Philologos
BPR Mailing List Digest
May 3, 2000


Digest Home | 2000 | May, 2000

 

To: bpr-list@philologos.org (BPR Mailing List)
Subject: [BPR] - Tsunami Warning
From: bpr-list@philologos.org("Shophar_Sho_Good")
Date: Wed, 03 May 2000 08:24:46 -0500

Tsunami Warning

Mid-Atlantic States Possibly at Risk for Devastating
Tidal Waves

http://abcnews.go.com/sections/science/DailyNews/tsunami000
502.html

A view of the destroyed lagoon of Sissano village is seen
July 20, 1998. A 23-foot wall of water flattened three
villages on the northwestern shores of Papua, New Guinea,
killing at least 599 people. (Rick Rycroft/AP Photo)

The Associated Press

F A L M O U T H, Mass., May 2 - Scientists have discovered
cracks in the ocean floor off the East Coast that could
trigger a tsunami, sending 18-foot waves toward the Mid-
Atlantic states. The possibility of an East Coast tsunami
isn't as remote as many would like to believe, three
scientists report in this month's issue of the journal
Geology.

Wobbly Continental Shelf?

Neal Driscoll of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
on Cape Cod, Jeffrey Weissel of Columbia University and
John Goff of the University of Texas at Austin said
recently discovered cracks off the coast could mean the
continental shelf is unstable.

The researchers say they discovered the cracks along a 25-
mile section of the continental shelf - or the part of the
continent in shallow seas - off the Virginia and North
Carolina Coast.

Those areas, and the lower Chesapeake Bay, would be the
areas of highest risk and could see wave heights similar to
the storm surge of a category 4 hurricane, which is
characterized by top sustained winds of 131 mph to 155 mph.

Underwater Avalanche

The cracks indicate the sea floor could slide down like an
avalanche, triggering the giant and potentially deadly
waves. But it's unclear whether the cracks are fossil
features or whether they are still active, Driscoll said.

This weekend, he and other scientists plan an expedition
to gather more information to better determine the risk to
the coast. "The threat, if they haven't moved in a long
time, might be less," Driscoll said.

He said there is evidence that a tsunami, a massive wave
caused by an earthquake or volcanic eruption, occurred
16,000 to 18,000 years ago. Because tsunamis are less
common than earthquakes and hurricanes, the public tends to
be less concerned about them. But the dangers are real.

A tsunami in Papua New Guinea killed 2,000 people in 1998.

The relative rarity of tsunamis also means scientists
understand less about them than about other disasters.
"Prediction is still far off," Driscoll said.

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To: bpr-list@philologos.org (BPR Mailing List)
Subject: [BPR] - Farms hit by space oddities
From: bpr-list@philologos.org("Shophar_Sho_Good")
Date: Wed, 03 May 2000 08:26:49 -0500

Farms hit by space oddities

TELEGRAPH JOHANNESBURG Wednesday 3 May 2000

http://www.theage.com.au/news/20000503/A37276-2000May2.html

NASA space officials have been asked by South African
authorities to help identify the origin of two large metal
balls that fell from the sky on to farmland in the Boland
region north of Cape Town.

The first, weighing about 30 kilograms, landed on Pieter
Viljoen's vineyard at Worcester.

"My staff said they heard two loud bangs like gunshots and
saw the shining ball fall near the vineyards," Mr Viljoen
said. "It was too hot to touch for 30 minutes but once it
cooled I loaded it on to my truck and the police have taken
it for analysis."

A police spokesman said: "The witnesses said it was white-
hot when it landed. It appears to be solid iron and there
is a section that contains bolts. I don't know what it
could be."

The second, larger ball, which fell at Durbanville, was
oval, up to 150 centimetres long and weighed about 45
kilograms. Farm workers again reported hearing two loud
bangs like gunshots just before it landed.

Astronomers said the objects could be part of a decaying
satellite. NASA had predicted that parts of a Pegasus
satellite would fall to Earth, they said.

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To: bpr-list@philologos.org (BPR Mailing List)
Subject: [BPR] - Six to die for fertility rite sacrifice of baby
From: bpr-list@philologos.org("Shophar_Sho_Good")
Date: Wed, 03 May 2000 08:28:21 -0500

Six to die for fertility rite sacrifice of baby

Tuesday, May 2, 2000 INDIA JONATHAN STOCK in New Delhi

http://www.scmp.com/News/Asia/Article/FullText_asp_ArticleI
D-200005020327114 03.asp

Six people have been sentenced to death after a court in
Delhi found them guilty of sacrificing a young child as
part of a horrific ritual to help one of them conceive.

