Monthly Archives: March 2009

Rise of sea levels is ‘the greatest lie ever told’

The uncompromising verdict of Dr Mörner is that all this talk about the sea rising is nothing but a colossal scare story.

Telegraph | Mar 28, 2009

By Christopher Booker

If one thing more than any other is used to justify proposals that the world must spend tens of trillions of dollars on combating global warming, it is the belief that we face a disastrous rise in sea levels. The Antarctic and Greenland ice caps will melt, we are told, warming oceans will expand, and the result will be catastrophe.

Although the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) only predicts a sea level rise of 59cm (17 inches) by 2100, Al Gore in his Oscar-winning film An Inconvenient Truth went much further, talking of 20 feet, and showing computer graphics of cities such as Shanghai and San Francisco half under water. We all know the graphic showing central London in similar plight. As for tiny island nations such as the Maldives and Tuvalu, as Prince Charles likes to tell us and the Archbishop of Canterbury was again parroting last week, they are due to vanish.

But if there is one scientist who knows more about sea levels than anyone else in the world it is the Swedish geologist and physicist Nils-Axel Mörner, formerly chairman of the INQUA International Commission on Sea Level Change. And the uncompromising verdict of Dr Mörner, who for 35 years has been using every known scientific method to study sea levels all over the globe, is that all this talk about the sea rising is nothing but a colossal scare story.

Despite fluctuations down as well as up, “the sea is not rising,” he says. “It hasn’t risen in 50 years.” If there is any rise this century it will “not be more than 10cm (four inches), with an uncertainty of plus or minus 10cm”. And quite apart from examining the hard evidence, he says, the elementary laws of physics (latent heat needed to melt ice) tell us that the apocalypse conjured up by
Al Gore and Co could not possibly come about.

The reason why Dr Mörner, formerly a Stockholm professor, is so certain that these claims about sea level rise are 100 per cent wrong is that they are all based on computer model predictions, whereas his findings are based on “going into the field to observe what is actually happening in the real world”.

When running the International Commission on Sea Level Change, he launched a special project on the Maldives, whose leaders have for 20 years been calling for vast sums of international aid to stave off disaster. Six times he and his expert team visited the islands, to confirm that the sea has not risen for half a century. Before announcing his findings, he offered to show the inhabitants a film explaining why they had nothing to worry about. The government refused to let it be shown.

Similarly in Tuvalu, where local leaders have been calling for the inhabitants to be evacuated for 20 years, the sea has if anything dropped in recent decades. The only evidence the scaremongers can cite is based on the fact that extracting groundwater for pineapple growing has allowed seawater to seep in to replace it. Meanwhile, Venice has been sinking rather than the Adriatic rising, says Dr Mörner.

One of his most shocking discoveries was why the IPCC has been able to show sea levels rising by 2.3mm a year. Until 2003, even its own satellite-based evidence showed no upward trend. But suddenly the graph tilted upwards because the IPCC’s favoured experts had drawn on the finding of a single tide-gauge in Hong Kong harbour showing a 2.3mm rise. The entire global sea-level projection was then adjusted upwards by a “corrective factor” of 2.3mm, because, as the IPCC scientists admitted, they “needed to show a trend”.

When I spoke to Dr Mörner last week, he expressed his continuing dismay at how the IPCC has fed the scare on this crucial issue. When asked to act as an “expert reviewer” on the IPCC’s last two reports, he was “astonished to find that not one of their 22 contributing authors on sea levels was a sea level specialist: not one”. Yet the results of all this “deliberate ignorance” and reliance on rigged computer models have become the most powerful single driver of the entire warmist hysteria.

