Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Headlines Wednesday 6th January 2010

Google finally unveils its long-anticipated Nexus One, promoted by the Web giant as a 'super phone' positioned to battle Apple's iPhone in the smart phone wars — but, does it live up to the hype?

Officials: Protocol Followed, But the System Failed
Top agencies say the system worked the way it should have in would-be jet bombing — which is why it failed

U.S. to End Gitmo Transfers to Yemen
White House says transferring prisoners to Yemen 'not a good idea' amid a resurgent Al Qaeda there

Obama Called Out by C-SPAN
TV network calls for Congress to open closed-door health care talks promised by Obama on campaign trail

CIA Base Bomber Was Jordanian Extremist Double Agent
The homicide bomber who killed eight people inside a CIA base in eastern Afghanistan last week was a Jordanian extremist double agent recruited by Jordanian intelligence, sources told Fox News. The bombing killed seven CIA employees-- four officers and three contracted security guards-- and a Jordanian intelligence officer, Ali bin Zaid, according to a second former U.S. intelligence official. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the incident. The former senior intelligence official and the foreign official said the bomber was Humam Khalil Abu-Mulal al-Balawi, a 36-year old doctor from Zarqa, Jordan. NBC News first reported the bomber's identity. He was arrested more than a year ago by Jordanian intelligence and was thought to have been persuaded to support U.S. and Jordanian efforts against Al Qaeda, according to the NBC report. He was invited to Camp Chapman, a tightly secured CIA forward base in Khost province on the fractious Afghan-Pakistan frontier, because he was offering urgent information to track down Ayman al-Zawahiri, Usama bin Laden's right-hand man.

AN Australian town's population will double this week as jump-suit-wearing Elvis tragics flock to it to mark what would have been the King's 75th birthday / Liam Driver

Girl, 7,' thrown onto motorway'
A BOY,14, has appeared in court accused of a brutal attack on his seven-year-old neighbour.

Mother-of-three dies from hammer attack
A 41-YEAR-OLD mother-of-three has died from her injuries after being bashed with a hammer.

'Bizarre drug twist in men's kidnapping'
THREE men were kidnapped and held in scorching conditions in a suburban shed, a court hears.

Woman sues church over pencil injury
THE Lutheran Church is being sued after a girl's finger was pierced by a pencil years ago

Beyonce performs gig for Gaddafi family
BEYONCE has performed for Colonel Gaddafi's son, Hannibal, who has a long record of violence.

Schools with no place to play, eat

PRIMARY school students will be forced to eat their lunch in a local park with their school grounds chewed up by construction under the Federal Government's "education revolution"

Cop kill charge cut to manslaughter
THE murder charge of a policeman and father-of-three has been reduced to manslaughter.

Sydney's ATM skimming epidemic scum
THEIR disguises of baseball hats and dark glasses look crude but these two fraudsters are part of a hi-tech gang using ATM skimming devices to fleece us.

Solomons rattled post quake and tsunami
AFTERSHOCKS rattled the Solomon Islands late last night, a day after a quake and tsunami left 1000 people homeless.
=== Journalists Corner ===

Excessive? Outrageous? Irresponsible?
The Dems are pushing health care reform, but is their agenda what America really wants? Get the country's true temperature.

New Strategy for Success?
As GOP campaigns gear up, White House policies are getting torn down. Will their new plan help Republicans win, or will it backfire in 2010?
"On the Job Hunt"!
How can new technology and exploration bring hope to some jobless communities? Find out!
Air of False Security?
Are new airport safety measures really just a scam? John Stossel's shocking report!
=== Comments ===
America's National Security
By Bill O'Reilly
President Obama's Christmas could not have been calm after that loon from Nigeria tried to blow up a Northwest jetliner as it approached Detroit.

Because the Obama administration has changed so many Bush anti-terror policies, any terrorist activity will engender controversy.

The president had to wince when Homeland Security chief Janet Napolitano initially stated that the system "worked." Of course it did not work, and the governor had to recant her statement 24 hours later.

That gave the anti-Obama people the opening they needed to hammer the president, and that criticism deeply offended The Washington Post, which editorialized:

"With former vice president Richard B. Cheney in the lead, [Republicans] have embarked on an ugly course to use the [attempted bombing] incident to inflict maximum political damage on President Obama. That's bad enough, but their scurrilous line of attack is even worse. The claim that the incident shows the president's fecklessness in the War on Terror is unfounded."

