Sunni and Shiite united action
Thousands break roadblocks
Posted Thu, 08 Apr 2004
Thousands of Iraqi sympathisers, both Sunni and Shiite Muslim, forced their way through US military roadblocks on Thursday in a bid
to bring aid from the capital to the besieged Sunni rebel bastion of Fallujah.
Troops in armoured vehicles attempted to stop the convoy of cars and pedestrians from reaching the western town where US marines
have met ferocious resistance in a two-day-old offensive against the insurgents.
But the US contingents were overwhelmed as residents of villages west of the capital came to the convoy's assistance, hurling insults and
stones at the beleaguered troops.
Some 20 kilometres west of Baghdad, a US patrol was attacked just moments before the Iraqi marchers arrived, and armed insurgents
could be seen dancing around on two blazing military vehicles.
Armoured cars forced to drive away
Two US Humvees attempted to stop the marchers but were forced to drive off as residents joined the marchers, shouting "Allahu
Akbar" (God is greater).
US troops armed with machine guns and backed up by armour again blocked the highway further west, but were forced to let the Iraqis
past as they came under a hail of stones.
The cross-community demonstration of support for Fallujah had been organised by Baghdad clerics both Sunni and Shiite amid reports
that the death toll in the town had reached 105 since Tuesday evening.
The rare display of sectarian unity came after Shiite radicals launched an uprising in cities across central and southern Iraq, shattering a
year of relative tolerance of the US-led occupation from the country's majority community.
"No Sunnis, no Shiites, yes for Islamic unity," the marchers chanted. "We are Sunni and Shiite brothers and will never sell our country."
Baghdad residents send donations to Fallujah
The marchers set off from the Um al-Qora mosque in west Baghdad where wellwishers donated food, drinks and medicine.
They carried portaits of Shiite radical leader Moqtada Sadr, as well as pictures of Sunni Islamist icon, Sheikh Ahmad Yassin, the
spiritual leader of the Palestinian Hamas movement who was assassinated in an Israeli air raid last month.
"Our families in Fallujah, remember that our dead go to heaven and theirs to hell," read a banner held aloft by the crowd.
Mosque imam Sheikh Ahmad Abdel Ghafur al-Samarrai said the US-led coalition had given the Iraqi Red Crescent permission to
organise a relief convoy but made no secret of his hostility to the US offensive in Fallujah.
"The Iraqi Red Crescent got permission from the coalition, following negotiations over one day and one night to bring these supplies into
the city," Samarrai said.
"Baghdad residents decided to send initially 90 cars with food and medicines to Fallujah families," he told AFP.
"We want to express solidarity with our brothers who are being bombed by warplanes and tanks.
"Right to fight occupation"
"It is a form of jihad (holy war) which can also come in the form of demonstrations, donations and fighting. The people who are
occupied have the right to fight occupation, whatever the means they use."
The Sunni cleric called on US commanders to stop the bloody offensive they launched in Fallujah on Tuesday after four US civilian
contractors were killed in the town and two of their bodies mutilated.
"This only brings hatred and enmity," Samarrai said of the US assault.
"They killed the elderly praying at the mosques, as well as women and children. This is indiscriminate killing."
The cleric said he opposed the way the bodies of the American contractors had been treated but insisted that what the US marines were
now doing in Fallujah was no better. They "are doing the same by mutilating the residential neighborhoods," he said.
Minister Farrakhan to Speak Sunday
Date: Tuesday 06 April 2004 6:08 pm
As Salaam Alaikum
Allah Willing, Brother Minister Farrakhan will be speaking this Sunday, April
11th at Mosque Maryam and his message will be broadcast to the Mosques and
Study Groups around the country. I heard that he will be bringing us some
VERY important news!
Farmers advised to plant only certified and healthy seeds
Fumesua (Ash), March. 31, GNA - A Research Scientist has stated that the
country could attain food security only when farmers were educated enough on
the benefit of certified and healthy seeds and were prepared to crop them.
Dr Opoku-Ahwenie Danquah, Research Plant/Seed Pathologist at the Crops
Research Institute (CRI) who made the point said apart from being free of
diseases, certified or healthy seeds also had the capacity of generating
higher crop yields.
