Dienstag, 10. April 2007


Department Of Livestock Ignores IBMP Adaptive Change Agreement

Exclusive BFC Video & Photos Available Upon Request
For Immediate Release: April 10, 2007
Contact: Stephany Seay (406) 646-0070

WEST YELLOWSTONE, MONTANA. The Montana Department of Livestock (DOL) conducted a massive hazing operation today of approximately 250 wild Yellowstone bison along public lands just outside the western boundary of Yellowstone National Park. The Yellowstone bison herd is the last continuously wild herd in the United States. Genetically and behaviorally unique, the Yellowstone herd currently numbers fewer than 3,600 individuals.

The hazing operation runs counter to adaptations made to the Interagency Bison Management Plan (IBMP) in November 2006, which were supposed to adjust bison management operations. According to the Adjustments to 2006-2007 IBMP Operating Procedures memorandum, the agencies agreed that "based upon collective evaluation of prevailing management activities and consideration of the IBMP objectives, the partner agencies have agreed to incorporate the following into the 2006-2007 IBMP Operating Procedures:

1. Strategic Hazing - Bison outside the park between November 1 and May 15 that are subject to hazing under the IBMP could be hazed away from higher risk areas towards area(s) of lower risk outside the park. The Montana State Veterinarian will retain jurisdiction and discretion to implement strategic hazing outside the park."

2. Tolerance of Bull Bison - In recognition of guidelines to implement the Montana bison hunt, bull bison (single to small groups) outside the park between November 1 to May 15 that are otherwise subject to hazing or removal under the IBMP, could be tolerated if deemed of low risk to disease transmission and public property safety. The Montana State Veterinarian will retain jurisdiction and discretion to implement such tolerance of bull bison outside the park."

The adaptations were agreed upon, signed, and publicized by the following agencies: Becki Heath, Forest Supervisor, USFS, Gallatin National Forest; Jerry Diemer, Associate Regional Director, USDA, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service; Pat Flowers, Regional Supervisor, Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks; Tom Linfield, [former] State Veterinarian, Montana Department of Livestock; Suzanne Lewis, Superintendent, Yellowstone National Park.

"According to the adaptive changes, these buffalo should have been left alone," said Stephany Seay, spokesperson for Buffalo Field Campaign. "The vast majority of the buffalo harassed today were on Gallatin National Forest land, there are no cattle within 40 miles of here, and bulls were purposefully sought out and hazed by DOL agents."

The Department of Livestock's agent in charge of field operations, Rob Tierney, made it clear that he was not familiar with the specifics of the agreement or its timelines. When asked why DOL was not implementing the changes he said that the agreement only applied to bull bison. Today's hazing operation took place a full month and five days earlier than specified in the IBMP agreement, which allows for the adaptive changes until May 15.

"They're hazing bison off of and across National Forest land where cattle never graze. What could be more 'low risk' than that?" asked BFC Project Director Dan Brister. "What is the point of having an agreement if Montana's State Veterinarian refuses to apply that agreement and is given full discretion to do so?"

There has never been a documented case of wild bison transmitting the European livestock disease brucellosis to livestock, even prior to implementation of Interagency Bison Management Plan.

The hazing operation interrupts the bison's annual spring migration, when bison must cross Highway 191 to reach their calving grounds on the Horse Butte Peninsula. Buffalo Field Campaign facilitates safe highway crossings for bison and warns motorists of their presence on the road.

"The bison know where they need to be, and as soon as the agents leave they will turn around and cross highway 191 on their way back to Horse Butte," said BFC Campaign Coordinator Mike Mease. "By repeatedly hazing the buffalo before they are ready to return to the Park on their own, the DOL is putting both motorists and bison in unnecessary danger."

American Bison once spanned the continent, numbering between 30 and 50 million. The Yellowstone bison are genetically unique and are America's only continuously wild herd, numbering fewer than 3,600 animals, .01 percent of the bison's former population.

