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 veryhotthread  Author  Topic: Stuff & Nonsense  (Read 130298 times)
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« Reply #7050 on: Jul 22nd, 2012, 09:12am »

Reuters

Iran breaks up nuclear assassination cells: media

DUBAI | Sun Jul 22, 2012 9:21am EDT

DUBAI (Reuters) - Iran has arrested some of those responsible for assassinations of its nuclear scientists, state media reported on Sunday, in a continued hunt for those it says are working to sabotage its nuclear program.

Intelligence Minister Heydar Moslehi said Iran had shut down two networks inside and outside the country he said were involved in training the killers, Fars news agency reported.

At least four scientists associated with Iran's nuclear disputed nuclear works have been slain since 2010 and a fifth - Fereydoun Abbasi Davani, now the head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization - was wounded.

The West believes Iran is stockpiling enriched uranium as potential fuel for nuclear weapons and trying to develop technology needed for a workable bomb. Iran denies this, saying its nuclear activity is solely for peaceful energy purposes.

Moslehi did not say how many people had been arrested, for which killings they were allegedly responsible, where the networks were operating or how they trained the assassins.

"They (the two networks) took steps not to leave any clues behind but they were stricken by mistakes," he said.

Moslehi spoke at a ceremony marking the first anniversary of the shooting death of Dariush Rezainejad. Initial reports in Iranian media suggested Rezainejad was involved in Iran's nuclear program, but later said he was an engineering student.

"We were able to arrest the main actors in this act of terrorism," Moslehi was quoted as saying.

Iran blames the assassinations on U.S., Israeli, French, British and German spy agencies, especially the Israeli Mossad. In May, Iran hanged 24-year-old Jamal Fashi for the murder of scientist Massoud Ali-Mohammadi in January 2010, saying that Fashi had gone to Israel for training.

The United States has denied any role in the killings. Israel has remained silent.

Sporadic talks between six world powers and Iran to defuse the decade-long stand-off over its nuclear ambitions have so far failed to yield a breakthrough.

A European Union ban on the import, purchase or shipping of Iranian oil took effect on July 1 as part of widening international sanctions aimed at prodding Tehran into curbing enrichment and opening up to U.N. nuclear inspections.

(Reporting By Yeganeh Torbati; Editing by Mark Heinrich)

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/07/22/us-iran-nuclear-arrests-idUSBRE86L08M20120722

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« Reply #7051 on: Jul 22nd, 2012, 09:15am »

Washington Post

Struggle over what to wear in Iran

By Jason Rezaian, Published: July 21

TEHRAN — An annual test of wills between Iran’s morality police and women who dress in ways that are deemed unacceptable has begun in cities across the Islamic republic.

But this year, the stakes are unusually high. As Iranian leaders attempt to deflect the public’s attention from economic woes spurred by crushing foreign sanctions, they risk alienating large segments of a society that is already deeply divided.

Mandatory female covering known as hijab has been a defining element of Iran since the Islamic Revolution in 1979. Although the laws regarding proper cover haven’t changed, some women have grown bolder in interpreting the limits of what they can wear, creating a conflict that inevitably flares each summer as temperatures climb.

The government’s offensive this year has been marked by the stationing of mixed-gender teams of morality police in Tehran’s main squares.

In recent weeks, 53 coffee shops and 87 restaurants have been closed in Tehran for serving customers with improper hijab or for other gender-related offenses, such as permitting women to smoke hookah pipes. Concerts have been abruptly canceled because of inappropriate dress and too much contact between male and female fans. Approximately 80 stands at an international food fair were closed last month because, officials said, the women working at them were either breaking hijab rules or wearing too much makeup.

Those arrested face up to two months in prison or even lashing, penalties that have been on the books for years but have rarely been imposed.

The aggressive enforcement and stiff penalties have spawned resentment.

“I felt disrespected and insulted,” said 30-year-old Sahar, who was arrested for wearing sleeves that went only to her forearms. “I’m a grown woman. I can decide what I can wear. I can make these decisions myself.”

But authorities have made the case this year that un-Islamic dress is a matter of national security and a symptom of longtime Western meddling in Iranian affairs. Officials routinely cite the improper wearing of hijab as the cause of a variety of social maladies, from women who marry later in life to those who go into prostitution. The root problem is often blamed on “foreign agents.”

