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FAMILY LAW, INTERNATIONAL LAW
DANAIPOUR v. MCLAREY, No. 02-1065, 02-1070
(1st Cir. April 03, 2002)
Where there was significant evidence of sexual
abuse by father, the
district court erred in deferring its
responsibility to foreign
court, under the Hague Convention on the Civil
International Child Abduction, for a
determination of whether there
was a grave risk of injury if children were
returned to home
To read the full text of this opinion, go to:
MEDIX AMBULANCE SERV., INC. v. SUPERIOR COURT OF
(COLLADO), No. G029042 (Cal. App. March 27, 2002)
In a sexual harassment action, where employer only
received notice that
its demurrer was overruled via the Internet, the
day before it expected
to appear in court, the trial court erred in
refusing to hear oral
argument, a finding further supported by recently
Rules of Court, rule 324, which sets out a process
for judges who issue
tentative rulings by telephone.
To Read The Opinion, Go To [Registration Required]:
MORE BUSINESSES RECOGNIZING DOMESTIC ABUSE AS A
Like a lot of victims of domestic violence, Sheri
didn't recognize the
warnings. At the time, she was working as a
receptionist and thought it
was kind of cute that her boyfriend kept making
excuses to stop by the
law firm. . . The more attached he grew, the more
violent he became. . .
"With so many women in the work force, domestic
violence is a huge
workplace issue," said Sharon Katz, executive
director of Safehome,
which provides shelter and outreach programs for
victims of domestic
violence and their children in the Kansas City
Subject: [PRISONACT] Our Voices Within:
Celebrating the Strength of Incarcerated Survivors
perhaps this has already been circulated to you.
PLEASE CIRCULATE WIDELY:
The California Coalition for Battered Women in
Prison (CCBWP) proudly
OUR VOICES WITHIN:
Celebrating the Strength of Incarcerated Survivors
of Domestic Violence
Our Voices Within centralizes the voices of
currently and formerly
incarcerated survivors of domestic violence.
Three former prisoners who
served time for killing their batterers will share
their stories of
- Rose Ann Parker (the only prisoner
paroled under Gov. Davis) -
Brenda Aris (received clemency under Gov.
- Harriette Davis (activist who paroled in
Our Voices Within will also feature stories,
poetry, and other artwork by
survivors of domestic violence still imprisoned.
from prison reform and domestic violence
organizations will be available
at the event. If you'd like to become involved,
email ccbwp@... or
call (415) 255-7036 ext. 309.
Saturday, April 13, 2-5 pm
The Women's Building, Audre Lorde room
3543 18th St. (between Valencia & Guerrero streets)
$5 suggested donation at the door: no one turned
away for lack of funds
* Parking is limited: public transportation
encouraged. The Women's
Building is 2 blocks from the 16th street
For more info, call Susan at (415) 898-2616, email
visit our website at www.prisonactivist.org/ccbwp.
Co-sponsored by: California Coalition for Women
(CCWP)-California Alliance Against Domestic
Services for Prisoners with Children (LSPC)-Prison
NOW-California Women's Law
Center-Inkworks-The Women's Building-Hastings
Coalition-Linda Starr and Cookie Ridolfi-Kathryn
prison activist resource center
In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107,
this material is
distributed without charge or profit to those who
have expressed a
prior interest in receiving this type of
information for non-profit
research and educational purposes only.
Environmental Law Clinics Spark Hostility
The National Law Journal
The University of Pittsburgh School of Law's environmental law
clinic, which opposed logging in the Allegheny National Forest and
expressway construction, ruffled the feathers of politicians,
developers and alumni -- so much that the school tried to force the
clinic off campus. And it's not alone: Similar clinics nationwide
face pressure as they challenge Big Industry in ways that can be
costly for corporations.
Visit Law Students - http://www.law.com
New Mexico Is First State to Include American Indian Law on Bar Exams
The Associated Press
New Mexico, home to 173,000 American Indians, has become the first
state to add federal Indian law as a subject on its state bar exam.
Broader issues of Indian law, rather than specific laws of each of
the state's 22 tribes, will be among 23 subjects that could pop up in
the essay portion of the exam taken by law school graduates or
lawyers moving to the state.
Full Text - http://www.law.com
Real Culprit in Yates Case Is the System
Christopher L. Tritico uses the tragedy of what befell Andrea Yates'
children to indict the Texas mental health system, and the further
tragedy of her being found guilty of two counts of capital murder to
indict an outmoded system of justice. Texas fails people like Yates.
It is time for Texas law to recognize that someone can be insane and
understand that her act is wrong. The culprit, says Tritico, is the
Full Text - http://www.law.com
FUNDS AVAILABLE FOR VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN PROGRAMS
The Violence Against Women Office of the Justice Department has
announced several grant programs. Safe Havens: Supervised Visitation
and Safe Exchange Grant Program, Technical Assistance Program, Grants
to Reduce Violent Crimes Against Women on Campus Program and
Education and Technical Assistance Grants to End Violence Against
Women with Disabilities. All of these programs have deadlines for
application or letters of intent in April.
Steinem: male dominance caused 9-11
Gloria Steinem has lashed out at the Catholic
blaming its pedophile scandal on its
hierarchy, which also created Hitler and 9-11.
CONTRACTS, FAMILY LAW
DIOSDADO v. DIOSDADO, No B150941 (Cal. 2d App.
Dist. April 04, 2002)
A contract entered into between a husband and
wife, providing for
payment of liquidated damages in the event one of
them is sexually
unfaithful to the other, is contrary to public
policy and unenforceable.
To read the full text of this opinion, go to:
GOMEZ v. HOLY SEE (April 3, 2002)
Sexual Abuse Suit Filed In Florida Naming The
Catholic Church Officials As Defendants [PDF]
DOE v. HOLY SEE (April 3, 2002)
Sexual Abuse Suit Filed In Oregon Naming The
Catholic Church Officials As Defendants [PDF]
Date: Thu Apr 4 13:47:26 2002
Subject: 04-04-02 -- ACLU Action Update: Don't Criminalize Actions
of Caring Relatives and Friends!
----------TO: ACLU Action Network Members
FR: Jared Feuer, Internet Organizer
DT: April 4, 2002
Next week, the House is expected to vote on
legislation that would make it a crime for anyone
other than a parent to transport a minor across
state lines for an abortion, unless the young
woman has met the obligations of her state's
parental involvement law. This legislation,
dubbed the "Teen Endangerment Act" (HR 476), would
consequently turn anyone who provides assistance,
be it grandmother, aunt or emergency medical
personnel, into criminals facing federal penalties.
Family communication simply cannot be legislated.
While studies have found that a majority of young
women who are pregnant and seeking an abortion
already choose to involve a parent in their
decision, others have very valid reasons for not
doing so. One third of teenagers who do not tell
their parents about a pregnancy have already been
the victims of family violence -- physical,
emotional, and sexual abuse -- and fear it will
Take Action! Although this subject is a difficult
one, it is imperative that young women have the
option to turn to trusted adults rather than
undertake such desperate measures as self-induced
or illegal abortions. You can read more and send
a FREE FAX to your Representative from our action
HEADLINES - April 5, 2002
TODAY'S PAGE ONE STORIES
Sex abuse spans spectrum of churches
Despite recent headlines, most churches hit with
abuse charges are
Protestant, and most abusers are not clergy. By
Rice genes offer grains of hope for hungry
Scientists have roughly identified the gene
sequence in Third-World
food staple. By Peter N. Spotts
Tricky science of predicting asteroid collisions
A huge asteroid may crash into Earth ... in 878
years. How many others
sail through the sky unseen? By Mark Sappenfield
The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York said it
had given a list of
priests accused of sexual misconduct with minors
to the Manhattan
district attorney's office. It also announced
guidelines for addressing
new allegations. Church officials in several US
cities have made
similar moves as claims of priestly misconduct,
often decades past,
surface. In the latest cases, Rick Gomez (above)
of St. Petersburg,
Fla., and a Portland, Ore., man filed separate
lawsuits that accuse
three US dioceses and the Vatican of conspiring to
harbor priests whom
they allege abused them. (Related story, page 1.)
JAIL TIME FOR DUMMIES
In Thailand, convicts about to begin their prison
sentences have a new
instructional tool to better prepare them for life
behind bars. The
Department of Corrections website, drawing on the
ideas of inmates with
time on their hands as they recover from medical
helpful hints on - for example - how to sleep in a
cell. Said a
department official: "We want to tell the public
that [prison] isn't as
scary as people may think, but not so comfortable
that they should be
attracted to life here."
OUTRAGE OF THE WEEK
Attorney Says LAPD Lost Sex Crimes Evidence
(WOMENSENEWS)--A prosecutor says that Los Angeles
County law enforcement officials have lost or
destroyed evidence relating more than 1,000 rape
and sex murder cases, USA Today reported Wednesday.
Los Angeles County deputy district attorney Lisa
Kahn said rape kits containing hair, blood, semen
and skin samples gathered by police and sheriff's
detectives were missing from the city police
Kahn said authorities did not know "how bad things
were" until they took an inventory. Scientists
expected 3,000 to 6,000 rape kits but only 2,000
Under grants from California's year-old, $50
million "cold hits" program, crime-lab scientists
were planning to extract DNA from the missing
samples and compare the results with state and
national databases of DNA taken from 1 million
convicts. It is widely believed that rapists and
other sexual assailants compulsively repeat their
crimes--setting them apart from many other types
Police and sheriff officials doubted the accuracy
of Kahn's estimates yet acknowledged that their
departments until recently had routinely disposed
of evidence in rape cases that fell outside the
seven-year statute of limitations for prosecution.
But the sheriff said he knew of no homicide cases
where evidence was destroyed. There is not statute
of limitations for murder. Other states are
preserving the evidence beyond the point where the
individual could be prosecuted for a particular
sex crime because the evidence can be used for
other purposes--establishing a pattern of
behavior, for example.
In March, Democratic Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney
of New York introduced a bill that would set
national standards for evidence collection and
preservation. The bill also would provide federal
funds to reduce backlogs in analyzing biological
Copyright 2002 Women's Enews. The information
contained in this
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Donate now by
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U.N. CONFERENCE CONSIDERS AGING POPULATION
The predictions are almost cataclysmic: In 50 years, if
trends continue, the
number of people older than 60 will triple. Those 2
billion seniors would
outnumber the world's youths.
A PLACE TO HEAL FOR GIRL AND BEAST
Located at the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains is
Crossroads, a group
home for girls who have been victims of sexual abuse.
Feminist Daily News Wire
April 1, 2002
ICC may be "Unsigned" by US
Ambassador for War Crimes Issues, Pierre Prosper, stated Thursday
that the Bush Administration is considering "unsigning" the treaty
authorizing the soon-to-be launched International Criminal Court
(ICC). The Court will achieve the additional four ratifications
necessary to enter into effect on April 11, 2002. "Unsigning" the ICC
treaty would mean that President Bush would send a letter to the
Secretary-General of the United Nations indicating formally that the
US has no intention of ever ratifying the treaty and wishes to be
released from its obligations. Under the Vienna Convention that
regulates treaties, signatories are obligated not to undermine the
purposes or objectives of a treaty. According to the UN Under-
Secretary for Legal Affairs no country has ever signed a UN treaty.
British Foreign Minister Jack Straw has reportedly warned Secretary
of State Colin Powell several times over the last few days that
attacking the Court will provoke a clash with European allies.
The ICC, if established, would be a permanent court designed to
prosecute war criminals, genocide in addition to crimes against
humanity, which include gender crimes. Article 7 of the Rome Statute
of the ICC also presents clear language defining gender crimes to
include rape, sexual slavery, enforced prostitution, forced
pregnancy, enforced sterilization, or any other form of sexual
violence of comparable gravity.
Feminist.org: Your daily source for the feminist perspective on
national and global events. Media Resources: World Federalist
Association News Release, 3/28/02; Feminist Majority Foundation
Subject: Re: fwd:Wiccan beliefs/land use
In a message dated 3/29/2002 7:17:35 PM Eastern
Regarding my request for a lead person on
developing a listing of experts on
Wiccan religious belief and practice to address
Wiccan practice at the
State Correctional Institution in Nebraska
(especially concerning sacred
land) I copied in Selena Fox on my request. Selena
is an ERAL member not
currently subscribed but who at least used to have
an ERAL member forwarding
pertinent E-mail to her. If anybody is still
forwarding ERAL e-mail to her,
please let me know.
Selana contacted Patrick McCollum, a LLL expert on
Wiccan beliefs and
prisoner issues, who is now coordinating
assistance concerning this issue. I
just got permission to forward pertinent
correspondence that I received from
him to ERAL.
Subj: Re: Wiccan issues in state prison
Date: 4/4/2002 7:04:36 PM Eastern Standard Time
From: Tinker Gld
To: LCorncalen, sfox@...
I have contacted Keith in Nebraska and pretty much
resolved the problem. If
you would like to know more about the specifics,
you can give me a call at
(925) 631-0945. Basically I made a series of
recommendations to the
department administrators in Nebraska and provided
them with substantial
documentation backing my recommendations up.
