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Luciferian News Hour


Friday, December 16


Good evening Luciferians and guests. Welcome to the Luciferian News Hour, a time when we give our perspective of the news of the past week. I am your host, Dragon Kloud and I am joined by show producer James Donahue for tonight’s presentation. Jim:


Thank you Dragon. Tonight we are going to concentrate some attention on an event occurring in Hong Kong that you have not been hearing much about in the news. It is a meeting of representatives of most of the nations of the world, including the United States, who are members of the World Trade Organization. What happens at this meeting could have a major impact on everybody’s future. In spite of an almost complete news blackout, here is what we have been able to learn:


Rich and poor nations were at odds as a World Trade Organization meeting opened this week in Hong Kong, with trade ministers saying a breakthrough is unlikely on the thorny issue of agricultural trade that has held up negotiations for months.


The six-day meeting beginning on Tuesday was meant to lay the groundwork for a global treaty by the end of 2006 that would cut trade barriers across a wide array of sectors, from agriculture to services, wrapping up the so-called Doha Round of talks.
But an impasse over farm trade has brought the negotiations to a virtual halt, with developing nations accusing the US, EU and other rich economies of not cutting agricultural tariffs and farm subsidies enough, in effect keeping out poorer nations that depend heavily on agriculture as an income source.


So what is the World Trade Organization and how does it affect your lives?


The World Trade Organization is the most powerful legislative and judicial body in the world. By promoting the "free trade" agenda of multinational corporations above the interests of local communities, working families, and the environment, the WTO has systematically undermined democracy around the world.


In the ten years of its existence, WTO panels composed of corporate attorneys have ruled that: the US law protecting sea turtles was a barrier to "free trade"; that US clean air standards and laws protecting dolphins are too; that the European Union law banning hormone-treated beef is illegal. According to the WTO, our democratically elected public officials no longer have the rights to protect the environment and public health.


Unlike United Nations treaties, the International Labor Organization conventions, or multilateral environmental agreements, WTO rules can be enforced through sanctions. This gives the WTO more power than any other international body. The WTO's authority even eclipses national governments.


In November 1999, 50,000 people went to Seattle to challenge this corporate agenda and to demand a more democratic, socially just and environmentally sustainable global economy. The protests succeeded in shutting down the trade talks and derailing the expansion of the WTO.


The fourth ministerial took place in 2001 in Qatar, a country where free-speech rights are effectively nonexistent. Behind closed doors and out of the civil-society and media spotlight, hard pressure was applied. Empty promises were made that this round of negotiations would focus on development and the needs of the poorest countries—an implicit acknowledgment of the unfairness of the current system. The US and the EU thus succeeded in launching the so-called Doha Development Round, a misnomer of epic proportions.


In 2003 the process moved to Cancún, Mexico, where the rich countries sought to expand the scope of the WTO. But a remarkable new alliance of developing countries argued that the unfair global agricultural system had to be cleaned up first, before new issues could come onto the table. The tragic suicide of Korean farmer Lee Kyung Hae brought the collective rage of the outside civil-society mobilization inside the closed gates of the negotiating halls. Most important, an alliance of the poorest countries stood their ground. The talks fell apart on the last day.


Then, in the summer of 2004, the most powerful countries cobbled together a minimal consensus to get the negotiations back on track by giving false assurances that agriculture would be fairly reformed.


In 2005, negotiations are continuing on key issues including agriculture, services, and market access for industrial goods and natural resources, but are mired in controversy.


This is what we know so far about the talks:


Global trade talks remained deadlocked after leading delegates meeting late into the night and again Thursday morning failed to reach agreement on setting a date for ending export subsidies on farm goods, again blaming European countries for blocking progress.


Amorim, a key figure representing developing countries, said the vast majority of the 30-some World Trade Organization members participating in the predawn negotiations spoke in favor of setting a date, but "there were at least two that were against, so there was no conclusion, because here everything is set by consensus."


Those two, he said, were the European Union and Switzerland.


The six-day Hong Kong talks, aimed at setting a framework for a global trade treaty, also have been snarled by an impasse over how much to cut rich countries‘ farm subsidies, which developing nations say give wealthy nations an unfair trade advantage. Export subsidies, a key area of contention in the talks, are funds paid by governments to domestic producers to promote exports.


