Rove to leave White House

August 13th, 2007

WASHINGTON – Karl Rove, President Bush‘s close friend and chief political strategist, plans to leave the White House at the end of August, joining a lengthening line of senior officials heading for the exits in the final 1 1/2 years of the administration.

On board with Bush since the beginning of his political career in Texas, Rove was nicknamed “the architect” and “boy genius” by the president for designing the strategy that twice won him the White House. Critics call Rove “Bush’s brain.”

A criminal investigation put Rove under scrutiny for months during the investigation into the leak of a CIA operative’s name but he was never charged with any crime. In a more recent controversy, Rove, citing executive privilege, has refused to testify before Congress about the firing of U.S. attorneys.

Bush was expected to make a statement Monday with Rove. Later Monday, Rove, his wife and their son were to accompany Bush on Air Force One when the president flies to Texas for his vacation.

Rove’s departure reinforces Bush’s lame-duck stature and declining influence, particularly with Democrats in control on Capitol hill.

“Obviously it’s a big loss to us,” White House deputy press secretary Dana Perino said. “He’s a great colleague, a good friend, and a brilliant mind. He will be greatly missed, but we know he wouldn’t be going if he wasn’t sure this was the right time to be giving more to his family, his wife Darby and their son. He will continue to be one of the president’s greatest friends.”

Since Democrats won control of Congress in November, some top administration officials have announced their resignations. Among those who have left are White House counselor Dan Bartlett, budget director Rob Portman, chief White House attorney Harriet Miers, political director Sara Taylor, deputy national security adviser J.D. Crouch and Meghan O’Sullivan, another deputy national security adviser who worked on Iraq. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld was forced out immediately after the election as the unpopular war in Iraq dragged on.

Rove became one of Washington’s most influential figures during Bush’s presidency. He is known as a ruthless political warrior who has an encyclopedic command of political minutiae and a wonkish love of policy. Rove met Bush in the early 1970s, when both men were in their 20s.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/rove_resigning

Early 2007 saw record-breaking extreme weather: U.N.

August 8th, 2007

GENEVA (Reuters) – The world experienced a series of record-breaking weather events in early 2007, from flooding in Asia to heatwaves in Europe and snowfall in South Africa, the United Nations weather agency said on Tuesday.

The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said global land surface temperatures in January and April were likely the warmest since records began in 1880, at more than 1 degree Celsius higher than average for those months.

There have also been severe monsoon floods across South Asia, abnormally heavy rains in northern Europe, China, Sudan, Mozambique and Uruguay, extreme heatwaves in southeastern Europe and Russia, and unusual snowfall in South Africa and South America this year, the WMO said.

“The start of the year 2007 was a very active period in terms of extreme weather events,” Omar Baddour of the agency’s World Climate Program told journalists in Geneva.

While most scientists believe extreme weather events will be more frequent as heat-trapping carbon dioxide emissions cause global temperatures to rise, Baddour said it was impossible to say with certainty what the second half of 2007 will bring.

“It is very difficult to make projections for the rest of the year,” he said.

HEALTH CRISIS

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a U.N. umbrella group of hundreds of experts, has noted an increasing trend in extreme weather events over the past 50 years and said irregular patterns are likely to intensify.

South Asia’s worst monsoon flooding in recent memory has affected 30 million people in India, Bangladesh and Nepal, destroying croplands, livestock and property and raising fears of a health crisis in the densely-populated region.

Heavy rains also doused southern China in June, with nearly 14 million people affected by floods and landslides that killed 120 people, the WMO said.

England and Wales this year had their wettest May and June since records began in 1766, resulting in extensive flooding and more than $6 billion in damage, as well as at least nine deaths. Germany swung from its driest April since country-wide observations started in 1901 to its wettest May on record.

Mozambique suffered its worst floods in six years in February, followed by a tropical cyclone the same month, and flooding of the Nile River in June caused damage in Sudan.

Uruguay had its worst flooding since 1959 in May.

Huge swell waves swamped some 68 islands in the Maldives in May, resulting in severe damage, and the Arabian Sea had its first documented cyclone in June, touching Oman and Iran.

Temperature records were broken in southeastern Europe in June and July, and in western and central Russia in May. In many European countries, April was the warmest ever recorded.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20070807/wl_nm/weather_un_extreme_dc;_ylt=AsYvLfNDuectwLTnPkaRPZVAr7sF

Bonds makes history with 756th home run

August 8th, 2007

SAN FRANCISCO – For one spectacular moment, Barry Bonds and everybody cheering him could forget about the controversy surrounding his chase and appreciate the phenomenal feat: 756.