These included letters from
nationally recognized experts in the areas of
religion and constitutional law
and a series of letters from Correctional
Directors from other states that I
advise, recommending me as a viable source for
policy making information
regarding Wiccan and Pagan religious practices in
I will keep you posted as things progress, but
things are going very well on
Subj: Re: Wiccan issues in state prison
Date: 4/6/2002 10:33:25 AM Eastern Standard Time
From: <A HREF="mailto:Tinker Gld">Tinker
It's just fine to forward this information to
anyone you choose. Thanks for
being so diligent with your posting of the
problem. I think you are doing a
great job of distributing information and I always
find any e-mail's with
your name at the bottom, of particular interest
and or importance.
If you hear of other discrimination issues or
questions of legitimacy
regarding Pagan religious practices in government
or government related
institutions, Please let me know. I have
extensive documentation and a
strong team of nationally recognized experts,
along with a series of high
government officials who support our cause. I
also have a great deal of
experience negotiating with government officials
and have won close to 200
cases when negotiating for Pagan religious rights
while only losing two .
Those who posted on ERAL about the situation (or
who did not but who believe
they have information that could be helpful to
him) are free to forward their
pertinent messages that they previously posted to
ERAL and/or other
pertinent information to Patrick McCollum.
I left a phone message for him and asked that he
call me back. I want to find
* What information he has on Wicca and Sacred
* What his recommendations were (in general) and
if we can get a copy of his
pertinent findings and correspondence
* If his contacts include people in the WARD and
AREN lists and/or work
groups dealing with prisoner issues, and if he
knows of other such groups or
* To determine if he is in contact with an expert
on these topics that I
discovered using the SEA Questionnaire and
associated annotated listings in
Dr. Tracy Little
Ph.D.: Anthropology, Dissertation:
NeoPaganism. Teaches Anthropology ,
Cultural Diversityand Sociology. Also, teaches
religious diversity and
distinguishing occult issues for law enforcement
training.. Personal contact
with Lady Liberty League, Wisteria Community Vice
President, C-Ohio Divine
* To deternube if any VisionWeavers documentation
that I have might be
* To ask him if he is willing to be listed in the
combined directory of
public contacts compiled by SEA and/or identified
like Lady Allyn (the Lady
Liberty League expert on custody cases) in the
information provided to ERAL
members and/or listed in the topic specific
webpage for finding help. Many
experts prefer not to be so public to avoid being
swamped with routine
requests that others can handle, but a few are
While some Earth Religion Rights Groups are
organized by State, the Lady Li
berty League (for which I am the Networking
Coordinator) are organized by
area of expertise, with experts in various areas
taking the lead when
situations in their specialty come up.
I hope that when the SEA questionnaire , database
, and yellow pages are on
line, and the value of the information provided
documented in Ohio, that many
people will fill out the questionnaire and
register either as a public or a
private contact. The information could be very
valuable identifying experts
and for facilitating networking, cooperation and
information sharing among
experts on various pertinent topics.
Blessed be and Never Thirst!
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW, GOVERNMENT BENEFITS, INDIAN LAW
NAVAJO NATION v. DEP'T OF HEALTH & HUMAN SERVS., No. 99-16129 (9th
Cir. April 08, 2002)
Decision of the Secretary of Health and Human Services, finding
the Temporary Assistance For Needy Families Program did not
as a program "for the benefit of Indians because of their status
Indians" within the meaning of the Indian Self-Determination and
Education Assistance Act, is entitled to substantial deference and
was not disturbed by the court.
To read the full text of this opinion, go to:
Six women awarded $30.6 million for sexual harassment
New Jersey Online/AP
"A jury has awarded $30.6 million to six women who
alleged they were subject to violent behavior and
harassment by a store director at Ralphs Grocery
Rape is election issue in Kenya
"As Kenya gears up for presidential and legislative
elections this year, women's rights activists bring
and violence against women to the forefront of
Women protest security line 'grope fest'
by Joe Sharkey
Many female air travelers, including flight
furious about being groped by some officious bozo
pretending to be looking for weapons -- a practice
has become routine. (04/01/02)
Andrea Yates' legacy to the legal system
by Sheldon Richman
Richman analyzes the "post-trial discussion"
the Andrea Yates case which focuses on "how the law
might be changed so that the next Andrea Yates can be
acquitted by reason of insanity." (04/02/02)
Guns can save lives
by Lisanne Dickenson
"Guns can save lives As a survivor of violent
abuse, I find it both unconscionable and underhanded
exploit battered women to advance gun control."
Penthouse magazine about to fold
Times of India
Despite the fact that porn is booming on the
isn't selling for 70-year-old porn tycoon Bob
founder of Penthouse Magazine, which is mired in debt
and on the verge of closing. Bonsoire ancien regime.
High-stakes cloning dispute highlights obscure Patent Office tribunal
April 10, 2002
When Dolly the sheep made her public debut in 1997 as the world's
first cloned animal, scientists at the University of Massachusetts
and DeForest, Wis.-based Infigen Inc. didn't see much that was new.
After all, each group was independently racing to develop cloning
techniques to rival those of Dolly's Scottish creators. Soon, both
would unveil their own laboratory-made animals -- Gene the bull,
followed by a bovine pair named George and Charlie.
Now, the three sets of cloning pioneers are embroiled in a high-
stakes dispute before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to
determine who came up with a key cloning technique first and deserves
to hold the patent.
Known as an interference, the proceeding takes place in secret -- the
PTO won't even announce when an interference has been declared -- and
tends to be highly arcane, even by the standards of intellectual
property law. Companies fight tooth and nail for the ownership of
patents potentially worth millions of dollars.
The central question in each interference is the same: Who was the
first to conceive of a new invention? With lab books and research
papers and witnesses, companies vie to convince a trio of patent law
judges that they alone were the original inventors and should win the
In the rest of the industrialized world, it's a moot point -- patents
go to whoever files a valid application first, a simple system that
groups like the Intellectual Property Owners Association would like
to see adopted here. But U.S. law dictates that the inventor -- not
the entity that gets to the patent office first -- has the ultimate
right to the patent, setting the stage for some outsized IP
"Whenever there's a lot of money at stake, there's always someone
else claiming to have invented it first," says interference
specialist Richard Neifeld of Arlington, Va.-based Neifeld IP Law.
Alexander Graham Bell, for example, won his patent for the telephone
in an interference. Through the years, inventors have duked it out
for the rights to products such as barbed wire, the ubiquitous
plastic material polypropylene, and the hepatitis B vaccine. Recent
cases include a challenge to part of Microsoft Corp.'s operating
system and a fight over basic optical technology.
"There's a mystique associated with interferences," says Bruce Stoner
Jr., chief administrative patent judge at the PTO, where 17 of the
agency's 64 patent law judges specialize in interferences, declaring
just over 200 each year. "Very clearly, these are cases that people
consider to be economically important."
The current cloning dispute stands out as one of the more significant
and openly acknowledged fights, which usually occur entirely away
from the public eye.
On one side is Dolly, who was cloned by scientists at the Roslin
Institute in Scotland. The case is being litigated by the Geron Corp.
of Menlo Park., Calif., which acquired Roslin Bio-Med in 1999 and
picked up cloning-related IP rights as part of the purchase.
No one disputes that Dolly, who was born on July 5, 1996, is the
world's first cloned animal. But the patent isn't on the actual
animal -- it's for the process used to create the animal. Although
Geron holds several cloning-related patents, the company does not own
the rights to a basic technique involving the transfer of a nucleus
from a donor cell into an egg -- technology that Geron says "underl
[ies] the pioneering work that led to the cloning of Dolly."
Nor does the patent belong to Wisconsin-based Infigen, which produced
Gene the bull in February of 1997 using a somewhat similar cloning
Instead, in 1999, patent No. 5,945,577 was assigned to the University
of Massachusetts, where scientists created cow clones George and
Charlie the previous year. The university has licensed the patent to
Advanced Cell Technology Inc., or ACT, of Worcester, Mass.
Both Geron and Infigen asked the PTO to declare an interference with
the goal of capturing some or all of ACT's patent. Also at issue are
at least two of ACT's pending patent applications. Geron has also
asked for additional interferences involving other ACT patents.
Geron is represented by Kenneth Meyers of Washington, D.C.'s
Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner, and Infigen has
turned to Richard Warburg of the San Diego office of Milwaukee's
Foley & Lardner.
ACT has retained Robin Teskin, a partner in the Northern Virginia
office of Pillsbury Winthrop.
The PTO granted both interference requests earlier this year, then,
to cover all bases, declared a third interference between Geron and
Infigen on March 11. Lawyers say they still don't know whether the
proceedings will be consolidated.
The value of the patent remains unclear. A potentially lucrative use
for cloning is in agriculture, and the Food and Drug Administration
is contemplating whether to approve cloned animal products for human
consumption. Cloning super-productive milk cows could be an
especially promising market. Last year, an unborn clone of a Holstein
grand champion sold at an auction for $100,000.
Stephen Sundlof, director of the FDA's Center for Veterinary
Medicine, says the agency has asked the National Academy of Science
to issue a report, expected in June, on any potential problems with
cloned products. Depending on the recommendation, the FDA could
decide to treat cloned animal products like drugs, subject to the
agency's rigorous pre-market approval process, or conclude no
regulation is necessary at all.
"If the milk is materially identical to normal cow's milk, it's
possible we would not require mandatory labeling" to inform consumers
of its origin, says Sundlof. Such a finding would be a boon to
whoever wins the patent fight and likely spur demand for cloned cows.
Currently, ACT subsidiary Cyagra Inc. charges $20,000 to clone a cow,
provided the buyer supplies the genetic material.
The cloning of pets is another commercial application of the
Lou Hawthorne is CEO of College Station, Texas-based Genetic Savings
& Clone, which pays ACT a licensing fee for use of the patent and
plans to start selling pet cat clones later this year.
Hawthorne predicts that the pet cloning market will be huge, but says
the technology now being fought over is "transitional. There's better
stuff coming down the pike."
But Infigen lawyer Warburg says the case isn't just about today's
market -- it's also about which company will be best positioned in
"It's always good to have patents that could potentially block other
people from practicing in an area," Warburg says. "It allows you to
prevent certain competition."
Warburg says a key question in the case will be, "When have you
actually conceived of an invention? When the animal is born? When you
have an embryo that could develop into an animal?" He
adds, "Basically, the fight here is who was the first to invent, and
what were they first to invent?"
Both Geron and Infigen assert that their scientists came up with
cloning techniques first, but they aren't necessarily talking about
identical methods. Indeed, much of an interference is spent
determining just what is -- and isn't -- covered by the patent, and
where the competing applications overlap, a process known as the
Geron asserts its intellectual property rights are broad. "Clearly,
we were the pioneering scientists," says David Earp, vice president
of intellectual property for Geron, who says the company expects the
proceedings to "make the full scope of our nuclear transfer patent
ACT responds in a statement that "the subject matter of the
interference is limited to the use of a proliferating, somatic cell
to produce a cloned cow, sheep or pig." Company president Michael
West declines further comment.
One possible outcome is that the parties will wind up splitting the
intellectual property rights based on how the cells are treated
during the cloning process.
According to Judge Stoner, most interferences settle after 10 or 11
months, when the administrative patent judge starts issuing decisions
on crucial preliminary motions and the parties get a read on the
direction of the case.
If the cloning case goes to trial, the statistics favor Geron. Based
on the filing date of its initial patent application, Geron has been
designated senior party in both its interferences. That means the
other companies bear the burden of proof to show their scientists
were actually first to invent. On average, says Stoner, the senior
party wins 75 percent of the time.
While that number suggests a "huge procedural advantage," says
interference specialist Jerry Voight, a partner at Finnegan
Henderson, "I don't think that's necessarily true. Usually, the
senior party wins because there's a good correlation between who
files first and who invented first."
What remains unclear in the cloning case, though, is how ACT wound up
with the original patent.
ACT's answer is simple: "We [were] the first party to clone a non-
human animal" using a particular technique.
But Earp from Geron disagrees. He speculates that the competing
patent applications were all pending before the PTO at the same time.
For an examiner, he says, "it's not easy to look at every other
Further, Earp continues, the actual process of obtaining a patent "is
an art form," with the scope of the patent frequently in flux.
"The patent office probably looked at the claims we had pending at
the time, and our claims then may not have been sufficiently close to
ACT's to warrant an interference," he says. But once Geron saw ACT's
final patent, the company concluded there was a conflict and asked
the PTO for an interference.
Interferences are granted at the discretion of an administrative
patent judge working with a specially trained patent examiner.
For the handful of interferences that go to trial, virtually all are
concluded within two years. That's a big change since 1998, when
interferences were legendary for being "expensive, unpredictable,
lengthy proceedings that flat-out cost too much," Judge Stoner says.