He was opening a three-day training workshop on Seed Health Technology
Transfer, organised by the CRI for stakeholders in agriculture at Fumesua,
near Kumasi on Tuesday. It was sponsored by the Agricultural Sub-Sector
Investment Project (ASSIP) and was attended by 20 participants, made up of
farmers and Agricultural Extension Service Agents, from the Ashanti and
Brong-Ahafo regions. The workshop was designed to improve upon the skills
and capacity of the participants and to educate them on the benefit of
healthy and quality seeds, so as to enable them in-turn to educate their
colleagues on the value of such seeds.
He expressed regret that as a result of ignorance about the benefits of
healthy seeds many farmers continued to plant seeds that had been stored
from harvest, known as "Save Seeds". Dr Danquah advocated an intensive and
sustained educational programmes in the various farming communities about
the need for farmers to make more use of certified seeds for planting.
Dr Peter Sallah, Acting Director of the CRI, said, for those farmers who
still desired to use Save Seeds, they should strive at all cost to ensure
that they separate the clean seeds from the dirty and diseased ones before
planting. He observed that the proper development of crops depended on the
quality and nature of the seeds planted, and therefore asked farmers to
endeavour to always use healthy seeds.
Sewerage And Fertilisers
'Are Killing The Seas'
Marine Life Is Being Suffocated, UN Warns
By John Vidal
The Guardian - UK
Last summer every sea creature across an area twice the size of Wales was
asphyxiated by severely depleted oxygen levels in the Gulf of Mexico. The
same phenomenon, the marine equivalent of the ozone hole, happened off
South America, China, Japan, south-east Australia, New Zealand, and up to
150 other places.
A United Nations agency warned yesterday that the number of these "dead
zones", caused mainly by the run-off of nitrogen fertilisers from intensive
farming and sewerage from large cities, had doubled in the past 15 years and
was increasing all over the world.
In a new report, the UN environment programme said that 150 sea areas
were now regularly starved of oxygen and were becoming major threats to
already declining fish stocks, including those in Europe, where areas of the
Baltic Sea were lifeless for several months, as were parts of the Irish Sea and
The Black Sea - the largest and oldest "dead zone" in the world - supported
only a few bacteria to a depth of 150 metres.
"Humankind is engaged in a gigantic, global, experiment as a result of the
inefficient and often over-use of fertilisers, the discharge of untreated sewage
and the ever rising emissions from vehicles and factories," said Klaus
Toepfer, the UN environment programme (UNEP) director. "The nitrogen
and phosphorous from these sources are being discharged into rivers and the
coastal environment or being deposited from the atmosphere, triggering these
alarming and sometimes irreversible effects."
Some of the dead zones are less than one square kilometre, whereas others
are up to 70,000 sq km. Many have been found near the outlets of big rivers
such as the Mississippi and the Yangtze, which drain huge industrial areas.
Most lie off countries which heavily subsidise their agriculture.
"What is clear is that unless urgent action is taken to tackle the sources of the
problem, it is likely to escalate rapidly," he said.
"Dead zones are especially dangerous to fisheries because they afflict coastal
areas where many fish spawn and spend most of their lives before moving to
deeper water", said UNEP officer Marion Cheatle. "It is getting noticeably
She advised countries, which often share water basins, to co-operate in
reducing nitrogen discharges by cutting fertiliser use or planting forests along
rivers to soak up excess nitrogen. The "creeping dead zones" have been
noted since the 1970s but the speed of their growth has surprised scientists
who are only now beginning to understand their mechanism.
Robert Diaz, professor of marine science at Maryland University and author
of the marine section of the report, said dead zones were fast becoming a
bigger threat to fish stocks than over-fishing.
He warned that global warming, with its likely increase in rainfall, was likely
to aggravate the problem, because it would increase significantly the
discharge of polluted water from rivers into oceans.
The report, launched in South Korea at a meeting of 150 of the world's
environment ministers, ranked dead zones as one of the top 20 threats to the
global environment. Others included dust and sand storms, more frequent
around the world as land is degraded, and impending global water shortages.
More than one in three of the world's population is likely to suffer chronic
water shortages in the next few decades, according to the report, while more
than 2.4 billion people lack access to basic sanitation.
Guardian Unlimited © Guardian Newspapers Limited 2004
ORGANIC BYTES #30
Food and Consumer News Tidbits with an Edge!
3/29/2004 By Organic Consumers Association
Please forward this publication to family and friends, place it on
websites, print it, and post it. Knowledge is power!
