Thursday, February 28, 2013

Navy identifies 2 divers who died at Md. Army site

BALTIMORE (AP) ? The Navy on Wednesday identified two sailors who perished during routine diving operations at a test pond at an Army site in Maryland.

Officials said 28-year-old Navy Diver 1st Class James Reyher of Caldwell, Ohio, and Navy Diver 2nd Class Ryan Harris of Gladstone, Mo., died Tuesday. They were assigned to Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit 2 at Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story in Virginia Beach, Va.

The two had been diving at the Aberdeen Proving Ground in northeastern Maryland. One diver was pronounced dead at the scene, the other was transported to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead later.

Tuesday's incident at Aberdeen's Underwater Test Facility occurred less than a month after George Lazzaro Jr., a 41-year-old engineering technician, died while performing maintenance at the same site.

Kelly Luster, a spokesman for the Aberdeen Proving Ground, said Tuesday's deaths are not believed to be connected to the earlier incident. But officials said Wednesday that the test facility has been closed for all diving operations until investigations into the recent deaths are done.

The test facility, dubbed the "Super Pond," is used to conduct shock testing of vessels, submarine systems and munitions. With a bottom measuring 300 feet in diameter and a maximum depth of 150 feet, the facility also has been used in testing torpedoes, missiles, warheads, amphibious and remotely controlled vehicles, underwater gun firing and acoustics.

The sailors belonged to a unit whose salvage operations have included TWA Flight 800, Swiss Air Flight 111, the space shuttles Challenger and Columbia, and the Civil War ironclad USS Monitor.

The unit also provided damage assessments and repairs on the USS Cole and participated in humanitarian missions following Hurricane Katrina and the 2010 earthquake that struck Haiti.

Deputy Commander Capt. John Coffey said Wednesday, "Petty Officer Harris and Petty Officer Reyher were exceptional Sailors."

Source: http://news.yahoo.com/navy-identifies-2-divers-died-md-army-011601615.html

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Source: http://culturapopulara.ro/?p=26861

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Source: http://news.feedzilla.com/en_us/stories/politics/top-stories/287916334?client_source=feed&format=rss

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First look at the Galaxy Note 8 car dock

Galaxy Note 8 car dock

So the Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 is a more-than-capable Android tablet, as well as as an oversized phone. And if you want to dock it in your car, Samsung's got you covered there, as well.

Yes, there's an official car dock for this phone/tablet hybrid. It's done in the usual Samsung motif of glossy black plastic, and the tablet fits snugly inside. We didn't see any specific car app installed on this Note on display, but you can find any number of them in the Play Store.

More: See our hands-on with the Galaxy Note 8.0

All in all, it's a stylish way to keep the Note 8.0 at hand in your vehicle. The trick will be to keep from creating an 8-inch blind spot on your windshield.

We've got one more pic after the break.

read more



Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/androidcentral/~3/qJUDmtiXFs0/story01.htm

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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

EU expands its anti-Israel bias | Reporting on the Middle East ...

The European Union has formally recommended its 27 members ?prevent? Israeli activity in Judea and Samaria through an economic boycott.

Chana Ya?ar, February 27, 2012

The European Union has formally recommended its 27 member states ?prevent? Israeli activity in Judea and Samaria through an economic boycott of Jewish communities in those regions.?

The EU?s latest boycott recommendation came to light in the publication of the EU?s Jerusalem Report 2012, released Wednesday, in which the European body recommends its members avoid financial transactions with Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria, AFP reported.

In the report, the EU suggests its member states ?prevent, discourage and raise awareness about problematic implications of financial transactions, including foreign direct investments from within the EU in support of settlement activities, infrastructure and services.? The recommendation followed an internal report which alleged that Israel had used construction in eastern Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria to prevent the possibility of a two-state solution.?

In the strongly-worded 15-page report, the EU also calls to ?ensure that imports of settlement products do not benefit from preferential tariffs? and make sure that all such products are clearly labelled as originating from Israeli-occupied areas.?

The move comes as a clear statement of support for the Palestinian Authority?s attempt to oust some half a million Jews from their homes, and claim the entire area for its hoped-for independent, sovereign state without bothering with final status negotiations with Israel. This ignores the fact that by any legal parameter, Israel is not ?occupying? the area, which belongs to no sovereign state.

A successful first step in that process was made at the United Nations last September when the PA won an upgraded status via the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) as a non-member observer state. The move gained for the PA de facto recognition as a sovereign country by the international body, and helped circumvent the need for final status talks with Israel on a myriad of issues, as mandated by the internationally-recognized Oslo Accords.

The Palestinian Authority ? and much of the international community ? defines ?settlement activity ? in very broad terms, sometimes as broad as repairing a broken fence for a private home in an existing community, or paving a driveway. ?Settlement construction? is a term defined equally loosely, and includes such activities as adding a pergola to an existing front or back porch or patio, or even enclosing an existing balcony on a home in a community that numbers at least 25,000 residents and has existed for more than 35 years.

However, despite Israel?s willingness to negotiate, PA leaders refuse to engage in talks without preconditions, and each time negotiations have been suggested, they have categorically rejected any attempt to jumpstart the process unless Israel first agrees to all PA demands ? primary among them, a complete halt to all ?settlement activities,? the ?right of return? for more than five million foreign Arabs who once lived in the area and their generations of descendants, and the surrender of nearly half of Israel?s holy capital city, Jerusalem, for use as the future capital of the hoped-for PA state of ?Palestine.?

