Sunday, October 30, 2011
The epicenter was 170 km ( 106 miles) North of Copiapo, Chile
No Reports of Injuries or Damage at this time
"Whatever kind of system they had, it completely and utterly broke down," said passenger Fatimah Dahandari, who spent a night in Hartford, Connecticut's Bradley International Airport while trying to get to New York. "It looks like a refugee camp in here."
More than 4 million people in at least five states were without power Sunday as the storm moved offshore. Up to five deaths, some in traffic accidents, were blamed on the storm.
Dhandari said her Boston-to-New York flight diverted to Connecticut after being told there was a problem on a runway at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport and the JetBlue plane did not have enough fuel to continue circling. Read More
David beckham's wife Victoria posts picture and Twitters that a UFO hovered over her Los Angeles home - 30th Oct 2011
LA Galaxy and former Manchester United and Real Madrid soccer player David Beckham's wife, former Spice Girl and now fashion designer Victoria Beckham, Tweeted: "UFO hovering above our house last night!!!!!" X vb" and posted a picture of the said UFO.
With new baby Harper Seven perhaps wearing her out and perhaps still having back pain, 37-year-old Victoria has joined a list of celebrity sightings of UFOs.
Robbie Williams has seen them, and just last week, Miley's father and country crooner, Billy Ray Cryrus, spotted his own visitation.
It's as if the adoration of planet Earth isn't enough for our limelight loving celebrities and they need new worlds to conquer.
And if you think about it, Victoria's fashion line - crammed with slim silhouettes as it is - would suit the classic skinny alien with large head template we've learned to expect as our most likely intergalatic visitor, Mail Online reported.
But what was it that Victoria saw above the Beckham family home?
At first glance, it appears to a luminous full moon but that was not possible. Helicopters though are a regular sighting in the area, which is the most obvious explanation. Source
Bangkok's central business district has so far avoided major flooding, but many of the areas nearby are chest- or waist-deep in water, forcing residents to flee their homes. The Thai government has set up more than 1,700 shelters across the country, where more than 113,000 people have taken refuge since flooding began in July after heavy monsoon rains.
More than 370 people have died, and charities working in the country have warned of the risk of water- and insect-borne diseases such as diarrhea, dengue fever and malaria in the coming days and weeks. Thai officials warned residents in the capital to be vigilant and expect disruptions with electricity and tap water.
"There are places on the outskirts of Bangkok and in other parts of the country which have been flooded for nearly two weeks," Matthew Cochrane, of the International Committee of the Red Cross and Red Crescent, told CNN.
"The country's prime minister has said that the city has 'dodged a bullet' -- the economic impact of central Bangkok being flooded would have been huge, and thankfully that did not happen -- but a huge part of the country is still under water.
"Outside the city it is certainly a humanitarian crisis, because there are people who have been cut off for weeks without any aid, supplies or food." Read More
It's all dust in the mind now, but I called the desert in Iraq home only three years ago. As a scout platoon leader in the 25th Infantry Division, I'd deployed to a remote outpost north of Baghdad, a last-chance gambit for a country on the brink of civil war. We went as volunteers, and went with a messy, if coherent, mission statement - buy the Iraqi government and security forces time to stabilize. We did the best we could, pouring blood, sweat and tears into a strange land. We left 15 months later, some of us swearing never to go back, others champing at the bit for just such an opportunity to do so. For better and for worse, it remains the preeminent experience of my life.
While there's no clear answer to the question of whether America "won" or not, some things are irrecoverably clear.
In the aftermath of 9/11, with two wars raging, less than one half of one percent of Americans served in uniform. And yet, despite our collective reluctance to fight, more than 4,400 American military personnel died during Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation New Dawn. More than 32,000 more were wounded in action. At least 100,000 Iraqis have died, with another 1.3 million displaced. more
The racy gridiron league - where female footballers wear panties, bras and pads - is trying to launch a youth football division to give young girls a chance to go deep and throw a few big hits.
The LFL, which started in 2009, announced its youth-division vision on its website.
"The LFL firmly believes that girls want to play football, too," the announcement read. "Now, the league is taking measures to ensure many generations of young ladies have the opportunity."
