of simple inattentive piloting, officials said...The pilot failed at first to respond to urgent radio contact and to the first of four flares fired by the Air Force jets just off its wings, defense officials said. When the Cessna 152 was finally diverted, it was escorted to an airport in Frederick, Md., where the pilot and his passenger were questioned and later released.
The incident set off momentary panic among some government workers and a chain of events that shuttered Congress, the Supreme Court and a number of other Washington federal landmarks...Friends identified the two men aboard the aircraft as Hayden Shaeffer of Lititz, Pa., a veteran pilot who was at the controls, and Troy D. Martin, a student pilot from Akron, Pa. The Cessna is owned by 10 members of the Vintage Aero Club of Smoketown, Pa., said club member Jack Henderson.
...The incident was referred to the FAA for possible civil penalties for violating restricted airspace, which could cost the pilot his license, Secret Service and FBI officials said. "My understanding is, they were not allowed to leave in the airplane," Maddox said. [Full story latimes.com]
05.12.05 BBC staff in mass protest
May 12 Journalists and broadcasting workers at the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) will strike for three days starting later this month over plans to cut 3,780 jobs across the organisation, union officials said today. Workers from three trade unions will walk out on May 23, May 31 and June 1, threatening disruption to radio and television programs at the world's biggest public broadcaster. The announcement came after thousands of journalists and other employees at the BBC voted yesterday to go on strike over the dispute. [More>>theaustralian.news.com.au; See also guardian.co.uk]
05.12.05 Grenade found in Tbilisi during Bush speech was live
TBILISI (RIA Novosti) May 12 The grenade found in Freedom Square in Tbilisi during George W. Bush's speech on May 10 was live, a source close to the investigation told RIA Novosti. "The grenade was live, but did not explode. We are now investigating the causes," he said. What is more, he said, the grenade was thrown from the direction of reviewing stands. The source said that eye witnesses are now giving evidence to the secret services, including a teenager who had the kerchief-wrapped grenade hit his head. The information that the grenade was indeed thrown, rather than left on the ground is also confirmed by other witnesses, the agency's source added.
The source emphasized that in the event of an explosion the presidents of Georgia and the U.S., who were 50 metres away on a high podium would not have been threatened. But, he believes, several people might have been wounded or killed, causing panic and a stampede among thousands of people in the square. [More>>rian.ru]
05.12.05 Iran warned on nukes but threatens to resume enrichment
VIENNA (Reuters) May 12 France, Britain and Germany have warned Iran they will break off talks and join Washington in seeking UN Security Council action if Tehran makes good on its threats to resume atomic work, diplomats said on Thursday. The foreign ministers of the European Unionıs three biggest powers sent a toughly worded letter to Hassan Rohani, Iranıs chief nuclear negotiator, warning that resuming potentially arms-related nuclear work ³would bring the negotiating process to an end,² an EU diplomat quoted the letter as saying.
³The consequences could only be negative for Iran,² the letter said, implying that the trio would back US calls to refer Iranıs case to the UN Security Council for possible economic sanctions or other actions. [More>>khaleejtimes.com; See also haaretzdaily.com]
05.12.05 Al-Jazeera poised for expansion
May 12 Often controversial and provocative, Al-Jazeera, the Arabic satellite TV station has been thrown out of a few Middle East countries for its bold coverage. Many a times, it has provoked the ire of leaders in the United States for its reports and interviews, but it is gaining a huge following among people in the Arab world. Al-Jazeera has grown by leaps and bounds in less than a decade.
It now boasts a sports channel. It has just launched its new live channel and plans to have its English channel out by the end of the year. It may even venture into radio, the print media and marketing its name for products to be a full-fledged TV station.
Denying that the satellite channel has become an al-Qaeda and Osama bin Laden mouthpiece, Al-Jazeera's managing director, Wadah Khanfar, who was in Kuala Lumpur recently spoke to The Star's SHAHANAAZ HABIB on a variety of issues such as its direction, ethics and professionalism and how it always presents "the opinion and the other opinion." [More>>thestar.com.my]
05.12.05 Two more polio cases raise fear of larger outbreak in Indonesia
JAKARTA (AFP) May 12 Indonesian health authorities said Thursday they had confirmed two more cases of polio, taking the total to six in an outbreak that has sparked fears of a larger health scare.
More than a decade after the crippling disease was believed to have been eradicated here, six people had now tested positive for the disease, said Yudhi Prayudha, the head of the West Java province health office.