•For more information, see Dr Mörner on YouTube (Google Mörner, Maldives and YouTube); or read on the net his 2007 EIR interview “Claim that sea level is rising is a total fraud”; or email him – – to buy a copy of his booklet ‘The Greatest Lie Ever Told’

Fined, frozen and now jailed

The Marine Fisheries Agency was certainly onto a winner when it enlisted the aid of the Assets Recovery Agency in its ruthless war against our fishermen. In December 2007 Charles McBride and his son Charles, from Kilkeel in Northern Ireland, were fined £385,000 for under-declaring catches of whitefish and prawns in the Irish Sea, threatening the loss of their homes and boat. But the Assets Recovery Agency, using powers designed to recover money from drug dealers, also froze all their assets. To pay the fines, the McBrides tried to borrow against their assets. Now, for this effort to pay the fines, Liverpool Crown Court has sentenced the two men to two and three months in gaol for “contempt of court”.

Blown away

The Climate Change Secretary, Ed Miliband, timed his jibe impeccably last week when he said that opposing wind farms is as “socially unacceptable” as “not wearing a seatbelt”. Britain’s largest windfarm companies are pulling out of wind as fast as they can. Despite 100 per cent subsidies, the credit crunch and technical problems spell an end to Gordon Brown’s £100 billion dream of meeting our EU target to derive 35 per cent of our electricity from “renewables” by 2020.

Meanwhile the Government gives the go-ahead for three new 1,000 megawatt gas-fired power stations in Wales. Each of them will generate more than the combined average output (700 megawatts) of all the 2,400 wind turbines so far built. The days of the “great wind fantasy” will soon be over.

Robot controlled by human thought alone


Honda brain activity measuring device controlling ASIMO robot by human thought alone. (Photo: Business Wire)

Honda, ATR and Shimadzu Jointly Develop Brain-Machine Interface Technology Enabling Control of a Robot by Human Thought Alone

Business Wire | Mar 30, 2009

TOKYO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Honda Research Institute Japan Co., Ltd. (HRI-JP), a subsidiary of Honda R&D Co., Ltd., Advanced Telecommunications Research Institute International (ATR) and Shimadzu Corporation have collaboratively developed the world’s first Brain Machine Interface (BMI) technology that uses electroencephalography (EEG) and near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) along with newly developed information extraction technology to enable control of a robot by human thought alone. It does not require any physical movement such as pressing buttons. This technology will be further developed for the application to human-friendly products in the future by integrating it with intelligent technologies and/or robotic technologies.

During the human thought process, slight electrical current and blood flow change occur in the brain. The most important factor in the development of the BMI technology is the accuracy of measuring and analyzing these changes. The newly developed BMI technology uses EEG, which measures changes in electrical potential on the scalp, and NIRS, which measures changes in cerebral blood flow, with a newly developed information extraction technology which enables statistical processing of the complex information from these two types of sensors. As a result, it became possible to distinguish brain activities with high precision without any physical motion, but just human thought alone.

The BMI technology announced by HRI-JP and ATR in 2006 used a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scanner to measure brain activities. The large size and powerful magnetic field generated by the fMRI scanner limited the locations and conditions where it can be used. As the newly developed measuring device uses EEG and NIRS sensors, it can be transported to and used in various locations.

Test procedures for experiments with the new BMI

First, EEG and NIRS sensors are placed on the head of the user. Then, one of four pre-determined body part options is provided to the user. The user imagines moving that body part without making any physical movement. Changes in both brain waves and cerebral blood flow triggered by the brain activity are measured simultaneously. The data obtained are analyzed on a real-time basis to distinguish what the user imagined. Upon receiving the result, Honda’s ASIMO humanoid robot makes corresponding movements such as raising its arm or leg. The world’s highest level accuracy rate of more than 90% was achieved in the tests.

Since 2005, Honda and ATR have been conducting research and development of BMI technology exploring the potential of a new interface which connects people and machines. Honda is looking into the possibility of applying this technology to a people-friendly human interface through integration with other technologies such as artificial intelligence technologies and/or robotics technologies. In May 2006, Honda and ATR successfully developed a BMI technology which utilizes a fMRI scanner and achieved the first success in the world to control a robot hand by decoding brain activities without electrode array implants or special training of the user.

About BMI

While conventional machine-interface uses devices such as switches which need to be operated by a user’s hands or feet, BMI uses brain activity data measured by various devices and enables non-contact control of the machines (such as robots). Invasive BMI, which is widely studied by U.S. and European researchers, requires the surgical implant of electrode arrays, whereas non-invasive BMI uses sensors touching the user’s scalp.