That's the liberal view, but here's the truth: President Obama has promoted a number of policies that most Americans feel are not tough enough on Al Qaeda.

For example, a new Rasmussen poll says a whopping 71 percent of Americans believe the Nigerian bomber should be handled by the military, not tried in civilian court. Fox News anchor Chris Wallace asked Obama's counter-terrorism guy John Brennan about the situation:


CHRIS WALLACE, HOST, "FOX NEWS SUNDAY": Why not treat him as an enemy combatant, put him in a secret prison, use the interrogation techniques that President Obama has specifically approved and try to get more information out of him?

JOHN BRENNAN, WHITE HOUSE COUNTER TERRORISM ADVISER: Well, we have an array of tools that we will use, and we want to make sure we maintain flexibility as far as how we deal with these individuals.

Flexibility? Word is the accused bomber has now lawyered up and has stopped talking.

Mr. Brennan told CNN the government may offer the man a plea bargain to get him talking again, but why bother with that when it is legal to hold the terrorist as an enemy combatant and turn him over to the military?

Most Americans — and I agree — see military interrogation as the most effective counter-terror measure. So criticism directed at President Obama for his War on Terror strategy is legitimate, especially because the Obama administration is so different than the Bush administration in this area:


BRENNAN: The president does not describe this as a war on terrorism. That is because terrorism is but a tactic, a means to an end. Describing our efforts as a global war only plays into the warped narrative that Al Qaeda propagates.


Brennan's opinion is not currently playing well with the folks.

All in all, the attempted bombing of the Northwest airliner is very bad news for the Obama administration.
Reduce Stress, Extend Your Life, Thanks to DNA's 'Life-Expectancy' Gene

By Anita Vogel
We've heard for years about the benefits of reducing stress, and how we should make time for activities like meditation, yoga, and plain old relaxation. Now scientific evidence suggests that one of those benefits may actually be a longer life.

Researchers at the University of California at San Francisco have discovered an enzyme that plays a key role in normal cell function, as well as in cell aging and most cancers. It's called telomerase, and it produces tiny units of DNA that seal off the ends of chromosomes, which contain the body's genes.

The DNA units are called telomeres, and among other things they work to protect the quality of the gene, and how often a cell divides which determines the lifespan of the cells. What's exciting about this discovery is the notion that telomeres can be lengthened to prolong cell life — and along the way treat age-related diseases like blindness, cardiovascular problems and neurodegenerative disorders.

So how can telomeres be lengthened?

The answer could be easier said than done depending upon who you are and your lifestyle. Stress reduction in this era is almost an oxymoron, but if your life depends on it, you might start to prioritize things differently. (click link for more)
Tim Blair
It’s a global warming emergency:
The Met Office issued an emergency warning today that London and the Home Counties could be buried by more then 40cm (16in) of snow overnight.

As the Arctic cold snap was forecast to extend its grip across Britain, residents of counties including Hampshire, Oxfordshire and Wiltshire were advised to take action to avoid the worst of the snowfall.

A Met Office meteorologist said the highest level of alert had triggered a warning for the emergency services advising them to prepare for the worst.

A spokesman for the National Grid said the alert had been effective in prompting electricity companies to import more gas or switch to …
Or switch to? Or switch to? Oh, great Gaia’s ghost, whatever will they switch to?
… or switch to coal-fired power stations.
Tim Blair
This demands notice:
A neighbourhood chum of mine went and photographed his burnouts from the night before and had a tattoo artist model the results into a tribal tattoo. The rubber is gone from the tarmac but the stupidity remains forever inked into his shoulder.
Tim Blair
Green blogger Graham Readfearn reports recent accounts of warm weather in Australia. Commenter Chris replies:
Here is what your “friends” at the CRU at the University of East Anglia said about the Australian data sets. ?Quote from Ian “Harry” Harris “ am very sorry to report that the rest of the databases seem to be in nearly as poor a state as Australia was. There are hundreds if not thousands of pairs of dummy stations, one with no WMO and one with, usually overlapping and with the same station name and very similar coordinates. I know it could be old and new stations, but why such large overlaps if that’s the case? Aarrggghhh! There truly is no end in sight… So, we can have a proper result, but only by including a load of garbage!
(Bolding in original.) Graham’s response:
Your statement is completely impossible to check, as you’ve provided no link, no context and no reference.
Impossible to check, you say? Completely impossible? Not if we simply search for a distinctive phrase. Thus is the impossible achieved.
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