KC GlobeNews FEBRUARY 2003 Special Vol.4, No.2

Current events, trends, travel, politics, eco and tech topics.

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CONTENTS
2002 YEAR OF EXTREME NATURAL DISASTERS
JESUS AND THE FDA
REUSING GREETING CARDS
MARINE MAMMAL MASH
THIRD WORLD TRAVELER
FUELING TERRORISM
GREEN PARTY = EVIL
BANANAS FACE EXTINCTION
ONLINE TRAVEL ADVICE

============
!!GLOBALERT!!
============
2002 YEAR OF EXTREME NATURAL DISASTERS
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
2002 was a year of extremes, from record windstorms to severe rain and floods. A result of nature's rage is not only the loss of life but an economic toll adding up to billions of dollars:

* 11,000 people throughout the world were killed;
* The number of natural catastrophes recorded was around 700, above the average for the 1990s, which is 650;
* There were 70 loss-producing earthquakes, generating losses of around $1 billion. The most severe occurred in Afghanistan;
* Windstorms and floods top the list for most costly natural catastrophes, dominating insurance industry claims.

The outstanding natural hazard of 2002 was major flooding on the Danube, Elbe, Moldova, and tributaries. The worst flooding in Europe for centuries.

What's in store for the future?

Buildings and infrastructure are usually not designed to cope with extreme weather. Extreme wind speeds and precipitation are being exceeded with increasing frequency.

2002 was, along with 1998, the warmest year since temperature readings began - evidence of the unbroken trend of global warming.

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JESUS AND THE FDA
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
A battle is raging over the US government plan to appoint a scantily credentialed doctor to head an influential Food and Drug Administration (FDA) panel on women's health policy.

Dr. W. David Hager is an OB/GYN who describes himself as "pro-life" and refuses to prescribe contraceptives to unmarried women.

Dr Hager's writings include "Stress and the Woman's Body," which puts "an emphasis on the restorative power of Jesus Christ in one's life" and recommends specific Scripture readings and prayers for such ailments as headaches and PMS. He also wrote a book titled "As Jesus Cared for Women: Restoring Women Then and Now".

FDA senior associate commissioner Linda Arey Skladany, a former drug-industry lobbyist with longstanding ties to the Bush family, chose him for the post.

Read the article in TIME Magazine:
http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,361521,00.html

==============
THE GOOD NEWS
==============
REUSING GREETING CARDS
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Do you still have your Christmas cards hanging on the wall? I know I do!

Would you like to do something useful with your holiday greeting cards?

Don't throw them away! They can be recycled and re-used through:

Saint Jude's Ranch for Children
100 Saint Jude St.
Boulder City, Nevada
89005

Details at their website:
http://stjudesranch.org/

MARINE MAMMAL MASH
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Nestled in the lush hills of the Marin Headlands only minutes north of the Golden Gate Bridge is a hospital for ocean mammals. It's a kind of volunteer MASH unit for sea lions, seals, whales and dolphins.

Injured and stranded animals found along the central California coastline are captured and brought to the center for rehabilitation. Specifically the Center cares for local pinnipeds (sea lions, elephant seals and harbor seals) and cetaceans (dolphins, porpoises and whales).

The animals are treated and housed in large outdoor cages with fiberglass pools containing unheated freshwater (they would be too hot in warm water or indoors). Half of the animals brought to the Center are healed and released back into the wild.

The Center has 800 active volunteers and 40 paid staff members. Funding is provided by memberships and contributions from individuals, foundations and corporations.

Bay Area residents who volunteer will meet plenty of other folks who are concerned for wildlife and our ocean environment.

If you're a San Francisco tourist plan on a visit. Public visitation is from 10 am to 4 pm daily and it's FREE! Group tours can also be arranged.

The Marine Mammal Center
http://www.tmmc.org/

 

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GLOBESITES
==========
THIRD WORLD TRAVELER
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Although the name is not entirely fitting, and the layout is functional at best, the THIRD WORLD TRAVELER site has a fascinating wealth of unusual eye opening political information... and it even has third world travel tips. Prepare to be challenged!

Third World Traveler
http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/

 

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----------------------------
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=========
GlobeNews
=========
FUELING TERRORISM
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Americans are the architects of their own "tar baby" embroilment with Islamic terrorists over its growing need for oil.

The more the United States reaches for import oil and fight for it, the more the U.S. is fostering growing terrorism.