Nobody in the majors — not Hank Aaron, not Babe Ruth — has ever hit more home runs than the San Francisco star.

On Tuesday night, in his home ballpark, it didn’t matter how many of them might have been fueled by steroids or performance-enhancers. Bonds has the title of home run king all to himself, ending Aaron’s 33-year reign.

“This record is not tainted at all. At all. Period,” Bonds said.

And more than 43,000 adoring Giants fans, including his godfather, Hall of Famer Willie Mays, surely agreed.

Bonds raised both arms over his head like a prize fighter in victory, fists clenched — and then he took off. It was over at long last.

Bonds did it with a shot to the deepest part of the ballpark with one out in the fifth inning against Washington’s Mike Bacsik.

Bonds sent the 84-mph fastball arcing high into the night, 435 feet into the right-center field seats. And then, the celebration began in force — fireworks, streamers, banners commemorating the accomplishment, and even a party in McCovey Cove.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070808/ap_on_sp_ba_ga_su/bbn_bonds756

7 Killed in Minneapolis Bridge Collapse

August 2nd, 2007

MINNEAPOLIS – An interstate bridge jammed with rush-hour traffic suddenly broke into huge sections and collapsed into the Mississippi River Wednesday, pitching dozens of cars 60 feet into the water and killing at least seven people.

The eight-lane Interstate 35W bridge, a major Minneapolis artery, was in the midst of being repaired and two lanes in each direction were closed when the bridge buckled. About 20 families gathered at an information center, looking for information on loved ones they couldn’t locate.

“There were two lanes of traffic, bumper to bumper, at the point of the collapse. Those cars did go into the river,” said Minneapolis Police Lt. Amelia Huffman. “At this point there is nothing to suggest that this was anything other than a structural collapse.”

By 1 a.m. Thursday, Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek said all search efforts had been called off for the night and that searchers did not expect to find any survivors.

“It’s dark, it’s not safe with the currents in the water and the concrete and rebar,” he said. “At this point it is a recovery effort.”

Jamie Winegar of Houston was sitting in traffic shortly after 6 p.m. when all of a sudden she started hearing “boom, boom, boom and we were just dropping, dropping, dropping, dropping.”

The car she was riding in landed on top of a smaller car but did not fall into the water. She said her nephew yelled, “‘It’s an earthquake!’ and then we realized the bridge was collapsing.”

Minneapolis Fire Chief Jim Clack said 60 people were taken to area hospitals for treatment and that the death toll could rise.

Rescuers called off the search as nightfall made it too dangerous to search the waters, which were filled with chucks of the mangled bridge and at least 50 vehicles in the water.

“We think there are several more vehicles in the river we can’t see yet,” Clack said, adding that the likelihood of finding survivors was slim.

Authorities referred family members searching for missing loved ones to a nearby hotel, where the Red Cross had set up operations.

Dr. Joseph Clinton, emergency medical chief at Hennepin County Medical Center, said his hospital treated 28 injured people — including six who were in critical condition.

Clinton said at least one of the victims had drowned.

The Homeland Security Department also said the collapse did not appear to be terrorism-related. The National Transportation Safety Board planned to send a team of investigators to Minneapolis, NTSB spokesman Ted Lopatkiewicz said.

Gov. Tim Pawlenty said the bridge was inspected by the Minnesota Department of Transportation in 2005 and 2006 and that no structural problems were noted. “There were some minor things that needed attention,” he said.

Police Chief Tim Dolan said officers were checking other bridges as a precaution.

The steel-arched bridge, which was built in 1967, rose about 64 feet above the river and stretched about 1,900 feet across the river. The bridge was built with a single 458-foot-long steel arch to avoid putting any piers in the water that might interfere with river navigation.

A burning truck and a school bus clung to one slanted slab. The bus had just crossed the bridge before it crumpled into pieces.

Christine Swift’s 10-year-old daughter, Kaleigh, was on the bus returning from a field trip and called her mother. “She was screaming, ‘The bridge collapsed!’” Swift said.

She said a police officer told her all the kids got off the bus safely.

It appeared that the center section of the bridge dropped straight down and pancaked in the middle of the river, leaving several vehicles stranded on a broken island of wreckage. As divers plumbed the waters, other rescuers searched frantically for victims amid broken, zigzagged sections of blacktop. Some of the injured were carried up the riverbanks.

Dozens of vehicles were scattered and stacked on top of each other amid the rubble. Some people were stranded on parts of the bridge that weren’t completely in the water.

