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Luciferian News Hour


March 16, 2006


Good evening Luciferians. This is Steve O. and Chad bringing you the news tonight in what we believe will be a new and exciting format. We will be your regular anchors for the show for a while and we hope you like our presentation.



Bird Flu Panic

In a remarkable speech last weekend, Secretary of Health and Human Services Michael Leavitt recommended that Americans start storing canned tuna and powdered milk under their beds as the prospect of a deadly bird flu outbreak approaches the United States.

This bug is being spread much faster than first predicted. It is going from one wild flock of birds to another and is arriving via an airborne delivery system that no government can stop.

U. S. Secretary of Agriculture Michael Johanns said: "There's no way you can protect the United States by building a big cage around it and preventing wild birds from flying in and out.”

U.S. spy satellites are tracking the infected flocks, which started in Asia and are now heading north to Siberia and Alaska. From there they will soon mingle with flocks from the North American flyways. The first cases could arrive in the U.S. this spring.

Cases of the virus were reported in wild birds this week in Denmark and Sweden.

"What we're watching in real time is evolution," said Laurie Garrett, a senior fellow for global health at the Council on Foreign Relations. "And it's a biological process, and it is, by definition, unpredictable."

This is exactly what Psychic and Prophet Aaron C. Donahue has predicted. He said it will affect our poultry first and humans will contract the H5N1 virus through contact with birds.

Donahue said the virus will later mutate and begin passing from human to human. That is when the pandemic will begin. What Nostradamus said will be the “horrible undoing of people and animals.”

Myanmar, formerly known as Burma in Southeast Asia, reported its first case of the deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu. There also was a high risk advisory that poultry in Afghanistan were also infected, officials said on Monday. This was a day after the virus gained new ground in Europe and Africa.


Lab tests confirmed the outbreak in northern Myanmar after 112 chickens died, according to a report from the Myanmar government.


The Cameroon government announced its first case on Sunday, becoming the fourth African country to be struck by the virus. The H5N1 bird flu strain was detected in a duck on a farm close to the northern town near the border with neighboring Nigeria, the government said in a statement broadcast on state radio.


New cases also were reported Sunday in Poland and Greece _ two countries already touched by bird flu _ in the latest signs of the disease's expanding range.




Rumsfeld Cashes In

As an interesting footnote: Donald Rumsfeld has made a killing out of bird flu. The US Defense Secretary has made more than $5 million in capital gains from selling shares in the biotechnology firm that discovered and developed Tamiflu, the drug being bought in massive amounts by Governments to treat a possible human pandemic of the disease, according to a report in the UK Independent.

More than 60 countries have so far ordered large stocks of the antiviral medication - the only oral medicine believed to be effective against the deadly H5N1 strain of the disease - to try to protect their people. The United Nations estimates that a pandemic could kill 150 million people worldwide.



Iraq Killing Spree Goes On


In Iraq, the killing spree continued. Bombings and shootings killed at least 17 people  around the country on Friday. A suicide truck bomb ripped through a line of vehicles waiting at a checkpoint in Fallujah, killing at least seven civilians. And authorities in Baghdad found the bodies of six more men who were executed. They were blindfolded, handcuffed, and then shot in the back of the head. Also car bombs killed three people in Smarra.


At least 58 people were killed and more than 200 wounded in three apparently coordinated car bomb and mortar attacks at two markets in Baghdad's Shi'ite district of Sadr City on Sunday, police said. Ten people died in a series of mortar blasts and roadside bombings in Baghdad earlier in the day.


The killing continued on Monday. Police found the bodies of four men dangling from electrical pylons in a Baghdad Shiite slum. Also bomb blasts in Baghdad, Kirkuk and Tikrit killed at least 10 more people and wounded more than 30. They included a U.S. soldier killed in a roadside bombing in east Baghdad.


Tuesday police reported finding the bodies of at least 85 people killed by execution-style shootings as the gruesome wave of sectarian reprisal slayings continued. The dead included some 27 bodies stacked in a mass grave in an eastern Shiite neighborhood of Baghdad.





Operation Swarmer

The U.S. military Thursday launched its biggest air offensive in Iraq since the 2003 invasion. The code name is Operation Swarmer.

More than 50 aircraft, 1,500 Iraqi and US Troops and 200 tactical vehicles are attacking suspected insurgents operating near the town of Samarra, about 60 miles north of Baghdad.

The operation is expected to continue for several days, a military statement said.

Samarra is the site of the bombing attack of a Shiite shrine last month that set off sectarian reprisals and has pushed Iraq to the brink of civil war.


