Tuesday, April 1, 2008
The oldest known gold artifact in the Americas is a necklace from Peru, according to University of Arizona anthropology professor Mark Aldenderfer. The necklace comes from a village in the Jiskairumoko range near Lake Titicaca and consists of gold that had been hammered and rolled into nine cylindrical beads, then strung with turquoise on a wool string.
Radiocarbon dating places the manufacture of the necklace from 2155 to 1936 B.C., which makes this item about 600 years older than the next oldest gold artifact that has been discovered the Americas and the oldest example of metalworking of any kind in the Americas.
Gold metallurgy is almost always associated with agricultural societies. Since the materials used in the necklace are not found in the Titicaca basin, the existence of the necklace implies the region had trade routes and a hereditary elite.
Although this discovery was made in 2004, Professor Alenderfer and his team delayed publication in order to have the gold chemically analyzed and to minimize the risk of looters damaging the site before excavation was complete.
Submitted by: Heleneb Roahs12
I was alerted by a noise and made my way halfway down the actions just before I arrived to my senses and retreated for the 2nd floor. Ashes was constantly blowing into our home, and I will never neglect the working day when Grand Baie, a touristic city, was completely obscured by dense smoke. Mauritians don’t just burn up sugar cane, but additionally use fire to distinct plots of land of bushes and debris. Garbage is also a little of the dilemma, as it truly is in numerous inadequate nations. Any provided Sunday, normal Mauritians descend in hordes in the Port Louis or even the plateau cities and camping out around the seashores, especially that of Mont Choisy. Unfortunately, when Monday rolls about, copious volumes of trash sully the seaside and the sea. Regular folks are not the only polluters, as building businesses, a few of them with European partners, do their fare discuss of ecological harm on this honest island. I waged somewhat conflict with 1 such consortium which was developing high end condos within the Mont Choisy oceanfront. A number of instances each day, trucks could dump heaps of refuse through the area onto a big vacant lot surrounded by pricey homes and apartments, just around the corner from our very own abode. It shortly became a mountain chain of refuse. Once the well went entirely dry for two straight weeks and I was resorting to drawing dirty water from the pool just to flush the toilets, and we were using damp cloths to bathe ourself, we decided this experiment could go no further. I had actually invested very a bit of cash into this adventure in exotic living, and I was not confident that issues would get better if we caught it out. We returned the keys to the agency, who agreed this was an extraordinary scenario (and kept their charges), marketed the few issues we had acquired, packed our bags, and left paradise!
Mauritius might be paradise, based upon which Mauritius you discover yourself in!
Decorated with numerous nicknames such as ‘Pearl of the Indian Ocean’ and ‘Star with the Indian Ocean’, The Republic of Mauritius as it is officially recognized is, easily one of the most sought after holiday locations of the world. You can find certainly numerous factors which give Mauritius this pride of place among dream holiday places but the most obvious types are its breathtaking and natural attractiveness, secure seashores, gentle oceans and gentle tropical climate combined with Mauritian hospitality. These allow it to be a twelve months round vacation spot that attracts tourists coming from worldwide.
Although geographically it’s twelve hundred miles away, Mauritius is formally a component of Africa. The location of this Island Country in the South West Indian Ocean about 900 km’s east of Madagascar makes it just as available from India as well. Diversifying sugarcane farming with manufacturing and tourism strengthens the nation which is actually a blend of Africans, Indians, Europeans, and Chinese and in addition enjoys the continent’s highest per capita income.
Mauritius forms portion from the Mascarene Islands collectively with Rodrigues and Reunion. All 3 had been shaped by undersea volcanic eruptions. Mauritius and Rodrigues had been formed about 10 million many years ago and are now volcanically inactive. The volcanic principal island is ringed by coral reefs. There are some 20 smaller islands too that were ruled through the Dutch, French along with the British in turns and these days carry the imprint of varied cultures within their population too as way of life.
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Wednesday, June 30, 2010
An explosion at the University of Missouri-Columbia (Mizzou) on Monday afternoon left four people injured, authorities say.
The explosion occurred in a science laboratory in Schweitzer Hall around 2:20 p.m. CDT (1920 UTC) Monday. The source of the explosion was first thought to have been a 2,000-pound (907.2-kilogramme) hydrogen tank, but fire officials later said that this was not the case. The cause of the incident is currently under investigation by the Columbia Fire Department.
The Columbia Fire Department arrived at Schweitzer Hall after a report of a structure fire, but found that most of the fire had already been extinguished by the building’s fire sprinkler system. The remaining flames were put out by firefighters, one of whom said it looked as if “a bomb went off in the lab”.
