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Author: Ran
Date:Dec 5 1997

In today's news, Finland joined the United States in refusing to sign a
worldwide treaty banning the use of anti-personel mines.  The US refuses to
sign since anti-personel mines are critical to the defense of the Korean
Peninsula, where it uses anti-personel mines to protect anti-tank devices from
being disarmed.  An informal military source commented, "When we see signs of
an invasion, we bury these large discs (points to anti-tank mine) in the
ground.  We put these little babbies around it (points to some 'pop-up'
anti-personel mines) to slow down anyone trying to disarm it.  It doesn't stop
the invasion, but it slows it down long enough for us to mount a sucessful
defense.  All the mines stop working 60 days (2 months) after their being
planted.  See, with an invasion, time is everything.  If we can slow down
their armor (military word for 'tanks'), we'll have more time to use our
aircraft in anti-tank roles.  Time saves lives.  One of our favorite pastimes
is (points over to a shelf on the side) painting and decorating the mines. 
During christmass, we wrap bows around them and put things like 'from America,
with love' on them.  During Easter, we make them look like eggs and bury them.
You know.  ...  Oh that?  No, we don't mind having to change 'em every two
months.  It's kinda like changing your clothes, you know, we're supposed to be
the most advanced nation in the world.  If there's a mine out there with the
US flag on it, it ought to be clean, otherwise it's a bad reflection of us. 
Also, it creates jobs, and gives the men something to do.  You know?  Idle
minds... ah, forgot the saying.  We'll, you know.  ... Oh that?  Sure, of
course we're not going to be here forever.  When we leave, we just won't put
in new ones.  The ones in the ground right will die, kids can use them as
frisbees or sell them on street corners of souveniors.  Of the cold war,
y'know."

A schoolboy, Michael Carneal, said a movie influenced him to walk into a
prayer group and open fire with a handgun, killing three fellow students and
injuring several others.  Of the several injured, most have been released and
are expected to survive, though one girl is paralyzed from the waist down. 
The prosecutor said that there is evidence he had planned the shooting for a
year beforehand, and that he possibly had not acted alone. The state plans to
seek the maximum penalty of 25 years gauranteed imprisonment, followed by
possible release for the boy, who refuses to acknowledge the crime. 
Additionally, the parents of the some of the children who were injured and
killed are considering filing civil charges against the family, to pay for
medical costs, undue suffering and wrongful death of their children.
  There is some support for alliance raids to kill the boy in the most painful
way possible.  I will not authorize anything at this time.  The kid is a
human, so the humans get first dibs on punishing him, any kind of action would
be a violation of their right to do so.  For me, this is a 'wait and see'
thing.  Once the humans decide how they will punish the boy, depending on such
conditions action may or may not be warranted.  A decision will be made then,
not now.  If alliance members were injured, that would be another thing, and
prompt action would be taken.  But only humans have been injured or killed,
and the perpetrator was a human.  No action is necessary at this time. - Lan
  Nonetheless, incidents such as this continue to denote the need for
improvements in current personal defensive technologies.  

Follows-

Unlike humans, most "species" are generally very rugged.  A lot of this is due
to prolonged evolution of the species in a violent environment.  Also notable
is the tendency of species to hybridize and cross-breed, taking the best
physical strengths of both species.  Thousands of generations of breeding
between many different species produced most of the predominant species there
are today, whereas weaker species died off as they became less viable.

Nonetheless, people are not immune to damage, and are still rather vulnerable
to guns and other slugthrowers, as well as explosive devices.


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