Nanotechnology use in food creates a stir | Mar 30, 2009

by Daniel Palmer

The use of nanotechnology in food could lead to food tasting and looking better, but knowledge regarding any possible negative health affect is scarce.

Leading Australian consumer group Choice believes nanotechnology is already used in around 800 non-food products, with food manufacturers now exploring its potential behind closed doors.

“(There are) invisible sunscreens, where there’s a nano-scale titanium dioxide, which gives transparent protection from UV,” Choice spokesman Christopher Zinn told ABC radio on Saturday. “There’s also shirts that don’t actually stain because they’ve copied the nano-structure of Lotus leaves to create water repellent surfaces.”

Mr Zinn added that there was now a lot of work being carried out in the food sector to capitalise on the new technology.

“Developing an ice cream which has lower fat content but has the same fatty texture and flavour,” was one of the current tests being undertaken, he noted. “Food packaging can keep food fresher if you’re using nano-materials. There’s a lot of applications; there’s a lot of work going on.”

Choice is, however, concerned that foods made using nanotechnology could enter the food system without informing the public.

“Under our current food code there’s no requirement for any of this to be specifically labelled the use of nano-particles,” Mr Zinn advised. “They’re so small they can actually enter cells and enter parts of the body, which might not routinely happen with normal food stuffs. And that’s why want to see a regime with Food Standards Australia New Zealand, where there is going to be much greater safety assessments carried out.”

The Australian Office of Nanotechnology, which oversees FSANZ and develops nanotechnology policy, is confident in the current regulations Australia has in place.

“A major report just commissioned by the Australian Government by Monash University found that right across the board the regulatory systems in Australia are sufficient to cover most things,” Craig Cormick from the Australian Office of Nanotechnology said. “However, they did point to some areas where we have to do a lot more work to make sure we keep on top of these things.”

Associate Professor Thomas Faunce, from Australian National University’s Medical School, reported some doubts about the Monash University report.

“All the research at the moment tends to indicate nanoparticles have unusual toxicities related to size and shape,” he told ABC radio. “In this sort of climate it’s much better if regulatory authorities apply the precautionary principle and start developing nano-specific regulatory structures. If we don’t we’re going to have a catastrophe-driven approach to regulation, where we wait for a major public health crisis to arise because of nanoparticles causing toxicity in people.”

The European Food Safety Authority recently carried out an assessment into nanotechnology and its impact on health, concluding that products needed to be assessed on a case-by-case basis. Given current data limitations and a lack of validated test methodologies, risk assessment of specific nano products remained very difficult and subject to a high degree of uncertainty, they reported.

The European Parliament has since passed amendments to proposed reforms of the EU’s novel food regulation, which will force food manufacturers to state if their products contain nanoparticles. The legislation is likely to be in effect before the end of the year.

Australia’s food regulatory body, FSANZ, is currently reviewing its requirements for foods using nanotechnology.

All new products containing nanoparticles will be required to undergo a safety assessment by FSANZ and may need to have specific labelling requirements, the Australian Food and Grocery Council noted last week.

“…Each technology must be assessed carefully by food regulators to ensure its safety and to determine any specific labelling requirements,” AFGC Chief Executive Kate Carnell said. “We are not aware of nanotechnology currently being used in Australian food and grocery manufactured products, but clearly the industry is considering what opportunities may exist.”

“In the end the food industry will listen to its consumers, and ensure products provided meet all their needs. They will be safe and they will be labelled so consumers can make informed choices,” Ms Carnell concluded.

China’s hi-tech ‘death van’: Where criminals are executed and their organs sold on the black market


Disguised: The execution vehicle looks like a normal police van

Daily Mail | Mar 27, 2009

By Andrew Malone

Death will come soon for Jiang Yong. A corrupt local planning official with a taste for the high life, Yong solicited money from businessmen eager to expand in China’s economic boom.

Showering gifts on his mistress, known as Madam Tang, the unmarried official took more than £1 million in bribes from entrepreneurs wanting permission to build skyscrapers on land which had previously been protected from development.

