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Luciferian News Hour

 

December 2, 2005

 

Welcome to our first live presentation of the Luciferian News Hour. I am your host James Donahue and I will be sharing the spotlight again this week with Dragon Kloud as we bring you the Luciferian perspective of the past week in the news. Take it away Dragon Kloud.

 

H5N1

 

A respected Japanese scientist, who works with the World Health Organization, says 300 people have died of H5N1 bird flu in China, including seven cases caused by human-to-human transmission.

He says he was given the information in confidence by Chinese colleagues who have been threatened with arrest if they disclosed the extent of the problem.

The allegations, which he revealed at a meeting in Germany, contrast sharply with China’s official position. It reports three confirmed cases of H5N1 in people: a boy in Hunan province who recovered, and two women who died in Anhui province, the latest of which was announced on Thursday. There may be another probable case in Hunan.

But Masato Tashiro, head of virology at Tokyo’s National Institute of Infectious Disease – a WHO-collaborating centre for bird flu – told the meeting of virologists in Marburg, Germany, on 19 November that “we have been systematically deceived”. His comments were reported in a German newspaper.

He told the stunned meeting, called to mark the retirement of a senior German virologist, that there have been “several dozen” outbreaks in people, 300 confirmed deaths and 3000 people placed in isolation with suspected cases.

 

The deadly H5N1 bird flu strain that has been plaguing southeast Asia appears to be evolving in a way that may signal a greater threat of a human flu pandemic, according to a World Health Organization report.

Human cases of avian influenza in northern Vietnam in 2005 are showing an epidemiological pattern and virological features which differ from those seen in the 2004 cases. They also differ from those currently seen in human cases in southern Vietnam and other Asian countries.

In particular, though not yet proven, the differences indicate the virus may have already been transmitted from human-to-human - a worrying prospect. It also suggests the viral strain in northern Vietnam may be more infectious but less virulent than elsewhere; more easily spread but less likely to cause death in sufferers.

 

A 16-year-old boy confirmed as Indonesia's 12th human case of bird flu had two brothers who died from similar symptoms days before he was taken to hospital, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Tuesday.The brothers died on November 11 after being diagnosed with typhoid fever, but they were never tested for the deadly H5N1 bird flu virus, leaving questions hanging over the cause of death, WHO spokeswoman Maria Chang said.

 

Indonesian scientists have found the H5N1 bird flu virus in a pig. The strain has infected poultry across east Asia, and killed at least 51 people so far. Scientists fear pigs could act as a “mixing vessel” in which a human pandemic strain could evolve, because the animals can harbour both human and avian flu viruses.

 

Mabus

 

Saddam Hussein’s trial reopened Monday in a fortified Baghdad courtroom with a new and very controversial lawyer on the defense team. He is former U. S. Atty. General Ramsey Clark, 77, a former anti-Vietnam war activist and a defender of such figures as Slobodan Milosevic. He said he hoped to strengthen Saddam’s defense. “A fair trial in this case is absolutely imperative for historical truth,” he said. “It is absolutely essential that the court is legal in its constitution.”

 

The trial of Saddam Hussein resumed in a heavily guarded courtroom Monday with the former Iraqi president angrily complaining about having to walk up four flights of stairs under foreign guard. A former U.S. attorney general sat with the defense team.

After a short session during which the first testimony was read into the record, Chief Judge Rizgar Mohammed Amin adjourned the trial until Dec. 5 to allow time to find replacements for two defense lawyers who were slain and another who fled the country after he was wounded.

 

Senior Bush Administration officials have considered the unthinkable: What if Saddam Hussein is found not guilty in his trial? "There will bemore charges filed against him, and more charges after that, if needed . . . he has committed tremendous crimes," a top Bush source explained last week from Washington.

 

Saddam and seven of his former henchmen currently face charges of crimes against humanity over a 1982 massacre of Shiite villagers. A defiant Saddam has refused to recognize the court and has declared himself president of Iraq.


Iraqi police arrested eight Sunni Arabs in the northern city of Kirkuk for allegedly plotting to assassinate the investigating judge who prepared the case against Saddam Hussein, a senior police commander said Sunday.

