Saturday, November 14, 2009

Supermodel quits modeling business following weight criticism

Supermodel quits modeling business following weight criticism

November 11, 12:46 PMOrlando Diets ExaminerJulie Bream
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Gemma Ward at Fashion Week Live in 2007
Gemma Ward at Fashion Week Live in 2007
Jesse Gross

Gemma Ward, an Australian supermodel who turned 22 last week, quit modeling amid a series of attacks from the media criticizing her fuller figure.

Ward’s agent announced the news this week, stating that the supermodel does not intend to return to modeling.

Pictures of Ward surfaced last week on fashion blog featuring the supermodel in New York. Though Ward looks healthy and fit, the photographs received numerous cruel comments noting her weight gain.

Ward received previous criticism for looking too frail, followed by criticism about weight gain in October 2007 when she walked down the runway in a swimsuit modeling Chanel’s spring line.

In early 2009 an Australian tabloid featured a picture of Ward in a bathing suit calling her a “roll model.” Click here to see the front page of the tabloid that criticized her weight gain.

Ward previously modeled for Burberry, Calvin Klein, Christian Dior, Dolce & Gabbana, Louis Vuitton, Prada, Valentino and Yves Saint-Laurent, among others.

Ryanair Hits Turbulence Over Sexy Staff Pin-Up Calendar

Ryanair Hits Turbulence Over Sexy Staff Pin-Up Calendar

Airline Under Fire for Its 2010 Charity Calendar Featuring Its Own Scantily Clad Employees

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Ryanair has flown straight into a new media storm over its 2010 charity calendar which features its own scantily clad employees.

Ryanair hits turbulence over sexy staff pin-up calendar
Ryanair cabin crew strip off at the launch of the 2010 Ryanair Cabin Crew Charity Calendar on... Expand
(Marco Secchi/Getty Images)

The National Women's Council of Ireland (NWCI) has slammed the airline as "irredeemably old-fashioned" and accused it of a "serious lack of imagination."

In response, Michael O'Leary's airline said the calendar was empowering for women and said the NWCI didn't have "a clue how young women empower themselves."


Describing the calendar as a work of "art," a spokesman said it was "a step up from last year which makes it a little bit sexier."

The spokesman Stephen McNamara (a man of course!) said the calendar was used to raise massive amounts of money for charities and that they were hoping that they would raise $160,000 next year.

He said all staff participating in the calendar did so on a voluntary basis.

Last year, Ryanair was rocked by revelations that one of its staff was a part-time porn star.

It is not known whether or not the porn star Edita Bente will be featured in next year's calendar.

Friday, November 13, 2009


Bible, King James. Baruch, from The holy Bible, King James version (Apocrypha)
Electronic Text Center, University of Virginia Library

| The entire work (35 KB) | Table of Contents for this work |
| All on-line databases | Etext Center Homepage |

  • Header
  • Chapter 1 Baruch (Apocrypha), chapter 1
  • Chapter 2 Baruch (Apocrypha), chapter 2
  • Chapter 3 Baruch (Apocrypha), chapter 3
  • Chapter 4 Baruch (Apocrypha), chapter 4
  • Chapter 5 Baruch (Apocrypha), chapter 5
  • Letter Epistle of Jeremiah
  • Happy Do-Whatever-You-Wanukah

    Happy Do-Whatever-You-Wanukah

    The annual cries of religious censorship start right on schedule. Let the war on Christmas begin!

    Another holiday season approaches, and along with the jingle jangle of sleigh bells come the inevitable grumblings of outrage at the imagined secular war on Christmas. The American Family Association today has taken up the cause on behalf of the baby Jesus, who would no doubt be horrified that other, lesser celebrations are trying to horn in on the sweater hawking that is reserved for His birthday alone.

    In rallying for a conveniently timed two-month boycott of Gap, Old Navy and Banana Republic, the conservative organization claims, "For years, Gap has refused to use the word Christmas in its television commercials, newspaper ads and in-store promotions." The association says the Gap's campaign is "political correctness at best and religious bigotry at worst ... The Gap is censoring the word Christmas, pure and simple."

    Let's take a look at the company's incendiary campaign against religious freedom, shall we? Its current spot, which aired about 8,000 times during NBC's must-see lineup last night, starts out with a fresh-faced group of plaid-clad quasi Gleesters in cheer formation. As they toss bodies around, they chant, "Two! Four! Six! Eight! Tis the time to liberate! Go Christmas! Go Chanukah! Go Kwanzaa! Go solstice!"