Additional Sessions Judge R. S. Verma described the case,
which had taken more than 13 years to come to court, as
"the rarest of the rare".

Eighteen-month-old Kavita was "offered" to a Hindu goddess
in 1987 after "corrosive oil" had been applied to different
parts of her body and then ignited. The child died of
multiple burns and was dumped in a water tank. Judge Verma
concluded in a 24-page judgment that one of the accused,
Shakila, had gone to a local "tantrik", or witch doctor,
and asked him to help her daughter, Chaman, conceive.

The tantrik advised the mother to kidnap a child and
sacrifice it during Dusshera, a 10-day Hindu festival
associated with the vanquishing of demons.

Kavita was seized from her home in Sultanpuri, West Delhi,
on the evening of October 2, the beginning of Dusshera, and
taken to Shakila's house in the same neighbourhood.

Three men helped Shakila and Chaman perform the gruesome
ritual, which was witnessed by a neighbour. His evidence
proved crucial in establishing the premeditated nature of
the killing.

Sentencing the accused, the judge said: "The murder of
this baby was committed by the convicts in a cold-blooded
and brutal manner and was without provocation.

"Kavita had done no harm to any of the accused and was a
child of tender age who could have survived to enjoy the
fruits of a long life," he said. The six accused were also
sentenced to life imprisonment for criminal conspiracy and
seven years of rigorous imprisonment for kidnapping. The
death sentence will only be carried out if it is confirmed
by the Delhi High Court.

Child sacrifice still occurs in remote parts of India,
usually at the behest of childless women.

Most tantriks, who charge up to 5,000 rupees (HK$875) for
advice, recommend that the sacrifice be made to Kali, a
female deity also known as Durga, who is worshipped at
Dusshera.

Police and doctors in the central state of Uttar Pradesh
have been accused in the past of taking money from tantriks
in return for recording the deaths as murder rather than
sacrifice.

It is not known if Chaman conceived.

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To: bpr-list@philologos.org (BPR Mailing List)
Subject: [BPR] - US Air Force Hits Lowest Readiness Level in 15 Years
From: bpr-list@philologos.org
Date: Wed, 3 May 2000 08:42:19 -0500

------- Forwarded message follows -------

via: hblondel@tampabay.rr.com>

May 2, 2000 - 12:43 PM

Air Force Hits Lowest Readiness Level in 15 Years

WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. Air Force readiness to fight a war slumped in
recent months to its lowest level in 15 years, declining 28 percent
since the end of the Cold War, a senior military official said
Tuesday.

Only 65 percent of the force's combat units were considered operating
at the military's best levels of readiness in December and January,
the official said on condition of anonymity. That means roughly 115 of
its 329 combat units were not fully capable of performing their
mission.

The rating is based on calculations of whether the units have the
people, supplies, equipment and training to do their jobs - and it's
been steadily declining for years.

The 65 percent rating early this year, for instance, compares with 95
percent readiness in 1989 and 76 percent at the end of 1998, the
official said.

The official blamed budgets that didn't allow enough for spare parts
and didn't offer service members salaries competitive in today's
booming U.S. economy. That has meant a loss of pilots to the nation's
commercial airlines and of other personnel to other civilian jobs.

"I think that all of us underestimated the amount of money you needed
to keep the force going" after the of post-Cold War drawdown in
people, equipment and so on, he said.

The Air Force has been downsized by 40 percent.

And in one year, for example, only 81 percent of what was needed for
spare parts was budgeted. "That catches up with you," he said.

He also blamed the aging fleet of aircraft and increasing tempo of
operations, naming the 1990-91 Gulf War, the bombing crusade two years
ago to punish Iraq for not cooperating with U.N. weapons inspectors
and last year's NATO-led war in Kosovo.

The rating had moved back up slightly since January, to 67 percent as
of April 1, because the Air Force purposely cut back on some tasks and
took the lull in activity to catch up on some training, put extra
money towards restocking supplies and do maintenance.

Besides combat units, there are more than 2600 other units in the
force, and those are considered at 81 percent readiness.

"We're hoping in 2000-2001 that our readiness is going to turn
around," he said, because of salary increases approved last year and
efforts to increase recruiting.

------- End of forwarded message -------

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To: bpr-list@philologos.org (BPR Mailing List)
Subject: [BPR] - Weizmann scientists promise artificial noses through the Internet
From: bpr-list@philologos.org("Moza")
Date: Wed, 3 May 2000 13:24:22 -0400

 
Wednesday, May 3, 2000

Weizmann scientists promise artificial noses through the Internet


                  By Anat Balint
                  Ha'aretz Correspondent

Two senior scientists at the Weizmann Institute in Rehovot successfully
encoded the transmission of smell through electronic equipment. The
breakthrough in what is termed "olfactory communication" will enable people
to experience the sense of smell through computers, television, telephones,
or cinema screens.

