* Zoran Report Update - "Dirty Phones"-RCR News and AP on coltan - Question (27/4/03)
Zoran Report Update

(Maarive, Eitan Rabin, 27.4.2003)

27 people from Zoran have cancer, the average age is 38 only. This is
the updated report from April 2003, today the school is on strike, until
Ariel Sharon the prime minister will order to shut down the antennas
farm. The residents are trying to sell their houses but nobdy wants to buy it.

* Right now on the radio report on the protest of the residents in front
of the Knesset, they brought graves and antennas.

Informant: Iris Atzmon

"Dirty Phones" - RCR News and AP on coltan

From RCR Wireless News - Jeff Silva's current editorial and two 2001
articles on coltan mining in Congo and its involvement in the civil war there.

From AP - 16 April 2003 article: "Fighting Rages in Wealthy Congo Province"

RCR Wireless News
Dirty phones
* April 21, 2003

In a different continent-geographically next door, geopolitically worlds
away-is another troubled land rich in a natural resource critical to
Western modernity and abundant in human suffering. There you won't find
troops tasked with regime change or armies of journalists. It is the
"dark continent" because of a perpetual news blackout. The big story is
somewhere else, most definitely out of Africa.

If cameras had been rolling during the past few years, particularly in
the Democratic Republic of Congo, they would have recorded deaths and
atrocities in numbing numbers. Warlords fighting over coltan-a mineral
used in mobile-phone capacitors-is a big reason why. Wireless vendors
previously said they would not buy coltan from DRC. But a market still
exists for DRC coltan. Somebody is buying. Who?

A new report from the International Rescue Committee, a New York-based
aid agency, said as many as 3.3 million Congolese have died since 1998.
That would make the conflict, at once fueled and underwritten by the
plunder of coltan, diamonds, timber and gold, the deadliest since World
War II, according to the group.

"This is a humanitarian catastrophe of horrid and shocking proportions,"
said IRC President George Rupp on April 8. "The worst mortality
projections in the event of a lengthy war in Iraq and the death toll
from all the recent wars in the Balkans don't even come close. Yet, the
crisis has received scant attention from international donors and the
media." The recent World Bank-IMF meeting produced grumbling about how
Iraq dominated an agenda that didn't include it.

Comparing tragedies in terms of body counts is tricky business, if not
distasteful. But if you're desperate for attention about something, you
go for effect. It's hard to blame Rupp if you consider what he's up
against: indifference and just possibly injustice. Last month, a Belgian
Senate study absolved Belgian companies of illegally trading in DRC
coltan. Opposition lawmakers refused to endorse the document.

The United Nations and humanitarian groups have taken stabs at the
problem. The efforts appeared to be in vain, until just recently. A
peace process is now under way, beginning with a power-sharing local
administration that will oversee the region until a new, post-war
national government assumes control.

Closer to home, Congress has sent President Bush legislation that has
the U.S. joining other countries in banning the export or import of
"conflict diamonds" that finance civil wars in the region. How about a
"clean coltan" bill?

Meantime, progress is being made. At long last, coltan is contributing
in ways constructive and beneficial to Africa. Last month saw the launch
of the first next-generation wireless local loop system, a cdma20000 1x
network in Lagos, Nigeria. Mobile penetration rates are increasing in
most African countries. In fact, many African nations are licensing new
mobile operators and seeing subscriber figures steadily climb.

Coltan controversy
Phone component illegally mined, hurts environment, people

By Jeffrey Silva
May 21, 2001

WASHINGTON-The wireless industry may be an unwitting accomplice to
mass-scale looting of an African mineral used in mobile-phone
capacitors, a situation some believe is prolonging war, causing
environmental destruction and contributing to human suffering in the
Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The world's top mobile-phone manufacturers-Nokia Corp., L.M. Ericsson
and Motorola Inc.-are scrambling to limit the potential public-relations
fallout from an issue they say totally blindsided them. The three firms
last week said they cannot be sure whether or not illegally mined
columbite-tantalite-known also as coltan and tantalum-is used in the
hundreds of millions of cell phones they've sold throughout the world.

