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April 1, 2000


Digest Home | 2000 | April, 2000

 

To: bpr-list@philologos.org (BPR Mailing List)
Subject: [BPR] - Uganda Death Toll Rises To 924
From: bpr-list@philologos.org("Khazneh")
Date: Sat, 1 Apr 2000 08:39:49 -0500

Uganda Death Toll Rises To 924
Updated 12:32 PM ET March 31, 2000
By CRAIG NELSON, Associated Press Writer

KABUMBA, Uganda (AP) - Ugandan police revised the number of deaths linked to
a Christian doomsday sect to 924 today, surpassing the 1978 Jonestown
tragedy and making it one of the largest cult-related killings in history.

Investigators have yet to search a fifth cult compound believed to hold more
victims. They canceled today's search of the site, deep in a rainforest near
the Ruwenzori Mountians along the Congolese border, until they have the
proper equipment, said police spokesman Eric Naigambi.

The death toll rose after police re-estimated those killed in the March 17
church fire that first revealed the deadly activities of the Movement for
the Restoration of the Ten Commandments of God.

Authorities initially reported at least 330 charred bodies inside the ruins
of the makeshift church in Kanunga. Today, they said they had confirmed that
at least 530 people perished in what was believed to have been a
gasoline-fueled inferno inside the sealed church.

Subsequent searches of three other sect compounds unearthed mass graves
yielding victims apparently killed after what had been the cult's Dec. 31
deadline for the world to end. Some of the victims appeared to have been
knifed or strangled. Hundreds were children.

The toll surpasses the November 1978 Peoples Temple tragedy. The Jonestown
mass suicide and killings claimed 913 lives in the jungles of Guyana,
including that of U.S. Rep. Leo Ryan, journalists and a handful of defectors
shot to death as they tried to board a flight out of the jungle.

Ugandan police are pursuing international arrest warrants for Joseph
Kibwetere, Credonia Mwerinde and three other suspected cult leaders. It's
not clear if any or all escaped the mass graves and the inferno that
followed.

Who led the cult and whether or not they escaped with the wealth they
amassed from cult members remain some of the key questions in the
investigation.

While Mwerinde was officially only one of the cult's "12 Apostles," inside
the sect she was known as "The Programmer" and her power was unchallenged,
says Therese Kibwetere, Joseph Kibwetere's estranged wife.

"Whenever anything was to be done, it was Credonia," she said.

Joseph Kibwetere, 64, is believed by some of his family members to have
perished in the church fire, although other reports have said he could have
escaped. Mwerinde's whereabouts at the time of the fire are unknown.

Kibwetere, Mwerinde and other sect leaders had predicted that the world
would end last Dec. 31. When that didn't happen, authorities believe members
demanded the return of possessions they had surrendered to join the sect,
rebelled and were slaughtered.

Mwerinde's former common-law husband Eric Mazima challenged her carefully
cultivated image as a religious devotee. He said it was only after the
couple's joint business went bankrupt that she claimed to have seen an
apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary in a cave in southwestern Ugandan.

Until then, he said, she ran a shop in Kanunga that sold banana beer and a
fiery local liquor. Press accounts have frequently referred to her as a
prostitute, but Mazima and residents say that while notoriously promiscuous,
Mwerinde was not paid for sex.

The leadership of the Ten Commandments Movement was largely a family affair,
Mazima said, with relatives of the 48-year-old Mwerinde serving as four of
the sect's "12 Apostles."

Four months after leaving her husband, Mwerinde met Kibwetere in Nyamitanga,
where he and his wife had gone to hear her testify about her visions.

Juvenal Mugambwa, Kibwetere's son, said Mwerinde told his father the Virgin
Mary had directed her to Nyamitanga to find a man called "Kibwetere," who
would take them to his home where they would spread her message to the
world.

That evening, Kibwetere brought Mwerinde, her sister and two other friends
home with him to Kabumba.