Many motorists may have been headed to the Minnesota Twins game not far from the bridge. Team officials decided to play the game after conferring with department of public safety officials. It was decided that sending 20,000 to 25,000 people back into traffic could hinder rescue efforts, said team president Dave St. Peter.

Catherine Yankelevich survived a 1994 earthquake in Northridge, Calif., and was on the I-35W bridge when it began to shake. “Cars started flying and I was falling and saw the water,” she said. After her car plunged into the river, she climbed out the driver’s side window and swam to shore uninjured.

Road crews had been working on the 40-year-old bridge’s deck, joints, guardrails and lights this week. “None of it would be related to the structure,” said Bob McFarlin, assistant to Minnesota Transportation Commissioner Carol Molnau.

The bridge was scheduled for inspection this fall, he said.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070802/ap_on_re_us/minnesota_bridge_collapse;_ylt=Atfjz1FSWbVVmgl7p0qlaspH2ocA

U.S. military deaths in Iraq at 3,616

July 18th, 2007

As of Tuesday, July 17, 2007, at least 3,616 members of the U.S. military have died since the beginning of the Iraq war in March 2003, according to an Associated Press count. The figure includes seven military civilians. At least 2,969 died as a result of hostile action, according to the military’s numbers.

The AP count is three more than the Defense Department’s tally, last updated Tuesday at 10 a.m. EDT.

The British military has reported 159 deaths; Italy, 33; Ukraine, 18; Poland, 20; Bulgaria, 13; Spain, 11; Denmark, seven; El Salvador, five; Slovakia, four; Latvia, three; Estonia, Netherlands, Thailand, two each; and Australia, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Romania, South Korea, one death each.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070717/ap_on_re_mi_ea/iraq_us_deaths;_ylt=Amk4vV58E.4pgJuQmwD9b4NvaA8F

iPhone filled with iCandy that users will gobble up

July 2nd, 2007

By Eric Benderoff
Tribune staff reporter
Published July 2, 2007

After spending a weekend with Apple Inc.’s new iPhone, here’s what I think: iLike.

I’m compelled to touch the phone and watch as my collection of digital content, with nearly 500 photos and 1,000-plus songs loaded onto an 8-gigabyte version, strolls by with the swipe of a finger.

It’s a fun and fanciful device, combining a heaping dose of iCandy with a practicality I have yet to see from a smart phone.

I don’t think it’s enough to call this a smart phone. It’s a personal phone that reflects your tastes — music, movies and photos — better than any mobile device on the market today.

If a BlackBerry identifies you as a busy, important person who needs access to e-mail at all times, the iPhone defines you as an individual with distinct cultural tastes in music, photography and video.

Everywhere I went with the iPhone, people wanted to touch it, to see if it was as cool as Apple’s advertising made it seem. Non-techies in particular wanted to play with the device; like me, they were amazed. There are a number of phones that can do much of what the iPhone can — and more, in some cases — yet none do so as simply or as well.

The most notable feature, and noticeable in every usage aspect, is how visual the iPhone is.

A visual treat for users

When receiving a call from someone in your contact list, that person’s picture pops up alongside his or her name (in big, easy-to-read type) and a box to tap for answering the call or one to dismiss it. If you hit dismiss, it goes to voice mail.

The other visual treat is the phone’s function as an iPod. Simply put, it’s the best iPod I’ve ever used (and I’ve tried them all) and the first one where I realized that having album art on your iPod does make a difference.

When I first “synced” the iPhone, some of my songs had artwork but most did not. That made the visual scanning of the music boring, with only a few bits of album art scattered among many more blank pages. Then I downloaded the album art through an iTunes function and synced the iPhone again. Wow.

Using your finger to scroll through the album art is akin to skimming through a crate of old vinyl albums, it gives context to the music, something that is lacking in today’s age of digital music files.

 

www.chicagotribune.com/business/chi-mon_iphone0702jul02,0,6366265.story?track=rss

Paris Hilton back behind bars in LA

June 10th, 2007

Paris Hilton awoke Saturday behind bars again in a maximum security detention center where the distraught hotel heiress was believed to be undergoing medical and psychiatric evaluations. Hilton, in tears and screaming for her mother, was taken to the downtown Twin Towers detention center Friday after a judge ordered her back to jail, ending her brief stint under house arrest at her Hollywood Hills home.

The evaluations will help determine the best jail to keep her in as she serves the rest of her sentence for violating probation in a reckless driving case.

A day earlier, “The Simple Life” star had been escorted from the courtroom shouting “It’s not right!”