At present, the twin capitals of the Palestinian Authority are the Samaria-based city of Ramallah, and Gaza-based city of Gaza City, inasmuch as the two leading factions of the PA, Fatah and Hamas, have yet to even reach an agreement on creating a unity government.

Source: http://cnpublications.net/2013/02/27/eu-expands-its-anti-israel-bias/

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Now hear this: Researchers identify forerunners of inner-ear cells that enable hearing

Now hear this: Researchers identify forerunners of inner-ear cells that enable hearing

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine have identified a group of progenitor cells in the inner ear that can become the sensory hair cells and adjacent supporting cells that enable hearing. Studying these progenitor cells could someday lead to discoveries that help millions of Americans suffering from hearing loss due to damaged or impaired sensory hair cells.

"It's well known that, in mammals, these specialized sensory cells don't regenerate after damage," said Alan Cheng, MD, assistant professor of otolaryngology. (In contrast, birds and fish are much better equipped: They can regain their sensory cells after trauma caused by noise or certain drugs.) "Identifying the progenitor cells, and the cues that trigger them to become sensory cells, will allow us to better understand not just how the inner ear develops, but also how to devise new ways to treat hearing loss and deafness."

The research will be published online Feb. 26 in Development. Cheng is the senior author. Former medical student Taha Jan, MD, and postdoctoral scholar Renjie Chai, PhD, share lead authorship of the study. Roel Nusse, PhD, a professor of developmental biology, is a co-senior author of the research.

The inner ear is a highly specialized structure for gathering and transmitting vibrations in the air. The auditory compartment, called the cochlea, is a snail-shaped cavity that houses specialized cells with hair-like projections that sense vibration, much like seaweed waving in the ocean current. These hair cells are responsible for both hearing and balance, and are surrounded by supporting cells that are also critical for hearing.

Twenty percent of all Americans, and up to 33 percent of those ages 65-74, suffer from hearing loss. Hearing aids and, in severe cases, cochlear implants can be helpful for many people, but neither address the underlying cause: the loss of hair cells in the inner ear. Cheng and his colleagues identified a class of cells called tympanic border cells that can give rise to hair cells and the cells that support them during a phase of cochlear maturation right after birth.

"Until now, these cells have had no clear function," said Cheng. "We used several techniques to define their behavior in cell culture dishes, as well as in mice. I hope these findings will lead to new areas of research to better understand how our ears develop and perhaps new ways to stimulate the regeneration of sensory cells in the cochlea."

Cheng recently received a grant from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine to study the limited regeneration of the same sensory hair cells that occur in a different region of the inner ear called the vestibular system, which helps us balance. Lessons learned there may also translate into aid for patients with hearing loss.

Although regeneration of sensory hair cells does not happen naturally, recent research has suggested that the mammalian ear may harbor a sub-population of ? presumably inactive ? progenitor cells. The research team led by Cheng and Nusse used a strain of laboratory mice that allowed the scientists to track the activation of a cell-signaling pathway driven by a protein called Wnt. The Wnt pathway has previously been shown to be involved in many developmental functions, and it drives the renewal and proliferation of many types of stem cells.

"We wanted to investigate the Wnt pathway because of its tremendous influence in the development and regeneration of many other organs," said Cheng.

The researchers found that tympanic border cells, or TBCs, which form a thin layer under the sensory epithelium, are actively dividing in mice during the first three weeks after birth (the time corresponding to about the first trimester of human development, during which the ability to hear is established) and give rise to at least a subset of sensory and non-sensory cells in the ear. They also divided vigorously in isolated cochlea when the Wnt pathway was activated, and stopped when the pathway was inhibited. Finally, the researchers showed that purified TBCs were able to specialize into hair cells and support cells when cultured in a laboratory dish.

"It's surprising to think that these progenitor cells are among this largely underappreciated group of cells," said Cheng. "This study also highlights that, even in mice, there is a lot of maturation occurring after birth as hearing develops. There's clearly a lot more to be understood. Next we'd like to look at these cells in models of hearing loss. Do they have the ability to regenerate? If so, under what conditions?"

###

Paper: http://dev.biologists.org/lookup/doi/10.1242/dev.087528

Stanford University Medical Center: http://med-www.stanford.edu/MedCenter/MedSchool

Thanks to Stanford University Medical Center for this article.

This press release was posted to serve as a topic for discussion. Please comment below. We try our best to only post press releases that are associated with peer reviewed scientific literature. Critical discussions of the research are appreciated. If you need help finding a link to the original article, please contact us on twitter or via e-mail.

This press release has been viewed 22 time(s).

Source: http://www.labspaces.net/127023/Now_hear_this__Researchers_identify_forerunners_of_inner_ear_cells_that_enable_hearing_

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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Prosecutor seeks trial for Costa cruise ship capt

ROME (AP) ? Italian prosecutors on Monday officially requested an indictment of the Costa Concordia's captain on manslaughter charges in the shipwreck of the cruise liner that killed 32 people last year off the Tuscan coast.