The negotiators also were discussing how to move forward with negotiations on manufacturing trade even as efforts continued to persuade the EU to concede more ground in agriculture, according to the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue.


The talks fell into disarray today as rich nations feuded over long-protected farm markets, and developing countries vowed to block any deal unless they get better prices for bananas, sugar and cotton. “It is hard to see where progress can be achieved in Hong Kong if the talks continue in their present direction,” European Union Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson said. The talks, however, will continue for two more days. We will give you a final report next week.


Several dozen protesters struck security forces with bamboo sticks and tried to ram through a police roadblock Tuesday as the World Trade Organization meeting opened.


The confrontation occurred after thousands of protesters marched through the city against the WTO and globalization, which many of them believe benefit primarily the rich and powerful. Protesters - mainly South Korean farmers - punched their fists in the air, beat drums and gongs and waved signs reading "RIP WTO" and "World Threatening Organization."


Police said the protest, which also included Japanese, Indian, Filipino and Brazilian farmers, drew 4,500 people. Organizers put the turnout at 5,200.



In other news:


The cost of a Great Lakes cleanup plan unveiled Monday by a White House-backed group of federal, state and local governments could reach $20 billion. To ensure the health of the world’s largest collective body of fresh water which 35 million North Americans rely on for their drinking water, the report calls for extensive refurbishing of municipal sewer systems, clean up of toxic hot spots, stopping the arrival of invasive plants and animals from other parts of the world, and the restoration of wetlands. Washington, embroiled in spending billions on its war in Iraq, says it cannot afford the price tag. To hell with the environment. And that should not surprise anybody.




European Union ministers approved a landmark bill this week designed to protect the public from toxic chemicals. They did it despite opposition from industry and cries from activists that the measure was too weak. The compromise requires properties of roughly 30,000 chemicals produced or imported in the EU to be registered with a central agency. Those of highest concern, like the carcinogens, will require testing and authorization before they can be used.




In Global Warming news:


Catastrophic storms like Hurricanes Katrina and Stan took weather extremes to new levels in 2005, with flooding and heat waves touching almost every continent, the United Nations weather body (WMO) said this week.


In an annual review, WMO Secretary-General Michel Jarraud said that while high temperatures and heavy rains could probably be linked to global warming, he was still reluctant to blame the summer Caribbean hurricanes on a warmer Earth.


“This year is currently the second warmest on record, and could end up being the warmest once all the figures are in,” Jarraud said. “It has certainly been exceptional in the intensity of its storms.” He also said extreme heat, often bringing severe drought, spread across all continents but Europe.


Europe, he noted, especially in the eastern and southeastern regions, suffered torrential rains and flooding. Flooding also occurred in Bangladesh, China, New Zealand and Guyana, South Africa.


The tropical systems that swept the Gulf of Mexico trailing destruction and human tragedy were the worst ever, with 26 named storms. They broke the previous record of 21 set in 1933. Of these storms, 14 became hurricanes, two more than the previous record set in 1969. Seven of the hurricanes were classified as major hurricanes, including Katrina which devastated New Orleans and other U.S. Gulf cities in August, killing an estimated 1,300 people.




Santa Claus may have to swap his sleigh for water wings sooner than expected as global warming melts his Arctic home, environmental group WWF said on Friday.


A new study for the organization formerly known as the Worldwide Fund for Nature predicts that the earth could warm by two degrees centigrade above pre-industrial levels as early as 2026 -- and by triple that amount in the Arctic.


"This ... could result in Santa's home changing forever," said the report by Mark New of Oxford University.


And Rudolph and his fellow reindeer are not the only creatures under threat -- polar bears, ice-dwelling seals and several forms of Arctic vegetation are also at risk.


"We are already seeing signs of significant change in the Arctic with mountain glaciers retreating, snow cover disappearing, the Greenland ice sheet thinning and Arctic sea ice cover declining," said WWF climate campaigner Andrew Lee.


"All these changes tell us there is no time to lose -- we need to take drastic action now to combat climate change."