The LFL - which claims it "shattered" the notion that a women's professional football league wasn't possible - says it has been contacted over previous months by parents of pigtailed pigskin hopefuls who are desperate for a chance to take the field for real. more
Marine and Iraq War vet Scott Olsen shot in the head by a police tear gas canister. Sgt. Shamar Thomas confronting NYPD. Marines and other former vets join the Occupy Wall Street movement. RT reports on what this could mean for the revolution.
America’s Autumn – faces covered up, protesters fled from tear gas shot into the crowd by police. At least 97 arrests took place in Oakland, California on Tuesday night. A 24-year-old Marine and Iraq war veteran Scott Olsen shot in the head by a police tear gas canister was unable to even say his name.
A March of Solidarity with the Oakland protesters in New York leads to 10 arrests. Protesters slammed into the ground, and netted by police. Earlier, another marine, Sgt. Shamar Thomas, confronted police treatment of protesters – this can be seen in a video now gone viral on the web.
“The fact that more and more military personnel are joining us shows that they recognize that this is American movement. It’s not about hippies and the negative stereotypes,” said Occupy Wall Street security volunteer Paul Isaac.
30 year old Gary Briggs has served in the National Guard for the last two years. He has come to spend his short vacation at Occupy Wall Street in New York.
“You got some marines here, National Guard, Navy Seals – the more the better,” said Briggs.
The guardsman expressed outrage at the fact that marines are getting attacked at home.
“The cop that did it should be fired and hung up by his balls,” he said. more
It was one of the more arresting headlines to accompany an article of mine. In big, bold type, under a picture of me cradling a newborn infant, were the words: “My Five Billionth Baby.”
How come? Well, in the summer of 1987, my daughter was born just as the world’s population reached five billion: indeed, I was unable to go to a conference marking the event because I was attending the birth. Nobody knows who the epoch-making infant was – the UN arbitrarily picked a boy born in Zagreb – but it might just have been her.
“By the time she is 12,” I wrote in the piece beneath the headline, “there will be another 'billion baby’; by the time she is 23, another.” I was wrong on the second date by a year. The best guess is that the seven billionth baby will be born on Monday, probably somewhere in the developing world, where 95 per cent of global population increase is taking place.
The acceleration is astonishing for, although it took until 1804 for the first billionth baby to be born, the other five billion may all still be alive to greet the new arrival, since the second only arrived in 1927. Within the lifetime of anyone over 70, the world’s population has trebled. And it is expected to go on growing until it reaches more than 10 billion.
There is, of course, no shortage of voices sounding the alarm. Nothing new there: 1,800 years ago, the early Christian polemicist Tertullian complained that the “teeming population” (then under 300 million) was “burdensome to the world”. Malthus predicted doom around the time it reached the billion mark, as – notoriously – did Paul Ehrlich in 1968, when it was about half its present level (he is still predicting almost certain disaster despite the non-occurrence of his “hundreds of millions” of deaths from starvation). more
A six-year veteran of the United States Marines has posted a powerful photo of himself on the Internet in which he shows his dissatisfaction with the police raid in Oakland, California that put a fellow vet in critical condition.
A late-Tuesday crack-down on the Occupy Oakland encampment left Scott Olsen, a 24-year-old Marine that served two tours of Iraq, in the hospital in critical condition after a blunt object made contact with his head, fracturing his skull and leading to swelling of the brain. The projectile is believed to be a non-lethal canister fired by the local police as hundreds of cops swarmed on the Bay Area hub of the Occupy Wall Street movement to attempt to thwart protesters.
One marine, Jay C Gentile, posted a photograph of himself on the popular online site Reddit.com holding an image of his fallen fellow Marine in one hand and a sign in his other reading, “You did this to my brother.”
In the first 13 hours that the post, titled “How I feel, as a United States Marine, about what occurred in Oakland” has been on Reddit, it has garnered over 1,200 comments and has accumulated exponentially more views.
Since the post has gone viral online, the user has added to the site that he is located in South Jersey and has been so moved by response on the Web that he now says he plans to attend Occupy movements across America in the coming days.
“I'm very much for the movement and encourage everybody I know to get involved,” the author published as an addendum to the original posting.
“I see this young man and I picture the men and women that stood beside me during my time in, and the men and women that stand in those places today,” he adds. “I know what he went through to become a Marine, what he ate for breakfast most days and how long he was able to talk to his parents with his $10 phone card in a shack in Iraq. He is my brother and, unfortunately, I cannot put the reasoning into words.” more
Despite China being perhaps the only country with sufficient cash reserves to help the EU out of its crisis, the head of a Hong Kong-based investment company does not believe it will get involved at this stage.
