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 veryhotthread  Author  Topic: Stuff & Nonsense  (Read 44403 times)
WingsofCrystal
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« Reply #3165 on: Mar 3rd, 2011, 5:19pm »

on Mar 3rd, 2011, 3:07pm, Swamprat wrote:
Zukowski fired:

Tucson Citizen

UFO investigator terminated from volunteer deputy post after ‘publicly contradicting’ official findings


by Cherlyn Gardner Strong on Mar. 03, 2011, under Extraterrestrials, UFO News, UFOs

A UFO investigator in Colorado has been terminated from his volunteer deputy post following a horse mutilation investigation.

Back in November 2010, Fox31 News in Denver posted an article about a strange horse mutilation incident at the Schneider family ranch in El Paso County, Colorado. The family found two of their horses dead and badly mutilated on their ranch last August. After the discovery, the family filed a report with the El Paso County Sheriff’s Department and called in paranormal investigator, Chuck Zukowski, to search for answers.

The horses were discovered with their throats slit and chests cut open. The genitals, tongues, and eyes of the horses were removed. The family stated that there were no footprints around the horses and no blood evident. Since El Chupacabra, humans, predators and satanic cults would leave footprints, Zukowski blamed UFOs, according to the report by Fox31 news.

Zukowski’s findings, as reported by bloggers and the media, were contradictory to the official findings of the El Paso County Sheriff’s Department, for whom Zukowski served in a volunteer capacity for for 8 years.

Zukowski told NewsFirst5.com in an interview: “I know in the letter it says that I contradicted their statement, but I didn’t contradict them per se. Where I mentioned El Paso County Sheriff’s Department was wrong, I’ve never, ever done that.”....

A fresh piece of information included in the Tucson Citizen‘s post from November, was the fact that Zukowski served as a volunteer deputy for the El Paso County Sheriff’s Department. This information was publicly available in his bio page, on his UFO investigation website, to outline his relevant experience. Although the information is now updated to read: “a former Reserve Deputy Sheriff with El Paso County Sheriff’s Department, Colorado”.

Ten days after the post on the Tucson Citizen, an article posted at the website thehorse.com, also identified Zukowski as a reserve deputy for the department. Zukowski told News5 that he never represented himself to the author as a reserve deputy.

Whether the information of Zukowski’s volunteer post with the department was found on the Tucson Citizen or Zukowski’s public website, was not stated in thehorse.com article.

To read Zukowki’s public response to his termination from the El Paso County Sheriff’s Department on his website (in his own words), click here. http://tucsoncitizen.com/paranormal/2011/03/03/ufo-investigator-terminated-from-volunteer-deputy-post-after-publicly-contradicting-official-findings/




Hey Swamprat, thanks for this article.
Wonder what this is all about?
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« Reply #3166 on: Mar 3rd, 2011, 5:39pm »

"Wonder what this is all about?"

Well, Chuck has a website at www.ufonut.com
There is some more info there as well as some responses

http://www.ufonut.com/wordpress/?p=2380&cpage=1#comment-5367


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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #3167 on: Mar 3rd, 2011, 6:10pm »

on Mar 3rd, 2011, 5:39pm, Swamprat wrote:
"Wonder what this is all about?"

Well, Chuck has a website at www.ufonut.com
There is some more info there as well as some responses

http://www.ufonut.com/wordpress/?p=2380&cpage=1#comment-5367


Swamp


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« Reply #3168 on: Mar 4th, 2011, 07:41am »

In-flight canopy release and ejection--F-18, Lethbridge, Ontario, Canada:

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« Reply #3169 on: Mar 4th, 2011, 08:20am »

Fantastic photos Swamp! Good morning to you.
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« Reply #3170 on: Mar 4th, 2011, 08:23am »

New York Times

March 4, 2011
Loyalist Forces Open Fire on Tripoli Protesters
By DAVID D. KIRKPATRICK

TRIPOLI, Libya — Forces loyal to Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi opened fired with tear gas and what a witness described as live ammunition to scatter protesters who had gathered after Friday noon prayers outside a mosque in a restive neighborhood of Tripoli, chanting slogans and defying the authorities’ attempt to lock down the capital.