But Yong, a portly, bespectacled figure, was caught by the Chinese authorities during a purge on corrupt local officials last year.

He confessed and was sentenced to death. China executed 1,715 people last year, so one more death would hardly be remarkable.

But there will be nothing ordinary about Yong’s death by lethal injection. Unless he wins an appeal, he will draw his final breath strapped inside a vehicle that has been specially developed to make executions more cost-effective and efficient.

In chilling echoes of the ‘gas-wagon’ project pioneered by the Nazis to slaughter criminals, the mentally ill and Jews, this former member of the China People’s Party will be handcuffed to a so-called ‘humane’ bed and executed inside a gleaming new, hi-tech, mobile ‘death van.’

After trials of the mobile execution service were launched quietly three years ago – then hushed up to prevent an international row about the abuse of human rights before the Olympics last summer – these vehicles are now being deployed across China.

The number of executions is expected to rise to a staggering 10,000 people this year (not an impossible figure given that at least 68 crimes – including tax evasion and fraud – are punishable by death in China).

Developed by Jinguan Auto, which also makes bullet-proof limousines for the new rich in this vast country of 1.3 billion people, the vans appear unremarkable.

They cost £60,000, can reach top speeds of 80mph and look like a police vehicle on patrol. Inside, however, the ‘death vans’ look more like operating theatres.

Executions are monitored by video to ensure they comply with strict rules, making it possible to describe precisely how Jiang Yong will die. After being sedated at the local prison, he will be loaded into the van and strapped to an electric-powered stretcher.

This then glides automatically towards the centre of the van, where doctors will administer three drugs: sodium thiopental to cause unconsciousness; pancuronium bromide to stop breathing and, finally, potassium chloride to stop the heart.

Death is reputed to be quick and painless – not that there is anyone to testify to this. The idea for such a ‘modern’ scheme is rooted in one of the darkest episodes in human history.

The Nazis used adapted vans as mobile gas chambers from 1940 until the end of World War II. In order to make the best use of time spent transporting criminals and Jewish prisoners, Hitler’s scientists developed the vehicles with a hermetically sealed cabin that was filled with carbon monoxide carried by a tube from the exhaust pipes.

The vans were first tested on child patients in a Polish psychiatric hospital in 1940. The Nazis then developed bigger models to carry up to 50 prisoners. They looked like furniture removal vans. Those to be killed were ordered to hand over their valuables, then stripped and locked inside.

As gas was pumped into the container and the van headed towards graves being dug by other prisoners, the muffled cries of those inside could be heard, along with banging on the side.

With the ‘cargo’ dead, all that remained was for gold fillings to be hacked from the victims’ mouths, before the bodies were tipped into the graves.

Now, six decades later, just like the Nazis, China insists these death vans are ‘progress’.

The vans save money on building execution facilities in prisons or courts. And they mean that prisoners can be executed locally, closer to communities where they broke the law.

‘This deters others from committing crime and has more impact,’ said one official.

Indeed, a spokesman for the makers of the ‘death vans’ openly touted for trade this week, saying they are the perfect way to ‘efficiently and cleanly’ dispatch convicts with lethal injections. Reporting steady sales throughout China, a spokesman for Jinguan Auto – which is situated in a green valley an hour’s drive from Chongqing in south-western China – said the firm was bucking the economic trend and had sold ten more vans recently.

The exact number in operation is a state secret. But it is known that Yunnan province alone has 18 mobile units, while dozens of others are patrolling in five other sprawling provinces. Each van is the size of a specially refitted 17-seater minibus.

‘We have not sold our execution cars to foreign countries yet,’ beamed a proud spokesman. But if they need one, they could contact our company directly.’

Officials say the vehicles are a ‘civilised alternative’ to the traditional single shot to the head (used in 60 per cent of Chinese executions), ending the life of the condemned quickly, clinically and safely – proving that China ‘promotes human rights now,’ says Kang Zhongwen, designer of the ‘death van’.

