On This Day in WND History

WND, which debuted in May of 1997, is now celebrating its 15th anniversary. In honor of that, here are some key events in the history of WND.

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December 1st

Terrorist base south of border (2003)

WND reported growing concerns among international law-enforcement authorities combating terrorism over a major influx into the Latin American nation of Paraguay of Arabic-speaking visitors carrying European passports.

Some of these "Europeans" could not even speak the language of their so-called mother land, according to a report in Joseph Farah's G2 Bulletin, an online premium intelligence newsletter published by WND.

Many of the visitors and emigres travel to the triple border region where Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay meet. This region, often described as a lawless area, is nicknamed by some intelligence station agents as "The Muslim Triangle meeting zone."

Information surrounding such activities arrived in the U.S. before Sept. 11, 2001, but failed to sound any alarms.

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December 2nd

AP abortion poll misleads respondents (2004)

File this one under "You get what you ask for."

An Associated Press poll's finding of surprisingly high numbers of Americans wanting President Bush to appoint judges to the Supreme Court who would uphold the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion could be traced back to how the question was asked:

"As you may know, President Bush may have the opportunity to appoint several new justices to the U.S. Supreme Court during his second term. The 1973 Supreme Court ruling called Roe v. Wade made abortion in the first three months of pregnancy legal. Do you think President Bush should nominate Supreme Court justices who would uphold the Roe v. Wade decision, or nominate justices who would overturn the Roe v. Wade decision?"

In reality, Roe v. Wade struck down all laws restricting abortion in all 50 states, in effect legalizing abortion throughout the entire nine months of gestation.

"Roe v. Wade allows absolutely no limits on reasons for abortion until nearly six months into pregnancy," National Right to Life legislative director Douglas Johnson said. "It is way past time for the news media to stop distorting the real terms of Roe v. Wade."

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December 3rd

Feds sell secret coin-knife after 9/11 (2001)

Despite new post-9/11 measures to secure the safety of commercial air travel in the United States, WND revealed how an agency of the federal government continued to sell an easily concealable fake silver dollar that included a double-bladed hidden knife.

The item, offered by the U.S. Mint, was available for purchase online. It could likely slip past an airport metal detector when concealed with other coins in a coin purse.

According to the Mint's online catalog, the coin "features a hardened steel pocket knife mechanism that opens on either side to reveal a knife blade and nail file." The item is even antiqued to give it an "aged" appearance.

The government website selling the item provided no warning about taking the weapon onto an airplane, nor did it indicate if airport security had been alerted to the existence of such weapons.

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December 4th

NBC affiliate solicits cash for illegals (2006)

WND broke the astounding story of how the top-rated television station in Florida called on viewers to put aside their ''political beliefs'' to help 13 illegal aliens trying to "survive the American Dream" after being displaced by a fire – never mentioning on the air the immigrants were in the U.S. illegally.

Jamie Holmes, a reporter for channel 5, NBC affiliate WPTV in West Palm Beach, avoided referring to the families as illegal aliens or undocumented immigrants in an original on-air report, instead describing them as ''the hard-working kind of people which created such a controversy in America this year ... .''

Station officials never returned calls seeking comment on how the station decides which stories to become advocates for, why the original report didn't note the families are illegals, should the station be soliciting on behalf of those who are breaking the law and how it is decided when reporters should admonish viewers as to how they should respond.

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December 5th

Why Gore lost the presidency (2000)

WND revealed how Vice President Al Gore was tortured by the fact he lost Tennessee, according to friends. After all, had he won his home state – the state he represented all his years in Congress – he would have been President-elect Gore, with or without Florida.

"I know that's one thing bothering him the most, that he lost Tennessee," said close friend Steve Armistead, who spent his summers with Gore while growing up in Tennessee. "The other night he asked me, 'What happened in Tennessee?'"–

Although the media accurately reported that Tennessee's 11 electoral votes would have put Gore at 271 and thereby made him the next president of the United States, most have missed the reason Gore suffered his first-ever defeat in Tennessee: a series of WND articles profiling Gore's seamy political dealings in Tennessee.