Young demonstrators hurled rocks at the militia forces cruising the Tajura neighborhood in blue trucks, but the crackle of fire from what sounded like automatic weapons panicked the protesters and they fled in several directions.

“Everyone was supposed to retreat to the mosque but they are scared of the killing because they are using bullets,” a doctor in the main Tajura mosque said as some protesters scrambled for cover there. Two people were injured, he said. Witnesses said the militia fired AK-47 assault rifles.

Witnesses in Zawiya, 25 miles west of Tripoli, said in telephone interviews that unarmed civilian protesters chanting slogans against the Libyan leader came under fire from pro-Qaddafi forces who caught the demonstrators in a pincer movement. One witness, who spoke in return for anonymity because of a fear of being singled out for reprisals, said five people had been killed. “Their bodies are on the ground, but nobody is able to approach them,” the witness said. There was no independent corroboration of that death toll.

Another witness called the shooting in Zawiya a massacre. “I cannot describe the enormity of the violence they are committing against us,” he said by telephone, with bursts of gunfire audible in the background. “We want our country to be free.”

Initially, worshippers in Tajura said they planned to display their opposition to Colonel Qaddafi from inside the mosque, staging a sit-in after the noon prayers that have become a flashpoint for demonstrations in the uprisings spreading across the Arab world.

But, as prayers ended, thousands of protesters — mainly men — lofted the pre-Qaddafi flag that has become the emblem of the rebellion and began milling in a courtyard outside, shouting slogans such as “Free, free Libya,” “Tajura will bury you” and “The people want to bring down the regime” — a rallying cry in many parts of the Arab world. The mosque had been packed and many more people prayed in a courtyard outside.

The protest soon thinned out, reflecting a pervasive fear of reprisals, and only several hundred demonstrators remained, keeping close to the mosque itself. But as they chanted slogans, the pro-Qaddafi militia arrived to disperse them and they broke up into several groups.

Before the Friday noon prayers, witnesses in some neighborhoods of Tripoli said roadblocks backed by armored vehicles and tanks had been set up while official minders ordered foreign journalists not to leave the hotel where they have been told to stay by the authorities.

The government’s measures came against the backdrop of a state of terror that has seized two working-class neighborhoods here that just a week ago exploded in revolt. Residents on Thursday reported constant surveillance, searches of cars and even cellphones by militiamen with Kalashnikovs at block-by-block checkpoints and a rash of disappearances of those involved in last week’s protest. Some said secret policemen had been offering money for information about the identities and whereabouts of anti-Qaddafi protesters.

As rebel fighters in the country’s east celebrated their defeat of a raid on Wednesday by hundreds of Colonel Qaddafi’s loyalists in the strategic oil town of Brega, many people in Tripoli said they had lost hope that peaceful protests might push the Libyan leader from power the way street demonstrations had toppled the strongmen in neighboring Egypt and Tunisia.

The measures against foreign reporters reflected a deep animosity despite the government’s decision to invite 130 journalists to Tripoli. In a rambling, three-hour speech to loyalists on Wednesday, Colonel Qaddafi said: “Libya doesn’t like foreign correspondents. They shouldn’t even know about the weather forecasts in Libya, because we are suspicious.”

Even in what pass for normal times, Libya severely restricts visas for foreign reporters, issuing them only when the authorities wish to mark some important event offering tribute to Colonel Qaddafi.

But some protesters on Friday said they had been emboldened by the presence of foreign camera crews and journalists who eluded the authorities’ attempt to pen them in. But the pro-Qaddafi militia opened fire even though British television crews were filming the episode.

“We are brave, huh?” a protester had said without offering his name. “If Qaddafi brings weapons we will die. But we are confident in ourselves and our cause.”

