Rookies Bumgarner and Posey Rule

Giants rookie lefthander Madison Bumgarner threw eight shutout innings and relied on two home runs and a double to beat the Texas Rangers 4-0 in Game Four of the 2010 World Series. Bumganrer gave up only three hits and struck out six while walking only one batter - Elivs Andrus, the very first batter of the game. Brian Wilson pitched the ninth inning and struck out two to finish off the Rangers. The Rangers only had one runner reach second base all night, as Josh Hamilton reached on an error in the seventh inning and went to second on a Nelson Cruz single to center field. Bumgarner got Ian Kinsler to fly out to short left field to end what was the Rangers only threat of the night.

The Giants scored their four runs on a two run home run to right field by DH Aubrey Huff in the thrid inning, a two out double by Andres Torres in the seventh inning and a solo hme run to center field by rookie catcher Buster Posey.

Giants manager Bruce Bochy made a slight gamble with his lineup tonight, as he started a defensive oriented team, putting Travis Ishikawa at first base and Nate Schierholz in right field. Thanks to the extra base hits by Huff, Torres and Posey - and Bumgarner's dominance on the mound - this strategy worked. The rest of the Giants defense was solid when needed - Cody Ross made a sliding catch in left field in the fifth inning to rob Ian Kinsler of a hit and second baseman Freddy Sanchez was superb all night. The only defensive flaw was an error by Jose Uribe in the seventh inning on a slow grounder by Josh Hamilton.

This was only the second time that Texas was shut out at home this season, as Dallas Braden of Oakland did the trick on August 28th when he threw a four hit complete game in a 5-0 A's victory.. However, it was the second time in this series that they have been blanked, as they were shut out 9-0 in Game Two by Matt Cain, who would pitch Game Six (if necessary).

Tomorrow night's matchup of Cliff Lee versus Tim Lincecum, a reprise of Game One, will either decide the series in San Francisco's favor or send it back to AT&T Park for a Game Six.
READ MORE - Rookies Bumgarner and Posey Rule

Baghdad church bombing underscores Christian exodus

Christians used to be a significant minority in Iraq, Syria, Israel-Palestine, Egypt, and Jordan. In recent years, however, they have been fleeing the Middle East in record numbers because of security threats, discrimination, and indifferent governments. Yesterday’s botched hostage rescue attempt at Baghdad’s largest Catholic church underscores the dangers the remaining Christians face.

Since Islam eclipsed Christianity in the Middle East after the 7th Century AD, significant pockets of Christianity have coexisted with their Muslim neighbors. These have included Roman Catholics, Greek Orthodox, Coptic, Chaldean, Maronite, Assyrian, and Syriac denominations. For the most part, under the various Arab Caliphates and the successor Ottoman Empire (13th-early 20th Century), they were protected as Dhimmi, “People of the Book,” as long as they met certain legal obligations. A notable exception was the Armenian Genocide during and after World War I, however.

In modern times, Christians have faced new threats connected to the War on Terror and the Arab-Israeli conflict. For example, more than half of Iraq’s Christians have left the country, particularly after the US invasion in 2003. Those who remain represent less than three percent of the population, which had been more than seven percent in the 1980s. Many Iraqi refugees in the US are Christians and are served by organizations such as Catholic Charities. 

The Maronite Catholics, once a majority, are now only a third of the Lebanese population;  half are said to reside abroad. In neighboring Syria, Christians used to make up 17 percent of the population, but are about 10 percent today.

Egypt’s Coptic Christians, like their counterparts in Iraq, are under seige, with armed government soldiers guarding their churches; this once influential minority represents only 10 percent of Egypt's people.

Besides facing threats from extremists, Christians are being undermined by a lack of unity. Ironically, to prevent feuds between the various denominations, a Muslim holds the keys to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem.

Christians in Israel and the Palestinian Territories face oppression and violence from all sides, as a story by noted British journalist Robert Fisk in the Independent pointed out yesterday. Titled “Exodus: The changing map of the Middle East,” Fisk interviewed Monsignor Fouad Twal, the ninth Latin patriarch of Jerusalem(and the second-ever Arab in this position), who explained:

"The Israelis regard us as 100 percent Palestinian Arabs, and we are oppressed in the same way as the Muslims. But Muslim fundamentalists identify us with the Christian West – which is not always true – and want us to pay the price."
Most Middle Eastern Christian groups have deep ties to the region and have evolved differently from their European and American counterparts.

For now, Jordan seems to be the only place where its Christian minority (six percent) has not suffered. However, in the early 20th Century, they represented 18 percent of the population.

Today’s latest act of terror against Christians in Baghdad will accelerate the ongoing exodus. This will undoubtedly have a negative impact on a region that is increasingly under the influence of conservative Islam. The exodus is also depriving the region of some of its most gifted and industrious citizens.
READ MORE - Baghdad church bombing underscores Christian exodus

Miss World pageant 2010 last night Alexandria Mills wins

Standing on stage at the Miss World pageant 2010 last night in Sanya, China, a Kentucky native was crowned winner. Miss United States, Alexandria Mills, won the pageant. The young lady had been part of the festivities in finding one of the most beauitful women in the world at the 60th annual Miss World pageant.

Miss World 2010, Alexandria Mills was crying on stage after her win and looking on at the crowd in almost disbelief. The excited beauty queen seemed to take it all in for the moment and afterwards, started her duties as the new Miss World 2010 almost immediately.

As the final duty in her reign, Miss World 2009 Kaiane Aldorino removed the bejeweled crown to place it on the head of her successor as the new Miss World 2010.  Taking up her deserved position on the throne, Miss World 2010 was joined by first runner-up Botswana and second runner-up Venezuela.

Alexandria was almost lost for words at the excitement and emotion of the event:  “It’s a clichĂ© but this really is a dream come true,’ she said.  “I can’t believe it’s happening to me.  My time has come.  I’m loving it!”

The glittering two-hour live TV spectacular to launch the 60th anniversary of Miss World 2010 showcased the beauty and talent of 115 of the World’s most incredible young women, who have spent one month enjoying the wonders of China.
READ MORE - Miss World pageant 2010 last night Alexandria Mills wins

Melissa Rycroft shows baby bump in Halloween Costume

Melissa Rycroft may have a noticed baby bump, but that didn't stop her from dressing up like Snooki from the Show Jersey Shore and getting out to celebrate Halloween 2010 yesterday for a good cause. Complete with the over the top hair and the large sized sunglasses, the television personality even hand the 'swagger' of Snooki.

Melissa Rycroft was one of the fun celebs on the red carpet and her outfit was absolutely cute. This year some of the bigger known stars took to the red carpet in their outfits to share a fun day and promote a good cause. On Saturday the Children Affected By AIDS Foundation's 17th Annual Dream Halloween Event at Barker Hangerin Santa Monica The event had lots of kids, plenty of costumes and brought an important awareness to a charity that sometimes is overlooked by the media.
READ MORE - Melissa Rycroft shows baby bump in Halloween Costume

New Facebook phone holding media event November 3rd

Rumors have been going on for weeks now about a new Facebook phone and with the announcement of a Facebook Mobile Event on November third it’s looking even more real. Since last month technology blogs have been reporting that Facebook has been developing this phone

The event will happen at its Palo Alto, California headquarters on Wednesday.

After TechCrunch leaked some pretty believable information Facebook responded that it was not “building” a phone but working on deeper integration with some manufacturers. This strikes a strong resemblance to Google’s response just before the release of the Nexus One, technically not created by Google (HTC made the phone) but bearing the Google logo and branding.  Some rumors have gone so far as to say Facebook is working with INQ Mobile, another HTC style phone builder.

Facebook is keeping mum about what this event could entail but well be keeping an eye on any information that could be released, including anything about a phone, and will report here as soon as we get any information.
READ MORE - New Facebook phone holding media event November 3rd

Adam Lambert falls off Top 40 chart, stays on AC 'American Idol'

This week we have the opportunity to mark an occasion we haven't quite seen in some time -- a Top 40 chart without Adam Lambert on it. After having a presence with "If I Had You" on the chart since the summer, he is now fallen back off of the main page -- for now. We know that there will ultimately be another single of the "American Idol" singer's to hit American radio, but it could very well be spring before it comes out (since it will probably be from his upcoming album).

The good news is that "If I Had You" is still staying strong on both the AC and Hot AC charts. In the case of the former, the song is fighting to stay in the top 40 at #38 -- meanwhile, the Hot AC position is considerably stronger at #17 (only two spots off from its peak position reached two short weeks ago).

Keep checking back, as we will have more reports of how "Sleepwalker" is doing in Canada as soon as the information is available. Are you requesting the song north of the border?
READ MORE - Adam Lambert falls off Top 40 chart, stays on AC 'American Idol'

Bella's wedding dress : Twilight Breaking Dawn

It might just be more highly anticipated than Katy Perry's wedding photos: Kristen Stewart's wedding photos from Twighlight's Breaking Dawn. And this wedding not only has not happened yet, it's fictional!