Nokia, Ericsson and Motorola, which said they are investigating the
matter with suppliers, said they want no part of it.

"We recently became aware of the issue regarding the mining of tantalum
in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Motorola deplores the activities
alleged against illegal miners in the environmentally protected region
of the Congo. We have asked our suppliers to verify and certify in
writing that illegally mined African tantalum is not used in the
manufacture of electronic components purchased by Motorola. We also
fully support the efforts of relevant authorities to protect regions
where the environment or wildlife is threatened," said Motorola in a statement.

While the world has become aware of the gruesome mutilation of children
and adults in connection with fighting over diamond mines in Africa, the
illegal plundering of coltan in the eastern Congo has suddenly grabbed
the attention of governments, environmentalists and religious groups
around the world.

According to a new United Nations report and other organizations, the
illegal mining of coltan in the Congo is perpetuating a war that has
drawn in at least six African nations during the past six years. A UN
panel has called for a temporary embargo on the import and export of
Congo coltan until illegal mining of it ceases.

The issue has come to the attention of Congress, which already is
considering bills to restrict import of illegally mined diamonds from
Africa. Congressional staffers said current legislation does not
cover coltan. But aides to Reps. Tony Hall (D-Ohio) and Frank Wolf
(R-Va.) warned that could change if the U.S. private sector fails to
responsibly address the coltan mobile-phone issue.

Coltan itself is not much use to warring factions from the Congo,
Rwanda, Angola, Zimbabwe, Uganda and Nambia, but it can be sold for top
dollar to multinational mineral companies and suppliers to meet the
world's insatiable appetite for mobile phones. The money from coltan
sales buys more arms. It is not unusual for coltan mines to change hands
many times, depending on what group happens to be in control at the
time. From there, the supply chain gets blurry insofar as business
relationships among suppliers and processors of coltan and, ultimately,
mobile-phone makers.

"We certainly are aware of the situation and concerns about the mining
of tantalum in the Congo," said William Plummer, vice president for
government and industry affairs at Nokia. "We recognize the Congo is one
of the sources of tantalum. We've got a very sophisticated life-cycle
program incorporating essential environmental management goals. We have
sent notifications to suppliers to avoid purchasing tantalum from the Congo."

Moreover, there is evidence that illegal coltan mining is threatening
endangered species, like the Gauer gorilla, as well as elephants,
monkeys and antelope. Illegal miners hunt and kill the animals to feed
themselves during mining of coltan, whose properties-including
denseness, high melting point, resistance to corrosion and heat
conduction-make it ideal for compact mobile phones. "The elephant
population has been virtually wiped out," Dr. George Schaller, of the
Wildlife Conservation Society, told Newsweek.

Coltan reportedly can be found in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Malaysia
and Nigeria, but most of the world's reserves are believed to be buried
in the eastern Congo locale of Kivu.

Ericsson, like the other two top mobile-phone manufacturers, said it is
trying to get to the bottom of coltan controversy.

"We clearly take this issue very seriously," said Kathy Egan, an
Ericsson spokeswoman. "We're investigating where the source of our
supplies of coltan comes from. We are also looking at phasing out the
use of coltan [in mobile-phone capacitors] and replacing it with
cheramic condensators."

Travis Larson, a spokesman for the Cellular Telecommunications &
Internet Association, referred questions about the use of coltan in
mobile phones to equipment manufacturers.

The Telecommunications Industry Association said it was unaware of the
coltan concerns, when contacted by RCR.

Manufacturers try to steer clear of coltan
December 10, 2001

WASHINGTON-A follow-up investigation to last April's U.N report on
illegal mining has led to another call for a moratorium on the import of
coltan-a metal ore and excellent conductor used to manufacture
components for mobile phones and other electronic products-from the
Democratic Republic of Congo.