Of the four hurt in the blast, one was a research scientist, one a graduate student, and the other two postdoctoral fellows. Three were treated for mild injuries and released from University Hospital, while the fourth was in good condition after being taken to the hospital’s burn unit for life-threatening injuries. A school spokesperson said that the university was not allowed to release the names of the victims.
Authorities initially believed that a large container of hydrogen gas had exploded, but investigators later said that the tank was intact. Fire officials also retracted an earlier statement that said the incident had been a result of human error. In a Monday night news release, the fire department said that lab workers had turned on the hydrogen but did not recognize warning signs indicating a dangerously high level of hydrogen gas in the lab, so they left the gas supply running. The report said the explosion occurred after the gas reached a source of ignition. However, the department said Tuesday that the investigation into the explosion is still ongoing and that they were not certain human error was the cause.
The investigation should determine the cost of repairs for the building, as well as whether the school should implement new procedures to avoid similar incidents in the future. The lab where the explosion took place will be totally rebuilt.
Schweitzer Hall houses Mizzou’s biochemistry department, which is part of the medical and agricultural programs. The building’s single classroom is located in the basement and was not in use at the time. The explosion happened on a third-story lab assigned to Judy Wall, a university professor, who was in her office across from the lab during the incident and referred inquiries to the news bureau. Other labs in the building were not disturbed, and Schweitzer Hall was established to be structurally sound, although nearly twenty windows had been shattered from the blast. The building reopened Tuesday for researchers to continue working.
A compilation of brief news reports for Thursday, November 13, 2008.
- 1 Study shows that carrying excess fat around waist increases risk of early death
- 2 EU abolishes rules banning oddly-shaped fruit
- 3 Vase bought for £1 sells for £32,450
- 4 Blackwater may pay financial penalties for improper arms shipments
A new study has found that people storing extra fat around their waist have a strongly increased chance of early death, even if their overall weight is average. The study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine today, found that for each addition 5 cm on the waist, the chance of early death is increased by between 13% and 17%.
In the study, 360,000 people from across nine countries in Europe were surveyed.
One of the study’s authors, Professor Elio Riboli of Imperial College London, commented on the findings. “We were surprised to see the waist size having such a powerful effect on people’s health and premature death,” he stated.
- “‘Love handles’ raise death risk” — BBC News Online, November 13, 2008
- Ian Sample. “Waist, not just weight, shows risk of premature death, study says” — The Guardian, November 13, 2008
- Tobias Pischon et al. “Abstract: General and Abdominal Adiposity and Risk of Death in Europe” — New England Journal of Medicine, November 13, 2008
The European Commission, the executive branch of the European Union, has today lifted its ban on unusually shaped fruits and vegetables, in what the EU’s agriculture commissioner has called “a new dawn for the curvy cucumber and the knobbly carrot”.
The regulation has previously been criticized as an example of the EU’s bureaucracy by critics of the organisation.
The products affected by the deregulation are apricots, artichokes, asparagus, aubergines, avocadoes, beans, Brussels sprouts, carrots, cauliflowers, cherries, courgettes, cucumbers, cultivated mushrooms, garlic, hazelnuts in shell, headed cabbage, leeks, melons, onions, peas, plums, ribbed celery, spinach, walnuts in shell, water melons and witloof/chicory.
- “EU slices up ‘ugly fruit’ rules” — BBC News Online, November 13, 2008
- “Europe Relaxes Rules on Sale of Ugly Fruits and Vegetables” — New York Times, November 13, 2008
The vase was found to be a 1929 work made by the French designer Rene Lalique.
- “Car boot sale vase nets £32,450” — BBC News Online, November 13, 2008
- “£32,449 profit for car boot sale vase by Lalique” — Times Online, November 13, 2008
The Directorate of Defense Trade Controls has the power to fine or agree voluntary penalties with exporters of certain weapons, who do not follow correct procedures. Blackwater Worldwide, a private military company, exported automatic weapons to Iraq that became the subject of a federal investigation first disclosed in 2007.Concern was expressed by the unnamed officials that paperwork errors may make the weapons untraceable, and that some reached Iraq’s black market.
- “Blackwater Faces Millions in Fines for Weapons Shipments (radio show transcript)” — Democracy Now!, November 13, 2008
- Knight Ridder / McClatchy Newspapers. “Blackwater faces Fines over Arms Deal” — Military.com, November 13, 2008
- Dan Friedman, Congress Daily. “Blackwater could face sanctions for improper arms shipments” — Government Executive, November 7, 2008
Sunday, December 20, 2009
American actress Brittany Murphy has died at the age of 32 in Los Angeles, California, US, according to reports. She had been married to her husband Simon Monjack since 2007.
According to entertainment website TMZ.com, the actress had suffered a cardiac arrest in the shower of the house of her husband, Simon Monjack, and could not be revived. The Los Angeles Fire Department received a call from the house at around 0800 local time. The cause of death has not been released from a spokeswoman for Cedars-Sinai Medical Centre, the location where she was pronounced dead.