Worshippers said rebel leaders in Benghazi, the eastern stronghold of the uprising, had sent word urging protesters to remain inside mosques for sit-ins after noon prayers, but that instruction seemed to have been ignored in Tajura, at least.

Referring to an interview in which Colonel Qaddafi said all Libyans loved him, a worshipper said the aim of the sit-ins was “to show the number of people who hate Qaddafi.” A resident of Tajura reached by telephone said one slogan on Friday declared: “You say we love you, but we don’t.”

The demonstrations on Friday demonstrated just how effectively the government’s ruthless application of force in Tripoli has locked down the city and suppressed simmering rage, even as the rebels have held control of the eastern half of the country and a string of smaller western cities surrounding the capital.

“I think the people know that if they make any protest now they will be killed, so all the people in Tripoli are waiting for someone to help them,” one resident said. “It is easy to kill anybody here. I have seen it with my own eyes.”

Several people in the two neighborhoods, Feshloom and Tajura, speaking on the condition of anonymity for fear of Colonel Qaddafi’s secret police, said militias loyal to the colonel were using photos taken at last week’s protest to track down the men involved. “They know that there are people who have energy and who are willing to die, so they pick them up,” another resident said.

Residents of Feshloom showed reporters cellphone photographs taken at Tripoli Central Hospital of a large wound in the chest of a neighbor, Nagi Ali el-Nafishi, 56, and they pointed out a bloodstain on the concrete where he had been shot after leaving a mosque last Friday. A doctor who examined him told reporters that the bullet had exploded his heart and lungs, causing him to die of blood loss within minutes.

Several residents said at least four people from their neighborhood had been killed that day, including Hisham el-Trabelsi, 19, who they said was shot in the head, and Abdel Basit Ismail, 25, who they said was hit by random gunfire while she was calling to a relative involved in the protest.

They also reported the discovery of the body of at least one man, Salem Bashir al-Osta, a 37-year-old teacher who disappeared at a protest last Sunday. It was found near the Abu Slim prison, showing signs of a severe beating but no bullet holes.

And in both neighborhoods, both hotbeds of resistance, residents say disappearances have continued all week as the security forces appear to be rounding up suspected protesters in anticipation of Friday Prayer services, the customary gathering time for street protests across the Arab world.

As Colonel Qaddafi tightened his grip on Tripoli, there were indications that the conflict elsewhere was settling into a stalemate.

Flush with their victory in Brega, rebel fighters pushed 25 miles to the west and established a makeshift checkpoint. A dozen lightly armed men stood guard, greeting trucks filled with Egyptian migrant workers fleeing eastward toward home. At rebel checkpoints in the east and at the Tunisian border, many of the refugees have said that Colonel Qaddafi’s soldiers had robbed them, taking their phones and money.

President Obama on Thursday issued his strongest call yet for Colonel Qaddafi to step down, saying he had lost all his legitimacy as a leader and that “the entire world continues to be outraged by the appalling violence against the Libyan people.”


Kareem Fahim contributed reporting from Benghazi, Libya; Lynsey Addario from Agella, Libya; Neil MacFarquhar from Cairo; and Alan Cowell from Paris.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/05/world/africa/05libya.html?_r=1&ref=world

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« Reply #3171 on: Mar 4th, 2011, 08:27am »

LA Times

Unemployment rate dropped to 8.9% in February on sharp increase in new jobs

by Jim Puzzanghera
March 4, 2011 | 6:22 am


The unemployment rate dropped in February to 8.9% as the U.S. economy created 192,000 net new jobs, the Labor Department reported Friday, a sharp increase that could signal the recovery is starting to produce the large-scale hiring needed to repair the damage from the deep recession.

It was the largest increase in new jobs since June, when the effects of the Obama administration's massive stimulus package were at their peak. The unemployment rate was 9% in January, when just 63,000 jobs were created, partly because of severe winter weather in much of the country.

