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Philologos
Bible Prophecy Research
Title: Elul, 5763/Tishri, 5764 (September/October, 2003)
Submitted by: research-bpr@philologos.org
URL: //philologos.org/bpr/files/Jewish_Feasts/tishri5764.htm%20%20%20%20%20%20%20

Elul, 5763/Tishri, 5764 (September/October, 2003)

(Please keep in mind that Jewish dates begin on the evening before.
This is a work in progress and will be updated as needed.)


1 Tishri, 5764 (Sept 27, 2003) Closest asteroid yet flies past earth

CLOSEST ASTEROID YET FLIES PAST EARTH
By Jeff Hecht
New Scientist
October 2, 2003

An asteroid about the size of a small house passed just 88,000 kilometres from the Earth by on Saturday 27 September -- the closest approach of a natural object ever recorded. Geostationary communication satellites circle the Earth 42,000km from the planet's centre.

The asteroid, designated 2003 SQ222, came from inside the Earth's orbit and so was only spotted after it had whizzed by. The first sighting was on Sunday 28 by the Lowell Observatory Near-Earth Object Search program in Arizona, US.

Amateur astronomer Peter Birtwhistle of Great Shefford, Berkshire, UK, then photographed it on Monday 29. This provided data that helped Brian Marsden, of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, to calculate its orbit.

The asteroid's 1.85-year orbit is quite eccentric, indicating it cannot be a man-made object, Marsden says. He estimates the asteroid measured less than 10 metres. This is too small to have posed a danger to Earth, although it would have made a spectacular fireball had it entered the atmosphere.

House fires

The passage came at about 2300 GMT, only 10 hours after a bright fireball streaked over the Orissa region of India. Indian villagers have found pieces of the meteorite, which reportedly cause two house fires. However, this event was not connected to the fly past of 2003 SQ222, says Marsden.

The previous record for closest approach of an asteroid -- 108,000km measured from the centre of the Earth -- was set in 1994 by another 10m object named 1994 XM1.

But the third-closest approach -- at 120,000km -- was object 2002 MN, which was about 80m in diameter. If on target, that could have exploded in the Earth's lower atmosphere and devastated a couple of thousand square kilometres on the ground.

Another small asteroid, 2003 SW130, missed the Earth by 160,000km on 19 September, making it a busy month for asteroid watchers.

(New Scientist)


2 Tishri, 5764 (Sept 28, 2003) Italy nationwide blackout (coupled with US/Canada, London, Mexico, Sweden/Denmark outtages in past 2 months)

Italy Grinds to Halt in Nationwide Blackout

A nationwide power blackout struck Italy in the dead of night on Sunday, unleashing chaos, stalling lifts, stranding travelers, but causing no known disasters.

Practically all the country's 57 million people were hit, a failure similar in scale to last month's collapse in the U.S. Northeast and Canada -- though, coming on a weekend night, its initial impact was less dramatic and less economically damaging.

"It's chaos, and until the electricity comes back on it will continue to be chaos," said policeman Fabio Bragazzi, 21, at Rome's main Termini train station where passengers, among some 30,000 stranded across the country, slept on the ground.

Disbelief was heightened by uncanny coincidence -- it was the fourth major Western blackout in two months, after cuts in North America, parts of London, and Scandinavia.

Workers struggled to restore electricity and by early afternoon had done so in two thirds of Italy's 103 provinces, but parts of the capital and the south were still blacked out.

Authorities blamed the outage on a breakdown of electricity lines, some in heavy storms, from France, Switzerland and Austria -- neighbors on whom Italy relies heavily for power.

Rome's underground railway had to be evacuated and the outage scuppered a special "open night" in the city where shops, tourist sites and museums were to stay open until daybreak.

Hundreds were blocked in elevators across the country. But with most people asleep and emergency generators kicking in for hospitals and key services, there were no reports of fatalities. Authorities said precautionary power cuts could hit about five percent of households on Monday.

Italy's worst blackout for nearly a decade, which struck at 3:20 a.m. (0120 GMT), hit all Italy except the island of Sardinia and some small pockets of the mainland, officials said.

(yahoo)

2 Tishri, 5764 (Sept 28, 2003) Meteorite wrecks house in India

Meteorite Crashed into East India; Dazzling & Panicking Indians

Thu Oct 2,2003 -- Officials investigating a meteorite that crashed in eastern India say it was part of the most spectacular meteor shower in the country's recent history. Witnesses say the meteor lit up the night sky "like daylight" Flaming debris from the space rock lit up the sky in Orissa state on Saturday night, and sent villagers running after its burning fragments set fire to their houses. "I have never seen a meteor covering such a large area with a huge fireball and roaring sound," said Basant Kumar Mohanty, senior director of the Geological Survey of India. According to state authorities, two large fragments of the meteorite, weighing roughly 5 kilograms each, have been recovered.

(bbc)

2 Tishri, 5764 (Sept 28, 2003) Ailing Pope appoints 31 cardinals

Ailing Pope Appoints 31 New Cardinals
Sun Sep 28, 8:08 PM ET

By NICOLE WINFIELD, Associated Press Writer

VATICAN CITY - Amid concerns about his frail health, Pope John Paul II appointed 31 cardinals Sunday, acting months earlier than expected and strengthening his influence on the group that will chose his successor.

The new "princes" of the church include senior Vatican officials and diocesan leaders from 20 countries. They will receive their red hats at a ceremony known as a consistory on Oct. 21 — a date chosen to coincide with the weeklong celebrations marking John Paul's 25th anniversary as pope.

...

The College of Cardinals is already mainly made up of like-minded conservatives and the new batch will further cement the pope's influence on the choice of his successor.

Prior to Sunday's announcement, the College of Cardinals had 164 members — 109 of them under age 80 and thus eligible to vote in a conclave to elect a new pope. Of the eligible voters, all but five were named by John Paul.

Birthdays and overall old age mean the number of College of Cardinal members is constantly in flux, but the traditional maximum is 120 voters. John Paul has had no qualms about surpassing that number — doing so at the last two consistories in 2001 and 1998.

The latest appointments bring to at least 135 the number of cardinals under 80.

Vatican officials had said no consistory was expected before the end of the year; February 2004 had been mentioned as a possible date, because the previous two consistories were held in that month.

No explanation was given for why the pope acted sooner. But Vatican officials said privately that with the College of Cardinals and heads of national bishops conferences already coming to Rome for the anniversary celebrations — as well as the pope's declining health — an October consistory seemed opportune...

(yahoo)

2 Tishri, 5764 (Sept 28, 2003) Call for "United Nations of Religions"

A call for 'United Nations of Religions'
Kazakhstan conference brings together leaders of 18 faiths

Posted: September 30, 2003 1:00 a.m. Eastern

© 2003 WorldNetDaily.com

As a two-day conference of major religions ended in Kazakhstan, key leaders of 18 faiths agreed to meet regularly under the banner "Congress of World and Traditional Religions."

One delegate hoped the group would translate into a "United Nations of Religions." Speeches touched on how to address differences between religions, the need for more dialogue, and the issue of terrorism.

The secretary-general of the Muslim World League, Sheikh Abdullah Al-Turki, from Saudi Arabia, said the Koran prohibits any acts of violence.

He told the delegates, "Islam is against all killing that is without a just cause. We cannot accept those who say that Islam is a religion that kills or harms others." Sheikh Al-Turki said Muslims also oppose those who use religion for political purposes.

