Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.

European Breakfast - Sept. 10

by Fran Sat Sep 10th, 2005 at 12:53:04 AM EST

“The thought manifests as the word;

The word manifests as the deed;

The deed develops into habit;

And habit hardens into character;

So watch the thought and its ways with care,

And let it spring from love

Born out of concern for all beings.”

The Buddha

Human brain still evolving, gene-tracking study suggests - Most significant changes may have arisen at points of great cultural achievement

WASHINGTON - The human brain may still be evolving.

So suggests new research that tracked changes in two genes thought to help regulate brain growth, changes that appeared well after the rise of modern humans 200,000 years ago.

That the defining feature of humans -- our large brains -- continued to evolve as recently as 5,800 years ago, and may be doing so today, promises to surprise the average person, if not biologists.

"We, including scientists, have considered ourselves as sort of the pinnacle of evolution," noted lead researcher Bruce Lahn, a University of Chicago geneticist whose studies appear in today's edition of the journal Science.

"There's a sense we as humans have kind of peaked," agreed Greg Wray, director of Duke University's Center for Evolutionary Genomics. "A different way to look at is it's almost impossible for evolution not to happen."

They must have missed the memo that there is not evolution. :-)

by Fran on Sat Sep 10th, 2005 at 12:57:46 AM EST
Here a link with more detailed information: Human brains enjoy ongoing evolution

The human brain may still be evolving, new research suggests. New variants of two genes that control brain development have swept through much of the human population during the last several thousand years, biologists have found.

The evolution of a large, complex brain has been the defining feature of the human lineage - although human brain size has not changed over the past 200,000 years. But it is not apparent whether the new genetic adaptations discovered in human brains have any effect on brain size, or intelligence.

What is more, not everyone possesses the new gene variants, potentially inflaming an already controversial debate about whether brains of different groups of people function differently.

"Whatever advantage these genes give, some groups have it and some don't. This has to be the worst nightmare for people who believe strongly there are no differences in brain function between groups," says anthropologist John Hawks of the University of Wisconsin in Madison, US.

by Fran on Sat Sep 10th, 2005 at 01:00:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Mahathir calls US, UK terrorist nations
US and British pilots whose bombs killed Iraqi civilians were murderers, and actions taken by those two countries during the invasion and occupation of Iraq amounted to terrorism, former Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohamad has said.
Several British and US diplomats walked out in protest of Mahathir's broadside against their countries in a speech at a national conference in Kuala Lumpur on human rights on Friday.

Mahathir, who ruled Malaysia for 22 years before retiring in 2003, also defended his human-rights record in government. He was often criticised for detaining suspects without trial under a security law and for the imprisonment of former deputy prime minister Anwar Ibrahim.

Mahathir decried the deaths of thousands of Iraqi civilians as a result of the US-led military invasion and occupation. He compared American and British actions in Iraq to rocket attacks by Israel on Palestinians, and referred to those countries as "these terrorist nations".

by Fran on Sat Sep 10th, 2005 at 01:01:07 AM EST
EU ministers discuss climate change impact on farming

The possibility of environ-mental disaster, which could tear the European Union apart and leave much of its farmland abandoned while the rich retreat to gated rural communities, will be presented to Europe's agriculture and environment ministers this weekend, to stimulate action on tackling climate change.

Margaret Beckett, the UK's environment secretary, who will chair the informal meeting under the British presidency, said the EU's agriculture and environment ministers had never before discussed the likely impact of climate change on European farming.

She told the FT: "The [EU's] environment council rarely gives much thought to agriculture, and agriculture almost never thinks about climate change."

The European Environment Agency has prepared a report for the meeting, to be attended by nearly 50 ministers, that will outline some of the possible results of climate change in Europe. These range from the relatively mild to the disastrous, but the best outcomes are from those models in which action is taken promptly by the EU in order to mitigate climate change, and to help people and businesses to adapt to its effects.