The hepatitis B vaccine case, for example, which pitted Genentech
against the University of California at San Francisco, took 20 years
to resolve from the time of invention to the final decision from the
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, which reviews PTO
Another case that has taken nearly as long involves a Monsanto patent
application covering the basic technology used in bioengineering
plants, as chronicled by Daniel Charles in his new book, "Lords of
In October 1998, Stoner created the "trial section" -- a group of
patent law judges who would handle the declaration and administration
of new interferences. Others were assigned to concentrate on deciding
the backlog of old cases. As of February, there were 188
interferences pending more than five years, down from 433 in the fall
Stoner's biggest procedural reform: setting non-negotiable deadlines
at the outset for wrapping up the preliminary motion phase.
"We needed a culture change," Stoner says. "We've tried to model a
lot of what we've done on the way things are done in the [federal
courts in the] Eastern District of Virginia."
The reforms have been popular with the group of 100 or so lawyers who
handle interferences regularly.
"I was a little skeptical when it first came out, but it's worked
extremely well," says Finnegan Henderson's Voight. "They keep your
feet to the fire."
Earp of Geron is optimistic that the cloning case won't drag on for
years. "Hopefully, there will be a quick resolution," he says. Still,
he notes that Geron has 17 cloning patents granted in other
countries, without any sticky, unresolved questions over
origination. "In the rest of the world," he says, "patents just go to
the first to file."
image: PPL Therapeutics/Getty Images
Dolly the sheep
From: OKWUNUDU PAUL <O_KWPAUL@...>
Date: Tue Apr 9 20:07:53 2002 (PDT)
Subject: KINGDOM INVESTMENT
Beloved in Christ,
It is a priviledge to hear from God and it gives me
joy to relate my
testimony to you haven recieved instruction from God
through divine revelation.
I was a Moslem and a retired military top officer in
Nigerian Army that
served under the past military regime. I was the
to the Armed Force Ruling Council (AFRC). With my
position as a financial
secretary, I was able to divert up to $45,000,000.00
(Forty Five million
U.S Dollars, into my personal Bank Account, hoping to
invest the money
when I'm retired.
Immediately I got retired, I was converted from Moslem
to Christian when
I was preached the words of God through my cousin
Pastor Paul Osakwe.
I then gave my life to Christ and became a born again
Since I gave my life to Christ, I had no rest of mind.
Some times I think
of the souls I killed when I was a soldier and the
dubious ways I diverted
my country's money into my Personal Bank Account. I
then decided to seek
the face of God for forgiveness and after fasting and
Divine Revelation, the Almighty God revealed to me
that the only way
I could have rest of mind is when I used all my money
to do the work
of God. I immediately disclosed my revelation to my
Pastor and he was
happy with me.
I have been thinking of the particular thing to do for
my God before
this present civilian president of my country set up
a panel (Honourable
Oputa Panel) to probe the Bank Account of the past
like me. Instead of loosing this money to my
government, I quickly withdrew
my money out of my Account and deposited the money in
a finance and security
company for safety.
My Pastor has adviced me to sneak out of the country
with the money to
sow it into a ministries abroad. I have decided to sow
this money into
your ministry. I am making arrangement to come over to
your country but
you need to receive this money from the finance and
in cash before I come over.
The cash has been packaged by the security company in
ready for shipment but the security company requires
the address of the
receiver. Please send to me your names, address and
your telefax number
where I can fax the Airway Bill to you to claim the
I will be coming over to your ministry with my family
as soon as I sent out this money to you. Please act
fast because I dont
want the panel to know that I want to leave the
country, they might suspect
my intention to leave now that the probe is going on.
I look forward to your response
God bless you.
ELDER [DR]OKWUNUDU PAUL
Obtenez votre courriel gratuit --->
COPS HUNT JEALOUS HUBBY OF SLAIN JAIL GUARD'S PAL:
By MURRAY WEISS, PHILIP MESSING and ANDY GELLER
Cops believe an off-duty correction officer was
shot dead at a Brooklyn housing project by the
estranged husband of one of the officer's co-workers.
From: "sanjulag" <sanjulag@...>
Subject: Women and Jewelry: The Spiritual Magic.......
This article was put together by me.
Women and Jewelry: The Spiritual Magic of Ornamentation
The people of India have expended limitless energy and
in the invention of ornaments that celebrate the human
Adorning the visible, material body, they feel,
universal longing for the embellishment of its
counterpart, namely the human spirit.
Indeed rarely is a traditional Indian ornament simply
and devoid of inherent meaning or symbolic value.
in Indian jewelry act as a metaphorical language
from the wearer to the viewer. Such a jewelry is
created from an
infinite reserve of symbolically significant forms and
some obvious, some subtle, and some whose meaning is
Complementary to such thought is the conventional view
graceful form of a woman is said to epitomize the ideal
and mystery inherent in nature. Thus befittingly each
part of the feminine physique including the head,
and between the appended parts - have consistently been
support ornaments, often in ingenious ways. The Indian
that only things covered with ornaments are beautiful.
must overflow with rhetorical ornaments (alamkara),
alliterations, and other musical effects. The verb
adorn, to decorate," means literally "to make enough":
simple appearance without ornament is "not enough"; it
disgraceful, shocking, except in the case of an
the stress on adornment of the women, who are but the
Ornamentation not only serves to please the eyes of the
but also fulfils an auspicious purpose. The impulse to
stems from a deep rooted sensibility to mark every
life with auspicious symbols, designs and figures to
fortune and protection from evil. Thus a fully bedecked
evokes in the viewer a deep and ingratiating feeling of
contentment, springing from an intuitive realization
evolving before him is an image of perfect beauty,
conveying the richness and completeness which is but
The ancients who translated the abstract nuances of
philosophy into images of everyday reality went even
canonized the adornment of the female form into sixteen
ornaments (solah shringar), covering her entire being
head to toe. The choice of the number sixteen too is
significance. It is a significant number among the
corresponds to the sixteen phases of the life of the
in turn is connected with a woman's menstrual cycle.
another pointer to the feminine physiognomy being a
the rhythms of natural processes. Further a woman of
considered at the peak of physical perfection in her
this stage of her life the aspect of delight is most
Her nature is to play, seek new experiences, and to
to her. Her innocence attracts to her all that is true
Indeed it is common for deities to be described as
sixteen years old, which is considered the most
vigorous human age. In fact an important goddess is
the Sanskrit name for sixteen (Shodashi), and is
having all the above mentioned qualities.
The sixteen ornaments said to make up the standard
feminine adornment are:
The bindi is a small ornamental dot placed at the
center of the
forehead, between the eyes.
The word itself is derived from the Sanskrit bindu,
Metaphysically speaking, it is the dimensionless point
infinite potential from which has originated all
existence. It is further said to signify the mystical
an invisible organ of spiritual perception and second
traditionally said to be situated at a point little
place where the eyebrows meet. It is regarded as the
supreme wisdom and sublime intuition, and is said to
divine knowledge. Here it is relevant to note that the
are often likened to the sun and moon. The third
symbolic eye is
then said to represent fire. The two eyes are capable
only the past and the present, but the third eye gives
to the perceptive powers making them see the future
Interestingly at some places men too adorn their
this 'third eye', but predominantly it remains a
Sindoor is a deep, rich blood-red powder applied in the
between the hair. Exclusively used by married women it
their marital status. Significantly this same powder is
essential ingredient in Hindu rituals (puja). In
women the notable characteristic is the color of this
vital red it is symbolic of fertility and the
inherent in women. At a practical level (especially in
where marriages are said to be made in heaven), it
loud terms the status of a woman committed irrevocably,
passionately as the color of her sindoor, to a single
and thus being out of bounds for any other.
The tika is a composite ornament composed of a chain
with a hook
at one end and a pendant at the other.
It too like the sindoor is worn in the parting of the
The hook holds the tika at the hair end, while the
on the exact center of the forehead. This place is
house the 'ajna' chakra. This chakra stands for
Thus by adorning herself with this mark, a woman
status as the preservator of the order of the human
Significantly this chakra is visualized as having two
its presiding deity is Ardhanarishvara, the half-male,
half-female androgyne. This represents the ultimate
no dualities exist. In Tantric terms this signifies the
the male and female elements in nature, at all levels,
the physical. Hence this ornament is specifically
women about to undertake the vows of matrimony, uniting
mate, and holding within herself the potential to
genealogy of the new clan she is thus becoming a part
"The eye could never have beheld the beautiful had it
made beautiful first"
Ordinarily the eye is a comparatively neutral and
organ, but when intent is added to the look it can
glance with irresistible power. Every feeling of the
transmitted through the eye. The eye can communicate
reverence and sympathy, or love and lust.
The Indian poet usually longed to sink "in the depths
depths of the eyes of his beloved." Most poetic similes
eyes in Indian poetry are drawn from nature. Eyes are
narcissus, the almond, the lily, or "like fishes with
A morning bath is a popular habit in India, and
eyes with cold water is a necessity on account of the
climate. But there exists a popular powder kohl
sulfide of antimony), also known as kajal, which has
from time immemorial both to brighten and strengthen
and to darken the eyelashes.
A silver or ivory pencil, or a fine camel's hair brush
in the kohl and passed along the borders of the lids
with a light
and gentle hand, taking care to carry the line of
trifle beyond the angle of the eyes. This will cleanse
and give them a large, almond shape, delightful to look
"A fair maiden's transformation into lovely womanhood,
comes of age, is indicated by the transfer of
restlessness of her
feet to her eyes, the orbs whereof keep always on the
an Indian sage. "When the slow music of time begins to
sing a sad
song into a woman's ears towards her prime, the
flashing of the
eyes is then a very good exercise, winking an excellent
Thus the highlighting of the eye is an acknowledgement
maturing of a young girl in all her aspects, though the
remains primary physical. Often a poet would address a
eyes 'as deep as the sea'. Outlining with kajal
discernable banks to these fathomless oceanic streams.
The erotic sentiment dominates the adorning of the eye.
eyelashes, it is believed, make large eyes.
Therefore the Indian artist drew long spears of hair
eyelashes he painted.
Also kohl, freely applied, will make each lash not only
bright but also so long that it is seen in full even
face is turned aside.
The eyes' size is increased by drawing a short, fine
outwards from the corner of the lids where they join.
created that sharpness in the glance that can let an
poetess say with pride to her lover:
'My eyes are not eyes, beloved, but arrows of light;
My eyebrows are not eyebrows, but swords for your
The easiest way of preparing kohl at home is by burning
wick soaked in mustard oil and then collecting the
arises in a silver spoon. A silver pencil is then
dipped into it
and passed along the eyelids. This is said to blacken
and preserve them against the sun and air. The eyes
moonstones, brilliant, glinting and flashing fire, as,
words of Kalidasa, "they are weighted over by the
half closed under the deeps of their palaces."
Nath (Nose Ring)
The nose was once believed to be exclusively concerned
smell, but is now established to be connected with
responsivity also. In fact occultists go further,
believing it to
be the 'seat' of the sixth sense.
Further there is known to be a close connection between
and the sexual reflexes. It is a medically established
swelling of the nasal spongy tissues and congestion of
occur during sexual excitement in human beings. The
passages of women swell, and occasionally bleed, during
menstruation. Indeed Wilhelm Fliess (d. 1928), friend
associate of Sigmund Freud, found a relationship
between the nose
and the female sexual apparatus, and held that certain
gynecological complaints could be cured by cauterizing
appropriate parts of the nose.
In males there is believed to be an affinity between
the nose and
the virile member, and from ancient times it was
thought that a
large nose was a sign of a large male sexual organ.
woman with a little nose is believed to have a small
apparatus. In a parallel custom, in a number of north
countries, and in England under the law of Canute (d.
punishment for adultery for both men and women was
the nose, not only to cause disfigurement and loss of
attractiveness, but also to symbolize punishment for the
offending genitals. In India, the deflowering of a
symbolically referred to as the removal of the 'nath'
Thus the Indian aesthetic befittingly adorns the female
an inspired ornament, which highlights its amorous
Indeed amongst the many jewels with which the Indian
herself, the nose ornament (nath) is the perhaps the
seductive. Ornaments for the nose take on a variety of
ranging from tiny jeweled studs resting on the curve of
to large gold hoops that encircle the cheek with
pearls dangling provocatively just above the upper lip.
One can imagine the ornament making a very soft,
like breeze moving over pipal leaves, as the head moves.
The length and position of nose ornaments often came in
of comfortable eating, prompting the Abbe Dubois, a
missionary who lived in south India in the 19th
observe in amazement: "The right nostril and the
the two nostrils are sometimes weighted with an
hangs down as far as the under lip. When the wearers
meals, they are obliged to hold up this pendant with
while feeding themselves with the other. At first this
ornament, which varies with different castes, has a
effect in the eyes of Europeans, but after a time, when
becomes accustomed to it, gradually seem less
unbecoming, and at
last one ends by thinking it quite an ornament to the
(Size 56 kb)
An integral part of traditional bridal jewelry, many
families have a special nath brought out at weddings to
by the bride. This is now perhaps the only occasion on
today's urban woman wears the nath, evoking its powerful
The neck is an important occult center. Because
often worn near the heart, they can be used to work on
or to attract or strengthen love. By wearing a necklace
for example, it is believed that we are binding
their powers. From earliest times protective pendants,
and strings of beads, as well as elaborate ornamental
were worn around the neck to bring good luck and avert
Indeed among all the kinds of jewelry, necklaces have
maximum number of magical properties assigned to them.
cases, they were designed as amulets or charms to
health or wealth to the wearer. Such necklaces could be
simple, with a gem or carving carrying the burden of
or they could be very elaborate, glittering with gold
In all probability the form of the necklace was
the explicit purpose of distracting the eyes of the
the wearer's face and eyes - and thus protecting the
the dangers of the mysterious Wicked Eye. The necklace
served as a protection against any attempt at
such an effort would have had to start with a
at the wearer's face, an attempt which the necklace
undermined. A necklace in this manner acted as a
restraint against undesirable gentlemen trying out
on virtuous maidens.