Tehran’s police chief, Ahmad-Reza Radan, this month called support for improper hijab “part of the enemy’s soft war against us.”

In Iran and other Islamic countries, hijab, which means “cover” in Arabic, has come to define a type of dress code for women, the main priority of which is to obscure signs of femininity. In Iran, that has always meant covering women’s hair and much of the body. Traditionally, covering of the head, arms and legs has been strictly enforced. A long jacket, called a manteau, accompanied by a scarf, has been the accepted minimum.

Over the years, however, what passes as hijab has changed, and now a wide range of styles can be seen in any Iranian city — from the black, all-encompassing chador to brightly colored head scarves that barely stay in place.

Manteau and head scarf shops are some of the most successful retailers in Tehran, where women strive to incorporate fashion trends. Skinny jeans with flat shoes are in this year, and on the streets of Tehran, they are hidden in part by the long, loose-fitting manteaus that are all the rage.

Unlike many of Iran’s leaders, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has, since 2010, openly promoted greater tolerance, saying that in the vast majority of cases, improper hijab is not a crime. On Monday, Ahmadinejad said that authorities “instead of closing cinemas and restaurants, must give people the right to choose. If people are given choices, they will definitely choose Iranian culture and beliefs.”

The president’s position has led a growing number of his political rivals to attack his stance as anti-revolutionary and pro-Western. Ali Mottahari, a prominent lawmaker and possible candidate to replace Ahmadinejad in 2013, accused the president in May of promoting “sexual intrigue.”

“We must either accept Western perspectives or Islamic ones, and there is no way in between,” he said.

Such arguments may have a certain appeal at a time when Iran is facing the strain of sanctions — imposed by the United States and other foreign powers — aimed at forcing it to halt its uranium enrichment program.

“Harking back to radical roots is a great comforter and proven survival strategy when positions on other, more substantial, issues are less clear cut,” said Rouzbeh Parsi, a research fellow at the European Union Institute for Security Studies who specializes in Iran.

But the practice also risks spurring a backlash. Those arrested say they feel a growing sense of alienation in their own country.

Mahnaz and Mahin, sisters who are 28 and 29 years old, respectively, were recently arrested because Mahin was wearing a jacket that female morality police officers deemed too short.

“They were so rude to us,” said Mahnaz, who, like others, spoke on the condition that her last name not be used. “They told us, ‘If being arrested for having bad hijab bothers you, you should leave. This is an Islamic country, and we don’t want Western-looking people here.’ ”

Finding urban Iranians who support the program to enforce hijab is increasingly difficult. Many women who dress conservatively also find the patrols distasteful.

“Forcing people to dress a certain way is useless and won’t get the results that they want,” said Nafiseh, a 50-year-old mother of three who wears the tent-like chador. “I’m really against it, because these people aren’t really breaking Islamic rules.”

She said she often intervenes in arrests, knowing that, because of her strict adherence to the dress code, she is unlikely to be punished.

Mostafa, a 46-year-old marketing consultant, described how his 16-year-old daughter was arrested in a crowded shopping mall. “They coaxed her into the police van and told her they just wanted to talk to her,” he explained. “Once she was in the van, the whole atmosphere changed, and they said things that made her cry.”

After a brief time in custody, his daughter, Banafshe, was released. “Do you know what her response was to the whole episode?” he asked. “She said, ‘Dad, as soon as I finish high school, I’m leaving this country forever.’ ”


http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle_east/struggle-over-what-to-wear-in-iran/2012/07/21/gJQAbkspzW_story.html

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« Reply #7052 on: Jul 22nd, 2012, 09:20am »

Wired

Watch an Asteroid Fly by Earth Live on Sunday
By Adam Mann
July 20, 2012 | 2:51 pm
Categories: Space

Watch live this weekend as an asteroid the size of a city block flies past the Earth.