1,912 bison have been killed since 2000 under the Interagency Bison Management Plan. Last winter Federal and State agencies killed or authorized the killing of more than 1,010 bison. So far this winter two bison were captured and sent to slaughter by Montana Department of Livestock agents and hunters have killed 58.

Buffalo Field Campaign (BFC) is the only group working in the field, every day, to stop the slaughter of the wild Yellowstone buffalo. Volunteers defend the buffalo and their native habitat and advocate for their lasting protection. BFC has proposed real alternatives to the current mismanagement of Yellowstone bison that can be viewed at http://www.buffalofieldcampaign.org/actnow/solutions05.html .
For more information, video clips and photos visit: http://www.buffalofieldcampaign.org.

Media & Outreach Buffalo Field Campaign
P.O. Box 957 West Yellowstone, MT 59758
406-646-0070 bfc-media@wildrockies.org

BFC is the only group working in the field every day to defend the last wild herd of buffalo in America.


Tell President Bush Not to Veto the Democratic Plan for Change in Iraq


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Informant: Bob Banner


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Informant: binstock

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Informant: David Swanson

From ufpj-news


Whining imperialists

by Saul Landau

U.S. bases, as Chalmers Johnson assures us in Nemesis: The Last Days of the American Republic (2007), are platforms for attacks on every other nation. …. Johnson, once an ardent Cold Warrior, now despairs over what he once saw as defense and now understands as naked imperialism. “History tells us there’s no more unstable, critical configuration than the combination of domestic democracy and foreign empire. You can be one or the other. You can be a democratic country, as we have claimed in the past to be, based on our Constitution. Or you can be an empire. But you can’t be both … The causative issue is militarism. Imperialism, by definition, requires military force. It requires huge standing armies. It requires a large military-industrial complex. It requires the willingness to use force regularly. Imperialism is a pure form of tyranny. It never rules through consent, any more than we do in Iraq today.” (04/09/07)



Biofuels and Global Hunger


Informant: binstock


Secrecy, coercion, torture: this is legal?

Miami Herald
by staff


No war-crimes process at Guantanamo will ever be seen as legitimate by the rest of the world. The problem, Mr. Gates says, is that 100 or fewer of the nearly 400 captives at Guantanamo are the ‘hard-core’ who would return to attack the United States if released. Congress should allow detainees, most of whom are held without charges, to challenge their detention with habeas corpus petitions. Those who remain detained should be tried in a legitimate judicial process with established rules, such as that of the Uniform Military Code of Justice. That would be a start to restoring U.S. credibility...


Informant: Thomas L. Knapp


Protesters Decry War-Supply Shipments

About 100 veterans and anti-war activists gathered at the Port of Oakland on Saturday. Carrying signs reading "Stop the War Machine," protesters called on the port to spend some of its $33 billion budget on Oakland schools, health care, and social services, and to stop shipping military supplies that support the war in Iraq.


Senators Press for More Files on Fired Prosecutors

Four senators said Monday they suspected that the Justice Department had failed to turn over all relevant documents related to the dismissals of eight US attorneys.



Waxman Wants Rice to Testify on Niger Uranium Claims

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Baghdad Becomes Deadlier Battleground for US Troops

There is no sign that the new US security push in Baghdad is accomplishing its main purpose: to create an island of stability in which Sunni Arabs, Shiite Arabs and Kurds can learn to run the country together. For American troops, Baghdad has become a deadlier battleground as they have poured into the capital to confront Sunni and Shiite militias on their home streets.


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Tens of thousands of protesters loyal to Muqtada al-Sadr, the Shiite cleric, took to the streets of the holy city of Najaf on Monday in an extraordinarily disciplined rally to demand an end to the American military presence in Iraq, burning American flags and chanting "Death to America!"


Mast petition signed by 216

More than 200 people have signed a petition protesting against plans for a 40ft-tall mobile phone mast near their homes in Bewdley.

They claim the monopole with three antennae, which 02 UK Ltd want to erect on a pavement at Cleobury Road close to its junction with Yew Tree Lane, will stand within 25ft of another existing mast.