Most likely, the predecessor of the necklace in India
was a fresh
flower garland, to which there are a number of
literature. One of the more important designs of the
known as champakali, i.e. 'buds of the champa (Michelia
flower'. Many others derive inspiration from the
the fragrance of which has strong erotic connotations.
Even today, despite the emergence of paper and plastic
garlands, the custom of offering fresh flower garlands
retained its charm.
Karn Phool (The Ear Flower)
From earliest times long ear lobes have been regarded
as a sign
of spiritual development and superior status. Among the
distinguishing marks of the Buddha, and a sign of his
were his large ear lobes. Homer (d.c. 800 BC) and
322 BC) reputedly also had the same characteristic.
There is believed to be a close connection between the
the sexual reflexes. The fleshy ear lobes, absent in
primates, are not, as they appear to be, useless
erogenous zones which in sexual excitement become
hypersensitive. In ancient times severed ears were
offered to the
Mother Goddess as a substitute for the male organs. In
devotees offered their ears to the goddess Isis, and
early decades of the Christian era, sculpted ears were
the shrine of the Great Mother in other parts of the
The boring of ear lobes has been widely practiced in
all parts of
the world from early times. The purpose of this
operation is not
only to facilitate the wearing of earrings for beauty,
protect the wearer from evil influences, the adornments
as talismans. The practice was also thought to have some
therapeutic value. In certain places, ear piercing was
to be good for the eyes; it also sharpened the mind and
One historian attributes the piercing to the desire to
ears for overhearing what they should not hear. The
turn, were the consolation for the pain and suffering.
believed that the more decorative and expensive the
greater the consolation.
Early sculptures demonstrate that ear ornaments were an
constituent of Indian female attire. To the married
ear ornament was (and is) auspicious. Additionally a
wealth was conspicuously visible and the ear ornament
statement of her status and power; elongated ear lobes
considered a sign of beauty and wealth - the longer the
greater the woman's wealth. By appending ornaments to
every part of the ear, the woman also ensured a
of mental and physical well being. Indeed recent
identified the ear as a microcosm of the entire body -
of vision in acupuncture is situated in the center of
The Indian woman's bejeweled ear offers a sight that
exclamation: "European ladies are content with one
each ear, while the females of Hindustan think it
have too many."
Ancient Prakrit and Sanskrit literature describe girls
fresh flowers in their ears. A range of floral earrings
silver or precious stones that have been popular over
centuries in India suggest that the forms of flowers
literally, translated into precious jewelry. Most ear
are virtually bunches (jhumka) of fruits and flowers. A
particular type, known as the karnphul, i.e.
considered particularly auspicious. These are an
universal, large, round metal flower-form earring, with
stud at the back being the equivalent of a flower stem.
The choice of the flower as the inspiring shape behind
conception is not without significance. Flowers in
being natural erotic stimulants, by virtue of their
with Kama, the god of love, are also essentially a
of nature, condensing into a brief span of time the
birth, life, death and rebirth. In addition it also
gentleness, youth, spiritual perfection and artless
qualities which are but the fundamental attributes of
Often they are so heavy that the ear lobe dilates to
that the long-hanging earrings worn in the widened
Foreign travelers were fascinated by the sight of
lobes and have recorded their astonishment. Travelling
Edward Terry commented on this practice among 'gentile'
"The flaps or nether part of their ears are bored, when
young, which hole daily stretched and made wider by
in it for that purpose, at last becomes so large, that
hold a Ring (I dare boldly say, as a large as a little
made hollow on the sides for the flesh to rest in."
stories of ear holes the size of large eggs and plates,
which many a bold individual attempted to pass his arms
'When she puts henna on her hands and dives
in the river
One would think one saw fire twisting and
Running in the water.'
----------- Dilsoz, 18th century AD
Unlike real tattoo, which is permanent, some decorative
created on the skin with stain or dye are not
removable but, depending on the dye strength, can last
or four weeks. Mehndi, the Hindi term for "henna," is
Men agree that mehndi patterns on a woman evoke
sensations, perhaps because they associate mehndi with
initiation into mature womanhood.
The custom of applying elaborate mehndi patterns to the
feet is a symbol of satisfaction and happiness in
the Hindus. This belief derives partly from the dye's
universally considered to be auspicious; and which is
color of a bride's dress. Mehndi is commonly applied to
propitiate Ganesha, the elephant-headed god, son of
overcomes obstacles and is always invoked to attend a
marriage ceremony. It is also considered very dear to
goddess of wealth and fortune. Indeed if ever there was
associated with luck and prosperity, it is the henna
Mehndi has a great significance in all Eastern wedding
traditions, and no wedding is complete without the
the bride's hands and feet - in many cultures on both
and back of the hands right up to the elbow, and on the
half of the legs.
Mehndi is carried out on a bride's hands and feet the
before the marriage celebrations begin, often known as
'mehndi ki raat' or night of henna, raat meaning night.
of the bride's women relatives spend several hours at
task, during which they sing appropriate songs, teasing
Oh, how sleep is hard to come by, once her hands have
adorned with the
mehndi of her beloved."
"Oh, friends, come and decorate my hands with mehndi,
name. Just see how auspicious this occasion is."
"Everyone's fate is held within the lines on our palms,
it is on
that mehndi paints such beautiful pictures."
The mehndi night is something like a hen night in the
all the bride's female friends and relatives getting
For the bride, the process is therapeutic in calming and
preparing her for the event.
Mehndi signifies the strength of love in a marriage.
the mehndi, the stronger the love. The color of henna
specifically has symbolic significance because red is
of power and fertility. Many brides believe that the
color of the mehndi, the more passionate the marriage.
itself is important, too. Sometimes the groom's name is
incorporated into the bride's complex mehndi tattoos,
and it is a
delightful task to try finding it - often taking up
After marriage, mehndi may be applied to a woman on any
auspicious occasion, such as the birth or naming of a
Mehndi designs are an aspect of folk art requiring a
well-developed decorative sense. Though the community
old patterns, innovative designs may also be
gradually enter the communal design repertoire. But an
interesting aspect is that whatever be the innovation or
tradition, only vegetative motifs are used. Thus henna
attempt to symbolically link women with the vegetative
organic nature of Nature, along with its associated
birth, nourishment, growth, regeneration etc.
Additionally, the purpose of tattooing is mainly
it is credited an evil-averting, magical function.
animist societies, the tattoo acts to repel the forces
believed to be constantly active and attempting to gain
over the unwary, unprotected individual, causing
illness, or even death. In India, it is believed that an
auspicious occasion like a marriage requires an extra
against evil forces. This is because such occasions are
celebrated with much pomp and show, amidst a high
the probability of their being noticed by negative
high. The application of henna is thus an attempted
against any such dark influences.
As well as being a lavishly colorful cosmetic, Mehndi
supposed to have many healing qualities, many herbal
still recommend the use of Mehndi for some ailments,
such as dry
skin and to hasten the healing of cuts and scratches.
acts a hair conditioner when applied on the head and is
to stop hair loss by strengthening the roots of the
According to Loretta Roome, a henna expert, in
mehndi is traditionally practiced, marriages are often
to coincide with ovulation. "That's part of the
said. "It's a fertility rite. The henna is the color of
representing the breaking of the hymen. In fact,
mehndi 'love juice."'
Bangles (Wrist Ornament)
"Bangle-sellers are we who bear
Our shining loads to the temple fair.
Who will buy these delicate, bright
Rainbow-tinted circles of light?
Lustrous tokens of radiant lives
For happy daughters and happy wives."
One of the oldest art objects in India, the bronze
statuette of a
dancing girl excavated at Mohenjo Daro epitomizes the
and the universality of wrist ornaments in India. She
the nude with one arm at her hip, the other arm
weighed down with a collection of bangles. From then on
variety and shape of wrist ornaments spanned the gamut
s materials and human creativity.
(Size 22 kb)
Indeed more than any other single jewelry form in
bangle has been crafted from the widest variety of
Ancient fragments testify that bangles were made from
stone, shell, copper, bronze, gold, silver and almost
material that lent itself to craftsmanship. Lac and
in a plethora of colors are a common sight in India
From simple plain circlets of metal, to ones decorated
etched and repousse designs, to fabulous examples with
animal-head terminals and studded with gems, these
symbolize the potent energy of the sun.
The sheer variety of wristlets of India is matchless
the world. Besides being a mark of a married woman,
enormous romantic and amorous connotations. Often the
would indicate a woman pining for union with her
husband or lover
by bracelets slipping from her wrist due to her
becoming thin in
the agony of separation from him. The tinkling sound of
bangles is full of significant messages expressing her
her wish for attention, her anger or desire to exchange
An important concept associated with this feminine
been responsible for its continuing popularity. It is a
universally accepted idea that bangles identify the
wearer as a
married woman, reiterating her status as the beloved of
husband and the honored mother of a family. To the
ornaments for the wrist have always been significant
marriage. Even when changing bangles, a woman never
arm to be completely bare. A simple string or even the
end of her
sari is wrapped around the arm, until the new set is
Undoubtedly, the most popular bangles are those made of
worn by women of all classes of society, rich and poor.
also wear them, but, for a married woman, their
them a necessity. Generally between eight and twelve
bangles are worn on each wrist, twenty-four in two
The upper arm is the place where amulets strung on a
black or red
thread are often tied to keep the evil eye away.
It is also the spot where richly decorated armlets are
Unlike wristlets, the armlets need to be shaped in such
that they remain in position through pressure. For this
structural requirement, most armlets are made by
or more talismanic pendants on a string or attaching to
which can be tightened and knotted as per the wearer's
Depending upon her community and her marital status a
wear a single piece of ornament, or cover the entire
from the elbow to the shoulder, with armlets made up of
of materials including gold, silver, ivory or shellac.
(Size 73 kb)
The use of the armlet is consistent with the Indian
which believes that anything beautiful must be adorned,
other words anything unadorned is devoid of beauty. In
point, the physical form of the female by virtue of
being one of
nature's most spectacular creations is an ideal playing
for ornamentation and adornment. Thus the region
elbow and the shoulder is given a highlighted
it an important part of the whole which is composed of
bedecked woman, according to the canons of the solah
perfect example of a complete, flawless beauty, if
Arsi (Thumb Ring with Mirror)
The simple ring was not ignored in the vast array of
ornament forms. Fingers are believed to function as a
between the physical body and the spiritual body. Rings
an important part of the physio-metaphysical value of
The thumb is the king of the palmar kingdom. According
anthropologists, the development of the thumb marked an
step forward in the anatomical and cultural evolution
human race. In Chinese palmistry the thumb is
important, that often the whole character, state of
future are read from the thumb alone. In Western
the thumb was regarded as sacred to Venus and in
still has a phallic significance.
This special ring with a round format has set in its
small, usually round but sometimes heart-shaped mirror.
part, meant to fit snugly round a thumb, is broad so as
the weight of the rest of the piece.
Among all the rings worn on the hand, the arsi occupies
place in a woman's heart, not only because of its
size, but because of the function it performs. With the
set into it, the young maiden wearing it (most often a
can look and check, by just turning the thumb, if all
adorning her head, or her hair, was in place. Thus this
piece of jewelry acts as a sentinel over the other
contributing their efforts towards the embellishment of
woman's physique and psyche. Much delight is associated
ornament. Understandably, therefore, it features in
proverbs; and one comes across it in paintings too.
(Size 82 kb)
Hair Style (Keshapasharachna)
Hair is regarded in occultism as one of the most
parts of the body. It belongs to the element of earth
as it is
solid and tangible; to the element of water since it is
flowing; to the element of fire since it fed from the
the brain; and to the element of air since it is light
and can be
blown by the wind. Hair is both living, since it grows,
since it is without sensibility. It has its own life,
rapidly than anything else, and continues to grow after
of the body. As such it constitutes a link between this
Hair is a source of vital strength and magic power. It
crown encircling the head, the most sacred part of the
is full of personal mana. It was a substitute for the
and its sacrifice to the deities was an acceptable
a human victim. In Byblos in Phoenicia women had the
of sacrificing their virginity to strangers in honor of
goddess Ashtart, or shaving the head and offering her
The hair of women differs from that of men and was
have great attractive power over men and nature. It was
temptation to the male and women were enjoined to visit
with their hair covered so as not to distract the
present in the same place. Indeed witches knew the
power that lay
in their hair, and tossed their loosened tresses in
as a love charm, or bent down and shook their hair
a curse! In many places in Europe the bride used to go
wedding with her hair hanging freely down, but after
it was either cut a little, to signify the curtailment
power and independence, or was bound up to symbolize
responsibility. Letting one's hair down still implies
a free and unrestrained manner.