Over the past 30 years the U.S. has ignored the call to achieve energy efficiency and ignored the call to move in a big way to renewable energy sources that are domestic and diverse. The U.S. refuses to lower it energy transportation consumption, characterized by lack of controls over the growing use of gas-guzzling vehicles.

The U.S. has built poor energy policies, including Cheney's latest irresponsible "National Energy Policy." These policies, built on oil, have resulted in resource wars and deaths that weren't necessary.

The U.S. appetite for imported oil has grown from two per cent in 1940 in 1950 to 53 percent in 2001. The U.S. accounts for about 25 per cent of global oil consumption but has only 3 per cent of the proven global oil reserves. The United States consumes about 19.4 million barrels of oil per day, of which it imports 10 million barrels per day.

In the 1970's, the American environmentalist Amory Lovins, and Canadian environmentalist Dr. David Brooks provided advice and wrote reports for governments on the need to get off of imported oil - for energy security reasons. Their advice, based on taking "a soft energy path," was to:

* stop energy wastage and redirect the saved energy to other users
* develop alternative energy and fuel sources to take the pressure off the need for oil
* develop multiple North American-based energy sources that would provide a
diverse, resilient and secure energy supply
* reduce U.S. oil dependency on outside sources to less than 10 per cent

See the Amory and Hunter Lovins' Rocky Mountain Institute website:
http://www.rmi.org/sitepages/pid306.php .


GREEN PARTY = EVIL
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Art dealer Doug Stuber ran Ralph Nader's Green Party presidential campaign in North Carolina in 2000. In a recent no-fly nightmare he was pulled out of a boarding line and grounded. About to make an important trip to Prague he was told (with ticket in hand) that he was not allowed to fly that day.

Asking "why not?" he was told at Raleigh-Durham airport that because of the sniper attacks, no GREENS were allowed to fly overseas on that day.

The next morning he returned, and instead of paying $670 he was forced into a $2,600 "same day" air fare.

But it's what happened to Stuber during the next 24 hours that is even more disturbing.

Stuber arrived at the airport at 6 AM. His flight wasn't until six hours later. Just before boarding he was approached by police officer Stanley (same policeman who ushered him out of the airport the day before), who said that he "wanted to talk" to him.

Officer Stanley took Stuber into a room and questioned him for an hour. Stanley introduced him to two Secret Service agents. The agents took full eye-open pictures of Stuber with a digital camera. They asked him details about his family, where he lived, who he ever knew, what the Greens are up to...

At one point Stuber asked if they believed Greens were equal to al Qaeda. They showed him a Justice Department document that actually shows the Greens as likely terrorists -- just as likely as al Qaeda members.

Did Doug ever make it on his plane? To find out read the full article here:
http://www.alternet.org/print.html?StoryID=14884

 

=============
FUTURE IS NOW
=============
BANANAS FACE EXTINCTION
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The banana hasn't had sex in years and its days may be numbered.

Without scientific help the sterile, seedless fruit could disappear within 10 years.

The fruit lacks the genetic diversity to fight off diseases and pests that are plaguing banana plantations and only biotechnology and genetic manipulation may be able to save it.

Without assistance banana production could drop and mark the beginning of the end of the fruit.

We may even see the extinction of the banana as both a lifesaver for hungry and impoverished Africans and as the most popular product on the world's supermarket shelves.

Source; New Scientist
http://www.newscientist.com

 

======
NetTips
======
ONLINE TRAVEL ADVICE
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Ready to get out of town but not sure you're properly prepared for your trip?

Try these sites for travel advice!

Travel-Library
http://www.Travel-Library.com
Personal travelogues, trip reports, and worldwide tourist information, including a "Round-The-World Travel Guide"

Airline information on-line on the Internet FAQ
http://www.faqs.org/faqs/travel/air/online-info/
All you need to know about schedules, fares, reservations, and tickets for commercial airlines, and on-line travel agents

Tips4Trips
http://www.tips4trips.com
Over a thousand tips, dozens of categories (e.g. PACKING, LAPTOP COMPUTERS, JUST FOR MEN/WOMEN)

Thanks to all who wrote in! And to everyone else, speak up!

