Friday, April 29, 2011

Egypt Invites Palestinian Factions to Sign Unity Deal

Did Libya Just Invade Tunisia?

Tyler Durden's picture

Sounds crazy but, "Forces loyal to Muammar Gaddafi crossed into neighbouring Tunisia and fought a gun battle with Tunisian troops in a frontier town as Libya's conflict spilt beyond its borders...Pro-Gaddafi forces fired shells into the town of Dehiba, damaging buildings and injuring at least one resident, and a group of them drove into the town in a truck, local people and a Reuters photographer in the town said. The Libyan government troops were pursuing anti-Gaddafi rebels from the restive Western Mountains region of Libya who fled into Tunisia in the past few days after Gaddafi forces overran the border post the rebels had earlier seized." So is this the carte blanche that Pro Oil liberation forces need in order to justify a land invasion of Libya? And what happens to oil in that case when Gaddafi's back is truly against the wall?
From the Telegraph:
"There were lots of clashes in the town this morning. Lots of gunshots. The Tunisian military clashed with Gaddafi's forces ... Some of Gaddafi's people were killed," said Reuters photographer Zoubeir Souissi from the town.

"There are a lot of Gaddafi's people who were injured. They are in the hospital in Dehiba," he said.

Two residents also told Reuters that shells had fallen on the town from pro-Gaddafi positions across the border in Libya.

"Rounds from the bombardment are falling on houses.... A Tunisian woman was injured," one of the residents, called Ali, told Reuters by telephone.

He said later the fighting and shelling had stopped. "The Tunisian army is combing the town. We have no idea about the fate of Gaddafi's forces there because the Tunisian army closed the gates to the town and nobody is allowed to enter."

A Libyan rebel said anti-Gaddafi fighters had retaken control of the border crossing near Dehiba. The main crossing into Libya, two hours' drive to the north, remains firmly under Libyan government control.

"Right here at this point I'm looking at the new (rebel) flag flying up there at the border. The rebels have got control of it, the freedom fighters. We're just in the process of opening it up," rebel Akram el Muradi said by telephone.
Tunisia, which recently lost its own dictator, has decided to issue a statement, sternly warning against further incursions or else:
Tunisia's government late on Thursday issued a statement condemning incursions by Libyan forces after shells fired by Gaddafi loyalists fell into the desert near the border.

"Given the gravity of what has happened ... the Tunisian authorities have informed the Libyans of their extreme indignation and demand measures to put an immediate stop to these violations," a statement from the foreign ministry said.

Friday's clashes marked the first time that Libyan government ground forces had crossed the border and entered a Tunisian town.
h/t Stuart

Is India overtaking China?

Is India overtakintg china ? Atleast in population growth it is and it will do it sooner then expected . As census results from the world’s two most populous countries pour in, the China India demographic transition debate rages on.
The rate of population growth in China has slowed to less than 6 per cent over the past decade, while in India it surged ahead by almost 18 per cent. India’s population is on track to become the biggest in the world by overtaking china in 2030.
But will India be able to transform its demographic transition into long-term sustainable economic growth?
China was home to 1.34bn people in 2010, the latest census shows. The figure is lower than analyst forecasts of 1.4bn, and the rate of population growth, at 5.8 per cent over the past decade, is little more than half the 11.7 per cent growth in the decade to 2000.
By contrast, India’s provisional census results, released in early April, suggest the country’s population grew by 17.6 per cent over the past decade to 1.2bn. Though the rate of population growth in India had declined, from 21.5 per cent in the decade to 2000.
India’s population is younger than China’s. The country will add 26 per cent to the world’s total working population over the next ten years. These young workers will drive the economy, adding to the savings rate and fuelling investment.
In contrast, China’s population will reach an inflection point during the next decade. The share of elderly people in its population will grow more quickly than that of young workers, adding to strains on labour costs and producing a decline in household savings.
China’s dependency ratio (the number of working-age people supporting children and the elderly) declined 2.9 per cent in the five years from 2005 to 2010, while India’s dependency ratio in 2010 declined 7.7 per cent – almost double that of China – according to calculations by the Population Foundation of India based on UN data.

