BPR Mailing List Digest
June 23, 2000

Digest Home | 2000 | June, 2000


To: (BPR Mailing List)
Subject: [BPR] - Iran/Israel/Lebanon/Syria - Terrorism
Date: Fri, 23 Jun 2000 06:19:26 -0500's Global Intelligence Update - 23 June 2000
It's not news, it's intelligence.

Putin Nabs Another Oligarch

Colombia's Paramilitary Transforms into Guerrilla Force

European Police Force Dilutes Sovereignty of EU States

In the West Bank, A New Terrorist Dynamic


There are increasing signs that violence will soon flare in the
West Bank. Increasingly, there is evidence of stepped-up arms
trafficking and coordination between Hezbollah guerrillas in
Lebanon and the Hamas organization in the West Bank. Not only will
this pose a challenge for Israel, but the new terrorist dynamic
will be the first foreign policy test for Syria's brand new


On June 21, Palestinian police banned a speech that Sheikh Hassan
Nasrallah, the secretary-general of Hezbollah, planned to deliver
by telephone to a rally staged by the Palestinian Islamic
Resistance Movement, Hamas, in the West Bank town of Jenin. The
police appear to have acted out of growing concern over collusion
between the two groups.

No longer able to confront Israel in Lebanon, Hezbollah appears to
be trying to shift the battleground much closer to home, the West
Bank. There are signs of increased weapons trafficking between
Lebanon and the West Bank. And regional media are reporting
increased contact between the leadership of both Hezbollah and
Hamas. There is more at work here, though, than contacts between
two terrorist groups

There are implications for the major players in the region. It
appears that Hezbollah is shifting strategy at least partly in
reaction to its sponsors in Iran. The new dynamic will pose the
problem of renewed violence to Israel. And the new government in
Syria, led by Bashar Assad, will either control Hezbollah or fail
its first major foreign policy test - moving toward peace with

The last few years have witnessed increased coordination between
the two terrorist groups. Until the 1990s, the two had shared only
a common enemy, Israel, and sponsor, Iran. But the organizations
had separate missions. Hezbollah was dedicated to forcing an
Israeli pullout from southern Lebanon by running a guerrilla war
against Israeli soldiers and the proxy South Lebanon Army (SLA).
Formed by Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip and the West
Bank, Hamas has fought for an Islamic state with attacks on
civilian targets.

The two began to coordinate efforts in the wake of the Oslo peace
accords, signed in 1993. The accords paved the way for joint
counter-terrorist operations by U.S., Israeli and Palestinian
agencies. Regional media reports suggest that Hamas, for one,
turned to Syria and Iran for assistance; Tehran and Damascus in
turn pointed Hamas to groups they already supported or influenced,
Hezbollah and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad. Al Hadath, a Jordanian
daily, reported in November 1999 that Iran set up a joint operations
center south of Beirut so that all three groups could run political
military actions against Israel.

Increasing cooperation appears to explain a significant new spike
in arms smuggling into the West Bank. Brig. Gen. Mahmud el-Alul,
the Palestinian governor of Nablus, the West Bank's largest city,
told the Jerusalem Post on June 14 that a "river" of illegal
weapons was flowing into the city. Many of the guns reportedly came
originally from the South Lebanon Army (SLA), which abandoned numerous
arms caches when it collapsed last month. Many of these caches were
recovered by Hezbollah, which now appears to be funneling them into
West Bank.

This new terrorist dynamic will soon impact the region's
governments. Israel, for one, will likely confront a new wave of
violence on the West Bank and will be hard-pressed to respond
effectively. Much of Jerusalem's attention is now fixed securing
its northern border. And Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) will soon
find that calling in retaliatory air strikes on targets in Lebanon
is comparatively easier than rooting arms caches from the West Bank -
calling on the Palestinian Authority to do so.

It appears, too, that Iran is probably behind the shift in strategy by
Hezbollah. Without Israeli forces in Lebanon, Iran has been deprived
a front on which to pressure the Israelis. Iran has increased its
spending on Hezbollah training in recent months, according to The
Ocean newsletter.

A surge of violence in the West Bank will probably stall a peace
deal between Israel and Syria - Iran's most likely goal. The
government of Prime Minister Ehud Barak could not move peace talks
with the Syrians forward, after all, as long as guns and violence
are flowing through the West Bank.

This, in turn, will pose the first major foreign policy test for
Bashar Assad, apparent successor and son of the late Syrian
president, Hafez Assad. The new leader appears to want a peace deal
Israel. But to get it he will have to lock in Syrian control of
- and Hezbollah. Israel could easily stall the Syrian- Israeli peace
track until Bashar complies.

