Six bomb attacks kill 95 in Baghdad

Thursday, August 20, 2009

According to Iraqi police, at least 95 people have been killed and half a thousand wounded after six explosions in Iraq’s capital of Baghdad on Wednesday.

Eyewitness reports say that two main attacks targeted the finance and foreign ministries. Police sources say that the blasts, which were caused by vehicles filled with explosives, all took place within several minutes.

Major General Qassim Atta, spokesman for the national armed forces’ operation in the capital, said that “a truck bomb went off near the Salhiyeh intersection and it caused casualties and a number of civilian cars were destroyed. We accuse the Baathist alliance of executing these terrorist operations.”

As a result of the attacks, Iraqi prime minister Nouri al-Maliki called for a security review. “The criminal operations that happened today no doubt call for a re-evaluation of our plans and our security methods to face the terrorist challenges,” he said.

The attacks are the deadliest in Baghdad since June 24, when 62 people died after a bomb on a motorcycle detonated.

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John Reed on Orwell, God, self-destruction and the future of writing

Thursday, October 18, 2007

It can be difficult to be John Reed.

Christopher Hitchens called him a “Bin Ladenist” and Cathy Young editorialized in The Boston Globe that he “blames the victims of terrorism” when he puts out a novel like Snowball’s Chance, a biting send-up of George Orwell‘s Animal Farm which he was inspired to write after the terrorist attacks on September 11. “The clear references to 9/11 in the apocalyptic ending can only bring Orwell’s name into disrepute in the U.S.,” wrote William Hamilton, the British literary executor of the Orwell estate. That process had already begun: it was revealed Orwell gave the British Foreign Office a list of people he suspected of being “crypto-Communists and fellow travelers,” labeling some of them as Jews and homosexuals. “I really wanted to explode that book,” Reed told The New York Times. “I wanted to completely undermine it.”

Is this man who wants to blow up the classic literary canon taught to children in schools a menace, or a messiah? David Shankbone went to interview him for Wikinews and found that, as often is the case, the answer lies somewhere in the middle.

Reed is electrified by the changes that surround him that channel through a lens of inspiration wrought by his children. “The kids have made me a better writer,” Reed said. In his new untitled work, which he calls a “new play by William Shakespeare,” he takes lines from The Bard‘s classics to form an original tragedy. He began it in 2003, but only with the birth of his children could he finish it. “I didn’t understand the characters who had children. I didn’t really understand them. And once I had had kids, I could approach them differently.”

Taking the old to make it new is a theme in his work and in his world view. Reed foresees new narrative forms being born, Biblical epics that will be played out across print and electronic mediums. He is pulled forward by revolutions of the past, a search for a spiritual sensibility, and a desire to locate himself in the process.

Below is David Shankbone’s conversation with novelist John Reed.

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Denunciations of Scandals Threaten UN

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Denunciations of corruption, bribe, collection of bribes from refugees [1] and of sexual scandal involving the peacekeepers [2], [3] threaten the Organization of the United Nations (UN).

The gravest denunciations involve the aid project to Iraq, called Oil-for-Food. Grave denunciations of bribe exist, superfluous accounting and collaboration with the ex-dictator Saddam Hussein, against staff of the UN, companies and politicians of several countries. Even the secretary of the UN, Kofi Annan was suspicious of participation in the plan of corruption. And also grave doubts still hover about his son, Kojo Annan.

The gravity of the denunciations threatens not only the credibility of the UN, but its existence.

Secretary Kofi Annan said that he is going to promote reforms in the organization. [4]

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Former WorldCom CEO Ebbers sentenced to 25 years

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Bernard Ebbers, founder and former CEO of telecommunications giant WorldCom, now MCI, was sentenced to 25 years in prison for his role in the corporate accounting fraud totaling US$11 billion. The once-powerful company plunged into bankruptcy in July 2002.

The sentence was handed down by Manhattan federal court Judge Barbara S. Jones. Mr. Ebbers, who is 63, asked for a lenient sentence due to his failing health and a heart condition, and because of his philanthropy.

Prosecutors pushed for a life sentence, and said the sentencing “should prove to be a deterrent” to corporate wrongdoing. “The enormity of the crimes that Ebbers committed cannot be overstated: the fraud at WorldCom was the largest securities fraud in history,” prosecutors wrote in papers filed last month.

Jones rejected defense lawyers’ contentions that the government overstated the losses, and that Ebbers was not a mastermind of the wrongdoing. Jones believed Ebbers deserved a harsh sentence, and said “Mr. Ebbers was the instigator of the fraud.”.