The UN expects India’s age dependency ratio to go on improving, from 55.6 per cent in 2010 to 47.2 per cent in 2025, as CNN Money reports. Meanwhile, an increasing number of Chinese working-age people will support dependents, with the ratio rising from 39.1 per cent in 2010 to 45.8 per cent in 2025.

But in spite of the figures, many questions remain over whether India will be able to successfully integrate its younger population in a growing economy.

“India is theoretically expected to benefit from a young population, but if the country is unable to train its people then a very large young untrained population can become a liability for the country,” Dr Amitendu Palit, head of development and programmes at the National University of Singapore, told beyondbrics.

According to Palit’s research from 2009, although India is adding 12.8m people to its workforce every year, the total capacity to train in the country is a quarter of the requirement, at 3.1m places.

“China has shown more foresight in handling its challenges. It has done well in training its people to moderate levels and has brought most of its urban populations under social security programmes, unlike India,” he added.

India’s business leaders and policy makers face a huge challenge in equipping the country’s population with the skills to integrate into the global workforce. And If they don`t plan now then this young population may become a burden.......


White House Lists 'Mideast Stability' as a Main Aim

The White House statement regarding the long-awaited release of President Obama's original, long-form, hospital-generated birth certificate includes the following revealing sentence:

At a time of great consequence for this country – when we should be debating how we win the future, reduce our deficit, deal with high gas prices, and bring stability to the Middle East, Washington, DC, was once again distracted by a fake issue.

In fact, America's most important ally in the region--after Israel--was stable until Obama emboldened and encouraged the Muslim Brotherhood to topple Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. Obama's complicity in Mubarak's overthrow recalls Jimmy Carter's involvement in Iran's Islamic Revolution.

Obama also supported the overthrow of Tunisia's president, Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali, another U.S. ally and staunch opponent of Islamism.

More important, Obama, without consulting the United States Congress, committed the U.S. to an unnecessary armed intervention in Libya, whose dictator had given up terrorism and weapons of mass destruction in the context of an overall deal with the West that also brought about meaningful Libyan cooperation in the war against Al Qaeda (the only remaining radical Muslim group that Obama is not presently prepared to engage). Obama intervened in Libya--on the side of violent, Islamist-linked rebels--who began their anti-regime protests by raiding arsenals and setting fire to police stations.

Finally, the Obama administration has pressured and embarrassed U.S. ally Bahrain, made Saudi Arabia exceedingly nervous--to the point of pushing the Saudis to cozy up to Russia and China, both of which long ago ceased being potential threats to the Arab monarchy--and weakened Israel by (a) allowing Iran to continue its nuclear/ICBM program, and (b) obsessively squeezing the Jewish State to abandon its capital, Jerusalem, and the disputed and strategically situated West Bank lands (captured from Jordan in the defensive Six-Day War of June 1967) in order to make room for a second Arab state in historic Palestine (the first such entity being the Hamas-ruled terror-mini-state in Gaza).

American voters should understand that the Obama administration's idea of Middle East stability is a dangerously diminished Israel, forced behind indefensible borders--the infamous "Auschwitz lines," in the memorable words of the late, great, distinctly dovish Israeli foreign minister, Abba Eban--and a string of so-called Islamic democracies, or Islamocracies, ruled by supposed "moderate Islamists" (a concept akin to moderate Nazis or moderate Communists).

POSTSCRIPT: In the White House statement, notice the phrases "win the future" and "deal with high gas prices." What happened to wealth and job creation--meaning millions of well paying, permanent jobs with benefits? What about energy independence--unlocking the country's truly awesome but neglected oil and gas and coal reserves? How about prosperity? Is that the same as winning the future? Or, has prosperity become a dirty word in Obamanation?

Former Miss USA Alleges TSA Abuse

Posted on Apr 27, 2011

Two and a half weeks after an airport pat-down of a 6-year-old ended up on YouTube and in the mainstream media, the Transportation Security Administration is in the middle of another controversy. In a new video on YouTube and other websites, a tearful former Miss USA charges she was sexually violated during a TSA search. Susie Castillo said she was improperly touched by a screener at Dallas-Fort Worth Airport last week.

