Thursday, July 30, 2009

My Way News - Baby cut from mom's womb is found; woman arrested
AP reports: "A baby girl cut from her mother's womb in Massachusetts was in good condition at a New Hampshire hospital on Thursday, officials said, and a woman arrested at a homeless shelter with the infant was to appear in court."

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My Way News - UN scales back operation in Pakistan's Baluchistan
AP reports: "The United Nations said Thursday it has scaled back operations in Baluchistan province after a threat made by separatists who kidnapped an American aid worker earlier this year - adding to Pakistan's security woes."

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My Way News - Nigerian troops kill 100 Islamic militants
AP reports: "Security forces hunted door-to-door for Islamic militants in northern Nigeria on Thursday after killing more than 100 of them by storming the sect's compound. A top rights group said innocent people were getting executed in the process."

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My Way News - Spain bombing kills 2 police officers on island
AP reports: "An explosion on the Spanish resort island of Mallorca killed two police officers Thursday and authorities blocked all outgoing flights and ships from leaving as part of a manhunt."

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Monday, July 27, 2009

My Way News - Obama: US-China relations to shape 21st century
AP reports: "President Barack Obama, opening two days of high-level talks with China, said the discussions could lay the groundwork for a new era of 'sustained cooperation, not confrontation' in a relationship likely to shape the 21st century. Obama said that Washington and Beijing needed to forge closer ties to address a host of challenges from lifting the global economy out of a deep recession to nuclear proliferation and global climate change."

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My Way News - Israeli official: No option off table on Iran
AP reports: "Tensions between Israel and the United States over Iran bubbled up in high-level talks Monday in which Defense Minister Ehud Barak bluntly told U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates that "no option" should be ruled out."

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Friday, July 17, 2009

My Way News - Police tear-gas Iran protesters during prayer
AP reports: "Tens of thousands of government opponents packed Iran's main Islamic prayer service Friday, chanting "freedom, freedom" and other slogans as their top clerical backer Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani delivered a sermon bluntly criticizing the country's leadership over the crackdown on election protests. Outside, police and pro-government Basiji militiamen fired tear gas and charged thousands of protesters who chanted "death to the dictator" and called on President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to resign. Dozens were arrested, piled in trucks and taken away, witnesses said."

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My Way News - Suicide blasts at Jakarta Ritz, Marriott kill 8
AP Reports: "Suicide bombers posing as guests attacked American luxury hotels in Indonesia's capital and set off a pair of blasts Friday that killed eight people and wounded more than 50, authorities said. The bombings, which came two minutes apart, ended a four-year lull in terror..."

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Tuesday, July 14, 2009

My Way News - In possible Iran signal, Israeli boats cross Suez
AP reports: "Two Israeli warships sailed through the Suez Canal on Tuesday, Israeli and Egyptian officials said, a move that appeared to be a new signal to Iran that Israel's reach could quickly extend to its archenemy's backyard."

Comment: And on a personal note, I'll be taking a blogging break and will be back in August. Thanks.

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Monday, July 13, 2009

My Way News - Iraq beefs up security after attacks on Christians
AP reports: "A series of church bombings targeting Iraq's Christian minority killed at least four people Sunday, including one that happened as worshippers were leaving Mass in eastern Baghdad. Iraq's Christians have often been targeted by Islamic extremists, and many have fled the country despite an overall drop in violence in the past two years."

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My Way News - Moderate earthquake strikes offshore Taiwan
AP reports: "Taiwanese authorities say a 6.3-magnitude earthquake has struck off the east coast of the island, rattling buildings in Taipei, but causing no casualties or damage."

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My Way News - Medvedev cheered in breakaway Georgian region
AP reports: "Russian President Dmitry Medvedev was greeted by raucous crowds cheering and chanting 'Thank you!' when he visited South Ossetia in a trip showing off Russia's ties to the breakaway Georgian region."

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My Way News - Britain revokes 5 arms export licenses to Israel
AP reports: "Britain has revoked several licenses granted to British companies to sell weapons parts to Israel because of concerns over their use in Israel's recent war in the Gaza Strip, British and Israeli officials said Monday."

