[Emirates 24/7] Soddy Arabia's inquisitors religious policeplaced in long-term storage an Indonesian housemaid for casting a magic spell on a local family and "turning its life upside down," a newspaper in the Gulf Kingdom reported on Tuesday. I think I seen this show! It's not really her, it's her mother who does all that stuff and she gets blamed for it... No, no, no. It's her "evil twin"...
The employer of the maid in the southern mountainous town of Bisha told members of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice that he had noticed a drastic change in the behavior of his family members and that he suspected the maid was behind this. "Every time she'd walk into the room my son would take one look at her chest and holler 'Mama Mia!' He never knew how to speak Italian before!"
"He said the behavior of all his family members changed completely and their life was turned upside down...he said he suspected the maid could have cast a magic spell on them," Sabq Arabic language daily said.
"After arresting and investigating the maid, she confessed to having done magic work against the family and led them to the magic items that were hidden under the steps outside the front door...Commission experts took the magic items to their office and managed to dismantle and stop the spell."
And it's a damned good thing they were able to do so, too. Those things go off in a crowded neighborhood, well ... let's just say things could have been bad, real bad.
Dateline Stupidville Steubenville - An Amish mob is accused of breaking into several homes and cutting off the beards and hair of other Amish men.
Now, the group is the focus of four , count 'em, four
police investigations in Ohio.
Police say the assaults are the work of members of the "Bergholz Clan." aka the Anabaptist Al-Qaeda
In one attack, the men allegedly packed a horse-drawn buggy, rode to a home and cut the hair off some men and women in the house.
The violent haircuts are meant to humiliate and punish those Amish who are supposedly weak in the faith.
It's left the police baffled. Whose hair is it, O'Malley?
"Well it's pretty bizarre for us, we've never had anything like this happen here before," said a Steubenville officer. Must be a Steubenville newbie unaware of its colorful past.
In Holmes County, the suspected bandits may face assault, burglary and kidnapping charges. And a free trip to Gitmo
[Dawn] Floods in Pakistain have damaged at least 880,000 hectares of standing crops, including rice, maize, cotton, sugar cane, fruit orchards and vegetables, which represent about 3.7 per cent of total national crop area, the United Nations ...an idea whose time has gone... ' food agency said on Tuesday, citing preliminary official estimates.
"Damage to the current paddy crop is moderate and is estimated by FAO and Pakistain's space agency (SUPARCO),
Pakistan has a space agency? What are they going to do, get to the moon ...well, nth, anyway, and confiscate it because it's the 9,315,445,872th holiest place in Islam?
as of 20 September, at about 252,700 tonnes, or 2.5 per cent of the normal national production," the UN's Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) said in an update on the flood situation in Pakistain.
Nearly 92,000 livestock have perished and at least 5 million surviving animals were at risk, it said.
Do not imagine five million cows with dysentery, because it will make you very unhappy.
Over 2.75 million people were in immediate need of food assistance in the monsoon affected areas of Pakistain, the FAO said citing a joint assessment by the UN and government.
Posted by: Fred ||
10/12/2011 00:00 ||
Top|| File under: Govt of Pakistan
This is so crazy. They had a bumper crop of wheat.
Russia did also. Russia low-balled like 240/ton so the Paks couldn't make anything on export. Now the Russians have cut their exports. I think Turkey and Pakistan have been making things much worse for themselves.
[Dawn] The death of yet another dengue patient, a 40-year-old woman, was confirmed here on Monday, taking this year's dengue-related deaths in the city to eight.
In the last 10 days, two people, both women, died of dengue, while the total number of patients who tested positive for dengue rose to 472 in the city on Monday, the highest among the 16 dengue-affected districts of Sindh.
According to the focal person of the Sindh health department's provincial dengue surveillance cell, Dr Shakeel A. Mullick, the woman, a resident of Block-4, Nazimabad, was admitted to Dr Ziauddin Hospital on Oct 4. Tested positive for dengue, she died at the hospital on Oct 8.
The focal person said the confirmation of the death was delayed as results of some tests were awaited by the doctors concerned.
Earlier, a woman, resident of F. B Area, was reported dead due to dengue in Dr Ziauddin Hospital on Sept 9.
