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CCNet, 72/2000 -  27 June 2000
------------------------------


     "We saw an Angel with a flaming sword in his left hand; flashing,
     it gave out flames that looked as though they would set the world
     on fire".
        -- Third Fatima Prophecy, 26 June 2000


(1) VATICAN TRIES TO STEM APOCALYPTIC ANXIETY
    Associated Press, 26 June 2000

(2) 'AN ANGEL WITH A FLAMING SWORD': THIRD FATIMA SECRET INCLUDES
     COMETARY IMAGERY
     Vatican, 26 June 2000

(3) MY ASTEROIDS ARE KILLING ME!
    The Irish Times, 26 June 2000

(4) COMET LINEAR BRIGHT ENOUGH FOR BINOCULARS
    Ron Baalke <baalke@jpl.nasa.gov>

(5) THE NEXT GENERATION SPACE TELESCOPE (NGST)
    The American Institute of Physics Bulletin of Physics

(6) ASTROBIOLOGY ARTICLES
    Michael Paine <mpaine@tpgi.com.au>

(7) WINNING THE NEXT SPACE RACE
    Wired.com, 26 June 2000

(8) AND FINALLY: GLOBAL COOLING SCARE
    Newsweek, 28 April 1975


===========
(1) VATICAN TRIES TO STEM APOCALYPTIC ANXIETY

From the Associated Press, 26 June 2000
http://ap.tbo.com/ap/breaking/MGIN7DHYX9C.html

Vatican Disclosing Details of Final Secret of Fatima

By Frances D'emilio
Associated Press Writer

VATICAN CITY (AP) - The "third secret" of Fatima is no doomsday
prophecy as many have feared, the Vatican insisted Monday, but rather a
message of encouragement that humanity can save itself, including from
such apocalyptic scenarios as nuclear disaster.

As first disclosed last month, the Vatican reiterated that the proper
interpretation of the so-called third secret was a foretelling of the
1981 assassination attempt against Pope John Paul II.

Aiming to discourage any more speculation about the last message that 
three Portuguese shepherd children said they received from the Virgin
Mary in 1917, the Vatican made public the entire handwritten text of
the secret as set down by the sole surviving witness of the series of
visions, Sister Lucia de Jesus dos Santos, now a 93-year-old cloistered
nun.

"No great mystery is revealed; nor is the future unveiled," wrote the
pope's guardian of orthodoxy, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, in a document
containing the text. He said that a "careful reading of the text" will
"probably prove disappointing or surprising after all the speculation
it has stirred."

However, Ratzinger's commentary did contest suggestions by the Turk who
shot the pope that he was merely an instrument of God's plan. The pope,
shortly after he was shot, said that he believes the hand of the Virgin
Mary deflected the attacker's bullet, allowing him to survive.

Citing one of the many images the children had, Ratzinger said the
terrifying vision of an angel with a flaming sword "represents the
threat of judgment which looms over the world."

"Today the prospect that the world might be reduced to ashes by a sea
of fire no longer seems pure fantasy: man himself, with his inventions,
has forged the flaming sword," the cardinal wrote in apparent reference
to nuclear weapons.

But, Ratzinger continued, "the importance of human freedom is
underlined: the future is not in fact unchangeably set, and the image
which the children saw is in no way a film preview of a future in
which nothing can be changed."

Italian author Vittorio Messori, who collaborated on John Paul's
best-selling book "Crossing the Threshold of Hope," wrote in Sunday's
Corriere della Sera that the Vatican wanted "to immediately block
other legends being added to the too many ones already in
circulation" in wake of the Cardinal Angelo Sodano's announcement May
13 that the last secret pertained to the 1981 shooting.

The first two secrets are said to have foretold the end of World War
I and the start of World War II, and the rise and fall of Soviet
communism.

Sodano, speaking last month at Fatima, said the "interpretations" of
the children were of "a bishop clothed in white" who, while making
his way amid the corpses of martyrs, "falls to the ground, apparently
dead, under a burst of gunfire."

The 1981 assassination attempt against John Paul occurred on May 13,
the same day that the young shepherds in 1917 first reported visions
of Mary.

A few days after Sodano unveiled the secret, Ratzinger said that
Catholics are free to believe or not believe the secret, since such
apparitions do not constitute Catholic doctrine.

Copyright 2000 Associated Press. All rights reserved.

===============
(2) 'AN ANGEL WITH A FLAMING SWORD': THIRD FATIMA SECRET INCLUDES
     COMETARY IMAGERY

From the Vatican, 26 June 2000
http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_20000626_message-fatima_en.html

The third part of the secret revealed at the Cova da Iria-Fatima,
on 13 July 1917.

I write in obedience to you, my God, who command me to do so through
his Excellency the Bishop of Leiria and through your Most Holy Mother
and mine.