On Sunday, July 22, we will have a live feed from the Slooh Space Camera ( http://events.slooh.com/ )

The show will start at 4:30 p.m. Pacific (7:30 Eastern) with images from the Slooh telescope in the Canary Islands. For all the latecomers, another telescope in Arizona will start tracking the asteroid at around 8 p.m. Pacific (11 Eastern) as well. Slooh will have discussion with Astronomy magazine columnist Bob Berman, astronomer Matt Francisco from Prescott Observatory, and their own Patrick Paolucci.

The asteroid, known as 2002 AM31 was discovered 10 years ago by Lincoln Near Earth Asteroid Research (LINEAR). It is a fairly large near-Earth asteroid — about 3,000 feet wide — and will come within about 3.2 million miles of Earth, or roughly 14 times the Earth-moon distance. This comes on the heels of another large asteroid, 2012 LZ1, which flew by at a similar distance on June 14. Because of its size and distance, 2002 AM31 is classified as “potentially hazardous,” though it has zero chance of hitting Earth.

Viewers with a Pinterest account can take their own images of the asteroid using Slooh’s feed. While the asteroid won’t be much more than a blip on the screen, it will whiz by a background of beautiful stars.

http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2012/07/asteroid-flyby-live/

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« Reply #7053 on: Jul 22nd, 2012, 09:24am »

Hollywood Reporter

London 2012: IOC President "Satisfied" With Security Arrangements
3:54 PM PDT 7/21/2012
by Stuart Kemp

LONDON – International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Jacques Rogge told the media Saturday his organization was "satisfied" with the U.K. government and London organizers' assurances on Games security.

The Olympic bigwig told a press conference Saturday night: "The security arrangements are in place now and we are satisfied with them."

Additional troops and police officers have been drafted in to help with security after it emerged last week with less than two weeks before the Games were due to begin that private security contractor G4S was suffering from a shortage of staff.

He said that the call for 3,500 troops, taking the total to 17,000, with a further 1,200 on standby, to deal with shortfalls from G4S had not affected security plans and called for the media to "move on".

Rogge said he believed London's event would be a "very good" Games and expects it to carry a flavor of Britain thanks to the enthusiasm of "the country that invented modern sport".

Said Rogge: "Going to London, it's going to the country that invented modern sport in the second half of the 19th century, included sport in its school curriculum, loves sport, knows sport well. This will come out of these Games."

The London 2012 Olympic Games kick off July 27 with an opening ceremony directed by Oscar winner Danny Boyle.

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/2012-london-olympics-security-jacques-rogge-352776

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« Reply #7054 on: Jul 22nd, 2012, 7:34pm »

Interstellar space travel may be possible using lasers and antimatter

Published July 22, 2012

While interstellar journeys have been explored by researchers, one type of mission has not received much attention, namely the interstellar rendezvous and return mission that could be accomplished on timescales comparable with a working scientist's career.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2012/07/22/interstellar-space-travel-may-be-possible-using-lasers-and-antimatter/#ixzz21OsZWdRp

Additionally, Richard Obousy is co-founder and President of Icarus Interstellar Inc., a nonprofit foundation dedicated to researching the science and technologies that will enable interstellar flight by 2100.

The Icarus website can be found here: http://www.icarusinterstellar.org/
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« Reply #7055 on: Jul 23rd, 2012, 08:35am »

Good morning Swamprat cheesy

Thanks for that article.

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« Reply #7056 on: Jul 23rd, 2012, 08:37am »

Reuters

Syria says could use chemical arms against foreign intervention

By Erika Solomon and Mariam Karouny
BEIRUT | Mon Jul 23, 2012 9:26am EDT

BEIRUT (Reuters) - Syria acknowledged for the first time on Monday that it had chemical and biological weapons, saying they could be used if the country faced foreign intervention.

International pressure on President Bashar al-Assad has escalated dramatically in the last week with a rebel offensive in the two biggest cities and a devastating bomb attack which killed four members of his inner circle in Damascus.

Assad's forces have launched fierce counter-offensives, reflecting his determination to hold on to power even at great cost and he has dismissed an Arab offer to grant him a safe exit in return for a swift step down.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Jihad Makdissi said the army would not use chemical weapons to crush rebels but they could be used against forces from outside the country.

"Any chemical or bacterial weapons will never be used ... during the crisis in Syria regardless of the developments," Makdissi said.