"It was the character issue," said popular Nashville radio talk host Phil Valentine. "Thanks to talk radio and sources like WorldNetDaily getting out the truth, I believe it tipped the state to Bush. They (the stories) stayed under the radar nationally, but around here they were on everyone's lips."

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December 6th

Dennis Miller: Gore had 'stick up his a--' (2006)

Comedian Dennis Miller said Al Gore would be president today if he didn't have "such a stick up his a--" during the 2000 campaign against George W. Bush.

His comment came on the "Tonight Show with Jay Leno," as Miller discussed the former vice president's movie about global warming, "An Inconvenient Truth."–

"I saw Al Gore's movie, and you know, I remember thinking as I watched it, I thought, 'God, if he was half this charming when he ran for president, he'd be president right now.' He had such a stick up his a-- when he ran for the presidency," Miller said.

"I will pass that along to him," said Leno.

"Don't pass it along, take it out!" Miller responded, to a huge burst of laughter from the studio audience.

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December 7th

Russian flyover takes Navy by surprise? (2000)

On the 59th anniversary of the Japanese attack on the U.S. fleet at Pearl Harbor, WND reported a more recent surprise "attack" on the aircraft carrier USS Kitty Hawk by a pair of Russian warplanes in the Sea of Japan.

The flyover of the carrier's tower -- at 500 knots and 200 feet -- On Oct. 9, 2000, occurred without the ship's commander getting a single plane into the air. And when an aircraft was finally launched -- 40 minutes after the first alert was given -- it was a plane used for electronic jamming, not a fighter. By then, the Russians had made three passes over the Kitty Hawk. The Pentagon admitted the Russians were easily in a position to destroy the ship if the planes had hostile intentions.

"We went down as low as possible and from the direction of the Japanese coast – without crossing the Japanese border, of course," Aleksandr Renev, the reconnaissance mission's squadron commander, told the BBC. "We went over the aircraft carrier. It looked as if they were not expecting us."

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December 8th

Motorola, Clinton and the Red Gestapo (1998)

WND first reported that Motorola employee and former Clinton national security adviser Richard Barth obtained the export waiver for advanced encrypted radios sent to the Chinese police – over the objections of the State Department.

Motorola, antsy over recent British approval to sell high-tech communications equipment to the People's Armed Police, received backing from President Clinton for sales of its own equipment to Beijing, but officials at the State Department, concerned over numerous human rights problems, "hadn't gotten the memo" and refused to issue a waiver.

"The memo," sent to Commerce Secretary Ron Brown, finally came from Barth: "Please forgive the informality of this note, but I want to move the process along here and not stand on formalities. We currently have about $100 million worth of two-way radio business tied up by the lack of a waiver for China. ... I urge you to get in writing to the State Department asap language that seeks a waiver for 'cellular, PCS and two way radio systems,' as recently agreed."

It worked. And those radios were used by Chinese police during the arrest of Harry Wu, the famed dissident reported.

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December 9th

Judge orders Florida's military votes counted (2000)

WND was first among the American media to report the judicial reinstatement of many previously disqualified military absentee ballots in Florida.

"It is truly an unfortunate circumstance when a citizen of the United States is denied the fundamental right to vote, whether residing in one of the several states or residing overseas," U.S. District Judge Lacey Collier wrote in his ruling. "It is even more unfortunate when a vote cast by a member of the armed forces serving abroad is rejected for no legitimate or compelling reason."

"It is unfortunate that Florida will accept an overseas absentee ballot with an unsworn, handwritten date, yet questions the oath, under penalty of perjury, of many of its service men and women," Collier said. "The Court reminds the local canvassing boards ... that their job is to accept votes, not reject them."

According to unofficial tallies, 1,547 overseas absentee ballots – about 40 percent of the total Florida received – were thrown out by county elections workers.

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December 10th

WND introduces WorldNet (1999)

WND announced it was launching its monthly magazine, WorldNet, commencing in January 2000.

"We've designed WorldNet as the perfect companion for readers of our WorldNetDaily.com daily newspaper," said WorldNet founder and Editor Joseph Farah. "It contains some of the most compelling articles readers will ever encounter, and provides a unique look at the world that is informative and highly thought-provoking."

