Iraq, Syria, Iran form friendly relations

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

24 years ago Iraq and Syria severed diplomatic relations because Syria accused Iraq of giving support to the Muslim Brotherhood who were causing disorder in Syria. Now, as an outcome of meetings between Walid Moallem the Syrian Foreign Minister, the Iraqi President Jalal Talabani and Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, relations will be restored.

Both countries are agreed that the borders between them should be sealed more tightly to prevent the flow of fighters, arms and ammunition to Iraq, Syria saying that Iraq should do more to secure the border than it has been doing lately.

The two countries are agreed that US troops are needed in Iraq at present but that they should leave as soon as they are no longer needed. Syria wants a timetable for the progressive withdrawal of US forces.

The steps needed to establish full diplomatic relations and to open embassies in Baghdad and Damascus are set out in an agreement signed today in Baghdad. Zebari proclaimed “We will hoist the Iraqi flag in Syria and the Syrian flag in Iraq”.

Meanwhile, President Talabani has agreed to meet Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Tehran on Saturday to discuss security matters.

Although the British Prime Minister has been encouraging more positive relations between Iraq and its neighbors, Syria and Iran, the United States has been critical of both of them. Last week, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said she was opposed to including Syria and Iran in talks about security in Iraq. She accused Syria of having aligned itself with “the forces of extremism” and expressed frustration that despite repeated talks with Syria, nothing seems to have influenced their behavior. Regarding Iran, she said she could see nothing in its behavior that suggested it could contribute to stability in the area. She expressed the view that Iraq must take more responsibility for its own security.

Today, the White House welcomed the news of the rapprochement between Syria and Iraq. The spokesman for the US National Security Council saying “We’ve always encouraged Iraq’s neighbors to take a role in supporting and assisting the unity government in Iraq”.

President Bush met the Iraq Study Group, headed by former secretary of state James Baker on Monday. The Democrats in the Group said that, in order to encourage the Iraqi government to face its responsibilities, there should be a phased withdrawal of US troops from Iraq, starting now. The President rejected this suggestion, remarking that this was a military matter and depended upon the situation on the ground.

Recommendations from the bi-partisan study Group are expected to be delivered to the President and Congress sometime in December this year. The group is composed of five Democrats and five Republicans.

FEMA accused of misusing trained disaster workers as public-relations workers

Monday, September 12, 2005

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is being criticized for misallocation of personnel in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. FEMA representatives said they requested volunteers from fire departments around the U.S., to handle its community relations campaign. However, a document FEMA sent to local fire departments asked for firefighters with very specific skills and who were capable of working in “austere conditions”. Fire departments around the nation responded by sending crews to the FEMA staging ground in Atlanta. Some of these crews were unaware that they were only going to be used for public relations work. Others, however, merely hoped that FEMA would allocate them to rescue and damage control operations once it saw their qualifications.

The firefighter’s objections are particularly poignant as one of FEMA public relations training seminars coincided with New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin plea for firefighters on national television, to relieve his own exhausted crews. It is unclear if FEMA’s request for firefighters prevented any municipalities from responding to Mayor Nagin’s request.

Some firefighters have objected to their use as FEMA public relations officers because their municipalities must bear the cost of their salaries, as well as endure reduced firefighting capacity. FEMA has stated that it sought to use firefighters to avoid background checks required of federal employees.

Firefighters began receiving their assignments Monday, September 5th. Among these was a crew of 50 assigned to tour the devastated areas with President Bush and the press.

“Maximum Exposure On Low Cost Internet Ad” (Make The Most Of A Low Cost Internet Advertising Method)

By Kirsten Hawkins

Advertising had long since been a major determinant of a business’ success. This would include the presentation of the product / service to the consumers. What really matters is how it is presented to the target market to be able to capture it.

Whatever the package, the ad media also plays a great role in determining the success of the product or service awareness.

What may be its advantages over other proven medium like the best-selling TV ads?