It seems a perverse claim, but certainly the shootings can be gruesome. Once carried out in public parks, these executions -sometimes done in groups – have seen countless cases of prisoners failing to die instantly and writhing in agony on the ground before being finished off.

There are other concerns: soldiers carrying out the shooting complain that they are splashed with Aids-contaminated blood. After the shooting, relatives are often presented with the bullet hacked from the condemned’s body – and forced to pay the price of the ammunition.

While posing as a modernising force in public, Chinese leaders remain brutal within their own borders. They are, however, anxious to be seen to be moving away from violence against their own people, stressing that all judicial decisions have been taken out of the hands of vengeful local officials and must be ruled on from Beijing.

China has traditionally always taken a ruthless, unemotional view of crime and punishment. Before injections and bullets, the most chilling sentence was death by Ling Chi – death by a thousand cuts – which was abolished only in 1905.

The condemned man was strapped to a table and then, in what was also known as ‘slow slicing’, his eyes were gouged out.

This was designed to heighten the terror of not being able to see what part of his body would suffer next. Using a sharp knife, the executioner sliced at the condemned’s body – chopping off the ears, fingers, nose and toes, before starting to cut off whole limbs.

Traditionalists insisted that exactly 3,600 slices were made. The new mobile execution vans may, indeed, be more humane than this, but their main advantage in official eyes is financial.

According to undercover investigations by human rights’ groups, the police, judiciary and doctors are all involved in making millions from China’s huge trade in human body parts.

Inside each ‘death van’ there is a dedicated team of doctors to ‘harvest’ the organs of the deceased. The injections leave the body intact and in pristine condition for such lucrative work.

After checking that the victim is dead, the medical team first remove the eyes. Then, wearing surgical gowns and masks, they remove the kidney, liver, pancreas and lungs.

Little goes to waste, though the heart cannot be used, having been poisoned by the drugs.

The organs are dispatched in ice boxes to hospitals in the sprawling cities of Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, which have developed another specialist trade: selling the harvested organs.

At clinics all over China, these organs are transplanted into the ailing bodies of the wealthy – and thousands more who come as ‘organ tourists’ from neighbouring countries such as Japan, South Korea, Singapore and Taiwan.

Chinese hospitals perform up to 20,000 organ transplants each year. A kidney transplant in China costs £5,000, but can rise to £30,000 if the patient is willing to pay more to obtain an organ quickly.

With more than 10,000 kidney transplants carried out each year, fewer than 300 come from voluntary donations. The British Transplantation Society and Amnesty International have condemned China for harvesting prisoners’ organs.

Laws introduced in 2006 make it an offence to remove the organs of people against their will, and banned those under 18 from selling their organs.

But, tellingly, the law does not cover prisoners.

‘Organs can be extracted in a speedier and more effective way using these vans than if the prisoner is shot,’ says Amnesty International.

‘We have gathered strong evidence suggesting the involvement of Chinese police, courts and hospitals in the organ trade.’

The bodies cannot be examined. Corpses are driven to a crematorium and burned before independent witnesses can view them.

A police official, who operates a ‘multi-functional and nationwide, first-class, fixed execution ground’ where prisoners are shot, confirmed to the Mail that it is always a race against time to save the organs of the executed – and that mobile death vans are better equipped for the job.

‘The liver loses its function only five minutes after the human cardiac arrest,’ the officer told our researcher.

‘The kidney will become dysfunctional 30 minutes after cardiac arrest. So the removal of organs must be completed at the execution ground within 15 minutes, then put in an ice box or preservation solution.’

While other countries worry about the morality of the death penalty, China has no such qualms.

For the Beijing regime, it is not a question of whether they should execute offenders, but how to do it most efficiently – and make the most money from it.

Coldest day since 1953 in Queensland Australia

CAIRNS experienced the coldest March morning on record since 1953 today

Cairns Post | Mar 31, 2009

By Teresa Giacomi

The mercury dropped to 17.7C at 5.50am, more than 5C below the March average and  0.4C above the 1953 record.

But it was Mareeba that won the region`s most chilling prize dropping to 15C, also more than 5C below its average, while South Johnstone dropped to 18C and Innisfail 18.3C.


