BPR Mailing List Digest
November 30, 1999

Digest Home | 1999 | November, 1999


To: (BPR Mailing List)
Subject: [BPR] - Infobeat News items (11/30/99)
Date: Tue, 30 Nov 1999 09:40:12 -0500

From: "Moza" <>

*** French schools to give out pill

PARIS (AP) - Parents and French education officials were locked
in a heated debate Monday over the government's decision to
allow school nurses to prescribe the morning-after pill, which
terminates a pregnancy in its earliest stages. More than 10,000
girls under 18 years become pregnant each year in France and
6,000 have abortions. Deputy Education Minister Segolene Royal
said Friday the morning-after pill would soon be available in
schools for teen-agers. Royal said the new measure would mark a
step forward "since there will necessarily be a dialogue, then a
consultation with a doctor to tackle the underlying problems of
these premature pregnancies." See

*** Palestinian dissidents blame Arafat

JERUSALEM (AP) - Despite a string of arrests and the threat of
further punishment, Palestinian dissidents refused Monday to
retract a stinging manifesto that blames Yasser Arafat for
widespread government corruption. Infuriated by the allegations,
the Palestinian leader moved swiftly to silence his critics. He
ordered 11 of the signatories arrested hours after the document
was released Sunday, and urged parliament to lift the immunity
of the nine others, all lawmakers, at a special session
Wednesday. Arafat aides said he was stung because he was named
directly. Past allegations of widespread government corruption
have focused on Arafat advisers and Cabinet ministers, while
sparing the Palestinian leader. See

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To: (BPR Mailing List)
Subject: [BPR] - Religion Today items (11/30/99)
Date: Tue, 30 Nov 1999 09:40:12 -0500

From: "Moza" <>

As many as 800,000 people are trapped in camps in Burundi
without food, shelter, or adequate sanitation, a missionary says. The
Hutu civilians were forced into the camps outside the capital,
Bujumbura, by Burundi's Tutsi-dominated government, which hopes
its presence will prevent attacks by Hutu rebels entrenched
around the city, Southern Baptist missionary David Brandon said.
He worked in the country until being forced to leave Nov. 12; he
and his family are in Nairobi, Kenya.
...The camps are little more than death camps, Brandon told
Baptist Press. "Starvation is a reality, diseases are increasing,
and thousands of people are lying in a fetal position, waiting to
...Humanitarian aid organizations "are not doing anything"
because they were frightened off by an Oct. 12 attack in which
two United Nations officials were killed while visiting a camp
near the capital, Brandon said. The U.N. reduced its staff in
Burundi after the attack, and aid groups such as Doctors Without
Borders suspended their operations, he said.
...Western governments and the mass media largely are ignoring
the situation, Brandon said. "It's just obvious that the whole
situation is too evil for the West to get involved in. Plus, they
have no political or economic reason to get involved. The media
look the other way in disgust." The prayers of Christians may be
the only hope for people suffering in the camps, he said. "We
have been sustained by prayer and we depend on it."

Jewish extremists attacked the Paris office of the Jews for Jesus
for the third time in a year, its director said. Seven men
entered the office Nov. 24 and beat up and threatened to kill
Joshua Turnil, a Jews for Jesus worker who was there alone,
Stephen Pacht, director of the office, told Reuters. The
attackers, who spray-painted the words "Never Again" and "Israel
Lives" on the walls of the office, were members of a fringe group
of Betar, an international right-wing Jewish youth movement,
police said. Youths wielding iron bars shattered the window of
the Jews for Jesus office in Paris six months ago, Pacht said.
The Messianic Jewish movement has 500 followers in France and
200,000 worldwide. They believe Jesus Christ is the Messiah.

More than 2,000 Zambian soldiers are marching to a different
drummer now that they have become Christians. They professed
faith in Christ last month during a series of evangelistic
concerts in Lusaka run by Operation Africa, a Queensland,
Australia-based group. The Bible Society in Australia supplied
20,000 Bibles for distribution at the concerts, and more than
7,000 were handed out. The cover of the Bibles was military-style
camouflage used by the Australian Defense Forces.
...The soldiers who professed faith in Christ will be supported
by a free Bible study correspondence program, said Jason Greive,
a minister who is director of Operation Africa.
...President Frederick Chiluba of Zambia, who also is commander
in chief of the Armed Forces, spoke in connection with the
concerts, calling on military personnel to place their trust in
God, said the Zambia Daily Mail and the Times of Zambia.
...Zambians "by and large despise the military," Greive said.
"There is resentment toward them. I think that's why God has
called us as a foreign group to reach them. The reason why we
focus on the military is because they are a totally unreached
group. They were perceived by churches and mission groups as a
no-go zone."