    So except for the fact that the ad mentioned Christmas, and mentioned it first, obviously we have a clear-cut case of religious bias here. Because, God help us, the Gap is telling America to "86 the rules, you do what just feels right … happy do whatever you wanukah!" And I don't know about you, but I always do whatever the Gap tells me I wanukah do.

    Gap's other brands, Old Navy and Banana Republic, are indeed subtler, invoking "winter" and "holiday" in their online ads, but others aren't so Santaphobic. Target is touting its free shipping promotion as "Christmas delivered." Amazon has a swirling Christmas tree on its front page. Kmart has a Christmas countdown. And Wal-Mart has a clearly marked Christmas shop.

    Dammit, with all this Christmas-themed retailing, where does a person have to go to work up a full head of righteous Christian indignation? Oh wait, don't tell me.

    If you want to go for the scariest holiday possibility of all, consider the rumors flying around that the Obamas are ditching a Christmas tree this year in favor of a "holiday" one. Yes, surely the new administration has just been waiting since the inauguration to hold a godless bacchanal at Sodom on the Potomac. Except that the giant evergreen in question is clearly called a Christmas tree on the National Parks Service page, and the Washington Post has already reported on the first lady's plans for decorating what they like to call the "Christmas tree."

    I am having a really hard time feeling oppressed here.

    In the imagined war on Christmas, what's often overlooked is that for those of us who do, in fact, celebrate a religious holiday, that holiday happens whether the Gap or the local public school recognize it or not. It comes without ribbons! It comes without tags! It comes without packages, boxes or bags! It comes without mandatory Christmas carols and a nativity on every corner. It comes, like Kwanzaa and World AIDS Day and Boxing Day and solstice and Chanukah, regardless. So maybe this year it's time to add one more holiday to the December roster. We could call it War on Christmas Armistice, the day we celebrate freedom from nonexistent religious persecution.

    Is Mexico the “New” China?

    Is Mexico the “New” China?

    [Editor's Note: Money Morning Chief Investment Strategist Keith Fitz-Gerald’s new book – "Fiscal Hangover”will be published on Monday.]

    By Keith Fitz-Gerald
    Chief Investment Strategist
    Money Morning/The Money Map Report

    When it comes to global manufacturing, Mexico is quickly emerging as the “new” China.

    According to corporate consultant AlixPartners, Mexico has leapfrogged China to be ranked as the cheapest country in the world for companies looking to manufacture products for the U.S. market. India is now No. 2, followed by China and then Brazil.

    In fact, Mexico’s cost advantages and has become so cheap that even Chinese companies are moving there to capitalize on the trade advantages that come from geographic proximity.

    The influx of Chinese manufacturers began early in the decade, as China-based firms in the cellular telephone, television, textile and automobile sectors began to establish maquiladora operations in Mexico. By 2005, there were 20-25 Chinese manufacturers operating in such Mexican states Chihuahua, Tamaulipas and Baja.

    The investments were generally small, but the operations had managed to create nearly 4,000 jobs, Enrique Castro Septien, president of the Consejo Nacional de la Industria Maquiladora de Exportacion (CNIME), told the SourceMex news portal in a 2005 interview.

    China’s push into Mexico became more concentrated, with China-based automakers Zhongxing Automobile Co., First Automotive Works (in partnership with Mexican retail/media heavyweight Grupo Salinas), Geely Automobile Holdings (PINK: GELYF) and ChangAn Automobile Group Co. Ltd. (the Chinese partner of Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) and Suzuki Motor Corp.), all announced plans to place automaking factories in Mexico.

    Not all the plans would come to fruition. But Geely’s plan called for a three-phase project that would ultimately involve a $270 million investment and have a total annual capacity of 300,000 vehicles. ChangAn wants to churn out 50,000 vehicles a year. Both companies are taking these steps with the ultimate goal of selling cars to U.S. consumers.

    Mexico’s allure as a production site that can serve the U.S. market isn’t limited to China-based suitors. U.S. companies are increasingly realizing that Mexico is a better option than China. Analysts are calling it “nearshoring” or “reverse globalization.” But the reality is this: With wages on the rise in China, ongoing worries about whipsaw energy and commodity prices, and a dollar-yuan relationship that’s destined to get much uglier before it has a chance of improving, manufacturers with an eye on the American market are increasingly realizing that Mexico trumps China in virtually every equation the producers run.

    “China was like a recent graduate, hitting the job market for the first time and willing to work for next to nothing," Mexico-manufacturing consultant German Dominguez told the Christian Science Monitor in an interview last year. But now China is experiencing “the perfect storm … it’s making Mexico – a country that had been the ugly duckling when it came to costs – look a lot better."