Luckily for Twilight fans, Kristen Stewart is dishing. While Stephanie is ultimately in charge of choosing the perfect dress (and of course, choosing a wedding dress is not something anyone does in just one weekend!), Kristen Stewart tells The Daily Telegraph:

To be honest, it’s such a big deal. It’s such a big decision. I have a little hand in having a decision -or having an opinion more - but I think it’s pretty much up to Stephanie. I haven’t put ‘the one’ on yet.I’m not quite sure exactly what it’s going to look like. But it will be beautiful, I’m sure.
The Daily Fill mentions that Stewart believes it should be white or cream, along classicly elegant lines. Although she'd like it kept simple, she believes it also may be a dress that would be kept in theme with the vintage engagement ring her bethrothed Edward had given her.
What do you think Kristen Stewart's Bella's wedding dress for Breaking Dawn will look like? Leave your comments below.
READ MORE - Bella's wedding dress : Twilight Breaking Dawn

Janet Jackson, DMX, Jamie Foxx lead second Lopez Tonight season

Joining Denzel Washington, Janet Jackson, DMX, and Jamie Foxx are among the first guests to be announced for the anticipated second season of 'Lopez Tonight' !

Kicking off Monday, November 8, Janet Jackson will join Antoine Dodson as a guest on Lopez's show to be followed by Jamie Foxx (Tuesday, November 9), DMX (Wednesday, November 10) and Denzel Washington (Thursday, November 11).

Since premiering in November 2009, Lopez Tonight has delivered one of late-night television's most diverse audiences, according to TBS.

"Lopez Tonight offers a new spin to late-night comedy with George's signature everyman comedy. Now at midnight, George anchors the second half of television's most exciting late-night lineup," reports TBS. "Each night's hour will feature George's standout standup, chats with celebrity guests, live music and memorable comedy bits."
READ MORE - Janet Jackson, DMX, Jamie Foxx lead second Lopez Tonight season

Halloween doodles feature Scooby Doo of logo google

The Google logo or doodle for Halloween this year features the popular Scooby Doo cartoon.  There are five doodles in all, each with a different scene.  Each logo has a Halloween theme that includes the Scooby Doo characters.

There is no apparent reason for choosing Scooby Doo as the Halloween theme.  The cartoon debuted September 13, 1969 on CBS and still enjoys a following.  But it isn't understood why Google decided to use the cartoon's images for Halloween.  It could be that the cartoon often has ghosts and other scary situations as its themes.  If you know a connection, or want to speculate, add a comment below.
Find out more about Scooby Doo on Wikipedia.  You can also search for Scooby Doo on YouTube and find several videos of the original TV series.
READ MORE - Halloween doodles feature Scooby Doo of logo google

Rihanna on 'Saturday Night Live'

Last night, Rihanna reunited with Andy Samberg on "Saturday Night Live" to bring us another "Shy Ronnie" sketch, a comedy bit that utilizes Rihanna's singing voice as narration and the ever uncomfortable character of Ronnie, portrayed by Samberg.  Ronnie seems to suffer from stage fright--that is until Rihanna leaves the room and his self-confidence grows by the mile.
In a sketch entitled "Ronnie & Clyde," Rihanna and Ronnie enter a bank with guns drawn, forcing everyone to throw their hands up in fear. Dressed like Bumpy Johnson and toting a Tommy Gun, Rihanna sings her demands to a catchy beat while Ronnie appears unsure of himself.
When Rihanna tells the hostages that they must follow her partner's instructions in order to live, Rihanna hands the baton to Shy Ronnie.  Suffering from a clear case of social anxiety, Ronnie mumbles his demands into the microphone.

"No one in the back can hear you," a frustrated Rihanna sings.

"Shy Ronnie, use your outside voice," Rihanna adds.
By the end of the sketch, Rihanna makes off with the cash (and even SNL's host, Jon Hamm), but the sketch's big laughs come when Ronnie feels free enough to go hard on the mic without the presence of his red-haired partner in crime present.
To the left, check out Rihanna in the "Saturday Night Live" sketch "Ronnie & Clyde."
Other notable moments from this weekend's SNL episode:
  • Jay Pharoah continues to show us the number one reason he was cast on "Saturday Night Live": his voice impressions.  Coming off incredible impressions of Will Smith and Denzel Washington, Pharoah depicted what it would've been like had Eddie Murphy had an opportunity to audition for the role of Marty McFly in "Back to the Future."
     
  • Kenan Thompson once again dusted off his Bill Cosby impression.
     
  • As the musical guest, Rihanna performed "What's My Name?" and "Only Girl (In the World)."
READ MORE - Rihanna on 'Saturday Night Live'

Microsoft is looking to make it easier move apps to cloud

Microsoft is looking to make it easier to move existing Windows Server applications to the company's Windows Azure cloud platform via virtual machine technology.
The company unveiled this week Windows Azure Virtual Machine Role, intended to ease migration of these applications by eliminating the need to make costly application changes. Customers would get the benefit application management costs by moving software to the cloud, said Jamin Spitzer, Microsoft director of platform strategy.

"I think Virtual Machine Roles get customers and partners more comfortable with Windows Azure as a platform," Spitzer said. Virtual Machine Role leverages Microsoft's Hyper-V virtualization technology. A public beta release of Virtual Machine Role is due by the end of 2010.
Microsoft announced Virtual Machine Role at PDC. The company at the event also reiterated its support for Java on Azure, intending to make it a "first class citizen" on the cloud and stressed efforts to improve Eclipse tooling for Azure. "It will get even better than it is today," Spitzer said.
Improved Java enablement is due in 2011.
READ MORE - Microsoft is looking to make it easier move apps to cloud

Perform on Dancing with the Stars Heart and Kylie Minogue

Heart is a rock band whose founding members came from Seattle, Washington, in the early 1970s. Going through several lineup changes, the only constant members of the group are sisters Ann and Nancy Wilson.
The group rose to fame in the 1970s with their music being influenced by hard rock as well as folk music. After diminishing in popularity for a couple of years in the early 80s, the band enjoyed a massive comeback in 1985. They experienced further successes with their power ballads and pop hits throughout the rest of that decade and into the 90s.
The performers who aired on October 26, 2010's Dancing with the Stars, was Heart.  They performed "Barracuda," and the dancers competing on that episode were Chelsie Hightower, Derek Hough, Karina Smirnoff, Louis van Amstel, Damian Whitewood, and Peta Murgatroyd.
Kylie Minogue was the other performer during that same show, and she performed to "Get Outta My Way."  On the floor "stepping in time" were Minogue's dancers.
Minogue is an Australian pop singer, songwriter, and actress who began her career as a child actress on Australian television and achieved recognition through her role in the television soap opera Neighbours.
READ MORE - Perform on Dancing with the Stars Heart and Kylie Minogue

Microsoft is fitting its Visual Basic and C# languages

With an asynchronous programming model to help developers accommodate the growing complexity in applications.
With the release of its Visual Studio Async CTP (Community Technology Preview)  this week, the company is providing an example of an asynchronous programming pattern, said S. Somasegar, senior vice president of the Microsoft Developer Division, in a blog post.  Visual Studio Async CTP features a streamlined syntax for asynchronous development, extending Visual Studio 2010.

"Today, we are unveiling significant language and framework enhancements in C# and Visual Basic that enable developers to harness asynchrony, letting them retain the control flow from their synchronous code while developing responsive user interfaces and scalable web applications with greater ease," Somasegar said.

"Writing applications that effectively handle long latencies can be a daunting challenge.  As software applications grow more complex, more developers are building software that accesses remote resources, performs longer computations, and processes large data sets," Somasegar said. "Tasks we used to think of as being quick now may take orders of magnitude longer to complete or may never complete.  Without special care taken to manage conditions that may arise from these latencies, applications can become unresponsive or unable to scale.

"To accommodate these conditions, C# and VB are adopting a new asynchronous programming model," Somasegar said.
During a session at the Microsoft Professional Developers Conference in Redmond, Wash. on Thursday, Anders Hejlsberg, Microsoft Technical Fellow, discussed the company's intentions to add asynchrony to the next versions of the two languages.

"[The] advantages of asynchrony are you get more responsive UIs because your UI can do other stuff while it is waiting for the results of an asynchronous operation," Hejlsberg said. "But also in servers, you get better scalability because you can free up threads when they're not doing any work because they're waiting for asynchronous requests."
While existing asynchronous paradigms offer ways to work with I/O and other high-latency operations without blocking threads, current patterns can be difficult to understand and can complicate simple operations with callbacks and custom-exception handling. This can result in error-prone code, Somasegar said.