WorldNet evolved from the long-popular monthly magazine published by WorldNetDaily called Dispatches.

The magazine kept its name WorldNet until August 2001, when it was renamed to the current and popular title of Whistleblower.

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December 11th

NBC show stars Jesus, pill-popping priest (2005)

NBC began promoting a new weekly show centering around a troubled, pill-popping Episcopal priest played by veteran actor Aidan Quinn, who talked with a manifestation of Jesus, played by Garret Dillahunt.

"The Book of Daniel," written by a homosexual, was touted as the riskiest new show of the year. It was also billed as the only show on television in which Jesus appeared as a recurring character.

On Jan. 23, 2006, WND broke the exclusive story that NBC was canceling the show, in the wake of pressure from viewers and the American Family Association.

"This shows the average American that he doesn't have to simply sit back and take the trash being offered on TV, but he can get involved and fight back with his pocketbook," said Donald Wildmon, chairman of the AFA.

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December 12th

Soy making kids 'gay'? (2006)

Columnist Jim Rutz ignited a national sensation when he wrote a 5-part series, beginning with "Soy is making kids 'gay.'"

"There's a slow poison out there that's severely damaging our children and threatening to tear apart our culture," wrote Rutz.

"The dangerous food I'm speaking of is soy. Soybean products are feminizing, and they're all over the place. You can hardly escape them anymore.

"I have nothing against an occasional soy snack. Soy is nutritious and contains lots of good things. Unfortunately, when you eat or drink a lot of soy stuff, you're also getting substantial quantities of estrogens."

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December 13th

Chad-maker says 'dimples' made up (2000)

Ever wonder how a chad could dimple? Printer Randy Stiles makes chad for a living, and he wondered the same thing.

"It would basically be impossible to do that," said Stiles, a production manager at the printing plant that made the controversial punch-card ballots for Miami-Dade and Broward counties.

He says his own machines don't produce any dimpled chad as they perforate the thousands of ballot cards used by the Florida counties and others around the country.

"There's some new words that have come up. You know, 'dimpled chad,' 'pregnant chad.' I've never heard about those before this election," he told WorldNetDaily.

Stiles said all chad punched with a stylus leave a kind of fingerprint: A pinhole and a vertical crease from where pressure was applied in the middle of the square piece of paper. Any dimpled or pregnant chad would most likely also show a pinhole and crease, he says. If they don't, chances are they weren't made with a stylus.

Stiles said he was baffled by Democrats' claims of voters having problems piercing through ballots – using sharp, pointed styluses – to vote for Gore.

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December 14th

SADDAM CAUGHT! (2003)

"Ladies and gentlemen, we got him," U.S. civil administrator in Iraq, Paul Bremer, told a news conference announcing the capture of Saddam Hussein. "The tyrant is a prisoner."

Saddam was found by forces from the 4th Infantry Division along with Special Forces in the raid, called "Operation Red Dawn." He was hiding in a specially prepared "spider hole" in the cellar in the town of Adwar, 10 miles from Tikrit. The hole was six to eight feet deep, camouflaged with bricks and dirt and supplied with an air vent to allow long periods inside. The former Iraqi president had $750,000 in cash on him.

Although he was armed with a pistol, Saddam didn't fire his weapon. "There was no way he could fight back so he was just caught like a rat," Maj. Gen. Ray Odierno, commander of the 4th Infantry Division, said. He added, "The intimidation and fear this man generated for 30 years are gone ... [but] our work here still continues."

In the Baghdad, radio stations played celebratory music, residents fired small arms in the air and others drove through the streets, shouting, "They got Saddam! They got Saddam!"

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December 15th

Arabs still enter U.S. illegally from Mexico (2003)

growing evidence Arab terrorists were continuing to use the Mexican border as an entry point into the U.S. over two years after 9/11 and in the midst of efforts by the Bush administration to effect broad-based amnesty for millions of illegal aliens.

An Arab-smuggling ring broken up in November 2003 that included a former Mexican diplomat who worked in Lebanon's consular ministry office and gave out passports was only the most-recent evidence.

