This page updated 30 January 2010
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2001: Some 35 Muslim pilgrims are killed in a stampede at the annual haj pilgrimage during the devil-stoning ritual at Jarnarat Bridge near Mecca.
Yearender: 2001: Israel: Hardliner Ariel Sharon is elected prime minister. Violence escalates.
2001: Palestine timeline: Clashes occur between Palestinian Authority and Hamas members.
2001: The new US president, George W. Bush, renounces the Kyoto Protocol because he believes it will damage the US economy. After some hesitation, other nations agree to go ahead without him. Talks in Bonn in July and Marrakech in November finally conclude the fine print of the protocol. Analysts say that loopholes have pegged promised cuts in emissions from rich-nation signatories to 1.5 per cent, compared to the Kyoto promise of 5.4 per cent. Signatory nations urged to ratify the protocol in their national legislatures in time for it to come into force before the end of 2002. (Greenhouse Timeline)
December 2001: In an interview with Bob Woodward of Washington Post, US President Bush (that he probably soon regretted giving) said that there had arisen a significant difference in his attitude about al-Qaeda and any threats it posed, since September 11. Bush said he knew bin-Laden was a menace, a problem, but that he (Bush) had "not been on point". Bush had no sense of urgency, whilst by December, his blood was boiling.
27 December 2001: Reports arise that before departing Kabul, the Taliban stole $6 million. Osama bin-Laden meantime with his latest video via Al-Jazeera taunts US, saying amongst other things that US has a hatred for Islam.
Khandahar, Afghanistan: Caches of Uranium 238 have been found at an Al-Qa'ida base outside Khandahar, leading to fears that Osama bin-Laden may have planned, or be planning, an explosion of a "dirty bomb". (Reported 26 December 2001)
23 December 2001: Sources in Pakistan reportedly feel that by now, Osama bin-Laden is dead, killed during a recent US air strike. Such reports incorrect, he survives.
20 December 2001: US is on high alert re warnings of possible bio-terror attacks.
The Universe: Is filled to 85 per cent with "invisible dark matter" concentrated in the galaxies. A researcher involved in research on such topics is Dr. Matthew Colless at Australian National University. Dark matter it appears is as clumpy as visible matter, not more evenly-spread. The voids between galaxies are just that, quite empty voids with no visible or dark matter present. (Reported by 17 December 2001)
Reported 17 December 2001: The Leaning Tower of Pisa has just reopened after its 12-year closure and with renovations costing AUD$48 million to ensure it never falls over.
Early 2002: The present-day ban in Japan on a woman ascending to the Chrysanthemum Throne may need to be rethought. The ban did not apply in older days, as seven women have sat on the throne. Not till the 1880s did new rules insist women could not sit on the throne, as applied by the then-emperor, Meiji, who promoted contact with the West. Japan's 125th emperor is Akihoto, born 1933, with sons Crown Prince Naruhito, and Akishino. The royal line of Japan stretches back 2500 years into mythical times, to the first ruler, the Sun God, Amataseru. The last empress, in 1762, was Go-Sakmuramachi.
Last gratuitous Christmas mention for 2001: Keep the following in mind as a Christmas dinner conversation starter: The idea of Santa Claus flying through the air was dreamed up by 19th century reindeer herdsman in Iceland after taking magic mushrooms, according Dr Ian Edwards, head of education at the Royal Botanical Gardens in Edinburgh.
By September 2000:
Lost Worlds' had made the following comment:
In too many places around the world, are claims that Moslem separatists want to set up many separate states. Has anyone interviewed these separatists about the following:
(1) What do they want, and why?
(2) What are their theories of sovereignty and of government?
(3) What are their views on the (non-Koranic) rule of law?
(4) Who pays for their food and weaponry?
If the UN is not asking such questions, why not? Also, is the CIA interested at all?
Late 2001, Dalai Lama is said to be visiting Mongolia, a visit sure to annoy the Chinese government.
November 2001 - possibly: As broadcast on BBC Panorama's program on 26 October 2002, footage arises of bin-Laden accusing "crusading Australian forces" of wanting to separate East Timor.
Disquiet of conscience in the USA: 16 November 2001 - The following "moment of silence" message came the way of Lost Worlds from Texas via Milwaukee and via Voter@yahoogroups.com ... and it speaks for itself...
A re-post: Minute of Silence For Everyone?
If you are still shaken by the horrifying scenes of 11 September, please observe a moment of silence for the 5,000 civilian lives lost in the New York, Washington, DC and Pennsylvania attacks.
While we're at it, let's have 13 minutes of silence for the 130,000 Iraqi civilians killed in 1991 by order of President Bush Sr. Take another moment to remember how Americans celebrated and cheered in the streets.
Now another 20 minutes of silence for the 200,000 Iranians killed by Iraqi soldiers using weapons and money provided to young Saddam Hussein by the American government before the great eagle turned all its power against Iraq.
Another 15 minutes of silence for the Russians and 150,000 Afghans killed by troops supported and trained by the CIA.
Plus ten minutes of silence for 100,000 Japanese killed in Hiroshima and Nagasaki by the atomic bombs dropped by the USA.
We've just kept quiet for one hour: one minute for the Americans killed in NY, DC, and Pennsylvania, 59 minutes for their victims throughout the world.
If you are still in awe, let's have another hour of silence for all those killed in Vietnam, which is not something Americans like to admit.
Or for the massacre in
Panama in 1989, where American
troops attacked poor villagers, leaving 20,000 Panamanians homeless
and thousands more dead.
(By the way, a documentary on this 1989 Panama matter has been screened in Australia, conveying also that screening of this documentary was banned in the US - so much for press freedom in the land of free speech, "the USA!" -Ed)
Or for the millions of children who have died because of the USA embargoes on Iraq and Cuba.
Or the hundreds of thousands brutally murdered throughout the world by USA-sponsored civil wars and coups d'etat (Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Bolivia, Guatemala, El Salvador to name a few).
Maybe, and although the memory of Americans claims otherwise, someone may remember the USA attack on Baghdad where 18,000 civilians were killed. Did someone see it on CNN? Was justice ever served? Or was there even any retaliation?
We hope that Americans finally begin to understand their vulnerability and the cowardly attacks and other tragedies that they have caused around the world.
The dead in other places hurt as much as the dead of the New York Towers, even more!
Now, let's talk about terrorism, shall we?
This message came to Lost Worlds unsigned, but this hardly matters -Ed
Webcam for New York's groundzero: http://earthcam.com/usa/newyork/groundzero/
31 December 2001: Prediction in UK: Britain's first "designer baby" will be born before year's end. This baby will be "designed" to have an immune system allowing it to assist a brother suffering leukemia. (Reported 16 October 2001)
2001: Reported number of babies worldwide in 2001 acquiring HIV from infected mothers: 600,000. (From Prof. John Croucher, Professor Statistics, Macquarie University, Sydney, earlier in the year 2001)
By 15 December 2001 approx: Leaning Tower of Pisa is repaired and re-opened for visits from tourists, perhaps by Christmas 2001? (Reported by 16 June 2001)
77,000 years ago: Thinking
backwards to high
talent: When did modern human talents of complex and abstract
thinking arise. About 77,000 years ago, twice as early as previously
thought, in the opinion of anthropologist Christopher Henshilwood,
leader of a research team working in Southern Africa. A discovery
involves intricate geometric carvings which "may overturn much
current thinking in anthropology". The suggestion is that modern
human behaviour evolved in Africa rather than Europe. The artifacts -
about 40,000 years older than European rock art - are pieces of red
rock etched with geometric shapes of any evidently symbolic intent -
parallel lines in a cross-hatched design. Modern humanity evolved in
Africa about 100,000 years ago, not spreading to Europe till 50,00
years ago, when they displaced Neandertals.
Sceptics however suggest that the artifacts are not widespread in Africa, and might even be the work of a lone genius who left no legacy. Supporting the pro-European view on development is palaeoanthropologist at Stanford University, Richard Klein, who suggests that 50,000 years ago, mankind experienced a behavioural revolution which led to improved hunting/gathering abilities, a population boom, worldwide migration and some artistic expression. (Reported 12-2-2002 in Australian newspapers from a current/recent issue of the journal Science online - Incidentally, Howard Bloom in his book, The Global Brain, p. 97, notes that between 77,000 and 60,000 years ago, early humans in Australia were engraving rows of symbolic circles in local stone.)
11 December 2001: A victorious Alliance commander, resting in Kabul, says how pleased he is to see children going to school again, now that the Taliban is gone.
8 December 2001: Rumours arise from India to Australia that Australia should seal its borders to prevent escape by "20 terrorism suspects" maybe planning to fly a plane into Melbourne's tallest building, the Rialto. (Reported 8 December 2001)
8 December 2001: US author Patricia Cornwell reportedly reveals identity of C19th British serial killer, Jack the Ripper, after spending US$6 million of her own money. A movie on the matter opens in February 2002.
7 December 2001:
Scepticism and also amazement arises
in Australia with reports of a 26-year-old Middle Eastern man,
apprehended in India by 6 December, who allegedly plotted terror
attacks on Australia, to take out tallest buildings, such as
Melbourne's Rialto Towers (55 stories); also maybe Parliament House
in Canberra. Also, targets in UK and India. He had taken flight
training in Australia at Melbourne's Morabbin airport. Report from
South Australia that a block-training application from 50 men there
had been rejected by suspicious flight trainers.
US says it wishes to prosecute Mullah Omar (whether he is constrained to renounce/denounce terrorism or not). Omar has agreed to surrender Kandahar, the spiritual home of his Taliban organisation. Yassar Arafat now reported on world radio as "all but a spent force" after repeated Israeli attacks on his organisation and HQ.
7 December 2001: An Israeli jet ends a ceasefire and destroys the Palestinian police HQ.
6 December 2001: Palestinian police try to arrest militant Hamas founder Sheik Ahmed Yassin, and find they have to meet protesters.
1 December 2001: HIV infections are rising faster in eastern Europe than in anywhere else in the world, and are now 15 times higher than they were three years ago, UN has said in its annual AIDS report.
30 November 2001: Two bombings in Jerusalem kill at least 12 people and wound more than 170.
29 November 2001: A Palestinian suicide bomber kills three Israelis and himself on a bus in northern Israel. Arafat issues a statement urging Palestinians to respect a cease-fire.
28 November 2001: "Problem gamblers may be born with a genetic make-up predisposing them to the addiction, researchers believe. Researchers will now hunt for the gene(s) involved by using mice. The researchers include Lea Williams, Westmead Hospital Brain Dynamics Centre, and Sydney and University of Sydney. (Reported 28 November 2001)
Wizard at making money!: By 28 November 2001, the new movie, Harry Potter and the Sorceror's Stone movie, by J. K. Rowling, about a schoolboy with outstanding junior-wizard skills, has broken all box-office records by taking US$94 million in the US and US$23 million in the UK. Some of this is owed to sales for DVD players.
28 November 2001:
Afghanistan: US President George W.
Bush has warned his country to expect casualties as hundreds of US
ground troops move in against targets such as a Taliban armoured
column near Kandahar, the last city under Taliban control, in
Operation Swift Freedom. Moscow, however, surprises Western observers
by landing 12 transport aircraft near Kabul, to establish "a
humanitarian centre". (Is it correct, that the US is not the
only large power hoping to be able to throw oil pipelines through
Afghanistan? That Russia is also interested, presumably because of
its Caspian Sea oil reserves?)
"The Taliban clung to the dusty smuggler's paradise of Spin Boldak yesterday", begins one report. Taliban have vowed to fight to the death. So far, eight journalists have been killed while covering conflict in Afghanistan, the latest a Swedish cameraman. Five US troops have been injured during a siege to capture a major arsenal, protected by Al-Qaeda fighters, the Qala-I-Jangi fort ("fort of war", built in the nineteenth century) west of Mazar-e-Sharif, the HQ of warlord of Mazar-e-Sharif, (General) Abdul Rahid Dostum. Dostum has reportedly made a deal to hand over the Al-Qaeda men as prisoners of war to the US. Meantime, the Al-Qaeda second-in-command, Mohammad Atef, was killed by a US strike two weeks ago. Other US enemies killed include two wanted Egyptians, Tareq Anwar and Nasr Fahmi. Hafs al-Masri, a military chief for Al-Qaeda, has also been killed. But Osama bin-Laden and his deputy, Ayman al-Zawahiri, continue to elude the US. Captured material now indicates that Al-Qaeda members tend to spend their time studying religion, maths, Arabic, English, military tactics, terrorism and intelligence. bin-Laden's book, The Clear War Against The Americans Who Are In The Holy Lands are required reading.
28 November 2001: Moslem unrest in Philippines: Philippines troops have killed about 25 Moslem gunmen in southern city of Zamboanga (a mostly-Christian city), after pre-dawn clashes. Those killed are loyal to rebellious area governor, Nur Misauri, and have about 40 civilian hostages. (Reported 28 November 2001). Misauri has influence in the mysteriously-named area, Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM). Note: By 8 December, about Isabela, Philippines, government troops have killed eleven members of a Moslem guerrilla group, Abu Sayyaf, which is holding hostage a US couple on a southern island.
By 28 November 2001, it is reported from US (Los Angeles Times) that "the US has been experimenting with germ warfare for almost 50 years", with "Operation Whitecoat" and the co-operation of members of the health-concerned Seventh Day Adventist Church. Some 153 tests were conducted between 1954-1973, when the tests were abandoned. Most tests were conducted in a huge spherical chamber at Fort Detrick, so that problem-material was not let into the atmosphere.
Rebels use families as human shields in Philippines: Rebels loyal to former governor Nur Misuari yesterday took dozens of hostages in defiance of a government order to surrender, shattering hopes for a peaceful transition to a new administration in the autonomous region of Muslim Mindanao. (28 November 2001)
27 November 2001: Mindanao, Philippines, TV news, Rebel Muslim demands arise, with some threats to shoot captives.
27 November 2001: Reports arise of a 30-year effort in Afghanistan to dig 30 caves on the western outskirts of Quetta for storage of old copies of the Koran, copies of which may not be thrown away or burned. Behind the program is Afghan religious leader Mullah Sultan Mohammed.
26 November 2001: Some 73 intellectuals from 18 Arab nations are gathering in Cairo to discuss ways of countering "a defamation campaign" against Arabs in Western media, and will produce an action plan to present to their leaders who are meeting in Beirut in March 2002.
26 November 2001: Israeli helicopters attack Palestinian targets on Gaza Strip. Israeli soldiers shoot dead a Palestinian boy engaged in a rock-throwing protest, Khifah Obeid.
23 November 2001: Vatican: Pope John Paul II provides an apology especially to Australia's indigenous people for past wrongs and abuses.
23 November 2001: Israeli helicopter attack kills Mahmoud Abu Hanoud, a Hamas leader in Palestine.
21 November 2001: "The devil made me do it": Now Japanese archaeology needs a rethink: A man with no earlier training in archaeology, Sinichi Fujimora, turns out to have hoaxed Japanese history for years. Planting items for 20 years, the fraudster pushed records of history to 70,000 years ago. "Japanese history now needs rewriting, and he is now called "the dirty digger". He says he has been possessed by evil spirits. (Should we now ask: how old are these evil spirits?) (TV reports)
Cuba: A lost world is reported being off Cuba, with stone apparently human-built about 6000 years ago before sea levels rose. Question: was Cuba once joined to South American mainland? (Reported in December 2001)
21 November 2001: Israel: A booby trap has been intended to protect a Jewish settlement but it kills five Palestinian schoolchildren aged six to 14, as they move in a scrub land on their way to school.
20 November 2001: CONCERNS WITH PROPHECY
Greetings, We found you (Lost Worlds) on the Internet at...
Prophecy -- what does it
mean to you? Does it mean
the prediction of momentous events, even dire events like
catastrophic earthquakes and murderous acts of terrorism? Does it
also mean the alternative predictions of a brilliant new golden age
of peace, astounding innovation and high culture?
On Tuesday, 20 November, 2001 from 7 - 9 p.m. (CST) you can hear and participate in a free interactive worldwide internet broadcast called: PROPHECY FOR THE 21ST CENTURY: TURNING TERROR INTO TRIUMPH.
talk -- unlike any
you have probably heard before -- covers all these aspects of
prophecy for our times and many more. For example, in this address
you will hear a review of the dramatic prophecies of Nostradamus,
Edgar Cayce, Saint Germain, Mother Mary and others explained and
Far from a doomsday message, this address will cover the key idea of how to mitigate and transform dire predictions into positive new eras of history.
To learn more about this event and how you can hear the FREE interactive Internet broadcast, visit: http://www.icmerlin.com/prophecy
To send a message: email email@example.com.]
19 November 2001: Suburban Cairo: 2500-year-old tombs found, perhaps once associated with Heliopolis. Brief announcement only, with question: how many curios still remain underground in Egypt?
19 November 2001: UK and US are considering spending millions of dollars to try to end Afghanistan's heroin trade. To buy this year's entire opium harvest at black-market prices on condition that farmers plough their ground and re-plant something different? It is said that Northern Alliance warlords have connived at new planting of poppy fields. Some 83 per cent of the 1999 crop was worth about Aust$100 million. Farmers are paid about Aust$700 per kilogram of product. Production of raw opium fell by 94 per cent after it was outlawed by the Taliban.
19 November 2001: Northern Alliance agrees to attend in a neutral place in Europe, a meeting concerning any new government for Afghanistan which represents all ethnic groups. Kabul TV is back on the air with a new transmitter after five years of Taliban-enforced invisibility and silence.
19 November, 2001: Leonid Meteor Shower over Australian skies. Expected to be spectacular for those with a view from a coastline. (Cloud cover spoiled it for many.)
17 November 2001: By now, US has released to public the sound tapes of cockpit struggles as hijackers take control of planes on morning of 11 September.
17 November 2001: Israeli foreign minister Shimon Peres has told the UN that most Israelis currently favour the establishment of an independent Palestinian state - to be non-military but economically viable.
17 November 2001: Denmark around 17 November is also reported embarrassed at its population's attitude hardening against asylum-seekers and refugees. A Danish People's Party has been campaigning on an anti-Muslim, anti-foreigner platform.
1945 - 17 November 2001: Vienna, The personal seal of Nazi security chief Ernst Kaltenbrunner has been found in an alpine lake. He threw it away to try to hide his identity, but his girlfriend turned him in. He was hanged at Nuremburg for war crimes.
17 November 2001: Overly creative Islamic Justice?: Lagos, Nigeria, Report that an Islamic Court has ordered that a convicted murderer be stabbed with the same knife used [that he used?] to kill a woman and her two children.
17 November 2001, It is now estimated that New York will lose about US$83 billion during the next three years due to the 11 September attacks. Some 50,000 employees (of a total of about 180,000 finance workers) of stock-exchange linked businesses have had to be placed in new workplaces. If New York's economy falters too much, the cost could blow out to US$100 billion. Will New York remain the world's financial centre? At least 79,000 jobs disappeared in October 2001.
By 17 November 2001: Outspoken Malaysian prime minister Mahatir Mohamad has lately slammed Ariel Sharon of Israel in the context of world terrorism, for his attitude to Palestinians.
16 November 2001: Will two Australian aid workers held by the Taliban be used as human shields, or be rescued, and are they now being taken to Kandahar?
15 November 2001: Midnight, BBC reports that the situation of Kabul and with military operations is "frightening, confused and in flux".
http://www.icmerlin.com/prophecy15 November 2001: Newspaper columnists warn that there is also a war in Afghanistan against drought, agricultural collapse, famine, disease and misery. Relief agencies were warning of humanitarian disasters for Afghanistan for this winter even before 11 September. US is reportedly buying millions of tonnes of wheat to keep Afghanis from starving this winter, and Secretary of State Colin Powell speaks of Afghanistan representing "a terrible situation facing the world". Northern Alliance commanders are said to be stealing aid already given. Commander of the US forces in Afghanistan is General Tommy Franks.
http://www.icmerlin.com/prophecy28 October 2001: In Australia, Telstra (the national telco), has withdrawn sponsorship of the 2002 Adelaide Festival over the use of an image of Adolf Hitler in a TV advertisement. (28 October 2001)
http://www.icmerlin.com/prophecy">13 October 2001: Reportage arises that the Nobel Prize for Physics has been won by three scientists who have frozen matter into a "new state". They have cooled atoms to the brink of absolute zero and created a BEC, a "Bose-Einstein condensate". They are German scientist Wolfgang Ketterle at MIT with Colorado researchers Eric Cornell and Carl Wieman. (Here, the Bose designation arises from the name of Indian scientist of the 1920s, Satyendra Nath Bose, a brilliant physicist who impressed Einstein. See: http://www.colorado.edu/physics/2000/bec
10 November 2001:
Controversy continues internally in
Australia re government policy on the handling of boat-travelling
asylum seekers to north-western Australia, the views of Australian
naval officers dealing with the asylum seekers, and the truth of
allegations concerning the boat named Sumber Lestari.
men complain about unprecedented government restrictions on their
speaking to the media. ("The role that sickens our loyal
sailors"). Meantime, Indonesia's chief political and security
minister, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, pledges his government will end
As for Australia's existing detention centres for asylum-seekers, according to a prisons-watchdog organisation in Western Australia, the nation's detention centres are appalling, a disgrace, and any riots are due to bad conditions.
Note: For statistics relevant to the argument about Australia's willingness or not to accept asylum-seekers, see Sydney Morning Herald, 27-28 October 2001, pages 34-35. (All this, by the way, is as if Australians have entirely forgotten that for Europeans, "Australia" began as a not-particularly-happy dumping ground for convicts transported from Britain in, of all things, ships!! Convicts then to be guarded! - Ed)
10 November 2001: Catholic Church "running out of priests"?: As French bishops meet at annual conference at Lourdes, critics are erupting over the fact that the shortage of priests now and in the likely future is "the church's biggest unspoken postwar scandal". One critic is Remy Chauvin, who calculates that France's 20,400 priests have an average age of 65, and in a decade, they'll no longer be active. (Reported 10 November 2001)
9 November 2001: One day before an Australian Federal elections, controversy erupts over the truth of earlier allegations that Middle Eastern asylum-seekers had thrown themselves or their children into the water to gain attention. Fresh (and confused) reports by 6-9 November arise that about 100 Afghani/Iraqi asylum-seekers on a different boat yet again, heading for Ashmore Reef, have set their vessel on fire and/or disabled their engine to possibly intimidate Australian naval officers.
7 November 2001: In Australia, politicians and naval officers continue to wrangle about the truth of video and other reports that asylum-seekers threw their children into sea water to get the attention of officials. Even a senior consultant psychiatrist to the navy has been moved to offer his opinions!
7 November 2001: UN officials believe that at least 100,000 Afghanis have fled their country since 11 September, while "millions" of Afghanis seem destined to suffer in the current troubles. UN officials are arguing with the government of Pakistan.
100BC: -7 November 2001:
The 2100-year-old treasure,
The Gold/Treasure of Bactria, may be under threat due to the current
troubles in Afghanistan, art experts warn. The treasure is held in a
concrete-walled vault under the presidential palace in Kabul and may
be "melted down" by the Taliban. The treasure consists of
20,000 or more items including gold statues, necklaces and ornaments,
adorned plaques, winged goddesses, fantastic beasts, other jewellery.
The treasure, dating back to 100BC(?) was excavated in 1978 from a royal burial site (for nomadic royalty) at Tillya-tepe in northern Afghanistan by a Soviet team during Soviet occupation. The treasure was officially sighted and noted in 1993 to dispel rumours it had been or would be interfered with or sold. Russian professor excavating the treasure was Victor Sarianidi (who with one "single find, changed art history". ). An expert commenting on Afghan art and cultural history is Carla Grissman, of Society for the Preservation of Afghanistan's Cultural Heritage.
7 November 2001: Three Indonesian nationals have appeared in court in Perth, charged with trying to smuggle some 434 boat people (rescued by Norwegian ship, Tampa). They will appear again in court on 30 November. They are Bastian Disun (32), Nordames Nordin (31) and Aldo Benjamin (21). Those rescued ended up on Pacific Island, Nauru.
7 November 2001: Atrocity stories about Taliban behaviour are beginning to seep into reports of the experiences of Afghani refugees - such as the story of an 85-year-old man, and an old woman, pushed head-first into a baker's oven fire, so that the dogs later pulled at what was left of their bodies.
7 November, 2001, World Trade Organisation meeting scheduled for Qatar. The Archbishop of Canterbury (Most Rev. George Carey), who happens to be visiting Qatar, has appeared on al-Jazeera TV to assure the Moslem world that there is no war on Islam, but a war on terrorism.
By 6 November 2001 in The Australian newspaper, journalist Ian Stewart, familiar with Malaysia, is increasingly concerned about the influence of bin-Laden's reputation in Indonesia and Malaya, and bin-Laden's animosity now to Australia. Also, thousands of Christians have already been killed in the Maluku province of Indonesia. In Malaya is surfacing the Islamic Warriors Group - Kumpalan Mujahidin Malaysia, supposedly inspired by bin-Laden; which has some members linked to Parti Islam se-Malaysia (PAS), the largest opposition party in Malaya. Also active is Keadilan, a National Justice Party said to be interested in overthrowing the government following mosque-based agitations. (Keadilan was formed by supporters of the now-jailed former deputy prime minister of Malaya, Anwar Ibrahim. Active are Ibrahim's wife Wan Azizah Wan Ismail and his political secretary (now arrested), Mohamad Ezam). Ibrahim is said to be an advocate of an Islamic state. PAS's spiritual adviser is Nik Aziz Nik Mat. Ultimately, any such Islamic state might embrace Malaysia, Mindanao and Indonesia.
5 November 2001: bin-Laden accuses Australia of crusading against Islam.
4 November 2001: Management questions: Spectre of famine arises in Korea as winter approaches, despite best harvest in six years.
4 November 2001:
Dear Friends, In just a few days from now I will be launching a new web site for the 'war on terrorism' in Afghanistan - lots of great links to The Taliban, what they do to women,The CIA, how they have conducted their world-wide business over the past 50 years, weather reports on Afghanistan, what opinion-makers are saying: John Pilger, Noam Chomsky, Ahmed Rashid, Arundhati Roy, Greens Senator Bob Brown, former Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser, The Catholic Workers and other non-violence activists. Where?
Remember: if you are voting in Australia, there is only one party totally opposed to this war - The Greens. Regards Willy Bach
Is the United States Carpet-Bombing Afghanistan?
According to the Courier Mail Insight Team, front page, Saturday 3 November ..."US jets intensified carpet-bombing across Afghanistan". Not only are US jets "carpet-bombing" - they have intensified and it is "across Afghanistan". Not only is this very inflammatory language, but there remains a question as to whether this information is really 'Insightful' and factually correct.
If it is true then we have some more disturbing problems. We were originally told this war was a war on terrorism ; that Osama Bin Laden and his cohorts would be "brought to justice" for their crimes. We were told there would be surgical strikes by USAF.. "to smoke the terrorists out of their holes. (George W. Bush).
Then we discovered that there was a wider agenda to change the government of Afghanistan and that civilians were being hit, even a clearly-marked Red Cross food warehouse. Now they are 'carpet bombing'. They should remember what that did to Cambodia, how it brought the Khmer Rouge to power. Anyway, 'carpet-bombing is a war crime and crime against humanity. It is totally destructive and indiscriminate. So, are they carpet-bombing? Give us an 'insight'. Willy Bach -4/11/01
This matter will be subject of a complaint to the Press Council. Please keep a close eye on all Rupert Murdoch's media outlets for similar examples of sloppy journalism and report them on this web site. - Willy Bach
3 November 2001: No competition on the capitalist road?: Miffed Chinese police have uncovered a plot by followers of the banned sect Falun Gong, to broadcast the words of their master Li Hongzhi from hidden loudspeaker systems, remotely controlled. The speakers were said to be hidden near government departments, schools and other public places (which are presumably in earshot of material propagated by the Chinese government?)
3 November 2001: Perhaps the only amusing news item to come out of Afghanistan of late? Despite the anti-music and anti-joy regulations of the Taliban, the Taliban is nevertheless confronted by and fearful of radio fans of a BBC radio soap opera which is broadcast three times per week. About 70 per cent of the population, including many Taliban soldiers, are addicted to the radio show. The show is based on a British country folk show, The Archers, and its remake is known as Naway Kor, Naway Jwand, or, New Home, New Life. Topics treated include forced marriages, blood feuds, landmines and opium addiction. (The Archers was devised in the 1950s to alert British rural folk to new farming methods - the Afghani remake is also "anti-ignorance").
3 November 2001: Bribery around the world right now focuses on Mexico, where a survey of 13,790 households suggests that nationally, nearly 214 million acts of extortion or bribery happen in a nation of about 100 million people. The average bribe is about the price of a restaurant meal, say, 109.50 pesos. Bribery proneness seems to concentrate in areas of high urbanisation or of seasonal migration. Meantime, the international adoption business, now being examined in the case of Romania, post the Nicolae Ceausescu era, finds that Romanian children can be sold through "official" channels for about $100,000 on average. In the US, officials are already being prompted to try to stop scam-artists using the Internet to sell "versions" of anti-anthrax medication.
3 November 2001: Hacking away at terrorists: A German named Kim Schmitz who had two friends killed in the 11 September New York attacks, a computer-hacker turned businessman, has set up a group of hackers to try to undermine the computer-based operations of people linked to Osama bin-Laden. (Group is named YIHAT, or, Young Intelligent Hackers Against Terrorism). Schmitz has also posted a US$10 million reward for information leading to the capture of bin-Laden. YIHAT will target financial operators it suspects are funnelling money to bin-Laden's network, and will forward its information to the FBI.
2 November 2001: bin-Laden is vocal against Pakistan for supporting US-led attacks. Some Muslim leaders in Australia reject Taliban calls for a jihad against Australia. Fear in San Francisco arises 2-7 November of threats received to blow up a major suspension bridge at rush hour. In Afghanistan, more US carpet bombings prepare way for a ground war.
1 November 2001: Australian ABC TV news, 7pm: Taliban (Mullah Abuld Salam Zaeef, Taliban ambassador to Pakistan, when asked a question by an Australian journalist) declares a jihad against Australia for supporting US-led attacks. "Appropriate security measures have been put in place". In Australia, a Moslem spokesman suggests that the Taliban do not have the relevant authority to call for a jihad against Australia. It is also said that the Taliban spokesman might not have said what he said, if a journalist had not asked him a certain question. By 3 November the Islamic Council of NSW has felt moved to suggest that there is no support for violence in Australia.
November 2001: The US has now belatedly recognised the role of 29 and then up to 400 code-talking Navajo Indians who during World War Two used their own ("vast and indecipherable") language (which has no alphabet) to develop a code unknown to the Japanese or other enemies, used only by the US marines. It is now said that without use of this code, the US Marines would never have taken Iwo Jima. See the new movie, Windtalkers, with Nicholas Cage and Christian Salter due for release in the US in November 2001.
Classical composers reach into parts of the brain?: Researchers in California find that Mozart's music reaches parts of the brain not reached by Beethoven's, and has an effect on reasoning power. One researcher involved is Gordon Shaw of University of California at Irvine. See recent journal issue, Neurological Research. (Reported 31 October 2001)
At a nuclear security conference in Vienna, held by International Atomic Energy Commission, a Russian safety regulator, Yuri Volodin, says that "someone" had stolen nuclear material that could be used for making a bomb. (Reported 31 October 2001)
31 October 2001: In dry dock at Roslyakovo now rests the doomed Russian nuclear submarine, Kursk. Some 118 crewmen were drowned when it sank in the Barent Sea on 12 August 2000, possibly due to a malfunctioning torpedo on-board. The salvage operation cost US$130 million. (Note: By 2 June, 2002, Russia officially states that a malfunctioning torpedo doomed the Kursk)
The terrorism problem: 31 October 2001: In US bookstores, titles on germ warfare or the Taliban in Afghanistan are becoming bestsellers.
27 October, TV reports, 200 asylum-seekers hijack an Indonesian fishing vessel and head for Australia. Desperate search for them by Indonesian navy ensues.
27 October 2001: Sydney, Anglican Archbishop Dr Peter Jensen defends what he terms "classic Christianity" against fundamentalism of all kinds and modern secularism, saying also that from 11 September is the "death of post-modernism" due to the need to readmit a phrase into use such as "absolutely evil". Meantime, 45 days after 11 September fires hitting 500 degrees Celsius still burn at the World Trade Centre site.
27 October 2001: An unnamed London publisher says that his operation has been approached by Ayman al-Zawahiri, a senior official in the al-Qaeda network and one of the world's most wanted men. The book in Arabic is entitled The Knights Under the Prophet's Banner.
27 October, 2001: The Greek Government has commissioned a design for a Acropolis Museum to house the Elgin Marbles, which Britain has not yet returned to Greece.
26 October 2001: Two Indonesian policemen with rank of brigadier have been detained over allegations that on 18 October, asylum-seekers were forced at gunpoint to get on a boat that later sank on its way to Australia, on 19 October, with only 45 of 400 people surviving. Meanwhile, Australians are still arguing over claims that other asylum-seekers on a doomed boat had thrown themselves and/or their children into sea water to gain sympathetic attention. (Controversy on the truth of such claims is still raging in Australia by early March 2002)
26 October, 2001: Taliban education minister Amir Khan Muttaqi, asks international human rights groups to intervene to stop US cluster bombing attacks. (About ten per cent of the bomblets in cluster bombs fail to explode, posing a lasting risk to people as much as unexploded land mines do.)
26 October 2001: Australian media entrepreneur Kerry Stokes (chairman of Seven TV network) speaking at the annual Andrew Olle Memorial Lecture to many of Australia's leading journalists warns that national and international media agendas or biases may remove focus on local, regional and/or grassroots issues. He also warned against "shrinking" of diversity of opinion. Stokes recommended media pluralism and maximum community involvement in debates. (Lost Worlds suspects that Australia is not the only country which runs such risks on many fronts from media agendas, world-wide).
26 October 2001: Announcement of discovery of fossil of a giant crocodile, Sarchosuchus imperator, or, flesh crocodile emperor, in an ancient riverbed in Sahara Desert. Discoverer of the fossil is paleontologist Paul Sereno of University of Chicago. The beast's skull was as long as a human, its own length was eleven metres. First traces of its existence were found in 1964 in remote areas of the Tenere Desert in 1964. It is thought that the creature became extinct before dinosaurs did.
26 October 2001: Fears arise that Kashmir, India, may become world's next flashpoint. (Fears are valid, as it seems by 31 May 2002)
25 October 2001: Indonesia calls for an international summit on refugees and people-smuggling.
24 October 2001: In most poignant words, as reported from West Java, while 353 people from an overloaded asylum-seekers boat drown, a drifting five-year old-girl says to her helpless father, "If I die in the sea, don't leave me alone here." She was not seen again.
24 October 2001: As reported in world press: Paradox of wealth and religion?: Bihar in India is a poor state and claimed to be riddled with corruption, but soon it may house the world's tallest statue - of a throne-seated Buddha (Tibetan-style) in the middle of a landscaped 16 hectare site. A 152-metre, bronze-clad Maitreya Buddha costing about US$159 million - three times the height of the US' Statue of Liberty, which was created in France. One activist behind the scheme is Lama Thubten Zopa Rinpoche, with a global network of Buddhist centres, Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition. Some 55 Tibetan scholars have petitioned against the project.
23 October 2001:
Australia: Anthony Mundine,
Australian Aboriginal champion boxer (a convert to Islam), apologises
on national TV for earlier suggesting that the US may have brought
the 11 September attacks on itself. Controversy earlier erupted, and
Mundine's view is attacked on segments programmed by Australian radio
talkback king, John Laws. World Boxing Council protests so vigorously
about Mundine's remarks, it is questioned if his career is destroyed?
23 October 2001: A high-ranking Muslim leader in Australia, Amjad Ali Mehboob, chief executive of Australian Council of Islamic Organisations, has come to Mundine's defence, saying he is not a terrorist sympathiser and has simply spoken of the underlying causes behind the rise of Osama bin-Laden et al.
22 October 2001: Malaysia is now under pressure to do more to stop terrorists funnelling money through its financial institutions. Regional ministers attending Asia-Pacific Economic Co-Operation summit in Shanghai) (APEC) are concerned about this, as well as security for airports, aircraft and ports, countering any supply disruptions.
22 October 2001: Italy: Remains found of Apostle St Luke?: In 1988 in Basilica of Santa Giustina in Padua, Italy, in an ornate sealed coffin was found the headless remains of a man aged 70-85 years, about 1.6 metres tall, stocky, and once suffering osteoporosis and arthritis of the spine. The remains might have been those of St Luke. Oddly, a skull existed in Prague, said to fit these remains. St Luke was born in Antioch, worked as a doctor, and died in Thebes, Greece in 84AD. His remains were later taken to Constantinople about 338AD and might have been placed in Padua during the Crusades, since about 1172. The remains were not viewed till 1562, then in 1992. A researcher on the puzzle is Prof. Guido Barbujani, who has worked on dental DNA clues, especially concerning Syrian DNA.
21 October 2001: US does not yet admit it has plans to deploy "large conventional forces" in Afghanistan, leaving media commenting on "small insertions" of US special forces.
The terrorism problem: 20 October 2001: In Afghanistan, US-led ground war begins on search and destroy missions. In UK: Makers of jet engines, Rolls Royce, lays off 5000 workers due to falling demand for product. Near Christmas Island (Australia) appears another boat of presumably illegal immigrants from Middle East, on an Indonesian boat.
20 October 2001: Financial analysts at Lombard Street Research in London now estimate that since 11 September, the world economy has lost US$240 billion due to slowdown.
20 October, 2001: Prime minister of Australia, John Howard, feels that if bin-Laden is caught, and convicted of various crimes, he should then be executed. (Reported in The Weekend Australian, 20-21 October 2001.
19 October, 2001: Confused reports: With later-seen pictures of a distraught Sondos Ismail, who lost three daughters in this tragedy, reports arise of an overcrowded vessel carrying mostly Iraqi asylum-seekers from Sumatra at 3pm foundering in a heavy sea of Sunda Strait; 353 drown and only 45 are rescued. On 17 October, pictures are seen of little girls in princess dresses who have died. Footage is shown of friends and relatives in grief. Thirty of these refugees had been officially classified by UN as genuine cases.
19-23 October 2001: Australia: Confused or delayed reports: Sinking of an overcrowded boat full of Middle Eastern (Iraqi) refugees on Indonesian coast off Java. The boat had been heading for Christmas Island-Australia. About 350-370 people drowned, about 21 rescued. TV reports in Australia suggest that Indonesian police sent these people onto their boat at gunpoint.
The terrorism problem: 17 October 2001: 1500 Australian troops join ground forces in Afghanistan to fight Taliban, which is reportedly now losing heart for the fight (?). In Israel, report of a successful assassination attempt on an extreme-right, anti-Arab minister of government of Israel; the tourism minister, Rehavam Zeevi. Yassar Arafat is deemed responsible by Israel, BBC reports.
17 October 2001: New planets on the horizons?: Use of telescopes in Australia and US allows astronomers to discover eight new planets near stars HD23079, HD4208 and HD114783. Nearby stars now have 74 planets found by astronomers in recent years. Maybe, astronomers will find a "true counterpart" of our own solar system? Researchers here include Dr. Chris Tinney of Anglo-Australian Observatory near Coonabarabran NSW, and Steve Vogt of Lick Observatory, University of California at Santa Cruz.
World's longest-living person?: 17 October 2001: Recent death of northern Egyptian woman, Amina Hassabo, who died at age 137. She was born in 1864 and lived in a village in the Daquahliya area of Nile delta. She saw a doctor only once in her life, for hardness of hearing.
17 October 2001: Newspaper report from Germany-Europe: Muslim militants have been plotting a poison chemical attack on Europe designed to suffocate people.
17 October 2001: Report in Australia that in 2002, international post-graduate students will be able to study on counter-terrorism at Australian National University.
16 October 2001: Panicky reports arise of Australia being "gripped" by fear of anthrax mail contamination, in Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Townsville and a few country areas; most cases being hoaxes by idiots. In US is an inability to decide if anthrax attacks are conducted by foreign terrorists or not.
16 October 2001: Eight new planets in an adjoining solar system are discovered by Anglo-Australian Telescope in New South Wales, Australia.
15 October 2001: Meeting of drug-surveillance chiefs from 60 countries in Australia to consider what will happen world-wide with the current Afghani/Taliban stockpile of cheap, high-grade opium/heroin being released. What would be the knock-on effects in the South East Asia and South American drug trades? And in major cities around the world?
15 October 2001: Sydney's international airport is gripped by anthrax-powder fears. Similar fear spreads through Sydney via mail centres. Riots in Nigeria re protests against US attacks; troops ordered to shoot troublemakers. A TV report suggests that on Night 1 of bombing in Afghanistan, US air forces had bin-Laden in their sights but a hit on him is not authorised.
13 October 2001: In New York, risks of cancer and lung disease from asbestos fibre are being faced by recovery workers at WTC. Advising is asbestos expert Philip Landigan, chairman of dept. of community and preventive medicine at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in Manhattan. Asbestos fibres can be 10,000 times thinner than a human year, and while use of asbestos in buildings was banned in 1971, some was used on WTC tower 1 to the 39th floor. Asbestos fibres from the disaster site (where fires are still burning) have been found in buildings up to three blocks away but the general public runs little risk.
13 October 2001: Computer specialists in the US now fear a wave of terrorist "cyberattacks" (or "infowar") on military assets, electricity grids, transport systems and other infrastructure. The White House has appointed terrorism specialist Richard Clarke to work on cyberspace security.
The terrorism problem: 13 October 2001: Millions of Afghani civilians are now at risk of starvation in coming months, aid agencies warn. In Islamabad, news surfaces that al-Qaeda has offered a reward of Aust$100,000 for the capture of any US soldier in Afghanistan. US policies of sanctions against Iran are said by UN sources to have contributed to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people. In Saudi Arabia, the royal family refuses to freeze assets of bin-Laden due to fear of an Islamic uprising.
13 October 2001: Big belief-in-dance opportunity: World-wide, about 200,000 dancers are to attend a global dance party to be held simultaneously in 100 cities. They will unite by singing the same song, a dance track, Prayer for Peace. Dancers will hold hands in a circle and focus their energy into the Earth, which represents a concentration on environmental concerns. This annual event was founded in 1997 by British DJ Chris Decker and a group of international party promoters, artists and musicians. Such parties can last from one-three days. (Sydney's dancers were organised by Leah Boucher.)
13 October 2001: In Africa, the uncared-for continent: Situations in Sudan are worsening. The UN is pulling out of the country's south after three days of government air raids. Food distribution to about 20,000 people has been interrupted. Oil companies operating in the country are being urged to work for peace; the claimed contradiction being that if they give funds to the government, this makes conflict worse. (The US bans American firms from operating in Sudan). Conflict in Sudan has cost about two million lives. It is said that in British colonial times, to 1956, the British believed that Sudan had the potential, apart from its oil reserves, to be the food bowl of Africa.
13 October 2001: Oil firms in Burma are accused of condoning rights abuses and using slave labour. "Burmese soldiers retained by [named] Western oil companies are guilty of multiple human rights abuses and subject local peasants to forced labour, extortion and beatings, the European Parliament has been told. (Reported in world press this date).
13 October 2001: In Africa, the uncared-for continent: Zimbabwe: Efforts by the government to control (reduce) basic food prices may increase the risk of famine, economists warn, partly due to hoarding. Business in Zimbabwe now works against an inflation rate of about 80 per cent.
12 October 2001: Clarification: By now, six mosques and/or churches are burned or threatened in south-west Sydney. Groups of bin-Laden supporters are said to be found in Sydney.
12 October 2001: Another load of 200 asylum-seekers on a fishing boat sail into Australian north-western waters, the fourth such boat in seven weeks.
13 October 2001: In 2000, the Taliban in Afghanistan banned opium cultivation in areas under its control after a record 1999 crop of 4600 tonnes. In 2000, the UN says that Alliance territory produced 150 tonnes of opium (to be sold in Europe?) while Taliban territory produced 50 tonnes. (Item, The Weekend Australian, 13-14 October, 2001).
12 October 2001: The Yugoslav War Crimes Tribunal may not have enough money or manpower to finish its work before its mandate from the UN runs out.
12 October 2001: Prague: Police in Central Europe have acted on a people-smuggling ring led by Afghans that has moved tens of thousands of Afghans into the European Union.
12 October 2001: Russia raises its tragic nuclear submarine, Kursk, sunk in August 2000, from the Barents Sea.
12 October 2001: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: A boy is reported castrated and killed, possibly a victim of a black magic cult which has already claimed about 20 lives.
12 October 2001: US is to send military advisers to Philippines as part of its war against terrorism, to deal with extremist Islamic groups in Asia-Pacific region. Fears now exist of further terrorism from Islamic fundamentalist groups in Indonesia, Philippines and Malaysia, possibly co-organised by al-Qaedar.
The terrorism problem: 12 October 2001: Sydney is said to be scene of a heroin drought which has had effect since Christmas 2000. NSW Premier Bob Carr said that one reason for the drought was low rainfall in Burma, which as part of the Golden Triangle helps produce about 80 per cent of Australia's heroin supply. Reports by now are that the Taliban in Afghanistan has stockpiled up to 300 tonnes of heroin, which it may use to flood the world market with cheap product.
The terrorism problem: 11 October 2001: On TV news, an Australian woman farewelling her military husband sent to the Gulf, says, "Stay away from Americans, they're accident-prone".
10 October 2001, Release from Queensland Museum of information on Australia's largest dinosaur fossil (discovered some years ago but kept under wraps for fear of fossil hunters), a sauropod. Animal was 4m high, 20m long, and weighed 30 tonnes.
10 October 2001: Considerations for the future? The seeds of some of today's situations?: Claim that Islamic societies are less productive than today's Western societies partly due to the view(s) taken of the role(s) of women, in an article by David Landes and Richard A. Landes. David S. Landes is Professor of Economic History at Harvard University now preparing a book on financial dynasties. Richard A. Landes is Professor of Medieval History at Boston University now preparing a book on demotic religiosity and origins of civil society in the West. Item from article, The Australian newspaper, 10 October 2001, p. 31, on decline from 14th Century of Islamic world and centuries later, resentment of the dominant west, etc.
10 October 2001: Was World Mental Health Day. (What a pity it wasn't better observed - Ed)
10 October 2001: Police in Maryborough, south-central Queensland, Australia, are examining reports of alleged sightings of UFOs. It is said a mysterious abduction has occurred. At an isolated vineyard at Gundiah, Amy Rylance, 22, was apparently beamed-up and transported 600km north to Mackay. Ms Rylance has since been found.
The terrorism problem: 10 October 2001: The international aid-agency Doctors Without Borders (Medecins Sans Frontiers), has announced it will refuse aid from any government engaged in the military alliance against the Taliban regime in Afghanistan, in order to preserve its neutrality. The MSF executive director in Australia is David Curtis.
9 October 2001: Comment
arises on current views on
and in the Islamic world in an Australian newspaper from Francis
Fukuyama, Professor of International Political Economy at Johns
Hopkins University, School of Advanced International Studies.
Fukuyama in 1989, as the Berlin Wall fell, in a magazine, The
National Interest felt moved to comment on "the end of
history", a phrase which became title of his book, and,
Since 1989, Fukuyama has had to spend much time explaining what he meant with such an absurd set of words. What he meant was that more of the world was being brought to "modernity"; and we (in "the West") could not expect to "evolve" ourselves much further. Fukuyama was an opponent of a "clash of civilizations" view. Fukuyama currently wonders why Islam is the only cultural system which produces people who "routinely reject modernity". Is it possible that Fukuyama's view of "modernity" is a dash simplistic? Lost Worlds suspects meanwhile that history will not end till about eight minutes after the sun stops shining, whenever that happens. In which case, neither political nor religious systems of thought will tend to matter.
Simon Wiesenthal, the famed Nazi-hunter now aged 92 who works from Vienna, has retired, saying he has caught all the Nazis he hunted, and outlived them all. (Reported 8 October 2001)
8 October 2001: A man said to be involved in people-smuggling on the Indonesia-Australian run is Kais Asfoor (a Palestinian born in Iraq in 1970), one of the principals of the most successful Indonesia-based syndicate working. He is last heard of in a cell in Perth, possibly facing a 20-year sentence. He has been charged with illegally bringing 1698 people in 17 boats to Australia between June 1999 and March 2001. He has at times used a false Turkish passport in name of Iman Dogan. Two of his associates are said to be: Ahmed Aloung ("Ahmed the Indonesian") and Majid Mahmood (an Iraqi born in 1958). Asfor married Aloung's sister. (See article, The Australian, 8 October, 2001, p. 11.)
The terrorism problem: 8-9 October 2001: Further reports in Australia of the strange case where (it is claimed) asylum-seekers on way to Australian waters threw some of their children overboard. The people-smugglers in control of the boat (with 186 Iraqis aboard) said to have disabled the boat's steering (or sabotaged its engine(?)), and adults jumped overboard. HMAS Adelaide had fired some warning shots.
7 October 2001: In a bizarre twist to the dilemmas to Australian officialdom posed by illegal migrants (some from Afghanistan, funnelled through Indonesia) arriving to the north-west areas of Australia (eg, Christmas Island, Ashmore Reef), allegations arise that some illegals, wearing lifejackets, have thrown themselves and some children (wearing lifejackets) into the water in an effort to coerce Australian officials into displaying more sympathy for their situation. Later they allegedly saboutaged/sunk their boat to gain the attention of officials and were taken aboard an Australian naval ship. (It might be noted that whatever the truth of claims made in these matters, these people-smuggling incidents are bizarrely unique in Australian maritime history since before 1788! - Ed)
Concern exists by 7 October 2001 that the eight aid workers including two Australians (Peter Bunch and Diana Thomas, with Christian-based Shelter Now organisation) scheduled for trial in Afghanistan for preaching Christianity will be hostaged as a "human shield" by a Taliban fearful of American attack. A Pakistani lawyer acting for the aid workers is Atif Ali Khan. Australia's consul in Pakistan is Alistair Adams.
6 October 2001: Newspaper headlines: "The terrorist attack on the US has devastated the world's airlines. Planes are being mothballed, routes slashed and staff sacked as fear of flying keeps passengers away." (For the stats, see Sydney Morning Herald, 6-7 October 2001, p. 54).
3 October 2001: TV documentary screened in Australia suggests that remains of Atlantis may be off the coast of Cuba.
Management of Priorities and Ideas on
Good Government in general: Two Australian aid workers (and
others from other countries) go on trial before the Taliban for
allegedly preaching Christianity in Afghanistan as up to eight
million Afghani refugees scatter across borders to avoid the risks of
starvation and outright war.
(Reported by SBS TV Australia on 30 September 2001)
September 2001: Byron Bay area, NSW Australia. Reported appearance of a new cult - Infinity - Forms of Yellow Remember - led by Gerald Attrill. Some products are claimed to cure cancer. Cult has about 300-400 members including some in the US, a commune at Tyalgum and a factory at Byron Bay. NSW state consumer protection bodies have yet to move against the cult's promotion of "health aids".
September 2001: Pope John Paul II visits Armenia to celebrate 1700 years of Christianity there.
Mafia is real after all: The Telegraph, London, has reported, quite briefly, that the Mafia (Cosa Nostra) has long existed in Italy, after Cosa Nostra'a one-time cashier, Pippo Calo, broke traditional silence after his 16 years in prison, in a court in the Sicilian town of Caltanisetta. (Reported 29 September 2001)
By 28 September 2001: Morbid humour has already started to circulate on the Net about "the current world situation". A file now outdated was: http://policehumour.com/osama/
Disaster deathrates: 28 September 2001: Consider the lack of world publicity and concern here: Manila, Philippines: About 3000 people have died as fire destroys more than 600 shanty huts in a Manila slum called "Happy Land". (Reported 28 September 2001)
Lost Worlds 23 September, 2001:
REMARKS following the 11 September New York World Trade Centre bombing:
In the town in which Lost Worlds is produced lives an old man, Donald Beaton, who as an Australian soldier was stationed in Japan after the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, in Hiroshima Prefecture.
On day ten after the attack, I asked him his reaction to the situation following the New York bombings. All he would say is this: "Terrorism is a weapon for poor people."
Coming from post-atomic Japan, this remark threw many things into a perspective. Especially, that a major factor in world affairs, too-little-mentioned in the world news coverage of the 11 September bombings, and related matters, is world poverty.
However, to mention local or regional poverty, or world poverty, or, in some countries, "poverty in an Islamic world", is also to refer to a great many other matters (where Islam or its critics are influential); including attitudes to various sorts of modernity, the institutions of liberal democracies, and tolerance in religious life - matters affecting all people involved including non-Moslems.
While any sort of war ensues, including any sort of jihad, or Holy War, comment and concern about world poverty is likely to be sidelined even further as a serious issue. This will be doubly unfortunate.
It also seems safe to
say, that to speak too strongly
about alleviating world poverty will be counter-productive, as to
speak too strongly would disturb the balance of human virtues which
need to be applied to the relevant work, including suitable
(So there will be no strong words spoken here by this website, which is anyway mostly concerned with the human past.)
However, I have since 11 September received a great deal of email which is equivocal, uncertain, possibly misleading, about the current world situation. Also, some email which is highly sceptical or cynical about the financial machinations used, or not, by the planners of the New York attack, and the suicidal hijackers involved. None of that email makes for comfortable thoughts about anything.
Deep within all religions abide timeless ideas about how to live a well-rounded human life that leaves a respectable mark when a person dies. These ideas can relate also to some alleviation of world poverty.
World-wide, these ideas need much closer attention from the world media, from economists and financiers, from governments and from religious leaders.
For one new reason: because as so many people after the New York attack, from around the world, remarked quite accurately: the world has changed.
So is there any connection - should there be any connection? - between the current aim of the US, the rooting out of terrorism, and the rooting out of world poverty?
If any such connections exist, matters need further exploration, particularly by the wealthy of the entire world.
This website carries various information about the bloody and unfortunate Crusades which preceded the Renaissance of Western Europe. Which information it is hoped will be of interest about any current risks faced by adherents of religion today.
The world does not need any new Crusades, or conflict between Islam and adherents of any other religions. What the world needs now, more than anger with damage to wealth or pride, is less poverty.
And so, the wealthy and the poor need to sit down, and talk, and share.
In fact, as an unpleasant truth, poverty is much more easily-shared-out than wealth. This may be an essential problem the world is now asking itself to face more realistically.
If this is the case, what is now most important is to ask the right questions. The world seems to be in such a state that many of the better questions will be deflected.
One of Lost Worlds' conclusions from studying the world's first wave of Crusades is that the questions asked by those Crusades were not the best questions, nor the most realistic.
A second, Crusading visitation of non-realistic questions will be disastrous, and will not help alleviate problems in places of poverty. It will merely prolong our evident problems.
Meetings of financiers and the leaders of the world's religions - all religions - almost never happen. So they can never be reported in the world press.
In the interests of realism, we now need to ask: why is this so? Why do financiers and religious leaders have so many motives to avoid each other's company so continually?
It is about time some such meetings were scheduled, regularly, and media-reported, until some decent ideals about future human life can be spoken about seriously, and believably, in the world's media, and by ordinary people.
For if there was one word over-used in the world's media concerning the New York attack, it was the world "unbelievable". Did the over-use of that word speak for itself, or not?
Now, the challenge for the world media is to draw back enough curtains, so that the word "believable" can be used much more often, with much more confidence, by ordinary people, and especially by presently poorer people.
Otherwise, we may all oblige ourselves to continue to live with things "unbelievable". Which will remain painful.
Dan Byrnes, Editor, Lost Worlds
Militant Islam means 'holy warriors', kidnappers in Asean - Bangkok: Southeast Asia knows what havoc militant Islam can create. With mass kidnappings in the Philippines, "holy warriors" in Indonesia and armed cells in Malaysia, governments have learned they can never relax." Are these militants receiving increased support from militants in Middle East? In a different article, same issue, it is reported from Washington/New York Times, "President George W. Bush demanded Thursday night that Afghanistan's leaders immediately deliver Osama bin-Laden and his network and close down every terrorist camp in the country or face military attack by the United Sates... The Taliban must act and act immediately." (Reported 22 September 2001 in Today, from Manila, Makati, Philippines, by Seth Mydans/New York Times)
22 September 2001:
Australia: Financial commentator
Stephen Bartholomeusz writes that terrorism has now weakened the
foundations of globalisation. "Globalisation of financial
markets and services and corporations has been largely driven by the
private sector, with governments struggling to keep up and adapt to
the new linkages, flows, relationships and tensions the process has
(Sydney Morning Herald, 22-23 September 2001)
(Which might all be a good, succinct way of putting it, but who manages the managers of globalisation? Like, nobody? -Ed)
22 September 2001: Russia government moves closer to reversing the former Communist nationalisation of land (declared in 1917) by making it legal for people to privately own real estate.
15 September 2001: Notes on "The Invisible
The universe is supposed to be full of "dark matter", and
now it seems that many websites on the Internet are invisible,
unavailable to even the most powerful search engines. One reason is
that search engine crawlers will not or do not pick up on certain
kinds of information. Google can find about 1.6 billion web pages.
The invisible web may be two to 50 times larger! Check online at:
(Reported 15 September, 2001)
Kashmir, India: A militant Moslem
group in Kashmir
has intensified its opposition to infractions of the Islamic dress
code, and threatens to shoot women who refuse to wear a
(Reported 15 September 2001)
11 September 2001: New York: Six air traffic controllers who deal with two of the hijacked aircraft make a tape a few hours later describing the events, but one of their supervisors destroyed it a few hours later before anyone has listened to it. (Sydney Morning Herald on 8-9 May 2004)
11 September 2001: One loss to history from the 11 September attacks was a collection of 40,000 negatives held in a bank vault, photographs of President John Kennedy taken by his personal photographer, Jacques Lowe.
Re 11 Sept. 2001 in US:
See Angus Kress Gillespie,
Twin Towers: The Life of New York City's World Trade Center.
The architect of the World Trade Centre is a second-generation Japanese-American, Minoru Yamasaki (died 1986), the building completed in 1973. Yamasaki was born in Seattle in 1912. He first worked for the architects of the Empire State Building.
See Peter L. Bergen, Holy War Inc. Allen and Unwin, 2001.
10 September 2001: Compensation for slavery of the past in US?: 10 September 2001: US National Security adviser Condoleeza Rice, "one of the most influential black persons in the Bush administration", says she does not think African-Americans should be compensated for the past wrongs of slavery in US history.
9 September 2001: Two Arab suicide-bombers, posing as journalists, kill anti-Taliban Afghan guerrilla commander Ahmed Shah Massoud after concealing explosives in their video equipment. By 7 November it is being recalled that they had earlier tried to gain access to a leadership meeting of the entire council for the Northern Alliance/United Front. Those killing Massoud had earlier spent up to three weeks in Taliban-controlled territory before going into Northern Alliance territory. (Reported 7 November 2001 in Sydney Morning Herald).
8 September 2001: "The
Taliban are secretive,
dictatorial, inaccessible and paranoid. They know nothing about
running a government."
Remarks about the Taliban, published by 8 September, 2001, from Australian journalist Paul McGeough in Sydney Morning Herald.
4 September 2001: Concern rises in Indonesia and elsewhere, particularly the US (FBI and CIA), that "notorious international terrorist Osama bin-Laden" is looking to Indonesia as a "potential springboard" for further terrorist operations. US interests in Indonesia were given a security alert in early August this year. (Reported in The Australian newspaper.)
Week ending 1 September 2001: Durban, Africa: UN's World Conference Against Racism, with threats of veto, walkouts, boycotts.
27 August 2001: Jerusalem: Israeli experts fear that a wall on the Temple Mount may fall, and possibly trigger a Moslem-Jewish war. Any wall collapse could damage Islamic shrines. The site has been home to the first and second Jewish temples, and then the Dome of the Rock (Islamic) and al-Aqsa mosques, the third most sacred shrine in Islam.
21 August 2001: More crop circles appear in southern England, said to be quite impressive.
20 August 2001: Israeli interests are becoming increasingly worried that Palestinians are winning a world propaganda war and may mount a propaganda counter-attack to cost Aust$22 million.
20 August 2001: After 26 years of shilly-shallying, the Brazilian Congress has approved a revised legal code which now views men and women as equal in the eyes of the law. Traditional ideas of patriarchal power have been overturned, say feminists. Brazil is the nation with the world's largest number of Catholics.
20 August 2001: Aceh, Indonesia: Both sides - security forces and rebels - have been accused of human rights violations in Aceh. Perpetrators are simply not being punished. About 1500 people have been killed since January 2001.
18 August 2001, Israel is on heightened security alert due to warnings about further Palestinian bomb attacks. US pleads with Israel to "end the violence".
Five years of carnage to come? 18 August 2001: Newspaper headlines: Israeli military officials predict five years of carnage: Israeli military planners predict that conflict with Palestinians may last for years and may escalate into a Middle Eastern War involving Israel, Lebanon, Syria. Say, to 2006? Views here of Israel's military top commander, General Shaul Mofa. See Hebrew newspaper, Ha'arets. View that Yassar Arafat may not be able to exercise sufficient control over anything.
18 August 2001: Philippines and police brilliance: "The kidnapping industry": Finding that Filipino-Chinese people, maybe one per cent of the population, but who own about half the country's large corporations and medium-sized companies, are being targeted for violence from crims based in "metropolitan Manila". During 2000, 219 people are kidnapped, ransoms worth 212 millions pesos are paid, police crack only six cases. To mid-2001, 118 kidnappings and 125 million pesos paid in ransom.
11 August 2001: US: President Bush has given a go-ahead for embryo stem cell research which may open a way for huge advances in disease treatment and the advancement of modern medicine.
11 August 2001: Recent death in Alice Springs, Australia, of a pioneer of the Central Desert Aboriginal art movement, Turkey Tolson Tjupurrala, aged about 65. Tolson was noted for using yellow and ochre linearity, as in his painting, Straightening Spears at Ilyngaunggau. He was one of the youngest of about 20 "painting men" from Papunya, 250km west of Alice Springs in the early 1970s as acrylic paint began to be used. His work remains highly prized.
About now, one month before 9/11. Did Pres. G. W. Bush, or his staff, given a CIA briefing dated 6 August, 2001, on an impending attack by "bin-Laden" within the US, one month before 9/11, ignore it? The title of the memo/briefing, "Bin Laden Determined to Attack Inside the United States", was not made public in the US before about 10 April, 2004. Preparations for a hijacking scenario were mentioned specifically. (Weekend Australian, 10-11 April, 2004)
4 August 2001: Lebanon, Beirut: Faced with starvation, Lebanese farmers (in the Bekaa Valley) are again growing cannabis, and abandoning potatoes and other crops. The reasons for the farmers' dilemmas are a complex matter of government accusations against aid agencies, and vice versa.
3 August 2001: Some 17 African countries - about half the continent - are facing food emergencies and millions of people are in danger of starvation if food is not urgently provided, UN Food and Agriculture Organisation has reported.
Challenge from sceptic: American magician and sceptic James Randi, who is travelling to Brisbane (Australia) this August, has again made his offer of US$1 million to any psychic, medium, fortune-teller, astrologer, mind-reader or diviner who can demonstrate a true supernatural or paranormal ability. (Reported 31 July 2001)
July 2001: Cambodia:
Increasingly, Cambodian women
are facing attacks from other women: Usually, acid attacks from
scorned first wives against mistresses or second wives.
From an article on status of women today world-wide by Amruta Slee in Good Weekend, 9 March 2002, the colour magazine of Sydney Morning Herald.
July 2001: Re Anniversary of end of World War Two: China's president Jiang Zemin tells visiting Japanese: "Setting fire to history will generate a major blast. ... History cannot be altered."
Marijuana for patients: For cancer and AIDS patients, Canada becomes first country the world to legalise marijuana use. Canadian medical association however says more research is needed. Patients are permitted to grow their own marijuana. (Reported 31 July 2001)
31 July 2001: Re Phoolan Devi, "Indian bandit", aged 38; By 31 July 2001, police had been interviewing her husband about her murder at her official MP's residence. See movie by Bollywood director Shekhar Kapur, 1996 movie, Bandit Queen. A self-confessed killer of Devi is Sher Singh Rana, who said he killed Devi to avenge massacre of 22 high-case Hindus whom Devi's gang had killed to avenge her one-time kidnapping and rape by a group of high-caste Hindus.
Global warming: International aid will be unable to keep up with the impact of global warming, the Red Cross has warned internationally after reporting a sharp rise in the late 1990s of results of weather-induced disasters. (Reported 30 July 2001)
India: New Delhi: Indian police yesterday arrested a prime suspect in the murder of India's famed "bandit queen", Phoolan Devi. (Reported 28 July 2001)
The terrorism problem: Suicidals in Indonesia, maybe?: Based in Surabaya, East Java, a group of supporters of Indonesian president, Abdurrahman Wahid, have begun calling themselves The Do or Die force. They believe they are assisted to invulnerability by prayers and holy water, and wish to become suicide warriors. But they attacked nothing. These aspiring warriors might be members of a Moslem organisation, Nahdlatul Ulama. (Revival of Religious Scholars). (Reported 29 July 2001)
Israel: "Israeli prime
minister Ariel Sharon has
hired a lawyer to defend him against possible war crimes charges in
the Belgian courts."
From The Weekend Australian newspaper. (Reported by 28 July 2001)
23 July 2001: Serious problems in Genoa timed to coincide with a G8 summit meeting. Anti-G8 anarchists determined to fight globalisation (including one group called Black Bloc), reportedly ran rings around Italian police. One demonstrator was shot dead by a frightened policeman. Tens of thousands of anti-globalisation marchers strode peacefully. A German anti-globalisation group interested also was Linksruck (Shift to the Left).
23 July 2001, Cambodia: The nation's Senate approves final legislation required to bring to trial the former leaders of the Khmer Rouge "killing fields" regime. (Undue deaths claimed of up to 1.7 million people). Some allegations are denied by those named.
July 2001: Ethiopia remains angry with Italy over Italy's failure to return the 3000-year-old Axum obelisk, taken to Rome about 60 years ago at the orders of Italian dictator Benito Mussolini.
Predicting a media-storm about man-woman relations from mid-2001? See Laura Doyle, The Surrendered Wife. Simon and Schuster, to be published in Australia by June 2001. (Anti-feminism as from the early 1990s, ladies, stand by your man, and see also, by another author, The Rules: Time Tested Secrets for Capturing the Heart of Mr. Right).
South Africa: Internet
tycoon, Mark Shuttleworth,
aged 27, is preparing to become the world's second paid space tourist
on a Russian trip, He is training at Star City cosmonaut centre
(Reported 21 July 2001).
problems at school?: Proportion of
Australian employers who think that high school leavers are not
sufficiently numerate or literate to enter the work force - 66 per
(Noted 21 July 2001, from Prof. John Croucher, Professor Statistics, Macquarie University, Sydney.
21 July 2001: In
Africa, the uncared-for
continent: Lagos: Children perish on African slave ship: "At
least 150 Nigerian children died recently off the coast of West
Africa on their way to Gabon to work as slaves, President Olusegun
Obasanjo was quoted as saying yesterday. ... West Africa's child
slave trade attracted international attention in April 2001 when UN
officials found at least a dozen child slaves aboard a Nigerian-owned
ship in Benin. Other problems noticed by the government of Lagos
include women-trafficking, child labour, child abuse and slavery.
(Reported in Weekend Australian, this date).
July 2001: Portugal has
recently liberalised its laws
on drugs, decriminalising the use of formerly-banned narcotics, from
cannabis to cocaine.
(Reported 21 July 2001)
July 2001: Lahore:
Afghanistan's Taliban militia
leader, Mullah Mohammed Omar, has issued a ban on lipstick,
chessboards and playing cards. Other Taliban-forbidden items include:
dish antennae, musical instruments, cassette tapes, computers,
videos, TV sets and films or film-making equipment. Also, games
(Reported 21 July 2001 from The Telegraph, London)
14 July 2001: "Two
ringleaders of the biggest
Indonesian-based people-smuggling syndicates have been captured after
a long-running Cambodian police surveillance operation." They
appear to be Pakistani Hasan Ayoub (who handles people from
Afghanistan and Pakistan), and Indonesian Abraham Louhanapessy (from
(Reported in Weekend Australian)
US has blacklisted 23 countries including its own allies Israel, Greece and Saudi Arabia for failing to tackle questions of human trafficking, regarded by the US as a modern form of slavery. US Congress has ordered a report with a view to withholding aid from nations that fail to address such issues by 2003. (Reported 13 July 2001)
June 2001: Reopening of The Leaning Tower of Pisa after a decade of renovations. The tower will be set at its angle-of-lean as found 200 years ago.
June 2001: Lost Worlds is proud and pleased to record that McDowell, an Australian adventurer, has located, photographed and visited the hulk of the fearsome German battleship, Bismark, sunk in 1941 off the coast of Ireland. (Australian national TV, 23 June 2001).
Pope John Paul II appeals for peace in the Middle East as he elevates five more people to sainthood including Lebanon's first woman saint, Sister Rafqa of the Lebanese Maronite Antonine Order. (21 June 2001)
15 June 2001: Mars: From its Hellas Basin, a crater nine-kilometres deep, Mars' southern hemisphere boiled up an amazing dust storm that in 11-12 days ended up sweeping its northern hemisphere, cloaking half the planet in red dust and raising temperatures by 30 degrees centigrade. Check online at: http://tes.la.asu.edu/ (Reported 21 July 2001)
Greece has revived its campaign to see return of the 2,300-year-old Elgin Marbles from Britain. Britain has declined to comment. Just one of Greece's plans is to build a AUD$106 million museum to house the sculptures in sight of their old home on the Parthenon in Athens. (Reported 23 June 2001)
2001-44,000BC approx: About now, Australia's megafauna are becoming extinct, but does this coincide in any way with the time when people first arrived in Australia? Now, 28 sites across Australia have been examined. A finding is that 46,000 years ago was a mild period climatically, so the disappearance of megafauna was not due to aridity. Or did humans kill off the megafauna - which is said to have included some of the biggest reptilian and mammalian carnivores which ever existed? Australia had a marsupial lion (Thylacoleo carnifex) which weighed about 160kg and was possibly as ferocious as the Sabre-toothed Tiger. The T.carnifex especially lived on a large marsupial, the diprotodon, about as big as a rhonoceros. Also part of megafauna was an "enormous wombat", Phascolonus gigas. There was also a large bird, called The Thunderbird, which weighed up to 500kg and was possibly a carnivore or at last "an over-engineered vegetarian". The idea that humans wiped out Australian megafauna in as little as 500 years after their arrival has been retailed by controversial Australian museum director and author, Tim Flannery. However, a museum research fellow in Australia, Dr Richard Fullagar, plumbs for megafauna surviving till about 28,000BC. (Reported 9 June 2001. See a recent issue of journal Science.)
2001: The Taliban controls almost 85 per cent of Afghanistan. Ahmad Shah Masood is killed in a bomb attack.
Beliefs behind Pyramids of Egypt?: The Pyramids of Egypt may just be seen as symbolic stairways to the stars, according to a British scientist, Dr. Toby Wilkinson, an Egyptologist at Cambridge University, who nevertheless feels his theory is "deliberately controversial, provocative and tantalising". He sees the circumpolar stars, which never seem to set, but rotate about the North Pole, and so seem very stable (if not eternal, "The Indestructibles"?), as impressing the Egyptians who believed they could act as launch pads for the afterlife of the pharaohs, the reason the pyramids were given an orientation to the northern pole star. The very first pyramid, the step pyramid at Saqqara, built in the Egyptian third dynasty, had its altar set to the north, and a ramp to its subterranean chambers started from the north face. (Reported 9 June 2001)
4 June 2001: Palestinian president Yassar Arafat and his security forces announce steps for a ceasefire after previous Friday's suicide bombing in Tel Aviv. (Reported in world press)
4 June 2001: Nepal in shock (grief, confusion, anger), due to gunning down in Kathmandu of its royal family by Crown Prince Dipendra (aged 29), a militarist-minded drug-user and gun-freak earlier educated in Britain; maybe because of his family's objections to his choice of wife (?). Dipendra shot himself after killing his parents and various relatives. Nepal meanwhile needs to cope with a serious-minded, determined group of leftist-rebels of a Maoist persuasion. Quote from Nepalese deputy prime minister, Ram Chandra Paudel: "This is the most shocking event in the history of the royal family." Conflicting official reports are issued in Nepal that many in Nepal, (and including this website) find it difficult if not impossible to believe.
4 June 2001 and previous: Philippines: Abu Sayyaf Muslim guerrillas kill two Filipino hostages and behead one of them, near or in village Bulanting on southern island Basilian.
Organisation (with a recent report from
Geneva), has been watching the topic: violent death.
cause about 1.6 million violent deaths per year, half from suicide.
Someone kills themselves each 60 seconds. Someone dies in a war each
100 seconds. For each death, some 15-20 people suffer grievous bodily
harm. There are great differences with rates of violent deaths in
different countries. The murder rate in Colombia is almost 85 deaths
per 100,000 people aged 10-29, with a rate of 1.5 per 100,000 in much
of Europe. (Reported 5 October 2002)
Note: By 30 June-1 July 2001 it was reported in Sydney Morning Herald that firearms are "weapons of mass destruction in slow motion", the words coming from UN secretary-general, Kofi Annan, commenting on a new report issued prior to a July 9 first international conference on small arms to be held in New York. There are 550 million firearms in circulation around the world, used to kill at least 500,000 people per year. About 300,000 per year are killed in armed-conflict situations and 200,000 in "disorganised violence". Some 90 states have the capacity to manufacture small arms and ammunition, but 10-20 states produce the majority. The main producers are US, Russia and China, followed by medium-sized producers such as Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Britain, Bulgaria, France, Germany and South Africa.
By May 2001: On Thomas Jefferson's black children?: An association of descendants of third US president Thomas Jefferson has delayed for another year a decision on whether to accept descendants of his "slave mistress", Sally Hemings, as "official" members of the family. (Follows earlier reports of 5 May 2000)
28 May 2001, Indonesia: President Wahid, threatened with censure by parliament, warns of a rising state of emergency. He threatens a state of emergency again on 6 July.
That is, Troy, besieged by the Greeks with the aid of the
Trojan Horse. Take a look at the substantial evidence, click the link
Afghanistan: Hindus will be required to wear an identity tag on their clothing in Islamic Afghanistan to distinguish them from Moslems, the Taliban has declared via its religious police minister, Mr. Mohammed Wali. Hindu women will also have to wear veils as do Moslem women in Afghanistan. Sikhs wearing their usual turbans already distinguish themselves and so are not subject to the new dress code. (Reported 23 May 2001)
European Union argues over slavery then and now: Britain is leading European opposition to African demands that the slave trade be declared a crime against humanity "requiring substantial reparations by former colonial powers". Britain, France, Spain and Portugal fear a ploy to exact financial aid. Britain however will acknowledge that past slavery, particularly of Africans, was "an unparalleled crime against humanity". It is a legal point that slavery and slave trading were not against customary international law at the time. US diplomats say they are prepared to recognise all slavery as a crime against humanity, but want any new resolutions to consider the centuries-old traffic in humans from east and central Africa by Arab slave traders. UK would prefer present discussions to refer only to present day discussions of slavery, as in Sudan in Africa. (Reported 23 May 2001)
Please circulate this
firstname.lastname@example.org, For Iman Jacob Wilkens (the Author)
(Item received by Lost Worlds on 22 May 2001)
Australia as cradle of human behaviour: Scientist Dr Jared Diamond, author of Guns, Germs and Steel, is calling for the preservation of Aboriginal Australian languages due to Australia being "the cradle of modern human behaviour". Linguists should be employed to record all remaining languages to promote the richness of life in Australia before white settlement, he suggests, since Australia is the first continent where modern human behaviour arose 65,000 years ago. There have been people in Australia longer than in Europe. But on the question of languages, Prof. Bob Dixon at Research Centre for Linguistic Topology, sees an impracticality, since about now, 3000 languages are spoken around the world, but at the end of the century, only 300 will be spoken. Languages will suffer a huge attrition around the world. (Reported 15 May 2001)
Life in Australia: "One American hospital spends more (on research) than the entire budget of the Australian Research Council and is a magnet for Australian scientists." That hospital is St. Jude's Children's Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee. (Article by Peter Pockley in The Australian, 1 May 2001)
2001: Item, In 1945 an average 12-year-old in Australia had 25,000 words in his or her vocabulary. Now (2001), apparently, they get by with 10,000 words. (From Australian publisher Hilary McPhee, Spectrum Weekend Edition, The Sydney Morning Herald, 29 April 2001)
"The disease that still
afflicts cultural life
in Australia more than any other... is ... an inability to separate
questions of national identity from an appreciation of the arts.
Every film, every novel, every painting in this country is somehow
expected to reflect us, as a nation. But art isn't suited to carry
such burdens. "
(Sebastian Smee, writing in The Sydney Morning Herald prior to mid-April, 2001)
Lost leader of an art movement?: Lucien Henry was "leader of Australian art and design movement, but his work went missing for most of a century". (Reported by Benjamin Genocchio in The Weekend Australian, 31 March-1 April 2001)
Baby's birth size is significant: New findings: British researchers with Medical Research Council unit, Southampton General Hospital, find that small male babies may be less likely as adults to marry (itself a risk of heart disease), and also more likely to have various social problems. Various conditions of intrauterine life may explain such findings, says an endocrinologist, Dr. David Phillips. The men studied were born in the 1920s. See a recent issue of British Medical Journal (Reported 31 March 2001)
Perfumed sex appeal rises from the ashes of Pompeii: Italian botanist/biologist Anna Maria Ciarelo has been working on recreating the productions of The Perfumerer's House (now in National Archaeology Museum, Naples), of Pompeii (destroyed by volcano in 79AD). Some perfumes used in Pompeii were made from rose, cypress, violet, lily, myrtle, basil. Some aromas are/were named Iris of Corinth, Saffron of Soles, Cyprino, and Pardalium (thought to have been extracted from panthers). The Romans are thought to have adopted Greek preferences for perfume use ("Chanel of Antiquity"), hence the modern use of the word, Chanel). The mild area of Campania near Naples became a production centre for perfume ingredients. Reported (31 March 2001)
Keeping classical music in a non-straitjacket?: In future, part of the training of classical music conductors will be use of a "hypersensitive Lycra jacket wired to play note-perfect orchestral music". Massachusetts Institute of Technology and researcher Dr Teresa Marrin Nakra have been developing a musically-sensitive jacket "which contains sensors over the arms, back and torso that pick up electrical activity from muscles", and also monitor the wearer's heartbeat, all computer-connected. This enables better coordination of the conductor's interpretation of volume, tempo and emotional responsiveness. The computer "penalizes" a trainee conductor for problems such as tenseness. (Reported 31 March 2001)
Mapping the Great Southern Land - Australia: Australia first appeared, inaccurately, on a map about 460 years ago, drawn in 1540 by Sebastian Munster, professor of Hebrew at Basel University. This view of Australia joined Africa to the west to south-east Asia in the east. By 1635, Dutchman Willem Blaeu had drawn India and adjacent islands. This was the first map to depict what is now known as Cape York, and influenced the later work done by Dutchmen Willem Jansz, Dirk Hartog and Gerrit Frederikszoon de Witt. By 1641, a world map by Henricus Hondius showed parts of Cape York associated with "Terra Australis Incognita. The English "privateer" William Dampier mapped the north-western coast of Western Australia in 1729. Some 15 years later, the Englishman Emmanuel Bowen produced the first map showing "only Australia". In 1804, the circumnavigator of the island continent, Matthew Flinders, then held by the French on Mauritius, writing to Sir Joseph Banks in Britain, was the first to suggest use of the name, Australia. (Reported 31 March 2001 in Australia)
In Africa, the uncared-for continent: What are drugs for?: Threatened breach of patents-protection conventions against a drug company by a government, no less, is just one tactic lately used in South America by authorities attempting to cope with an AIDS epidemic. Countries reportedly now in serious trouble with an AIDS epidemic include Brazil, South Africa, Papua New Guinea, and some unnamed South Pacific nations. (Reported 31 March 2001)
New find on human origins: 3.5 million year-old skull found in Northern Kenya, a "flat-faced human skull", with small teeth, possibly ate fruit and insects, two year recovery effort, much info on human origins now needs restudy, the oldest "reasonably complete" human skull ever found. (TV report on 22 March 2001)
2001: Foot and mouth disease in Britain and Europe: El Mundo in Spain remarks: "Foot and mouth disease is, unlike BSE, nothing new. It is something we have lived with in Spain forever. It crops up now and again and is endemic in Morocco, just around the corner. Neither we, nor other Europeans, have reacted with such alarm in the past. The reaction now looks increasingly like collective paranoia." (Reported 17 March 2001)
Surprisingly, the religious rattlesnake handlers of the Appalachian Mountains in the US are not alone. In Southern Italy is held an annual snake festival in the village of Cocullo, in the mountainous Abruzzi region. The villagers display live snakes up to two-metres long, and drape them over a statue of their patron saint, Saint Dominic. Then the snake-draped statue is carried through the town. This festival is held each first Thursday in May. Saint Dominic is said to have rid the area of venomous snakes 1000 years ago. The snakes are actually a local harmless and protected variety, cervona. Till last century the snakes were later killed/beaten to death; now they are released back to the countryside. The festival started as a pagan ritual but was adopted by the Church and given to the St. Dominic day. (Reported in Australia 3 March 2001)
2001: Leonid Meteor Shower "dazzles the world" in 1833 and 1966, returning in 2001, not so spectacular. Each November the Earth enters debris-pattern from Comet Tempel-Tuttle as it orbits the Sun. The Leonid Shower occurs most intensely about every 33 years.
2001: The Taliban controls almost 85 per cent of Afghanistan. Ahmad Shah Masood is killed in a bomb attack.
Kathmandu: Long-Distance Loneliness of the Virgin Goddess: Without explanation of its origins, the belief exists in Kathmandu that each day a pre-pubertal virgin goddess (living Kumari goddess) should appear at a temple window and bless devotees gathered below. The custom of supporting such virgin goddesses, who can be as young as three or four, is funded by government, which pays a pension to former goddesses of about $75 per month. Lately it has also begun paying a monthly maintenance allowance of 6000 rupees to reigning goddesses. Kathmandu has a population of 23 million people, with 90 per cent Hindus and 7 per cent Buddhists. Both faiths revere the goddess, as does King Birenda, who is taken to be an incarnation of the Hindu god Vishnu. Appearing daily to bless devotees, the goddess wears a resplendent golden dress, and on festival days is carried in a palanquin or chariot. The selection process for the goddesses, who must be from Buddhist Shakya families, is secretive and stringent. The girl must have no physical blemishes and be remarkably strong-minded. Goddesses mostly do not marry as men fear marrying a former goddess, hence the need for a pension from government. Today, families are less inclined to allow their daughters to become goddesses, as they would prefer their girls are educated and become employable, rather than live an isolated life. The presently-retiring goddess is aged eleven. (Reported 17 February 2001)
It's the end of civilization as we know it!: A syndrome is now being discussed, due to writer Dr. Charles Murray, who has resurrected some old observations from Arnold Toynbee, a UK historian who was much concerned with how and why civilizations decline. The syndrome is "the proletarianisation of the dominant minority" as discussed in Toynbee's A Study of History, in a chapter titled "Schism in the Soul". A problem arises when the elites begin to imitate the manners and ways of those at the bottom of society, whereas earlier, the unsophisticated majority had imitated the self-confident, stylish elite minority. This amounts to a disavowal of [western] culture and an adoption of what is worst. Some signs are rejection of obligations of citizenship, various sorts of promiscuity along with a vulgarisation of manners, the arts, and language; very bad public use of language (four-letter words); a general coarsening of society's outlook on life. (How much of this is there in your neck of the woods - Ed) (Reported in Australia, 23 May 2001, see Wall Street Journal, 6 February 2001)
2001: Good Manners: Forgotten something? Manners - they're so easy to lose, they need minding. Recalling Nancy Mitford and U and non-U rules. In days when manners were equated with morals. Lives are now more casual. However, the root of the word "casual" also means "accident", which is what manners have suffered these days, becoming casualties. People who bump and don't apologise. Road rage. Queue jumpers. Poor use of mobile telephones. Rewards for behaving badly. Humour becoming progressively lower and more tasteless. Rude emailers. It's becoming a long list. See book by Mark Caldwell, A Short History of Rudeness. Noticed anybody rude lately? Was it you? If not, congratulations! (17 February 2001, Article by Rosalie Higson in The Australian weekend magazine).
Appearance of a new camel?: Nairobi and China: Scientists have perhaps discovered a formerly unidentified species of camel, "a native bactrian of north-eastern China", a wild cousin of a domestic variety. Only 15 of the animals are in captivity in China. The animal - which lives in a clan of probably only 1000 - lives on the edge of the Tibetan mountains, and has two high humps. It inhabits Xinjiang province of China, an area called the Kum Tagh desert, closed off between 1955 and 1996 due to nuclear testing. Oddly, the animal can survive on saltwater arising from sand dunes, which makes physiologists want to know how their liver, kidneys and lungs can withstand "enormous physiological stresses". Researchers discussing the discovery at a recent international conference of the UN in Nairobi, Kenya, include Robert Hepworth, a biodiversity expert with UNEP (UN Environment Program). Team member Kate Rae. John Hare, the head of a Sino-British team of scientists finding the animal, which has of course been known by the indigenous people of Kum Tagh. There is a three per cent genetic difference between domesticated camels and the native bactrians. (Reported in world press 10 February 2001)
February 2001: Death aged 92 in Switzerland of "private and mysterious artist", Balthus. (Count Balthazar Klossowski de Rola) Was his title fabricated. Lived in the Swiss hamlet of Rossiniere where the locals believed he was a retired businessman who painted as a hobby. One of the greatest of the Twentieth Century's figurative painters.
February 2001: UN
acknowledges rape as a crime
against humanity, especially rape during war, as "an instrument
From an article on status of women today world-wide by Amruta Slee in Good Weekend, 9 March 2002, the colour magazine of Sydney Morning Herald.
3.5 million years ago? Millennium Ancestor: Apeman find alters history": (Headline in The Weekend Australian). Palaeontologists have found the remains of an "apeman" about six million years old in Kenya's Rift Valley (Tugen Hills, Baringo District, at the foot of a low basalt cliff by a lake). The remains include teeth, a finger bone, a femur, jaw, arm fragments, and are from up-right walking hominids the size of chimpanzees - the earliest known two-legged hominid? Researchers working on the remains are from the College de France in Paris, France's National Museum of Natural History (Brigette Senut), National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) and the Community Museums of Kenya. This discovery if it is confirmed may mean that "Lucy", the famous skeleton of Kenya believed to be that of an ancestor of Homo Sapiens, was part of a "dead branch" of the human family tree. Millennium Ancestor is three million years older than "Lucy" (australopithecines). An article is forthcoming in the French journal, Comptes Rendus de l'Academie des Sciences. The Millennium Ancestor find was also announced after some feuding with French researchers and rivals, The Baringo Paleontology Project, a collaboration between Yale University and National Museum of Kenya. (Reported 10 February 2001)
1 February 2001, Indonesia: President Wahid urges General Wiranto to resign over allegations that Wiranto has been implicated in violence on East Timor.
Bangladesh: The country's first female
judge, Nazmun Ara Sultana, of the High Court, begins to outlaw fatwas
on women's behaviour as illegal, to be made punishable by an act of
Parliament. Such fatwas can be issued in the dozens in rural areas of
Bangladesh by religious clergy disapproving of women talking to
strange men, inappropriate dress, and punishments can include
flogging, stoning, head-shaving or even execution.
From an article on status of women today world-wide by Amruta Slee in Good Weekend, 9 March 2002, the colour magazine of Sydney Morning Herald.
January 2001: Kuwait:
Women's rights will continue to
be denied till the legislature changes its mind, in the matters of
women's right to vote and run for political office.
From an article on status of women today world-wide by Amruta Slee in Good Weekend, 9 March 2002, the colour magazine of Sydney Morning Herald.
Genetics: "According to a recent genetic study of 1007 male adults, 95 per cent of men of European descent can be traced back to just 10 distinct lineages." (Lost Worlds would like to know more of this.) Cited in a column by Errol Simper, The Weekend Australian, 20-21 January 2001.
January 2001: It has been said that ... This apparent lack of support from within the administration is consistent with reports released last fall by the BBC's Gregg Palast showing that in January 2001 the Bush Administration had issued direct orders to the FBI to curtail investigations of two of Osama bin-Laden's relatives, Omar and Abdullah bin-Laden. The two bin-Ladens had been connected to possible terrorist activities and were living in Falls Church, Va., near CIA headquarters.
Capitalism falters in California: : Is this what Karl Marx meant when he said capitalism would fail due to its internal contradictions? By 21 January 2001, "hundreds of thousands of Californian businesses and homes were left without power due to rolling blackouts". The helpless utilities include Southern Californian Edison and Pacific Gas and Electric. A state of emergency is in place. (But see the later career of ENRON based in Texas)
2001: People Power in the Philippines: People power isolates President Joseph Estrada, who goes quietly. What happens next? Where will he go? (Reported 20 January 2001)
Erotic powers of parsley: Just when you had finally worked out how pheromes work in human love life, along comes news of the powers of parsley. In Longueville, Sydney, lives Dr. Max Lake, winelover and an expert on "the phenomenal powers of parsley", who says that although much parsley is wasted, it produces seductive body odors, androstenone-based, for both sexes. "It takes a few hours to get to the sexual scent (apocrine) glands, but a steady diet of it is virtually certain to procure a result, so to speak. Its medieval herbal reputation was formidable. They understood what we have unlearnt." (Reported 13 January 2001 in Column 8, Sydney Morning Herald)
The Singapore Government now calls for the establishment of an Asian equivalent of the European Union, to enable the region to deal with the challenges and opportunities of a more technological age. Outlining the idea has been Information and Communications Technology Minister Yeo Cheow Tong. His remarks include: ideas of an Asian-based challenge to Silicon Valley in California, Asian countries might be segregated with similar, serious problems which cannot be solved internally. Stemming the brain drain from Asia, facilitating international trade, promoting e-commerce, promoting more free-trade agreements. (Reported 9 January 2001)
World's biggest festival starts on 9 January, 2001, for the next six weeks. The world's biggest festival, in India, at Allahabad (population 1 million), Uttar Praedesh, as 50-70 million Hindus visit for The Greater Urn Festival, or, Great Pitcher Festival, (Maha Kumbh Mela), marking a fight between the gods, a celestial war, at the confluence of the Ganges and two other major rivers, one of which is the Yamun. This festival takes place each twelve years. Bathing in the Ganges is regarded as a great act of absolution. In 1989 the festival attracted 15 million devotees, a world record then for the largest-ever gathering of people. Now, 15 pontoon bridges span the Yamun and Ganges rivers. Smaller Kumbh Mela festivals happen every three years in Allahabad as well as cities on the Ganges, Hardwar, Nashik and Ujjain. Hindu mythology suggest that the Allahabad sites is one of four spots where the gods spilled a drop of the elixir of immortality.
The Mungo Man
controversy on the genetics of human
origins breaks out: Australia was enlivened on 9 January 2001
read reports of far-reaching new research by Australian scientists on
the origins and dispersal of humanity, globally, which counters the
orthodox "Out of Africa" theory of human origins.
The scientific arguments are extremely complicated and multi-disciplinary, but it does seem as though arguments will never be the same again. Crucial to the arguments are views on the origins of Australia's Aboriginal people.
Evidence used is basically some flakes from the skull of Mungo Man, remains found in 1974 in New South Wales by Australian Jim Bowler. Later, Mungo Man (scientifically called LM3) was radiocarbon-dated at about 28,000-32,000 years old, a view which supported opinions that Aboriginals had been in Australia for up to 40,000 years. By the mid-1980s, better radiocarbon-dating techniques pushed LM3's dates to about 36,000BC. In 1999, LM3 again caused excitement, since his dates were more like 58,000BC, or, 56,000-68,000 BP (Before present). This trebled the "human settlement time" of the Australian continent. But other evidence arising by the late 1990s tended to support the "Out of Africa" theory of human origins, which suggests that fully-modern Homo Sapiens arose in Africa, and then dispersed elsewhere, 150,000-100,000 years ago. As they dispersed they displaced (possibly killed?) earlier or more archaic people, Neandertals or the earlier-arising Homo Erectus. However, Mungo Man is anatomically modern, but his DNA does not match ours. His genes are now extinct.
So, by 2001, Australian researchers are proposing a Regional Continuity argument of human origins, which suggests that from about 1.5 million years ago, waves of people began migrating from Africa, becoming "a single evolving species". These forms of humanity continually interbred, and became ourselves. Mungo Man was "a modern man" but his genetic lineage is now extinct, which may in turn suggest that some other human (non-Neanderthal) genetic lines became extinct before modern man appeared between 100,000BC-150,000BC?
Significantly, research on Mungo Man involves analysis of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), which is passed down only the maternal line. However, the argument will continue for a long time. It now seems, Mungo Man's lineage should stand as firmly in the history of humanity as the stockily-built Neanderthal, and Java Man. (Those interested should find a copy of The Australian newspaper, 9 January, 2001)
Australian researchers commenting on or involved in the Mungo Man controversy include:
Prof. Jim Bowler, geomorphologist, School of Earth Sciences, Melbourne University, who in 1974 discovered "Mungo Man" in the Willandra Lakes region of south-western NSW. Thinks that Mungo Man's new dates are too early; that Mungo Man was buried about 43,000 years ago.
Dr. Alan Thorne, anthropologist, Australian National University, Canberra, co-founder of new theory of Regional Continuity. Feels that Australian Aboriginals became a mix of two groups, arriving in Australia about 40,000 years apart. Mungo Man's people came via China/Philippines about 70,000 years ago, the later arrivals came via Indonesia/Java.
Alan Mann, anthropologist, University of Pennsylvania
Gregory Adcock, doctoral student, Australian National University, using facilities of CSIRO Plant Industry, Australia, now at Pierre and Marie Curie University, Paris.
Jim Peacock, molecular biologist/plant geneticist, CSIRO Plant Industry, Australia
Colin Groves, physical anthropologist, Australian National University
John Mitchell, human geneticist, La Trobe University, Melbourne,
Simon Easteal, evolutionary geneticist, Australian National University, John Curtin School of Medical Research
A formal paper will soon be published in US journal, Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences.
Dr. Mike Morwood, University of New England, disputes a date of 60,000 years ago, and thinks as quoted in a newspaper article of 10-1-2001 that Aboriginals came from Indonesia (Timor/Flores), on bamboo rafts about 60,000 years ago. (Dr. Morwood researches Kimberley rock art, northwestern West Australia.)
(Reported cross-media with great excitement in Australia on 9 January 2001)
China ambivalent at beginning of New Millennium: Feeling went hither and thither in China as the New Millennium began. At Badaling, on the Great Wall of China north of Beijing, 500 couples were married in a mass ceremony. But in Beijing, the government cracked down again on the Falun Gong sect, and new measures on "misuse" of the Internet had been earlier discussed. (From reports of 2 January 2001)
Starvation is so rife in North Korea that people are resorting to cannibalism. Human flesh is for sale, according to the foreign maker of a television documentary, Carla Garapedian, of Britain's BBC-Channel Four. (The name of the leader of North Korea by the way is Kim Jong-il. Very ill.) (Reported 2 January 2001)
When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that's amore: Forget this sort of amore in Italy, evidently. Many younger (though not the 60s-70s) Italian men are reportedly too self-absorbed and anxious to bother with being "Latin lovers". Some 60,000 male "confessions" have been surveyed and the results are disastrous for the Italian "Casanova reputation". Some 18 per cent of Italian men aged 18-30 report no sex life at all, and another 20 per cent have serious problems with sexual performance. Men employed in the private sector are more anxious than public sector workers, and gymworkers it seems are overly narcissistic. This website now wonders what a survey on Italian women would reveal? Work from the Italian Institute of Andrology, and one of its directors, Dr. Antonelia Bertozzi. (Andrologists study male diseases.) (Reported 2 January 2001)
On Australians' national sport of the adoration of sporting champions - from an Australian swimming champion: "Our culture suffers from championitis. The consumption of heroes is like psychological fast food - unnourishing and a slow and deadly poison." Swimmer Shane Gould, still Australia's most successful athlete at a single Olympics Games. (Reported by January 2001)
Historic step forward for global justice: Outgoing US president Bill Clinton has unexpectedly authorised the US to sign a treaty which may help to create the world's first permanent international criminal court. The result may well be an ability to hold the world's tyrants accountable for genocide and heinous war crimes. Some 130 countries may agree to establishment of a "UN Court of Crime". (Reported 2 January 2001)
1 January 2001: New Millennium? From 1799, Approx, Editors of The Times newspaper, London, after receiving letters on when the Nineteenth Century would begin, wrote: ..."when the present century ends... is one of the most absurd (questions) that can engage the public attention, and ... it appears plain. The present century will not terminate till January 1, 1801, unless it can be made out that 99 are 100 ... It is a silly, childish discussion, and only exposes the want of brains of those who maintain a contrary opinion to that we have stated."
Only in California: Hollywood now has a 10-room Museum of Death, managed by husband-wife team J. D. Healey and Cathee Shultz. The exhibits display artefacts on both animal and human deaths. The museum is billed as housing "the world's most comprehensive collection of death-related art, videos, memorabilia, artefacts and photographs". (Item discovered in January 2001)
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24 July 2004 and 4 September 2001, White House counter-terrorism expert Richard Clarke writes "an angry memo" to his boss Condoleeza Rice asking whether the US administration really understands the threat now posed by Al-Qai (Reported Weekend Australian, 24-25 July 2004) – Is Al-Qa'ida a big deal, are we serious about dealing with it?" And other re the failure of now-adjudged as a failure of imagination, as concluded by a bi-partisan US report on 9/11 issued just before 17 July 2004.
11 September 2001: Pres Bush to VP Cheney at 9.45am on 11 Sept 2001 - , "Sounds like a minor war going on here , I heard about the Pentagon. We're at war -- somebody's going to pay." (Reported 19-20 June 2004 in Weekend Australian) This issue of the newspaper also quotes recent commission findings: "On the morning of September 11 the existing protocol was unsuited in every respect for what was about to happen."
About December 2000: An Algerian man arrested while crossing the Canadian border with a carload of explosives is part of a terrorist "sleeper cell" activated by Islamic militant Osama bin-Laden. The suspect is named Ahmed Ressam, 33, is regarded as part of a broad, millennium-eve conspiracy to attack US targets as part of a world-wide network of extremists trained, financed and deployed by bin-Laden. (Reported 13 March 2001 in The Australian from Los Angeles Times)
USA is to investigate the FBI, which is to be examined by an internal Justice Dept., the investigation being to determine how a former agent allegedly sold US secrets to Russia for 15 years (since 1985) without being detected. The suspect, arrested on 18 February 2001, is former agent Robert Philip Hanssen, a counter-intelligence expert. (A similar investigation in 1994 led to the reprimand of eleven senior CIA officers in the Aldrich Ames spy case. Ames was a CIA officer who spied for the former Soviet Union for more than eight years. (Reported 13 March 2001)
Israel again rules out human cloning: Israel has dismissed reports that a reproduction team is planning to begin the first cloning of a human being in Israel within a year, while the Health Minister says such experimentation is outlawed. (Reported 13 March 2001)
Child slave ship forced to return to Benin: A ship carrying 250 children thought to have been sold into slavery is on its way back to the West African state of Benin, its capital Cotonou, after two countries have turned it away, police sources have said. The children on board are from Benin and its neighbour, Togo, sold by their poor parents to be used abroad as workers on plantations or as domestic servants. Child slavery persists in West and Central Africa (Benin, Togo, Mali), where children fetch prices as little as AUD$27-$55. (Reported 13 April 2001)
Muslim website hacked: GAZA: Hackers have invaded the internet site of the Muslim militant group, Hamas, and placed pornography on it after the fundamentalist organisation claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing that killed three Israelis. Web surfers trying to access www.hamas.org/ were re-routed automatically to a pay-for-view pornographic website offering fare ranging from "kinky co-eds" to "Latina fetish". Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, spiritual leader of the political wing of Hamas, accused Israeli intelligence of being behind what appeared to be the latest attack in an Israeli-Arab cyberwar on the sidelines of a five-month-old Palestinian uprising. "I'm telling them to die of their own fury," Yassin told Reuters. "They are trying to disfigure the image of Islam and Muslims. "These are the people who are shedding our blood and massacring our people every day, so it is not difficult for them to do something like this. As much as their anger and fire rises, they will try all and crazy ways to extinguish it." Hamas's military wing, the Izz el-deen al-Qassam brigade, says one of its members, a 23-year-old Palestinian, Ahmed Omar Aliyan, carried out the suicide bombing last week in the Israeli seaside city of Netanya. The bomber and two Israeli women and a man were killed in a morning rush-hour blast that triggered a security alert across Israel. No-one claimed responsibility for hacking the Hamas website, which usually carries information opposing Israeli-Palestinian peace moves. Reuters (Reported 13 March 2001)
Russia: Russian Orthodox Church warns off Vatican: Head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Alexy II, has warned the Catholic Church against trying to recruit followers in its territory. He has told a Catholic magazine that relations between the two religions must improve, and that one of the conditions for this would be for the Vatican to stop proselytising. (Reported 13 April 2001)
Artificial brain: Russian scientists claim now to have developed THE first artificial brain, a "neuro-computer" with the same intellectual potential as a human counterpart. It is based on the brain cell (neuron), and performs better than "previous brain models", using new, state-of-the-art findings in nerophysiology and neuromorphology. Involved in the project, scientist Vitaly Valsev, a member of International Academy of Information Science, has said, "This machine needs to be trained like a newborn child. It's extremely important for us to make it a friend, not a criminal or an enemy." (Reported 17 April 2001)
New Zealand: Emotional claptrap versus the beauties of National Symbols: The New Zealand flightless bird the kiwi is now becoming endangered, but someone has noticed that no animal that has been domesticated has ever become extinct. So "roast kiwi" is now being recommended by the already much-criticised Australian ecologist, John Wamsley, who says it is time to ditch the "emotional claptrap" of environmentalists, and to allow private enterprise to save the bird - by farming it for food. NZ Conservation Minister says, "Kentucky Fried Kiwi is not going to be on the menu." Kiwi-eating is not at all popular, and one of the rare reports of what it tastes like is this: "like a piece of pork boiled in an old coffin." (Reported 13 March 2001)
Beginning January 2001: Beginning January 2001 of a period during
which the Bush administration regularly ignored regular security
warnings from the CIA and other departments of an
almost-certain-to-come terrorist attack which would probably, but not
necessarily, occur overseas. Such warnings went to President Bush
each morning for his briefings by CIA director George Tenet. There were
more than 40 such briefings for Bush between
January-September 2001. References included mention of Osama bin-Laden.
Very similar warnings and briefings landed regularly on the desks of up
to 300 various senior national security officials and members of
Congress, but some of them had more sensitive material deleted that
would go only to the President and those nearest him. One warning in
August 2001 warned of hijackings on US soil. The White House was warned
"often and aggressively" during 2001. Questions arise about warnings
which went to the desk of National Security Advisor, Condoleeza Rice.
There are no records suggesting that Rice made special efforts to
discuss such warnings with President Bush. She did not meet with FBI
director Louis Freeh or with his temporary successor, acting-director
Tom Pickard. Indications are that Rice was little interested in the
warnings. On the very day of 9/11, Rice indeed was scheduled to deliver
a speech on contemporary threats, not the threats of yesterday. Most of
the speech was ranged around plans for a missile defense system, not
threats from terrorism. But one figure who did leave a significant
paper trail on matters was Richard Clarke, counter terrorism director,
National Security Council. Clarke had repeatedly visited significant
figures and warned them of significant threats looming. Rice apparently
rebuffed Clarke, having taken advice from Philip Zelikow .
Some chronology is helpful. 20 April; bib-Laden planning multiple
operations; 3 May, bin-Laden public profile may presage attack; 23 May,
Terrorist groups said to be co-operating on US hostage plot; 26 May,
Bin-Laden's networks have plans advancing; 23 June, bin-Laden attacks
may be imminent; 25 June, bin-Laden and associates making near-term
threats; 30 June, bin-Laden planning high-profile attacks, threats are
real; 2 July, Planning for bin-Laden attacks continues, despite delays.
On 4 September, Clarke sent Rice a memo which came near to predicting
what would actually happen (on 9/11 as it happened). And on 15 May,
2002, CBS network would report that a daily briefing given to Bush a
few weeks before 9/11 warned him (Bush) specifically about threat of a
domestic hijacking by al-Qaeda; FBI had reported surveillance of
government buildings in New York by possible terrorists. It even
appears that before 9/11, Dept of Defence had conducted drills for
staff based on the scenario of a plane-as-missile attack on the
Pentagon itself. (Item based on
article, "They knew, but
did nothing", Sydney Morning Herald, 8-9 March, 2008 by Philip Shenon
from his 2008-new book, The Commission: The Uncensored History of the
9/11 Investigation. Little Brown, 2008. Historian for the Commission's work has been Warren Bass.)
4 September 2001, White House counter-terrorism expert Richard Clarke writes "an angry memo" to his boss Condoleeza Rice asking whether the US administration really understands the threat now posed by Al-Qai (Reported W/End Australian, 24-25 July 2004) – (?) Is Al-Qa'ida a big deal, are we serious about dealing with it?" And the failure of now adjudged as a failure of imagination, as concluded by a bi-partisan US report on 9/11 issued just before 17 July 2004.
2004 "Last week The New York Times published a series of article in which the editors were concerned that their support for the war on Iraq was a mistake. The Arab media should concede the crime they have committed against the Iraqi people: the long silence vis-à-vis the practices of the former Iraqi regime. The silence was a perpetual crime committed by the Arab media which tended to go out of their way to appease not only the regime under which they operate but every other Arab government as well. The overriding viewpoint in the Arab media is that an objective treatment of issues will undermine their Arab relations." (Al-Ahran, Cairo, 8-14 July 2004)
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