    The real eye opener was a 2008 speculative frenzy that sent crude oil prices up to a record level in excess of $147 a barrel – an escalation that caused shipping prices to soar. Suddenly, the labor cost advantage China enjoyed wasn’t enough to overcome the costs of shipping finished goods thousands of miles from Asia to North America. And that reality kick-started the concept of “nearshoring,” concluded an investment research report by Canadian investment bank CIBC World Markets Inc. (NYSE: CM)

    “In a world of triple-digit oil prices, distance costs money," the CIBC research analysts wrote. “And while trade liberalization and technology may have flattened the world, rising transport prices will once again make it rounder."

    Indeed, four factors are at work here.

    Mexico’s “Fab Four”

    • The U.S.-Mexico Connection: There’s no question that China’s role in the post-financial-crisis world economy will continue to grow in importance. But contrary to the conventional wisdom, U.S. firms still export three times as much to Mexico as they do to China. Mexico gets 75% of its foreign direct investment from the United States, and sends 85% of its exports back across U.S. borders. As China’s cost and currency advantages dissipate, the fact that the United States and Mexico are right next to one another makes it logical to keep the factories in this hemisphere – if for no other reason that to shorten the supply chain and to hold down shipping costs. This is particularly important for companies like Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ), Whirlpool Corp. (NYSE: WHR) and even the beleaguered auto parts maker Delphi Corp. (PINK: DPHIQ) which are involved in just-in-time manufacturing that requires parts be delivered only as fast as they are needed.
    • The Lost Cost Advantage: A decade or more ago, in any discussion of manufactured product costs, Asia was hands-down the low-cost producer. That’s a given no more. Recent reports – including the analysis by AlixPartners – show that Asia’s production costs are 15% or 20% higher than they were just four years ago. A U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics report from March reaches the same conclusion. Compensation costs in East Asia – a region that includes China but excludes Japan – rose from 32% of U.S. wages in 2002 to 43% in 2007, the most recent statistics available. And since wages are advancing at a rate of 8% to 9% a year, and many types of taxes are escalating, too, East Asia’s overall costs have no doubt escalated even more in the two years since the BLS figures were reported.
    • The Creeping Currency Crisis: For the past few years, U.S. elected officials and corporate executives alike have groused that China keeps its currency artificially low to boost its exports, while also reducing U.S. imports. The U.S. trade deficit with China has soared, growing by $20.2 billion in August alone to reach $143 billion so far this year. The currency debate will be part of the discussion when U.S. President Barack Obama visits China starting Monday. Because China’s yuan has strengthened so much, goods made in China may not be the bargain they once were. Those currency crosscurrents aren’t a problem with the U.S. and Mexico, however. As of Monday, the dollar was down about 15% from its March 2009 high. At the same time, however, the Mexican peso had dropped 20% versus the dollar. So while the yuan was getting stronger as the dollar got cheaper, the peso was getting even cheaper versus the dollar.
    • Trade Alliance Central: Everyone’s familiar with the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). But not everyone understands the impact that NAFTA has had. It isn’t just window-dressing: Mexico’s trade with the United States and Canada has tripled since NAFTA was enacted in 1994. What’s more, Mexico has 12 free-trade agreements that involve more than 40 countries – more than any other country and enough to cover more than 90% of the country’s foreign trade. Its goods can be exported – duty-free – to the United States, Canada, the European Union, most of Central and Latin America, and to Japan.

    In the global scheme of things, what I am telling you here probably won’t be a game-changer when it comes to China. That country is an economic juggernaut and is a market that U.S. investors cannot afford to ignore. Given China’s emerging strength and its increasingly dominant financial position, it’s going to have its own consumer markets to service for decades to come.

    Two Profit Play Candidates

    From a regional standpoint, these developments all show that we’re in the earliest stages of what could be an even-closer Mexican/American relationship – enhancing the existing trade partnership in ways that benefit companies on both sides of the border (even companies that hail from other parts of the world).

    In the meantime, we’ll be watching for signs of a resurgent Mexican manufacturing industry that’s ultimately driven by Chinese companies – because we know the American companies doing business with them will enjoy the fruits of their labor.

    Since this is an early stage opportunity best for investors capable of stomaching some serious volatility, we’ll be watching for those Mexican companies likely to benefit from the capital that’s being newly deployed in their backyard.