The senior Jewish representative at the conference was Jonah Metzger, the chief rabbi of Israel. He spoke of the need for greater understanding between faiths, directing his remarks to the delegations from Saudi Arabia, Iran, Pakistan, and Egypt, who were sitting just a short distance away.

Metzger invited all of those present to come to Jerusalem, which he called by its Islamic name of "Al-Quds." He told the conference that the invitation applied to everyone, even those with whom Israel does not have diplomatic relations.

During the conference there were private meetings between delegates from the Catholic and Russian Orthodox churches, which have spiritual differences going back centuries as well as more recent disputes over property in the former Soviet Union.

Hindus from India also had a chance to talk with their historical Muslim adversaries from Pakistan.

Representatives of other faiths at the congress included Taoists and Buddhists from China, and a Shinto delegation from Japan.

The congress was chaired by President Nursultan Nazarbayev, who initiated the idea of holding the meeting in Kazakhstan's new capital city, Astana. The delegations agreed that Kazakhstan would be the appropriate place for a new, permanent organization to allow for more dialogue between peoples of all religions. Nazarbayev offered to provide a new building.

(worldnetdaily)


6 Tishri, 5764 (Oct 2, 2003) Israel to Expand Security Barrier

The Israeli cabinet has approved the next phase of a controversial fence it is building in the West Bank to stop Palestinian suicide bombers.

The new fence will not be immediately connected to the barrier built so far, as a concession to Israel's main ally, the US. However, sections will be built around several Jewish settlements in the heart of the West Bank.

The US administration said its view on the fence as problematic had not changed, but he fell short of any detailed criticism of Israel's latest decision.

The Israeli cabinet decision comes a day after a United Nations report condemned the barrier as illegal and tantamount to "an unlawful act of annexation"

(bbc)

6 Tishri, 5764 (Oct 2, 2003) U.S. Fails To Deduct From Israeli Loans

The Bush administration has suspended plans to reduce U.S. loan guarantees to Israel. U.S. officials said Secretary of State Colin Powell has decided not to reduce the $1.6 billion in loan guarantees issued for Israel in fiscal 2003. They said Powell also decided to delay any deduction from another $1.4 billion that Israel had been eligible to raise with U.S. guarantees in fiscal 2003, which ended on Sept. 30.

The United States has approved loan guarantees of $9 billion as part of efforts to improve the Israeli economy. The program allowed Israel to raise up to $3 billion a year for the next three years.

State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said on Tuesday that the administration would probably decide in fiscal 2004 to deduct from the Israeli loan guarantees. Boucher said that under U.S. law Washington must deduct the amount of Israeli government investments in the West Bank and Gaza Strip from the loan guarantees.

(menl)


8 Tishri, 5764 (Oct 4, 2003) Haifa bombing

Sabbath Suicide Bombing Attack in Haifa
18:43 Oct 04, '03 / 8 Tishrei 5764

(IsraelNN.com) At about 14:15 today, a female suicide bomber blew herself up in the Maxim Restaurant on southern Haifa’s HaHagana Boulevard, resulting in the deaths of 19 persons and the wounding of over 65. Included among the dead were three children and a baby girl.

Police report the bomb used in the blast was “moderate" in size, but did contain a large quantity of shrapnel to increase the devastation of the blast.

Haifa officials explain the restaurant, owned by Israeli Arabs, is a symbol of the dual existence and harmony that exists in the port city between its Jewish and Arab residents. There were Jews and Arabs among the dead.

Police stated there was a security guard at the entrance to the restaurant and they are still trying to understand how the bomber managed to get inside. At the time of the blast, the restaurant was full of patrons enjoying a Saturday afternoon repose.

The victims were transported to the trauma unit of the Rambam Medical Center, as well as the Carmel and Bnei Tzion Hospitals. Some of the wounded are reported in serious condition.

According to Magen David Adom emergency medical service official Zaki Heller, 67 victims were transported from the scene – two died in hospital. The others, 17, were pronounced dead on the scene. According to Heller, five of the victims were in serious condition, four moderate, and 39 light. 300 units of blood were distributed to the hospitals treating the victims.

At this time of this report, no terror organization has claimed responsibility for the attack. Jerusalem places the responsibility for the attack squarely on the shoulders of Yasser Arafat and the PA.

(Arutz-7)

8 Tishri, 5764 (Oct 4, 2003) EU leaders meet in Rome to hash out first ever constitution

October 4, 2003
EU leaders clash at treaty summit

ROME, Italy --The leaders of the 15 European Union members and 10 countries due to join next year have clashed at a meeting in Rome to discuss a draft treaty for the bloc.

The new constitution is an attempt to streamline the operation of the enlarged community -- but many smaller nations worry it reduces their influence and are expected to demand changes.

Meanwhile outside the summit venue anti-globalization demonstrators set fire to an employment agency, smashed cars and windows.

Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, whose country currently holds the six-month rotating EU presidency, opened Saturday's one-day summit in the Palazzo dei Congresi by urging leaders not to put their individual national interests above the common good.

He also appealed to countries to avoid trying to renegotiate the voting system agreed in June by 105 politicians, led by ex-French President Valery Giscard D'Estaing, after 16 months of debate.

His draft would see most EU policy decisions taken by a majority of member states -- representing 60 percent of the bloc's 450 million citizens.

It also plans for an EU president, foreign ministers, a structured defense policy and moves to block vetoes that cause bureaucratic deadlock.

European Parliament President Pat Cox echoed Berlusconi's plea, warning that if leaders try to unpick the convention's work they could jeopardize the treaty and "end up with a miserable lowest common denominator," Reuters reported.

Poland and Spain want to keep the current complex voting system agreed at the Nice summit in 2000, which gives them an influence disproportionate to their populations.

Polish Foreign Minister Wlodzimierz Cimoszewicz said the voting system should not even be discussed for another five years.

Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar complained that the convention had exceeded its mandate by trying to rewrite the voting rules.

The Giscard D'Estaing draft also proposes cutting the EU's executive, the European Commission, to 15 from 20 now and 25 next year. Many of the new members, most from the former Communist bloc, fear this will reduce their influence.

The draft allows for greater integration of member states' defense forces. But countries close to Washington, such as Britain and Poland, see this as a challenge to NATO's role, while neutral states fear it would militarize the EU.

CNN's Rome Bureau Chief Alessio Vinci said: "No major decision is expected soon. The tough bargaining is likely to last until mid-December -- Berlusconi hopes for a signing ceremony in Rome by mid next year."

He added: "But even then the constitution will be far from a done deal.

"Each nation's parliament will have to ratify it, and some countries are suggesting they would call for a referendum.

"A 'No' vote in just one country could stall the whole process.

"If all goes well Europe could have its first constitution by 2006, if not, it's back to the negotiating table."

(http://www.cnn.com)


9 Tishri, 5764 (Oct 5, 2003) Israeli raid of Syrian camp

Israel Bombs Syria Warplanes hit suspected training camps used by Palestinians

By Mohamad Bazzi
MIDDLE EAST CORRESPONDENT

October 6, 2003

Beirut, Lebanon -- Israeli warplanes bombed a target just miles from the Syrian capital yesterday, in the first Israeli military attack inside Syria in 30 years. Israel said the site was a training camp used by Pales- tinian militants responsible for deadly attacks against Israelis, but Syria said it was a civilian area and warned of a "grave escalation" in violence.