Advantages:

1. Low Cost

Eventhough the Internet ad might be viewed as “classy” or far-reaching, as compared to other medium, this is far cheaper than most. Internet Ad Packages are offered for as low as $29.99 for a one-month run-time period.

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2. Capture market

Should your product / service aim to cater to the younger generation or the corporate-oriented ones, Internet ad would be best since they would always be “hooked-up” into the net surfing sites that might have a link to your very own. Result, a great number of “hits” on your site!

2. Hassle free

All you would ever really need is a PC (and some knowledge and bright ideas in forming your site) wherein you could open your site, search for the best Internet Ad package, and check / update the status of your ad. You may actually never have to leave your home to advertise!

3. Updated ads

Unlike the TV ads that need to be updated on a regular basis, Internet ads may run for quite some time without the need for change. If so, change in the site is very minimal and may be done easily at home.

Disadvantages:

1. Scope

Limited market may be captured if one would solely use the Internet Ad for advertising. Although most people now are into the use of technology, i.e. surfing the Internet, still, majority of the average consumers still relies on the old form of advertising as a means of gathering information about certain products / service.

2. Additional cost

If one would enlist the help of another professional or establishment to produce the site for their product or service, this would entail additional costs on the part of the entrepreneur.

Given the stated list of advantages and disadvantages about low-coast Internet Ad, an entrepreneur may now weigh in its applicability to his / her product or service.

The aim of Internet ad is to offer the widest range or “Maximum Exposure” of the brand at the least possible cost. Now, does that not sound good or what?

About the Author: Kirsten Hawkins is an online marketing specialist concentrating in affiliate marketing and viral marketing techniques. Visit

quickadsense.com/

for more information on affiliate marketing and other online advertising.

Source:

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Iraqi activist forced to change t-shirt with Arabic peace slogan

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Raed Jarrar, an Iraqi peace activist who lives in the United States, was forced to change his T-Shirt, which bore an Arabic slogan, because it was found “offensive”.

The incident took place in JFK airport in New York. The activist Jarrar reported in his blog RaedInTheMiddle that he had checked-in his bags and was issued a boarding pass. After waiting near the gate to board his jetBlue airlines flight, and after having to gone through a secondary search, two officials approached him.

“People are feeling offended because of your t-shirt,” Raed reported that one of the men said to him. The writings on the T-Shirt said in both Arabic and English: “We will not be silent”.

Raed asked why this has offended anyone, and insisted his right to freedom of expression was violated.

According to Jarrar, one of the inspectors said, “You can’t wear a T-shirt with Arabic script and come to an airport. It is like wearing a t-shirt that reads ‘I am a robber’ and going to a bank”. The airport official, unable to read Arabic, was unyielding to protests by Jarrar that the English language version of the Arabic was accurate, and suggested he wear the shirt inside out.

“Many people called and complained about your t-shirt. Jetblue customers were calling before you reached the checkpoint, and customers called when you were waiting here in the boarding area”, Jarrar was told after he complained.

One employee from JetBlue offered to buy Jarrar a T-shirt to replace the one he was wearing, since the activist had none other after his bags were checked. Refusing at first, he agreed to wear one with “New York” written on it.

The officer on the scene commented that it need not have gone from one extreme to the other: wearing a T-Shirt with an Arabic peace slogan on it, to wearing one with ‘New York’. There is no reason to hate New York if you are an Arab speaking peace activist, according to Jarrar.

“I feel very sad that my personal freedom was taken away like this. I grew up under authoritarian governments in the Middle East, and one of the reasons I chose to move to the U.S. was that I don’t want an officer to make me change my t-shirt. I will pursue this incident today through a constitutional rights organization, and I am sure we will meet soon,” Raed said.

He was issued another boarding pass, with a different seat at the back of the plane.