And by the way:


British scientists have calculated 2005 WAS the warmest year on record in the Northern Hemisphere, at least since records began being kept in the 1860s. The average temperature was 0.65 C above average for 1961-90. From the number of storms generated there, it should not be surprising that the Northern Hemisphere Atlantic Ocean also has been the warmest on record.




Three environmental groups are hoping a lawsuit they filed for endangered species status will force the Bush administration to face the issue of global warming. They say the world has been consistently getting hotter with each passing year.

No natural climate cycles can explain the heat. It must be caused, in large measure at least, by manmade greenhouse-gas emissions, NASA scientists said.


As for humans, new studies in the journal Nature have confirmed the World Health Organization estimates that, conservatively, 150,000 more people die each year — and five million more get sick — because manmade global warming is helping insect- and water-borne diseases to spread, especially among poorer nations.


Scientists in the tropics have reported that warming is drying forests, spurring a growing number of extinctions, and threatening even the many species of wild orchids that rely on near-constant mist in the cloud forests.


"If it gets any warmer, I don't see how extinction can be avoided," said Karen Masters, an American scientist working on wild orchids in Costa Rica's Monte Verde Cloud Forest.



Flash floods triggered by prolonged rains in central Vietnam have killed at least 32 people in recent weeks and damaged rice crops. Rains which began in late November have inundated more than 74,130 acres of newly-planted rice crops in the central provinces. "The weather is quite abnormal this year, waters in rivers in the central region have started to recede but we expect new rains over the weekend so people should stay alert," said an official from the central city of Danang.



The number of scientific experiments on animals rose by 63,000 last year to just over 2.85 million, according to statistics acquired by the UK Guardian. Most of the increase was from work on rats and mice; the number of procedures on non-human primates dropped by 12% in the same period compared with 2003. Robin Lovell-Badge of the National Institute for Medical Research said the increase could be accounted for by the ever-expanding number of genetically modified animals used. That represents a lot of pain and suffering by the innocent little creatures of the world.



About Mabus:


U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice this week accused the international community of shirking its obligation to help prosecute ousted Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein by effectively boycotting his trial. Without naming specific countries, Rice said she was saddened that many nations were doing so little to help prosecute Saddam.


Other than sit by and proclaim “hurrah, kill the bastard,” what more are they expected to do in this horrible drama? I somehow wonder if that is the sentiment even going through the minds of other world leaders at this time. Many European states are not cooperating because they oppose the death penalty, which is being sought in this trial.


Speaking to the Heritage Foundation think tank, Rice said: “All who expressed their devotion to human rights and the rule of law have a special obligation to help the Iraqis bring to justice one of the world’s most murderous tyrants.”


Indeed, is this Saddam or is it George W. Bush she was speaking of?




One of the big stories from the war front this week was the Iraqi election.


The people in that war torn country turned out in overwhelming numbers Thursday to cast their votes in a complex election that pits many candidates representing various versions of the three ethnic groups that share that country. This time the Sunni Arabs, who boycotted the first election, came out to vote. The polling stations were kept open an extra hour to take care of the lines of voters waiting at the doors. An estimated 10 million votes were cast.


The cities were on virtual lock-down all day, with military forces patrolling the streets and looking for signs of trouble. The election was largely peaceful.


While officials say it may take days or even weeks to count and ballots and determine the winners, a straw poll conducted by Reuters reporters showed the dominant Shiite Islamist bloc retaining a strong following. This was challenged by former Prime Minister Iyad Allawi’s secular group. There also appears to be support in Shiite areas for the United Iraqi Alliance, the senior partner in a ruling coalition with the Kurds.


In other words, nobody knows who won seats in government office, or how it all will shake out in the long run. All we know is that George W. Bush appears to be banking on success in this election to gain political favor at home and in the history books.


In Afghanistan, a new parliament will meet for the first time on Monday following elections there that put a strange mixture of characters in power. Lineups of the 249-seat lower house and a 102-member upper house read like a Who’s Who of protagonists of the country’s bloody past. Former Communists, leaders of guerrilla groups that overthrew them and ex-Taliban will sit side by side in a political body that emerged from UN-backed September elections. Also seated will be a clutch of idealistic new politicians including technocrats and women’s rights activists.  Lots o’luck on that one.



