Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Files Contradict Account of Raid in Iraq - New York Times

$2500 is the cost to kill in the Marines.Files Contradict Account of Raid in Iraq - New York Times: "The list of 15 victims deemed to be noncombatants was put together by intelligence personnel attached to the battalion, Major Hyatt said. Those victims were related to a Haditha city council member, he said. The American military sometimes pays compensation to relatives of civilian victims.

The relatives of each victim were paid a total of $2,500, the maximum allowed under Marine rules, along with $250 payments for two children who were wounded. Major Hyatt said he also compensated the families for damage to two houses."

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Honduras President Admits Up in Crime - Prensa Latina

What struck me the most was "according to official sources, at least six people die by violence every day in Honduras."
Honduras President Admits Up in Crime - Prensa Latina: "Tegucigalpa, May 26 (Prensa Latina) Honduras´ President Manuel Zelaya Friday admitted that insecurity in his country is “serious and critical” and urged all social sectors to support the fight against violence.

However, social, religious and human rights organizations have attributed this phenomenon to the poverty and economic crisis into which the nation is plunged.

“Common violence invades our streets and affects all social classes, evidence that all Hondurans have to be organized in the search for accurate responses to this serious problem,” Zelaya stated.

Representatives of the non-governmental organizations considered that before increasing the number of police throughout the territory, he must first provide the entire population with access to health and education.

Meanwhile, the dignitary committed to a series of measures to reduce high rates of violence, as according to official sources, at least six people die by violence every day in Honduras."

Friday, May 26, 2006

He disappeared in Honduras

Numb and number - "in 1989, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights actually held Honduras responsible for the disappearance of a student activist, Manfredo Velasquez Rodriguez, at the National Autonomous University of Honduras. The court relied on exactly the same logic used by Amnesty and Quisumbing: that the abduction (in Honduras) -- and the killings (in the Philippines) -- fit a historical pattern.

The Court’s language was uncanny. “Those disappearances followed a similar pattern, beginning with the kidnapping of the victims by force, often in broad daylight and in public places, by armed men in civilian clothes and disguises, who acted with apparent impunity … It was public and notorious knowledge … that the kidnappings were carried out by military personnel or the police, or persons acting under their orders....The disappearances were carried out in a systematic manner [especially considering that the] victims were usually persons whom Honduran officials considered dangerous to State security.”"

Yum, garbage.

Reuters Odd News Summary: "''Freegans'' forage for food in bins
LONDON (Reuters) - Ross and Ash are about to dig in to a meal of chicken rogan josh, king prawn makhani and rice, chicken balti and naan bread followed by pineapple, strawberries and grapes for dessert.
All of which came out of a bin.
''Everything I eat comes from dumpsters,'' Ash says. ''For me it's a logical lifestyle choice. It's such a natural thing to use up that waste.''
Some call them ''dumpster divers,'' others brand them ''skip lickers,'' but Ross Parry and Ash Falkingham like to count themselves among the Freegans -- a growing band of foragers who seek to live entirely from the waste of others.
In this brief trip to a small supermarket skip in southeast London, they have recovered enough food to provide themselves -- and several others -- with an impressive evening meal, as well as bread, muffins and teabags for the next morning's breakfast."

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Teens suffer soap opera virus... right around final exams

Teens suffer soap opera virus - Yahoo! News: "LISBON (Reuters) - An illness that medical officials are calling the 'Strawberries with Sugar Virus' is sweeping Portuguese schools as children complain of symptoms similar to those suffered by characters in a television soap opera.

More than 300 children have complained of symptoms including rashes, breathing difficulties and dizziness at 14 schools in different parts of the country. Some schools have been forced to close.

The outbreak came a few days after the popular 'Strawberries with Sugar' teenage television show aired an episode about a life-threatening virus descending on a school.

Medical officials believe many children, after watching the show, feared their own minor rashes and wheezes were something serious. Others noted the outbreak came at the same time as end-of-year exams"

DNA study shows it was messy when humans and chimps parted ways - Yahoo! News

DNA study shows it was messy when humans and chimps parted ways - Yahoo! News: "NEW YORK (AP) - Humans and chimps diverged from a single ancestral population through a complex process that took four million years, according to a new study comparing DNA from the two species.

By analyzing about 800 times more DNA than previous studies of the human-chimp split, researchers from the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard were able to learn not just when, but a little bit about how the sister species arose.

'For the first time we're able to see the details written out in the DNA,' said Eric Lander, founding director of the Broad Institute. 'What they tell us at the least is that the human-chimp speciation was very unusual.'

The researchers hypothesize that an ancestral ape species split into two isolated populations about 10 million years ago, then got back together after a few thousand millennia. At that time the two groups, though somewhat genetically different, would have mated to form a third, hybrid population. That population could have interbred with one or both of its parent populations. Then, at some point after 6.3 million years ago, two distinct lines arose."

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Dave's New Phone Number

1 - 567 - 202 - 1123

on Skype. You can call it from a normal phone.

Leave a message if I'm not answering or not online.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Ex-gang members in Honduras face tough road on return to society > News > World -- Ex-gang members in Honduras face tough road on return to society: "By Alexandre Meneghini

8:48 a.m. May 13, 2006

TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras – Former President Ricardo Maduro took on Honduras' street gang problem with a zero-tolerance campaign, ordering police to arrest anyone who appeared likely to be part of a gang – even if they had not committed any crime.

But the widespread roundup of suspected gang members led to overcrowding and violence in the Central American nation's ill-equipped prisons.

Maduro's successor, Manuel Zelaya, who took office in January, is trying conciliation. He has urged gang members to turn in their weapons in exchange for a chance to enter rehabilitation programs that offer alternatives to the criminal life, including job training and education.

