Friday, July 3, 2009

Air France plane broke up over 'number of minutes'

New evidence suggests the Air France jet which crashed into the Atlantic with 228 on-board broke up over a number of minutes, rather than in one catastrophic incident.

Members of the Brazilian Air Force carry the body of a victim of Air France flight 447: Air France plane broke up over 'number of minutes'

The Brazilian Air Force said bodies from flight AF 447 had been picked up from locations more than 50 miles apart – supporting the theory that the plane did not simply plummet into the ocean.

A reanalysis of the plane's last automatic transmissions also indicates that many parts had malfunctioned before it disappeared, and that the first parts to show problems were those measuring air speed.

Four hours into the flight from Rio de Janeiro to Paris, the Airbus A330-200s three speed sensors, or pitot tubes started providing "incoherent" readings.

A faulty air speed indicator could mislead pilots into flying faster than the aircraft could withstand, or faster than it should be flown into turbulence two circumstances that could lead to the craft coming apart in flight.

Air France has promised to replace all first-generation Thales sensors on its 34 long-haul A330 and A340 planes "within days", but the airline's director general, Pierre-Henri Gourgeon, said today that he was "not convinced" that the sensors caused the crash.

"This (replacement) programme has been accelerated because we know that when the accident happened there were problems with the speed indicators," he said, before adding: "I am not convinced that the sensors were the cause." Air France launched a programme to replace its old probes on April 27, after recording several icing problems on the speed sensors in May 2008. "We did this because we thought it would reduce the number of non-catastrophic accidents," said Mr Gourgoeon.

It now transpires that the first batch of new probes arrived just three days before the crash of flight AF 447 on June 1.

Airbus today denied a French newspaper report that it was considering grounding its fleet of A330 and A340 planes in the wake of the disaster, reiterating a European Aviation Safety Agency statement that they were "safe to fly".

Meanwhile, two terror suspects who died alongside 226 other passengers on the stricken jet have been ruled out as a cause of the disaster.

The two individuals only "shared the same name" as known Islamic radicals, posthumous security checks found.

France's interior ministry confirmed that a "deep and wide-ranging investigation has allowed us to clear them", despite the fact that their bodies are yet to be recovered.

The announcement came as the race to locate the flight's black boxes was boosted by the arrival of a French nuclear attack submarine.

Emeraude, nicknamed "golden ears" due to its highly powerful sonar, will trawl 13 square miles a day, in an attempt to pick up the boxes' acoustic beacons – whose signal will fade in three weeks' time.

A tugboat fitted with underwater listening devices has also reached the crash site.

If they find a signal, a French mini-sub already used to search the Titanic will be deployed to recover the boxes with a robotic arm.

The voice and data recorders could provide vital information to help unravel the cause of the worst aviation accident since 2001.

Brazilian searchers in charge of recovering floating bodies and debris say strong ocean currents have led them to widen the surface search area into Senegalese waters.

The number of bodies recovered has reached 41.

