Monday, May 2, 2011
'Hurt Locker' team plans film on bin Laden hunt -- crystalization of the event as undeniable truth in American culture has already begun
Director Kathryn Bigelow and screenwriter Mark Boal have had the bin Laden project in the works, and now that the al-Qaeda leader has been killed, a person close to the filmmakers said Monday that the film is more relevant than ever.
The as-yet-untitled film will center on the Black Ops pursuit of bin Laden, said the person, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the person was not authorized to talk about the project's status.
U.S. forces have hunted bin Laden since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks nearly 10 years ago. A team of Navy SEALs shot and killed bin Laden early Monday at a compound in Pakistan.
Bigelow declined to comment about the project, according to Susan Ciccone, a spokeswoman for the director. (read more)
WikiLeaks: Osama bin Laden 'protected' by Pakistani security... for 10 years -- is there a bigger game being played?
American diplomats were told that one of the key reasons why they had failed to find bin Laden was that Pakistan’s security services tipped him off whenever US troops approached.
Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate (ISID) also allegedly smuggled al-Qaeda terrorists through airport security to help them avoid capture and sent a unit into Afghanistan to fight alongside the Taliban.
The claims, made in leaked US government files obtained by Wikileaks, will add to questions over Pakistan’s capacity to fight al-Qaeda.
Last year, David Cameron caused a diplomatic furore when he told Pakistan that it could not “look both ways” on terrorism. The Pakistani government issued a strongly-worded rebuttal.
But bin Laden was eventually tracked down and killed in compound located just a few hundred yards from Pakistan’s prestigious military academy in Abbotabad. (read more)
Bizarre lights filmed around Sakurajima volano, and during quake aftershocks near Tokyo -- what's going on?
"We've been told to go, but we've got two more cells of lightning that need to move through here before we start to pump," Jim Lloyd, the corps' operations team leader, said as he walked through the wind and rain late Sunday afternoon. "We're going to work through the night to get this loaded."
Mr. Lloyd, who had just left a briefing, emphasized that although Maj. Gen. Michael J. Walsh, who commands the Mississippi Valley Division of the corps, had ordered that the explosives be loaded, he had yet to give the final word to blast the levee.
"He'll still have to make the decision," Mr. Lloyd said, adding that although the explosives were extremely stable and would not be primed, the lightning was "going to complicate our lives something fierce."
Earlier in the day, Missouri officials made a last-ditch effort to spare the levee when the state's attorney general turned to the United States Supreme Court, asking it to overturn a day-old order from the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit that had allowed the corps to proceed with the operation. The state was later denied.
But even as the legal fight played out, General Walsh was directing the two barges stationed at a nearby staging area to prepare to move into the final position from which crews could begin injecting the levees with 265 tons of explosives to blast the earthen structure.
"It will be a heaving of soil -- the levee will be excavated very rapidly," said Nick Boone, a mechanical engineer who leads the corps' blasting team. "On this upper end, it's going to look like a waterfall. It's an instant removal, and that's the whole point -- instant relief of the entire system." (read more)
San Diego Attorneys Continue Court Battle Challenging President Obama's Citizenship: Hearing was today, but will anyone notice now Osama is dead?
The release of President Barack Obama's long-form birth certificate has not satisfied the North County attorney who said he will press ahead with his case before the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday.
Gary Kreep says that he and Orly Taitz, a dentist and attorney from Rancho Santa Fe, will appear in federal appellate court in Pasadena on Monday to argue their case questioning the president's citizenship and the validity of his birth certificate.
Kreep, of Ramona, and Taitz are scheduled to appear in court Monday petition the court to allow forensic experts to examine the president's birth certificate, which was released this week.
''We're not sure that's an actual copy of the birth certificate ,' 'Kreep said. (read more)
White House Officials Debate Releasing Photographs of Bin Laden’s Corpse -- They're debating releasing evidence? Will it even be authentic?
“There’s no doubt it’s him,” says a US official who has seen the pictures and also reminds us that OBL was 6’4”.
The argument for releasing them: to ensure that the public knows and can appreciate that he's dead. There is of course skepticism throughout the world that the US government claim that it killed bin Laden is true.