Hilton’s lawyers sought to keep her out of jail on grounds that the 26-year-old was suffering an unspecified medical condition. Superior Court Judge Michael T. Sauer suggested that could be taken care of at jail medical facilities.

Los Angeles County sheriff’s spokesman Steve Whitmore declined to discuss details of Hilton’s case Saturday, including the state of her medical evaluations, citing laws against revealing such information on inmates.

“All I can say, as with all the inmates in this facility, they are monitored continuously,” Whitmore said.

Although Whitmore wouldn’t discuss Hilton’s condition, Sheriff Lee Baca indicated at a news conference Friday that it was psychological.

He said she arrived at her original jail with a condition he hadn’t been apprised of and that it immediately began to deteriorate to the point that he feared for her safety.

“When you’re talking about psychological problems it’s far more complex and it does require a more complex medical approach,” Baca said. “We didn’t have all of our information.”

When she went to Twin Towers, Baca said he was placing Hilton in a “better facility for her condition, meaning one that has a more intense form of medical support.” He said she’d be kept under close watch to ensure “that there isn’t anything harmful done to herself by herself, which is a great concern to me.”

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070610/ap_on_en_tv/paris_hilton_209

Lies, Betrayal, and the War on Terror

June 7th, 2007

By Paul Davis Platinum Quality AuthorOn April 26, 1999, President Bush’s father, not only a former President himself but also former Director of CIA, spoke at the ceremonial rededication of CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia, which would henceforth be known as the George Bush Center for Intelligence. Referring to those who would expose clandestine officers, he said, “I have nothing but contempt and anger for those who betray the trust by exposing the name of our sources. They are, in my view, the most insidious of traitors.”

When the White House leaked Ambassador Joseph Wilson’s wife Valerie Plame’s identity because of sixteen words he disputed in their bogus allegation concerning weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, the present Bush administration breached national security. Agency operative Plame should not have been jeopardized because of a personal disagreement Vice President Cheney and “Scooter” Libby had with her husband Ambassador Wilson.

The State Department itself acknowledged the United States had been fooled by the forged documents. There was no truth to the Niger uranium claim. President Bush’s prewar intelligence preceding a preemptive attack on Iraq was highly inaccurate. The Bush administration’s attempt to disclose Plame’s identity and blow her clandestine cover was criminal. Putting a national security asset out of commission during a time of war demonstrated this administration’s loyalty to its own and misplaced priorities pertaining to that which is good for the homeland.

The cherry picking and massaging of intelligence by the White House prior to the declaration of war on Iraq reveals a longstanding policy decision they had predetermined to pursue. Now that the Bush administration has got what they want in regard to Iraq, they no longer want what they’ve got.

More than 3,100 American soldiers have been killed, tens of thousands of innocent Iraqis have been slain, and nearly 100,000 Iraqis have fled across the Syrian border to take refuge abroad. All the while America’s enemies have grown exponentially worldwide as we throw our military might around in Iraq. Meanwhile in Afghanistan, where suicide bombing once was unthinkable to Muslims in the region, that culture of prohibition has since eroded. Now Afghans are learning from Iraqis in their tactical use of IEDs and employing suicide bombers similarly in Afghanistan against America and NATO troops.

Ironically the war on terror has worked in reverse as to the way it was intended and declared to go. CIA resources have been increasingly redirected away from Afghanistan to Iraq, which has enabled the Taliban to make a comeback. Meanwhile we no longer have enough field personnel in Pakistan to look for Bin Laden. Hence the war in Iraq, birthed by poor and misused intelligence, has hindered and shortchanged the fight against al Qaeda. Taliban raids have weakened the Pakistani army into truce agreements in 2005 and 2006, resulting in Pakistan’s government scaling back military operations. This has given the Taliban a free hand allowing them to rebound and return even stronger.

Our improper use of intelligence, misappropriation of American troops, and redirected focus to Iraq has greatly hindered our success in Afghanistan allowing for a resurgence of the Taliban and al Qaeda. Our unwillingness to scrutinize the accuracy of intelligence prior to going to war with Iraq has far reaching consequences for which we will pay dearly throughout the next decade. The Bush administration has endangered American citizens abroad and at home by reason of its poor handling of intelligence and covert agents.

Paul Davis is a FL real estate professional, life coach (relational & professional), worldwide minister, and change master.

Paul is the author of several books including Breakthrough for a Broken Heart; Adultery: 101 Reasons Not to Cheat; Are You Ready for True Love; Stop Lusting & Start Living; Waves of God; Supernatural Fire; Poems that Propel the Planet; and God vs. Religion.

