Daily Archives: June 2, 2008

Secret Vatican archive’s Knights Templar documents now at University of Sydney

chinon-parchment

The key document in the reproduction is known as the Chinon Parchment. It shows that in 1308, Pope Clement V, secretly absolved Grand Master Jacques de Molay, and the leadership of the Knights Templar of heresy charges.

It was “misplaced” in the Vatican archives until it was discovered by a researcher in 2001.

The Knights have been linked to the modern-day Freemasons.

University of Sydney | May 30, 2008

The University of Sydney has purchased Australia’s only copy of the recently released manuscripts of the trials of the Knights Templar – a $10,000 reproduction of a document that rehabilitates the medieval Christian military order.

The Knights, recognisable by the white robes with a red cross they wore over their chain mail, guarded pilgrims visiting the Holy Lands. In the early 14th-century King Philip IV of France accused the knights of heresy and sodomy, and many of the order’s leaders were burnt at the stake.

“The crux of these trial documents is that Pope Clement V didn’t think the Templars were guilty of heresy,” says Neil Boness, Rare Book librarian at the University’s Fisher Library. It is “very unusual” for the Vatican to release a reproduction of material from the Secret Archives such as this, known as the Processus Contra Templarios – Papal Inquiry into the Trial of the Templars, he added.

According to John Pryor, Associate Professor for Medieval Studies at Sydney, there was “significant pressure” exerted on the Pope by the King’s agents to find the order guilty.

“Several thousand of the order survived in Spain and elsewhere, but mainly they disappeared into society,” says Pryor. He hopes the documents will assist potential PhD students: “There is a huge scholarly interest in the trials.”

The order was popularised by Dan Brown’s book The Da Vinci Code, and has been the subject of all sorts of myths and legends over the years. The Knights have been linked to the modern-day Freemasons, and portrayed as guardians of the Holy Grail.

The key document in the reproduction is known as the Chinon Parchment and it shows that the Pope absolved the Knights of heresy charges. It was “misplaced” in the Vatican archives until it was discovered by a researcher in 2001.

The elaborate reproduction is bound in an ornate leather case, and includes scholarly notes and reproductions of the original parchments – mould stains and all – as well as the wax seals used by their inquisitors. Only 799 copies were made: Pope Benedict was given the first copy, and the University owns copy number 300.

“We had to apply to the publishers to buy a copy,” Boness says. As the home of Australia’s “largest group of experts in medieval studies,” it is appropriate that Australia’s only copy of the trial is housed at the University of Sydney, Pryor notes.

Tamiflu Vaccine Linked With Convulsions, Delirium and Bizarre Deaths

Natural News | May 29, 2008

by: David Gutierrez
An FDA advisory panel has recommended stronger warnings on two influenza drugs after reviewing evidence linking them to neurological and psychiatric problems that have led to deaths in some cases.

The current warning on Roche Laboratories’ Tamiflu (generic name oseltamivir) urges close monitoring of flu patients, particularly children, for “increased risk of self injury and confusion shortly after taking Tamiflu.” The panel recommended that this warning be strengthened to say that “in some cases, these behaviors resulted in serious injuries, including death, in adult and pediatric patients.”

The label of Glaxo SmithKline’s Relenza (generic name zanamivir), the panel said, should be strengthened to mention “reports of hallucinations, delirium and abnormal behavior.” The panel said that both labels should mention that some flu patients not taking the drugs have also experienced such symptoms.

There have been no reported deaths from Tamiflu in the United States, but in Japan, where the drug is much more widely used, at least 14 deaths have been reported. Five children under the age of 17 died after “falling from windows or balconies or running into traffic,” according to the FDA. According to Roche, two people under the age of 21 died from a brain infection, and seven deaths from neuropsychiatric symptoms have also been attributed to use of the drug by adults.

Since Tamiflu’s introduction in 1999, a total of 48 million prescriptions have been written, 75 percent of them in Japan. According to Roche, 1,745 of 1,808 reports of side effects came from Japan.

The FDA has noted that people in Japan appear to be more likely to report side effects than people in the United States.

In March, Japan issued a warning against prescribing Tamiflu to people between the ages of 10 and 19, and South Korea followed suit a month later with a warning against use by teenagers.