A complete list of things caused by global warming

Acne, agricultural land increase, Afghan poppies destroyed, Africa devastated, Africa in conflict, African aid threatened, African summer frost, aggressive weeds, Air France crash, air pressure changes, airport malaria, Agulhas current, Alaska reshaped, moves, allergy season longer, alligators in the Thames, Alps melting, Amazon a desert, American dream end, amphibians breeding earlier (or not), anaphylactic reactions to bee stings, ancient forests dramatically changed, animals head for the hills, animals shrink, Antarctic grass flourishes, Antarctic ice grows, Antarctic ice shrinks, Antarctic sea life at risk, anxiety treatment, algal blooms, archaeological sites threatened, Arctic bogs melt, Arctic in bloom, Arctic ice free, Arctic ice melt faster, Arctic lakes disappear, Arctic tundra to burn, Arctic warming (not), Atlantic less salty, Atlantic more salty, atmospheric circulation modified, attack of the killer jellyfish, avalanches reduced, avalanches increased, Baghdad snow, Bahrain under water, bananas grow, barbarisation, beer shortage, beetle infestation, bet for $10,000, better beer, big melt faster, billion dollar research projects, billion homeless, billions face risk, billions of deaths, bird distributions change, bird loss accelerating, bird strikes, bird visitors drop, birds confused, birds decline (Wales), birds driven north, birds face longer migrations, birds return early, bittern boom ends, blackbirds stop singing, blackbirds threatened, Black Hawk down, blood contaminated, blue mussels return, bluetongue, brain eating amoebae, brains shrink, bridge collapse (Minneapolis), Britain one big city, Britain Siberian, brothels struggle, brown Ireland, bubonic plague, budget increases, Buddhist temple threatened, building collapse, building season extension, bushfires, business opportunities, business risks, butterflies move north, camel deaths, cancer deaths in England, cannibalism, caterpillar biomass shift, cave paintings threatened, childhood insomnia, Cholera, circumcision in decline, cirrus disappearance, civil unrest, cloud increase, coast beauty spots lost, cockroach migration, coffee threatened, cold climate creatures survive, cold spells (Australia), cold wave (India), computer models, conferences, conflict, conflict with Russia, consumers foot the bill, coral bleaching, coral fish suffer, coral reefs dying, coral reefs grow, coral reefs shrink , coral reefs twilight, cost of trillions, cougar attacks, crabgrass menace, cradle of civilisation threatened, creatures move uphill, crime increase, crocodile sex, crops devastated, crumbling roads, buildings and sewage systems, curriculum change, cyclones (Australia), danger to kid's health, Darfur, Dartford Warbler plague, deadly virus outbreaks, death rate increase (US), deaths to reach 6 million, Dengue hemorrhagic fever, depression, desert advance, desert retreat, destruction of the environment, dig sites threatened, disappearance of coastal cities, disasters, diseases move north, dog disease, Dolomites collapse, dozen deadly diseases - or not, drought, ducks and geese decline, dust bowl in the corn belt, early marriages, early spring, earlier pollen season, Earth biodiversity crisis, Earth dying, Earth even hotter, Earth light dimming, Earth lopsided, Earth melting, Earth morbid fever, Earth on fast track, Earth past point of no return, Earth slowing down, Earth spins faster, Earth to explode, earth upside down, earthquakes, earthquakes redux, El Niño intensification, end of the world as we know it, erosion, emerging infections, encephalitis, English villages lost, equality threatened, Europe simultaneously baking and freezing, eutrophication, evolution accelerating, expansion of university climate groups, extinctions (human, civilisation, logic, Inuit, smallest butterfly, cod, ladybirds, pikas, polar bears, possums, walrus, toads, plants, salmon, trout, wild flowers, woodlice, a million species, half of all animal and plant species, mountain species, not polar bears, barrier reef, leaches, salamanders, tropical insects) experts muzzled, extreme changes to California, fading fall foliage, fainting, famine, farmers benefit, farmers go under, farm output boost, fashion disaster, fever, figurehead sacked, fir cone bonanza, fires fanned in Nepal, fish bigger, fish catches drop, fish downsize, fish catches rise, fish deaf, fish get lost, fish head north, fish stocks at risk, fish stocks decline, five million illnesses, flames stoked, flesh eating disease, flood patterns change, floods, floods of beaches and cities, flood of migrants, flood preparation for crisis, flora dispersed, Florida economic decline, flowers in peril, food poisoning, food prices rise, food prices soar, food security threat (SA), football team migration, footpath erosion, forest decline, forest expansion, frog with extra heads, frostbite, frost damage increased, frosts, fungi fruitful, fungi invasion, games change, Garden of Eden wilts, geese decline in Hampshire, genetic diversity decline, gene pools slashed, giant oysters invade, giant pythons invade, giant squid migrate, gingerbread houses collapse, glacial earthquakes, glacial retreat, glacial growth, glacier grows (California), glacier wrapped, global cooling, global dimming, glowing clouds, golf course to drown, golf Masters wrecked, grandstanding, grasslands wetter, gravity shift, Great Barrier Reef 95% dead, Great Lakes drop, great tits cope, greening of the North, Grey whales lose weight, Gulf Stream failure, habitat loss, haggis threatened, Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome, harmful algae, harvest increase, harvest shrinkage, hay fever epidemic, health affected, health of children harmed, health risks, heart disease, heart attacks and strokes (Australia), heat waves, hibernation affected, hibernation ends too soon, hibernation ends too late, HIV epidemic, homeless 50 million, hornets, high court