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Aang
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      18.05.2006 20:13
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      Dooyoo RIP

      I have written many reviews for Dooyoo. One of my Dooyoo reviews got 2528 reads from non-members. Some of my reviews have been copied to other sites and read all over the world. Most of my reviews have been rated very useful.

      However, Dooyoo has not paid me and does not reply to my e-mails.

      My blogs get many more readers than I could get from Dooyoo. My blogs earn me more money more quickly than with Dooyoo.

      Should I remove my reviews from Dooyoo?

      Should I write about Dooyoo on my blogs?

      I could point out that Dooyoo used to be more user-friendly. But now Dooyoo has become outdated, because of blogs.

      ~~

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      • Capital punishment / Discussion / 40 Readings / 23 Ratings
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        17.07.2005 21:20
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        Capital punishment can lead to injustice.

        The preteen gallery:

        http://rigorousintuition.blogspot.com/2005/07/must-i-paint-you-picture.html

        Should we hang the masterminds behind the London bombs?

        What if the evidence is not clear cut? What if the evidence is fake?

        From the Cambridge News 11 July:

        Bruce Lait was the person sitting closest to one of the bombs that went off on 7 July. He said, "The metal was pushed upwards as if the bomb was underneath the train. They seem to think the bomb was left in a bag, but I don't remember anybody being where the bomb was, or any bag."

        http://www.onlinejournal.com/Commentary/071305Leonard/071305leonard.html

        According to Online Journal, a British disaster recovery consultant, working at the scene of the London 7/7 bombings, told British TV and radio how the attacks occurred precisely at the times and places scheduled in a terrorism drill he was running.

        Terror drills can be a sign of a false flag op—they create the alibi for the bad guys.

        http://www.prisonplanet.com/articles/july2005/150705busbombing.htm

        Reportedly, an e mail 'from an employee of Stagecoach', the company responsible for the majority of London buses, suggests that there is something fishy about the fact that the CCTV cameras were not working on the bus that was bombed on 7 July 2005.

        The bus driver pointed out that the number 30 bus was the only one to be re-routed after the initial bombs went off in the London Underground.

        CCTV gets maintained at least 2 or 3 times a week.

        Just before the bombings, a contractor came to inspect the CCTV on the buses at the depot. He was not a regular contractor. He spent longer than usual on the CCTV.

        ~~

        Operation Gladio was reportedly a CIA/MI6 operation, in the 1970s and 1980s, using terror to keep the 'right wing' in power in countries such as Italy and Turkey.

        In sworn testimomy, a Gladio agent, Vincenzo Vinciguerra, said:

        "You had to attack civilians, the people, women, children, innocent people, unknown people far removed from any political game. The reason was quite simple: to force ... the public to turn to the state to ask for greater security."

        Pentagon document Field Manual FM 30-31B discusses launching terrorist attacks in nations that are to be influenced.

        In a 2000 investigation the Italian Senate concluded that the 1980 Bologna train bombing that killed 85 people was carried out by "men inside Italian state institutions and ... men linked to the structures of United States intelligence."

        ~~

        Commissioner of Transport for London is Robert Kiley.

        While in the CIA, he served as Manager of Intelligence Operations and then as Executive Assistant to the Director.

        ~~~

        Rudolf Giuliani was in London close to where the first bomb exploded on 7 July 2005.

        Giuliani is believed to have links to the CIA. He was once talked of as a possible future CIA director.

        ~~

        It appears some people profited by short selling the British pound in the 10 days leading up to the attacks of 7 July 2005.

        Following 9-11, there were reports of short-selling stocks and millions in profits made overnight. The short-selling trade reportedly traced back to Israeli nationals and to the CIA.

        ~~~

        http://www.israelnationalnews.com/news.php3?id=85346

        Army Radio quoting unconfirmed reliable sources reported that Scotland Yard had intelligence warnings of the attacks a short time before they occurred. The Israeli Embassy in London was notified in advance, resulting in Finance Minister Binyamin Netanyahu remaining in his hotel room rather than make his way to the hotel adjacent to the site of the first explosion, a Liverpool Street train station, where he was to address an economic summit.

        ~~

        In 1887, British police uncovered the ‘Jubilee Plot’, a plan to blow up Westminster Abbey, Queen Victoria and half the British Cabinet.

        The bombers were linked, by letters, to Charles Parnell and other Irish MPs who supported Irish independence. The ‘ringleader’ of the plot was Francis Millen of the Clan na Gael. He was allowed to escape to the USA where he died in mysterious circumstances.

        The case against Parnell collapsed. The letters were shown to be forgeries, written by Dublin journalist Richard Pigott and sold to The Times.

        Millen had been recruited by the British government 'to stir the Fenians into bombing Britain' – a scheme designed to discredit the Home Rule movement.

        Millen was hired with the approval of the Conservative leader, Lord Salisbury, the Prime Minister.

        ~~~

        Can we ever be sure that we have caught the real bad guys?

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          22.01.2005 20:40
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          Would my daughters spot Prince William in St Andrews?

          We stayed at Kilconquhar Castle which is approximately 3 miles inland from the small coastal resort of Elie.

          "The estate is set within 130 acres of mature woodland and immaculately kept formal gardens. Here you will find the castle suites and villas, ranging in size from one to four bedrooms, each furnished to luxury standards."

          The estate is a wonderful place for children who want to play 'cowboys and indians'. However, the formal garden looked rather boring.

          Our castle suite was comfortable in the way that Skegness boarding houses or elderly airport hotels are comfortable. The place was in need of some refurbishment.

          The activities on offer, such as hiring bikes, seemed vastly over-priced.

          The restaurant was nothing-special and expensive.

          We cycled to Elie which reminded me of coastal villages in Brittany in France; the views were the sort that would attract artists; children should love the beach; the Deli and the Pavilion Cyber Cafe proved friendly.

          The fishing village of Pittenweem, which has a remarkably good arts festival, is a must visit place; strikingly attractive in a gypsy manner.

          St Andrews is a wealthy University town on the coast; this is the place to come for your shopping, for golf, for second hand books (Quarto book shop and charity shops) and for lots of History. The people are generally friendly here, as elsewhere in tourist Fife. We dined at the excellent Pizza Express.

          Not everwhere in Fife is prosperous and happy.

          There is some unfortunate poverty in Methil, Buckhaven, Benarty, Lochgelly, and parts of Kirkcaldy and Dumfermline. In some places 40% of the old people are on income support. Many children take drugs.

          And Prince Andrew?

          Would I tell you if we bumped into him in the charity shop and he invited us round to his flat for a coffee?






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            02.11.2004 10:42
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            Voice of the CIA

            Pics of naked people used to make it interesting. But in today's fascist, fundamentalist USA, naked pics are no longer allowed in the National Geographic.

            The National Geographic appears to have become the mouthpiece of the CIA.

            Just before 9 11, the National geographic was preparing maps and an article on Afghanistan.
            If you want to know which countries the Pentagon is about to invade, look at the National Geographic.

            The latest edition of the magazine, dated November 2004, has an article on the Geography of Terror. The article, written by Walter Laqueur who recently retired from the Kissinger Chair at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, seems full of obvious disinformation.

            The article refers to a number of countries:

            Ireland - the article fails to mention US financing of terror groups, and the allegation that most of the worst incidents were the work of the UK security services.

            Europe - the article fails to mention the CIA links to the terror which hit Italy in the 1980s. Remember the bombs in railway stations that 'were the work of fascist groups with CIA connections'.

            Indonesia - the article fails to mention (1) the CIA terror used to topple President Sukarno and then President Suharto (2) the US training of the generals who have been associated with terror in East Timor, the Spice Islands and elsewhere (3) the links between the US trained Indonesian military and 'Moslem' terror groups such as Laskar Jihad (4) the alleged involvement of the Indonesian military in the Bali bomb.

            Palestine - the article does not make it clear that (1) the Palestinians were driven from their land by Jewish terrorist groups (2) the Israelis initially aided Hamas in order to weaken Arafat (3) the USA supports Israel in its occupation of Palestinian land and defiance of UN resolutions and in its possession of weapons of mass destruction.

            Iraq - the article fails to mention the body of evidence that Saddam was a CIA agent and was put into power by the USA.

            Al Qaeda - the article promotes the myth of al Qaeda. It fails to mention (1) the bin Laden links to the Bush family (2) bin Laden's Jewish mother (3) bin Laden's death in December 2001 (4) the controlled explosions that brought down the Twin Towers on 9 11 (5) the training of the alleged hijackers at US military bases.

            The National Geographic is supposed to be about geography. But what do we get? We get endless stuff about:

            Archaeology - particularly in the Mayan world.

            History.

            Biology - particularly fish and apes.

            Astronomy

            The articles are written in a strange style. The authors like to sound clever and literary but often they simply obscure the meaning of what they are trying to say.

            The layout of text and photos also tries to be clever, but ends up being clumsy, like an american automobile.

            Who advertises in the National Geographic? We get adverts for the sort of posh watches and posh cars which I could never afford.

            Is the National Geographic worth buying? Just occasionally there is a mildly interesting article.





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              18.10.2004 21:54
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              I got Flightsavers to book me a return flight with Malaysian Airlines to Jakarta via Kuala Lumpur. I intended to spend a week on holiday in Jakarta.

              Before I set off, a bomb went off outside the Australian Embassy in Jakarta. Various governments issued travel warnings, urging tourists to avoid Jakarta, as tourist hotels were likely to be the next targets.

              I contacted my travel agent, Thomas Cook, and was told that if I cancelled my booking I would lose £220.

              I planned to go ahead with my journey. I planned therefore to get off the flight, MH11, in Kuala Lumpur and not join flight MH711 to Jakarta. I planned to spend my tourist money in wonderful Malaysia.

              Thomas Cook said that if I got out at Kula Lumpur I would have to pay an extra £220.

              I sent various e-mails to Malaysian Airlines but got no replies.

              I eventually got through by phone to Malaysian Airlines. They confirmed that my £718 ticket could not be refunded in full and that if I wanted to get off in Kula Lumpur I would have to pay an extra £220.