Hussein will likely face charges of premeditated murder, torture and forced expulsion and disappearances when he goes on trial next week for a 1982 massacre of Shiites, a court official said Thursday. Saddam and seven other defendants are accused of killing 143 Shiites in the village of Dujail, north of Baghdad, after a failed assassination attempt against Saddam. Prosecutors have not announced the exact charges, which are expected when the trial opens on Wednesday. If found guilty, Hussein and the co-defendants could all face the death penalty.

 

Global Warming

 

The United States ruled out making extra pledges to fight global warming beyond 2012 on Tuesday, angering environmentalists who accused Washington of blocking a 189-nation conference in Canada.

 

Chief U.S. climate negotiator Harlan Watson also strongly defended President George W. Bush's environmental record, saying emissions by the world's biggest polluter had fallen more in 2000-2003 than in the European Union.

 

Up to 10,000 delegates are meeting in Montreal, Canada, from November 28-December 9 to discuss new ways to fight a build-up of gases released mainly from burning fossil fuels in factories, power plants and cars.

 

"The United States is opposed to any such discussions," Watson told a news conference of Canadian proposals to launch talks under the U.N.'s climate convention about new actions to combat global warming beyond 2012.

 

Environmentalists accused Washington of doing too little to fight a rise in temperatures from human activities that could lead to more storms, expanding deserts and worse floods, and could raise sea levels by up to three feet (one meter) by 2100.

 

Bill Hare, climate policy director of Greenpeace, called the United States the "fly in the ointment" at the conference. "The failure of the United States to be willing to discuss future action here is the real issue," he said, predicting Washington will only join a global pact after Bush leaves office.

 

 

China called on countries that have not yet approved the United Nations Kyoto Protocol on global warming to do so as soon as possible.

 

"We call on the countries that have not signed the protocol or approved the protocol to approve it as soon as possible," foreign ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao (Lou Ian-chio) told a regular briefing.

 

Liu made the remark the day after the opening of a 12-day gathering on the Kyoto Protocol in Montreal, Canada.

He did not mention any countries by name in his call for speedy approval of the protocol.

 

Opposition to the protocol is widely associated with the US government, which demands emissions should be tackled by a voluntary approach, rather than by a legal cap, as is the case with Kyoto's present format.

 

"We should make efforts to ensure sustainable development and effective environmental protection. The Kyoto Protocol has played an important role in this field," Liu told the briefing.

China is a member of the Kyoto Protocol, the world's most far-reaching environmental treaty, but with a developing country tag it does not have to meet specific targets for cutting emissions.

 

Since China is a fast developing industrial nation and already a major world polluter, the remarks by Liu are significant. It means that China recognizes the importance of world cooperation in getting greenhouse gas emissions under control and may be willing to participate in the next agreement.

 

Europe is facing the worst climate change in five millennia as a result of global warming, the European Environment Agency (EAA) warned.

 

Europe's four hottest years on record were 1998, 2002, 2003 and 2004, the agency said Tuesday.

 

"Ten percent of Alpine glaciers disappeared during the summer of 2003 alone," the report said.

 

"At current rates, three-quarters of Switzerland's glaciers will have melted by 2050. Europe has not seen climate changes on this scale for 5,000 years."

 

"Ten percent of Alpine glaciers disappeared during the summer of 2003 alone," the report said.

 

"At current rates, three-quarters of Switzerland's glaciers will have melted by 2050. Europe has not seen climate changes on this scale for 5,000 years."

 

The ocean current that gives western Europe its relatively balmy climate is slowing, raising fears that it might fail entirely and plunge the continent into a mini ice age.

The dramatic finding comes from a study of ocean circulation in the North Atlantic, which found a 30% reduction in the warm currents that carry water north from the Gulf Stream.

The slow-down, which has long been predicted as a possible consequence of global warming, will give renewed urgency to intergovernmental talks in Montreal, Canada, this week on a successor to the Kyoto Protocol.

 

 

 

Leaders of nine Northeastern US States have taken it upon themselves to make a preliminary deal to reduce power plant emissions that may even exceed the goals of the Kyoto Protocol, rejected by the Bush Administration, a New York Times story said.

