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Sept. 23, 2000 Israeli radio Arutz reported: “The latest plan for the Temple Mount in Jerusalem: Sovereignty will be granted to the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council - the United States, Russia, Great Britain, France, and China. The Prime Minister's Office has not responded directly to reports that Barak is attempting to garner international support for the above proposal. Barak's aides say only that their boss is not willing to discuss the idea until Arafat agrees to discuss it. Arafat is against the plan, even though it calls for continued Waqf control over the Mount. In a speech last night to tank corps soldiers at Latrun, Prime Minister Barak repeated that which he said immediately after the Camp David summit: ‘In any agreement with the Palestinians, we will make sure to stand firm for three principles: the security of Israel, the unity of Israel, and that which is sacred to Israel’...”


Sept. 22, 2000 Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz reported: “Israel is pushing an initiative to hand sovereignty on the Temple Mount to permanent members of the UN Security Council, in the latest effort to break through to a final status agreement with the Palestinians. Among those involved are the governments of the United States and Egypt, who proposed the idea, French President Jacques Chirac, and UN Secretary General Kofi Annan. Prime Minister Ehud Barak asked the French President to participate in this effort because of the important position of France, both as current president of the European Union and a permanent member of the Security Council…Israel rejects out of hand the claim of Palestinian chairman Yasser Arafat for Palestinian or Muslim sovereignty over the Temple Mount. The prime minister told Chirac that in any future arrangement the status quo over the holy sites would be preserved, and the Temple Mount would remain in the hands of the Jerusalem waqf. Israel now believes bringing the Temple Mount under the aegis of the international community could be the best way to safeguard the rights and interests of both faiths, while retaining the status quo on the ground...”


Sept. 14, 2000 The London Telegraph reported: “The European Union's Charter on Fundamental Rights was ‘a major milestone for Europe as a political force’, the European Commission said yesterday. The statement contradicts the Government's public claims that it will have no impact on British national life. Antonio Vitorino, the Justice and Home Affairs Commissioner, said the 54 articles of the rights bill ‘will mark a turning point in the integration of Europe, moving it away from the essentially economic logic of its origins to become a real political union.’ He was speaking after the conclusion on Tuesday of the long-running drafting process. The final text of what the Tories say will be the blueprint for a European super-state constitution will be available late next week. The commission also said the charter should be incorporated in the next EU treaty as a legally binding document, but added that the new social and economic rights would have legal force anyway because they ‘derived’ from clauses in existing European treaties...”


Sept. 14, 2000 CNN reported: “With time ‘running out,’ stalled Middle East peace talks resume Thursday in New York with the United States taking a major role in the negotiations. ‘All this is a heartbeat in an ongoing process,’ said a senior U.S. official directly involved in the discussions. ‘There is no breakthrough on the horizon at least that we can see right now.’ U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, when told about the resumption of talks, said: ‘That's excellent news.’ A senior State Department official confirmed that Secretary of State Madeleine Albright will hold a series of meetings with Israel's acting Foreign Minister Slomo Ben-Ami. Palestinian negotiators Saeb Erekat and Mohammed Dahlan are expected to arrive in New York on Thursday, and Albright could meet with the Palestinians over the weekend. The official said that U.S. Mideast envoy Dennis Ross will also meet with negotiators from both sides. The Israeli and Palestinian negotiating teams are not scheduled to meet face-to-face...”


Sept. 14, 2000 Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz reported: “Israel is liable to drag the entire region toward prolonged religious war, should it persist with the demand for sovereignty on the Temple Mount,’ Palestinian Culture and Arts Minister Yasser Abed Rabbo warned yesterday. Abed Rabbo, a member of the PA negotiation contingent at Camp David, spoke at a press conference in Ramallah. He expressed concern over the behavior of counterpart Israeli negotiators, complaining that secular government ministers and others behave like ultra-orthodox Jews when it comes to the peace process and relations with the Palestinians. ‘By ignoring the significance of Jerusalem and the Temple Mount to more than a billion Muslims, Israel is playing with fire,’ Abed Rabbo declared. He stressed that a Palestinian state would uphold the principle of religious freedom, and not interfere with procedures at sites considered holy by Christians and Jews. Israel's adamant position about the Temple Mount, the PA official added, will embroil the peace process in a series of religious disputes whose outcome cannot be foretold. Abed Rabbo said that the PA is considering a proposal by which formal sovereignty over the disputed Old City area would be transferred to the Islamic ‘Jerusalem Committee,’ with the PA having administrative and other responsibilities at the site.”


Sept. 13, 2000 The London Telegraph reported: “The Israeli Prime Minister, Ehud Barak, set out yesterday on a radical new agenda - known as a ‘civil revolution’ - designed to roll back the influence of religious leaders on daily life. Mr. Barak's plan, unveiled to almost universal denunciation as over-ambitious and divisive, aims to give focus to his struggling minority government, now that the prospects of a peace deal with the Palestinians appear to be growing ever dimmer. Instead of peace, Mr Barak is offering Israelis a lifestyle in tune with that of Europe and America, abandoning the 52-year-old status quo under which key aspects of life are governed by religious law. The changes include: Bringing in a civil marriage ceremony and ending the rabbis' monopoly on weddings. Currently it is impossible for marriages between Jews and non-Jews to be celebrated in Israel. Allowing buses to run on Saturday, the Jewish Sabbath, which would open the way for those who do not have cars to go to the beach. Ending the ban on Saturday flights by the national airline El Al…Closing the religious affairs ministry, which has been criticized for channeling money to politically connected Jewish organizations. Dropping the religion category from the identity card. The two million non-Jews in Israel say this makes them subject to discrimination. The proposals mark a U-turn by the prime minister, who has gone out of his way to appease religious parties in the hope of getting their support for a peace deal. But with the chances of a peace agreement put by Mr. Barak at less than 50 per cent, he is returning to his core constituency, the secular Left...”


Sept. 13, 2000 Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz reported: “Israel is not ruling out the possibility of acceding to a proposal by Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat to place sovereignty on the Temple Mount in the hands of a body consisting of the permanent members of the United Nations Security Council and the Jerusalem Committee of the Islamic Organization Conference. Under this idea, which is still being formulated, the joint body would confer on Arafat the jurisdiction over the Temple Mount and appoint him custodian of the Islamic holy places. Israel would retain sovereignty over the Western Wall and work out with the Palestinians and representatives of the Jerusalem Committee arrangements for the day-to-day administration of the compound, including security, worship for Jews and so forth. Despite the pessimistic tone that has been emanating from the prime minister's entourage lately, a senior diplomatic source said last night that for the first time Arafat is showing readiness to negotiate about arrangements on the Temple Mount...”