Prosecutors based in Grosseto, Tuscany, also are seeking a trial for Francesco Schettino, the captain of the luxury cruise liner, on charges of causing a shipwreck and abandoning the vessel during the frantic and confused evacuation of passengers and crew.

The Concordia was conducting a publicity stunt off the coast of tiny Giglio island the night of Jan. 13, 2012, prosecutors say, when it slammed into a jagged reef, which speared the ship and left a 70-meter (230-feet) long gash in the hull. The cruise liner quickly took on water and capsized, ending on its side near the island's port.

Prosecutors also requested the indictment of five other crew members, including two other officers on the bridge. The proposed charges against them vary, but all are accused of manslaughter.

Passengers were having dinner at a gala event when the accident occurred during a Mediterranean cruise. Ship officials at first tried to minimize what happened, saying only there was a blackout, and evacuation wasn't immediately ordered. When the order to evacuate did come, the ship was tilting so much on one side, that many lifeboats couldn't be lowered.

Schettino has tried to depict himself as a hero, claiming it was his deft steering after the collision that allowed the ship to move closer to the port and help save lives. He also claimed that the reef was not marked on the ship's navigational charts. Sailors in the area say the reef is a well-known tourist attraction in the pristine waters off Giglio.

Chief Prosecutor Francesco Verusio said after a sophisticated scientific and other technological investigation was carried out, "the determining cause of the events of the shipwreck, deaths and injuries, is, unfortunately, dramatically due to the human factor."

It was not clear when a judge would rule on the indictment requests.

Prosecutors also said Costa Crociere SpA, the Italian cruise company, has asked for a plea bargain agreement which, if it was accepted, could see Costa pay a ?1 million ($1.35 million) fine. The company has tried to put all the blame on the shoulders of Schettino.

Source: http://news.yahoo.com/prosecutor-seeks-trial-costa-cruise-ship-capt-150754689--finance.html

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Vatican: Retired Pope Benedict XVI will be called "emeritus pope," continue to wear white

It began as a seemingly awkward Jack Nicholson introduction of the very long list on nominees, but the Best Picture denouement?at a very long Oscars ceremony on Sunday turned into a surprise appearance by Michelle Obama, via satellite from the Governors' Ball in Washington, D.C.?where earlier she had sat next to Chris Christie?to introduce and announce the winner,?Argo.?

Source: http://news.yahoo.com/vatican-retired-pope-benedict-xvi-called-emeritus-pope-115655863.html

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PFT: Raiders want to chop down Palmer's pay

350x-1AP

Last year, the NFL stripped $36 million in cap space from the Redskins, who along with the Cowboys apparently took the term ?uncapped year? too literally in 2010.

In response, the Redskins employed half-measures to recover the cap dollars, filing a grievance under the labor deal that did nothing other than stir up a cockeyed collusion claim from the NFLPA.

This year, with half of the penalty due to hit the 2013 salary cap, the Redskins could be opting for a more complete assault on the league?s position.? Or at least threatening it.

According to Mark Maske and Mike Jones of the Washington Post, the Redskins are spreading the word in Indianapolis that they?re considering legal action aimed at delaying the start of free agency while litigation proceeds regarding the question of whether the Redskins? legal rights were violated.? The Redskins are telling agents that any contract talks will be delayed until the situation is resolved.

If the Redskins proceed, it would be a big deal.? And if they delay the start of free agency until their claims are resolved, it would be a huge deal.

We addressed the situation a couple of weeks ago, reporting that the Redskins were still upset about the situation but explaining that their options are limited.? They could bebluffing about going to court in order to get, for example, half of their cap money back (i.e., the $18 million that would apply to this year?s cap).? But the NFL could choose to call their bluff and go to court.

Either way, Daniel Snyder could be inching toward ground previously occupied by the late Al Davis:? Snyder could soon be suing his partners.

Source: http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2013/02/25/raiders-to-try-to-chop-down-carson-palmers-salary/related/

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Investors face another Washington deadline

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Investors face another Washington-imposed deadline on government spending cuts next week, but it's not generating the same level of fear as two months ago when the "fiscal cliff" loomed large.

Investors in sectors most likely to be affected by the cuts, like defense, seem untroubled that the budget talks could send stocks tumbling.

Talks on the U.S. budget crisis began again this week leading up to the March 1 deadline for the so-called sequestration when $85 billion in automatic federal spending cuts are scheduled to take effect.

"It's at this point a political hot button in Washington but a very low level investor concern," said Fred Dickson, chief market strategist at D.A. Davidson & Co. in Lake Oswego, Oregon. The fight pits President Barack Obama and fellow Democrats against congressional Republicans.

Stocks rallied in early January after a compromise temporarily avoided the fiscal cliff, and the Standard & Poor's 500 index <.spx> has risen 6.3 percent since the start of the year.

But the benchmark index lost steam this week, posting its first week of losses since the start of the year. Minutes on Wednesday from the last Federal Reserve meeting, which suggested the central bank may slow or stop its stimulus policy sooner than expected, provided the catalyst.

National elections in Italy on Sunday and Monday could also add to investor concern. Most investors expect a government headed by Pier Luigi Bersani to win and continue with reforms to tackle Italy's debt problems. However, a resurgence by former leader Silvio Berlusconi has raised doubts.