 

New York has agreed first to freeze emissions at current levels and then cut them by 10 percent by 2020

The stricter controls could mean higher energy prices in the nine states - but environmentalists hope other states will be encouraged to follow the emissions trading model, the paper says.

Under the initiative, emissions of carbon dioxide from some 600 power stations would be capped at the average emissions level between 2000 and 2004, then reduced by 10% from 2015 to 2020.

Samuel Wolfe, of the New Jersey Department of Environmental protection, told the New York Times that officials "have very high hopes of getting a resolution through to all the [nine] states by the end of September".

Participating in the pact are Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Vermont and Rhode Island.

 

In the Philippines, officials are studying a plan to slow the massive encroachment of humans into upland areas that has resulted in a massive deforestation. A government agency is considering projects that would encourage some of an estimated 24 million people to move out of the uplands and restore the forest cover. Japan is financing a $111 million loan to replant 212,420 acres of denuded forest land within the next five years as part of the initiative.

 

A severe water drought has emptied Falls Lake, the only water source for Raleigh, North Carolina. The 700,000 square-mile watershed supplies water to some 600,000 people. The city has started severe restrictions on water consumption, slapping $1000 fines on violators.

 

In nearby Chatham County, people must limit showers to four minutes. Officials worry that without heavy rains, the lake will be empty by January.

 

China Disasters

Rescue teams have rushed to a popular tourist spot in eastern China after a powerful earthquake left thousands of homes flattened and at least 13 people in the region dead. Seven teams had been dispatched to the worst-hit areas to bring food, water, and tents to the thousands of people caught up in Saturday's 5.7 earthquake. More than 450 were injured by what was believed to be the strongest earthquake to strike the region in half a century.

 

The death toll in a massive coal mine explosion in northeast China rose to 161 state media reported as the country's leadership called for tighter work safety measures. Coal dust caught fire at the mine in the city of Qitaihe (Kit-hi) on Sunday while 221 miners were working underground, the official Chinese News Agency said. More than 70 miners were rescued.

 

Storms

 

Some 50,000 people in western Germany began their fourth day without electricity after record snowfall ripped down power lines throughout the region.

 

The interior ministry in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany's most populous, said power had been restored to 200,000 people over the weekend and that the repair teams were racing to bring the remaining homes back online.

 

The weight of thick ice and snow -- the heaviest in more than 100 years -- damaged about 50 electrical polls Friday, plunging much of the area around the city of Muenster near the Dutch border into darkness.

 

Police said that hazardous road conditions led to 2,000 accidents with some 140 injuries and millions of euros (dollars) in damage.

 

 

Two lines of severe storms moved across much of the center of the US Monday bringing tornadoes, hail, and strong winds with it. There were reports of 25 tornadoes associated with the squall lines. In addition to tornadoes, there were 4 reports of damaging wind and 65 reports of large hail.

 

Major highways were closed Monday as blizzard conditions wreaked havoc from Colorado across the Plains states, part of the same system that also sent tornadoes ripping through Arkansas and Kansas.

 

The wind piled snow into drifts up to 3 feet high in central South Dakota around the capital city of Pierre, where state government offices were closed until at least noon. Snow fell as far south as the Texas Panhandle.

 

Three highway deaths were blamed on the weather.

 

A stretch of more than 150 miles of Interstate 70, Colorado's major east-west corridor, remained closed Monday morning from Denver to the Kansas line, stranding travelers headed home after Thanksgiving. Officials shut the highway because up to 25 cars were involved in an accident as blowing snow cut visibility nearly to zero.

 

In central Nebraska, a 60-mile stretch of I-80 remained closed Monday from North Platte east to Lexington.

 

The National Weather Service posted blizzard warnings, in effect through Monday afternoon, for parts of Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska and South Dakota. A winter storm warning was issued for parts of North Dakota.

 

Wind, snow and ice snapped power lines and blacked out thousands of customers in eastern South Dakota.

 

 

Yesterday was officially the last day of the hurricane season. However, you could never tell it by looking at the tropics right now. Tropical Storm Epsilon has just become the 26th tropical storm in what the National Hurricane Center is calling "the apparently never ending 2005 Atlantic hurricane season."