Comment: Shame. Britain is indeed a fair weather friend. I guess they think Israel should be less forceful against the terrorists trying to kill them.

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Saturday, July 11, 2009

My Way News - Chips in official IDs raise privacy fears
AP reports: "Embedding identity documents - passports, drivers licenses, and the like - with RFID chips is a no-brainer to government officials. Increasingly, they are promoting it as a 21st century application of technology that will help speed border crossings, safeguard credentials against counterfeiters, and keep terrorists from sneaking into the country. But Paget's February experiment demonstrated something privacy advocates had feared for years: That RFID, coupled with other technologies, could make people trackable without their knowledge or consent."

Comment: This is not the mark, but I do think we should keep up on the trends relating to the use of RFID chips. It's nice to see there is debate about this now from a consumer privacy perspective.

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Friday, July 10, 2009

My Way News - World leaders take fresh approach on global hunger

AP reports: "The initiative announced at the end of a Group of Eight summit marked a new emphasis on helping farmers in the developing world boost production over the long term, moving away from an emphasis on emergency food aid for people suffering from drought and famine."

Comment: This is a very promising move informed by studies that have shown that traditional foreign aid (just giving money) has not worked. Aid money is often diverted by the ruling elite, wasted, or lost to corruption. Give a farmer seed, teach him new farming techniques and help him get his product to market, this is the new formula for fighting famine.

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My Way News - Netanyahu aide: No Golan pullout for peace
AP reports: "Israel captured the Golan Heights in the 1967 Mideast war and annexed the territory in 1981, a move that was never internationally recognized. Syria has always maintained that peace will be possible only if Israel withdraws entirely from the Heights. Syrian forces used the strategic plateau to shell nearby Israeli communities before 1967, and Israel fears those communities will once again become vulnerable should the Heights be ceded."

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My Way News - G-8 is not enough: Calls for larger, recast group
AP reports: "For all the smiles and upbeat talk, the just-ended Group of Eight summit showed how unwieldy the forum has become, run by Cold War-vintage powers while relegating the world's fastest growing economies - China, India and Brazil - to observers. [...] But finding the right formula for an overhaul will prove tricky."

Comment: This is an interesting time in world history, the major institutions that people assumed would create global government (like the UN or the G8) have failed to address the serious problems that challenge world peace. Would the UN have ever really confronted Saddam Hussien if George Bush had not acted? No, they would have let him ignore repeated Security Council resolutions because major UN powers (like Germany and France) had too much money invested in Iraq. The same is true today with Iran (where Russia has an interest in maintaining the status quo) and North Korea (where China has huge trade interests). The idea of world government is dead, but the desire to create something new is clearly there. Will that desire eventually lead to the creation of new global institutions? Or, will a maverick leader emerge who convinces a smaller group of countries (at first) that he has a new and better idea?

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My Way News - SKorea says attackers used IP address in 5 nations
AP reports: "On Friday, the spy agency briefed lawmakers on circumstantial and technical reasons for believing North Korea could be behind the assaults, ruling party lawmaker Chung Chin-sup said without elaborating. But the agency also cautioned it was too early to conclude the North was responsible because probes were still under way, according to Park Young-sun, another member of the intelligence committee."

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My Way News - Death toll from China's ethnic riots hits 184
AP reports: "China raised the death toll from riots in its Xinjiang region to 184, state media said Saturday, giving an ethnic breakdown of the dead for the first time after communal violence broke out in this far western city."

Comment
: It would be amusing if it wasn't so sad to see a "revolutionary" country acting like the colonial powers of old, imposing their culture and economy on a subject population. Some things never really change no matter what dogma or ideology they try to hide behind.

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My Way News - 400,000 leave their homes after quake in China
AP reports: "More than 400,000 people have left their homes after an earthquake rocked southwestern China, killing one person and destroying thousands of houses, state media said Friday."

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Thursday, July 09, 2009

My Way News - Worst violence since US pullback hits Iraq
AP reports: "Bombs killed nearly 60 people in Iraq on Thursday in the worst violence since U.S. combat troops withdrew from urban areas last week, and American forces released five Iranian officials suspected of aiding Shiite insurgents."