In April, a U.N. report concluded illegal mining of coltan in Congo has
perpetuated a bloody civil war that has drawn in at least six African
nations during the past six years. In that report, the United Nations
for the first time called for a temporary embargo on the import and
export of Congo coltan until the illegal mining ceases. Though the
report was criticized in some quarters, the findings and conclusions
remain largely intact, as reflected in the November addendum to the
April report

"The systematic exploitation of natural resources and other forms of
wealth of the Democratic Republic of the Congo continues unabated," the
latest U.N. report concludes. "The exploitation has resulted in the
further enrichment of individuals and institutions, who are
opportunistically making use of the current situation to amass as much
wealth as possible."

Previously attention was focused on Uganda and Rwanda, which were paid
in coltan and other valuable minerals to defend the government against
rebel groups. Now, the spotlight is on a third Congo defender, Zimbabwe.

"There is a clear link between the continuation of the conflict and the
exploitation of natural resources. It would not be wrong to say that one
drives the others," the new U.N. document states. The April U.N. report
and the follow-up come at a time when efforts to achieve peace are being
made, following the July 1999 cease-fire, and in conjunction with the
inter-Congolese dialogue.

When the coltan issue erupted last spring, mobile-phone manufacturers
were taken off guard, but they scrambled quickly to distance themselves
from a controversy with negative public-relations implications. Some
vendors took immediate steps to identify their sources of coltan-a
shorthand name for columbo-tantalite-and halt the purchase from any
coming from Congo. The mineral also is called tantalum. That which is
mined in Congo has come to be known as "blood tantalum."

"We sent out letters to suppliers to verify in writing that they are not
supplying us with tantalum in that region. They've all replied that they
will comply with this request," said Sharon Corbitt, a spokeswoman for
Motorola Inc.

Corbitt said she believe letters were sent out to around a dozen suppliers.

"We will certainly review the report," said William Plummer, vice
president of government and industry affairs for Nokia Inc. "We've
instructed suppliers to avoid buying coltan from Congo, which is just
one of the sources [of the mineral]."

L.M. Ericsson, another leading mobile-phone manufacturer, did not return
a call for comment.

The initial publicity about coltan and its use in mobile phones and
other electronic gadgets appears to have curbed coltan imports from
Congo and depressed prices. Indeed, the U.N. report said coltan sold at
an all-time high of $300 per pound in 2000, when the high-tech boom
reached its peak. Since then, prices have fallen sharply to between $20
to $30 per pound.

The mass-scale looting of valuable African minerals has not gone
unnoticed by Congress. The House late last month passed legislation
designed to stop the purchase of "conflict diamonds" that rebel groups
in Sierra Leone and Angola use to pay for weapons. The rebel groups are
accused of killing and mutilating children and adults alike in
connection with fights for control over diamond mines and political
control generally.

The House bill would make the United States the first country to
regulate rough diamonds through a system of strict controls and
country-of-origin standards. A companion bill is pending in the Senate.
Some press reports have suggested that Al Quaeda and Osama bin Laden are
also involved in conflict diamonds trade to support terrorist activities.

Fighting Rages in Wealthy Congo Province

The Associated Press
Wednesday, April 16, 2003; 3:27 AM

DRODRO, Congo - Fertile soil, lush green hills and rivers running with
gold make Ituri province one of the potentially richest in Congo.

But even as the 4 1/2-year civil war winds down elsewhere in Congo, the
drive to control the wealth beneath the feet of Ituri's 5 million
inhabitants has stoked vicious fighting and ethnic massacres in
this northeastern region, once touted as the nation's breadbasket.

"There is gold all over Ituri ... If you take a shovel, a pan and a
water pump and begin digging on a river bank, you will strike gold,"
said Faustin-Goba Tengama, a 39-year-old gold dealer who operates out of
a wooden shack in the provincial capital, Bunia.