Sukabumi district, just southeast of the capital Jakarta, is where a case was detected earlier this month, the first since 1995. All six cases, children who had not been immunized against the disease, are from the district...Speaking Wednesday, Masulili said that authorities were working to immunize the estimated 800,000 children under five-years-old in the city.
The outbreak in Sukabumi is believed to have been caused by a virus that had been brought here via Saudi Arabia either with migrant workers or Islamic pilgrims returning from Mecca.
Polio is a waterborne virus that usually affects infants and young children, causing paralysis, withered muscles and sometimes death. There is noknown cure. [Full story>>thejakartapost.com]
05.12.05 Daily Yomiuri: China's growth conjures 'god of death in the air'
May 12 This is the 18th installment in a series of articles in the "Planning National Strategies" series that considers the situation and problems concerning natural resources and energy.
Zhang Lijun, deputy administrator of China's State Environmental Protection Administration (SEPA), whose post is equivalent to that of vice minister, made an announcement last month before a group of ministers in charge of environmental conservation from a number of countries:
"Although China has placed priority on trying to achieve sustainable development, our activities in this field have only had four years of experience. We aim to make China a recycling-oriented society, and do this by introducing advanced technologies aggressively from overseas." The remarks were made on April 29 at the U.N.-sponsored Ministerial Conference on the 3R Initiative held at a hotel in Tokyo.
The three R's refer to the reducing, reusing and recycling of waste.
...China's growing interest in environmental protection measures has come from its increased pollution due to rapid economic growth. For example, China's emissions of waste water amounts to an estimated 46 billion tons a year, of which only 13.44 million tons, or 0.0003 percent, is chemically processed for reuse. Unprocessed waste water pollutes rivers, lakes and marshes, threatening the safety of drinking water.
Air pollution is an increasingly serious problem for China. Sulfur dioxide emissions in China run to a staggering 21.59 million tons per year, making it the world's largest producer of the air-polluting substance. According to analysts, such massive sulfur dioxide emissions adversely affect the health of one-third of all the land in China due to acid rain. Acid rain is internationally defined as rain with a pH the index of hydrogen-ion concentration of 5.6 or lower. A reading of 7 is neutral. Lower figures indicate acidity.
Called "the god of death in the air" in China, acid rain is produced when such pollutants as sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide emitted from the burning of fossil fuels turn into sulfuric acid and nitric acid in the atmosphere and mix with rain... [More>>yomiuri.co.jp]
05.12.05 US ineffective in pressuring North Korea to dismantle weapons
May 12 The United States has apparently been running out of effective cards to play in forcing North Korea to dismantle its nuclear weapons program, especially as it finds little cooperation from China, a major ally to the communist state, analysts said.
China is reportedly unfased by US appeals to apply economic or political sanctions on North Korea to press the communist state to abandon its nuclear ambitions. Considering stability in the neighboring country, which is a precondition to its economic developments, Beijing has refrained from using pressure, analysts said. Though Washington has been discussing with China and Russia taking North Korea's nuclear issue to the UN Security Council, it is unlikely to happen as China, one of UN council's permanent seat members, has indicated it would veto the attempt.
Fears have mounted recently over the North's nuclear weapons program, with the country reportedly preparing a nuclear explosion test. It declared in February that it manufactures atomic bombs and will increase its deterrence against "US hostility." In the latest raising of the stakes in the escalating nuclear tension, North Korea announced Wednesday that it had completed removing spent nuclear fuel rods from a reactor, a procedure which enables it to obtain weapons-grade plutonium. [More>>koreaherald.co.kr]
05.12.05 US underrates China's rising power: Albright
LISBON (Agencies) May 12 The United States administration underrates the growing economic and political power of China, former US secretary of state Madeleine Albright said.