The air strike - in apparent retaliation for a Palestinian suicide bombing Saturday that killed 19 Israelis, came on the eve of the 30th anniversary of the Yom Kippur War, in which Israel held off Arab armies. The attack brought condemnation from many Arab governments and heightened fears that Israeli-Palestinian fighting could spread to neighboring countries. The Bush administration appeared to have been taken by surprise, with officials saying that Israel did not give Washington any advance warning of the attack.

The administration urged both countries to show restraint, but added a pointed criticism of Syria, saying Damascus "must cease harboring terrorists and make a clean break from those responsible for planning and directing terrorist action from Syrian soil." Washington has been pressuring Syria for months to cease its support for Palestinian militant groups and to seal its borders with Iraq, where Syrians have slipped in to fight U.S. troops. Last month, administration officials suggested that they might impose sanctions on Syria.

With Israel's far superior military, Syria has little option for retaliation. Instead, Syrian leaders looked for international support yesterday, calling for emergency meetings of the United Nations Security Council and the 22-member Arab League. In a letter to the UN, Syrian Foreign Minister Farouq al- Sharaa said the attack "threatens security and peace in the region and could aggravate the situation into dire consequences that would be hard to control."

Israeli officials said they would pursue Palestinian militants wherever they are. "Any country who harbors terrorists, who trains them, supports and encourages them, will be responsible to answer for their actions," said Israeli government spokesman Avi Pazner.

Even if Syria does not retaliate directly, the raid signals a dramatic shift in Israel's response to Palestinian suicide attacks. Since the start of the current Palestinian uprising three years ago, Israel has confined its retaliation to the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Now, analysts say, Israel could expand its strikes into Syria and Lebanon, where Palestinian groups operate.

"This is the beginning of a new phase of retaliation, because now nothing can stop Israel from hitting Palestinian targets inside Syria or Lebanon," said Farid el-Khazen, a political science professor at the American University of Beirut. "There is no military deterrence to Israel in the region. The only deterrence is the United States, and it does not seem to object strongly to this new Israeli strategy."

Syrian analysts said Damascus would not abandon the Palestinian groups, which are one of its last potential bargaining chips with Israel.

"Israel's message to Syria today was that Damascus will pay for anything that happens inside Israel and the occupied territories," said Imad Shueibi, a politics professor at the University of Damascus whose views often reflect the government's position. "But Syria cannot be intimidated into withdrawing its support for the Palestinian resistance groups."

By making such a dramatic raid, analysts said, the Israeli government might have forestalled public demands for the expulsion of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, a move strongly opposed by the United States.Israeli officials said the targeted camp - about 12 miles northwest of Damascus - was used by Islamic Jihad, the group that claimed responsibility for Saturday's suicide bombing in the Israeli port city of Haifa. While several leaders of Islamic Jihad, Hamas and other Palestinian militant groups are based in Damascus, they all deny having any training camps on Syrian territory. Villagers near the targeted site told reporters that Palestinian guerrillas had used it in the 1970s but that it had been abandoned for many years. Syrian officials quickly closed off the area yesterday and prevented journalists from photographing it.

To buttress its case, Israel distributed undated video footage said to have been taken at the camp by Iranian TV. The footage shows a man in a camouflage uniform conducting a tour of underground tunnels packed with arms and ammunition. In one room, dozens of pistols, machine guns and grenades were displayed on a table.

A small, radical Palestinian group based in Damascus said it once used the area but that it had been deserted for years. The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command said two civilian guards were injured in the air strike.

The last time Israel struck inside Syrian territory was during the October 1973 war.

During the past 30 years, military confrontations between Israel and Syria have taken place in neighboring Lebanon, which is politically dominated by Damascus. Syria has more than 20,000 troops in Lebanon. In April 2001, Israeli warplanes destroyed a Syrian radar station in Lebanon, killing three Syrian soldiers. That strike came in retaliation for an attack on Israeli troops by Hezbollah, a Lebanese guerrilla group backed by Syria and Iran.

Yesterday's attack prompted speculation that Syria would retaliate indirectly by having Hezbollah launch attacks from Lebanon's southern border with Israel. A senior Hezbollah official said the group, which fought an 18-year guerrilla battle that drove Israel out of south Lebanon in 2000, has taken steps to fortify its positions along the border. But the official hinted at Hezbollah restraint, saying the group "would not take any steps to enable further Israeli aggression."

In recent months, Syrians have been worried about becoming Washington's next target for "regime change."

Syrian leaders are convinced that Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon will not negotiate a return of the Golan Heights, which Israel captured from Syria in the 1967 Middle East War, and that the Bush administration will not broker a peace deal between the two countries. That is why Damascus sees little incentive to entirely cut its support to Palestinian militant groups and to Hezbollah.

(newsday)

9 Tishri, 5764 (Oct 5, 2003) Emergency PA cabinet set by Arafat for one month rule
Arafat Declares New Emergency Cabinet Headed by Qurei-Move Vital For PNA to Control Security, New PM Says 06/10/2003

[IMRA: "Control security" doesn't mean disarm the terrorists. At most it means coordinating their activity)

http://www.palestine-pmc.com/details.asp?cat=1&id=1072
Palestine Media Center- (PMC)(Official PA website)

Palestinian President Yasser Arafat issued a presidential decree Sunday night declaring a state of emergency in the occupied territory and a new eight-member cabinet headed by Prime Minister-designate Ahmad Qurei.

Qurei, better known as Abu Ala, said the emergency cabinet he will head was necessary in light of the exceptional circumstances in the area, most notably after Israel heightened its threats to "remove" the Palestinian President and following a bombing in Haifa, which claimed the lives of 20.

Accordingly, Abu Ala stressed the need for such a cabinet to enable the Palestine National Authority (PNA) to maintain a grip over a deteriorating security situation.

"Taking into consideration the difficult situation of the Palestinian people and the necessities imposed by the situation, President Arafat issued a presidential decree by which he declared a state of emergency," Qurei told AP.

According to the Palestinian Basic Law, the emergency cabinet can function for a period of up to thirty days, and can be extended for another thirty days only after the approval of two-thirds of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) members.

Unlike previous cabinets, this emergency government does not require PLC ratification.

Qurei was named Prime Minister last month following the resignation of caretaker premier Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) on September 6. He had planned to present a larger cabinet - a 12-member one - to parliament for approval later this week.

However, Arafat's decision seems to be influenced by the worsening security situation.

"We have a deterioration of the security situation and we need to assert control over security," the new premier said.

He added that the new government will be sworn in on Tuesday and will immediately hold its first meeting.

The cabinet includes many of the familiar faces such as Salam Fayyadh and Nabil Shaath, who will retain their posts as ministers of finance and interior affairs respectively. It will also include some new figures such as Nassre Yousef, who will become interior minister and will attain responsibility for the security apparatus.

IMRA - Independent Media Review and Analysis
Website: www.imra.org.il

9 Tishri, 5764 (Oct 5, 2003) Ambassador Dan Gillerman Warns Security Council: God is watching

Text: Ambassador Dan Gillerman Warns Security Council: God is watching

Ambassador Dan Gillerman Permanent Representative of Israel to the United Nations http://www.israel-un.org/sec_council/gillerman_051003.htm Emergency Session of the Security Council (5 October 2003) The United Nations New York

Mr. President,

I wish to congratulate you on the assumption of the Presidency of the Security Council. Let me also express to you my regret that your first meeting is of this nature and taking place on this day. I wish also to express to Sir Emyr Jones-Parry my great appreciation for his able and fair stewardship of the Security Council last month.

This meeting of the Security Council is being convened within hours of Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, which is the holiest Day of the Jewish calendar. I deeply regret that the Council could not meet after this most important religious day, so as to allow Israel to participate fully in the debate. I will, unfortunately, have to leave this meeting after I make my statement to observe this Holy Day.