"Europe has been in the last six months less of a topic for the stock market, but the problems haven't gone away. This may bring back investor attention to that," said Kim Forrest, senior equity research analyst at Fort Pitt Capital Group in Pittsburgh.

OPTIONS BULLS TARGET GAINS

The spending cuts, if they go ahead, could hit the defense industry particularly hard.

Yet in the options market, bulls were targeting gains in Lockheed Martin Corp , the Pentagon's biggest supplier.

Calls on the stock far outpaced puts, suggesting that many investors anticipate the stock to move higher. Overall options volume on the stock was 2.8 times the daily average with 17,000 calls and 3,360 puts traded, according to options analytics firm Trade Alert.

"The upside call buying in Lockheed solidifies the idea that option investors are not pricing in a lot of downside risk in most defense stocks from the likely impact of sequestration," said Jared Woodard, a founder of research and advisory firm condoroptions.com in Forest, Virginia.

The stock ended up 0.6 percent at $88.12 on Friday.

If lawmakers fail to reach an agreement on reducing the U.S. budget deficit in the next few days, a sequester would include significant cuts in defense spending. Companies such as General Dynamics Corp and Smith & Wesson Holding Corp could be affected.

General Dynamics Corp shares rose 1.2 percent to $67.32 and Smith & Wesson added 4.6 percent to $9.18 on Friday.

EYES ON GDP DATA, APPLE

The latest data on fourth-quarter U.S. gross domestic product is expected on Thursday, and some analysts predict an upward revision following trade data that showed America's deficit shrank in December to its narrowest in nearly three years.

U.S. GDP unexpectedly contracted in the fourth quarter, according to an earlier government estimate, but analysts said there was no reason for panic, given that consumer spending and business investment picked up.

Investors will be looking for any hints of changes in the Fed's policy of monetary easing when Fed Chairman Ben Bernake speaks before congressional committees on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Shares of Apple will be watched closely next week when the company's annual stockholders' meeting is held.

On Friday, a U.S. judge handed outspoken hedge fund manager David Einhorn a victory in his battle with the iPhone maker, blocking the company from moving forward with a shareholder vote on a controversial proposal to limit the company's ability to issue preferred stock.

(Additional reporting by Doris Frankel; Editing by Kenneth Barry)

Source: http://news.yahoo.com/investors-face-another-washington-deadline-142758934--finance.html

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Monday, February 25, 2013

Dwarf Fortress: Ten hours with the most inscrutable video game of ...

Dwarf Fortress: Ten hours with the most inscrutable video game of all time ? Ars Technica | Bowden Gaming 9 visitors online now
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Source: http://www.bowdengaming.com/?p=17168

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Let's start a Twitter storm to show our appreciation for the Pope. It's easy. Here's how you can help...

Benedict XVI

Benedict XVI

Pope Benedict has taught each of how to love Jesus just a little more. By resigning he is showing us humility. Let?s show our gratitude by starting a Twitter Storm when he steps down. I need?lots of participation, we need to send off thousands of Tweets to succeed. The goal is to have multiple terms trend globally.

I wanted to tell teens who may not otherwise be reached about the Pope and I thought that if we could occupy some of the top 10 trending terms on twitter, we might get some attention. If you have a twitter account, you can take part by writing tweets beforehand, writing live tweets, or retweeting like crazy.

Since his resignation is at 8pm Rome time, I think scheduling it right about then would be best. I?m going to schedule tweets and be on retweeting from 7:45 to 8:15 (assuming there is not a celebration in St. Peter?s Square which I may go to).

Some have suggested we start getting it trending on the 27 and try for all day and focus even more on the exact moment he steps down.

There is no sign-up for this activity, anyone can join. I want to post some instructions here.

8pm Rome Time Is?

7pm in the UK

2pm in EST (New York, Detroit, Miami)

1pm in CST (Chicago, Dallas, Winnipeg)

noon in MST (Calgary, Denver)

11am in PST (LA, Vancouver, Seattle)

What Terms? What?s Trending?

Twitter Trends

Twitter Trends

Whenever you go on?Twitter, there are the top ten hashtags trending globally on the left (see image). These have all kinds of meanings. I?ve seen everything from #JustinBeiberFollowMe to #StopTaiji (which is a dolphin hunt in Japan) trend to the top. while I was on. Nobody knows the formula but it seems that overused terms are disqualified from trending. People use #FB for Facebook all the time but it is never on the ?trending? list.

We have to get one hashtag trending to the top before switching.

Here is my suggested list to include. Each followed by a sample tweet (I think trending works better if have slightly different tweets so change them up; I am keeping them well below 140 characters so each can add a little):

First: #ThanksPontifex

#ThanksPontifex?for almost 8 years leading the #Catholic Church

#ThanksPontifex?for being a faithful witness to Christ

#ThanksPontifex?for building up the Catholic Faith

#ThanksPontifex for your humility @pontifex

#ThanksPontifex?you are in my prayers. #Pope #Catholic #BenedictXVI

Second:?#PontifexThanks

Third:?#TYBenedictXVI

If you know the following Languages:

#GraciasBenedictoXVI -?#GraciasBenedictoXVI por su servicio a la Iglesia #Catolica. #Papa

#GrazieBenedettoXVI -?#GrazieBenedettoXVI per tutto ci? che ha fatto per la Chiesa. #Papa

#GratiasBenedictoXVI ? #GratiasBenedictoXVI, era Papa vero in tempis duris.