After the two parts which I have already explained, at the left of
Our Lady and a little above, we saw an Angel with a flaming sword in
his left hand; flashing, it gave out flames that looked as though they
would set the world on fire; but they died out in contact with the
splendour that Our Lady radiated towards him from her right hand:
pointing to the earth with his right hand, the Angel cried out in a
loud voice: ‘Penance, Penance, Penance!'

FULL SECRET at:
http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_20000626_message-fatima_en.html

===================
(3) MY ASTEROIDS ARE KILLING ME!

From The Irish Times, 26 June 2000
http://www.ireland.com:80/newspaper/science/2000/0626/sci2.htm

'IT’S A DANGEROUS PLACE OUT THERE'

By Dick Ahlstrom

The Earth drifts through an enormous shooting gallery and we are the
moving target, according to a new study of the plethora of nearby
asteroids large enough to destroy our planet.

"It is a dangerous place out there," Dr William Bottke of Cornell
University and colleagues conclude in the current issue of the journal
Science. He leads a US-French team that has discovered the spatial and
size distribution of a large group of asteroids called NEAs for
near-Earth asteroids.

The study estimates that a veritable armada of asteroids, some 900 in 
number, pass uncomfortably close to us on a regular basis. Some fly by
at no more than a few moon distances from Earth every year. "Sometime
in the future, one of these objects could conceivably run into the
Earth," Dr Bottke said.

All of the 900 referred to in the study are a kilometre in diameter or
larger, a size that could spell extinction for 90 per cent or more of
the species that currently occupy the Earth. "One kilometre in size is
thought to be a magic number, because it has been estimated that these
asteroids are capable of wreaking global devastation if they hit the
Earth."

FULL STORY at
http://www.ireland.com:80/newspaper/science/2000/0626/sci2.htm

===================
(4) COMET LINEAR BRIGHT ENOUGH FOR BINOCULARS

From Ron Baalke <baalke@jpl.nasa.gov>

Comet LINEAR Bright Enough For Binoculars
By Jeff Kanipe
space.com
23 June 2000

A comet heading for the inner solar system may not fulfill expectations
of being bright enough to be seen with the naked eye, but astronomers
are at least sure of one thing: it will be the brightest comet since
Hale-Bopp graced the heavens three years ago. You can add another
thing. It should be bright enough to seen with binoculars.

The new comet goes by the mumbo-jumbo name of 1999 S4 LINEAR, an
acronym which stands for Lincoln Laboratory Near-Earth Asteroid
Research -- an automated-search program in New Mexico that images
regions of the night sky looking for asteroids and comets. This one was
found in digital images made on September 27 and was reported, at the
time, as "an unusual moving object."

Full story here:
http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/comet_linear_000619.html

===================
(5) THE NEXT GENERATION SPACE TELESCOPE (NGST)

From The American Institute of Physics Bulletin of Physics News
     <physnews@aip.org>

PHYSICS NEWS UPDATE, Number 490 June 22, 2000
by Phillip F. Schewe and Ben Stein

THE NEXT GENERATION SPACE TELESCOPE (NGST), 100 times more sensitive
than the Hubble Space Telescope, sits at the top of the list of
desirable future observatories, a list formulated by the National
Academy of Sciences.  The billion-dollar NGST should possess an 8-m
mirror, an orbit 1 million miles from Earth, and an ability to view the
most distant (and earliest) stellar objects in the universe at infrared
wavelengths.  Next in order of priority is the Giant Segmented Mirror
Telescope (GSMT), a 30-m ground based telescope for complementing with
superb spectroscopy the sharp imaging of the NGST; the $800 million
Constellation-X Observatory, specializing in x rays; an Expanded Very
Large Array (EVLA) radio telescope; the Large-aperture Synoptic Survey
Telescope (LSST), which would scan the whole sky, every week for faint
objects; and the Terrestrial Planet Finder (TPF), "the most ambitious
science mission ever attempted by NASA," whose goal is to search for
planets around nearby stars.  (NAS website:
http://www.nationalacademies.org/topnews/.)

==================
(6) ASTROBIOLOGY ARTICLES

From Michael Paine <mpaine@tpgi.com.au>

Two articles in the online version of Scientific American are
interesting:
Aliens - where are they?
http://www.sciam.com/2000/0700issue/0700crawford.html

The Search for Extreme Life
http://www.sciam.com/2000/0700issue/0700profile.html
'If microorganisms exist on other worlds, the head of NASA's fledgling
Astrobiology Institute plans to find them'

cheers
Mike

================
(7) WINNING THE NEXT SPACE RACE

From Wired.com, 26 June 2000
http://www.wired.com/news/politics/0,1283,37236,00.html

by Nicholas Morehead

WASHINGTON -- There's another space race heating up between the United
States and Russia, but this time it's the tourism industry that's up
for grabs.

"There's something wrong here when entrepreneurialism has to go to the
'Evil Empire' of years past," said Peter Diamandis, CEO of ZeroGravity
Corp., which sells weightless flights to the general public using
Russian aircraft.