She was famous for appearing in such films as Clueless, 8 Mile and Just Married. The Los Angeles Police Department has now launched an investigation into the death. Nicola Perna, who is Murphy’s publicist, has released a statement saying: “In this time of sadness, the family thanks you for your love and support. It is their wish that you respect their privacy.”
As well as the films that she has already appeared in, Brittany Murphy is expected to appear in Sylvester Stallone film The Expendables upon its release in 2010.
Submitted by: Claire Gaudiano
As soon as the failure of the real estate market occurred in 2008, the market around the nation was hit hard. Prices chop to 50% from the height of the industry, which left home costs at Novi homes for sale spiraling out of control. So it is no shock that the home estimates suffered identical to everybody else within the United States.
Even though residence costs at Novi real estate have fallen considerably, there is still good news around the corner. The values have been pretty regular since the beginning of 2011, and the market is turning into stronger each day. So it’s possible that issues are moving in the proper direction. Take into account; it’s nonetheless a buyer’s market out there, so sellers in the area must work exhausting to point out the quantity of worth that’s nonetheless there. With a purpose to get the perfect price we need to provide you with a few ideas that can undoubtedly help.
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Tip 4: Paint the Partitions – Whereas this is not necessary it can make an enormous difference. The associated fee to paint is fairly inexpensive when you consider the type of money you are going to get from the sale. In reality, sometimes this allows you to get a higher value when promoting the home.
Tip 5: Curb Enchantment – Probably the greatest ways to get better home prices is by providing plenty of curb appeal. This means when patrons from Novi homes for sale are driving by the house they take a look at everything from afar. If it is advisable to add lighting, landscaping, or even repaint the entrance door it may be an enormous help.
For those who utilize among the ideas we have given you right here at present you will not must accept the gross sales value that other residential property are receiving. It would truly show you how to get the top worth for your house, even when the marketplace is just a little tough.
About the Author: Claire Gaudiano is a trustworthy writer who writes about write-ups relevant to real estate. To gain more information about Novi homes for sale and Novi real estate check our website.
Sunday, September 28, 2008
The two major party presidential candidates in the US, Democrat Barack Obama and Republican John McCain, faced each other yesterday in the first TV debate. Despite that McCain had asked to postpone the debate, both were present at the University of Mississippi. The debate, which was moderated by PBS‘ Jim Lehrer, was planned to be focused on foreign policy, however due to concerns about the US financial crisis, the debate began focused on economy.
McCain repeatedly referred to his experience, drawing on stories from the past. Often, he joked of his age and at one point seemed to mock his opponent. Obama spoke of mistakes and repeatedly laid out detailed plans.
The debate was widely seen as a draw. A CBS poll conducted after the debate on independent voters found that 38% felt it was a draw, 40% felt Obama had won, and 22% thought that McCain had won. Voters and analysts agreed that Obama had won on the economy, but that McCain had done better on foreign policy issues, which were the focus of the debate. However, Obama had a more substantial lead on the economy than McCain did on foreign policy.
The McCain campaign faced some ridicule prior to the debate, after airing an internet ad declaring McCain had won the debate hours before it had started.
- 1 Financial & bailout plans
- 2 Fundamental differences
- 3 Post-financial crisis plans
- 4 Lessons of Iraq
- 5 Troops in Afghanistan
- 6 Iran
- 7 Diplomacy
- 8 Relationship with Russia
- 9 Alternative energy
- 10 Likelihood of another 9/11
- 11 Sources
The candidates were asked where they stood on the country’s financial plans.
Obama put forward four proposals for helping the economy. First, to “make sure that we’ve got oversight over this whole [bailout] process”. Second, to “make sure that taxpayers, when they are putting their money at risk, have the possibility of getting that money back and gains”. Third, to “make sure that none of that money is going to pad CEO bank accounts or to promote golden parachutes”. And lastly, “make sure that we’re helping homeowners, because the root problem here has to do with the foreclosures that are taking place all across the country”.
He then went on to say, “we also have to recognize that this is a final verdict on eight years of failed economic policies promoted by George Bush, supported by Senator McCain, a theory that basically says that we can shred regulations and consumer protections and give more and more to the most, and somehow prosperity will trickle down”.Lehrer then turned to McCain, giving him two minutes as well.
McCain, on the other hand, stressed the urgency of the crisis and the partisanship present in Washington before going on. “This package has transparency in it. It has to have accountability and oversight. It has to have options for loans to failing businesses, rather than the government taking over those loans. We have to — it has to have a package with a number of other essential elements to it,” he told viewers, pausing to briefly mention energy and jobs before Lehrer stopped him.