Bashar Assad will have a difficult time curbing Hezbollah. He is
still solidifying his political base in Damascus, where he is still
vulnerable and does not yet wield the power of his late father. As a
result, Bashar may not feel ready to combat an Iran-backed challenge
his regime. Additionally, the expected deployment of United Nations
peacekeepers in South Lebanon will not make it easier for the Syrian
army to assert control.

If Bashar wants to maintain the momentum toward a peace deal that
his father began, he is going to have to counter this new terrorist
dynamic, and Iran's backing, as soon as possible.

(c) 2000 WNI, Inc.
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To: (BPR Mailing List)
Subject: [BPR] - Court Bars Sex-Change Dancer From School
Date: Fri, 23 Jun 2000 08:39:26 -0400

 Thursday June 22 7:49 AM ET

 Court Bars Sex-Change Dancer From School

CAIRO (Reuters) - A Cairo court ruled on Wednesday that a belly-dancer
who was once a man may not pursue her medical studies at Egypt's one
thousand-year-old al-Azhar Islamic university.

Court sources said the judge had decided that the dancer, Sally Mohammed
Abdullah Mursi, had misled a court that supported a petition she filed last
year to be allowed to continue at al-Azhar by not disclosing her current

Originally named Sayed, Mursi had a sex-change operation in 1995 while
studying medicine at al-Azhar's all-male medical college. The university then
refused to let her transfer to its women's medical college to complete her
final year.

Belly-dancing is a popular form of entertainment in Egypt, but the religious
establishment frowns on it.

Link via:

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To: (BPR Mailing List)
Subject: [BPR] - Athletes Rebuffed in Nude Photo Net Case
Date: Fri, 23 Jun 2000 08:42:43 -0400

Thursday June 22 7:48 AM ET

 Athletes Rebuffed in Nude Photo Net Case

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A federal judge Wednesday rejected a lawsuit
against two Internet access providers, PSINet Inc. (NasdaqNM:PSIX - news)
and GTE Corp. (NYSE:GTE - news), filed by dozens of Illinois State
University athletes after their nude images were marketed on the World Wide

The ISU football players and other athletes were secretly videotaped in
various states of undress by hidden cameras in restrooms, locker rooms and
showers. The videotapes were sold on various Web sites for which service
was provided by the two companies. The video companies that made and
sold the tapes are also facing lawsuits from the students.

Judge Charles Kocoras in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of
Illinois had previously granted motions by the two companies to dismiss the
case after concluding that they could not be held liable as service providers
under the Communications Decency Act of 1996.

But the students amended their case, seeking to hold both companies liable
in their capacity as ``Web site hosts,'' arguing that this role meant they
essentially functioned as ''content providers.''

Kocoras said on Wednesday that he saw no evidence that PSINet or GTE
provided any content for the Web sites in question and granted their motion
to dismiss the case.

Lawyers representing the companies hailed the ruling as a historic decision,
describing it as ``the first case to hold that Web hosting services are immune
from suit under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act.''

In his ruling, Kocoras said that 1996 law ``creates a federal immunity to any
cause of action that would make service providers liable for information
origination with a third-party user of the service.''

He noted that lawsuits seeking to hold a service provider liable for its
exercise of a publisher's traditional editorial functions -- such as deciding
whether to publish, withdraw, postpone or alter content -- were barred under
the law.

The Illinois State University athletes were among 200 students from more
than 50 universities whose naked pictures were distributed on sexually
oriented sites on the Internet.

Without their knowledge, the athletes were videotaped at urinals or showers
or weighing in naked at competitions.

The tapes were made by employees or students working for video
companies. These people posed as athletic trainers and slipped hidden
cameras into locker rooms in gym bags.

Taping occurred over the past decade at a host of other universities,
including Northwestern University, Eastern Illinois University, Iowa State
University, Michigan State and the University of Pennsylvania, according to
the lawsuit.

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To: (BPR Mailing List)
Subject: [BPR] - U.S.-French Study Sees More Danger From Asteroids
Date: Fri, 23 Jun 2000 11:49:11 -0500

U.S.-French Study Sees More Danger From Asteroids

A new study portrays the paths of asteroids in the inner solar system as a
vast Los Angeles-style traffic system crisscrossed with superhighways
along which are hurtling huge, rocky projectiles. And in the middle of the
highway network, on a possible collision path, is the planet Earth. The
study estimates that an armada of asteroids, 900 strong, all a kilometer
in diameter or larger, present a potential hazard to life on Earth. Some
pass within a few moon distances of Earth every year. "Sometime in the
future, one of these objects could conceivably run into the Earth," warns
astronomy researcher William Bottke at Cornell University. "One kilometer
(about .6 of a mile) in size is thought to be a magic number, because it
has been estimated that these asteroids are capable of wreaking global
devastation if they hit the Earth." Bottke is lead researcher on a
U.S.-French team that has discovered the spatial and size distribution of
a large group of asteroids called NEAs (for near-Earth asteroids), a vast
system of orbiting rocks in inner space ranging in size from mere specks
to more than 64 kilometers (40 miles) in diameter. The astronomers believe
the results of their observational and computer-based study will better
quantify the likelihood of future catastrophic collisions with Earth. The
survey also is expected to help observational astronomers in improving
their search for hard-to-find asteroids that might pose a threat to the
planet. The team's report, "Understanding the Distribution of Near-Earth
Asteroids," appears in today's edition of the journal Science. The
authors, besides Cornell's Bottke, are astronomers with the Spacewatch
group at the University of Arizona's Lunar and Planetary Laboratory and at
the Observatoire de la Côte d'Azur in Nice, France. Calculating which, if
any, of the 900 asteroids identified in the study could hit the Earth is
tricky, says Bottke. "The problem is that fewer than half of these
Earth-threatening asteroids have been discovered so far. Of those we have
found, we can accurately predict whether they will strike the Earth over
the next hundred years or so, but we can't project out several thousands
of years. So it's possible some of these asteroids eventually will move
onto an Earth-collision trajectory. It's a dangerous place out there." The
new predictions for the distribution of NEAs in the inner solar system,
say the astronomers, imply that 40 percent of the kilometer-or-larger
asteroids near Earth already have been discovered. The remaining 60
percent, however, might be more difficult to find, says Bottke. "Most of
these asteroids are too far from Earth to be easily detected or are
located in regions of the sky that are challenging for astronomers to
survey." The study's authors refer to their survey as a "NEA treasure map"
indicating in which orbits most NEAs spend their time. The researchers say
the new estimate of the number of large asteroids is about half of that
predicted by similar types of analyses reported in the past decade and is
slightly larger than an estimate published recently in the journal Nature.
For many decades, there has been good evidence that most of the small
chunks of rocky or iron material that slam into the Earth's atmosphere
daily are chips off old blocks of asteroids. Most of the asteroids in the
solar system revolve around the sun on independent orbits, corralled
between Mars and Jupiter in a formation known as the main belt.
Occasionally, two of these asteroids -- some of them hundreds of miles in
diameter -- slam into each other at great speed, causing chunks of all
sizes to be blasted off the surfaces. Most of this material continues to
orbit the sun in the main belt. But sometimes the newly formed asteroids
migrate to unstable regions of the asteroid belt known as resonances,
areas where the tiny gravitational kicks produced by nearby planets such
as Mars, Jupiter or Saturn can significantly change asteroid orbits. In
some cases, these changes are enough to swing asteroids into a possible
future collision path with the Earth. To find the location of these
potentially threatening and hard-to-find projectiles, the researchers used
the results of the Spacewatch group's 10-year search for asteroids in the
solar system, during which it has discovered about 100 NEAs. The problem
is that this tally is only a small fraction of the predicted number of
NEAs. Using a statistical technique to compensate for the big gaps,
Spacewatch astronomers were able to calculate the total number of NEAs but
not their approximate location. To obtain the orbits of the undetected
NEAs, Spacewatch astronomers combined their NEA population estimates with
theoretical models produced by the Cornell and Nice researchers, which
show how asteroids in the main belt are transported to the near-Earth
environment. Other authors of the study were Robert Jedicke of the
University of Arizona and Alessandro Morbidelli, Jean-Marc Petit and Brett
Gladman of the Observatoire de la Côte d'Azur. The study was funded by
NASA and the European Space Agency. - By David Brand

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To: (BPR Mailing List)
Subject: [BPR] - dispel the misconception, popularised by the Bible(?)
Date: Fri, 23 Jun 2000 11:54:34 -0500

(They must be using a very interesting translation of The Bible, I
personally missed the part about the pyramids...)

Great pyramids 'not built by slaves'

WORKERS who built the great pyramids of Giza were allowed to make smaller,
copy-cat tombs for themselves and received good healthcare, according to new
research. Egyptian archaeologists hope the discoveries will dispel the
misconception, popularised by the Bible and Hollywood epics, that
whip-driven slaves built the pyramids.