The unemployment rate has plunged nearly 1 percentage point in three months -- it was 9.8% in November -- and had not been below 9% since April 2009. The new jobs numbers build off a series of postive reports this week.

"The news on economic momentum is good," said Nigel Gault, chief U.S. economist for IHS Global Insight.

But he cautioned that February's job numbers probably reflected some slack picked up by employers after January's rough weather. The economy has created an average of about 128,000 net new jobs the past two months, which still isn't enough to make a huge dent in unemployment, Gault said.

"It is still the case that there’s a lot of good news out there," he said. "We’re just waiting to see it show up in a big way in the payroll report."

The Labor Department said February's job gains came from factories, construction and several service areas, including healthcare. For example, there were 33,000 net new construction jobs in February after a loss of 22,000 jobs in January, probably because of the weather.

The gains were offset by continued loss of jobs in state and local government, the Labor Department said.

Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke told lawmakers this week that there was “increased evidence that a self-sustaining recovery in consumer and business spending may be taking hold.”

Initial claims for unemployment insurance fell last week to 368,000, the lowest level in nearly three years, the Labor Department reported. Large retailers reported sales up 4.2% in February compared with the same month last year.

The Fed projects the economy will grow between 3.5% to 4% this year. But unrest in the Middle East looms as a potential problem for the recovery as oil prices have risen substantially in recent weeks. A sustained rise in prices for oil and other commodities would threaten the recovery, Bernanke said.
But he added he did not expect the spike in oil prices caused by the Middle East turmoil to last. On Thursday, oil prices dipped slightly, helping fuel a strong market rally.

Gault noted Friday that February's jobs numbers, and much of the other new data, don't reflect the higher gas prices.

"But it does suggest that going into the oil shock we had momentum, which suggests the oil shock may dampen things a little bit, but not derail the recovery," he said.


http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/money_co/2011/03/february-unemployment-jobs-economy-recovery-obama.html

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« Reply #3172 on: Mar 4th, 2011, 08:37am »

Wired

March 4, 1962: Nuclear Age Comes to Antarctica
By Tony Long
March 4, 2011 | 7:00 am
Categories: 20th century, Energy



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The United States established the McMurdo Station at the Hunt Point Peninsula, a site used by British explorer
Robert Scott’s 1901-1904 and ill-fated 1910-1913 Antarctic expeditions.
Ann Hawthorne/Corbis



1962: The United States fires up the first — and only — nuclear reactor in Antarctica.

While the idea of placing a nuclear plant in such an ecologically sensitive location may seem like madness today, in the pre-Chernobyl, pre–Three Mile Island world of 1962, nuclear power was seen as a cost-effective, efficient and relatively safe way of providing power to permanent Antarctic research stations.

Supplying those stations posed a real logistical problem. By the ’60s some stations were manned on a year-round basis and the burden of shipping millions of gallons of diesel fuel to the south was both arduous and expensive. When the additional expense of heating the stored fuel (to prevent solidification) was factored in, costs ran anywhere from $1 to $3 per gallon (equivalent to $7 to $22 in today’s money), according to a U.S. Navy study at the time.

While there were logistical reasons for building the plant, there were political ones as well: President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s full-court press to sell the idea of nuclear energy to the American public, through a program known as Atoms for Peace. That campaign was in full swing by the mid-1950s, when the planning for an Antarctic reactor began.

The reactor, designated PM-3A, was a portable plant designed and built by the Martin Co. (a forerunner of Lockheed-Martin). It was intended not only to provide electrical power but to run a water-distillation plant as well. Martin designed PM-3A to fit inside a C-130 transport plane, although in the end it was sent to Antarctica by ship.

The reactor was set up at McMurdo Station, on a barren spit of land selected by the United States in 1955 for its largest Antarctic research station.

There were problems with the plant from the beginning. It underperformed expectations and frequently fell victim to power failures. It also raised concerns in New Zealand, where U.S. Navy ships transporting the fuel and waste under Operation Deep Freeze would dock for a few days while in transit.