How to Schedule Tweets

There are a number of programs that schedule Tweets. Each program is slightly different, but they all basically ask you to write a tweet then set a time. (You want to set most for 7:45 to 8:15pm Rome time Thursday.) I use Buffer every day, and I think the others listed here work. Buffer is a little different:?rather than scheduling each one, you set the times you will tweet on one tab then post a list of tweets to go out at those times in another.

Buffer:?bufferapp.com

Future Tweets:?futuretweets.com

Unfollwers.me includes scheduled tweets:?unfollowers.me

All in one apps that include scheduled tweets:

HootSuite: ?hootsuite.com

TweetDeck:?tweetdeck.com

Please add more ideas, more model tweets, etc. in the comments. I will update this.

Source: http://feeds.newadvent.org/~r/bestoftheweb/~3/XGbd6lqfiO0/

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Theresa Lord - Makeup & Bridal Stylist: Picnic Baby Shower

I recently assisted with organising my dear friends' baby shower.? I have never been to a baby shower before, so to be part of the organisation was something I was really looking forward to.? I wanted to share the overall experience and some pictures from the day since having a family is a natural step once married (or before too!).? I took the opportunity to be photographer for the day, a passion I have missed from pursuing my other interests.


My friend decided on a vintage inspired theme.?? The colour theme was going to be aqua and watermelon, which was a gorgeous modern spin on baby pink and blue.? With her family home having the most divine front yard, and being summer, she decided on a picnic style theme.? We gathered picnic blankets, stools and small tables to give the guests a relaxed space and atmosphere to enjoy the celebration.? The front yard has a few trees, so we strung up lanterns and decorations in the trees which created the perfect vintage feel.




The food was definitely a highlight, along with the food styling.? I was excited, as I made cupcakes for the event, which is is a favourite hobby of mine.? I have two other posts, which include my love for cupcake making!? Unfortunately I was unable to find watermelon and aqua cupcake holders, but I substituted this with gorgeous baby pink and blue holders.? Watermelon and mint punch was served in beautiful glass jars with striped straws.? Guests had the option to bring a plate of food, which was placed on a large trestle table covered with a delightful red and white polka dot tablecloth.? Watermelon was cut into wedges and served, which added a burst of colour and a refreshing treat on such a hot day.


??

Picnic blankets were perfect for little ones to crawl around on and bean bags were placed under umbrellas to enjoy.? After the food and drink we all gathered to enjoy present opening time.? Guests had purchased the most beautiful gifts and the newborn will be such a stylish little girl!? It was lovely to see how much thought had gone into choosing presents.

With the celebration over, I can now confidently help organise baby showers!? Event management is something I love, be it weddings, birthdays or baby showers.? The fun and excitement of arranging it, followed by being part of such special occasions always brings me joy.

Source: http://theresalord.blogspot.com/2013/02/picnic-baby-shower.html

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Sunday, February 24, 2013

Obama weekly address: Congress must act now to stop the ?Republican? sequester that I insisted be included in that bill I signed (Michellemalkin)

Share With Friends: Share on FacebookTweet ThisPost to Google-BuzzSend on GmailPost to Linked-InSubscribe to This Feed | Rss To Twitter | Politics - Top Stories Stories, RSS and RSS Feed via Feedzilla.

Source: http://news.feedzilla.com/en_us/stories/politics/top-stories/286949724?client_source=feed&format=rss

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'Blade Runner' granted bail ahead of murder trial

It was a long and emotional week for Oscar Pistorius, who is accused of premeditated murder in the killing of his girlfriend, . Pistorius must surrender his passport and cannot return to his home, which was the scene of the shooting. NBC's Michelle Kosinski reports.

By Michelle Kosinski, Rohit Kachroo and Ian Johnston, NBC News

PRETORIA, South Africa -- Oscar Pistorius was granted bail Friday pending his trial for the alleged murder of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp.

Olympic and Paralympic star Pistorius, dubbed the ?Blade Runner,? maintains he did not realize Steenkamp was in the locked bathroom of his home in a suburb of Pretoria, South Africa, and fired through the door in a panic over a possible prowler early on Valentine's Day.

However, prosecutors say the 26-year-old committed the ?premeditated murder? of Steenkamp, 29, a model and trained lawyer, who was staying overnight at his house.

On the fourth day of his bail hearing Friday, Chief Magistrate Desmond Nair told the court that he had "come to the conclusion that the accused has made a case to be granted bail."

There was a cry of "yes" from the public gallery after his decision, and his relatives embraced, cried and prayed.

In contrast to the joy of his relatives, Pistorius looked upset.

Nair spoke for more than 90 minutes prior to announcing his decision, summarizing the testimony given to the four-day hearing, citing previous cases and the relevant laws.

He said he had ?difficulty? with several aspects of Pistorius? account of what happened, talking of a number of ?improbabilities.?