"These weapons are stored and secured by Syrian military forces and under its direct supervision and will never be used unless Syria faces external aggression."

Damascus has not signed a 1992 international convention that bans the use, production or stockpiling of chemical weapons, but officials in the past have denied that it had any stockpiles.

As violence escalates in Syria, insurgents have said they fear Assad's forces will resort to non-conventional weapons as they seek to claw back rebel gains across the country.

Western and Israeli countries have also expressed fears that chemical weapons could fall into the hands of militant groups as Assad's authority erodes.

Defying Arab foreign ministers who on Sunday offered Assad a "safe exit" if he stepped down swiftly, the Syrian leader has waged a counter-attack in the capital to defeat rebels district by district.

Arab League ministers meeting in Doha urged the opposition and the rebel Free Syrian Army to form a transitional government, Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim al-Thani told a news conference in Doha.

Makdissi condemned calls for Assad to step down at a meeting of Arab foreign ministers in Qatar over the weekend, calling it a "flagrant intervention" in Syria's internal affairs.

"We regret that the Arab League stooped to this immoral level in dealing with a founding member instead of helping Syria," he said.

On Monday the army shelled rebel forces in the northern city of Aleppo and stormed the southern Damascus neighborhood of Nahr Aisha, breaking into shops and houses and burning some of them, activists said.

Video showed dozens of men in green army fatigues massing in the neighborhood, which looked completely abandoned. Men carrying machine guns and rocket-propelled grenade launchers knocked and then kicked down doors and climbed through windows.

Assad's forces have reasserted control over several Damascus areas since they seized back the central Midan district on Friday, following a devastating bomb attack that killed four of Assad's top security officials.

"The regime strategy is to continue to confront the opposition, this time with much broader military response," said Ayham Kamel, Middle East analyst at Eurasia Group consultancy.

"The expectation that the regime is out of firepower or collapsing right now is misplaced."

But Assad's forces have lost ground outside cities, ceding control of four border posts on the Turkish and Iraqi borders.

Rebels also seized an army infantry school in the town of Musalmiyeh, 16 km (10 miles) north of Aleppo, and captured several loyalist officers, while others defected, a senior military defector in Turkey and rebel sources inside Syria said.

In Aleppo, activists said residents were fleeing the rebel-held districts of Al-Haideriya, Hanano and Sakhour after army shelling and clashes between rebels and government forces.

A rebel fighter said the rebels had destroyed three tanks in the Hanano district and predicted weeks of fighting in Syria's largest city.

"The regime is fighting for its survival. God willing by the end of Ramadan, Aleppo will be in our hands," Mustafa Mohammad said referring to the Muslim holy month which started on Friday.

REVENGE

The fighting in Damascus, Aleppo and the eastern city of Deir al-Zor has been some of the fiercest yet and showed Assad's determination to avenge the bomb attack, the most spectacular blow in a 16-month-old uprising against four decades of rule by the Assad family.

Rebels were driven from Mezzeh, the diplomatic district of Damascus on Sunday, residents and opposition activists said, and over 1,000 government troops and allied militiamen poured into the area, backed by armored vehicles, tanks and bulldozers.

Government forces executed at least 20 men, aged approximately 20 to 30, activists said by phone from Mezzeh.

"Most had bullet holes, one with as many as 18. Three had their hands tied behind their back. Some of the men were in their pajamas. Several had their legs broken or fingers missing. Others were stabbed with knifes," said Bashir al-Kheir, one of the activists.

Opposition and rebel sources say the guerrilla fighters in the capital may lack the supply lines to remain there for long and may have to make tactical withdrawals.

The neighborhood of Barzeh, one of three northern areas hit by helicopter fire, was overrun by troops commanded by President Assad's brother, Maher al-Assad, 41, who is widely seen as the muscle maintaining the Assad family's Alawite minority rule.

CRUCIAL ROLE

Maher's role has become more crucial since Assad's defense and intelligence ministers, a top general and his powerful brother-in-law were killed by the bomb on Wednesday, part of an assault by rebels seeking to turn the tables in a revolt inspired by Arab Spring uprisings in Tunisia, Libya and Egypt.

