Thursday, December 13, 2007

Headlines For 12-13-07

Central banks in North America and Europe team up to hold off a recession as a result of the worsening global credit crisis. New York Times

No surprise here: The U.S. rejected guidelines at the Bali Climate Conference intended to cut greenhouse gases. (London) Times

U.S. track star Marion Jones has been stripped of her five Sydney 2000 Olympic Medals. AP/(Melbourne) Age

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You'll Flip For This

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Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Big Anaconda

Where are J-Lo and Ice Cube when you need them?

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No Guns For Iraqi Female Police

Here's a place where guns are being taken away.. from some.

While the verdict is out on whether The Surge is working in Iraq, here’s a sign that things aren’t going well: The Los Angeles Times reports that female police officers in Iraq are being forced to hand in their handguns. “Critics say the move is the latest sign of the religious and cultural conservatism that has taken hold in Iraq since Saddam Hussein's ouster ushered in a government dominated by Shiite Muslims,” the article says. Critics of the plan also point out that there won’t be female police officers to frisk other women at checkpoints, investigate rape charges or defend themselves from kidnappings or assassinations since police officers are targeted.

In a country where security is important, depleting your police force of capable officers is not a smart move.


How Many Shootings?

Six students were shot after getting off a school bus today in Las Vegas. This follows the shooting at two religious organizations in Colorado Springs in which a gunman killed four and wounded five before killing himself on Sunday. And that was less than a week after the shooting at an Omaha mall in which nine, including the shooter, were killed. How many more shootings have to occur before the U.S. talks seriously about gun control?

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Monday, December 10, 2007

The Number Everybody Wants

Check out this writer’s ordeal trying to get phone service from Verizon without giving her social security number. Her experience proves that companies really want to get their hands on those nine important digits – even when they don’t need them.

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Thursday, December 06, 2007

Headlines For 12-6-07

Interest rates will freeze for some homeowners who took out a sub-prime mortgage and are now near forclosure. Washington Post

The U.S. Supreme Court reviews whether detainees at Guantanamo Bay are being held there lawfully? USA Today

At the Climate Change Conference in Bali, participants are focusing on the nearly half of the 36 signatory nations to the Kyoto agreement who are failing to meet their targets for the treaty. Reuters

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Changing Plans?

In light of the shooting at the mall in Omaha and the report that airplanes face a high risk of runway collisions at U.S. airports, what will that mean for holiday activity this year?

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Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Next Question: 3rd Grade Geography

Maybe she dropped out in the 2nd grade.


Ready To Moonwalk?

Strap up your Nike Vandals, and get ready to break! It's Alfonso Ribeiro's breakdancing book. It even comes with it's own cardboard!


Tuesday, December 04, 2007

"Informationized Armed Forces"

The next big war could be fought on the Internet.

The Guardian published an article last week which says China has claimed “’informationized armed forces’ are part of its military strategy.” The article also says that “120 countries could be developing the capacity for [cyber-warfare].” It makes sense that they would be arming themselves on the cyber-side considering many countries and institutions were surprised by the cyber-attack on Estonia back in May.

Behold the future of warfare: Before a country takes a hill by pulling triggers and dropping bombs, it’ll crash servers by clicking mice and emailing viruses.

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Iran: Now What?

U.S. intelligence agencies say Iran halted its nuclear weapons program four years ago. Here’s a rundown of the story from the New York Times. A new National Intelligence Estimate – which is a report that has the stamp of approval of all 16 U.S. spy agencies – says in part:

“We judge with high confidence that in fall 2003, Tehran halted its nuclear weapons program; we also assess with moderate-to-high confidence that Tehran at a minimum is keeping open the option to develop nuclear weapons.”

The NIE says that the earliest they could produce enough highly enriched uranium to produce a nuclear weapon is sometime between 2009 and 2015.

This brings up some questions:

- The report also states, “we do not know whether [Iran] currently intends to develop nuclear weapons.” Since Tehran’s intentions aren’t known and they have left the door open to develop nuclear weapons, will we still hear saber-rattling from some corners in Washington?

- Will the rhetoric from Iran’s president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad now have a “told you so” attitude? And therefore get more belligerent toward the U.S.?

- Can the report’s conclusions be trusted? There was a National Intelligence Estimate in 2003 that said Iraq did have WMD. And this new report is a 180 from an NIE submitted in 2005.

Stay tuned…


Monday, December 03, 2007

List of Lists

It’s early in the Christmas shopping season, but if Oprah’s Favorite Things have left you wanting (to buy) more, check out Jesus’ Favorite Things. You didn’t forget it’s His birthday, did you? Guey Watcher got an interview with the King of Kings to find out what's on His list of lists.

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Backing Mugabe?

You haven’t seen much about Zimbabwe in this space for a while, but here’s something crazy. The Times of London reported last week that the 14-nation Southern African Development Community is backing Zimbabwean leader Robert Mugabe at the EU-Africa summit on December 8-9. If Zimbabwe is criticized at the summit, the group will pull out. Some may have considered Mugabe to be a great leader in the past, but why these countries are supporting a man who put Zimbabwe’s economy in such dire straits that it is now starving itself to death, is a mystery.

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