The TSA implemented its “enhanced pat-down” program in August as an alternative to the full-body X-ray scans now becoming standard at major airports. These body searches have infuriated a growing number of passengers, ranging from young women to elderly men with medical conditions. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano continues to defend the security measures, vowing they will remain in place for the “foreseeable future.” —KDG
Daily Mail:
A former Miss USA has blasted airport screeners for groping her after she refused to go through a naked body scanner.
Susie Castillo, now 31, complained that she was ‘violated’ by a female TSA agent at a security checkpoint at Dallas airport in Texas.
Miss Castillo, who held the Miss America title in 2003 and is now an actress, wept as she recounted her traumatic ordeal in a video filmed at the airport.

Convicted RFK assassin says girl manipulated him

April 28, 2011 by Kristen  
Filed under North America
LOS ANGELES – Convicted assassin Sirhan Sirhan was manipulated by a seductive girl in a mind control plot to shoot Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, and his bullets did not kill the presidential candidate, lawyers for Sirhan said in new legal papers.

The documents filed this week in federal court and obtained by The Associated Press detail extensive interviews with Sirhan during the past three years, some done while he was under hypnosis.

The papers point to a mysterious girl in a polka-dot dress as the controller who led Sirhan to fire a gun in the pantry of the Ambassador Hotel. But the documents suggest a second person shot and killed Kennedy while using Sirhan as a diversion.

For the first time, Sirhan said under hypnosis that on a cue from the girl he went into “range mode” believing he was at a firing range and seeing circles with targets in front of his eyes.

“I thought that I was at the range more than I was actually shooting at any person, let alone Bobby Kennedy,” Sirhan was quoted as saying during interviews with Daniel Brown, a Harvard University professor and expert in trauma memory and hypnosis. He interviewed Sirhan for 60 hours with and without hypnosis, according to the legal brief.

Full Article

Tornado Hell

The NYTimes is front-paging a raft of heart-stopping pictures, stories and video from last night’s record-setting barrage of tornadoes:

Tuscaloosa—At least 285 people across six states died in the storms, with more than half — 195 people — in Alabama. This good-time college town, the home of the University of Alabama, has in some places has been shorn to the slab, and accounts for at least 36 of those deaths. Thousands have been injured, and untold more have been left homeless, hauling their belongings in garbage bags or rooting through disgorged piles of wood and siding to find anything salvageable.

While Alabama was hit the hardest, the storm spared few states across the South. Thirty-four people were reported dead in Tennessee, 33 in Mississippi, 15 in Georgia, 7 in Virginia and one in Kentucky. With search and rescue crews still climbing through debris and making their way down tree-strewn country roads, the toll is expected to rise.

“History tells me estimating deaths is a bad business,” said W. Craig Fugate, the Federal Emergency Management Agency administrator, in a conference call with reporters.

President Obama announced that he was coming to Alabama on Friday afternoon, saying in a statement that the federal government had pledged its assistance.

The Red Cross has a request for donations up on its site. No dedicated link at the ASPCA site, yet, but if you are shopping for Mothers Day/wedding/graduation gifts, has a page for donations to the International Fund for Animal Welfare through the Animal Rescue site store.

I did not grow up in tornado territory, and when I first moved to the Midwest I found it difficult to appreciate how dangerous ‘mere wind’ could be. This super-storm, though… I guess the best analogy I can think of is “a tsunami of air.” As another NYTimes story about the “guessing game of prediction” phrases it, “Tornadoes in particular, researchers say, straddle the line between the known and the profoundly unknowable.”

... Usually, when tornadoes strike, they will devastate a single town or small area of a state. What was unusual in Alabama was that a mass of twisters ravaged the entire northern half of the state.

No single storm took a linear path. Rather, an untold number of tornadoes hit an untold number of homes and buildings in a chaotic flurry, touching down and picking up power at different places at different times. By the time they were gone Wednesday night, the devastation was huge, in terms of lives lost, neighborhoods crushed…

Alabama is not part of what is traditionally considered Tornado Alley, which covers the Plains States. But it is part of Dixie Alley, which runs through the South. Tornadoes in Dixie Alley can be worse because they are more violent, the Southern states are more densely populated, and the tornado season is less predictable, so residents are not always prepared. Studies have also said that housing in the South was made of less sturdy material than that in other parts of the country, making homes more susceptible to storm damage.

April 27 Tornado Outbreak: Why So Many Deaths?