In Other Important News


Indonesia has confirmed its ninth human death from bird flu, senior Health Ministry officials said on Tuesday, taking the global death toll from the disease to 71, all in Asia. A Hong Kong laboratory affiliated with the World Health Organization confirmed an Indonesian had died from the deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu, which scientists fear will mutate into an easily spread human virus and spark a pandemic in which millions could die.


The maker of a nasal spray flu vaccine, Med-immune Inc., said it has developed an easier-to-store version that significantly reduces the number of flu cases in a clinical trial. In a late-stage study of the vaccine, only 3.9 percent of patients that took the vaccine came down with flu, compared with 8.6 percent of patients receiving conventional flu shots. But will it work against H5N1? Only time will tell.


The Environmental group Greenpeace said this week that thousands of workers involved in the ship breaking industry are likely to have died in the past two decades due to accidents or exposure to toxic waste on the old ships

At the global release of a report titled "End of Life Ships -- The Human Cost of Breaking Ships", the organization said steps must be taken to ensure that established safety guidelines are observed by all parties involved in the industry.


"India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, China and Turkey are the homes to the world's ship breaking facilities," said the report, prepared by Greenpeace and the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH).


"Every year the shipping industry sends around 600 ships of all types to be dismantled on their beaches. The yards provide work, directly or indirectly, to thousands of people. Yet working at a ship breaking yard is a dirty and dangerous job."


The organizations said as per their estimates, every year hundreds of workers become victims of accidents at ship breaking yards or fall sick breathing toxic fumes.


"Greenpeace and FIDH estimate that the total death toll of ship breaking practices in the world over the last 20 years might be in the thousands," the report said.


It added if workers were not dying or getting seriously injured in accidents, they suffered a big risk of falling ill or dying from toxic-waste-related diseases often because the ships were being sent for scrap without removing toxic waste.


"At the yard and in their sleeping quarters, they breathe toxic fumes and asbestos dust," the report said.




British surgeons are preparing to carry out an unprecedented full face transplant operation next year after being granted ethical approval to actively seek patients. The 30-strong team headed by Peter Butler, a leading plastic surgeon at the Royal Free Hospital in Hampstead, London, was given the go-ahead by the hospital's bioethics committee yesterday. The announcement follows the partial face transplant in France last month of a woman whose face was mutilated by a dog. It is hard to imagine looking at yourself in the mirror every morning and being shocked that the face you see is no longer your own. And what about the cellular memories of the person whose face you are now wearing? Will your personality be changed along with the new face? And what if the body repels the transplant and you end up with no face at all?



Business News:


Hollywood ends its most disappointing year in nearly two decades. Plunging movie ticket sales, after a string of uninspiring remakes and movie sequels coupled with an explosion of the DVD and video game markets, are keeping audiences at home and have sent Hollywood into a deep existential crisis.


"This industry is facing significant challenges said Jack Kyser, chief economist of the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp, a business support and research body.

Ticket sale revenues dropped five percent in the first 11 months of 2005 while the number of Americans going to the cinema fell by 6.2 percent compared with the same period in 2004, according to box office trackers Exhibitor Relations Co Inc.


The result is Tinseltown's most disappointing box office performance in 15 years as audiences, dazzled by their entertainment choices and disappointed by the mediocre films on offer, turned away from the cinema in droves.




DuPont Co. agreed to pay $10.25 million in fines and $6.25 million for environmental projects to settle allegations by the Environmental Protection Agency that the company hid information about the dangers of a toxic chemical used to make the non-stick coating Teflon.




General Motors Corp. is suspending contributions to its 401(k) retirement savings plan for salaried workers, a spokesman said on Thursday. The world's largest automaker was also dropping the requirement that up to 3 percent of worker's contributions and 100 percent of the automaker's contribution be invested in GM shares.