Lehrer asked the two to come back to his question and urging them to speak to each other, first turning to Senator Obama.
“We haven’t seen the language yet,” Obama began, speaking to Lehrer and not McCain. “And I do think that there’s constructive work being done out there”, he said, before noting he was optimistic a plan would come together. “The question, I think, that we have to ask ourselves is, how did we get into this situation in the first place?”
He continued, stressing his foresight on the issues two years ago, before Lehrer turned to McCain, asking if he planned to vote for the bailout plan.
McCain stammered that he hoped so. Lehrer asked again, and McCain replied, “Sure. But — but let me — let me point out, I also warned about Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and warned about corporate greed and excess, and CEO pay, and all that. A lot of us saw this train wreck coming.”
McCain then continued, giving a story about former US President Dwight Eisenhower, who “on the night before the Normandy invasion, went into his room, and he wrote out two letter”. Eisenhower, he said, had taken accountability for his actions.
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“As president of the United States, people are going to be held accountable in my administration. And I promise you that that will happen.”
Obama then agreed with McCain, adding that more accountability was needed but not just when there’s a panic. “There are folks out there who’ve been struggling before this crisis took place,” Obama continued, “and that’s why it’s so important, as we solve this short-term problem, that we look at some of the underlying issues that have led to wages and incomes for ordinary Americans to go down, the — a health care system that is broken, energy policies that are not working, because, you know, 10 days ago, John said that the fundamentals of the economy are sound”.
Obama was asked to say it to McCain. Obama replied, “I do not think that they are”. Lehrer asked him to say it more directly to McCain, and Obama laughed, repeating himself to McCain.
McCain joked about his age, saying, “Are you afraid I couldn’t hear him?”
Obama said that he and McCain disagreed fundamentally and that he wanted accountability “not just when there’s a crisis for folks who have power and influence and can hire lobbyists, but for the nurse, the teacher, the police officer, who, frankly, at the end of each month, they’ve got a little financial crisis going on. They’re having to take out extra debt just to make their mortgage payments”. Tax policies, he said, were a good example.
McCain disagreed. “No, I — look, we’ve got to fix the system. We’ve got fundamental problems in the system. And Main Street is paying a penalty for the excesses and greed in Washington, D.C., and on Wall Street. So there’s no doubt that we have a long way to go. And, obviously, stricter interpretation and consolidation of the various regulatory agencies that weren’t doing their job, that has brought on this crisis”.
Lehrer went on to the next question, asking if there were fundamental differences between the approaches of the two.
McCain began by saying he wanted to lower “completely out of control” spending. He promised as president to “veto every single spending bill” He then attacked Senator Obama’s use of earmarks, citing it as a fundamental difference.
Senator Obama agreed that earmarks were being abused, but not that it was a large problem. “Earmarks account for $18 billion in last year’s budget. Senator McCain is proposing — and this is a fundamental difference between us — $300 billion in tax cuts to some of the wealthiest corporations and individuals in the country, $300 billion. Now, $18 billion is important; $300 billion is really important.” He then attacked McCain’s tax plans, saying, “you would have CEOs of Fortune 500 companies getting an average of $700,000 in reduced taxes, while leaving 100 million Americans out”.
He then stressed his focus on the middle class, saying, “We’ve got to grow the economy from the bottom up. What I’ve called for is a tax cut for 95 percent of working families, 95 percent”.
McCain was called on.
“Now, Senator Obama didn’t mention that, along with his tax cuts, he is also proposing some $800 billion in new spending on new programs,” McCain said, attacking his opponent. He also said that Obama had only suspended pork barrel spending after he started running for president.
“What I do is I close corporate loopholes,” Obama objected, “stop providing tax cuts to corporations that are shipping jobs overseas so that we’re giving tax breaks to companies that are investing here in the United States. I make sure that we have a health care system that allows for everyone to have basic coverage”.
He then turned to McCain, asking him to look at his tax policies, which he said were ignoring the middle class and a continuation of Bush policies.
Lehrer asked McCain to respond directly to Obama’s attack on his tax policies.
“Well — well, let me give you an example of what Senator Obama finds objectionable, the business tax,” McCain began. He then explained the reasoning behind his business tax cuts, saying that companies would want to start in countries where they would pay less taxes. “I want to cut that business tax. I want to cut it so that businesses will remain in — in the United States of America and create jobs”.
Obama explained that his tax cuts would affect 95% of taxpayers, then replied, “Now, John mentioned the fact that business taxes on paper are high in this country, and he’s absolutely right. Here’s the problem: There are so many loopholes that have been written into the tax code, oftentimes with support of Senator McCain, that we actually see our businesses pay effectively one of the lowest tax rates in the world”.