    Two of my favorite choices include:

    • Wal Mart de Mexico SAB de CV (OTC ADR: WMMVY): Also known as “Walmex,” this retailer has all the advantages of investing in its U.S. counterpart – albeit with a couple of twists. Walmex’s third-quarter profits were up 18% and the company just started accepting bank deposits, a service that should boost store traffic. And while the U.S. retail market is highly saturated – which limits growth opportunities – there are still plenty of places to build Walmex stores south of the border. After all, somebody has to sell products to all those thousands of workers likely to be involved in the growing maquiladora sector.
    • Coca-Cola FEMSA SAB de CV (NYSE ADR: KOF): Things truly do go better with Coke – especially higher wages and an improved lifestyle. According to Reuters, Mexicans now consume more Coca-Cola beverages per capita than any other nation in the world. The company just posted a 25% jump in its third-quarter net earnings, aided by a strong 21% jump in revenue. Coca-Cola FEMSA continues to experience strong growth from its Oxxo convenience stores, and strong beer sales, too. And all three product groups are logical beneficiaries of strong maquiladora development and the growing incomes and rising family wealth that will translate into higher consumer spending in the immediately surrounding areas.

    [Editor's Note: Keith Fitz-Gerald is the chief investment strategist for Money Morning and The Money Map Report. Fitz-Gerald has pulled all his best thoughts together in his new book, "Fiscal Hangover: How to Profit From the New Global Economy." The reviews are excellent. Investors interested in ordering the book can save $10 off the cover price at Just click here.]

    News and Related Story Links:

    Amazon deforestation 'record low'

    Amazon deforestation 'record low'

    By Gary Duffy
    BBC News, Sao Paulo

    Rainforest destruction in Brazil
    Brazil's disappearing rainforests have been a concern for decades

    The rate of deforestation in the Amazon has dropped by 45% and is the lowest on record since monitoring began 21 years ago, Brazil's government says.

    According to the latest annual figures, just over 7,000 sq km was destroyed between July 2008 and August 2009.

    The drop is welcome news for the government in advance of the Copenhagen summit on climate change.

    But Greenpeace says there is still too much deforestation and the government's targets are not ambitious enough.

    According to the Brazilian space agency, which monitors deforestation in the Amazon, the annual rate of destruction fell by 45%.

    Green credentials

    Welcoming the news, President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva described the drop in the level of deforestation as "extraordinary".

    He said climate change was the most challenging issue the world was facing.

    The Brazilian government will undoubtedly view the latest figures as a boost to its green credentials coming just before the Copenhagen summit in December.

    At the summit, the Brazilian government seems certain to present its efforts to reduce destruction in the Amazon as a key part of its strategy to combat climate change.

    The environment ministry here is said to be proposing that around half of a 40% cut in Brazil's carbon emissions would come from reducing deforestation.

    The Brazilian government wants to see an 80% reduction in the deforestation rate by 2020.

    The environmental pressure group, Greenpeace, welcomed the latest drop as important, but said that there was still too much destruction in the rainforest.

    In a statement, it said the president would be happy if, in 11 years time, the Amazon was being destroyed at a rate of a little less than three cities the size of Sao Paulo a year.

    Some environmentalists believe that the fall in deforestation may be connected to the economic downturn, and that when things improve, the Amazon could face renewed pressure.

    Is immigration a problem?

    Is immigration a problem?

    Gordon Brown has promised to "tighten" the UK's immigration rules by reducing the number of professions which can recruit from outside Europe. Is this the right policy?

    The prime minister said these changes would ensure net migration continues to fall while maintaining "flexibility". He added that people who voice concern over immigration levels should not be branded "racists".

    The Conservatives dismissed Mr Brown's proposals as mere "rhetoric", while Home Secretary Alan Johnson has admitted that the government has taken "a long time" to deal properly with the issue.

    Are you an immigrant worker? Are you planning to come to the UK? Does your company rely on immigrant workers? How will these changes affect you? Should the points system be tightened up? Which professions should be allowed to recruit outside Europe?

    Read the full story

    Send us your story ideas

    Published: Thursday, 12 November, 2009, 11:38 GMT 11:38 UK

    Chinese schools collapse in snow

    Chinese schools collapse in snow

    Snow in Beijing's Tiananmen Square - 12 November 2009
    The snow has covered a large part of northern China

    In China, heavy snowfall has led to the deaths of 38 people in road accidents and collapsed buildings, state-run media have reported.

    The deaths included four pupils in schools that collapsed, Xinhua news agency quoted officials as saying.

    Nineteen people were killed in traffic accidents that also stranded thousands of motorists, the officials said.

    The deaths of thousands of pupils in the 2008 Sichuan earthquake has already raised questions of school safety.

    The government promised to improve the quality of school buildings after the earthquake.

    Canteens collapse

    The heaviest snowfall in northern China for decades snarled road traffic across the region and forced delays or the cancellation of hundreds of flights from airports in several cities, including Beijing.

    In Hebei province, two primary school girls and a boy died after heavy snow caused the roof of their canteen to collapse.

