August 1-15 Stories


U.S. NIGMS Funds Complex Biomedical Systems Research Centers
To encourage computational approaches that will deepen understanding of biological processes, the National Institute of General Medical Sciences has established Centers of Excellence in Complex Biomedical Systems Research. NIGMS anticipates spending a total of $25.5 million over the course of five years to support the centers. (Full Story)

U.S. HHS Launches New Campaign For Kids
Washington– Getting kids to notice the adventures of healthy behaviors through physical activity is the subject of a new U.S. HHS campaign for kids. The summer launched program, is designed to encourage kids to explore and discover what appeals to their individual personality, whether it be gardening, bowling, dancing, roller skating, flag football, hop scotch, track, canoeing, hiking, baseball, skateboarding, jumping rope, swimming or playing basketball. The point is for kids to increase their physical activity levels, which helps them stay physically fit, reduce illness and disease. An activity like gardening can be fun for both boys and girls, and growing tomatoes, peppers or something more habit forming like orchids may develop into more exciting interests for kids like botany, paleobotany or entomology. (Full Story)

"Our Hunt for Terrorist Networks is not Limited to Afghanistan"
"De-mining teams from Norway, Britain, Poland and Jordan have helped clear land mines from hundreds of thousands of square meters of terrain, although there are still an enormous number of land mines in that country" said US Defense Secretary Rumsfeld.
     "Jordan built a hospital in Mazar-e Sharif that has now treated more than 92,000 patients, including 22,000 children." continued Rumsfeld in testimony last week to Congress. The Defense Secretary revealed more about the powerful efforts by sovereign nations to prevent terrorists attacks while giving tremendously to help the people of Afghanistan rebuild and live freely:"Spain and Korea have also built hospitals, and Japan has pledged $500 million to rehabilitate Afghanistan. Russia has cleared out and rebuilt the Salang Tunnel, the main artery linking Kabul with the North, allowing transportation of thousands of tons of food, medicine and supplies… (Full Testimony)

U.S. Intends to Reduce Sinai Force
The United States intends to cut the number of U.S. soldiers serving with the Multinational Force and Observers in the Sinai, said Douglas Feith, defense undersecretary for policy.
     The announcement followed an Aug. 1 meeting here of the United States, Egypt and Israel. The three parties discussed the reconfiguration of the MFO and a requirement that the United States has to reduce its participation in the MFO. (Full Story)

US Consumers Gain New Controls Over Privacy of Medical Records
Listening to concerned citizens that want real protection for their medical records, this week US HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson issued the first-ever comprehensive federal regulation that gives patients sweeping protections over the privacy of their medical records. The final regulation, which takes effect April 14,2003, will ensure strong privacy protections without interfering with Americans’ access to quality health care.
     The federal privacy regulation empowers patients by guaranteeing them access to their medical records, giving them more control over how their protected health information is used and disclosed, and providing a clear avenue of recourse if their medical privacy is compromised. The rule will protect medical records and other personal health information maintained by certain health care providers, hospitals, health plans, health insurers and healthcare clearinghouses. (Full Story)

United States and Romania Will Not Join ICC
On August, 1, 2002, in Bucharest, Romania, U.S. Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security John R. Bolton and Romanian Acting Foreign Minister Cristian Diaconescu signed an agreement under the auspices of Article 98 of the Rome Statute to protect persons from surrender to the International Criminal Court.
     The State Department remarked, "We appreciate that Romania is the first country to sign an Article 98 agreement with the United States today. By signing this bilateral agreement with the United States, Romania has shown that it understands our position, and the fact that we are not seeking to weaken the ICC or to undermine the integrity of international peacekeeping operations. We expect to conclude similar agreements with a large number of countries and are actively pursuing discussions toward this end." (Full Story)

Twenty Charged in Child Porn Ring
A group of parents sexually molested their own children and sent pornographic pictures of them worldwide over the Internet, U.S. Customs officials said Friday, announcing 20 arrests in the United States and abroad.
     Forty-five children, including 37 in the United States who ranged in age from 2 to about 14, were victims and have been removed from the care of those indicted, Customs officials said. Eighty percent of the children were molested by one of their own parents, they said. Most of them are in the custody of another parent or relative, or foster care. (Full Story)


August 16-31 Stories

Coalition Forces Encounter Other Effects of Taliban Rule
In late spring a journalist following the war on terror in Afghanistan interviewed British coalition troops that had just returned from an operation and although most reporters found extreme poverty, burqa clad females, evidence of random executions within the Taliban and al-Qaeda rule, this reporter encountered another story about some of the men of Afghanistan.
     Journalist Chris Stephen’s article "Startled Marines Find Afghan Men All Made up to See Them" has been read by people around the world and readers have since shared their accounts of similarities by some inside counties like Iran and Saudi Arabia. (Read Article)