Ebbers appeared to be tense when arriving at the court and even shoved a photographer out of his way. After the sentence was given, Ebbers was seen weeping. His first day of prison will be October 12.

In March, Ebbers was found guilty of fraud, conspiracy, and seven counts of filing false documents with regulators.

WorldCom emerged from bankruptcy last year under the name MCI, which was one of the many companies WorldCom had acquired. In May, Verizon agreed to acquire the company.

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Lose Weight Fast In Less Than 10 Days!}

Submitted by: Lisa Gylsen

Are you in an endless struggle to lose weight fast?. Diet pills, fad diets or complete weight loss programmes – you must have tried these all to no avail.The problem with most lose-weight-fast diet programmes lies in their deficient structure. Typically, these programmes are set on weight loss as the main objective, but most of them are nutritionally deficient, severely unhealthy and may even threaten the body’s immune system and lead to all sorts of ailments. They can cause nutritional imbalance which leads to food cravings that result in the accumulation of excess fat in the wrong places. Almost always, the results are disgusting, and you were better off not getting into the programme at all.

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About the Author: I’m British American currently living in Mauritius. I’ve been in the natural health and personal growth field for over 25 years and helped hundreds of people lose weight and increase their health & vitality with natural products.


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Study says poor African American women less likely to receive pap smears

Wednesday, December 28, 2005Black American women living in communities with high poverty rates are significantly less likely to be screened for cervical cancer, a study finds.

The Harvard School of Public Health’s Geetanjali Dabral Datta investigated the relationship between individual characteristics and larger socioeconomic factors and cervical cancer screening rates. The Febreuary 1 issue of Cancer carries the study. More than 40,000 black women from across the United States participated in the Black Women’s Health Study.

“African-American women have twice the mortality rate from cervical cancer as white women,” said Elizabeth Ward, the director of the American Cancer Society. “Researchers need to investigate how those differences are related to socioeconomic status. One of the big factors that may account for this finding is access to high-quality medical care. Often communities that have high poverty rates either lack access to good quality care, or people have to travel longer distances to obtain high-quality care.”

David L. Katz at Yale University’s School of Medicine said; “While this finding is not surprising, it is noteworthy just the same. No one should die of cervical cancer, because a simple screening test reliably finds the condition in its earliest stages when cure is almost universally achievable. Yet, several thousand deaths from this cancer occur each year in the U.S.”

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Hong Kong democracy protesters call for CY Leung resignation as demonstrations continue

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Protestors in Hong Kong have called for the resignation of CY Leung, the Chief Executive of Hong Kong, and vowed to continue the protests. If their demands are not met today, the protestors have said they will start occupying government buildings.

Tens of thousands of protestors — some affiliated with the ‘Occupy Central’ movement — have kept up a demonstration for seven days against plans by the Chinese government to screen candidates seeking to be on the ballot for the 2017 election. Lester Shum, the vice secretary of the Hong Kong Federation of Students and one of the leaders of the movement, outlined his plans: “Leung Chun-ying must step down. If he doesn’t resign by tomorrow [Thursday], we will step up our actions, such as by occupying several important government buildings”. He said there was “no room for dialogue” with CY Leung after the police fired tear gas at protestors.

Chan Kin-man, another leader in the movement, said: “I hope people will understand why the action keeps on escalating. It’s because the government is getting more and more closed without listening to Hong Kong people.”

United States Secretary of State John Kerry urged the Hong Kong authorities to “exercise restraint and respect for the protesters’ right to express their views peacefully” and said Hong Kong needs to have the “highest possible degree of autonomy”. Kerry stated the US position was support for “universal suffrage in Hong Kong, accordant with the Basic Law”.

David Cameron, the UK Prime Minister, said: “What matters is that the basic agreement that we set out with the Chinese all those years ago should be stuck to […] Universal suffrage really means not just being able to vote but having a proper choice.”

A statement on Chinese state television asked residents of Hong Kong to support efforts by the city authorities to “deploy police enforcement decisively” and “restore the social order in Hong Kong as soon as possible”.

Wang Yi, the Chinese Foreign Minister, appearing alongside John Kerry, said the protests were illegal and warned: “Hong Kong affairs are China’s internal affairs. All countries should respect China’s sovereignty. For any country, for any society, no-one will allow those illegal acts that violate public order.”

People’s Daily, a newspaper of the Chinese Communist Party, published the following: “Hong Kong has for many years enjoyed peace and harmony. It now sees the emergence of this embarrassing ‘chaos’, and the root cause lies with a few people who are disrespecting the law”.