Over the last few months, the collaboration between Professor David Harel,
Dean of the faculty of computer sciences and mathematics at the Weizmann
Institute, and Professor Doron Lancet, a biochemist at the head of the Israel
Genome project, also at the institute, resulted in a series of algorithms which
can transmit smells electronically. Behind their ingenuity stands a
businessman, Eli Fisch, who initiated the idea two and a half years ago and
brought the two scientists together. The three are part of a new company,
SenseIT, which is planning to begin distribution of its first "olfactory sensor"
by the end of this year.

While the use of sensors which recognize and produce smells have existed
and are being used in the perfume industry and laboratories, the
breakthrough is in the ability to capture smells and transmit them. Their idea
involves a similar starting point as photography and printing, in which basic
colors are used in the capture of the picture and in printing. The process is
more complex with smell because it involves 500-1,000 receptors in the
human nose. What Harel and Lancet managed was to create a formula
which manages to "translate" the sense of smell. Through an advanced
olfactometer, which produces imitation smells, Professor Harel believes that
in three to four years, olfactory communication will be in everyday use.

http://www3.haaretz.co.il/eng/scripts/article.asp?mador=14&datee=05/03/00&
id=77240

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To: bpr-list@philologos.org (BPR Mailing List)
Subject: [BPR] - Babylon cuts out the babble
From: bpr-list@philologos.org("Moza")
Date: Wed, 3 May 2000 13:28:05 -0400

Wednesday, May 3, 2000

Babylon cuts out the babble

Despite the recent drops on Nasdaq, Babylon is preparing for a public
offering at a market value of more than $200 m

                  By Alona Koren

With more than 4 million users the world over and a rating as one of the most
popular programs from the Internet site download.com, Babylon has no fear
of disappointment arising out of the company's issuing its stock on Nasdaq,
even after share prices dropped last month. "Technology shares will continue
to lead," says the company's CEO, Shuki Preminger.Babylon is currently in
the middle of a private offering in preparation for a public offering on the
American Nasdaq index. Rumors on the capital market say the company will
raise $20 million at a market value of between $200 million and $300 million
before the money. Preminger declined to confirm the rumors about the value
according to which the company will execute the offering. He says the
company's value has not yet been set, and depends on market conditions at
the time of the offering. Preminger did confirm, however, that the company's
value will be significantly higher than that used during its last stock issue in
June 1999 - $24 million before the money and $27 million afterward.

Babylon develops software that translates words appearing on a computer's
screen in English into 12 other languages. The idea is based on the
assumption that, with English the dominant language on the Internet, most
surfers need to translate words from English into their own language. The
software can be downloaded free of charge from the Internet site
www.babylon.com, which was launched in August 1998. The software is
especially popular in the Far East and in the Pacific Rim area, Europe and
Latin America. Babylon's users come mainly from Germany, Japan and
Brazil.

In addition to translating words and phrases, the software also converts
currencies according to the exchange rates updated continuously by the
world's leading banks, such as the U.S. Federal Reserve and the World
Bank. It also shows the local time in different parts of the world and can
convert weights in one unit of measurement to another. Preminger says the
last function is essential to people who wish to make purchases via the
Internet. "If I am interested in buying an item from an e-commerce site, and
beside the item's picture is its weight in pounds, Babylon can convert the
figure into kilograms and also convert the price into shekels," explains
Preminger.

Preminger notes that the software has so far been downloaded by more than
4 million people around the world, and the user base is growing by 500,000
people per month. "The goal is to reach a growth rate of a million users a
month," he says. Download.com rates Babylon fourth among the world's
most popular Internet programs and eighth among all downloadable
programs. This despite the fact that Babylon is used outside the United
States, which has the highest rate of Internet use in the world.

Like many Internet companies, Babylon still does not make any income from
its business activities. Preminger says the company has a clear and precise
revenue model, but declines to disclose any details. He is willing to reveal
that Babylon's end-users will apparently not be charged for the service,
though organizations that want to receive special applications of the software
probably will have to pay. Preminger points out that Babylon will be able to
obtain revenues from e-commerce business. Babylon can make agreements
with many Internet sites, so that someone reading material on a certain topic
will be able to jump, via Babylon, to other sites related to that topic. If those
sites sell things, Babylon would get a commission. Babylon might also
generate income from advertising other Web sites on the site it maintains.