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My Way News - Thousands protest in Iran, defying crackdown vow
AP reports: "Thousands of protesters streamed down avenues of the capital Thursday, chanting 'death to the dictator' and defying security forces who fired tear gas and charged with batons, witnesses said."

Comment: Nice to see they are not giving up, but can they take the abuse they are going to get for resisting oppression and tyranny?

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My Way News - UNESCO: Invasion seriously harmed historic Babylon
AP reports: "Iraq's U.S.-led invaders inflicted serious damage on Babylon, driving heavy machinery over sacred paths, bulldozing hilltops and digging trenches through one of the world's greatest archaeological sites, experts for UNESCO said Thursday."

Comment: You break it, you buy it. I guess we will have to get KBR to rebuild Babylon. And no cutting corners this time, we don't want to electrocute the tourists.

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My Way News - Netanyahu aide: There is no Palestinian leadership
AP reports: "There is no Palestinian leadership, one of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's closest advisers declared in a report published Thursday, raising new questions about how Israel intends to proceed with efforts to renew stalled peace talks."

Comment: It's time for the Palestinians to have a proper civil war and for the West to balance Iranian aid to Hamas with lots of military aid to Fatah. Let them fight it out. Kidding. Still, we can't ignore the fact that there really is no unity among the Palestinians and that the most powerful faction (politically and militarily) is opposed to the peace process. Well, when I say we, I mean rational people, the Quartet is not included in that group.

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My Way News - Clerical discontent challenges Iran leader
AP reports: "Iran's supreme leader has imposed his will on the streets with security forces that crushed mass protests over the country's disputed election. But he faces an unprecedented level of behind-the-scenes political discontent among the Muslim clerics who form the theological bedrock of the Islamic Republic."

Comment: The government of Iran has been shown to be the enemy of the people, the only question now is: Are the people strong enough to overthrow the government?

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My Way News - Saudi Arabia convicts 300 al-Qaida suspects
AP reports: "A Saudi criminal court has convicted and sentenced an al-Qaida militant to death and given more than 300 others jail terms, fines and travel bans in the country's first known terrorism trials for suspected members of the terror network, officials said Wednesday."

Comment: Nice, keep up the good work, it's their mess anyway.

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My Way News - Irish Catholics say tree stump looks like Mary
AP reports: "Thousands of Irish Catholics have flocked this week to a County Limerick church to pray at the stump of a recently cut willow that many observers say, has the silhouette of the Virgin Mary."

Comment: I see dead people.

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My Way News - Earthquake in China's south kills 1, injures 324
AP reports: "A moderate earthquake rocked southwest China killing one person, injuring at least 324 others and collapsing some 18,000 homes, state media said. The magnitude-6.0 temblor, centered in Yunnan province's Yao'an county, also damaged nearly 40,000 homes on Thursday, the Xinhua News Agency said."

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My Way News - Mysterious tremors detected on San Andreas Fault
AP reports: "Scientists have detected a spike in underground rumblings on a section of California's San Andreas Fault that produced a magnitude-7.8 earthquake in 1857."

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My Way News - US officials eye North Korea in cyber attack
AP reports: "U.S. authorities on Wednesday eyed North Korea as the origin of the widespread cyber attack that overwhelmed government Web sites in the United States and South Korea, although they warned it would be difficult to definitively identify the attackers quickly."

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My Way News - Ebola found in Philippine pigs for first time
AP reports: "A form of ebola virus has been detected in pigs for the first time, raising concerns it could mutate and threaten humans, scientists report."

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Tuesday, July 07, 2009

My Way News - Pope proposes new financial order guided by ethics
AP reports: "Pope Benedict XVI called Tuesday for a new world financial order guided by ethics and the search for the common good, denouncing the profit-at-all-cost mentality blamed for bringing about the global financial meltdown."

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'Obama' Think-Tank: Israel Should Cede Jerusalem Sovereignty - Israel National News

INN reports: "The plan does not call for the internationalization of Jerusalem -- but is not far off from that. It recommends that both Israel and a future state of Palestine appoint a third-party administrator that would run and police the city."