              I love Malaysia. But I had to cancel my holiday. I am a retired person and my budget would not stretch to the extra payment.

              I have recently looked up various websites on travel. They confirm that Malaysian Airlines staff are sometimes grumpy and unhelpful.

              Next time I will choose Singapore Airlines. The top management at Singapore Airlines are more efficient than those at Malaysian Airlines.

              Just think - if Malaysian Airlines had been a little bit more flexible I would have travelled to Kuala Lumpur and spent my money there.

              ~~~~~~~~~~~~~

              Some Malaysians may not be wildly keen on the British and their allies (Israel and America).

              Between 1948 and 1960, Britain was fighting a war in Malaya. According to Mark Curtis, in the Guardian, "the growing brutality and deception of the Iraq war mirrors what happened in Malaysia. Under the banner of fighting communism, British forces were given free rein in Malaya. Collective punishments were inflicted on villages for aiding insurgents. A shoot-to-kill policy was promoted, tens of thousands of people were removed into "new villages" and used as cheap labour, and British soldiers had themselves photographed holding guerrillas'
              decapitated heads. The idea that the revolt was ended through "winning hearts and
              minds" is a myth; it was crushed by overwhelming force, such as
              massive aerial bombing."

              More recently, the Asian economic crisis was blamed by some Malaysians on foreign speculators.

              ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

              Most Malaysians welcome visitors. The country is beautiful and the people are beautiful. Ideally one gets out of the cities and into the kampungs where the real Malaysians live.

              The recent elections proved that 90% of the population are opposed to any kind of fundamentalism.

              But be wary of Malaysian Airlines. They don't seem to care about their customers and their economic situation does not seem to be as strong as that of Singapore Airlines.

              ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

              I will not be using Thomas Cook again.

              ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

              Did the bomb in Jakarta achieve its objective? General Bangbang got elected president with a big majority.







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                03.04.2004 23:37
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                Where do you take a couple of preteens? They're bored with Bali. They're tired of the Tunisia. They've been to Benidorm. They've done Durban. They've already visited Venice. California isn't cool. Florida is only for fat fascists. Where do you take kids? They want charming people. They want interesting sights. They want yummy food. They want sunshine. ~~~~~~~~~~~ What about King Alfonso's city? 'Where's that?' asks Amber. Think of one of the World's greatest ever empires.' 'Holland?' 'Spain.' 'Is it going to be like Benidorm?' 'No' 'Good' ~~~~ ~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~ Getting to the airport is the worst part. British buses are bad. A rickety bus takes you to a bus station. Then you change buses. Airport hotels are expensive and dirty. Airports mean queues and grumpy staff. The flight is OK. It's not with My Travel or Thomson. ~~~~~~ The city is big. Bigger than I expected. Some skyscrapers. Lots of blocks with balconies. The sun is shining. The high up clouds are magnificent. Our hotel is comfortable and friendly and not too expensive. The kids are excited and tired. We need some food ~~~ I like capital cities and capital letters. Capital Capital Capital Capital Capital Why can't DOOYOO get its act together and provide capitals? Come on Capitals please. ~~~~~~~~ I am about to start thi
                s review. When I can get some capitals. Meanwhile................ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I am in the world's oldest restaurant in Europe's highest capital, a city of 3 million people that was once the centre of a mighty global empire. The restaurant is called Botin and it is at Cuchillleros 17, Madrid Centro. It dates back to 1725. Madrid is 2,120 ft above sea level. I am eating excellent roast pig in a room with wood-beams and tiled floors. "Is Madrid safe?" I ask my dinner guest Carlos, a middle aged academic who looks like Salvador Dali. "It is safe, if you are careful about the traffic and AIDS. Very few people ever get killed by terrorists." "Who are the terrorists?" "Most well-informed people believe that it is western governments who organise the terror. Sometimes they recruit Muslims for minor roles." "Why would the CIA and its friends want to bomb Madrid or Casablanca?" "The US wants to send more and more troops into North and West Africa. They've already sent troops into Mauritania, Mali, Chad and Niger, and they're already working with the security forces in Morocco and Algeria. The US Sixth Fleet may be moving from Italy, to the southern Spanish port of Rota. Why? The US National Intelligence Council believes that by 2015 West Africa will supply 25% of the oil used by the US. Why the bombs? They give the US an excuse to send in the troops. It's just like in Indonesia and Afghanistan." "But the bombs let the Socialists take over." "The CIA, and its friends in the Spanish security services, may have miscalculated. They may have thought the Spaniards would rally to the Popular Party. But how do you know that the Socialists are not controlled by the CIA? Back in 1982 the Socialists promised a referendum on whether or not Spain should rema
                in in NATO. After winning the elections in 1982, the Socialists under Felipe González adopted a pro-NATO stance. They signed an agreement for the renewal of the US military bases in Spain." ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Crime - Watch out in hotel lobbies, airports, train and bu s stations, on public transport, in supermarkets and car parks. Take particular care in the Puerto de Sol and surrounding streets including the Plaza Mayor, the Retiro Park and Lavapies. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ARRIVAL- I flew into Barajas Airport 13km northeast of the city. The metro took me from the airport into the city centre (about 30 minutes). HOTEL - I stayed at Opera Hotel, a clean, relatively cheap hotel in a central location near the Royal Palace, Plaza Mayor and the Metro system, a five minute walk to the central shopping area. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ MARCH is a good time to visit Madrid. The freezing winter weather should have ended and the great heat of summer has not yet have arrived. February and March have 'carnivale'; the Fiesta de la Comunidad de Madrid is on 2 May and the Fiestas de San Isidro is on 15 May. In June-July the city's districts celebrate their various saints' days. ~~~~~~~~~~~~ WALKING I explored Madrid on foot, walking between the Royal Palace and Madrid's forest, the Parque del Buen Retiro. The 18th century Royal Palace, open to the public, is grand, elegant and magnificent. It should be viewed from both back (North) and front (South). Don't forget the red and gold throne room inside and the gardens outside. Look out for Tiepo lo ceilings, frescoes by Tiepolo, paintings by Goya, Rubens, Valezquez, and El Greco and various rococo decorations. The Prado has Velázquez, Goya and da Ribera, as well as Flemish and Italian masters. Finally, I took a stroll in Parque del Buen Retiro. There is a rose garden and a boating lake and there are busk
                ers. Also worth visiting - the Puerta de Atocha train station which has a tropical garden and the Plaza de Cibeles ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Madrid nightlife does not start until 11-12:00. The streets surrounding Cheuca subway, made famous by the movies of Pe dro Almodovar, are full of life. The working class district of Cheuca, north of Gran Via, has Tapas bars, restaurants, discos and bars. Plaza de Cheuca, the centre o f the gay community in Madrid, has fire-eaters and musicians. The LL Bar, at midnight may have a flamenco drag queen. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ History The emir of Córdoba is said to have built a fortress on the future site of Madrid in AD 854. It was one of a string of forts marking the frontier between Al-Andalus in the south and the Christian kingdoms to the north. Madrid's Muslim era ended in 1085 when King Alfonso VI of Castile won control. Isabel and Ferdinand united the Castilian and Aragonese Crowns in 1474. Granada, the last Muslim stronghold in Spain, fell in 1492. In 1492, Columbus set sail on the journey that would bring vast wealth to Spain. Isabel and Ferdinand's grandson, Carlos I, succeeded not only to the throne of Spain but also to that of the Austrian Habsburgs, becoming Holy Roman Emperor over lands stretching from Austria to Holland and from Spain to the American colonies. Carlos' son Felipe II made Madrid the capital of Spain in 1561. Over the next hundred years, Spain became poorer, due to a series of wars and massive inflation caused by bringing in much gold from its colonies. Habsburg Spain came to a whimpering end in 1700 with the death of Carlos II. Spain was defeated at Trafalgar in 1805; it lost its American colonies; and was taken over temporarily by Napoleon. There followed alternating coups between 'fascist' and liberal wings of the army. Spain lost Cuba, Puerto Rico and the P
                hilippines to the imperialist USA. In the early 20th century, opposition to the monarchy continued to grow. In 1930 a republic was declared. The country was split between right and left. The National Front was beaten by the Popular Front in the elections of February 1936. Three years of civil war began in July 1936 when troops in North African led by the fascist General Franco rebelled against the government. Madrid held Franco's fascist nationalists at bay until 1939. Under the fascist dictator Franco, Madrid's poor suffered decades of poverty and repression. Franco died in 1975, having earlier named Juan Carlos, the grandson of Alfonso XIII, his successor. Under King Juan Carlos, Spain became a democracy. The Pentagon has an interest in Spain. In 1981, there was an attempted military coup in which the CIA allegedly played a part. Most of the Spanish people were reportedly anti-NATO. After winning the elections in October 1982, the Socialists 'changed their position and the new government of Felipe González quickly adopted a pro-NATO stance. Three months later they signed an agreement for the renewal of the US military bases in Spain.'