?I have difficulty in appreciating why the accused did not ascertain the whereabouts of his girlfriend,? Nair said. He said he also struggled to understand ?why the accused would not seek to ascertain who was in the toilet? before opening fire.

'Not a flight risk'
But he said he had concluded that Pistorius was "not a flight risk" and said there was no evidence before him that the athlete might interfere with state witnesses. He also said he did not have evidence to suggest Pistorius was "not of a stable mind."

Nair also criticized Warrant Officer Hilton Botha ? a police officer pulled from the case because he is facing attempted murder charges?-- for making ?several errors? during his testimony to the bail hearing.

He also said Botha had ?blundered? when he claimed to have found testosterone in Pistorius? room and had not ?spent as much time as he ought to have if he wanted to show the accused has a propensity to violence.?

Nair set bail at a million rand (about $112,000). Pistorius, who was to be freed on payment of the money, was ordered to report to a police station twice a week, among a number of bail conditions.

Pistorius was also ordered to stay away from witnesses, surrender his passports, hand over his firearms and not drink alcohol. The case was then adjourned until June 4.

The athlete left the court at about 5:45 p.m. local time (10:45 a.m ET).?He could be seen in a silver Land Rover that was pursued by members of the media on motorcycles after it left the court compound, Reuters reported. The SUV traveled to the home of Pistorius' uncle, Arnold Pistorius, in the Pretoria suburb of Waterkloof, where at least five private security guards kept reporters at bay.

Medupe Simasiku, a spokesman for the prosecution, said that they respected the court?s decision.

?We would like to assure everyone that we?re still confident of this case,? he said. ?We believe that we will make it through during the trial."

Before the bail decision, prosecutor Gerrie Nel had told the court that ?one must stretch? to believe Pistorius? account of what happened on the night of the shooting.

And Nel questioned why Steenkamp would have stayed silent and not alerted Pistorius that she was in the bathroom.

?Why would she not have shouted, 'Where are you (Oscar)? What's going on??? Nel said. ?She did not say a word. She did not scream. She did nothing! I think that's improbable. ... It's not true!"

In a statement read to the court on Tuesday, Pistorius described waking up?and and going to his bedroom balcony to bring a fan inside and close the sliding glass doors and blinds. After hearing a noise in the bathroom, the double-amputee said he felt "a sense of terror" and feared a prowler was in the house.

Pistorius' account added:

"I fired shots at the toilet door and shouted at Reeva to phone the police. She did not respond and I moved backwards out of the bathroom, keeping my eyes on the bathroom entrance. Everything was pitch dark in the bedroom and I was still too scared to switch on a light. Reeva was not responding.

"When I reached the bed, I realized that Reeva was not in bed. That is when it dawned on me that it could have been Reeva who was in the toilet."

Defense lawyer Barry Roux told the court before the decision on bail that Pistorius should at most be charged with culpable homicide, which is the unlawful, negligent killing of someone under South African law.

He said ?intent? to possibly kill a burglar could not be transferred to become intent to kill Steenkamp.

Roux said Pistorius would not be able to flee the country unnoticed. If he went through security at an airport, "the system would react."

The lawyer added that Pistorius would not skip bail, saying that his prosthetics needed adjustment every month and that he also required medication for his stomach.

The arrest of Pistorius stunned millions who watched in awe last year as the sprinter reached the semi-final of the 400 meters at the London 2012 Olympics.

In South Africa, Pistorius was seen as a rare hero who commanded respect from both blacks and whites, transcending the racial divides that persist 19 years after the end of apartheid.

Reuters contributed to this report.

Related:?

Pistorius bail hearing in chaos as lead detective is axed from case

Fragrance brand parts ways with Pistorius

Pistorius' uncle: Olympian in shock, 'will bounce back'

?

This story was originally published on

Source: http://worldnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/02/22/17052279-oscar-pistorius-granted-bail-ahead-of-murder-trial?lite

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Saturday, February 23, 2013

Pets recreate best films in 'The Pawscars'

"The Pawscars," imagines this year's most acclaimed movies as seen through the eyes of pets (Pet Collective)

During each year?s Super Bowl broadcast pet lovers worldwide get the Puppy Bowl. So, why shouldn?t there be an equivalent for the Oscars? The Pet Collective has given us a hint of what such an event might be like with its new video ?The Pawscars.?

The video opens with this year?s Oscars' host ?Seth MacFarlane? lamenting that he has not seen any of the nominated films and wishing that his dog Bingo could tell him about the acclaimed movies.

Thus begins Bingo?s Pawscars dream sequence, which finds him and other animals playing out the roles made famous in films such as "Django Unchained," "Argo," "Zero Dark Thirty" and "Silver Linings Playbook."

The best part may well be a dog dressed in Lincoln?s famous top hat, reminiscing over the time he received a bone for a treat:

Source: http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/sideshow/pets-recreate-best-films-pawscars-video-194347964.html

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Analysis: 'We'll tell you why gas prices are so high' -- 'U.S. is at center of the oil, gas, & coal world. The sooner federal officials relent, the sooner good jobs & much needed revenue can flow'

Source: http://www.climatedepot.com/a/19805/Analysis-Well-tell-you-why-gas-prices-are-so-high---US-is-at-center-of-the-oil-gas--coal-world-The-sooner-federal-officials-relent-the-sooner-good-jobs--much-needed-revenue-can-flow

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Friday, February 22, 2013

How To Choose A Diet

Sorry, Readability was unable to parse this page for content.