An Arabic journal found on the Mexican route to U.S., the legalization as a seasonal agricultural worker under the 1986 amnesty plan by the leader of the 1993 World Trade Center bombers, growing ties between radical reconquista Hispanics and Muslim radicals already pointed to a growing vulnerability on the southern border.

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December 16th

Twin teachers busted over lewd act with student (2006)

The "sexpidemic" of teachers – particularly female teachers – who pursue their students for sex took a new turn when police arrested twin sisters and a female roommate for charges related to lewd acts with an underage female student one year ago.

Officers initially intended to arrest only one of the sisters, but after questioning determined that her sibling – also a teacher – knew of the sexual contact and did not report it as California law required. Their roommate was taken into custody because officers had reason to believe she had "facilitated the crime."

WND's coverage of sexual predators continues ...

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December 17th

I'm not dead yet! (2002)

When 87-year-old Jimmy Cornet heard that he was dead, it nearly shocked the life out of him.

After all, the retired miner was still alive and kicking, so far as he could tell. But a rumor floating around town had locals thinking the Scottish gent had passed away.

"I'd also like to know how I died, as nobody seems to know this either," he laughed.

Cornet decided he wasn't going to take the news lying down. He stiffened his resolve, and after considering buying a newspaper ad, he posted an announcement at a news vendor's shop.

His message read: "James Cornet would like to inform the public that he is not dead or ever has been!"

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December 18th

Megachurches closed on Christmas (2005)

With many large churches across the U.S. announcing they would not be open on Christmas Day, some pastors defended their decision to stay closed, even going so far as to blast those who questioned their motives.

Among them was Jon Weece, pastor of Southland Christian Church in Lexington, Ky., who received complaint e-mails from Christians in all 50 states.

Weece blamed Satan the devil for using the Christmas issue as a distraction, prompting Christians to bicker among themselves.

"People are not the enemy," he said. "The devil is, and it is obvious that he has been at work in this situation."–

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December 19th

'WorldNetDaily' becomes WND (2011)

After 15 years, the oldest name in independent news on the Internet was officially retired in favor of something better.

On New Year's Day 2012, "America's Independent News Network" got a new name, a new look and a whole new attitude as WND replaced the familiar WorldNetDaily logo.

Just days before the transition, Joseph Farah, editor, co-founder and chief executive officer of the first independent online news agency begun in 1997, previewed the change, saying, "What we're launching the first of the year is so radically different in design from what we have been for the last 15 years, we think it's important to give everyone a head's-up. It's going to be fresh, contemporary, cutting edge, more video, with easier navigation and expanded coverage."

"About the only thing that will remain is the mission and the founding commitment to independent investigative reporting that is second to none in exposing fraud, waste, abuse and corruption in government and other powerful institutions in need of watchdogging," said Farah. "We'll definitely maintain the same fiercely independent commitment to the truth – maybe even step it up a notch or two."

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It's a Sony, Saddam (2000)

In "Why Iraq's buying up Sony Playstations 2s," WND editor Joseph Farah broke the surreal Christmas story of Saddam Hussein's clandestine purchase of thousands of Sony Playstation 2s in order to bundle them together to form a crude supercomputer for military applications.

At the same time, a week before Christmas, one of America's most popular gifts was almost impossible to buy, thanks to the "Butcher of Baghdad."–

"Most Americans don't realize that each PlayStation unit contains a CPU – every bit as powerful as the processor found in most desktop and laptop computers," said one military intelligence officer who declined to be identified.

"Beyond that, the graphics capabilities of a PlayStation are staggering – five times more powerful than that of a typical graphics workstation, and roughly 15 times more powerful than the graphics cards found in most PCs."

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December 20th

Democrat senator praises bin Laden (2002)

Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., told a group of high-school students in her state the U.S. should adopt Osama bin Laden's nation-building tactics.

"We've got to ask, why is this man so popular around the world?" said Murray. "Why are people so supportive of him in many countries that are riddled with poverty?"

The then-second-term senator made the mastermind of 9/11 sound like a New Deal liberal as she responded to questions from world history students and student government leaders at Columbia River High School in Vancouver, Wash.