McCain, he said, opposed closing loopholes but just wanted to add more tax breaks on top of that.
|This was a clear victory for Barack Obama on John McCain’s home turf. Senator McCain offered nothing but more of the same failed Bush policies, and Barack Obama made a forceful case for change in our economy and our foreign policy.|
He went on, attacking McCain’s health credit idea, saying that McCain wanted to tax health credits. “Your employer now has to pay taxes on the health care that you’re getting from your employer. And if you end up losing your health care from your employer, you’ve got to go out on the open market and try to buy it”.
McCain responded with an example of Obama voting for tax breaks of oil companies.
Obama cut in, “John, you want to give oil companies another $4 billion”, he pointed out.
McCain shot back, attacking Obama’s earmark spending and tax policies. “Who’s the person who has believed that the best thing for America is — is to have a tax system that is fundamentally fair?”, he said, referring to himself. “And I’ve fought to simplify it, and I have proposals to simplify it”.
He then accused Obama of voting “to increase taxes on people who make as low as $42,000 a year”. Obama repeated several times that McCain’s accusations were untrue.
McCain then accused him of giving tax cuts to oil companies, which Obama once again said was untrue. “The fact of the matter is, is that I was opposed to those tax breaks, tried to strip them out,”he said. “We’ve got an emergency bill on the Senate floor right now that contains some good stuff, some stuff you want, including drilling off-shore, but you’re opposed to it because it would strip away those tax breaks that have gone to oil companies.”
Lehrer then broke in, stopping the argument. He switched to a new question, asking what priorities and goals for the country the candidates would give up as a result of the financial crisis.
He allowed Obama to answer the question first, who said many things would have to be delayed but not forgotten. He then began to list what he felt the country had to have to continue to compete.
“We have to have energy independence,” he said, “so I’ve put forward a plan to make sure that, in 10 years’ time, we have freed ourselves from dependence on Middle Eastern oil by increasing production at home, but most importantly by starting to invest in alternative energy, solar, wind, biodiesel”.
He continued, saying that the health care system had to be fixed because it was bankrupting families.
“We’ve got to make sure that we’re competing in education,” he continued. “We’ve got to make sure that our children are keeping pace in math and in science.” He also mentioned making sure college was still affordable.
He also stressed making sure the country was still stable structurally, “to make sure that we can compete in this global economy”.
Lehrer then turned to McCain, asking him to present his ideas.
“Look, we, no matter what, we’ve got to cut spending”, McCain began and reminded the audience that he “saved the taxpayers $6.8 billion by fighting a contract that was negotiated between Boeing and DOD that was completely wrong”.
Lehrer broke in, asking if it was correct that neither of them had any major changes to implement after the financial crisis.
Obama replied that many things would have to be delayed and put aside, and that investments had to be made. He then agreed with McCain that cuts had to be made. “We right now give $15 billion every year as subsidies to private insurers under the Medicare system. Doesn’t work any better through the private insurers. They just skim off $15 billion. That was a give away and part of the reason is because lobbyists are able to shape how Medicare work”.
McCain then made a suggestion. “How about a spending freeze on everything but defense, veteran affairs and entitlement programs”. Lehrer repeated “spending freeze?” and McCain went on, “I think we ought to seriously consider with the exceptions the caring of veterans, national defense and several other vital issues”.
Obama disagreed with McCain’s idea, saying it was “using a hatchet”. Some vital programs, he said, were seriously underfunded. “I went to increase early childhood education and the notion that we should freeze that when there may be, for example, this Medicare subsidy doesn’t make sense”.
The two candidates began to argue more directly.
“We have to have,” McCain argued, “wind, tide, solar, natural gas, flex fuel cars and all that but we also have to have offshore drilling and we also have to have nuclear power”.
He accused Obama of opposing storing nuclear fuel.
Lehrer interrupted the two with another question, asking how the financial crisis would affect how they ran the country.
Obama replied first. “There’s no doubt it will affect our budgets. There is no doubt about it”. He went on to stress that it was a critical time and the country’s long term priorities had to be sorted out.
|There was one man who was presidential tonight, that man was John McCain. There was another who was political, that was Barack Obama. John McCain won this debate and controlled the dialogue throughout, whether it was the economy, taxes, spending, Iraq or Iran.|
McCain replied by criticizing Obama’s health care plans. “I want the families to make decisions between themselves and their doctors. Not the federal government,” he said, then called for lower spending.
He went on to speak about the national debt and stressing the importance of low taxes.
Obama went on the offensive, attacking McCain’s record of voting. “John, it’s been your president who you said you agreed with 90 percent of the time who presided over this increase in spending”, he said, accusing him of voting for an “orgy of spending”.