Elaborate coiffures have been the hallmark of women
era in Indian history. The ritual of weekly oil bath
preference for long black tresses still survives in
Oiled, combed and plaited, the hair is adorned with
jasmine buds that bloom in the hair, radiating their
perfume in a mesmeric spell of seduction.
(Size 49 kb)
Arranging the hair in three strands is considered the
auspicious. According to mythology, these three strands
woman's plait are intended to symbolize the confluence
three most venerated rivers - the Ganga, the Yamuna,
Saraswati - or the trinity of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva.
another legend states that one strand represents the
house, one, the in-laws', and the third is the woman
unites the two.
Classical literature is replete with analogies of the
lithe, snake-like form of a long plait. Chandi Dasa,
describes Radha's hair:
"Like stilled lightning fair face
I saw her by the river.
Her hair dressed with jasmine,
Plaited like a coiled snake."
Often the ornamentation is a simplification of the
crown worn by the deities, a further reiteration of a
(Size 68 kb)
Head ornaments are a category of Indian jewels that are
vanishing. The first to fall prey to the goldsmith's
crucible, they are now popular largely as part of
and the traditional ornamentation of classical dancers.
Kamarband (Ornament That Binds the Waist)
'So tender is her slender waist
It bends when a girdle of flowers is placed'
Tirrukural (South India)
The English word 'cummerbund' and the German
waist-band are derived from the Persian kamar, waist,
a band. The word is prevalent in most northern Indian
The immense popularity of waist ornaments is evidenced
by a large
number of temple sculptures, frescoes and miniature
ranging from the Indus valley civilization till today,
Indians have always found the middle region or midriff
female sensationally tantalizing. The quintessential
the Indian female the sari is designed so as to give a
view of the midriff while preventing from the vision
significant part of the anatomy.
Thus befittingly there exists an impulse to adorn it
ornament exquisite enough to highlight its seductive
Hence came about the waist belt, a graceful extension
girdle, which serves a dual purpose; it restrains the
garment in place and is yet another embellishment to
Designed to be held on the hip, it holds together the
the sari, especially in situations where women engage
in heavy movements like dancing. Its presence is
almost every female image throughout Indian history.
The waist ornament is always made up in a manner so as
conveniently hold a bunch of keys. These signify the
keys to a
fresh bride's new home, and her assumption of a new
authority, in a domain where her writ runs large. Often
handed over by the mother in law to the daughter in law,
symbolically delivering over the reins to the new
Anklet (Payal) and Toe Rings
"Hail to that foot of the lusty beloved
which hits the head of the lover, that foot which
is adorned with red paste and jingling
anklets is the banner of love and which is worthy
of adoration by inclining one's head."
From the 5th century drama, Padataditakam (Hit by the
Feet are the support of the entire body and therefore
great significance. Indeed the foot is the human
direct contact with Mother Earth, absorbing vigor from
Paradoxically in the Indian tradition, the feet are
the humblest, most impure, and polluting part of the
therefore command respect by those who surrender their
ego to the
venerable. Humbling oneself by touching the feet of
or prostrating oneself before them or worshipping the
sandals of a deity or a holy man are expressions of
It is mentioned in the Ramayana that when Lakshmana was
he recognized the jewels recovered in the forest as
his brother's wife Sita, he replied that he recognized
the armlets nor the earrings. Only the anklets were
him, since his gaze with reverence appropriate to the
never strayed above Sita's feet.
By the same token of expression of submissiveness, a
often portrayed in art or described in literature as
his beloved's feet or admiring them with gentle
"The hair of the lover, who has fallen at the
feet of his beloved, are entangled in her anklets, which
indicates that he has given up his pride."
The feet of a nayika, worthy of a lover's affection, are
abundantly adorned with anklets. He admires her feet by
them as a demonstration of his ultimate devotion to her.
(Size 78 kb)
It was in this context that Indian painting, drama, and
referred to men treasuring the touch of the foot of
beloved, and women lavishing great cosmetic attention
feet and adorning them with as much care as they would
beautify their face. The tender foot then becomes the
affection and sensual desire, and plays an effective
In Sanskrit, the anklet is known as 'nupura,'
word nupura is connected to antah pura, the female
a palace, which in the ancient times was a mysterious
holding within itself the promise of a thousand
poets imagined that with her every step, the heroine's
anklets beckoned her lover.
In a charming aside, it is worthwhile mentioning here
in some tribes are given foot bells, chains, and
anklets, not only to frighten snakes away when they
at night, but in order that their husbands may know
are when they cannot be seen!
The charm of the heroine's rhythmic swinging of her
body and wavy
skirt is enhanced by the jingling sounds of the anklets
tinkling bells are almost always attached to anklets).
sounds inspired Indian poets to describe the motion of
the heroine in romantic Indian literature, as
seductive. The association is that she has bedecked
the most wonderful jewelry in anticipation of a
her lover in a secluded grove.
Classical Indian dance too is not untouched by the
allure of the
anklet. In most Indian dances, rhythmic footwork is one
most important elements, in combination with gestures
arms, hands, and eye movements. The various classical
dance, such as the Natyashastra, provide elaborate
details on the
positioning of the foot and its contact with the
ground, the toe
and ball of the foot touching the ground or only the
heels or big
toe doing so. The rhythmic stamping of the foot in its
positions generates forth a rich variety of charming
from the anklet, contributing not a little to the
performance, suggesting subtle erotic undertones.
'Music of the
ankle bells" is often how the ancients described it.
On a practical level, Amongst tribal women, long
tubular bands of
brass encircle the ankle all the way up to the calf to
them against snake bites while walking through long
Strictly speaking, golden anklets are forbidden. This
gold symbolizes Lakshmi, the Goddess of wealth, and it
considered sacrilegious to wear it on one's feet.
Finally on the feet are worn toe rings. Often these may
attached to the payal itself, with chains linking them.
"Refine your soul,
Refresh your thoughts,
Recharge your emotions."
The legendary reputation of Indian perfumes is upheld
contemplate the variety of scents manufactured and used
throughout the country. All scents are ascribed to
and it is fairly certain that perfume was prepared in
early as the 15th century BC.
Traditionally perfumes made from flowers were
fragrance complimenting and accentuating the
sensuous body odor emanating naturally from the female
Through the developing centuries, the use of perfume
raised to a fine art. There are perfumes for different
hours of a
day, perfumes to suit each dress, fragrances to reflect
personality of different types of women according to
build, character, age, and even the sexual drive. The
certain fragrances is also supposed to heighten the
certain seasons, thus reflecting the moods of nature.
example, there is the haunting, heavy scent which
smell of the earth after rain; a fecund, earthy, fleshy
carnal essence, confirming the identification of women
Mother Earth. Another known as kasturi is subtly
rest in the tense, heavy Indian summer. It is believed
to go with
yellow and orange robes, and evokes the proper mood of
love for a
newly wedded couple. Similarly the scent of saffron
intoxicating in the extreme and evokes an ecstatic
that produced by the heady influence of wine.
The Indian woman applies her perfume discreetly and
her clothes, the lobes of her ears, her eyebrows, the
her hands, and other parts of her body with an artful
This exercise requiring ingenuity is one which gives
to her true character.
The Bridal Dress
'When in your floating robe,
Woven with red silk and golden,
In your floating robe
Held around your hips
By a broidered belt,
Showing all curves
Of your reckless body
You pass me by,
I feel come to me
A wild and mad desire.'
- From the Burmese of Asmapur, 19th century, AD.
The ancient sculptures of Sanchi, Amravati, and
the Indian woman's robe to be light and falling in
folds from the hips, to below the knees. There are no
restrictive collars, and nothing to impede the free
of blood. The dress facilitates free body movement.
tradition continues to the present day.
The bridal dress has a quasi-sacred status. It is
of a deep red color. Red is considered auspicious
because it has
sexual and fertility-related qualities, making it a
color for brides. It also signifies the virginal status
bride. Indeed in some traditions, the nuptial bed is
after the first night for traces of blood, which
confirm that the
lady in question was a virgin before marriage. In India
stressed that virginity should be a gift from a wife to
husband on their first night together.
Further highlighting its import is the weighty
embellished with various motifs and metaphors all
fertility symbolism and vegetative associations, linked
creation and growth.
Sometimes minutely ornamented all over, the view of a
bedecked bride draped in this garment, colored the
color of passi
on, is a breathtaking one.
(Size 87 kb)
The bridal garment is without exception extremely rich
aspects, reiterating the significance of this momentous
the life of an individual.
Of a richly sensuous disposition, the ancient people of
insisted that their sensuality be refined with thought:
'In restless brow and twinkle of the eye,
In smiling modesty and gentle tones,
In graceful gait and posture, woman owns
A beauty parlor and an armory'.
- Bhartihari (c. 600 AD)
Indeed woman is beauty at its active and sportive best.
ancients found in a woman's walk the same majestic yet
graceful rhythm as in the steps of a peacock. In the
of a young maiden was discovered the charm of a deer
across a jungle stream. An alert woman, with her
resting on her full breasts, was compared to a sloping
a sunlit cascade coursing down its sides.
It was believed that just a woman beautifies her home
she her body. Such a combination was supposed to invite
and prosperity from the gods.
If it is true for humans that to beautify the mind is
the body, the converse is equally true: to beautify the
to beautify the soul. Creative Indian psychology
positive attitude. The desire to cultivate physical
not considered shameful and superficial. The
love, like Vatsyayana in the Kama Sutra, advise that
the art of
makeup be practiced as a ritual. Even the 'plainest'
herself, she doe not resign herself to her fate that
is beautiful or not, and there is the end to it.
The essential significance of the above exegesis can be
in the fact that in the canons of Indian art, whenever
a lady was
represented in the nude, i.e. without any trace of
glorified physical form always carried the same weight
which she would have worn, when fully clothed.
Thus rightly said A.K. Coomarswamy, noted authority on
"One needs to be an Indian woman,
born and bred in the great tradition,
to realize the sense of power that
such jewels as earrings and anklets
lend their wearers; she knows
the full delight of swinging jewels
touching her cheek at every step,
and the fascination of the
tinkling bells upon her anklets".
It is reassuring and pleasurable to observe that these
traditional values are still held valuable in the India
References and further reading:
Alamkara (5000 years of Indian Art); Published by
Heritage Board, Singapore, in association with Mapin
Anand, Mulk Raj. The Book of Indian Beauty: New Delhi,
Bajpai, Rajendra. The Eye in Art: New Delhi, 1991.
Bala Krishnan, Usha R., and Kumar, Meera Sushil. Dance
Peacocok (Jewellery Traditions of India): Bombay, 2001.
Cudlipp, Edythe. Jewelry: New York, 1980.
Goswamy, B.N. Piety and Splendour: The Sikh Heritage in
(Exhibition catalogue): New Delhi, 2000.
Jain-Neubauer, Jutta. Chandrika (Silver Ornaments of
Jain-Neubauer, Jutta. Feet and Footwear in Indian
Bata Shoe Museum, Toronto in association with Mapin
Lynton, Linda (Photographs by Sanjay K. Singh). The
Paine, Sheila. Embroidered Textiles (Traditional
Five Continents): London, 1997.
Tresidder, Jack. The Hutchinson Dictionary of Symbols:
Untracht, Oppi. Traditional Jewelry of India: London,
Walker, Benjamin. Encyclopedia of Esoteric Man: London,
Zimmer, Heinrich. The Art of Indian Asia; Its Mythology
Transformation (two vols.): Delhi, 2001.
This article was a sent as a newsletter from the website
Science & Tech
* Earth's magnetic poles are about to do a flip
The Earth's magnetic poles are about to switch,
CIVIL RIGHTS, CONSTITUTIONAL LAW
BEERHEIDE v. SUTHERS, No. 00-1086 (10th Cir. April
In claim alleging that inmates' First Amendment
right to free
exercise of religion was violated when they were
not provided kosher
meals, Department of Corrections' proposed plan of
by inmates was properly rejected as not rationally
legitimate penological concerns.
To read the full text of this opinion, go to:
Online monthly newsletter of the
Nuclear Age Peace Foundation
April 2002 (No. 59)
The Sunflower is a monthly e-newsletter providing
educational information on nuclear weapons abolition
and other issues relating to global security. Back
issues are available at
I N T H I S I S S U E
Leaked US Nuclear Posture Review and Responses
On 9 March, reports surfaced in major US media that the
US Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) released on 9 January
contains contingency plans for using nuclear weapons
against seven states: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Syria, North
Korea, Russia and China. It also reportedly contains
plans to develop and deploy new "earth-penetrating"
nuclear weapons and to accelerate the time it would
take to resume full-scale nuclear testing. Using
nuclear weapons against other states or developing new
nuclear weapons would directly violate US obligations
to pursue the elimination of nuclear weapons under
Article VI of the 1970 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty
At the 2000 NPT Review Conference, the US, along with
the other state parties to the treaty, committed
themselves to an "unequivocal undertaking" to eliminate
nuclear weapons and to a diminishing role for nuclear
weapons in security policies. Even if the US does not
pursue the plans outlined in the NPR, the provocative
rhetoric could unravel the non-proliferation regime.
