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- Week 46 to 52 1999


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   WEEK 46


   Large areas are still isolated in India after the 260 km/h hurricane recently. Communications are down, telephone lines, roads, electronic supplies. The area where the hurricane hit the worst are completely cut off from the rest of the country. Starvation and epidemics are weakening the already hard tested population. The final death toll is yet to be determined, but it’s feared that at least ten thousand people are deceased and that even more may die before relief forces are able to reach them.
   Such immensely desperate situations have become more frequent the world over, in recent years. Storms, floods and destructive forces of nature are happening more often and often simultaneously on two and even three locations worldwide. They’re increasing, in both intensity and number. And this is said to be just the beginning, the beginning of the scenario predicted by scientists and researchers as the «escalating results of Global Warming».

  More On GLOBAL WARMING - Articles and a number of links.

   WEEK 47

   And a 3 month old news bulletin. Too "good" to leave out:

   XVI International Botanical Congress

   ST. LOUIS, MO, August 2, 1999 - Humans have gravely altered the chemistry, biology and physical structure of the Earth's land and water, according to the latest findings on the "human footprint on Earth." The data showed that nearly half of the land surface of Earth has been changed, and some 50 'dead zones' (areas with little or no oxygen) have developed in the Earth's coastal waters.
   The latest findings, analyzed by Drs. Jane Lubchenco of Oregon State University and Harold A. Mooney and Peter M. Vitousek of Stanford University, show a "disturbing negative trend in the Earth's ability to maintain the quality of human life," Lubchenco stated.
   Lubchenco presented the findings at the XVI International Botanical Congress where more than 4,000 scientists from 100 countries are meeting to discuss the latest research on plants for human survival and improved quality of life. Among the findings are:

   Lubchenco pointed out that while human domination of land masses is clear, the new data also indicates a dramatic alteration of Earth's oceans. There are now some 50 'dead zones' in the world's coastal areas, she reported. The largest in the Western Hemisphere is in the Gulf of Mexico, caused by excess nitrogen and phosphorus flowing down the Mississippi River.
   "We've long thought of oceans as having an infinite ability to provide food and other goods and services to humans. But the massive human-wrought changes in our oceans are impairing their ability to function as we assume they will," stated Lubchenco, who is a Distinguished Professor of Zoology at Oregon State University.
   "We're degrading the water, changing our coastlines, filling in our estuaries, and changing our rivers," Lubchenco said. "And we're witnessing many signals of the problems that will result from these changes, including toxic algal blooms, coral bleaching and sudden disappearance of fish from key fisheries."
   Lubchenco reported on a number of indications of the human degradation of the Earth's waterways:

   According to Lubchenco, the global-scale changes that we have set in motion will impair the Earth's ability to provide a wide range of services to human life. "In addition to the direct services of food, fiber, shelter, and medicines, many other inter-dependent services are being disrupted," Lubchenco stated. For example, forests, grassland and coral reefs contribute to flood control and climate regulation. Mangroves, estuaries, coral reefs, and kelp forests protect shores from erosion and provide nursery areas or spawning habitat for economically important species.
   Massive changes in the Earth's environment have far-reaching implications that result in conflicts across political boundaries, Lubchenco said. "Scarce resources such as water or fishing rights lead to battles between states and nations. Environmental degradation resulting in food shortages lead to civil unrest and migration into neighboring countries," Lubchenco explained.
   Increasing economic inequities in the world raise a host of new issues, according to the researcher. "Inhabitants of poorer nations are less able to buy supplies such as bottled water if the water is polluted, less able to influence important policy decisions such as the choice of a site for a toxic waste dump," Lubchenco said.
   The groundbreaking 1997 work of Lubchenco and her colleagues documented that we now live on a human-dominated planet, with the growth of the human population and the amount of resources used are altering Earth in unprecedented ways. Her current analysis updates these findings.


   Since war world 2 there have been numerous documented cases in the nations of western europe and usa, where the authorities or their representatives, have used their powers to harass people directly. This has been done quite indiscriminately and could in theory happen to anybody. But the more conscious, directed authority was used against what was deemed communists or «subversive» elements. People were either jailed on fabricated evidence, forced to quit their jobs and/or ostracized in the local and national community. Or they were committed to mental institutions to undergo treatments, treatments that they didn’t need, but which were designed to make them more pliable and obedient to authorities and ways of the system. Many victims of this practice have fought to this day to rid themselves of the baggage this systematic persecution have brought them. The practice of suppressing individuals and groups opposed to the current society, was widely publicized when it took place in eastern europe or in third world countries, while the actual attempt at doing so in «western democracies» led to the risk of being treated in similar ways.
   Three groups of european researchers have recently publicized, independently of each other, a thorough documentation of 50 years of power abuse and unlawful imprisonment. And there’s more, Doctor Julian Mason says.
   - While doing our research the overwhelming impression was that it has continued to this day and are showing no signs of abating. In both random and coordinated efforts by police, secret services and private watchdogs, people critical towards the doing and doings of society, are ridiculed, threatened and jailed for no other reason than expressing their opinions in public.
   Most of the «interest» during the majority of these years has been focused on traditional left - wing activity. The last twenty years however, have seen a shift of interest towards environmental activists and proponents.
   Hundreds of thousands of public documents were being excerpted from publicity last year.
   Equally high, increasing numbers of complains against police officers for abusive and threatening behavior, are being filed as «no criminal relation».
   Complains against psychologists and psychiatrists are rarely handled by any sort of board.
   Perhaps the most staggering information is that in all these cases, the publicly appointed investigation team, if such is even existing, is usually consisting of a majority belonging to the same profession as the «defendant». Doctors are «investigating» doctors, policemen are deciding if charges should be made against policemen, and so it goes.
   - These are well guarded public «secrets», Mason says.- It’s not difficult getting hold of general information, since case files usually go somewhere. The problem is arising the moment someone are showing a desire to collect and go public with the data. Especially of what is considered «clandestine» work.
   During the last year all three groups have exposed phone taps, physical surveillance and both organized and random verbal and physical harassment.