"With Async, our goal now is to make asynchronous programming far more approachable so asynchronous code is as easy to write and maintain as synchronous code. Making your code asynchronous should require only simple changes and should be possible to implement in a non-disruptive manner in your code," Somasegar said.
Language and framework enhancements from Microsoft will help developers harness asynchrony in C# and Visual Basic, Somasegar said.
READ MORE - Microsoft is fitting its Visual Basic and C# languages

Top 20 scariest movies "Halloween"

It's Halloween and time for scary movie marathons. Each year many of us grab our stack of DVD's, our bowl of popcorn and our friends and begin our travel into the dark world of scary movies. This is not a compiled list of any official list it's simply my list of favorite scary movies that I love to watch. Surprisingly only 2 vampire movies made this list; maybe because I don't find them scary no matter when they were made.
  1. House on Haunted Hill - 1959
  2. The Haunting - 1999
  3. Exorcist - 1973
  4. The Shining- 1980
  5. Dracula - 1931
  6. The Wolfman - 1941
  7. Rosemary's Baby- 1968
  8. Hellraiser - 1987
  9. Stephen King's It - 1990
  10. The Grudge - 2004
  11. Psycho - 1960
  12. Salem's Lot- 1979
  13. Poltergeist - 1982
  14. Pet Semetary - 1989
  15. Nightmare on Elm Street - 1984
  16. Halloween - 1978
  17. The Others - 2001
  18. Friday the 13th - 1980
  19. The Omen- 1976
  20. Carrie - 1976
So, this year I am looking for new scary movies. What do you suggest? I don't like toruture films like Saw, Hostel, etc. I feel that many scary movies are scary because of what you don't see and your imagination grows out of control.
Many of these movies can be found at used book stores such as Lexington's Half Price Books. So, what is going to be on your list for the weekend?
READ MORE - Top 20 scariest movies "Halloween"

Google announced a mobile management

Google yesterday announced a mobile management tool for its Google Apps cloud suite that not only lets IT manage Android devices but also BlackBerry, Apple iOS, and Windows Mobile ones, too. That's a big deal coming from a provider of a mobile OS -- Android -- whose native security and management capabilities are poor. As Google pushes for businesses and governments to get rid of Microsoft Exchange and Office in favor of the cloud-hosted Google Apps, it needs to take mobile management and security seriously, given how prevalent mobile access has become.
But what Google is actually doing is repackaging existing technology -- ironically, the Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync protocol (EAS) that already lets corporate Gmail manage EAS-savvy devices, such as the iPhone, iPad, and Windows Mobile devices. Oh, and some Android 2.2 devices, if they have EAS-savvy clients such as NitroDesk's Touchdown or Motorola's Corporate Email app installed. (Gmail also uses such a client on BlackBerry devices, rather than work through Research in Motion's BlackBerry Enterprise Server.)

The EAS-savvy client problem still exists in Android in the sense that it's not available out of the box on every device, as is the case with iOS, Windows Mobile, Windows Phone 7, and corporate-oriented Nokia Symbian devices. Google's fix is to have a downloadable client app, the Google Apps Device Policy app, that gives something for EAS to work through.
It's a good first step, but no different than what mobile device management tools such as those from Good Technology and MobileIron already do. The only difference is that if you use corporate Google Apps, you now can manage these policies directly from Google Apps. It also means you have one fewer reason to be tied to a physical server, which Good and MobileIron require.
What Google really needs to do, of course, is what its main competitors -- Apple, Microsoft, and RIM -- have already done: Bake security and management into the OS itself. Until then, all these clients are just patches -- welcome patches, but still just patches.
READ MORE - Google announced a mobile management

The 2010 World Series Game Two goes to the Giants

Game Two  of the 2010 World Series was a quality game – except for the disastrous seven run bottom of the eighth inning with two outs. As for the Texas offense tonight - no Pedro Guerrero, no Bengie Molina - no offense taken.
Starting pitcher Matt Cain and CJ Wilson provided solid pitching performances tonight during the San Francisco Giants 9-0 victory over the Texas Rangers. A fifth inning solo home run by Edgar Renteria and a seventh inning RBI bloop single by Juan Uribe had produced the only two runs of this game for the Giants until that fateful eighth inning that put the game far out of reach. Wilson pitched six inni8ngs, allowing two runs (one scored after he departed the game) and three hits, while striking out four and walking two. He was able to throw his off-speed pitches on fastball counts and keep the Giants in check all night, except for that chin high fastball to Renteria.
Matt Cain had only two innings in which he faced danger. Ian Kinsler came within inches of a leadoff home run in the 5th inning but was stranded in scoring position. In the sixth inning, consecutive singles by Michael Young and Josh Hamilton and a wild pitch put Cain in a predicament. He was able to get Nelson Cruz and Kinsler to pop out to end the Rangers only threat of the night. Cain threw 7 2/3 innings, giving up no runs on four hits. He stuck out two and walked two. In this post-season, Cain has yet to allow an earned run in 21 2/3 innings.
So the Giants came back and won Game One in a manner to which they are not accustomed and win Game Two with solid pitching and controlled the game in their usual manner. Which Giant team will we see on Saturday night at Arlington? Which Texas team  will show up to face Jonathan Sanchez?

Random Points to Ponder….
Nolan Ryan looked in pain when the Rangers pitchers lost their control in the eighth inning and gave up four consecutive walks. But, somewhere deep inside he remembers that while he holds the career record for strikeouts (5714, 839 more than Randy Johnson) he also holds the career record for walks (2795, 967 more than Steve Carlton).
The Giants left mid-season acquisition Jose Guillen off of the post-season roster, and one reason may have been that according to Michael Schmidt of the New York Times, “federal authorities informed Major League Baseball that he was tied to an investigation into shipments of performance-enhancing drugs”.
ESPN commentator and current Baltimore Orioles manager Buck Showalter had a great segment on the pre-game show tonight, showing that Giants catcher Buster Posey did not back up first base on two separate occasions at the end of Game One. It turned out not to be important – at least at that moment – but Buck used it as an example of how you have to teach and instruct players even after a win.
READ MORE - The 2010 World Series Game Two goes to the Giants

Palin lacks the 'gravitas' to be president : Karl Rove

Karl Rove and Barack Obama may have finally found something they can agree on: Sarah Palin.
In an interview with the Daily Telegraph, the former Bush adviser blasted Palin's political ambitions, wondering whether she has the "gravitas" needed to take on "most demanding job in the world." Said Rove:

With all due candor, appearing on your own reality show on the Discovery Channel, I am not certain how that fits in the American calculus of "that helps me see you in the Oval Office."

Rove, who did say that Palin had done a "terrific job" as a vice-presidential nominee, also flagged a commercial for Palin's upcoming show, which features the potential 2012 contender outdoors and telling the audience, "I would rather be doing this than in some stuffy old political office."

When asked whether Palin stood a chance of unseating Obama in the next election, Rove answered, "you can make a plausible case for any of them on paper, but it is not going to be paper in 2011. It's going to be blood, it's going to be sweat and tears and it's going to be hard effort." He also added that.
READ MORE - Palin lacks the 'gravitas' to be president : Karl Rove

Selena Gomez trip to Ghana (video)

Even in the midst of a busy touring schedule and a hit show in "Wizards of Waverly Place," Selena Gomez is doing her best to show that she still has the time to be a positive role model. CNN International recently posted video of the Disney Channel star's most recent trip to Ghana, in which she got a chance to help provide support and aid for a country with an exceptionally high child mortality rate.
She website also posted a length chat with Selena, and one of the items covered was Selena's participation in the "CNN Heroes" program designed to honor everyday people who give back to their communities in extraordinary ways. Selena previously took part in the ceremony back in 2008, and here is what she had to say about presenting an honor again later this year:

"This award show is by far my favorite. It was so cool to see these people that help out and really genuinely care about everything they do. I loved it. I cried so many times, and I met some amazing people, and the whole time I was just very grateful to just be there. I'm looking forward to going again."
READ MORE - Selena Gomez trip to Ghana (video)

Then vies for position on new UN ‘equality for women’ : Iran stones women

Iran stones women, then vies for position on new UN ‘equality for women’ board

UNITED NATIONS/WOMEN'S RIGHTS -- The U.S. and human rights groups are outraged that Iran, a country that sentenced a woman convicted of adultery to death by stoning, could likely become a member of the board of a new U.N. agency to promote equality for women, "UN Women."

Also upsetting to some rights groups is the fact that Saudi Arabia, a country where women are not allowed to drive and are barred from many facilities used by men, is also vying to join the governing body of UN Women.

The Canadian Press reported that the General Assembly resolution adopted in July - that merged four U.N. bodies dealing with women's issues into a single agency with greater clout to represent half the world's population - calls for a 41-member executive board, with 35 members chosen by regional groups and six representing donor nations.

Mark Kornblau, spokesman for the U.S. Mission, said Wednesday that Iran's membership "would send the wrong signal at the start of this exciting new initiative."

"UN Women is a vital new agency tasked with promoting gender equality and women's empowerment worldwide," he said. "We and many other countries are concerned by the negative implications of Iran's potential board memberships, given its poor record on human rights and the treatment of women.

"There are many qualified countries that would make positive and constructive contributions as board members," Kornblau said.

The stoning sentence against the 43-year-old woman, Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, has raised an international outcry, embarrassing Iran.

Philippe Bolopion, U.N. advocacy director for Human Rights Watch, said "it's puzzling that Iran would have the nerve to be a candidate for the board of UN Women, and even more puzzling if the Asia group lets Iran get away with it."

"Having on top of it Saudi Arabia, a country with a track record on women's rights as horrendous as Iran's, would add insult to injury," he said.

According to the Canadian Press, Bolopion called their potential membership "an affront to women around the world who are placing their hopes in UN Women," but he expressed hope that the board's overall composition will ensure that neither country will be able to use their position to undermine the agency's work.

UN Women was set up as a platform to achieve women’s equality, calling for governments to end discrimination against women and close the gender gap in 12 critical areas including human rights, political participation, education, health, and employment.

"Sadly, the issue is not just an individual country's track record on women's rights, dismal though that may be," Diaz said. "A clean slate guarantees countries a seat in the executive body, regardless of their record in protecting women's rights or promoting gender equality. The failure to ensure competitive elections is the responsibility of all member states."

Cora Weiss, president of the Hague Appeal for Peace, said that if board membership "helps to influence Iran's attitude toward women then fine, but if Iran uses it to hold back our dreams and vision for equality then it's a disaster."