Yesterday, a Palestinian suicide bomber entered a crowded beachfront restaurant in the port city of Haifa, murdering 19 innocent civilians and wounding at least 60 others. The restaurant, a symbol of Arab-Israeli co-existence was frequented by both Jewish and Arab citizens of Israel, and among the victims were four Israeli Arabs, and 3 children and a baby girl. Five victims were members of the same family, and three were members of another family. Whole families were wiped out by this horrendous act.

Islamic Jihad, a terrorist organization that operates freely from Palestinian Authority territory and has headquarters in Damascus, Syria proudly claimed responsibility for this massacre. Islamic Jihad is an organizations committed to the destruction of Israel through holy war and engages in the deliberate and widespread murder of innocents to that end. It opposes moderate Arab governments and actively supports terrorist attacks against Western targets. There could not be a more obvious example of a terrorist organization.

The massacre in Haifa, is the latest in over forty terrorist atrocities committed by Islamic Jihad in the past few years. Among the attacks perpetrated by this organization is the massacre of 21 teenagers at a discotheque in Tel-Aviv on 2 June 2001; the bombing of 5 June 2002 at the Meggido Junction which killed 18 Israelis; the bombing of a commuter bus on 21 October 2002 which killed 14 citizens; the attack on a shopping mall in the Israeli town of Afula on 19 May 2003, in which 3 civilians were killed and over 70 wounded; and the attack on March 30, 2003 where a suicide bomber detonated his explosives at a cafe in Netanya wounding 58 civilians.

Mr. President,

The encouragement, safe harbor, training facilities, funding and logistical support offered by Syria to a variety of notorious terrorist organizations is a matter of public knowledge. Among the many terrorists group that operate and benefit from the auspices of the Syrian dictatorship are Islamic Jihad, Hamas, Hizbollah, and The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. It is well known that the Secretary General of Islamic Jihad, Ramadan Abdallah Shallah is one of several terrorist leaders that operates freely in Damascus and receives immunity and support from the Assad regime.

Allow me to briefly detail, for the benefit of the Council, the extent of support that Syria, as well as the regime in Iran, affords to terrorist organizations such as Islamic Jihad who are engaged in the deliberate massacre of innocent civilians:

1) Safe harbor and training facilities are provided throughout Syria for terrorist organizations such as Islamic Jihad, Hamas and Hizbollah, both in separate facilities and in Syrian army bases. The Ein Saheb base, which was targeted in Israel's measured defensive operation today, is just one of these facilities sponsored by Syria and Iran. Recruits at camps such as Ein Saheb come from Islamic Jihad, Hamas and other terrorist groups. They are taught how to assemble bombs, conduct kidnappings, prepare suicide belts, gather intelligence and establish terrorist cells. Some have also received aviation instruction. Recruits training at these camps are slated to return to Palestinian Authority territory and other areas to set up cells and conduct terrorist operations.

2) Syria has itself facilitated and directed acts of terrorism by coordination and briefings via phone and internet and by calling activists to Damascus for consultations and briefings. Three such operatives, for example, Tarek Az Aldin, Ali Saffuri and Taabat Mardawi have been identified under investigation as specifically designated liaisons for relaying instructions between officials in Damascus and terrorist cells in the West Bank and Gaza. Mr. Mardawi has admitted involvement in many attacks including a bus bombing in Haifa in May 2001, a suicide attack at a restaurant in Kiryat Motzkin in August of that year and a bus attack near Nazareth in March 2002. Another example comes from an intelligence report provided by the Head of the Palestinian Preventative Security Apparatus on 31 October 2001, which asserts that Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Hizballah were meeting in Damascus "in order to increase their joint acitivity.with the aid of Iranian money". Instructions are also given to halt terrorist activity when it suits Syrian or Iranian interests to avoid the spotlight, such as following the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11 in the United States.

3) Iran, through the use of the Syrian and Palestinian banking systems sustains a systematic money transfer system, and large sums of money have been transferred to Islamic Jihad as well as other terrorists organizations through Damascus for the planning and perpetration of attacks. Mr. Shallah himself, the secretary-general of Islamic Jihad, is known to have transferred funds in the hundreds of thousands of dollars from Damascus to the individual accounts of Islamic Jihad operatives, such as Bassam al-Saadi, who is responsible for Islamic Jihad financing in Jenin.

4) Syria uses its state run media and official institutions to glorify and encourage suicide bombings against civilians in restaurants, schools, commuter buses and shopping malls. To mention but a few examples, Radio Damascus, in a broadcast of 9 May 2002, lauded "The wonderful and special suicide attacks which were executed by some of the sons of the Palestinian nation". In another State-run announcement of 1 January 2002, Damascus radio declared that "The entire world knows that Syria, its political leadership, and its Arab people.have turned Syrian Arab soil into a training camp, a safe haven, and an arms depot for the Palestinian revolutionaries". And on 13 May 2002, President Bashar Assad himself announced in reference to so-called acts of resistance "If I had not been President of Syria I wouldn' t hesitate to participate in them". This was not said by Osama Bin Laden or even Saddam Hussein, these words were uttered by a President of a member of this council! Syria has also played host to a number of conferences in which senior terrorist operatives from Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other organizations meet.

5) Syria has facilitated the transfer of arms to Palestinian terrorist organizations such as Islamic Jihad, by allowing the transfer of sophisticated weapons from Iran to Hizbullah through Syrian territory. Hizbullah, itself a viscous terrorist organization, has then sought to smuggle these arms to Palestinian terrorist groups, as was evidenced in the Karine A arms shipment and similar incidents.

Mr. President,

These are just a few examples of the extent and nature of the involvement of the Syrian regime in the deliberate murder of innocent civilians. Each and every one of these acts constitutes a grave violation of international law and Security Council resolutions, as well as a threat to international peace and security. There are few better exhibits of State-sponsorship for terrorism than the one provided by the Syrian regime.

Security Council resolution 1373 adopted under Chapter 7 of the Charter, which in an act of the highest hypocrisy Syria itself voted for, makes absolutely clear that States must prevent acts of terrorism, and refrain from any form of financing, support, safe harbor or toleration of terrorist groups. Syrian complicity and responsibility for suicide bombings is as blatant as it is repugnant. The membership of this arch-sponsor of terrorism on this Council is an unbearable contradiction and an embarrassment to the United Nations. For Syria to ask for a debate of the Council, is comparable to the Taliban calling for such a debate. It would be laughable, if it weren 't so sad.

And yet, Members of the Council and the United Nations can hardly be surprised at this shameless act of hypocrisy by the Syrian regime. This is the same regime that speaks so often of "occupation" while it brutally occupies the neighboring territory of Lebanon It is the same regime that speaks of international law and human rights while it subjugates its people under a repressive and primitive dictatorship, violating countless international obligations. It is the same regime that supported the Saddam Hussein regime in Iraq in violation of Security Council resolutions, and to this day facilitates the infiltration of terrorists to attack civilian and military targets in Iraqi territory. And it is this same despotic regime that speaks so freely of double standards at the United Nations. Syria would do well to take a hard look at the mirror, and count itself fortunate that it has not yet, for unfortunate reasons, been the subject of concerted international action as part of the global campaign against terrorism. Not yet!