South America Unites

flag_of_south_america

UNASUR Flag of the South American Union

Dallas Morning News | May 27, 2008

On Friday, May 23, 2008, South America’s 12 nations officially signed on to form the Union of South America Nations or UNASUR. Going into effect in 2009, the treaty unites the continent in a way that models the European Union. Nine member states must still ratify the treaty, but most hope that will happen swiftly and that bickering nations can work together.

First explorations of South America by Europeans began as early as 1500, when Spanish explorers discovered the mouth of the Amazon River. For years to follow, primarily Spanish, Portuguese, and Dutch travelers mapped and recorded the geography and native cultures there. While seeking gold and other resources, the explorers brought devastating disease and great hardships to the native peoples. Many Europeans also eventually settled in its various regions.

Today’s South Americans reflect these historic events. For example, UNASUR has adopted four official languages—Dutch, English, Portuguese, and Spanish, and includes seven recognized ethnic groups, including White, Mulatto, Mestizo, and Amerindian. Much of the continent remains rural, as many nations struggle with economic, political, social, health, and environmental challenges.

Full Story

Marines Bring Urban Warfare Training To The City of Indianapolis

The Marines will practice firing weapons, conducting patrols, running vehicle checkpoints, reacting to ambushes and employing nonlethal weapons

Indy Star  | May 29, 2008

U.S. Marine helicopters will land at the old Eastgate Consumer Mall, Brookside Park and other Indianapolis locations when the city becomes a mock battlefield next week.

About 2,300 Marines from the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit, based at Camp Lejeune, N.C., will conduct urban warfare training from Wednesday through June 19 in and around Indianapolis.

Most of the troops will be deployed at the Indiana State Fairgrounds and the Raytheon facility on Holt Road, said Debbi Fletcher of the Indianapolis/Marion County Emergency Management Agency.

“We don’t want anyone thinking that there’s an invasion happening or that we declared martial law or something like that,” Fletcher said.

The Marines have been cleared by state, federal and local authorities, Fletcher said. The unit’s commander promised to try to keep noise to a minimum and give neighbors plenty of warning.

“Our aim in Indianapolis is to expose our Marines to realistic scenarios and stresses posed by operating in an actual urban community, thereby increasing their proficiency in built-up areas,” Col. Mark J. Desens, commander of the 26th MEU, said in a statement. “While some of the activity will take place around Camp Atterbury, residents in many areas can expect to see helicopters flying overhead, military vehicles on the roads and Marines patrolling on foot,” Desens said.

The Marines will practice firing weapons, conducting patrols, running vehicle checkpoints, reacting to ambushes and employing nonlethal weapons, according to a statement.

In addition to Eastgate and Brookside Park, Indianapolis offered the Marines 24 other training sites, including Raymond Park Middle School, Ellenberger Park, Christian Park, Southeastway Park, the old Bush Stadium and Douglass Park.

However, not all cities are so open to the training. In February, after first canceling scheduled training, Toledo (Ohio) Mayor Carty Finkbeiner invited the Marines to train in the city, but outside the downtown area.

‘North American Parliament’ under way

north-american-model-parliament

The “Triumvirate” North American Model Parliament, operates well outside of the public media spotlight of all three countries

Some hope exercise of U.S., Canadian, Mexican reps becomes reality

Worldnet Daily | May 28, 2008

By Jerome R. Corsi

A group supporting North American integration is holding its fourth annual “North American Model Parliament” for 100 university students from the U.S., Canada and Mexico.

The North American Forum on Integration, or NAFI, began is “Triumvirate” sessions Monday in Montreal’s City Hall with a plan to conclude Friday.

According to the NAFI website, “Triumvirate 2008” brings together the students “to participate in an international negotiation exercise in which they will simulate a parliamentary meeting between North American political actors.”

Participants are assigned to play one of three roles: a legislator, representing a country other than their own; a journalist; or a lobbyist.

Four themes were selected as subjects of the mock parliament’s debate: Fostering Renewable Electricity Markets (in English); Countering North American corporate outsourcing (in French); Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (in English); and NAFTA’s Chapter 11 on investments (in English).

A major goal of the model parliament, according to the NAFI Triumvirate website, is to “develop the participants’ sense of belonging to North America.”

WND contacted the NAFI office in Montreal requesting comment but received no reply.