The fact that the US is developing contingency plans to
use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear weapons states
will certainly be viewed as a sign of bad faith by most
of the world and will do serious damage to the nuclear
The NPR reaffirms the role of nuclear weapons in US
national security policy. In the past, nuclear weapons
have been viewed as a deterrent against the use of
nuclear weapons. However, the Bush administration has
revealed that nuclear weapons will now be integrated
into a full spectrum of war-fighting capabilities,
including missile defenses. The NPR reveals that
nuclear weapons are no longer weapons of last resort,
but instruments that could be used in fighting wars.
The position of the Bush administration is extremely
destabilizing in an increasingly volatile global
security environment. Other countries will more likely
want to acquire nuclear weapons given that the US could
potentially use nuclear weapons on any country in the
world. Additionally, the US can not expect countries
like Iraq and North Korea to comply with inspections
regarding the halting of their nuclear weapons programs
while at the same time threatening to use nuclear
weapons against those countries.
Weapons of mass destruction and missile proliferation
do pose a legitimate threat not only to US security,
but also to international security. However,
unilateral US threats to use nuclear weapons, in
conjunction with developing and deploying missile
defenses, as a means of countering these threats is
likely to provoke rather than prevent proliferation. A
much better option would be for the US to take the lead
on negotiations for the complete elimination of nuclear
weapons and other weapons of mass destruction and their
means of delivery.
Responses From Around the World
Jayantha Dhanapala, UN Under-Secretary-General for
The plan "flies in the face of the Nuclear
Nonproliferation Treaty undertakings. Under Article
VI, one is expected to reduce nuclear weapons and
ultimately eliminate them. So this is to me a very
serious contradiction of that and will be a very major
stumbling block as we begin the process of preparing
for the 2005 NPT Review Conference, which begins in
April. [The review could] encourage other countries
then to discard the obligations under the Comprehensive
Nuclear Test Ban Treaty and under the Nuclear
Nonproliferation Treaty. We are going to get an
encouragement to nuclear proliferation, rather than
reducing the number of countries that have nuclear
Matt Robson, Minister for Disarmament and Arms Control,
"If the recommendations in this leaked report were
taken up by the Bush administration, it would throw the
disarmament agenda internationally into disarray.
Nuclear weapons must be left in the 20th Century?We
cannot allow them to become the weapon of choice for
the 21st Century. For that reason, I urge the
government of the United States to reject any pressure
to walk away from their commitment to nuclear
Sun Yuxi, Foreign Ministry Spokesman, China:
"Countries with nuclear weapons should undertake
unconditionally not to be the first to use them, and
not to use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against
non-nuclear states or nuclear-weapons-free regions."
Abdollah Ramezanzadeh, Government Spokesman, Islamic
Republic of Iran:
"The Islamic Republic believes that the era of using
force to push forward international relations is long
past, and those who resort to the logic of force follow
exactly the same logic as terrorists, although they are
in the position of power."
Korean Central News Agency, North Korea's Offical
Foreign News Outlet:
"If the US intends to mount a nuclear attack on any
part of the Democratic People's Republic of (North)
Korea, it is grossly mistaken. A nuclear war to be
imposed by the US nuclear fanatics upon the DPRK would
mean their ruin in nuclear disaster. [The US Plan]
indicates that the Bush administration is working in
real earnest to prepare a dangerous nuclear war to
bring nuclear disaster to our planet and humankind."
Representative Dennis Kucinich, Member of US Congress:
"Challenge those who believe that war is inevitable.
Challenge those who believe in a nuclear right.
Challenge those who would build new nuclear weapons.
Challenge those who seek nuclear re-armament.
Challenge those who seek nuclear escalation.
Challenge those who would make of any nation a nuclear
Challenge those who would threaten to use nuclear
weapons against civilian populations.
Challenge those who would break nuclear treaties.
Challenge those who think and think about nuclear
weapons, to think about peace."
For more responses to the US NPR, please visit
Upcoming NPT Preparatory Committee for the 2005 Review
From 8-19 April, the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT)
Preparatory Committee (Prep Com) meeting for the 2005
Review Conference will take place at the United Nations
(UN) in New York. The NPT has become the cornerstone of
global disarmament efforts, yet its very existence is
threatened. The following resources provide
information on the history and status of the NPT as
well as ideas for action.
The Nuclear Age Peace Foundation has prepared a
briefing book entitled "The Status of Nuclear
Disarmament" that will be delivered to the delegates of
the NPT Prep Com. The book highlights significant
events since the 2000 NPT Review Conference in relation
to the five points of the Foundation's Appeal to End
the Nuclear Weapons Threat to Humanity and All Life.
The book is available in the Member's Area of the
Foundation's website to download in pdf format.
Nuclear Files.org offers a detailed look at the NPT and
its importance to disarmament efforts.
Read the "Background on the Non-Proliferation Treaty"
written by David Krieger in March 2002.
Reaching Critical Will.org, a project of the Women's
International League for Peace and Freedom, contains
ideas for actions, information on attending the Prep
Com, NGO Presentations, NGO Reports and a Calendar of
Events. The site will also publish a daily NGO
newsletter during the conference.
$100 Million Missile Defense Test Claimed a Success
On 15 March, the US Missile Defense Agency (MDA)
announced it completed what it considers a successful
test involving a planned intercept of an
intercontinental ballistic missile. Of course, the MDA
usually does not announce that it rigs its tests by
placing electronic beeping devices in the missile to be
The test took place over the central Pacific Ocean
where a modified Minuteman II intercontinental
ballistic missile (ICBM), launched from Vandenberg Air
Force Base, California, and a prototype interceptor,
launched from the Ronald Reagan Missile Site, Kwajalein
Atoll, collided. The intercept took place at an
altitude some 140 miles above the earth and during the
midcourse phase of the target warhead's flight.
The test demonstrated an exo-atmospheric kill vehicle
(EKV) and hit-to-kill technology intended to intercept
and destroy long-range ballistic missiles carrying
weapons of mass destruction. According to the MDA,
sensors on the EKV selected the target instead of three
balloon decoys, successfully integrating the use of
space and ground-based sensors and radars. The
Pentagon considers the test the fourth successful
intercept out of six tests for the Ground-based
Midcourse Defense (GMD) system, formerly known as
National Missile Defense.
Over the next several weeks, government and defense
industry officials will analyze data received during
the test to determine whether anomalies or malfunctions
occurred. They will also evaluate system performance
and determine whether or not all flight test objectives
were met. The GMD system is considered to be in the
developmental phase and the MDA stated that performance
of individual elements and the overall system
integration was as important as the actual intercept.
The MDA stated that the next test is scheduled to take
place this summer. Each test of the system costs some
(source: MDA Press Release; 15 March 2002, No. 127-02)
PAC-3 Missile Defense Test Declared Successful
The US Army conducted the second operational test of
PAC-3 missile defense system on 21 March at the White
Sands Missile Range in New Mexico. Army officials said
the aim of the test was to determine whether the PAC-3
system could pick the right missile to use against the
two targets. The Army claimed that the test was a
The PAC-3 hit-to-kill warhead intercepted and destroyed
a target missile. The PAC-3 is an upgraded version of
the Patriot missile defense system first used in the
1991 Gulf War. A PAC-2 simultaneously engaged and
destroyed a subscale drone target according to Army
officials. The PAC-2 has a blast fragmentation warhead
that is more effective against aircraft. (source:
AFP; 21 March 2002)
Ivanov: Russia Plans to Counter US Missile Defense
Russian Minister of Defense Sergei Ivanov stated on 27
March that his country is preparing technical and
scientific measures to counter the planned US missile
defense. Ivanov stated, "I want to underline that the
US shield does not yet exist, and so it is difficult to
speak of retaliatory measures?We [Russia] are going to
do everything to counter these threats when they take
shape, which is to say not before 2015-2020."
According to Ivanov, Russia's strategic forces are the
basis for the effectiveness of the country's army. The
Russian Army is expected to undergo a thorough
modernization over the next 15 years.
(source: AFP, 27 March 2002)
Alaska Missile Defense Sites Will Get Environmental
The US Department of Defense (DoD) agreed to perform
public environmental impact statements for missile
defense sites at Kodiak and Ft. Greely, Alaska. In
exchange, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC),
Greenpeace, Kodiak Rocket Launch Information Group and
No Nukes North said they would drop a law suit filed
against the DoD on 28 August 2001. The suit challenged
the DoD's failure to perform the required environmental
assessments at the aforementioned sites under the
National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).
Stacy Studebaker of the Kodiak Rocket Launch
Information Group stated, "We originally filed this
suit because the Department of Defense tried to skirt
around the law and move forward with this construction
based on an outdated and incomplete environmental
analysis. This settlement will force the US to analyze
the impacts that this construction may have on Kodiak
Island and Ft. Greely, and will allow the public to
have an opportunity to review and participate in the
analysis. That was not the case before we filed the
(source: Environmental News Service, 20 March 2002)
Kwajelein Up For Bid
Kwajelein Atoll, the primary testing range for both
theater and national missile defense systems, is up for
bid. The contract to run the Army-operated Atoll
expires at the end of this year. Raytheon Systems
Engineering, a branch of Raytheon Corporation, is the
current contractor, but it is unlikely it will win the
rebid. Northrup Gruman, Bechtel and Lockheed Martin
Corporation are currently competing for the next
contract that could last up to15 years and would begin
in 2003. The contract is worth some $200 million
Kwajalein Atoll is made up of nearly 100 coral islands
surrounding a 2,300-square-kilometer lagoon (the
largest lagoon in the world). It has been under US
Army control since 1964. Kwajelein is a $4 billion
missile testing range that features sophisticated
missile tracking equipment, interceptor launch pads and
command and control facilities. Some 2,600 Americans
and Marshall Islanders work on the Atoll.
Russian Man Arrested Carrying Anti-Aircraft Missile
Police arrested a 26-year-old man in Saint Petersberg,
Russia on 21 March after he was found walking down the
street carrying an anti-aircraft missile. According to
the police, the man said he found the fully operational
Igla missile on a shooting range outside of the
northern Russian city and was on his way to show
(source: AFP, 21 March 2002)
South Korea to Deploy Missiles for Defense During World
South Korea announced that it will deploy land-to-air
missiles outside of stadiums during the 2002 World Cup
games. The portable French-made missiles are meant to
prevent possible terrorist attacks during the games
being held from 31 May to 30 June. South Korea has
also set up an anti-terrorism unit and imposed no-fly
zones for non-South Korean air force planes over the
World Cup stadiums and nuclear power plants during the
tournament. South Korean police force members have
also undergone training for hostage rescue operations.
(source: AP; 11 March 2002)
Dirty Bomb Threat
In a hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations
Committee on 6 March, nuclear experts testified to the
threat posed by terrorists obtaining "dirty bombs," and
the effects of crude nuclear weapons. Dirty bombs are
comprised of radioactive material dispersed by
According to Henry Kelly, president of the Federation
of American Scientists, if a small medical gauge of
cesium like the one recently found abandoned in North
Carolina was exploded in Washington, D.C., residents
over a five city-block radius would have a one in 1,000
chance of getting cancer. He also said that if a
cobalt bomb was used in New York City, contamination
would be far more serious and people living for 40
years within a 300 block radius would have a one-in-ten
risk of death from cancer.
While the misuse of radioactive materials does pose a
threat, the experts said the biggest concern was still
posed by terrorists obtaining weapons-grade materials
such as uranium and plutonium. The experts stated that
safeguarding nuclear materials should be a priority,
particularly in Russia where hundreds of tons of
weapon-grade material are scattered across the country.
Donald Cobb, associate director for threat reduction
at Los Alamos National Laboratory stated, "Of course we
can't ignore the security of the weapons, but the
materials are perhaps the greatest danger."
(source: Reuters; 6 March 2002)
UK Prepared to Use Nuclear Weapons Under Right
Following the US lead, UK Defense Secretary Geoff Hoon
announced on 20 March that the UK is willing to use its
nuclear weapons under the right conditions. Mr. Hoon,
was briefing Members of Parliament on the threat posed
by four countries identified by the UK as "states of
concern"-Iraq, Iran, Libya and North Korea. According
to Hoon, the "states of concern" might be capable of
targeting the UK with a weapon of mass destruction in a
few years' time. He also told the Members of
Parliament that while there is no evidence that any
terrorist group has thus far acquired weapons of mass
destruction, it is a possibility.