"They were peasants conscripted on a rotating part-time basis, working under
the supervision of skilled artisans and craftsmen who not only built the
pyramid complexes for the kings and nobility, but also designed and
constructed their own, more modest tombs," said Dr Zahi Hawass, the director
of the Giza plateau where the pyramids are.Tombs with skeletons of workers
and supervisers were discovered 10 years ago to the south of the Sphinx at
the eastern foot of the three great pyramids.

None of the workers was mummified, but it was later found that several had
their own mini-pyramids.

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To: (BPR Mailing List)
Subject: [BPR] - Mutant bacteria rife in children
Date: Fri, 23 Jun 2000 11:57:39 -0500

Mutant bacteria rife in children
Straining defences: Dr Susan Chiu and Dr Ho Pak-leung discuss the spread of
the antibiotic-resistant mutant bacteria throughout the SAR. The use of four
common antibiotics to treat the pneumonia bug will have to be abandoned, Dr
Chiu said. Picture by Wan Kam-yan


More than 10 per cent of kindergarten children are carrying a mutant
bacteria strain resistant to four of the most commonly used antibiotics in
Hong Kong, according to a study.

The mutant strain of Streptococcus pneumoniae - to which children are
susceptible - is resistant to penicillin and three other antibiotics which
have been used to kill it, according to a microbiologist at the University
of Hong Kong. The bacteria had virtually no resistance before 1990.

Of 2,000 children tested from 79 kindergartens and day-care centres between
January and June, 222 of the 383 carrying the bacteria were carrying the
mutant strain. "This rate is very high. It shows that the problem of
antibiotic resistance in the community has become very serious," said Dr Ho
Pak-leung, who conducted the research.

The first territory-wide study of its kind concluded the use of antibiotics
by children and their families exposed them to the risk of the resistant
bacteria. It also found children under three were twice as susceptible to
the mutant strain as the older children surveyed.

A total of 77 per cent of the children had visited a doctor and more than
half had used antibiotics in the three months before to the test.

Dr Ho said it was a misconception that the resistant type had originated in
hospitals. The study proved it developed in the community as a result of the
overuse of antibiotics.

Other research which tested hospital patients showed the bacteria's
resistance to penicillin rose to 69 per cent last year from just two per
cent in 1990.

The figures showed the situation in hospitals was similar to that in the
community, Dr Ho said.

In the light of the study, doctors would have to abandon penicillin,
cotrimoxazole, erythromycin and clindamycin for treating diseases caused by
Streptococcus pneumoniae, said Dr Susan Chiu Shui-seng, assistant professor
of the university's department of paediatrics.

"If they still prescribed those treatments without knowing they were no
longer effective the situation could be serious," she said. They could
switch to other antibiotics such as amoxicillin, which was as easily
available and costs about the same.

Parents should be educated about the appropriate use of antibiotics and stop
"forcing doctors to prescribe them antibiotics" for colds and flu, Dr Chiu
said. Antibiotics should only be used for treating bacterial infections.

Those carrying the bacteria, resistant or not, need not take medication. The
body would naturally expel the bacteria.

Streptococcus pneumoniae is the most common cause of bacterial infections in

It can lead to pneumonia, infections of the middle ear, lung, blood and
brain. It can lead to potentially deadly complications such as encephalitis
and bacteremia.


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To: (BPR Mailing List)
Subject: [BPR] - The Greek New Testament Gateway
Date: Fri, 23 Jun 2000 13:12:19 -0400

Here is a great page for Greek resources, fonts, translations, etc.:

Also, if anybody is interested in a great low-cost Bible program, I highly
recommend [from personal experience] 'God's Word for Windows'. It can be
downloaded free (zip files) here:

>>>A full featured Bible research program for Windows 95. Includes the full
King James version, Strong's Numbers, Greek and Hebrew Lexicons, Bible
dictionary, commentary and topical index. Supports keyword, phrase and
phonetic searching using optional logical connectives, verse notes, 4 color

I use it on Win 98 and it is very well designed. It won't deactivate itself
after a set period of time, and if you like it, the CD is $25 and includes
the Darby and Young translations in addition to the KJV. The program can
also be set to run from the CD.

The best features in my opinion, are 1) the ability to toggle the Strong's
numbers on and off in the text, 2) the ability to instantly click the
Strong's numbers and change the number (e.g. when you want to trace through
the root[s] of a word), and 3) the ability to search using a combination of
English word[s] and/or Strong's numbers.