"I think that at the least the United States underestimates the growing power of China. It is an immense country with energetic people which has great ambitions for itself," she told reporters in Lisbon after delivering a speech on democracy. "What we did while we were in office was to try to bring China into the system," said Albright, who served as Washington's top diplomat under president Bill Clinton. She said Washington's support for the entry of China into the World Trade Organization in 2001 was an example of this policy. "It is very important not to have China as an enemy and to try to bring it in as much as possible into world organizations," Albright said. [More>>chinadaily.com.cn]
05.12.05 Now, India can export missiles: Gov't
NEW DELHI (PTI) May 12 For the first time, India on Thursday said it was in a position to export missiles. "India is in a position to export certain categories of missiles," Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee said in a written reply in Lok Sabha. However, he said it may not be in [the] national interest to disclose details of queries for missiles from countries. Mukherjee's comments come in the wake of reports that a number of countries had evinced interest in missile sales from India. [expressindia.com]
05.12.05 Three more dead in Afghan anti-US protests
KABUL, May 12 - Three more people were killed in eastern Afghanistan Thursday in protests against the alleged US abuse of the Koran, raising the death toll from three days of unrest to seven, officials said. [jang.com.pk; Note earlier jang.com.pk report: Demonstrators against the desecration of the Koran at a US military jail took to the streets of Kabul on Thursday in a third day of protests across Afghanistan that have left four people dead, witnesses said. Between 200 and 300 Kabul University students carrying banners saying "We condemn the desecration of Koran by the US soldiers" rallied early on Thursday in the centre of the capital. They shouted slogans calling on US President George W. Bush to apologies to Islamic countries and saying that proposals for permanent American base on Afghan soil could damage the country's independence. See khaleejtimes.com article, Afghan anti-US protests spread to Kabul."
05.12.05 Twenty children among 50 wounded in grenade attack outside Kashmir school
STINAGAR, India (AFP) May 12 At least 50 people, including 20 children, were wounded on Thursday in a grenade attack by militants outside a missionary school in Indian Kashmirıs summer capital, police said. The blast near the school in Srinagarıs commercial heart was the second rebel attack in two days in the city, the urban hub of a 15-year revolt against Indian rule.
³At least 50 people, 20 of them school children, have been injured in the grenade attack by militants,² said a police spokesman. Doctors said at least four of the victims, two of them schoolgirls, were in critical condition. On Wednesday, two people were killed and 34 injured when rebels detonated a powerful car bomb in another busy commercial area of Srinagar. [More>>khaleejtimes.com; See also jang.com.pk]
05.12.05 France urges restraint on Iran nuclear program
PARIS, May 12 French Foreign Minister Michel Barnier on Thursday urged Iran not to resume suspended nuclear operations, warning that to do so would incur "consequences." [jang.com.pk]
STILL IN THE NEWS
04.29.05 Bush's Social Security plan cuts benefits
WASHINGTON (AP) April 29 After nearly 60 days on the road pitching Social Security changes, President Bush is offering a new plan to fix its finances by cutting benefits of more prosperous future retirees. Democrats still aren't buying it.
In a prime-time news conference, Bush refused to back off his desire to carve private retirement accounts out of Social Security. Democrats say those personal accounts are a deal-breaker that would keep most of them from supporting Bush's revisions. But for the first time he proposed changes under which Social Security checks for low-income workers retiring in the future would grow faster than those for people who are better off. "By providing more generous benefits for low-income retirees, we'll make this commitment: If you work hard and pay into Social Security your entire life, you will not retire in poverty," Bush said. [More>>washingtontimes.com]
04.29.05Congress approves $2.6 trillion budget
WASHINGTON (Reuters) April 29 The U.S. Congress on Thursday approved a $2.6 trillion budget plan for next year that calls for new tax cuts and spending reductions over the next five years. Republicans in the House of Representatives and Senate pushed through the budget blueprint without the support of a single Democrat.
Before final votes, Republicans and Democrats squabbled over whether this budget outline for the fiscal year beginning on Oct. 1 would set America on a path toward cutting U.S. budget deficits in half, as President Bush has promised, or whether it would add billions of dollars to already record budget deficits.
Bush praised Congress' work, calling the product "a responsible budget that reins in spending to limits not seen in years."