The Waste Of It


The United States is pouring billions more dollars and fresh platoons of experts into its campaign to "defeat IEDs," the roadside bombs President Bush describes as threat No. 1 to Iraq's future.


The American military even plans to build special, more defensible highways in its frustrating standoff with the makeshift munitions _ "improvised explosive devices" _ that Iraqi insurgents field by the hundreds to hobble U.S. road movements in the 3-year-old conflict.


But on those risky roads, and back at the Pentagon, few believe that even the most advanced technology will eliminate the threat.




The Iran Crisis Gets Worse


In the Iranian crisis, the stage appears to be getting set for yet another military strike by the United States, even though the United Nations Security Council is now getting involved.

According to the New York Times, President Bush on Wednesday issued a new national security strategy reaffirming his doctrine of preemptive war against terrorists and hostile states with chemical, biological or nuclear weapons, despite the troubled experience in Iraq.

The document, an articulation of U.S. strategic priorities that is required by law, lays out a robust view of America's power and an assertive view of its responsibility to bring change around the world. On topics including genocide, human trafficking and AIDS, the strategy describes itself as "idealistic about goals and realistic about means."

The strategy expands on the original security framework developed by the Bush administration in September 2002, before the invasion of Iraq. That strategy shifted U.S. foreign policy away from decades of deterrence and containment toward a more aggressive stance of attacking enemies before they attack the United States.

During the debate before the UN Security Council, China and Russia objected Tuesday to a tough statement backed by the United States, Britain and France. The statement calls for a report in two weeks on Iran's compliance with demands that it suspend uranium enrichment.


While the five veto-wielding council members are united against Iran developing nuclear weapons, they disagree on how to get Tehran to comply with demands by the U.N. nuclear watchdog to stop all enrichment and reprocessing and answer questions about its controversial nuclear program.


The draft Security Council proposals would express ``the conviction that continued Iranian enrichment-related activity would intensify international concern.'' It also would reaffirm that the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction ``constitutes a threat to international peace and security'' - language that already appears in virtually all U.N. sanctions resolutions.


The United States and its allies believe Security Council action will put pressure on Iran and could lead to tougher measures later on, such as sanctions.


In an ever-increasing hostile stance, Iran said it has now ruled out a plan to move its uranium enrichment program to Russia and thereby allow international monitoring. The U.S. and European Union backed the plan as a way to ensure that Iran would not misuse the process to make nuclear weapons.


Iran said the plan was negotiable and reached a basic agreement with Moscow, but the details were never worked out. Now Iran has rejected the entire plan. And this further complicates the growing international crisis over what to do about Iran.


In the meantime, it was disclosed that Iran’s government has built a secret underground emergency command center at Teheran in preparation for a military confrontation over its nuclear program. The newly completed command center is connected by tunnels to other government compounds. The complex is part of the government’s plan to move more of its operations underground. It is said the subterranean chambers and tunnels are more than half a mile in length.


It appears that everyone involved in this mess is preparing for another war.




Afghanistan Road Kill


In Afghanistan, four US soldiers were killed Sunday when an improvised roadside bomb destroyed their armored vehicle. The soldiers were on a patrol in the eastern province of Kunar.


Also Sunday, a suicide car bomb attack wounded a former Afghan president and two civilians, was well as two men in the suicide bomber’s vehicle Sunday. The Afghan official (Sibghatullah Moiadidi if you want to tackle it), who chairs the upper house of parliament and heads a commission attempting to encourage Taliban defections, later appeared at a news conference with bandages on he hands that he said covered burns from the blast.




Hamas Is Broke


Starved for money and increasingly isolated by Israel and the international community since the victory by Hamas in parliamentary elections, the Palestinian Authority is teetering on financial collapse. It is struggling to meet basic commitments, from supplying electricity to paying salaries. The Authority is more than a week late paying wages owed to its 150,000 employees.




Mabus Calls For Unity


Saddam Hussein used his televised trial to address the Iraqi people Wednesday, calling for an end of violence and a united Iraq.


His presentation prompted the chief judge to close the courtroom to the public because he said Saddam was making political speeches.

Hussein, wearing a black suit and standing before the chief judge while reading his remarks, called for an end of the bloody wave of sectarian violence that has rocked Iraq since the bombing of a major Shiite shrine last month.

"What pains me most is what I heard recently about something that aims to harm our people," Saddam said. "My conscience tells me that the great people of Iraq have nothing to do with these acts."

The chief judge interrupted Saddam, saying he was not allowed to give political speeches in the court.

"I am the head of state," Saddam replied.

"You used to be a head of state. You are a defendant now," the judge barked at Saddam.