From The Bah Humbug Department:


Christmas is damaging the environment, says a new report by the Australian Conservation Foundation. The report titled "The Hidden Cost of Christmas" calculated the environmental impact of spending on books, clothes, alcohol, electrical appliances and rich foods during the festive season. Every dollar Australians spend on new clothes as gifts consumes four gallons of water and requires 37 sq. feet of land in the manufacturing process, it said. Last Christmas, Australians spent $1.1 billion on clothes, which required more than 1.2 million acres of land to produce, it said.


Water that would approximately fill 42,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools was used in the production of Christmas drinks last December -- most was used to grow barley for beer and grapes for wine. "If your bank account is straining under the pressure of Christmas shopping, spare a thought for our environment," Don Henry, the foundation's executive director, said in a statement. "It's paying for our Christmas presents with water, land, air and resources. These costs are hidden in the products we buy."


The report said that gifts like DVD players and coffee makers generated 780,000 tons of greenhouse pollution, even before they were unwrapped and used. A third was due to fuel consumption during production. Even a box of $30 chocolates this Christmas, will consume 44 pounds of natural materials and 207 gallons of water. "We can all tread more lightly on the earth this Christmas by eating, drinking and giving gifts in moderation, and by giving gifts with a low environmental cost, such as vouchers for services, tickets to entertainment, memberships to gyms, museums or sports clubs, and donations to charities," said Henry.



An outbreak of opportunistic mistletoe rustling is threatening a Christmas kissing crisis, British environmental experts said Wednesday. The Wildlife Trusts said over-harvesting of the plant that only grows in the wild and is mainly found on old apple trees meant it was becoming increasingly rare.


"Mistletoe is being taken in increasingly large quantities from orchards, hedgerows and ancient trees to be sold at markets to Christmas shoppers," said The Wildlife Trusts -- a partnership of 47 British wildlife organizations. "There are cases of mistletoe rustling, and once the whole plant has been removed from its host tree it won't grow back."


The parasitic green plant with white berries has been associated with fertility since the time of the ancient Druids and kissing under the mistletoe has long been a Christmas party tradition.



About That Patriot Act


U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales traveled to Capitol Hill on Tuesday to increase pressure on legislators to renew the USA Patriot Act and warned that letting the measure expire would hurt law enforcement efforts against terrorism.


The U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation on Wednesday to renew the USA Patriot Act, setting up a showdown with the Senate over the centerpiece of President George W. Bush's war on terrorism.


On a 251-174 vote, the House approved the measure, with lawmakers saying it would properly balance civil liberties with the need to bolster national security.


But a group of Democrats and Republicans vowed to oppose the legislation in the Senate, which is expected to take up the bill in coming days. They charged that despite increased congressional and judicial oversight, it would still give the government too much power to pry into the lives of Americans, including their medical, gun and library records.


Today, I am happy to report, the Senate refused to reauthorize major portions of the Act. The vote of 52 to 47 dealt a huge defeat to the Bush Administration and Republican leaders.


Parts of the Patriot Act, which was swiftly enacted after the September 11, 2001, attacks on the United States, will expire on December 31.


In a somewhat related story, U.S. lawmakers were expressing shock at a New York Times report today that the National Security Agency has been eavesdropping on telephone calls by people within the United States without acquiring warrants from a judge. The question now is, who gave the NSA such powers? Is it written in the Patriot Act? Or was the agency acting outside of the law? Hearings are expected on this matter, probably early next year.




The Evolution Debate


Nearly seven months after schools in a suburban Atlanta county were forced to peel off textbook stickers that called evolution a theory, not fact, a federal appeals court is set to consider whether the disclaimers were unconstitutional.

In January, a federal judge ordered Cobb County, Georgia, school officials to immediately remove the stickers, saying they were an endorsement of religion. The ruling was appealed to the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which will hear arguments on Thursday.

Advocates on both sides say the appeals court's decision will go a long way toward shaping a debate between science and religion that has cropped up in various forms around the country.

"If it's unconstitutional to tell students to study evolution with an open mind, then what's not unconstitutional?" said John West, a senior fellow with the Discovery Institute, a Seattle-based think tank that supports intelligent design, the belief that the universe is so complex it must have been created by a higher power. "The judge is basically trying to make it unconstitutional for anyone to have a divergent view, and we think that has a chilling effect on free speech."