McCain countered that he had opposed Bush “on spending, on climate change, on torture of prisoner, on – on Guantanamo Bay. On a — on the way that the Iraq War was conducted”. He called himself a maverick, and referred to his running mate as a maverick as well.
Lehrer asked the two what the lessons of Iraq were.
McCain answered first, stressing that the war in Iraq was going well. “I think the lessons of Iraq are very clear,” he answered, “that you cannot have a failed strategy that will then cause you to nearly lose a conflict”.
He went on to praise the efforts in Iraq, saying the strategy was successful and the US was winning. “And we will come home with victory and with honor. And that withdrawal is the result of every counterinsurgency that succeeds”, and continued that Iraq would make a stable ally.
Lehrer asked Obama how he saw the lessons of Iraq, who began by questioning the fundamentals of the war and whether the US should have gone in the first place.
“We took our eye off [bin Laden]. And not to mention that we are still spending $10 billion a month, when they have a $79 billion surplus, at a time when we are in great distress here at home, and we just talked about the fact that our budget is way overstretched and we are borrowing money from overseas to try to finance just some of the basic functions of our government”.
The lesson, he said, was to “never hesitate to use military force”, but to use it wisely.
McCain was asked if he agreed on the lesson, though he did not comment on a lesson learned. Obama, he said, had been wrong about the surge.
The two opponents then began arguing, as Lehrman tried to mediate them.
McCain felt it was remarkable that “Senator Obama is the chairperson of a committee that oversights NATO that’s in Afghanistan. To this day, he has never had a hearing”.
“The issues of Afghanistan,” Obama responded, “the issues of Iraq, critical issues like that, don’t go through my subcommittee because they’re done as a committee as a whole”.
He then began to attack McCain’s optimism. “You said that we were going to be greeted as liberators. You were wrong. You said that there was no history of violence between Shiite and Sunni. And you were wrong”.
McCain responded to the criticism by telling a story of when he spoke to troops who were re-enlisting. “And you know what they said to us? They said, let us win. They said, let us win. We don’t want our kids coming back here. And this strategy, and this general, they are winning. Senator Obama refuses to acknowledge that we are winning in Iraq”.
McCain repeatedly accused Obama of opposing funding to troops.
Obama responded by speaking to Lehrer, to explain why he had voted against funding troops. “Senator McCain opposed funding for troops in legislation that had a timetable, because he didn’t believe in a timetable. I opposed funding a mission that had no timetable, and was open- ended, giving a blank check to George Bush. We had a difference on the timetable”.
“Admiral Mullen suggests that Senator Obama’s plan is dangerous for America,” McCain cut in once Obama had finished.
Obama said it was not the case, that the wording was “a precipitous withdrawal would be dangerous”.
McCain then argued that Iraq, and not Afghanistan, was the central battle ground against terrorism. He also attacked Obama’s surprise that the surge had worked.
Lehrer switched to a new question. “Do you think more troops — more U.S. troops should be sent to Afghanistan, how many, and when?”
Obama mentioned he had been saying more troops in Afghanistan were needed for over a year. He argued that no Al-Qaeda were present in Iraq before the invasion, and the people there had nothing to do with 9/11.
He then went on to list a three part plan beginning with pressuring the Afghani government to work for it’s people and control it’s poppy trade. He also pressed the need to stop giving money to Pakistan.
|To be frank, I’m surprised McCain didn’t play the POW card more tonight, consider how frequently he and his campaign have used it earlier in the campaign.|
McCain responded by saying Iraq had to be stabilized and that he would not make the mistake of leaving Iraq the way it is.
“If you’re going to aim a gun at somebody,” he said, “you’d better be prepared to pull the trigger”.
Obama responded by arguing that if the Pakistani government would not take care of terrorists in it’s borders, action had to be taken. He then commented on past US policies with Pakistan, saying that the US support of Musharraf had alienated the Pakistani people.
“And as a consequence, we lost legitimacy in Pakistan. We spent $10 billion. And in the meantime, they weren’t going after al Qaeda, and they are more powerful now than at any time since we began the war in Afghanistan. That’s going to change when I’m president of the United States”, he finished.
McCain quickly replied that Pakistan was a failed state at the time. He then went on to talk about his voting record. “I have a record of being involved in these national security issues, which involve the highest responsibility and the toughest decisions that any president can make, and that is to send our young men and women into harm’s way”.
Obama argued that Afghanistan could not be muddled through, and that problems were being caused by not focusing on Al-Qaeda. As he finished, Lehrer attempted to announce a new question, but McCain quickly attacked Obama, saying his plans would have a “calamitous effect” on national security and the region.
Lehrer directed his next question towards McCain, asking about his thoughts on Iran and it’s threat to the US.