People living in Cairns, in far north Queensland, have woken up to the coldest March morning in more than 50 years.

According to Cairns weather bureau duty forceaster Amber Young, all overnight temperatures in the north tropical coast were between 2C and 5C below their March  average  and, out west, temperatures were 6-9C below average.

“We are transitioning into autumn. Things normally cool down about this time but not usually by this much” Ms Young said.

The cooler weather is expected to continue until the weekend, when movement of a high pressure system down south could bring wind and rain.

March rainfall was inkeeping with the long-range forecast, which predicted only a 35 per cent chance of of average rainfall for the region.

The Cairns Airport received 149.2mm of rain for March, a month that has a 424.8mm average.

Resolution urges Congress to affirm Tennessee’s sovereignty | Mar 29, 2009

By Hank Hayes

Urging resolutions in the Tennessee legislature typically don’t get much attention, but one might have state political bloggers buzzing.

It’s a resolution urging the U.S. Congress to recognize Tennessee’s sovereignty under the 10th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

“I have received a number of e-mails and phone calls concerning the legislation, and much, if not all, of the communication has been in support of the legislation,” the resolution’s sponsor, state Rep. Susan Lynn, R-Mount Juliet, said in an e-mail.

The 10th Amendment, ratified Dec. 15, 1791, says: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

State sovereignty, Lynn said in her blog — — is a big deal to legislators.

“It is what keeps the federal government from overstepping its constitutional bounds,” she wrote. “Today many state legislators, including some in Tennessee, have decided it is time to affirm state sovereignty … and demand the federal government halt its practice of assuming powers and of imposing mandates upon the states for purposes not enumerated by the Constitution.”

A number of Northeast Tennessee Republican lawmakers have signed on as resolution co-sponsors, including state Rep. David Hawk of Greeneville, House GOP Leader Jason Mumpower of Bristol, state Rep. Matthew Hill of Jonesborough and state Rep. Mike Harrison of Rogersville.

Lawmakers in more than 20 states have introduced similar resolutions — with some expressing dissatisfaction with the policies of President Barack Obama’s administration, federal mandates on states or the bad economy.

Lynn indicated the resolution is needed because states “are demonstrably treated as agents” of the federal government.

“Many powers and federal mandates are directly in violation of the 10th Amendment to the Constitution; this limits our freedom and costs taxpayers untold billions of dollars — or should I say trillions? … We should also demand that the federal government halt and reverse its practice of assuming powers and of imposing mandates upon the states for purposes not enumerated by the Constitution.”

For more information go to The resolution’s number is HJR 0108.

Obama Administration Announces $50 Million for Pro-Forced Abortion UNFPA | Mar 26, 2009

by Steven Ertelt

arrogant_obamaWashington, DC ( — The check may have already been in the mail, but the Obama administration announced Tuesday that it is sending $50 million to the UNFPA. That’s the UN population agency that has been criticized for promoting abortion and working closely with Chinese population control officials.

In China, the enforcement of the coercive one-child rule has resulted in forced abortions, involuntary sterilizations and other human rights abuses.

Research from the United States and British governments, along a first-hand report from the group Population Research International, has shown UNFPA officials working side-by-side their Chinese colleagues and going as far as sharing the same offices.

But that hasn’t stopped the Obama administration from sending the $50 million Congress authorized to the UNFPA.

“The Department of State will contribute $50 million to UNFPA in 2009, as provided in the Omnibus Appropriations Act,” spokesman Robert Wood said in a press statement. “This decision highlights the Administration’s strong commitment to international family planning, women’s health, and global development.”

Wood praised the UNFPA for its family planning work, but made no mention of its pro-abortion activities or its working with Chinese population control authorities.

The Obama administration statement doesn’t provide the reasons for the funding, but some additional details came up during the Senate hearing this week on the nomination of Melanne Verveer, Obama’s pro-abortion nominee for Ambassador at Large for Women’s Global Issues.