Diamandis cited the recent announcement by MirCorp, a Dutch-based
company, that it plans to launch commercial space flights to the
Russian-owned Mir space station for private citizens.

FULL STORY at
http://www.wired.com/news/politics/0,1283,37236,00.html

================
(8) AND FINALLY: GLOBAL COOLING SCARE

From Newsweek, 28 April 1975
http://www.nationalpost.com/financialpost.asp?f=000621/323013&s2=fpcomment

THE COOLING WORLD

There are ominous signs that the Earth's weather patterns have begun to
change dramatically and that these changes may portend a drastic
decline in food production -- with serious political implications for
just about every nation on Earth. The drop in food output could begin
quite soon, perhaps only 10 years from now. The regions destined to
feel its impact are the great wheat-producing lands of Canada and the
U.S.S.R. in the North, along with a number of marginally
self-sufficient tropical areas -- parts of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh,
Indochina and Indonesia -- where the growing season is dependent upon
the rains brought by the monsoon.

The evidence in support of these predictions has now begun to
accumulate so massively that meteorologists are hard-pressed to keep up
with it. In England, farmers have seen their growing season decline by
about two weeks since 1950, with a resultant overall loss in grain
production estimated at up to 100,000 tons annually. During the same
time, the average temperature around the equator has risen by a
fraction of a degree -- a fraction that in some areas can mean drought
and desolation. Last April, in the most devastating outbreak of
tornadoes ever recorded, 148 twisters killed more than 300 people and
caused half a billion dollars' worth of damage in 13 U.S. states.

To scientists, these seemingly disparate incidents represent the
advance signs of fundamental changes in the world's weather.
Meteorologists disagree about the cause and extent of the trend, as
well as over its specific impact on local weather conditions. But they
are almost unanimous in the view that the trend will reduce
agricultural productivity for the rest of the century. If the climatic
change is as profound as some of the pessimists fear, the resulting
famines could be catastrophic. "A major climatic change would force
economic and social adjustments on a worldwide scale," warns a recent
report by the National Academy of Sciences, "because the global
patterns of food production and population that have evolved are
implicitly dependent on the climate of the present century."

A survey completed last year by Dr. Murray Mitchell of the National
Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reveals a drop of half a degree
in average ground temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere between 1945
and 1968. According to George Kukla of Columbia University, satellite
photos indicated a sudden, large increase in Northern Hemisphere snow
cover in the winter of 1971-72. And a study released last month by two
NOAA scientists notes that the amount of sunshine reaching the ground
in the continental U.S. diminished by 1.3% between 1964 and 1972.

To the layman, the relatively small changes in temperature and sunshine
can be highly misleading. Reid Bryson of the University of Wisconsin
points out that the Earth's average temperature during the great Ice
Ages was only about seven degrees lower than during its warmest eras --
and that the present decline has taken the planet about a sixth of the
way toward the Ice Age average. Others regard the cooling as a
reversion to the "little ice age" conditions that brought bitter
winters to much of Europe and northern America between 1600 and 1900 --
years when the Thames used to freeze so solidly that Londoners roasted
oxen on the ice and when iceboats sailed the Hudson River almost as far
south as New York City.

Just what causes the onset of major and minor ice ages remains a
mystery. "Our knowledge of the mechanisms of climatic change is at
least as fragmentary as our data," concedes the National Academy of
Sciences report. "Not only are the basic scientific questions largely
unanswered, but in many cases we do not yet know enough to pose the key
questions."

Meteorologists think that they can forecast the short-term results of
the return to the norm of the last century. They begin by noting the
slight drop in overall temperature that produces large numbers of
pressure centres in the upper atmosphere. These break up the smooth
flow of westerly winds over temperate areas. The stagnant air produced
in this way causes an increase in extremes of local weather such as
droughts, floods, extended dry spells, long freezes, delayed monsoons
and even local temperature increases -- all of which have a direct
impact on food supplies.

"The world's food-producing system," warns Dr. James D. McQuigg of
NOAA's Center for Climatic and Environmental Assessment, "is much more
sensitive to the weather variable than it was even five years ago."
Furthermore, the growth of world population and creation of new
national boundaries make it impossible for starving peoples to migrate
from their devastated fields, as they did during past famines.

Climatologists are pessimistic that political leaders will take any
positive action to compensate for the climatic change, or even to allay
its effects. They concede that some of the more spectacular solutions
proposed, such as melting the Arctic ice cap by covering it with black
soot or diverting arctic rivers, might create problems far greater than
those they solve. But the scientists see few signs that government
leaders anywhere are even prepared to take the simple measures of
stockpiling food or of introducing the variables of climatic
uncertainty into economic projections of future food supplies. The
longer the planners delay, the more difficult will they find it to cope
with climatic change once the results become grim reality.

Copyright 1975, Newsweek

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