Murray said bin Laden hah been "out in these countries for decades, building schools, building roads, building infrastructure, building day care facilities, building health care facilities, and the people are extremely grateful. We haven't done that."

"How would they look at us today if we had been there helping them with some of that rather than just being the people who are going to bomb in Iraq and go to Afghanistan?" Murray asked.

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December 21st

President Clinton sued in rape case (1999)

Juanita Broaddrick, the Arkansas woman who told a nationwide television audience she was raped by Bill Clinton, filed suit, accusing the president's office and Justice Department of conducting a campaign to "smear and destroy her reputation."

The civil suit, filed in U.S. District Court, was the first legal action Broaddrick had taken since she was interviewed by NBC News earlier in the year regarding her allegations of sexual assault. Broaddrick charged Clinton raped her while serving as Arkansas attorney general in 1978.

The Broaddrick allegation even entered the presidential election race as Vice President Al Gore was questioned by a New Hampshire resident on national television about his view of the charge. Gore spent several uncomfortable minutes trying to answer the question,–claiming not to have seen the NBC News interview.

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December 22nd

'The Harbinger': 100 weeks a N.Y. Times bestseller (2013)

911-world-trade-center
By Scott Greer WASHINGTON – It all began one day as Jonathan Cahn was standing at a street corner at Ground Zero in Lower Manhattan. His attention was drawn to a tree that had been struck down by the aftershock of the collapse of the World Trade Center. A quiet voice seemed to tell the messianic rabbi and pastor at the Jerusalem Center in Wayne, N.J.: “There’s a mystery here...

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U.S. fails to follow terror money trail (2003)

Over two years after the 9/11 attacks, a Government Accounting Report said U.S. law enforcement and intelligence agencies trying to track the funding sources of international terrorists haven't done such a good job.

Terrorists, said the report, use the illicit drug trade, interstate cigarette dealing and charities as principal sources of money-raising in the U.S. According to officials from the ATF, Hezbollah, Hamas, and al-Qaida have earned assets through trafficking in contraband cigarettes or counterfeit cigarette stamps.

Rooting out terrorist money in U.S. banks proved every bit as difficult as finding Osama bin Laden. Two years after Congress rushed to pass the USA Patriot Act, terrorists, drug lords and other criminals continued to launder funds through U.S. financial institutions. Hundreds of billions more in illicit cash gushed through banks, brokerage firms and the like last year even though they spent more than $11 billion to bolster their internal controls.

A lack of cooperation among several competing agencies was also criticized by the report.

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December 23rd

Man sets himself ablaze over use of 'Christmas' (2006)

A 31-year-old man was hospitalized in critical condition after setting himself ablaze in an apparent protest over a school district's decision to call winter and spring break, Christmas and Easter break.

The protester, reportedly draped in a flag, ignited a decorated Christmas tree, an American flag and a revolutionary flag replica that read "Don't Tread on Me" before pouring a can of fuel on himself in front of the Kern County Court Building in Bakersfield, Calif.

The man survived, thanks to the quick action of a sheriff's deputy and several court employees.

"It's the most awful thing I've ever seen in my entire life," said Deputy Lance Ferguson who finallt smothered the flames with a sweater he found on the ground.

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December 24th

Did boy Jesus look like this? (2004)

What did Jesus Christ of Nazareth look like as a boy?

While no one knows for certain, forensic experts used computer images from the Shroud of Turin along with historical data and other ancient images to make an educated guess.

In a documentary called "Jesus' Childhood" that aired on the Italian TV station Retequattro of the Mediaset Group, police artists used the same "aging" technology employed when searching for missing persons and criminals.

"In this case the experts went backwards. Now we have a hypothesis on how the man of the shroud might have looked at the age of 12," Mediaset said. "While some features, such as the color of the eyes and the hair's length, cut and color, are arbitrary, others come directly from the face impressed on the shroud."–

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December 25th

Clintons 'most corrupt' of 2002 (2002)

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., was named the most corrupt person in America by the public-interest watchdog group Judicial Watch.

The former first lady edged out her husband, ex-President Bill Clinton, for top honors in the group's 'Dirty Dozen' list for 2002.