The storm intensified today to 75 miles per hour of sustained winds thus technically just barely making it a hurricane. The strange thing about this storm is that it is traveling East instead of the usual Westerly movement seen in Atlantic storms.

Epsilon is located over waters of about 25 degrees Celsius, which are marginally warm enough to support a minimal hurricane.

 

Tropical Storm Delta assailed Spain's Canary Islands before it died down, killing seven and wreaking unprecedented havoc on the archipelago, where many residents were without electricity.

 

Delta struck the archipelago with winds gusting at more than 60 miles per hour, leaving a trail of destruction in its wake.

 

"It's just not normal, first in that a storm forming off the Azores tends to brew up further south. That it should then come east towards Europe, and to the zone and latitudes of the Canaries, is a very unusual phenomenon," said Angel Riva, of Spain's National Meteorological Institute.

 

Riva said an unusual pattern appeared to be emerging following Tropical Storm Vince hitting Spain in October.

And, of course, it is happening again with Epsilon.

 

 

There also is a cyclone raging just off the southeastern coast of India. Cyclone Baaz is standing still now as it builds in strength. It is expected to come ashore late tonight with winds up to 56 miles an hour.

 

 

Environment

 

Despite years of opposition from environmentalists, a controversial huge dam project gets under way in Laos Sunday with the laying of the foundation stone. The 1.25 billion dollar project will supply power to 17 neighboring provinces when completed in about 2009. About 6,200 Laotians will be displaced but the dam will earn up to 150 million dollars a year so to hell with the pheasants. On with the dam. Since 1993 the project has already swallowed up millions of dollars in studies and research. Critics say the dam is of no use to the local people and will permanently scar the environment. Nevertheless, the World Bank is backing the project and that has paved the way for private foreign banks and other financing organizations to get involved.

 

 

A river in northern Romania was polluted with toxic cyanide after an accidental discharge of effluent from a mine responsible for a major toxic discharge four years ago, the environment ministry said. "Some 300 cubic metres of effluent containing sodium cyanide was accidentally discharged" into a drainage ditch at the Borsa mine and then flowed into the Viseu river killing fish in a limited area, the ministry said.

 

 

A taste for ivory among members of China's exploding middle class poses a serious threat to elephants in central Africa where poaching is on the rise amid a surge in demand. Between 2,000 and 4,500 elephants are being killed for their tusks each year in Cameroon, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Gabon to supply ivory Asian and African markets, the report said.

 

 

India, which wants to become a niche player in the global space communications market, announced plans to launch up to one dozen satellites in the next four years. So far New Delhi had\s approved the construction of five satellites including two for communications and a remote sensing satellite and another with cartographic applications. Every time a rocket is launched, the pollution of our atmosphere is that much more severe.

 

 

Two Swiss businesswomen who spent a week at Manhattan's Hotel Pennsylvania in September have filed a lawsuit saying they had a lousy time trying to sleep there because they were bitten by bedbugs.

 

The women say the bloodsucking insects began attacking Sept. 17, the night they checked into the hotel across from Madison Square Garden.

 

The lawsuit, filed in Manhattan's state Supreme Court, says they suffered bedbug bites over their torsos, arms and legs. Their lawyer, Alberto Ebanks, said bugs also bit their cheeks and necks and caused possibly permanent scarring.

 

"They were eaten alive," Ebanks said Wednesday.

 

Bedbugs have been spreading throughout Europe and are becoming a serious problem in the United States because travelers unwittingly carry them along with them from hotel to hotel. They are easy to take home with you and once they invade your home, difficult to get rid of.

 

 

Medicine

 

Doctors have performed the world's first partial face transplant, grafting a nose, lips and chin onto a 38-year-old woman disfigured by a dog bite, hospital officials said Wednesday.

 

The surgery was performed Sunday, said a statement from medics at hospitals in Lyon and Amiens. The surgery was performed in Amiens in northern France, but doctors from both hospitals participated.

 

The hospitals' statement said the woman was in "excellent" condition, and the transplanted organs looked "normal." She wants to remain anonymous, the statement added.