[I'm not affiliated with them; it's just a great program and I use it every
day. I tried FreeBible and found it to be awkward and cumbersome compared to
'God's Word']

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To: (BPR Mailing List)
Subject: [BPR] - FW: ReligionToday News Summary for Friday, June 23, 2000
Date: Fri, 23 Jun 2000 13:16:24 -0500


 by the Editors of ReligionToday
June 23, 2000

Muslims shouted "God is great" but Christians stayed away when Kano,
Nigeria, adopted Sharia law June 21. State leaders said the Islamic legal
system will go into effect Nov. 26, the first day of the Ramadan fast,
according to Newsroom. The delay will give the government time to educate
the people of Kano about Islamic law, which has severe punishments,
including amputation for stealing and death for adultery. ...Muslims from
across Kano and other northern states celebrated the announcement at Sanni
Abacha Stadium. Kano has the highest population of Muslims in the country
and is the third Nigerian state to adopt Sharia law. The state's population
is split evenly between Christians and Muslims, Newsroom reported. Several
other northern states are considering adopting Sharia law. Nigeria's
Constitution established the country as a secular nation, but Sharia law has
been implemented in domestic matters in the past. ...Christians in Kano
stayed inside to avoid confrontation with rowdy Muslims, Newsroom reported.
Hundreds of people died in Kaduna state in February in rioting between
Muslims and Christians over the implementation of Sharia.

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To: (BPR Mailing List)
Subject: [BPR] - (Fwd) A-G holds off acting against Wakf Temple Mount construct
Date: Fri, 23 Jun 2000 19:01:39 -0400

------- Forwarded message follows -------
Date sent: Fri, 23 Jun 2000 13:30:53 -0600 (MDT)
From: The Temple Institute <>
Subject: A-G holds off acting against Wakf Temple Mount construction

>From the Jerusalem Post:

A-G holds off acting against Wakf Temple Mount construction
By Etgar Lefkovits

JERUSALEM (June 23) - Following a meeting with police and security officials yesterday afternoon, Attorney-General Elyakim Rubinstein decided not to take any steps for now regarding the Wakf construction at the Temple Mount.

His decision came despite a newly released Jerusalem Municipality report detailing serious building violations by the Moslem authorities around the site.

The meeting at the attorney-general's office was held to formulate a response to a petition to the High Court of Justice asking the government to stop the Wakf from carrying out work at the Temple Mount.

Jerusalem Municipality officials expressed their dismay that they were not invited to take part in the meeting, especially in light of the municipality's own report of continuing archeological damage being done at the site. The report notes that two new structures, as well as a number of portable
structures, were discovered by municipal officials on a recent inspection and that work is continuing at Solomon's Stables.

A Justice Ministry spokesman was unable to explain why the municipality was not invited to the meet

"Due to the fact that no damage to antiquities is being done at the present time, and since there i
s no digging being conducted on the surface level according to reports from the Antiquities Authori
ty, and considering the special sensitivities of the Temple Mount, there is no room at the present
time to take additional steps," read the Justice Ministry's response outlining the government's pos
ition regarding the petition.

Antiquities Authority Jerusalem regional archeologist, Jon Seligman, responsible for issuing inspec
tion reports to the attorney-general, told The Jerusalem Post that currently only minor changes wer
e being made to the surface of the Temple Mount, noting that the real damage was carried out four m
onths ago.

But spokeswoman for the nonpartisan Committee Against the Desecration of Antiquities on the Temple
Mount Dr. Eilat Mazar charged the Antiquities Authority with using misleading terminology in its re
ports of what sort of work is damaging, and said any digging on the surface of the Temple Mount cau
ses damage.

"The level of the Temple Mount is at the same level as it was during the Second Temple period, so t
hat even 5 or 10 cm. of digging has to be checked out by archeologists" she told the Post.

Mazar pointed out that her group had also asked the attorney-general for permission to attend yeste
rday's meeting, but were turned down.

Meanwhile, The Temple Mount Faithful filed a separate petition to the High Court yesterday against
the government, the police, the attorney-general, the Antiquities Authority, the Jerusalem Munici-p
ality, and the Wakf for not preventing the ongoing Wakf construction at the Temple Mount, including
 the building of a fourth mosque at the site.

The petition accuses the law enforcement officials of acquiescing to threats of violence by turning
 a blind eye to Wakf construction.

"Unlike in previous cases, the works are at a beginning stage" read the petition, "so the authoriti
es can stop them in advance."

"What is going on at the Temple Mount is a disgrace and an embarrassment" said Jerusalem Prize winn
er for the year 2000 Dr. Roni Reich, one of Israel's leading archeologists. "If the destruction is
not stopped, it will be a calamity for generations."

Special note from the webmaster:
While we are rebuilding our web site and implementing our additional domain names, please continue
to use the e-mail address for correspondence. I am sorry for any confusion on
that issue.

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

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