As Saddam continued reading from a prepared text, the judge repeatedly closed his microphone to prevent his words from being heard and told him to address the charges against him. Saddam ignored the judge and continued speaking.

"You are being tried in a criminal case. Stop your political speech," the judge said angrily.

"Had it not been for politics I wouldn't be here," Saddam replied.

He went on with his speech, urging Iraqis not to fight each other.

The trial reopened Sunday with three of the co-defendants, all former officials in the ruling Baath Party, brought to the witness box. All three denied any role in the deaths and arrests of Shiites in allegations linked to the execution of 148 people for a plot to assassinate Saddam.


Saddam and seven former members of his government are on trial for the executions. They could face execution by hanging if convicted. Saddam has already admitted that he ordered the trials and executions of the people for their role in the assassination attempt. He also said it was his right as the ruler of Iraq to do so, and he declared his actions were not criminal.



The Unpopular President

Down still lower in public opinion polls, President George W. Bush said Friday he realizes he has made some unpopular decisions but that it "comes with the territory" and he will stand by his beliefs.

"I know some would like me to change, but you can't be a good decision-maker if you're trying to please people. You've got to stand on what you believe, that's what you've got to do, if you're going to make decisions that are solid and sound," he said.

During a question-and-answer session with a national newspaper group, Bush became his most animated when talking about the way he handles his job.

A year into his second term, Bush is beset with a job approval rating below 40 percent, with Americans disapproving of his handling of the Iraq war and the U.S. economy.



$8.9 Trillion In Debt

The U.S. Senate Thursday approved a $781 billion increase in U.S. borrowing authority aimed at averting a possible government default on debt this month.

The Senate voted 52-48 to raise the federal debt limit to $8.965 trillion. It is the fourth time the cap has been raised since 2002. The bill now goes to President Bush for signing into law.

Treasury Secretary John Snow applauded passage of the legislation saying it "ensures that the U.S. can deliver on promises already made, such as Social Security and Medicare payments and aid for the victims of the 2005 hurricanes."

It is scary to think that our country is $8.9 trillion in debt. I wonder if anybody knows just how much money that is.



The Dubai Blunder


President Bush said Friday that the collapse of the Dubai ports deal could hurt U.S. efforts to recruit Mideast governments as partners in the worldwide war on terror.


In what may have been an aftershock to the failed transaction, a new round of trade talks between the United States and the United Arab Emirates was postponed Friday.


Only the day before, Dubai-based DP World backed away from its takeover of the ports operations along the American East Coast in the face of unrelenting criticism by U.S. legislators. The company announced it would transfer its management of port terminals to an American entity.


Bush insisted his administration’s approval of the deal posed no security risk to the United States. He warned that the reversal could have the opposite effect.


In other words, having friendly Arabs operating American ports might have helped prevent attacks on those ports by hostile Islamic terrorists.




Bumper Sticker Issue


A San Diego County woman is suing her former employer because she was fired for posting a bumper sticker on her car that promoted a popular left-wing radio station in her area. Linda Laroca said her former manager for Advantage Sales and Marketing, Inc., noted the sticker and accused her of being a possible member of al-Qaida.  The sticker read “1360 Air America Progressive Talk Radio.” We have to wonder what is going to happen when people start posting Luciferian bumper stickers. They are coming folks. Bumper stickers, coffee mugs and t-shirts are in the works.




Shit For Breakfast


Four former inmates of the Citrus County Jail near Orlando, Florida, have sued the private company that operates the jail. The lawsuit alleges that two former officers doctored their food with human feces and urinated in their drinks while they were incarcerated.


The inmates charge they were subjected to cruel punishment, torture and battery because they were forced to eat the food or go hungry. After eating the food, which had a foul odor and didn’t taste right, they said they suffered from vomiting, stomach cramps and nausea.


Three employees of the Tennessee-based Corrections Corporation of America have been fired in connection with the incident.




The Moussaoui Blunder


Prosecutors asked a U. S. District Judge Wednesday to reconsider her decision to toss out half of the government's case against confessed terrorist Zacarias Moussaoui. They acknowledged that altering the judge's ruling is their only hope of salvaging the death-penalty case.


In a motion filed with U.S. District Judge Leonie Brinkema, prosecutors said the aviation security evidence she barred because a government lawyer coached the witnesses "goes to the very core of our theory of the case."

Judge Brinkema earlier put the case on hold and considered dismissing the death penalty case against Moussaoui.

The lawyer reportedly e-mailed information about the case against Moussaoui to the witnesses before they were supposed to appear in court. It was perceived as a form of “coaching” the witnesses.

"In all the years I've been on the bench, I've never seen such an egregious violation of the court's rule on witnesses,” Brinkema said.