debates, human development faces unprecedented reversal, human fertility reduced, human health risk, human race oblivion, hurricanes, hurricane reduction, hurricanes fewer, hurricanes not, hydropower problems, hyperthermia deaths, ice age, ice sheet growth, ice sheet shrinkage, icebergs, illness and death, inclement weather, India drowning, infrastructure failure (Canada), industry threatened, infectious diseases, inflation in China, insect explosion, insect invasion, insurance premium rises, Inuit displacement, Inuit poisoned, Inuit suing, invasion of cats, invasion of crabgrass, invasion of herons, invasion of jellyfish, invasion of king crabs, invasion of midges, island disappears, islands sinking, itchier poison ivy, jellyfish explosion, jets fall from sky, jet stream drifts north, Kew Gardens taxed, kidney stones, killer cornflakes, killing us, kitten boom, koalas under threat, krill decline, lake and stream productivity decline, lake empties, lake shrinking and growing, landslides, landslides of ice at 140 mph, lawsuits increase, lawsuit successful, lawyers' income increased (surprise surprise!), lawyers want more, legionnaires' surge, lives saved, Loch Ness monster dead, locust plagues suppressed, lush growth in rain forests, Malaria, mammoth dung melt, mango harvest fails, Maple production advanced, Maple syrup shortage, marine diseases, marine food chain decimated, Meaching (end of the world), Mediterranean rises, megacryometeors, Melanoma, Melanoma decline, methane emissions from plants, methane burps, methane runaway, melting permafrost, Middle Kingdom convulses, migration, migration difficult (birds), migratory birds huge losses, microbes to decompose soil carbon more rapidly, minorities hit, monkeys on the move, Mont Blanc grows, monuments imperiled, moose dying, more bad air days, more research needed, mortality increased, mountain (Everest) shrinking, mountaineers fears, mountains break up, mountains green and flowering, mountains taller, mortality lower, Myanmar cyclone, narwhals at risk, National security implications, native wildlife overwhelmed, natural disasters quadruple, new islands, next ice age, NFL threatened, Nile delta damaged, noctilucent clouds, no effect in India, Northwest Passage opened, nuclear plants bloom, oaks dying, oaks move north, ocean acidification, ocean acidification faster, ocean dead zones unleashed, ocean deserts expand, ocean waves speed up, oceans noisier, opera house to be destroyed, outdoor hockey threatened, ozone repair slowed, ozone rise, Pacific dead zone, penguin chicks frozen, personal carbon rationing, pest outbreaks, pests increase, phenology shifts, pines decline, plankton blooms, plankton destabilised, plants lose protein, plants march north, plants move uphill, polar bears aggressive, polar bears cannibalistic, polar bears deaf, polar bears drowning, polar tours scrapped, popcorn rise, porpoise astray, profits collapse, psychiatric illness, puffin decline, rabid bats, radars taken out, railroad tracks deformed, rainfall increase, rape wave, refugees, reindeer endangered, release of ancient frozen viruses, resorts disappear, rice threatened, rice yields crash, rift on Capitol Hill, rioting and nuclear war, river flow impacted, rivers raised, roads wear out, robins rampant, rocky peaks crack apart, roof of the world a desert, rooftop bars, Ross river disease, ruins ruined, Russia under pressure, salinity reduction, salinity increase, Salmonella, satellites accelerate, school closures, sea level rise, sea level rise faster, seals mating more, seismic activity, sewer bills rise, severe thunderstorms, sex change, sexual promiscuity, shark attacks, sharks booming, sharks moving north, sheep shrink, shop closures, short-nosed dogs endangered, shrinking ponds, shrinking sheep, shrinking shrine, ski resorts threatened, skin cancer, slow death, smaller brains, smog, snowfall increase, snowfall heavy, snow thicker, soaring food prices, societal collapse, soil change, songbirds change eating habits, sour grapes, space problem, spectacular orchids, spiders getting bigger, spiders invade Scotland, squid aggressive giants, squid population explosion, squid tamed, squirrels reproduce earlier, stick insects, stingray invasion, storms wetter, stormwater drains stressed, street crime to increase, subsidence, suicide, swordfish in the Baltic, Tabasco tragedy, taxes, tectonic plate movement, teenage drinking, terrorism, terrorists (India), threat to peace, ticks move northward (Sweden), tides rise, tigers eat people, tomatoes rot, tornado outbreak, tourism increase, trade barriers, trade winds weakened, traffic jams, transportation threatened, tree foliage increase (UK), tree growth slowed, trees in trouble, trees less colourful, trees more colourful, trees lush, tropics expansion, tropopause raised, truffle shortage, truffles down, turtles crash, turtle feminised, turtles lay earlier, UFO sightings, UK coastal impact, UK Katrina, uprooted - 6 million, Vampire moths, Venice flooded, violin decline, volcanic eruptions, walrus pups orphaned, walrus stampede, war, war between US and Canada, wars over water, wars sparked, wars threaten billions, wasps, water bills double, water scarcity (20% of increase), water stress, weather out of its mind, weather patterns awry, Western aid cancelled out, West Nile fever, whale beachings, whales lose weight, whales move north, whales wiped out, wheat yields crushed in Australia, wildfires, wind shift, wind reduced, winds stronger, winds weaker, wine - harm to Australian industry, wine industry damage (California), wine industry disaster (US), wine - more English, wine - England too hot, wine -German boon, wine - no more French , wine passé (Napa), wine stronger, winters in Britain colder, winter in Britain dead, witchcraft executions, wolves eat more moose, wolves eat less, workers laid off, World at war, World War 4, World bankruptcy, World in crisis, World in flames, Yellow fever.