Since January, according to the surveillance reports, three persons, including two women, have died of dengue at the Civil Hospital Bloody Karachi between Sept 19 and Oct 3. Two more patients died at the Aga Khan University Hospital and a woman died at the OMI Hospital.
In the meantime, the number of patients admitted to various hospitals or seen in the OPDs for dengue-like symptoms reached 682 in the city, 69 per cent of whom tested positive for the disease while test results of a number of patients were yet to be known.
Posted by: Fred ||
10/12/2011 00:00 ||
Top|| File under: Govt of Pakistan
[An Nahar] The west and central Africa region is facing one of the worst cholera epidemics in its history, with over 85,000 cases reported leading to 2,466 deaths this year, the U.N. children's agency warned Tuesday.
"The size and scale of the outbreaks means the region is facing one of the biggest epidemics in its history," said a UNICEF spokeswoman.
"The most significant increases in 2011 are in Chad, where it is the largest outbreak recorded, in Cameroon where nine out of 10 districts are reporting cases and in western Democratic Republic of Congo where case fatality rate is above five percent," she added.
In some districts, fatality rates are as high as 22 percent.
U.N. agencies also noted that outbreaks were occurring in places where cholera was not endemic.
"You have cases happening outside of a typical cholera season, you also have them occurring in a wider geographical area.
"In central Africa, they just declared a cholera outbreak. They haven't had cholera in years. This means that people are less aware of how to prevent or respond to an outbreak of cholera," the UNICEF spokeswoman said.
In addition, high fatality rates are being recorded in places where cholera is not endemic.
"In the Democratic Republic of Congo, we have this year outbreaks in provinces that we have not seen in the last 10 years," said a WHO front man.
"There we see a case fatality ratio much higher than in provinces where cholera was endemic like north and south Kivu," he added.
Cholera. The bacteria that ONLY spreads through fecal-oral contact. In other words, the only way to get cholera is to drink water that people have shit in. The cholera bacteria is highly vulnerable to the most basic sanitary practices.
A tiny portion of a secret cable released last month by WikiLeaks is just now making its way to the United States. In the Sept. 2009 cable, U.S. Ambassador to Japan John Roos tells the Obama administration that Japan doesn't think it's a good idea for President Obama to visit Hiroshima or to apologize for using an atomic bomb on two Japanese cities during World War II.
The contents of the cable were reported back in September by The Japan Times and ABC News picked it up, today.
The cable was sent to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in advance of President Obama's visit to the country. Here's the important part, where Roos refers to a conversation with the then Vice Foreign Minister Mitoji Yabunaka:
At the Harry Truman Library, very near to Harry Truman's grave is a monument put up by US veterans thanking him for dropping the bomb and saving their lives. I would show a picture of this monument when discussing the vapidness of the president in this matter.
Most Americans saw their insurance bills jump this year, according to a new study from the Kaiser Family Foundation. The average employer-based premium for a family increased a startling 9% in 2011. Over the next decade, rates are expected to double.
The Kaiser report is only the latest piece of research to indicate that ObamaCare isnt driving down health care costs, as its proponents promised, but is instead accelerating their rise.
This year, the average premium for a family hit $15,073 $1,303, or 9%, higher than the year before. And thats on top of increases of 5% in 2009 and 3% in 2010.
Employees are picking up a substantial portion of that tab. They paid an average of $4,129 for their family insurance premiums this year more than double what they shelled out 10 years ago. And that figure doesnt include out-of-pocket health expenses.
These premium hikes have outpaced general inflation and salary increases and thus are swallowing a greater share of American households budgets. A study published in the September 2011 issue of Health Affairs found that burgeoning health costs have decimated nearly an entire decades worth of income gains. In 2009, the average American family had just $95 more to spend at will than it did in 1999.
Worse, theres no relief in sight. Next year, employers expect premiums to rise 7.2%, according to the National Business Group on Health.
>Employees are picking up a substantial portion of that tab. They paid an average of $4,129 for their family insurance premiums this year -- more than double what they shelled out 10 years ago. And that figure doesn't include out-of-pocket health expenses.
They should undo the whole FDR driven disaster and put the whole health costs on the salary line.
Household incomes in the U.S. dropped more in the two years after the recession ended than during it, new research shows.
Household income in the US fell by 6.7 per cent between June 2009, when the recession officially ended, and June 2011, according to a study by two former US Census Bureau officials.