Assad has not spoken in public since the bombing, but the Israeli military said it believed he was still in Damascus and retained the loyalty of his armed forces.

The unrest in Damascus prevented many officials getting to work last week but on Monday most government employees were back at their desks, one employee said.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said 1,261 people had been killed across Syria since last Sunday, when the fighting escalated in Damascus, including 299 of Assad's forces.

This made it by far the bloodiest week in an uprising that has claimed the lives of 18,000 people. A total of 140 people were killed on Sunday, including 38 soldiers, the observatory said.

Regional and Western powers fear the conflict might become a full-blown sectarian war that could spill across borders, but have yet to find a coherent strategy to prevent this.

(Additional reporting by Suleiman al-Khalidi in Antakya, Dominic Evans in Beirut; editing by Samia Nakhoul and Anna Willard)

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/07/23/us-syria-crisis-idUSBRE8610SH20120723

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« Reply #7057 on: Jul 23rd, 2012, 08:40am »

Washington Post

A day after Kabul’s warning to Pakistan, more cross-border shelling reported

By Sayed Salahuddin, Monday, July 23, 6:11 AM

KABUL – Scores of fresh artillery rounds fired from Pakistan hit parts of eastern Afghanistan on Sunday night and Monday, a local official said, a day after Kabul warned Islamabad that any further cross-border shelling could significantly damage ties between the two historically uneasy neighbors.

There were no casualties from the overnight barrage that mostly hit the Dangam district of eastern Kunar province. Earlier in the weekend, four civilians were killed in shelling there, said Wasifullah Wasifi, a spokesman for Kunar’s governor.

In western Afghanistan, a gunman in an Afghan security forces uniform on Sunday shot and killed three civilian contractors working with the U.S.-led NATO coalition, the Associated Press reported. Five coalition troops were killed by roadside bombs during the weekend in other parts of the country.

Kunar Police Chief Ewaz Mohammad Naziri said 1,960 shells, mostly artillery rounds, have hit various districts of the province in recent months. Pakistan denies that accusation. It comes days after Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf met with Afghan President Hamid Karzai in Kabul to discuss joint efforts for persuading Taliban insurgents in Afghanistan to join peace talks and end the cross-border shelling.

On Sunday, deputy Afghan foreign minister Jawed Ludin met with Pakistan’s ambassador to Kabul and issued a warning. “Any continuation of such reported shelling against Afghan villages could have a significant negative impact on bilateral relations,” Ludin told Ambassador Mohammad Sadiq, the foreign ministry reported.

The two sides agreed to hold a senior-level meeting of military officials soon to discuss the shelling and improve military coordination along the border region.

The shelling also was the focal point of a debate in the Afghan parliament on Sunday, with some lawmakers calling Karzai’s U.S.-reliant government as weak for failing to respond to the firing.

Afghan officials say the shelling has forced hundreds of families to leave their villages, mostly in the rugged Kunar province, an entry point for the insurgents back and forth to Afghanistan. The province lies near the porous, ill-defined and historically disputed frontier with Pakistan and was the target of even more extensive shelling from Pakistan last summer.

Afghan and U.S. and other NATO-led troops have all come under fire by suspected insurgents in Kunar in the past.

Adding to the tension between Islamabad and Kabul, Pakistan recently decided to revoke refu­gee status for nearly 3 million Afghans, meaning they will be deported by year’s end, and is blocking the transfer of millions of school textbooks into Afghanistan.

Afghanistan had wanted its refugees to be able to return home more gradually, and an Afghan government spokeswoman said Karzai had received a personal pledge from Ashraf that the books would be allowed into his country.


http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/a-day-after-kabuls-warning-to-pakistan-more-cross-border-shelling-reported/2012/07/23/gJQAVpfB4W_story.html

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« Reply #7058 on: Jul 23rd, 2012, 08:43am »

Wired

Blindness, Bone Loss, and Space Farts: Astronaut Medical Oddities
By Adam Mann
July 23, 2012 | 6:30 am
Categories: Space

In space, no one can hear you sneeze.

Though astronauts have been flying above the Earth for more than half a century, researchers are still working to understand the medical toll that space takes on travelers’ bodies and minds. Astronauts must deal with a highly stressful environment, as well as weakening bones and muscles and the ever-present dangers of radiation. If people are ever to venture far from our home planet, such obstacles will need to be overcome.