July 3 and 4: What's open, what's closed?

Government: Most government offices will be closed Friday, July 3. The U.S. Postal Service will not deliver mail on Saturday, July 4, and many post offices will close at noon on Friday, July 3.

Transit: Bus and subway services in Los Angeles will run Saturday, July 4, on a holiday schedule. Metrolink and commuter bus lines in the Antelope Valley, Santa Clarita and Ventura County will not run on Saturday, July 4.

Banks: Financial markets are closed Friday, July 3. Banks will be closed Saturday, July 4.

Trash: Trash pickup will be on a regular basis Friday, July 3.

Stores: Most malls and supermarkets will be open. Check for holiday hours.

“US to conduct unprecedented surveillance over Internet”

Check this link ......

The Confessions of Osama Bin Laden

I confess I did not know then, but I know now, why you Americans stopped chasing me at Tora Bora in October 2001.

I confess I barely escaped. I confess you almost captured me alive.

I confess that I fully understand now how my escape was necessary for America. I fully understand how a living master criminal—Me—was far more useful that a dead or mutilated terrorist.

I fully expect to be blamed for the problems presently ailing America. Let me repeat: I fully expect to be blamed for all the woes of America. Seven years since 2001, I fully expect to be a pivotal part of the next grand chess move. I fully expect to be utilized simply to distract, disrupt and terrorize Americans again.



To harden Americans for the next eight years ahead. To offer your new administration, an administration that has promised you "Change," a chance to undertake powerful changes to amass even more dictatorial powers. To further erode the innate resiliency of the average American. To distract all Americans from the self-inflicted economic woes that have nothing to do with myself. And most importantly, to strengthen and bolster the already powerful security state of America.

How will I do this, you ask?

Another 911 attack, predicts your Western media. Another terrorist attack, but this time far worse, says your media reporters. Be afraid. Be afraid. Be very afraid, says increasing numbers of your mainstream media outlets and top European sources. Another attack is coming, said ABC. The BBC and London Times blares regular scares, such as Barack Obama is warned to beware of a ‘huge threat’ from al-Qaeda. My name is repeated again and again. Why? Just in time to bolster another beleaguered American president who has surrounded himself, even before his inauguration, with more militarists and more neoconservatives who need a powerful unifying event.

In the next few months, I will be used to divert you. A terrible attack, ANY terrible attack, will be blamed on me. You remember anthrax? You remember the DC sniper? You remember the series of train bombings in Europe? All blamed on me but none of them fully investigated. Even your esteemed FBI doubted they had sufficient evidence to convict me of the September 11, 2001 attack in a court of law. Now imagine a much larger bombing incident, with tens of thousands of deaths and injuries. Imagine how difficult that would be to prove who did it in a court of law.

But imagine again who would benefit. Imagine the outrage. Imagine how that outrage could be effectively channeled.