Still, the old zero-tolerance policy has left many young men with the stigma of being viewed as gang members despite having no record of criminal offenses. Many struggle to find work and live in society after photos identifying them as criminals appeared in the news media.

Even before joining the violent street gangs, young men know there is no way back to ordinary society. Honduras' gangs recognize only lifetime membership and trying to drop out is considered a death sentence.

The only exception is if a gang member proves he has become a churchgoing Christian. The former gang will keep watch to ensure that the dropout is not drinking, using drugs or hanging out on the streets and that he is always carrying a Bible."

Flying Robot Attack Called Unstoppable

TLC :: News :: Article: "May 11, 2006— It may sound like science fiction, but the prospect that suicide bombers and hijackers could be made redundant by flying robots is a real one, according to experts.

The technology for remote-controlled light aircraft is now highly advanced, widely available and, experts say, virtually unstoppable.

Models with a wingspan of five meters (16 feet), capable of carrying up to 50 kilograms (110 pounds), remain undetectable by radar.

And thanks to satellite positioning systems, they can now be programmed to hit targets some distance away with just a few meters (yards) short of pinpoint accuracy.

Security services the world over have been considering the problem for several years, but no one has yet come up with a solution.

'We are observing an increasing threat from such things as remote-controlled aircraft used as small flying bombs against soft targets,' the head of the Canadian secret services, Michel Gauthier, said at a conference in Calgary recently.

According to Gauthier, 'ultra-light aircraft, powered hang gliders or powered paragliders have also been purchased by terrorist groups to circumvent ground-based countermeasures.'

On May 1 the Web site Defensetech published an article by military technology specialist David Hambling, entitled 'Terrorists' unmanned air force.'

'While billions have been spent on ballistic missile defense, little attention has been given to the more imminent threat posed by unmanned air vehicles in the hands of terrorists or rogue states,' writes Hambling."

How "Daddy" affects your job: psychologist - Yahoo! News

How "Daddy" affects your job: psychologist - Yahoo! News: "NEW YORK (Reuters) - Successes or failures of employees in the workplace can be traced to what kind of father they had, a psychologist argues in a new book.

In 'The Father Factor,' Stephan Poulter lists five styles of fathers -- super-achieving, time bomb, passive, absent and compassionate/mentor -- who have powerful influences on the careers of their sons and daughters." - Education law leaves children behind - May 12, 2006 - Education law leaves children behind - May 12, 2006: "WASHINGTON (AP) -- Not a single state will have a highly qualified teacher in every core class this school year as promised by President Bush's education law. Nine states along with the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico face penalties.

The Department of Education on Friday ordered every state to explain how it will have 100 percent of its core teachers qualified -- belatedly -- in the 2006-07 school year."

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

UK says UFOs caused by natural forces, not aliens - Yahoo! News

UK says UFOs caused by natural forces, not aliens - Yahoo! News: "LONDON (Reuters) - Hopes -- or fears -- that the Earth has been visited by alien life forms have been dismissed in an official report by British defense specialists.

The Ministry of Defense confirmed Sunday a secret study completed in December 2000 had found no evidence that 'flying saucers' or unidentified flying objects were anything other than natural phenomena."

Kitchen and bedroom blessings offered by vicars - Yahoo! News

Kitchen and bedroom blessings offered by vicars - Yahoo! News: "LONDON (Reuters) - British homeowners wanting to liven up their sex lives, ward off bathroom germs or calm kitchen rows can now call on God -- or at least his ministers -- for help.

A new service is being offered by vicars in the north of England who give blessings to people moving to a new home."

Just call me Dolph - Yahoo! News

Just call me Dolph - Yahoo! News: "WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Bottlenose dolphins can call each other by name when they whistle, making them the only animals besides humans known to recognize such identity information, scientists reported on Monday.

Scientists have long known that dolphins' whistling calls include repeated information thought to be their names, but a new study indicates dolphins recognize these names even when voice cues are removed from the sound." - U.S. has second worst newborn death rate in modern world, report says - May 9, 2006 - U.S. has second worst newborn death rate in modern world, report says - May 9, 2006: "American babies are three times more likely to die in their first month as children born in Japan, and newborn mortality is 2.5 times higher in the United States than in Finland, Iceland or Norway, Save the Children researchers found."

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Honduran congressman killed at home

The last paragraph makes me especially uncomfortable.

TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras (AP) -- A Honduran congressman was shot to death by at least three unidentified assailants while resting in a hammock at his home, authorities said Tuesday.

Ramon Salgado, a congressman from Honduras' governing Liberal Party, was attacked Monday night in the Atlantic coast city of San Pedro Sula, 60 miles (100 kilometers) north of the capital of Tegucigalpa, District Attorney Manuel Lopez said.

The assailants fired some 30 M-16 machine gun rounds at Salgado, who was hit at least 14 times, Lopez said. Salgado died later in surgery at a local hospital, he added.

No one had been arrested, and police had not determined a motive for the attack.

Salgado, 43, was elected congressman representing the coastal province of Colon three consecutive times beginning in 1998.

More than 100 prominent Hondurans have been slain in the last five years, including labor leaders, environmentalists, journalists, politicians and businesspeople. Most of the slayings have gone unsolved.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Poor Homes over 800,000

Tegucigalpa, Apr 28 (Prensa Latina) Honduran President Manuel Zelaya said near 800,000 homes are ridden with destitution and 500,000 children live in abject poverty.

At a seminar on Gender, Economy and Development, Zelaya said most households, made up of women and children, are ridden with extreme poverty, poor diet, lack of medicine and unemployment.

He admitted that most of the seven million population suffers deprivation, and announced projects, like the 52-million-dollar rural housing allocation to favor single parent families led by women.