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My Way News - Iran president declares new era for country
AP reports: "There was no sign of a let-up in the clampdown imposed since Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei declared the official election results valid and Ahmadinejad the victor. Police say 20 people were killed in postelection violence and more than 1,000 arrested, though they say many have been released."

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My Way News - Russia warns US over missile shield
AP reports: "Russia's foreign minister warned Tuesday that the U.S. would jeopardize progress toward a new treaty with Russia on nuclear arms cuts if it decides to create a global missile defense system."

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My Way News - Federal Web sites knocked out by cyber attack
AP reports: "A widespread and unusually resilient computer attack that began July 4 knocked out the Web sites of several government agencies, including some that are responsible for fighting cyber crime, The Associated Press has learned."

My Way News - South Korean Web sites hit by suspected cyber attack
AP reports: "Suspected cyber attacks paralyzed Web sites of major South Korean government agencies, banks and Internet sites in a barrage that appeared linked to similar attacks in the U.S., South Korean officials said Tuesday."

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My Way News - Satellite shows big thinning of old Arctic sea ice
AP reports: "New NASA satellite measurements show that sea ice in the Arctic is more than just shrinking in area, it is dramatically thinning."

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My Way News - International idol, Jackson mourned around globe
AP reports: "Fans in Asia stayed awake into the wee hours, bars across Europe held Michael Jackson theme nights and television stations from Sydney to Paris cleared their schedules Tuesday to broadcast the King of Pop's star-studded memorial service from Los Angeles."

My Way News - Jackson service a national viewing experience
AP reports: "The wealth of options in how one could experience the memorial service - from cell phones to jumbo screens - reflected the new, fractured media landscape that could perhaps only be unified by a boundary-crossing superstar from an earlier era. Calculating just how many people in total watched the ceremony - around the world and across all platforms - will take several days and even then will likely have to resort to an approximation, given the huge variety of outlets."

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My Way News - Swine flu resistance testing to grow after US case
AP reports: "U.S. health officials are stepping up testing of swine flu cases for Tamiflu resistance, now that an American has come down with a resistant strain. A California teenager was diagnosed with swine flu last month after arriving in Hong Kong on June 11, and has since recovered."

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My Way News - Woman allegedly pranks her grandma 45 times in day
AP reports: "A 21-year-old woman faces felony charges after allegedly prank-calling her 69-year-old grandmother 45 times in one day, threatening to kill her."

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Monday, July 06, 2009

BBC NEWS - Historical Bible pages put online

BBC News reports: "About 800 pages of the earliest surviving Christian Bible have been recovered and put on the internet. Visitors to the website www.codexsinaiticus.org can now see images of more than half of the 1,600-year-old Codex Sinaiticus manuscript."

Comment: Critics like to say that the Bible is a collection of stories and myths written by many authors over thousands of years, that it contains many errors and that each translation is so different that the Bible of today is not a faithful representation of the Bible that the early Christians would recognize. The earliest known translations reveal that this is not the case. The Holy Bible (which we recognize as the Old and New Testament) was inspired, guided and shaped by an intelligence that we call the Holy Spirit to be one harmonious whole. It is one message from God to humanity, it is a love letter, and a wedding invitation. You should read it and RSVP as soon as possible.

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My Way News - Israeli FM praises Biden on Iran stand
AP reports: "But other Israeli leaders avoided comment, a low-key reaction that suggested Israel did not see Biden's comments as a green light to strike against its biggest Mideast rival. President Barack Obama underlined that diplomacy with Iran remains an option."

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My Way News - Issues facing the G8 leaders
AP reports: "The Group of Eight leaders of the most industrialized countries will tackle the following issues during their three-day summit starting Wednesday in the central Italian city of L'Aquila."

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My Way News - Obama, Medvedev agree to pursue nuclear reduction
AP reports: "President Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev signed a preliminary agreement Monday to reduce the world's two largest nuclear stockpiles by as much as a third, down to the lowest levels of any U.S.-Russia accord, and counter what Obama called 'a sense of drift' in the countries' relations."