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                • Italy / Destination International / 2 Readings / 22 Ratings
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                  29.06.2003 17:25
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                  Beautiful boys and girls, la dolce vita and some of the world's top tourist sites, such as Capri's Villa San Michele, haunting Pompeii, ravishing Ravello, William Walton's tropical garden and the dramatic Aragonese castle: that's your trip to Ischia and the Bay of Naples. Think of erect volcanoes, grand old hotels, topless beaches, swaying palms, mysterious villas, palatial yachts, and the Mafia. WHO COMES TO THIS AREA? Ulysses, Aphrodite, Tiberius, Michelangelo, Elizabeth Taylor, Henrik Ibsen, Garibaldi, Graham Greene, Krupp, Visconti, Gore Vidal.... Tourists these days tend to be well-heeled, retired Germans who like to do a lot of walking. Young folks who love the night life of Ibiza or Benidorm might find this place not to their taste. LA DOLCE VITA? In the good old days, Italians may not have had much money, but they knew how to smile and flirt and make friends. According to a recent survey Italians are now the grumpiest people in Europe. ( The international social survey programme collated results from 37 countries. The happiest are the Swiss, of whom only 3.6% are disgruntled. Britain's dissatisfaction figure was 8.5%. Some 27% of Italians are not happy with life and it shows!) The Mafia? Today, 60% of businesses in the Naples area are alleged to pay protection money to the local mafia, the Camorra. The good old days? Norman Lewis's book "Naples '44" tells what happened towards the end of World War II. Cholera and malaria were widespread; up to one third of the female population was forced into prostitution to survive. On my third day in Ischia, the morning newspapers had a story about an explosion in Piazza Garibaldi in Naples, and about alleged corruption by Berlusconi, Andreotti and other politicians. Witnesses against Andreotti say that within the Mafia he is known as Uncle Guilio and that he is linked to certain murders. European Commission presi
                  dent Romano Prodi is alleged to have had links to the KGB, Milosevic and the murder of Aldo Moro. FLIGHT I flew with a well known package holiday company in a crowded and rather scruffy plane with little leg room. Naples airport had a Third World feel about it. It took a little while to find the holiday reps at the airport. HOTEL A ferry journey of about 45 minutes brought us from Naples to the Island of Ischia where I was staying at the four star Hotel X, located in Ischia's main town. The hotel is one of the most beautiful in the world. Guest rooms are set in a collection of villas within the exotic gardens. The public rooms feature polished marble, terra-cotta floors and the sort of furniture you'd expect to find in an expensive Italian town house. The basic holiday price for 2 weeks half board was just over £700. Why so cheap? 1. This was May rather than July. 2. I booked over the internet. 3. The hotel is well inland from the beach and it's a long walk along a busy road to get to the centre of things. Buses can be crowded. 4. My room was very small. 5. There was sometimes a package-holiday feel about the hotel - some rude staff at reception, a wine bill that contained many items I had not ordered, breakfast orange juice that seemed to be out of a packet, unhelpful and unfriendly staff at the hotel's health spa. 6. Some local people seem hostile to tourists, especially the British (thanks to the up to 10,000 civilians killed in Iraq). 7. Traditionally most tourists to Ischia are Germans and the German economy is in trouble. 8. Italy can be expensive for the British tourist. 9. The Bush/Blair/Sharon war on Tourism. Opposite my hotel was a school with a fair amount of graffiti on its walls. The children seemed better behaved than many in Sheffield or London or Manchester, but they did push off and on the buses. Don't take travel cheques to Italy. My hotel sai
                  d tha t they no longer deal with travel cheques. It cost me 11 Euros to change 200 Euros at a bank. Take a plastic card instead. WHAT TO SEE AND DO Ischia is a small hilly island with about half a dozen small towns/villages. It reminds me of some Caribbean islands because of the lush vegetation and steep pointy volcanic hills; but it lacks the joie de vivre of the Caribbean. Ischia can be seen within a week, but, during a second week, ferry boats can take you to Capri, Procida, Sorrento and Naples. From Naples you can visit places like Pompeii. Ischia Town is the best transport centre and is the most suitable place to stay unless you want a very quiet holiday. ISCHIA TOWN Ischia Town has an old-fashioned beach area with fishermen's cottages, washing hanging out, and views of the Aragonese castle. If you're lucky you may hear the excellent town band. The visually stunning castle is on a small, steep island reached by a causeway. The castle and its surrounding buildings and gardens provide fabulous views of mountains, bays and boats. Ischia Town has sections of beach which are free and sections which you pay to enter. Ischia Town's small, colourful port is usually crammed full of ferry boats and expensive yachts. You could imagine you were on St Lucia. The main shopping streets of Ischia Town have smart boutiques and smart cafes, including a useful internet cafe (123 Corso Colonna). The hinterland of Ischia Town has some narrow roads and quiet tracks, villas and wild flowers, a small Roman viaduct, some relatively poor houses and the usual graffiti on houses and schools. MARONTI BEACH A number 5 bus will whisk you swiftly from Ischia Town through the middle of the island to its destination which is called Maronti. Maronti is possibly the best BEACH on the island, and is within walking distance of the little town called St Angelo. The number 5 bus leaves from
                  the small bus station at Ischia port and bus tickets can be bought there or at any tobacconist. A ticket which covers 7 days use of local buses costs 15 Euros. Maronti beach is long and backed by low crumbling cliffs. Pallone is a pleasant beach restaurant, built mainly of wood, which overlooks the action on the beach. For 13 Euros I had sardines, fried potatoes, water and wine. A gentleman in a funny hat, a young woman in a short skirt and a young boy wheeling a baby in a pram, provided my entertainment within the restaurant. WALTON'S GARDEN What is Victoria Amazonica? She opens near nightfall. Next day she has changed sex and become male. Victoria Amazonica is a water lily and can be viewed at LA MORTELLA, the huge gardens built on the site of a hillside quarry by composer Sir William Walton and his wife, who both came to live on Ischia in 1949. The world famous gardens contain many hundreds of rare plants and trees and have views of mountains and of the coastal resort of Forio. There is a tearoom where not-very-happy staff serve weak tea. I recommend the wine. In the Walton-museum section there are regular concerts. The gardens are open from April to November on Tuesdays, Thursdays and at weekends, from 9am until 7 pm. To reach La Mortella, I took an expensive 'rip-off' tour arranged by Thomson holidays, using a local tour company. Their bus arrived late and was driven too fast. The much cheaper alternative is to take a local bus - buses number 1 or 2 or CS which depart from Ischia port. Get off the bus just before it reaches the town of Forio. FORIO I took a CD bus to the Ischian town of Forio. Why not walk to Forio? The steep narrow S-shaped roads are not always suited to walking. Forio had deep litter on the beach and some graffiti on walls. The harbour is undistinguished. I walked inland from Forio on little country roads but soon came up against signs saying 'private'. Th
                  e best feature of Forio is the view of the pink-orange mountain with the white-walled villas and the flowers at its base. Lunch was excellent lentil soup and pasta with tomato sauce in an empty and rather dull restaurant. CASAMICCIOLA & LACCO AMENO I walked from Ischia town to the next-door seaside town of Casamicciola which struck me as being a place of road repairs, building works and boring buildings. I walked on to nearby Lacco Ameno and found this had more character: a pleasant church, boutiques, flowers and a friendly street cafe serving bruschetta with tomatoes, wine and Italian ice-cream. ST ANGELO Bus 1 or CD or CS take you to St Angelo, which has become a bit un-natural and boutique-ish. It's superficially pretty, with its little harbour and painted houses. But it has a Disney-feel about it. MOUNT EPOMEO (789 meters) Take a CD bus to the village of Serraro Fontana. From the main square, follow the signs for the track leading up the mountain. PROCIDA At Ischia Port I bought a ticket for the Caremar ferry to the nearby island of Procida. The carabinieri police at Ischia port look menacing in the extreme - mafia dark glasses, tall leather boots. On the ferry I had a drink in the bar and then looked through the pollution haze towards Vesuvius and various islands. If Capri seems very wealthy, and Ischia seems well-off, then PROCIDA could be said to be relatively poor and scruffy. It is not the interesting scruffiness of some Italian settlements. The main port has bleak tenements and the usual graffiti and road works. The main interest is Marina Corricella, a small harbour within walking distance of Procida's port. A seat in a cafe in Marina Corricella can give you a view of the prison and colourful tenements, while you sup vinegary wine. NAPLES TO POMPEII The fast aliscafi hydrofoil from Ischia to Naples (Molo Beverello) costs 22 Euros return and
                  is not recommended because of the fixed return time. Much better to get a single on an ordinary Caremar ferry and then your time of return is more flexible. Once in Naples I walked towards the railway station. Take care and avoid disreputable types hanging around quiet stretches of street near the docks. Piazza Garibaldi, next the railway station, was deep in stinking garbage and the populace seemed made up of beggar women and evil-looking pimps. Naples has some of the loveliest and some of the most venal-looking faces in the world. From the station I took the Circumvesuviana train that heads to Pompeii and Sorrento. Naples and its surrounds have deteriorated dramatically. The Circumvesuviana trains and most of the stations are completely covered in graffiti. My train contained at least one madman and a horde of intimidating young men. Pompeii was full of sometimes impolite parties of Italian school kids. But Pompeii is still fabulous: acres and acres of Roman streets and buildings. I did not travel on to Sorrento. I had heard that, like Naples, it also has deteriorated. CAPRI Capri was the highlight of my trip. It is a spectacular little island, almost traffic free. I took the Caremar aliscafi hydrofoil to Capri, a boat journey of 40 minutes, costing about £15 return. I walked from the port, Marina Grande, up the very steep twisting road to Capri town: wonderful views of villas and flowers and yachts, but a long walk. I would recommend taking the funicular, instead of walking! Tickets for the funicular are bought at a hut next to the pier (turn right as you exit the pier). You can buy a ticket that will include buses and last all day. The entrance to the funicular is opposite the pier. This was May, but, unlike in Ischia, Capri Town was crowded with tourists, mainly large tour groups of the portly and elderly, but also a few people with film-star good looks. From Capri Town I took a bus up t
                  o the town of Anacapri. T his narrow, steep, z-bend road has been known to suffer from rock falls. I got off at the first stop in Anacapri, crossed the road, and followed the sign for Villa San Michele. It's a short walk along a path to one of the world's great sights. At the age of 18, Swedish doctor and author Axel Munthe visited Capri and decided that some day he would build a house on the island. Its loggias would be full of light, and there would be a small chapel, a vineyard, and old statues in the garden. After practising in Paris and Italy, Munthe became in 1903 physician to the Swedish Royal family. THE STORY OF SAN MICHELE (1929) is an account of Munthe's experience as a doctor in Paris and Rome, and in semi-retirement at the villa of San Michele on the island of Capri. Both realistic and mystical, the book became a world-wide best seller, one of the most famous books ever written. Munthe built his villa on the site of a villa of the emperor Tiberius, high up on the rocky ledges just northeast of Anacapri, at the foot of Mount Barbarossa. Villa san Michele: a villa and garden decorated with beautiful pillars and statues; a curving terrace with views down to Marina Grande. At the other end of Capri is Villa Jovis to which Roman emperor Tiberius retired in 27 AD, allegedly to live a life of vice and debauchery. To get there, start at the main square in Capri Town. The route is free of motor traffic. Follow Via Botteghe out of the square. There are signposts. It's about a half hour walk up gentle slopes. You pass wonderful villas with beautiful gardens and have views of distant islands. Villa Jovis is a bit of a ruin but it only costs 2 Euros to get in. The gardens next to the vill have some of the world's most amazing views - of cliffs and stacks and distant domes and distant mountains. Close to Villa Jovis is a gorgeous little open-air restaurant where you can enjoy wine and mozarrelo with tomat
                  oes.