The protesters have urged planners to throw out the planning application at a meeting tonight.

A total of 18 letters of objection and a petition with 216 signatures have been forwarded to Wyre Forest District Council claiming the area will “become an eyesore” because of the number of masts.

It will also be close to homes and St Anne’s Church of England First and Middle School.

Petitioners are concerned about possible health hazards and one man says his wife has had trouble sleeping since another mast was installed.

Angela Johnson, spokesman for O2, said: “This new mast fits in with our existing network. Sharing with the other mast down the road is not an option.”

Now council officials have recommended members of the council’s planning development control committee to approve the mast.

© 2007 - all rights reserved


"Marsch der Landlosen" in Berlin

„Als Teil der Proteste im Vorfeld des G8-Gipfels veranstalten die Menschenrechtsorganisation FIAN, die Arbeitsgemeinschaft bäuerliche Landwirtschaft (AbL), die AG Kleinstlandwirtschaft und das Aktionsnetzwerk Globale Landwirtschaft am 17. April 2007 in Berlin einen symbolischen "Marsch der Landlosen". Nach dem Vorbild der Landlosenbewegungen des Südens machen die VeranstalterInnen damit auf Verletzungen des Menschenrechts auf Nahrung und die prekäre Situation von Kleinbauern, -bäuerinnen, bäuerlichen Betrieben und Landlosen weltweit aufmerksam. Obwohl diese auf dem Land leben und Nahrungsmittel produzieren, stellen sie etwa achtzig Prozent der Hungernden dar. Eine Hauptursache ist die neoliberale Landwirtschaftspolitik, die sich einseitig an den Interessen von transnationalen Konzernen orientiert und zum großen Teil von den Regierungen der G8 vorangetrieben wird…“ Presseeinladung von FIAN, AbL, AG Kleinstlandwirtschaft und Aktionsbündnis Globale Landwirtschaft vom 9.4.07 http://www.fian.de/fian/index.php?option=content&task=view&id=506

Der 17. April ist der internationale Aktionstag des weltweiten Kleinbauernnetzwerks "La Vía Campesina" http://viacampesina.org/main_en/index.html Es setzt sich weltweit für Ernährungssouveränität ein, im Norden wie im Süden.

Das Aktionsnetzwerk organisiert in 10 weiteren deutschen Städten Aktionen zum Tag der Landlosen. Weitere Informationen beim Aktionsnetzwerk globale Landwirtschaft http://dissentnetzwerk.org/wiki/index.php?title=Arbeitsgruppe_G8_und_Landwirtschaft

Aus: LabourNet, 10. April 2007

Euromayday 2007

Work in Progress. Prekarität, (Euro)Mayday und Organisierung im Land der begrenzten Möglichkeiten

„Unübersehbar schickt der Frühling seine Boten ins Land: Erste Krokusse gucken schüchtern aus dem Boden, die Vögel halten Ausschau nach dem besten Nistplatz für den Nachwuchs, immer öfter huscht dieses kleine Lächeln über die Gesichter unserer Mitmenschen... und die linke Szene streitet sich heftig über die beste Demonstration am 1. Mai. Damit ist - zumindest in Berlin - wieder Normalität eingekehrt. Warum trotzdem alles anders wird, was ein (Euro)Mayday 2007 sein kann und warum das Jahr auch nach dem G8-Gipfel nicht vorbei ist, erfahrt ihr auf den nächsten 300 Zeilen….“ Artikel von Für eine linke Strömung (FelS), Berlin, in ak - analyse & kritik - zeitung für linke Debatte und Praxis - vom 16.3.2007 http://www.akweb.de/ak_s/ak515/39.htm

Siehe dazu auch die Homepage des Mayday 2007 in Berlin mit Links zu allen europäischen Städten http://maydayberlin.blogsport.de/
und das Euromayday-Netzwerk http://www.euromayday.org/