Sept. 13, 2000 Australia’s Adelaide Advertiser reported: “The world's richest man dropped into Melbourne over the heads of protesters yesterday, preaching technology as the way to lift Asia into the first world. Microsoft chairman Bill Gates flew in by helicopter for his appearance at the World Economic Forum and dismissed the doubts of global-skeptics. Speaking at the plenary session on Asia's place in the IT revolution, Mr. Gates warned the poor would be the losers from any attempt to block free trade, which he said had lifted living standards around the world. ‘I'm sure there is a diverse set of viewpoints represented outside,’ Mr Gates told the gathering. ‘The people who are against world trade…those are the people you'd really like to sit down and talk to,’ he said. Living standards had risen around the world and world trade was the ‘mechanism allowing countries to get enough wealth to start to take care of very basic human needs’. Globalization had brought advances in vaccinations around the world, he said. ‘But, fundamentally, world trade, if you block it, the big losers will be the poor people of the world and I'm not sure if the positive (aspects) get articulated as clearly as they should be,’ Mr. Gates said. Mr. Gates credited technological breakthroughs with lifting US productivity to new heights. The rest of the world would share in this benevolent revolution, he said. Still, some were looking at the lower share prices for technology firms and asking whether the days of techno-miracles were over. ‘My answer and my prediction is absolutely not,’ he said. New growth in the next five years would be driven by emerging applications designed to make ‘knowledge workers’ more productive...”


September 4, 2000 Reuters reports: China has laid criminal charges against 85 members of a banned Christian church who were detained last week, a Hong Kong-based human rights group said on Monday. The 85 were among 130 members of the China Fang-cheng Church detained on August 23 in the central province of Henan, the Information Centre for Human Rights & Democracy said. The centre faxed to journalists a copy of a formal arrest notice dated August 25 accusing a Fang-cheng member named Chen Zhouniu of "using an evil cult to obstruct justice" -- a charge laid against many adherents of the Falun Gong spiritual movement. The indictments -- all but certain to lead to jail terms -- were a sign the authorities could increasingly use draconian anti-cult legislation created last year to crush Falun Gong against China's many unofficial "house churches," it said. Local police officials in Henan's Xihua county, where the church members were detained, refused to comment on the case. Although China's constitution enshrines freedom of religion, worship is banned outside official state-sponsored religious organisations.


September 4, 2000 Haaretz News reports: A committee of rabbis named by the Chief Rabbinate to examine the issue of building a synagogue on the Temple Mount is slated to meet tomorrow for the first time. The committee includes rabbis with a wide range of opinion on whether there should be an official Jewish presence on the contested site, with the rabbis coming from different religious traditions. The committee is expected to make recommendations to the Chief Rabbinate under its mandate "to examine all ways of manifesting our sovereignty and rights on the Temple Mount." The committee will hear historical testimonies on the presence of synagogues in previous generations, going back to the destruction of the Second Temple. Two main approaches to the issue will be deliberated. One suggestion is for a synagogue on the outskirts of the Temple Mount, over the Golden Gate, in such a way that access would not be through the wall but over it. In theory at least this would accommodate Jews whose religiosity forbids them from praying in the Temple vicinity. Building a synagogue on the outskirts of the site should stir less opposition from Muslims for a Jewish presence on Temple Mount and also from most rabbis opposed to such a foothold. A second suggestion would be for a synagogue within the Temple Mount site under an agreement with Muslim states and the Palestinian authority. Rabbis who support a formal Jewish presence at the site tend toward setting a synagogue near Mograbi gate, between Al-Aqsa mosque and the Dome of the Rock.


September 4, 2000 The New York Times reports: The stormy battle over globalization that brought protests to the streets of Seattle and Washington moves this week to the heart of the world's only truly global organization, the United Nations. An extraordinary, three-day summit meeting of more than 150 world leaders called to thrash out problems of poverty and peace is turning instead into a debate about the future of the organization, as well as the world, at a time when national boundaries have become nearly as irrelevant to economic and political tides as they are to infectious diseases or popular music. The summit meeting, which will begin Wednesday and end Friday, is the pivotal event in a two-week, traffic-stopping extravaganza for New York that began last week with a conference of world religious leaders, an assembly of scores of speakers from nearly all the world's elected parliaments and a meeting of hundreds of nongovernmental organizations from every continent. A dozen or more other events are planned for the fringes this week, including a "dialogue of civilizations" featuring President Mohammad Khatami of Iran, a "state of the world forum" of government and private sector leaders, numerous street protests and a 10-hour teach-in against a greater role for global business in world affairs.


September 4, 2000 The latest Middle East peace proposals reflect an odd mixture of creativity and desperation as the Israeli and Palestinian leaders pack for U.S. visits this week with time running short for both of them. Jerusalem Mayor Ehud Olmert, a hard-nosed secular politician, had perhaps the most original proposal, declaring last week his readiness to accept suggestions for "divine rule" over the most precious piece of real estate in his city, the Temple Mount. Such an approach, he said, could neutralize the conflicting claims of Jews and Muslims to the holy site, which has become the most difficult issue in the Israeli-Palestinian dispute. American intermediaries, meanwhile, have proposed dividing the Mount into four sections, with each coming under either Israeli, Palestinian or mixed sovereignty. One of the four sections would be the subterranean area beneath the Mount. Behind the proposals lies a mounting sense of urgency driven by deadlines facing Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat — who pledged to declare a Palestinian state on Sept. 13 — and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, who faces likely early elections when parliament resumes sitting this fall.


September 3, 2000 BBC NEWS reports: Huge numbers of dead fish have been washed up on the coast of Oman for the second time in a week. Omani TV showed fish strewn along the coast in Barka province, on the Gulf of Oman, 50 miles (80km) north-west of the capital Muscat. Large quantities of the fish littered beaches along the neighbouring governorate of Muscat last week. An official from the Omani Agriculture and Fisheries Ministry told the TV station that the fish had died of natural causes and there had been no environmental disaster in Oman's waters. Cold currents entered the Gulf of Oman from the Arabian Sea bringing organisms called phytoplankton, Assistant Director-General for Fisheries and Guidance Eng Saud Bin-Humud al-Haysi said. These organisms and plants attached to them used up large amounts of the oxygen which sea-bed fish need to survive. Unlike surface fish, sea-bed fish are not able to move fast to find areas free of phytoplankton. No cause for concern ? Local fishermen said they had never seen anything quite like it.