Bold mine. I find that absolutely amazing that this topic has so far not been seriously discussed in Brussels.

by Fran on Sat Sep 10th, 2005 at 01:07:06 AM EST
World summit on UN's future heads for chaos - UK leads last minute effort to rein in US objections

The British government is mounting a huge diplomatic effort this weekend to prevent the biggest-ever summit of world leaders, designed to tackle poverty and overhaul the United Nations, ending in chaos.
The Guardian has learned that Jack Straw, the foreign secretary, has made a personal plea to his American counterpart, Condoleezza Rice, for the US to withdraw opposition to plans for wholesale reform of the UN. He has asked Ms Rice to rein in John Bolton, the US ambassador to the world body.

Mr Bolton has thrown the reform negotiations into disarray by demanding a catalogue of late changes to a 40-page draft document which is due to go before the summit in New York on Wednesday.
Mr Bolton, one of the US administration hawks, became ambassador last month only after a long confrontation with the US senate, mainly caused by his ideological dislike of the UN.

The foreign secretary is planning to make calls to fellow ministers around the world over the weekend.

by Fran on Sat Sep 10th, 2005 at 01:10:53 AM EST
Why do I have the feeling someone's going to get chased with a shoe this weekend?

Maybe we can eventually make language a complete impediment to understanding. -Hobbes
by Izzy (izzy at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Sep 10th, 2005 at 01:15:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Maybe because your are neurotic? :-) I mean, don't we live in the best possible world?

P.S. How are you doing - are you well again?

by Fran on Sat Sep 10th, 2005 at 01:22:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There's no maybe about it, but dammit, I've earned my neuroses!  

And I believe that according to recent studies, you actually do live in the best of all possible worlds.  Mine's okay, but I'm without means to evacuate in an emergency (I'm talkin' to you, DeAnander).

I am over my cold, thanks for asking, and thanks to all the helpful advice.  I confess I haven't gotten a neti pot yet.  

I hope all's well with you and you're having a nice weekend!

Maybe we can eventually make language a complete impediment to understanding. -Hobbes

by Izzy (izzy at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Sep 10th, 2005 at 01:41:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Italy's economy shows growth sign

Italy's economy has shown signs of a recovery, with stronger consumer spending pulling it out of recession.

Gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 0.7% in the three months to the end of June from the previous quarter, statistical office Istat said.

The economy contracted in the previous two quarters and the government was under pressure to turn things around.

Analysts said that record oil prices were likely to hamper any further growth in the second half of the year.

"For now Italy is out of recession," said Silvia Pepino, an analyst at JP Morgan. "But there are risks from the recent oil price."

by Fran on Sat Sep 10th, 2005 at 01:14:53 AM EST
Mubarak wins with 88% of vote

Egypt's president, Hosni Mubarak, was officially pronounced the winner of the country's first contested presidential election last night, gaining a fifth six-year term.
Official results gave the incumbent 88.6% of the vote, and put the turnout at 23% of the 32 million registered voters.

Ayman Nour of the Ghad, or "Tomorrow", party, who faced regular harassment after declaring his candidacy, won 7.3% of the vote.

Before the result came in, the Israeli prime minister, Ariel Sharon, phoned Mr Mubarak to congratulate him.

The United States, which had been pressing for a free and fair contest in a country where referendums and parliamentary elections have usually been marred by fraud, has so far refrained from comment, saying it is waiting to see the final outcome.

by Fran on Sat Sep 10th, 2005 at 01:19:55 AM EST
Almost unspoken in Spain, there has been an explosion in the number of people working in temporary positions that have less protection under the law thatn regular employees.  There has been a low level insurgency of sorts against the temp agencies, whic at least from anectdotal evidence have been vandalized with choice slogans.  If you know the history of Spanish labor the temp situation is suprising. but part of the "liberalization" done by PSOE (Socialists) and the PP (Conservatves) alike.  This runs totally contrary to the rigid synidicalist labor law under the Franco Regime, and the labor pacts since 1975 (While only 1/3 of Spanish workers are in a union, something like 85% are covered by collective bargaining agreements.

40% of temporary contracts for  month and 1 out of every 4 less than 7 days (Translation mine)

During the past July INEM recorded a total of  1,453,333 temporary contracts, the highest rate evry record for a single month. Between February  and July, Acording to the UGT (Socialist trade union), the number of temp contracts signed monthly has increased 32%  Only in recording, this past July 72,697 temp contracts were written every day.