Worse, PM-3A ran on strontium-90 pellets, a particularly dangerous fuel because of its high radioactivity before entering the nuclear core. All of these factors led to PM-3A existing on very shaky ground almost from the day it began operating.

The coup de grâce, however, came in 1972, when a leak in the reactor’s pressure vessel was discovered during a routine inspection. A closer look uncovered cracks throughout the reactor, caused by failures in some of the welds. The decision was made to close and dismantle PM-3A.

Disposal presented other headaches. Decommissioned nuclear plants are usually entombed in concrete, but provisions in the Antarctic Treaty made this impossible. So, the dismantled plant — along with some of the contaminated ground surrounding it — was bundled aboard the USS Towle for shipment to a disposal site in California.

McMurdo returned to diesel power.

http://www.wired.com/thisdayintech/2011/03/0304antarctic-nuclear-plant-mcmurdo-sound/#

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« Reply #3173 on: Mar 4th, 2011, 08:38am »

Wired Danger Room


Secret Space Plane Heading Back Into Orbit
By David Axe
March 3, 2011 | 2:00 pm
Categories: Air Force



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The U.S. Air Force’s most mysterious spacecraft is headed back into orbit after a four-month hiatus. The second copy of the Boeing-built X-37 robotic space plane is slated for launch, atop an Atlas V rocket, from Cape Canaveral in Florida sometime on Friday. Forecasts of bad weather could push the launch to Saturday.

In any event, the blast-off is sure to revive speculation regarding the curious, 29-foot-long spacecraft that lands like an airplane — just like a miniature, unmanned space shuttle.

Nearly a year after the first X-37B launched on its 225-day, orbit-hopping inaugural mission, nobody outside of the Air Force knows exactly what the X-37 is for. That ambiguity has even sparked a minor space race as Russia and China at least threaten to build similar vehicles.

In the wake of the first X-37’s April launch, analysts listed all the things the X-37 is theoretically capable of. It could be a commando transport, a bomber or an orbital spy. It could launch, repair or reposition U.S. satellites in low orbit. It could sneak up and disable or steal enemy satellites. Its pickup-bed-sized payload bay is particularly enticing to observers.

“You can put sensors in there, satellites in there,” said Eric Sterner, from The Marshall Institute. “You could stick munitions in there, provided they exist.”

“I applaud the ingenuity and innovation of some reports,” Richard McKinney, the deputy undersecretary of the Air Force for space programs, joked during a December press conference. He insisted the 5-ton spacebot merely represents a “capability for a reusable and more effective way to test technology in space and return it for examination.”

“This is a test vehicle … pure and simple,” McKinney said.

But McKinney wouldn’t say what technologies the X-37 might be testing, and why the Air Force seems so attached to the idea of a self-landing, airplane-style space vehicle. After all, with the extra mass of its wings and landing gear, in some ways the X-37 is actually at a disadvantage compared to disposable spacecraft.

“Building this return capability into the space plane adds tons of extra mass compared to maneuvering spacecraft that are not designed to return to Earth,” Laura Grego and David Wright from the nonprofit Union of Concerned Scientists explained in a blog post. “That large mass penalty makes it more difficult and expensive to get a space plane and its payload into orbit and reduces the amount of maneuvering that it can do with a given amount of fuel.”

Everything the X-37 can apparently do, simpler spacecraft could do better and cheaper, Grego and Wright claimed. Even retrieving experimental items from space is better achieved using a simple capsule and parachute, they insisted.

Despite these criticisms, the Air Force is “really at the beginning of it” with the X-37B, McKinney crowed. The diminutive space bots are likely to stay very busy in coming years, leaving just two possible explanations.

One, the Air Force is stupid and doesn’t realize the X-37 is a second-rate vehicle for mucking about in space.