The study based on monthly census surveys rather than annual data, also found that household income fell 3.2 per cent during the recession from December 2007 to June 2009.
The rate of pay per hour of employed people has also failed to keep pace with inflation, as prices of oil and food have inched higher.
Mr. Green and Mr. Coder, who both worked at the Census Bureau for more than 25 years also found that income declined substantially for households headed by people under age 62, but rose 4.7 per cent for homes headed by those aged 65 to 74 who were not working.
Family households generally saw greater drops in income than other households, and men living alone experienced a bigger decline than women living alone.
The type of employment also made a difference, the study showed. Incomes dropped by 4.3 per cent in households headed by private-sector wage workers and 3.9 per cent for government-sector workers.
Self-employed people were hit hardest with a 12.3 per cent decline.
In a separate study, Henry S. Farber, an economics professor at Princeton University in New Jersey, found that people who lost jobs in the recession and later found work again made an average of 17.5 percent less than they had in their old jobs.
The credentialed claim the recession is over. They never take the time to check to see if their metrics are valid. Those are the same metrics which ignore the rise of prices and costs that the average citizen sees but somehow are not reflected in any degree in their calculations.
Over the last five to eight years I have seen a decline in general business activity. Buck a meal deals are the only places doing well. Cheaper to eat there than to make a meal at home. The Self-employed people just disappear. The wealthy still dine in the fancy restaurants but not as often. Tips for waitresses are very poor at this time. Cremations are up as they are cheaper than a burial. When the weather makes its change many die due to the stress of it. Some people will always do well in the worst of times. "I seen me opportunities and I took-em". The business people I meet say "if they are telling you business is good their lying".
Household income (I'm not sure if they meant median or mean income) works differently than GDP per capita. The GDP per capita began to rise in June 2009 as did the total number employed per the BLS employer survey.
The household income survey is from a smaller sample and includes a substantial number of sole proprietor businesses as well as doctors, lawyers, financial consultants, etc. who get a lot of their income from business profits. Presumably, these business profits have been low and a lot of these businesses are not distributing the income and instead keeping them in the business as a hedge.
Posted by: Lord Garth ||
10/12/2011 10:02 Comments ||
Income shrinking? I noticed that too. Hard to get past the fact that things were better under George W.
If any of you are interested in a well-written, apolitical - albeit very economics heavy at times - assessment of the state of our economy along with a recommendation for a way out, check out this paper (link). I'd recommend reading the intro (pages 1-4) and then jump to Section V (the solution). Then go back and read the other sections if you're so inclined.
Try Blossom Forkbeard2446's link now, Dale. I've buried both his link and yours, because they were breaking formatting, always uncomfortable for unsuspecting readers.
When you want to post a link, write a key word , eg. link, highlight it, then click on the little icon below that looks like a globe sitting on goggles -- apparently those a meant to be two links of a chain -- and another box will pop up in which you can paste or type the URL. When you are done writing your post, click on Preview, which will show you what your post will look like...and you can test to see if your link works. I have found Preview very helpful over the years to catch my most egregious errors before they appear permanently before the public.
[USA Today] Ukraine's former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko on Tuesday was sentenced to 7 years in prison on charges of abuse of office in signing a gas deal with Russia, a verdict immediately condemned by the European Union ...the successor to the Holy Roman Empire, only without the Hapsburgs and the nifty uniforms and the dancing... as politically motivated.
Tymoshenko, the driving force of the 2004 pro-democracy Orange Revolution and now the nation's top opposition leader, denounced the trial as rigged by President Viktor Yanukovych in order to get rid of a popular political opponent.
The case has galvanized the opposition. A crowd of several dozen angry Tymoshenko supporters clashed following the verdict with helmeted riot policed who flooded the city center, but they were quickly pushed away and it was unclear if the protests would last.
Judge Rodion Kireyev declared Tymoshenko, 50, guilty of exceeding her authority as premier when she signed a natural gas imports contract with Russia in 2009. He also banned her from occupying government posts for three years after the completion of her prison term and fined her 1.5 billion hryvna ($190 million or euro140 million) for the damages her actions cost the state.