Mr. Hoon stated, "There are clearly some states who
would be deterred by the fact that the UK possesses
nuclear weapons and has the willingness and ability to
use them in appropriate circumstances. States of
concern, I would be much less confident about?In those
kinds of states, the wishes and needs and interests of
citizens are clearly much less regarded, and we can not
rule out the possibility that such states would be
willing to sacrifice their own people to make such a
gesture. They can be absolutely confident that in the
right conditions we would be willing to use our nuclear
weapons." [Note the faulty logic used by Mr. Hoon: In
states of concern, the leaders are willing to sacrifice
their own citizens. Therefore, these leaders can be
"confident" that the UK, like the US, will be willing
to attack uninvolved citizens with nuclear weapons.
Many analysts argue that Mr. Hoon's statements do not
reflect a change in UK nuclear policy, but they do
agree that the language is much more specific than it
has been in the past. The UK last produced a strategic
defense review in 1998. In the review, the UK stated
that it would not use nuclear weapons against
(sources: BBC News Online, 20 March 2002; AFP, 21
US Refuses to Certify North Korea Compliance With
On 20 March, US President George W. Bush accepted a
recommendation from Secretary of State Colin Powell to
withhold for the first time an annual certification
required by Congress to verify that North Korea is
abiding by 1994 Agreed Framework. Under the 1994
Agreed Framework, North Korea agreed to freeze its
nuclear program and shut down reactors that produced a
heavy plutonium byproduct. In exchange, the US agreed
to construct 2 lightwater reactors to make up for the
loss of power.
According to senior US officials, the Bush
administration is angry that North Korea is not
allowing the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
to carry out mandated full inspections of its nuclear
facility at Yongyon, a condition of the 1994 agreement.
IAEA Spokeswoman Melissa Fleming confirmed that IAEA
officials found no change in the status of nuclear
material during a visit in January. However, the visit
was not considered a full inspection. The country has
blockaded inspections to protest that the US has
delayed completing the construction of the lightwater
reactors from 2003 to 2008.
South Korean Unification Minister Jeong Se-Hyun said on
29 March that tension on the Korean peninsula could
rise this year over the issue of nuclear inspections in
the North. According to Jeong, "There was some talk
in the US that the nuclear inspection in North Korea
should be carried this August while North Korea's
version is that the inspection should take place in
2005. If this issue becomes an international point of
contention, a crisis could come in August on the Korean
The Bush administration claims that North Korea is
proliferating missile technology around the globe,
including to US enemies. Since Bush became president,
US-North Korea relations have greatly deteriorated.
President Bush rejected the engagement strategy that
was pursued by the Clinton administration and recently
labeled North Korea a member of the "axis of evil,"
along with Iran and Iraq. The US Nuclear Posture
Review also named North Korea as one of the countries
against which the US was developing contingency plans
to use nuclear weapons.
(source: AFP; 20 March 2002, 29 March 2002)
Judge Ruling On Nanoose Bay Reopens Nuclear Free Debate
A federal judge in British Columbia ruled on 6 March
that the Canadian government has improperly seized
ownership of Nanoose Bay, a site that the US and
Canadian Navies use as a torpedo testing range.
Canada's federal government expropriated the bay in
1999 because of contention with the nuclear free
province of British Columbia over whether nuclear-armed
vessels can use it. Because the US will neither confirm
nor deny the presence of nuclear warheads on Navy
submarines, it makes a pledge of no nuclear weapons in
the bay impossible.
Nanoose Bay is ideal for testing unarmed weapons
systems and acoustic sensors because of its flat, muddy
seabed, allowing torpedos to be fired and retrieved.
The US and Canada have an agreement that lasts until
June 2009 to share the testing range. The initial
agreement between the two countries to use the facility
was reached in 1965 and has been renewed several times.
Before the expropriation in 1999, the federal Canadian
government leased Nanoose Bay from British Columbia.
The government of British Columbia and many peace and
environmental groups protested the expropriation in
1999, citing a motion approved by the provincial
legislature in the early 1990s declaring British
Columbia a nuclear-free zone. Honorable Justice
Campbell ruled that the federal government failed to
meet the requirements for expropriation, reopening the
debate on whether or not nuclear armed vessels may
enter and use the site.
(source: AP, Canada; 6 March 2002)
Photo Gallery of Israel's Nuclear Weapons Facility
Launched on Internet
A dramatic series of photographs taken surreptitiously
by an Israeli nuclear whistleblower can now be viewed
for the first time on the Internet. Fifteen full-color
images captured by Dimona technician Mordechai Vanunu
in the mid-1980's reveal the machinery of an advanced
factory producing nuclear weapons in Israel. The
selected photographs show reactor and production
control panels; laboratory prototypes of nuclear weapon
cores; glove boxes for handling radioactive plutonium
and uranium; and machine tools that produce critical
nuclear weapons parts.
In October, 1986, a London Sunday Times expos? based on
Vanunu's testimony published a few of the 60 photos he
took in 1985, shortly before leaving employment at
Dimona. The photos can be viewed on the website of
the U.S. Campaign to Free Mordechai Vanunu at
http://www.nonviolence.org/vanunu. For more
information, contact the U.S. Campaign to Free
Mordechai Vanunu, P.O. Box 43384, Tucson, AZ 85733,
520-323-8697, email - freevanunu@...
Individuals can write to Mordechai Vanunu at Ashkelon
Prison, Ashkelon, Israel.
Accelerated Cleanup for Hanford Nuclear Site
The Bush administration agreed to restore $300
million in the 2003 budget that was cut from a
Department of Energy (DoE) program to clean-up waste at
the most contaminated nuclear site in the US. Under a
new agreement, the Hanford nuclear production site in
Washington state will undergo an accelerated cleanup.
Hanford is a 560-square-mile site where plutonium was
made for more than 40 years for the nation's nuclear
arsenal. The new target date for cleanup, originally
set for 2070, is now 2025. The administration also
agreed to spend an additional $150 million next year,
bringing Hanford's total 2003 budget to some $2 billion.
The new agreement between the DoE, Washington State and
federal regulators calls for speeding up retrieval of
more than 53 million gallons of highly radioactive
waste stored in 177 underground tanks near the Columbia
River. The tanks have leaked more than 1 million
gallons into the soil and ground water. The agreement
will also accelerate cleanup of basins where lethal,
corroding spent nuclear fuel rods are stored and speed
up the processing of scrap plutonium.
(source: AP Cabinet & State; 7 March 2002)
US Wants to Bury Waste on Johnston Island
The US Defense Environmental Restoration Program has
proposed entombing nearly 60,000 cubic yards of
radioactive material on Johnston Island in the Pacific.
The federal agency sees entombment as the best of
multiple disposal options. Other options include
various landfill options, vitrification, encasing it in
concrete or shipping the material off the island.
Two nuclear test missile launches were aborted in 1962
in the Johnston Atoll, located 700 miles southwest of
Honolulu, Hawai'i. The destruction of the missiles
left Johnston Island, the island with the largest land
mass in the Atoll, contaminated by plutonium oxide and
americium. Today, there are 60,000 cubic yards of
coral with an average level of radioactivity that must
be sealed from exposure to environment under US
Environmental Protection Agency regulations. There are
an additional 156,000 cubic yards of coral that have an
average radioactivity below the level requiring special
The Defense Threat Reduction Agency is proposing to use
an existing excavation with the region that was
directly contaminated by the missile blasts in 1962 to
dump metal, concrete debris and higher-level
radioactive coral. It would be topped by a 2-foot
layer of coral soil and subject to land-use
restrictions and monitoring for up to five years.
The Defense Threat Reduction Agency conducted a survey
in May 2000 that "verified that plutonium oxide is not
soluble in the Johnston Atoll environment and that
groundwater has not moved radioactive contamination
from the Radiological Control Area to other parts of
the island." The Agency says that fish currently in
the lagoon "are edible and contain no more
radioactivity than fish sold in mainland US markets."
That being the case, perhaps they could be flown in for
special White House dinners.
(source: Honolulu Advertiser; 3 March 2002)
Spencer Abraham, Poster Boy for Yucca Mountain
By David Krieger
In a recent opinion piece in the Washington
Post (March 26, 2002), Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham
argues for moving radioactive wastes from throughout
the country to Yucca Mountain in Nevada, something the
people of Nevada are fighting tooth and nail. So
confident is the Energy Secretary that he promises:
"Someone living 11 miles away from the site 10,000
years from now would be less exposed to radiation than
he would be on a normal plane flight from Las Vegas to
New York." Of course, neither Secretary Abraham nor
any of the other proponents of this storage site will
be around 10,000 years from now to see if their
prediction is correct. They just ask for our trust on
behalf of the next 400 generations of humans on this
Secretary Abraham also appeals to our sense of
patriotism when he argues that the "project is critical
for national security." Why? Because we're going to
have to get rid of the spent fuel from nuclear powered
aircraft carriers and submarines if we're going to keep
using them. And that's not all. Burying the wastes in
Nevada is also critical to our "energy security"
because nuclear power "emits no airborne pollution or
greenhouse gasses and now gives us one of the cheapest
forms of power generation we have." First of all,
hasn't this administration been telling us that
greenhouse gasses are not something to be worried about
and we should just forget the Kyoto Accords that the
rest of the world supports? Second, this cheap form of
power is actually highly subsidized by the taxpayers in
the form of the research and development, liability
limits set by Congress, and perpetual taxpayer care of
Mr. Abraham leaves out of his discussion the 50
million Americans who will be subject to the effects of
nuclear accidents when these large amounts of nuclear
wastes start hitting our highways and railways. One
study predicted that property damage alone could be
over $9 billion per square mile when radiation is
released after a truck or train accident carrying these
high-level nuclear wastes. A far better solution to
the nuclear waste problem is to convert it into dry
cask storage and keep it on site at nuclear power
plants until a solution can be found that won't place
large numbers of Americans at risk of exposure to
high-level nuclear wastes.
Mr. Abraham says the science is sound, but this
includes reports of seismic activities in the region.
There are also more than 250 scientific studies that
remain to be completed. The critics of the proposed
Yucca Mountain repository do not oppose single site
storage as Abraham suggests. Rather, they oppose a
premature and irreversible decision that will affect
future generations for thousands of years.
Secretary Abraham was right about one thing.
Nuclear wastes are a problem that won't just go away
and "it's our responsibility to solve it." We might
have thought more about that responsibility before we
began our mad effort to build nuclear bombs and power
plants. Now, we had better think about future
generations before we follow the advice of Mr. Abraham
and commit ourselves to a "solution" that may be not
only wrong but irreversible.
If nuclear waste storage is as safe as Mr.
Abraham believes it is, it is strange that no one,
including him, has suggested burying it under the
Congress, the White House, or the Energy Department.
Selected Excerpts from the US Nuclear Posture Review
"Greater flexibility is needed with respect to nuclear
forces and planning than was the case during the Cold
War. The assets most valued by the spectrum of
potential adversaries in the new security environment
may be diverse and, in some cases, U.S. understanding
of what an adversary values may evolve. Consequently,
although the number of weapons needed to hold those
assets at risk has declined. U.S. nuclear forces still
require the capability to hold at risk a wide range of
target types. This capability is key to the role of
nuclear forces in supporting an effective deterrence
strategy relative to a broad spectrum of potential
opponents under a variety of contingencies. Nuclear
attack options that vary in scale, scope, and purpose
will complement other military capabilities. The
combination can provide the range of options needed to
pose a credible deterrent to adversaries whose values
and calculations of risk and of gain and loss may be
very different from and more difficult to discern than
those of past adversaries." [Translation: "We may
need less nuclear weapons, but we'll use them to
threaten more possible enemies."]
"A modern, responsive nuclear weapons sector of the
infrastructure is indispensable, especially as the size
of the operationally deployed nuclear arsenal is
reduced." [Translation: "Nuclear weapons, how do I
love thee, let me count the ways?We need new, more
precise nuclear weapons as we reduce our older ones
that are no longer usable."]
"Composed of both non-nuclear systems and nuclear
weapons, the strike element of the New Triad can
provide greater flexibility in the design and conduct
of military campaigns to defeat opponents decisively.
Non-nuclear strike capabilities may be particularly
useful to limit collateral damage and conflict
escalation. Nuclear weapons could be employed against
targets able to withstand non-nuclear attack, (for
example, deep underground bunkers or bio-weapon
facilities)." [Translation: "When conventional weapons
won't work, we can always use our nuclear ones. Don't
be surprised when we do use them because we are telling
you now that that is the road we are heading down."]
As a result of the Nuclear Posture Review, the National
Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) will undertake
"Advanced Concepts Initiative: There are several
nuclear weapon options that might provide important
advantages for enhancing the nation's deterrence
posture: possible modifications to existing weapons to
provide additional yield flexibility in the stockpile;
improved earth penetrating weapons (EPWs) to counter
the increased use by potential adversaries of hardened
and deeply buried facilities; and warheads that reduce
collateral damage." (pages 34-35) [Translation:
"Let's make nuclear weapons more usable."]
"To further assess these and other nuclear weapons
options in connection with meeting new or emerging
military requirements, the NNSA will reestablish
advanced warhead concepts teams at each of the national
laboratories and at headquarters in Washington. This
will provide unique opportunities to train our next
generation of weapon designers and engineers. DoD and
NNSA will also jointly review potential programs to
provide nuclear capabilities, and identify
opportunities for further study, including assessments
of whether nuclear testing would be required to field
such warheads." (page 35) [Translation: "We need a
new generation of Dr. Strangeloves. We might start
full-scale nuclear testing again if we are going to
make new nuclear weapons."]