Brinkema, visibly upset, said she had decided to put the trial on hold until at least Wednesday because she needed more time to decide whether to dismiss the case.

The surprise development could derail the government's effort to put Moussaoui to death as the only person convicted in the United States in connection with the hijacked airliner attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people.

"This court is faced with a very serious taint of a key portion of this case," Brinkema said. "It is very difficult for this case to go forward."



Mexican Oil Discovery


In Mexico an exploration well drilling crew has discovered a new deep-water oil field in the Gulf of Mexico that researchers believe could yield 10 billion barrels of crude oil. The well, dubbed Noxal 1, was drilled at a depth of 3,070 feet below the water and is seeking a depth of 13,125 feet. Government estimates say the find may exceed reserves at the giant offshore field Cantarell, Mexico’s largest oil field, which has seen its production decline but is still expected to yield 1.9 million barrels a day this year.




Youth Suicides


In Japan, police are investigating two separate cases of possible group suicides after nine people were found dead in parked cars. It was the latest in a series of cases like this.


Five men and one woman were found dead on a station wagon north of Tokyo. Charcoal stoves were found in the car, suggesting carbon monoxide poisoning


Also a man and two women were found dead in another sealed car parked in the foothills of a mountain about 280 miles north of Tokyo.




Milosevic Is Dead

Former Yugoslav leader Slobodan Milosevic, the so-called "butcher of the Balkans", was found dead Saturday in his prison cell. He was 64.

Milosevic, who suffered chronic heart ailments and high blood pressure, apparently died of heart failure and was found in his bed, the U.N. tribunal said, without giving an exact time of death.

His death, however, sparked controversy because of a letter he wrote to Russian authorities only a day before in which he claimed prison doctors were administering the wrong medications. He implied that he was being poisoned.

Milosevic has been in prison during a four-year-long trial for war crimes. He was charged with orchestrating a decade of bloodshed during his country’s breakup.



East African Drought


Health officials warn that millions of children in drought stricken East Africa are now threatened by a “lethal cocktail” of measles and malnutrition. The children urgently need vaccinations against this highly infectious disease.


Vaccinations campaigns have been launched but there are about 6 million children at risk and they all need to be vaccinated within the next few weeks or a lot of them will die, a U.N. official warned.


The situation in Kenya, southern Somalia and southern Ethiopia is already extremely desperate. Hundreds of people and tens of thousands of livestock have died of hunger and thirst as drought has taken its toll.




Update On Taiwan


China's prime minister said his country would engage in talks with Taiwan's ruling party if the island gave up its "platform of so-called independence"


Taiwan's Democratic Progressive Party, however, dismissed the offer of dialogue on Tuesday, with the secretary general saying China had "no idea what democracy is" and that there would be no peace across the Taiwan strait "if China does not embrace democracy."


Thus the war of words continues.




North Korea Prepares For War

North Korea said this week it has the right to launch a pre-emptive attack against U.S.-backed South Korean forces because the two Koreas are technically still at war.

The comments came as North Korea objected to annual joint South Korean-U.S. military exercises, which Pyongyang has said are a preparation for an invasion of its territory.

A spokesman for the North's Korea People's Army (KPA) said distrust is high between the United States and North Korea, and Pyongyang "will never remain a passive onlooker to the U.S. pre-emptive attack on the DPRK."

DPRK is short for North Korea's official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.



Thailand Student Protest


In Thailand on Tuesday, tens of thousands of protesters blockaded the Prime Minister's office to demand that he step down.


Some 70,000 students, union workers, teachers and activists marched from the royal palace to the gates of the Government House compound about one mile away, as the cabinet held its weekly meeting.


"We will be here until Thaksin quits. If police want roads to return to normal, tell the prime minister to resign," said one of the protest leaders.



Mad Cow In Alabama


A beef cow in an Alabama herd has tested positive for mad cow disease, the Agriculture Department has confirmed. It is the third case of mad cow disease confirmed in the United States. The first occurred in December, 2003 in Washington State, and the second was last June in Texas.


This animal was found in a routine test that indicated the presence of the disease. More detailed testing at a government laboratory confirmed the test on Monday.


The animal had not entered the food supply. In other words, it had not been slaughtered and cut up into pieces of bone and muscle for humans to gorge themselves on.


Tennessee Gets In Abortion Frey

The Tennessee State Senate last week passed a proposal to amend the State Constitution so that it doesn't guarantee a woman's right to an abortion.


The 24-9 vote was the first step of many toward officially amending the state constitution. The measure would go before voters if the General Assembly approves it twice over the next two years.


The state Supreme Court has ruled that the Tennessee Constitution grants women a greater right to abortion than the U.S. Constitution.