The UGT deonounced that althought the temp rate in Spain is triple the European average, in Spain the duration of contracts is a minimum, of such form as to give employers an unfair an unilateral advantage in the negotiation of  the times and conditions of the contract. Among those contracts with a fixed date only 0.9% last more than a year. By gender in fixed contracts 36% of men have contracts for less than a month, while for women this rate lies at 45%. The temp rate for 25 and under rises to 65% in Spain, the highest rate in Europe, where the median sits almost 30 points lower, at 38%.

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg
by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Sat Sep 10th, 2005 at 01:24:29 AM EST
MfM - do you want to put this comment up as a diary, it's worth a thread of its own...

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sat Sep 10th, 2005 at 04:27:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I plan to, but I want to expand on it.  This is more than just a Spanish problem.  This is par and parcel of the labor "flexiblity" promoted by the neoliberals. Oddly enough thi flexibility seems to aim at making sure emplyees can grab their ankles and say thank you for getting the shaft after the boss  is finished.

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg
by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Sat Sep 10th, 2005 at 10:36:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I second the motion...yes please a diary!!

"Once in awhile we get shown the light, in the strangest of places, if we look at it right" - Hunter/Garcia
by whataboutbob on Sat Sep 10th, 2005 at 11:23:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
De Villepin to stand in for ailing Chirac at UN

Dominique de Villepin, France's prime minister, will next week stand in for an ailing President Jacques Chirac at the United Nations' meeting in New York, the venue where he won the admiration of the French public and the animosity of the US administration for his passionate opposition to the Iraq war.

Mr Chirac, 72, was yesterday released from hospital a week after being admitted with a vascular complaint. Doctors told the French president he should be "reasonable" and refrain from air travel for six weeks. However, Mr Chirac did not reveal any further details about his medical condition in spite of criticism that he has been excessively secretive about his health.

Mr Chirac had been desperate to attend the meeting of 200 world leaders at the UN to promote his plan to introduce a voluntary tax on international airline tickets to finance the fight against Aids, malaria, and tuberculosis. "Until the very last minute, the president of the Republic had wanted to go there," one of his aides told the AFP news agency.

The last paragraph of the quote above, gives me the impression as if Chirac ailings are more severe than they admit.

by Fran on Sat Sep 10th, 2005 at 01:29:33 AM EST
Chirac leaves hospital in 'very satisfying' condition but must rest

President Jacques Chirac left the hospital on Friday, chatting first with a knot of doctors and hospital attendants and then with reporters before leaving with his wife, Bernadette.

The reporters and some well-wishers had gathered outside the Val-de-Grâce military hospital shortly after noon for a closeup view of the 72-year-old president.

He looked tense but determined as he left the hospital where he was admitted Sept. 2 for a "small vascular accident" that impaired his vision.

His doctors gave him a clean bill of health, saying his condition was "very satisfying."

But they said he should refrain from air travel for the next six weeks. An aide said that ruled out a visit to New York next week for a United Nations session on poverty.

by Fran on Sat Sep 10th, 2005 at 02:07:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Bulletins about French President Jacques Chirac's health are
not proper medical reports but political spin concocted by his advisers"
, a senior member of France's Order of Medical Practitioners said in an interview to be published Wednesday.

"In the information vacuum, rumors flew that Arafat had been poisoned."

by ilg37c on Sat Sep 10th, 2005 at 04:06:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I saw Chirac coming out of the hospital on TV, he talked and looked in decent shape.

I don't understand why peole worry, he's not running much of anything anyway...

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sat Sep 10th, 2005 at 04:26:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Oil spills, ravaged industry and lost islands add to the hurricane's toll - Ecological cost of Katrina includes petrochemical pollution, vanished islands and a seafood industry facing ruin

The extent of the environmental damage inflicted on the southern US states of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama began to emerge yesterday with reports of an entire group of islands disappearing, serious oil slicks and the potential ruin of the seafood industry.

Immediate concern centred on Louisiana's heavy industrial area. Katrina flooded many of the 140 large petrochemical works that line the Mississippi river between Baton Rouge and New Orleans, and little assessment has been done of the damage.

Initial aerial reconnaissance by the environmental protection agency suggests no serious chemical damage but has revealed several large oil spills.
"The 40-mile long Chandeleur chain of barrier islands off the Louisiana coast which used to protect the delta from storm surges have pretty well gone," said Laurence Rouse, of the oceanography department at Louisiana State University.

More than 500 sewerage systems were damaged across Louisiana.

Damage to the oyster, crab and shrimp industries, one of the major employers on the coast, is thought to have been extensive.

The storm surge wrecked many boats, harbours and warehouses and destroyed breeding grounds. The Gulf is home to more than 80% of oysters grown in the United States and is the centre of the shrimp industry.
But the industry may be further hit by the tide of industrial pollution which will be flushed down the Mississippi over the next few weeks.

by Fran on Sat Sep 10th, 2005 at 01:31:28 AM EST
I think I'll do a diary on this today. Thanks for the link. What would I do without you? There's already enough in this thread to blog for the whole week-end!

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sat Sep 10th, 2005 at 04:24:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]

"Once in awhile we get shown the light, in the strangest of places, if we look at it right" - Hunter/Garcia
by whataboutbob on Sat Sep 10th, 2005 at 11:25:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Naomi Klein, as usual a must-read: Power to the victims of New Orleans  - With the poor gone, developers are planning to gentrify the city

It's a radical concept: the $10.5bn released by Congress and the $500m raised by private charities doesn't actually belong to the relief agencies or the government - it belongs to the victims. The agencies entrusted with the money should be accountable to them. Put another way, the people Barbara Bush tactfully described as "underprivileged anyway" just got very rich.

Except relief and reconstruction never seem to work like that. When I was in Sri Lanka six months after the tsunami, many survivors told me that the reconstruction was victimising them all over again. A council of the country's most prominent businesspeople had been put in charge of the process, and they were handing the coast over to tourist developers at a frantic pace. Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of poor fishing people were still stuck in sweltering inland camps, patrolled by soldiers with machine guns and entirely dependent on relief agencies for food and water. They called reconstruction "the second tsunami".

There are already signs that New Orleans evacuees could face a similarly brutal second storm. Jimmy Reiss, chairman of the New Orleans Business Council, told Newsweek that he has been brainstorming about how "to use this catastrophe as a once-in-an-eon opportunity to change the dynamic". The council's wish list is well-known: low wages, low taxes, more luxury condos and hotels.

Before the flood, this highly profitable vision was already displacing thousands of poor African-Americans: while their music and culture was for sale in an increasingly corporatised French Quarter (where only 4.3% of residents are black), their housing developments were being torn down. "For white tourists and businesspeople, New Orleans's reputation means a great place to have a vacation, but don't leave the French Quarter or you'll get shot," Jordan Flaherty, a New Orleans-based labour organiser told me the day after he left the city by boat. "Now the developers have their big chance to disperse the obstacle to gentrification - poor people."

by Fran on Sat Sep 10th, 2005 at 01:33:18 AM EST
... to prove how the priorities of the American politicians are set, compared to those from Sri Lanka. Somehow, the alarming news from Sri Lanka doesn't really surprise me so much... Politicians and fishermen, they're two different kinds of people in Sri Lanka (can I say castes?). If suddenly all money would be poured into repairing only the French Quarter and the business district, then you're at the same level of Sri Lanka, just patching up the tourism flux and leave the rest fend for themselves.

The concept of gentrification is a good one, and it is working well in (most) places, as long as you don't force people to live someplace they don't really want to. Gentrificating an ENTIRE city, though, seems pretty impossible to me... Still, making the French Quarter more accessible sounds like a fine idea. Let's just see what's been done with it...

by Nomad (Bjinse) on Sat Sep 10th, 2005 at 09:59:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Iraq rebuilding under threat as US runs out of money

Key rebuilding projects in Iraq are grinding to a halt because American money is running out and security has diverted funds intended for electricity, water and sanitation, according to US officials.

Plans to overhaul the country's infrastructure have been downsized, postponed or abandoned because the $24bn (£13bn) budget approved by Congress has been dwarfed by the scale of the task.

"We have scaled back our projects in many areas," James Jeffrey, a senior state department adviser on Iraq, told a congressional committee in Washington, in remarks quoted by the Los Angeles Times. "We do not have the money."

Water and sanitation have been particularly badly hit. According to a report published this week by Government Accountability Office, the investigative branch of Congress, $2.6bn has been spent on water projects, half the original budget, after the rest was diverted to security and other uses.

The report said "attacks, threats and intimidation against project contractors and subcontractors" were to blame. A quarter of the $200m-worth of completed US-funded water projects handed over to the Iraqi authorities no longer worked properly because of "looting, unreliable electricity or inadequate Iraqi staff and supplies", the report found.

So, Krugman was right on when he called this the `can't-do'-government. If Iraq is an example of there competence, or better incompetence, I really fear for the Katrina survivors. What they forgot to mention is the money detoured to Halliburton et al.
And I really `liked' the following:

He said non-US sources might be asked to plug the gap.

by Fran on Sat Sep 10th, 2005 at 01:36:01 AM EST
Fran: What they forgot to mention is the money detoured to Halliburton et al.

And a lot of other things. Such as:

  • Painting schools was a propaganda operation - new paint was the last thing Iraqi schools needed, Iraq was no Afghanistan.

  • The 'reconstruction' of the power generating sector was paralysed by US insistence to install US technology, rather than just buy Russian, German, French spare parts for power plants with Russian, German, French technology, technology the local engineers knew, unlike the US one.

  • Generally, 'reconstruction' was handed to foreigners, Iraqi companies were left without work. Especially, in line with the free-marked fundamentalism Bremer let loose, state companies.

  • And that 'reconstruction' was mostly priced to the liking of Western companies, costing up to 20 times what it would have costed if Iraqis had done it.

  • Actual work done was shoddy to criminally negligent, given the lack of oversight - or worse. For example, it was reported that in Baghdad schools, not only did the new paint peel off after a few months, but the contractors took away the UNICEF-donated Japanese air conditioner and replaced it with a defect Syrian-made one.

  • The total lack of care for Iraqis' health is well illustrated by the fact that Bremer let DU-shelled tanks be sold to scrap metal dealers in Baghdad, without telling them of the poisonous contamination.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Sep 10th, 2005 at 05:09:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I didn't forget, I just thought it would be a never-ending list, though your resumé is great - couldn't have done any better.
by Fran on Sat Sep 10th, 2005 at 05:13:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I suspected you didn't forget; it's just that there is this view many people (especially Americans) get from the media that Halliburton et al wasted a lot of money, but did so while doing real work of real value - and feel like I have to counter-advise readers on that every time the issue comes up:-)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Sep 10th, 2005 at 09:19:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A new road story, with Ford and Fiat as partners

In another sign of consolidation in the crowded global automobile industry, Ford Motor and Fiat said Friday that they would share production and development costs of a small car that the two manufacturers will sell under different brand names.

Under the Fiat brand, the car will sell as the Cinquecento, reviving one of the Italian company's most famous and successful model names; and for Ford the car will replace the Ka. Neither company gave details of when production would start, where it would take place or how many cars they each aimed to sell of the new models.

Fiat sold almost four million Cinquecentos in the 20 years they were produced. The last car of the original model rolled off the production line in 1977, and the car has since become a cult item in Italy. The Cinquecento was briefly revived in the 1990s.

The original Cinquecento was tiny. But a new model would have to be much larger, both to meet safety standards and to meet consumer demands. Fiat has said it plans to bring the model to market in 2007.

"By working together on this project, both companies would envisage reduced development and material costs, while providing highly competitive products to the marketplace," Ford said. The two cars will have highly differentiated appearances, it said.

by Fran on Sat Sep 10th, 2005 at 01:36:45 AM EST
Russian President Vladimir Putin is visiting the monastic community of Mount Athos in Greece, one of Orthodox Christianity's holiest sites.
He is the first Russian leader to visit the male-only community, on a narrow, rocky peninsula east of Thessaloniki, Russian television reported.