Frank Gaffney Jr. on the US Nuclear Posture Review
Responding to the leaked portions of the US Nuclear
Posture Review, Frank Gaffney, Jr., who was responsible
for nuclear weapons policy in the Reagan
administration, wrote in a USA Today editorial:
"The Bush administration's classified Nuclear Posture
Review (NPR) marks an important?and laudable?departure
from recent policies towards nuclear weapons?the Bush
NPR strives further to reduce the danger of nuclear
conflict by recognizing the important contribution that
advanced conventional munitions and missile defenses
can make to US security--contributions the Clinton
administration largely ignored. This comprehensive
approach to restoring and enhancing the US deterrent
posture represents a change all right, but a change
very much for the better." [Translation: "Everyone
should be able to sleep better now that the new Bush
policies ensure that the US is not making any further
moves towards reducing the role of nuclear weapons in
national security policy, and even less so towards
fulfilling obligations to eliminate its nuclear
Public Comment on Missile Defense
Write a letter to the US Army Space and Missile
Defense plan to respond to their call for public
comment concerning the environmental safety and
occupational health issues related to expanded missile
defense testing. Comments must be received by 25 April
2002. Please send your letter to U.S. Army Space and
Missile Defense Command, ATTN: SMDC-EN-V (Mrs. Julia
Hudson-Elliott), 106 Wynn Drive, Huntsville, AL 35805,
or by email to gmdetreis@....
1. Missile defense expansion is destabilizing and
expensive. It will require cuts to education, health
care, social security and other programs.
2. While the stated purpose of missile defense is to
defend the US against threats from incoming
intercontinental ballistic missiles carrying weapons of
mass destruction launched by "states of concern," no
real threat has been established. There is a real
threat, however, of nuclear terrorism, which would not
be delivered by a missile.
3. There is a legitimate concern about the
proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their
means of delivery. However, the deployment of missile
defenses will provoke, rather than prevent
4. Deploying missile defenses threatens to move the
arms race into outer space. There is an inherent link
between the deployment of missile defenses and the
weaponization of outer space. Research, testing and
development of missile defenses will allow the US to
use technological overlaps in the long run to develop
and deploy space and spaced-based weapons.
5. Instead of expanding missile defense programs, the
US should accept the proposals from Canada, China and
Russia to negotiate a Space Weapons Ban.
Visit the ever-evolving website of the Nuclear Age
Peace Foundation at Http://www.wagingpeace.org
The Nuclear Age Peace Foundation has prepared a
briefing book entitled "The Status of Nuclear
Disarmament" that will be delivered to the delegates of
the NPT Prep Com. The book highlights significant
events since the 2000 NPT Review Conference in relation
to the five points of the Foundation's Appeal to End
the Nuclear Weapons Threat to Humanity and All Life.
The book is available in the Member's Area of the
Foundation's website to download in pdf format.
The Nuclear Age Peace Foundation's Spring Newsletter
"Waging Peace," Volume 12, Number 1, entitled "Shaping
the Future" is now available to download in pdf format
on the Foundation's website. Login into our Member's
Area to download your copy.
Moving Beyond Missile Defense is a joint project of the
Nuclear Age Peace Foundation and the International
Network of Engineers and Scientists Against
Proliferation. The MBMD website contains information
on missile defenses and, most recently features
information on a Space Weapons Ban. Visit the MBMD
website at http://www.mbmd.org.
Take a journey through the Nuclear Age. Visit the
Nuclear Files at Http://www.nuclearfiles.org
"Relearning to Love the Bomb" by Raffi Khatchadourian
Jonathan Schell's "Manhattan," the latest article in
his "Letters from Ground Zero" series
"DoE's FY 2003 Budget Request for Nuclear Weapons
Activities," an analysis by Dr. Robert Civiak, is
available at the website of Tri-Valley CAREs at
The latest edition of Disarmament Diplomacy (No. 63,
March/April 2002) published by the Acronym Institute is
now available at
The Peacemaker's Journal
Back from the Brink, a campaign to get nuclear weapons
off of hair-trigger alert has redesigned its website.
Visit http://www.backfromthebrink.org to learn about
actions you can take to take nuclear weapons off of
Carah Lynn Ong
Research and Publications
Nuclear Age Peace Foundation
Philadelphia woman jailed for failing to return three overdue library
Thursday, April 11, 2002
PHILADELPHIA (AP) - A woman who said she recently left a domestic
violence shelter remained in jail for a third day Thursday after
allegedly failing to return three overdue library books.
Theresa Dawn Keller, 25, was in the Luzerne County Correctional
Facility pending an April 18 hearing. Keller, in a telephone
interview from the jail Thursday, said her ex-husband had taken out
the books. She has moved frequently and was unaware of the $120-US
fine until she went to the library recently and tried to check out
some books, she said. "I never received anything, until a couple of
days before (I got) here," she said. "So I paid $40 off of the fine,
and next thing you know, I'm being charged."
The library had no record of the payment, said Hazleton Public
Library director James Reinmiller.
"We feel badly. It's not our intention that anybody (goes) to jail,"
"This all would have gone away if she would have brought the books
back or come in and talked to us. We're not heartless," Reinmiller
The library routinely sends 10 or 12 files a month to Hazleton
district court if cardholders fail to respond to notices about late
charges, he said.
The offenders usually come to court with the books or fine in hand.
"They say, 'I went through a divorce,' 'I'm living at this house
now,' 'The kids took the books and I didn't know it,"' said District
Judge Joseph Zola.
"If they return the books, there's no charge," he said.
Keller's three books were checked out on Sept. 14, 2000, and were due
on Oct. 5, 2000. When they weren't returned, the library assessed a
replacement fee of $40 per book or $120. They filed charges on March
Keller was sent to jail Monday because she had failed to answer
notices to appear in court, Zola said. He said she was unable to post
the required $750 bail.
Hazleton police had gone to several addresses in the past year,
including what they listed as a Wilkes-Barre halfway house, before
finally tracking her down in Tamaqua last month.
"You're obligated when you move to give a forwarding address. If you
keep moving from location to location, without giving a forwarding
address, what would our world be?" Zola said.
Keller, who said the Wilkes-Barre address was a domestic violence
shelter, said she never knew about the library fines until police
came to her house last month.
She quit high school at 16 and receives Social Security disability
payments, she said. She has two daughters, ages two and 10 months,
who are in adoptive or foster homes, she said.
Keller has not yet retained a lawyer or had any jail visits, she
The prison currently houses 533 inmates.
"We have everything from murder-one all the way down to what this
girl is in for," said Lieut. John Corridoni, a corrections
He said he recalled at least one other case in which someone was
jailed for overdue library books.
© Copyright 2002 The Canadian Press
Date: Fri Apr 12 04:23:43 2002
Subject: Digest for notpartofthepenalty, issue 13
NEWS RELEASE: ACLU Sues Private Prisoner Transport
Company Over Sexual A
Date: Thu, 11 Apr 2002 20:15:53 +0000
From: "ACLU NPP, HRW, and SPR" <lstemple@...>
Subject: NEWS RELEASE: ACLU Sues Private Prisoner
Transport Company Over Sexual A
The following is a press release from the ACLU National
concerning a new prisoner sexual abuse case.
ACLU Sues Private Prisoner Transport Company Over
Sexual Assault and
Death Threats Against Woman
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, April 11, 2002
DENVER-- An employee of a private prisoner transport
a woman during a four-day trip and threatened to shoot
her if she
him, the American Civil Liberties Union charged today
in a lawsuit that
highlights the disturbing trend of sexual assault and
prisoners by correctional staff.
Robin Darbyshire, 41, "still experiences physical
severe emotional distress because of a van ride that
occurred almost one
year ago," said Craig Cowie, a staff attorney with the
"The private extradition business operates in the
shadows, out of the
view, and with almost no government regulation," added
bringing this suit to shine a light on this shady
industry, where some
the worst abuses of prisoners occur."
The case arose when Extraditions International took
Carson City, Nevada on May 13, 2001, in order to
transport her to a
jail. During the four-day van trip with two male
officers and other,
male, prisoners, a Extraditions International guard
threatened to kill Darbyshire and another female
On one of the few van stops where prisoners were
permitted to use the
restroom, the driver, Richard Almendarez, brought Ms.
Darbyshire to the
bathroom and told her to lie down on the floor facing
him, the ACLU
complaint said. The 325-pound officer, who was armed,
ordered her to
her breasts and lift up her skirt. He then masturbated
her and ejaculated onto her breasts. Almendarez told
Darbyshire that if
screamed he would shoot her and claim that she tried to
"The humiliating and abusive treatment Robin Darbyshire
endured at the
of this private, for-profit company shocks the
conscience," said David
Fathi, an ACLU National Prison Project attorney and
co-counsel in the
"Despite her complaint during a stop at the
office in Commerce City, Colorado, the company placed
this woman back in
van with a driver whom they knew had sexually harassed
and threatened to
According to the ACLU complaint, Almendarez also
repeatedly asked the
prisoners to sit on his lap and tell him "X-rated"
bed-time stories. He
called Darbyshire a "slut" and asked her, "You like
sucking big dick,
you?" While near the Mexican border, Almendarez
suggested that he would
the women to a Mexican hotel and "fuck" them and then
The final two hours of the trip with Officer Almendarez
Darbyshire overheard Almendarez say that he should have
"blown her head
because she would not "give him any." Darbyshire only
escaped from the
abusive treatment when the van she was traveling in
broke down and she
placed in a van with different drivers for the rest of
Another private extradition company, Transcor, recently
with the ACLU of Colorado over similar allegations of
a woman it transported. However most incidents of
sexual assault and
of women prisoners go unreported because of fear of
correctional staff and the vulnerability felt by
prisoners, the ACLU
Although comprehensive national statistics on the
number of prisoners
sexually victimized by correctional staff are not
investigations conducted by Amnesty International,
Human Rights Watch,
U.S. General Accounting Office and the United Nation's
Rights all conclude that incidents of sexual abuse and
assault in U.S.
prisons and jails are widespread.
The GAO report, Women in Prison: Sexual Misconduct by
found that from 1990 to 1995 class action or individual
relating to sexual misconduct had been filed against at
of correction. Amnesty International's 2001 survey,
Abuse of Women in
Custody: Sexual Misconduct and Shackling of Pregnant
allegations of sexual abuse of female prisoners by
correctional staff in
almost every correctional system in the country.
"With this lawsuit, the ACLU is putting the corrections
system on notice
that they will be held legally and financially
accountable for the
abuse and assault of prisoners," Cowie said. "We are
incidents and we expect to file additional lawsuits in
weeks and months."
Today's lawsuit, Robin Darbyshire v. Extraditions
filed in U.S. District Court for the District of
Colorado by Cowie and
of the ACLU's National Prison Project and Mark
Silverstein of the ACLU
BMJ 2002;324:868 ( 13 April )
Strategy needed for mental health of women prisoners
Caroline White, London
The extraordinarily high rates of mental health problems among UK
women prisoners are often neglected by a criminal justice system that
is geared towards men, a new report has stated.
Recent government policy initiatives to tackle mental health problems
and women's issues lack an overarching cohesive strategy, said the
report, Women Who Challenge, issued by Nacro, a charity working to
Two thirds of women prisoners have some form of mental disorder, and
this contributes to their offending, said the report. National
statistical data from 1998 show that four out of 10 women had been
receiving help for mental health or emotional problems before
imprisonment, double the rate in male prisoners.
Research suggests that a third of women prisoners have attempted
suicide, and four out of 10 self harm. Many women prisoners are
dependent on drugs, especially on heroin; alcohol misuse and sexual
and/or physical abuse are common.
Half of women prisoners are treated with psychotropic drugs, yet only
17% had been prescribed these drugs before starting their sentence.
The report calls for a standardised prescribing protocol under the
care of the NHS.
Women Who Challenge is available from Nacro Publications (tel 020
7582 6500), price £12.50 plus £1.50 post and packaging.
© BMJ 2002
Collections under which this article appears:
Other Public Health
Women's help line goes province-wide
TORONTO — A help line for assaulted women in Toronto is expanding
to address the needs of women across Ontario.
For the last 16 years, "The Assaulted Women's Help Line" has offered
round-the-clock services in more than 150 languages.
Each year, the help line receives more than 25,000 calls. Once it
expands province-wide, organizers expect to field more than 50,000
calls per year.
Director of programming, Beth Jordan, says a program like this one is
needed across Ontario now more than ever.
"Women province-wide will have access to immediate crisis
counselling, crisis intervention, support, [and] referrals to
community-based services," says Jordan.
She says one in four women in Ontario are now in abusive
Jordan says the Provincial government granted the help line $4.5
million in funding to help it go province-wide.
The toll free number is 1-866-863-0511.
Copyright © 2002 CBC All Rights Reserved