Abortion rights supporters are attacking the measure as a stepping stone to prohibiting all abortions in Tennessee if the U.S. Supreme Court overturns the landmark abortion decision in Roe v. Wade.




Stem Cell Research


StemCells Inc. of Palo Alto, California, says it is ready to start first clinical trials in the nation using fetal stem cells to treat infants and children born with a rare and fatal brain disease. Researchers in Oregon will inject the stem cells into the brain in an attempt to stop the progress of the genetic disorder called Batten disease. The disease leaves its victims blind, speechless and paralyzed before they die. The cells will be taken from fetal tissue and not from developing embryos.


Research like this may someday lead to cures for other brain and nervous system disorders including Parkinson’s, Muscular Sclerosis, and even spinal injuries.





That South Korean Cloning Case

In South Korea, disgraced cloning scientist Hwang Woo-suk and his team are seeking to prove that they did clone human embryonic stem cells.

Professor Kang Sung-keun at Seoul National University, one of Hwang's lieutenants, Sunday argued the embryonic cell batch featured in the U.S. journal, Science, in 2004, is the real thing.

Although the line seems to have suffered damages or mutations, we are sure that it was established through cloning, and tests prove this,'' he told The Korea Times.

His remarks came just after Hwang's team last week revealed “imprinting analysis'' test results, which they insist is clear-cut evidence refuting an SNU investigation panel conclusion on the cells' identity.

The peer-review committee said Hwang's team faked data for the 2004 Science article and raised the possibility the cells documented in the paper are the result of unisexual reproduction, the growth of an unfertilized egg into an embryo.


Wal-Mart Goes Organic


With more and more people buying and preferring organic foods to GMO and pesticide tainted foods at the grocery stores, Wal-Mart has announced it will be doubling its offering of organic foods. And with Wal-Mart setting the pace, manufacturers are expected to be stepping in line.


This could be both good news and bad news for vegetarians and those of us who search for organic foods and have trouble finding what we want. Our advice is to remember how unscrupulous the market can be. Labeling is going to attempt to trick you into buying the same old stuff while thinking you are getting save, organic foods. Read those labels carefully and make sure the stuff you eat is not laced with monosodium glutamate and other harmful chemicals, and make sure it comes from real organic sources. You may have to resort to the Internet or other places for lists of brands that you can trust.


Remember that just because it says organic on the label doesn’t mean that the stuff isn’t genetically modified in some way, or doctored with harmful preservatives and addictive food additives.




NASA At Mars

A $450 million NASA spacecraft dropped smoothly into orbit around Mars Friday. Mission controllers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena erupted in cheers when the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, which left Earth in August, signaled that it had achieved orbit around a planet that has defeated two-thirds of the probes sent there.

The Orbiter will spend six months making some 500 trips around Mars, reeling itself in from an elongated 35-hour loop to a nearly circular two-hour orbit, before starting its primary science mission.

The most advanced vessel ever sent to another planet, with instruments that can study an object on the Martian surface the size of a desk, the orbiter will search for signs of life and scout sites where astronauts may land years from now.

It will fly closer to the surface than previous missions and send back 10 times as much data as all previous probes put together. It will study every level of the planet from underground layers to the upper atmosphere.



Tornado Alley Hit Hard

Swarms of an estimated 129 tornadoes killed at least 10 people across the Midwest, shut down the University of Kansas and damaged so much of Springfield on Monday that the mayor said "every square inch'' of town suffered some effects.

The violent weather started during the weekend with a line of storms that spawned tornadoes and downpours from the southern Plains to the Ohio Valley.

On Monday, a second line of storms raked the region, with rain, hail and fierce wind tearing up trees and homes from Kansas through Indiana, and blizzards to the north cutting off power to thousands and shutting down schools in South Dakota, Minnesota and Wisconsin.

Illinois' capital was hit hard twice in 24 hours, first by a tornado and then strong wind early Monday that blew debris through the city. Power lines were down across Springfield, trees uprooted and windows blown out.

Mayor Tim Davlin said he expected "every square inch of Springfield'' will have suffered some effect from the storms.

Most major roads into the city were closed, and one man was reported missing after his home was destroyed. The roof was torn off a Wal-Mart store, and police were searching damaged homes and businesses Monday for people who could be trapped. At least 19 people were treated for minor injuries.

Last week on Thursday, severe storms packing straight line winds up to 80 miles an hour and heavy rain whipped through Arkansas, Mississippi, Missouri and Tennessee damaging homes, destroying barns and other structures, uprooting trees and tearing down power lines. At least two people were killed and several more were injured. A tornado was confirmed in eastern Arkansas. Some of the trees that survived Katrina did not make it through these storms, authorities said.