 

The woman was disfigured by a dog bite in May, and the injury made it difficult for her to speak and chew, the statement said. Such injuries are "extremely difficult, if not impossible" to repair using normal surgical techniques, it added.

 

 

Canada Govt. Toppled

Canadian politicians are hitting the campaign trail this holiday season after opposition parties seized upon a corruption scandal to bring down the minority government of Prime Minister Paul Martin in a vote of no confidence.

Monday's loss means an election for all 308 seats in the lower House of Commons, likely on Jan. 23. Martin and his Cabinet will continue to govern until then.

The Conservative Party teamed up with the New Democratic and Bloc Quebecois parties to bring down the government, claiming the ruling Liberal Party had lost its moral authority. Recent polls have given the Liberals a slight lead over the Conservatives, with the New Democrats in third place.

The same surveys suggest the Bloc Quebecois would sweep the French-speaking province of Quebec, making a majority government unlikely no matter which party wins the most seats.

Martin is expected to dissolve the House of Commons on Tuesday and set a firm date for the elections. Canadian law sharply restricts the duration of the campaign.

 

Business

 

The US economy weathered the impact of hurricanes better than experts had expected, growing at a 4.3 percent annual pace in the third quarter, the government said in an upward revision to its prior estimate.

 

The Commerce Department figure for gross domestic product (GDP) was stronger than last month's estimate of 3.8 percent growth and ahead of the the 4.0 percent expected by Wall Street economists. The agency will make its final estimate next month.

 

The report suggests the economy overcame the impact of hurricanes Katrina and Rita, which shut down much of US oil operations in the Gulf of Mexico and devastated areas around New Orleans, Louisiana. By squeezing energy supplies, the storms also led to a surge in oil prices.

 

The holiday season’s first major shopping day got off to a relatively flat start compared to a strong 2004, despite special promotions, discounts and expanded hours. One report said consumers responded initially to aggressive discounting but then retreated.

Shoppers lined up to grab early-bird specials as many stores opened before sunrise on the Friday after Thanksgiving -- known in the industry as Black Friday because it traditionally marked the date when retailers began turning a profit for the year.

Analysts said there was heavy shopper traffic early Friday when stores opened even earlier than usual for the day after Thanksgiving, offering deep, deep discounts. When the early-bird specials were over, consumers lost their enthusiasm.

 

General Motors chairman and CEO Rick Wagoner reportedly told employees on Thursday that the car maker has no plans to file for bankruptcy despite heavy losses in its North American division and the threat of a strike at Delphi, its major supplier. 

Last week a federal bankruptcy judge approved severance and payment plans offered by recently bankrupted auto-parts manufacturer Delphi Corp., setting the stage for a broader showdown with the labor union representing most of the company’s 35,000 workers. If Delphi’s plans go through, some employees will lose their jobs and all will have to accept drastic pay cuts. Reports of a 66 percent reduction in wages to UAW workers has prompted a threat of a strike.

 

Union leaders said that Delphi Corp. wants to cut 24,000 jobs in three years. United Auto Workers President Ron Gettelfinger and Vice President Richard Shoemaker also said they did not reach an agreement with the company regarding wage and benefit concessions, and they alluded to a possible strike.

 

Add to that the news that India-based Sona Group is interested in buying Delphi's steering systems operations, which employs about 2,100 locally.

 

Delphi, the largest U.S. auto supplier, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Oct. 8, citing high labor costs.

 

The company plans to ask a bankruptcy court judge to void its union contracts in mid-December if it cannot reach an agreement with unions on cutting wages and benefits. Six industrial unions, known as Mobilizing@Delphi, who represent Delphi's 34,000 workers, are negotiating with the company over wages and benefits.

 

 

The Ford Motor Co. has revealed that it may close five of its North American plants that employ about 7,500 workers, or five percent of the company’s American work force. The plants in question are located in St. Louis, Atlanta, St. Paul, Minn., Windsor, Ont., and Cuautitian, Mexico.

 

 

The drugmaker Merck & Co. said Monday that it will cut about 7,000 jobs, or 11 percent of its work force, by the end of 2008 and will close or sell five of its 31 manufacturing plants in moves that it says will save up to $4 billion.