The argument against releasing the pictures: they’re gruesome. He has a massive head wound above his left eye where he took bullet, with brains and blood visible.
In July 2003, the US government released photographs of Saddam Hussein’s dead sons Uday and Qusay Hussain but not until after they’d been touched up by a mortician, making them look not quite real. (read more)
If you click the "read more" link, you'll find this reader's comment at the bottom of the article, which we feel sums up the situation:
"Let me get this straight: the whole world has been hunting for a mass murderer, a criminal mastermind, the worst human being since Hitler, for ten freaking years... and the USA threw away the body after a few hours.
The body is the only true evidence that OBL is dead, and you don't even wait a day to let an independent authority examine your evidence?
YOU JUST THROW AWAY YOUR PROOF??
How could anyone in the US gov't or military authorize that and not expect there to be claims of conspiracy and cover-up?
This is completely unbelievable!"
We at The Coming Crisis couldn't agree more.
The United States already faces a growing physician shortage. As our population ages, we require more and more intensive health care. At the same time, enrollment in medical schools has been essentially flat, meaning we are not producing new physicians at anywhere near the rate we need to. In fact, according to the American Association of Medical Colleges, we face a shortfall of more than 150,000 doctors over the next 15 years.
And it could get a whole lot worse.
The health reform bill signed into law last year is expected to significantly increase the number of Americans with health insurance or participating in the Medicaid program. Meanwhile, an aging population will increase participation in Medicare. This means a greater demand for physician services.
Alfred Stewart, 31, was partying at the Ocean's Eleven Lounge in Hallendale Beach, Fla., with some friends who were also deaf on Saturday night when the group's signing caught the eye of gang-banger Barbara Lee.
The 45-year-old Lee though the group was throwing gang signs at her, and responded by flashing gang signs back at them, cops said.
The group motioned for her to leave them alone.
Eventually, Lee left the bar but returned with two members of her crew, 19-year-old Marco Ibanez and a 17-year-old who was not identified, cops said.
Ibanez allegedly pulled a knife and began stabbing Stewart and his friends.
Stewart and three of his friends were taken to a hospital and treated for stab wounds.
A bouncer at the bar who had a bottle smashed over his head in the melee was also taken to the hospital. None of the injuries were life-threatening, officials said.
Lee, Ibanez and the 17-year-old were arrested and charged with aggravated battery.
Stewart's mother, Brenda, said there was no way her son was making gang signs.
"We hope all parties can cease fire immediately and solve the current crisis in a peaceful way through dialogue and negotiation," Jiang Yu, a Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, said in a statement on the website.
She added that China was concerned about the rising number of civilian casualties from the conflict.
The deaths of Gaddafi's family members are sensitive as they will likely feed accusations that NATO has over-stepped its U.N. mandate to protect Libyan civilians.
Libyan officials have said the deaths were part of an attempt to assassinate Gaddafi.
China's government has been critical of the West's airstrikes on Libya from the start, having abstained from a U.N. Security Council vote that authorized intervention.
Some analysts said China's strident opposition arises in part from a fear that it may some day see its own power challenged by demands for human rights and democracy.
Gaddafi, who is fighting a rebellion against his authoritarian rule, has pressed an offensive against rebel forces after his son was killed, with his supporters burning Western embassies in Tripoli. (Source)
Silver prices have risen 5.5 percent this week and 57.1 percent in 2011.
China said its net imports of silver nearly quadrupled to more than 3,500 metric tons in 2010, boosted by sharp increases in demand by the industrial sector and the jewelry industry.
Silver demand in China and India has increased sharply in recent months as more investors use silver as a store of value.
About 70% of China’s silver demand comes from the industrial sectors. Silver is widely used in the production of electronic products, jewelry, industrial production, such as medical, solar power and water purification industries.
China is the world’s largest producer of solar power and electronics.
Silver price increased more than 80% in 2010.
Demand for silver in China and India is up 30 per cent in 2011.