As WND previously reported, Raymond Chretien, the president of the Triumvirate and the former Canadian ambassador to both Mexico and the U.S., was quoted as claiming the exercise was intended to be more than academic.

“The creation of a North American parliament, such as the one being simulated by these young people, should be considered,” Chretien told WND.

Among the NAFI board of directors are Robert A. Pastor, Ph.D., former director of the Center for North American Studies at American University; and M. Stephen Blank, Ph.D., director of the North American Center for Transborder Studies at Arizona State University.

Pastor has written extensively on his proposal for the creation of a “North American Community,” while denying he has intended to form a North American Union modeled after the European Union.”

In January, Pastor resigned his position at American University’s Office of International Affairs amid a reorganization. Pastor announced he was taking a one-year sabbatical in which he planned to work as co-director of The Elders, a group of 13 world figures, including Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu, Kofi Annan and Jimmy Carter.

As WND previously reported, Pastor’s 2001 book, “Toward a North American Community,” presents an argument that North American integration should advance through the development of a “North American consciousness” by creating various institutions which include a North American customs union and a North American Development Fund for the economic development of Mexico.

Pastor also was vice chairman of the May 2005 Council on Foreign Relations task force report, “Building a North American Community,” that presents itself as a blueprint for using bureaucratic action though trilateral “working groups” constituted within the executive branches of the U.S, Mexico and Canada to advance the North American integration agenda.

Stephen Blank is the driving force behind the North America Works conference.

North America Works II, held in Kansas City, Mo., Dec. 1-2, 2006, was organized by the David Rockefeller-created Council of the Americas to discuss “North American Competitiveness and the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America (SPP).”

Critics contend the working groups are pursuing a stealth process to transform the SPP into a North American regional governmental structure.

WND reported last year’s Triumvirate 2007 was held in Washington, D.C.

The Triumvirate 2006 North American Model Parliament was held in the Mexican Senate, and Triumvirate 2005, the first model parliament, took place in Ottawa, Canada.

The Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative emerged from the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004, which requires all travelers to present a passport or other equivalent documents denoting identity and citizenship when entering the U.S. from Canada, Mexico, Bermuda and the Caribbean.

NAFTA Chapter 11 establishes an international tribunal to resolve disputes in which NAFTA investors claim national, state or local laws in the U.S., Canada or Mexico adversely impact NAFTA investments.

NAFTA Chapter 11 tribunals are empowered under NAFTA to overturn U.S. federal, state or local laws or ordinances that are judged to have harmed the interests of investors under NAFTA.

A Canadian government website lists Chapter 11 arbitrations involving Canadian companies and investors.

The U.S. State Department website lists on a sidebar all current NAFTA Chapter 11 investor-state arbitrations.

Related

The North American Model Parliament – homepage

South American nations to seek common currency

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UNASUR Flag of South America

Xinhua | May 27, 2008

RIO DE JANEIRO, May 26 (Xinhua) — Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said Monday that South American nations will seek a common currency as part of the region’s integration efforts following the creation of the Union of South American Nations (Unasur) last week.

“We are proceeding so as, in the future, we have a common central bank and a common currency,” said Lula in his weekly radio program, noting that this process will “not be fast.”

The president highlighted the importance of helping the group’s more “economically fragile” members, such as Paraguay, Uruguay and Bolivia.

“We have to help them because the stronger the countries in South America economically are, the more tranquility, peace, democracy, trade, companies, jobs, incomes and development,” he said.

The Brazilian leader said the creation of Unasur will allow cross-nation construction of railroads, highways, bridges and transmission lines connecting the region, while the alliance will make negotiations with other blocs easier.

The president said changes will be made on the proposal to create a regional defense council, which the South American leaders failed to agree during a summit in Brasilia on Friday.

A working group is expected to analyze the revised proposal in August, he said.

Lula plans to visit Colombia in July and meet Colombian President Alvaro Uribe. Colombia was the only member that opposed the plan to build the regional defense council designed to resolve regional conflicts, promote military cooperation and possibly coordinate joint weapons production in the region.

Uribe has said Colombia is experiencing a difficult time in its fight against the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), the largest rebel group in the country, and such a regional defense body would not offer solutions to Colombia’s problem.

The heads of state of 12 South American countries — Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay and Venezuela — signed a treaty last Friday in Brasilia on the creation of Unasur aimed at boosting economic integration and political cohesion in the region.