Within days, Kibwetere and his wife had moved into a room with Mwerinde and
the three other women. Therese Kibwetere said she was denied any sexual
contact with her husband. Mugambwa believes his father and Mwerinde had a
sexual relationship.

According to Mugambwa and his mother, Mwerinde would explode in rages, beat
Kibwetere's children and demand total obedience - all the while saying she
spoke directly for the Virgin Mary.

After a few months, talking was banned in favor of sign language, Mugambwa
said. Meals were cut from three to two, with two days of fasting each week.
The house swelled with the movement's adherents, mothers were separated from
their children.

Mwerinde often retired alone to a room to write and receive "programs from
the Virgin Mary," Mugambwe says. She would then emerge with the declaration:
"I've been receiving messages from God that the Virgin Mary is annoyed.
People are sinning too much and God is going to end the world because of the
sins."

Mugambwe said Mwerinde beat his sisters and forced 60 children to live in a
15-by-40-foot backyard shed. The windows were nailed shut and the children
forced to sleep on the dirt floor. They frequently were infected with
scabies. Mugambwa became her enemy.

"When I offered them sweets, they refused, making a sign that I was Satan,"
he said.

After three years of abuse, Kibwetere's extended family forced Mwerinde and
the three women from the house. Kibwetere went with them.

They moved to Kanungu, Mwerinde's hometown, where Kibwetere donned a
bishop's ring and church vestments. Kibwetere, an excommunicated Roman
Catholic, never spoke to his family again.

Left behind on a wall mantel in Therese Kibwetere's home is a framed printed
version of what she said was her husband's favorite prayer "Oh Lord God:
Help me keep my big mouth shut until I know what I am talking about."

http://news.excite.com/news/ap/000331/12/uganda-cult-deaths

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========
To: bpr-list@philologos.org (BPR Mailing List)
Subject: [BPR] - Infobeat News items (3/31/00)
From: bpr-list@philologos.org("Moza")
Date: Sat, 1 Apr 2000 09:19:24 -0500

*** Mass. to ban computer dumping

BOSTON (AP) - Electronics lovers on an endless search for a sharper
picture will find it harder to get rid of the relics of their quest
in Massachusetts, which begins the first state ban on dumping video
monitors Saturday. State environmental officials are trying to head
off a flood of potentially toxic electronic junk from computer
screens and televisions into the state's landfills and incinerators.
Six collection centers have been established to accept cathode ray
tubes for recycling, the state Department of Environmental Protection
said. The average cathode ray tube contains 5 to 8 pounds of lead,
which can pose a threat if it is released into the environment. See
http://www.infobeat.com/stories/cgi/story.cgi?id=2565334673-552

*** Opposite-sex roommates OK'd

HAVERFORD, Pa. (AP) - Partly in response to requests from gay
students, Haverford College will allow men and women to share
bedrooms next school year in the college's apartment-style
dormitories. Mixed-gender groups of three students will be allowed to
share two-bedroom units at the Haverford College Apartments, which
house a third of the school's 1,118 students. The new rules will not
apply to one-bedroom apartments or to dormitories for freshmen.
Wesleyan University in Middletown, Conn., and Hampshire College in
Amherst, Mass., already allow men and women to share dormitory rooms.
See http://www.infobeat.com/stories/cgi/story.cgi?id=2565331370-694

*** Norway bishops join sex ed class

OSLO, Norway (AP) - Norway's 11 Lutheran bishops are headed back to
school for a class that could shock some parishioners and amuse
others: sex education. The leaders of the country's Lutheran Church
have to understand how modern and liberal Norwegians relate to sex.
Homosexuality will be an important topic, since it has led to a
bitter split among Norwegian Christians, church officials said
Friday. The church has been split over whether homosexuals can hold
religious posts. The debate flared last year when Norway's only
female bishop, Rosamarie Kohn, allowed lesbian clergywoman Siri Sunde
to return to the pulpit even though she married a woman. See
http://www.infobeat.com/stories/cgi/story.cgi?id=2565333498-57e

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========
To: bpr-list@philologos.org (BPR Mailing List)
Subject: [BPR] - Course's gay 'plunges' earn school a PC aware
From: bpr-list@philologos.org("Moza")
Date: Sat, 1 Apr 2000 09:29:29 -0500

The Washington Times
www.washtimes.com

Course's gay 'plunges' earn school a PC award

Andrea Billups
THE WASHINGTON TIMES

Published 3/31/00

Students entering the teacher education program at San Diego State
University must take a course on multicultural education that requires
them to take "cultural plunges," rather than tests.

Those include taking trips to homosexual bars, visiting black churches
if they are white and identifying themselves publicly as gay or lesbian
— even if they are not — to better understand what it feels like to be
different.

For their efforts at training new teachers, San Diego State has been
named the top winner of the Intercollegiate Studies Institute's Polly
Awards, handed out each year for outrageous examples of political
correctness on college campuses.

In their third year, the Pollys are awarded on or near April Fools' Day
to highlight "the zany, bizarre, and noxious tendencies of radical
faculty and students on the nation's college campuses," said institute
officials, who announced the winners Thursday.

T. Kenneth Cribb Jr., institute president, said the awards were created
"to widely disseminate instances of outrageous totalitarianism,
politicization of the curriculum and left-wing bigotry on college
campuses."

"Many university deans and presidents decry the idea that political
correctness exists and claim that critics of PC use exaggerated or
outdated anecdotes," he said. "Here's proof to the contrary."

The institute, a conservative think thank in Wilmington, Del., solicits
Polly nominations from students on campuses nationwide.

San Diego State student Megan Ike took the "Introduction to
Multicultural Education" class last summer. She told an institute
researcher she was surprised by the first day's exercises, which
required her to wear a tag identifying her as gay, lesbian or bisexual.

Members of the school's Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgendered Student
Union spoke to the class and had each student affirm out loud his status
as a homosexual, the institute said.

The students in the class were later asked lifestyle questions.

Miss Ike got: "If you were walking with your lesbian lover on campus and
a couple of guys jumped out and started harassing you, how would you
feel?"

"They were trying to get us in the frame of mind of what it felt like to
be gay," said Miss Ike, who is not homosexual.

Students in her class of future educators were never warned that such
exercises would be a part of the course, she said.

"This transparent attempt at political indoctrination would be a
travesty in any department," said Winfield Myers, a senior editor at the
institute. "Yet in a program officially sanctioned by the state to
dispense permission to teach in public schools, it's truly frightening.
Just when our public schools cry out for a curricular revolution, the
educrats try to bring back the Cultural Revolution."

Other 2000 winners included:

• Cornell University, where resident advisers hosted a "Roman Orgy"
party in a campus dormitory with funds from student fees.

"While organizers suggested that the party would consist of just
massages and snacks, it was not long before the clothes started to come
off," the institute reported. "The RAs even set the mood: dimmed lights,
incense, and a bowl of condoms." The orgy's organizers were not punished
by the campus administration, the institute said.

"Some students have always lived on the edge, but at Cornell they can
use other people's money in their pursuit of vulgarity even as the
administration turns a blind eye," said Mr. Myers.

• Student Government at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, which
spent student fees on various items, including fine restaurants, luxury
hotels, valet parking and junk food.

"Last year's expenses included more than $29,000 spent on travel," the
researchers said. "Last fall, the finance committee approved funding for
$50 worth of tobacco to be purchased for a campus organization, even as
it launched its anti-smoking movement."

• The University of Texas administration, which canceled a scheduled
speech by former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger.

"During the few weeks before his arrival, campus protesters beat their
message out: Henry Kissinger is nothing more than a war criminal. The
Radical Action Network protested during the weeks leading up to the
event, covered the campus with fliers, and held a teach-in to spread
their message that Kissinger doesn't belong at UT. In the end, the UT
administration caved in to the pressure from the protesters and canceled
Mr. Kissinger's speech, claiming that his speaking on campus would cause
an outbreak of violence and endanger the people in the auditorium," the
institute said.

Last year, institute officials noted, UT police watched as protesters
disrupted Ward Connerly, a leading opponent of racial preferences, at a
debate on affirmative action.

"Perhaps this looks like an old story, but that's only because shouting
down people has always been easier than engaging them in debate," Mr.
Myers said. "It's a sure sign of intellectual cowardice."

• Harvard and Yale (tied). At Yale, when the "gay/lesbian club
discovered satirical posters on campus celebrating 'Gay Avarice Week,'
'Gay Sloth Week,' and 'Gay Lust Week,' in response to the campus'
celebration of 'Gay Pride Week,' club members tore them down and
complained to the administration," the institute said.

"Yale's top brass reacted predictably by claiming it was a hateful
attack by 'a very few sick individuals' and vowing that if the author
were revealed, he would be . . . charged with policing alleged
harassment."

At Harvard: "The gay/lesbian club plastered the campus with posters and
fliers celebrating National Coming Out Day. Some students believed that
the publicly placed materials were, at best, obscene, and that some were
pornographic. Harvard's administration refused to stand up to the
activists by claiming that the true issue was the protection of free
speech.

"The administrations of these Ivy League schools reacted differently in
the two cases: favored groups can get away with public displays of
pornography, but anyone satirizing protected groups faces the wrath of
officials in high places," the institute said.

http://asp.washtimes.com/printarticle.asp?action=print&ArticleID=default
- 2000331225657

Link provided by:
http://www.newsviewtoday.com/

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To: bpr-list@philologos.org (BPR Mailing List)
Subject: [BPR] - Granny Missing? No Worry with Satellite Tracking
From: bpr-list@philologos.org("Moza")
Date: Sat, 1 Apr 2000 09:31:24 -0500

Friday March 31 10:25 AM ET

 Granny Missing? No Worry With Satellite Tracking

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japanese companies have solved the problem of straying
senior citizens -- track them by satellite.

A device for finding old people unable to take care of themselves uses a
satellite-based global positioning system and a cellular phone network.

Local governments in Tokyo and Japan's Kikuchi City plan to test the device,
developed by a group led by trading house Mitsui & Co ``We are definitely
expecting a market to develop for the system,'' a Mitsui spokesman said.

A transmitter attached to the body or on clothing beams coordinates of the
person to a local server. Concerned relatives just need to send a request by
portable terminal and up pops the runaway's location on a computerized
map.

Systems already exist in Japan for finding lost people but they rely on
technology for personal handyphones -- a type of mobile phone -- and do not
work well if the escapee jumps on a train or takes to the mountains.

And the idea is not simply pie in the sky given the graying of Japan's
population. Already there are an estimated 1.88 million elderly people in
Japan suffering various degrees of senility.

The device will be tested later this year with a planned launch in early 2001.

http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/nm/20000331/od/elderly_1.html

Link via:
http://www.newsviewtoday.com/

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To: bpr-list@philologos.org (BPR Mailing List)
Subject: [BPR] - Learning the Music of the Animals
From: bpr-list@philologos.org("Moza")
Date: Sat, 1 Apr 2000 09:39:48 -0500

From Bird to Beethoven
Learning the Music of the Animals

The call of the white-breasted wood wren sounds like the opening of a
famous piece of classical music. Click to see if you recognize it. (Doug
Wechsler/ VIREO)

By Jennifer Viegas Special to ABCNEWS.com

As the sun rises, birds sing to greet the day. On warm summer nights,
crickets call out to each other, creating a lush symphony. Even
seemingly silent creatures, such as elephants and whales, display vocal
prowess. Nature and music have always been linked, but never officially
in academic studies. Proponents of a new field they call “biomusic” soon
hope to change that.

Coming To A School Near You

While researchers have studied animal sounds for many years, biomusic is
a concept born just in the last couple of decades. “The purpose of
biomusic is to examine linkages between music and a variety of
sciences,” says Patricia Gray, artistic director of National Musical
Arts and one of the founders of the biomusic, “and to use this nexus as
a means for developing new linkages and deeper understandings of life.”