Vince Condella:
The Storm Prediction Center and local National Weather Service offices did a terrific job highlighting the dangers of this weather systems. For several days in advance, residents of Mississippi and Alabama knew they were under the gun for tornado-producing thunderstorms.
The storms April 27 were fueled by strong wind shear due to a low-level jet stream from the south and a southwest-to-northeast flowing stream of high speed winds aloft. This created the wind shear (change of wind direction and/or wind speed with height) that provided strong lift and rotating supercell thunderstorms. The storms were moving very fast - up to 50 miles per hour in some cases. So many of these tornadoes could have simply reached people before they had a chance to get to shelter.
Power was also out when many of the tornadoes struck. That's because morning storms knocked out power and even broadcast towers for NOAA Weather Radio. When the afternoon storms struck, some people had to rely on text message warnings from the National Weather Service or their favorite TV station. And even some cell towers were destroyed in the first wave of storms.
And finally, so many of these tornadoes were powerful, probably EF3 or higher. When winds exceed 165 miles hour (EF4) or 200 miles per hour (EF5), there may be no way to escape. Even if you are in a place of safety, homes can be scraped clean off their concrete slabs. (Many homes in the south do not have basements.)

BY Tom McMahon

United States Tornado Deaths Since 1950

On Wednesday, nearly 300 people were killed in storms and ensuing tornadoes across the southern US . This was the nation’s dealiest tornado outbreak in almost four decades with deaths across six states (Mississippi, Tennessee, Arkansas, Georgia, Virginia, and Louisiana). To provide some context, the New York Times mapped annual deaths by tornado in the United States since 1950.

To see the map, click here.

Source: New York Times; Reuters

Obama's Favorite Catholic Suspended by the Church

What is it with Obama and wacky left pastors?
Citing what he called threats from the Rev. Michael Pfleger to leave the church, Cardinal Francis George has removed the outspoken priest from St. Sabina parish and has suspended his “sacramental faculties as a priest.”

Pfleger had publicly feuded with the cardinal about possibly being reassigned to Leo High School, telling a radio show recently that he would look outside the Catholic church if offered no other choice.

“If that is truly your attitude, you have already left the Catholic Church and are therefore not able to pastor a Catholic parish,” George wrote in a letter dated today.
Given how political Pfleger was, I'm guessing it wouldn't take a very detailed look at his politics to discover that he often strayed far from Catholic teachings. I'll never know why the church allows so much of that. I can think of any number of Catholic politicians who are ardently pro-abortion, and that ought to earn them an immediate ticket to excommunication...but for some reason it never does.

President Obama Jokes About Birther Flap On “Oprah”

April 29th 2011
The exhausting news about the president not being a “True” American citizen have been a constant annoying issue for the president since he was elected into office four years ago. Now that he is up for re-election and up against potential republican candidate Donald Trump. He has brought special attention towards the matter again questioning his birth place. This week the White House Reps released the files of Barack Obama’s original birth certificate. Obama felt that the focus of the candidacy was gearing in a direction that took away the real focus of the the candidacy.

As we know we are in the final days of the Oprah Winfrey show, so it’s only right that Oprah invites the President back for a final time to discuss everything that he has gone through since he took office and for ho speak on his citizenship.The President went on to say he obtained what he called special dispensation from the governor of Hawaii to dig into the archives to come up with the original document. Obama explained the nation needs to have a serious conversation about the issues that really matter to people. He added those issues were being sidetracked by the ongoing controversy about his birthplace and birth certificate.

Superman Renounces U.S. Citizenship

In the 900th issue of Action Comics, Superman renounces his American citizenship after a "clash" with the federal government. GOP flacks are outraged. Outraged, I tells ya!
"Besides being riddled with a blatant lack of patriotism, and respect for our country, Superman's current creators are belittling the United States as a whole. By denouncing his citizenship, Superman becomes an eerie metaphor for the current economic and power status the country holds worldwide," Hollywood publicist and GOP activist Angie Meyer told Fox.
Wired weighs in:
In an age rife with immigration paranoia, it’s refreshing to see an alien refugee tell the United States that it’s as important to him as any other country on Earth — which in turn is as important to Superman as any other planet in the multiverse. The genius of Superman is that he belongs to everyone, for the dual purposes of peace and protection. He’s above ephemeral geopolitics and nationalist concerns, a universal agent unlike any other found in pop culture.

posted by Joe

A Bit of Royalty in New Jersey

By Richard A. Lee

Maybe it’s because of the extensive coverage of the royal wedding, but don’t be surprised if some New Jerseyans are thinking that their state is becoming more and more like a monarchy every day.