(see also The Cell from Hell)


September 3, 2000 Times Newspapers reports: A VICAR in the Church of England is to hold a special "Harry Potter" family service this weekend, complete with wizards, pointy hats, broomsticks and a game of quidditch. The Hogwarts liturgy, posted on an Internet discussion site, was welcomed by other clergy who wish to adapt it for their churches as well. The service has aroused horror among evangelicals, who condemned it as "importing evil symbols into the Church". A banner featuring a serpent, representing the House of Slytherin in the best-selling books by J.K. Rowling, will adorn the 1960s church of All Saints in Guildford, Surrey, this Sunday. Banners of the other three Hogwarts houses will also be displayed. The church door will be re-ordered as the gateway to "platform 9*", the magical platform at King's Cross Station where children at the Hogwarts school of wizardry catch the Hogwarts Express. The Rev Brian Coleman, Vicar of All Saints, will don wizard's robes and hat to play the Hogwarts headmaster Albus Dumbledore to lead the special "service of the word".


September 3, 2000 AP reports: One of Pope John Paul II's closest aides has written to bishops worldwide declaring that the Catholic church is the "mother'' of other Christian churches, a move which could hurt Vatican efforts toward unity with other believers. The Vatican Saturday had no comment on the document, which was reported on Friday by the Italian religious news agency Adista. In the document, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger told the bishops that it was incorrect to refer to Christian churches, ranging from Orthodox to Protestant, as "sister'' churches of the Catholic church. "It must be always clear that the one, holy, catholic and apostolic universal church is not the sister, but the mother of all the churches,'' Ratzinger was quoted as saying. The term "sister churches'' often is used in dialogue aimed at fostering closer ties among Christians. John Paul has made steps toward unity with other Christians, a key goal of his papacy in Christianity's third millennium.


September 3, 2000 Times Newspapers reports: NEW evidence that Gulf war syndrome exists and was caused by radiation poisoning will be revealed today by a former American army colonel who was at the centre of his government's attempts to diagnose the illness. Dr Asaf Durakovic will tell a conference of eminent nuclear scientists in Paris that "tens of thousands" of British and American soldiers are dying from radiation from depleted uranium (DU) shells fired during the Gulf war. The findings will undermine the British and American governments' claims that Gulf war syndrome does not exist and intensify pressure from veterans on both sides of the Atlantic for compensation. Durakovic, who is professor of nuclear medicine at Georgetown University, Washington, and the former head of nuclear medicine at the US Army's veterans' affairs medical facility in Delaware, will tell the conference that he and his team of American and Canadian scientists have discovered life-threateningly high levels of DU in Gulf veterans 10 years after the desert war. His findings, which have been verified by four independent experts, is embarrassing for the Ministry of Defence (MoD) and American Defence Department, which have consistently refused to test Gulf war veterans for DU. Durakovic will tell the European Association of Nuclear Medicine that tests on 17 veterans have shown DU in the urine and bones of 70% of them.


Sept. 2, 2000 WorldNetDaily reported: “Rather than a battle over oil or even land, the next great war in the Middle East may well be a fight to gain control over the most precious commodity in the desert -- water. Each country has a unique role in the water struggle. Turkey and Iraq have a lot of water but their policies are affected by their quasi state of war over the Kurdish issue. Because of international sanctions, Iraq can't market its vast water resources to needy Arab neighbors. Israel's burgeoning middle class, infused with the high-tech revolution, has a great and growing thirst for water -- water for showers, gardens and swimming pools. Fortunately for Israel, it has the water resources, at least today, to back up that thirst. Israel's control and use of water has made its Arab neighbors thirsty -- many say -- for blood. Amman, Jordan, has no water a few days every week -- and running water only once per week -- while Israel controls aquifers in Gaza and the West Bank. Drilling for Palestinians is limited and to drill a well one needs to get government approval. The current supply of water is about 75 percent less than what Palestinians need on a daily basis. Per capita, Israel consumes three times the water per day that the Palestinians do. And Israeli consumption grows almost 50 million cubic meters each year -- fueled, in part, by the one million immigrants that have arrived since 1990...”


Sept. 1, 2000 The London Times reported: “The mutual defense pact will be on the agenda when George Tenet, the CIA director, arrives in the Middle East today to promote progress in the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. Regardless of the outcome of the talks, the US Administration appears determined to improve strategic and security relations. An announcement is expected next week when President Clinton meets Ehud Barak, Israel's Prime Minister, on five agreements. Israel will be granted the status of a ‘strategic ally’ of the US. This would strengthen the US Government's obligations to help Israel defend itself against attacks. An aid package for the Israeli Defense Forces will be spent on modernizing the army and funding the joint development of a system to intercept missiles and strike at launchers in enemy nations…An accord setting out Israeli and US supervision over arms sales is intended to prevent US technology reaching enemy hands, and to ensure that Israel does not sell its weapons to states regarded as ‘sensitive’ by the US Government. A memorandum of understanding will commit US military aid to Israel for years to come...”


Sept. 1, 2000 Middle East Newsline reported: “Iran is developing an entire range of new missiles, including anti-tank, surface-to-air and surface-to-sea missiles. Iran's Minister of Defense, Vice-Admiral Ali Shamkhani said that Iran will unveil the new missiles shortly. Missiles currently being developed and produced by Iran include the Tufan, Towsan and Misaq anti-tank missiles and the Saeqeh and Sayyad-1 air defense missiles as well as the 1,200-kilometer-range Shihab-3 surface-to-surface missile, successsfully tested for the second time July 15...”


Sept. 1, 2000 Reuters reported: “The Yugoslav army on Friday showed off a special unit set up to return to Kosovo, the Serbian province now under the control of NATO-led troops since last year's bombing campaign forced Belgrade to pull out. The army, which withdrew from Kosovo in June last year after 78 days of NATO air strikes, had invited foreign military officials along with international and domestic media to watch the 1,000 strong force in action outside this Serbian town. Yugoslav army chief-of-staff Nebojsa Pavkovic accused the U.N. mission and the NATO-led KFOR peacekeeping force in Kosovo of failing to ensure security in the province. In the Kosovo capital Pristina, a KFOR spokesman said there were no plans for Yugoslav forces to go back any time soon and there had been no talks on the issue...”


Sept. 1, 2000 Associated Press reported: “Mideast peace must come ‘now or never’ and Israel needs to show willingness to make concessions, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak said in an interview with a French newspaper. ‘Israel needs to be willing to bend,’ Mubarak told Le Figaro in an interview to be published Friday. ‘They have everything, a state, an army and the territories taken in 1967. The Palestinians have nothing.’ Mubarak was due Friday in Paris and was expected to meet French President Jacques Chirac. France, which now holds the rotating European Union presidency, has long sought to increase its influence in the Mideast. After the U.S.-brokered Camp David summit between Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak collapsed over their rival claims to Jerusalem, Mubarak has become a key mediator. Mubarak told Le Figaro that Arafat would never succumb to pressure to make concessions on Jerusalem. ‘Arafat will never accept the maintenance of Israeli sovereignty over Islamic holy places. No Muslim would ever pardon him,’ he was quoted as saying...”