According to U.N. diplomats, the 10 countries selected by the Asian group for the board are Iran, Bangladesh, India, China, Malaysia, Indonesia, South Korea, Japan, Kazakhstan and Pakistan. Eastern Europe and Latin America have put forward contested slates, the diplomats said, speaking on condition of anonymity because the lists have not been made public.

The resolution earmarks four seats from the 10 top donor nations and diplomats said the candidates are the United States, Britain, Spain and Norway. It allocated two seats to contributors from developing countries and diplomats said the candidates are Saudi Arabia and Mexico.
READ MORE - Then vies for position on new UN ‘equality for women’ : Iran stones women

Week 7 recap 'Survivor'


Oh, the turmoil in camp(s) after a double elimination-- feelings are hurt and egos are bruised. Man, if people aren’t careful, someone may actually start to cry.

In Espada, Dan’s getting hugs from everyone and giving himself a new nickname – “Teflon Dan”. Meanwhile, TPTB are gearing up to take out Alina next—so we can be pretty sure that won’t happen.

Over at LaFlor, Marty’s awfully proud of himself (and his cojones) for not playing the Immunity Idol, and he pledges to go after Jane for taking up arms with the young-uns.

As dawn breaks on Day 16, Marty gets all up in Jane’s grill to figure out what they hey’s going on. When he tells her he’s pretty sure she wrote his name down, she laughs… ’cause, you know, she’s busted.

And with that, we jump right into the Reward Challenge. The tribes take turns throwing a ball into the net, past the other team’s goalie perched on a post sticking out of the water. First tribe to score five times wins a Nicaraguan farm experience, complete with breakfast and horseback riding. Espada’s goalie Chase takes one in the cojones, Dan can’t jump, Fabio pees in the pool, and Espada wins reward 5-3.

At the farm, the tribe takes turns yanking cow nipples (as Grumpy so delicately puts it), while at LaFlor, Jane is giddy, having caught a handful of fish. Before she goes back to camp though, she laughs a lot to herself and cooks up a little one-person feast.

It’s the six-person feast that’s getting all the Espada folk weepy. Having not eaten for 16 days, they shed a couple of tears and pretend to bond over a cinder block of cheese.

All good things must come to an end, though, as Jeff welcomes everyone to the Immunity Challenge, where tribal immunity is back in play. The producers either got lazy or got smart, because the challenge revisits the same contraption from the season’s very first challenge, where teams had to direct water through a series of gutters. This time instead of water, it’s balls, which the teams steer down the gutters in an effort to shatter clay surfboards. Espada walks away with it, and Alina is safe for at least another three days.

The scheming continues over at LaFlor, as Brenda and Sash hatch two plans: One - tell Marty they’re splitting the vote between him and Jill, so he has to play the Idol while Jill gets the boot. Two – Sash asks Marty to give him the Idol and then promises (cross his heart!) that they’ll vote for Jill, and then at the next Tribal Council (should LaFlor lose again), Sash promises (hope to die!) that he’ll give Marty the Idol back. So Marty, in his infinite wisdom, gives the Idol to Sash. Yep—he just hands it over. In the process, Marty invents a new kind of Russian Roulette wherein you actually hand your enemy the gun, plus another five bullets just to be absolutely sure.

At Tribal Council, Marty admits his idiocy, but almost as idiotic is Sash’s Freudian slip (and Fabio’s surprisingly lucid explanation of Freudian Psychology) when he says that he’ll hold onto the Idol until he loses trust in his teammates… he means until theylose trust in him. Riiiight. Time to vote.

Just like that, the Brenda/Sash plan goes off without a hitch, and with a hug for Marty, Jill takes a stroll through the graveyard.

Next week, The Merge… and Grumpy steals stuff.

Final Vote: Jill – 3, Marty – 2, Jane – 2.

Quote of the night: Purple Kelly after losing the Reward Challenge - “Reward was for a horseback ride and breakfast. You get to milk your own milk… I guess. I don’t know if that makes sense. You get to milk your own milk, and that sounds amazing.”
READ MORE - Week 7 recap 'Survivor'

Justin Timberlake 'cheating' on Jessica Biel with Olivia Munn


The newest celebrity rumor currently running rampany across the internet has to do with pop star-turned actor Justin Timberlake, who has been dating actress Jessica Biel for quite some time now. However, is their relationship on the rocks thanks to some new allegations?

According to a report from Us Weekly, Timberlake (who is being touted as an Oscar contender for "The Social Network") had a three-day fling with Olivia Munn, a comedic actress best known for her roles on "Attack of the Show" and "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart." Munn originally did not give in to his advances at first, but the report claims she did in the end. Why? The Us source uses this as an explanation:

"[He] has been telling people it’s over with Jessica, even though the reality is he's just doing it behind her back."


Before we consider this is fact, though, we have to remember that Justin's representative flat-out denied the star doing anything of the sort. Munn's rep, meanwhile, would not comment on her personal life.
READ MORE - Justin Timberlake 'cheating' on Jessica Biel with Olivia Munn

Today The New York Post took U.S. and Israel covert action embolden Iran nuclear ambitions


With Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s lack stance against Iran’s nuclear development program which began fueling the core of its first nuclear reactor at Bushehr with Russian oversight, which will be in full swing in months. Yet the critics tend to forget how U.S. intelligence tried to destabilize Iran’s government for years even when they were on the verge of suspending the quest for nukes.

Secretary Clinton said the U.S. is concerned with “secret” nuclear sites only and that “Iran is entitled to the peaceful use of nuclear power. They are not entitled to a nuclear-weapons program."

But the New York post accused Obama and the State department of enabling the program though inaction and toothless sanctions:

Clinton has glossed over a terrible truth: The Obama administration now considers Iran a fellow nuclear power -- one as yet unarmed, yet someday soon, perhaps, a nuclear equal, fully armed.

But the US cannot acquiesce in this -- or the whole Middle East will fall under the mullahs' sway.

That would confer an Iranian chokehold on the Strait of Hormuz, through which transits 90 percent of the Gulf's oil exports. It means Iranian supremacy over Shiite neighbors like Iraq and even Sunni rivals like Saudi Arabia.

Worst of all, it puts Israel on the brink.


Bob Rob Grace of Asian Times Online said that for years, the United States and Israel have engaged in a covert effort to destabilize Iran's government and sabotage its nuclear program and by ignoring these efforts the current debate about the relative wisdom of diplomacy, sanctions, and preventive military action addresses an incomplete picture.

To understand the Iranian historical perspective one cannot forget U.S. grievous misdeeds that all began in 1953, when, based on extending the containment policy to the Middle East, the U.S. and British mounted a coup that overthrew an extremely popular Iranian leader, Mohammed Mossadegh – which ended Iran’s first democratic government. Mossadegh, a leader that put the devastated Iranian state on the road to prosperity by securing a larger portion of its own oil reserves from the grasp of Western greed, was replaced by Shah Pahlavi, an incompetent tyrant, and as a byproduct, Iran’s oil wealth was transferred to British and American control, while the Iranian masses wallowed in abject poverty.

The Shah’s corruption enabled Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeni to stage the 1979 Islamic Revolution, which led to the installation of an extremist Islamic government. The C.I.A. and British secret service tried everything in their power to oust the Ayatollah, but eventually the Western powers relied on a dubious ally - Saddam Hussein - to prosecute war against Iran. The ensuing eight-year war between Iran and Iraq led to one million Iranian causalities and deaths, while the U.S and Brits, with some help from Israel, provided arms, intelligence and financing to Iraq, along with chemical weapons - including anthrax.

During the Iran hostage crisis Iran only agreed to free its captives after the U.S. pledged non-intervention in Iranian affairs. As stated in the 1981 Algiers Accords, "it is and from now on will be the policy of the United States not to intervene, directly or indirectly, politically or militarily, in Iran's internal affairs."

However, the U.S. has failed to live up to this agreement. In 1995, an $18 million covert effort by the CIA to destabilize Iran was exposed reinforcing Iranian suspicions of the "Great Satan". Covert efforts also disrupted negotiations in 2005 between Iran and the European Union after Iran had signed the Paris Accord in which Iran committed that it would "not seek to acquire nuclear weapons", voluntarily implement the International Atomic Energy Agency's (IAEA's) Additional Protocol, and voluntarily halt all uranium-enrichment activities.

In the mid-200s the US collaborated with the Mujahideen-e-Khalq, a group devoted to overthrowing Iran's government, in cross-border raids to gather intelligence about Iran's nuclear program and supported Jundallah, a Pakistani-based tribal terrorist group that has struck Iranian targets; and had established a "covert infrastructure" within Iran to reach out to Iranian dissidents. Then in 2005, the U.S. Congress authorized $3 million to fund "the advancement of democracy and human rights" in Iran, a move the Iranian UN ambassador called a "clear violation of the Algiers accords".

That same year Mossad, Israel’s intelligence agency, assassinated Iranian nuclear scientist Ardeshire Hassanpour. In 2008, President George W Bush signed a "non-lethal presidential finding" that initiated a CIA plan involving "a coordinated campaign of propaganda, disinformation and manipulation of Iran's currency and international financial transactions". The program was handed off to Obama who then accelerated it.

