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Hissyspit

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Member since: Fri Nov 12, 2004, 07:39 AM
Number of posts: 43,386

Journal Archives

Kurdish Troops in Control of Key Iraqi Town, Official Says

Source: New York Times

Kurdish Troops in Control of Key Iraqi Town, Official Says

By TIM ARANGO, SUADAD AL-SALHY and ALAN COWELL

June 12, 2014

ERBIL, Iraq — Kurdish officials said on Thursday that their forces were in firm control of the strategic oil city of Kirkuk in northern Iraq after government troops had abandoned their posts, introducing a new dimension into the swirling conflict propelled by Sunni militants pressing south toward Baghdad.

“The army disappeared,” said Najmaldin Karim, the governor of Kirkuk, two days after militants aligned with the jihadist Islamic State of Iraq and Syria swept across the porous border from Syria to overrun Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city, and then began a thrust toward Baghdad, capturing the town of Tikrit, the birthplace of Saddam Hussein, on Wednesday.

The apparent involvement of Kurdish pesh merga forces drew new lines in the patchwork of allegiances and alliances, adding disciplined troops whose allegiance to the central government in Baghdad is limited. With its oil riches, Kirkuk has long been at the center of a political and economic dispute between Kurds and successive Arab governments in Baghdad.

Read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/13/world/middleeast/iraq.html

Iraq Sunni Militant Group Vows to March on Baghdad

Source: Associated Press

@AP: BREAKING: Al-Qaida-inspired group says it will march on Baghdad after seizing 2 key Sunni cities in Iraq.

Jun 12, 5:07 AM EDT

IRAQ SUNNI MILITANT GROUP VOWS TO MARCH ON BAGHDAD

BY SAMEER N. YACOUB AND ADAM SCHRECK

ASSOCIATED PRESS


BAGHDAD (AP) -- The al-Qaida-inspired group that led the charge in capturing two key Sunni-dominated cities in Iraq this week vowed Thursday to march on to Baghdad, raising fears about the Shiite-led government's ability to slow the assault following the insurgents' lightning gains.

Fighters from the militant group known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant on Wednesday took Saddam Hussein's hometown of Tikrit, as soldiers and security forces abandoned their posts and yielded ground once controlled by U.S. forces.

That seizure followed the capture of much of Mosul, Iraq's second-largest city, the previous day. The group and its allies among local tribesmen also hold the city of Fallujah and other pockets of the Sunni-dominated Anbar province to the west of Baghdad.

A spokesman for the Islamic State said the group has old scores to settle with Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's government in Baghdad. The Iraqi leader, a Shiite, is trying to hold onto power after indecisive elections in April.

Read more: http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/M/ML_IRAQ?SECTION=HOME&SITE=AP&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT

Report: Sex Crimes Up at US Colleges (Even as Overall Campus Crime Down)

Source: Associated Press

REPORT: SEX CRIMES WERE UP AT US COLLEGES

By ERIC TUCKER

— Jun. 10, 2014 12:02 AM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of sex offenses reported at American colleges and universities went up in the last decade even as overall campus crime decreased, according to an Education Department survey that also suggests high schools are safer than they used to be.

The report released Tuesday said 3,330 forcible sex offenses were reported on campuses in 2011, the latest data available for colleges and universities that researchers have analyzed. That was a 51 percent increase from the 2,200 reported a decade earlier. But the number of campus crimes in every other category, such as burglary and car theft, declined during the same period.

The annual survey primarily focuses on crime and safety at the nation's elementary and secondary schools, where fewer crimes were reported than 20 years ago, according to the report.

Of students ages 12-18, 52 per 1,000 reported being victims of a crime at school in 2012, compared with 181 per 1,000 in 1992, according to the report. Away from school that rate fell from 173 per 1,000 to 38. Males were more likely than females to be victims of crime, and students in urban and suburban areas were more likely than their rural counterparts to have experienced crime.

Read more: http://bigstory.ap.org/article/report-sex-crimes-were-us-colleges

TOM TOMORROW: Let's Talk About Gitmo



DAILY KOS LINK: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/06/09/1304995/-Cartoon-Let-s-talk-about-Gitmo

The Pale Blue Dot

"Look again at that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every "superstar," every "supreme leader," every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there--on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.

The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds.

Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.

The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand.

It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we've ever known."

-- Carl Sagan, Pale Blue Dot, 1994





"It matters what's true."

-- Neil deGrasse Tyson, 2014

US Official: Bergdahl Tells Military Officials He Was Tortured, Beaten and Held in Cage by Taliban

Source: Associated Press

@AP: US official: Bergdahl tells military officials he was tortured, beaten and held in a cage by Taliban captors: http://t.co/L6nQDbl7f7

BERGDAHL SAYS HE WAS TORTURED BY TALIBAN CAPTORS

By LOLITA C. BALDOR
— Jun. 8, 2014 4:34 AM EDT

PARIS (AP) — A senior U.S. official says Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl (boh BURG'-dahl) tells military officials that he was tortured, beaten and held in a cage by his Taliban captors in Afghanistan after he tried to escape.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he's not authorized to discuss what Bergdahl is saying while being treated at a U.S. military medical facility in Germany.