Preminger predicts that the company will start showing revenues within
about a year, and will show profits a short time later. He explains that
Babylon has hardly any fixed expenses: Marketing expenses are negligible,
because most of the marketing is done by word of mouth (users tell their
friends), and the company has no advertising expenses at all. "The structure
of the company is such that an increase of 100 percent in sales will result in
only a 10 percent increase in expenses," says Preminger.

The main shareholders of the company are Product Computers (about 30
percent) and Mashov Computers, which is owned by Formula Systems (25.5
percent). Among the other shareholders who own preferred stock are some
interesting names such as the Walla portal (with about 2 percent) and Nesua
Zannex, which holds a mere 1 percent of the shares

http://www3.haaretz.co.il/eng/scripts/article.asp?mador=2&datee=05/03/00&i
d=77218

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To: bpr-list@philologos.org (BPR Mailing List)
Subject: [BPR] - Demon possession
From: bpr-list@philologos.org("Shophar_Sho_Good")
Date: Wed, 03 May 2000 12:37:33 -0500

C U R R E N T N E W S S U M M A R Y
by the Editors of ReligionToday

May 3, 2000

Demon possession and exorcism are increasing in the Church of
England. A church report says there is a huge increase in the
number of people seeking deliverance from demonic spirits, The
Times of London said. Some churches are stopping in the middle of
services to deal with what are believed to be demonic
manifestations, including shrieking and collapsing to the floor.
...Bishops are concerned about the increase in exorcisms, saying
vicars are not following standard procedures for battling the
devil. Church leaders must request permission from their bishop,
who consults a special adviser on the demonic, before conducting
exorcisms, the Times said. The number of cases that involve
actual demonic possession are probably small, the report said.
...The Roman Catholic Church also reports an increase in
exorcisms. More people need spiritual deliverance because of the
popularity of New Age and pagan religions, said Jeremy Davies, a
Westminster exorcist and Catholic priest. The Vatican recently
revised the rite for conducting exorcisms and about 300 priests
in Italy perform them, up from 20 six years ago, the Times said.

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To: bpr-list@philologos.org (BPR Mailing List)
Subject: [BPR] - Intel Nixes Chip-Tracking ID
From: bpr-list@philologos.org("Shophar_Sho_Good")
Date: Wed, 03 May 2000 12:39:06 -0500

Intel Nixes Chip-Tracking ID
by Declan McCullagh <mailto:declan@wired.com>

Apr. 27, 2000 PDT

http://www.wired.com/news/politics/0,1283,35950,00.html

Hoping to avoid another campaign by privacy activists,
Intel has decided not to include a controversial user
identification feature in its forthcoming 1.5 GHz
Willamette chip. Absent from Willamette's design are a
unique ID number and other security measures that could be
used to limit piracy by tracking users, an Intel source
said Wednesday. "The decision has been made and the
engineers have already been told," said the source, who
spoke on the condition of anonymity. "The gains that it
could give us for the proposed line of security features
were not sufficient to overcome the bad rep it would give
us."

-- more --

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To: bpr-list@philologos.org (BPR Mailing List)
Subject: [BPR] - Clinton halts degraded signals for civilian use of GPS
From: bpr-list@philologos.org("Shophar_Sho_Good")
Date: Wed, 03 May 2000 12:40:19 -0500

Clinton halts degraded signals for civilian use of GPS

STATEMENT BY PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON

Posted: May 2, 2000

http://spaceflightnow.com/news/n0005/02clintongps/

Today (May 1), I am pleased to announce that the United
States will stop the intentional degradation of the Global
Positioning System (GPS) signals available to the public
beginning at midnight tonight. We call this degradation
feature Selective Availability (SA). This will mean that
civilian users of GPS will be able to pinpoint locations up
to ten times more accurately than they do now. GPS is a
dual-use, satellite-based system that provides accurate
location and timing data to users worldwide. My March 1996
Presidential Decision Directive included in the goals for
GPS to: 'encourage acceptance and integration of GPS into
peaceful civil, commercial and scientific applications
worldwide; and to encourage private sector investment in
and use of U.S. GPS technologies and services.' To meet
these goals, I committed the U.S. to discontinuing the use
of SA by 2006 with an annual assessment of its continued
use beginning this year.

-- more --

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To: bpr-list@philologos.org (BPR Mailing List)
Subject: [BPR] - Real World News-Digest 281
From: bpr-list@philologos.org("Moza")
Date: Wed, 3 May 2000 18:41:27 -0400

CHINA PHASING OUT ONE-CHILD POLICY
Applauded by some, reviled by some, China's 20-year-old regulation
to halt overpopulation by limiting urban parents to one baby
remains highly controversial because it is so extreme. But the
newest challenge to the policy - the one that will ultimately lead
to ending the program - has nothing to do with any outcry that it
is emotionally cruel or that it has led to forced abortions or
other abuses.
http://www.theage.com.au/breaking/0005/02/A36554-2000May2.shtml

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U.S. / AMERICAS
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A SECOND DEATH IN WACO-GATE
Death has once again claimed a figure in a case involving the
Clinton administration - this time a key expert witness in the Waco
investigation who insisted that he found compelling evidence that
an FBI agent fired shots during the final showdown at the Branch
Davidian compound. Police say they are investigating the death as a murder.
http://64.29.200.227/articles/?a=2000/4/29/195847

U.S. WARSHIPS LOOM OFF PUERTO RICO'S COAST
Three U.S. warships slipped into the waters off Vieques Island
before dawn Monday, rattling the nerves of protesters bracing for
the arrival of federal agents to evict them from a disputed Navy
bombing range.
http://msnbc.com/news/400922.asp

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THE MIDDLE EAST
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BAGHDAD HIT BY ROCKETS; BLAMES IRAN
Iraq has blamed Iran for a rocket attack on the Iraqi capital
Baghdad which it says injured eight civilians. The official Iraqi
news agency INA said "agents in the pay of the Iranian regime fired
six remote-controlled missiles at homes in Baghdad, injuring eight
civilians who have been hospitalised".
http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/world/middle_east/newsid_733000/733346.st
m

230,000 HOLOCAUST SURVIVORS LIVING IN ISRAEL TODAY
According to the Central Bureau of statistics, 230,000 survivors of
the Nazi Holocaust are currently living in Israel, 130,000 of who
survived the ghettos and concentration camps. The newly released
data was compiled by the CBS at the end of 1997 and the start of
1998.
http://www.virtualholyland.com/channels/israel_n/is_wire.htm

PALESTINIAN STATE ALREADY EXISTS, ISRAELI OFFICIAL SAYS
An Israeli Cabinet minister said Monday that a Palestinian state is
already a fact and an Israeli-Palestinian peace treaty will simply
define its limitations. But Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat said
he would declare statehood sometime after Sept. 13 - the peace
treaty deadline - regardless of whether he had reached agreement
with Israel by then on the terms of independence.
http://www.nandotimes.com/global/story/0,1024,500198943-500273531-
501443577-0,00
.html

ACCUSED ISRAELI SPY CONFESSES ON IRANIAN STATE TV
One of the 13 Iranian Jews on trial for espionage appeared on state
television Monday and confessed to spying for Israel, in a case
that has raised Western concerns. "I have been accused of
espionage for Israel," Dani Tefilin said. "I do accept this charge.
I have been spying for Israel. In my trip to Israel in 1994, I was
trained for my activity in Iran." An Israeli Foreign Ministry
spokesman dismissed his statement as "ludicrous."
http://www.nandotimes.com/global/story/0,1024,500199159-500273973-
501446342-0,00
.html

SYRIA TRYING TO EXPLOIT IDF WITHDRAWAL
With Israel pushing ahead with plans for a July withdrawal from
south Lebanon, Syria reportedly is moving to reduce its military
presence in Beirut, the Beka'a Valley and other parts of Lebanon to
counter a backlash of local calls for its evacuation as well. As
part of this redeployment, Arab news sources are suggesting Syria
also plans to extend its forces southward into the vacuum left by
the IDF - with Israel's tacit approval.
http://www.virtualholyland.com/channels/israel_n/icej.htm

NEGOTIATOR: PA STATE WILL BE OUTCOME OF TALKS
Prime Minister Ehud Barak chided top negotiator Oded Eran yesterday
for saying the inevitable outcome of the peace process is a
Palestinian state, sources said.
http://www.jpost.com/Editions/2000/05/02/News/News.6050.html

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RUSSIA
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THOUSANDS MARCH IN CALM, COLD RUSSIA MAY DAY
Tens of thousands of Russians took part in May Day marches on
Monday, but with a new Kremlin leader in place and cold weather
gripping cities, protests were smaller and less virulent than
previous post-Soviet gatherings.
http://www.russiatoday.com/news_sections.php3?id=156156

DUMA DEBATES MOVING RUSSIAN CAPITAL TO ST. PETERSBURG
The Russian parliament this month will debate moving to the former
imperial capital of St Petersburg. Vladimir Yakovlev, the city's
Governor, and other prominent figures in St Petersburg for years
have pushed for the "crime capital of Russia" to return to its
pre-communist position as the most important Russian city and
attract more money to its economy. Gennadi Seleznyov, the Speaker
of the Duma, said at the weekend that there may be a vote on the
issue by mid-June and that the new buildings could be ready in 36
months.
http://www.sunday-
times.co.uk/news/pages/tim/2000/05/01/timfgnrus01001.html

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EUROPE
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U.K. OPENS INTERNET SPY CENTER
The United Kingdom Home Office is responding to the concerns of
civil liberties groups over a government plan to open a facility
designed to intercept and monitor Internet traffic, including
e-mail and encrypted messages.
http://cnn.com/2000/TECH/computing/05/01/british.spy.building/index.html

BRITISH MAYHEM LEAVES 38 INJURED AND 95 ARRESTS
Workers started a cleanup of London landmarks on Tuesday following
May Day violence which left 38 people injured and 95 people under
arrest, police said. Monday's anti-capitalist protests left
Parliament Square and a statue of Winston Churchill, in need of
repair bringing condemnation from Prime Minister Tony Blair.
http://asia.dailynews.yahoo.com/headlines/world/article.html?s=asia/headline
s/00
0502/world/afp/British_mayhem_leaves_38_injured_and_95_arrests.html

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ASIA-PACIFIC
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HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS HIT BY DROUGHT IN AFGHANISTAN
Hundreds of thousands of Afghans need urgent assistance to survive
a severe drought hitting their war-torn country for the second
consecutive year, the UN World Food Programme said Tuesday.
http://asia.dailynews.yahoo.com/headlines/world/article.html?s=asia/headline
s/000502/world/afp/Hundreds_of_thousands_hit_by_drought_in_Afghanistan__UN.
html

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AFRICA
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MUGABE 'TO START LAND GRAB WITHIN TWO WEEKS'
The Zimbabwean government will begin seizing white-owned farms
without compensation within two weeks, a cabinet minister said
yesterday. The announcement came amid speculation that President
Mugabe is about to announce the date for the general election,
probably from early to mid June. With parliament dissolved, his
officials said he would adopt special powers to bring legislation
into line with last month's constitutional amendment abolishing the
need to pay compensation for land taken for the resettlement of
peasants.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/et?ac=001136033854542&rtmo=r2FaDkaX&atmo=
kkkkkkku&pg=/et/00/5/2/wzim02.html

SUDAN URGED TO IMPROVE RELIGIOUS FREEDOM
An independent advisory body on Monday said Washington should be
prepared to give non-lethal aid to appropriate Sudanese opposition
groups if Khartoum does not improve religious freedom. In its
first annual report, the Commission on International Religious
Freedom, created in 1998 to monitor religious freedom around the
world, said the United States should begin a 12-month plan of
incentives and disincentives to pressure Sudan to improve human rights.
http://asia.dailynews.yahoo.com/headlines/world/article.html?s=asia/headline
s/000502/world/afp/Sudan_urged_to_improve_religious_freedom_or_face_US_aid_
to_dissidents.html

---------------------------------------------------------------------
POLITICS
---------------------------------------------------------------------

GORE SCORES COUP WITH SURPRISE MCCAIN MEETING
A face-to-face meeting with former presidential candidate John
McCain may take weeks of pre-summit preparation for the Republican
Bush campaign, but Democratic rival Al Gore grabbed McCain for a
private meeting Sunday on just a moment's notice.
http://www.abcnews.go.com/sections/politics/OnBackground/onbackground.h
tml

BUSH PLANS SWEEPING SOCIAL SECURITY CHANGES
George W. Bush plans to make a sweeping overhaul of the nation's
Social Security system a cornerstone of his presidential agenda.
The plan would allow workers to invest a portion of their Social
Security payroll taxes into stocks and bonds, allowing them to take
advantage of Wall Street's historically high long-term returns.
http://cbsnews.cbs.com/now/story/0,1597,190607-412,00.shtml

---------------------------------------------------------------------
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
---------------------------------------------------------------------

SUPERSONIC TRANSPORT GETS READY FOR TAKEOFF
Jet-setters may soon fly from New York to Tokyo in just three hours
- that's a speed of about Mach 5 - on the next-generation Concorde,
which is under development by Japan's New Energy and Industrial
Technology Development Organization (NEDO).
http://www.foxnews.com/vtech/050200/planes.sml

SCHOOL TEACHERS BOYCOTT ANTI-EVOLUTION ASSEMBLY
After no evolutionist was willing to come forward to engage in a
creation/evolution debate, a public high school in one of America's
Plains states invited 'Answers in Genesis' to speak at a general
assembly for students in grades 10-12. Geoff Stevens of AiG gave a
presentation to only 400 of the 1500 students. Almost all of the
science and math teachers would not let their classes attend. Many
students later expressed their disappointment in being prevented
from hearing Stevens speak. At the school's insistence, Steven's
talk was careful not to mention God, a Creator, or the Bible, but
simply explained that all views of origins are "belief systems
based on faith."
http://www.answersingenesis.org/docs2/4292news5-2-2000.asp