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My Way News - SKorea says suspect North Korean ship likely home
AP reports: "A North Korean ship tracked by the U.S. Navy because it was suspected of carrying illicit cargo and which reversed course without delivering its load has likely arrived back home, a South Korean official said Tuesday."

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My Way News - Israeli archaeologists discover ancient quarry
AP reports: "Israeli archaeologists have uncovered an ancient quarry where they believe King Herod extracted stones for the construction of the Jewish Temple 2,000 years ago, the Israel Antiquities Authority said Monday."

Comment: You know, this may make it all the more difficult for the Palestinians to deny that the temple existed.

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My Way News - China arrests 1,434 after deadly Xinjiang riots
AP reports: "Police have arrested 1,434 suspects in connection with the worst ethnic violence in decades in China's western Xinjiang region, which killed at least 156 people, state media reported Tuesday."

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U.S. strategic shift: Win, hold Afghan territory - CNN.com
CNN reports: "Roughly 4,000 U.S. Marines and sailors, joined by British troops and several hundred Afghan security forces, are participating in Operation Khanjar, the drive to secure Helmand Province in advance of Afghanistan's August presidential elections."

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Analysis: Who's in charge as Obama visits Russia? - CNN.com
CNN reports: "President Obama arrived in Moscow on Monday for a summit with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev aimed at trying to 'reset' the U.S.-Russian relationship. But he also may have a less publicized goal: figuring out who's really in charge here."

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Netanyahu to Putin: Stop selling missiles to Iran - Haaretz - Israel News
INN reports: "Relations between Israel and Russia have grown tense over a significant change in Moscow's attitude regarding the possible sale of S-300 air defense missiles to Iran. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin and asked him to prevent the arms deal from going through."

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U.S., Iraqi experts developing plan to preserve Babylon, build local tourism industry - Stars and Stripes
The Stars & Stripes reports: "Now the rapidly improving security situation in surrounding Babil province has persuaded the U.S. State Department and the Iraqi State Board of Antiquities and Heritage to embark on the preservation project, dubbed the Future of Babylon Project."

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Phoenix Examiner - UFOs spotted over 10 states during July 4th celebrations

The Phoenix Examiner reports: "A spectacular display of UFO sightings hit the U.S. this Fourth of July weekend, with many reporting multiple objects in the skies and similar colors, according to witness testimony from the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) database."

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Russia Is Back on the Warpath - WSJ.com
The Wall Street Journal reports: "With President Barack Obama's trip to Moscow on Monday, you might expect Russia to avoid stirring up any trouble. Yet the Russian media are now abuzz with speculation about a new war in Georgia, and some Western analysts are voicing similar concerns. The idea seems insane. Nonetheless, the risk is real."

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Russia Holds Major War Games In Caucasus - CBS News
CBS News reports: "Thousands of troops, backed by hundreds of tanks, artillery and other heavy weaponry, began rumbling through the North Caucasus on Monday, as Russia began its largest military exercises since last year's war with Georgia. The Caucasus 2009 war games are being seen by many experts as a warning shot for nearby Georgia, where the government says it has rearmed armed forces and where NATO recently wrapped up its own exercises."

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Moscow Times - Giving China a Piece of Russia
The Moscow Times reports: "On June 17, President Dmitry Medvedev and Chinese President Hu Jintao signed an agreement in which Russia will sell 300 million tons of oil to China over 20 years for $100 billion. That breaks down to $57 per barrel. [...] The contract Medvedev signed with Hu means that Russia will inevitably lose its Far East."

Comment: This report explains why the energy deal is a very good deal for China and a bad deal for Russia and places the two on a competitive path. This is a rivalry that we expect to continue to coalesce around energy, oil, and the Middle East.

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Thursday, July 02, 2009

My Way News - Britain braces for 100,000 swine flu cases a day
AP reports: "Britain is the hardest-hit nation in Europe amid the global swine flu epidemic. Many flu experts believe numbers could jump exponentially now that the virus is entrenched. Because swine flu, or H1N1, is a new virus, few people have any natural immunity, allowing the virus to spread rapidly."

