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Saturday, July 10, 2010

Oscar Grant Murder by Oakland Police- Jury Refuses To Convict on Murder Charge!

New Cap Hoped To Contain Gulf Oil Leak Soon : NPR

New Cap Hoped To Contain Gulf Oil Leak Soon : NPR: "Undersea robots manipulated by engineers a mile above were expected to begin work Saturday removing the containment cap over the gushing well head in the Gulf of Mexico to replace it with a tighter-fitting cap that could funnel all the oil to tankers at the surface. More...

If all goes according to plan, the tandem of the tighter cap and the tankers could keep all the oil from polluting the fragile Gulf in the next few days.

But it would be only a temporary solution to the catastrophe unleashed by a drilling rig explosion nearly 12 weeks ago. It won't plug the busted well and it remains uncertain that it will succeed."

Friday, July 09, 2010

DPRK marks 49th anniversary of friendship treaty with China - People's Daily Online

DPRK marks 49th anniversary of friendship treaty with China - People's Daily Online

DPRK marks 49th anniversary of friendship treaty with China
The Korea-China Friendship Association and Korean Committee for Cultural Relations With Foreign Countries on Friday marked the 49th anniversary of the signing of the DPRK-China Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance.

Choe Chang Sik, director of the Korea-China Friendship Association and health minister of the republic, said while observing the occasion that his country would do its best to strengthen and promote the friendship between the two countries.

Liu Hongcai, Chinese ambassador to the DPRK, described the relationship between the two countries as "having been developing constantly under the attention of the top leaders of both countries."

China will further consolidate and develop the China-DPRK friendship, the Chinese diplomat said.

The DPRK-China Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance was signed on July 11, 1961, in Beijing and took effect on Sept. 10 of that same year.
China's friendship allows it to turn a blind eye to North Korea's attack on South Korea and yesterday block a U.N. Security Council resolution mentioning North Korea as the perpetrator. South Korea nows knows on which side of the 38th parallel China stands.

John H. Armwood

U.N. Draft Condemns Ship Sinking Without Blaming North Korea -

U.N. Draft Condemns Ship Sinking Without Blaming North Korea - "UNITED NATIONS — Key Security Council members have agreed on a statement, presented to the council on Thursday, that condemns the sinking of a South Korean warship that left 46 sailors dead, but avoids singling out North Korea for the attack.

Since early June, the United States and its main Asian allies on the issue, Japan and South Korea, have been pressing the Security Council to take a firm stance on the fatal attack on the ship, the Cheonan, in March. But China and Russia were adamant that the council not blame North Korea directly, according to Security Council diplomats.

The statement “condemns the attack which led to the sinking of the Cheonan” and “calls for appropriate and peaceful measures to be taken against those responsible,” without blaming North Korea. It also notes that North Korea denied involvement.

But it does cite a South Korean investigation, in which five nations participated, that concluded that North Korea torpedoed the ship." More...

U.S., Russia Exchange Spies In Vienna : NPR

U.S., Russia Exchange Spies In Vienna : NPR

U.S. and Russian flights involved in a 14-person spy swap landed briefly in Vienna, apparently exchanged agents, then took off again in the largest such diplomatic dance since the Cold War.

The planes landed within minutes of each other Friday, parked nose-to-tail at a remote section of the tarmac, then spent about an hour and a half there before departing just as quickly.

The Russian government plane left Vienna reportedly carrying 10 agents deported from the U.S. and was assumed to be heading for Moscow.

Minutes later, the U.S. plane that brought the 10 spies in from New York took off, apparently with four Russians who had confessed to spying for the West. It was not immediately known if that plane was heading straight back to the United States or stopping over in London.

Igor Sutyagin, an arms control researcher convicted of spying for the United States, had told relatives of the spy swap and said he was being sent to Vienna and then onto London.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

LeBron James to play for Miami Heat – This Just In - Blogs

LeBron James to play for Miami Heat – This Just In - Blogs: "NBA free agent LeBron James announced Thursday that he will play for the Miami Heat in the most anticipated announcement of the NBA season.

James said he made his final decision Thursday morning, after speaking with his mother.

'Once I had that conversation with her I think I was set,' James told sportscaster Jim Gray." More...

Judge Rules Gay Marriage Ban Unconstitutional -

Judge Rules Gay Marriage Ban Unconstitutional -

BOSTON (AP) -- A U.S. judge in Boston has ruled that a federal gay marriage ban is unconstitutional because it interferes with the right of a state to define marriage.