When the House approved its omnibus bill, it reworded the language of the Kemp-Kasten amendment, which prohibits funding groups that support forced abortions, to allow the president to determine whether that it happening.

Rep. Chris Smith tried to offer an amendment to revert the language back to the original ban on such funding, but House Democrats blocked him from doing so. Then, pro-life Sen. Roger Wicker offered a similar amendment but the Senate defeated it.

Wicker questioned Verveer about the genesis for the UNFPA funding during the hearing.

Verveer indicated that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton did not rely on the UNFPA loophole and instead reinterpreted the Kemp-Kasten law to say it had no impact on the UNFPA funding.

“A determination was made by the secretary of state and predicated on the facts as they were presented about the role of UNFPA that it does not meet the threshold [prohibiting funding to groups that back forced abortions],” Verveer said.

“It does not fund or support organizations that are supportive of coerced abortions or manage programs dealing with coerced abortions,” Verveer added.

Verveer claimed the UNFPA has few programs in China and “they have done significant work in trying to get the Chinese to reduce abortions and eliminate this practice.”

However, the Bush administration found such a link between the UNFPA and forced abortions.

It determined that UNFPA provides financial support to Marie Stopes International, a British abortion business which turned around and send the U.S. taxpayer funds to support to the Chinese population control agency that enforces the coercive birth limitation policy.

Regardless of how it was approved, abortion advocates are already saying $50 million is not enough money.

Led by pro-abortion Rep. Louise Slaughter, they are asking for even more money in the next budget Congress will consider.

In a letter to the chairman and ranking members of the Foreign Operations Subcommittee, Slaughter and three other members of the House ask for an increase of $530 million for family planning efforts and a boost to $65 million for the UNFPA.

“We respectfully request that you increase international family planning assistance funding by $530 million from last year’s level, including a total of $65 million for the United Nations Population Fund in the Fiscal Year 2010 State and Foreign Operations Appropriations Act,” the letter says.

‘Torture’ Could Haunt Bush Officials

Spanish prosecutors may decide this week whether to press ahead with a probe into six former Bush administration officials, including ex-U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales,  in connection with the torture of detainees at the U.S. military’s Guantanamo Bay prison, court sources said.

ABC | Mar 29, 2009

Spanish Judge Who Went After Pinochet Considers Charges for Gonzales, Others


gitmo_gonzalesIn what may turn out to be a landmark case, a Spanish court has started a criminal investigation into allegations that six former officials in the Bush administration violated international law by creating the legal justification for torture in Guantanamo Bay.

The officials named in the 98-page complaint include former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, who once famously described the Geneva Conventions as “quaint” and “obsolete.”

Others include John Yoo, a former Justice Department lawyer who wrote the so-called “torture memo” that justified waterboarding and other extreme interrogation methods for terror suspects.

Also named are: former Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Douglas Feith; former General Counsel for the Department of Defense William Haynes II; Jay S. Bybee, formerly of the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel; and David S. Addington, former chief of staff and legal advisor to former Vice President Dick Cheney.

At the time of writing, ABC was unable to reach any of the officials for comment. Feith was reported to have said he was “baffled by the allegations.”

In an opinion column in the Wall Street Journal on March 7, Yoo said the Obama administration risked harming national security if it punished lawyers like himself. Why a Spanish court? Because the famous Spanish judge in the case, Balthazar Garzon, says four Spanish citizens formerly held in Guantanamo claim they were tortured there, and that Spain therefore has jurisdiction in the case.

The complaint says that the American officials violated international law, specifically the 1984 Geneva Convention Against Torture, signed by 145 countries including the United States and Spain.

It says the officials created the legal justification for torture. Not that they were in the torture room, but that they twisted the law , to justify the unjustifiable.

Garzon has an international reputation as a crusader against human rights violations, and has been outspoken about the treatment of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay.

Storm piles more than 2 feet of snow on Kansas

AP | Mar 30, 2009

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A storm has buried parts of Kansas in more than two feet of snow and knocked out power to at least 17,000 homes and businesses.

The same storm also dumped heavy snow on parts of Oklahoma and the Texas Panhandle.