The year's ranking included eight Democrats, three Republicans, one businessperson – former Enron CEO Kenneth Lay – and an honorable mention for then-Congressman Tom DeLay, another Republican.

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December 26th

Michael Jackson: It's still OK to sleep with boys (2003)

A month after being arrested for multiple, sexual child molestation charges, pop star Michael Jackson continued to sing the same tune: It's OK to sleep with boys.

Jackson told CBS News' "60 Minutes" anchor Ed Bradley he sees no harm in sharing his bed with children.

"Why not? If you're going to be a pedophile, if you're going to be Jack the Ripper, if you're going to be a murderer, it's not a good idea. That I am not," he said.

The superstar first prominently professed his advocacy for sleeping with boys in a television documentary earlier in the year.

"It's what the whole world should do," Jackson told interviewer Martin Bashir. "Why can't you share your bed? The most loving thing to do, is to share your bed with someone."–

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December 27th

'Brokeback Mountain': Rape of the Marlboro Man (2005)

WND publishes Managing Editor David Kupelian's analysis of the film "Brokeback Mountain," which becomes widely reprinted, quoted – and attacked – and throws Kupelian into a stream of TV appearances including Fox News' "Dayside" and "Your World with Neil Cavuto," and CBN's "Newswatch" and "The 700 Club," exposing the propaganda techniques used to marketing "gay marriage" in the controversial film.

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December 28th

Gadhafi armed al-Qaida with bio-chem weapons (2003)

It may be the ultimate good-news-bad-news "joke."

First the good news: Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi had a change of heart and agreed to destroy his arms program.

The bad news? Before his come-to-Allah moment, he provided al-Qaida with tens of thousands of chemical and biological weapons of mass destruction produced at 10 secret sites in the country.

Gadhafi was welcomed back onto the world stage with the understanding that his help to Osama bin Laden would never officially be mentioned, reported Joseph Farah's G2 Bulletin.

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December 29th

UFO-clone cult spreads atheism (2002)

A former French magazine sportswriter, wannabe race-car driver and founder of a UFO sect who claimed his company, Clonaid, had helped an anonymous mother clone her child Eve, let it be know that his agenda included strange religion as well as weird science.

Claude Vorilhon, aka Rael, said there is no God – men were cloned in test tubes 25,000 years ago by space aliens called "Elohim," and it was the mission of his followers, Raelians, to help mankind achieve immortality through cloning.

"Traditional religions have always been against scientific progress," he said. "They were against the steam engine, electricity, airplanes, cars, radio, television, etc. If we had listened to them, we would still have horses and carts and candles."

He robustly defended the cloning experiment that "created" Eve, saying: "We are for peace and love. This is a time of danger for earth. We are spiritually lost. The two most powerful countries on earth – America and Britain – are ready to kill 100,000 civilians in Iraq, yet people are angry over the birth of a beautiful little girl through cloning."

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December 30th

Gun control doesn't reduce crime, violence, say studies (2004)

While it is an article of faith among gun-control proponents that government restrictions on firearms reduces violence and crime, two U.S. studies reported by WND could find no evidence to support such a conclusion.

The National Academy of Sciences issued a 328-page report based on 253 journal articles, 99 books, 43 government publications, a survey of 80 different gun-control laws and some of its own independent study. In short, the panel could find no link between restrictions on gun ownership and lower rates of crime, firearms violence or even accidents with guns.

The panel was established during the Clinton administration and all but one of its members were known to favor gun control.

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December 31st

Panic in the Year Zero (1999)

WorldNetDaily and Talk Radio Network joined forces to provide live, wall-to-wall coverage of Y2K weekend in a marathon radio-Internet special.

Readers were clicking on their "Refresh" buttons frequently to download the latest news postings on the arrival of the Year 2000, and listened to WND editors, reporters, columnists and guests break the news and discuss live on TRN's national broadcasting outlets and online.

"Who knows what to expect?" asked Joseph Farah rhetorically in advance of Y2K weekend. "But we'll be there to chronicle it while most of the radio world plays recorded programming. It might be chaos and pandemonium, or it might be one big party to ring in the New Year. Either way, it will be worth listening."

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