In January of 2009, the Telegraph reported that Israel was "using hitmen, sabotage, front companies and double agents to disrupt the regime's illicit weapons project". Reuters reported that Israel "planned to target Iranian nuclear scientists with letter bombs and poisoned packages", possibly as part of "a psychological warfare campaign".

Sanctions and covert activity has actually garnered domestic support for President Mahmud Ahmadinejad and have provided an "an excuse to the Iranian government to suppress the opposition", according to Iranian reformist Mehdi Karroubi. Iran strives for UN Security Council reform and global nuclear disarmament under the slogan, "nuclear energy for everyone, nuclear arms for no one".

However, though the US would like Iran to completely halt enrichment, a feasible middle ground exists. As former US secretary of state Colin Powell stated recently on Meet The Press:

... I think if you take them at their word, "trust, but verify," [former US president Ronald] Reagan's old line ... then put in place a set of sanctions that would be devastating to them if they violate that agreement, and then put in place an IAEA inspection regime ... you might be able to live with an Iran that has a nuclear power capability


Yet if Iran fears U.S. covert intervention will continue it is unlikely to sign any agreement of the sort Powell described. As Mr. Grace pointed out: “like in 1953, by pursuing the sabotage option, the US is sacrificing its long-term interests for short-term gains.”
READ MORE - Today The New York Post took U.S. and Israel covert action embolden Iran nuclear ambitions

Punk'd, Never Say Never... keeps Justin Bieber busy!


Punk'd is a hidden camera practical joke television series that first aired on MTV in 2003 and was produced and hosted by Ashton Kutcher. The show, a combination of Candid Camera and TV's Bloopers & Practical Jokes. The latter also featured pranks on celebrities. Being "punk'd" referred to being the victim of such a prank.

In October 2010 Punk'd was reportedly being revived with Justin Bieber as the new host. Kutcher will still remain as executive producer.

For Bieber, in addition to his world tour, 2010 has been busy and has included appearing on Saturday Night Live and CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.

Hosting Punk'd and shooting a film have been non-music projects to keep young Bieber occupied in other areas of the entertainment world. The film, Never Say Never (2011) is produced by MTV Films and distributed by Paramount Pictures. It will be released February 2011 in United States and March to April worldwide.

The official movie trailer was released on October 26, 2010.
READ MORE - Punk'd, Never Say Never... keeps Justin Bieber busy!

Gadget The PlayStation Phone


It's hard to believe that what we're looking at is real -- but we assure you, the picture above is in fact the PlayStation Phone you've long been waiting for. As we reported back in August, the device you see is headed into the market soon, likely boasting Android 3.0 (aka Gingerbread), along with a custom Sony Marketplace which will allow you to purchase and download games designed for the new platform. The Gadgets snapped up top (and in our gallery below) is sporting a 1GHz Qualcomm MSM8655 (a chip similar to the one found in the G2, but 200MHz faster), 512MB of RAM, 1GB of ROM, and the screen is in the range of 3.7 to 4.1 inches. Looking almost identical to the mockup we hit you with this summer, the handset does indeed have a long touchpad in the center which is apparently multitouch, and you can see in the photos that it's still bearing those familiar PlayStation shoulder buttons. For Sony buffs, you'll be interested to know that there's no Memory Stick slot here, but there is support for microSD cards.

The particular model in these shots is still in prototyping mode. As such, the unit doesn't have a custom skin (not even SE's Timescape design seen on the Xperia devices), and is said to be rather buggy. We're digging into more facts as we speak, but it's likely that much of what we reported earlier is still accurate, and though the device could still be headed for a 2010 release, 2011 is looking much more realistic. Still, there's a lot of time between now and the holidays... so keep your fingers crossed!
READ MORE - Gadget The PlayStation Phone

NBA nightly recap, Oct. 26


Boston 88, Miami 80

Whatever nickname you want to give LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh, the experiment didn't get off to a rousing start in Boston tonight. James was his usual dominant self, tallying 31 points, four rebounds, and eight assists, but shot just 8-of-12 from the free throw line and turned the ball over eight times. Dwyane Wade was terrible, scoring just 13 points and looking rusty after playing just three total minutes in the preseason. Chris Bosh started strong but finished with only 8 points and 8 rebounds. As expected, no one else had much fantasy value in Miami.

Rajon Rondo led the way fantasy-wise for the Celtics, handing out 17 assists to go with 2 steals and 5 rebounds. He didn't shoot well, just 2-for-7, but his assist total more than made up for that. Paul Pierce had a very efficient night, shooting 4-for-7 from the field, 8-for-8 from the line, 19 points, 3 assists, and 3 three-pointers. Ray Allen also had a nice night shooting, finishing with 20 points, including 5 threes, but didn't do much else. Glen Davis had 13 points and 5 rebounds and could do well as the sixth man in Boston this year.

Portland 106, Phoenix 92

Brandon Roy had himself an excellent statline with 24 points, 3 rebounds, 6 assists, and 3 steals. He also added 4 threes, but don't get too used to that. Nicolas Batum was stellar with 19 points and 11 rebounds and showed why he is a major fantasy sleeper this season. Marcus Camby had a quiet 13 points and 10 rebounds, while Wes Matthews poured in 13 points off the bench. He played over 30 minutes, third most on the team, and should see a huge boost with Jerryd Bayless out of the picture.

Steve Nash had a predictable line with more points (26) and less assists (6) than usual without Amare Stoudemire. Expect those kind of lines as the season goes along. Jason Richardson got his 2010 off to a good start by scoring 22 points on 9-of-13 shooting, including 3 threes. He could be in line for a big season. The newcomers struggled for the Suns, as Hedo Turkoglu (6 points), Hakim Warrick (10 points), and Josh Childress (4 points) were all non-factors. Robin Lopez was a non-factor with five points and five rebounds in just 24 minutes.

LA Lakers 112, Houston 110

No surprise in Los Angeles as Pau Gasol (29 points, 11 rebounds, 2 blocks) and Kobe Bryant (27 points, 5 rebounds, 7 assists) stole the show, but there were some interesting lines off the bench that fantasy owners should take note of. Shannon Brown caught fire and finished with 16 points while Steve Blake severely outplayed a struggling Derek Fisher. Blake finished with 10 points, 3 assists, and a +/- of 13 while Fisher was held to 2 points and a +/- of -8. Blake could be worth a pick-up soon, so keep your eye on him.

Aaron Brooks looks poised for a breakout season after finishing with 24 points and 9 assists in the loss. He made all six of his free throws and connected on four shots from downtown. Kevin Martin also looked comfortable, scoring 26 points but not contributing in much else, as usual. Luis Scola had a huge line with 18 points, 16 rebounds, and 4 assists and should put up those kinds of numbers as long as Yao Ming (9 points, 11 rebounds in 23 minutes) is slowly worked back in. Chase Budinger quietly had a nice night with 13 points and 5 rebounds.
READ MORE - NBA nightly recap, Oct. 26

Jordan farmar Nets rookie


They were No. 15 and No. 16 on a roster that could only keep 15, league standards made that much clear. The cuts would come at any time, the continued presence of the general manager looming courtside serving as a chilling reminder.

“Guys, their careers and livelihoods are on the line,” coach Avery Johnson said after practice Saturday. “I saw a little bit of those nerves and anxiety.”

With one quick meeting after practice Friday, notifying Zoubek, the 7-foot Haddonfield native, that he would be placed on waivers, Uzoh began to breathe easier.

This did not mean his tenure was any less temporary, as he could still be cut at any time before the early January deadline. Friday simply meant that he earned the right to live under his non-guaranteed contract day-to-day as part of the Nets roster.

“Avery, he kind of didn’t tell me,” Uzoh, a rookie point guard out of Tulsa, said. “It didn’t hit me until after practice (Friday) until I heard about Zoubek and I kind of put two and two together. I was like ‘damn, I’m here.’ ”

Theoretically, he’ll be the third understudy behind Devin Harris and Jordan Farmar. In 51 total minutes this preseason, he’s averaged 2.7 points per game, shooting 55 percent from the field.

There wasn’t much in the way of celebration. Uzoh said he didn’t pump his fists or jaunt around the team’s East Rutherford practice facility. The reality of his situation settled in once he was able to get back to his room and pick up the phone.

“That’s when it hit me,” Uzoh said. “When I got a chance to share it with my people.”

First, a call to his mother, Caroline, then his father, Francis. Three sisters followed shortly after as the loyal web of supporters in San Antonio widened to friends and coaches outside.

Francis, who Uzoh described as the most excited, took it upon himself to call Tulsa head coach Doug Wojcik.

“My dad, he really was excited for me,” Uzoh said. “He calls me so much, leaving voice messages after voice messages, he’s been contacting my people at college, my coaches, it kind of got emotional with him.”

Saturday, Johnson could see his decision projected into practice. Uzoh stepped up and drilled a 3 pointer he was all too comfortable passing up the day before. He drove the paint and dropped in a bucket over Brook Lodo before, perhaps amplified with the momentary sense of accomplishment. Johpez and Derrick Favors during an intra-squad scrimmage.

He worked the scout team against a half-court trap defense anchored by Favors, beating the pressure and dishing the ball off to the open man.

These are all things he could nson could tell, taking note of the change in intensity but keeping things in perspective.

Both knew the player who completed the Nets’ 15-man roster on Friday, could be cleared for a vacant spot just as quickly.
READ MORE - Jordan farmar Nets rookie

Sam champion


ABC anchor Sam Champion was the first journalist in the Gulf region to report from the oil-filled water itself.