Which group of powerful people would most benefit from another Bin Laden attack? Of course the vast security state apparatus. Who else would benefit? Chiefly the militarists in need of another eight years of empire-building and military expenditures and costly war machines. Who else? The combined corrupt political systems of the Western world that has led the world to the very edge of the economic abyss and now needs, desperately needs, another epic distraction. A devastating attack would benefit both your Republican and Democrat infrastructures, because once again they could pretend to unite against a common enemy: Me.

We all heard the heated rhetoric between the two candidates these past few months. I watched both CNN and Al Jazeera, and this is what I heard continually: The problems besetting America can only be resolved by bombing Pakistan—underway as I write this—or attacking Iran or Syria or Russia or whatever country annoys you. That is the mindset of your leaders and has been the imperial mindset for more than 60 years, long before I was born. Don't you see the scam? The preceding eight years will be followed by a succeeding eight years. Obama Needs Osama as desperately as Bush once needed me. To distract, to divert, to control and to continue to control, until you are wholly controlled.

Another terrorist attack is needed, but one much bigger than 911. More terrifying. More on the scale of those terrorist attacks you fear on your popular TV show, "24." How exactly will I bring this predicted attack to your very doorstep, you wonder? How would I do that, you ask? Will I bring a suitcase nuke in a backpack from across your lightly guarded southern border? Will I slip it in a shipping container from one of your lightly patrolled coastal ports? Will I bring destruction to America through the air, in another airline attack?

Why won't your US newsmen and women ask who controls the security at airports or sports stadiums? Who controls the security at ports and harbors? Is it Al Qaeda? Who controls the anthrax at your top secret government labs? Is it Al Qaeda? Whoever controls your security systems can often be compromised. Why won't your reporters ask who controls the security of your nuclear bombs? After all, one of them went missing from your own US Air Force and several flew across your country, unauthorized and nearly undetected.

If another, much larger terrorist attack were to occur on the home soil of America, who would be most to blame? Since 911, you have amassed a huge network of security systems. Millions of hardworking Americans now work in the security field. I know, since I was an employee of the CIA. So how could I, Osama Bin Laden, breach your trillion dollar security state? Unless of course a breach is the intended purpose.

Who robbed you of $12 trillion from your Social Security system? Was it me or those you elected? Why won't your newsmen ask that question? Was it me who robbed you of trillions in Iraq? Was it me or those who you willingly elected? Republicans and Democrats? Was it me who rendered your banks insolvent? Was it me who disrupted Wall Street and destroyed investor confidence? Was it me who threatens to topple the global economic system? Or was it your own elected leaders?

In desperate times, a security state that desperately needs enemies will often reinvent old enemies to survive. True, I confess I was very confused that I wasn't pursued and caught after the attack on Tora Bora in 2001. Your well-trained Special Forces fighters had me cornered. But I understood then, and now, an enemy is worth far more alive than dead to some people. That is why you now hear my name, Bin Laden, repeatedly in your news, although I'm hooked up to a kidney dialysis machine far from the border of Pakistan. Possibly my next video has already been prepared.

CIA Now Delays IG's Torture Report Until the End of the Summer

The CIA told a federal court judge Thursday that it will not be able to determine whether any part of a report prepared by the agency's inspector general that called into question the legality of the Bush administration's torture program can be publicly released until the end of the summer, the time in which the agency said it expects to complete it's "labor-intensive" review.

The announcement was made following several delays over the past few weeks in the long-running court case between the CIA and the American Civil Liberties Union. The ACLU filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit to gain access to the report and other documents related to the treatment of prisoners in U.S. custody in Iraq and Afghanistan.

In court filings, the Justice Department told U.S. District Court Judge Alvin Hellerstein recently that the CIA would turn over a reprocessed version of the report on June 19. The CIA then requested two extensions – to June 26 and then July 1.

"As we explained to the Court and Plaintiffs when Plaintiffs first raised the prospect of expediting the Special Review Report, the report poses unique processing issues,” the Justice Department said in a letter Thursday. “It is over 200 pages long and contains a comprehensive summary and review of the CIA's detention and interrogation program.

"The report touches upon the information contained in virtually all of the remaining 318 documents remanded for further review. Although the Government has endeavored in good faith to complete the review of the Special Review Report first, as we have gone through the process, we have determined that prioritizing the report is simply untenable."