Tymoshenko, clad in a beige dress and wearing her trademark blond braid around her head, has called the trial a "lynching." She appeared unfazed by the verdict and began addressing news hounds in the courtroom without waiting for Kireyev to finish reading the lengthy ruling.
She said Yanukovych wrote the verdict himself and compared it to the show trials and horrific purges by Soviet dictator Josef Stalin.
"The year 1937 has returned to Ukraine with this verdict and all the repression of citizens," she said. "As for me, be sure that I will not stop my fight even for a minute. I will always be with you as long as it is necessary."
GAO Says White House Broke the Law by Holding Science Meetings With China
by Jeffrey Mervis on 12 October 2011, 2:45 PM | 0 Comments
Email Print | More Previous Article Enlarge Image
Constitutional conflict. White House science adviser John Holdren (left) is under attack by Representative Frank Wolf (R-VA) for meetings with Chinese officials.
Credit: (Left to Right) White House Office of Science and Technology Policy; U.S. House of RepresentativesThe watchdog agency for Congress has sided with an influential House of Representatives Republican in his attempt to block bilateral scientific exchanges with China. But the Obama Administration insists that Congress has overstepped its authority.
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued a report yesterday that says the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) has violated a provision in a 2011 spending bill that prohibits OSTP and NASA from using any money for such exchanges. The appropriations bill became law in April, and the GAO report examines a series of May meetings in Washington, D.C., between U.S. and Chinese officials, including OSTP Director John Holdren, aimed in part at removing barriers to scientific collaboration between the two countries.
"OSTP's participation in the Innovation Dialogue and the Strategic and Economic Dialogue contravened the appropriations restriction," concludes GAO General Counsel Lynn Gibson in an 11 October letter to Representative Frank Wolf (R-VA). Wolf, a staunch critic of China, authored the language and chairs the appropriations panel that sets the budget for both OSTP and NASA. Gibson notes that OSTP has also violated a law barring federal employees from exceeding their agency's annual budgetin other words, since OSTP was given no money for such activities, it had none to spend.
OSTP doesn't deny that the meetings occurred and, in fact, estimates that it spent $3500 participating in activities that included hosting a dinner for Chinese officials. But ever since the spending bill was passed, it has maintained that Wolf's language unduly restricts the president's ability to conduct foreign policy, one of his duties under the U.S. Constitution.
[Dawn] The two political allies of the Pakistain People's Party- led Sindh government have finally reached an agreement on the dispute of ministries and the Pakistain Mohammedan League -- Quaid (PML-Q) has agreed to give three ministries to the Muttahida Qaumi Movement ...English: United National Movement, generally known as MQM, is the 3rd largest political party and the largest secular political party in Pakistain with particular strength in Sindh. From 1992 to 1999, the MQM was the target of the Pak Army's Operation Cleanup leaving thousands of urdu speaking civilians dead... (MQM), DawnNews reported.
Sources said that a delegation of the PML-Q was expected to hold an important meeting with the provincial chief minister on Wednesday to discuss the issue of ministries.
The PML-Q would be offered other ministries in lieu of the ministries that they have agreed to give up, sources added.
Haleem Adil Sheikh, Secretary-General of the PML-Q Sindh chapter, said that political stability in the country was more important than ministries.
Posted by: Fred ||
10/12/2011 00:00 ||
Top|| File under: Govt of Pakistan
The article doesn't say which drug(s) the father was addicted to, but it might well be that said chemcals are legal in Pakistan. Cheap, legally available drugs just enable the addict to consume more before running into economic difficulties.
Ending prohibition didn't end alcoholism, but it was still better than the alternative. Ever heard of "harm reduction"? No one is asking you to subsidize beer or anything else. A lot of people like to get high, always have, always will. Deal with it.
Opium poppies grow wild as well as under cultivation, marijuana plants grow wild, people go blind and mad from homemade hooch regularly, they have commonly used illegal recreational drugs that we don't use here...Sharia is beside the point, mojo.