But he’s been in the region for weeks, now in Florida, for Good Morning America. Today we talked to Champion about the underwater report, if there have been any improvements in the past couple weeks (there hasn’t) and the BP PR machine.

Forget Al Roker, Sam Champion is our favorite weatherman. On Good Morning America, he's so damn chipper at the crack of dawn we'd normally want to throw things at the TV, but so likeable that we never could.

Apparently Champion returns the love, because he made a one-day trip to Houston on Friday.

He broadcast from Discovery Green, where he was joined by the Westside High School Marching Band in front of the George R. Brown Convention Center before heading to The Lake House patio, where he was joined by a spread of food from The Breakfast Klub and some hardcore Breakfast Klub/GMA fans.

The Breakfast Klub was making its second Good Morning America appearance of the year, after fans voted it one of the four finalists for America's best breakfast dishes for its chicken and waffles back in April.

Champion also headed to the Galleria Harlon's Bar-B-Q for lunch.

CultureMappers, did you wake up with Sam this morning? Will you be stalking him around town?
READ MORE - Sam champion

New add-on program Firesheep

A developer out there has released a Firefox extension that will strike fear into folks who often frequent places with public Wi-Fi. The Firesheep extension is capable of sniffing out and stealing cookies of popular sites such as Facebook and Twitter by latching onto the browsing sessions of other users on the same Wi-Fi hotspot. It's a proof-of-concept extension, but it's up for download, supporting popular sites such as Facebook, Flickr, Amazon, Dropbox, Evernote and many more. When using it, you can easily intercept a session on a public hotspot and start browsing the site as if you're that person. This extension was released to force popular sites to send data via the more secure HTTPS protocol, which encrypts its data as its sent, though it comes at the expense of speed. In case you're thinking of giving this extension a test drive at the nearest Starbucks, you'll need to make sure that you're using a wireless card that's capable of running in promiscuous mode.

To work, a user of Firesheep must have the program running on an ordinary computer on a shared wireless network where it can grab cookies after other users on the network log into popular Web sites, according to a post by Eric Butler, the developer of the program. Butler in his post suggests Firesheep works on “open” wireless networks, but doesn’t specify whether that includes networks where many strangers share a common password to access it, as in a cafĂ© or convention center.

Apparently many social network sites are not secured, beyond the big two, Foursquare, Gowalla are also vulnerable. Moreover, to give you a sense of Firesheep’s scope, the extension is built to identify cookies from Amazon.com, Basecamp, bit.ly, Cisco, CNET, Dropbox, Enom, Evernote, Facebook, Flickr, Github, Google, HackerNews, Harvest, Windows Live, NY Times, Pivotal Tracker, Slicehost, tumblr, Twitter, WordPress, Yahoo, Yelp. And that’s just the default setting— anyone can write their own plugins, according to the post.

On his Web site, Butler said the “only effective fix” for the problem is for Web sites to fully encrypt all of their communications with consumers, not just a portion of them. Some Web sites already seem to be trying to address the problem.

A spokesman for Google said the company recently began fully encrypting communications with users of its Gmail service and other Google services by default, though it’s still possible users can turn encryption off (on slow Internet connections, encryption can affect the performance of a Web site for a user).

A spokesman for Facebook, meanwhile, says the social network has been “making progress” testing encryption across its Web site and hopes to provide it as an option for Facebook users in the coming months.
READ MORE - New add-on program Firesheep

Tariq aziz was sentenced to death


BAGHDAD — Saddam Hussein's longtime foreign minister, Tariq Aziz, was sentenced to death by hanging Tuesday for persecuting members of Shiite religious parties under the former regime.

Iraqi High Tribunal spokesman Mohammed Abdul-Sahib did not say when Aziz, 74, would be put to death.

Tariq Aziz for those of us old enough to remember the kids have moved on was the public face of Saddam Husseins Iraq. He always came across to me was gentlemanly with a measured calm tone a sort of reassuring mass murderer. UET 03 Literary Society BazmeTariq Aziz 1st Competetion.

BAGHDAD Iraqi state TV says former Foreign Minister Tariq Aziz has been sentenced to death for persecuting Shiite political parties during Saddam Husseins regime.

AP Saddam Husseins foreign minister Tariq Aziz was sentenced to death by hanging Tuesday for persecuting members of.

Aziz has already been convicted and sentenced to 15 years in prison for his role in the 1992 execution of 42 merchants found guilty of profiteering. He also received a seven-year prison sentence for a case involving the forced displacement of Kurds in northern Iraq.

Sky NewsIraqi court sentences Tariq Aziz to deathCNNBy the CNN Wire Staff CNN Tariq Aziz one of the bestknown faces of the Iraqi government from 1981 to 2003 was sentenced to death Tuesday by the Iraqi High Tribunal court for.
READ MORE - Tariq aziz was sentenced to death

Sex trafficking abuse victims account for over 40% of the US population


What is sexual abuse?

Sex trafficking is one of the more blatant and horrific forms of sexual abuse. Often, children who are abducted and forced into prostitution are first sexually abused by their pimps. Dan Allender, Ph.D., is a speaker, counselor, and author who himself experienced sexual violation. In his book, The Wounded Heart: Hope for Adult Victimsof Childhood Sexual Abuse, Allender defines sexual abuse of children and describes the various levels of sexual exploitation:

* Child sexual abuse occurs whenever an adult or more powerful child uses the child for sexual pleasure.
o The abuse itself is a violation of power and trust, as 91% of the time, sexual offenses are perpetrated by someone the child knows.
* Very severe sexual abuse is any physical contact with penetration. This can be vaginal, oral, or anal.
* Severe sexual abuse occurs with any touch of unclothed primary or secondary sexual body parts
* Least severe sexual abuse inludes any touch of non-sexual body parts and kissing

Allender validates that psychological and emotional damage occurs to the victim at each of these levels, even if the child tries to rationalize that "it could have been worse, so therefore this action is not abuse". Facing the reality of victimization and all of its consequences is a courageous act which not all people are ready to handle. The amount of psychic damage may differ for each individual, but the intensity will be greatest for those violators who were in the highest and closest roles of trust and privilege in the child's world--i.e. parents and family members, youth leaders, pastors, teachers, friends.

Other types of sexual exploitation do not include physical touch, but can be just as traumatic for a youngster.

* Visual sexual exploitation is any form of visual presentation of sex acts which involve the child, whether live or media-based, which are designed to arouse. This includes sexually explicit movies, pornography, exhibitionism, or public exposure.
* Verbal sexual abuse encompasses referring to a child as a sexual body part or talking about sexual terminology or activities to the child or in his hearing.
* Emotional sexual abuse happens when a parent uses the child as a spousal surrogate, talking on an imtimate level with the child, even disclosing aspects of the parent's sexual encounters. The young person receives a level of intimacy not proffered to the actual spouse. Even if the parent-child relationship is argumentative and verbally passionate, the abused child may be the only one of the household getting that level of intensity, and there is an unspoken rule that only that child will specifically have that kind of interaction.

On a paper and pencil test, fully one-fourth of the females and one-sixth of the males will self-disclose incidences of sexual abuse according to these standards. When research interviews are used as in Diana E. H. Russell's book, The Secret Trauma: Incest in the Lives of Girls and Women, 38% of the respondents recount severe or very severe sexual encounters by the time they reached 18. All of these acts are violations of state laws across the nation. If the numbers include the least severe category and exhibitionism, 52% of females have been sexually abused. (This study took a very strict definition of sexual abuse. If all forms were counted, it is likely that 80-90% of women have been abused sexually.)

For males, a paper and pencil test reveals that 14% identify some sort of sexual abuse. There has not been any study about men that is similar in scope and breadth to Russell's work on women.

A conservative estimate indicates that at least one out of every two women and one out of every three males will experience sexual abuse in the United States. As long as there is not a public outcry against this travesty, and the depth of the problem is not openly discussed, sexual exploitation of children and adults will continue to escalate. Unimaginable damage is being foisted upon the victims of these crimes, which leaves life-long scars and serious impediments to growth into mature adulthood.

Sexual abuse, sexual exploitation, pedophilia and other forms of sexual violation are grave issues that need to be dealt with in wisdom and compassion and justice.
READ MORE - Sex trafficking abuse victims account for over 40% of the US population

When Hot Tub Time Machine was released not as expected, or warming up

Readers who wanted this column to examine it attempted to describe it. It was suggested that this was another "idiot comedy" (a film that is supposed to be funny because the main characters are completely stupid), or that it was akin to a Kevin Smith film, or that it was in the same category as Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure and their subsequent Bogus Journey, or absurdist like Bender's Big Score.

It proved to be none of those things. It was vulgar, crass, and profane, deserving of its "R" rating, but beneath the nudity, sex, and drug use was a movie clever and serious, and at times uproariously funny, about three men who like Peggy Sue return to a moment in their youth which was a turning point in their lives, and who thus have the opportunity to turn in different directions. Get past the excessive profanity and preoccupation with sex and drugs, and you have a good movie. There are a couple rather blatant sexual encounters, but these are not gratuitous sex tacked onto the story so much as integral moments within it.

The available DVD contains both the theatrical version and an "unrated" longer version. It is the policy of this series to analyze only theatrical versions of theatrically-released films, and thus no further mention will be made of the extended version, which this reviewer has not seen and has no intention of viewing. Footage lands on the cutting room floor for many reasons that have nothing to do with time constraints, and a longer version is rarely a better one.