The Syrian delegate speaks a great deal about so-called resistance. Perhaps he can tell us precisely, without his familiar diplomatic word games and misrepresentations, how exactly the murder of children and babies in a restaurant is an act of legitimate resistance. Or perhaps he could tell us how the Syrians themselves have dealt with resistance, such as in the case of Hamas in which some 10,000 civilians were murdered by Syrian Armed Forces.

Mr. President,

Israel's measured defensive response to the horrific suicide bombings, against a terrorist training facility in Syria, are a clear act of self-defense in accordance with Article 51 of the Charter. These actions come after Israel has exercised tremendous restraint despite countless acts of terrorism that have claimed hundreds of innocent lives for which Syria bears direct and criminal responsibility. It comes after Israel, and the international community as a whole, has called repeatedly on Syria to end its support of terrorism and finally comply with international law. And it is designed to prevent further armed attacks against Israeli civilians in which Syria is complicit, with a view to encouraging Syria to resolve its dispute through bilateral negotiations in accordance with Security Council resolutions 242 and 338, as it is legally required to do.

May I ask what any other country sitting around this table would do in the face of the callous murder of hundreds of its civilians? This is not a hypothetical question. Many states in this organization, and in this Council, have been faced with terrorism of far less intensity and have responded with far less restraint and far less concern for human life. And yet, the Security Council has not seen fit to scrutinize their conduct. Indeed, on certain occasions the Council has specifically endorsed such defensive measures.

If there is a double standard in this Organization it is that while some states are afforded the right to protect their citizens, Israel too often is sent the message that its citizens are not worthy of protection. If there is a double standard, it is that some states are able to support terrorism with impunity, while those defending against it are called to account. If there is a double standard it is Syria sitting at this table, and raising one hand to vote against terror and the other to perpetrate and initiate terror! For the sake of peace and the reputation of this Council, let there be no such double standard today.

In the face of the rejectionism, aggression and terrorist sponsorship of the Syrian regime, together with Iran and the Palestinian Authority, what would the international community have us do? Like any state faced with such a critical and prolonged threat, Israel must exercise its inherent right and obligation to defend its citizens. What can we tell the Arab and Israeli mothers of children murdered in this weekend's attack in Haifa? We could have prevented the death of your son or daughter? We could have stopped a terrorist from walking into your town, your school, your home, your bedroom, but our hands were tied? Israel remains committed to a peaceful solution to the Middle East conflict, and is ready to make painful compromises to that end. But no peace can come while terrorism prospers. No negotiations can bring progress, while our citizens die on the streets.

Today, on the very eve of the Day of Atonement and the thirteenth anniversary of the Egyptian-Syrian aggression that initiated the Yom Kippur War, we call on members of the Council to come to the aid of the victims of terrorism, not their sponsors. Syria deserves no support for its complicity in murder and the Council would commit an unforgivable act of moral blindness were it to act otherwise. The time has come for the Council which adopted resolution 1373, and which has been at the forefront of the global counter-terrorism campaign, to hold to account a brutal dictatorship that is world-renowned for adopting terrorism as its primary tool. The world is watching. And today, more than on any other day, God is watching too!

Thank you, Mr. President.


IMRA - Independent Media Review and Analysis Website: www.imra.org.il

9 Tishri, 5764 (Oct 5, 2003) 50th "red mass"
50th Annual Red Mass for Supreme Court Justices, Judges and Government Officials

October 04, 2003

The 50th annual Red Mass for Supreme Court justices, judges, attorneys and senior government officials will be held the Sunday before this year’s Supreme Court session begins:

Sunday, October 5, 2003, 10:00 a.m.
Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle
1725 Rhode Island Ave., NW, Washington, DC

The Red Mass invokes God’s blessings and guidance in the administration of justice under the power of the Holy Spirit, and is a tradition that dates back many centuries to Rome, Paris and London. The name comes from the color of the vestments worn by the celebrants and the color of fire, a symbol of the Holy Spirit.

Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick, Archbishop of Washington, will be principal celebrant. The homilist will be Cardinal Avery Dulles, SJ, an internationally-recognized theologian, author and lecturer. Born in New York in 1918 to John Foster Dulles, Secretary of State under President Dwight Eisenhower, and Janet Pomeroy Avery Dulles, he was ordained a Jesuit priest in 1956. Cardinal Dulles has written 700 articles and 22 books on theology and served on the faculty of Woodstock College and The Catholic University of America. Currently, he is the Laurence J. McGinley Professor of Religion and Society at Fordham University, a position he has held since 1988. Cardinal McCarrick and Cardinal Dulles knew each other as students at Fordham; Cardinal McCarrick served Cardinal Dulles’ first Mass as a priest and the two were elevated to the College of Cardinals together in February 2001.

The Red Mass is sponsored by the John Carroll Society, a Washington area organization that provides spiritual, intellectual, charitable and social opportunities for Catholic professionals. This year marks not only the 50th anniversary of the Red Mass, but also the restoration of St. Matthew’s Cathedral and, in November, the 40th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy’s funeral at the church.

(Archdiocese of Washington)


11 Tishri, 5764 (Oct 7, 2003) Israel won't rule out another attack in Syria

Israel Warns Syria and Lebanon
09:19 Oct 07, '03 / 11 Tishrei 5764

(IsraelNN.com) A government official quoted by Israel Radio this morning stated Syria would be responsible for future terror attacks and Israel’s aerial strike earlier in the week was a warning message to both Iran and Syria.

Yesterday, the army Northern District commander, Major-General Benny Gantz, warned Damascus as well while touring the northern border area. Gantz stated Israel sees Damascus and Iran as directly responsible for funding terrorism against Israel, as well as hosting terrorists and providing logistical assistance.

(Arutz-7)

11 Tishri, 5764 (Oct 7, 2003) Bush asserts Israel's right to defend itself

Bush asserts right of Israel to strike at Syria in self-defence

Chris McGreal in Jerusalem and agencies
Tuesday October 7, 2003
The Guardian

President George Bush refused last night to criticise Israel's attack on Syria, saying it had a right to defend itself.

Mr Bush said the Israeli prime minister, Ariel Sharon, should avoid aggravating tensions in the region, but added that Israel's hands should not be tied.

America has criticised Syria for "harbouring terrorists" and has said it would not back a UN resolution which condemns Israel but fails to mention the preceding suicide attack in Haifa that killed 19 people.

An Israeli soldier was killed late yesterday during clashes across the Lebanese-Israeli border. It was the first Israeli death in the area for more than a month.

Israel blamed Syrian-backed Hizbullah guerrillas, but the group denied involvement. Lebanese officials said cars and a house were hit by Israeli fire. A UN vehicle was also strafed by gunfire from the Israeli side, a UN officer said.

(http://www.guardian.co.uk)


12 Tishri, 5764 (Oct 8, 2003) Russia Calls for International Conference on Mideast

Russia Calls for International Conference on Mideast

2003-10-8 2:52:58

Russia is calling for an international conference on the Middle East peace process.

Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov said Russia thinks it is necessary to consider the possibility of holding an international conference, which could consider all the aspects of the Middle East settlement process, including considering Israeli-Syrian and Israeli-Lebanese relations.

Ivanov also expressed Russia's hope that the UN Security Council would approve the roadmap plan for Middle East peace initiated by Russia, the United States, the United Nations and the European Union in order to make it mandatory for all conflicting parties.

He said the creation of an international monitoring mechanism will help put the roadmap peace plan into effect.

(crienglish)

12 Tishri, 5764 (Oct 8, 2003) Map of Damascus terrorists' homes published by Israel in essence saying "we know where you live"

Israeli map shows 'Terror Network' in Damascus
( 2003-10-08 09:25) (Agencies)

We know where you live.