Or two, the X-37 is capable of something — or a mix of things — we outsiders haven’t yet imagined. Russia and China sure think so.

http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2011/03/space-plane-back/#

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« Reply #3174 on: Mar 4th, 2011, 11:19am »

Science Daily

Scientists Create Cell Assembly Line: New Technology Synthesizes Cellular Structures from Simple Starting Materials

ScienceDaily (Mar. 3, 2011)

— Borrowing a page from modern manufacturing, scientists from the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute have built a microscopic assembly line that mass produces synthetic cell-like compartments.


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Artist's rendering of cell structure.
(Credit: iStockphoto/Sebastian Kaulitzki)



The new computer-controlled system represents a technological leap forward in the race to create the complex membrane structures of biological cells from simple chemical starting materials.

"Biology is full of synthetic targets that have inspired chemists for more than a century," said Brian Paegel, Scripps Research assistant professor and lead author of a new study published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society. "The lipid membrane assemblies of cells and their organelles pose a daunting challenge to the chemist who wants to synthesize these structures with the same rational approaches used in the preparation of small molecules."

While most cellular components such as genes or proteins are easily prepared in the laboratory, little has been done to develop a method of synthesizing cell membranes in a uniform, automated way. Current approaches are capricious in nature, yielding complex mixtures of products and inefficient cargo loading into the resultant cell-like structures.

The new technology transforms the previously difficult synthesis of cell membranes into a controlled process, customizable over a range of cell sizes, and highly efficient in terms of cargo encapsulation.

The membrane that surrounds all cells, organelles and vesicles -- small subcellular compartments -- consists of a phospholipid bilayer that serves as a barrier, separating an internal space from the external medium.

The new process creates a laboratory version of this bilayer that is formed into small, cell-sized compartments.

How It Works

"The assembly-line process is simple and, from a chemistry standpoint, mechanistically clear," said Sandro Matosevic, research associate and co-author of the study.

A microfluidic circuit generates water droplets in lipid-containing oil. The lipid-coated droplets travel down one branch of a Y-shaped circuit and merge with a second water stream at the Y-junction. The combined flows of droplets in oil and water travel in parallel streams toward a triangular guidepost.

Then, the triangular guide diverts the lipid-coated droplets into the parallel water stream as a wing dam might divert a line of small boats into another part of a river. As the droplets cross the oil-water interface, a second layer of lipids deposits on the droplet, forming a bilayer.

The end result is a continuous stream of uniformly shaped cell-like compartments.

The newly created vesicles range from 20 to 70 micrometers in diameter -- from about the size of a skin cell to that of a human hair. The entire circuit fits on a glass chip roughly the size of a poker chip.

The researchers also tested the synthetic bilayers for their ability to house a prototypical membrane protein. The proteins correctly inserted into the synthetic membrane, proving that they resemble membranes found in biological cells.

"Membranes and compartmentalization are ubiquitous themes in biology," noted Paegel. "We are constructing these synthetic systems to understand why compartmentalized chemistry is a hallmark of life, and how it might be leveraged in therapeutic delivery."

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110303184121.htm

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« Reply #3175 on: Mar 4th, 2011, 12:14pm »

I think BJ already posted this but here it is again:

National Archives

Newly released UFO files
from the UK government

Files released in March 2011

The files contain a wide range of UFO-related documents, drawings, letters and parliamentary questions covering the years 2000-2005.

Find out more about the House of Lords’ debate on UFOs, a flying saucer hoax that was treated as a potentially real alien invasion of the UK and how 1978 nearly became 'the year of the UFO'.

Start by reading our highlights guide: http://filestore.nationalarchives.gov.uk/pdfs/mar-2011-highlights-guide.pdf
to help you navigate your way through the files.