The set-up for our story revolves around three men who were best of friends upon graduating high school in the eighties when they took a trip to the then-booming ski resort Kodiak Valley. We glimpse their discontent with their current lives, the walls that have separated them from each other, and then Lou suffers from carbon monoxide poisoning in what could easily have been either an accident or a clever suicide attempt, and the old friends Adam and Nick whom he never sees appear at his hospital bedside with the idea of going back to the resort to reconnect with each other. They take Adam's sister's son Jacob, father unknown, who was probably conceived at that resort when they were there twenty years before, and check into the room they had then. The resort is in serious decay, the town collapsing, and the accommodations daunting as the one-armed bellhop with a chip on his shoulder the size of Buffalo delivers them to the room, but once the hot tub is working they climb in, get terribly drunk, and spill Chernobly, a Russian beverage containing illegal ingredients, into the circuitry. This launches their journey, as the next morning they are not only back in the resort they remember, but back Quantum Leap-style in their young bodies living their previous lives. With the electronics shorted on the hot tub, they need the assistance of a mysterious repairman to get them back to the future, and meanwhile struggle with the issues of whether they should or should not change the past.

The story continues, and the time travel elements are confused and baffling. It is to those we will look in the series ahead.
READ MORE - When Hot Tub Time Machine was released not as expected, or warming up

Janet Jackson GMA video: Weight loss, green eyes, Tyler Perry


Janet Jackson was on Good Morning America today, and here's Janet Jackson's GMA video that was just uploaded onto the GMA website.



It was interesting in the way it shows first a preview of Janet's transformation and weight loss during a recent American Idol performance -- and previous weight gain during the filming of the follow-up to Tyler Perry's 'Why Did I Get Married?' movie.



This time, the talk of the nation is Perry's new movie, For Colored Girls -- and video of this riveting interview that Tyler Perry gave Oprah, speaking about his abuse.

In the GMA video clips, you can see Janet has green eyes -- obviously adopting colored contact lenses for her role in the movie, playing a spurned wife whose husband has probably had an affair. I'll bet you that's why he's saying sorry.



And then Jackson refused to talk about her boyfriend, saying he's a private man but that she's happy and that people are always trying to marry her off in the press.



Her nephew Austin Brown might be her date tonight for the premiere -- Rebbie's son, who was called a triple threat and compared to Michael Jackson.
READ MORE - Janet Jackson GMA video: Weight loss, green eyes, Tyler Perry

Miss California USA Nicole Johnson


Deadline is looming for school classrooms itching for a chance to win a makeover that will change their school home into a state-of-the-art interactive classroom.

Sponsored by eInstruction, the contest gives classes until Nov. 2 to “show how your class envisions the use of technology to enhance the learning process. Parody an existing song or create one yourself. Make it fun, creative, and focused on technology in the classroom. “

The winning classroom will receive technological advances worth up to $75,000.

Among the judges this year is Nicole Johnson, Miss California USA 2010.

Nicole is a budding educator who has tutored middle school students in math and science.

Also joining the judges this year is Miss New York USA 2010 Davina Reeves.

Davina often visits schools to host creativity and healthy lifestyle workshops.
READ MORE - Miss California USA Nicole Johnson

Adobe is trying to increase its reach in the mobile space

With upgrades to its Flash Builder, Flex, and AIR application development technologies Monday, Adobe Systems is taking a decidedly mobile bent.

Adobe will introduce preview releases of the next versions of its Flash Builder development environment, the Flex development framework, and Flash Catalyst design tool. Expanding the reach of these products to new form factors, particularly Flex and Flash Builder, is Adobe's intent. The three tools are used for building applications that run in the Flash Player or Adobe Integrated Runtime (AIR). Additionally, version 2.5 of AIR, which backs mobile devices, will be released this week and is considered a lynchpin of Adobe's multiscreen efforts.

"The point of these releases [of Flex, Flash Builder, and Flash Catalyst] is to be able to build apps for multiple screens, including Web, desktop, mobile, and set-top box TVs," said Dave Gruber, group product manager for creative and interactive solutions at Adobe.

"We're going to deliver a common development framework, that's Flex and a common software development environment, that's Flash Builder, that allows developers to create apps that run across all these difference environments. The benefit is that it saves developers time and allows them to get applications to market faster," said Gruber.

Without these tools, developers must write separate applications for the different form factors and learn different languages and use different tools, he said.

For mobile development, Flex will support Google Android, Research in Motion BlackBerry, and Apple iOS, which runs on devices like the iPhone. Although iOS does not support Flash, developers can take the Flash application and, via the Packager tool, compile a native code application to work on iOS.

The Flash Builder preview will add mobile development tooling, including a design view environment for mobile applications. "Not only can you design mobile applications, but you also can debug, preview, and profile applications on connected devices," said Gruber.

Developers using Flex and Flash can build such applications as self-service systems or applications that work with business-to-business and business-to-consumer apps.

General releases of the Flash Builder and Flex SDK upgrades are planned for 2011.

Mobile "is a huge focus right now for Adobe," said analyst Melissa Webster of IDC. With the recent release of Flash Player 10.1, Adobe seeks to get the player on everything except iOS, where it is prohibited, Webster said. Flash Player is presently only available on Android; WebOS is due to add Flash support when it ships in the coming weeks, and Research in Motion says it will support Flash Player on the BlackBerry soon. Windows Phone 7 does not presently support Flash Player, but Microsoft says that support may be added in the future.

"Accelerating Flash Player 10.1 adoption is a big area for them," Webster said.

Key to Adobe's efforts is AIR 2.5, which enables the use of a common framework and tooling to run applications across multiple devices. "Without AIR, that wouldn't be possible," Gruber said. Enabling Flash applications to run outside of a browser, AIR adds support for smartphones and tablets based on Android, iOS, and BlackBerry Tablet OS. It also works with Windows, Macintosh, and Linux desktops.

Also, Adobe will introduce a pre-release of its Flash Catalyst design tool with bidirectional capabilities for moving items between Flash Catalyst and Flash Builder.

"Previously, you could only move projects from Catalyst to Flash Builder," Gruber said.

In the LiveCycle space, Adobe will launch LiveCycle Enterprise Suite 2.5. LiveCycle features development tools and servers for building applications that connect back-end systems to Flash and mobile clients. Users can access enterprise systems, such as SAP and Oracle ERP or transaction systems.

Also accommodating multiple screens, version 2.5 expands support for mobile devices, enabling device users to capture data, fill in a form, and append information. Previously, users only could have a task assigned to them.

"Now, you can browse content, you can initiate tasks and requests," said Sydney Sloan, director of Adobe LiveCycle product and solution marketing. "You can capture data."

Adobe also is announcing its next generation of "Solution Accelerators" for LiveCycle, featuring repeatable solution templates plus the LiveCycle suite. Previously, these were open source, but now they are productized and fully supported by Adobe.

Solution Accelerators being released include: Correspondence Management, for personalized communications; Interactive Statements, for building communications via secure PDF; and Managed Review & Solution Approval, for content review processes.

LIveCycle solutions typically start in price at $50,000 and above. Version 2.5 is available Monday.

Adobe also is introducing its Adobe InMarket Service to help developers link up with application stores. Initially, only application stores from Intel, Samsung, and Acer will be supported, rather than more prominent stores from companies like Google and Apple.

"We don't have agreements with the other app stores yet," Gruber said. ""We expect to [have] 10 more app stores in place by 2011."

Adobe is making these announcements at the Adobe Max conference in Los Angeles.
READ MORE - Adobe is trying to increase its reach in the mobile space

Oriental Bank of India (OBC) one of the leading public sector banks in India has invited Online


Oriental Bank of India (OBC) one of the leading public sector banks in India has invited Online Applications from Indian citizens for 1105 recruitment of clerks. The details of vacancies, advt and link to apply online is provided below.

* Clerks : 1105 posts.
* Pay Scale : Rs.4410-13210/-
* Age : Min - 18-28 years.
* Qualification : Degree
* Written test will be conducted on 09/01/2011.

Online application will be open from 25/10/2010 to 24/11/2010 at OBC website.
Application Fee of Rs. 300/- to be deposited at any of the branch of the Oriental Bank of Commerce only in Current A/c No. 00071011002147 from 25/10/2010 to 24/11/2010.

Details are available at https://www.obcindia.co.in/obcnew/upload/recruitmentResult/Advertisement_clerk-2010-11.doc.

Bank deposite slip is available at https://www.obcindia.co.in/obcnew/upload/recruitmentResult/DEPOSIT_RECEIPTCLERKS.doc

Apply online at http://registration.sifyitest.com/obcclerical/
READ MORE - Oriental Bank of India (OBC) one of the leading public sector banks in India has invited Online

Guillermo Rigondeaux gets first taste of the big time


He was perhaps amateur boxing's best kept secret. Regarded as one of the greatest amateur boxers ever, two-time Olympic gold medalist Guillermo Rigondeaux (6-0-0-5KOs) gets his first taste of big time prizefighting when he faces Ricardo Cordoba for the Interim WBA super bantamweight title on November 13 at the undercard of Pacquiao-Margarito in Arlington, Texas.