Alaskan Oil Spill

Alaska officials said on Friday that up to 267,000 gallons of crude oil poured out of a pipeline at the Prudhoe Bay field. It thus became the largest oil spill ever recorded on the state's North Slope.

The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation estimated that a minimum of 201,000 gallons spilled over 1.9 acres of snow-covered tundra.

The environmental impact remains unknown, according to Leslie Pearson, on-scene coordinator for the Department of Environmental Conservation.



Gale Norton Quits

Gale Norton resigned Saturday after serving more than five years as secretary of the Interior and overseeing a dramatic expansion of drilling, logging and development on the public lands of the West.

She will leave office at the end of the month without achieving her highest-profile political goal, however. That is opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska to drilling.

“Now I feel it is time for me to leave this mountain you gave me to climb, catch my breath, then set my sights on new goals to achieve in the private sector,” Norton said in a two-page resignation letter to President Bush.

She has been Bush’s earth criminal. Good riddance. 



Rain Breaks Phoenix Drought


It rained in Phoenix, Arizona Friday after a record-setting drought that lasted 143 days. The steady all-day rain lasted most of the day, leaving about a half inch of accumulation. Some mountain areas in Arizona got about a foot of welcome snowfall. The entire Southwest has been drought-stricken for several years.




Warm Canadian Winter

Canada recorded its warmest winter in nearly six decades of record-keeping, with temperatures that a veteran forecaster said were almost "un-Canadian."

Environment Canada said temperatures averaged 7 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than normal from the end of November 2005 to the start of March 2006, and broke the previous record for the country's warmest winter by almost a full degree.

"The entire country was into this balminess. This kind of benign winter, said one climatologist.



Toad Kill

Exotic frogs and toads are dying out in the jungles of Latin America, apparent victims of global warming. Scientists worry this might be a harbinger of one of the worst waves of extinction since the dinosaurs.

Accelerating extinctions would derail a United Nations goal of "a significant reduction in the current rate of biodiversity loss" by 2010. That target will be reviewed at a U.N. meeting of environment ministers in Curitiba, Brazil, on March 20-31.

"We are facing an extinction crisis," said one researcher.



Texas Wildfires


Massive wildfires raced through the dry southern plains of Texas this week, burning more than half a million acres and leaving at least seven people dead. About 3000 people in eight towns in the Texas Panhandle were evacuated. Thousands of livestock are reportedly destroyed.


Four people died in a chain-reaction crash on I-40 east of Groom because of blinding smoke. Three others died in fires near Borger northeast of Amarillo.


The fires scorched more than 663,000 acres, more than 1,000 square miles. “This is probably one of the biggest fire days in Texas history,” said Warren Bielenberg, spokesman for the Texas Forest Service.


Another grass fire in Southeastern New Mexico swept an estimated 70,000 acres and forced the evacuation of two small communities.




San Francisco Snow


A storm spread rarely seen snow and sleet across the San Francisco area early Saturday, and two people were killed in a 28-vehicle pileup on slippery Highway 101 just north of the Golden Gate Bridge. Cars were scattered along a 350-foot stretch of the highway. The highway's northbound lane just north of the Waldo Tunnel remained closed by late morning, causing major traffic backups on the bridge.



Deadly House Fires


Rural house fires in Tennessee and Indiana killed 15 members of two families Saturday. Most of the victims were children, officials said.


In Evensville, Tennessee, six children and three adults from an extended family died on the second floor of a two-story house where they were sleeping. The only survivor, 19-year-old Joseph Alexander, had been on the first floor when he awoke in the smoke and escaped through a window.


In Shoals, Indiana, Rodney Montgomery, his wife and four children were found dead in their burned out house after it was destroyed by flames in the night. Authorities said the fire is believed to have originated at a wood-burning stove.



Hawaiian Flooding Goes On


An 1890s-era plantation dam failed in the rugged hills above northern Kauai, Hawaii, after heavy rains, sending water and mud surging through two homes and wiping out the only highway. Searchers found one person dead and were looking for at least seven others, some of them children who hadn't been seen since the deluge.


The continuing rain was hampering the search and road-clearing efforts, and officials were worried that other old earthen dams in the area may have been catastrophically weakened by days of heavy rain.



Debit Card Scam


An unfolding debit card scam that rocked Citibank last week is only the tip of the iceberg, one analyst said. The mass theft of PINs has been labeled "the worst consumer scam to date."

Citibank said the scam forced it to reissue debit cards and block PIN-based transactions for users in Canada, Russia, and the U.K.

