Friday, September 29, 2006

Cost of Iraq War Skyrockets!

A new congressional analysis shows the Iraq war is now costing taxpayers almost $2 billion a week -- nearly twice as much as in the first year of the conflict three years ago and 20 percent more than last year -- as the Pentagon spends more on establishing regional bases to support the extended deployment and scrambles to fix or replace equipment damaged in combat.


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Top 10 Reasons for the US to Get Out of Iraq President Bashar Al-Assad's palace overlooking Damascus IMG_0386 Syria

Tags: deployment | conflict | combat | Washington | Pentagon | Iraq | boston globe

Lost Tribes of Israel Coming Home

A group of 218 people from a remote mountainous corner of northeastern India who claim descent from one of the lost biblical tribes will be immigrating to Israel as recognized Jews for the first time.

The aliyah of members from the Bnei Menashe community to Israel is a turning point, said Michael Freund, founder of Shavei Israel which assists “lost Jews” seeking to return to the Jewish people.

“This is a major historical event, because these members of a lost tribe of Israel, after 27 centuries of wandering in exile, will at last be coming home,” he said.


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Mogen Dovid Rising Magen David Starboard Israel

Tags: northeastern India | aliyah | Bne Menashei | founder | DESCENT | Community | Tel Aviv | Israel

Canada's Housing Market Better than US

Canada's housing market is on track to outperform the U.S. market throughout 2007 as low unemployment and sound consumer confidence fuels the residential real estate sector, a report released yesterday by Royal LePage Real Estate Services concludes.

Western Canada's oil boom is still spurring feverish buying and selling and double-digit price gains in cities such as Calgary and Edmonton, but that should cool slightly as more buyers stay on the sidelines and the number of listings rise, the report states.

Ontario, Quebec, and Atlantic Canada should see more reasonable sales volumes and moderate price increases.


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Tags: Royal LePage | sales | report | price | Western Canada | U.S. | Quebec | Ontario | Edmonton | Canada | Calgary | atlantic

Nazi Hunted Down in Hungary

Efraim Zuroff of the Simon Wiesenthal Center traces suspected Nazi war criminal Sando Kepiro to Budapest; Kepiro is accused of participating in a massacre of 4,000 unarmed civilians (including 1,250 Jews) in Novisad as a gendarme with a Hungary Army unit allied with Nazi Germany. ‘The manner in which we tracked him down is quite remarkable,’ Zuroff says


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Tags: tracked | Simon Wiesenthal | Sando Kepiro | massacre | suspected | Nazi | hungary | Germany | budapest | Army

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Health Care Costs Rise Twice as Much as Inflation

A widely followed national survey reported yesterday that the cost of employee health care coverage rose 7.7 percent this year, more than double the overall inflation rate and well ahead of the increase in the incomes of workers.

The 7.7 percent increase was the lowest since 1999. But the average cost to employees continued an upward trend, reaching $2,973 annually for family coverage out of a total cost of $11,481.

Since 2000, the cost of family coverage has risen 87 percent while consumer prices are up 18 percent and the pay of workers has increased 20 percent, the survey noted. That is without counting the cost of deductibles and other out-of-pocket payments, which have also been rising.

“The cost trend is moderating but nobody is celebrating,” said Drew Altman, president of the Kaiser Family Foundation, which sponsored the survey with the Health Research and Educational Trust. “Businesses and workers are still being slammed year after year by rising health costs.”


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Tags: trend | Survey | Percent | Increase | Health | Coverage | inflation

Kazakh President Mowing Borat's Grass....

Expecting a major, if probably hysterical, hit to its image in the coming weeks with the release of the new “Borat” movie, the government of Kazakhstan has taken out a four-page advertising section in today’s New York Times and International Herald Tribune.

It comes as Kazakhstan’s President Nursultan Nazarbayev is about to meet with President Bush, starting today. The ad kicks off with a large photo of the two men shaking hands at the White House in 2001.

The costly ad supplement, which appears in the middle of the Times’ first section, makes no mention of Borat or the movie. The government has also produced ads to be shown on U.S. television.

For those not in the know, Borat is a character – a bumbling, racist, Kazakh journalist – created by Sacha Baron Cohen for his TV series “Da Ali G Show.” In the new movie, which has already drawn wide attention, he comes to America and does everything from riding the New York City subway (releasing chickens) to singing the “Star Spangled Banner” at a Western rodeo.


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Borat screen shot from his blog

Tags: movie | Government | Advertising | U.S. | takes | Nursultan Nazarbayev | New York Times | New York City | NYT | herald | Borat | America | Ad

Monday, September 25, 2006

What Happens to Email When You Die?

William Talcott, a prominent San Francisco poet with dual Irish citizenship, had fans all over the world. But when he died in June of bone marrow cancer, his daughter couldn't notify most of his contacts because his e-mail account--and the online address book he used--was locked up.

Talcott, 69, a friend of beatnik Neil Cassidy, apparently took his password to the grave.

Bottom line:

The dilemma can be avoided by putting passwords to e-mail, photo, music and other online accounts in an estate planning document, attorneys say. E-mail providers don't typically offer access to accounts of deceased unless without relevant documentation.

It's a vexing, and increasingly common problem for families mourning the loss of loved ones. As more and more people move their lives, address books, calendars, financial information, online, they are taking a risk that some information formerly filed away in folders and desks might never be recovered. That is, unless they share their passwords, which poses security threats.

"He did not keep a hard copy address book. I think everything was online," said Talcott's daughter, Julie Talcott-Fuller. "There were people he knew that I haven't been able to contact. It's been very hard."


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Google subpoenaed to turn over deleted Gmail messages

Tags: icio | poet | Passwords | online | mail | information | GRAVE | daughter | citizenship | taking | San Francisco

Tribute Company Meltdown

The board of the Tribune Company voted unanimously on Thursday to restructure two partnerships that may lead the way for a possible sale or breakup of the company. The decision comes on the heels of a protracted dispute between shareholders and the editorial side of two of the company’s most high-profile assets: the Chicago Tribune and the Los Angeles Times.

Staff writers at the Los Angeles Times report that Thursday’s board meeting named a committee whose purpose would be to study “alternatives for creating additional value for shareholders.”

Tribune Co.’s stock has been spliced in half since its $8 billion purchase of Times Mirror in 2000. The move was criticized as a poorly timed investment in the newspaper industry at the exact moment of its slowdown. Pressure from shareholders to spin off assets has been mounting for some time now. California’s Chandler family, the major stockholders, issued a public statement in June demanding that the Tribune spin off some of their television stations.


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Jaws returns! 15 across Ricky Gervais podcast in the Guardian Torturgal UK's Independent newspaper goes RED with Kate Moss cover

Tags: Upheaval | breakup | US | Tribune | times | CHANDLER | California

Friday, September 22, 2006

Bush 'taken aback' about alleged threat to Pakistan

President Bush on Friday said he was "taken aback" by a report that a U.S. official threatened the United States would attack Pakistan if it did not help immediately after 9/11.

Bush made the remarks at a White House news conference with Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf, thanking the U.S. ally for his role in the war on terror.

The Pakistan president has told CBS News that -- immediately following the September 11, 2001, attacks -- the Bush administration threatened to bomb his country "back to the Stone Age" if Pakistan did not help in the U.S. war on terrorism.

Bush said he first heard of the alleged threat "in the newspaper today." (Watch as Bush says he's unaware of any such conversation -- 1:56)

"I was taken aback by the harshness of the words," he said.


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Bush is he a devil? We'll bomb you to Stone Age, US told Pakistan REALITY: Bush is a pimp for the moneyed interests and corporations in USA

Tags: aback | Threat | taken | report | official | news | conference | alleged | Washington | United States | U.S. | Pervez | Pakistani | Pakistan | Musharraf | friday | Bush

Hot Damn...A Golden Bra!!!

Korea's Golden Zone has launched a 1.89 million USD gold bra during a fashion show in Seoul. Most ladies will definitely love to have one of these for their private collection, but I wonder if it is comfortable to wear?


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A Golden Bra

Tags: Lingerie | Fashion | Diamond | collection | bra | Seoul | Korea | golden

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Facebook Selling Out

Social-networking Web site is in serious talks to sell itself to Internet media company Yahoo Inc. for an amount that could approach $1 billion, The Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday.

Facebook, which has been at the center of takeover rumors for months, also held separate discussions with Microsoft Corp., the world's largest software maker, and media conglomerate Viacom over the past year, the Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

In March, BusinessWeek reported that the company had turned down a $750 million offer and hoped to fetch as much as $2 billion in a sale. It has been separately reported that Viacom held talks to buy Facebook.

Social networking sites typically allow users to create and share blogs, pictures and videos with friends and the wider public.


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Teh Facebook Party Teh Facebook Party

Tags: takeover | thursday | social-networking | New York | Microsoft | journal | facebook

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

FCC Chickens Out At Logan Airport

Boston airport authorities cannot stop Continental Airlines from offering wireless Internet service in its frequent flier lounge under a proposed Federal Communications Commission ruling, sources familiar with the matter told Reuters on Wednesday.

The Massachusetts Port Authority, or Massport, instructed airlines in 2005 to unplug their wireless and wireline high-speed Internet access in frequent flier lounges at Boston-Logan International Airport and use the fee-based system the airport was launching.

Continental petitioned the FCC to keep its free service running and was later supported by wireless service providers, other airlines and package delivery service United Parcel Service.


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Soaring over the sun.  The last flight home. YVR - Vancouver International Airport Vladivostok Air Tu-154M Ruling the waves

Tags: SERVICE | flier | Airport | Logan | internet | continental | Boston