U.S. District Judge Joseph Tauro on Thursday ruled in favor of gay couples' rights in two separate challenges to the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, known as DOMA.

The state had argued the law denied benefits such as Medicaid to gay married couples in Massachusetts, where same-sex unions have been legal since 2004.

Tauro agreed, and said the act forces Massachusetts to discriminate against its own citizens.

"The federal government, by enacting and enforcing DOMA, plainly encroaches upon the firmly entrenched province of the state, and in doing so, offends the Tenth Amendment. For that reason, the statute is invalid," Tauro wrote in a ruling in a lawsuit filed by Attorney General Martha Coakley. More...

Chicago commissioner defends library funding | Alison Flood | Books |

Chicago commissioner defends library funding | Alison Flood | Books | "Chicago's public library commissioner has hit back at a report on WFLD Television that suggested libraries are a 'waste of tax money', saying that the argument posed by a story broadcast on the station was a 'non-starter' and that a contributor who suggested salaries in the public sector were higher than those in the private sector was 'simply wrong'.

First aired last week, the television report on Chicago's libraries was mistakenly attributed to Fox News in a Guardian story earlier today. The American television channel WFLD, owned by News Corporation's Fox Television Stations group, questioned whether libraries are still needed.

'There are 799 public libraries in Illinois. And they're busy. People borrow more than 88m times a year. But keeping libraries running costs big money. In Chicago, the city pumps $120m a year into them. A full 2.5% of our yearly property taxes go to fund them. That's money that could go elsewhere – like for schools ... police or pensions,' the report said. 'Libraries are quiet havens for the community. They can take you to another world ... But should these institutions – that date back to 1900 BC – be on the way out?'" More...

McDonald's under pressure in China over chemical ingredients - People's Daily Online

McDonald's under pressure in China over chemical ingredients - People's Daily Online: "An online survey in China showed Thursday that three out of four people would no longer buy a McDonald's product as it reportedly contains two chemical additives that, if taken in excess, may cause nausea and vomiting.

The survey, run by a leading Chinese portal website, showed at 2 p.m. Thursday that 75.4 percent of 30,151 respondents 'would definitely not' buy McDonald's Chicken McNuggets, while only 7.1 percent said the revelation would not stop them from buying the deep fried chicken pieces." More...
The shoe is on the other foot.  Many Americans are afraid of buying Chinese food products for fear of both artificial additives and contamination.  The contaminated baby formula scan in China caused a wariness towards Chinese food products both in China and abroad.  In the United States this is particularly true among our overseas Chinese population.

John H. Armwood

CNN Fires Editor After Hezbollah Twitter Message -

CNN Fires Editor After Hezbollah Twitter Message - "CNN on Wednesday removed its senior editor of Middle Eastern affairs, Octavia Nasr, after she published a Twitter message saying that she respected the Shiite cleric Grand Ayatollah Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah.

Parisa Khosravi, the senior vice president of international newsgathering for CNN Worldwide, said in an internal memorandum that she “had a conversation” with Ms. Nasr on Wednesday morning and that “we have decided that she will be leaving the company.”

For her coverage of events like last year’s protests in Iran, CNN had previously called Ms. Nasr a “leader” in integrating social media Web sites like Twitter within its newsgathering process.

Ms. Nasr, a 20-year veteran of the network, wrote on Twitter after the cleric died on Sunday, “Sad to hear of the passing of Sayyed Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah ... One of Hezbollah’s giants I respect a lot.” The ayatollah routinely denounced the United States and supported suicide bombings against Israel." More...

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Obama Promises Push on Trade Pacts -

Obama Promises Push on Trade Pacts -

WASHINGTON — President Obama, who vowed in his State of the Union address to double American exports over the next five years, said on Wednesday that he would renew his efforts to renegotiate long-stalled free trade agreements with Panama and Colombia and persuade Congress to adopt them.

The two trade pacts, and a third one with South Korea, were negotiated by the administration of former President George W. Bush, but all three have languished in Congress because of deep opposition from Democrats. Mr. Obama said in Toronto last month that he intended to make a new push for the South Korean agreement, and on Wednesday he pledged to press ahead with the two Latin American pacts as well.