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My Way News - Stavridis takes helm at NATO command
AP reports: "Stavridis assumes command at a time when the 28-member alliance is engaged in operations in a number of theaters, including Afghanistan, Kosovo and in the pirate-infested waters off the Somali coastline. Traditionally, an American officer commands the alliance's military forces from the headquarters in Mons, while a European civilian heads its political head office in Brussels."

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My Way News - Pakistan pounds suspected Taliban targets, kills 4
AP reports: "The fighting comes amid a government campaign against Taliban insurgents in North and South Waziristan, the lawless tribal region along Pakistan's border with Afghanistan where top Taliban and al-Qaida leaders are believed to be hiding."

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My Way News - Marines suffer casualties in new Afghan campaign
AP reports: "The Pentagon is deploying 21,000 additional troops to Afghanistan in time for the elections and expects the total number of U.S. forces there to reach 68,000 by year's end. That is double the number of troops in Afghanistan in 2008 but still half as many as are now in Iraq."

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My Way News - NKorea fires missiles; launch toward US feared
AP reports: "North Korea fired a barrage of short-range missiles off its east coast in a possible prelude to the launch of a long-range missile toward Hawaii over the U.S. Independence Day holiday."

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My Way News - African leaders agree to Libya-led AU changes
AP reports: "The draft document adopted at 4 a.m. at the AU summit of heads of states in Sirte, Libya, showed that the new Authority would simplify the AU's structure and boost its power over defense, diplomatic and international trade matters."

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My Way News - Study: New flu inefficient in attacking people
AP reports: "With swine flu continuing to spread around the world, researchers say they have found the reason it is - so far - more a series of local blazes than a wide-raging wildfire. The new virus, H1N1, has a protein on its surface that is not very efficient at binding with receptors in people's respiratory tracts, researchers at the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology report in Friday's edition of the journal Science."

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Wednesday, July 01, 2009

My Way News - Report: North Korea likely to fire barrage of missiles
AP reports: "North Korea is highly likely to test-fire a barrage of missiles in coming days, a news report said Thursday, a move that would aggravate the already-high tensions following Pyongyang's nuclear test and U.N. sanctions."

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My Way News - Iran reformists show fresh defiance against regime
AP reports: "In boldly worded statements posted on their Web sites, Khatami accused Iran's leadership of a 'velvet coup against the people and democracy,' and Mousavi said the government's crackdown on demonstrators was 'tantamount to a coup.'"

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My Way News - WHO working on formulas to model swine flu spread
AP reports: "The World Health Organization said Wednesday it is working to mathematically model the spread of swine flu in an attempt to better understand how the outbreak developed from a handful of cases to a global epidemic in less than two months."

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My Way News - Taser, pepper spray used as Texas pastor arrested
AP reports: "Moran's son Miguel said 30 witnesses saw the officer turn aggressive and repeatedly kick the church door. Several members were hit with pepper spray and children were present, Miguel Moran said. 'They treated him as if he were a drug dealer or murderer, but he is a pastor that tries to help the community,' Moran said. 'The police always want to be right but they are not.'"

Comment: There is a growing problem with the police in America, they no longer know how to deal with common citizens. Of course, we can say that the real cause of the problem is that the police tend to deal with criminals, so when they have to deal with a law abiding citizen (in this case, the pastor of a church), they no longer know how to do it, they treat a citizen as a criminal and end up abusive in word and deed. The police will no longer be respected as guarantors of the peace if the average person fears them instead of respects them. There is a difference between respect and fear, and respect is eroded when we no longer trust that the police will act in a rational manner. And because the police are conditioned to interact with criminals they interpret any action that is not meek submission as defiance and turn hostile. There was a time when the pastor of a church would have automatically been seen as a respected authority figure, whose presence and questions would be welcome in diffusing a volatile situation. In today's world, asking a question of an officer is considered an act of defiance, no matter who is doing it, because questions are not compliance. This attitude is not one that a free people can easily accept. In this case, we can only assume that the officer was not a Christian, and we can only speculate about the state of his spiritual life that caused him to see the pastor as a threat and respond with violence. Was it persecution? Probably not in the traditional sense of the word, but it's certainly a sign of the times when a pastor is seen as a threat rather than an ally of law enforcement.

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