JetBlue said it was investigating the incident but a spokeswoman said: “We’re not clear exactly what happened.” The spokeswoman also said the airline does not forbid Arabic T-shirts, but that it does take into account the concerns of its passengers.

The American-Arab Anti-discrimination Committee said the US Transportation Department and the Transportation Security Administration were also investigating the incident after the committee lodged complaints on behalf of Jarrar.

“We Will Not Be Silent” is a slogan adopted by opponents of the war in Iraq and other conflicts in the Middle East.

It is said to derive from the White Rose dissident group which opposed Nazi rule in Germany.

Eyewitness account: from the streets of Bangkok

Thursday, September 21, 2006

A businessman currently representing his place of employment in Thailand has left the following eyewitness account for Wikinews:

“How safe are the streets of Bangkok? As a somewhat nervous US citizen holed up in a hotel room in this massive South Asian metropolis, I decided to venture forth and see for myself. For courage as much as anything, I walked with my close friend and business partner, who like me, hails from San Diego, California.
“I left my suite at the Royal River Hotel and walked down Soi Charansandwong, the narrow street that leads from the hotel to the busy road that crosses the city and shortly thereafter, the Chao Phraya River, known as the ‘River of Kings.’
“Thailand does, indeed, love their kings, or particularly, their current King. Evidence of this is clear: at least a third of the people walking on the streets wear the ‘King Shirt,’ a bright yellow shirt that bears the crest of the King.
“Even newsreaders on the local television news can sometimes be seen wearing the yellow shirt as a showing of support for the King.
“Leaving the alleyway, we walked to the busy Thonburi district. Immediately, I could see a group of soldiers, some standing, others sitting, along a sidewalk on the main street. They had set up a check point, but I saw but one vehicle stopped, a beat up truck that appeared to have come in from the countryside, loaded with fruit.
“We passed all the various businesses along the street as we walked, all open and apparently unaffected by the Coup.
“Walking slowly down to where the soldiers were and smiling at them as we walked, we approached the man who appeared to be the commanding officer. He smiled back and asked us where we were from. He was a bit business like at first, but this was a man who had a job to do, of course. What his overall job was, I am not sure. It appears that the military, for the most part, is present as a show of support and to act if any anti-Coup action should take place. Perhaps they are merely present to keep the peace.
“My friend noticed that the soldiers appeared to be uncomfortable in their uniforms, not the most comfortable clothing to wear in the hot and humid world that is Bangkok.
“Each soldier, unable to wear a yellow shirt and stay in uniform, instead bore a yellow ribbon of support for the King, usually tied to his rifle.
“Walking back to a small stand, we purchased twenty bottles of cold drinks and returned to the soldiers and handed them to the officer in charge. He smiled and accepted the offering and handed them out to his men.
“As we continued to walk down the sidewalk, three women came out of their shop, one wearing a yellow king shirt, and they thanked us for the gesture.
“The streets of Bangkok, otherwise, appeared completely normal in all respects. Street vendors hawked various items of food, car shops were installing high tech stereo systems and dogs, here and there, sat quietly in whatever shady spot they could find.
“We crossed the street and walked down an alleyway to the nearest Temple. Walking on the cool, green grounds of the Temple complex, the Coup felt like it was a million miles distant. Bowing and placing our palms together, we greeted a monk on the grounds who was trimming a hedge. Despite the Coup, Bangkok seemingly remains peaceful in all respects. We could smell the delightful scent of freshly cut grass.
“Earlier, I asked the doorman at the Royal River Hotel what he thought about the Coup. ‘We needed it, ” he smiled, “things were too corrupt. Don’t worry. It should all be over in three days or so.’
“Perhaps. But, certainly, I felt no danger on the street from the army or from anyone I encountered. Returning to Soi Charansandwong, I approached an ATM and withdrew a couple of hundred dollars worth of Baht, the currency of Thailand, with my US bank issued card.
“Money in hand, I entered a tailor shop and sat down with the shop manager, who was from India, and ordered a new suit to be made. As he measured me, I asked if business had been slowed due to the Coup. ‘No, not at all. I sold a suit today to another American, as a matter of fact.’ He promised me that my suit, which included two pairs of pants and two custom made dress shirts, would be ready early the next morning.
“We left the alleyway and once again walked down the busy road. The commanding officer gave us a very big smile this time as we passed him and several of the soldiers gave smaller, shy smiles as we passed. Encouraged, we once again popped into a small shop and bought additional soft drinks to hand out.”
This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.
This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.

