You Better Watch Out…
CIA Counter-Terrorism Experts "Stumped" by Recent Assassinations [Compiled from wire services]
In the wake of the current wave of high-profile assassinations around the world and sensational international headlines about a shadowy group of albino terrorists, CIA Counter-Terrorism experts find themselves unusually dependent on foreign governments?and no wiser for it.
"Frankly, everyone's stumped," says one veteran counter-terrorism operative, who spoke on condition of anonymity. "Usually when you see this much action, on this broad a scale, you can't help finding a smoking gun or two. But we've got nothing. Not only that--we can't even dream up a unifying motive to figure out what they're trying to accomplish."
Another knowledgeable source frames the issue more bleakly. "Any group that can do this much, this often, on this kind of scale, with this kind of reach, and remain this hidden not just to the CIA, but to virtually the entire worldwide intelligence community?well, it's just not possible unless they've got at least a couple of governments in their pocket. And that's the really scary thing: which governments?"
U.S. State Department officials working in conjunction with various federal counter-terrorism units believe the usual suspects can be ruled out.
"Frankly," one such official told this reporter, "most of the so-called rogue governments just don't have this kind of reach. They don't have the independent resources they'd need to coordinate something of this magnitude. They'd have to be working with partners, and where there are partners there are leaks. This has to have been organized by rogue elements within the community of developed western nations... and that's what makes it so disturbing."
Cont'd, p. 4
New Motto Bill Introduced in State Senate by Jack Clark
It's no longer just a late-night talk show joke: Colorado is finally beginning to take the necessary political steps required to change its state motto.
The Latin motto "Nil sine Numine" is typically translated into English as "Nothing without Providence." Comedians have emphasized for years that this would be an ideal motto for Rhode Island. Some state lawmakers are beginning to tire of the joke.
"I guess in the old days Providence meant something like destiny or heaven or I don't know what," says 32-year-old State Senator Jackie Dawes of Glenwood Springs, "but these days when people hear 'Providence' they think, like, Rhode Island. And I don't think that's what you want in a state motto. Imagine if Rhode Island's motto was, like, 'Home of the Rocky Mountains' or something. That wouldn't make much sense, would it? I don't think so. That's why I'm proud to be sponsoring the New Motto Bill."
State Senator Dawes is one of eight young State Senators behind the bill, which would create a process by which a new motto could be drafted, discussed, and ratified by voters. The bill itself does not propose any alternatives.
Mysterious Radiation Deaths Prompt Emergency Summits [Compiled from wire services]
The International Atomic Energy Agency has called an emergency summit to discuss the ramifications of the widely-publicized but still unexplained death of two Baghdad men from radiation poisoning, and to coordinate a global response to what may well be the first incident of "loose" weapons-grade plutonium.
The United Nations Security Council will also be meeting behind closed doors later today to discuss the situation, which one high-ranking officials has characterized as "the most significant nuclear threat since the Cuban Missile crisis."
In the United States, Stewart Administration officials have been issuing statements intended to soothe public fears. "This isn't necessarily a doomsday scenario," Department of Defense spokesman Kyle Gordon said at a hastily-arranged press briefing last night. "It's one thing for a terrorist organization to get their hands on some loose plutonium. It's an entirely different story to try and get the technology to use that plutonium in a nuclear bomb."
Donkeys Get Kick-Start from Off-Season by Adam Sikorski
Denver --Real football fans know that seasons are often won and lost long before the first mini-camps of spring. In the era of free-agency gone amok, a franchise can make or break its chances with a single clause in a single player's contract. One bad trade, one un-renewed contract, and you can go from Super Bowl favorites to the divisional doghouse faster than a speeding bullet pass.
Orange and Blue fans should therefore take heart. This may have been one of the best off-seasons in team history. The already-formidable backfield has been strengthened with the re-signing of last year's workhorses and a stellar draft. The offensive line has been beefed up considerably and will certainly benefit from the addition of All-Pro offensive tackle Nathan Sedgefork. Last year's suspect secondary has been completely overhauled. And best of all, last week's acquittal of all-star wide-receiver Reggie "Psycho" Watson (on four of the five felony charges against him) suggests that he may be back in the line-up sooner than expected.
Cont'd, p. B4