“In this instance, we have determined that the only practicable approach is to first complete the review of [318 other documents from the CIA related to the treatment of detainees in U.S. custody the ACLU is seeking], and then apply the withholding determinations made with respect to the information in those documents to the Special Review Report... One month into that process, we have concluded that we must review all of the documents together, and that the review will take until August 31, 2009.”

But last month, the Justice Department told Hellerstein "reprocessing of the [report] is largely complete" and the CIA needed more time to "make a final determination as to what additional information, if any, may be disclosed from the report."

Heavily redacted portions of the report were released to the ACLU in May 2008 in response to a FOIA request, but the group appealed the Bush administration’s extensive deletions and the Obama administration agreed to respond to that appeal by releasing additional material.

The ACLU, in a letter to Hellerstein, said it "strenuously" opposes the two-month delay.

"Plaintiffs strenuously object to what amounts to the government's request for a fourth extension of its deadline to reprocess the CIA's Office of the Inspector General's Special Review Report," the ACLU's letter said.

Jameel Jaffer, director of the ACLU's National Security Project said the CIA "has already had more than five months to review the inspector general's report, and the report is only about two hundred pages long."

"We're increasingly troubled that the Obama administration is suppressing documents that would provide more evidence that the CIA's interrogation program was both ineffective and illegal," Jaffer said. "President Obama should not allow the CIA to determine whether evidence of its own unlawful conduct should be made available to the public. The public has a right to know what took place in the CIA's secret prisons and on whose authority."

Amrit Singh, an ACLU staff attorney who has been working on the case, said it's "apparent that the CIA report is not being delayed for legitimate reasons, but to cover up evidence of the agency's illegal and ineffective interrogation practices."

"It is time for the president to hold true to his promise of transparency and once and for all quash the forces of secrecy within the agency," Singh said. "The American public has a right to know the full truth about the torture that was committed in its name."

In another letter sent to Hellerstein last month, the Justice Department said the CIA expected to complete it’s review of the report prepared by CIA Inspector General John Helgerson by July 1--after the agency had already sought a previous extension--and at that time CIA officials would alert the court whether the full report or some of the findings can be turned over to the ACLU.

But the agency abruptly announced Wednesday that it would not meet that deadline.

As with other recent battles over openness, the CIA is opposing any significant release of new information arguing that it would jeopardize sources and methods. President Barack Obama will have to decide whether to overrule CIA objections as he did in April when he released four Justice Department memos justifying torture.

However, more recently – in May and June – Obama has sided with U.S. officials wanting to keep evidence of detainee abuse away from the public. In May, Obama refused to release photos of U.S. military mistreatment of prisoners, and in June, he allowed the CIA to resist releasing documents relating to its destruction of 92 interrogation videotapes.

The highly classified report has been sought by members of Congress and civil liberties organizations for some time. Justice Department torture memos released in April contain several footnotes to the inspector general's report noting the watchdog's concerns about the fact that interrogators strayed from the legal limits set forth in the memos on how specific interrogation methods could be used.

For example, a footnote in a May 2005 Justice Department legal opinion says Helgerson found that, "in some cases," the "waterboard was used with far greater frequency than initially indicated...and also that it was used in a different manner."

The May 2004 report about the agency’s use of torture includes details of how at least three detainees were killed in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Helgerson's still secret findings led to eight criminal referrals to the Justice Department for homicide and other misconduct, but those cases languished as Vice President Dick Cheney reportedly intervened to constrain Helgerson’s inquiries.

As with other recent battles over openness, the CIA is opposing any significant release of new information arguing that it would jeopardize sources and methods. President Barack Obama will have to decide whether to overrule CIA objections as he did in April when he released four Justice Department memos justifying torture.

However, more recently – in May and June – Obama has sided with U.S. officials wanting to keep evidence of detainee abuse away from the public. In May, Obama refused to release photos of U.S. military mistreatment of prisoners, and in June, he allowed the CIA to resist releasing documents relating to its destruction of 92 interrogation videotapes.

The ACLU’s appeal of the redactions from Helgerson’s report will test whether Obama’s retreat on openness includes concealing evidence of homicides.

By Jason Leopold

Iran Cleric Says British Embassy Staff to Stand Trial

PARIS — Brushing aside British and European efforts to seek the release of local British Embassy staff members held in Tehran, the Iranian authorities indicated Friday that they planned to put some of them on trial — a move that deepened a diplomatic crisis and could provoke the withdrawal of ambassadors.

