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Monday August 25, 2003

The fledgling Hamas Space Program has suffered another devastating setback:

GAZA (Reuters) - A makeshift rocket fired by the militant Hamas group on Thursday landed in a major Israeli city for the first time, causing no casualties or damage but raising tension on the tinderbox Israel-Gaza border.

The Qassam rocket slammed into an industrial zone in the coastal city of Ashkelon, 5.5 miles from the Gaza Strip , the army said. It was the furthest a Qassam had been fired into Israel since a Palestinian uprising for statehood began in 2000.

Perhaps the French could send over a few rocket scientists to help Hamas so that this terrible tragedy would not be repeated. I mean, it's not like they would be aiding terrorists, right?

Well, I didn't know this:

For the past dozen years or so, King's family has aggressively moved to protect the copyright he obtained on much of his public work. Sadly, this has ended up severely limiting access to the civil-rights leader's words - at a time when new generations of Americans need to hear them.

The family (which consulted with the Elvis Presley estate for marketing advice) says it is trying to safeguard King's legacy to prevent unseemly use of his words and image. But that didn't stop them from selling that image to two telecommunications companies, who paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to use King's words in their ads...

...The family is now trying to get $20 million by selling a new trove of King's personal papers (every other civil-rights leader's papers were donated to the Library of Congress, which agreed to buy the King papers until Congress balked at the price) - and unsuccessfully sued Boston University for the return of 85,000 documents that King himself had donated while he was still alive.

I wish the current crop of alleged black leaders would pay a few bucks to hear those inspiring words. It doesn't seem as if they want blacks to be judged by "the content of their character", but rather by the "color of their skin". Think affirmative action, minority set-asides, reparations, etc.

The biggest battery in the world:

The rechargable battery, which at 2,000 square metres is bigger than a football pitch and weighs 1,300 tonnes, was manufactured by power components specialist ABB to provide electricity to Fairbanks, Alaska's second-largest city, in the event of a blackout.

Stored in a warehouse near the city, where temperatures plunge to -51 degrees Centigrade in winter, the battery will provide 40 megawatts of power - enough for around 12,000 people - for up to seven minutes.

This is enough time, according to ABB, to start up diesel generators to restore power, an important safeguard since at such low temperatures, water pipes can freeze entirely in two hours.

If you think you ink jet cartridges cost too much, you're not alone.

Now comes this from the can't we all just get along, department.

If this report is true, things may get uglier in Iraq:

In its last issue, Number 122, DEBKA-Net-Weekly reported a surge of electronic messages calling on every al Qaeda adherent in the world to mobilize for the battle in Iraq. "Victory over the United States will be far quicker than many think," say the messages.

Never before, according to DEBKA-Net-Weekly's counter-terrorism sources, has al Qaeda staged a general mobilization. It is no propaganda exercise. The response has been enthusiastic and its impact noticeable.

Al Qaeda combatants have been racing towards Iraq in large numbers along four main routes. The most surprising and most recent is the path from western Saudi Arabia through Iran...

If true, (note: DEBKA does not have a completely unblemished track record) the question then becomes, why doesn't the U.S. seek to control the borders of Iraq? One answer may be that we don't have enough troops to accomplish that task. Another answer may be that we'd rather fight these terrorists en masse in Iraq (where we have a massive troop presence) than track them all over the world (including the U.S.). Perhaps it's a little of both.

Cheerleaders defend the honor of Kim Jong Il:

The women, who were in six separate buses, called for the vehicles to stop, then about 30-40 of them ran the 300-500 meters back to where the banners were. They immediately started making protests, pointing out apparent horrors such as that a seal was stamped on Kim Jong Il's image, that the banner was hanging too low, that it was beside a scarecrow or that it had been left to the mercy of the rain and wind.

Why does anyone care what Woody Allen thinks about Schwarzenegger's chances in California? Perhaps no one does.