US, France, Germany, Japan, Sweden Join to Stamp Out Malaria
In efforts to stamp out malaria in the world and to protect travelers, heightened attention and care is bringing together a healthy range of resources and commitment from several countries.
     A US health spokesperson said, "The enormous burden of malaria and the disparity in global malaria research efforts is the rationale for MIM and the reason why U.S., European, Asian, South American, and African scientists have joined together in MIM to promote malaria research to develop new and improved control interventions." (Full Story)

New Drug Policy Expands Testing to Catch More Users
The Defense Department is continuing its anti-drug efforts with a new policy that involves more frequent random testing of active duty military, reservists and civilian employees.
     Signed by Deputy Defense Secretary Paul D. Wolfowitz on July 31, the new policy reflects the reality that the nation is at war, Andre Hollis, deputy assistant secretary of defense for counternarcotics, said Aug. 13. (Full Story)

Coalition Forces Strike Iraqi Mobile Radar Unit
MACDILL AFB, FL – In response to recent Iraqi hostile acts against Coalition aircraft monitoring the Southern No-Fly Zone, Operation SOUTHERN WATCH Coalition aircraft (British and American forces) used precision-guided weapons Tuesday, August 20th, to target an air defense command and control facility near Al Amarah, approximately 120 miles southeast of Baghdad. The strike occurred at approximately 1:40 a.m. EDT.
     Coalition strikes in the No-Fly Zones are executed as a self-defense measure in response to Iraqi hostile threats and acts against Coalition forces and their aircraft. The last Coalition strike in the Southern No-Fly Zone was against a mobile radar unit on August 17, 2002.
     This calendar year there have been more than 110 separate incidents of Iraqi surface-to-air missile and anti-aircraft artillery fire directed against Coalition aircraft. Coalition aircraft never target civilian populations or infrastructure and go to painstaking lengths to avoid injury to civilians and damage to civilian facilities.

Inside US at Border: Ranger Killed
He was "A quintessential American boy-turned-ranger, " said a tearful co-worker at the memorial service for National Park Service Ranger Kris Eggle. The 28 year old former Eagle Scout from Michigan was shot and killed on the US side of the US – Mexican border last week. There are varying accounts of what happened at 1:00am nearly 1 mile inside the State of Arizona and an investigation is underway to determine whose weapon killed Eggle.
     After pulling over a speeding Dodge Ram, with Washington State license plates, officers soon discovered that the driver was armed with an AK-47. (Full Story)

US Department of Defense To Develop Biological Agent Early Warning System
Say you wake up one fine morning in Any town, U.S.A., walk over to the open window and take in a deep breath of fresh air … ahhhhhhh!
     Terrorists would likely prefer you inhale some anthrax or smallpox at the same time. That’s why DoD will start work this fall on a biological agent detection and identification program as part of efforts to develop a national early warning system for urban areas. (Full Story)

Community Effort Brings Down Serial Rapist
Thanks to the brave efforts of folks in the Hollywood Hancock Park area community, the 41 year old violent rape suspect that had been terrorizing elderly women is now behind bars in the L.A. County jail being held without bail.
     “Regular people caught him,” said Rabbi Chaim Kolodny. The husband and father told of the harrowing events that led the capture of the “dangerous fellow, the lowest of the low”–alleged serial rapist Gary David Johnson. (Full Story)

Asian Pact Against Global Terror
Just as more terror attacks strike civilians in Israel, and days before planned talks with Palestinian leaders to discuss what Israel hopes will lead to an unconditional halt on terror attacks, US Secretary Colin Powell was in Asia in meetings with leaders who also want an end to terror in the world.
     In Manila, Secretary Powell met with President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and Foreign Affairs Secretary Blas Ople as part of their continuing efforts on the war against global terrorism. "In order to get these terrorists, not only al-Qaida, but
other terrorists such as Abu Sayyaf, we have to work with our friends and allies," said Secretary Powell.

