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Member since: Sun Jul 31, 2011, 05:36 PM
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Fund-Raiser for Romney in Israel Bars Media

JERUSALEM — Mitt Romney’s high-dollar breakfast with donors at the King David Hotel here on Monday morning will be closed to the news media, his campaign decided Saturday, a change from the norm for the presumptive Republican presidential nominee.

The trip to Israel holds opportunity and peril for Mr. Romney, and his campaign aides have spent weeks preparing him for the fine diplomatic line he must walk while abroad. His relationship with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel, which dates to their days as young consultants in Boston, is being scrutinized for signs of warmth or cooling, and everything said — and unsaid — will be carefully parsed.

The fund-raiser may be an especially delicate situation for Mr. Romney because of the attendance of Sheldon Adelson, a billionaire casino magnate who has pledged to spend some $100 million this election to help defeat President Obama, as well as elect Republicans. Though Mr. Adelson first supported Newt Gingrich during the early nominating contests because of his strong support for Israel, he has since thrown his support behind Mr. Romney. Mr. Adelson and his wife recently gave $5 million to a pro-Romney “super PAC.”


15 tons and what do you get ... a bunker buster

U.S. presented Netanyahu with contingency plan for Iran strike

U.S. National Security Adviser Tom Donilon shared Washington's contingency plans for a possible attack on Iran with Israel's PM, according to a senior American official.

The U.S. national security adviser has shared with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu the United States' contingency plans for a possible attack on Iran.

According to a senior American official, National Security Advisor Tom Donilon briefed Netanyahu on the plans during Donilon's visit to Israel two weeks ago. According to the official, who requested anonymity, Netanyahu hosted Donilon at a three-hour dinner. For part of the time, Israel's national security adviser, Yaakov Amidror, was on hand.

Donilon sought to make clear that the United States is seriously preparing for the possibility that negotiations will reach a dead end and military action will become necessary. He said reports of such preparations were not just a way to assuage Israel's concerns.

Donilon's talks in Jerusalem were the most significant so far between American and Israeli officials here in recent weeks. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Deputy Secretary of State William Burns have been in Israel as well.


Bolt-on kit could halve fuel consumption (Video)

A cheap bolt-on kit will one day be able to turn most ordinary cars into fuel-sipping plug-in hybrids, US researchers say.

Engineering technology students at the Middle Tennessee State University have fitted a 20-year-old Honda Accord wagon with a retrofit plug-in hybrid system that powers the front wheels using the conventional petrol engine, and a pair of electric hub motors hidden inside the rear wheels.

Users are then able to plug the hybrid car into an ordinary power point to charge up a set of lithium-ion batteries mounted in the wagon’s load space.

The batteries in turn feed electricity into the hub motors to provide low-speed power that is able to help the conventional petrol engine accelerate - the most fuel-hungry part of driving.

The bolt-on kit was developed in recognition of the fact that many drivers in the US only travelled about 70 kilometres a day at speeds below about 70kmh.


Sure, we need another oil pipeline ... NOT

Two years after oil spill, town and its creek are reshaped

Life has returned here, and it hasn't.

The water in Talmadge Creek runs clear now, and small schools of minnows shoot after each other, ducking behind creek rocks that seem too awkwardly settled to have been placed there by nature.

That's because they weren't. In the two years since one of the worst inland oil spills in U.S. history — when a pipeline break in a nearby marsh sent 819,000 gallons of toxic sludge sliding into the Talmadge and then down more than 30 miles of the Kalamazoo River — cleanup workers have dredged and rebuilt this creek from the bottom.

Now, Talmadge Creek is slowly headed back to normal, insomuch as normal is possible. The same could be said for the human ecosystem and the empty homes still surrounding the spill area.

The disaster itself was overshadowed by the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico that same summer, but it offers lessons for other communities and for other pipeline companies eager to tap Canada's lucrative oil sands market for American dollars.


Over 600m out of 1.24 billion Indians rely directly on farming ...

Monsoon, or later

A looming drought is manageable. Long-term changes to the monsoon might be catastrophic

THE dizzying midday heat of India’s northern plains cracks the earth. Farmers slump on the charpoys on which they sleep outdoors. It should be raining, yet the sky is clear. Prithi Singh, lean and wrinkled, says his entire rice crop has withered, along with fields sown for fodder.

After two summers of erratic and delayed monsoons, this year the rains simply failed. Mr Singh cannot afford to pay for a borehole, generator and diesel to reach ever-diminishing groundwater. Farmers always grumble. But Mr Singh has lost half of his annual income of 50,000 rupees ($890) and now depends upon his crop of winter wheat. Another farmer nearby fears he must sell his land to pay accumulated debts to moneylenders.

The monsoon months, June to September, bring three-quarters of India’s annual rainfall. Official studies show it to be erratic in four out of every ten years. Yet farmers rarely get any useful warning of shortfalls. As recently as late June, India’s meteorologists were predicting a normal monsoon. Punjab and Haryana, two north-western agricultural states, now say rains are about 70% below average. Six western states have issued drought warnings. The government in Delhi says it may soon offer emergency help.