Source: http://www.articlerich.com/Article/How-To-Choose-A-Diet-/2572325

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Chromebook Pixel vs. other Chromebooks: fight!

Chromebook Pixel vs other Chromebooks fight!

Google raised the bar considerably for Chrome OS computers with the Chromebook Pixel -- but just how badly does it bruise other mainstream Chromebooks in the ring? We won't lie: for the most part, it's an outright thrashing. While it doesn't have as big a screen as HP's Pavilion 14 Chromebook or last as long on battery as Samsung's ARM-based Chromebook, the Pixel is technically superior in most every other way. That 2,560 x 1,700 display resolution, 1.8GHz Core i5 and support for LTE put Google's PC in a different class altogether, and that's when excluding freebies like the 1TB of Google Drive storage. It's even slimmer than some of its peers. The one clear obstacle is the price -- at $1,299, you're paying six times more than you would for an Acer C7 that manages a bigger (if much slower) hard drive. As you'll see in the chart, though, being part of the premium club has its perks.

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Source: http://www.engadget.com/2013/02/21/chromebook-pixel-vs-other-chromebooks-fight/

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Braddock mayor: Youth shoots at bus with pellet gun

Officials outside Pittsburgh said a juvenile shot at a school bus with a pellet gun, and the driver was slightly injured by shattered glass.

Braddock Mayor John Fetterman said the bus was hit with a small amount of pellets around 3:45 p.m. Thursday. None of the students on the bus were injured.

Click to read more.

Source: http://www.nbcnews.com/id/50898368/ns/local_news-pittsburgh_pa/

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Insert Coin: New Challengers voting is now open -- help us pick five finalists!

Last Friday, we announced our semifinalist pics for Engadget's first-ever Insert Coin: New Challengers competition. We're incredibly excited about the projects we selected, but had a hard enough time whittling the list down to 10. That's where you come in. As far as we're concerned, they're all winners, but we've got presentation time at next month's Expand conference in San Francisco, and we need your help knocking the list down to five finalists. It's a diverse array of entrants, including seafaring drones, bipedal robots, 3D scanners, futuristic radiators and more.

Jump in after the break for links to posts about each of the candidates, and when you're done, please click here to vote on your favorite. Five winners will go on to present their projects at Expand in March, for a chance to win $25,000. You have until next Wednesday, February 27 at the same time (12:30pm PST / 3:30pm EST) to cast your vote!

The Candidates:

1. cSpring: Bipedal Robo

2. Hodu: Physical therapy hardware / software combo

3. Moedls: 3D scanning for smartphones

4. Make a Play: High-tech puppet stage

5. Observos: Environmentally-aware computers

6. Radiator Labs: Personal radiator temperature controller

7. Smart Knob: Keyless door lock

8. smARTPulse: Hackable Bluetooth oximeter

9. Snapzoom: Superzooming for smartphone cameras

10. Ziphius: RC aquatic drone

Now don't forget to vote!

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Source: http://feeds.engadget.com/~r/weblogsinc/engadget/~3/eaYZdfVIis0/

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Egypt's military signals growing impatience with Islamist leaders

CAIRO Egypt's powerful military is showing signs of growing impatience with the country's Islamist leaders, indirectly criticizing their policies and issuing thinly veiled threats that it might seize power again.

The tension is raising the specter of another military intervention much like the one in 2011, when generals replaced longtime authoritarian leader Hosni Mubarak after they sided with anti-regime protesters in their 18-day popular uprising.

The strains come at a time when many Egyptians are despairing of an imminent end to the crippling political impasse between President Mohammed Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood group on one side, and the mostly secular and liberal opposition on the other.

The tug of war between the two camps is being waged against a grim backdrop of spreading unrest, rising crime and a worsening economy.

"In essence, the military will not allow national stability or its own institutional privileges to come under threat from a breakdown in Egypt's social fabric or a broad-based civil strife," said Michael W. Hanna, an Egypt expert from the New York-based Century Foundation.

"This is not an ideological army or one that seeks to destabilize civilian governance. ... But it is also not an army that will sit by while the country reaches the tipping point on the path to civil strife."

The latest friction began when a rumor circulated that Morsi planned to replace Gen. Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, his defense minister and the army chief, because of his resistance to bringing the military under the sway of the Brotherhood-dominated government.

El-Sissi may have angered Morsi last month when he signaled the military's readiness to step in, warning that the state would collapse if no solution was found to the political crisis. Pointedly, he also spoke of how the military faces a dilemma in marrying the task of protecting state installations in restive locations with its resolve not to harm peaceful protesters.

In another provocative comment earlier this month, el-Sissi was quoted as saying he would never allow the armed forces to be dominated by the Brotherhood, or any other group, stressing the military's national identity.

Play Video

Flash Points: Where did Egypt's revolution go?

A Brotherhood spokesman, Yasser Mehrez, dismissed claims that the group sought to bring the military under its sway. "This is old talk that has been repeated over and over again," he said.

The rumor about el-Sissi's dismissal was widely suspected to be a trial balloon floated by the Muslim Brotherhood to gauge military and public reaction.