McCain’s reading of the threat in Iran was “if Iran acquires nuclear weapons, it is an existential threat to the State of Israel and to other countries in the region”. He stressed the need to avoid another Holocaust, and the need for a league of democracies
|Anybody hearing a snicker from McCain while Obama is talking?|
to battle Iran. “I am convinced that together, we can, with the French, with the British, with the Germans and other countries, democracies around the world, we can affect Iranian behavior”.
Obama went next, focusing on the Iraq war’s effect on Iran. Iraq, he said, was Iran’s “mortal enemy” and had kept Iran from becoming a threat. “That was cleared away. And what we’ve seen over the last several years is Iran’s influence grow. They have funded Hezbollah, they have funded Hamas, they have gone from zero centrifuges to 4,000 centrifuges to develop a nuclear weapon”.
He then went on to say that refusing to use diplomacy with hostile nations has only made matters worse and isolated the US.
Lehrer turned to McCain, asking him how he felt about diplomacy as a solution.
McCain hurried through his response, attacking Obama on his willingness to meet with hostile leaders without preconditions. People like Ahmadinejad, he said, would have their ideas legitimized if a President met with them.
Obama responded by pointing out that Ahmadinejad was only a minor leader. Meeting leaders without preconditions, he said, “doesn’t mean that you invite them over for tea one day”. He then turned to attacking McCain, who he said “would not meet potentially with the prime minister of Spain, because he — you know, he wasn’t sure whether they were aligned with us. I mean, Spain? Spain is a NATO ally”.
McCain retorted that he was not yet President so it would be out of place. The two then began to argue over the comments of Dr. Kissinger’s stance on meeting foreign leaders.
McCain argued that meeting with and legitimizing ideas was dangerous and naive, and said it was a fundamental difference of opinion.
Obama accused McCain of misrepresentation, stressing that he would not speak without low level talks and preparations.
McCain responded by mocking Obama. “So let me get this right. We sit down with Ahmadinejad, and he says, ‘We’re going to wipe Israel off the face of the Earth,’ and we say, ‘No, you’re not’? Oh, please”.
The two started arguing among each other, as Lehrer attempted to interject, finally succeeding with a new question. He turned to Obama, asking how he saw the relationship with Russia and it’s potential.
Obama began spelling out his opinion, stating that he felt the US approach to Russia had to be evaluated. He then continued that the US has to press for a unified alliance and for Russia to remove itself from other nations, adding that the US had to “explain to the Russians that you cannot be a 21st-century superpower, or power, and act like a 20th-century dictatorship”.
He went on, stressing the importance of diplomacy and affirming relationships, and inviting Russian-influenced countries into NATO. “Now, we also can’t return to a Cold War posture with respect to Russia. It’s important that we recognize there are going to be some areas of common interest. One is nuclear proliferation”.
McCain responded by attacking Obama’s reaction to the Russian-Georgian conflict, criticizing his initial comment that both sides should show restraint, calling it naive. “He doesn’t understand that Russia committed serious aggression against Georgia. And Russia has now become a nation fueled by petro-dollars that is basically a KGB apparatchik-run government”.
Lehrer asked Obama if there were any major differences between the two’s opinion on Russia, who answered that he and McCain had similar opinions on Russia. He then stressed foresight in dealing with Russia, as well as reducing dependence on foreign oil through alternative energy.
“Over 26 years, Senator McCain voted 23 times against alternative energy, like solar, and wind, and biodiesel,” he mentioned.
The two began to argue over alternative energy. As Lehrer began announcing the next question, McCain interjected. “No one from Arizona is against solar. And Senator Obama says he’s for nuclear, but he’s against reprocessing and he’s against storing So,” he continued, as Obama objected, “it’s hard to get there from here. And off-shore drilling is also something that is very important and it is a bridge”.
McCain continued, as Obama interrupted to correct him, saying that he had voted for storing nuclear waste safely.
The two began interrupting each other, each trying to get a word in, before Lehrer stopped them and moved on.
“What do you think the likelihood is that there would be another 9/11-type attack on the continental United States?” asked Lehrer.
McCain said that America was far safer since 9/11, which he claimed a hand in. He went on to stress better intelligence and technology in keeping America safe, but that he felt the US was far safer.
Lehrer then turned to Obama.
Obama disagreed slightly, saying America was safer in some ways, but “we still have a long way to go”. He also felt that the US was not focusing enough on Al-Qaeda and fighting in Iraq was not making the US safer.
McCain accused Senator Obama of not understanding that “if we fail in Iraq, it encourages al Qaeda. They would establish a base in Iraq”.
Lehrer asked if Obama agreed.
Obama argued that the sole focus was currently Iraq, but that “in the meantime, bin Laden is still out there. He is not captured. He is not killed”. He noted that $10 billion was spent in Iraq every month, instead of going to healthcare. He argued that veterans were not getting the benefits they deserved, and that the next president’s strategies had to be broader.