Taiwan’s “Doritos Coolpedia” website announces top “Internet Quote”

Friday, November 2, 2007

“Among men, La-La; among horses, Red Hare” (In Chinese: ?????????) was recently elected as the “Best Internet Cool Quote”.

Laa-Laa refers to the yellow character from the Teletubbies television series, and Red Hare refers to military general Lü Bu’s horse during China’s Three Kingdoms period.

The quote was given its title after a two-week voting period, that started on October 14 until PepsiCo Taiwan & Doritos announced “Top 10 Internet Cool Quote” on October 31. Voting was on the Doritos Coolpedia website, which started on September 28.

Voting attracted more than 10,000 Internet users from 64 countries participating and electing.

Coolpedia is a portal for teens and young adults to share and contribute their creations, and interact.

At the announcement event was the famous Taiwanese band “MACHI Brothers” (MACHI). Described by Pepsico as a symbol of younger people in the presence of the e-Century in Taiwan, MACHI serves as spokespeople for the website. Members of band dressed in different “Cool Quote T-Shirts” to symbolize the “unlimited creation” of Coolpedia.

On November 1, Coolpedia launched a website for a “Cool Video Award” contest, with the slogan “No pictures, no truth!”. PepsiCo Taiwan has suggested that the site will be a major Web 2.0 site.

Creating Wonderful Wood Furniture Projects Quickly And Easily}

Submitted by: Aron Farnando

Producing magnificent wood furnishings schemes rapidly and with no trouble is within your clutch all you require to have is a superior set of tactics, they are your direct to achievement. I have been woodworking for an extended era and I can prove to the information that an elegant woodworking diagram guides to a premium quality finished creation. None of us desire to obtain our precious time to construct things and not have they revolve out as well as we predictable.

All schemes need a superior set of tactics and all first-class plans have sure qualities you should seem for. They should be obvious and brief with commands that are simple to appreciate and pursue. There should be a quantity of comprehensive diagrams that portray dissimilar phases in the building course so you can observe what the scheme is hypothetical to look like at every phase of building

More than the years I have applied a vast amount of sources to obtain plans for my wood furnishings assignments, books, periodical and other woodworkers. Books and periodical are a fine resource, but I discover in several cases the tactics are just too little to be study easily and the big I get the harder they are to examine.

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The most excellent position though that I have establish is the Internet. That is where I originate enormous strategies for wood furnishings projects. They assemble the entire decisive factor we have set out for precision and ease of employ. They as well come with the lot of additional characteristics. There are quantities of extremely accommodating videos that direct you during dissimilar wood furnishings projects.

Preserving Your Wood Furniture

A subject that has frequently faced those who possess wood furnishings has to accomplish with the hazards of their furnishings becoming injured if they situate it in a region where it might be at danger in a few ways. This pretense somewhat of a quandary since furnishings is hypothetical to be utilized of-course, and has been intended for this reason. Yet a human being might be additional wary if they have exhausted a great contract of cash on their quantity it might be a traditional or a piece of fashionable furniture, for instance.

It is completely comprehensible that the proprietor of a prized part of furnishings would not desire to put it in a location of danger. If there are kids in the house, there is a superior danger of it getting injured. The proprietor of the furnishings quite correctly would like to protect and preserve the fine condition of their part of furnishings, which not simply looks pleasant, but serves a realistic reason too.