Russia has doubts about Syria president's ability to hold on

Source: LATimes

MOSCOW — Russian officials, who have strenuously resisted U.S.-led efforts to push Syrian President Bashar Assad from power, are beginning to question whether the beleaguered leader can hang on, but say they have little influence over him as rebels take the fight to his country's biggest cities.

Even though Russia has been a close Syrian ally for decades, officials and analysts acknowledge that they have limited insight to Assad's true situation and mind-set. Although some fear that Russia missed a chance to help find a solution to the conflict, now in its 17th month, others say that it never had that kind of clout.

Still, Moscow appears to have at least one more card to play: an offer of asylum if Assad chooses to ask for it.

Read more: http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-russia-syria-20120729,0,2680215.story

Studies of Substance Abuse with Interventions for the Youth of Native American Indian Communities #5

Theoretical Framework

Large-scale national surveys provide comprehensive epidemiological data on alcohol, tobacco, and illicit drug use trends among youth. However, because of small sample sizes, they often do not include analyses of substance use patterns for American Indians. Fortunately, though, much is known about trends in Indian adolescent drug use because of research from three main sources.

The first is school-based surveys conducted by the Tri-Ethnic Center for Prevention Research at Colorado State University. For more than 25 years, these anonymous surveys have been administered annually to a nationally representative sample of 7th through 12th graders living on or near reservations. Each year more than 2,000 youth respond to questions about their drug use, risk and protective factors, violence, and victimization.

The second source of information comes from an examination of data from the Monitoring the Future (MTF) project, which has been in existence since 1975. Almost 45,000 youth and young adults from more than 400 schools across the country annually complete a survey about their substance use and related attitudes and beliefs. Wallace et al. (2002) analyzed data collected between 1996 and 2000 from approximately 64,000 high school seniors, thus sufficiently increasing the sample size of Native Americans to perform analyses of substance use trends.

The last source includes reports that combine multiple years of data from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) National Household Survey on Drug Abuse (NHSDA; www.drugabusestatistics.samhsa.gov)

The NHSDA is designed to provide drug use estimates for all 50 states plus the District of Columbia over a 5-year sampling period. Every year the NHSDA is administered as an in-person interview to more than 68,000 people who are representative of the civilian, non-institutionalized U.S. population age 12 or older.

Using these three national databases, plus supplementary research where available, prevalence data are reviewed for the substances most commonly used by American Indian and Alaskan Native youth across the country, namely: tobacco, inhalants, alcohol, and marijuana.

Michele Bachmann's Muslim Brotherhood Claims Condemned By Catholic Bishops, 41 Other Groups

WASHINGTON -- Forty-two religious and secular organizations united on Thursday in condemning conservative lawmakers' allegations that Muslim-American individuals connected to the U.S. government may be trying to spread the influence of the Muslim Brotherhood.

They directed their criticisms at Reps. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), Trent Franks (R-Ariz.), Louie Gohmert (R-Texas), Thomas Rooney (R-Fla.) and Lynn Westmoreland (R-Ga.), who recently wrote to various government agencies and asked them to investigate the influence of the Muslim Brotherhood. In their letters, the lawmakers targeted top State Department official Huma Abedin and several advisers to the Department of Homeland Security.

"We write to raise our voices in protest of your recent letters regarding prominent American Muslim individuals and organizations," the 42 organizations wrote in a letter to the lawmakers on Thursday. "These letters question the loyalty of faithful Americans based on nothing more than their religious affiliations and what is at best tenuous evidence of their associations. As such, your actions have serious implications for religious freedom and the health of our democracy."



Can anyone say Credibility ...


Banksters apologize, all is well in the world ...

Barclays apologises for scandal

Barclays has said it is "sorry for the issues that have emerged over recent weeks", when the bank has been caught up in a rate-fixing scandal.

Barclays was fined a record £290m by UK and US regulators for attempting to rig the Libor inter-bank lending rate.

The apology came as the bank's pre-tax profit for the first six months of 2012 fell 71% to £759m after taking a large own credit charge.

But on an adjusted basis, profits were up 13% to £4.2bn.


Shootin fish in a barrel ...

US fears Syria preparing for massacre in Aleppo

AMMAN - President Bashar Al Assad's forces renewed a ground and aerial bombardment of Aleppo today, extending efforts to crush rebels in Syria's commercial capital in what the United States said it feared could become a massacre.

Insurgents targeted army roadblocks and security installations, with both sides avoiding close-quarters warfare in the city of 2.5 million people, Syria's biggest urban centre.

The US State Department said credible reports of tank columns moving on Aleppo, along with air strikes by helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft, represented a serious escalation of Mr Assad's efforts to crush a rebellion that began 16 months ago.

"This is the concern: that we will see a massacre in Aleppo, and that's what the regime appears to be lining up for," State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said.

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