That was the unmistakable message of the release by Israeli authorities on Tuesday of a map pinpointing what it said were homes and offices of Palestinian militant leaders in Damascus.

The army said the map was intended to illustrate the extent of the "Terror Network in the Damascus Region." It came on the same day that Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said Israel would attack its enemies "any place, and in any way."

On Sunday Israeli planes bombed what the Israeli military said was a training camp for Palestinian militants near Damascus, after a suicide bomb killed 19 people in Haifa. Syria said the target of the Damascus strike was a civilian site.

The Israeli army map shows supposed locations of the homes of senior Hamas leaders Mousa Abu Marzook and Khaled Mashal, Islamic Jihad leader Ramadan Shallah and Ahmed Jibril, chief of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine -- General Command (PFLP-GC).

It also shows 10 sites in Damascus the army says are the political, military and in some cases media offices for Islamic Jihad, Hamas, Fatah and the PFLP-GC.

A Palestinian official, who refused to give his location or affiliation, said: "This step shows that Israel plans to press ahead with its assassinations policy and to give it an international dimension."

"Do they think this will scare a group of people who are willing to die for their cause? If so, this is where they are very wrong. I am dead since 1948 and nothing scares me or any Palestinian man, woman or child," he added.

"This is a very cheap form of blackmail against Syria because it refuses to bow to U.S. and Israeli pressure," another official said in Syria.

LEADERS MOVE FROM PLACE TO PLACE

Hamas and Islamic Jihad sources in the West Bank and Gaza Strip said Abu Marzook, Mashal and Shallah moved between Damascus and Beirut for "security reasons."

Syria, which has been under intense U.S. pressure to kick militant groups out of its territory, says Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other Palestinian groups maintain only media offices in Damascus.

"The map is proof of the extensive presence of Palestinian terror groups in Syria," an Israeli security source said. "We said it before and we say it again, everyone that is involved in terror and endangers the lives of Israeli citizens is not immune."

Sharon took a tough line on Tuesday but made no specific threats.

"Israel will not be deterred from defending its citizens and will hit its enemies any place and in any way," he said in a speech broadcast live from a military cemetery in Jerusalem.

"At the same time we will not miss any opening and opportunity to reach an agreement with our neighbors and peace."

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, breaking his silence on the attack near Damascus, accused Israel of trying to drag Syria and the rest of the Middle East into a wider conflict.

Analysts see Israel stepping up its campaign to pressure Syria to cut links with Palestinian militant groups and expect more clashes with Hizbollah guerrillas on the border with Lebanon, where Syria acts as the main powerbroker.

But they expect it to stop well short of war.

(China Daily)

12 Tishri, 5764 (Oct 8, 2003) Meteor over Western Australia sonic boom

Meteor Over WA Creates Sonic Boom
A spectacular meteor streaked across the skies of south-west Western Australia overnight, creating a sonic boom as it broke the sound barrier and startling many country residents. The meteor vaporised near the Wheatbelt town of Dowerin, 157km north-east of Perth, about midnight (WST).

It was seen by scores of people between Perth and Bunbury in the south to Geraldton in the north and Dowerin in the east. Perth Observatory astronomer Peter Birch said the meteor was brighter than a full moon as it broke the sound barrier and woke Dowerin residents.

It is rare for a meteor to create a sonic boom. One was heard over southern WA on May 1, 1995, and there had been one between then and last night, Mr Birch said.

(harpazo)


13 Tishri, 5764 (Oct 9, 2003) Group calls for delegalization of marriage

Group Calls for De-Legalization of Marriage
Marriage has its advantages but some think the nation’s laws give married couples too much favorable treatment and the only way to even the playing field is to de-legalize the institution.

A group of legal scholars and gay advocacy groups are calling for marriage to be de-legalized in order to make the distribution of benefits more fair for people who aren’t married, including gay couples. fox news

(harpazo)


14 Tishri, 5764 (Oct 10, 2003) Oslo hatchers poised to announce 'Swiss Accords'

JNW News
Oslo hatchers poised to announce 'Swiss Accords'
By Jerusalem Newswire Editorial Staff

October 10, 2003

Jerusalem (www.jnewswire.com) - As the number of Israelis murdered as a consequence of the Oslo process nears 1,200, the men who met secretly in Norway's capital 10 years ago to put together their master plan for peace are now reportedly on the verge of unveiling a new initiative.

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has reacted angrily to news of the Labor Party-sanctioned "Swiss Accords," but appears powerless to halt the plan in its tracks, even though he fears it could undermine his government and help bring Labor back into power.

Leftist cabal

According to a Y-Net report picked up by the Israel Insider website Thursday, chief Oslo architect Yossi Beilin and a cabal of his left-wing Israeli comrades have been holding clandestine meetings with PLO leaders for over a year in an attempt to put together what they have vaingloriously dubbed, the Swiss Accords.

The meetings in Switzerland, among other places, had reportedly been held with the consent of PLO terror chief Yasser Arafat, even as the Sharon government was fighting to neutralize him and crush the terror groups operating out of areas under his control.

Arafat lieutenant Yasser Abed Rabbo was heading up the Palestinian team to the talks.

As leaked news of the plot began making waves in Israel Thursday, a "high-level" meeting of the country's leftists departed for Jordan to finalize the agreement, after which they reportedly plan to try sell the deal to the public.

Sleeping with the enemy

In an apparent effort to try and head off the deal, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon Wednesday slammed what he called "a cynical political attempt by Labor and the left to topple the government by illegitimate means."

Left wing groups had been "coordinating their actions with the Palestinians behind the government's back," Sharon said, and this at a time when Israel was "engaged in a difficult campaign against terror."

But Labor leader Shimon Peres derisively dismissed Sharon's condemnation, saying, according to The Jerusalem Post Friday, that he could "speak with whomever he wants, wherever and whenever he wants."

As the Jewish people prepared to celebrate the start of the Feast of Tabernacles on Friday evening, concerned observers in Israel were wondering how it was that Israeli officials were permitted to negotiate with the enemy during a time of war.

Said one, "If the US Democratic Party would try and negotiate a peace deal with Al-Qaeda or the Iraqi Ba'ath Party of Saddam Hussein during America's war on those foes, they would be tried for treason."

America's role?

Questions have arisen regarding Washington's role in the plan after reports that the meetings had been bankrolled by Switzerland, the United States, the European Union and Japan.

Comments on news of the accords have yet to emerge out of the US, where the Bush administration has been recently perceived as increasingly aligned with Sharon in Israel's war on terror.

Barak: 'Irresponsible and damaging'

Former Labor leader and Prime Minister Ehud Barak has slammed the alternate "peace" agreement as "irresponsible and damaging to the State of Israel," Y-Net said Friday.

If the Labor Party wanted to be taken seriously, he said, it could not be involved with plans that "confuse both the public and our friends alike."

During his tenure as Prime Minister, Barak offered the PLO 97 percent of Judea, Samaria and Gaza, together with half the city of Jerusalem, for a Palestinian state.

(Jerusalem Newswire)


October 13, 2003 UK, France, Germany work on plans for EU military

13.10.2003 - 09:54 CET

Big three draft European defence plan

The United Kingdom, France and Germany are working on plans for closer defence cooperation within the European Union.

The three major European players are at the moment working on developing plans for a unit which can lead medium to long term military operations.

If the work succeeds, the European Union will have taken a further step towards the development of a common defence policy.

The issue was discussed on Sunday when French President Jacques Chirac met German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder in Paris.