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                  • More +
                    31.03.2003 01:39
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                    "I hate Saddam, but I will fight the British and Americans," whispered Ali, a wiry Shia businessman who was sitting in the almost empty restaurant of Baghdad's six star Al-Rasheed Hotel. "In 1991 Shias were slaughtered when Bush Senior decided to keep Saddam in power, rather than let the majority Shias take over. Bush Senior knew that the Shias would not do the bidding of the Americans. His main aim was to keep Iraq weak and easy to control. He preferred Saddam to the Shias." "But now Bush Junior wants Saddam out," I commented. "Not necessarily," said Ali. "Saddam was always a CIA asset. Maybe he still is. But the aim of this war may not be to topple Saddam." "What are the aims of this war?" "First, to make money for America's military-industrial complex. The longer the war goes on the more money is spent on armaments. Second, to keep Iraq weak and divided. The longer the war goes on, the more of Iraq is destroyed, and the more Israel is strengthened. Third, to turn people in America against Moslems. The longer the war goes on, the more the Americans will hate Moslems, and the happier Israel will be. Fourth, to persuade Americans that they need to keep the fascist Bush in power. The war will increase Bush's popularity and distract people's attention from the economic problems of America. Fifth, to get the oil. The US doesn't need to take the whole of Iraq; all it needs is the oil." "So you think the Americans would rather have Saddam than a Shia government?" "It's possible. Last time there was an Iraqi plot to topple Saddam, the CIA gave the plot away. And now the Americans seem to be playing a double game." "I thought the Americans wanted to introduce democracy to Iraq." "America never supports democracy. Look at Iran. The Americans toppled the democratically elected
                    Mossadeq and put in the Shah who was a dictator. When the Shah became too powerful and talked of getting nuclear weapons, the CIA and MI6 put Khomeini into power." "I thought Khomeini was an enemy of the USA." "The CIA helped finance Khomeini." "You are suggesting that the USA wants to control the whole world." "The US keeps undemocratic people in power in Kuwait, in Saudi Arabia, in Egypt and in so many other places. The US put the Greek colonels into power and used terror in Italy to frustrate democracy. " As I left the hotel I stepped over the face of Bush Senior. A mosaic on the pavement outside the hotel shows the face of the former US president. Baghdad is a noisy Third World city and, being surrounded by desert, a bit dry and dusty. The air almost smells of camels. My vehicle took me to: 1. Caliphs Street with its churches and mosques. 2. Al Khadimain, one of the many mosques with beautiful domes, minarets, arabesques, glazed-tile walls and calligraphy. 3. Al-Takhrir Square with its red and white taxis. 4. the Saadun Monument commemorating the poet who fought against the British occupation. 5. The al-Amiriya air raid shelter where the Americans murdered over 1,000 civilians in 1991. 6. Rashid Street with its old souqs. The souq area has ancient cars, donkeys and tea vendors who carry glasses on silver trays. You can buy hand-made carpets, pomegranite juice, old watches, and copper pots. 7. Abu Nawas Street which runs alongside the swift brown Tigris and which is famous for its cafes and restaurants . I dined on 'Al-mazgouf' fish, grilled on an open fire and served with pickles and vegetables. I chatted to my driver, a thin scholarly man with a doctorate from a good university. "Many parts of Baghdad look dilapidated," I said. "This country would have been very rich and very powerful, if it had not been for constant interventions by foreign powers," replied my fellow diner. "The British bombed us from the air in 1918, simply because we did not want to be governed by the British. In 1921 the British took away a part of Iraq called Kuwait." "Why did we take away Kuwait?" "To stop us having access to the Persian Gulf." "Any more examples of interventions?" "The CIA overthrew the popular leader of Iraq in 1963. Saddam was probably one of the CIA's assets at that time. Move forward to 1972 when the Baath Party talked of nationalising the oil. The USA temporarily plotted with the Kurds against Iraq and then forced Iraq to hand over the Shatt-al-Arab waterway to Iran. Forward to 1979 and the USA's Brzezinski tried to get Iraq to attack Iran. The US indicated that Iraq could take back the Shatt-al-Arab waterway." "What was the US up to?" "Trying to keep both Iran and Iraq weak. In 1984 Reagan was sharing intelligence with both Iraq and Iran. The US supplied weapons to Iraq and to Iran. Oliver North told Iran that that the USA would help Iran to topple Saddam. At the same time, the USA was increasing aid to Iraq. Move forward to the 1990's. Russia was no longer a threat and so the Pentagon and military-industrial complex needed to invent new enemies." "That takes us to the first Gulf War." "In 1990 the US-controlled Gulf states dumped oil on the world markets. That reduced the price of oil and made it difficult for Iraq to pay its debts. Kuwait began stealing Iraq'oil, using slant drilling. The US then dropped hints to Iraq that it would turn a blind eye to Iraq taking some of the oil just inside Kuwait. That led to Saddam's invasion of Kuwait and to the USA being able to place troops inside Saudi Arabia. Saddam
                    agreed to withdraw his troops from Kuwait, but the war went ahead anyway. The USA bombed the road that was to be used for Iraq's retreat and thousands of people, including civilians, were killed a 'turkey shoot.' Even after the ceasefire, the US infantry murdered thousands of Iraqi soldiers." "And after the war there were sanctions." "It's not just the sanctions that have killed people. Cancer in Iraqi children has increased 400% since the Gulf War because of the depleted uranium munitions dropped by Allied forces." "And what about Iraq's more ancient history?" "Ah! I will tell you about the oldest work of imaginative literature on earth. It is roughly 4,000 years old, from the time of the Sumerians." "What is this work?" "The Epic of Gilgamesh! It tells the story of Uta-Napishti who was told by some god to build a boat and fill it with seed-plants and animals. The boat was to save this man from a flood. The Israelites probably got their story of Noah from the Epic of Gilgamesh. Iraq is the Cradle of Civilization; the birthplace of the civilization that took us from prehistory to history. An advanced civilization was found here here long before that of Egypt, Greece, and Rome." My driver took me to his simple home for tea. I met his wife and beautiful children. "I like the British," he said. "I used to live in Earl's Court. I'd go to the local for my pint of bitter. I'm a supporter of Newcastle football team." I found the Iraqis to be hospitable, charming and well educated.