Opponents of the sticker campaign see it as a backdoor attempt to introduce the biblical story of creation into the public schools – something the U.S. Supreme Court disallowed in a 1987 case from Louisiana.



An Israeli Attack On Iran?


Israel’s armed forces have been ordered by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to be ready by the end of March for possible strikes on secret uranium enrichment sites in Iran, military sources have revealed. The order came after Israeli intelligence warned the government that Iran was operating enrichment facilities, believed to be small and concealed in civilian locations. Israel's army chief said on Tuesday Tehran could start enriching uranium by March 2006 and might be capable of producing nuclear bombs within three years.




A rising new Bolivian Socialist leader appears to be Evo Morales, the man who appears to be in the lead in a race for the office of the nation’s president in next week’s elections. Morales threatens to be “a nightmare for the United States government” because he is a socialist with strong ties to Hugo Chavez of Venezuela and Fidel Castro of Cuba. Not only this, but Morales is a coco farmer who promises to reverse a U.S.-backed campaign to stamp out production of the leaf that is used to make cocaine. The coco also has been chewed for years by the Bolivian people for spiritual reasons.




Earth's north magnetic pole is drifting away from North America and toward Siberia at such a clip that Alaska might lose its spectacular Northern Lights in the next 50 years, scientists said Thursday. Despite accelerated movement over the past century, the possibility that Earth's modestly fading magnetic field will collapse is remote. But the shift could mean Alaska may no longer see the sky lights known as auroras, which might then be more visible in more southerly areas of Siberia and Europe.




An outbreak of geysers spewing mud and gas into the air in rural Kingfisher County, Oklahoma, is puzzling state and local officials. The geysers have appeared throughout the countryside of rural Kingfisher, with stretches of up to 12 miles between spots, and some as short as a quarter of a mile. Local Fire Chief John Crawford says the threat of the gas igniting is unlikely, but he says there is a possible danger and is warning residents to watch for leaks getting in basements.




A Nigerian plane carrying 110 passengers and crew crashed and burst into flames in Port Harcourt Saturday killing 106. There were four survivors. The plane was carrying 75 secondary school students from a Jesuit college in Abuja, the Nigerian capital. The plane was traveling from Abuja to Port Harcourt when it crashed in bad weather.




At least 30 people died when firecrackers exploded on a bus carrying guests from a wedding party in Lahore, eastern Pakistan, Sunday. Police said there were about 50 people, mostly women and children, on the bus. One report said the bus was engulfed in flames within seconds, trapping passengers. There was only one exit.




Residents of Hemel Hempstead, England, a northern suburb of London, were shocked out of their beds by a series of massive explosions that destroyed a major fuel depot. Dozens of people were injured, doors were blown off buildings, windows blasted out of their frames, light bulbs exploded and walls and ceilings were cracked by the force of the blast that was felt for miles away. Police said the explosions appeared to be accidental although they occurred just four days after an al-Qaida videotape appeared calling for attacks on the facilities carrying oil “stolen” from the Middle East. The fire had all but burned itself out by Tuesday. Black smoke from the fire could be seen as far away as France. The cause of the disaster was still under investigation. There were no injuries.




A fire at the largest hospital in the northeastern Chinese city of Liaoyuan killed 33 people on Thursday, the official news agency reported. A provincial government official said rescuers found 19 bodies at the scene and 14 other people died after they were transferred to other hospitals for treatment.



In Sidney, Australia, thousands of young white and Moslem youths clashed in a severe racial riot sparked by reports that youths of Lebanese descent assaulted two lifeguards on a Sidney beach. The youths went on a rampage first on the beach and later in various parts of the city, fighting with police and smashing about 40 cars with sticks and bats. Thirty-one people were injured and 28 arrested. The rioting continued for a second night, spreading to the nearby city of Cronulla. The rioting and unrest continued for days.



Some dropped to their knees in prayer, others held candles but many in the crowd of thousands that gathered to protest the execution on Tuesday of Stanley “Tookie” Williams simply waited silently for the inevitable. Dozens of police officers lined the road and television news helicopters hovered above the crowd. Residents stood on their stoops and climbed onto roofs to get a clear view of speakers that included Jesse Jackson, actor Mike Farrell, former gang members and leaders of the Nation of Islam.