If London, Paris and Berlin agree on an initiative, the Italian EU Presidency is ready to table the proposal at the Autumn Summit in Brussels on Thursday (16 October), diplomatic sources in Brussels told the EUobserver.

The leaders of France and Germany reached agreement with British Prime Minister Tony Blair, when they met in Berlin a couple of weeks ago on the principle of closer ties within the area of defence and security among European Union member states.

The three are said to have agreed on the necessity to be able to plan and execute European Union operations independently of NATO, something the UK was earlier opposed to.

However, a previous plan of France, Germany, Belgium and Luxembourg of locating common headquarters in Terveuren outside Brussels has been scrapped. This was seen a as symbol of European independence from the US and was not acceptable to the British.

Instead it is likely that only a strategic headquarters will be in Belgium or perhaps in the headquarters of the EU Military Committee in Rue Cortenberg in Brussels. The operational centre would then be located nationally and could differ from operation to operation.

(euobserver)

October 13, 2003 California: Davis Signs Domestic Partner Benefit Bill

Davis Signs Domestic Partner Benefit Bill
California has became the first state to require businesses with large state contracts to offer domestic partners the same benefits that spouses enjoy, although the law will not take effect until 2007.

Outgoing Gov. Gray Davis signed the bill enacting the measure, which had been a key goal of gay rights groups.

Geoff Kors, executive director of Equality California, called the move "incredibly significant."

"There are a lot of businesses that want state contracts, and in order to be eligible, companies will now have to give equal benefits," Kors said.

In 1996, San Francisco became the first jurisdiction in the country to adopt such a requirement, prompting numerous companies to offer benefits to domestic partners, Kors said. Other cities have since followed suit, and California is the first state to approve such a law, Kors said.

The measure narrowly cleared the Legislature earlier this year, passing the Assembly with the minimum number of votes needed.

At the time, Democrats described the measure as a victory for fairness and civil rights, while Republican opponents said it would trample the rights of employers who objected to gay relationships. fox news

(harpazo)


October 14, 2003 EU Viewed by China as World Power to Rival US

EU viewed by China as world power to rival US
By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard in Brussels
(Filed: 14/10/2003)

The European Union is the world's rising superpower, poised to overtake both America and Japan as the biggest trade and investment force in China, according to a strategic policy paper published by Beijing yesterday.

The Chinese government said the EU was transforming the global landscape with its successful currency launch and strides towards a joint foreign policy, defence, and judicial union.

Describing EU integration as "irreversible", Beijing marvelled at Europe's 25-35 per cent share of the global economy and its projected 450 million population after expanding into the former communist bloc next year.

The white paper follows a flurry of Sino-EU ventures, including the Galileo global satellite system, described as a direct challenge to the American GPS monopoly in space.

The two sides are also working together on nuclear research.

France and Germany have been pushing hardest for closer ties with China, hoping to cash in on a lucrative market but also to develop a strategic alliance as a counterweight to American power after the diplomatic trauma of the Iraq war.

Last June, the French defence minister, Michele Alliot-Marie, proposed sharing sensitive military technology with Beijing. She called for a softening of the arms embargo imposed on the country after the Tiananmen Square massacre in 1989.

The Chinese already have the world's second biggest defence budget, £40 million annually, but they have to rely on outdated weaponry bought from Russia and Ukraine.

Yesterday's white paper said the ever-closer military ties rendered the EU embargo a relic from the last century.

China's efforts to court Brussels reflect a new mood of respect for the EU across Asia. India is also rushing to upgrade its ties with Europe, recruiting extra staff to lobby EU officials and MEPs.

(http://www.telegraph.co.uk)

October 14, 2003 Pope to Accept Mother Teresa's Blood

Pope to accept Mother Teresa's blood
Tuesday, 14 October , 2003, 00:33

Vatican City: Drops of blood from the body of Mother Teresa, who will be beatified next Sunday, are to be presented in a reliquary to Pope John Paul II, church sources said today.

The pontiff will receive the relic during the beatification ceremony, Canadian priest Brian Kolodiejchuk told AFP.

The reliquary would be be placed in the popes private chapel, said Father Kolodiejchuk, a missionary from a charity working with the postulator, or advocate presenting the case for beatification.

The blood was taken from the body of Mother Teresa, who died in 1997, by a doctor acting under the supervision of ecclesiastical authorities when the body was exhumed for beatification.

Nuns belonging to Mother Teresa's Missionaries of Charity began arriving in Rome today for the ceremony.

One group arrived from Mumbai and New Delhi, wearing their traditional blue-edged white saris, while a second flew in from Atlanta in the United States accompanied by the secretary general of the synod of bishops, Belgian Cardinal Jan Pieter Schotte.

(Sify News)


October 15, 2003 US vetoes resolution on Israeli security fence

Security Council fails to adopt resolution on Israeli barrier

15 October – The United States has vetoed a draft resolution before the Security Council that would have declared Israel’s building of a barrier, said to have taken in some Palestinian territory in the West Bank, illegal.

In a late night session Tuesday, 10 Council members voted in favour of the draft resolution, the United States voted against and four members – Bulgaria, Cameroon, Germany and United Kingdom – abstained. The draft resolution was sponsored by Guinea, Malaysia, Pakistan and Syria.

The resolution’s main operative paragraph would have the Council decide “that the construction by Israel, the occupying power, of a wall in the Occupied Territories departing from the armistice line of 1949 is illegal under relevant provisions of international law and must be ceased and reversed."

Explaining his veto after the vote, Security Council President John Negroponte, speaking in his national capacity as the United States representative, said the resolution was unbalanced and failed to address terrorism and the security problems that Israel had faced for years.

All resolutions on the Middle East should include that kind of balance, he said.

(http://www.un.org)


October 16, 2003 Church Marks Pope's 25th Anniversary

Church Marks Pope's 25th Anniversary
An ailing Pope John Paul II celebrated his 25 years as pontiff on Thursday, asking tens of thousands of pilgrims, his admiring Polish countrymen and the men who help run his church to pray for him, saying his future rested in the hands of God.

"I renew, in the hands of Mary, beloved Mother, the gift of myself, of the present and the future: everything will be done according to your will. Supreme Pastor, stay among us so that we can proceed with you securely to the house of the Father."

As the Mass ended on a floodlit square, John Paul asked for a closing hymn dedicated to the Virgin Mary, for whom he has always had a special devotion. ap

(harpazo)

October 16, 2003 Anglicans Warn of Split Over Gays

Anglicans warn of split over gays

Thursday, October 16, 2003 Posted: 11:38 PM EDT (0338 GMT)

LONDON, England (CNN) -- Leaders of international Anglican churches pressured the U.S. Episcopal Church Thursday not to consecrate an openly gay man as a bishop next month, saying the move could split the worldwide Anglican Communion.

At the conclusion of a two-day emergency meeting, the primates of 37 Anglican churches issued a statement saying that if the Rev. Gene Robinson is consecrated as bishop of New Hampshire, "the future of the communion itself will be put in jeopardy."

"This will tear at the fabric of our communion at its deepest level," the statement said.

The Anglican leaders called for creation of a commission to make a yearlong study of how to deal with deep theological disagreements between individual churches in the decentralized 77 million-member Anglican Communion.

In the meantime, they asked individual churches not to react hastily.

Among those at the meeting was Presiding Bishop Frank Griswold of the U.S. Episcopal Church, who voted to confirm Robinson's selection as bishop at the U.S. church's national convention in Minneapolis in August.