Sept. 1, 2000 Reuters reported: “U.S. health officials, working to prepare the United States to face the threat of bioterrorism, on Thursday approved a widely used antibiotic to fight infection with the deadly biological agent, anthrax. Cipro, made by Bayer Corp. It's first medication specifically approved for use in the event of a biological attack. The U.S. government keeps a stockpile of medicines and other supplies on hand to deploy in case a biological weapon is unleashed. Officials say having the FDA's approval to use Cipro against anthrax makes it easier for agencies to stock the drug and ship it in times of emergency. Anthrax is one of the most feared biological agents because it is nearly always fatal without treatment. Experts say an aerosol version released in a populated area could spread quickly and kill possibly millions in a matter of days unless antibiotics were given shortly after exposure...”


Sept. 1, 2000 Reuters reported: “Chinese President Jiang Zemin, in a rare interview with a Western television network, says the United States ‘tends to overestimate itself and its position in the world.’ In the CBS News ‘60 Minutes’ interview to be broadcast on Sunday, Jiang emphasized Beijing's desire to improve sometimes-strained relations with Washington although the two countries ‘differ greatly in terms of our values.’ ‘Candidly speaking, maybe it is because of the economic power and leading edge in science and technology that the United States enjoys that more often than not it tends to overestimate itself and its position in the world,’ said Jiang, according to a transcript released by CBS News on Thursday. The Chinese president said he wanted to reach out to the American people by granting the interview to the most-watched U.S. television network news program. Jiang was interviewed on August 15 at the Communist Party leadership summer resort of Beidaihe. ‘I hope to convey through your program my best wishes to the American people,’ he said. He said that regardless of whether Democrat Al Gore or Republican George W. Bush wins the November 7 U.S. presidential election, the new president ‘will try to improve the friendly relations between China and the United States, for this is in the strategic interest of the whole world.’...”


Sept. 1, 2000 Fox News reported: “The Greek Orthodox Church gave the government a two-week deadline Friday to begin talks on keeping religion on state ID cards or face a mass petition drive to force a referendum. The country's Socialist leaders appear poised for a showdown. The government has repeatedly said it will not reconsider its decision to drop the religion entry from mandatory state identity cards. The move was part of Greek efforts to follow European Union trends on privacy protection and civil rights…The powerful church, which portrays itself as the caretaker of the national identity, organized two anti-government rallies in June that drew a total of nearly 300,000 people. A petition drive would place the church directly into the political process — a question that sharply divides Greeks. Reppas called it ‘destabilizing.’…Premier Costas Simitis said religion was abolished on ID cards because it ran counter to Greece's modernization efforts and European outlook. Greece's religious minorities, including Jews, Muslims and Roman Catholics, welcomed the decision as a way to limit religious discrimination. But many Orthodox church leaders are wary of the government's drive to bring Greece into the EU mainstream, seeing it as a threat to the nation's Christian Orthodox character. The church considers it another step toward what it fears most: a formal separation of church and state...”


Sept. 1, 2000 Wired News reported: “Chris McKinstry doesn't just want to pick your brain. He wants to harvest it. With the facts he finds inside you, McKinstry will produce the ‘ultimate average person.’ And then he'll rent out this fellow -- to do your thinking for you. If all this sounds more like science fiction than science fact, it isn't. McKinstry, a computer scientist and an artificial intelligence expert, has embarked on a groundbreaking artificial intelligence project that aims to leverage the mind power of millions of Web surfers to teach a computer to approximate human thought. The computer is called GAC, which stands for General Artificial Consciousness. McKinstry's aim is no less than to create an artificially conscious being -- a computer that can independently think human thoughts. GAC (pronounced ‘Jack’), went online a month ago at McKinstry's Mindpixel Digital Mind Modeling Project website and is just an infant. But the computer will learn to act human in the same manner that a human baby learns, McKinstry said, by examining the world around it. GAC's world is the World Wide Web. The more people who talk to the baby at his website, the faster GAC will learn about the world, and the sooner he'll be able to achieve consciousness...”


Sept. 1, 2000 CNN reported: “The U.S. Army has placed a Patriot missile air defense battery on a heightened state of alert for possible deployment to Israel, Defense Department officials told CNN. The officials said the posturing was related to a possible or perceived threat to Israel from Iraq, which has ballistic missiles capable of reaching Israel, but they claimed to have no information regarding any specific threat. The 69th Air Defense Artillery Brigade based near Frankfurt, Germany has received "highly classified" orders to be ready to deploy on short notice, according to officials who spoke on condition of anonymity. ‘Elements of U.S. Army forces in Europe have been placed on a heightened state of readiness’, said one official, who said that ‘support elements’ would also likely be needed if a decision to deploy the unit were made. No such decision has been made, they said...”


August 31, 2000 The Jerusalem Post reported: “In a surprise announcement, Jerusalem Mayor Ehud Olmert said yesterday he supports the idea of declaring the area of the Temple Mount under ‘divine sovereignty,’ provided the status quo at the site remains unchanged. ‘The idea of divine sovereignty is something that can be pursued,’ Olmert told foreign journalists. ‘Fundamentally, it offers a continuation of the present status quo, which means there is complete security control over the Temple Mount by Israel, and at the same time complete access for Moslems at the holy places of Islam.’ The idea of putting the area under divine sovereignty has been discussed by senior Israeli and Palestinian negotiators as a possible solution to the most difficult question of sovereignty over the Temple Mount, which led to the collapse of the Camp David talks. Olmert denied, however, that he is softening his positions on Jerusalem. ‘I never said that I will agree to anything less than full Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem,’ he said...”


August 31, 2000 Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz reported: “The speakers of the Israeli and Palestinian legislative assemblies will share a platform to address the European Parliament next week, European Union officials said Wednesday. In a move described by a senior EU deputy as unprecedented, Knesset Speaker Avraham Burg and the Speaker of the Palestinian Assembly Ahmed Korei (Abu Ala'a) will address the parliament in Strasbourg on Tuesday. ‘This step attests to both parties' wish for peace and dialogue,’ European Parliament President Nicole Fontaine said in a statement.’