Aus: LabourNet, 10. April 2007



Aktionswoche „Gegen-Armut-2007“ gegen 1-Euro-Jobs


In Jüterbog fand am Mittwoch, 4. April, eine Aktion gegen 1-Euro-Jobs statt. Siehe die Pressemeldung (pdf) http://www.gegen-armut-2007.de/material/jueterbog/PM-Jueterbog_Aktionswoche.pdf


In Göttingen fand am Mittwoch, 28. März 07, ein sogenannter
1-Euro-Job-Spaziergang statt. Ca. 12 solidarische Personen haben die
1-Euro-JobberInnen in einer Staudengärtnerei bei Göttingen besucht und z.B. darüber befragt, wie sie dort hingekommen sind, freiwillig oder nicht, usw., und über die Bedingungen ihrer Arbeit. Im Anschluss an kurze Gespräche wurden die 1-Euro-JobberInnen jeweils mit einem Informationsblatt "bewaffnet", welches einige Informationen über die Rechte, die auch 1-Euro-JobberInnen zustehen, enthielt. Siehe das Infoblatt (pdf) http://www.gegen-armut-2007.de/material/goettingen/Wussten_Sie_schon.pdf

Aus: LabourNet, 10. April 2007


Drohungen, Schikanen und Willkür im Jobcenter Göttingen

„Einer 1-Euro-Jobberin der Gärtnerei Holtensen (Beschäftigungsprojekt der Beschäftigungsförderung Göttingen) wurde vom Jobcenter das Arbeitslosengeld II um 30% gekürzt, weil sie sich angeblich geweigert habe, Wochenenddienste zu verrichten…“ Pressemitteilung des Göttinger Bündnisses gegen 1-Euro-Jobs vom 22.5.07 beim Sozialen Zentrum Göttingen http://www.soziales-zentrum-goettingen.de/antihartz/1eurojobs/PM_K%C3%BCrzung_Holtensen.html

Siehe dazu auch:

1-Euro-Job-Spaziergang in Holtensen

Am 28.03.2007 hat eine Gruppe von ca. 15 Personen die Gärtnerei in Holtensen besucht, um mit den dort arbeitenden 1-Euro-JobberInnen über ihre Tätigkeiten und ihre Situation zu sprechen. Pressemitteilung zum Spaziergang (rtf-datei) beim Sozialen Zentrum Göttingen http://www.soziales-zentrum-goettingen.de/goettingen/1-E-job-spaziergang.rtf

Aus: LabourNet, 30. Mai 2007


Argumente zum drohenden Krieg gegen den Iran

„Die Vorbereitungen für einen Krieg gegen den Iran werden fortgesetzt. Mit der jüngsten Resolution des UN-Sicherheitsrats vom 24. März 2007 (Nr. 1474) gewinnen Argumente für einen „Militärschlag“ an Gewicht. Sie müssen ernst genommen – und beantwortet werden…“ Artikel exklusiv aus der Zeitung gegen den Krieg Nr. 25 http://www.labournet.de/krieg/iran/zgk25.html

Großbritannien: Volksversammlung gegen Krieg beschließt Streiks und Proteste bei Angriff auf Iran

„Mehr als 900 Delegierte von Gewerkschaften, Schulen, Universitäten, Anti-Kriegs-Gruppen, muslimischen Organisationen und anderen Aktivistengruppen kamen am 20.3.2007 in London zusammen, um den vierten Jahrestag des Angriffs auf den Irak zu diskutieren. Die Versammlung fand im Westminster Central Hall statt - nur wenige hundert Meter vom Parlamentsgebäude, den Houses of Parliament entfernt. Aus allen Teilen Großbritanniens waren Aktivisten gegen den Krieg der Einladung der ‚Stop the war coalition‘, der ‚Koalition für das Ende des Krieges‘ gefolgt…“ Artikel von Francis Byrne in der Linkezeitung vom 30.03.2007 http://www.linkezeitung.de/cms/content/view/2401/35/

Siehe dazu auch: Stop the War Coalition in Großbritannien

Die Seite der englischen Initiative

Aus: LabourNet, 10. April 2007

There is climate change censorship and it's the deniers who dish it out


Informant: binstock




Email contact info is at bottom of url-page. Quite easy to send a letter of your own words.