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                    • Room 101 / Discussion / 0 Readings / 21 Ratings
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                      04.03.2003 01:43
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                      FIRST - Dump fascist NEW LABOUR! All this terror stuff is a device by the fascist elite to stay in power. Remember that Mosley, Mussolini and Hitler called themselves socialists. Blair works for the elite in Washington, the people who are at present trying to kill off Leftists in the Philippines, topple the ruler of Venezuela, and smash the Palestinians. We know that Duncan-Smith has given lectures to extreme right wingers in the USA. But what about Blair and his cronies? We know that from the 1960's onwards, the CIA was trying to recruit people within the Labour movement. They used various front organisations. So what about Blair? According to Lobster magazine: "Within his inner group we have Peter Mandelson who has been around MI6 since his early 20s, and Jonathan Powell, ex-FCO in Washington and, it has been alleged, the MI6 man there, before joining Blair... Four of the Blair cabinet are alumni of the Anglo-American elite group the British American Project; three of the Blair cabinet have passed muster at Bilderberg meetings; and the entire Defence team in Blair's first Cabinet in 1997 were members or associates of the Trade Union Committee for European and Transatlantic Unity, created by the Americans in the 1970s - probably though not yet provably created by the CIA - and currently funded by NATO." Http://www.lobster-magazine.co.uk/articles/security.htm I know a little about terror. Terror is used to frighten and control us. Smallpox, anthrax, dirty bombs..... What happened in Indonesia gives us a clue to what is happening in Britain under New Labour; and to what is happening in the rest of the world. Think back to 1998. Hundreds of little girls raped in Jakarta; many of them murdered; around 1000 school kids burnt to death. Who was to blame? Indonesian special forces, Koppasus Group 4, reportedly organised the May riots w
                      hich led to the fall of President Suharto. An independent report found that the rioters had been trained at military style bases and made to dress as students so as to give the impression that the ordinary people were in revolt. The chief of the CIA had visited Jakarta; then the US defence secretary had met notorious US trained Koppasus General, Prabowo; US Defence Intelligence Agency attache at the US Jakarta Embassy, Col. Charles McFetridge had met regularly with Col. Chaiwaran, commander of Koppasus special forces Group 4. The Pentagon had trained Group 4, contrary to the wishes of Congress. When new elections were due to be held in Indonesia, mysterious 'ninjas' began slaughtering moderate Moslem preachers in East Java. This was an attempt to terrorise supporters of a moderate party likely to do well in the elections. After the preachers were killed, it was the turn of mentally backward youths to be slaughtered. Analysts pointed the finger at the US trained Kopassus, who were well known for using 'ninjas' in East Timor. Terror worked in Indonesia. The army still holds all the key posts in government. Its generals are safe from prosecution. There has been no Reformasi. Laskar Jihad was presented to the world as an extremist Moslem group. But what is the truth? Most experts now believe Laskar Jihad is run by the anti-Islamist, US trained army of Indonesia. Laskar Jihad was meant to undermine democracy. Thousands died in the Moluccas at the hands of Laskar Jihad and their likes. Laskar Jihad allegedly attacked both mosques and churches. Terror is a weapon of the fascist elite. Laskar Jihad's activities helped keep the army in power. And what about al Qaeda? 9 11 was almost certainly not the work of militant Moslems. We have been lied to. It is time to dump New Labour. $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ SECOND - Dump the i
                      dea that 9 11 was the work of fundamentalist moslems. Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the so-called mastermind of 9-11, is believed to have attended college in North Carolina. In Manila, he met associates in karaoke bars and giant go-go clubs filled with mirrors, flashing lights and bikini-clad dancers. He held meetings at four-star hotels. He took scuba-diving lessons at a coastal resort. When he wasn't with the go-go dancers, he courted a Filipina dentist. Once, he rented a helicopter and flew it over her office, then called her on his mobile phone and told her to look up and wave. Other members of the terror cell Mohammed led had local girlfriends as well. Shaikh Mohammed is considered by many analysts to be an agent of the Pakistan intelligence service ISI, which is generally considered to be controlled by the CIA. Robert Fisk, 3 3 03, in the Independent: "Mr Mohammed was an ISI asset; indeed, anyone who is "handed over" by the ISI these days is almost certainly a former (or present) employee of the Pakistani agency, whose control of Taliban operatives amazed even the Pakistani government during the years before 2001. Mr Pearl, it should be remembered, arranged his fatal assignation in Karachi on a mobile phone from an ISI office." US counter-terrorism officials claim Shaikh Mohammed was in Germany before the 9 11 attacks, liaising with Mohamed Atta. A secretive U.S. eavesdropping agency monitored telephone conversations. But, the Germans weren't told about it – and when they ask Washington for further information, none is forthcoming. There was already a $2 million reward for Mohammed in 1998. In 2000, the CIA monitered his presence at an al Qaeda meeting, yet they didn't arrest him. Why wasn't the 9/11 plot discovered in June 2001 when US intelligence learned Mohammed was sending terrorists to live in the US. And is Shaikh Mohammed still alive? Asia T
                      imes, 30 2 02, "Ever since the frenzied shootout last month on September 11 2002 in Karachi there have been doubts over whether Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the self-proclaimed head of al-Qaeda's military committee, died in the police raid on his apartment. "Now it has emerged that Kuwaiti national Khalid Shaikh Mohammed did indeed perish in the raid, but his wife and child were taken from the apartment and handed over to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), in whose hands they remain." $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ THIRD - Dump the idea you can't do anything about Blair. Manchester United was not taken over by BSkyB, after a SMALL group of shareholders took action. Esso had suffered a drop in regular buyers by June 2002 thanks to the Stop Esso campaign. Greenpeace accuses Exxon Mobil of being a driving force behind President Bush's push to invade Iraq by fostering American dependence on oil. We have power. $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ Here is a list of the Labour MPs who do not side with Blair over Iraq: Ms Diane Abbott (Hackney North & Stoke Newington) Graham Allen (Nottingham North) John Austin (Erith & Thamesmead) Tony Banks (West Ham) Harry Barnes (Derbyshire North East) John Battle (Leeds West) Ms Anne Begg (Aberdeen South) Andrew Bennett (Denton & Reddish) Joe Benton (Bootle) Dr Roger Berry (Kingswood) Harold Best (Leeds North West) Richard Burden (Birmingham Northfield) Ronnie Campbell (Blyth Valley) Martin Caton (Gower) Colin Challen (Morley & Rothwell) David Chaytor (Bury North) Michael Clapham (Barnsley West & Penistone) Mrs Helen Clark (Peterborough) Tom Clarke (Coatbridge & Chryston) Tony Clarke (Northampton South) Harry Cohen (Leyton & Wanstead) Iain Coleman (Hammersmith & Fulham) <
                      br>Jeremy Corbyn (Islington North) Jim Cousins (Newcastle upon Tyne Central) Tom Cox (Tooting) Ms Ann Cryer (Keighley) John Cryer (Hornchurch) Jim Cunningham (Coventry South) Tam Dalyell (Linlithgow) Ms Valerie Davey (Bristol West) Denzil Davies (Llanelli) Terry Davis (Birmingham Hodge Hill) Hilton Dawson (Lancaster & Wyre) Jim Dobbin (Heywood & Middleton) Terry Davis (Birmingham Hodge Hill) Frank Dobson (Holborn & St Pancras) Brian Donohoe (Cunninghame South) Frank Doran (Aberdeen Central) David Drew (Stroud) Huw Edwards (Monmouth) Jeff Ennis (Barnsley East & Mexborough) Paul Farrelly (Newcastle-under-Lyme) Mark Fisher (Stoke-on-Trent Central) Paul Flynn (Newport West) Hywel Francis (Aberavon) George Galloway (Glasgow Kelvin) Neil Gerrard (Walthamstow) Dr Ian Gibson (Norwich North) Roger Godsiff (Birmingham Sparkbrook & Small Heath) Patrick Hall (Bedford) David Hamilton (Midlothian) Fabian Hamilton (Leeds North East) Doug Henderson (Newcastle upon Tyne North) David Hinchliffe (Wakefield) Ms Kate Hoey (Vauxhall) Jimmy Hood (Clydesdale) Kelvin Hopkins (Luton North) Dr Brian Iddon (Bolton South East) Eric Illsley (Barnsley Central) Ms Glenda Jackson (Hampstead & Highgate) Ms Helen Jackson (Sheffield Hillsborough) Jon Owen Jones (Cardiff Central) Dr Lynne Jones (Birmingham Selly Oak) Martyn Jones (Clwyd South) Peter Kilfoyle (Liverpool Walton) Mark Lazarowicz (Edinburgh North & Leith) David Lepper (Brighton Pavilion) Terry Lewis (Worsley) Iain Luke (Dundee East) John Lyons (Strathkelvin & Bearsden) Mrs Christine McCafferty (Calder Valley) John McDonnell (Hayes & Harlington) Ann McKechin (Glasgow Maryhill) Kevin McNamara (Hull North) Tony McWalter (Hemel Hempstead) Khalid Mahmood (Birmingham Perry Barr) Ms Alice Mahon (Halifax) David Marshall (Glasgow Sh
                      ettleston) Jim Marshall (Leicester South) Robert Marshall-Andrews (Medway) Chris Mole (Ipswich) Ms Julie Morgan (Cardiff North) Tony McWalter (Hemel Hempstead) Denis Murphy (Wansbeck) Doug Naysmith (Bristol North West) Ms Diana Organ (Forest of Dean) Albert Owen (Ynys Mon) Ms Linda Perham (Ilford North) Peter Pike (Burnley) Kerry Pollard (St Albans) Gordon Prentice (Pendle) Andy Reed (Loughborough) Joan Ruddock (Lewisham Deptford) Martin Salter (Reading West) Malcolm Savidge (Aberdeen North) Mohammad Sarwar (Glasgow Govan) Philip Sawford (Kettering) Brian Sedgemore (Hackney South & Shoreditch) Ms Debra Shipley (Stourbridge) Dennis Skinner (Bolsover) Alan Simpson(Nottingham South) Marsha Singh (Bradford West) Chris Smith (Islington South & Finsbury) Llew Smith (Blaenau Gwent) George Stevenson (Stoke-on-Trent South) Paul Stinchcombe (Wellingborough) Dr Gavin Strang (Edinburgh East & Musselburgh) David Taylor (Leicestershire North West) Jon Trickett (Hemsworth) Paul Truswell (Pudsey) Dr Desmond Turner (Brighton Kemptown) Bill Tynan (Hamilton South) Rudi Vis (Finchley & Golders Green) Ms Joan Walley (Stoke-on-Trent North) Robert Wareing (Liverpool West Derby) Brian White (Milton Keynes North East) Alan Williams (Swansea West) Mrs Betty Williams (Conwy) Mike Wood (Batley & Spen) Tony Worthington (Clydebank & Milngavie) Tony Wright (Cannock Chase) Derek Wyatt (Sittingbourne & Sheppey) Dump all the others.

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                      • Clydesdale Bank / Bank / 1 Reading / 18 Ratings
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                        12.02.2003 19:33
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                        I was charged £62.50 when I sent £100 to a poor family in India. Through ActionAid, I used to sponsor Monj, a poor Indian boy in the Calcutta area. Now Monj is grown up and is working with an organisation that helps the poor. Recently Monj got married and I sent him £100. Clydesdale Bank informed me that the cost of this transaction was £62.50. I asked Clydesdale Bank to send the £100 on 8th May 2002, by telegraphic transfer. On 25th July 2002 I received an e-mail from Monj to say that the money had arrived in his HSBC bank account. Clydesdale Bank wrote to me in February 2003 to explain that the charges for the telegraphic transfer were £37.50 (which I assume goes to the Clydesdale) and £25 (which I assume goes to HSBC). When I try to phone my branch of the Clydesdale Bank, I am put through to a call centre in Glasgow. It can take a further fifteen minutes before I can speak to anyone at my local bank. When I call in at the bank, I often find that there is only one girl serving customers and the queue is almost out the door. This is not of course as bad as dealing with Scottish Gas, but it's not very good. The staff at my local branch are good people, but are they being over-worked? Not so long ago, Finance union UNIFI asked Yorkshire/Clydesdale Bank to guarantee that UK bank staff jobs were safe in the face of a restructure of the parent National Australia Group. Reports of 5,000 job cuts worldwide across the group and a major restructuring plan were leaked to market analysts in Australia after losses of US$3.6 billion in NAG's Homeside subsidiary in America. UNIFI official Jim Caldwell said: "Yorkshire and Clydesdale Banks have already been subject to very aggressive cost-cutting by the Group." "With a recruitment embargo in place, no relief staff available and mounting evidence of high stress levels among staff, assurances should be given from Yorkshire/Clydesdale to
                        put staff's mind at ease. " UNIFI is concerned at the potential decline in the level of service offered to customers in the event of further cutbacks being announced. Very recently, the Clydesdale Bank lost its second top executive in four months when Steve Targett resigned as chief executive of European financial services at parent group National Australia Bank. Mr Targett, had taken over responsibility for the Clydesdale when Graham Savage retired as chief executive of the Glasgow-based bank in October, after only nine months in the post. A spokesman for NAB denied the group was becoming a "revolving door" for executives. Mr Targett will join Lloyds TSB on March 10, and his post will be filled temporarily by NAB executive Ross Pinney. NAB chief executive Frank Cicutto said: "Mr Pinney will continue our strategies to improve customer service, remain competitive and grow the business." Mr Cicutto, the chief executive of National Australia Bank, which owns the Clydesdale Bank, once described Scotland as an inferior country. What about HSBC? In a certain Asian city where I was living, I opened a dollar bank account and asked that the monthly interest be transferred to the bank account of Panca, a handicapped child from a poor family. Panca's account was not in dollars and not with HSBC. The monthly interest which Panca received was almost zero after HSBC had deducted their massive bank charges. HSBC has a reputation for being helpful to the rich elite. Spain's El Mundo newspaper reported recently that the HSBC banking group was allegedly to be fined euro2m (£1.25m) by Spanish authorities for running a series of opaque bank accounts for wealthy businessmen and professional football players. The fines were reportedly due to be made under money laundering rules and are understood to involve 138 accounts containing £40m. El Mundo rep
                        orted that only 12 of the 138 account holders, who appeared to be operating through an HSBC subsidiary in Switzerland called the British Bank of the Middle East, had been identified by the money laundering committee.