A sixth-grader has been punished for refusing to curse in class.
Hanna Darnell, 12, was reading a portion of a book out loud in
front of her classmates recently when she came to the word
"damn." When Darnell skipped over the word and "respectfully
explained that she did so because of her Christian beliefs," she
was sent to the principal, who ordered her to say the word or be
suspended for the rest of the day, a spokesman for the Rutherford
Institute (see link #2 below) said. The Virginia-based rights
group is representing Darnell, who attends C. B. Eller Elementary
School in Elkin, N.C.
...A week after the reading incident, Darnell's teacher ordered
her to remove the letters WWJD (What Would Jesus Do) and
several crosses she had drawn on the blackboard as part of a "feature one
child" class-participation program in which students express
themselves. The Rutherford Institute says the teacher's actions
violated the girl's right to free speech and forced her to go
against her religious beliefs. It has asked that the school
apologize in writing and that the apology be sent to other
schools in the district to preclude other incidents.



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To: (BPR Mailing List)
Subject: [BPR] - Technology killing songbirds
Date: Tue, 30 Nov 1999 09:40:12 -0500

From: "Moza" <>

 Technology killing songbirds

 November 28, 1999


 The flutelike whistle of the wood thrush, the banjolike melody of
 the bobolink and the cheerful singing of many other migratory
 songbirds are being snuffed out by the electronic chirp of

 Millions of the migratory birds, which yearly travel through
 Chicago from as far north as Canada to as far south as Peru, are
 being killed off by rapidly rising cellular telephone towers and
 new digital television antennas blocking their paths, wildlife
 experts say.

 High-definition television towers can climb to heights of 1,000
 feet and are the latest threat to songbirds, which typically fly at
 5,000 feet but descend to much lower levels during overcast
 evenings, said Albert Manville, a wildlife biologist with the
 office of migratory bird management for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife

 ``We're looking at an impact of between 4 [million] to 5 million
 birds killed each year just from the cellular telephone towers; we
 know that towers are going up at an unprecedented rate,'' Manville
 said. ``HDTV towers are a train wreck we want to avoid. ... The
 concern is it's yet another impact [on birds].''

 Manville and other experts are so worried about the newly installed
 digital television or HDTV towers that they led a symposium
 recently at New York's Cornell University to draw attention to the

 According to the Federal Communications Commission, 48,642
cellular telephone towers at least 200 feet in height were in operation last
 year. Digital towers recently went up as television stations
 prepared for the advent of HDTV broadcasts.

 The antennas went up this month, at the end of the birds' second

 The birds typically migrate twice a year, traveling north during
 the spring months from March to early June and south for the
winter months from August to December, said David Willard, collection
 manager in the bird division of the Field Museum.

 The birds use stars as navigational tools, but during overcast
 evenings they fly under the cloud cover. They are then drawn
toward lights on towers and buildings, Willard said.

 Several hundred different species of songbirds fly through Chicago.
 While many of those birds, including warblers, sparrows and
 orioles, are abundant, others such as the bobolink are so scarce
 that they're at risk of being placed on the nation's endangered
 species list.

 The Kirtland's warbler, which calls the grasslands of Michigan
 home, is so scarce that only about 2,000 pairs remain alive,
 Willard said.

 Along their routes, birds typically encounter hazards such as large
 picture windows, high-rise buildings and towers with guy wires that
 help secure the antennas.

 ``Because of the other kinds of hazards for birds, people are
 wondering how the [new towers] could not cause similar kinds of
 problems; those kinds of structures have already been shown to be
 hazardous to birds,'' Willard said.

 Along with the towers, experts also are pointing to the proposed
 ``stick building'' in the Loop as another problem for the birds.
 The building is to be the world's tallest skyscraper.

 Tiny bird carcasses line drawers in the Field Museum as
examples of those that have struck buildings and other hazards in the area.

 For reasons scientists haven't been able to explain fully, the
 birds are drawn to red lights and radio signals, which might
 disrupt the birds' navigation systems. The lights can be found at
 the top of the towers and many buildings. The birds routinely
 circle around the lights to regain their orientation but then hit
 guy wires holding up the structures, said Vernon Kleen, an avian
 ecologist for the Department of Natural Resources.

 ``There are some [wires] that have killed as many as 1,000 birds a
 night, maybe more,'' Kleen said.

 Songbirds, which tend to be smaller than other varieties of birds,
 fly at night, while most other birds fly during daylight. The birds
 choose night to avoid larger predators and also use stars and
 ground lights as navigation tools, Kleen said.

 ``Smaller birds fly at night to hide under the cover of darkness,''
 he said.


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To: (BPR Mailing List)
Subject: [BPR] - Big Brother data store
Date: Tue, 30 Nov 1999 19:08:11 -0500

From: "Moza" <>

Packer sets up Big Brother data store

A GIANT data warehouse containing the personal and financial
details of almost every Australian is being constructed by a United
States company and will be operational by Christmas.

The warehouse will contain information from a diverse range of
sources, including credit companies, retailers, electoral rolls, post
office lists, car sales records and housing purchase records.

The power of the warehouse comes from its ability to cross-
reference information from many different sources.

Detailed personal records therefore can be built up on anyone in the


In the US, Acxiom has established what it claims is the world's
largest database, which holds personal details on 95 per cent of all
US households, or some 330 million people.

Acxiom international division head Jerry Ellis said the company's
clients could access this vast information reserve and pull out
records in seconds.

For example, if a customer called an insurance company, the
company's computer system would recognise the incoming
telephone number, query InfoBase, and provide a full profile on the
customer before the call was answered.

Full story:

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