Informant: binstock


Folie Humaine

- Human madness / Menschlicher Wahnsinn / Folie Humaine,
- Menselijke waanzin / Pazzia umana / Locura humana.


Have Christians Become Dupes?

by Pastor Chuck Baldwin

It is as when the bloody butcher of the former Soviet Union, Joseph Stalin, passed away. Millions of Russian people wept and mourned over his death, even though he had personally ordered the torture and slaughter of countless millions of their fellow citizens. Yet, the poor, enslaved masses of Russians, without personal inspection and knowledge of Stalin's bloodlust, and lacking any personal ability to challenge their Supreme Ruler, had actually come to love the bloodthirsty tyrant......



6-Year-Olds Under Arrest

When 6-year-old Desre'e Watson threw a tantrum in her kindergarten class a couple of weeks ago she could not have known that the full force of the law would be brought down on her and that she would be carted off by the police as a felon.


From Information Clearing House


Unprovoked beatings of homeless soaring

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From Information Clearing House

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Global warming is a rapidly advancing threat to human life, according to the authors of a major, comprehensive United Nations report released yesterday in Brussels.


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Diplomats from 115 countries and 52 scientists hashed out the most comprehensive and gloomiest warning yet about the possible effects of global warming, from increased flooding, hunger, drought and diseases to the extinction of species.


From Information Clearing House

How Pat Robertson's law school is changing America


Gonzales Crams for a Senate Grilling

Attorney General Alberto Gonzales has virtually wiped his public schedule clean to bone up for his long-awaited April 17 testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee-a session widely seen as a crucial test as to whether he will survive the U.S. attorney mess.


From Information Clearing House


Scandal Puts Spotlight on Christian Law School

Monica Goodling, the former top aide to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, is at the center of the storm over the firing of US attorneys. Goodling, who resigned on Friday, has become the face of Regent University School of Law overnight. Founded by televangelist Pat Robertson, more than 150 Regent University alumni have been hired to federal government positions since President Bush took office in 2001. This practice has drawn a harsh spotlight to the administration's hiring of officials educated at smaller, conservative schools with sometimes marginal academic reputations.



Injured troops shipped back into battle

Further evidence that the military sent soldiers with acute post-traumatic stress disorder, severe back injuries and other serious war wounds back to Iraq.


From Information Clearing House


Australia's 'blood money' payments to Iraqis revealed

The payments are huge sums for Iraqis, with the US Agency for International Development putting the present Iraq average annual income at $1830.


From Information Clearing House

US accused of using neutron bombs

A neutron bomb is a thermonuclear weapon that produces minimal blast and heat but releases large amounts of lethal radiation that can penetrate armour and is especially destructive to human tissue.


From Information Clearing House

Army Stage-Managed Fall of Hussein Statue

A tale of two photos

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The Toppling Of Saddam Statue: An Eyewitness Report

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A Marine recovery vehicle toppled the statue with a chain, but the effort appeared to be Iraqi-inspired because the psychological team had managed to pack the vehicle with cheering Iraqi children.


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QUESTION: Do you favor a withdrawal of all United States military from Iraq within the next six months? ANSWER: Yes 52% No 39% Undecided 9%.


From Information Clearing House

Delayed Benefits Frustrate Veterans

Hundreds of thousands of veterans, many approaching the winter of their lives, await VA disability claim decisions that will provide or deny a key source of income. The monthly payments, which range from $115 to $2,471 for individuals, are available to veterans of any age whose disability is "a result of disease or injury incurred or aggravated during active military service," according to the Veterans Benefits Administration. Nearly 400,000 disability claims were pending as of February, and the waiting time for appeals averages nearly two years.


US Army Medics Train for "Shock and Horror"

Army Lt. Colonel Donald Robinson is no stranger to bloodshed. As a civilian he served as a trauma surgeon at Cooper Hospital in Camden, New Jersey, a city so violent he says doctors call it the "Knife and Gun Club." But nothing in Camden could fully prepare him for what he saw as chief of surgical and critical care at the US Army's premier medical facility in Iraq.