Due to the large size of some of these files, we recommend you save them to your PC before opening them. Please right click on the links and select the ‘save’ option.


http://filestore.nationalarchives.gov.uk/pdfs/defe-24-1986-1-2.pdf

http://filestore.nationalarchives.gov.uk/pdfs/defe-24-1999-1-1.pdf

complete list of files after the jump
http://ufos.nationalarchives.gov.uk/

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« Reply #3176 on: Mar 4th, 2011, 6:01pm »

New York Times

March 4, 2011
Most Pakistani Officials Shun Slain Official’s Funeral
By JANE PERLEZ and WAQAR GILLANI

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — Shahbaz Bhatti, the Christian cabinet minister who was assassinated this week, was honored Friday at a Roman Catholic service here attended by thousands and then buried in his impoverished village, a bastion for over 100 years for the rights of minorities.

Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani was the only senior Pakistani government official to attend. There was a phalanx of foreign diplomats, including the American ambassador, Cameron P. Munter, who sat in a pew near Mr. Bhatti’s coffin.

Mr. Bhatti had served as the minister for minorities and dedicated his life to religious tolerance in this increasingly radicalized Muslim country. His killing on Wednesday underlined the anxieties among Western governments that extremists are using targeted killings as a way to move Pakistan toward an Islamic state and are doing so with impunity.

Mr. Bhatti’s assassination followed the killing in January of an even more prominent politician, Salman Taseer, the governor of Punjab. The men campaigned for the reform of draconian blasphemy laws that are often used to persecute minorities, particularly Christians. Mr. Taseer was killed by his government bodyguard, who was widely hailed in Pakistani society after he confessed.

Diplomats at Mr. Bhatti’s funeral at Our Lady Fatima Church said they feared that the minister was killed on information provided by his government security detail. A branch of the Pakistani Taliban based in Punjab, where militants control many of the schools and mosques, took credit for the killing.

After multiple death threats in recent months, Mr. Bhatti rarely traveled with his security guards because he did not trust them, a Western diplomat said. The minister tried to take his own security measures — for example, sleeping at his mother’s house instead of his own — but the killers knew where to find him, the diplomat said, citing the likelihood of leaks from the security detail.

Another diplomat said that the government, which so far has proven unwilling or unable to take a strong stand against the killings, would try to offer compensation to Mr. Bhatti’s family and then close the case.

The ruling Pakistan Peoples Party, which was founded on secular principles but is now under pressure from religious conservatives, announced recently that it opposed efforts to amend the blasphemy law.

But the dismay of Mr. Bhatti’s family and the angry atmosphere at the funeral, in Khush Pur in Punjab, indicated Pakistan’s Christians — about five million out of a total population of 180 million — were unlikely to let the matter rest.

“We feel that Pakistan is our country, but it seems there is no government in the country, ever, which gave us shade and protected us and fully respected our rights,” said the Rev. Andrew Nisari, one of the Catholic clergymen at the burial. “Will we be living in this hostile, harassed and fearful environment forever?”

About 10,000 mostly poor people attended the funeral, many hailing Mr. Bhatti as a local hero and now a martyr. But anxiety mingled with pride.

“The enemy is around us and hovering over us, so please be careful,” a loudspeaker announcement said before the arrival of Mr. Bhatti’s coffin by helicopter from Islamabad. Some mourners hoisted placards reading: “Shahbaz’s blood will lead to revolution.”

In most predominantly Christian villages in Punjab, many residents work as employees of large landlords in a relationship that resembles a caste system, with the Christians at the bottom. But in Khush Pur, founded during British rule in 1903 by a Roman Catholic priest, most residents have small farm holdings. The village has a particular tradition of fighting for religious rights.

A Roman Catholic bishop, John Joseph, who shot himself in 1998 in protest against the blasphemy laws, was born in the village and is buried here. In a rare honor last September, Pope Benedict XVI met Mr. Bhatti in a private audience at the Vatican.

In recent weeks, Mr. Bhatti, despondent about the murder of Mr. Taseer and fearing for his own life, sought advice on how to persist in his campaign for tolerance in the face of such threats.