So, how to conquer the complexities of trying to preserve the functionality of your furnishings whilst protecting the superiority and stylishness of your appreciated part?

Please make sure when onslaught that you do not glide objects crossways the wooden exteriors of your furnishings. Lifting substance up in its place of sliding them out of the means will put off any hideous marks or scrapes from scarring your fashionable, upholstered or modified furnishings.

So there were a few instructions to assist you protecting the excellence and sheen of your prized wooden properties for numerous years after primary exports them.

About the Author: For more information you can visit our website:

deskhive.net

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Funding gap forces library closures in Jackson County, Oregon

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Due to a US$23 million budget shortfall, all public libraries in Jackson County, Oregon are scheduled to close April 6. The U.S. Congress did not renew the Secure Rural Schools and Self-Determination Act, which replaces property tax revenues with revenue sharing from timber harvests. Jackson County used the revenue to pay for libraries and sherriff’s patrols. Voters rejected a property tax increase last November. A similar increase will appear on the May ballot; such increases must pass a double-majority vote: a majority of county voters must turn out for the election, and a majority of those must support the increase.

Supporters hope the measure will pass this time. “Many people didn’t believe we were going to close libraries.” said County Commissioner C.W. Smith. The Ashland City Council has said it would find a funding solution to keep their branch of the library open; other cities have not made similar statements. Some alternative funding solutions, such as charging subscription fees, have been considered. However, charging fees for access to libraries is illegal in Oregon.

Jackson County is located in Southern Oregon, and has a population of 181,000. The Jackson County Library System consists of 15 branches.

Fiery collision between prison van and truck kills seven in Alabama, US

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Six applicants to join the Alabama Department of Corrections and their driver have been killed after the prison van they were traveling in collided with an 18-wheeled truck. Both vehicles burned at the scene.

Andrew David Carter, who was driving the Lewis Trucking Company truck with a cargo of treated lumber, escaped the wreck without serious injury. He was briefly hospitalised and released. The deceased have been identified as driver Rodney Kelley, and applicants Julius Erving Douier, Lionel Michael Moore, John Henry Foye Jr., Brandon Jamaal Anglin, Henry Louis Simmons, and Derrick Lamar Ivey. The oldest victim was 45 and the youngest nearly 19.

The wreck occurred on Alabama’s Route 82 near Bullock County, having left Bullock Correctional Facility to travel to Draper Correctional Facility in Elmore County for mental and physical fitness tests on the passengers before employment with the state.

The road was closed for eight hours while bodies and wreckage were recovered. As well as the van and the truck cab, part of the trucks cargo and several hundred square feet of nearby timber land were consumed by the fire. An investigation is ongoing, but it appears that the truck crossed the center line and there are no skid marks present.

The relatives of the victims will be offered counseling by the Department of Corrections.

Cambridge, Mass., city council recommends construction firm W. R. Grace remain under DEP supervision for asbestos contamination

Sunday, April 10, 2005

 Correction — May 24, 2008 This article refers to the “US Department of Environmental Protection (DEP)”, though the term “Department of Environmental Protection” actually refers to state agencies, and in this case refers to the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, not a United States federal agency. 

The Cambridge city council adopted a resolution on April 4 to request that the US Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) “take explicit account” of the activities of local construction firm W. R. Grace, which has previously contaminated an industrial area near the Alewife train station with asbestos. The council cited Grace’s “extraordinarily extensive and well-documented history of contaminating sites and concealing the contamination” as the reason for its request.

The resolution was a reaction to a Response Action Outcome Statement and Risk Characterization (RAO) that W. R. Grace filed with the DEP. The Cambridge Chronicle recently took the filing as evidence that “the state seems poised to stop watching over” the contaminated site.

In February, W.R. Grace was indicted by a federal grand jury for contamination as a product of vermiculite mining operations in Libby, Montana, USA. The company was also charged with “concealing information about the health affects [sic] of its asbestos mining operations.”