Bill Ties Climate to National Security

The CIA and Pentagon would for the first time be required to assess the national security implications of climate change under proposed legislation intended to elevate global warming to a national defense issue. The bipartisan proposal calls for the director of national intelligence to conduct the first-ever "national intelligence estimate" on global warming.


Don't Buy Products From Illegal Logging, Indonesia Says

Indonesia appealed on Monday to world consumers to stop buying products made from illegally logged wood, and said rich countries should pay the poor to preserve forests in the battle against global warming. Environmentalists say illegal logging in Indonesia strips 2.1 million hectares (5.2 million acres) of forest every year in a trade worth $4 billion.



Plant trees, lots of them, you can never plant enough!

The Next Crusade: Paul Wolfowitz at the World Bank

The Selimiye Mosque, in Edirne, a city in northwest Turkey, is a magnificent stone edifice, with four minarets and an austere, octagonal-shaped body supporting a large dome. Built for Sultan Selim II in the sixteenth century, it has withstood numerous earthquakes and can accommodate more than five thousand kneeling worshippers. "One evening at the end of January," said John Cassidy, "I visited the mosque with Paul Wolfowitz, president of the World Bank, and a half-dozen of his aides and colleagues." Two years have passed since President Bush nominated Wolfowitz, the former deputy secretary of defense and one of the architects of the war in Iraq, to head the sprawling multinational lending institution that has as its official goal "a world without poverty."



April 28: Spell IMPEACH for Congress



Canada’s 2007 commercial seal hunt starts today: 270,000 seal pups are set to be slaughtered


Cruelty Caught on Film

IFAW Seal Hunt Diary - 4.5.07 - Hunt Video


Existenzgeld statt Hartz IV



Mehrwert verstehen


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Informant: ranger116


Dubious cell phone cancer tie?


Manatee Protections To Be Cut Under Bush Plan



Manatee's Endangered Species Status May Be Revoked

The Florida manatee, this state's imperiled environmental icon, in 2006 suffered its most dismal year on record. Of a population of about 3,200, 416 died in 2006, the highest number of deaths recorded in 30 years of statistics. Now, according to an internal memo, the celebrated marine mammals may lose their protection as an endangered species.



Florida Manatees Could Face Fatal Downlisting

Feds seek to weaken vital protections despite record manatee deaths in 2006.

Manatees May Lose Protections

The US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) announced recently the results of a five-year status review of the West Indian manatee—a species found mainly in Florida that is protected under the Endangered Species Act (ESA)—and concluded that the species no longer fits the definition of endangered. "It's not on the brink of extinction," said Dave Hankla, field supervisor for the US Fish and Wildlife Service. FWS recommended reclassification of manatees to “threatened,” a move that would remove or lessen a number of measures meant to safeguard the species. Hinkla sees the reclassification as a success story. Last year, however, speeding boaters killed 86 manatees, a 43 percent increase over the number killed 10 years before. In all, 416 manatees died in 2006, that from a population estimated to be no more than 3500. Learn more about manatees >>


Opinion about Business will reach a 'Tipping Point' Worldwide


Fingerprint Foreboding



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Immense Shiite demonstration calls for US to leave Iraq


Informant: jensenmk

From ufpj-news


Shiite rallies mark anniversary of Baghdad’s fall

Informant: ranger116


Iraq: Hundreds of thousands protest U.S. occupation

Hundreds of thousands of chanting Iraqi Shias burned and stamped on US flags at an anti-American rally called by "firebrand" cleric Moqtada Al Sadr on the fourth anniversary of the fall of Saddam Hussein.


From Information Clearing House


Huge Protest in Iraq Demands U.S. Withdraw

To some, church cell towers send bad signal

Listen to this story

Churches throughout England are facing uncertain financial futures, so they've been renting out space to earn some spare change. Some ecclesiastical authorities are not pleased. Stephen Beard reports.