Humans are adapted to living with the constant pull of the Earth’s gravity. Astronauts may seem carefree while floating around in the weightless environment aboard rockets and space stations. But like teenagers, their bodies experience all sorts of awkward changes. Some of the long-term problems, such as bone loss and radiation exposure, seem to put the kibosh on plans for regular interplanetary travel, at least for now. But medical researchers at places like the National Space Biomedical Research Institute are looking for ways to counteract and cure these ailments.

In this gallery, Wired takes a look at some of the curious, bizarre, and potentially dangerous ways that space affects the human body and mind.

gallery after the jump:
http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2012/07/medicine-psychology-space/

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« Reply #7059 on: Jul 23rd, 2012, 08:46am »

The Wrap

DreamWorks Animation Buys Classic Media for $155M
Published: July 23, 2012 @ 6:37am
By Brent Lang

DreamWorks Animation will purchase Classic Media for $155 million from Boomerang Media Holdings, the studio said Monday.

In Classic, the studio significantly bolsters its library by securing such family titles as "Casper the Friendly Ghost," "George of the Junge," "Lassie" and "Rocky and Bulwinkle." In total, DreamWorks Animation gets over 450 titles and more than 6,100 episodes of animated and live-action programming with its acquisition.

One of those titles, "Mr. Peabody and Sherman," is already forming the basis of a forthcoming DreamWorks Animation 3D film, due out in Christmas 2013. Classic Media manages the characters in a joint venture with Jay Ward Productions.

"Classic Media brings a large and diverse collection of characters and branded assets that is extremely complementary to DreamWorks Animation's franchise business, and we plan to leverage it across our motion picture, television, home entertainment, consumer products, digital, theme park and live entertainment channels," Jeffrey Katzenberg, Chief Executive Officer of DreamWorks Animation, said in a statement.

Classic Media has approximately 80 employees and is headquartered in New York City, with offices in the UK and a division, Big Idea Entertainment, in Nashville, Tennessee.

Classic Media Co-CEOs Eric Ellenbogen and John Engelman will continue to oversee the company as a division of DreamWorks.

http://www.thewrap.com/movies/article/dreamworks-animation-buys-classic-media-155m-48786

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« Reply #7060 on: Jul 23rd, 2012, 12:21pm »

Retired Marine stuns crowd:


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« Reply #7061 on: Jul 23rd, 2012, 6:01pm »

R.I.P. Sally Ride!


America's first female astronaut Sally Ride dies

Published July 23, 2012

Sally Ride, America's first female astronaut, has died after battling pancreatic cancer. She was 61.

"Sally Ride broke barriers with grace and professionalism - and literally changed the face of America's space program," NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said. "The nation has lost one of its finest leaders, teachers and explorers. Our thoughts and prayers are with Sally's family and the many she inspired. She will be missed, but her star will always shine brightly."

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2012/07/23/america-first-female-astronaut-sally-ride-dies/#ixzz21UMEKas9

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« Reply #7062 on: Jul 24th, 2012, 08:59am »

on Jul 23rd, 2012, 6:01pm, Swamprat wrote:
R.I.P. Sally Ride!


America's first female astronaut Sally Ride dies

Published July 23, 2012

Sally Ride, America's first female astronaut, has died after battling pancreatic cancer. She was 61.

"Sally Ride broke barriers with grace and professionalism - and literally changed the face of America's space program," NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said. "The nation has lost one of its finest leaders, teachers and explorers. Our thoughts and prayers are with Sally's family and the many she inspired. She will be missed, but her star will always shine brightly."

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2012/07/23/america-first-female-astronaut-sally-ride-dies/#ixzz21UMEKas9



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« Reply #7063 on: Jul 24th, 2012, 09:03am »

The Hill

Poll gives Romney lead on economy despite Obama’s Bain attacks

By Jonathan Easley
07/24/12 07:40 AM ET

A strong majority of Americans say Mitt Romney’s background in the private sector, including his management at the private equity firm he founded, Bain Capital, would help him make the right decisions on the economy.