Queried by reporters if he would ask Robinson to step aside, Griswold said, "I might do many things."

He said events could intervene before the installation of Robinson as bishop November 2.

"I'm simply saying anything could happen. The Second Coming [of Christ] can occur, which would certainly cancel an ordination," Griswold said.

"At this point, I am scheduled to be in New Hampshire on the second of November. Something could happen to me, but I hope it won't."

But Griswold said he fully supported the Diocese of New Hampshire in the process that led to Robinson's election as well as the national convention's decision to confirm it.

Griswold said one result of the primates' meeting was the recognition that "what may, in fact, be good news to a majority in one province may in fact be bad news somewhere else in the world."

Under U.S. church law, lay people and clergy in individual dioceses elect bishops, who are then confirmed by the national convention and consecrated.

Normally, approval of diocesan choices is routine, but the decision by New Hampshire Episcopalians to pick Robinson, who lives openly with a male partner, set off a firestorm.

Conservatives appeal

Conservatives within the U.S. church, who object to the decision on biblical grounds, turned for support to primates of Anglican churches in the Third World who believe gay and lesbian relationships are a violation of traditional Christian teaching.

Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, recognized by Anglicans as the spiritual head of the communion, summoned Griswold and the other primates to Lambeth Palace in London, for an emergency meeting to discuss the controversy over Robinson's appointment.

The meeting also addressed a decision by an Anglican diocese in Vancouver, Canada, to approve a liturgy to bless same-sex relationships.

Williams noted, however, that because of the decentralized structure of the Anglican Communion, the ultimate decisions on such issues are in the hands of individual national churches.

"The challenge we have worked hard to meet has been to find some way of coping with divisive issues as a communion," Williams said. "We can't constrain anyone. All we can do is just say who we are."

The primates' final communique said that "as a body we deeply regret" the decisions of the U.S. and Vancouver churches because they "could be perceived to alter unilaterally the teaching of the Anglican Communion."

They also reaffirmed a 1998 resolution on human sexuality by the Lambeth Conference, a worldwide gathering of Anglicans, that said the only appropriate type of sexual relationship is a lifelong marriage between a man and a woman, with abstinence the only option "for those not called to marriage."

That statement, supported by church leaders from Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, precluded both blessings of same-sex relationships and ordination of openly gay people to the priesthood.

It was repudiated by many Anglicans in countries such as the United States, Canada, Australia and Britain.

Thursday's statement from the Anglican leaders was described as unanimous. Griswold noted that the deep regret was expressed by the primates "as a body" and did not contradict his vote to approve Robinson as a bishop.

"It says that so that those of us who are not part of that deep regret can at least honor the fact that we're part of a body," he said.

'Substantial intervention'

Conservative dissidents within the U.S. church who met last week in Dallas, Texas, pressed the primates to allow individual U.S. churches that disagree with their bishops on gay issues to seek oversight from more conservative bishops from outside their dioceses.

In their statement, the primates called for creation of such a structure, and Griswold said the U.S. church is "always open to further consideration of that kind of ministry."

The Rev. Canon David Roseberry, whose church in Plano, Texas, was host of last week's meeting, called the primates' communique "a substantial intervention."

"If the Episcopal Church decides to proceed with the consecration of Gene Robinson, they will be rendering an action that will clearly be schismatic," Roseberry said in a statement.

In Washington, David Anderson, president of the American Anglican Council, one of the leading conservative groups, said he was pleased by the primates' stand.

A spokeswoman for the group, Cynthia Brust, said the AAC was hopeful Robinson would step aside or that Griswold would stop his consecration.

A decision by Robinson to step aside would not be unprecedented. Canon Jeffrey John, an openly gay priest in the Church of England, was nominated as bishop of Reading but withdrew amid strong objections from Anglican conservatives.

His decision allowed the English church to avert the controversy now threatening schism of its American counterpart.

(cnn)


23 Tishri, 5764 (Oct 19, 2003) Pope beatifies Mother Teresa

Pope beatifies Mother Teresa

Sunday, October 19, 2003 Posted: 4:43 AM EDT (0843 GMT)

VATICAN CITY (CNN) -- Hundreds of thousands crowded St. Peter's Square Sunday, celebrating Pope John Paul II's beatification of Mother Teresa, known as the "Saint of the Gutters" for her work with the poor.

A smiling portrait of Mother Teresa was unveiled, shortly after the ceremony.

The nun will now be known as the Blessed Mother Teresa of Kolkata, one step away from sainthood.

Some 450 nuns from Mother Teresa's Missionaries of Charity are in Vatican City for the three-hour Mass. Residents in Kolkata (formerly Calcutta) are watching the ceremony on giant television screens and celebrate two Masses at the house where she lived, worked, and is buried.

Lines of people waited to view an exposition in Rome highlighting key moments of Mother Teresa's life, and the nuns from her charity have set up sleeping tents, following her example of modesty by refusing more comfortable lodgings. The nuns have brought with them 2,000 poor from all corners of the country.

A morning Mass was celebrated in Kolkata at Mother House, where the late nun lived and worked, and an evening Thanksgiving Beatification Mass is planned. The destitute children who live at the homes Mother Teresa established in the eastern Indian city were able to watch her beatification from Vatican City on large screens.

"There's a fire everywhere, the interest in the Mother, wanting to know her message, wanting to know more about her," said Sister Nirmala, Mother Teresa's successor.

Archbishop Henry D'Souza of Kolkata said he believes many more christians will want to emulate Mother Teresa after Sunday's ceremony.

"Many will come closer to God," he said. "Many will want to dedicate their lives to the poor and to serve others."

Born Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu in 1910, Mother Teresa set up her Missionaries of Charity in the slums of Kolkata in 1950 and made her headquarters in the Indian city for nearly half a century.

Her small figure in a white-and-blue sari and sandals became familiar around the world. She died in Kolkata in 1997 at age 87.

Known as the "Saint of the Gutters" for her unending work and compassion for the poor, Mother Teresa was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979. The Norwegian Nobel Committee said her spirit and the respect she had for the worth and dignity of human beings inspired constructive efforts to do away with hunger and poverty.

The nuns and priests from the Missionaries of Charity continue her work around the world, including some ex-communist countries where she was banned. Her order has offices in Europe, Africa, the Americas and Australia, as well as Hong Kong and Russia.

Her devotees began pressing the Vatican soon after her death to speed up the nun's sainthood cause, saying her holiness was clear to many around the world. Pope John Paul II granted the special dispensation in 1999, and the procedure began.

Last December, the pope approved a miracle attributed to Mother Teresa after her death, paving the way for her beatification. Before she can be canonized and made a saint, however, a second posthumous miracle must be proved to the satisfaction of a Vatican committee and the pope.

The approved miracle involved a 30-year-old Kolkata woman who said praying to the nun cured a stomach tumor. The Vatican committee said in October 2002 that it could find no "scientific explanation" for the woman's recovery, and the pope made it official late last year. (Doubt over miracle)

Throughout his 25 years as pontiff, Pope John Paul II has canonized 477 people, more than any of his predecessors combined. Mother Teresa will be the 1,319th person this pope has beatified.

Most of the Catholic Church's saints or blessed people are honored decades, if not centuries, after their deaths, and there is a mandatory five-year waiting period before formal evaluation of a candidate for beatification can begin.

Shortly after Mother Teresa's death, the pope waived the waiting period in part, some believe, because of her fame and reputation.

Sunday's events will also include the creation of 31 new cardinals.

(cnn)

 

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