     By August 1st, the governments of Brunei, the Philippines, and other members of the ASEAN had signed a joint commitment to fight global terror. (Full Coverage)

Rumsfeld Praises Civil Affairs’ Work in Afghanistan
Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld today praised U.S. and coalition civil affairs teams in Afghanistan that are helping to rebuild that war-stricken country.
     Rumsfeld recounted to Pentagon reporters "remarkable contributions" being made by Army civil affairs teams and coalition partners in rebuilding Afghanistan. New schools, hospitals, roads and other projects in Afghanistan "create conditions so that the country does not again become a terrorist training camp," he explained. He showed before-and after photos of completed work. (Full Story)

Fans Organize to Stop Baseball Strike
Major League Baseball has a negotiating committee. Major League Players have an association. Now, with a strike looming and the World Series at risk, a group of fans has organized so that they, too can have a seat at the table. No Baseball Strike, LLC, an organization of baseball fans, has launched www.nobaseballstrike.org, a Web site that will enable fans to lobby the parties to agree to an arbitrated settlement in order to avoid a work stoppage.
“Nobaseballstrike.org has a simple mission,” said Friedman, the spokesman for No Baseball Strike. “We want to see the post-season played. The players and owners should be able to reach an agreement without a stoppage by resorting to arbitration.” (Full Story)

$54 Million in Illegal Missiles Seized at New Mexico Counterterrorism Firm
David Hudak, the President of the counterterrorism consulting firm, HEAT (High Energy Access Tools), was arrested on federal explosives and immigration charges for stockpiling 2,352 M141 Bunker Defeat Munition missiles used to destroy small armored vehicles and bunkers and possessing 4,000 pounds of explosives.
     According to information released about the joint FBI and ATF bust, each missile was valued at $23,040. 48 were placed in 49 crates, all of which were mislabeled as "charge demolitions". The missiles were shipped to the U.S. from Hudak’s other company located in Canada, International Hydro Cut Technologies (IHCT), and were manufactured by Tally Defense in Mesa, Arizona. One explanation for the missiles from a HEAT representative was that they were possibly intended to clear land and large rocks on the HEAT property. Reportedly, Mr. Hudak lied on records in order to get a hold of the infantry weapons. (Full Story)

Threat Iraq: Hussein, History, and Weapons of Mass Destruction
Reports this week reveal U.S. intelligence and the U.S. military recently identified activity in Northern Iraq that appeared to be chemical weapons production. Tuesday, US Secretary Rumsfeld would not comment on the suspicious activities but gave this information, "I have said repeatedly that there are al Qaeda in Iraq. There are. They have left Afghanistan, they have left other locations, and they’ve landed in a variety of countries, one of which is Iraq."
     Whether Saddam Hussein could be unaware of an al Qaeda presence in Iraq, Rumsfeld found that to be near impossible saying, "in a vicious, repressive dictatorship that has — exercises near-total control over its population, it’s very hard to imagine that the government is not aware of what’s taking place in the country." (Full Story)

Harboring al Qaeda
On July 10, at a closed meeting of the Defense Policy Board, a Frenchman who is a teacher at George Washington University and is a policy analyst at the Rand Corp., stated that the United States’ "most dangerous enemy” was Saudi Arabia. "The Saudis are active at every level of the terror chain, from planners to financiers, from cadre to foot-soldier, from ideologist to cheerleader," Laurent Murawiec said to the Pentagon advisory group, which includes such faces as Newt Gingrich, Henry Kissinger, and James Sclessinger. According to officials, out of the 19 hijackers on Sept. 11th, 15 were Saudi, and many U.S. lawmakers themselves have been saying that the Kingdom has done little in the effort against terrorism. (Full Story)

US AFIP Scientists Perform 10,000 Tests to Help Stem Anthrax Crisis
Anthrax. When the disease was the first thing on everyone’s mind last October, a team from the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology here was poring over thousands of samples to answer the second: What’s going on?
     Only 236 total cases were reported in the United States between 1955 to 1999, said microbiologist Dana Kadavy, who helped lead the AFIP team. The most recent inhalational anthrax fatality was in 1976, when the victim died after handling wool contaminated with anthrax spores. So anthrax normally isn’t seen much in the United States. (Full Story)

Afghan Weapons Cache Discovered, Deminers Wounded
U.S. troops found another weapons cache in Afghanistan, Joint Combined Task Force 180 officials said.
     U.S. forces uncovered a weapons cache Aug. 26, local time, near the town of Deh Rawod in eastern Afghanistan. The soldiers found hundreds of recoilless rifle rounds, hundreds of 82 mm mortar rounds, tens of thousands of rounds of machine gun ammunition and the tripods of four anti-aircraft weapons. (Full Story)

Media Not Invited…
Prince Bandar arrived by private jet after being escorted by two F-16 Fighters the day before to Grand Junction, CO. It had been reported by AP White House correspondent Ron Fournier that documentation problems caused the concern during mid-flight.
     There was no talk on the incident from the White House. And closed door meetings with the President have kept the prying eyes of the press out. Press Secretary Ari Fleischer has only spoken of Tuesday’s meeting, saying reports have skewed the "18 minute" meeting between President Bush and Prince Bandar. In his meeting with the press, Mr. Fleischer recounted the events that took place at "The Western White House" between the two parties, which was supposed to be "a social visit, as well as a business visit." (Read Transcript)