August 31, 2000 The Washington Post reported: “Scientists in the burgeoning field of artificial life have reached a major milestone, creating a computerized system that automatically creates, evolves, improves and finally builds a variety of simple mobile creatures without any significant human intervention. The ‘robotic life forms’ that sprang into being at Brandeis University are a few inches long, comprise a dozen or two-dozen plastic parts and have rudimentary nervous systems made of wire. They do only one trick--crudely shoving themselves, inchworm-like, along a horizontal surface using miniature motors. By the standards of even the cheapest automated toys, that may not seem like much. But the creatures described in today's issue of the journal Nature were not constructed, planned, designed or even imagined by people. Every step--except for a couple of trivial hardware connections--was done by computer. Their advent, Brandeis researchers Jordan B. Pollack and Hod Lipson say, marks ‘the first time robots have been robotically designed and robotically fabricated.’ In effect, their existence tests the ability of man-made systems to mimic one of the most fundamental processes in nature: evolution through classic Darwinian, survival-of-the-fittest selection...”


August 30, 2000 The World Tribune reported: “Iran has been hampered in its nuclear weapons programs but appears ready to use its growing arsenal chemical bombs, a new study says. The study quotes experts as saying that Iran has most active chemical warfare program in the developing world. This includes the development of VX nerve agent and Novichok agent, said to be five to eight times more lethal than VX and the focus of a Russian program, Middle East Newsline reports. But the study by Bar-Ilan University's Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies says Iran is hampered by the failure to develop a ballistic missile warhead that will deliver either a chemical, biological or nuclear weapon. The study says warheads developed for the Scud B are not suitable for an intermediate or long-range missile. ‘To deliver effective biological and chemical weapons, Iran must develop warheads capable of delivering cluster munitions,’ says the study, authored by Seth Carus, a professor at the National Defense University in Washington. ‘The United States and Soviet Union are known to have developed such munitions and thus could be a source for such arms, if Moscow ignores U.S. pleas not to do so….Iran is also believed to have developed biological weapons. The study raises the prospect that Iran might have adopted agents developed by the former Soviet biological weapons program, such as Marburg, smallpox, plague, and tularemia...”


August 30, 2000 The London Times reported: “A universal vaccine to attack all human cancers could be possible after the identification of a key protein. Telomerase - a protein in most cancers - can stimulate the development of immune cells that kill malignant cells in laboratory tests, scientists from Duke University Medical Center and Geron Corp said. It can also slow the growth of tumors in mice. The study, reported in Nature Medicine, is the first evidence that a universal vaccine may be possible. Several vaccines to fight specific cancers are undergoing clinical trials. The telomerase-based vaccine did not work as well as tumor-specific vaccines in tests but the results were promising enough to suggest it has potential as a key component of a universal vaccine. ‘The question posed in the study was whether the telomerase-based vaccine can stimulate an immune response from cancer patients and whether those cells can attack and kill the patient's tumor cells,’ Eli Gilboa, director of the Center for Genetic and Cellular Therapies at Duke, said. ‘The results of this study are the first indication that a more broadly applicable cancer vaccine might be possible. The thinking has been that because every cancer is different - melanoma, breast etc - that each cancer has its own specific set of antigens that must be used for a vaccine. We are looking for a universal antigen - one to try to treat every cancer patient.’...”


August 30, 2000 The Jerusalem Post reported: “Israeli and Palestinian officials toyed with prospects of a meeting between Prime Minister Ehud Barak and Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat in New York, as President Bill Clinton warned in Egypt yesterday that the time to reach an agreement ‘is short.’ Both Arafat and Barak are slated to be in New York next week for the UN's Millennium Summit, and both have scheduled meetings with Clinton. Reuters reported PA Minister of Planning Nabil Shaath as saying in Cairo that a meeting between Arafat and Barak is scheduled next Wednesday, a claim immediately denied by a spokesman in the Prime Minister's Office. Later in the day, Shaath himself similarly denied the report. Choosing his words carefully, the spokesman said that although no meeting has been scheduled, this does not mean that a meeting will not take place. The two immediate dates that have become points of reference are September 13, the deadline for a framework final-status agreement and the day that Arafat has said he will unilaterally declare a state, and January 20, Clinton's final day in office..."


August 30, 2000 IsraelWire reported: “Water Commissioner Shimon Tal on Tuesday stated the water levels of Israel’s aquifers have reached unprecedented low levels and there is real reason for concern. The Kinneret on Tuesday measured at –213.29, the lowest level ever recorded for the aquifer supplying about one-third of the nation’s water. Tal added that while most suggestions and decisions concerning solutions are correct and headed in the correct direction, none of the proposals brings an instant solution to the most serious problem. The present level of the Kinneret is dangerously close to the water becoming salinated, rendering the Kinneret unfit for providing our drinking water in the future. Experts explain that if the water level is permitted to drop too low, the water beneath with flip to the top, contaminating the body of water, a process that experts believe would be irreversible.”


August 20, 2000 Reuters reports: Prospects for Middle East peace hang on Israel's willingness to give up its claim to Jerusalem, Palestinian President Yasser Arafat said in comments published on Sunday. ``The whole issue depends on if Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak gives up his grave position, which infringes our Islamic and Christian institutions and sacred sites in Jerusalem,'' Arafat told Egypt's state-owned al-Ahram daily. ``Will they (the Israeli government) be ready to understand the position on Jerusalem regarding the holy sites or will he (Barak) listen to the extremist, hardline elements in Israel?'' Israel and the Palestinians had exchanged charges of intransigence on Saturday, as Israel's acting Foreign Minister Shlomo Ben-Ami said that if Arafat did not show flexibility there would not be a follow-up summit to last month's failed Camp David talks. ``We're not asking for the impossible. We're asking that signed agreements be implemented, the last of which was the Sharm el-Sheikh agreement I signed with Barak,'' said Arafat, interviewed in Tokyo during a world tour to gather support for the Palestinian position.


August 19, 2000 reports: Preparations for Peace in Jerusalem Updated 11:41 AM ET August 19, 2000 By LAURIE COPANS, Associated Press Writer JERUSALEM (AP) - It was a sweltering day, even for Jerusalem, when 16 Israeli and Palestinian city planners and geographers met over coffee and cake in a well-to-do Arab neighborhood. The Mideast summit at Camp David had just collapsed, but the atmosphere in the air-conditioned conference room of the Ambassador Hotel was relaxed. Undeterred by their leaders' failure, the experts tossed around ideas about how to run a city that might one day be home to two capitals. They carefully avoided the dispute over sovereignty that stumped Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat. Instead, they talked about practical matters. Should there be a joint police force? Where should dozens of new embassies be located? How to limit building height around the walled Old City, Jerusalem's main attraction and home to major holy shrines? Jerusalem's future is quietly being shaped in such informal sessions, the so-called "second track" that has run alongside the official negotiations. Since participants are not designated as negotiators, they have greater freedom to explore proposals and test the other side's reaction. At the same time, they are in close touch with the political leaders. For example, a leading Israeli participant, political science professor Menachem Klein, also serves as an adviser to Israel's acting foreign minister and top negotiator, Shlomo Ben-Ami. Palestinian Manuel Hassassian, head of the Jerusalem Task Force, works at the Orient House, the PLO headquarters in Jerusalem. The give-and-take works both ways. Barak's new PREPARATIONS FOR PEACE IN JERUSALEM