The National Weather Service said the heaviest snow in Kansas by Saturday morning was 28 inches around the Pratt area.

Other areas of Kansas reported snow drifts up to six feet high.

Some areas are dealing with freezing rain that has coated power lines and trees with ice up to an inch thick. The Kansas Adjutant General’s Office said 17,000 customers are without power.

Texas officials say some highways may be closed until afternoon because of the heavy snow.

Blizzard conditions close roads in Southern Plains

AP | Mar 30, 2009


DALLAS (AP) — A major spring blizzard plodding eastward over the Southern Plains shut down major highways Friday and paralyzed the region as residents braced for up to a foot of snow, freezing 45-mph winds and massive snowdrifts.

Schools and government offices were closed, and hundreds of travelers were stranded by the storm, which left some areas under a coat of ice. The snowfall was expected to be unprecedented for this time of year in Oklahoma, and the National Guard was called out in the Texas Panhandle, where snowdrifts as high as 11 feet and up to a foot of snowfall were predicted before the storm moves on Saturday.

“It’s blowing furiously,” said Jerry Billington of Faith City Ministries in downtown Amarillo, which was under whiteout conditions. The 200-bed shelter was one of several setting up extra beds and encouraging homeless people to come in off the street.

There were several accidents in the area, including jackknifed tractor-trailers, Texas Department of Public Safety Trooper Wayne Williams said in Amarillo, which is about 365 miles northwest of Dallas. Authorities shut down all major highways around Dalhart in the northwest corner of the Panhandle.

At least two weather-related traffic deaths were reported, in Kansas and Oklahoma.

Ice built up all over southeast Kansas, with a quarter-inch coat reported in Arkansas City. Freezing rain pelted the Wichita area and heavy snow and 40 mph winds created dangerous driving conditions in the Dodge City area.

The weather service forecast as much as 16 inches of snow in northwest Oklahoma, with about 5 inches predicted in Oklahoma City. Gov. Brad Henry declared a state of emergency Friday for much of the state.

Winds were strongest near the Colorado-Kansas border, said Randy Gray of the National Weather Service in Pueblo, Colo. Sections of three southeast Colorado highways totaling nearly 150 miles were shut down Friday.

Rural electric providers reported about 5,000 homes and businesses without power in Oklahoma, where wind gusts were as high as 50 mph. More than 2,000 Oklahoma Gas and Electric customers in the Norman area were without power Friday, and outages also were reported in several Kansas towns.

Earlier in the week the storm dumped nearly a foot and a half of snow in the Denver area, creating havoc at airports and on highways that lingered Friday as a swath of far southeastern Colorado remained under a blizzard warning. Many schools and offices remained closed because of icy roads and unplowed streets.

Three of four roads into the southeast Colorado town of Springfield were closed when blowing snow reduced visibility to near zero.

“It was awful. Just blowing real bad,” said Kelly Mason, a worker at Love’s Travel Stop in the town of about 1,400. “Not a lot’s moving around here.”

As many as 400 travelers spent the night at Denver International Airport after airlines canceled about 500 flights Thursday. Air operations resumed Friday, with dominant DIA carriers United, Southwest and Frontier airlines returning to regular schedules with few cancellations.

Eastern Colorado ranchers checked on their herds, which were in the midst of calving when the storm hit.

A series of heavy storms in December 2006 and January 2007 killed an estimated 10,000 to 15,000 head of cattle in southeastern Colorado. Cattle that survived gave birth to stillborn calves because of the stressful winter, compounding losses.

This week’s storm will “have some impact, but it wasn’t what we call a cow-killer,” said Mike Eisenbart, who has 140 head of cattle on his ranch in Kit Carson County about 140 miles east of Denver.

The American Red Cross said 285 people spent Thursday night in shelters south of Pueblo because a 40-mile stretch of I-25 was closed in southern Colorado. It has since reopened.

Gov. Bill Ritter declared a state of emergency Thursday and activated the National Guard. Troops rescued three stranded motorists and cleared a path through stalled vehicles for an emergency blood delivery, Capt. Elena O’Bryan said.