    Another 28 were injured and were being treated in a local hospital. Schools in the provincial capital Shijiazhuang have been ordered to close.

    Another child died in neighbouring Henan province and seven were injured, again when the roof the school canteen collapsed. Three of the students are in a critical condition.

    Local media said the storms were tapering off on Friday with road, rail and air traffic beginning to return to normal.

    Corruption blamed

    School buildings in China are often poorly built, says the BBC's Quentin Sommerville in Beijing.

    In the Sichuan earthquake of 2008, thousands of children died when their schools collapsed.

    Surrounding buildings remained standing and parents blamed local corruption.

    China's Prime Minister Wen Jiabao promised a full and open investigation, but the details were never made public.

    Following these latest deaths, one Chinese state newspaper has asked why school safety is still a problem, and demands that China's children be offered better protection.

    Thursday, November 12, 2009

    Public Option "Plan B" In the Works

    Public Option "Plan B" In the Works

    Posted: 11 Nov 2009 04:34 PM PST

    You’ve probably heard the reports that some Democrats in the Senate — or at least senators who caucus with the Democrats — are threatening to filibuster the health care bill if it contains a public option. Sen. Joseph Lieberman [I, CT], for example, says he’ll join Republicans on a filibuster of a bill that includes a public option and isn’t willing to wiggle on his position. Other Democrats that are not supportive of the public option and have not ruled out filibustering include Sen. Ben Nelson [D, NE], Sen. Evan Bayh [D, IN], Sen. Blanche Lincoln [D, AR] and Sen. Mary Landrieu [D, LA].

    Not surprisingly, Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid [D, NV] has a “Plan B” for passing a health care bill if these conservative Democrats do in fact filibuster. Congress Daily tonight gives us a preview of the plan:

    Even as Senate Majority Leader Reid seeks votes for a healthcare bill with a public option that states can opt-out of, Reid has allowed Sen. Thomas Carper, D-Del., to work on what one aide called a “Plan B” if Reid cannot line up 60 votes for cloture.

    Carper said he and some other senators, whom he declined to name, are working on an alternative public option if the opt-out falls short.

    In states where private insurers fail to offer affordable coverage, Carper said the alternative would permit them to set up a non-profit board, likely appointed by the president, to offer insurance.

    “That kind of approach might come close to hitting a sweet spot for a lot of people,” said Carper, noting the approach “addresses concerns about government-owned, government-run.”

    At most, this is a sort of ghost of the public option plan. It combines the weakest possible derivatives of the original plan in respect to both its implementation and its operation. Instead of taking effect across the board, it would getting “triggered” only in states that don’t cross a certain “affordability” threshold for insurance plans. Instead of being a robust, national government-run program with the economy of scale to sell insurance at below market rates and drive down costs, it would be a series of small, state-based, private non-profits.

    It takes Sen. Olympia Snowe’s [R, ME] “trigger” and Sen. Kent Conrad’s [D, ND] “co-ops,” and combines them to make a plan that probably would never take effect, and if it dis, wouldn’t actually do anything. This is the absolute weakest possible derivative of the public option that anyone could say, with a straight face, has its roots in the public option idea.

    Reid and Carper know their idea is absurdly weak; that’s why they have been trying to keep it secret:

    The Democratic aide said staffers have tried to keep Carper’s alternative quiet due to concerns that publicity could draw attacks from liberal activists, which could complicate efforts to line up support from the full Democratic caucus.

    It’s hard to imagine that Reid and Carper even mean this is a serious policy proposal. To me, it seems like a plan to keep at least a memory of the public option alive in the Senate’s health care bill. If they can’t pass the public option, this would serve as a kind of place holder in the Senate’s bill for where the public option would go if it were there. That might be enough to keep the House-Senate conference committee negotiations revolving around the question of “what kind of public option” to include in the final bill rather than whether or not to include any kind of public option at all.

    Watch Truth in Accounting CEO

    Watch Truth in Accounting CEO
    on WTTW Ch. 11
    7:00 p.m.(c) Tonight

    November 12, 2009
    Darlene Porteus, 847-835-5200

    Chicago - Sheila Weinberg, Founder and CEO of the Institute for Truth in Accounting, will be featured on Chicago Tonight - WTTW Ch. 11 this evening (November 12) 7:00 p.m. CST. The segment will highlight the budget gimmicks that have heightened Illinois' current financial crisis. You can also watch the live telecast online at:,9

    Eddie Arruza, Chicago Tonight's host, will be discussing with Weinberg and the other panelists Beyond California: States in Fiscal Peril, a study recently issued by the Pew Center on the States. This study highlights that Illinois' budget gap is by far one of the worst in the country.