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Hilary Mantel’s “Wolf Hall” wins Man Booker Prize 2009

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The 2009 Man Booker Prize has been awarded to British author Hilary Mantel for her historical novel Wolf Hall. 57 other authors were short-listed, including former winners AS Byatt and JM Coetzee, as well as Sarah Waters, whose book, The Little Stranger, has sold more copies than Wolf Hall.

I can tell you at this moment I am happily flying through the air.

The winning novel tells the tale of Thomas Cromwell, chief minister to Tudor king Henry VIII. In her acceptance speech, Mantel said “I can tell you at this moment I am happily flying through the air.”

Mantel was made a Commander of the British Empire (CBE) in 2006, 21 years after her first novel, Every Day is Mother’s Day, was published in 1985. Wolf Hall was the longest book on the list.

The decision was not unanimous, but all 5 judges were happy to award Mantel the trophy £50,000 prize at the London Guildhall. The judges assert that, despite differing opinions, the decision was not a compromise. James Naughtie said, “When we gathered this morning none of us knew which book was going to win. I think we all felt exhausted at the end of the process but there was real feeling that we had found a book that was worthy of the prize.”

The judges this year were Lucasta Miller, a biographer and critic; Professor John Mullan; James Naughtie, the chairman of judges; Sue Perkins, a comedian, journalist, and broadcaster; and Michael Prodger, the literary editor of The Sunday Telegraph;.

According to Ladbrokes bookmakers, the novel was the clear favourite, with 80% of people betting on it. Some thought this backing would go against the book, since the last time the bookmakers’ favourite won was in 2002, when the prize was given to Yann Martel‘s The Life of Pi.

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The Advantages Offered By Hardscaping Design In New Orleans La


When you are working to design your landscape, you will have the basic greenery elements and then there are the hardscape elements of the area. The Hardscaping Design in New Orleans LA refers to any item that is not living or planted into the ground. This includes structures such as walls, fences, driveways and rock or brick paths, which are all examples of a hardscaped design. The yard makeovers that are considered the most impressive are the ones that are able to successfully integrate both softscape elements, with hardscape ones.

Why Opt for Hardscape Design?

There are a number of advantages offered when you choose Hardscaping Design in New Orleans LA, which are highlighted here.

Curb Appeal

When your home has a beautifully designed landscaped space will wind up selling for approximately 10 percent higher than a home that has not had the same attention to details, such as the landscape design. A hardscape design will allow homeowners to make a great first impression on andy visitors through the use of things such as a colored driveway or a one that has elements of both softscape and hardscape design.

Attractive and Functional

There are a number of different elements of your yards hardscape design, including the drainage and retaining walls that can be used for much more than just aesthetic appeal. For example, the retaining wall is able to be used for a lawn that is sloped and stop water encroachment, while the elements of the actual drainage will be hidden with other parts of the hardscape design elements.

Extend the Home’s Look

No matter if the style of your home is contemporary or traditional, a person that is an expert in landscape design will be able to take advantage of various hardscape elements in order to provide the yard or patio the same type of look as the actual home. This will be able to be completed through walls, planters, fountains, walkways as well as a number of other types of elements.

When you are ready to ensure your landscape integrates softscape and hardscape elements, call on the services of Oneal-Bond Engineering for more information. When you learn about the most popular elements you will be able to ensure that your home looks great from the outside. These professional services will provide you with everything you need for a successful hardscape design.

B.B. King’s daughters allege blues musician was poisoned

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Two daughters of blues legend B.B. King are claiming on Monday that he was poisoned by business manager LaVerne Toney and personal assistant Myron Johnson. The allegations were made by daughters Karen Williams and Patty King in affidavits provided by their lawyer to the Associated Press.

“I believe my father was poisoned and that he was administered foreign substances,” Williams and King said in identically worded sections of the affidavits. “I believe my father was murdered.”

Williams and King also allege that family members were prevented from visiting their father prior to his death. The lawyer for King’s estate says the claims are ridiculous.

“I hope they have a factual basis that they can demonstrate for their defamatory and libelous allegations,” lawyer Brent Bryson said in a statement to the Associated Press.

Bryson says that King was appropriately cared for by medical professionals up until his death on May 14 in Las Vegas.

An autopsy of B.B. King’s body was carried out on Sunday by the Clark County, Nevada coroner’s office. The coroner’s office said on Twitter that it would be a minimum of six to eight weeks before results of the autopsy are finalised.

The Las Vegas Police department said that a potential homicide investigation into the death of the blues legend will depend on autopsy findings.

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