   WEEK 48


   Extensive corruption is exposed within the Los Angeles Police Department, USA. At least 40 convictions may be canceled. The public prosecutor Gil Garcetti says this concerns between 38 and 40 cases at his point. There may be both more or less cases as the investigation continues. So far the scandal has led to 13 suspensions and two officers being fired. One of the numerous transgressions is the fact that police officers have planted illegal substances on suspects to achieve a conviction.



   One of the alarming facts revealed in the latest series of infrared satellite photographs is the revelation that 40 percent of the Arctic ice has disappeared the last 30 years. On average the ice is 1 meter thinner now, than in 1969. This is seen as one more decisive proof that human created Global Warming has long since become a reality. Among others are a major rise in sea level the last ten years.
   Melting of the north pole ice will not contribute directly to the rise in sea level, since the ice is floating in the ocean, but will lead to higher levels of humidity in the atmosphere. And it does support other findings of melting ice, such as on Greenland and in Antarctica, where even a partial melting will have severe consequences of life on Earth.

   Read about the searise

   WEEK 49


   Researchers studying the subject, in several countries, are claiming that at least half of the front to front collisions car/trucks in Scandinavia and northern europe the last ten years, are premeditated suicides. In most of the cases it can be documented that the driver of the car was speeding up and deliberately putting the car and himself/herself in front of the truck. There is no attempt in using the breaks, no sign of the driver losing control of the vehicle, but quite a few witnesses claiming that the car turned the car towards the opposite lane on purpose. These incidents have not been much publicized, but an increasing number of truck drivers are treated for shock and psychological troubles after the incidents. Some truckers have experienced it more than once. They’re agreeing with the witnesses. The car drivers don’t do any effort what so ever, to avoid the devastating impact.

   WEEK 50


   After what is described as the most extensive protests in the US since the Vietnam war the mayor of Seattle is today prolonging the martial law declared yesterday.
   It’s a strange mix of official and independent news coming out of «a city under siege». Some are saying that a group of protesters smashed windows and doors in the streets, some say that a group of governmental infiltrates and provocateurs did it. some are claiming that people coming to town to protest against the WTO (World Trade Organization) meeting, participated in the cleaning up afterwards, others are saying this is an outright lie, put forth by official and corporate propaganda. Like it was done in South Africa in the seventies, when news reports told people that «residents (in townships) gave themselves voluntarily up to the police».
   The police chief, asked by a tear(gas) filled journalist, why the police went after everybody, told the reporters that "if we allow anyone besides the police and national guard to have gas masks, then the main tool we have for protestor control will not work. These things work well on unmasked people, and do not work as well on those with masks. If an innocent person is injured because of this law I am sorry, but it is the price you pay for being where you shouldn't be".

   WEEK 51


   The european space administration ESA has discovered a new, gigantic hole in the ozone layer covering north west europe, the north sea, scandinavia, great britain, belgium and holland.
   Scientists believed that the holes would diminish both in size and occurrences after international deals to reduce ozone «eating» industrial compounds and releases. In spite of these signed agreements, however, the use and releases have continued to increase worldwide.

   WEEK 52


   The number of american homeless people are increasing. One fourth of the total number are children, new, official american statistics are showing. The group of homeless increasing the most are families with children. Two thirds of the total have serious health problems and no health insurance. Even if there are only 700000 people sleeping outdoors at any given night, 6.6 million american citizens have been homeless the last 5 years.
   12 million american citizens have been homeless at least once during their lifetimes, the majority of them living temporarily in shelters, on a night to night basis.


   A new study done in 5 EU member states, is showing that 25 percent of the meat is developing cancer inducing properties. Meat added nitrates and similar drugs, so called food «make up», designed to make the food «look» better, may lead to cancer. This risk will increase, as ever more meat are treated with compounds designed to make the food look more «visually appealing» to customers.


   Another bear killer was found not guilty in Norway recently. The sheep farmer was even judged worthy of compensation by the court, as they found the man not guilty, «because the bear threatened the man’s sheep».
   Norway has signed the Biodiversity treaty and have a obligation to protect the variety of animal species, including predators hunting domestic animals. Critical voices are commenting that «there is, as usual, a huge difference between words on paper and reality».
   In related news, a norwegian court has once again judged that pelt farming is legal, though «ethically dubious».

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