In 2010 India consumed about 2,800 tonnes of silver, this year’s consumption is expected to rise to 5,000 tonnes, according to Albanian_Minerals President Sahit Muja and trading experts. (read more)
It's an Earth, but not as we know it: Remarkable new find 'holds key' to planet evolution - 2nd May 2011
- The discovery of an ‘exotic super-Earth’ that is as dense as lead and where a year lasts just 18 hours could be the most significant breakthrough yet in the study of planet evolution and survival.
The remarkable find - named 55 Cancri e - is the densest and most solid planet ever uncovered and is so close to Earth that stargazers can view its sun with the naked eye.
The rocky ‘exoplanet’, meaning it’s out of our solar system, is 13,000miles in diameter or 60 per cent larger than Earth but is eight times as massive and twice as dense.
And despite a surface temperature close to 2,700C (4,900F), some astronomers believe the planet may retain an atmosphere thanks to its strong gravity.
Super-Earths, which are up to ten times larger than our own planet, hold a special interest for scientists because they have the potential to be solid or have liquid oceans.
That means if other conditions, such as temperature, are right, they may be a potential home for alien life forms. Read More
Baby is treated in hospital for being drunk - while six-year-old is admitted high on illegal drugs - 2nd May 2011
The cases are among hundreds of children, including babies and toddlers, being treated at the Royal Bolton Hospital because of drug and alcohol abuse.
Nine children aged 12 and under, as well as hundreds of teenagers, have been seen for some form of alcohol poisoning.
Nine babies younger than a year old and more than 100 one and two-year-olds needed medical help after drugs poisoning.
More than 70 three to ten-year-olds and hundreds of teenagers have ended up in A&E as a result of drugs, including a three-year-old and a six-year-old who took controlled drugs, a one-year-old with solvent poisoning and teenagers as young as 13 taking deliberate overdoses.
Health chiefs said they were worried about the figures as drugs and alcohol can cause 'significant harm' to the developing brains of children.
The figures, obtained by The Bolton News under a Freedom of Information Act request, show that children as young as a few months old have been taken to the Royal Bolton Hospital because of substance abuse.
The information covers everything from alcohol abuse to poisoning, including overdoses, of medicines, controlled drugs, illegal drugs and solvents over the past three years.
The Royal Bolton Hospital said that many of the incidents involving young children were thought to be accidents - for example with parents giving sick children too much medicine, or toddlers helping themselves to drinks.
Heather Edwards, the hospital's head of communications, said: 'Alcohol and drugs cause a lot of difficulties for individuals, families and society and are a burden on the NHS.
'It is not good news that young people are coming into contact with substances that could harm their health, whether accidentally or knowingly.' Source
Murder probe as university lecturer, his wife and daughters aged 11 and 18 are found stabbed to death in affluent village - 2nd May 2011
The affluent family were found by police when they forced their way into the home in an affluent Northamptonshire village last night.
The parents, named locally as Jifeng Ding, 46, and 47-year-old Helen Chui, were found downstairs in the property.
Private schoolgirl Nancy, 18, and her violinist sister Alice, 11, were found dead upstairs. All four are understood to be of Chinese origin.
Police ruled out a murder suicide - although said they were not currently looking for anyone else in connection with the deaths.
Neighbours described the family as 'quiet' and 'well-to-do'.
Mr Ding, known as Jeff, was a senior lecturer in the Division of Chemical and Environmental Science at Manchester Metropolitan University.
A spokesman for Northamptonshire Police tonight confirmed that the family had all been stabbed to death.
'After forcing entry to the property we found the bodies of four individuals,' he said.
'We have as yet been unable to formally identify the bodies and this is currently our main priority.
'The deaths are being treated with the highest priority and the force's Major Incident Team has been deployed. This investigation is not being treated as murder and suicide. Read More
Nuclear Event - Kan Admits Failure to Address Nuclear Problems as Another Plant Leaks in JAPAN - 2nd May 2011
Japan Atomic Power Co., the utility firm that operates the Tsuruga nuclear plant on the Sea of Japan coast, acknowledged "technical difficulties" at the Unit 2 reactor and confirmed a possible leak of radioactive iodine from the reactor's nuclear fuel rods into the coolant system.