But the potential wealth has brought mostly death and destruction. Men,
women and children nursing machete and gunshot wounds fill the hospital
at Drodoro Roman Catholic mission, 26 miles northeast of Bunia. They are
the survivors of an April 3 attack on the mission and 14 nearby
settlements in which some 966 people were killed.

The raid was carried out by members of the Lendu community who looted
from their wealthier Hema neighbors to finance the purchase of arms and
ammunition used in the battles for control of Ituri, said Raphael Ngona,
a priest at the sprawling, red-brick mission.

"The assailants came screaming and shooting in the air to intimidate
people to flee and leave their property," Ngona said. "I even heard them
shout: 'We will sell your cows to buy guns.'"

Before the attack, Lendu men, women and children descended on the
isolated settlements, making off with more than 18,000 head of cattle,
hundreds of sacks of coffee beans and other property, Ngona said.

"This wealth is fueling war here," Tengama said after peeling off bills
from a thick wad of dollars to pay a miner for a handful of gold dust
wrapped up in a black plastic bag. "We are victims of our own wealth."

Since the war broke out in August 1998, Ituri has become one of the
deadliest places in Africa's third-largest nation where troops of the
government - based 1,000 miles to the west - rebels, tribal fighters and
soldiers from neighboring Uganda fight for control of the gold, coltan,
timber, coffee - and possibly even oil.

An estimated 50,000 people have been killed in the Ituri region and
hundreds of thousands forced to flee their homes.

The war broke out when Uganda and Rwanda sent troops to back rebels
seeking to oust then-President Laurent Kabila, accusing him of arming
insurgents threatening regional security.

The International Rescue Committee estimates that 3.3 million people
have died throughout Congo, most of them from war-induced famine and disease.

Most foreign troops from the six countries that had backed the rebels
and the government withdrew after a series of peace deals took hold, but
fighting among rival rebel factions, tribal fighters and the remaining
Ugandan troops has continued in eastern and northeastern Congo.

Ituri, one of the last patches of Africa to be taken over by European
colonial powers when they divided the continent among themselves in the
late 1880s, wasn't always the object of such unhealthy interest.

The Belgian colonial authorities saw in Ituri a sort of Switzerland in
Africa - a region of prosperous dairy and cattle farms, wheat fields,
temperate weather, bountiful rains and spectacular scenery.

But years of mismanagement and misrule under Mobutu Sese Seko, who ruled
Congo from 1964 until his ouster in 1997, stymied development.

A few months after war erupted in Congo, killings in Ituri escalated to
horrific proportions after the Congolese government, Uganda - and later
Rwanda - armed rival tribes with assault weapons, using them as proxy
forces in battles for control of the region, its wealth and the
airstrips dotting the landscape that indicate the presence of gold
mines, residents said.

Instead, the Lendu and Hema turned their guns on each other, setting off
an arms race.

The two communities have fought for control of land and other resources
in the past, but casualties were low because they used arrows, spears
and machetes. Attacks were sporadic because of fear of Mobutu's police.

But as Ugandan-backed rebels splintered and fought among themselves, all
semblance of law and order vanished, encouraging tribal fighters to
launch increasingly vicious raids on rivals.

U.N. investigators confirmed that rebels of the Ugandan-backed Congolese
Liberation Movement and the allied Congolese Rally for
Democracy-National carried out rape, torture, killings and cannibalism
in Ituri late last year.

"I will be willing to pray in any kind of religion for the bloodshed to
stop in Ituri," said Behrooz Sadry, deputy head of the U.N. mission to Congo.

"But whether I can state with any guarantee that people will stop the
killings, I cannot," Sadry said.

© 2003 The Associated Press

Informant: Janet Newton at EMRNetwork


Does anyone know where there may be scientific characterizations of the
ELF & RF emissions and other radiance from TV and computer screens?
Susan Clarke

Citizens' Initiative Omega

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