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                        • Islamic Books in general / Discussion / 9 Readings / 24 Ratings
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                          27.10.2002 00:27
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                          I entered the ballroom of the five-star Jakarta hotel where the Saudi Embassy was celebrating the birthday of the Prophet Mohammed. There was Tommy Suharto surrounded by his bodyguards. There was Megawati, standing alone. There was me, being stared at. I had wandered onto that side of the room reserved for the women. I made a hasty retreat and headed towards a man I took to be the Minister of Welfare. I began talking about mentally backward people and was given a puzzled look by the elderly gentleman. I had made another mistake. The man I was talking to was the Chairman of the Ulemas Council (an expert on Islam). I retreated to the tables laden with food (no alcohol) and, while occasionally dropping bits of rice and lamb on the floor, got talking to Samsu, a retired university teacher. "I don't know much about Islam," I said sheepishly. "You should have had a longer conversation with the Chairman of the Ulemas Council," said Samsu, a man who reminded me of a kindly little polar bear, "but I will teach you. ############################################ The following section uses material from Encyclopedia Britannica and The Encyclopedia of World Religions (Octopus) and various other sources- Muhammed's revelations were memorised by his followers. Different sections were also, from time to time, written on bits of stone, bits of leather, palm leaves and scraps of paper. Mohammed died in 632 AD and about 650 AD the revelations of Mohammed were collected together in the Koran. The battle of Yamamah (633) saw the death of a great many of the Moslems who knew the Koran by heart. There was a worry that knowledge of the Koran might disappear. So it was decided to collect all the separate sheets on which bits of the Koran had been written and to collect the recitations from surviving followers. Different versions of the Koran were used
                          in different parts of the Moslem world. The Caliph Uthman is reported to have organised an authoritative version. The Koran is divided into 114 chapters. The chapters revealed at Mecca during the early years deal with spiritual and ethical teachings and the Day of Judgement. The chapters revealed at Medina deal with social legislation and the principles for running a community. The oldest chapters are generally found towards the end of the book. The earliest chapters use short sentences and are poetic in style. The later chapters become more like prose. Few of the chapters seem to be uniform in style or content. To some outsiders, the Koran might seem not to be a planned, organised or systematic work. In the Koran we find references to Adam, Noah, Abraham, Joseph, Jesus and Mary among others. But there is little detail of these people's lives. The stories of most of these biblical people assume that we already know the details. The Koran is shorter than the Bible. Some Western scholars believe (1) that some of the Koran's material was borrowed from Jewish sources such as Midrash and (2) that the description of paradise has been borrowed from the Syriac church. The Koran tells us that Adam was forgiven by God. There was no long Fall from Grace. No need for a saviour to die on a cross. The Koran is not a comprehensive legal code. Hence the need for 'traditions', 'consensus', and 'individual thought'. ############################################ Ramadan, the Moslem month of fasting, came round again and I found myself in the front room of Samsu's humble bungalow. "I saw some graffiti supporting Saddam Hussein," I said, knowing that Samsu was a tolerant fellow. "Ignorant youth," said Samsu. "Not you. I mean Moslems are supposed to support love, not war. 'God does not love aggressors', according to
                          the K oran, chapter 2, verse 190. However I'll tell you why some Indonesians support Saddam. Because israel has taken lots of Arab land." "What about the fighting in the Middle East?" "Moslems are only allowed to fight back after there has been continued injustice and oppression." "I saw some graffiti attacking Jesus." "Ignorance. So many Moslems here are poorly educated. In the Koran, Jesus is a great prophet who cures people of sickness. 'Jesus, son of Mary, highly distinguished in the world and the hereafter, and one of those brought near to God.' that's from the Koran chapter 3, verses 45 and 46." "But Moslems don't see Jesus in quite the same way as christians?" "Moslems," said Samsu, "worry about Jesus being seen as identical in every way with God. According to Christians, Jesus talks to God as his Father. He's not talking to himself, is he? Jesus is tempted in the wilderness. Could God be tempted?" "And Jesus talks of himself as the Vine and God as the Vinedresser," I added. "So, you Moslems don't worship either Jesus or Mohammed, but only God." "Yes, but Moslems should respect Christians and Jews. Chapter 2, verse 62 of the Koran says, 'Jews and Christians, whoever believes in God and in the Last Day and does right, there will be no fear among them, and neither will they grieve.' Next question." "What about people getting their hands chopped off for stealing?" "Matthew's Gospel," said Samsu, "If your hand or foot leads you into evil, cut it off." "Wait a minute. Jesus meant we are supposed to cut the bad things out of our own lives. We are not supposed to chop other peopl'e hands off." "The Koran says, 'Those who repent, God will forgive, God
                          is forgiv ing. Merciful.'" "Moslems don't believe in turning the other cheek," I said. "Remember Kane and Abel?" said Samsu. "In the Koran, Abel says he is not going to strike back at Kane, even if Kane strikes him. Chapter 5, verse 28 of the Koran." "What about stoning to death?" "If a murderer pleads for forgiveness, the family of the victim may spare the man's life. And of course they should spare the murderer's life, if they are good Moslems." "Why?" "Because in Islam it says, 'Unless you want for your neighbour what you want for yourself, you don't have faith.' Of course there are lots of bad Moslems." "Why do you say that?" "Another Islamic quote: 'A man who goes to bed with his stomach full, while his neighbour is hungry, he is not a Moslem." "And there are lots of rich, well-fed Moslems with hungry neighbours?" "Some individuals at the Religious Ministry are said to own several cars and several houses. I'll tell you, I am not a fanatic. i would not survive in Afghanistan. The trouble is that I am educated. Can you believe it? An educated Moslem?"" "Indonesia has a Moslem Intellectual's Society." "I am not a member. I am a traditional and not an orthodox Moslem," said Samsu. "Why are there so many different kinds of Moslem?" "The first Arabic biography of the Prophet was written 100 years after the Prophet's death. The Koran was not written down at the time the prophet revealed it. And critics claim, as with the Christian Gospels, that there are inconsistencies." "Such as?" "Some parts of the Koran seem to suggest that God is all powerful and that everything is determined. Other par
                          ts suggest free will. This difficulty was debated by early Moslems. Some parts of the Koran imply tolerance of Christians and Jews. Other parts seem less tolerant. Critics puzzle over apparent errors of Geography or History. Look at the Christian Bible. It says 'an eye for an eye', and then it says 'turn the other cheek'. Mark's Gospel gets the Geography wrong. It happens, when people write things down." "What do you think about the inconsistencies in the Koran?" "Apparent inconsistencies. The Mtazilites were a group of Moslems who belived that only God is perfect. Only God is eternal. They argued that the Koran could not be eternal like God." "What do you think?" "The Prophet was a man. You know he originally got Moslems to face Jerusalem when they prayed. He sometimes lost in battle. Moslem scholars often disagree about the Koran, but don't you spread that around. We have had different schools: Hanafi, Maliki, Shafi and Hanbali. They don't all agree on everything. In the 8th century there was a Consensus of Scholars trying to get agreement on belief. And remember we have the split into Sunni and Shia sects. I can't lie to you about differences in interpretation." "Do you worry about disagreements?" "Not me. I think it is bad that around the 9th century there was a decline in debate. Moslems should not be scared of holding individual opinions. I think I need to explain about the early history of Islam." ############################################# Another year and another visit to Samsu. "It starts with Abraham and the Jews," said Samsu. "What sort of people were these early Jews?" "A small tribe from Iraq?" I ventured. "Your J M Roberts in his History of the World says the Jews were barbaric, raw and backward. Just like
                          the Arabs before the time of the Prophet." "And this affected their thinking?" "The early Jewish religious thinking came about in a backward world. So we get the slaughter of animals and the extremely tough and cruel laws. Some of the prophets tried to get people to see God as a God of love and forgiveness." "And Mohammed?" "In Arabia, at that time,the old nobles and the rich merchants were in conflict with the young and the poor. Life could be barbaric for women, the poor, and slaves." "Mohammed wanted to change things?" "He wanted change. Most Arabs knew all about the Jewish and Christian religions. Some Arabs envied these religions." "Mohammed wanted people to worship the one God, the God of Abraham and Jesus?" "Yes. Mohammed began to preach about God and the need for all men to be brothers." "And Islam began to spread." "To Iraq," said Samsu, "To Syria, North Africa, parts of India. Moslem armies even invaded France." "Why did the conquests come to an end?" "At times, Moslems were fighting Moslems. The Moslems were not always a united band of brothers. There was corruption." "Corruption?" "The first Caliphs, most of whome were related to Mohammed, were criticised for being too keen on wealth and power. It was said they acted as tyrants. Some of them were murdered." "So Moslem rulers are not necessarily better than Christian leaders?" "The Crusaders slaughtered everyone in Jerusalem in 1099. Saladin never did that." "Agreed." "But here's a question. The Prophet won a battle at Badr. Some of his supporters saw that as a sign of God's support. Then the Prophet lost the battle at Uhud. Why?
                          " "Wh at do you think?" "Life did not go smoothly for Jesus, did it? All I know is that, as revealed by the Prophet, God is a God of love and forgiveness. A God who likes peace, not war."