As Gray points out, compelling links exist between music and a number of
traditional sciences. Anthropologists, for example, have discovered that
for thousands of years, the Amahuaca Indians of the Amazon rain forests
have relied on nuances in the whistles of the tinamous bird and other
avian tunes. One song could point to the location of food; another might
warn of the slithering approach of a poisonous snake.

Last month, Gray helped organize a biomusic symposium at the annual
meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in
Washington, D.C. The symposium, one the meeting´s most popular, included
song styling in elephants, a demonstration of whale songs, love calls of
insects and birdcall-inspired prehistoric flutes.

Gray and her colleagues now hope to develop educational tools such as
books and CD-ROMs to move biomusic into schools. Some universities offer
related bioacoustics courses in their animal behavior departments, but
Gray hopes to draw younger students to biomusic, too.

People Aren´t The Only Musicmakers

Cynics may argue animal sounds are just sounds, sometimes pretty, but
not music, a term that implies creativity and deliberate composition.

So what does it mean that birds were singing the opening bars of
Beethoven´s “Fifth Symphony” long before Beethoven wrote down the notes?

Birds sing for many reasons, from advertising for a mate to warning off
intruders.

But studies also suggest communication is not the only reason for bird
music. Luis Baptista, chair of the ornithology and mammalogy department
at the California Academy of Sciences, has found birds sing when they
appear to be content.

“Song birds in a state of [peace and comfort] often sing softly to
themselves without addressing those songs to any listener in
particular,” Baptista says. “In this sense, music may serve the same
function in humans and birds. We usually sing when we feel good and
happy.”

Interestingly enough, bachelor birds sing much more than paired males.
Many married couples can relate to this — after marriage, some bird
couples quit singing altogether.

From Tree to Orchestra

Bird songs inspired virtually all of the great classical composers, from
Bach to Schubert. The opening bars of Beethoven´s “Fifth Symphony,” for
instance, are taken directly from the song of the white-breasted wood
wren.

Mozart was one of the few who actually gave birds credit. His beloved
pet starling was a great muse to him. While composing his “Piano
Concerto in G Major,” Mozart noticed his starling singing along and
imitating his piano. Mozart liked the imitation better than than
original tune, so he changed it. He wrote, in reference to his bird´s
addition, “That was beautiful!” When the bird died in 1784, it had a
proper funeral with hymns sung at the graveside.

Composers aren´t the only people who have recognized birds as the
musical virtuosos of the animal kingdom. Baptista recently discovered
bird vocalizations are stored in specific parts of their brains, usually
the left hemisphere.

“These are reminiscent of regions in the human brain where speech is
stored,” says Baptista. Calling someone a “bird brain” might not be such
an insult.

Other Singers

Like a scene out of Disney´s Fantasia, scientists are learning that most
creatures express themselves in song and music.

Most of us are familiar with the haunting songs of whales. Researchers
have learned that such song stylings are structured in distinct phrases
presented in an orderly fashion. Many of the phrases appear to rhyme,
and are memorized by members of whale groups. New compositions are
created every season.

Until recently, elephants were thought of as the big, strong and silent
type, with just the occasional snort and loud call. Now, advances in
sound technology allow researchers to hear what they´ve been missing.
Katy Payne, senior researcher at the Ornithological Laboratory at
Cornell University, has recorded elephant sounds, then shifted the
frequencies into a range audible to the human ear. As it turns out,
elephants are actually “singing” to each other at ultralow frequencies.

Payne, Baptista, and others hope that biomusic will not only teach
children and others to respect and appreciate nature, but that will also
help save music education in schools by connecting it with science.

As Gray says, “Perhaps biomusic will help us to better hear the big
picture.”

http://www.abcnews.go.com/sections/science/DailyNews/biomusic000329.html

Link via:
http://www.newsviewtoday.com/

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