In London, the Foreign Office said it was urgently checking reports that the Iranian authorities planned to put two of its local employees on trial. Nine staff members were seized after the unrest sparked by Iran’s disputed presidential elections on June 12.

Hours after the Iranian threat, the European Union seemed to hold back from an out-and-out showdown, resolving to summon Iranian ambassadors in all 27 countries to send “a strong message of protest against the detention of British Embassy local staff and to demand their immediate release,” said a European diplomat who, following European Union rules, spoke on condition of anonymity.

Other measures — such as a ban on issuing visas to Iranian travelers and a pullout of European ambassadors — would be considered depending on how the crisis unfolded, the diplomat said.

The Iranian authorities accused the local employees of fomenting and orchestrating protests, but pro-democracy Iranians ascribed the violence on the streets to a widespread crackdown by government security forces.

In London, a spokeswoman for the Foreign Office, speaking in return for customary anonymity under civil service rules, said: “We are very concerned by these reports and are investigating. Allegations that our staff are involved in fomenting unrest are wholly without foundation. We will be seeking an urgent explanation from the Iranians.”

Britain has been pressing the European Union to withdraw all its ambassadors from Tehran in protest of the detention of its officials. But other European countries, led by Germany, argued that a withdrawal of envoys would leave them with few diplomatic options if the crisis deteriorated further.

Other possibilities such as a visa ban or withdrawal of ambassadors “are on the table, but there’s agreement on a gradual approach,” the European diplomat said.

The new slump in relations came when Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati, the head of the influential Guardian Council and an ally of Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, told worshipers at Friday Prayers in Tehran that the local employees would be tried after they “made confessions.”

Ayatollah Jannati did not say how many of the British detainees would be tried or what charges they would face, news reports said.

But, in unofficial translations provided by news agencies, he said that the British Embassy had a “presence” in the post-election unrest and that some people had been arrested. It was “inevitable” that they would face trial, he said.

The Guardian Council is an influential panel of 12 clerics whose responsibilities including vetting elections. On Monday it certified the disputed presidential vote that returned President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to power, despite opposition claims of electoral fraud and huge protests on the streets.

The Iranian authorities have frequently blamed foreigners for the turmoil but have singled out the British as instigators.

At the same time, Tehran has sent mixed signals about the likely fate of the British Embassy employees.

Hassan Qashqavi, the Iranian foreign ministry spokesman, said on Monday — the day after the employees were arrested — that Iran was keen to maintain normal diplomatic relations with the European Union, its biggest trading partner. “Reduction of ties is not on our agenda with any European country, including Britain,” he said.

But on Wednesday, the semiofficial Fars news agency said one of the employees, who was not identified by name, “had a remarkable role during the recent unrest in managing it behind the scenes.” Iran has also claimed to have unspecified evidence linking British Embassy personnel to the unrest.

The idea of British Embassy staff members on trial recalled some of the images in 2007 when Iranian television paraded some of 15 captured British sailors making what were called confessions that they had entered Iranian territorial waters illegally.

While Ayatollah Jannati is not a member of the government or the judiciary, his words as the head of the Guardian Council and a close associate of the supreme leader carry some weight.

At Friday Prayers — a forum Iran has often used to convey significant political messages — he accused Britain of trying to provoke a “velvet revolution.” As long ago as March, he said, the British Foreign Office had said streets riots were possible during the June elections. “These are signs, revealed by themselves,” he said.

Ayatollah Jannati also said protesters “need to repent and ask God to forgive them.”

Many of the protesters have expressed loyalty to Mir Hussein Moussavi, a former prime minister who placed second to Mr. Ahmadinejad in the election, with the official count giving him around a third of the vote.

While challenges on the streets have gradually been suppressed, Mr. Moussavi has maintained his insistence that the outcome of the vote was illegitimate and that the authorities seem determined to maintain pressure on him.

While he did not mention Mr. Moussavi by name, Ayatollah Jannati inferred on Friday that the authorities considered him a traitor. According to The Associated Press, he pointed out that Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the leader of Iran’s 1979 Islamic revolution whom Mr. Moussavi served as prime minister, once said that “anyone who disrupts unity has not only committed a sin but also has committed treason against the Islamic republic and the system.”

Alan Cowell reported from Paris, and Stephen Castle from Brussels.