The official says it is difficult to verify the accounts Bergdahl is providing about conditions of his captivity in the hands of the Taliban. He was released a week ago after nearly five years in captivity.

The New York Times reports Sunday that Bergdahl is not yet emotionally prepared to return to his family.

Read more: http://bigstory.ap.org/article/bergdahl-says-he-was-tortured-taliban-captors

Federal Judge Overturns Wisconsin's Same-Sex Marriage Ban

Source: WTMJ

Judge overturns Wisconsin's same-sex marriage ban

James Kust

CREATED 3:29 PM - UPDATED: 3:49 PM

MADISON - A federal judge has ruled that Wisconsin's ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional.

Wisconsin's voters passed a constitutional ban against same-sex marriages in 2006, but the American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU of Wisconsin, and the law firm of Mayer Brown filed a lawsuit on behalf of eight Wisconsin couples challenging the ban.

Part of Friday's ruling reads:

"It is DECLARED that art. XIII, § 13 of the Wisconsin Constitution violates plaintiffs' fundamental right to marry and their right to equal protection of laws under the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constiution."

The state motioned to stay the case in March and to dismiss it in April, but both motions were denied. It's not yet clear when same-sex marriages will be able to be performed in Wisconsin.

Read more: http://www.jrn.com/tmj4/news/Judge-overturns-Wisconsins-same-sex-marriage-ban-262161101.html?lc=Smart

Witnesses: Boko Haram Slaughters 100s in Nigeria

Source: Associated Press

WITNESSES: BOKO HARAM SLAUGHTERS 100S IN NIGERIA

By HARUNA UMAR
— Jun. 5, 2014 6:03 AM EDT

MAIDUGURI, Nigeria (AP) — Witnesses say Boko Haram militants dressed as soldiers slaughtered at least 200 civilians in three communities in northeastern Nigeria and that the military failed to intervene.

A community leader who witnessed the killings on Monday said residents of the Gwoza local government district in Borno state had pleaded for the military to send soldiers to protect the area after they heard that militants were about to attack, but help didn't arrive.

Mohammed Ali Ndume, a senator representing Borno and whose hometown is Gwoza, confirmed the incident. The incident was also confirmed by a top security official in Maiduguri, Borno's state capital, who didn't want to be named because he isn't allowed to speak to the media.

Boko Haram wants to establish Islamic state in Nigeria.

Read more: http://bigstory.ap.org/article/witnesses-boko-haram-slaughters-100s-nigeria

New U.S. Ambassador Swore Her Oath On an E-Reader

http://www.thewire.com/national/2014/06/us-ambassador-swears-oath-of-office-on-e-reader/371974/

JUN 2, 2014 10:23AM ET / NATIONAL

New U.S. Ambassador Swore Her Oath on an E-Reader

ERIC LEVENSON

In a peculiar "sign-of-the-times" moment last Friday, Suzi LeVine was sworn in as the United States' newest Ambassador to Switzerland and Liechtenstein by raising her right hand and placing the left on a digital copy of the Constitution. Instead of a paper-bound book, she swore the oath on an e-reader. It is believed to be the first Oath of Office consecrated in non-book form.

LeVine, a former Microsoft executive and fundraiser for the Obama team, solemnly swore her oath of office with her hand on the e-reader being held by her son and daughter.

On the e-reader, the U.S. Constitution was "opened" to the 19th amendment, which gave women the right to vote. Vice President Joe Biden led the proceedings.

MORE

Ann B. Davis, Who Played Alice on 'The Brady Bunch,' Dies at Age 88

Source: TMZ

@BreakingNews: Ann B. Davis, who played Alice on 'The Brady Bunch,' died at age 88, roommates tell @TMZ http://t.co/jNCXBUcFva

NEWS

'BRADY BUNCH'
ALICE DEAD AT 88
After Bathroom Fall


36 Minutes Ago

TV legend Ann B. Davis who played Alice on "The Brady Bunch" has died ... TMZ has learned.

According to the couple she lived with in Texas ... Ann fell in her bathroom early this morning and hit her head causing grave damage. We're told she never regained consciousness.

Her roommate says Davis had been pretty healthy for an 88-year old woman -- and her death was a total shock. In fact, she even walked downstairs to say goodnight before going to bed.



Davis played the housekeeper Alice Nelson for the entire original run of "The Brady Bunch" from 1969 to 1974. She also filled the role for countless other TV movies and reunions. She last played Alice for 5 episodes of "The Bradys" in 1990.



Read more: http://m.tmz.com/#Article/2014/06/01/ann-b-davis-dead-alice-from-the-brady-bunch-dies-at-age-88
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