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                            14.10.2002 03:30
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                            "The CIA bombed Indonesia," said Irfan, as we dined on rijstaffel in the Padi restaurant at the Ritz-Carlton in Bali. The restaurant is outdoors and has thatched roof pavilions and lily ponds. "Not Moslem rebels," I said, trying to speak above the sound of the Javanese keroncong music. We were talking about Indonesian history. We were talking about the year 1958 when the CIA was organising rebellions in Indonesia to try to topple the democratically elected president. "A CIA plane bombed the Ambon marketplace, killing many civilians on their way to church. Three days later a CIA pilot, Allen Lawrence Pope, was shot down and captured." Irfan wiped away a mosquito. "What about more recent troubles?" I asked, while eating food that was not necessarily world-class. "Who bombed the Attorney General's office in Jakarta in July 2000?" asked Irfan. "Moslem rebels?" I suggested. "The bombs went off one hour after Tommy Suharto had been interrogated by the police. The bombs were traced back to the army and a former member of Suharto's guard. There were lots of bombs at that time. A woman called Elize Tuwahatu was jailed for ten years after admitting she had placed Tommy's bombs in various places in Jakarta. Now Tommy is in jail." "What about the Moslem fighters in the Moluccas?" I asked. "Groups within the armed forces are behind that," said Irfan. "Laskar Jihad, the biggest Moslem militia, has always had links to the army. The army uses them to fight the independence movement in the Moluccas. And to undermine democracy. And to distract attention away from the corruption of the elite." "Didn't Laskar Jihad's leader fight in Afghanistan?" "Yes, but those fighters were working with the CIA." "So, who bombed Bali?" I asked.
                            "Who gains?" said Irfan. "Certain generals want to undermine democracy. They don't want to be put on trial for past atrocities. They want Bush on their side. President Bush wants to resume military aid to Indonesia, which was cut off by Congress because of the genocide committed by the Indonesian army in East Timor in 1999. The Indonesian army has been accused of secretly creating and funding militant Islamic groups so that it will be given more money and power. Singapore's Straits Times published a document detailing a plan to launch a holy war. Many observers suspect the document is a fake, invented by Indonesian and US intelligence, so that the US can resume military aid to Jakarta." "So, who bombed Bali?" "The airline manifest of Garuda airlines shows that at least two military generals from Jakarta happened to visit Bali just three days before the bombings and that they returned to Jakarta just one day before the Sari Club was blown up. This was confirmed by armed forces chief General Sutarto, who claimed that General Djaja Suparman was on vacation, while General Ryamizard Riyacudu, chief of staff, was said to have gone to Bali for health reasons. General Suparman is one of the generals behind the extremist Jihad groups. He set up militias composed of gangsters and religious fanatics to counter student demonstrations in 1998. One of these militias, Pram Swarkasa, became Laskar Jihad." "What about this person called Amrozi, who was arrested?" "He's probably working for the police. Probably a police informant. Did you see the photos of him getting a friendly handshake from the police chief. They were all smiles." "Does Iraq come into this?" "Yes. The US does not want its invasion of Iraq to be presented by Indonesians as a war against Islam. They want Indonesians to believe that there is a real threat from terroris
                            ts." "So, is Indonesia safe?" "It's safe so long as you keep away from places where bombs go off, places like night clubs. Stick to the beaches and the countryside." "Peaceful in the countryside?" "Well, it wasn't in 1965-66." "Why?" "70,000-100,000 Balinese were slaughtered by Suharto's people in 1965-66." "Did that get into the news?" "Western governments turned a blind eye to the killings because Suharto opened the country up to US corporations and warships." WHY GO TO BALI? Away from the hotels there is a magical tropical world: frangipani, banana trees, volcanoes, temples, ducks, and smiling children. It is a tranquil world. It is a place where one can come to realise that all of nature is interlinked. WHERE TO STAY? The Ritz-Carlton, in Jimbaran in S.W. Bali, is sat on a bluff above white sand beaches and the turquoise-blue Indian Ocean. The hotel offers: a championship standard golf course, a pool with a waterfall, a pool with water slides, an aquarium, tennis, billiards, mountain bikes, gym, sauna, Turkish baths, massage.... A Ritz-Carlton villa, has its own private plunge pool and its own private garden. One night's stay costs the equivalent of about one year's wages for a poor Indonesian. Bali also has small losmen (guesthouses) costing £5 or less per night. The most luxurious place to stay is Begawan Giri, now rated as the world's most luxurious property. Barbra Streisand booked the entire place. Bali gets about one million tourists a year. The Beckhams, Jimmy Carter, Sting... BALI'S REGIONS Bali is 87 miles long and 48 miles wide. It's population is about 3 million and mainly Hindu. The Hindus have a relaxed way of life. There are some Moslems who have come from Java
                            and other islands. There are also Chinese Indonesians, and some Arabs and Indians. The Southern Coast - 90% of the tourists stay here. Bali's eastern region has temples, such as Pura Besakih, and palaces and Hindu shrines with carvings dating from the 11th century. Gunung Agung volcano, about 10,000-ft high is the island's holiest site. It erupted in 1963. The northern coast has some of the best-known temples on the island. Western Bali has Bali Barat National Park, with its forested mountains, palm savannas, and mangrove swamps. ECONOMY: Tourism , handicrafts and agriculture. HEALTH: Watch out for Cholera (avoid seafood) and Japanese Encephalitis (get an injection) THE ARMY : The army runs Indonesia, although the country is supposed to be a democracy. Allegedly the army and the Suharto family are trying to bring back military dictatorship. In November 2000 the army killed over 100 people in Sumatra's Aceh who were demonstrating for independence. In the Moluccas up to 10,000 have died in conflict. West Papua and West Kalimantan are in turmoil. WHAT TO EXPECT: The local people are not keen on drunken Australians, but they will greet with great friendliness the tourist who respects the Hindu religion.

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                              09.09.2002 21:59
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                              timesofindia.indiatimes.com has everything exotically Indian: Bollywood, spies, gangsters, elephants and cricket. You want a bride? You want foreign news? You want book reviews? You want India in all its pungent spicy glory? Read the Times. Cricket gets a lot of attention in the Times. well, afterall, the Indians are rather good at cricket. Rather than read about England's performance in the Telegraph, try the Times of India. Business news? You must read the Times of India. A very large proportion of the world's population is now Indian. India has the nuclear bomb and call centres better than those in Britain. India could overtake the likes of Britain, Germany and Japan once it really takes off. The Times of India has a separate fincancial supplement. Horoscopes? The Times of India is the place to get your horoscope. But don't take it too seriously. Crosswords? Of course there are crosswords, and they are in English. The Times of India has a huge circulation and really is the world's number one paper written in English. Operation Mockingbird was the CIA operation to gain control of the media, and not just in the USA. As early as the 1950s, the CIA 'owned' respected members of the New York Times, Newsweek, CBS... four to six hundred in all, according to a former CIA analyst. Over twenty five major newspapers and wire services became willing house organs for the CIA media manipulation. Investigators digging into MOCKINGBIRD discovered documents in which agents boast (in CIA office memos) of pride in having placed "important assets" inside every major news publication in the country. But, not everyone is controlled! It was the Times of India that revealed (SHOCK! HORROR!) that the CIA's man in Pakistan, General Mahmoud, had payed Mohamad Atta (alleged 9 11 hijacker) $100,00. Now, Mahmoud was in washington on 9 11. He'd
                              been meeting all the top CIA and political people. I give the Times of India 10/10. My other press awards: 10 points out of ten for THE PORTUGAL NEWS, which came up with a front page story suggesting that the US government may have carried out the 9 11 attacks. Website: www.portugalnews.com The story explained that a group of US military and civilian pilots, under the chairmanship of a Colonel Don de Grand, had concluded that the 'hijacked' planes were controlled by a remote-control system. The group had stated: "The so-called terrorist attack was in fact a superbly executed military operation..." The story went on to detail the flaws in the official version of events. The Portugal News is a lively little English-language paper which keeps British expats and tourists in touch with what's happening. 10/10 for HA'ARETZ, the liberal Israeli newspaper, which is not afraid to tell us the truth. Here is one of its stories from 28 June 2002: "The FBI is conducting a manhunt for six men carrying Israeli passports who are suspected of plotting terror attacks in the United States - and who were released by the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service after having been under arrest. The six were arrested over the weekend in a state in the Midwest while traveling in two cars, and were found to have photographs and information about a Florida nuclear reactor and the Alaska pipeline, the news agency reported. There are three nuclear reactors in Florida. They also had "suspicious equipment," including box-cutter knives similar to those used by the hijackers on September 11 But the six, who were decribed as having Israeli passports and a "Middle Eastern look," were released after INS officials decided that their passports and visas were valid. The INS released the men without consulting the FBI - or reporting the arrests. When FBI di
                              rector Robert Mueller heard about the incident, he was "furious."" 10/10 for the VANCOUVER SUN, a well-written paper that is not yet under the control of the NWO. www.canada.com Ian Mulgrew is the star writer for the Sun and on 23 feb 2002 he wrote a piece suggesting the possibility that, just as the Kennedy assassination was supposedly a conspiracy by right-wing US elements, so too was 9 11. Mulgrew gives many pages of detailed and convincing arguments. He refers to all the pieces of the jigsaw that have been censored by certain other parts of the media; bin Laden's stay at an American hospital being just one example. Canada's VISION TV www.visiontv.ca produces excellent documentaries. One such was their series on what really happened on 9 11. The four part series provided the evidence (hidden from our heavily-controlled media) that 9 11 may well have been the work of a group within the US government. 10/10 for PRAVDA. PRAVDA has changed. Now it goes overboard to churn out stories of corruption in high places. On 27 7 02 it had a well researched piece on the dodgy business dealings of the Bush family, including their dealings with bin Laden. And what about the losers? Zero out of ten for most of the heaviuly controlled and heavily censored British media. Worst of all are: The BBC's TV News and the BBC's PANORAMA. The Observer. Those three seem to be simply vehicles for churning out CIA propaganda.