Photo: St. Barnabas Church in Beckenham, England, which put a cell-phone transmitter in a rooftop cross. http://www.stbarnabasbeckenham.org.uk/


KAI RYSSDAL: Today is Easter Monday. Just another working day in this country. Over in the U.K., though, it's the tail end of the four-day Easter weekend.

It's a fair bet most of the faithful haven't been thinking about parish finances as they've been attending services. But dozens of churches and cathedrals throughout England are facing uncertain financial futures. So they've been renting out space to earn some spare change. But Marketplace's Stephen Beard reports now from London higher-ups are unimpressed.

STEPHEN BEARD: Church towers are lofty in every sense. They point heavenwards. They summon the faithful to worship and prayer. But in recent years, they've been involved in a less spiritual form of communication.

BARRY FOX: A church spire is a wonderful place to put an antenna. It's because it's very tall. And also, there aren't a lot of people living in the building to complain.

Science writer Barry Fox. More than 50 English churches are renting out their steeples to cell phone companies — for up to $20,000 a year.

A godsend for the churches, which are often in urgent need of repair, says Jonathan Petre, religion correspondent of the Daily Telegraph.

JONATHAN PETRE: A lot of them are medieval and, of course, it costs a huge amount to keep them up, let alone in good shape. The cathedrals, of course are even in worse state, and a lot of them have buckets catching the rain coming through the roof.

PRIEST: Let us go forth in peace praising Jesus, our Messiah.

But the mini-deluge of cash from the cell phone companies is causing strife and discord.

[SOUND: A congregation singing]

The congregation of St Peter and St Paul Church in North London worship at an open-air ceremony. The church's vicar wanted to have a cell phone mast installed in his steeple, but some parishioners objected. The matter was referred to an ecclesiastical court — and, says Jonathan Petre, the judge made an unexpected ruling.

PETRE: He said pornography can be transmitted through mobile phones and that the Church's mission was to promote the Church's work. Putting up mobile phone masts which could transmit pornography was outside that legal remit.

[SOUND: Bells]

Yes, the judge decided that while the church bells were summoning the faithful to prayer, the cell phone mast inside the tower might be conveying a set of rather different signals.

SEX PHONE OPERATOR: You have called the filthiest and most explicit telephone sex service in the U.K. I must warn you that if you are easily offended by explicit adult material, you must hang up now.

[SOUND: Hang-up]

The judge said that the original concept of mobile phones was totally innocent, but they could now be used to download vast quantities of obscene material. He banned St. Peter and St. Paul from installing the mast.

The views from the pews are mixed.

MAN: We're unhappy with the idea, for the reason that the possibility of pornography . . . it just doesn't seem appropriate to have things like this in a church, is my feeling.

WOMAN: I've got a mobile phone. I use a mobile phone. I can't use it without a mast somewhere.

BEARD: So why not in a church spire?

WOMAN: Why not in a church spire where it's hidden. Can't see it, it's not a blot on the landscape, and some revenue for the church.

BEARD: What about the argument that mobile phones can be used to download pornography and that would be inappropriate for a church spire?

OLD WOMAN: Well I'm 97, and I never think of those sort of things.

This may not prove a laughing matter for the Church of England. The case is now under appeal. If the banning order is upheld, it could deprive the Church of an important new source of income.

SIMON HEANS: The lord be with you.

The reverend Simon Heans would like to have seen a mast in the steeple of his church in south London. He thinks the court decision is frankly ridiculous, even though he is worried about pornography.

HEANS: Pornography per se worries me, but the issue of using mobile phones for that purpose is neither here nor there. Because of course, it can be transmitted in all sorts of ways.

SEX PHONE OPERATOR: You're one-to-one with an experienced women is about to begin. Get ready.

Indeed, this message arrived down an ordinary fixed telephone line that could easily have travelled across Church property.

With thousands of dollars at stake, Church leaders await the appeal court's decision with trepidation, hoping — and praying — for those pennies from Heaven.

In London, this is Stephen Beard for Marketplace.

©2007 American Public Media




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