August 18, 2000 USA Today reported: “While many have assumed that an end to the Arab-Israeli conflict would involve the creation of a Palestinian state, Prime Minister Ehud Barak has been ambiguous on the matter — until now that is. Barak offered the Palestinians an independent state Thursday in return for a formal end to their conflict with Israel. Barak left little room for doubt. ‘If the Palestinian leadership is prepared to confront the challenge of setting up a Palestinian state and solving the hardships of its people,' Barak said, 'it must understand that a condition for that is ending the conflict with Israel.' Barak added a warning to Palestinians not to declare a state unilaterally. Arafat has said often that he has the right to make such a declaration after Sept. 13, a target date the two sides set for completing a peace treaty. Meanwhile, U.S. State Department negotiator Dennis Ross began talks to see if the two sides were ready to move toward a peace accord...”


August 18, 2000 Reuters reported: “Global fresh water supplies are being used up so fast that almost half a billion people already depend on non-renewable sources, an international conference was told on Monday. Water riots such as those in China's Shandong province last month will become more common as people struggle for control of dwindling supplies, said Lester Brown, chairman of the U.S.-based Worldwatch Institute. Thousands of Chinese farmers clashed with police in July after officials cut off water leaking from a dam near Anqiu village in Shandong province, according to a human rights group. ‘This is an example of how desperate people become when they are deprived of water,’ Brown told a news conference at the start of the week-long meeting. ‘This is going to happen more and more. Water suddenly becomes an issue when the wells run dry.’ Overpumping of aquifers in China, India, the Middle East and United States now exceeds 160 billion tons of water per year, according to Brown, who delivered a keynote address when the conference opened on Monday...”


August 18, 2000 CNN reported: “The first seven months of this year were again the hottest ever on record, U.S. government scientists said on Thursday. Although July wasn't a record-breaker, the abnormally warm temperatures earlier in the year made the January through July 2000 average temperature of 54.85 degrees Fahrenheit the warmest seven-month period on record for the United States, NOAA said. Every state in the lower 48 -- except South Carolina, Maine, and Vermont -- was warmer than normal during the seven-month period, the agency said. We’ve been breaking the records for record hottest years many times over this past decade...”


August 17, 2000 reported: “A prototype of a miniature sensor capable of charting an individual's precise location and monitoring his or her vital signs will be unveiled in New York City in October. Relaying a steady stream of data on the location and health of its host to ground stations using the Global Positioning System (GPS), the dime-sized chip is intended to be worn externally, such as on a wristwatch or implanted under the skin…’The Digital Angel’ is a miniaturized version of older, bulkier tracking devices, and integrates wireless internet technology with global positioning to transmit information to the internet. This is the first time the melding of all three technologies has been attempted, the company said. ’If this was five or seven years ago, you would not be able to draw together this technology,’ Richard Sullivan, chairman and CEO of Applied Digital, told ‘But it's here today, and it's going to have an extremely positive impact.’...” continued on post #2


August 17, 2000 “...However, the implant technology, still under development at Princeton University and the New Jersey Institute of Technology, is likely to raise questions about information security, said David Sorkin, a privacy law professor at John Marshall Law School in Chicago. In general, information transmitted through GPS and installed on the internet risks being seen by third parties, by either resale or hacking, Sorkin said...In a recent CNN poll, 76 percent said they would not want to have a device such as the Digital Angel implanted in them or their children, while 24 percent said they would like to. Sullivan acknowledged the privacy concerns, but said they ‘tend to be dramatically in the minority.’ This is due in part to users being able to voluntarily turn the device on and off, he said. ‘Certainly people have discussed the concern about privacy but ours is kind of an on-and-off situation where...the control of privacy is in the control of the user,’ Sullivan said. ‘Clearly the contribution is enormous compared to what I call the misuse of any technology.’ The technology aims to use an unprecedented micro-battery to generate power through body heat or movement....”


August 17, 2000 The BBC reported: “Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat said on Wednesday that his ruling council would reassess his decision to unilaterally declare an independent Palestinian state next month. His announcement comes as Israel's acting foreign minister Shlomo Ben Ami said on Wednesday peace talks - which broke up in the US-brokered Camp David talks last month - would be revived. ‘We have decided the course, but we have to reassess this,’ Mr. Arafat said in Jakarta, after meeting Indonesian leader Abdurrahman Wahid. Mr. Arafat had vowed to declare independence on 13 September, with or without a peace deal with Israel. The United States had warned that it would review its relations and cut aid to the Palestinians if they went through with their plan. But Mr. Arafat has also come under pressure to declare statehood at home...”


August 17, 2000 The Jerusalem Post reported: “Jordan rejects the prospect of Israeli sovereignty over any part of eastern Jerusalem, which Amman considers occupied land, King Abdullah II reportedly told Prime Minister Ehud Barak in Amman last night. According to Israel Radio, Jordanian sources said the king stressed the significance of Jerusalem to the Moslem world. Barak, appearing on Jordanian TV, praised the king's efforts to advance the negotiations with the Palestinians, the radio said. The Abdullah-Barak meeting was part of a flurry of diplomatic activity yesterday aimed at gauging whether there is room for a second Israeli-Palestinian summit in September...”


August 17, 2000 Agence France Presse reported: “The two nuclear reactors on the stricken Russian submarine Kursk pose a threat even though the authorities say they have both been shut down, a leading Russian ecologist said on Wednesday. ‘It's not enough to shut down a reactor. If it is not cooled down there could be problems, even an explosion,’ Alexei Yablokov, a former head of the powerful advisory Security Council's environmental commission, told Moscow Echo radio. The Kursk is powered by two nuclear reactors. Both have been shut down since the submarine plunged to the bottom of the Barents Sea on Saturday, Russian officials have said. But they have also admitted that they have not been able to obtain any information about the situation on board. Radio contact was cut at the time of the accident and has not been reestablished. A military expert said on Tuesday that the reactors could not be cooled down by special pumps designed for this purpose because of the breakdown in power supplies on the submarine...”