“For a long time, we were trapped in a false political debate in this country, where business was on one side and labor was on the other,” Mr. Obama said in the East Room of the White House, at an event intended to highlight his administration’s efforts to promote exports. “What we now have an opportunity to do is to refocus our attention where we’re all in it together.”

Trade is a particularly difficult issue for many Democrats, especially in an election year when jobs are already scarce, because of a widespread view that American workers suffer disproportionately when the United States lowers trade barriers.

On the South Korea pact, for instance, Democrats have expressed concerns about that country’s restrictions on automobile and beef imports from the United States — concerns that Mr. Obama has vowed to address before sending the agreement to Congress for passage. More...

Cold War remix: Spy suspect swap appears in works  |

Cold War remix: Spy suspect swap appears in works |

WASHINGTON — U.S. and Russian officials met secretively on two continents Wednesday in a likely prelude to one of the largest swaps of accused spies in decades, a Cold War remix showing the high-stakes race for covert intelligence between East and West endures in the new century.

Five suspects charged with spying in the U.S. were hurriedly ordered to New York, joining five others already behind bars there, after a Russian arms-control researcher convicted of spying for the West came out of the cold of his forlorn penal colony by the Arctic Circle and was transferred to Moscow.

Researcher Igor Sutyagin signed a confession even while continuing to assert his innocence, his brother said, describing that event as one in a series laying the groundwork for Russia to release him and others accused of espionage in exchange for members of an alleged spy ring broken in the U.S. More...

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Adobe Fixes PDF Bug — Partially - PCWorld

Adobe Fixes PDF Bug — Partially - PCWorld: "An Adobe patch for a well-publicized bug in the company's Reader PDF software doesn't fix the vulnerability, the security researcher who uncovered the flaw confirmed.

Last Tuesday, Adobe shipped an update for Reader and Acrobat, its popular PDF viewing and creation programs, that patched 17 vulnerabilities, including a design issue that gave attackers an easy way to con users into running malware. The bug, which was disclosed by Belgium researcher Didier Stevens in late March, allowed hackers to leverage the '/Launch' function, a feature that executes other software from within a PDF document.

When combined with another trick -- Stevens also showed how a Reader warning could be changed to further fool users -- the flaw could be used to dupe users into launching malware masquerading as legitimate software." More...

Federal Government Sues Over Arizona Immigration Law -

Federal Government Sues Over Arizona Immigration Law -

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Obama administration on Tuesday sued Arizona over the state's strict new immigration law, attempting to wrestle back control over the issue but infuriating Republicans who said the border required more security.

The administration argued the Arizona law, which requires state and local police to investigate the immigration status of anyone they reasonably suspect of being an illegal immigrant, is unconstitutional and would sap law enforcement resources.

The Republican-controlled Arizona legislature passed the controversial law to try to stem the flood of thousands of illegal immigrants who cross its border from Mexico and to cut down on drug trafficking and other crimes in the area.

The lawsuit is part of a broader approach by President Barack Obama to deal with the 10.8 million illegal immigrants believed to be in the country, arguing that immigration is the responsibility of the federal government not each state. More...

Thai Government Extends State of Emergency -

Thai Government Extends State of Emergency - "BANGKOK (Reuters) - Thailand extended a state of emergency imposed in about a third of the country during recent bloody political protests on Tuesday, saying anti-government elements continued to pose a threat. More...

The protests, mainly involving supporters of an ousted prime minister, turned violent in April and May. Ninety people were killed and almost 2,000 wounded, raising fears for stability in Southeast Asia's second-biggest economy."

BBC News - China to build $8bn oil refinery in Nigeria

BBC News - China to build $8bn oil refinery in Nigeria: "China is to build an $8bn oil refinery in Nigeria.

It will be the first of three refineries under a deal signed in May between Nigeria's state oil company, NNPC, and the China State Construction Engineering Corporation (CSCEC).

The refinery will be built in the Lekki free trade zone of Lagos, Nigeria's biggest city." More...

Monday, July 05, 2010

Clinton To Russia: Honor Agreement In Georgia : NPR

Clinton To Russia: Honor Agreement In Georgia : NPR:

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton rebuked Russia on Monday for failing to live up to the cease-fire agreement it signed nearly two years ago to end the fighting in the former Soviet state of Georgia. 

She asserted that Russia is occupying parts of Georgia and building permanent military bases in contravention of the truce."   More...

Sunday, July 04, 2010