The company said Monday that 4.2 becquerels of iodine-133 and 3,900 becquerels of xenon gas were detected per cubic centimeter of coolant water, up from 2.1 of iodine-133 and 5.2 becquerels of xenon gas measured during tests conducted April 26.
The company said it will manually shut down the Unit 2 reactor and examine its cooling system.
The prefectural government denied that the levels of radioactive substances could threaten the surrounding environment.
Tsuruga is one of the 15 nuclear reactors around Wakasa Bay on the west coast of Honshu island, the largest concentration of nuclear power plants in the world.
Tsuruga is not in the region devastated by the 9.0 magnitude earthquake and resulting tsunami on March 11 that damaged Tokyo Electric Power Company's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant on Honshu island's Pacific coast. Read More
The world's most-wanted man was buried at sea in the early hours of the morning, after he was killed by a gunshot to the head at a villa in the Pakistani town of Abbottabad.
Officials said his body had also been identified by a woman believed to be one of his wives.
They added that a decision had not yet been made as to whether a photograph of the body should be released.
US President Barack Obama said: "The world is safer, it is a better place because of the death of Osama bin Laden."
A US defence official said Bin Laden was given an Islamic funeral, which involved him being wrapped in a white sheet and washed before being sent overboard.
They said the ceremony took place at sea because other countries - including Saudi Arabia and Pakistan - refused to take custody of the body.
US chief counter-terrorism advisor John Brennan insisted Bin Laden would have been taken alive if there had been the opportunity.
That contradicted sources that had previously claimed the operation had been a "kill mission", with no attempt to capture the target. Read More
Osama Bin Laden death photo captured from Al Jazeera: WARNING GRAPHIC -- BREAKING NEWS (But is the photo current? Authentic?)
A close up:
The Coming Crisis calls upon all readers to ask themselves: why would fake photos being disseminated by the media? Why is there no body (aside from the story of a body being dumped in the sea)? Why is there no release of authentic evidence by the US government? As always, we at the Coming Crisis want you to ask questions, and ask you to report your findings to us so we can add it to our investigation of the matter.
Wikileaks: Capturing Osama bin Laden 'would unleash nuclear hellstorm' -- propaganda or potential disaster?
The terror group also planned to make a 9/11 style attack on London's Heathrow airport by crashing a hijacked airliner into one of the terminals, the files showed.
Khalid Sheikh Mohammed told Guantanamo Bay interrogators the terror group would detonate the nuclear device if the al-Qaeda chief was captured or killed, according to the classified files released by the WikiLeaks website.
Sheikh Mohammed, the self-professed mastermind of the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States, has been held at Guantanamo since 2006 and is to be tried in a military court at the US naval base on Cuba over the attacks.
His nuclear threat was revealed in Britain's Daily Telegraph newspaper, one of several media outlets which have published the classified assessments of detainees at Guantanamo.
The German weekly Der Spiegel, also citing WikiLeaks, said that Sheikh Mohammed had told his interrogators he had set up two cells for the purpose of attacking Heathrow in 2002.
The aim was to seize control of an airliner shortly after take-off from Heathrow, one of the world's busiest airports, turn it around and crash it into one of the four terminals. (read more)
US personnel have so far said they identified him by facial recognition, but have declined to say whether they used DNA analysis.
Reports have also suggested that Saudi Arabia was asked to take bin Laden's body - but refused to do so.
The fact his body was buried at sea has so far only added to the speculation, although as a Muslim, he had to be laid to rest as quickly as possible.
Under Islamic law, people can only be buried at sea if they died there, or if there is a risk their body will be exhumed or dug up if buried in the ground.
The release of a photograph purporting to show bin Laden's corpse - which was later confirmed to be a fake - added to the confusion.
Journalists have not yet had the opportunity to ask more than a few questions of the Obama administration about details of bin Laden's death. (read more)
The new American justice: Navy Seal team's mission was to kill bin Laden, not capture -- guilty or not, where was his trial?
The U.S. special forces team that hunted down Osama bin Laden was under orders to kill the al Qaeda mastermind, not capture him, a U.S. national security official told Reuters.
