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The Past | The Previous

To start out our day in the Dead Orbit:

"LAGOS - A Nigerian witch doctor has been charged with possessing a human skull for rituals, police said Tuesday. Police recovered other fetish items like cowries and horns from the man's shrine in the city of Benin, about 180 miles northeast of the commercial hub of Lagos.

The witch doctor, 80, was suspected of using human parts for rituals.

"He said the skull was part of his trade, but it is an offence for anybody to be in possession of human parts," Edo state police spokesman Tunde Showole told Reuters.

Ritual killing is common in some parts of Nigeria where many people believe they could become millionaires after sacrifices with vital human organs."

However, moving away from that, we turn out attention to perhaps the only country in the world that wants American troops:



"MONROVIA, Liberia - An advance inspection team of a long-promised multinational peacekeeping force flew into Liberia's besieged capital Wednesday, as explosions and gunfire rocked Monrovia despite a new rebel pledge to cease fire.

Pressure built to get a peace force on the ground. The United States asked the U.N. Security Council to authorize what would be a west African-led force, quickly followed with a U.N. force by Oct. 1.

Nigerian military commanders and other west African and U.S. team members arrived in a Ghanaian military flight to the Liberian capital, where authorities said the team would assess conditions for a peace force promised after rebels opened their attack on the refugee-crowded capital in early June.

Greeted by Liberian and American officials, Nigerian Brig. Gen. Festus Okonkwo, who would oversee any west African deployment, said on arrival that the first peace forces would follow him in days a time frame repeatedly held out by west African officials in recent weeks.

U.S. Ambassador John Negroponte introduced the draft resolution at a closed security council meeting and made clear the United States wants African nations to lead the multinational force.

"At the moment what we're talking about is providing support ... to bring peace to Liberia and to enable us to deal with this desperate humanitarian situation."

In response to this, President Bush responded: "I want to remind you, that troop strength will be limited and the time frame will be limited, 'cause we don't really care about you third world black people. Now, if you were third world white people, we might help you, but we're busy. We're eliminating terror in countries that don't want us and have wealthy natural resources, thank you very much."

Which is a bold thing for the President to admit, but then he is in an honest mood. Nearly an hour or two ago, he took personal responsibility for the first time Wednesday for using discredited intelligence in his State of the Union address."



"However, it is predicted that this will pass, as Bush as prepared other inflametry comments for the media to focus on, such as rejecting the rights for same sex marriages.

Meanwhile, in conservative, yet oddly progressive Australia, the Christian church voted to allow gays into the clergy. It happened after two days of heated debate, where more than 75 percent of delegates at the Uniting Church's national assembly in Melbourne voted for the movement."