"Wired's Danger Room reports that the network admins of the 24th Air Force found out about the virus infecting the drone cockpits at Creech Air Force Base in Nevada by reading the earlier news article. Quoting: 'Not only were officials in charge kept out of the loop about an infection in Americas weapon and surveillance system of choice, but the surprise surrounding that infection highlights a flaw in the way the U.S. military secures its information infrastructure: Theres no one in the Defense Department with his hand on the network switch. In fact, there is no one switch to speak of. The four branches of the U.S. armed forces each has a dedicated unit that, in theory, is supposed to handle cyber defense for the entire service. ... In practice, its not that simple. Unlike most big private enterprises, the 24th doesnt have a centralized system for managing and monitoring its networks. Theres no place at the 24ths San Antonio headquarters where someone could see all the digital traffic hurtling through the services pipes.'"
A Muslim man can have sex with all his wives at the same time, according to a controversial new book on Islamic sex by the Obedient Wives Club (OWC).
Titillatingly-titled Seks Islam, perangi Yahudi untk kembalikan seks Islam kepada dunia [Islamic sex, fighting Jews to return Islamic sex to the world], the explicit book aims to guide Muslim brides on how to pleasure their husbands in bed.
In its foreword, the pro-polygamy OWC said its studies showed women only gave their husbands 10 per cent of what the men desired of their wives bodies.
Malay-language daily, Berita Harian, reported today the Malay-Muslim community was upset the book featured on its front cover the polygamous leader of the outlawed Al-Arqam religious sect, Asaari Muhammad, and also objected to its extremely graphic visuals.
* Analysts say gold, dollar price spikes linked to inflation fears
* Huge subsidy cuts have pushed up prices of food and fuel
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Wednesday Iran's enemies were deliberately causing the price of gold and foreign exchange to rise in a bid to undermine the Islamic Republic's economy.
"The enemies and ill-wishers want to make a fuss and present wrong information to provoke and deviate the market," Ahmadinejad told a crowd in a town in the western province of Hamadan, where he was on one of his frequent provincial visits.
"In order to disturb the market they buy a lot of gold coins with their huge amount of money ... they do the same in the foreign exchange market. But we have got enough reserves to meet all the country's needs," he said in the speech, broadcast live on state television.
The price of gold coins and foreign currency has risen sharply in recent months, a fact economists put down above all to fears that rising inflation is sapping the buying power of the Iranian currency, the rial.
A reduction in interest rates paid on bank savings has also prompted Iranians to withdraw their cash and place it elsewhere, while a new tax on gold coins has led many to favour foreign currencies over their traditional safe haven, gold.
International sanctions have made it harder to transfer funds abroad -- once a popular way for wealthier citizens to squirrel away cash.
But Ahmadinejad, famous for his anti-West rhetoric, said the price spikes were due to concerted market manipulation by foreign enemies and by people within Iran who sought to harm the economy.
"Some enemies and ill-wishers want to sour the sweetness of the great victory on the people's palate," he said.
Iran's inflation rate has been rising steadily from a 25-year low of 8.8 percent hit in August 2010 and the International Monetary Fund has forecast it will reach 22 percent this year.
California's university system -- like the rest of the state -- is in dire straits financially. Small wonder, then, that schools there have begun to give some thought to the expansion of cost-cutting online education programs. But predictably, the California teachers' unions have something to say about that:
The specter and promise of online education is perhaps nowhere more deeply felt than in California, where campus administrators and instructors are faced with a bloodletting. University of California officials have suggested that the system will have to innovate out of the current financial crisis by expanding online programs. (State house analysts agree.) Instructors, meanwhile, are terrified that this is code for cutting their pay, or increasing their workloads, or outsourcing their jobs to interlopers, or replacing them with online teaching software.
The system's corps of lecturers feels this threat sharply. "We believe that if courses are moved online, they will most likely be the classes currently taught by lecturers," reads a brief declaration against online education on the website of UC-AFT, the University of California chapter of the American Federation of Teachers, "and so we will use our collective bargaining power to make sure that this move to distance education is done in a fair and just way for our members."
Now the California lecturers, who make up nearly half of the system's undergraduate teaching teachers, believe they have used that bargaining power to score a rare coup. The University of California last week tentatively agreed to a deal with UC-AFT that included a new provision barring the system and its campuses from creating online courses or programs that would result in "a change to a term or condition of employment" of any lecturer without first dealing with the union.
The president of the teachers' union says he thinks this new agreement gives the union veto power over "almost any online program," while university representatives say the provision doesn't effectively change anything. All it means, they say, is that, if the union objects to an online education program, the university will have to go through the same process -- mediation, fact-finding, maybe a university mandate, potentially a union strike, etc. -- as it would if the union objected to any university decision that would jeopardize lecturers' jobs or work lives.