Chemical and Biological terror weapons team briskly recalled from Japan back to US: reprisals feared
The death of the world's most wanted terrorist has security experts at all levels of government concerned that bin Laden's loyal and fanatical followers could launch a series of deadly attacks.
"We have to be particularly vigilant about danger that is still out there. This act could cause people to do things people may have planned to do if this day came," Andrew Card, former chief of staff to President George W. Bush, told ABC News.
"We remain at a heightened state of vigilance, Secretary Napolitano has been clear since announcing NTAS in January that we will only issue alerts when we have specific or credible information to convey to the American public. Our security posture, which always includes a number of measures both seen and unseen, will continue to protect the American people from an evolving threat picture both in the next days and beyond," said on Department of Homeland Security official.Already the 145 members of the Marines' elite Chemical Biological Incident Response Force are departing Japan, where they've been supporting radiation remediation efforts in the wake of the March earthquake. The unit has been recalled to the United States, ready to respond to any potential emergency as a result of an attack. (read more)
Bin Laden’s Corpse Has Been On Ice For Nearly a Decade according to politicians, analysts, and so on... would you like some chips with that fish?
That time has now come with a years-old fake picture being presented as the only evidence of his alleged killing yesterday, while Bin Laden’s body has been hastily dumped into the sea to prevent anyone from finding out when he actually died.
In April 2002, over nine years ago, Council on Foreign Relations member Steve R. Pieczenik, who served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State under Henry Kissinger, Cyrus Vance, and James Bake, told the Alex Jones Show that Bin Laden had already been “dead for months”.
Pieczenik would be in a position to know such information, having worked directly with Bin Laden when the US was funding and arming the terror leader in an attempt to drive the Soviets out of Afghanistan in the late 70′s and early 80′s (a documented historical fact that talking heads in the corporate media are actually denying today in light of developments).
“I found out through my sources that he had had kidney disease. And as a physician, I knew that he had to have two dialysis machines and he was dying,” Pieczenik told Jones during the April 24, 2002 interview.
“And you could see those in those films, those made-up photos that they were sending us out of nowhere. I mean, suddenly, we would see a video of bin Laden today and then out of nowhere, they said oh it was sent to us anonymously, meaning that someone in the government, our government, was trying to keep up the morale on our side and say oh we still have to chase this guy when, in fact, he’s been dead for months,” added Pieczenik. (read more)
Now the CIA has produced a report saying that bin Laden has long-term kidney disease and may have only months to live, two U.S. officials familiar with the report told TIME. The agency ostensibly managed to get the names of some of the medications bin Laden is taking. One U.S. official familiar with the report, which came out between six and nine months ago, says it concluded, "Based on his current pharmaceutical intake, [we] would expect that he has no more than six to 18 months to live and impending kidney failure." (read more)
"The Coalition troops are engaged in a mad search operation but they would never be able to fulfill their cherished goal of getting Usama alive or dead," the source said.
Bin Laden, according to the source, was suffering from a serious lung complication and succumbed to the disease in mid-December, in the vicinity of the Tora Bora mountains. The source claimed that bin Laden was laid to rest honorably in his last abode and his grave was made as per his Wahabi belief.
About 30 close associates of bin Laden in Al Qaeda, including his most trusted and personal bodyguards, his family members and some "Taliban friends," attended the funeral rites. A volley of bullets was also fired to pay final tribute to the "great leader."
The Taliban source who claims to have seen bin Laden's face before burial said "he looked pale ... but calm, relaxed and confident."
Asked whether bin Laden had any feelings of remorse before death, the source vehemently said "no." Instead, he said, bin Laden was proud that he succeeded in his mission of igniting awareness amongst Muslims about hegemonistic designs and conspiracies of "pagans" against Islam. Bin Laden, he said, held the view that the sacrifice of a few hundred people in Afghanistan was nothing, as those who laid their lives in creating an atmosphere of resistance will be adequately rewarded by Almighty Allah. (read more)
The operation that led to the killing of al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden took shape after detainees identified a trusted bin Laden courier as someone who may have been living with and protecting the militant leader, senior administration officials told reporters.