France’s move to have the EU print more money in order to deliver Greece’s 100-billion-euro austerity package was vetoed by Germany. So the EU is left with no choice but to find real money, Francis Lun, managing director at Lyncean Holdings, told RT.
“And there are not a lot of places in the world with real money today,” he added, “And China has $3 trillion of foreign exchange reserves, so it was envisioned in a leading role in saving the euro”.
“When they [the EU] run out of money, they go to China and say please give us your foreign exchange reserve to solve the problem. But I doubt China has to play that role. It should be played by Germany, France and the EU. If you don't have money – sell your assets or raise some taxes like the US does. They will refrain from playing a leading role in saving the euro,” Lun said.
Lun believes China will hold back despite having much to gain from helping Europe in terms of “political leverage and influence.”
“When you look around the world, both the EU and the US are in deep crisis and China is the only country that is not in a financial crisis and has a huge foreign exchange surplus. China can use this money and build up a political connection and influence, so that in future in foreign policy the EU will stand on the side of China, instead of against,” Lun concludes. source
The occupiers think of themselves as “beyond nationhood.” But when they voice their demands for a better distribution of income, they don’t look beyond the West’s borders. Their thinking is parochial.
The idea that the rich are getting richer, etc., is profoundly incorrect for the world at large. It is the sad ideological remnant of the Fabian (and worse) fable. Low-income folks, especially in Asia, no longer die by the millions at the hands of Communist “leaders”; they do not starve by the millions in famines, floods and pandemics. They do have a real chance to leave their children a patrimony that includes a decent quantity of leisure, better government, and improved education. more
In the eight months since the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty with Russia went into effect, the two countries have conducted dozens of on-site inspections of each other’s missiles, bombers, stored weapons and test sites. They have notified each other almost 1,500 times about missile movements, flight tests and other actions regulated by the treaty.
The implementation of the accord “has been going very well indeed,” said Rose Gottemoeller, assistant secretary of state for arms control, verification and compliance. But analysts cautioned that upcoming elections in the United States and Russia will make progress on arms control unlikely over the next two years.
Since February, according to State Department data released Tuesday, the United States has removed 60 nuclear-weapons delivery systems, mostly bombers, from the deployed category, leaving in place 822 land- and submarine-based intercontinental ballistic missiles and bombers.
The Russians have reduced their deployed systems by five, leaving 516. But Russia has increased by 29 its warheads deployed on strategic weapons; the United States has reduced that number by 10.
Overall, the United States has 1,790 deployed nuclear warheads, and Russia has 1,556. Under the terms of the treaty, both sides have to bring that number down to 1,550 by February 2018. Each also is required to reduce its deployed strategic delivery systems to 700, a provision Russia already meets. more
The EU summit “was a water pistol rather than a bazooka” in solving the financial troubles of the union, as banks writing off half Greece’s debt is but a very short term measure, says Johan Van Overtveldt of the business magazines Trends and Knack.
Though European leaders declared confidence in the results of the latest urgent summit, which took place in Brussels on Wednesday, the meeting was a sad disappointment to many analysts.
“This is just buying time. It is not the bazooka everybody has been asking for; I would describe it as a water pistol,” Johan Van Overtveldt told RT.
As the official communiqué of the summit states, Greece will receive €130bn more in bailout funds in early 2012. Greek Prime Minister, George Papandreou, announced in Brussels that this deal has made sustainable the country’s debt burden, which currently stands at around €350bn.
But Van Overtveldt, editor in chief of Trends and Knack – two of Belgium's leading business magazines, stresses that this measure will prevent the spiraling escalation of the Greek debt only in the short term.
Moreover, the banks’ €100bn sovereign debt reduction agreed by EU leaders will not write off even half of Greece’s total debt, remarks the analyst.