August 15, 2000 Reuters reported: “Israeli Foreign Minister Shlomo Ben-Ami said on Saturday he would like Spanish King Juan Carlos to play a mediating role with Arab countries in peace talks focusing on the future of Jerusalem. ‘I have asked (Spanish Foreign Minister Josep) Pique to see if it is possible for King Juan Carlos to use his good relationships with some Arab countries to make the parties move closer about Jerusalem,’ Ben-Ami told a news conference. He was speaking after a meeting in Madrid with the European Union's foreign policy chief, Javier Solana...”


August 15, 2000 The Jerusalem Post reported: "If Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat ignores advice he is hearing in various capitals and unilaterally declares a state on September 13, the European Union is likely not to recognize the state, a Western diplomat told The Jerusalem Post yesterday. 'It seems the common EU position is that if Arafat should declare a state on the 13th, and by doing so derail the peace process and provoke an Israeli reaction, I can't imagine that the EU would recognize such a state,' said the diplomat, who declined to be identified. Despite declarations by various Palestinian officials that no decision will be made until the PLO's Central Council, the top policy-making body, meets on the matter during the first week of September, the diplomat said the EU's assessment is that Arafat won't declare a state then, but will make do with some other symbolic act of sovereignty or statehood, such as issuing formal Palestinian passports..."


August 15, 2000 ABC News reported: “Foreign ministers from 15 Muslim countries and the Palestinian Authority will meet in Morocco Aug. 28 to discuss the fate of Jerusalem, the official MAP news agency reported Monday. The meeting of the Organization of Islamic Conference’s (OIC) Jerusalem Committee was requested by its chairman, King Mohammed of Morocco, to ‘discuss developments concerning the final status of Holy al-Qods (Jerusalem)’ after the Camp David summit…Arafat has vowed to declare an independent state after the Sept. 13 deadline for concluding final status talks, regardless of whether the two sides have agreed on a peace settlement. But analysts say he has struggled to drum up support during a tour of 18 countries in less than three weeks. The Jerusalem committee members are Bangladesh, Egypt, Guinea, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Mauritania, Morocco, Nigeria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Syria and the Palestinian Authority."


August 15, 2000 Fox News reported: "Global fresh water supplies are being used up so fast that almost half a billion people already depend on non-renewable sources, an international conference was told on Monday. Water riots such as those in China's Shandong province last month will become more common as people struggle for control of dwindling supplies, said Lester Brown, chairman of the U.S.-based Worldwatch Institute..."


August 14, 2000 Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz reported: "In response to international opposition to a unilateral declaration of statehood, the Palestinians are likely to postpone the declaration date from September 13 to November 15. This is the prevailing view of Israeli officials following recent secret contacts between Israelis and Palestinians and the talks held in Western Europe by acting Foreign Minister Shlomo Ben-Ami..."


August 14, 2000 IsraelWire reported: “Hamas terrorist leader Sheik Ahmed Yassin cried out on Friday that the Arabs would make another Intifada (uprising) against Israel. Yassin, who spoke in a rally south of Gaza City to celebrate the release of one of Hamas' terrorist leaders after spending 16 years in an Israeli jail, said that a new Intifada is expected in the coming days against Israel. Yassin said: ‘The arms of the new Intifada would not be this time an Intifada of stones and empty bottles, it will be an Intifada of rifles, bombs, missiles and explosive materials.’ He said that the new Intifada would begin as long as Israel keeps attacking the Arab people and violating their rights of worship at their holy sites. He added: ‘Hamas will make an earthquake under the feet of the Zionists until we uproot them and remove their existence on this earth!’ Hundreds of Hamas supporters waved the Hamas and Palestinian flags, and called upon the Hamas military wing to renew its suicide bombing attacks into Israel. The 64-year-old Yassin said that Hamas would never change its strategy of ‘Jihad, armed resistance and the war to liberate Palestine.’...”


August 13, 2000 CNN reported: ‘Israeli and Palestinian negotiators will resume peace talks at the end of August in an effort to finalize a deal by mid-September, a senior Palestinian official said on Saturday. After holding talks with Norwegian officials, Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat indicated that he might postpone a unilateral declaration of statehood. But Norway, which helped broker the 1993 Israeli-Palestinian peace accords, urged Arafat to be wary of declaring independence without Israel's consent. Meanwhile, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak warned on Saturday that a compromise over Jerusalem -- the major stumbling block during the Mideast summit at Camp David, Maryland, last month -- would lead to uncontrollable violence in the region...”


August 13, 2000 The London Telegraph reported: “Tony Blair [British Prime Minister] will this week hand MPs the task of deciding whether scientists should be allowed to clone human embryo cells for medical research. In a move that will present Parliament with its most difficult moral dilemma for a decade, the Government will announce a free vote on an issue that has set scientists against religious groups. The vote, expected this autumn, means MPs will come under fierce lobbying by groups on both sides of the moral divide in the run-up to the general election. The announcement will follow the publication on Wednesday of a report by Professor Liam Donaldson, the Chief Medical Officer for England, recommending that cloning of human embryo cells should be allowed for research purposes only. The Government will say it backs the idea in principle but that, ‘as a matter of conscience’, it should be decided by Parliament…He has been under great pressure from scientists to speed up research, which some claim could lead to a cure for terminal diseases. There will be intense lobbying from religious and pro-life groups, many of which are fiercely against any research on human embryos on the grounds that it breaks the sanctity of human life. The Prime Minister, on holiday in Italy, is likely to be criticized for leaving the announcement until the summer recess when many MPs are out of the country. The Department of Health will announce it is in favor of allowing the cloning of ‘stem cells’ - found only in human embryos...”


August 13, 2000 CNN reported: “Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak warned Saturday that a compromise over Jerusalem would lead to uncontrollable violence in the Middle East, and said no Arab or Muslim can relinquish rights to east Jerusalem and its sanctities. But Mubarak, a key mediator in the Mideast peace process, said Egypt would not stop Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat from reaching a deal over the disputed city, ‘if it's compatible with his Palestinian people's demands.’ ‘Any compromise over Jerusalem will cause the region to explode in a way that cannot be put under control, and terrorism will rise again,’ Mubarak said in an interview with the Cairo weekly magazine Rose El-Youssef, in his first public comment since the collapse of last month's talks between Arafat and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak. At Camp David, Barak offered the Palestinians limited control over parts of east Jerusalem, but Arafat held firm on Palestinians' demand for full sovereignty over the traditionally Arab area, which contains the third-holiest shrine in the Islamic world. ‘No single person in the Arab or Islamic world can squander east Jerusalem or Al Aqsa mosque,’ Mubarak said. ‘In this context, even Arafat himself will not dare to sign a deal to give up these Muslim sanctities.’ ‘But,’ he added, ‘we will not dictate to him any decision that he does not accept and that is not compatible with his Palestinian people's demands.’...”