Among the key components are proposals for up to $106 billion in additional tax cuts over five years coupled with $35 billion in spending cuts over the same period. [More>>Reuters.com]
04.21.05 Greenspan renews warning on budget deficits
April 21 Nell Henderson, Washington Post Staff Writer reports: Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan said today that his support for tax cuts in early 2001 unintentionally encouraged policies that helped swing the federal budget from surplus to record deficits. In addition, he said for the first time explicitly that he expected tax increases to be part of any bipartisan agreement on deficit reduction... "The federal budget deficit is on an unsustainable path, in which large deficits result in rising interest rates and ever-growing interest payments that augment deficits in future years," Greenspan said in his prepared testimony. "But most important, deficits as a percentage of [gross domestic product] in these simulations rise without limit. Unless that trend is reversed, at some point these deficits would cause the economy to stagnate or worse." Greenspan called for "major deficit-reducing actions" and acknowledged that tax increases may be part of an agreement between the two parties. [More>>washingtonpost.com via cbs]
Editorial Note: There is much confusion among reporters ( who have any idea what is going on with regard to the US National Debt and deficits). They don't seem to know the difference between the National Debt and National Deficits. The National Debt is an accumulation of deficits, the bulk of which accrued from the Reagan-Bush era. The National Debt accumulates interest, which is an item added to the overall annual deficit of the US government. This year, according to the report in the Washington Post, the National Deficit is $412 billion, much of which is interest. This will be added to the ~$9.2 trillion National debt, which brings the total debt to $9.8 trillion. What is the annual interest on $10 trillion at 7% interest? It's nearly $2 billion per day. While we have been experiencing a lower interest rate accrued to our recent debts, 7% is not an unreasonable rate for a long-term debt (which is what the $10 trillion is).
Interest on the National Debt is now our single largest budget expenditure. Instead of spending money on infrastructure repair, education, etc., we are compelled to pay creditors, some of whom are very rich and are not known for investing such monies in job-producing ventures, and others are several central banks (China, Japan, etc.). Those who own our debt are at greater risk the higher our debt becomes, since the amount of the debt is exceeding our ability to refinance it. Click on the chart in the sidebar to get a better grasp of the seriousness of Greenspan's warning. Those who are familiar with "J" curves exponential increases will understand my concern that we have passed the "point of no return." We're sunk.
04.14.05 We ignore internet at our peril, Murdoch warns editors
April 14 Chris Tryhorn, Guardian city correspondent, reports: Rupert Murdoch has admitted he "didn't do as much as [he] should have" to confront the digital challenges faced by his newspaper business, which owns the Sun, Times and News of the World in the UK as well as titles in the US and Australia. Describing himself as a "digital immigrant" in contrast to his young daughters, who would be "digital natives," he said the internet was "an emerging medium that is not my native language."
In a speech to American editors in Washington, Mr. Murdoch issued a stark warning to the industry, arguing that the web was "a fast-developing reality we should grasp." He said consumers wanted "control over the media, instead of being controlled by it", pointing to the proliferation of website diaries known as "blogs" and message boards...Young people's attitudes towards newspapers were "especially alarming", he said. "Only 9% describe us as trustworthy, a scant 8% find us useful, and only 4% of respondents think we're entertaining."
He described the shift in attitudes as "a revolution in the way young people are accessing news."
"They don't want to rely on the morning paper for their up-to-date information. They don't want to rely on a God-like figure from above to tell them what's important. And to carry the religion analogy a bit further, they certainly don't want news presented as gospel."
"...In fact, they want a lot of news, just faster news of a different kind and delivered in a different way." The migration of readers online was also affecting advertising revenues, Mr Murdoch said. "The threat of losing print advertising dollars to online media is very real. In fact, it's already happening, particularly in classifieds." [More>>guardian.co.uk]
03.23.05 Federal Reserve raised new worries about 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. [More>>nytimes.com]
Editorial note: What is not being reported is the fact that interest rates are tied to the US National Debt. As the debt increases (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.
(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.
(3) Ronald L. Conte Jr., biblicalchronology.com. has an interesting analyses of comets and eclipses as they relate to Roman times and Biblical Chronology. His estimate of 54 A.D. for the destruction of Jerusalem by Titus, rather than 70 A.D., is controversial, to say the least.
(4) In comparing the Hogenberg, Adrichem and Josephus maps, it appears that the structure noted as "Solomon's Temple" is, in fact, Pilate's palace, and the Antonia fortress and Strotion Tower. This leaves the adjacent "squared complex" in all three maps as the Temple of Herod. This leaves to be explained the mountain peak underneath the Dome of the Rock, whether the height of the Temple Mount was above that point, since no mountain peak is indicated in the area of the "squared complex." King Solomon's palace and stables were adjacent to the Temple Mount, and there may be confusion here with the "squared complex" on the maps. The image of "Solomon's Temple" on the Josephus map does match the description of the actual temple. The thesis that the Temple did not sit atop the peak underneath the Dome of the Rock still must be answered, since both those who advocate restoration of the Temple and those who resist it (Palestinians, who oversee the Temple Mount) have presumed that in order to restore the Temple the Dome of the Rock would have to be torn down.
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