    Prior budget gimmicks have heightened Illinois' current financial woes. These budgeting shenanigans include floating bonds to pay pension obligations, reliance on borrowing and paying bills late.

    "The first thing we need to do to get us out of our financial mess is to be honest," recommended Weinberg. "How much debt does the State really have? How big is the current deficit including the true cost of State programs and benefits? And how can the budget be truly balanced, if we have to borrow money or don't pay our bills? "

    According to the most recently issued financial report dated July 10, 2009, prepared by Comptroller Dan Hynes, the Institute has determined that as of June 30, 2008, the State of Illinois was more than $82 billion in the red.

    You can learn more about the Institute and Ms. Weinberg's team at

    About the Institute for Truth in Accounting

    The IFTA is dedicated to promoting honest, accurate, and transparent accounting at all levels of government and business. As a non-partisan, non-profit organization, the IFTA works to expose accounting deficiencies while promoting better, more accessible delivery of accurate government financial data-and, in turn, providing a foundation for more informed public policy. The IFTA provides its expertise to develop more effective accounting standards and deliver accurate government financial information to policymakers, opinion leaders, and citizens, so they can all work for a more secure financial future. To learn more, please visit our websites at and


    Lou Dobbs booted from CNN

    Los Angeles, Alta California
    November 12, 2009

    Lou Dobbs booted from CNN

    Last night, Latino Munchkins were singing, "Ding Dong!
    The Witch is dead. Which old Witch? The Wicked Witch!"
    Thank God, we are now going to be spared seeing less
    of that fat racist Lou Dobbs on televisions who Latino
    children called "Lou Tubbs."

    The Latino community and our friends can be proud of
    what we have accomplished. Special thanks should go to
    the borinquen Geraldo Rivera. We now have the first Puerto
    Rican Supreme Court Justice, why not Geraldo Rivera for
    US President?

    Lou Dobbs was rabidly anti-Mexican even though he was
    married to one. Figure that one out. His wife Segura is
    probably a lot like the Filipina Mrs.Michelle Malkin. We
    wonder if his forced resignation from CNN has anything
    to do with the arrest of his wife for carrying a concealed
    weapon at an airport and the recent attempt on her life?

    La Voz de Aztlan
    Website http:/
    Join Project Amigos

    [editor of csl: beaners and their happy little wars, wow, seriously offensive. I'm sure that
    borinquen is spic for something but i cant be bothered with such trifling things. sorry lou, but you were old. and it just goes to show, i thought lou dobbs wanted less drugs in the community, and legal border crossings & citezenship aquisitions. i never watched the show anyway, too busy watching martian pornos, the little green men sneak across the space border.]

    tienes preguntas - email yo (a la/en/para)

    Winner in Contest Involving Space Elevator

    Winner in Contest Involving Space Elevator

    Published: November 6, 2009

    A start-up company from the Seattle area won $900,000 on Friday in a NASA contest to build a miniature prototype of a machine that could one day climb from Earth to outer space.

    The idea of a space elevator — passengers and cargo traveling up and down a 60,000-mile cable — has long been a fixture of science fiction, notably in Arthur C. Clarke’s novel “The Fountains of Paradise.”

    A real space elevator is still decades in the future, but the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, along with the nonprofit organization Spaceward Foundation, sponsored the contest to encourage development of some of the needed technologies.

    “It’s a way to get work done in an interesting area that probably wouldn’t be done otherwise,” said Andrew Petro, manager of NASA’s Centennial Challenges program.

    The challenges program is sponsoring other contests, too. This month, Masten Space Systems of Mojave, Calif., won $1 million for demonstrating precision flying of a rocket simulating a lunar landing. Another challenge will test designs for improved astronaut gloves.

    For the space elevator challenge, three competing teams built prototypes designed to climb a one-kilometer cable held aloft by a helicopter. Each took turns, shining lasers on the ground at photovoltaic cells on the climbing machines to power the electric motors.

    On Wednesday, an 11-pound pyramid-shaped contraption built by LaserMotive of Kent, Wash., successfully made the climb in 4 minutes 2 seconds, fast enough to qualify for a $900,000 second-place prize. A second attempt was one second faster.

    The LaserMotive team then started hacking off pieces of their machine in hopes of making it lighter and faster. To qualify for the $1.1 million top prize, the climber needed to reach the top of the cable in less than three minutes. On Thursday, the LaserMotive team was able to shave 13 seconds off the climb time, to 3 minutes 48 seconds, with the machine averaging an upward speed of not quite 9 miles per hour.

    The final attempts on Friday, however, were stymied after too much laser power was focused on their climber’s photovoltaic cells, burning out some of the electronics.