“We talked heart to heart a few days before he died,” Farhatullah Babar, the spokesman for President Asif Ali Zardari, said after attending Mr. Bhatti’s funeral. “He asked: ‘What should I do?’ I told him: ‘You are a sane voice. You must continue.’ ”


Jane Perlez reported from Islamabad, Pakistan, and Waqar Gillani from Khush Pur.


This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:

Correction: March 4, 2011

A previous version of this article misstated that President Asif Ali Zardari had attended the funeral of Shahbaz Bhatti; his spokesman, Farhatullah Babar, attended.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/05/world/asia/05pakistan.html?_r=1&ref=world

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« Reply #3177 on: Mar 4th, 2011, 6:09pm »

Wired

NASA Climate Satellite Crashes After Launch
Wired UK
March 4, 2011 | 12:32 pm
Categories: Space
By Mark Brown, Wired UK



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The rocket carrying NASA’s Glory satellite, an observation spacecraft designed to study the effect atmospheric particles have on the planet’s climate, has failed to reach orbit due to an engineering glitch with its nose cap.

The Taurus XL rocket blasted off from the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California earlier this week, but just minutes after liftoff it suffered from a technical failure. The rocket’s “fairing” — an aerodynamic cone designed to separate during the trip into space — didn’t come off as planned.

“Telemetry indicated the fairing did not separate as expected about three minutes after launch,” a NASA statement read. Without that crucial separation, the 1,160-pound rocket and satellite combo was too just heavy to reach its intended orbit 438 miles above Earth.

The $424 million satellite would have gone on a three-year mission to improve our understanding of how the sun and atmospheric particles called aerosols affect the planet’s climate. It would have established the magnitude of aerosols in the atmosphere, and measured variations in the amount of radiation that enters Earth’s atmosphere during the sun’s decade-long solar cycle.

The mission was originally plagued by a computer glitch which caused a delay of more than a week. It also comes almost exactly two years after NASA’s Orbiting Carbon Observatory (OCO) — another climate-tracking satellite that would have measured carbon dioxide levels — crashed into the ocean with an almost identical technical failure.

On 24 February 2009, the Taurus XL also failed to shed its protective fairing, and couldn’t reach orbit. It crashed down in the ocean near Antarctica, putting the $270m satellite out of commission. At the time, NASA launch director Chuck Dovale said, “Our goal will be to find a root cause for the problem. And we won’t fly Glory until we have that data known to us.”

A duplicate version of Glory is now scheduled to launch from Vandenberg in 2013.

http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2011/03/glory-launch-fail/#

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« Reply #3178 on: Mar 4th, 2011, 6:21pm »

Stars and Stripes


Convening authority recommends Hasan face death penalty
Stars and Stripes
Published: March 4, 2011


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The Army psychiatrist accused of killing 13 people and wounding 32 at Fort Hood, Texas, is more likely to face the death penalty now that the convening authority in the case has recommended that he go before a general court-martial authorized to consider capital punishment, Fort Hood public affairs officials announced on Friday.

The recommendations are non-binding. On Nov. 5, 2009, Maj. Nidal Hasan allegedly walked into the Soldier Readiness Center at Fort Hood and opened fire. Witnesses claim he yelled “God is great” in Arabic and started shooting for about 10 minutes before he was shot outside the building by base security. He has since been confined to a wheelchair.

Hasan’s colleagues have said the man made extremist statements about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan prior to the shooting. The FBI also monitored e-mails between Hasan, 40, and radical U.S.-born Yemeni cleric Anwar al-Awlaki before the incident, but they did not tell Army officials.

http://www.stripes.com/convening-authority-recommends-hasan-face-death-penalty-1.136696#

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« Reply #3179 on: Mar 5th, 2011, 01:39am »

The reputation of Goldman Sachs for financial chicanery got another boost Tuesday. Financier Rajat K. Gupta was charged by the SEC for committing insider trading while he served on Goldman's board. Goldman also declared Tues that it might have to cough up billions to settle legal cases by investors who were lured into risky investments that went sour throughout the financial crisis.
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