 

The move comes as the company, based in Whitehouse Station, N.J., faces the loss of patent protection for its top-selling cholesterol drug Zocor in 2006 and is facing thousands of liability lawsuits from its recalled painkiller Vioxx.

 

It employs just under 63,000 people. Last month, Merck cut 825 jobs worldwide.

 

 

Capital Punishment

 

The United States reached the grim milestone of 1,000 executions of convicts since 1976 today, although capital punishment is declining with fewer juries choosing death sentences.

 

A convicted murderer was put to death by lethal injection in Ohio on Tuesday, making him the 999th executed inmate since the Supreme Court reinstated capital punishment 29 years ago.

 

The grim milestone was reached today as North Carolina and South Carolina both had executions scheduled.

 

Protesters planned a candlelight march to Central Prison in Raleigh, where convicted murderer Kenneth Lee Boyd, 57, is scheduled to die by lethal injection for shooting his wife and father-in-law in 1988 in front of two of his three children.

 

 

Crazy People

 

In Baltimore, thieves are sawing down 30-foot aluminum light poles. Some 130 poles have vanished from Baltimore's streets in the last several weeks, authorities say, presumably sold for scrap metal. But so far the case of the pilfered poles has stumped the police and left many local residents wondering just how someone manages to make off with what would seem to be a conspicuous street fixture. The poles, which weigh about 250 pounds apiece, have been snatched during the day and in the middle of the night, from two-lane blacktop roads and from parkways with three lanes on either side of grass median strips, in poor areas and in some of the city's most affluent neighborhoods. Left behind are half-foot stubs of metal, with wires that carry 120 volts neatly tied and wrapped in black electric tape.

 

Carrying rosary beads and cameras, the faithful have been coming in a steady stream to a church on the outskirts of Sacramento for a glimpse of what some are calling a miracle: A statue of the Virgin Mary they say has begun crying a substance that looks like blood. It was first noticed more than a week ago, when a priest at the Vietnamese Catholic Martyrs Church spotted a stain on the statue's face and wiped it away. Before Mass on Nov. 20, people again noticed a reddish substance near the eyes of the white concrete statue outside the small church, said Ky Truong, 56, a parishioner.

 

 

If it's a spruce tree adorned with 10,000 lights and 5,000 ornaments displayed on the Capitol grounds in December, it's a Christmas tree and that's what it should be called, says House Speaker Dennis Hastert.

 

Hastert, R-Ill., in a letter to the Architect of the Capitol, recommended that the annual Capitol Holiday Tree, as it has been called the past several years, be renamed the Capitol Christmas Tree.

 

"I strongly urge that we return to this tradition and join the White House, countless other public institutions and millions of American families in celebrating the holiday season with a Christmas tree," Hastert wrote to Architect Alan Hantman.

His office said the tree began to be referred to as the Holiday Tree in the 1990s. Spokesman Ron Bonjean said the reasons were unclear.

 

On Dec. 8 Hastert will flip the switch to light the tree, a 65-foot Engelmann Spruce from the Santa Fe National Forest in New Mexico. On Tuesday workmen were erecting the tree on the West Front of the Capitol.

 

President Bush has been called for jury duty in McLennan County, where his Crawford ranch is located. He is among 600 potential jurors summoned to report to the court Monday morning. Nobody expects him to show up

 

And finally, wonder of wonders, the Nazi Pope says he agrees with the Protestants that babies that die before they get baptized go to Heaven anyway, and not into Limbo, a half-way house for innocent kids that somehow miss getting sprinkled with holy water. The argument against the Limbo story has been that the Bible quotes Jesus as saying of children: “of such is the kingdom of heaven.” Now about that other Catholic invention called purgatory . . .

 

And that concludes our news report for this week. Be sure to tune in Sunday afternoon to hear Psychic and Prophet Aaron C. Donahue and his Psychic sister Jennifer L. Sharpe in the Voice of Lucifer starting at 6 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.

 

And Listen every Friday evening at this time for the Luciferian News Hour.

 

Until next time, goodnight.
















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