The execution by lethal injection at San Quentin State Prison followed a frenzied but failed effort to reopen the case by supporters of Williams, who repudiated gang life during his 24 years on Death Row. The case has generated widespread interest and fierce debate over the death penalty in the United States.


California's execution of Williams outraged many in Europe who regard the practice as barbaric, and politicians in Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's native Austria called for his name to be removed from a sports stadium in his hometown. At the Vatican, Pope Benedict XVI's top official for justice matters denounced the death penalty for going against redemption and human dignity.


The incident may have intensified racial unrest in the United States. We may have not heard the last of the Tookie Williams case.




In the last five years, the FBI has opened more than 300 cases of crime on the high seas. With sexual assault being the most prevalent type of crime on cruise ships, women and minors appear to be the most vulnerable passengers. Forty-five percent of the FBI cases were sexual assaults; 22 percent involved physical assaults. Missing-persons cases accounted for 10 percent of the reported crimes. In 75 percent of those cases, a body was never found. The numbers released by the FBI have relatives and lawmakers pointing the finger at the cruise-ship industry.



On The Lighter Side of the News:


Researchers at the Salk Institute in San Diego report the creation of mice with small amounts of human brain cells for scientific studies involving neurological disorders in humans. About 100,000 human embryonic stem cells were injected per mouse. The mice were born with about 0.1 percent of human cells in their heads, which the research team assures us that the animals were not “humanized.” They say it illustrates that injecting human stem cells into animal brains does not restructure the brain. They also are injecting human embryonic stem cells into monkeys. “It’s true that there is a huge amount of similarity, but the differences are huge,” said researcher Dr. Evan Snyder. “You will never ever have a little human trapped inside a mouse or monkey’s body.”




Pope Benedict warned that rampant materialism is polluting the spirit of Christmas. Well, yeah…..?




Police in Derbyshire, England, are posting cardboard cutouts of a local police officer to help deter crime. The “cardboard copper” is pictured from the back, wearing a trademark British policeman’s hat, a reflective yellow jacket and with his arms folded. It looks like the real thing from afar and authorities say it is being used as gasoline stations to deter thieves from driving off without paying.




Also in the UK, a 91-year-old man staked a 500-pound bet that he would be dead by the end of the first week in December. Arthur King-Robinson said he placed the bet on at odds of 6 to 1 at the start of the year because his wife would have faced an inheritance tax bill of 3,000 pounds if he died during that period. He lost the bet because he remained alive, which was both good and bad news we suppose.



A Chinese man who repeatedly broke into the home of a neighbor he secretly loved, at one point sneaking out with a bra and some photos, has been let off the hook by a Chinese court. Police caught him red-handed in November walking out of the neighbor's apartment with a key to her door, a bra, two photographs and her MP3 player. But the court in Harbin, capital of northeastern Heilongjiang province, dismissed harassment charges against the burglar. It heard that on the times he entered the woman's apartment while she was out, he had washed her dishes, done her laundry, left her snacks and even fixed her computer.



A hazardous slick of broken eggs caused traffic chaos in rural Ireland Thursday after a truck carrying thousands of broody hens lost its load. "Chickens have begun to lay eggs on the roads and the conditions are quite treacherous at the moment, very slippy," AA Roadwatch said on its traffic advice line, warning up to 7,000 chickens were on the loose.



Then there is the guy in San Francisco who has invented . . . or re-invented the bidet, a toilet designed to wash your behind with a spray of warm water so toilet paper is not necessary. The top of the line comes with heated seats and a warm-air dryer. He calls it a Swash and it retails for $429 to $529. Bottom washing toilets have been known in Europe, but they never caught on in the US. Until recently, that is.



And that is the news for another week from the Luciferians. Tune in each week at this same time for the Luciferian News Hour.


And don’t forget to listen every Sunday evening to Psychic and Prophet Aaron C. Donahue and his Psychic sister, Jennifer Sharpe during the Voice of Lucifer.


Thanks for listening.

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