    Meanwhile, a team of University of Saskatchewan students was never able to get far off the ground, while a climber built by a team called the Kansas City Space Pirates got most of the way up but never quite reached the destination.

    In four years of the power-beaming competition, LaserMotive is the only competitor to qualify for a cash prize.

    Thomas Nugent and Jordin Kare, the company’s principals, do not believe that a space elevator will be built any time soon, but they say the technology will find other commercial applications like powering small robotic aircraft. “This is a business for us,” Mr. Nugent said. “We’re trying to turn this into a commercial endeavor.”

    Mr. Nugent declined to say how much LaserMotive had spent in competing the past three years, but said, “We will win more than we have spent.”

    After months of preparations and three days of competition, he said, “a lot of us might celebrate by going to sleep.”

    Computer Online Forensic Evidence Extractor (COFEE)

    Computer Online Forensic Evidence Extractor (COFEE) Easily capture important "live" computer evidence at the scene in cybercrime investigations, without special forensics expertise.

    Law enforcement agencies around the world face a common challenge in their fight against cybercrime, child pornography, online fraud, and other computer-facilitated crimes: They must capture important evidence on a computer at the scene of an investigation before it is powered down and removed for later analysis. "Live" evidence, such as active system processes and network data, is volatile and may be lost in the process of turning off a computer. How does an officer on the scene effectively do this if he or she is not a trained computer forensics expert?

    Related links

    To help solve this problem, Microsoft has created Computer Online Forensic Evidence Extractor (COFEE), designed exclusively for use by law enforcement agencies. COFEE brings together a number of common digital forensics capabilities into a fast, easy-to-use, automated tool for first responders. And COFEE is being provided—at no charge—to law enforcement around the world.

    With COFEE, law enforcement agencies without on-the-scene computer forensics capabilities can now more easily, reliably, and cost-effectively collect volatile live evidence. An officer with even minimal computer experience can be tutored—in less than 10 minutes—to use a pre-configured COFEE device. This enables the officer to take advantage of the same common digital forensics tools used by experts to gather important volatile evidence, while doing little more than simply inserting a USB device into the computer.

    The fully customizable tool allows your on-the-scene agents to run more than 150 commands on a live computer system. It also provides reports in a simple format for later interpretation by experts or as supportive evidence for subsequent investigation and prosecution. And the COFEE framework can be tailored to effectively meet the needs of your particular investigation.

    To help combat the growing number of ways that criminals use computers and the Internet to commit crimes, Microsoft is working with INTERPOL and the National White Collar Crime Center (NW3C) to provide COFEE at no cost to law enforcement agencies in 187 countries worldwide. INTERPOL and NW3C are also working with Florida State University and University College Dublin to continue the research and development that will help ensure that COFEE serves the needs of law enforcement, even as technology evolves.

    Law enforcement can get COFEE from NW3C at or by contacting INTERPOL at

    If it's vovernment, it's mission critical to Microsoft.

    British Policeman 'Saw Aliens'

    British Policeman 'Saw Aliens'
    2009-10-23 22:02:00 (3 weeks ago)
    Posted By: Intellpuke
    (Read 702 times || 0 comments)
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    A police officer contacted British UFO experts after claiming he saw three aliens examining a freshly made crop circle in Wiltshire County, England.

    The sergeant, who has not been named, was off-duty when he saw the figures standing in a field near Silbury Hill, according to British news reports.

    UFO experts Andrew Russell and Colin Andrews said the Wiltshire County, England, police sergeant told them he saw three figures standing around a fresh crop circle in a field near Silbury Hill in the county and stopped to investigate.

    He stopped his car to investigate but says the trio ran away "faster than any man he had ever seen".

    The police officer said he heard the "the sound of static electricity" as he approached the figures who were all over 6 feet tall with blond hair.

    The officer returned to his home in Marlborough, Wiltshire, and contacted paranormal experts and told them he had spotted a UFO.

    (story continues below)

    "At first, he thought they were forensic officers as they were dressed in white coveralls. He stopped his car and approached the field," said Russell. "The figures were all over 6 feet and had blond hair. They seemed to be inspecting the crop. When he got to the edge of the field, he heard what he believed to be a sound not dissimilar to static electricity."

    Russell, a crop circle researcher, said the trio fled the off-duty officer "faster than any man he had ever seen."

    Andrews said he is "quite convinced the officer had an experience that day and one that we have not fully explored."

    Russell, who is investigating the sighting on behalf of the officer, revealed how he described the close encounter.

    "He shouted to the figures who, at first, ignored him, not glancing at him. When he tried to enter the field they looked up and began running," he said.