The scam -- and scandal – also has hit national banks like Bank of America, Wells Fargo, and Washington Mutual, as well as smaller banks, including ones in Oregon, Ohio, and Pennsylvania, all of which have re-issued debit cards in recent weeks.

"This is the worst hack ever," one bank spokesperson said. "It's significant because not only is it a really wide-spread breach, but it affects debit cards, which everyone thought were immune to these kinds of things."

Unlike credit cards, debit cards offer an additional level of security: the password-like Personal Identification Number, or PIN.

"That's the irony, the PIN was supposed to make debit cards secure," the spokesperson said. "Up until this breach, everyone thought ATMS and PINs could never be compromised."



Knight Ridder Sold


The mighty Knight Ridder chain of newspapers, regarded as the second largest in the United States, has agreed to be purchased by The McClatchy Co. at a cost of $4.5 billion in cash and stock. McClatchy also will assume about $2 billion in Knight Ridder’s debt.


The deal will add several major newspapers to McClatchy’s portfolio. They will include The Miami Herald, the Kansas City Star and the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. The McClatchy papers include The Sacramento Bee and the News & Observer of Raleigh, North Carolina.


McClatchy plans to sell 12 of Knight Ridder’s 32 newspapers including the Philadelphia Inquirer, The Philadelphia Daily News and the San Jose Mercury News. One of the papers up for sale is the St. Paul Pioneer Press in Minnesota because the deal would violate antitrust laws. McClatchy also owns the Star Tribune in Minneapolis.




Washington Post Layoffs


The Washington Post has begun cutting 80 newsroom jobs out of a staff of 800 through attrition and buyouts. The newspaper began “downsizing” on a staff-by-staff basis late last week. The job cuts are just one more sign that the mighty newspaper industry is crumbling in America.



Google In Court


In the legal standoff between Google and the U. S. Department of Justice, U. S. District Judge James Ware said Tuesday, after a hearing, that he will require Google to turn over some information to the government.


The government’s case involves a plan to revive a law making it harder for children to see online pornography.


The government wants a random selection of 50,000 Web addresses and 5,000 random search requests from Google. The court will decide whether the data will include words that users enter into the Google search engine.


Google has resisted a government subpoena to turn over the information because of user privacy and trade secret concerns. The Justice Department, however, argues that it doesn’t want personal information or any data that will undermine Google’s business.


The government wants the information to help bolster its arguments in a pornography case in Pennsylvania. The case has focused attention on just how much personal information is stored by web sites like Google, and the potential that data has to attract the interest of the government and other parties.




New Trademark Issues


The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), a United Nations agency, plans to tackle new types of trademark protection for holograms, sounds and smells when it revises a 1994 treaty on global trademarks during a meeting in Singapore.


More than 400 policymakers and intellectual property rights experts are meeting to discuss revising the trademark treaty, the first time WIPO has held an intellectual property conference in Asia.

The talks started on Monday and will last for about three weeks.


"The treaty sets a framework for defining the reproduction of non-visible signs -- audio signs such as the MGM lion's roar, or a smell mark, the scent for a given product," an organization representative said.



The Jesus Banner


And now we come to the light side of the news:


Joseph Frederick, an Alaska high school student, won a free speech case in federal court after he was suspended for unfurling a banner across the street from his school. The banner read “Bong Hits 4 Jesus.” The principal of the Juneau-Douglas High School seized the banner and suspended Frederick for 10 days because she said he undermined the school’s anti-drug stance. The court, however, ruled that the school violated his right to free speech.




Buddha Boy Disappears


That 15-year-old boy in Nepal, that some followers said is the reincarnation of the Buddha, has mysteriously disappeared after 10 months of meditation in the jungle.


Authorities have been sent into the jungles of Bara, about 100 miles south of Katmandu, to investigate. They say the boy was last seen on Friday.


The youth, called Banjan, has been sitting cross-legged and motionless with his eyes closed in a niche among the roots of a tree in the jungle since May 17, 2005, his followers say. They also claim he has had no food or water during this time.


He has become such a phenomenon that thousands of people have flocked from all over to glimpse the boy. The Buddha, whose name was Gautama Siddhartha, was born not far away from this same place around 500 BC,


The question now is . . . what happened to the kid? Did he finally get hungry and wander off looking for a McDonald’s Restaurant?




Deadly Kite Strings


A colorful tradition of dueling with kites to mark the coming of spring has been banned in Eastern Pakistan after seven people were fatally slashed by kite strings reinforced with wire or glass fibers.


An estimated 1,400 people were arrested before the kite fliers got the message and stopped putting their colorful kites in the air. Thus the skies above Lahore, customarily festooned with kites to mark a traditional spring festival, were bare this week.