GLOBAL POSITIONING SYSTEM ACCURACY BOOSTED 10X
The network of US navigation satellites called the Global
Positioning System (GPS) has become 10 times more accurate at the
flick of a switch.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/sci/tech/newsid_733000/733292.stm

---------------------------------------------------------------------
RELIGION AND THE CHURCH
---------------------------------------------------------------------

RELIGIOUS LEADERS STONE WOMAN BEFORE THOUSANDS IN
STADIUM
Afghanistan's hard-line Taliban religious rulers stoned a woman to
death in northern Afghanistan on Monday after she was found guilty
of committing adultery. The woman, identified only as Suriya by
Taliban-run Radio Shariat, was said to have confessed to adultery,
a capital offense in this war-ravaged nation. The stoning was
carried out at a sports stadium in Mazar-e-Sharif in northern
Afghanistan before a crowd of several thousand spectators,
according to the radio report.
http://www.marketwatch.newsalert.com/bin/story?StoryId=Coq0bqdicqwzNAg
fUAxn0yw5t
Dg8&FQ

AMERICANS AND GOD: THE NUMBERS ARE IN
In a "secular age" when just mentioning God or prayer can sometimes
elicit hostile reactions, how do Americans today feel about God and
spirituality? A recent Gallup survey has dug deep into America's
religious landscape and uncovered some surprising findings.
http://www.cbnnow.com/Newsstand/stories/000501.asp

FREEDOM OF RELIGION IN DANGER IN RUSSIA
Religious freedom in Russia is in danger of deteriorating
significantly in the near future and the United States should
monitor developments, an independent panel set up by the US
Congress said Monday. In its first annual report, the Commission
on International Religious Freedom said that Russia's 1997 Religion
Law was a "significant step backward."
http://www.russiatoday.com/news.php3?id=156143

METHODISTS MAY SPLIT ON GAY ISSUE
The Rev. Gregory Dell and Patricia Miller are on opposite sides of
the battle raging within the United Methodist Church over
homosexuality. Dell belongs to a group seeking to eliminate
anti-homosexual doctrines from the nation's third-largest religious
body. Miller is among those resisting such a move. The two agree
on one thing: The issue has caused a division so deep within the
church that there is talk of a schism among its 9.6 million members
worldwide. As 992 delegates gather in Cleveland today for the
beginning of a crucial policy-setting conference, some think any
decision on gays and lesbians may lead to defections.
http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/ap/20000502/us/methodist_conference_3.html

ALABAMA'S 'TEN COMMANDMENTS JUDGE' LEADS GOP RACE
A small-town judge who gained a national following by hanging a
plaque of the Ten Commandments in his courtroom is the front-runner
in a four-way Republican race for Alabama Supreme Court chief
justice.
http://foxnews.com/national/050100/judge.sml

---------------------------------------------------------------------
COMMENTARY
---------------------------------------------------------------------

THE MYTH OF OVERPOPULATION
It is perhaps the single greatest disinformation campaign in human
history: The planet is grossly overpopulated, and unless something
is done to limit human population growth, calamity will ensue.
Hunger, famine and resource depletion are often mentioned as the
major reasons to justify limiting human reproduction.
Unfortunately, few can summon the facts to repudiate this
erroneous, non-scientific assumption.
http://www.worldnetdaily.com/bluesky_lobaido_news/20000502_xnlob_the_ov
erpo.shtm

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========
To: bpr-list@philologos.org (BPR Mailing List)
Subject: [BPR] - Russia develops stealth bomber
From: bpr-list@philologos.org("Moza")
Date: Wed, 3 May 2000 18:45:39 -0400

Russia develops stealth bomber Expert: New weapons systems
'state-of-the-art,' some 'superior' to America's

By Charles Smith =A9 2000 WorldNetDaily.com

WorldNetDaily has learned that Russia is pursuing an
aggressive program of weapons development that now includes
the production of a new stealth bomber.

Described as smaller than the U.S. Air Force Northup B-2
Spirit stealth bomber, the Russian T-60S stealth bomber is
being developed by Russian aircraft manufacturer Sukhoi,
maker of the famed SU-27 Flanker fighter. The T-60S program
reportedly uses a variable "swing" geometry wing and
includes extensive stealth design features.

The move toward a stealth bomber is seen as an indication
that President Validmir Putin intends to upgrade both the
tactical and strategic weapons employed by Russia. The new
stealth aircraft will allow the Russian air force to fight
an advanced conventional war beyond the borders of
Federation and compete directly with the U.S. Air Force.