    "He (the police officer) said: 'They ran faster than any man I have ever seen. I'm no slouch but they were moving so fast. I looked away for a second and when I looked back they were gone. I then got scared. The noise was still around but I got an uneasy feeling and headed for the car. For the rest of the day I had a pounding headache I couldn't shift', said Russell.

    Wiltshire Police has refused to comment on the incident, which happened in July. "The police officer was apparently off duty when this happened so we have no comment to make because it is a personal, not a police, matter," said the spokesman.

    Intellpuke: This is the second or third report in recent months of Britons seeing tall, blonde aliens.

    This article was posted on the British news site Ananova; you can read it in context here:
    " target="_blank">
    The story was also posted on UPI's (United Press International) and The (London) Telegraph's Web sites.

    November 8th, 2009

    General Casey: diversity shouldn’t be casualty of Fort Hood

    Posted by: Tabassum Zakaria
    Tags: Front Row Washington, , , , ,

    General George Casey, the Army’s top officer, is concerned that diversity will become a casualty of the Fort Hood tragedy.

    TEXAS-SHOOTING/The religious beliefs of suspect Major Nidal Malik Hasan, a Muslim Army psychiatrist, have led to speculation about motive in the shooting rampage that killed 13 people.

    “I’m concerned that this increased speculation could cause a backlash against some of our Muslim soldiers. And I’ve asked our Army leaders to be on the lookout for that,” Casey told CNN’s “State of the Union.”

    Asked on NBC’s “Meet the Press” whether Muslim soldiers are conflicted in fighting wars in Muslim countries like Afghanistan and Iraq, Casey said: “I think that’s something that we have to look at on an individual basis. But I think we as an Army have to be broad enough to bring in people from all walks of life.”

    The bottom line is the military benefits from diversity, he said.

    “Our diversity, not only in our Army, but in our country, is a strength. And as horrific as this tragedy was, if our diversity becomes a casualty, I think that’s worse,” Casey said.

    President Barack Obama also mentioned military diversity in his Saturday radio address which was focused on Fort Hood. USA/

    Veterans Day is a chance to honor Americans who served in battlefields all over the world, Obama said. “They are Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus and nonbelievers.”

    “They reflect the diversity that makes this America. But what they share is a patriotism like no other,” Obama said.

    Photo credit: Reuters/Jessica Rinaldi (Casey at Fort Hood after shooting), Reuters/Jim Young (Obama leaving podium after remarks about Fort Hood shooting)

    [ s.e.p. editor: you swear your allegiance as you become property of the government while enlisted, despite ones personal 'religion'. ask a pagan.]

    Prof busted in Columbia gal 'punch'

    Prof busted in Columbia gal 'punch'

    Comments: 332

    Last Updated: 1:17 PM, November 10, 2009

    Posted: 2:57 AM, November 10, 2009

    A prominent Columbia architecture professor punched a female university employee in the face at a Harlem bar during a heated argument about race relations, cops said yesterday.

    Police busted Lionel McIntyre, 59, for assault yesterday after his bruised victim, Camille Davis, filed charges.

    McIntyre and Davis, who works as a production manager in the school's theater department, are both regulars at Toast, a popular university bar on Broadway and 125th Street, sources said.

    The professor, who is black, had been engaged in a fiery discussion about "white privilege" with Davis, who is white, and another male regular, who is also white, Friday night at 10:30 when fists started flying, patrons said.

    LIONEL McINTYRE "Unfortunate event."

    McIntyre, who is known as "Mac" at the bar, shoved Davis, and when the other patron and a bar employee tried to break it up, the prof slugged Davis in the face, witnesses said.

    "The punch was so loud, the kitchen workers in the back heard it over all the noise," bar back Richie Velez, 28, told The Post. "I was on my way over when he punched Camille and she fell on top of me."

    The other patron involved in the dispute said McIntyre then took a swing at him after he yelled, "You don't hit a woman!"

    "He knocked the glasses right off my face," said the man, who would only give his first name as "Shannon." "The punch came out of nowhere. Mac was talking to us about white privilege and what I was doing about it -- apparently I wasn't doing enough."

    McIntyre had squabbled with Davis several weeks earlier over issues involving race, witnesses said. As soon as the professor threw the punch Friday, server Rob Dalton and another employee tossed him out.

    "It was a real sucker punch," Dalton said. "Camille's a great lady, always nice to everybody, and doesn't deserve anything like this."

    Davis was spotted wearing sunglasses yesterday to conceal the black eye. Reached at her Columbia office, she declined to comment on the alleged attack.

    McIntyre was released without bail at his arraignment last night.

    "It was a very unfortunate event," he said afterwards. "I didn't mean for it to explode the way it did."

    Additional reporting by Sarah Makuta

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