Rigondeaux is a product of the rich Cuban amateur boxing program, and despite only having six pro fights under his belt, is getting a world title shot due to his stellar amateur resume. Usually, boxers who've only fought a total of 22 rounds as a pro do not get title shots, but Rigondeaux isn't your usual boxer. Trainer Ronnie Shields describes him as "the best fighter he's seen in years," while promoter Bob Arum likens Rigondeaux's unique situation to Leon Spinks. Spinks had eight professional fights when he beat Muhammad Ali for a world title in 1978. Arum also said, "I don’t want this to be misconstrued but the Cuban trainers have produced better fighters than anybody else. And the Cuban Olympians are far more advanced than the Olympians from the United States or any other country. It is obvious to me that their program is far superior, at least it has been. Any other fighter who has Olympic experience we wouldn’t be putting him in his seventh professional fight, but this man (Rigondeaux) is special."

Rigondeaux is a very polished boxer, he takes his time and reads his opponents. Aside from being an excellent ring technician, the Cuban is also lightning fast. At an advanced age of 30, Rigondeaux hopes to make up for lost time and is raring to face all the big names in and around his division. "I feel I can fight anybody at 122. I understand that Caballero has moved on to bigger weights, but any of the champions at 122 I know I am ready for," Rigondeaux said during a media conference call last weekend. Arum chimed in saying "There are so many great fights out there especially with the bantamweights coming up like Montiel and Donaire. There are the 126 guys…Lopez and Gamboa. He fits anyplace. Ronnie Shields says he is ready to fight anybody."

The pros and the amateurs are two different animals though, and his opponent Cordoba, who holds a victory over Celestino Caballero, is no pushover. Hardcore boxing fans will definitely be tuning into Rigondeaux's first major test and together with Kelly Pavlik and Mike Jones, add great value to the Pacquiao-Margarito card. Is Rigondeaux ready for the big time? Or was he simply a great amateur? Answers to come on November 13.
READ MORE - Guillermo Rigondeaux gets first taste of the big time

King Albert II will not abdicate throne


Flemish-language newspaper Het Laatste Nieuws reported that King Albert II of the Belgians had intended to step down in favor of his son, Crown Prince Philippe. The news also reported that the King abandoned the idea because of deepening political uncertainty in the divided nation, caused by the failure to form a new government. However, this week the palace formally denied the rumor and a spokesperson stated that “This issue is not on the agenda” and refused further comment.

The tensions and divides in Belgium between Flanders and French-speaking Wallonia run very deep. Just last week, King Albert named a new negotiator to help form a government after elections last month were inconclusive. Johan Vande Lanotte, the new mediator, was given a "primary objective" of "recreating confidence" in broken-down dialogue between the parties. The King is viewed as a mediator between the seven political parties representing the two groups. The negotiations between the groups faltered again on Monday when a Flemish proposal was rejected. Issues run so deep that questions are arising again whether the Kingdom of Belgium should remain as one country, or be split into three.
READ MORE - King Albert II will not abdicate throne

'Hangover 2': Liam Neeson replaces Mel Gibson in cameo role


Warner Bros. Pictures and director Todd Phillips have announced that Liam Neeson will replace Mel Gibson in the cameo role as a tatoo artist in "Hangover 2."

Gibson reportedly did not have the full support of the cast and crew to appear in the movie after his high-profile custody battle with his ex-girlfriend. Neeson was announced as his replacement and has reportedly already shot his part.

Bradley Cooper, Zach Galifianakis, Justin Bartha and Ed Helms are all set to return for the sequel of the 2009 hit summer blockbuster. The new movie is scheduled for release next summer.
READ MORE - 'Hangover 2': Liam Neeson replaces Mel Gibson in cameo role

Michael Jackson died across the street from Elvis Presley's house : Lisa Marie


Yet another stunning similarity between the King of Rock and Roll and the King of Pop: the house that Michael Jackson died in was across the street from Elvis Presley's former California home.

When Oprah interviewed Lisa Marie Presley on Thursday, Lisa Marie revealed how stunned she was to find out how close both the houses were to each other.

Michael Jackson died at 100 Carolwood Drive in Los Angeles, which sits right next to the border of Beverly Hills at the intersection of Monovale Drive. Jackson started renting the house in January 2009 in the Holmby Hills neighborhood while he prepared for his upcoming This Is It tour. The rent was reportedly $100,000 per month.

Elvis Presley owned the home at 144 Monovale Drive in Beverly Hills from 1970 to 1975. Lisa Marie spent a lot of time growing up there. "I had several birthdays there," she told Oprah.

After Michael Jackson died on June 25, 2009, Lisa Marie, who was in England at the time, returned to California and wanted to drive by the house where her ex-husband, Michael Jackson died. Lisa Marie's mother, Priscilla Presley, told her it was across the street from their former family home, but Lisa Marie didn't believe it, until she saw it for herself.

"What about the irony of that?" Oprah asked.

"I was completely... I don't even know how to describe that-- how that felt," Lisa Marie said. "I don't even know if he [Michael] knew."

"These things keep happening [the similarities between Michael and Elvis] in the universe. I'm trying to learn what it is I need to know," Lisa Marie continued.

Michael Jackson looked up to Elvis as one of the few solo performers Michael could relate to, who reached a similar level of worldwide fame. But Michael also worried about the negative aspects of fame that Elvis experienced.

"He was afraid that he was going to end up like my father," Lisa Marie explained. "He was always asking me about when he [Elvis] died and how it happened and when it happened and where. And he said, 'I feel like I'm going to end up the same way.'"

Lisa admitted that the last year and a half after Michael Jackson's death has helped her find clarity in her relationship/marriage with Michael Jackson: "I understand him more now than I ever did."

"I was very angry [when leaving the marriage]. I was so angry because we were so united and then he pushed me out," Lisa says, explaining that there came a point when Michael chose his drug addiction and various hangers-on over Lisa and the marriage. She said she didn't suspect Jackson's drug use until right before she filed for divorce.

Unfortunately, Michael predicted his own future, dying from a drug overdose while still in his prime, just like Elvis -- and in a house right across the street from The Presleys' former home, no less. As Lisa Marie, who was 9 years old when her father died, compared Michael's death to6441 Elvis Presley's: "...down to the play by play by play incident, it was identical."
READ MORE - Michael Jackson died across the street from Elvis Presley's house : Lisa Marie

Pilot reports sky 'morphs' over Bothell, WA, as UFO moves through dark area

A Washington pilot pulled over along Bothell-Everett Highway in Bothell October 24, 2010, to observe a spot of gray sky beginning to glow, which became brighter, morphed in shape like heat waves, and watched a craft move through its darkest spot, according to testimony from the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) witness reporting database.

When the morphing stopped, the witness watched the craft that seemed to have moved through this area.

"The morphing image gradually diffused until it disappeared, leaving just the craft motionless to the right of where the abnomaly had been," the witness stated. "I had pulled over to watch this incredible sight for about 3 minutes. The craft remained stationary, but was sufficiently far enough away that I could not discern any details of shape, and was too far away to hear anything. As a pilot, I would estimate the distance from me at 5 miles."

The witness is hoping that additional witnesses come forward. The report was filed with MUFON on October 24, 2010.

Washington is a current UFO DEFCON 5 rating.

You can read more details about other recently reported cases at the UFO Examiner home page. Please subscribe so that you are informed as stories are published. The most up-to-date UFO information can be heard at web radio show UFO Traffic Report every Wednesday, 9 - 10:30 p.m. EST, which includes a UFO Witness Protection Program segment, an update of the UFO DEFCON national rating system, and a paranormal segment. Past shows are available at the Archive page.

The following is the unedited and as yet uninvestigated report filed with MUFON. Please keep in mind that most UFO reports can be explained as something natural or manmade. If Georgia MUFON State Director Ralph Howard investigates and reports back on this case, I will release an update. Please report UFO activity to MUFON.com.

WA, October 24, 2010 - Rift opened, craft came through.

I was driving South on Bothell-Everett Highway,a mile from downtown Bothell, with a dark gray sky in front of me. A spot of gray sky started to glow, got brighter, then morphed in shape as if seen through heatwaves. Then, a much darker spot shimmered in the center, and a few seconds later, a craft came through this darker spot, and moved to the right of the now bright spot. The morphing image gradually diffused until it disappeared, leaving just the craft motionless to the right of where the abnomaly had been. I had pulled over to watch this incredible sight for about 3 minutes. The craft remained stationary, but was sufficiently far enough away that I could not discern any details of shape, and was too far away to hear anything. As a pilot, I would estimate the distance from me at 5 miles.

A 747 airliner seemed to pass over this craft on its way into SEATAC airport on the base leg. The craft seemed to descend below the tree line, so I continued driving. As I neared downtown Bothell, it was again visible, just sitting in the same spot as before. Wish I had binoculars in my car. I am going to start carrying a set.

My reaction was at first, one of shock and awe at seeing such an incredible sight. I started to rationalize it as a regular aircraft, but the way the sky seemed to get so bright (when the sky was a thick gray) defies meterology, and the craft which came through, and then just stoped to the right of the anomaly. Very strange, and the way the opening was ver bright, then had such a darker, shimmery center..

I've seen 3 other craft in my lifetime, but this was my first daylight sighting, and it was a real experience. Please let me know if anyone else has seen this?
READ MORE - Pilot reports sky 'morphs' over Bothell, WA, as UFO moves through dark area