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THE PUNCH LINE
==============
"The nuclear bomb is the most anti-democratic, anti-national, anti-human, outright evil thing that man has ever made. If you are religious, then remember that this bomb is Man's challenge to god. It's worded quite simply: We have the power to destroy everything that You have created."
Arundhati Roy

"The people of the world genuinely want peace. Some day the leaders of the world are going to have to give in and give it to them."
Dwight Eisenhower

 



KC GlobeNews JANUARY 2003 New Year Special Vol.4, No.1

Current events, trends, travel, politics, eco and tech topics.


CONTENTS
IRAQ SANCTIONS
FIGHT WITH PC BRINGS SWAT TEAM
BARTCOP POLITICAL HUMOR
DIGITAL NEWS ARCHIVE
ANOTHER STAR TREK DEVICE
POWERS OF TEN
DIETS AND DYING


============
!!GLOBALERT!!
============
IRAQ SANCTIONS
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Here is the summary of a paper entitled "Iraq Sanctions: Humanitarian Implications and Options for the Future" by the Global Policy Forum.

1. Introduction
The Security Council is the United Nations' most powerful body. It has "primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security." Five powerful countries sit as "permanent members" along with ten other member states, elected for two-year terms. Since 1990, the Council has dramatically increased its activity and it now meets in nearly continuous session. It dispatches military operations, imposes economic sanctions, mandates arms inspections, deploys human rights and election monitors and more.

The Security Council has maintained comprehensive economic sanctions on Iraq since August 1990. The international community increasingly views the sanctions as illegitimate and punitive, because of well-documented humanitarian suffering in Iraq and widespread doubts about the sanctions' effectiveness and their legal basis under international humanitarian and human rights law.

2. A Flawed Policy
In the early 1990s, many policy makers saw comprehensive economic sanctions, imposed under Resolution 687, as an ethical and non-violent policy tool. Though Iraq sanctions produced some significant disarmament results, they failed to achieve all their policy goals and they have deeply harmed powerless and vulnerable Iraqi citizens. The Security Council implicitly accepts such a negative assessment, since it no longer uses comprehensive economic sanctions in other security crises.

3. Warnings of Civilian Harm
Civilian suffering in Iraq is not an unexpected collateral effect, but a predictable result of the sanctions policy. Security Council members have received warnings of the humanitarian emergency in Iraq and the damage done by sanctions since shortly after the Gulf War. Warnings have come from three Secretary Generals, many UN officials and agencies including UNICEF, WHO and WFP, and two Humanitarian Coordinators who have resigned in protest. A Select Committee of the UK House of Commons offered a very negative judgment as well.

4. Causes of Suffering
Sanctions are not the sole cause of human suffering in Iraq. The government of Iraq bears a heavy burden of responsibility due to the wars it has started, its lack of cooperation with the Security Council, its domestic repression, and its failure to use limited resources fairly. However, the UN Security Council shares responsibility for the humanitarian crisis. The United States and the United Kingdom, who use their veto power to prolong the sanctions, bear special responsibility for the UN action. No-fly zones, periodic military attacks, and threats of regime-change block peaceful outcomes, as do vilification of Saddam Hussein, pro-sanctions propaganda, and other politicization of the crisis. Though real concerns about Iraq's security threat undoubtedly are legitimate, commercial interests, especially control over Iraq's oil resources, appear to be a driving force behind much of the policy making.

5. Oil-for-Food
Sanctions advocates proposed Oil-for-Food under Resolution 986 as a temporary solution to the humanitarian crisis. Oil-for-Food materially improved conditions in Iraq in contrast to the early days of the sanctions. But Oil-for-Food failed to resolve the humanitarian crisis, much less provide a long-term solution for Iraq. Punitive deductions for war reparations weaken the program as do unacceptable delays in delivery (less than 60%f of all items ordered from oil sales since December 1996 have actually arrived in Iraq). Politically motivated blocks and "holds," imposed almost entirely by the United States, have plagued the program as well. Consequently, there has been little repair and renewal of Iraq's badly-deteriorated infrastructure, including water treatment, electricity, and public health. Oil-for-Food has failed to improve sufficiently the nutrition and health of Iraqi citizens, who continue to suffer from conditions drastically worse than the pre-sanctions period. Less than $200 per year per capita has arrived in Iraq under the program. Studies have amply documented a substantial rise in mortality of children, five years of age and under and credible estimates suggest that at least 400,000 of these young children have died due to the sanctions. Various reforms, including Resolution 1284 have proven ineffective in addressing these problems.

6. Smart Sanctions?
The United States and the United Kingdom recently proposed "smart sanctions" as an answer to critics. This reform, embodied in Security Council Resolution 1409, offers small improvements, but it has little in common with the "targeted sanctions" that experts have proposed in recent years. Targeted sanctions would directly impact Iraq's leaders, by freezing their assets and preventing their international travel, without damage to ordinary Iraqis. Resolution 1409 is grossly inadequate as a solution to the Iraq crisis. The enormous Goods Review List of items with possible military use suggests further blockage of goods and delays, as well as disappointingly little substantial advance. Meanwhile, a dispute over pricing methods has greatly reduced Iraq's oil sales, drastically depleting the funds of the humanitarian program, while the United States threatens to attack Iraq and impose a change of regime.

7. International Law
The Security Council has clear obligations under international human rights and humanitarian law, which provide means to assess its sanctions record. A number of policy papers by UN agencies and bodies, as well as studies by legal scholars, have determined that the Council is in serious violation of its responsibilities in the case of Iraq. The Council has committed both procedural and substantive violations, by failing to conduct regular assessments of the humanitarian impact of the sanctions and by directly violating a number of important rights including the rights of children to protection and the right to life itself.

8. Conclusion & Policy Recommendations
A solution to the crisis in Iraq must be based on a comprehensive agreement between the United Nations and the Government of Iraq in which many important and interrelated issues would be addressed. The United Nations must begin with five steps:
* Comprehensive economic sanctions must be lifted,
* The UN "escrow account" must be eliminated,
* Free trade (excepting military goods) must be re-established,
* Foreign investments in Iraq must be permitted, and
* Foreign assets of Iraq must be unfrozen so as to normalize its external economic relations

Such change will not be free of risk. The government of Iraq cannot be counted on to make benign and peaceful policy choices, or to promote automatically the well-being of its people. In this context
* Robust weapons monitoring must be reintroduced, to insure disarmament and eliminate production programs for mass destruction weapons,
* Disarmament in Iraq must be complemented by regional approaches to disarmament, especially elimination of mass destruction weapons and weapons programs in other regional states

The Government of Iraq must give firm assurances to the international community, as a part of reciprocal undertakings, that
* It will renounce all plans to buy, build or use weapons of mass destruction and related delivery systems
* It will cooperate fully with ongoing UN arms inspection arrangements
* It will establish friendly and cooperative relations with neighboring countries
* It will take all necessary steps to address the humanitarian emergency as soon as funds become available to do so
* It will honor minority rights, including offering special status to the Kurdish areas, and it will take steps to honor its human rights obligations.

If the government of Iraq fails at any time to provide adequate means for inspection and arms control, then:
* Narrowly-targeted sanctions, including financial and travel penalties, should be directed at Iraq's leaders,
* Time limits must be part of such a new sanctions regime,
* Clear criteria for lifting and modification must also be part of the new sanctions regime,
* Regular humanitarian assessments must also be part of the new sanctions as well, so that the Council will be aware of any possible impact on the broader Iraqi population.

If Iraq is to return to normalcy, and if it is to be persuaded to agree to international accords, it must be freed from constant military pressure, threats and intimidation. The Security Council's decisions, not unilateral action by one or two powerful states, must prevail. In this framework
* "No-Fly zones" must be eliminated and aerial threats and attacks halted,
* Unilateral military attacks must be ruled out as completely unacceptable and illegal, and
* Other efforts directed towards "regime change," including force build-ups, military aid to opposition forces, and covert destabilization and assassination campaigns must cease.

Further elements in the design for post-sanctions Iraq are also required, in order to address immediate humanitarian concerns, long-term development needs and safeguards for minorities. In such a framework:
* Emergency relief, to bring a speedy end to the human suffering, must be put in place with the help of the international community,
* Large-scale physical reconstruction, to build a new infrastructure for Iraq, must be set in motion, including foreign investments, and
* Safeguards for minorities such as the Kurds must be introduced, including federative structures and possibly a UN presence to monitor and promote human rights in the post-sanctions era.

Source: Global Policy Forum
http://www.globalpolicy.org/security/sanction/


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==============
THE GOOD NEWS
==============
FIGHT WITH PC BRINGS SWAT TEAM
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
A 32-year-old Boulder, CO man who had his patio door open was overheard screaming threats and seen waving what appeared to be a handgun, prompting a maintenance worker to call police.