According to a new USA Today-Gallup poll, 63 percent viewed Romney’s business background as a strength in handling the country’s economic woes, versus 29 percent who viewed it negatively.

The poll raises questions over the effectiveness of the Obama campaign’s barrage of attacks highlighting instances of outsourcing by companies Bain invested in and businesses that folded or laid off workers after being acquired by the private equity firm.

The Obama campaign has also tried to tie Bain to Romney’s personal wealth, and in particular his foreign bank accounts and investments, claiming that Romney has not been transparent about his finances and should release more than his disclosed two years of tax returns.

The Obama campaign has been challenged on the fairness of those attacks, including by some in the Democratic Party, but according to the poll, most voters don’t view either side’s attacks as unfair. Thirty-six percent said Romney was unfairly attacking President Obama, while 38 percent said Obama was unfairly attacking Romney.

With unemployment mired at 8.2 percent, the Romney campaign has been singularly focused on the message that the presumptive GOP nominee is better qualified to steer the economy.

Obama has argued that he inherited a once-in-a-generation fiscal mess and has turned it into positive job growth.

A separate Gallup tracking poll also shows the candidates in a dead heat, with Obama edging Romney with 46 percent support to 45. That mirrors the Real Clear Politics average of polls, which shows Obama leading Romney by 1 percent.

While the poll casts doubt on the effectiveness of the Obama campaign ads, there is also evidence that the Romney campaign’s attempt to convince voters Obama is leading a public sector that is overly intrusive on the private sector seems to be working. A record 61 percent said the government is trying to do things that should be left to individuals and free markets, the highest number since Gallup began asking the question two decades ago in 1992.

While the poll gives the edge to Romney on the economy, Obama continues to excel in one area that has been an ongoing weakness for the GOP candidate — likability. Americans say Obama is the more likable candidate by a 2-to-1 margin. Romney has suffered from a low favorability rating throughout the Republican primaries and into the general election.

The poll of 1,030 adults Thursday through Sunday has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.

http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/polls/239663-poll-gives-romney-lead-on-economy-despite-obamas-bain-attacks

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« Reply #7064 on: Jul 24th, 2012, 09:07am »

Seattle Times

Originally published Tuesday, July 24, 2012 at 6:16 AM

Bulgaria: Sophisticated conspiracy in suicide bomb

A sophisticated group of conspirators were involved in the suicide bombing that killed five Israelis and a Bulgarian, and they spent at least a month in Bulgaria before the attack, the country's prime minister said Tuesday.

The Associated Press

SOFIA, Bulgaria —

A sophisticated group of conspirators were involved in the suicide bombing that killed five Israelis and a Bulgarian, and they spent at least a month in Bulgaria before the attack, the country's prime minister said Tuesday.

Boiko Borisov's comments confirmed suspicions that the suicide attacker who targeted a bus filled with Israeli vacationers did not act alone. However, the prime minister did not give many details - including how many people were believed to have been involved in the Wednesday attack. He also declined to back up Israel's claims that Iran and militant group Hezbollah played roles

Those involved used "leased vehicles, they moved in different cities so as not to be seen together, and no two of them can be seen in one place on any security camera," Borisov said alongside visiting White House counterterrorism chief John Brennan.

He described the people behind the blast "exceptionally skilled" and said they operated under "strict conspiracy rules." The prime minister also said DNA samples from the suicide bomber have been shared with all partner security services, but no match has been found in their databases.

"There was absolutely no chance of preventing such act of violence," Borisov insisted. "We could have only detected it by chance or if we had been informed by the services that such activities were under way in Bulgaria."

Brennan also stopped short of blaming Iran or Hezbollah, both of which are U.S. nemeses, though he noted both Tehran and the Lebanese group had been implicated in attacks on civilians in the past. He said the U.S. supports Bulgaria's efforts to track down those responsible and urged authorities to gather as much evidence as possible.

The suicide attack occurred in the Black Sea resort town of Burgas. Along with the five vacationing Israelis and Bulgarian bus driver who were killed, dozens of other people were wounded.

Bulgaria, an eastern European nation of 7.3 million, has been a popular travel destination in recent years for Israelis.

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/nationworld/2018758766_apeubulgariaisraelisattacked.html

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