QUOTE OF THE WEEK:
"The nightmare that county bans on genetically engineered crops
represent to intra- and interstate commerce is ridiculous. We'd be
ground to a halt."
Allan Noe, vice-president of CropLife America, a lobby group working for
Monsanto, DuPont and Syngenta. Quoted in San Jose Mercury (California)
ALERT: DEFEND THE MENDOCINO VICTORY & SPREAD GE-FREE ZONES EVERYWHERE
People across the U.S. and the world have been inspired by the historic
David versus Goliath victory in Mendocino County, California on March 2,
2004 where voters banned the production of genetically engineered crops
and animals. Mendocino is the first county in the U.S to implement such
a ban. The Mendocino GE ban has rattled Monsanto and the Gene Giants,
who fear that global civil society will now follow Mendocino's example.
Of course this is exactly what is happening. Just in the past week,
halfway across the world, a number of major agricultural states in
Australia, including Western Australia, Tasmania and Victoria, have
already passed, or will soon pass, GE crop bans.
But as the OCA warned in an Action Alert last week, Monsanto and their
friends are fighting back. Sources have warned the OCA that the biotech
lobby will soon introduce a bill in California to nullify the Mendocino
GE ban and make it illegal for other California counties to pass similar
laws. World Trade Organization bureaucrats and the White House have also
made it clear in the past that local citizen control over unpopular
technologies such as genetic engineering will not be tolerated. OCA has
launched a major campaign called the Biodemocracy Alliance to defeat
this legislation and spread GE-Free zones across at least a dozen of
California's 59 counties, as well as counties all over the U.S.
We need your help to spread the word, organize GE bans in your local
area, and, most of all, we need donations to finance this effort. In the
past 10 days, since we sent out an Action Alert, we have raised $20,000
from online donations and checks in the mail, but we need to raise at
least $30,000 more in the next few weeks to keep up the momentum. We
believe this is the most crucial moment in the ten-year history of the
anti-GE foods movement. Please make an online donation today by clicking
MONSANTO RESUMES ITS BULLYING ON GE WHEAT
Up until last week, Monsanto had promised that it would not press for
Bush Administration approval for its genetically engineered (GE) wheat
until Canadian regulatory officials were ready to approve the
controversial crop. However, due to strong resistance to GE wheat from
Canadian consumers and farmers, Monsanto has announced it may choose to
break this vow, causing great concern inside the U.S. wheat industry.
"If we introduce and the Canadians do not, that would make it easier for
countries to continue to insist on buying from a country that is GM-free
and it would give Canada a distinct marketing advantage," said U.S.
Wheat President Alan Tracy. Monsanto claims it has every right to do
what it pleases. The bottom line is that Monsanto is desperate and
believes that its friends in the White House have no qualms about
forcing Frankenfoods down consumers' throats--even if it means billions
of dollars in export losses for hapless U.S. wheat farmers.
NEW MAD COW REGULATIONS STILL MAKE US MAD
In response to the discovery of the first case of Mad Cow Disease in the
U.S. last December, the Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced
it will increase testing of the nation's cattle up to 480,000 cows per
year. Consumer groups, including the Organic Consumers Association and
the Consumers Union, say these new projections for testing are
completely inadequate, given that the U.S. Cattle industry slaughters 35
million animals annually. The government and large beef corporations
fear more tests since they know Mad Cow disease has now spread to more
and more cattle in North America. However, many ranchers in Kansas,
California, and other states, desperate to regain their export markets,
say they're willing to test all cows, as Japan and other nations have
EARTH FRIENDLY LABELING LIES
Consumers are quickly learning that government oversight of product
labeling is all too loosely regulated. To add to the already existing
confusion, the Hudson Institute's Center for Global Food Issues (CGFI),
an agribusiness and biotech front group, has announced it will now be
labeling qualifying products as "Earth Friendly". This designation will
be placed on genetically engineered foods and factory farmed meat and
dairy products.. The corporate-funded CGFI claim they have a right to
label products as such, given their "scientific" opinion that certain
aspects of GE crops and densely packed feedlots are better for the
environment than organic agriculture.