Officers evacuated the man's apartment building and called SWAT officers.

Turns out that the man was simply upset at his computer - he called it a "bitch" he "wanted to kill," police said - and the gun was a plastic pellet gun, not the .45-caliber automatic handgun it was made to resemble.

"It was alarming and concerning and expensive for us, but the man's conduct didn't warrant any criminal charges," Deputy Police Chief Dave Hayes said.

Hundreds of people driving nearby were detoured as police officers directed traffic to keep residents of the complex from going home. Many people watched from sidewalks...

So be nice to you computer!


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GLOBESITES
==========
BARTCOP POLITICAL HUMOR
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
This political humor site starts by saying:

"It's not for everyone...
If you like war, recession and the rich getting richer you're not going to like what you read here"

Then it explains what you'll find:

POLITICS-SARCASM-FINE TEQUILA-VEGAS
HUMOR-SPORTS-GARBAGE-ENTERTAINMENT

BARTCOP:
http://www.bartcop.com/


KC WEBSITE HOSTING
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=========
GlobeNews
=========
DIGITAL NEWS ARCHIVE
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
[Thanks RC!]
Did you happen to witness the Great Depression?

Or, perhaps you were there for the ominous rise of Hitler?

Maybe you even shared in the excitement at the first atom-bomb test?

If not, look at British Pathe Film Archive! The site provides digitized archives of news, sport, social history and entertainment films.

Old newsreels made new:
http://www.iht.com/articles/82861.html

BRITISH PATHE
http://www.britishpathe.com


=============
FUTURE IS NOW
=============
ANOTHER STAR TREK DEVICE
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

You've seen a universal translator on shows like Star Trek, but now similar translating devices are being deployed in military situations here on contemporary Earth.

U.S. troops have handheld computers designed to enable quick translations of time-sensitive intelligence from some of the world's most difficult tongues, such as Arabic, Kurdish and Farsi - normally a painstaking task.

The devices, some already tested in the Balkans and Afghanistan, range from Palm-style handhelds that use English-language cues to play prerecorded foreign phrases, to a two-way voice translator that allows speakers of different languages to "hold a shaky conversation."

Army intelligence has also purchased 1,500 briefcase-sized document scanners that can make on-the-spot translations of written words from such languages as Dari, Pashto and Arabic.

The portable devices are one facet of a broad machine translation effort that combines private industry and universities with military, intelligence and police under the Language and Speech Exploitation Resources, or LASER, a program taking on one of the toughest challenges in computing. The head of that program believes that universal voice translations that go beyond narrow military confines will take decades to perfect.

The development of a real Star Trek-like "universal translator" appears to be only a few decades away, but let's hope by then it will be deployed in a much more peaceful context.


======
NetTips
======
POWERS OF TEN
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Have you ever seen that video animation where they show a human standing on earth and then they zoom out until they show the entire earth and then the entire solar system and ultimately you see entire galaxies. Then they shift into reverse and start zooming in until they are back on earth on a human scale again?

Well here is a website that has a similar animation where you can view the Milky Way at 10 million light years from the Earth. Then you move through space towards the Earth in successive orders of magnitude until you reach a tree. After that, begin to move from the actual size of a leaf into a microscopic world that reveals leaf cell walls, the cell nucleus, chromatin, DNA and finally, into the subatomic universe of electrons and protons.

POWERS OF TEN
http://micro.magnet.fsu.edu/primer/java/scienceopticsu/powersof10/


Thanks to all who wrote in! And to everyone else, speak up!


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
GlobeNews by Kahl Consultants
Visit us: http://www.kahl.net/globenews
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

THE PLUG
========
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Technology. Use it appropriately. Put it in our hands.
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You got this far, so you obviously enjoyed GlobeNews.
Please pass it on! Remember, the best things in life are free.

THE PUNCH LINE
==============
DIETS AND DYING
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The Japanese eat very little fat and suffer fewer heart attacks than the British or Americans.

The French eat a lot of fat and also suffer fewer heart attacks than the British or Americans.

The Japanese drink very little red wine and suffer fewer heart attacks than the British or Americans.

The Italians drink excessive amounts of red wine and also suffer fewer heart attacks than the British or Americans.

CONCLUSION:

Eat and drink what you like. Speaking English is apparently what kills you.