This just recalls to mind the way unions affect markets in disappointing ways. Would we rather have a more affordable product for more people or arbitrarily protected and unwarrantedly posh jobs?
Frankly, it's astonishing to me that a knee-jerk defensiveness of lecturers' jobs is the best this union can do. They could at least make the case for why face-to-face interaction enhances education. Certainly, I can. As a relatively recent graduate and a person who now spends the majority of my time online, I often miss the camaraderie of the classroom. The Internet is the largest salon on earth -- the easiest and broadest possible exchange of ideas imaginable -- but, all too frequently, ideologues of a certain stripe collect in a certain corner of it and never leave that corner, never encounter ideas that force them to test assumptions. For all that universities perpetuate a certain amount of propaganda, for all that they, too, frequently fail to conscientiously court ideological diversity, they do bring together a wide variety of people and in person. And the in-person principle does seem important to me, somehow. Perhaps the "dehumanization" of ideas -- the separation of ideas from the person who thinks them -- enables us to consider them more objectively, strictly on the merits of the ideas themselves and not on our affinity or disinclination for the person. But it might also be that it de-contextualizes those ideas, robs us from really observing the fabric from which the ideas were formed. Someone who knows me, who can see my facial expressions as I say something, who can hear my tone of voice, will surely understand what it is I'm trying to say better than someone who encounters only my typed words on a screen.
That's less an argument against online programs -- which are surely an excellent and affordable way to provide basic education for more people -- as it is an argument for the revival of the university as it was originally conceived -- a place in which to question, to learn, to debate. In many ways, we abandoned the concept of such a place as soon as we made it seem like a societal imperative for everyone -- even those who have little interest in academics -- to earn a B.A., when we started subsidizing college loans, when we started inflating the cost of college tuition. (Yes, I'm back to Mr. Charles Murray.) The education bubble needed to burst. The demand for a true university experience is probably quite small, and, yes, that means UC-AFT lecturers might be in too abundant of a supply, but let supply and demand determine the cost of an online college education and an in-person college education and schools will no longer be faced with a "bloodletting." Best of all, educationally speaking, lecturers who truly want to foster an academic environment -- and aren't just looking for a job with tenure -- would only have to interact face-to-face with students who also want to contribute to such an environment.
We must save our phoney baloney jobs, gentlemen! Hrumph, hrumph! Online courses are the wave of the future. If they want to keep themselves out of the market and go the way of the VHS, feel free guys.
How about classes on CD, or private ownership of college-grade textbooks? Perhaps lecturers gone rogue, providing their abilities to small groups of knowns within their neighborhood, meet at the house with the infinity sign etched on the front door dust, don't tell else the union goons will come knocking.
Or, are we concerned that the pride and prestiege of said local university may be a tradable strikeoff compared to an affordable yet comperable education at least until a certain skill level of pre-requisites?
Or is this about the cash? Olde Ivy starting to get a bit thirsty? Tuition a bit over the cap for most? State well going dry? Perhaps among other things a lessoning of this obsession with building sports and conference dynasty level building and scholorship spending could be cut back a bit.
If the California education system truly wants to save money,they could start by firing every administrator that has "Diversity" in their title.
Also, by closing down any department that has "Studies" in the department name.
Posted by: Rambler in Virginia ||
10/12/2011 18:12 Comments ||
What makes you think they want to save money, Rambler?
Posted by: Barbara ||
10/12/2011 19:17 Comments ||
"What makes you think they want to save money, Rambler?"
That's right, the answer is always raise tuition - until people stop enrolling.
America no longer has "higher education" just more expensive colleges full of babbling socialist idiots who never turned a wrench in their life.It's not worth it.
A multi-volume chronology and reference guide set detailing three years of the Mexican Drug War between 2010 and 2012.
Rantburg.com and borderlandbeat.com correspondent and author Chris Covert presents his first non-fiction work detailing
the drug and gang related violence in Mexico.
Chris gives us Mexican press dispatches of drug and gang war violence
over three years, presented in a multi volume set intended to chronicle the death, violence and mayhem which has
dominated Mexico for six years.