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                                22.08.2002 03:14
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                                If you live near Lakenheath, or any other US base, you'll be interested in Olongapo. WHERE: Olongapo City, in the Subic Bay area, is 127 kilometers North of Manila, in the Philippines. Think of a port city surrounded by mountains. WHO WILL LIKE IT: adventurous travellers. The Philippines is not particularly comfortable these days: too many American soldiers, too much crime, too big a gap between rich and poor. POPULATION: around 400,000. Languages: Filipino and English. The people are beautiful, relaxed and friendly. This was once a sleepy fishing village. But then the Americans arrived. There is a high crime rate in many parts of the city. FAME: Olongapo is famous because of the Subic Bay Freeport, because of diving to explore wrecks, and because of the former US naval base. CLIMATE: Temperatures 25 -28 degrees C. Wet from June to October. Driest from November to April. TRANSPORT: By car it's 2 hours drive from Manila to the city of Olongapo. You can also travel from Manila to Olongapo by bus or by boat. In Olongapo you can travel by colourful Jeepney. They are colour coded according to route. HOTEL: Whiterock Resort Hotel 2 Pools, 1 Coffee Shop,Tennis Courts, Basketball Court, Private wide white sand beach, Volleyball Court, Rock Climbing, Water Sports. WHAT TO SEE: Grotto of Our Lady of Pardon - near the side of Kalaklan Bridge in Barangay Mabayuan. Colourful and evocative. Marikit Park - for children, very central, scenic playground. Friendship Park - next to the main gate of the Subic Bay Freeport, this long, narrow park stretches along the Perimeter Road. A mini-children's park lies at the Northern side. Festivals: October: Mardi Gras. Philippinos like to enjoy themselves. Bicentennial Park a good picnic spot for families. Pamumulaklakin Forest Trails Ideal for eco-tours and jungle trekking.
                                Subic Bay A top-class diving area for wreck divers. Enchanted Castle Situated on a coral reef not far from the shoreline of Baloy Beach Resort. It is a drinking and eating place for visitors, as well as a good scuba diving spot. Dungaree Beach Ideal for picnics Shopping: Royal Subic Duty Free Mall Triboa Bay Mangrove Park Home to a nursery and breeding site for birds, fowls, and fishes. Waterfront Boardwalk Offers a view of Subic Bay and the mountains of Redondo Peninsula. Cubi Point Zoo A mini-zoo that has monkeys, a python, wild pigs, turtles, eagles, and a Butterfly Farm. MAGSAYSAY DRIVE AND RIZAL AVENUE - There used to be lively chains of bars, nightclubs, restaurants, hotels and sauna baths. Definitely the business center of Olongapo City. In October 1987 in Olongapo City a 12 year old died as a result of a sexual vibrator breaking inside her body. A foreign tourist was found guilty and given life imprisonment. He said the US navy framed him. Olongapo City prosecutors recommended a retired American sailor George Tomkins be charged with the rape and sexual abuse of two small children. Dave Welsted an active US serviceman who allegedly abused the same children had similar charges dismissed against him. In 1988 an undercover operation was mounted by the U.S. Investigative Service to discover the extent of child prostitution rings operating in Olongapo City. The official reports of the operation revealed that the undercover agents were offered, for the purpose of prostitution, children as young as four. They contacted social workers at a government run center and three girls aged 12 and under were identified as having been victims of child prostitution and could identify two Americans involved in the child prostitution. The reports were submitted to the local politicians and police but none of the suspects were formally cha
                                rged An 18 month old baby was found to have been infected with Gonorrhea, allegedly by three US servicemen. After revelations of a sex ring selling young Filipina women as sex slaves to Hong Kong a US serviceman was sacked from the Navy and arrested Legal documents at the Olongapo city prosecutors office revealed that between 1981 and 1988 fifteen cases of sexual abuse of children between the ages of 11 and 16 were filed in their office against US servicemen; all were dismissed. At least another 82 cases against young women 16 and older were also dismissed. Most cases of sexual abuse go unreported. Computer records of Navy and Marine Corps cases since 1988 show bases in Japan with a total of 41,008 personnel, held 169 courts martial for sexual assaults. This was 66 percent more than the second location, San Diego, California, which had 102 cases out of 93,792 personnel. A similar pattern of abuse has been recorded by women's organisations in South Korea. A Korean Congressional report estimated that more than 30,000 crimes were committed by U.S. military personnel against Korean civilians between 1967 and 1987 which included murder, brutal rapes and sexual abuse, according to Yu Jin Jeong, director of the Seoul-based National Campaign to Eradicate Crime by U.S. Troops in Korea. Women's organisations warn that the recently signed Visiting Forces Agreement, which allows for the resumption of joint military exercises and U.S. warship visits to the Philippines, will only make the problem of prostitution worse. "We believe the ratification of the agreement will exacerbate the ongoing sexual exploitation of our people, particularly poor women and children who are vulnerable to prostitution," says Aida Santos, director of the Quezon City, Philippines-based Women's Education, Development, Productivity and Research Organisation. ***************************************
                                **** Kosovo: in August 2000, Staff Sergeant Frank Ronghi pled guilty to sodomizing and killing an 11-year-old Kosovar girl in January the same year. source: http://www.bigwig.net/softwaredesign/hollyjessica/who_really_murdered_holly_wells_ .htm "The Kosovar girl's right jaw was fractured, practically bisected," said Lieutenant Colonel Kathleen Ingwersen. "There was trauma to the neck muscles, the trachea and the carotid artery," Colonel Ingwersen said, adding she had found evidence of "blunt trauma" as the child was apparently beaten, choked and forced to kneel, face to the ground, as she was sodomized. Four wives at Fort Bragg in North Carolina, the former home base of Staff Sergeant Ronghi, were allegedly killed by their Sergeant husbands when they returned (via England) from active duty in Afghanistan, during the same week that Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman went missing. (A team of psychiatrists decided that a certain suspect was unfit to appear in court. He was then "sectioned" under the Mental Health Act 1983 and remanded to a high-security psychiatric hospital, before being charged with any offence. While still a teenager the suspect had allegedly had consensual sex with his girlfriend, who was only 15-years-old at the time, an offence known as statutory rape. He was never charged with an offence however, and his former girlfriend, now age 21 years, recently confirmed it was a mutual crush. Source: Joe Vialls) God bless America.

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                                • The Observer / Magazine / Newspaper / 1 Reading / 13 Ratings
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                                  11.08.2002 15:00
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                                  Which newspaper was going to be the first to break the story that 9 11 was 'an inside job'? Which newspaper was going to gain a world exclusive? Which newspaer? To my surprise it was The Observer. On 27 Oct 02 the Observer gave us four, yes four, full sized pages detailing the arguments. http://www.whatreallyhappened.com/enemywithin.html The article pieced together all the evidence which had previously appeared in bits and pieces in various media outlets, from Newsnight to Newsweek. According to the writer, it appears that the Bush-cabal had a long-standing plan to grab oil in various parts of the world. And the Bush cabal had no intention of catching bin Laden. Now consider this: the CIA's Operation Mockingbird, begun in the late 1940's, was supposed to give the CIA control over the media of the USA and eventually Britain. For more than a year after September 11, the media kept pretty quiet about the attacks on America being 'an inside job.' It looked like our media was censored and controlled. Only a few journalists such as Greg Palast and George Monbiot hinted at a conspiracy. Then the Observer spills the beans. I had thought that the Observer only printed material from CIA/Mossad/MI6 handouts. I was wrong. *********************************************** So, let's look at the NEWS section of the Observer- Fortunately it's pretty varied in terms of subject matter. Whereas the Telegraph will be full of stories about dreadful Moslems and the sad plight of the Israelis, the Observer seems to actually employ some Moslems. Observer journalist Faisal Islam reminds us that World War II rescued the USA from recession. Faisal Islam says Bush needs a war. It's worth reading this guy Faisal. ************************************************************ The REVIEW section - I usually enjoy the S
                                  unday Telegraph's review section as it has some fine writ ers. However, the Observer manages to be less fuddy-duddy and conservative than the Telegraph, while at the same time having some top class reviews. **************************************************************** The BUSINESS and Media section. The Sunday Telegraph has some of the best writers on money. Liam Halligan is world class. However, the Observer does have a good business section with extensive coverage of everything from corporate scandals to what's happening in the media. It's lively. **********************************************8 The COLOUR MAGAZINE - I remember the glory days of the excellent Sunday Times colour magazines. That was before Mr Andrew Neil turned the Sunday Times into a right-wing propaganda sheet. The Observer Mag is a little like the old Sunday Times mag. You may find stories on starving children, and not just ads for the ghastly rich who live in St Johns Wood, Kensington and Hampstead. ************************************ ESCAPE is the travel section of the Observer. The Telegraph used to have a good travel section, but it became tired and boring. The Observer section is still lively. ************************************************* The Observer's TV LISTINGS are the best in the business. Beautifully presented and easy to read. *********************************************************** Summary: Independent on Sunday - seems to be aimed at rich women shoppers. Herald on Sunday - gets a few scoops, but lacks guts. Missed the boat on 9 11. Sunday Times - a propaganda sheet. Sunday Telegraph- has some excellent writers but reads like the Jewish Chronicle or Jerusalem Post. Observer - has improved and is now definitely worth buying.

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