That courier became a key lead in locating bin Laden, the officials said.
The officials provided details on the origins of the operation and the raid that led to bin Laden's killing:
* Four years ago: Officials uncovered the courier's identity.
* Two years ago: Investigators identified areas of Pakistan where the courier and his brother lived.....and so on and so forth, until we reach the interesting conclusion:
* Intelligence on bin Laden was not shared with Pakistan and other countries.
* After the raid, U.S. officials briefed Pakistani and other world leaders.
* Bin Laden has been buried at sea and his body was handled in the Islamic tradition. The officials but did not elaborate. (read more)
Puzzle persists for 'degradeable' plastics: Eco-friendly plastics disintegrate, but might just linger in the environment.
Polyethylene is one of the most widely used materials in the world, and the discarded plastic bag has become one of the most potent symbols of human impact on the environment. As worries over the vast scale of waste from this plastic has grown, so has the use of purportedly 'degradable' forms of it.
Adding transition metals such as iron and cobalt can promote the oxidation of the ethylene polymers and claims for the degradability or biodegradability of these materials are widespread on food packaging and plastic bags. But a review published last week in Environmental Science & Technology1, notes that there is no evidence that 'degradable polyethylenes' are actually all they suggest.
Although it is clear that 'degradable' plastic bags, for example, will fall apart in the environment, the resulting fragments can persist for a long time, and there are no long-term studies on these pieces. A key issue is that products can be described as biodegradable without reference to the timescale it takes them to fully biodegrade. (read more)
No one seems more aware of the electoral peril than Obama himself.
"My poll numbers go up and down depending on the latest crisis, and right now gas prices are weighing heavily on people," he told Democratic donors in Los Angeles this past week.
In fact, Obama raised the issue unsolicited in a series of town meetings in Virginia, California and Nevada that were ostensibly about his deficit-reduction plan. And he made the gas spike the subject of his weekly radio and Internet address Saturday.
"It's just another burden when things were already pretty tough," he said.
As Obama well knows, Americans love their cars and remain heavily dependent on them, and they don't hesitate to punish politicians when the cost of filling their tanks goes through the roof. Indeed, for presidents, responding to sudden surges is a recurring frustration.
"These gas prices are killing you right now," Obama said at Facebook headquarters in Palo Alto, acknowledging that many Americans can't afford new fuel-efficient cars and must drive older models.. For some, he said, the cost of a fill-up has all but erased the benefit of the payroll tax holiday that he and congressional Republicans agreed on last December. (read more)
The warning, from the RSPB, comes as the songs of the cuckoo, nightingale and wood warbler herald the return of spring. In the case of the cuckoo – "the simple bird that thinks two notes a song", according to the poet William Henry Davies – its call has become synonymous with the arrival of warm weather. It is the quintessential bird of spring.
Yet there is now a real risk that, with other migrant birds from Africa, it may no longer make its annual appearance in our woodlands, said Dr Danaë Sheehan, a senior RSPB conservation scientist. The call of the cuckoo could be silenced in the near future unless scientists can unravel the causes of the drastic decline in their population, she said.
According to Sheehan, numbers of migrant birds from Africa have declined dramatically in the UK since 1995. For turtle doves the figure is 71%; nightingales, 53%; and cuckoos, 44%. "That is a very significant and very worrying decline," she added.
"The real problem is that there are so many different possible causes for these losses – which makes it difficult to tease out the factors involved in their decline and to prepare plans to put things right.
When provoked, the spider, commonly known as the brown recluse (Loxosceles reclusa), injects powerful venom that can kill the tissues at the site of the bite. This can lead to a painful deep sore and occasional scarring.
But the wounds are not always easy to diagnose. Medical practitioners can confuse the bite with other serious conditions, including Lyme disease and various cancers. The distribution of the spider is poorly understood as well, and medical professionals routinely diagnose brown recluse bites outside of the areas where it is known to exist. (read more)
The 7 Most Impressive Examples of Animal Architecture Read more: The 7 Most Impressive Examples of Animal Architecture
Tanks shell centre of Syrian city as death toll in violent anti-government protests hits 535; Why aren't the UN Protecting us?