“The debt reduction amounts to one third of the Greek debt, because a lot of the debt that is outstanding does not fall under yesterday’s agreement,” he said. “As the European authorities themselves say, this will reduce the Greek debt ratio to 120 percent GDP by 2020. By any means, a debt reduction by 2020 to this extent cannot be described as a major achievement, as this ratio is still very high [as compared to projected 160 percent GDP under the previous conditions].” more
Talk about taxing times! Even as the presidential candidates wrangle publicly over who should pay what, a special congressional committee is wrangling in private over just the same thing. The saying is "Don't tax you, don't tax me, tax the fella behind the tree." They're trying to figure out who IS the fella behind the tree? Our cover story is reported by Martha Teichner:
Here we have a super-committee, six Democrats and six Republicans, battling behind closed doors to cut at least $1.2 trillion from the federal deficit.
You can imagine an alarm clock ticking away toward a November 23rd wake-up call. If the super-committee doesn't agree on a deal by then, the alarm will go off, triggering draconian budget cuts in both military and domestic programs neither side wants.
What's the fight about? Taxes ... whether some Americans should pay more to help achieve deficit reduction. If so, who?
And would higher taxes help or hurt the economy? Kill or create jobs?
It's a fight Occupy Wall Street has taken to the streets, in city after city.
It's a fight the Republicans have taken to the talk shows.
"I just don't believe that raising taxes in this weak economy makes any sense at all," said House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio.
Are they right? Or is President Obama, arguing for a millionaire's tax to pay for his jobs bill? You remember this?
"Right now, Warren Buffett pays a lower tax rate than his secretary, an outrage he has asked us to fix," Mr. Obama told Congress. more
Topics on the program included "The Limits of Abstraction: Finding Space for Novel Explanation" and "Partial Realism, Anti-realism and Deflationary Realism: Can History Settle the Argument?"
For the organizers, the event was a success, a sign that life goes on despite economic hardship and perceptions abroad that Greece is one step from anarchy.
It was also a victory for thinking at a time when the country's debates are dominated by hoarse-voiced slogans. After all, Greece's illustrious ancient thinkers built the foundations of Western scholarship, and their philosophy stands as an unquantifiable source of national wealth even during a financial crisis.
"Sometimes people think that the philosopher is up on Mount Olympus, thinking about abstract things," said Stathis Psillos, a philosophy professor at the University of Athens. "We philosophers have somehow to stand up and say, 'Look, OK, money and profit and the bailout are important. But there are people also.'" more
Here are 10 recommendations from the YES! Magazine staff for ways to build the power and momentum of this movement. Only two of them involve sleeping outside:
1. Show up at the occupied space near you.
Use this link to find the Facebook page of an occupation near you. If you can, bring a tent or tarp and sleeping bag, and stay. Or just come for a few hours. Talk to people, participate in a General Assembly, hold a sign, help serve food. Learn about the new world being created in the occupied spaces.
2. Start your own occupation.
Use this Meetup site. Or call together friends, members of your faith group, school, or community group. Reach out to people from parts of your community you don’t normally work with. Unexpected alliances keep the movement from getting labeled as partisan or representing only some people.
3. Support those who are occupying.
Most sites need food, warm clothes, blankets, tarps, sleeping bags, communications gear, and money. Many need people to do loads of laundry, to help with medical care, to provide legal support, to serve food, and to spread the word. Some people call in pizza orders from nearby vendors. Support the folks at Liberty Square in New York here, or check in with your local occupiers to see what they need. more
Air Force Veteran Angry That Daughter's School Is Asking Her to Recite the Pledge of Allegiance (Wait, what?)
Haley Sides, 26, moved to Seattle after four years in the Air Force so her 6-year-old daughter could attend John Stanford International School, which promotes the same multiculturalism that Sides says she has tried to instill in her half-Jamaican daughter, according to the paper.
But Sides became angry when the school’s new principal announced that students will be asked to recite the Pledge of Allegiance each day before the start of classes. The policy, which has long been mandated by district policy but not traditionally observed at John Stanford , will start Monday.
"It pains me to think that at a school that emphasizes thinking globally we would institute something that makes our children think that this country alone is where their allegiance lies," said Sides. "This has no educational value for young children. Absolutely none."
Sides started crying as she described why she is so opposed to the pledge being recited in her daughter's school. The explanation goes back to her partner, a Jamaican-born Navy serviceman who died just seven months after obtaining U.S. citizenship — and when his daughter was 18 months old.
According to the paper, the pledge will be read over the PA system every Monday and recited in individual classrooms the other days of the week. Students who don't want to participate will be allowed to sit or stand respectfully. more