Fliers often strengthened their kite strings for duels with opponents in a game that is won when one flier cuts loose the other’s kite. Apparently the fliers were developing some very sharp kite strings to give them an edge in the competition. They must have been sharp enough to behead a few innocent bystanders.




Payoff To The Dead

A 67-year-old German man who drew his dead brother's pension for 26 years after taking on his identity was unmasked after police stopped him for driving without a seatbelt, authorities said.

"During checks it emerged that just after his death the man assumed the identity of his older brother, who has been resting in peace in a Regensburg cemetery since he passed away in 1979," police said.

Thanks to the physical similarity between the siblings, the impostor pulled off the switch by renewing his dead brother's passport. But he continued to use his real name on occasion. And that led to his eventually getting caught.

Police said the ruse probably netted the man at least 100,000 euros ($119,400).


Prostitute Radio

Prostitutes in the Brazilian city of Salvador are starting up their own radio station.

The Association of Prostitutes of Bahia state has won government permission for the project, enabling FM station Radio Zona to start broadcasting in the second half of the year, project coordinator Sandro Correia said.

"We are not going to apologize for prostitution but we are going to struggle for the dignity of the profession," Correia said.


Eclipse Warning


The Nigerian government, anxious to avoid a repeat of riots that marked a solar eclipse in 2001, warned citizens they may suffer "psychological discomfort" during a new eclipse March 29 but urged them not to panic.


The Information Minister said an eclipse five years ago caused riots in northern Borno state because people did not know why it happened.


"Some people even felt some evil people in their communities were responsible for the eclipse," he said. His report was aimed at reassuring Nigerians that the eclipse is expected to darken parts of the country but not to worry. The sun will only be gone for a little while.



Somebody Else Maybe?


Lovelorn American men looking for a partner online are using photos of one of New Zealand's most popular sports personalities, rugby star Richie McCaw, to lure women.


Photos of the 25-year-old McCaw, an imposing figure at 1.88 metres tall and weighing 105 kilograms, have been found on two dating websites in the United States, the Christchurch Press reported Saturday.


We have to wonder how these guys are going to explain the differences if they ever get to meet a girl close up and personal.



Black Toilet Paper


After launching black toilet paper last year, one of Europe's biggest producers of household paper products has introduced a new red version for those wanting to inject more passion into their bathrooms.


Portugal's Renova introduced its new line of red toilet paper -- along with black paper handkerchiefs -- at upscale stores in Austria, France, Germany, Portugal, Spain and the Netherlands last month and it plans to make the items available in other markets, including the US, over the coming months.



Nude Riders Without Helmets


The mayor of a New Zealand town wanted a nude cycling race set for Sunday to be called off _ because the participants were not wearing helmets.


John Hurley, mayor of the Tasman District on New Zealand's South Island, said police would look like "fools" if they allowed the race to go ahead for the third straight year, in spite of the objection of local residents.


Police said they had queried the legality of the race and found they can take no action.


"We have taken advice on the legality of their proposed action and have been advised that it falls short of an offense," one officer explained.


About 100 people participated in the "clothing optional" race Sunday around Golden Bay on the southern tip of New Zealand's South Island.



Hard Plot For A Musical

As far as musicals go, seeing people break into song on subjects such as starvation and public executions in North Korea may be one of the most unlikely concepts for stage entertainment in several years.

Producers held a preview in Seoul on Tuesday of the musical called "Yoduk Story" that features goose-stepping North Korean soldiers and deprived prisoners wondering if they can survive into the next day.

The musical is about a North Korean woman's fall from a dancing revolutionary hero to a tortured inmate along with her family at Yoduk prison camp, where she bears a guard's child, and learns to forgive her brutal captors.

Now that sounds like a strange script for a musical. We have to wonder what the North Korean dramas are like.


Ultimate Domestic Fight

A Mexican couple is recovering after a marital spat got out of control and saw them firing guns, throwing knives and hurling homemade bombs, a Mexican daily newspaper said.

In scenes taken straight out of hit romantic comedy "Mr. and Mrs. Smith," starring Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, Juan Espinosa and Irma Contreras fought until their house blew up in a homemade gasoline bomb explosion, the story said.


And that is the Luciferian news for this week.  Be sure to tune in Saturday night for Infinite Chaos with Zurx, and on Sunday night to hear Psychic and Prophet Aaron C. Donahue and his Psychic sister Jennifer Sharpe in the Voice of Lucifer. Both shows start at 10 p.m.


We will be back at 9 p.m. next Friday with more Luciferian News of the week.


Thanks for listening. Goodnight.



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