SCARY FISH FACTS
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has released new safety guidelines
for fish consumption, due to ever-increasing levels of mercury
contamination. The fish containing the highest levels of mercury are:
shark, swordfish, king mackerel and tilefish. The guidelines suggest
eating up to two meals a week (totaling 12 ounces) of fish that are low
in mercury such as shrimp, canned light tuna, salmon, pollock and
GETTING JUNK FOOD OUT OF SCHOOLS
With the Bush Administration's reduced funding for education, many
school districts have been forced to seek other sources of income,
including widespread installation of junk-food vending machines. School
districts can make up to $100,000 per year under these contracts, but as
a result of increased access to unhealthy foods, the childhood obesity
and diabetes epidemics are on the increase. In response, two dozen
states are now considering banning junk food vending machines in
schools. The National Soft Drink Association is contesting this ban,
claiming that high levels of junk food consumption are okay, and placing
the blame on schools for not teaching the kids to exercise more.
REGULATING ROCKET FUEL LEVELS IN WATER
California has become the first state to consider regulating the levels
of allowable toxic perchlorates in drinking water. The pollutant has
been found in increasing levels in waterways around the U.S.,
particularly in areas near military bases and test sites (the toxin is
most commonly originates in rocket fuels). Perchlorates cause severe
neurological and thyroid dysfunction and are currently unregulated. In
related news, the U.S. Department of Defense is insisting to Congress it
should not be forced to comply with any environmental regulations, as a
matter of national security.
WE NEED TO TALK
Interested in sharing your thoughts and ideas with thousands of other
like-minded folks locally and around the world? Register free for OCA's
new online web forum and chat center.
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UNICEF Nigerian Polio Vaccine Contaminated with Sterilizing Agents Scientist
Scientist says things discovered in vaccines are "harmful, toxic"
KADUNA, Nigeria, March 11, 2004 (LifeSiteNews.com) - A UNICEF campaign to
vaccinate Nigeria's youth against polio may have been a front for
sterilizing the nation. Dr. Haruna Kaita, a pharmaceutical scientist and
Dean of the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences of Ahmadu Bello University in
Zaria, took samples of the vaccine to labs in India for analysis.
Using WHO-recommended technologies like Gas Chromatography (GC) and
Radio-Immuno assay, Dr. Kaita, upon analysis, found evidence of serious
contamination. "Some of the things we discovered in the vaccines are
harmful, toxic; some have direct effects on the human reproductive system,"
he said in an interview with Kaduna's Weekly Trust. "I and some other
professional colleagues who are Indians who were in the Lab could not
believe the discovery," he said.
A Nigerian government doctor tried to persuade Dr. Kaita that the
contaminants would have no bearing on human reproduction. "…I was surprised
when one of the federal government doctors was telling me something contrary
to what I have learned, studied, taught and is the common knowledge of all
pharmaceutical scientists -- that estrogen cannot induce an anti-fertility
response in humans," he said. "I found that argument very disturbing and
When asked by the Trust why Dr. Kaita felt the drug manufacturers would have
contaminated the Oral Polio Vaccine, he gave three reasons: "These
manufacturers or promoters of these harmful things have a secret agenda
which only further research can reveal. Secondly they have always taken us
in the third world for granted, thinking we don't have the capacity,
knowledge and equipment to conduct tests that would reveal such
contaminants. And very unfortunately they also have people to defend their
atrocities within our mist, and worst still some of these are supposed to be
our own professionals who we rely on to protect our interests."
Dr. Kaita is demanding that "those who imported this fake drug in the name
of Polio Vaccines…be prosecuted like any other criminal."
The campaign to rid Nigeria of polio is in its fourth year. Officials there
claim that all contaminated vaccines have been exhausted and replaced by
In a rhetorical conclusion to the interview, Dr. Kaita asked "What plans has
the government put in place to help children who have been given these toxic
and contaminated vaccines in case they start reacting to them?"
This is not the first time UNICEF has been embroiled in a controversy over
sterilizing agents in vaccines. LifeSiteNews.com reported that in 1995, the
Catholic Women's League of the Philippines won a court order halting a
UNICEF anti-tetanus program because the vaccine had been laced with B-hCG,
which when given in a vaccine permanently causes women to be unable to
sustain a pregnancy. The Supreme Court of the Philippines found the
surreptitious sterilization program had already vaccinated three million
women, aged 12 to 45. B-hCG-laced vaccine was also found in at least four
other developing countries.
See the related LifeSiteNews.com coverage:
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