The trip is part of Mr Putin's two-day visit to Greece.

Ahead of talks with Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis, Mr Putin described Greece as a serious partner.

He said the two countries held similar positions on issues such as Cyprus and the Balkans, and that it was important to press ahead with energy projects such as a planned oil pipeline.

Multi-national community
Mr Putin arrived at the monastic harbour of Dafni on board a private yacht amid heavy security.

I especially like the last sentence - pilgrimage on a private yacht, how humble.

by Fran on Sat Sep 10th, 2005 at 01:38:17 AM EST
Here the link for the Putin article above.

Putin on Mount Athos pilgrimage

by Fran on Sat Sep 10th, 2005 at 01:39:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Euro MPs to open Iron Curtain to tourists

EURO MPs want to turn the Iron Curtain into a tourist attraction as part of plans to boost Europe as a holiday destination.

Memorably named by wartime leader Winston Churchill, the Iron Curtain described the post-war division of Europe between the western powers, with the eastern part of the continent effectively controlled by the Soviet Union.

The phrase came to symbolise the Cold War which lasted for decades.

Now the European Parliament wants member governments to back a project to promote the 4250-mile route of the former Iron Curtain as a tourist trail to show how division has been overcome through peaceful European reunification.

The call comes in a report approved this week on New Perspectives and Challenges for Sustainable European Tourism.

by Fran on Sat Sep 10th, 2005 at 01:42:41 AM EST
 New wheat pathogen threatens world food security

NAIROBI (AFP) - A new rapidly-evolving pathogen spreading in east Africa could annihilate wheat plantations worldwide, posing a "catastrophic" threat to crops unless steps are taken quickly.

The genetically-variable stem rust strain, dubbed Ug99 after its discovery in Uganda in 1999, has moved into neighboring Kenya and Ethiopia, where it has nearly affected all plantations and could spread further, scientists warned.

"The risk and losses will be tremendous if this gets on the loose," said U.S. botanist and 1970 Nobel peace laureate Norman Borlaug.

Borlaug, now 91, who helped develop resistant wheat varieties 50 years ago, urged a restoration of the cooperation that helped suppress a stem rust outbreak in North America that destroyed nearly 70 percent of wheat plantations in 1950.

"The stem rust strains are changing through mutation ... coming up with new types," he told a news conference in Nairobi to release a report on the problem compiled by experts organized by the International Centre for Maize and Wheat Improvement (CIMMYT). "Maybe we got too complacent," he said.

"We have to restore the cooperation (as the current threat) is potentially more serious than it was 40 to 50 years ago."

by Fran on Sat Sep 10th, 2005 at 02:43:39 AM EST
Private Security and Mercenary Companies Patrol New Orleans

The Wednesday, September 7, 2005 broadcast of KPFA's "Flashpoints" featured a telephone interview with Malik Rahim, who gave a gut-wrenching and shocking firsthand account of the staggering horror of still-neglected New Orleans that he and other survivors are facing. In stark contrast to increasingly optimistic mainstream media coverage (cover-up) about "improving relief efforts" and "rebuilding", Rahim exposed the fact that there is no relief. No Red Cross, no food, no emergency medical care under a FEMA lockdown that has kept any relief from getting into New Orleans.

Meanwhile, as the Bush administration's combat operations ramp up, and troops prowl the streets, no help whatsoever has been offered to residents, according to Rahim. Rotting corpses litter the streets, still not moved. People, heroically fending for themselves and their own, are being left in shocking conditions to suffer and die. "Between these disturbing [independent firsthand] reports, and accounts such as "The People of the Dome", New Orleans is being reduced to another Fallujah." (see Hurricane Katrina and holocaust: Slow response or deliberate extermination?)

Rahim's account confirms this---literally. According to Rahim, mercenaries from Blackwater USA are rumbling through the New Orleans streets, armed to the teeth and in full battle gear.

by Fran on Sat Sep 10th, 2005 at 03:45:47 AM EST

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