The Russian air force decayed rapidly after the fall of
the Soviet Union to approximately one half its original
size. But the widespread impression of an under-funded and
poorly manned air force in today's Russia has been disputed
by Russian generals who released video of advanced
warplanes making precision strikes during the war against
Chechen rebels.

"The Russians continue to invest heavily in advanced
military technology," agreed Rep. Curt Weldon, a senior
member of the House National Security Committee.

Weldon estimated that "over a billion dollars" of U.S.
funding has been diverted by the Russian military into new
weapons programs. According to Weldon, Russia is now
fielding "state-of-the-art" weapons and some Russian
technology is "superior" to U.S. systems.

"The Russian military continues to lead the world with the
best weapons," noted Weldon. "The Russian government
continues to invest heavily in advanced military
technology. The Russian military investment also includes
money from the United States, profits from sales to our
military like the Sunburn and Ma-31 missiles, and from
other funds such as Nunn Lungar and military to military
contacts."

The Russian stealth program may have been assisted by the
recovery and sale of a shot-down U.S. Air Force F-117A
stealth fighter during the 1999 war against Serbia. Serbs
reportedly sold the remains of the American stealth
aircraft directly to the Russians.

However, the Russian stealth program has been ongoing for
several years. In 1995, then commander of the Russian air
force, Col. Gen. Peter Deinekin, stated that a new "multi-
role strategic bomber" would replace the aging Tupolev TU-
22 Blinder medium-range bomber and the Sukhoi SU-24 Fencer
swing-wing fighter bomber.

Russian fighter maker Sukhoi is using the S-37 Berkut or
"Golden Eagle" test-bed aircraft to prototype technologies
for the next generation of Russian aircraft, including the
new stealth bomber.

The Sukhoi S-37 features forward-swept wings that provide
improved aerodynamics at subsonic speeds and at high angles
of attack. The S-37 forward-swept wings are also unstable
in flight, requiring high-speed computer controls. Stealth
aircraft are notably difficult to control because the radar
evading aircraft are also unstable in flight.

Recent upgrades in Russian flight control software and
computers derived from the S-37 Berkut provided the Sukhoi
design bureau with adequate "fly by wire" control
experience to apply on the new stealth bomber project. The
S-37 also makes extensive use of composite materials
similar to radar-absorbing materials used by the U.S. Air
Force.

Russia is deploying a wide range of fifth-generation
weapons. The new stealth bomber development program is
under way just as Russia is also deploying the SS-27 Topol
M ballistic missile.

The Topol M is considered to be the most advanced mobile
missile in the world. According to the Russian military,
the SS-27 is equipped with a maneuvering warhead intended
to defeat any U.S. anti-missile systems and has an
explosive power of over a half million tons of TNT.

Other new weapons being developed or fielded by Russia
include the new T-95 main battle tank, the MiG-35 advanced
fighter and a lethal supersonic cruise missile, the 3M82
Moskit, NATO code-named SS-N-22 "Sunburn." The Raduga
Moskit anti-ship missile is considered to be the most
lethal anti-ship missile in the world.

Russian weapons are also being sold on the world market.
The recent sale by Russia of the 3M82 Moskit anti-ship
missile to China has drawn a response from Capitol Hill.

3M82 Moskit anti-ship cruise missile, NATO code-named
'Sunburn.' According to congressional documents, each
missile sold to China could carry a Russian-made nuclear
warhead equal to 200,000 tons of TNT. Illustration by
Charles Smith.

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif., has submitted a bill
designed to halt the Russian missile sales to China, called
the "Russian Anti-Ship Missile Nonproliferation Act."

The proposed House legislation, a copy of which was
obtained by WorldNetDaily, contains previously unreleased
information about the new strategic partnership between
Russia and China. The bill notes that the Chinese Moskit
missile could be armed with a "200 kiloton" Russian-made
nuclear warhead. According to the bill, the first of two
Russian-built Sovermenny-class destroyers sold to China
arrived in the Taiwan Strait was manned by a "mixed Russian
and Chinese naval crew."

The new legislation aims to "prohibit the forgiveness or
rescheduling" of any bilateral debt owed by the Russian
Federation unless the Sunburn missile sales to China cease.
The bill requires that Russia terminate "all sales and
transfers of Moskit anti-ship missiles that endanger United
States national security" before rescheduling billions in
national debt.

The Russian missile legislation has cleared a House
committee vote and is now headed to the House for a general
vote. The bill received bi-partisan support in the House
Committee on International Relations, and it is expected to
pass by a wide margin in the House of Representatives.

http://www.worldnetdaily.com/bluesky_smith_news/20000503_xn
sof_russia_d ev.shtml

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