August 12, 2000 Applied Digital Solutions, Inc. (NASDAQ:ADSX) reported on July 31: " announced that it will host a special, invitation-only event in New York City this coming October to demonstrate an operational prototype of its revolutionary "Digital Angel"™ technology. As previously announced, the prototype of the device was to be ready by the end of this year. But Applied Digital's Chairman and CEO, Richard J. Sullivan, said today that the development of the technology had progressed well ahead of schedule. In his comments announcing the October event, Richard Sullivan stated: 'We're extremely heartened by the remarkable progress made by Dr. Peter Zhou and his entire research team, including professors and their associates at Princeton University and the New Jersey Institute of Technology. This technology relates directly to the exploding wireless marketplace. We'll be demonstrating for the first time ever that wireless telecommunications systems and bio-sensor devices - capable of measuring and transmitting critical body function data - can be successfully linked together with GPS technology and integrated with the Internet..." continued on next post

Digital Angel post #2

August 12, 2000 "...This is a gigantic leap forward, one that also links directly to our Computer Telephony Internet Integration (CTII™) strategic focus. At its heart, Digital Angel involves integrating the very same communications technologies into a working system. We'll soon be ready to move ahead to the production-design phase of Digital Angel geared to specific marketplace applications. The key message right now is this: Digital Angel isn't a blue-sky technology. This is real. Digital Angel breakthrough technology is here. It's live!' While estimates of Digital Angel's marketplace potential vary, there is little doubt that the technology will enable Applied Digital and its partners to tap into a multi-billion dollar market via various licensing arrangements, Web-enabled wireless services and data transactions handled by Applied Digital's ASP (Application Service Provider) center. Those attending the event in New York City will see a working, multimedia demonstration of Digital Angel's technological building blocks. A miniature sensor device -- smaller than a grain of rice and equipped with a tiny antenna -- will capture and wirelessly transmit a person's vital body-function data, such as body temperature or pulse, to an Internet-integrated ground station..." continued on post #3

Digital Angel post #3

August 12, 2000 "...In addition, the antenna will also receive information regarding the location of the individual from the GPS satellite. Both sets of data -- medical information and location -- will then be wirelessly transmitted to the ground station and made available on Web-enabled desktop, laptop or wireless devices. This demonstration represents the first time these technologies have been united into one functioning system...In December of 1999, Applied Digital Solutions announced that it had acquired the patent rights to a miniature digital transceiver -- which it has named Digital Angel. In some of its applications, the tiny device is expected to be bonded closely to the body or implanted just under the skin. The Company believes Digital Angel will be able to send and receive data and be located by GPS (Global Positioning System) technology. In addition to monitoring the location and medical condition of at-risk patients, the Company believes Digital Angel could have other applications that will prove to be extremely popular in the marketplace. These applications include locating lost or missing individuals or household pets; tracking endangered wildlife; managing livestock and other farm-related animals; pinpointing the location of valuable stolen property; finding lost airline baggage and postal packages; managing the commodity supply chain; preventing the unauthorized use of firearms; and providing a tamper-proof means of identification for enhanced e-commerce security. For more information about Digital Angel, visit"

(see also A49)


August 12, 2000 Associated Press reported: “Shouting the Muslim battle cry of ‘Allahu Akbar,’ or God is great, hundreds of Jordanian protesters on Friday demanded a holy war to liberate Jerusalem. After Friday prayers, about 700 protesters marched between two mosques in Zarqa, 17 miles northeast of the capital Amman, calling upon Muslims to rise against the ‘Jewish enemy.’ ‘Jerusalem is the city of Muslims and their prophet Mohammed. Liberate it and kick out the treacherous Jews,’ shouted Theeb Anis, general secretary of the Zarqa Muslim Brotherhood Movement. Like its peers in the Arab world, Jordan's fundamentalist Muslim Brotherhood Movement opposes peace with Israel and advocates its eradication. Last week the group held a similar protest in Amman, in which protesters briefly clashed with police when they were banned from marching on the street. In Friday's peaceful but noisy protest, the crowd chanted, ‘We sacrifice our blood and sole for Al Aqsa,’ and carried banners which read, ‘Palestine is Muslim from the sea to the river.’...”


The London Telegraph reported: “A sneeze of charged gas from the Sun is expected to arrive in the vicinity of Earth today, where it may disrupt radio communications, blind satellites and cause surges in power grids. A "coronal mass ejection", a bubble consisting of billions of tons of searingly hot gas, erupted from the lower solar atmosphere on Wednesday, according to observations by the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (Soho), a Sun space probe operated by the European Space Agency and Nasa. The material was predicted to take about three days to reach Earth, followed by smaller amounts from a second, slower moving bubble of charged gas discharged from the Sun on Thursday. The International Astronomical Union meeting in Manchester yesterday was told by Dr Paal Brekke of ESA about the Sun's capacity to damage high technology equipment and the efforts of space scientists to give warning of bad weather...”


August 12, 2000 The Jerusalem Post reported: “Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat rejected an American offer at the Camp David summit of $30 billion compensation for Palestinian refugees. Palestinian Central Council chairman Salim Zaanoun told reporters in Gaza yesterday that ‘the Americans offered [at Camp David] to give the Palestinians $30 billion for a compensation fund to tempt us to cede the rights of the refugees.’ Zaanoun said the compensation was to be divided between Palestinian refugees who fled or were forced to flee their homes in 1948, when Israel was created, and Jewish refugees who fled Arab countries after Israel was established. The other condition attached to the $30b. was that Arafat agree to compromise over Jerusalem, he said. Arafat, he added, refused the offer...”


August 12, 2000 Reuters reported: “Israeli and Palestinian officials sparred in public but spoke in private on Friday as envoys of each side fanned out across the globe to generate international support and maintain back-channel contacts. Israel's chief peace negotiator Shlomo Ben-Ami mounted an offensive in what Israeli media have dubbed a ‘propaganda war’ by accusing Palestinian President Yasser Arafat of misleading world leaders about the status of the Middle East peace talks. ‘We are at the peak of a very intensive diplomatic tour intended to stop the process of a warped presentation by Arafat of what happened at Camp David,’ Ben-Ami, acting foreign minister, told Israel Radio in a telephone call from Turkey…Ben-Ami said the next step toward a final deal by a September 13 target were talks to prepare for a second summit between Arafat and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak. Their first, at Camp David last month, ended in disagreement, primarily over the future status of Jerusalem. ‘There is a need to prepare for (a summit) maybe even by a sort of pre-summit at a lower level,’ he said. ‘(U.S. special envoy) Dennis Ross's visit will be a device to prepare for that ...We are talking to the Palestinians today too, all the time.’...”
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