Paul’s compassion for people & passion to travel has taken him to over 50 countries of the world where he has had a tremendous impact. Paul has served in many war-torn, impoverished and tsunami stricken regions of the earth. His Dream-Maker Inc. is building dreams, breaking limitations & reviving nations.

Paul’s Breakthrough Seminars inspire, revive, awaken, impregnate with purpose, impart the fire of desire, catapult people into a new level of self-awareness, facilitate destiny discovery and dream fulfillment.

Contact Paul to minister, speak at your event or for life coaching: RevivingNations@yahoo.com, 407-284-1705.

For additional info: DreamMakerMinistries.com CreativeCommunications.TV

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Paul_Davis

Pictures and Cell Phone Video of Paris Hilton in Jail Already on the Internet

June 6th, 2007

By L. Winslow Platinum Quality AuthorThe paparazzi has out done themselves this time as they have snuck a cell phone with a video camera on it into the LA County Jail. One paparazzi stated on MSN that he believed that the amount of money that this video and the digital pictures might bring could be upwards of a few hundred thousand dollars and this is the picture of a lifetime for the would-be paparazzi.

The Sheriff says that they will be on the look out for anyone trying to sneak in any micro cameras or cell phones, unfortunately for him they are already there on the inside and got there inside a human being too. Will the pictures and cell phone video of Paris Hilton injail be on the Internet soon and what sort of a price tag will it garner? Will people pay to see the video on the Internet? What sort of price might that be? Pay-per-view Internet style.

Paris Hilton is a big-time celebrity of our day and it is amazing the lengths some people will go to snap an extra un-authorized photo of her. Of course the Sheriff will most likely prosecute who ever tries to the full extent of the law and they will be doing more time then Paris Hilton her self.

When can we expect these photos and videos on the Internet? Well some already are, but they are not real. The real digital pictures and videos will be forth coming and certainly available to all before she even gets out.

L. Winslow is an Economic Advisor to the Online Think Tank, a Futurist and retired entreprenuer http://www.worldthinktank.net . Currently he is planning a bicycle ride across the US to raise money for charity and is sponsored by http://www.Calling-Plans.com and all the proceeds will go to various charities who sign up.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=L._Winslow

 

Skateparks and Skateboard Parks of the Future – Low-Tech Changes

June 5th, 2007

A study has just been completed by an online think tank, which seems to indicate that Skateboard Parks are changing and still evolving. There will be many high-tech changes and uses of technologies at these facilities, but there will be low-tech changes too.

Significant changes also on the low-tech side of skateboard parks and Hover Board Parks of the future must be considered as well. For instance they will double as rain-water collection areas, where the water will run off thru simple filtration systems to be used for cleaning, farming and other important uses.

In fact these concepts are already emerging as Architects and AIAs are considering the issues with challenges in future water supply. Water shortages in urban areas and growing suburbs as populations increase will be over-taxed to the breaking point. The Skateboard and Hover Board Parks offer a chance to collect rain-water.

Skaters for Public Skateparks (SPS), which is a 501(c)(3) non-profit group that specializes in promoting skateparks in the United States and abroad stated;

If your city doesn’t have a skatepark, then your city is a skatepark.

Their point is that if you do not want skateboarders around town in shopping centers, government properties or in front of businesses then you need a skatepark, because if a city chooses not to address the issue, they have already made a choice. Their group is an advocate for safety and free access to skateparks for all skateboarders;

Skateboarding is Not a Crime!

In the future we can expect more traveling skateboard parks perhaps the size of two tennis courts that will be delivered to parking lots of retail centers to promote the video games, hover boards, accessories and high-tech Virtual Reality digital equipment for the living room of the future.These “Insta-Skate Parks” will come on two or three 18-wheelers and fold out and pop-up and be ready within hours for 10s of thousands of spectators and 100s of local hover boarders to compete and watch Pro-Exhibitions.

Flexible skateboard ramps at skate parks may also one day power up the lights for night skating by generating energy as the skateboarder puts energy into the ramp. Low wattage bright lights will then be directed down onto the skatepark and shine bright without taking a huge chunk out of the City’s electrical bills. The Skateboard Parks will continue to evolve well into the year 2020.

L. Winslow is a Economic Advisor to the Online Think Tank, a Futurist and retired entrepreneur. Currently he is planning a bicycle ride across the US to raise money for charity and is sponsored by http://www.Calling-Plans.com and all the proceeds will go to various charities who sign up.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=L._Winslow