McCain responded by attacking Obama saying he didn’t think Obama had the knowledge or experience to be President.
Obama then said that the job of the next President would be to repair America’s image and economy.
McCain concluded by citing his POW experience. “Jim, when I came home from prison, I saw our veterans being very badly treated, and it made me sad. And I embarked on an effort to resolve the POW-MIA issue, which we did in a bipartisan fashion, and then I worked on normalization of relations between our two countries so that our veterans could come all the way home”.
“And that ends this debate tonight,” finished Jim Lehrer.
Sunday, January 29, 2006
French tennis champion Amélie Mauresmo yesterday won her first Grand Slam title at the Australian Open in Melbourne. Mauresmo was winning 6-1 2-0 when her opponent, Belgian player Justine Henin-Hardenne, retired, citing a stomach complaint.
After winning a rally in the second game of the second set, Henin-Hardenne approached the umpire and complained of feeling unwell. She then consulted her trainer before returning to the court. After losing two points, she approached the net and told Mauresmo she was too ill to continue, ending the game in 52 minutes.
Henin-Hardenne apologized to her opponent, the tournament organisers and a disappointed crowd of 15,452 people. “I’m feeling very disappointed for sure to end the tournament this way. I am feeling very sick and couldn’t stay longer and continue,” she said.
She later told a press conference that she believed anti-inflammatory medication she had been taking for a shoulder injury had made her feel ill and left her with no energy. “I felt it when I woke up, but I tried. I knew at the beginning of the match that I could not win it,” she said.
Henin-Hardenne’s retirement gave Mauresmo her third victory by default in the tournament. She reached the fourth round after Dutch player Michaella Krajicek retired with heat exhaustion. In the semi-final, Mauresmo was again the beneficiary of a retirement when Belgian player Kim Clijsters retired with an ankle injury.
Until now, 26-year-old Mauresmo was the only former world no.1 to never have won a Grand Slam title. She said in a post-match interview that when she returns home to her base in Geneva, Switzerland, she will toast the win with a bottle of 1937 Château d’Yquem wine which she has been saving to celebrate her first grand slam title.
“I bought a bottle about three or four years ago. Very good one. Very old one also. I keep it. I thought, “You know, this one is going to be for my Grand Slam, my first Grand Slam title,”” she said.
Mauresmo’s win comes seven years after the then unseeded player reached the 1999 Australian Open final, the last time she has reached a Grand Slam final. She lost to Martina Hingis and was berated by the press and several players for her muscular build and for acknowledging her then partner, Sylvie Bourdon, believing if they were open about their relationship, people would be less inclined to gossip. At the time, Lindsay Davenport complained that playing Mauresmo was like playing against a male player. While Martina Hingis accused her of being “half a man.”
Mauresmo is now ranked world no.2 and is the first Frenchwoman to win an Australian Open since Mary Pierce won in 1995. Mauresmo takes home the Australian Open trophy and prize money of $AU1,220,000, while Henin-Hardenne walked away with the runner-up prize money of $AU610,000.
Friday, May 26, 2006
Rail services between Melbourne and Adelaide in Australia are expected to be disrupted until early next week following a fatal crash between a truck and freight train in Lismore, Victoria 170 Km (105 miles) South-West of Melbourne.
The B-Double truck hit the side of a 1,375 metre long freight train at a level crossing at 7:13 a.m. AEST on Thursday in heavy fog, derailing two locomotives and 44 goods wagons. Victorian police said that the truck had been wedged beneath the wreckage of the train.
The driver of the truck, thought to be a 34-year-old man from Wedderburn in Victoria’s North-West died in the crash. The train driver and an observer escaped uninjured. Police said it could take a number of days to retrieve the truck driver’s body. “It could possibly take days to retrieve the body” a Victorian police spokesperson said.
Great Southern Railways, which operates “The Overland” passenger train service between Melbourne and Adelaide said it expected rail services to be disrupted up until early next week. The company will transfer passengers to bus services or allow them to claim a full refund.
The crash will also disrupt freight services between Melbourne and Adelaide.
Local residents and the Victorian opposition are blaming the crash on the level crossing itself, which has no booms, lights or bells.
Rob Dennis, a local resident said the level crossing is the cause of the crash, as it is not fitted with boom gates or flashing lights.
“And it’s a blind turn for anything in a large vehicle,” he said.
Terry Mulder, the opposition’s transport spokesperson said the Bracks Government should have spent part of the $750 million allocated to fast rail projects to upgrading level crossings in Victoria.
“The State Labor Government has wasted $750 million on fast rail projects,” Mr Mulder said.
Mr Mulder said that Victoria has 2,274 level crossings, 1,468 which have no warning systems in place.