The state’s constitution already makes whoever is sitting in the New Jersey Governor’s Office one of the most powerful governors in the nation. Other than the lieutenant governor (a position that was not even created until 2005), the governor is the only statewide, non-federal, official elected by voters. In many other states, attorney generals, comptrollers and other cabinet-level officials are elected positions. In New Jersey, the governor gets to appoint his or her cabinet members, as well as judges, county prosecutors and a host of other officials.

The New Jersey governor also has line-item veto authority, which allows him or her to delete part of a bill passed by the legislature that involves spending – a provision that has been coveted not just by other governors, but also by occupants of the Oval Office.

Into this scenario comes Chris Christie, New Jersey's 55th governor. Christie’s powerful personality matches the tremendous constitutional powers of the office, and he appears to be taking things a step or two further.

In his first 15 months in office, Christie and his administration have often treated the legislature more like a nuisance than a co-equal branch of government. Lawmakers have at times been frustrated by the administration's level of cooperation. The governor also has made a habit of ridiculing the state Senate and Assembly for failing to act on his tax reform tool kit, while passing bills he considers frivolous, such as a measure requiring that dental patients be notified if their dentures are manufactured outside the U.S.

Christie has been critical of the other co-equal branch of state government – the judiciary. He is not the first chief executive to charge that courts are overstepping their roles and legislating from the bench. But he raised the stakes recently by suggesting he may defy the New Jersey Supreme Court if it rules that the state must restore school aid funds that were cut from the state budget.

The governor also has not been shy about giving advice to the unofficial fourth branch of government – the press – on how to do its job.

Meanwhile, he is seeking expanded power over the state’s independent authorities, and he raised eyebrows a few weeks ago by taking a visible role during the legislative redistricting process. Earlier this year, his administration opted not to implement a new state law requiring restaurants to post calorie counts and wait instead for federal regulations to take effect. “I’m baffled,” the sponsor of the new law, Assemblywoman Connie Wagner, told The Star-Ledger. “I don’t understand. How does the executive branch have the right to ignore the law?”

More recently, the Christie administration took a pre-emptive step in this fall’s legislative elections after former Olympian Carl Lewis’ candidacy for state senate was challenged in court by Burlington County Republicans on the grounds that he failed to meet residency requirements. An administrative law judge ruled against the GOP, but the decision was overturned by Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno in her capacity as Secretary of State. Guadagno’s ruling came on the same day the Philadelphia Inquirer reported that Christie personally attempted to talk Lewis out of running, and that when it became clear the former track star intended to enter the race, plans were halted for a youth fitness program he had been discussing with the administration.

Clearly, there is a pattern developing in New Jersey. We have a powerful governor who is becoming even more powerful. Watching Chris Christie as he continues to test the boundaries of his office could be quite interesting, perhaps even more interesting than watching a royal wedding.

# # #

Richard A. Lee is Communications Director of the Hall Institute. A former State House reporter and Deputy Communications Director for the Governor, he also teaches courses in media, politics and government at Rutgers University, where he is completing work on a Ph.D. in media studies. Read more of Rich’s columns at richleeonline and follow him on Twitter.

Today's News NJ Book of the Month: "EMPATHY:

Timaira Whiteside currently resides in Philadelphia Pa where she was born and raised. Her writing first began when she was in middle school. It started off with poetry and short stories. At age 15 she began writing local newsletters and continued that for a year. Around 2004 she decided to write her own work of fiction which birthed her book, EMPATHY.....

Empathy is a passionate,love-filled, drama novel. It's a tale about a young married couple. Markel and Jisela share a love so strong, that there in tuned into one another. A chemistry that causes them to stay united at last. Read how they battle the pressures of the modeling industry. Discover how Jisela handles being raped, a strong lust for the men who come into her life, and a jealous, and hot-tempered husband. Embark on this journey with them as life-altering experiences take them through ups and downs.

To Buy goto: