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FBI agent 'warned of hijack risk' An FBI agent has told the sentencing trial of Zacarias Moussaoui that his attempts to warn of a possible hijack plan were obstructed by his superiors. - But despite his entreaties, FBI headquarters refused to open a criminal investigation and obtain a search warrant for Moussaoui's possessions, Mr Samit said. (BBC)
Terrorism stop and search 'valid' Police patrolling in London Police used the powers at a demonstration in London The use by police of anti-terror laws to stop and search demonstrators at an east London arms fair was valid, the House of Lords has ruled (BBC)
The Most Powerful Bank You've Never Heard Of Chances are, though, that you've never even heard of what is arguably the most powerful financial institution on earth, the Bank for International Settlements (BIS). - A banker's bank, the BIS does no direct business with individuals, governments, or corporate entities. Instead, it deals solely with member nations' central banks (most of which are privately owned). There are 55 of them at present, and the list includes every central bank of consequence in the world. (Investors Insight)
First experimental demonstration of the multipotential carcinogenic effects of aspartame administered in the feed to Sprague-Dawley rats. Abstract
The Cesare Maltoni Cancer Research Center of the European Ramazzini Foundation has conducted a long-term bioassay on aspartame (APM), a widely used artificial sweetener. APM was administered with feed to 8-week-old Sprague-Dawley rats (100-150/sex/group), at concentrations of 100,000, 50,000, 10,000, 2,000, 400, 80, or 0 ppm. The treatment lasted until natural death, at which time all deceased animals underwent complete necropsy. Histopathologic evaluation of all pathologic lesions and of all organs and tissues collected was routinely performed on each animal of all experimental groups. The results of the study show for the first time that APM, in our experimental conditions, causes a) an increased incidence of malignant-tumor-bearing animals with a positive significant trend in males (p < or = 0.05) and in females (p < or = 0.01), in particular those females treated at 50,000 ppm (p < or = 0.01); b) an increase in lymphomas and leukemias with a positive significant trend in both males (p < or = 0.05) and females (p < or = 0.01), in particular in females treated at doses of 100,000 (p < or = 0.01), 50,000 (p < or = 0.01), 10,000 (p < or = 0.05), 2,000 (p < or = 0.05), or 400 ppm (p < or = 0.01); c) a statistically significant increased incidence, with a positive significant trend (p < or = 0.01), of transitional cell carcinomas of the renal pelvis and ureter and their precursors (dysplasias) in females treated at 100,000 (p < or = 0.01), 50,000 (p < or = 0.01), 10,000 (p < or = 0.01), 2,000 (p < or = 0.05), or 400 ppm (p < or = 0.05); and d) an increased incidence of malignant schwannomas of peripheral nerves with a positive trend (p < or = 0.05) in males. The results of this mega-experiment indicate that APM is a multipotential carcinogenic agent, even at a daily dose of 20 mg/kg body weight, much less than the current acceptable daily intake. On the basis of these results, a reevaluation of the present guidelines on the use and consumption of APM is urgent and cannot be delayed. (European Ramazzini Foundation)
The White House memo Revealed: Bush and Blair discussed using American Spyplane in UN colours to lure Saddam into war - Channel 4 News tonight reveals extraordinary details of George Bush and Tony Blair's pre-war meeting in January 2003 at which they discussed plans to begin military action on March 10th 2003, irrespective of whether the United Nations had passed a new resolution authorising the use of force.
Channel 4 News has seen minutes from that meeting, which took place in the White House on 31 January 2003. The two leaders discussed the possibility of securing further UN support, but President Bush made it clear that he had already decided to go to war. The details are contained in a new version of the book 'Lawless World' written by a leading British human rights lawyer, Philippe Sands QC.
President Bush said that:
"The US would put its full weight behind efforts to get another resolution and would 'twist arms' and 'even threaten'. But he had to say that if ultimately we failed, military action would follow anyway.''
Prime Minister Blair responded that he was: "solidly with the President and ready to do whatever it took to disarm Saddam." (Channel 4)
Postage Is Due for Companies Sending E-Mail Companies will soon have to buy the electronic equivalent of a postage stamp if they want to be certain that their e-mail will be delivered to many of their customers.
America Online and Yahoo, two of the world's largest providers of e-mail accounts, are about to start using a system that gives preferential treatment to messages from companies that pay from 1/4 of a cent to a penny each to have them delivered. The senders must promise to contact only people who have agreed to receive their messages, or risk being blocked entirely.
The Internet companies say that this will help them identify legitimate mail and cut down on junk e-mail, identity-theft scams and other scourges that plague users of their services. They also stand to earn millions of dollars a year from the system if it is widely adopted. (New York Times)
Cold Front: Hurricane Debate Shatters Civility Of Weather Science --
Worsened by Global Warming? Spats Are So Tempestuous, Sides Are Barely Talking
-- Charge of 'Brain Fossilization' The 2,000-plus scientists at this week's annual meeting of the American Meteorological Society had plenty to talk about, from last year's droughts to flash floods and wildfires. But the biggest question at the meeting in Atlanta -- why last hurricane season was the worst since recordkeeping began 151 years ago -- was almost too hot to handle.
William Gray, America's most prominent hurricane scientist and an ardent foe of the belief that global warming has worsened hurricanes, was supposed to join a panel discussing the storms. So was Greg Holland of the National Center on Atmospheric Research -- who disagrees with Dr. Gray. But the organizers withdrew the invitations after deciding the dispute had grown so nasty it was too risky to put the two in the same room.
"It was looking like it would totally dominate everything else," says Joe Schaefer, a planner and the director of the National Weather Service's Storm Prediction Center. (Wall Street Journal)
Afghan opium: License to kill Indeed, in a 2004 interview, Doris Buddenberg, the head of UNODC in Afghanistan, said, "Eradication usually does not bring about a sustainable reduction of poppy crop - it is a one-time, short-term effort. Also eradication usually pushes the prices up. As we have seen from the Taliban period, the one-year ban on opium-poppy cultivation increased prices enormously the following year and it became extremely attractive for farmers to cultivate poppy." (Asia Times)
The End of the Internet? The nation's largest telephone and cable companies are crafting an alarming set of strategies that would transform the free, open and nondiscriminatory Internet of today to a privately run and branded service that would charge a fee for virtually everything we do online.
Verizon, Comcast, Bell South and other communications giants are developing strategies that would track and store information on our every move in cyberspace in a vast data-collection and marketing system, the scope of which could rival the National Security Agency. According to white papers now being circulated in the cable, telephone and telecommunications industries, those with the deepest pockets--corporations, special-interest groups and major advertisers--would get preferred treatment. Content from these providers would have first priority on our computer and television screens, while information seen as undesirable, such as peer-to-peer communications, could be relegated to a slow lane or simply shut out.
Under the plans they are considering, all of us--from content providers to individual users--would pay more to surf online, stream videos or even send e-mail. Industry planners are mulling new subscription plans that would further limit the online experience, establishing "platinum," "gold" and "silver" levels of Internet access that would set limits on the number of downloads, media streams or even e-mail messages that could be sent or received. (The Nation)
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