Daraa has been without water, fuel or electricity since Monday when government troops backed by tanks and snipers were sent in to crush protests against President Bashar Assad's rule.
It comes as British Prime Minister David Cameron condemned the violence as 'completely disgraceful and unacceptable'.
Videos have since emerged of government troops purportedly firing on protesters while other footage shows teenagers struggling to aid wounded comrades under a hail of machine gun fire.
Daraa residents said today Syrian authorities are carrying out a wave of arrests in the city in their latest move to crush the protests.
The residents said they had seen packed busloads of handcuffed and hooded young men being taken in the direction of a large detention centre in the city run by the security services.
'They are arresting all males above 15 years. They only have old security tactics and they are acting on revenge,' said a prominent lawyer in Daraa who did not want to be further identified.
'Bullets are their response to the people's revolt. The security forces who came to Daraa told us "Go buy bread from a bakery called Freedom. Let's see if it feeds you",' he added. Read More
Mugabe at the Vatican: Dictator beats EU travel ban to be among 1.5m watching Pope beatify his predecessor - 2nd May 2011
The Zimbabwean president was able to join the crowd of 1.5million at the ceremony because the Vatican, while located in the Italian capital Rome, is a sovereign state and not part of the EU.
The Roman Catholic Archbishop of Westminster, Vincent Nichols, who attended the ceremony, said Mugabe’s record on human rights was deplorable and ‘it felt uncomfortable to be in his presence’.
It was not the first time Mugabe, 87, who has driven his country to starvation while building up his own riches, has caused controversy by attending a Vatican function.
In 2005 the tyrant sat next to the Prince of Wales at Pope John Paul’s funeral and Charles was caught out having to shake hands with him.
After yesterday’s service, Archbishop Nichols said: ‘The Vatican has not broken off diplomatic relations with Zimbabwe and if [Mugabe] wants to attend and he is invited, then he can do so, but personally I found it uncomfortable.’ Read More
The leader of Al Qaeda was killed by a bomb along with some members of his family in a strike on a mansion outside Islamabad in Pakistan.
The U.S. military has recovered the body his identity and intelligence sources have confirmed his identity.
Within minutes of the news breaking Americans began gathering outside the White House to wave American flags, sing the national anthem and chant: ‘USA! USA!’
Sources said that bin Laden was killed not killed by a drone but a bomb controlled by a U.S. airman.
The attack took place a week ago but has just been announced. Read More
Osama bin Laden, the face of terror (irony-alert), killed in Pakistan -- as we're told, athough story inconsistencies are already emerging...
Bin Laden was the leader of al Qaeda, the terrorist network behind the September 11, 2001, attacks on the United States. U.S. officials said that their forces have the body of bin Laden.
The enormity of the destruction -- the World Trade Center's towers devastated by two hijacked airplanes, the Pentagon partially destroyed by a third hijacked jetliner, a fourth flight crashed in rural Pennsylvania, and more than 3,000 people killed -- gave bin Laden a global presence.
The Saudi-born zealot commanded an organization run like a rogue multinational firm, experts said, with subsidiaries operating secretly in dozens of countries, plotting terror, raising money and recruiting young Muslim men -- even boys -- from many nations to its training camps in Afghanistan.
He used the fruits of his family's success -- a personal fortune estimated in the hundreds of millions of dollars -- to help finance al Qaeda in its quest for a new pan-Islamic religious state. How much bin Laden got in the settlement of the family estate is still a matter of contention. Estimates range from tens of millions to hundreds of millions.
Even before September 11, bin Laden was already on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list. (Yet, bizarrely, on that very FBI list 9/11 was never included among his crimes -- why? Why does this story already feel strange?) (read more)
A senior U.S. official tells CNN that Osama bin Laden was killed by the U.S. forces in a mansion outside the Pakistani capital of Islamabad along with other family members.
Congressional and administration sources say U.S. officials have the body of bin Laden. Further details around his death were not immediately available.
U.S. President Barack Obama is expected to address the nation shortly. (Source)