The military did not officially respond. But widely published comments attributed to an anonymous military source threatened that any attempt to remove the military's top commanders would be "suicide" for the government and spoke of widespread anger within the armed forces.

The source was quoted as saying the public will not accept any meddling in the military and will close ranks to counter any pressures or challenges.

The military distanced itself from the comments on a statement posted on its official Facebook page. But the situation was deemed serious enough for Morsi's office to issue a statement late Monday that appeared aimed at calming the military.

It reassured commanders of the administration's appreciation of the armed forces and said the president had confidence in el-Sissi.

But the statement, which blamed media for spreading "lies and rumors," may have done little to ease the tension.

"The two sides may be publicly dismissing reports of tension, but the army is making it very clear to the presidency that any attempt to dismiss el-Sissi would backfire," said military analyst and retired army Gen. Mohammed Qadri Said.

"They claim mutual love and respect, but what is happening is not indicative of this."

The military also handed Morsi a public humiliation when army commanders chose not to enforce a night curfew he imposed on three restive Suez Canal cities in riots last month.

In a direct challenge to the president, several top field commanders said they would not use force against civilians in the three cities. Residents openly defied Morsi by staging demonstrations during the curfew hours, playing soccer in the streets and setting off fireworks.

El-Sissi's top lieutenant, Chief of Staff Sedki Sobhi, delivered another implicit warning to Morsi and the Brotherhood this week.

While the military was not currently involved in politics, he said: "It keeps an eye on what goes on in the nation and if the Egyptian people ever needed the armed forces, they will be on the streets in less than a second."

Significantly, Sobhi made his comments in the United Arab Emirates, whose government accuses Egypt's Brotherhood of meddling in its affairs and has arrested 11 Egyptian expatriates there for their membership of the group.

Morsi and the Brotherhood have made it clear that they do not want the military to play any political role.

But that did not stop el-Sissi from extending an invitation to the opposition and Islamist leaders loyal to Morsi to sit down informally over lunch to defuse a crisis over presidential decrees issued in November that gave Morsi near absolute powers. The decrees have since been rescinded.

Under pressure from the Brotherhood, el-Sissi withdrew the invitation just hours before the meeting was to start.

Morsi appointed el-Sissi less than two months after taking office as Egypt's first freely elected president. The Aug. 12 appointment followed Morsi's bold decision to retire the nation's two top generals, restoring the full powers of the president's office and ending a months-long power struggle between the two sides. Before Morsi's move, the military had the power to legislate since the legislature was dissolved in June by a court ruling. The military also held veto power over a panel that was drafting a new constitution at the time.

Still, few ever took el-Sissi to be the president's man. And there were doubts that six decades of de facto military rule had come to an end or that the military had been relegated to playing second fiddle to civilians.

Morsi and his Islamist supporters passed up a major opportunity to curb the military's power ? something that would have meant a major confrontation with the generals.

The new constitution drafted by Islamists enshrined the military's near-complete independence and kept its vast economic interests above oversight, against the wishes of many who participated in the 2011 revolt.

With chaos in the country deepening, chants calling for military intervention during street protests, last heard en masse during the uprising, are making a timid comeback.

"Millions of Egyptians want the army to come back and deliver us from chaos," Ibrahim Issa, host of a political talk show on television, said this week.

"This is the sentiment on the Egyptian street, and ignoring it is stupid," said the popular Issa, a harsh critic of Morsi, the Brotherhood and the military when it was in power.

Since taking office in June 2012, Morsi has made little progress in tackling Egypt's pressing problems ? steep price increases, surging crime, deteriorating services and fuel shortages.

The Brotherhood, which dominates parliament and the government after winning every election since Mubarak's ouster, is accused of monopolizing power. And Morsi has been criticized for failing to deliver on a promise of an inclusive government representing the Christian minority, liberal and secular political factions, and women.

The highly charged political climate and the collapsing economy could make a military takeover seem like a welcome development in some corners of Egypt ? or at least a necessary evil that could salvage the nation.

But the military may not be willing to insert itself directly again in politics or governance. Its prestige was badly tarnished by scathing criticism of its handling of the post-Mubarak transition period.

A few days into the uprising, Mubarak ordered the army into the streets to replace a police force that melted away when confronted with massive public outrage over decades of abuse.

With the country in chaos and paralyzed, the military later sided with protesters who demanded that Mubarak leave office. A council of ruling generals took over the reins of power, but the relationship soon turned sour.

Activists and pro-democracy groups accused the generals of widespread human rights violations during their rule, including the torture of detainees and the trial of at least 10,000 civilians before military tribunals.

The military later made good on its promise to hand over power to an elected government, although Morsi and his Brotherhood would clearly not have been the generals' choice if they had to make one.

With that history in mind, there are serious questions about whether a military intervention can even solve any of Egypt's problems in a time short enough to satisfy a population seething with anger over the chaos and hardships of the last two years.

The military would be risking more vilification if it does not move the country onto firmer ground quickly.

Nevertheless, there may be enough goodwill toward the military and popular discontent to give it another chance.

Source: http://feeds.cbsnews.com/~r/CBSNewsTheEarlyShowBoxOffice/~3/w2hsLO0zFpc/

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